Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Blog About Being Blogged!

I had the privilege of working with The French Bouquet of Tulsa on our wedding. I don't use the term "privilege" lightly...  Anne-Marie Foy and her crew were a-mazing!! The French Bouquet has very sweetly featured our wedding on their blog - not once, not twice, not three time, but FOUR TIMES! We are beyond honored! We feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with The French Bouquet. They truly went above and beyond to make our wedding a dream come true!

The French Bouquet van carrying loads of stunning flowers!
 I met with Anne-Marie a few times before the wedding and she was so wonderful to make sure she truly captured the look I was going for. I wanted our flowers to be rustic but elegant, not too "fixed" looking and full of lots of different blooms! She nailed it! Brandon and I got married on my family's ranch and Anne-Marie personally made the hour and a half trip to the ranch the week before the wedding to get a feel for the place and look at some of the details we had been planning. She and about 5 helpers arrived the morning of the the big day and worked non-stop up until an hour before the wedding. The French Bouquet posted a "Behind the Scenes" blog featuring the hard work leading up to our wedding! You can see it here.

Our bouquets were the most beautiful bouquets I have ever seen - lots of different flowers and textures! The colors were exactly what I had described and my bridesmaids couldn't stop talking about them!! My bouquet was so beautiful - softer colors, not a perfect sphere since I wanted it to be more loose, with a variety of flowers and the perfect size to complement my dress! The French Bouquet posted about my bridal bouquet and photographs by Josh McCullock. You can view that one here. Then they posted about all of the wedding party's personal flowers here.

Then, my personal favorite, the DETAILS!! For the ceremony my dad had built a huge arch (think 16 feet tall) and Anne-Marie and I had discussed in great depth what it would look like. I wanted a cross made out of willows on the point and heavy flowers all over it. I didn't want it to be too overwhelming with color as I wanted to emphasize the natural beauty of the ceremony location. It turned out better than I imagined. Anne-Marie just climbed right up on some scaffolds and went to work! It was perfect! Down the aisles she made little mini-bouquets to add a little pop of color to the wooden lanterns and stumps I had placed down both sides. They were beautiful and perfect! I had purchased an entire shipment of candle sticks of various sizes and so I took one of each size to Anne-Marie prior to the wedding and she made the perfect flowers for each one and incorporated willow sticks to pull in the rustic feel - each table looked amazing and different! She sweetly used any flowers she had left over in different places around the site. The French Bouquet posted about all the "Frilly Little Details" in their final blog post, shown here!

The final result was exactly what I had envisioned!! Anne-Marie and her girls were a joy to work with! They went above and beyond to make our wedding perfect! Thanks so much French Bouquet!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkeys & Traditions

I SURVIVED! Woohoo! And so did everyone that ate my turkey!! Bigger Woohoo! Let me just tell you guys, that turkey was definitely a testament to the fact that prayer works!! It was de-licious, if I do say so myself... A huge thanks to everyone that sent me suggestions, called/texted to wish me luck and a special thanks to all my little prayer warriors! Good work friends, good work.

Ok, so let me give you the full scoop on our fun-filled holiday weekend (Question: Do you still call Thanksgiving a "holiday weekend" if it starts on Thursday? I'm undecided). I prepped the turkey on Wednesday night by doing a little brining, a lot of buttering, a couple of injections, a little seasoning and then more buttering. I live by the theory that you can never use too much butter... or Tony Chachere's seasoning. I thought I'd need Brandon for back up when it came to getting out the neck and innards (The word "innards" just grosses me out to say... Does everyone call it "innards" or is that just an Oklahoma thing? If there is a nicer sounding word, I'd prefer to call it that. Just my thoughts...) but then, to my surprise, I found that part not gross, just very funny (Probably the stress making me delusional) and sadly, this dreadful picture is the only one that we took of me fixing my first Thanksgiving dinner. Whomp. Whomp.

