Friday, February 26, 2010

Conversation with The Mister

I'll admit that I tend to have a playful spirit when it comes to those I know well.

That is never more true than when I am interacting with The Mister.

I always enjoy teasing him, especially when he is unable to reciprocate.

For example, last night as he was washing dishes--with his soapy hands washing bits of scrambled egg from the pan, I walked passed him and gave his rump a little smack, a bit harder than I had intended.

"You think you can spank me and get away with it?" he asks.

"Uh... yup." I say (from across the room) with an impish grin.

Then I boldly add, "I can spank who I want, when I want."

"Oh yeah?" he says, calmly.


"Can you spank Brad Pitt?" he asks like he knows he's stumped me.

I start to giggle thinking about spanking Brad Pitt.

He starts to laugh like its the funniest thing he's said all week.

Still makes me laugh.

It reminds me of this post when the kids revealed something about The Mister and I that was a bit revealing....No wonder they think the things they do!

Let's change the about a recipe?

This is a recipe my dear friend Jen with One N made for our Mom's Group retreat back in the Texas this recipe, but those girls? Love them WAY more!

Creme Brulee French Toast
1 stick unsalted butter (if using salted butter omit salt below)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbls corn syrup
8-9 inch loaf of french bread --sliced into 1"-1.5" slices
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups Half-in-Half cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Grand Marnier (optional)

IN a small sauce pan melt butter , brown sugar and corn syrup over med. heat, stirring until smooth. Pour into a greased (BE SURE TO GREASE THE PAN!) 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Place six- eight slices of bread in one layer, squeezing to fit, into the pan (on top of caramel mixture).

Whisk together eggs, creamer, vanilla salt and GM in a bowl. Pour over bread, cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours up to one day. I usually make this the afternoon or evening before I want to serve it.

Place in the oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serve with strawberries and whip cream for extra fanciness.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

CountDown to 1000: Marital Changes

I'm counting down to my 1000 posts by pulling things out of the draft folder...

This post was written on 2/12/08.

As a means of informing you on the details of this big change in our marriage I must make a confession:

I am a middle of the tube squeezer. The Mister is a bottom-to-top squeezer.

The rest is self explanatory.


After almost 13 years of marriage, and much talk and consideration, The Mister and I have decided to make a change.

We have decided that we can no longer tube of toothpaste.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CountDown to 1000: Full Moon

Sometime next week I will be celebrating my 1000th post here at La Vida Dulce.

When I do finally get there, I will be giving away a few prizes...

I had thought it would be this week but I realized I have many posts in my Draft File that pad my queue.

As I was going through the file, I realized that I have a tendency to write things, send them to the draft file and forget about them.

So, in an attempt to get to the 1000th post I think I will pull what I've got and without editing (too much) just for fun.

This post was originally written on 2/22/08, when we lived in AZ. My sister-in-love and I were walking together a couple times a week. I miss those walks....

Y'all, I got up this morning to walk with a friend. It was very early and should have been very dark, but light being cast by the moon made it very bright outside.

Then later, around 7:20ish, I looked outside our kitchen window and saw the moon hanging so close to our home that I thought I might be able to touch it. It was amazing. I had to try to take a picture.

Although, I have to confess, that since I have two amazing, real-life, photographers reading the blog, I am a little nervous with my amateur-auto-focus ways.

But that's OK. I kill plants too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


1. I am grateful that I am remembering my Gladitudes on a Tuesday, instead of on a Friday.

2. So grateful for good books and the time to read them.

3. I'm grateful for music. Lately I've been playing JJ Heller's "Your Hand's" and "Invisible Love" on a loop on my iPod.

4. I'm grateful for good health and a strong body. I went running this morning for the first time in a month. The weather has been too cold for out door running. It was hard, but I am grateful for Strength in weakness.

5. I am grateful for good news I received this week.

6. I am thankful that we are on the cusp of spring. There may be a few cold snaps here and there, but spring will come....and in North Carolina its worth the cold slumber of winter for the breathtaking beauty of spring.

7. I am thankful for kids who enjoy reading...even though sometimes they read when they should be doing other chores, or getting ready for basketball, or when its time to go to bed.

