Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 227 (12/31) New Years Eve goodies

Well I went crazy on trying new recipes on New Years Eve and yes most of them came from pinterest.  I think my brother was wondering what they were all going to taste like because of the tone in his voice when he said, "You've never made any of these before?".  My response:  "I always try new things at parties because if they are gross then I don't have to eat them all by myself.".  So yes if you are coming to one of my parties, you never know what you are going to get.  I didn't stop and take pictures of all the recipes when I was making them because it was a little crazy in the kitchen that day.  So I'll just link you to the pages where I got the recipes from and give you my 2 cents on the dish.
Crash Hot Potatoes  These were good but I'm more of a butter person so I would have put the olive oil in the bottom of the pan to make sure they don't stick to the bottom and then drizzle with butter.  I had to add a dollop of sour cream to get the flavor that I was looking for without the butter but super easy to make.

Grilled Jalapeno Chicken Fajita Bites   I tried one of these at our KSU tailgating neighbors and it was super yummy.  Now what I didn't plan for was that some jalapenos are hotter than others.  I thought I had washed my hands after getting out all the seeds of the jalapenos and licked something off my finger a little later and for the next 2 hours felt like my lips were on fire because there was still some seed or juices on them.  I kept on putting them (yes both lips) in my glass to try to cool them off.  I'm happy there were no cameras around.  I was too afraid to try one later that night but I have a couple left over that I am going to eat later.  I did not use Schwans stuff - just made my own chicken with some fajita seasoning and had some bacon bits leftover from the crack bread coming up next.

Crack Bread  Many on pinterest called this treat which can be made a variety of ways - crack bread because it made you go back for more like crack.  I wouldn't go that far.  It was good but I didn't find myself going back for more probably because of all the other food we had.

Snowman Dip   I wanted the kids to participate in the food making. Madeline and Colton helped make this little snowman to dip our veggies in.  We had to have something healthy right for the new year!  This picture is actually my own because I remembered to take a picture of it.  I did add mayonaisse and sour cream to mask the strong cream cheese taste but that made the snowman a little bit more "meltable".  By the end of the night, he had squished down and leaned back a bit which is probably what we did as adults eating all that food!

Wonton Appetizers  Mom had some of these from a friend or neighbor last time we were home.  Although the ones mom had were made with sausage, cheese, ranch dip, pimento bits.  We made ours with beef flavored with taco seasoning and some picante sauce and cheese.  You could add lettuce and black olives and whatever else you wanted.  I did make mine in a regular muffin tin and prebake the shells so they were a little bit more crispy.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 226 (12/29): 50 Questions Part 1

As part of my 101 in 1001 days I wanted to answer the 50 questions that will free your mind.  I saw these as part of another person's 101 list that I follow and so I looked up what the 50 questions were and thought it they will free my mind, I'd better give it a try.  I need all the help I can get in that department.  My mind is full and I think that is why I can't remember stuff!  The original questions can be found here but there is still not a lot of information given except that there are no right or wrong answers.

1.  How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
I would like to stay 35 for a very long time.  I'm currently 37 but don't feel like I should be that daunting 40 number.  I know I'm past my 20s because my body is not the same and doesn't react the same way that it did to eating and physical activity like it did when I was in my 20s.  Plus 35 is more mature, right?  OK so maybe since I still laugh at farts that I don't have that mature thing down but 35 is definitely more mature sounding.  35 also makes me think about all the living I still have left to do - lots of time to do the things I want to accomplish.

Because I usually post pictures in each's a very scary image of myself that has been aged for 20 years. Yikes - I look hideous.  You try it - hopefully you look as bad?  Personally this is what I think I'll look like in another 50 years and not 20 years are no words to describe how bad this is.  So for the other numbers I'll just put some of my favorite pictures from Christmas.
 Go to to see how lovely you will look in 20 years....and please keep reading.  Hopefully that didn't scare you to much.

2.  Which is worse, failing or never trying?
I think that never trying is worse and that is why I will usually try anything once.  If you fail you can at least try again but if you never try you have no idea about the experience or thrill you may get.  Who knows you may even try something you like.  This Christmas I tried a fresh cranberry dipped in white chocolate thanks to one of Mark's parents neighbors and now I know that they are disgusting.  I should have seen that by the other 2 people's faces that tried it but I had to figure that out on my own.  This question also made me think of things that I wouldn't want to try - skydiving is probably top of that list unless I was strapped to someone that had done it millions of times before.

