Sunday, February 28, 2010

G.N.O.

*
talking
*
"do-you-remembers"
*
bacon
*
salty,buttery popcorn
*

*
posing for pictures
*
*
ready for our first movie-Confessions of a Shopaholic
*
deep chocolate fudge brownies
*
herbal tea
*
a second movie
*
going to bed late and getting up not so late
*
Scrabble{I lost both times}
*
The Game of Life{my humility prevents me from announcing the winner}
*
laughter
*
friends
*
Girls Night Out In

Friday, February 26, 2010

Pre-Weekend Recap

Its not even 5 o'clock and my weekend has already been busy! I was up at the crack of dawn, aka 5:45, to leave for babysitting. I love my sleep but I love those sweet babies more. As Marianne Dashwood would said,"what care I about these early hours when there are such babies to watch?".

When I left babysitting I drove to meet our friend, Dawn, and her two girls at a boutique dress shop. Dawn is getting remarried in May and asked me if I'd like to help her pick out a dress. How could I say no to an offer like that? I feel like quite the wedding expert these days! She did find a beautiful dress but nothing is final yet.

As soon as I'm done writing this, I'm leaving for a GNO with Autumn! We're going to bake some chocolaty goodness, play games, eat a little more, drink tea, watch a girly movie that Autumn's picked out for us, probably eat some more{clearly eating is high on our priority list}and most definitely go to sleep very late. We'll also do ALOT of talking and laughing. I think we have all the ingredients for a wonderful time! :)

Have a wonderful weekend! ♥

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And the salad/pasta/fruit/tuna salad bowl goes to...

I had planned on announcing the winner through a movie of me dramatically pulling her name out of a bowl...but then I remembered that I have neither a hair stylist nor wardrobe consultant. I think its better for all involved that I just write it instead.

:::Drum roll, please:::

Congratulations to Brandi , our wonderful winner!!!!

I'll be sending you an email very soon!!

Thank you again to everyone who entered. I so wish I could give you each a bowl! :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

“Babies are such a nice way to start people”

Monday, February 22, 2010

Songs and Skates

Thursday found us packing our bags and leaving the state for Andrew's wedding. According to tradition, we got on the road later then planned but that tradition is so old why bother changing it now? Aaron was thrilled to sit in the back amongst the luggage.
Elizabeth and I invented a patent-pending game to keep us occupied while traveling down I-95: pick a tune and a subject for the other person to invent a song about, then sit back and be entertained. Here's Elizabeth singing a song about street signs to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot.

We made a quick stop in New York City to visit a friend Elizabeth met in her homeschool online writing class. They've been writing and talking since the school year began and were so excited to meet in real life. I had never been in a NYC apartment and I was so surprised at how nice Rebecca's was. You'd never know from the inside that you're really in the middle of the city. It was such a nice its-not-nearly-long-enough visit. We had a big "its a small world after all" moment while we were there. A missionary to Afghanistan was staying with Rebecca's family and lo and behold, he grew up in our town and knows some of the same people we do! It was so fun to say 'do you know Martin soandso?' or 'did you graduate with Paula?' and he would!

Rebecca took us on a very quick tour around her block. Mom and I were somewhat shocked at the news that she frequently runs errands around the city by herself. All by her barely 15 year old self. I guess things really are different when you grow up in the city! These trees lined the walkway of Columbia University.
I swear I lost 10 years off my life while watching the mens figure-skating finals at Debbie's that night. Of course the two most important people had to skate at the end making me nervous for even longer. Of course once Evan did skate, there had to be another skater before Yevgeny Plushenko went prolonging the agony. Of course by the time Yevgeny did go, I was so nervous that he would to do better that I could barely watch. I may or may not{leaning heavily towards the 'may'} have brought up to the last remaining fellow viewers would really be wrong to pray that Yevgeny fall so that Evan would win? I didn't want him to get hurt or anything, just a little whoops,there he goes. The fellow viewers said yes, it would be wrong. Clearly they don't support their country as much as yours truly.|
Pushing 11:52pm, I was finally able to relax when Evan won by ONE point. That one point gave me those 10 years back PLUS a bonus 10 just for good measure. All in all, it turned out to be a succesful night.

