Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Poke Cake

I'm always on the hunt for yummy treats and here is a recent find!

1 box chocolate cake mix
water, vegetable oil, and eggs called for on cake box
1 box milk chocolate pudding mix
2 cups cold milk

Preheat oven to 350.
Make and cool cake as directed on box for 13x9 pan.
Poke cake every 1/2 inch with wooden spoon handle.
In medium bowl, beat pudding mix and milk with wire wisk for about 2 minutes.
Pour pudding over cake.
Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake.
Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
Store loosely covered in fridge.

Friday, July 29, 2011

(Belated) Thankful Thursday-Timing Is Everything

When the stars line up
and you catch a good break
and people think your lucky
but you know it’s grace
it can happen so fast
or a little bit late
timing is everything
-Garrett Hedlund

This has been a cuckoo week for me as my schedule has been thrown completely out of whack, and I'm the type of person who does not do well with those situations. In fact, look up "Type-A personality" in the dictionary and you will find a blaring picture of yours truly. Yay for being neurotic! The good news is my sweet husband is currently helping me work through this crazy. Here are some things I am thanking our Savior for this week:

*long weekends*
(I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do when I'm expected to actually work a full five day work week again. Trust me, it's going to be a rough transition)

(whoever created the concept of children napping in the afternoon was muy muy brilliante!)

*technology for the classroom*
(as I mentioned in a previous post, I am stoked by all that is available to me when it comes to helping my kids learn this year. Hooray for computer nerds!)

*weekends with family and friends*
(we were fortunate enough to spend last weekend with some family, and blessed again to see more family this weekend! I am so grateful for our close proximity to these wonderful people)

*my sweet husband*
(good grief am I blessed by this guy! He shows me more love and grace than I could ever deserve and leads our family with a God-filled heart. I'd say I'm a pretty lucky gal)

What are you thankful for this week?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Heart Google

Raise your hand if you love and use Google all the time. If you didn't raise your hand, you are lying. I can't tell you how many times a day I "google" something. Or log into my Google email account. Or sign into Google+ to see what every one is up to. Ok, so maybe not so much the last one yet, but all the others are totally true. I mentioned a few days ago in another post how much I adore Google and thanks to our training I now know a gajillion more ways to use it. Ok, ok maybe not a gajillion, but quite a few! Here are some new twists on the old search engine:
  • Google Docs: A super awesome way to collaborate with people on a project. There are many different types (listed below), including a basic "doc" similar to a Word Document. You can invite people to edit it, or just view it. Great for people who are working on a project together, but may not be able to meet as often as they want. Can be used in the classroom for group work too!
    • Google Forms: Great way to give a survey or to collect information from a group. The information is automatically put into a spreadsheet that you can organize and manipulate as you wish. I used this as a way of collecting information from my students at the beginning of year, and as a tool to collect mid-year information.
    • Google Spreadsheets: Just like Excel or Numbers, but on the internet! Graphing options are available. This tool was a lifesaver when planning our wedding. My wonderful hubs put together a spreadsheet that we could all edit with names, addresses, gifts, shower information, etc on it.
    • Google Presentation: Another marvy way to collaborate with people when working on a project. So much easier than constantly emailing something or saving it to a flash drive.
  • Google Sites: I used this tool to set up my final portfolio for college and couldn't have been happier with the final product. It was very simple to use while also portraying the professional feel I wanted.
  • Google Calendar: Can be easily synced with other people's calendars so you can keep up with multiple people's happenings. I also just found out that there is a way to sync it with iCal (Apple's calendar tool)-sweet!
  • Google+: I'm still new to this, but what I like what I've seen so far. Kind of like facebook, but without all those silly apps and games. I think this will really take off in a year or so!
  • Google Earth: As I mentioned earlier this is the bomb dot com for teachers, but it can be used for much more than just classroom application! Want to see the town you grew up in over the years? Go for it! How about Ground Zero when the World Trade Centers were there? Totally possible! And my favorite, want to follow Kate and William's route after the wedding? You can totally do it!!
  • Google URL Shortener: Not a super huge deal, but helpful if you're trying to keep a link short (such as with Twitter's 140 character limit).
  • Gmail: Who doesn't love bacoodles of space and folder options? Crazy people that's who! Love this mail option and the chat that accompanies it.
The best part? All of these user-friendly things can easily be found on Google! I'm seriously only skimming the top of the amazingness of Google. I'm sure there are a million more applications that I have no clue about. How do you use Google?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tech Tools For Teachers

