Monday, March 30, 2009

Lemon Cake

My mother-in-laws birthday was Friday. They came down so that we could go to the ballet and I wanted to make a cake for my mil. She isn't much of a sweet person though so I thought I would try this cake out and let me just tell you it was delicious and the best part super easy to make.

Bake a lemon cake as directed on box

Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely

After they are cool make jello: 2 small boxes of lemon jello with 1 1/2 cups of milk mix thoroughly and poor onto the top of each cake. Do not let it set before putting it on the cake!
(I did one put the other on top of it and did it.)
Then you spread cool whip all over as the icing!

Anna added the sprinkles so she could have her flair on it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Video Friday

Yia Yia and Pop this is for you! It is from Aug 07 so she was barely 2.


Back in the day I would sing! I sing now but I like the comfort of singing in the choir. When I was a teen and a young adult I would actually do solos and duets! I loved our music director at church she was a very dear friend and I wish that I could find her again. I digress though, we had so much fun practicing music for my solos etc!

She had some different training techniques that I look back on and laugh. She would have me lay in the floor and sing down there. Apparently I didn't breathe from the diaphragm and laying on the floor pretty much makes you do that. She was instilling in me proper breathing and I think I still breathe correctly today! She wouldn't let me put my hands behind my back which I think is fairly normal but as a nervous young person that was hard. Keeping my hands in front or by my side was hard!

She kept trying to make me an alto because going high is sometimes a challenge for me although going low is too. She just thought that is were I should be. I hated being alto! I just couldn't get the hang of being low my voice just wanted to soar! She did discover that I tend to follow the people beside me so if she put altos on both sides I would usually go with them lol. Occasionally I would bust away from the crowd and go high again lol.

My solos included Love in Any Language and Thy Word. There were more but these were my favorites!

Do you like to sing? In front of people, alone or with a group? Do you like to sing high or low? What is your favorite song to sing?

To see more memories go HERE!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring cleaning the blog!

Y'all tell me what you think about my new look! I am loving it but I think I like Anna's even better!


I have been a busy girl. I am learning to drive a stick shift ha. Isn't that great I am 35 years old and I am discovering that you never stop learning. I did learn how to drive a manual car ages ago but I was never very good at it. Now Chris is working about 40 minutes away from home and to save on gas he takes my car 2-3 days a week. That leaves me and Anna home with his truck. Anna and I don't like to stay home all day. There is just something in us that has to go even if it is just up the street for 10 minutes lol. So we have been taking his truck out for a spin here or there. I never wonder to far away from home and I make sure it is in the morning when there is not a lot of traffic. Anna loves it! She gets to sit in the front cause he has a single cab truck with no air bag. She also loves it when I do the whole whiplash thing lol. Which I tend to do from first to second gear for some reason. I am working on it and the more I drive it the better I get.

I have learned a few things through this process besides how to gear down when you slow down to turn or how to know when to change the gears. I have learned that driving an automatic is totally not driving lol. It is a leisure activity! Driving a stick is work! I can't even hardly have a conversation with Anna cause I am focusing on all the different aspects of driving! I have learned that I kinda like it lol. I never thought I would say that but I am enjoying the challenge of it. I like how Anna laughs at me or she points out all that she can see.

I think once I have this mastered I will have to find a new challenge! Something new to learn! Maybe I will learn how to do something totally crazy! Or maybe I will just learn something simple. Whatever it is I am glad to know that learning doesn't stop even after you are in your mid-30s. Even after or maybe especially after having a little one. I do realize that I learn things daily from Anna. Sometimes I do it so effortlessly that I don't even realize I am learning. Other times I am a very slow learner! Either that or she changes the rules on me a lot lol.

What have you learned lately? Something exciting or mundane? Something that makes you laugh or sigh with frustration?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Works for me Wednesday

Pictures!!! I have a 3.5 year old that has thousands of pictures documenting her life! My husband thinks there are to many and well maybe there are but when she is older and these days are gone I know that I will be glad to have them. Back in the day we didn't have digital cameras and I have very few of me and my hubby when we were dating or even early on in our marriage. I hate that cause I am a picture-a-holic!

Doctoring Pictures - The pictures I do have from back in the day are not great quality. They were just point and shoot kinda pictures and were not doctored in any way. Today there is no reason to have a picture that doesn't look good. First of all if it is on the digital camera delete it if it is NO good! If it has potential take it into Picasa and tweak it! This is a free program that you can use to brighten a picture or darken a picture. Crop it and a number of other things. Use this program so that your memories are clear in years down the road. Of course, you can use photoshop or some other expensive program that is better but Picasa is a great alternative for those of us that don't have it and can't get it!

