Thursday, July 31, 2008

Movie Reviews: "Fool's Gold" & "Dan in Real Life"

"Fool's Gold": Two thumbs way down. I didn't even finish it if that says anything. I'm normally a McConaughey and Kate Hudson fan. I loved their performance in "How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days", but this movie was slow, cheesy, and distasteful.

Matthew, I'm disappointed in you!

I'd give this movie 1 1/2 out of 5 stars.

"Dan in Real Life": I really enjoyed this movie. It didn't have me hooked from the very beginning, but after just a little while I really started to love Steve Carell's character, "Dan". He was goofy and charming all at the same time. It's a comedy that more than just laughs, but it makes you feel good after watching it. I'd watch this movie again.

I'd give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.

One of my favorite things

So this morning I was able to do one of my favorite things.

Chris's brother Stephen is in town and visiting for the week, and his friend Andy from college is also in town for just a day. So this morning, for the first time in I don't even know how long, I woke up and made breakfast for everyone. May not sound very exciting to anyone else, but for me, cooking and entertaining is what I love, and there's just something about sitting around the table, like a big family, and starting off the day together. Not to mention the fact that eating tops it off just right =)

With Jace being so small, and Chris not being much of a "breakfast eater" this opportunity doesn't come around very often. Not only that, but till just about a month ago, we didn't have a dining room table. So this morning was perfect. Waking up to a hot meal, conversation, and the aroma of fresh coffee, crisp bacon, and warm maple syrup. Okay, I think I'm drooling.

It kinda makes me want a big family.... but I'm sure that'll wear off =)

.... kind of like the drooling. Jace just came over to say hello, and I can tell he's got a surprise in his diaper! So much for the pleasant aroma! ha ha ha ha

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm doing what??!!

So I just want to inform everyone that my husband and I are undergoing a major transformation. No really. It's true. We've decided to change our faces and get plastic surgery!! Crazy I know, but if you had our noses you'd understand.

If you even for an instant believed what I just typed, you are so gullible! =) Actually we are making a big change, but it involves our waistline instead of our face. Chris recently had a physical. He had his cholesterol, sugar, and all that good stuff checked. Unfortunately he's not exactly where he needs to be, and like him, I eat all the same foods that he eats. Basically, I'm thinking my cholesterol probably isn't looking too good right now either, so! We've decided to start eating healthier. Not just watch our portions, but really watch our sugar, carbs, and sat/trans fats. Now you might be thinking, that sounds hard. And, oh my, it is! Everything has saturated fat! It's so discouraging! I went grocery shopping the other afternoon, and for the first time, I actually read the nutrition facts, and it wasn't pretty let me just say that! But after a lot of perusing, I finally left feeling like I had enough food to make it through the week, and it actually didn't look all THAT bad =) Sure there weren't any cookies or chips in my grocery cart, but hey I've decided that living longer means more to me than eating what I want. So I'm doing my research and trying to find some new healthy recipes and if I find any good ones, I'll be sure to share them with all of you! Wish us luck!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thank You COFFEE =[]

Now for an actual blog where I type and you read =)