3.  If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?
This question really made me think more deeply (and yes that is possible folks...mature 35 year old, remember?)  There are many days that I don't like work but I do that so I can have money and live like I like to live.  If I had all the money in the world I probably wouldn't work but I don't see that realistically happening  anytime soon.  So I thought about what job that I would probably just absolutely love.  I do love teaching online and creating classes online so if I could just do that and make the money that I do I would choose that job. I should probably clarify a little bit more.  Some students wear me down and make my job difficult.  This last cycle was particularly difficult teaching 4 face to face classes with one of them being statistics and one of them being an ipad class.  It was a cycle that was hard to like.  There were many students that I did like and can't wait to see again this new year but I did hope that there were some that didn't come back....

 I do a lot of things that I like because I have that money from the job that I may not always like.  I love to go on trips and take Colton to sporting events.  We get to go to the Cotton Bowl and we get to go to a Mavericks game.  I'm seriously thinking about getting KSU-KU tickets in Lawrence and so that terrible thing called a job comes in handy every once in a while.

4. When it's all said and done, will you have said more than you've done?
Some people think I talk a lot. I don't think I talk that much.  Now sometimes I can talk your ear off but sometimes I can just sit and listen. I usually can't keep my mouth shut when it come so certain things but I don't think that is what this question is about either.  I believe you can always do more in terms of social services to your community.  The time factor is usually what gets me.  There are opportunities to volunteer at schools and church.  I try to do as much as possible for the church as I can in the time that I have left.  Could I make more time?  Yes and perhaps that should be one of those ugly New Year's Resolutions - take more time to volunteer.  I would also like to be able to help at the Bread Basket more. Lately it has been just monetary giving so I will say it now that I'm going to find time to volunteer more and get it done in the New Year.

5.  What is the one thing you'd most like to change about the world?
There are two things that came to mind and I can't figure out which one is the more important one in my full mind.  Both are things that seem so basic but are difficult to accomplish for political, monetary or other reasons.

Can't we all just get along?  I don't like war, or any type of fighting for that matter.  I don't like when people are mad at me and I don't want to imagine the United States being a place of warfare like has gone on in Afghanstan or Iraq.  I hate it and don't want to be a part of it.

I would like everyone in the world to have the things in the bottom two  levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.  The bottom level is food, water, and shelter. The second level of the heirarchy is safety - being personally safe, financially safe, and healthy. This past cycle (remember the cycle from Hell that I mentioned) I had a young lady in the statistics class that came and told me she wasn't performing to her ability because she had been homeless for the past 2 weeks.  It just made me hurt inside. I was shocked to think that for 2 weeks I had no idea and she was still coming to class everyday and trying with all the issues going on in her own life.  It made me realize how much I had and how things were so easy for me even in a cycle from the underworld.  How could she even think about finding a confidence interval when she wasn't sure where she was going to sleep or eat at night?  So perhaps I've figured out my one thing for the world since it encompasses both of what I've mentioned- everyone to have at least the bottom two levels of the heirarchy.  I feel like if you have those two then it is possible to move onto the other levels.

I will post the answers to the other questions throughout the year.  Take time to contemplate the answers yourself. It really does help you know and understand yourself better.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 225 (12/27): Some of my favorite gifts

Not only was I crafty this year for Christmas but my friends and family members were too!  I got some amazing homemade gifts this year. 

My neice made Mark and I some KSU canvas pictures using duck tape and spray paint.  She drew them out with the duck tape by hand and then had Matt spray paint them and then peeled off the duck tape.  She has so much talent as I can't even trace a wildcat this well!

Mark made me a piggy bank out of an old post office door that is super cool. I saw one made for my friends child from their grandpa and I loved the code aspect of it.  He made it out of mahogany and it has a slot on top to slip money into.  You have to twist the knob with the secret code to get the money out.  This is a horrible picture of it off of my phone because it is still packed in the boxes we used to get everything home and I'm avoiding unpacking at the moment.
I have been begging Kristi for a wreath that she made off of an idea on pinterest.   She flat out refused to do another one because of all the work they are. She made it out of old book pages.  Ignore Kristi's old curtains used to hang it. I'm going to get a wide maroon ribbon to create a hanger for it when I get some free time.
Check out the roses that make up this masterpiece! 
 Matt and Madeline helped her create some of these roses.

