Monday, June 30, 2008

Heads Or Tails


This weeks Heads or Tails is all about sharing a summertime memory. One that sticks out clearly to me, and maybe that is because it happened right around this time about 12 years ago, is going floating at Current River with a few friends from church. I met my friend Lisa on that float trip. We got along pretty good right away, and we were floating down together. At one point, I fell off of my tube and get stuck under some trees and brush that was on top of the water. Lisa reached right on down and pulled me up. Since I had panicked, I was, and still am, pretty sure I never would have found my way up without her. I told her, and still occasionally tell her, that she saved my life that day. We have been friends ever since. Of course, back then we were both single, and now we are both married with three kids. That was a summertime memory that I will never forget!

I recently posted some random pictures from last summer, so if you would like to see those you can go here. I hope you enjoy!

Share your summertime memory here.

From Cherry Tree To Cherry Pie

One of my mom's neighbors told her that she was free to pick as many cherries off of their tree as she wanted. So, the kids and I went over there to pick some, and my mom's other neighbor, Peggy, joined all of us. It was a nice time. Here are pictures of the kids picking away.





(By the way, Meghan looks like a drowned rat because she and Ali were playing in my mom's sprinkler. Summertime!)

We took these cherries home, and I decided I would make a pie. The kids ate it for dessert and said that it was pretty tasty. I thought that the little bit I had (I'm waiting to eat mine when Jeff gets home.) was yummy. My mom did help me pit all of these, so I can't take complete credit for this pie. **Thanks Mom!** Here are pictures of the pitted cherries, as well as the pie. You better believe I am including the recipe. :-)



Cherry Pie

Ingredients

Pastry for 9-inch two crust pie (homemade or store bought)
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
6 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart or "pie" cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the pie pastry. In a large bowl, combine the sugar and tapioca. Add cherries and stir until well blended. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate; sprinkle with almond extract and dot with butter or margarine. Cover with remaining pastry and flute. Cut slits into pastry, so steam can escape. Cover edge with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Place pie on baking sheet. Bake approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits on crust. Remove aluminum foil during last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from oven to cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Peggy made some Crescent Cinnamon Cherry Rolls, which my mom got to taste. She said they are really very good, so I thought I would post that recipe too. **Thanks for sharing that with us, Peggy!** I am all about recipes!

Crescent Cinnamon Cherry Rolls

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (8 ounce) package crescent rolls
2 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped...or in this case fresh!
3/4 cup powdered sugar (confectioners)
4 teaspoons milk (or 5 tsp.)

Directions

1)In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Unroll the crescent dough and separate into triangles. Brush with 1 tbls. butter. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar mix; top with the cherries.

2)Roll up from the wide side. Place point side down on a greased baking sheet; curve ends slightly. Brush with the remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mix.

3)Bake at 375*F. for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and enough milk to achieve drizzling consistency; then drizzle over the warm rolls. Enjoy!

Makes 8

I have to say that it is nice to start with, not only a fresh product, but also one that you labored for, and wind up with something very tasty!

Give Me Five Monday


This week Becca asks us to give her 5 topics for future Give Me Fives!

Let's see what I can come up with...

1. Give me 5 ways that God has blessed your life.

2. Give me 5 songs that really speak to you.

3. Give me 5 positive things about the area you live.

4. Give me 5 careers that you think are interesting.

5. Give me 5 meals that you love.

Okay, I am seeing why Becca hosts this meme and I don't. :-) I did my best! Do you have any Give Me Five ideas? If so, give Becca a shout here.

Happy Anniversary, Jeffrey!

It has been 7 wonderful years since we first said "I do." Sometimes I am amazed at how much life has changed in 7 years, and sometimes I am overwhelmed by all that we have going on in our lives (3 kids & 3 companies can keep 2 people busy!), but I never regret that commitment we made on that deliriously hot day.

I love this picture. One look at my face can tell a person how in love I was with you all those years ago. My face may not show all that right now, but I can promise you that my heart feels even more love for you than it did back then.


