Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kids Club, My Fat Thumbs and A Recipe.

It's been a fun week.

Hope has been hosting local Kids Clubs in neighborhood parks.

I love these sweet little clubs.

Grass roots.  Old school.  Meeting people where they're at.

Ashlyn was not interested in hearing about the wages of her sin.

So she grabbed the Nikon and went for it.



My big, fat thumb.

It's a genetic trait.  Some have only one fat thumb.

I was blessed with two.

I loathed them as a child.

But I've come to embrace them as an adult.

Some people call them toe thumbs.

I've also heard them attributed to the Hapsburg clan of German royalty.

But I just Googled it and nothing comes up.

Maybe the Hapsburg's are denying their toe thumbs?


Megan Fox has them, too.

Of course, out of all the physical characteristics we could possibly share.

It's ugly thumbs.

That's about right.

I'm making a meal for a family today.

So I'm sharing the recipe.

Because I have nothing else to share.

Except fat thumbs.

It's my "go-to" bring-a-meal.

My mom's recipe.

Super easy.

Cheaty Cheaty Baked Ziti.

Tucker's, you're getting it next week.  So buckle up.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Brown about 1.5 lbs ground beef  in large skillet.

Season ground beef with garlic salt and pepper.

When meat is fully cooked, DRAIN it.

Then add large (4 lb jar) Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce.

Friends don't let friends cook fake Italian food with anything else.

As sauce is simmering add:

one packet Lawry's spaghetti sauce seasoning mix

and garlic salt and pepper to taste.

After water has come to a boil, add 2 boxes of Barilla rigatoni noodles.

Yes, we are making Cheaty Cheaty Baked Ziti with rigatoni.

Just go with it.

Box says to boil for 10 minutes.

Only boil for 8 minutes.

Noodles will cook more when you bake it later.

Drain noodles and return both noodles and sauce to large pot.

Mix well.

Layer pasta mixture with mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

This makes enough for 2 families.

So you can enjoy your Cheaty Cheaty Baked Ziti/Rigatoni.

And they will, too.

Everyone wins.

And this recipe gets two fat, German-royal, toe thumbs up.

Friday, July 22, 2011


We went to the ranch on Saturday.

I don't believe I can adequately describe how fantastic this place is.

There was even a bucket of brand new kittens in one of the farm sheds.

Come on.

I'm interupting the regularly scheduled Insta programming.

To bring to you a video from Dave.

He secretly wants his own blog.

So I let him on here every once in a while.

[vimeo 26765207 w=400 h=533]


Poor Grace.

Zero clue that a sweet little deaf kid was going to take over her life.

And make her go up and down the sand slide 147 times.

After she went on the swings for 147 minutes.

It's a magical little plot of land, I tell you.

Feels like you're a million miles from home.

But it's just a hop, swing and slide across 92.

The girls love it.

Thanks Maryann and Trent.

We had a wonderful time.

If Satan had an arcade, this game would be the main attraction.

The Claw of Broken Dreams.

So rigged.  So rude.

Dad came through though.  147 quarters later.

Patrick and Emily make SUPER cute babies.

Hello Miss Hayden Elizabeth!

Cutest, chubbiest cheeks I ever did see.

We love you already.

A new Sonic opened in Hayward last month.

The new Chipotle has really bad service.

I'm thinking Chipotle Sunday may be turning into Sonic Sunday.

Still not quite sure how I feel about it all.

Dave promised Kayla she could bake on Wednesday.

And then left for work.


Marzipan fruit encrusted brownie cakes.

She's been watching Cake Boss.

When you plant a church, you lose friends.

Weird, I know.

Not necessarily on purpose.

Life just changes.

It's a post for another day.

Probably a pretty heavy one.

Anyways, I made fake blog friends to compensate.

And I LOVE them.

Such an unexpected blessing.

As if the Lord knew I needed them.

Mrs. Hannah Singer is one.

She sends me pomegranate tea in the mail.

I just love her.

Wendy and Melissa are two others.

We live about 40 minutes door to door.

With no traffic.

