Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Feelin' Frappe

I have found a new drug - a frappe!  This all started when my mother made me a frappe in her new Mr. Coffee Frappe machine.  My mother is such a trendy gal ;-).  Anyway, I thought only to humor her and did not think I would like it - after all, I'm not a coffee drinker.  Boy was I wrong!   I love them!  I crave them!  I want a Frappe machine!  Too bad they cost $70.  So, I figured I would enjoy an occasional frappe from McD's.  They are really good too and only cost about $2 - an occasional treat, right?  Well, after I checked out the nutritional value in one, I decided against it!  Wow-a whopping 550 calories.  What to do, what to do. . . . . 

My frappe salvation - Hungry Girl!!!!  She has several frappe recipes that are copy cat versions of Starbucks with very few calories (and WW points).  I thought I would try this one.  It seemed easy enough to do and I already own a blender, so no major expenses!  However, after I got Tanner hooked on the caramel version from McD's, he was reluctant to try a Hungry Girl recipe - especially in vanilla (go figure:-)).  So, I took this HG recipe and converted it into a caramel version.  It is honestly just as good as the McD's - no joke!  Even Tanner was impressed and gave me a high 5.  As a mother of all boys, it is good to find something you can enjoy with your sons other than football, Star Wars, and hunting.

Here is my recipe:

Caramel Frappe

4 oz. light vanilla soymilk
1 oz. fat free coffeemate liquid creamer - caramel vanilla flavor
2 tsp. instant coffee
3 tsp. ff vanilla coffeemate powder dissolved in 1 oz. warm water
1 oz. vanilla (or caramel) flavored syrup - sugar free
2 pts. Stevia
1 cup crushed ice
1 squirt ff caramel ice cream topping

whip it up in your blender and if you want it to look "fancy" like the McD's, add a spray of ff whip cream and a drizzle of the ff caramel topping.   
This makes 1 large or 2 small frappes - the whole thing is only 2 points! 
I am so happy about this find and I plan to do some experimenting to make different flavors.  I'll report my findings here!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just wondering. . .

I find it amazing how quickly our children grow.  As a parent, we always dream and wonder what our children will become someday.  We hope they will be hard working, loving, and caring individuals.  But I always wonder what they will do for a living - their career.  I hope it will be something that gives them pleasure and that they find fulfilling, but also can put food on the table - enough food for many many of my grandchildren :-).  

As you look at the little faces of a 2 year old, it is hard to imagine that one day they might be a carpenter, a banker, a construction worker, etc.  For each of my children, though, I have wondered what it would be like if they were to become a preacher.  Perhaps it is because all of my boys have enjoyed "playing" church at home.  Kevin built Ty and Tanner a pulpit for them to play at leading singing, reading the scripture, and pounding their fists while spewing fire and brimstone!  Now, some 15 years later, Dan has built Levi and Noah a pulpit also.  These photos are just too cute not to share.


Saturday, September 11, 2010


We must never forget those who were murdered 9 years ago today, and all the families that will never be the same again.   How tragic that some seem to have forgotten the feeling of that day and how America was forever changed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

TGIF Photos

Posting a favorite photo each Friday was inspiration that came from Rita at CoffeeShop.  Each Friday, I am also posting a favorite photo of the week.  It was a busy week with lots going on, and it was hard to chose, so I chose 2 (I have issues, I know).  This one is just so sweet - it is exactly what a dad should be - supportive and worthy of following!   Please note the gun holster on his hip - dads should also be protective!  LOL

This is one of Noah in the pumpkin patch blowing milk weed fuzz (yes, I believe that is the scientific name:-)).   It is not a fantastic shot as the shadow is a bit dark, even after messing in PSE, but I love how his hands are outreached and how the fuzz glows in the light.
Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Decorating Help, Please!

This is actually a funny story.  When I married Dan in 2005, I became the co-owner of a night stand.  This night stand was given to Dan, I believe, and did not match anything either of us owned (I believe it is a French Provincial style), but it was a night stand with drawers and was very sturdy, so I was reluctant to give it away.  This night stand is now in storage and Dan has tried, unsuccessfully, to get me to sell it.  I am determined that I will do something with this stand to be able to use it and have it fit into our rustic decor.  

Fast forward to summer of 2010.  I go to a garage sale and low and behold they have a full sized head board and foot board and a large dresser with a mirror for sale.  Guess what????? It matches my night stand perfectly!  Oh my - I just had to have it.  It was fate.  Not to mention that I got all these pieces for $25!  What a deal, right????  Dan was not as enthusiastic about my purchase as I had hoped, and Tyler was even less so, as I put the headboard on his bed and found it out in the other room within the hour.  I do recall some yelling from the basement about him not being a girl. . .

Fast forward again to present - what in the world am I going to do with this French provincial style bedroom suit in a rustic cabin decorated house???   Oh dear, impulse buying is not a good thing.

So, I am now facing the dilemma of what to do with this set.  It is a white laminate with gold trim (does not go well with animal hides and fishing themes).  Please, any and all advice will be appreciated.  Things you should know:

1) I do have experience painting laminate and I know you must use a special primer.

2) I am not against using black

3) I am the mother of 4 boys and this will inevitably be in one of their bedrooms, so anything "feminine" is out of the question.

That being said. . . . . PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!  Will paint even solve the problem?  I mean, there are a lot of curves and designs on it that paint won't cover - perhaps black leather on the headboard?   I just don't know and I need some expert opinions.

