Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan 10/31 to 11/6

This week is going to be crazy, crazy, and I have no menu plan.
George has his surgery on Tuesday morning, so we have no idea how he is going to feel after that.
We will all probably be eating a lot of pudding and jello.
That is fine with me.
Today is Halloween/Reformation Day, so I am just going to post a little recipe that I make every year. 
It is a festive little treat that I found somewhere online.  They are cute and taste really good.  Can't beat that combination.
Pumpkin Pie Bites

• 1 package Rolled, Refrigerated Pie Crust
• 8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
• ½ cups Sugar
• 1 cup Canned Pumpkin
• 3 whole Eggs, Divided
• 1 teaspoon Vanilla
• 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
• Pumpkin-shaped Cookie Cutter About 3 3/4 Inch Wide
• ½ cups Chocolate Morsels
• Vegetable Oil
• Re-sealable Plastic Bags
Preparation Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use the cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24-cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with the second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.
Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.
To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium power. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more fluid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle or draw faces on pies.
Note: The cutter I used was 3 3/4 inches wide, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Just use a round cutter around that size or slightly smaller to cut circle shapes out of the dough. Then make stems with the scraps. Press each stem over the edge and down the side of the dough before filling.
Pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Salting Roses - Chapters 13-15

Sorry this is getting up so late . . . we had a very busy weekend.  We are on chapters 13-15 of Salting Roses this week.

I have been a little bit of "debbie-downer" on this book, so I wanted to start off by saying these chapters are heading in the right direction.
I actually really enjoyed myself while reading and wasn't thinking about all the other books I could be reading at the time . . . which has been the case most other weeks.
The list, the list, the list.

1.  I will repeat myself by saying . . . I actually enjoyed the chapters.  That is the biggest "pro" of all.

2.  In chapter 13 they actually give a little background to the title of the book.  Love when things tie together like that.  The author should have taken her own cue and done that for the rest of the novel.

3.  It wasn't exactly as if I "liked" this, but I did think it was quite humorous.  The mention of a "you-make-me-hot-kiss."  No, she didn't just call it a passionate kiss or a romantic kiss or any sort of normal adjective you would use for a kiss . . . it was a "YOU-MAKE-ME-HOT-KISS."  Laugh with me, will you?

4.  I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion Sam and Grace had about Conrad after she saw the baseball room he had kept for her.  I was totally stuck in my empathy for both Grace and Conrad.  She is angry he never came out of his shell to spend time with her once he knew she was alive.  That is difficult to swallow.  But at the same time, I can so understand his watching from afar.  He was so wounded when she was taken the first time.  He probably thought it wouldn't hurt as bad if he kept some distance.  Don't we all do that in some way?  The fear or rejection just keeps us at arm's length sometimes. 

5.  Another funny . . . and I quote, "Which part of her body had had the honor."  Man, sexual inuendos all over the place in this Southern charm of a novel.  Sam just can't get his mind out of the gutter.  And all he is refering to is her perfume.

(I know I usually only have five "pros" but like I said, these chapters were better than usual.  I need to give them proper respect.)
6.  I really enjoyed the snipet of Lillian and Conrad's marriage via Katherine at the end of chapter 14.  I hope to indulge in that storyline a little more.

7.  Finally, A KISS.  Need I say more?

1.  Um . . . the sexual innuendos went a bit far for my taste in these chapters.  Let me remind you . . .
"Her nipples strained against her bra" (pg. 157).
The moist curve of his shoulder made her have a "warm rush of heat seep over her skin" (pg. 155).
This is just inappropriate language in my humbe opinion.

2.  They used the cliche of "home base" when talking about sex.  Come on . . . how old are we?

3.  Alice marrying the reverend is just plain weird and out of nowhere.  The comment about him having "needs" was taking it too far.

4.  The fact that Gracie walked in on Sam in the shower was just out of character for this novel.  What happened to the Southern code of conduct.  It was like the entire tone changed.   

So . . . all in all I am glad the pace is picking up and things are actually happening.  I will not dread reading chapters 16 through 18, which is a step in the right direction.

