Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On the Homefront

I am a total homebody. So is my friend Danielle. She'll often describe a friend as someone who is always on the go with their kiddos (like MckMama), but that she treasures her time spent at home with her little one.

I can totally relate. I am so grateful that I do not work full time (or really even part time!) and thatI get to spend a great deal of time learning the ways of homemakeing. I enjoy cooking meals and freezing them for those long tiring days that I do work, (Except last week at the end of "pop day" we went to the brand new Hideaway Pizza that is by our warehouse/shop!! I love love love their Chicken Florentine Pizza!) or having our paperwork completely all caught up, or reading to learn more about a certain subject, or maintaining the never ending pile of laundry and dishes. I love what some women think to be entirely mundane. 

Homemaking really rang true to me when I read For the Family's Sake earlier this year. It talks extensivly about cultivating your routine and home environment for your family. I may not have children yet, but our home life is important to Jason and I. A strong homelife is vital to his well being. He thrives off of being cared for- meals made daily, laundry clean and an organized/peaceful environment to come home to at the end of a long day. A mentor friend of ours (who is also a a homemaker to a business owner) told me once, "We take good care of them on the homefront and they in turn take good care of us by providing for our family" That is definitely a defining statement of our home. 

I have a handful of friends who are on the other end of the child phase- empty nesters. Several of which have struggled with the pressures of today's society to go get a job because they are no longer raising children on a daily basis. I have really tried to encourage them that they need not have a job to define who they are. I know they have hobbies, interests, family or volunteering opportunities - that they in no way are sitting around at home all day wondering what to do...I know I sure don't have that problem. :) 

Some days I struggle to find the motivation to get everything done on my to-do list and I'll spend a couple hours reading online. But then I have to remind myself that often I am learning from a blog or a website not just being entertained by what I take in. I have to find balance in my task oriented personality. 

I love my home and am so, so grateful my husband places the same (if not more!) value on it that I do! 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Whirlwind May

May has come and just about gone! 

My sister and her husband graduated from college!
Collin & Vanessa

~~~~~~~~~~

Jason's sister got married! 
Chris & Michelle 

sporting our black & red attire

~~~~~~~~~~

I attended a wedding of a childhood/college church friend last night. It was truly a "red-carpet, movie star" type event. Very Hailey!

Ryan  & Hailey- this has been 7 years coming! 

Lindsay & Katie

Lindsay is one of my best friends from growing up & was one of my bridesmaids (If you're wondering... she & Hailey are my supermodel friends. really. definitely not Martha)


After Ryan & Hailey's wedding we went to dinner at Chilis with our good friends, Matthew & Jessica. Jason and I were exhausted and a little under the weather and probably should have gone home and right to bed, but we had an especially great time with them last night. I am looking forward to summer events with them- riding bikes, going to a Driller's baseball game, grilling out, watching fireworks, etc! They are keeping Finnigan during our upcoming trip. Jessica is SO excited! I know he will be well taken care of- probably spoiled rotten! :) 

Today I took my friend Tanya and her little boy to the airport at 6:30am! That came too early for a Saturday morning. Later this afternoon I attended a graduation open house for a dear, dear friend- Katie.  I forgot to take any pictures. :(  Shame on me.  I was Katie's summer nanny while she was growing up- she was just a tiny little second grader when I first met them! It makes me feel old that she is done with high school now! You might remember her family from this post on my "new" furniture. 

It came up a big storm this evening. I've been at home folding laundry, doing dishes and drinking a nice mug of hot tea. Jason just now came home from a looooong day of working. I warmed him up some "taco rolls" I had leftover pizza dough last week and taco meat, so I enclosed 2 scoops of taco meat in the dough and baked them. The look like giant yeast rolls, but they are filled with meat! Jason loves them! 

I'm off to get some rest so my body can get better! 

eeek!

Jason has been borrowing his dad and brother to work on a job all day today....look what my mother-in-law emailed that she had to deal with while her guys were gone! 




Thankfully she has some nice, brave neighbors close to their farm!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Andrea Caters!!

It's been a busy couple of days since Saturday and I haven't had time to post about my first catering gig...so here goes! 

