Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Delicious Dessert

Not your typical dessert.
But, certainly delicious.
Awhile back, I was browsing this blog.
She posted a recipe for popcorn.
Tonight...we gave it a whirl.
Sooooooooooooooooooo delicious!
And...super easy and quick!

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 bag of popcorn

(the recipe I had actually called for 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kennels...but, since I like the more quick and easy was the Fry's brand Natural microwaveable bag for us)

Stick bag of popcorn in microwave and press the Popcorn button. Put popped popcorn in a large bowl. In a medium pot, combine brown sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Constantly stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is a little bubbly. Then, add the peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Pour the mixture evenly over the popcorn. Let cool for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!!

I will say the peanut mixture seemed a little thick so I would pour a little, stir popcorn, heat the mixture for a second, pour a little more, stir popcorn, etc.

Yummy! Lil couldn't stop eating the treat.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Day Lily Got Banned From the Microwave...

Tonight Lily wanted cinnamon pizza. We had eaten pizza for lunch and she now wanted to heat up some leftover cinnamon pizza. Before I heated up her snack, I wanted us quickly to straighten up the living room. So, Lil and I headed into the living room and left Charlotte drinking her bottle in the family room/kitchen.

A few minutes later, my cell phone beeped telling me I had a text. I asked Lil to go run into the kitchen to grab it. After a little prodding, she went. I noticed a weird smell...but, really nothing registered into my brain. Lil then told me that it smelled funny in the kitchen. Still...nothing triggered. She then again told me that something was smelling funny in my kitchen, so I turned to look and noticed it was a little smoky. I run into the kitchen and there is smoke coming out of the microwave. I quickly stop the microwave. This is when I realized that she had turned on the microwave by herself to heat up her cinnamon pizza.

I'm not sure how long she put it on for...or even how long it was in there, but it was burned to a crisp. It was sitting on a cheap-o Ikea plastic plate and it even started to melt the plate and burn thru it. Talk about stinky.

I opened all the windows and doors and turned on the fans. I moved Charlotte out of the room since it was still so smoky. Funny thing is...the smoke detectors never went off. Maybe that is not funny...weird. Especially since we have replaced all the batteries since we moved in not even 5 months ago.

Luckily...there is no damage. The microwave still works. still smells in here. I've cleaned everything to try to get rid of the smell...the cabinets, counters, microwave...I've even sprayed some fabric spray on the couches and furniture.

I'm feeling like we were very lucky tonight. We might smell stinky, but...we're certainly lucky.
Thank you God!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

OMG - He DOES NOT Walk On Water!

Barack Obama.
It seems that just his name brings out so many emotions in so many people.

By no means am I a political expert.
By no means am I always right. (although I'd really like to think so)
But...I am so tired of reading gazillions of comments trashing the President. It's out of control. Don't get me wrong. Some of them are funny, and even I (liberal Dawn) laugh.

For example...the FB group I see some of my friends have joined - "DEAR LORD, THIS YEAR YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTOR, PATRICK SWAYZE. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE ACTRESS, FARRAH FAWCETT. YOU TOOK MY FAVORITE SINGER, MICHAEL JACKSON. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, MY FAVORITE PRESIDENT IS BARACK OBAMA. AMEN" - Yes, that group = Funny. Do I agree with it? No. But, funny? Yes. Kind of like the Justin Bieber group..."give us back Bob Marley and we'll send you Justin Bieber"...just as funny. I think the things people come up with are great. Good laughs. Eases the soul.

But...sometimes enough is enough.

All I have heard lately is how Barack Obama has not done anything. To be honest with you (and I'm a little embarrassed about this) I heard it so much, and I really wasn't doing a good job keeping up with the news, that I started to believe it. So, I did my homework. I watched Fox News (bad decision). I've been reading more news. I've been researching just what is going on in the world. And, in America. And, in our very own government.

Again - please understand...I am definitely NO expert. Take what I write with a grain of salt.

So, it's been said that Barack Obama is the worst president ever. It's been said that he is a socialist. Well...I did my research and I disagree.

