Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

1. My favorite food seasoning is Tarragon.

2. Bank's snoring is music to my ears.

3. Lucky is finding cash in your jeans!

4. My relationship with God is something I take very seriously.

5. Many people are dearly missed by me!

6. Cornbread mix & ice cream was the last thing I bought at the store.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to starting the book Twilight at Borders with a Seattle's Best White Mocha, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in with my man and getting the fall & winter decorations down from the attic and Sunday, I want to go see a movie with my man and I'm sure we'll end up watching the Titans game!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

So there is a letter circulating the internet that claims to be written by David Letterman. From my research it was not in fact written by him, but someone else. STILL, the message rings true and I couldn't have said it better myself!

"As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark. 'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few days in the brig. So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way o r a nother Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane! Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad.

We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October Daring Bakers Challenge - A Total Bust

So here's the deal - I was very excited to make this months challenge of pizza & toppings, but I grabbed the wrong flour when making my dough and instead of big beautiful balls of doughy goodness, mine turned out a big mess of gooey-drippy-slimy-nastiness.


I didn't mean to use the self-rising flour instead of the all-purpose, it just sorta happened, and now I have to start over and its too late with posting day as the 29th.

BUT I still have my toppings and I'm planning to still complete the challenge for this weekend so Jason and I can enjoy it together, my posting will just be a bit delayed. Sorry fellow daring bakers, I was really looking forward to posting pictures today!!

A huge thank you goes out to Rosa for assigning this month's challenge!! Check out more completed challenges by other Daring Bakers by visiting the Blogroll.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PROFESSIONAL Camping pictures

Ben DeRienzo is not only a dear friend of ours, but he's also a professional photographer here in Nashville. He brought along a few different cameras on our camping trip and caught some really fun pictures that I thought you all might enjoy! Ben & Alicia
Matt Walter
Matt & Amy


Kim & Jason

Jason & Matt


Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee

Ben & Alicia (and Jason in the background)

Amy, Alicia & Kim

the girls

Amy & Matt

Amy, Kim & Alicia
I hope you enjoyed them!! Ben has some incredible pictures posted on his website you should check out too!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh how I love thee...

This makes me ridiculously happy. I've been waiting for the return of this flavor since I was a wee girl :-)

Supposedly this Haagen-Daaz Honey Bee flavor is only for a limited time. So this one goes out to the head honchos at Haagen-Daaz.

"Honey Bee, you are my Honey Bee,
You make me happy, when skies are grey,
You'll never know dear how much I love you,
SO please Haagen-Daaz don't take my Honey Bee away."

The end.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Due for an update...

Well its Wednesday afternoon and I'm trying desperately to keep my eyes open here at work. Both Jason and I had a rough night's sleep, probably due to the caffeinated coffee we had during small group last night.

And speaking of small group, last night was our first week as the new small group leaders. Besides Jason and I, there were 6 others that showed up, which is really only half the normal attendance for our group. It may have been that it was because we hosted it at our house in East Nashville which is a pretty good drive for most everyone that lives out in Franklin. But I'm hoping more people are able to make it in the future. Even still, we had a great meeting and decided on our next book to study together, which will be Walking With God by John Eldredge.

Because we hosted small group at our home, it also happened to be the first time everyone had ever seen our house! I know, how terrible not to invite anyone over for the first entire year of living in our new home. But there were just so many things I wanted to finish first and Jason had also been working on refinishing the office desk on our front porch. But I have to admit the house looked great and so cozy with all the candles lit and Harry Connick playing in the background. And because Jason and I have developed a bit of a reputation for our yummy baked goods and being as how we're not ones to disappoint, I made pumpkin bread and Jason made his homemade chocolate & peanut butter chip cookies. It was so great to have our friends over and I look forward to them visiting again in the near future!!

As far as plans this week, our friend Chris Ross is heading out here for a visit arriving tomorrow evening through next Tuesday. I haven't quite decided what we'll be doing, but probably playing it more by ear since the weather has been a bit unpredictable lately. We seriously went from the mid 80's last week to dropping in the low 60's - brrrr!!!! We had originally thought canoeing would be fun, but I don't know now with this weather. Still I'm thinking some homemade soups and breads, maybe a trip to the flea market and hanging out to hear some live music would be really fun. I'll try to grab some snapshots during Chris' visit for y'all to see!

Other than that, there's not a lot of new things going on. Jason had his softball tournament last Monday night, but we won't go too much into that. But after his game, we were glued to the TV to watch the Sox lose in game 7 to the DevilRays, which we didn't mind too much since the DevilRays have never been to the World Series before. I know, listen to me talking about baseball....strange huh?

Update on the looks as if it might not be till Spring that we get our little furballs. Jason has been working on the fence every moment he gets, but the weather is turning too cold to try and house-train puppies. I can already picture what a nightmare that would be in the middle of winter.

And as far as our plans for upcoming trips, we'll be spending Christmas out with Jason's family in CA for a week. I'm really excited to get a good amount of time off from work to relax during the holidays. I really want to come out to Seattle to see some family and friends, but I don't have the vacation time to do it just yet. So I'm thinking it might work best after the new year. But trust me, I do miss everyone so much and think of you all often.

