Donuts and Holes

Saturday brought about two new adventures for me. To start the day, I made Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (from biscuits) that were everything but healthy. But, that did not stop Kevin and me from eating them! It was a recipe I found on Pinterest, and was super easy. I thought I would give it a try.

Biscuits with holes! (Grands Homestyle, if you are wondering.)

Fry and Flip!
Let them rest on paper towels before dipping them in butter. 


Give them a nice butter bath...

...and coat in cinnamon sugar mixture.

And, Wah-lah!
We bit into them before we realized we needed a picture.
We ate carrots for lunch.

These were so easy and delicious!! But, we did decide that we would make sure the next time we made these would be when we had others with us.

Now.. On to the next part of my day. Kevin has begun his next step in his career. He is going through Air Craft Commander Upgrade. He is moving from the Right Seat to the LEFT SEAT! To do that is no easy and swift task. What this means is that he will now make every decision that has to do with his aircraft, from when they take-off to where they will go to how they will solve issues with the aircraft to what happens when another country decides they no longer want you to fly over their country (and they are already limited on how much fuel they can carry for themselves, carrying massive amounts of fuel for refueling the other guys) to all the little things he has to know about other places, aircrafts, each circumstance that could occur, and how to fly a plane. He's so manly.
So, he has been studying every night from the moment he gets home so that he can go in the next morning and show that he knows what to do when emergencies happen in his SIM the next morning. I asked how his sim was, after his first day. His response was, "Let's just say I hope none of that ever happens in real life." But, if it did, he is studying and practicing in the sim to resolve the issue (and save his SIMULATOR life)!

So, while he was working on how to protect himself while protecting our wonderful country, I was out doing quite the opposite for our amazing wildlife! :)
I was practicing how to use a gun to, maybe one day, hunt my own dinner! I don't know that that will actually be achieved, seeing that I hit the targets about 30% of the time... and they weren't moving!

This, friends, is a 20 gauge shotgun. Now, before this gun, I had practiced with a gun that looks very similar, but uses 22 bullets, which are much smaller and do not make the gun kick back at all. This gun kicks back more than the other gun. In my head, I saw myself underestimating its power and me falling on my bum. With that said, my friend Steph stood behind me, and I also overdid my wide stance. But, no worries! I didn't fall backwards, but it was a little more powerful than I thought. I only shot once, because I wasn't sure if I would like it. Later, I loaded it up again and did 3 shots.
Me and friends, Michael and Bobby

This was a picture after I shot. You can see the shift in weight. This was taken as I completed the shot. So, it did throw me off a little bit, but not much.

Along with these big guns, I did decide to go a little smaller.

It's funny. This little guy still had power behind it. You have to make sure you keep your grip tight and firm.
**Here's a fun fact: I am left eye dominant. When I picked up my first gun, my friend Bobby was teaching me how to hold it and how to look through the scope. Automatically, I closed my right eye and looked through my left. When I told him I had to lean really far over to line up the scope, he noticed I was holding the gun as a righty, but closing the eye of a lefty. I knew that I led with my left leg, back in my track and field days. And, I know that I lead with my left leg when doing a kartwheel. I thought it was normal. But, Bobby told me I maybe could have been a lefty. Don't worry. For the next couple days, I practice my handwriting and fine motor skills using my left hand. I'm not too bad! I drew a few pictures, too! So, in the pictures taken of me, it looks like my eye is completely closed. It's not. I just really have a hard time closing my left eye and keeping my right eye open. Sometimes my eye would actually close and I had to open them and try again... Ha!
Back to shooting.. If you are one who has never taken a trip to New Jersey, you may not have listed this as one of the activities New Jersians do. But, I tell you what, the friends I have made at my church in Tabernacle, NJ, are nothing but woodsy, camo, and hunting season kind of people. All done right here in the state of New Jersey. Don't get me wrong, this isn't what my backyard looks like. There are the city and well populated areas. But, we are The Garden State. There is a lot of open land in New Jersey. I chose -wait, let me rephrase- I told Kevin I would only live here IF he found a place to live in one of the populated areas, close to malls, shopping centers, and plenty of grocery stores.

New Jersey has had it's ups and downs, surprises, and new adventures. And this is, by far, my favorite. I have made a handful of GREAT friends, and, no matter where we are next, I will always remember and love the ones that made this place my temporary "Home."

