Thursday, June 30, 2011

it's that time

had to search for the perfect the jungle...
 forge the river and waterfall to find the perfect place for the tent.
 it wore the kids out finding the perfect place...

so happy that we have a back yard so the kids can now experience a normal childhood rite of passage...camping in your own back yard...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


13 years and I still can't take a decent picture...well maybe now I can blame it on the photographers...

and this was the place that I was going to post some of our really cheesy wedding photos when we learned that even with a professional I have a hard time taking pictures...but I have NO idea where I have packed or unpacked our wedding album!
so instead...

getting ready to head out for our anniversary date and we asked the kids if they could take a picture of us...and this is what we got!

boy child's attempts

not too bad, a little prom pose and I'm slouching...but overall not too bad!

girl child's attempt
this was probably one of my best picture smiles E.V.E.R...and it's blurry!

 totally had my leg lifted in the 'kiss' pose and she cut it off!
not too bad...probably not going to frame it, but we have taken much worse...and by 'we' I mean me!

and just to be safe, we settle for our standard, take our own photo of my

Happy 13 Years (yesterday) to my Beau!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Menu II

so the heat is here....
and the grill is here...

so I can now make a true summer menu!

this is the plan....
grill, grill, grill...
and a few salads!

looks something like this...
Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs
Grilled Steak Salad
Grilled Chicken Salad
Orange Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Lemon Pepper Grilled Chicken with Alfredo Pasta
Sour Cream Marinated Grilled Chicken
Grilled Chicken Burgers/Sandwiches

and now off to shop...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Power of Women

okay, yep, I know it's Father's Day...
so why am I blogging about the power of women...?
because we create the Father's...

yep...bear with me...
this is a soap box of mine
ladies, sisters, daughters...
listen, you get to choose the man that will become the father of your children...
that is huge!
You have the option...
the choice....
the power...
the responsibility of choosing the man that will become the father of YOUR children....

with that choice you change the world, can choose a boy that's not ready to be a man, can choose a man that doesn't choose to act like a man
or you can choose a man that has the desire to be the best he can be and looks to God for his guidance....

Girls, Sisters, Daughters....
do not take this amazing choice that God has given you and allow peer pressure, low self esteem, or a moment of weakness to choose the wrong father for your children...that choice is all yours!

I am so thankful today, Father's Day, to say that at the crazy young age of 18 I met and fell in love with a man that would one day become the father of my children...
at the age of 20 I committed to being that man's wife....
and at the age of 23 I became the mother of his little girl....
photo by Betsey Walton Photography
I am thankful to say that I had the power to choose this amazing man to become the father of my children....
and with that power I changed the world by giving 2 amazing children the best father they could have....

thank you Beau for empowering our children to be who God has created them to be,
to honor God,
to love life,
to respect themselves and others,
to take responsibly for their actions,
to love music,
to love weird random Japanese things...

pirate family
Happy Fathers Day to my babies daddy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

making woopie!

yep, and sharing it with everyone!

I made woopie...

pie that is...for the first time on Memorial Day and took them to a party...and they disappeared!

I made them again for a dessert party we had at our place...and they disappeared...

so I made them again last night, we just had grandpa over and 3 other friends...was hoping that the woopie pies might last thru the night (you never know with grandpa sleeping in the same house as them...

and we had one survivor...but I won't blame it all on my father-in-law, there were only 2 left when we went to bed!

so I had never actually had a woopie pie until I made these, still have only ever had these so I'm not sure how they compare to the 'real' thing or other versions...but I have to say, I like making this kind of woopie...they turn out amazing and they are SOOO easy...crazy easy!

Woopie Pies
1 package chocolate cake mix
     (I had used both double fudge and devils food)
8 tbl (1 stick) butter; melted
1 large egg

for the filling
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter flavored crisco (can't go cheap on the fat)
1 large pasteurized egg white*
2 tsp vanilla

1.  Mix together cake mix, butter,and egg until combined.  Make into 1 inch balls, place about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes; putting one sheet of cookies on the top rack the other on the middle and then switching them at 5 minutes..  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan, then transfer using a metal spatula to wire rack.  Cool for 30 more minutes.
2.  Make the filling:  Place the powdered sugar, crisco, egg white, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.  Spoon about 1 1/2 tsp of filling onto flat side of one cookie and top with second cookie to make a woopie pie!...
3.  Try not to eat the pies as you're making them, share the woopie love!

*the filing is uncooked and uses a raw egg, make sure your egg white is pasteurized so you don't get sick off of the woopie...pie...
or you can use ice cream and make ice cream sandwiches instead of making's up to cream or woopie...pie!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

yuckiest and bests

we have a night time routine of 'yuckiest and bests'*...

but I just felt like making a list of my yuckiest and bests of my summer so far...just because

kids saying, "I'm bored"
having math sheets ready for when kids say, "I'm bored!"

