Just Some Stuff

– I am watching Curling and wondering what all the hollering is about. I think I could be a successful curler just for that fact alone. (As you may recall, I still have several Olympic Events on my DVR, including the closing ceremonies). I had once called Curling a big, fat snooze fest, but the more I watch it, the more I wonder to myself HOW DO THEY GET THAT THING TO GO WHERE THEY WANT IT TO GO, and does anyone every trip over one of the slidy things and fall because I would be the one to do that. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be a successful curler after all.

– I biked 17.85 miles on my recumbent bike earlier this evening. And I did that while watching a show on TLC called My 600 pound life. Y’all. If that ain’t motivation to pedal faster and longer, I don’t know what is. All I can say is, wow. Well, that AND I finished the day 400 calories under my goal. Maybe I should watch that show every single day. I am starving, but have no desire to eat.

– We are just days away from the start of baseball season. I am so ready for warm weather, flip-flops, and evenings at the ball field.

– Can you believe we had another friggin’ snow day today? It started out as a two-hour delay, but an hour later the delay changed to a cancellation, which is fine with me because SLEEP. The sun teased us a little bit over the weekend and we had sixty degree temps, but wouldn’t you know the snow is back to show itself.

–  I spent the day logging clothing items into the computer for a consignment sale. I am always amazed at the amount of clothing the boys grow out of each season. And speaking of clothes, McDaddy just brought another load of laundry up from the mudroom that needs my attention. It simply never ends. (But I do love my fancy front loaders. I can do the same amount of laundry in half the time, so YES!)

–  I am participating in a 5-day wrinkle regimen trial at the request of my sister-in-law. It’s a six-step process for the face, which is about 5.5 steps more than what I’m used to. Seriously, I am all about simplicity. Six steps morning and night doesn’t seem simple to me, but I must admit my face feels fabulous. After everything I’ve slathered on it this week, I shouldn’t have one wrinkle left at the end of the five days.

– I hope you’re having a great, wrinkle-free, WARM Thursday!

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

For the past month or so, I have been trying at least one new Pinterest recipe each week. I have more than 250 pins on my “What’s For Dinner?” board, so I have plenty of options. Tonight, I tried a new pork chop recipe.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the ingredients before I prepared the dish. Nor did I get a picture of the finished product, but that’s because they smelled yummy and my gang was hungry.

As is normally the case around here, this recipe is a simple one.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Combine the brown sugar and garlic salt and rub both sides of pork chop with mixture.
  • Place pork chops in a square baking dish
  • Drizzle with melted butter
  • Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper
  • Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes (internal temp should be at least 155 degrees)
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese (Use more if you LOVE cheese!)
  • Return pork chops to oven for 5-7 more minutes.

OPTIONAL: Use barbecue sauce for dipping

We enjoyed these with left over baked beans and dressing.

Enjoy!

What I Learned This Week

Can you believe it is already that time of the week again? It seems the older I get, the quicker time flies by. When I was in Elementary School, it seemed like a school year lasted a sweet forever. And now that I’m a mom, time flies by at a crazy pace. For instance, it seems like just yesterday, I was working the fall book fair. And today? I was working the spring book fair. It is annoying to me that the best years of my life (motherhood) are flying by.

Anyway, I am sitting on my big, blue, bloggy couch watching the Olympics (I have several events on my DVR that I haven’t watched yet) and I am so sad that Sochi 2014 is over. Like I said, TIME FLIES.

Here’s what I learned this week:

  1. I need to pay closer attention to the type of pants Alex is wearing when he puts on his cub-scout shirt, scarf and hat. Otherwise, he may show up at another Pack Meeting with gym pants being “held-up” by his Scout belt.
  2. I need to pay closer attention to Alex’s jacket choice on cold, blustery mornings.
  3. Once your water supply is contaminated, you will have to pretty much FORCE yourself to begin using the water again. Even after you make the decision use it again, you will constantly question yourself about whether or not you are doing the right thing.
  4. I really miss great family television shows like The Jeffersons and The Brady Bunch.
  5. I would bet the farm that our home phone number is on every telemarketing list from here to Norway. (In case you’re wondering, I totally just pulled Norway out of the sky. But you get my point, right?)
  6.  The who knew cookies that look like Oreos are straight-up nasty.
  7. When counting calories, a 20 calorie Lindor truffle is like heaven on earth.
  8. Counting calories is boring.
  9. Just because purple glitter nail polish looks pretty in the bottle, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will look pretty on the toes.
  10. According to Si Robertson, one of the Duck Dynasty sound guys was saved when Phil presented The Gospel to him after the sound guy inquired about why he never heard The Robertson’s curse at or get mad at one another while filming.
  11. As of Saturday night, John Luke Robertson now has an official Twitter account. He was at an event in Charleston, WV when he activated it. You can find him on Twitter at John316Luke923.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Letters To Crazy People (Olympic Edition)

