Monday, December 13, 2010

My Rainbow after the Flood

If you read my post yesterday I was a little more than disappointed. Although, by the end of the night Cory & I had our spirits up. This morning was rather difficult getting to school. Cory & I stayed really warm during the night. I actually perspired during the night because our room was so toasty. But the humidity in our apartment was awful. My clothes that were upstairs were damp this morning from all the moisture in the air. Our bread downstairs was rather soggified and I couldn't open the applejuice. I was running late and just kind of grumpy. Well, during first period I got my cell phone out to text Cory to see the progress of getting our heater replaced when I realized I had answered a call. I had no clue who was calling but said hello anyway. It was my angel for the day offering me a job for next semester! It's a semi-weird situation to describe but I'll be teaching an elective class for the Spring semester and I couldn't be happier. I really needed this great news today. After receiving the call I was so upbeat and excited. God is SO good! Last year I was disappointed in not getting some other positions but I never felt as good about the schools as I did with this one. I'm really excited to see what God has in store for me starting January 3rd. Thanks so much for all the prayers. I have totally been feeling them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Flood with emotion...and water

Moving has been more difficult than I had imagined. Besides the fact of the sentimental things, like this being our first home together, leaving great friends, and a wonderful job, we have had some big difficulties. To avoid the expense of renting a moving van and to make things easier for our family around Christmas, Cory & I have been taking loads of items home each weekend to a storage unit and my parents’ house. The past few weekends we have started moving furniture home. The first shipment of furniture made it home fairly well. We had a glass knob break off of a cabinet, but it can easily be replaced. Moving out of the apartment we also managed to damage a sleeper sofa, but it’s really old and we aren’t planning on it staying around forever. Last weekend when we moved things back it was VERY windy. We had a chair fall off on the highway and it ate the pavement pretty well. We also had some paint scratched off of the china cabinet that I painted last year. I was upset at first, but it made me realize not to put too much emphasis on worldly items…even if it was our nicer pieces of furniture. Well, this morning our complications with moving did not take a week off. I woke up to find our entire downstairs flooded with ankle deep water. Now keep in mind that since the majority of our furniture is gone, tons of our belongings are on the floor. (ie: laptop, cameras, Tivo, Christmas cards, packed boxes, etc.) I couldn’t believe it.

This is how it went down: Cory & I went to bed at about midnight and we left the living room nice and dry. At about 1:00 I thought I smelled something burning or at least abnormal. I then thought that the smell I smelled was chlorine and since it had been raining all evening I figured it was just water from outside. I tend to have a very sensitive sense of smell and Cory thought I was crazy because he didn’t smell anything. I should have gone downstairs to check on things but I just went to sleep. Well, this morning when I opened the bedroom door to start getting ready for church, I heard some water running. It sounded like the toilet running and I told Cory, who was still sleeping, that the toilet had been running all night. As I walked closer to the bathroom I noticed that the sound was coming from downstairs. It sounded like the washing machine was on. As I went to the staircase I saw the carpet at the bottom of the stairs soaked and had some water standing on it. I screamed that we were flooded and Cory jumped out of bed. We ran to the laundry room where water was spraying EVERYWHERE including the ceiling. Apparently the pipe that connects the washing machine to the water source burst. I can’t believe so much water accumulated. We immediately started picking up boxes and electronics and carried them upstairs. Boxes that were packed and ready to go were drenched, damaging books, cards, and memories. I started dumping things out and carried the boxes to the dumpster. Of course it starts snowing. Cory and I are in our pajamas soaked in water to our shins and it’s freezing. I’m so glad we were planning on going to the early church service so we stopped the water when we did. I called the maintenance people and they sent a man with a wet vac over. He clean up most of the water but things will be damp and hair will be frizzy here for a while. Just when I think that things couldn’t get worse, the heater doesn’t want to work. The heater is in the room where the water was spraying and a man has just informed us that the whole unit will need to be replaced. This will have to take place tomorrow. Yikes! Cory is such a sweetheart and is going to stay with me tonight to keep me warm and sane.

I’m sorry this is nothing but whining. The reason I’m writing this is to warn you that if you’re getting a Christmas present from us the package may be warped and non-returnable, that if we borrowed a book from you it’s probably going to be a little wrinkly, and that if you normally get a Christmas card from us, this year you won’t. That last statement is the hardest for me. We didn’t take a picture for this year’s card but I did buy some pretty (non-cheap) cards this year and wrote personal messages in each one. They were stamped and ready to go but not so much now. I used a felt tip pin so the cards are all smudged. There were also raised up parts to the cards that are messed up. I don’t think I can purchase and write on 35+ cards and stamp them again considering we’re probably going to have to pay for damages and the clean-up crew, the heater, a high water bill, and possibly damages to our neighbor’s apartment. Bah-humbug.

