Monday, June 30, 2008

Winner, Gardening and simpsons

CONGRATULATIONS to Karin. She was comment #18 on my give-away and has won a Whitmans Assorted Chocolates Sampler. I will get ahold of you and mail that out!!



That screen shot is awful. I know I know.



Here is a picture for Gardening Monday. "Teaching Finn how to Harvest squash"

This was taken a few weeks ago, prior to the head shaving of 08 incident.

I have 3 zucchini and 3 summer squash I need to do something with. So tonight I am firing up the grill and making curry chicken and grilled squash. I just cut the squash lengthwise and brush them with a little bit of olive oil. I place them on the grill and cook each side just a few minutes, until the squash gets tender. Then I season with salt and pepper. Easy yet delicious.

I went to Simpsonizeme.
I uploaded the ugliest picture I have of myself.
And VOILA! If I were a Simpson character, this is what I would look like-Farrah Fawcett Hair and all.
I did choose the hair color. They wanted to make it this wierd "sideshow Bob" red. People are always surprised when they see pictures of me and my hair is not really pink. I kind of like the idea that people think I have the cojones to have pink hair.(on purpose, not accidental a la Hair Wreckers)

I'm so pretty.

Humble too.

Happy Monday

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Just a Reminder

Chocolate Box Giveaway ends tonight at 8pm EST.

You can enter here.
.

Good Luck!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My week in Photos

Stating the obvious: I updated my blog again. hopefully this will cure the problems of the background not loading and the difficulty of reading it.


Also my Chocolate Give-away is still going on, you can enter HERE. It ends tomorrow night at 8pm.


Photos of my week:



I took this photo in the flower gardens at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. I really love water lilies and it was all perky and perfect and pretty.
So I took a picture of it. In fact I went through the gardens snapping pictures of ALL the flowers. I know people thought I was berserk. Oh well.







Here is Finn chowing down on Watermelon. It is one of his favorite things. I thought he was going to lay it down on the ground and lower himself into it. His ENTIRE FACE was covered in watermelon juice by the end of this eating extravaganza. It was kind of hard to get this shot, as he was diving face first into it so quickly.






This is Jake the dog.
I really liked this picture as it looked like he was laughing --I like to think he was chuckling at white and nerdy trying to get rid of the burrowing yellow jackets nest. (spray stuff and run run run. come back, agitate the nest and then run run run. Spray more stuff run run run. agitate the nest again run run run. It was pretty comical)







EWWWWWWW, what the heck is THAT?? Well THAT is a sign that those stupid glass doors and metal tracks are OFF my tub now!!! Our upstairs bathroom has a tub that had those acrylic sliding doors attached to it, in those metal tracks. They were so hard to keep clean, that metal track just got absolutely DISGUSTING and I just couldnt take it anymore.


So we ripped off the doors and track to uncover the previous owners who had installed these stupid things in the first place and used some sort of tacky grey paste to glue them down. Then they did a piss poor job of silicone caulking around the rails.
I borrowed my dads chisel and got all that gunk off. We got one of those Hotel style outward curve shower curtains. It looks so much better.


We got a really pretty fabric shower curtain. It is a sheer pale salmon and lime and maroon pinstripe.(hard to describe, but it really is pretty. And it is kind of hard to see in the pictures)Our house is 40 years old so it is built like an older house. It has a pretty small toilet area. The bathroom itself is fairly large but the toilet and tub are a separate room from the main sink area. It didnt help that the door between the two sections of the bathroom opened INTO the tub area. So it opened into the tub area and covered up the towel bar and we had no room for a bath mat. If you went int there to use the bathroom you practically had to stand on the tub to shut the door. So Charles took off the door and we got new hinges and hung it on the opposite side of the door so it now opens into the main section . It REALLY opens up the tub/toilet area. I am just thrilled.


Now If I can only make a decision on paint color. I know I am going pale green (like a pale lime green) but I am having a hard time deciding WHICH pale Lime green. I have it narrowed down to 8. Those people at Home Depot just groan and say "Oh here comes that Lady to pull out 400 more green paint chips again"

I am going to tape them all to my bathroom wall and everytime I come in I will pull off one I dont like. It will be the "Survivor" of paint chips. Perhaps I shall devise immunity challenges as well.

Maybe when I am done I shall make a Paint Chip Wallett.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

CHOCOLATE GIVE-AWAY slash CONTEST

Ok, thanks to Jen and her great idea, I am setting aside one box of chocolates as a give away/contest. Thanks Jen!!
The winner will receive a 12oz Whitmans Assorted Chocolates Sampler. This box has two levels of chocolates in various flavors and styles. This is the #1 gift box of Chocolate in America.

RULES:

1. Leave me a comment about YOUR favorite piece of chocolate in a chooclate box. It can Be from whitmans, Elmers, Godiva, anything. My favorite pieces are Chocolate Truffle filled.

Your comment can be from your own blog account, or you can leave me a link to get back to you if you win. Winners must be 18 years old or have their parents permission to enter.

2. Contest ends Saturday June 28th at 8pm EST.

3. I will generate the winner through Random.org.

4. Winner will be announced on this blog Monday morning(june 30th) and I will mail out your prize!!

DISCLAIMER: family members of Bad Mama Jama are not eligible. So White and Nerdy you may NOT leave a comment and try and win this box of chocolate. Go attend to your other 13 boxes.

