Tuesday, January 31, 2012

T Town or Bust

So my {step}daughter is huge into the cheerleading.  And the type she does is different than for like youth football/youth cheerleaders, no she's on a traveling cheer team.  This year they've had competitions in St. Charles, MO, and Tulsa, OK so far.  Then they still have 4 more throughout the season.

Saturday they headed to a one day in Tulsa.  Hubs and I made plans to trek down there to watch them.

Unfortunately I don't know much about or understand I guess much about this cheerleading business.  Prior to being around my {step}daughter, I knew there was youth cheer & junior high/high school and obviously pro, but other than that, that was it.

I guess I also saw the movie Bring it On but figured it was, just a movie.  Wow, little did I know!?!?

Anyway we try to make it to some of her competitions every year.  Usually we make it to Tulsa & Branson but this year when they head to Branson we'll be headed to Texas to deliver a horse, so we definitely made it a point to hit up Tulsa.

I'm assuming Jam Fest must be the ones who sponsor all of them, because I see this banner at every competition we've been to... but then again, I don't know and you know what assuming gets you...

We just picked a side to sit on.  The first time we went to watch her in Tulsa was awful!  We were way up in the nose bleed and you couldn't get anywhere close so no telephoto lens, no photos!  This Tulsa trip though, we were right there in front of the stage.

Turns out she started right in the middle.  And of course they bounce around from this side to that so really it doesn't matter totally which side you go to.

And they're off!

A few of them jumped from a standing position to this position.  Dang it just hurt my knees to watch that.... must be glad they're young, but they might regret that IMO someday!

Do you see her?  She's in the very back kind of back by the green hand.

She told me what the mascots name was, but I forgot... woops!  Speaking of that, I have a straw in the Mascots shape in the glovebox of my car I have to remember to take in the house.

When I first started watching her she was always at the top of the pyramid (I dunno what they're really called... I'm improvising), but now she's usually on the bottom helping up someone else...

She's holding the girl here on the left's left foot.

I must not know much about this though, can someone please enlighten me as to why they make some of the weirdest faces?  I would think huge smiles, but that's so not what they do... and I don't understand.  If you know why they make the weird faces, open mouth and almost like kissy fish faces, please someone tell me!

Check out some of the other ones I've been to (Branson Feb 2010, Branson Nov 2010, November 2011)

And seriously, if you know what's up with the faces, please tell me!

Monday, January 30, 2012

History Lesson

So you remember last week when some of the kiddos in my life were discussing John Frank, aka John Wayne?  Well, I just so happened to pull one of my jump drives out of my purse Friday night looking for something on it when I stumbled across a paper I wrote for my first College English class I took and it just so happened to be about John Wayne.  I have to admit, I thought timing on that was ironic!  So I thought I would enlighten y'all because truthfully I kind of found it fascinating to reread and I'm the one who wrote it, so here's all about John Wayne via Nicole circa 2002.

(p.s. don't make to much fun of my writing please!  Fun thing about that English class, there were probably 25-35 of us in the class.  The professor told us on the first day of class that at some point throughout the semester we'd all have to write at least one sentence on the board.  Not b/c it was poorly written, but b/c he thought it could possibly be written differently.  Yeah, not to brag or anything, but I was one of the only people in class NOT to have to write a sentence on the board.  Hey I was shy, so I did my darndest not to!)

Nicole J
Dr. Jones
English 110
May 16, 2002

Better Known as “The Duke”