Marissa and Dan, our PREGNANT :) church and Military friends

Steph Carr, my friend I didn't know while I was at Harding... but she was there.

Ruger, Steph's dog, and our shooting buddy


The Perfect Storm - Sandy

Well, I do agree with my friend Kacie Lester when she says that I bring Texas storms wherever I go. First in Arkansas, with the terrible storms that brought us tornadoes, now to New Jersey. Last year, our area had the first hurricane in many years -- Irene. And now... We are looking at 3 big threats to hit us all at once.

I didn't realize how bad this storm could become until yesterday in the lunch room at work. It's funny how teachers have such a talent for covering about 10 topics in span of our 30 minute lunch. From nuns to The Notebook to inappropriate swim suits to hurricanes, we covered a lot of important issues yesterday!! When we landed the conversation of hurricanes, one of the teachers shared an article she had read about this storm. It is said to be like the Perfect Storm of 1991 that hit the coast of New England.

**Side Note: NBC10 is on TV as I type. It says Sandy is targeting the span of New York through Central New Jersey and down to Delaware. THAT'S ME!! Right now it is a Category 1 and may weaken before it gains strength again before it hits land. They are beginning to do Mandatory Evacuations for Cape May by Monday night. Philly is expecting 10 inches or more of rain. Mayor Nutter has told high flood plain areas to leave by 2 o'clock today. Not only coastal rains, but we are also going to be hit with inland rains.**

This article calls Sandy "Frankenstorm," because of the heavy rain, snow, high winds, and extreme tides. The harsh weather could extend even past Halloween... It could be a very wet Trick-or-Treating night. Sandy will be hitting around the time of a Full Moon, which is not only fitting and spooky but it also means that Sandy will be hitting when the tides are close to their highest. This threat makes the accumulation of rain greater than if it were to hit any other time. There are cool front systems coming in from Canada, as well as another cool front coming from Ohio.

We could have the combination of a SUMMER storm with the air and possibly SNOW of WINTER!! Something just didn't seem right about seeing snow during a Hurricane. That happens in Texas, right??

It's funny to hear that the beaches I go to OFTEN in the summer are preparing to evacuate. Understand, I live only an hour inland from the shoreline. Long Beach Island talks about having to do a Mandatory Evacuation. (Heather and Mom, that is where we went when you came to visit this summer.)

We went grocery shopping yesterday to get a few things - Water, bread, tuna, Halloween candy... :) The water shelves were almost completely empty. We checked our battery supply and matches. Kevin ran out to try to find some extra batteries and possibly a bigger light source than my decorative candles. Grocery stores usually restock on Saturday nights (tonight), so we may try to go back out tonight to find some other necessities.

I will be sure to keep you updated and posted of how everything is progressing. Hopefully we won't lose power. If we do, don't worry, I will find a way to let you know everything is okay :)

Until next time... Beware of Frankenstorm!!


And many more! On channel 4! Like Scooby Doo and Rugrats too!

Did you ever hear kids sing that after the happy birthday song?? Now all I hear after it is "Hi-ya..(something something).. Eat more chicken!"

Happy Birthday to me and Twin A!!

I had a relaxing day at home with Kevin. We made hamburgers and caught up on our to-do list. I got to spend time with one of my favorite 1st graders, as we practiced our reading and decoding skills! Tutoring is fun with her! I came home, and Kevin and I went to our favorite sushi place near the house. Yummy birthday dinner!! I was able to talk to friends that I hadn't spoken to in months and some of them over a year!

Birthdays are hard when I'm so far away from family, but the birthday calls, texts, and blog posts (thank you Kacie) sure make it a little bit easier. I couldn't be more excited about being an age that is an even number!! 23 was not even divisible!! I feel that 24 will bring lots of fun and memorable moments.

Look back next year to see if I proved that to be true!!

Until the next big adventure of being 24...!


Speaking of new adventures...

Kevin has surprised me with a fun birthday event. He told me we are going skydiving! How do I feel about it? Three years ago when I told him I wanted to do it someday, I was stoked! Now, I think I may throw up tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes. When I make it down alive, I promise to be a better post-er. But for now, I must try to sleep before I get all worked up!

Small updates:

Washington D.C. pictures coming soon!

