Sunday, March 28, 2010


It really isn't.

I love blogging.

Check that....

I LOVED blogging.

I think I still do, deep inside. I just feel too scattered with other things. Then, when I don't keep up with it, I feel guilty.... GUILTY! Kinda stupid, don't you think?

So, that being said, I'm officially announcing a hiatus

I am NOT getting rid of the blog.... I do love having a blog. I just need a break from keeping up with it.

There is just so much going on. Some is self-imposed, but it is there, nonetheless.

I will be back. There are still some things I want to blog about... JBQ being a big thing. When I do post something, I will share it on Facebook (for those of you who are friends.) My suggestion? Check back every 2-4 weeks.

I WILL continue to read some of my friends' blogs (listed on my sidebar.)

Thanks to you who read and leave comments. I love ya!

PS... remember, the Christmas countdown is still running. I can pretty much guarantee that come the holidays (starting end of September, remember?), I will have to be back and start posting some of my craziness. LOL!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I'm not a preacher. I don't have any type of pastoral training. So why... WHY would I agree to read and review the book Steering Through Chaos: Mapping a Clear Direction For Your Church in the Midst of Transition and Change?

There are a few reasons. Some are more noble than others, but I will list them as I see them.

First, the book is written by my pastor... MY pastor, Scott Wilson. It's kind of the whole "Buy USA" mentality. I love to read.... if my pastor (or anyone else I'm acquainted with) writes a book, I want to support their endeavor and read it.

Second, I do love to read. I read all the time.

Thirdly, I am one of the "lay leaders" he discusses. I was Director of Christian Education for kindergarten through 5th grade for The Oaks Fellowship. I have gone through some of the chaos he refers to in this book.

This book just makes sense. Putting the last part of the title aside, I think many businesses could use this type of training. Add the church.... well, isn't church a business in, and of, itself? I mean, churches have a mission statement. They have a target "consumer." There are various "styles" to fit different comfort levels.

Yes, I think this is a good book for anyone, and everyone, who is running any type of organization... even for me, as I run my household of 4 boys and a pilot-hubby.

When I first started to read this book, I had no preconceived notions.

Wait. That is not exactly true.

I didn't think that I, personally, would get a lot out of the book. It sat on my bedside table, staring at me as a teacher stares at her student waiting.... almost WILLING the correct answer to erupt out of the child.

By the middle of chapter 1: Turning Points and Transitions, I knew that there would be tiny, golden morsels that could help me in everyday life.

This book is positive and up beat, but it never negates the problems that can arise.

What is neat for me, personally, is that I can HEAR Pastor Scott saying all of this. I did tell you that he's my pastor, right? Well, I can hear the inflection. I can see his motions. I can sense his love for the Lord and all God's children.

What you read is what you get. There is no fake. There is no sugar-coating. It is real. It makes sense. It can help you steer through chaos.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Kind of.

I mean, first of all, I'm late getting this up here. Secondly, there are no pictures to accompany this. And finally, it is a mental "Making a Happy Home Monday" instead of a physical improvement.

Yeah... it's more of a vent. A pity-party in which I will try to pull myself up by my boot straps and have a better night and tomorrow.

To set the scene, you need to know that it is Spring Break, hubby is gone and I still have stuff to do.

We started our first Monday, after the time change, just chillin'. Some kids were playing the Wii, one was on PS2 and the other on the DS. I was still on the bed going over grocery lists and coupons.

Lists complete, we headed to town. I made sure the kids were well fed. Even treated them to a DP. We filled up the FTU and drove through the car wash.... then we went to CVS. I was so happy to save almost half using ECBs and Qs.

Then, we went to Walgreens. The kids were a bit restless, but I was patient. This time of year, with storms ALWAYS a possibility... well, it really plays a role in how they act.

THEN, we went to HEB! I don't have a lot of good to say about that trip, except I tried a new blueberry Greek yogurt that I enjoyed.

#4 had a fall-apart on the way out the door... right in the middle of the parking lot. #s 1 and 2 kept blaming each other for getting into trouble. #3 was actually doing OK. #4 actually had to be spanked before pulling out of the parking lot.