That about covers it for now - hope you all are well and enjoying this gorgeous season of fall!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Camping Photo Ops

After seeing some of these pics from our camping trip, I'm more aware than ever of how badly I need a tan. Like really badly.
This is the six of us after arriving to the top of Fall Creek Falls.
Jason and I trying to be one with nature. I'm sure Matt was being gracious making this black & white so I'm not glowing off the trees.
Matt & Amy over Cane Creek Falls.Is it a little obvious that Ben is a photographer?
Here's a shot of the falls from a cliff up top.
Jason and I got a couple pictures together from that edge above the falls.
Here's the view of the falls before it goes over the edge - it was so gorgeous!
Matt & Jason before Jason took the plunge into the ice cold water!
Ben & Alicia lookin all cute.
Jason and I made breakfast the first morning we were camping by cooking up some french toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and banana bread. Here's Matt helping cook up the bacon over the fire.
Jason took this picture of the leaves on our hike. Fall is my favorite season of the year and its so beautiful here in Tennessee with all the trees turning.

There's a ton more pictures that everyone took, and I actually didn't take a whole lot myself because my camera is nowhere as good as Ben & Matt's, so as we get more, I might put some more up.

But I did catch this shot on our way back home that was just too priceless. Jason and I were filling up my car at a gas station in Nolensville, when I kid you not we saw these two elderly TWIN men purchasing a 24 pack of Bud Light and carrying it across the parking lot. It was seriously the cutest thing ever!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Just a tad tired

Camping this weekend was a blast! It ended up being 6 of us from our small group that could make it out - Ben & Alicia, Matt & Amy and us. Lots of pictures were taken by everyone and as soon as I get my hands on some copies, I'll be sure to post all about the weekend.

But it was definitely a great time and we hope to go camping more often as a group every fall and spring. There was some serious good food prepared, ghost stories, hiking, bathing princesses, campfires, smores, tent-shadow shows and over-crowded bathrooms! We made some great memories and I can't wait till our next trip!

After getting back to the house last night, Jason and I dumped our gear throughout the house and we headed to the guest room so he could watch the Red Sox games he had recorded while I took a bit of a nap. 6 hours later I woke up, only to stay awake for an hour and a half and go back to bed for another 9 hours of sleep. Can you say tired? None of us got the best sleep this weekend, due to some dogs barking, wind whipping and sloped campgrounds. What we could have used were some harnesses to strap us to our air mattresses, so we'd stop slipping down the hill. Good times, good times.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as well!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Camping does NOT mean roughing it!

Jason and I have stepped up to to take over the small group at our church. Our former fearless leaders Steven & Genesis moved to Chicago this summer and left us the reins (we miss you guys!!) So to kick off the new season of small group we're going camping this weekend!!!

I'm so pumped and haven't been camping in like 5 or 6 years! I've got my packing list going and we're going to air out the tent tonight, I'm sure its gotten quite musty over the years. When I've mentioned our outdoors plans to friends, they've responded with, "So you'll be roughing it huh?" Um no. Let me clarify, camping and roughing it are two very different things. This is the 21st century, we use air mattresses, duvets, flannel sheets, french press for coffee....ahhh the life. I'll for sure bring my camera and show y'all pics next week!

Oh and to introduce you all to everyone in our small group, here's a little photo montage!

Alicia & Ben (who help out with the high school youth)

Rachel & David (David leads one of our church's worship teams)

Matt & Amy (they've started a Saturday morning ministry with the Sudanese)

Melanie (who is also one of Harpeth's main youth leaders)

Melanie & Ryan (Melanie is the Director of the Children's ministry and Ryan runs sound)

Chad & Tabby (Chad is a drummer with one of the worship teams and Tabby actually attends another church but visits and we love her) :-)

and then us - the new small group leaders - yeah!!! I'm looking forward to it, I love the friends and the church that God has blessed us with over the last couple years :-)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chiggers 101

For those of you not from the South, here's a little Chiggers 101 inspired by Camille's question in the last post.

1. Your out with your loved ones enjoying the sunshine in your own backyard, or maybe having a picnic at a park just living life without a care in the world.

(cue Jaws music here...)

2. At the end of the day and being warmed by the sun, you sigh and take a nice long nap or watch a little tv.(image from here.)

3. But unsuspecting to you, these six-legged boogers have been and will continue to feast on the buffet of your skin!

(Image from here)

4. A day or two goes by and you happen to look in the mirror and you see this!
According to Wikipedia, chiggers are defined as:

"In North America, chigger refers to the harvest mite, the bite of which results in an intensely itchy red bump in humans (who are accidental hosts)....These relatives of ticks are nearly microscopic measuring 0.4 mm and have a chrome-orange hue....The larval mites feed on the skin cells, but not blood, of animals, including humans. After crawling onto their host, they inject digestive enzymes into the skin that break down the skin cells. They do not actually "bite", but instead form a hole in the skin and chew up tiny parts of the inner skin, thus causing severe irritation and swelling. The severe itching is accompanied by red pimple-like bumps or hives and skin rash or lesions on a sun-exposed area....Itching from a chigger bite may not develop until 24-48 hours after the bite, so the victim may not associate the specific exposure with the bite itself."

How's that for nasty?

The common belief by many people here in the South is that these little boogers burrow themselves into your skin and until you apply clear fingernail polish to suffocate them, you won't get rid of the actual chigger itself. But according to Wikipedia, this is actually all a myth.