Happy Birthday Barb!

Monday, June 30, 2008

It's Barb's birthday today....what a year this last year has been, but things are definitely looking up!

Moving Up the Rankings
Another win last night.....the Mixed Nuts pulled off another win. Not only have we moved 2 games above .500 now, but we beat some of the local "celebrities" on the tv station team :)

Happy Anniversary (belated, that is)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'm usually pretty good with dates, but I got David and Jamie's anniversary mixed up. I thought it was today. It was actually on the 25th. So here's to our good friends David and Jamie! It's hard to believe your wedding was 3 years ago....and what a good time it was!

Favorite Recipe Friday

Friday, June 27, 2008

We were chatting about grilling this week at work. My summer helper gives this recipe high reviews.

Grilled Jalepeno Poppers

12 large jalapeno peppers
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
1 block of cream cheese
6 thick slices bacon

Slice the peppers from stem to tip on 1 side. Carefully squeeze ends of pepper (like a change purse) and scoop out seeds and veins with a small spoon. Combine the cream cheese and shredded cheese in a bowl (season to taste with salt and pepper). Stuff each pepper with cheese mixture. Cut bacon slices in half. Wrap each pepper with a piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Preheat grill. Grill peppers 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until bacon is cooked, but not crisp. Be sure to grill slowly, off of the direct flame.

Two in a Row

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big news out of the softball diamonds. The Rebels are on a winning streak. The girls have won two in row. And they've done it pretty convincingly too. Dare I say - could this be a start of a streak?

Weekend in Review

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wow, its Wednesday already. The week is going by fast, but I can't help but wish it were still a little closer to the weekend. As I mentioned earlier today, we've been busy (what else is new?)

This last weekend we managed to get some stuff done, but not a lot of tangible evidence to show for it. We did get greeted Saturday morning with some thunder and pouring down rain. We took the opportunity to run errands around town. In the afternoon, I did some house cleaning while Ron worked on getting some things ready for the front porch/deck. Getting the railing up will probably be a little more challenging that what we were hoping for, but I'm sure we'll be happy with the end result.

My goal this summer was to go through each room in our house and start going through our things. Our house is full of lots of things and when we add all of our wonderful wedding presents, there's just not a lot of room. So, I've begun my personal task of sorting out stuff for charity or a garage sale (I'm just not sure what I'm going to do yet), stuff to be packed up that we don't use, and stuff that we just need to throw away. Unfortunately, I'm not making much progress. I'm working on getting myself motivated.

On Sunday, we had a goodbye potluck for our pastor at church. She got called to serve the Methodist church in Onarga. They are sure getting a great pastor and wonderful person. Its a little hard letting go. She's been a huge part in many big events in our lives the past couple of years. We knew she would eventually get placed in another church as the Methodist pastors get moved every couple of years. It was still hard to say goodbye though. We still have no word on who our new pastor will be, but they start July 1. A new beginning for everyone of the church.

On a positive note, the Mixed Nuts have broken their losing streak when playing at 8 pm. The other good thing - we managed to improve our record to above .500. We're now 4-3. Let's see if we can't keep the winning mojo in our corner!

So I've been slacking at my blogging. We've been pretty busy the past couple of days, I'm just not sure if anyone is really interested in what we've been up to.

Summer is our busiest time at work and that seems to be what we're scheduling our lives around. That and softball, of course :) Between playing and coaching, I'm off and running 3-4 nights a week. Ron's been a real trooper and hasn't complained. He's even made it to a few of the games.

At any rate, I'll make a conscious effort to fill you in on the rest of our exciting lives tonight.

Favorite Recipe Friday

Friday, June 20, 2008

Another easy recipe.........

Caramel Apple Salad

1 c. butter, at room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 lg. Cool Whip
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
8 oz. dry roasted peanuts
3 lg. apples, cubed

Cream together butter, powdered sugar and eggs. Fold in Cool Whip and drained pineapple. Mix in nuts and apple pieces. Refrigerate.

