Sunday, November 29, 2009

Getting Closer

After church this morning, Rusty started on the tile floor. It looks SO good and I am absolutely thrilled with the results thus far.

Tile should all be laid by this evening with grout down in the next day or two. Then we just need to move in and do some small finishing touches. Not much longer now!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas...

Here in Oklahoma, we have had 70 degree days both Friday and Saturday. Rusty decided to take advantage of the WONDERFUL weather by putting up our Christmas decorations. He wasn't sure if he was going to do it this year, with all of the other projects he has on his list, but the weather made it hard not to go for it. (Rusty actually had to mow before he started! It is November and Rusty mowed and put up lights in the same weekend... crazy!)

He strung the trees Friday and started putting out all of the lawn ornaments today.

It is always time consuming but the end result is nice to look at for a month.

We bought Abigayl the rocking horse last year and so it sits near her garden for her.

I'm looking forward to getting to see the house once night fall hits! I will try to get some pictures while it is dark, I'm not a photographer and so I can't promise much.

This year we finally bought inflatables. We have a snowman and a Santa. Rusty is thrilled because we have been eyeing them for a couple of years now.
Next on the agenda for today (tonight), tiling the laundry room. Poor guy has been non-stop for the last two days. At least he was able to get a break on Thanksgiving day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost the End?!


Last night Rusty worked his hind end off to get all of the cabinets SECURELY hung on the walls.

I can't wait to fill these babies with all of the stuff that is cluttering my inside cabinets!

I think I now have more storage room than I know what to do with... I like that, A LOT.

This is my favorite part. I love the way the counter top goes so well with the upper and lower cabinets.

So this means, hopefully, by the end of the weekend we will have the room DONE. Washers and dryers moved in and all. I am so anxious to see the finished product. It is amazing how far it has come so far.
I am so happy that I married a handy man. I love knowing that we have saved a bunch of money on labor. I know Rusty is exhausted and ready to be done but the work he put into this room is amazing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cabinets Begin

Last night our friends, Jake and Lucy, came over for some dinner and cabinet hanging. I'm so thankful that Jake and Lucy were willing to come up. It saved my back from some not so fun lifting.

It was nice to get to spend the evening chatting with them. They are such a great couple and such sweet people.

After our dinner, which was: rib eye steak with a whisky cream sauce (PW), fiery shrimp (Paula Deen), twice baked potatoes, broccoli/cheese casserole and Twinkies tiramisu, Lucy and I watched as Jake and Rusty did some install work. I'm sure that the guys felt no pressure whatsoever!

I found out during dinner that Lucy hadn't had steak in almost 10 years and that she isn't a fan of shrimp with the legs still on. What a trooper she is, she ate the steak anyway! So, I made sure that part of our dinner conversation was what her favorite foods were. Next time they come up for dinner, I'll be able to make her something that is fit for her taste.

Rusty didn't want to make Jake do any unnecessary work. He just asked that he help hang the ones on the wall and carry in the one that will go under the hanging cabinets.

Before bed, Rusty completed one set of hanging cabinets. This is the set up for all of the one hanging on the wall.

Also, look how crisp and clean the walls are! Rusty got the room painted Friday and Saturday so that they could get the cabinets up. It is so nice to have a clean room!

No more dog rubbing on these walls!
Today I plan to get the door painted and touch up some spots on the cabinets. That way we will be closer to a completed project.
Rusty said that he will finish the hanging of the cabinets tonight and, if he has time, get the cabinets on the floor set and the counter top installed!! Not much longer now.


This morning I was sitting on the couch, watching TV and had a growling stomach. I decided that I didn't want scrambled eggs.... I wanted an omelet. Mind you, I am no chef. I am not a pro at flipping an omelet. I don't think I have ever tried to flip an omelet. Well, I may have thought about trying but then chickened out and just scrambled it all together.

Anyway, I decided this was the morning that I was going to teach myself how to flip an omelet.

This is what happened.

My masterpiece ended up all over the stove and floor.

Thankfully, not ALL of it ended up on the floor. So, here is my omelet. It was flipped like a semi-pro and tasted like a pro made it!

I'm hoping next time I can make it all in the pan though. For now, I will be happy for half.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

28 Weeks...

This week I am 28 weeks! I had a doctor appointment today and all went well. Rowynn's heartbeat is still strong and steady. Plus, he is a MOVER! This boy is very active. He likes to kick, roll, punch and do what ever else there is to do inside mommy's tummy!

At my appointment today, I found out that I get to start going in every other week. I was VERY shocked that we are at that point already. I thought I had another month to go until we started that routine. Oh well, I guess time will fly faster than it already is!

Here is my growing belly...

