Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blue Ridge, Part 1

Okay, have you ever had a really good idea for a menu or a theme party? You get really excited and start naming off all the things you could have that somehow relate to one another. Then, somehow you go from a simple 3 course autumn dinner to a Halloween, haunted-house extravaganza? Well,  I think that may have happened at Hillcrest Orchards. Don't get me wrong, it was FANTASTIC, but a little more than the eyes could handle in one day.
Let me start by saying their idea to have a "U Pick" apple orchard was perfect! Which was what Matthew and I set out to experience. It's just all the add-ons (bungy jumping, mini-tractor races, hay rides, folk dances, cow-milking, homemade museums of history) that made it a little overwhelming! Yes, I did say cow-milking, and YES buttercup and I got real close, real quick!
Aw..... who am I kidding, I was like a kid in a candy store! I loved Hillcrest, and I got all the fresh-picked multicolored precious fruits, "I milked Buttercup" sticker,  and apple cider breath to prove it!

These girls put on quite a river dance show!
And no the guy in the top isn't a real guy.... I think...
The only apple I wished was in season they didn't have-- Red beautiful delicious!

Height does have it's benefits!
Matthew made a friend in the history museum.
This guy wasn't feeling my kind of friendship.
Either was this guy!
Aw.... the days before Facebook when we all just hung out.
I got some good tips about Buttercup from the pro
(doesn't he really seemed mesmerized by my mad milking skills!)
How could a Saturday afternoon get any better!?!

Oh, but it could..... to be continued.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Fall!

IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!!!  But wait...... it doesn't really feel like it yet...... NO MATTER! It just means that it will feel like it any day now. I am confident of that. It's kind of like decorating the house for Christmas a month in advance. The anticipation, preparation, and continuous celebration makes the big event last longer. The entire time leading up to it is the best part because you know it won't be over for a little while. I hope fall lasts much longer than a little while! I haven't let myself order a pumpkin spice latte except for the one night it was 54 degrees outside. That seemed to be the only logical and appropriate time. I'm holding out for the upcoming cool days because you truly can't appreciate a pumpkin spice latte without some crisp autumn-smelling air. Yes- there is such a thing as autumn-smelling air. Trust Me! It's better than apple-pie smelling air!

My friend Heather Caraway has a great blog (her life is much more exciting than mine, the Olympus can't compete with whatever photographs she takes with her professional camera, she's wittier, and she has time to actually put together an amazing blog. Don't compare! Please! Will you still come back and read the CubBuster?!?)
Anyway....I loved her weekly poll and just had to include it below. It's not copyright infringement okay! If there's anything I've learned in grad school, it's that you can "steal" lesson plans, unit plans, life plans, and anything else you want as long as you give credit where credit is due. So Feath (Heather) Caraway is the genius behind the fall poll, and now I'm exposing her blog to the 5 people that read mine and probably won't after they see hers, so its really a win-win for everyone involved, except me.

Feath’s Weekly Poll

Have a fantastic fall day!

~The FallBuster

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Dils

Jeff and Amy had a beautiful, simple, intimate and elegant wedding this past weekend in Corillon Beach, FL. Now T, before you get upset, its right next to good ole' Panama City, and we just drove up late Friday night and came back early Sunday morning! :)
It was a really quick trip, but I'm so happy for the two of them, and Matthew and I felt blessed to be include on their special day. As they enjoy their honeymoon in St. Lucia, I will enjoy my fall break from Simpson Middle and get ahead on some graduate work! Is it fall yet!?!?

The perfect alter
I can't imagine what Jeff is thinking at this moment... Man I would kill for a hamburger right about now!
She locked arms with her daddy, and they were oh so cute!
Amy was beaming!
And two become one...
How gorgeous is this setting!
God was just shining down.
The quaint and peaceful view at the reception.
You better believe I cut a rug, or a square hardwood floor.
In case you can't tell (since my camera stinks) the trees all had white lights draped around them!
It was perfect!
Kind of a dark shot (thanks Olympus) but they are still such a gorgeous couple!

Congrats Jeff and Amy!

