Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
I know that weekly family night is a healthly, relationship building event. Whether it's game night, or movie night or open mic, spending time together, everyone, as a family is great. I highly recommend it!
Have a great weekend! We are officially on Christmas break! No school till 2010!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Today is my sweet husband's birthday. In honor of him I'd like to take a moment and wish him a very happy birthday. The kids and I are so fortunate to have such a wonderful father and husband who lovingly provides and takes care of us so well. He's my best friend and I would be lost without him.
Happy birthday babe! I love you lots!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
"There is power, power, wonder working power in the blood of the lamb." He changed it to: "There is power, power, wonder working power in the mud of Japan!" I think I could use some of the mud of Japan! How funny!
The other day the kids sang the song "O come let us adore Him" in their school Christmas program. On Sunday in the car on the way to church Pete sang it like this: "Do not let us annoy Him!" and another time he sang it like: "Do not let us ignore him!"
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Pecan-Sour Cream Pralines:
2 tbl unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tbl packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbl sour cream
1 tbl bourbon
1 1/2 tsps pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups pecans (about 5 ounces), toasted
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars, salt, and sour cream. Raise heat to medium-low, and cook, whisking frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping sides of pan with a heatproof flexible spatula, until mixture reaches 240 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Carefully stir in bourbon and vanilla (mixture will spatter). Let cool, without stirring, 2 minutes. Add pecans, and beat vigorously with a spoon until slightly opaque but still creamy, about 2 minutes.
3. Drop spoonfuls onto prepared sheet. (If mixture in pan begins to harden, stir in 1 tsp hot water, as often as needed; if it becomes runny, stir until firm.) Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Pralines can be stored up to 3 days, between layers of parchment, at room temperature in airtight containers.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Lots going on around our home, although I'm sure it is like that everywhere. (on a side note...I accidentally wrote "lost" instead of lots a minute ago and that reminds me...I saw my first preview for "LOST" last night. You know the one with Willie Nelson singing "Amazing Grace"? Is it technically a preview if they don't pre view any of the upcoming season? It really doesn't matter to me. I'm just excited to know when it will be on!)
Last week found us at school for the kids Christmas program. Pete was a cute thief. Ellie was an adorable Christmas tree and Jack was a great looking present. The show was fun and the kids did a good job. The school was also hosting an auction for a fundraiser. Jack won the chance to follow his P.E. teacher around for the day. Nothing could have made him happier!
Friday found Ellie and I at the "Nutcracker" ballet. I must add that thankfully it was a condensed version of the ballet. Did any of you think of soup when you saw the word condensed? I did. Maybe I'm just getting hungry. Anyway, the ballet was fun and the kids were very well behaved.
Friday also found John at school in Ellie's class as the dad of the day. He came in and talked to the kids about being an ER doctor. The kids were hilarious with their comments. Somehow the phrase, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" came up and the kids thought it would be funny to change it to things like "1,000 apples a day keeps the doctor away 1000 days" and stuff like that. You would have thought it was the funniest thing ever. John gave each of the kids a tongue depressor so they could pretend to be a doctor and check each other's throats. Fortunately no one threw up their lunch from sticking a tongue depressor too far down their throat!
That's all for now! More to come!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Another tradition at our house involves the Advent Calendar. (On a side note... has anyone else noticed these are getting harder and harder to find each year? Please tell me stores aren't doing away with the calendars!) I probably have almost 10 advent calendars from the past 10 years. We save them and use them each year. The kids enjoy each picking their own calendar for the month. Each morning before school (if there's time) they'll open up their day and read it to us. If it's too chaotic in the morning, and it frequently is, we'll read it at night.