Once we get home, the boys went outside, which was OK until #3 fell onto the handlebar of his scooter... right on his ribs, and will be pretty bruised up.

I made supper... a quick breakfast. Do you ever have the days when you lovingly anticipate, and take care of your children's needs and wants? It doesn't matter that they all holler their requests with the obligatory "MOM! MOM! MOM! MOM!" They remind me of baby birds with their beaks open, while they chirp for their food. Except they are 10, 9, 6 and 4.

Today, there was no loving anticipation.... oh, there was anticipation, but it wasn't loving. I all but threw their drinks at them. I just wasn't in a great mood.... or even a good mood.

I know that the barometric pressure affects me, too. I just wish I handled it a bit better.

The thing that still has me in a funk is the mess in my kitchen. I will go through the house and have it in decent control. Then, just the act of all of us getting up, getting dressed and getting out the door leaves a wake, much like an F-3 tornado. :-/ I still don't know how it happens.

The problem with the kitchen is this: one of my counters is, what some would call a "Hot Zone." I am ALWAYS clearing it off. It is an issue for me. I try to clean the kitchen each night... unload clean dishes, load dirty dishes. Well, I did that.

Then, I went to the store.

I'm a stock-piler. (Is that a word?) I stock pile a lot of stuff, especially non-perishables. I got a little carried away. You see, I still have a lot of bags to be unloaded because I need to rearrange stuff.... and that makes me cranky. Not the rearranging. I LOVE puttering in the kitchen. I just have trouble doing stuff when ALL my kids are home. I am too busy playing referee.

SO, there is my spot that needs to be made happy.

What am I doing?

Well, I'm eating a supper of chips, queso and dill pickles. Don't knock it. It is totally a comfort thing for me.

My kids are in their rooms, playing, but NOT in here where I can hear the complaints.

I am blogging, eating and watching some recorded cooking shows. I will continue to sit and work on some lists.... having things written down helps me a lot.

So, there you go. Sorry I'm late.

I hope you will join me for Making a Happy Home Monday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


OK... I have a few. Nothing, really, is earth-shattering. It doesn't knock our world off its axis. The sun will go on rising and setting.


There have been a few things, of late, that have given me reason to think, "Man... that's a bummer."

Here is, and in no particular order, a partial list of some of my recent disappointments.

**FOR THE RECORD** I know I'm being a little whiney-butt and that if this is as bad as it gets, the life is pretty darn good. But, sometimes, I just need have a little pity party in order to get over myself....

With all that said, here we go.

I bought a new pillow the other day and my neck was thrown into some serious pain.... has taken 3 adjustments, so far, it help.

My down comforter is a bit lumpy and is not laying in the duvet like I want.

DH rented for me the latest "Anne of Green Gables" moving... called "Beginnings" or something similar. It totally was horrible. I only watched about 45 minutes of it and could stomach no more. The acting was bad, the story line was a HUGE disappointment.... no, I will retain Anne and Gilbert in my memory.

My honey is gone for the whole of Spring Break.

The time changes overnight tonight. I like it when it gets dark earlier, rather than later.

I haven't kept up with my spring cleaning list like I wanted.

I haven't kept up with #4's baby book like I did the others. That just almost makes me heartsick.

OK... thanks for reading.

I will be back for Making a Happy Home Monday. Hope to see you then.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Hey, all!

Happy Tuesday. It is sunny, relatively warm and very breezy... my idea of a great day!

Being Tuesday, it is time to participate in Tempt My Tummy Tuesday... my friend Lisa's blog carnival. She, and her twin sister Lana, co-host this fun blog carnival in which people link up to share recipes and kitchen tips. Pop on over!!!

For today, and in celebration of Spring, I am posting my Lemon Angel Food Cake trifle.

It is light, low in fat, refreshing and can be changed around so that you can use any fruit in season. You can even used store-bought pound or angel food cake... but why would you? ;-)

Without further ado:

Lemon Angel Food Cake Trifle


angel food cake cut into bite-sized cubes (recipe to follow)
3 kinds of fruit (I used blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
lemon cream sauce (recipe to follow)
whipped cream (unsweetened)

Assemble all ingredients: fruit, cake, lemon cream, fruit, cake, whipped cream, fruit

Mine looked like this:

The cake did not come without injury.... I was trying to talk on the phone while flipping my cake and, well, you just can't do that gracefully.

