Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Anna!

I am so proud of all your hard work in school.  You are going to be a wonderful, amazing nurse!! It has been so much fun watching you turn into a beautiful, loving wife. I am very thankful for your friendship.  :)  Thank you for not throwing any more candle holders at me or making me teach you hymns while we scrubbed the baseboards in the kitchen with toothbrushes.   

I love you!

Monday, January 30, 2012


For several years now, since it dawned on me how cheap all the ingredients in granola were and how expensive it was at the store, I have been trying to make granola that I like at home.  The first thing I realized was that most granola recipes call for 2 sticks of melted butter or a cup of oil.  I thought, there has to be a better way.  I tried substituting the oil with apple sauce and sweet potato puree.  Nothing worked until I found this recipe in Taste of Home (that didn't call for ANY oil or butter) and tweaked it with a few alterations of my own (I cut the sugar in half, added coconut and almonds).  After several batches (and double batches) of this recipe, I can finally declare that I have succeeded. 

So in case you need a good for you, delicious granola recipe, I have listed mine below.  If you find in not sweet enough, feel free it up the sugar.  The original recipe also calls for 1tsp of maple extract, but I just double the vanilla.  

Yield: 9 cups

* 8 cups old-fashion oats (not the quick cook ones, but not the expensive ones either, the ones that take 5 minutes to cook, not the 1 minute to cook oats... this is almost an entire big canister)
* 1/2 - 1 cup shredded coconut (I use a heavy 1 cup - I really like toasted coconut)
* 1/2 - 1 cup chopped or diced almonds (or pecans if you want to splurge, almonds are cheaper).  I roughly chop up my almonds and sometimes I throw them in whole. 
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tsp vanilla
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 cup craisins

1. Mix oats, coconut and almonds together in A LARGE bowl (I end up having to use two bowls). 
2. Mix water, sugar, salt, and vanilla together.  Pour over the oats mixture.  Mix with your hands.  
3. Dump the mixture onto two cookie sheets (I have two 10" x 15" pans that have a lip around the outside, that work wonderfully for this - they came from Hannah for one of my wedding showers - thanks, Hannah!!!!)
4. Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
5. Remove and cool on wire racks (to cool faster) or just on the counter.  As they cool or after they are cool, mix in the raisins and craisins.  

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Eat with milk (my favorite) or yogurt (Jared's favorite).   

Friday, January 27, 2012

A few notes on travelling

1. There was snow on the ground in Baltimore.

2. It was 78 degrees in Dallas. 

3. A man that I work with told me that Dallas had colder winters than Salisbury.  I quickly plotted the average temperatures from both cities and sent it to him.  Sby averages 10 - 15 degrees LOWER than Dallas every month. 

4. My seat on the flight was in the last row. That bothers some people, I really don't care.  I am happy as a clam getting off the plane last, as long as the plane is on the ground.  Once the plane lands, I honestly don't care how long it takes to get off the plane (especially when it is cold outside). 

5.  People in cell phones talk loudly... some of them are very annoying... some of them are very entertaining. 

6. I smuggled a Chipotle burrito and freshly baked cookies on the plane in my luggage... I am not sure how they are going to last under the plane, but I will let you know once I get to Dallas. edit update: It  LASTED the trip, the only thing that broke was the fork.  :) I ate it for dinner when I got to Dallas.

7. TSA had to scan my bag twice because I have all my electronic devices in it... laptop (which I removed), ipod, cell phone, tomtom, charger for phone, charger for ipod, camera... how did we live without all these things?  I kid I kid.  I would give them all up for more conversations with people.  I much prefer paper and pen.

8. The man in front of me has a dog in a dog carrier... is this even allowed on planes?  It is the size of a rat. I hope it doesn't bark the whole trip. 

9. Before I flight I like to find an area where I can spread myself out as much as possible because I know my poor legs are going to be squished for the next few hours.  These are the times that I wish I were shorter.  ha.  This might be the only time that I wished I were shorter, but I am thankful for my height.

