Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Funny - Football Edition

Are you all ready for the Superbowl taking place this Sunday?

We have a weekend  of fun scheduled and will hopefully be home in time to relax in front of the TV to watch the commercials.... I mean the game :)

While I'm not a super fan of either the Seahawks or the Broncos, I will be cheering for the Orange and Blue to win.  Go Broncos.  Will you be watching the game or maybe the commercials and halftime show?  Who are you rooting for?

Anyway, personally, I find these "bad lip reading" videos hilarious and hopefully this one makes you smile at the very least.

Enjoy and Happy Friday Friends!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Cake

I have been doctoring store bought cake mix for a few years now ~ adding in sour cream and dry pudding mix mostly (see here and here).  
And this chocolate cake is no different.

This is Actions favorite cake ~ he has requested for 3 years for his birthday and I am happy to make it for him.  

(Action is so little in this picture!  Cute little 9yr old ~ Check him out here with his chocolate cake at the age of 13!)


1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small package (3.9oz) instant chocolate pudding
4 eggs
1 cup (8oz) sour cream (I use regular sour cream ~ it's dessert after all)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
4 oz semisweet chocolate, melted

* Mix all of the ingredients together.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, medium for about 2 minutes.  The batter will be thick.
* Pour batter evenly into two greased 9" round cake pans  (I also line the bottom of the pans with a
   sheet of parchment paper cut to size.)
*Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes ~ test for doneness with a toothpick
* Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes, remove cakes from pans and place on cooling racks to cool

You can also make cupcakes ~ the recipe does make a thick batter so plan on scooping it into your muffin tins.  I use paper liners.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.


2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened, baking cocoa
1/2 cup milk, room temperature

* Beat the butter, powdered sugar and cocoa until mixed.  Then add milk, beat until smooth.

Cake Assembly:

Place one of the cakes on a plate.
Top with frosting.
Place 2nd cake on top of the frosting layer.
Use remaining frosting to coat the top and sides of the top and sides of the cakes.


Cut into slices and serve with vanilla ice cream, which in my opinion is the perfect compliment for all of that chocolate.  Oh and top with strawberries, because having a little fruit with this delicious chocolate cake makes it healthy.......right?



Monday, January 27, 2014

Ordinary Miracles (2)

It's Monday and once again, I'm asking you to look for and tell me some of the Ordinary Miracles in your life.
Because, what if, we change the way we look at the ordinary things, people and events in our lives.  What if we see all of our day to day events as miracles? What about the things and people we see every day?  How would our perspective change if we chose to see our ordinary days as miracles that we should find wonder in and be thankful for.

Last week, I witnessed the ordinary miracle of celebrating a 10 year olds birthday:

And I watched his little sister smile and immerse herself in the art of licking chocolate birthday cake batter off of the beaters. 

Every Monday, lets come together and share about the ordinary in our lives that we have chosen to see differently, as miracles..... Ordinary Miracles.  After all, that is what my blog, my minuscule little corner of the www is suppose to be all about ~ finding the beauty every day, even if it doesn't look/feel beautiful.

Leave a comment and tell us, What Ordinary Miracles have you witnessed lately?

Oh, and tomorrow ~ the recipe for Action's FAVORITE chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Double Digits

10 years ago, in the middle of the night hubby and I made our way to the car. When we drove out of the driveway, the thermometer showed a frigid -19 degrees.  We made our way to our destination.  As we arrived, I insisted on walking to the front entrance myself.  Hubby wouldn't have it.  He dropped me off at the front door and I waited inside for him.  I found a comfy chair and sat down.  While I was waiting, a kind looking woman asked me if I needed assistance.  I declined.  I waited.  It was probably only a couple of minutes, but it felt like forever.  Finally when he entered the building, we set off.   We arrived at the nurses station so I could be assessed for labor and delivery.  But one look at me told them no assessment was necessary.  The nurses instantly assigned me to a delivery room  ~ I was dilated to an 8.  Three calls to the doctor to get her to hurry up, no epidural and an 1/2 hour later, we were holding our beautiful 21 inch, 8lb 8oz, baby boy in our arms.

Time flies, but I remember these minutes like they were yesterday.

And today?  Today is not much different from that day 10 years ago.  It is cold, it is windy and I am so in love with that baby boy, who is now a 10 year old.  Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for him.

