Sunday, February 28, 2016


We have made lots of college friends the past few years, with both our boys going to college nearby.  So usually they are friends of our boys first.  But about 18 months ago we got an Aussie who is on the girls golf team!  She came to an International Thanksgiving dinner our church hosted, and we got paired up.  After that we were contacted to see if we'd like to "adopt" her and the rest is history!

India is in the middle (yes, a girl named India from Australia) with her friend from Oklahoma.
It's been fun to listen to her, ahh, the ACCENT!  We've enjoyed learning about what her home is like and see how she likes living and going to school here.  The Hubs has watched her play golf some and loves to talk about the game with her.  She is engaging and appreciative.

Anyway, it's been a great experience and we'll miss her when she graduates this spring!

Thursday, February 25, 2016


A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman
Love, love, love!  Recommended by my friend Hallie who I asked to teach a session on creative writing in special class at church.  The author shares how we all are artistic in all we do.  It's a beautiful read. I loved it so much I'd like to own it and read it again and again for inspiration. 

My Fat Dad by Dawn Lerman 
Enjoyed this easy read with recipes in every chapter!  I love hearing about families and the different dynamics in each one.  Also it reminded me I made a good choice not auditioning my son for a Broadway show.  It made me want to write down my memoirs of different family members and the recipes that I associate with each one!

Group Genius by Keith Sawyer
This business book caught my eye with the words "creative" and "collaboration."  An interesting read about how different companies solved problems and created new products by using communication and collaboration.  I especially loved the chapter on brainstorming! Thanks MB!

Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth
This was a good read for my creative Bible class.  Recommended by my minister, it shows a new way to pray in a creative way.  Loved it and will probably use some of these ideas!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


What a beautiful weekend for a little getaway with our kids!  We have a Mystery Night with the kids around Christmas usually, but this year everyone's schedules were too crazy.  So we just planned out a few weeks and I had my fingers crossed for good weather.  Our son's girlfriend got to come, but our daughter's hubby could not.  You do what you can!

Usually we do a night out on the town, but when a Groupon came along for a night at a state park lodge, I thought we should try it.  So we spent the night at Roman Nose State Park, near Watonga, OK.  The lodge has been rebuilt after a fire and is so nice!  I highly recommend it!

We ate dinner on the way, in Okarche at a place well known for it's fried chicken.  Eischen's is also the oldest bar in Oklahoma.  After we got to Roman Nose, we played cards in the lobby restaurant until bedtime.  
 Photobomb by Chief Roman Nose!
 In the morning we hiked a trail in the park and just had fun walking and talking.
 We kept looking for Inspiration Point, but we were never sure if we found it...

 We did find some good breakfast in Watonga afterwards!

Then as we got closer to home we stopped by this coffee shop that my big kids love!  It's in Guthrie and called Hoboken.  If you're ever passing through on I-35, you need to take a pit stop here.  They roast their own beans and the coffee-loving kids are big fans.

Family time is so special and so rare.  We had a fun day and were so glad the weather cooperated with us!

Monday, February 15, 2016


We took a little road trip last week since the Hubs had a meeting in Memphis.  

Felt like we stepped back in time on Main Street in Little Rock, Arkansas, where we are lunch at a restaurant there.

In Memphis, we had a great view of the Mississippi River from our hotel window!

 I was on my own for the day, and didn't want to drive in unfamiliar territory, so I just walked.  I went to the Cotton Museum...
 took weird selfies in the Belz Museum of Asiatic and Judiaic Art...

saw a carriage made of Jade...

 and I walked down Beale St. - famous for the birth of the Blues! 

I also made a new friend.  Rodney walked with me about 5 blocks.  We had a good visit that concluded with a request for some lunch money.

After the Hubs was out, we ate some good dinner and explored Bass Pro Shop in the big pyramid downtown.  FUN FACT:  If you like elevators you'll be excited to know this is the tallest freestanding elevator in the United States!

 It was fast but fun and we concluded it by eating breakfast with our nephew and his wife at a local breakfast hotspot, Brother Juniper's.  

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes!  

Needless to say we didn't stop to eat for the whole way home...

Friday, February 12, 2016


I'm over the big heart box full of chocolates!  Pretty sure the family feels the same way.  So here's what I'm giving this year to those I love:

A re-usable shopping bag - the tag says, "love the Earth"
A small bag of pistachios - "Nuts over you, valentine"
A package of Super Glue - "I'm stuck on you"
Small package of post-it notes - "Take note, valentine!"
OK, so I gave one chocolate bar - "Sweets for the sweet"

Now, I'm hoping they don't read the blog until next week!

Monday, February 8, 2016


Saturday was one of those days when we didn't have much planned, it was too chilly to do outside things, and everyone had a project to work I did something I haven't done in a very long time.  I cleaned and oiled the wood cabinets in my kitchen!  I also mopped the floor!  My Mother was always diligent about keeping her woodwork oiled and her kitchen cabinets are 41 years old and look fantastic!  I was pretty proud of myself as the cabinets and granite were shining.  We get quite a bit of traffic through here and with the Hubs and two adult children working out of our home five days a week, it's hard to keep clean.  

This isn't the whole kitchen but a portion of what I did.  I was reminded of one of my favorite poems.  I used to have this poem on a wooden heart in my bathroom way back in 1989, the year my first child was born.  I always loved it and still do.  And I still think it's true!  I tell myself even now that having people in our home, and using the kitchen, is more important than a spotless kitchen!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I don't think i've ever done  a soup menu for dinner with the college kids!  The Hubs suggested it, so we had:

White Chicken Chili
Vegetarian Taco Soup
Potato Soup
Assorted crackers
Assorted cheese bites
Veggie Tray
Tortilla Chips
Triple Berry Cobbler
Mounds Brownies
Vanilla Ice Cream

The two desserts were both a first time make for me - I had the brownies at my Bunko friend's house recently so I knew they were good!  The Triple Berry Cobbler is a take off of something I used to make with peaches, called Dump Cake.  I just wanted to try it since I had the 3 ingredients on hand.

Mounds Brownies 
from Linda:

1 9x13 size brownie mix (Linda used Duncan Hines dark chocolate)
1 ½ cups chopped pecans (optional)
2 ½ cups coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 container chocolate frosting

Mix and bake the brownie mix according to the directions (I add pecans to the mix). While brownie mix is baking, mix the coconut and condensed milk. As soon as brownies come out of the oven, spread the coconut/milk mixture on hot brownies. Melt chocolate frosting in microwave about 30 seconds.  Pour over the coconut.  Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Note:  These are so rich and delicious!  I put the pecans sprinkled on the top, on half of the brownies for the non-nut lovers.  Next time I think I will make my own ganache topping instead of using the frosting in the tub.

Triple Berry Cobbler or Three Ingredient Cobbler
from Pinterest:
1 White cake mix
12 oz. frozen berry mix
1 regular can Sprite

Dump frozen berries in a greased 13x9 cake pan.  Sprinkle the cake mix all over, then pour the Sprite carefully over the cake mix, making sure to get it all wet.  Stir slightly.  Bake @350 for 45-50 minutes.  Let set for 10 minutes or so before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.  

Note:  I wanted to try this version of Dump cake since I had all the ingredients on hand.  I used to make a Dump cake with peaches and yellow cake mix dotted with butter.  This version was good - I love the berries - but obviously from my picture you can see I should have stirred it a little to get all the cake mix moistened.  Super easy and would be a good one to make if company is company is coming on short notice!