Thursday, April 30, 2009

AHHH! Packing!!!

Okay, so I just got totally stressed out... like hard core... real quick. I just got done packing for our weekend camping trip with the youth group to Utah. No big deal. Except that I thought I would pack in my super cute new pack that I got for our Europe travels. You remember the post.... the way cute orange one from REI... (If not, click here to go back and read about it.)

So, I thought, I haven't used my new pack, and even though I won't be able to fill it, it'll be fun to bring camping. Well, so what's the problem you ask? I FILLED IT! That's right, 2 days, and we are talking essentials here, not luxuries. How in the world am I going to pack for 2 1/2 weeks in Europe (trying to look cute too, mind you), if I can barely pack for a 2 day camping trip when I'm not trying to look cute. AHHHH!

I am so frustrated. I just keep thinking, "How in the world do people back pack through Europe for weeks, months, or a year with ONE back pack?" I am definitely going to have to do some practice packs before we go. I told Lantz I may have to pack all hoochie clothes because they are typically smaller and require less space..... ha!

Any advise???

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Homemade Pizza Rolls

I know that I've been slacking as far as providing new recipes. I tried this one a little while back, and it is really yummy. We love pizza rolls, and so here is how you can make some from scratch.

Ingredients for 12 rolls:
1 can of 8 oz refrigerated crescent dinner rolls (or more if you want more)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped pepperoni
2 tablespoons of finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons of finely chopped purple onion
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 jar of prepared pizza sauce from store

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
2. Unroll dough and separate into 4 rectangles; firmly press perforations to seal tightly together.
3. Sprinkle both cheeses, pepperoni, bell pepper, and onion over each rectangle.
4. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle; press edge to seal.
5. With a knife, cut each roll into 3 slices; place them on the cookie sheet.
6. Bake 13-17 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
7. Heat pizza sauce in glass bowl for 45 seconds in the microwave.
8. Remove pizza rolls from cookie sheet, and serve them warm with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
Pretty easy, and way yummy! You can even make a huge batch and freeze them like real pizza rolls.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yeah Lantz!

I am so proud of my husband- you have no idea! Three years ago he started his Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. Last night, Monday night, was his last night of class. I have witnessed all of his hard work- the paper writing and endless internship hours- over the past three years, and I can't believe that he made it through all of that time consuming work! Lantz has worked so hard and poured himself into this program so that he truly can be the best counselor for God's glory.

The exciting thing is that the Christian counseling center that he has been interning at has offered him a small part time position for him on his day off from the church. This is exciting because it will allow him to continue to work on his hours for his national board licence.

Lantz is such an amazing person, and I'm not just saying that because he is my husband. He is so kind-hearted, and has been given an awesome ability to listen to people and to offer Godly counsel.

I love my husband, and I just wanted to let everyone know how proud I am of him. Congratulations Sweet Heart!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Easy Eating Changes

Lantz and I have been trying to eat healthier along with doing our P90X workouts and occasional runs. Some easy things that we've done:

-No sodas (I have not had a sip of soda in 2 years, and Lantz hasn't had one in 1 year)
-Whole wheat bread, bagels, tortillas, cereal, pasta, and muffins *Super easy change- you really can't tell the difference
-Fruit or granola bars for snacks- no chips/sweets
-We buy turkey bacon and turkey breakfast sausage now (I really like the turkey bacon better--- the breakfast turkey sausage is okay as long as it's mixed with eggs)
-Leaner beef
- We used to buy 2% milk, and then went to 1%, and now we're buying fat free

We have only made changes in things that we know that we can continue to do. We do not believe in "diets," but rather life changes that are not hard to implement. Also, when we do eat something "not so healthy" we do so in moderation. If feels great to be working out and eating healthier. I just thought I'd share some easy things that we've worked into our meals.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

SP & Joy

Last night we had a great evening with some very special friends. About a month ago we were introduced to SP and Joy by some mutual friends. We hit it off great and couldn't wait to get together to hang out again. So, last night was the night! We had so much fun! We had them over to the house and grilled out, and then they taught us how to play a Ugandan card game. We laughed and giggled for hours- they are so fun!

SP & Joy are missionaries in Uganda. They work at a college investing their time to encourage young people to seek God first, prevent AIDS and then to engage their generation with God's agenda. They are currently involved in a year long internship at a church here in Las Vegas. By August (or sooner if funds are attained) they will be back in Uganda spreading Christ's love to others.

