Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Carving A Pumpkin

Last night Steve had a Guys Night at our house and he had about 9-10 guys over to hang out and play ping-pong and video game basketball, etc. So Laura and Lindy and I decided to have a girls night out! We went to On The Border for dinner then headed to the "Pumpkin Patch" to get our pumpkin. He was HUGE (and heavy)!! I think it's the biggest one we've ever gotten, but he was so round and cute, he was just calling our name! :) Then we ran by Wal-Mart to pick up our candy. We have so many trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood, I always get tons of candy!



Tonight we got around to carving the pumpkin. I did the carving and Laura and Lindy scooped him out and drew the face. Here are a few of our pictures:








This is what our happy pumpkin looked like when we were done!



He is now sitting on the front porch ready for Friday night!

If you want to go a little fancier...you could try these glittery pumpkins that I saw on Martha Stewart's website. I thought they were really pretty.


Here's how to make them!

Tools and Materials
Small pumpkins
Glitter (colors used in today's segment):
54. Sedona Sun
56. Pumpkin
72. Pink Champagne
61. New Penny
58. Brown
59. Teak
Paintbrush
Craft glue
Paper plate or newspaper
Brown acrylic paint

Glittered Pumpkins How-To
1. With a paintbrush, spread glue over the surface of a small pumpkin. Place pumpkin on a paper plate or newspaper to catch excess glitter.

2. Sprinkle powder glitter over glue, covering completely. Let dry for an hour, then shake off excess powder.

3. Coat stem with brown acrylic paint, let dry. Once dry, the stem can also be done in brown glitter.


Tips
- It's easiest to do half the pumpkin and sprinkle with glitter, let dry, and continue other half.
- There's no need to completely cover the bottom, since it's not seen.
- Also, it's fine if your pumpkin has marks or mild blemishes, since you will be covering it with glitter.


Resources
Martha used Ultrafine Opaque and Ultrafine Pearlescent glitter, available at artglitter.com.You can buy Sobo glue in most craft or fabric stores, or at deltacrafts.com. For more great crafting products, visit marthastewartcrafts.com.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

9+2+6+7=Lots of Good Stuff!

For some reason, I have gotten so much done this weekend. I guess with no real place to go and my kids being gone, I've gotten lots done, had fun, and gotten some rest in, too. THAT is the perfect weekend, right?

So...here is my productivity list: (9 Things)
1-swapped out my summer clothes for winter clothes
2-bagged up clothes to deliver to Goodwill
3-cleaned out my pantry
4-finished laundry
5-cleaned out and organized school files
6-graded end of quarter tests
7-wrote and mailed some thank you notes
8-grocery shopped
9-bought some new fall placemats and a new Yankee Candle...have you smelled the Iced Pumpkin??? It's a swirl of pumpkin pie and vanilla icing. It smells sooo good.

Now for two recipes:
Last weekend when I went to that day at the farm, I told you about some salsa that I tried that I would share the recipe for. I made some today with our chili. I love it because it is really light and I think I could practically eat my weight in it. So, here it is:

Fresh Salsa

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans corn, drained
1 container cherry tomatoes (quarter each tomato)
2 avocados, chopped
4 green onions, chopped

Dressing:
Mix the juice of four limes with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic, minced. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Toss veggies and dressing and serve with chips.


I hope you don't mind me sharing recipes all the time. I know this isn't a cooking blog, but I love new recipes, so I just thought I would share good ones with you, too.

Something else I made this weekend was Russian Tea. My whole family LOVES it and we drink it all fall and winter. Here is the recipe for it.

Russian Tea

2 cups Tang instant drink
1 cup instant tea with lemon
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves

Mix all together and store in an air tight container. Add a few teaspoons to hot water and enjoy! (You just have to add enough until it tastes good to you!)




Laura and Lindy went to USC this weekend to visit Ashley. Chi-O was hosting a haunted house and needed volunteers to be in it, so Ashley volunteered Laura and Lindy! They went to a costume store to look for costumes to wear and brought back the funniest pictures they took while they were there. I just had to share six of them with you. They made me laugh out loud!








And, one more thing...my sweet blogging friend, Meagan, tagged me with a 7 random things list.



