Oh, the possibilities!

It’s been a busy three months.  I cannot believe it’s been that long since I blogged.  I truly hope my friends and family who live far away aren’t too disappointed.  😉

I have some exciting news to share.  I thought I would blog about it and maybe this will be the catalyst I need to get back at this thing…

So, here goes…

In March, I left my job of 15 years.  I’m not gonna lie…it was a really tough decision.  I loved that job.  But, I really just felt like it was time to move on.  I had graduated in December from Indiana Wesleyan University with a business degree and needed to see what the Lord had next for me.  I knew what I wanted to do.  I prayed pretty specifically about it, but kept trying to find something to do while waiting on THAT job. 

Now, I cannot think of very many times in my life where I’d prayed so specifically about something.  I trust the Lord.  I know He’s got my best in mind.  He knows what I can do.  He knows what I’m capable of doing.  He knows the desires of my heart.  So, why not pray specifically?  He’s God.  He can do anything!

My prayer for a job was this…I wanted to work at the high school where my kids go & we only live about a mile away, I wanted to work a consistent job (no subbing), preferably part time but pays well, I wanted to be able to be on the same schedule as the kids, I wanted to work in the high school building, not intermediate or primary, because the Lovely daughter is a Junior so I would get to see her each day, and next year both the Lovely Daughter and the Little Man will be in that building. 

After being interviewed and turned down for two different jobs at the high school, and turning down another one because it involved Algebra (math = gag), AND being interviewed at another local middle school and not getting that job, I found a job that paid well but was at least 40 hours a week and it kept me from home too much.  I didn’t really enjoy it and if you know me at all, you know that my deepest heart’s desire is to be a mom, a good mom.  I enjoyed working with a wonderful woman I know from church, but I was missing my kids too much.  In the three and a half weeks there, I did not cook supper for my family one time.  boo.  I would get home in the evening and just want to crash because I had to get up early in the morning and do it all over again.   Or I would get home and things were just chaotic with practices, small groups, meetings, blah…blah…blah.

The day after I started that job, I found out that there was a job opening for church secretary at a local church.  It was almost exactly what I had done for those previous 15 years.  In fact, it would have been the perfect fit, except…it too was 40 hours and would only get me home about an hour earlier each evening.  Still not what I had prayed about, but a great job with some really great people!  I was excited about the possibilities of that job.

However…the day before the interview at that church, I got a call from the Principal of our high school.  He had a job for me that he thought I would be perfect for.  Was I interested?  Why, yes. Yes I am.  But shoot, now I have this interview at church and you’re offering me this?

But literally, the decision all came down to the hours I will be at home with my kids.  I took the job at the high school.  I start Tuesday morning after Labor day.  I’ll be learning all about it for a couple of days with the teacher who is there now, then it will be “my classroom”.  I’ll be a paraprofessional at THS in the credit recovery class.  It is a class time for those students who have failed a class they need in order to graduate.  It’s an online class for them, I will really just be the facilitator.  The principal told me that they really want someone in that classroom who will get to know the kids and let them know someone cares about whether or not they do well.   

In my whole life, all I have ever wanted to be was a mom…have I mentioned that?  But there have been a few times in my life when I thought I could have been a teacher, except for the actual “teaching” part! 

Am I nervous?  A little…but really, I’m just excited! Excited for the possiblilites.  Excited for what God has for me (I’m sure this will stretch me in ways I’ve not been stretched before).  Excited to be able to work in the school that my kids go to.  Excited to hang out with students every day.  Excited to, hopefully, be someone who can motivate them to do their best.  Excited to get to know them.  Excited to see if I can really do this!

Snickerdoodle Muffins

This morning while checking facebook, I came across this recipe for Snickerdoodle Muffins.  I thought to myself, “i have all those ingredients.” 

So, to the kitchen I went to make them.  I mean, seriously, SNICKERDOODLE MUFFINS!  And it’s a chilly Saturday morning, what could be better than SNICKERDOODLE MUFFINS and a cup of coffee?!?

So I followed the recipe exactly. 

