Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A must see!

You have to watch this now!! Be sure to have your volume on!


We are trying to figure out how to teach Leo how to do what the last dog does. We know that's what he's thinking when we put him in his kennel!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

I love to cook!

I have decided that when I don't think I have anything to post about, I will post one of my recipes. I would not consider myself someone who takes risks and makes elaborate creations, but I put my own twist on pretty traditional recipes. My recipes are also either low fat or nonfat. I have never used real cream or real butter in a recipe, and I use very low fat ground turkey in recipes instead of ground beef. We also use ground bison for our hamburgers instead of ground beef. We are definitely not health nuts by any means, but since we like to indulge and sometimes overeat, we like to know that we are at least eating a healthier version than if we were to go out to eat and order the same thing!

So for my first cooking post, I am going to start with some of my favorite tools I have in our kitchen. Now, our kitchen is very small, so I'm sure once we have a house with a larger kitchen, I will have many more favorite tools! I think these are some basics that make cooking and baking easier and more fun.

First, my Grape KitchenAid stand mixer.
My wonderful college roommate, Mandy, got all of our friends to go in together and purchase this wonderful appliance. And, I must say, I probably would not be likely to bake as often as I do if I didn't have this! You just put all your ingredients in, turn it on, and it does all the work for you!

Second, my Pampered Chef stoneware.
My mother-in-law gave me my first piece of stoneware, which was a casserole dish and it is great! This Christmas my sister-in-law got me two more pieces. What is so great about this stoneware is you cannot burn the bottom anything! Just try! You can bake cookies 15 minutes longer, and the bottom will not be burnt. I love anything that is foolproof. When you bake cookies on the stoneware, when you take them out of the oven, only let them sit on the stoneware for about a minute, then loosen them up and remove them. The longer they sit on the stoneware, the harder they will be. That really goes with anything you bake on the flat stoneware.

My next favorite is another Pampered Chef item. It is the medium scoop.
This scoop allows you to have the perfect round cookies that are all the same size. It's wonderful for a mildly OCD person, like myself!

Now, on to my favorite ingredient to use: Land O'Lakes Light Stick Butter.

I like to use this for several reasons. First, it has less than half the fat of regular butter and the taste is the same, if not better (in our opinion). Second, by have less fat in the butter, your cookies and biscuits are going to be chewy. Not just chewy when they are right out of the oven, but chewy the next day and the next day. I personally do not like crunchy cookies, and I have learned that cookies made with real butter tend to be crunchy after they have cooled and been stored.

If you haven't figured this out by now, I am no expert on cooking or baking, I just love to do it! I never cooked or baked much growing up, I have only found my true love for baking since I have been married. My mother was not a big cook. We would always tease her that she could burn water! Probably, I should attribute my appreciation and love for cooking to my great-grandmother, Grandma Pug.
The first time I ever cooked anything, was in her kitchen. She passed away in December 2007, and I miss her very much. I wish I was able to share recipes with her and learn more from her years of experience in the kitchen.

Hopefully, I have not bored you to death! My next post will be an actual recipe, with my tips and tricks I have learned all the way. I love to bake more than I love to cook, but I will try to post an even amount of posts on each of them! If you have any specific dish that you are interested in but are scared to try, let me know. There's a good possibility that I have made it and have a recipe that I have tweaked a little! The only thing I don't make is fish, only because Tim isn't a fan of it. So, I have zero experience in cooking fish, except for the fish sticks I used to make in high school, but I don't think those count!
Now, everyone sit on the edge of your seats until my next post! ;-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nothing too exciting...

I bet all three of y'all who read my blog would love it if I posted something more than just once a month! As I was thinking about what to post, I got a little frustrated because nothing exciting has happened to us lately. THEN when I started thinking about that fact, I realized that I would rather not have excitement, because it would probably end up something like this! We all know we don't need anything like that happening again!