8. I am glad that I am finally finished reading Leviticus.

9. I am glad that ladies bible study is tonight and that I get to spend the evening with my friends.

10. I am thankful for you. I love the doors of friendship that this blog has opened up. I hope that this afternoon will lend itself some time to catch up on the blog reader (and maybe Facebook too?)! I feel a little out of touch!

What about you? What are you glad about/thankful for today?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Random..and maybe a bit off color


I needn't say more.

But I will.

The Monday after a weeks worth of vacation is bigger than the average bear. Much more difficult to fight.

So for today's post I give you five random points.

1. I am officially fasting from Girl Scouts cookies.  Actually, it will be easy. I think if I see another Thin Mint, I might hurl. And cookie season isn't quite half-way over. (As a side note: This aversion will pass. I have a long-time weakness for the Thin Mint, and my freezer is stocked.)

2. Tomorrow is Australia Day at Girl Scouts. I've been asked to bring my guitar and play Australian songs...So far I have Kookaburra and Waltzing Matilda (and can I just say I am so very glad for the internet? I've only known the chorus to that song, but as of this afternoon, I now know the verses (and tune!)) Caz, I would love your expertise here!

3. You may have noticed Gretchens beautiful raspberry hat in the pictures from Saturday.  The CarpoolQueen made one here, and then made another as a welcome-to-NC gift for Gretchen.

Not wanting to be left out of the Cool Hat Club I decided to make one too.

4. I made that hat while listening to Leviticus on The Bible Experience CD's. If you hear nothing else, please hear this....The Bible Experience is awesome. We received this as a gift from my sister-in-law several years ago and I have used it at least once a week, both for personal listening and for homeschooling.  If you are trying to read through the Bible in a Year and the book of Leviticus makes you want to stick a fork in your eye, the CD's a amazing....its worth the price just for Leviticus, but all the other books are so well done too!

So I got through Leviticus with a new hat to show for it...not a bad afternoon.

5. I mentioned that The Mister was in California last week for a work conference. Any time he goes away he will usually come home with a very large coffee cup for my collection. I look forward and anticipate this gift each time he comes home.

After he had been gone for five days, he walked in on Saturday night and handed me my present all wrapped with bubble wrap. He says, "It's not as big as I wanted it to be, but when I saw it I knew I had to get it... its given in all love and sincerity."

Still makes me giggle.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

All I Have To Bring Today

Next week I hope to get back to regular and consistent blogging.

This week has been wonderfully full.

Gretchen and I had an amazing visit. The Mister was in San Diego all week, so it was doubly nice to have her company!

I also got to hang out with my favorite Carpoolqueen and my Carolina Gals-- some bloggers, some not. (And not all pictured!)

I would love to go into detail, but the brain and the heart aren't quite connected at the moment...and the lack of sleep this week doesn't help!

So I leave you with this poem by Emily Dickinson, because the meadow-size blessing of friendship overwhelms me.

It's All I Have To Bring Today

It's all I have to bring to-day,
This and my heart beside.
This and my heart, and all the fields,
And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget,--
Someone the sum could tell,--
This, and my heart, and all the bees
Which in the clover dwell.
~Emily Dickinson

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend Recap

Happy belated Valentines Day, friends!

Whew! Between last Saturday and this weekend its been a whirlwind.

The Mister and The Girl had the Girl Scout Daddy/Daughter Dance. We had basketball games and birthday parties.

We had snow.

We had orthodontist appointments and research for our State Reports ....The Boy is studying Hawaii, The Girl is studying Kentucky. (If I have any readers from either state, or if you are originally from that state, tell me something you LOVE about your state!) we've been to the library several times.

I also had to shop for a good-bye gift for The Boys basketball coach who is being deployed.

This week was cookie pick-up.

So we helped the Cookie Mom (who is a SAINT!) pick up, transfer, sort, and distribute cookies.

We had more basketball games. And a goodbye pizza party for the coach.

We had snow (again).

We sorted our order of cookies and got them ready for delivery.

We watched the Olympics.

We finished reading Percy Jackson: The Lightening Thief, just in time to take the kids to a matinee. In strange turn of event we all thought the movie was better than the book.

For Valentines day I woke the kids up, gave them the same thing I give them every year: A giant Hershey Kiss. And told them to hurry up and get ready for church.

