Monday, June 30, 2008
I am not very original with names so it is just called Deanna's Corner Cooking. I hope you will drop in for a glass of sweet tea. I've already got some recipes posted for you to try.
Why not making some delicious Homemade Salsa with all the Mississippi tomatoes available at the local farmer's markets? Perfect for the July 4th weekend.
Tired of the same old Saturday breakfast routine? Why not surprise your family with something different like this Nutty Orange Breakfast Cake.
And if you are grilling this weekend the perfect compliment to those ribs are these redneck potatoes!
I'll be adding recipes all the time. Try them and let me know how you like them.
Frozen Lemonade Pie
Recipe courtesy The Neelys
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 (12 ounce) container whip topping, thawed
1 (6 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, keep frozen
1 teaspoon candied lemon peel
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar, and the melted butter. Press firmly on bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool completely.
In a medium bowl, add chilled sweetened condensed milk and cool whip and fold gently. Add frozen lemonade and continue to gently fold. Do not let the mixture become soupy. Pour mixture into the pie crust and freeze overnight. Garnish with candied lemon peel.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
SQUEEAAAAALLL! We're gonna have twins at Christmas! We're gonna have twins at Christmas! We're gonna have twins at Christmas!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The Poprs look kind of fun and might encourage them to try a few new things. They come in lots of flavors:
Try Cinnamon on applesauce.
Try Colorburst on yogurt.
Try Chocolate on pudding.
Try Strawberry on Cereal.
Try Raspberry on yogurt or ice cream.
Try Butter on corn or other veggies.
Try Taco on mashed potatoes.
Try Buffalo on broccoli or other veggies.
Who knows? Maybe I'll find a flavor that will get my husband to eat green beans. Nah!
You Are 10% Yankee, 90% Dixie
You're completely Dixie all the way. You've possibly never even met a Yankee!
This morning we have been cleaning and I have been Natchez Solution crazy. My kitchen table, my rocking chair, my front hallway..... love, love, love it!
If you haven't tried it... buy a bottle. You won't be sorry!! Back to cleaning before my boys discover me blogging instead of cleaning.
Little Guy just finished his baseball season. He played for the Detroit Tigers this year. Hubby was one of his coaches which made playing all that more fun for him.
Baseball (and any sport) can often times bring out the worst in fans. I am so glad that we were part of a team that had parents who were supportive of the kids and the coaches. This meant a lot to me since I am the wife of one of the coaches.
Thanks, Coach Gibbs, for making this year's baseball experience one that was a building block for Little Guy. One not only in his baseball skills, but one in his character and integrity! You rock!
|Make a Smilebox postcard|
Friday, June 27, 2008
Some of my favorites: Fights tooth decay; improves your sense of smell; helps you sleep!; help him avoid stroke and prostate cancer; and activates your taste buds.
Oh, yea... Hubby is going to have a field day with this list!!
I have never been scared of the water and have always enjoyed swimming. That is all thanks to my Mom. I wanted my boys to have the same enjoyment so I enrolled them in swimming lessons. Big Guy took lessons over several years with a local swim school and is a pretty good swimmer, but I have been THRILLED with Little Guy's swim instructor. Someone told me about Debra Stapleton last summer and WHAT A DISCOVERY! Little Guy not only swims like a fish, but he can swim every stroke you have ever heard of... all in two weeks time AND he is an amazing diver too!
Thanks, Ms. Debra! You are truly a hidden treasure!
|Make a Smilebox postcard|
Thursday, June 26, 2008
When the doctor came in he showed me all of my results. Basically it looked like a bunch of etch-a-sketch drawings. He said that I did not have sleep agnea. That was good news. I snore, but not enough to wake me up. That much I knew.
He said that what they did discover was that I woke up 150 times during the study. He said that the study also showed that I never went past the Stage 2 level of sleep.
Their conclusion? My pain from fibromyalgia is keeping me from sleeping.
Really? I just paid you no telling how much money for you to tell me what I have known for how many years now?
Just to be polite I asked him the required question: Do you know of anything that can help or make sleep better?
His answer (the same as every other doctor when you are talking about fibromyalgia): I wish there were something.
So.... I packed the boys up. Thanked them for being patient and went out for pizza for lunch.
Fibromyalia.... it won't kill you, but some days it might make you wish you were dead.
Another one was called a "Moo Mixer". It was a mug that you put your milk and chocolate syrup in, punch a button and it mixed your milk to chocolatey goodness!
After we told the boys about that one, Big Guy piped in and said, "I've got one of those. It is called an arm!"
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
We went to the Farmer's Market this afternoon and picked up a lot of fresh veggies. One of the things I picked up that the boy's kind of cringed at was squash. That is not at the top of their list. What they didn't know is that I had a recipe that a friend had given me at a ballgame a few weeks ago. It hides the squash inside a squash fritter. Hopefully they will eat them and never even realize it until after supper is over! I tried one a minute ago and they tasted more like a corn fritter than squash to me. They are soooooo yummy!!
