Monday, June 9, 2014

My husband, the Rock Star

So for those of you who aren't aware, my wonderful and amazing hubby Duane is a percussionist. (For all the non-music people out there, he plays a variety of drums, various shakers/noise makers (tinker toys hehe), and mallet instruments as well.) He was trained in the art of classical percussion at Georgia Southern University, and also has taken private lessons for tabla, frame drum, and other non-traditional forms of percussion. Prefaced with that information, I have two huge blessings to share today. 

First, Duane got his very first endorsement!! He is now an endorser of Heartbeat Percussion. Be on the lookout for his picture/bio on the Heartbeat website under "artists."

http://heartbeatpercussion.com/
So he just got outfitted with a bunch of super-shiney-fancy new cymbals with a fancy pants artist discount. Can you say proud wife? I'm so happy for him. I also have to give a shout out to our amazing friend Cory Shuman (Tell Scarlett) who was instrumental in helping Duane get this endorsement. Without his encouragement and connections that he had already made, it would've been a different story. 
https://www.facebook.com/tellscarlet/timeline
See there, that is Tell Scarlett (Cory is the middle guy). Check out there Facebook page for all their info. They are an awesome group based in Savannah, GA. 


http://pearldrum.com/products/percussion/frame-drums/the-hip-kit/
So, back to the blessings. I did say that there were two so I hope you guys were paying attention. Duane has these two amazing friends, Rae and Jonathan. He plays for Rae Hering on the regular, gigs, rehersals, the works. Jonathan works at Pearl, and if you are a drummer, Pearl is the dream. In fact, Pearl manufactured Duane's very first drum set. I digress. Anywho, Pearl is in the process of  releasing/promoting a new line -The HipKit- and Jonathan was kind enough to bring a drum for Duane to try out and just happened to record him playing it. Next thing we know, the guy who came up with the HipKit idea and is working to promote it wants to meet with Duane. After the first meeting, we were both unsure of what was going on, but we knew that Duane would be doing a few short videos to be posted on the Pearl website to help demonstrate and promote their new drum! That would've been more than enough, but its not all. We then found out that they wanted to make him a. Pearl. Artist.        
WHAT!!? It's still unbelievable. God is amazing. I know neither of us saw this coming!



P.S. -I couldn't get the blog-o just right, but any italicized words = links to the website or Facebook for easy access. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lost loves

Have you ever forgotten how much you enjoy something when it has been a Lon time since you've done it? It's easy to, life interrupts you and gets in the way. Suddenly, it just doesn't seem as important as it used to. You know you like it, but it's just not a priority. I have had this happens couple of times since we have moved to Nashville. First with rock climbing, and I have to thank my bestest fried Crystal for the fabulous gift certificate she gave me for Climb Nashville. 

I love climbing. It makes me feel strong and clever. I know that I don't have the best upper body strength so working a difficult problem and figuring out "my way" of accomplishing it is so satisfying. It's peaceful. It is a fun way to get an amazing workout without feeling like your working out. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed it.

The next thing was just this week and I have to thank Becki for going with me. Horseback riding. Sitting on the back of a horse is so peaceful. Riding through the woods is breathtaking as I am surrounded by God's amazing creation. I hope to be on a horse much more often now!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Recipe sharing

So I thought I would share a recipe that is one of our go-to casseroles. We love this recipe and it gets gobbled up super fast. Maybe you will enjoy it as well.

Mexican Casserole

-shredded cheese (I use Colby/Monterrey jack)
-chicken (1-1 1/2 breast depending on how much meat you like)
-salsa (pick your favorite)
-taco seasoning
-rice (1cup uncooked)
-black beans (1 can)
-velveta (1/2 a package)
-cream of onion soup (1 can)

Rice prep- I have a rice cooker and all I do is set it up like normal and add a large spoonful of salsa and voila, Spanish rice
Chicken prep- I cook my chicken on the stove in a mixture of salsa and taco seasoning (I like the low sodium kind and only use 1/2 a packet) the salsa keeps the chicken moist and I just shred it up with a fork when I am done
Bean prep - heat on the stove in a pot. Simple really 
Everything else- melt velveta and mix in Cream of onion and whatever is left of the salsa. It will look disgusting. 

Now layer everything up in a 9x13 pan. I usually go rice, soup mix, beans and chicken, but however you like it is fine. I do try to put either beans or soup mix next to the rice to keep it from getting dry. Then top with your shredded cheese and throw in the oven at 350 until everything is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Maybe 20 min max. I'm not sure to be honest. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or in a tortilla for that matter. Enjoy!!

-Cas

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter

To write an extraordinary piece about the amazing gift that Christ has given us could never fully explain the vast love of the Lord. Although I often struggle with feeling like I'm not enough, He chose the path that led to the cross. We are so broken, yet He meets us exactly where we are. In the midst of the lowest point, He is there. I wish I could keep this close in my heart everyday and be filled with his confidence and joy, but I will always fall short and have to keep trying. But here again at Easter, I will try again in earnest to live in love and joy, filled with the Spirit, learning the truth and growing in the grace of my Savior. Today is the day we celebrate the greatest victory!

