Friday, February 27, 2009

New Office!!

I know, I know... the moment that you've all been waiting for (or at least I have). Finally the office is done! Yeah fun! This spontaneous project of ours has quickly become my favorite room of the house. Here are the before and after pictures:

As you can see the "before" was pretty awful. We did have some things on the shelves, but this was pretty much it. We were not to concerned with this room because it's upstairs and no one else really ever saw it. But look at it now:

And here is our office chair since you can't really see it behind the desk:
The desk we got on sale at Target online. The end table came from Target store on sale. The curtains and pillow also came from Target, but unfortunately not on sale. The red chair and lamp I got at Home Goods. The bookshelf was ours, just a cheapy one that was being given away. It was originally brown, but we painted it black. The desk chair we bought at a consignment shop, and I pushed the seat cushion out and re-covered it in some fabric that I got to match the room. The bulletin board was a super cheapo one of Lantz's that's been sitting in the closet. We painted it red and then I put a black boa around it that I had sitting in the closet. Most of the accessories came from other parts of the house, or on sale from Kohles or Ross.The color on the walls is Japanese Fern (Behr's eggshell paint). We also got the paint on sale at Home Depot.

I can't tell you how much I really like this room. It all started on a whim while killing time at Home Goods. I fell in love with the chair and the lamp and the rest of the room fell into place from there. I'm pretty proud of the room, because I wouldn't say that interior design is one of my strengths.

We left the wall above the chair empty for now. We'd like to take pictures from our Europe trip and do a wall of black and white frames with black and white pictures of some of our soon to be favorite memories from our vacation.

We got some amazing deals and made some good money on Craig's List by selling our old office "stuff." Also, our neighbors had a stationary exercise bike sitting out for the trash to pick up, and Lantz and I got it and sold it on Craig's List for cash. Lantz also used some of his Free $400 gift cards that he got in the mail (see my post from Feb. 23rd for more info. on free gift cards).

I would totally recommend this style as an option in any room that you are looking to re-do. I think it would be a really fun nursery for all of you expecting moms out there- for a girl or a boy. Just an idea.

Now you can all imagine the room where I sit and write to all of you. So, what do you think?
Photobucket

Chris Tomlin

Well, the Chris Tomlin concert last night was so much fun! His music is so incredible and so inspirational. Lantz and I had a great time together- it made for one of our best date nights ever.

There were so many people there, and seating was on a first come first serve basis. When we got there and saw how long the line was it was kinda discouraging. I was thinking, "I hope that somehow we can find good seats." Well, when we got in there like everyone was seat saving. It was so ridiculous. I got kinda upset about it. I didn't say anything, cause of course we are at a Christian concert, but I really thought it was unfair. People had like whole rows saved with their jackets and purses. I mean, I paid just as much for my tickets as they did for theirs. If people aren't there yet, then to bad. There shouldn't be any seat saving allowed.


Well, we picked a seat kinda in the middle where the isle ran in between the top and bottom section. I was not crazy about the seats at all, but Lantz said that they would be fine. We continued to browse for seats closer. Then, we saw some people that we used to go to church with, and they saw where we were sitting. They said that they had really close seats, but they of course like good people were not saving seats- but tons of people around them were saving seats. Our friends told us that they would come get us if people didn't show up to claim all those saved seats. So, sure enough some of those seats that people were saving opened up. They flagged us over, and we ended up on about the tenth row! It was awesome! We were so close, and really got to enjoy the show. I feel like we were rewarded for following the rules and not trying to block off whole rows for people.Here are some pictures of our fun night.
Our tickets:
Our only picture together from the night... of course Lantz has his eyes shut:
And of course, here are some of Chris Tomlin on stage:

Again, we had a great night. I would recommend that if Chris is coming to your home town that you head on out to his concert. I'm sure that you will not be disappointed.

PS. Almost done with the office. Stay tuned for pictures later tonight, or early tomorrow!

Photobucket

Thursday, February 26, 2009

It came!!

Our way cute curtains came yesterday afternoon like right before we left for church. We got them up, but I don't want to post pictures until the desk is in the room. Speaking of the desk - it came today, and Lantz is currently putting it together while I type. Yeah!! Unfortunately, it will probably not be all together until tomorrow, because we are going to see CHRIS TOMLIN tonight! I am so pumped for this concert. Chris Tomlin is one of my favorite Christian artists ever! I love his music. Hopefully tomorrow I can post pictures of my new office and some from the concert tonight!