Mr. Joe's Squash Fritters
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup self rising cornmeal
1/2 cup grated squash (I couldn't find my grater so I cut mine into tiny cubes)
1 Tbsp onion
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 Tsp shredded parmesan
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/4 t black pepper
salsa (to taste)
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. If your mixture is too runny, add a little meal. If it is too dry, at a little milk. Heat a heavy iron skillet over medium heat (smoking oil is too hot) and pour 1/4 cup of oil for each fritter. Fry 3 to 4 minutes on first side or until golden brown and 2 to 3 minutes on the second side or until golden brown. These are good warmed up the second day.
I may have to find a few more recipes to hide veggies in!!
1. Need to clean a vase? Fill it with water and drop in an Alka Selter tablet.
2. Need to clean your garbage disposal? Drop in a tablet and chase it with some vinegar. Allow it to sit for about two minutes and then rinse thoroughly with hot water. For a fresher smelling drain, drop in a few orange or lemon peels too!
3. Drop a couple of these tablets into your toilet and then scrub your toilet to a shinier finish.
4. Got a baked on mess? Submerge your dish in hot water along with a tablet.
5. Does your child wear a retainer? Drop the retainer into some water along with a tablet and it will help GREATLY!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
As a 1930s wife, I am
As a 1930s husband, I am
Hubs is much better at this marriage thing than I am!! I guess this test proves what I have always known. I am the luckiest woman on the face of the earth.
Monday, June 23, 2008
While the boys were gone, hubby and I had the time for ourselves. We were married seven years before Big Guy came along so you would think that we would be old pros at being a couple, but it has been eleven years since we were "just" a couple. It is amazing how out of practice you get.
After the boys drove out of the driveway we headed to see our friends whose son is in the P.I.C.U. at Blair E. Batson. We had been wanting to do that for days but couldn't since we had the boys. Their son, Matthew, and our son are friends and we adore him. He has been in the P.I.C.U. since they intubated him a week ago. Thankfully today they took him off the respirator. I don't think any of us who know Matthew will ever say that our kids "just" have a virus again.
Hubs and I pretty much are simple people. I say simple when other people might say boring. But we had such a fun weekend and it reminded us how competitive we are with each other:
* Playing S.O.S. on the paper tablecloth while waiting for a most delicious Italian dinner.
* Going to the swimming pool and challenged each other to a treading water contest, then collapsed on the chairs to soak up some sun and read our new books
* Hubby letting me browse several book sales (or as he would say -- feed my addiction!)
* Watching THREE movies uninterrupted snuggling in the same chair
* Hubby turned on the television and never once glanced at a cartoon channel - Ha!
* Eating ice cream
* Going shopping -- nothing for the boys
* Laughed ourselves silly over jokes that only the two of us would understand
* Cooking supper together and then playing Scrabble
* My favorite -- hubs driving through the car wash as an excuse just to kiss me!!
What a great weekend! The boys made memories with their wonderful Nana and Papa and hubby and I made memories together.
It was great, but we are so glad they are home and sleeping in their beds. Our puzzle isn't complete unless we are all home together!
Don't ask me what made me think of it. Maybe it was chatting with my high school friends. Maybe it was updating my playlist of music from the high school days to upload to our class website. Or maybe it was just talking with the boys about growing up that made me remember.
Whatever it was, the lightbulb went on and I suddenly remembered that I spent quite a few nights in high school snipe hunting! You have to go snipe hunting a lot because they are temperamental creatures you know. Groups of people have to run ahead while a group stays behind with the sacks to catch the snipe. (Snipe hunting is very humane.) It is the first group's responsibility to make lots of noise, or in my case sing Kung Fu Fighting, to scare the snipes back to the "catchers". It is a huge responsibility and often given to the chosen few (a.k.a. newbies!)
Yes, I am going to have to correct that mistake with my boys. While I am at it. That might have to be a summer fun activity for us. We may have to take our boys camping and take them on their first snipe hunt.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
by Rob Stennett
FROM THE BOOK JACKET:
Meet Ryan Fisher--a self-assured real estate agent who's looking for an edge in the market.
While watching a news special late one night, he sees evangelical Christians raising their hands in worship.
It's like they're begging for affordable but classy starter homes.
Ryan discovers the Christian business directory and places an ad complete with a Jesus fish. His business doubles in a week. But after visiting an actual church, Ryan realizes that with his business savvy, he could not only plant a church--he could create an empire.
THE AD WITH THE JESUS FISH
Even though Ryan Fisher didn't believe in God, he placed an ad in the Christian Business Directory. There were a number of reasons Ryan decided to market himself as a realtor to Christians, but the main reason was his desire to become the most successful real estate agent in Denver. Ryan was one of the best natural salesmen to ever work for Phillips and Sons Realty. He could sell ice to an Eskimo, not because he tricked the Eskimo into thinking he needed more ice-- the Eskimo was smarter than that. The Eskimo could look around and see there was plenty of ice to build igloos with and to keep sodas cold. But he would buy ice from Ryan because Ryan was so likeable.
The Eskimo would find every excuse to run out of ice just so Ryan would come by and they could
talk football and joke around. The Eskimo would even catch himself thinking that he and Ryan could build a lasting friendship--the type where they'd have each other's families over for barbecues, and they would watch the kids play croquet in the backyard as the sun set.
Unfortunately, there are very few Eskimos in Denver.
Which was really too bad, because Ryan Fisher was in a slump. His charm and personality didn't seem to be enough anymore. He hadn't closed on a house in a month. Despite his past successes, he was beginning to feel like a complete failure--as if he were a surgeon who'd lost ten straight appendicitis patients, or a guy who'd asked every girl in high school to the prom only to be rejected by them all, or New Coke.
