Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Christmas

Here is a glimpse of our Christmas. It was wonderful this year. I think part of that had to do with the fact that we didn't have to run around like crazy people on Christmas Day. We didn't leave the house until 3:15pm and I took a nap in the recliner from about 10am - noon! After dinner, we went to a movie too (a tradition started in 2007).....

Here is a cookie plate that B1 put together for me of the 8 different kinds of cookies we made. Isn't it pretty?

This was my 2nd year to make the dressing for my mom's house. I made it on Dec. 24 and she then baked it on the 25th. This year, it turned out better than last. I think that is because I salt and peppered it a couple more times. It was really good. I asked my Grandma Philipine for a little help every once in awhile. I looked up and asked her to make sure I was "doing it right."

B1 and B2 on Christmas Eve standing in our kitchen. See B2's shirt? LOL!

B1 and her cousin Lea, who is 2 months old. B1 will be a fantastic mother someday; she loves children, especially babies!

Christmas morning by our tree upstairs.....

Shinza and her gifts! It was funny on Christmas Eve.....Bruce's brother Dennis had to go outside to smoke every so often and whenever he did, he took Shinza along with him. It got to be where she sort of followed him around, wanting to go "smoke"! LOL!

One of their "big" Blues jerseys and 8th row tickets for an upcoming game! Whoo-hoo!

The 4 of us at my parents' house on Dec. 25. I like this picture!

The 4 of us plus my parents, brother, and Rusty on Dec. 26 just before opening gifts.

In the weeks before Christmas each year, my dad loves to tease the girls and says things to them like "I didn't see any gifts for you at our house" or "I told Grandma not to buy you so much this year" or "I think you might be getting one small gift and maybe an orange". Anayway.....B1 thought it would be funny to wrap up an apple for my dad. So here he is with it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Today is B1's 13th birthday. 13. My baby is a teenager. Wow. I remember the moment she was born. I expected to look at her and for her to be all red, wrinkled, covered with that white "stuff," and well, you know, look like a typical newborn. But she didn't look that way at all. She was beautiful. I seriously remember the first thought that came into my head was "awwwwww......she's pretty!" She wasn't covered in that "gunk" at all, she was only wet, as if she had been dunked in water.

One of the first things my dad checked out was her ears. Were they close to her head or sticking out? He declared they were close to her head and that was good! Kind of funny!

This is a picture of her opening a few presents this morning. It was about 6:10am, so it was dark outside.

She was born at 10:33am and today, my 4th hour class began at 10:30. While I was taking roll and sending my attendance report on the computer, I watched the computer clock and composed an e-mail to B1, which I sent as soon as my computer said "10:33." That way, tonight when she read it, the time would be her exact birth time. Thirteen years ago, when she was born, her father made sure to set the TV in the delivery room to ESPN's Sportscenter. Ha ha!

This is a picture of her while opening the remainder of her presents tonight. She got a new Triad hoodie, Triad sweat pants, a Carrie Underwood CD, 5 books, an Aeropostale bag to use for her school books, and some make-up. My parents gave her a hair straightener, a figurine, and cash.

We will celebrate with a few of her friends on Saturday night with a trip to Dave & Buster's and a sleepover.

I love you, B1 and I wish you sooooo many more Happy Birthdays! Thanks for helping to make my life perfect!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our CMA Experience - Part III

So we got into the Sonnet Center and right away checked out the souvenir stand. I was disappointed. They had a few different T-shirts but only one sweatshirt/hoodie. The hoodie was a dark green color and only said CMA in small print on the upper left chest. It wasn’t something I was excited about so I opted not to purchase one. Everyone got a free souvenir program, which was like a thick magazine and pretty neat! We found our way to our seats by 6:30pm. They were announcing some of the awards that don’t get shown on TV (they announce them on TV, just don’t show people accepting them) and our very own Cornbread Morning Show from WIL 92.3FM in St. Louis won an award for large markets. Very cool! Bruce and B1 went out to get some dinner at the concession stand. I thought it was funny that we were at this “fancy” award show, yet the choice of food/drink was the same as if you were at a hockey or baseball game! Pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, beer, etc.! Kind of weird!

