Friday, August 28, 2009

Summer visits

Dean's family was here during the month of July and into August.

Pam arrived first with the boys....passing through on the way to Houston.
The weather didn't cooperate so we stayed close to home....but the kids still managed to have fun.

Here the boys are with Ripstick Boy....AWWWWW......they love their big cousin!

During a heated game of basketball, we had one injury....a bee sting!
But the patient was a brave boy and made a full recovery.

Then, Dean's grandmother, Lulu came for her annual visit.

She was especially fond of the s'mores I made one afternoon.

and when I say 'fond' I really mean it....she ate THREE!

Then Dean's other sister Marla came through with her family.

We took the 2 younger kids to the neighborhood playground...

they played on the slides...

and in the swings....

...of course, Curly Girl had to go!

We all went out to eat...before they hit the road.
Here, the three 'big kids' are doing some catching up...and LOTS of eating...

Dean's mom and other sister Laurie came to visit too.......but I didn't get any pictures of them....maybe next year!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Emergency Science Apron

Tuesday on the way home, Curly Girl told me she had forgotten to do part of her homework the night before. I asked her waht it was (forgetting homework is a big no-no so I wondered why she was being so casual.)
She needed a 'plain' apron for science. The kids are going to decorate them in class with fabric paint, glitter and other fun stuff.
I was thinking this was a cute idea and asked" when do you need it?"
She replied "tomorrow."
Well, you know its against my nature to just slink out and buy a plain old apron.
So, I whipped this one up using some white duck cloth from my stash.
I couldn't bring myself to make it TOTALLY plain so I used up a bunch of my bias tape remnants for a bit 'o' color.

It turned out pretty cute to be a plain jane apron. It has 3 large pockets and 1 pencil (or paintbrush) sized pocket.
I can't wait to see what it looks like once she puts the finishing touches on it....

Monday, August 24, 2009

adjustments made......

With school starting back up on August 7th, the last few weeks have been hard on our family routine and we've had to make a few adjustments........

Thank goodness, our adjustments haven't been quite THAT BIG! In comparison, ours have been pretty minor!

First off, with me back at work, Suki is being bullied by all 3 of our pets. (I know, I can't believe it either!!!)

Leo being a smart kitty quickly realized she is afraid of the dogs so he uses them to box her in whenever possible. The dogs, sensing her fear, will growl at her which causes her to stress out even MORE. Overall, she is regressing and is becoming very skittish again.

I still think she could whip Leo's butt, (neither cat is declawed, ya could get ugly.)
I really don't want it to come to bloodshed:

So, I've decided to put her BACK in Ripstick Boy's room during the day so that she is 'safe' while we are all away. She was in his room the first few days after we adopted her in July and I think she will be happy to have her own space again. He is THRILLED with having her back in his room.
Then, as soon as he gets home, he can let her out and love on her. Cross your fingers, okay?

On the school front, Curly Girl is in 6th grade this year and is feeling overwhelmed by changing classes because it makes her feel rushed. She only changes 3 times during the day but has several 'pull-outs' which adds to the faster pace:
She earned a spot in chorus this year and is pulled out of math twice a week for that and once a week for gifted art. This is on top of the regular 'pull-outs' of library, PE, music and fast forward! (Thank goodness math is her favorite subject or we'd be in REAL trouble!)

On several occasions she has worked herself up and feels so over whelmed that all she can do is sit on my lap and cry. (and let me tell you, my lap is NOT getting any bigger...but she is!)
She craves routine. I know it will get better once she gets her 'groove' going but it is hard to watch her struggle right now.

I was going to suggest she drop out of chorus but she worked so hard to earn a spot that it would break her heart. Plus, I know NEXT year will be worse with 7 teachers and am secretly hoping this struggle will help prepare her for it.

Here is the hard part for me.
Curly Girl has decided to drop her (after school) art class. It is one day a week but she has homework each night so Saturday is the day she goes.
Of course, Saturday is the only day her friends can play so she feels she has to choose between art and friends.
After watching our son burn out right before he earned his 2nd black belt in TaeKwonDo, I felt it best to let her drop out. It was really really HARD for me to say 'okay' and sound like I meant it. She would feel guilty if she thought I didn't want her to drop out so I mustered up my best cheerleading voice and squeaked out my approval. I console myself with the thought that she is still in gifted art in school and she can always take extra art in the summer.....right?

So adjustments have been made and I'm sure MORE will be made as we get back into a comfortable routine. Hopefully we won't feel like this much longer:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Island Girl!

Check out this cute skirt I got at Goodwill for 2 bucks. I fell in love with it immediately. I enjoy repurposing things so I knew that I would be making something out of it.

It was a large size so I took it apart and cut it up.....added some 'stuff' and now it looks like this:

My Island Girl apron!

