Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Look at the surprise I was gifted!

Months ago my lovely aunt informed me that she had some stem & glassware she was going to send my way. Yay, lucky me :)

Well a few weeks ago this arrived...

Look at these beauts!

Can't wait rearrange the china cabinet to incorporate some of these and hopefully use them sometime soon!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I've got some jumpin' fish (and a recipe)

... and I wish I had pictures to go with it!

The last few days have been ridiculous. Lots of stress, but it's all going to be for a very good outcome that I hope to be able to soon share.

This morning just started out completely wrong. I was pretty high strung before 6:50AM and it continued to build for a couple hours. Then a dear friend came over. I miss her, so it was great to see her and her son! She kept the an eye on the boys for a few moments so I could get a few things done. Then we went on a long walk to another friends house to meet up with our mom friends to swim! Oh and big boy Jake rode his bike the entire way there and back... he's getting to be such a KID now!

It was perfect! The long walk helped burn off that extra anxiety and then relaxing & playing in the pool was just what I needed. The boys can totally swim by themselves (with their swim vests on) so I can just float or swim myself! Then they started jumping in... they LOVED it and were soooo proud of themselves! They were going completely under and Jake was even touching the bottom with is feet. Seeing them having sooo much fun and so full of pride just cheered me right up. Stress be gone!

Somehow in the middle of all the craziness this morning I whipped up this "Corn Dog" Casserole.

To adults it might sound not so appetizing... but it's easy and it's not fried like corn dogs really are. Thought it would be perfect to take to a swim playdate where they get so hungry from swimming that just snacks don't cut it.

1 tblspn of butter
2 boxes of corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
6-8 hotdogs (I used Hebrew National)
1 tblspn sugar (I think I did 3 on accident and it was just fine)
4 slices of American cheese

1. Preheat 400*

2. Place butter in small baking dish and melt in microwave for 30 seconds, make sure entire bottom is coated

3. Mix the mix, eggs, sugar, and milk in bowl until well combined

4. Pour 1/3 of batter into baking dish. Line with whole hotdogs in rows on top of that batter.

5. Place cheese over hotdogs and cover with rest of batter

6. Bake for 35 minutes or until the ole toothpick comes out clean

7. Cover and throw into stroller to take with (oh wait, that was just us!) :)

Thought I'd share a little slice of our day with you! Hope it was a good one!

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."
~Celia Thaxter

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I have kitchen curtains!

Okay, valances really... and total "mistreatments" too ;)

They certainly add some "umph" to the room. I bought the material last september ( I know!) and have been sitting on it since then. I'll tell you what, my sewing machine intimidates the beejeezers out of me. I have all these things I want to try to make, I walk in, stare at the machine a bit, then walk back out of the room!

A good friend offered her assistance! YAY! She came over one evening to kinda give me a lesson on my machine (which is the second time someone has had to do this for me). After all the prep work of measuring, cutting, and starting to iron... I only had enough black thread to sew one side! OOPS!

So the next week I went to her house with her fancy machine and oodles of sewing goodies! Here they are!




I love 'em! :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another T-Shirt Necklace - Girls Edition

Thursday night I hosted a Moms Night In at my house to make tshirt necklaces (you know how much I love them!). It's so easy to do... just cutting up an old tshirt you can't wear anyway! It was a fun night and I was up way past my bedtime ;)

Yesterday I was picking up all the scraps and "tops" of the shirts that were used... there was a little bit left on each. Made me think of putting them all together for a multicolored one. Jake has a little friend who is celebrating her 5th birthday on Saturday and we don't have a gift for her yet... ooooo how about a necklace for her?!

So I whipped one up... made it a little more sturdy that any of the ones I've made for myself, and a little more fun! My apologies for the dark/flash pics... I got this wild hair after the sun went down!This mainly based of this tut I watched on you tube.

First I braided some scraps together for the part of the necklace that goes around the back of the neck (colors used: aqua, gray & a deep purple). I used a chip clip to hold one end while I braided the pieces together. Then clipped the other end to hold it until I was ready for it.

Then I figured out what scraps I'd use for the necklace and put some white wooden beads on them. Staggering them in length to layer just right when worn. This involved more cutting and some sewing than I have yet done.

But basically I just hand sewed each end of the braided piece together. Then each end of the necklace piece together... and then both pieces together.

