Monday, November 28, 2011

New Computer

Our computer died. So instead of  Black Friday shopping for a new tv...

We had to buy a new computer. We are sad we aren't watching IU basketball on a huge screen, but Kyler has to take this computer to class every day.

And after using it myself, I realize how badly we needed a new one. It's so fast and clear, and it's got an HD screen. If only the screen was 40 inches bigger...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kyler's Green Thumb

Kyler loves plants.

Remember back when we first moved to Columbus, Kyler had to transpant his orchid into a larger pot? He's nurtured her ever since and she's growing a new leaf! He's so proud, and I have to admit that she's a pretty plant. And she has an adorable pot.

Well, in the orchid's old pot, he planted a $.20 pack of Morning Glories (we think).

Definitely not a pretty plant. I wasn't a fan from day one because that pot is so ugly, but it stayed outside. Out of sight, out of mind right? Well, before the first frost, he brought it inside. And daily it just bugged me in all of its ugly, straggly-ness. So he finally threw it away on Thursday.

And what does he bring home on Friday?

Another plant. This time it was much more appealing to the eye. This is his mom's old bonsai tree. But I think we're done with adopting least until we have some place to put them. I'm not sure the printer is the best location for a greenhouse.

Happy Black Friday and one month until Christmas!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Prep

Thanksgiving may be tomorrow, but we're already preparing for Christmas.

At least our new constant on tv, IU basketball, matches our Christmas color scheme.

And we've got our Christmas letters all ready to go!

Just one more day until everyone else joins me in Christmas preparing! Black Friday is the official start, right?

Monday, November 21, 2011

IU Basketball

Last Sunday, Kyler and I had the privilege of going to an IU basketball game, sitting in the 3rd row right behind the bench.

He got the tickets from his professor by answering a question correctly in class. That's my boy!

We got banners on the wall...
It felt so good to be back in Assembly Hall.

Especially since we have a decent team this year...mostly because of that dude, #40.

The last three years, our team was desperately lacking a big man after DJ White left.

DJ White
Which, DJ actually was in attendance at this game.

The team looks good this year. Talented starters. Great bench.

And lets not forget good-looks too :)

Caught on camera.

But back to basketball...

See that assistant coach there in the middle?

He looked so familiar.

Kyler thought so too. And then we placed him...

Gordon Gecko from the movie Wall Street. We're such business school geeks.

But back to basketball...again.

We're so excited to watch this team this year. After four of the worst years of IU basketball while we were on campus, we finally feel like it's our time!

Obviously, we need basketball to look forward to...

...considering IU football isn't really anything to get excited about.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

"Winner, Winner Turkey Dinner"

Let me explain. Since I have been doing a lot more driving recently than I am used to, I have really picked up on listening to the radio on the morning and afternoon drives. The afternoons are great - as soon as I figured out that Rush and Dana Loesch were on during my afternoon drives (anywhere between 1-4pm). But the mornings are different - all the DJs want to talk about nothing and hardly play any good music. However, I do usually listen to one segment of a Bloomington radio station's show - the "Morning Trivia". They ask a question....usually something like "10% of teenagers say they do this every day". Sometimes I feel like I know an answer and try to call in - and they are always looking for caller #1.

And sometimes the prizes are pretty awesome. A week ago they were giving away a four pack to Shrek: The Musical at the Auditorium. This is something I wouldn't pay for, but if they were giving something worth about $150 away for free, I was going to try to win it. No success on those tickets.

On Tuesday, I turned to the radio station just as they were asking the question (but before I had actually learned what the prize was). The question was something like "60% of college students say they couldn't live without this". I thought I knew the answer, so I called in.
Call 1: Busy. Should I try again?
Oh, sure. Call 2: "Hello, Caller #1"
"Is it their smartphone?"
"Congratulations, you just won a Thanksgiving turkey courtesy of Wal-Mart".


What? A turkey? What am I going to do with a turkey and how do I get it? Am I just going to show up to the station and walk out with a frozen turkey? Or is the turkey still alive?

Anyways, I went to the station to claim my prize and walked out with a big voucher saying I needed to pick up my turkey from the Bloomington Wal-Mart. Of course, I picked out the largest one I could find and went to the check-out line (which, at Wal-Mart, you can correctly guess that it took forever).

Now, what should I do with this turkey? Two things were certain: 1) I definitely had to document the occassion with a picture and 2) Kara and I don't really have a use for a turkey. So, I took the picture. Since I didn't really want a picture of me randomly holding the turkey (since that would involve an awkward conversation asking someone to take the picture and see my strange pose), I tried to use my backpack as a frame of reference.