Something I have learned in cooking and baking.  In cooking, you can stray a lot from an original recipe to really make it your own, make it different, without really ruining it.  Actually, anytime I try a new recipe I always follow that recipe exactly the first time and then tweak it a bit to make it more to my or my family’s liking.  But with baking, not so much.  I know that baking is all about chemical reactions and proper measurements and stuff.  Blech…math and science. 😉

So, back to the muffins.  This is the recipe I used.  My modifications are in italics.

———————————————————————————–

2 sticks unsalted butter (I used salted butter)

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp cream of tartar

3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/4 cup sour cream

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar and 1 TBSP cinnamon mixed together for rolling

1.Cream the butter and sugar until soft about 3 to 5 minutes (I should probably tell you that I LOVE my KitchenAid stand mixer). Add in the vanilla. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until each is incorporated.

2.In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar and nutmeg.

3.Add the flour mixture and the sour cream alternately to the egg-butter mixture in the additions. Start with the flour and end with the flour. Scrape the bowl occasionally.  (I love my KitchenAid stand mixer…have I mentioned that yet?)

4. Using an ice cream scoop (for the regular sized muffins, I used my medium Pampered Chef scoop, and used two scoops per muffin, for the mini muffins, I used my small Pampered Chef scoop and used one per muffin) scoop out muffin batter one at a time and drop into a shallow bowl filled with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll the muffin around in the mixture until it is covered completely in cinnamon sugar (not gonna lie, this was a bit messy.  I even considered not skipping this step and just sprinkling it on the top after I put the muffin batter in the pans, but I’m so glad I didn’t skip it!). Place muffin into muffin tin. Depending on the size of your tins, you should get about 12 to 14 muffins (I was able to make 12 regular sized and 24 mini’s). Bake them for approx. 20-22 minutes in a 350F oven or until they are golden brown. (I baked the regular muffins for 22 minutes at about 325 and the mini’s for 12 minutes.)

Image

Mini Snickerdoodle Muffins

Image

Snickerdoodle Muffins

 

They were very yummy!  The Little Man informed me that I’m the best cook and that these muffins were the best ever!  If Little Man likes them, you better believe I’m making them again! 

Oh and by the way, no one paid me to say anything nice about my mixer and my scoops, I just love them!

My Marine’s Wedding

engagement photo1

My Marine and his girl

My Marine got married on December 29.

My Marine and his Lovely Bride!

My Marine and his Lovely Bride!

He had us called from Afghanistan and told us he would be proposing as soon as he came home from deployment.  He came home at the end of October and they were married just two months later!  He called the Little Man and asked him to be one of his groomsmen.  Little Man was so excited.  He’s been the ring bearer in lots of weddings, but to be asked to be one of his big brothers groomsman was something altogether different for him.

The Little Man as a Groomsman.

The Little Man as a Groomsman.

The four of us left home just 2 days after Christmas to fly out to California for the wedding.

On the plane bound for Cali!

On the plane bound for Cali!

We got in late that evening and pretty much just got to the hotel and went to bed.  We got up the next morning and had breakfast and then met the Marine at his favorite barber shop in San Clemente, Señor Barber.  Both boys got “Marine” haircuts.

jack and nathan haircuts

my boys at the barber

Then we went onto Camp Pendleton to get tickets for the San Diego Zoo.  We then left the Marine and ran some errands, picked up the tuxedos, had lunch at In-N-Out and I made an appointment to have my hair done the morning of the wedding. in n outin n out food

That evening, we met the Marine and his soon-to-be wife at Macaroni Grill for supper.  The food was so yummy.  The kids have been asking us to go to the one in Indy ever since!  We had a really nice time visiting with them over supper.

The next morning, we got up and the family took me to my hair appointment at Lotus Den Hair Studio in Oceanside.

lotus den

I had found them online a couple of days before we left and called them and they were able to do my hair.  I did have to send a photo of myself to the girl who would be doing it so she could see the length and get some ideas for me.  So, Saturday morning, the Lovely Daughter came with me and Ginger did an amazing job.  I knew in my mind the look I wanted and kind of told Ginger, then she just made it work.  When she showed me what she had done I was nearly in tears, it was exactly what I wanted.

terrible picture but you get the idea...

terrible picture but you get the idea…

After that we went on base at Camp Pendleton to the Marine Memorial Chapel where the wedding would take place that afternoon.

