Saturday, January 31, 2015


I take my  job as Homemaker seriously and like being in the kitchen!  So when I fail or get a negative comment from the Hubs it's hard to blow it off.  But I had one failure turned into a success this week AND an impromptu dinner menu that turned out great!  Exciting!

I tried making Brownie Brittle from a pinterest recipe that used a brownie mix...and it was a fail.  I think I didn't spread the batter thin enough.  It tasted good, but you could've broken a tooth on that stuff!  The second day I decided I was going to throw it in the garbage, then I had a bright idea - if banana pudding can make vanilla wafers soft, then maybe the same thing would work with a chocolate trifle!  We had college kids over Tuesday, and I usually make two desserts, so for one I made a chocolate trifle layered with chocolate pudding, brownie brittle, and Cool Whip.  I refrigerated it for about 6 hours and it was great!  The brownie brittle softened up and was a hit!

I didn't plan very well this week and just bought food for the college kid dinner when I went to the store earlier this week, so come Thursday I didn't have anything really in mind for dinner.  I know some of you will cringe at this, but I looked in the freezer and saw that my son had bought a box of Delimex chicken taquitos.  I used to serve taquitos pretty regularly, but haven't in the past couple of years.  I would line them in a 13 x 9 pan, cover them with cream of chicken soup and cheese.  The kids loved them!  Nowadays I rarely use cream of anything in casseroles.  I rarely make casseroles, actually!  Which I guess is better for us health-wise.

Anyway, I didn't have the soup, so I got out my recipe for Spanish rice which is really delicious with sautéed bell pepper and onion.  After simmering that, I put it in a square pan and nestled the frozen taquitos in the rice, topped it with cheese, and baked it.  Another success!  Add to it the avocados I had bought and we had some homemade guacamole with it.  The family was happy and I was pretty excited that I have found a yummier and slightly healthier way to serve taquitos!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Resting was my goal for January.  I met my goal!  Woohoo!!!  Now that we are approaching the end of January, I am getting a little panicked.  Time to get back in the game, start eating right again, figure out the goals for this year, get my REAR IN GEAR as my mother would say.  Oh, I need some motivation!

But I'm a little overwhelmed and not sure why... well I know one reason why...a few months back I visited with the leaders of the women's committee at church and we decided to have a Brainstorming session.  So we just had the meeting a week ago, and little did we know we would come out of that meeting with about 70 ideas!  Many are similar and overlap, but now I face the task of helping them decide which ones to try to implement this year!  I'm a people pleaser so you can see why this might be too much!

Can we please just fast forward to March???  Spring Break anyone?

During this month I did decide one goal for this year.  I want to be more IN THE MOMENT.  It's something I have been thinking about and even preaching to my family at times.  Might sound strange to you but to me, the planner, it's something I have to work at...It's time I relaxed a little and enjoyed my place here in life, my husband, my kids when they are home, times of worship, times of prayer, beautiful weather, bad weather, you name it.  And very contradictory to "accomplishing the goal mindset" I so desperately think I need back.  I think I need to look hard at my goals, pare them down to just a few (forget that 70 ideas!) and be CONTENT.  Then I can be more in the moment!  I think I have a plan...

In Bible study today a verse was brought up as we studied what some say is the hardest book in the Bible - Mark 13.  The big controversy was the way some of the questions are worded (questions written by humans) and is Jesus really talking about the destruction of Jerusalem or the destruction of the earth and his return?  Scholars are divided and it's hard to know for sure.  The one thing we decided is that some of the minute details are not that important, but what is important is that we WATCH as Jesus said.

What is important is how we live until that day comes.  I love this verse:

Thanks to all my blog buddies for hanging in there this last month
through all the wedding posts and my randomness today!

Monday, January 26, 2015


We were having dinner with some vegetarian friends the other night, so I ventured out and tried a new salad - we all loved it!  It's from my Penzey spice sales catalog.  If you've never heard of Penzey's and you like fresh spices and blends, check it out at Every time I'm in Denver I like to go by their store and I've usually got the coupon for something free that comes in the catalog.  Also, I love their catalog for their stories about customers and their recipes!  This recipe came from a woman who lives in the Pacific Northwest (click to enlarge).

Thursday, January 22, 2015


You know me by now...I have a hard time throwing things away that could be repurposed or look like a potential craft.  It's a sickness, I know!  (I will say the decluttering has started now that we are past the wedding, and other things that interrupted my goals last fall!) 

