Friday, February 24, 2012

Random Ramblings


The other night, after Luke’s baseball practice, we were eating our dinner of homemade pizza.  Luke sits beside me and I heard a loud crunch.  It thought it odd, but did not think too much of it, but then Josh says, “Luke, stop chewing and spit it all out”.  I looked over and saw a little blood and realized that Luke’s tooth had come out.  My Motherly instincts kicked in and I held my hand under his mouth as his spit out crust, pepperoni, cheese, and a tooth.  He was so happy he did not swallow it.  (ME TOO!) 



And kids should give out some sort of warning before they go and loose teeth because the Tooth Fairy had no cash on her and had to go to Kroger at 8:45 at night to make some random purchase to get some cash back.  And the Tooth Fairy indicated to Mr. Tooth Fairy the amount she thought she should go under the pillow.  Mr. Tooth Fairy apparently thought it was not enough because Luke was showing off some cash the next morning.  That child will be rich in no time at the rate his teeth are falling out. 

The Star Wars crazy is still going strong in our house.  I started to wonder at what age Luke would grow out of it, but then I looked at his Dad, who is a grown up, and I gave up all hope.  The other night the two of them decided that we should open up a store called Stewart’s Star Wars Store.  They were being serious.  This store would only sell Star Wars stuff, of course.  They pointed out that when we had sales the banner would read: STEWART'S STAR WARS STORE SALE.  And it went on and on and on. 

I made these brownies for Luke to have in his lunch box. 



Again, he deemed me the greatest Mother and Cook of all the Earth.  And again I told him thank you and confirmed that he is correct.  I found that my husband boxed up ALL the scraps, rather than just a few as I would have done.



I wonder if he will notice if I slowly throw away some of them. 

Luke started baseball practice this week and we are all super excited about it.  I will again be the Mom/Cheerleader/Photographer.  Last year I made this photo book of Luke’s season and included pictures from each game, along with his stats. 



I bought a copy for my Dad as well.  But, more importantly, I bought one for Josh’s parents since they do not travel the 1600 miles (one way) to see the games. 



Really, I don’t blame them.  They just loved the book.  I will be making another one this year.


Luke insists we do things fancy sometimes.  And I accommodate. 



Funny thing, when we do have steamed glasses with a lime, Luke eats his dinner better and without complaint.  It’s the small things in life I guess.  I love these glasses, they were part of my anniversary present from Joshua.  Kitchen things are the way to my heart. :)

You must make these tacos.  They are the best ever.  AND super easy and quick for the working Mom!  http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2012/01/salsa-verde-chicken-tacos-in-the-crockpot/  Add some cut up avocado too, yummmmmm.

My husband surprised me with season six of 90210 the other day!!  This means I only have FOUR more to go until my set is complete!  Whoo Hoo!!  I am getting excited because before long, I will be running into a few episodes that I’ve never seen.  There was a point in college where I was missing out on some of the shows.  Quite honestly, the reason I decided that I MUST own all ten seasons was that I was watching TV one day and stumbled across an episode so I watched and learned that Kelly was pregnant with Brandon’s baby!  What the heck?  I NEVER knew that.  So there I was, over ten years later, googling like a mad woman trying to figure out what in the world happened since no baby was every born!  Don’t judge me.

A couple of weeks back Luke decided that he NEEDED the Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot books written by Dave Pilkey, who also wrote all the Captain Underpants books.  



Every day he was asking if I had bought him the books.  Finally, one day I responded that yes, I had bought him some.  So starting the next day, he was checking the mailbox for his books!  No kidding.  And of course, I opted for the free shipping, which was also the slowest.  And over a week later, he opened up the front door and let out a high pitch squeal of delight as there was a brown amazon box on the porch.  He said, “Hey!  This box shows exactly how I feel!”  There was a smiley face with “BIG SMILE” written on it.  Luke said, “Dave must have just KNOWN I was going to be so excited when these books came so he put that on there for me.”  I agreed.

Happy Friday!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Movie Star

Luke went over to my cousin's house this past weekend and hung out with her and her 11 year old son.  She pretty much rocks because she apparently had him cast in the remake of Top Gun.



Seriously.  I saw that picture and Danger Zone started playing in my head. 

Who new that a trip to the eye doctor with your cousin could be so much fun!



When we arrived at her house to pick him up he did not want to leave.

Not sure I blamed him.


Looks like he had fun.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Father-in-Law

Joshua and I were talking one day and it somehow or another came up that I’ve never blogged about my father-in-law.  But then it occurred to me that I sort of did once and you can read it here.

My father-in-law knows how I feel about him, but I thought I would share with you!