I know we have lots more traditions than just those two...decorating the tree, making and decorating cookies, gift for their classmates that we make, watching certain Christmas specials, etc. but these are two I really enjoy.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I knew there had to be something to pull me out of my blogging absence. Don't get me wrong, I love blogs. I love to read blogs and I do , daily. It's just that I've had trouble keeping up with my blog. I guess I just haven't figured out the balance of 3 kids, husband, house, school stuff, activities and how to blog consistently. So I haven't. That's me...all or nothing. But Christmas? That's something different entirely. I love Christmas. Love the decorating, love the shopping, love the wrapping of gifts, love the music and I love all the TV specials I get to sit back and watch with the kids. Ultimatly, that's what did it. I want to write about the season and our lives and that is what I plan to do. I guess I'm not sure how to capture the last 7 months into words, so I won't. I'll just pick up where we are today.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
So I noticed it's been two weeks since I last posted. My oh my time flies when you're living life and tired at night and having a hard time fitting in any writing. I will be back at some point here once spring break is over and my husband is back from the Dominican Republic.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Is three years long enough to forget someone?
Just curious, hypothetically speaking, if someone watches LOST with a notebook and pen and takes lots of notes furiously does that mean they are a bit obsessed or just trying to stay on track and not get any more confused than necessary?!
All this three years earlier and three years later has my head hurting.
Here's what we can conclude. When Locke time traveled off the island he caused Sawyer, Juliette, Jin, Miles and Daniel to stop time traveling leaving them stuck in the 70's. We find out that they end up being able to stay on the island and become a part of the Dharma initiative since Sawyer saved one of the Dharma's, named Amy, from the Others.
We also learn that in the 70's women can have babies. Oh yeah, and by the way, Juliette and Sawyer have hooked up.
Sawyer, Sawyer, Sawyer. He had some of the best lines tonight.
"Until Dan checks in"
"Thanks anyway Plato"
"Jins a nice guy and all but he's not a hell of a great conversationalist"
And now apparently Sawyer has stepped up into the leader role we all knew he was very capable of doing.
What an ending to tonights episode, no matter how predictible it was. We now have Jack, Hurley and Kate reuniting with the group and by the looks of next week's episode it looks like Sayid and Sun are soon on their way to catch up with everyone. Speaking of looks, how about Sawyer's long look at Kate?
Amy's baby...a boy...hmm...what does that mean?
We've seen Horace before. How does he die?
Now we can make sense of the episode where we saw Daniel working in the Dharma initiative. How do they (Jin, Juliette, Daniel, Sawyer and Miles) end up being able to stay on the island with the Dharma group?
I can't wait for the next episode in two weeks! Any one know why we aren't getting a new episode next week?
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
1. The perm would be purchased over the counter at the grocery.
2. My grandma would be the designated perm giver. She owned the rollers necessary for a perm and she had a tall, sit under hair dryer. Pinkish, if I remember correctly and I loved drying my hair under that dryer. I would sit on my knees in a chair until my head was completely encased in the dryer, inches away from the heat that would blow through.
Will you humor me here for just a moment before I finish the story? I need to get something off my chest. Please hear me out. Are there any parents out there? Any parents of a girl or girls out there? Any parents of a girl or girls who think it's unnecessary to spend "large" sums of money on hair cuts, perms and salon stuff? Listen to me carefully...for the sake of all things good and noble in parenting take your daughter(s) to a professional every time she needs or wants something done to her hair. Just because her bangs only need a trim and "it's only bangs" is no excuse to tape her bangs to her forehead and trim them leaving one side inches shorter than the other because your daughter has a widow's peak and you are not a professional. Don't take your daughter to a barber, yes you read that right, a barber, to get her hair cut even if it's cheap and the barber is a girl. Just don't do it. And don't think that saving money by doing a perm yourself is a good idea. Ever. Trust me, it isn't and it never will be. I don't care if you are a follower of Dave Ramsey and he suggests that this is an area you can save money in. He's a guy and I believe he's bald. Just start saving your money now. Your daughter will thank you someday! :)
Moving on now...the designated perm Saturday arrived and I found myself at grandma's house with a head full of rollers and a nose full of toxic chemicals, eagerly anticipating a head full of curls. Soon enough it was time to take out the rollers and rinse my hair in the sink. I remember seeing a fair amount of hair in the sink but I figured it must be normal.
It wasn't until my hair was dried and combed (and majorly frizzy) that I realized to my horror that on the top of my head I was missing rows of hair! Every other roller of hair on the top of my head was GONE!