A friend of ours, Dawn, emailed me last Monday and told me she had bitten off more than she could chew in doing her husband's graduation party coming up on Saturday. With 5 kids and one on the way she just didn't have the time and energy to get done what she had hoped to do~ so she wanted to know very last minute if I would like a catering gig. I didn't have anything truly pressing last week so I said yes! We talked through the menu- she wanted all finger foods, she already had the cake ordered and punch ingredients, and I did all the rest! I grocery shopped once on Thursday and once on Friday and then did most of the prep work in my [itty bitty little] kitchen on Friday afternoon. Oh and did I mention that Kurt & Dawn live 2 hours away in Jason's hometown!?
After I cut up the strawberries for the chocolate fountain I let Finnigan play with the strawberry carton. He had a ball and then promptly fell asleep on top of it! He's so cute, I couldn't leave him out of this post! 

We arrived in Arkansas about 9:15am- unpacked the coolers and my trusty better bags and I got to work finishing up the two salsas since they are best really fresh. 

Here's the full view right before the graduation open house started at 2pm

I borrowed a chocolate fountain from a friend-I cut a 100 pack of skewers in half so people could dip their goodies into the running chocolate.  There were strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pretzel sticks, pineapples and graham crackers for dipping. This was the highlight of the party- especially for all the kids there !

I made my dad's salsa & avocado salsa
Dad's Salsa:
9-11 on the vine tomatoes, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapenos, seeded, finely chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 white onion or 1 small white onion, diced
2 handfuls of cilantro, stems cut off & chopped
salt
Combine all in salsa maker or food processor to the consistency you like. Taste often with tortilla chips until you get the flavor and kick you want!


Cheeseball
1 pkg. plain cream cheese(8 oz.)
1 carton chive cream cheese (8 oz.)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. celery salt
2 pkgs. smoked beef lunch meat finely chopped (3 oz. each)
Combine all but one pkg. lunch meat, form a ball then press remaining lunch mean on the outside. Wrap in waxed paper to store in fridge. Serve with fancy crackers. 


Spinach Dip
1 pkg. plain cream cheese (8 oz.)
1 pkg. frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
1/4 c. half & half
1/4 c. onions, chopped
1 lg. can petite tomatoes, well drained
3 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt
Mix everything together, put in a 9x13 dish and bake for 30 mins. on 350F

Punch
1 frozen orange juice concentrate
1 lg. can pineapple juice
1 two liter ginger ale

Bruschetta
1 pkg. french bread (twin loaves)
8 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
3/4 tsp. salt
Mix together (all but bread) and put in fridge for at least 2 hours so the flavors blend. When ready to serve, slice the French bread into 1/2" slices. Lightly brush olive oil on one side and broil the slices in the oven for about 2-3 mins., watch carefully to not burn. Take the bread out, flip it over and broil for one more minute. Serve with bread on a platter and tomato mixture in a bowl to the side. (Don't pre make or the bread will get soggy.)


Dawn's 3rd child, Andrew, thoroughly enjoying the chocolate fountain! Note: pretty much all the kids looked like this at some point durning the party!


Kurt & Dawn- thank you so much for asking me to cater your party! 
And congratulations on your Master's degree, Kurt

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An Affair to Remember

One of my favorite Cary Grant movies (he is all time favorite actor...thanks m&d for all those Friday nights of watching classic b&w movies!) ok, where was I? Oh yes, an affair to remember. I'm having a blog affair with MckMama. Dear me. I have Laurie to blame for this obsession in my life right now.  Two weeks ago she texts me and wants to know if I've ever heard of MckMama. Nope I reply. On my merry way.

Then Laurie posts her "Not Me" post last week and so I venture over to MckMama to see what all the fuss is about. This gal is something. Almost 12 million blog hits. Woah. 

So I go back. I start at page one of her blog and have been reading forward month by month. (Which is common for me to do with a new blog, who knows, I may have already done that with yours! ;) I am currently nearing the end. I'm on May 2008 right now. Whew. I've got 4 non-working days this week and I'll tell you, I'm having a hard time getting anything else done around here! I just need to be finished already!! 

What's the grab?? Well her blog is primarily about her MSC (many small children) 4 under the age of 4! And since being a mama is what I plan to do the the majority of the rest of my life that's intriguing! And on top of that she's into photography, open about her Christianity, healthy/organic eating, decorating, has no tv, blogging and pretty much being a "doer" in life! I'm connecting. Oh it's wonderful! It's encouraging! 

And yet time consuming. 

I'm ready for this affair of my time to be over and then I just get to read updates like I do on all those other blogs posted to the right! 

