Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009!!!

As we close in on the last hours of 2009, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the past year. So many things have happened this year, and for some reason it seems to have been such a long year that it is hard to remember all the way back to January! But I will certainly try!

January- We went to Atlanta for my annual Premier Regional Rally, and we also had our first big snow of the year!
February- Shane and I were treated to a cruise to Mexico without kids. Cold, but a nice vacay.
March- The polish incident: Sydney pours an entire bottle of hot pink nail polish on the sofa and her feet.
April- I cut all of my hair off. Spent a long weekend in DC at the Gaylord, and caught up with an old friend there. Syd was bitten by a camel at the petting zoo at church. We also spent a week at Myrtle Beach with my mom for Easter, and Syd showed off her new-found underwater swimming skills (@ age 3!)
May- Mother's Day Tea with Sydney and her preschool class. Tyler graduated from Kindergarten! Welcome to summer.
June- Both kids played Tball/baseball with the YMCA. Shane became official with a logo for Eden's Gate. Lots of days at the pool. Shane and I celebrate 10 years of marriage. First of many trips to Carowinds on the season pass. VBS for both kids at HTLC.
July- 4th of July kids parade downtown. We decorated bikes and scooters accordingly. Also spent the 4th at the lake with friends and a boat. Great fireworks! Annual trip to Dallas, TX for Premier's National Rally. Returned with (undiagnosed) swine flu. Kids spent a week at Mimi's at the beach.
August- Birthday month. Tyler turned 7 and Sydney turned 4. Partied accordingly! Also, school started again by month's end. Tyler begins 1st grade- and stays for lunch and until 3pm for the 1st time @ school. Syd goes to preschool 3 days a week instead of just 2. Goodbye summer.
September- Shane's birthday and his last one as a "thirty-something." Went to a UNC game, wandered around Chapel Hill, and had dinner with some good friends that we rarely see. Tyler lost some baby teeth Also, found that I could be "crafty" and made my first tutu.
October- My birthday. Annual trip to Grandfather Mountain. One last trip to Carowinds for Howl-o-fest. Trip to the pumpkin patch with Sydney. Various Halloween festivities and house party pre-trick or treating.
November- Visit to Oxford. Fishing with Grandaddy. Thanksgiving with Gigi. Trip to SugarPlum to find a Christmas tree. I discover how much fun painting bisque can be!
December- Lots of baking! Tyler sings in school Christmas program. Syd is an angel in the preschool pageant. Trip to Oxford, and also to mom's new "castle" at Myrtle Beach. Kids have their first White Christmas! Santa spoils the kids as only Santa can do.

Whew! What a year! I'm sure I have missed more than a few details. But it is safe to say that it has been a very full year, and we have been very fortunate and very, very blessed.

So now it is Goodbye 2009, and Happy New Year 2010!
May the Lord bless this year with more than we could ever hope, or dream, or imagine!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas!

So, the tree and decorations are up. And the presents are bought and wrapped. The cards are selected and printed (but not addressed yet, unfortunately.) Yes, we are in the full swing of Christmas here at the Hasty house. One more jewelry show to submit, and then I will begin my week of baking baking baking!!! Sugar cookies, haystacks, pecan snowballs, oreo truffles.....mmmmmm. Yes, the stressful stuff of Christmas is over, and it's time to enjoy this beautiful and wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas to all!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful thoughts...

I saw a sign yesterday that made me think. It said, "Practice Thanksgiving every day, not just one." Wow. I must admit, that I can wallow in self-pity with the best of them when life gets me down. In those times, it can be quite challenging to count your blessings instead of your problems. And yet, that is exactly what we should do!
Perhaps if I spent more time with a thankful heart for all that He has blessed me with, I would be less tempted to focus on whatever is this week's/day's/moment's problem. Today, my prayer is that I will have an attitude of gratitude, and that I will share it with all whom I come in contact with. Let us be thankful!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tutu Cute!!!

So, I have decided to have a hobby. And it's making tutus! Which is to my darling daughter's great advantage, as she gets to wear the fruits of my labors. They really are fun to make, but even more fun is watching her dance and twirl in them as she tranforms over and over from ballerina to fairy to princess get the idea. I also have had the privilege of making a newborn size and a toddler size tutu for a photographer friend. Can't wait to see some of her work with clients in my tutus!
With 10/31 quickly approaching, my mind is aflutter with tutu costume ideas (pumpkin, witch, etc.) I just wish there were more little girls to make them for in our life, as Syd can only wear one for trick or treating, and she wants to wear the one pictured above (with 100 yards of tulle!!!!) So if anyone needs a know where to come now!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sydney is 4!!!

