Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trip to Mount Vernon

Recently we took a trip to Mount Vernon to visit some of John's family. John was raised in this beautiful little town and it's always a treat to visit. We had a great time and enjoyed a lot of relaxation. Life in Mount Vernon is slow and simple - a nice escape from reality.

We had such a great time. As we always do, we did lots of eating, visiting and laughing the whole weekend. John's Mom, Karen, is an AMAZING cook so we are always well fed - breakfast, lunch, dinner AND the ever-important dessert. John got to do some fishing (one of this favorite hobbies) with his Dad (Mark) one time and also with our nephews Jacob and Isaac at another point over the weekend. He caught a 5LB bass when he went with his Dad and he was DELICIOUS! John's Aunt and Uncle have a tiny new pony named Cheyenne so Karen and I walked down to see it - so very cute. We also went to a couple of baseball games - Jacob had one game and Isaac had two. Both of the boys are really good baseball players know the game so well. We didn't get any good pictures of Jacob playing because it was dark and they didn't come out so well. John also rode 4-wheelers with the boys and they played with the BB gun - shooting at targets and also trying to shoot an egg sitting on top of a milk jug. I even took a turn, but was unsuccessful hitting anything. Calvin also enjoyed himself - he has a nice little set-up on the back porch where he stays when we are there and he loves to go on walks with Mark (also known as Grandad).

Enjoy a few highlights from the weekend...

Until we meet again...
Riley

Sunday, April 25, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ARIANA!

We want to wish our niece, Ariana a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We love you very much and wish you a wonderful day!

Aunt Riley & Uncle John

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Busy, Busy

It's been almost two weeks since my last post - wow, time sure does fly! We've just been really busy with various things here, there and everywhere. Life is great though and we love staying active in it.

Last weekend, we went to visit John's parents in Mount Vernon, Arkansas and had a really nice weekend. We have many pictures to share from that - so stay tuned! One of the highlights of the trip for John was this... He caught a 5lb bass and man was he tasty! As I said, I will do more of a recap of the weekend with several pictures from our trip soon.

We are really looking forward to Saturday night because we will be spending it with some of our favorite guys from the...Yippee - it's our first game of the season! They will be playing the Detroit Tigers and Third Day is doing a pre-game concert so it should be an awesome night!

Well this post is short and sweet, but I wish you a wonderful day!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Plethora of Pictures

**Quick Note** - the title is especially for my father-in-law, Mark (he'll know what it means - kind of an inside joke).

Okay, back to business! We have a variety of pictures to share. We have taken many over the last week or so, but we'll just share a few highlights.

We had a really nice Easter weekend! We stayed busy with a few things over the weekend and had some fun too. On Easter, we enjoyed a church wide Easter brunch in lieu of Sunday School and then a wonderful worship service. I made my grandpa's coffee cake for the brunch and I must say that it was quite delicious!! There wasn't a spec of it left. We had some things to do after church (count the offering and serve communion to a homebound couple) so we opted to go out for Easter lunch and then home for a relaxing afternoon/evening. We coordinated our Easter outfits again this year and went with the lime green and black combination - we had lots of nice compliments. It was fun!

We had a visit from the Easter bunny as well. John got a card, a new St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt, two packs of baseball cards and candy and I got a card, a new Texas Rangers t-shirt and candy. We are definitely set in the candy department for a little while!

Here are a few Easter photos...
On Saturday afternoon, we went to our niece Alyssa's 9th birthday party. She had it at "All Fired Up" which is a pottery/ceramic painting studio. Each child got to paint a piece of pottery (they could pick from various animals) and then they would fire and glaze it for them. I got to paint as well - hooray! I painted a red and black tile for our kitchen with a "U" on it. I'm excited to see the finished product. We had pizza and YUMMY cupcakes that my sister-in-law, Amy, made. The frosting was so good and she arranged the cupcakes to look like flowers. Here are a couple of the party pictures...
As you know, one of my hobbies is ORGANIZATION. That's right, I thoroughly enjoy keeping things organzied and have a list of organization projects to do. I work on them when I have time, but an organizer's work is never done - HAHA! Call it weird, quirky, silly, overkill, obessive (insert your own adjective) - it's just who I am!

Nevertheless, my most recent organizing project was to transfer ALL of my baking ingredients from their original packaging into plastic containers. I wanted more orderliness on the pantry shelf (to be able to stack everything) AND I wanted it to be easier to measure out the ingredients while baking. No longer did I want to mess with boxes, sacks, cartons, cans, etc!! I sound so dramatic. So, I bought some Food Network containers at Kohls and ordered some awesome vinyl labels online. I washed up the containers, adhered the labels and poured each ingredient into their new home. I was so happy and excited while I was working on this and of course when I was finished. John sweetly shared in my joy and let me do a "before" and "after" presentation with him. I'm so easily pleased and have been wanting to get this done for a LONG time - here are a few of those photos (it's on the bottom shelf only)... BEFORE...AFTER...