I won't lie and say our life is perfect, but our wedding wasn't perfect either. Nothing is perfect! What I think is so wonderful is our devotion not only to each other, but also to our three wonderful children. I just hope we don't have too many more scenes like this one. It looks like we are in an all out battle. :-) It actually makes me smile. We had so much fun!




Just remember that I love you now and forever. I still promise to love, honor, and cherish you for always, and I know that in your heart you still feel the same way. I pray that God will continue to bless us on this marital journey we have embarked on, and I pray that He will allow us many, many more years of happiness.


Thank you for being a wonderful husband, a wonderful provider, and an all around great friend. :-)

Monday Morning Meme

1. What’s the last thing you grab before you run out of the door in the morning? Are you pretty good at being on time? Or do you constantly run behind? If/when you’re late, what is usually the reason(s)? That is almost always my youngest child. :-) The older two have probably already raced each other to the van, and Ali is probably screaming because Josh beat her and she is supposed to get in first. Everything else I really need (purse, keys, sunglasses) is probably already in the van.

2. What is the last thing you bought from a vending machine? Where were you? How much did you spend? Do you use vending machines very often? I truly do not have a clue. That seems so weird to me, because in college I used them all the time, but now I just never seem to use them. They are always a rip-off anyway.

3. What does the hand-soap in your bathroom smell of? What color are your bathroom walls? What color are your guest towels? What sort of decor, or theme, do you have in your bathroom? (Post a picture if you dare!) The hand-soap in our main bathroom is Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon, in our master bathroom it is Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom, and I don't have any in our playroom bathroom. Why not you ask? For fear that the youngest will get it and smear the stuff everywhere. I just can't trust her yet. :-)

Our bathroom walls are olive green (main bath), gold (master bath), and sunny yellow (playroom). The "theme" in my main bath is a Croscill collection I found and loved. It has leaves on it. In my bathroom the theme is maroon and gold, and in our playroom we used the colors yellow and pale blue, and there are some frog things in there. I know it probably all sounds crazy, but trust me when I say it is all tastefully done. At least, it is done to my taste. ;-)

I would post pics, but that would mean I would have to charge my camera battery & make sure the bathrooms were clean. Awww heck, here are a couple of pics I took a long time ago that are still on my computer. These rooms still look the same, but I don't have any pictures of my main bathroom.

Here is the Master Bathroom...



Here is the Playroom Bathroom...

Now, I realize in the above picture there is some hand soap, but you can trust me that it is no longer there. I learned my lesson the hard way!

4. What three words do you think of when someone says ‘body’? I. Hate. Mine.

Head on over to Karen's to join in on this fun meme. :-)

Manic Monday

What sound or noise do you love? I love music and my kids laughing.

What sound or noise do you hate? My kids being loud and wild when I have told them to stop.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I student taught, but I never got to actually have my own classroom. So, I would probably say teaching, or I would go way out on a limb and say acting. I have always thought acting would be fun. In college, I minored in theater, and I really enjoyed my acting class. My only thing would be to get over my nerves and self-consciousness.

What profession would you not like to do? I would hate to be a doctor. People seem to think doctors should never make mistakes, and I just don't think I could handle that pressure.

Go here to join in on Manic Monday.

