Monday, October 30, 2006

A Blustery Day indeed!

Okay, so I've been up for a hour now. The wind is blowing a 40 mph with gusts (more like howling) at a whopping 50 mph, the wind chill making the 29 degree temperature feel like 12 degrees (brrr). It's not so much the snow or rain that gets you feeling cold, it's the wind driving it into the fibers of your coat, hat and sweater that make you feel cold right down to the bone! Now the odd thing is, for the past 2 days it was down right warm! After church yesterday we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts. Yup, there's nothing like the bizarre South Dakota weather to keep you hopping.

So I'm there in bed awake at a little past 4 am listening to the wind howl and it dawned on me...I had turned the heater OFF the other day because it had gotten so warm in the house, YIKES! I got up here and it wasn't too bad, it had only gotten down to 65 degrees. So with the heater now on, it'll be nice and cozy for when the rest of my family gets up.

Are you wondering where I was yesterday? I spent the greater part of my afternoon in My Scrapbook Nook. I was able to get a couple more layouts done. I found that I needed a certain color card stock, but wait...that color isn't made (I checked my Bazzill and Stampin Up swatches). So how do I get something that isn't made? I made it myself! So with a piece of Romanza (a pale pink Bazzill card stock) and a Pixie Pink classic ink pad (the dye ink not the pigment ink) by Stampin Up, from there I created my own color. It made a little bit of an inky mess on the fingers, but I got what I set out to do...a lovely shade of pink card stock! So I let it dry thoroughly over night and I'll work on it a little later this morning. Actually I was already tinkering around in there but needed some Java to get me going. I'll be posting the layouts here and on my web shots page very soon!

The cat is all over me for some attention and I don't dare turn on the lights in the dining room or the birds will start chirping like mad. I need some more coffee! While I'm sitting hear typing away I can hear the wind howling it IS giving me the heebie jeebies! You can hear things banging against the house or bouncing down the street. I think that I will be driving my children to school today! Besides, I have errands to do in town, might was well get them done earlier instead of later.

It's now time for me to wake everyone up....

Saturday, October 28, 2006

2006 OSC Charity Auction

Last night was amazing! From the way the tables were set up to the food being served to the home like casual atmosphere. Our theme for the evening was "Round up at the Ellsworth Corral". The dress was western. From the center pieces being real cowboy boots with flowers sticking up out of them (the flowers were in mini these galvanized buckets), it set the tone for room! Everyone looked great!

Now for the things that were above and beyond what we expected...We had many many contributors to our auction. Many of the wonderful businesses throughout the Black Hills area donated items for our auction. I want to give a whole hearted THANK YOU to all of them, for without them and the buyers...well we would not have had the best year EVER in our Ellsworth OSC history!

The 34th Bomb Squadron Beer Bonanza netted a whopping $330 That was a lot of beer too!

The Stained Glass Window donated by my friend Kathy and her husband (and hand made by Kathy too) netted $300 This window is amazing! I ran into the couple who bought it and lets just say that they were giddy with excitement about their purchase :-)

The Taste of South Dakota Wine Basket donated by the 28th Operation Support Group netted $440. These were bottles of wine made right here in South Dakota. Someone is going to have a very good collection of wine in their home :-)

The progressive dinner party hosted by the top brass of our base got an astounding $2,000! That right there is an all time record! With a 2nd dinner party of the same getting $1,400. This is a dinner for up to 16 guests.

Now don't got thinking that the military is not to be out done, we have members of our local community doing the same! This is a dinner party for up to 20 guests in private Back Hills residence. This is the fist time for members of the local community to offer such a wonderful event...this got an amazing high bid of $1,800!

Saloon in a suitcase received the high bid of $425, amazing! This was donated by the 28th Mission Support Squadron. I loved this idea!

A very popular package from "My Girl Friends Kitchen" went for $280, and trust me I say it's worth every penny! It had four $50 gift certificates and time in their kitchen...oh yeah!

My new to OSC friend Liz W made this phenomenal looking Log Cake! Complete with marzipan mushrooms and cacti! This was her first time donating to something like this, it went for $85! And yes I took pictures of this amazing looking cake!

My friend Georgia and her Famous Egg Nog (this stuff is reeeeeeally good). One Gallon of her Egg Nog went for $120 and then she offered to make a 2nd gallon and it went for $125! Way to go Georgia on offering to make a 2nd gallon!

Do you want to talk cheesecakes? My Raspberry mini chocolate chip cheesecake went for $55, My Death by Chocolate Cheesecake turned into a little bidding war between two tables and ended up going for $135.

I found out later on that evening that no dessert has ever gone for more that $65, so we made some dessert auction records last night. It has given myself and the others so much joy to have been able through our cooking and baking to bring in that kind of money for our OSC Scholarship program :-) We were all hugging and jumping up and down later on talking out our biggest fears with our goodies being up for auction. I can tell you all, the friendships I have made through OSC these past couple of years have been wonderful! These are the kinds of friends that you keep for the rest of your lives!

