Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Affections = Stirred

Last night, as AP and I drove to our dear friends' house to get our weekly dose of LOST, we were discussing the fact that gardening truly stirs my affection for the Lord. I know I've mentioned it before, but it's one of those things that I pray never ceases to amaze me. I don't think that I will ever get to a point where I know everything there is to know about the plants that I will plant, and I like it that way. I have been amazed, over the last few weeks, to watch our broccoli go to seed, which basically means I've watched as our broccoli plants have exploded skyward to a height of about 4-feet with an amazing number of BEAUTIFUL yellow flowers covering them. This weekend I (sort of) weeded the garden. It was a half-hearted attempt because I know we will be demolishing the plot in a matter of days/weeks because we will be moving into our new home as soon as it is finished (we go to pick our counter tops and flooring tomorrow! yea!). I think it was mostly just a therapeutic effort on my part this weekend. :) Anyhow, while I was uprooting the remnants of long-dead tomato, pepper, marigold, zinnia, and bush bean plants, I came across a few pods that were never picked from the bean bush before winter. I crumbled away the pod to find about 3-4 perfect little bush beans (SEEDS!). Aaron and I talked about how awesome it is that GARDENING (of all things!) is such a mirror of the Cross. From death (my poor bean bush) comes the promise of new life (the bean - seed)! How amazing is that?! I can claim NOTHING of that by my hand. I let the garden go to the winter (i HATE being cold...) winds, and still the Lord brings the promise of life from my catastrophic mess of a garden. :)
It's an amazing thing.

Ok, so are you ready for pictures?! I promised them, so here I am, ready to fulfil that promise! Enjoy!

Strawberry plant

second set of strawberry plants! Don't they look delicious?! I think one should be ready to pluck today when I get home!

This is the best looking of the seeds I planted a few weeks ago. It's a pole bean. I'm thinking it's doing so much better (as far as leaf development) because I transplanted it to that bigger "pot". I should spend some time this weekend giving my other sprouts some extra room...

Lantanas are some of my favorite flowers. My mom always had the yellow ones around our house, but the multi-colored ones (on the right) are my favorites. They're not looking great right now - I don't think my plants are liking all the weather changes recently, but you can get an idea, at least...

This is our garlic - still just growing away! You can also see some of the Cabbage behind it.

better shot of the beautiful cabbages!Shallots are so cool looking! :) I love the "spiky" look of the greenery. Reminds me of a boy's terrible buzz haircut from Jr. High School back in the day...

Well, friends, I hope you enjoyed the pictures. Sorry they're not the greatest in quality. One day (Lord willing!) we will have a great camera (like Kelley and Alyssa!), but until then, thank you for being okay with my little iPhone photos! :)

Love you all, Denise.

P.S. My eighth grade students have completely lost their minds today. I am dangerously close to needing about 24 of these (just be glad that I don't need 140 of them):

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rainbow Waffles are for Lovers.

There is so much to share with you all in the way of cooking, gardening, and living these days...
Unfortunately, I have been slacking in the area of photography, and that is the reason for my delay in posting. I promise to have photos (therefore a good post) very soon, though!! I do!
The garden is going to seed, and strawberries are ripening, and new recipes are being devoured!
For now, my friends, I revert back to an old photo that I took quite a few months ago, but is now more relevant, seeing as it is Easter Weekend this weekend!
My sister in law, Jordan, decided to make waffles one night. To make them more fun, we decided she should play with food coloring, so she made Rainbow Waffles! She made a regular batch of waffle mix, then separated it into four small dishes to make four different colored waffles. We ended up with Turquoise, Pink, Purple and Blue. They were phenomenal. Not only in looks, but also in TASTE!
Way to go, Jordan!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morning #9490: Thumbs Up.

