Friday, July 29, 2011

St. Louis Sight: The City Museum

For our anniversary we went to the City Museum. It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen - endless exploring through tunnels and passageways and slides. And when I thought that the outside was cool, we went indoors where there were caves and trees and waterfalls and even a 7-story slide.

Since it is so hard to explain, I'll just post pictures.





  
 




 And then, since the latest trend is planking, we got in on that. Cuz we're cool.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

A quote to think on

"Here is a foundation of faith. Here is a resting place for the intellect. Here is an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast. It is not blind fate, unbridled evil, man or Devil, but the Lord Almighty who is ruling the world, ruling it according to His own good pleasure and for His own eternal glory."

A.W. Pink
The Sovereignty of God

Friday, July 22, 2011

five.


Today Hubs and I have hit the five year mark. We have been married for five years, know each other for seven. And it has been quite the ride [everyone say that kind of thing].

At five years, I have reached the point where I can't remember what it was like to not have him in my life. Five years ago I hardly loved Hubs at all, compared to how much I love him today.

Both of the wise men who led our wedding ceremony said over and over that the key to our marriage would be to put our own needs, wants and desires last. [Not really what you hear from modern therapists and counselors.] I remember distinctly the charge given to me: "First bind yourself to Christ, then bind yourself to Richard." And wow, does marriage work better when I remember [and practice] those words!

In five years, we've done a lot together. We've traveled all over - Hawaii [twice], Seattle, Colorado, Mexico, Israel, San Diego, Michigan, Atlanta. We've moved 2.3 times. We've made lots of great friends together. We've brought a house. We added Ransom to our family. We've grown. A lot. We've laughed together and we've gotten angry at each other. All of it has helped us love each other more.

So, what does a couple of 27-year-olds, one a non-paid resident and the other a receptionist, do on their 5th wedding anniversary that happens to fall on a weekend to celebrate?

Watch all 8 Harry Potter movies in a row? Perhaps.

But first we are going HERE to ignite the child-at-heart and then dinner out on the town.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Kitchen

Finally. Our kitchen is [almost] complete. All that is left are some finishing touches - artwork, decor, etc.

I knew I wanted to go with either a bold green or gray for the paint color. Before, it was two nasty shades of green. I also knew I wanted to go with the same color on the top and bottom of the chair rail. People were skeptical of my gray [Valspar: Montpelier Ashlar Gray], but it is my favorite color in the whole house. I was nervous as to whether it would be too light, or what undertone would show through [green, blue...]. It is just the right color, however, to go with my bright turquoise and green accents [these accents are the things still missing from the room].

This is what the room looked like when we first saw the house:

And now:

The flowers are from our backyard!

Our appliances were straight from the 80s.

We updated!

Like I said, I'm still hoping to add some items including a chalkboard, two large matted prints of rainbow eucalyptus bark from www.imagesofthewildeye.com, and 2-3 colors of fiestaware. All these things will take lots of saved birthday and Christmas money.

But for now, I am happy with my little kitchen. You may wonder where I keep all our kitchen stuff, including our food. The cabinet space isn't plentiful, but in the basement I have a lovely pantry. I get my exercise while cooking!

For a final look at the before & after (click photos to view larger):

Friday, July 8, 2011

Saint Louis Sight: Cardinal's Game

We are football people. We are college football, Nebraska football, people. But now we are immersed it what can only be described as a baseball town. Baseball: the slow-moving, no-replays-on-the-big-screen, hard-to-hold-attention game.

We got free tickets to a Cardinals game, and if we are going to take in all this city has to offer, we definitely had to take in this game. Plus, we don't turn down free anything.

It rains here more than in Kansas. A 50% chance of rain in Kansas means it probably won't rain. A 50% chance of rain here means it just might rain or it just might not. Rain has affected our plans more than ever before. Just as it did on Thursday.

Though the game was delayed a little, we still went. We took the metrolink downtown to avoid parking fees and potential break-ins.

The sky was ominous against the lights of the stadium. The rain had cooled down the temperature, though, and it was a good night.


