Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Snow Day

So, you might remember from yesterday that we had a snow day. There wasn't a ton of snow but enough to make things interesting. We woke up this morning to about 5 inches of snow. I went out to take a couple of picture and found the snow was perfect for sledding. It was about 22 degrees with minimal wind so we made a plan.

Bobby really wanted Swedish pancakes for breakfast so I whipped those up. Once we were done scarfing down our breakfast we bundled our kiddos up and headed for a local middle school that has a good sledding hill. We tried to decide if we should drive or walk. After a few minutes of debate we hooked the kids together on the innertubes and dragged them to the school. Is is not too far but we didn't want them tired an whiny by the time we got there.Munchkin was a daredevil and immediately started sledding by herself. Little Man took more convincing. Bobby finally put him on a sled and pushed him down the hill. He screamed and cried all the way down. It took him another 15 minutes or so but then he was ready to race down the hill by himself. We had 2 innertubes with us and one purple disc. He was most comfortable on the disc and used it well. Munchkin had the distinct pleasure of sliding further than anyone else. Bobby did slide into and across the street heading for the lake but stopped himself before I had to go drag him out.We were done when Little Man's switch flipped and he was just done. His feet were wet and cold and we needed to head for home. The tubes were hooked back up and away we went. Our neighbor was out when we got home and wanted to kids to play. We told him they could later but we really needed to get in and warm up. Commence lunch plans....

Lunch consisted of Tai Pai potstickers, rice and homemade hot chocolate. It was delicious!

Now the kids are back outside with Bobby attempting a snowman (the snow is pretty dry so they are having a hard time) and sliding down out street with our neighbor. The temperature has dropped though so I think they will be back in soon.

I am so glad we actually got snow this time and were able to play in it. Here are a few of our snow days over the last couple of years:

Last year we had a snow day and made a snowman...it was about 6 inches tall. (Jan 28 2009)
2 years ago we made a bigger snow man but by the time we went sledding there wasn't much snow. (Feb 2008)
This was not actually a snow day but we made it one anyway. (Feb 2008)

I looked back at 2007, 2006 and 2005 but I don't seem to have any pictures from those snow days. That was predigital so that could be why. :)

It has been a good day and am so thankful for time to spend with my sweet family!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowpacalypse and Delicious Hot Chocolate


If you watch the news you might know we were supposed to get snow today in the mid south. We started hearing about it a few days ago and people started battening down the hatches. Of course last time we were supposed to get a bunch of snow we had flurries...ok there was a little more than flurries but not the white blanket of death* that was predicted.

Last night I saw that we were supposed to wake up to freezing rain. That "fact" along with staying up until past midnight made me text my walking buddy and cancel for our 5 AM walk. Guess what we woke up to? Um....27 degrees and clear skies. I could have walked...had I propped my eyelids open with toothpicks. :)

I need to back up for a moment and say that when I got home from work last night I could hear my children whooping and hollering before I even got to our porch. They had just seen that they did not have school today. This always creates an issue for us because I cannot take the kids to work with me and hubby really shouldn't. He decided he would take them, the portable DVD player, construction paper and some toys in with him for a couple of hours and then work the rest of the day from home. Here I will say that I thank God every day for flexibility in my husbands schedule!

On my way to work this morning I saw 3 snowflakes. I was listening to 107.5 The River and they were talking about how the newscasters had to add potential on to any chance of snow. An example was "Watch out for the white blanket of death..potential". I couldn't help but giggle thinking about the snowpacalypse we were experiencing at that very moment with my 3snowflakes.

By 8:30 it had started to really snow.
At 9 I had a faculty member call to see if he could pick up some paperwork and to see if we were open. I told him jokingly that we would be there at least another hour, not anticipating we would actually leave until 5 PM. By 9:45 we had at least 2 inches of snow on the ground where I work. My supervisor came in and said we would probably close at noon. no sooner had he said that, that our campus director came down and said we were closing up and to go on home. Our building is at the top of a pretty steep windy hill so I am glad he made that decision. We did have one student on campus that had gotten a ride so I gave him a ride home. The roads were not that bad yet so it was really not a problem.

Bobby went on a mission to find us an extra sled. We had heard that ACE Hardware had some but they were completely out. He ended up finding a tube at Dicks Sporting Goods...there was a small stack left in the entire store. We are actually supposed to get a 4-9 inches of snow tonight so maybe we can actually use it tomorrow.

