Sunday, September 30, 2012

"See You At The Flagpole"

"See you at the flagpole" is an annual meeting of public prayer.  Lilah and Jaxon's preschool joined in on this event.  Any interested students were asked to meet at the flagpole, at 8:45 a.m., with their parents.  The teachers read a bible verse each and then Ms. Kelley, the director, prayed.  She prayed over her students, the teachers, the school, the parents, and for our love for Christ to increase and for all of the seeds that are being planted to one day sprout.  The twins may not have understood this fully, but I was glad that they see there are others, outside of West Salem Baptist Church, who worship, love, and praise our God/Christ too.

"As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party!"

Today, after church, both Darren and I had our own agenda planned out.  He was going to mow the lawn and I was going to paint the frame work for my "craft/gift closet".  Here was the scenario...

Twins were napping.

Tyson and I were in the garage painting.
Darren headed to the backyard to get on his riding lawn mower.

I heard the lawn mower turn on and turn off almost immediately.  I thought NOTHING of it until I heard Darren running up the hill, from our backyard, repeating over and over,

"Oh my gosh Kristin.  Oh my gosh Kristin.  Oh my gosh Kristin!!!!"  Darren can be a little exaggerated about things, but from the sound of his voice, I knew something was wrong.  My initial thought was he was having a heart attack.  Shew!! Glad that wasn't the case.  As soon as he made it back to the garage, I looked at his hands and his feet.  My second guess was he ran over his own hand or foot with the lawn mower. WRONG AGAIN.  

I said, "What's wrong?"  Sorta laughing, but also in a complete state of shock, Darren exclaims, "I started my lawn mower and immediately a SKUNK popped out.  His guts are everywhere and the smell is BEYOND intense."

Apparently, a skunk was sleeping living underneath our riding lawn mower.  When Darren turned the lawn mower on, the blades "spit him out" immediately.  Darren said, "It was so creepy.  All of the sudden the eyes of a dead skunk were starring at me."  

Tyson and I hopped up and proceeded to go see the proof. The smell was 1,000 times worse than when you just get a whiff of a skunk's scent in the air.  It instantly forced Tyson and myself to fall to the ground and we began gagging and almost vomited. I wish I could explain the intensity behind the smell. It hit us like a ton of bricks.  

We called animal control, but apparently they only deal with domestic animals.  So, Darren was forced to come face-to-face, for the second time, with this skunk.  He eventually picked it up with a shovel and disposed of it, but it took some time, "guts" (no pun intended), and nose plugs to be able to accomplish this task. I am not kidding you when I say, I believe the skunk smell is still in my lungs.  It's all I can smell, taste, and think about.  UGH... let me just let the photos speak truth and give an exact depiction of what we experienced today!

Who do you feel sorry for?  Darren or the skunk?

I saw this quote and thought it was perfect for this post.  I also think it sums up the final moments of this skunks life!  

"As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party!"  

Darren contimplates what to do.
"The skunk!"
Darren is hunched over because he had his shirt over his nose,
 To block some of the horrific scent.
The flies were on this skunk within seconds of it's death.
CREEEEEEEPY!  See the strand of GUTS hanging out?!?!?!?!
At this point, we just had to laugh.
Well, I did cry a little from the gagging.
This was seriously the grossest thing I have ever experienced.
The ENTIRE neighborhood suffered the repercussions.  
I know this is ridiculously GROSS, 
but I just couldn't HELP taking a picture of it.
If you zoom in really, really, really close... which we did....
You can see what he had for breakfast this morning.  


A "Road Trip" Care Package/Gift

My dear friend Erin and her husband had a trip to Busch Gardens planned this past weekend. They haven't been away from their children since they've been born (age 4 and age 2). I was really excited for them. I knew I wanted to do something special for Erin, but I didn't know what. Recently, Erin has made a huge goal for herself.  She has been very successful with her weight loss goals and I didn't want a "road trip" to set her success backwards. So, I decided to pack her a cooler of healthy goodies for the car ride and the day at the amusement park. The ideas were ENDLESS. Of course, I didn't stop there. I get on a roll and tend to go over board.  The healthy food care package then lead to car games and hotel toiletries.  

I left all of the goodies on her doorstep the day before she left. I was concerned that she didn't have time to plan anything special for her and her hubby because she was preoccupied with preparing her children's over night bags.  