This story begins after another day where promising real estate leads crumbled into disappointing failures for Ryan Fisher. It was his twenty-eighth birthday, but he didn't want to celebrate. He wanted to crawl into bed and disappear. He wouldn't get the chance.
Ryan walked through his front door and saw balloons, streamers, friends in pointy hats, cake, and roll-out paper whistles. It was time to party. He should have felt touched that his wife Katherine went to all this trouble. She'd probably spent weeks organizing this get-together. He needed to act grateful. He needed to push the bad day out of his mind so he could mingle with his friends. His successful friends. With their exciting careers and great stories.
He was turning twenty-eight, he'd been at the real estate game for five years, and he was average. He'd worked hard and was a great salesman, but things were about as good as they were going to get for Ryan. He never got the lucky break, the right connections; and now his life was destined to spiral into mediocrity. There'd be nothing but work and two weeks of vacation a year (and even then there wouldn't be money for Greek Isle cruises or a Bahamas beach house; he'd have to settle for road trips to Iowa and last-minute discount fares to Delaware). Then, in the end, there'd be nothing to look forward to except retirement and death.
After the party he tried to fall asleep next to his wife, but when he closed his eyes he kept seeing a picture of his friends cruising around on a yacht, sipping fruity drinks with umbrellas, while he and Katherine were in a tugboat. All of Ryan's friends were wearing white pants and laughing at Ryan. Then, thankfully, the yacht cruised out of sight leaving Ryan and Katherine to drift and stare at each other.
Ryan got out of bed, walked downstairs, flopped on the couch, limply aimed the remote at the cable box, and flipped through all late- night television had to offer. There wasn't much. One channel had cooking gadgets. The next had Chuck Norris pitching exercise equipment. Ryan decided that most people wanted two things late at night: to get fat or skinny.
He finally settled on a rerun of "Dateline" chronicling the journey of a megachurch in Nashville. As Ryan watched he couldn't help but notice that all of the Christians seemed so happy. They laughed at the pastor's jokes as if he were Jeff Foxworthy. They sang songs and smiled and thrust their hands high in the air. It was like they were begging for affordable but classy starter homes.
The segment closed with these magic words, "There are 80 million people in America who call themselves evangelical Christians."
Eighty million people, and every one of them needs a house.
This was it. This was the answer--Christians. These people wouldn't flake out, wouldn't walk out of a deal at the closing table; they would be kind and honest and naive; they would be extremely easy to sell small, big, and medium-sized houses to. He would be Ryan Fisher, realtor to Christians, and he would be rich and successful.
Christians were everywhere and they were going to put him back on the real estate map.
The next morning he was a new man. His coffee tasted richer, the sun looked brighter, his shower made him feel cleaner, and even the traffic jam seemed pleasant, as if it were a big party and all the other motorists were his close Christian friends.
But then Ryan realized he had no idea how to sell to Christians. So when he got to the office, he cracked open the phone book, flipped through the Yellow Pages, and learned how complicated Christianity is. He discovered that all of the churches had names that sounded spiritual, but Ryan had no clue what they meant. There were lists of churches that gathered in different parts of town with similar labels: Assembly of God, Baptist, Calvary Chapel, Episcopal, Evangelical Free, Foursquare Gospel, Lutheran, Open Bible, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pentecostal Holiness, Seventh Day Adventist, and United Methodist. Then, there were churches that had "church" (or some allusion to church and God) in the title but did not seem to belong to any specific group: Abundant Life Center, Fellowship Christian Church, Fruitful Believers Church, Mosaic, and the Pointing People to Jesus Place. When people converted, Ryan wondered how they decided what brand of Christianity they would join.
It seemed to Ryan that it would take a lifetime to understand all of these versions of Christianity. But he didn't have a lifetime, so he started calling churches. Most of them didn't understand exactly what Ryan was asking. Every conversation went something like this:
"I have an offer for Christians."
"Something to sell."
"You want to sell real estate--"
But Ryan was persistent, and he wouldn't give up easily. He had already spent twenty minutes calling churches. He could go for another five. His determination paid off when he got on the phone with the receptionist for Fellowship Christian Church.
"I want to sell real estate to Christians." Ryan's spiel had become considerably shorter.
"Oh, you're calling about the Christian Business Directory," the receptionist said.
Ryan could hear the angels singing. "Yes, the Christian Business Directory. That's exactly what I'm looking for."
"What sort of business are you in?"
"Would you like to place an ad?"
"I would love to."
"What would you like in it?"
"What normally goes in a Christian ad?"
"Well a lot of people put the Icthus on their ad."
"It's the fish that symbolizes Christians. You've probably seen it on the back of cars."
"The Jesus fish!"
"Yes, sir. The Jesus fish."
"Yeah, I'll take one ad with my face and the Jesus fish next to it."
The ad worked like hotcakes. His voice mail was flooded with Christians looking to buy and sell real estate.
Ryan quickly learned a couple of things: He learned Christians want to live in neighborhoods with other Christians. They want to move into homes where Christians have lived before so they can be assured their new home doesn't have a history of residents who struggled with "worldly" things like pornography and alcohol and crack.
