Sunday, March 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I have had many requests for the Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies I make. The truth is I often make these purely so that I can eat the dough. Its is sooooo dang good!
 
They are called M&M cookies, but I don't add M&Ms :) The original recipe makes an obscene amount of cookies (12 eggs, 8 c. peanut butter 18 c. oatmeal...) So I cut it down so the measurements are more reasonable

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 stick butter
1 c. brown sugar
1.5 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 T vanilla (i never measure)
2 tsp baking soda
4.5 c. oatmeal


1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. M&Ms
1/2 c. walnuts
(I never add walnuts and I hardly ever have M&Ms so I usually just do a cup of chocolate chips, I find if you do more than one cup of add ins- the cookies don't stick together well enough)

Bake at 350 for about 12 min. My oven seems to overcook things and I like my cookies chewy, so I just eyeball it pull them out after about 10 min

Enjoy :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Surprise

Yesterday, my mom called and asked me if I would be home today. She said that she just got my birthday present in the mail and she was too excited to wait and wanted to swing by and drop it off the next day around 11:30 or noon (My bday is in april). I said sure and thought it was kind of funny but didn't think much of it.
 
This morning she called and was just chatting. She told me about Paul not having school yesterday because the storm had knocked out the power but everything was fixed. He wasnt too thrilled about going back and was complaining about a stomache ache. Paul is known to be a little bit of a drama king/ overreactor, so mom sent him off to school. Then she asked if we were still on for today.
 
I go about my day and get a call a little after 11:30 from mom. She said the school had just called her and Paul had thrown up and she needed to go get him, but she still really wanted to swing by and drop off my gift. I felt bad that she felt she had do drive around leaving her sick son alone to give me stuff when I am doing nothing. So I offered to swing by the store and get ginger ale and drop it off and pick up my present then. She told me she would call after she picked up Paul and let me know.
At 1:30 she calls and tells me Paul is settled and asked if I was still home. When I said I was, she said that she was leaving now.
 
I was on my computer and saw a truck pull in to the lot. There is an office under us that gets UPS and FedEx deliveries daily so I assumed it was them. But then I saw a random guy walk up the steps to my door.
 
Confused, I open the door and he asked "Is this apartment E?"
"Um, Yes"
"Are you expecting a recliner?"
Wait, what?
"I guess so, my mom did say she was bringing me a birthday present"
"Oh its your birthday? happy birthday!"
 
They bring in the matching recliner that I had raved about to my mom after Pat and I picked out our couch. I loved it because it is oversized, super comfy and reclines really far back. You could easily sleep in it. And the best part is that it is a rocker too! I wanted it because it would be perfect to rock a baby in the middle of the night. But never in a million years did I expect her to get it for me. I was in complete shock!!!!And I just couldnt stop smiling! Mom showed up just after the guys left. She TOTALLY got me! Everything about Paul being ill was a lie to cover the three hour delivery timeline. And I totally belived her! I am not someone who is easily surprised but I never ever expected this! It crazy how spoiled I am! A new couch for christmas was over-the-top AMAZING and the recliner for my Bday! Life is GOOD!!!!
PS If anyone is a size 10 and like the shoes pictured here, let me know!
I like them but they just aren't "me"  but they were a final sales item so I cant return them
 
She said that when they were picking it out, they started to look at dining sets. She said That should be next because that is the last major furniture item in the area of the house that she sees. That is the next thing on my list too and I am saving up for it. 

EEBA

One of my goals that I have been working really hard at is sticking to a budget. I have had the hardest time until I came across this website/app EEBA. And when I find something I really like, I want to share so here is how it all works.
It is set up using an envelope method. You can have up to 10 envelopes free. (If you need more you can pay $3, $5 or $8 a month depending on how many you want). I have it so each envelope represents some form of bill, ex: groceries, cell phone, gas (for car), spending money, American Express etc. Then you set the budget for each envelope. And you set a time length for the budgets, ex: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. The key is you don't spend more than you have in an envelope. Once my "spending" envelope is empty, I stop buying stupid little things.