Up Close and Personal - My next photo tip is to get down and close with your little one. Don't be afraid to get on your knees to get the camera on their level. Of course, sometimes when I do that Anna thinks she needs to get on her knees but hey lol. You don't always have to center your little one in the picture. Like if you are at the beach you can let the water take up one side and your little one be on the other side. You don't always want to have your pictures taken from the same angle. You need to switch it up a little. You can do one with them looking up or profile pictures or even from behind. Some of my favorite pictures are taken as Anna walks away. I can get her hair swaying or the little bounce in her step. I also like to get pictures of her little hands and feet. Not typically alone lol but I do let them stand as a sort of focal point. And most importantly don't be afraid to get close ups of their face! Their precious faces change so fast when they are little even if we can't see it now we will be able to tell when they are 8 the subtle little changes. Or catching a glimmer in their eye or a twitchy little smirk or whatever. You don't want to miss out just because you think you always need the full body or are afraid to zoom in.

Posed vs candid - I do a little bit of both posed shots and candid shots. I get a lot of candid shots when we are playing outside. Climbing her favorite tree or blowing bubbles (a great way to get giggles) sidewalk chalk or any number of activities. I get a few posed out there but they usually have that fake smile that we obviously learn to do at a young age. Every now and then I can get a good posed picture but usually I have to rely on my candid shots.

Take a lot of pictures! - Don't be afraid to snap away. When you are relying on candid pictures you have to take a lot of pictures to catch the perfect one. Snap away and just delete the ones you don't like. Or if you are like me you will keep a lot of the outtakes because they are funny or cute or a good way to remember a particular day! All of your pictures don't have to be perfect!
For more Works for me Wednesday go HERE!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday!

Anna is 3.5 now and sometimes the things that come out of her mouth suprise me. Or just crack me up lol.

Yesterday on the way home from the store we saw a guy walking beside the road.

A: Mom, you see that guy!

M: Yes, I do.

A: That is dangrous (dangerous). He needs time out! You aren't supposed to walk in the road!
M: That is right baby! It is dangerous to walk in the road!

We have terrible sand gnats here. They are tiny little gnats that actually bite and they hurt! Having said that Anna loves to be outside. If she is awake she would rather be outside! After coming in from one of our many trips out (I can't take them for long lol).

A: Mom!

M: Yes

A: Those bugs were terrble! (terrible) They were biting my arms!
For more Tiny Talk go HERE

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Our parade is one of the largest in the USA. I took Anna for her first ever parade and my second time at the one here. We got there at 7:30 so we would have GREAT seats! We hung out with friends and snacked and played until it started at 10. Anna was enthralled with the parade. Really I think she liked that if she waved at someone the odds were they would wave back lol. That and there were tons of bands and horses and dogs in it. We were there until 2 and let me tell you I was wishin I had packed us a lunch. I will have to remember that for next year. Here are a few pictures from our day out there!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and/or nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

I should note that this is the Nestle Recipe with a few modifications. They are yummy!!! I am baking them right this moment for a youth party tonight!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


One of my dearest friends at church is an English teacher at a High School. She is also a co-teacher for their Gospel Choir. (this is a public school!) She has told us numerous times how amazing they are and last night she gave us the opportunity to experience it first hand! These kids are incredible!!! These kids are amazing but don't take my word for it check them out. In the first one here you will see my friend Denise doing her favorite song! It isn't the full thing but you will get the idea of it and then I will put one without her and it will just be the kids!

If you want to see more go to youtube and type in my ID: Candacej73

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Guitar music

I love to sit and listen to someone play the guitar and sing. There is just something so soothing about it. This guy plays at our church and has been doing the music a lot on Wednesday nights. If you like guitar music check this video out!

If you are here for Wordless Wednesday go to the next post!

Wordless Wednesday - Daddy and his baby doll

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What is in your TRUNK!

Yesterday I cleaned my car out! By cleaning out I mean EVERYTHING came out!!! I haven't done this since before Anna. I mean I have occasionally done a quick clean up if someone were going to ride with me whatever but that usually meant whatever was in the front of the car landed in the trunk! I decided that it was time for a complete clean yesterday so we spent the morning cleaning the inside. Taking out trash, cups and toys etc. Then cleaning the dash and stuff. We worked for a good hour and a half on it. Took a lunch and nap break and then hit the trunk and washed the outside. The trunk was full of stuff. I thought I would share with you a few things that I found in there and see what you think that says about me lol.

  1. water wings from last summer!
  2. a single shoe thats mate went flying out the window (last summer) it was Anna's favorite shoe!
  3. About 4 pairs of MY shoes and 2 pairs of Anna's and 2 pairs of Chris's!
  4. 5 purses
  5. 3 of Anna's coats and 1 of mine
  6. Anna's 2 Bibles
  7. Some of Anna's papers from Sunday School
  8. cups and a few other dishes
  9. A few of Anna's babies
  10. Christmas cookie cutters lol

So isn't that just terrible! Of course I left out that Anna's bike was in there and Chris's things from where he cleaned out his old office. Going to the grocery store and not having a place to put the groceries is what prompted this cleaning. It looks so good now that Chris accused me of taking it somewhere to have it detailed! Yes I am THAT good! (When I want to be!!!)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Beginnings!

