Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just a little creepy....

I posted a while back about a Father's Day cruise we went on back in June. What I didn't post were the creepy pictures that were taken inside the castle that we toured. I'm usually quite skeptical when it comes to shows like Ghost Hunters. However, almost ALL of the pictures we took inside the Burg Reichenstein came out blurry or had some strange squiggly lights darting around in them. We took a lot of pictures this day, 221 to be exact, and the only strange ones were from inside the castle. By the way, this castle was featured on one of the haunted shows...hmmm, maybe they really are on to something.

Take a look at a few pictures for yourself!

We took several of Colton and they were ALL blurry!

Answers to a few questions:
1. Yes, the batteries were fully charged.
2. I was NOT jumping up and down to get this effect.
3. We left our smoke machine at home.
4. The camera's lens is not scratched.

We once took a haunted tour in St. Augustine, Fl where they gave everyone a disposable camera. The idea was to catch something "strange", like fog or streams of light, while we were touring. They also gave everyone a "Ghost Meter" that would start beeping if you were near "something"....I know a little cheesy, but fun at the time! Well, we didn't get anything weird in our pictures...not even from the evening cemetery tour....gasp! St. Augustine was also featured on one of the haunted shows!!

When filming these shows, they should leave their night vision at home and visit these places during the day. They could then walk around without bumping into each other causing a false alarm. There is something about watching them walk around in the green light from the night vision that makes the show seem ridiculous. Someone should also let them in on this little secret....they can speak without whispering! I can confirm we were not even slightly quiet when we got these pictures so sound doesn't seem to be an issue. I may be a believer now....just maybe!
What do you think??

Friday, July 24, 2009

July Group Projects

Tonight is our monthly stampin' get together, however this month's projects don't require a lot of stamping! I usually try to teach one technique a month....etched glass for July. We'll be using the glass votive holders my husband picked up while he was visiting Fl.

I created some samples using recycled baby food jars and a larger one from the roasted peppers I had used for lunch the other day. They turned out really cute...the etching is much more visible in real life! These would make great table decorations.

Attempted to get a glowing evening shot....

We were also keeping with a outdoor theme so we made some rather pretty BBQ apron invitations. The BBQ stamp is heat embossed in white (difficult to capture in pictures). Yes, I know these are not your typical BBQ colors, but I wanted to use some of SU new In Colors and purple is my we have a girlish invite. The inside details can be printed and then attached or simply handwritten.

How about a Tic~Tac~Toe game on the tables?

...or some water bottles?
I think these would be nice as part of a coordinating gift set or for a group.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ever heard of Muffin Tin Meals???

I always seem to be in slump when it comes to lunches so I've been trying to make them more interesting and healthier. I don't know why it is so hard for me to get past the old standby....PB&J!

I'm sure the idea of Muffin Tin Meals has been around for a while, but it is new to me. I found this idea quite interesting so have been doing a little research! Check HERE for some Muffin Tin Monday facts. You will find information about themes for the week and they look like fun! This is a creative way to make well balanced meals that look appealing to kids! What could get any better than this?

So, I joined the Muffin Tin Monday Swap to help get me started! Check it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Try out this yummy lunch!

I have now made this delicious lunch 2 times for my family and they LOVE it! They were begging for more after the first time so I knew this was a hit. The best part is that this recipe is on the package of smoked tuna!

I took some pictures as I was making it today. I've mentioned before that we have horrible lighting in our house. Well...this is the ONLY light in the kitchen. We do have a large glass door that leads onto our terrace, but it was too early for it to brighten the kitchen at lunch.

This is the light!

See that cord?? That is so we can pull it down closer to the floor...not sure why??

On to more interesting things....the ingredients!

Empty the Hickory Smoked Tuna into bowl.
I had to make 3 batches for all of us.

Add the cheese... onions

....roasted red peppers

...add some cream cheese and then mix it all up

Warning....don't take your eyes off the flour tortillas or you may see this!

The culprit....

Spread the mixture onto tortilla. I found it easier to use a medium scooper and drop 4 scoops around the tortilla and then use a spreader to spread it around the entire tortilla.

Add another tortilla to the top and crisp on both sides.


There was not even a crumb left!

Monday, July 20, 2009

a-MAZE-ing Baths

We visited the ruins of Imperial Baths in Trier which is about 45 minutes from our house. The construction began in 293 AD and covered four city blocks. It is truly an amazing place!

This is in the main hot room.
There are other hot areas and a large cold bath.

You can see how large the wall actually is compared to my favorite people!

After we checked out the grounds and the hot and cold bath areas we headed underground!

Yes, it was creepy down there!

There would have been much more of this and we would have been walking on the sub floor instead. This is a sample of how they heated the baths.

