Saturday, November 14, 2015

This week has been an exciting week for our family as we were contacted to participate in Good Morning America's 40 in 40 live event. We will be showcasing our Star Wars AT-AT bunk style bed that my husband made for our boys on Wednesday, November 18th at 6:30pm EST. Since moving into our new home (and no, it was not easy to move that bed!) we never had a chance to finish their Star Wars themed room. This week my friend Rebekah came over to help me paint and create some fun new features that the boys absolutely love!

We painted an accent wall, added some fun toys and hung the millennium falcon from the ceiling. My friend also creatively ran with my idea to make light saber holders for the room. She added the stars to make it look like it was traveling at warp speed.

I couldn't get my boys out of their room the other morning for school!!! So fun to create a space for them that they can be creative in.
The AT-AT bed has undergone some changes from the original design to compensate for a different room. We moved the head to look as if it is rotating to look at something and added some dimensions to the stairs since they are now the first thing you see when you walk in the room. Our oldest two sons now share a room so we built a bunk underneath to accommodate that.
So if you can, tune in on Wednesday to check out our Star Wars room. Darth Vader and Kylo Ren will be there:).

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Time to update our blog, just a few years behind:) With Facebook and Instagram as the means to keep our long distant family and friends informed, I tend to forget to write on here. Been busy raising three beautiful boys. Our life is crazy, but I wouldn't change a single thing.

When my friends hear of the things that happen in our life they tell me I should start a blog, hahaha, I actually have one and I should utilize it more. I'm sure there is someone out there that can be encouraged from our stories.

We have a highly accident prone family. Our littlest one has had several hospital stays and the running joke is that we are just trying to collect the free blanket that the pediatric unit gives us every time we check in (they are super soft)! My husband and I said that since we have paid so much in medical bills we will just make a quilt for him out of those blankets as a reminder that he would've had college tuition money had we not had to pay so much when he was little, hehehe.

Almost every time we go out we have interesting encounters with strangers who are either sweet and helpful, opinionated about me having my hands full, or the "fun" people that are angry in a Starbucks drive-thru and definitely need that beverage faster than I do. Seriously, last Wednesday a young woman with an infant child lost it on me in the Starbucks drive-thru with a large amount of colorful words, I offered to buy her coffee because what new Mom hasn't just lost it at one point or another? Honestly was one of those wrong place, wrong time moments. My 8 year old son was shocked, but thankfully I kept calmed and we moved on:)

The other fun thing is that I have a severe case of Mom brain, yes, its a thing! Just last week I spent time coordinating my kids being watched so that I could go to my Kindergartner's parent teacher conference. I showered, put on clothes that didn't consist of comfy workout pants, got a coffee so that I would be alert and went to his school. I walked in, proud of myself that I was on time, and saw his teacher with a confused look on her face. Yup that's right, I had the right time, just 3 weeks too early. Not a day early my friends, 3 weeks!!!!! Must have just breezed over that email with the date LOL! That same week I missed an appointment and they called to ask where I was...I'm currently not in your dentist chair so lets reschedule shall we? I think I need Ginkgo Biloba, is that the vitamin we take to better our memory? I think I heard that, but now I forget.

We love life and all the blessings and opportunities that God puts before us. We play hard, pray hard and dream big. Through all the challenges that we face, we strive to dust ourselves off, get back up and Praise the One who carries us through. Our motto since my husband and I met has always been, "Go big or Go home." You will see that in our annual Christmas light show on our home (our new neighbors are going to love us!!!) and in our love for all things Star Wars (check out the AT AT bed posting). So thanks for following us and checking us out, we hope when you come by our site you smile, laugh, pray for us, or can be encouraged in some way or another.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Luke & Vader's Adventures in Hawaii

Luke and Darth- Battle in Hawaii

Caiden gave us his Luke and Darth Vader figures, because he thought we needed toys to play with on vacation! So we sent him updates on what they were up to.

Before we even got off the plane they started battling!

We're supposed to be resting on the beach, but Luke & Darth had to battle it out on the lava rocks.

Taking their fight to the jungle.

 Stopping the battling for a quick snack.

 Resting after days of battling!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

AT-AT Bed Complete!

Mission Complete!

All Terrain Armored Transport installed!
6-1/2 weeks, about 60 hours of work.
  • 2X4 Framing, with 1/2" MDF top. CT was a huge helper
  • Basic Legs are 2X4 as well. Legs run all the way to the top of the side for stability
  • Basic Framing Complete
  • Notice the length of the neck, and shorter neck in next picture. Neck made it a little (4") too long
  • Detail work attached.
  • BODY:
  • 1/4" Masonite
  • 1/2" MDF & Plywood Circles
  • 1/2" MDF detailing
  • 1-1/2" PVC split down the middle
  • HEAD
  • 1X3 Framing, 1/4" Masonite skin
  • 1/2" Florist Foam Circles
  • Florist Foam Carving Details
  • PVC Cannons
Fully painted

Head Details

  • Entry/Exit Stairs, Including secret compartment for storing Jedi supplies
  • Built-In Shelving for storing Star Wars Legos

  • Window in front (next to head)
  • So we can check in on him without having to walk all the way around and climb up. 8-)
Installed in the room, ready for invasion of Hoth!
(Thanks to Isaac for the help installing!)
(Thanks to Jenn for the time & patience to let me finish)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finish & Eat! Ribs Part 4!