It didn't gross me out one bit, probably because all the parts were nicely put in a paper bag... Of course, I had to open it because I was curious since I'd heard so much about how yucky the stuff was... Still wasn't grossed out! Brandon gave me a little anatomy lesson and we moved on. The part that did totally disgust me was rubbing the butter INSIDE the turkey and it's ribs scraping my fingers. Ew. I did that part as fast as possible and then just threw a half a stick of butter in there and called it good enough. B was a huge help! That turkey was h-eavy and he sweetly did all the lifting. He peeled apples for the pie while I made the sweet potato casserole. He stirred the chocolate filling for the chocolate pie (which if you've ever made chocolate pie, you know that means you have to stir constantly for like 20 minutes... I'm going to have to start working out work out more if I expect my arm to do the same motion for that long). And he is the best beater licker in the whole world (Get your mind out of the gutter, Zac Rogers.), especially if it's after making cream cheese filling for a pumpkin roll! We got everything ready to roll Wednesday night and then said lots of prayers that the turkey would work out...

We started off our Thanksgiving Day bright and early (5:45am) checking "the bird." My grandmother told me that if you could pull the leg or wing away from the body easily then you'd know it was done... We opened up the foil and the legs had fallen off... DONE! I worried that I'd over cooked it and it would be dry, but that definitely wasn't the case! We spent the morning sitting around our wonderful fire pit that Brandon's family bought us. It was so nice to just lounge around and not have to hurry to be anywhere. Plus, this might be kind of weird, but I love the smell of a fire. It just reminds me so much of home. It was definitely the prefect start to our day!

Around noon we headed to Brandon's mom's house for a late lunch... this was my turkey debut so I was a little nervous. B was given the task of cutting it and we didn't have an electric knife. I just knew this was going to be a disaster but he took care of it with no problem... I should really stop worrying about him, he seems to have everything under control 99% of the time. Before we started eating, we went around the room and each person told what they were thankful for. It was really cool to hear what everyone said. We had so much to be thankful for - All three of Brandon's brothers got married this year, everyone is healthy, all of his family gets along wonderfully and in 2012 we will have our first nephew! What a blessed year we've had! It was so great to take a few minutes and just stop to be thankful.

This beautiful Wilton tray was a wonderful gift from the Bradford Family! Thank You!
Lunch was yummy and the company was good, as always! The turkey turned out juicy and buttery and full of flavor! I was so relieved, you have no idea. I ended up cooking lots of fun things - the turkey, sweet potatoes, deviled eggs, pumpkin roll, chocolate pie (Might have taken me a couple of tries... that stupid chocolate is hard to judge.) and apple pie. The weirdest part was that I really enjoyed it! I usually dread my time in the kitchen. It's one of the few places I don't feel too comfortable or confident. My mother-in-law even sweetly said she was thankful to have a cook in the family... when I realized she was talking about me, I was flattered and terrified all at the same time! (It was one of those "Oh crap" moments when you realize that all along you've been trying to convince everyone that you know your way around a kitchen when actually you were probably just getting lucky and now you went off and got yourself designated "Family Cook"... I. Am. So. Screwed.)

Lunch was concluded with a tradition that was new to me... The pumpkin toss! Brandon and his younger brother went in the backyard and discarded their mom's pumpkins for her. The contest is to see who can throw them the furthest and with the best style. It was amusing to say the least and thankfully no one was seriously injured.

We made our second stop of the night at the fire station. Brandon's dad was on duty so we decided to bring him a plate and say hello. I was super relieved we came to him and not vice-versa... I had nightmares all last week about setting the house on fire while cooking the turkey. I really need to stop watching the news before bed. It was fun to see where he worked! I am the only one that had never been in a fire station before, maybe because we don't have one in my town... I told you, small town. In case you were alarmed by the picture, no, Brandon's bro isn't a pedophile, he was just a strong participant of "no-shave November"...

After hugging the father-in-law good night, we headed into "the City" for one final celebration! We made it just in time for dessert with Brandon's stepmom and her family! (Dropped the ball and failed to take a picture) Until I married Brandon, I had never been close to a "blended family." I didn't know what to expect, but I am positive that I couldn't have asked for better people to be "blended" with! I swear I have never been treated better and I am always so happy when we get the chance to be around their fun-loving group! I feel so privileged to get to gain TWO families from marrying one wonderful man. Lucky, huh?

