Sunday, July 31, 2011

This is the way it should be!

Well, my family is back together. This is the way it should be. The Gang (our dear children) had a great week at Camp Grandma/Grandpa. And Mr. Handsome said Grandma and Grandpa were pretty tired but had a great time. My week was a whirlwind of activity, which you will actually see in some photos. And Taylor even sent some photos of the children, too!! My week began, of course on Sunday in church!!

On Monday, the children were beside themselves with excitement. We did get to eat lunch at IHOP with Dorothy and the cousins and Aunt Erin which was fun. I finally had their funnel cake which was eh! I thought it would be better but it was OK. Should have gone with crepes. They tasted like they were microwaved. Then we went home and finished packing. Mr. Handsomes' parents arrived and it was bedlam!!! They were back on the road within forty minutes and my house was quiet. At this juncture, one would think that it would be wise to take a nap. Not ME!! I began feverishly cleaning Beatrice and Lindsay's room. It took me 1.5 hours!! Can you believe it? If I did that while the Gang was home, it would take me three weeks!!! I found lots of "lost" stuff that belonged to Maddie, Robert, and Beaker! Their room looks great now. And I think it's set up so it will be a lot easier to keep neat.

Next was Maddie's room. She did all the difficult stuff. So her room took about 2 hours, I guess. I remember when we first realized she was a hoarder. It was so difficult for me to even imagine a child, A CHILD, hoarder!! Taylor sat her down and talked with her and explained to her that we don't save candy wrappers, empty tissue boxes, pencil erasers that have been chewed off, oh add any imaginable thing that is trash here and she probably had it. She was just devastated and begged and pleaded for us to keep her "stuff". Well, Mr. Handsome prayed with her and we asked the Lord to help her overcome this stumbling block. And He blessed her!!! She was very distressed when we cleaned her room after the Talk but we have really tried to give her the leeway to decide what is trash and she has come downstairs when she does a deep cleaning carrying about 2-3 trash bags sometimes!!! This time I had three but I found drawers filled with stuff she just didn't feel like throwing out. And she loves her room now. She gets this penchant honest - from me. But by the grace of God, I have gotten soooooo much better!!! And as a homeschooler, I can tell you, it's really hard not to save EVERY little scrap of something!!

Mr. Handsome and I went to Andy's for dinner. Tuesday was a fun day, too. VERY busy!! I got to go to my favorite fabric store, Mill Outlet Village, and walk around by myself!! I even bought some fabric because I could. We ate at home Tuesday night then I got to go out on visitation with Mr. Handsome and what a blessing that was!!!

Wednesday was the BIIIIIIGGGGGG day!! Yup, BIG, I mean really BIG. We started painting my friends' daughter's room. Her room is the same color as my kitchen!! I painted for about an hour or so, then headed to the nursing home. My friends' husband left us oil based paint = HUGE fumes!!! And we didn't know so we kept the door and window shut while we painted. Needless to say, we were feeling fine for a couple of hours. When we realized what happened, we immediately opened the windows!! And my southern accent was better than a Southerner!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!! :) Anyway, I had a great time at the nursing home but the residents really missed the Gang. After that I went back to said friend's house and we put the green paint on the walls. I then skittered out to another friend who had a catherization in the morning and brought her and her husband some dinner. They are such a sweet couple. I have known her for about 14 years. We had a great talk about the Bible and the Lord gave me the opportunity to talk with her husband about Scriptural inerrancy. What a blessing that was!!! I love to talk about my Bible. Anyway, after church, Mr. Handsome took me to Oreti Cicchetti - say that five times fast!! It was fabuloso!! I had, for an appetizer, sheep's milk cheese with apricot preserves and for dinner I had butternut squash ravioli with sage and browned butter. Yummo, as Rachel Ray would say!!

On Thursday morning we finished the second coat of green paint, all of us went home, got washed up, ate lunch, and then we headed out to visit a dear friend bringing a basket-o-goodies!! It was a great time of visiting. After that I headed home and started putting the binding on Beatrice's quilt. I did not know what I was doing so the first side is wingy. Mr. Handsome came home and we went to Indochine. It was good but not as good as Bento Box. I had a vegetarian dish with crunchy noodles. Too much sauce on it really.

Friday was my shopping day. I didn't get any extraneous stuff!!! Wee heeee.... AND my last full "free" day. Mr. Handsome set out to get the Gang. They arrived home happily and safely Saturday evening. Here are the photos, in no particular order because I was too lazy to put them in order!!

Here is Taylor's cousin (Holding dog), his Mom behind his left shoulder, our niece, to his left, and Mr. Handsome's mom, in black tank top.

Here they are again sans mother-in-law!

Here is the Gang at Taylors' aunt's ice cream stand an produce stand. Homemade ice cream, anyone?