This morning, the day that marks the 26th year the Lord has chosen to keep me here on Earth, I noticed that my husband woke up EXTREMELY early... and then I proceeded to go back to sleep :) I figured he just went in to work early since he went in a little late yesterday. no biggie.
THEN... just about 2 minutes before my alarm was to go off, i hear the door to the bedroom open, smell a delicious scent that can awaken even the grumpiest NON-morning person, and heard my sweet, handsome (i LOVE the way he looks in his work clothes - even if he hates wearing them! MUY CALIENTE! lol) husband singing "Happy Birthday" to me! When my eyes adjusted to reality, I notice he has gone to Starbucks to get me the travel mug that I've wanted so badly! Well... that was his intention... he actually came back with a different one* because they were sold out of the one i really wanted** (of all days, right?!)! :)

*Exibit A: totally just realized that it is not, in fact, a travel mug. it is just a coffee mug. non-travel type :) i thought that I was just not able to locate the lid that Aaron had (for some reason) not left on the mug... hahaha - now it all makes sense... :)
**Exhibit B: i can't find a picture of it ANYWHERE! even on the starbucks website!! what the heck?! anyways... it's a stainless travel mug that looks like it has hail damage. ;) there are little dents all over the mug that sort of look like polkadot dents...
Anyhow, this post has two purposes: to share another sweet story about my husband, AND to let you all know that you are invited to attend a "Grill and Chill" at our house on Friday evening to celebrate said birthday (yet ANOTHER thing my sweet husband has organized all on his own!). It will be BYOMeat, and bring your favorite beverage and a side to share. These truly are the best kinds of food parties, in my opinion! And it doesn't hurt that our friends are pretty much some of the best cooks in all the land... :)
If you plan to attend, please let one of us know so that we know how many bodies to expect!
Have a Fantastic "hump" day! The week is coming to a close already!

p.s. visit Calloway's Gardening Club page to see the blog's shout out :) that's pretty cool :) I guess I'm going to have to get on the ball with taking more pictures of the plants! That's one way to kick-start me! :) Check back later this week for garden updates. I promise I'll post some new pictures! There's definitely a lot happening on that front.

p.p.s. I TOTALLY wish that I would have time to make THESE little puppies for our Friday shindig. MAN! now THAT is way better than a birthday "cake" :) That's what I'm talking about. i LOVE IT! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Hard Job for a Soft Heart

I can see how as a teacher it would be easier to skate through the years easily in one respect by not really investing in your students anymore than you have to...
What I mean is that I realized today something that I already knew in my head, but it became reality because this morning, one of my students came by to tell me he was leaving. His family is moving to Midland. He told me he wished he could at least come to my class before he left. His family is originally from Mexico, and as an English as a Second Language learner, he struggles in his classes (though, in all honestly, most of his struggle is that he would rather be goofing off than learning... lol). He's been a student that I have seen behavioral and emotional successes with. I actually fought back tears after we said goodbye, after he promised me that he would make good decisions - especially when it comes to the friends that he chooses to hang out with, and as he waved at me as he walked down the hallway towards the front office.
I love my students - all of them. Even the ones that make me want to quit sometimes... haha. I want the best for my students, and I want them to make good decisions and to not have to learn things the hard way like I did (and still do...), even though it is inevitable. I guess this is the closest to understanding parenthood that I will get until, Lord willing, we do have our own children one day. Man, I'm going to be a mess of a Mom...
No. No, I won't. I now understand my mother in ways I never did before. My mom was always a bucket of tears at times of transition, like going to college, etc. BUT... she always said that she did not turn into a mess of a mom at those points because she knew that I was the Lord's. Not hers.
There are some things I'd rather take people's word for instead of experiencing. Instead, I am tearful on the first day back after spring break. ;) What the heck am I going to do at the end of the year?!?!?! YIKES!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wrap It Up

Ok. so I just realized that I never posted the lyrics to our songs like I had said I would! AND... I had a picture (those of you who read the Irwins' blog will just have to deal with seeing the same one again. so ha.) to post for you...which I did not do.
So i will post some lyrics from our PowerJams collection and the aforementioned picture. As you read the lyrics, you may not be impressed. In fact, you WON'T be impressed. Just know that if you ever experienced them in real time alongside the melody and the dances... your brain would implode from the amount of awesome. :)

Ghost Kitty: "Ghost Kitty runs around in her underwear!"
Dexter: "All I wanna do is lay in my bed and watch Dexter...wikawikawa...DEXTER!"
Wheat: "If it looks like wheat and it smells like wheat, then it must be wheat for me!"