Dear Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat,

When you use opening moves directly from the film “Dirty Dancing” in your figure skating routine to “Time of My Life,” – YOU. WIN. Period.

Thanks for putting a smile on my face,

A Dirty Dancing Fan from WAY BACK

—–

Dear Bob Costas,

I am so happy that your eye is all healed up. Although Matt Lauer did a fine job filling in for you, somehow the Olympics are just not the same without you.

Eye I appreciate you,

A Loyal Olympic Viewer

—–

Dear Apolo Ohno,

Speed Skating isn’t nearly as fun to watch without you in it. OHNO, it’s not! Enjoyed your commentary though!

Oh YES, I’m talking about you again,

Julie

—–

Dear NBC,

Y’all.

These stories you all run night after night always bring tears to my eyes. The Russian adopted gal, the Canadian skier and his disabled brother with cerebral palsy, the young female snowboarder who was instrumental in bringing the half-pipe to Olympics, Steven Holcomb’s cornea problems, and OH MY WORD, I could just prattle ON AND ON AND ON with these stories. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for bringing us these special moments.

Writing this through tear-filled eyes,

One Highly Emotional Gal

—–

Dear Johnny Weir,

MY MY MY. Why not just add a “D” to the end of your name and call it a day?

Your wardrobe choices were over the top and the weave, well, the weave was funky.

I guess I just don’t get it.

Shaking My Head,

A Fashion Consultant Wannabe

—–

Dear Slovenia,

Your lime green and turquoise color scheme is simply beautiful. I would love to have a jacket and matching toboggan like those worn by Slovenia ski fans, only without the whole Slovenia name on them.

Can somebody hook a girl up?

Crossing My Fingers,

A bright, cheerful girl from USA.

—–

Dear International Figure Skating Committee,

There HAS TO BE a simpler way to score figure skating so that we ice skating fans could better understand it.

Math has never been my strong suit, but I think that even I could come up with something a little less complicated.

Can one of you get on that before PyeongChang, please?

Thanks so much,

An Olympic Figure Skating Fan

—–

And with that, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games are finished.

Have a great week, y’all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Workout Playlist

I received a recumbent bike for Christmas. I have ridden at least 10 miles 4-5 days each week since that time. This past week, I kicked it up a notch and began riding at least 15 miles at least four days a week.

But today, something wonderful happened.

The sun came out and it was SIXTY FOUR degrees.

I just couldn’t stand the thought of riding that bike for an hour in our basement when the sun was shining brightly. Instead, I dug out a pair of ear buds and I hit the pavement.

Y’all.

I. WALKED. TWO. MILES.

And, I walked fast!

Afterwards, I felt rejuvenated, and renewed. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to be out and about in Capri pants and a short sleeve shirt in the middle of February, especially after we’ve been up to our eyeballs in snow for the past month.

I enjoyed a brisk walk through my neighborhood with my iPod. I listen to music when I exercise for a number of reasons,

  1. It helps me walk faster and pedal harder.
  2. It ALWAYS helps my mood.
  3. It helps to pass the time.
  4. It makes me happy.

I thought it might be fun to share the list on the off-chance that you haven’t found a great playlist that really gets you moving. Before I get started you should know that I have a very eclectic mix of songs. (458 of them to be exact.)

1. Rag Doll – Aerosmith
Oh shoot. Nothing gets my blood pumpin’ quicker than some Aerosmith.
2. Love On Top – Beyonce
I first heard this song when Maks danced with Zendaya on DWTS. I added it to my playlist that night and it is a great song for getting your rear in gear. This song always makes me kick it up a notch because, BEYONCE.3. Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon HeathMy favorite song by Brandon Heath. Great words. Great beat.