So today has been a wonderful day. It started off rough when Jace decided to wake up at 5 this morning. Not sure what's going on with that, but its now been three days in a row that he's decided to wake up extra early - this is not a good thing. So like any good, sweet, and sincere mom would do, the moment I heard his sweet little voice..... I turned off the baby monitor and rolled over!! So sorry Jace but momma needs to sleep!! After tossing and turning for the next hour because all I could hear was Jace talking through the walls, I finally decided to roll my booty outta bed and low and behold, there was Jace. Standing in his crib greeting me with a beautiful, big..... scream! Yes I said scream. He was mad at me! And rightfully so. The bad thing was I couldn't get him to calm down. He was mad and he was going to make sure I knew it. Well finally after feeding him, with a some what content tummy, he started playing and stopped crying. Every body says "Hallelujah!"
At that moment I knew my destiny. It was calling out to me like only that savory, sweet, and creamy indulgence can. It was time for that morning cup of sweet surrender... or also known as COFFEE! mm. There's just something about a cup of coffee that completely makes me forget how much I wish I were still in bed! That's when it all changed. My world was a better place. I had my coffee, Jace fell asleep. He took a two hour nap, can I get a witness?! I made some strawberry cream pie for the Coopers. Then I went to Janet's and we hung out while the kiddos played. We talked, laughed, cried.... okay, well, maybe all that, but I did have a really good time =) After that, we came home, Jace proceeded to take another nap, which was 2 and a half hours long.... is it my birthday or something=) that was really nice! While he napped, I whipped together some chicken parmigiana and some fettuccine Alfredo with some homemade garlic bread, also for the Coopers, and it smelled so good it almost didn't make it out of the pan! Are you drooling right now? Just curious because I had to stop typing for a second to wipe the slobber from my chin =) Lucky for them I had just had some water which was enough to satisfy the intense craving..... yeah right! Although I really was drinking water .... BO-Ring! Why is everything that's good for you so bland? That's a rabbit trail maybe i'll blog about another night. After all the cooking was done, we stopped by to see little Case Cooper, and he is a doll. After we came home, I then cooked our dinner, which is below, and yes that is a lot of cooking for one day. Luckily I didn't have to work today though so I had plenty of time.... oh wait! I never have to work =) After a delicious meal, we went and took Dungy for a walk, or should I say he took me for a walk. Then we came home, I plopped on the couch and now here I am talking to you =)

All in all, it was a fun-filled day. Nothing too exciting, but that's only because I'm saving all the fun stuff for tomorrow so I something else to blog about! Til then! Au Revoir! ... or however you spell it.

Grilled Chicken with Garlic-Herb Dressing and Grilled Lemon

So I tried this recipe out tonight and it was de-lish-ussss!!! So I just thought I'd share it will all my girlfriends out there that love trying out new recipes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!! (Although I didn't make the radicchio, but I'm sure it's equally delicious=)

2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 horizontally
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 whole fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 6 sprigs
2 lemons, juiced, plus 2 lemons, halved
About 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
1 (4 to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, cut into 10 pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
2 heads radicchio, preferably Treviso, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a piece of aluminium foil about 12 inches long.

Put the garlic on 1/2 of the foil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle in some olive oil, and add 2 sprigs of thyme. Fold the foil enclosing the garlic, making a pouch, and add a couple teaspoons of water. Fold the foil over the garlic to enclose and fold in the edges 2 or 3 times to seal. Put the package in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or longer, until the garlic is soft. Open the package and let the garlic cool a bit, then squeeze out the cloves into a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, parsley, and thyme leaves and puree to make a thick vinaigrette.

Preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Put the pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil; toss to coat with the seasonings and then refrigerate while you get everything else together.

Put the radicchio in another bowl, drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss; set aside.

When you're ready to cook, take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface.

Season with salt and pepper and place the radicchio quarters on the preheated grill. Cook the radicchio for about 2 minutes per side until it has a nice char; pull it off the grill, place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to steam and finish cooking.

Then put the chicken on the grill, skin side down, and grill. Grill the chicken for about 20 minutes, turning once, then baste with about half of the vinaigrette and keep cooking until an instant-read thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F and the chicken is nice and caramelised all over, 15 to 20 more minutes. During the last few minutes, throw the lemon halves on the grill, cut sides down, and cook until just marked and smoky.

To serve, separate the radicchio into individual leaves in a big bowl. Add the chicken and the rest of the dressing and toss well. Serve with grilled lemon halves, squeeze the lemon over the chicken, and top with reserved dressing.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Week in Texas

This past Friday evening we returned from camp, and all in all, it was an awesome week. We all had so much fun.
Personally, it was of one the first opportunities I've had to spend one on one time with a lot of our kids and to get to know them on a deeper level. It only proved to me once again that we have an amazing group of kids. I was also able to hang out with some of our leaders: Brooke, Natasha, Derek, and Daniel.... and of coarse my hubby as well, and having them there was awesome. They are so great with the kids. Not only were they great at hanging with the students and getting them involved with the daily activities, but they were also great spiritual examples. Watching them pray for the students around the altar was such a powerful experience. My appreciation is so great for everything they do, and Chris and I are so lucky to have them on our team. Our kids are truly blessed to have leaders who genuinely care about them so much.
Because it was such an eventful week, I could probably write forever about it. Instead, I figured I would share some photos of our week at camp in Texas and I hope you enjoy them =)

Chris, Amber, and Jace... Jace was pooped! He slept half the way there, but I wasn't complaining! =)

Daniel, Austin, Dalton, and Dorian. Daniel definitely gets the award for "most excited to take a picture" and Austin gets the award for the "worst sunglasses ever" (ha ha ha)

Jordan and Danielle, say cheese!

