Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today's the day!

Hubby and I are closing on our house this morning!! We're so excited!

As soon as the closing is done, it's down to work for us. We'll be working down here:

That's right. I'll be spending my Labor Day weekend actually "laboring" while removing all the moldy and water damaged stuff in the basement and then sealing it all to be resistant to water. Oh, and I also get to clean a 7200 square foot house. I even ordered us the tyvek suits and masks. Should make for great pictures.

Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Eat a hamburger for me will you? I'm sure the closest we'll get is take out from McDonald's so we can get as much work done as possible.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Snickers Cupcakes

(I forgot to take a photo, but they looked very similar to this)

Last Wednesday was not my night for making cupcakes.

Sure, they smelled lovely and looked wonderful when I took them out of the oven. They didn't look or smell so wonderful when I came back in 40 minutes or so later from working out in the office.

I walked in to the worst burnt smell ever!

You see, I had pulled the cupcake holders out of the oven and quickly set them on top of the stove so I could get back to work. The whole time I'm thinking to myself that I really should pull out the cooling racks, but then I figured "nah, this will work and it will save me time."

Well, turns out I forgot to turn the back burner off of "low" when dinner was done and thus my one tray of cupcakes was still cooking from the bottoms up.

Let's just say they were a little more than "crispy" on the bottom. My hubby suggested I just make the muffin tops, but there wasn't too much of those I could salvage. Plus, they just smelled burned.

Thankfully, I was able to find enough good ones that I could frost and take to work.

Just when I thought the problem was solved, I pulled out my new easy decorator to do the frosting with. Someone told me that she put a whole can of frosting in there and was able to decorate 24 cupcakes no problem. Worth a shot seeing how I only had 16 or so that survived the toasting. Well, after cupcake #5 I ran out of frosting. I don't know if I used the wrong tip or what, but those 5 cupcakes had more frosting on them than I've ever seen!

So, I had to scrape it off and hand frost the remaining cupcakes. I ended up spending more time than I saved...aagghh!!

Oh well, when they were all frosted and the chopped snickers were placed on top, I helped myself to one and suddenly felt a lot better.

Chocolate. Does a girl good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hello, my name is Brie, and I...

fed my husband meals from a box not once, but twice this week.

I know. I'm a bad wife.

But hey, at least he got fed, right?

Don't worry, I'll make up for it tomorrow when I make enchiladas.

Almost back

I know it's been awhile since I have posted. We were on vacation for a week (an update on that later) and then when I got back to work this past Monday, I was without a computer up until late last night, so I haven't had an opportunity to post.

I promise to try to get back in the swing of things come next Monday with pictures from vacation, more cupcakes from work, and news on the house.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My 100th Post (a couple posts late)

It's hard to believe I've already posted on this thing 100 times. I saw on some other blogs that when people hit this milestone they wrote a list of 100 things that people might not know about them. I thought that was a great idea, so here goes in random order:

1. I type really fast and prefer to type rather than write.

2. I love playing around with digital designing and want to take a class someday.

3. I went to 2 colleges and had tried 3 different majors and two different minors.

4. I was accepted to the Univ. of Michigan's MSW (master in social work) program for medical social work, but met my husband and grad school got put on hold indefinitely.

