Tuesday, November 30, 2010


So grateful for a few days off!! We.....
*Ate SOOOOO much!
*Saw lots of family
*Spent time at the Barndominium
*Did a little black Friday shopping and got some good deals!
*Went to Terrell to see 2 of my faves, which of course included manis/pedis!

*Ran the Gobble Wobble 5k

*Spent family time bonding practicing shooting

*Went to Marshall to see the lights, then listened to my sweet 2-year old niece's version of songs...."Head and shoulders, knees and toes, Eyes, my nose. Head and shoulders knees and toes." "Jingle Bells hey, jingle bells all the way."
*Loved every minute of our family time!
*Brought back 2 exhausted puppies!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Best way to spread Christmas cheer....

Is to send out Christmas cards! : )

Friends, shutterfly is giving 50 FREE Christmas cards to you just for blogging about them!!
At our house we LOVE Shutterfly. If you know my track record with electronics at all, you can imagine how necessary it is for me to upload every single picture that I take to my shutterfly account just to make sure that those pictures are safe. I order all of my prints from shutterfly since they usually have the best price per print. I have also ordered photo books and calendars as gifts!! We have used Shutterfly for Christmas cards before and are excited to be using them again this year.
I am loving the card options they have this year! I am not a fan of traditional red and green Christmas decor and feel that my Christmas cards should reflect that. Luckily, there are literally hundreds of options, meaning that I not only found one to fit my tastes, I found A LOT! My faves are:

If you've seen my house, you know I'd like this color scheme!

This one might be my absolute favorite!

I love the black and white pictures paired with the colored words, so I think our cards will definitely follow that trend. I am leaning more towards the one picture cards because I'm sure that everyone really only needs to see so many pictures of Cody, Chlo, El and I.

Christmas Memories!

For those newlyweds, not-so-newlyweds and engaged friends out there....
I love this Christmas memories book!! We were given the book as a gift at our first married Christmas. I have been able to record what we have done and who we have seen each year. I have saved our favorite Christmas cards and been able to include a picture of our little family each year! I will continue to record our Christmases to one day share with our kids!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

3rd time's a charm!

This morning Cody and I got up around 4 to drive down to Galveston, pick up my packet, drive to the start and start running by 7:30. He's a good man!
We met Carolina and Jorge at the starting point, then Carolina and I ran 13.1 miles!
This was our third half marathon to do together and the most challenging yet, because her foot has some kind of stress fracture and I have been sick this week. I went to the doctor on Tuesday after being miserable at school that day and found out that it was just allergies. I was given a steroid shot and instructed to take Zyrtec and Cough syrup. Needless to say, we both missed our long runs last weekend and did not run much this week in preparation.
That being said, we started out running 8:45 minute miles and I think that was just a little too fast as by mile 7, it was getting tough. We dropped back and slowed down to a more doable pace. We ended up finishing in 1:58, which was a minute slower than our Big D time, but still faster than our first half marathons! We were excited, especially considering our preceding weeks!

mile 5
Finishing!! (Just in case you notice the time, I was not lying about our finish : ) The time above me is the gun time...when the race began. The time that we finished 1:58:35 is the chip time...the time that I actually crossed the start until the time that I stepped on the last mat)

I also just got this cute new shoe charm for my bracelet!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Well Done Cooking

This past Monday Dinah, Hannah, Annie and I went to Well Done Cooking for their "Food Men Love" class. What a fun night!! We ate too much food, entirely too much red meat and helped cook a little too : ) Here are a few pics from the night!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This weekend was the first time that I have been out to the deer lease this hunting season.
I liked this tree that was in our camper area..couldn't figure out what kind of fruit it was though.