Originally I thought that it had to be monthly. So I set each envelope to what I would spend in a month for each category. The problem was that I get paid bi-weekly, so I never had the full months budget to start the month and always felt behind and discouraged.  Then I realized you could change the time length so I switched it to bi-weekly. It makes more sense because that's when I am paid. I set each envelope up to what i should spend in that 2 weeks time. Some of my bills are monthly though. So in that case, I split it in half. Ex: My car insurance is $140 a month. So I set my envelope for $70. I don't touch the money for the two weeks time and at the end of 2 weeks I still have $70 in that envelope. When I get paid again, I add $70 more. I have twice as much as budgeted, but the full amount for my bill each month.
 There is the website EEBA and an app for your phone. You can sync up to two phones for free, more cost money like more envelopes. You can add money or add a transaction from either the site, or your phone. They all sync together.
You add money at the start of your month/week etc to each envelope (filling it to the amount you had budgeted works best). You can add money in the middle as well if you get paid extra for something. And you add a transaction to the appropriate envelope to subtract money.

The app shows each envelope as a bar. The green portion is the amount of money you have. There is a little black line through the bar that is a guideline to help pace you. If the bar represented the timeline of your budget, that line represents today, with the left side being time left in the month.
Some of my envelopes have more than I budgeted because it was left over from last time.



 When adding money, its your choice whether you want to add the budgeted amount to an envelope, add enough to bring it up to the budgeted amount or add any amount you choose. I add the budget amount and let everything roll over.

I seriously love this! And I recommend it to everyone!!! Right now I am using it only for my personal money and not our joint account. It has really opened my eyes at to how much I am really spending. I thought $100 would be plenty to last me two weeks for gas money, but after just one week, it was gone and my tank was only half full! That's how much i am driving! goodness!
 
I get a rush now seeing my savings account going up and having money left after getting everything I need.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Seminary Donuts

It was my turn to teach Young Womens this Sunday. When I found out that the topic was the atonement, this story came to mind. I heard it as a youth and it always stuck with me. Enjoy :)

Seminary Donuts
There was a boy by the name of Steve who was attending Seminary in Utah. In Utah, Seminary classes are held as part of the curriculum. Brother Christianson taught Seminary at this particular school. He had an open-door policy and would take in any student that had been thrown out of another class as long as they would abide by his rules.

Steve had been kicked out of his sixth period and no other teacher wanted him, so he went into Brother Christianson's Seminary class. Steve was told that he couldn't be late, so he would come in just seconds before the bell rang and he would sit in the very back of the room. He would also be the first to leave after the class was over.

One day, Brother Christianson asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. After class, Brother Christianson pulled Steve aside and said, "You think you're pretty tough, don't you?"

Steve's answer was, "Yeah, I do."

Then Brother Christianson asked, "How many push-ups can you do?"

Steve said, "I do about 200 every night."

"200? That's pretty good, Steve." Brother Christianson said, "Do you think you could do 300?"

Steve replied, "I don't know... I've never done 300 at a time."

"Do you think you could?" again asked Brother Christianson.

"Well, I can try," said Steve.

"Can you do 300 in sets of 10? I need you to do 300 in sets of ten for this to work. Can you do it? I need you to tell me you can do it." Brother Christianson said.

Steve said, "Well... I think I can... yeah, I can do it."

Brother Christianson said, "Good! I need you to do this on Friday."

Friday came and Steve got to class early and sat in the front of the room. When class started, Brother Christianson pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren't the normal kinds of donuts. They were the extra fancy BIG kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was pretty excited - it was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an extra early start on the weekend.

Brother Christianson went to the first girl in the first row and asked, "Cynthia, do you want a donut?"

Cynthia said, "Yes."

Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?"
Steve said, "Sure," and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve again sat in his desk. Brother Christianson put a donut on Cynthia's desk.


Brother Christianson then went to Joe, the next person, and asked, "Joe, do you want a donut?"

Joe said, "Yes."

Brother Christianson asked, "Steve would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups; Joe got a donut. And so it went, down the first aisle. Steve did ten pushups for every person before they got their donut. And down the second aisle, till Brother Christianson came to Scott.

Scott was captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. He was very popular and never lacking for female companionship. When Brother Christianson asked, "Scott do you want a donut?"

Scott's reply was "Well, can I do my own pushups?"

Brother Christianson said, "No, Steve has to do them. "

Then Scott said, "Well, I don't want one then."

Brother Christianson then turned to Steve and asked, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn't want?"

Steve started to do ten push-ups. Scott said, "HEY! I said I didn't want one!"

Brother Christianson said, "Look, this is my classroom, my class, my desks, and my donuts. Just leave it on the desk if you don't want it", and he put a donut on Scott's desk. Now by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down, and a little perspiration appeared around his brow.

Brother Christianson started down the third row. By now, the students were beginning to get a little angry. Brother Christianson asked Jenny, "Jenny, do you want a donut?"