Here’s a picture of our cards. The camera was in my purse, which was on the floor, and got wet. It works but is very foggy right now. That’s why it looks the way it does.

I’m trying to look at the bright side though. Here are some positive thoughts:

  • We weren't hurt (not that we really could’ve been from water, but it wasn't a fire)
  • Cory is staying an extra night with me.
  • My laptop wasn't damaged. I have lots of important files on here.
  • A lot of our furniture and things have been moved so it made it easier to clean up the water.
  • I wanted to shampoo the carpet and mop really good before we left. Check!
  • Since the heat has temporarily gone out maybe the floors will freeze over and we can ice skate? ..yeah, I’m becoming a little sarcastic. I will end this post.

Sorry if this has put a damper (pun intended) on your day. Moral of the story: if you think you smell something strange in your home check it out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On My Mind

Warning: This post is totally random.

Since I'm by myself during the weeknights, I have a lot of time to think. Here are some of the things that have been on my mind lately that are not too stressful or depressing....

-Why do the songs that annoy you the most seem to get stuck in your head constantly? Right now, Pink's new song, "Raise Your Glass" is repeating over and over in my head and it won't leave. In this song she sings a line, "Don't be fancy, just get dancey" (which I think is pretty ridiculous) Now, at first when I was hearing this song I just shrugged my shoulders and let it slide because it rhymed, but then she sings that line again. Oh dear... I'll admit I would probably like it better if I had used the word "dancey" before. I'm a sucker for cheesiness in jokes & sayings. I used to say "no pockets to lock-its" when I would try to put my hands in my pockets and realize I didn't have any in the pants I was wearing. Granted, I was in 5th grade but I understand the need for rhyming in phrases. I don't know why I shared that tid-bit of info, but I know my bud, Ruth Ann will get a smile out of it ;)

-I think I have the skills to be a great lip sync-er. I wish there was a show like American Idol but for people who could lip sync and look believable. You would have to sing like you mean it and extra points would be given if you "air-instrumented" along with the song. My favorite air-instrument would be a toss up between the tambourine or the triangle (or whatever bell sound that is played in songs). Of course, the drums and guitar would be awesome to play but if I wanted it to be believable I would have to settle for the simple instruments. It just makes sense. The judges for the show would have to be Fab Morvan (from Milli Vanilli), Britney Spears, and Ashlee Simpson. I've had a lot of lip syncing practice from my pretend band with my pal and trying to impress Cory. I know deep down he loves it.

-I wish I had tons of money to buy presents for people all the time. I love giving gifts, especially when you know that person would enjoy what you've gotten them. While I have been Christmas shopping I keep seeing things that I wish I could get for people.

-Speaking of gifts, here is a nice little thought. Each year my coworkers buy Christmas gifts for a student who doesn't have much. The student is told by the counselor that they have been chosen to receive gifts from a group of people because they are a good student, or something along those lines. This year the child that was chosen was given a sheet to fill out clothes sizes and a wishlist. This child filled out their sizes and wrote down 4 fun items and then scratched out 2 of them and turned it in. When the counselor noticed that the child had done this she called him(or)her back in and asked why they scratched the things out and the student said it was because they didn't want to ask for too much. Wow. The items that were written down were very inexpensive things too. Most children want the biggest and best things and this kid was so grateful to be getting something as small as a little rubber bracelet.

-Dancing is really a fun little thing. I love seeing a small child dance because you have to wonder, "where did they get those moves?" I guess a lot of people imitate what they see others doing but I think it's so fun to see child start moving along to a beat. It's hard for me to sit still when I hear music. I have embarrassed myself (and Cory) numerous times dancing down the aisles in stores or in the car. Just last Saturday night Cory & I were in Wendy's drive-through and as we pulled up to the window to pay Nelly's song, "Hot in Here" came on and I just couldn't help myself. The dude at the window was amused...or totally weirded out. It was pretty funny. I guess Gloria Estefan was right, the "Rhythm IS going to get you". As I get embarrassed at getting caught busting a move, a child doesn't, and I love that! The morning announcements at my school begin with a song that a student picks out. In my class that the announcements are read I have a girl with Autism. She is such a sweetheart and she loves to dance. She will dance along with the music until it's off. She's so carefree and doesn't get embarrassed by it. By the way, the other students have grown up with her and don't make fun which is nice. It really inspires me to enjoy the little moments and not be afraid to be silly every once in a while.