Cody and Ellie coming back from the pond
Since I do have fairly new found love of cooking, I figured it was time to contribute to the deer lease food supply. I made
-this taco soup
-this deep dish pumpkin pie
-this granola
-these burger patties
and this new recipe for Pumpkin Muffins. Let me also share that I started not from a can of pumpkin pack, but from an actual pie pumpkin. It was easy and yummy!
1. Prepare the pumpkin for cooking
Wash the exterior of the pumpkin in cool or warm water, no soap.
Cut the pumpkin in half. A serrated knife and a sawing motion works best - a smooth knife is more likely to slip and hurt you!
2. Scoop out the seeds...
And scrape the insides. You want to get out that stringy, dangly stuff that coats the inside surface. I find a heavy ice cream scoop works great for this.
Save the seeds:
Place the seeds in a bowl of water and rub them between your hands. Then pick out the orange buts (throw that away) and drain off the water. Spread them out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry. Place in a pyrex or a loaf pan. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven on 250 for a little over an hour, then bump the oven up to 350 for a little while.
3. Cooking the pumpkin
Steam on the stovetop
It takes about the same length of time in a steamer (20 to 30 minutes). I used a large pot with a steamer basket inside it.
4. Scoop out the cooked pumpkin
Once it is cooked until it is soft, it is easy to scoop out the guts with a broad, smooth spoon, (such as a tablespoon). Use the spoon to gently lift and scoop the cooked pumpkin out of the skin. It should separate easily an in fairly large chunks, if the pumpkin is cooked enough. Many times the skin or rind will simply lift off with your fingers.
If your pumpkin puree has standing, free water, you may want to let it sit for 30 minutes and then pour off any free water. That will help prevent you pie from being too watery!

Pumpkin Muffins
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups sugar
* 3/4 cup vegetable oil
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a muffin pan. If your pan is not non- stick coat it with butter and flour. I sprinkled the top with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
4.Bake at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

I also made a yellow cake with chocolate frosting earlier this week for my mother-in-law's birthday. It turned out much denser than I thought it would be, but it was still good!
Starlight Yellow Cake
-2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
-1 1/4 cups milk
-3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-3 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13 X 9 X 2 inches, 2 round pans 9 X 1 1/2 inches, or 3 round pans, 8 X 1 1/2 inches with shortening and lightly flour.*
3. Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
4. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally; pour into pan(s).
5. Bake rectangle 35 to 40 minutes, 9-inch rounds 25 to 30 minutes, 8-inch rounds 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center.
6. Cool rectangle in pan on wire rack; cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
1. Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and chocolate.
2. Gradually beat in just enough milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13 X 9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Say What

This fall I have attended three Beth Moore Bible studies at our church. She has been talking about Imago Dei, how we have been created in God's image. Last night she took us to a passage in James that really made me think.

7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by man kind. 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not be so. James 3:7-10

How often do we begin our day in prayer or in God's word. Our hearts are so focused on Him and our lips are praising Him. But its so easy to later in the day switch to gossiping or complaining. We are ALL made in God's image, His likeness. Since each person is made in God's image, we owe one another respect, not judgement, harsh words or talking behind someone's back.
Looking at this verse in the context of all people being made in God's image, really brings to light for me the way that I need to treat others.

3Because Your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise You.
4So I will bless You as long as I live;
in Your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63:3-4

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home on the range

Took me a few days, but here's our weekend wrap up! We got to go to Longview and spend time with our families and just relax!!
I got to visit my mom's school, see this sweet lady and meet mom's kids! I'm pretty sure her kids at first thought that I was going to be a little girl, so mom explained to them that I was a grown up, a lady. When I walked in one of them looks at me and said "but you're so little." I guess they were expecting a very tall/large grown up lady.

I got to go with my mom, dad and mom-in-law to Canton for a little shopping. We met up with Traci while we were there!!

Friday night we went to the Pine Tree Pirate Football game against Hallsville. Unfortunately they lost, but we were no longer there at that point. When we left they were still tied, so obviously we were their good luck charms.
We spent most of the rest of the weekend at the Sage's barndominium.
Cody played on the tractor.

The pups wore themselves out playing in the pond and running crazy!! Well Ellie played in the pond and Chloe ran crazy. We had to keep an eye on Chlo or she'd take off running towards the road or someone else's land.

That night my parents and Nanny and Papa Sage headed out to join us for a fish fry. Afterwards we lit the inaugural fire in the fire pit and enjoyed the calm. (Garrett somehow missed the pictures...)

Mom and Dad

Mr. and Mrs.

Roger and Nanny

Papa and Carol

Propping our feet up

Speedy basically playing in the fire..
We also enjoyed the Rangers win and Baylor BEATING Texas!!!!! Sic 'em!

Sunday we headed back in time to run errands and hand out candy to the little ones who stopped by. I attempted to dress Chloe up for Halloween, but she followed her theme of the weekend, took off running and dove out the doggy door. Its as if she was trying to tell me something..hmm..
The aftermath