Some people forget that they are not big Norges!!! We worked very hard on my friend's daughter's room.

Here is our friend's cat, being naughty. He was showing us his trapeze skills!! His name is Paul Anka. Not kidding. I would have at least named him Glenn Miller or Tommy Dorsey or something!!! He is a very cute cat though. And very friendly. He even obeys!!

Mr. Handsome at Indochine

Me, in one of my Sunday afternoon skirts - wich you can't see because the table is in the way.

A little bib-ito I made. They were fun so i went on a rampage and made six for some of the babies I know!!! They are going to be stylin'!!! :)

My Sunday afternoon skirt Number 3. I whip it up in an afternoon!!!! I know ou want one.

Skirt number two. I gave skirt Numer one away because it was too big.

A little bib-ito for one of the baby girls in our life!

Thsi is my grumpy old man bib but I gave it to the baby girl. It just didn't look boyish enough.

Flames and planes for one of the boys.

Pinwheel flames and planes.

Beaker trying out for Toddlers and Tiaras - NOT!!!

Skirt number four. This is my favorite but my most frustrating. Ruffles were supposed to be the trim but it did not work out that way. I picked a fabric that had texture, so the trim is just plain. I'm just as glad  - could you see me in ruffles? Seriously. Think about that for a minute before you laugh out loud!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

No time for crafting today!

The Gang left happily and quickly today for Camp Grandma/Grandpa. I didn't let any grass grow under my feet either. I cleaned out Beatrice and Lindsay's room, top to bottom!! It doesn't even look the same. You can actually see their beds! Our children love blankets but I put most of them in the closet since it's been a bit warm lately. After their room, I headed upstairs to clean Maddie's. Hers was not too bad. She did most of the difficult work, but I did empty out her craft cabinet. YIKES!! So that's where she's been putting her stuff she doesn't feel like sorting through. It is nearly empty now. Tomorrow I am going to be emptying out a bookshelf and Mr. Handsome will move it upstairs for me so I can load it with Maddie's books. She loves books. Really loves them. Like Beaker likes Mankie and Pat Pat, and Beatrice loves Coiner. Maddie walked out of the house straight to Grandma's van with an armload of books because I think she was really going to miss them. Keep in mind, she also has a nook, thanks to Dorothy and the Great Oz, which has about twenty books on it! I miss my children but I am thrilled they are going to have fun. They will also get to see their cousins, whom they adore!! Beaker talks about Awya  (Sawyer) all the time!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Camp Grandma/Grandpa 2011

Last week was a great week, as usual!! Maddie, Robert, and Lindsay went to day camp. Lindsay and Robert enjoyed it but Maddie wasn't too thrilled with it. She liked the crafts but they played tennis, golf, and swam. Maddie decided right away that tennis and golf were not for her! I heartily agree, although I can handle a round of golf every now and then. I'm not very good but it's pretty fun to knock a little ball all over the place. While they were in camp, some friends came over and helped me paint our kitchen. It took us a day and a half. I went to the nursing home myself and brought my saxophone. While everyone liked my saxophone playing, they were rather disappointed the children were not with me. But I did get to talk to some of the people without having little kids jumping all over me. Thursday was knitting and crocheting. And Friday we went swimming and took a special trip to Sweet and Sassy!!! Yup, a two year old and a five year old getting a mini-mani. My sister-in-law came along and brought her daughter, who is two as well. The girls had a great time. 
My niece!

I told her to say CHEESE!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!

Beaker getting her nails done.

See how pretty she looks!!!

Beatrice's turn! I think she's a bit tired - I caught her in the middle of a yawn.

The attendant (or whatever they're called) added hearts and stars to their cheeks.

A bit out of order here - Bea getting the finishing touches done!

Beaker was very proud of her star and heart!
My week ended with canning. A friend came over and we canned about 50-60 pints of tomatoes. It was great fun and she was a great worker, too!! No pictures. My camera (not my phone) is broken. I think it will still take photos but not sure.

This week is VERY exciting and I probably won't have much to write next week. For the first time in, well, since I've had Madeline, I am going to be home at my house by myself with no children for a WHOLE week!! From Monday afternoon until Saturday sometime!!! Mr. Handsome's parents are coming tomorrow to get the Gang and bring them to Eagle Springs!! Don't worry - no bonbons and soap operas for me!! It's all work work work!! Cleaning toys, sorting clothes, straightening rooms!! Yay!! AND helping a friend paint! And visiting a couple people I don't get to see with the children. Doing something totally exciting with Mr. Handsome: I am going on visitation!!! I am sooooooo excited about that!! We get to go TOGETHER!! It has been quite some time since we have been able to go on visitation together. Probably 4-5 years, I guess!! I have already started praying that God would go before us and plan our visits. Wednesday is nursing home day. And painting. Thursday is egg pickup, painting, and knitting and crocheting. One of my friends and her family is going to Busch Gardens this week, so we won't see them until Sunday. Friday I am going to lunch at IHOP with a friend. I already know what I"m getting - funnel cakes!!!