Otherwise it's like 170 minutes.

We hung out on Monday night.

And "watched" so You Think You Can Dance.

But we really just talked.

And ate whirly pop.

One quick glance at this scenario and I am instantly transported back in time.

To Mr. G's 7th grade classroom.

Before the teachers and principal banned multi-colored string from our Catholic school lives.

I also think this is when my OCD set in.

Remember the formation?  And trying to avoid the crossover of colors?

And remembering what order the colors went in?

I'm getting all anxious again just talking about it.

Both girls are beasts in the pool.

Beasts, I tell you.

They're taking lessons at the club this summer.

Just to be sure their beastliness doesn't cause any trouble.

Kayla's arms are looking good.

Ashlyn just wants the ring pop afterwards.

I met Mat Kearney on Tuesday.


I had high hopes for this concoction.

Sadly, it didn't come together like I had planned.

Burnt Oreo cookies.

Undercooked brownie batter.

Sad, sad day.

Sorry, bible study girls.

I tried.


Linking up with Mrs. Jeannett.

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hey Mat.

We met Mat Kearney last night.


I annoyingly overshared.

On Facebook.



I almost want to unfollow myself.

Sorry about it all.

My overexposure filter was severely compromised.

By the bliss of the whole experience.


I love Mat.

I've loved him since Dave used his song "All I Need" in a video a few years ago.

The song is about Hurricane Katrina and Mississippi.

We had just returned from one of our trips there.

It was 2007. Our 8th anniversary.

And it fell on a Tuesday. Youth group night.

I was borderline pouting because I wanted to go out to a nice dinner.

Instead, I was eating nachos and apple wedges and playing 4-on-a-couch with high schoolers.

Then, right before worship, I heard Dave tell Timmy to "hit it."

And this started.




And I was a slobbering, humbled mess.

Perfectly content with my nachos.


Back to last night.

Now, I realize that I'm starting to sound like a freak-o groupie.

First New Kids on the Block.

Now this.

I promise I'm not.

We literally ran into the guy on our way out.



He opened for Owl City last night at the Warfield.

And we ditched Owl City about three songs in.

Because their front man had weird, distracting, flailing hand movements.

And talked about blue sweatpants.

Weird dude.

Think Angels and Airwaves meets Toto.


Peace out, Owl.


As we were leaving, Mat was outside waiting by his tour bus.

For his true fans.

The ones that came for him only.

The ones that left early.


Only us.



I snapped this picture right before Dave saw him.

Dave: "That's probably not Mat Kearney right there."

Me and Margaret (in unison): "GET.  OUT."

Margaret leaped.  In the air.

I didn't.  Because I'm not a groupie.



We casually approached. He was super nice.

Which equalled ample photo ops and small talk.

Val told him Marc was a cop in San Francisco.

So they chatted about a cop show that he likes.

Bry asked if he remembered him from the last show.

And he said he did.

But he might have just said that.

Because Bryan is 6'7."


Such a mellow, humble, relaxed guy.

Just like I imagined.


Sorry, Owl.

But it was 1400% worth bailing on you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Insta 101

Are you one who visits every Friday (or Saturday)  and scratches their head?

InstaWhat?  InstaWho?

Hi Grandmums.

I figured it'd be beneficial to preface this week's InstaFriday post with a brief InstaTutorial.

So.  Here goes nothing.


Instagram is an iphone app.

Which is a little mini program available for download onto your phone.

When I clicked on the app yesterday morning, this is the first thing I saw.

Jacque's bread.



See?  Isn't this exciting.

I "follow" Jacque.  So I see her bread.

I also "follow" 51 other people.

And people "follow" me.



So all of these pictures that I post here each Friday?

They are part of a live, real-time feed throughout the week.

Instagram users take pictures.  Choose a filter and post to this feed.

You can also "like" other people's pictures and comment on them.

Which is my favorite part.

Here's an example of some Insta chit chat.

About cake.



I posted this picture of Texas sheet cake to my Instagram feed last Friday.

Cake I made for a Friday Night Lights finale party we were having.

