Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in review Instagram Photos

Thought this would be fun for my blog. I created a year in review with some of my instagram photo's. It was a great year according to instagram. 2012 had it's fair shair of heart ache, but for the most part it was a good year. No complaints. God has been good to us!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bacada Frittata

First Watch Bacado
my favorite oatmeal
So first watch is my favorite resturant to have breakfast at.  I always get the same thing.  I get the Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal, with a side of sausage.  Some of my friends make fun of me.  I've heard "all the yummy things First Watch has and you're gonna get Oatmeal?'  Yes, yes I am because they put magic into their Oatmeal that's why.  First Watch is famous for the Bacado omlet, it has bacon, and avocado in it, along with cheese, red peppers, onion......I've never had it at First Watch.  My bestie, Abby made it for me when I visited her in Cbus in march.  Not even sure if I would like it, but convinced if she added her magic, I'd like it.  She studied up, to make sure she got the ingredients just right.  Made the Omlet, along with sliced potatoes with onion, and it was perfect.  Thats what a good friend does. 
So my other bestie Weezer and I are visiting Abby in Cbus together and spending time having a girlie weekend.  Just hanging out cooking and doing girl stuff.  Abby had mentioned she wanted to make us a good yummy breakfast and I mentioned the Bacado she had made the planning commensed. 
Bacada Frittata
Abby came up with what we are now calling a
Bacada was genius.  Ingredients to follow. 
preheat oven at 350
1 Avocado
7 Eggs
1 Cup of Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Onion diced
1 Red Pepper diced
1/2 lb of bacon
1/4 cup of Milk
1/4 cup of butter
tomato to taste
sour cream to taste
Mix up eggs, milk, and veggies.  Pour into a buttered casserole dish, mix in half the cheese.  Sprinkle crushed bacon and rest of cheese on top and bake for 55 minutes. 
Garnish with chopped tomatos, slices of avocado, and sour cream

Monday, August 13, 2012

I wanna be a groupie....

Specifically a Coldplay groupie!!!!!  So it's been almost a week, and I say something about last weeks concert almost daily to someone.  I'm still slightly abuzz about my experience at that amazing Coldplay concert at the United Center in Chicago last Tuesday. 

So lets back up a bit to maybe like 5 years ago, maybe even 6 years ago.  My friend Connie and I would debate on who loved Chris Martin more.  Clearly it was me.  We both agreed, he wasn't all that attractive, it was his amazing talent that made him so damn SEXY.....however now that we've been 6 inches from each other, he is a nice looking fellow, and way better looking in person.  But I digress, I'll get to that in a minute.  Connie and I discussed going to a Coldplay concert 6 years ago, but when we started investigating there was a tour going on, but when that was over they weren't going to tour anymore......WHAAAAAT?  We had missed our chance.  So we gave up......then last year Connie and I went to Nashville, TN to see U2.  It's clear we had now hit the big time, we were rich enough we didn't have to wait for our favorite bands to come to us, we could travel to them.  That's when we realized....Hey Coldplay is touring again, we must go to them.  So we made plans to see them in Chicago. 
We threw down a big wad of cash on some stub hub tickets and booked a hotel.  It's nearly impossible these days to get decent tickets if you don't get them the day they go on sale....crazy ticket scalpers.  So Connie was in charge of tickets, she got 5 rows from the floor on the right side of the stage....sounded impressive.  Then she got them in the mail and they were for the Wednesday, not Tuesday.  We are grown ass women with tight schedules, she has 3 girls who play soccer, girl scouts, I have boys scouts....our schedules are very tight.  So she contacted Stub Hub, and they agreed to replace the tickets with Tuesday tickets, the seats would be as good if not better.  So when we got them, they were 9 rows up from the floor, and said obstructed view??  How are these better?  Plus we were kind of nervous as these were some random person's tickets who sold them to Stub Hub, and they were e-tickets...what if they were printed more than once.  So we were all kinds of nervous before we got to the United Center.  Once our tickets were scanned we were able to relax.  When we arrived at the United Center we were handed a idea what that was....I put mine on after all it was pink, Connie was skeptical, so she put hers in her pocket.  It soon became clear what this was.  After I texted someone who had already been to the concert the week before.  So soon our super cool bracelets turned into awesome led lights that blinked in sync with the music.....WHAAAT?  How flipping sweet is that?  Coldplay you are genius!!  So already I was super excited about what was about to go down. 
So we suffered through really bad opening acts.  And waited anxiously for Coldplay to take the stage.  Just before they turned the lights off and our magical bracelets lit up, I glance to my left.  I had noticed the section of seats shrouded in black drapery.  I initially thought this as some sort of sound board or something but no one had shown to run said sound board.  Then we noticed a security dude on one side, and a few mic stands tucked under this shrouded flat surface.....hummmmm....puzzling....thank you technology, I texted my friend Shane again with a photo of what was next to me.....