4. Sing A Song – Third Day

You know, because after Beyoncé and Steven Tyler, I need to clean things up a bit. Seriously though, I have more Third Day on my iPod than anything. Love them.

5. Shoop (Ghetto Lab Full Rub Mix) (whatever that means…) – Salt-N-Pepa

Hey, 1993 called. They want their song back. It’s apparently Ghetto fabulous, and it will cause you to go harder, faster, and stronger.

6. Made To Love – TobyMac

When this song blares through my ear buds, I pedal like Lance Armstrong.

On steroids.

(And now, hours later, that is evidenced by my sore calves.)

9. Lose My Soul – TobyMac (My favorite of his songs!)

You can’t really go wrong with tobyMac. He knows how to really rock it out.

10. Have Fun, Go Mad – Blair

I have no idea how I discovered this song, but it is one of my favorites when I’m exercising.

11. Feelin’ So Fly – tobyMac

Remember when I said you can’t go wrong with tobyMac? I meant it.

12. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

With one minute left in this song, I started up the big hill in our neighborhood today. To hear MJ yell, “GO ON GIRL” well, let’s just say, it made me smile and made me push myself harder.

13. These Thousand Hills – Third Day

These several hills on our street are the reason my calves are burning tonight.

14. You Learn – Alanis Morissette

Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill helps put some pep in my step. (Have I mentioned I have one diverse playlist?)

15. Poison – Bell Biv Devoe

Y’all. I love me some 90’s music. This takes me back a year or twenty. (Am I really that old?)

16. Motownphilly – Boyz II Me

I have to fight the urge to break out my dance moves when I hear Motownphilly. And rest assured, I have some mean ones.

17. Rolling in the Deep – Adele

This is a toe-tapper for sure. A great song and a talented artist.

18. Oh Happy Day – BeBe Winans

I have this as one of the ringtones on my phone. This song changes my mood every time I hear it.

19. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke

What can I say, except I love a song with a good beat? I heard this song on the radio one night and immediately downloaded it to my iPod. It is currently one of my favorite songs, probably because I’m a good girl. Ahem.

20. Me, Myself and I – De La Soul

Another oldie, but goodie.

And there you have it.

A great collection of workout tunes that promises to make you go longer, harder, faster, and stronger.

Ode To The 1981 Buick Electra

Today we said goodbye,
To an old and dear friend.
McDaddy is so sad,
His ownership came to an end.

A tough decision he made,
To put her up for sale,
That car’s been through a lot,
It could sure share some tales.

A co-worker once remarked,
It’s the biggest car he’d ever seen,
At 225 inches long,
It took forever to clean.

His granddad purchased it new,
It was quite the sight to behold,
McDaddy loved that car,
And I still can’t believe it is sold.

We have lots of special memories
It’s been in my life since our first date
He didn’t drive it much the past few years,
But instead of selling, decided to wait.

The boys loved riding in it,
McDaddy wished to drive it more,
And I will never, ever forget
It’s crazy heavy, long doors.

And so it’s the end of an era,
1BIGBUIK, we already miss you.
We will think and speak of you often,
And remember the smiles you brought, too!

What I Learned This Week

I am so happy to report that we haven’t seen any snowfall since, well, yesterday.

So, yes, there’s that.

The high tomorrow is supposed to be 55 degrees.

And I say, “Praise ye, the Lord!”

As I write this though, the wind is howling and it sounds like the roof might blow off of the house, so if I don’t finish this post, you’ll know why.

Here’s what I learned this week:

1. January 2014 was the coldest recorded month in West Virginia in the past 36 years.

2. The average temperature in January, 2014 was 24 degrees.

3. There is no longer an American Cookie Company at the Charleston Town Center Mall. Since I purchased four of our last five birthday cakes from there, this makes me all kinds of sad.

4. Stevie is currently on eBay looking for an electric guitar because, in his words, “Mr. “MusicTeacher” has relit my passion” for guitar playing.

I never knew that he even had an original passion for guitar playing, but he is now searching eBay for an electric guitar.