So, it was a busy day, but a good one for sure! Not anything like the Thanksgivings I've grown up with, but wonderful in its own unique way. When asked what I was thankful for... of course, I said the obvious - being loved by a merciful God, a healthy family, a wonderful husband, the happiness that I am blessed to be surrounded by... but I was especially thankful on Thursday for traditions old and new. I cherish making memories at the Ranch with my family, but I eagerly anticipate making memories with OUR family. I love sleeping in and then feasting on yummy food, but this year I enjoyed working hard to prepare yummy food.  Both traditions - old and new - are filled with happiness and laughter and people I love and thankfully, pretty decent turkey... What more could a girl ask for?! Hope your Thanksgiving was half as blessed as mine. Thanks again for praying for me!

Be Blessed!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Memories

For as long as I can remember Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. There is something so appealing about the fact that it's an entire day where the whole country stops to focus on being grateful unless you were one of those crazy people participating in "Black Thursday" and if you are, shame on you... is a bargain really more important than spending quality time with your family? C'mon now. I thought that today I would share a few of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. I really doubt you care, but I am feeling a little nostalgic since it's the first time I won't be packing my boots and heading to the Ranch to celebrate.

Let me give you a little history on the Ranch and why it's such a special place to my family... The Ranch originally belonged to Senator Robert S. Kerr and was used as his hunting property. My grandpa, Jimmie D. Rogers, purchased the two thousand acre ranch almost fifty years ago as an investment, but quickly fell in love with the land. He decided to keep the best five hundred acres and sold the remaining 1500 to the Oklahoma Game Refuge and Mr. Herman Meinder, who in turn gave it to the Boy Scouts of America, ensuring that the land would never be developed. Over the years the ranch house on the property was added on to a bit so that my Papa Jimmie's growing family could bring their growing families to the ranch and everyone could sleep under one roof, even if it meant kids on the floors everwhere... that's how he preferred it actually! Many wonderful memories were made in that cabin and on the land that surrounded it - multiple generations playing cards together around one big table, kids of all ages learning to drive (and the accidents that resulted), lots of fishing and hunting trips, cutting a tree for Christmas and making decorations the old fashion way, listening to stories told around the fireplace and sledding on car hoods in the snow. My Papa always said he wanted to meet Jesus somewhere on "the back 40" and in July of 1999, that's exactly what he did. In 2005, the ranch house was robbed and burned but the memories and stories remained, as did the ritual of visiting the Ranch on Thanksgiving. Last Christmas my Grandma decided to have the ranch house rebuilt so that the family could again celebrate Thanksgiving under one roof. Today, Blythe, Zoe and Blake mark the fourth generation of Rogers family members to enjoy the Ranch! This was also one of the first places I took Brandon when he came to Vian. He, too, quickly fell in love with the land (and me!) and later decided that it was the perfect place to propose. On September 17th we were married about a hundred feet from the spot where he got on his knee. The Ranch has always been my most favorite place in the whole wide world (Sorry, Italy... you're a distant second) and I was so honored that Brandon decided to marry me there. He understood the significance of the place and appreciated the fact that it was somewhere we could always go back to. Thank you babe, for allowing us to start OUR family memories on the Ranch. (And now I'm crying at work...)

Ok, sorry, moving on... A couple of years ago I decided to "enhance" our Thanksgiving with a little family competition. I started a new little tradition, Wednesday night FLAG FOOTBALL! Anyone can play, doesn't matter your age. My dad is the ref (and he tends to cheat, but not for me. I don't get it.) and the twins are the team captains since they are the youngest participants. I expected it to get a little tense, (we are a rather competitive family) but I wasn't fully prepared for the amount of meat-headedness (made that word up but you understand) that was displayed the first year. It all started with the lights... being that it's a small town, first my aunt called the high school and asked if we could just play on the field. They would have let us but if the lights had been on everybody in town would come to see what was going on, so we all decided that probably wasn't a good plan. Then we thought we could just park all the cars in a row and turn on the headlights (Maybe a little redneck, but it gets the job done...) except that gas was like $3.50 a gallon. Finally, we did the practical thing and rented the type of lights they use for road construction workers to see at night. The thing ran on diesel and lit up the place like a prison playground. It was legit. Then everybody gets ready to start the game (Note: It was FREEZING - we are all layered up in sweats, scarves, gloves and earmuffs) and out of nowhere my brother strips down to a jersey and gym shorts. He said he was going for the intimidation factor or something. Crazy. So we start the game and everybody is having fun until my team scores. We are doing our little victory dances and being mouthy and on the next possession the other team scores. Things get serious. Next possession, this little party turns into TACKLE football. It was intense and AWESOME! We had so much fun and every year since we've met up on Wednesday night for the show down... granted the trash talk goes on year round. Definitely one of my favorite family traditions!