At 7:00pm, the show began. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley were the hosts. Sometimes, when I watch the CMA’s on TV at home, I just wish they would get to the awards sooner and leave some of the other stuff out. But since we were actually there, I LOVED seeing all of it! The large stage was being worked from 2 sides. On one side a singer or group would perform. While that was happening, on the other side, there was a wall which was about 8 feet tall that rose and lowered. Behind this wall, when it was down, there were lots of people working like little ants to get the next act ready to perform. The hosts would stand right in the middle of these 2 areas and while they were talking and the cameras were on them, the people at home could only see them and the area directly behind them, which was right in between the 2 performing areas. I watched the screen a lot to see exactly what I would be seeing if I was at home watching on TV. Darius Rucker performed from the side of the arena too on a little runway type of stage and Taylor Swift sang her second song while seated on a stool in the very back of the arena, surrounded by teenage girls sitting on the floor around her. We heard a lot of good music that night. And since then, whenever I hear a song that we heard live that night, it makes me think about what a nice time we had. So many good songs………! Of course for B1, the highlight of the night was when Taylor Swift was named Entertainer of the Year. I was a tinge bummed because I LOVE Kenny Chesney, but he’s had his fair share. (By the way, Kenny has announced only a couple of dates next year when he will be performing and get this… of them in on MY BIRTHDAY! How perfect would that be? It’s in Baton Route, LA. Hmmmm……).

After the show, we walked back to the red carpet area where many of the stars were leaving right away. We could hear people yelling out names as they saw some of the performers leaving. We stayed there only about 10 minutes and then opted to get on the road. Getting on the interstate was easy and as it turned out, we stayed at the exact same hotel again that night in Paducah! We were even in the same room! I made it to work the following day in plenty of time for my parent/teacher conferences.

It was a great 42 hours!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Our CMA Experience - Part II

We got up the following day at 7:00am, left the room by 8:00, went thru McDonald's drive-thru for breakfast, and were on our way. Bruce was driving and the GPS system was in place. Nashville, here we come. All the country radio stations were talking about the CMA's that night. They were all playing music from artists who were nominated. It was great! We first drove straight to the Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills Mall. We wanted to look in the gift shop at the Grand Ole Opry but only ended up purchasing something for my mother-in-law for Christmas. Then we went to the mall and wondered if we would really be able to walk the whole thing because it looks HUGE from the outside. We parked at Dave & Buster's and went in through their entrance. We didn't stop in there at that time but continued on and began checking out the stores in the mall. We are actually pretty quick shoppers. If a store doesn't look appealing to us, we don't go in. Shoe stores look appealing to B1 and me, sports stores to Bruce, and a handful of other stores to all of us. Anyway, about 1/3 of the way through, I noticed a little stand in the middle of the walkway called "Gigi's Cupcakes." Basically they were gourmet cupcakes in many different flavors with a LOT of icing on them. All 3 of us are suckers for icing. B1 and I bought one, intending to share it. Before we walked away from the stand, we had purchased 2. We each gave Bruce a small bite of ours and he declared that he needed one as well! Funny. But they were really good!

OK, so we did actually finish walking around the entire loop of the mall and it didn’t take all that long, maybe 1.5 hours. We ended up in Dave & Buster’s and ate a nice meal there as well as playing some games. We then headed to downtown Nashville. I think by now it was about 3:00pm. We found a good place to park for $10.00 which was only about 2-3 blocks away from the Sonnet Center, where the award show was to be held. Our plan was to just casually walk around downtown Nashville, looking for some souvenir stands or shops. We walked towards the Sonnet Center and noticed a big crowd of people hovering around outside. There was also a tent set up. I asked Bruce what was going on and he said he was sure it was the red carpet area. Cool! So we walked up, stretched our necks, and saw what we could see. People were already pretty deep as many had been there since about noon. B1 and I decided it would be cool to stay and watch people arrive. We had heard a few big names who had supposedly already arrived. I don’t know what they would be doing there so early?!? But anyway, Bruce wanted to walk around and I wanted to stay at the red carpet. B1 was torn. She went with him for a little while but then came back to stand with me. We really didn’t see much. You knew when people arrived because the crowd went a little crazy. But then again, there were television crews there and they were telling the crowd to whoop and holler for the cameras.