Lantz and I feel so blessed that God has brought us this new, amazing friendship with SP & Joy. We can't wait to get together with them again in the near future, and yet our hearts also sink knowing that they will be leaving soon to go back home. (Lantz is already talking about a trip to visit them in Uganda.)

Please pray for our friends as they try to raise support so that they can do God's work full time in Uganda. If you feel God speaking to you to give to their cause you can contact them through their blog, or if you'd like to keep up with their adventures you can also click here to stay posted.

SP & Joy- thanks for a great night! Can't wait to hang out again.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Great Date!

Last night Lantz took me on a surprise date, and we had so much fun! (Mind you were are trying to save money for our 5 year anniversary trip to Europe.) Lantz text me earlier in the day asking if I'd go on a "special date" with him. I text back that I'd love to. So, he got home and we worked out and ate dinner at the house. Then we got ready and went to Barnes and Noble. As we pulled into the parking lot I asked him if we were going to have a Barnes and Noble date (which we do quit often... go in look at books and magazines for few hours- buy nothing, and leave). He said, "Yes, but a special one... it's different."

He then went on to explain the "rules" of our date. We were required to go pick out 3 books and 3 magazines that the other person might enjoy looking at. We were supposed to take our time and then meet back with the books/magazines at the little Starbucks cafe inside. Then we picked out a drink from the menu for the other person (we had to get something that they would not normally drink, but that we thought that they'd like). We sat down at one of the tables and then we had to explain each book and magazine and why we picked it for the other person. Then we traded them and sat and read what the other person picked for us and drank our drink that the other person picked.

This may have been my favorite date that Lantz has ever taken me on! It really was surprising to see what he picked for me, and I really enjoyed looking through everything- mostly the stuff I wouldn't have picked for myself. It was also fun to watch Lantz browse through the things I picked for him. We actually stayed looking at these items until the store closed! On the ride home we talked about what was the hardest part in choosing items, which book and which magazine we enjoyed the most that the other person picked for us, and what we would have done different. It really got us talking and it connected us in a new and exciting way. I love my husband so much, and this "special" night that he had planned for us was like icing on the cake. It doesn't take money to make an evening special- it just takes a special person....

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sick...

Yesterday I came home feeling sick. I threw up... I hate throwing up. I have an amazing husband who took care of me though. He is such a sweetie, and every day I think to myself... "How did I get so lucky?" I went to sleep last night and didn't have any problems - I slept pretty peacefully. Even though I was not feeling 100%, I went ahead and went to school today since it was Take Your Child to Work Day, and I knew half of my students would be gone and the other half would get a "Catch-Up Day," AKA- quiet work day for me. So I sat at my desk today with my head down half the day. It was okay. I made it. I got a special treat at lunch, cause Lantz brought up chicken noodle soup for me. We sat in the quiet of my empty classroom and enjoyed lunch. After work I came home and laid on the couch. I'm still here. My stomach is still feeling queasy, but I'm thankful that it is not as bad as what it could have been. I hope by tomorrow I'll start to feel like my old self again.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Europe...

We are almost done with our Europe planning... we did make a few minor changes from our original plans. We finished off plans for Rome. We got an amazing bed and breakfast and booked an all day tour there to all the major sights.

From Rome we will be off to Florence. I'm super excited about the last leg of our trip. We will be doing a tasting test in Florence... we'll go around the whole city and try tons of yummy different types of food at different mom and pop places. We're also going to do a bike tour from Florence out to the hills of Tuscany where we'll stop and see a castle and eat at a family run "ristorante": bread, primo piatto, mixed salad, dessert, coffee and wine. Yeah fun!

From Florence we'll head to Pisa, Italy to see the leaning tower for the afternoon. From there we'll be going to a small community off the coast of Italy called Cinque Terre. We'll be staying right on the beach in a nice bed and breakfast-- I'm excited about this place, cause it's so pretty and it seems like it'll be a nice break from running around "touring." Here's a picture of the community:
From Cinque Terre we will go to Milan, Italy to catch a night train up to Paris. Now, I haven't really been super excited about Paris, until we started planning our 2 days there. We still need to book our hotel, but we've already decided on 2 things that we really want to do there. We will be doing a Segway tour around the city which should be oh so fun! (Segway is the two wheel scooter thing from Mall Cops... ha!) We'll also be taking a bike tour at night to see the city all lit up at night, and part of the tour will be a boat cruise through parts of the city. Yeah fun!

