Friday, August 31, 2012

DipTacular 2012

So Sophie decided yesterday (yesterday!) that we should go forth with yet another DipTacular extravaganza.  Her motivation is football season.  I care not for football or said season, but I fully support those who do.  

And I certainly respect the dip.  Throw cream cheese in anything ever, and in my humble opinion we have ourselves a winner.

My submission this year is actually an easy-peasy favorite of mine, and just like last year's offering it is embarrassingly simple.  And yet tasty and also yummy.
(p.s. no photos because did I mention YESTERDAY?) 

Fruit Dip

Two 8-oz cream cheese
Five-and-a-half tsp brown sugar
fruit juice (pineapple is yummy)

So all you do is add the brown sugar to the softened cream cheese, and then stir in fruit juice (I usually use pineapple) until it reaches a consistency you can live with.

Trust me.  


And also yummy :)

Happy Dipping!

p.s.  You can click right here to hop over to BooMama's Link-up, where you'll find all manner of tried and true dipping options.  Good times is what I'm saying.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I've missed you so much. Wish I could say it won't happen again...

So I'm not gonna keep going on and on about how I've become a sporadic blogger.  To quote me in my most-used phrase over these past few months It is what it is.  I guess we're tight enough now that I can treat you like I treat my nearest and dearest...hit or miss on a good day :)

(No one's ever accused me of being a call-each-other-every-day kind of pal.)

(I'm more of a I'll-be-there-in-a-flash-if-you-need-me-and-hey!-it's-been-two-weeks-since-we-last-talked, type.)

I guess this evolution in said blog means we are now thisclose :)

I had the boys for a few days and I'm not gonna lie.  They keep me busy.  It didn't occur to me until, well, R&R were already back home, that what I should have done was let them run amuck, eat brownies three times a day and watch channels 24 and 35 until their brains turned to mush.  After all, I'm the alleged fun aunt.

Unless you ask Rex, who lovingly refers to me as "Aunt Meanie." 

(Rex thinks he's hilarious.) 

(Rex is not hilarious.)

(Just joshin' with ya, Rex.)

On a mildly related note, I'm still settling into my new digs and again, not lyin', it's been more of an adjustment than I expected.  I'm such a flow-roller that I expected to just, well roll with said flow, but it's taking me a bit to find my groove.  We're getting there, it's just taken a little longer than I would have preferred if I were in control of everything everywhere.

Why can't I be in control of everything everywhere?

Why can't I be in control of anything, anywhere?


One more thing & then I'm off to work - my birthday is coming up soonish and I need to decide how I want to spend it.  What would be my go-to dinner?  My go-to plan?  What do I consider a special treat?

I'm a little light in ideas off the top of my head, but I do know vanilla bean cheesecake makes me okay with being chubby, and I've been dreaming of a good mani/pedi for about a year or three, and well, the Tea Tavern's chicken salad is delightful.

Some quality time in the Islands (any islands) wouldn't be half bad, and a movie night at the actual theater could be great fun.

Not that I ever think on such things.

Personal indulgence?  Not my bag.

Unless it involves things like cheesecake, pedal health, or cranberries with my chicken salad.

Or a few days by the sea.

Or - and I'm just keeping it real here - that absurd giant bucket of fake-buttered popcorn.

Off to work!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

what goes around really does sometimes, you know, come back around

Kari has been a nanny for a while now and has been loving this cutie since she was a wee few weeks old.

...a few WEEKS old!

Kari doesn't have them every day any more since they're all up in the preschooling scene, but when she does they always want to see Naynay.

...which serves to make me feel several different kinds of warm and tingly and gooey inside.

Kids, children, small people, little tykes, ankle biters, whippersnappers...Whatever you wanna call 'em, go find yourself one or a couple to jump up and down and act like a fool for today.  

They'll love ya forever and very hopefully feel just a bit more wonderful from your lavish lack of decorum.

...and if you're really, really fortunate, they'll ask to see you and jump on your nerdy mini trampoline in the middle of a weekday afternoon just because.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

on Bible study and bunheads

So I'm embarrassed to admit that I forgot to blog today.  

For reals, I forgot, like,  to blog.

(Apparently the young people of America say "for reals."  Word is it's cool.)

(I"m just trying it on for size.)

(I don't think it fits...)

Anway, I might have forgotten to blog but I had a really good excuse.  I was busy educating America's youth AND finding us new Bible studies.  I don't care who you are or what you're doing, you can never argue with a sincere Bible study pursuit.

And we were successful!  I picked up Kelly Minter's Nehemiah and I can't wait to dig in.  In fact, as soon as I spell check this exercise in blather I'm heading to the porch with my Bible, my Snapple peach tea, and said study.  I"m especially excited because I have always had a particularly special love for Nehemiah...I'm hoping to learn a thing or two from his example of empathy and service and wonderfulness.  