The red carpet area was big. I mean the part we didn’t even see was big. We could see a long white tent where, after the stars got dropped off (most of the time by a limo driver), they went into. There was a car parked just outside the tent that the stars were signing as they got dropped off. They ended up giving this car away for some type of charity I believe. We moved around from place to place to try to get a better view of things. It was neat just to people watch. At this point of the day, we were all dressed in jeans, warm shirts, and jackets. Many of the people, however, were dressed for the show already. Some of those women had to be cold! Sleeveless and sometimes even strapless dresses were popular. Guys wore anything from jeans to tuxedos. Hair, make-up, and jewelry were definitely paid attention to while preparing to go to the show!

Around 5:45pm, B1 and I decided we needed to go back to our van and get ready for the show. We weren’t sure where we were going to change and as it came down to it, we just changed in the van, with one of us holding a blanket up to shield the other. Rednecks are we! We had both purchased a new pair of shoes (of course) earlier in the day for the big event. She wore black pants, a colorful short-sleeved shirt, and her new shoes. She had also straightened her hair that morning. I also wore black pants, new shoes, and a red and black long-sleeved dressy top. Bruce opted to remain in his jeans! We tried not to claim him! LOL.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our CMA Experience - Part I

I am trying to compose a post about our CMA trip earlier this month. The post is getting to be a bit long, so I've decided to split it up into parts. Here is the first:

Bruce, B1, and I attended the CMA Award Ceremony on 11/11/09. Attending an award show is something I've always wanted to do (a "bucket list" entry, if you will) and back in September, when the nominations came out and I realized the show was going to be on a day we had off school, my mind began turning. I then realized that the following day (11/12) was a day I didn't have to be at school until 12:00 noon because I had parent/teacher conferences until 8:00 that night. So that gave me an extra 4 hours to work with. This all came together in my head in about 10 seconds and I then said to Bruce "let's go!" He said "really?" And the following day, he was on the net trying to get tickets, which of course he did.

We left on the evening of 11/10 around 6:30pm. I drove that entire evening. We stopped in Okawville to get dinner in a DQ drive-thru and then quickly stopped at a convenient store to get some sunflower seeds (my favorite snack to eat while driving). B1 was my navigator in the passenger seat while Bruce sat in the back and did some schoolwork, sudoku puzzles, etc. It was dark and we were listening to music on whatever country radio stations we could find. We were having a good time. We stopped at a rest area which I hadn't remembered seeing in the past so we could go potty, throw away some trash, and get a drink. Back on the road.....Bruce decided to sleep and B1 and I were chatting away. Pretty soon, we come to the river that you cross over to go into the next state. As we approached the middle of the bridge, I looked up and saw a sign that said "Missouri state line." What? Missouri? That's not right. We're supposed to be entering Kentucky. Huh? For a second, I seriously thought maybe the highway department had made a mistake here. Now Bruce is waking up because B1 and I are confused and he hears us talking. Next thing we see is a sign that says "Welcome to Missouri." Yep, we were totally in the wrong place. Gees.