We all finally made it home safe and sound and the kids were chomping at the bit to go play outside. I bundled them up like the kid in A Christmas Story and sent them out the back door to play on the deck. I could see them out the window and wanted to be warm. I figured they would want to come back in very soon. And I was right. This completely long drawn out post about the snowpacalypse brings us to the hot chocolate I made for when my two snow children made it back in the house.

If you want the hot chocolate that thawed my children out make it like this:

Karen's Hot Chocolate

3 cups milk
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
a pinch of cinnamon
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium until chips are melted and the milk is hot
Top off with snowman shaped marshmallows
Delicious. :) (as a side note I didn't actually measure any of the ingredients so those are an estimate of what I used. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Music Monday - Francesca Battistelli

Every once in awhile I flip over to the Fish as I am driving down the road and every time this song comes on it keeps me on the station. I don't know much about Francesca Battistelli but I like her voice and I know she got a Grammy nod for her album.




Click here for Free to Be Me video. Click here to go to her website.
Her album My Paper Heart came out on July 22nd.

I look forward to hearing more from her.

Photo from CCMbuzz.com

Paula Deen My First Cookbook Cinnamon Rolls

We woke up feeling ambitious today. I actually felt like making breakfast but I wanted the kids to help too. Last Christmas my mom gave the kid Paula Deen's My First Cookbook. We have done a few recipes out of there but they are just starting to get interested in actually helping out in the kitchen. We made cinnamon rolls this morning that were so easy I did almost nothing.

I separated the crescent rolls, rolled them up and put them in the oven. Munchkin made the cinnamon sugar, placed the marshmallows on them and sprinkled them with the cinnamon sugar. She even set the timer for 10 minutes.

I took them out of the oven and put them on plates and she served them to everyone. She was so excited about being the primary baker she chose another recipe for lunch and one for dinner tonight. Applewich's and Porcupine balls here we come! :)

Paula Deen Cinnamon Rolls
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar (mix these together to make cinnamon sugar)

1 pkg crescent rolls separated
8 large marshmallows or 8 mini marshmallows for each roll

Preheat oven to 375
line a baking sheet with parchment paper
place a marshmallow in the middle of each crescent roll
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
seal all of the edges
Sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown

Even my husband the Cinnabon King likes these! :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

{TWD} Oatmeal Chocolate Almost Candy Bars

First of all thank you to Lillian of Confectiona's Realm for choosing this weeks recipe. I think it was a favorite among many of the bakers. This was one recipe my husband said I could leave at home and not take to my co-workers. :)
To check out how all of the other bakers did head over to the TWD site. You can also follow the link to buy the book Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.


The recipe called for raisins, I left them out and added butterscotch chips instead. A little switcheroo my daughter and husband were grateful for. My little guy would have liked the raisins and I probably would have as well but I didn't want to eat them all. The batter was delicious as it was...
I also forgot to mix the peanuts into the chocolate before spreading on the base so these are a little messy. No one seems to mind though, especially the dog who just follows behind and hoovers everything up.
This was a fairly simple recipe that I think will be added to the dessert repertoire. Tune in next week for Cocoa-Nana Bread.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Music Monday - Joy Williams/The Civil Wars

I met Joy in 2001. She was on the same label and management as my husbands former band. She was a sweet talented young musician that has grown so much as an individual since I met her. Joy has recently been featured on Greys Anatomy and has a new project called The Civil Wars with John Paul White. Not only that but you will hear her on the new Oscar Meyer commercials that just started running.






Joy Williams on Facebook and Youtube
Sensibility Music on Myspace and Facebook
The Civil Wars on Myspace and Facebook

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A conversation with a 5 year old

The other night it was almost time for dinner. We told our son to put away the Wii remote and get his homework done. He came and sat on my lap and said "I just want to stay home with you!"
We talked a little bit about homeschool and how I can't do that right now. Of course I would be his teacher and he would have to learn everything he was learning at school with me. And then I asked him if he was homeschooled if he thought he would get to play the Wii more often. To which his resounding answer was "YES!".
I gently reminded him that that would not be the case because he would still be doing school work.
Fast forward to last night while I am making dinner.
Little man came in the kitchen and said "Wemember our conversation about me staying home wif you? We were on da couch and you said I could stay home wif you." I had to once again remind him that as much as I would love to be home with him that I have to work right now and yes I remembered our conversation on the couch. I asked him again if he thought he would get to play the Wii more often and of course his response was yes again. So he remembered that parts of the conversation he wanted to remember.