I realized that I have done quite a few picture-heavy posts recently so I thought I'd mix it up with some words. My apologies to all the visual peeps out there. The past two days were spent at an awesome workshop put on by our district to help the teachers learn cool things to do with technology in their classrooms. Now this could go one of two ways: horrible because it's all superfluous information or superb because it's all super helpful stuff. Lucky for us it was the latter!

Our district is fortunate enough to participate in a 1:1 program. For those of you outside of the education world this means that every student has a laptop. Sometimes this can be stressful for those of us who like the "old school" method of pencil and paper, but 99% of the time it is awesome! There is a world of possibility at our fingertips the moment those kids log onto their computers. All types of learners are given an incredible opportunity that would not be available to them the "old school" way. For example, last year my students made their own "choose your own ending" stories in Keynote (powerpoint on Macbooks) with their own pictures and tales to show their knowledge of the elements of literature. How cool is that?!? Pretty freaking cool to this dork!

A downside to all the options out there is that there are so many. It can often be difficult to sift out the good among the bad. Thanks to all of the stellar tech people in our district, most of the work is done for us! Here is a list of some of the new tools I cannot wait to use with this year's kiddos:

  • SAS Curriculum Pathways: a totally FREE (a teacher's favorite words) tool covering all the major core classes. It even links up with the Standard Course of Study (now referred to as the Common Core here in NC) and shows lessons under each goal. Does it get much better than that? Nope!
  • Google Earth: Seriously awesome tool. I could probably write an entire post about the stellarness of Google (and I probably will one day), but this tool stands out. Want to take your kids to the site of a major battle? How about taking them on the path of a character in novel? Want to show them Japan before and after the tsunami? How about measuring the distance between two locations? You can do all of those things and more!
  • Poll Everywhere: Want to take a random poll of your students? Do it here! Could be used as a quick assessment of who is getting the material and who isn't or as an exit pass from class. Super easy to use. They can submit their answers on the website or through text messages. A teacher allowing texting in class? I'm pretty sure every kid would be on board!
  • Jeopardy Labs: Who doesn't love reviewing with jeopardy? This can often be a tedious (and not to mention time-consuming) activity for a teacher to create which can be a deter rant to using it in class. Not anymore! Kids can even create their own to quiz each other.
  • Xtra Normal: An awesome website that allows kids to create their own cartoons about any topic. Only downside to this is it can be super slow when you try to use it with an entire class at one time.
  • Prezi: An alternative the dull powerpoint. 
There were oodles more, but I don't want to bore y'all to death. Hit up Box of Tricks for an A-Z comprehensive list of more activities and websites. Not a teacher? Still lots of cool things you can do with your kids to enhance their learning, or your own school/work activities. Happy tootling around!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Here For A Good Time

I ain’t here for a long time
I’m here for a good time.
-George Strait
Have you ever been to Nashville? If not, it needs to make it to your bucket list! This place is full of sunshine and fun times, at least this past weekend it was! David and I were fortunate enough to tag along with my dad and sisters when they ventured to the Volunteer State for a long weekend of honkey tonkin'. Our days were full of wandering and good food, and our evenings were full of great music and even better drinks. Does life get any better? I think not. Here are a few pictures from our adventure!

 Eating supper at Big River Brewery 
(side note-we ate at this same restaurant on the first night of our honeymoon in Disney!)

