Sunday, July 25, 2010

My best friend Tara and I....

Tara and I have known each other since we were in 7th grade (12 years old). We've been through everything you can think of together. From first boyfriends, first kisses, first "other things', being 'Maids of Honor' at each other weddings, the birth of our kids, countless moves and long distances apart. We've stuck with each other through thick and thin. Somehow, it's always me that's getting her into trouble though. Why is that? lol

So whenever I make a visit to Michigan, we always plan a trip for her to come up. Luckily this time, she was able to stay a few days and we had a wonderful time. There is always a day that we make sure we take pictures of the two of us.

But if there's one complaint I can make - Tara! I don't care what your kid wants to do! You have to bring Bryce next time! lol

Here's the newest batch of pictures of Tara and I...together again.

With Lola....

Trying to figure out what my Dad was yelling at. It was Lola! LOL





My home is always open Tara! When you and your men gonna make a trip this way?!?! Love you!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Who ya gonna call?


While we were down at the Ann Arbor Art Fair, we came across the old state theater and were surprised to see that on the 24th, they'd be having a midnight showing of Ghostbusters! At first, we joked about going but then, realizing that my best friend Tara was going to be in town, decided that it would be hilarious to go!

 The 'State Theater' as we were walking up to it...

Whatcha gonna go see? GHOSTBUSTERS!
We got there a little early, worried about there being a big crowd. Of course, we were about the first people there. But as luck would have it, there was a Starbucks across the street. So we headed on over and ordered us some ice coffees, had a seat and teased Tara.

I <3 Starbucks!

Tara and I...

Tara, being the good ol' country girl that she is, isn't used to staying up until midnight. We were supplying her with lots of coffee. We almost had to give her an espresso IV.....
We finally saw people starting to line up in front of the theater. So we headed back on over. You gotta love college kids. Besides the kids that were obviously high, there were the ones that totally geeked out and dressed in costume! Loved it!

Kurtiss and Tara, standing outside the theater trying to stay awake by downing some espresso!

We were like the 6 group in line, so we got pretty decent seats. If you've ever been to the 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' for a midnight showing, this had that kinda feel to it. Once the movie started, everyone was hooting and hollering! People applauded when the main characters showed up on screen and boo'd when the bad guys did. 

Here are some awesome shots I got of the movie......

Dr Ray Stantz: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this equipment.
Dr. Egon Spengler: I blame myself.
Dr. Peter Venkman: So do I.
Dr Ray Stantz: Well, no sense in worrying about it now.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.

Remember as kids, how much we all loved Slimer?! lol

Dana Barrett: Are you the Keymaster?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Not that I know of.
[She slams the door in his face. Venkman knocks again]
Dana Barrett: Are you the Keymaster?
Dr. Peter Venkman: Yes. Actually I'm a friend of his, he asked me to meet him here.

Winston Zeddemore: Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES"!

Dr. Peter Venkman: Nimble little minx, in't she?
Dr. Egon Spengler: We're gonna go full stream.
Dr Ray Stantz: Aim for the flattop!
Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Dr Ray Stantz: I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Nice thinkin', Ray.

Dr. Peter Venkman: We've been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft's okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!

LOL! This is my favorite picture from the whole night! Check out Stay-puft's face!
"I love this town!"

I've forgotten how much I just LOVE this movie. I swear, all the quirky one liners and all the other little parts that you miss or overlook because you're a kid. I'm need to go find this on DVD so the kids and I can watch it.

We finally roll out of Ann Arbor around 1:30am. Poor Tara. At least she was a trooper as her best friend dragged her along on another wild hair adventure! Gotta give her props for that, lol!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


During vacation we took a day and headed down to Spicer's Orchard to pick blueberries! It turned out to be a wonderful day. It wasn't too hot and there was a nice cool breeze blowing. An overcast sky helped a lot with the lack of heat. Made for the perfect day to go blueberry picking!

Once you get to the orchard, there's a petting zoo type of area that consists of barns and fenced in areas for goats and chickens. There's also a playground inside of all that for the kids. They can play on old tractors and ride down tube slides. They can play inside a small barn filled with dried corn kernels.

Here are Cassie and I (Jack in the background) striking a pose on some tractors....

There was a rip cord line that the kids loved.....

Jason pulling everyone in......

Jason's turn....

So I told you there were goats there, right? Well around the goat barn, there was a ramp that the goats like to climb up to. If you follow it around to the side of the barn, you'll see that it extends over the roof and that there is a pulley that's attached to a feeder. You insert your 25 cents, pull the cord and the goat gets his food. The goat here in this picture could see we were messing with the feeder and started up to get him nom-noms.

But the dang pulley for the food wouldn't work. Mom and I tried but nothing happened. Just as we had given up, we look up and see the goat looking over the edge at us like we were a bunch of idiots and clearly upset he wasn't getting his food.

Can you almost hear him saying, 'What's the hold up down there?"

It's a farm, so yup! Gotta have some chickens....

Right before you go into the children petting zoo area, there this:

Kinda handy if someone robs the blueberry farm. We'd want to know the size of the perps.