Having my family here was a lot of fun. We went to Johnson's Corner Farm and picked apples and pumpkins. We grabbed a wonderful homemade pie and fresh cornbread! Yum! After that, we had some lunch and made our way to New Hope, PA. What a cute little town it is! But the best part came when we drove a bit further to Peddlers Village. There were fun, cute shops surrounding islands of greenery and fall decorations. It provided benches, caged birds and rabbits for those that took a break from shopping. So cute!
Other days we hit up the malls and spent way too much money!

Wonderful being surrounded by my mom, aunt and Mama Rue! Forever memories!

I keep saying I am going to do a Before and After blog, but I keep adding more to our house! Maybe I'll pause and call it Before and Present. I decided to put it off no more! I will take updated pictures of our house and begin the blog once Parent-Teacher Conferences are over :).

Talk to you soon, because I will not accept any other outcome from our Free Falling trip tomorrow!

Good night :)


Adventures are happening!

Sorry I skipped posts. This new job really takes time away from everything that has nothing to school. But, I will complete my Before and After blog!
Before I do that... I will be capturing the sights of Washington D.C.!!! Kevin and I are heading to the Capitol this weekend.

And I'm sorry to say, but not sorry it is, I won't post next week because my mom, aunt, and grandma are coming to town! We will have our own adventures to Johnson's Corner Farm, McGuire Air Force Base, Philadelphia, and the countryside.

Be sure to check back in a couple weeks for these new flights of this part of our life!

Happy Fall :)


Life Goes on Without Facebook, Y'all.

I have been Facebook-less for two weeks now.... and so far, I'm not suffering!! I have not once thought about how much I wish I could just sign-in against my decision. I have not once wondered who is currently on News Feed. I have my many reasons for deciding to "unsubscribe" my account, and I am still standing behind those reasons.
Even though I am not in-deep with whats going on with friends -- and people I haven't spoken to in years (reason number 1) -- I still feel that I can connect and be in contact with those that need to know about me and me with them. What happened to having a personal life?? Too many young adults my age put so much on facebook, about their parents, about their boyfriends, about their deep struggles, that I feel like I am exposed to more than an outside person should be. Maybe when I grow up a bit, and my "friends" have gotten past the dramatic issues that the early- to mid-twenties bring, I will join this site social media again. If information is important enough for my friends to know, you better believe I will get to ASAP via text, call, or face-to-face!
Facebook is changing, y'all. I joined Facebook when I was a Junior in high school. Even then, I jumped on the bandwagon late. I was never one to do whats "popular" or "in style," so I waited until a bit later. Back then, you had to be a part of a network to be on Facebook. I remember I needed to be invited by someone from a network to even HAVE an account. So, I kindly asked my twin brother if he would invite me to join the Pearland High School network so that I could have my own Facebook account. He did just that! Now, kids are allowed on Facebook at age 13, if not younger. Anyone can join, anyone can create an account, anyone can creep on you or the world (enter reason number 2).
When I deactivated my account, they ask you to give a reason as to why you are leaving. My response was, "I am being made to do things I do not want to do. I enjoyed Facebook when it was simpler." Eventually, I had posts from my account that said I "liked" this organization or that, and changed my privacy settings when it updated. Not to mention the whole TIMELINE thing! I don't like to be made to do things. Ask, and maybe I'll come around. Give me simple; that's all I need.

I tell you this because I have decided to BLOG more! Because I don't have Facebook to keep friends and family and viewers (which I think most fall into the first two categories, for now) informed, I am going to write about the fun and big things that are happening! For now, I am planning on blogging on Mondays, so check in from time to time.

Come back on Monday to see how we have made living in New Jersey a bit more comfy! :)

It's time to share our HOME with you!!


Still Exploring the Lands...

Well, everyone, here goes the second part of London Trip 2011. Better late than never, right?!
I apologize now for not being detailed with this post. I am certain details have dissolved, and I won't be able to remember every name, place, or activity involved in the pictures. But, you can gaze at the pretty images.

Venture with me as I test my memory --

I believe I left the last post with Sunday's walking tour around Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben. This brings me to Monday.

We started the morning at a local place called Tom's Kitchen. Let me just preface this picture saying I had never had Eggs Benedict prior to this trip. This was my second time eating this, and I enjoyed every bite.

Okay, that's not entirely true. After cutting into the egg, I may have been a little apprehensive to eat an egg with orange yolk.