            Imagine growing up in a rural area known as Winterset, Iowa.  Nothing to special about the area except for the local farming, but by the time you pass on, you are known as a legend.  Does this sound too good to be real?  Well not if you are the “Duke.”  The Duke?  Who is this?  Well the Duke is known to many people around the country as one of America’s greatest Cowboys.  The Duke, also known as John Wayne, is a famous actor who made his name known to the film industry.
            The Duke was born on May 26, 1907, to Clyde "Doc" Morrison and Mary "Molly" Brown.  At birth his name was Marion Robert Morrison but after the birth of his brother Robert Emmet, his middle name changed to Michael.  Around the age of 5 Duke’s father was diagnosed with Tuberculosis.  Soon after the diagnoses of this disease, Doc decided to move to Palmdale, California in 1912, where the whole family soon followed in 1914.  While in Palmdale, Doc bought an 80-acre farm.  Following the arrival of the family, the farm failed and in 1916 Doc moved the family to Glendale, California.
            Glendale was about 10 minutes from downtown Los Angeles where Doc got a job working in a pharmacy.  At the young age of 11 Duke was a very hard worker.  Along with being a full time student, he delivered the Los Angeles Examiner in the mornings followed delivering prescriptions for the pharmacy in the afternoon.  On the weekends he spent his time working at the local picture theater. 
            "There've been a lot of stories about how I got to be called Duke. One was that I played the part of a duke in a school play, which I never did. Sometimes, they even said I was descended from royalty! It was all a lot of rubbish. Hell, the truth is that I was named after a dog!" (Ugly, Strong, and With Dignity.)  Duke had an Airedale dog.  He and his dog were inseparable.  The dog helped with the routes that Duke ran with the papers and with the prescriptions.  The local fire department was amused by this determined little boy and his dog so they started referring to them as, “Big Duke” and “Little Duke.” 
            After Duke had graduated from high school he received a scholarship to play football at the University of Southern California.  Being a 6’4” tall football player, he found himself a job working for Fox lot moving set props while he attended college.  While working at Fox lot, he met a director named John Ford who was to have one of the strongest influences in his life.  Ford taunted Duke one day, while on the set, about his football playing skills and gave Duke an open shot to tackle him.  When Duke declined the offer, Ford abruptly sent him to the ground.  Infuriated, Duke was given a second change to tackle Ford and he did just that.  The next thing Ford knew, he was sitting on the ground, dazed and winded.  The tackle that Duke had used, if used on the football field would have been illegal giving the other team a fifteen-yard penalty.  With Duke’s job in jeopardy, everyone watched as Ford rose to his feet, waiting for him to blow up at Duke.  To everyone’s amazement, Ford had a huge grin; Duke and Ford remained friends until the death of Ford on August 31, 1973.  Through the next few years, Duke remained on the set moving props, being in big crowd scenes, and even appearing in Hangmans House, appearing as a silhouette. 
            Duke finally made his appearance in the movies in 1930 when director Raoul Walsh was contracted to Fox Studios.  Walsh was the first director to make outdoor westerns such as, In Old Arizona.  His next big project was another western called The Big Trail.  The movie called for a role of a young trail scout and no one could be found for the part.  Walsh was discussing his dilemma with Ford when Ford recommended Marion Morrison for the part.  The next measures taken were to arrange for a screen testing where Walsh liked what he saw.  The only thing that was keeping Walsh from giving Duke the part was the name, Marion Morrison.  This name would be difficult to pass off as a tough trail scout leader.  The directors played with his name and considered calling him Duke Morrison but that was soon changed to a name of a General in the American War of Independence, “Mad” Anthony Wayne (Ugly, Strong, and With Dignity).  Soon after, Anthony was replaced with John, and this is how Duke became John Wayne.
            Soon after Duke was hired for the part, the movie The Big Trail, starring Marguerite Churchill, Tyron Power Senior, and John Wayne, was released.  This film was soon to be a failure because of the depression.  Although this film didn’t make it, Duke was lucky enough to work through the depression.  From the years 1930 to 1938, Duke made around 56 movies, that were mainly “B” grade westerns.  Through this time, he waited patiently for stardom.  Ford approached Duke in the spring of 1938 with a short story written by Ernest Haycox and published in Colliers magazine.  The story was called “Stage to Lordsburg.”  The story focused around the characters of a gambler, a drunken doctor, a saloon girl, a lady, a whiskey drummer, a crooked bank owner, and a gunfighter who was known as “Malpais Bill.”  Later this name was changed for a stronger appealing one such as “Ringo Kid.”
After Duke had read the story, Ford approached him to see whom he thought should play Ringo Kid.  Duke threw out some suggestions for the part, but none of them were to the liking of Ford.  Ford erupted, "Why, you stupid son of a bitch, I want you to play it!" (Ugly, Strong, and With Dignity.)  In 1939, Stagecoach staring John Wayne as “Ringo Kid,” made its d├ębut.  This was a hit movie that gave Duke the stardom that he wanted and made John Wayne a common household name.  Duke has also been in a number of other movies.
Just imagine, going from a very small community in the heartland of the United States and soon becoming a legend.  All things are possible when you are willing to do the work for them.  Marion Morrison soon became known as John Wayne or “Duke” just by being in the right place at the right time.  He was willing to do the dirty work, which soon paid off.  When you think things are impossible, all you have to do is strive for your best and everything works out.  The Duke truly shows that if you are willing to work for what you want, the best is yet to come.

