True Colors

Take this test!

Your color is black. The color of night. Serene and mysterious, black conjures up images of elegant evening gowns, dashing tuxedos, and gleaming limousines. Traditionally a symbol of success, black also represents power and an uncompromising demand for perfection. Not surprisingly, you tend to set challenging goals for yourself and do whatever it takes to achieve them — your strength of character is second to none. This unfaltering determination, along with your natural elegance, impresses people. But keep in mind that your personality might be intimidating to some. Try to temper your demanding side with a little softness — trust us, it won’t kill you. Overall, though, black is the color of professionalism and achievement, which means it’s clearly the color for you.

Black?! I’m black! I thought for sure I’d get a nice yellow or pink! Now I feel all morbid. I will clearly retake this test.

Black again. Dang it.

Shout Outs

Today I can’t think of anything particularly fascinating to write about. I could wait a few days until I wake up one morning with an insightful idea, but too many of you would suffer Mary’s blog withdrawal. So, I’ve decided to give a shout out some of my favorite products in the stores today:

1. Swivel Sweeper

A fine product! Kiss your days of sweeping goodbye! This is one of my most prized cleaning tools. Works on tile, wood floor, carpet, the dog…and it swivels 360 degrees! Can be purchased at your local Linens and Things or online.

2. Bare Escentuals Make Up

Radiant and real. Make-up so pure you can sleep in it! Self-explanatory, folks. Not one to spend a lot on make-up, this was a favorite product from 2007. And well worth the money spent. Available at your local Sephora.

3. Skinny Cow Ice Cream Cones

YUM. These are wonderful especially if you need some guilt-free ice cream eating. And don’t be silly, of course we still buy Blue Bell! But on those nights where you think you just might eat the entire carton…these might make you feel a little better.

4. Snickers Snack-Sized Ice Cream Bars

Enough said.

5. Tyler Candles

Unfortunately this website is under construction. But these candles are fabulous! Way better than Yankee Candles (except their pumpkin spice scent). They will provide a fresh aroma to your entire house instead of a 2 sq. inch radius around the base. We like “Mulled Cider” and “Cinnaman Buns”

6. DiGiorno Stuffed Crust Pizza

Yeah, better than delivery, people. We prefer three meat or supreme. This is almost always our Friday night meal, if we’re in town…you need a break from cooking at least one night a week!

7. Downy Simple Pleasures Fabric Softener

Ahhhh….

8. Amazon.com (do I even NEED to include the link??)

Oh I could spend hours on Amazon. I especially love when I qualify for the free super saver shipping!

Other products that narrowly missed my top 8 (and maybe I’m just tired of including links) are:

- Cream of Wheat

- St. Ives facial cleanser

- Smart Ones Three Cheese Ziti & Marinara

- Cream cheese icing

- 3 in 1 Cake Carrying Caddies!

- Community Coffee (medium blend)

- Pringles Stix (thanks Kim!)

Hmmm…I’ll save the rest for next time…

Boys will be boys…

Ok, so here are the pictures I didn’t get to post earlier. Let’s also keep it a secret that I am sharing these with the world (well the first few at least):

When we arrived in La Grange, Seth was frustrated with the condition of his parent’s yard. So, like any man, he took things into his own hands. Who thinks he just wanted to have some fun on the riding lawn mower??

Seth: STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME! You better not put these on the blog!
Mary: Oh no, honey, these are just for our personal family photo album! (crossing fingers)
Oh, another sidenote about La Grange. When we arrived on Friday night, we were put to work. My father-in-law was in charge of making his “famous beef stew” for the wedding shower on Saturday and needed help chopping the vegetables. Mary was assigned SEVEN onions to finely chop. Onions are not my favorite. I usually only chop 1/2 onion at a time…because sometimes it’s just too much. Well, unbeknowest to me, chopping seven onions can leave a TERRIBLE stench on your skin. I thought washing my hands several times that night would be enough. Well, on Saturday morning when we wake, Seth goes nuts because he’s positive Maggie has thrown up in the bedroom. Because our room smells. Our sheets smell. Use your context clues…I smelled. The onion stench had completely taken over my body. One measly hour of onion chopping was all it took to make me smell like a walking vomit farm. As of this evening, 72 hours after the smelly incident occured, my hands STILL smell like onion. Attempted remedies have been:
  • Toothpaste (apparently this method is used for hunting/fishing smells)
  • Lemon juice
  • Bath & Body Works Pineapple Lotion (BAD idea)
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Clorox
  • Stainless Steel

Now imagine what all those smell like mixed together and you have…my hands. It’s getting fainter as the days go by, but as I was eating my 100 Calorie Cinna-Spins today at lunch, I still wanted to gag. Any other bright ideas? Baking soda and vinegar were also mentioned but if I even ATTEMPT to use vinegar and that smell stays on my hands…I will die.

