Saturday, January 28, 2006

Good question

"Ask yourself, 'How would the person I want to become, deal with this situation?'"-Bill Treasurer

Monday, January 23, 2006

Red Velvet Cake

My oldest turned eleven and we had a busy day. We did flowers, balloons, and decorations. She played at a friend's house for a short while. I cleaned house, cooked cheesey potato casserole, and then began the long, arduous journey of red velvet cake. It was passed down to use from my husband's great-grandma, Marie. She made it as a tradition. Now, I do. I make it for my husband's birthday every year and this year our daughter requested it for hers. Here is the recipe (to make sure I'm sharing info with the readers. :))


  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda sprinkled over 1 Tbsp. vinegar


Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Sift flour, salt & cocoa together. Add alternately with buttermilk. Beat 3-4 minutes after each addition. Stir in baking soda and vinegar mixture by hand. Bake 30 minutes at 350° in 2 9-inch greased and floured pans. Some online recipes say three nine inch pans, but they are incorrect because it is spread too thin.

Then the frosting that came with our recipe that makes the cake:
  • 1 C. Milk
  • 1 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C. flour
  • 3/4 C. Shortening
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Combine milk & flour & cook until thick (like a white sauce) Stir constantly. Set aside to cool. Cream sugar & shortening until light and fluffy. Add vanilla & cooled cream sauce. Beat until icing becomes stiff.

It is truly a wonderful cake. It takes a while, with the cooking of the frosting and all, but it's worth it.

So, before my in-laws got here, I finished the housecleaning... to inform my readers, here are some housecleaning tips:
I found these at

Refrigerator Odors

  • A little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator will eliminate odors.
  • After cleaning the refrigerator add a dash of lemon extract to the rinse water for a fresh scent.

Stuck on Food

For stuck on food on a casserole dish, try adding 2 tablespoons of baking soda and boiling water to cover the stuck on food. Let sit for a while. The dish will be much easier to clean.

And this from good old Martha ( go to living and homekeeping) here is how to make a bed...if you get around to making it!! :)

How to Make a Bed

Follow Martha’s easy, efficient system for making a bed perfectly.

1. Begin with a good-quality mattress and box spring. Protect the mattress with a cotton cover; Martha adds a wool pad.

2. Unless you’re using a fitted sheet, make hospital corners with the bottom sheet, starting at the bed’s head: Drape the sheet evenly over the bed, leaving about 1 foot of fabric hanging beyond the head. Stand beside the bed, toward its center, and pick up a side hem. Pull the hem toward you into a taut crease, then raise the creased section over the mattress so the sheet makes a triangular tent over the bed. With your other hand, smooth the sheet flat along the mattress’s side. Then fold the creased section down over the side, and tuck the sheet snugly under the mattress. Repeat the process at the foot and other side of the bed.

3. Add the top sheet, and make hospital corners at the bed’s foot.

4. Leave the sides untucked for easier sleeping. Finish with a blanket, quilt, or down comforter.

Ok, enough informing for tonight. :) I am enjoying deciding what information I'm going to add to the blog. At least for now, I am. :)
Tomorrow my daughter takes her birthday treats to school (store bought this year) and we are secretly repainting her room while she's at school! My husband took the day off so we could work all day and then surprise her when she gets home...Fingers crossed that all goes well!!

Fictional Characters Have Blogs

I saw this in the USA Weekend yesterday and thought it was interesting. Fictional Characters are now getting their own blogs. Three examples, in case you didn't know and didn't read the article, are:
Dwight Schrute (The Office) is Dwight Schrute's Space (
Barney (How I Met Your Mother) is Barney's Blog (
Joe (Grey's Anatomy-which is the greatest show on right now) is Joe's Blog (
The Nurses Station (Grey's Anatomy)

In other news, my oldest girl turned eleven today!! Busy day ahead!

Global Warming

I still want to be informative, so here is are also some facts to inform you about global warming. I found these at:

Global Warming

Welcome! The fact that you are already here shows that you know how serious the issue of global warming is to our futures. Here is some basic information on what global warming means, and how you can help to stop the process. Thanks for visiting with us!