5. I want to go to grad school someday, but now I don't know what I want to go for.

6. My mom always told me I'd make an excellent First Lady and I ended up marrying a politician.

7. I really, really dislike cleaning even though I love having a clean house.

8. I watch way more tv than I should.

9. I wear a smaller clothing size now than I did when I was a freshman in high school.

10. I lost all the weight by eating 5 small balanced meals a day.

11. I prefer mountains and streams to a beach and sand any day.

12. I love to travel and am trying to get to all 50 states eventually.

13. My husband and I dated for almost 5 years before we got married.

14. We were engaged for 1.5 years.

15. We both knew in the first few months that we were going to marry each other. Who knows why it took so long.

16. I've been a Christian since I was 5 years old.

17. My favorite job during college was working as an overnight camp counselor for two summers here.

18. I'm the oldest of three kids.

19. I used to make my siblings call me "drill Sargent" when I babysat them...they won't let me forget it to this day!

20. I am a dog person; no cats for me.

21. I was a die hard Chicago Bulls fan in the early 90's.

22. BJ Armstrong was my favorite player.

23. Now I can't stand watching NBA basketball.

24. I played the flute from 4th grade until 10th grade and the alto sax in 9th & 10th.

25. I was first chair in both.

26. I loved playing sports in high school and made the college volleyball team, but decided not to play.

27. I went to the same school from 2nd grade until I graduated high school and loved every minute of it.

28. I want to own horses someday...a paint named Cherokee and a buckskin.

29. I've only been thrown off a horse once.

30. I'm half dutch, and part English, German & American Cherokee.

31. I missed getting a scholarship for my Native American heritage by 1/16.

32. I was born in Michigan, but moved to Colorado when I was one and a half, so I consider myself a Colorado native with a Michigan accent.

33. I prefer the Great Lakes over the ocean.

34. I strongly considered going to the Air Force Academy.

35. I've never broken a bone.

36. I've never worn braces.

37. My hair is naturally curly ever since I got a spiral perm in 9th grade.

38. I was the salutatorian of my high school class.

39. I missed being valedictorian by 1/100th of a GPA point.

40. I graduated college Summa Cum Laude.

41. I started off college studying to be a pediatric oncologist.

42. I ran into Organic Chemistry and quit.

43. To this day I wonder if I would have made it through medical school.

44. I played basketball from 4th grade until 11th grade.

45. I regret not playing my senior year.

46. I love to read.

47. I love country music.

48. Running is not for me.

49. I am very shy.

50. People often think I'm stuck-up when they first meet me because of how shy I am.

51. I don't like talking on the phone at all.

52. I wear contacts.

53. I enjoy baking more than cooking.

54. I live with my in-laws until we can move in to our own place.

55. My husband and I aren't going on our honeymoon until February of 2009 (over a year after we got married.)

56. I loved every minute of planning our wedding.

57. I would love to plan weddings for a living.

58. My favorite dessert is cheesecake.

59. My favorite food is Mexican food, especially enchiladas.

60. Christmas is my favorite holiday.

61. I have 3 grandmas, 2 grandpas and 1 great grandma who are still living.

62. My dad's mom died when I was 8 years old. I was given her "mother's" ring. It took me almost 20 years to find the ring beautiful and want to wear it.

63. I have had chronic hives since 2nd grade. You can scratch your name in my skin and it will puff up and stay there for about 5 minutes.

64. I prefer going to the doctor over the dentist.

65. One of my favorite movies is Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken.

66. I prefer sleeping on the right side of the bed.

67. I really enjoy spending time with my family.

68. I've been to London on a mission trip.

69. I've also been to Juarez, Mexico on mission trip.

70. I took two years of Spanish in high school and couldn't even remember what "como estas" meant when I was in Costa Rica. Talk about embarrassing.

71. I'm beginning to wish I had done this on my 50th post so I didn't have to come up with so many tidbits.

72. I love taking pictures.

73. I really don't like heights.

74. I have an unnatural dislike of bird poop.

75. I get teased about this all the time now that I live on a farm.

76. I'm not allergic to anything.

77. One of my favorite books in the Bible is Romans.

78. I would love to go to Turkey one day and follow one of Paul's missionary journeys.

79. I'm proud to be a CSU Ram (alumni).

80. I had 9 roommates in college. I was in a 4-man room my freshman year, roomed with two different friends sophomore year, and lived in a house with 4 other girls my junior and senior years.

81. I want to have kids someday in the not too distant future.

82. I love being an aunt.

83. I really enjoy watching sports.

84. I love decorating in the rich, warm colors of Tuscany.

85. I really want to go to Italy someday.

86. I've never owned a game system (i.e Nintendo) and don't think I'll buy one for my kids.

87. Our house was robbed when I was about 12 (we scared them away as we came home) and from then on I'm scared of being home by myself in the dark.