The Ranch is a great place for hunting so every year on Thanksgiving morning the men get up wayyyy before the sun does and go sit in the freezing cold waiting for a big one to come by. We always joke that nobody gets to sleep in on Thanksgiving because my Aunt Suzanne sweetly fixes the boys breakfast before they go... I'm sure the breakfast is delicious, but the banging of the pots and pans is not always smiled upon. When I was little, I would wake up and be so excited to hear if my daddy got one! Callie and I would wait by the window until the trucks started coming in and then we would run out there and look in the back of each tailbed to see what they got. The best part would be to hear the boys talk about their old hunting stories. They would tell stories on themselves, or each other, or my Papa. Oh heavens, he was a good man, but he sure did like to poach! His stories always make me laugh. I can vividly remember all those people crammed in the ranch with only 3 little tables to eat on and my Papa would walk in and plop a whole deer on the kitchen table right in the middle of all the pretty Thanksgiving food. He would just start cutting it up right then and there! It was kind of gross and definitely not necessary, but he didn't seem to see anything wrong with it. Crazy boys.

The picture above is one of my favorites (despite my glasses), it was taken on our last Thanksgiving in the original ranch house. Our family loves playing Spoons and Pitch. In this picture we were playing Pitch and my Grandma is helping us... every year she has to re-teach us the rules and the point system. Nobody ever said we were the smartest group... That was a really fun night and I remember how much we laughed and laughed at things Zac said (partially because most of the conversation is documented in my "Quote Book." I may devote an entire post to it someday). We also LOVE to play Spoons. The entire family plays and it typically ends with either blood shed or my Grandma Dorothy getting called out for cheating. She always lets whoever is the littlest sit with her and then, no lie, steals their spoon! She'll swear she doesn't but ask anybody else in our family and they'll tell you Grandma is a cheater. 

I told you before that I'm just learning to cook, but the thing I failed to mention was that I do have a little experience cooking one thing... pies! The women in my family cook a TON of stuff for Thanksgiving because there are a lot of mouths to feed and we typically stay at the Ranch for a few days (There are only two restaurants within a 20 mile radius and one is only open for breakfast so we eat most meals at the house) and so every year I help my mom make pies. I learned at a relatively young age that you don't add any more water to the dough than is absolutely necessary, that you only roll the rolling pin one direction or your dough will be tough, that chocolate pie looks like its all going well but can be very misleading and most importantly, if you want to stay on Uncle Bobby's good side just leave an entire apple pie in the passenger's seat of his truck... It's his favorite. Wednesday mornings in the kitchen learning from my momma are the best.

Another thing that makes our Thanksgiving so special is that it's one of the few times everybody slows down and just sits around and talks. We always build a huge fire and everybody just cuddles up and the stories begin. It's a time that I treasure because this is how we, the youngest generation, learn about our family's history. There is always a story told that I've never heard before and lots of stories that I have, but it's always good to hear them again so I get another chance to try to burn them in my memory so that someday I can tell my kids. I'm sure that sounds a little silly but it's one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. This picture was taken one of the year's we didn't have a ranch house so we stayed at the lake... this one cracks me up every time. My dad is turning into my Papa! Haha!

Just in case you were confused, when I said my "ENTIRE" family stays at the Ranch I'm not talking about my mom, dad and brother. I'm talking my grandma, my four sets of aunts and uncles, my eleven cousins (plus their spouses which adds another four) and my three nieces... Yep, that's twenty-six people...  and we all stay in one not-very-big Ranch house for at least two nights. It's crowded, it's cramped, it's loud, it's messy, it requires sleeping on the floor in your sleeping bag while your cousin (Cough, Casey, cough!) snores across the room and it is WONDERFUL! And to make it even better my other set of grandparents come too!! So literally my entire family celebrates Thanksgiving together. I have no greater joy than to spend time with my family. They are a crazy bunch, but I love each and every one of them so, so much.