Our Menu For 6/30/08 to 7/6/08


Monday~Taco Casserole
Tuesday~Almond & Peach Crusted Pork Chops with Corn on the Cob
Wednesday~Chicken Quesadillas
Thursday~Mustgoes
Friday~Ribs & Marinated Chicken on the Grill, Potato Salad, & Veggie Yummy
Saturday~Shish Kabob
Sunday~Mustgoes...again!! Yahoo!! I love when I have fewer days of cooking. ;-)

~~~~~~~~~~Food Holidays~~~~~~~~~~
This week....
June 30th~National Ice Cream Soda Day
July 1st~
Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day, National Gingersnap Day
July 2nd~
National Anisette Day
July 3rd~
National Chocolate Wafer Day, Eat Beans Day
July 4th~
National Barbecued Spareribs Day, Caesar Salad Day
July 5th~
National Apple Turnover Day
July 6th~
National Fried Chicken Day

Next week...
July 7th~National Strawberry Sundae Day
July 8th~National Chocolate with Almonds Day
July 9th~National Sugar Cookie Day & Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Omelette Day
July 10th~National Pina Colada Day
July 11th~National Blueberry Muffin Day
July 12th~National Pecan Pie Day
July 13th~Beans 'N Franks Day

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Please Suggest A Good Magazine

Okay ladies, I really need some help here. I love getting magazines at the house, but I am kind of tired of the ones I have been getting, which are Family Circle and Woman's Day. I still get Simple & Delicious, which I will probably get until the day I die. Love that one! I went to Barnes & Noble today, and I picked up three magazines that I have never really read before. They were...


I haven't had a good chance to check these out yet, but I am hoping that I find something special in one of these.

Basically, I am looking for a magazine that is great for a stay-at-home mom of 3 who loves to cook, read, and create a happy home for her family. Can any of you help me out? Do any of you have magazines that you couldn't imagine living without? Please tell me what they are and why you like them. Thanks in advance!!

Week In Review~6/23/08-6/29/08

Week's Weather...Humid!!! Well, at least during the beginning of the week. It has rained here and there throughout the week, which didn't help the humidity factor. Temperature wise it has been in the upper 80's. All in all, not too horrible.

Sunday Sermon...Okay, I had not attended church since before Mother's Day. Technically I attended on Mother's Day, but I didn't stick around for the service, and I was really only there to serve. I am horrible! So, today I attended! Of course, I attended because I had to serve, but this time I went to service. It's not that I don't want to attend. I do! I just don't like attending without my husband, and he usually doesn't want to go. I know that I can't let that stop me.

Anyway, today was a perfect day for me to start attending again. We are in the middle of a series called 'The Schemer and the Dreamer,' which is referring to Jacob and Joseph. Today we read Genesis 37, which talks about Joseph's dreams and how his brothers sold him. Through it all Joseph never stopped believing in Christ. So, much of what today was about was revival, and revival is all about spiritual renewal. I feel like I am going through a revival right now!

One thing our pastor said today that really stuck with me was..."At the heart of sin there is always a lie. That lie is that we will be happier disobeying God than we will be if we obey him." As he said this, I could think of so many times that I thought that very thing.

Another thing he said today that I liked was..."Look at yourself and world around you through the eyes of Christ." I need to do this more often!

Life lessons... Appreciate what you have!

Favorite Meal(s)...That would have to be the dinner I ate on Saturday night when Jeff and I went out for our anniversary. For an appetizer, we had a dip that was a blend of aged Asiago Cheese, fresh spinach and artichoke hearts blended with special seasonings (lots o' garlic!) served
with fresh vegetables and bread for dipping. For dinner I had delicious twin crab cakes fried until golden brown and served with a roasted red pepper sauce. I also ordered the restaurant's "Signature Blue Cheese Potatoes," but I think they need to work on that recipe, especially since they charge extra for them.

Treasured Moment(s)...snuggling with Ali one night when she was having a hard time falling asleep; me telling Josh he is so darn cute & him replying "You can say that again!," and

Impacting News...

  • National...
  • Local... There is talk of people wanting to have our Governor, Gov. Blagojevich,

impeached. There are supposedly investigating wrong doing.

  • Personal... I have Poison Ivy for the very first time, and I can't say that I am enjoying this

itchiness at all!!

Things I Read...finished up Buffalo Valley by Debbie Macomber, read Evening Star by Catherine Coulter, and started on Payback by Fern Michaels