Then, after 17 days... I'm sure we'll come home and crash!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Applebee's

I have never really been a huge fan of Applebee's. It's okay, but there are other places that I'd much rather eat at. Well, last week we saw a commercial for a special that they are doing. They are calling it 2 for 20. 2 people eat for $20. It includes an appetizer and 2 entrees. We thought that we'd go check it out assuming that the entree/appetizer choices wouldn't be that great and/or the portions would be small. Well, we were proven wrong. We really enjoyed our meal, and when the bill came it was $21. Yeah! We enjoyed spinach artichoke dip with chips and salsa, and then Lantz ordered Fiesta Citrus Chicken with rice and I ordered the 3 cheese pasta with seared chicken. All of our dishes were the "normal" size and our food was delicious. I super enjoyed mine! It was so big I made 3 meals out of it. If you are looking for a way to save money, but still want to enjoy going out to eat (and eating alot) I would recommend trying Applebee's 2 for 20!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Story of the Pink Fishing Pole

The last time we went fishing, my fishing pole broke. The reel stopped coming in when I would try to bring my line in. So, needless to say, I have been planning on getting a new one since then. We are soon going with the youth group to Utah to camp and fish, so I have been planning on getting one soon.

A few weeks ago Lantz and I were walking through Sportsman Authority (? I think that's right?) cause they are going out of business, and we wanted to see if there were any good deals. Well, there just happened to be an amazingly, super cute pink fishing pole in there. Obviously I wanted it- due to needing a new one, and it being pink and only $20. This was a really nice heavy duty, hard core fishing pole. It was probably originally around $70. Lantz thought it would be better to wait a few weeks, cause he thought they'd still be open and having an even better sale. He thought we could get it for cheaper. "Besides," he said, "there are 3 pink ones, and who is going to want a pink fishing pole. They will still have them in a few weeks." Great idea in theory.... not so true.

So, Saturday we went back for the amazing, super nice, hard core pink fishing pole. We walked in, and there was still a huge selection of items... didn't think anything. Started walking across the store to the right section. Saw some poles sticking up as we neared the fishing section, and got excited. Got closer, and then realized..... there are no pink fishing poles. As a matter of fact, all of the super nice ones, in a variety of colors- including pink, were all GONE! I almost cried. The only ones left were the poles that you have to buy a separate motor for- none of which are colored and are way to expensive considering we don't fish very often in Vegas. I was so sad, and a little upset at Lantz, cause he was, by the way, the one who said, "Who would want a pink fishing pole anyway..." Well, apparently 3 other people in Vegas wanted a pink fishing pole. So I was sad. So we left the store... with no pink fishing pole.

Well, Sunday night after church we went to Walmart to do some grocery shopping. While we were there we decided to go see if they had a fishing pole for me. They did have several poles. They had some similar to the pink one in different colors, but they were $70... again, we don't fish enough for me to spend that much on a pole... and needless to say, it upset me, and even Lantz, that we didn't get the pink one a few weeks ago- cause we would have gotten an amazing deal. But, I did end up with a pink fishing pole. It is a cheapy that I got for $10, but the guy said it would be just fine. So here is my non-expensive, non-heavy duty, not as cute as the other pink pole for $20 that my husband said would still be there pole, but my PINK fishing pole:
Hope you enjoyed the story of the pink fishing pole. The moral of the story- If you see something on sale and you want to get it and you think it is a good deal- you should buy it instead of hoping that you'll get it later for even cheaper- cause someone else will probably buy it while you are being to frugal not to get it.
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Lantz= Preacher

Every time our preacher goes out of town it is Lantz's responsibility to deliver the lesson for Sunday morning. Let me just say that it was awesome! (Not that I'm biased or anything!) I am so proud of him. Every time he has to preach it seems that he stresses so much while preparing, but he humbly sets himself aside to allow God to use him. Lantz is such a great tool for the kingdom of God, and it is a blessing, as his wife, to watch how God uses him in such powerful ways. I know that I have the most amazing, Godly man as my partner in life. I am truly blessed. He is real and transparent to people and truly has a heart for all people to come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ. He does not take his faith lightly and desires others to push themselves spiritually. I am so proud.