We made an Ellsworth OSC record with our auction last count we made over $20,600! When I saw Jill (our Scholarship program chairperson) after the total was announced on live speaker she was in tears. Yes it (the total) was that amazing, especially since we almost doubled last years proceeds!

So are you wondering what we came home with from the auction? I was high bidder on an oak Coin Display Case for my husband (for his military coins, not money coins) and my husband (got to love this man) was high bidder on a beautiful Pearl Necklace and earrings set :-) Can you say Merry Christmas? I can, and in at least 10 different languages after last night! It was such a wonderful evening! I wish that you all could have been there!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Yahooooo it' Friday!

Okay, so I'm rather excited about it being Friday. You would be too if it were me. The OSC Auction is today! The silent auction kicks off at 4:30 pm and the live auction starts at 7:15 pm. I am all over this auction! I'm excited about all of the goodies we've gotten donated! This year my husband is able to go to the auction with me, last year he was TDy in another state so I had to e-mail him pictures of the different items up for auction. Since I'm the OSC Historian, I'll be all over the place taking pictures of everything and everyone. I look forward to getting these pictures into the OSC albums.

Talk about having a creative burst last night. I got a couple more layouts done and now am working on one from Halloween last year and pumpkin carving pictures from this year! I'm not a speedy scrapbooker by any means. But when I get into a project I really get into it! I dive right in and get to working on the different aspects of it. And here's something that will really grab you...I even have the journaling done on these pages, yes I really do! Now that right there IS an accomplishment!

My special Raspberry cheesecake is done and is beautiful! I checked all over the Internet and nowhere did I find my recipe. Now I did happen to find dozens of other kinds of Raspberry cheesecake recipes but not the recipe that I use, heh heh heh! Then there's my Death by Chocolate cheesecake...nowhere did I find that recipe either and trust me I searched for quite a while! So I do feel that I am giving everyone something very special, something that they can't find anywhere else:-) I'll be sure to take a picture of who ever wins my cheesecake and take note as to how much they pay for it too!

What are you reading? When was the last time you picked up and interesting book? A week or so ago I went into my local bookstore. I had every intention to buy the book The Devil wears Prada, but then something else caught my eye. I love mysteries and when I saw the Agatha Christie novels on display well I went right over to them. So I put back the other book and bought my first Agatha Christie novel...The ABC Murders. Oh my gosh I can't put this book down! I like her characters and her style of writing. I've gone back and have bought a couple more of her novels. Hey at $12 for a hard bound book, that's not too shabby of a price if you ask me! So as it is, I'm adding to our small book at a time.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's Thursday

Here I am, ready for yet another round of making gourmet cheesecakes. I'm ready to get cooking, I'm just waiting for my ingredients to get to room temperature then I can begin cooking.

I found last night's garnishes class to be rather disappointing. The young man (key word here is "young") admits to all of us taking this class that he doesn't know how to cook. The really sad part was how he tell us his story about how his life long dream of becoming a golf pro didn't pan out so he became a sales rep for Wusthof knives. That he got the job because his dad has worked for the company for over 25 years. I was bored to tears! So basically I sat though a 2 hour sales pitch, ugh! He had us cut 1 stalk of celery, 1 tomato and 1 onion so we could get a feel for the knives...insert a picture of me rolling my eyes here. After chopping the celery, I was ready to take my $60 paring knife (and it's a cool paring knife too) and my 10% discount card and go home. I really and truly thought that we were going to be learning how to garnish fruits and vegetables. I was very disappointed with the fact that I knew more about the knifes and how they were made than this young man did.

I've got another month page done for my calendar project...only 10 more to go, LOL! I'm going to be working on them some more today. I've got all of the pictures printed now for me to get some more ideas bubbling though my head. The hard part is using that Karen Foster month paper...ugh! Its not ugly paper by any means, it's just that I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it at the moment.

I've got to call the orthodontist to get Hannah in. She is not wearing that OG appliance and we are facing the ugly truth that she finds it horribly uncomfortable. So I'm making an appointment for her to get the Herbst appliance put back in, ugh!

Okay it's back to the grind for me. I need to get some domestic work done around my abode befor I get started on my day of baking and scrapbooking.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sandie the Cheesecake Lady

I got a pretty early start today as I was up and dressed by 5am. I was doodling around in the kitchen and then it hit me, I didn't hear my husband getting up. I realize that it's now 6:25 am and the kids weren't coming upstairs for breakfast. I go down to see what's going on or apparently what's not going on. Everyone is still sound to sleep in their beds. I case you are wondering, yes I drove the kid to school.

So now I'm on the tail end of making my death by chocolate cheesecake. It's done baking and is now in the oven hanging out for another hour until the next part of the cool down phase. Tomorrow I bake the raspberry cheesecake. Either Thursday night or Friday morning I will assemble My Sandie's Death By Chocolate Cheesecake. I sure hope that these cheesecakes get some serious bidders!

