Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blog Carnival

With all the top ten blog posts of 2009 I have been seeing, I have been thinking about doing something similar. I saw Jesse at Vanderbilt Wife did this and followed the link to Musings of a Housewife. Jo-Lynne is hosting so if you would like to join the carnival go check out her site. :)

Without further ado, the first line of the first post for each month in 2009.




January:
Amy posted a link to this blog the other day.

This is about reading the Bible in one year...sigh, maybe this year I will make it all the way through.

February:
Wars, floods, earthquakes, tornado's.
Believe it or not this post is about cookie...but not any cookies.. Dorie Greenspans World Peace Cookies. :)

March:
Also know as the Cake that Got Me Fired (Dorie, not me).
All about cake with prunes, gran marnier, and setting stuff on fire. Next post in the same day is about Dr. Suess' birthday.

April:
When I was a kid we would take every spring break and go to Disneyland.

We took the kids to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL and had a blast (haha, I kill me). The kids loved it and it was an easy day trek from Nashville.

May:
If people try to tell you that boy are not different than girls, they have obviously never been around children. Here is a real life example for you from our day.
We went to a birthday party where the differences in boys and girls were played out to the fullest.

June:
Just a couple of photos from the Dance rehearsal.
Oh the joys of dance. :)
I just happen to like this June post better:
Spiderman crashes our sons birthday party

July:
I feel like I have fallen off the face of the bloggy earth. :)
Yep, you guessed it all about what a slacker I was in the blog world this summer.

August:
It's Tuesday, and you know what that means!
This treat was a banana bundt cake chosen by Mary, The Food Librarian. She just had a series on "I like big bundts". Check her out.

September:
Last night was filled with excitement for our little fambily.
All about bad words, magic blue smoke and Wipeout.

October:
Yesterday I got a text from my hubby that said "Something I was NOT expecting in the mail today was a box from Hobby Lobby. With a pair of socks inside."
A funny price for football picks.

November:
Is this thing on?
All of my excuses for not blogging that led into NABLOPOMO.

December:
Thank you to all of you who entered the drawing. The winner in announced in the following video.
For my 900th post I held a drawing for $10 Hobby Lobby gift card. Because I have so many followers I had 5 people enter and my friend Saundra won.

And that was 2009. Happy New Year!! may 2010 be filled with joy!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

{TWD} Low Luscious Chocolate Cheesecake

Stay tuned, I will be posting about this soon. I have been busy walking on the treadmill the last few days and haven't been in my kitchen. This is a recipe I will not miss though even if I get one bite and have to take the rest to work. Check out the TWD blogroll to see how hundreds of other bakers fared this week and check out The Tea Lady of Tea and Scones for the recipe.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elf and the 7 Year Old

A few days ago we decided we would let the kids watch Elf with us. Munchkin has been asking about how Santa gets in the house. We don't have a chimney you see so she is understandably curious. Hubby told her that there must be some magic involved. You must understand that movie lines are quoted frequently around our house so it comes as no surprise that many lines from Elf have been heard from my daughters mouth.

Yesterday as I was driving to work, I had my kiddos with me. There was a Santa on the side of the road waving in front of some jewelry store sale. Now, traditionally we see Santa the big white guy and this was a pretty slim black guy. So when the response I got from the back seat was "That was sooo not a real beard" I laughed really loud.

Yesterday the kids got to see Santa at the Bass Pro Shop. Bobby asked if they thought that was the real Santa and she said "No, I don't think so, he smelled like smoke!" Talk about killing the Christmas magic. I can just see Santa out back in the alley getting a quick drag before letting a bunch of kids sit on his lap. Nice. At least he looked good in the pictures.

Another line, not from Elf, is Scroogy McScroogy Pants adopted from her father who said that about the houses without Christmas lights on them. He has actually called me that on a couple of occasions when I forgot to turn the lights on. Denver and Amy, if you are reading, she called you guys Scroogy McScroogy Pants the other night when we drove around your neighborhood looking for lights. We made sure to point out your beautiful trees but she could not be swayed.

All this to say, the kids saw Elf and apparently liked it as attested to by the lines being quoted in our house!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kim Peek died :(

You may or may not have heard of Kim Peek and likely won't hear as much as would a celebrity. He was the inspiration for the movie Rain Man. I know about Kim Peek because my son shares a brain anomaly with him. Both have Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. This is the part of the brain that connects the two halves of the brain. We did not get the chance to meet Kim as he started attending the conferences the year after we went but he was an extraordinary man. Here is an excerpt from the Salt Lake Tribune the rest can be found by clicking the link.

"Kim Peek, the Murray man who inspired the 1988 movie "Rain Man," died Saturday of a sudden heart attack.
Peek, 58, was likely the world's most famous savant, enduring mental handicaps while at the same time possessing extraordinary gifts of memory and recall.
"He had a depth and breadth of knowledge and a memory that was just unbelievable," said Daniel Christensen, a professor with the University of Utah's Neuropsychiatric Institute. "He was unique. I don't know if there will ever be another person quite like Kim."
In recent weeks, Kim Peek had suffered from an upper respiratory infection, his father, Fran Peek, said Monday afternoon. Peek had been retaining water, gaining nearly 30 pounds. Water pills did not seem to ease the situation.
Peek was born on Nov. 11, 1951. At 9 months, doctors said he was severely mentally retarded.
"They told us we should institutionalize him because he would never walk or talk," Fran Peek said. "But we refused to do that."
By 16 months, Peek demonstrated extraordinary abilities. He could read and memorize entire volumes of information.
"He could find anything he wanted to. He read all of Shakespeare, the Old and New Testaments," Fran Peek said.
An MRI later showed that his brain lacked a corpus callosum -- the connecting tissue between the left and right hemispheres. Peek said his son's brain lacked the normal filtering system for receiving information". To read the rest of the story in the Salt Lake Tribune click here.

