Saturday, March 31, 2012

Little Men & Legos

I brought home a Lego Robotics kit from school over spring break to try to write some lessons for next year for school.  My sweetest little nephew was at my mother-in-law's house so I figured it would be fun to play with him and see what he thought about it.  We had so much fun and he wanted to build every single robot!  I told him that Auntie Court was going to have to come back another day, because I was all lego-ed out. :0)  I think he could have used his imagination and built for hours.  We ended up completing a robotic airplane and a robotic soccer kicker that kicked balls of paper across the room.  We had so much fun!  It's these little moments in time that should be treasured and never forgotten!  ** PS - He looks super cute in his jersey, but the colors are ALL wrong!  Meme said she bought a red and black one too and will make sure he is wearing the right one next time. :0)

Your dog...

It's always my dog when they do something bad....but really...there are so many evenings I come around the corner and find this....

So who's dog is she really?!  And who does all the spoiling?  I don't think all the blame is on me. :0)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring has Sprung...and Pollen is in the Air

I love Spring so much because everything looks soooo beautiful!  As I was out in the backyard playing with the pups I noticed that the trees we planted in the fall, when we first moved in, are starting to bud and bloom!  I was so excited!  I thought that I should take a picture of Willow with the trees (I tried both dogs, but Harley wouldn't pose for me or stay still long enough) each year so I can see how much they are growing.

Here is Willow with the Purple Leaf Plum Tree.  This is the tree Joe and I purchased together as a memento for purchasing our first home together.  I love the little white flowers that are all over it, and it smells AMAZING! (I did kind of get a picture of both of them with the PLP, but Harley just won't pose pretty like my chocolate horse will :)

My other tree, which we planted at the same time, kind of has a background story.  My maternal grandmother had this type of tree in her front yard while we were kids growing up.  It was the most beautiful tree and her favorite.  My mother took a branch off that particular tree when her and my father bought the house that my brother and I grew up in.  She managed to make that little branch grow into an amazingly beautiful tree that enveloped our entire front yard growing up.  I remember each spring when the tree filled with huge pink flowers, and when the flowers fell to make room for the leaves, they would cover our yard making it look like pink snow.  I always remembered how beautiful that tree was!  When my paternal grandparents moved to Gainesville, they took a branch off of my mother's tree and planted it.  It is a huge beautiful center-piece in their front yard now.  Sooooo, when Joe and I bought our house my paternal Grandmother wanted to buy that same tree for Joe and I to plant in our big back yard.  (She had to buy an established tree because I kill everything and wouldn't be able to root a branch off of her tree :).  It is just a tiny little tree now, but it is full of buds and I can't wait to see it grow and bloom!

This tree is called a Kwanzan Cherry Tree and will look something like this when it gets full grown.  Beautiful...I know...I told you! ;0)

I even got a picture of our one little deformed strawberry.   We are trying to grow strawberries, but Willow ate the first one, and we are not really sure how big we are supposed to let them get before picking them.  The last one was so small but it began to get soft, so we went ahead and picked it...but it wasn't even a bite worth.  Oh well, we will keep trying and hopefully I can post pictures of some big beautiful strawberries later in the summer.

Plus one more picture of my sweet chocolate horse...of course :0).  She just always poses so nicely for me and takes the most awesome pictures.  She is such a good dog and definitely a mommy's girl.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Such a Blessed Life

I have such a blessed life.  Over the past week or so, I have been so lucky to spend some quality time with my family and friends.  My brother came up and we were able to goof off at Dick's Creeks Falls in Dahlonega (my favorite place on the planet!)

I also got to spend last Friday night having a few good laughs with the girls!  It is always nice to be surrounded by such caring people that love you for who you are and never judge or question you.

This afternoon I enjoyed grilling out with my hubby and even finding a big 'ole worm surprise in the backyard!

I just love being with my family and friends and I know that I am blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Just a Dog?

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog."
They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog,"
and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust,
and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away
from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog",
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
"just a man or woman."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog"
just smile...
because they "just don't understand."

My Muddy Harley Lou!  Someone had some serious digging fun this morning!  AND someone will be getting a major B-A-T-H before she comes back in the house! :)

And in the video clip below you will see Willow, the Turkey Vulture Hunting Machine!  She absolutley HATES the turkey vultures that hang out in the trees behind our yard.  They don't care too much for her either.