So, one week after her brother's birthday, our little princess has her own birthday on August 15th. This year Sydney Blair turned the big number 4, and as she will quickly inform you, that means she's BIG now. This year we celebrated many fun milestones; completing potty training, another year of preschool, being in the Christmas play for the first time (she was a bunny in the manger-scene,) moving from a toddler bed to her big girl bunk bed, learning to ride her own scooter, learning to swim underwater, being on her first t-ball team, first time to attend VBS, first trip to Carowinds, and many more that I am sure to be forgetting. She's very tall for her age, which we hear often from friends and family. She is also very much into all things girl, not the least of which is princess dresses, lots of jewelry, and lip gloss. There's no denying it, Sydney is most definitely undoubtably, absolutely ALL-GIRL. We love you Princess!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday to Tyler!!!!!

Another year older and several inches taller, that's our Tyler. This past year has been pretty eventful for our first-born son. He started (and finished) Kindergarten at Hickory Christian Academy. He played 2 sports, soccer and baseball. He lost his first tooth...and his second tooth and third tooth as well! He's learned to read independently, and has also shown some serious brain power when it comes to math (something he did not inherit from his mom, I assure you!)
He also went to his first sleep over at a friend's house this year. And to top it all off, he rode on his first upside-down roller coaster, and many, many more since! Yes, he has definitely done some growing up this year and it shows. This year's birthday was celebrated with a party for 15 at Hickory Dickory Dock, and included putt-putt, bumper cars, bouncey houses and slides, and token games. Fun!!! We are thankful for the blessing of this energetic, spirited, intelligent, and loving child...and we pray for another year of fun, learning, and growing some more!!!! We love you birthday boy!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More fun things to do.....

I have recently been told about another couple of fun places to visit around the Catawba Valley area. The first fun spot is Bouncin' Kids in Morganton. It's an indoor play center that has seven large inflatables (bouncy houses) and offers all day play for one price, just $8 per kid. This is a field trip we'll be taking on the next rainy day for sure!

The next idea is local festivals, particularly today there is a Blackberry Festival in Lenoir. It sounded really fun, with your usual festival foods and kiddie attractions, plus the crowning of a Little Miss Blackberry and a blackberry eating contest! And of course blackberries for purchase by the pint. I will do a little more research for other area festivals in the future, as these are always a good source of inexpensive family fun.

I love that this area has so much to offer!
You can never claim boredom if you just know where to look!

Friday, July 3, 2009

4th of July Dessert Pizza

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, make a soft dough by combining the flour, butter, and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Spread the dough onto a greased 12-inch pizza pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden; let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, the cream cheese, and vanilla. Mix well then fold in the whipped topping. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust then top with sliced strawberries alternating with blueberries.

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How do you get a chicken drunk?

Beer Can Chicken!!!!
  • 1 whole 5 to 6 pound chicken
  • 1 can of beer
  • 1 cup spice rub, or your favorite blend of spices (garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper work great)

1. Before we get started. Make sure that the can of beer fits inside the chicken.

2: Make sure that the place you are going to place this bird is tall enough for a chicken to sit up in. You don't want to lower the lid on your grill only to find that the chicken doesn't fit.

3. You want to cut the top of the can off the beer can. This maximizes the flow of moisture from the beer to the bird. Most any can opener can be used to cut the top off a beer can. You will need to get rid of half the beer from the can "some how"... that's up to you! Next add 1/2 cup of your spice rub to the can and give it a quick stir. The can is now ready.

4. Take the other half of your spice rub and apply it to the chicken. Don't worry too much about getting it on the skin. Skin won't let flavor reach the meat so you need to work your spice rub in, under the skin as much as possible. Get it inside the chicken as well. Just because you put rub in the beer doesn't mean that it will season the inside too much. The spice in the can adds flavor but not like direct contact.

5. Place the beer can on the grill right where you want the bird to be.
With the can in place it is time to sit this bird down. You are going to get your hands dirty here. You want to slowly and gently sit the chicken over the can. Try not to force it or put too much pressure on the bird to get into position. You might need to press it down a little, but you shouldn't have to force it.

