Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This past weekend our church community group had its Christmas party. The theme was a Mexican fiesta/tacky Cmas attire. As you can tell by the pics below, EVERYONE participated! And, for those who thought they'd get off the hook, no siree. Tabitha brought a big box of her mother-in-law's sweaters to share. There was only one couple who came to hang out with us that didn't know to dress up, and since they were new to our group, they were let off the hook.
Let me just say that it was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time! We ended up with two Cousin Eddies; lots of tacky Cmas sweaters and ties; one very, very tight pair of jeans; and a extra tight, super glittery Santa t-shirt. And those were the guys. (And, just so you know, the glittery Santa t-shirt was Kendall. He won first place! He also wore his '80s white hightops. He had his jeans French-rolled too, but decided to undo them just as we got to the party. He thought THAT would be too much.)
We love our group so much. They are all just great, great friends and truly good people. We always have such a good time together and it's such a blessing to have these folks in our lives to do life with. I recently heard a saying that goes like this: Show me your friends and I'll show you your future. I immediately thought of the friendships we've formed over the past year or so simply from this special group. (Not including their wardrobes!)
The girls rocked the tackiness too! I have to say that Andrea and Bryn were my two favorite! I borrowed my sweatshirt from my mom's girlfriend Vicki and she claims it was at least 15 years old. I would have borrowed something from my mom's closet, but she didn't feel her Cmas attire was "tacky." These pics make me laugh bc they look just like a pic you'd see from a late '80s/early '90s Cmas party. It seems that nearly all of us either jingled, sparkled, had matching socks, a tassle, or lit up. LOL
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
My little Lola has been such a trooper, bless her heart. In a way I feel I've done nothing but neglect her for the past month, but on the other hand, she's spent so much time with family who tend to spoil her rotten so at least I know she's had a blast being away so much. Thank you, grandmas and grandpas, for being so good to us and being available to help me on short notice. I pray many blessings to you.
This next story is kinda nasty, but also a little funny. Feel free to skip it.
Yesterday I was quite sick all day and it was just me and Lola at home. Lola, being too little to understand my frequent, mad dashes to the bathroom to puke happily chased me each trip to the toilet. While I was unleashing, she'd gently pat me on the back and jibber what sounded to me like her version of "It's going to be okay, Momma," words. (Then she'd try to attack the toilet paper, then I'd try to get her away, then I'd puke some more, then she'd pat me on the back some more.) Afterwards, I'd blow my nose and she'd watch and say "Achoo." Bless her heart. I was so miserable. And, what's scary, is that one of the medicines I take makes me very sleepy, so I actually ended up dozing off on the couch with a one-year-old!!!! What kind of mother does that?!? Lola, being the little sweetie that she is, quietly sat on the end of the couch near my feet most of the day and watched Noggin. Finally, at one point once "Little Bill" went off she woke me up. Then I had to puke some more. Just another day in my pregnant paradise. See why I said I was so grateful for grandparents who can watch her on these bad days?
So, on a brighter note, I finally decided to change the pic on my blog heading. These were pics taken this summer for Lola's first bday. Kelly Stocksen was our photographer, and she is just amazing. I don't know what she does to the pics, but she jazzes them up and they end up so colorful and almost cartoonish. (?) However, you can't tell bc I posted all B&W pics. I'll get some more up soon so you can see.
Okay, that's all for now. I just thought I'd take advantage of this window of opportunity where I'm feeling pretty good and blog :)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
However, for the sake of the few of you who are awaiting something new -- and are tired of seeing David Blaine -- here's a few favorite pics I've taken in the past month or so. Once again, nothing extraordinary, but at least something new.
Below: Bee & KJ horsing around while I tried to pack for NYC.
Below: Bobcat at his first 60th birthday dinner at a steakhouse in Pawnee. That cake was DELICIOUS. German Chocolate from Reasor's. Once again, Reasor's failed me not. I like this pic bc it shows Dad in the way that I always picture him first when he comes to mind.
Below: This is Lola after her second night of the traditional Osage In-Lon-Schka dances in Hominy. Lola & Gramby danced a few times this evening and at the point that KJ & I got there, she had had enough. It was back in June, it was hot, it was bathtime, she was tired. Yes, she was trying to attack me with a baby hanger. Man, were her little feet nasty once we took off her moccasins.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Friends, y'all know when I luv a product I can't help but share it. Here's one of my latest: Seventh Generation Lavendar & Mint dish soap. It works as well as any other dish soap I've used, but its scent is what I like the most about it. The mint is just awesome! It always makes my dishes and the area around my sink smell so fresh and clean and minty. Try it!