Have a great week.  I will check in as much as possible.  If you all think of Jared, pray for him.  He is working 90 minutes from home each day and it is quite a hike to work. He has to leave the house at 5:30. boo.  I am very thankful for my 5 minute drive to work each morning.  I might be able to handle a longer drive with NPR and an interesting story, but I really really enjoy my short little jaunt to work each morning.
I would really really love one of Marie's crocheted felted flower pins to pin to my light blue pea coat.  I think the green one would look the best, but I wouldn't complain about any of them.  ha ha. I might have to break down and buy one soon.   

And I need a new wallet... Jared and I looked at this type of wallet at the Fossil outlet this weekend.  LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  If you click on the link you will see how many pockets this wallet has for cards.  It is the perfect size!  It zips!  And it holds change in the middle and has a place for dollar bills.  I think I might be getting a similar design, but much prettier pattern for my birthday.... :)  Maybe someone might buy me this.  Jared said he would think about it.  It is worth every bit of the $25 they were asking for it.  

This is going to be dinner sometimes the week after next.  I use the recipe a lot, but in a cast iron pan on top of my pizza stone. It makes a perfect crust that way.

And I want to make these because they are so cute!!  It is too bad that I can't make myself eat all things small and cute (such as baby carrots). 

Here is a place I go for baking inspiration (and the desire to move out to mountains - but I really like the east coast).  Look at all these wonderful desserts.  I have tried 4 or 5 of them; they have all been melt in your mouth amazing.

Speaking of snow and Maine... wasn't I speaking of them... oh, I was just thinking about them... anyhow, here is one of my favorite stores in Camden, Maine, "once was a tree".  They sell all sorts of neat wooden things.  I would love to live in Maine.  Do you hear that, oh company that I work for? Why don't you buy another company in Maine, I will move up there and run it for you.  I am just saying... I would definitely consider it. :) SNOW!!

And if you have snow, you need quilts to snuggle under... I might make this... someday. 

Speaking of fabrics... MODA

Punctuation - there is a fabric in this collection that have ampersands on them.  How awesome is that? &&&
Both of the shown fabrics I have in my house right now.  I am just trying to decide what is the perfect pattern to use them. It is a curse to have a fabric that I really love because I have such a hard time picking the pattern that will use it up.  I would rather let it sit on my shelf and I can flip throw the pile and gaze at its beauty.  But fabric is meant to be shared!  I will get around to making a project out of at least one of these two lovely prints later this year (hopefully). 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Reflection on shared experiences (and growing old)

So this week I have been in training with 2 people from Mexico (in their 30s) and 2 people my parents age from the USA (Texas and Kentucky) and 2 people from France (in their 40s).  The weird thing to me is that it is not weird to go to basketball games, go out to dinner, and be in training with people older and much older than me.  I don't feel like a kid anymore around older adults. It just dawned on me this past year, maybe it has to do with my job...

It started me thinking about shared experiences and how whenever I see any of these people again, I will be able to talk to them about what took place during training and we will have something to talk about.  It is an interesting concept because before these two training weeks if I had met them on the street, we would have had nothing in common and stared blankly at each other.  Now I know that one guy is a Christmas tree farmer in his spare time and one women loves Dr. Who.  We could talk about these things.  Having a shared experience gives a person a platform to jump off of and start a conversation. 

I am very reluctant to talk to people unless I have that something to talk about.  My personality NEEDS to have everything planned out and several different options.   I cringe at awkward silence during a conversation.  It hurts my brain to think of things to say on the fly. I trend towards what I know; I talk a lot about myself.  Around new people I find myself listening a whole lot more. 

Which brings me to another point, listening.  I have learned over the past year or so that most people just want to me listened to, they don't care what you have to say, they just want someone to talk to.  I have listened to many stories at my job this last year.  People seem grateful just to have someone to talk to.  They are mostly interesting stories (not the women I sat next to on the plane - she was SO SO SO boring, all she wanted to do was to tell me not to have children because all they want to do is take your money and not respect you... she told me she wished she had never had her son because he had tied her down).   There are several things I could say about that, maybe in a different post.