Lemon Angel Food Cake:

1-1/2 cups egg whites (about 12)
1 cup cake flour
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Separate eggs while cold (it is easier.) Let white stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. You need them warmer to whip them.

Sift cake flour and 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar together TWICE. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, extracts and salt on medium speed until soft peaks form. (The cream of tartar is a stabilizer for the eggs... it will help hold their peak.)

Gradually add remaining sugar (3/4 cup) 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until glossy and stiff peaks form.

Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/4 at a time. Do this with a rubber spatula. Be gentle... you don't want to deflate the egg whites.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. (Do not tap on counter.)

Bake on lowest rack at 375 for 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and cracks feel dry.

Immediately invert baking pan and cool. (Tube pans (now) generally have legs to invert on. But, if you don't have one, invert it onto the next of a glass bottle.)

When completely cooled, run knife around sides. Invert onto serving platter.


1 cup milk
1 package instant lemon pudding (the small box)
8 oz sour cream (I used light sour cream)

Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Add sour cream. Mix for another 2 minutes. Chill until ready to serve.

Monday, March 08, 2010


So, the point of MHHM is to do something around your house that makes you happy. The happiness you get from whatever you do tends to filter down throughout the family. Isn't that cool?

The best part is this - it doesn't take a whole lot of effort, money or time. You can do as little or as much as you want.

So what are you going to do to Make a Happy Home Monday? I would love to see. Whatever you do, leave a comment so I can come check it out! Add some pictures if you can. Just do one thing.... ONE THING! Anything that makes your place prettier, neater, cleaner, or more organized. BUT, make it HAPPY!!!

Mine is an easy thing today, but I smile when I see them.

I am homeroom mom to my kindergartener. I will be next year, as well. I love to bake muffins and cupcakes. After many attempts at transporting cupcakes to the school without messing them up, I finally gave in. I bought this:

Isn't it wonderful? It was only about $20 from Costco. It holds 3 dozen beautifully. It was well worth it. My only complaint is that I didn't have one several years ago.

Another purchase is this:

This is just fun. In fact, come back tomorrow for my Tempt My Tummy Tuesday entry to see how they were used. I had been eyeballing these for awhile and finally allowed myself to buy them. I got 6, but will probably get 6 more.

This definitely makes me happy!!!

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, March 01, 2010

THE Dessert

I have these cyber-friends, Lisa and Lana. They co-host a blog carnival called "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday." It is a LOT of fun. A bunch of folk get together and share recipes and ask questions. I hope you will pop on over and join in on the fun.

Yes.... it is called THE Dessert.

It didn't start as THE Dessert. It started as a Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Until I made it.

Until my friends ate it.

Until people began to ask for it.

Until I made it 3 times in 3 days.


By the 2nd serving, this kind of became a signature dessert. For that reason, there are a few things that I have done to make this "mine" that I will not share. But, this is the original recipe that I started with.

It is time-consuming. I will lay that out for you right now. BUT, it is worth it. Take your favorite, chocolaty, velvety, luscious dessert and increase it..... that is this dessert... THE Dessert. It takes, from start until ready to serve, about 5-6 hours. But, you aren't standing and waiting and working the whole time. You can leave it in stages and let it cool, or set, or bake, or whatever.

What are the layers? On the bottom: flourless chocolate cake. The middle layer is a chocolate mousse. The top layer? WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE! OH MY GOSH!!!!

Here it is.... let me know when you try it!

THE Dessert

*Be sure to read through this FIRST. You don't want to be caught off guard by an ingredient or procedure.

1st layer:

7 oz. bittersweet chocolate
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup light brown sugar

Butter the bottom and sides of a springform pan.
In double boiler, melt chocolate, and butter till smooth.
Let cool for about 5 minutes.
Add egg yolks and vanilla to chocolate mixture.