I remember seeing the sign that said "I-24 to Nashville.....2 miles." I don't remember seeing anything else about I-24. I knew that in that part of Illinois (about 50 miles from the southern border), some interstate ends and another begins. But the deal is that if you are traveling NORTH, then I-24 ends. If you are traveling SOUTH, it begins. But I-57 keeps going too…..into Missouri! I assumed the interstate we were on ended and I-24 began and I was just fine; there was no other option; we were on the right road. Wrong. So now we get out the GPS (which I, a self-proclaimed map aficionado, certainly didn't think I would need because we have made this drive (to Florida and other parts of Tennessee) many times). I was hoping it would give us a route to take to cut across part of Missouri and put us back on I-24 in northern Kentucky. No such luck. It said that the shortest way to go would be to go back 52 miles and get on the right interstate. Oh great. So that's 104 miles round trip and if you drive 70 mph, it's basically 1.5 hours wasted. Bruce wasn't real happy. I wasn't either really but I kind of thought it was funny. I wish I could have a picture of the look on my face when I saw the Missouri state line. What the?????? I guess this explains why I didn’t remember that particular rest area from previous trips and why some of the towns we passed didn’t sound familiar to me at all!

And on second thought, I should have pulled out the real map (the paper one!) and checked because the following day when I did so, I did see a road we may have been able to take to cut us across over to where we needed to be (after I made the mistake). Live and learn I guess. If you have a GPS, use it.....even if you don't think you need to!

OK, so we only made it as far as Paducah, KY that night. By that time, both Bruce and B1 were sleeping and I was getting tired. It was almost 11:30. I made an executive decision on my own to get off the interstate and drive to a hotel. Bruce woke up and questioned my decision but I stood firm and told him that we were all tired and it would be good to sleep and just get up a bit earlier the following day. So we stayed at an Econolodge for $64 and it was clean and fine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More Crazy Scheduling!

It's been 2 weeks again, and things aren't going to get any better. Here's why:

11/3: Chaperone fan bus to Springfield, IL for 3pm Super-sectional soccer game, which we won in OT!

11/5: Take dog to doctor at 4pm (she has been squealing loudly in pain when we try to pick her up, not normal), then take B2 to basketball workout at 6pm in Edwardsville, sit in the school and do my own schoolwork during her workout since I have no errands to run at any stores right now.

11/6: Chaperone charter fan bus to Naperville for State soccer semi-final. Leave at 7am and probably get back about 10pm. Preparing for a sub can sometimes be a lot of work!

11/8: Girls sing in church, pitching lessons at 4pm, take B1 to basketball workout thing in Belleville (because Bruce has a Khoury League meeting) from 6-7:30. While she is there, run errands in the strip mall across the street.

11/9: Take B2 to gymnastics from 5-6 and then basketball practice from 6-8, get dinner somewhere in there.

11/10: Taking personal day from school to go on B2's field trip to the Magic House and Spaghetti Factory. As soon as Bruce gets home from basketball, leave to head to Nashville (me, him, and B1).

11/11: Arrive in Nashville sometime in the morning, spend the day "stalking" the stars and attend the CMA Awards that night, then drive a couple hours towards home.

11/12: Finish driving home and be at school by 12:00 for parent/teacher conferences until 8pm.

11/13: Parent/teacher conferences during the regular school day hours, after school, go ASAP to Carlyle for a weekend of scrapbooking! Michelle and I are renting a hotel room for 2 nights and we are gonna try to get a lot done. It's a big gathering in a large-size conference center adjacent to the hotel!

11/14: Leave scrapbooking for B2's basketball game in Highland at 4pm, return to scrapbooking.

11/15: More scrapbooking until late afternoon, then home to beging another week.

So I guess I will be back sometime after 11/15 with another post!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This Week's Schedule:

Monday: School until 4:00, picked up B1 and B2, took B1 home, left immediately to take B2 to gymnastics in O'Fallon, ran errands while she was there, picked up quick dinners for both of us to eat in the car, picked her up at 6:00, rushed her back to town for basketball practice which started at 6:00, then headed to the middle school where B1 was watching the first girls basketball game of the season, brought her home after the game (about 7:30) and finally did some stuff around the house

Tuesday: School until 4:15 (this day was an easy one).....picked up the girls, came home and fixed dinner, made cookie dough for later this week, watched The Biggest Loser beginning at 7:30, stayed up until about 11:00 doing school stuff and partially preparing tonight's dinner.