Reading today: Hannah's post on real friendships
Eating: pasta in white sauce, salad
Drinking: Water & Chai tea (with milk and sugar - bleh bleh bleh - I can't wait to go home and have some tea with honey and cream (or half and half)).
Pet Peeve: no tea offering at the hotel, cheap plasticware (I break the fork tines)
Looking foward to: my own bed
Funny moment: doing the cha cha slide in my hotel room last night.  Here is the story: I was studying for my exam tomorrow and I had been studying for two hours and I had sat through 9 hours of training (sat being the key word there - I am used to walking around the plant).  The song came up on shuffle and so I needed to stretch anyhow, so why not dance along. ha ha.  It woke me up and started my brain thinking again. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

the kitchen table light

Jared and I have a light that is over the kitchen table. The light switch is round and adjustable.  I never turn this light on because it is on the kitchen wall that is the farthest away from the rest of the house.  Jared turns the light on whenever he is in the kitchen, at all times during the day. Many times, when I go around the house to turn off lights, this light is on. It seems to be always on.  My favorite person in the world seems to never notice that the light is on and needs to be turned off. Instead of being able to reach in the kitchen and simply turn the switch, I have to walk across the kitchen and turn off the light.  Until recently this has annoyed me each time I have to do it.  Each time I would think, "ugh, that Jared".

Recently, I have decided to be thankful that I have a Jared to turn on the light and leave it on.  If suddenly my husband disappeared, I would be very sad and probably turn the light on just so that I could go in later and turn it off.   I am thankful for Jared and my kitchen table light (even though I still choose the other kitchen lights to cook with).

And I wish he were in my hotel room to turn the lights on for me. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Romans 11:33-36
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Our church is doing a fighter verse to memorize each week.  This is the first week that I didn't already know the verse.  I am excited to commit more scripture to memory.  It was so much easier when I was a child, but it is so worth it. 
Isn't this verse wonderful? Just think about the depth of the riches, wisdom, and knowledge or God... there is end to them.  He is abundantly lovely and merciful and wise, for that I am very thankful.  I am glad that although no one knows the mind of God, he is working all things to the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. 

This verse is a huge comfort to me and a wonderful reminder of who God is.  I am glad that I will have this verse to think about when I am sitting still (in the airport, waiting for the bus, sitting at the eye doctors, waiting for a meeting to start).  I can think about God in all those places and worship him for who he is.  He is and he died in my place for my sins.  I rest is His grace and wisdom alone. 

Wisdom from today's sermon: "We must repent of our particular sins, particularly." Also, "We must fear sinning against an infinite God."

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Salsa (my favorite recipe)

My favorite salsa recipe +++
another versatile recipe that can be adapted and changed as needed

basic recipe:
*1/2 medium onion
*2 seeded jalapenos
*3 or 4 garlic cloves
*tomatoes to taste
*NaCl (salt)
*lemon or lime juice

additional add ins:
* cilantro
* corn
* black beans
* cumin
* red onion, diced

I have a pampered chef manual food processor.  It is really small and I have to usually make 2 or 3 batches in it to make enough to take to a party or friend's house. I have also made this in my blender (however, it is really smooth that way... just like when you have it at mexican restaurants, I like it, Jared likes it a bit chunky, which is why I usually use the manual food processor).  So, use the blender if you want a smooth salsa, use a food processor on pulse if you want chunky salsa, or cut it all up by hand (especially good in the summer with fresh tomatoes).

1. (food processor) If using a food processor, quarter the onions and jalapenos and garlic.  Pulse in food processor with some lemon (or lime) juice until the desired chunkiness (I usually try for the size of diced garlic or grains of rice - I like the flavor of the onion and garlic to be distributed better than the tomato). If added cilantro, add it in this step. 

2. (food processor) Add tomatoes and pulse a few times until desired thickness.  Dump into a bowl to season.
1. (chopping) If hand chopping, chop up the previous ingredients (onions through tomatoes) and toss in a bowl. 

2. (chopping) use purple onions instead of white onions for a better flavor

3. (both) Add the seasonings (salt, cumin - if using). Stir to evenly mix. 

4. (optional) Stir in black beans or corn. 

Serve with chips or on fajitas or tacos or nachos or salads.  Jared and I eat this stuff all the time.  I find that it gets better after a day or two in the refrigerator.  During the summer I usually make one batch and let it sit while we have another batch to eat (that was made a few days earlier).  This will last about a week in the refrigerator.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

In honor of the return of Sherlock, which can only be viewed in the UK right now. Boo hiss.
Until its return in the states, here are two videos of Benedict Cumberbatch (he has a great voice) that I randomly selected off youtube.  And a review of the next three shows and the schedule listed below for when they will FINALLY show in the US.  Also, they are doing a 3rd season (yay).