Brook and Jordan... yeah, I know Brook looks weird, but it's kinda an inside joke =)

Me and Bobby. He put up with me the whole ride there. Poor kid!

Jada and Christian. What a great pic!

Derek, and yes, he was the only one on the bus that got to sit in two seats. So not fair =)

Sydney and Jace. We dressed him up like a little pink warrior. That's what team all the girls were on. He was so stinking cute!

Courtney. Now if she's not happy, I need counseling... What can I say? I tend to have that effect on people.

And this is all the girls. We had such a blast! Ahh, the memories =)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

T. Y. M. N. K. A. M. - Part 3

My favorite actor of all time is Mel Gibson, and that of coarse means that my favorite movie of all time is Braveheart..... I have to be in the mood to be sad though because it makes me cry every time!! =(

I'm addicted to salt. I add it to everything I eat. I know, I know that's bad. But what can I say? I can't be perfect in every way! Ha, not! =)

If I could visit anywhere in the world, Italy would definitely be on the top of my list.

My favorite Christian band growing up was Third Day. The love the rough sound of Mac Powell's voice even though my husband thinks he stinks!

I do like thrills. Back when we lived in MO, I had the opportunity to go sky diving with a group of work friends, and I SO wanted to do it. Unfortunately at the time, Chris and I were engaged and my "fiance" didn't want me to take the chance of going and not coming back alive... What chance?!

Everyone has a fetish. Here are some of mine... just to list a few =)
- The toilet seat should always, and I repeat always, be down.
- The shower curtain should always be shut. It just looks so much more tidy.
- When referring to laundry, if it's on the floor, its dirty. I sometimes get in trouble for that one.
- Getting dressed. If I'm wearing a belt, my shoes have to match.
- Let's talk. When I need to talk about something, I want undivided attention. Otherwise, I'll either take it really personal or probably start crying.
- Just pick a place. Sometimes I really am in the mood for whatever, and all I want is someone to make the decision for me =)
- Losing things. Yes, I know this is definitely not good, but it's a habit of mine and it drives me crazy!
- Facial care. Contrary to most women, I don't use all the facial cleansers and make up removers, and all that other great stuff, but without fail, every single day I have to use Nivea skin cream. I've been using if for years and its probably the only good thing I'm doing for my skin!
- International Delight French Vanilla Creamer. A cup of coffee can't be complete without it.
- Clutter. I get really annoyed if I look around the house and I feel like there's just "stuff" everywhere. I can't sit still until I feel like everything is in just the right place.
- People who drive slow in the fast lane... Ay Ca rumba! (or however you spell that!) I'm not a lead foot. 7 - 10 Miles over the speed limit is usually just right for me =)
- Walmart. How come they never have more than 3 people for their 20 registers?!

... I could keep going but for the sake of everyone reading, I'll take a break there =) What are some of your fetish's I wonder???

Friday, July 18, 2008

T. Y. M. N. K. A. M. - Part 2

A huge passion of mine is cooking and the Food Network =) I love to cook! If you ever come to my house, don't be surprised if I spend most of my time in the kitchen. I'd love to go to culinary school to learn more, but it would mostly be for fun, not really a career.

I've been to Paris once. Chris and I decided to take a vacation there before little Jace made his debut appearance, and I'm so glad we did. It was out of this world!!

