Friday, March 16, 2012

Welcome back!

That title was mostly to greet myself as I start blogging again. It has been just over a year and a half since my last post about Steve & Nikki. They are doing amazingly well and I love to hear about their progress.

As for our family a LOT has happened since the last post. We added a new little nugget to our family. Ella Teresa was born on April 20th and will be turning ONE next month. I'm in a small bit of denial but coping. lol I love the amount of girliness she has brought out in me. I find myself making bows for her headbands, playing dress up with a little human doll and figuring out that hair product isn't just for the big girls. It's so much fun to see part of me in her. I look at my baby pictures and it's slightly startling to see such a resemblance. LOVE IT!

We bought our first home after James' promotion out in Wolf Point, MT. It's a ity bity town of 3500 people. I know, I know, everyone who really knows me is wondering "WHAT THE...?" Well life has it's twists and turns and here we are in this curve ball...hahahaha.. bad analogy but still you get the point. I am happy to have a home for our family and to have the ability and means to work from home doing graphic design and still get time with my kiddos. I like that I don't miss out on any of their accomplishments and we have a great time together.

Jayden will be turning 4 in June and well the denial continues... lol He is LOVING all the room in the new house and definitely utilizing the backyard. He has a great ambition to learn about anything and everything including his Dad's job. He already wants to learn to "push all those buttons for the trucks" and is constantly asking me when we can go visit Dad at work. He's beginning to read small words and sounding out more and more letters. His time at Little Miracles definitely gave him a great jump on his education.

There is a lot of unpacking yet to be done as well as painting and rearranging. But we are enjoying opening each box like a christmas present. Who knows what's in it. lol

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I just wanted to reach out to as many people as I can to help this amazing couple out! First of all here is there story:

Steve and Nikki were married on May 25, 2010. Steve was the "back manager" at The Pizza Factory restaurant (where they met) and Nikki was just starting a position as "front manager" of a brand new Pizza Factory in a nearby city. With their combined income they were able to purchase a modest new home. Even though they owned almost no furniture, they were so excited to move in just a few weeks after they
(Picture of Steve and Nikki holding their newly-signed
marriage certificate on their wedding day)
On July 17, 2010, less than two months after their marriage, Steve was involved in a serious traffic accident when another vehicle made an illegal left turn at an intersection. Steve's motorcycle slammed into the side of the other vehicle.
(The picture at the right is a police photo showing Steve's crumpled motorcycle after the accident. You can see the medical helicopter on the road in the background.)
Miracles happened as a registered nurse was at the scene, a police officer was close by, and a medical helicopter just happened to already be flying in the area due to a cancelled pick up. One of the medical helicopter personnel said that Steve would have died from loss of blood within a few minutes had he not received medical attention so quickly.
(Picture of Steve in the hospital about a week after the accident. You can see
the stitches from surgery running under his arm pit and down his right arm.)
Steve was flown directly to the hospital where he was given 16 units of blood, underwent several hours of surgery, and almost lost his right arm from the shoulder down. He then underwent four more surgeries over the next nine days in an effort to repair the massive amount of damage caused by accident.
The accident caused severe damage to Steve's right shoulder and neck area. Steve's right arm will never be normal again and may still need to be amputated at some point. Among other injuries, his right pectoral (chest) and trapezius (neck) muscles, as well as two of the five main nerves going into his arm were completely ripped away in the accident. The other three nerves running from his neck into his arm were also severely damaged and it's still unknown if they'll ever heal. He has very little feeling or movement in any part of his right arm and hand.
Just when they thought things couldn't get worse, Steve developed a serious infection in his right shoulder. After another operation and weeks of expensive treatment, they believe they'll be able to keep the infection in check.
Steve will need a great deal of medical attention over the next few years, as well as physical and occupational therapy for up to five years. He will not be able to work for a long time and will be hindered by his injured shoulder and neck for the rest of his life. Nikki's work schedule has been and will continue to be interrupted as she cares for her new husband. Just paying their normal bills has become a real challenge for them, let alone paying for the massive amount of medical bills they're getting literally every week.
(Picture of Steve and Nikki sharing a light moment
together about a month after the accident.)
Why They Need Your Help
It is estimated that medical and therapy expenses could exceed $1 million over the next few years. Just before the accident the newly married couple was in the process of getting health insurance, but the paperwork wasn't completed in time. Car insurance from both drivers isn't going to cover nearly enough. Needless to say, they need help if they are going to pay the bills, give Steve the ongoing medical attention and therapy he needs, and keep from filing for bankruptcy at such a young age.
Please join us in helping them overcome this rough start in their young marriage by donating whatever you feel comfortable with. Whether you donate a little or a lot, it could go a long way towards helping Steve and Nikki get through this difficult time.
All donations are managed via PayPal, so they're safe and secure.
Thank you and God bless!

They need your help now more than ever! If anyone has ever been in the hospital for even a day or two you know that those bills aren't cheap. We are giving our every effort to help them out as much as we can!

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Thank you to those who have already donated or bought merchandise to help out. We appreciate everyone's support!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Just a fabulous trip down memory lane

After chatting a bit with a fabulous friend Brittles I had this urge to eat Bucca Di Beppo food. Mostly their amazing marinara sauce that came in a size to feed a large part of Africa and their amazing garlic cheese bread. So I started to investigate and came across something that just might have made a shift in the earth's tilt.


I wasn't sure if I wanted to share it, but with something so incredibly good why not! So for those who have eaten there and love their sauce here is the recipe to make in your own cute kitchen! ENJOY!!


1/4 C olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
salt to taste
3 T fresh chopped basil


Heat olive oil over medium heat inside LARGE saucepan...or even a smallish stockpot (if you need to know how large of a saucepan you will need, pay close attention to the 52oz of crushed tomatoes that you will be adding!!!!!). Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil for 8-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh basil before serving.