Our precious traveling companions

 Trying to cheer up the angry Dick

 A big bearrrrrrr at Whiskey Bend

The lights of Broadway!

 Enjoying a delicious breakfast at Noshville (cute name, huh?!)

 A cutie enjoying her wedding cake cupcake

Another cutie enjoying her midnight chocolate cupcake

 He hated it, can't you tell? Te he he

 A few of the delicious cupcakes at Gigi's!

Hanging out at the famous Tootsie's Orchid Lounge!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Marry Me

Forever can never be long enough for me
To feel like I've had long enough with you

I have been meaning to post some of the pictures from our big day since our anniversary. For those of you keeping track that was about a month ago-whoops! Better late than never, right? Right?!? Here are some of the pictures taken by the amazing Amaris Hames. She is a phenomenal woman with a HUGE heart for Christ. Check out her site and let her know we sent ya! I think that pictures can do a lot of the speaking for themselves, so I'm going to hold back on the commenting despite how close it comes to killing me. Please enjoy this small piece of our special day!

So blessed by this man and all those involved in making our day wonderful!

All images taken by Amaris Hames of Amaris Hames Photography.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday-Way Out Here

We won't take a dime if we ain't earned it
When it comes to weight brother we pull our own
If it's our backwoods way of livin' you're concerned with
You can leave us alone
We're about John Wayne, Johnny Cash and John Deere
Way out here
-Josh Thompson

I'm happy to be back posting about all the blessings I have in my life! I challenge you to take the time to do the same:-)

*seeing the world through a child's eyes*
(I love getting to play pretend and snuggle and do all the fun things kids get to do without a care in the world!)

*my health*
(I am so fortunate to be able to wake up every day without worrying whether I'll be able to make it through the day. Far too many people face those challenges each day)

*our Community Group*
(these people open up their hearts and homes to us and we are blessed to grow with them!)

*my husband*
(he gives so much to our little family without a thought about himself, how many other wives can say that? I cannot wait to see where life takes us)

*my parents*
(spending time with little kids reminds me how hard my parents worked for us and how tired they must have been, but they never let on. The Wardlets are so lucky to have been raised by them!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Alright By Me

Yeah, I got all I need
And that's alright by me.
-Darius Rucker

One of the most amazing things about summer is just being. Whether you're inside reaping in the benefits of the AC, or you're outside swaddled in heat-it's a wonderful time. In a recent post I briefly mentioned our hectic summer weekends and how nice it would be to just be at home. Well, this weekend we got to be! We had no solid plans going into Friday, and even though it stressed this type-A chick out, we threw caution to the wind and went with the flow.

Friday morning I woke up early and hung out with some awesome kiddos. Their sweet momma needed some time to get work done and I needed some little kid fun. It made for a stellar morning! Davido had Friday off of work so we spend the afternoon bumming around the apartment (him playing some pretty intense NCAA + me taking a pretty intense nap = win) and made plans to see some wonderful friends of ours. To quickly catch you up to speed, Scott and David work together and have both been doing the Alabama thang. Tiffany and I met when she and Scott started dating, but I'm convinced we were meant to be friends. And now they're engaged, hooray! Such an amazing gal with a faithful heart for Him! Anywho, so we met them for drinks and food at a pub downtown.

 I have no clue how I landed such a stud!
The ridiculous head tilt I can't seem to quit.

After all that fun on Friday (or maybe it was all the Blue Moons I drank. . .) I found myself waking up a smidgen after 10, whoops! Luckily our plans for the day included nothingness so I didn't feel too guilty, and it didn't hurt that I woke up to a fresh bacon egg and cheese sandwich (nom nom nom). 