Destiny made me this awesome purse made out of KSU fabric.  I absolutely love it!  I think the kids thought I was a little crazy when I opened it because I was so excited!  It has a row of pockets on the inside too and I'm always looking for places to put things so I can find them easily the next time.
It was a great Christmas and I'm happy to have shared it with so many friends and family members.  Hope the new year brings many more joyous times!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 224 (12/26): Sexy and He Knows It

It all started about 2 months ago from a facebook post my "sis" put up.
So all I could imagine was Matt walking around doing the video and dressing like they did in the video.  For those of you that don't have a clue what I'm talking about...check out the video.  You must start watching at the 1 minute mark to see what I'm talking about.  It is an image I unfortunately cannot get out of my head.  I really want to gouge my eyes out thinking about my brother in a speedo gyrating like the video but well...Kristi said it and my mind goes there.

So I decide to get Matt a speedo for Christmas.  I search the stores for a speedo but am unsuccessful since is October in Manhattan and usually about 40-50 degrees so not a lot of swimming done at that time.  Plus I'm cheap - I refuse to pay $30 for a gag gift.  I even asked my friend who works at the Salvation Army if she has seen one in their goods.  No luck but she had a good chuckle looking for one.

I look on Ebay and buy the cheapest one I can find from a reputable person.  It is $5 with $3 shipping and handling.  So about a week later I get this white squishy envelope in the mail and I rip it open and out pops this speedo but it has an extra pouch sticking out. Not having ever bought a speedo before I was shocked and quickly shoved it back in the envelope and thought Oh My Goodness!  How am I going to have Matt open that in front of my parents on Christmas day because it looked like Rated X stuff???  But I bought it and was still going to do it.

I used Photoshop to make a photo similar to the video with Matt's head on the lead singer.  I about died laughing making it and thinking about how funny it would be to see him open it.

I addressed it to: Sexy and He Knows It from Santa. I couldn't wait for the giver of the gifts to read that and say "Who is Sexy and He Knows It?"
Matt hung onto the box for a while and let Madeline and Colton unwrap some gifts.  He kept on looking at it and shaking it around a little to see if he could figure out what it was.  I wondered if he had a clue based on the To: part.  It was 2 months ago...surely he didn't. I could not stop laughing as he pulled out those special pouch speedos and held them up in front of everyone.
And then we got an extra Christmas bonus.  Not the jelly of the month kind Griswald's boss in Christmas Vacation sends him but the real awesome kind as Matt did the dance for us.  Thank goodness he didn't put the speedo on and demo as I'm sure we would all be gouging out our eyeballs with rusty spoons but it was our very own Christmas Classic.

I snapped pictures as furiously as I could and Mark was able to get a small video clip of Mr. Sexy himself.  Get ready and make sure you have an empty bladder in case you start laughing hysterically.  This is something that you will want to see and try not to have Matt gyrating in a speedo engrained in your head forever!  Merry Christmas from our very own homemade Christmas Vacation movie!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 223 (12/25): Memorable Christmas Day Quotes

This year if you were a fly on the wall, you would hear some funny stuff at our house for Christmas.  These are just a few.

I think those are Santa's balls.
Colton got a ping pong table from Santa and his stocking was loaded with ping pong balls. He took them out one at a time and laid them on the ground.  Mom said something about Santa loosing his marbles and Terry chuckles and said "I think those are his balls."  Boy are we dirty minded at Christmas!

I'm a Doctor.  Do you have too much KSU in you?
Colton wanted a snuggy for Christmas and immediately put it on.  He waved it around like a cape and said he was a doctor.  He then went right over to Mark and said, "Do you have too much KSU in you?"  It was so cute the way he said it- sounded so professional and doctor-ish.  He is on his way to being an actor like Andrew!