I am supposed to list 7 random facts about me. That is harder than it seems, since I feel like you already know alot about me just from reading this blog! Let me see....

1-My favorite color is PINK! But I seem to gravitate towards green and black (along with pink) in my wardrobe colors.


2-I get a manicure every couple of weeks, but I don't like pedicures at all! I don't like people touching my feet. :)


3-I am not a cat person. But I love dogs!!


4-One of the things I hope I can learn to do somewhere along the line is quilt! I would love to know how to do that.


5-One of the most interesting jobs I've ever had was when I worked in the Oral History Department at Baylor. It was the 150th birthday of the state of Texas and there were tons of recorded interviews with interesting people from all over the state that I got to listen to and transcribe for the Baylor library!


6-My two favorite places to go on a vacation or get-away are West Palm Beach, Florida


and NYC!


I always have the best time whenever I go to either one. My girls and I are actually planning a trip to NYC this spring! :)

7-I love cute little notecards and pretty stationary. I could browse around a store like Swoozie's for hours looking at all their unique stuff!



I tag anyone who would like to play! :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sneak Peek Weekend

Steve and I have had a really nice weekend. It's kind of been a preview of our life this time next year with no kids...a little sneak peek into the future! It's actually been really fun! :)

Friday night we went to dinner at Steve's parents' house. His aunt and uncle were in town from Mississippi so we went over to visit with them and eat his mom's spaghetti! Then we headed over to Sun Valley High School to see my nephew, Bryson, play football. It was their homecoming and Bryson and my niece, Brianna, were both on the court. They have homecoming kings and queens at their school! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of Bryson, but Steve got some cute pictures of Brianna with my brother, Blake.(It was dark, so the pictures didn't come out very well.) We were so proud of both of them!




Then today, I got some school work done that I have been backed up on, so I am happy about that. And Steve vacuumed for me and did laundry! I know...I'm spoiled! We went to lunch together today, too.

Tonight my brother Blake and sister-in-law, Angie, had us over for dinner with my other brother Brent, and his wife Britney. Angie went all out which was so sweet. She had a beautiful table set for us.




And our meal was delicious! She made this yummy salad with mandarin oranges and pecans and dried cranberries and crumbled blue cheese. Then she did a pork tenderloin with gravy, homemade macaroni and cheese, green beans, rolls and apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. It was all so good.


We had a lot to talk about tonight...one of which is that Brent and Britney are expecting a baby in May!!! (Brent has a bandage on his nose in this picture.)


We've known for a while, but they have been keeping it a secret until now. We are so excited for them. They already have a precious little girl, Bailey, so she is going to be a great big sister! Britney has been pretty sick, though. That's no fun!

We always have fun with Blake and Angie. We stayed over there for a long time just talking away and catching up and hanging out.





Tomorrow Laura and Lindy are coming back home. They have had a really fun weekend, too. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just Click Here!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs today and I found out a really good site for streaming Christmas music. I know it is a little early, but when you are ready, you can go here and stream your Christmas music while you work!


But meanwhile, it is still fall...only 7 days till Halloween.


Believe me, I am reminded daily about that by my students! haha And if you would like some really great tips for fall decorating and setting the right fall mood in your home, click here. (Once you get there, scroll down to the September 9th post.) Ruth Ann at Warm Pie, Happy Home seems like such a warm and loving lady and she has awesome ideas for making your house inviting and welcoming and just a happy place to be.

And I LOVE these cookbooks! I have tons of them and they are so great for seasonal ideas.


They give you ideas for everything from tailgaiting to Halloween parties to Thanksgiving dinner. Check them out!

Well, those are my tips for the day! Tomorrow is FRIDAY!! Happiness. Steve and I have the weekend to ourselves since L & L have gone to USC with some friends to visit Ashley. They are planning a fun weekend together starting at the Rascal Flatts concert tonight. And Steve and I have some fun things planned, too. Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Purple Roses and Other Perks

One of the best parts of being a teacher is the sweet things that the kids do for you sometimes. Today...for no reason at all...I got these beautiful purple roses!


They just sat on my desk all day making me happy and smelling so good. And this little cutie pie is who gave them to me.


