Thursday, May 28, 2009

And the thunder rolled...

Jeez, I'm not sure what Mother Nature's deal is, but for the past few days, all it's done is storm. We'll have a few hours of ridiculously humid weather, hot & sticky (you know, when you go outside and nearly have an asthma attack because the air is too think to breathe? Yeahhhh, like that)... and then all of a sudden, the sky goes black and the thunder cracks, and the bottoms fall out of the clouds. Then the it does it all over again. Yesterday, our garage started to flood. There was water a couple inches high all the way in up to my back tires. And Jake's poor veggie garden was temporarily underwater. Our pool overflowed. It's ridiculous. But, I will say, I've enjoyed falling asleep to the hum of rolling thunder. :)
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Hubby took this picture of me napping with the Pooch during one of those crazy storms recently! I love that we have the EXACT SAME expression- WHY are you waking us up?! <3

In between the crazy storms, Jake and I have been working outside a lot the past few days. I FINALLY finished my patio project (although someday soon I will need to repaint the patio itself thanks to my little incident with the Minwax stain and the bees) and despite the few spills, the whole thing looks good with the wood dark. I painted the words 'welcome' and 'relax' on the poles and on the inside 'its five o'clock somewhere' and hung up garden lights and a hanging basket of flowers. We bought a new outdoor ceiling fan to replace the rusty old one BJ (the former owner of our house) had put up. I'll post pictures to show my hard work once the fan goes up. We also put up our new outdoor furniture that my parents gave us as a one year anniversary present. It is a large glass table with four sling fabric chairs and a big tan umbrella. It looks so nice, and I'm so excited to use it at the upcoming pool party. We still have lots to do outside before I feel ready, but the whole yard is looking better day by day- I'm loving it! The other day, our darling neighbor (a retired man who piddles outside most everyday & always talks to us from across the fence) was telling us more stories about the days when BJ and his mistess Wilma lived in our house. See, in our small town, EVERYBODY knew BJ, and he came from a large family in town so MOST people were related to him, and from what we've heard, the man could throw a party. Like, with all the booze, loud music, crazed drunks, and cops you can imagine. They even once backed in a truck with concert-sized speakers for a live band at one of these shin-digs! I was like "note to self: no loud music at the pool party! Hahaha... but yeah, it's been an interesting and productive few days, in between the floods, of course!

I made a bunch of cupcakes this week and tried my hand at homemade icing. Every time in the past when I've made icing, it's turned out terrible to me. This time was an utter success. I mixed 2 boxes of cream cheese, powdered sugar, a tsp of butter, a splash of milk & vanilla extract and blended it and refrigerated for the better part of a day. I was quite excited that it tasted so good. My days of store-bought icing are now officially over. :)

Another thing that's happened over the past few days- PAYDAY! Although, now that the bills are all paid up, we're very much poor again. LOL. See, that... [insert your choice of negative adjective here]... Bev Purdue has cut teacher pay by a half percent. Not just cutting each check by that much, which wouldn't seem so bad, but their entire salary- and this wasn't spread over the course of the year, it was packed into the the last two checks of the school year, making big dents in these last two paychecks. Between those cuts, trying to get everything together for the party (including food and supplies, and our tiny outdoor home improvement costs), plus groceries and bills, we are breaking completely even each month. It's been a test. It's so hard for us not to have anything left to save, especially considering we are both savers and generally not spenders. Well, money has added a lot of tension and stress to our relationship in the past few months, and yesterday, I think we hit a new turning point. We went to Lowe's and Wal-mart and were freaking out about how little we could spend, when Jake said something amazing on the way home. He told me that our financial struggles were going to be a big time test to make sure we stay faithful to God, depending on Him to get us through it. We need to be praying more together, praying for more wisdom and patience, continuing to tithe, and keep ourselves close to Him... I laughed and said that I was so happy he said this. As it turns out, I've been praying recently (I guess as a part of my whole closing the distance between me and God thing) that Jake would take a more proactive role in leading us as a couple closer to Him and push for us to spend more time with Him. I always feel like God speaks to me through Jake and Jake has had a way to pull me closer to Christ and lift me up, and I've been needing that so much here lately. Not that Jake's fallen short, but with his new job (and how devoted he is to his students, the end of year tests, and being the breadwinner...) he's been overwhelmed and exhausted. I was so thrilled to hear that he desires to lead us closer to Christ and work on that [big] part of our relationship more. I definitely smiled the entire way home. He chuckled lightly a few minutes later and told me he had just been doing the math in his head and realized that our tithes had been rounded down in months past and that he hadn't realized it but we weren't actually tithing the entire 10%- but now, these pay cuts made the amount we were tithing right at 10%... isn't that interesting!? We weren't exactly giving God what He asks of us, so now our income has now dropped down so that what we've been tithing IS 10%. Oh, goodness, God certainly has a sense of humor. Well, regardless, I think we've heard Him loud and clear & I'm thrilled to know that Jake & I are going to be working extra hard together to make sure we continue to keep our marriage firmly centered around God. I have no doubts that the problems we face along the way, including money, will take care of themselves. I love the feeling of my heart bubbling over with love & faith!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A simple realization and a prayer.

I love those moments when I hear God. I've been on what I'll call a dry spell when it comes to my relationship with Christ here lately and I've been struggling to figure out why. I figured it was partially the fact that we've had plans or commitments or something happen to cause us to miss a lot of church over the past month, but I knew it was something more. My problem is I think I've had my head in the sand. I've been asking and asking for Him to "draw me nearer" and make me feel "connected" again, but I've been unwilling to put my guard down and truly listen to His conviction in my heart. I wanted closeness without having to do the work- the soul-searching, listening, praying, confessing, and acknowledging- that He's requiring of me. For some reason, thinking about Jon and Kate Plus 8 (random, I know) got me thinking and it all some how became clear. We don't have cable so I was trying to piece together what happened tonite on the season premiere by watching Hulu & Youtube videos and it struck me that they seem to try to live a Christian life, yet it's not like their marriage is currently reflecting what godly husbands and wives do. Of course, I'm no biblical expert or marriage counselor, but it looks pretty obvious that Kate's need for all the glitz, glam, and status of being a celeb and her harsh attitude, plus Jon's self-centered views and general slackness has put them on a downward spiral. I thought to myself, "why can't they acknowledge their own failures? They've fallen off the horse in how they treat one another, got so caught up in being a TV show and being parents and it's put distance between them!" I realized as soon as that thought came through my head that in many ways, I could have easily been talking about myself in terms of my faith. Why can't I acknowledge my failures? My sins? My pure and simple humanity that makes me the unworthy sinner that I am? I've gotten so caught up in my life that I've neglected something so important. I've let myself get into the habit of thinking that short conversations with God on Sunday mornings are suffice, and that's just not the case. I need to be constantly telling Him of my struggles, my worries, my hopes and joys... asking His forgiveness for the mistakes I make each day, the strength I need to be the best person I can be, and the courage to do the things He'd have me do. My life needs to be a constant conversation with Him, and I've somehow let myself stop listening to Him so much, and I've stopped talking to Him in all that I do. Wow. I feel closer to Him already. I have been blessed by God in so many ways. I have people who love me deeply, a loving husband and family, supportive and fun friends, a nice home, a budding career, a precious dog, a bright future- and I can't even take the time to really talk to Him and lay everything that's on my heart at His feet?

