Wednesday, February 25


Today is Ash Wednesday--40 days before Good Friday! Hard to believe that Easter is around the corner. For Lent I will be giving up sweets and most of my diet coke (I am going down to one bottle per day--this is a HUGE sacrifice for me). For Lent most people give up something they enjoy as way to remember the sacrifice that God made on Good Friday. My sweets and diet coke are small potatoes compared to the sacrifice made on Good Friday, but I hope the next forty days will be honorable to God.

I am also reading the Purpose Driven Life (40 small chapters) over the next 40 days in preparation for Easter. Many times Christmas and/or Easter sneak up on me before I know it and I don't feel that I have taken the time to reflect on the true meaning of those special times. Doesn't it feel that life is moving too fast sometimes?

Here's to no sweets, less diet coke and daily reading of the Purpose Driven Life!

Tuesday, February 24

Surprise in the mail!

Yesterday I received this surprise decoration in the mail from my sister (Angie from Brock & Ava)! I just love it! She is so creative! I proudly displayed it in my office today. Thanks Ang!

Saturday, February 21

Good purchase

This week we are going to the recruitment confernece and one of my jobs was to shop for decorations. We are hosting a Big 10 social on Friday evening, and I thought we needed something to make Iowa stand out at the social......this is what we came up with--a 8 foot tall Herkey. We tested it out in the office on Friday. This is my friend Kate and me with Herkey! I think we will definately make an impression at the social with Herkey!

Friday, February 20

Hello Spring!

Well, it is still cold here--10 degrees today! I am ready for spring--although I have a GREAT fear of tornadoes--which sometime come with spring weather I am ready for some warmer weather and ready to get outside and walk! I packed away my snowman decorations yesterday and began getting out some spring decorations--and here is a little basket in my office with some greenery that gives me hope of spring!!

Wednesday, February 18

Sister craft swap

My sister (from Brock and Ava) and I love crafts! We decided to find crafts for eachother and mail them across the US. Here is the craft that I bought my sister tonight and will ship it to NY tomorrow! Angie--hope you have fun putting these frames together for Brock and Ava. I thought you could paint them whatever color you wanted to match their room. And I found this cute flower pick for you, its a lady bug--Alpha Love!

Tuesday, February 17

New Iowa gear!

Ryan and I are leaving next week for a conference to recruit new professional staff members for the university. Thought we should have some extra Iowa gear to show our pride! Here are the jackets I found today--Ryan's was on super sale. My jacket however, was not on sale...but I love it!

Monday, February 16

They have a plan!

I am so excited--my students have a plan for their service project! I am teaching phase III of a four part college leadership course. Phase III is focused on Service-Learning and they have been struggling to define a purpose for their project. During class tonight--they decided to do a reading project for a local elementary school. They have $1000 to use for their project. They have tentatively decided to buy books for the library and then do a reading challenge and the class that logs the most reading hours will get a party. Their final project proposal is due next Monday night--so I am excited to see how it turns out.
If anyone knows where to get cheap children's books--please let me know, as they are looking for ways to stretch their money!

This is one of my favorite authors--Jan Brett. She has amazing illustrations!

Sunday, February 15

Tin foil= easy clean-up!

Do I have a neat baking trick to share! I was making brownies today for my tutor staff (I had a college tutor development training for my tutors) and I read the box and they recommended lining a pan with tin foil for ease clean up and cutting. I tried it and it worked like a dream. I normally have a hard time getting brownies out and putting them on a nice platter--but this did the trick. I used small valentines day candy bars and added these special toppings (twix, snickers, m & ms, etc)! They were a big hit tonight.

I also made a batch of brownies and topped them with reeses peanut butter cups for my college leadership class tomorrow--hope they will like them.

The big hole in the brownies is the one that Ryan tried--he loved them too :)!

Saturday, February 14

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad's birthday--a Valentine's Day birthday! Hope you have a great day dad!!

Triva Night

Friday night, we joined some of our co-workers in playing Triva at an event benefiting the Community Mental Health Center for Mid-Eastern Iowa. It was great fun and the event of 40+ teams raised a good amount of money for this local service organization! Our team placed 16th overall--and it was a lot of fun. Here are some photos from the event--some like their pictures taken more than others :)!