The best part is I have enough leftover to make another apron!

Friday, August 21, 2009

You're grounded!

Last weekend we did a lot of yard work.

Our landscaping has been so successful, we had to dig up and divide some plants. The neighbors were quite happy with that since they got free plants.

Just look at how pretty my cutting garden is!

Since we knew it would be a lot of hard work, Dean asked Ripstick Boy to be home from a sleepover by 8 am to help out.
When morning came, Dean didn't call RB because he wanted to "see" if he would show up.

well you KNOW what happened........

Ripstick Boy didn't show at 8 am.
In fact, Ripstick Boy didn't show until well after 2 pm. (when his friend had to mow his own lawn)

Dean was not happy. He grounded RB for 3 WHOLE DAYS (3 days, snicker)

About 4:30 Dean decided to play a trick on RB but needed help to pull it off.
Neither Curly Girl nor I would help unless RB's "sentence" was lightened. (I know, I am such a sucker...)

Dean agreed to our demands and we helped him carry out his dirty deed........

oh yeah........the rest of the sentence was dismissed after the motion detector light was installed, the lawn was mown AND a second bucket of water RB's request.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of FALL!
I love the colors and scents....I love the cooler weather (even though that doesn't arrive here until October...) and the foods I start to cook. The house always smells wonderful.
I also love to decorate for Halloween and to some extent, Thanksgiving.

I've been creating up a storm. I can't show everything because I'm sending some off to my bloggy friend Lori. She's gotta have some surprises, right?

With that in mind, here are two things I created I can share.......easy peasy too.

First off, I stumbled across these things on clearance at Hobby Lobby for less than a dollar each.

and turned them into these with stuff I had on hand at home.......

cute, huh?

I forgot to take separate photos of this next one.

My mom had an ugly grey rose pin from an old suit. One trip to the dollar store later and I made this....a broach I know any "ghoul" would love to wear on Halloween!

So.......are any of you creating fun Halloween goodies yet?

Monday, August 17, 2009

End of a season.....

This summer, Ripstick Boy was in a local basketball league again. They don't get together to practice, just meet up and play.

look at those moves! (he will be SO embarrassed that I wrote that....)

Here he is with the coaches....all smiles because the team did very well. (8-2)

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Helping Hand....

You know how children don't have those social sensors that tell them when NOT to say something?

Well, I've got a story for you. A long one.

Wednesday coming home from work, I remembered Ripstick Boy had said he wanted to cook dinner. (yes, he is STILL on the cooking kick, YIPEE!)

Anyhoo, I then realize I have nothing 'simple' for him to cook and I'm not ABOUT to do anything big because I was T. I .R .E. D.
I was thinking cereal was looking pretty good for dinner...but decided he wouldn't like that suggestion.

So, I call RB and ask him what he wants to cook and he replies 'Hamburger Helper." A friend of his raves about it so he is dying to make some. This was fine with me because how SIMPLE is THAT?!

Now, here is where it gets interesting. We don't make Hamburger Helper....because we always do stuff from scratch. (I know, go ahead and hate me, my mom never used it so the only time I did was during college.)

When I tell Curly Girl we have to pick out a box of Hamburger Helper for dinner, she wrinkles up her nose...and I know what is getting ready to happen. But its too late to stop her.
We are standing there in the isle with people all around us. Women who are picking out their 'favorite' for the evening too. There are LOTS and LOTS of boxes of Hamburger Helper in the carts ALL AROUND US.

Curly Girl then says...quite LOUDLY:
"But MOOOMMMMM, Hamburger Helper is NASTEEE!" followed by
"We NEVER eat Hamburger Helper!"

And then without taking a breathe she continues on her "hatred of Hamburger Helper tirade" with:

"Who in the WORLD would ever EAT THIS STUFF?" "I'm sure not going too!" "YUCK"


About this time, all the Stepford Wife HEADS swivel our way. Okay, maybe that was just my imagination because it was running rampant.
After all, I didn't want to OFFEND any Hamburger Helper connoisseurs that might have been lurking in the isle.
I just smile and say something like 'VAMOOSE" to get us out of there before the 40 women buying HAMBURGER HELPER lynched us.

The story doesn't end there.

We go home, Ripstick Boy MAKES the Hamburger Helper.
We EAT the Hambirger Helper.
My husband says "MAN, I LOVE HAMBURGER HELPER!" "I haven't had it since college!" and I agree that its pretty darn good for a BOX.
Ripstick Boy is all puffed up with pride and glowing and says "its AWESOME and I COOKED it myself!" (I think he actually threw his shoulders back while saying that)

and then...

very quietly...

So quietly I had to ask her to repeat herself...

Curly Girl says...

"may I have some more?"

tee hee hee.......