I'm loving pregnancy this time, I don't feel so fragile about my weight. Maybe it is because I am doing more to watch the weight!!

For a while now, I have been tracking how long until Rowynn and Erin get here. Erin is my bestest friend! She lives in Seattle and we went to high school together. She surprised me one day by asking if she could host the baby shower and fly out to attend. So, Erin will be here really soon!!

When I first started the board, there were over 100 days until Rowynn's arrival. It is crazy that we are already down to 78 days! I am just so happy that we are going to have a little one back in our home. I can't wait for the feeding, sleeping, changing, crying routine. I will cherish every dirty diaper and every late night crying session with my little man. I love him already and I haven't even laid eyes on him. I am so excited!!
God is good! I just had to learn patients and trust.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yay, for New Molding!

Well, the painting didn't get done this weekend. But, I don't mind because Rusty worked 12 days in a row without a day off plus came home to work on the room in the evenings. I'm glad he took a day to rest and enjoy.

Over the past week, this is the progress that he has made.....

Sanded the Sheetrock for painting.

Put up the molding around the door. (This is in our closet... no more red tape!)

Same door but from inside the room. I just have to say, I LOVE having a chrome doorknob. Hopefully, one day all of my doorknobs will look just like this one!

This is the door that goes from the room into the garage. (We bought a chrome doorknob for this door to!) Yes, I know our walls are VERY dirty. But, that's what happens when you put a dog in the room that has skin issues. The wall becomes a scratching post.

He taped up the stuff in preparation for painting and installed the molding where the washers and dryers will go. It looks better already.
Truth be told, I'm tempted to not only replace all of the doorknobs in our house but also paint or replace all of the molding. It is SO refreshing to have clean, pretty molding. I know that a project like that has to happen room by room and over MANY years. Unless we win the lottery.... what do you think my chances are? Maybe I'll go buy a ticket today.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fried Pies... Must Try!

Last night for dessert I made fried pies (off Paula Deen's website). Let me just say, easy and delicious, are the two words I would use to describe them!

To make them, just grab:
2 cans biscuits (mine had 8 biscuits per can)
flour, for dusting
pie filling (I used cherry and apple)
oil, for frying
cinnamon/sugar, for sprinkling

Pop open your cans and roll out each biscuit. You want the biscuit to be thin so it fries evenly.

Place 1-2 tablespoons of pie filling in the middle of a biscuit. Wet the edge of the biscuit with water and place another biscuit on top. Dip fork prongs in flour and crimp the edges together to seal the filling in.

Heat 1/2 in. of oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Place pies (2-3 at a time) in the oil and cook for ~ 2 minutes per side. Be sure not to over brown your pies. Place fried pies on paper towels to drain and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.

I put whipped cream on our pies (only because I forgot to pick up ice cream at the store), they turned out amazingly delicious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

5 Legs Are Better Than 4?!

I had to snap some pictures when I saw this strange thing climbing up the back door. At first, I thought he was a three legged grasshopper but then I realized he was a 5 legged grasshopper!

It had 4 "normal" size legs and one REALLY long one.

Weird stuff!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Firey Trails

For our class fellowship, our Sunday School class headed to Firey Trails for some outdoor fun. What a neat thing these people have set up. They have a covered area with lots of picnic tables, a fire pit, a playground, bathrooms, goats, ducks and dogs.

Thankfully, last night was BEAUTIFUL with the unseasonably warm weather we are having. We were all able to just sit around and enjoy each other's company with out freezing.

Before roasting hot dogs, the kids all fed the ducks and goats. Though, the ducks were a bit skittish so there was more watching than doing with those.

But, they all waited so patiently for the ducks to come closer.

Feeding the goats was great. The goats were ready for some feed when the kids all got there!

It was great to get to hang out and talk.

Then it was time to roast some hot dogs for dinner. Mmmm... there is nothing like a good hot dog cooked over the fire! Throw a little chili on it and it is divine.
Of course, you can't roast hot dogs without roasting marshmallows for s'mores. So, the next few shots are my favorite.

Mmm.. dig in babe!

It's okay.... you can eat while I take your picture. It makes for a good picture!
Yummy.... s'mores. Can I have s'more please?!

Where are your marshmallows?

Here is our class (minus a few that couldn't make it). What a great group of people I am privileged to have in my life.
I just wish my camera would have taken a better night shot. Maybe some of you photo people can give me some tips. The photo is a bit blurry and the color is off.

After s'mores.... it was time for a hayride. Aren't they cute?! Their oldest was sitting with his buddy. So, it isn't a complete family photo. Cute none-the-less though.