Now for me to enjoy a mug of hot tea then go to my Scrapbook Nook to work on some more layouts! I've got to finish up my 12x12 calendar project, I'm on the home stretch! :-)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Photo Developing

Which company do you go through for your photo processing needs? Ive tried many and let me tell you I am not one to wait around the mail box for my pictures. I've been very pleased with the quality of photo's done by Walgreen's. But wait, the one that I usually go to has some serious road construction happening on both sides of it. Talk about a bear to gt in and out f that parking lot! Now the new one on LaCrosse is open, so I gave them a try today. I uploaded my photo's to the Walgreen's site and I can not believe how quickly I received the e-mail letting me know that they were ready for pick was 15 minutes! WOW! I had 101 pictures printed today and they all look beautiful! Now for me to get to working on some terrific layouts!

Don't let the Turkeys get you down

That's from a book (I bought it in the 80's) of drawings by Sandra Boyington, I just adore her cartoon animal drawings. This saying has stuck with me through the years and has meaning for me. As I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with our medical coverage. I know that most HMO's are there to make it difficult to for the majority of us. I suppose that they are hoping that we will give up from sheer frustration. Well when I'm mad, I'm like a little pit bull! I'm not going to give up this fight! Our insurance will pay for our daughters surgery and this surgeon WILL be preforming the operation!

My husband is my pillar of strength. Without him, I sometimes wonder where I would be in this life of mine. I was really bummed out yesterday and cried my eyes out when I was told that I'm going to have to start this entire process over again of getting the referral and the authorization. When you think that I started all of this back in April 2006, and now it's 7 months later. It's mind boggling to think that it takes that long to get something done when one has medical insurance. What happens when you don't have medical insurance? Do they kick you to the curb or what?

Monday, October 23, 2006

reaching ones breaking point

Our military health care system is not the best. Today I about broke down in tears while on the phone (I held them back for later) while I was trying to get a referral date pushed back because the civilian doctor made us wait 4 full months until he would see my daughter because I was using our military insurance versus paying directly out of pocket for this appointment (nice huh). I spoke with a young woman who was condescending and rude. It boils down to this 1- she talked down to me like I was an idiot and didn't understand procedure and 2-like it was my fault that my daughter couldn't get seen any earlier. If only she had taken the time to ask about our situation and was actually taking an active interest in helping someone versus telling me that I'm going to have to start this entire process all over again...UGH! I had to practically pull teeth without Novocaine to get this appointment with this particular doctor! What an ordeal this has been, I'm wondering if in the end that it's even worth it to go through all of this crap!

An Afternoon Tea Party

Have you ever experienced a true British Afternoon Tea? My daughter and I went to this wonderful little hole in this wall Tea Shop this past Saturday with a friend and her daughter for Afternoon Tea. We had our reservations for 4 people @ 4pm. It was truly delightful! We started off with these charming little finger sandwiches; there were 3 different kinds, cucumber, ham and chicken salad. And each was served on a different type of bread (no crusts allowed here). The 2nd course was as delightful as the first. There were several different types of scones, blueberry, raspberry with white chocolate, cranberry orange and apple cinnamon. Light and flaky, served with clotted cream (a fancy type of butter to you and I). Then on to desserts...WOoooooooooooooooo Wheeeeeeeeeee! The types and the amount of desserts brought out to our little party of 4 was mind boggling! My favorite were the fruit tarts, loved them! The girls were crazy for the different types of cheesecakes (and who wouldn't be). The tea that was served was divine! We had Earl Gray and I've never had a better pot of Earl Gray than the one I had at Bully Blends in downtown Rapid City! My friend and I went through at least 2 pots (could have turned into 3 pots easy) by ourselves. I'm seriously sold on this place! Will I go back? In a heart beat! The service was excellent, the food was top notch and they even sell the tea and scones to go! So I can pop in and pick some up the next time I am in that part of town!

a new week a busy week

So here it is a new week. WOW, do I have a lot going on! As I look at my outlook calendar I see that just about every date from now until the Halloween has something on it. An appointment or function for me to attend, ugh! November is starting off with a bang...2 crack of dawn appointments for my son. That's what happens when your child enters high school and all of his classes tend to be rather important. So there you have it, the reason for the 7am dental and orthodontic appointments.

I awoke to the cat knocking over my water bottle from the night stand, then as soon as I turned on the light the phone rang. Nothing quite like waking up to one startling thing only to be startled again with something else. So with my adrenaline pumping I've decided to get some of this afternoon's cooking out of the way.

Now for getting creative...I am so ready to get working on some more layouts. I've got another design idea in my head and I want to work on it asap! Anyone else ever get like that? Come on, I'm sire that I'm not the only one, LOL!