** I meant to post this on Wednesday but got a little side-tracked! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Our first Thanksgiving as a married couple was wonderful... I'll give you the full scoop Monday! Please take time to enjoy your friends and family these next few days!!

Be Blessed,

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Crafty Lady

Last week I had the privilege of attending a craft class at the home of crafting extraordinaire, Bobbie! Bobbie's daughter, Savannah, and I were Pi Phi's together in college and we have been fabulous friends ever since. When I saw that Bobbie had decided to start teaching classes again I was super pumped... Plus it meant I got to make a mini-road trip with Savs! Winning!

One of my fave pictures of Bobbie, Randy
and their sweet grandbaby, Violet!
Let me just tell you, Momma Bobbie (as I refer to her), is one super creative, ridiculously talented lady. When you walk into her home, you are simply overwhelmed by all of the amazing things she has created! Every nook and cranny is decked to the nines in the cutest little things you've ever seen! The woman can decorate, design, build and throw a fantastic little craft party!  Seriously, she is awesome. Oh, and did I mention she is as sweet as she can be? And really pretty?! And her Mister is equally adorable. I love this precious family! (Disclaimer: I stole this picture off of facebook... I would love to give credit where it is due but I have no clue who the photographer is because their entire family is ridiculously talented so it easily could have been Savs, her hubby OR her brother. Just know that one of them took it, and they did a really good job... and Savannah you should really show your mom a little more love on the 'book because this was one of, like, two pictures I found of her! Ridiculous.)

Anyway, back to crafting... Sorry, I get a little carried away by their cuteness sometimes! First, I registered via her blog, My Creative Life Diary (it too is adorable... shocking, I know). It's so simple, you just send her however much the class costs (the fall wreath class was $20) via Paypal and then you just show up with a glue gun, scissors and a smile! Savannah and I arrived at Momma Bobbie's just as she was setting out some delicious cookies, crackers and cheese, and yummy Southern sweet tea. More fun girls started to trickle in and the crafting began! Momma Bobbie had done all of the hard prep work... She had purchased all the supplies, cut out everything we needed (which was A LOT) and had it all laid out and ready to go! (I really wish I'd taken more picture... Next time, I'll be all over it but this time I was in learning mode. No distractions.) Then she explained in great detail how to make the adorable fall wreath. She taught techniques - even showing us a few that we wouldn't use on this wreath but may want to know for the future. She was there for questions and if you needed any help or messed anything up, she swooped in to save the day! And while I was making this super cute new decoration for our door, I got to make five new friends. How awesome is that?! You should all check out Bobbie's blog and go sign up for a class! It is tons of fun! You'll thank me, I promise!

The class was a blast and I LOVE how the wreath turned out! It's now proudly displayed on our front door... until Friday when a Christmas wreath goes up! Hopefully, she'll have a class for that too... or I can just make my own now that I'm an expert felt flower maker thanks to Bobbie's terrific teaching! Either way, I so greatly enjoyed the class and the company. Thanks Savannah for calling and inviting me! And thanks Robby for watching precious little Violet so Savannah could craft with me! And thanks Bobbie for being such a wonderful teacher and adopted Momma! And thanks Randy for hugging me just like my dad would when I left your house and for making sure we didn't run out of gas on the way home. Your family is truly a blessing to me and I am so glad that I've had the pleasure of calling you all friends for almost 7 years now! Love you!

Be Blessed!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I May Not Know How to Cook a Turkey (yet) BUT...


And it's your lucky day because I'm going to share the recipe, PLUS the big secret to making it a smashing success! Prepare yourself, this is good stuff... if you doubt me, call Brandon and ask him about the pumpkin roll wrapped in saran wrap in our refrigerator right now. It was SUPPOSED to be shared with his hospital buddies but for some reason it never made it up there...