{TWD} My favorite Pecan Pie...except not this week

A big thank you goes out to Beth of Someones in the Kitchen for choosing this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie Recipe. She chose "My Favorite Pecan Pie". When I asked hubby if he liked pecan pie he kind of gave me an "eh" look. I am not a huge fan of it either but I am willing to try it. This week has been full of Christmas cookies (that I had ingredients for in the house) and other baking though so I have not had a chance to make it yet. Sorry Beth! I will try it soon though. For the recipe you can check out her blog.
I did spend all of yesterday baking these:

Kids Thumbprint cookies.

Grandmas All Occasion Sugar Cookies


My helpers


Andes Candies Cookies
May all of your holiday baking be as sweet!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New (to me) Music Monday: Salient

There are so many bands and musicians out there that I never seem to be able to keep up. Each week I would like to feature a new (or old) band or musician.
This week I of course will start out with my hubby's band, Salient.

Bobby has been playing with Salient since around October of 2003. His first show with them was New Years Eve at Rocketown. Bobby's mom was in town and got to be at the show. We hung out in the balcony as Munchkin was with us and was quite rambunctious. She was 15 months old so, for her, Salient has always been part of her little life. Little Man was born in June of the next year so he too has always know "Mr. Mark" who is the singer for the band. Both have gotten to know several other musicians as well. Salient consists of Mark Duckworth (vocals), Bobby Reinsch (guitar), Craig Woelber (bass) and Jeromy Rowe (drums).

Recently the band released their 4th album "The Constant State of Change". Barry Blair (of Audio Adrenaline fame) was the producer.

Obviously in this case I am a little biased, but I think this is the best album they have produced to date. You can check out the band on facebook, myspace, garageband and at their website. You can download the new album on itunes and you can find them on youtube. Check out their site to see when they will be in your neck of the woods. :)


Friday, December 18, 2009

Fun Friday

My kids get to have Fun Friday at school each week. Actually I am not sure if it is every week or the weeks that they earn it. Anyway, they love fun friday so I am going to start including Fun Friday on the blog. I love to go out and do fun things with my kids and my husband but we try to be conservative when it comes to spending money on outings. So, we look for free places to go as a family. Most of the time I find our free outings in the Nashville Parent, through online groups, and the Nashville Scene.
Some of the things we may check out this weekend are:
Tonight:
FREE Make It and Take It: Hershey Kiss Tree All ages can drop in and make a colorful Christmas tree made from Hershey Kisses. Delmas Long Community Center, 200 Memorial Drive, Goodlettsville; 5 - 7 p.m.; 851-2250 or www.cityofgoodlettsville.org.

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire and Hot Cider
Date/Time:Fri., December 18, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Price: free
Whole Foods Market
4021 Hillsboro Pk.
Nashville, TN
440-5100

12/19
FREE Polar Express Pajama Party and Storytime All ages can wear their PJs for a reading of The Polar Express along with games and hot chocolate. Barnes & Noble, 2615 Medical Center Pkwy., Murfreesboro; 11 a.m.; 895-8580 or www.bn.com.

FREE Storytime with Miss Sharon All ages can listen to a reading of Great Joy. Barnes & Noble, 300 Indian Lake Blvd., Ste. 340, Hendersonville; 11 a.m.; 264-0183 or www.bn.com.

Holiday Art Show
Date/Time:Daily from Sat., December 5 until Thu., December 31
Price: Free
Art & Invention Gallery at The Garage Mahal
1106 Woodland St.
Nashville, TN
226-2070

12/20
Holiday Ice Show Figure skaters and young students in the Learn-to-Skate program perform holiday-themed routines on ice. Centennial Sportsplex, 222 25th Ave. N., Nashville; 2 p.m.; $6 adults, $5 ages 12 and younger; 862-8480 or www.nashville.gov/sportsplex.

FREE A Little House Christmas All ages can hear the music and stories the Ingalls family shared. Related craft activities include making clove apples, bead strings, rag dolls, Almanzo’s jingle bells and mitten ornaments. Bellevue Branch Library, 650 Colice Jeanne Road, Nashville; 2 p.m.; 862-5854 or www.library.nashville.org.

Have fun and be safe! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

{TWD} Cafe Volcano Cookies

It is Tuesday once again, which means tasty treats are making their way from my house to work. Thank you to MacDuff of The Lonely Sidecar for this amazingly simple recipe. You can go to her site to get the recipe or you can purchase Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours.

When the recipes for the month came out and I read the title my thoughts immediately turned to dark flowy chocolate spilling from a soft chocolaty cookie. Then I read the ingredients and kind of scratched my head. How could the 5 ingredients that included 2 kinds of nuts, sugar, egg whites and espresso powder make the cookie that I saw in my head? They couldn't, but they did make a lovely crunchy meringuey cookie. Hubby and I have started on a diet...I know, right during the holidays is a perfect time for that....so I only kept a few of these at home and took the rest to work.

Last week I made Sables and immediately made these. The sables required 2 egg yolks and these required 2 egg whites. It was a no brainer to do them at the same time. Thankfully I actually had almonds and pecans in my cabinet...I am not sure how long they had been in there but they hadn't passed the expiration date so I figured they were fine.