Do scientists agree about global warming?

Scientists who study the climate are still arguing about how fast the earth is warming and how much it will warm, but they do agree that the earth is warming and that it will keep warming if we don’t do anything about it.

What is causing global warming?

Scientists agree that the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal cause greenhouse gases to escape into the air and that these gases are causing most of the warming. Another cause is deforestation (cutting down trees). Trees soak up carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases, from the air.

What is the difference between "global warming" and "climate change?"

"Global warming" refers to the increase of the Earth's average surface temperature, due to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. "Climate change" is a broader term that refers to long-term changes in climate, including average temperature and precipitation.

What will happen if global warming continues?

There are already some changes happening because of global warming. Sea level is rising and some animals are already moving to new homes. It’s already too late to stop global warming completely.

If the warming gets worse, as scientists expect, there may be some kinds of plants and animals that become extinct (disappear completely) because they can’t move to new homes. There may be more storms and floods. Sea level may rise so much that people have to move away from the coasts. Some areas may become too dry for farming.

What is being done about global warming?

Global warming is a very difficult problem to fix. People are having a hard time agreeing on what to do about it. For example, everyone agrees that wasting energy is a bad thing to do. But some people think that the federal government should make laws about it, while other people think it should be up to each person or business to decide what to do.

Many states and businesses in the United States are not waiting until the federal government decides what to do. They have already started working on the problem.

What can I do about global warming?

You don’t have to wait until you are grown to do something about global warming. Scientists agree that the burning of fossil fuels is causing global warming. Since these fuels are burned for energy, and everyone uses energy, everyone can help stop global warming just by using less energy.

Think about the things you do each day that use energy. The lights in your house use electricity. The TV and computer use electricity. The washing machine, dishwasher and dryer all use gas or electricity. Every time you ride in your car, it uses gasoline.

There are some very simple things that everyone can do to help stop global warming:

· Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Use fluorescent bulbs in your room.

· Turn off your computer or the TV when you’re not using it. Unplug chargers when not in use.

· Wait until you have a lot of clothes to wash before using the washing machine. Don’t use the machine for one item just because it’s your favorite shirt.

· Take shorter showers. Heating water uses energy.

· Close the blinds on a hot day if the sun is shining in. Dress more lightly instead of asking for the air conditioning to be turned up, or use a fan.

· Dress more warmly when it’s cold, instead of asking for the heat to be turned up.

· Offer to help your parents keep the air filters on your AC and furnace clean.

· Walk short distances instead of asking for a ride in a car.

· Plant a tree.

· Learn more about global warming so you can talk to people about it.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


My husband has informed me, as well as one of our "gadget intelligent" friends, that blogs should "only be used to share information", to "inform" people. They are a bad way for people to profile others and find out personal information. So, I have removed all our names in an effort to protect our identities. ;) I have removed most directional indicators, as well.
Now, to inform those who read my blog...what to inform readers on...hmmm.
Let's start with this:
In our Women's Circle at our church, we often discuss books on parenting. This year we have a small "tips" book that gives a little tidbit. One of us chooses one, we read it, and then all of us try to practice that all through the week. It's a great reminder; most are common sense, not new information, but great reminders. The book is called "Parenting at the Speed of Life: 60 ways to capture time with your kids" by Rick Osborne. There are ideas like leaving them notes, telling them about times they don't remember about themselves on their birthdays, to celebrate their entrance into our lives, hugging them 19 or more times a day, and telling them that you believe in them.
The book we read, not just for tips but for discussion, last year was "Power of the Positive Mom" by Karol Ladd. It is Bible/faith based parenting advice/information and we read a chapter every other week. Again, some of it is common sense, but they give you so much more in this book! The chapters are:
  • Portrait of a Positive Mom
  • Priciple #1: the Power of Encouragement
  • Principle #2: the Power of Prayer
  • Priciple #3: the Power of a Good Attitude
  • Principle #4: the Power of Strong Relationships
  • Principle #5: the Power of Your Example
  • Principle #6: the Power of Strong Moral Standards
  • Principle #7: the Power of Love and Forgiveness
This book really spoke to me as a believer in God, as a mom and as a wife. One reminder from the book that has stuck with me and that I liked was this:
"Some psycologists say that for every negative comment a person receives, they need to hear ten positive comments to overcome the effects of the negative one. Ten to one-now that's a lot of positive words, especially when you consider all the negative input our kids are likely to encounter during a typical day." I like that the book later points out our job as parents is to work on bringing that positive to our kids more frequently, as well as the other people we come in contact with.
Proverbs 12:25 says, "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up."
I needed to be reminded of this, because, in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, I raise my voice to say "hurry up!" more than I should, for starters. I don't compliment the positives as often as I should, either.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Friday Jaunt