In a mixer, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt till frothy. Add the brown sugar (in 2 batches) to egg whites, stir between. After 2nd addition, beat to soft peak.

Add 1/3 egg whites to chocolate, whisk lightly to incorporate (no streaks.) Take the rest of the egg whites to chocolate mixture and fold in gently till incorporated. Pour into pan and smooth.

Bake in 325 oven for 13-18 minutes. (Middle will be a little jiggly, but firm on edges.)

Cool completely.

2nd layer.

7 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
5 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp white sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Melt chocolate.
Meanwhile, mix cocoa powder and hot water.
Once both are cooled, mix liquid into melted chocolate.

Beat 1 1/2 cup heavy cream. Add 1 tbsp sugar and 1/8 tsp salt. When thickened, increase speed to high until soft peak.

Whisk 1/3 cream into chocolate mixture. Fold the rest of the cream in with a spatula (lightly) till no streaks.

Pour mousse on top of cake. Tap on counter to release bubble... smooth. Clean up sides of pan. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Top layer:

3/4 tsp gelatin
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz white chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

Sprinkle gelatin over 1 tbsp water and let soften for about 5 minutes.
Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream to simmer. Dissolve gelatin in cream. Pour over the white chocolate... whisk to smooth.
Allow to cool.
Whip 1 cup heavy cream to soft peak.
Whisk in 1/3 cream to white chocolate.
When incorporated, fold in remaining cream.

Spread white chocolate mousse over cake. Refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.

Set out for about 30-45 minutes before serving.


That is, if I remember how. LOL!

Do you remember, a LONG time ago, when I did this meme called "Making a Happy Home Monday?" Well, not too many people joined me and Catey. ;) AND, it will probably work out that way again, but I enjoy having something to blog about and having a "push" to blog, at least weekly.

The whole point of Making a Happy Home Monday is to take an area of your home (or FTU) and make it better. If Momma ain't happy, ain't NObody happy. SO, do something that will make you happy. I have SO much to do. So. Much.

I had a reader request this meme.... hope she joins.

I will not put up Mr. Linky as it causes me more troubles than not. So, if you please, add a link to a comment and let us see whatcha got goin' on.

For my day I'm working on my spring cleaning list.

Yes, I know that if I kept my house clean, there would be no need for spring cleaning. There are 2 reasons I'm doing the list.

First, my house needs to be worked on.... mostly the things that I don't think about until the sunlight hits it just right and I think "EW."

Secondly, I love lists. I love that they help me to feel like I'm accomplishing something. I keep lists all the time and everywhere. When the spirals go on sale (after the start of the school year) I get several and keep them open and running. One stays in my tote that goes everywhere in the FTU. One stays at my bed side. One stays on my table to remind me what needs to be done NOW.... you get the idea.

So, that being said, let's start. Shall we?

Following are just a few of the things that I'm thinking about. Please note that I will not list things like laundry because laundry is an everyday occurrence for me.

I would love to see your list. It will probably remind me to do something or other around here.

Spring Clean 2010

Baseboards (all over the house)
Vacuum the walls
Vacuum the ceiling vents
Clean (not just dust) the ceiling fan blades
Clean the light fixtures/globes
Clean out from under the beds
Clear out kids clothing, pass down or out and figure out who needs what for summer
Empty fridge and sanitize
Empty/organize deep freeze
Empty pantry: wipe down shelves, rotate stock, organize
Assess stockpile and take "near" expiration to food pantry
Clear out out-dated medicines
Start the "Great Closet Organization of the Decade"
Wash down outside of house
Clean windows
Clean out fireplace
Oil furniture
Wash comforters/drapes
KITCHEN.... holy smokes... my kitchen is a disaster.... rotate IN new bakeware and "retire" the old. Get rid *gulp* of things that aren't used... that is if I can part with it. :)

OK... how much of this gets done remains to be seen. I know that my hubby is reading this and laughing. He won't laugh in my face. He will smile, ask how much I expect to get done, shake his head and walk away, knowing how much I love to PLAN and MAKE LISTS! And then, he will offer to help with some of this. Right, Honey?

Alright.... share people!