-Why do I keep losing earrings? In the past few weeks I have lost two black earrings (one from two pairs) It really frustrates me because I'm not taking them off and losing them, they are falling out of my ear at some point. It's been my left ear the last two times. I have been looking through my jewelry box and I have tons of earrings that no longer have a match. I hold on to them hoping I will find the other but I rarely do. It always happens to my favorite earrings too. I guess I can hold on to the half so I can have something to remember them by. Oh well, maybe I can think up a craft for old earrings without a mate.

-Is it really Christmas time? I've been counting down the days for Christmas break because that's when I get to move back home with Cory and it's gotten here (thankfully) faster than I had imagined but it doesn't really feel like Christmas. I guess it doesn't feel like it as much because I don't have any decorations up since I'm moving. My mom doesn't even have decorations out yet because I usually put them up for her and I've been in Tuscaloosa packing each weekend. I love Christmas and all it holds but this year I am somewhat apprehensive about it. Or maybe it's moving that makes me feel this way. Things are different this year (from quite a few aspects) and it makes my heart sad. Being in Tuscaloosa, even though I'm lonely, is somewhat of an escape from the reality sometimes and makes things seem ok. Ok, now it's getting depressing over here so I'm going to stop typing now.

I hope everyone is keeping warm. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'm really in love with this dog.

I've posted a picture of this cute dog on here before and I'm doing it again. I seriously smile every time I see this little puppy's face. It's kind of embarrassing, but this picture is my computer's wallpaper. I just can't get enough!
I was uber-excited when I saw that there's a Boo calendar for 2011. If you're in love with him like I am, then I hope I just made your day. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Well, I just got back to Tuscaloosa after a wonderful Thanksgiving break. I wish there were two Thanksgiving Days, though because then I feel like it would have been a little more wonderful. Since Cory and I have been married we've been alternating who's family's Thanksgiving dinner we'll go to. This year it was my family's turn. I really enjoyed seeing my extended family and catching up with them but I did miss seeing Cory's side of the family. Good thing that Christmas is just around the corner. :)
Thank you to anyone who said a prayer for me since my last post. I was really stressed that week but things have simmered down a little. Since it was such a stressful week at school I decided to take off the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (we had to go to school on Mon & Tues). I'm so glad that I did because I got to see my sister, Angie, an extra day. I had not seen her since March and I won't get to see her until probably June, since she'll be with her fiance's family during Christmas. I tried to spend as much time possible with her and we had a blast. I hate that I missed seeing some friends who were in town (or live in town) but I'm hoping I'll see them during Christmas time and after since I'm MOVING BACK :)

Driving back to Tuscaloosa is always a little hard, especially after being home for almost a whole week, but I had a few things that made me smile along the way:

1. Christmas music playing (I heard almost all of my favorite Christmas songs)
2. The weather was beautiful. The sun was shining so bright and there were plenty of trees that still had their pretty red, orange, and yellow leaves on them.
3.I saw a calf getting a drink from his mother.
4. The Cujo-looking dog was clean and not so scary....Here's the story on this one. Have you ever seen the Stephen King movie Cujo? If you haven't then you're probably better off. It's about a Saint Bernard who's got rabies and lives at an abandoned house and terrorizes this family and town. I don't know what made me watch it but I did and it freaked me out. Cujo is really bloody and dirty. Here's a pic of him.
Well, a few weeks ago as I was driving to the Shoals I saw a dog that looked like Cujo (dirty dog minus the blood) outside of an old, run-down house. I wanted to take a picture of him but feared a movie reenactment and went on my way. I had not seen Cujo the last two times I've made the drive from Tuscaloosa to Muscle Shoals, but today I did! And he was clean and not so scary. It made me happy that the dog was not rabid and had some owners who kept him, sorry for the random rant. Back to my list...
5. This should be my last time having to drive back to Tuscaloosa to our apartment!!! (knock on wood) Cory will be coming here the next few weekends to load up our furniture. Whoo hoo!