I toasted the almonds and the pecans together and didn't bother to let them cool before throwing them in the pot with the rest of the ingredients. I probably should have let the other ingredients warm up so the sugar was dissolved before throwing the nuts in but the directions didn't say to do that. I was quite skeptical that these were going to turn out even close to edible, but I should know by now that things I think will be terrible will be really good.

These turned into a light, airy, if rather crunchy cookie. Can all of those descriptive words go together? Please forgive my made photography skillz. I was trying not to take flash photos of my cookies but I didn't have any natural light...I really need a light box (hint hint!). :)

When I took these to work I really though they would be gobbled up quickly. For some reason it took longer for these to go but the people that ate them really liked them. I had one instructor tell me they were horrible so he needed another one to make sure they weren't poisoned. My kind of humor! :)

I am not a nut girl..I generally go by the rule, if it doesn't need nuts I am not going to put them in and kind of feel like brownies with nuts are a sin against nature. However, I really liked these a lot. I am glad I took them to work because I would have made myself sick eating them at home. If you need a good easy recipe, this fits the bill.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frosty Friday Morning

This morning I woke up to frost on my car...but not just frost, ice. It looked beautiful until I had to scrape it off.


This is just a small section of the ice on the windshield. It wasn't like the thick frost that scrapes off and you can make snowballs. This did not want to come off. I managed to scrape a teeny space to see through in the front, a little bit on the passenger window and the passenger mirror and hit the road. I didn't get far though before I had to stop and take the next two photos...I was still waiting for the ice to clear so why not? :)

I loved the fog on the water this morning. It was just beautiful. :)


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Pioneer Woman at Davis Kidd Nashville

If you haven't heard of the Pioneer Woman at this point you can click here to check out her awesome website. I was turned on to her site by my friend Vanessa (of Crayons in my Coffee) who mentioned how much she liked the recipes on there. Ree Drummond lives on a ranch with her husband, Marlboro Man, their kiddos and a bunch of cows. She has the story of her romance with her husband on there along with photography tips, homeschooling information and plenty of giveaways. When Nashville popped up on her "Griswold book tour" (that was October 7th) I emailed my hubby and said I was going. This was his response "wow. Nothing like planning ahead... :) Hope you have a great day! Love you!"


Speaking of planning ahead, I saw mentioned on someone elses blog that they had tickets at their event. I checked out the Davis Kidd website and low and behold they had line tickets. About 3 weeks ago I ran down to Green Hills on my lunch break to pick some up. I was hoping to have some friends come with me but to no avail. The tickets were free and they let me have 4 of them. They were for group 4, each group had 25 people in it. Last night when Munchkin and I arrived they were giving out group 16. By the time we were done we were seeing people with group 22. Whew! Yay for planning ahead!

Munchkin and I battled our way through the torrential downpour to get to Green Hills. We arrived in one piece early enough that we were able to get some dinner. We first made a pit stop at the Davis Kidd potty. Someone in the restroom had a group 16 ticket so I gave her one of my extra group 4 tickets. Someone else came out of a stall and said "Is someone giving out tickets?" so I gave her a second one. She smiled gratefully and told us she would make sure she was behind us. I thought that was sweet but I had extras so why not give them out? Munchkin and I headed out and went to Panera. The place was packed but we managed to find a little table next to a couple from out of town. She was in my same group and was very excited. We still had time after sharing a sandwich and a cup of soup so we went to Godiva because really, who can pass up Godiva? I do have a membership card though so we got one piece for free.Once we got back to Davis Kidd it was starting to get a little bit busy. I took Munchkin in the kids area (which is awesome by the way) and let her play for a little while. She made friends quickly and wasn't too bossy. She did however say that one of the little toys needed to work out because he couldn't fit through the castle door. hmmm....
It was finally time to line up. I had two tickets left and only needed 1...who to give it to? There was a girl with a baby in the play area that had a group 16 ticket so as we made our way out I tapped her arm and asked if she would like one for group 4. She sounded like she didn't think her sweet girl was going to make it to group 16. She gladly accepted and we made our way over to where they were lining everyone up. There was a tape line snaking throughout the store and they lined up groups 1 and 2. In anticipation we listened for our group. 3 was called and finally 4. The lady and her husband from Panera were close to the front of the 4's and we were not too far behind them.
I found out the girl with the stroller was Jessie from vanderbiltwife. She is a pretty well known blogger so it was fun to meet her.

While we waited Munchkin, who loves to read, picked up 365 days of being Green. I had to make sure it was an appropriate book as we were next to not so appropriate books for a few minutes. As we started our journey through the line poor Munchkin was less than thrilled. She actually sprawled herself on the floor in kind of a pouty funk. There happened to be a little step stool near us so the girl in front of us (who I want to say her blog is Ode to Creativity) encouraged Munchkin to get it and bring it along the line with us. That was kind of a lifesaver.
Everyone was super excited when Ree made her appearance. There was a buzz all over the bookstore with quiet chatter. I think it was quieter than one might have expected considering how many people were there. This is just one small section. The line reached back up the stairs on the other side of the room.
Munchkin continued to find ways to entertain herself and Jessie's little girl. They played peek-a-boo and , according to Munchkin, made up a secret footshake.
At one point she was hanging upside down on the stool. But that was near the front of the line when there was not much further to go. One of the girls and I were trying to decide if we should use flash or not for out photos and lamented over the fact that our little point and shoots tend to have blurry photos if anyone but us uses them. Here is my test photo without flash (that is the Panera lady).