The hubby and I got the girls off to school and then headed to Amish country and perused a few furniture stores. We were looking for a kitchen table. We didn't order or buy anything, but did decide on the style we liked. We especially liked a cherry one that was rectangle, simple and had two leaves. We had a great lunch. Then we headed back. We spent two hours on the way there driving and two on the way back, but had a nice time chatting along the way, and stopping at out of the way places. When we got back it was about time to get the girls from school.
Last night I went with a friend, and we met two of her friends, for dinner. The food was good and the maragaritas were strong. The company was great. We chatted and enjoyed the food and atmosphere.
We have a pretty slow weekend ahead, dinner at friends' tomorrow, as well as watching the Buckeyes play. Hopefully we can get our oldest a lamp or two for her room to go with her bed stuff to finish off the room for now. Then church on Sunday. Monday is our oldest's birthday and my husband's family comes over for dinner. We're having blueberry pancakes, sausage and I'm not sure what else. I'm thinking she'll choose frozen fruit; the family recipe, and a broccoli quiche. She hasn't chosen a dessert right now.
Both girls are finishing up their Girl Scout Cookie sales, as the forms are to be turned in no later than Monday. They've done ok, not nearly to their goals, but enough. And we will finish out the forms buying a few boxes (a few??) to stuff into the freezer. :)
Yum: tagalongs and thin mints...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Be great in little things.-Francis Xavier