Thursday, August 13, 2009

PUT SOME PANTS ON! I about wet my pants when I saw Suki in this position....

Miss Modesty she ain't!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mosaic Monday

I love making mosaics. Something about placing the pieces is very calming to working a puzzle. I haven't made any since moving here 2 years ago....I got side tracked by all THESE APRONS!!!! I've decided that I need to get back into making them though...enough time has passed.

Here are some I made for a past show.....

here is a table I made for a friend...she found the base at a garage sale for 2 bucks!

close up of the top...

She threw a Fiesta party and used it with all her tex-mex looked great.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Front yard revisited

It has been 2 years since we moved in. We drove up to our home on June 16th, 2007.

This is what I saw for the first time...
I wrote a post last year about all the work we had done and what we had planted.

This is how it looked 1 year later......

And now, 2 years later.

The front is pretty much mature and filled in. ( Sorry for the smudge on the lens)

Some plants have done so well, we are going to divide them and plant them in the back yard.

The crape myrtles are larger...but since they aren't in bloom right now, it is hard to see them.

I look forward to seeing what it will look another year from now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Copy Cat and the great offense... you see a pattern here?

Prince/Princess bed, check

Basket on end table, check

Pooper Dome, check....


I did NOT give her permission to use MY pooper dome!

That's right folks.

Instead of using the litter box we got her.......Suki actually ventured into (and USED) Leo's fantabulous POOPER DOME!

He was horrified....he was mystified....dare I say, he was OFFENDED?!!
He just paced back and forth in front of it getting madder and madder (is madder a word?)

He finally sat down and waited until she started to come out and tried to knock her lights out. "KA-POW!"

But, he missed (he does that a lot)...

so now, I guess Suki has infiltrated everywhere......

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I participated in Shawnee's latest Flirty Apron Swap.

The theme was "I LOVE LUCY!" and we had to either use Lucy fabric or to be inspired by the show and come up with the perfect retro housewife package.

I kind of did a bit of both. I couldn't find any Lucy fabric locally but my partner's kitchen was red and white with roosters.

So I made her this retro styled apron by making an applique from one of my own vintage tea towels.

I added a matching kitchen towel and enamelware tin.....she collects enamelware so it was a lucky find. I threw the soda glass and straws in because I found this poster...
As you all know, Lucy didn't go ANYWHERE without her lipstick, so I had to add that to the package. The little crocheted heart pin is symbolic because Lucy's heart was ALWAYS in the right place....even when she messed up....which she did.....over and over again.

The journal is for when Lucy has some 'splainin' to do for Ricky! And we know she did LOTS and LOTS of 'splainin' on that show! (refer back to the 'heart' pin please!)

Lucy always had company so I just had to create some Lucy cupcake toppers... along with some party favors....

I hope she likes it!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Comedy of errors.....

We don't like putting our animals in the kennel when we go on vacation, so we switch out babysitting duties with several of our neighbors.
I take care of 3 German Shepherds across the street, I watch someone else's cat....and a couple dogs next door (sometimes).... I also watch Gage.

This is Gage.

Gage doesn't look like the kind of dog you want to mess with, does he? And this guy is 13 YEARS OLD. Could you imagine him in his prime?

Gage looks tough.

Gage IS tough.

Gage also loves me. I think. I'm not 100% sure but I fake it so he doesn't know I'm NOT 100% sure. Anyway, it seems to work because he is always happy to see me and loves all over me.

So, here is what happened Friday night...this drama lasted 20 looooong minutes.

I go to check on Gage for the last time at 9:30ish. His owners put up some little curtains to cover the little sidelights on their door. But they drag on the floor. (They only put them up when they go out of town.)

I come walking in, one of the curtains gets caught under the door as I step over the threshold, catching my ankle.
I go down but not all the way, just close enough for Gage to think HOW WONDERFUL! SHE IS GOING TO KISS ME ON THE MOUTH!

So, between the curtain and the falling and Gage wanting to kiss me, I didn't make it to the alarm pad in time to turn off the system.
Almost...but as I reached out to 'touch' the key pad, there went the alarm!

So I go turn it off.
I hit the 'clear' key but it doesn't turn off because it was the wrong key.....which locked the system and wouldn't let me turn it off.
So each time I hit the clear key, the alarm would ratchet up the sound letting the ENTIRE world know that SOMEONE SET OFF THE ALARM!

About this time, Gage starts getting irritated and growls a bit and then starts barking.
He doesn't like the alarm SHRIEKING its bloody guts out anymore than I do.
Now I try putting the code back in and it wouldn't work EITHER! So like an idiot, I just stand there and keep entering the 'off' code over and over again....but gee whiz, it still won't turn it off....hmm.......I actually stood there and scratched my head like a monkey.

