Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

Remembering... and thankful for all the men and women who serve, or who have served our country.

Special thanks to my hottie Marine husband! :)  Love you babe!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hillsong--From the Inside Out

                                             I LOVE this song!
                                                Happy Sunday

Saturday, May 29, 2010

House Tour--The Upstairs

There is a reason it's taken me a while to get to the last floor of my house for my little house tour.  It's my least favorite.  There are a couple of reasons for that.  First, I am over the wall color in our bedroom.  You'll see what I'm talking about it a minute.  I was actually over it shortly after we painted.  Second, the room didn't come together like I thought it would.  Now I'm patiently waiting until we move (and get a KING size bed, thankyouverymuch!) to get new stuff.  Third, we were on a limited budget and I thought it more important to decorate the rooms people actually see.  You know--the living room... the kitchen.... the basement family room.  Needless to say, the upstairs is lacking some.  Neither one of us really like it, but neither one of us want to change it just for the short amount of time we'll still be here.  So, hence, the not so greatly decorated upstairs.  Here we go.

The view from the living room

Now standing right next to that bookcase you will see a storage closet.
That is one of the nice things about this place.  There are 4 closets on the top floor!
We mainly use this one for games, photo albums, blankets and office stuff.
Oh, and those aren't even all the blankets.  3 are in the wash/dryer.  Not to mention the throw in the living room, the two throws in the family room, and the basket of other blankets (probably 3 or 4) in the family room.  Yeah, I need another blanket like I need a hole in my head.  Yet, I somehow keep accumulating more! :)

Still standing by the bookcase and also the above closet, this is the view down the hall.
The bathroom is the to the right, the bedroom is straight ahead, and what you can't see is that there is a linen closet across from the bathroom.

The linen closet... that is missing some linens.  The extra sheets are in the wash! :)

The bathroom--not a thing on the walls. *sigh*

a view from the other door

The bedroom

So there you have it.  Now you've seen my entire house.  Hope you enjoyed it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Win, Lose, or Tantrum

I heard the deejay on the radio ask if people let their kids win at things or do they sometimes win themselves when playing games with their children.  It got me thinking.  So I thought I'd throw the question out to you guys.  I realize only the same 5 answer or comment, but I'd love to hear from any and all of you.  What do you think?  Do you, or would you, let your kids (say ages 2 to 6) win every time you play with them?  Or do you sometimes win a good game of Candyland or Chutes and Ladders? :)  I have a strong opinion about it, and I'll share with you in a few days.  Feel free to let me know what you think and WHY you think that way!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kids crack me up!

So I've had a few funny stories happen with or around me the past week.  I hope they are as funny reading them as they were when they happened to me!

Little Man and his soccer coach were talking after class.  Little Man tends to sweat a lot.  Coach asked him how he was doing and he started saying how he was so tired and he was going to have to go home and take a nap.  We had been discussing Little Man being a "sweaty beast" as I like to call it.  Coach asked him if he was going to take a shower too.  Little Man whipped his head around and said, "NO!!!!!!  I don't take showers when Befany is at my house.  I only take showers with mommy and daddy!"  Coach was a *little* embarrassed, but the rest of us thought it was hilarious.

My friend Laurie is also a nanny and we like to do play dates together a lot.  We were having a picnic and her little guy was sitting on her lap.  He said, "Miss Laurie, I couldn't even begin to count all of your freckles".  Little Man pipes up quickly, "Oooh, but you can count mine.  See!?" and points to one little dot on his arm. :)

I was in the dressing room trying on some clothes and a lady was in the room next to me with her kids.  One little kid asked her why she didn't just try on the clothes out there.  The mom kind of just said, "Uh, because".  The little girl goes, "Because all those people don't want to see your po po".  LOL!!!!

I was playing with Little Man one day last week and I said something that he apparently thought was funny.  He said, "Befany, you are the craziest and funniest girl I ever had".  Love him! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Never the Bride

So I was walking through the library having one of those moments where Little Man is not wanting to look at my books.  I really like to listen to a book on tape in the car, so I quick grabbed one that had the little inspirational dove on it and hoped for the best.  This is what it was...