Here is my photo with flash. I almost decided on no flash but then thought it would be better once there was not another target in front to take the flash. Of course my picture of me and munchkin was blurry. Then I told Jessie I would take a picture of her and Ree and I forgot..until she called my name and then I was all shaky and hers was all blurry too! Ugh, I suck! (Sorry Jessie!)
This would be why I forgot. Munchkin was taking a picture of me with Betsy, Ree's sister, and Hyacinth, her best friend. I ran over to take it though.
And this is how it turned out. It is quite pixilated because I tried using a sharpening mask on it. I think I need to re-edit it.
We got through the line really quickly. I felt like such a dork when I got up there. I don't tend to get into signing lines, mostly because what am I going to do with an autograph? However, since this was a cookbook and something I will actually keep I wanted to do it. Plus I love her blog, it makes me want to blog more. I also LOVE the sour cream pancakes as the first recipe I have tried from the book. I wanted to tell her that but forgot as I was telling her how Munchkin had dragged her little stool all over the store. Last but certainly not least Betsy and Hyacinth handed out these sweet T-shirts. My little model was almost not a willing model.
This has been one long blog post all to say I am glad Munchkin and I braved the rain and the crowds. Ree is a genuine lady who had so many autographs to sign. She was very sweet and I am glad I got to meet her. :) Now go check out her blog!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

{TWD} Sables

Thank you to Bungalow Barbara for choosing Sables this week for Tuesdays with Dorie. These were a really simple recipe to throw together. Between grading paper and Christmas shopping I was in need of a simple recipe for this week. These little sables required 2 egg yolks and next weeks Cafe Volcano cookies required 2 egg whites. Providence I tell ya! :) I made those cookies too but you will just have to wait until next week for them.

These are terrible pictures but what can you do when it gets dark at 4:30 and it is cloudy all day so there is no natural light?

These are tasty, tender little shortbread cookies that lend themselves well to dipping. One tip, if the recipe says use a silpat mat...use a silpat mat. They were kind of difficult to get off the stone without breaking.

Munchkin and I are heading out to Davis Kidd tonight to see The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond and to have her sign my cookbook. I feel kind of silly because I don't get totally starstruck (unlike my mother who saw Dixie Carter at Opryland and almost fell all over herself). but I am pretty excited.
Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures and a story about the event! :)

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Fun Day

Well, NaBloPoMo ended and I fell off the blogging wagon. I have tons of stuff I want to blog about but haven't had time to edit pictures, form coherent thoughts or write a complete sentence. Of course that could be the lack of caffeine..wait I have had caffeine every day....Anywho....

Last night Munchkin couldn't sleep. She was probably awake until 10:30pm because she was scared of the dark. And then I remembered that she drank Barqs rootbeer at dinner and yes, most root beer is caffeine free but not Barqs. It has bite. So, since she is so tiny and drank 2 glasses of rootbeer we paid for it with insomnia. No more caffeine for my child.

Things I want to blog about:
Little Man losing his second tooth
Decorating our Christmas tree
Our dog with a santa hat and how much she loved it
The Nashville International Auto Show
Autotune and why it is the devil
Favorite Christmas tunes

I know there are more but can't think of them at the moment.

I am thinking about having an APU Alumni open house at my house in January. If you read my blog and are in Tennessee and went to APU would you come to something like that? If you are not far from Tennessee would you like to come?

OK, back to work. Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Hobby Lobby Winner

Thank you to all of you who entered the drawing. The winner in announced in the following video.







video

Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 30 Sweet moments with Little Man

Tonight the kids and I made rice krispy treats for their lunches....they are supposed to be for lunches but I think we all know they won't make it to tomorrow.
We got them in the pan and let them setup on the counter. I had already given the kids a share while we were watching Shrek the Halls.

Little Man came over a few minutes later and asked "Mommy, can we have more Christmas Treats?" :) So sweet!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 29 Sunday

Reminder: 1 more day to leave a comment on my 900th post to be entered to win a $10 gift card to Hobby Lobby.

Oh, Sunday day of rest how I love thee. :)

Today was a restful day even if we did not rest rest. We went to church and came home for leftover turkey enchiladas. We went to the Nashville International Car Show because I had free tickets and it was kids free day. I had free tickets due to giving blood but I was signed up to give blood before finding out about the tickets.

We dug all of the Christmas decorations out of the attic, tested lights and decorated our slightly lopsided Christmas tree. Most of the ornaments are clumped about the 3 foot mark and we lost our star wars ornament but I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the first year Little Man has been super excited about decorating and was thrilled to help out. Munchkin is the one who broke the ornament and felt horrible about it. But, it is was it is and it was an accident. I made sure she was ok and let her know I knew it was an accident and cleaned it up.

Dinner was turkey tetrazinni and the punch I forgot to make for Thanksgiving dinner. I got a resounding nod of approval to make this recipe again.

Last week I read Anne of Green Gables: Beginnings and today I have read half of Anne of Green Gables. At Goodwill a few weeks ago I found the next 2 books for about ninety cents each so I am excited to read them in the coming weeks.

Now we need to get our sweet babies to bed for they have school tomorrow and I am not looking forward to getting them up. Hopefully going to bed on time will help them get up in the morning. I suppose we shall see. :)

Happy decorating!

