"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind... We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith." -- Margaret D. Nadauld

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Engagged To Be Marred

I decided to save money and take the engagement photos of Buttercup and Biff (his own nickname… I didn’t give it to him). As always, I struggle with lighting, but thankfully I have some fun actions on my Photoshop and I can fix some of the problems. Also, it’s still light in the evenings and the weather is still nice and warm (HOT!) so we can get outside and take pictures all the time.

This is the best one I’ve come up with so far.

What do you think?

Aly-Josh Goofy

I think it brings out the best in them…. ;-)

Okay! To be fair, I’ll post a real picture:


We’re just getting started, but I hope to get some great shots!

Hello 3rd Grade!












Friday, August 26, 2011

You Are… My Biggest Fan

(For all you That Thing You Do fans out there, this is twice in a row I’ve quoted this movie. I think maybe it’s time to pop it into the DVR and watch it!)

It’s no secret that Inigo is a HUGE fan of Michael Jackson.

I mean HUGE!!!

So much of a fan, that when we went shopping for school clothes, the one and only thing on his list was to find a Michael Jackson t-shirt.

We scoured the mall, up the halls and down. In the stores and out. JC Penney, Sears, Old Navy and Hot Topic (I made him hide his eyes in Hot Topic).




Ok, so maybe Michael Jackson fashion is a year or two old. He died two years ago, after all. It’s sooooo not the happenin’ thing anymore! :)

But my boy is -and remains- a die-hard fan. He goes to sleep listening to his music, he practices the moon walk, he reads books about MJ. You get the picture.

Anyway, Inigo was terribly disappointed that we couldn’t find a shirt for him. And I felt bad that he felt bad. That was just too much bad feeling in our car on our way from Guilder to Florin! So we devised a plan. We decided we would design and print up our very own MJ t-shirt.

Inigo gave me suggestions, told me what he was envisioning and I opened up Photoshop and Google Images and tried to implement his plan. The next day we took the jump drive with the saved design on it to our local screen printing shop and ….


I think we came up with a pretty decent shirt!

And the best part is, it’s one of a kind, original, designed by Inigo. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Adam MJ T-shirt

(I took this picture with my phone in the glare of the morning sun. He tried his hardest to keep his eyes open, but he just couldn’t do it.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blue Ribbon!

In the movie That Thing You Do (one of the BEST movies EVER, IMHO) there’s a scene where Lenny says, “I’m not with them, I’m with the piggin’ competition down at the pavilion and I’M GOING TO WIN THAT BLUE RIBBON!!”

Well, at our county fair I won a blue ribbon too… only it wasn’t in the piggin’ competition.

Inigo and I entered a couple photos in the photography exhibit.

Inigo got a new Nikon point and shoot camera for his birthday a couple days before the fair, so we went out and had a quick lesson in composition and holding still while you press the shutter release and took some pics that we felt were good enough to enter.

I went through my files (I have thousands) and picked two pics that I liked.
We had them printed up and mounted them on mat board and submitted them to be scrutinized by the critical eye of judges and the community.

And then we waited….

Judging was supposed to take place Thursday night, but it happened on Wednesday night.
A neighbor stopped by on Thursday afternoon and said, “I saw your picture! You won a ribbon!”


It’s what I was hoping for.
Having a stranger judge my picture, telling me they like it feels very good.
(Having my friends and family tell me they like some of my pics
is gratifying, but they kind of have to say they like my pics.

Anyway, when we went to check things out on Friday, I was expecting a ribbon, but was expecting a white, Third-Place ribbon.

Inigo was expecting nothing but blue, because he is young enough he
doesn’t have any self-doubt built into his self esteem.

We both squealed in delight when we finally found our photos.

Inigo won two third place ribbons!
We’re pretty excited since this was his first competition!!
(He wasn’t disappointed at all that he didn’t win a blue.)

I won a blue ribbon and a (very) small amount of money for this shot.
I’m so glad I did. This is one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken
and I felt validated that the judges liked it too.

This is the second photo I entered. No awards with this one. :(
Oh well.
You can’t win ‘em all!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The End

School starts this week.


I have friends who count down the days from May to Sept. They can’t wait until their kids step back on that school bus in their fancy new clothes, carrying their backpack and lunchbox. On the contrary, I spend that first morning in deep mourning: total depression and utter loneliness crowding into my thoughts. I also have thoughts (or reminders) of all the fantastic adventures we were able to accomplish and crowd into the summer months, as well as think longingly of the many activities we didn’t quite get to. I ALWAYS wish we had two or three more weeks before starting the grind again.

This year is different. Buttercup is at the END of her schooling adventure. September marks one year since she began cosmetology school and Oct. 1 marks the day she walks out of those doors for good. Inigo is starting third grade here in Florin, but probably won’t finish it here. He’ll finish it in New Florin with a whole new group of friends and adventures…hopefully all positive and wonderful.

