Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something To Think About Saturday

I had to do a goofy one this time. I needed the laugh.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I'm just testing this new siggy. I'm not sure if I like it or not. You might see several different signatures until I find one that I really think is me.
Thank you to Megan, for posting a tutorial on siggy's. I've done others in the past, but I like her easy peasy way of explaining it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ava Turned *~2~*

Whoa baby! This is my ~6th~ post in 6 days! That's a first for me!!!!

I love this new blog frame from Megan! These are a few recent photos of Ava that were taken in March & April. No, she isn't on the bottle any more. She went cold turkey in March and never looked back. Yay!
Ava turned *2* on Saturday! I still can't believe that Heavenly Father sent her to us. Isn't that weird to say? I look at her every day and think to myself how lucky we are to have her here. We really thought we were done with kids. Brycen was my last and he was already 9 by the time Ava was born. I just figured our family was as complete as it was supposed to be. Delightfully, I was wrong!

She has been a complete joy! I guess I'm realizing how busy I was when I had the others. Macie, Molly and Brycen are all a year apart. I didn't really have time to enjoy the baby years like I am with Ava right now. Having 4 kids ages 5 and under was soooo tiring. 3 were in diapers at once. Jillian was just entering Kindergarten, so they were all home most of the day. And how much can a 5 year old do to help Mommy anyway? Now...I'm not saying I didn't enjoy those years with the kids. I'm just saying that it flies by so much faster when busier. I wish I had taken more time to just slow down and soak in all the moments.
This time around, the 4 older kids are SUCH a big help! They have all done their share of changing diapers and I have built-in babysitters. I have alone time with Ava while the kids are at school. It's nice to be one-on-one with her. Things aren't as busy when there is only 1 small one at home. I feel like I have all the time in the world to enjoy her.

Whew. 2 years old already. I wish I could freeze time!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Something To Think About Saturday

Merriam-Webster meaning of Commence....
: to enter upon : begin
: to have or make a beginning : start

Congratulations to my niece Jackie and my nephew Nate on their 2009 high school **GRADUATIONS**

The tassel was worth the hassle! (I hope! *snicker*)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't Check MY Spelling!

This is what I'm shouting at myself. Have you ever realized that you have been spelling a word (or 2 in my case!) WRONG for your whole life???

I just realized I've been spelling the word, Background, wrong! I've been simply spelling it, Backround. Geesh.

Several years ago, I realized I was spelling, Grateful, wrong too. Of course simple old Leanne was spelling it, Greatful. Geesh again.

Now I'm wondering what other words I've been spelling wrong! With Spellcheck everywhere these days, you would think I would never have any spelling errors.

Now I'll be paranoid that you all will see my many faults with each post. Eek!

Spellcheck, you are now going to be my *new* best friend.

P.S....have you ever wondered what the most often misspelled words in the English language are? Hint, misspelled is one of them. Check out alphaDictionary.com. Did you remember that the words, a while, were separate? Or are you still spelling it, awhile? Sometimes, I'm guilty as charged on that one. Now when it comes to the words, a lot, I never fail. It isn't spelled, alot. Nope. I remember learning about that one in school.

alphaDictionary.com even has memory medicine to help you remember the correct way of spelling a word.

Now, if I could only remember what I was taught about grammar! -sigh-

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Prom Dress Make-Over!

If you're the Mom of a daughter who is going to Prom this year, you may have noticed that there are practically ~NO~ dresses out there that are modest. They are either strapless or have spaghetti straps.

Finding a modest dress is pretty much impossible unless you order it from an online store or search for one on Ebay. Most of the online stores that Jillian and I had found were over-priced, so that left Ebay. Still not much to choose from that she liked.

Having limited funds, we decided to shop for a dress that was immodest and then give it a make-over.

In the past, she has gone to 2 formal Christmas dances. We found a dress both times that needed altering. Luckily she chose dresses that were either black or had black on it. So we were able to just buy a black shrug to cover her up. I sewed it onto her dresses. Both still looked adorable. See?
Anyway, for Prom, she wanted something other than black. We found an adorable bright pink dress at JC Penney that was, get this.....over HALF off! We only paid $39.99 vs. over a hundred dollars for a dress from other stores in the mall.