In other news…
Here’s a snapshot of how Maggie wakes us up every single morning. Nothing better than some nice fresh dog breath and a slobbery tongue licking your face when it’s time to start the day.


She’s also very fascinated with bathtubs. For everyone’s safety (and maybe to your disappointment?) I took the picture BEFORE I got in the bubble bath. She will stand there and stare at the water the whole time. Sometimes she barks. It’s very weird.

All for now!

Lunchtime Soiree

Today I took a quick field trip to Market Street. More specifically, Borders bookstore. Oh how I LOVE bookstores! The smell of fresh books, the inviting aroma of coffee brewing, the hundreds of thousands pages just waiting to be turned…

What isn’t there to like???

I made the quick stop to get Seth a study book for the…dum de dum dum…GMAT. Yes, he is taking the plunge and going back to school. You know, for purposes of furthering his career and making lots of money so I can be a SAHM and hang out on Market Street all day instead of just having to wait until lunch.

(We haven’t completely discussed that part of the plan so do me a favor and don’t really mention it to him…I want it to be a surprise!)

He has absolutely no business pre-reqs from college since he took all those boring engineering classes so instead of the standard 36 hours MBA program, he will have 60 hours to look forward to! Yea! According to his calculations, he’ll probably finish up sometime in 2011 if he starts this summer. Um yeah. I can see it now. Ragged Mary sitting at home with Jake running rampant around the living room, throwing his toys, wanting to see his daddy, while the next Anderle-to-be is kicking her mommy’s womb and making mommy want to vomit. All the while, Seth is sitting in a classroom, listening fervently, and soaking up all that business information.

Ah…just kidding. I do think it’s funny to joke with him about that though.

Thankfully, Halliburton is footing the bill. This is how it went down:

Mary: Look here, HALLIBURTON. I want you to pay COLD HARD CASH for my husband’s MBA. I don’t care what it takes. I don’t care how many additional wells you have to drill. Just MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Dave Lesar, CEO: Um, you are so scary, Mrs. Anderle. I totally agree. We will 100% pay for Seth’s continuing education as long as he passes all his courses.

Mary: Well, GOOD! That’s right. Because we are going to Hawaii and I eventually need a new car and I would like some new bedroom furniture that is not missing pieces because my dog chewed it up!

Dave Lesar, CEO: I will throw in an extra $100,000 just for good measure. And give your husband a 110% raise. Will that work?

Mary: That’s what I’m talking about.

And that’s how it happens, folks.

Of course I didn’t walk out the door of Borders with only a GMAT book! Don’t be silly! I also bought myself a new Bible. I know what you’re saying…don’t you have like 5 or 6? (Oh wait, that’s what Seth said) But this one is DIFFERENT. It is the Bible in chronological order! It still has all the verse references but just makes it easier to put into perspective so you can make your own little timeline. I love perspective and can always use more.

This year has been a good year of reading…and it’s barely even March! Here’s my 2008 reading list, and so far all are recommended:

Playing for Pizza: John Grisham
Baby Proof: Emily Giffin
Eat Pray Love: Elizabeth Gilbert
Second Chance: Jane Green

Oh yeah…my bike ride. It was b-e-a-utiful outside! I hopped all sorts of hills for approximately 37 miles in less than 3 hours! Yesterday I felt great! I felt energized! I was on top of the world! Today, I can’t feel my legs. I did take a couple of pictures but I’ll have to add those when I get home. On Saturday, I ride 50 miles in and around Bastrop State Park. Last year this one was a killer. So wish me luck.

Oh Baby Baby!

Today at lunch a couple girls from work and I went to visit Erica (friend from work/church) and her new baby girl, Caroline Grace. Honestly, the last time I went to a hospital to see a new baby might have been when my sister Rachel was born in 1989. My how the times have changed! Thank goodness for the upgrade in hospital rooms. Memorial Hermann has a nice little set up, complete with rocking chairs, wood paneling, and a nice armoire for the TV. St. Luke’s is rumored to be even nicer. I KNEW there was a reason we moved up here! She was just precious, as all little babies are. (Well, the ones that don’t cry are precious) Don’t get any bright ideas. Labor stories I’ve heard as of late have officially scared any and all baby desires away temporarily. I am counting on my pain tolerance of greater than zero to arrive in approx. 2010. I hope it comes on a white horse!