Movies We Watched...Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Fool's Gold , Alex & Emma

Interesting Internet...My friend emailed me this video about Christian the Lion. Very interesting!

Talked with...My sister-in-law, Abby, about possibly meeting my other sister-in-law, Jessica, at a half-way point during the summer months, so that our kids can play and get to know each other better. I am all for this, because I think we parents have to nurture our kids' relationships with each other. Hopefully we can get this tradition started next summer.

Places We Went...We went to the park on Thursday, and we scoped out a pool that I want to get a membership at next year. On Friday night we went to my nephew Gavin's baseball game. It's always fun to go to his games, but with three kids it can be a bit chaotic!

Budget Savers/Busters...I guess our anniversary dinner out would be considered a budget buster, since it was at a pretty nice restaurant. I must say, though, that I was taken aback by the fact that they charged $1 for ice. Jeff ordered Scotch on the Rocks....Scotch was $8, Rocks was $1. Are you kidding me?? Just charge $9 for a Scotch, and please do not tell me that you are upping your price for frozen water.

Blessings...Being back at church was such a blessing. I want to make it a point to go back again next weekend. Hopefully this is the start of a new trend. :-)

Challenges...With my kids there are always challenges! Meghan has challenged me all week by trying to get into things that she knows are off-limits. Ali & Josh challenged me big time on Sunday afternoon by talking in a very inappropriate way. Ali had to write 20 times 'I will not say bad things,' and Josh had to clean up his section of the play room. Plus, they both had to go to bed at 7:30. Well, it turned out to be closer to 8, but they don't know that.

Accomplishments...Hmmmm? I want to say nothing, but surely I accomplished something this week. Why does it always seem like the things I accomplished just don't mean much? I need to fix my way of thinking!

Family Happenings...Meghan got in trouble a lot this week, because she kept getting into the pantry. Heck, it wasn't just the pantry. She got into everything and anything that she was not supposed to. She will be 20-months-old on Monday, which is how old Ali was when Josh was born. There just seems to be a world of difference between our first born at 20-months and our last born at 20-months. I love seeing how different the kids are, and I love loving them for the uniqueness they possess.

Photos...

We set up the pool this week, and Meg has taken to wearing goggles.



Ali & Meg enjoyed sharing a Push Pop. Meggy had her ways of letting Ali know when she was ready for more. :-)



Josh was, well, Josh. He is a Gator driving fool.



Jeff installed the new solar end caps on our deck last Sunday, and we got to enjoy those this week.



Our cat, Fluffy, had two kittens this week.



Jeff and I went out to dinner to celebrate our 7th anniversary.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Random Photos From Last Summer

I was looking through my pictures today, and I came across photos from last summer. It is so fun to not only see things we did, but also see how the kids have grown and changed, so I am sharing these photos with all of you, my friends and family.

We went to Cedar Point last summer. Here is Meghan riding on the carousel with my cousin Cindy.



My poor Mom! Does she look like she is having a good time? Some of those kids rides can be brutal!



Here is my Uncle Rodger, an ex-marine, pushing Meghan in her stroller. Check out his diaper bag with pink blankie. Manly! Marines are not too proud to carry pink. :-)



On our vacation to Toledo we got to enjoy my Aunt & Uncle's pool. Well, Ali got to enjoy the pool. Look at Josh. He is not enjoying it at all.



Meghan got to enjoy water outside of the pool on the deck. Look how little she is. Amazing!



This picture was taken at a car show we attended while in Ohio. Check out the look on Josh's face. I am always amazed at how far he can stick his lip out. He is probably throwing a fit because Ali has the drink.



Here is a happier photo of Josh. He figured out that the silverware was magnetic. Uncle Ed is looking on and probably thinking that we have a little magician in the family.



Does anyone need any diapers.....or a little girl? Hey Ali, what are you doing in there? :-)



At the Heart of Illinois Fair last year, Jeff got up on stage to do a little gun balancing. My husband is a cowboy at heart.



Here is a cute picture of the girls in their Sunday best. They are just too adorable!



It really was fun looking back. I think all of my kids have grown and changed. Obviously Meg has changed the most, and I think Ali has changed the least. Doesn't matter though. They were cute then and they are cute now!