I think he was as excited for me as I was for myself.  They would be playing 4 songs from that an encore....I'm sorry what did you just say????  Did I read that correctly?  I immediately jumped up, and ran to the bathroom, because clearly I needed to empty my bladder because otherwise I was certain, the moment Mr. Chris Martin took that tiny little stage I would have wet myself for sure.  We could barely contain ourselves during the first part of the concert.  Thank God for instagram, and pictures and videos.....Before we knew what was going to happen Connie had offered to switch seats with me as she was closer to the main stage and we had to look to the right, and she's taller than me, so she was being thoughtful as she can see over me.  Then when we found out what was about to go down RIGHT NEXT TO ME, she asked...."wanna switch seats now???"  Ha Ha....NO!  Now before they took the itty bitty stage I had plans to be polite and thoughtful and after they did 2 songs I was going to switch so she could be close too...all of that did not happen because as soon as they were that close we lost leave of what was right and wrong, and normal and polite.   We couldn't even take decent pictures we were so starstruck.   

We weren't sure how anyone could ever top U2, the 360 tour was unbelievable.  Their budget was huge, and they put on an amazingly visual performance.  Coldplay, came very close to topping that.  They were able to make a very large venue, become very intimate.  The fact they were feet than inches away was a huge surprise, and a sweet hook up. 

It is again going to be super hard to top this one.  We seem to pick super awesome concert venues.  It's clear we have excellent taste in music.  And men since we both love Bono, Chris Martin and most of all our lovingly supportive husband that put up with our crazy roadtrips.  Wait till we decide to spend a whole summer traveling around following Coldplay with random stops at Rubber Stamp conventions. awesome would that be? 
Theres a video as an example of how cool our bracelets were.  I could upload a bunch of photo's but I'll psot a few more videos.  At the start of the concert during "Hurts Like Heaven" they started shooting off confetti cannon's, and the confetti rained down all over everyone. 
The pictures of this are amazing.  Many of which I stole from strangers on Instagram.  I'll post just one, but thank you strangers for all your great pictures.  Feel free to steal mine. 
I seriously haven't stopped listening to Coldplay since last week.  I'd talk about it nonstop if people would let me, but I was quickly losing friends.  Connie needs to live nextdoor so we can just chill over wait wine, Oliver Soft Red, each night and listen to coldplay. 
Thanks everyone for putting up with my super Geeked self over the past week.  Now that the story is blogged sufficently I'll shut up already.....maybe. 
I love COLDPLAY!!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jodi's Dutch Oven Cake

