Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cake Ideas

I want to try out this cake for a wedding shower. I found it online and I think it is really cute. But I don't want to make it for the first time for a paying customer because that is risky. Something could go terribly wrong. I will have to practice by making a mini version.

However, I am having a trouble with round cakes. I had this problem the first time I made a layered round cake, and also for the ladybug cake. Even though each layer was baked in the same pan, the sides somehow don't line up straight up and down when stacked on top of each other. This makes icing it extremely difficult and impossible to get smooth. My friend Sheri (who is an awesome cake decorator) suggested that the pans I am using might have slightly slanted sides. I think she may be right. I am going to buy a better quality pan and see if that works. Has anyone ever experienced this problem? If you have any tips let me know!

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Bible

After being inspired by Jenny's post a couple of week's ago, I ordered this One Year Chronological Bible. I had been wanting to read the Bible chronologically for a while, but just haven't gotten around to ordering one. Finally I did, and it arrived today! I paid under $10 for this gently used Chronological Bible, and that includes shipping!

I am not sure how all of the books are going to be ordered, since the exact date of when they were written is not always known. But I know the some of the Psalms will be mixed in throughout different parts of 1 and 2 Samuel, as will the other corresponding passages like those in Kings and Chronicles. Also, in the New Testament you read the different gospel accounts at the same time. Paul's letters are also mixed in with his different missionary journeys written in Acts. I think it will be neat to read the Bible like this and will help me remember and contextualize different accounts in the Bible. It has your reading for each day written together so you are not flipping back and forth between passages. Today I started with Day 1. It was of Genesis, and the creation account. Although most scholars agree that Job was the first book of the Bible written, but it deals with events after creation obviously. The book of Job comes in on Day 5 of the reading schedule. Anyway, I am excited about reading this and getting a chronological picture of the Bible as a whole.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Greg's a natural with kids...

Is he about to nurse her...or drop her?
I stole these pictures directly from Jill's blog. Is that allowed? I hope so.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to Treasure Hunt

Step 1: Go to http://www.geocaching.com/, and find a treasure near you.

If you haven't heard of this site before, it is a world wide treasuring hunting game using GPS devises. But you can still play even if you don't have a GPS. You can type the coordinates of the treasure into google maps then go out and find it. We don't have a GPS so that's what we did. The "treasures" are nothing to get too excited about. The fun is just finding it. Sometimes there is no treasure - it will just be some sort of container with a log book where you sign your name and date it. Others have small trinkets that you can take but you must replace it with another trinket. Greg's brother first told us about this site, and we have gone on a couple treasure hunts in the past week.

There are treasures EVERYWHERE. There are hundreds of treasures within 10 miles of our place. We walked to a treasure on Sunday afternoon. I won't tell where it is though...I'll let you find it yourself.

Step 2: Locate the treasure using google maps or a GPS, read all the clues, then set out to find it.

Step 3: Search for the treasure, avoiding danger and poison ivy. Oops, Greg didn't follow step 3. His legs are covered in it.

(that is Greg's brother pictured above)

Step 4: Find the treasure.

Step 5: Check out what's inside and sign the log book.

This treasure had a lot of stuff inside. We took 2 items and left new items.

We think treasure hunting is cool and are not afraid to admit it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;" John 11:25

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body, through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Col 1:21-23b

Happy Easter! (a day late)

I am not sure how the Easter bunny and Easter eggs got started, but the true meaning of Easter is definitely something to celebrate. Not that you can't enjoy some of those things (I did get to participate in an adult Easter Egg hunt this weekend which was really fun!), but the true meaning of Easter is so much more worthy to be celebrated.

Wish I would have posted this before Easter, but I found this great site with some really good Easter sermons from some of the great Bible teachers. Oh and by the way you can still listen to them even though it is after Easter :)

This weekend we celebrated Easter in Waco spending time with Greg's family. We hadn't seen them since Christmas so it was nice to spend a couple of days hanging out with them. We also got to attend Hollyn's 1st birthday party! Here is the cute birthday girl. It is pretty hard to get a picture of this wiggle worm, but even though she isn't always looking at the camera she still looks adorable.

That is Hollyn before her party, and here is their pretty family.

Hollyn had an adorable ladybug themed party and Jill had everything decorated so cute. I was honored to get to make Hollyn's cake. Here is a picture of me and the little birthday lady with the cake.

Hollyn likes cake almost as much as me.