His lesson was about understanding your justification so that you can walk in your sanctification. A majority of his lesson he pulled for Romans. It really was an awesome lesson. I think you should be able to download it within the next week off of our church website (I think it takes a few days to get it up). Click HERE.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lantz's New Look

Lantz's blog got a makeover! Lantz really wanted something unique, but didn't know quit how to do it himself. He got my good friend Laura to do it for him, and it really turned out amazing. She really knows how to get in touch with her "masculine" side. Go check it out! CLICK HERE.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Photo Fun

Getting back into the swing of things this week has been pretty hard. Spring break was such a nice and relaxing time, so this first week back was pretty tiring. I miss the our family so much in Myrtle Beach. I wish that we lived close. While we were there Kristal had me take some pictures of the kids in their Easter clothes. These are some of my favorites. Enjoy!


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Putt Putt

It's totally crazy how many Putt Putt places there are in Myrtle Beach. I couldn't believe it! There was one on like every corner of this one particular street close to the beach. I counted at least 10. (We also counted like 56 tourists shops within like a 10 mile stretch- crazy- all swimsuits and beach towels.) I think there is only one putt putt place in Vegas, so it was a new experience to see so many- and they were all different and unique. Needless to say one night we went and played putt putt. The place we went was half outside and half inside and there were cute swings everywhere. There were three story gazebo levels outside with putting holes on them. It was loads of fun! Here are some photos of our night.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baseball & Braxton

Another thing we did while in Myrtle Beach is we went to Braxton's baseball practice. Both of our nephews and even our niece are all very athletic. We watched Braxton at batting practice, and he did awesome. Mik and Cason played great together on the "sideline." We had a fun time- and it was beautiful weather to "play ball!"
I love the last picture! It was so funny... they were playing "soldiers and monsters" one minute, and then we turned around and saw them doing this.... who knows? Kids are so funny!
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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Beach at Myrtle Beach


While we were in Myrtle Beach visiting family we of course visited the beach. Unfortunately, my white body has not seen the sun since last summer, so needless to say I got a little burned in some places- specifically my nose. It was nice to lay out on the sand and stare out into the ocean instead of by a public pool looking at a diving board or slide. It was weird- one day we were there and the tide was normal, and the next day we came out and the tide was off the beach like 25 feet. So the second day we were there we were plopped down where the water was the day before. Crazy.

It was so fun to watch Braxton, Cason, and Mik (my new nick name for Mikalie) play in the sand and water. The water had to be like 20 below, but you wouldn't know it based on how long they stayed in the water crashing into waves. I wish we lived close to a beach so I could just go lay out every day during the summer.... scratch that.... I wish I lived in Myrtle Beach so I could go to the beach every day in the summer, lay out, and watch my nephews and niece have a killer time in the ocean. Here is a collage of some of the pictures from one of our beach days (click on it to enlarge):
I'll post more on our Myrtle Beach trip tomorrow. Happy sand, sun and Spring Break yall!
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Stay Tuned...

Okay all of you bloggers out there- I know it's been a week, but I have a great excuse. I spent all of last week in Myrtle Beach for Spring Break. We went to visit family. Lantz's sister, brother-in-law, and their kids live there. Let me just tell you we had a blast. We most definitely didn't want to leave. It was so hard saying goodbye. I wish we lived closer. This is short and sweet just cause I'm running low on time, but I'll be back soon with stories to share and pictures!
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Heather!

April 6th.... tomorrow my sister turns 21!!! Holy cow! I can't believe that my little sister is getting so old- that means that I'm even older! Heather has truly been a blessing to my life. My parents were lucky enough to have the two of us (truth be told, I don't think that they could handle anymore). We've had our ups and downs over the years- maybe more ups with lots of fights while there.. but even still we're sisters. I love my sister. She is amazing. If you don't know her, you can't miss her. She walks into the room and lights it up with her smile. She glows! Her personality will set the room on fire. She is the girl that every guy wants to date and every girl wishes they were. She is bubbly and energetic and has a heart that wants to go the distance in everything that she does. She has an eye for style and a desire to bring out someones inner beauty to the outside. The LORD has given her a passion to love on people and help to transform them in different and unique ways. She desires nothing more than to do things that would please her heavenly Father. She is stubborn and strong-willed and knows what she believes in and in WHOM her trust lies. She is beautiful. Yes, she is my sister, but I'm more proud to say that she is my friend. Happy birthday Heather, I wish that I could be there to celebrate with you.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Rain

I hate rain. No reallly. If there is one good thing about Vegas it's that it doesn't rain here hardly ever. We're talking like 4 inches average a year. Well, that doesn't seem to be the case in Europe. Supposedly it rains alot over there- in particular when we're going to be over there. So, we've been told by several people, and research online, that we need a light weight rain jacket to bring with us to Europe in case it rains while we're there.