Silly boy! With his ACC half the time we don't know what he remembers and what he doesn't but that is something he obviously wants to stick.

I love that our conversations with him are getting more and more involved and detailed. He is so sweet and loving. You can't help but squeeze him!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

{TWD} Mrs. Vogel's Scherben

OK, first of all, who doesn't love fried dough? My hubby is a big fan of funnel cake. We have to get it at the drive-in, at the Sounds game, and at the fair (I suppose I should admit that I am partial to it as well). ;) Thank you to Teanna of Spork or Foon? for choosing this fun recipe. I have thought about making this several times but was a little intimidated by the frying part.


There are very few ingredients in this recipe that included a large pinch of sugar and a small pinch of salt. Huh? I like measurements! What the heck is a pinch? That is my pinch of salt up there. Looking in the bowl I wondered how so few ingredients could possibly make dough for the Scherben.
Since my sweet daughter wanted to help I made her knead the dough. She liked it a lot:

After chilling the dough, cutting it in half and rolling it out, cutting it into strips and chilling again it was time to heat the oil. We had a small fire in our kitchen the other night. It was very contained underneath the pan I was cooking on but it did cause my children to run to the living room to get ready to evacuate. I had Bobby throw some baking soda on it and finished cooking dinner. So, when I had to heat 4 inches of oil I was a little nervous. There was no need to be though.
Once it reached 350 I was ready to start frying. Apparently, once it hit 350 it kept on going and I should have reduced the heat. Some of my first Scherben were a little crispier that the ones later on lower heat. Also, the ones that were rolled a little thicker were a little more funnel cakey than the thinner ones.

I wondered if I stuck a few together what would happen. Had I tried this earlier I may have tried a few different shapes but these were the last ones. R for Reinsch. :)


Of course, Mrs. Vogel herself came over for a visit...before we ate her......


These were a pretty easy treat to make and I am glad mine looked close to the picture in the book. The oil did make house smell for a couple of days but it was a minor price to pay for a yummy treat! Check out the TWD site to see how the other bakers did!

Check out my photo of the day at ourcrazyblessedlife365

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow

So, I guess I should have updated my last post to say that we did actually get some snow that day. It wasn't much but it was enough to make the roads icy that night. And I suppose I should defend Tennessee...it is not the snow that is the problem, it is the ice. In the last few years that is about all we have gotten.

I am feeling lazy today and have not edited my snow pictures but will hopefully have some soon. The kids had 2 snow days and had snowball fights. They even made 3 snowballs for tiny snowman...they may still be out there as it is cold enough. I got home the other night to find some snow angels in the driveway. I snapped a couple of shots before parking on top of the angels.

We went to church last night and had dinner with some of our favorite peeps at Qdoba. The kids needed out of our house. I kept hearing myself say "Stop jumping on the couch!" We tried to catch snowflakes on our tongues and I am sure people thought we were insane.

Our county will be back in school tomorrow but many will still be closed due to icy roads. I think my monkeys are ready to get back to school.

I hope your snow days were as fun as ours. :)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

It is Snowing it Tennessee!!!!

I mean, sure, they are smaller flurries than what I took photos of the other day but it is still snowing. Sure, it melts as it hits the ground but we still got some, right?
So what if my kids slept with their jammies inside out and backwards and slept with spoons under their pillows. It couldn't dampen their enthusiasm that they got another day off school. Maybe I should have let them flush ice down the toilet to make the ground colder. I mean that is way more scientific than our weather people who get snow wrong in the forecast more than they get it right. Thanks newscasters for getting everyones hopes up for a fun day sledding and then dashing their hopes by saying things like "it is turning out to be more of a nuisance than a crippling event" - channel 4 news weather guy on the 7:00am news.

Oh well, off I go to answer the phone 500 times today to see if we are having classes tonight. The answer is yes, by the way.

Here is today's snow photo....you can see the snow right? In the parking spaces? Look closer, I promise it is there!