A Little Pinterest Going on the Carver House

So we all know that I love me some Pinterest. :)  I have been working on a couple of things over the last couple of weeks from Pinterest and they have all turned out pretty good.
First - I found this copycat recipe for the Chili's White Chocolate Molten Cake that Joe could eat his weight in.  I am not usually a fan of white chocolate, and I really don't much care for this dessert at Chili's, but I must admit that this was DELICIOUS!  It was also easy to freeze the cupcakes, and just mix a little of the cream sauce just when you needed it.

You can get the recipe for this little piece of deliciousness HERE at the Eat Cake For Dinner Blog.

Second - I wanted to try to make something that could be easily tossed into our bags on the way out the door to work.  Neither Joe nor I eat breakfast, and I know it is important, so I tried out these little oatmeal muffins.  They turned out ok.  They do freeze nicely and they thaw nicely if you put them in the fridge the night before.  I wasn't a huge fan of the texture, and I would add something sweeter to the mixture because the flavor was pretty bland.  Oh well, at least I tried. :)

You can get the recipe for these oatmeal muffins HERE at the Sugar Free Mom Blog.

Finally - This was my favorite project of the past few from Pinterest.  After reflecting on a lot of things lately, Joe and I are wanting to eat more clean, green, and holistic.  We are taking baby steps towards change, and our first step was our little mini herb garden.  I made this in a couple of hours, taking the most time to make the wood look antique.  We get a lot of light in a kitchen window, so this was the perfect place to hang it.  I actually used some of my fresh mint in my water yesterday!!

You can find the directions for putting together your own mini-herb garden HERE on the Camille Styles Blog.

One little extra - This last little treat turned out even better than I expected.  This idea didn't come from Pinterest, but instead from my best-friend's mom.  I took chocolate graham crackers and made sandwiches with fat-free cool whip.  They are only 1 point on Weight Watchers.  I wrapped them up and put them in the freezer for a yummy afternoon treat just in time for this heat wave. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Be in the Moment

I apologize for missing a couple weeks...I have a LOT to post about!  For right now I am going to just post what has been on my mind so much this week, but I will be posting a few more posts over the weekend about all my little projects :0).

So I was blindsided by some very serious news last Friday that has made me really think about my life.  My best friend in the world found out that she has a brain tumor.  A brain tumor...yes, that is what I said.  She is one of the sweetest most amazing people on the planet and she has a perfect little family including her beautiful 5 month old daughter.  Jamie has never been anything but a good christian woman and a sacrificing friend.  I could go on for days about stories of things Jamie has done for me over the years that showed her unconditional love.  One that really sticks out to me is the time when I called Jamie at 1:30 in the morning, crying and broken hearted over the choice to have my dog put down.  I didn't want my dog to go through this alone, but I didn't have the heart to be there with her.  Jamie, being the amazing friend that she is, didn't even hesitate to get in the car, drive the 30 minutes to my house, and then the other 20 minutes to the vet, just to be with Senna when they put her down....just to give me some comfort in the moment...did I mention this was at 1:30 in the morning?!  Isn't she amazing!? 

I know I could call Jamie at any moment, even right now with brain surgery on her calendar less than a week away, I know Jamie would bring me soup for a cold if I asked.  She would doctor me, love on me, and pray for me and my little cold, putting her own worries to the way side. 

I am broken hearted that Jamie is going through this right now, and I am on my knees morning and night praying for God to ease her worries and heal her.  I would take the tumor on myself right now if I could take it away from her.  She hasn't lost her faith and she has remained so strong through all of this.  She is such an amazing woman and I look up to her for being such the amazing person that she is.  I hope that one day I could give her back even one tenth of what she has given to others in her life.  I love you Jamie!!!

With all that being said, I went to the dentist today and found out I have to have a LOT of work done, starting with a root canal.  This work is going to put us in a financial bind for a while and I started to worry about the pain I may go through with my root canal.  But in that moment while I was worried for myself, I felt a whisper that told me to be in the moment...think about what you are really saying here...Jamie is about to have brain surgery....this is nothing! 

Jamie's situation has helped me to reflect on my faith, my lifestyle, and my attitude.  I want to live in the moment, be the best christian I can be, and live a healthy lifestyle with a positive attitude.  I am not thinking I am about to change my life upside down in a day, but I hope that as time goes on you will see more posts on here about a healthy lifestyle and less about cupcakes. :)