So with a load on laundry in the washing machine, the chicken sausage cute up and ready, a pan of chocolate chunk brownies in the oven I'm ready to get working in my scrapbook nook!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Joys of Parenthood

There's nothing quite like the joys of parenthood...well okay there are quite a few "other" joys but being a parent has it good moments and not so good moments. Take this morning for example. I love the fact that our son is now volunteering and being more involved in school and extracurricular activities. But didn't he just do a community service project last Saturday? I know he did! It was picking up trash along the highway. So he signs up for distributing coats for the needy, to do it at 9am over in front of K-mart. So I scrape off the snow from the kid mobile, defrost and heat up the car so it's toasty warm for us...and we get there 10 minutes before 9 am and guess one's there. So we wait and wait and wait some more. We waited over 30 minutes and no one shows up. All I have to say is NICE! So no one could call us to let us know that it was cancelled?

Andrew will be going to go door to door collecting coats for the needy today. His JRROTC class has a contest going on to see which flight brings in the most coats. I think that a pizza party goes to the winning flight :-) We'll bring in more coats on Monday, he's already brought in 2 so far. I like that he thinks that this a a very good cause...Coats for Kids, a very good cause indeed!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Rainbow in my Cupboards

I have such a love of color, all colors in fact! That's why Fiesta ware pottery is so right for me! So here's a little peek into my cupboards. You'll see some Longaberger Pottery and lots and lots of Fiesta Ware Pottery in every color of the rainbow! Plain white while it looks professional and makes a great presentation when serving larger platters of food...well folks it just isn't "Me". I'm a rainbow kind of gal (always have been). Sure I have the traditional sets of dishes where they are all the same color and pattern, but are they ever boring! Here you see my every day pottery. I need to sit down and draw up a layout and write about my Fiesta Ware collection and how I came to be so interested in it.

The crazy weather here

It's hard to tell if it's raining or if it's snowing. One moment it looks like rain the other like snow then back again. This South Dakota weather is going to drive me batty! So here we go again with the crazy weather. I pulled the kid mobile (aka my minivan) into the drive way (just like we're supposed to when it snows). Now do my neighbors? NOooooooooooo. So, if it happens to snow a great deal tonight, the snow plow will avoid the street in front of our house tomorrow because my neighbors were too darn lazy to move their vehicles.{sigh} I'm not saying that these neighbors are bad people, I'm just saying that they don't know how to be good/considerate neighbors.

A girlfriend of mine (whose husband is currently deployed) called me up to see if I could run her into town to pick up her kid mobile at the dealership (it was in for servicing). I said sure no problem! So of course the rain turns to snow while I'm out and about...figures. I sure am glad that I have traction control on this minivan of mine! The roads near the base were starting to ice up.

So what's for dinner? Pizza rolls look good...especially when I have a pile of scrapbooking layouts ready to work on :-) Yup yesterday was Chef Sandie day and today is Scrapbooking Sandie Day. You know me, I trade one talent for another. I can't do it all...HEYl at least I can admit it, LOL!

Lunch with Friends

Yesterday was a blast! I didn’t get any scrapbooking done BUT I had a great time with my friends! My friend Kim can just light up a room with her smile, Theresa has an infectious laugh, and Christine just exudes this warmth that is beyond anything. We all chatted about past assignments, friends’ family, cooking, scrapbooking and everything in-between. It was a great afternoon spent with friends! I ended up making Pasta e Fagioli (here’s the recipe I used,1977,FOOD_9936_29041,00.html) and serving it with herbed Foccaisa(an Italian bread) and New York Cheesecake for dessert.

Having lunch with friends, being able to talk about life in general is so wonderful. I have a feeling that these ladies and I will be doing this more than once a month!

Scrapbook Thursday

It’s Thursday the 19th, the day for my Scrapbooking group to get together for a crop here at my house. I can’t begin to tell you how much I look forward to this one special day of the month. Its one day that I can set aside the entire day and devote it entirely to scrapbooking. I’m going to finish up the layouts for the OSC Bingo at Tiffany’s event. I’m still waiting on one picture, it’s one where there’s a group of us dressed up as Holly Golightly. Maybe Theresa has had better luck at getting this photo that I have. I REALLY want to get a hold of this photo so I can add it into the OSC scrapbook.

The house is picked up and things are set out for the scrapbooking group. I know that some of the ladies are going to be a little late as they are at bible study or are carting around children because their school got out early today. None the less I’m going to have a fantastic day! I think that I’m leaving towards making an Italian soup versus Fettuccine Alfredo. I have some wonderful rustic Italian bread to go with the soup too. It’s a perfect day for scrapbooking and a soup lunch! And for dessert, a nice slice of my wonderfully creamy New York Cheesecake!


Here's my son Andrew, he made the rank of Airman about 2 weeks ago. I've been meaning to put his picture up here for you all to get a peek at him. He's trying so hard not to crack a smile. He's in the Air Force ROTC program at his high school and is loving every moment of it! His big brown eyes are so full of happiness. He actually came to be and "asked" me to take his picture. Now that right there folks does not happen very often. One of my children asking me to take a picture of them? Oh yeah, I'm going to RUN with the camera to snap that smile!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I love my Veggies

Here's something silly and fun at the same time...these are the newest thing I wear around the house. They are Veggies clogs. The silly thing is that they are made out of (of all things) this super lightweight foam. It's like walking on clouds! I got mine at Scheels and I know that these clogs are put out by many different companies. I just love these silly looking shoes! Mine are purple and I'm thinking about going back and getting a pair in hot pink.

