Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Remember, Honor and Thank

I value my freedom...my freedom to live, to worship the God I choose, to say what is on my mind, to get an education, to choose my own profession, to have the size family that I want, to wear what I want, to leave to house without an escort, to protect myself, to tell my government when I think they have have screwed up without fear, to vote

I value the freedom living in America gives me

Thank you to any one who has served to protect these freedoms
Thank you to every one serving to protect these freedoms
Thank you to every one who has lost a loved one for these freedoms
Thank you to every one who is separated from a loved one while they are fighting for our freedom here.  I pray they return to you safely

From Pour l'Amour De...

Thank You

I do not have a family member of my own in service over seas, but having gone to a school that had a large military preparation focus and with so many of them going on to the service and  academies every year I worry and pray for each of them every day.

Terron, Eric, Brandon, and Bumbee (and jlc) thank you for what you are doing every day

Neil - Thank you for your sacrifice.  You will always be a hero every one who knew you and some who didn't...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Niko the Nikon Goes to the Zoo

This weekend was very exciting!!  I mentioned for my birthday a few weeks ago that all I put on my wish list was this camera.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get it, but I asked everyone to skip the gifts this year in lieu of cash.  I felt bad asking for money for my birthday, but I knew the only way that I was going to be able to get my camera was to pool all of my gifts from Christmas last year and my birthday until I had enough saved up!

Well let me introduce you to...
Niko the Nikon!

New Camera!
{Please forgive the backwards picture.  I took this one with photobooth on my Mac}

Friday Night - Husband and I went to the bank after work and headed downtown to the camera store to take a look. The store was closed. I was bummed. Husband suggested that we stop by Best Buy on the way home just to hold look at it until Saturday when the store was open.  Well we learned a pretty good lesson.

When you know your stuff and have done your research you can haggle prices with Best Buy!

Do you all know that and I'm just behind the times?  Because I was shocked when they said how much they would knock off the top!  And then we talked them into throwing in a few additional things too!  So I was only expecting to get the camera body and use my old lenses, but I walked away with a brand new lens and a large memory card!  I was all smiles, like a 5 year old with ice cream, Mickey Mouse, and a balloon!

Saturday - We had plans to meet a couple at the zoo and the gardens.  What perfect timing to buy a new shiny camera!  Here's a few pictures courtesy of Niko...

For a better look check out the site...http://photobucket.com/j-photography_16-May-2009

After the zoo we had a wonderful lunch {best.pizza.ever} and some great conversation.  It was great to be able to spend the day with both of them.  He will no doubt be busy busy when he starts residency next month!  Congratulations Doctor!

I spent the rest of the weekend taking pictures, processing pictures, and trying to remember what all of the 5 million buttons on Niko can do!  There are so many things to learn!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pom-Pom Flowers

I simple love this...

pom pom flower - Our Labor of Love

I usually don't like up post wedding pictures, but seriously!  I love this overly simple picture of a beautifully simple flower.  Come to think of it, I just loved the details of this wedding {and adore the black, white, yellow and green colors!}.  I'll even post a few pictures from Our Labor of Love of the place settings...

I will find a special occasion to use these ideas.  I swear!  I don't know what part I like the best, but check out the 'chandelier'!!




Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Mother of a Day for Mothers

I don't know why, but I've never really thought that Mother's Day was that important.  

Maybe that feeling comes because of my views towards days like Valentine's Day - if you need one day out of the year to remind you to do something special for some one, then your not doing your job every day the rest of the year.

Maybe its because I'm not a mother...

I prefer to celebrate birthdays!  And they are always a big deal to me.  Birthdays are the day that God gave the gift of your life to the rest of the world and I think that that is a big deal.  

That being said I still feel bad about having to split the day between both families.  Because our familes are in the same city there is no good reason why we shouldn't be able to visit with both sides for occasions.  I just feel like we're always running out on one to get to the other and then we have to run out at the end of the day too in order to get home in time to get to bed.  

The whirl wind trips to Home Town always leave me feeling fluster!  How do you make it to visit the families?  Do you try to split your time or alternate between them for the different holidays? 

Long Street Becker

Image by: [b]ecker
One of my favorite photographers.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Its Quick, Its Easy, Its...Home-made? From Scratch?

I just had to share this amazing recipe with every one!

Quick and easy pre-made meals.  There is nothing better when you get home after a long day knowing that dinner will be ready in 15 minutes and you can get on with the night!  

I love the quick pre-made meals from the freezer section, don't you?

You can just pull them out of the freeze rip it open and heat it in the pan.  {Then, if you're lucky, pass it off as home made?}  But they just cost so dang much!  If you ever had to feed Husband you would understand just how much a quick prepared meal is going to cost you!  It really would be cheaper to just pick up some fast food on the way home!

Husband is studying so hard and working out every day so he needs his brain food as well as his muscle food.  Due to his unbelievable appetite he could eat one of those pre-made meals for two all by himself and still be hungry!  {I do not envy Mom-in-law for having to feed him through his teen years.  She could tell you some stories about hungry boys!}

To solve my dilemma I came up with this wonderful recipe.  We have it at least once a  week and I spend about one Sunday every other month doing the prep work!

Home-made Chicken in Garlic Butter Sauce Skillets!

homemade skillet sensasion

Here's how to make your own!