My Night of Agony in Picutures{my feelings are in blue}:

1. Mr Lysacek takes to the ice{I spend the routine flipping between cheering and saying 'don't fall. Don't fall.' Can you imagine what would happen if I was his MOTHER?!}

2. The Russian begins his routine{I spend the time praying praying for his dimise covering my eyes while whispering 'please fall. Please fall. Please fall just a little.'}

3. Mr Lysacek wins the gold{!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should have seen how happy I was to see the final score. A huge weight fell off my shoulders and I got those 10 years back. I didn't stay up for the medal ceremony because it was already so late and I was sick,but I was there in spirit. I think its probably a blessing the Olympics happen every 2 years. I can't handle much more of this.}

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Press On

When the valley is deep
When the mountain is steep
When the body is weary
When we stumble and fall

When the choices are hard
When we're battered and scarred
When we've spent our resources
When we've given our all

Chorus:
In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on

In Jesus' name, we press on
In Jesus' name, we press on
Dear Lord, with the prize
Clear before our eyes
We find the strength to press on
To press on

Dan Burgess

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hot Off the Wedding Picture Press

Photos thanks to Jennifer G.

ps. Another of Daniel and Erika's wedding pictures,this time her wedding dress, was featured on their photographers favorite-of-the-year post.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Had Enough Starbucks? Just Join the Navy!

A few Saturdays ago I had my first taste of an over-priced coffee concoction from the establishment known as Starbucks. I wasn’t overly impressed but I was there with Rudy so I was happy. We hadn’t talked since the wedding so we spent over three hours sitting across from each other in big, blue chairs catching up on life. It took every ounce of my matchmaker self not to shout out “you guys would be so great for each other!!” every time she mentioned a certain young man she recently met. I did mention it, but only once. She also informed me that she’s taking four- FOUR- gym classes. That girl in going to be In Shape by the time May rolls around.

Somewhere around the third hour in our visit, two men sat down in the chairs next to us. The older man{known from here on out as “Mr Older”}sat next to me and the younger{“Mr Younger”}next to Rudy. We were too busy discussing Rudy’s necklace to pay much attention to them, until Rudy casually reached over and moved her purse from the table between the two chairs to the floor. It could have ended right there, but of course it didn’t. Not three minutes later we heard a mans voice saying loudly over the coffee shop din, “um, excuse me, miss. Miss? Excuse me?”. By now we had moved onto the flowers in the necklace and didn’t even know Mr Younger was calling us until the “excuse me’s”, emphasized by waving arms, continued.

Our peaceful Starbucks visit was about to take a very sudden turn.

I kid you not, for the next 25 minutes we were caught up in a whirlwind conversation with two men we had never before seen in our lives.

It was a long, but somewhat interesting, 25 minutes.

Right off the bat, Mr Younger’s mouth started going and it did not stop. “Oh, you did a good thing by moving your purse. You never know if someone might look like they’re eating their food and really be taking something out of your wallet. I’m an attorney so I know. Good for you. Good thinking. You should always keep your purse close to you. I’m a professor, too. Where do you go to school? Do you like it? What’s your major? I spent too much time with girls when I was in school. Don’t fool around with boys too much; just wait til you graduate.” Mr Older apparently felt left out so he began interjecting questions, comments, and statements from his chair. He was also an attorney{“we work together; I’m like the dad and he’s like the son. We come here all the time. Do you come often?”}who thought our life could not continue if we didn’t know where he bought his daughter’s Mercedes{“right here at Wagner Mercedes!”} and long-ago details about his life{“my father was legally blind so I couldn’t just leave him, you know. I had to take care of him. That’s why I joined the Navy: good pay....”} He had also just returned from a trip to South Caroline and felt the need to impart his opinion of the people there{“then I asked the sheriff...”}. You could almost see the generosity flowing from him when he offered to Rudy that she join the Navy. That was the closest I have ever seen Rudy to speechless. In fact,she was speechless. She tried telling him that she didn’t really want to but he wouldn’t listen. “Just reconsider it. You can live in so many different places and if you don’t like the place, you can always move.”{I pretty sure you can’t ‘always move if you don’t like the place’. I don’t know what Navy he was in}.