And just a few days ago I got this cute Halloween bag of Lindor truffles!


It's the little things that mean alot and make the long hours worth it.

On a totally different subject, we got some very sad news last night. Steve's brother, Mike, had to put his beloved dog, Ginger, to sleep yesterday. He has had Ginger forever. She was a lab and I'm not sure exactly when he got her, but I know it's been many years ago...back when my kids were really little. Ginger has been his friend and faithful companion and such a sweet dog. We all loved her.


She got cancer back during the summer and it finally got so bad that he had to put her down. I know he is heartbroken. Please say a little prayer for him. It might seem silly to some people to be so sad over just a dog, but if you've ever had to put a dog to sleep, you know how heartwrenching it is! We had to put our Jack Russell, Petey, to sleep a few years ago and it was awful. We all cried our eyes out. It just takes time to get over it.

Hope you are having a good week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Three Good Things

Last week I saw a recipe for apple dumplings that I had been thinking about making all week long, but never had a minute. So I was planning on making them this weekend. Then Saturday night, we went over to Steve's parents' house and guess what she had made?? Apple dumplings!! And oh...my...gosh!!! They were so good. So yesterday I came right home and made the same ones she made. They are out of a family recipe book that we both have. These babies are melt in your mouth delicious! I promise you will NOT be disappointed if you try them.


Apple Dumplings

2 medium golden delicious or granny smith apples
1 pkg. refrigerated Crescent rolls (which make anything taste good!)
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter

Peel apples and cut into 8 pieces, removing the seeds. Wrap each piece of apple with one triangle shaped crescent roll, making sure that the apple is completely covered. Place dumplings in casserole dish. Set aside.

Combine sugar, butter, and orange juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture bubbles. Pour the heated mixture over the dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350, uncovered, until golden brown...usually about 20 minutes. Serve warm, topped with Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream.


Steve and I finally got to go see Fireproof yesterday afternoon.


I really liked it! I love Kirk Cameron. We actually got to go hear him speak a few years ago and got to meet him in person. What a great guy! The movie definitely used lots of local people who probably aren't professional actors, but it was still such a sweet story. I would recommend it just because it was so uplifting and encouraging. I was reading a little bit of background on it and did you know that Kirk Cameron has made a commitment not to kiss any other woman other than his wife? So, in the last scene of the movie, they dressed his wife up like his wife in the movie and they did the last kissing scene in silhouette so he could keep this commitment. I thought that was kind of neat. It was a great Sunday afternoon movie!

Also...I got these little potpourri packets at Kirkland's recently in the Orange Clove scent...


They make your house smell like heaven! If you have a Kirkland's nearby, you should try these. They smell soooo good!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Day At The Farm

Our Sunday School class had a little get together today at the home of some friends of ours. They have about 200 acres of land in South Carolina (about an hour from here) and they were sweet enough to let us use their house for the day. We had the best time!!

First of all...when we drove up, this is what we saw! Is it not gorgeous?


We got some Bojangles chicken and everyone brought side items to go with it, one of which was homemade salsa that was so good I think I could have eaten it just for my main meal! haha When I get the recipe I will share it with you! So, of course, what is a Baptist get-together without tons of covered dish food? We decided to eat first, then play.



After that, all the girls just hung out on the porch chatting while the guys (and a girl or two) played a game of football.








Steve was in hog heaven. He told me that was the most fun he's had in at least a month or two!??? (That guy loves to be doing something every minute! He can't sit still.)

Then we headed down to the zip line. I have never been on a zip line before, but I did it today and it was so much fun! Here I am right before going down.


Even my parents did it! Yay for my dad being 70 and trying a zip line! :)



We also had a pumpkin carving contest.





The winner won a Starbucks gift card. I wish I would have taken a picture of the finished products! They turned out really cute. The winners had carved two wolves howling at the moon! Impressive!

This house was just so gorgeous, I just wanted to walk around taking pictures of it. I think I am having house envy. ;) Here are some that I took.











In the basement, there was a big screen tv and a pool table, so that's where we ended up at the end of the day. Anyway...it was a really fun time with all the sweet couples in our Sunday School class!