We settled in and started to enjoy the game. It was hard, however, with the smell of fried onion rings wafting my direction. It was hard to think of anything but the food I was not enjoying. I did think it was cool how they mowed an arch in the field.

The stadium was awesome. Clean and very nice. We were impressed.


It started raining about 90 minutes later. Pouring. So the rain delayed the game and we decided to head home. The metrolink proved to be a good form of transportation. One we will probably use again since the station is less than a mile away.

I definitely wouldn't mind going to another game! But next time...we're getting food.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin in Her Own Words edited by Matt Lewis


This is a compilation of quotes from Sarah Palin. That's it. No commentary, just words directly from her mouth. The book is organized well; quotes are separated based on topics from family to politics; from SNL to Obama, and everything in between. It is pretty much what you would expect a book of quotes to be like. There are enough quotes in each category for you to understand her stance on each topic.

This book was good for a person like me, who hasn't kept up with politics in 5-6 years. As a woman who refuses to be defined by the media or politicians, this provided a good base ground to understand her stances on many subjects. However, from this book, I was still unable to form an opinion as to whether I would support her as a potential presidential candidate; I think that still has to be left to further research on anyone's part. Also, if you watch enough of the news or read enough articles to have heard these statements already, I'm not sure this book would be interesting or worth reading.

I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze program that provides books to bloggers for free. The opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

St. Louis Sight - Kirkwood Fireworks & Tropical Moose

We had planned to go to Fair Saint Louis on Saturday to see Maroon 5 and the fireworks underneath the arch. However, rain changed our plans and we ended up playing two very exciting games of Scrabble.

On July 4th, however, we headed out to Kirkwood for their fireworks show. I had heard about a shave ice place that had the Hawaiian specialty of ice cream on the bottom, plus a special little treat for canines.

We stood in line for a long time. It was a perfect day for shave ice. Once we got them, they were well worth the wait.

Mine is the giant papaya dream treat on the left; the nasty brown stuff on the left is for Ransom. They call it a "Canine Cooler" - meat flavored shave ice.

Ransom loved it. He couldn't stop eating it.

video

Ransom was very popular with the little girls sitting next to us. They loved on him until the fireworks started.

There were lots of people. The show was really good, too. And although Ransom does really well during the fireworks, we probably won't take him again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pineapple Tips


I just finished cutting up a fresh pineapple. After our trips to Hawai'i, I really became a fan of this fruit; whereas before that, I could take it or leave it. It's true that the pineapple on the island is amazingly sweet, but sometimes on the mainland we find it more tart.

So, I've been buying fresh pineapple since our trips and every time they are absolutely delicious. I think $2.99 is a good price, however I've gotten them for $.99 when they are really ripe and the store is trying to get rid of them.

Here are some tips that I use when selecting a pineapple. I'm no expert, but this is what has worked for me.

1. Don't buy canned pineapple. Ick. Uck. Doesn't even taste like pineapple.

2. Select a fruit that is yellow towards the base. It may still have green & brown pigments too, but it needs to have yellow showing through. If it doesn't have yellow, it isn't ripe and it will be more firm and less sweet.

3. The fruit should have a slight scent. Not too much. The yellow is more important than the scent.

4. Do not cut into the pineapple right when you get home. Don't put it in the fridge either.As tempting as it may be, it isn't ready.

5. Turn the pineapple upside down for a few days on the counter. This allows gravity to pull the juice/nectar/sweetness towards the top. You will notice the color of the pineapple will lighten, becoming more yellow.

6. As the pineapple ripens, the scent will grow stronger. Use your best guess as to when to cut the pineapple. I like to see that the yellow has spread and the scent is strong. Cut the pineapple carefully, so as to save all the fruit. I'm not a fan of the pineapple-cutter-gadgets because no two pineapples are alike, so you may be discarding good fruit.

Click here for great instructions on cutting it up. I actually do it a little different, but you'll get the point.

We use pineapples in smoothies, in fruit salads, in quesadillas, on kabobs, and on grilled chicken sandwiches even! And if it looks like we aren't going to eat all the fruit, I put it in a baggy and freeze it for smoothies later.

Oh how I love summer fruit!