5. When purchasing a Valentine card for your Valentine, you should, by all means, put it somewhere logical.

6. Michael Jackson makes everything better. Even ice dancing.

7. Having 52 candy bars in the house when trying to lose weight is a bad idea.

8. When you work for weeks on a Shutterfly scrapbook and then spend another week checking for mistakes, it will aggravate the pee out of you when you receive the book and there are at least three mistakes in it.

9. When typing the word Shutterfly on Facebook, or the blog, you should check the word before posting, because the “I” and the “U” are side-by-side on the keyboard.

10. I have no problem riding the exercise bike early in the morning. When I wait until evening time though, it is a struggle (especially while the Olympics are on).

11. I hate riding the exercise bike, but I always feel better afterwards.

12. There is a very short period of time between a perfect hair day and needing a haircut.

How’s that for a random list?

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Thursday Thirteen – The Olympics

I have been in an Olympic frenzy this whole week. My DVR hasn’t had much rest and I have spent almost every waking moment (at home) parked in front of the television cheering for Team USA. For that reason, it seems only natural that I would share my observations with you (while watching half-pipe and figure skating).

1. Shaun White – Y’all. First of all, he looks so grown up with that short hair. And secondly, OHMYWORD, how disappointing for him to not even make the podium in this, his third Olympics, but bless his heart for being so gracious to the gold-medal Swiss snow-boarder. And lastly, I can’t help but wonder if things might have gone differently if the pipe conditions had been better.

2. Can you imagine living life looking like Kirsten Moore-Towers from Canada. She is so cute, I would like to carry her around in my pocket.

Oh, and as an added bonus, she is so graceful on the ice.

2. I absolutely love the bright pink cat-suit worn by Russian figure skater, Tatiana Volosozhar. As it turns out, she and partner Maxim Trankov skated to Pink Panther.

3. I miss American short track speed skating eight-time medalist Apolo Ohno. Watching short track speed skating just isn’t the same without him. I have enjoyed his Olympic coverage commentary, though.

4. Pee-wee Herman showed up in Sochi and he brought an inflated red latex glove lapel decoration with him.

The day before, he dawned a bright pink jacket that matched Bob Costas’ eye. (Stevie asked if he was wearing the “pink coat” for Breast Cancer awareness day.)

5. I have never in my life, with the exception of the Olympics heard anyone refer to the sport of curling, ever. And to be honest, I didn’t really understand the point of the “sport” until I consulted Wikipedia. It referred to curling as chess on ice. Oh, and also SNOOZE.

6. I am completely in awe of those who compete in free style skiing. To fly through the air backwards and also ski downhill backwards, oh yes ma’am, super impressive.

7. Is it just me, or did Bob Costas’ one infected eye turn into two infected eyes right before our very eyes? Sweet mercy, are there no antibiotics in Sochi, Russia? I keep trying to figure out how he keeps from poking his eyeballs out on live television because THE BURN!

8. Either Matt Lauer has aged quite a bit in the last few months, or he made a decision to quit coloring his hair. Either way, I’d much rather look at Matt’s gray hair, than Bob’s runny pink eyes.

9. Earlier in the week, Russian cross-country skier (and medal favorite) Anton Gafarov crashed on a downhill corner as he made his way down the course. After the crash, he attempted to make it to the finish line – with a broken ski. (He reminded me of an injured dog dragging his back leg.) When Canadian cross-country ski coach Justin Wadsworth spotted Gafarov trying to make his way to the finish line, Wadsworth grabbed a spare ski, approached Gafarov, kneeled down and replaced the broken ski without uttering one word. In true Olympic spirit, Gafarov finished the race three minutes behind the other finishers. But, he finished.

10. Tears ran down my face while watching the story of Olympic moguls gold medalist Alex Bilodeau with his brother Frederic who suffers from cerebral palsy. When interviewed, Alex said that Frederic is his inspiration and helps keep him grounded. Oh my sweet mercy, just look at these two.

source

11. And what about US long track speed skater, Sugar Todd? I smile every time I hear her name. God bless her momma’s heart.

12. Are the khaki pants and khaki ski jackets the best we can do for our US Ski team? And while we’re on the subject of Olympic attire, I would like to say that I wasn’t too hip on the “ugly Christmas sweaters” worn by the US Olympic team during opening ceremonies, either. I guess Ralph Lauren forgot to consult with me before approving that nonsense.

