Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In Which I Grudgingly Admit I Was Born In The Right Era, Cont. . .

"Well," I say slyly, "many of your family members do not have RV's, so I assume those of us that do have RV's will bring them - leaving the cabin beds open, right?"

Lucky for me, that was a correct assumption. We brought the camper. Score 1 for the "Modern Day Pioneer Woman" - portable running water, facilities, and adjustable heat stove and oven ;-) It is at this point that I decide a true Pioneer Woman would have used every advantage possible - I am no worse off by using modern conveniences when I can - she would have if she could have, believe me!

It ended up that three families (us included) spent the weekend. We all brought our RV's (yep, bunch of cheaters, we are!), and socialized and ate together in the cabin - pictured here . . .

I found out (the hard way) that the whole wood cook stove thing is a learned art - one that will take more than a mere weekend for this Pioneer to master. This was our cooking apparatus . . .

These are the things I will admit to specifically about the wood cook stove - I can get a roaring fire going in that tiny, little box. I can boil a mean pot of water for cocoa, etc. I can cook bacon atop the burners of said roaring fire - crisp, crisp bacon. I am humble enough to admit defeat, and offer to take Chris' egg casserole to my temperature-controlled camper oven, so that all campers could have an e-coli free, well-cooked breakfast. While I love the look of the old stove, I'm thinking the following electric option from VanDyke's Restorers is a better option for my skill level . . .

In red, of course!!

We had a most fantastic time - working, playing, and exploring. We had a pumpkin carving contest on Saturday night - here are the entries . . .

It was tons of fun to carve them - Jake found out that he likes pumpkin, and loved being under the table waiting for stray eye and nose cut-outs to make their way down.

Yeah, you read right - it was Jake's inaugural camping trip. And he did great! He's shaping up to be a pretty darn good pup. I'm sure there's an update post on his ever growing frame coming up in the near future.

To sum it all up - I love the old, Pioneery kind of stuff. As long as I have my bathroom, thermostat controlled oven, and a heater to plug in that doesn't necessarily require midnight fire-stoking adventures. The cabin holds so many memories for Matt, which he is passing down to our boys - and this makes me love the place even more.

Maybe after next year's trip, I'll be able to report near expert skills on that wood cook stove, and, like Matt's granny, be able to say I baked a cake in that oven! But, don't count on it - if you want to hear of feats such as this, you'll probably have to read it from the real Pioneer Woman!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

In Which I Grudgingly Admit I Was Born In The Right Era . .

For the past few months, I have been secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, coveting the life of a certain Pioneer Woman. I don't know what combination of her skills has intrigued me so, but her blog hits on so many of my basic likes, I find myself at one of her sites almost daily - she is a terrific writer, loves to take photographs, she cooks, she lives on a really cool cattle ranch (in which I find the farmhouse and the views much more appealing than the actual working of cattle), and she can write a romance novel as well as Nora Roberts!

So, for the past quarter-of-a-year, my family has heard the mantra - When the kids don't want to work: You know, Pioneer Woman's kids have to get up at 4:30 every morning to work cattle - even the little ones!; When I'm behind on the laundry - Pioneer Woman is getting a whole new laundry room to deal with all the laundry she has to do!; When I'm trying something new for dinner - Well, Pioneer Woman says this is Marlboro Man's favorite sandwich, so I thought we'd try it, too!; When Chance wants to drive the car by himself - Well, Pioneer Woman lets her girls, who are the same age, drive F250's with loaded hay trailers in the back, so surely it won't hurt to let Chance drive to the mailbox . . .

You get the picture.

Finally, Matt had had enough. "Who is this Pioneer Woman, and why is she invading my household? Although we live pretty well in the middle of nowhere, we do not run a cattle ranch, we do not haul trailers full of 1-ton rolls of hay, and although I liked the sandwich, can't we name it something other than another guy's favorite sandwich? Actually, here's the deal. You think you want to be a Pioneer Woman? Let's test that out . . . . Last weekend of October, we will head to the family's cabin in the mountains - hours (or minutes) from civilization, no running water, wood fireplace for heat, and wood stove for cooking - we'll see how you do as a 'Pioneer Woman' "

Tune in tomorrow to see how I fared . . .