Here are some photos:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Long Weekends

When you don't work outside the home, one day is often the same as the next.   How sad.  However, I remember working and I remember loving long weekends.  This past Labor Day, the weather was gorgeous and we decided to go to a nearby "hill" and hike it.  It has been on our "to do" list for a while now.  The area is called Levis Mound, and for obvious reasons, we wanted to take the boys there. 

Levi kept telling us it was "his hill".  Like he discovered it or something.  He did really well on the hike and only got a bit fussy at the end.  Noah was a typical 2 year old who did not get a nap - need I say more?

There were some beautiful views of the surrounding area.  For my PA friends, this hill was high, but it was more of an optical illusion because it could not been seen until you were right there at it - so weird.  I hiked up Beautiful Lookout this past month and believe me, I was huffing a lot more than on this hill.  But, nonetheless it was an awesome day with 3 of my favorite guys.

Then we took the boys fishing on the Black River.  They were not so interested in fishing as they were with playing with worms and generally goofing off.

Do you see any resemblance here?  I thought Levi got these weird faces all on his own - but now I have proof they are from his dad. . .

Friday, September 3, 2010

TGIF Photos

Inspired by Rita's Friday Photo Bliss, I am posting my own favorite photo of the week each Friday. 

This week started my son's junior year in high school, and here he is on the first day.  I always take my boys' picture on the first day of school.

 He's a kind, loving, awesome young man and I love him with all my heart.  This boy has a plan for his future mapped out and Lord willing, he will get there.  His list of high school courses makes me have nightmares about the homework alone, but he takes it all in stride.  By the time he graduates high school, he plans to have 12 college credits already under his belt!  Okay, forgive me -  I'm done bragging!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Froggy & Friends

Here are a few creatures I recently photographed.  I have to resort to taking pictures of creatures because my children are tired of posing for me.

This little guy was hiding in my flower pot.

I hate spiders, but I think they are marvelous artists.

I have nothing good to say about mosquitoes.  I hate them, loathe them, and love to imagine a world without them.  However, he flew in front of my camera when I was taking the flower picture.  Actually, he was probably looking for his next victim.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

TGIF Photos

Disclaimer:  I know it is not Friday yet, but I won't be home tomorrow, so I'm posting a day early!

I was playing around in PSE again.  Honest, I was not wasting time, I had my house tidied up and was waiting for the grass to dry off so I could mow - push mow!  Anyway, can you tell I feel a bit guilty for being on the computer???  
Here is a favorite photo of mine, and I was doing some editing to see what effects I liked best.  This photo just screams "innocence" to me.  And who can resist those little behinds in their Levi jeans????  Not this mama!  I am posting my favorite photo of the week each Friday (or Thursday) since I've been inspired by Rita from the Coffeeshop blog.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Storybook Forest

There is a place in Pennsylvania. . . 
Where storybook characters come to life!
Where Grandparents spoil the grand kids (oh wait, that's anywhere the grandparents are). . .
Where little boys laugh and have fun. . . 

Where the big bad wolf lives. . . 

  Where people can walk at an angle. . . 

Where we had lots and lots of fun!

It is called Idlewild/Storybook Forest.  This is the best little park for small children and families.  I remember this park as a small child, and I have so many memories of taking Ty and Tanner here too.  Now, I have memories for Levi and Noah.

Friday, August 20, 2010

TGIF Photos

I've been inspired a lot by Rita at CoffeeShopOn Fridays, she posts her favorite photo of the week and calls is Friday Photo Bliss.  Here is one of my favorites for the week.  I love it because I had a bike like this when I was 4 (actually, my mom now has it as an ornament in her flower garden).  This is my Levi and he's smiling so big because he's visiting Pa-Pa and Graham Cracker and having the time of his life!
I used Rita's tutorial for PSE for this photo called Ice Pop.  I really like it. It is edgy and rustic at the same time, I think.  Check out Rita's blog - she's got great stuff on there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

He's Gone. . . .

Today, my firstborn son left for college -well, a quick visit to Pennsylvania before he heads to Tennessee, but nonetheless, I won't see him for awhile and it makes me so sad.  I find myself being very tolerant today of Levi and Noah's antics because I keep thinking that in the blink of an eye, it will be their tail lights I see headed out my driveway.  I had so much trouble sleeping and my mind went back to my last night at my parent's home on October 8, 1987.  I was so excited and anxious for my wedding and new married life, that I did not stop to think that my parents in the next room were probably laying awake dreading the coming day.  Amazing how things come full circle.  It makes me sort of happy to know that in the future, Ty will know exactly why I worried so much about him and why I seemed to be so "hard" on him.  Love sure does strange things to us, doesn't it?

I pray this is the only time he'll ever be behind bars!

If only I had a dime for every time I prayed for this boy. . . .  paying for college would be easy:-).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Have your cake and eat it too

Levi turned 4 last week.  Wow-time does fly by, especially the older I get.  Levi might be a little Dan, Jr. in all ways, but when it comes to desserts, that boy is 100% his mother's son!  He loves cake - all kinds, but especially his mother's cake with buttercream frosting.  He requested a Bakugan cake this year.  For those of you who don't know, Bakugan is similar to Pokemon of  a few years ago.  There are toys, a game, and a cartoon that makes no sense to anyone over the age of 12.  However, it has become Levi's obsession.  I found the large ball (which holds 8 small Bakugan) on clearance.  I had hoped to put the entire ball on the cake, but it wanted to roll off (go figure).  With the help of Marie, we figured we'd use Mega Blocks to block it up in the back and use the top part of the ball facing the front.  It was perfect for a 4 year old!