Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Habitat for Humanity

Last weekend Katie and I volunteered for the second time for Habitat for Humanity with a group of women from the hospital I work at.  We did it back in July and had so much fun...we had hammers, tool belts, hard hats...we used nails and put up walls! It was an amazing day. So we decided to volunteer again.  This time, believe me, was not as much fun.


We worked with dirt.

This is how the front yard looked...dry and really hard with big chunks of earth.

 So it was our job to smooth out the yard...I was breaking up dirt chunks with a shovel for 3 1/2 hours.
here is katie digging
and digging
and digging


at least she can smile about it (you can see pikes peak off in the distance)

And this is what the yard looked like after...all smoothed out and with mulch spread over

here we are posing with the rest of our team WHO GOT TO BUILD A FENCE!

This is the house we worked on over the summer, we put up those walls!

that's us, Women Build!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ozark Chili

I have no idea why my parents call this Ozark Chili, is it a thing? I've never heard of it except in the Schulz household. It when you take your leftover chili and make it a little yummier.
heat up your leftover chili

pile corn chips on a plate

scoop your chili over the chips

sprinkle on cheese

and heat it in the microwave

I would normally put diced onions on it but last night I used green onions. Don't forget the milk!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Why I can't wait to have kids with Stephanie

Guest blogger: Mark J Bullard

The reason I was initially attracted to Stephanie, and continue to grow more happy every day in our relationship, is in her incredible sense of caring, kindness, and happiness. My life was so dark in the years before I met her, and I feel like today I can take more joy out of life than ever before, thanks to her personality rubbing off on me.

Stephanie has the ability to fill me up with her passion for life, simple pleasures, and just being content in the moment. It's an amazing talent, especially considering the world we live in today, where people in general would rather be filled up by other emotions and things, or in the sadder cases, make their vessels smaller, set their expectations lower, and live in a joyless world.

But I digress,

Stephanie and I are going to have children together, and I can't wait. I used to be anxious about the idea of having children. What kind of world would I bring them into? What kind of future can they have? I don't have those questions or doubts anymore.

I know that my lovely wife will dedicate herself to bringing healthy children into our family, raising them well, and releasing wonderful people into the world who will take with them her ability to fill others with joy and propagate it into society. She will stop at nothing less than raising good, intelligent, kindhearted people who will strive to make the world a better place.

I'm excited to watch it happen, and be a part of it. I feel like I'm more than I am with Stephanie than without, and our family will be more still, like a chorus of resonating voices that thunders louder than it has any right to be.

It doesn't matter that we have disparate beliefs on certain things, the end result will still be the same, and I can't wait for it to happen.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Creme "Brulee"

I had never had creme brulee in my life until this summer. I was in Vegas, tried it on a whim, and then had it three times that week. I thought it would be gross and eggy like a hot custard my dad likes but it's really just smooth and creamy.  Last week I bought a kitchen torch and little fluted ramekins and decided to make my own creme brulee!

Alton Brown taught me how to make this recipe one and it's pretty easy. Here are the steps I took:
start by heating some cream on the stove
then take some egg yolks

and mix them with sugar
after the cream has boiled and rested for a little, pour the hot cream into the eggs/sugar a little at a time whisking well
pour the mixture into ramekins, set the ramekins in a baking sheet, fill the baking sheet with water and into the oven
 once the creme has baked and cooled in the comes the fun and exciting part!
 until you realize the torch you just bought doesn't come with butane...
So now this is just homemade vanilla pudding. But it's really good!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

They got married in a barn

Byron Colby Barn, Grayslake, IL
My brother's wedding was just beautiful so I need to share some more photos of the big day...this time all about the decor.  The venue was an old, restored dairy barn which was so was rustic but elegant and everything was very autumnal. There were apples, there were lanterns, there were fall flowers, there were twinkle lights, there were apples posing as tealight candle holders!

programs, at the door, ready to take

instead of signing a guest book, we left our mark...literally! thumb prints on their new family tree
the gift table, windows on either side: the left, baby photos of bride & groom, the right=the seating chart!
look at those cuties!
the menu!
the tables had flowers and apples holding tealights and cute framed numbers for the tables

apples apples apples
apples and caramels to take home
lauren & michael bags!

Friday, November 25, 2011


Another Schulzy recipe I learned from my dad. This chili is chunkier and sweeter than any chili I've ever had and I love it.  It's easy to make and perfect for those cold winter nights!  Again, this recipe is enough for five people to have seconds and leftovers for everyone...

 brown a pound of ground beef and a big onion
 after draining the meat, add two packets of chili seasoning and a jar of your favorite salsa
Next take two big cans of canned whole tomatoes that you have squished up with your hands and add it to the mixture. Add a bit of brown sugar to cut the acidity (I actually use like 1/4 cup because I like mine chili on the sweet side). And don't forget the kidney beans
 Cook on lowwwwww for about an hour for the flavors to mingle

the end

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Don't have much to say today just because it's the end of a long day and I'm pooped, so I'll just show you what I ate today:

Thanksgiving meal: turkey, garlic smashed potatoes, sweet corn bake and gravy made by stef; garlic green beans made by amy; parker house rolls made by kate
dessert: pecan pie mde by kate, smores brownies made by amy, ice cream made by stef
this is my turkey brine
this is my turkey a brinin'
this is my finished turkey which never looks like it does on tv