Friendship...another one of God's blessings

I have to say that I have been given the gift of many wonderful friendships since marrying my husband and moving all over the USA. I received a call from my friend Liz today. I can’t tell you how good I felt after getting off of the phone with her. Her husband retired from the Air Force after serving for over 20+ years this past summer. She told me what life is like after retiring from the Air Force. When I think of it (Lucien’s retirement) I feel so apprehensive about it. But she reassured me that life is good and it will be like that for me as well. She sounded so happy and that right there folks is the key! She’s able to concentrate on her family and not feel the weight of the world on her shoulders (I’m envious). Her new home is lovely! She’s got me truly looking forward to buying our next house J I look forward to getting some more pictures of her new home, the outside of it is amazing!

So now for the scoop on us moving; as it stands now, we are NOT on the spring moving cycle, but now have been moved over to the summer moving cycle. That’s VERY good news! Now the kids can finish out the school year with their friends and not be the new kids that start in the middle of the year. I can finish out my year as Girl Scout leader for my daughter’s troop. Finish out my year as OSC Historian. Finish out my year in so many ventures. A huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I am very happy about it!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cooking... one of my many blessings from God

I must have been a Chef in a former life. I enjoy cooking, much more so than any of my friends seem to. I’m not happy unless I’m creating some sort of wonderful meal for my family to sit down and enjoy. Tonight is my Rustic Breads class. Let’s just say that my family is as eager for me to take this class and I am J Now here’s the funny thing, when I’m really into a Scrapbooking project, my culinary skills get sidelined. Last nights dinner was chicken strips and crinkle fries, need I say more? Yes I am laughing as I write this because it is rather funny how I tend to trade one talent for another (my poor familyJ).

I realize that I have been blessed by the Lord by being given a talent that neither my mother nor sisters was given, a blessing for which I give thanks to the Lord every day! I grew up with seeing the women role models in my life (my mother and paternal grandmother) viewing cooking as a necessary daily chore. Cooking was not anything either one of them enjoyed, not in the least! There were moments I’m sure when they reveled in the compliments that a meal or dessert would bring upon them but that was usually during holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. My mother realized my passion for cooking while I was in college. I loved to cook Italian; it was like a little slice of heaven to me. For reasons unknown to me, my mother always seemed to be afraid to try new things, to try new recipes. Oh my gosh if that woman knows how she has scarred me for life from ever being able to eat fried sliced potatoes and fried hamburger patties. To this day I can’t even touch ground beef, no joke! Ask my family, they’ll tell you that I do not eat ground beef…EVER! I can’t stand the stuff! It’s so funny when I go home to see my parents, I take over the kitchen. I cook and cook and they just gobble it up like there’s no tomorrow J

From my visit with my mother-in-law I found out that she also views cooking as a chore. I think that they just need and appreciative audience, you know… people who enjoy eatting good foodJ why bother to cook an elaborate meal when there’s no one to appreciate all the hard work you’ve gone through?

Kitchen tool, oh how I adore working with quality kitchen tools! My pots and pans are out of this world! I switched over to Calphalon in 2005 and have not regretted the decision. I knew that I wanted something that was anodized. I liked the design of the lids, they way that they fit and how they didn't have a lip that went to the inside of the pot or pan that would trap the condensation from cooking and have it drip into the pot or pan when lifting the lid. I wanted something durable. I had been using Pampered Chef non-stick pans for a while and they wear out in a few short years. My other pots and pans set is Revere Ware with the copper bottom which I’ve had since 1990. Okay, so the other thing is the Handles, they were of major importance too because I wanted metal handles! No plastic knobs here! I wanted a pan/pot that could go from the stove top to the oven. I couldn’t do that with ANY the pots and pans that I had. So now I watch for Calphalon to be on sale, and trust me there’s always a sale on some where J One of my most favorite pieces of cookware has to be my 5 quart Chili Pot, I love this versatile pot! I use it like as a dutch oven…works great all of the time!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Happy Sunday!

Ahhh Sunday, a day of rest. Yeah right, more like a day to get some last minute washing done, figure out what's for Monday night's dinner since I'll have Girl Scouts here until 5 pm doing science stuff. Did I mention test drive this stuff for the polymer class I'm teaching...eek!

It's a job that's been over due for quite some time now...I HAD to go through my over flowing box of paper scraps, sort them by color and put them into their proper baggies. My word I certainly do have a great deal of paper scraps. I bet if I offered to sell them I could make a small fortune! I can only imagine who many boxes it's going to take to pack up My Scrapbook Nook. Holy Catfish Batman, the movers are going to love the fact that I'm packing that room myself!