Before we could go pick some blueberries, you had to wait for the tractor to come around and load you up. Apparently the blueberry bushes were WAY in the back of the orchard.

A few shots of us enjoying the ride out there.....

Mom and Kurt......

Look at these pretty blueberries!

Jack eating a blueberry while Jason lends his moral support....

Jason LOVED picking the blueberries. We had to tear him away from them! Of course, I think he liked eating them before they made it into the bucket.

My Dad, the blueberry picking FOOL! It was his idea in the first place to take a trip this way. That man sure loves his blueberries!

Cassie and Mom happened upon a raspberry bush as well and we all enjoyed some of them too!
In the end, we ended up with 3 buckets worth of blueberries and a half bucket of raspberries. What to do with all those blueberries?

Bake a pie of course!

My first ever blueberry pie. The presentation was much prettier before being cooked and the blueberry juices bubbling over. But that just added to the DELICIOUS taste of this pie! YUM!

And because it's me, here's the recipe for the pie that I used. I've made some adjustments and included them in there. Bon App├ętit!


* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 6 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 6 cups fresh blueberries
* 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
* 1 tablespoon butter


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries.
3. Line pie dish with one pie crust. Pour berry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2 - 3/4 inch wide strips, and make lattice top. Crimp and flute edges.
4. Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Cook's note: This pie is best served after it's had a chance to 'set up' after a few hours. Ideally, it's best the day after. So if you're not in such a hurry to eat it (unlike us, lol) then give it this chance for the juices to absorb. If not, you have a slightly runny pie but it's still oh so yummy!

Someone has mad skills!

That person would be my Dad. Check out what he finally finished while I was visiting.....

He had been working non-stop pretty much every day that I was there building this bad boy. It also has a working light at the top that joyfully annoys the neighbors across the street once the sun goes down. Dad says that he's 'waiting for his ship to come in' and it's his way of making sure it stops at the right house.

I asked him to build me one but this baby put Mom and Dad back a pretty penny with all supplies, copper and light unit. Totally worth it if you ask me.

Way to go Dad! It is really awesome!

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's my Birthday!

It's official.

I'm now 35.

****sigh**** I'm not sure how I feel about that yet. I mean, I sure the heck don't feel like I'm thirty five and by the way, when did time start flying by so fast? I swear it was just a little while ago I turned 30! Time is SO unfair as you get older.

In true Mom and Dad fashion, I was awoken on my birthday morning by everyone bursting into my bedroom and jam piling on my bed. It was mad, beautiful chaos that was only made better by two boxers and one mini schnauzer deciding to get into a death match brawl in the middle of my bed with everyone still in it.

I had very special plans this day. This day, I was headed out to do one of the things I do best - SHOP! That's right. Dad kept the boys and Mom, Cassie and I hit the stores down in Novi (Twelve Oaks Shopping Mall) and proceeded to make those credit cards of ours SING!

I had a very successful day. Made even better by finding the grill pan that I've been wanting from Le Crueset on sale at Williams Sonoma! I snatch that baby up like it was GOLD!

Sadly, they're discontinuing my color (Citron) and I still have one more piece I wanted. So if anyone wants to buy me a 5 quart dutch oven, have at it! (Makes a great Christmas present!) Here's what it looks like:
 My Mom also bought me a beautiful purple cardigan at Express (those who know me know how much I love cardigans!!!) and I ended up with a handful of other goodies as well.

A little something I picked up at Pottery Barn. The corkscrew says, "One good turn deserves another" and the bottle opener says, 'Open'. 

After we got home from our shopping expedition, Mom made me one of my favorite dinners. We here in the family like to call this particular dinner "The Smith Family Special'. Mostly because we do make it a lot. I'm talking about Mom's homemade Mac-n-cheese and coney dogs (made with Kogels, of course!).

On days when time is short, we'll substitute homemade for the stuff in the box and coney dogs for normal hot dogs. But when it's something special, only Mom can do it justice with her mac-n-cheese. Nothing says 'I'm home and my Mommy loves me" like Mom's mac-n-cheese!

Getting ready to chow down on my Koegel Hot Dogs!

Me with my feast!

Mmmm....Mom's Mac-n-cheese.....sooooo gooooooood!

My brother giving his sis at birthday kiss. He loves me!
Giving the parentals some lovin'!
After dinner, we passed sometime while we let the food settle before it was time for cake!
We ended up playing a rocking hand of gin-rummy and luck was my lady that day because I kicked everyone's butt!
Me with my birthday cake!
Haha! Getting in the biggest breath I can to blow out all those candles!
Reading my card from Jason....
Jason got me a locket and matching earrings....awwwww!
Jack's card. It says, " I love you and will never forget you." OMG! Too funny!
Back of Jack's card.....

Cassie's card to me.
She also got me a ceramic Starbucks mug with a gift card inside! Perfect!!!!
My brother's card to me. He put in 35 dollars! Cracked me up!
Mom and Dad got me a gift certificate to get a mani/pedi the following week and BOY! Did my tooties need it!
Mom also got me my very own shirt!

Thanks Mom for making this a GREAT birthday. Not too shabby for turning 35. Besides, we all just start counting backwards from here on out, right?