Wednesday (today): School until 4:15, picked up the girls, heard about how my mom's blood work is now indicating a problem with her kidneys, came home to a crock pot supper which was just OK (new recipe), sorted laundry, currently working on washing about 5 loads, will do as much school work as I can before bed.

Tomorrow: School until 4:15ish, pick up the girls, Bruce won't be home because he has parent/teacher conferences until 8:00pm, get some dinner for the 3 of us, run B1 to a basketball workout thing in Edwardsville (we want to try to keep her involved so she doesn't "lose" too much for next year' tryouts), while she is there B2 and I will go to Shop n Save and get a huge list of groceries, come home and put groceries away.

Friday: School until 4:00ish, pick up the girls, come home and eat something, then head back to Triad for the last football game of the regular season (Senior night), after we come home we plan to bake cut-out cookies (yes, LATE Friday night, but I can't find another time when all 3 of us can do it together!).

Saturday: get up in the morning and decorate cookies, spend a good part of the day at my grandmother (not deceased) and step-grandfather (deceased)'s auction, find some time to make 2 dishes for the trivia night we are doing on Saturday night, take B1 to a Halloween party and then head to trivia to be there by 5:30pm. After trivia, maybe go to the Halloween party where B1 will be for the "adult" side of the party.

Sunday: probably going to skip church (went the last 2 Sundays though), get B1 to Triad to work at the craft fair by 11:30, go to B2's first basketball game of the season which starts at 12:00, go work the craft fair myself at 2:30, girls have pitching lessons at 4 (I am not going), and then B1 has another basketball thing in Belleville beginning at 6:00.

Monday: Start all over again.

And then, you know, there's the checking homework, making lunches, helping study for tests, yada, yada, yada.....

So yeah, that's why I haven't blogged much lately.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sports Disappointment

B1 did not make the middle school basketball team. I cannot elaborate on this because I may get myself into trouble. Enough said.

This week is exam week at school - the end of the 1st quarter. It's a stressful week for the students but a pretty easy week for me.

Bruce and the girls spent a good part of yesterday at the St. Louis Blues practice. Afterwards, they stayed to get autographs. Bruce used to do this when he was young and sometimes I went with him. It was always a fun time! I think he is very happy that he has 2 daughters who are showing an interest in Blues hockey. They seem to be more "into" it than Cardinal baseball. Speaking of Cardinal baseball, we were at the game on Saturday. We saw them get swept and eliminated from the 2009 postseason. Sigh. Bruce was ready to leave after the 6th inning but I wouldn't let us leave. It was cold, we were shivering with gloves on, but I wanted to stay until the end. We fly with them and we die with them I told him. Maybe next year will be better. At least we still ended higher than the Cubs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Things going on with us.....

* B1 is almost done with basketball tryouts. Tomorrow, after tryouts are over, each girl is going to get an envelope to take with them. Inside will be a piece of paper that will either say "sorry, try again next year" or "see you tomorrow at practice." Just love the suspense.....

* B2 can finally do a backhandspring (is that ALL one word?)! She's been taking gymnastics lessons for several years now so I think it's about time she gets this. Let's hope she keeps moving forward, learning new things.

* Bruce is coaching B2's basketball team. They are going to play in the same league as B1 did last year and the games start SOON. They only began practicing last week and only have 7 girls on the team. This ought to be interesting.

* I am just about done wrapping up the first quarter at school. It doesn't actually end until Oct. 20, but I have my exams, my exam reviews, and my final tests and quizzes of the quarter all made. I can actually now begin working on next quarter. That feels pretty good!

* The Cardinals begin their quest tonight for another World Championship. I've heard that the "critics" say it will be a Cardinal/Yankee World Series. That would be pretty cool, especially if we beat them! We have tickets to go to the game on Saturday and I am excited to watch Game 1 later tonight!