So this dress had a spaghetti strap that went around her neck. Not modest at all.
Because it was so pretty, sparkley and *cheap*, we decided to snag it and deal with the immodesty somehow.

We didn't know what we could do with a bright pink dress. No shrug was going to match perfectly. Cripes, I couldn't even find a pink shrug anyway. We also didn't think that a black or white shrug would look as nice as something that was the same color of the dress. So I searched online for alternate ideas. Boy, I love the Internet. How did we ever live without it many moons ago?!!

I found a website, ModestProm.com. They had several ideas to alter a Prom dress. The pattern I chose to use is here.

So easy! Or so I thought. No, actually, it was easy, but I'm not much of a seamstress, so I lacked confidence thinking I might not be able to pull it off.

With help from my Mother-in-law, who sewed the edges all the way around the 2 pieces (thank you again for that Mom!), and a few tears of my own because I thought I might not get it done in time, I was able to accomplish the task.

Here are some before and after photos. Please excuse the immodest looking one that is just for demonstration purposes.

Presto change-o.
Though the sleeves weren't perfect, I believe it actually made the dress look better. Plus, I'm really proud of Jillian for making the choice to be modest in the first place. She gave me no arguments (even 2 years ago she didn't) and ended up looking beautiful. Of course I had to make a digital layout based on her "choose the right" choice. :)

I suppose I better give a shout out to our friend Sharon (who just had a beautiful baby girl last Thursday!) for doing Jillian's hair. She did an excellent job and must have been tired that night because she did 2 different girls hair for Proms in one day. All while standing for hours when she was 9 months pregnant! Sharon rocks! Here's a photo of the back of Jillian's hair.

Cute huh?

Now if dress makers could only raise that bust-line a bit! -sigh-

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lanie's Layouts

Elements by Maelia Designs, Jaelop Designs, Delicious Scraps

Paper by Maelia Designs

Ok, so I made this layout last week and I really like it, BUT I feel like it's missing something! What is it missing? Am I missing some sort of element? Or, am I just being too critical? Don't answer that one.

I'm new to this whole digiscrapping thing and I can't afford Photoshop, so I strictly work with my own cheap program and now I'm starting to use Paint.net. Paint.net is a free program. I like it, but man, I'm lame when it comes to learning it. I certainly need to use tutorials all the time to use it! It is supposed to be close to using Photoshop Elements, but I have no idea if it actually is because I've never used PE.

All I know is that I really like digital scrapbooking and I really need to figure out what the heck is wrong with my camera so I can take more pictures! I've been using Jillian's, which is fine, but I'd really like to use my own since it's a Canon EOS. I think I could get better quality photos to work with if it actually functioned.

Anyway, here is one more layout that I did recently. I loved
that I found word art that goes perfect with it!

Elements by: Digi Designs by Nicole , Jaelop Designs. Word art by Digi Vickie

Oh, by the way, all the elements, paper and word art I used in these 2 layouts were free! You know i luv freeeeee.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Try it Tuesday.....Hockey Dessert Recipes!

You probably have forgotten all about my need for recipes when we were feeding the San Antonio Rampage back in March right? I was begging for dessert ideas because I thought I had to make the one and only dessert for the whole team and their coaches. Well, as it turns out, we had several desserts there..not just mine. Whew. What a load off my mind. I thought I was a goner when thinking they would only have MY desserts to choose from! Beep, beep, back up. In case you forgot, my nephew Michael, is the head athletic trainer for the Rampage and since they were coming to MI to play the Grand Rapids Griffins, he asked us to help with a meal for the whole team and coaches.
Anyway, I ended up making Neiman Marcus Cookies, Peanut Butter Fudge, Baby Food Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting and 2 Texas Sheet Cakes with Hot Fudge Icing. Besides that, there was also Cherry Crisp, Pistachio Salad, Snicker Salad (also called Caramel Apple Salad), German Chocolate Cake, Apple Pie, Blueberry Pie as well as several other things. So do you think these big boys had a lot to choose from? Oh yeah they did. But do you think they actually ate much?! No! I was shocked. Perhaps it was because they had just lost a hard fought game against the Grand Rapids Griffins. Or maybe it was because the season wasn't done and they didn't want to gorge themselves on sweets. I dunno. But one thing I DO know...it wasn't because the desserts SUCKED.....because they totally ROCKED!