Friday, October 26, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday - Apple Dumplings

This one is a fall favorite in my family - I don't make it near as well as my mom, but it's always good! Sometimes, when I'm feeling extra lazy, I substitute Pillsbury Crescent rolls for the dough portion, and just roll the apples up in that - still turns out excellent!

Apple Dumplings

2 c Sugar
2 c Water
¼ c Margarine
¼ t Nutmeg
¼ t Cinnamon

Mix together and boil 5 minutes.

¾ c Shortening
2 c Flour
½ t Salt
2 t Baking powder
2/3 c Milk

Cut shortening into flour, salt, & baking powder. Add milk. Roll out to ¼ in. thick.

4-5 Apples
¼ c Sugar

Peel & grate apples—spread over top of dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. Roll up like cinnamon rolls. Cut & lay flat in 13 x 9. Pour sauce over top. Bake at 425 for 35 minutes.
Head over to Overwhelmed With Joy for more Friday recipes!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Because Ethan Had Something . . . .

This is an excerpt from a conversation I had with Chance last week. I was working at his school that afternoon, so he came into the office after school to meet me.

Chance - (Wants something from the little M&M vending machine) Mom, do you have 25 cents? I'm hungry. I didn't get my afternoon snack.

Me - (knowing I packed his afternoon snack) What happened to your snack?

Chance - Ethan had something, so I gave it to him.

Me - Like you were going to trade him?

Chance - No, it was just too late in afternoon recess to get something else.

Me - Okay, I don't get it - what did Ethan have?

Chance - I can't really remember.

Me - Chance, it was less than 2 hours ago - I'm having a hard time with that. Tell me the situation again.

Chance - Ethan was just sitting there, and he had something, so I gave him my snack.

Me - He had something you wanted??

Chance - I don't think so.

Me - Then what does this something have to do with a snack? What did he have - did he have a different snack that he didn't want?

Chance - No, he didn't have a snack.

Me - Then what did he have?

Chance - I don't remember!

Me - Okay, let's try a different angle. Where was Ethan sitting? Was he in trouble on the bench?

Chance - No - he was sitting on the grass.

Me - (as you can imagine, getting a bit tired of this) Okay, Chance, you're a smart kid. I don't believe that you can't remember what happened about 1 hour ago. I'm not giving you money for M&M's unless you tell me the whole story.

Chance - (obviously frustrated as well) Ethan had something, and I gave him my snack - that's all. And it was too late to get another snack, so I'm hungry!

Me - (now thinking the worst, because I don't think I'm getting straight answers) - Chance, did Ethan make you give him your snack?

Chance - No - I wanted to!

Me - But you got nothing in return?

Chance - No - he just had something, and he needed it, so I gave it to him.

Me - Okay, one more time (thank goodness, you're thinking. Believe me, I was too!) What did Ethan have - a toy, another snack, something you thought you wanted to trade for???

Chance - No, mom. He was sitting on the ground not feeling good. He said he had low blood something or other.

Me - (The light bulb is finally turning on) - Did Ethan say he had low blood sugar, buddy?

Chance - Yeah! That's what it was called. He said it would help if he had something to eat, but that he didn't have an afternoon snack - so I gave him mine.

Me - (frantically digging for 100 quarters if I could find them) Oh, pal, that was so nice of you! I'm sorry I didn't understand earlier. You did exactly the right thing - that's being a great friend. Yes, will give you 1000 quarters, and you can have all the M & M's you want.

Some days, they just seem to get it. I watch Chance with his friends, and with his brother, and a lot of times, it's wrestling and fighting and arguing and competing about everything. But, every once in awhile, usually when no one is looking, he displays the most loving, caring attitude, without a care for himself and total focus on the other person. It's those moments when I know, deep down, he gets it.

It's in many of those moments when he teaches me more than I teach him.

And the more of them I witness, the easier it is to withstand the fighting and arguing - knowing that underneath it is a heart of gold, just waiting for the opportunity to shine!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Yes, I Am A Christian

I found the following poem today while reading some comments on Heather's blog. It got me thinking, not necessarily about what the commenter intended, but about my own Christian testimony.