He learned Christians are thrilled to do business with someone who has the same values as they do. So, being in the Christian Business Directory meant Ryan had to pretend to be a Christian and agree (or at least act as if he agreed) with Christian ideals and values.
Ryan knew he didn't really believe in a higher power, and a client would occasionally make frightening political statements, but those were small things.
What's important is I'm putting good people into good homes, he told himself.
And it was fun being a Christian--it was like being part of a club.
It wasn't an exclusive club like a country club or the Mickey Mouse Club; Christianity was a club that was always excited to find new members. When clients asked Ryan how long he'd been a Christian, he was as honest as he could be when he said he'd just recently become one. Ryan was scared they might lash out at him, tie him up to a post, and scream, "How dare you take out an ad with a Jesus fish when you've just recently become a Christian?"
But the opposite was true.
The newer the Christian he was, the better. When he told one client that he'd become a Christian in the last month, she broke into tears and gave him a hug on the spot. Ryan felt so warm inside, he thought his heart was smiling.
All it took was one ad with a Jesus fish and Ryan drummed up more business than he'd ever thought possible.
Just a few weeks ago, finding clients was a great mystery for Ryan.
He knew people were buying and selling homes, he just didn't know how they found each other. Ryan loitered around Starbucks and playgrounds and put his name on the sides of benches and bus stops.
Then he invested in a billboard; it seemed oddly powerful to have his face hovering over the freeway, smiling at people as they drove to work. But the ads hadn't worked and Ryan could no longer afford to pay for his freeway advertising lifestyle. Soon an ad for Coors covered his face. Other people might have been happy to see his billboard go, but every time Ryan passed those blonde girls in bikinis playing tackle football in the snow, he couldn't help but feel depressed.
But none of that mattered anymore. He was a Christian now. A Christian realtor.
Still, things weren't perfect. Ryan was scared someone would ask him something every Christian should know, and when he didn't know, they would call him a pagan, rip his name out of the Christian Business Directory, put feet on his Jesus fish, and he would have to sell to people who believed in Darwinism. But there was something else, something deeper that bothered him about selling affordably priced real estate to Christians. When he did business with them, it was as if they "expected" something. Christians expected the cheaper deal, they expected not to have to pay as high a realtor fee, they expected to know when the best house was on the market, and they expected Ryan to hook them up. Ryan wanted to confess that he was in this solely for business reasons, but he could never say something like that. If he did, people would know for sure that he wasn't a Christian.
The first question that threw Ryan off came from Stan, a Baptist.
Ryan had no idea what it meant to be a Baptist, but he thought the Sanders' house would be perfect for Stan and his family. The outside of the house was painted burgundy with beige trim and had a pond in the backyard where Stan's kids could breed giant goldfish. Inside there were shiny hardwood floors, three-and-a-half bathrooms, and two fireplaces.
Ryan was ready to answer any question about the Sanders' home when Stan asked, "Where do you go to church?"
"Fellowship Christian Church," Ryan blurted.
It was the first name that came to him. He remembered the ad in the phone book had a blue sky, clouds, and a picture of a dove holding an olive branch flying through a window. It was very serene.
"Who's the pastor there?"
"I forget his name."
"We've just started going."
"Where'd you go before?"
"What are you, some sort of interrogator for the Taliban? Isn't where I go or don't go to church between God and me?" This is what Ryan wanted to say. But he was learning being a Christian meant never saying what you really thought out loud. So instead he said, "I just became a Christian."
Stan wasn't impressed by Ryan's recent conversion. He simply asked, "How'd you get saved?"
Ryan wanted to think of a clever lie, but he couldn't because he had no idea what Stan was asking.
Ryan didn't know you had to get saved somewhere. He'd decided to become a Christian the way some people become Red Sox fans. He jumped on the bandwagon. He liked the people, the culture, and he wanted to be part of all the fun. He wanted to hang out with and sell real estate to all of the smiling, laughing people he saw on TV.
So Ryan was honest. "I don't know."
This is the end of this week's book preview....
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Today the boys and I went to Lifeway to pick up a book. While we were there the clerk told us that we could purchased a Bible for $4.99 to send to the troops as a part of Operation Worship. We were told that Bibles were the second most requested item with candy being the number one. We were proud to purchase a Bible as a way to support the men and women who are so selflessly serving our country.
Little Guy sat down and wrote the following message in the front of our Bible:
If you are over near Lifeway, why not stop in and spend $4.99 to support our troops!
Friday, June 20, 2008
I felt my face turn red, but I kept walking. Did I really hear him say that? "What did you just say?"
"I said you were naked."
Pointing down to my shirt and pants, I said, "What do you call this?"
With a very shocked look on his face he said, "MOM!! I meant your ears. You aren't wearing earrings and you always say you are naked without them."
(Apparently he overheard me talking to my friend on the phone earlier that week when I said I felt naked when I didn't wear my earrings.)
And I think they don't listen to me!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This IS news....
... the terrible devastating floods in Iowa.
... the Darfur conflict and the humanitarian relief efforts for the 2.5 million displaced people there.
... the upcoming Presidential election and their candidates' policies.
... fragile oil issues and resulting gas price increases.
... the $162 million war funding bill that just passed the House.
