Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Tonight I had a HUGE craving for bread pudding (don't ask me why)! While I was researching online I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Bread Pudding. It is no big secret that I LOVE all things Pumpkin, so I decided to give it a try. The recipe turned out to be Super Simple and the bread pudding was Delicious!!
Here is the recipe if you would like to give it a try.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
I made a few of my own adaptations to this, using only milk and no cream (to me, it makes no difference in dishes like this, so I figure I'll save the calories), and doubling almost all of the spices.
1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted* (can skip this step if using the second set of instructions)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Gourmet's Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon, if using, in a bowl.
Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Alternate, Come On, Be Lazy With Me, instructions: While preheating oven to 350°F with rack in middle, melt butter in bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish. Once it is melted, take it out of the oven and toss bread cubes with butter, coating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Pour them over buttered bread cubes in baking dish, stirring to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

(I used the Lazy Instructions and 1% milk and it came out great!!)

My New Hobby

Last weekend while we were in Vero, my Mother-in-Law and I did A LOT of sewing. She altered my clothes that no longer fit me, and I learned how to make a baby bath towel!! The number 1 complaint of all my pregnant friends is that baby bath towels are not cute, and if they are they are Expensive!! So I decided to make my own cute, modern, baby bath towels.

I also learned how to make a headband that you can change the hairbows out on.
Towel #1. I actually gave this one to Ashley because it matches Brady's nursery perfectly!
Towel #2
So if you are expecting a baby in the near future rest assured you will probably be getting a bath towel or a heaband from me!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Graham!

This past weekend we celebrated our nephew Graham's 1st birthday with our family in Vero Beach. Graham is all boy and LOVES to wrestle!! He also has the best little smile!

Big Sister Aly helped him blow out the candle.
Look at those Big, Precious Blue Eyes!! Everyone in Luke's family says Graham looks like Luke did at that age. Luke's Grandparents (Poppa and Gramma Great) even accidently call Graham "Luke" a lot of the time. Hopefully my little boy will be this cute!
Big Sister Aly! She wore this outfit in honor of Aunt April (her mommy doesn't really like it :)

Graham was totally not interested in opening presents. He just wanted to roll around on the ground and play with the paper. Good thing he has an older sister who was more than happy to open all of his gifts for him!

Playing with his new toy from May-May.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Baby Shower #3

On Saturday we celebrated the upcoming arrival of our friends Charles & Kristen's baby boy!! Baby Charley is due to make his debut around November 3rd.
(For those of you who don't know Charles is the High School Youth Pastor at Bayside, and Kristen is the Fabulous hairstylist responsible for both mine and Luke's hairstyles :)
Take a look at this super cute and craft baby shower idea. Someone made a baby out of rolled up onesies, receiving blankets, etc and put Jeans and a Hoodie and a printed baby face on to complete the ensemble!

Here are the next three upcoming Bayside arrivals.
Christina (due 12/25), Kristen (due 11/9), Ashley (due 10/12)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oops I Did It Again...

After 4 years and 9 months of a clean driving record I ruined it all today. While backing out of the drive way of a client's house this morning I backed into a parked car! Needless to say a very valuable and expensive lesson hit home today. Luke has been trying to teach me this lesson for several YEARS, but today I got it.
Lesson learned... Do NOT text, make a phone call, etc while driving!!
(Disclaimer: I am allowed to make a phone call in the car, but only once I am driving straight down the road. Texting and checking emails is absolutely NOT allowed!)

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where were you Tuesday morning??

I was here... at the beach! Nothing starts a Tuesday morning off better than a client meeting at the beach! I have some wonderful clients who have a condo directly on St. Pete beach and I love my visits to their home because this is the view I get to enjoy.

While I was visiting their home on Tuesday morning I also had to take some photos of the exterior of the building for Marketing purposes. This meant I had to go down to the beach and shoot some photos looking back towards the building.
What a way to start a Tuesday morning... with Sandy Toes!!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008


I am going to get really really honest here for a second. God taught me a major lesson today. One that I feel I have to share with you guys.

First the story that set the stage for this lesson...

After church I set off to the grocery store to buy a few things before Luke comes home. On my way home I decided to stop for Chinese take out ($4.95 lunch special and it includes a drink... you can't beat that.) Anyways, when I pulled up at the Chinese place I was, of course, on the phone so I did not really pay much attention to the yucky blue pick up truck parked across from me. I walked inside, purchased my food, and headed back out to the car. I was still on the phone (of course!!) but I noticed a dog crying in the back of the pick up truck. I went a little closer and discovered that someone had left this dog (either it was a puppy, or a small dog... about Rage's size) in a crate in the back of this pick-up truck. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and it was BLAZING HOT outside.

I quickly got off the phone and called the Sheriff's department. With each cry of this little dog I got madder and madder to the point that I was almost in tears when the operator answered. She quickly took all my information and sent an officer my way. I asked her if I could get the dog out of the crate and she said unfortunately I could not. Being a dog owner whose dog sleeps in my bed, this kind of cruelty was heartbreaking to me.

About that time the owners (mom, dad, and about 9 yr old daughter) waltzed out of a store nearby and I was livid!! As they walked towards the car I told them I was on the phone with the Sheriff's department and that what they were doing to that dog was illegal, and that they could be ticketed for it. I must admit they were not the most well educated or financially well off people (I am gathering all of this from the state of their car, clothing, hair, and teeth... or should I say "lack of teeth"), but Animal Cruelty is Animal Cruelty. It does not take a Master's Degree to recognize that!! The owner of this dog was very angry with me. Her come back to my "What your doing is illegal" was "He's in a crate"!!! I said "I see that, but it is BLAZING HOT out here!!" They got in their car and left, and unfortunatetly the Police Office Operator (who was on the other end of the line during this entire conversation) said there was nothing they could do since the owners had left the parking lot with the dog.