* This week is homecoming spirit week at school. I dressed up as the nerd again today, like I did last year. And once again, I got several laughs out loud from random people. I actually think I looked better this year than last year because this year, in addition to a belt, I also wore suspenders and I buttoned my shirt all the way up. One of my female students told me that I can pull the nerd thing off "way too easily"! I think that was a cut-down, not a compliment. Oh well!

* One of my favorite students, Theo, was nominated to the Homecoming Court. I think those who voted for him made an excellent choice. He is such a good guy! I also blogged about him here, here, and here.

* I have been craving taco soup for a week or more now so tonight I made some. It is super-easy and soooo yummy! It hit the spot!

I guess that's about it for now. More another time.....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

B1 - TMS Softball 2009

Here are some pictures of B1 playing softball this season. The season is over and their final record was 12-2. They outscored their opponents by a total score of 151-38! The season sure seemed to fly by once we got started.

Baserunning at 1st.....

Playing 3rd.....



And a picture of Bruce umpiring. He actually umped a few of B1's games this year, but never behind the plate.....just in case she pitched, like the was doing on this day!

They actually have not had a team picture taken yet! That is scheduled for like 10 days from now. I will also take a picture of her that day in her uniform, posing for me. I forgot to do that during the regular season!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home, Kenny, Softball, Basketball, Cardinals, CMA

So here it is, one week after my last post. Is this how often I am going to be able to update my blog these days? Probably. I guess that's OK is just really busy. It is Sunday afternoon and Bruce and I are home alone. The girls left with my parents before we got home to go to a family party. And having the house to ourselves all afternoon is really nice! We are both getting a lot done while watching football in the meantime (not that I really care about football, I only do the pool at my school to give me something to do on Sundays while Bruce roots for his fantasy players).

We went to Kenny Chesney's last show of 2009 last night in Indianapolis. He performed at Lucas Oil Stadium.....home of the Colts. The place was full with over 50,000 people. The show started at 4pm with the Zac Brown Band. Then it was Miranda Lambert, then Montgomery Gentry, then Sugarland (who, by the way, I really like these days), and finally Kenny started playing at 9:05pm. This is my 2nd Kenny show this summer (the first being back in May in Kansas City.....he didn't come to St. Louis this year). He began this summer's shows by basically swinging around above the audience on some kind of harness thing and sings the first song while up there. Very neat. Then he is placed onto the runway part of his stage and goes nonstop for at least 2 hours (last night it was 2 hrs 15 mins). He doesn't change clothes and doesn't pause's constant entertainment! I love his music. His songs hit home with me like no one else's do. I think that's why I love him so much. I don't particularly think he's cute. He does have a nice body, but it's the music that has me hooked.....the lyrics.

Anyway, it was announced earlier this week that Kenny plans to take 2010 off to relax. I guess he deserves that. He has been touring very heavily for the past several years. I will certainly miss seeing him somewhere next summer though. But last night, knowing that is was his last show for some time, he did his encore set longer than usual. Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland came out and sang just a little with him. Then Miranda Lambert came out and did the same, as well as Zac Brown. Some of Kenny's band members sang with him too. I can't remember which song he chose to sing last, but whatever it was, he couldn't get the words out. He cried. Bruce and I both took turns looking through the binoculars at the big screen picture of him and yes, tears were streaming down his cheeks. The band was crying too. I just got done reading online about his decision to take next year off and he promises that he WILL be back. Whew! I guess that just knowing you aren't going to be back for awhile is hard when you have toured at the pace he has. I will miss him next summer and I am thankful that we were at the last show of this summer.

In other stuff......tomorrow is B1's last 7th grade softball game. Didn't that fly by fast? Wow. I will post some pictures of her playing TMS softball later this week or next weekend. Basketball tryouts begin on October 5. My nerves will be up again during that time, hoping she makes the team. I guess we will worry about our children forever, huh?!?