It was no easy thing for Rudy and I to politely remove ourselves from the situation, but we did our best. We started feeling a little funny at their interest in us and our lives{“so, where does your brother work? You were homeschooled? Where do you want to work?”}and if Rudy hadn’t picked up her phone and made a big deal about the time, I was going to pretend someone called me and we had to leave right then. I was comforted by the fact that they didn’t know our names, but I was still feeling uncomfortable. After pocketing Mr Younger’s business cards{“Just call if you need any help or have questions. Now that I'm a professor I’ve been on both sides of the fence.”}we barely made it out the door and around the corner without laughing. It was certainly a memorable trip.

Mr. Older, thanks for your offer but Rudy will NOT be joining the Navy anytime soon!

{I really should have bought some Summarize Stories in a More Timely Fashion in extra large while I was there.}

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recipe and "Stuff"

This recipe was sent to me by my Amish pen-pal, Anna. I made it tonight for our last family supper with Andrew as he is now--a single young man. *cue to bring in the tissue box* It was good. So good. It can be compared to the dairy lovers paradise and the calorie counters nightmare. As Erika put it, "it has about 1,000 calories per tablespoon." From someone who doesn't count calories to those that do, its worth every last one. Without further yammering on adieu, I give to you:

Cheeseburger Soup

Bake together at 350 for 2-3 hours:
1 stick butter
2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onions

Cook together until soft, add a little salt:
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
3 1/3 cup chopped potatoes
2 2/3 TLBS chicken base
3 2/3 tsp. basil
3 2/3 tsp. parsley
salt to taste

When the vegetables begin to soften, mix in the ground beef.

Sauce:
1 tsp pepper
9 cups milk
1 cup flour
1 stick butter
1 lb. cheese{I used extra sharp cheddar}
1 cup sour cream

For the sauce: melt the butter, add flour and slowly stir in milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the cheese is melted. Mix all ingredients.

Anna wasn't very clear in her directions so I had to use common kitchen sense to fill in the spaces. I cut the recipe in half because some in my family are allergic to dairy{not to mention the 1 lb of cheese and 9 cups of milk is ALOT}, and added extra chicken base, but it turned out fine. I also used oregano instead of basil and parsley since we're currently out of both.

***
Business Matters

1) As mentioned, Andrew is getting married this Saturday. Along with all the hoopla and excitement that comes along with weddings, the grooms family also has the added pleasure of hosting the rehearsal dinner. We're actually getting quite good at rehearsal dinners; Daniel's was only 4 months ago. We're considering starting a rehearsal dinner company to earn some extra money. {How do I get so off track?} All that is to say that I won't be on the computer much now through Saturday. Therefore, please don't be offended worry if your comments do not appear in a timely fashion. The moderator just possibly is up to her elbows in chicken and rice.

2) Thank you to all the wonderful ladies who have entered my giveaway. I've gone to each of your blogs and spent time poking around them. I can't wait to see who wins!

3) Its 1:12am and I have to take a shower before bed, so the business meeting is now adjourned.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Report from the Olympic Party

On the whole, Team Perfectly Round Sugar Cookie performed moderately well Friday night. Although not all participants were perfectly round, all arrived{barely}on time and in their respective colors. Player Red had slight issues with his color, as did Black and Green, but it was nothing major. The whole team was united in support of their beloved country.


This report is brought to you by Sarah Seabrook,
live from The Olympic Party, Grandma's Living Room
***

Some favorite quotes from the Opening Ceremony:
* "(I will be performing)the double MckTwisty 1250." So says
The Flying Tomato

* "I'm so glad he's representing us." Elizabeth, after seeing said Flying Tomato{slightly sarcastic? Yes.}

* "He's talking about winning a medal." I would be too, if I was at the Olympics!