About moving, we heard something but nothing is written in stone. So it looks like a couple more weeks until we will know 100% for sure where we are going next...ugh! This waiting is driving me bonkers! I hate running around last minute trying to figure out what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. I and not a last minute kind of gal, heavens knows that I like to get things done before the deadline. So once I know more I'll be able to say exactly where we are going to be stationed next.

I've got to get on making my Halloween cards this week and get them in the mail. I love Halloween, it's such a silly holiday but hey if there's chocolate involved I'm all over it!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cranberry Orange Scones

I love cooking; I take great delight in trying out new recipes. Today’s recipe was Cranberry Orange Scones. I got this recipe from Ina Garten’s cooking show “The Barefoot Contessa”. These are light, flaky and seriously irresistible! Now for me to bag these up and bring some over to some girlfriends who have husbands that are away on deployment. Aren’t they going to be surprised! One of these delicious scones, a cup of tea (or two) a good book…just what lazy Saturday afternoons are all about J.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Waiting on Pins and Needles

We've been waiting for a while now to find out when and where we will be moving to. Being married to my Career Air Force husband, well we move a little more than most folks do. We just celebrated our 3 year anniversary here at Ellsworth AFB, SD at the end of last month. For us, that's a signal that we will be moving in the near future. Actually we thought that we'd be moving this past summer, but much to our disappointment, that opportunity fell through. So here we are again, riding on the roller coaster of life. Wondering if we can still get that assignment that my husband was really wanting to get back in June. I hope and pray that it all works out, that he gets this assignment. But moving brings on another set of worries and hopes. Moving is stressful, not just the packing up of every single thing your own in this world, but then there's the added stress of where we will live, the kinds of schools that are in our new area, looking for a church, dentist, orthodontist, eye doctor and lets not even think about something as trivial as finding a new hairdresser for myself and the kids.
Please keep my family in your prayers as we are waiting to hear the news of where we will be moving to next and also finding out when we will be moving!

The Cheesecake Lady

After taking a class on how to make a variety of cheesecakes with a pasty chef last year I have to say that I've never in my life found more enjoyment in making a dessert. In my small circle of friends I have a few different names, one being the Scrapbook Lady and the other being the Cheesecake Lady.
I can make the most scrumptious desserts a fork has ever been stuck into! I have gained so much confidence in my dessert making just from the few hours I spent in the company of that Pastry Chef. I highly recommend to anyone looking to improve their culinary skills to look up restaurants and cooking stores that have real honest to goodness chefs teaching cooking classes. I've signed up for 3 cooking classes this month and I can hardly wait for the class date! The breads class is going to be remarkable! Focaccia, ciabatta and other rustic breads are going to be prepared. I'll get these chef's secret recipes for these awesome items! There's a Pasta class at the end of the month, I'm going to make real ravioli! I have the pasta machines from Italy, got one from my Mother last summer and the other was one that I bought on clearance from Herberger's last year that is an attachment for my Kitchen-Aid mixer. Cooking good food is one of my passions. My 3rd class is the Knife Skills class being given my Wusthof-Trident (LOVE those knifes).We will learn about the art of creating beautiful garnishes out of vegetables and fruits...thinking about it makes me smile!

So back to cheesecakes...I'm making 3 different ones for the OSC Auction at the end of the month. The lovely pink Raspberry cheesecake it's tart ans sweet at the same time, a classic New York Cheesecake so rich and creamy and my very own Death by Chocolate cheesecake with 7 different kinds of chocolate going into it. I treasure the recipes from my cheesecake class to much that I won't even give my closest friends a peak at these cheesecake recipes!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Some days I wonder if I have OCD, I'm constantly rearranging things in my Kitchen and in my Scrapbook Nook. Heck even the closets take a hit every now and again. I feel as if I am continually looking for the perfect solution to having an organized home. But lets face facts here people, this family of mine is being crammed into a 1400 sq foot house which is pretty tough when you know that we came from a 2700 sq foot house...of course it's going to feel small! Try as I might I am in a constant state of flux, always trying to make this place feel "larger" than it really is. We took this house for a few different reasons...
1-close to good schools for the kids
2-close to Lucien's work
3-central heat and air conditioning (there are only a handful of homes here on base for officers that have central a/c).
4-the security of living on base while my DH is away on long deployments
5-the fact that we won't have to sell a house when we move, what a huge relief that IS!

We are currently waiting to hear when and where we will be moving to for our next assignment. Maybe I won't have to feel like rearranging the scrapbook nook again because I'll be packing it up soon...who knows!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A day to think about others

For the most part today is a day that I will have to myself. I'll be leaving for the gym as soon as I toss in a load of clothes in the washing machine. Then it's back here to work on a scrapbook layout or two. I want to make some cards to send to my girlfriends whose husbands are currently on deployment. I know how rough it can be when you're doing the single parent thing and you live no where near your family. But how nice would it be to get a pretty card in the mail from a friend telling you how much you are thought of and how happy it is that you and she are friends? I know that I have never received such a card, but just because I haven't doesn't mean that I won't make and send cards like this. I just think that I "think" differently about things then my girlfriends do. Everyone gets so wrapped up in their day to day lives that they have no room in their brains to think about anyone else then their own immediate family. So here I am thinking about how receiving a pretty card in the mail from a friend will make their day!

