Thursday, May 27, 2010

If You Want Me To

Lately I've been stressed over some situations. Some big decisions have been put on mine & Cory's plate and mixed with end of the year school matters I have had some knots in my stomach. Maybe soon I'll go into details with my concerns but for now I'm keeping it light since I just started my summer vacation. :) This morning on my way to school I popped in a mixed CD with some Christian music on it. My CD player is set to shuffle songs so the first song that played was not #1. The song it chose was #5 and couldn't have been a better song to start my day. It's a song by Ginny Owens and it's called "If You Want Me To". If you haven't heard it before you should give it a listen. It's just vocals & a piano, which I tend to really like. I've sang this song along with my CD many times before but today as I sang with it the words became my prayer and brought me such a peace. Here's the lyrics if you want to read them. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!

The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to

Cause I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to You
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'd never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering that Your love put You through
And I will walk through the darkness
If You want me to

Because when I cross over Jordan
Gonna sing, gonna shout,
Gonna look into Your eyes and see You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
And I will walk though the valley
If You want me to

Yes, I will walk through the valley
If You want me to

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Boiled Cookies

Here's a recipe that most of you may know. These cookies have been a favorite of mine since I was five. I remember my mom's good friend, Rose, first made some for me on my birthday and it was love at first bite. She continued to make these cookies for me throughout the years and I always welcomed them with an open mouth :)
The great thing about this recipe is that is calls for ingredients that I usually have on hand. I usually make these at night when I'm craving some chocolate.
Here's what you need:

2 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 c. milk
1 stick of butter or margarine
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. oatmeal
1 tsp vanilla

Bring the first four ingredients to a boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla, and oats.
Spoon out on some wax paper or aluminum foil (which I usually use, but was out) and allow to cool.
Yes, I know, they look a little unappetizing but I promise they're yummy!

Maybe I'll be more regular with my posting now that SCHOOL IS OUT!!! Well, I do have to go for 1/2 a day tomorrow, but it will just be teachers so it's not too bad. I was really needing this summer vacation to get here. It's been a hard past few months.
I hope everyone has a fantastic day and will make some cookies!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just a Singin'

WARNING: this post is rather random. I'm fighting off a nap. If you know me well, that is a hard feat.

Cory & I had a wonderful trip to Enterprise this past weekend to see some of our pals get married. One of my favorite things about long car trips is listening to music and singing along. As we headed out I quickly chose a radio station that Cory & I enjoy. I started bragging on the station and told Cory that I had not changed the station in my car for 3 days in a row because this particular station was playing awesome songs that you don’t hear on the radio that often (“Rock the Casbah”,” Blinded Me With Science”,” Baby Got Back”—these may not be “awesome” in your book, but I think they’re swell). As soon as I professed my love for this eclectic station though, my least favorite song came on which cracked Cory up. The words were literally coming out of my mouth when the intro to the detestable song came on. After that incident I began to think of other songs that would make my “not so great list” and my “love that song list”. (Angie, you would be so proud).

I’ve always enjoyed listening to music and understanding lyrics. I know that’s the point of songs, but some people can hear a song and not pay any attention to what a song is saying. Now, granted, I don’t always understand the lyrics to be what they are (ie: for a long time I thought Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” was saying “Living on Bread” (you know, like money?). The songs “Cotton Eye Joe”, “My Pony”, and “Summer of 69” have also given me grief. Sometimes songs can have a powerful or serious meaning and have such a happy beat. For example, Smashmouth’s “All Star”, now while I’m not too crazy about the actual song some of the lyrics make me appreciate it:

Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change

Basically I just like the play on the word change. I could go on with silly songs that I read too much into but I realize anyone reading this probably thinks I am a big NERD for the song I just quoted.

There are plenty of “deep” songs that I appreciate more. Four songs that always give me chills when I hear them are “Dust in the Wind”, “Landslide”, “Sound of Silence”, and “She’s in Love with the Boy”---I get chills when it says, “Katie looks at Tommy, like I still look at you”…whew I got chills typing that.

Some songs that make me tear up are:

“Diary” by Bread,

“Brick”by Ben Folds Five

“Hello” by Lionel Richey

“Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton

“Freshman” by The Verve Pipe

“Father & Son” by Cat Stevens. (This one gives me chills too)

“Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin

“That Ain’t My Truck” by Rhett Atkins

“You Were Mine” by the Dixie Chicks

Ok, I need to stop right there because the last two were country songs, and thinking about it a lot of country songs make me cry…They’re just so sad.

I’m going to leave on a funny note about myself and a sad song. When I was in the first grade I thought I had seen the man I was going to marry** and he was the star of a little movie called Home Alone. I loved Mr. Macaulay Culkin. Not only was he a cute little blond hair, blue eyed boy but he was hilarious! He made jokes and played tricks on bad guys. He knocked my socks off. I remember telling my cousin, Justin, that I was going to meet him one day and kiss him. The next year he starred in “My Girl” and my fascination with him just grew.

One afternoon before ballet practice my mom stopped by my grandmother’s house to get something. I remember going inside and my Mimi telling me, “Karen, look it’s the little boy from that movie you like” and handing over a magazine. I was super excited to see my dream guy when my little second grade heart was broken. There Macaulay was holding a little girl’s hand and kissing her on the cheek. Now, in retrospect it was a sweet little picture of a boy under the age of 10 kissing a girl on the cheek but at the time it totally crushed my world. (like I was actually going to meet him, ha)

I didn’t cry while we were still inside, but as we got in the car the Bonnie Raitt song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” came on and that’s when the tears came and I remember lying in the back seat of the van crying like a baby. That song alone can bring tears to one’s eyes, but added with the picture of seeing the guy you like with another woman…it was just too much.

