Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas At Disney Part I

With all of the hustle and bustle I have not had time to blog much. I apologize. I hope you all haven't given up on me. I thought I might do a recap of our trip to Disney. It was MAGICAL!

When our trip began, we were a bit worried that we wouldn't make it there. The weather all around us was not looking good. We left Lanesville just as the rain started, but before it turned to ice. We traveled to Davie's near Columbus, OH. Nothing was falling from the sky there....yet. We picked her up and went to a hotel right next to the airport. It worked out great. We didn't have to get up quite so early to travel an hour to the airport. We also didn't have to worry about the snow they were predicting. They took us right to the airport and let us let our van at their hotel free of charge. They even had a free hot breakfast! Luckily it was not snowing, raining, or icing when we left Columbus. Later my brother called us to make sure we had made it out of there. It started to ice around 3:00 p.m.

Our first stop after we got registered into our hotel was the Grand Floridian. This is one of our favorite spots. We stayed there on our honeymoon. It is so beautiful. We were going to have lunch there at the Grand Floridian cafe. The big highlight of stopping there was to see the life sized gingerbread house! It was amazing! The decorations overall were just amazing. We had a lovely lunch. I had crab cakes and french onion soup. It was very nice. The atmosphere at the Grand makes everything seem a hundred times better in my opinion.

From the Grand we took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. We had tickets for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. As we were entering the park we ran into Jenny, a girl from Ben's class. We are always amazed when we run into someone there that we know. We had their pictures taken in front of the train station, along with one of our family with Davie.

We were instantly amazed at the beautiful decorations when we entered the park. There was not a place on Main Street that wasn't covered with decorations! We headed over to Adventure Land to see if we could catch a few rides before the party began. The Jungle Cruise had a wait, but we walked right on to Pirates of the Caribbean. We just love that ride. We didn't spend much time trying to get on rides. We were there for the Christmas festivities, and knew we would be back another time to take in the rides.

After Pirates we went to stake a spot to watch the lighting of the castle. We were told this was something we didn't want to miss, and it was great information! It was on of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! We couldn't walk away! We just stood and stared for such a long time. It is amazing what Disney can do!

We then went to the Christmas store to purchase the special merchandise that you can only get while at the party. We got pins, an ornament, and matching shirts. There was quite a line to purchase our items. While we were in the area, we walked around to fantasy land. The park was a bit crowded by now. We noticed a short line for It's a Small World, and hopped on. Why is that line always short but the line to Peter Pan is always miles long?

We walked around letting Ben get some autographs, and had some free hot chocolate and cookies as we saw Woody and Bullseye. It was a nice rest before we headed out to see the fireworks show at the castle. On our way there, we saw the PERFECT spot to see the parade from. There is a brick ledge in front of the Hall of Presidents. There was a place to sit and perfect viewing. Davie and I stayed behind there while Rich and Ben went to see the fireworks show. It ended up that we could see the fireworks as well as they did, we just didn't get to see the castle as they covered it with snowflakes and made it green to look like a Christmas tree.

The boys headed back to us as soon as the fireworks were over and we sat and waited for the parade to begin. It was really a great parade. Quite long actually. I had thought the parade at the Halloween party was a bit short, but this was not at all! My camera battery went dead half way through the parade. I was so sad. I did get a couple of pictures though.

After the parade we headed to Casey's for a hot dog. We had gotten a bit hungry since lunch. We popped in the Emporium to look around a bit more, and headed back to our room somewhere around midnight.

What a full day. My head was swimming from all the beautiful sights we had taken in! What a magical day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

For Jamie

If I had a website...which I will sooner or later...I would post this picture on it! I don't have a website, so this is for Jamie to view! Everyone else can tell me it is lovely if you want to :0)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've Been Awarded!!!

Glenda gave me this award:

Now I must fill out the survey!
Seven things I did before I had a child(ren):
1. Watched movies other than those rated "G".
2. Read an entire book in one day.
3. Slept in on Saturday morning.
4. Traveled to Europe.
5. Stayed up until the wee hours scrapbooking.
6. Spent money on frivilous collections such as Longaberger and Department 56.
7. Played the piano more often.
Seven things I do now:
1. Make chicken nuggets.
2. Pick up countless pieces of paper with drawings all over the house.
3. Make jewlery and teach piano lessons to get by.
4. Watch WAY too many cartoons.
5. Have a facebook page.
6. Shop in the video game isle.
7. Anticipate which hymn will be next on the carillon.
Seven things I would like to do:
1. Live in St. Louis.
2. Travel around Europe with my family. (I agree with Glenda on this)
3. Make my own pie crust.
4. Start a website.
5. Be more patient.
6. Lose weight. (Once again, I'm right there with you Glenda.)
7. Spend more time scrapbooking, catching up with all my pictures.
Seven things that attract me to my husband:
1. He knows what I am thinking before I even say it.
2. His belief in and defense of Lutheranism. (Glenda, I love this about our husbands!)
3. He loves me just the way I am.
4. He is a wonderful father.
5. His love of collections, like mine.
6. That he loves to entertain and be around friends just like I do.
7. His beautiful eyes.
Seven favorite foods:
1. Coca-Cola, the real stuff, not diet
2. Fettuchini Alfredo
3. Popcorn
4. Strawberries
5. Corn on the Cob
6. Cashew Chicken from Chi-Tung
7. Crab Legs
Seven things I say most often:
1. Do you mind.....?
2. Are you serious?
3. Could you go into my studio and get...?
4. Benjamin Loren Andrew Heinz!!!
5. Just a minute.
6. It's a "seepy" kiddy! (that's sleepy kitty)
7. Did you get the mail?
Seven people I am tagging:
2. Rich
7. Tori

Friday, November 28, 2008

Day After Thanksgiving

Today was my first day after Thanksgiving in retail. Usually I am out shopping. I didn't do it at all today! It actually felt good! I didn't end up buying things I shouldn't buy with money I don't have! At Ozzie's it was such a busy and crazy day. I have to say that it was quite fun also. I really enjoyed it. And, I can home to lights outside of my house and trees up inside! My boys are WONDERFUL! I was anticipating this, so I brought home donuts for breakfast tomorrow morning :0)

I made soup for everyone to have for lunch at work today. They all loved it and wanted the recipe, so I thought you all might enjoy it too!