I had all these beautiful gold envelopes that the wedding replies came in and I couldn't bear to toss them - they cost us a pretty penny!  So I decided to make a paper circle garland.  It's mostly gold and some of them I cut have our address on the circle.  I also had some nice cream paper so I used a little of that too to break up the gold-ness of the garland.  After studying a few on pinterest, I decided to make it about 10 feet long so I knew I needed about 60 circles.  I used my old Creative Memories circle cutter.  Then I sewed them together on the sewing machine.  Adds a little whimsy to my living room!  

I made another to send to my girl.  I hope she likes it when she realizes what it was made from!  

Monday, January 19, 2015


My son-in-law made the headboard...

All the gifts are in their proper places now...

He made these hanging shelves as well...  

So fun to see these two creative people making a new life together!

Saturday, January 17, 2015


A wintry day walk
Thirty degrees cold
The world is silent
Just a few passing cars
The crunch of my feet
Geese silently move away
The water does not move
Birds walk on the ice
Pine trees highlight the dead landscape
Tissues catch my drippy nose
Lyrics echo in my head
As I step in wonder
Through this cold wintry world

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Until the next child in our family decides to take the plunge!  :)

For a picture person, like me, this is one time I'm really thankful for my sweet SIL who helped with set up AND took lots of candid photos!  Maybe you've seen her blogs before but here's a shout out if you haven't.  She deserves all the credit for these!  It's also kind of fun to see what other pictures people took and so nice you can capture them from Facebook.  Out of all of these, I picked a few favorites:

Sunday, January 11, 2015


I wouldn't have thought it possible to do so many DIY projects when putting on a wedding in another state, but we ended up doing a lot more than I thought! For me, there are two reasons to DIY:  1.  Because I'm frugal and can't stand to pay for something when I know I could do it myself.  2.  I enjoy it!  So here's a recap of what we were able to do ourselves for the wedding:

Programs designed by Son #1 - printed locally

 My 90% off bargain from Tuesday Morning!  The mirror inside had been broken, so I got it home, spray painted it black and had a friend write the phrase on it for me.  

 Metal letters from HL that we painted, drilled holes in, and inserted lights.

Another HL letter we painted gold for the guest book.

Swags made from live greenery we clipped ourselves.

One of many bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages we made after buying the flowers local.

Custom cup sleeves my son designed and ordered online.

 Wooden sign from HL we custom painted and wrote on with gold sharpie.

 Table runners made from bargain upholstery fabric, HL wreaths spray-painted gold, live greenery and scrapbooking paper signs

I hid this ugly door by covering it with a black plastic tablecloth and cricut designed letters.

 The Hubs made this 3 foot donut tower after researching some on Pinterest.  I covered the wooden discs with gold foil and trimmed the edges in glitter ribbon.

Bride and groom donut accessories made from craft materials

The pears wrapped in gold foil, ordered online, and string tags we made with materials from HL - the address stamp we ordered online.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Wedding day! - Everyone in the house knew we were loading the cars with wedding decor at 7:30 a.m.  The venue would be open at 8:00 a.m.  Our contract said that the manager would be there early to open up, turn on lights and heat, etc., but that we should not ask to come in early.  We started unloading stuff onto the sidewalk at 7:40 a.m., and the manager came out and said we could come in early!  We were so thankful.  A small army of family helped us unload decorations, set up tables and chairs, decorate the stage in the theater, the reception area, and all the tables.
Thirty minutes into it, I needed to change into my dress, and the groom and bride arrived.  So did the photographer and a "first look" and other picture-taking began.  The caterers arrived, then the  donuts and coffee arrived, being picked up by the groom's family.  Everyone - both sides of the family - really helped make it happen!  I did make one boo-boo.  I didn't make a boutonniere for the groom's step-father.  I had just thought in my mind that the groom's father wouldn't be there, so no boutonniere needed.  When asked about it I apologized and told them I had made the minister one and wasn't sure if I was supposed to, so maybe they could take his?  Everything worked out!  A friend of mine asked me about 10 minutes before the ceremony if I was okay and I said, yes, and she asked if she could pray with me.  I said, "sure!" and we prayed a quick prayer right there.  That reminded me that I wanted to do that with my daughter, so I got the photographer, and we went and prayed with the bride and her bridesmaids just before we all went down the aisle.
Selfie right before I was escorted into the theater!

Candid shot from the audience

The ceremony - I knew nothing.  They would not tell me and I wasn't sure I wanted to know.  About 10 minutes before the wedding I asked a friend who was serving as "Day-of-coordinator" how would I know when to stand up for the bride.  What song?  She told me it was "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago.  Sweet!  I don't know what else to tell you about the rest, except I laughed a lot.  They chose fun songs they liked that reminded them of movies.  (We were in a theater, remember?)  I think I walked down to the Star Wars theme.  My husband said a prayer, right after he gave our daughter away, and asked the family on the first row to come surround them.  Their vows were in rhyme, kind of like a Dr. Seuss book.  His uncle officiated and said lots of sweet things about them and pronounced them husband and wife.  It's all really a blur.  I know there were lots of smiles and laughter.  Hopefully some of it was caught on video!