After a few hours of me perusing random websites and David kicking some Maryland booty on NCAA we decided to make ourselves useful and ran a few errands. We had no where in particular to go other than Goodwill, but any good girl knows if you have no where to go you to Target! Love me some Tar-jay. My trip to Mecca was interrupted by a street sale at Ashley Furniture. Apparently once a year they take all their floor models and damaged sets and sell them at ridiculous prices. You want a legit leather sectional for $300? Take it. Dining room table and four chairs for $40? All yours. Since we don't really have any place for furniture we decided to people-watch for a good hour or so. It is quite hilarious to see people wait for a new truck and start calling dibs as soon as it opens. Never seen it? Pencil it in. 

After our extreme people watching we joined the rankings of a gajillion other Americans and saw the final installment of the Harry Potter series. Despite being the avid reader that I am, I never read beyond the 4th book in the series. I think I outgrew Harry faster than J.K. Rowling could write. Whenever I tell people this, they drop their chins in shock. Contrary to popular belief, not every person in the world is obsessed with Harry. Regardless my hubs wanted to see it so we saw it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked it. And I am proud to report that I only asked about twenty questions versus the hundreds I was expecting I would have.

David rocking the awesome Harry Potter 3-D glasses!

Saturday evening we hung out with our Community Group from church. We have found an incredible group of other young couples to connect with. We are SO blessed! Hillary and Darren have been kind enough to open their home to our group as a weekly meeting place and are continually inviting us over to hang out. This past week we lit up their fire pit and roasted s'mores-score! After many tests and trials the hubs and I have decided that s'mores are some of the greatest desserts every made. Hands down in our top 5 of sweet treats. This saying a lot because us Mobleys don't mess when it comes to food. We enjoyed delicious treats and great conversation with some stellar peeps Saturday night.

Sunday morning we were fortunate enough to serve at Hope with another great group of people. The initial wake-up required for setting up is rough, but once you get rolling it's totally worth it. After church we took advantage of the gorgeous 80 degree weather and hit up the local greenway trail before more lounging around (I sense a common theme of the weekend. . .). It was awesome. The day ended with a delicious supper of homemade chicken parmesan, noodles, garlic bread, and a fresh spinach salad. 

As you have probably figured out, it was a marvelous weekend! Though our next restful weekend will likely come in September, I'm already looking forward to it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Date Night

Whenever you begin a new relationship you take the time to go on all sorts of different dates in an effort to get to know the person. Why does that have to change when you get married? So often we allow the outside stresses in our lives to interrupt our marriage. I know that in the short time we've been married, many worldly things have attempted to make their way into ours (I think we can all recall those crazy/stressful/hellacious months that kicked off 2011). It's a battle to keep the bad out. But that's one of the things that makes marriage so wonderful, the opportunity to continue to learn about, and fight for, your spouse.

David and I are HUGE proponents of date nights. Even though we don't have kids yet, there are still tings that keep us busy. Carving out that time once a week helps us continue to learn things about each other. People never stop growing and changing, so why not make the effort to get to know them as that happens? I love knowing that I get to grow and change with my studly husband, and I am excited to get to learn these things as they happen.

Now, don't get me wrong, date nights don't have to be an extravagant event week in and week out. Sometimes it can be an entire evening out on the town, and other times it can be a few simple hours out of the house. Here are some of our favorite date night ideas:
  • Dinner and a movie: an oldie, but a goodie. And, with Living Social and Groupon you can often get dinner at an uber discounted price!
  • Breakfast dates: Panera Bread and Crack-o Barr-o (or Cracker Barrel for those of you over 4 years old) are two of our favorites. Breakfast is often cheaper than lunch or dinner and can be just as yummy!
  • Ice cream and the mall: Living as close as we do to the mall this happens quite often. Not to mention, with my sweet tooth dessert is a must!
  • Pizza, beer, and a movie: You don't even have to leave the house for this one! Take it from a run-of-the-mill evening to a special night by turning off all phones and computers and just being. It can be just as wonderful as going out, I promise.
Everyone's idea of date night can be different, but as long as you are making time for your spouse that's all that counts. I know this can often be difficult with budgets (I'm a babysitter, I know how much that can cost!) and schedules, but it's important to show your spouse that they are worth the effort. What kinds of things do y'all do on your date nights??
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
-Ephesians 5:21

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I love a good pair of shoes, I mean, what girl doesn't?? I love a good pair of shoes so much that I have quite a few pairs of good shoes. I'm sure my husband wishes I didn't have as many good pairs of shoes.