-Chicken breasts
-Olive oil
-Herbs {We like marjoram and/or tarragon}
-Paprika and/or chili powder
-Salt and Pepper to taste

-Olive oil
-2 shallots
-5 Cloves of Garlic minced
-1/2 cup {one stick} butter
-16 cups {4 boxes} of chicken stock
-Herbs about 2 teaspoons {We like marjoram and/or tarragon}
-Salt and Pepper to taste

-A box of any kind of pasta you like!

-Store bought frozen stir fry veggies!  I like the asparagus mix from Walmart for some thing like 89 cents each!

On Prep Day-Chicken
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil.  Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, herbs, and paprika/chili powder to taste.  Bake until cooked thoroughly and allow to cool.  Cut the chicken into chunks and freeze in single portions in zip baggies.

On Prep Day-Sauce
Saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until softened.  Melt butter and add chicken stock.  Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste.  Let cook for 1 hour and allow to cool.  Fill sandwich size baggies with sauce and lay flat in the freezer.  {This makes it reaaly easy to stack and organize in the freeze}

On Prep Day-Pasta
Boil pasta according to box directions and allow to cool.  Place pasta in single use portions in plastic containers and freeze.  {I can usually get 2 meals from one box}

For Dinner
In a pan combine the number of each in order to feed everyone of the CHICKEN, PASTA, SAUCE, and VEGGIES.  Before turning on the heat, mix well 1/4 cup chicken stock with 1 teaspoon flour and add to the pan.  Turn on the heat and stir until heated through!  {Usually takes mine about 15 minutes, but I am making A LOT}

I hope you like this recipe as much as we do!  Let me know what you think about it!  

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Klassy Weekend?

This weekend was a whirl wind of driving, cramming in way to many errands and special events, and more driving.  {Especially since Husband's finals are this week!}

We went to Home-Town Mid-West Friday for Nephew Sweet Pea's 2nd birthday party!  He is just to darn cute!  Unfortunately, I left the camera at home and didn't get any pictures of him opening his clicking, noise-making Tonka Truck or just being his cute self.  

Saturday was a wedding of one of Husband's friends that he grew up with.  It was a pretty wedding and I think it was exactly what the bride wanted!  She looked so beautiful!  And the cake was gorgeous! {Again no camera = no pictures}  The only concerns I had about the entire thing were a few of the guests...

Here are a few "observations" that I made during the wedding festivities...

The Church - While most everyone was dresses beautifully fitting for the setting of the traditional church where the ceremony was held, there were a few that just weren't.  
1.  I'm sorry, but I don't think it is appropriate to wear such short dresses in the Lord's house!  We're talking just a slight turn to quickly in one direction and the minister would get an eye full!
2.  It is never appropriate to wear white to a wedding unless it is your own!  {And no, even if it is an extremely short dress it does not make it ok}
3.  You may be proud of your baby bump, but it doesn't mean that you should wear a full length, bright red, spandex dress with two slits up to mid-thigh.  And if you choose to, please for the love of everyone around you wear a thong or some seamless undergarments...

The Reception - I may be labeled a fuddy duddy for what I'm about to say but...I wasn't really looking forward to the reception.  I knew what it was going to be like and I'm over that kind of behaviour.  It was just a large party.  I mean a college house party, a how much beer can you consume party.  I know that its exactly what the bride and groom wanted though and I'm glad that they had the party that they wanted.  Its just not fun to me any more.  

Here are a couple of images that illustrate my point.  {These are pictures that I've pulled off of Facebook and blurred the faces}  I wish I had a picture of the ladies taking a knee and chugging their drinks in honor to the happy couple...

Wedding Drinking Privacy Blur
Wedding Drunk Dancing Privacy Blur

My question is when is it no longer age appropriate {if it ever was} to drain the kegs right there in front of your parents and grandparents?  

Now, I'm all for throwing a great party to celebrate such a wonderful day, but maybe sticking to a classy party and not a Klassy party...

What do you think?  When is it time to grow up?  Would you ever wear a short dress in church?  Is ok to keep partying like you did in college?  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Shopping Did Not Equal Happiness

I'm having the same little issue as the Mojito Maven.  I just don't seem to have any inspiration lately.  I've just been enjoying catching up on my reader and commenting away, but my own posting has been seriously lacking!  This experience last night didn't help either...

If you follow me on twitter you know I was excited!  Shopping to actually buy something for a change and not just looking at the pretty things in the windows!

I LOVE shopping.  Its one of my favorite things.  It always cheers me up.

Not last night.  It was depressing.  

Nothing fit. Everything seems to be blousey which I think is pretty on some people, but when you have a little waist and a larger top...they just make you look like you're 'hiding something'.  And pieces that are supposed to be fitted don't come in my size...

{The one dress that I absolutely lurved and it fit well was a maxi dress from Express.  I just couldn't justify paying $79.50 for a dress made out of t-shirt material!}

Its a frustrating dilemma.  {Any hints on where to find some cute clothes on a student's budget?}  And yes, I tried Forever21 and the like.  I am shocked at some of the scraps of fabric that they are trying to sell as dresses!  

In the end I think I'm taking back almost everything that I bought last night.  

Hopefully some inspiration and better shopping will be headed my way now that it is May {I can't believe it is already.}

Thanks for listening to my rant...