Saturday, February 28, 2009

Simple But Scrumptious Cheesecake

This truly is the best cheesecake I have ever had! Trust me, you will keep going back for more... and more... and more. It sort of reminds me of a lemon icebox pie, but so much better.....I mean seriously, we actually fight over the last piece. I have been making this recipe for years and not only is it simple, but you just can't mess it up! (sorry this pic was taken with my old camera)


8 oz. pkg. of Philadelphia cream cheese (must use the block of cream cheese! If you use the spread in the tub, it won't set up and you will end up with cheesecake soup) :o)
1 can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 cup of lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla ( I don't measure, but I like a little more than a teaspoon)
1 graham cracker crust
Strawberries, Cherries or blueberries (I slice up fresh or frozen strawberries in a bowl and add enough sugar to make them sweet.) If you use canned cherries or blueberries, make sure they are sweetened...I like the wilderness brand.
Let cream cheese stand at room temperature until very soft. Using your mixer...cream the Philadelphia cream cheese, add Eagle Brand Milk and mix, add lemon juice and vanilla and mix until smooth with no big lumps, then poor into Graham Cracker Crust and refrigerate until set. (If you're not going to eat the whole pie right away, I recommend that you don't put the strawberries directly on the cheesecake. Just put topping on each individual piece, so it doesn't make the graham cracker crust soggy.)

Friday, February 27, 2009

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

Andy, Kasey and Michael......September 1989!

Kasey was 4 or 5 days old and Michael was just fixin' to turn 3. My kids are beautiful and whoa, my man is sooo hot!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reality TV

Have you noticed how many reality tv shows there are today? This morning I was thinking about it and just wondering why so many people are addicted to those reality shows. I mean some people actually plan their lives around them......making sure they don't schedule anything else during the times that their shows come on. Have you ever wondered why people love reality tv so much? I know there's more than one reason and I'll use myself for an example. I love American Idol because for one, I love music and singing and I also love a good competition. It's almost like a sport to me because of the challenge of making it through to the next round. It's the excitement of hoping your favorite will make it to the end and be the winner. I mean who doesn't like to win?

I had so much fun rooting for my husband's team to win the superbowl this year. My adrenaline was pumping as I watched each play and each team score and I have to tell you that my excitement exploded and boiled over when the Steelers won the game! I was on my feet whoopin' and hollerin' like a crazy woman and oh what fun! So that's what I love about a good reality show like American Idol, but I believe there is another reason why people like reality tv.

If you think about it, we are relational people, right? We want to be connected to people in some way, that's why we have email, messenger, facebook, twitter, text messaging, and even blogs. I think some people like reality tv because you can delve into the people's lives and actually almost feel apart of thier lives without even meeting them, plus you don't have to open yourself up. It's a one way superficial relationship....it's easy....it's safe....you don't have to give anything of yourself....you won't get hurt! Unfortunately for some, superficial relationships is a way of life and it breaks my heart that they are missing out on real meaningful relationships, like God intended us to have. I have dealt with so many women who keep a wall up and won't let anyone close for fear of getting hurt, but that's a whole 'nother subject that would take too long to expound on for now.

I just wanted to share my thoughts on reality tv shows and would love to hear some more thoughts on the subject, if any of you would like to share. I'm not looking for opinions on whether reality shows are good or bad because I know some are quite questionable and some like Biggest Loser are actually inspiring. :o) (reality tv continued in my next post)

AMERICAN PRINCESS Reality Show...

I just have to mention that my all time favorite reality show was the first season of AMERICAN PRINCESS because my dear friend Michelle was on the show and won. She became the very first American Princess! Yeah, that's right.......you heard me........ain't she somethin'?

The cake was ready and waiting while we watched the finale show to see if Michelle had won. Of course we all had a feeling she was going to win and we were right. A reporter from the newspaper was even at the party snapping pictures of the whole event for the newspaper article.
We asked Michelle to model the dress that she designed while on the show. Her neice Tessa and nephew Shaun were her helpers.

I had to get a picture of Michelle with her mom, dad, brother and sister.



And of course a picture of Michelle and I. We had such a blast getting together and watching the show together each week rooting her on. I don't know how she did it, but she didn't let on to anyone that she had won, so that made it all the more fun. Michelle you will always be our American Princess!!!! (ok, so now you need to put some pics from your experience, on your blog!) Check out Michelle's blog at http://danandmichellefinn.blogspot.com/


Friday, February 20, 2009

FLASHBACK FRIDAY!

Rusty (7yrs), Terri Lynn (6yrs) and Debra (3yrs) I love how my mother teased my sisters hair! I remember always wanting her to do that to mine, when I was young. My mother was a beautician and by the time I was 6, she had her own beauty shop. What fun times I had putting rollers in wigs and playing beauty shop! The most fun was sticking my hand all the way up to my elbow in this huge tub of pink Dippity Dew and playing in it. It was like playing in squishy jello and I remember it feeling so weird and good at the same time! When I get my scanner hooked back up, I will have to post a pic of my mothers beauty shop.