Taco Soup
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 can chicken
1 can Mexican corn
1 can tomatoes with chilies
1 package taco seasoning
1 pint sour cream
1 can black beans....rinsed

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good News!

Yesterday we took Ben for a follow-up at the doctor. He is doing great. She only gave limitations on his diet. That is not going to be easy for him, but at least he is better and things are "moving along"! Rich is doing much better with the tooth situation too. Looks like we will be healthy and happy for the holiday.

In trying to fix something yummy for Ben without chocolate involved, I made Rich's Great-Grandma's sugar cookies. They are so good. I thought I would post the recipe for those.

Last night I went to bunco. My friend had the best veggie dip. I thought everyone would like that easy recipe too. So, here it goes!

Great-Grandma's Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
cream together
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
4 cups of flour

Mix and roll into balls the size of walnuts. Roll the balls in sugar and press on a greased cookie sheet with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake about 12 minuts at 350 degrees

Kim's Dip

1 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. dill
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. onion flakes
1 tsp. accent
1 tsp. garlic salt

Mix the night before serving and it has more flavor

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Am Not a Nurse!

What a week we have had! Last Thursday Ben stayed home from school because he had gotten sick and had terrible tummy pain. It subsided. He complained minimally on Friday and Saturday. Then, on Sunday, he had his friend Noelle over. While she was here he started complaining of stomach pain and wouldn't even play. Later in the evening, around 7:oo he said he wanted to go to bed. You normally have to force the kid to go to bed at night. After the complaining went on for a while I called our Fairy godmother, a former nurse. She suggested calling the doctor. I did, and he asked which hospital we were closest to and asked us to take him straight there. I had to call and get Rich out of a voter's meeting. We took him to the ER and they started running tests right away. They were worried about his appendix or kidney stones. Those tests came back fine. They decided to keep him overnight. He continued with the pain and was having trouble keeping food down. The surgeon came in on Monday morning and said the cat scan showed his colon was filled with stool. They started giving him all kinds of "goodies" to try and help "clear things up". They finally let us go on Tuesday afternoon. We are still trying to "work things out". Ben is feeling much better though.

Yesterday Rich had a root canal. He had some pain in his gums before he had it done, so it has been unpleasant for him.

I have spent several days worried about my boys. I am exhausted. I am not good at the nursing thing! I knew I never would be! I am better at being a teacher.

We would appreciate all your prayers that Ben will continue to improve. Pray for me to be a better "nurse" too!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

He did it!!!!

Ben is a cub scout. He is in Webelos 2. In fact his den is close to getting their Arrow of Light and moving on to Boy Scouts. This is an exciting thing. Ben, however, had one thing standing in his way that might keep him from getting that Arrow of Light. He did not want to camp out. Rich had tried to take him on a few occasions. One ended in a tent full of puke. Not fun. This time Rich just told him he was going. It was nearby at a Lutheran camp. His close friend Cameron would be joining. He made it through the night! He loved it! He is excited to go again! This is a great thing! We were worried that he would be quitting scouting because he would not camp out. Yeah! I am proud of him and I am so happy that he was able to overcome this fear. I know he is proud of himself too!

(Sorry there are no pictures. Dad didn't take the camera out of the van! Boo Hoo! No pictures of the first night camping!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Old Friends

While in Peoria for Rich's dad's 60th birthday, we were also able to attend Christ Lutheran Church, which is where Rich grew up. They were having a Thanksgiving celebration for their school's 50th anniversary. They invited all teachers and pastors that had ever served at Christ, along with the sons and daughters of the congregation that had gone into the ministry. One of Rich's good childhood friends, Rev. Kris Whitby, came also. It was so good to see him and his family! Rich and Kris laughed about their days at Christ Lutheran and Concordia University. It was so good to finally meet Kris's family. I wish we lived closer to each other! I know we would have some good times!

I am publishing Dr. Eifert's punch "with" recipe. Something tells me Kris and Rich may have had some of this together during their acting days at Concordia University!

Dr. Eifert's Punch "With"

6 oz. frozen ornage juice

6 oz. frozen lemonade

6 oz. real lemon

3 liters 7up

Southern Comfort to Taste

Happy 60th Birthday Dad!

This past weekend we went to visit Rich's family in Peoria, Illinois. We were celebrating his dad's 60th birthday! We all went to dinner at a place called Fairview Chicken Farm. They have wonderful fried chicken and yummy corn fritters. It was a nice night. Rich was able to see some of the cousins he hasn't seen for years.

In honor of Dad's birthday, I am posting my toffee recipe. My friends, the Riedel family, used to make this every year at the holidays. I always loved it. She gave me the recipe, but I was always unsure about making it. The Christmas before Rich and I were married, Rich's dad and sister came to visit and make Christmas Cookies. His dad helped me make the toffee the first time. When I wanted to pull it off of the heat he kept telling me just a bit longer. I trusted him and it turned out great! The trick to good toffee is a candy thermometer and clear weather! I have requests yearly for my English Toffee!

