Saturday, February 28, 2009

Remembering my FIRSTS

Remembering my FIRSTS!

To quote my sister Tea Time with Melody, "so here are some Firsts about me, read on and enjoy and laugh or not, just don't fall asleep please. If you feel so inclined, copy and do a post yourself."

1. Who was your FIRST prom date? It was Keith from Junior prom.
2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? Nope, but I am very good friends with his Ex-Wife (the one who came after me). We work together and just the other day I was smooching a kiss on their 5 month old Grandson! So precious!
3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? I think it was a wine cooler.
4. What was your FIRST job? Cashier at a burger joint in town.
5. What was your FIRST car? A black and silver Toyota Celica.
6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? Suzanne.
7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? My son who got up at 0'dark-thirty to go to the bathroom and then walked into our room and crawled into bed to continue sleeping.
8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mrs. Larsen or Mrs. Gilarducchi.... I think?
9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? Hawaii
10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Her name is Lucille Ginta (?spelling?), I remember she lived with her Mom and they were Italian. I haven't heard from her after they/or me moved away 30 years ago. Man, that makes me sound old! lol
11. What was your FIRST sport played? Does Roller Skating count?
12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? Probably at my cousin Kristin's house.
13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? Again that would be my son because I told him how proud I was of him for washing his hands after going to the bathroom. (It was 4 in the morning, he could have easily skipped this)
14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? My sister Melody's wedding.
15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Came downstairs, lite a candle, got my bible study out, then made some coffee.
16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? Rock~N~Roll! It was a Day on the Green type thing (all day long of bands that come on stage). It was Ratt, Eddie Money, Bryan Adams, Knight Ranger and the finale was Journey!
17. FIRST tattoo or piercing? Got my ears pierced when I was 15.
18. FIRST foreign country you went to? Mexico, drove in and drove out with my Dad driving us over the border and turned around again, just to say we did it.
19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? Oh this is easy... toilet papering a house in the neighborhood.
20. When was your FIRST detention? I think it was in Junior High for being late to class on a Quiz day.
21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? California.
22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? That would be Brent. There were no obstructions to get in the way of anything, he just didn't think I was the best thing since sliced bread. When I broke up with him, he THEN pulled out all the stops to shower me with love, affection and a marriage proposal but I held my ground. If you took me for granted before now, it obviously wasn't going to turn around after this whirlwind of affection wore off.
23. Who was your FIRST roommate? I shared a room with my sister growing up, so after that it would be my friend Jackie.
24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? For Prom to San Francisco.
25. Where did you go on your FIRST date with your husband? After our first meeting of coffee and then dinner, I agreed to go out on a date. It was dancing and oh what a hilarious story that is!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Library for PFF!

Interior of the Library at Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina
The ceiling painted by Pellegrini, houses 20,000 volumes!

I want to be there to peruse the collection of books, nibble on Afternoon Tea and enjoy this Postcard Friendship Friday!

Don't forget to visit the host of PFF, Marie at Cpaphil Vintage Postcards


Sunday, February 22, 2009

I've been Tagged!


I have been tagged by my sister at Tea Time with Melody! I've yet to do one of these so this was especially fun for me to see what I would chance upon! The instruction is to go into my photo collection, take the fourth folder and the fourth picture in that folder and explain it. Then tag four more bloggers to do the same.

Here is my photo.... I am writing a letter to my sponsored sister, Devlija, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is my first letter to her for 2009 and I took several pictures to show her myself, family and the picture below of me actually writing the letter she will hold in her hands. I felt the visual pictures would help her know that I am real person and not a computer generated sponsor. I mail my correspondence to the organization where it will get translated and then forwarded to her in the native language which I believe is Serbian. Her letters to me will also be translated into English.

I am a TERRIBLE corresponder when it comes to putting something in the mail because I am great user of the Internet/Email/Bloggin' ~. Just this week, I FINALLY got a sympathy card in the mail to a dear friend whose Mother died earlier this month. This is no secret to my friends though as I repeatedly through the years confess my defect in this area. Each year it is my resolution to do better... not off to a good start am I! ha ha This year I am out of practice as last year I sponsored a woman in Iraq and correspondence was not permitted due to the war. This year, I was switched back to my favorite region of Bosnia.

6 years ago I joined Women for Women International as a sponsor to women survivors of war. Each year I get a new sister who I financially support through their program for a small monthly contribution. To me it's like tithing to my church, it comes out automatically. I will share with you how sponsorship works...