P.S. For all of you who have been praying for John Mark and his dad, thanks. Tiny got out of the hospital last week, and so John Mark has been back home with his dad. It's been sad not having our "teenage adopted son" around. However, he did stay with us last night because his dad had to fly to California for business. It was good having him around again. I'm really sad though, because they are moving back to Texas this weekend. We will really miss them, but we know that the Lord has new plans for both of their lives.
Photobucket

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Target Online

Um, so we ordered our cute curtains for our office and our desk like 2 weeks ago from Target online. We still have not received them in the mail. You should see me- I'm like a kid in a candy store running to check the front porch for deliveries every time I get home from work. But no, again today. It makes me sad that it is taking this long to get it. I am really almost debating posting pictures of what we have done just because I'm so stinking excited and proud of it so far. I guess I'll wait.

So, I'm sorry if you have been checking in for the pictures- I still don't have any. I promise you though as soon as those deliveries have been made to the house I will put it all together ASAP and post it within minutes of completion. So, the whole point of this post is to let you know that if you order something from Target online plan on waiting, and waiting, and waiting....

Photobucket

Monday, February 23, 2009

FREE $400

Yes... that's right... free $400-- here are our gift cards that came in the mail 2 weeks ago. This is no joke- I couldn't believe it!

So, you may be wondering how we got a free $400. I'd be happy to explain it if I could, but I don't really get it. Lantz did this thing where basically he signed up to try out some products, and then once they came in the mail he canceled them. After trying so many things then he got gift cards for $400 cash. (Basically companies pay companies to advertise. This is one way companies advertise.) (We only spent about $30 total to try these things, but you'll spend more obviously if you don't cancel them. An example was a blockbuster dvd rental thing.) I think there is also a way that you can get $600 cash, or iphones, or tvs, or wiis.... you'll have to check it out. So now that you know someone who actually did this and it works, you can try it and get free money. (By the way the cards are good- we've already spent some of them on re-doing our office-- side note: I'm still waiting for my curtains and desk to arrive in the mail and then I'll have pictures up for you all.)

So how exactly do you get started? Well, you'll have to go to Lantz's blog for the details, and once he sees that you are registered he'll send you an email to help walk you through the process. (If you register under Bonus Network and refer others the process is less confusing. However, if you do a Google search or You Tube search about a free iPhone you can see how you can do all the trial offers instead of having referrals.)

Oh yeah, I guess I should tell you that it took us about 4 months to get the money, so once you do it you just have to be patient. It will eventually come in the mail, and when it does it's like Christmas. This is a great way to get something that you've really been wanting, but haven't had the money to go and get. Or, all of my friends out there who are having babies... nursery money, clothes, diapers, maternity clothes for you... the list is endless!

Photobucket

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Amsterdam

Okay.... so now the fun of trying to get details nailed down for our Europe trip. Our first stop will be in Amsterdam. We only know of 2 things that we for sure want to do there: the Anne Frank House, and the Van Gogh Museum. I would like to start posting the cities that we plan on going to randomly and then have my wonderful blogging friends give me some feedback- especially since neither of us have been to Europe.

So... if you were to spend a few days in Amsterdam what would you want to do there? Have any of you been there? Could you recommend a hotel or bed and breakfast? Could you recommend any activities or places to eat?

Thanks in advance to all of you who hopefully give us some advice.
Photobucket

Friday, February 20, 2009

2 Yummy Recipes

So this week I tried out 2 yummy new recipes- and they both rocked! If you are looking to add some new things to the rotation then you should try them out. First is Italian Sausage Stoup (from my sister, Heather), and the second I found online while blog jumping (Stolen Moments). I made a few changes to both.

We'll start with Italian Sausage Stoup
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 pounds of Italian Sausage (I used closer to 2 and got the Hot- don't get hot
unless you really like it hot, cause Lantz and I both enjoy hot stuff and boy-howdy
was it on fire.)
- 1 yellow onion diced
-1 green bell pepper diced
-3 to 4 garlic cloves
-2 15 oz cans of Fire Roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups of Chicken Stock (I used alot more cause I wanted mine more soupy)
- 1/4 cup of fresh finely chopped basil
- 1/4 cup of fresh finely chopped parsley
- 2-3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- a few splashes of Balsamic Vinegar (Don't really think you need this)
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Cook Italian Sausage like ground hamburger meat. (I could only find links, and so Lantz took off the "skin" that held them together) You can saute onion and green pepper and garlic with meat, or in a separate pan with olive oil.
2. Add cooked meat and sauteed veggies in a large pot. Add cans of tomatoes, fresh basil and parsley, splashes of balsamic vinegar, and chicken stock. Heat over low to medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes so that the flavors mix together.
3. Serve with fresh Parmesan over top.

Here is what it looks like in big pot, and then when served with grated cheese:

And here is a picture of Heather and I together at Christmas. I thought I'd post a picture of us in honor of her giving me a recipe for the first time. Thanks Heather! Lantz and I both loved it!

Okay, so the next yummy recipe was found on-line like I said. Just to let you know this is really easy, it just is a tad bit time consuming- not a good recipe when you need something super quick. It took us about 1 hour to do it all from start to finish.

Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Spaghetti:
Ingredients for Chicken:
-2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into half or thirds so to cook faster
(I used 4)
-1 cup of flour
- 1 t. salt
-1 t. pepper
- 2 to 3 eggs (we were barely able to use 2- you may need 3)
-2 T. water
-2 cups of breadcrumbs (we used whole grain bread of course)
-3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (fresh)
-3 t. Italian seasonings
- 1 t. garlic salt
-3 T. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for each batch of Chicken (we did 3 batches, but your
pain may be bigger than ours.)
- 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

Ingredients for Garlic Spaghetti
-1 lb spaghetti (we used whole grain), cooked according to package (reserve 1/2 c. of
water from pot before you drain)
- 3 T. butter or margarine
-4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 7-9 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 T. salt
- 1 t. pepper
- 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Directions for chicken:
1.Mix together the flour, salt and pepper in small bowl. In a different bowl, whisk together eggs and water. In a flat like bowl/dish (I used a pie plate) combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings.
2. Dredge the chicken strips in flour, dip in egg, and roll in breadcrumb mixture. Cook in a large skillet with 3 T. of heated olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes over medium to high heat. Flip and cook 5 more minutes. Your chicken should be done at this point, but cut one open just to double check.
3. While doing the above steps you can heat marinara sauce on low heat in a separate small pot.
4. You will eventually put cooked chicken on top of Garlic Spaghetti and then just spoon a little marinara sauce right over the top of the chicken.

Directions for Spaghetti:
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is tender, stirring often. Add a few splashes of reserved cooking water and bring to a slow boil. Let boil about 3 minutes. Add spaghetti, combine well, and heat through. If needed, add a few more splashes of reserved water or a t. more of butter. You don't want it soupy, but you want to be sure you get sauce all over the noodles. You won't necessarily need the water.

This was so, so, so delicious! Lantz and I loved it. Oh, John Mark ate with us last night too, and he loved it. I wish I had a picture for you, but I forgot to take one. We were just so excited to try it. We served it with steamed broccoli- you could steam any veggie with it, or add a nice salad with it.

Happy eating yall!

Photobucket

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bowling with Catalyst

Sunday night we went bowling with the youth group (Catalyst) at Sante Fe Station Casino. An interesting fact that all you non Las Vegans might know is that we have lots of local hotel and casinos that are not on the strip. They have not only casinos and hotels in them but there are movie theaters, restraunts, bowling alleys, and food courts. When we were out here on our interview for the church we couldn't believe that we were taking kids to the casino for fellowshiping. Here is a picture of the casino on the left and the food court where we ate on the right:
Anyways, here are some pictures from our night of fun:


Photobucket

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Real Quick

Hey yall- just to let you know - I have pictures of bowling night with the youth group coming soon. We are re-doing our office, so I've been kinda swamped with that. I'll hopefully have before and after pictures of it within the next week. Stay posted!
Photobucket

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Heart Day!

Lantz and I have never really gone all out for V-day, and this year was no exception. We pinky promised that we would not do anything... like nothing... not even a card. We feel that we do a good job celebrating our love every day. We also are trying to purchase things for Europe and we are going to make over our office. All of these things cost money and so we decided against the V-day celebration this year. So what did we do???

Well, John Mark stayed with us again this weekend. His dad is out of the hospital, but is now in a rehabilitation center for some pain in his shoulder and arm- we went to see him Friday night. On Saturday we got up, worked out, ate breakfast, laid around the house, ran some errands, looked at some stuff to re-do our office with, called Julia (another student in youth group) to come over- and then the 4 of us ate pizza, played Loaded Questions, fondued, and watched a movie. Over all it was a blast! Here are some pictures to document our fun night:
We watched the movie: Though None Go With Me. My friend Darla let me borrow it, and I'm so glad that she did. This was a really good movie. It was a Christian based film, so it was very clean. No cursing, no questionable scenes, no violence, no cruel jokes, no sex, no nudity, etc. It's nice to watch clean films and not have to have the remote in my hand ready to fast forward through anything inappropriate.

This movie was about a woman who fell in love in a small town in the 50's and had to make choices to put God first in all circumstances. In this movie this woman has to endure so much, and yet she continues to put her faith in God and work for His kingdom. She is eventually put in a difficult position and yet chooses the way that honors God and the marriage covenant. I think that you will find some encouragement from this film. It made me extremely thankful for the people in my life. It is a little cheaply made, but not so bad that it is irritating. Oh- have tissues close by. I think I cried like 5 times. Here it is:

Again, happy heart day to you all! I hope that you got to spend it with someone that you truly love and adore!

