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