There are times I am hesitant to share my victory in Christ - not because I am ashamed of Him, but because I am ashamed of me - I think I have to be a perfect example, or others will either label me a hypocrite or Christ a fraud. It holds me back more than I care to admit.

This poem spoke volumes to me. And, brought back a gentle reminder that it's not about me - it's all about God - and He can overcome any weakness I might portray.

by Maya Angelou

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.”

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean livin’”
I’m whispering “I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.”

When I say… “I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain..
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say… “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner Who received God’s good grace, somehow!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rethinking a life of crime . . . .

. . . .because there aren't that many people with my same name, so I might be kind of easy to find. Or, I could change my name - but I'm just not a very good liar. I guess a life of crime is just not in the cards for me.
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

There were many, many more with my maiden name, but I kind of guessed that one.

How many people have your name?

Monday, October 15, 2007

In Search of The Great Pumpkin

Wow - we had a great weekend. Some time ago, my MIL sent me a link to the Mt. Hood Railroad website. They had several different train excursion options, from dinner trains to sightseeing trips to murder mystery events, and several themed options for kids/families. The ones geared toward kids include The Little Engine that Could, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Great Pumpkin Express, and The Polar Express.

Hood River, OR is quite a drive from our town - especially for just a weekend trip. But, we just couldn't resist this opportunity to give the boys their first train ride, the beautiful fall colors, and the possibility of "The Great Pumpkin."

We arrived a bit early to get our tickets from will-call, and make sure we knew where we were going. We had some time to browse the gift shop, overflowing with Thomas, Little Engine, Peanuts, Polar Express, and just plain train gear. Then, with still more time to spare, we walked down the artsy, fun main street of Hood River.

All Aboard!!!

We found our seats, and waited in eager anticipation. The engineer came through and rotated our seats, so that we sat 2 x 2, but facing each other. Chance and Colton took the two window seats, while Matt & I enjoyed watching them take in the experience.

We passed beautiful, beautiful fall foliage on our way to the pumpkin patch. Chance was entranced, and took about 3 or 278 pictures of trees - close-up trees, far away trees, blurry trees. I won't bore you with all of these, but suffice it to say I'll have no problems finding background shots for the scrapbook pages!

We did get to pass some neat, old buildings. Some related to the railroad, some unrelated that we just got to pass by. Barns, farms, storages, etc. This was my favorite . . .

Finally, after about a 1-hour ride, which included a short, but rousing rendition of "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown", we made it to the pumpkin patch. Snoopy was there to greet the kids and take pictures with them. Each little munchkin got to pick a pumpkin from the patch. There was an art table, a place to write a postcard to The Great Pumpkin, a maze, a hayride, and a few vendors selling treats and fresh produce. What a fun, fun time!

After a hayride, a successful pumpkin hunt (we found 2 "great" pumpkins), several races through the maze, some postcards to the Great Pumpkin, some apple cider and cookies, we were ready for the train ride back to the station. What a fabulous day! If you're close enough to give it a try, we recommend the Mt. Hood Railroad!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Favorite Ingredients Friday - Blonde Brownies

This recipe is from my friend, Terri Crabill. It is so rich and good! I am quite in love with Starbuck's Toffee Almond bars, and with the addition of toffee candy bars & white choc chips, this recipe comes very close! Either way, original or with the additional ingredients, it's a winner around our house every time!
Blonde Brownies
From: Bonnie Jo Crabill

1 cup sifted flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ package chocolate chips

To sifted flour, add baking powder, soda and salt. Melt butter and remove from heat. Mix in sugar and cool. Stir in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture gradually. Spread in greased pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top.

Bake @ 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes. Do Not Over Bake

Double the recipe for a 13 x 9 pan.
Head over to Overwhelmed's blog for more Friday recipes!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blatant, Yet Unsolicited Product Pitch

I am sure I found out about Mabel's Labels on a blog somewhere, but I am at a loss to give the proper credit. I thought they looked interesting, and went to their website to check it out.
My kids go to a private school. They don't usually wear uniforms, but do have a dress code for chapel days once a week. This means that for at least 1 day per week, all 300 kids are wearing virtually the same clothes. This also means that, if your child is going to leave a sweatshirt or coat at school, it's inevitably going to be on chapel day, when the prospects of finding it the next week (because you don't notice it's missing until he needs to wear it again) are slim to none.
So, the post for Mabel's Labels was a welcome one. Their website is easy to navigate, and the variety is great! I got a combo pack, and have enough labels to do both backpacks, their shoes and snow boots, lunch pails, and many, many, many articles of clothing.
I received the product exactly 1 week from the day I ordered, so turn-around is quick!
Thanks, Mabel! I am recommending you to all 4 of my friends ;-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Theology by Colton

An overview of the conversation on our way to town this morning . . .