Lord, I'm acknowledging the fact that sometimes, I really suck at this. I forget, I get self-righteous and selfish, thinking my wonderful life is a result of my own deserving or my own work. I forget that everything that I am and everything I have is all because of You and You're love for me, and it's wrong of me. I am Yours. Imperfect and flawed, and I know You love me anyways. Help me to feel Your presence in my heart and help me remember to keep talking and listening to You. Continue to lead me down the paths You'd have me take, and help me let Your light and Your love reflect through me. I love you.

Forever Yours,

B.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Morning on my rose bush.

I love how the morning dew looks on my roses.


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It's a lovely smell. Like a fresh new beginning.


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And I love this rose bush. You never know if the roses will be red or yellow until they open up.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Home Improvement gone horribly wrong!

Ok, so I have had an indescribable day- and you really have to hear this one.

Last night, Jake & I stayed out on the porch late talking like when did when we were dating and it was sooo wonderful. I don't know if it was all the talking had my mind going nonstop or if it was the coffee we drank, but some reason, I barely slept last night. Instead of laying there and flopping like a fish all morning, I got up with Jake, made his breakfast, and watched the sun come up with him. So sweet.. a great morning together! After he went to work, I got dressed, did some laundry, finally worked on those flower beds around the pool, and went to Wal-mart to check the price of wood stain. I went to the tanning bed, came back, put on an old (but favorite) bathing suit and on top a sundress (that Jake ruined last night by splashing chlorine on me...boo, Jake! ) and went out to stain the wood on the back patio- the ceiling and the poles. Everything was going fine- it was a slow and tedious job to use the rag and slowly wipe the stain across the wood, trying not to get the stain on the patio cement- but I was doing fine. The ceiling, however, was much more difficult. I tried using a roller like you would with paint, but it splattered! So I rushed around trying to wipe up my mess to no avail. Then I tried a paint brush, but it dripped too. Back to square one. It was taking forever and very hard to do, so I tried to stand on the patio table, hoping being closer would make it easier, but sadly, I just ended up wacking my head really hard on the ceiling fan. I got down, and went back to standing on the chair an using a rag damped with the Minwax stain. I looked down at my hands and realized I wasn't wearing gloves so I freaked out and went and washed my hands to see if it would come off. I scrubbed like crazy, and it did, but barely. I went back out, put on gloves this time, and started again. Then, out of no where these 2 giant carpenter bees tag-teamed me and I nearly fell, spilling the can of stain on my bathing suit, my dress, me, my face and skin, the patio, everywhere... I held in a few expletives and ran inside, leaving a trail of Minwax hand prints and oily residue along the way. I jumped into the shower, clothes and all, and started scrubbing like the dickens... like until my skin was about to peel off. It was horrid. That stupid stain was on everything. Ugh- why did I have to do this? I finally got decently clean (meaning I still have massive brown stains all over my body), so I went to do damage control, both in the house and at the patio. I used some baby wipes to wipe down the stains on the sink, counter, tile, and tub, and piled up all the stained fabrics (I ruined 3 towels and 5 wash clothes, plus the dress and bathing suit) and headed outside. I hosed off the patio, used Lysol spray to get some of the splatter off the siding that frames the patio and "man cave" and got a trashbag to throw it all away. I quit. The patio wasn't even half stained. I went inside to clean myself up again after I worked outside fixing my mess (this included getting the stains off the broom, the hose pipe, the spicket, the table, even the door handle... it was so bad) and I realized glancing out the bedroom window that I left some dark oily hand prints on the siding at the roof line facing the house. I went out with the Lysol bottle to get it off, and standing on a chair again, I went to work. Suddenly those stupid carpenter bees came back to finish me off, and I was mad. I sprayed and chased them with that Lysol bottle, only making them madder. They eventually flew off. The inside and the back patio was finally decently cleaned up, and so was I. I pouted for a second, then I heard Bella whine, so I went to take her for a walk and realized that she had vomited in her house, making the utility room smell horrible. I cleaned up that mess and used some of those waterless doggie bath wipes and cleaned her up, too. Could anything else go wrong?! I was about to call it a day and go to bed or something, but I changed my mind, put on a different bathing suit, got myself a book, a towel, a water bottle, my phone, and my laptop and headed out. I sat my stuff down, & I got a beach chair out of the pool house, who was waiting for me but one of those STUPID carpenter bees again! I ran out of the pool house screaming, nearly falling face first out the door as I tripped on the curtain that hides the inside of the pool house. I was about to really give up and just sit on a towel, but I tried it again and managed to get the chair out without getting stung. I sat up the chair, laid a towel on it, and sat down with my laptop, getting ready to tell this very story. Suddenly, BAM. The chair collapsed beneath me and my tailbone ached about as bad as it did when I broke it riding that mechanical bull! I held on to my laptop, fixed the chair and now here I am, alive and in one piece. I just hope all of me and my stuff make in back in the house in one piece. God, what a day. I swear, if someone had a video of this entire afternoon, I'd be on America's Funniest Videos, winning the big bucks.

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Never again will I touch wood stain.

I've decided that home improvement sucks. And so do bees. I find it awfully ironic how I just mentioned the fact that I have always doodled little bumblebees on everything (since my nickname has been Breezy B for quite sometime)... yeah, um... never again. I officially hate them with a deep, burning passion.

Oh, and PS- I did notice that neighbor Bill's lady friend SPENT THE NIGHT. This morning went I went out to work on the flower beds, I noticed that they were curled up on the porch swing that folds out into a futon on his back patio... and they were sound asleep and covered with blankets. It was just after sunrise, and obvious that they had been there all night!! HOW WEIRD! He finally gets a girlfriend and he makes her sleep outside? Bless his heart...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My neighbor has a lady friend!

Breaking News! Bill Dauterive has a lady friend!!! We have a neighbor we've affectionately named Bill Dauterive, (Bill, from King of the Hill) because he is a middle-aged bachelor, who actually resembles Bill from the show. He's a bit reclusive, but we do see him out working in his yard, and he waves, but rarely speaks. Well, he almost never has visitors, but today, while I was getting ready, I looked out my bedroom window to see how the pool looked (we're still trying to clear it up!) and right there beyond the pool was a WOMAN with him on his back patio. They were doing something (I didn't wanna stare too much!) and they were standing kinda close! I was shocked and happy! I almost walked down across the yard and invited them to the pool party, but I realized that I would be acting too much like Peggy Hill. But still! This is so exciting! Now maybe he won't be driving over bags aluminum cans in his backyard (yes, he really did that once), since he has a lady friend to keep impressed. I can't wait til J gets home so I can tell him!