The reception - We had a breakfast burrito bar, fruit, and sweetbreads baked by the three grandmothers.  The wedding cake wasn't a cake at all, but a donut tower, flanked by two donut hole cones.  We also had gourmet coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, and water.  The donut tower was a hit!  D & C fed each other a donut to initiate the serving of those.  We also had a short video of the couple playing in the reception area that we had watched at the rehearsal dinner.  You can see it in the background of this pic.

After some more pictures and lots of visiting, the minister announced it would be a few more minutes before limericks.  I think having limericks read was the groom's idea when we talked about having a toast at the reception and they didn't want that.  They decided they would let anyone write a limerick and they would read them.  So we had a limerick challenge on the back of the wedding program and some blank lines for people to write there.  (The Hubs and I let some friends know before-hand since we thought it might be hard to write a limerick in just a few minutes)  It was hilarious!  The bride and groom took turns reading them.  Some were sweet and some were, well let's just say, rated PG.  Again, we laughed so much!!!

After that the bouquet was tossed and the garter was thrown.  One more picture of the whole wedding party in the theater and it was about time to go.  They had decided to exit the wedding via a "soccer tunnel" since they had both been soccer players in their youth.  So everyone lined up opposite their partner and made a tunnel with our hands held high.

Their car had been filled with gold balloons and had a few funny signs on it - I had brought some of this and asked my nephew to make sure the car had something fun done to it - then they left!  They did come back still in wedding clothes unbeknownst to me (I was cleaning) and took a few couple pictures outside the building with the wedding photographer.

The guests left with a piece of gold foil-wrapped fruit, a pear.  We decided we wanted to do this when my husband received a Harry & David basket in November from his office.  In it were some gold wrapped pears.  We thought they were so neat so he suggested that be our wedding favor.  The couple loved the idea, so that's what we did.  To us, it was a symbol of health and to be fruitful in the NEW YEAR!

The clean up went quickly and we went back to our house and crashed.  It was a pretty great day in our books! For me, the planner, it could have been easier to have it in OK, and maybe I would have liked more time but in all reality, pulling it all together with the help of family and friends on the wedding day was a lot of fun.  The fact that she wore my wedding dress made it special.  All the things I thought were so different - having it on New Year's morning, having donuts and coffee as the "wedding cake", the limericks, and the surprise elements in the ceremony, were just all part of this fun new couple in our lives.  I do really love how weddings nowadays reflect the personality of the couple.  We love them very much!

Friday, January 9, 2015


The day before the wedding - Wednesday:  My husband and our boys joined the groom and best man and they all went to the ski slopes!  Good riddance :)  We had plenty to do and didn't need them underfoot.

My daughter had an "Open House" that morning at her new apartment, for the grandmothers and any others there to see the couple's new place.  We all went over and she was shocked at the group!  But it was good for all of us to have a visual when we think about her living so far away from us.  

 I had planned to make bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, embellish the donut cones, and wrap pears for thank-you gifts and make greenery swags.  Turns out it was a pretty tall order!  But I had so much help - from my mother, my mother-in-law, a sister-in-law, a niece and my boys' girlfriends.  My sister and her girls helped later.  We got it all done about 10:00 p.m. that night!

Oh, and we practiced on a remnant of a donut how to embellish it to look like a bride and groom.  :)

We did take a nice lunch break during all this!  After the Open House, my daughter had spent the morning with her bridesmaids getting their nails done, then we met for a Bridesmaids Luncheon at a restaurant called Sassafras.  It was in a cute little house and had great brunch food!

 Later on, I got a call from one of the bridesmaids, telling me the slip I had bought was not going to work.  You could still see right thru the dress!  In a panic I told them to call David's Bridal before it closed (remember this is New Year's Eve?) and see if they could go in...thankfully they got there by 5 p.m. and she was able to purchase a full slip that worked with the dress.  My daughter who was determined to never step into a bridal shop for the wedding had to break down and do it just hours before the wedding!  Another minor flub was that a light bulb was broken in the assembly of the marquee letters we had made.  My sweet sister-in-law drove all over town looking for identical light strands, to no avail.  We found a way to disguise the broken bulb with greenery that would be near it.  

My mother bought us pizza that night from another local place near our house, as the wedding party, including our boys and their girlfriends all went out to a nice restaurant.  

It was a very fun, full day!  New Year's Eve?  None of us even noticed...