Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally a day off!

We've worked all Spring Break on the yard. When you're tackling the weeds and old leaves covering the flower beds, the yard seems too big for the two of us to handle but sore muscles give way to appreciation for the gift of space when we step back to admire our progress. We are so thankful that the grandkids have the wide open space to play in too. Their day was spent cleaning up the playhouse, rearranging the sandbox and toys, and even helping us pull weeds! Then this morning, as if on cue, the Fed Ex truck pulls up with my new roses which were birthday presents! Dan is seeding the bare spots while I do a quick job of housecleaning and then we're off to the beach for a day. Gary & the kids will join us there. Let the whale watching begin!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hot tubs and yard work are great partners!

Since the sprinkles were just hit and miss yesterday, so was the springtime yard work. Mundane things like pulling weeds went along with the more permanent fixes of filling in the ruts with topsoil. What I always discover at this time of year though is how little I used some muscles during the winter! Thank goodness for the hot tub!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Extra help!

Before the drizzle started today, Grandpa had some helpers in the yard. We've got spots to fill in with topsoil from where the trees went down and low spots that had been growing just moss. As long as they each had their own rake, the grandchildren were happily helping! Now that it's raining they are in the shop with him making "Lincoln logs".
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Great Conversation, Friendship, and Food!

My breakfast buddy and dear friend took me out for a birthday breakfast at The Word of Mouth Bistro in Salem. Yum! I had a fabulous (although a too generous serving to finish) Caprese omelet. I always look forward to the time with Karla and catching up and it always goes by too fast! Thanks dear friend!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Over!

We got the scoring done earlier that expecting! Hallelujah! It's less money but more time off and although we need the money, right now I think I need a break from work even more. If the weather will cooperate, we'll get more of yard work done in preparation for the summer event! If it's raining, then some indoor cleaning might get done. The grandkids will be here for most of the time too and I've missed them since their move so it'll all be good!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

7:00 AM on a Saturday?

Ok, there is something very wrong about this but here I am getting ready to leave for work on the first Saturday of Spring Break. Can you tell I want some sympathy? Three 8 hour days of reading papers will be done before I know it and then I'll appreciate the time off even more!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Recipe

Here's the recipe for that amazing cake-straight from the baker, Denise:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake-
makes 8 inch triple layer cake
2 cups flour 2 1/2c sugar 3/4c cocoa powder 2t baking soda 1t salt
Combine well and then add:1c oil 1c sour cream 1 1/2c water 2T white vinegar 1t vanilla 2 eggs. Mix well and add to 3 greased cake pans. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes.
Cool 20 minutes and remove from pans (these cakes are very very soft- firm up in the freezer 30 minutes before frosting).
Pnut butter frosting: 10 oz cream cheese 1 stick buttercream and then add:5 cups powdered sugar 1 1/2 pnut butter mix all until creamy. I added a splash of milk to make it easier to spread.Spread between the layers and then frost very thin layer over whole cake.
Freeze 30 minutes to chill and then finish frosing with a thick layer (this way no dark crumbs show)
Chocolate Pnut Butter Ganache: 8 oz semisweet chocolate (I for some reason was completely out of choc chips so used leftover dark Hershey kisses from Vday)3T pnut butter 2T corn syurp. Heat in microwave or over double boiler until melted and smooth-whisk in 1/2 cup milk.
Spread on top of cake and allow it to drip down the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Remove 30 minutes before serving. Serve with a JUG of milk!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Remember that restaurant scene from the movie, "When Harry Met Sally"? Eating the piece of cake I was given today (made by a friend's daughter) could have easily evoked the same response. :>) Totally from scratch, and filled with calories from sour cream, peanut butter, cream cheese and fudge it was decedent! I'm definitely going to have to get that recipe! But in the meantime, I'm going to try to come up with something to take to dear friend Katie. She broke (and I mean really destroyed) her ankle over the weekend while in Tacoma. Both bones were broken and all ligaments torn off. She had surgery while in Washington to put in screws and plates and just arrived home this afternoon. Her hubby said the pain was horrific but I'm sure she's glad to at least be back at home.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another year older and deeper in debt.....

Okay, so marking another year isn't always exciting but it sure beats the alternative! (Although some days, heaven sounds pretty good too!) It was pretty much a normal day including a meeting in the evening but my family made sure I felt loved. Spring is the time for plants so those are always a treat! I loved the phone calls, cards and ecards. Thanks guys!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"Little Women"

It was a very long day Saturday! I left the house at 7:00 to carpool to the ESD in Albany for the writing scoring training session. After a very full day concentrating on the six traits of writing, I arrived home about 5:30. (I'm glad no one is scoring MY writing!) A group of ladies from church had decided to go to Corban College for the play of "Little Women" so it was a quick turn-around and out the door again. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the performance! They had very good acting and enough laughs interspersed to keep a tired old teacher awake! Three hours later, I came home and crawled into bed. Will it really be time to head into another week tomorrow!

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's almost the weekend!

This has been an incredibly busy week! Being gone most every night takes a toll on this old lady!
I was thinking as I got ready for work this morning how great it was that it's almost the weekend. Then, the reality of another commitment hit me---I'll be going all day to a training for scoring the State Writing Assessments! Guess I'll look forward to Spring Break instead! (On the positive side, Dan made the BEST cinnamon rolls-maybe he should go into that business.)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dedication Sunday

Today both baby Michael and Jacob were dedicated in church. It was a very sweet time. Here they are before the service.
By the way, Dusty & Crystal just celebrated their first anniversary too. Actually, they got married on Feb. 29th but who wants to wait four years for an evening out?! Grandpa & Nana went over to babysit last night for the occasion. Jacob introduced us to the Wii (is that how you spell it?) and although he beat the socks off Nana in every sporting event, Grandpa beat him in bowling!
We also spent the day earlier with Aunt Rosa in Longview taking stock of her house needs. It was great to get some visiting in too and time with hubby driving up and back!