In other news, I've definitely gotten out of my "blahhh-ness" finally! Last night, I cooked Pork Ribs (they were so tender, I marinated them for an hour, then baked 30 minutes on 400 degrees, then 30 more minutes on 350, turning & basting them every 20 minutes or so...) with cabbage and cornbread, with strawberries & left-over Lincoln Cake for dessert. And the weather was nicer, too! I think the weather has had a lot to do with it my moods here lately. It was sunny & I had the windows & doors open, with the radio playing throughout the house, so I just felt peppy-er. I never did make it out to finish the flowerbeds (haha!)... but I did start a recipe book. Mama & my aunts have been giving me a lot of old Family Circle & Better Homes & Gardens magazines so I cut out all the good recipes and put them in a notebook. I almost filled it up! The laundry is also caught up and I went to the tanning bed. My mood has definitely done a 360!

My friend Brooke posted a list of things she loves in her last post, and I realized it's been a while since I last posted a list. So here is mine- 10 things I love, and they all start with the letter B, just to make it a little more challenging...

1. Blackberries- I love picking them. Blackberry season is the best. The juice stains on my fingers, the torn scratches on my legs, and ohh, those delicious cobblers we have all summer long... <3 I read this poem in my Adolescent Lit class last semester and I loved it. It perfectly describes the joy of picking blackberries.

2. Bella- seriously, my dog is the best in the world. She's currently curled up beside me sleeping. I love her so unconditionally. If I love that dog this much, I'm not sure my heart can hold the amount of love I'll have for my own children someday, lol!

3. Baking- obviously. Baking is a big hobby of mine.

4. Bikes- I really, really want one of those old-timey bikes with the really wide seats and and handles, with a wooden basket on the front. Jake's promised me I'll have one someday. :) I can't wait to ride it wearing a long sundress and a big floppy hat! I'm such an old lady at heart!
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5. Blues- like the Smokin' blues... I love when my favorite radio station plays the blues. It makes you wanna chill out in a rocking chair with cold drink and rock the world away.

6. Bees- not real ones, but cute drawn, cartoony ones. I doodle BreezyB and bumblebees on everything. I don't know why, but I think they're cute.
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7. Bags- handbags, pocketbooks, purses.... nothing like a new bag! I am currently addicted to those green-bags they sell at the grocery store. We use them now instead of plastic. You'd be surprised how much they hold, and how many trips to the car they cut out once you get home!
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8. Beauty products- specifically, reading the back. I read the backs of shampoo bottles, make up tubes, lotions, whatever every time I use it. It doesn't matter if I've read the bottle a hundred times, I read it again, usually in a silly commercial voice. I know, it's funny and ridiculous, but it makes getting ready a little more fun! I've always wondered if I'm the only crazy person who does this!

9. Beach- I love anything and everything to the beach. The sand, the sun, the ocean, the sky... the memories, the fishing, the fun! Regardless of who I'm with or where I'm at, if I'm near the ocean, it's amazing. The ocean is such a spiritual place to me. I always feel so close to God by the sea. I mean, the ocean is so big, and I am so tiny and insignificant in the world, but yet, He still loves me so much... it's completely inspiring and awesome!

10. Books- old books, new books, rereading books. I love used book stores, especially. I was just talking to J about how we need to take a Saturday and just go book store hopping. I want to get some more books for the summer, especially for our vacation. Recently, I just started rereading "The Poisonwood Bible."

Well, that's it for the day! Hubby should be home soon! :)

Oh, and this is random, but I think it needs to be added to my list- BOOTS! I really, really, really want some cute cowboy boots like I used to have when I was a little girl! Oh, I wish I could find that picture! I would wear them the the county fair and one time I sang and danced in some contest or something. I looooved those boots and I want another pair!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My boredom, continued & Lincoln Cake

Jeez, I don't know what's got into the Dog, I tried to start this post a looong time ago, but she rooted and pawed at me and whined until I got up and played with her. Just wasn't even too interested in her chew toys, she wanted me to chase her. We play this little game when I get home (from school, work, whatever) and I say "I'mma git you!!" and chase her around and around. It's so fun. Well, apparently we've not played it enough lately. The only reason she's finally left me alone is because I just filled up her bowl with kibble. I swear she's a mess.

So lately, I've really been "blah." The novelty of summer break has worn off, I've slept in so much you'd think I was 16 again, and now I'm just... here. Like I said in my last post, I usually have a summer job by now or some major project to tackle, but not this year. This time last year I was utterly consumed with wedding plans & I was in 100% bride mode. Everyday, I got up and started on my never-ended wedding to do list, working on calling, confirming, and such. This time two years ago, I worked in a town nearby (where my mom works) at a little downtown pub called Ichabod's. It was fun for a while, but I was not a happy camper there. The place, sadly, burned down last winter. I haven't been up that ways in ages so I'm not sure if they ever rebuilt. Anyways, I have no project this summer. I guess once my class starts on the 8th I'll have no need for a project, but for now, I need one. It's still too chilly for yardwork, but not as bad as it has been. I might can handle it today. So, with that, I have decided to make today a productive one. I've decided that it's perfectly fine for me to make May my lazy month for summer, since June is full of class, July is packed with trips and vacations and plan, and August equals school... I'm going to make the most of each day of laziness I have left and enjoy them. Today, for example...I'm going to finish up all the laundry. Every last piece. I'm gonna get a shower and get dressed, pull on a hoodie and eat a decent lunch on the patio (I finally convinced J to put all the wood for the winter somewhere else and cleaned it off!!!!), go down the road and go lay in the tanning bed (I obviously need those precious UVA/UVB endorphins!) and then I'm going to throw away some of those old flower pots out by the pool and really get it ready for my much anticipated Lowe's trip after payday. Yay! Did I just talk myself out of the doldrums? I THINK SO!

I apologize if this blog is random and boring, but I'm enjoying talking to myself.

If you've lasted this long and kept reading, then you are in for a treat. I did indeed bake that Lincoln Cake yesterday, and Mama did try it and loved it. We realized that early last summer I did a similar thing with all this baking. Mama says she remembers me getting on a baking kick shortly after I finished exams... did I? Well, all this baking needs to stop or I'm never gonna be able to fit in my bathing suit (or I'm gonna look like a can of biscuits) and I'll be sitting the pool party out! Maybe I should just take my cakes around to my neighbors? Yep. That's it. And an invitation to the pool party. Martha Stewart would be proud. So, back to this Lincoln Cake. I found this recipe in a book Daddy bought for me at Fort Fisher down at the coast one summer and I've just now got to reading it. I sat in the porch in my rocking chair the other evening (and had to have a cup of coffee & a quilt- stupid weather!) and found this recipe. All the recipes in this book appeared in Godey's Lady's Book, a 19th century magazine for women that was the essence of all things domestic. Godey's Magazine cover, found on Wikipedia and this book is full of the recipes published in this magazine during the Civil War era. With me being a history buff and someone who loves to cook, I had to have it. This book published each recipe in its original form, like it appeared in the magazine in the 1800s, so how you adapt it (or if you do at all!) is up to you. This particular recipe did not tell how long to cook it or on what temperature, so I had to figure it out myself.