Date Night Cooking Class @ Sur La Table
(We love these Irwins!)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Tribute of Sorts

I thought I would take a moment to brag on my sweet husband for a minute. I never want to be the kind of wife who takes the little things for granted - especially since I have a fantastic husband, and I really do have so many things to be thankful for. Since it is 4:00 right now, I think I will just list four things that I love about my husband very quickly before I move on to my next Spring Break Activity - Shopping for flower seeds to start for our garden. I started veggies, but now i need to start my flowers!! it's SO much cheaper this way!!!! :)

A Short List of Reasons Why My Husband is Neat
(in no particular order, and DEFINITELY not all-inclusive):

1. Song - My husband is the most goofy, impromptu, and creative musician I have ever met. We have signature Power Family songs that have originated from nothing but my creative husband's brain including the hit singles "Wheat", "Ghost Kitty", "Dexter", "Gimme That Chocolate" and many more. I'll post the lyrics to these hits later in the post.

2. Order - In our marriage, we are almost always complete opposites of our close friends (and most normal couples, i think...). I (a woman) am the messy one. I am cluttery. I am a hoarder. I am a compulsive shopper/collector. I am the one that wants everything that I see. My husband (a man) is the clean one. He is a minimalist to the utmost degree. He wants to get rid of everything in our house. He could live with nothing but a panini press, cereal bowl and refrigerator. :)
The first time I saw his bedroom before we were even dating in college, I walked in to find a desk with nothing on it but a lamp and a pen, a bed, a nightstand with a lamp and alarm clock, a rug, a t.v. on a stand, a stereo and a CD Tower. That is all. My first words, "WHERE IS ALL OF YOUR STUFF?!" I then proceeded to make him curtains at least to warm up the place a bit. It was all over after that. The poor guy never stood a chance... I had already put a crack in his wall of Minimalistic Living.
I am constantly fighting against my nature for the simple reason that I love my husband and I know that if I leave my dishes until I get home with more time, or leave the bed unmade because we're just going to get in it and mess it up again, or leave my clean laundry stacked up in piles in the laundry room or the closet instead of taking the 5 minutes it takes to put it away because I would rather be doing anything else and I'm just going to wear the stuff again and have to wash it and put it away ALL OVER AGAIN...My sweet, clean, orderly minded husband might just have an aneurism from things being so unruly. His brain can't handle these things.
I am not very good at them STILL after almost two years of marriage, but I PROMISE that I am constantly trying (i do get lazy sometimes, and for that i am ashamed and so utterly sorry...) to mold my mind to thinking more like his in these areas because i REALLY DO love a clean, orderly home...i just don't like MAKING/KEEPING it that way...
...that was long... sorry!

3. Laughter - I have always heard that one of the most important things in marriage is to have fun together. It is impossible to not laugh with my husband at least 5 times a day - even if we hardly see each other during our crazy work weeks. From the aforementioned songs, to kitchen booty-dances, to his "Monstie" drawings on the steamy mirror/shower door, to his "stupid" quotes from The Ticket or any movie he has seen lately, to him making fun of me for totally not being funny at all and yet still trying hopelessly... There is never a dull moment in the Power house. Literally. I love it. I would hate it if these were ever missing from my life.

4. Adventure - Aaron is always up for almost anything. We both love to travel. When we got married, from day one our finances included three different savings accounts. House, Emergency Savings, and Vacation. This way, we always (well, within reason...) have the ability to at least take a mini vacation or trip if the time becomes available to us. We love trying new things (from food to sporting activities (skiing for me... still scared...haha) to new countries or new cities closer by). We love our friends, and finding new things we can try WITH our friends. I can't wait to look back on all of our adventures together in five, ten, twenty, fifty years (as long as the Lord blesses us with life on the earth).

yes, i know... i said four, but I will give you a bonus one.

5. Provision - Our provision is and always has been, from the Lord. However, as far as working to provide for his family, my husband is a stud of all studs. He is a hard worker, and he is extremely good at what he does. Everyone he works with loves him (naturally!), and he is continually exceeding expectations by his superiors. He makes me so proud.
Aaron (unlike almost every other teenage boy-man) decided his college major simply because between all of the majors he considered, this one (Logistics and Supply Chain Management) was sure to provide for the wife and family that he one day hoped the Lord would bless him with. He knew that as the head of a household it would be his responsibility to provide for those in his care, and he planned accordingly. This still blows my mind.

I truly have been blessed by my husband in many many many ways. I just wanted to share those few with you.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend (and for those others of you who are also enjoying the first day of your Spring Break, i hope you are enjoying the knowledge that there is no work next week!), and I hope you take a moment to thank God for the little things that he has blessed you with in the people he has surrounded you with.