"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8

Even though I didn't get to see my family (except Duane of course), We did spend time with members of our small group family and spent some time hiding and hunting eggs for some little rascals. What a joy to see such excited kiddos!






Thanks to Brian for all the awesome pics! What an entertaining evening :)

-Cas

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Good and Bad consequences

Wowza. What a crazy packed weekend. I can't even imagine spending more time in the car and getting to see more amazing people this weekend. It was packed with incredible people and it makes me feel both awesome and sad because we just can't see everyone in such a short time :( Here's the rundown.

Friday morning. I get off work and we rush to get on the road asap. This means taking Meah to her second favorite place, the kennel for boarding. To say she is not a good car rider isn't doing her any justice. She loves the car. The car does not love her (i.e. lets just experiment and see how many times I can make Meah sick). I got Duane to take a quick video of just how excited Meah gets when we turn into the parking lot at the vet. Please enjoy crazy pup-monkey noises.

video
So we embarked on a seven and a half hour journey to Greenwood, SC. Duane had been recruited by our good friend Brandon Henson to play at DNOW that weekend. It is always awesome to see Brandon, Tabor and Asher and see how Asher is growing and learning. That combined with watching middle and high school students learn and worship about God would have been awesome enough, but there was more to come. Saturday, after the morning sessions, we packed up in the car again and took the one and a half hour ride to Augusta, GA. 
Jordan and Hollie

This time was very near and dear to me of course because Hollie, Jordan and Isaac, my wonderful family that lives way-far-away in Texas were in town this weekend. It is always wonderful to spend time with all three of them in any way shape or form. This was no exception. Isaac was his usually awesome, easy-going, fun self. He is still loving the outdoors and balls in all shapes and sizes, and becoming more mobile and communicative every day. Many hours were spent playing Killer Bunnies, a crazy competitive effort to claim the magic carrot and have some awesome bunnies. Of course, I also enjoy time with my parents and grandparents during our short visit to Augusta. But wait! There was still one more stop along the way before we headed home to Nashville. 
Grammy and Isaac
Sunday afternoon we left Augusta, after barely staying over 24 hours and headed to Statesboro. I can't say I ever thought I would miss Statesboro, and maybe it's just the people who are there, but I felt an amazing sense of relief when we pulled into town. We got to see some of our Compassion Family (The Huxford's and the Clifton's of course) and little Aubrey stole my heart with her beautiful long lashes and sweet demeanor. Duane and I spent the majority of our time with Crystal. I don't know what I would do without this amazing woman in my life. Everyone needs a friendship like that. It was well worth the extra hours spent in the car just to sit around at her house, play Carcasonne and catch up. If only Garrett could have been there so Duane could've had some guy bonding time too!! We miss them both so much!! I believe every friendship we may ever have from now until the end of our days will be measured up to them and I am not sure it can be beat. 

Stats: 
Total Car time: 18 Hours
Time in Greenwood: 20 Hours
Time in Augusta: 27 Hours
Time in Statesboro: 20 Hours

whew I'm tired. 
-Cas

Oh I totally forgot the bad consequences. Duane and I left our veggies and herbs outside while we were gone. I'm pretty sure they are dead now. Sad day. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Budding update and Product Review

Duane and I have had, what I would call, our first success in planting. Almost every seed has sprouted!! It's a miracle. I kinda feel like I have a black thumb (even though I've never really planted anything), so I am going to give the credit to my wonderful hubby. 


So my birthday was this month and my mom got me a gift (isn't she nice?).She got my the Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion Plus advanced cleansing system. I had asked for a facial cleansing brush (my interest sparked after using my sis's Clarisonic) so I was really excited to try it out. It has 3 speed settings and I generally use the slowest because my skin can be very sensitive. It has 2 interchangeable brush heads, a foam head and a brush head and comes with two different cleansers to use with it. 

After using it I am immensely pleased. It's gentle and my face feels silky smooth after each use. Within the first few days I could tell it was really cleaning well because I started to break-out in a few places. Now those places have cleared up and I have gotten multiple comments about how awesome my face looks. I have used the cleansers that come in the kit and my go to Mary Kay cleanser and they all work very well with the brush. I feel so much more confident in how my face looks, make-up or not. My skin is smooth, even toned and clear. I give it an A. (It only missed out on the A+ because it isn't rechargeable, it uses batteries). 

PS- I am not a spokes person for Olay, they have no idea who I am and I received no compensation for this review. I just liked the product.

Cas

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Plant life


You know how we all get these "great" ideas for activities or plans, etc.? Well this time, with some gentle urging from Duane, we followed through with the plan. We planted some veggies and herbs tonight!

Took a trip to Home Depot and bought seeds and soil and all of the other goodies needed for planting. We planted rosemary, chives, oregano, parsley, basil, lavender, tomatoes, and lettuce. I'll keep everyone updated with how our plant babies are doing over the next several weeks. Hopefully we will have some herbs and veggies soon!!