I once had a recipe I found on the internet that told me how to make a cake in a dutch oven.  We used that recipe on one of our annual memorial day camp outs.  The recipe has since been lost, and I never remember to search the internet for it, so I decided this past memorial day to just wing it.  Tried to remember what would go in such a cake.  I was able to pack most of the ingredients, but forgot the the dutch oven.....FAIL....but we were in luck the friends we were camping with are Trailer campers, therefor they have way more storage area than us tent campers and they happened to own a dutch oven they had used once or twice.  The only ingredient we were missing was a can of the past I had used cherry limeade, but try to find that in the stores's rare.  Plus we never take pop when we camp, but tada Lisa and Tony (those trailer campers I spoke of) had a can of diet orange pop.  I winged it and made a fantastic burn on one side but we were able to get enough not burned to satisfiy everyone. 
So we  planned another camping trip this past weekend to Mammoth Cave with Lisa and Tony, and their daughter Lauren requested some Jodi I didn't write any of that down, so I planned to wing it again, this time being more strategic, and plan it to be even healthier.  This time I consumed nearly an entire bottle of Oliver Soft Red Wine, the wine didn't go in the cake but me having drank almost the whole thing possibly made me a better cook.  I'm sure of it.  It also encouraged my creativity to create a blog post Pioneer Women Style so other could make this cake also. 
We'll call this Jodi's Dutch Oven Cake.  This is a camping recipe, but you could easily throw this into a 13x9 cake pan and bake it in the oven if you are not a camper.  I shot for making this almost sugar free.  The only sugar was what was in the cake mix, the rest was sugar free.  We have here as follows:

1 8 oz can of fruity pop of your choice (diet)
1/2 stick of butter 
1/2 cup of splenda brown sugar blend
1 box of cake mix
can of mandarin oranges no sugar added
can of cherry pie filling no sugar added (or any fruit of your choice)
1 egg

This is the liner in the dutch oven
We are going to load all these ingredients into one of these.  This is a cast iron dutch oven to be used in a camp fire.  It's an amazing piece of equiptment, but requires quite a bit of maintence....thankfully we have friends who take care of theirs, since we've neglected ours.  It requires oiling, which we forgot to do to ours.  Because you can't really wash these things the Dutch Oven Liners are amazing!  So I highly recommend picking up a box of these Theres quite a few in one box so provided you and cooking in a dutch oven every night 1 box will last you a long time. 
Ok the oven is prepped and ready to go.  Side other friend Weezer went camping with us too.  While preparing to go camping and thinking if we had additional people to feed we might need another dutch oven so I asked her if she had a dutch oven.....she said no they did have a convection oven though and wondered if that would work????  Ha Ha Ha.....I don't think I'd put that in the fire.  Ok so lets make a cake already!

Dump the cake mix in a large bowl. 
add your egg and can of pop stir until well blended.
I greased the bottom with a little bit of butter and then, pour this concoction into the dutch oven.
Then add your can of cherry's
drain the juice of the mandarin oranges, and pour them in on top of the cherry's.  No need to mix.
Sprinkle in the brown sugar splenda blend.  I did not measure I just eyeballed what I thought would be a good amount.  Same with the butter cut of pats of butter and sprinkle them over top the mixture.  again no mixing. 
Then put on the lid and check and prep your fire. 

You'll want any large pieces of wood moved to the side and a good base of white and red coals on the bottom those will be under your oven.  You'll also want to move some coals to the side that you will place on top of the dutch oven. 
This will create even cooking. 
approximate cooking time, depending on how hot your coals are should be 35 minutes.  Check often, starting at the 30 min mark add 5-10 minutes if it doesn't look done.  It's done when the edges are brown. 
Let it cool for a good 10 minutes as it will be very very hot. 
Serve and enjoy.  We are thinking about making campers ice cream next time to go with our yummy cake. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