Call me an American, but it took me a few bites with my eyes closed before I could accept this egg. Not only did it look different, but eggs really do taste different in England. But, I decided I really do like Eggs Benedict!

This day was one of my favorites. It may have been my favorite part of the trip. After a few days in the fast-pace city, we were headed out of town to the country. We had a Tea waiting for us at Down Hall in Hatfield Heath.

Isn't this site breath-taking??

I loved it from the moment we crept up the gravel drive. Enjoy these few pictures of the beautiful flowers.

Ah, the scenery!

After getting our rooms, we had a Tea waiting for us.

But that was just the half of it! My favorite part was the games that followed. First we sat watching Margaret and Cristen play life size Chess (I would have played... but I never learned how), while the nice hotel men set up our game of Croquet.

We had a friend join us.

After our first round of BORING.. Cristen and I decided to make it interesting. Now, I don't have any pictures of the going-through-the-bushes shots or other challenges we created, but this under-the-table shot generated quite the frustrations. :)

The second under-the-table shot.

This was all for show. We had to entertain ourselves somehow.

After our few games, we played life-size Connect Four before heading out to dinner.

Not knowing the area, we asked the taxi cab driver if he had a recommendation. He took us to Thatcher's Free House (which, if I remember correctly, is another name for "Pub".[I forget all the details]).

After dinner it was back to Down Hall where we ended our night with cappuccinos.

Tuesday was our journey through Cambridge. We traveled the river surrounding The University of Cambridge. Before I go on, let me just admit, I listened the best I could on this next event, but without having pen and paper I could not tell you what all these places were.
We went Punting along <insert river name here> around the different dormitories, buildings and colleges. Here are a few pictures to prove I was there, lacking the verbal memories to tell.

We sat in these boats while a guide stood on the flat surface in the front holding a pole. They dropped the pole straight down into the water and pushed off the bottom of the river. It maybe had a rock bottom? (See, the details!! Where did they go?!)

Again, I'm sorry I don't remember what each of these buildings are, but maybe this will persuade you to explore! :) Yeah, that's it. That was my plan all along -- tease you with pictures so that you desire to see and find out for yourself.

We grabbed food and shopped in the market outside of the college. For additional proof of visiting, I bought Kevin a shirt and a hoodie for me.

Our day continued with dinner at an Indian restaurant Cristen suggested and then to Phantom of the Opera! Loved seeing this in London. The set was amazing, and the singing was phenomenal. (The following week I was going with my mom, Miss Kim, and Aunt Debi to see Phantom in New York City. Fun to compare!)

With two days left, I only have about two more pictures to share. Sorry I did not take more, but I will fill you in with the events that drew our trip to a close.

Wednesday was a long awaited day. We had a trip through Buckingham Palace. It was here that I decided I wanted to become rich and be able to decorate the floors, walls, ceilings, and corners of my future houses with delicate details in every inch of space. We were not allowed to take pictures while inside, but I was able to capture a few (not so good) pictures of the back porch!

Look at that perfect mowing job!!

It was so nice of the family to go away for a bit and let us come over and house-sit for a couple hours.

I was so excited to get to the gift shop to buy a special "Luxury Hand Wash" from Buckingham Palace. My mom has this soap in her guest bathroom, and I have loved the scent from the first sniff. Sadly, they have decided to discontinue that particular scent, and they were out of the lotion. But! I was able to get a couple bottles of soap, one for me and a refill for my mom.  (Later, I received a couple candles from Santa!)
After Buckingham Palace, we had lunch at Pizza Express then headed to Parliament Square to shop around. Here are a few other notes I jotted down in my planner for this day:

-National Gallery for Cream Tea
-Covet Garden (shops)
-Cantina Loredo

SO many activities and only one brain to remember! I guess this means I need to go back and "refresh my memory!"

Well, Thursday was the last day or exploration for this crew, and how we ended was like this:

Jak's for breakfast. The V&A Museum. Harrod's for Afternoon Tea. Cocomala's. Dinner at Coopers Arms.

That brings our trip to an end. Fun-filled and action-packed, this trip was one to remember. So many sites to see and historical buildings to learn. Just when you think you've seen enough, another beautiful place presents itself. God's creativity makes this world so enticing to explore.

No matter where we're from, we always have something in common...