'summer' starting with rain, rain, and more rain
that rain, rain, and more rain filling up the lake for lots of summer swimming

sticky heat from all the rain...
     um Redding...our heat is a 'dry heat' didn't you get the memo!
5 yr old boy child's cute tush in his boxer briefs because it's too hot to put clothes on

teaching the boy and girl child how to sort their own laundry...take it to garage...sort it into larger bins...and for the girl child to be able to move the washed clothes from the washing machine to dryer, then start the dryer...and for the boy child to move dried clothes from dryer to basket to love seat...and for kids that are learning how to fold their own clothes...ladies my laundry days are numbered...can I get an AMEN?!

having a yard, weeds and all...loving the new back yard to send the kids outside!

training for a tri in snow-water-lake
actual tri water feeling like a bath after training in snow-water-lake

rocky entrance into ocean
'winning' the 'ramp' portion of the triathlon...

check out that 'rocky' entrance...and notice the first one down!
getting a flat tire on mile 1 of a 12 mile ride
yuckierst (that's a made up word for those that were wondering)
not knowing how to change a flat or even have a spare
the most yuckiest
getting that flat during a tri with freezing winds and crying for 4 miles
continuing to ride on that flat because I really just didn't know what to do without a spare or a way to fix it!
doing a tri with a wonderful group of ladies and little to no damage done to tire rim even after my stupid choice to ride 11 miles with a flat!

tri ladies minus Ricki
flipped this one
road trips with girl friends and a fun 'mixed tape' CD
breaking down on the road trip and not knowing where we are because of rocking out to fun 'mixed tape' CD.
road trip-minus Brandy!

creepy-man-with-dog in the middle of NOwhere parking his truck across from us when we're broken down for 2 hours...and changing his clothes 4 times...and watching us the WHOLE time...WEIRD!
creepy-man-with-dog in the middle of NOwhere leaving after an hour with lady in nice car!

being broken down on side of road for 2 hours having to pee the whole time, finally making a pee-tent out of the car doors and huge blanket only to have a nosey lady (that never offered to help 2 ladies broken down) call the cops on me for peeing in public...and when did Road 68 aka middle-of-stinkin'-NOWhere become public?!?
tow truck driver deciding to pee staring right at nosey lady and waving to her!

being dropped of at creepy-deepy muffler shop at 7 pm on a Saturday to get car fixed by 2 men that are missing most of their 'grill' (and we're not talking car!)
creepy deepy muffler men staying open 2 extra hrs, working/looking at car and telling us it will get us home and only charging us $5....

walking 4+ blocks, trying to find a place in Emeryville to get $5 for the upcoming toll bridge..only to have non-English speaking lady at the Shell station not understanding that I only need/want $5 cash back NOT $10...
having an extra $5 to pay creepy deepy muffler men because of non-English speaking lady at the Shell Station...(that was a totally thank you Jesus moment!)

God having his hand in all that happened this past weekend!

*we started when the girl child was pretty small, 2 or 3 and was having trouble with the whole concept of time and days and all that, she's say, 'it was fun playing with grandma today,' when we hadn't seen grandma in 2 we decided we'd review the day and have her pick out her yuckiest thing that happened and her best thing that happened and then during night time prayers we'd pray for both the yuckiest and best asking God to help whatever the yuckiest was and thank him for the best...we're still doing it and the kids love doing it...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Menu Installment I

tomorrow is officially the first day of summer in our house...
well, it's the first 1/2 day of summer since the kids have a minimum day at school...

okay, blog tangent...
I can't get use to the term 'minimum day.'
I grew up in a school system that called it a 1/2 day of school...
pretty sure it wasn't truly a 1/2 day of school...
the facts; were we got out earlier than normal and that felt like getting done with your prison sentence we called it 1/2 day...
and now when my kids have a school day that isn't as long as a regular day I call it a 1/2 day and everyone looks at me funny and says,
 "what's a 1/2 day?"
really?  it it that crazy to call a minimum day a 1/2 day?
okay tangent over...

so summer sort-of half starts tomorrow...
maybe it's a minimum summer day...
I'm not sure

it's the start of summer and payday all rolled into one glorious day...
and to celebrate ....
I will be going grocery shopping for the first time in
like maybe almost a month since I've gone and done
grocery shopping!

that is very very sad, and yet very very true!

so since our cupboards are bare
our fridge is empty
the freeze is freezing some butter and old fish sticks

I decided that I should probably make a serious list and to make it real I needed to make one of those menu things...

and with summer I have burgers and grilling on my mind...
2 problems with that...
Northern California has yet to get the 'it's summer memo'
and we have no grill

so my menu will reflect the lack of heat and and grill...and not look like a summer menu AT all...
well, maybe just a little...

Friday-minimum day of summer...dinner is actually McDonald's*...
Saturday-dinner meeting at our place-Salad Bar
Sunday-light dinner and large dessert
     (Welcome Summer Dessert party at our new digs)
Wednesday-Nacho Bar
Thursday-company that requested Lasagna
Friday & Sat-I'm out of town for my next tri so the family is on their own, I'm guessing pizza
Sunday-brinner probably puffy pancake, eggs and bacon

and now just a list of random menu ideas that I will plug in whenever it works.
Cheddar Roast
BBQ pulled Pork Sandwiches
Easy Cheesy Crock Pot Chicken (new recipe for the family)
Taco Pie
Pork Chops and Applesauce
Cashew Apple Chicken Salad

and that's all I have for now...
hoping that when it's time for our next installment of summer menu I will have more summer menu items on the list!

*side note...our family 'fasted' McD's this school year!  we took the kids to the 'restaurant' of their choice on the first day of school and it was non other than the golden arches and we told them that the next time we'd  go was the last day of school...the 'fasting McD's' rules were hazy, but pretty much, the kids could eat there if someone else took them and then we once had a friend (who shall remain nameless) that brought Beau and I lunch from McD's...and how do you say no to 100% chicken meat in those golden nuggets and oh so golden fries?!?!...but as a family we have not eaten at McDonald's all school year, not driven thru either!