... parents abusing their children by hiding them in basements or tying them to trees.
... that China buried a U.S. P.O.W. after denying it for years and years.
This is NOT news (entertainment, but NOT news)...
... the clothing that Michelle Obama and Cindy McCain are wearing each day.
... the dude from Star Trek deciding to marry his gay partner.
... the Spears' sister new baby.
... that David Beckham unveiled his underwear line in San Francisco.
... or even Tiger Woods having a season ending surgery.
Guess which section received more coverage this week? All I know is that I watch a LOT of news and I can tell you where Michelle Obama's dresses come from, where the baby was born and everything about Tiger's surgery and you probably can too.
What can you tell me about the Darfur conflict?
Big Guy asked, "Why are you so obsessed with ball games lately?"
Little Guy gives him a serious look and said, "Big Guy, I am becoming a MAN!"
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Not too long ago I saw on a news show that the majority of weight in a pillow comes from dead skin that is flaked off a person's body. GROSS!! MUST WASH PILLOWS! The only problem with washing pillows is that they didn't always hold their shape. That is until I found a magic solution.....
Tennis balls! If you are like me and can't play tennis then there is another great use for these yellow spheres of wonder. Stick a few in the dryer with your pillows and they will bounce around and keep your pillows from becoming all lumpy. I'm not sure why it works, but it does!
1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:15
2. Diamonds or pearls? diamonds are this girl's best friend
3. What two things do you always have with you!? my purse and my boys
4. What is your favorite TV show? I don't think I have a favorite.
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? coffee and more coffee
6. What is your favorite book? anything by Lynn Austin
7. What is your middle name? Deanna
8. What food do you dislike? coconut
9. What is your favorite CDs? WOW CD's
10. What type of car do you drive? a van - YUCK!
11. Favorite sandwich? my husband's homemade pepperoni sandwich
12. What characteristic do you despise? disloyalty
13. Favorite item of clothing? dress
14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation? as long as it is paid for.....
15 & 16...report to the survey. What does this mean?
17. Where would you retire to? A house in the mountains beside a stream
18. What was your most recent memorable birthday? My boys always make me cakes. Love it!
19. Furthest place you are sending this? The Blog-a-sphere
21. Who do you least expect to send this back to you? Who knows?
22. Person you expect to send it back first? It will be a surprise!
23. Favorite saying? "Heavens to Betsy!"
24. When is your birthday? April 4
25. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning!
26. What is your shoe size? 7 1/2
27. Pets? one cat
28. How does this happen? took her in after an elderly couple became ill
29. What did you want to be when you were little? a nurse
30. How are you today? I'll let you know after I drink my second cup of coffee.
31. What is your favorite candy? candied grapefruit
32. What is your favorite flower? gerber daisies
33. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? June 20th
34. What church do you attend? Ridgecrest Baptist
35. What are you listening to right now? Good Morning America
36. What was the last thing you ate? a pb&j sandwich
37. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? indigo
38. How is the weather right now? skin meltingly, hair frizzingly hot
39. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Robin from Trace Cleaners about my husband's pants
40. Do you like the person who sent this to you? yes!
41. Favorite soft drink? Pepsi
42. Favorite restaurant? Parker House
43. Hair color? dishwasher blonde
44. Siblings? two amazing sisters
45. Favorite day of the year? Thanksgiving
46. What was your favorite toy as a child? raccoon radio
47. Favorite Season? Fall
48. Hugs or kisses? hugs
49. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
50. Do you want your friends to email you back? Sure.
51. When was the last time you cried? This morning when I got the email update about my friend's son who is intubated in ICU at Blair E. Batson
52. What is under your bed? wrapping paper
53. Who is the friend you have had the longest? my sisters
54. If you can resurrect any TV show from the past what would it be? Emergency
55. Favorite smell? Vanilla or Homemade Cookies
56. What are you afraid of? snakes
57. Plain, buttered or salted popcorn? Buttered
58. How many keys on your key ring? 4
60. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
61. How many towns have you lived in? 3
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I figure one skill in a summer is enough so for now I am sticking with decorating cupcakes. And when it comes to cupcake decorating I have found a new book that makes me look like a pro!! It is called, Hello! Cupcake by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack.
Like.... how adorable are these cupcakes? Wouldn't they be cute at your 4th of July picnic? What about your next BBQ? The best part about these? They are super easy!!!
Corn on the Cob Cupcakes
• 24 vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
• 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
• Yellow food coloring
• About 3 1/2 cups small jelly beans (Jelly Bellys) in assorted yellow, cream, and white colors
• 4 pieces yellow fruit chews (Laffy Taffys, Starbursts)
• 1 tablespoon each black and white decorating sugars (available at baking supply stores)
• 8 sets of corn holders (optional)
1. Tint the vanilla frosting pale yellow with the food coloring.
2. Working with 3 cupcakes at a time, spread yellow frosting on top of each. Arrange about 5 rows of jelly beans, close together, on each cupcake. Place the 3 cupcakes side by side on a corn dish or a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes, frosting, and jelly beans.
3. Cut the fruit chews into eight 1-inch squares, and soften the edges slightly by hand so that they look melted. Place 1 square on top of each group of 3 cupcakes. Sprinkle with the sugars. Insert 1 corn holder, if using, in each of the end cupcakes.