I made enough cookies to feed the team about 10 times over, so I shipped the leftovers off with them (after I pried them from my nephew and brother in-laws hands first). I also gave the fudge to a player, only to see them left on the table. Ouch. Maybe those kind of did suck. I also walked out to their big 'ol bus with the steepest stairs imaginable, with 1 of the left over Texas Sheet Cakes. So I'm hoping that some of our hard work paid off when they ate them on the road.

Ok, so who DID eat a ton of desserts?? The tubby old coaches! Ok, they aren't tubby or old. But they could be by the way the enjoyed the desserts! The highlight of my night (besides seeing my much missed nephew) was when I over-heard one coach say how moist and delicious my Baby Food Bars were! Yesssss. Mission accomplished.
Oh, and are professional hockey players from outer space? One guy was really having a hard time opening a jug of milk! He was fumbling with the plastic ring around the cap. Leanne comes along and quickly twists the sucker open for him. There ya go dude. -Smirk-

Ok, I'm rambling aren't I? Sorry. Not only is this a Try It Tuesday post, but it's a journal entry about the meal we provided. My sister (my nephew Michael's Mother) outdid herself. She bought and cooked about 13 pot roasts! She also made the best yeast rolls (about 100 of them or MORE). She worked really hard and I'm proud of her. Her roasts were tender and perfect. With some friends and family help, she also had mashed potatoes and gravy plus veggies etc. It was all a lot of work (mostly for my sister), but I know it was worth it. We all had a good time and loved watching the game and being able to cheer for BOTH teams. I'm sure we will be hosting a dinner for them again next season.

Here are a few pictures of the day, but don't expect much. We took lots, but they accidently got deleted off the memory card. I had to snag these off Facebook. Here are a couple of hopefuls that were on a trial basis for the team. The girls were especially happy to get their pictures taken with them because the player on the right is Justin Kinnunen. He used to play for our local hockey team, The Muskegon Fury. Plus, he is from the upper penninsula of Michigan where my family lives. Surprisingly he had my older brother for his High School art teacher! Small world.

This is just a picture of the scoreboard (is that the right word?) showing the Rampage & the Griffins scores during a break.

This is NOT a Rampage player! We're traitors! lol. We still love the Griffins, but this player especially. This is Justin Abdelkader. He is Macie's science teacher's son. He learned to play in our town at the same rink that Brycen is learning to play in right now, so we are very proud of our local boy. Especially since right now he is playing for the Detroit Red Wings! He was called up to play during the play-offs. Go Red Wings!

Ok, that's all I have to show. Lucky you because it would have bored you to see more pictures.

So are you finally ready for a couple recipes to, "try"? I'll post some of mine (minus the pb fudge) and my nieces recipe for her Snicker salad. By the way, she HAS to make this for every family event or she gets a tongue lashing! It's the best. Not healthy, but nevertheless, the best dessert! She uses a huge bowl. Imagine the biggest bowl that Tupperware has to offer. Even with a bowl that big, there usually isn't too much left over at family events. For THIS event, however, I was able to take some home and savor the flavor the next day. Mmm.