Correspondence between me and my sister is an important element in the Sponsorship Program. Letters are an excellent source of support and inspiration for the woman going through the program. We are encouraged to write monthly, and my sister is encouraged to respond to the letters she receives from me. It typically takes up to two months for a letter to reach her and often our letters cross in the mail.

Some years I have had wonderful sisters who have written to me and there have been years when I received no letters, but I continued to write anyway. I am sensitive to cultural differences, particularly if my sponsored sister may have suffered persecution because of her class, race, gender, or ethnicity. I do NOT ask about the atrocities committed against her and her family. It is no surprise either to learn that some women have NEVER written a letter in their life so it's overwhelming to them to even begin to know how to write one. They are gently encouraged and given instruction but it is not required of them.

If you would like to learn more about Women for Women International, click on the link to read more. It truly has been one of the rewards of my life to be a part of this organization.

Okay, now to tag 4 people that I don't think have done this yet...
I hope you'll play along ~ I'd love to see what you post!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Drinks and Pinks Tea


Drinks and Pinks Tea!

I am part of a small group of ladies who faithfully rotate Afternoon Tea throughout the year. I usually do February, July and sometimes one in the fall season. This year I wanted to do a little something different for my theme and decided on... Drinks and Pinks! In addition to Earl Grey, we also enjoyed Pink Champagne! Won't you join us.... Pink attire preferred.

First I have to share with you the steal I got these roses for.... $7.00! Yep, they were on clearance as Valentines Day was over. I'll take a dozen thank you very much!

The lovely Lady Jenifer (I call her Lady because once she wore the most beautiful velvet hat to tea and I swear she looked like royalty) arrived a few minutes early and handed me a tiny box saying that she wanted to share something with all the ladies today. Hmmmm, what could it be?

Oh can I just tell you that it took my breath away when I slowly peeled back the AD-OR-AB-LE teapot paper to reveal gorgeous HANDMADE by JENIFER, sugar cubes! (Squeal!!!!) I know, I know! I LOVE handmade items because I KNOW the labor of love that these things require. I absolutely loved them and so did everyone else. Now I have to tell you that Jenifer is really my sister Melodys' friend FIRST because they became friends over 20 years ago and I got to be friends with her by default. So, yes... you can imagine how much my beautiful sister was coveting my sugar cubes. Jenifer, your on to something here! The perfect hostess gift for a tea party!

My china has never looked so lovely before as it does now with these GORGEOUS sugar cubes!

More guests begin to arrive... here is the newest addition to the tea circle, Alicia and my sister Melody. Alicia is going to be a Mommy this summer and Melody is going to be it's Grandmother! Hmmm, so what does that make me... I think the Great Aunt since my Nephew is the Daddy.
Here is the lovely Victoria who has the most flawless skin ever and her beautiful daughter (who looks like a miniature Cindy Crawford ~ complete with facial mole)!

This is one of my Mother's oldest friends, the beautiful Ann. Sadly my Mother who also rotates being hostess couldn't make it today and she was surely missed.

Please take a moment to make a cup of tea and a enjoy a treat while I put the finishing touches on our lunch.

Here is my place setting. Question for you out there who KNOW their china. Do you happen to know the name of the pattern on my lonely tea cup? My Mother-in-Law got me this cup for my birthday a couple of years ago and all that is on the bottom is YADA CHINA, Made in Japan. I've searched the Internet but can't find the pattern name.

Afternoon Tea is ready, please join us at my table.... Little Cindy Crawford joined us today so I made her a special table setting just for her, complete with party favors and table activities.

And now for the Pink!! Pink Champagne that is... California style!

A toast to friendship and another year of Afternoon Tea!

Oddly enough I forgot to take pictures of my food! I ALWAYS take pictures of the food and today I had quite a spread. You should have seen my tea cart, it was loaded with trays of goodies!

I did remember to take this picture of my plate after I started eating my savories!

Here she is showing me her Bling-Bling ring that she found in her party favors!

Awe, look at the hostess with the most-est! Ann gave me this beautiful rose plate, I just LOVE it!