So this post was very random and kind of stupid, but maybe the next time you hear Ms. Bonnie’s song you can laugh at how ridiculous and pathetic I was!

**On a fun note, I actually did meet the man I was going to marry in first grade. J and I’m so glad it wasn’t Macaulay Culkin!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Strawberry Cake

Today I'm posting a cake recipe that Cory and I really like. It's strawberry cake with strawberry cream cheese icing. Here's what you need for the cake.

1 pkg. plain white cake mix

1 3-oz. pkg. strawberry gelatin

1 cup mashed fresh strawberries with juice (1 1/2 cups whole berries)

1 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

And for the icing you'll need:

1 (8 oz). pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature

1 stick butter, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

3/4 cup fresh ripe strawberries, rinsed, capped and mashed to make 1/2 cup, then drained well

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup chopped pecans


Combine the cake mix, strawberry gelatin, mashed strawberries and juice, oil, milk and eggs in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer until the strawberries are well blended into the batter. Fold in the coconut and pecans. Divide the batter among three 9 inch prepared cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes or until done. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting them.

To make the icing mix the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Next add the sugar and drained strawberries. Blend the frosting on low until the sugar has been incorporated. Then raise the speed to medium and mix the frosting another minute or until the frosting lightens and is well combined. Fold in the coconut and pecans.

After you frost your cake let it chill uncovered in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, then cover it. You store this cake in the fridge and it will keep for about a week. Enjoy!

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Cory & I are super excited for our pals, Rachelle & Craig, and their wedding on Saturday. Congrats, you guys :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fabric Flower Garland

For Cory's graduation weekend I made a "Congrats" banner very similar to the birthday sign I made in this post . This picture was taken right after I hung it up so please disregard the hanging string on the ends. It was removed before Cory saw it. :)

Today I'm semi-posting directions on how I made the flower garland hanging underneath the sign. When I say "semi" it's because I'm sending you to another page to see the directions. I found this wedding site a few months ago and I loved looking at all of the pictures it had to offer. It's at The link should take you directly to the garland instructions, but you should browse around the site. Also, you will notice that the site's garland looks much better than mine. I will testify that it was very easy to do and was a nice use of old fabric scraps that were too small for anything else.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hooray for Cory!

Well, he did it! Cory graduated from law school last night. I'm beyond proud of him and all of his hard work and determination for the past 3 years. So much has happened in 3 years, some great things and some devastating. I'm going to focus on the good though. Cory received a scholarship to the U of A, I miraculously got a job in Tuscaloosa as soon as Cory got accepted to law school, we got married, we got to live in a new city (to us) as a newly wed couple, we made some fabulous friends here (that I will truly miss), we found a great Sunday school class and church, Cory was blessed to have internships in the Shoals for 2 summers so we got to see our families everyday, we have welcomed a sweet niece to our family, we've taken some nice trips, I received tenure, and so much more. We are truly blessed and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us!
Here's just a few photos from last night.

Next weekend our brother-in-law, Benjamin is graduating from Cumberland School of Law and I'm super proud of him too! He managed to go through law school and become a great new dad. I'm glad I'm going to have some lawyers in the fam in case I get into some trouble...jk. ;)
I hope everyone has a fantastic week.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Easy Table Topper

This is not a big craft project but it's something I do quite often because it's cheap and easy. If you read my post about shower curtains you know that it's hard for me to find a tablecloth to fit my table. To remedy the need for a tablecloth (or should we say, my desire to change things up) I make table toppers out of a yard of fabric. I like to do this for the changing seasons and holidays. If you look in my kitchen you will see a pile of table toppers in all colors except yellow. I decided I needed to add a yellow one to my collection. Especially since spring is upon us. :)
I found this yellow toile fabric for half off at Hancock's this past weekend. I also found some nice turquoise trim to go along with it. I usually like to put a trim around my toppers. My favorite trim is rick-rack.
Anyway, I don't really have directions for this project I just wanted to give you the idea for those of you who want to add some color to your kitchen on the cheap.

The blue trim ended up matching my blue Ball jars so I had to use them as a centerpiece....Ahh, why do I love old mason jars so much?
Oh yeah, look who showed up on my porch on Sunday afternoon. I'm pretending it's my green little friend who was hanging around my plants in September. I realize it's probably just another lizard, but it's nice to think that he's the same one.
Oh well, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Mother's Day. I will have a GREAT weekend because Cory is graduating from law school! Whoo hoo! I'm so proud of him and his hard work. I'm also really excited to have our parents come and visit with us. I will have some pictures of him in his fancy cap and gown next week.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taco Layer Dip

My friend, Allison, gave this recipe to me in the fall. She had made it for a Sunday school party and Cory LOVED it. He made sure we didn't leave until I had the recipe. To my luck, it's very simple.
Here's what you need:
Taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
16 oz sour cream
1 jar salsa
shredded cheddar cheese (I use Mexican blend)
black olives

First you will need to mix the refried beans and taco seasoning in a small bowl. Warning: At first the refried beans kind of look like dog food and smells like it to. After the beans and seasoning are well blended then spread the mixture in the bottom of a pie plate. Like so....
Next in a small bowl (I use the same one) mix the sour cream and salsa together and then layer it on top of the beans.
Now sprinkle a layer of cheese. Next top the whole thing with lettuce, tomato, and black olives. Serve it with tortilla chips.
See? Very simple and it's also very tasty. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Best "As Seen On TV"

I don't have one of these....yet. Seems too good to be true. haha. Have a great weekend!


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