Here is her recipe. (Thanks Michelle for posting this on Facebook for me to snag for my readers)

Snicker Salad/Caramel Apple Salad

5-6 apples (cut into bite sized chunks)
5-6 Snickers full-sized candy bars
1 lrg. pkg. dry vanilla pudding mix
1 lrg. tub Cool Whip, thawed

Chop up the 5-6 apples into bite size chunks. My sister likes to do red and green apples at Christmas. Cut up 5-6 Snickers full-size candy bars into bite sized chunks. The cutting will take longer than you think! Add the large package of dry vanilla pudding mix to a large tub of thawed Cool Whip topping. Don't make the pudding, just dump it in and stir it well. (...some people I've talked to make the pudding, but Christi's mom-in-law told me specifically not to!) Then you fold in the apples and chunks of Snickers. Chill and serve. Refrigerate any left overs - not likely there will be any though!
Note: this recipe will not make enough to fill the big Tupperware bowl, but it's still a lot of salad.

Neiman Marcus Cookies

(You know this recipe....it's from the urban legend story about the lady who was forced to pay $250 for the recipe at the store....this isn't the recipe for the cookies that the store actually DOES sell, but it's a darn good recipe regardless....read the silly fabricated story here.)

(Recipe may be halved):
2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips ( I use Ghirardelli!)
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet..Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies

Leanne's Notes: I do not use the nuts because my hubby is slightly allergic. They are fine without them. DO NOT and I mean it...DO NOT forget to blend the oatmeal to a fine powder! This is the ingredient that makes this cookie fabulous! I tend to keep blended oatmeal in my pantry at all times to add to any chocolate chip cookie recipe. Also, you can do it without the Hershey bar if you want. Sometimes I use it, some times I leave it out. They are still delicious.

Baby Food Cake

I was given this recipe a billion years ago from my sister in-law. It's always moist and the cream cheese frosting makes it especially delish.

Grease and dust with flour, a jelly roll pan or use half of the following ingredients for 13x9 pan.

Combine & beat:
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. oil

Sift & add:
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt

Add 1 medium jar of strained carrots, applesauce & apricots.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes using the toothpick method to check for doneness.

Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

Texas Sheet Cake
This recipe is lightened up a bit. I found in the Cooking Light magazine, but don't let it fool you. It's still really fattening and high in WW points!

Grease and flour a jelly roll pan. You may also use a 13x9 pan instead. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs


Lightly spoon 2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 cups flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Combine 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add to flour mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add buttermilk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs; beat well. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 22-27 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.

Hot Fudge Icing

Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 1/3 c. fat-free milk, and 1/4 cup cocoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in 3 c. powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Spread over hot cake. Sprinkle cake with pecans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Leanne's Notes: The cake recipe also calls for 1 tsp. cinnamon, but I don't care for it that way, so I omit it. The pecans are optional for the icing also. I never use them because of my hubby's pesky allergic reaction. Plus, Brycen hates nuts!

Well, if you're still with me, you deserve a medal. This was a looooong post. Sorry! If you are interested in making any of these desserts, please let me know how well you liked them. I promise I will post a much shorter Try It Tuesday next time!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Something To Think About Saturday

For Randa, but it's also for ME!
Sometimes we just like acting like a 2-year old when things don't go our way. We want to stomp
our feet and scream 'til our face turns a nice shade of crimson.
And guess what? I'm thinking that sometimes that's ok !! Vent that frustration! (when no one is around however....or they might think you're the biggest *freeeeeak*on earth.)
But don't do this every time you have a problem.
Only when it's a BIG one and you're really ~super~ frustrated. Go ahead and scream into the pillow for a few seconds......................
But then take this advice.......never........ ever QUIT. Don't give up or things will never......ever get better. Scream a little and move on.
*Note to self.......do this or go NUTZ! :)~

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bye Bye???

Ok, my title was misleading. I'm not going anywhere. But I hope the Ducks are!!

Game 7 ELIMINATION TIME!! Go Wings! EDIT: And they did it! 4-3 Wings! Bye bye to the Ducks. Rock on Red Wings!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

YouTube Of The Day :)

This is grrrreat. I love it!

You won't be able to get it out of your head!

Oh yeahhhh...his Mom must be proud.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free Chix from KFC!

Oh boy. I love chicken and now I can eat it for free from KFC!