Let me know your thoughts. 


Friday, October 28, 2011

1st ever Insta-Friday

Here is a new link-up for Fridays.
life rearranged
I have been waiting to link-up with these fun ladies FOR. EV. ER.
I finally got my iphone, so here I am.  Insta-Friday . . . Baby!!
This is your look into my week via phone pics.  It doesn't get much better than that.

My cute boys during one of many snack times.  George cannot put one morsel of food in his mouth without Ethan wanting in.  Good thing George is such an excellent sharer.  We could have a daily brawl on our hands if not.

As I said in a previous post, we got these bad boys from Wal-mart and painted them.  One for each member of our clan.  Fun times were had by all, except for maybe Ethan.  I sorta had to force his hand a little.

George has an annual pumpkin walk at his preschool.  Such a cute time, and Ethan got to attend with us for the first time this year.  In this picture he is pushing George out of the way, so he can get to the pumpkins.

Same day . . . The preschool director reads pumkin stories on a dock by the school.  George was so excited to show off his brother to his friends.  I hope that never changes:)

We ate pizza for dinner at church on Wednesday night.  Ethan loved it . . . although he looks less than thrilled in this picture.  Doesn't he have the best lips???

That about sums up our week.  Hope you have a great weekend.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Neked Baby

So . . . here is a snapshot into my life.
One day this week I put my youngest son down for nap.
That is pretty standard procedure around here at about 2 o'clock everyday.
I put him down and heard him talking to himself.
I didn't think much of it because he sometimes sings himself to sleep, but on this particular day his talking did not stop for two whole hours.
You may wonder why I left him in there for two whole hours if he never went to sleep.
Don't judge . . . ok?  I had a lot to get done in that small window of opportunity, and he wasn't crying so whatever.
Anyways, back to the story.
I walked in his room to get him up, and he was completely stark naked.
Mind you, when I put him in there he had on jeans, a long sleeve shirt, and a diaper.
He just turned fourteen months old, and he can completely undress himself.
Is that normal?
I did check the bed for wetness or brownness and neither had occured.
If it had, this post would be in a much angrier tone.
Now, here is a picture of the little guy.
No, it is not a naked picture, obviously.  I will not subject my children to indecent exposure (maybe one or two in their underwear every now and again, but no pics of the private parts, people).
Here is a picture of what should have been going down in that crib on this day.
Sweet slumber . . .
Sometimes, anyway.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Festival

On Saturday our family went to a little something we like to call "The Pumpkin Festival."
Apparently, a lot of other people like to go there too because it. was. packed.
We brought our friends, the Hillmans, with us this year.
Here are a few pictures to commemorate the occasion.

That last one is of the extra classy, tire-esque train ride they had at this festival.  I know you are jealous you couldn't ride it.

After the festival we did what any smart human being would do and went to Wal-mart to buy some pumpkins. 

You see . . . at said "pumpkin festival" the pumpkins are anywhere from 10 to 30 dollars, but at good old Wally World the largest of the large are $3.88.

Then we came home and painted our pumpkins because mama enjoys cleaning up paint a whole lot more than cleaning up pumpkin guts. 

And these bad boys won't rot by Halloween.  So you see . . . win-win around here.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Good Read

Want a good read this week?
What Women Fear is a really good one.

I know I do a weekly book club post on the blog, but I will probably be using mostly fiction for that.  This book is not fiction.  It is written by a woman named Angie Smith, and wouldn't you know it . . . it is about the things women fear.
I heard her speak at a "Women of Faith" conference a few weeks ago.
She was excellent and super down to earth, which was my favorite thing about her.
I won't go into her story on here, but you can catch up on her blog, Bring the Rain.
She is a mommy and a writer and a speaker and a blogger, but she still seems totally relatable to me.
I have only gotten through 2 chapters so far, but the subjects were "the fear of 'what-if'" and "the fear of betrayal."  Um, yes please.  And thank you very much.
I also would encourage you to watch the book club discussion on this website.  Angie and some of her friends chat about the chapter.  She picks people who can really relate to the specific fear being talked about, so it brings a whole new dimension to the book.
I will probably be writing about it more in the future as I digest all the rich material and see myself on the pages.  It is scary yet eye-opening at the same time.
Just read the book and tell me what you think.  The End.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan - 10/24 to 10/30

Hi all.
Here is our plan for the coming week in the food department.