English Toffee

1/2 pound of butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons of cold water

2 Hershey bars

chopped pecans

Put butter, sugar, and cold water in a saucepan. Bring to full boil stirring constantly. Boil and stir until the temperature reaches 340 degrees and mixtures turns tan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour onto a foil lined cookie sheet. Melt Hershey bars and spread on toffee. Sprinkle with pecans. Put in fridge to cool. Break into pieces. Best when stored in the fridge.

Animal Boy!

Ben has recently become very interested in comic books. I am sure it has nothing to do with the leading role he had where he portrayed a comic book artist/comic book hero! He has a comic book hero that he has been working on for several years now. His name is "Animal Boy"! He has the power to change into any animal to help in times of crisis. He has many fellow super heroes in his group called the Super League of America. For Halloween Ben decided he wanted to dress as Animal Boy. He came up with the costume on his own. We helped get things together of course, but he was VERY excited. I just love how creative our boy can be! He even had a friend who dressed as one of the heroins in the SLA, Wolfette!

In honor of my super hero, I am adding his favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I know this doesn't seem very original, but it is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have run across. It comes from my childhood friend Peter's great-aunt Gayle. Enjoy! By the way, it is important to mix the baking soda with the warm water!

Aunt Gayle's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter (softened)

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1 teaspoon hot water

2 3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 of a bag of chocolate chips.

One of the secrets to this recipe is mixing everything by hand with a wooden spoon. Bake these at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

The church workers conference went really well. We had a wonderful time. Our room was just beautiful! I never wanted to leave it! I would have liked to have heard some of the speakers, but I was at my booth. I did get to enjoy the divine service though. It was very nice. They included liturgy, which doesn't always happen. This made me happy!

The new Luther Rose bracelet went well. I didn't sell out of them, but there were several people that bought them and commented on them. I was happy.

So, today I am doing laundry and preparing for our next trip, which is tomorrow. I am doing a show at Baptist East hospital in the morning, and then we leave for Peoria in the afternoon. We will be celebrating Rich's dad's 60th birthday. There is also a special service at the church Rich grew up in. We were sent an invitation because he is a son of the congregation that is a church worker. It should be nice.

In honor of the Heinz clan, I will be adding Rich's mom's famous cheese potatoes. I named them "Death by Potatoes" because all the things in them can kill ya! I never eat dessert there at the holidays, I just have a second helping of potatoes!

Death By Potatoes

1 32 oz. package of frozen hashbrowns

1 stick of butter

1 pound Velveeta Cheese

1 pint half and half

1 pkg. Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Thaw hashbrowns and spread in a 9x13 pan. Melt butter. Add Velveeta cheese and half and half. Pour over hashbrowns and let stand for 1 hour. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I said I was going to post a recipe a day. It looks like my goals were a bit lofty. I will try to improve! It has been a busy week! I have been making jewelry like crazy. What is new. My new custom made Luther Rose charm came in just in time for Reformation! I have been making those bracelets to take with me to the Indiana District Church Workers Conference. I am excited to see how they go over!

Tomorrow is our church supper. I have been making goodies for the bake sale this week. I also went last night to break bread to dry out for the dressing. They make WONDERFUL dressing. I also rolled crackers into crumbs to be used for rolled oysters. This is a big item at our dinner. I am not found of the fried treat, but there are many people around here to even have them for their Thanksgiving dinners! Today I am boiling and picking the meat off of chickens for the dumplings and dressing. I will head out to school this afternoon to do whatever needs to be done. Today's big task is making the potato salad. In the morning I will bake my pie. I head over at noon to start cutting pies. Serving the fried chicken is the job Rich and I have in the evening. Ben will be helping the youth group do dishes and any other tasks that need to be completed. It is a big weekend at St. John's. Our dinner feeds about 800 people. It is quite an amazing meal! If you are in the area you should join us!

So, today I am posting a quick recipe. The oyster crackers are something we have made around the holidays for as long as I can remember. It is a great snack. I have even given them as a gift in a pretty tin! Enjoy.

Oyster Crackers
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1 Tablespoon Dill Seed
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 cup oil
1 package Hidden Valley Rance Dressing Mix
2-12 oz. packages of Oyster Crackers

Shake seasonings and oily in a large container with a lid. Add crackers and shake more. Let sit for at least 24 hours! It is hard to stop eating the little things!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ben's Award Winning Popcorn

The recipe I have today, sorry I missed some days, is for the most wonderful popcorn. I call it "Ben's Award Winning" because it won an award at the St. John's Fest one year. However, it is not really Ben's popcorn. It is Amy Hufford's popcorn. She shared it with us one Christmas, and I have been making it ever since. I think popped corn and not microwaved works best. I mix it in a clean dish pan I use for that purpose, it is easier. My brother cannot wait for it each Christmas. Everyone says it is so addicting, and they are right. Try it, you won't be sorry!

Amy Hufford's Popcorn

14 cups popped popcorn

3 c. rice crispy cereal

2 c. salted peanuts

1 pound almond bark

3 Tablespoons Creamy peanut butter

Melt bark in the microwave. Stir in peanut butter. Mix all. Spread onto sheet pans lined with wax paper. Let dry. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jana's Salad

When my mom's family gets together my cousin Jana usually makes this yummy salad. I love it. It is one of those salads that you really can't call a salad without feeling guilty. It is more like a dessert. Anyway, we LOVE it. I think I have had it with cherries in it, but I am not sure. Has anyone made it with cherries?