Just let that sink in for a minute: 12 1/2 year old 7th grade girl and bald patches on head.
It was not a pretty sight. I cried and cried and begged my parents to let me stay home from school forever. Needless to say my grandma felt horrible. Apparently the rollers on the top of my head were rolled too tight and the chemicals just killed my hair causing the hair to fall out.
I'd love to show you a picture of me and my stubbly hair. Actually, I take that back. I don't want to show you a picture of me and my stubbly hair. Truth be told, I'm not sure any picture of me and my stubbly hair exists. They may or may not have been destroyed.
I somehow survived. I think I managed to tease and stretch the hair I did have over the stubble on my head making it less visible to everyone. Whoever said, "That which doesn't break us makes us stronger." obviously never had a perm.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
In 9th grade my best friend at the time, Jackie, talked me into trying out for the gymnastic team. This was quite the accomplishment on her part considering I get dizzy doing a somersault and can't even begin to do a cartwheel. Nevertheless, youthful optimism prevailed and off we went to the tryouts.
Once there we were met by the girls who were already on the team. I guess these were the girls who were on the last years team and therefore were already through and didn't need tryouts. We spent a few minutes doing stretches and then it was time to get down to the serious part- the actual tryouts. Our first tryout task was to run down the lane as fast as we could, jump on the springboard and flip over the vault. Why that didn't have me running for the door? I'll never know. It didn't even cross my mind at that moment that I would have any difficulty completing the task. For whatever reason I stayed, completely unfazed by the reality of the situation...I was doomed. One by one I watched the girls who were already on the team demonstrate how to do this task. I remember being in absolute awe as they seemed to literally float in the air over the vault.
Then it was time for those of us trying out. It wasn't until it was my turn that I became even slightly concerned that this might be difficult for me. I remember in my mind somehow realizing there was no way I could accomplish this, yet my heart kept believing in the impossible.
So I went for it. I took off running down the lane and as I approached the springboard I remember throwing up a last ditch prayer to God. Something like, "Lord, let me fly!" I don't know what exactly I was hoping would happen at that moment. Maybe I figured the hand of God could reach through the roof and float me over the vault or at the very least loan me a pair of wings so I could fly over. Whatever I was hoping for, it didn't happen.
I reached the spring board and froze. By that point it was too late, my body could not stop. Apparently my body hit the vault and fell over in a painful slow motion kind of maneuver. I say "apparently" because I have no recollection of that moment. I remember finding myself flat on my back on the other side of the vault, unaware what had just occured. I knew pretty quickly it was not pretty because all the girls were around me and no one was laughing. Everyone seemed very concerned as to whether or not I was ok. I stood up, hobbled over to the side of the room insisting I was fine. Needless to say, I didn't make the team.
I think back on that story now and I just have to laugh at it. What was I thinking? Chalk it up to youthful optimism or ignorance, either way it's funny.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What about you? Do you ever stay in your pj's all morning? (or all day) What do you consider a relaxing yet productive day?
Monday, February 23, 2009
1. Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire
2. Best actor: Sean Penn (I thought Mickey Rourke would win)
3. Best actress: Kate Winslet
4. Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger (Anyone else choke back tears when his family accepted his award?)
5. Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz (I wished I had paid better attention in Spanish class in High school. Maybe I could have understood what she was saying)
6. Best Director: I forget his name, but it was the director for "Slumdog Millionaire" and he jumped up and down like tigger in honor of his kids
Did you watch the Oscar's last night? What did you think? I enjoyed the evening. I felt like it went quickly, which is saying something considering it was 3 1/2 hours long. The stage was beautiful, the music and dance great and Hugh Jackman was perfect as the host.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
1. Best Picture: "Slumdog Millionaire" (Have you seen this? Oh my word! It is incredible)
2. Best actor: Mickey Rourke in the "Wrestler" (Another good one, although my husband owes me several chick flicks! )
3. Best actress: (do they say actress now or is it actor?!) I'm going with Kate Winslet. I haven't seen "The Reader" though or for that matter I haven't seen any of the movies for the best actress category.
4. Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger in "the Dark Knight". I think this is a no-brainer.
5. Best supporting actress: Marisa Tomei in "The Wrestler".
6. Best Animated Movie: "Kung Fu Panda" I could watch this with the kids over and over. Wait, I have watched it over and over! :)
I think best director will go to the "Slumdog Millionaire". I think the make up is a toss up between "Dark Knight" and "The curious case of Benjamin Button". After that, I don't have any predictions.
What about you? Any guesses?
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Spoiler Alert: Don't read if you haven't watched Wednesday's episode of LOST!
Tonight's episode started out showing Jack in an repeat from episode 1, waking up in the jungle. He hears calls for help, runs through the woods, spots someone in water and does this potential neck breaking dive off a cliff and saves Hurley. What a man! I knew I liked him for a reason and he just reconfirmed my like all over! We quickly see that Kate is in fact on the island and then the screen flashes "46 hours earlier" and suddenly we are back in L.A. with Eloise Hawking and Ben, Jack, Desmond and Sun.
Eloise enlightened us with the concept that there were "pockets of magnetic energy" that enabled the island to be found to begin with and then she proceeds to tell us how the previous Dharma folks found the island once they shifted their thinking and began looking for where the island was going to be, not where it was. We learned that Jack was wasting his time in season 3 when he spent all that time flying Oceanic Air trying to crash.(season 3 season finale when we see our first flash forward with Jack and Kate and he tells he how he spends his weekends flying and hoping to crash on the island) What he needed was Eloise and her pendelum so she could help him and the others find their "window of opportunity" that would provide a route back to the island. Who knew it was so simple?!
After Desmond gives his great "You say the islands not done with me? Well I'm done with it!" speech, we find out that Jack and the others have 36 hours to get on a flight from L.A. to Guam if they want to have any chance of getting back to the island.
Can I just summarize here a bit? We find that to make this work the rescued Oceanic Six need to recreate as much of the original flight details as possible. We find out that Locke committed suicide. His death was a substitute for Jack's dad. Jack is to give Locke something of his dad's. We meet Jack's grandpa. He has a pair of Jack's dad's shoes. Jack takes them and ends up putting them on Lockes dead feet in the casket after Ben was beat up by "someone" and asked Jack to pick up Lockes body at the butcher shop.
Speaking of the shoes, when Jack stopped by his house before leaving and he heard a noise and went to check it out I was thinking the whole time, "Grab one of the shoes it will make a good weapon if you need to hurt someone!" Turns out it was Kate who doesn't want to talk about Aaron EVER AGAIN but she does want to make out with Jack and then some. (I'm printing it here tonight...my sister thinks that Kate killed Aaron and I think she's on to something)
Fast forward to the airplane and low and behold it's a reunion of sorts...THEY ARE ALL GOING BACK! Did anyone else feel a little giddy at how it all came together? I mean we knew it would all come together, we just didn't know how.
Favorite quotes from tonight?
1. On the plane Jack says to Ben,"How can you read?" Ben says, "My mother taught me."
2. Jack, "What is going to happen?"
Ben, "Why don't you tell me. You're then one that got to stay after school with Eloise Hawking"
What about Locke's letter: "Jack I wish you had believed me. JL " Any thoughts?
Then, flashing light and presto Jack, Hurley and Kate are on the island!
Who shows up but Jin, in the Dharma van in a Dharma outfit and points his gun at them. What is up with that?
How did Sayied end up in hand cuffs and how did he end up on the plane? What about Hurley? How did he decide to get on the plane?
Let me know your thoughts!
Monday, February 16, 2009
I said a quick prayer for the ground to swallow me whole and when that didn't happen I pushed Pete in the shopping cart away from the big bellied man as fast as possible. I told Pete that "No, he doesn't have a baby in his belly. Boys don't have babies, just girls. That's how God made it. " Then I thought of the story of the girl who had a change to become a boy but kept her girl parts and just had a baby. (Do you all know the story I'm talking about?) But that's another conversation entirely. One that I don't plan on having for a very long time.