Yes, the 22.5lb turkey was as large as my backpack. Not knowing what to do with the thing, I called the church thinking they might know someone to give it to. Of course, neither of the church leaders that I know was there to speak to. Instead, I had to explain the story to some elder who probably thought the whole thing was ridiculous. Adding to the ridiculous-ness of the situation, I had to grab the preacher out of basketball practice (he coaches girls Varsity basketball) to have him tell me where to put the turkey. He called me the "Turkey Fairy". (Not sure this was a compliment or the fact that my wrists were limp after dragging a huge turkey to him). Long story - but it is now in the church's freezer until they can figure out what to do with it/who to give it to.

Isn't life great....definitely keeps you on your toes.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tis the Season: Christmas and Basketball

Happy 11-11-11!

What a great day it was for us! Here are some of the reasons why:

1) It's Friday. Hello weekend!

2) IU basketball's regular season started tonight. 1-0 baby!

3) Christmas shopping began as well
          ii) Christmas supplies: gifts, wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, tape, name tags, boxes, apple juice, and cell phone.
             All necessities.
            There will  be two happy little boys on Christmas. And a happy Mom.

4) Tomorrow is more Christmas shopping in Indy with my Grandma and sister.

5) Kyler's currently looking up live Christmas tree farms on the iPad. rightthisverysecond. And I've never had a real Christmas tree. Yippee! But we better get it fast because we have presents accumulating on the tv table and on Black Friday, we're getting a big tv!

6) My sister called with some good news. She found the Kyler's old iPod that I lost misplaced during our move. Turns out it was in one of the coat pockets on my old winter coat. And yes it did get misplaced during our move. I moved the coat home. Little did I know that the iPod was in there though.

7) We're almost halfway through our month of writing down what we're thankful for. And I'm so happy that Kyler's really into it. He's even had to remind me to write one down.

8) We paid off one of my student loans today. It was a smaller amount but the interest rate was really high. Goodbye!

9)  Kyler's input for why today was so awesome: Veteran's Day. Freedom. And I quote.

10) Quinn Buckner. We were almost in tears over some of his commentary tonight. Who knew that the referees kicking  the cheerleaders of the court could've been so funny.

And that my friends, is 11-11-11's version of our Top Ten.

Have a great weekend everybody!

P.S. More exciting news but unrelated to 11-11-11....we're going to the IU game on Sunday. Third row. Behind the home bench. Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

oh. em. gee. these are to die for, and you must make them immediately. go now. after reading the recipe.

this is the prize-winning recipe of 2007 for Betty Crocker's oatmeal cookie mix challenge.

1 pouch Betty Crocker oatmeal cookie mix (1lb 1.5oz)

1/2 cup firm butter or margarine

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (Betty suggests Gold Medal)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. heat oven to 350 degrees. spray bottom and sides of 13x9 pan with cooking spray

2. place cookie mix in large bowl. cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. bake 10 minutes.

3. meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla, and egg until smooth

4, spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. in medium bowl, mix pie  filling and cinnamon. spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. sprinkle with walnuts.

5. bake 35-40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. cool about 30 minutes. refrigerate to chill, about 2 hours.

prep time: 20 minutes
makes: 24 bars

these were soooo delicious and soooo easy.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Many of you probably heard the story of when I told Kyler I wanted to adopt a child for Christmas at midnight on a drive home. And he was a little sleepy and delierious and thought I actually wanted to adopt a real child. Well, I didn't only convince him to adopt one child but two to support for Christmas.

Our church is supporting Operation Christmas Child. So this weekend we took to the aisles of Wal-Mart to pack our children's shoeboxes. Kyler and I were both buying for the ages 5-9, one boy and one girl. After following some suggestions from an OCC pamphlet, we came home with a pretty good spread for each.




I was pretty impressed with all we got for them and that it all fit in shoeboxes/shoebox tupperwares.

Next, we wrote them each a letter to explain who we are and why they're receiving this package. I told my little girl how much I loved Polly Pockets as a child.

And explained that we're celebrating Christmas here in the United States, the day that God's Son Jesus was born on Earth.

After paying our shipping donation online, including a photo of us, and taping the tracking label onto our boxes, we were almost finished.

One of the most emphasized steps came at the end when we prayed over the boxes for the children receiving them, the volunteers distributing them, and the lives that could be changed because the Word of Jesus is spreading all over the globe.

We definitely had a fun time shopping and cramming organizing all those tiny gifts into those boxes, but it is our hope that those tiny gifts lead to those children coming to know Jesus.