Friday, November 27, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 27 Analytics

I know I did this awhile back but I think it is time to do it again. I use Google Analytics to see how you are getting to my blog. I am not that tech savvy so I know I am not utilizing it as well as I could but I like seeing where you are coming from.

Keywords that are popular:
Locks of Love - I hope this is helpful for people who want to donate their hair to this amazing organization
7th birthday prayer
emotional turmoil
Apple Cherry Chutney - I think this one is kind of funny because the person searching for this was from Michigan and the recipe I used was from a cookbook from Michigan.
Hello Kitty Pops - I am sure they were looking for Bakerellas but got mine..sorry! :)
Precocious moments - kids say funny things.
80's bunco party - my group looked like totally awesome in the pictures
ameretti cookies and World Market - these are delicious little cookies
azusa, ca "trick or treating" best neighborhood - I hope they ended up going to APU for their trick or treating
beth moores denomination -
brezinka twitter - a friend and neighbor
chicken pox party, chicago - Sorry we aren't close but we did try to infect a neighbor...
bounce factory, nashville - haven't been here in quite sometime. Is the one in Anticoch still in business?
fort negley - Fun, your should go. :)
gigi's cupcakes - Delicious. There is now a kiosk at Opry Mills.

Where you are:
Canada (Hi Sherri!)
Cambridge, Kelowna, Edmonton, West Vancouver, Orillia, Ft. Erie, Bramalea, Don Mills, Port Moody, Victoria
United Kingdom - London, Glasgow (I lived in Kilmacolm when I was a wee lass), Poole, Manchester, Edinburgh
Philippines - Mandaluyong, Cebu
Australia - Sydney, Perth, Brisbane
Singapore
France - Paris, Nantes
Latvia - Daugavpils
Mexico - Guadalajara , Sahuayo
Croatia - Zadar, Split
Germany - Berlin, Sulzbach
India - Bangalore
Netherlands - Hoogeveen , Leeuwarden
Malaysia - Petaling Jaya , Kuala Lumpur
Taiwan - San-Ch'Ung
Maldives - Male
Slovania - Ljubljana
Costa Rica - Heredia
Portugal - Porto
Denmark - Arhus
Greece - Athens
Columbia - Bogota
Japan - Urasoe
Austria -Korneuburg
United Arab Emirates
Ukraine - Karkov
Czech Republic - Prague
Saudi Arabia -
Israel - Petah Tiqwa

And of course United states. The majority of you are from California (Hi Mom!) The only states not represented are: Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, West Virginia, Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Anyway, that is just a little snapshot of what google analytics can show you. :)
I would love to hear from any of you, comments make me feel loved.

Make sure to make a comment before Dec. 1st on my 900th post to be entered to win a $10 gift card to Hobby Lobby!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 25 Pictures from TWD

Over the last couple of weeks I have made my TWD recipes but not posted pictures...mostly because I am a slacker and hadn't finished them. I did make the molasses dough but didn't bake them for a week. Then I was planning on making the crisp and couldn't get to the store for cranberries. Supplies I had on hand had to do.

So without further ado here are the photos of my Cran Apple Crisp Raspberry Apple Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisp and my Sugar Topped Molasses cookies.

These ended up being square because this is what they looked like on the cookie sheet. They spread...a lot.

Since I didn't have cranberries I used some freezer burned raspberries and added some delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter because who doesn't love those two things?




This right here is delish! You will want to eat it right out of the jar. Go right now and get some!
The cookies disappeared quickly. My individual crisp for me disappeared quickly but the one the kids shared stayed in the fridge with a few bites taken out of it. I didn't even attempt the crisp for my hubby, I didn't think he would eat it. Overall I think I will make both of these again sometime.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 22 Kitchen

My kitchen looks like a tornado hit it. We are having a couple of friends over for Thanksgiving so I am starting to prepare. Of course the cake I am making today may not make it until Thursday. It is my Tuesdays with Dorie cake and I am fairly certain I have been in the kitchen for 4 hours making this cake...and the mess. The dishes, oh the dishes. Is there anyone who would like to come being my personal dishwasher? I have already run the electric one once this morning and it didn't even make a dent. All I have to say is this cake better be worth it. The gold dusted chestnuts that I just finished painting will hopefully make the cake look very pretty.

I <3 baking. I do not <3 the cleanup. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 21 My 900th Post and a giveaway


Good morning world!

It is the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The sun is shining, my daughters chicken pox spots have faded and this is my 900th post.

To celebrate I am giving away one $10 gift card to Hobby Lobby (the craft store not the airplane store). I love Hobby Lobby and the expanse of craftiness they have.

To enter leave a comment and December 1st I will draw a name from a hat for a winner.


*Hobby Lobby has no idea who I am but I <3 them. :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 20 Housebound

One would think that I got a ton of stuff done at my house this week. Munchkin and I have been pretty housebound due to the chicken pox. We had to leave to pick up Little man from school but otherwise have stayed in. NPT says kids need outdoor unstructured play every day. Munchkin made sure to let me know that since we have been inside. I suppose I could have let her play in our backyard but it has been a little chilly. Well, not that chilly.

Anyway, even with Munchkin sick (not acting sick) I have loved being home this week. Just to get to spend quality time with her has made me happy.

One of these days maybe I will get to be home with my babies again.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 19 Pumpkins

I know I kept saying I was going to post pictures of our pumpkins and here they are finally a week out from Thanksgiving. Munchkin won the beast sitting next to her out at Pumpkin Hill by guessing the closest weight. It was 68 pounds and looked much bigger sitting on its end with her on the table next to it. It weighs 22 pounds more than she does.