~The CubBuster

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gorgeousness and Granola

Matthew and I got to (finally) congratulate the two hottest people east of the Mississippi on their (not so new) engagement this past Sunday! Yes, these two gorgeous people will be making even more gorgeous babies one day. I've already called dibs on baby number one so don't even try it!
My college roomie Tionya "T" and her fiance Roswell will be tying the knot in November in the beautiful Virgin Islands, and sadly I won't be able to see them exchange vows of love. Although when we met for lunch in downtown Duluth (really quaint restaurant-- Park Cafe) you could tell within seconds how much love they have between them. I'm so blessed to have their love and friendship! Can't wait to celebrate when they get back from the tropics! Yall better where that sunscreen-- T --you know you are tan enough give it a rest! I'm still trying to catch up with you and have perfect skin!

I also made some really awesome homemade granola this weekend. I've tried Giada's (yes she is gorgeous too!) recipe twice now, and I really like putting it in a smaller pan and adding dark chocolate chips! I LOVE granola bars, so this was a pretty healthy way to make my own "all-natural" ones, and it's a great munchy snack that lasts for weeks (or hours if you live with me!)


  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted and salted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, cranberry juice, and cinnamon over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.
In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and salt.
Pour the maple mixture over the oat mixture and stir until combined. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Stir in the cranberries and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture begins to brown. Cool completely. Store airtight in a plastic container for up to 1 week.

Mmmmm... The perfect sweet and salty snack! That's alliteration folks. Yes--have a treat and learn some literary devices while you're at it!  

~ Gorgeous Granola Buster

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Only two weeks remaining!

That's right kids..... 14 days to go before the best day of the whole year!!! Not sure what the heck I'm talking about?  Maybe this will help......

The best part is that I don't celebrate for just that one day! It's already starting, and it's only going to keep getting better!!! Ahhhh!!!!! It's enough to make me jump out of my skin! I hope you enjoy it as much as me!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Laboring on Labor Day

So the past week of being a silly and stern 7th grade Language Arts Co-Teacher by day and a smart sophisticated graduate student by night has been quite a whirlwind. What did I get myself into? I was actually thinking about quitting the whole sha-bang all together when one of my students told me a sweet story she was writing for her personal narrative and then gave me a hug afterward. I think she took my heart with her when she got up from the tiny classroom chair. So now I'm thinking I couldn't possibly leave until I learn how to get it back. Needless to say, I'm still trucking along. I knew there was a reason I wanted to teach!  Since I get to enjoy ALL of the national holidays (and then some) as a student/teacher, I'm taking this Labor Day to labor away. I enjoyed a little lake time with the fam on Saturday, but other than that, its school work, coffee, school work, and more coffee in that order.
The one thing that really got me through having to work on the weekend is the WEATHER! OMG- I did it, I decided it was time Saturday night when it was 54 degrees outside. Yep, I sipped on a delicious, warm, sweet, pumpkin spice latte! I know I know.... it's not officially fall yet, but come on! It was meant to be! I almost squealed out of my pants it made me so happy! I love fall! Did I mention that?

Wait.... did I just say OMG?  These 7th graders are going to ruin my sophisticated graduate student role.

I'm off to do more laboring. Plus I gotta look into getting my blinkers checked out. I'm having to hold my hand out the window like I'm riding a bike to signal my turns. I kind of like having the window open all the time though! Except I think people think I'm just waving at them.

It was so good to see Nicole and Stephen. Little Easton is  getting ready to meet the world soon!

Allie, Scotch, and Sarah were ready to root on their team Saturday night.
Sorry guys.... better luck next time!

Happy Labor Day!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Amazing Grace

So I'm doing a bible study on GRACE, which I'm realizing I didn't fully grasp before this study. I won't get into all the amazing details of it, but can I just say that it's amazing how much God loves me, and I how much I don't deserve... any of it. I hope I can spread that kind of love and grace to every single person I meet!

Well, we watched this amazing "boy band" sing opera as an intro to the first lesson on this wonderful thing that a song was written after-- "Amazing Grace." Now, can I tell you that I had heard of this group before, and I heard rumors that Simon Cowell put them together. But I had never listened to them or seen them. Um....... Simon Cowell is truly and most definitely a genius. These "boys" are from all over--Spain, Italy, France, and the U.S. and all I can say is that I think everyone in Heaven will sound and look like this.

Here's the group, Il Divo, singing at the Colosseum in Italy. Ugh.... I have GOT to go visit my friend Kyra in Rome when Il Divo is in town. Enjoy this beautiful gift.