Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cupcake...success??

The results of my "Egg and Chick" cupcake attempt...
Not that bad, although grouping them together makes it all look a bit creepy.
Here they all are, worshiping the giant abominable snowman on the top of its mountain. (Sadly, that is my attempt at the lamb cupcake. I really should have looked at the picture again before I started on it.)
The wonderful thing about little kids is they really could care less how the cupcake looks. Nearly the entire mountain was consumed by five children in less than ten minutes. So, I suppose I can call this a success. Barely.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rosie

One lone red rose pokes its head out to say hello to spring. I wonder when the rest of them will bloom...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

Today is officially Day 1 of Spring Break, since I don't count the weekend toward vacation. (We would have gotten those days off anyway!) However, the weekend did kick things off very nicely for us, as we were able to visit with John and Kelly on Saturday. We had a great day playing miniature golf (the company made that part fun, not necessarily the event itself), eating at PF Chang's, and then watching deleted scenes and other goodness from New Moon.

(New) Moon Pies

This past Friday, Stephanie G. hosted a New Moon party for the girls, since our boys were at a weekend bachelor's party at the coast. So, we all donned our New Moon wear (I had an Edward shirt and Alice choker), brought our tastiest snacks, and enjoyed the movie and special features.

My food contribution was (New) Moon Pies. I actually really love moon pies: you know, the marshmallow and chocolate cookies that you can buy at the grocery store. I did some searching and found two recipes that seemed to work. I ended up merging the two, since each offered its own take on the moon pie, taking the cookie and chocolate part from the first recipe and the marshmallow filling frmo the second recipe.

They turned out tasty, but really, really sweet. I'd probably adjust some things if I were to try to make these again. Or I might just get in my car, drive to the store, and go down the cookie aisle, where I may purchasee the real thing.

Here's our tasty spread of food. I'm really posting this to show off the New Moon plates Stephanie couldn't resist buying.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How cute are these?

I feel I need to begin this post by saying quite boldly: I did not make these cupcakes. However, they were so darn cute that I'd thought I'd share the pictures and the recipes, just in case any of you, like me, are in the mood to make some darling springtime treats. I do plan on trying these out next week as I enjoy my week off, so perhaps I will have some pictures to post then. For now, may these bring a smile to your face. And take a few minutes to check out the entire recipes, as well as other cute cupcake ideas (courtesy of Food Network), by clicking here.

Chick and Egg Cupcake
Little Lamb Cupcake

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A little less March madness

Two major March events are now over, and I am thrilled to say that both were very successful. The first one was a week ago on Sunday, our youth fundraiser dinner. This is the second year we've put this on, but the first year that I was in charge of it by myself. It was quite the ordeal. Thankfully, my mother (who is an excellent cook) volunteered to do the food for us. Or maybe I volunteered her. Either way, she, with help from me and my dad, put together a great dinner. We held a silent auction that had everything from delicious desserts to a bearskin rug to slavery of our youth. (You could bid on one or all of the youth group to come and do work for you.) Rob kept everyone entertained with music, slideshows, and videos, and people seemed to genuinely enjoy the food, auction and fellowship. We raised over 1700 dollars, which will take about $100 off of each student's camp cost. Praise God!

The second major event was this past weekend, and it was held in Lakewood. The women from our previous church and denomination put on a small women's conference on Saturday and asked me to lead the worship. Although this has been a trying month for me--both physically and emotionally--and although I was very tempted to cancel last minute, the Lord truly gave me strength. We had an awesome time of worship and fellowship. Furthermore, we were able to visit many friends and left feeling encouraged and grateful for the wonderful weekend.

Something else has contributed to the sudden calm of March: New Moon. I have in my possession the three-disc edition that comes complete with the movie and plenty of extras. (Stephanie G. somehow got her hands on the special Fan edition, which has even more. Being that she is throwing a New Moon party on Friday, I can't be jealous. She's very willing to share the goods.) I am looking forward to a night off curled up on the couch with Phish food ice cream and Edward, Jacob, and Bella. (Notice that Bella is last.)