Not only did she win the pumpkin, it won our neighborhood carving contest as well! Lucky Pumpkin! :)

This pumpkin was carved by Munchkin. She did a fantastic job but we carved the Monday night before Halloween so by the time candy day rolled around its name became "My Head Esplode"!

This was Little Mans pumpkin. What you can't see is the other side was carved like Darth Vader. The mouth hole you see there was actually carved the night we carved all the pumpkins because it was already starting to mold a bit that night. I figured if I got the moldy part out it would survive. The eyes were added to this side after Darth Vaders face mushed in.
This guy makes me laugh because I think he looks a little bit like Gonzo. He looked scared of our big maama jaama pumpkin. This was all hubbys doing!
It's too bad you can't see this goofy guys nose in this picture. He was pretty fun to carve. There were surprisingly few guts to pull out and was easier to clean because I could actually get my hand in there.

Munchkin had a blast helping out with the pumpkins this year. It is really the first year she has helped a whole lot. At first she didn't want to touch the guts but eventually got her hands in them and wouldn't leave them alone. She is my child that will play all day in the dirt.
Little Man carved a bit but didn't want to touch the guts. Nope, not a play in the dirt kind of boy.
I can't wait to see what my kiddos will come up with next year for their pumpkins! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

NABloPoMo Day 16 Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Over the last 8 years I have cooked 1 big Thanksgiving dinner. That, I think, was the first year we lived in Tennessee. We invited a bunch of friends from church to share a meal with us before we headed off to Texas for what would become an annual family tradition. This year none of are able to get together so we are on our own and I find myself thinking about what to make for Thanksgiving.
When I think back to the things my mom made I think of Johnny Appleseed pie and Cornmeal Crescent rolls. I have made those in the past few years so I know they are going on my list.
My preliminary menu includes:
Rosemary Roasted Turkey
Garlic Mashed potatoes (with some that don't have milk and butter for our dairy free friend)
Green Bean Casserole (which Munchkin will not eat, it is her least favorite food)
Ambrosia salad
Cornmeal Crescent Rolls
Sweet potatoes
Veggie tray (for snacking)
Deviled eggs
Cranberry sauce
Gravy
Johnny Appleseed Pie
Chocolate Satan Pie
Pumpkin Pie

What am I missing? And, what are your favorite recipes for Thanksgiving?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 15 A Crazy Dream

Hubs and I went to bed early last night..10:30. I don't know why I couldn't get up this morning but it could have something to do with the very involved dream I was having.

For some reason Salient was playing a show at the Scraphouse because it was the last weekend the scrapbooking retreat house was going to be open. We had a youth group there and Mike from Big Daddy Weave was there playing worship. Ryan from This is Reverb was also there taking pictures...he may have been the speaker as well. There were also a couple of people from work there.
We discovered that the house next door was going to be the new scraphouse and that it had scripture painted on the walls. We all looked in the windows and Mike played a song that made me cry while we were reading the scripture. Rosy, Mike Lee and Jason Allen were also there which makes me think there was supposed to be a Dr. Smooth reunion concert later in the day.

A little while later someone said "Ok, let's go!" except that nothing was cleaned up. Any time we left the scraphouse we always ran the dishwasher, swept up our scraps and made sure we didn't leave any of our stuff. In the dream people that hadn't been there before I guess assumed we would leave at three in the afternoon and could leave it a big fat mess. I said we needed an itinerary and people needed to understand they needed to clean up their own messes.

One girl from work said she wasn't happy because she didn't like the other girl from work that was there. That rose tensions for everyone. Then we were back out at the concert and I was sitting in a wagon talking to some woman that was tanned to a crisp. She had some seriously sprayed crazy 80's hair....giant bangs and probably had stock in aquanet. She was laughing because my legs were orange. For some reason I dyed them for Halloween and it hadn't come off yet.

All of a sudden Kevin from The Office walked up and handed me a cupcake shaped like a purple pig and told me to take it to some bakery. I asked him if I could eat it and he said no. I ate it anyway.

Then I was woken up by a small voice asked daddy what time it was. I was exhausted.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 14 Random Thoughts

I am glad to be blogging more frequently (every day this month) but am finding fewer things to write about except my day.

My subtitle has religion, music, children and other random stuff. So, I suppose I could write about a few of those things.

I have been slacking on my Tuesdays with Dorie. I really want to bake but haven't had the time or the energy.

Munchkin has an extremely loose tooth. She won't let me pull it because it is "fun to wiggle".

Little Man had a birthday party to go to at Glow Golf today. He buried his face in my leg and would not go sit with the other kids. He would not get his face painted and wouldn't even acknowledge people speaking to him. The birthday boy came over and put his hand on his back and told him everything was ok and asked if he would like to see the cake. It made me think this happens at school more than I think it does. At times, I am at a complete loss about what I should do. At conferences his teacher said socially things were difficult for awhile but that he was fine now. I just want him to be happy..

I would like to be a photographer but need a new camera....and some classes. I have been eyeing the new Digital Canon 50D with 15.1 mega pixels. I know most of my pictures I post are not great quality but I have been told I have a good eye. Is the industry too saturated for a hack like me?

My cat has decided that she must sleep on me, all night long. It doesn't matter if I sleep on my back or front she is sleeping on me. If I roll over she just acts like it is a log rolling competition and moves as needed. She is losing a bunch of hair. Every fall she looks a little scraggly. I am not sure if it is because of the weather change or what but, I think she is allergic to something.

