Brian and I have been setting up shop every since we got back from the honeymoon...which equated to more cleaning (I NEVER knew you could clean so much...and for so long!), unpacking a few of our belongings, and "feminising" the house, as the boys like to say. Which really means, it's clean, the trash is picked up, and the dishes get washed. :) So needless to say I was doing a lot of this in preparation for our very first ever house guest...Emily! While I knew she'd still claim me as a sister even if the house was a wreck, I still tried to spiffy it up for her (with help from the hubs too-made him scrub the tub...)
We had a lot of fun this weekend--we channeled our "Sally Warden" and spent the majority of Saturday setting up for VBS. All three of us have vivid memories of mom painting the Himalayas and making a "yak jacket" for one of our VBS's...the theme must've been "Around the World" or something...ha!
Saturday morning we started off at the local farmer's market...ok, this is a HIDDEN TREASURE! First, we bought three loaves of bread from a super-chatty woman. Lemon-blueberry bread. Can anything taste more divine? Don't think so. I also landed half a bushel of peaches for $4 and 3 zuchinni and 4 squash for $2!! $2-isn't that insane?! I'm going back. The rest of Saturday we spent our time transforming the church into a Big West ranch, complete with a corral entrance, built by Clay, Brian, and Brian's new tools, refrigerator boxes painted into stone walls, lots and lots of bandana-themed posters, and of course, hay, saddles, lanterns, and cow balloons. Yes, cow balloons-they're awesome. And Clay and Cameron (youth pastor/children's minister) ordered about 30 million too many plastic longhorn cow skulls, so we put them everywhere. We're totally into this ranch-theme...
That night, we had a group of friends over to celebrate Brian's birthday! He turned 24 on Sunday, but we had some friends in town Saturday so we decided to celebrate then. Emily and I made a mega-dinner...BBQ pork, sauteed zuchinni and squash (I think I'm spelling zuchinni wrong...), a massive fruit salad, chips, and ice cream cake! (my specialty, simply because it's so easy!) We nearly had a fiasco with the BBQ pork though...I bought a whopper Boston butt and had to chop off the top of it in order to get it into the crock pot. Next, mom always put some kind of juice in hers so that the meat doesn't dry out. I put in Cran-Grape juice-sounds good, right? Well, we come home from about 6 hours up at church and decide to check the meat--always a good idea, right? Well, I stick a fork in it and pull it out of the crock pot...and it is entirely PINK. Like, think raw salmon pink. Well, I first thought, "how did I screw up a crock pot meal?!", then started thinking of how much it was going to cost me to go buy barbecue...Emily suggested cutting it open, in case it cooked on the inside-thank goodness she did, otherwise I would've trashed this hunk of meat! As it turns out, it was cooked...the juice had dyed the outside pink! So note to self-do not use grape juice, as it is very deceiving and might potentially give you a panic attack.
Other than that, the party went off well! The weather cooperated and even gave us a lovely cool summer breeze, so we spent the whole night outside--it was wonderful! Sunday we made birthday cinnamon rolls (straight out of a can-yep.), went to church, and then the girls went to the pool while the boys watched baseball. Pretty American weekend, if I do say so myself! We had a lot of fun and we've started a busy week now--VBS is all morning, and at night we have a speaker, so we go to either listen to the speaker or help watch the kiddos (AKA, play on the front lawn).
As for old news, my comprehensive exams went pretty well! (At least, I think they did...) It took me 5 hours to finish them, but thankfully I had a lunch break in-between, so that helped to break it up. We also had our end of the year celebration at youth, which was a lot of fun...complete with dodgeball, a cookout, and lots of sweet stories and kind words. I'm going to miss First Pres so much!
I've figured out how to add pictures to this, so next time, maybe I'll have some to show you!
And now, if you're crazy enough to still be reading, I figured I'd share my super-easy, crowd-pleasing, ice cream cake "recipe"--it's hardly a recipe. More like "unwrap, place, freeze, done", but here goes:
(You can tailor this to how many people you're expecting, but I usually feed carnivorous, voracious boys, so I make a lot...)
1. Go to Kroger
2. Buy the following:
24 pack of mini ice cream sandwiches
tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream
large/deep casserole dish
24 mini ice cream sanwiches
tub of vanilla ice cream
large/deep casserole dish
3. Go home.
4. Assembly time!
Now, you can either opt to make a two layer or one layer cake. Two layers=deep, delicious fun, One layer=it's still delicious, but with less calories, sugar, and all that good stuff.
1. Unwrap and place ice cream sandwiches in the bottom, covering the bottom of the pan.
2. Drizzle chocolate/caramel/butterscotch (or all three...) on top of ice cream sandwiches. (depends on what type of ice cream you get). Sprinkle on the toffee/butterscotch pieces.
3. Next, put down a layer of ice cream.
This could be your stopping point, but if not...
Repeat those three steps!
4. Place in freezer and let sit for at least an hour, longer if you did two layers because you've got as much as a sweet tooth as me.
If you really want to go into a diabetic coma, you can ice the last layer of ice cream with cake icing. Disgusting? No, actually it's delicious. But you will be incapacitated after eating it, so beware. I saw someone ice it one time and then I tried it too...pretty darn sweet. Almost too sweet for me. But not quite.
If you make this, people will think you're an amazing chef, able to pull off the unique feat of making an ice-cream cake. Little do they know it's so easy!