Lincoln Cake

2 eggs
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sweet milk (I used evaporated!)
3 c. flour (all purpose worked fine!)
1 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp lemon extract

I used my mixer and blended the eggs, butter, and sugar together, then slowly added the milk and lemon. I used baking POWDER since I didn't have any cream of tarter on hand, and about 2/3 of a tsp worked perfectly. Once everything was blended together and smooth, I added just a splash more of milk, since the batter looked a little think to me. I greased a loaf pan well, then poured my batter inside. The recipe did not say how much it yields, so I had some batter left over and just filled some cupcake liners in a muffin pan to use it up. I preheated my oven to 350 degrees, then popped them all in. The cupcakes were done in about 20-25 minutes and the loaf took about 30-45. You kinda just have to watch it. I did have to put some foil on top of the loaf to keep it from getting too brown while the inside cooked. It turned out lovely, and I was especially impressed with how moist and fluffy it was. The cupcakes were really nice. They'd be great on a summer day with some lemon icing. The loaf came out beautifully as well. Well, it WAS beautiful. I had to ask Jake test it with a "KNIFE" while I was busy to see if it was done, and the big goof used a fork, and basically dug himself a pretty little hole right in the top of my loaf, and said, "Yep, it's done! " right as he shoved the bite in his mouth. Bless him. The loaf would be really good with a simple lemon juice & powdered sugar glaze across the top, but it was good just plain as well. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna make it again for the pool party in a few weeks, and a peach cobbler to go with it. :)
I think it turned out nicely!

I just re-read this blog. I realize I sound like a complete bum. Let me correct... my laziness has only been the result of the sudden stop of action and plans, April was full of exams & school, my brother in law & sister in law's wedding, then there was Mother's Day and my Pawleys trip at the beginning of the month... and then there was this week. Nothing. I'm so silly. Have I really gotten that addicted to being busy with plans each and every week, that just ONE week of no plans makes me tear at the walls?! HA! Wow...

Speaking of walls, I do need to share what Jake and I (with some manual labor help from our dads and my mom) did back in March & April.
We painted the paneling in the living room and what will be the dining room. Our kitchen is small as it is, and there's no room for a table large enough to fit our immediate families. This is the IKEA table I eventually want to get in the brown-black color and put in there, along with a simple chandelier over it, and a matching rug to protect the carpet. Image and video hosting by TinyPic
I still need to do some painting touch ups. (HEY, there's me a project!!!) I love the colors, and I'm so happy with how it all turned out. I could actually start priming and taping the kitchen. We're gonna paint in there as well, but just the paneling and not the cabinets. The color is going to be a green color called Palmetto (no wonder I love it, I'm from the Palmetto State!) and I can't wait to see how that goes!!!

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And the future color:Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The poor puppy must hate it when I blog. That or she's gotten her belly full.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Attack of the Canadian Geese, Summer-boredom, and Prom Photos!

I have a feeling I'm going to be blogging everyday this summer. Well, at least until my summer class starts. I sat my alarm at a decent hour this morning, hit the snooze button & shivered, and realized there was no point in getting up yet. The dog had spooned right up against me, curling her head across my chest, and giving me these sad, sweet puppy-dog eyes as if to say, "Please don't get up yet!" and so I didn't. I turned of the alarm and laid there for 2 hours or more. When I finally did get up, it was only because I had to pee, and I was so rested, going back to bed seemed just as pointless as getting up. One of the good things about teaching is that Jake & I will be on similar schedules, and in the near future (provided that this economy gets out of the crapper and some school districts actually start hiring instead of laying teachers off!) these days when he's teaching and I'm finished, at home waiting for him, should be a thing of the past. Being home alone everyday (even as a kid) during the summers was always a boring thing for me. I loved it (I loved sleeping in) for about a week, then I needed something to do. Inevitably, I either got a summer job (not really happening this summer, unless it's at the Y) or started some crafty projects, which, until Hubby gets paid in a few weeks, so that ain't happening either. I had resorted to doing some prep-gardening- cleaning out 2 beds out by the pool so that when Jake gets paid I can go to Lowe's and get what I need to sproose them up, but this afternoon, not too long ago, I realized that that's not going to happen either- first, because it is still COLD outside (what is this March!? I want some heat back!!!) and most interestingly, my pool and my driveway have been commandeered by 3 agitated and confused Canadian Geese. I heard something squawking, so I went out to check the mail, and low and behold, there was one wandering around my driveway and in and out of my neighbors' yards. I got the mail, and stood there in amazement, while the thing screamed and cried and moaned. My neighbor must have either decided to get his mail too, or hear the goose's shenanigans and came to see. He stepped out and laughed as the thing nearly charged me as I walked out towards it, and told me that he had seen 2 more in my pool! I was like, "Nooo way..." We talked between the squawks and he said he thought they must have been looking for the pond down the street, and maybe this ridiculous wind today blew them off a little, and now they're confused. We didn't talk long because the stupid thing chased me back in the house, where the dog was going nuts to see what her Mommy was doing... I know that goose looked like a giant squeak toy to her, so thank God, she'd already been out to pee, or I imagine my neighbor would have had a heart attack from the sight of me being drug behind a crazy-eyed dog chasing a squawking confused goose across the neighborhood! It wouldn't have been a pretty sight. The fact that I wasn't even wearing a bra yet and my hair is still a mess from sleeping would probably only make it more hilarious. I made it inside and went and looked out a back window overlooking the pool, and yep, 2 geese were taking a dip in my pool! Yep, no yardwork for me today. If I didn't get flogged by one of these big honking geese, I'd get blown away by this hurricane-strength wind, or frozen to death by the frigid temperature. Not happening. So inside I am.
I'm almost positive that I'm going to bake that Lincoln cake now. Mama called & she & I are going shopping (read: my mom is amazing and knows how broke we currently are, so she's taking me along and going to buy whatever she thinks I want or need, and pretend she didn't do a thing! I love her.) after she gets off work. I can let her try my cake then. And, I can already make dinner (Mexican Salad- veggies, ground venison- remember, I don't use beef, just deer!- and taco seasonings) so that when J gets home from work, we can eat then head up to Lowe's to do some price-checking, so we can budget how much we're going to spend re-vamping the pool area for the summer.