Saturday 9


1. How did you meet? Jeffrey and I met at our friend Rob's house. I had actually stopped by to see if Rob wanted to go hang out, and there sat Jeff snoozing in Rob's chair. He was filthy from working at the lumber yard, and I remember thinking 'Who was that dirty guy?' We started dating much later.

2. Was it lust at first sight? Not so much. One night we all went out, and I just remember thinking that he was really funny.

3. Were they currently available? Yes.

4. How important is physical attraction? Very! There has to be some attraction. Thankfully, I am very attracted to my husband.

5. How important is intellectual attraction? Again...Very! I think you have to be all around attracted to someone to make it last. Sure, attractions can fade, but hopefully by that time you have built a strong relationship.

6. How long until you had sex? Dude, my mom reads my blog! Plus, I prefer not to kiss and tell! I will say that I wore white on my wedding day, but only because I liked the color, not because I was 'pure.'

7. Is this/was this the love of your life? Most Definitely!!! We are celebrating our 7th anniversary this weekend, but the big day is actually this coming Monday. I hope to celebrate at least 50 more years with Jeff. :-)

8. Were they faithful? So far, so good. I really do trust that he will be faithful, but I have also learned not to be naive.

9. Were you faithful? You better believe it! Crossing into unfaithful territory is like kissing your relationship good-bye. I don't want to go there!

The Saturday 9 can be found here. Join in!

The Saturday Special

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~Questions, Silly Questions~

1. Who is the last person you talked to? That would be my 6-year-old daughter, Ali. I was trying to tell her to stop singing the song 'I Kissed A Girl' by Kate Perry. Have you heard that one? It is most definitely not appropriate for her to sing. When it comes on the radio, I change it, but now she says she heard it on TV too. Ugh!

2. What is your weather like right now? It is only 71 degrees, but the humidity is 78% and the dew point is 64. Can you say muggy?

3. Where will you be this weekend? I will be on a date with my husband tonight, and tomorrow you will be able to find me at church. I can honestly say that it will be my first time at church since Mother's Day. Yikes!

4. What's for dinner tonight? We are going to eat at a nice restaurant, and I will probably have a nice steak. Yum!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join in on The Saturday Special by clicking here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rembember The Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds I loved???


Well, here they are. All over the freakin' kitchen floor. Why are they there you ask? Let me tell you! They are there because of my darling 19-month-old baby girl. She has become a real handful lately!!

Yesterday I kept finding her with pieces of candy. Ugh! I realized that she was getting them out of the pantry, so I quickly remedied that situation.

This morning I stumbled out of my room to find that she had already gotten into the pantry and helped herself to a juice box.

Clearly if she is not supposed to have it, she wants it! I don't know what to do with her. I must admit that this was one of my least favorite phases with all of my children. I keep telling myself that "This too shall pass," but that isn't calming me down too much. I want it to pass NOW!!

On top of Meg being a real pain in my behind right now, Fluffy, our mama kitty, has taken to pooping in our playroom. I caught her coming back upstairs at 5:30 AM. I picked her up, went into the playroom, showed her the poop, scolded her, picked up the poop (with some toilet paper), put it in her litter box, scolded her and talked to her, and then I used her paw to cover the poop. If she keeps this up, she will be finding herself either living outside completely or living at the shelter until someone else adopts her.

I know that might sound harsh. I do love Fluffy, but you must remember that we did not set out to adopt a cat. She took a liking to us, and we didn't have to heart to tell her no. Well, I am trying to provide my children with a safe and clean haven here, and that means I absolutely will not tolerate cat poop. No way, Jose!!! She only has one more chance before I take some drastic actions.

If you have read all of this, bless you! Please pray for my sanity. I feel myself at a breaking point. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I also have to have time to do the things I want to do. Yes, I am a wee bit selfish. However, when I am allowed to indulge that selfish nature, I find that I am 100% a better mom. I would rather be a selfish good mom than a stressed out rag of a mom. Amen!