I am trying to use up some things in the pantry and freezer to save money and clear out room for the weeks to come.

Breakfast - Eggs and sausage, chocolate milk
Lunch - Grilled Cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - Pork Chops, egg noodles with browned butter, and tomato & mozerella salad 

Breakfast - Bagels and juice
Lunch - Mickey D's (won't get this for a few weeks because of surgery next Tuesday)
Dinner - Hot dogs, roasted carrots, and macaroni & cheese

Breakfast - waffles with butter and syrup, milk
Lunch - leftovers
Dinner - @ church

Breakfast - eggs and bacon, chocolate milk
Lunch - Snacky lunch: cheese stick, crackers, fruit, raw veggies with dip, fruit snacks
Dinner - Chicken Tetrazinni

Breakfast - cereal and yogurt
Lunch - leftovers
Dinner - on the road, headed south

Saturday & Sunday we will be in Coconut Creek with Tim's parents, so we will be eating whatever they are serving:)  It is always yummy, and of course we still get the Bettelli secret sauce on Sunday.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Salting Roses - Chapters 10-12

Here we are at halfway through this scintillating novel, Salting Roses.

Let me be completely honest . . . This book is DRAGGING.  I love to read.  It is one of my most favorite things to do, but I am not loving this book.

Here is my pros and cons list for the week:
1.  These chapters drug on more than usual for me.
2.  The whole "Gracie punches the reporter and lands herself in jail.  Then Sam bails her out" thing is just ridiculous and totally predictable.  I couldn't even laugh at it because I couldn't get over how totally cliche the entire scene was.
3.  No real conversations or discussions about Katherine.  She is becoming one of my favorites in this under-developed character list.
4.  I hated the part in chapter 10 when Gracie overhears Alice and her friends talking about her.  The author should have totally had Alice stick up for her.  It doesn't even make sense from what we know about Alice.  I thought it was totally out of character for her to sit back and take it. 
5.  Lack of development in the relationship between Gracie and Sam.  I mean how long can two adults go on like this?  Really?

1.  It is difficult to come up with even one.
2.  We are getting closer to the end:)
3.  At least both Sam and Gracie "thought" about kissing each other.  That is a step in the right direction, I guess.
4.  I did enjoy the discussion Gracie had with her uncle that she refrences from when she was little about the "smell" of money.  It is all just stinky paper.  It doesn't make a person better than someone else.  Those are some good words right there.
5.  The fact that Gracie can cook breakfast.  That is definitely a redeeming quality.

So, anyone out there have any thoughts of their own?  I would love to hear them.

By the way, the next book for the old "Virtual Book Club" is When Crickets Cry.  I have heard really good things about it.  And let's face it, almost anything will seem good after this embarrassment.  Make sure you get it before we start:)


Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Friday . . .

This week has been L.O.N.G.
We are making some big life decisions around here in the Bettelli household.
Things are changing, and we are ready for the ride.
I honestly didn't even have time to put together a "Friday Favorites" post or a "Thankful Friday" post.
I am thankful for a lot.  Most of all my wonderful family, immediate and extended.  I have such a sense that each of them serves such a purpose in my life.  It is a good feeling.
My husband is super special.  He has done some incredible things for me this week.  I am so thankful.


