Friday, June 29, 2007

2...4...6...8...who do we appreciate?

Brendon plays on the Bush/Cheney softball league with the USDA team - "USDA Prime". (He used to work at USDA and for the last three seasons they've let him come back and nice of them). Last night they had a game and the clobbered the poor competition 25-2. Yikes. Brendon helped them out by hitting two home runs! Go Brendon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Check out this paper airplane tutorial...for all of you boys that are still kids at heart. Yes, Brendon is one of them.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's a Chick!

Justin and Trina found they are having another girl. How fun! I will now be an aunt of three.

Uneventful but Enjoyable

Friday I used my Zipcar membership for the first time. I'm officially a "Zipster" as they say. I must say I was impressed. For the bargain price of $7/hour (that includes insurance, gas, xm radio, etc.) I got to drive around "Crawford" the Civic. I was just in heaven that I was driving something that wasn't stick shift!

Saturday morning I signed a rental listing agreement for an adorable townhouse in Ballston (anyone want to move to Arlington? Ha ha).

Most of the weekend was taken up with errands and work, but we did get a chance to go to the temple which was wonderful. We also ate at our favorite restaurant La Piazza in Old Town. Then we cruised through Old Town and stopped at Candi's Candy to buy some treats. The store was primarily salt water taffy and had the biggest selection of salt water taffy we'd ever seen. So far my favorite flavors are cinnamon roll, egg nog and pineapple - the cherry cola wasn't so great. We have many more to try though. What an adventure :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Summer to-do list:

There are so many things I have wanted to see and do around here for years that I still haven't gotten around here is my list and I'll check them off as I go (pink = mission accomplished):

*Amish country
*Baltimore Harbor/Aquarium
*Hershey, PA
*Camping in the Shenandoah's
*Paddling on the Potomac
*Assateague Beach

Feel free to add any ideas of your own!

So You Think You Can Dance

I know, I know...everyone has a post about "So You Think You Can Dance" on their blog...and I am just another poster...but I had to give a shout out to my favorite reality show! I am so excited it's that time of year again. I would like to thank the producers for creating at least one tv show that my husband and I can agree on. There are no fights over the remote control on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

My vote is for Lacey! She is a rockstar.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oh dear...John Deere!

Anyone who knows me knows 1. I am a planner, and 2. my plans change often. I am most excited about my most recent life plan, however, and I am hoping this one will actually work out.

My dad told us there is a plot of land in Gridley, CA (my home sweet hometown) that is being leased out currently, but my dad talked to the landowner about possibly buying his land. Dad is willing to sacrifice this one-of-a-kind deal and let Brendon and I have if all works out we are going to be landowners/walnut farmers in good old Gridley!

So the master plan is to plant a walnut orchard on the land and clear away a few trees and build our dream home among the walnut trees... and take over my mom's dance studio (since we would have reason to believe that we are going to be in Gridley for the long term if we actually buy a farm there).

And then our son(s) will drive around adorable "tractors" like this:


My old friend Ashley was kind enough to let Melanie and me in on her Mother-in-law's quilt exchange, and we are so excited! The invite came at a perfect time because Melanie and I had just decided we wanted to be quilters (because we don't have enough hobbies on our plates taking up our time). Now the only problem is deciding between all the adorable fabric choices! We are going with a new moda line called Chez Moi is too cute.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Famous Dave's Bread Pudding

Much to Brendon's chagrin, I have proved to not be a very good cook...but there is one recipe I have that is so amazing even I can't mess it up. I want to share it with all of you, because a recipe this good needs to be shared. And made...often!

Famous Dave's Bread Pudding
*Unsalted butter, softened
*1 (1 1/2 pound) loaf cinnamon egg bread
*2/3 cup golden raisins
*1 1/2 cups sugar
*4 cups milk
*2 cups heavy whipping cream
*1/4 cup vanilla extract
*8 eggs, beaten
*1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat the bottom and sides of a 2-inch deep 9"x13" baking dish heavily with butter. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces. Mix with the raisins in a bowl. Spread the bread mixture evenly in the prepared dish, turning crust side down as this tends to burn easily. Whisk the sugar, milk, whipping cream, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon in a bowl until blended. Pour gently over the bread mixture, making sure every piece is wet. Place the baking dish inside a larger, 4-inch deep roaster pan. Add water to the roaster pan to reach halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Remove baking dish from water bath immediately. Let stand for 20 minutes. Serve while still warm. Spoon into dessert bowls. Drizzle each serving with warm Ol' Southern Plantation Praline Sauce. Top with whipped cream and add a scoop of vanilla if desired.

Yield: 9 HUGE servings

Ol' Southern Plantation Praline Sauce
(pour this generously on top of bread pudding when serving)
*1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
*3 pounds light brown sugar
*1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
*2 1/2 cups sour cream
*1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Heat 1 cup of the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add the pecans and mix well. Bring to a boil. Cook until the pecans begin to change color. Be careful! This mixture will foam over, so use a large saucepan (3 qts or larger). Add the remaining 1 cup of butter and mix well. This will cool the pecan mixture and stop the cooking process. Remove from heat. Combine the brown sugar, whipping cream and cinnamon in a large (4 qt.) sauce pan and mix well. Cook over low heat until blended, stirring constantly. Increase heat. Using a candy thermometer, cook to exactly 230 degrees. Immediately stir in pecan mixture. Then add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Remove from heat. Serve over Famous Dave's Bread Pudding, but save some for vanilla ice cream, French toast, pancakes, etc.

Yield: 8 cups.

California here we come...

We bought our plane tickets for California August 10-19th. Can't wait! We're going to spend the whole time on the houseboat...except for the times Brendon will be out driving the back hoe...or when we're shooting skeet...or driving mom's new corvette.

Here's a sneak peak of our boating adventures:

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sewing Seersucker

I had to stay home from work yesterday because I have Strep. The bad part was I felt guilty, because other than a sore throat I felt ok enough to be at work - but I was contagious so I couldn't go in. But the good part was that I was homebound all day so at least I got some good sewing time in. I whipped up this little seersucker shirt. It still needs buttons, but it's almost done. I started making some bermuda shorts with the leftover fabric, and Brendon is worried I'll try wearing the top and shorts together. Oh ye of little faith, Bren. I have better fashion sense than that!

Summer Grillin'

Saturday night we had the Williams over for a bbq. Brendon manned the grill and we were all very impressed with his skills at popping out delicious, enormous burgers. We struggled to fit the enormous burgers in our mouths! We also dined on grilled corn on the cob, bbq'd mushrooms, yummy watermelon, brownies and homemade strawberry ice cream. Yum!