* "What's your definition of a sport?"

* "I think the winner's name was 'Stew'."

*
"icepartnersearch.com" In the name of dedication to this blog, I did indeed research this site and its validity. It's REAL. If you're in need of an ice partner, look no further. If you really do need an ice partner, just know I'm very impressed. I need two partners just to stay standing when I ice skate.

I'm kidding. I really need three.

{Thankfully I'm not really that bad! :) }

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For My Valentine...

Nobody can be quite as Mafia-tough as us,

nobody can be quite so cute as us,

and nobody can eat ice cream quite like us.

You're my main French Fry, my big cheese, the jelly to my peanut butter, and the air in my balloon. I love you so much, my wonderful big brother Andrew!!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Doing it for the Team

The level of excitement over the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics is almost 10.0{side note: why don't they use that scoring system anymore? It was so much easier to understand}. We're all going over to Grandma's tonight for our annual Opening Ceremony Party. I love to see what the hosting country comes up with. I'm especially interested to see what this man{?} all about:

See full size image

It reminds me of something you would build with the stones from Stone Henge. Its slightly odd.

When I'm done writing this I'm going to make Olympic sugar cookies. We'll see how they turn out as 1) we have only a few hours til party time and I didn't even start baking yet, and 2) according to the directions they're roll-up-in-a-ball cookies instead of cookie cutter cookies. I can just foresee what will ensue when they aren't perfectly round like the Olympic circles! When the going gets tough I'll just remind myself that I'm doing it for my team.

Speaking of my team, my friend Mr Chad Hendrick will be returning to the speed skating rink.
Unfortunately, I don't believe my other friend Mr Joey Cheek will competing. Please join me in this moment of sad silence.

Image

As I was looking through the athletes this morning on the NBC site, I came across figure skater Rachael Flatt. I've never seen her before but as I told Katie, I feel there are great things in store for her. It's unfortunate that someone at my young age can feel old when I look at someone like Rachael. She's only 17{she was born in the 90's!!}.


Katie and I always keep track of and compare notes our favorite athletes. Really all you have to do to become one of my favorites is be featured in one of those musical, touching story videos of perseverance, overcoming great odds and fighting back when the going got rough.{If gaining fans is the point of those videos,they definatly got it right.} It especially gets me when they show pictures of the athletes as children strapping on their little skates or, in the case of one gymnast last year, about to jump off the roof onto a trampoline. I do my utmost to not let my devotion to the United States waver, but sometimes its just so hard when I see a picture of a cute little Austrian boy!

Those cookies aren't about to bake themselves so off I go. I would love it if you feel lead to cheer for Team Perfectly Round Sugar Cookie. :-)

Its GIVEAWAY Time!

Comments now closed.

The time has come, my friends, to open the wrapped gift sitting on my kitchen table.

It brings great, unending joy to my Italian heart to offer one of you this beautiful Pfaltsgraff Napoli pasta bowl.
The bright colors{which are brighter on the bowl then they appear in this picture}and cheerful flowers are sure to add a whole bunch of happy to your kitchen. I get a whole bunch of happy just looking at mine. This giveaway will run until 10:00 EST the night of Tuesday, February 23rd. I'll announce and email the winner on Ferbruary 24th.

All the fine details:
Microwave and freezer safe
Volume: 4 quarts{holds enough pasta to satisfy your own Italian family}
Diameter: 13"
Material: Earthenware
Cleaning and care: dishwasher safe{makes the designated pan washer of any nationality happy}

To win your very own bowl~
* For one entry tell me what you would serve in this bowl. Pasta? Salad?
* If you'd like two entries, be/become a blog follower.
* For an additional two entries, blog or tweet about this giveaway and leave the link in your comment.
* You may also enter even if you don't have a blog,just be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you.

Have fun and thanks for entering!!