Max was in town for the weekend, so he gave the traditional start of school year blessings. Yes, that’s a plural. Even though Buttercup isn’t beginning a new school year, she’s beginning a new phase of life (moving out, getting married, starting a career) and we thought a father’s blessing would be highly appropriate. Inigo LOVES getting father’s blessings, so he was first in line. It was a good way to end a Sunday evening and a nice send-off as he heads back to Florin for another week of work.

This post shows some of the fun things we did this summer:

╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚ ╚


































DSC_0006 DSC_0016










































(No camping pictures because we didn’t make it out! :(
We’re hoping to finally sleep outside over Labor Day weekend!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Approximately 9 days ago, Inigo challenged my 22 year old neighbor,
T-man, to a race with RC cars.

The date was set (8/02/11).

The time was determined (6:30 pm).

The racetrack was determined (across the street).

Inigo invited friends and family to come watch the duel. He practiced for hours beforehand.

6:30 was looming closer and closer.



Suspense was hanging in the air.


Everyone was still eating dinner at 6:30.

The race was postponed until 6:45.



Even more suspense.

You could cut it with a knife.

T-man’s cousins were in town. A family with 10 kids to cheer him on.

Steck came over to help me cheer Inigo on.

As the race began, 15+ people began chanting “T-man! T-man! T-man!”

2 people began chanting, “Inigo! Inigo! Inigo!”





And the results?

Inigo won of course.
By a landslide.

Poor T-man’s car would go sideways and backwards as much as it would go forward.
I’ve never seen a RC car like that before.
It was just too much car for him!! (he he he)

To be fair, when they switched cars, T-man won the race.

Winning boosted Inigo’s ego a lot.

Maybe too much.

Later, after we went inside Inigo (who was in a jubilant/winning mood) ran up the stairs and yelled at me,


I yelled back in a questioning tone of voice,
”Of what?”

He yelled back as if the answer was completely clear,


Please Sir, May I Have S’more?

Some people tell me I’m a picky eater.

I guess I am. It’s easier and faster to make a list of foods that I like as opposed to the list of foods that I don’t like.

Fish – UGH!! If something filters air out of water to survive, it doesn’t cross these lips.
Pizza – I know!! Who doesn’t like pizza, right?
Spaghetti – Ditto to the pizza statement. I honestly think it’s the red sauce/marinara sauce. Blech.
Vegetables – I like some vegetables. Only the extra starchy/carby veggies though.

Just to name a few.

Monday night I had some friends take me to a Thai restaurant here in town. They have tried for YEARS to get me just to walk through the doors. Chinese/Asian food doesn’t sit well with me, plus I heard that Thai food has a lot of spicy curry in it… NO GOOD!! But since the parade we were attending was getting rained out and we needed to get dry, I agreed to go.

When the server came to take my order I just asked for a glass of water. But they brought me a small plate so I could do some taste testing. I was very brave and tried a few bites. I will admit, some of it was good, but there were also several bites that sent shivers down my spine. :)

Let me reiterate: I AM A PICKY EATER!!!

Brownies are something I am very picky about.

Call me a “Brownie Snob.”

I DO NOT and WILL NOT eat brownies that are made from a packaged mix.

Auck. Gack. ARGH!

I like brownies that are a little more “cake-y.” Meaning I like them fluffy and light. I don’t like brownies purchased from a bakery, or a grocery store bakery. They always look better than they taste and they are always thick and dense.

When I came up on this brownie recipe (Taste of Home) I was THRILLED with it! Not only is it fast and easy, but the brownies are light and fluffy… just the way I like them.

But a plain old brownie gets boring after a while. I needed to change them up. And I came up with what I think is a WINNER!!!

S’more Brownies!!

I know…… right?

Man, oh man….. they were a little bite of heaven right there in my kitchen. Seriously. They were gobbled up in a FLASH!

I encourage you to give them a try.

S’more Brownies
2 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 c cocoa (I use Dutch cocoa)
1 tsp salt
5 eggs
1 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; beat until smooth. (I just use a wooden spoon. I don’t think you need a mixer to make this recipe.) Pour into a greased 13x9” cake pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 ° for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

(That is the basic brownie recipe that I got from Taste of Home. This is where I changed things up. S’mores made with Hershey Bars are good, but in my opinion, the best s’mores are made with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!! So I decided leave off the chocolate chips and top 1/2 of the brownies with Hershey Bars and the other 1/2 with Reese’s.)

3 Hershey Chocolate Bars
1/2 bag of Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
Chopped into small pieces

S'more Brownies (5)

1/2 bag of miniature marshmallows
3 – 5 graham crackers, broken into small pieces

BEFORE BAKING the brownies, liberally sprinkle the graham crackers and candy bars on top.
Start baking the brownies for 20 minutes.

S'more Brownies (6)The last 8-10 minutes of baking, however, carefully sprinkle the miniature marshmallows on top and finish baking. (You don’t want the marshmallows on top for the full 30 minutes of baking time. It makes them too hard and crunchy.)

S'more Brownies (1)

If you decide to share these yummy treats with your neighbors and friends, I can GUARANTEE instant popularity.

You will be everyone’s
favorite friend!!