Little things...hmmm, yesterday I had a day full of them. :) My day began with the hubby taking our youngest out for her "breakfast with Dad" and our oldest and I eating homemade cranberry orange bread. It was yummy fresh from the oven.
We then got caught up in the whirlwind: getting lunches packed, school papers ready, outfits that didn't fit, power outage, and new fallen snow.
After getting them off to school I took care of the necessities, more little things. I ran to the grocery to get eggs, berries, just a few other things. I went home and the power was back on. I did laundry, picked up in the girls' rooms and the basement, made appts (an eye appt for our oldest for one), etc.
Our dog had hurt his leg Thurs or Fri and was still ginger on it when my parents were here. Dad said he thought it might be a dislocated hip, being that it wasn't better. I had to take him to the vet yesterday because he was still having trouble going up stairs, and things. So, I debated that early in the's like a child with a cold. You worry that it might be something else, but you don't want to take them to the doctor and have them tell you what you already know: it's a cold...but just in I took him yesterday afternoon to tell me it was just a deep bruising near the knee. He got pain pills and restricted exercise (he's a weim, so that's about impossible!) and she found the beginnings of arthritis, as he has pills to take for the rest of his life. my husband was thrilled about this, I might add. our dog gets so stressed when we go to the vet, that he is a freaking out, losing hair, mess. He was so exhausted from it that he slept all evening! He's back to himself today: following me around everywhere, all the time.
Then, last night, our youngest had tumbling, our oldest had piano lessons and my husband played basketball, too. It was all over by 8:30 and we watched the Buckeyes beat the Badgers by ten points.
I also finished a scarf for my aunt, during the day, and sent it off in the mail, as well as a gift for a friend whose birthday I missed.
our oldest's birthday stuff: her comforter, pillow shams, decorative pillows and bed skirt arrived yesterday, as well.
So, it was a good, productive day, even if it was full of "little things". :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Well, it's Tuesday. It's rainy and dreary. I wish natural gas prices weren't so high: I'd light the fireplace and snuggle up with a book in front of it. Or nap there.
I haven't written since Friday, I think. Friday, My youngest went to a friend's for an overnight, my hubby and oldest daughter went to Bob Evans and ate at the counter, and I headed to crop with my sis-in-law. It was a great evening. I tackled a few pages, and had a nice time sharing and conversing with her. We were there about five, five and a half hours.
Saturday I got my youngest while my hubby and oldest went to for coffee with his parents. Then my parents came down. Dad, my hubby and my father-in-law went to a woodworkers' show. Dad said it wasn't as good as the last couple years and he was pretty disappointed. Mom, the girls and I had a craft day and the girls loved their crafts that they "helped" make. They made some flower sweatshirts and blankets. They also have the supplies and ideas for a snowman sweatshirt, too. Both girls wore their sweatshirts today to school and were so excited about them. We went out for dinner.
Sunday, we went out for breakfast, then to the book store. We went home and hung out for a bit. Mom and Dad left at one, and we went for a walk. We took both dogs and the girls played at the park. It was still chilly here, but the sun was out and it was so nice to get the fresh air.
Yesterday the girls had no school due to MLK Jr. day. They had dentist appts at 9 and 9:30 and then we had company for lunch. Some friends of ours came and the kids played. We served them lunch, they brought dessert (brownies and ice cream, yum!) They left about 2:30 and then we had "quiet time". Hubby came home and I made dinner (another Rachel Ray recipe: butternut squash mac 'n cheese-it was YUM!) and a salad. We headed over to Chris's parents for crepes for dessert and then my husband headed off to basketball. I finished a few more pages in the scrapbook while the Golden Globes were on tv until he got home.
Today, so far, I have gotten all of us ready for the day (well, herded the girls into getting themselves ready) and volunteered in my younest's class from 8:50 to 11:15. We had a crazy morning as both girls realized that they'd forgotten their lunchboxes on Friday (can you say "yucky mold"?) My oldest (who will be eleven in six days!!) forgot her school folder, as well, which I must sign and she brings back or gets recess detention. She couldn't find her new dance outfit I got her this weekend, either. She was a wreck! I was at school today, so I went up and signed the folder, both girls packed in brown bags and when I got home from volunteering, I found the missing dance outfit. Now, all is right with the world. ;)
This afternoon I volunteer in their school library, then our oldest has dance and youngest has it Tuesday already??

Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Recipes

Tonight I cooked:
golden delicious apples in maple syrup and brown sugar
sauteed yellow squash
Pork Chops in Spiced Apple Pan Sauce
and Roasted Broccoli Spears.
The last three things were in one of my Rachel Ray cookbooks. Dear husband totally loved everything! I love it when I try something new and he likes it. Our youngest wasn't too keen on some of the things, but husband was. :)
I learned something new today: I'm trying to start a couple new "bonsais"(Japanese) or penjings (Chinese). I had a dwarf schlefflera (umbrella tree) and I saw a bonsai made from one in a magazine. So, I got a few supplies (I couldn't find real bonsai supplies so I made due with supplies I found at Home Depot and Meijer) and started my plants. Hopefully I can keep them alive long enough to sculpt them! I am doing the "indoor" versions, which consist of tropical plants.
I did some boring stuff like cleaning the two upstairs bathrooms, changing sheets, dusting the upstairs and coordinating/organizing the family calendars, as well.
I also got a new haircut which everyone I've seen has complimented. That makes me feel great, but the sad thing is that I won't be able to make it look like this tomorrow by myself! I hope I can recreate this look because I love it.
I am cropping tomorrow with my sis in law. We're heading to Archiver's which has us registered for food, goody bags and a prime seat at one of their tables. Our youngest daughter will have an overnight at a friend's house, as well, so it will just be husband and oldest daughter.
I need to order our oldest daughter's birthday gifts, tomorrow, too, so it'll be here by the 23rd. That's her eleventh birthday-eleven years old... Anyway, she's requested we repaint her room and get her new bed stuff. She's had a purple room for quite a while, and would like to have it changed, which is understandable! :) Purple...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