My eventful uneventful morning has now turned into the afternoon, so I need to shower at some point, and do a load of laundry, so Hubby wont think he's married to a lazy bum. I'll post the Lincoln Cake recipe and results soon.

Ugh, the squawking is back... anyone know any goose recipes?! Furthermore, do you know any ways to kill a bird when living in the city limits?

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Oh, and by the way, Jessi, my husband's younger sister, went to Prom over the weekend. She wore her dress from my wedding and I did her make-up. She was stunning!
I absolutely love this girl!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here she is before she went to take pictures, posing up on her Daddy's truck...Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here she is with all her friends! Image and video hosting by TinyPicCutting up with all her girlfriends... Image and video hosting by TinyPic And, wait, oh, yes... It's one if MY prom pictures... I had to throw that one in there! I miss buying big expensive dresses!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

How I spent my weekend, New recipes, and BURR, it's cold outside!

This blog is going to be a bit random, but I've got a lot of random things to share. So, bare with me! First of all, Star Trek = Amazing. My Daddy & I really enjoyed our daddy/daughter date! We ate sushi & Japanese and went to the movies. I was going to just watch Star Trek because I knew Daddy would like it, but I had heard that even people who were not "trekkies" were loving it, so I was a little bit excited to see it myself. Well, we were a bit early, & we walked in with our tub of popcorn and drinks & sat down, and got confused about the previews... turns out, we had walked in a little less than midways through an earlier showing. So, we just decided to stay and watch it twice! & I'm so glad we did! It was fantastic. It's one that I want to own. & that says a lot coming from me! I loved the quality time with my daddy. He's such a good listener and never judges, which is one of the qualities I love about him. We shared stories of beach & mountain trips and I shared my experience with firefly vodka, LOL...speaking of which... if you don't know about firefly, then I've GOTTA tell you. It's a Carolina thing, made in Charleston, & it's SWEET tea vodka. It tastes just like Mama's sweet tea, but with a major kick. It's really good in tea or lemonade.... makes me want to make a big pitcher of lemonade and serve it with the little umbrellas in the drinks (my sister in law loves those little umbrellas so much she took a box with her on her honeymoon. LOL. Can't say I blame her! :) Those things just make you feel like paradise!)... so anyways, if you haven't tried it, wow. You need to! And if you haven't had some quality time with your daddy in a while, schedule a date. Daddy-Daughter time is priceless!

I have several recipes I'm gonna share... one is for a cake recipe I found in a cookbook in the beach house down at Pawleys, then I added my own twist. It's called a 1,2,3,4 cake, and makes a wonderful yellow cake that's moist and perfect for anything from birthdays to weddings. It's very firm, yet moist and fluffy! Also, I've tried a few pork recipes and they've been successes! I also found a recipe for a Lincoln Cake from the 1860s in my Civil War cookbook & I plan on trying it out soo, so we'll see how it goes.
My friend, Brooke, also introduced me to a carrot cake that was simply to die for. She and her husband had dinner with Jake & me this weekend and we came back to our house for coffee & cake, and she brought me a piece of this carrot cake she made. Let me tell you, I will be making this recipe so soon. The icing is sooooo rich and delicious! I showed her my blog while she was here, and now she's started one, too and she's sharing this cake recipe! EXCITING! Anyways, it's here on her blog, www.blackroostergardening.blogspot.com.
I recommend following her, she's absolutely hilarious and a great friend of mine!

We've been working on updating our house and part of what we did recently is painting. I love how it turned out, but we still have to do the touch ups. Unfortunately though, these things take money, something we DON'T have right now. Thanks to a busy & hectic month with lots of unexpected expenses, we've got about a hundred bucks in the bank & we can't spend a dime until pay day. Thanks so much, Bev Perdue, for cutting my husband's pay (you know, seeing how teachers make sooo much money, it wasn't like we NEEDED that money or anything, right!?) and putting us in this little situation. But it's all okay, because, in all seriousness, the bills are paid and we have what we need. And each other. Our poverty is the good kind, the kind that's frustrating but humbling. And thankfully, pay day is coming soon! LOL
I can't wait for the day when we've both been teaching for a while and getting decent checks, enough for us to the gardening, remodeling, landscaping, and entertaining like we want. Hubby's mentor teacher is like that. She and her husband remind us a lot of our future. They have a BEAUTIFUL home with tons of gardens and a front porch that is so welcoming. And she always serves guests fun & cute finger foods & classic cocktails. She's a wonderful hostess, and I can't wait 'til we have the money to do things like that!

Speaking of money, I found yet another blog to love. This one is called Five Dollar Dinners, and the lady who runs it has lived and taught in the Dominican Republic!!! I was so excited to read that she lived there, and that she bases her recipes on the fact that she was a missionary and teacher in the DR, and knows what it's like to need to cook healthy, hearty meals on a budget! I feel a connection here, mostly because she is a Christian, and has seen how amazing the people of the DR are. Jake & I have talked a lot about living there as teachers and working with the children in the DR, and who knows, it may happen. The time I spent there was life changing and I can't imagine anything more fulfilling than working as a teacher and missionary there! We'll see if that's in God's plan, I guess. Anyways, I love her website, and I can't wait to try some of her recipes. It's www.5dollardinners.com & absolutely am so glad I found it!
Random thing I keep forgetting to share: I MADE THE DEAN'S LIST! Yep, I found out last week. I made all As except for a B+ in my geology lecture (which, is frustrating because I did the math, and if I had been able to go to the extra credit opportunity- the day I was in a wedding- I would have pulled an A! And I asked for any other way of doing the extra credit...) and a B in my Adolescent Lit class, where I honestly didn't try at all. I could have had an A in there if I had put forth some effort, but it was the most boring class ever and I had to sit there for 3 hours. I was doing good to just be there, much less, try my best at anything! haha! Brooke was in the class with me, so I know she knows where I'm coming from! But I'm still SO HAPPY about making the Dean's List! :)

I really need to be outside working on cleaning the remnants of our winter firewood off the back patio, but the weather today sucks. It's sooooo windy and cool, and I'm just not digging the idea of going outside. I mean, really, it's like, COLD. I miss the sunshine. I have came to the conclusion that I NEED the sunshine. Just the other day, I was riding down the road (with my window down, radio up, and sunglasses on, of course) realizing that having my arm out the window and the wind & sun in my hair is possibly the best feeling in the world. The air smelled like honeysuckles, rubber, and sun, and it was euphoric to me! If only summer came in a perfume bottle... I'd wear it everyday. Especially on yucky days like today! COME BACK, sunshine!!! LOL. We'll that's about all that's on my mind today. Here are the recipes I've been meaning to share. I hope someone enjoys them! :)
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Pan-fried Pesto Pork Chops -> I made these for dinner the other night and hubby was thoroughly pleased with them!