Erin and Nathan contacted me, via text, on their trip to express their gratitude and to share a bet they had about the cucumbers I packed for them. I cut them in a fancy way.  LOL! Nathan bet Erin that I cut them that way. I guess Erin didn't think I knew how to do that. Nathan was right!!!

It's a great feeling to bless someone you love!  

Erin and Nathan have since returned home and their trip sounded like so much fun!!!!!

Enjoy the photos and ideas!  Double click on the photo album to see the photos more up close.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Candy Corn "Bark"

I have really been enjoying preparing for Fall's arrival.  The colors, the smells, the decorations (well minus all of those awful skulls and gory Halloween masks), the pumpkin patches, the baking etc.  Speaking of baking, I was back at it again, on Friday.  It started at 5:00 am. I was supposed to stay up late, the night before, and make this snack, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open.  NORMALLY, I get up at 5:00 am to study God's word, but I HAD to make this snack for my Pastor's family (I was bringing them dinner... this was going to be their "dessert") as well as for our small group gathering later that evening.  
The ingredients can honestly be, pretty much, anything your little heart desires, but here are a FEW MUSTS...

1. Pretzels
2. Vanilla Candy Bark
3. Peanuts
4. Candy Corn
5. Halloween Sprinkles

I added "candy corn" m&m's.  These are white chocolate filled m&m's.  The colors are  in the yellow, white, and orange.  

I think adding reese's pieces or regular m&m's would have been a tasty replacement as well.  
 First, layer a baking dish with parchment or wax paper.  
Next, crumble the pretzels.  Spread equal amounts of peanuts and pretzels onto your wax paper.  The pretzel/peanut mixture produces the "salty" taste.
Melt the white chocolate candy bark.  I did this in a microwave.  Be sure NOT to burn the chocolate. 
 Pour the white chocolate on top of the peanut/pretzel mixture.  Spread out evenly.
 Add candy corns and m&m's or anything else you prefer.
Sprinkle your holiday sprinkles on top.  Let the bark sit for an hour or two.  OR you can place the bark in the refrigerator, like I did, to get it to solidify even quicker.  Once the chocolate has "set", break the hardened bark into pieces, making it a "finger food dessert".  
I added a few plastic spiders for a fun Halloween effect.   I thought this was going to be way too sweet because the candy corns and the m&m's alone were so sweet, but it was a really smooth, delicious taste.  Try it out!!!

Finding Memo 3-D

As scheduled, we went to the 3-D Finding Nemo, last weekend.  We brought along Tyson's friend, Jake.  Tyson had been to a 3-D movie before, with his grandparents, but the rest of us hadn't.  It was definitely exciting to wear the glasses the entire time and see the movie characters with more dimension. We were blessed with free tickets, which saved us well over $60.00.  
Check out Darren in the above photo.  HA HA.
He's pretending to be the mean shark.
I love the glasses!!!!
The kids sat through the entire movie.  It's such a sweet movie.  I tried discussing the movie with the twins the next day. I wanted to see if they were really paying attention.  They grasped the entire plot. I loved that I could turn the premise of the movie into a lesson on obedience.  Had Nemo obeyed his daddy, he wouldn't have been captured by the scuba diver.  

A special thanks to Rob for his willingness to let us in the movies for free!!!

Bulldogs - Game #5

Unfortunately, our season of football is not going as well as the coaches and players had hoped for.  We have now played 5 games and we have only won 1 game.  :(  The coaches take it 10 x times harder than the players.  You can't win them all, but it is difficult to see them lose game after game.  Let's hope this Wednesday's game provides for a different outcome.  These are the only 9 photos I took of this early a.m. game.
Final Score 22-6.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Spiderman SCARE...

Yesterday, I decided to check on the twins while they were napping (I don't normally do this unless I can hear them goofing off).  This is how I found Jax...
He was dead asleep, with a Spiderman head mask on his face. Had I not checked up on him, I'm afraid he could have suffocated to death.  There are a few holes in the mask, but from sleeping, the mask got twisted and the holes where not properly aligned with his eyes, nose, and mouth.  I removed the mask, and he took two deep breaths.  I was a little nervous.  THEN, he began breathing normally.  SHEW!  

We recently converted Jax's room into a very classy, handsome, potterybarn, Spiderman room.  You think he's in love with it? !?!?!?  HA HA.  I haven't posted pictures yet because the painter comes tomorrow and I am still in need of window treatments and artwork.  It shouldn't be too much longer before it's fully complete.  