Another recipe in the book is for Buttered Popcorn Cupcakes. I think I am going to plan a movie night under the stars for the boys and some of their friends and try making some of these. One of the dollar stores had the popcorn boxes not too long ago. Better head over there before they are gone!
• 36 mini vanilla cupcakes baked in white paper liners
• 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
• 3 cups white mini marshmallows (from a 10.5-ounce bag)
• 1 cup yellow mini marshmallows (from a 10.5-ounce multicolored bag)
• 3 popcorn boxes half filled with crumpled tissue paper (available at party stores; optional)
1. Line two cookie sheets with wax paper. Spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and close the bag.
2. For each piece of popcorn, use 2 marshmallows of the same color. Using clean scissors, cut 1 marshmallow into thirds, crosswise. Arrange the pieces on the cookie sheet in the shape of a three-leaf clover, pressing gently with your fingertips to flatten slightly. Snip a 1/8-inch corner from the bag and pipe a dot of frosting on one end of the second marshmallow. Press the other marshmallow into the center of the cloverleaf arrangement; the frosting will hold the 4 pieces together. Repeat with the remaining white and yellow marshmallows until you have 225 to 250 pieces of popcorn.
3. Spread the tops of the mini cupcakes with the remaining vanilla frosting. Press 6 or 7 popcorn pieces onto the top of each cupcake. Any loose pieces can be secured with a dot of frosting from the ziplock bag.
4. Let the cupcakes sit for about 30 minutes before stacking them in the popcorn boxes or a bowl.
Monday, June 16, 2008
"Mom! mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble....."
"Little Guy, I can't hear you. I am in the shower." (Stating the obvious.)
I hear the door open wider as he takes a couple of steps inside the bathroom and yells even louder.
"Mom! It is time to mumble, mumble, mumble."
"Little Guy, I still didn't hear all of that. Hold on...." I hastily finish rinsing my hair, slide open the shower door and lean out so I can catch a glimpse of him around the corner.
"What is it, son?"
"Mom, it is time to take breakfast out of the oven?"
"Where is Dad?"
"He is busy."
"Vaccuuming the hallway."
"So you walked past him to come in here to ask me to get out of the shower to dry off and come get breakfast?"
At this point he knows anything he says can and will be used against him in the Mom court of law.
"Go and ask Dad to turn off the vaccuum and help you with breakfast, please."
My boys... they are a mystery and a constant source of interrupted showers.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Over the past couple of weeks we have been in various public settings where a parent was trying to get a child to quit doing something. Parent tells child, "Child, come over here." "Child, quit doing that." "Child, you are not supposed to be doing that." All children who are being addressed are old enough to follow directions, but all children automatically do the reverse of what they are being told.
My boys reaction? Shock. Why? Because they know that if they were told to "come here", "quit" or "stop" and they deliberately defied us, there would be consequences.
Instead, the parents in each of these separate circumstances thought it was cute and even in some cases laughed! It became a game in which I had to listen to the parent say, "Come here, Susie!" over and over for about 20 times. One parent even had the nerve to look over and say, "Sometimes it is just not worth it."
O.K. so it isn't fun and it really isn't easy, but discipline is also not a game. You are teaching your child to obey you. Not because you are the dictator, but because you are the parent. Because you know the boundaries that are best for them. Because there is going to come a time when their "first time obedience" can mean the difference between their safety or not.
I still remember the time when my Big Guy was distraught because a friend was leaving our house and decided he wanted to go with her so he wanted to chase her. He was running out to the street -- a busy four lane street. I yelled, "Stop!" He stopped. Is it because we are amazing parents? No (far, far from it!!). It is simply because we had been teaching him over and over and over. He knew that we weren't playing games. Our words meant something.
Discipline isn't mean. It molds your children into responsible, respectful adults. I wish more parents would use it.
(Stepping down from my soap box now.)
Friday, June 13, 2008
10. Morning coffee. When I wake up in the morning I think two things: 1.) Thank you, God, for another day. and 2.) I really need coffee.
9. Lists and routines. I have a calendar, task list and a purse full of post-its so that I don't forget what I am supposed to be doing. I can't tell you how many times I have said, "Please write that down. If you just tell it to me, it is gone." As far as routine, I tend to be a creature of habit. This has caused quite a few arguments between my husband and I. For example: I take a glass of water to bed with me at night. I leave it there to remind me to make my medicine first thing in the morning. After I take my medicine I take the glass to the kitchen. If the glass is still there I know I haven't taken my medicine. This has been my routine for 18 years!! However, my husband still occasionally walks through and picks up my glass off the nightstand and takes it to the kitchen. Thus, I forget to take my medicine. Not a good thing.
8. Prayer. Prayer is just a conversation with God. Sometimes I just talk and talk and talk and talk. Sometimes I am just silent and listen. Whether I am talking, silent or in conversation, prayer definitely keeps me plugged in and moving at a steady pace.
7. Quiet Time. Every night before I go to bed I have quiet time to read and pray. My bedroom is silent with the exception of the whir of the ceiling fan.
6. Volunteering. Not too long ago a friend gave me a tea towel that said, "Stop me before I volunteer again." Over the past few years I have had the opportunity in lots of different areas. I just love it. It feeds me emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
5. Friends. I have a lot of friends, but I don't make close friends easily. However, I am blessed to have several really good friends. The time I spend with them is time I really enjoy. Whether chatting about our kids, shopping, or on the phone, they always give me the push I need.