Dick, Nancy, Dave, Steve, Julie and Andy. The two older siblings Nancy and Jim, aren't in this photo. Isn't little Andy adorable? If I had known him when we were kids, I would have been sweet on him then too! :) I wish I knew their ages in this pic....I guess I'll have to ask Julie if she knows.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday Home Group!

Oh my goodness, this was the most fun I've had in years! I was too into the game to take pictures, once it started....sorry. I wish we could have video taped all of us. It was quite exciting to say the least!








Oh my, it's Bobsy Twins!



Tim and Ling ling became the best of friends! After everyone left, she walked around crying and looking for him. I don't know what it is, but for some reason my animals have a thing for Tim!




My best photography thus far! Khayla, please don't kill me for posting this pic. :)




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Home Group! ~ Jan. 4, 2009

We all had such a fun night playing games and munchin' down on some good old unhealthy junk food! Oh wait a minute......it wasn't all junk food.....there was fruit too! That made me feel better about what I ate, even though all of those chips and dips pretty much discounted any healthy benefits of the little bit of fruit I had! LOL
























































Monday, February 16, 2009

The Moon at 2:00 a.m.

It's amazing the things I will find to do when I can't sleep in the middle of the night! :O)
The first few pics I took didn't turn out because I couldn't hold the camera still and I couldn't figure out what setting to use. I'm so bummed because the moon was down low to the left of the tree and it had a beautiful reflection on the water. Finally I got smart and put my camera on the tripod and I took this shot on the night portrait setting. While it is pretty, I wish I had remembered to use the A-DEP setting because then the tree, the moon and everything would have been in focus.

I'm finding that it's hard to remember what settings to use, especially when I'm in a hurry to get a shot before it's too late. I think I've got the ISO figured out and I like to take pics in the A-Dep mode and the AV mode. I don't like using the automatic mode because you can't control the ISO or aperture speed etc. Next I want to learn how to take pictures in RAW. If anyone has any helpful photography hints, please let me know. Also, I'm looking for the best photo shop program. I looked into the Adobe Photo Shop Elements 7.0 and it looks like just what I need, but maybe someone knows of a better one. I'm up for suggestions or more options to look at and choose from......

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guess Who is 45 today?

Decided to share some random pics of me over the years....NO LAUGHING! This is a pic of me at 9 months. Ok, I actually took a picture of this pic with an old camera some years back, but you get the idea. It's way too big for me to scan!
Showing off the dress I wore to my Junior Prom and the bad haircut that I hated.

Senior pics, back when I was really tan! By the way, those are my real eyelashes....that's what they look like when I use an eyelash curler and separate each lash with a needle. YEAH, NOT A GOOD LOOK!


Ok, I really hated these pictures and still do today! Plus to make it worse, I was trying to grow out my hair from a bad perm that fried my hair.



My friend Luther and I.....probably about 1984 I think.




One of my glamour shots in 1994. Yeehaw!






Anita and I in 1998......for those of you who have never seen me with short hair!





This was taken just a few days ago.







Friday, February 13, 2009

Flashback Friday

Today I am starting what I am going to call Flashback Friday. Every friday I will be posting pictures from the past. I had played with the idea of doing, A Blast From The Past or even Monday Memories, but I finally came up with Flashback Friday, which I like much better. :o)

I believe this pic was taken in 1985, when my Aunt, Uncle and cousins came to Oregon for a visit. (from left to right) Jeannie, April, Ricky, Debra, & Andy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAYMIE!


I'm so sad we can't celebrate your birthday with you! Just so you know, I'm frowning right now. Hope your special day is wonderful.....we love you!
PS ~ I need some new pictures of you, so be prepared cuz the next time I see you and Michael, I will be toting my camera. I guess you'd better start practicing saying 'cheese'.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

WHERE OH WHERE HAS MY CREATIVITY GONE?

Well, now that the house is built and the journey has finally come to an end, I guess I will have to come up with a new Title for my blog. I have to say, "A Long Way Home," served me well while we were going through the process of building. I will have to put a lot of thought into this because I don't want to choose anything hokey. ~grin~ I'm still trying to figure out this whole blog-world and am hoping to get the hang of it.

I've been looking at other blogs today and there are some really creative ladies out there. Where has my creativity gone? I've been looking for it, but I can't seem to find it today! I'm still looking for any helpful hints, if anybody has some to share. There is so much of the 'blog lingo' that I have to learn still, not to mention all of the gadgets galore.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Heart Wrenching Story!

(pause the music player at the bottom of the page before clicking on the video)

This video will break your heart, so make sure you have a tissue ready. We (all of the adults) watched this at church tonight and it had quite an impact on some of the individuals that I talked with afterward. It really made me think about how much I take for granted at times and how self centered I can be. I have so much......plenty of food and water, clothes, shoes, toiletries, a house, a truck and most importantly people who care about me and love me. Enough said....just watch the video and see how it touches your heart and makes you take a look at yourself, or should I say your selfishness?

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