God Art......SOS 2012

sketchbook doodles
 If you are a friend or you read my blog, you know that I love my church.  I have been involved with SOS for over 12 years, maybe longer I've lost track.  Rarely do I venture away from my comfort zone of being on the evening prayer team.  Years ago, they didn't have it, so I was forced to find another way to be involved so I took photos of outreaches, but eventually found my way back to the prayer team.  This year months before SOS, Carolyn sent an email to a bunch of people in regards to an onsite experience they were creating, and needed volunteers who would like to be involved in the planning process.  Rarely do I answer these calls for volunteers, as I work retail and my hours are unpredictable.  I agreed to go to the first meeting just to see what it was all about, and if it was something God needed me to do I'd make it work.  There was a whole lot of brainstorming that went on.  For the most part I am not a big fan of brainstorming, I survived that process.  The time frame was laid out and the frame work was presented.  And a suggestion of something creative the kids could do, to fill some time while they waited their turn to go on the prayer trail.  Through a series of brainstorming ideas we landed on Broken Tile soon as those words were out there.....I could literally think of nothing else.  My head was instantly full of ideas, and my wheels were turning immediately.  Apparently this was obvious, and I suddenly was in the throws of a whole lot of creative planning.  And this time filler activity grew from a time filler to an important activity, with speaking points and everything for the onsite experience.  The best part, I agreed to plan this all out, and I was going to be gone 2 weeks prior to SOS......which is the important time when they pull everything together.  I made this clear ahead of time.  I was responsible for what the image would be and what supplies would be needed......and how to construct it all.......IMAGE????  This gave me a bit of a panic.  I don't draw.  After some prayer I really felt like the image should be original.....and not some photograph we redesigned.  Except I don't draw.  Although I have people in my home who draw very well. talented.....very understanding husband.  He is not a huge fan of me interrupting his usually low key life, with whatever craziness I got going on.  I let him know I needed a picture and for what.......I got "the look", and I smiled my sweet......"you're gonna do this", smile.  I told him the theme of SOS, and the direction we'd kind of like to go in.  And I said now go draw something......and then I prayed.......a few days later he sent me a few doodles from his little at work sketchbook. 
I have never made a mosaic, or even tiled ever in my whole life.  I still haven't.  Ha Ha......I watched videos, and read on the how-to.....and then instructed others.  It was a fun, slightly stressfull process, and very rewarding.  And after it was all said and done, I can clearly see God's hand all over it.  It was a great experience to listen, hear and act on what God was saying.   My husband was gracious enough to plot out his image on graph paper so it could be translated into mosaic.....much like color by number.  I also gave him the task of......... we need something to hold this, and how will they be attached.....with a huff....he went to work on construction plans. 

All this was completed a few days before I left on a 2 week vacation for California.  I was a tiny bit scared when I left just because it turned into a giant project with a lot of details and I was terrified I had forgotten something which I probably did.  Somehow the folks at VCC pulled it off as they always do with large insane projects.  Because of being gone for 2 weeks, and my work schedule there was no way for me to be at SOS during the day and to be involved in the process.

So for those of you who weren't there basically 200 kids per day went through the onsite experience there were several stations.  The mosaic was one station.  In small groups throughout the day they'd have talking points and then they'd creat a 12x12 section of the mosaic.....not knowing what the big picture would be, only what their section was.  The last station was a worship type experience where the big picture was put together so they could see. 

I was amazed, and happy they pulled it off.  Big thanks to a ton of people.  I know it was a lot of work.  They turned out to be the exact image God put in my head.  Great job to the 800 teens who didn't even know what they were creating, and allowing God to use them to make some super awesome God Art!!!

Also a big thanks to Carolyn for pulling it all together when I left.  And the onsite team for pushing me to do this, it was a lot of fun.  Oh and thanks to my work place for tolerating my long lunches every week for several weeks. 


I went to California.  Which I really need to blog about, but SOS, just finished and I feel the need to blog about it first.  I just didn't want you to think I was neglecting my most amazing time in California.  Not to worry, after I blog about SOS I will blog about California and give it the attention it deserves. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Life is Hilarous!!!