First things first, before you get started make sure you have all of the ingredients (I know that's the obvious thing to do, but you wouldn't believe how many times I've started something just to find out I'm short an egg or two... If you don't believe me re-read this.) For the pumpkin roll itself you are going to need:

          3/4 C flour                   dash of salt              
          1 C sugar                     3 eggs
          2 tsp cinnamon                2/3 C pumpkin
          1 tsp nutmeg                  1 tsp lemon juice
          1 tsp baking powder

For the cream cheese filling you just need:

          1/2 stick margarine (softened)
          8 oz cream cheese (softened)
          1 tsp vanilla
          1 C powdered sugar

Alright, so here is what you need to do...
  (1) In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. This will smell DELICIOUS!

All of my cooking utensils, bowls, etc are NEW so they are still super shiny and it makes a kind of crazy reflection in the picture... Sorry!
But thanks Ziegenhain Family for the wonderful mixing bowl seen here!!
*I used a smaller mixing bowl for the cream cheese filling and failed to take a picture, but a big thanks to Kurt & Ronnie for supplying that guys!

  (2)After mixing the above, add the eggs, pumpkin and lemon juice

  (3) Blend until completely smooth

Hand held mixture courtesy of the Carlton family!!
I wasn't lying when I said I've already put our gifts to good use.

  (4) This is the TOP SECRET, VERY MOST HELPFUL TIP. Your pumpkin roll will probably not "pan" out if you skip this step. (Yes, that was a very bad joke. Sorry couldn't stop myself.)

What you are going to need to do is apply Pam to your jelly roll pan pretty heavily. (I didn't take a picture bc you can't see Pam so it just looked like a jelly roll pan, not helpful.) Next you'll put wax paper on top of the Pam and cut it long enough that there is a couple of inches excess hanging over both sides. Then you put MORE PAM on top of the wax paper. These steps are crucial because if your pumpkin roll sticks to the pan, it will tear and then you won't be able to roll it up. Disaster. (You'll still eat it though because it's delicious, but you'll be too ashamed to take it anywhere. Trust me, I know from experience.)

Jelly roll provided by J.Cochran.

  (5)Pour your pumpkin mixture on top of the Pammed, wax papered, jelly roll pan. Make sure to spread it out evenly so that it doesn't burn on the thin spots.

  (6)Bake 15 minutes at 375 degrees... at least that's what my mom's recipe says but I usually only bake it 12 minutes and then check it because I like it as moist as possible... and I'm paranoid about burning things.

  (7)While it's baking, spread out a tea towel (not a fuzzy one!) and cover it with powdered sugar. There isn't a specific amount used, just cover it pretty good. Don't freak out, at the end of this you just toss the sugar coated, pumpkin rolled tea towel in the washing machine and it all comes out perfectly.

Not positive who gave me this specific tea towel because I received quite a few,
all of which I have used and loved! Thank you tea towel donors!

  (8)Okay, this step is kind of tricky. When you take the roll out of the oven immediately turn the pan upside down on the tea towel... Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it's not. First off, that little pan is h.o.t. and you'll need to awkwardly hold it with your thumb on bottom and your other fingers on top, so that you can flip it easily. Also, make sure to hold the wax paper so it doesn't get stuck between the roll and the tea towel. And last, but definitely not least, make sure whatever is on the other side of your tea towel can withstand some powdered sugar because when you flip that pan, it's going to shoot powdered sugar everywhere! (If you already make pumpkin roll at home, and it doesn't make a rather large mess just don't even tell me about it. If the kitchen is a train wreck when Brandon comes home but the pumpkin roll looks great, he thinks it must be a very difficult thing to make and I worked really, really hard. Then he is very proud of me... Let's not mess up this good thing I've got going, ok? Thanks!)

  (9)Now just stick the pan in the sink and carefully peel off the wax paper. Even with the extra Pam you'll want to take it kind of slow, just in case there is a sticky spot. Also, check around the edges of the roll because sometimes the wax paper will be stuck on there. Chunk the paper.

  (10)Now just shake some of that powdered sugar onto the top side and start rolling! After it's all rolled up, cool completely... overnight is fine, but not required. Either way stick it in the refrigerator.

  (11)While cooling, make your cream cheese filling. Mix together the margarine, cream cheese and vanilla. After those are mixed together add the powdered sugar and blend until it is super smooth! (Do NOT just toss the beaters in the sink. Seriously, the cream cheese filling is like gold in our house. We make sure to take advantage of every little drop. Lick the beaters, spatula, bowl, place where it dripped on the counter... You'll thank me, I promise.)