Jake helped me out as being my model when I needed to check how long it needed to be or to see how it looked :)

I used some of the seam of the yellow shirt (about an inch & a half) wrapped around the joint of the necklace. Making a 'seam', then turn it "inside out" while on the necklace so that it covers the joint and it's own seam as well.

We like it! Hope she does too! Jake and I have quite a morning together... the library, Target, and her party!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Reward Chart of Sorts

I've been wanting to do a "rewards" system of some sort for Jake (4 1/2 yrs old) for quite a while now. I've asked around and have read a lot of good ideas, but none really spoke "Jake" to me.

I was reading through the Sears "Discipline Book" the other day. I've found I don't really like a lot of what the Sears have to say... wish I did... but I just find that I don't. Anyway, in this book I saw a version of this that made a lighbulb go off in my head!

Jake rarely asks for stuff. He's just not like that. Heck, he'll play with random household items and be perfectly happy. When we go to the gym they both like to stop and watch guys playing basketball. He's been trying to dribble lately and asking to shoot hoops! (Swoon, he likes basketball! yay!) The ball he's been trying with is flat, so that makes dribbling really hard... and we don't have a hoop. He actually asked for a basketball & hoop!

I decided to do an outline of connect the dots... each time he's "caught" being good, the gets to connect another set of dots. Once his connect the dots hoop is complete, he'll get a hoop! He's been "caught" sharing with Evan, picking up toys without being asked, feeding the cat & dog, etc...

I used one 8x10 piece of paper, a pencil for dot making, sharpie for the final dot making, scissors and glue.

When I presented him with it, he was very excited. It's been a week now and he only has 2 more dots to go! It's also helped with him wanting to hold a pencil (which is something he has only a low interest in) and in planning ahead for where he wants the pencil to go!

While it's not realistic to get a big toy all the time, it was something we were pondering to get anyway. Plus I think it was a good introduction to a rewards chart. Next I think it'll be something good/chores related with stickers and so many stickers get you a special treat with just Mama or Daddy (like ice cream or something simple). 

Monday, May 16, 2011

We had more company :)

Man, I was so going to blog last Thurs & Friday... but blogger was down. So now I'm not only behind on my blog writing, but my blog reading! So to my bloggy friends... I'll stop by soon! Promise!

My mother and baby brother (not so much a baby anymore at 21!) were headed our way on Thursday to come for a visit. Their flight was cancelled!?!? Soooo... about 15 hrs later than planned they finally arrived here!

The next 72 hours consisted of yummy meals, laughs, the zoo, a trip to the brewery for Greg & my brother, more yummy meals, more laughs, the beach, lots of sunshine, and tons of little boys lovin and rough-housin with their uncle!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No Time & 'BOUT Time

Gah, this seems to be a theme lately and I'm not happy about it. There's just not enough time lately!

The boys got sick last week with a nasty cold, it started out as what seemed like simply allergies... next thing I know Evan has a fever that won't go away. So off we go to the dr, double ear infection :( Poor guy!

But I think them both being under the weather led to them actually cuddling with each other!

He's been in the surliest of moods to say the least and Jake has picked now to start testing the waters of having a "fresh" mouth. Really?? Oh yes really. Plus, I'm feeling a little twitchy since they're sick we can't go to the gym... I MISS it. I've been able to squeeze it in a little, but in the first time since we started I only went 3 times last week :(

Before all that started last week we went on a little day trip to see our friends in Beaumont! We had a great visit. 'BOUT Time! Stacy and I met via an online (as funny as that sounds) moms group and have been friends for over 4 years! We finally met up last June and decided it had been way too long and we need to get together again. It's like we see each other all the time. The kids had fun, and we had fun catching up in person. The drive was nice, it was cloudy, the boys were quiet just watching their show and in their carseats they can't touch each other! SCORE! That hour and a half drive both ways flew by ;)

We have company coming in a couple days... so we spent all weekend cleaning and stuff. Since last weekend we spent time playing at the beach :)

The boys picked out a very pretty vase of flowers for me for Mothers Day! I'm one blessed mama, sick kids or no ;)

Tonight... kitchen curtain making with my super-sewing-powers friend Ellie! 'BOUT Time :)

Can't wait to post tomorrow!! YIPPEE!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's going on in the backyard?

Yesterday the boys and I were outside, I was checking out all of our plants & bird related things. Thought I share with you my assessments.