He's a he-she.
Well I must have had too much eggnog at one time or all the grading made me a little delirious and ended up buying the Justin Beiber Christmas CD. He was on the Michael Buble Christmas show and I must have transfered my love for Micheal to Justin on the song he sang and just wanted to hear it again. It was on sale on iTunes and I bought it.  There are some catchy tunes but I really didn't want to tell anybody that I bought it...but I did.  It is $7.99 that I can't get back so I guess I'd better fess up - I have been baking Christmas goodies to the sound of Justin Beiber in the background.  The subject got brought up on Christmas and Madeline said he was a girl dressed up as a boy or something to that effect and Colton pops up and says I guess that makes him a He-She.  Not sure what one of those was nor do I think Colton knows what one is but it was said at the most fitting time. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 222 (12/24): Christmas Eve with Family

It is Christmas Eve and we have had the busiest days I think anyone can have. Mark saw a post on facebook from one of his friends that said "I've driven a lot, stayed a little, driven a lot, stayed a little."  That about sums up our whirlwind Christmas plans. We got on the road Friday morning and drove to Mark's parents in Pittsburg, KS. We ate a lot....thank goodness for elastic waist pants...played the longest game of Phase 10 ever, and exchanged the dirty Santa gifts.  I came home with a cool KSU truck collectible, Mark some golf stuff, and Colton loaded up on gift cards and a humongous nerf gun. 

We woke up the next Morning to drive to our next destination - El Dorado, KS.  We were having Christmas with my dad at my cousin's house.  I hadn't seen Destiny, Shane and their girls since last Christmas.  I was so excited to have the girls open their gifts because I don't get to buy girly stuff very often.  I made sure I got some great pink stuff! 
Colton remembered who they were and had so much fun playing with them.  It was like they had just seen each other yesterday and not 364 days ago. I wish we lived closer so we could get them together more because they had so much fun.  They chased each other through the house playing tag, made crafty things, colored and just played like kids do. 

Emi was so quiet but so cute.  She ate about 3 bites and said she was full and then 2 minutes later after Colton asked for a cookie, she was hungry again.  She even ran off with a bag of chips without her mom knowing.  Addie and Colton played like brother and sister.  She even shared her Barbie bike with him....and I'm sure he will want me to burn this picture when he's older but I couldn't resist.
They had this Barbie rope thing that would swing around in a circle and you had to jump over it when it got to you.  Of course, I wanted to try it and I think there are some pictures of me doing it (which was not pretty) but I did get a belly workout from laughing so hard.  Let's just put it this way - the kids were way better at it than me!
Gosh it was fun to see family that I hadn't seen in a year.  It really made me question all the traveling sports I have Colton in that suck up our weekends.  My New Year's resolution may be to skip a few of these sporting events to make some trips to El Dorado more to see my family that I don't get to see very much.  It was so good to see the kids play together and have so much fun.  More family fun for the New Year is definitely a must!  Life is too short not to enjoy it with family and friends!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 221 (12/21): Crafty Christmas or Devil Worshipping

Well my cousin David calls Pinterest the devil's website.  If that is the case then I'm addicted to the devil and a devil worshipper.  I cannot get enough and usually find myself checking it about as frequently as I check facebook and my email.  It is so addictive to see what others "pin" to their virtual bulletin boards.  I can find crafty things to make for teacher gifts, yummy treats or see funny quotes.  You can search for anything to see what others have pinned. 

So this Christmas I saw some ideas for gifts for my friends and relatives.  My first gift came from this website but I modified it a bit.  Here are a couple of my versions. 
Mark, the Devil's handyman, did a fantastic job of routering the corners and creating a more professional looking finish on the back board.  I tried to use many of the pictures that I have taken over the years but I did need to get a little bit of help from flickr
For my friend Adrian I did one with her first name instead of last and since she went on the Europe trip, they were all pictures from Europe.  The Eiffle tower base looks like an A, church windows that look like a D, road stripes for the R, Big Ben for the I, side of a bench for an A and then a bridge guard for the N.

These were fun to make and really made me think about looking for letters when I'm out taking pictures.  Once you know what you are looking for, they seem to pop out of nowhere.  Would be a fun idea for kindergartners field trip.  Look for and make an ABC book out on the school grounds or on walks.

Another crafty idea I learned from pinterest was personalized soap bottles.  I downloaded pictures off of my friend's facebook pages and printed them off on clear transperencies.  You can slide them in a clear soap bottle that you take the labels off of and their kiddos shine through!
These were $2 gifts at the max.  I found many websites that had premade labels that you could create for teacher gifts. Cheap and very unique.  The people that I gave it to loved them!