This will give you an idea how massive this basement was. This is just looking down one of the MANY tunnels. The tunnels are narrow and it is dark and wet down here.

This impression was left on the wall by a pair of compasses.
It took us a while to find it...of course it was obvious once we did!!

It started pouring down rain while we were underground so we were stuck down there for a while. I have to say that this added to the creepiness!
You can see how high the water was that we had to walk through in the next tunnel!

A peek out the door as we were waiting to make our escape!

Jacque wouldn't give up his umbrella!

Trier has much more to offer!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Grits & thank goodness for clean underwear!!

I don't know where I've gone wrong! The kids help me cook and have measured ingredients a time or two. However, one would think that Lauren has never stepped foot in the kitchen after this morning's dilemma. She asked if she could make a bowl of grits and I of course told her she could. I just reminded her that she needed to add 1/2 C of water.

She looked at me and said, "What kind of cup?...not the kind we drink out of right??"

I just looked at my husband and we both started laughing. Luckily, Lauren laughed with us and didn't quite catch on that we were actually laughing at her. She really laughed at herself when I pulled out the measuring cup....she then grinned with embarrassment:)

It was a dreary day out today as it has been for the last couple of weeks. We decided to take the kids to Sternenland which is an AWESOME indoor place for kids. I'd kind of say it is like Chuck E Cheese on steroids. There are indoor electric go-carts so it doesn't stink like gas and 2 floors of nothing but FUN.

We had been there for a couple hours, which is about all I can take, when I see my husband and Colton heading my way. They had been over in the trampoline area jumping like maniacs. Well....let's just say it was time to go home. This is how my husband had to walk from the very back of this place up to the front! He was doing a front flip when he did this.

All I can say is thank goodness for clean underwear! Everyone got a good laugh!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Apparently cows are VERY interesting!

While we were at Clara Maria's we spent a lot of time in the barn and I do mean A LOT of a couple of hours!! We had made this one last stop before our long drive home so it wasn't like we had anything better to do than feed cows hay!!

Once we are around animals, I know it is going to be a while because my husband loves animals...not that I don't, but I can drag myself away from them in much less time!

We were waiting for our clog demo to start so we went into the barn. Jacque has developed a fear of animals which my husband just can not relate to so he feels the need to get him used to the animals. So....these milk cows were no exception!

See how brave Jacque was as he reached out and touched the cow while hanging on for his life!!

He finally decided to feed the cows...

....well throw hay in their face as quickly as possible!

The extremely long tongues were funny!

...and he finally could just feed them some yummy hay!

All this was going on as the other kids were playing and feeding the cows. They really had a blast in the barn with a bunch of cows. The simple things are so much fun!

That cow could have been eating Sarah's shirt and she wouldn't have flinched!

....not the case with Lauren.

ALL of the kids had fun swinging on this tire swing. Trust me, they had it SWINGING!!

So this is the end of our trip to the Netherlands! We loaded back up in the Suburban, cow slobber and all, and headed back home.

We are still on vacation though so our next stop has something to do with baths!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gouda cheese

After our clog making demonstration we moved on to learn how cheese is made. This farm makes Gouda (pronounced "goo-da" by the Dutch) cheese according to Dutch tradition. The cows were a big hit with the kids....and husband, but that is another story. I'm adding some of the pages from a story that Lauren wrote about our Spring Break trip.

First the cows must be milked. They are milked 2 times a day and we were lucky enough to be there at the right time!

Then we learned about all of the ingredients that go into the cheese and how this big round machine or churn works.

It was interesting to learn that the shape of the label determines if the cheese was produced on a farm with non pasteurized milk (this farm) or cheese that is produced in a factory.

Now this was only a sample of the real machine, but right next to us was the REAL kitchen and they were busy making cheese for the shop.

And here is the cheese after it has soaked in a salt bath for 24 hours.

We then walked into the cheese shop/gift shop. There were plenty of samples of pictures because we were too busy chowing down! You have to believe me when I say this cheese is the BEST I've ever had....can't even describe it!

Amazingly, some of this cheese did make it back to our house.....Italian Herb, Farmer's Flame, Garlic, and and course Parmesan. They also send their milk to another farm who also makes cheese, but they add their smoked meat. This stuff is delicious....yes, we brought home one with ham and I actually was able to save it until my husband made it home from Iraq so he could enjoy it too!

Jacque was checking out the cheeses....

Remember the clog tour? Here are a few pictures about the clogs from Lauren's story.

...and those swans??

I knew we had a good time on our trip, but we take for granted the lasting impressions that are left with the kids from the places we visit. These pages were written a few months after our Spring Break trip and before our trip with my husband. The little details that are remembered!