After an hour of cooking with sauce, time for the final finish.
If the sauce is a little thin (happens sometimes if there's a lot of liquid still steaming), I add a little.
I just pull off the foil, turn the oven to broil, and broil each section of ribs for 4-5 minutes each, flip, then broil again.
This gives the rib a nice, hard coating with the sauce, so it's not mushy sauce.
We like it just a touch blackened. It doesn't have a burnt taste, it's from the Brown Sugar carmelizing, and adds extra sweetness.

Here's the final product. 5 ribs with a side of Collard Greens & Bacon, and a Garlic-Herb mashed potatoes and gravy.
Dinner time. Yum!
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Ribs: Part 3:

Now that you've softened the ribs up, time to finish them.
Here are the ribs after 8 hours. Just right, ready for the sauce.

I use a semi-homemade sauce, starting with Sweet Baby Ray's as a base, then build off of it.
Some of the other ingredients include lots of Brown Sugar, Mustard, Worcestire Sauce, Garlic & a dash of Liquid Smoke

Liberally sauce the ribs, and put back in the oven (foil top still on) for one more hour, and you're almost there.
Ribs ready for the last hour.
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Ribs: Part 3

All righty, now we're ready to cook the ribs!
Cooking is a 3 stage process.

First is LOW AND SLOW.

I pour one bottle of beer over the ribs, first meat side up, then inside up.
I like a hoppy beer, you want to pull the flavor of the hops and malt into the beer. Go for an I.P.A., or something from East Europe.
You want to pour it slowly, just so it adds a little flavor, you don't want to wash off the rub!
Leave the ribs bone side/inside of the rib up, so that each rib holds a little pool of beer.

Next to the bottom of the pan I add about 1/2 cup of orange juice, a cup of water and a teaspoon of liquid smoke.
This mixture keeps the ribs moist and sweet, by steaming the ribs. Steaming means we won't need to turn them as often, or baste until the very end.

Oh, it's important to note that the ribs aren't on the bottom of the pan, it's hard to see, but I crumple up enough aluminum foil, so the ribs are 1 to 1-1/2 inches from the bottom of the pan.

Finally, tent the ribs, to keep the moist goodness in.
Here are the ribs, ready to go in!

Like I said, LOW and SLOW.
265 degrees for 6-8 hours for this phase, with a total of 8-10 hours.
Flipping the ribs over after 3-4 hours, then every hour and a half or so.

Back in 8 hours for step 2!
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rib Time- Part 2!

Now the rub and the rib are ready to get together!
I massage the rub onto each rib, cover in foil, and place in the fridge to soak overnight.

And here's happy Caiden, ready for Ribs!

To be continued tomorrow morning!
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Rib Time!

Well, Jenn is 9 months pregnant, and ready to give Austen the eviction notice. With Caiden my famous ribs worked- she went into labor just 4 hours after dinner... (We say they're soooo good they're labor inducing). So we're going to give it another shot, and i decided to let everyone in on how it's done. It's a 20 hour process, started tonight, and we'll finish tomorrow with some good Southern Sides.

We like to start with a nice Pork Loin Rib. Beef ribs don't stand a chance next to a well prepared pork. Pork Loin gives a bit more meat on each rib, and ends up extremely tender. We do 3 racks of ribs at once. We've found great ribs at Sam's Club, excellent price and excellent quality. Look for one with a good amount of marbling. You may have to cut off some extra fat chunks, but it's worth it.

Key is to remove the Silverskin off the inside part of the rib. The Silverskin gives the rib a watertight seal, and doesn't let the flavor soak in from the rub and sauce.

I also chop mine into 4 or 5 rib segments. Makes them easier to work with, and extra flavor!

Wet or Dry? I say Both!:
That's right, I do both, although i guess that technically makes me a wet-rib lover. So be it.
I start with a heavy rub, comprised of a whole lot of spices.

The base is a lot of Brown Sugar, Garlice and Paprika.
Some of the more unusual ingredients are Dry Mustard, Cinnamon, Parsley and a touch of Allspice.

Here's the final Rub, almost ready for application.

It's not technically a Dry Rub, I mix in a little bit of Orange Juice (to add sweetness) and enough Apple Cider Vinegar to make a thick paste.
The paste method gets more rub to stick to the meat, and allow it to soak.
The Vinegar raises the PH enough to let the spices soak in and through the meat.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Momma Jenn---Caiden's 1st Birthday

We had a wonderful celebration with our friends and family for Caiden's Birthday part 2. Nonnie and Poppa bought him a wagon, which he loves to ride to the park everyday!

My friend Jen and I worked all day on Caiden's Mickey Mouse cake. It was pretty tasty:)

Caiden also got to enjoy some blue cupcakes that I made for him on his actual Birthday, September 23rd.

So between Disneyland, parties, cupcakes and lots of presents it would be safe to say that he is one loved/spoiled little guy!!!

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