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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More beautiful homes in Sandy Springs

A student canceled on me a couple weeks ago the day of the lesson and unfortunately I taught a lesson before and a lesson after her so was left was nothing to do for several hours. To help pass the time I took a tour of a Sandy Springs Neighborhood and was smitten with the houses. Several of the homes aren't overly large, but they are incredibly charming. I think you'll be able to tell what styles are my favorite. :)

Don't you just adore the round turret? I claim the room at the top as my personal get away. 

Double porch? Yes, please. 

This style of home has always been my favorite. It started being my favorite around age 8. 

Once again, a favorite. I love dark brick with black shutters! And the gables at the top are to die for. 

Did I show this house before? It's ridiculous: huge, yellow, ornate, with naked statues out front on a very busy road. 


I really like this one because it's painted blue, but still quite charming and classic. 

I don't care for stucco, but this house is pretty none-the-less. 

I took this shot from the side. Can you say wow? That's a deceptively big house. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quick Dinner: Tortilla Pie

I thought I would share one of David's favorite meals with you all: Tortilla Pie. It is different every time I make it, and I think that's why I like it. One can use left overs or the odds and ends of the kitchen. (You know...the times when you haven't been shopping for two weeks) I don't exactly have a recipe, but here are the general ideas:

Layer tortillas with cheese and bean mixture.


Seriously. That's it.

We make our own tortillas. Scratch that. David makes our own tortillas. It is really easy:

2 cups flour
1/4 shortning
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
2/3 cup warm water

Cut them together and you end up with:

The trick is to roll them really thin with a TON of flour. 
And then you simply put the tortillas on a hot skillet for a few minutes on each side. 

The bean mixture is as simple as the ingredients as you have on hand. You could add beef or pork or not. These pictures have beef in the mixture. The tortilla pie I made a few weeks ago didn't have any. So here is a general recipe:

1 large onion, chopped
1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, crushed. To taste
1/2 pound of hamburger, optional
Salt and pepper

When the hamburger is brown and the onions are translucent add:
--canned tomatoes
--canned beans

Oh, you want specifics? For a family of four or five:
--1 can diced tomatoes
--2 cans beans (David likes pinto and kidney. Next time I'm making this I'm adding just black beans.)
Any of the following spices: cinnamon, cumin, coriander, alspice, chili powder, cayanne powder, cocoa powder, paprika, ect...)

To my last batch I added maybe 2 t cumin, 1 t coriander, 1/2 t cinnamon, 3/4 t chili powder, and a dash of cayanne. Usually, though, I find that cumin is a must. Everything else is optional. Want something even simpler? Add 1/2-1 whole packet of taco or chili seasoning. 

For extra spice I like adding jalapeno, mexican, or chili-ready tomatoes. Just adds one more dimention to the dish. A little cilantro would be amazing. Unfortunately, its expensive here. 

Layer tortillas with bean mixture and a little cheddar cheese, top with plenty of grated cheddar cheese and you are good to go!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I married an engineer

David is a stellar husband. One night I was moaning the lack of tasty water in Atlanta and mentioned I wanted some distilled water. Of course we could buy filters, ect. but when you only have a little bit of money to spare you have to prioritize.

Much to my surprise David decided to build his own distilled water system. Three things I have learned about David: 1) He likes a challenge 2) He will do just about anything to make me happy 3) He is an engineer at heart.

Teapot + aluminum foil + cooling process. David was fascinated by the steam and horribly inefficient method of distilling the water. Man, I love him.

Unfortunately, the water tasted awful! It was very metallic tasting. I'm suspecting it was teapot and mug I drank it from. But like a good, grateful wife I drank all of it...except for the swallow or two I made David drink.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Primary Choristing

Hello all! Well, it's been predicted by my family for ages and it finally happened. I got called to be the primary chorister in our ward. I'm having a lot of fun preparing games for the kids, but boy is it time consuming! I am so thankful for David for helping me out.

My first Sunday we learned Choose the Right with a punching board inspired by these two blogs: here and here. It was such a hit! We had just enough time to punch through all of the circles. Inside the bags were instructions on what we would sing and how we would sing it. It included sing with the melody board (see below), choose your favorite song, sing do as I'm doing, sing like chipmunks, ect.

David so graciously helped me make it. 

I used foam board for the base and a regular poster board for the tissue paper. We decided to have two boards so we could play the game next month. 

Using his razor blade

Gaping holes. 

The back. 

I thought Camille @ Singing in Primary posted a wonderful idea for learning the melody. 

Instead of As a Child of God I did Choose the Right. I'm planning on making charts for As a Child of God this week. 

 Follow along with the dots! Choose the Right, when a choice is placed before you, in the right, the Holy Spirit Guides.
And its light, is forever shining o're you, when in the right your heart confides. 

Choose the Right! Choose the Right. Let wisdom mark the way before. 

In its light, choose the right, and God will bless you ever more. 

I wasn't quite sure how to notate the 16th notes so I just did a mountain. It made sense to me! 

I also made for the first week a flannel board, (ok, ok...David made that one too...) But I colored and glued sand paper on the back! 

Last Sunday we made a valentine for the missionaries (The kids picked who they wanted to give it to. The first little kid (7) said he wanted to give it to Jesus. Love it.) On the back of most of the hearts was directions on how to sing Choose the Right or As a Child of God. We actually spent the entire time learning Choose the Right again because they didn't know it. We had fun though. At one point I completely changed my lesson plan and them say/sing the next word/phrase from what I sung. In other words I would sing: "Choose the Right, Choose the Right, let wisdom mark the...[they would sing] way before. It worked. Next week are doing Jeopardy! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's day in Atlanta

We kept things pretty simple here and that's how I like it. David bought me a ladle, something we desperately needed since we got married. It was the perfect gift. Love him.

I went the homemade route and made him two things I found on Pinterest. One was comical and the other a bit more serious.

David says this to me all the time. He got a kick out of it. :)

And you know the 52 reasons I love you that has been floating around Pinterest for a while? Well, I did my own version with a deck of cards David got in Germany while on his mission. Unfortunately It's missing a few cards. There are only 49 cards, but I decided to double up on some of them. 

I didn't have any of those nifty ring binders so I improvised and used ribbon. It is not quite as stable, but it works. Oh, and for the record, punching the holes in the cards was a tedious process.

Queen of Spades

A Jack of Clubs

My Personal favorite. :)

Pardon the blurry. My camera is stinky. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

It finally happened

I talked about doing it. I've joked about it. I've thought about it. I've hoped it would happen anyway. Everyone knows my opinion concerning it. But when it finally happened--on my account--I feel horrible.

I broke David's glasses.

It's not my fault. He's the one that left them in the middle of the floor to be stepped on in the middle of the dark night.

But I'm not ready for change. What if they don't have replacement frames? What if he gets glasses that I think look good, but actually end up making him look horrible. He LOVED those glasses. He's told me he thinks he looks good in them. And now I've broken something he loved.

And let's not get into the $$$$$.

I promise I didn't break them on purpose. Sorry!