The Cardinals' magic number is 4! Whoo-hoo! We have tickets for the last game of the season on October 4. They haven't been playing the greatest this past week but hopefully the post-season will be good. And.....they are on the verge of sweeping the Cubs if they can win tonight, so that is ALWAYS good! LOL

Lastly, for those of you who didn't already read this on Facebook.....exciting news! This week, Bruce was able to get tickets for himself, me, and B1 to go to the CMA Awards in Nashville, TN on Nov. 11! Yes! Attending an awards show like this is one of the things on my mental "bucket list." Check! I am very excited about this. Nov. 11 is a Wednesday and we are all off of school that day. I don't have to be at school until noon the following day because we have parent/teacher conferences that day, and B1 is off that day altogether. Considering the awards show is in the middle of the week, it couldn't have worked out much more perfectly than that! We are going to probably leave after school (or hopefully after B1's basketball practice) on Tuesday the 10th (B2 will stay with my parents; she is too young to attend). We may drive all the way to Nashville that night but I doubt it. We will probably stay somewhere an hour or 2 away. Then on the night of the 11th, we will drive an hour or 2 towards home after the show so that I will get to work on time the next day. We are all very excited about this and looking forward to it! We hope to go to the "Red Carpet" outside the show before so we can see the stars entering the building. I guess we will need to dress up too!

Have a great week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last of the Florida Pics

Here is Bruce with Patrick's daughter, L. She is 18 months old and at the restaurant that night, she kept coming back to Bruce because he kept giving her french fries!

This was the sweet car that we rented while there. I don't even remember what kind it was, but we enjoyed it!

This picture is blurry, which I hate, but it is Patrick and LeAnne at their house after the birthday party. Patrick is opening his gifts.

Bruce and Patrick

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some Things I Cooked Today

I went by myself tonight to see the movie "Julie and Julia." Bruce didn't want to see it and I knew the girls wouldn't like it so I had an evening to myself and it was really nice!

Anyway, since I am in a "foodie" sort of mood, I thought I would post some pictures of some things I made today. We were supposed to have a family reunion gathering (a Sunday before Labor Day tradition) but it was cancelled due to the weather forecast. I decided to make my dishes anyway and just eat them here at home.

First up: little Caprese breads. I don't know the technical term for them but I saw this recipe over the summer on the Food Network and decided to try it. This is the 3rd time I have made these and they are so wonderful! French bread, olive oil, fresh mozzarella, tomatos, and basil. YUMMY!

This basil (unlike the dry in the previous picture) came from a plant on my front porch. I needed to use it in another dish which actually didn't turn out very well, so I ditched it. But the basil smelled wonderful! My plant's leaves are getting rather small now and I think I've about gotten out of it what I am going to. I just love fresh basil!

Here is a dip I had planned to take to the party. The recipe says it can also be used to stuff celery. This will keep in my fridge for awhile. We are invited to another party next Sunday, so I think I will take this there!

These were our steaks for supper. Last night, after we found out the party was cancelled, I went to the freezer and pulled these out. They are ribeyes which I marinated in a packaged seasoning for several hours. Later, after I drained that seasoning off and the steaks were wet, I then rubbed them with a recipe mixture I got from Katie. My dad makes wonderful steaks on the grill. I have to say though, these were some of the best that we have ever prepared at our house! Very tasty!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finally An Update! has been pretty busy between school, B1's softball games and practice, and keeping up with everyday things. The softball team is now 8-2 with both losses coming this week. We did beat Highland again though, so that was good! THS's football team is 2-0 to start the season, defeating Collinsville tonight 42-20. My classes at school are going well. I have managed to stay somewhat ahead in my planning, just like I like. On any given day, I have plans made for about 2 weeks out. I would like to get that to 3 weeks. Then I would feel comfortable. But things are going well.

Here are some more pictures from our July trip to Florida. These are the end of the Disney pictures.

Bruce and Me in Chefs de France in the France pavillion at Epcot. This dinner was really good!