  (12)Once completely cool, unroll the pumpkin bread and fill with the cream cheese frosting. Again, try to spread it pretty evenly, but if you don't it's not the end of the world. Re-roll (The recipe my mom wrote for me goes on to say, "But leave the towel out this time!" Thank you Captain Obvious, I appreciate that vote of confidence.) and refrigerate. Before serving I always sprinkle a little more powdered sugar on top just for pretty... ENJOY!

I sliced it so the picture would look pretty but I don't suggest you do this beforehand
because all the yummy cream cheese filling will fall out. So just slice it as you go.
Pretty platter from the Mary Sloan and Nila Keck! I have two, which is perfect since I'm making two pumpkin rolls for Thanksgiving!

Hope you enjoy one of my favorite fall recipes! Hope mom is cool with me sharing it. I would suggest she start copyrighting her recipes... Until then, I'll go with the "Forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission." I know mom was thrilled when dad had Zac and I reciting that at an early age...

Be Blessed!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Blogger on... Penn State Supporters v. Tim Tebow Haters

Zac with his idol, our Grandpa...
Coach Paul Walters
I could not be more pleased to announce my first ever guest blogger!!! My brother, Zac, shot me a facebook message after my post about Joe Paterno (The fact that Zac read my blog was a complete surprise to me!!) and told me that if I was going to rant occasionally, would I please rant on a few things that have been bothering him lately? The main topic of his frustration is the fact that people support Penn State coaches but hate Tim Tebow. I had never considered this comparison, but it was a REALLY good point. So, instead of hearing my feelings on this, I thought you'd enjoy hearing Zac's... (Not going to lie, I would have bet my life savings Zac wouldn't have been down with writing for my blog... the title is "Frilly Little Details" afterall... but he said he would! I was/am so excited!!).  Hope you enjoy this read as much as I did! Mom stop reading here please. Seriously... Stop and just skip down to what Zac wrote. (I'm pretty sure the email Zac sent with this article said "Now I should probably write my paper that is gonna get me a grade." Oops didn't know he had a real paper due!) So without further ado...