Happy Birthday Beautiful Boy ~ thank you for the love, laughter and fun you bring to our family!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ordinary Miracles Monday (1)

Ordinary Miracles.......

Miracles are defined as (via

1.  an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural  
     powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2.  such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3.  a wonder; marvel.

And we all know what Ordinary things are ~ words like simple, typical, uninteresting, plain, usual, uneventful and boring.

But, what if, we put these two things together.  What if, we change the way we look at the ordinary things, people and events in our lives.  What if we see all of our day to day events as miracles? What about the things and people we see every day?  How would our perspective change if we chose to see our ordinary days as miracles that we should find wonder in and be thankful for.

Every Monday, lets come together and share about the ordinary in our lives that we have chosen to see differently, as miracles..... Ordinary Miracles.  After all, that is what my blog, my minuscule little corner of the www is suppose to be all about ~ finding the beauty every day, even if it doesn't look/feel beautiful.

Ready, here we go:

Saturday, Hubby and Action went out of town for a boy's weekend filled with ice fishing fun. And while they were missed greatly,  Sassy, Smiley and I found ourselves in the midst of a very quiet weekend, free of plans, sports (except for an hour long pitching clinic last night) and "to do's".

Saturday, we didn't do much of anything.  I was able to revel in relaxing on the couch and finished a book ("The Bright Forever" by Lee Martin if you are wondering, and no, I wouldn't recommend it.).
Sassy made cookies (so good) and I was able to watch her and Smiley working together in the kitchen ~ giggling and having fun. No arguing or fighting.  We went to church, we ate dinner together and the three of us sat in the dark living room together watching Cinderella.  And once Smiley went to bed, Sassy and I watched "The Help".  It was so nice just spending time together with my girls.

Sleeping in on Sunday morning was a wonderful way to start the day.  Smiley asked if we could go swimming and I put my planned agenda  aside and said, "yes".  After all, unscheduled weekends are hard to come by anymore.  We swam, splashed and laughed.  As much as I hate slipping into a swimsuit in the dead of winter with my pale, pasty legs, it was simply lovely.  The smiles on the faces of my girls was pure satisfaction.  Later in the afternoon, we made pretzels.  Such a simple thing to make.  But, we worked together mixing and kneading the dough.  We laughed together while we compared pretzel shapes.   We smiled together as we ate our creations.

Such a simple weekend, an ordinary weekend, but one that will always be engraved in our memories, as a series of Ordinary Miracles.

Let me know in the comments section, what have you seen as an Ordinary Miracle in your life lately?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Funny

Happy Friday Friends!  I hope you had yourselves a good week! 
I don't know about any of you other mothers out there, but why does it seem that children don't realize they have a dad?  At least that is the case much of the time at my house.  I saw a version of this on Facebook the other day and created my own:

I guess kids at a young age know who has all of the answers ~ Ha!

And since hubby has been gone for a couple of days traveling for work, I've been hearing even more "hey mom's"

Have a great weekend ~ I hope have fun, find time to relax and remember to smile!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Living away from family

This past weekend flew by.  Hubby's parents came for a visit and we had a fun, jam packed weekend.  It seems when weekends like these are over, I feel a bit of longing.  A longing for more.

We live about 4 hours from my parents and 5 hours from hubby's parents.  While we are many miles from each other, we also know we can hop in the car and easily get there if we need to.  I do admit that as I get older, it is harder for me to be further away ~ for many different reasons.

Don't get me wrong, I love where we live.  We have made so many wonderful friends.  We have become involved in our community in a variety of ways, and we really enjoy our neighborhood and all our area has to offer.

The two things I mainly struggle with are:

 # 1 the lack of grandparent time for our kids (only because of distance, not because of effort!).  The thing is, is our kids don't know any different either.  They LOVE when we are able to go visit and when their grandparents come to our house for a  visit.  When either of those things happen, the kids are doted upon, cheered on and supported, not to mention, there is always fun to be had.  I do however, remember all of the wonderful memories I made with my grandparents.  I remember having sleepovers, just for fun, many times when my Grandpa was out of town and sometimes when he wasn't.  Grandma and I would walk to Wendy's to get frostys.  We would walk to the store and purchase a new word find book to work on.  Such simple things, but so memorable!  I remember curling up on the "davenport", as they called it watching "Hee Haw" on a Saturday night.  And I remember I would sometimes get up early on a Sunday morning just to meet them at church for mass and maybe breakfast out.  These are little things I wish my children could experience.  Their grandparents live just far enough away that they can't come see their school programs during the week.  They can't attend many of their sporting events, and they can't meet up for church or for a simple, unplanned meal together.