Retired Sizzix Alphabet Sets

As I was scanning the alphabet sets yesterday I saw that Sizzix has retired some of them. Yes I was a little dismayed at first, but then again they were either sets that I already owned or ones that I didn't care for in the first place. So here goes...this is what information I have for you...

Sizzlets Alphabet dies
Pep Squad- retired
Monkey Tails-
Script- retired
Slim Jim- on clearance
Girls are Weird- retired
Fruit Smoothie- retired
Funky Brush-retired
Graffiti- on clearance
Wet Paint- retired
Round Table- retired
Round-a-Bout-on clearance
Boxed Brush-on clearance
Bozo- on clearance
Aphrodite-on clearance
Big Top-

Alpha clips-
Classic Stencil-on clearance
Doodle Block-
Doodle Dots-
Doodle Tag-
Pigeon Toed Charms-
Vowel Play- on clearance
Ransom- on clearance

To me it seems as if once those Alphabet Sets are put on clearance as soon as they sell out they are retired.

First Snow of the Season

Yesterday we had the first snow of the season. Everything was covered in ice and snow. Usually (well since we have lived here at least) the first snow of the season doesn't arrive until Halloween...that's the way it's been for the past 3 years anyway. So imagine our surprise when we awoke to snow this early in the month.
I did end up taking the kids to school...Andrew was in his ROTC dress uniform and Hannah had a big ole piece of poster board and a long skinny dowel to take to school. I just didn't see either child fairing well while waiting for the school bus in the wind and snow.

Two plants bit the dust, yup they were doing so well too...such is life on the prairie. The extreme cold weather was such a surprise.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Great deals @!

I can not begin to tell you how much I look forward to the Tuesday Teasers! Today I was able to get some seriously good deals on the Doodle Bug Tag Alphabars upper case, lower case and numbers sets. I have wanted these since they came out on the market but just could not make myself pay full retail or even 25% off (funny huh?). Today though I could NOT resist the price and who could? While supplies last its $30 for the uppercase and $30 for the lowercase PLUS the number sets was a whopping $19.50…wholly cow! Then there’s the Rat-a-Tat set which retails for $150.00 on sale for the remarkable price of $45.  Merry Christmas to me! My gosh, I most certainly saved myself a bundle! Now for me to patiently wait until they arrive J


Monday, October 09, 2006

Day #3 of a 4 day weekend



  Believe it or not but I’ve managed to say sane while my family has been around me for 3 straight days. Hannah and I went to Hobby Lobby with our list of things that she needed:

3 packages of straight train tracks

1 large sheet of white poster board

1 skinny dowel to use as a pointer for her class project

Then of course there were those items that we purchsed that were not on the  list such as a scrapbook page kit for Hannah to make with her girl scout pictures, the 3-d embellishments for that layout I’m planning for when we all went snow skiing at Terry Peak. Or how about those Western embellsihments for that western themed going away party for the Curran’s back in May. I’m itching to get into my scrapbook nook and get working on some more stuff!


Friday, October 06, 2006

Every day is a new day

I'm sure that you've all heard that saying before right? Well it's true. Every day is a new day, a day in which to start afresh (yes afresh is a real word). I've been keeping up with my friend Gina's blog and it's breaking my heart. She lost one of her boys to a terrible skateboarding accident not quite 2 weeks ago. Her unwavering faith in the Lord and the support of her family and friends are helping her to get over this huge loss. So for all of you mothers out there...go hug your children, tell them how much you love them, tell them that they mean the world to you!

As for me, I'm dedicating this day to scrapbooking...I'm making layouts about my family! I have a Calender project to make for a friends website. I'm amazed at all of the product that comes with the kit. It's a Frances Meyer 12x12 calender and it's pretty cool! I've seen all of the monthly papers and have actually bought some of them for other projects. But this big calender is one that you make actual layouts for and at the end of every month you take that page off and put it in your seriously cool is that? So I've got to sit here for a while at my computer desk and "fish" through a years worth of photo's. So while I am doing that, I might was well search for photo's of the year for a separate that I've been putting off completing since CKU-Masters in August.

Sorry about the tiny pictures in yesterdays post, but my blog spot wasn't letting me add pictures from my computer the regular way. But I did want to show you all some pictures of my personal favorite things that I use in My Scrapbook Nook.

Okay so now for me to crack the whip and actually work on my 2 projects...I really dislike being trapped to work at my computer for hours at a time. But I've been putting it off for long enough. Time for me to get to work!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Favorite Scrapbooking Tools

When it comes to scrapbooking we all have our favorite tools and things we like to work with. For me, these are things that through my own discovery or through being introduced to them through friends and scrapbooking events and magazines ads that I have feel in love with. I'm going to show you some of my most favorite scrapbooking toys...

