Saturday, November 12, 2011

What my Veteran did for Veterans Day

For Veterans day this year, Jerry completed his 15th marathon this morning. He ran the Soldiers Marathon here on Ft. Benning. He is so awesome.

Jerry ran this race in honor of Army Spc. Spencer C. Duncan who died August 6, 2011 Serving During Operation Enduring Freedom. He was a 21 year old soldier of Olathe, Kan.; assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), U.S. Army Reserve, New Century, Kan.; He died in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which he was riding was shot down. If you want to read more about Spc. Duncan, you can here or here
I'm so proud of Jerry and of all his fellow soldiers who risk and give up so much, sometimes all they have, to help protect us and to stand up for what is right; whether it is here at home or in a country on the other side of the globe. I just hope that all Veterans know how deeply grateful their country is for their sacrifice's.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Dessert Revisted

This is re-post of something I posted last year. I was funny last year, but this year, not so much. I also wanted to re-post it for those who don't have this recipe, because it really is the best. I've also added a couple of notes of how to make it better, because it only turns out really amazing about 4 out of 5 times that i make it, and I think I finally figured out why. Corrections appear in red

Pumpkin Dessert

Here is a recipe for my favorite dessert. If you like pumpkin pie, you will love it. I love pumpkin pie, but I like this dessert even better. It's sooooo good!

1st layer:

1 pkg. yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup) or spice cake mix which I think is actually better
1/2 cup (1 square) softened butter or margarine.
Mix together then add:
1 egg, beaten
spread in bottom of 9x13 in. pan

2nd layer:

1 30 oz. can pumpkin pie mix (if you only have a can of plain pumpkin, add 3 ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice OR 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, and ½ tsp. ground cloves. this is important. Never mind, don't even use the plain pumpkin with the spices, unless you have no choice, it just isn't near as good as just using the pumpkin pie mix)
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup evaporated milk
Mix together and pour over 1st layer 3rd layer:

1 cup cake mix (reserved from 1st layer)
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
Mix together and sprinkle on top of 2nd layer

Bake at 350 for 60-70 min or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (really, make sure it's cooked, if not it is not good). Chill (probably overnight- you think it will be okay if it's just still a little warm-it isn't). Serve cold, topped with whipped cream. Store in refrigerator.

How to make delicious pumpkin dessert by Katie Johnson

1. See an open tub of cool whip in the fridge and decide to make a yummy treat to serve under cool whip
2. Find recipe for pumpkin dessert and check pantry for necessary ingredients. You don't have evaporated milk.
3. Go to store to buy evaporated milk
4. Pick up older son from preschool, make and feed lunch to everybody.
5. Try for an hour to get younger son to take a nap.
6. Finally give up on nap for younger son.
7. While older son miraculously does nap, clean bathroom and mop kitchen floor while trying to keep younger son out of the toilet, away from the toilet paper and various cleaning supplies, and off your clean wet floors until older son wakes up.
8. Resume dessert making.
9. Realize that you don't have any yellow cake mix.
10. Go back to store to buy yellow cake mix.
11. Younger son falls asleep in the car on the way to store (of course) so drive around for half an hour to let him sleep.
12. Realize that you're starving and so is older son.
13. Take a small detour to Zaxby's for a delicious and nutritious dinner of fried chicken, french fries, texas toast and coleslaw. Yummy.
14. Eat dinner in grocery store parking lot
15. Go in and buy cake mix
16. Come home and resume dessert making.
17. Have a brilliant idea! Decide that for NaBloPoMo it would be really clever to take pictures of dessert making process and to post those and recipe for pumpkin dessert.

(This is where the serious dessert tutorial begins)

Wash mixer bowl (because you haven't done the dishes yet today):

Make 1st layer
It will be sticky, so cover with wax paper and use a cup to roll it out:
This Dora cup works very nicely. Don't feel sad if you don't have a Dora cup. You can use a boring old glass cup:

Don't forget to remove wax paper when finished:
Think to yourself "these pictures look like crap." wonder how people take good looking pictures of food.
Wash mixer bowl, again:

Mix 2nd layer:
Pour over first layer:

Decide if the leftover evaporated milk is worth saving (It is) :

Wash mixer bowl, again

Younger son is hanging on your leg. Try to walk around and continue making dessert:

Younger son bites your leg while you're taking a picture of him hanging on your leg. He cannot be ignored any longer.

Take a small break to get him a graham cracker. He's happy:

Melt butter for 3rd layer.
When you open microwave you will be disgusted by how dirty your microwave is. Swear you really will clean it tomorrow (you've said that before, but you really will clean it tomorrow. Probably. And no, I'm not putting in a picture of my dirty microwave. Just trust me, it's bad)
When older son sees you taking so many pictures, he wants you to take a picture of his train Thomas:

and Gordon:

and James:
Can you tell he likes Thomas trains?