This giveaway is courtesy of CSN Stores. A huge thank you goes out to their lovely representative, Ashley, who patiently put up with all 86 of my questions. Thanks Ashley!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Please don't take my sunshine away"

Happy birthday to my wonderful, wonderful Grandpa. So many adjectives describe you that there just isn't room enough on this blog to write them all down. I love you so much. I can't think of a better way to honor your birthday then by singing the words of our song.

You are My Sunshine
*
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Snow Catcher

Monday, February 8, 2010

Once Again I am Considering Become Amish

Alternately titled: Al Gore, if you did invent the Internet, please find some way to make it error-proof.

Anyway.

This is how we've been feeling lately, only insert the black internet box instead of the computer.



Needless to say, I'm way behind on my blog reading,emails, Facebook, and giveaway entering. Basically all the essentials. Speaking of giveaways, I HAVE NOT forgotten about my giveaway. Imperative to posting the giveaway is the internet actually working. Until that time, please don't hold your breath. I promise that it will be up very,very soon. And oh my goodness,is it beautiful! :) As a matter of fact, we used it for supper tonight!

Hopefully I will soon permanently reappear from the Land of the Internet Working at Home Without Resorting to Trips to the Grandparents or the Library. I have so much I want to write about before I forget it all!

One last thing before I end this all over the place post, Daniel and Erika's wedding photographer picked two of their wedding pictures as favorites from the year!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Color Purple Lapis

Welcome to today's fashion show.
Our topic this week is Bridal Party Attire for Andrew and Debbie's wedding.

First down the runway is Abby, showing off the junior bridesmaid dress that will be worn by Elizabeth and I. Yes,I am wearing a junior bridesmaids dress even though I am not a junior bridesmaid.


Next up is Carrie, modeling the dress to be worn by Meagan,the maid of honor.
I was originally going to wear the same dress as Meagan but when I tried it on, it just didn't fit right. The V neck was too low and I'm not the right size and build for it. I think the junior bridesmaids dress is pretty, but I wanted to be wearing a dress that matched Meagan's. We are both, after all, regular bridesmaids. I also was very concerned about looking too much like a little girl in the JB dress. It didn't really help matters that the only picture I'd seen of someone wearing it is a girl{our model, "Abby"}about 12 years old! I tried both dresses on atlest 5 times each before deciding on the same dress as Elizabeth. I want to be wearing something comfortable and, since there is only three girls in the wedding, I think its ok for the maid of honor to be wearing something different. Plus, I doubt that when the day comes and my hair is up, I'll look like a little girl. {Atlest,I hope not!}

Grandma asked me to go shopping with her tomorrow to find a dress she can wear to the wedding. Yay for shopping trips with Grandma!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Reception

Waiting patiently, and beautifully, for the toast to begin.

Apparently this is how newlyweds look when Andrew's giving a toast all about them.

Andrew wasn't happy with how he did, but it was evident that it was heartfelt, which I think is most important. What was not heartfelt was when he accidentaly said, "I've always wanted a sister........I mean an OLDER sister". Its so reassuring to know how much he loves the sister he's had for the last 20 years! ;-)

Giving their farewell/thank you to our parents for all you've taught us/we love you all speech.
And so ends my wedding recap. I wish I had more pictures avaliable,but without Hannah's dad I would have none to show you so I am eternally grateful to him. Thank you for your sweet comments!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Story of an Upcoming GIVEAWAY!!

In my {imaginary} little kitchen

where pretty pictures hang on the wall,

I sit on my adorable black bar stool

with a warm cup of hot chocolate in my hands.

A pot of soup bubbles on the stove,

and on the kitchen table

sits a wonderfully exciting kitchen item just for you straight from CSN Stores!



This upcoming review and giveaway, courtesy of CSN Stores, will begin very,very soon! I'm so excited to offer this to you as, like I've said one or fifty-eight times before, I love giveaways and am YFGI{Your Favorite Giveaway Informer}.





All photos from CSN Stores and Tanglewood Inn