Later that afternoon The Mister gave me my gift...we read in our bed together while sipping Mt.Dew (him) and Diet Dr. Pepper (me) and shared a bowl of CheezIts.

Back in the day, when we were first married, he used to really hate it when I would read in bed while eating a "crumby" snack. He said I would leave crumbs on his side of the bed. I plead the fifth.

But, yesterday afternoon, for the first time in nearly 15 years, he ate crackers in bed with me.

Friends, THAT is love.

Speaking of reading in bed....

I finally got The Help by K. Stockett. Six weeks ago I was number 253 on the Hold List at the library. You can imagine how surpised I was to get the call that my book was in! I'm only on Chapter 4, but ya'll, its good.

So my week has been full, but not as full as this week.

As I type Ms. Jewels in My Crown, Someday Gretchen is on her way to my house. Tonight, I will break enchiladas with her and the Carpoolqueen, and I am giddy with excitement.

So if you don't hear too much from me this week...that's the reason!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Last night we were talking about the concept of "time".

The Mister was discussing the history of time and he mentioned that long ago, before there were watches and clocks, people would make appointments by using different sun-based phrases.

He explained there wasn't a wrist watch to look at while you casually asked a friend to come over for lunch at 12:45p. Instead one might say, "come on over around mid-day."

"Oh!" The Girl says, with a look of sudden clarity.

"Is that what you and mom had to do when you were kids?"

No, sweetie, by then we had a sun dial.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Flip

I have spent the last few afternoons weaving in and out of nostalgia.

Do you remember these?

Back in the day my brothers and I used to spend quite a bit of time with this machine, pretending to be news anchors reporting crazy news and making various childish noises.

I can vividly remember laying on the golden plush carpet of the formal living room, pushing the rewind button over and over, while listening and laughing with my brothers. Sometimes we laughed so hard I thought my head would split.

Oh, we thought we were the funniest things ever.

Apparently, its hereditary.

Last week The Girl received a Flip Video Camera for her birthday.

She has begged me for a video camera for over a year now.

You can imagine her excitement when her new pink colored camera arrived.

And I?

I am enjoying the laughter she and her brother make as they "make movies" using silly faces and crazy noises, then quickly huddle over the small screen to see what they've made. Laughing heart-fully.

They were making movies outside yesterday and running back into the house every 15 minutes or so to come show me how hysterical their cinematic masterpieces were unfolding...

Truth be told, they're about as funny as the audio tapes my brothers and I made... but the laughter... I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Humble Places

I've been thinking a lot about humble places.

Mostly because I'm living in them.

Like most of us, I dream of greatness. I desire to be known. To do something big!

Yet, the lines for me have fallen in humble places.

At first it was difficult.

Pride and ego are hard to set aside.

Yet, the burden is in the holding, not in the letting go.

What do I mean by humble places?

Well, in all I have ever done, from tap dancing to mothering to bible teaching (and all things in between), I've always wanted to be the star.

I've done all these things with joy and love and passion. Because I was certain I could do them, or at least fake my way through.

Until I was called to homeschool.

The Artsy One, called to do something that she never really liked: school.

Homeschool is a place where no one sees what you do. (Other than your biological students, and they don't really count.)

No one tells you how awesome you sound... or how cute you're dressed... or how the subjects chosen were thrilling. They don't let you know that the history book you assigned, or the words you spoke, really moved them. Some days you wonder if all your effort is making one iota difference in there young lives.

No one tells you that your doing well, or what a great teacher you are, or how amazing it is that you are able to accomplish so much in a day.

As a matter of fact, many people will think you're weird, or too religious, or that you're actually harming your kids.

Others will say, "I could never do that!", and, "I could never be organized like that.", or "That's a lifestyle that isn't for me."---when what they really mean is: I'm scared I might become weird too.

How do I know these things?

Because once upon a time, before I was a homeschooler, I thought and said those things.

Out loud.

On more than one occasion.

To more than one homeschooling mom.

On the Daniel Safari this week we are focusing on:

  Exploring: Humility          Conquering: Vanity

We were asked to write about this question:

Talk about a humbling experience in your life. 
What did you learn from that time?