First of all Summer Break officially starts tomorrow and already my living room is full of, nerf weaponry and wooden swords.  What the HECK?  He's 15 now, when will this end.....wait, some of those weapons are my husbands so apparently this will never end!!  As I was typing that he walked in with this fancy's a vintage Star Wars gun that belonged to Ron when he was a kid. 
It's like he knew what I was talking about.  So now it's time for CONFESSIONS OF A CULINARY GENIUS.  I love Tater Tot Casserole.  I've evolved many recipes into one I use often and it's become my own.  I always think about making Tater Tot Casserole when I don't have Tater Tots.  So the last 3 times I've gone to the grocery store with no list....I've bought Tater Tots, so we now have so many bags (3) they have to go in the extra freezer.  So last week I decide I'm going to cook dinner before I  went to work at 2pm, so Ron and P would have dinner when they get home.  (I am generally not that nice, but something came over me that particular day)  I procrastinated long enough that by the time I put the casserole in the oven I had enough time to shower and get to work.  So I put it in the oven and went to take a shower.  The timer went off 5 min before I had to leave.  I take the casserole out of the oven and was like.....ummmm...why does it look so short, and wierd....well it's because I FORGOT THE FREAKIN' TOTS that's why?  So it was totless Tater Tot casserole.  I declared it was the Holy Ghost reminding me a diabetic like myself doesn't need all those carbs.  I texted Ron and explained it was a new creation, it was "Add your own damn Tots, Tater Tot casserole.".  I personally ate it without the Tots, it was decent, but when you shouldn't have carbs, you crave them even more.  Sigh......
Summer Vaction Begins:
When I got home from work today I asked Perry what he was going to do on his first day of Summer Vacation tomorrow........He proclaimed....."I'm going to sleep really late and play video games all day....dont' judge me." Ha Ha Ha Ha.....Don't judge me, where did he ever hear that from. 
Tater Tot Casserole Recipe
preheat oven at 375
1 lb of Ground Beef
1 regular size bag of Tater Tots
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 onion
2 cups of shredded cheese
couple handfuls of Orgnaic frozen green beans
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
Brown ground beef with chopped onion, throw in the green beans when the meat is almost completely brown.  This will soften them up a bit.  Drain grease.  Mix in soup, sour cream, and milk.  Pour that into and 8x11 pan.  Top with half the cheese, put on the Tots, and another layer of cheese pop in the oven and bake for 30 min or until Tots are brown and crispy. 

 The man totally ate that totless casserole all week.  He never did add any tots. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mobile Blogging

I've had this ap for a while and haven't used it. So here goes blogging via the iPhone. So I didn't win the Mega Millions. Although that $1 ticket made for all sorts of fun dreaming and fun conversations.

Perry was being mean to me so I told him if I won he wasn't getting any. He quickly apologized. Then when we didn't win, he said "what do we need all that money for when we gave each other",and then he kissed my cheek.

I sure do love that kid!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I've been in desperate need to blog lately, but really have had no words.  In the past month I've had 6 different deaths that people close to me have been dealing with.  Crazy....there was another I learned of today, and decided, that's enough I'm stopping at 6, and I'm going to now stop counting.  The month isn't over.  Wondering has it always been like this and I just haven't noticed? 

No crazy kid stories to tell.  He did have to start putting on deoderant everyday last week.  He came home from school, and gave me a hug, and I was like "WHOA, DUDE......!"  You can not be that kid!  So I show'd him where his deoderant was, informed the man that, that simple hygene procedure would need to be put into their morning routine stat! 

I ventured to Cbus for my birthday and Abby made my favorite cake.  We had a nice time hanging out!
This is probably the lamest blog post I've posted in a long time, but I posted which is a giant miracle. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Confessions of a Night Owl

I haven't written a good kid related blog post since Confessions of a Meat Hoarder, so here goes.  My precious child, has not missed a day of school since 3rd maybe even 2nd grade.  He's never sick, and if he is it's usually the sniffles, and can still go to school.  He's had perfect attendance for many years now. 