Bike ride #4 is this Sunday…we will be in La Grange for Ashley & Josh’s wedding shower (still lots of weddings left for Seth’s friends from home) this weekend and then the “Tri-County Hill Hopper” starts near there the next day. Lots o’ hills to look forward to. The MS is in less than 50 days now!!

I’ve had a very blah week. Stayed home sick on Monday and still haven’t felt 100% since. I don’t know if it’s the yucky weather or flu going around but I haven’t been up for much of anything.

At least Rodeo time is right around the corner! We’ll be seeing both Alan Jackson and Rascal Flatts this year. We were SUPPOSED to go see RF last year but they all got “sick” and cancelled. So disappointed that our good friend, George will not be making an appearance. We have seen him perform in some form or fashion the past few years and love him!!

That’s it. I apologize for the boring post. See Paula’s blog for a nice prayer to take you into the weekend!

Recipe Fun

Sorry it has taken so long. Below I will include 2 Anderle Favorites:

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_33524,00.html

LOVE this! Mostly because I love all the vegetables in it…and baking them beforehand with the Italian herbs is y-u-m! It makes a lot so plan on having leftovers for a few days (with 2) or it’s the perfect size for 4-6! Thanks Giada :)

oh, and p.s. i do not use the mushrooms or peas when i make it. sick.

Shrimp Creole

1 1/2 lbs. medium size shrimp
1/2 c green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz) can tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp Creole seasoning
2 bay leaves

Peel and devein shrimp; set aside. (NOTE: please buy the pre-peeled and deveined shrimp…makes it so much easier) Saute onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add shrimp and cook 15 more minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve over hot cooked rice. Serves 4 to 6.

This one came from my mother-in-law. I don’t like to cook shrimp a lot, but this is pretty darn good. I don’t use bay leaves, simply because I think it’s a waste of money to buy leaves at the grocery store. You cannot tell a difference. It takes a bit of preparation with all the chopping but worth it! Would be excellent on a cold day.

Happy cooking!

Guessing Game

One of these things is not like the other…..
That’s right. You guessed it. Anderle/Bayles Hawaii 2008 Tour!!! Chi Chi’s & Choo Choo’s unite! Maui, Oahu, hula dancers, luaus, beaches, surfing, hiking, pineapple eatin’ are all much more fun than work!
After many many hours of research, interviewing, and second-guessing the necessity of our children’s college educations, our vacation is booked! We will be Melikalikimaka-ing all over the Hawaiian islands (I actually think that might mean Merry Christmas…but I promise, we will still do that!) on May 5-12. Aloha!

Randomness

Today is one of those days where I am just going to talk about things I am thinking. Uh oh, I know, right? Pop some popcorn, get comfy at your computer, and get ready for a looong day of reading. Just kidding :)

1) Sing Song was, as always, an experience. We picked up Rachel & Michael in Aggieland and had a lovely road trip through the middle of nowhere. For those of you who don’t know what Sing Song is…here’s a picture that can’t even begin to describe the activities:

It leaves more to be desired, I know. Emily & Kyle did a great job…we spent a total of approx. 14 hours on the road in 2 days…and we are wiped. We also had a mini-celebrity sighting at church on Sunday. Colt McCoy was in attendance. I know, not that exciting, but it’s not everyday you worship with your rival college football quarterback either. Wasn’t anything extra special about him except for his fancy Nikes and way too fancy Tahoe in the parking lot. Sources have confirmed that he is, indeed, Church of Christ and was probably visiting some hometown friends.

2) Starburst Jellybeans are in the stores. Yea! Finally, it’s time to eat them! (I do realize that you can almost always find them in the stores, but it’s so much easier to spot them near Easter)Seth likes to think I make excuses to eat certain candies because of their associated holidays. But I think most of you know it’s not an excuse…it’s my DUTY. And some of my favorite types of candy actually go right along with our favorite celebrations. Candy Corn, conversation hearts, jelly beans, candy canes (the fruit ones, not peppermint – blech), etc. Especially candy corn. Love it with all my heart. I’ve even been known to purchase it out of season. I also love Take 5 although they don’t have a holiday. But they SHOULD have one. How about…President’s Day. That’s appropriate seeing as today is the grand celebration.

3) President’s Day. My salute to the great presidents of the past. I’m currently not seeing any great presidents for the future. How unfortunate. I will not go any further into the 2008 presidential election because I do not think it’s worth my time. Or anyone elses.

4) Pictures. I realize I need to post more. I used to take millions. For some reason that stopped when I got married. Maybe because I finally realized we had millions of pictures? I’ll work on this.