PS Today marks my 100th post! Wow! Can you believe it? I didn't realize it until now. Sorry I don't have anything special planned or a give away! You're just stuck with me and my writing! :)
Friday, February 13, 2009
"My challenge is letting love in, because when someone loves you the right way, it's big."
"I don't want to have self-doubt. Gnawing things: 'If I were just...' 'Shut up! Stop complaining and look at what you have.'" (InStyle, March 2009 edition pages 302 and 305)
Good stuff to think about. Happy Friday.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Alrighty then...is it just me or do you slightly get the sense of some resolution going on? I do. It feels ever so slightly that we are beginning to get more answers to our questions. Things are slowly starting to come together.
Let me just get the gross out of the way.
1. Charlotte's death. Maybe it's just me but I thought it was down right creepy. However, it did answer what we all suspected, and that's that Charlotte had been on the island before. Any guesses if her mom and or dad will be revealed? Or if their identity is important?
2. The french guy losing his arm to the smoke monster. Yuck! I had to take a close look to be sure that yes, that really was his ARM that was pulled off! Now though, we know how Danielle ended up alone on the island. Anyone hoping we get a flash back showing how Ben kidnapped Alex from Danielle? I am.
3. Locke's broken leg. Ewwww! The bone was popping out! Oh my! Now we know how he exited the island. What's Jack's dads connection to this? Why was he there? My sister's theory is that Jack's dad could be Jacob. I think she may be on to something. Any thoughts?
Other Information Revealed tonight:
Surprise surprise! Eloise Hawking IS Daniel Faraday's mom. I'm happy to say I floated that theory before tonight! (only after I read other people's thoughts that Ellie could be Eloise and then I put two and two together! :)
1. What did you make of Charlotte saying when she grew up on the island as a kid that there was a "crazy man" who she was afraid of and that he told her to never come back to the island or she would die and the kicker was she thought the crazy man was Daniel? Thoughts anyone?
2. What is Jack's dads connection to this all?
3. Will Desmond go back to the island?
How about next week's preview! Man it looks good! Could they really be coming together to go back as soon as next week?! That's all I have for now. Let me know any thoughts, comments or questions you have, I love reading them!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I have. It happened tonight.
Background: January was a rough month. John worked a lot, was gone a lot and a lot of the parenting responsibility fell on me. Add to that all my normal demands and it started to wear me out. I needed breaks, more breaks, but our babysitting situation has been dismal. We have one babysitter the kids love, but she doesn't drive and she lives in town. So I would drive in 30min to pick her up, drive back 30 minutes to our house to drop her off, drive back into town for our date, drive back out to the island to pick up our babysitter, drive back into town to take her home and then drive back home.
How fun is that? Talk about exhausting. I'm worn out just writing about it. But I haven't had anyone I know who could babysit that lives nearby.
Our next door neighbors are several college kids. One of the guys has a girlfriend who spends time out here. She literally knocked on my door tonight wondering if my husband and I ever needed a babysitter. She said she's thought about it for a while but just never got around to coming over to ask.
I could have hugged her on the spot and started sobbing.
Yes, yes we could use a babysitter. One that drives. One that is next door. One that is an education major.
We talked for awhile. I got her number and school schedule and her work schedule. Times are tough now, for college kids too. She's going to school full time and working to make ends meet.
She is an answer to prayer and God knew that tonight at this very time I needed him to show up in a real and tangible way. So he sent a babysitter to my door.
Thank you God.
I need to go. I'm going to go check my calendar now for available date nights! :)
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I just have one thing to say about tonight's episode: JIN'S ALIVE!!!!! So somehow he lived through the freighter explosion, floated out in the ocean far enough to get caught in the time travel zone and he is alive and time traveling like the rest! Talk about giving Sun a reason to get back to the island! Did you catch the preview for next week with Ben telling Sun that Jin is alive and he can prove it? Wow!
I guess I do have more than one thing to say about tonight's episode, it's just that Jin was the one I just had to write about first! :)
Favorite quotes of the night? Sawyers,
1. "Time travels a b#t$h!"
