Monday, March 24, 2008

The Big Day

He looks forward to it all year long. For a week leading up to it he couldn't help but check the weather reports as often as possible. When Sunday morning finally arrived he got out of his bed early, full of anticipation, and looked out the window... a few light clouds and lots of sunshine, perfect! All other activities of the day were mere formalities to be endured. When evening came, the dinner table was set and the family gathered around it. Amidst the chatter and commotion of plates being passed and food being dished it was likely that no one else even noticed the significance of the moment. But he did. One small tear gently rolled down Mike's cheek as he took the first bite of that perfectly browned and seasoned, tender and succulent morsel of sirloin steak.

BBQ Season had begun.

Friday, March 21, 2008

In Memoriam

Friends and Family, it was 18 years ago today that Riley Haymes Groves entered this experience we call life.

As he passes from boy to man today (at least in his ability to be drafted to war, buy cigarettes, and be tried as an adult for crimes) it is appropriate to look back on his now vanished childhood. Here are a few of my favorite memories:

- The day he was born when mom and dad called to tell us it was a boy (before ultrasounds were standard) the sisters were all very excited, and the older brother just said "I guess that's OK, but now I'll have to share a room with it."

- As a tot his eyes were so big compared to the rest of his head we called him Headlights.

- As a toddler we could say any words in the right tone of "who wants to go do this?" and he would excitedly yell "ME!" Mom didn't buy it for passing off chores on to him though.

- When he was 6 his sisters made him get married to the 7 year old girl across the street. It was a beautiful garden wedding.

- When he was 8 a friend of his and him went all around the neighborhood selling their autographs. They figured when they both became professional baseball players later in life those signatures would be worth millions.

- When he was 10 we could get him to do anything we wanted by threatening to have his older brother put him in the "Allan Tangler" wrestling hold. He tried to counter-threaten with the "Riley Wrangler" but it was just like the Allan Tangler and we were all bigger than him.

- When he was 14 he tried to slam dunk a Nerf ball into the basket on his door but hit his chin on the door instead and needed stitches.

- When he was 17 he tried to show up his brother and brothers-in-law in a basketball game but broke mom's plant pot in the driveway instead.

Now all of those silly, childish, and a little bit embarrassing things are behind him as he moves into adulthood (especially breaking mom's pot last week, thank goodness.) And we mourn the passing of time as the baby of our family is now all grown up!

Happy Birthday Riley!

Please leave any memories you have of Riley, if you've ever met him that is. Or you can just make up a memory too, that's cool.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cake in a bowl in a ball?

This week on the Discovery Channel: Great Inventions that Someone Else Got Rich From.

Tonight we bring you a story about "could have been". Many of the world's best products and companies started with pure luck or mistake, and someone smart enough and brave enough to perfect the idea and take it to the general public. But what of those who had the luck but never made something out of it?

Such is the story of Shaina and Becca, two college roommates. One weekend a group had gathered at their apartment and Shaina had the idea to bake a cake to help feed the mass. She grabbed a chocolate cake mix, threw in the oil and eggs and had it in the oven in no time.

When the timer sounded, Becca got up to help Shaina, unaware of what her actions would lead to.

The cake looked perfect as the girls pulled it from the oven. Becca suggested that they let it cool for a few minutes before serving it to everyone. Shaina tried to wait, but her impatience got the best of her. But as she tried to get the cake out of the pan, the whole thing crumbled into a mess on the counter. Becca, in a moment of inspiration, grabbed a large bowl and said "let's just put it in this and we'll eat it popcorn style!"

Cake-in-a-bowl, as the treat was dubbed, became a favorite among the girls and their friends. They even tried mixing in or dipping frosting and other variations. Unfortunately, that's where their ambition ran out. They never realized what potential their treat could have with just a few refinements.

Years later, at a St. Patrick's Day dinner, Shaina discovered Cake Balls. Someone had taken the Cake-in-a-bowl idea and perfected it by adding cream cheese and a chocolate coating.

Now there are millions of online recipes and someone else has even built an entire company around producing and selling Cake Balls.

As delicious as these confections are however, for Becca and Shaina they will always be a little bitter-sweet as they ask themselves, what part of the Cake Ball fortune could have been theirs?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

C is for Chocolate

Hi. My name is Shaina Burgoyne and I'm a chocoholic.
I enjoy chocolate in almost all forms and textures. I like white chocolate, dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I like swiss, italian or even good ol' Hersheys. I've had chocolate with crushed red peppers in it and liked that too. Chocolat is one of my favorite movies (all about chocolate and Johnny Depp!). But of all the varities of chocolate out there, I am especially fond of the chocolate that I can drink, specifically Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Milk. This time of year is always a little sad for me, as the temperatures get warmer and the sun gets brighter, and I know that it's time to put my Hot Chocolate Mug back on the shelf until next October.
To mark this turn of the seasons, I found a story that teaches us the true meaning of hot chocolate.

A group of graduates, well established in their careers, decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired. During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said: "Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us. God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. And enjoy your hot chocolate.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Sentenced for 9 more months, no parole

We found out on Wednesday that it was time to renew our lease for our apartment and that we had to decide by Friday. So we listed the pros and cons of staying where we are or moving somewhere new. This morning we met with the landlord and renewed the lease until 12/31/2008/. So if you haven't visited us in our humble home yet, shame on you, but you still have time to make it up. And if you have visited us, you know it's worth coming again. And our address isn't changing, so all of you out-of-staters can still send us packages and letters!

But don't procrastinate! I'm hoping that by the next time the lease is up we'll have become ridiculously rich and run away to Hawaii. You can still visit us there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Top Crossword Champs Set a New Record

Mike and Shaina Burgoyne set a new time record in the Online Crossword Challenge this week. The couple started competing as a team less than a year ago, but have shown great potential in the crossword world. They realized that potential Monday night as they completed the "Pedal to the Medal" puzzle in a record time of 6 minutes and 54 seconds.

"I think teamwork is really what brought us this victory," Shaina said in a press conference after the win, "I was at the keyboard, but Mike was watching the clock."

The Burgoynes say it is has become a tradition of theirs to do a crossword puzzle challenge almost every night. "Some games you feel like you're guessing on every letter, and then there are the ones like this where everything just goes right" Mike commented. Mike and Shaina hope that this current time record is broken again before long, and challenge any one else to try to break it before they do.

Winning Crosword Puzzle with record breaking time

Monday, March 3, 2008

Stay Tuned

Dear Readers,
I changed the background. That should be proof that I am still aware of my blogging duties. I apologize to those of you have been checking back once or even twice a day for the past six days only to find I haven't added anything new. I truly do understand how frustrating that is. I promise to post something new and exciting in the upcoming day or two, as soon as I can remember (or make up) something new and exciting that has happened in our life.
Until then, I appreciate your patience.

Best Regards,

Head Blogger