I have spent the past 4 days soaking up some of the sunshine and airing my house out. I love when it is time to open the windows and let all of that fresh air flow through the house. I feel like life is getting a fresh start. I see the buds on the trees where the leaves are going to pop open any day and the green of the flowers that are breaking through the ground. All signs of Spring, my favorite season until Summer comes and the Fall and Winter lol. There are good things about each season. I love them all but Spring really is like a new beginning and what is not to love about that!

My new beginning comes this year and I am taking advantage of it. For a few years I have been in a funk and unable to release myself from it. I finally opened my heart and mind (which was the hardest of the two) around the fact that I am lovable! I am forgiven! I am an amazing person! Sounds kinda cocky or something when I read it but it is SO true. My God sent his son just for ME and well all of you too lol. But in my world He sent him for ME! He died on that cross for ME! As my preacher said this morning there is nothing I can face that he won't have my back. If I bang my head into the wall trying to figure things out, that is my fault cause he is always with ME! He WANTS to help ME! He WANTS to show ME what path to take! He WANTS ME to be happy! Jesus is MY friend and I praise God for making that possible! Have you had your new beginning?

My world is opening in bloom all around me and I am cherishing every moment! Knowing that God loved ME enough to provide beauty and a new beginning for the earth to show me exactly what he is talking about. God didn't make mistakes, He didn't do things and just wait to see what would happen. He knew that every year the winter would kill off most things and then in the Spring it would all come back even more beautiful than the year before. Just like the earth He wipes away our sin and brings us back even more beautiful than before. He continues to do that for us EVERY day! You ask him to forgive you for your sin (and yes we do continue to sin) and he forgets it. He is the only one that will truly forgive and forget!

Thank you Lord for giving me a fresh start! Thank you for helping me through my hard times! Thank you for forgiving me of my sins! Thank you for providing joy and peace and love in my world! Thank you for never giving up on me even when I gave up on myself and you!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


My life is full of changes right now. Maybe that is why I haven't been blogging. I am trying to wrap my brain around everything going on. In a nut shell here is what is going on in my world!

  • Chris started a new job! After 11 years at the same place he is branching out with a wonderful opportunity!
  • I am trying to get things together to enroll Anna in preschool (shudder)
  • I have several friends that just had babies! Yeah I know that shouldn't effect me but ya know lol.
  • I was possibly going to keep a 1 year old during the day but that didn't work out.
  • Chris's Daddy was having heart issues. It was a scary time but all is well. He had a heart cath done and although there was 20 - 30% blockage they didn't think it was bad enough to warrant even a stint so that is great news.
  • I am doing more stuff for the church. I am working on their website just making some adjustments etc. and I started a Facebook profile and group for them.
  • I try to go up there at least once a week during the day just because it is a blessing to hang out with everyone up there. I always feel a little happier and connected after I leave.
  • Chris and I are going to move (I think) so that he can be closer to work. Which means I have a ton of stuff to do around the house, inside and out. With the weather so warm I just want to be outside!

Ok so when you list it out here like that it doesn't look like so much lol. I wonder why I feel like my life has been moving in the fast lane.

Anna is doing great. She is starting to grasp her ABC's. She can point out several of the letters etc. Her counting is still crazy but she can count 3 items. She knows her colors when she wants to and if she doesn't forget about it! She loves to be outside. She would spend all of her time out there if she could. We have been doing yard work and she gets excited when I mention it to her. She also loves to help clean the house. I will have to put her to work later cause the house definitely needs cleaning. She is a little jealous of her friends all having babies but she is taking it in stride. She is also taking in stride that her Daddy is starting a new job and we won't be going back to the old office. She goes back and forth about school. One day she is excited and the next she wants to know why I can't go with her.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tiny Talk Tuesday

I have been so busy lately. I feel bad for neglecting my blog. I am going to try to do better this week!

Anna is so funny and I don't write down most of what she says so I forget it. Here are a few things that have stuck with me over the past few weeks.

Have you guys seen the commercial for Progresso soups? You know the soup diet ones. Well, Anna has picked up the "It's working for you!" She says it all the time and if the commercial comes on even if she isn't paying attention to the tv she hears it and starts laughing and brings it to my attention.

I called my Grandma tonight to check on Papa George and I said Hey Grandma this is Candi. Anna said "Mama your Candace, you said it wrong! Your not Candi!"

We were laying in bed last night. Chris had come in late from class and had a sandwich. We were laying there and Chris's stomach was making noise. She said "Your stomach is grawling! It is saying thank you for the food!"

For more cute Tiny Talk go HERE