Here is one of the shirts my brother made for the Gang's trip to Grandma and Grandpa's. Robert's is red shirt with black lettering. 
 I have said how talented our Maddie is in the past (her sisters and brother follow in her footsteps!) and here is a cute example. Dorothy gave her a dessert decorating book and she made an edible chicken from candy clay. It was so cute!! Notice I used the past tense because we gobbled those chickies up in no time flat!! Way better than peeps. She even dyed coconut to make little nests for them. She also made chocolate peanut butter bars and lemon squares this week. I need to teach her how to make bread, I believe!!

Until we meet again, don't know where, dont' know when........... :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some things can't be left undone

I usually post once a week but could not pass up the opportunity to show off our painting skills!! God really blessed us. I could not have accomplished it without their help and exhortation! The color is wonderful and it just happens to match closely with my friends' husband's shirt:

 Here is one of the walls with the main fabric for the curtains. I have not settled on a complimentary pattern yet. The jury's still out. We (my friends and I - Mr. Handsome is not very interested although he loves the kitchen - he's so sweet!!) will have to hash it out next week I guess.
When the children clean the kitchen they are also responsible for putting away leftovers. I have dubbed this "Carrothenge"!!!! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday is a good day to start with!

I normally post on Sunday nights but did not get around to it last night. So, I am posting tonight. We had a busy but fun week last week. We went to Jungle Rapids, went swimming, went to the nursing home, and hung around home. I have Bea's quilt all ready to "quilt" but was interrupted by a project or two - so this week, after finishing painting I will start the quilting process. Yesterday was a great day to worship the Lord. We had a fun morning at church, followed by lunch at Zaxby's, our third cheapest place to feed seven people. Taco Bell is second and Little Caeser's is FIRST!! Pan! Pan! We went back for our evening service, ready to enjoy the sermon but that was not to be! Kristinie the Great, a.k.a Beaker, was not going to sit quietly. Not quite as bad as "the incident" several weeks ago as I did not have to get wet in my clothes, she started throwing a temper tantrum because I wouldn't let her play with the hymnal. So I snatched her up and carried her out. That may seem inocuous but when you sit in the second row and have to hoist an angry toddler (who was smart enough not to scream at me) under your arm and skitter out of the service with a look of "this is not going to be good" on your own face, it's pretty obvious who's in trouble! Needless to say, after an intervention, she did great the rest of the service - from the second to back row.

Saturday was spent at THE POOL. After that Mr. Handsome watched the children while my friends and I went out to Taco Belly Buttonito!! Yup, Taco Bell. We're big time spenders now!!

Friday was a great day. It started out with breakfast at the Causeway Cafe. Now that may seem like a very nondescript name for a restaurant but it's been around for, well, forever. AND they make the best Belgian waffles this side of Belgium! :) The added blessing was eating breakfast with great friends. And all of our children behaved great!! Here are our children sitting on the steps of the cafe.
As one can see everyone is SO happy. They should be - it's payday!!! And that means everyone gets their allowances. After breakfast we headed to my favorite store, the FABRIC store. Not just any old fabric store. THE fabric store of all fabric stores. One of my friends works there so we get to visit her, too. After the fabric store, we headed to THE POOL. Everyone had fun swimming with Grandma and Grandpa and of course I forgot my camera. Aunt Erin and John and Rachel were there, too.

I have been trying out my new cookbook from Dorothy, Cooking Light 2011. It's all the magazines from the previous year in a cookbook. Here are some of the results:
 Above, is chicken with lemon-leek linguine and a broccoli garnish. It was wonderful. The children call me Mama's Olive Garden! I have arrived when I my name contains a chain restaurant.
 This is Rosti casserole (German potato dish) with baked eggs and bacon. I didn't get to try this but was told it was very good. I was a bit sorry for not getting a bite, but I am glad the family enjoyed it.
Here are Beaker and our Robert preparing the coating for coconut shrimp. We also had a fiery peach sauce with it. It was great. Beaker didn't care for it - I think the coating was a bit much for her. Just a word of caution: I have never had any problems with any of these recipes. None of them have flopped (well, that's not true but I think in the case of the beef short ribs, it was O.E. [operator error] not a recipe error) and that is quite a feat because I only have one cookbook and one chef I trust recipes to come out right: Joy of Cooking and anything by Julia Child. Anyway, as far as the caution goes: if you make anything from Cooking Light, it is truly LIGHT. And you will be heading for the cookie jar if you're not prepared nor have the self control necessary to keep from filling the carb craving. They are definitely healthy and well worth the effort. Most of the recipes take only thirty minutes from start to finish. Anyway, back to my week!!