Note: If you like sweeter sauce you can add 1-2 teaspoons of white sugar.

I am making this for dinner and I can't hardly wait. I am trying a new dough recipe to make killer garlic cheese breadsticks so we shall see how that goes, there may be a post later.

Cooking Fiend

Lately I have been challenging myself to create desserts and entrees that are both delicious and low fat along with intriguing.
so far I have made 3 successful items: Raspberry Torte, Belgian Waffles, & Key Lime Pie.
The recipes were fairly easy and I was able to use what I had in our pantry to accomplish all three of them!

Here is the end result:

Belgian Waffles

3 cups Bisquick Mix
1 box (3oz) Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding
2 TBsp Olive Oil
1 Egg

Combine bisquick and dry vanilla pudding mix. Add oil and egg. Stir until well blended. Cook in your favorite waffle maker! I added craisins and grapes for the topping and used Agave for the syrup to make them a little healthier.

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

1-1/2 pkg. (12 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1/3 cup Flour
1/2 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans, toasted or coconut (optional)
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP or COOL WHIP French Vanilla Whipped Topping, thawed

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 9-inch round cake pan; line bottom with wax paper. Microwave 4 squares of the chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir dry gelatin mix and sugar into chocolate until well blended. Mix in eggs. Stir in flour and pecans/coconut until well blended. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 40 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan 5 min. Run small knife around side of pan to loosen edge. Invert onto serving platter; remove wax paper. Cool cake completely.

MELT 4 squares of the remaining chocolate in microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 min. or until melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread on wax paper-covered baking sheet; refrigerate 30 min.(I combined some coconut in this to give it a little more texture)

MEANWHILE, melt remaining 4 squares chocolate in microwavable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min. or until melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted; stir in whipped topping until smooth. Frost cake with whipped chocolate mixture.

REMOVE chocolate on baking sheet from refrigerator; using sharp knife, cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch irregular-shaped pieces. Remove chocolate pieces from wax paper; arrange on top of cake. Store cake in refrigerator.

Key Lime Pie

Graham Crust (you can also buy this premade)
1 1/2 cups Fine Graham Crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
6 TBsp Butter
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients until well blended. Press into 9" pie tin. Cook at 375 for 7 min or until slightly browned. Cool completely.

Whipped Topping (you can also use an 8oz tub of thawed Cool Whip)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 TBsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place whipped topping in freezer for about 10 min before starting. Beat until desired fluffyness then add sugar one TBsp at a time along with vanilla.

Pie Filling
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup lime juice (fresh is best, about 4 medium limes, I used the Real Lime Juice)
2 cups whipped topping (or thawed Cool Whip)

Combine sweetened condensed milk and lime juice and beat for 5 minutes in high. Pour into pie tin with cooked crust. Add whipped topping on top of pie filling and refrigerate for 2 hours. I broke up graham crackers in odd shapes and made them as decorations. I also sprinkled some graham crumbs on top.

So far both Jayden and James have enjoyed these items :) Good luck and happy cooking!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

reversed everything!

So lately I have noticed that things are definitely changing... I'm reading a great book that has a lot of awesome information. But my body seems to be doing things backwards.

I have been lucky enough to not have full blown nausea but on occasion I have a pretty sickening feeling and have to lay down for a bit to recover. I've noticed that It's not a hard thing to keep things down, it's being able to eat in the first place without wanting to hurl. Which makes things really hard. I try to eat at much as I can to be able to work my full shift but most the time it hasn't been working so well. I'm usually incredibly hungry once I get home. One thing's for sure, I've had full blown headaches every day starting at around 2pm till I go to bed. It's hard cause normally I've not been fond of taking any type of medicine unless it's absolutely necessary. So now I really won't take any medication even thought the doctor gave me a list of safe medicines. I figure if I can stand it and be ok I'd rather not take anything and stay as healthy as possible!

Other than that so far things have been amazing! Not really showing at all yer since we're only 6 weeks in... But on October 7th we will be able to hear the heartbeat for the first time and we're both uber excited!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I know I know!

I know I'm a complete slacker when it comes to blogging but with our lives being all over the place the last little while it's been hard to sit and write about all the good things happening to us lately.
SO there is a lot to update since my last post so I'll try my best to capture it all in this post. First of all we have just moved to Grand Forks, ND. James is ina manager training program with Cenex Harvest States for the next year.

So we are getting used to tornado warnings, and incredibly strong winds, but WE LOVE IT HERE! Then again we haven't had a winter here yet. I am preparing to hibernate until the snow is gone.
As for me I just got hired at Starbucks and start on Wednesday with my training. It will be nice to have a second income for our family. Especially since we will be a family of 4 soon. That's pretty much all I will say on that one. Let's just say April will be a very happy month!
Jayden is loving his daycare. We call is school because it pretty much is. He is learning all his colors, letters, and comes home with more and more amazing vocabulary. The 2 and 3 year olds are being prepared for kindergarten which makes me very happy! Jayden loves his friends and all his teachers. He is super excited to go every day which makes it so much easier to leave him there.
Other than that we are just sitting pretty for the next year. James will be done with his training program, I will have my bachelors and we will be married around this time next year. So that's the update for now!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The things my son says...

I've been trying to see how much Jayden catches on to. So I ask him random questions through the day and see what he says.

Today the question was "Jayden do you want a brother or a sister?"

Jayden's answer "uh.. .I want a brother, a sister in a minute."

Then the next day I asked him the same question.

Jayden's answer this time "uh, I think I want a sister first."

So I asked him what his sister's name should be

Jayden's answer "name her Oddie"

my conclusion: He watches too much Garfield and he doesn't understand he can't just get a sibling "in a minute"