Colton - Mom, I came down to your room last night because I got scared.

Mom - What you you scared of?

Colton - The dark.

Mom - But honey, Jake (the dog) was in his kennel. Why were you scared of him while you were sleeping?

Colton - Not the dog, mom - the DARK!

Mom - Oh, the dark? Well, did you say a little prayer?

Colton - I don't like to pray when I'm scared of the dark.

Mom - Oh, I see. Well, I was just wondering, because whenever I wake up scared of the dark, it makes me feel better to say a little prayer.

Colton - But what if God doesn't hear me?

Mom - He ALWAYS hears you. I promise.

Colton - Even at nighttime?

Mom - The bible tells us that God never sleeps, so he is always watching over you, and He is awake to hear your prayers. He is just waiting for you to talk to him.

Colton - Mom, I think God sleeps at nighttime.

Mom - Buddy, remind me tonight, and I'll show you in your bible the part where it says he doesn't sleep.

Colton - Actually, mommy, my bible says that on the 7th day, He rested. Hello. He slept the whole 7th day.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Deep Water Faith in the Shallow End

Casting Crowns

The Altar and The Door Tour


I'm not sure anything more intelligent will come out of this post besides - Wow!

My friend, Erinne, and I got to go to the Casting Crowns concert last night. It made for a late, late night, and an early, early morning - but it was so very worth it!

They played their popular songs that I knew, as well as new songs from "The Altar and The Door" album, which I immediately loved, bought the CD, and have been singing in a peculiarly loud voice ever since.

Their stage wasn't showy - just a large projector screen behind them with video that enhanced whatever song was playing. During 2 songs, an artist painted a piece that paralleled the lyrics he was singing - finally ending up with this:

I've never come so close to owning a piece of real art in my life. The original was signed and dated by the artist, and sold for $500 after the show. I don't even know that it's particularly good - it was more the experience, and what the piece says. Moving - that's it.

These guys are so REAL - I think that's what I liked most about them. It wasn't a group of pious, Christian people telling you how you ought to live your life. It was seven people, completely recognizing they were on that stage to glorify God, talking about real-life stuff, and where to go for those answers. It was just plain awesome - nope, I take that back - God was awesome. And, I count myself blessed to have been a part of it.

The theme of the whole concert was, obviously, "The Altar and The Door". The talking points centered around some basic facts:

  • At the altar (church, worship, bible study, even a Christian concert), everything is clear - you know what you have to do, what you should do, what's right, what's wrong, who you want to talk to about Jesus and His saving power, etc.

  • But, that walk down the center aisle is a long one.

  • If not in distance, at least for your heart.

  • Something happens between the altar and the door.

  • All of the sudden, you're outside - on your own, relying on your own faith and your own walk.

  • And you start to question.

  • You forget that Jesus came through the door with you.

  • He's with you - He's ready to help you - no matter what the situation.

One of my favorites of their new songs was "Somewhere in the Middle." It's where I feel like I spend a lot of my time - "somewhere between the hot and the cold . . .somewhere between the new and the old.............fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense, deep water faith in the shallow end . . .we are caught in the middle." I know I'm not my old self - my sinful self - God saved me from that. I also know I've got a long way to go before I'm the creation He made me to be.

Thankfully, He loves me no matter where I am. I am His - whether I've stumbled into a pit, I'm reaching for the stars, or I'm caught somewhere in the middle. What a promise . . .

Thanks, Casting Crowns, for a fabulous evening of worshiping our Lord. Thank you, Lord, for enveloping that auditorium with Your spirit - we were all blessed.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Holiday Cooking - Blogger Style 2007

It's time for Overwhelmed's 2007 Holiday Cooking Extravaganza! It promises to be a goldmine of tried and true holiday recipes - so when you are done here, visit her blog to check out all the other blogger's favorite Holiday treats.