I start to get worried because Gage is REALLY getting agitated and I think he is getting a bit too tense for the situation because he starts sort of spinning around in front of me like he is chasing his tail....but doing it over and over and over again.
So I try to take him to the back door.
But he won't go. Instead he continues to bark and chase his tail. I stand there like an idiot looking at Gage doing his little thing and am thinking that surely the cops will come and drag me off because even the DOG is barking STRANGER DANGER....(even though, right now, the dog looks nuts.)

I try entering the code again and this time, the alarm starts a new higher pitched cycle of shrieking and whooping and I can't take it anymore so I go outside without Gage...but with him chasing me to the door and barking.
It didn't do any good going outside because you can hear the alarm from OUTSIDE TOO. So I go back in. Gage is still barking and now he jumping up and down in front of me.

About this time, I remember that I DON'T REMEMBER the 'secret' word. You know, THAT WORD you need to remember when you are babysitting someone's house so if the alarm goes OFF you can let the alarm people know that you are okay. An idiot, but okay...not a bad guy.
Gage is still barking..and now he is running in circles around me.

I decide to go BACK outside because I can't think straight and Gage has gone 'over the edge.'
This time, he goes with me but won't stop barking and now he is sort of jumping up and down in front of me combined with the running in circles.
I didn't think pits were that flexible.
He looks like a circus monkey.
If I hadn't been so stressed, I would have REALLY enjoyed the show he was putting on for me.

I call the owner a couple times from my cell but she doesn't answer (she IS on vacation after all!) so I call my husband (why?).
It has going on so long now that I am thinking, dang....noone has shown up to arrest me....maybe I'll just GO HOME. yeah....I actually thought about it! HA!

Instead, I decide to go back in and give it another go...first, I say a little prayer and enter the code AND........

it lets me turn it off this time.

Even better is that as soon as the alarm shut up, Gage did too!
Gage simply stops barking, wags his tail and starts eating his dinner....which is good because for a while there I thought was going to eat me.

Then I had an interesting thought.......
You know, one of those random thoughts that makes you realize the REASON you aren't a rocket scientist. Yeah, one of THOSE THOUGHTS. .......

I realized that while I was panicking, I was putting in the WRONG CODE THE ENTIRE TIME. In my panic, I kept putting in the 'on' code instead of the 'off' code.

I am such a moron.......

So after all this hysteria, the the owner calls me back and then the alarm company calls her so she hangs up.... and then she calls me back again.
Then she hangs up and calls the sheriffs office because they had already dispatched someone to come take me away to jail.

Then she calls me back again to follow up with me and I told her about Gage.

She burst out laughing and told me that he gets a 'little crazy' when the alarm goes off.

A little crazy? I would hate to see it when he goes A LOT crazy! yikes.....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dinner and an apron....

Remember this post about the Lotta Trouble apron?

Well, Dean's mom was here last week and I showed her the pattern and asked her what I was doing wrong.

She took a look at it and was baffled at first so I put the pattern away. After a cup of coffee, she thought she had it figured out so we pulled the pattern out again. She said that the side panel of the pattern isn't a perfect fit. (I won't bore you with the details.)

Suffice it to say, once figured out, we just had to make the apron. It went together without a hitch and is SO CUTE!

She didn't get to see the finished apron because she had to leave...but here it is in all its glory:

The reverse is the solid green cotton.

Now....on to dinner!

Ripstick Boy is still on his cooking roll so he helped me in the kitchen again last night.

We made pecan crusted tilapia with fresh parsley potatoes and corn. He was very proud. I let him do EVERYTHING. I did a lot of standing behind him pointing at things.
He called me his sous-chef! So cute!

Anyway, here is what dinner looked like...

Pecan encrusted tilapia:

8 tilapia filets (I buy the big box 'o' tilapia at Wally world...)
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup pecan pieces crushed to the size of bread crumbs (we don't do that b/c the kids like big pieces of pecan.)
1/4 cup canola oil

How to:
blend the eggs and milk in a large dish to make an egg wash
mix the bread crumbs and pecan pieces in another dish
mix flour and seasonings in another dish.

Heat canola oil in your skillet.

Dip your fillets in this order:

egg wash
pecan crumbs

Then place into the skillet and fry. Tilapia filets are thin and cook quickly so don't leave them! Turn when golden and remove as soon as they are done. Place on paper towels to drain so the pecans stay nice and crispy.

That's it! Super easy.

For the potatoes:

Boil 8 red potatoes until soft (not the teensy ones)

I don't measure much of anything but here is what I put in the potatoes!

1/2 stick of softened butter
minced green onions (green part only)
minced FRESH flat leaf parsley
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
little bit of milk
lightly crush the potatoes with everything to incorporate them all together.
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