I know some of you enjoy labeling me as a "tree hugger" (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!) but it's just not true! The truth of the matter is, I'm not hard core about trying to live green, I just like to do little things here and there. And why not? Ever since Lola came along, I've learned sooo much about attempting to live a more green lifestyle. I buy organically when I can afford it and have made steps in my daily life that just simply reduce the amount of junk I leave behind. Those darn plastic bags are the worst!! (Thank heavens that Reasor's and Wal-Mart both provide large containers at their entrances where you can recycle your old plastic bags. Although I use fabric shopping bags most of the time, no matter what, I always end up with sacks from here and there. I let mine accumulate, then take them every month or so to their recycling box.) Recycling has become a bigger deal for our household as well, and it's just so simple to do! I want the next generation on to have pretty parks and fields to enjoy and for everything not to be all scummed up.
So, all that to say that swapping out my household cleaners is just another easy to step in protecting the air we breathe inside our home. Some studies have shown that the air inside our houses can be more polluted than what's outdoors! I guess there tends to be a lot of toxins and other gross stuff in common soaps, candles, carpet fibers, air fresheners, etc. So, Seventh Generation has many great products but this is my favorite. For other cleaning, I've made a mixture of vinegar and water to serve as my all-purpose cleaner around the house, and it REALLY does work as well as my old Windex or whatever all-purpose product I was using. (I was Windex-ing everything!) And, the best part of the vinegar/water solution is that it's so cheap! (And, no, the smell doesn't stick around. I know, I know..vinegar doesn't smell too great, but no longer than you can smell it, it doesn't make much difference.) And, did you know that vinegar is a powerful antibacterial product? It's got many, many great properties so that's why I feel confident in using it so much.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Above: Remember the scene in Sweet Home Alabama when Reese Witherspoon's boyfriend blind-folded her and took her to Tiffany's when he wanted to propose to her? This is the Tiffany's it all happened at! She came in from the alleyway in the back of the store and stepped into this area on the first floor. I took this pic from almost the exact spot she would have been in. I thought I recognized it, but I asked a salesman just to be sure and he confirmed it! I love that movie, so that's why I thought this was kinda neat!
Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
2 1/2 c. sour cream, divided
1/3 c. chopped onion
2 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 c. cooked chicken
1 small can diced green chilies
1/2 - 1 can of cream of chicken soup
A little milk, optional
12 flour tortillas
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, optional
Cook onions in butter until soft. Add chicken, 1/2 c. sour cream, chilies, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through. Fill tortillas with mixture, roll up tortilla, and place seam side down in a greased (or Pam'd) baking dish. In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining 2 cups of sour cream and half ofthe can of soup. I add some milk to this to get it thinned down to the consistency that I like. You can use less sour cream and more soup, or half and half, whatever you'd like. Spread the sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese (if you're using cheese), and bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. Just make sure the enchiladas are warmed all the way through. (You can test this by sticking a knife in the middle of the dish and pulling it out. If it's hot, you know you're ready. If it's not, keep it in the oven a little longer.)
Above: Outside of Martha's Chelsea studio in NYC.
Below: Me in the audience after the show. What I would have given to explore the set! (We were quickly kicked out immediately after the show.)
On Wednesday morning we attended a live taping of The Martha Stewart Show. I've said it before a million times, but I'll say it again: I love Martha! This was the thing I was looking to the most during our trip to NYC. NYC is great, but being in the same room as Martha....!!! I could not wait to see her studio in real life bc on TV is looks so beautiful. And, not to disappoint, it was even more beautiful in real life! Sheer perfection. I love the color of all of the walls, so I'm considering repainting my office/craft room to match her studio. It's a creamy grey/khaki color. When her show (the "new" Martha Stewart show) first came on in '05, I researched and researched until I could find the name of the paint color and I finally found it! I've never forgotten the name of it and am only hoping I can still find it since her paints are no longer at Sherwin-Williams. Lowes carries her paint now and they have different names!
I have always been curious to see how a taping of her show works bc she's simply flawless! It was amazing to see like 20 people rush out on a commercial break, clean up the kitchen, bring out the new ingredients for the next several steps, fluff her hair and touch up her makeup, etc., etc., and be ready for the live show to start again. We were taught when to clap, for how long to clap, how loud to clap (start out soft and get loud, or vice versa, or a really loud, thunderous clap), etc. It was all so fascinating.