This was our view of Disney's Hollywood Studios from our hotel room at the Dolphin. I zoomed in but the Tower of Terror was RIGHT THERE! You can also see Mickey's sorcerer's hat and the Chinese Theatre.

This was my snack on the night we were at Epcot. I purchased it in the Norway pavillion. I can't remember the exact name of it but it was good!

OK, these next 3 were also taken from our hotel room window. The other hotel across the way was the Swan. It was a really nice place to stay.

These were our sandwiches from "Earl of Sandwich" at Downtown Disney. We ate these before we left Disney World and drove to Tampa. Bruce's was some sort of roast beef (and no, for those of you who know him, that IS NOT's some sort of cheese).

Mine was a caprese sandwich. It was wonderful! I came home and attempted to re-create it at home, and I didn't do too bad of a job! YUM!

These little dudes? All over the place in Florida!

That's a Mickey Mouse shaped bush behind Bruce. It's hard to tell from the picture. And to the left behind him.....that's the World of Disney store. You can find ANYTHING in there!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


OK, so B1's 7th grade softball team won a tournament today! Yay! Their season began on Thursday with a 4-0 win against Edwardsville Liberty. Then last night they played Highland in the first game of this tournament and beat them 10-0. And today, we beat O'Fallon Fulton 18-0 and Mascoutah 24-4. Whoo-hoo! Here are a few pics of the champions. In the bottom 2 pictures, B1 is in the back row, next to the coach.

Now that school has started, my posts are probably going to be a bit fewer. Next time, I'll try to post some more pics from Florida.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Florida Pics Part 3

Here are some more pics from our Florida trip. Some of them are kind of random!

First, a pic of Mickey in the afternoon parade at the Magic Kingdom

This is just a cool decoration hanging from a light pole near the entrance of the Magic Kingdom.

The barbershop quarter that performs outside Casey's Corner daily.

Bruce walking down Main Street USA! When I go to Disney World and enter the Magic Kingdom, this view is my very favorite. I just have to stand at the end of Main Street, breathe deeply while looking at the castle, and everything is right in my world again!

This is one of the Friendship boats that took us from place to place. We went back to our hotel after leaving the Magic Kingdom, showered, and changed our sweaty clothes and then booked it over to Epcot on the boat!

And we had to get to Epcot by a certain time in order to surprise Donna, one of my best friends. She was on her first-ever trip to WDW and I knew that she and her family were eating that night in the Canada pavillion at Epcot in a restaurant called LeCellier. So we waited around the corner from the entrance to LeCellier and watched for them to arrive. One they did, Donna was reading the outside menu when I snuck up behind her and put my hands over her eyes. I said "it's someone from home" and she recognized my voice and said "you're kidding me!" She knows how much I love Disney!

This picture and the second last picture show our main course at dinner that night. We ate at Chefs de France in the France pavillion at Epcot. Bruce and I kind of "mixed and matched" our dinners. His came with the steak, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes. Mine came with the steak and little fried potatoes. when we got them, we kind of looked at each other and said "you wanna trade" at the same time? Too funny. It worked out perfectly but I forgot to take pictures of the meals before we started to dig into them!

This soup was so wonderful. French Onion is one of my favorites anyway, and this one was great. And it was a pretty nice amount of soup too, not just a few spoonsful! YUM!

One of my goals is to someday eat at all the Walt Disney World table-service restaurants. That is a really hefty goal considering I only get there maybe every 2-3 years (but sometimes only for a day, like this trip). And.....there are A LOT more restaurants there than one might think. For example, there are 12 table-service restaurants in Epcot alone! Plus, there are so many hotels now and each of the larger ones have more than one restaurant. Also, the restaurants (like anything else) change periodically. Anyway, I can dream, can't I?

And finally, dessert! Creme Brulee. Bruce did not get dessert but ate a little of mine.

That's all for today. I still have more, which I will try to post soon. With school starting up, it may be a few more days in between my posts now though.