13. Just for fun, I checked the prices of several Olympic venue tickets. A “cheap” ticket to the men’s free skate competition (which includes the medal ceremony) costs 3000 Russian Rubbles which is $86.15 in American dollars. A ticket to the Closing Ceremony, on the other hand would set you back $129.22. And if you’re planning to travel to Sochi to just hang out in Olympic Park? Well, that will cost you $11. per day.

You’re welcome.

Go TEAM USA!

A Work In Progress

A couple of years ago, I had a disagreement with a friend. It took the wind out of my sails. I was so surprised and sad, I spent several days in prayer. I remember praying to God while running the vacuum and asking Him to let me know somehow if I was in the wrong. I wanted to do something. Or make a phone call. Stomp my foot. Kick. Scream. Something? Anything. Instead, I discussed the situation with McDaddy and I waited.

A few nights later, I was awakened from a sound sleep. I can’t describe it, but I can say it had never happened before and it has never happened since. The split second I came out of sleep, it was as if I heard the words, Exodus, and fourteen.

I got out of bed, grabbed my Bible and went into the bathroom so that I wouldn’t disturb McDaddy.

As I opened my Bible, I sat down on the toilet and wondered if I was going nuts. I had never heard “that still small voice” that I heard so much about growing up in a small Baptist church, but at the time, I had no other explanation for the words that I heard as clear as if they had been spoken to me, and to this day, I still don’t.

Exodus 14.

As I read through the first several verses, nothing really stuck out to me.

But then I came to verse fourteen.

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

I sat in awe.

So many times over the past few days I had wanted to act.

To react.

To be heard.

To say more.

But now?

I knew better.

It was if the Lord himself had spoken to me and said, “Girl, shut your mouth and be patient.”

Do you know how hard it is for me to be still?

I mean, really still?

Just ask McDaddy.

But this time, I knew that being still is exactly what I needed to do because I had asked God to show me. He wanted me to be still, so that I could be fully aware of His presence.

I returned to bed and shook McDaddy. I had to share what the Lord had told me. I was just sure he would have something profound to say. When I explained what had just taken place in the bathroom, he sat up in the bed and giggled.

Yes, I said, giggled.

When I asked why he was giggling, he simply replied, “Because I can’t think of one person besides the Lord who you’d actually listen to, when told to be quiet.”

He knows me well.

If you know me in real life, you know that I come from a long line of loud and I don’t normally do quiet well. This time though? I did exactly what I was supposed to do, and guess what?

A few days later, the friend that I had the disagreement with, called and asked McDaddy and I to meet with him (and also his wife) to get this situation worked out.

And that is exactly what we did.

Now, every time I see that verse, I am reminded that when I need to hear, I need to simply be quiet. I am confident that “the disagreement” was not about me or my friend, rather, this particular situation was simply about me and the Lord.

At the age of forty, I am slowly learning that when things are not clear, my best bet is to shut my mouth and be patient.

I am, indeed, a work in progress.

What I Learned This Week

We had another two-hour delay today. I was a bit surprised because our hill wasn’t that bad, but I must admit I enjoyed the extra bit of sleep.

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. There is a difference between a wench and a winch.

2. I HATE “Out of Area” calls.

3. No matter how many times you bang on a pot with a wooden spoon when they call, the jokers from CARD SERVICES will still call your home every 3-4 days.

4. Since hitting 40, TUMS are my friend.

5. The term “Lego” comes from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means play well.

6. The national flag of Nepal is the world’s only non-rectangular flag.

7. It is totally possible for a college education person to have trouble turning on a television they rarely watch.

8. When a college educated person is not able to turn on a television, it may make her want to throw the remote through a window.

9. I have absolutely no use for something that doesn’t work properly (or easily).

10. The Fitness Pal APP is a really good tool for weight loss.

11. If you are using the Fitness Pal APP and your child is required to sell 52 candy bars for a $28.00 profit, your best bet is just to donate the $28.00 and forget about the candy bars.

12. HOWEVER, if you are attempting to balance the nutritional scales, a Reese peanut butter cup will, in fact, increase your fat and protein percentages, therefore lowering your carb percentage.

13. Green Giant’s new (or maybe they aren’t new) seasoned steamers – honey Dijon carrots are straight-up nasty. They taste like 99% mustard and about 1% honey. They should have called them mustard carrots.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!