I guess you could consider Leo waking up twice in the middle of the night last night barking at absolutely nothing exciting. The odd thing, he has really been maturing lately. He sits at the front window watching the kids play outside or our neighbor walking his dog, and Leo doesn't do anything. He doesn't bark or try to break through the window or anything! I was very proud of him when I took him for a walk on Wednesday and he didn't bark at a single dog that we passed! Now, he did growl at a guy who was walking a little too close to us. I'll definitely not complain about him doing that! We were beginning to give up hope that he would ever become mature enough to not break things or go crazy when someone walks by the window. The first thing he learned to do in the training classes we took him to was to sit. And boy does he sit! We say his name, and where ever he is in the house, we hear him sit down. If we get on to him for something, he immediately sits down, I guess to distract us from whatever he has done wrong by sitting down beautifully! He does still tear off his toe nails trying to get inside when he hears the trash truck. He has now ripped off three in the last month or so!

Other than that I can think of nothing to post! Oh, have you ever wondered what a loofah looked like all pulled apart? Have you never even thought about it until now, since I said something? Well, this is what it looks like:

Oh, so don't buy the $.96 loofahs at Target, or this might happen to you in the middle of your shower!! It just fell apart in my hands! Who knew these things were like 10 feet long?!

Ok, in all seriousness, if you haven't noticed my new little button on the left side of my blog, look now. This is Kelly Stamp's blog and she is just the sweetest girl in the world. After several years of struggling to have a baby, her and her husband were blessed with a precious little girl. But when she was born she had immediate breathing and heart problems and was taken to the NICU in Tulsa (they live in Bentonville). She is progressively getting better, but it is going to be a long road. Please pray for them as they are coping with all the ups and downs of having a baby with serious health problems. Kelly is keeping very upbeat but I know she is tired and just wants to take her baby home with her!

I hope you all have a great weekend, and if anything exciting happens to us, I'll be sure to let you know!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Our Marriage in a Snapshot

I came home from work today to find our bathroom towels like this:

Now, this wasn't a surprise, because this is what the towels look like everyday after Tim and I get ready in the morning. However, today, it clicked with me: the way we hang our towels is a perfect description of our personalities! Can you guess which one is mine and which one is Tim's? :-)
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Sunday, January 4, 2009

We always said we needed to have a reality TV show...

...now maybe we'll get one!