2. "Thank you Lord!" when they time travel right at the time they are being shot at
3. "I take it back!" after they time travel and end up in the pouring rain.
Speaking of Sawyer...did you see the googly eyes he and Juliet are starting to make at each other? I'm betting there's a hook up between those two sometime in the near future, emphasis on near not future!
Who's the creepy lawyer representing Claire's mom and Ben?
I loved Hurley's phone call to Jack telling him he followed Sayied's advice and is safe and sound locked up in jail.
Other favorite quotes:
1. Kate's "I've always been with you" spoken to Jack on the boat after they were rescued
2. Juliet's "Really bad jet lag doesn't make you hemorrage" after Charlotte is unconscious on the beach.
3. Locke's foreshadowing with "I have to make them come back even if it kills me" Ooooh, gives me chills! :)
I believe Daniel's comments to Miles about the nosebleeds occuring on those who have been on the island the longest points to the fact that Miles has been on the island previously and I still believe Miles dad is the guy in the Dharma video.
Finally, what's with Sayied and tranquilizer darts?
What did you think of tonights episode? Let me know.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
a. my daughter who was scared because it was too windy outside
b. our dog who for some unknown reason started barking hysterically in the middle of the night
c. my husband getting home late from work
d. my youngest son who was scared because it was too dark in his room
e. habit...I've been awake in the middle of the night for enough nights now that my body is getting used to it.
I think it is killing me. Sunday morning I found myself watching the Australian Open live at 4am because I was so mad at being woken up that I couldn't begin to fall asleep.
What is going on in my house? Is everyone conspiring to wake me up in the night just so I can fall off the deep end?! :) I don't know about you, but not only do I want 8 hours of sleep each night, I NEED 8 hours of sleep at night so I can function. Not just function, but be productive and not snap at everyone around me or threaten to take the dog away to some nice farm far, far away. (Do you know how scarey it is to be startled out of a deep slumber by a barking dog?) Sleep for me is not a luxury, it's a necessity.
The way I figure it I've missed about three hours of sleep for the past 6 nights which means that in order for me to make up the lost sleep, I would need to stay in bed an extra 18 hours.
We all know that's not going to happen.
It feels like when my kids were babies and I'd go to bed wondering what the night would be like and just praying I could get 4 hours of sleep before getting up.
I know that "this too shall pass". I just hope I don't pass out before all is said and done.
Monday, February 2, 2009
She's been reminding us for days that it's coming up.
Guess what we had on our TV Sunday evening?
Hours and hours of it. We watched the kittens play, all sorts of puppies and highlights from past Puppybowls.
The kids loved it.
Yes, we do have another TV, but we were watching a replay of the amazing, incredible Australian Open between Federer and Nadal on that TV.
We did manage to catch a bit of the halftime show and my husband watched the end of the game after the kids went to bed.
Just so you know, we did eat chips and queso like all good Texans while watching the "Puppybowl", if that counts for anything.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I bought the magazine immediately.
I have been reading through it and have been amazed at some of the recipes it contains. Things like peanut butter cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and jelly. Have you ever heard of that? It sounds incredible! or Brownie heart cupcakes...brownie batter baked in cupcake liners that look like cupcakes with cut out brownie hearts on top of a buttercream icing. Wow!
So, I thought that for today's Friday's favorites I would share two of my favorite recipes I found in the magazine. In case you already have the February 2009 copy, you can find the recipes on page 148. If you don't own this copy, you may just want to run out and get yourself a copy!
YELLOW BUTTER CUPCAKES
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs plus 3 large yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
2. Reduce speed to low. Mix any remaining wet ingredients in a bowl if needed. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
3. Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days, unless otherwise noted.
ONE-BOWL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
2. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks, and let cool. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.
(makes about 4 cups)
12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (after every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high). Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)
Happy cupcake eating! Have a great Friday! See you all on Monday!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I must say I'm having a hard time coming up with coherent sentences because I can't get over how dashingly handsome Desmond looked tonight! The jacket! The scarf! The sunglasses! Oh my! And how sweet was it that Desmond and Penny named their little guy Charlie?!