So if you've missed me, that's where I've been. Oh and shopping at Sam's. I'm "catering" an event (if you can call it that!) for the first time this weekend! More to come on that!

I can't hear you!!

Come ON readers! Fess up!  I've got a whopping 4 comments on my de-lurking request, all from people who regularly leave comments anyways! 

Who are you in:

Warrenton, Missouri

Cary, North Carolina

Olean, New York

Johnson City, Tennessee 
(are you my Pampered Chef friend??)

Guthrie, Oklahoma

Danbury, Connecticut

Lexington, Kentucky

I am SO curious! I've even made it to where anyone can leave a comment, you don't have to have a blogger/google sign in!! Just click on the word "comments" down at the bottom of my post and you can put just your name in where it says "name/url"!

Bren, I found you through Amy's blog (the one who doesn't blog any more) 
Ashley, I found you through Bren's blog, I think. 
TM, I found you while reading comment's on a blog post about wood burning stoves. I could not tell you what blog that even is, I only read it that one time. Small world, isn't it!?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

De-lurking!

Since I've added the "Live Traffic Feed" down on the bottom left I've been absolutely shocked at how many and where all my readers are coming from! Bejing- That's my dear friend Kara, but I had a reader from near Jeruselem yesterday!?! Woah. 

So all you "lurkers" out there, come out! Leave me a comment and let me know who you are and how you came by my blog. I've been surprised how many people have stopped by via google.com....so what were you searching that brought you to me?!

Please, please leave a comment and say hi! (Even if you regularly comment!)

Thanks!

To My Mama

To the sweet woman God chose to be my Mama, 
Happy Mother's Day! 
I Love You!

You spent many hours of my childhood sewing us all those cute matching clothes,
and taking us to visit that fun store, Kathleen's Bows
perhaps another Mother's Day 1990-ish


You are so thoughtful, creative and caring,
never, ever overbearing!
Royal Family Kids' Camp Activities Director- July 2008


You enjoy being active and "doing"
but are certainly anti-tattooing!
Breaking Ground for our church's addition- February 2009
with my Mom & my dear friend, Donna


You've worked hard to help us excel,
except "wordsmithing" was your way to teach us to spell!
8th Grade Graduation from Evangelistic Temple School- May 1999


You're not afraid to get down and play,
or get your fingers dirty as you plant flowers in the Tulsa clay.
Mama playing with my little cousin, Charlee. She will make a wonderful Grandma someday. :) December 2008


We were both fortunate enough to have braces,
they've helped give us both such pretty faces. 
Getting ready for Vanessa's wedding, November 2008


Your dad taught you to love writing letters,
but I don't think he passed on the addiction to buying coats, jackets and sweaters!
Hanging out with her dad at the lake house- July 2008


You can't survive without your morning pot of coffee,
and you love it even more with some fancy creamer flavored like toffee!
Early riser making coffee at the lake! - July 2008


You love your two girls,
that both like to draw doodles and swirls
With Vanessa at our cousin Robert's wedding- June 2008


You've modeled how to be a good wife,
you've had a marriage filled with love and not strife.
Celebrating Collin & Vanessa's birthdays at a Japanese Steak House (dad trying to look the part)- June 2008


"Nothing that can't be changed with a bottle of craft paint"
and sometimes there you must exercise some restraint!
My Mama loves my handmade gifts! -December 2007


You told me recently you weren't sure about having kids, I'm glad you decided to,
and that I didn't scare you from having baby number two!
With her girls! December 2007


Our family seems to be lacking in height,
but overall that just seems really trite.
With her Mom- September 2007

You call me by my most beautiful middle name, 
Cherie is not even remotely lame!
On my wedding day- October 2006
(Bren, my colors were pink & brown!!)


You strived to raise your girls to be great friends,
always prompting us to make quick amends.
On my wedding day- October 2006


You love the summer sun,
always the tan one!
Looking for a lake house- June 2006

Mama, thank you for your friendship,
I'm excited about going to Brazil with you on a missions trip!
At Vanessa's graduation- May 2009

We make a beautiful group of ladies,
maybe someday I'll add a little girl named Mercedes
Happy Mother's Day 2009!
Love, Cherie

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not Me Thursday

My friend Laurie had a funny post to read on Monday this week called, "Not Me Monday." She's joined MckMama's blog carnival in doing so. MckMama describes your not me posts, 


"I thought it was funny to 
'fess up about some embarrassing things I'd done that week...by pretending I totally did not actually do them!"