It was filled with tea bags and a lovely potpourri arrangement!
This CUTE box was filled with stickers and embellishments for my journals/scrapbooks!
Well the party is over now and it was a lovely time. Soft harp and piano music in the background was enjoyed by all. While Alicia and I were looking at my new Victoria magazine that came in the mail, my sweet sister proceeded to quietly clean the dishes. That sneaky girl!
Ahhhh, the house is quiet and the children are already asleep on the couch while 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea plays on the DVD. I think I have my dessert now!
Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


It's Postcard Friendship Friday!
Visit our beautiful host, Marie at Cpaphil Vintage Postcards

My co-worker has this exact sign at her desk and today it was soooo appropriate at our office! Little people.... you gotta love 'em when they are on strike!
By the way, the roof repair crew came today so I'm looking forward to a dry weekend while it storms all around me. And.... a good night sleep without my son's little toes squirming up against me. Why is that? Not his Daddy... nooooo Daddy sleeps like a baby undisturbed by the little love. Mommy get's all the attention of flay-ling arms and dream giggles in the ear at
o-dark-thirty in the morning.

Have a great Friday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Roof Leak Update


Roof Leak Update!

After a long afternoon, we found out that water is ponding at the chimney where the house and chimney meet and make a V shape. The standing water is traveling, thus the reason for the 2 leaks but it's coming from the one source! Unfortunately, no repairs can be done until the rain stops and the area dries up a bit, then they will install a device that wraps around the chimney causing the water to run down both sides and some other minor flashing repairs and that should take care of it as the remaining shingles on the house all look good. The cost will be about $500. Later, when we can, we'll have the ceiling repaired in my sons room. I'm hoping the storm today doesn't damage it further and that we can start repairs tomorrow as SUN is in the forecast for Wedneday & Thursday around here!

Thank you for your sweet comments and prayers! I REALLY do appreciate it so much!


Monday, February 16, 2009

If you could...


Please pray for me as I've just now discovered 2 leaks in my roof, directly DRIPPING in my little boys' bedroom! I'm asking specifically that someone can come today, YES ON THE HOLIDAY, to inspect and repair. And... that God would again provide the financial means to get us through this too.

**UPDATE... the roof is leaking in the v-joint area where the roof meets the chimney
and then 3 feet over in the middle on the slope part. The drip is just missing his bed by 2 inches.

Roof crew is expected here within the next hour! Yeah!!!


You're the best bloggyfriends a girl could ever ask for!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

PFF and Gifts!


Happy Valentines Day!!

Please stop by PFF Hosts' Marie's Cpaphil Vintage Postcards to wish her precious boy who is turning 9 yrs old "Happy Birthday Noah!"


look what my dear Mother-in-Law got for me!!! She gave it to me early so I could use it right away! I love themed tablescape items!

Got any plans for the weekend? We are spending it with family! And I'm going to make this for dessert...

It's super easy Sopapilla Cheesecake, for the recipe and detailed directions go here! By the way, I looked up the calories for this and wished I hadn't. Yikes! Just keeping it real, keeping it real!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Working for it...

Went to Walgreen's on Sunday after church to get my hair color that was on sale with a coupon for a smoking deal ~ that's right, two boxes, count them 2 boxes of Loreal hair color for $4.20 and the kids asked if they could please get 'something'.

I asked them, like what? $1.00 item or $10 item? They REALLY wanted $10 item. I told them they had to make a choice because the budget is TIGHT... sqeaky tight. If they wanted more hot lunch at school then they would have to choose something $1.00. If they wanted something $$ then they would have to work it off. They both LOVE getting hot lunch and frankly, I enjoy getting it for them because some days when groceries are low, I don't think I can pull together as nutritious a lunch from home. I tend to focus on shopping for breakfast and dinner items. So they chose to work for the $$ item.

As soon we got home, then went to work on what I selected to "work it off". Clean Mommy's Car! Yea Me! Yes, they got out the shop-vac and vacuumed the floors, under the mats, in the pockets, wiped down all the leather, dusted all the dash and washed all the windows. Folks, you' ve never seen a Hyundia look so good done by little people!

So what were the $$ items?

Daughter picked out a new Tamagotchi toy...

and Son picked out a TV plug in game, oddly enough his was cheaper and does WAY more stuff!

What do/did you make your kids work for?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Melt-A-Way Biscuits

Here's another requested recipe!
Melt-A-Way Biscuits!
1 cup Butter, melted (no substitutes)
1 cup sour cream
2 cups SELF-RISING flour
Blend butter and sour cream, mix in flour. Fill 12 muffin tins (no paper liners necessary) evenly with the entire batter. It should look and feel sticky. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, they should be golden brown. Immediately remove from pan and enjoy hot! Obviously, no added butter needed as they will melt in your mouth!
Don't have Self-Rising flour?
Use regular flour, add 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt.