Champagne Salad

1 8 oz. cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

1- 10 oz. bag of frozen strawberries

1- 8 oz. cool whip

2 bananas sliced and chopped

1 lg. can crushed pineapple

1 cup chopped pecans

Drain pineapple. Thaw berries and cool whip. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and strawberries. Fold in cool whip and pineapple. Pour in a 9x13 pan and freeze. You can also freeze it in muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Thaw 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


It finally seems like fall here today. I am sitting on my couch with a warm cup of tea, my quilt around me, my box of tissues nearby, watching the rain fall with the leaves. I love fall. It always gives me this homey feeling. It also gets my creative juices flowing too. It seems time to start looking toward the holidays and making plans.

I have started collecting the recipes I want to make this season, and I have even started stocking up on baking supplies, so that the cost doesn't hit us all at once. I have been doing that for several years and it really helps!

I decided that I am going to try and post a favorite recipe a day. I enjoy sharing recipes and thought some of you might be starting to think ahead too. Why not share your favorites? I would love to see what everyone else is planning on making! It could be a challenge for us to collect them up! Sound like fun? Join me then!

Today's recipe is my attempt to add pumpkin to Thanksgiving, without it having to be pie. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. It's fine, but nothing I look forward to. I made this recipe several years ago, at my Aunt Beth's, my dad was still alive, so that was some time ago. I accidentally put just a can of pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie filling. You DON'T want to make that mistake.
This year we are joining the Oberdieck family for Thanksgiving. That is such a blessing to us! What wonderful friends they are. They feel more like our family than just friends. I will be taking this cake to add to the MANY things Brian will prepare!

Pumpkin Cake

1 15 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
4 slightly beaten eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 can evaporated milk
1 yellow cake mix
2 sticks melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix pumpkin, eggs, sugar, pie spice, salt, and milk. Pour into a buttered 9x13 pan. Sprinkle yellow cake mix over the top. Pour melted butter on top of that. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. (unless you go to the Obedieck's, where Daniel is allergic to nuts.) Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Serve topped with whipped cream.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Woo Hoo!

This morning we took our dear friend, and fairy godmother, Davie, to the airport to send her off to her home in Ohio. It was hard to do. Having her here for a week was such a wonderful treat! It is always a treat having her to visit! What a dear and wonderful friend!

We did many fun things while she was here. We enjoyed some shopping and some lovely meals out. I cooked several meals and had my mom and her friend Norma over. My mom had us over for some yummy chicken and dumplings. We went to Ben's cross country meet, and yesterday we visited the zoo. It was a beautiful day at the zoo!

However, one of the best parts of the visit was planning our CHRISTMAS DISNEY TRIP!!!!! Davie has always wanted to see the decorations there at Christmas, and so have we. What a wonderful gift to be able to go along with her! We are so excited! I just cannot wait! We sat with her at our kitchen table and made all the calls for dinning, flights, etc. I can hardly believe that it is actually happening! Woo Hoo!!!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Getting Some Breaks!

Since I have stopped being a teacher to be a full time jewelry maker, things have been looking great! I just found out that I will be in the Concordia Publishing House Spring catalog! I am very excited. They are thinking the may be ordering a few hundred 23rd Psalm bracelets. We are also working on a charm for the Luther Rose bracelet. If it works out I will have that bracelet in their catalog too!

I am also on a new website! You can find two and soon three of my bracelets at I am currently on the front page at the bottom! I thank God for the blessings of these new accounts.

Soon you will also be able to find me at the Kentucky Chapter of Susan G. Komen's website. I let you know when it is up and running!

Thanks to all of you that have shown me support as I venture out into this world of jewelry sales! If you need a great gift, order from my new accounts :0)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

How do you argue this?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Heritage Weekend

The sacred weekend is quickly approaching. For those of you who don't live in these here parts, the world stops for Heritage Weekend! What is the big hype about you ask? Tractors, old ones, crafts, sort of, and food....lots of food!

I have already started to contribute to the food. Monday I picked chicken off of SEVERAL cooked chickens. This will be turned into dumplings for our dinner there on Saturday. Today I turned in 10 lbs. of cooked and peeled potatoes that will be turned into German potato salad that is sold all weekend at our Thrivent booth. Tomorrow I will be baking 4 pies that will be sold at the Thrivent booth and our dumpling dinner. Saturday I will cut pies in the morning, serve German potato salad in the evening and man the P.T.L. booth in the afternoon. Sunday Rich will lead worship at the park and we will work in the Right to Life booth in the afternoon. Ben will also walk up and down the sidewalks at the parade selling soft drinks for the Cub Scouts! It is such a busy weekend. It does raise a lot of money for our church though. That is a helpful and wonderful thing.

Friday we just enjoy the place, we don't work. We will go to the princess contest to see little Emma! We are hoping she will win! Usually it is our night to have some great fair food. I am not sure my tummy will approve of the fair food this year. I will have to play it safe.

I will let you know how all of this craziness goes!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Elephant Show

While at the zoo on Saturday we visited the elephant exhibit. Of course we did. We always do. This is and has always been Ben's favorite. It is especially fun these days because they have a one year old elephant named Scotty. He is so very cute. On the way out of the zoo on Saturday we just happened to stumble upon the elephants, all lined up, with trainers. We thought it looked like a possible dental exam. We were wrong. Soon, the elephants all lined up, hooked their trunks and tails and started putting on a show for us! That little Scotty is quite the ham! What a treat!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My How Time Flies!