Here's the summary:

Since she was just a little girl, Jessie Stone dreamed up hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled the romantic ideas in her journal with her treasured purple pen, and fantasized about wedding dresses and falling in love.  She’s been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waved numerous couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping for one key component of these countless proposals hasn't been quite as productive–a future husband. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her.  The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing.  And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that the Almighty has a better plan than one she’s already cooked up in her journals?  Can she turn over her pen and trust someone else to craft a love story beyond her wildest dreams?

Sounds interesting enough, right?  It was cute.  There were times I wanted to scream at her to STOP.  Other times she made me laugh.  I wouldn't put this book in my "love it and have to own it" category.  It was good though.  The thing I most liked about it was, that even though I wasn't in the same boat as Jessie--trying to find a man--I could relate to her struggle with God.  The relationship she had with God was one I think we all face.  She wanted to tell Him when and how to do things.  When He set things up for her the way He wanted, she wouldn't listen or would sabotage His efforts.  Sound familiar?  It was a good reminder that God is in control and I need to let Him lead me more often.  Life would be so much easier that way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Carrot Cake

Once again I am sharing one of my very yummy, high compliment, quality recipes.  You know... like my banana bread recipe.... the ones where I really want to keep for myself and get all the glory.  But, being the oh-so-kind soul that I am, I'll share.

K's birthday is coming up this next week.  They are going to be on vacation, so I made her a cake a week early.  Carrot cake is her favorite, so that's what I made.  I made it for her last year too.  It's so yummy!

So here's what you'll need.  It's quite a lot.  "$200 worth of ingredients" if you ask Michael.
3 eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup veg. oil
2 c shredded carrots
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, in juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raisins

Ok, so it is a lot of stuff.  I agree.  But a lot of it you have on hand anyway.  Plus, I personally keep out the raisins.  I like raisins.  Just not in my carrot cake.

First, you have to preheat the oven to 350*.  I think this was suppose to be made in a 9 by 13 pan, but I decided I wanted to make it in 2 nine inch circle pans and make a layer.  I made this for the first time for Easter three years ago.  I've made it many times since.  It's a keeper in my book.  I got it off a cooking website, but have no idea which one.  Sorry!

First, sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Set bowl aside.
So just to clear it up-- I do no "sifting".  I dump it all in a bowl and mix it around.  Sift away if you must.

Combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Mix well.

Add flour and mix

it will start to look like a yummy spice cake

combine carrots, coconut, walnuts, pineapple (and raisins if you choose to use them)

You'll notice from the first picture that I bought a regular bag of carrots.  I've bought the already shredded ones before, and they do work out ok.  Only this time my store only had matchstick ones that were pretty thick.  Instead I (ok, Michael) used my Pampered Chef cheese shredder thing and shredded them myself.

Using a large wooden spoon or spatula, add carrot mix to batter and fold in well.

Pour into greased pan(s)

check out that yummy goodness!

Cook 1 hour for big cake or 45 minutes for two 9 inch cakes
Check with a toothpick

Cool 20 minutes

I like to put a layer of frosting in between the layers of cake.  It does make it a little trickier to frost the rest though, because it slides a little.
It would probably be better with homemade cream cheese frosting, but at this point I just use store bought.  Maybe someday...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oh how I love thee... (9)

.... let me count the ways.

I love that when I bring ugly things like this tray home, 

he doesn't say "What were you thinking?" or "You wasted our money on that?".

No.  Instead he says, "I can't wait to see what you are going to do with that!"  He says it in the most sincere way.  He loves my arts and crafts.  He appreciates my creations.  He supports my crazy artistic venues.  He even encourages me to do such things.  I love that he thinks my makings are great.

(Ugly tray project to come soon....)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How Great is our God

This post is going to require some time from you.  I don't normally demand or take up much of your time, but I would like to ask you to set aside 45 minutes and watch these videos.  They are AMAZING.  Whether you are a Christian or not.... it talks about the stars and their greatness compared to earth.  It also talks a little bit about our make up.  If you are a Christian, you absolutely must watch.  If you aren't, I ask that you watch anyway.  You may learn something.  I don't think it's offensive or too much.  It's mostly science.  Stick with it too.  There are parts that are a little slow.  It gets better and better as it goes along! I promise.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bowling Reminder

If you've been reading my blog for a little bit now, you may remember my "List o' Fun" bowling post back in February.  We love to go bowling!  I mentioned back then that some AMF bowling alley's participate in a summer bowling program that is awesome.  You sign up online and your kids can bowl two free games a day for free---all summer long!!!  Of course, you do have to pay for shoes.  Shoes at our bowling alley cost $4.  I'd recommend if you are going to go a lot, to just go to some place like Play it Again Sports and buy a cheap pair of bowling shoes.  As much as we love it, we have too many other things going on in the summer.  I just pay the $4.