We had a great group of funny kids on our hayride. The driver stopped a couple of times to tell us stories and the kids had no problem letting him know we should keep going! One little cutie, said to his mom, "tell the man to go". I love it!
We had such a great time. We love our Sunday School class and are so blessed to have them in our lives. God knew that is what we needed at the time he blessed us with this class.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trivia... Hard Stuff!

Last night, we were invited by our friends to join them at a trivia fundraiser at our local high school for the girls basketball team. This was such a fun idea!

Rusty actually said that next year he would be interested in buying a table... I like the sound of that!

The way it worked, someone bought a table and then invited guests to join the table. You could buy raffle tickets to win prizes throughout the night or tickets to win half of what money was brought in. We spent $10 and received 12 tickets for the random prizes.

Well, that $10 paid for itself when my name was called for a $50 gift certificate to a tractor place. Looks like Rusty is getting a $50 gift card to a tractor place in his stocking!! That's not all though, my name got called a second time! This time I won an envelope that had a bunch of small gift certificates. In that envelope, we won a free XL pizza, 6 in. sub, cookies, donuts, kids meals at Red Robin (we gave those to our friends) and some discount coupons. It was GREAT!!

We were part of table 10. These lovely ladies made most of the points for us! I didn't know 98% of the answers to the questions. Granted, a lot of the questions were for before I was born. Our table was a little split: 4 young ones that weren't born during the time a lot of the questions were geared and then 4 lovely ladies that were a wealth of knowledge.

There is my handsome husband... see him peeking from behind the head of the lovely lady at table 10?! Look how many people were there! That was only half of what I got in the shot.

I love the way she is looking at him. I just thought that was a cute picture.

Ah.. now they are both looking. I know my photography skills need some help. But aren't the Smith's a super cute couple?! Thanks guys for letting us join in the fun.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

As most of you may know by now, I LOVE The Pioneer Woman's website and all of her yummy recipes. Over the weekend, I decided to try to make PW's cinnamon rolls. Mind you, I have tried numerous times to make cinnamon rolls and have failed every time. So, I was a little apprehensive about trying again but they just looked SO good!

You can check out her recipe, photos (better quality than mine!) and print the recipe here.

All the yummy things that make up these sinful rolls.

To start the dough, you need to scald 1 qt whole milk.....

1 cup of oil.....

and 1 cup of sugar. You do not want to bring it to a boil. You just want to get the mixture hot. When scalded, turn off heat and let sit for 45-60 minutes.
After it has cooled to lukewarm, place 2 packages of active dry yeast on the milk mixture. Let the yeast sit for 1 minute.

Then add in 8 cups of all-purpose flour and stir to combine. Let this mixture sit for ~ 1 hour with either a kitchen towel or a lid over the top. Your dough will rise.

When dough is ready to work with, melt 2 cups of butter.

This recipe will make about 7 tins of cinnamon rolls. Lay them out.

Add 1 cup flour, 1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder, 1 scant teaspoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of salt to dough and mix thoroughly.

Place half of the dough mixture on a well floured surface. Roughly shape it into a rectangle.

Roll your rectangle into a larger, thinner rectangle.

Prep your pans by placing 1 tablespoon of butter into each pan.

Spread the butter evenly over the pan.

Now place about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of melted butter on your rolled out dough.

Spread the butter out so it evenly coats the dough and reaches all the way to the edges.

Sprinkle on 1 cup (at least.. more if you please!) of sugar.

Generously sprinkle on cinnamon.

Roll the dough starting at the end away from you and roll toward you. Don't fret if some of your gooey filling falls out. Just pinch the edges when it is rolled up.
Now cut into 3/4 - 1 inch pieces. (mine ended up being about 1 1/2 -2 and made 5 tins) Place the rolls into your buttered pans. Do not over-crowd the pan.

These were my five tins. Let the tins sit on the counter with a kitchen towel over the top for 20-30 minutes. The rolls will rise. Now, bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-18 minutes. I wish I would have cut the rolls smaller because when they baked.....

They puffed out over the edge of the pan and they browned to much on the top. They still tasted GREAT but they weren't very pretty without the frosting! Plus, I think I may have over-crowded my pans.
As for the frosting, I didn't use the maple frosting she makes for hers. Instead, I googled "cinnabon frosting" and came up with this recipe:
1 lb butter, room temp
1 lb cream cheese, room temp
2 lb powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice (I didn't have any so I left it out and it still tasted GREAT)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cream the butter and cream cheese together.
Add the powdered sugar and mix for 12 minutes.
Just before done add the lemon juice and vanilla. Make sure it is well mixed.
This frosting recipe makes A LOT but if I would have had 7 tins like PW I probably wouldn't have had so much left over.