AHHHHH - it looks and feels so much better! I was able to use these on Sunday when I made my coffee cake for the Easter brunch and it was so helpful in measuring - pop the lid off, scoop out and add to the bowl. I told John to celebrate the completion of this project, I would make him a batch of chocolate chip cookies, so those will be coming soon!

I guess that is all for now - thanks for letting me share and have a GREAT rest of the week!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Monday, April 5, 2010

Birthday Wishes & Play Ball

We hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend - we certainly did! Once we get them uploaded, we will share our Easter picture for 2010. We were matching in lime green and black ~ fun times!

Today, we want to wish our niece Alyssa a very HAPPY 9th BIRTHDAY! We had fun at your birthday party on Saturday and wish you a wonderful day. We love you very much!

Today is also a VERY important day because...BASEBALL SEASON BEGINS! Time to "Root, Root, Root for the Rangers...and Cardinals". We are excited to welcome baseball back into our lives for the next six months or so. We already have tickets to our first Rangers game this season on April 24th. We are on the front row of the section we like to sit in - I can taste the hot dog now...mmm! We both bought new Rangers shirts over the weekend so we are ready to go. We love to go to the ballpark as much as possible, but we also have fun watching all the games at home.

Happy Monday ~ until we meet again...
Riley

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Things to be Happy About - March Edition

A new month is upon us so it's that time again...time to post my favorite "things to be happy about" from my desk calendar in March. If you need to catch up, you can read about January here and February here.

Here are my March things to be happy about...
  • Coffee in an enormous mug ~ I love coffee and it's even better in a big oversized mug - we have LOTS of coffee cups in our house
  • M&Ms ~ Crispy chocolate goodness! They are dangerously small so you can pop several in your mouth, munch away and before you know it you've eaten a ton of them - such a simple, but tasty candy
  • A house's welcome light ~ I love the sight of driving by or up to a home and all is dark, except the front porch light ready to greet visitors. For such a small amount of light, it really has a way of brightening the whole outside of the home
  • A place for everything ~ Simply said - for everything to have it's own "home" within your home is wonderful
  • An utterly cloudless sky ~ The sun shinning as bright as can be with few clouds in the way is a beautiful sight - sunny days make me happy!
  • Mechanical pencils ~ I am ADDICTED to office/school supplies so this falls under that category. I have mechanical pencils galore and I recently found a new kind that I really like
  • Feeding Hummingbirds ~ As I have mentioned before, John loves hummingbirds so when we have a feeder out and they come around for a drink, he gets excited and it's so cute!!
  • Fried Fish & Hush Puppies ~ Mouth watering at the very thought of this - I love a good fish fry with all the fixins. Y- U- M!
  • Dinner and a movie ~ This reminds me of many date nights John and I have. It's so enjoyable to talk and laugh over a meal shared together and then to sit back, relax and enjoy a good movie...oh and dessert afterwards is a must as well. We are going to do this next Saturday night!
  • A set of rubber alphabet stamps ~ Part of my craft collection and has so many uses, just wish I had time to use them more
  • List lovers ~ I AM a list lover and proud of it - hee hee. I've even been known to have a list of other lists to make...it never ends - grocery list, project list, calendar list, to do list, to pack list, to plan list, to contact list - LOVE MY LISTS
  • Holding Hands ~ so comforting and shows the connection with the love of your life
  • Your smile ~ I love a good smile and I love to smile...remember, "You're never fully dressed without a smile"
  • Someone to do the dishses ~ John, my amazing John, does the dishes in our house! I offer to help, but he always refuses the help. I assist in loading and unloading the dishwasher, but anything to be done by hand, he does willingly and lovingly...so very lucky am I (but that's not why I love him!)
  • Fleece clothing ~ I love me some fleece PJs! I'm sad to see warmer weather come because my fleece pjs will have to be packed away for several months - thanks for keeping me warm dear friends, we will meet again soon
  • Seasonal menu changes ~ Grilling more in the spring and summer to chili and soups/stews in the fall and winter - Homemade ice cream and sno cones to pumpkin pie and hot chocolate...each season brings special eats and drinks perfect for that time of year
  • Crayola Crayons ~ Back to my school supply addiction, we have lots of crayons (so many pretty colors) and I still enjoy coloring. In fact I colored a Strawberry Shortcake picture a couple of weeks ago and John has it hanging in his office - hah!
  • Cleaned-out files ~ Ahhhhh, it feels so good
  • Watching a wedding ~ I love going to weddings. It's such a treasured time to see two people brought together by God to journey through life together, plus it allows me reflect on our wedding day and how happy we were (and still are) and thinking how exciting it is for that couple to have the same feelings
  • The pitcher's mound ~ The center of the diamond on a gloriously green field of grass. Baseball season is almost upon us - hip hip hooray!
  • Caesar salad ~ my most favorite salad
  • Kneading bread ~ bread dough, biscuit dough, pizza dough, the smell of yeast - mmmmm, oh how I adore homemade breads of all kinds

I'm off to complete our menu for April - another thing that makes me happy "monthly menus". I hope you find something to be happy and smile about EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Until we meet again...
Riley