Ask Yahoo.  2001.  11 May 2002.  http://ask.yahoo.com/ask/20010529.html
Ugly, Strong, and With Dignity.  n.date.  11 May 2002.  http://users.orac.net.au/~mhumphry/wayne.html
Wood, Leroy.  The Movies of John Wayne.  n.date.  11 May 2002.  http://users.orac.net.au/~mhumphry/jwfilms.html

Friday, January 27, 2012

Floral Design 101

My first time through college, (boy it always sounds weird to say that!) I took a floral arranging class.  In fact, I took 2.  I heard it was fun and basically an easy A.  Ok I'm not going to lie, I was bought by the "easy A" words.  But it was awesome.  In fact, it was so awesome that I took the second one.  Unfortunately there were only 2 offered.  Shucks, but how much fun~!  If you ever get the chance, I would learn, although it isn't difficult :)

And my mother, she checked my head and wondered if I needed to go to the doctor because I was sick.  That was just something I didn't do... LOL

There are so many different types you can do, Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, Large, Tall, dry, live, fake, focus on the front, make it the same all the way around, hanging on the wall, sitting on a table, monotone, bright, dull, ok the list goes on and on.  You can even make wreathes which were awesome! I have to admit, the arrangement I did that I liked the least was the Asymmetrical arrangement.  Sorry, I like symmetry in my life!  Sameness :)

Anyway here are a few basic hints/lessons on floral design!

1.  Choose the flowers you want.  Always find a flower that will be the main focal point.  In my case, I actually used the Red Roses as the main focal point.

2.  choose your container and get some green foam.  Now if you're doing fake flowers, you use one type of "green foam" but if you are using live flowers, there is a special kind that you soak in water.  Obviously my container wouldn't hold water :), So then you need to decide if you want to glue the foam in or not.  If you're making a very top heavy arrangement, glue is necessary.  Mine wasn't all that tall so I didn't glue it in.

3.  With live flowers, our teacher told us that the leaves carry/hold bacteria so we always cut them so that the leaves never touched the water.  That's one hint in keeping your arrangement looking fresh longer.  I guess I got so used to that b/c I always take the leaves off fake flowers too, can't stand them.  That's just me and my preference.  Also, remember to take the price tag off :).

4.  Now you have a "naked" flower :).  Cut your stem to the correct length.  Remember if you cut it too short, use it somewhere else, it's not rocket science.  You can also, just not stick it as far in the foam.  Both options work.

5.  Figure out which flowers are the main focal point (my roses) and then make them where they cause the eye to flow through the arrangement.  So basically, not all the same height.  I had the "tallest", although the focal flowers don't necessarily need to be the tallest, then I shortened the left one a bit and finally the right one was shorter.  Movement + flow = Nice.

6.  Then place your filler flowers/jewels in to accentuate the "focal" flowers.  Some taller, some shorter, some medium.  Use your creative eye.  And if it comes down to it and you don't like it, pull them out and either start again or get more foam and then start again.  Actually in this one I hung some of the green leaves over the side for additional color/depth.  See, it all works out in the end :).

Here's the other one I did the same day:

And don't worry, they never turn out the same way twice, no matter how hard you try... LOL

I really wanted to do the floral arrangements for my wedding, I love them that much, but my mom wouldn't let me.  Told me I'd have toooooooo much on my plate.  Oh well :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rice Krispie Ice Cream Cones

Happy Thursday!  How's the weather where you are?  I'm not sure I really WANT snow, but some kind of precipitation would be nice around there, that's for sure!  I'm a little worried about what this summer may bring in the way of droughts!

So anyway a while back we had a goody day at our office, I truthfully can't remember why now, but one of the gals brought in these adorable Rice Krispie Ice Cream Cones.

Aren't they darling.  I had never seen such a thing before, so if you know me any at all, you know I had to have the recipe.  Partially just so I could share with you guys, but partially because, they're just so stinking cute... and yes, they were yummy 2.  I may or may not have had 2.  (ps don't look at my messy desk at work, please!)  Plus sometimes I put recipes here on the ole blog so I don't forget them or lose them :).  And it's handy if I'm at the store and need a recipe to just look it up :).  See I think ahead sometimes. ha!

