Sunday, May 31, 2009

That's the way the graham cracker crumbles

For the next several weeks our Sunday school class will be combining with another class for a study on marriage. All of the ladies will be in one class and the men in the other. At first I wasn't sure whether or not I would like the men and women separation, but today I realized how the set-up will lend itself to a much more relaxed atmosphere, more candid discussions, and the lessons can focus more specifically on the female aspect of the household. Most people assume that when women get together they talk and share everything, but I beg to differ. I think men talk and share much more readily than women. They tend not to care what people think of them and will be brutally honest with their stories. I already gave M to the Izz-A the if-you-throw-me-under-the-bus-in-front-of-all-those-people speech and he just laughed....and then I rolled my eyes, and that conversation came to an abrupt end. We have awesome communication skills.

All kidding aside, I really and truly hope to grow from this study. Sometimes it's hard to put your husband first, before your children, like the bible says we should. I struggle with it often, but do realize how important it is to find time to spend with just the two of us and try to make an effort to do so. It's kind of like trying to find that uninterrupted time in the day to spend with the Lord. I know how important it is, but sometimes fail to give Him the time He so rightfully deserves. We all go through times when we are close to the Lord, and then other times find ourselves feeling not as close as we should be. I heard someone say when I was younger that if you find yourself feeling not as close to the Lord as you once were, who do you think moved? You, not God, He's still where He's always been. He's the same yesterday, today, and forever. That's what I love about Him.

I did leave there today with one thing I didn't have when I entered:

As my friend, Jobeth, was digging in her purse for a pen for me to borrow, she came across an extra one of these.

She insisted that I take it home and try it. It's Chick-fil-A's newest addition to their sauce family and she says it's amazing. I'm a big fan of their Polynesian sauce but this new sauce is supposed to be all of their sauces mixed together. So, I'm on a mission tomorrow to find something I can dip into this stuff, and it may just end up being my finger. Anyone else tried this yet?

Speaking of food, today we ate lunch at Matt's dad's (Papa T) house. I made Mary's trusty mac-n-cheese and tried a new dessert recipe. My sweet friend from work (Thanks, Rachel!) made me copies of some recipes to try over the summer, one of them being Paula Deen's Homemade Kit-Kat bars. They are pretty easy to make and the best part is that you store them in the refrigerator, and you know how much I love desserts and candy bars stored in the fridge or freezer!

Homemade Kit Kat Bars

75 club crackers

1 cup butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (**Please do yourself a favor and buy your graham cracker crumbs! I forgot they even made them and found myself crushing graham crackers in a ziplock at 9:30 at night. Kinda sorta takes the fun out of it just a bit!)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup whole milk

1/3 cup white sugar

2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Line an ungreased 13x9 inch baking pan with 1 layer of crackers, cutting to fit; set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cracker crumbs, brown sugar, milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour half of the butter mixture evenly over crackers. Place another single layer of crackers evenly over butter mixture. Pour remaining butter mixture evenly over crackers. Top evenly with remaining crackers.
In a small saucepan, combine peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch chips. Melt over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over crackers. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. Cut into bars and store into refrigerator.

FYI***I might use a little less peanut butter next time. I love peanut butter but didn't expect to be able to taste it as much as I did. Just something to consider.

And then tonight we headed over to Ben and Kristin's for our weekly hotdog roast, which sometimes the roasting takes place indoors, on a counter top grill...not quite as authentic, but much more convenient! Also, there's something so much more forgiving about serving your family hotdogs for dinner if you do it with a crowd. Ha!

I'm officially off work for the summer, so this blog will probably be updated a lot more often. Now, as for how exciting the posts will, I can't make any promises! I may just have to get creative!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We packed our bags, headed for the lake, and kissed our cares, worries, and flat iron goodbye

Growing up, my family always had a place on the lake that we visited every summer. I remember wishing that we could just live there year-round. Except for the fire ants, everything was perfect. My parents even let me take a bath in the lake with my big bar of Zest soap and Pert Plus Two-in-One Shampoo. I'll never forget it. And the funny thing is, I actually felt clean after it.

There's something about being at the lake that makes you ease up on your daily primping and hygiene habits. Sometimes Matt eases up a little too much for my liking and I have to rein him in a bit.

I am so thankful that M to the Izz-A's Granny Mac has a spot on the lake for us to take Kate. I'm big on traditions. I love them. I hope lake trips can be a family tradition for us just like it was for my family when I was young.

Sleepy eyes, Popsicle mouth

Our first day at the lake wore us out, so we decided to go out to eat instead of cooking. We ate at a place called 3 Bananas. It was pretty good except for the random corn nuggets hidden on all of our plates. Maybe they should look into changing their name to 3 Corn Nuggets.
L to R: Me, Jobeth, Kasey, Kristin
After we ate the guys asked our server if we could go out onto the patio. We thought it was weird that no one else was out there. The server told them that they spotted a moccasin on the deck earlier and they tried to catch it but failed. was still out there somewhere. Needless to say the gals chose to stay indoors while the guys dreamed big dreams of returning inside the restaurant wearing their newly earned National Heavy-Weight Snake Wrestling belt.

The rest of the trip turned out great. The rain held off long enough during the days for us to enjoy the sun, sand, and water.

Paci and Sippy enjoyed their weekend at the lake, too! But why do you have Mommy's memory card???

Watch out Elaine Youngs!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

'round here

This week has been pretty routine around our household. I only have a week and a half left of work and then I'll be off for the summer. Summer has pretty much consumed my thoughts lately, as I've been planning all the different activities Kate and I can do to fill our days. You know, like help Mommy do the laundry, help Mommy clean the bathrooms, and help Mommy organize the food in the pantry. I'm only kidding, you know I don't let anyone touch my food.

We've been trying to complete some of our many unfinished home improvement projects. Yesterday evening we painted some of the trim on our balcony that M to the Izz-A put up last summer. Kate insisted that she help. Insisted is putting it lightly - and saves face as far as my parenting skills are concerned...

Apparently it's a hilarious sight to watch me paint, because Matt's dad told me today that he and Mrs. Shirley (Matt's stepmother) were watching me through their window across the water and were laughing the whole time. Without knowing, I provide everyone with free entertainment. Thanks guys, I'll be here all week.

In other news, Kate is pretty pumped about the $5 chair I bought her today.

And I crossed off yet another item from my "When I'm a Parent I'll Never..." list and broke down and bought Kate a pair of shoes with a character on them.
Look closely and you can see Dora laughing at me. I've always disliked clothing (and shoes) with cartoon characters on them, but hey, she loves Dora, and I love her, therefore I love Dora, too. At least I think that's how it works.

After dinner, Granny Shirley asked Kate and Kennedy to help her pick peaches. They picked them. I ate 'em.

Before I go, I want to say Happy Birthday to Granny T. She's always willing to help out in any way that she can. We love her so much and are thankful to have her living close to us now.

Last weekend we took her and Paw to the Mill House restaurant. Granny helped out with Kate and made the ride there a smooth one.

Check Paw out in the two pics above. I don't think he's a big fan of my somewhat frivolous photography. I'm almost positive he thinks I'm weird.

RPF (Random Paw Factoid): He refers to pacifiers as 'sucky wads'. That's what his family called them when he was a boy and he's called them that ever since. And he thinks I'm weird. You don't even want to know the face I made the first time I heard him say it.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Granny!

And that's pretty much what's up.

Have a great Friday ya'll!