On Saturday we spent the day at the Louisville Zoo. It was a beautiful day! Rich's family was in town for the play, and we all went and had such a great day! It has been our tradition to take a picture on the big stone rhino statue any time we go to that zoo. I thought I would post the one we took on Saturday and one from five years ago! My how they all have grown! Thanks for the great day Heinz's and Winkle's!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Our Star!

Last night Ben had the leading role in our school's 5-8th grade play. It was "Comic Book Artist". Ben was a janitor that really wanted to be a comic book artist. He stumbled upon a magic pen that made everything he drew come to life. He created many superheroes. Then, he had to find a way to fight a villain that had been created. He was then given, by the narrator, a magic eraser, and he became "Eraser Man" and saved the day!

Our son was a superhero to us last night. He did such a great job! We were so proud of him. The month of practicing 109 lines really paid off. I am so thankful that Mr. Oberdieck had faith in him and gave him the part. He did such a great job. Actually, everyone in the show did a great job! We are glad he has found interest in the stage! Way to go Ben! We love you!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend, when I was growing up, back in the day, was HUGE to me! My best friend and neighbor, Peter Reynolds, would pair up with me to help Jerry's Kids! We went from door to door. We had a backyard carnival. I lived and breathed to hear what the magic number was going to be at the end of the day! I loved helping out! I felt I was doing something to help make a difference in the world. The telethon doesn't seem to have the importance that it used to. I feel sad about that.

This Labor Day Weekend we went back to my home town of Centralia, IL. My mom was going to attend her 60th class reunion. We took her so she could go. We stayed with my Aunt Beth and Uncle Wayne. I love being at their house. They have this WONDERFUL screened in porch. I just love to sit out there. We do breakfast there every morning. It is so very peaceful. I am envious of their porch. I would love to have one someday. I would really like to sleep out on the porch, but my Aunt doesn't seem to like the thought of that idea. Besides, they live near a set of railroad tracks. Who knows how that could keep you up at night!

We attended church in the church I grew up in. It has changed so much. We did not do a bit of liturgy! We prayed the Lord's Prayer, said the Apostle's Creed, and their pastor said the Words of Institution. The congregation picked the hymns they wanted to sing. The pastor waltzed around the altar area as he told stories, I mean preached. It just was not my style of worship. I hate to say that I didn't really feel like I had been to church.

It was a nice relaxing weekend. I made some jewelry and read a book. We all needed a slow paced weekend such as that one! It was great. I cannot wait to be on the porch again!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bridal Shower

Today I hosted a bridal shower for my friend and former colleague Bridget. We had fun. Our staff gave her gift cards to use on their honeymoon. We made her get them by hitting a pinata! We also had a candy tower in her colors as decoration. Our staff also gave her a collection of our favorite recipes! It was a nice day. I hope she enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed planning it! Matt, we missed you there!


If you entertain frequently, you are probably know for something that you often serve. I am known for my sangria. Everyone that is coming over always requests it. It is not all that hard. There is no science to it. My cousing "cool" Jill, as Ben calls her and I agree, taught me how to make it at my 40th birthday party. Here is what I put in mine, I guess at the amounts.

Red wine of some type. It can be cheap, you will never know.


Ginger Ale



It is SOOOOOO yummy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Exciting Adjustments

I have been enjoying adjusting to life now that I am not working full time! Don't get me wrong, I am still is just different. I have been working at Ozzie's, the boutique where I sell jewelry, and I just love being there. It is so fun. They just arrived back from market, and I have been opening boxes of new fun stuff. It is like Christmas! I am so visually stimulated by this task! I love it! I am also proud of how little I have purchased. I have only purchased a few gifts.

In the afternoons I am teaching piano lessons and doing some tutoring. I really do enjoy this. I don't like that my afternoon is interrupted everyday, but I do like the task.

I have been doing some substitute teaching. I am enjoying that. It is so nice to be in the classroom without the stress of planning, after school activities, etc.

I have also been making plenty of jewelry! I hope to be online soon, but there just hasn't seemed to be enough hours in the day for this!

I have been enjoying our garden and doing some freezing and canning. So far I have "put up" strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, peach, and blueberry jam, pepper jelly, salsa, spaghetti sauce, corn, zucchini, applesauce, and fresh fruit for pies. It is nice to haveCheck Spelling full shelves and freezers.

I hope that we will be able to adjust to the pay difference. The time at home is much more valuable than the money, but it still is a big adjustment. I have been able to make wise choices. We are doing really well. We will make it work. It just requires some major life changes! We are eating out much less because I am home more to actually be cooking. I love that!

All in all, I am very, very, happy! I thank God and my family for helping me make this reality!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

German Meal

Tonight I made a German dinner. When we were in Wisconsin we didn't get to go t0 our favorite restaurant, Weissgerber's, and I have been craving rouladen ever since. So, I looked up the recipe and tried it out. I am not so great at gravy. If I could make a good beef gravy it would have been great. It was fine. I also made braised red cabbage and spaetzle. The dough might have been a bit too heavy. I need the tool that helps with spaetzle.