Photobucket

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Survivor

Survivor: Tocantins started on Thursday night. Yeah! Lantz and I really enjoy this show. It's always so fun to see what they come up with as challenges. The season premier was interesting cause they had them vote within the first 5 minutes based on first impressions. Of course one tribe voted out the "old lady" and the other tribe voted off the "skinny frail young girl." Little did they know that they were not actually voting people off, but voting them to ride in a helicopter versus taking the 4 hour hike across the 120 degree highlands.

I think this season will be interesting. Based on the first episode my 2 favorite players thus far are JT and Sierra. JT is Mr. Alabama with that awesome southern draw, and Sierra is the skinny, frail, young girl that the one tribe tried to vote off. Sierra was sick and yet busted her butt to have the entire shelter built before her tribe came to the camp. Here are their pictures:


What's so fun about Survivor for us is that we have a few kids in the youth group that come over on Thursdays to watch it with us. This past Thursday Julia and John Mark joined us for the fun. If you don't watch, maybe consider having people over on Thursday nights to watch. It's fun when everyone picks their favorite person and to see which pick actually makes it to be the one Survivor! Happy socializing and watching!

Photobucket

Thursday, February 12, 2009

TGI Fridays

My co-teacher Arbenia gave me a coupon for a buy one get one free meal at TGI Fridays. I really like Fridays! I especially like the Jack Daniels chicken... it is so yummy in my tummy. I remember the first time I had it. I was in high school and out to dinner with some of my friends in the youth group. My friend Derek ordered it and I tasted of his. It was so good that anytime I ever go I always order that now. Oh, Derek now plays in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs-- kinda cool huh? He was a Freshman when I was a Senior and so he couldn't drive. We lived close, so I always took him to and from youth events. Here's a picture from the Chiefs website:
Anyways, about TGI Fridays. I got online and searched for the coupon again. I wanted to share it with all my friends out there who may be like Lantz and I- trying to save some money. It is good until March 1, 2009. You can't use it on Valentines Day. So click below where it says TGI Fridays coupon and happy eating!

TGI Fridays Coupon

Photobucket

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

STATUS

STATUS stands for Students Taking Action to Terminate Unlawful Substances.

An interesting fact that you may not know about me is that I am one of the sponsors of the STATUS club at school. We meet every Tuesday and Thursday after school. Our primary focus is basically a drug prevention club- not really like DARE though. Alot of times I think we are more of a drama club than anything. We most of the year practicing skits that we perform in our annual STATUS production for the whole school. We have like 5 skits that discuss the effect of using drugs, and how to say no. Three of them are really funny and two are really serious. We have another skit called Broken Home that deals with stopping violence and abuse in the home. Last year we added another skit called "Don't Laugh at Me" that targets bulllying.

We are getting close to performance time and so we have had to start practicing on other days. Hints why I was at STATUS today.

Anywho... I'm off to work out and then cook dinner, and then it'll be time for church!
Photobucket

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's cooking?

So for dinner tonight we had a meal that is one of my favorites. This is yummy, easy, and cheap. I kinda had something similar to this at a restaurant once, and so I made a close version to it. Not sure what it's called... lets go with:

Grilled Chicken and Terriyaki Mushrooms


Ingredients (for 2, but this will be easy to adapt for more people):
2 chicken breasts
2 Slices of Pepper Jack Cheese (or you could go w/ Swiss- we like PJ)
1 to 2 cups of rice
pack of sliced mushrooms- or thinly slice them yourself for a cheaper price like me
1/2 of white onion chopped or in bite size pieces
Terriyaki sauce
Optional: butter

You can do all of this at once:

Cook rice according to package. (If you have trouble cooking rice I would recommend a rice cooker- we got ours for a wedding gift and I use it all the time. Ours also has a veggie steamer on it.)

Grill chicken. When it is done add Pepper Jack cheese to the top. Close grill and allow the heat to melt cheese.

In a pan put mushrooms and onion. Turn on low heat and add butter (if desired) and terriyaki sauce. I probably use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. You want to use enough so that the mushrooms and onions absorb it but there's still some left in the pan to drizzle over other food. Simmer on low until rice and chicken are done. The mushrooms will shrink in size. Here is a picture on the stove:

When all is done put about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of rice on the middle to the plate. Add chicken with cheese to the top of rice. Add the mushrooms/onions to the top of chicken w/cheese. Drizzle left over warmed terriyaki sauce over chicken/rice. You can really make it look nice. I like to serve this with grilled asparagus on a square plate because you can make it look all fancy by adding asparagus around the plate and have your meal inside the asparagus square. Check out the finished product below in the picture. (Picture is without asparagus. It was not on sale this week. You could serve this with a salad or other veggie.)
Enjoy!

PS- Here is a picture for fun. I was setting the table and Lantz saw the camera out- he couldn't resist....And I couldn't resist posing. Oh, I did my hair all scrunchie to change it up!


Photobucket