The Clickit Tool Set- I love how this set comes in a nifty box and everything you need is right there. There's all sorts of interchangable tips that come in this great package! There are 6 different hole punching tips, eyelet tips, hole piecing tool, lacing tip, a cleaning tool. I tell ya, this is one awesome tool! It's a slient setter which is spring loaded. My husband gets rather cranky when I'm having one of my "creative moment" at 2 or 3 am, so this tool for me is fantastic! It's manufactured by Karen Foster.

The Crop-a-Dile- This little gem is fantastic for punching holes thorugh chipboard! I like to make little books from chipboard, but I have to say that I was banging it out with my hammer...ugh! This tool is fantastic as it has a stop gauge. Actually there's a part of that tool that is like a ruler, you can gauge how far into the paper, cardsrtock or chipboard you want to go. Say for instance you only want to go in a half inch in from the edge of the chipboard...this haelps you be precise in your measurements. LOVE IT! It's easy to use.Image hosted by
scrapbookwithmeo squeeze too! Manufacurted by We R Memory Keepers.

QuicKutz- Oh my gosh what is not to like about this handy dandy tool? I like it even more now that I have a 2nd hand tool! My new hand tool has the extended handle and it's seriously much more easy to use. There are so many different fonts of various sizes to choose from. Thenof course there are all of those adorable dies to choose form as well!

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Sizzix & Ellison Design- These were the fisrt dies I had ever bought for myself. Then the Sizzlets line came out...thin and they went in these nifty storage containers. Oodles of fonts to choose from in various sizes. Better yet, there are adapters for other brands of dies such as Zippimate dies and QuicKutz dies so you can use them with your sizzix machine.

Fiskars 12 inch Rotary Cutter- I bought my first one back in 2000, oh how I loved it! Then I bought the new improved one in 2004, I love it too! I have them both out for crops! I don't scrap without them!Image hosted by
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Cutterpede Paper Trimmers- These are the first items that I tuck into my crop bag when traveling. Their compact size makes them great to take to crops or to use in small scrapbooking spaces.There are even decorative edge blades such as wavy, scallop and zipzag that you can use with these trimmers. Image hosted by
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Cutter Bee Scissors- I remember when these first came out...the scrapbooking stores couldnt keep them on the shelves! Talk about one sharp pair of scissors! And they stayed sharp too! Having that plastic covere protects the tip, which is ultra sharp and pointy! I have all 3 kinds for scrapbooking plus the kids Cutter Bee Scissors! I love them and so does my daughter Hannah!
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I admit it, I'm a magazine reading junkie! I love to read periodicals there's nothing more to it. To get fresh ideas and information every month, what's not to like? On another site that I frequent, we listed out magazine we have something like 22 or more magazines coming to this house of ours. Granted some are bi-monthly subscriptions. The catch is, we read them all! I have interests that are all over the page, from cooking to natural history, from science to paper crafting. What you read says something about yourself.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's Wednesday!

I was chatting with a friend on Monday trying to make lunch plans with her and while I was looking at my October schedule, all I could say is WOW! I can hardly believe how busy I am going to be. I have stuff going on all of the time! You name it I have it going on. I have one benefit though, I am hosting the OSC Scrapbooking Crop at my house on the 19th, so there is my dedicated day to "Scrapbooking". I have so many sketches done up and plans for layouts, it's just getting the time these days to dedicate to making these projects that is hard. At least I do have a Scrapbook Nook where I can have things hanging out until I can get back to complete them.

About my itchiness and my sutures...the stitches have been removed and I'm now on a different medication to control my itchies! I thought that I was going to lose my ever loving mind this morning...yes it was that bad! I'm feeling better now, but wow was it ever intense! The nice doctor told me that it was going to hurt when he removed my stitches, I felt a slight tugging sensation but no pain. My rash is going away too! Maybe I'll be able to get some scrapbooking done this afternoon...after I have a nice big mug of hot tea (it's rather nippy outside right now).

As for the OSC charity auction...I am not going to be making any scrapbooks for it, instead I am making 3 different cheesecakes! I've had some requests to make my cheesecakes for this event and I am more than happy to fulfill those requests!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wow it's October!

It's October! Oh my gosh how the time does fly! I was constantly busy while my mother-in-law was here. She got off on Saturday and is back home in Massachusetts.

Sunday afternoon my husband and I went for a drive up in the Black Hills in our little red Miata. We went to see the fall colors. I took many pictures but have yet to get them on to our computer (I'm doing that right now while I'm typing). Now granted the colors are not the ones that we would typically see when viewing the fall foliage in places such as New England. But it was pretty none the less. It was nice to get out and drive around in the Black Hills in the little car. There were many other folks doing the same, out for a Sunday drive to see the fall foliage.

I'm currently having an allergic reaction to the adhesive and the plastic parts of the band-aids that cover my stitches. I've got welts and rashes that are so intensely itchy. I awoke the other night feeling as if I had fire ants crawling on me...yes the itching was that bad! Hopefully I can get in to see the doctor today and get this taken care of.