I also picked up The Beginner's Bible for Elijah.  He's pretty excited.  I'm thinking excited is a good start, and good starts are well, good places to start.

Also in completely nonrelated news, I've been enjoying my new DVR.  My enjoyment morphed into UTTER DELIGHT this morning as I watched the first episode of Bunheads.  That crazy-creative-and-probably-really-smart Amy Sheridan-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, anyone?) writes some of the fun-nest dialogue in the history of ever.  Of course I've only watched one-half of one episode.  I'll keep you posted - but Paradise is already starting to fill that Stars Hollow-shaped void I've been coping with for the last few years.  Bunheads.  I'm just saying.

Gotta run - Nehemiah isn't gonna wait all day.  Well, I guess he might, but, you know...

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

we went to the toy store, and it was FUN

Jesse is who we need

...but this looks interesting.  and strange.  and interesting.


Waaay too many choices

I dunno what to do!  Maybe we should branch out.

Ooh!  My baby could use some super-cool pinkish accessories

Whaddya mean only one??

Cotton candy!  It's my favorite!  And I need it!

Silly Tigger, you can't even steer!

Thanks where's my cotton candy??

Oh how I love that little girl!!

Have a good day :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

...of mice and me

So it has come to my attention that many some a couple of you have been wondering how my war against the rodents is progressing.  


Last we talked I was semi-hysterical and yes, I'll  just say it, a little weepy.  

After a quick chat with my sister in which she didn't technically laugh at me but I knew she was laughing in her heart, I realized the exterminators had already laid the groundwork for said wardom.  In short, they had "laid bait" in the cellar.  (Note:  I do not like that I am now familiar with the term "laid bait."  Whatever.)  

Rex came home from work armed with a tiny smidge of compassion and a much healthier dose of patience...and three different forms of ammunition to kill the little fellas.  

(I'm usually a relatively kind-hearted sort but I would've killed Willard myself the night before if I had the chance.)

(Like killed him dead.)

(I don't like this side of me very much.)

Anyhoo, we stuffed SOS pads (I read it on Google) into the tiny little hole in my floor, and Rex smeared peanut butter on several traps and placed them strategically around my room.  Like for real he had three or four different traps in my tiny little space.  

And I was fine with that.   

Maybe an hour or so later Willard woke up and I heard him near my TV.  I'm pretty sure he actually slid down the wall, probably while climbing up the back of the apple crates I have my television sitting on.  (I'm very fancy.)  

My heart stopped and then raced again and I might have hollered the tiniest bit, but then I settled back down to work for a bit.

Not even half an hour later there was a truly disgusting/obnoxious/disturbing/GLORIOUS, snappy kind of sound and I knew deep in my heart that I was emerging from round one victorious. 

It was super gross and I was thrilled and delighted and relieved that Rex was home so he could cope with the severe ick that followed.  

(Rex was not as thrilled, delighted, or relieved.)

Robin confirmed it was, in fact, a large-ish mouse and I felt moderately vindicated.

And they have not stopped with the mocking even yet.  

My theory is Willard was the only mouse actually in my living space when we plugged up the hole because he's the only one actually trapped (i.e. killed) to this point.  

...But we know the little varmints are creeping around because you know that bait I mentioned them laying?  Yeah, it's disappearing.


Elijah proceeded to use his trip to the Dollar General to come home with three icky rubber mice to torment me with, and he has tormented with relish.  

One morning there were two lying right by my head when I woke up.


And then my sweet sister who is supposed to have my back had the nerve to gift me with this. 

I'm checking the classifieds.  

Happy Monday :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012


This is the day which the Lord has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Psalm 118:24

Saturday, August 18, 2012

six on saturday: photo dump edition

I have about a zillion random photos languishing on my camera.

Here are six of 'em...


Happy Weekending!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

it's just a suggestion; papa john's would probably be great, too

So I'm going to make this quick but there's always the slight possibility that someone out there might be frantic for an idea and in dire need of some dinnertime guidance.

Here's what I suggest:

Take a few chicken breasts and line them up in the center of a 9 x 13 baking dish.  

To the left (or right)  (whatever) of said chicken place some new potatoes cut up into pieces.  

To the right of the chicken (or left) (whatever) dump some green beans.  These would be preferably fresh beans you picked up at the Farmer's Market from the nice lady who picked them that very morning.  Or not.  Frozen Kroger beans would probably work, too.  

I digress.

(As usual.)

Sprinkle a packet of dry Ranch seasoning on top of the meat and veggies.

Pour a stick of melted butter over the hole shebang.

Cover with foil and bake for at least an hour at 350 degrees.  I left it in the oven for closer to an hour-and-a-half.   But that's just because I like my potatoes to be on the tender side.  You can do whatever you want.