Below: Martha after filming ended. We weren't allowed to take pics during the show, but afterwards she took a couple of questions from the audience (no, I totally chickened out! I was all prepared too!) and chatted for a bit before we were kicked out. She was going to film another show later that afternoon that we could have stuck around for, but I was the only one who wanted to do that. Rats! Julianne Moore was going to be on it, and I'm guessing they were doing a craft since her craft room had stuff set out for a craft. (I missed seeing that episode since we were out and about the rest of the week.) During our show, she didn't craft. Rats again! Martha and John Baricello did make some little hand pies, her niece did a yoga segment with her, and a plants guy did a segment on carniverous plants. Nothing was overly exciting about any of those, but I did learn some tips for my pie crusts.
Anyway, it was all so beautiful and our time there just flew by. Martha is actually very pretty and TALL. I was so surprised by this when she first came onto the set. Her hair was very va-va-voomish and she just seemed so confident and "together." Duh! Isn't that what she's known for?! You can't tell any of this stuff by watching her on TV, though. I love her, but I gotta admit that I always figured that in real life she was probably very simple, "granola," almost kind of frumpy in terms of her appearance. I was wrong! She's pretty and has long, long skinny legs.
She has great taste and her studio reflected that. I'm so envious of her kitchen, but even more so of her craft room! Everything is perfectly organized and so cute! I'm not totally loving the baskets on the back wall. Last season they were pretty boxes of ribbons that matched the season. Still so PERFECT!!
Above: On the table above are all of the crafts from her craft line at Michael's which I ADORE. Each time there is a coupon for 40% off any item, I buy an item. My goal is to eventually have the entire collection. It's always changing, but there's many items that are there year-round. Some of the tools aren't so cheap, but they're good quality and always come in great packaging. She never stepped foot in the craft room during our show, but I am guessing it was for the next taping bc she doesn't leave this stuff out on every show.
So, to end this post, let me just say that it was the thrill of a lifetime to get to attend her show. Yes, I may have been one of the youngest ladies there, but who cares. I've been a fan of Martha's since late in high school. I admit it, I'm an old lady by heart! She's just so darn fascinating and a wealth of creativity. After the show we went to Macy's on 34th Street (which is the largest store in the world, btw, literally) and I bought some kitchen gadgets from Martha's line. :)
Below: This is a view of the stage. Pictures were only allowed before and after the show, so this is as good as it gets. It was so detailed and "real." The center of the stage is a huge map of Oz and the big thing hanging down over it is a bat type of thing that would flap its giant wings.
We got in late last night from our week in New York City. We had much fun, however, it rained the last two days we were there. And, in a city where it's easiest to get around by walking for the most part, that made it a little yucky to deal with. I LOVE NYC. It's just so busy and there's literally nothing you can't find there. I was glad to get home, though, bc I missed KJ and Bee so much! I swear she's grown a foot and is talking up a storm compared to when I left her on Monday!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
If you'd like to go or know someone who would, let me know and we can meet up! I don't always get to go due to my work schedule, but most of the time my depositions aren't until the afternoon so I get to go :) Much fun!
Below: That's Lola sitting in my lap reading one of her favorite books. (Thanks, Jami & Jaxon!) I luv the pictures, too, bc although they're from a modern Japanese illustrator, they look like old pictures that would have been in my old books as a kid.
I chose a fiesta theme, and since the lady we were hoping could make all of our food wasn't available, I volunteered to do it myself. I tried to handle the bulk of it since that's just my nature to try not to burden anyone, in this case, my aunt. I ended up making 140 enchiladas (lol)-half beef & cheese/half chicken sour cream, two sweet corn cakes, salsa, guacamole, and homemade vanilla ice cream. Aunt April did a huge pan of Spanish rice and two cheese dips. Reasor's did a WONDERFUL job of making the strawberry-filled birthday cake; it was so moist and delicious! And, Kendall works with a Hispanic man at the golf course, so his wife made 4 dozen fresh-that-morning homemade tamales. So good! However, I do not want to eat enchiladas anytime soon. I was up until 2:30 in the morning making them. Now my house smells like an onion and beef. I had the windows open in the whole house all day today just trying to air it out. Yuck! I really do love, love, love cooking and baking, so really this just gave me an excuse to do what I love for people I love with all my heart.