My cousin who is in the Navy has been informed that she leaves for the war soon. She's currently on leave to the mainland, but will find out more details when she gets back to Hawaii. All we can do here is pray for her safety.
Back on our homefront, the busy evenings continued with my youngest's tumbling class from 5-6 (She did an excellent back bend and raised her arm while doing it!) and my oldedst's piano lessons (she gets better by the day! :)) from 5:30-6:30.
I tried 2 Rachel Ray recipes tonight for dinner and I liked both of them. My oldest wasn't crazy about the "stoup", which is halfway between a stew and a soup, but she liked the sandwich. And the whole meal took me forty minutes. The recipe said thirty, but they had all the veggies chopped, and I did not. I am making another Rachel Ray recipe tomorrow, too: pork chops.
I'm sitting here typing and I just noticed all my snowmen. I love my snowmen; I have a huge collection of them. They are scattered around my den, the kitchen, and the living room...but there's no snow outside. In fact, it's supposed to get up to almost 60 tomorrow! Maybe even some sunshine! Is it winter??
No running today, but I did do some yoga, my many ab exercises and some push ups...
I also added some websites to my account. I just had a few of the basics on there previously, but I had a list of some sites I wanted to peruse later, so I tagged them.
That's it for me tonight. I just wanted to make myself keep adding daily...
I leave you with this thought:
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."-Emerson

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is it bedtime yet?

We had another very busy day. I created the menu & grocery list, went and shopped. I came home and put everything away, making room in the fridge, pantry and freezer as I went. Next I ate lunch, cleaned up where the dog had gotten sick (three spots! Yuck!), did two loads of laundry, and then headed to the girls' school. I volunteered in their school library from one to three thirty. I then took my oldest to her dance class, went home and got things ready to cook dinner when we got back. I went and got my youngest from brownies, my oldest from dance and headed to take my youngest to basketball. My hubby met us there and we decided to go out to eat instead of home to cook. It was already 6:30, so it was worth it! We got home and our oldest daughter did her homework, our youngest daughter read her bag-a-book to me and now they're getting showered and bathed. Yawn, I'm already tired and ready for bed!

Inspiration Peak

Someone told me about this website:
I liked the quote they had posted this morning, so I thought I'd pass it along:
"We don’t need more money, we don’t need greater success or fame, we don’t need the perfect body or even the perfect mate. Right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.”

Dalai Lama
Spiritual Leader of Tibet

Monday, January 09, 2006

Where's the sunshine??

I am missing the sunshine. There isn't any looming in the pending days' forecasts, either. I need the vitamin D!
Anyway, I finished the devotion for circle. I did one titled Sealed with a Prayer. I included Bible readings, a short story from the book "Glimpses of an Invisible God for Women" and a prayer I wrote. It went smoothly. I just hope it affected someone positively.
I also finished a scarf I was knitting for a friend. It's red, warm and soft. I hope she likes it.
Our dinner for tonight is just what we can find, as I haven't been to the grocery in quite a while. Since New Year's Eve, I guess. We're totally out of bread, barely any orange juice and milk, hmmm, what else are we out of...too many things to list. I do, however, have tortillas, cheese, fresh veggies: quesadillas! Gourmet food begins tomorrow (um, yeah, I am not a great cook.) At least then, though, we will have food in the house. I did get four cookbooks for Christmas: 2 Rachel Ray and 2 Paula Dean. I am looking forward to using them...I am also in a baking mood. The flu was going around here at our normal Christmas baking time, so we didn't do our annual baking days. I may squeeze that in this week. I am a pretty good baker.
My exercise program didn't last too long, either. I didn't do anything today! That's not good. I am still working on it, and running tomorrow??
I have to go cook those quesadillas, now.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Weekend's Almost Over...