And #2, I wish I could be around to stop by and visit them more.  I hear my girlfriends talk about the fun they have getting together with their moms  (and dads) and going shopping, spending a day baking, or going to a movie.  I admit, I feel a twinge of jealousy when I hear them talking.
Another thing, our parents are not getting younger (no matter what they say) and being closer for them would be nice.  We could simply help with yard work, or stuff around the house.  We could just get together for a cup of coffee and a little conversation.

I do know that we are not planning on moving closer, nor are they.  So, in the meantime, we will make the most of the time we are able to spend together.  And this past weekend, like all of the other times we get together was no different.

We went snow tubing and shopping.  We ate great meals in and out.  We went to church together.  We played games.  We celebrated Actions birthday together.... a couple weeks early, and we watched Sassy play in a volleyball tournament.  It was a great weekend, and I need to remember to make memories and enjoy the time we are able to spend together and not on the time  I wish we could spend together.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Funny

Happy Friday Everyone!

If you saw my posts from earlier this week, you know how cold it has been where I live.  Highs on Monday and Tuesday were in the NEGATIVE teens. With lows in the -20's, not including the wind chill which made it feel like the temps were in the -40's.  School was cancelled on Monday and Tuesday for my kiddos ~ which they enjoyed :)

Anyway, a friend of mine posted this on facebook the other day and I just had to laugh.  Seriously, everyone has a unique perspective.

So watch out for that breeze friends and stay warm!  We are going to be in the 30's this weekend, so outdoor activities will ensue!  Yay!

Oh, and here is a list via  that lists the 20 U.S. cities allowed to complain about the cold.  If you fall in that list I'm sorry, and complain away.  If your wondering, my city..... #1 on the list.

1. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
2. Anchorage, Alaska
3. Madison, Wisconsin
4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
5. Omaha, Nebraska
6. Chicago, Illinois
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
8. Rochester, New York
9. Buffalo, New York
10. Ft. Wayne, Indiana
11. Toledo, Ohio
12. Detroit, Michigan
13. Akron, Ohio
14. Cleveland, Ohio
15. Indianapolis, Indiana
16. Colorado Springs, Colorado
17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
18. Denver, Colorado
19. Kansas City, Missouri
20. Boston, Massachusetts

Monday, January 6, 2014

Light 'em Up Up Up, Light 'em Up Up Up......

Hi Friends ~ Hope you are all staying warm on these winter days.  School was cancelled today for the kids (decision made last Friday via the Governor for the state) due to the extreme cold temps (and I just received a call that it is cancelled for tomorrow too!).  Seriously, this morning around 8:30 here's what our thermometer read (and that doesn't include the wind chill).   

Anyway,  on to New Year's Eve:

We have a group of friends and every year we rotate who hosts a New Years Eve Party. 
Last year was our turn.  See, here we are hosting:

This year the host of the party sent out this email:

Did you see in that email what I saw?  PRIZES!!!  I love a competition, any competition, even if it is for an ugly sweater and even more if prices are involved.  Yes, I'm a little odd ~ at times!

Anyway, I went on a shopping spree in search of the perfect ugly sweater.  Requirements included:
  • Ugliness
  • Gaudiness
  • and it needed be a chunky knit sweater

The kids and I found just the perfect one.

  • I purchased a 10 count strand of battery operated LED star lights (that twinkle, flash and change colors) from Target on their after Christmas clearance (I cannot find them on their website).
  • Cut small strategically placed holes in the sweater.
  • Stuck the star lights through each hole so the cords were "inside" the sweater and couldn't be seen.
  • Sewed the stars in place and stitched up the holes.
  • I had thought about adding an interior pocket in the sweater for the battery pack, which is about 3 1/2" x 3".  But decided not to as I was wearing jeans and could just stick it in the pocket of my jeans.

Here is the finished product (along with Hubby's lovely woman's sweater vest):

And......  All Lit Up:

And since I'm sure you are wondering, I did win the prize.
and it was a lovely flashing "Happy New Year" tiara

So light 'em up, up, up
Light 'em up, up, up
Light 'em up, up, up
I'm on fire

(lyrics via Fall Out Boy's  "My Songs Know What you Did in the Dark")

What were your New Year's Eve Plans?