Today I wasn't scheduled to work until 1pm.  So I could sleep in.  Which I intended to do so.  Until I recieved a frantic phone call from one of Perry's teachers.  Perry had fallen out of his chair and layed on the floor and would not get up.  Sounds super scary.  I attempted not to panic, I said is he ok?  She wasn't sure as it wasn't in her class it was his other teachers class, she was going to head to the nurses office and see if he was ok.  She was going to call me back.  It was 7:30 am, not my favorite hour of the day.  So I got up, still not panicing, although slightly concerned.  Went into Perry's room to investigate, found his ipod and his iphone under his pillow.  These are the items that are suppose to be given up each night when he goes to bed.  I did not follow through the night before (parenting 101-fail) so therefor, no policing happened and I'm certain his illness is called SLEEP DEPRIVATION.  Wasn't certain of the diagnosis, until I went to the school and picked him up.  The school nurse called and said he was definately out of it.  So I went and got him, was greeted by his super concerned teacher.  Perry is well loved and his behavior is very predictable.  He is funny, very polite and well mannered and never gets in trouble.  So for him to just fall out of his chair and not respond was a bit concerning.  My diagnosis was spot on, the boy was exhausted, because he had not slept.  He came home and slept for 3 more hours.  His lack of sleep had truly made him sick.  He got up to the ultimate punishment, you could tell he was very tired, so he was forced to shop with me, with no ipod or phone, and guess what they are on lock down for an undetermined amount of time. 
This is his phone and his ipod both in there lockdown prison, AKA my dresser drawer.  Someone will be going to bed super early tonight.  I think I'll let the public decide.  How long should I leave these precious items in their prison?  Keep in mind he does not need his phone to communicate, we still have the house phone and he is not social so he is never without one of us.  He did however attempt to plead his case to get his phone back.  He said I sure hope I'm not lost somewhere without my phone.  I asked, where will you be lost?  He said the forest.......Ha Ha...cuz we here in the suburbs are surrounded by "the forest" that he is forever getting lost in. 
Perry being an only child he gets away with more than the average child, because I have nothing to compare it to, it's learn as you go parenting.  Funny todays Fairfield Middle School announcements email included an attachment warning about the risks of insufficient sleep.  I'm pretty sure they sent that right after I left the building. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

IKEA Life Improvement Project

In the summer of 2006, I was part of the United Way campaign with my place of employment, which was Ohio National at the time.  As part of the campaign we got to visit some of the facilities United Way supported.  One of those places we got to visit was The Stepping Stone Center.  I remembered the name Stepping Stone Center from when I had worked at Kings Island and I was in charge of their picnic when they came to Kings Island.  And I thought the name of the place was cool, but had no idea what they were about.  So with Ohio National we got to tour the facility and meet some of the people who got to take part in some of their programs. 

Fast forward to 2010.  I was approached by my boss at the time Shane at IKEA, that they were doing a contest for a nonprofit organization to win $10,000 dollars for their organization to use however they would need.  This is called The Life Improvement Project  Why me?  I thought.  The organization had to fit the IKEA values of helping kids, and could not be offiliated with a religious establishment.  This was a challenge for me as I am so involved with Boy Scouts (a scout is reverent) and my church, I had no idea of one that was not religious based.  It's who I am......Then I remembered......The Stepping Stone Center!  And so the investigation began.  They met and far exceeded the criteria for this project.  And so began the building of the presentation.  This was no easy task.  I recruited some work peeps to help, we arranged a tour of the facility, and then we had to write up a proposal using 500 words, and how we would spend the money.  Touring and hearing about all the work they do was the best part.  Meeting some of the kids and adults they help to learn basic life skills was humbling and rewarding.  As a parent of a child with special needs, I can appreciate the work that they do for kids with Autism, and behavioral problems.  I am fortunate to be in a school district that has programs to help kids with special needs and learning difficulties, and that Perry has learned to cope with his limitations that he's able to stay in a regular school.  Many kids don't have that priviledge.  Stepping Stone Center had programs who help kids who are unable to learn in a regular school enviroment.  They have teachers who are able to work with kids one on one to help them learn in a way that is most comfortable for them.  This is huge for kids with severe autism.  And what happens to these kids when they become adults?  It's hard for them to get a job, or learn normal everyday life skills.  Stepping Stone Center is equipt to help with these concepts.
 Heres a Group shot of us and some fo the Adults
Here is the Desk area in one of the program areas that could use some organization

Heres a Student in the school age building writting his name on the project board.

Last year we made it to the final round but did not win in the voting round, where only 5 projects were rewarded the $10,000 dollar grant.  This year we submitted our project again, and this year each of the 36 stores in the US get $10,000 for a project that wins at their store.  My friends and I have been feverishly begging for votes.  In creative's been 2 weeks, and I am just now posting to my blog.  Tomorrow is the last day of voting. 

Please help us win this year!
Text to: 62345
Message: Life97