As Requested...


You are all so sweet with your requests of "Please," "I beg you," "I'll be your BFF"...

Here is my recipe for Crock Pot Stroganoff! It's not a secret recipe as I got the original recipe off the Internet years ago and made my own changes to it.

Sorry I don't have a photo for you but if you follow the recipe EXACTLY and DO NOT make any alterations, you will enjoy the best crock pot dinner... ever!


Janeen's Crock Pot Stroganoff

2 pounds Flank steak, cut into strips
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 beef bouillon cubes (I use the powdered version for easy measuring)
2 (10.5-ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 small can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed *

1 large package of wide egg noodles


Cut steak in 1 x 1/2-inch strips. In a zip lock type baggie mix flour, pepper, salt, and garlic to coat the meat. Now place remaining ingredients, except cream cheese, in crock pot and stir. Fold in seasoned/floured meat. Cook on low for 5 hours. Stir occasionally.

Half hour before serving, boil up a large pot of water and cook your egg noodles so they are ready.


This step is important! The last half hour of cooking add the block of cream cheese cubed and stir. Stir again to ensure the cheese is melted just before serving. Serve over the noodles.
Makes 6 generous servings. I serve this with a Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread!




Friday, February 6, 2009

Postcard Friendship Friday

It's Postcard Friendship Friday!
Greetings! I hope this winter day brings you warmth near a cozy fire and a delicious piece of pie after dinner. Join us Fridays as we post Friendship Fridays with Marie at Cpaphil Vintage Postcards!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Hello my friends! I'm feeling so much better after spending 3 days in bed! Thank you for all your lovely messages and prayers for my quick recovery! My appetite is coming back too and I was ready for something sweet but we didn't have much around since I've been sick to cook. Recently a friend of mine sent me a recipe for 5 minute chocolate cake and said it was the most dangerous recipe known to January dieter's everywhere because you can literally be eating this cake from start to finish in 5 minutes. And you know what.... she was right! It was incredible!
My family couldn't believe it. Actually, the only one I had to convince was my son because he's not big on sweets. I know, I know, I can't believe my Son doesn't have a special place in his heart for sweets. My Daughter on the other hand, well... she is a Mini-Me and the special place is well established! I told him it was delicious and he should try it but he said, "Umm, no thanks." I replied, "It will change your life!" He said, "No it won't Mom." I replied, "Yes it will Son. This cake is so good, you'll love it." He said, "No I won't." I replied, "It will rock your world." He replied, "I don't want rocks Mom." ha ha
Here is the recipe that serves 2:
5 Minute Chocolate Cake
4 Tablespoon flour
4 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon good quality UN-sweetened cocoa
1 egg
3 Tablespoon whole milk
3 Tablespoon oil
3 Tablespoon chocolate chips (optional and yes we used them)
A splash of vanilla extract
1 Large coffee Mug

Using a fork mix dry ingredients. Add egg, mix again. Add wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly until combined and there are no clumps. It should look like cake batter, creamy and smooth.
Bake for 3 minutes in 1000 watt microwave. I have no idea what my microwave is so I did the 3 minutes and tested it and it was perfect. Allow to cool a few minutes and invert on plate and eat warm!
Here are my photos taken just moments ago so you'll be seeing it as we made it.

Here is the cocoa I used. It is a dutch chocolate and I recommend using the best quality you can afford as it does make a difference.

Combine your dry ingredients.

Add your egg and mix again.

I usually buy a small container of whole milk for use in recipes as our normal 1 % milk just doesn't come out right in recipes. I recommend buying a small container every 2 weeks for this purpose as I cook most of our meals from scratch and it's perfect for this purpose.

Okay here it is all combined including the vanilla extract.

Microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Here's my Girl standing by watching the cake rise in the cup. Don't be alarmed if your cake rises over the cup, that is normal per the instructions and it will fall back down slightly when you let it cool.

So here it is 3 minutes later and I wasn't sure it was done at the very bottom even though it had pulled away from the sides. So I lightly tapped it... yep it is done!

Here's my Girl again waiting for it to cool for a moment while I got the plate and forks ready.

Voila! Here it is! It does have a funny appearance as it has volcano looking holes but let me tell you don't judge a cake by it's sponge holes because it is really rich and delicious!

My Girl said it needed something... I agreed... Ice Cream!

So how is it honey? She replied, "It's the best! It changed my life! It rocked my world!"

See I told you it would!