Love, Denise (MRS. Aaron Lane Power. :) ).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Early Morning Thievery

I am totally reposting this straight from this FANTASTIC site. If you do not already read it, I suggest you start... it's phoenomenal...







it doesn't copy over the pictures, so i'll just give you the link to the post that I want you to see. It's DIY planters! Best way i've seen to start seeds! i need some newspapers! :)

CLICK HERE for the link to the DIY seed starters post!

Here's a quick peek:


love, denise.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Beanie Babies & Mini 'Maters

Our little beanies are growing like CRAZY! yesterday (only two days after the last sprouts picture post) i took another pic of the seedlings that are sprouting up in our living room/kitchen. I thought I'd share the pictures as well as some wisdom I gained from my Garden Expert Father-in-law last night.
The sprouts are shooting up so tall and skinny so quickly because they aren't getting enough sunlight. They are deficient of that wonderful vitamin D! I have been afraid to put them outside because of the weather changing and raining and wind-ing and being so cold, but he suggested that Ii put them out this morning before heading to work so that they can soak up some rays and begin growing the way they should. I think I'll pull them in tonight just to be safe since it was about 34 degrees F when I left for work this morning...
I'm SO looking forward to the weather staying warm enough for them to live outside for good. I love that we can already see the little leaves poking out from the top of the biggest ones! I also am constantly amazed at how QUICKLY they grow! I LOVE gardening :) It is a constant miracle. well, I think so, anyways...
Happy Growing :)

Plano Impromptu

Last night was eventful.
About 5 minutes after I got home from work, we got a call from Aaron's mother saying that his Mamaw (pronounced like "Ma'am-maw") was in the hospital and that we should get there right away. So we immediately piled into the Focus and headed to Plano.
Mamaw has been feeling ill for about 3 weeks now, but yesterday it became a lot worse. Mello (short for Romellio, and what Jordan and Aaron call their grandfather) took her to the hospital, and after running many tests, they found from a gastro-intestinal test that there is a mass, and that she was hemorrhaging in her stomach. We got to spend about 20 or 30 minutes with her last night and pray with her and the family. She is scheduled to have surgery in about one hour (10:00am central time).
Please pray with us that Mamaw will get through the surgery well, and that she will have a quick recovery and not be in any pain. She is one tough woman - if i only had the time to tell you the stories that I have been told. She truly is a warrior of a woman (always has been), and it was extremely difficult to see her so weak and uncomfortable last night. If it was difficult for me, I can't even imagine how hard it was on her daughter (Joannie, my mother-in-law) and Mello - let alone Aaron and Jordan.
There were tears last night as we (Audie, Joannie, Mello, Jordan, Aaron and I) waited in the waiting room until they would let us see her. It was an extremely eye-opening experience to see the people in the rooms as we passed by on the way in and out of the hospital - so frail and with so many tubes running in and out of them. It was an emotionally draining night to say the least. It's a hard sight to see an old man unable to stop flowing tears as he worries for his sweet wife and hugs his grandchildren like he doesn't want to let go.
Aaron and I both have to work today, so we are not able to be at the hospital (obviously). We will try to head out there as soon as we get home today. Please join us in praying for her as she undergoes the surgery and as she (Lord willing) recovers well.
We love you all. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

John Mayer in Dallas

Last night Aaron and I went to see John Mayer perform at the AAC with our dear friends Kelley and Jeremy Irwin. This is a big deal, since John did not even come on stage until our normal bedtime, and it was a TUESDAY!! ;)
I want to share a few things with you that I realized last night:

1. John no longer has just the one tatoo on his left arm. He now sports a sleeve that, in my opinion, looks pretty silly on him. He definitely should have left well enough alone with the original tat.
2. There is a reason Michael Franti and Spearhead (the opening act) have only had one hit single in the last 10 years... It's the only good one.
3. I really like the AAC for concerts.
4. I love how there was NEVER a line for the bathroom - not even once :)
5. I always thought that John Mayer was an amazing song writer, and knew from hearsay that he was a great guitarist... but HOLY MOLY! He really is a phoenomenal musician. I am definitely going to the next show he puts on. DEFINITELY worth the money. FANTASTIC show.
6. Last, but not least: John is one of the goofiest looking singers I've ever seen. LOL - his mouth pulls down and to the right, and I couldn't stop staring at it the whole time. haha :) case in point:

So, John, even though you look totally goofy when you sing, I must speak nothing but respect for your talent. No matter how arrogant you might be... you are a freaking amazing musician. Can't wait for the next album/show.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Little Baby Greenies

If we're friends on Facebook, I apologize for showing you the same picture twice :) But I wanted to share:

About a week or two ago, I hit up Calloway's to get some seeds started for our spring/summer garden! I want to have them ready to go in the ground when we get moved into the new place so that we can get veggies growing ASAP! I want to be able to gather more of the harvest this year before the frosts set in. We lost WAY too many delicious, huge tomatoes this past year!

When I got home yesterday, these little boogers (ok. not boogers... just string beans) were sprouting up to say "HELLO!" I love them already!
love, denise.

Edit to previous post:

This is pretty cool :) I was contacted this afternoon by Kimberly from Calloway's Nursery. She wants to link up my blog to the Calloway's email that they will be sending out soon! She loved the photos that I found in my previous post about square foot gardening, and asked if it would be okay if they referenced the blog! How fun (crazy!?)! :)
So, if you all want to see us featured, register for their garden club here so that you can see the email! SO FUN!
She's going to be keeping up with future posts, so when we finally get our garden set up at the new house, maybe there will be even more future features! :) Alliteration is neat.

p.s. i would recomend signing up for the garden club, anyways, if you aren't already (even if you don't care to see the feature - lol)!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Overwhelmed II

I am overwhelmed...with LIFE, it seems. Jen just wrote a blog about being the good kind of overwhelmed. I wish that were my case. I'll be the pessimest today.

Aaron and I woke up this morning, and the first thing he said was, "how do you feel?"

my response?

"tired. not good. I don't like life right now."

What is my problem??? I am in a funk this week, and I am ready for it to end. I like being a teacher. I love it, actually, but this week, I do not like it... at the same time. does that make sense??

I have woken up this week dreading the day. Not looking forward to it. Not excited about it. I have gone to bed at night in somewhat of a bad mood simply because i have known that in a number of hours i was just going to have to wake up and do it all over again.

what is my problem??

It is the weekend. I should feel better, right? well, i don't. why don't i feel better? no clue.

Praying for clarity and for peace and satisfaction. It will only be in Him. I get that.

But, do I really get it?? Maybe not.

still praying.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

uno mas

i love this site. the current post includes a contest that you can win some goodies. She references several Etsy sites, and most are really great. :)

Alyssa, if you don't already know about this site, I'm sure you'll love it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A little bit of this...

A little bit of that...
I seriously have the gardening bug. It flared up again (it's a semi anual thing, usually) last week or so. I was looking at sites on Square Foot Gardening (which is what we've had this past year. just one 8x4 plot), and found some fantastic photos that make me want to be in our new home NOW... oh, and for the weather to be warm enough to support my gardening addiction already :)
I cannot WAIT for our kitchen to look like this because of our tomato plants... hahaha:

and i love the idea of a long, skinny plot for pole beans! why do I love this design so much??

love this little herb garden. i like the stone perimeter.just a few more pictures of square foot gardens I found:so, anyhow, if you know any secrets to making spring show up earlier, please share. otherwise, i'll be checking on my 100 little seedlings that i planted last week as seeds, and praying that they actually sprout into little seedling plants instead of just turning to mush because of lack of sunshine...


on another note, I came across The Pioneer Woman's blog about homeschooling her children. I love this section on her site! I've always been intrigued by/interested in homeschooling, and to be honest, it will probably be a serious consideration for our children in the future, but her site is great AND greatly entertaining, as well. If the subject is even mildly interesting to you, you should check her out.

We have boxen galore (yes, i did just say "boxen". if you don't understand, please listen to Brian Regan's comedy. Thank you.) in our home right now. it is a "reminder for us that we have lots of work to do if we plan on moving in a month..."


that's all for now. WHY IS IT STILL SO FREAKING COLD OUTSIDE?! nothing good can come of it being this cold.

come quickly, spring, COME! ;)

...aaaaaand on that note, I'm off to start packing/setting aside "boxen" of things for our upcoming Garage Sale/Moving Sale. Stay tuned for that info... ;)