AHHHHH, without kids, my life wouldn't be HALF this entertaining.  Needless to say, I was hysterically laughing, scared, and THANKFUL that God kept watch over him until I went upstairs to find him "dressed up" and removed the mask. GEEEEEEEEEEEZ!  This kind of stuff ALWAYS happens to Jax.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Last Day, Last Challenge, Last Pin, Last Post - COMPLETE

As much as I am enjoying the Pinterest challenge, I am going to have to call it quits at Pin #9.  I thought it would be clever to complete the last pin that I "pinned" on pinterest (whoa... that was mouthful).  I am in the process of designing and creating a craft/gift wrapping/12 month gift closet and I am most concerned about it looking aesthetically pleasing to my eye. When I saw this pin, I thought, HOW COLORFUL, FUN, and NECESSARY for my closet in the working.  So... as simple as this is, here it is
I hope you are not disappointed that it wasn't something more elaborate or detailed.  I totally have it in me to keep going, but I have way too many things up my sleeve right now, that I am working on, and this challenge is getting in the way of my fun home projects.  :)  

I've enjoyed this pinterest challenge immensely.  I wish there was a website called, "My Completed Pins", but then again, I guess that is exactly what pinterest really is.  I think I would enjoy seeing others put their pinning to use.  

I got so excited every time someone tried one the pin challenges that I completed.  Thanks to those who even gave me some feedback after they, themselves, completed it on their own.  Mia Kennedy tried "my" meatball sub casserole along with my ricotta cheese suggestion & "my" crash hot potatoes, Lisa Dolloph did "my" shower head cleaning, Ashely Harris did "my" refrigerator lining and Lisa Fernandez wants to try "my" spider crawling soda for her girls.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meatball Sub Casserole - Pin #8 - COMPLETE

I couldn't resist completing another recipe pin since it benefits not only myself, but my family as well.  I almost drooled when I came across this meatball sub casserole pin.  The original website that this pin leads you to is called "The Country Cook.Net".  The original ingredients for this casserole were as follows:
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divide
1-lb. pkg. fully cooked frozen meatballs, thawed
1 (28 oz.) jar pasta sauce
1 cup water

I switched a few things around making them fresh and not jarred.  In addition, I was able to make it a tad healthier by switching the white bread to whole wheat bread.  

First, I made some homemade marinara sauce as well as my famous, 3-meat Italian meatballs.  I just can't bring myself to use frozen meatballs since my meatballs are so yummy and take little to no time to make (ditto with my sauce).  
Next up, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Arrange bread slices in a single layer 9x13 baking dish (ungreased).  Just fill in any gaps with smaller pieces of bread.  Notice here I used whole grain Italian bread.

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and Italian seasonings. Spread the mixture over the bread slices.  Shhhh.... don't tell Darren this dish contained mayo.  He doesn't like mayo.

 Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Layer the meatballs on top of the cream cheese mixture.
If you've made your own sauce, just layer the sauce on top of the meatballs.  If you've used jarred sauce, you will have to combine that with the water that the original recipes calls for. Refer to link, in the first part of this post, for those directions.
Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for 45 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked and cheese is bubbling.  If you use frozen meatballs, your cook time will be different (approximately 30-35 minutes) because the meatballs are precooked.
After Darren was through eating this, he said, "This is by far, the absolute BEST meal you have ever cooked!"  The kids on the other hand, "HAAAATED IT!" (read that part in the Saturday night live "Hated It" tone).   Day 8, challenge #8, BADA BING... a success.

This is a definite keeper.  Next time though, I may try using ricotta cheese instead of the cream cheese/mayo combo.  I made this for our family in hopes it would turn out delicious and since it was, I made one for my friend Jody and her husband, on Tuesday, who is recovering from knee surgery. 

Give it a try!  Or have a baby, knee surgery, or something else that may require me to make it for you :)

Pumpkin Cheeks - Pin #7 - COMPLETE

I'll let you guess who's hiney is whose.
There's not too much to say about day 7, challenge #7 other than... 

"HAPPY FALL from two little pumpkins!  The cutest little pumpkins I ever did see."

The original idea came from this pin.  I'm stunned the twins allowed me to do it.  I wasn't sure if they are age appropriate for this type of thing anymore, "butt" (no pun intended), I didn't care.  It was too cute of an idea to pass up!  I sure wish making a Christmas card was this simple.

Monday, September 24, 2012