A couple of things about my father-in-law (he's the one in the middle and I just LOVE this picture)……



There are only a handful of comments that have been made to me in my life that I remember crystal clear and he is the giver of one of them.  He performed our wedding ceremony and during our wedding he said to me, and all who were there, that he and my mother-in-law could not have picked out a better wife for their son.  I have thanked him on different occasions over the years for saying that and I mean it.  That statement means so much to me.  However, now that I have a son of my own, that complement has taken on new meaning.  I hope and pray I can one day say the same to Luke’s wife.  

He is a preacher.  The way I met Josh was his dad became the pastor of the church where my family had attended for many years.  I say this to say it is sort of odd to date the preacher’s son.  Cue up Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield.

the only one who could ever reach me,
was the son of a preacher man.

I recall a conversation that Joshua and I once had about his dad shortly after we began dating.  Josh said, “He is just a normal Dad.  Like yours.”  It’s true, he is, but it took a while for me to see him not only as my pastor, but as my boyfriend’s dad.  It is also sort of weird to break up with your boyfriend and then go to church and see his dad.  For the longest I thought his parents just hated me because I had broken up with their son.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  Turns out they did not hate me at all.  Week after week he treated me just the same as he always had.

I just love listening to him preach.  In fact, a sermon he preached back when I was in high school sticks close to me today.  It was during one of his sermons that I first realized that worrying is a sin.  In God’s perfect timing, I found a tape of that sermon while cleaning out my mother’s closet after she passed away.  I took it home and listened to it again.  I think of that sermon often.  He is a great pastor and his church is blessed to have him.

I feel that my father-in-law is probably 99.9% responsible for instilling the love of sports in my Joshua.  My father-in-law is not really as sports crazy as he once was, but he is still a fan.  A fan of the Dallas Cowboys for sure!  One might want to blame him for making Josh such a sports fan, but I would like to thank him for it.  I knew when I married Joshua I was marring a sports freak and that is okay with me.  However, I also know that it is the relationship Josh has with his Dad that taught Josh how to share the love of sports with our son.  Joshua is a wonderful Dad and I contribute that to the great father he has.  



I have bragged on what a wonderful Grandpa my Dad is, and my father-in-law is an awesome Grandpa too.  Joshua and I both hate that we do not live closer to them.  It takes an extra special Grandpa to make the miles not matter and to make you feel loved and special when you are so far apart.  Luke loves his Grandpa so much.

I remember my father-in-law telling me he was a little worried when they began the drive back home last summer after coming out to pick Luke up.  He was concerned that after a few hours on the road Luke would start to miss us and be ready to turn around and go back home.  “Are you kidding me?”  I asked.  “He is SOO excited to be going with you!!!”  And he was.  He loves his Grandparents and Aunt so much and was beyond excited to be staying with them for a month last summer.  Luke did start to get homesick a little towards the end of his stay.  And his Grandpa did all he could to take Luke’s mind off of things.  It meant a lot to me.
 
My father-in-law also has a HUGE sense of humor.  See.  Have you seen your father-in-law look like this??  I laughed so hard when I saw this picture.  



Again, I credit him and thank him for passing this onto Josh.  Part of what drew me to Joshua was his sense of humor.  My father-in-law loves to play pranks on people and loves to have a good laugh.  I love hearing him laugh.  I love making him laugh.  I love his sense of humor.  I love knowing my husband received many of his traits from his dad.

And lastly, my father-in-law has been our standing Thursday night date here lately.  At around 9:30pm our time, he gives our house a call.  He is on his way home from teaching a seminary class and he talks to us to pass the time.  Joshua and I love knowing he will call.  And on the occasion that something happens and he doesn’t, we give him a hard time about it.  One Thursday night he called and I answered the phone so I was talking to him for a while.  I NEVER just give Josh the phone if I answer!!  We had been talking for 10 or 15 minutes and he realized that we had some friends over.  He quickly told me I should have told him we had company and he said it was nice talking and we got off the phone.  Our friends laughed and said it was funny that Josh’s dad would call and only talk to me.  I explained to them he felt bad for keeping me on the phone when we had friends over.  But, then I went on to say that I often talk to him on the phone for a while before handing the phone to Josh.  I love having a father-in-law I can talk to.  We have talked about everything….from nothing that matters at all to things that really do matter.  

I could not have picked a better father-in-law.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monster Trucks!!

Luke has pretty much always been into cars.....the apple did not fall far from the tree.  His Dad's tree.  I'm obviously not into cars.  At all.  Other than riding in one to get from one place to another.

And a while back he started talking about how he wanted to go to see Monster Trucks.