  • Kid Size Ice Cream Cones
  • Candy Melts or Almond Bark
  • Sprinkles
  • 1 batch of Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats(use the recipe on the box)

1. Spray a Cookie Scoop with non-stick spray or butter well. A cookie scoop looks just like an ice cream scoop, only smaller. They aren't very expensive.  But definitely use a size that looks comparable to the ice cream cone.

2. Make your Rice Krispies treats according to the instructions on the box. After you have mixed in the Rice Krispies allow them to cool until you can handle them. Take small bunch of Rice Krispies Treats and stuff them into the cookie scoop. Pack it in nice and tight.

3. Leave an uneven edge of Rice Krispies around the edge of the scoop. You can add more or take away some Rice Krispies as necessary. A scoop of ice cream doesn't usually look perfect.

4. Squeeze the handle of the cookie scoop and gently remove the Rice Krispies scoop. TIP: You may need to spray your cookie scoop several times during the process. If the cookie scoop gets too sticky, wash it off and remove any melted marshmallow and spray again with non stick spray.

5. Melt almond bark or candy melts and place in a sandwich size ziploc bag. Snip the corner off and drizzle the candy over the ice cream scoops. I held the bag directly over the top and let it drip down the sides on its own.

6. Before the candy sets, add sprinkles to the Rice Krispies scoop. You don't want to get too far ahead and risk the candy setting before you add your sprinkles.

7. Put the scoops on the cones. Simply dip the edge of the cone in candy melts to help "glue" the scoop onto the cone.

And now the key is.... not to eat them all yourself!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

John Frank & the kids in my life

Since Tbug did so great with the horses at the Vet on Saturday, after we went to church on Sunday morning we headed to my parents house so she could ride with daddy and grandpa.  I figured while she rode, it'd give me a chance to take a few pictures, but also dirty up momma's kitchen.  Right now hubs and I can't have cinnamon rolls, but I got to thinking, you know how long it takes to make homemade cinnamon rolls?  I used to have a stock pile in my freezer so all we had to do was thaw them and then reheat them, but well, they all got eaten, but not solely by us.

So I dirtied up momma's kitchen by making cinnamon rolls to go in our freezer.  Now again cinnamon rolls take a while to make and we had to have Tbug back to her mom at 5 and then head to Sunday night dinner so I decided to make our SND contribution at mom's as well.  Early was making Chicken Cordon Bleu so I told her I would bring a side and dessert.

At first I was just going to take green beans, because, well hubs and I can eat those and after all it's about us right?  LOL, but I've been reading Linda Evans book, Recipes for Life: My Memories.  It's a great quick read btw, anyway in there she has John Wayne's Favorite Green Chile and Cheese Casserole recipe.  Supposedly he carried it around in his shirt pocket to every shoot he went on so someone could make it for him.  Now, it sounded fantastic, and it really was, but the change I would make, is turn it into a dip and eat with tortilla chips.  Otherwise it was fantastic!  And truthfully, it was great without chips, I couldn't have had chips anyway.

But the best part of the evening...

T (Pokey & Early's son, 7), Z (youngest boy of the group, S & C's son, 5), M (P&E's daughter, 6) & Mc (S&C's daughter, 8) were sitting at the kiddy table.  Early told T, who loves westerns and the sorts, that it was John Wayne's favorite casserole.  So then we hear this conversation at the kiddy table:

Mc - This is John Frank's favorite food, but I don't know who he is...
Z - Boy this John Frank sure loves this chicken and casserole
M - I don't know who John Frank is, who is he anyway?
T - It's NOT John Frank, it's John Wayne and it's his favorite food.  Gah!
Z - This is John Wayne's Favorite meal, Chicken and Casserole
Yes we all got tickled at this conversation!

So without further adu - John Frank, errrr  
John Wayne (LOL) Favorite Green Chile & Cheese Casserole.

1 pound coarsely grated Jack cheese
1 pound coarsely grated cheddar cheese
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
4 eggs, separated
1-5oz can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tsp Tabasco
2 tomatoes, sliced


Preheat oven to 325°.

Layer Monterrey Jack, green Chile, & Cheddar cheese in a 2 quart baking dish until all layers are in.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In another bowl combine egg yolks, milk, flour, salt and pepper and mix until well blended. Fold beaten egg whites into yolk mixture.

