Monthly Archives: February 2010

Hello Beautiful!

Isn’t it beautiful?

I have wanted one for months now, but could never justify it. I mean, I go to spin 3x/week at the YMCA, run, swim… why do I need a bike trainer?

Well, two month long orders for Rick changed all that. No longer would I be able to spin, swim, and run freely… whenever I wanted at the YMCA. Now I am the sole parent on duty.

But what to do? How do I continue to work out, and still be at home with Bekah? Enter the trainer… and the soon to be coming treadmill. My husband, did I mention how much I love him, graciously agreed to redo the basement so that I could turn it into a work out area/relaxing with Bekah area.

I love it (and not to mention, him)!

And again… isn’t it beautiful?

Culinary Love

I have a new love… a new culinary love that is.

Sorry Cooking Light and All Recipes. While I still really like you, I am in love with this new site!

The Smitten Kitchen

It’s a food blog. The recipes are easy to make, but make you feel like a 5 star chef when you serve them! The writer is witty, and personable. Making you feel like she is talking only to you as she is writing.

And I already said the recipes are easy… but not only that…. they are delicious too!

I hope that you also fall in love with my new culinary friend!

Wordless Wednesday

One Pooped Puppy

This is what happens when you take your puppy to puppy school.

To say that he had a grand time would be the understatement of the year. He made friends, of both the human and doggy type, played, and just loved it!

I was very glad that Rick was able to go with me tonight. I had a bit of trouble holding him and working on the training at the same time. I’ll sure miss the help when Rick’s gone the next few months!

Wordless Wednesday

Cubbie the Bear.

Bekah joined Cubbies Sunday night. Our neighbor invited her a couple weeks back (he is the Cubbie leader, and has a granddaughter in his pack, den, troop, whatever they call it!), and for one reason or another we haven’t been able to make it. Well, last Sunday we did (or more accuratly Rick did).

To say that Bekah loved Cubbies would be the understatement of the year. Not only did she love it…. she has asked each day if it is time to go back!

Really as a parent, what more could you ask for? A great group of kids that are having fun while learning about God.
How awesome is that!

Friend Making Monday


It’s Friend Making Monday, and Amber over at {ae filkins} is asking:
1)How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? What did you get? What did you do?

OR

2) A list of your top reasons/things that would have made it even better.

So, lets see. What did we do for Valentines day? Well, Rick and I decided not to get each other anything. After all, we have a new puppy (that joined our family because I almost ran him over) who is requiring a lot of time, energy, and not the least of all MONEY! But seriously, I couldn’t let the big V day go with out doing something. So during the week (aka. snow week) Bekah and I made Valentines cards. Cards for her classmates, grandparents, and last but not least… Rick!

But really other then that, there were no big plans. Rick had replaced my wedding ring not too long ago (you remember… the ring that was stolen…), and we didn’t need anything. Well, except for the two Wii games that we bought! But that aside, there were no big plans.

We had a nice normal morning, and then Mom and Dad came over for Daytona. I barbecued ribs, made baked beans, and corn on the cob. Mom brought a pie (YUM), and we just sat around celebrating Valentines day the great American way… watching Nascar!

Kitty Fashion Show

So Bekah decided to dress up Bobbie (poor thing). She chose a very lovely blue, flowered summer dress by the very talented designer: Carter’s.

Poor thing. The kitty, not Bekah. She thought it was grand, and promptly ran after the other cats to dress them also!(one would have thought that the Bobbie would have clawed her way out of the situation, but the cat was surprising tolerant)

My darling husband decided to get into the action and dressed Rodger up in a very manly pink t-shirt.

Doesn’t he look pleased. (Hum, I haven’t seen him since he got out of the t-shirt. If he’s smart, he’s hiding… from the 4 year old, and the husband!)

Chocolate Extravaganza!

I was inspired by Valentines day, and a wonderful blog that I was reading, to make Valentines Day candy for my neighbors… and really, who am I kidding. Chocolate anytime of the year is perfect.