88. I enjoy crunching numbers.

89. I love when things are organized.

90. I don't have a window in my office, but would love to be able to look outside.

91. At least I have an office that has a door instead of a cubicle.

92. I blame the internet for my newly developed short attention span.

93. I am heavily leaning towards homeschooling my children when the time comes.

94. I would like to try modeling.

95. I'm a perfectionist.

96. I keep from trying some things because I'm afraid of failure.

97. This is one of the things I like the least about myself.

98. I'm glad I only have two more things to go.

99. I enjoy sketching floor plans and picking out different furnishings for houses.

100. I'm most thankful for my salvation in Christ.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

On Vacation...Almost

Well, the in-laws went down today to secure a beach house. I'm sure it's not going to be as spiffy as what we got accustomed to these past few years, but at least we're going! Thanks to those of you who were praying.

I don't think I'm going to have any chance to blog while I'm away, but hopefully I'll have some great photos to post when I return.

Color Choices

Like my new blog background? I'm in the process of updating my blog and using this temporarily until I have some time to design something I like.

However, as I was looking for free backgrounds yesterday, I was struck by the fact that the colors I prefer for website and online stuff are very different from colors I would use to decorate my home.

I love the black, green and white scheme for my blog, but I don't think I would choose these colors to decorate my house. For that I prefer the rich colors of Tuscany with a nice stripe or paisley type pattern.

Anybody else notice you prefer a different set of colors for your online "home" as opposed to the colors you like to use in your real home?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A Bad Day

Yesterday has to go down as one of the worst days I've had in awhile. Nothing horrible happened like somebody dying or getting really sick or anything, just a lot of disappointments and stress.

First off, I tried calling my dr. to switch my appointment because we're going to be out of town working on the house. It's important that I see the same dr. every month and on the month for this medication I'm on, and I was told that the earliest appt she'd have available is more than a month after my original appt. This obviously is not going to work, and we already have our plane tickets booked to go work on the house, so my only hope is that somebody cancels the week of my current appt. A week sooner won't work because I won't be finished with the treatment plan, and a week later is too late because I have to have lab work and a pregnancy test done on the month. So, please be praying that somebody cancels an appt. between Augsut 25 & 27th!

I call my hubby to tell him this news and ask him to pray, only to find out that he had more "great" news to tell me. Next week we are all slated to go on vacation. By "we" I mean hubby, myself, his parents, his grandma, and a few other relatives (his sister, his cousin & his wife, and my brother) thrown in for a few days here and there. For the past 15 years or so, the family has been going to Ocean City, NJ and renting a house. About 4 years ago we realized that if you wait to book your house until the week before you go, you get much nicer houses for a cheaper price. The last three years, this worked like a charm. Two weeks ago when we checked houses there were plenty of options available, but their prices hadn't dropped yet. Well, when hubby went to book the house yesterday they were all gone. At least the ones that would work for his 89 year old grandma. We were all majorly bummed. We're trying everything we can to find one that may work, so please be praying that there will be a last minute cancellation in a house that is close enough to the shore, and on the first floor for his grandma's sake, so that we'll be able to continue the family tradition. We didn't get to go last year because of our wedding, so this year it means ever more to be able to go.

To top it all off, I got to spend my day yesterday trying to figure out how to get our company webpage to consistently be at the top of a google search for a wide variety of word searches. I do not enjoy trying to learn/read HTML code at all, so I had a huge headache the whole day.

Hubs had more stressful news when I got home and we were both ready to pack it in. Thankfully, we got a small reprive by dinner out at our favorite little Mexican joint with friends.

Before we went to bed, we reminded ourselves of the prayer that our pastor preached on this past Sunday. It's found in Proverbs 30:8-9, "...give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD ?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."

No matter how difficult of a day it was, it was not too difficult for our Lord to handle. He provided us with food to eat, clothes to wear, and a shelter over our heads. We took the time to list the blessings He has so richly bestowed on us and reminded ourselves that He does provide our daily bread.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Recipes from the Party

In case you're interested, here are the recipes from my hubby's birthday party.