I'm going to share a couple of my favorites. One for Thanksgiving, and one for Christmas.

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake

1 1/2 cup Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs
1/4 cup Butter
2 pkg (8 oz) Cream Cheese
3/4 cup Sugar, divided
1 t Vanilla
3 Eggs
1 cup Canned or cooked Pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 t Pumpkin Pie Spice

Heat oven to 400

Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly on bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven temp to 325

In large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. Reserve 1 c batter. To rest of batter, add remaining sugar, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice - mix well. Alternately layer pumpkin and cream cheese batters over crust. Cut through layers with knife several times for marbled effect. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cake springs back lightly when touched.

Loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool to room temp, then chill.

Christmas Morning Overnight French Toast
We used to have this one at home on Christmas morning. Mom or dad would make it the night before, and the smell would envelope the house as we opened presents. Yum, yum, yum!!

6 slices Firm bread (we like sourdough)
5 Eggs
1-1/2 cup Milk
2 t Vanilla
1 t Cinnamon
1/4 t Nutmeg


4 T Butter
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

Grease 12 x 7 pan. Lay bread in pan, cutting if necessary to fill spaces. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Beat in milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Christmas Morning:

Combine topping ingredients, and hold at room temperature until ready to bake.

Heat oven to 350

Spread topping over bread. Bake 4o minutes, or until puffed and golden. Let sit 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with maple syrup.

Hope you enjoy these ones! Now you can pop over to Overwhelmed, and take a look at all of the delectable offerings!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Fat Chicks in Polyester Basketball Uniforms

Okay, this post has been brewing in my head for quite some time, and I'm not sure I will be able to adequately express my thoughts on the following subject, but hopefully I can extract a chuckle or two in the process.

When I was in college, I dated this guy that was an aspiring poet. One of his greatest works, "Fat Chicks in Spandex"©, had us chortling down the dorm halls more than once. You see, those were the days of 3-hour basketball practices, and buying pints of Ben & Jerry's everyday, without worrying about the fact that you didn't have a freezer, because you were going to eat the whole thing in one sitting - every time. So, with metabolism to spare, we giggled and laughed about fat chicks who dared to wear spandex.

Then, we grew up. And some of us became fat chicks. In an ironic twist of fate, in which God's chuckle still echoes through the dorm halls of our youth, the aspiring poet married a fat chick. Luckily, God also gave him a cup overflowing with love for his fair maiden, and he is able to look past her earthly flaws with devotion in his eyes - plus, she doesn't wear spandex - ever - unless you count the 5% spandex content of her favorite jeans, because that's just smart shopping, and not a fashion faux-pas whatsoever!

Anyway, two weeks ago I get an e-mail from another alumni of my college basketball team. It seems there is to be an alumni game at our mighty Alma mater on Thanksgiving weekend. In the interest of fairness to the rest of the post, the gal that sent the e-mail has done a commendable job of keeping her little body in shape, running triathlons and the like, so this idea does not seem to be so far-fetched in her world.

I will now take it upon myself to speak for the other 90% of the washed-up, female college athlete crowd.

We're moms.

Most of us have multiple children.

This means that more than once in our lives, we have gained at least 50 pounds.

And each time, a little bit more stayed put.

We're out of shape.

It also means that we put about 100 miles on various mini-vans and SUV's everyday.

We're busy.

Daily walks and Jazzercise have entered our minds, but we are juggling so many other balls in the air that adding the exercise ball to the equation seems next to impossible.

Besides all that, our children are now old enough to laugh at us if we try to run up and down a basketball court.

And you know our husbands would be laughing right along with them - louder, in fact.

Because, being in shape for basketball is a special kind of thing. Even for a 20-year-old, it takes weeks of 2-a-days to get your body ready for that kind of abuse. I don't care if you've been dragging your mid-thirties body to Jazzercise for the last year, you are still in no shape to sprint down a basketball court and try to jump for a rebound. By this time in our lives, we're as likely to strain a hip joint as we are to make a free throw!