Hubs is going to the Titans game tomorrow. A friend just called with an extra ticket. That should be fun! :)

The Lifechurch message tonight and tomorrow is on speaking in tongues. Growing up in Baptist churches this was a spiritual gift that was ignored or swept under the rug. I don't remember learning about tongues until I was in college. Then I thought it was weird. I know as Christians we are gifted with Spiritual Gifts. My strong ones tend to be mercy, teaching, and discernment. I am interested to see what the message tomorrow will be like.

Just in case you didn't know, black lights will show every bit of sugar you dumped on your red shirt from the Aunt Anne's pretzel you ate before the movie you saw today. No matter how many napkins you used to get it off.

The piranha feeding at Stingray reef is far less impressive than you might think it would be.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 13 Nails on a chalkboard

The one sound in the world that absolutely makes me want to go postal is the sound of dogs barking. I can understand a little warning bark here or a "Here's the mailman" bark there. But, when it is woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof.............woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof...woof, woof, woof, woof........woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof for 3 hours straight I get a little on edge.
All of a sudden the little dog in the neighborhood that has been doing that for 3 hours has been silent for a full 5 minutes. Please Lord let it stay that way. I am at peace once more.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NABloPoMo Day 12 I Left My Wallet in El Segundo

Tonight hubs and I were watching Flash Forward while the kids were still up. It starts at 7PM here and we were eating dinner. Healthy, right? :) Anyway, on the show they got some tip about El Segundo and my hubby knew immediately that I would start singing "I left my wallet in El Segundo, I gotta go back and get it!" The best part was when Munchkin joined in to sing with me. Only her version was more along the lines of "I lef my wallet in elfamundo! I gotta go back and get it!" :) We had a pretty good laugh over that. We had to explain to her that "I left my wallet" song came out a long time ago and every time I hear El Segundo it just pops into my head.

Even better is that my sweet sheltered hubby had never heard it before we started dating. Both of our parents hated "that rap crap" but I loved it. I was like that girl in High School Musical that likes to pop and lock and jam....or not. :) I did like hip hop though, it was fun to dance to. I could do a serious Roger Rabbit and still bust it out now and then. I just looked up the info on the song and it came out in 1990. In those days hubs was listening to Stryper, Guns and Roses, Motley Crue, etc....

Anyway, all that to say I introduced him to A Tribe Called Quest and I Left my Wallet in El Segundo. Enjoy it as much as he did from the other room when I looked up this video on YouTube. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 10 and {TWD} Cran Apple Crisps

I am planning on making my Cran Apple Crisps for dinner tonight. They look delicious on everyone elses page. However my daughter and my husband "don't like cooked fruit" so I make have to make a slight alteration to theirs.....we'll see. :)

Last night was crazy at work. Someone decided it would be a good idea to pull the fire alarm so we would have to evacuate the building. I am not sure what people are thinking when they do something like that. It really messes up things for everyone else. Once we got back in the building we were able to close up and go home around 10:15.

Come back and check out my photos of my cran-apple crisp! :)

Monday, November 09, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 9 A Day for me

Well, not a whole day mind you but a couple of hours anyway. I am not sure when the last time I did something just for me was that didn't include taking a shower, watching TV or playing on the computer. I just don't take time for me because for some twisted reason I don't think I need it or deserve it. Because I am away from my family so much for work I would rather hang out with them and feel like time away from them breaks my heart...co-dependent much?

Things have been tight lately so it has not been an option to just go hang out at Starbys and drink overpriced coffee while reading the latest and greatest gossip magazine. This morning though I went to take care of a bill and got a nice surprise. It was about 1/4 the amount that I thought I needed to pay. Now, I could have thrown the extra at another bill but we have a car in need of an O2 sensor and an exhaust manifold. Hubs was quoted around $900 for the repair. I went to Auto zone to find out the price of the parts and called a local guy who said he would charge $77 for labor. The parts were still $300. Since I knew we wouldn't be spending $900 I decided to head over to Goodwill.

I ended up spending $6 on a shirt and 3 books. I would have bought a 4th but Black Beauty had apparently been used to stash something in it. The pages were cut out like you would see in the movies. I spent $3 at Panera and sat and read one of my new Goodwill finds.

After having lunch with my Munchkin I ran home and changed for work. Hubs called to let me know that they were only going to fix the O2 sensor because they were able to get the old one out without stripping the threads. Grand total parts and labor: $187. Woo hoo! I felt even less guilty about the $6 trip to Goodwill. :) Later I got a text from my hubby stating that it takes 33 minutes to walk from the car shop to our house. A few minutes later I got another text saying it took 36 minutes to fix the car. Doh!

Now I am at work anticipating the end of the work day. It has been a good day but I miss my family and can't wait to get home to them. I am thinking about what to write tomorrow and wondering if I will be too lazy to bust out my thumb drive with pictures to post....we'll see.

If you would leave a comment I would love to hear from you. It will make me feel special..Hi Mom! :)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 7 A beautiful day in Tennessee

8 years, 6 months and 7 days ago my husband and I packed up everything we owned (that fit in a 750 sq foot house) and stuffed it in a 27 foot truck with another family and moved to Tennessee from California. The band had a record deal and we were all moving out together. We made quite a caravan with 2 27 foot trucks, 2 car trailers and 3 other cars being driven.