I guess that is it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Favorite Accessory

This week's link-up over at "Gussy Sews" is Your Favorite Accessory.
Fun, Fun.
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
I had to think and think about this one because . . .
I LOVE accessories.  I love clothes too, but I feel like the accessories make the outfit.
I consider things like shoes, purses, jewelry, hair do-dads, etc. to all be accessories.
There are so many fun combinations to play with in each of our wardbrobes.  It doesn't matter how much stuff you have; you can put together so many fun combinations.
As I thought about it and thought about it . . . I could only pick one accessory to be my favorite.
This is something that I love to have on me or close to me at anytime during the day.
This is something that I will keep far longer than anything else in my closet or house for that matter.
This is something that I made, so you could call it a "DIY" accessory.
This is something that is far more beautiful than anything I have ever seen in any store.
This is something I have not seen on Pinterest.
Any guesses???
My boys.
They are my most favorite accessory EVER!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hot Hoagies Yummy Yummy!!!

Tonight, my wife is taking a much needed break and going to bed early so you all are stuck with me, and pretty much - short, sweet, and to the point. 
So I have decided to brag about my wife a little bit. As you all know, Louise is pretty much Super Mom/Wife. Somehow she was able to clean the house, take care of our son, tutor her students, finish a project for her master's degree, and make me dinner, which of course is the most important thing of all on that list.
I know her menu said we were having Hot Hoagies on Friday, but she changed her mind. She cooked the meat in French Onion soup and sauteed onions and peppers and combined them on a hoagie bun, put them in the oven with provolone cheese melting on top till the bread was slightly toasted.
DANG! Guys, you know that sounds good. Needless to say, it was AMAZING!

So above you can see my wife's masterpiece.

Thanks Babe, I loved it...can't wait to eat the second one you made me for lunch tomorrow!

It's true you know..."The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

-Tim (the hubby)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Peter (my little bro) turned 24 on Sunday. 
Side note:  He has the same birthday as Tim's brother, and my sister in law has the same birthday as Tim's sister.  Weird?  I think yes.  But cool too!
Anyways, back to the "very important person." 
Peter is my youngest sibling, and at some points in my life I was very jealous of that fact.  It seemed like he always got his way because my parents were just too tired after putting up with my sister and I.  I am sure it also had something to do with the fact that he was so darn cute.  Too cute for his own good, if you ask me.
Our relationship has definitely changed over the years.  He is almost six years younger than me, so growing up I always felt like his protector or babysitter.  We went through very different stages at very different times in our lives.  I always let him hang with me and my friends, but he was still the younger brother.
I feel like as we have grown we have become more "friends" than anything else.  I feel like our lives have become more parallel.  We are both married, and we encounter some of the same things on a day to day basis.
I don't get to see him as much as I would like because he lives in Tallahassee at the moment.  I do look forward to the days when we live in the same place, and all our kids can play together. 
Peter (not even sure if he will read this),
You are such a wonderful brother.  It is so funny to me that we have so much in common being so far apart and different genders.  I love when people tell me I am so much like you.  I can't think of anyone better.
You hold such a special place in my heart, and I love that you and Gina are the only two people who will know me my whole life.  Mom and dad will only know the first half, and Tim will only know the second.  You get to see it all, you lucky thing.
I love that we have become such close friends.  I don't know many brothers and sisters who talk on the phone as much as we do.  It is so fun to have conversations about our everyday life.  You are a great confidant and advice-giver. 
I trust you with so much, and I am so thankful God gave you to our family 24 years ago.
I love you,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu & I got a new iphone

So, hello again all you faithful readers:)
First things first . . . I. got. an. iphone.
I know I am the last one in the world to get one, but it is still super exciting, especially when you see my last phone.
George is in North Carolina with my parents this week for their yearly tradition of pumpkin patches and train rides.
Ethan is an only child for the week, so our meal planning will be simple.  My favorite kind of menu.