Jenny said, "No".

Then Brother Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten pushups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn't want?" Steve did ten; Jenny got a donut.

By now, the students were beginning to say "No" and there were all these uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also having to really put forth a lot of effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. There began to be a small pool of sweat on the floor beneath his face, and his arms and brow were beginning to get red because of the physical effort involved.

Brother Christianson asked Robert to watch Steve to make sure he did ten push-ups in a set because he couldn't bear to watch all of Steve's work for all of those uneaten donuts. Robert began to watch Steve closely.

Brother Christianson started down the fourth row. During his class, however, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters along the sides of the room. When Brother Christianson realized this; he did a quick count and saw that there were now 34 students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

Brother Christianson went on to the next person, the next, and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

Steve asked Brother Christianson, "Do I have to make my nose touch on each one?"

Brother Christianson thought for a moment, "Well, they're your push-ups. You can do them any way that you want." And Brother Christianson went on.

A few moments later, Jason came to the room and was about to come in when all the students yelled, "NO! Don't come in! Stay out!" Jason didn't know what was going on.

Steve picked up his head and said, "No, let him come."

Brother Christianson said, "You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him."

Steve said, "Yes, let him come in.“

Brother Christianson said, "Okay, I'll let you get Jason's out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?"

"Yes."

"Steve, will you do ten pushups so that Jason can have a donut?" Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down. Brother Christianson finished the fourth row, then started on those seated on the heaters. Steve's arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift him against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off his face and, by this time, there was not a dry eye in the room. The very last two girls in the room were cheerleaders and very popular. Brother Christianson went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, "Linda, do you want a donut?"

Linda, too choked up to talk, just shook her head. Brother Christianson asked Steve, "Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn't want?" Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda. Then Brother Christianson turned to the last girl, Susan. "Susan, do you want a donut?"

Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, "Brother Christianson, can I help him?"

Brother Christianson, with tears of his own, said, "No, he has to do it alone."

"Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?" As Steve very slowly finished his last pushup, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 pushups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

Brother Christianson turned to the room and said. "And so it was, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead to the Father, "Into thy hands I commend my Spirit." With the understanding that He had done everything that was required of Him, he collapsed on the cross and died. And like some of those in this room, many of us leave the gift on the desk, uneaten."

 

Update

Sorry I have been completely MIA from this blog lately!
So here is whats gone down since December.
The whole family came for Christmas so I took the week off work


We visited the Herr's Chip Factory, Shady Maple Smorgasbord and Longwood Gardens


 
Caiden liked the pinwheel at the store under the Smorgasbord

For Christmas, I wasn't expecting anything gift wise because a month or two before, mom and dad bought me 4 new tires for my car. But they surprised me and gave us a $1,000 gift card to Raymour and Flannigan for a new couch. I couldn't believe it! And surprisingly Pat and I had no problem deciding on a new couch. I thought we would have a hard time agreeing because we have very different tastes and styles but we both fell in love with this one.
In the store

the gross nasty old couch shoved against the wall to make room for the new one

Also this Christmas I won $1,000 of a scratch off I was given. I was given two, one from my boss and one from my mother-in-law. The first was a dud and this was a winner! It was funny cause I had never gotten one and thought I was reading it wrong so I handed it to Pat and he had some choice words :)

In January, for New Beginnings we had a shoe/high heel theme. I asked mom to help me make these high heel cupcakes. We had a lot of fun and they were a hit! of course being the perfectionist that I am, I was bummed to run out of vanilla frosting and had to use chocolate for the sole. I wish I could have piped around the sole in the color of frosting to match the cupcake base.
Before the drive, I was nervous about driving with them so we set them up at church

I also hosted a Murder Mystery Party in January. I invited some couples from church that I thought Pat would get alone well with. I want him to get to know the guys better so that he feels more comfortable going to church stuff
It was a blast! I am gearing up to host another soon! Everyone I want to invite keeps going out of town!
The murder scene I set up outside, I forgot to take a pic of the table, I set it up real cute!

The gang all dressed in character, Pat is missing cause he took the pic.

In February, our roommate moved out so we have our home back to ourselves which has been great for our relationship. I was getting a little bitter towards the end there. Before, that was our guest room and the other room was my room/ the junk room. Now I am going to turn the little room into my room and have the other room as a junk/storage room because having someone live with us for 6 months when I only agreed to 2 months has made me not want to have anymore guests! If I must they can chill in the twin bed in the junk room!

So that's that!