So...what is socialism? Merriam-Webster defines socialism as:

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods,
2: a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state, or
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

Let's talk about some "socialist" examples, or government run systems - Medicare, Social Security, the bank bailout in October 2008. Did you see that I dated the bank bailout? October 2008. PRIOR to Barack Obama taking over as President. PRIOR to him even being elected.

Socialism means that government controls all. There is no private ownership. essence, if the government thinks your company is profitable - they could make the decision to take it away and put it in public hands. However, the takeover of a FAILING company, that if it continues to fail would destroy the economy, is NOT socialism. Take AIG, for example. Mistake? Maybe. But...had the bailout not occurred, what would have happened? On the other hand - it's not like AIG was hugely profitable. They were in a downward spiral. If they had been profitable and the government took it away and put it into public hands....that would have been socialism.

Socialism is trying to make everyone equal. Taking what you own and making everyone on the same level. That is not what is going on here. Everyone is always comparing Socialism with Capitalism with Communism. Taxing those above $250,000 a little more is not socialistic or communism. I think this article said it best, "Lenin and Stalin did not want to tax the rich a little more; they wanted to confiscate all their property and either kill them or send them to concentration camps (and to eliminate all political opposition and independent opinion)."

Now, let's look at Obama's accomplishments. Is he the worst president ever? Again, I disagree. Did he promise things he has not yet provided to us? Absolutely. Unfortunately, that's politics. While I don't agree with lying to America, sometimes...things are said or promised, but when it's time to bite the bullet, it's just not possible. When any politician makes a promise, they might even really think they can follow through - but, in reality priorities change. Crisis happens. Views change. Did we anticipate the BP catastrophe that has taken up so much time and money? No, that would have been impossible.

Obama's critics seem to focus on what he has NOT done...and rarely do they mention what he has done. So, let's take a look at some of his accomplishments over the last 18 months:

1. Appointed 2 Supreme Court Justices. Luckily, he was able to replace the two vacating Democrats with two Democrats. If McCain had been in office, they would have been replaced with Republicans. I'm not saying anything bad about Republicans - but, we do want a balanced Supreme Court.

2. Passing Universal Healthcare. Yes, I do believe this to be important. Some positives: a) extends coverage to 32 million more, b) companies cannot deny you for pre-existing illnesses, c) focus shift towards preventative care, d) forces all people (or will force at some point) to have insurance and pay their share to help keep cost down (compare this to auto insurance - you should have it if you drive a if you want to use a doctor or a hospital, you should have insurance), e) tax credits for small businesses so that they can afford healthcare, f) sets a system in place of doctors and medical experts to identify and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.

3. Financial industry reform - provides a system to allow the government to break apart large financial institutions that threaten the economy (get it...threaten the economy).

4. Preventing a 2nd Depression - you cannot argue that we were headed straight for a Depression. And...if you're thinking "we're not out of the woods, yet," you are absolutely right. But...he was able to prevent the 3 largest car companies from going under, passed the Stimulus Bill, saved jobs that would have been lost otherwise, and put money into areas of that are important for our success long-term, such as education, health care, and science.

5. Bringing the war in Iraq to an end - Although it's not done yet, Obama was able to follow through on the promise to bring this war to an end.

6. Passed legislation to curb greenhouse gases and improve the environment - this will help to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming, increased fuel efficiency standards for autos and trucks, and implemented more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances.

7. Repairing our image abroad - this is a big debate. Obama's traveling is a big topic of his critics. But, to successfully fight challenges such as global warming, nuclear expansion, and terrorist recruiting, we must work together with other influential countries.

8. Lifted restrictions on stem cell research - by allowing stem cell research and providing support and funding - we are one step closer to finding cures for diseases.

9. Implemented education reforms - schooling is now more accessible by increases in scholarships, early learning programs are funded, the Race to the Top program caused state and local districts to make changes to their education systems to then in return, receive incentives.