So, Whidmore was an Other back in the 50's....hmmm...so many questions...how did he get off the island, why did he leave the island, why does he want to control the island? Which leads me to Faraday:
Why did Whidmore fund his research for 10 years? What's the connection between Whidmore and Faraday's mother? Could Penny and Faraday have the same mother? Who is Teresa and how did she end up in a vegetative state?
Great episode. I think I need some more time to process it. I'll watch it again next week and hopefully it will be a pop up version. I've actually grown to like the pop up version. They were a bit annoying at first, now I find they are quite helpful.
Can't wait for next week. What about you? Favorite moment or line or question or thoughts?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Let me know what you think!
"Dude, your breath is killing me!" she spoke sharply
as he whispered softly the words, "I love you"
in her ear.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Yesterday was one of those rare days where I had the entire house to myself. All the kids were at school (my youngest goes two days a week), my husband was gone and lo and behold I wasn't signed up to do anything at the school like lunch duty or help with a bulletin board.
These days are rare and I love them. When they do occur I usually choose to spend the entire day at home, which I know may sound rather odd considering I am a stay-at-home mom and by definition means part of what I do is spend time at home. The difference, however, between the two is huge.
It's called silence.
I can be at home alone and get completely lost in my thoughts or blog or read the newspaper or take a nap without any interruptions or noise. I'm not barraged with demands for food or games or missing shoes or lost toys or any of the other millions of requests the kids make when they are at home.
Days like this give me the sanity boost I need to make it through the other days of endless noise. We all know you can't put a price tag on that. What about you? Any favorite things you like to do when you have some time alone? Let me know. I'd love to read about them.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Where do I even begin?
Let's talk about Hurley since he had me rolling with laughter!
1. How about his yellow "I heart shih tzu's" t-shirt? Too funny.
2. Favorite quote of his to Sayid: "Maybe if you ate more comfort food you wouldn't have to go around killing people!"
3. Loved the coversation between Hurley and his dad about Sayid:
Hurley, "he was shot with a dart."
His dad, "Where were you, the zoo?"
Let's talk about Jack and Ben:
1. Since when does Ben care enough about Jack to help get him sober by flushing his pills down the toilet? Loved Jack's response, "Yeah, I was just going to to that."
1. Who was Jill (from the barber shop)?
2. Is Miles dad the guy in the Dharma initiative videos?
3. What's up with Charlotte? Is she pregnant? Or is she going to die just like the guy on the boat who we saw when Desmond met him on the freighter? Remember him? He went crazy and then died.
4. Is Daniel Faraday's mom the lady with the white hair we saw Ben talking to?
5. What is the significance of the 70 hours Ben has to get everyone to the island?
6. When we saw Daniel Faraday down in the orchid station, when was that? Was it during his two hours he was gone getting his backpack or was it some other time entirely?
7. Are the people left on the island representing some sort of hell? And, will Locke be their "Messiah" since he was told he would have to die in order to save the island and get Jack and the others to come back?
Let me just say, I am so happy to have LOST back. I can't wait to see how this will all play out. I read somewhere that last night was the last time we will see Jack's yucky beard! I also read that next week's show I believe does not include any of the oceanic 6.
What about you? Favorite moments or quotes or thoughts? I'd love to hear them!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
To say I am excited would be slightly understating things.
LOST premieres tonight 7pm CST!
I just might have to update and countdown throughout the day as it gets closer! Anyone else eagerly awaiting tonight like me? My husband said to me the other day as I was talking about LOST, "You sound a little addicted to the show!"
Spoken like a true non-LOST fan.
Somethings just can't be understood by another!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
When I think about school lunches, the first thing I remember is a girl in my second grade class, named Edie. One day during lunch she threw up on the table and the vomit ended up looking exactly like a pyramid. Why that's the first memory I have about school lunches after 30 years is beyond me. I am sure it probably has some sort of significance. Either that, or I am just weird. More than likely, it is the latter.