And finally, I have only five more teaching days until Spring break. Hooray!!

Hope that March is treating you just as well. If not, it is nearly over, and April can bring new joys.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Spring!

We are celebrating spring with shades of purple, my favorite color. It is such a rich, deep, soothing color and reminds me not only of the lovely spring season that is now upon us, but also of my wedding, as purple was the color of the day. (Interestingly enough, my mom's wedding color was also purple, although a lighter shade.)

Below is an African daisy, a redbud branch ready to burst into bloom, and ranunculus.

Friday, March 19, 2010

FFF: Twilight

In honor of the Eclipse trailer that came out last weekend (awesome!) and the New Moon dvd release this weekend, my FFF is all about Twilight.


FFF: Favorite Things about the Twilight Saga (in no particular order)


1. It makes you remember what it's like during that infatuation stage when you are head over heels about a person. You can't eat, can't sleep. (Well, Edward couldn't do those things anyway, but still, I'm sure it became much worse once Bella entered his life.)


2. It's kinda fun having an obsession. I'm always late jumping on bandwagons (remember, I'm just starting Harry Potter now), so it's actually enjoyable to be part of the ridiculous craze as it's taking place. And it's even better that many of my friends are right in this with me.


3. There is indeed a spiritual element to it, even if it is mostly the love story that drives the plot. An example would be Bella's recognition that she never really "fit" into this world but seemed to be made for Edward's world. We can apply that, can't we?? No? Well then, see #5.


4. I love happy endings, and in the Twilight saga, everything ends well. Even Jacob gets a happy ending.

5. Edward Cullen. Need I say more?

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with New Moon and spring flowers! (First day of Spring is tomorrow.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I Found a Four-Leaf Clover
by Jack Prelutsky

I found a four-leaf clover
and was happy with my find,
but with time to think it over,
I’ve entirely changed my mind.
I concealed it in my pocket,
safe inside a paper pad,
soon, much swifter than a rocket,
my good fortune turned to bad.

I smashed my fingers in a door,
I dropped a dozen eggs,
I slipped and tumbled to the floor,
a dog nipped both my legs,
my ring slid down the bathtub drain,
my pen leaked on my shirt,
I barked my shin, I missed my train,
I sat on my dessert.

I broke my brand-new glasses,
and I couldn’t find my keys,
I stepped in spilled molasses,
and was stung by angry bees.
When the kitten ripped the curtain,
and the toast burst into flame,
I was absolutely certain
that the clover was to blame.

I buried it discreetly
in the middle of a field,
now my luck has changed completely,
and my wounds have almost healed.
If I ever find another,
I will simply let it be,
or I’ll give it to my brother—
he deserves it more than me.

Spring is in the Air

Robby's latest project turned out quite beautifully. He built a round planter in the middle of our yard and added a new tree: a lovely hybrid magnolia. (These are a bit softer, smaller, and more colorful than the traditional shiny green leaved magnolias with the large white blossoms.) Although the flowers sadly do not last that long, the show they put on when they do is incredibly stunning.

An up-close of the flowers in the planter: a number of different varieties of daisies and purple ranaunculas.

These, as well as the other plants and flowers blooming right now, remind us that spring is nearly here! It seems we are all quite ready for it to come and stay.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Countdowns

Okay, okay, so I'm always trying not to live for some moment down the road, but I just can't help but be excited about these countdowns right now, even if some are a few months away. Here they are, in the order in which they will appear in my life.

1. 4 days: New Moon comes out on dvd! (March 20)
2. 11 days: Spring break begins! (March 27)
3. 6 weeks and 2 days: STAR testing is over!! (April 30)
4. 11 weeks and 2 days: Last day of school! (June 4)
5. 3 months and 2 days: 5th Wedding Anniversary!!! (June 18)
6. 3 months, 12 days: Eclipse is released!!! (June 30)

Sorry about the over-use of exclamation points, but these dates definitely call for joyful shouting.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Instant (Wall) Facelift

In the past few years, a trend has taken walls, cabinets, doors, and any other flat surface by force: removable wall art. You can now purchase these things at places like Target and Michael's. I found a great deal on one at Joanne's Craft Supply this past week. With their 40% off coupon, it was only $6.00 - an inexpensive way to instantly transform a blank spot into something exciting.