If anyone has brown gravy advice I would love it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lizard Spit

In October, right before we left on our big Disney trip/cruise, my diabetes went a bit out of control. It just happened out of nowhere. I went in because of an infection, but soon found out the reason for the problem. Since then, we have been working hard to find the right combination to produce a reasonable numbers in my blood sugar readings. It has been frustrating. About a month and a half ago my doctor put me on Byetta. It is relatively new. It has to be injected into the stomach twice a day. I was surprised at what an easy thing this was for me to do. When taking the drug you start at 5 mcg for a month. As the doctor warned me, it took a week to adjust to the drug. I was quite sick for about a week. I became used to it, and life was good. The drug not only lowers blood sugar, but it also suppresses hunger. After a month, you are then increased to 10 mcg. This happened almost two weeks ago. This has been a difficult adjustment. The plus is that weight is coming off. This is a good thing. The minus is that I am still feeling quite sick. I will have a day or two that I might feel well, but the bad days still are existing. Not fun. I went online to research how to combat the sick feeling. While researching I found that the drug is a synthetic form of gila monster venom! Can you believe that? How did they find out that gila monster venom lowered blood sugar anyway? Hopefully this side effects will soon subside. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the weight loss and the lower sugar readings!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Where does the time go?

One week of school is under our belts. I have been a free woman for a week, and I am not sure what I have to show for it? Monday, Rich's birthday, was spent cooking and cleaning for company. Tuesday, I worked at Ozzies. Wednesday, I made jewelry most of the day. Thursday, I was sick. Yuck. I was out almost all day. Friday I did not feel well yet. I did manage to do our grocery shopping that evening. It was exciting. At one store I saved more than I spent! Yesterday I worked at Ozzies for a while and then went home sick. My tummy and I just haven't been getting along. Rich and I did manage to kick out some bracelets last night. That is. Not too eventful. I need to work on that! Hopefully the week ahead will be a bit more exciting!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Honey!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday! If anyone deserves a great day, it is him! He is so kind and thoughtful! Here's to a great day Rich!

First Day of School

Today is Ben's first day of 6th grade! This is hard to believe! For all of you it may be hard to believe that we are starting school already. We are on a wonderful calendar at St. John's! They call it a balanced calendar. We start now, but we get two weeks off in October, almost three weeks off at Christmas, and two weeks off in March. It is really nice. The only drawback is starting school in JULY! I find it hard to believe that my boy is already in sixth grade! It just doesn't seem possible. He is growing so very fast. He is very proud of his messenger style backpack. I guess they are the thing this year.

Not only does it feel odd that Ben is already in sixth grade, but it also feels odd to be sitting here typing this while he is at school. This is the first year since kindergarten that he has went off to school without me! I am not teaching. It actually feels great! I am excited. This morning is a bit strange, but all in all it is a good feeling. I am hoping to concentrate on my jewelry business and make that my occupation. I would appreciate all of your prayers as I embark upon this new chapter in my life! In honor of my first day as a free woman, I am posting some new jewelry in my shoebox! Check it out. I have to do some editing first, so give me a few hours!

Happy first day of school to all of you hitting the books today!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Just like blogging, I put off going to facebook. I know how much time I already spend at this silly computer. Wow, it is fun. I knew this would happen! I have jewelry to make! I cannot be playing on the computer! YIKES!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Garden Update

The garden is finally doing it's job. Today I should be able to pick about 5 zucchini. The tomatoes are plentiful. They just need to become red! I have spent the week canning. I have canned jam. I made raspberry, blueberry, and peach. I also canned bread and butter pickles. I used a mix for the pickles. I am not sure that I will do that again. I think I will use my own ingredients this time. Anyone have a good bread and butter pickle recipe? Please do share if you have one!

Today I will pick beans, AGAIN! I think they are almost finished tough. I might just plant two more rows after we pull these up. I haven't decided for sure. This week we will have a huge pot of beans. Ben will be so excited! LOL!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Something to Cha-Cha About

The picture is of one of my creations. It is called a cha-cha bracelet. I think it is named that because the beads swing and swish like the beads on a dress of a woman doing the cha-cha-cha. Anyway, the owner and store manger of Ozzie's, where I first started selling my jewelry, just arrived back from the AtlantaMart. This is a HUGE market where you go to shop for wholesale merchandise. They both to some of my cha-cha bracelets to wear with their outfits while there. They mentioned that many people stopped them and wanted to know where they had purchased them! They even have calling cards from people that want to buy them from me! Woo Hoo!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Lovely Anniversary

Eleven years goes by so quickly. I can remember our wedding day as if it were yesterday. We had such a wonderful time. The music was out of this world! The reception seemed to be fun for everyone. Most importantly, I married Prince Charming! After 11 years he is still making our life a "Happily Ever After!"

We had a lovely day today. We were served breakfast in bed. I thought for a moment that I was at the Grand Floridian! Ben brought us fresh fruit, toast, and milk. It was so sweet. What a doll he is. He is always so very thoughtful. He made us both a nice card. I love that boy! He has been taking good notes from his daddy!

Rich and I exchanged cards. We had decided that we were not going to give gifts this year. Last year's Disney trip was enough for two years! We did go for dinner though. We went to P. F. Chang's. It is SOOOOOO wonderful! If you haven't been there, you must! The lettuce wraps were suggested to us by everyone so we got them tonight. They are very good. Rich had a key
lime pie martini that was out of this world. It was so great. Thanks to our mom's and dad and our Fairy Godmother, we didn't have to worry about what we spent on dinner. It was fantastic.