5) Multiple Sclerosis. I will be riding to Austin in less than 2 months to support this fantastic cause! As of today, I have already raised $835 toward my $1,000 goal!!! Praise God! So far, the National MS Society has raised approx. $3M which is 22% of our $14M goal for 2008. Let’s blow that out of the water this year. Last year this was just a really long bike ride. This year, I am not riding for good ol’ fun on the comfy bike seat. I am riding for the hundreds of thousands of people in our nation affected by MS. I have been blessed by friendships of those that deal with this daily in some form or fashion. So right now, this is my purpose.

6) I feel that I am also being called to a higher purpose. I just don’t know what yet. God has done some incredible things for the Anderle family this past year. We have been blessed beyond belief. A wonderful home, a loving pet, fantastic jobs, and awesome friends and family. An incredible church home, an inspiring Sunday School class, a blessed marriage, a healthier working environment, and a good bill of health. (Maybe this should be a preview of my Thanksgiving 2008 post) I guess I just have to trust that we’ll be led to where we need to be.

7) I will post more recipes soon, I promise.

By Faith…

When my Bible Study group began one of Beth Moore’s studies at the beginning of this year, I will admit I was a bit skeptical. It is a different method of study than what we’ve done in the past but one that has become so beneficial and has touched my life and my walk with God greatly. What I love about Beth is that she uses the Bible as her primary source (the way it should be) and makes us constantly delve into the scriptures to see what God has said for ourselves. I’ve heard several preachers go through an entire sermon without mentioning scripture once. The scripture that is the reason we live, breathe, and serve our Lord! I think so often we forget that the answers we really need in our life are found somewhere (possibly multiple times) in God’s 66 books.

Our most recent discussions have been based on faith. Our faith relationships with God and His work in the life of believers. We’ve gone though the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11…discussing the “greats” (if you will) of the Bible. One story that particularly touches me is Noah and the Ark. Probably one of the first Bible stories I remember as a child. And as I mentioned in study last week…the movie Evan Almighty actually helped me put it into perspective!! Now I’m not saying that ol’ Evan is by any means a replacement for Noah. But I’m a very visual person and sometimes it’s easier for me to understand when I see things instead of read them.

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family” Hebrews 11:7

It’s unfortunate that Steve Carrell had to be the one to do this for me…but I actually had chills when we saw the movie awhile back. And I was so excited for Noah’s faith!! How he stood up to ridicule and scorn to follow his Lord. How humbled he must have felt to be the one man (and family) that God actually wanted to save out of all the other sinners on the Earth at the time.

Something else I think is cool is from Genesis 6:14: “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.” Not a particularly exciting verse. Probably not one I ever gave a second thought to, but check this out. The word “pitch” comes from the Hebrew word “kaphar”. Kaphar means “to cover, to purge, to make atonement or reconciliation with sin”. How cool is that! This pitch that Noah had to cover the inside of the ark with was representative of their protection from sin and evil in the Ark.

Props to Noah. A great man of faith who still influences lives today. I strive each day to live a life with a Noah-like faith.

I will close with this. The next part of our study was based on Joshua 1 (Be strong and courageous) and Ephesians 6:10-18.

Ephesians says:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one…”

I won’t type the entire thing, but you get the point. Beth summarizes this idea with a statement I thought was so powerful.

God is in the process of raising mighty warriors among His people. The common denominator will NOT be human leadership, denomination, ethnicity, or giftedness. The common denominators will be consistent with those throughout biblical history – the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit, and communication with the Commander. ONLY the Lord knows who is His.

I love love love that. There is so much discrimination, so much strife among religious organizations/denominations in and around the world. Arguments spurred over silly concepts, un-important to our Father, that have destroyed church families, separated people who worship together, and caused us to raise barriers around ourselves…who are we to judge someone else’s walk with God! We were not called to uniformity, we were called to unity.

Amen.

Have a fabulous weekend! We’ll be trekking to Abilene with Rachel & Michael to see the rest of the family and watch Emily perform in ACU’s Sing Song. Good times, folks, good times.

Hallelujah!

Something has moved me so greatly, that I feel it must be addressed immediately.

The writer’s strike is over!

Wahoo!

I’m beginning to wonder however, if this will actually be a good thing for the Anderle’s.

Advantages for Mary: fun shows back on TV, less time spent as Guitar Hero groupie, hopefully no more puzzles (to me, they are synonomous with arts and crafts), better quality entertainment

Disadvantages for Mary: less time to read, evenings become more stressful to manage (cook, clean up, walk the dog, tv, bible study, etc), and the TV will actually be turned on more (we were doing good for awhile)

Advantages for Seth: prospect of 24 coming back to TV eventually (although it’s rumored not to start until jan 2009 now?)…and not much else

Disadvantages for Seth: see above “Advantages for Mary”