The best part? It just peels off when you're sick of it, or when you want to move it to a new spot.

To see some truly amazing removable wall-art, check out etsy.com. I was taken with the giant trees and may someday allow those to grace my living room.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Specials

Steph, my good friend and one of my few high school friends I have stayed close with, has recently brought joy to my heart by joining our church. So, instead of seeing her (and her fun kids) a couple of times a month, I now get to see them at least twice a week: Sundays at church and Monday nights for Bible study.

Molly and Willy enjoy a snack before Bible study starts...
and their fun time with the sitter begins.
This past Monday, Steph gave me the neatest gift! She took an older picture of us...
...and magically created quilted art!
I'm not going to be able to explain it well, but somehow she cut fabric, adhered it to a quilt, and sewed around the edges. I'm sure it has a name, but I don't remember what it is. (Steph, you'll need to write in the comments what it is and how you did it.)

It was a very special gift!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Madness

That's a perfect way to describe this month. Absolutely, completely insane. With a second service starting at church, the pre-Easter hullabaloo going on, STAR testing madness at school, and then the usual of work, family, friends, and play, things are a bit out of control.

I am reminded by something my pastor's wife said when we first started going to the church. She was telling a few of us about a time she had been crying to God, wishing that she could have a vacation because she was just so busy. He reminded her that it is He who provides rest, not a vacation. I'm going to try for that this month. I want to experience true rest from the only one who can truly give it, rest that comes from sitting at the feet of our Lord.

(Yes, I do know I get spring break at the end of this month, but I still have two and a half weeks to go!)

I have many more things to share, but this will have to do for now.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Success!

John, Kelly, and baby Anna came for an early weekend visit yesterday and spent Friday and nearly all of Saturday with me. Robby was here for a short while, but he headed off to a bachelor party and left John to fend for himself with the girls. What Robby missed out on, however, was the yummy food Kelly and I made.

It has become our thing to try new recipes together, as both of us enjoy cooking and discovering a great meal or dessert to share. We were able to try three, all from our favorite Cooking Light cook book: Speedy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas, Lasagna Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, and Brandied Apricot-Peach Pies. Everything turned out great and made up for my recent pudding and dessert failure.

My favorite was the lasagna roll. The roasted red pepper sauce was truly delicious.
A close second were the mini pies. They were quite a process, though!
It wasn't just the food that made the weekend so nice. It had been over a month since we all saw each other, so it was nice to catch up and spend some quality time together. Can't wait for our next visit and our future tasty treats.

Friday, March 5, 2010

FFF: Relax

This Friday Fave Five is inspired by the week I've had. It seems February went by in a blur, and here we are full swing into March. If I'm not careful, it's going to be Christmas again, and I'll have missed all of 2010.

Friday Fave Five: Relax!

1. Republic of Tea Ginger Peach tea - it's a perfect mixture of spice and fruit, and has just enough ginger to settle the stomach after an anxious day

2. Bath and Body Work's Orange Nectar candle - my (and Robby's) favorite scent, which seems to brighten up any room with its fresh and soothing aroma

3. Philosophy "Candy Cane" bubblebath - although more of a Christmas item, I am always given enough of it to last me through the year, so I can enjoy the sweet mint scent whenever I need a relaxing bath

4. Dove Dark Chocolate - Need I say more? Plus, the silly "fortunes" on the inside wrap are always worth a chuckle and eye-roll. ("Take a stroll through your favorite park and watch the leaves fall.")

5. Juicy sweatsuit - (Yes, I know, a splurge item.) This was a birthday gift a couple of years ago, and it has been my go-to to feel comfy and still a bit cute at the same time...a must for those days when you want to hide away.

Here is to a weekend full of all of the above, along with the good company that truly makes it all better.