After 11 years, I am still as in love with my husband as I was the first day we got together! He is so kind, understanding, thoughtful, and patient. I thank God for him and this wonderful day!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Just Am Not Very Patient

So, I read up on my zucchini problem. I found that I have male blooms, not female. However, the male blooms tend to show themselves first and the the female blooms come out later. This can take a few weeks. Tonight I went out and picked green beans and there, I saw them, tiny little girl zucchini blooms! Yeah. As fast as they grow we will probably have some big zucchini on Saturday! Thanks for the concern! Beer batter, here comes some zucchini!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zucchini Blues

My zucchini plants are beautiful! There are five large plants. They look so healthy! They have a million blooms on them. Okay, maybe about 12 per plant. Here is the problem, the blooms grow, open, and fall off. There is no fruit behind the blooms. I read that I might only have male blooms. Where are the girls? Or, that I might have a pollination problem. So, why are bees always around when you don't want them there or never around when you do? I am so confused! I just want some zucchini! Has anyone ever had this happen? Do I just need to be more patient? Help me out here!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Newsest Thing I Love Is.....

Meeting up with old friends! This is my friend Heather. We had some great times in high school and college together. She is one of the most amazing people I know! She is always up for a challenge. She is not afraid to try something new. She has always taught me to step a bit outside of my box. I love that about her!

While on my way to St. Louis I stopped to visit her in Belleville. It was such a nice day! We both love our beads. We had intended to play, but I just looked and looked at her stuff. I look forward to the day when she can come and look through my stuff! It was fun.

Heather has her own cross-stitch company. It is fresh and funky and a lot of fun! You can check her things out at She also has a new book out. You can check that out at her site too!

Heather, I thank God for your friendship. You are a blessing!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Yes it is!

This is a picture of my family. Seriously! This isn't even all of them. Yesterday we attended the Wernsman Family Reunion. It was a really nice day. I haven't seen many of these people since my Uncle Charlie died several years ago. It was so good to enjoy visiting with them! I wish my brother could have been there!

There was a photographer there who took our pictures. This picture includes my aunts and uncles, cousins, second cousins, even third cousins. My dad had 13 brothers and sister originally. Four of them have passed away, including my dad. It was an emotional day seeing all of them yesterday. My Uncle Dale reminds me so much of my dad. Tears immediately sprung into my eyes.

I would like to thank my cousin Ronnie and his wife Kim for hosting all of us at their beautiful home. Actually, Ben called it their estate! It was so lovely. What a beautiful place they have! Thanks so much guys!

I thank God for my family.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

My friend Jessica asked her readers to blog with her occasionally about their new favorite things. I like this idea and I will be joining her! I hope you will join in too!

Jessica's new favorite thing was the T.V. show "John and Kate Plus 8" This is WAY one of my new favorite things also, but I won't blog about it since she did.

My new favorite thing is giant crab legs from the Kroger fish counter! I was walking by on Thursday and couldn't help noticing them. I asked the butcher how you even cook them. He told me that you cut them down the middle with a scissors and pull the meat out. All you have to do next is pop it in the microwave. He even demonstrated and gave me a sample. YUM-O! Now I had to buy some. I bought one big leg. It was a HUGE leg. It was also a huge price, but very worth it. Rich and I were able to make a meal out of the one leg. We had sides of course. It was SOOOOOOO good! The sticker price might shock you, but you will enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Salesperson at K Heinz Designz!

On our way to Wisconsin we all decided we needed a potty break. The closest place Rich found for us to stop at was Starbucks (wink wink)! We odered our drinks. (Thanks Hailey! She gave me a Strabucks gift card for an end of the school year gift. We have been using a little here and a little there to make it last!) While the drinks were being made, I used the restroom. Ben and Rich were out talking to a barista who had taken her break. When I came back out the lovely barista asks to see some of my jewelry. Ben had told her that his mom owned a jewelry business! She loved it and asked for my card so she could come on and check it out. I didn't ask your name friendly barista, but if you check my site out I hope you liked what you saw! My new sales associate was paid that day with a double chocolate Frapachino. He is going to work out great!


Today our new teacher is coming to find a place to live. I am in charge of dessert for dinner. I decided I would make homemade "Hostess" cupcakes. I went to my trusty recipe box to find the recipe for the filling. I had not written it down. I couldn't believe it. I thought for sure I had written it down. So, I googled it. I am looking through several recipes, but I couldn't find mine. They all had Crisco, and I know mine doesn't have Crisco. It is just something I don't keep in my pantry. Well, several pages into my search, I finally found the was on my blog! LOL!!!! I guess I really did put it down, just not with pen and paper. I am sure glad I showed up on Google!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Susan G. Komen

I am excited! I just fired off an e-mail with pictures of jewelry attached for the Susan G. Komen foundation. They are considering my jewelry for their new website. I pray that they find some of my items worth selling on their site! I would appreciate your prayers that this will work out! I am attaching some pictures of the newest stuff! Rich would say, "Win big!" I hope I do!

Monday, June 16, 2008

If Your Life Was a Movie

Rich did this on his blog. It is too fun! I just want to state that Ben, Rich, and I are sharing a playlist on our ipods right now! Enjoy!

Here's how it works:

1. Open your library (iTunes, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool...
7. Include commentary

Opening Credits: “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” by the Walt Disney World Band So, does this say something about me?

Waking Up: “Hey There Delilah” Plain White T’s Acutally, if I had to wake up to this song I would go back to bed! This one is from Rich’s collection. I am not fond of the song.

First Day at School: “Dayream” by Jason Castro I must admit that I did some daydreaming at school! Jason Castro was on American Idol this year. I started out liking him, but wasn’t fond of him at the end.
Falling in Love: “Hate 2 Love Her” by Blake Lewis I sure hope Rich doesn’t hate loving me! I cannot speak for others I dated.

Fight Song: “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson This is not much of a fight song, but I love this song!

Breaking Up: “Silence is Golden” by Blake Lewis Yes, during breaking up this could be true.