 Door rack. Stellar invention.

I've always been a shoe girl. At one point in high school I had over 40 pairs. To the math-minded person out there who is quickly calculating how much this could possibly cost, rest assured that not a single pair was bought at full price! As much as I love good shoes, I love a good bargain even more. What typically happens is I find a pair of shoes I really like and wait until they go on sale to buy them. What's the point in paying full price if in a few weeks it'll be on clearance? And if they don't have your size the chance of finding them on eBay is pretty high.

Yesterday, I posted about my new found love of running, but something I failed to mention in that post was the shoes I run with. I've tried many different running/exercise shoes and I figured out pretty darn quickly that the wrong shoes can make for a very painful workout. I tried just about every brand from cheap to superbly over-the-top expensive and my favorites by far are Reebok Runtones. I know how silly they look with their little padded bottoms, but they've outlasted all the others by months AND keep me going on a good run. I could truly care less about their "shaping techniques". They could fly me to the moon and I wouldn't care as long as got me through my runs. There's something to be said for that!

Of course they're pink. Would you expect anything else?

I spend about 95% of my day on me feet (the other 5%? That's the few precious minutes at lunch that my poor little feet get some rest!) so good shoes are a must. Some of my favorite "school shoes" are Sanita Clogs. They may not be the most beautiful things in the world, but they are about the only shoes that I can wear and not end the day in pain. I currently have three pairs of these clunkers and couldn't be happier!

Another type of shoes I have multiples of are Jack Rogers. I positively adore these precious sandals! As much as I'm into comfort in shoes, I must warn any newbies to break them in! I made the rookie of wearing mine around State's campus right after I got them and I had two heel-sized blisters for a week. They are fabulous, but do require some wearing in. The price tag can be a shocker, but my dear friend eBay has always been there for me. I've never paid full price for a pair! They look great with sundresses or shorts and a tee. Any way you wear them is going to look fab.

And finally, who could forget the timeless Rainbows? As soon as I discovered these I began building my collection. These are some of the most comfortable, durable shoes I've ever owned. I love cracking them out as soon as the weather turns warm enough to not get funny looks!

Bag of sandals (too small for door rack) with well-loved Jack Rogers on top!

As you can see shoes are kinda my thang. Though, I am proud to say it's been a while since I've bought any new pairs. I guess once you've found some good ones you really don't need much else!

I'd love to hear all about your collections!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Running (Wo)Man

I have a confession . . . I kinda, sorta, sometimes like to run. There, I said it. Whew. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hardcore, run 10 miles a day kind of gal and it's not likely that I'll ever be. I totally still scoff and groan when people admit to running 20 miles a day (really?!? Who has that kind of time/focus any way?!), but now I understand how they get going. I'm perfectly content with my few miles a day. It's exactly what I need.

I've always like staying in shape and from age six until high school I used swimming to get there. Then, my junior year I hurt my rotator cuff and quickly figured out the pool was no longer going to be my outlet. I needed something new. Our neighborhood at the time had a greenway and that became my place. I'd head out there after school or early in the morning before work in the summer (I'm a morning workout chick all the way). While at State I found Lake Johnson trail and that quickly became my new space. It was close to the sorority house, and very close to David's apartment, so I could never use the excuse of it being too far. After graduation I was forced to start using a treadmill, and I learned it wasn't so horrible. I do prefer the backdrop of outdoor running trails, but a little HGTV while running ain't too shabby either.