4. My family. Every family has it's own unique personality or as my Mom says, "Every family is weird in its own way." Our family loves to laugh, traditions, laughing, playing games, laughing, and just being together. Did I mention the laughter?
3. My boys. They have defied all odds and every doctor's naysaying by even being here. I would love to go to all those doctor's who said, "never" or "sorry" about having children and say, "Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na! My God is bigger than your medicine and here is my proof!" I have two beautiful, perfectly healthy boys. They are the complete package: smart, funny, athletic, compassionate, artistic, loving, kind, witty, handsome, oh... I could go on forever. Their hugs, kisses and snuggles are definitely fuel for my heart.
2. My husband. We have been married for 18 years. Seeing that number on paper doesn't seem long enough for what we have been through in our marriage. I am definitely married to the most selfless, thoughtful, caring and compassionate man on the face of the earth. If he thought you needed the shirt of his back, he would give it to you. No one else but he could have put up with me this long!
1. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I believe that every person is born with a hole that can only be filled by God. I believe this is so because we are created by Him and I know this because the Bible tells me it is so. (Psalm 139:13) When I was growing up I can't ever remember there being a time when I did not love God, but it wasn't until I was a teenager that I really developed a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is something about being semi-conscious in a hospital listening to nurses talking about how you just suffered seizures and not being able to open your eyes and communicate that makes you talk to God in a whole new way. That was definitely a turning point for me. Since that moment I have realized that God really is there for me in a way that no one else can be. He is with me every moment of every day. He loves me -- warts and all.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Since we are trying to spoil hubby a little bit every day leading up to Father's Day, we went and picked him from work and took him out to lunch at SoulShine. (Both boys got a big kick out of the "Slap Yo' Mama Bread Pudding" on the menu.)
After lunch with Dad we went and picked up a few ingredients from the grocery store and came home to spend the afternoon in the kitchen. We had a ball and now we have lots of fun treats that we have never tasted before and some to share as thank yous for his swimming teacher and with our neighbor.
Here is a picture of what we made:
Chewy Granola Bars Recipe
2 1/2 c. Oats - quick rolled oats
1/2 c. Rice Krispies
1/4 c. coconut (definitely optional because we HATE coconut)
1/2 c. M&M minis (we used mini-chocolate chips)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Add all of the ingredients and mix together until combined. Press into a square 8×8 pan. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and score into bars. Let it set completely and then cut into bars. For thinner bars, press mix into a 9×13 pan. They seem to set a little better in the 9×13 pan. (We put ours in a 9 x 13 pan!)
Two Bit Wonders
(These seriously could not be any easier!!)
2 cups unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
Mix two ingredients together. Drop by spoonful onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 13-14 minutes.
Craisin and White Chocolate Blondies
1/2 c butter (I used salted)
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup craisins
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350F. Melt butter in the microwave in a large microwaveable bowl. Add the brown sugar and stir until moistened (about 2 minutes). Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Stir in craisins and white chocolate chips. Spread batter, it will be thick, into an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake for 22-27 minutes.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
My husband, Ernie, told me last month that I needed to get some color to my White Lilly body. So, I started going down to Donna's House of Hairdos, Nails, and Tans to lay in one of those sun tanning beds. Well, since I have been blessed with my Mama's big butt, there are certain areas of my backside that the tanning bed can't seem to get to. Ernie laughed at me and said that it looks stupid in the new thong that he loves for me to wear. How can I get that part of my backside tanned?
I know what you mean. The creases near my armpits and the crease where my rear meets my thighs is several shades lighter than the rest of my tan. What to do? Since it sounds like you have a tanning bed and not a tanning room, try using some duct tape to hold the top part of your butt up so that the tanning rays can get to those sweet little creases at the top of your thighs. If you don't have any duct tape, then when you go to lie down, slide down a bit on the glass so that the white part of your butt is exposed. Don't forget to use sunscreen - having sunburned butt crease really hurts.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Mirror, mirror what do you see? Is that a grey eyebrow staring at me?
Grey eyebrow, grey eyegrow waving wild and free. What do you see?
I see a pair of tweezers hiding under the sink.
Tweezers, tweezers under the sink. What do you see?
I see a pair of hands grasping frantically for me.
Pair of hands, pair of hands. What do you see?
I see a crazy woman muttering about being 40.
Crazy woman, crazy woman. What do you see?
Nothing! Where are my glasses??
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Your legs dangle almost the entire length of mine.
I feel your warm breathe against my neck
And occasionally a whimper of pain escapes your lips.
I resist the urge to kiss your forehead as I know this only
increases the pain of the migraine you are suffering.
So instead I kiss your fingertips which are intertwined with mine
hoping that conveys the depth of my love in this moment.
I would climb any mountain, pay every dime I have,
suffer any amount of pain just to take away these migraines.
For now we sit in silence performing the ritual we have
perfected in many migraines before, you sitting still,
holding my hand as I rub small gentle circles on your back.
Friday, June 6, 2008
I promise you can gain weight just walking through the doors of Great Harvest. The smells of yeasty yummy bread goodness overwhelm you the moment the doors crack a single inch. There is so much to choose from and it is all homemade: breads, muffins, scones, tea bread, cookies, and granola.