Prom: “Ladies Choice” Hairspray This would be a fun song at a prom!
Life's Ok: “I’m Into Something Good” by Herman’s Hermits I do seem to be into something good!
Mental Breakdown: “Come Together” By Carly Smithson Yes, during those breakdowns you gotta try and come together!
Driving: “True Love’s Kiss” Enchanted I remember driving home after a kiss from my true love! It was enchanting!
Flashback: “Sunday Morning” By Maroon Five It is always good to flashback to Sunday morning!
Getting Back Together: “Wonderful World” by IZ I think it is wonderful when people get back together!

Wedding: “Day by Day” The Hooters I am still blessed to take things day by day with my true love!
Birth of Child: “She’s a Woman” by Chikezie If you knew what I went through to have Ben you would say that I am quite a woman!

Final Battle: “Tequila” by The Champs I admit that I have had a battle with tequila!

Death Scene: “Robert Says Goodbye” Enchanted I am not sure who Robert is, but I am glad that he is going to miss me!

Funeral Song: “Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye” The Walt Disney World Band Too funny! When Tim Oberdieck was a toddler he couldn’t say my name correctly and called me Tootsie! Maybe he will sing this at my funeral.

End Credits: “The Nicest Kids in Town” I hope I will be remembered as one of the nicest kids in town!
OK, so I tag Glenda, Rebekah, Tori, Angie, and Julie.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Is it Really Summer Break?

Ben was discussing with us this morning over homemade cinnamon rolls via Brian O., (Yum-O!) that it really hasn't felt like summer break yet. I suppose this is because we have been on the run since school was out.

Let's see....Monday I spent the day at school working on report cards and permanent records. We took Ben to a late lunch at "Polly's Freeze" (a local favorite that has soft serve sherbet) because he had gotten straight A's. This was a major accomplishment. He had been pushing the high B's in Math all year. He worked really hard and made it over the hump! He is so bright in Math. It amazes me what he can do in his head. He despises putting everything down on paper. We worked on that this quarter and it paid off! VBS was in the evening, so there is day one.

Day two was spent cleaning out my classroom. We didn't get finished, but thanks to my good friend Angie, we are close! We came home so I could recover from what appeared to be some tainted food? VBS was again tonight. I was in charge of snacks. Rich and I made popcorn in the popper. It was fun. Day two is gone.

Wednesday I took Ben and some friends to the free movie. It was Veggie Tales "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything". The kids enjoyed it. We came back to school so I could help make 50 gallons of baked beans for Relay for Life. That was work! VBS was again tonight. I baked a birthday cake for my mom when we got back home.

Thursday was my mom's birthday. We took her to lunch and shopping. This was the last night of VBS. We also played cards with my mom and her friend.

Today I had blood work done this morning. I worked on dishes. Rich worked in the garden and on laundry. Ben cleaned his room and is leaving for the movies with a friend soon. Rich and I will be going back to school to finish my classroom.

Among all of this I have also managed to make a large pile of jewelry that I will deliver on Monday. YIKES! It really hasn't been much of a break yet. When do we get a day just to relax at home? Not tomorrow, we are going to a birthday party for my godson, Joshua, and then Rich has a meeting in the evening. (Why do these people think a meeting on Saturday night is a good idea?)

Sunday is Father's Day. We will go out to lunch after church and go to the zoo. We have been trying to get there for weeks!

Monday is jewelry day. Tuesday is packing. Wednesday we FINALLY leave for CCA. I think we will relax there! When does summer break start?

Hope yours has been exciting so far too!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It Hasn't Sunk In

Last Tuesday was my last day of school. It just hasn't sunk in that I won't be teaching next year. Maybe it won't until school starts. I am not sure. So far I am still working. I had to do report cards and permanent records. I am working on the yearbook. Today I am starting to clean out my classroom. It is difficult to decide what to keep and what to get rid of.

The bead show was fantastic. I got a lot of good deals. I even talked some people down on their prices! I have never tried it before. I was quite successful! I brought home a suitcase full of goodies! I haven't had much time to work with any of it yet since VBS is this week. Tonight I am in charge of snacks.

Tomorrow I will take Ben to the free movies to see a Veggie Tales show. Then I will work on making potato salad for Relay for Life. We are working with 375 pounds of potatoes! That is a lot of salad!

It has been so busy I haven't had time to be excited about the bead business. I have news that the Susan Komen shop is going to start an online shop that will be open all year. They have asked to put some of my things on the site. This is VERY exciting. I also have a quilt store that wants "scissor candy", cute strand of beads that you hook on your sewing scissors. This is a new endeavor. I will be hitting other sewing shops in the area too. Of course Ozzies is always up for something new! I am excited about it all. I just need some time to bead!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rows and Rows of THIS!!!!!

This morning we are heading out for the Bead and Button show in Milwaukee. It is the largest bead show in the country! There are rows and rows of people with booths just like this guy's! It is amazing! My palms were sweating just downloading this pictures! It is such a fun day and we get such wonderful bargains! I cannot wait to be there tomorrow. New jewlery is coming soon to k heinz designz!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cool Louisville Stop #2

Glassworks is a neat place in Louisville to visit. They do many different kinds of work with glass. They have a lampwork studio, blowing studio, and a workshop for designing stained glass and working on building designs. They have made huge sculptures and did the windows on some amazing buildings. You are able to watch all of each process. There is a movie about the history and process of making glass. They also have a studio where you can make projects. It is a cool place. It is neat to go here and to Schmipff's in the same day. It is remarkable how similar the process for glass and hard candy is. Neat place! I do, however, have a thing for glass :0) It is hereditary!