We looked at some a month or so ago, but they were way to expensive for us. Well, today while we were out and about we each found a rain jacket on sale! I got a purple one that was originally $80 at TJ Maxx $30, but on the sale rack there just for me for $20. (Lantz and I debated if I should get the solid black one, or the purple one, but we both agreed that the purple was way cuter, and that I'd probably regret not getting it if I got the black one.) Lantz found a Columbia red and black one at this sports store that is going out of business. His was originally $50, but he got it on sale for $21. We are so excited about our new "cheap" jackets! Here are pictures of our new jackets - with hoods up so you can get the full effect if it was really raining what we'd look like:

Mine:


The following is a picture of Lantz with his jacket.
He was like, "I can't believe that you are making me take a picture with this jacket for your blog." And I was like, "Oh, you know you want to be on my blog." Then he smiled and posed like I asked him to for his picture:
Some bummer news about Myrtle Beach is that it's supposed to be all rainy a few days while we are there. The good news though is that we have new rain jackets that we can pack just in case they are needed. Yeah for new rain jackets!

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Rome, Italy

Our 5th stop on our Europe trip will be to Rome. We are both so excited to go to there cause it is such a must when going to Europe. Of course there are mandatory things to see: the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Spanish steps, the Trevi fountain, Sistine chapel, and St. Peter's Square. We found a great tour that we will be taking our first full day in Rome to visit each one of these sights and many others. It will be an all day tour lasting 7 and 1/2 hours. I think that will be the best thing, cause then the next few days we can spend time going back to the places that peak our interest, or ask our tour guides other things that they would recommend.

We've found our places to stay in Amsterdam, Bacharach, and Munich pretty quickly, but for some reason we have researched like 8,000 places in Rome. We pretty much couldn't make up our mind. Things are so expensive, but it's our vacation, and so we didn't want to settle on a cheapo hole-in-the-wall. We are extremely frugale people, but we also like things on the ritzy side. We also wanted to stay in a great location- there are thousands of places in Rome, but so many seemed out of the way of the touristy places. Well, we finally found a place to stay. It's only 90 euros a night (cheap for Rome), and it's really nice. It's a sweet little bed and breakfast, which means that we also save money on a meal cause our first one of the day will be provided. It's also in a great location- right by the Vatican City. It also has great reviews all over the web. It's called Ancient Romance Bed and Breakfast. Here is a picture of our room and the view from our room:


I think that it will be perfect! I'm so excited that we got this nailed down. 4 places to stay down and 4 to go. Our next stop on our trip that we have to plan will be Florence!
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Braxton, Cason, and Mikalie

I can't wait to see my nephews and my niece! Braxton, Cason, and Mikalie are so special to Lantz and me. The three of them belong to Lantz's sister and brother-in-law. They live in Myrtle Beach, and so we have not seen them since Thanksgiving 2007 (we saw Braxton last summer, cause he flew out all by himself to stay with us for a week), and we miss them sooooooo much. We are so excited about our up-coming trip to visit them! Here are the cuties we'll be getting to see very soon:

Braxton:
Cason:

Mikalie:
Here are all three... just imagine them a bit bigger now:
Do I not have the cutest newphews and niece ever?? I've told Lantz over and over how scared I am to have kids, cause there's no way that they can be this adorable. They are so sweet and so much fun! I love these guys so much, and I can't wait to see them! Yeah!

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guitar


Lantz has been attempting to learn how to play the  guitar.  I'm very proud of him.  I can't believe how much he has learned so quickly.... it's all just one cord at a time.  When the Harding group stayed with us, their director just happened to be the guitar teacher- so he taught Lantz alot of the basics.  Lantz got inspired and he's checked out books and dvds from the library to help teach him, and he's been watching bunches of utube videos to help teach himself.  He has borrowed a guitar from a family at church, but we're going to get him his own if he's still playing in a few months.  I have always enjoyed some good guitar playing, and so I hope that my husband will soon be able to provide just that!  
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