We took our time getting here, spending the night in Arizona, twice in Texas and once in Arkansas. 2 pets made the journey with us our cat and the bass players chameleon whose life I later saved by force feeding it meal worms. The night we camped in Texas there were tornado warnings but I don't recall being terrible alarmed. Bean (our cat) spent the night in the car in her crate. I don't know if the storm freaked her out but she managed to dump her mini litter pan in her water and had clumping cat litter stuck to everything from her tail to the windshield of the car.

In Jackson Tennessee we left a trailer at a shop with a flat tire and drove one of the extra vehicles. We got to where we were going while it was still light and had to use wire cutters to get the lock off the first truck. The keys were in Arizona. We unloaded the first truck and I got lost trying to go get drinks for everyone. The second truck we unloaded in the dark because the drummer didn't have electricity...or so we thought until we realized the AC was on and all of the lightbulbs were burned out.

One of the things about unloading a truck in the heat is you realize how hot and humid Tennessee is. As fall came around I was missing California tremendously, especially the weather. I said out loud to a neighbor on a glorious beautiful day that "It was a California day!!" She quickly corrected me by saying "No, it is just a beautiful day in Tennessee!"

This conversation happened several years in a row. My sweet neighbor moved back to California to be with her family and today I caught myself saying "It is a beautiful day in Tennessee!" This one is for you Bernie! :)

Friday, November 06, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 6 Beat Down

It is Friday, the sun is shining brightly, like every red blooded American I am looking forward to the weekend.
However, today I feel beat down. There is a lot going on at work, people are sneaky and I am missing my kids. I should be looking forward to hanging out with my girlfriends that I am going to play Bunco with but I am feeling guilty about leaving my kids and hubby behind for the evening. I worked late (10pm late) twice this week and didn't get to see them at all. I worked 40 minutes over last night and didn't get to see my kids for very long.
I feel like a bad friend because I have invested close to zero in the woman that speak truth into my life this past year.
I know I should feel blessed that I have a job "in this economy".
I just know I want to be with my kids and my husband more often and I would love to be with the rest of our families more often as well.
I had a friend come in and tell me about the speaker that was at work yesterday. The guy talked about taking ownership of your feelings and how you control how you are feeling.
Well, today I am feeling anxious. The last time I felt like this was several months before I got married. I was living with three girls and things were not going well. I had serious anxiety for a couple of months until I was out of that situation.
Hopefully the weekend will bring renewed perception and a better attitude on Monday
Sorry for the downer NaBloPoMo today, it is hard to write something upbeat and fun when I feel like this. Tomorrow will be better. :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 5 A lost tooth and random thoughts

First and foremost my day started off with pulling my sons tooth. It has been hanging on by a thread for days and the big tooth is halfway in behind it. He has been showing off his "shark" tooth to everyone who will look..along with the bruise on his forehead that he garnered when he sneezed so hard that he whacked his forehead on the doorjamb. Nice... I had a washcloth in hand this morning so I could get ahold of the tiny tooth, pulled it and waited for the firestorm fit I was sure was to follow. It never came! I don't think my Little Man even realized I had pulled the tooth out. I showed him and told him how excited I was for him, he showed his daddy who told him how proud he was that he didn't cry and we gave high fives! He took it downstairs to show big sister who helped him get a baggie to put it in so that won't get lost before the tooth fairy comes tonight. I thought he was pretty excited but I found out later today that he didn't even tell his teacher! Oh well.



On another tooth front, I had my 6 month checkup today and am cavity free! Woo hoo! For a girl with a mouth full of metal that is always a relief. No crowns or root canals for me this time. Yes I do brush my teeth, I also floss on a consistent basis, it is hereditary and I have soft enamel.



I was stuck in traffic this morning on my way to work.



Have you ever gotten in trouble for a status update on Facebook? I try very hard not to post status updates that are going to get me in trouble. Controversial, yes. Get me fired? No. Apparently a very innocuous status update that had a couple of comments on it got sent to someone who brought it to someone elses attention. The update has been deleted but for the record my update could have been concerning anything other than work. I am irritated about the situation but will not be posting anything else that can be construed as negative for my job.



While in the dentist chair this morning I was watching something with very little sound. I caught that the previous mayor of New York was on a new ship that was built from steel from the World Trade Center. I am split on my feeling on this. I think it is a neat tribute to change it from victim status to destroyer. But, the WTC went down once what is to stop someone from doing that again in the ocean?



I had a dream the other night that I was hanging out with Dwight Shrute. For some reason he came to my kids school and we were going to see Little Mans class. He made some comment about how he never had any kind of learning disability and was very flippant about kids with disabilities. I had to put him in his place that there is not shame in having a learning disability, or a brain anomaly, or a physical issue. He was very sorry and apologized profusely. We got the kids report cards the other day and Little Man is having kind of a hard time staying on task. Because of his ACC he is having a much more difficult time in school than Munchkin did. I wonder if this dream was me trying to tell myself that it will be OK for him to do Kindergarten a second time if that is needed. I really want to do whats best for him. He likes school, he likes his teacher, he likes recess but he is struggling to keep up with the other kids. I think the structure is fantastic for him and that he is learning. He has a fantastic speech teacher that is doing wonders with him. Ugh, decisions decisions....



One last random thought for the day...when you pull up to a stop and see someone you kind of know, what do you do after you acknowledge them? So you just sit there and feel awkward, do you keep sneaking peeks to see if they are looking back at you? Do you completely ignore them? I just took a very unscientific poll and apparently I am not the only one that feel awkward at stop lights so if I try to ignore you after acknowledging you just know I feel awkward and don't know what to do. :)