Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Carolina Cousins and Coca-Cola

Have I ever told you how awesome my husband's family is? Well, I will tell you now...they are. Marrying into a family with southern roots just might be the best decision that I have every made. 

Recently, my children and I were able to meet some of Don's "kinsfolk" from South Carolina... Don's cousin Greg and his lovely wife, Bonnie. I instantly fell in love with them! Bonnie walked in the house, immediately approached Cody and initiated a greeting that was so appropriate, it caught me off guard. It wasn't until the next day, when I stalked Bonnie on facebook, that I learned she was a registered nurse for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. No wonder she was so at ease with Cody! How did we not know this about her?

Our family spend a few fun-filled days with Greg and Bonnie and we hated to see them go. The entire time that they were here, I kept having this nagging feeling (in a good way) that I had known them my entire life.

This evening, UPS stopped in our cul-de-sac and left a package at our front door. Don, upon bringing the box inside, looked at it carefully and commented, "I don't think this package was suppose to come to our house." You can see from the picture below why he would make that assumption...

After further inspection, Don and I noticed that the package did indeed have my name on it and that it was sent from Taos, New Mexico, one of the many places Greg and Bonnie were visiting on their drive home. 

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and saw this little note...

...and this awesome Coca-Cola phone inside!

Have I ever told you how awesome my husband's my family is?    :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Katelyn's Breakfast Burritos

Since graduating with her bachelor degree in the spring, Katelyn (my daughter) landed a job in her field of expertise and moved directly into the 40 hour a week workforce. Because she is now a busy career woman and wife, Katelyn now plans ahead for harried week-day mornings by preparing and freezing breakfast burritos on the weekend. Last night, she sent me these photos and a link to the website that gave her the idea.

For ingredients and detailed instructions, click here .

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dresser Turned Vanity

Recently, my husband and I were victims of water damage caused from a hot water heater. Because we had to replace some of the flooring in the house, we figured it would be a great time to get rid of our old, dated bathroom vanity (that you will not see a photo of because it was horrid).

Whomever built our house sucked at math, because the space allotted for a vanity is 1/2 inch off from the prefab vanities you can find at home improvement stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot. Don and I decided, after looking on Pinterest, that our best option would be to find an old dresser that Don could transform into a vanity. We happened to find this one at Downeast Outfitters and it fit perfectly into our bathroom space, so we purchased it.

Neither of us were particularly fond of the light colored wood OR the sage green knobs, but that's what paint and stain are for! :)

I won't go into great detail about each and every step, because there are many websites with instructions that you can Google if interested. You can see in the photo above that Don did modify the drawers for the plumbing and cut a hole for the sink.

...and he used a few coats of Minwax Indoor/Outdoor Helmsman Spar Urethane Clear Gloss (above) on the top of the dresser to protect it from water.

I like the way the MINWAX Gloss made the top of the vanity a little darker. We also painted the hardware Oil Rubbed Bronze to match the rest of our home.

We both are pretty pleased with the finished product.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Peach Pie with a Splash of Bourbon

8 fresh, large peaches
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup tapioca
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1 (2 pack) package of Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts
3 Tablespoons Bourbon
1 Tablespoon Milk

Place a jelly roll pan in oven and preheat to 425 degrees. 

Peel and slice ripened peaches into a large bowl. Drizzle with Bourbon. In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, salt, tapioca, flour and oats.

According to package directions, prepare bottom pie crust for a 9" dish.

Sprinkle dry ingredient mixture over peaches and fold gently. (Do not over-stir and make the peaches mushy.) Toss into prepared bottom pie crust. 

Situate the top crust over the peaches. Tuck edges of top crust under the bottom crust. Crimp edges and cut slits in top. 

Lightly brush milk onto top crust and sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon sugar.

Cover pie crust edges with foil to prevent burning. ( Click here for nifty tip! )

Place pie on preheated jelly roll pan in the oven. (I set the oven rack lower than center, but not at the very bottom.)

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake 40 minutes longer. Take foil off of crust 20 minutes before removing pie from oven.

Cool completely.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Turning 50 Part 4

Katelyn's husband, Matt, wrote this one. Don and I love having him as our one and only son-in-law. It makes us happy that, after being around our crazy brood for a couple of years now, Matt will still claim us. By the way, if you saw Katelyn's rock, you would approve as well! :)

This one is from my aunt Cindy. I am blessed with some pretty wonderful aunts, but I've got to admit, Cindy is my favorite. She is only seven years older than me and, for that reason, I spent more time with her than any of the others. I have soooo many fond memories of her! Obviously, she was a great sport to include me on her dates. 
Best girl trip ever...up to that point. 