Mom and Dad were both so surprised so everything went off perfectly. Especially when my mom realized that the reason we weren't answering our cell phones all day was bc we were setting things up, not bc we were lying in a ditch due to the wet roadways and rain. (Which is what she thought! My poor brother was in charge of getting mom and dad together and out of the house at the same time to head to the party and he tells me she was literally freaking out thinking we were in a car crash.)
Below: Nothing more fun than making grown adults (and a few kids) do paper towels-between-the-legs relays. Sooooo funny!
Below: Here is the stack of invitations I made. It literally took me about 10 minutes to come up with them once I found the picture of this Mexican man and his lady love on the Internet. I had bright lime green envelopes left over from my wedding -- I knew I'd find something to use them for eventually -- so the idea of bright colors and a Mexican couple became the theme! They were my inspiration bc I thought they were cute and funny. I put four on a page, then the information on the back. I then went to Kinkos and had them printed on white speckled paper, then ripped them instead of cutting with scissors, then burned the edges. The goal was to make it look like an old photograph. I was pleased with how they turned out. I think burning edges of stuff will be my new "thing." Kinda fun! I loved this little Mexican couple so much I ended up using them throughout the party for the centerpieces and gift bags.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Lola had met her teachers last week during Open House, and although we kept talking about her starting school, she really couldn't care less. She's a little familiar with FBCBA bc that's where she goes while I attend MOPs upstairs twice a month. She likes all the bright colors and bugs and butterflies on the walls of the children's area. They serve as a great distraction once she realizes she's about to be dropped off. :)
Below is a pic of her as we were heading out the door. More than anything, she was fascinated with her lunch box. She kept stopping to set it down and point out all the animals and do their noises. Then a fight would ensue when I'd pick it up and head for the door. Then I'd let her carry it again. Then she'd set it back down to look at the animals. On and on. We finally made it to the car and to school. However, I forgot to pack her an extra set of clothes and a blanket to nap on. I didn't realize this until I had already dropped her off. I'm not used to this routine obviously. It all worked out though bc I never got a call from the school informing me of a "situation" that required her needing the change of clothes, and her sweet teachers said nap time wasn't a big deal either bc Lola wouldn't nap unless they held her. WHAT?! She knows better than to try that at home... Next week I'll be prepared. Let's just hope I don't forget to take the snacks bc it's already my turn to provide them. That wouldn't be good.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
The second pic is my attempt of an action shot of Lola in motion. It's really exciting to lay on the floor and let your husband swing your one-year-old directly over you. He promises me that he's got a death grip on the blanket -- not for my sake, but for hers!
Monday, September 1, 2008
So, ever since then we've referred to her as Lolabee or Bee. Writing out B-E-E just looks nicer than "Lola B." as if B. was her last initial. And, being that I'm a court reporter and basically spend my life spell-checking and wondering, "How's that spelled?" or "Is that all one word," or whatever. Fellow reporters know what I'm talking about. However, having said that, don't expect this blog to be correct all the time in terms of punctuation and grammar. Sometimes, in my own writings, I just DON'T CARE!
Later, KJ and Bee sampled my homemade pineapple-grape popsicles. And, despite Bee's face in the picture, she really did like it!
FYI: You'll need a 12-oz. bag of mini chocolate chips to divide between the topping and the cake batter. It would probably work okay with regular morsels, but I've never done it that way.
Toll House Cake
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. all-purpose flour
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I skip this, though, bc I don't like nuts AT ALL)
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (save the rest of the bag for the batter)
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 stick of butter or margarine, softened
1 t. vanilla
3 large eggs
1 c. sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. To make the topping, combine all topping ingredients, except for nuts and chocolate chips, until crumbly. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Set aside. To make cake batter, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture alternately with sour cream. Fold in the remaining bag of chocolate chips. Spread into pan. Sprinkle with topping. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until done.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Well, as it turns out, Lola's Aunt April and favorite cousin Seth recently bought her her own kitchen! They found it at a garage sale for $10 and let me tell you: It is in mint condition! They knew the sellers and said it was like brand new anyway, but obviously, they still disinfected it and everything before giving it to us. You'd never know it was used. And, it's safe to say that Lola LOVES her kitchen! Makes me so proud. She really enjoys cooking for us and her babies. (It's apparent that one of her little stuffed horses has a thing for strawberries and a fried egg. I had no idea!) It's so fun to just sit back and watch her beginning to use her imagination. The only thing she's not so great at is doing dishes.