Friday, February 13

From Manwich to Olive Garden!

So day two of our eating at home plan didn’t go so well! I went to get a hair cut after work and wanted to cook a quick meal—around 7 pm I started browning some hamburger and once that was done I tried to open a can of Manwich—easy right? Not so much! I have a new can opener that just cuts open the top with no edges—really nice, but did not work with the Manwich can. Before I knew it there were pieces of metal all over the counter and in the hamburger pan due to my new can opener not complying with the can… in the trash went the hamburger and the manwich. Ryan had late meetings at work last night, so when he got home he said “don’t worry about it…lets go out”. And before I knew it we were at the Olive Garden enjoying a great meal and I forgot all about the Manwich disaster! Look how happy Ryan looks—secretly, I think he was happy the Manwich didn’t work out—ha, ha!

Wednesday, February 11


Last night as Ryan and I were eating out (yet again)--I said "lets try eating at home for a week". He said, "sure Michelle"! Because he knows me all too well--a busy day at work leads us to want to go out and have a nice meal to unwind. But I am sticking to my challenge (but am giving myself a couple of meal out this week due to a Friday night outing and Valentine's Day)---but the eating at home the other days is a BIG step for us.

Tonight I cooked a great meal--pepper steaks, twice baked potatoes and a healthy salad. After dinner I headed out to the store to pick up a few things to complete some up-coming meals. And I only spent $41...which is just a little over the cost of 1 dinner when we eat out! Not bad! I took this picture to remind me of the value of eating in!!

If anyone has any easy to make meals that you would recommend, just let me know and I really wanting to stick with this challenge, and be healthier for spring!

As one of my co-workers said, "how long have you been married?" Assuming that I know how to cook after several years----I am giving it a go this week!

Valentine's Day at Work

One of my great co-workers Kate decided to post treat bags for everyone in the office for Valentine's Day. I made these homemade cards and put some chocolate in each card. Hope everyone enjoys them!

Saturday, February 7


Today was sunny and beautiful--a high above 50 degrees! This past week at work was extremely busy with a very important presentation & prepping for opening a new tutoring location for students at work and...I have been dealing with a horrible cold since Tuesday. Despite all of that we had to get out of the house today and enjoy the weather. Ryan took me to lunch at one of our favorite wing places (he said it would help my sinuses--I think he just wanted wings). I took a picture of my lunch because I thought the presentation was so pretty!

We then went to the pet store and looked at cats--this one pet store down town takes in abused animals and nurses them back to health. There were so many happy cats there. We then went to the mall for a Clinique bonus!!! I love bonus time. We then dropped of my anniversary band at the jewlers--4 of my diamonds were loose!! I just thought one was--so I'm glad we got that checked out, I'll get my ring back on Valentine's Day--so that will be a nice gift!

After that shopping, I was tuckered out due to all of my coughing--so I came home and took a nap! We then had dinner and rented a movie--Private Valentine, the new movie with Jessica Simpson. I always feel so bad that her movies go straight to dvd--so I told Ryan we needed to be supportive and at least watch the dvd--we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, February 1

The Cohenour's Winning Streak

Tonight Ryan and I went to our friends Greg & Erin's Superbowl Party--it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about football. We were rooting for the Cardinals--so the game didn't turn out as we had hoped, but we did have other victories!

I won our office Fantsay Football league and won this beautiful trophy. My name and my team name the "Basket Collector" was engraved and I am told that I need to display this in my office! I collect Longaberger baskets, so that is how I came up with the team name.

Ryan had a win tonight too--he correctly guessed the half-time he won a bunch of quarters! We will have plenty of $ for car washes in the future :)!

Day of Rest

It has been a long couple of weeks! With the start of the school year and struggling with sinus infections--the Cohenour's are in need of a little rest. My dad and Vicki left this morning and then Ryan and I decided we needed some rest, so we decided to rest this morning and watch church on tv instead of going in person. I am doing laundry and Ryan is sleeping now. He has been on duty since Friday--and will be for a week. The past two nights he had late night emergency calls, so he is tuckered out!! Here is a picture of him on the couch sleeping--he hates getting his picture taken, but I figured he wouldn't mind since he is all covered up! We are going to a superbowl party tonight to relax and be with friends. I'll blog about that later!