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

{TWD} 2nd Anniversary and delicious desserts

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of Tuesdays with Dorie. I am so proud to be part of this baking community. Dorie Greenspan is an excellent baker as well as an excellent mentor. She is quick to reply to email and was even my secret elf in our card exchange this year. I do have a blog post about that coming up soon too. This week, being the second anniversary, had two recipes to choose from. We could choose Tarte Tatin, which I had never heard of or Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake. I chose to do both because Hubby's birthday was a couple of days ago and he loves chocolate cake. After reading the recipe for the Tarte, I figured how could I go wrong with butter, sugar and apples?
Thank you to Laurie, our gracious host for choosing this weeks recipes. You can click here to read her blog post from 2 years ago that got our baking club started.

Now for a few pictures and a few words and for good measure a little Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake from last week.

Tarte Tatin
I made this last night and ate it late and I am so glad I did not wake up in the middle of the night with crazy heartburn! An entire stick of butter, plus sugar made a delicious caramel sauce for the apples. I have to admit I cheated and used a Pillsbury Pie Crust and it turned out amazingly! If I had puff pastry I would have used that though. My husband does not like cooked fruit so even though he liked the taste he did not like the texture. I loved it...too much.

Like I said earlier, it was also my hubsters birthday this week. We had a little birthday party for him at Pie in the Sky Pizza downtown. This is an impressive cake, I must say. He really liked it a lot. Sorry honey for ruining your food plan....
The pizza place had lots of bright light, which would have been great if I didn't take a picture of my shadow on the cake! :) The stars on top are for him being a rock star!

Last I will leave you with my Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake. I made this for New Years Eve. After reading other comments I decided to add double the chocolate, so no pale cheesecake here. Then it managed to get a huge crack in it so I made some bittersweet chocolate ganache to pour on top. It was so shiny you can see one of my pans in the reflections. To top it off I made a little raspberry coulis with the frozen berries in my freezer. YUM! I heart raspberries and chocolate together. It was delicious.

So now I am buckling down and walking on my treadmill so I can actually button my pants. I hope you baking went as well as mine did this week! :)


I love this club and can't wait for the upcoming recipes!

Monday, January 04, 2010

January Gym Rats

So, the New Years Resolutions are in. People have resolved to lose weight and are hitting the gym hard to do it. You may think I am one of those people that has resolved to go the gym faithfully until I can fit into skinny jeans but I am so not.

This post is more an admonition to the faithful gym rats. Every year I hear the faithful whine and complain about how January is so busy at the gym. That the people who have made resolutions are taking up precious space and, Lord forbid, they have to wait for a machine. I hear some of these from the naturally athletic, have always been healthy people. More often I hear these complaints from former fat people who are now reformed into healthy gym rats.

Do you remember what it was like to be fat? Do you remember how the first time you stepped in a gym you were surrounded by healthy fit people and how intimidated you were to ask for help with anything? Do you remember feeling like an idiot who didn't know the moves in your first class? What better time to go to the gym than in January when there are a bunch of people that are starting new for the first time.

Instead of whining and complaining about how busy it is take a second and think back on your journey to getting fit. Did it start with a January gym membership? Think about what you can do to help others. Obviously they have to be motivated themselves but when you are standing next to your favorite machine with a disgusted, put out look on your face you are doing them a disservice. They are paying their membership fees just like you are.

Please just give others a break and a little encouragement that are trying to make better habits. They will be paying for their membership for the rest of the year while you enjoy a quieter gym in a few months.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Truth in advertising - Hardees

Have you seen the commercials for Blueberry Biscuits from Hardees? This is the picture from the ad. Looks delicious, doesn't it?
Here is what we got. It was still tasty but not pretty...


Friday, January 01, 2010

Jesus and Munchkin

Dear Munchkin,
Tonight you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior! We have been talking for a long time about who Jesus is and why He is important. You love church and everything you learn about Jesus when you are there. You love watching Toon Town on the computer and doing the activities there. You have all of the head knowledge but we didn't want to push you into becoming a Christian. We wanted you to want to know Him.
Tonight you wanted to ask Jesus into your heart. Daddy said a prayer and you repeated after him. And you cried. Don't get me wrong, you cry sometimes but it is normally when you are angry. Tonight's tears were tears of joy. It was amazing to see your sweet face and joy that was on it.
You are so special to me and daddy and we are so happy for your decision to follow Jesus. We love you sweet girl!
Mommy and Daddy

Our Crazy Blessed Life 365

Check out my photo a day in 2010. You can follow ourcrazyblessedlife365 here.