4 boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tbsp pesto (just the kind from a jar!)
1-2 cups Pepperidge Farm bread crumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste.

In a bowl, combine eggs and pesto and whisk well. Dip each pork chop in the egg & pesto batter and coat in bread crumbs on both sides. Put battered & coated chops in a frying pan with a little EVOO and saute until both sides are good and brown and pork chops are firm.
I served this with a big pan full of sauteed red skin potatoes and fresh green beans. The beans remain slightly crisp, but with a little salt and garlic, they are delicious!
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1.2.3.4 Cake with Berry-Delicious Icing
The Cake recipe itself was from a Pawleys Island cookbook & the icing was my own creation.

Cake:
1 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
3 cups of cake flower
4 eggs
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (it called for mace, but I didn't have any so I used vanilla extract and it turned out just fine!)
1 cup of milk

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Sift in the dry ingredients and add milk & vanilla. Beat until smooth. Bake in 2- 8 inch cake pans at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until cakes are slightly brown, firm, and tests done.

Icing:
1/2 a package of cream cheese (this was all I had- a whole package would be just as good!)
1 container of Cool Whip
2 cups of strawberries
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl, beat cream cheese, vanilla, and strawberries until cheese is fluffy and strawberries are crushed up well. Then, add in the cool whip and beat until well blended. It would be best to put the bowl of icing in the fridge or freezer for about an hour and let the icing firm up some, because as the cool whip melts, it gets a little runny. Make sure your cake is very cool before icing, and store in the refrigerator after it's iced. This makes a very summer-y icing and is delicious on the 1.2.3.4 cake!

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Balsamic & BBQ Pork Loin


1- boneless pork loin
1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette
1 cup of barbecue sauce
2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp minced onion
Spices to taste- paprika, salt & pepper, & parsley.

Put all ingredients together with a bit of EVOO in a crock pot and cook for at least 4 hours or until pork is tender enough to pull apart with a fork.
Serve on whole-wheat buns with lettuce & tomato, with homemade french fries (cut up some potatoes in wedges and bake on a cookie sheet with coarse salt & EVOO for about 20 minutes on 400 degrees).
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Lastly, I'm going to try out the recipe for Lincoln Cake soon. I'll post that recipe in the near future. You can find Brooke's Carrot Cake recipe here.

Love to all!
BBW

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sharing

I've been paroosing (...is that a word?) around some of my favorite sites and decided it was high-time I share.
Here are some of my favorite sites to visit.
- The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I love this site. Ree, a former city slicker and self-proclaimed L.A. Girl, fell in love with a rugged cowboy and marries him, trading her "black heels for tractor wheels." Her site has tons of cool pictures *and tutorials!, recipes, ideas, and she's slowly but surely writing down the her own love story from the beginning. She's inspired me to write my own love story, or at least a nice long synopsis of the past 6 years... her website is www.thepioneerwoman.com and I definitely think you should check it out.
- Another website I absolutely love is kevinandamanda.com. Amanda Bottoms is my hero. This lady has chronicled her craft and photography and cooking endeavors for all to use (she's reallllly good too!) and best of all, she turns your handwriting into super-cute fonts and offers soo many for free to download. I used her fonts to make my current blog header. (I also used a free scrap-pack from another site for the background...) Amanda has AMAZING ideas and tutorials. I'd like to see my own blog become useful to others like hers is to me. Hence why I am determined to start sharing more recipes!!
- I love changing layouts. I rearrange my myspace, facebook, and my blog religiously. It's like changing clothes! LOL. Anyways, two websites that make my blog cute are The Cutest Blog on the Block and Aqua Poppy. They both have FANTASTIC layouts and I use them all the time! <3

So there are a couple of sites I think you should check out.

Now, for a few more things to share.

I've been recipe testing lately, and I have two to share.
One is Mediterranean Pie. The premise for this came from Family Circle magazine (my aunt saves them for me after she reads them & I love her for it!!) and I changed it around to suit me.
Here it is:
1 pound of ground turkey or chicken (I used the turkey because I find it's cheaper!)
1 family size bag of frozen spinach
1 clove of garlic, finely minced (optional)
1 small onion (I used green onions from the garden.)
2 eggs
1 container of feta cheese.
1 1/2 cups of Pepperidge Farm bread crumbs
Spices to taste including coarse salt & black pepper, parsley, paprika, red pepper, thyme, and a dash of clove and nutmeg.
1 package Phillo dough
Brown up your turkey and onion & garlic. Add in the large bag of spinach until everything is cooked well and tender.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the meat & spinach mixture with 2 eggs, well beaten, spices, and bread crumbs and cheese. In a greased casserole dish, layer about 7 sheets of phillo dough and cover with the turkey & spinach & bread crumbs mixture. Layer about 7 more sheets of phillo dough and tuck the ends in to cover the top well. Spray the top with a little Pam and sprinkle a little spice on top to garnish, then bake on 350 for about 45 minutes. It was all I could do to keep hubby from eating the whole thing!
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My daddy came over and I gave him a bite or two of the leftovers. He loved it so much he took the recipe to get my mama to make it!!!
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I have to cut this post short because my daddy is on his way over now. We are having a much needed father/daughter date tonight. We're going to our favorite sushi restaurant and to see a movie. I'll probably indulge him and watch they new Star Trek movie. LOL. Besides, I've already seen all the chick flicks playing! HAHA!
Anyways, in my next post I'm gonna be sharing about my garden and what I did over the weekend (including pictures!) and my other recipe... my take on a cake recipe I found in a cookbook at the beach house down on Pawleys Island! <3

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pawleys and Blessings

Right now, I'm sitting at on a the couch in Lizzie's family's beach house. I'm down here for a few days for some quality "friend time" with my Georgetown friends. Lizzie is in Chi Omega, so some of her sisters are here as well, and most of them I either know or have seen on campus before. There are about 10 of us here, plus Brandon, who is the man of the house... the only man! We cooked dinner last night, made drinks & played Quarters, and walked on the beach under the stars. I love coming down here. It feels like a scene out of one of Dorthea Benton Frank's novels. Ha, I might should email her with a book idea... I have met her on occasion! LOL. Anyways, it always feels like a novel. Like in Anne Rivers Siddons' Outer Banks, where the girls all hash out life staying in an old family beach house near Kitty Hawk. God, I love Carolina. Last night while we were making chicken alfredo, some of the girls said they couldn't cook. I always get a little surprised anytime some on says this, mostly because I have no concept of what it's like not cooking. I guess because of the fact that I grew up helping Mama cook all the time, I can't understand how anyone would not know how to... I've been sitting here reading recipes from a Pawley's Island cook book, one from a local church. I love any thing and everything Pawley's... even though I'm not a lowcountry girl, it's definitely a part of me. I guess you can really same I'm a 100% Carolina girl... I love it all. The Carolina Coast, Gamecocks & Cola, the Upstate, Boone & Blowing Rock & Lake Lure... Green River & Broad River, Oak Island & Southport, Greensboro & Winston... I have family all over, and friends too, so all these places feel like home to me, like they are a part of the tapestry of me.

