30 August 2008

Another addition to the Family!

One of Ashley's college friends called Ashley and said her grandmother had to give up her Westie. Ashley then called us and asked if we would take him in. At first we said, no and then later, we changed our collective mind and said yes.

So, here is...Wilson!

and the one who thought this was a good idea.

29 August 2008

Autumn Breakfast

I am planning an autumn breakfast for a select group of friends who have helped and supported me through all kinds of stuff in the past few years. I did this once before and had a grand time!

I'll be sending out homemade invitations using ragged edged paper and old world calligraphy and tied with raffia. I love using raffia on cards!

I am working on the menu. I am planning on serving:

Baked Oatmeal (a huge favorite at the last breakfast I did)

1 3/4 c water
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 c milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Butter a 1.5 qt casserole. Bring water to a boil and stir in the oats. Bring back to boiling, then reduce the heat. Simmer until cooked as you like them. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. In another bowl combine the sugar, baking powder and spices and stir into oatmeal. Fold the egg mixture into the oatmeal and pour in the casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until center is set. Cool for 30 minutes, then cut and serve.

I'll also serve some cut up fresh fruit and a muffin of sorts and an egg dish. Any suggestions? I will also serve up a warm tea drink such as the one my friend Staci shared on our GLU site:

Autumn Tea

5 individual tea bags
5 cups boiling water
5 cups unsweetened apple juice
2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Place the tea bags in a large heat-proof bowl; add boiling water. Cover and steep for 8 minutes. Discard tea bags. Add the remaining ingredients to tea; stir until sugar is dissolve. Serve warm or over ice. Yield: 3 quarts.

Looking forward to hearing about your egg dishes and muffin dishes. I am on a diet, so keep that in mind, too!

24 August 2008

A Momma Brag!

The best part of having a blog is getting to tell the world about your children!

My daughter Ashley, who graduated from Stephens College in three and 1/2 years with a Bachelor of Science in Fashion Management and Marketing, has recently learned that she has been named a teaching assistant for the University of Missouri.

Woo Hoo!

(Looks like she's rather fond of things gold...)

This means that she will receive a healthy stipend and free tuition! I am so glad she does not have to take out any student loans to get her masters. For her healthy stipend, she will help a full time college professor with her undergraduate classes, either teaching a class or two, grading papers, or research materials for class. Bob and I take a strange bit of glee from the fact that Ashley will be teaching, as this is something she said she was never going to do... (Bob and I were both teachers at one time...)

Bob has three degrees from the University of Missouri, so Ashley is now following in his footsteps. I am starting to feel a little bit like a third wheel.

We are mighty proud of our little one. Go Tigers!

23 August 2008

Is it just me or do....


you antagonize over simple decisions too?

For literally months I have debated about what color to paint my front door. Originally the door was a deep cranberry which I really loved. As doors will do, it faded over time and I needed to repaint it. Then came the moment I dread... I had the notion that I didn't have to paint it the same color it was.

So, I quickly narrowed the choices down between black and cranberry. (This was in July, I believe). It has taken me until this weekend to make the decision and I did, today.

The door is black.

And, I love it. But WHY does it take six or seven weeks to decide what color to paint the front door? Why am I so undecisive about things???

I would appreciate any support out there from Undeciders Anonymous members like myself.

17 August 2008

School Starts Tomorrow!


Another school year begins tomorrow!

I am all about the beginning of school. Seeing school supplies at Walmart makes me shiver! Packages of paper, crayons and Ticonderoga pencils are just waiting to be purchased.

We are ready for our students. Here are some photos of my office and the front of our school. Note the darling sunflower wreath!

11 August 2008

Neighborhood Picnic


My friend Kristen (Scrappin' My Bliss) has a wonderful neighborhood picnic and I have always wanted to go to one, but didn't want to plan it. Evidently someone in our neighborhood actually wanted it and wanted to plan it because we were invited to our neighborhood pavilion by the lake this past Sunday.

Many of our neighbors who came to the picnic were new to the subdivision. It was fun to meet them. We have a lot of nurses (good to know), a few physiciatrists (good to know, hard to spell) a couple of lawyers (always good to know) and a lot of handy people (very good to know).

One of Bob's teachers lives across the street. She is a blast to be around. Ashley has heard us talk about her (all NICE, Susan!) and wanted to meet her. She loved her too!

We bbqed, grilled, and brought a dish to share. We are also very good cooks (good to know!)

Here is a little glimpse into our neighborhood fun!

10 August 2008

Missouri State Fair

Yesterday Bob, Ashley, Eric and I all got into the car and headed to the Missouri State Fair. We had tickets to see Josh Turner and wanted to visit our favorite places at the Fair. Ashley worked yesterday and so we didn't get to leave until 3:30.

So, we drove in, catching up on zzzzzs for Ashley and listening to the Cardinals on the radio. We parked, and headed into the Fair. We stopped at the University of Missouri building (big fans, in case you didn't know) and got Tiger Striped ice cream, which is Ashley's all time favorite. The ice cream is made on campus and has a limited distribution.

Next we headed to the dairy building but it was closed! I didn't get to see the 600 pound butter cow this year and Ashley didn't get her chocolate milk. Next year we will get there earlier.

Next we toured the Varied Industries and the Commercial buildings, which are vendors set up to sell various items. We bought a cool hose holder (we hope).