10. Tobacco regulation - the FDA now has the authority to regulate the marketing, manufacturing, and sale of tobacco.

11. Enforcement for equal pay for women

12. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect

13. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased

14. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying

15. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops

16. Expanded vaccination programs

This is just a few of Obama's accomplishments. Click here and here to read more.

Barack Obama is just one man. Granted, yes he is the President. But...he cannot fix things overnight. He cannot make a decision and have it go into effect immediately. Our government system (luckily) does not allow just one person to make decisions. President Obama has a lot of people fighting against him. This fight or debate is important in any type of success. You want people to challenge your beliefs, views, and ideas. You want to ensure you hear every angle to make sure you make the right choice.

Remember...he is not a magician. He came into this Presidency at a time of recession. It takes time. It will not fix overnight. And, for goodness sakes he DOES NOT walk on water...

p.s. - as for his vacationing...I absolutely think that any president needs vacation time, too. It's not like he is not available on vacation. He is always "on-call." To be effective and successful - everyone needs a chance to relax and clear their head. To think otherwise is absurd.

p.s.s. - I really am NOT meaning to offend anyone, I am just putting in my two cents. Now, I'm done.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grandparent's Day

I remember loving Grandparent's Day when I was in school.
I swear when I became a parent I expected to celebrate that day every year.
This was the first year we did.
Is it just me...or does it seem like Grandparent's Day is NOT even talked about?
I never hear anything about it.
Or see anything about it at the stores.
So, I never ever know when it is.
Luckily...Brady's school celebrates Grandparent's Day in old school fashion.
They sent home an invite to the Grandparents to come to the school for lunch with the kids.
Brady was so excited when the invite came home.
He wanted to call my parents and invite them to lunch.
He called them up...luckily, my dad was available.
The Grandparent's luncheon went like this...

11:30am - Poppy arrived at the school.
11:45am - To Brady's room for a song...sung to "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"
12:00pm - Lunch. BBQ sandwich and salad for Poppy and yogurt and fruit for Brady
12:05pm - Try to find a table
12:10pm - Eat
12:25pm - Pictures
12:30pm - to the playground
12:45pm - Poppy leaves (he didn't want to "cramp" Brady's style on the playground)
12:47pm - Poppy buys matching school shirts for them on his way out the door.

Seriously...can you say A-DOR-A-BLE!!

Brady literally had the best day ever. I SOOOO wanted to sneak in and take pictures of my Dad and Brady. But...the Hottie talked me out of it. He said that I would embarrass them. least they got this one taken by the school. SO cute!

p.s....sorry the picture is so dark

We have no scanner and I had to take a picture of a picture with no flash at night to post this.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Dishes done.
Brady's homework done.
Jammies on...who am I kidding, comfy clothes were on at 5:30pm
Load of laundry waiting to be folded.
House cleaned (except for mopping)
Charlotte sleeping.
Brady sleeping.
Lily...well, party animal is ready for her show.
We just put on Glee.
We've become Gleeks over the summer.
So does Lil.
As I'm typing...she's singing Journey.
Yes...Lil singing Don't Stop Believing. TV shows are back!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Charlotte's room is finally coming along. When we moved in, we quickly painted it, got the crib up, arranged our new bedding set that we love, and washed and hung the clothes. We even put a shelf up on the wall and a couple of picture frames out on the dresser. But...that was in May. And, really since then...not much.

I know, it's not like she cares, or even knows for that matter. But, I know - and that's all that matters sometimes.

Other than the bedding color of pink and brown, we really don't have a theme. I've struggled finding decorations that I like...but, I really have been a bit lazy, too. Well...I think that all ended this weekend!

Friday afternoon, I took the girls on a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's. We bought up some supplies and Friday night (yep, I'm such a party animal) I went to work crafting away. Saturday night, I found myself at the Scrapbook Barn picking up some miscellaneous paper. And, then again on Sunday...I made a quick trip to JoAnn's.

Here's the latest decorations for Charlotte's room. Yep, crafted and hung this weekend. Yippee!