I'm listening to the ocean right now. It is roaring. I got up early this morning and took my mat & did yoga on the beach at sunrise. It was invigorating. I know everyone here thought I was nuts, getting up so early and going out there while it's still chilly, but I love the focus & clarity it gives me. I definitely plan to do yoga for the rest of my life. I may not loose any weight (alas... birth control weight.) but maybe that's okay? I know I need to loose it, but if I do everything right- eating well, exercising, being active... what more can I do? I'm gonna talk to my doctor and quit fretting over it. I did a lot of praying this morning during my beach side yoga, and I am happy that I specifically prayed for Jake. He's at home in the middle of EOGs and I'm praying that he is at peace and happy and not stressed! I prayed for his students too, that they will ACE the tests! I love being down here, but I do miss him. I am so lucky that he lets me pack up and come down whenever. Our relationship is they type that encourages each of us to thrive, even when that means being a part for a short time. And I defintitely need time with the friends to thrive! and the beach! Brandon & I were talking about how amazing it is to stand on the beach. To know God loves and cares about and knows every hair on my head, even though I'm so small & insignificant in this big, big world, and even though I sin and fall short of Him all the time, he's still blessed me with a wonderful husband who loves and understands me and inspires me, family that cares for me and supports me unconditionally, and friends that laugh with me and listen to me whole heartedly!

I'm going to take a short nap, then see where the day leads.. I'm sure I'm bound make more memories fit for a beach novel!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Powder Puff Roses

I know I probably should have included this in my first post today, but re-reading my list of flowers made me realize that I should "explain" my "powder puff" rose bush. These roses look like a powder puff you would put your make up on with... small, round and tons of little open petals. When I was little, my Granny (Granny is Mama's mother, and passed away when I was 9. Daddy's mama is Grandma, and she's the one that gave me the candy tuff...) used to play with me all the time. I was the youngest grandchild and probably spent the most time with her. She was my very best friend. Well, I had always wanted to be a flower girl and when I told Granny, she took me outside to her big pink rose bush (even now, it's huge...) and showed me how to pick a the rose so that I got all the petals in my hand in one tug, and together, we would throw all those small pink petals into the air and walk through them, like on a wedding day. I tear up remembering doing that with her. Just like I nearly cried in geology class once this semester because we were learning about micas and when I was little, Granny & I would go for walks looking for mica, putting pieces in styrofoam cups and we'd come back and make our own glitter. But anyways, that bush was always a special bush to me, and it's currently in full bloom. Granny & Pawpaw's house is now my aunts, and she left the bush there. When I was over there last weekend, it was pouring rain, but I didn't care, I gasped when I saw it and ran down there, plucked the petals, tossed them up and laughed like she was right there with me. I love the bush. I love those roses. And I miss my Granny.

My Bucket List, the garden edition

I am just about to jump in the shower (Hubby & I overslept and completely missed out on getting breakfast together before he goes to the Y for work) then head up to Walgreens to print some pictures. I don't go to Walmart anymore because everytime I try to print photos there, they interrogate me because the photos "look too professional" and therefore, I must be breaking copyright laws. I try & tell them *I* am the photographer & that I have a nice camera that helps make most of pictures look that good, but they refuse to listen, and frankly, they can be B-words, so I've gave up going. Anyways, after I get home, I'm doing something VERY exciting! Gardening! We were over at my Grandma's house yesterday (it was her birthday yesterday and Pawpaw's is today) and I was telling her that I have a list of flowers I want in my yard. Many of them are old-timey stuff you can't find a Lowes or Home Depot anymore, and you have to luck up and know someone and get a cutting or something. So I kinda have a bucket list of flowers. At some point in my life, I want my garden to contain every one of these flowers. I know I can get started now, but there's no way they will all fit in our small yard now. You can bet that I'll be digging up what I have now & taking it with me once we move (note: moving for us is about 5-10 years down the road, depending on how fast we start having kids, particularly a second one!). So as I start telling her about my list, she shows me all the candy tuff she's pulled up from her garden and tells me I can have it! I'm so excited! She gave me a rose bush too!
Here is my list!
- lilic bush
- "powder puff" rose bush
- lily of the valley
- magnolia tree
- sweet bubby bush
- candy tuff
- dogwoods (pink)
- azaleas
- golden rod (golden bells)
- pink thrift
- yellow roses, pink roses, white roses, and red roses
- English & climbing roses
- irises (what's the plural of iris? LOL)
- day lilies
- primrose
- hostas
- peonies
- snowball bush
- hydranga bush
- japanese maple
- lavender
- sweet pea
- trumpet vine
- tulips
- snapdragon
- daffodils
- daisy
- gladiolus
- petunias
- pansies
- marigolds
- herbs like mint, parsley, and rosemary

This in my first time seeing this list written and not just in my head, so I may be adding to it as time goes on. But it's nice to have my garden goals all written out and ready for me to start planting! <3

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Thunderstorms, Cheesecakes, & Bliss

So yesterday, the weather was crazy. Thunderstorms & tornado warnings, pitch black clouds, but tons of sunshine peeking through... I got home from my little overnight trip to RH to see some friends before they all head home for the summer, just as the thunder clouds started rolling in. I have a kitchen full of groceries and no excuse to not wanna cook, but I didn't want to dirty up the clean kitchen, so Jake & I decided to take Bella to the dog wash up the street and then go get some dinner to go. Now, being that our Bella is inside constantly, and she has very short hair, she doesn't need a bath frequently, but every spring, she looses her winter coat and HAS to be bathed. So in the middle of a potential tornado, we load up the truck and take her to the dog wash, bathe & pamper her, put her up between us in the truck & head to KFC. You know those KFC commercials for the Kentucky Grilled Chicken? Well, there's some effective advertising, because we sure as heck wanted some! But we get to KFC and there was a HUGE line... and a TWO HOUR WAIT for chicken. People were waiting 2 hours for chicken in tornado weather?! I was in shock. So we drove to the next town! HAHA! Really! And it turned out fabulous. We got home right as the weather moved out, devoured the chicken, and went to bed with our squeaky clean puppy. It was a great night.
Today, I went to a new yoga class. It was at the Y hubby & I work at during the summer. It wasn't very intense, but fun and refreshing. I'm definitely going back. I miss yoga bad, and I could feel my body did, too.

A few posts ago, I mentioned a little party we had at school & I baked these mini-cheesecakes. They were really good, and everyone seemed to like them. Well, I put the receipe below. I tried dividing the recipe into a third, and making an actual cheesecake tonight (topped with chocolate & caramel) and it was delicious, however it took FOREVER to firm up in the middle, & I'm not sold on eating them until the next day, simply because they are SOOOO much more amazing really cold. If you make them the night before, they next day you'll wanna eat every little one!