"In Spring, 2012, the dynamic, if dysfunctional, duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson continues to battle the worst that 21st century London has to offer, including a computer-savvy arch-villain who wants to rule the world and a hound from the hinges of Hell. Masterpiece mystery! premieres Sherlock, season 2, airing in three episodes: A Scandal in Belgravia (May 6, 2012) The Hounds of Baskerville (May 13, 2012) and The Reichenbach Fall (May 20, 2012) at 9pm on PBS (check local listings)."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

spaghetti (red) sauce

This is one of my favorite quick dinners. It is so easy to make and quick and tastes amazing (and a bit different) each time.  Throw it over a plate of noodles (or dump them in the pan with the sauce), sprinkle on some melted cheese, and you have dinner!

Tomato (red) Sauce +++
-used for spaghetti, lasagna, stuffed shells, ravioli, and mancotti

* 1 large can diced tomatoes (crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato sauce... etc - I use whatever I have in my pantry (ps. I love the word pantry))
* some onion (it is hard to say half an onion or a whole onion because I have no idea what size your onion is... about half a medium onion or 1/3 a sam's club onion)
* some butter
* two or three diced garlic cloves (I have recently started using real garlic... it makes all the difference in the world people... all the difference, it is delicious!)
* (~1/2 - 1 tsp) oregano (wish it was still summer, fresh oregano is better)
* (~1/2 - 1 tsp) basil (dried is okay)
* (~1/8 - 1/4 tsp) a few red chili pepper flakes (the things they serve at pizza places on the table)

1. Fry the onion in about a tablespoon of butter (maybe two).  Cook it until it is semi translucent. You can add the garlic here, but I add it with the tomatoes.  
2. Add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basic, and chili peppers. 
3. Let simmer 15 min - 75 min.  The flavors are better the longer it sits, but it is good after the first 15 minutes or so.  We usually don't wait.  :) 

+++I don't measure any of this. 

Sometimes I add green beans, broccoli, chicken, ground turkey, meatballs, cheese... etc.  It is a wonderfully forgiving and adapting recipe.  Last night I didn't want to open another can of tomatoes (I was using up some tomatoes that I had opened to make salsa) so I added some leftover tomato soup to my sauce to stretch it out a bit... it still tasted great. My advice when cooking is, never be afraid to experiment. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meal plan for this week and next week:
Monday - spaghetti (use up the extra diced tomatoes that I opened to make salsa)
Tuesday night - breaded oven baked fish and salad
Wednesday - rest of spaghetti
Thursday - beef stew
Friday - more beef stew or lasagna (but, I think I will wait until later this weekend to make the lasagna so that Jared has it to eat next week, but maybe I will just freeze half of it)

So, a few weeks before Christmas (2), one of my fillings fell out, which led to me having two cavities filled (the one that fell out and another one).  Well, the other one, which is my last tooth on the upper right (number 2, I now know all about these things) decided to be seriously and dramatically decayed and required a root canal... so the week before Christmas, I had a root canal (merry Christmas to me).  And during my Christmas break I had the temporary cap put on it and NOW TODAY FINALLY I am going to get my permanent cap.  My only complaint about the entire thing is how many trips I have had to make to the dentist to have the one stupid tooth filled.  

My other complaint, which is not about this, is the fact that they sell cough drops with sugar! Why would you sell cough drops with sugar that are just going to decay people's teeth and why did no one ever warn me about this?!?  So let this be a lesson to you, I used to think that only sugary drinks (which I don't drink) and candy (which I normally don't eat, unless it is dark chocolate - and that is good for me) and extra ice cream and cake and cookies (which Jared and I don't keep in the house) would cause cavities and tooth decay.  COUGH DROPS ARE TERRIBLE FOR YOUR TEETH!!!  Give them up now or switch to sugar free before it is too late.  :)  

That is my friendly public service announcement for today.  

I am super happy to finally have this tooth over and done with.  I will be even happier after the numbness wears off this evening sometime.   Have you ever learned something in life that seems like something you should have been told earlier? 