6. You'll want to maintain a temperature in your grill around 300 to 325 degrees F. during the cooking time.

7. When this bird reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees F. your bird is ready to come of the heat. Measure the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh being careful not to touch the bone with your thermometer. You want to let it rest for about ten minutes before you begin carving it. A 5 to 6 pound bird should take you about two to three hours to cook depending on the temperature.

8. Once the chicken has had time to rest (again, 10 minutes) it is ready to carve. Sometimes the can tends to get stuck inside the bird. Typically there isn't much (if any) liquid left inside the can. Lay the bird down and pull the can out gripping it with a pair of tongs.

With the can out of the chicken, it is just like any other grilled whole chicken.
Carve it up and enjoy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!!!!
Good daddies are a gift, and we are thankful for ours!!!!
We love you Daddy!!!!

Top: Daddy helping coach Sydney in t-ball; Bottom: Daddy @ Tyler's kindergarten ceremony

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Char-garita Time!!!

2 shots Triple Sec
2 shots Chardonnay
1 shot Real Lime Juice

Shake well. Strain and serve in salt-rimmed margarita glasses.
Yum- yum summer drink!!!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

25 Ideas for Summer Fun!!!!

1. Kool Park Pool
2. Carolina Movie Matinee (just $2!)
3. Udderly Delicious Putt-putt and Ice Cream
4. Bowling at Pin Station, AMF, or Bo's
5. Hickory Dickory Dock
6. Camping in your own back yard
7. Day trip to Lake Hickory
8. Have a family game night
9. Eat dinner outside
10. Tye dye t-shirts
11. Have a Paint day! (tempura)
12. Catch fireflies
13. Bake cookies for the neighbors
14. Plant a garden
15. Have a "field day" with neighborhood kids
16. Have a water balloon fight
17. Go to a strawberry or blueberry farm
18. Wash the car together, then have a bike/trike wash too
19. Visit the Science Center/ Art museum/ Library
20. Picnic at the park & feed the ducks
21. Take a field trip to Discovery Place in Charlotte
22. Roast marshmallows and make s'mores
23. Let the kids play restaurant and cook for daddy
24. Field trip to a mountain stream and go tubing
25. Have a neighborhood game of kickball

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stole It From Martha....

Versatile Vanilla Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Whipped frosting

3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Place one cake, bottom side up, on a cake stand. Tuck strips of parchment paper underneath (see page 119). Using an offset-spatula or table knife, spread top with Whipped Frosting. Top with remaining cake; frost top, then sides. (Store unfrosted cakes at room temperature up to 1 day. Once frosted, serve within a few hours.)

Frosting: In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, combine 3 large egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, a pinch salt and 1/3 cup water. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved (or mixture registers 150 on an instant-read thermometer), 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until glossy, stiff peaks form (do not overbeat), about 3 minutes; reduce speed to low, add 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.


Chocolate variation: In step 1, reduce flour to 2 cups and add ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Top frosted cake with shaved dark chocolate.

Lemon variation: In step 1, add 1 tablespoon lemon zest to flour mixture. In step 2, omit vanilla extract and beat in 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with buttermilk.

While cakes are baking, bring ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 thinly sliced and seeded lemon and simmer 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer lemon slices to waxed-paper-lined plate. Stir ¼ cup fresh lemon juice into syrup.

Using a toothpick, poke holes in warm cakes on rack. Brush with lemon syrup. For frosting, substitute 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for vanilla extract. Frost cooled cakes and top with candied lemon slices.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Any Girl Can Fake It...

Cori's Favorite Easy Lasagna

2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 lb. hamburger, browned and drained
8 oz. uncooked Mueller's lasagna
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 c. Parmesan cheese

Add sauce to hamburger. In 13 x 9 inch pan, spread sauce to cover bottom of pan. Arrange a layer of uncooked lasagna, top with sauce, half of Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan. Repeat pressing lasagna into cheese mixture, pour remaining sauce over, making sure all lasagna pieces are covered with sauce. Top with remaining cheese. Do not be concerned with empty space at ends of pan, during baking it will expand and take up most of area.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. Allow to stand for 15 minutes for better cutting. Cut into squares. Makes 8 big servings.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Any Girl Can Fake It...