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010


This is pretty much what I feel like right now. I've got "stressers" coming from many different angles and it makes me feel crazy! I would appreciate any prayers right now. I know things will be fine. Just needed to semi-vent.
On a happy note, I will be moving back home (with Cory) in 35 days! I can't wait!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butterfinger Cake

Sunday is my cutie-of-a-husband's birthday. I can't believe Cory will be 29. We really are knocking on 30's door. For Cory's birthday this year I have made him a Butterfinger cake. I have chosen this cake for two reasons: one being Butterfingers are delicious and two it's an easy cake to make and doesn't require a cake saver. I guess that could be three reasons? Anyway, Cory is sweet and will forgive me for not making him a decorated or layered cake this year because I don't have any cake savers at our apartment now. I have already started packing up our apartment (because I move in Decemeber!!!) and the cake savers are currently being stored away.
This cake is really yummy and as I said before very easy to make. I got this recipe from my home church's cookbook a few years ago. I just love church cookbooks because they have the best recipes that normal people have made.
Here's what you need for the whole thing: (you can notice that the outlet in our apartment is upside down)hehe
1 box Devil's Food cake mix (and ingredients to make cake---eggs, vegetable oil, water)
1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1 (12oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 can condensed milk
8oz caramel topping (you can just buy the 8 oz jar but I like the squeeze bottle)
4 large Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Pour the cake in a prepared 9x13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
While the cake is baking you can chop your Butterfingers.
When the cake is done take out of the oven and start poking holes in it with a straw. You can do this while the cake is still warm. I love not having to wait for the cake to cool off! No, there's not a ghost at my house who poked the cake for me...I guess I'm just that pale. eew
It's pretty fun poking the holes. Sometimes I get carried away.
Now mix the condensed milk and caramel together (if you're using the 8 oz jar save a tad bit of caramel to drizzle on top).
Pour this mixture over the entire cake. See what the holes are for now? To help the cake soak up the yummy goodness. :)
Next brush 2 chopped Butterfinger bars on top of the cake.
Now mix the cream cheese and Cool Whip together.
Spread the topping on the cake.
Top with the other 2 candy bars and drizzle some caramel on the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Tada!
And to make it birthday appropriate:
Happy Birthday, Buckshot! You are the best and I'm super blessed to get to spend the rest of my life with you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carrot Cake

My mom’s birthday is today and I made her a Carrot Cake for our little celebration. For the past few years I have made mom a Carrot Cake because it’s one of her favorites. I’ve used different recipes for the cake but the one I’m sharing today is probably the easiest and very yummy. It’s easy because it uses a cake mix (mixed with other ingredients). I’ve made cakes from scratch plenty of times but I really like starting from a mix because you don’t have to worry if your baking soda is still good. :)

To make this cake you'll need:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box vanilla instant pudding (3.4 oz)
2/3 cup orange juice
½ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots (about 5 carrots)
½ cup raisins
½ cup pecans or walnuts

With an electric mixer combine the cake mix, pudding, orange juice, vegetable, eggs, and cinnamon together for about 3 minutes or until well blended. The smell of these ingredients combining is incredible. My mouth was watering as I was mixing.

Now fold in the raisins, carrots, and pecans.

Pour into two 9 inch greased cake pans.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for about 35 minutes.

Now for the yummy cream cheese frosting:

2 (8 oz) cream cheese packages, room temp
1 stick butter, room temp
1 (16oz) box Confectioner sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)

Mix the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until fluffy then gradually add the sugar.
Mix until well combined.
If you’re using pecans you can fold them in.
I like to save mine for the sides of my cake.

Now frost your cake!
I’m usually pretty reserved when frosting the first layer because I’m always afraid I’ll run out of frosting so this time I was fairly generous.
This caused me to run out of frosting for decorating the top of the cake though.
I just filled in the center with some leftover pecans.
Well, I’m sure mom doesn’t mind that it looks kind of goofy.

I hope you have a fabulous birthday, Mom. Love you!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cabinet Makeover

Today I'm posting a cabinet that I repainted this past week. I got this cabinet from my sister about 3 years ago when she was moving. It's a neat little cabinet that has been sitting at the top of our stairs in our apartment since we moved in. It has remained in the hallway mainly because of it's color. It was black with gold paint smeared on it and didn't really go with the decor in any of our rooms. I have been meaning to paint it for a long time but just recently actually decided to do it. Here it is before.
As I was inspecting the inside of the cabinet I found that the top of the inside had this little painting on it. It was a fun surprise. (This picture looks a little funky but it was the best I could get.)
First I took off the doors and knobs. Then I sanded the whole thing. I wanted to change the cabinet up a bit so I decided to take off the top panel's wood medallions and add a bigger swag decoration.