This is my favorite line from Laurie's post:
"And on my way home, I did NOT stop at Pops and buy their entire stock of Henry Weinhard’s root beer for my husband, even though there were others in line that wanted some. NO, that greedy person must have been someone else who belongs to some other husband."

I've had a "Not me" THURSDAY today. humpf. ;)

This morning I did NOT get out of bed 3 times to push snooze. I have NOT put my alarm clock on the other side of the room for good reason. 

Today, I did NOT discover that Finnigan likes vanilla ricemilk over vanilla soymilk from the bottom of a ceral bowl. Nope, NOT me, I don't feed my kitty from the table. ;)

I did NOT come home  from work and take an hour long nap. Sheesh who needs naps when they get up before dawn? NOT me! :)

I have NOT accomplished nothing tonight. 

Right now I do NOT have 3 clean loads of laundry to fold and that must be someone else's silver car in the parking lot with a trunkfull of shop towels to go to the laundromat! I would NEVER dirty up someone elses washing machine with greasy grimy shop towels- I would do them in my own personal washing machine. 
Since I made bread yesterday morning, I have NOT left the flour on the countertop that I kneaded the loaves on because my kitchen trash is NOT too overflowing to even brush the excess flour into! 


My kitchen table is NOT covered in 13 Mason jars, a salsa maker, a Crock Pot and an electric skillet. No, I put away all my kitchen gadgets when I'm done using them. 

I NEVER leave dishes undone - clean and dirty- for a whole day and a half. I am a perfect flybaby. :)

I do NOT have receipts, bills and paperwork to do~ only a good chick flick to watch, that's all. 

Goodnight 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Raindrops on Roses

On my way home from the grocery store this morning it began to sprinkle rain on my windshield. I started singing My Favorite Things from the Sound of Music. It spurred on a blog idea in my head since I need some cheer. 

(For my readers who don't live in Tulsa: it has been rainy and overcast for SEVEN DAYS now. I need to see the sun SOON!!)

So these are a few of my favorite things! (In no particular order, just the order in which the photos uploaded from Google image search :)

How fitting that Whole Foods came up first! I LOVE this place! I don't like grocery shopping at Walmart whatsoever anymore now that I've switched to WFM. The people are just so friendly and helpful. I've found the same to be at Reasor's as well. At both places I get asked probably 3 times each visit if I need help finding anything- and if I do, they actually help me! (I'm sure you all know how hard it is to find someone knowledgeable at Walmart!)


Ok, so I am currently into Vera Bradley. Her prints are just so darn cute! 

Sushi for lunch from Whole Foods. It was scrumptious!


Mom! I need some more Traditional Home to read!

Soft Claws. They are saving my furniture from my favorite little orange fur ball! (except I buy him the clear kind. Boy cats don't need nail polish) 


I could smell my dinner cooking before I even got the front door open when I came back home today!


I'm making Mushroom Steak tonight. Put this in your Crock Pot and cook for several hours:
several steaks
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water
1 packet onion soup mix
1 onion chopped up (optional)
serve with mashed potatoes! 
I made this for Collin & Vanessa when they came back from being with his dad & family last month. The next day Collin facebooked me "I'm not sure what that was, but it was amazing! Make sure Vanessa has the recipe!"


I love my Better Bags! 


A catnip filled mouse.
I bought one for Finnigan yesterday. He plays with it for a LONG time before he moves on to something Else. I credit the little mouse for getting a full nights sleep last night cause Finn didn't wake me up at 2:30am- he was playing quietly with his new toy! Fantastic!


I'm so excited to have lunch with my friend Danielle tomorrow and her littlest boy, Wyatt!



I have the world's best Granny. She is always passing on wonderful marriage material from Jimmy Evans. She gave me 10 new CD's while she was here this past weekend!



I'm not sure how one could live without a Hobby Lobby. 
The founder, David Green, was at Vanessa's graduation on Saturday!


I love b&w damask print things right now!


Along with a catnip mouse, I bought Finn a bird feeder. He has been watching birds ALL morning! 


Sunday afternoon after Jason and I went hiking at a state park, I talked him into taking me to the Gap outlet in Bartlesville! He did something he's never done before- offered to buy me clothes! I had to ask several times what he'd done with my Jason!