Breakfast - eggs and chocolate milk
Lunch - leftover pasta
Dinner - out @ Tony's Pizza (we have a Groupon we need to use)

Breakfast - Pancakes and sausage
Lunch - bagel bites
Dinner - Poppyseed Chicken over rice (recipe at the end of post)

Breakfast - Waffles and Milk
Lunch - Chik-fil-A
Dinner - @ church

Breakfast - Eggs and Bacon
Lunch - Grilled Cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - Pork Chops, Rice, Broccoli

Breakfast - Bagels
Lunch - Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches, grapes
Dinner - Roast Beef and Cheese Hot Hoagies with tater tots

Breakfast - Cinnamon rolls and milk
Lunch - @ pumpkin festival
Dinner - on the way home from pumpkin festival

Breakfast - Pancakes, Hashbrowns, chocolate milk
Lunch - out after church
Dinner - Spaghetti with Bettelli famous sauce

*This recipe is definitely not low-fat, but the yummy taste makes up for that.  It is a great meal to take to a grieving family or to someone who just had a baby.
Poppy seed chicken

2 or 3 chicken breasts, cooked and cut in small pieces
1 16 oz sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken
2 tbls of poppyseeds (I don't measure - I just shake a ton in)
Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter

Mix the first 4 ingredients and put in a baking dish. Cover with crushed up ritz crackers. Melt a stick of butter and pour on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Women of Faith

Sorry to all the faithful readers out there (Laurie, ahem).  I did not get a chance to read this week.
Both my babies got some horrible virus, so I was at their beck and call every. single. minute.
I loved the extra cuddles, but I am so glad to be back to healthy in our household.
Please forgive me.  I promise to be back with my book update next week. 
We will catch up on chapters 10- 12 then.
I did do something super fun this weekend, though.
My uber-awesome friend, Nicole got me an early Christmas present.  She bought us tickets to attend the "Women of Faith" conference in Tampa.
It. was. incredible.
Basically, it is an intense time of worship and testimonies. 
For two straight days we got to hear about God showing up in some amazing women's lives.
I was absolutely in awe of their honesty and rawness with us.  They had never met these people in the audience, but yet they poured their heart out to help in any way they could.  They desired for their testimonies to help women who felt like they had nothing left to live for.  We have all been there at some point in our lives, and how refreshing to know we aren't alone.
I learned so many things and really felt God's presence all weekend long.
It was so special to get away from everyday life and just concentrate on God's love and overwhelming peace through our struggles in life.  What a marvelous message.

If you ever have a chance to go to one of these, please take the opportunity.
We are going next year in Orlando on October 12th and 13th. 
You can join us if you would like.
And PS:  I would like to take this opportunity to thank my sister and husband who held down the fort and kept my kids alive while I was gone:)  Love you both!
And PPS:  Today is my little bro's birthday, so he will get a post this week.  Happy Birthday, Pete.  Love you old man. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why is God Fluddering the Earth Again?

Linking up with "From the Aisle to Aloha."
Aisle to Aloha

This is a little thing that really brought so much joy to my week.
I won't lie, it has been a rough one, but my two boys really keep things in perspective.
I want to hold on to each fleeting moment.  The good, the bad, and the ugly . . . because with them there is always greatness. 
God really shows up in my boys.  He uses them everyday to teach me so many things.
Now, on to our story . . .

George must be learning about rainbows and God flooding the Earth in Sunday school because it has been a constant stream of questions and discussions over the last few days.
He keeps asking me what a rainbow means?
And who got to go in the ark?
And why did God fludder (aka flood) the Earth?
And why were the people making bad decisions?
We have tried to explain the story to him a number of times, but when he gets something in his head that he can't quite grasp he does not let it go.  He wants all the answers, and I mean all of them.

So . . . tonight we went to a high school football game, and as we were leaving it began to rain.
It started out as a trickle, but by the time we got to the car it was a downpour.
We got into the car as fast as we could and were thankful we didn't get totally soaked.
George proceeded to ask, "Mom, why is God fluddering the Earth again?"
How would you answer that question?

(All photography done by the lovely Teale Dvornik.)


Thursday, October 13, 2011


Linking up with Gussy for the "Inspiration Workshop."
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
This week's theme is the color red.

Honestly, the only red thing that comes to mind right now is my 13 month old's red face at midnight last night.

He woke up with a raging fever, and I have never seen such a color on his face before.

Poor baby is going to get lots of cuddles today, so I have to cut this short.

Happy Thursday to you (it probably won't be too happy around here).