Below: Taking a break to enjoy some "pudding." We're working on saving electricity, so don't mind the fact that she's leaving the icebox door open.
Below: Lately, Lola's learned how to walk around on her tippy toes. She does it most when she's being silly. I just think it's so cute. Here she's doing it to reach the top shelf to turn on some music. (And, in case you're curious, that's an onion by her left foot. I realize it looks like a white, human heart...)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The picture below was taken on our way out of the park, hence Lola's bare feet. We were all beat. I was determined to get a family pic in front of this pretty area, so although my camera battery was dead, (Note to self: Always recharge the batteries the night before, no matter what. Oh, and bring the right charger.) I was able to save the last drop of juice in hopes of getting this shot. And it worked! I had to give up some possible cute pics inside the park in hopes of preserving just enough battery for 1 pic. The friendly staff at SDC took this pic for us and I'm so thrilled! I get kinda crazy about stuff like this. It would have driven me nuts to have missed a family pic in front of the sign of wherever we're at. It bugs KJ that I get so "determined" at times. I just like knowing that years down the road I'll be able to see that picture and know immediately exactly where we were at. Anyway....
Below: First ride of the day and "Low Battery" is already flashing on my camera! I don't know this, so the panic hasn't set in yet. Just enjoying our ride in the butterfly.
Below: Getting really panicky bc "Low Battery" is really flashing fast at this point. KJ knows how I get about missing shots of memories, so he's trying to get Bee to wave at me before the camera dies for good. Plus, it's always fun to see a 6'3" tall guy squeeze into the back of a giant frog. Especially if it's Kendall. Gotta get a pic of that.
Below: Two drops of battery juice left. Gotta get a pic of Lola and KJ sharing Succotash. KJ had been talking about wanting some Succotash for a couple of months now. It was his goal once we got to SDC. I didn't know what it was, so in case you don't either, it's basically corn, potatoes, chicken, okra, peppers, and onions all cooked in a giant cast-iron skillet. He woofed it down with a little help from Lola.
Stay tuned for Dixie Stampede and Riding the Ducks! LOL
Monday, August 25, 2008
The weather turned out to be sunny and hot despite what the forecasts showed for the whole weekend, so it was perfect! I'll post some highlights once I get a chance.
(The picture above of Izzy is for no special reason whatsoever. I just always like to try to add a picture with my posts, so this old pic of Izzy was available. She hasn't been mentioned much here before so she deserves a little luv.)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
And, outside of our honeymoon, we've never even had a vacation of our own! (While I was pregnant, we did manage to go to Texas overnight for KJ to attend a reunion of all his old college baseball buddies. I still had "all-day" sickness and he was playing baseball, so it wasn't exactly the best time. ) He works at least six days a week and in the summer it's very common to work seven days. He leaves the house by 5:30 every morning. Always has. His only day off is Christmas Day. Thanksgiving? Nope. He usually has to go in for at least the morning. Easter? Nope. He's technically supposed to be off on Sundays, but this past Easter was the first time he didn't get called in. When I was giving birth to Lola, he tried to use some vacation days out of the whopping 5 days a year that he got at the time, but nope. He got the day off that she was born and that was it. It actually worked in our favor that I had a scheduled delivery so he was able to be there. And, by going in early everyday, you'd think he'd get off early too. Nope. Summertime is always busiest but it's pretty much year-round that he works until evening. Sometimes he'll get a break late in the day but have to go back at night to "move fans" or "water." (Turf lingo.)
I had no idea what kind of life this would create for us as a couple. In fact, I didn't even know what "Turf Management" was until I met him. (For those of you who don't really know, it's a horticulture degree with a specialty in grass. I'm not even kidding. I hear that golfers prefer green grass without spots, disease, dry patches, WEEDS, etc., so these guys work their booties off to make sure it stays pretty and green.) He's such a hard worker, and he still finds time (and energy) to volunteer and do extra jobs on the side. It's crazy! We're very lucky to have him.
All that to say that we're so excited to go to Branson! You'd think we were going on some fancy trek through the islands or something for as excited as we are! LOL We just never get to do anything like this! The forecast is calling for rain the whole time we're there though, so say your prayers that it holds off. We'll have fun no matter what bc ultimately it's not about all the things we find to do while we're there, it's simply just the fact that we get to be together for a few days.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Below: I like how tiny Bee looks sitting next to Kendall.