The One That Got Away

Monday, June 16, 2008

Last Friday Ron and I took off from work an hour early, went home, gathered up the fishing poles, Abbey, and headed for Homer Lake. Homer Lake is just east of Champaign-Urbana and a relatively short trip overall.

There's quite a few little spots to head to, but instead of veering towards our usual locations, we decided to try a new area on the lake. It was actually a great day for fishing. It was overcast, not too hot, and there was a slight breeze.

We did end up catching quite a few fish, but only one was actually big enough to keep. We threw everything back and just enjoyed some time outside of the office. Abbey enjoyed herself too. She would have preferred to just eat the fish right off the hook.

And while Abbey doesn't enjoy swimming (crazy isn't it - she's a Lab!), she did test out the water a little. She just couldn't figure out where those frogs were hidden and where all the noise was coming from.

We were out there for a couple of hours before the rain clouds started to move in. During that time, I missed out on a pretty big fish--maybe even "Catfish Hunter". Several times while we were there, we'd see a fish jump up and splash back in the water. He was mocking me, I just knew it! We called it quits just in time. On the way home we saw this farmer out planting beans, trying to get as much done as he could before the rains came.

On a side note, Adrienne might get a kick out of this -- the area where we were fishing....Timberdoodle Trail.

Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oops, I got this post ready to go last week, but forgot to publish it yesterday.

Happy Anniversary to Melissa and Erik! Can you believe its been 5 years?

Happy Father's Day!

Justed wanted to wish Big Dave a Happy Father's Day!

Favorite Recipe Friday

Friday, June 13, 2008

While shopping the other day, I saw lots of bright red strawberries. It made me think of this recipe -


1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cool Whip
2 c. fresh strawberries, chopped
1 graham cracker pie crust
Whipped topping
Whole strawberries

Combine softened cream cheese, Cool Whip and strawberries in large mix bowl until well blended. Pour into pie crust. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Top with whipped topping and fresh whole strawberries.

All about Me from A to Z.....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hmm.... I saw this over at Never Wanted Nothin' More and thought I might share some stuff about me. Feel free to play along!

A is for age: 30

B is for burger of choice: Beef - with cheese, onion, and mayo

C is for car you drive: Ford Escape

D is for your dog’s name: Abbey

E is for essential item you use every day: water

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: not a lot of tv watching lately, but I like CSI, Trading Spaces, and baseball

G is for your favorite game: softball

H is for hometown: Morrison, IL

I is for instruments you play: none...no musical talent here

J is for favorite juice: Apple

K is for what you’d like to kick: the guy that built our house

L is for last restaurant you ate at: Steak and Shake

M is for your favorite muppet: kermit

N is for number of piercings: Five - all in my ears, but I'm currently only using 2

O is for overnight hospital stays: None, unless you count when I was born

P is for people you were with today: Jen, Mike, Sue, and Joe at work, the softball team after work, and Ron, of course

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: I love to read, quilt, and craft

R is for biggest regret: nothing really sticks out, but we're currently regretting buying the house we're living in

S is for status: Married

T is for time you woke up today: 6 am

U is for what you consider unique: most everything

V is for vegetable you love: corn

W is for worst habit: not being able to say no to people

X is for x-rays you’ve had : knees, ankles, and foot, all multiple times

Y is for yummy food you ate today: grape nuts for breakfast

Z is for zodiac sign: Pisces

Weekend with Water
We've spent the past couple of days dutifully pumping water out of our crawl space. We've had rain in Champaign on and off for almost the past week. Unfortunately, when the rain comes, it comes several inches at a time. The ground is saturated and the water has no where to go - most of central Illinois is dealing with flooding.

Some of Ron's plots have been standing in water since last Wednesday - not a good situation for a corn plant. Imagine dieing a slow death - one where you're being suffocated over a long period of time. That's what's happening to the plants right now. We're keeping our fingers crossed, but its not looking too promising. Several areas of the south farms here on campus have turned into small lakes.