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups graham cracker or chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter; press equal portions onto bottoms of 24 lightly greased* or paper-lined muffin cups.
In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Spoon equal amounts of mixture (about 3 tablespoons) into prepared cups.
Bake 20 minutes or until cakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool. Chill. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Garnish with fresh fruits, candies, whipped toppings or chocolate curls.
Variation - Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes
Add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted, to batter; mix well. Proceed as above. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
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I have to say, being done with school has made me absolutely wonderful! I love free time to do what I want! The house has been pretty clean (thanks to my all nighter a couple of days ago!) and I've been busy doing things that make me happy! The only thing that's gonna make it any better- the end of the school for Hubby! :) And for his kids to make FABULOUS scores on the EOG tests!!! <3
Yep... life like this is BLISS!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I have no excuses.

I have no reason for not keeping up with my blog here lately but laziness and over booking myself. This semester was easy in so many ways. My classes were a breeze, Geology was a fun class, minus the chick that copied off my test a while back and caused lecture to be AWKWARD... She basically sat beside me and copied my entire test, & the professor saw it. Luckily, the girl owned up to it and got a zero, but I would have failed her for the course. And I made a new friend in that class, & I hope I stay in touch with her. Yoga was a great class, of course, & I hate that it's over!!! My middle level classes were the only ones that caused any stress, but it was great because I love the MLED majors. It's been fun being with them, learning & laughing with them. We had a little end of semester party last week. I'm so glad I'm in a program that I feel proud of and with people I like to be with... so I guess in a nut-shell, my semester was fun. Next semester will not be the same though. My schedule is gonna be killer, but my classes are gonna be the ones where I learn some of hard core teaching strategies and such, so it will be worth it. Plus, my field experience starts! Speaking of which, I JUST THIS SECOND remembered I gotta go to RH and do my background check soon! It's due to the College of Education, like.... this week! UGH. Okay. I'm gonna check on that. Anyways, I have done a lot of hanging out this semester. I've had a lot of the same people in my classes, so it's been normal to just go out together, and I've been trying to stay true to my word about not letting married life or commuter life stop me from spending time with my friends. In fact, on But still, just tonight I was looking through my old Myspace comments from years ago and realizing how many friendships I've let fizzle. I mean, I'm the type of person where once I become your friend, it typically takes a lot for me to let you go! But also, I make a lot of friends and keeping up with that many people is exhausting... well, I can't help but feel guilty about it, but at the same time, like Whitney & I always discuss- it goes both ways. It's not just one person's responsibility. And fortunately, I've got a good many friends who understand that.

I had to turn the TV off just now. Late night "I'm gonna heal ya!" shows are on. You know, corny, fat preachers who talk in circles, smack you on the forehead, and supposedly work the Lord's miracles? Ugh, those shows drive me crazy. Mostly because I feel like most of them take advantage of the name of Jesus and make it seem like Christianity is a drive through miracle shop, not to mention they seem too much like Jim & Tammy Bakker. Yep, not what Christianity is to me... Speaking of which, I need to admit the fact that I am feeling a little down right now in this part of my life. We've not been to church in now 3 weeks (probably the longest we've ever missed!) because we've either been out of town or, in today's case, so sleep-deprived we couldn't get our butts out of bed. So maybe that's what's missing... church... but for whatever reason, I feel distance from God. I know there's a saying that is something like "if you feel far from God, who moved?" and the answer, of course, is that I did... but I don't remember moving. I just feel a little lack luster. I'm asking God to change this and help me feel His presence in my life and my heart more. I know He's still here, but it just seems like someone's turned down the volume. I don't want to be one of those Christians who are only on their knees when life is hard... I wanna be on them because life is good, and it is! and I know it's because of him! I've got so much to be thankful for and praise Him for!
One of the things I praise God most for is my husband. I can't believe Jake's first year of teaching is almost over! He's been nominated for new teacher of the year for the county and I am so proud. He is a phenomenal teacher and works so hard. He's an inspiration to me and I know he deserves the award. He makes me wanna be a better teacher! We went to his mentor teacher's house the weekend of Easter for her annual Spring brunch on the front porch, and it was inspiring! Not only is she an amazing teacher with tons of ideas and motivation and drive, she's got a fabulous house she and her husband built, designed, and decorated themselves. It looked like a scene from Country Home magazine and I wanted it all! Jake & talked about our next house after we left the brunch and kinda came to the conclusion that we want to be in Southport. We have tentatively planned that by the time the 2nd kid comes into our lives, we'd like to be living there. My parents said they'd follow us there, and Jake's mom voiced her disapproval sweetly. It was nice to hear her care about seeing us and our future kids enough. It means a lot to hear those types of things.
Speaking of Jake's family, we know have a new Wilson! Jake's brother, Justin, got married last weekend. It was a nice wedding, outside at a park. It was very simple and cute, and very pretty. Danielle, my new sister in law, did most of it herself and was such a cute bride. She talked and talked about not being stressed at all, but she definitely was! She was too cute. I still find it shocking that I have people in my life I can call sisters now. My sister in laws are awesome. Growing up as an only child, I never had anyone like that in my life. Marrying Jake definitely came with more perks than just getting an amazing husband! The wedding was out of town for us, so last weekend we were there for the weekend, I was there the weekend before for bridesmaids/bachelorette things, and the weekend before that was her bridal shower, so April weekends were pretty packed with things to do! This is partly why I've been so lax on blogging. Even though I've not had that much school stress, my personal life outide of school has been super-busy. My house is currently a wreck, because after the wedding, I had a week of finals. My last was on Friday and Saturday morning I had to get up early to go shopping with my aunts and my mama. We went yard sale-ing (so we had to go early) and then Goodwilling and I came home with bags and bags and bags of pretty new clothes and shoes and such! I love shopping like that! I'll never understand why anyone pays full price for anything! So, anyways, we had went out with Heather & Chase (a great couple-friend of ours) on Friday night and didn't get in until really late, so I had not had much sleep then either, plus a week of 8 AM finals and late night studying all caught up with me this morning... Jake & I didn't get outta bed til like 1:30! It was much needed though. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have some motivation to get started on housework. I have a mountain of laundry and completely messy house! I usually do this at the end of the semester... finals, sleep a few days & recoup, then clean like crazy. But Tuesday is Cinco de Mayo & I'm supposed to be spending the night with my friends Katie and Aileen then meeting Gabi for lunch, so we'll see how it goes. I hope then I can sell back my books and go get that fingerprint thing done too! Maybe if I get the house clean tomorrow, I can do all this and come home to a clean house & happy hubby!
Well, I'm pooped and blogged out. To whoever reads this, I hope you feel updated and less neglected!
<3