Penn State Supporters vs. Tim Tebow Haters
Sorry that you all got tricked into reading something that you thought would be written by Raegan but really isn’t.  Jokes on you, but you’re here anyways so might as well read it.  Especially considering you’re probably bored at work or just sittin’ on facebook.  It’s okay to admit - I don’t have a life either.  Anyways, one thing that’s been bothering me lately is the overwhelming support for the Penn State coaches...  Not only that but the hatred for Tim Tebow that I see every single day. 
I’m gonna start with Penn State coaching staff.  This is something that Raegan wrote about a couple days ago (Check it out here.) and actually took me off the fence.  I did, and still do, feel bad that Joe Paterno had to go out like this.  The winningest coach in the history of college football, led a program without ever having committed a NCAA violation, then the obvious 3 Walter Camp awards, most bowl victories and two national championships.  Dude knows how to coach.  That was never in question.  The thing for me is - this coach (and the rest of the PSU coaching staff) that is so well respected for not only being a unbelievable football coach, but also for being a great person can let something like this go on.  Obviously, what Sandusky did was wrong and I seriously could barely make it through the Grand Jury report - but multiple coaches knew about this.  Look, I’m just a 21 year old basketball player but I can tell you one thing - if I saw one of my assistant coaches doing that in our locker room - I would do more than just tell my head coach.  Especially if I told him and nothing ever came about it.  The graduate assistant that saw Sandusky was a grown man...  He wasn’t 20-21 like most G.A.’s - he was 28 years old.  All he did was tell Paterno.  All Paterno did was tell Tim Curley (the PSU athletic director) and then apparently they both considered it off their shoulders.  Now that everyone is caught up - (speechless pause...) people are still supporting them.  When Joe Pa was fired students rioted and even flipped a news van.  But it’s not just the students.  The only way I can explain these people’s reaction is that they must be in denial.  Denial that such a great man could have knowledge of this terrible stuff and still let it happen.  But it did, it happened.  Paterno did not do everything he could to help the kids.  In the Grand Jury report there are EIGHT victims.  Plus, the Penn State Board of Trusties voted unanimously to terminate Paterno immediately.  This leads me to believe there is even more to the story than the public knows.  You can’t tell me that after 46 seasons, possibly the most loved coach of all time can’t get one single vote to keep him until the end of the season. Unbelievable that people still stand behind anyone in the athletic department at Penn State, but they do. 
Now to Tim Tebow.  The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, 2008 National Champion, only player ever to pass AND rush for 20+ touchdowns (yeah - that category didn’t even exist before Tebow), the only 3 year “Team MVP” in Florida’s history, gave one of the most inspiring halftime speeches of all time (a youtube video of it has over 886,000 views)... unfortunately the speech came at halftime of the National Championship game against OU... and a ton of other records that I don’t have time to type (but you can see ‘em here).   Fact of the matter is Tebow is a winner.  As a starter at Florida he went 24-6, an 85% winning percentage.  This year he has started 5 games for the Denver Bronchos and he is currently 4-1, without him as the starting quarterback the Bronchos were 1-4.  These are some numbers that are going to turn any athlete into a cocky jerk who is only concerned with himself.  But not Tebow.  This is the most humble guy I’ve ever seen.  The last two post-game interviews I’ve seen he has impressed me even more than ever.  The first interview he said,
“I’ve just been blessed to be surrounded with players that make me look a lot better than I actually am.”  
That’s a big statement considering how bad the rest of the Bronchos roster actually is.  In the second interview when asked why so many journalists still don’t like him, Tebow replied,
“Well… I’m not sure.  But one thing I learned early in college was to not worry about something that I can’t control and that is something that I can’t control.  What I can control is my attitude, my effort and my focus every single day.  And that’s what I’m trying to worry about.” 
The entire interview he never game himself credit - every time he says “we”.  He credits the wide receivers, offensive line, and defense for the win on Thursday - a game that on the final drive of the game, Tebow credited for 92 of the 95 yards and the touchdown that put the Bronchos ahead.  One of my favorite things about Tebow is his outlook on life and how he words it.  The guy knows what’s important and is one of the most competitive players in the world (you can read some of Tebow's quotes here ). 

The biggest thing though, one of the reasons he’s most loved, and most hated, is Tim Tebow is an outspoken Christian.  In the one interview after the Jets victory he said “blessed” 4 times, thanked “my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” before he said anything else and just simply said some inspiring things throughout the interview.  Now, a lot of people might not notice, but saying “we were very blessed,” instead of “we were very lucky” is just giving God glory with one simple word.  But even through all of this, just... unbelievably good things about Tim Tebow - he is still probably the most hated football player in the NFL.  Three days ago, I had a facebook status that said “How can anyone not love Tim Tebow?” But within two hours I had deleted it because of people saying he’s a fake or a terrible quarterback.  Even at 4-1, ESPN analysts still harass Tebow’s throwing mechanics. Get this - last week, Tebow’s head coach, John Fox, said that if Tebow was in a normal NFL offense he would be “screwed”.  Even if a coach lacks complete faith in his quarterback, he doesn’t say something like that to the national media.  He was even voted the most overrated player in the NFL.  But people hate him for more than his play. Here’s some things I googled:
Tebow is a fake - 1,410,000 results
Tebow sucks - 793,000 results
Tebow haters - 330,000 results (including
Tebow anti-christ - 168,000 results
So the question is - why do people stand by Joe Paterno, yet hate Tim Tebow?  Why do people love and respect a man that allowed a coach to rape children in the athletic facilities, but hate a player that is humble, admits to not being anywhere close to a perfect player or person, and spends his free time speaking in prisons and doing work in the Philippines?  I don’t think that it is coincidence that all of this is happening to a terrible person while a Godly, humble man is being successful at the same time.  I don’t think that it’s coincidence that the top 3 vote-getters in the 2008 Heisman race (Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Tebow) were all outspoken Christians.  Tebow is being put in a position where he can make a difference and have a positive influence on the world and he is taking full advantage of that.  Even the non-believers have to admit that Tebow is a positive influence for everyone.  Even past his Christian beliefs, this man is a great leader and a great hero for kids everywhere... A humble, positive, great leader that has given us no reason to look down on him as a person.  America needs to put some things in perspective.