Our next stop is the Missouri AgriBusiness building. This is where I always see the largest pumpkin that was brought to the Fair and which always jump starts my fall inspiration. We always buy elk, buffalo and venison jerky and sticks here for the concert. Eric found some BBQ sauce that he loved and so he bought some of that.

We headed to the concert and found our seats. We jabbered off and on and people watched a lot. Pat Green was the warm up and then came Josh. He is a great performer!

Unrelated, kind of, but part of the story.... in July Bob judged a queen contest in another county and the organizer helped Bob get two back stage passes for Ashley and Eric to meet Josh! Ashley said it was a wonderful experience and that Josh was so nice!

There was a fireworks display that was awesome and after that we bought out annual corndogs. I typically don't like corndogs but these are crispy and hot and they paint the ketchup and mustard on... sooo good!

On the way home we discussed the book, The Shack, for much of the way home. Ashley and Eric were tired so they spent the night here. It was a great day for the Steffes/Hasty families!

09 August 2008

Early breakfast


Ashley works a schedule that few but the young could do. She works at Ann Taylor nearly every day from 6 til closing and at Victoria's Bridal on Wednesday-Friday from 1-5 and on Saturdays from 9-3.

She and Bob love to go to breakfast together on Saturday before she goes to work. I find it very difficult to drag myself out of bed, but today I managed to do so, and luckily, my hair didn't look too bad.

Today Truman got to make the trip, since we were sitting outside. Ashley just loves her little brother, in case you can't tell! We dined al fresco at Cafe via Roma, a little coffee house by the Capitol building.

Garden Harvest


I am a tomato snob.

I love tomatoes, but only if they come out of the garden, preferably in late July. Here are some late tomatoes from our garden, having been harvested just today. I am making Bob some bacon and tomato sandwiches when he finishes mowing the lawn. I just finished slicing up the cucumbers to make cukes and onions which are brining as we speak. I plan to take them to the neighborhood picnic Sunday.

I think garden produce is more evidence of God's love!

07 August 2008

West School Book Club


Thirteen years ago or so, I started a book club at the school where I taught as part of a professional development plan I had to do for my personal growth as a teacher. My principal, Mrs. Heberle, thought of the idea and asked me if I would like to implement it. I was thrilled to do it as I was leading literature groups in my classroom and wanted to "experiment" with adults to see what new strategies I could try with my students.

Well, let's just say that adults are different than kids.

Our first meeting we read Snow Falling on Cedars. Of the twenty plus that came to my house that night, only six of us read the second book. It seems that Snow may have been a bit too literary to choose for our first book. All of us that have stuck it out for all these years still think of it fondly!

We meet monthly at a local restaurant and discuss not only the monthly chosen book, but books we have read and want to read. Next month we are reading The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and will meet at Prison Brews to discuss it. Hmmm.... beer and books, sounds like a great combination for us elementary folk.

Here we are at Woody's in Ashland, home of great burgers and hand cut fries. We discussed The Shack. FABULOUS conversation.

05 August 2008

Wien Picnic 2008

This is what a Catholic church picnic looks like in Missouri in the summer:

02 August 2008

Suzy's Game


I love a good challenge!

~Susie Q's "My Favorite Things" Game~
(You can only name ONE per category)

Sport: College footfall
Game: Pictionary
Color: Red
Movie: A Walk in the Clouds
Broadway play I have seen: 42nd Street
Broadway Musical I have seen: Rent
Song: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy
American city I have visited: New York City
Foreign city I have visited: London
Book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Children's Book: Heidi
Classic television show: I Love Lucy
Recent television show: Food Network Star
Actor: John Travolta
Actress: Meryl Streep
Perfume: Chanel #5
Food: A well grilled steak
Dessert: Crème brulee
Chain Restaurant: Olive Garden
Local Restaurant: Madison's
Car: convertible Mercedes!
Condiment: Mayonnaise
Kitchen Appliance: hand held blender
Home Appliance: DVD player
Beauty Product: Mascara
Piece of clothing: Jeans
HGTV Show: Decorating Cents
Food Network show: Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels
Author: Cynthia Voight
Male Songwriter: John Rich
Female Songwriter: Carole King
Holiday: Thanksgiving
Ballet I have seen: Giselle
Disney character: Mickey Mouse
Flower: Pink Rose
Alcoholic drink: Extra dry dirty martini with two olives
Non-Alcoholic drink: Water
Magazine: Southern Living
Animated movie: Cinderella
Television network miniseries: ??
Season: Autumn
Male vocalist: Jon Bon Jovi
Female vocalist: Patsy Cline
Day of the week: Friday
Household Chore: Cleaning the kitchen
Ice Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip
Candy: M & Ms
Artist: Monet
Quotation: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away."

I challenge everyone on my blog list to try this... it is harder than it looks!

I'm a Winner!


I was the winner of the 200th post giveaway at Backporch Musings, a delightful blog written by another Missouri blogger! I wanted you to see the darling gifts she sent. First, let me tell you how beautiful the package was! She wrapped each gift in pretty tissue and then tied the tissue with satin ribbons. These ribbons were striped in greens and yellow. Lovely.

I received two books on gardening, two bookmarks, a set of notecards of Pat's photos of her roses and a delightful bird, which you cannot see in this picture because it is sitting on a lamp downstairs.

Thank you Pat! Next time you are in Jefferson City, give me a ring and we'll meet at Central Dairy!