Pour  half the egg mixture over cheese in casserole.  Then with a skewer poke holes in the cheese mixture so some of the egg mixture can seep between the layers.  Then pour the rest of the mixture over the top.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and decorate with diced tomatoes (that have the skins removed also). Bake 30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let stand a few minutes to set; serve.
Serves 6-8

I wasn't able to get you a completely finished product picture because I ran out of time before we had to head to our meeting place to send Tbug home with her mom.

John Wayne Favorite Green Chile & Cheese Casserole.

by Nicole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Keywords: bake appetizer cheese eggs flour tomato Southwest
Ingredients (6-8 servings)
  • 1 pound coarsely grated Jack cheese
  • 1 pound coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1-5oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
Preheat oven to 325°.
Layer Monterrey Jack, green Chile, & Cheddar cheese in a 2 quart baking dish until all layers are in.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
In another bowl combine egg yolks, milk, flour, salt and pepper and mix until well blended. Fold beaten egg whites into yolk mixture.
Pour half the egg mixture over cheese in casserole. Then with a skewer poke holes in the cheese mixture so some of the egg mixture can seep between the layers. Then pour the rest of the mixture over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and decorate with diced tomatoes (that have the skins removed also). Bake 30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let stand a few minutes to set; serve.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Farm Kids are a Different Breed

March 1st, 2001, a date I doubt I forget for a really long time.

Do you want to know why?

That was the first time I experienced a C-section on one of my ewes.

About the 4th grade, I conned my parents into enrolling me in to 4-H.  4-H wasn't my favorite thing, but I wanted to be more involved with animals and being able to show, plus it's what all the cool kids were doing.  In 4-H you can take on lots of different "projects" from animals to experiments to sewing & even cooking.  There are some unlimited possibilities there.  My dad and I debated long and hard, yes even in the 4th grade, because I wanted to show cattle.  In the end, I lost the battle and stuck with what I knew best, horses.

Then once 9th grade hit, FFA was in the realm of possibilities, and you betcha I joined.  I was excited about FFA, much more so than I was about 4-H.  In FFA you have SAE's (Supervised Agricultural Experiences) projects.  So my mom figured I would stick with what I knew best, horses.  Little did my parents know, I still wanted to show cattle.  Again I lost that battle, we'd just moved to our "new house" and all we had was a horse bar with a 12x12 box stall, and "Nicole, a cow can't live in a box stall." Plus my dad traveled a lot for work.  In the end, we all agreed upon sheep.  Little did my parents know at one point in my sheep career I'd have 78 head of sheep, but that's a little off subject.

So in the first few years of raising sheep we lambed out sheep.  Usually we had to help pull lambs a few times but the first ewe that ever had to have a c-section was on a morning when I had to be at school, so my dad and the vet took care of it.  I came home to a set of triplets.  A few weeks later, March 1st, 2001 (it was a Thursday night btw in case you wondered, yeah, that's how much I remember this date, in fact I had a History test the next day so I should have been home studying.... don't worry I did get an A on that test in case you wondered) I got home from school and went out to do chores and noticed I had a ewe about to lamb.  Long story short we decided the ewe needed the assistance of a vet via possible c-section.

In the end, the ewe needed the C-section and I was standing there holding the ewe.  They had to shave her wool off her belly, I was fine, and I couldn't see anything, but the minute they cut in to her I about fell to the ground.  I wound up going outside and sitting with my head between my knees until the pounding in my brain quit.

Now jump forward 10 years (not quite to the day).

About a month ago or so hubs received a text message from Tbug's mom that said Tbug informed her she didn't want to be a vet because she "didn't want to stick her arm in an animals butt."  Of course we all got a good laugh about that.

So if you remember a while back I received a free horse breeding.  So Saturday we had to take that mare to the vet for a pre-breeding exam as well as we took another one to have her preg checked (hoping she was bred, but no such luck, just a big hay belly).  Tbug was with us so we loaded her up in the truck and she went along too. (although later she told us she'd have rather stayed with grandma... LOL)

She wasn't to sure she wanted to be there, but she did awesome.  For a bit, she almost looked pale white and I kept reminding her not to lock her knees because I didn't want her to pass out.  I even told her to sit on the ground if she needed too.  Obviously for a vet to do a preg check and a pre-breeding exam they have to take the ultrasound machine up the rear so they can check out the uterus and ovaries.  I even convinced Tbug to walk back and stand in front of my dad and to the right of her dad (the mare was on the left) & the vet and she looked at the ultrasound tv machine while listening to the vet talking about the insides of the mare.  But if someone moved and she thought she might see something she was out of there and had to be coaxed back over.