I wanted to remind you of this offer because it starts this coming Monday.  You can go here to see if there is a bowling alley near you that participates.  You can also sign up through that link as well.

They even offer a family pass deal.  You pay $26.95 (one time) and 4 adult family members can also bowl 2 games a day.  That's a great value!!  I think the deal is suppose to go every day until 5, but our bowling alley said they would extend the hours to 8 at night in case families want to come bowl after mom and dad get off work.  You may want to ask your bowling alley to do the same.

Sign up! Bowl! Have fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flashback Friday

For our first anniversary Michael and I went to a bed and breakfast about an hour and a half away (still in Ohio).  We needed something a little low budget, but still wanted to at least get away for a little celebration.  The place was really cute and we had a great time.  We went 4 wheeling (my first time ever), took some walks and enjoyed the scenery and even enjoyed the mini petting zoo.  Yep.  That's right.  I did something involving animals.  Now if you know me at all, you know I am not an animal person.  Most animals scare me.... even if it's an irrational fear, it's still a fear.  For example, I know in my mind there is nothing a little tweety bird can do to me.  Regardless, if it lands on my shoulder or flies close--I will scream and duck.  I can't help it.  So when the lady at the B&B gave us a bag of apples to feed the mini horses and the camel, I was a bit nervous.

Michael looked like he was having so much fun feeding and petting the little guys that I decided I didn't want to be left out.

I was taking pictures and then all of the sudden...
AHHH!  Yeah.  There was no zoom involved in this picture.  The guy was suddenly in my space.  You better believe I screamed! :)

So before all the apples were gone, I thought I'd give it a go.  A little hesitant at first.

a little closer...

Ok. CLOSE!  Take the picture quick!!!

Oh my word, I even touched the thing!

Alright.  I guess we can be friends.

I fed and petted the miniature horses too (it was super windy that day!)

So I'll scream at birds and RUN from cats.... but apparently camels are doable.  Yes, I am fully aware I make no sense.  I can't help it! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Homemade Cards

Both of my bosses have May birthday's--along with a friend and my dad.  

G's birthday was last week, so I decided to make a card for him.
It's manly enough, right? ;)  Making "man" cards is hard for me. ha!
I used my Cuttlebug (Christmas gift) to add those circles onto that blue piece.  Love.  I'll give a tutorial soon.

I didn't have a ton of time to craft, but I figured while I had all the stuff out I would make a few more. 

I made one for K and one for my friend Kristin.
You can't tell in the picture, but the cupcakes (also from Cuttlebug) are on glitter paper.  Yeah sparkles!

I enjoy crafting and creating so much.  I wish it didn't create such a mess!  I'd do it much more if I had the space and didn't destroy my entire basement just to make a card.  One day!  I hope you are inspired.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Carmelized Garlic Chicken

Ok, so if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I'm trying to eat healthier.  This following recipe is not healthy.  Just thought I'd warn you! :)  However, it is one of Michael's favorites.  He's been hinting at wanting me to make it for a while.  I finally broke down and did it.  I figured he has to live with my fat rolls just as much as I do! lol!  It is pretty yummy, so I wasn't complaining!

What you'll need
1 pound of chicken--you are suppose to use 4 breasts, but I used tenders because that is what I had.
1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper
1 T oil
4 to 6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c heavy cream

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking
Add the chicken and garlic to the pan.  Brown first side for about 5 minutes.

Flip the chicken and brown the other side for about 3 minutes (until no longer pink)

Remove the chicken from the pan and add the brown sugar
Allow the brown sugar to melt 1/2 way and add the cream
Bring to a bubble and add chicken to the pan

Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes
I actually remembered about half way through that I doubled the sauce recipe in the past (brown sugar and cream).  You may want to do this as well.  The sauce is SO yummy.  It doesn't really taste like garlic at all.  It's more of a caramel taste.  The recipe said serve over rice or noodles.  The sauce is good over that as well.

I serve mine with egg noodles.