Although I'm staying at home right now, I'd like to manage a Starbucks someday. I mean, it's only my favorite place to go, so how great would it be if I could get paid to be there and sip coffee. yum=)

I'm a middle child. I have an older brother named Josh who is 27, and a younger brother named Jeremiah who is about to turn 18..... I'm definitely the cutest one though! (hehehe)

I attended Central Bible College and never finished. I originally went for music, changed it to a bible degree, and then left in the middle of my Junior year after Chris and I were married. We ended up moving out of state, and I never enrolled online. I don't know if I'll ever finish, but if I do, it probably won't be any time in the near future =)

My favorite food is anything Italian and my favorite ice cream is Graeter's Mocha Chip. It's to die for!!!

I've lived in 5 different states.... and Chris wonders why I get lost so easily! I was born in MA, then moved to IN when I was in the 5th grade. Went to college in MO, then moved to OH. We lived there for three years, and now me and my hubby are here in good ole' OK!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

T. Y. M. N. K. A. M. - Part 1

Everyone else is doing it, so why not! =) Here are some "things you may not know about me".

-I'm a huge musical fan. My all time favorite is West Side Story. Dorky? Maybe. But if it's possible to be dorky and cool I'm sure I've gotta be it! (not!)

-I was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts..... far, far away. I guess I am a Northerner! at heart that is.

-I always wanted my first child to be a baby boy, and I definitely got more than I could have ever wished for =)

-I sing all day. No, it's no joke. In the shower, in the car, whenever I'm cooking. In fact, at almost every job I've ever worked at, someone has never failed to make the comment, "You sing alot!" ...... what can I say? I only work with the sharpest people.

-I'm a coffee-holic and a chocoholic! For now and forever.

-I'm a sappy romantic. I always try to get Chris to rent chick flicks, but he's just too manly. Let's just say it doesn't happen very often. But that's okay, because he knows me. So I'm just waiting for the day when he'll be outside our bedroom window, standing in the rain, serenading me with a love song. Oh and he'll have roses =)..... Wait a minute! There's a fence outside our window!

-I love animals. I hate bugs and insects. If you've ever wanted to see me jump, just stick one in my face. On second thought, please don't!

-I'm 24, and yes, I'm still afraid of the dark and can't watch scary movies.

-I've always wanted to try out for American Idol, but probably never will. Mostly because now that I have Jace, I can't imagine leaving him to do something that's mostly for me. He's my world now! And he's a pretty cute one if I do say so myself!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tiny People

So I watched the little Cooper kiddos today and they were so stinking adorable! We had a great time watching Disney and "wow, wow, wubsy"..... eerrrrr something like that! Cale knows what I'm talking about! =) I got chased around by a snapping crocodile (thanks to Cale), and growling circus bear (thanks to Cade), and then there's Caris, who just stared and smiled the whole time. On the outside she's as sweet as can be, but in her mind I think she was probably thinking, "this lady seriously is way too easily entertained"! ha!
Watching three kids was different from my everyday 1, but it was fun. Not only did it open my eyes to how out of shape I am =0 but it was so interesting to see what Jace will be like in 1,2, and maybe even 3 years from now. What I found the most amusing is how they're all like little adults! I'm used to slobbering and babbling...... reasoning? Not so sure I'm ready for that one yet! One thing that made me chuckle was, while I was playing with Cale I noticed him counting. So I said, "wow Cale, you are such a great counter! How high can you count?" and without even a hesitation, he shrugged his shoulders, waved his hand around and very nonchalantly said, "oh, you know. Ten. Eleven or so." OF COARSE! How silly am I for asking! =) I immediately started laughing. One, because of how grown up he sounded, but also because when he said it, he was a spitting image of his dad! It was so weird and yet so neat to see such a grown person in such a tiny frame.
It makes we wonder what Jace is going to be like. I've been thinking about it all day actually. Will he talk like his dad? Will he crack corny jokes like his mom? - for all our sakes lets hope not! ha! I don't know, but it sure is fun to think about! .... I bet he'll be like me! ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Not so sure anymore =)

Oh the wonderful times of being a mom. The first smile, the first time your child sits up, the first tooth, and the first time they start eating solid foods..... oh.... wait a minute.... why exactly is it wonderful that he's eating "real" food? Well let's see. Where to begin?!