The piggy bank was a gift - I did not make it

The Charlie sign...I made a while back

Check out this cute little birdie box...I think it's my favorite

I saw something like this similar on, I picked out my paper, and paint, and the canvas wrap...and went to town on my own...

Another Etsy idea...I added my own spin

On a side note...I haven't been to the Scrapbook Barn in probably 5 years. OMG...scrapbooking has certainly come a long way in that time. I found myself browsing and browsing and browsing for literally 1.5 hours. I wanted to buy everything in the store...but, luckily I bought only what I went there for and just spent a few dollars.
I just love homemade stuff...

Monday, September 13, 2010

My New Job

I celebrated my 10 year anniversary with Progressive while I was out on maternity leave. 10 years. Sheesh...has it really been that long?

When I began my was really supposed to be temporary. I was still in school (go ASU!!) and was also working as an intern for an adoption agency. I began in the call center and received my Property & Casualty license to sell insurance. Well...I got married, graduated college, and...well...I guess Social Work doesn't really pay and I ended up staying at Progressive. It's funny how you sometimes expect to do one thing...and then do something completely different. That is what happened here.

I've moved around a center, claims, training, and now...instructional design.

I have been in training for 5 years. I love it. In training, I have worked closely with some designers and that design piece always fascinated me. Well...some positions opened a few months ago and...low and behold...I got one! The plan was for me to finish my training work...go on maternity leave...and return to the new job. And, that is exactly what happened. It was a very smooth transition.

I started back at work at the beginning of August. Since then...I have been working my little (well...not really little, but you know what I mean) tushy off to learn about my new job. You see...I am definitely NOT a designer genius. Far from it. I'm pretty much a designer infant. I know very little. I knew that ahead of time...but, now that I'm in the job...I realize that I am pretty much clueless.

I like that. Well...sort of. I love the challenge. I love to be busy. I love learning new things. I love learning new programs. I love getting ideas from other designers. I love meeting new people and building another set of skills. I love my new team and my new boss. I love the creativity. Basically, I love everything....well almost.

I love everything...everything BUT how ridiculously stupid I feel. You see, this new job has a completely different set of needed skills. There is definitely a learning curve. A very looooooooong learning curve. And, I am at the very beginning. I'm moving at the pace of a snail. Yes, I love the learning aspect...and the new skills...and the new programs...and the creativity...but, I pretty much know absolutely nothing. Well, nothing about the building of the training. I can outline it, piece it together, and pretty much lay it out like an expert...but, when it comes to the building of it...I'm lost. Luckily, I have a great mentor (my boss). I've worked with him on projects before...and he's great. I have a couple other people in my building that are great "go-to" peeps for questions, too.

The thing is...I'm not very good at being this person. Meaning...I'm not good at being the person that doesn't know anything. I don't like being the person that asks questions all the time...the person that is brand spankin' new...the person that is lost and embarrassed to be lost. I LOVE being the person that helps those lost, confused, struggling people out.

Ugh!! Call it the perfectionist complex...but, I SO hate not knowing anything!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yummy Charlotte

Charlotte is cute.
Maybe too cute.
She smells delicious, too.
She is getting lots of chub.
Chub so want to pinch it.
Or, gobble it up.
Apparently...little Charlie at the sitter thought so, too.
He bit her today.
Boo hoo...poor Charlotte!
No worries, she's all good now.

Monday, September 6, 2010

We Love

this little girl...oh so much!

Charlotte...or Lily?? Lily feeling left out?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lost Dog

Brady has a "lovey." Meaning...he has a stuffed dog that he sleeps with every night. Well...that and his small blue blankie. He doesn't NEED them to sleep, but if we're at home - he wants them.

Last night they were lost. We searched the house. Under beds, couches, in closets...even in the fridge, garbage and toy bins. Rufus (the dog) and his blankie were missing!

He went to bed and woke first thing this morning looking for his prized possessions. He then asked me if he could make a "Lost Dog" sign for Rufus.

Seriously hilarious!

You'll be happy to know - they have since been found. No reward needed.