So, after scrounging Micheal’s for the perfect candy molds and boxes to pack the goodies in, and hitting up the grocery stores for the rest of the ingredients, I was ready to start my foray into candy making.

I planned on making Salted Caramels, Raspberry Chocolate Squares, and Chocolate Toffee Bites. Now mind you, I have never made caramel before (shoot, I didn’t even have a candy thermometer until yesterday!), and it seems like every time i try to melt chocolate I end up breaking it! But none of that mattered. I was going to make the candy…. even if it killed me, or drove me insane (which is the more likely outcome).

I started with the Salted Caramels, and followed the recipe to a T… at first. Everything was going well, I had melted the chocolate (60% Cocoa) in to the warmed milk,

boiled the sugars until golden,

and then added the chocolate to the sugars.

Then it boiled, and boiled, and boiled. It was supposed to boil until it reached 255 degrees, the perfect temperature (or so I’ve read) to make the caramel firm, but not hard. The recipe stated that it would only take 15 minutes to reach that temperature. Uh, nope. Not quite. After about 30 minutes, it finally reached 225 degrees. (The thread stage, for those that know what it means. I don’t. I just knows that is what it said on my candy thermometer.) I debated on continuing cooking the candy, but wasn’t quite sure if heating twice as long (or longer) then the instructions would be a bad thing… so I pulled it out and poured it into the prepared pan.
After two hours, the caramel was supposed to be hard enough to cut. It wasn’t. Guess I should have tried to force the temperature up higher! The caramel was very soft and sticky. It stuck to everything. The knife I was trying to cut with, the parchment paper, my fingers…. everything! There was no way that it would go into the box and not be a disgusting mess. I was so disappointed! It had looked so pretty in the pan, and was not going to work! But wait. What if I rolled the caramel into balls, and dipped it into chocolate. The chocolate should coat the caramel so that they won’t stick together in the box. I tried it, and it worked!

Yippie! One candy down!

The next one I attempted was Chocolate Raspberry Squares. This had to be one of the easiest candies to make. I melted a mix of semi sweet and dark chocolate, and combined it with a mixture of pureed raspberries and sweetened condensed milk.

Then spread into the molds.

It was supposed to be a soft fudge consistency… but it never hardened. I think there was too much liquid (the condensed milk and raspberries) to the chocolate. It tasted fabulous, but 24 hours later, it was still a gooey mess.

Okay, that didn’t work (this time), but I still had one more to make… the Chocolate Toffee Bites. Again, another easy peasy recipe. Melted chocolate (same mix of semi sweet and dark chocolate) and mixed with toffee bits.

Then pour into candy molds.

Bekah helped me with this one, and loved it!

She ate so much chocolate when prepping, and pouring the candy, that the poor thing was hyped up for the rest of the night!

When I unmolded the candy, it was perfect!

Yippie! One that went as it was supposed to! Hum, maybe I should have Bekah help with the candy from now on. She seems to be my good luck candy maker.

Anyway, we packaged and delivered the candies to neighbors and family.


(and in the process got all of the remainder of the candy out of the house. Thank goodness. I ate too much of it while making it too!)

Happy Valentines Day!

 

How in the world did this happen?

I am sitting here filling out kindergarten registration forms for Bekah, and wondering how in the world is she old enough to be going to kindergarten?
This September she will be wearing a uniform, and going to school.

But wasn’t it just yesterday that I was pregnant with her, and kissing Rick good-by as he deployed to Iraq?
Didn’t we just bring her home from the hospital? My little glow baby, all orange from jaundice and on a bili blanket?

How did she get to be such a sassy, big girl?

I remember as a child, it seemed like time crept by… and now it flies by. I want to take her in my arms, tell her to not grow up too fast. There isn’t enough time in a lifetime for princess tea parties or dress up, catching bubbles or fireflies…. please baby girl (okay… big girl), enjoy every minute of it!
(And don’t grow up too fast!)
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