The truth is that I am still very much here, in my humbling experience. Where every-blessed-day, I lay down my own agenda...I choose to be content with what I have, and where I am. I close my ears to those who are opinionatedly verbal, who don't know, or don't want to know, why we are on this homeschooling road.

I'm learning that this center-stage girl is really OK with working behind-the-scenes.

In fact, I've grown to love the ways the Lord works through me when no one else is aware.

I'm learning that my desire for God to use me in a big way! to do big things! (read: in a very public way with myself at the center) takes my focus away from the truth: God's willingness to work in my life IS the big thing.

He's taken this Coffeegal, who never considered herself "smart", set her apart from her natural talents, and placed her in an arena where she HAS to depend on Him.

And the biggest gift of all? I get to learn these lessons of humility in the safest place of all: the center of my home.

That alone is proof that we serve a merciful God.

I'm not perfect. I still clamor for attention. I still (privately) pout when I don't get my way. Sometimes, when insecurity is running high and my ego begs for preening, I am far too quick to feed it. Every once in awhile I am prideful enough to compare myself with others, or worse, judge someone else who may have the position I once desired...

But I'm learning...that although humble, "the boundary lines for me have fallen in pleasant places." Psalm 16:6

*If you'd like to see what others are seeing on their Safari of the book of Daniel, click here!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Checkin' In


Although its currently snowing outside (again) I'm getting ready to have 12 preteen girls over for Summer Camp.

Tomorrow is The Girls birthday party.

We are doing this Camp Mystery Party from DramaticFanatic.

Seriously, these parties are fun. My niece had one last summer and it was a BLAST!

So my blogging and blog reading is kind of on the back burner while I make a tent cake and try to make this house look like summer camp and not an igloo.

To my Safari Girls and my Read With Me girls I'm still reading and studying. I am here, just not writing about it this week.

I hope you are staying warm where you are, and that your weekend is fantastic!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Double Digits (The Girl This Time)

Long before I had children, someone told me that as you get older you remember the years by your children.

I could never understand what that meant.

Today I think I do.

The moment a baby enters your life you're changed-- everything becomes measured by that momentous time.

That child (or those children) become the measuring stick by which all moments, days, seasons, and years are measured.

I cannot believe that 10 years ago today I gave birth to a tiny dark-haired baby girl.

In the blink of an eye, we went from a cold day in Texas with a pink swaddled baby, to celebrating her 10th birthday-breakfast eating one of her favorite foods: bacon.

Time goes so incredibly fast.

To my sweet Girl,

Of all the girls in this world, I wouldn't want anyone but you. You are smart, and funny, and compassionate. And you have made the last decade so bright.

I pray that the next decade finds you healthy and happy, and drawing nearer to God.

I have sung these words to you almost as long as you have been alive. I pray that these words will be alive and active in you as you live out the decades to come:

Hold on to Jesus,
Cling to His love,
Rest deep in his mercies, 
Whenever things get rough.
Don't lose sight of His goodness,
and don't ever doubt this truth.
That when you hold on to Jesus,
He's holding on to you.
-Erin O'Donnell

Cling to Jesus, sweet and everyday!
Happy Birthday!
Love you,

Monday, February 01, 2010

Wish Granted

Well, I got my wish, we have more snow outside than I have EVER seen at one time!

I'm celebrating Day Three of the Great Big Snow Storm of 2010 by putting make-up on and cleaning up a bit.

Seriously, 36 hours of lounging in PJ's and not wearing my contact lenses is about all I can take.

I'm not complaining, not really.

I'm happy that The Mister is at home today because our drive-way and street is still COMPLETELY covered in snow and ice. And I LOVE that because we homeschool, I have something for the kids to do today.

I do enjoy routine, and I like to have order.

And after two days of throwing caution to the wind and enjoying our snow days, I like "normal" too.

I did use our snowed in days to go out and take a few pictures....

We got nearly 8 inches in our 'hood....
Even the deer played reindeer games.

I had an ENORMOUS amount of fun sewing up a few little things:

I do need the snow to hurry up and melt though. Wednesday is The Girls birthday and I had planned to shop for her on Saturday...can we spell....i-n  t-r-o-u-b-l-e if the roads don't clear up so I can do some shopping???

Happy Monday!