Little Guy was with me so I let him help me choose the breads we would take home because if I were left to choose I would have told them, "One of everything!".
He was immediately drawn to the pizza bread. Also knowing that we were low on bread, he thought we should get some honey whole wheat for sandwiches.
Finally, thanks to him, I am enjoying a piece of apple swirl bread with my morning coffee. What a treat!
It makes the session of torture with my dentist every six months all worth it. (Just kidding, Suzanne and Dr. C!)
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I love it and I love the fact he created me my own special PIVOT video.
This is only a short video. If you want to see some of his really cool creations you should visit his blog.
However, it is hard to maintain an aire of femininity once I fall asleep and I start snoring and my teeth start grinding. No pretending there's a Sleeping Beauty with all that going on! That is why yesterday I packed up my p.j.'s and pillow and headed to St. D's for a sleep study.
First, I had to have some decent p.j.'s so the boys and I headed out to find me a pair. I found a set of Nick and Nora cherry print p.j.'s that I thought I could feel comfortable walking around in front of other people and being "watched" while I slept.
After that I spent the rest of the evening with my boys. We had supper, went to little guy's swimming lessons and just hung out. I grabbed a shower and threw stuff in my bag and about 9:15 I headed out to the hospital.
When I arrived I was escorted upstairs by security -- in case I changed my mind. My sleep technician greeted me at the door and showed me my bedroom for the night. It wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for all the wires and gadgets laying all over the bed which reminded me from "One Flew Over A Cuckoo's Nest". Images of Jack are not good before you are supposed to be sleeping!
ST (Sleep Technician) tells me to change into my pajamas and then she is going to ask me some questions. She asked me how much coffee, alcohol, food, etc... I had during the day and then she began hooking me up for sleep. I had more wires attached to me than a Dell Computer. If you had just plugged in a keyboard, I could have blogged all night. I had wires attached to my legs (to test for restless legs), to my sides, to the front of my neck, down the sides of my face, my forehead, and all over my head (and I mean all over). I had two different straps around my chest and abdomen. Two different sets of tubes stuck up my nose to test my breathing including one in front of my mouth. I had about 50 different sets of wires hanging off of me. After everything was hooked up she told me to lay down in the bed and said, "Sweet dreams!"
It was all I could do to keep from laughing until she left the room, but the again I might as well laugh in her face since she had a microphone and could hear EVERYTHING I was doing and could see me as well. Talk about feeling like a lab rat. It was the longest night of my life.
This morning about 4:15 I had to go to the restroom. I told her and she gave me the machine so I could carry it into the bathroom with me. "Don't you have enough information? Can we just unhook and let me go home?" "Oh, honey, you don't want to drive home now!" Oh, yes, I did! I just wanted to drive home, shower all the goop that she had used to attach all the electrodes to my body off of me and crawl into bed. I finally drifted back off only for her to walk in at 5:00 and say, "Good morning! Time to go home!"
I arrived home about 5:30 and crawled up on my couch. Little guy came out and snuggled up beside me.
Call Snow White and tell her that her dwarf, Sleepy, is on my couch... It is me!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
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I've been looking at the Sears Roebuck catalog. Did you know thongs come in small, medium, and large, but no XX large. Why is that? I dug out my old two piece bathing suit and tried it on and do you know what? It's a thong now! I'm in style. Panama City here I come. See, it pays to save those outgrown clothes. My husband said I would never wear that again. He's in for a surprise. Do you think a tattoo would enhance my thong? Can I use one of those washable stick-ons? What should I get? Any suggestions?
Dear Ruby Pearl,
Sadly, I've noticed that thongs don't come in X-large sizes. I'll bet the reason behind this is that a bunch of Northern fellers are designing those thongs. Get a Southern boy in that Thong Design Room and you'll get a thong to fit the roundest and prettiest rump. As far as enhancing your thong experience, a tattoo could give your rear end a real boost. Since tattoos are permanent, you should probably go for those temporary tattoos or those nice stick-on thingies you can get five for a dollar down at the Dollar General Store.
What to place on your plump posterior? Here are my top choices:
A big black #3 (in honor of Dale Earnhardt Sr)
Dale Earnhardt Sr's autograph
"See Rock City"
"Pork Fat Rules"
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Read report here.
In case you are wondering why I am not growing my own tomatoes. I have a BLACK THUMB!! I can kill a silk plant.
For family who reads my blog (hint, hint), I would love to have one of her monogram pieces and her Mississippi series would make the blank walls of my dining room look amazing!!! Think early Christmas shopping.
Monday, June 2, 2008
We have always had that bond. I would put you on my shoulder and you would lift your little head and look into my eyes. As you got older, you would crawl into my lap and sit where you could see my eyes.
Our chats have always been face to face. Heart to heart. The other night before you went to bed as I sat beside your bed you took my face in your hands to talk to me. Eye to eye - heart to heart.
You are growing and so close to the teenage years, but I hope we will always have this bond.
Happy Birthday, Todd. I am proud of you in ways I could never express. You are a gift from God. You are going to be an incredible man of integrity and God has an amazing plan for your life. I can't wait to see what it is going to be.
We are so proud to be your parents.