We've also got standing water in our yard. Rain water from our neighborhood runs towards our street. We're pretty lucky as the street declines just a little ways to the west of us -- a couple houses down from us had moats surrounding their houses for a day or two last week. The standing water in our yard is coming from the hose we have running out the back door from the sump pump we have in the crawl space. For most people with crawl spaces, this isn't a problem, except our furnace is down there. And Thursday night, so was several inches of water. Most of the water was gone by Friday morning, except for the slow trickle of water the was filling the sump pump hole. And then we got 2 more inches of rain on Saturday. We've mostly caught up, but now it seems like the ground is just seeping.

A river runs through it - rain water moving through our street

Hopefully it will stop raining for awhile, we can get the furnace checked out, change the air filter, and turn on the air conditioning. Yep, no air for us for awhile. Yuck.

The Comeback Kids....almost

Friday, June 6, 2008

Another week....another round of softball games. Well, just one game this week. We have Tuesday evening off, but then again, so did everyone else as almost 5 inches of rain was dumped in the Champaign-Urbana area.

Last night was our second game and we got off to a slow start. The other team built a 6-0 lead over the course of 3 innings before we were able to get any runs across the plate. We threatened every inning, but just couldn't get our hits strung together to produce any runs. We broke our streak in the bottom of the third and scored 8 runs to take the lead. We were able to hold them off in the 4th, but they were able to tack on 4 more runs in the top of the 5th. The girls made a great effort in the last inning and we had quite the rally going, but ended the game losing by just one run, 12-11.

I think we learned some important lessons in baserunning last night, knowing where the ball is, and more importantly, where the baserunners are. Hopefully they'll still remember that by the time we play our next game. Another great game in terms of aggressiveness, although it did come in spurts. I'm still working on getting them to bunt in a game. They like to dive for balls, slide, and bunt at practice, but are still a little timid in games. It will surely be fun to watch them progress each week!

Favorite Recipe Friday

Here's a recipe that our friend Jamie brings to cookouts..I love it!

Texas Caviar

1/2 onion, chopped
1 bunch green onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
6 jalapeno chilies, minced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
8 oz. bottle zesty Italian dressing
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 can Hominy, drained
2 cans black eyed peas, drained

Combined all ingredients and refrigerate 2 hours. Serve with corn chips or tortilla chips.

Time Warp Tuesday

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We're not going way back today...just a few days over 6 months ago. Can anyone guess what I'm referring to?

On Sunday, Ron and I were officially married for 6 months! Where does the time go? We can't hardly believe its been that long ago.

Fun with Maddy

Monday, June 2, 2008

The weekend wasn't all work and no play. We got plenty of quality time in with Madison. She's growing so fast! She loves to play outside and will take every chance she gets to go to her swingset or sandbox. She definitely understands when you tell her to get her shoes so we can go play outside -- no need to ask twice!

Lots of Maddy photos from the weekend --

We also got to see her follow along with Barney singing the "Itsy-bitsy Spider Song". She's getting it - not to bad for a 14 month old! Sorry its sideways -- I have to figure out how I can rotate it.

Helping Hands
We had a couple of big projects to tackle on Saturday. We all trekked over to Stacy and Mike's house for the day. While Stacy and I started some landscaping around the front of the house, the guys worked on rescreening and "Madison proofing" the back porch.

Grandma worked hard at keeping Madison out of trouble. It's getting harder these days as she's always on go and wanting to help.

Planting flowers didn't last long and we were soon recruited to help out Grandma and the boys.

A long day, but both projects turned out pretty good. Probably because we had a boss that was good at pointing us in the right direction.

Now if only Stacy will remember to water those flowers.....

Friday Frenzy
Friday after work Ron and I packed up the dog headed north to Morrison for the weekend. As luck would have it, we met up with the severe storms that were rolling through central Illinois that afternoon.

Luck was one our side as we just barely missed the funnel clouds that were spotted near Bloomington and the torrential downpours that came with them. We pressed on towards sunnier skies.

Weekend Recaps Soon to Come
Lots to fill you in on about our weekend, complete with photos. But, it will be later today/tonight. I'm heading to the field before it gets too hot! Where did those 70 degree days go? It seems we skipped them completely.