And a few weeks ago, Josh called me to inform he that he had bought tickets for he and Luke to go to see some Monster Trucks.

And they went one Friday night.  Just the two of them.

Josh said Luke was so excited when they got there.

And not too long after they arrived, I received a text from Joshua that my boys were about to RIDE in a Monster Truck.


I fell asleep waiting for them to come home.





(That is just plain crazy!!)

But, when they did get home, I was awaken by a little boy with a BIG smile who told me all about the trucks. 




They had fun at boys night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Day


Do you celebrate Valentine's Day around your house?  

We don't.  

And by "we" I mean Joshua and me.  For us, we would rather show the unexpected love in the middle of July (or any other month) when no one is watching or forcing us to do it.  But, that's just us.

However, ever since Luke was old enough to be aware of Valentine's Day we have been sure to give him a little something.  I loved when I was a little girl and I would get Valentine's Day gifts from my Dad, so I think this is why I love doing it with Luke.

This year Joshua gave Luke STAR WARS valentines--Darth Vader box of chocolates, Darth Vader PEZ, and new action figures.  Because NOTHING says "I love you" like Darth Vader.  

Seriously.  STAR WARS = LOVE. 

Well, nothing says "I love you" like STAR WARS AND brownies!  Brownies made with love by your Momma.

Yes, I know the way to my son's heart and I wanted to give my little chocoholic the gift of marbled red velvet cheesecake brownies.  And this recipe from The Novice Chef was awesome!

I fully intended to take pictures along the way in making these, but Luke had pulled up a bar stool into the kitchen and was reading his homework out loud to me.  He does not do this too often, so I was fully engrossed in his Magic Tree House book, while trying to ensure that I was putting the right amount of stuff in these brownies!  Need less to say, I was about halfway done making them before I realized I was not taking pictures.




Right before I put them into the oven to cook, Luke looked at me and said, "I AM going to be able to eat one of those tonight, right??"  I was making these on January 31st and he knew they were a Valentine treat, but yes, I assured him he could have one that night.


These were so easy to make and they are too, too cute!




And when my Luke took a bite of that brownie his big blue eyes widened and he said, "Momma, THIS is the best brownie in the whole wide world!"


(I live for those moments.)

I told him thank you very much and I asked him if he would like to take a brownie to school every day from then until Valentine's Day as my special treat to him.


His response:


YES!  AAAAAAND, I am going to tell all my friends that you MADE these and that you are the best cook in all of the world.  YOU are even better than the Pioneer Woman!!


That right there assured Luke awesome Christmas and Birthday presents for the rest of his life.  He knows how to throw down a complement!!

I confirmed that he did in fact tell all his friends at school that his Mom made the brownies.  

I love that kid.  A LOT.  And not just because he brags on my cooking, but that helps a little.


And I think it was just Luke's way of trying to figure out how to have these brownies in his life always and forever, but he pointed out that I could also make these for Easter in the shape of eggs.  I told him that was a great idea! 


I think I will be looking for a shamrock cookie cutter first.  Luke needs green marbled brownies in his lunchbox next month.

Good-Bye Little Debbie, these brownies are here to stay!


And just because I am a sweet wife, I took a bunch of the scraps and put them in the fridge for Joshua.  Nothing says Happy Valentine's Day to your husband like brownie scraps.




I love my boys!




Happy Love Day,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Party

Luke had his Valentine's Day Party at school last Friday.

As soon as we got home he went in the back yard and I found him looking through all the cards and candy.


He was so cute as he would read each one and then he would tell me who it was from.



That card above is a Justin Bieber card.  It was supposed to have a tattoo attached, but it didn't.  Luke was glad!

Then he found a card that had this bug in it that you could stick on windows or mirrors.  It more than made up for the Justin Bieber card.  


Do you see how his left eyelid droops a little?  My Mother's left eyelid was like that.  And I just realized the other day my brother's left eyelid is like that too.  I love looking into those blue eyes and being reminded of my Mother.



He had so many goodies!!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Butterfinger Ice Cream: A True Story


I’m not a huge ice cream person.  In fact, not only am I not a huge ice cream person, but I am REALLY not a flavor ice cream person.  I’m about as vanilla as it comes.  Well, at least I used to be.

Several months back I went to the grocery store one night to pick up a couple of things and Joshua asked if I could pick him up a pint of Blue Bell in some flavor that I cannot recall at the moment.  As I was searching through all the pints looking for the one he wanted, I saw that Butterfinger Blue Bell ice cream existed.  I quickly turned the pint around to read the label and discovered that yes my friends; REAL butterfinger candy was inside of this ice cream!