Update for last week on goals:
* read a bunch of short stories by George McDonald which I am counting as my second book this month
* caught a cold - lay around on the couch all week and read when I came home from work
* worked 50 hours last week even with said cold
* didn't go to the gym at ALL
* didn't cook
*didn't write any thank you notes
* let Jared clean the house and go grocery shopping for me

This week extra goals:
*finish thank you notes
*bake cookies for winning team at work
*bake english muffins (I am out)
*make more granola (just finished the last of my last batch)
*plan some meals for Jared while I am gone
*pack for trip (I am putting this on my list so that I can cross it off and actually accomplish something next week, ha ha).

Friday, January 13, 2012

I wasn't feeling that inspired to post, so I copied the list of questions for Hannah's blog and answered as many as possible during my lunch break.  Have a great weekend. 
current guilty pleasure: Confetti cups - thank you, Mom!
current playlist: Delirious, live from Willow Creek
current read: smooth stones and Tale of Two Cities
current drink: water
current food: popcorn, kettle corn
current favorite show: As Time Goes By
current wish list: patience with quite a few people at my job
current needs: more patience (I have to agree with Hannah on this one)
current triumphs: finishing a 700 page book  
current bane of my existence: a bunch of stuff stacked on my desk at work - grrrr, that is going to have to be done tomorrow (a saturday - boo)
current blessing: my husband
current outfit: jeans (yay, casual Friday), Gap long sleeve skirt, crinkly scarf from Old Navy (deep pink), my PRIVO clark slip ons, and dark purple Gap socks with a little fox on the top of each inside (from Jared for Christmas). 
current excitement: Outlet trip in the future for work shirts
current mood: recovering from a cold and a little grumpy, but thankful for Jared (who cleaned my whole kitchen and did laundry while I lay around on the couch and slept)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Last week I:
* went to the gym 3 times (lifted weights twice)
* made two new recipes (one of them might have been the recipe listed below - from my FAVORITE food blog)
* read 300 more pages of my Brooklyn Bridge book (by David McCullough -- I think that I am really enjoying this book because I am an engineer, but I really think other people would like to too!!  David McCullough is amazing!).
* cooked dinner three times

Goals for this week (on top of the other ones):
* finish all my thank you notes from Christmas (I have two left)
* write some other letters that I have been meaning to write

cookie recipe

Don't they look amazing?  Jared said they tasted like brownies, but better because he could dunk them in milk or hot chocolate.  Unlike what the blogger says, these are definitely good warm from the oven.  Jared has requested these instead of brownies at our house.

P.S. Try smearing peanut butter between two cookies and eating them. Amazing!!

P.P.S. I need to find some engineering journals to read.  This book on the bridge is making me want to study more.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Wasn't today a beautiful day? Jared and I opened up all the windows in the house and aired it out.  Ah, it smells so fresh and clean.  I read over a 100 pages of my Brooklyn Bridge book.  I am over 2/3rds finished.  Being outside makes me happy (hello sun!!!). Speaking of sun, I have seen the sunrise the past 2 mornings - lovely.   I helped Jared with a few things around the yard.  I started off in pants and a sweatshirt and ended up going inside and changing into shorts and a t-shirt.  It was that gorgeous outside.  
Do you think it will snow this winter (or even drop below freezing for more than a few days)?  I am really missing my cold weather and some snow.  Oh well, I am thankful for any weather that is below 60 degrees.  :)  

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Concerning food

First, did you know that if you leave ham slices in the microwave for too long they will burn?  Weird.  I had never thought about it until today when I actually burned ham.  I usually come home from work on my lunch break (otherwise, people find me and I am stuck working during lunch - boo) and put my lunch in the microwave (or oven) and then run off to the bathroom while it cooks (because my bathroom is SO much nicer than the bathroom at work - over 900 people use that bathroom).  Today I was thawing out some frozen ham slices and thought it would take 3 minutes or so, however, after two the ham slices were turning brown and drying out.  Crazy.  So just in case you were curious... ham burns in the microwave.  ha.