-Now when he eats, it only takes an hour to feed him as oppose to the 20 minutes it used to take.
-He loves big people food so much, that the fact that he doesn't want his baby food vegetables anymore is really just a chance for us to have more quality time together.
-His poop has evolved from stinky and colorful to someone get me a gas mask or I'm going to pass out!
-He looks up to mommy so much, that now every time I eat, he wants to eat what I'm eating too.
-Not only does he enjoy eating the food, but he's learning how to help mommy and daddy feed our dog, Dungy too.
-And my favorite reason, is about once a week now I get a refresher coarse on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver.

So yeah, all in all, this solid foods thing is great!...... then again, maybe not! =)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Why I have the cutest kid ever!

So it's Saturday, and I'm sitting here marveling at how stinking adorable my son Jace is. Aside from trying to type while mommy types, he's also started speaking fluent gibberish =) Not sure exactly when it started, but it seems like ever since he's popped his first teeth, he's never short on something to say. I love hearing him talk. And along with all the wonderful sounds, he's started making some of the funniest faces. He does this really cute face where he squints his eyes and wrinkles his nose..... ADORABLE! I don't know if I'm a sucker for my own son, or if he really is the cutest kid in the world, but I think it might be that both are true. Call me soft, but between the big baby blues and those enormous dimples, it doesn't get much cuter than this!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Hello =) I'm back. Yes I know, you might be thinking, this chick is the worst blogger ever, but ya know I'm a busy lady! Actually we just finally got back from vacation about.... well, it was 2 o'clock this morning, and so I've been taking a mini blog break as well. Although, I have to say - it sure is good to be home! Hold on, "AAAHHHH". That's better =).
It's so funny how exciting it is when I know a vacation is coming up. I plan, get everything ready, do all my packing, maybe even buy something fun or cute for the trip, but really all in all, no matter how much fun I have on any vacation, I think my favorite part of any trip is the part where I get to come back to "home sweet home" - to my soft comfy bed, my morning cup of coffee just the way I like it, and my snuggly dog. It's good to be back!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What I Dread =/

There's nothing like going on a vacation. Plane rides, friends, family, and not to mention lots and lots of good food (sigh). I'm hungry already! Our vacation is coming up, well actually it's here. Starting tomorrow we board a plane to Indianapolis to see family and I'm really excited. Jace has gotten so big and I just know our family is dieing to see him =) ... unfortunately because we're leaving tomorrow, that means I need to pack up today, which means I must do the one chore I dread the most. I would rather scrub 50 toilets, change 100 poopie diapers and walk the dog a million times before even thinking of this.... and well I confess.... its...... DUM, DUM, DUM!..... LAUNDRY!!! +[] Ahhhhhhhhh! (hehehehe) Okay so maybe a little dramatic, but really. Do we have to wash our clothes?! Can't we just wear' em and then throw them away? Then we can go shopping more =D And why does doing the laundry always feel so unproductive. I mean yeah it feels good when you peer over and see the hamper nice and EMPTY! Oh but that's only for a few hours till Jace spits up, or Dungy throws up on the carpet, or I, like usual, spill something down my shirt - there's always more to be cleaned.... Ugh! I know it seems silly but I think every person has their one chore that just stands above the rest... for stinking that is! So there it is. You know a little more about me, and now you know what you can do for me if you ever wanted to make my day =) Oh well, I guess I probably shouldn't spend too much time complaining about it seeing as how I've gotta a lot to do.... a lot of laundry! =/

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kylie's Party

Saturday evening, we went to Kylie's second birthday party and it was at the park. It was so great because it's actually the first time Chris and I were both able to play with Jace on a playground. I didn't really realize it until we were already in action. It was stinking hot! but it was well worth the heat to see Chris playing with Jace. Every single day, he never ceases to surprise me with how much he loves our little guy! He's so great with Jace and it was really neat to see the to of them having so much fun together. So, we had so much fun playing with Jace on the playground that i thought i would share a few pics from that day!

That is one handsome kid!!

Me and My Baby!

Watch out, here he comes! =O

Doggy Update

Just wanted to show everyone an updated picture of our second baby =0
Our dog Dungy is growing so fast and lucky for us, he's learning as fast he's growing! He's doing so well. He's fully house trained, and he knows how to sit, fetch, and well i guess that's about it for now but we're working on it! =)