I bought it. 

When I got home I sat on the couch and slowly ate the goodness that I had found.  At that moment I was over vanilla.  Vanilla is boring.  I am still not a huge ice cream person, but when I want it, Butterfinger Blue Bell ice cream is the only thing that will do.

And so my love of Butterfinger ice cream continued.  

Then one day it occurred to me that this goodness might not be one of those flavors that is around all the time.  I looked it up and sure enough, it is seasonal!  I wanted to cry.

I emailed Joshua to inform him of this travesty and he responded that I best find a recipe and figure out how to make it. 

But, I did not look for a recipe.  I guess I thought that if I put it out of my mind, the ice cream would forever be available to me.  I mean, I do not even own an ice cream maker!!  Well, at the time I did not.

However, this past Christmas, my wonderful husband bought me one!!  And not only did he buy me one, but he bought me one that is an attachment to my stand up Kitchen Aid mixer!!  Whoooo Hooooo!  LOVE is........ buying your wife an ice cream maker so she can figure out how to make the Butterfinger ice cream that keeps her alive.

So, with said maker in hand, I set out on a search for a good recipe.  I found one that I tweaked a little.  The amounts below are for my maker, which holds about nine cups or so.  If you have a larger ice cream maker you can certainly double up the goodness!!

And I made this just in time as because the Butterfinger Blue Bell it is now out of rotation!

Friends, if you too are a fan of all things Butterfinger, I suggest you locate an ice cream maker and make this ice cream.  Your life will forever be changed for the good.

Start out by making some whipped cream.  If you've never made whipped cream you must and then you will never EVER buy that junk they sell at the store.  I used 1 cup heaving whipping cream.  Whip it like crazy until peeks start to form.  (If you do not have a stand up mixer it is just as easy to do with a hand mixer).  Once you have peaks add one tablespoon of sugar and whip it up good.


Taste it.  

Love it.  

Vow never to buy cool whip again.

Now, moving right along.....

In a large bowl, whisk 1 quart whole milk and 7 ounces sweet condensed milk. Then whisk in 8 ounces of your whipped cream until combined.  You will have a little whipped cream left over and your husband, child, or you will be happy to just eat it.

Pour this mixture into your ice cream maker and process according to manufacture directions.  I processed mine for about 13 minutes.




How cool is this ice cream maker?!?!  Thank you Joshua for this awesome gift!



Then take three regular size butterfinger candy bars and crush them up (I left some larger chunks because I love them.) and pour into your maker and process for about two more minutes.



Then transfer into a freezer container and freeze overnight.  And let's be real, I tasted some of that yumminess before I put it in the freezer.  And Josh did too.


Voila!  BUTTERFINGER ICE CREAM!!



It is so very, very good.


This was SO easy to make and was fun.  The possibilities here are endless....swap out the butterfinger and put snickers (and drizzle in a little chocolate syrup), cookie dough, or whatever else your heart desires!


I think I might start making a monthly ice cream and post!  I have tons of ideas and could even make ice cream pops!

Stay tuned for more ice cream fun!!

(Next up will be Luke's choice, so you KNOW chocolate will be involved.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Mad Scientist

Luke REALLY wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up, but he is concerned that by the time he grows up and goes to college all of the bones will have been dug up.  And because everything I know about dinosaurs I have learned from Luke or The Land Before Time (oh how I love that movie), I really have no clue if this is a valid concern or not.

So, his back up plan is to be a scientist of some sort.  Or, maybe a librarian.

I just keep reminding him that he will grow up to be whatever God has planned for him.  But he really hopes that plan involves digging for dinosaur bones!

To help foster Luke's love for science, Joshua bought him this really cool book that is LOADED with science experiments.  We are pretty much doing at least two or three experiments a week around our house!  They are really neat and Joshua and I have both had a good time doing these with Luke.  There have also been a few that Luke has been able to do all on his own, and it is great to see him working so hard at things all on his own.

Luke and I both really loved this one and so I thought I would share it with you.  In fact, we have done it twice!

First up grab some glass jars and put them on a tray of some sort.  You will soon see why that tray is so important!


Next you fill your  jars about half full of white vinegar.  


Then you add the food coloring.




Add some liquid soap. 

And give it a little stir.  Or be like Luke and stir like crazy.


Then grab the baking soda and the fun is about to start.


Add a heaping spoon full and watch the fun!



Luke went absolutely crazy with the first explosion! (okay, I did too)


Joshua came home from work in the middle of it all and was wondering what all the commotion was coming from the kitchen.


Then he too realized that Luke, The Mad Scientist, was in full effect!!



If you have kids around, give this a try!