Which only 3 friends came to.  Because most of my friends are FNL haters.

Which is why the show is ending.

Even though it has a genius plot, a star-studded cast and is Emmy nominated.

But I'm choosing joy.  I'm not harboring bitterness or animosity.

Even though I've loved the show since the beginning. Before Jason was even in his wheelchair.

Not bitter, party of one.  That's me.

Anyway, long after the cake was cooled, Julie informed me that it wasn't a finale at all.


That is why I "mentioned" her in the comment (@joyshope) and she says I owe her a piece.

Other friends liked the picture and left comments.


Are you following me at all?

Would you rather be watching Friday Night Lights even though you hate it?

OK, that's a wrap on the tutorial.

See. Now I'm all flustered about the show being over.


Back to our week.  Insta style.

And I'm late to the party.  Even though I started this post at 5 am yesterday morning.


I'm a movie theater candy smuggler.  I can't spend $58.00 on junior mints, a Coke and popcorn.  I just can't.

Did you see Super 8?  It's really good.  A scary ET meets Goonies.  And Coach Taylor is in it.


The Freeman's are visiting from Chicago.

And they brought their really cute baby with them.


I'm 100% sure this is my daughter's face and head.  But not her hand.  Or her jacket.

And her pink hearing aids are missing.  And she hates farm animals.

I think I need to give Groupon a ring-a-ling.


Community group on Wednesday night.  Dave and Patrick.  Good guys.  Good friends.

Patrick leads "worship through music" at Hope.  He calls it that.  So we do, too.

And Patrick is going to be a dad REALLY soon.  Like REALLY soon.


This isn't the best picture.  Especially when my wallet is at home on the table.

And I'm 20 miles away from my table.

I didn't realize it until Kayla and I were in line at Starbucks.

And I had no money to pay for her cake pop.

That's not embarrassing at all.


This is me attempting to make my Pinterest less pathetic.

I added the sheet cake and some brownies.

And a rocket craft for Jess.

Guess what?  It's still pathetic.

I'll get there.  Some year.


Wait.  Wasn't she just teething?  How is she getting a retainer already?

Between the hearing aids and this new dental device, I may lose my mind all together.

It's payback for the 5 hours my dad spent in the Alioto's dumpster searching for mine.

5 times.


Ashlyn loves my favorite drink.

Actually, she doesn't at all.

Just the whipped cream.


Summertime.  Reading in backyard boxes.  Life is so simple when we're little, right?

They started fighting right after this.

Over that dumb unicorn pillow.

Ah, summertime.


Happy Friday/Saturday!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cake Camp

My dad signed her up when they ordered the rainbow wolf cake.

Kathy of Kathy's Kreative Kakes is the mastermind behind this genius summer idea.

But I barely made it past the sign.

I have BIG issues when wrong letters replace right letters.

Do you get what I'm saying?

Like, for example. My name is Jessica. But If your name is Jessyka. We can't be friends.

Horribly shallow. I know. It's my problem. Not yours.

Back to camp.

It happens to be Grandma Yellow Cee Cee's birthday today and we celebrated last night.

Lucky her.

She got a mermaid, marshmallow crab, orange-slice-on-a-toothpick, beachscape buttercream extravaganza.

Which was better than the other options.

Like the boy with the huge lump of red buttercream, anxiously looking for "bodies" in the plastic figurine bin.

In addition to Grandma's delicious cake, they made chocolate chip cookies.

Dave said they were better than mine.

And I think he really meant it.

They also made sugar cookies with royal icing "like all the princesses use."

Kobi ate those.

Camp lasted 3 days.

Which I think is all Kathy could take.

It was krazy kool.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

10 on 10: July 2011 Church Plant Edition

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}



This is more like 258 on 10.

I'm not posting a picture on the hour, every hour like I'm supposed to.

More like 5 pictures every 10 minutes.

So I'm breaking all the rules.

Sorry if that bugs you.

I'm just capturing memories, people.


So without further adieu, I present to you a Sunday in the life of Hope Church.


ten on ten button