I'm never going to run a crazy full-on marathon, heck running an entire 5k would put me over the moon. And, please don't ask me to run with you. It's not you, it's me. Running is my me-time. I get in my zone and go. Anyone else around would put me unto uber anxiety mode. This is what I imagine my brain would be like on a group run, "do I run funny? Am I going to fast? Too slow? When are we stopping? Should I be talking? Should I shut up?" etc, etc. This completely defeats the purpose. But now I get why people do that. I get the point of it, and maybe one day I'll work up the courage to get there too. Until then, I'm happy doing my solo running thang.

Perhaps this confession will just what I need to push myself to the next level. I'm currently working on my endurance and stance. Considering I was a swimmer I have, like, negative endurance. It just ain't there. As soon as I poop out, I quit. Gotta work on not being so lame. In regards to my stance, I need to fix it, oh yesterday. I look ridiculously funny while I run, which is another reason to avoid running with other people like the plague. Any and all suggestions on these goals would be appreciated, and who knows, maybe I'll see you out running!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Little Boys Make Noise

That is a sign hanging in the room of a set of twins I just started nannying for and it couldn't be any more true! I started working as an interim nanny for a family in a nearby neighborhood and I am so grateful for the opportunity. These boys are three of the sweetest, silliest, funniest little ones I have ever been blessed enough to spend time with. Coming from a big family I have always been the babysitter. You could say I was raised to be around kiddos. Perhaps that's why I'm one of the crazy few to become a teacher, hmmmm.

I started babysitting for a family when I was only eleven years old, and was with them as an evening sitter and summertime nanny for almost seven years. From then on I booked my Friday and Saturday evenings with various jobs. It got to the point that I had to recruit some siblings to help me keep up. I have always loved kids of all ages. I would never want to teach younger than middle school because though everyone thinks middle schoolers are crazy, they've got nothin' on the elementary kids. There is something to be said for snuggling up with a little one and reading them a story, but I'll stick to my lessons filled with jokes and pop culture allusions. It hasn't always been stories and snuggles though (a crying baby in a throw-up covered crib comes to mind. . .), but the fun outweighs any bad that could ever pop up.

In all the families that I have ever been with I have never been a nanny for a family with all boys. Let me tell you boys, boys are their own characters. Girls are much more content to color and play with their dolls, while boys on the other hand are all about dirt and digging. At least these boys are. The boys I'm with for the next few weeks are definitely going to keep me on my toes with their energy and excitement, and I'm glad for that. Too much resting this summer and I'd forget how to always be on the go! If anyone has any fun activities for little boys, I'm all ears:-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Patriotic Pie

In honor of our nation's birthday I made this yummy treat. While mine didn't turn out like the picture in the magazine it certainly did not disappoint! Give it a go for any holiday by just switching the jello colors.

1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1 package (3 oz.) blue jello
1 cup of ice cubes
1 graham cracker pie crust
1 package (3 oz.) red jello
1 cup, thawed cool whip topping

Mix 3/4 cups of the boiling water to the blue jello. Stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.
Add 1/2 cup ice cubes. Stir until melted.
Pour into crust; Refrigerate 5-10 minutes or until set (but not firm).
Repeat to dissolve red jello in separate bowl.
Stir remaining ice cubes with red jello.
Cool 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
Spread cool whip over blue jello. 
Cover with red jello.
Refrigerate 2 hours, or until set.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Days in Heaven

Good morning all! As I write this I am enjoying a delicious cup of Vanilla Biscotti coffee (yum!) on our back "porch" (more like a mini-balcony) with the pup at my feet. Does it get much better than this?? The ridiculous humidity of July in North Carolina hasn't hit just yet so I'm soaking is as much of this beautiful morning as I can. My sweet husband is still curled up in bed enjoying his morning off from work.