Stuffed Mushroom Appetizer

32 large mushrooms
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
12 oz. frozen spinach
souffle, thawed

Remove stems from mushrooms. Scoop out stem base with teaspoon. Chop stem and stem base and add to souffle. Add Parmesan and mix well. Fill each mushroom with mixture and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Easy!!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekend Coffee Cake

Here's an easy to throw together cake to go with your coffee as you linger over the paper in your PJ's this weekend!!!!

Quick and Easy Coffee Cake

2 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup of milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg

1/3 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. cold butter/ margarine

Mix cake ingredients together and pour into greased 9-inch round pan. In separate bowl, mix topping ingredients until crumbly (get your hands in there!) Sprinkle topping over cake. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes, until golden brown. Best served warm!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Heavenly Coconut Cake

1 package yellow or white cake mix, prepared as directed on package
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 small can coconut milk
1 tub whipped topping (Cool Whip)
1 bag coconut, flaked
1 wooden spoon (for pokin' !)

Bake cake in 13x9 pan. Remove from oven, and while still hot, poke holes all over the top with handle of wooden spoon. Pour evenly over cake sweetened condensed milk. Wait a moment for the cake to soak up some of the liquid. Now pour coconut milk evenly over top of cake (you may decide to use only 1/2 of a can, so eyeball it.) Cover cake and place in fridge for one hour. Remove from fridge and "frost" cake with whipped topping. Sprinkle evenly with flaked coconut, pressing into whipped topping. ENJOY!
Devilishly Delicious Chocolate Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix, prepared as directed on package
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 tub whipped topping (Cool Whip)
6 Skor or Heath candy bars, chopped
1 wooden spoon (for pokin' !)

Bake cake in 13x9 pan. Remove from oven, and while still hot, poke holes all over the top with handle of wooden spoon. Pour evenly over cake sweetened condensed milk. Wait a moment for the cake to soak up some of the liquid. Now pour caramel evenly over top of cake. Cover cake and place in fridge for one hour. Remove from fridge and "frost" cake with whipped topping. Sprinkle evenly with candy bar chunks. ENJOY!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hooray for snow!

We had our first snow of 2009 this week. Isn't it funny how it takes 30 minutes to get kids into their snow gear, and then after 10 minutes outside they are ready to go inside again? Oh well!!! We are just thankful to have seen some snow this winter!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fear not......

I will admit, I started off this afternoon pretty stressed. Fearful even. But first let me say that this morning was great! The kids were at school, so Shane and I got to go running together...something we have not done in YEARS. But afternoon brought reality crashing back on me. Primarily, that I had taken too much time off of work and now I am woefully behind, which creates a major financial strain on us. But the pity party that I wanted to throw was not going to put cash in my bank account, much less pay the tuition bill that's due, so that meant it was time to get it together! I love the verse from Ephesians 3:20, "For God can do exceedingly, abundantly MORE than I can ever hope, dream, or imagine." I don't have a lot of scripture memorized, but I cling to that one a lot because I am often stressed out and fearful of what lies ahead. But then I think, is this bigger than my God? No way!!! He can do ANYthing!!! Including a *huge* blessing of my efforts this evening "at work." Please let me be a good steward of the blessings He has given me tonight, and help me to remember to Fear Not, because my God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do! :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Daniel Fast begins...
Today begins my 21-day fast. I am entering into this fast for a couple of reasons. First, my body needs to be purged of the accumulation of toxins from too much holiday indulgence. Secondly and more importantly, it will clear my mind of all that is keeping me spiritually unhealthy, and from all that is keeping my heart from what God has planned for me for 2009.
I hope to complete this journey both physically and spiritually renewed by January 23rd.
If you are reading this, please pray for me to have the endurance to stay the path and for Him to draw me in closer during this time so that I may more clearly hear His voice in my life.
And so it begins with this simple prayer: Lord, please guide me on this 21 day journey. Help me to battle the daily temptations to break the fast for earthly pleasures. Renew me in mind, body, and spirit so that I may know you better. In Jesus name, Amen.

About Me

My photo
This is our official family homepage. I hope to share pictures, thoughts, prayers, hopes, dreams, and maybe a few recipes too. I am married to my soulmate Shane, who is so good to me. We have two gorgeous, rambunctious, sweet, funny kiddos. Tyler is 8, and Sydney is 5. They keep us on our toes, and we are better in every way because of them! Life can be stressful and hectic at times, but we know that God has us exactly where He wants us to be- we are so blessed!