I loved school lunches. Macaroni and cheese and the Friday pizza with its mystery gray meat I am assuming was supposed to be sausage were my favorites. Oh yeah, and don't let us forget the chocolate milk, nothing quite like it.
Fast forward 20 years to my first year teaching 6th grade here in Texas. (we lived here for one year back in the late 90's then moved away and came back to Texas 3 years ago) Thursday was enchilida day at my school and it was just a known fact that our school had the best enchilidas. I kid you not, I looked forward each week to Enchilida Thursday partly because it was one day out of the week I didn't have to pack a lunch, but mostly because I couldn't wait to eat the school lunch. $1.35- can not be beat.
My favorite packed lunch used to be a scrambled egg sandwich with ketchup on white bread wrapped in foil so it would still be mildly warm at lunch. Wonder what that lunch says about me?! :)
What about you? Any memories of school lunch? What kind of lunch box did you carry? What did you pack in your lunch? I would love to hear.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Anyone out there?
I am here.
In case you haven't noticed, I seem to be suffering from a lack of posting this year. Believe me I have had good, no great intentions. Heck, I even wrote in my last post about resolutions and how much I love them (still do), and then I went and disappeared for a while.
I blame it on the treadmill.
On most evenings after getting the kids to bed I would do one of two things; write or watch TV and sometimes I would write and watch TV. Every now and then I might get a burst of energy and do something crazy like pay the bills or pack the kids lunches, you know, wild stuff. But mostly I sat on my rear flipping through the stations and getting caught up on things like "Dog the Bounty Hunter". Important, life changing stuff.
But, then I got this great idea I pitched to my husband at Christmas time. I said, "Love, what do you think about getting a treadmill? I mean think of all the calories I could burn while watching TV. Because, let's get real at this pace we're already acting like old folks and is this the future we want to have for the next 50 years?"
Apparently I am pretty persuasive. My husband agreed and so we bought a treadmill. One I can hook my ipod to and then to top it all off the snowball affect kicked in and we decided that since we were putting the treadmill in the toy room where we had no TV that we should get a TV and if we're going to the trouble of creating a "work out" area then we need a good TV and Hey, why not get a flat screen TV? So, there you have it. We are now the proud owners of a treadmill with a flat screen TV to boot. Now my evenings are spent watching mindless TV while working out on the treadmill. But, let me clarify...not all TV is mindless considering LOST is premiering in 82 hours as I am writing. Can you imagine how many calories I can burn while walking on the treadmill during the 3 hours LOST is on this week? I just may evaporate into thin air at the end of the season.
But all this walking has cut into my writing time. I wish I was coordinated enough to walk and type at the same time, but unfortunately that is just not the case. So, now I am left to resort to writing when I can and so far I am not disciplined enough to get up earlier to write. I could probably try but my posts would more than likely end up consisting of phrases like, "I am sooo tired." and "What do you think we should have for breakfast?" Not very creative.
I will not give up though. I will eventually find my writing groove and get going. I am ever the optimist you know. I have been reading an amazing book, though. One I have had on my "must read" list for a while. It's Anne Lamott's "Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life" Have you read it? My, oh my. She's been one of my favorite authors for awhile but now, I like her even more. Her wisdom and wit are it.
The other night I watched the movie, "Lars and the real girl". Anyone out there see it? I loved it and thought it was hilarious. It's along the lines of Juno or Little Miss Sunshine or Napoleon Dynamite, three of my favorites as well.
I am doing the scripture memory challenge from the Living Proof blog. Anyone else? Basically you post a verse you are memorizing on their post on the 1st and 15th of the month. Write your verse down on a spiral and then next year you'll have 24 verses memorized and ready to use. I am excited to do this. I don't know about you but scripture memory and prayer are two areas I tend to always say I am working on. I like this challenge.
Monday, January 5, 2009
What about you? Any new year's resolutions? I would love to hear about them.
Happy New Year!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Just checking in to say "Happy New Year!" I pray that this year will be full of love and hope. May God's blessings be on you and yours this next year. We were gone in Iowa for ten days and just settling back in. I am going to take the weekend and then get going again with blogging. Lots of good stories and pictures to tell and show.