Then I glued the new wood piece to the door front with some wood glue. I also had to fill in the hole from the old knob with some wood filler.
After the glue dried, I primed the whole piece. It took me a while to figure out a paint color. My instincts kept telling me to paint it white but it seems like I already have a lot of white things in our home. I then wanted to try a bluish gray but couldn't find what I had in mind at the store. I then remembered that I had some leftover paint from the china cabinet I did a while back.
I mixed the leftover paint which helped save some money.
And here it is. I also got some new dropped pulls from Hobby Lobby.
I'm still playing with things to put on top of it now. Here's what I have right now though.
Here's a before and after picture side by side. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lovin' Some Deals

On a few visits to some antique stores I've seen some old milk glass carriers that I've really liked, that look like this:

I have seen items very similar to this that cost between $40-$60. I've even seen a few online that were $90! In my book, it's not worth that much. The weekend before last as Cory and I were browsing around Hobby Lobby I found something that looked like what I wanted. I was super excited but then I saw the price tag which read $27.99. That may not seem like that much but I have a hard time purchasing things(clothes & small home decor) over $25. I thought I may try to use a 40% coupon that they have online and get it one day. Well, last Thursday was my birthday and I received some birthday cash during the week. Since I'm here in Tuscaloosa alone I celebrated my birthday by shopping on Wednesday night. I thought it would be too pathetic walking around the mall by myself on my actual birthday**...weird, I know. I went to Hobby Lobby to actually get something for school when I decided to look at the milk carrier again. To my surprise the section it was in was marked off 50%. Happy Birthday to me! I got it with no reservations since I had a little extra cash for $14. I was so happy. Here it is.
During the fall and winter I think it will serve as candle holders. During the summer I can't wait to use the jars as vases.

This milk glass container was the only purchase I made that day. I thought I'd save the rest of my moolah for a rainy day....Well, today it rained! As I was shopping for groceries at Target I made a stop down the home decor ailse and saw that this large magnifying glass that I've been eyeballing for weeks was on sale for 50% off. I got it for the small price of $7.00 I have so many places I can put this but for now it's sitting on top of our bookshelf in the office. You should really check out Target because there were lots of home decor and clothes on sale.
**Don't feel too sorry for me because I wasn't alone on my birthday. My sweet husband and wonderful parents paid me a visit and we had a great time and yummy food. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Letters in a Jar

The other day on Life in the Fun Lane I read about ceramic balls with letters on them on sale at Michael's. I really liked them for some reason and decided to grab a few. I got them for the low, low price of just $1 a ball. I bought eight of them and brought them home. I thought they would look great in a mason jar, because in my opinion, everything looks great in mason jars. :) I actually ended up only putting seven letters in the jar because all eight wouldn't fit. I didn't want to just have one jar standing alone so going along with the letter theme I put some Scrabble letters in a smaller jar. These now sit on top of my recently redone coffee table.
I'm really pleased with the look and this was an inexpensive way to add something new to the room. If you like the letters then hurry over to Michael's and get some.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

German Chocolate Cake

Yesterday was my wonderful father's birthday. To help celebrate this past weekend I made a German Chocolate Cake for him.

Here's what you need:
1 package German Chocolate cake mix
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

First you'll need to grease two 9 inch cake pans. You can do this by the old shortening & flour routine OR you can use a product I swear by: Cake Release.
I learned about this product back in 2003 when I took a cake decorating class. It always releases your cake beautifully from the cake pans. I love the stuff. You can find it at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and sometimes Walmart. It's with the cake decorating things. Anyway, back to the recipe.
Mix all of the cake ingredients for at least 3 minutes or until well combined. Pour into the 9 inch cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 32 minutes.
Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting (about 30 minutes)

Now for the yummy pecan-coconut frosting.
You'll need:
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 package (7 oz) flaked coconut
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First you'll need to spread the pecans and coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Next put the evaporated milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the toasted pecans & coconut.

Cool to room temperature which will make it spreading consistency. (for about 30 minutes)
To quicken the cooling process I pour the frosting into a metal bowl and sometimes emerge the bowl in a larger bowl of ice.

Now frost the top of one layer of cake. Place the other layer on top and then frost the top.
Typically German Chocolate Cakes are only frosted in the center and on top. I like to frost the sides though. I used some store bought chocolate frosting for the side of my cake.
In hindsight I should have frosted the sides of the cake before the top. :)
Then I topped the cake with some chocolate covered almonds that I bought.
Here's my sweet parents before partaking in the birthday cake.


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