You've seen the commercials for their new Kentucky Grilled Chicken. Now go get your own 2 piece meal for Freeeeeee.
Here is the link.
Hurry. Don't waste time. The link could just stop working because so many people are downloading the coupon. Plus, the download will disappear on Wednesday, May 6th at 11:59pm!
Hurry! YUM! :)

Try it Tuesday.....Alexia Crunchy Snacks

Have you tried these yet?! I didn't even know they existed! I spied them and had to grab them because truthfully, I've never met an Alexia product that I didn't like.

I am a huge fan of the Julienne Fries with Sea Salt and also the artisan breads. Mmm. Those are in the frozen line. I had no idea they had any products in the other aisles! Oh happy day!

I was in the chip aisle of all places when I saw the Onion Strips Crunchy Snacks & the Waffle Fries Crunchy Snacks. While in the chip aisle, I wouldn't expect to find this product. I'll tell you why......

The Savory Seasoned Onion Strips are TRUE, REAL onions! Just like you eat out of the oven only crunchy! Seriously, Alexia has me amazed and pleasantly surprised! I bit into one of these and it's like eating an onion ring from a restaurant! You know, the kind of place that serves a basket of them with that horseradish dip! Can I hear a YUM?! A coating with a real onion inside!

Yes, they are crunchy and probably deep fried. Yes, they are cold and not warm like the ones from a restaurant, but they rock! If I had some of that horseradish dip, I'd be in heaven.

Alexia says both the Onion Strips & the Waffle Fries are 100% natural and zero trans fat. There are no artificial preservatives, color or flavors.

Here are the nutritionals for the Onion Strips:
Serving Size: 28g 1 ounce (about 18 pieces)

Servings Per Container: 4.5
Calories [per serving]: 150

Calories from Fat: 70

Daily %
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 200mg 8%
Potassium 80mg 2%
Daily %
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Daily %
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%


Wheat Flour, High Oleic Canola Oil, Corn Flour, Modified Food Starch, Spanish Onions, Cornstarch, Salt, Less Than 2% Of: Dextrose, Egg White Solids, Malted Barley Flour, Spice, Sugar.

Contains: EGG and WHEAT

Now for the Waffle Fries....again real potatoes! I chose to buy the Classic Ranch flavor and that might have been a mistake. Don't get me wrong. They are still good. But there is something about them that doesn't thrill me. I think it's because it has a little bit of spice or something. I feel the heat a bit. I don't like heat very much, so this isn't my favorite. I wish I had just tried the Aged Cheddar
Waffle Fries. The fries are cool looking with the cross cut look. They are thick and dense. A real potato and not air filled at all. I guess you will have to be the judge on these though. I'm sticking with the Onion Straws.

Here are the Waffle Fries nutritionals:
Serving Size: 28g

Servings Per Container: 5
Calories [per serving]: 140

Calories from Fat: 60

Daily %
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 200mg 8%
Potassium 190mg 5%
Daily %
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Daily %
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 0%
Iron 2%


Russet Potatoes, High Oleic Canola Oil, Modified Food Starch, Less Than 2% Of: Buttermilk Solids, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Dehydrated Parsley, Dextrin, Distilled Vinegar Powder, Enzyme Modified Butterfat, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavor, Onion Powder, Potassium Chloride, Rice Flour, Salt, Spices, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Whole Milk Powder, Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate (To Promote Color Retention).

Contains: MILK

Oh, I forgot to mention that they both come in different flavors other than those I mentioned.

Onion Straws come in:
Savory Seasoned

The Waffle Fries come in these flavors:Aged Cheddar Cheese
Bold & Spicy BBQ
Hot Pepper
Classic Ranch

A yummy all natural snack that tastes just like they came from your favorite restaurant. Yes, they are a bit high calorie, high fat, but eaten in moderation, they are a yummy treat.

I'm interested in hearing what others think of the Alexia brand. Have you tried the brand? Did you like it? What appeals to you about the brand?

Tell me and I might just reward you.
Ok. No, not really. Hee hee. But that does give me an idea. I've never done a give-away. Maybe I'll think about doing one. What would I give away?? I guess it would have to be a Try It Tuesday product wouldn't it? *wink*