I got into my car, called my mom and vented in the worst kind of way. This kind of behavior INFURIATES ME!! In my venting about how these are the kinds of people that I have to work so hard so that I can feed THEIR children, I asked Mom the question "Why does God let people like that have Children and Animals?? Why does he give people who obviously make AWFUL decisions power over a helpless being??"

It is no hidden fact that I want a child so bad I ACHE, but the fact of the matter is that Luke and I have been married for 5 years and we have purposely prevented having children because we did not feel that we could properly provide for them. We want to be good stewards of the time, talents, and resources that God has given us.

Well, to finish my story and get on to the point of this rambling blog... I went home and later sat down to do today's chapter in the new study that I am doing. It is a topical study on The Sermon On The Mount. As I was reading Matthew 5:44-45 God revealed something to me that hit me like a ton of bricks.

"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

I realized that God loves that "not so lovely" looking couple as much as he loves me, and Luke, and Sarah Palin :) He causes his sun to rise on them, as well as us. And he causes his rain to fall on them, as well as us.

Yes, they made a bad choice by leaving their dog out in the blazing noon day sun, but I have made bad and stupid choices as well.

I am a very conservative Republican who cares deeply about the political issues in our country. Sometimes though I allow my religious and political views to cloud the fact that life is about loving people... God's people!! He created us ALL in his image.

My prayer today and always is that I will be able to see people as God sees them. With love and compassion. Not the outward apperance, or education level, or job status, but the Real Person.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Storm Chasers

Who heads into the path of a hurricane when everyone else is evacuating??
That would be Since October!!
Yesterday SO pulled into Dallas, TX for a show tonight. They are doing the morning show on Power FM ( as I type, and they have a show in Dallas tonight. They are leaving as soon as they finish the show to head to Arkansas for shows on Saturday and Sunday night. Please pray that they don't get stuck in the storm, and that they have safe travels. These guys are definitely committed to doing whatever it takes to reach the lost :)

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Little Pig, Little Pig let me in!!

This morning I opened the blinds and who did I find... the slimy monster. I guess he has experienced the outside world and he has decided that he would rather reside in The Graham House. It totally looks like he is hanging onto the screen saying "Let me in!!!" I still despise him and there is no way I will reside in the same house with this guy. I think I need to take Ashleigh's advice and give up the house to snakes and frogs and move on to higher ground :)

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Friday, September 5, 2008

"There's a FROG in my throat... I mean house"

Did you know I am terrified of frogs?? No, I didn't either. That is until I came face to face with one last Thursday morning. I woke up last Thursday morning at 5:56am and headed into the bathroom (without glasses on or contacts in). As I opened the sliding door to the water closet I heard a "splat" and saw something dark fall from above the sliding door onto the tile. I went back into my room to grab my glasses and came back to find that the dark blob was a FROG!!
I was terrified!! Somehow I managed to live 25 years on this planet without ever having a stand off with a frog! I had to think logically in this situation... it was 6:00am, my husband was gone, and I had to get this frog out of my house.
My first move was to get Rage out of the room. Thankfully my little guy was still in the bed asleep, so I picked him up, took him to the laundry room and locked him in the laundry room while I headed back to the bedroom to capture the frog. On my way back to the bedroom I grabbed some tupperware with a lid (thinking that I could get the frog into the tupperware and then take him outside). I also grabbed the "outside broom". For those of you who don't have a seperate outside and inside broom I will clarify that there is a difference, and getting frogs out of your house is NOT something you do with an "inside broom."
When I returned to my room I found the frog in the doorway from my bathroom to my bedroom. Then it hit me, this frog probably wanted to get back outside as bad as I wanted him to get back outside. So in all my wisdom I pushed all the draperies back and opened up both sets of triple sliding glass doors to give the frog wide open space to hop outside.
Unfortunately the frog did not get the memo. He hopped all around my bedroom, and with every 24" hop (no exaggeration) I would scream and bawl. Every time he hopped it would send me into hysterics. It was in that moment that I discovered that I HATE frogs!!!
During this ordeal a lot of thoughts went through my head one of which was "I am probably going to be somones mom within the next few years, and I have got to learn to deal with things like this... I have got to be able to get a frog out of my house."
Well 15 minutes later the frog was still in my house, I was hysterical, and so I did what any person would do... I called my 8 month pregnant best friend at 6:12 in the morning :)
Our conversation went something like this:
Ashley: Hello (very groggy)
April: Ashley, there's a frog in my house (bawling)
Ashley: Do you want me to come get him out?
April: YESSS (still bawling)

I'm telling you, I have the best Best Friend in the world!!! She came right over and caught that little slimy monster. And being the wonderful animal lover that she is, she was able to catch him (not kill him) and release him back into the wild.

I took the pictures below while I was waiting for Ashley to arrive. I had to take pictures to verify that this whole terrifying ordeal really happened.

Do you see that frog on my wall??

This picture shows my actaul proximity to the frog, as I was really on the porch when I took these pictures.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Invasion Continues

The snake invasion of 2008 continues.
On Monday I was cleaning my house. I went outside to beat the rugs (how Southern does that sound?) and look what was sunning in the tall grass/bush in the flower beds right outside my front door. Another Snake!! A Baby Snake!!
Have I mentioned that I HATE SNAKES!! What is going on here??

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New Kid On The Block...

On Wednesday my friend Jennifer had her 3rd little girl!!! Kelsey Lynn Jerome is super sweet and I got to spend the evening with her and her mom, enjoying some Breuster's Ice Cream.. Yumm!! The Jerome's might only make girls, but they make really super precious GIRLS!

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