 Maddie's birthday pie made by her. And her birthday cobbler made by Lindsay. If you are not sure which is which, the pie is round; the cobbler is not.
Here is Maddie with her birthday desserts!

 Here is our nephew John totally enthralled with our Robert's peach fuzz!!! Aren't they too cute. Below are the fingers of fury rubbing Robert's head!!

 Here is one of my detour projects: a friend asked me if I could put a vinyl sign on a canvas painted with latex paint. So I said sure!!!  And here is how it came out. Maddie wants one now with her favorite verse: Proverbs 17:22 - A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
 AND my OTHER project detour: FINALLY after six years of living in our house, I am painting the kitchen - with a little help from my friends! Second coat, and Lord willing, the final coat, will be applied tomorrow.
Here is the current project: Beatrice's quilt. I am going to try using the free motion foot. Maybe next week I will have it quilted. My other detour project I have not taken a picture of, but I can assure you it is signature Me. It is my Sunday afternoon skirt. I don't take naps on Sunday because I can't sleep at night if I nap during the day so I find something else to do. And a friend of mine gave me this great skirt pattern that is way out crazy, if you'd like, or subdued conservative if you're boring. I will take a  photo this week. 
I am going to end with lederhausen guy because I don't think I posted him from our trip to NMB. I could be him: playing my saxophone night after night at some restaurant that wants live entertainment!!! But God had other plans for me. I'm glad I listened. Mr. Handsome would be bored to tears without me and the five children. And I don't like lederhausen anyway.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The years are slip slidin' away!!

 Kristine needs a serious fashion citation.
Below are photos from our trip to NMB -North Myrtle Beach. Some will have captions by way of identification.

 I am rarely in photos because I'm the person behind the camera!! :)

 My terrific niece!! We love when we get to visit with her and her brother. And this time we got to visit with one of their cousins as well.

 Here is my sister-in-law being brave with Robert and our nephew!!! VERY brave!!
 Beatrice had way too much fun I believe. She has "grown" out of naps, though. At five, naps go by the wayside but she generally falls asleep by 3:30 in the afternoon on the couch still.
 Here is the NMB Birthday celebration for our Maddie and Beatrice. My niece's cousin decorated the cake with my niece's help. They did a terrific job!

 Robert, catchin' a wave!!! He's on a shortboard here. Don't ask me the difference, but Mr. Handsome has a longboard and it is a bit more difficult for Robert to maneuver on his own. He can do this one solo, though.
 Mr. Handsome and our Lindsay

 Here is the Lily Tomlin chair. My sil told me her character that sits in the big chair but I can't remember her name. We don't know where it came from, who brought it, or HOW in the world they got it through the doors!!! But it's there. And it's BIG!

 Sometimes teachers need disguises in case a student or two sees them. This is my sister-in-law's disguise. I may borrow it one day and see if my children recognize me in the morning. 
 Here is our Bea with one of my other nieces. She is the youngest in the family - on my side. She and Beaker are 3 months apart.
 Maddie made her own birthday cake. Here we are celebrating her birthday on the Fourth of July at Dorothy and the Great Oz's house. She made a mocha cake with coffee frosting. It was delicious.

 We were supposed to go to Jungle Rapids and my other, oldest niece on Friday but we got rained out. So, Oz and Dorothy took us to McDonald's instead. 
This is what it's like when you try to order for five kids who are hovering around you waiting for their food. The Great Oz is the taller guy on the right with the white hair. I let him take care of this order on his own and he did pretty good. He wasn't even grumpy when he got back to the table!!! 

Yesterday was Maddie's official birthday. The children get to pick their favorite meal - even Mr. Handsome does too - and their cake. I will make one, or they can get one at SAM's. Maddie settled on a peach pie. And Lindsay surprised her by making a blueberry cobbler. Her meal was less than thrilling but since she got to pick it, that was what counted. She had Kraft mac-n-cheese with canned tuna mixed in. We had peas for a side dish. The peas were great. Those photos will be posted shortly. Maddie turned 11 yesterday. She is my right hand girl, the go to gal for anything, she is the dearest young lady you could ever know. She is such a blessing to us. She will help without being asked and she is glad to take care of tasks the little kids can't do. I love her dearly and thank the Lord He has given her to us. While I am a bit melancholy about her getting "older" it is such a blessing to see her grow into such a sweet young lady. She is very excited about the day she can babysit and I can go out!! She will do great. She and one of her good friends babysit about once a week for me during the summer for practice and they do great!!