We were at this mall in Rancho Cucumonga, CA...

and, as we left the H & M store, I noticed one of the zippers on my backpack was down. I searched my backpack for my wallet and couldn't find it. I was sure someone had unzipped the backpack and stole it. Beverly, Jennica, Katelyn and I looked everywhere and Bev was really close to jumping a guy that "looked guilty" standing by the trashcan. I phoned my husband back home and had him call the bank to put a stop on our credit cards. Then, when we got back in the car, I looked in my backpack one more time, and there was my wallet. 

I think it was Jennica who took this photo of me from the back seat. As you can see, the girls still won't let me forget that moment in time. 

Talitha is my daughter-in-law. She is a fantastic cook and such a good mom! Talitha must also have a great sense of humor and a lot of spunk to be married to my son Chase, who is a big kid at heart and loves teasing everyone.

Much like my brother-in-law's note on the last post, this is another "you had to be there" moment. John is a co-worker and good friend. 

Susan is John's wife. We DID have a great time watching the taping of Wheel of Fortune! You can read about it here .

Bridger is my great-nephew (my sister's grandson). Reading children's handwriting is my favorite! I am so glad Bridger had a good time at my house eating pizza. :)

Of all the teachers I've worked with over the years, I've been with Susan the longest. She is amazing! Never has she made me feel inferior or asked me to do anything I am not comfortable with. Consider yourself blessed if your child was/is lucky enough to have her for a teacher.

If you missed the previous "Turning 50" posts, here are the links...

Turning 50 Part 1

Turning 50 Part 2

Turning 50 Part 3

Monday, September 1, 2014

Turning 50 Part 3

Surprise parties are fun... unless you happen to have autism and aren't clued in. People with ASD thrive on routine and Cody's no exception. Katelyn took this into consideration when planning my party, but felt she had no option but to keep it from Cody, for fear he would slip up and say something. Looking back, however, I actually think Cody handled the evening pretty well, considering Don and I were SUPPOSE to leave and go to dinner, instead of stay and mingle, and he was SUPPOSE to be alone with Matt and Katelyn, instead of in a noisy crowd of people. 

Cody, who happens to be blind as well, loves his family and friends very much and knows most of them by sound and a few of them by feeling their hands and arms. He became really excited when, as the minutes passed by, he heard voices of different loved ones. Once he realized they were in the room, Cody would blurt out, "Grandma!" or "Teresa Pie!" or "T-T-T-T-Tony!" (He likes to nickname almost everyone.)

Before Don and Cody and I arrived, Katelyn asked everyone to write down their favorite memory about me. Later, she read each one and made me guess who they were from. It should have been easy, but wasn't. I'm not use to being in the spotlight and my brain was on complete overload. My sister, who is a whopping two years younger than me, quite enjoyed watching me struggle. She blamed it on my age and told me, "You know DeeAnn, the brain is the first thing to go."

The following are a few of the handwritten memories from those who chose to participate. Because each individual means the world to me, I want to include every one. Therefore, I'm going to have to extend my Turning 50 blog posts series from 3 to 4.  My apologies. ;)

This is my little brother, Brandon. I did not slap him. It had to have been Teresa. :) I DID slam his finger in the car door once, but it was an accident. And...when Brandon was in his early teens, he DID scare the hell out of Don by tying a pull string firework to the microwave, then politely asking Don to please get "the butter" out of the microwave for him. When Don opened the microwave and the firework popped, it scared the crap out of him. Don was pissed, but the rest of us laughed our guts out. 

Cottia is my niece. I decided after NOT being able to guess Cottia's and Amberlee's (below), that I suck as an aunt. 

Kelsie is also my niece. She has an awesome husband, Jeremy, and three adorable little kids.

This one is from my brother-in-law, Tony, and I guessed his right away. I don't even want to attempt to explain. I could try to get him and Teresa to write a guest post about it, but reading the story would not even come close to hearing Tony talk about it. :)

This is from another one of my blog supporters, my mother's husband, Lynn. He is always
encouraging me to write and I appreciate that. Thanks Lynn! 

This note is from Maddison. She is technically my cousin, but more like a niece. Maddi and Katelyn are the same age and great friends. Don and I loved taking Maddi with us to Disneyland and she is right... nobody loves Disneyland more than me. 

This one is from my sister-in-law (Brandon's wife), Melissa. We DO love to play games on holidays!
Awww. Love you too mom!

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