Marine Memorial Chapel

Marine Memorial Chapel

The rehearsal was scheduled for 10:30am and the wedding was at 1:30pm.  The rehearsal got started late, but everything went smoothly.  After the rehearsal, we all got ready for the wedding.  I even had the honor of helping the soon-to-be daughter-in-law put on her wedding dress and shoes.  She’s a great girl and she loves my son.  I’m excited to be able to be her mother-in-law and get to know her more!

After the wedding, we had some pictures taken and then we headed to Jolly Roger’s for the reception.

It was a nice little reception, the food was very good.  There were simple but pretty decorations.

Table decor

Table decor

There were little bells used as table place cards and the Little Man would put all four of our bells in his hands and ring them so the “happy couple” could kiss.

smooches.

smooches.

Every time he did that, he would blush!  It was definitely a cute memory!

ring those bells Little Man!

ring those bells Little Man!

Champagne toast

Champagne toast

 

First dance

First dance

Mother/Groom dance

Mother/Groom dance

 

After the meal, toasts, and cake, we all went upstairs to the bar and did the traditional dances and things.  We didn’t stay long since it was in a bar and the Little Man and the Lovely Daughter were very uncomfortable being in a bar.  In fact, the Little Man was so uncomfortable that he cried.  He just kept saying that we shouldn’t be here, it wasn’t a good place to be.  Which, for us, it wasn’t necessarily the best place and I was thankful that he was sensitive to that and brave enough to say something to us about it.  He’s a great little kid and I hope and pray that that is not the memory he has of being in his big brother’s wedding.  But we had a great time at the reception and wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

The next morning we got up early and headed to Legoland (which was literally 6 miles from our hotel).

We're here!

We’re here!

We have talked about going to Legoland with the kids since the Hubby and I were out there for the Marine’s first homecoming a year and a half ago.

homecoming May 2011

homecoming May 2011

I was so glad we decided to go with the kids.  It was a wonderful park.  We all four enjoyed it, even though it was rainy in the morning and chilly the rest of the day.

Legoland San Francisco

Legoland San Francisco

There were things for all of us to do and see.  We all loved Miniland and the roller coasters.  It really was a great family park!

After we left Legoland, we decided to go see “The Hobbit” at the theater, which was really good.  I’m so excited to start reading “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” books I got for Christmas!

The next day, we had decided to just head down to San Diego and walk along the waterfront and shop.  But, we had to stop and eat at Ruby’s first for lunch!

Ruby's Diner Oceanside

Ruby’s Diner Oceanside

Ruby’s is a great restaurant out at the end of the Oceanside pier.  It’s decorated like an old-fashioned diner with yummy food and even yummier milkshakes.  After lunch we headed to San Diego for the rest of the day.

Tuesday was our last full day in California and we spent that day at the San Diego Zoo.

san diego zoo entrance

If you like zoos, and you’re ever in that part of California, you need to go.  It’s a wonderful zoo.  We easily could have made it a two day trip in order to see everything.  It was a lot of walking but it was worth it.  We stopped by the Marine and his wife’s apartment on the way back to the hotel that evening and visited for a bit and said goodbye.

We were up early the next morning and headed to the airport.  We did stop off in Oceanside and walked down to the beach.  The Little Man took off his shoes and socks and ran in the sand and water for a few minutes.

the Little Man on the beach

the Little Man on the beach

the Lovely Daughter on the beach

the Lovely Daughter on the beach

It was a beautiful day.

We had a wonderful trip.  We did lots of things but never felt super rushed or hurried.  We were able to relax and sleep in a bit and go to bed at decent times each night.  Then we came home and left three days later for another little trip.  But that’s for another post!

Enjoy a few more wedding photos!

59971_10151219081183443_320030326_n

69629_10151234500218443_1390396709_n

263264_10151219078513443_1370409293_n

553356_10151219081053443_994886804_n