Truly, farm kids get exposed to some "interesting" things at very young ages... LOL.  Hopefully she hasn't been scarred for life.

and I'll leave you on that note with a picture.

Monday, January 23, 2012


No, not the candy....  The dogs!

I walked past the farm truck the other day and Mudflap and Morelli jumped in the bed, ready to go.

I'm not sure where they thought we were going though, because I was just walking out to the round pen to snap pics of Tbug riding.

Then Morelli looked at me like, um... where do you think you're going.

Funny thing is, that silly little dog, doesn't ride in the bed of the pickup anywhere.  He thinks he needs to ride in the cab.

And some days he even thinks he needs to help drive.  I swear he thinks he knows how to shift... ha!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Grandpa's Hands

I received this in an email at work and just had to share.  Happy Sunday!

This is good. I'll  never look at my hands the same!

Grandpa, some  ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He  didn't move, just sat with his head down staring at his  hands. When I sat down beside him he didn't acknowledge my  presence  and  the longer I sat, I wondered if he was  OK.

Finally, not  really wanting to disturb him but  wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if  he was OK.

He raised his head  and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine. Thank you for  asking," he said in a clear strong  voice.

"I didn't mean to  disturb you, Grandpa, but you were just sitting here  staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were  OK," I explained to him.

"Have you ever  looked at your hands," he asked. "I mean really looked at  your hands?"

I slowly opened my  hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms  up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really  looked at my hands as I tried to  figure out the point he was making. Grandpa smiled and  related this story:

"Stop and think  for a moment about the hands you have, how they have  served you well throughout your years. These hands, though  wrinkled, shriveled, and weak have been the  tools  I  have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace  life. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my  back.  
  • As a  child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.  
  • They  tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
  • They  have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and  bent.
  • They  were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn  son.
  • Decorated with my wedding band  they showed the world that I was married and loved  someone special.
  • They  trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse  and walked my daughter down the aisle.
  • They  have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and  cleansed the rest of my body.
  • They  have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and  raw.
  • And  to this day, when not much of anything else of me works  real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and  again continue to fold in prayer.
  • These  hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness  of my life.
  • But  more importantly it will be these hands that God will  reach out and take when he leads me home.
  • And  with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I  will use these hands to touch the face of  Christ."

I will never look  at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out  and took my grandpa's hands and led him  home.

When my hands are  hurt or sore I think of Grandpa. I know he has been  stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too,  want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my  face.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dr. Pepper Pot Roast

So a while back I was reading Life with the Edwards and Rebekah talked about making PW's Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork.  I remembered seeing that on PW's site and thinking boy that sounds good but brushed it off.  Then when Rebekah said that she made hers in a slow cooker, I though, "now there's an idea!"  Put it in in the morning and when I'd get home from class, you know a late night, dinner would be ready.  Clever!  So I took her Que and made it for us too.

Dr. Pepper Pot Roast adapted from Pioneer Woman with help from Life with the Edwards

1 whole Large Onion
1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce {I really don't remember using this but maybe we did...}
2 cans Dr. Pepper
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Get out the Crockpot.  Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of the pot.  Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.

Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.

Place lid tightly on pot, and let it cook low and slow all day. Check meat after six hours or in my case 10 hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it's not falling apart, return to the crockpot and bump up the heat for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat.

Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it.  At this point we removed some of the liquid and placed it into a pan with some corn starch to thicken it up and make a gravy.

While you are cooking the gravy and letting it thicken, place some egg noodles in a pot of boiling water and cook as package directions.  Once you have drained, dish some on your plate.

Top the noodles with gravy and meat and enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Costa Rica Baby!

I've been scanning in photos lately.  One thing I've noticed is that the scanner doesn't quite give the same quality of photo as if I had say WalMart photo lab (or someplace like that) put them on a disk from film for me, but it's way cheaper :).  One thing that's so great about digital photos is if you don't like it, HIT THE DELETE KEY and no one ever sees it :)

So I have a whole bunch of photos from Costa Rica that I really should find all the film and have them put on disks.  I went to Costa Rica 10 years ago this May.  How crazy is that.  I scanned in some of my scrapbook pages that I had to make for my grade.

Have you ever fed an Iguana?  They apparently eat Bananas....

I also went White Water Rafting....

Here we {I mean I am} are at a volcano... I have a small scar on the back of my leg from sliding down this thing on my butt.  Yes I've always been graceful.