We left Tuesday evening to go to Arkansas to see my family. We got there around midnight and were going to leave the next day to go to Branson, MO, which is only about an hour and a half to two hour drive from my parents. Tim, my mom, and I were going to leave around 1, my dad was going to leave from his store around 3 or so, and Ryan and Natalie were going to leave from Little Rock sometime in the afternoon. So my group left, with me driving and Tim in the backseat (which NEVER happens), and about an hour or so into the trip, I needed to stop so I could fix my contact. We stopped in tiny little Alpena, AR, at the only gas station. After I fixed my contact, we decided to all go on to the bathroom. The bathrooms in this gas station are quite small. When sitting on the toilet, my legs were under the sink, and when standing up, I had to be off to the side of the toilet and sink. Well, when I stood up, I flushed and was fixing my pocket in my jeans. I pulled my hand out of my pocket and my keys came out of my pocket, bounced off the toilet seat, and into the flushing toilet. I watched as my keys just got washed away. I stood there and waited for them to bounce back up into the water, because what just happened could not have really just happened. No keys came bouncing back up into the water. Now, would be a good time to let you know that we don't have an extra key to my car. When we purchased it, they only gave us the one key and two key fobs. We often talked about possibly getting another key made, but it was quite expensive for a key since it had a computer chip in it, so we have been putting it off. Now seemed like a great time to have that expensive, extra key. Oh, I should also tell you that all of our cell phones and purses were in the car. I walked out of the bathroom, walked over to my waiting husband, looked him in his eyes, and told him I had just flushed our only means of transportation down the toilet. He looked at me in disbelief and asked how it happened. I explained it to him, then I told my mom what happened. We walked over to the ladies working at the gas station and told them what happened. First they laughed, and I must have had quite the disgusted look on my face because I was sure there was nothing humorous in what had just happened. After they got their little chuckle, they told us this had just happened not too long ago to a man who had stopped there on his way to somewhere and they were able to take the cap off of the cleanout part of the septic tank and there his keys were, just floating in the water. Immediately, I just knew my keys were in the exact same place! We were home free...until they went out back to take the cap off and discovered it had been covered with gravel...a year ago! So they start digging, while my mom guarded the ladies bathroom and did not allow anyone to go in it out of fear they would flush the toilet and the keys would get washed away (we later found out that all the toilets ran together, so having people go in the other bathrooms did not help in keeping the keys from getting washed away). Tim went out to help with the digging and I started pacing the gas station. About 45 minutes into this ordeal, a man and his family were standing in line for the bathroom, and heard what had happened. He told us that his sister had just done that a couple of months ago at a rest stop in Kansas with her dog locked in her car. I asked if she got her keys back and he quickly said "No". But, he let us use his phone to call my dad. My dad answered and I told him what happened, only to have him respond with "No you didn't" about three or four times. I finally told him that, yes, I had in fact flushed them down the toilet and I need him to stop saying that and help us figure out what to do. Thankfully, he knew he could get a key made from the VIN of my car, so we gave the number to him, and he told us to call OnStar to have them unlock my car. I know for a fact that we had OnStar because Tim had called not long ago to see how much longer we still had on the free subscription and we had several months, and the OnStar light next to the button was green on the trip there (which means OnStar is activated). I hung up with my dad and Tim called OnStar, only to find out that it had been completely deactivated. How can that be since it had just been activated not long before, they don't know but it has indeed been deactivated. And wouldn't ya know, we couldn't just start a new subscription to it, because that would be too easy. In the mean time, the gas station workers are still digging, I'm still stressing, and my mom is now pacing. After about another hour of digging (in the wrong spot) this big man comes around the corner in his truck full of junk and asks what's going on. The lady explains and he hops out of his truck with a pick ax and starts digging away (in the right spot) and finds the cap. At this point, I'm still positive that they are going to take that cap off and my keys will be right there. Before they can take the cap off, someone comes out and says that the women's bathroom had just backed up all into the floor (how did that happen?!), so they plunged it and flushed it, so the keys should be right there. They take the cap off, no keys. At that point I begin having an anxiety attack. We borrow someone else's cell phone to call my dad to let him know that my keys are definitely gone. He tells us that he found the only 2008 G6 key in NWA, was having it made for my car and was headed to the dealership to pick it up. Also, he had called for a tow truck to come pick up my car and take it to the dealership in Harrison so they can hook it up to the computer and program the key to work in my ignition. Not too long after that, a tow truck pulled up and the man got out and told us that we need to pop the hood so he can put it into neutral. We told him that was not possible because we cannot get into the car. Well, he can't tow the car because he can't get it up on his tow truck. Thankfully, he had a cell phone and we called my dad and told him. They worked out a plan that when my dad got to Huntsville, he would call the tow truck and about the time the tow truck got back to the gas station, my dad would be getting there. He could then unlock the car with the key, then we could have my car towed to the dealership in Harrison. We would have to leave my car in Harrison, because the dealership closed at 5 and there was NO WAY they could stay till 5:15 to program the key AND they were going to be closed the next day (since it was New Year's Day). We would just come back through on Friday and pick up my car on our way home. Seems like a great plan. So we wait, and wait, and wait. We were at the gas station for a total of almost 4 hours when all was said and done! Everyone in the whole town of Alpena knew us and what had happened to us. They all had their ideas of what we could do (several included breaking my window, but I kindly told them "No, thank you"!) But, about 15 minutes before the tow truck came back, this man came in and was talking to us about what happened and what we were doing to get it taken care of. He then said that there was a man in town who worked on GM cars and he might know a way of programing the key. He called the guy and told him what kind of car we had and what had happened. A few minutes later the guy called the gas station and talked to Tim and told him how to program the key to recognize my car without having to use the computer. The only thing is it takes about 30 minutes and he said that it SHOULD work, but there was a chance it wouldn't work. So we were worried that we would try it and it would not work, and it would be after the time the towing place closed so we would have to leave my car at the gas station on Friday, only to have to have it towed to Harrison then! So, my dad got there (I've never been so excited to see his white truck round a corner before in my life!) and unlocked my car, we got it into neutral and loaded it up on the wrecker. We followed in my dad's truck and when we got to the dealership in Harrison, Tim started in on the programing process. We prayed and he programed!! At 6:17 exactly, we heard the engine start up. It worked! We all screamed and jumped up and down, then got in all of our cars (Ryan and Natalie had met up with us at this point) and finished the 30 minute drive to Branson...where everyone laughed and teased me for three days! :-)

So, the next time you hear some crazy thing that happened and you ask "How does that happen?" or "Who does that?", you can think of me. Maybe now you will all be careful when you go into tiny bathrooms with your keys in your pocket!