In addition, the e-mail actually said to eat a "light" Thanksgiving dinner. What?!? Even if I did get to the point where I could picture myself shooting a basketball in a public setting again, do you really think I'd give up a perfectly good Thanksgiving feast for the privilege? Maybe that's why I'm the fat girl and the other one's the tri-athlete. Can anyone else see a pattern here?

But really, am I completely missing the boat on this? I mean, I know most guys hold onto that athlete role pretty much forever - playing church-league basketball much longer than their knee and hip joints would recommend, if knee and hip joints could talk. But, I thought most chicks kind of got beyond this. And are there really fans out there that would pay to watch old, slow, athlete has-beens try to play basketball again? If so, where are they? I've got a bridge to sell them . . .

There will be no glory playing girls 15 years younger than us, who have been conditioning for 3 months, can run faster, jump higher, and shoot better than we probably ever could.

Any fun that might be anticipated is quickly drowned out by the pain my muscles and joints know they will experience the next day. Not to mention my bum ankle - I can't even walk down my gravel road without twisting it about twice a week. . .

I can picture it now - I sky up for a rebound (hopefully getting high enough to slip a credit-card under my shoes) - and I come down on some young punks foot - twisting my ankle - there I lay, on the hardwood, writhing in pain - a fat chick in polyester - some has-been basketball player who thought she could still keep up with the young chicks.

No thanks.

I can barely keep up with my 4-year-old, and he can't even dunk yet.

©"Fat Chicks in Spandex" Copyright 1992, JAM Productions, Matt Messer, Author

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stand By Your Man

The Game of Tag about your MAN

1. Who is your man? Matt

2. How long have you been together? 14 years this December.

3. How long did you date? 3 years - almost to the day.

4. How old is your man? 35

5. Who eats more? It's a tie. Willpower is neither of our strong points, so we do not help each other out much in this regard.

6. Who said "I love you" first? I did - I think that first time, he was pretty grudging at admitting he returned the feeling ;-)

7. Who is taller? He's about 3 or 4" taller.

8. Who sings better? He does - just ask the boys!

9. Who is smarter? Depends on your definition. I got the book smarts thing going on, but he's way beyond me in the practical knowledge and common sense kind of smart that really matters.

10. Whose temper is worse? Not a lot of tempers going on in our house - besides the boys fighting like cats & dogs!

11. Who does the laundry? He tries hard to help, but many the times a disaster occurs that kind of cancels out the warm, fuzzy, my-husband-is-helping-with-the-chores feeling.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Matt does 90% of the time.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I don't.

14. Who pays the bills? I do.

15. Who is better with the computer? Depends again on the problem - I know all the rules of the programs - he's the tinkerer and new-technology finder.

16. Who mows the lawn? Matt does this 99.9% of the time.

17. Who cooks dinner? Most of the time, I do - but, I must admit, he's doing this more and more lately. Fridays have become heaven!

18. Who drives when you are together? He drives most of the time, unless it's an especially long trip and we're sharing the duties. Most of the time, he will drive and let me nod off in the passenger seat.

19. Who pays when you go out? Depends on the occasion - if it's a family deal, I do, because I handle the budget. But, if he asks me out for dinner or a date, he always pays.

20. Who is most stubborn? I think only the good Lord knows the answer to this one - we're both stubborn enough to adamantly say that it's the other one!

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? See above.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? It kind of depends on the time of year - camping season, it's probably mine. Otherwise, it's pretty equal - both sets of grandparents are involved in the boys activities, which helps us see them pretty regularly.

23. Who kissed who first? He kissed me.

24. Who asked who out? He asked me out.

25. Who proposed? He proposed - and put a lot of miles on my car that day to get it done - driving to my hometown to ask my dad, then to pick up the ring, then to a nearby town for dinner. What a guy!

26. Who is more sensitive? Again, depends on the situation. Outwardly, I am - but, he's way more nostalgic than I am, and holds very strong to traditions - especially concerning family.

27. Who has more friends? Probably a tie - neither one of us are extra-outgoing.

28. Who has more siblings? He wins that one - he has 4, and I have 3.

29. Who wears the pants in the family? You know, that's gotta go to the one who looks better in Wranglers - so he wins in that regard!

I love you, babe!