I'm an 80 yr old in a 32 yr olds body when it comes to my birds. I love bird watching and seeing them visit the yard... I've talked about all that in depth before on here.

We'd love to do major landscaping in the backyard. Quite honestly though, since we never know when we may be transferred with Greg's work, it just doesn't seem worth it. It would make me sad to plant a tree in the hopes of watching in grow and the kids playing around it over the years.... only to leave it 6 mths later.

So I've made due with containers and planters! Things we can take with us!

First I checked out the bluebird nest box. Last year I had lots attempt nests, but never stay :( This year I thought we had some takers, but still it's a no-go. So time to clean it out in hopes of another pair coming along and building a nest!  It makes me happy whenever I see a bluebird (pic of bird not mine)!

What one should look like (not my pic)...

Then in this corner is my feeder central. Not very pretty but it gets a lot of action. I'd love to rip up the grass, put down mulch and some bushes and flowers. For now it just looks like this:

I love that I get hummingbirds here. Funny thing is I even get House Finches that love to drink out of the feeder too (not my pic)! The cardinals and the chickadees love the feeders!

On to the plants! Last year I put morning glory seeds in the ground next to on of our patio columns. Numerous times Greg got too close to it with the weed eater, so I thought I'd try them in pots this year. Planted some petunias up front and morning glory seeds in the back with a little trellis. Have this so far:

Haven't decided if this was the best idea yet. Thinking maybe a pot wasn't such a good idea. I'm already having to water them 2 times a day... what's it going to be like when it's even hotter?? The other reason I thought it was a good idea was because when Greg took the whole thing down last Nov (when I was gone, I knew I wouldn't be able to watch) he said they didn't have much in roots at all.

So we'll see how the pots turn out... wonder if they'll look like this again?

Still have the kitchen window box, but we added two planters on the fence this year. Really enjoying them so far.

Have ferns again on the patio like last year (I've seen a pair of finches scoping out one of the ferns for nest building I think)! Got a pretty new hummingbird feeder and tried out different places, but they really like it hanging from the fern. So there it stays my feathered friends!!

I love how this little "vingette" of pots turned out... and look theres a fat cat in the window! Hi Calamity! That watering can pot is one of my favorites!

Trying my hand at some vegetables & herbs this year. I'm sure I'm breaking every rule in the gardeners handbook... but so far I have tomatoes & parsley (there's also a cucumber plant in that pot - yes I know - I DID say I was breaking all the rules) in one pot and my little thing of basil & chives that Jake helped me with one day. Basil looks good, not sure about the chives.

Oh and last but not least... Greg's baby... the lawn....

Thanks for joining me in the backyard! Amazing thing is there's a million toys out here too (and a HUGE box the boys have been playing in) and I was able to avoid them in my pictures ;) Maybe next time we'll make some sun tea (everyone has their own special 'recipe') and enjoy a glass!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Spring project I didn't get to use...

When I was decorating for Easter last month I remembered a project I've been wanting to do since I saw http://www.centsationalgirl.com/ do this at Christmas. I liked it so much I couldn't wait until Christmas! Why not Spring? Totally lovely, no?

merry hanging ribbons

I was out one evening running errands and it was too late for Hobby Lobby, so I went to Michaels. Then like everything I seem to want to do they were out of many of the letters I needed to spell out "SPRING". I was finally able to do it by using ones of different styles (I had my fingers crossed this would work). I'm sure I looked kind of silly in the store trying to configure this!

Then I wanted them to be in tell-tale Spring colors.

Added some ribbon leftover from some Christmas decorating

Now time to hang up!

I could do it on top of my china cabinet like Kate did or it'd work on my mantel too!

(oh look you can see my fabric scraps wreath! loooove this thing, I NEED to make a summer one now as it hurt my heart to take it down)

However, I then tried to hang them up and they were way to heavy to just have my light mantel stuff holding it up. It was going to require a lot more forethought and planning. I was in a rush by this point (Easter was the next day - it took me embarrassingly way too many days to do this simple project - oops!). 

Into the Easter rubbermaid they go waiting for next year's plan :)

But you can see the potential, right? Could work for lots of holidays... "Fourth or USA" for the 4th of July, "Spooky or Boo" for Halloween.... oooor, you could do your last name, or "birthday" and put it up for the kids special days... or.... (okay, I'll stop!)