Well, we had a great weekend in Michigan. It always goes by too fast, though. We love getting to spend time with family, but there never seems to be enough time! We had a nice Christmas with everyone and loved our gifts. I hope everyone liked their gifts, too.
We arrived at 11:30 Saturday, and went to Mom and Dad's. We opened gifts there and then went with them, and my brother and his wife, out to lunch. We headed from there to the Grandparents'. We did Christmas with them, had pizza, played games and visited. Sunday morning we headed to breakfast at the Big Boy, then to my brother's house for gift opening. Gram got there shortly after, as Mom went and got her. We opened gifts with her and then went to Cabella's. After Cabella's was Applebees for lunch, The Beanery for a latte for the road and we were on our way home.
We arrived home at 5:30 and spent a bit putting things away (all the girls' stuff isn't away, yet). We had salads for dinner and got the girls off to bed. Phew! It has been a whirlwind of activity! :)
Now I have go to choose the devotion for our women's group (a mom's group called the Mirriam Circle) because I still haven't gotten to it!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fitness Program Started...

Well, I ran today. It's one of the few times since the marathon in October, due to aching knees. I only ran a couple miles today, and just battled through the soreness, but I did it. I chose the wrong weather day to do it in, though, because it was freezing and the wind was biting! I should've started again when the weather was in the 40's and 50's last week! After my run I did some yoga, sit-ups and push-ups, as well as a few lifts with the 5 lb. weights. A lot to start with, but hopefully I can keep it up!
Another busy chore day ahead, finish going through and organizing paperwork, scrapbook stuff and kids craft supplies. I also need to pack for our trip to Michigan this weekend, clean the downstairs, and write some letters. I need to get them out in the mail and use up my 37 cent stamps before prices go up to 39 cents on Sunday!
I also need to choose the devotional and snack for the Mirriam Circle meeting on Monday morning. I volunteered to do both...I need to make a Character Leader plan for Monday afternoon, too!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Busy Day

It's been a busy day. I got the upstairs cleaned early, got the girls off to school, met a friend for a cup of coffee, got our oldest and took her to the orthodontist to get her braces tightened, took her back to school and went home to eat lunch. After lunch I worked on cleaning and organizing both crawl spaces. I have a little bit to do still tonight, but I'm almost finished. I threw away a bag and a half of garbage. Luckily, I was busy all day so I had nothing thawed for dinner and we went to Bob Evans! Yesterday, although I spent most of my time taking care of sick younger daughter, I reorganized both linen closets and did some laundry, but that was it.
We finally made our new year's resolutions, so that is up on the fridge as a reminder (at least for now...) And younger daughter feels like herself today so she was able to head to school.
Well, off to finish the basement.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

January four looks like flu

Well, day four of January and it looks like the flu has hit again. Our youngest daughter got up at four this morning with an illness and is not attending school today. That is devastating to her, so she puts up quite a fight over it. She got sick at seven this morning, as well, so that was the final call: no school. She's been squawking at me about going to school since. She's been crying and screaming that she's fine!
On the other hand, our oldest is pretty happy because she gets to ride to school with a friend this morning, due to the illness and me not taking the younger out. Our older was up at five with a bloody nose, but no flu symptoms, thank goodness.
We're supposed to be heading up North this Saturday to see my family, but we won't if there is still flu bug in our systems! Hopefully this doesn't go through our entire household like it did the week before Christmas!
On tap for me today, other than taking care of sick girl, is cleaning and reorganizing the basement crawl spaces, file cabinets and other paperwork, and a few other reorganizational tasks. If I don't accomplish all of them, that will be fine, but I want to get as much done as possible. I am crossing my fingers that the younger daughter rests for a while and I can tackle my list of tasks.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Year's Day Meal

I made a yummy meal for New Year's day: Corned Beef, cabbage (supposed to mean good luck for the new year), potatoes, carrots, my mother in law brought an apple and cranberry dish that was great. But for dessert we had an eggnog pound cake. It was very good, if I do say so. I got the recipe from simply recipes:

Monday, January 02, 2006

First blog of the new year...well ever...

What a great way to start the new year: Ohio State Buckeyes winning and A.J. Hawk with twelve tackles! Hopefully the rest of the year is just as positive! And hopefully we don't forget to make our resolutions: We normally do that on Jan 1, but didn't get to it this that a bad sign? :)