Next, I made a new recipe last night.  I guess that is sort of in my goal of cooking more dinners.  Yes, they were pancakes, but pancakes are a very good dinner (especially when served with eggs and ham).  I have been meaning to try out a recipe for sweet potato pancakes for a while (and knowing me, I couldn't just follow one recipe).   I meshed my normal whole wheat and oatmeal pancakes with a sweet potato pancake recipe and my sweet potato pie recipe.  Easier said this way, I added sweet potato in place of the milk and applesauce and added cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla to the batter.  They are excellent.  I am having the extras for lunch today (with the burn ham).  :)

A story of why Jared is so sweet.   He was working in Centerville yesterday and so on his way home he stopped at the Outlets in Queenstown and looked around.  He bought me some moose munch at Harry and David, but not just any Moose Munch.  He bought me extreme dark chocolate moose munch and a bag of chocolate and peanut butter.  He told me how he had seen the dark chocolate mixed with the regular and thought about getting it for me, but THEN he spotted the ALL dark chocolate mix.    Just the fact that he knows what I like and that he thought about it makes me so happy.  Jared is very thoughtful when he wants to be.  He also helped me clean the house this weekend before Jamie and Dasha came to dinner and he cleans my bathroom every week and he makes me laugh.  I love Jared.

Have you ever learned anything interesting or weird about how food cooks?   I usually find these things out by trial and error.  Another example, bananas and brownie mix do not ever go together!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy New Year (otherwise known as a really random post)

Happy new year, new month, new week, and new day!!
I tried to post photos the other night and crashed the computer.  ha.  I posted them to facebook instead.  So, if you are friends with me on facebook and want to see some of my projects, go there and see. 
Last night I read for a solid two hours (almost three hours).  I am reading about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.  It is a great book (maybe I like it because of all the engineering that went into the bridge).  I am almost to page 300 and not even halfway finished the book.  I skipped the gym because 1. it was way too cold and 2. it will be way too pack and busy during January (I don't like new years resolutions to go to the gym, but thankfully they will all be gone in a month or two and it will be pretty empty again) and 3. I wanted to stay home, where it was warm, and read.
I don't really have any goals for this year... here are a few things that I have been thinking about that I want to do (maybe if I mention them here, I will actually do them - ha): 
* I would like to take more pictures of life to document what happens (even the boring stuff)
* clean out my fabric stash by making lots of fabric things (so I can buy new fabric)
* lose 5 pounds
* weight train 3 days a week (not just to wimp out by doing just cardio)
* cook more dinners for Jared
* grill more (even in the winter)
* wake up 30 minutes earlier each day
* read 2 books a month (I read 4 books a month during grad school, I should be able to read 2... although, reading a 700 page book should count as 2, maybe I should set a page limit... hmmmm, I will get back to you on this one)
* visit Stephanie and family (see Colorado again!!!)
Quick recap of last year:
January - my company was bought by a larger company, everyone else was worried, I thought it was pretty cool from what I read on their website.  I ran the women's retreat and it went pretty well.  Thank God!  It didn't snow and we were able to stay the whole weekend.   :)  Thanks also to all the retreat women that work so hard to organize things.  Started planning VBS.
February - I was offered a much more exciting job.  LOVE MY JOB!  Kept planning VBS.
March - lots of time spent planning VBS.
April - more time spent planning VBS.  Travelled to Chicago for training.  Reminded how much I hate flying.  Wedding shower for little sister planned (over 150 crepes made).
May - little sister's wedding and two more showers.  More VBS.
June - Other little sister's wedding shower planned.  More VBS.  Happy 25th birthday me. Still loving my job. 
July -  happy 2nd anniversary us!!  Little sister's wedding. 
August - VBS!!   Thanks to Jeanne for making this a huge sucess.
September - teaching lab for SU starts again, staycation to Barbley's and OC for popcorn
October - more teaching, vacation to WV to visit little sister, camping in 32 degree weather. Put my little family on a budget.
November - more teaching, some baking, lots of quilting for Christmas presents
December - trip to Dallas, still hate flying!  found a granola recipe that I really enjoy.
That is my quick little summary for the year.  I read a lot of books and sewed a lot of fabrics together.  I didn't do as much cooking as I would have liked this year.    It was nice and warmish this weekend so I grilled out.  Yum yum yum.  Chicken, green peppers, and onions. 
book finished: Screwtapes Letters - C. S. Lewis
book to read next - the help (I need to find out if the library has this book)
What are you planning on doing this year?  Any exciting plans?