Did you notice my braided hair.  Wanna know a secret... I have a lot of hair.  I had 2 ladies working on those braids and it took them 3 1/2 hours to put them in.  I guess I got bored because I counted the number of braids, 96 braids on my head.  Then when I came home (I think on a Friday) the following day I had a horse show and obviously my braided hair wouldn't fit in my hat so my mom spent 1 1/2 hours taking the braids back out of my hair.  Somewhere I even have a picture of the kinky curly hair I had from that ordeal.  Yeah I won't share it though :)

Ok I'll quite, I just thought I'd share a bit since I was reminiscing.  Happy Friday!!  I had Eggs & Bacon for breakfast so I'm happy :) haha

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Some Real Thinkers to Start Your Day

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles , U.C.L.A.

The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

The batteries were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.

A boiled egg is hard to beat.

When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.

A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

Acupuncture: a jab well done.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Raise Your Hand....

 ... if you're happy today is Wednesday!

Now if only it was Friday ;)

Thought for your Wednesday:

1.  If walking/cycling is good for your  health, the postman would be immortal.

2.  A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water and is fat.

3.  A rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years.

4.  A Tortis doesn't run, does nothing... yet lives for 450 years.

And you tell me to exercise!

But the good news is, I haven't told a whole lot of people I've been working on losing weight, but I'm down 11.8lbs.  Happy day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Smoking & Burning

Boy, I'm a little slow on the git go this morning.  Every week for the last couple weeks I've been almost wide awake at 4:30-5 in the morning and can't go back to sleep.  I guess on a work week that isn't TERRIBLE but on a weekend, man that's no fun!  This morning was no different, but I'm still not fully awake even though I've been semi-up since 5:15.

Anyway that has nothing to do with anything.  Just thought I'd share; thought you might like to know my crazy sleeping patterns :).

The last couple of weekends we've spent splitting wood and bringing it up to the house.  We burn wood at our house.  I love fire places.  The warmth, the crackle, the calm, serine feeling you get.  Plus, I'm not going to lie, it helps with the electricity bill in the winter.  Can't beat that!

A couple weekends ago our Wood rack looked like this...

Don't worry.  We weren't out of wood.  Just out of wood on the wood rack.  We had this pile that fell over this summer after we stacked it all nice and neatly...

The thing is, all the leaves blew in this fall and we weren't really sure how much wood was actually there... which creates a slight problem.  So we got to cutting wood, in a hurry!

But the problem with big logs....

They might not fit in the fire place.... So that makes it hard to burn them.  So after we chopped them up in the right length of pieces, they were going to meet their fate with the log splitter.

We went and borrowed a log splitter so we didn't have to chop them the old fashioned way with the axe.  Boy wouldn't that be a lot of work!  I think I might go back to our electric heater :).

Sorry, sometimes I'm a little lazy.

Enter, one of our best friends.  I should name him, Chuck maybe?

He is motorized.  Yeah he burns that expensive gasoline, but he makes our lives so much easier!

So the first thing you do is roll the honkin logs over to "Chuck"

You get them into position.  This case you put a flat side down and slide them against the red upright beam.  Make sure you move your hands from the top!  That could be dangerous and bloody and just flat out hurt!  Holding the outside (usually the side closest to you if you position yourself right in front) is best!  But it needs a stabilizing hand.

Then you pull down on the lever.  This is what moves the axe.

 And look.  It splits the big honkin log in 2 pieces.

Clear down to the base.  How easy was that.  We need a Staples button here stat!

 Then you keep positioning the log until you get smaller, more manageable pieces such as this one.

And then throw them in a pile out of your way.  Now trust me, all of this is still labor intensive b/c you are sitting or kneeling on the ground and using a lot of upper body to throw these logs around.  But it's so much easier and FASTER than swinging an axe with all your force!  And much safer too.  Is Safer a word or is it more safe?  Well anyway, it's that :)

Then someone (ie usually me) gets to load up the truck.  Now don't be fooled, Hubs helps with this too and I help with the splitting, but I don't run a chainsaw even though I can.  Why do I need to if he will :)

And then you take the truck to the house and load up the Wood rack.

Now this was just the first day.  We have much more now, plus I actually restacked what was in that pile (pic up top).  See, I can be a good wife some days :).  And sometimes I might not even be lazy... haha... Although you might mark that on your calendars that I wasn't lazy.  That way if you need to go back and double check you can find it!


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