Make 3rd layer and think to yourself "this looks like dog food, but it smells really good":

Crumble over 2nd layer
Put dessert into oven and feel very proud of yourself that you remembered to set the timer :)
Wash mixer bowl, again:

Put kids to bed while dessert bakes.
Take it out of the oven and take a picture of it because it looks and smells SO good.

Sit down to write your totally awesome blog post.
While you're typing the part of the recipe that gives directions for substitutions for pumpkin pie mix, get the empty pumpkin can from the kitchen only to realize that you grabbed the wrong can and used pure pumpkin when you thought you had used pumpkin pie mix:

Feel very sad that after all your efforts to make a delicious pumpkin dessert, even though it looks amazing, and smells incredible, it is going to taste like poo because you used the wrong can, even though you know better!
Eat Halloween candy to compensate for your loss.
Feel a glimmer of hope when you remember that at least you saved the rest of the evaporated milk, so if you decide to try again tomorrow, at least you won't have to go back to the grocery store.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I'm loving today

I found the perfect pair of jeans. We all know how hard that is. They are just the right rise. They aren't those horrible low rise jeans that have been pretty much the only option for just about the last 10 years. Goodbye muffin top!!! These are just high enough that there is no unsightly muffin top, but they aren't mom jeans either. Finally. I have a confession though, they are skinny jeans. I've been wanting some for a long time, but they all looked like stretch pants or were just WRONG in some way or another. When I finally found these one's that I love, I was worried, am I too old for skinny jeans? Will people think I'm trying to be 15? Well, the nice thing about being my age, is that I don't really care anymore about what other people think. And that is so freeing! Anyway, the point is that it's nice to have one piece of clothing that I think I look good in and I FEEL good in. Even if I really don't look good in them, please don't tell me. I'd rather live in denial and be happy.

(If only my closet was full of more of things that made me feel the same way.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm so excited!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I finally saw Phantom of the Opera! Yes, I know what you're thinking: How did I go 28 years without ever seeing Phantom of the Opera? Well, I'm really not sure. I LOVE movies, books, musicals all things of this nature, but the truth is I just really never got around to it.

Anyway, it was AMAZING! I want to watch it again. You could just listen to that movie, never look at the screen and it would be awesome. On the other had, you could just watch it without the sound and be equally rewarded. It is just full of beautiful people. Can I say Gerard Butler? Oh yeah!

And I want to see it on Broadway. And get the album and know all the songs. Right after I finished watching it, my sis-in-law came over and brought up a good point-

Is the phantom real, or is he just in her mind?

This never even occurred to me until she brought it up, From the movie, I think it's pretty obvious that he's real. But since movies are much different from plays, I ask you. Especially if you've seen the play.

Also, is there anything else out there that is something you just love that I need to make sure I experience?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Book Review: The Traveler's Gift

The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal SuccessThe Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success by Andy Andrews

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a quick read. It was good way to present the self-help info, by presenting it in a story format. I feel like the seven decisions are essential for success and a happy life, however, they have the same problem as a lot of advice and self-help philosophy. They tell you what to do, but not how. Like one of them is "Be Happy, no matter what. Happiness is a choice and not a circumstance" I fell like I already know this. Am I happy everyday? No. Do I know that I should choose to be, but sometimes just don't feel like it? Yes. I feel like maybe if I was someone like David Ponder (the main character) who was at the lowest point in his life, I might be able to benefit more from the seven decisions. But for me, things are just kind of average. Not painful enough to change, but not as great as I'd like them to be. So my life just will keep hovering at mediocre until I can get some better "How" info. Another example "Forgive others and yourself" Of course I know that, but how do you do that when you have tried and failed? Do you just say "heart," and poof it's supposed to happen? I don't think so.

Don't get me wrong it really is wonderful advice and I will probably buy this book and read it again.

View all my reviews

Sunday, November 6, 2011


So, I've been browsing blogs, the internet, and my email for about a half hour trying to find some inspiration for a post tonight. I ended up looking through some old email's of mine and found an email with a great quote that really actually helped me get through a very rough time. Now, it wasn't just the quote, but who it came from, and the day it was sent (in response to an important conversation from the previous evening) that made this particularly memorable. It is also significant to me because it was one of the very first emails I ever received. (It was received 10/20/00-I can't believe that was 11 years ago!)
Anyway, I thought about adding it to my Facebook page as a "favorite quote" so I thought I should google it to find out who originally said it so I could give proper credit. Well, when I did I only got ONE hit from the search engine. And it was a blog of one of my good friends! I clicked on it and it turns out that it was from a comment I left her on one of her posts. Ha! It was just so strange that the one place these words are on the entire internet together is where I said them. I Googled something and found...ME. Is this only weird to me? Are there actually things that exist in this world that are NOT on the internet, anywhere? Hard to believe ;)

So I bet you're wondering what is the quote? I'll tell you, but I'm sure that it won't be that significant to anyone else, but that's the thing isn't it? Sometimes you have to hear just the right thing at the right time in the right place and it makes all the difference.