The view from my seat
(She's pretending to be ferocious at the birds if you're wondering)

The reason we're both home today is because my brother is graduating from Officer Candidate School in Quantico, VA this morning and we were supposed to be there. Due to some silly rule about only having five guests, we were voted off the island. Something about getting married and growing up cuts you out of family events. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I understand military protocol and not wanting swarms of people there, but what about us gigantor families?? I mean we start off with seven, add a husband (also known at the 6th Wardlet, te he he), and two girlfriends (Harrison's and TJ's) and we're automatically up to our own baseball team. I'm super bummed that we couldn't be there this morning though from the triplet reports the 5am wake up yesterday and today were nothing to miss. We will be heading to Winston this afternoon to greet them upon their arrival and celebrate TJ's accomplishments tomorrow at a cookout.

It seems that our summer schedule has us going every which way on the weekends. During the school year I am so drained on the weekends that corralling the energy to travel is quite a feat, so we're trying to make up for it this summer. Of the nine weekends between the end of school and the start of teacher workdays we have traveled/are traveling seven, but one of the off weekends doesn't really count because we will be hosting bacoodles of people at our tee-niney apartment. Yea, so we're a bit busy. Don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for the opportunities to see new places and visit with old favorites, but part of me is wondering if the school year will be a bit of a reprieve.

I’m thankful for the weekend
But two days in heaven just ain’t gonna do.
-James Otto

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday-He Set Me Free

He set me free, He set me free
My Jesus came and rescued me
He set me free, gave me eyes to see
No bonds and chains shackle me.
-Thad Cockrell

What beautiful words for a beautiful day. This post is coming to you from a local coffee shop. Caribou Coffee to be exact. In fact, I owe my dear hubs an apology. I was adamantly against this place for quite some time, but after my first foray into what I consider the "frou-frou" drinks, I'm hooked. I don't want to say he was right but . . . he was right.

Anywho, being back in a coffee shop with my computer, a long to-do list, and copious amounts of coffee throws me back to being in school. Despite the fact that it was only a little over a year ago that we graduated, it seems like ages ago. So much has happened since we officially walked across the stage and marked "education" off of our bucket lists, but that's another post for another day. Today I am collecting a list of all the things that I am thanking God for right now.

(this is very common item on Thankful Thursday, but I'm ok with that!)

*air conditioning*
(very necessary in this North Carolina humidity)

(I may not be very fast or very good at it, but I sure do enjoy doing it!)

*a job*
(I'm excited to start nannying part-time next week. Gives me something to do on the long days that David is gone!)

What are you thankful for??

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chicken Green Noodle Casserole

Growing up we had this about once a week because it was one of the few dishes we would all eat. Can easily be frozen for a later day!

5 chicken breasts, boiled until cooked
1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pint sour cream
1 tsp. Accent
2 tsp. Lawry's salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 package "green" noodles (spinach noodles)

2 tsp. butter
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs

Chop cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces.
Melt butter on stove top. Stir in flour and at medium-low heat slowly add milk. Stir constantly.
Add chicken broth.
Cook over low heat, stirring until it thickens.
Add lemon juice and sour cream.
Add all the spices to the sour cream mixture.
Cook green noodles according to package directions.
Layer sauce, noodles, chicken, sauce, noodles, chicken, etc ending with sauce.
Melt 2 tsp. butter and mix with bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top.
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until bubbly


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday America!

In honor of America's birthday we headed to Raleighwood to visit with friends. We've spent every 4th in Raleigh for the past 4 years (minus last year because of that whole we went on a honeymoon thing) and our great capital has yet to fail us! Our weekend was mainly spent doing what we do best: eating, drinking, and getting our sun tan on.

 A boy and his dog.
 You can't really tell here but she was doing a Butterfly-esque stroke.
 Kelsey and Casey-so glad we got to visit with y'all!
 Our one picture from the weekend.
 Supersmash Brothers dominates their lives.
 Steve and Baily at Boylan Bridge Brewpup!
 My little is almost all grown up-good luck on your interview!!
Our hosts for the weekend!
I miss this beautiful city.

After all the weekend's activities we were too pooped to poop (name that movie quote!) and ended up in bed very early last night. I don't hate it :-)