Oh and by the way I finally created a "cake gallery" of my cakes on the right hand side of my blog. I posted better pictures of the ladybug cake there.

Back to our weekend....We relaxed Saturday afternoon, and then had an adult Easter Egg hunt. Hollyn is too little to hunt eggs really, so the adults got to have egg-hunting fun. Greg's parents hid money filled eggs throughout the house. It was an intense and highly competitive hunt. Luckily, no injuries.
That night went out to dinner together, and came back and played games. We went to church together on Sunday morning, and then Greg's grandmother cooked us a ton of delicious food. It was a great weekend.
We also did a little Treasure hunting on Saturday morning (aka geocaching). So fun. I will write more about that in another post.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cereal Monster

I am a cereal monster. I love cereal and if it is in our house I will find it and eat it. I go through boxes of cereal at an extremely high rate because I eat it every day.

Greg only eats cereal on the weekends. Yet for some reason he always wants to pick out his own cereal at the grocery store. But he usually only gets one bowl because by the time he gets around to eating it the next week I have devoured it.

So last week when I look in the pantry, this is what I find.

That's love.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken-Spinach Pita Pockets

Tonight I tried out a new recipe from Cooking Light that turned out really good. It is healthy, and the best part is it took less than 30 minutes!

Chicken-Spinach Pita Pockets

4 servings

2 (6-ounce) skinned and boned chicken breast halves
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 small cucumber, cubed
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded fresh spinach
4 pita pockets, cut into halves

Cook chicken in an ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until brown. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until done. Cool slightly, and thinly slice.
Whisk together yogurt and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add chicken, cucumber, green onions, and spinach, tossing to coat.
Bake pita halves at 200° for 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not toast.)
Spoon filling evenly into pita halves.

I bought the thin sliced chicken breasts, so I ended up just cooking them all the way through in the skillet without ever transferring them to the oven since they cooked so fast. While they were cooking I was able to cut up and prepare the rest of the stuff so it hardly took any time at all.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Swagbucks are Swagtastic

****Update - I now have $60 worth of Target e-gift cards. I am no longer a skeptic!

Has anyone heard of Swagbucks?

I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago.

It is a search engine, powered by google. http://www.swagbucks.com/. The cool thing about it is that you earn "swagbucks" for using it, which you can cash in for prizes. Not all of the prizes are that cool, but they do have gift cards. And they have Target gift cards, which is what I am most excited about.

Are you skeptical? I am. But I caved in and signed up because I read about it on a girl's blog that I stalk and she had already accumulated enough swagbucks to get $100 in Target gift cards. She was doing a giveaway for a $20 Target gift card if you signed up for swagbucks. Swagbucks doesn't ask for any credit card info, so I after a bit of investigating, I decided to do it.

Basically you earn swagbucks in several different ways. First, you earn swagbucks for just using it as your search engine. You can't just search all day long and it give you bucks. It just occasionally pops up with "You have earned a swagbuck". And then you log in to claim it. You also get points for people signing up under you. Basically it is like the Mary Kay of search engines. Every time one of the people you referred gets a swagbuck, so do you, up to 100 swagbucks. You also get swagbucks for buying things online from certain stores. Macy's is one example. So instead of just going to Macys.com and buying something on their site, you first go to swabucks.com, log in, then click on Macy's to take you to their site, and you will get swagbucks for your purchases.

Now you don't accumulate swagbucks very quickly, so it's not like the prizes are just rolling in. I currently only have 10 swagbucks and have been registered with it for about 3 days. A $20 Target gift card takes 220 swagbucks. Yeah. A lot. That could take about 6 months at the rate I am going. But I figure, if I am going to be using a search engine anyway, might as well accumulate swag bucks even if it is at a snail's speed right?

So I have changed our home page from google to swagbucks, and have told Greg to only use swagbucks from now on. It is actually kind of fun when you are doing a search and it pops up and tells you that you have just earned another swagbuck. I get really exited. When Greg is on the computer I ask him every 5 seconds - have you gotten us any more swagbucks yet??

Anyway, you can read more about how it works on their website. Check it out and decide for yourselves whether or not I am getting scammed. But if you do decide it is worth it to sign up and slowly earn swagbucks, then please sign up using my link at the bottom of this post. That way I will get points for referring you. Then you can tell other people about it and get points for referring them. Then eventually you will get to drive the company swagmobile. OK not really. But you may get a gift card.

Good luck swagging!