Heat up some Sister Schubert's dinner rolls in the oven with a dollop of butter atop each and every one, and eat until you are filled up and completely satisfied.

It's yummy.

And satisfying.

And pseudo healthy.

And also yummy and satisfying.

NOTE:  This is a variation on this recipe we found on Pinterest.  We should thank Kate for being careless in reading the directions.  

(Thanks Kate for being careless in reading the directions!)

Happy Friday :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

sometimes a good hard look at the to-dos is what is required

Oh y'all.

I'm so far behind in my regular life it feels like I'm back in front.

Like seriously.

Maybe if I list all the ways I'm woefully behind it'll help me focus in the coming days.


Maybe not.

We'll see.

Ways in Which Renee is Woefully Behind

1.  Ye Olde Blog.

I spent like a-year-and-a-half blogging faithfully a minimum of five days a week.  Sometimes more.  I was completely militant in my commitment to never miss, and I loved it.

After beginning my quest to educate America's youth I was still very, very faithful, but I ever-so-slightly relaxed about the when's.

However, this summer, and most especially since this move, I can't find my groove.  It'll happen no doubt about it.  If we've learned anything in these last months together it's that I have no shortage of words.  Just time & energy.  

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I have NO IDEA how you mommies manage to blog on top of your jobs and kids and church and what-have-you.  

As per my usual I choose to attribute it to youth.  As we all know, everything's super easy when you're young.

So what am I gonna do about it?  I'll continue in my bloggy loosey-goosey attitude for another couple of days and then?  Well then I get back to my routine.  Next week, Lord-willing-and-the-creek-don't-rise, I'll return to my regularly-scheduled offering of heart sprinkled with drivel.

Or drivel sprinkled with a little heart.


2.  My space in the new house.  

In brief, I have shelves hung on the walls with nothing on them, several boxes that still need to be gone through, a rugless floor, things that need to be returned to Target, things that need to purchased...and a LOUSY Internet connection that is making me nuts every day when I try to do my job.  

In other words, I have many, many, many decisions to make.

Decisions.  I hate 'em.

So what am I gonna do about it?  By the end of the week the modest goal is to have things in their place.  And hopefully the Internet figured out but that's probably optimistic, so let's just say I'll have tried yet another something different in my neverending quest to a solid connection.  Baby steps is what I'm saying.

3.  My tired sad little lack of daily quiet time/focused Bible study.

And therein lies most of my problem no doubt about it.  I'm feeling hungry and anxious to dive into a specific study.  I'm definitely one of those people who's quiet time goes much better and more productively - and satisfying - when I have focus.  I'm not gonna lie, I miss my quality time alone with Jesus so much that I'm feeling all twitchy.

Of course this is ridiculous because He hasn't gone anywhere.  

(I'm a goober.)

So what am I gonna do about it?  I can't decide exactly which study I want to do next, but by the first of the week I'm going to quit vacillating and make a doggone decision.  Right now I'm torn between Kelly Minter's Nehemiah and Beth Moore's James study.  If I decided right this very second I'd go with Nehemiah first.  Which means I'll probably do Nehemiah and then James.

I'd love your thoughts as I'm obviously decision-impaired right now.

4.  All the other stuff I'm too tired to talk about now that I've actually thought about the first three.  

There's no sense overwhelming you too.  I want you to still like me when I've located both my footing and my mind.

The homeschooling details and unanswered emails and half-finished projects and encroaching feeling of I'm-never-going-to-get-myself-together will just have to wait for another day.

So what am I gonna do about all the rest?  Pray.  And then maybe I'll pray a little more.

A girl's only human, after all.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

i guess you could say it's a veritable weekend-long naynay extravaganza

Naynay is in full-on grandbaby-loving mode this weekend.

It started out pretty close to absolute perfection with some much-needed Peanut time, and after I sleep for approximately not enough hours I'm zipping down to see my other babies for a quick visit.  Kate says that Audrey and Owen are acting like it's Christmas they're so excited about me coming.

Bless their little hearts.  They have no idea how thoroughly uncool I really am.

NO ONE tell 'em, ya hear?

Anyhoo, I've successfully mapped out a sneaky little plot wherein my kids enjoy baby-free dates this weekend, and I'm the martyr who pulls babysitting duty.

(See how I used a little sarcasm there?  It's a gift.  And a curse.  Actually I'm the one pulling all the happy with these little visits.)

I sincerely hope you also have plans to hug someone this weekend.  

If you don't, make some.

Plans that is.

(to hug someone)

Okay fine...I'm going now.  My eyes are literally crossing as I type this, and I keep falling asleep mid sentence.   Do me a favor and don't expect spell check, wouldya?  

Mucho thanks ;)

Happy Weekending!