Serves 4

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves
Coarse salt and pepper
2 T. butter, cut into pieces (I forgot the butter last night and it came out fine)
¼ c. flour
2 lbs. chicken tenders
½ c. white wine (last night I used left over champagne and it was good; could use chicken stock)
2 ½ c. chicken stock
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. grainy, stone-ground mustard
1 ½ c. (about ½ lb.) seedless red grapes, halved
2 c. couscous

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter to the pan. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper then dredge the tenders in flour and add to the pan. Cook chicken 7 to 8 minutes until browned. Add wine and scrape up browned bits as wine cooks down and bubbles, 30 seconds. Add ½ cup stock to skillet. Combine cream and mustard and add to pan. Add grapes to the pan and turn chicken and grapes to coat and combine with the sauce. Simmer 5 minutes over low heat.

Bring remaining 2 c. stock and thyme to a boil in a small pot. Add couscous. Put a tight fitting lid on pot and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Serve tenders and grapes on couscous.


¼ c. sliced almonds
1 T. plus 1 t sugar
¼ head lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
¼ bunch romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
2 medium stalks celery, chopped (about 1 c.)
2 green onions (with tops), thinly sliced (about 2 T.)
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges*

Sweet/Sour Dressing:
¼ c. vegetable oil
2 T. sugar
2 T. vinegar
1 T. snipped parsley
½ t. salt
dash of pepper
dash of red pepper sauce

Shake all ingredients for dressing in tightly covered jar; refrigerate.

Cook almonds and sugar over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. Cool and break apart. Store at room temp.

Place lettuce and romaine in bowl. Add celery and onions. Pour dressing over all. Add orange segments and mix well. Lightly stir in almonds.

**WARNING: This dessert is VERY rich so small portions will do you! The original recipe specifies butter and margarine, so it must make a difference. Next time I make it I'm going to try and figure out how to cut down on the sweetness of it.


1 15 oz. pkg. oreos
4 T. butter, melted
1 c. margarine
3 c. powder sugar
3 sq. semisweet chocolate (3 oz.)
4 eggs
½ gallon vanilla ice cream
1-1/4 c. Spanish peanuts

Crumble cookies until fine, reserving 1/3 c. for top of dessert. Mix crumbs with butter and put in 9 x 13 pan. Set aside. Cook together margarine, sugar, chocolate, and eggs until boiling. Let cool. Spread vanilla ice cream over crumbs in pan. Sprinkle peanuts over ice cream. Freeze until ice cream is firm. Pour cooked sauce over peanuts. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Store in freezer.

My Hubby's Birthday

This was a great weekend!

Saturday I was able to finally get our room clean and start working on getting my craft room organized. I'm not brave enough to post pictures of that yet, but hopefully soon. Here is one of our newly cleaned bedroom, though. I like this room because so far it's really the only space in the entire house that is decorated in my style. Which, given that it's my in-laws house, it's great that they let me do what I want with this room (minus picking the paint color).

Ahh...much better and so much more relaxing! I also cleaned the bathroom, worked on getting the in-laws computer cleaned up and running much faster, and worked out.

Sunday was my hubby's 31st birthday! We started the day off with church and then I ran to CVS to check out the deals. After that, it was home to wrap hubby's gift and start cooking. We celebrated with his parents and grandma. He loves ice cream cakes, so I made Buster Bar dessert on Saturday so it had time to freeze. For lunch I made his favorite meal of Chicken & Grapes with Cous Cous (I got the recipe from Rachel Ray) and my Mandarin Orange Salad. Grandma brought the fruit salad that he loves so much. Yum!

After lunch he opened gifts. His parents spent the whole day Saturday giving his office a complete cleaning top to bottom. This was a fantastic gift because I just don't have the time to do this. I ended up getting him the tool bag I talked about (which he actually liked!) and some interlocking exercise floor mats for our workout area. He loved them! I was so happy!

Next it was on to watch the Yankees in their exciting come from behind win. It would have been a great day to be at the ballpark, but I'm sure tickets would have been outrageously expensive because it was sold out. We then all decided to go and see "The Dark Knight." I LOVED it! It was the first Batman movie I've ever seen and it was awesome. I don't think my mother-in-law and Gram liked it too much, but it was fun. We wrapped the day up with pizza on the way home from dropping Grandma off.

The only bummer? I had to blur out the face of my husband of less than a year. I thought people only did that when they broke up.