Know & Tell Friday


1. If a five dollar bill magically appeared on your door step at the beginning of the day, every day, what would you do with it? I'd spend it! Just ask my husband, I am a spender. I might keep saving it up until I could afford something I really wanted, but most likely it would just get spent on day to day living.


2. Tell us about your favorite teacher from elementary/middle/high school. In grade school, my favorite teacher was Mrs. Clark. She was very kind and did lots of fun things. I especially loved a book she read us called 'Adventures of Brald' by Lee Egloff. It was written by her childhood pastor. When he was in the war, he would send home a chapter at a time to his sons. My class was the first that she read the book to, but she has read it every year since.

In high school, my favorite teacher was Mrs. Hunter. She taught College English. She was classy and smart, and everything I hoped to be someday. I remember her thinking I was this quite girl, but then she saw me bee-bopping down the street in my 1984 Chevy Cavalier Convertible being silly and crazy. I think she then realized I had a personality. :-)

3. If you could make one person disappear for good, who would it be? My first thought when reading this question was that I am not God. Also, I can't honestly think of a person that should disappear. Hmmmm?? If I were to think Globally, I would have to say Osama Bin Laden. He just isn't a very nice man. However, everyone is on this Earth for a purpose, and I will just put my faith in God to make them "disappear" when it is their time.

4. Do you believe in fairies? No. Of course, seeing is believing, so maybe someday I will be proven wrong. Who knows!

5. What era is your favorite for music? 80's!!

6. Have you ever, or would you ever, have cosmetic surgery? I have thought about having a breast reduction, but that is about the only thing I would have done. Don't get me wrong, I could use a tummy tuck, but I just don't think I could have that done.

7. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? Well, it would have to be a simple name, nothing too exotic, because I would want it to fit me. When I first met my dear friend, Betsy, she kept wanting to call me Amy. She said the name just seemed to fit me. Maybe she is right! I'll go with Amy. ;-)

Visit Heather and Reese and join in on Know & Tell Friday.

Friday Fill-Ins


1. Birthdays are special and should be celebrated, even if in just a little way.

2. Fall is my favorite season because the air is crisp, the leaves change colors, and because burning leaves smell wonderful.

3. I feel my best when I have gotten plenty of rest.

4. Guacamole is my favorite food!

5. First impressions are important, but they are not everything. People must be allowed to have bad days.

6. The best piece of advice I ever received was never learn how to do yard work or BBQ on a grill. My mom swears that once you learn these two things you will officially be responsible for everything around the house. Husbands should have something, right?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to taking the kids to my nephew's baseball game, tomorrow my plans include going with my kids to a pool party, as well as going out with Jeff in honor of our anniversary and Sunday, I want to go to church and relax!

You can participate in Friday Fill-Ins by going here.

Friday's Feast

Appetizer~ What is the weather like today where you live? Todays high is supposed to be around 88 degrees, and we are likely to get some storms. It's already raining, so we will see how this day progresses.

Soup~On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how career-minded are you? Depends. Do you consider being a stay-at-home mom a career? If so, I would have to say an 8. If not, I would have to say a 3. While I miss teaching, I am grateful to be able to stay home with my kiddos right now. Granted they drive me bonkers a good deal of the time, but I still wouldn't switch careers unless absolutely necessary.

Salad~What type of window coverings do you have in your home? Blinds, curtains, shutters, etc.? I am a curtains kind of girl. I do have a few room darkening shades, but as the kids grow out of naps those tend to go bye-bye.

Main Course~Name something that instantly cheers you up. A good ol' laugh from my kids. Not a being silly, goofing off laugh, but a good ol' belly laugh. Love it!

Dessert~How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning? Typically none because I don't set my alarm. :-)


Join in on Friday's Feast here!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm In Love....

with Chocolate Coated Sunflower Seeds!!!


These are just delicious! I absolutely love sunflower seeds, but I had never before had them coated in chocolate. It is truly the perfect blend of sweet and salty.

I just had to share! :-)