GOOD LUCK!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

weekend of self indulgence, gluttony and chocolate

I have a new favorite place and a reason for living.
4 words.
Russell...Stover...Factory...Outlet.

In sevierville, Tennessee on I-40 exit 407. This address will remain permanently etched into my memory.

We had been making pretty good time down to Chattanooga and It was almost 130. We hadnt stopped for lunch yet so I asked "where do you want to go for lunch?". As circumstances would have it, I uttered those words right as we passed a roadway billboard for Russell Stover Factory Outlet. Charles looked up at the sign, turned and said "exit 407 at the Russell Stover Candy Outlet".
So I said OK, I was always willing to go look at Chocolate. I could be doing worse things with my time.
(But secretly in my head I was thinking "Oh this will be just like those places we stopped at in Florida with the "bags of fruit" for $1, and your bag of fruit consists of 3 nectarines. Or the Pound of pecans for 2.99 and you get a bag of pecan dust) But I held my tongue and we went to the Candy Outlet.

cue angelic chorus here...

we walked in and it was divided into two sections. The upper section and the lower section. The upper section had all the candies listed at 8.99 each or 2 for $10.
I was thinking "Ok I could get 2 boxes at Rite Aid or Walgreens for $12 or so. This isnt that great of a deal"
THEN Charles found the Mother Lode.

In section two they had all the whitmans samplers and a few of the other russell stover chews and clusters etc.
Charles stood there, his mouth agape, drool forming. "Sarah...I found it. I found it!"
I came over and took one look and immediately started piling up chocolate boxes.
8 samplers for 8.99. Then I found the pecan crowns! 4 for 8.99(those are my personal favorites) Then I found the chews and nougat boxes. 4 for $7.99

So we ended up with 16 boxes of chocolates for under $30. They make perfect housewarming gifts. Perfect things to take to a pot luck or get together. Perfect gifts for all holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Easter, Groundhog Day, Arbor Day, Columbus Day, Left Handed awareness day, polar bear day, wear red to work day... Really is there any holiday that does not deserve a box of chooclate??


So total head count: 8 boxes of assorted chocolate samplers, 4 boxes of Pecan crowns and 4 boxes of Caramels and chews. This picture only shows 9 of the 16 boxes. Imagine 8 more large yellow boxes and 3 more white boxes. The cardboard box holds 6 yellow boxes of assorteds.

We have decided to make this a permanent stop every year on our trips to Chattanooga.

That night we went to my Aunt Jeans house for a Pre-reunion reunion. We had BBQ, Slaw, salads, cakes, cookies, etc. These Southern Women know how to put out a spread.
DAY TWO

At the top of Lookout Mountain incline we stopped at the gift shop and looked around. They had homemade fudge up there. (as seen in the See Rock City cardboard barn birdhouse container.) It was 4 slices for $14. HUGE slices. So we got Chocolate Peanutbutter, Chocolate Pecan, Rocky Road and Peanut Butter. I am not ashamed to admit I ate most of the peanut butter fudge all by myself. It is my favorite) But we still have quite a bit left, so I am shocked that we havent completely snarfed it down.


THEN later at the reunion we had THIS spread:



Imagine everything fried, breaded, battered, southern style and it was on this table. Ham, fried chicken, fried corn, southern green beans that could kill you, wings, salads, slaws, sweet potatoes done 5 different ways, stuffings, biscuits, rolls etc. 2 long tables chock FULL of Southern Goodness.

THEN we had the dessert tables. Better than Sex Cake, Pineapple Cake, Pecan Pies, breads, cakes, strawberry Shortcake, Rum cake, brownies and more. It was just an orgy of good food.

I came home feeling like I needed a colon cleanser and to make myself throw up. It was truly a weekend of gluttony.

Yet here I am counting down to NEXT years weekend of self indulgence!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

This weekend we went to Chattanooga, Tennessee for a family reunion. My mothers maternal side is from Chattanooga and Scottsboro Alabama. My mothers paternal side is from Sherwood Tennessee. So every year in June we pack up and head down to one of my favorite southern cities.

Every year we do something "touristy". We usually go to Lookout Mountain and ride up the incline. At the top we look out and "see 6 states" (which you can only do on a perfectly clear day and with binoculars) The incline is the worlds steepest passenger railway.

Lookout Mountain was the scene of the first Battle of Chattanooga during the American Civil War. "The Battle Above the Clouds" took place on Lookout Mountain. LM can get really foggy and cloudy and the middle half of the mountain gets shrouded in clouds. The union forces and confederate forces had to hold fire in case they hit their own men. Chattanooga had some of the bloodiest battles in the history of the entire war. Several ancestors were killed in these battles.

Here is a photo montage of us riding up the incline etc.


SEE ROCK CITY! Most Americans recognize this red barn birdhouse and slogan .

From wikipedia:
"It is well-known for the many barn roofs throughout the southeast United States that have the slogan "See Rock City" painted on their roofs. In total, over 900 barn roofs in nineteen states were painted by Clark Byers for Rock City."

The second you cross Tennessee borders they innundate you with Billboards about Rock City and Ruby Falls.
In fact we have the exact same birdhouse in our backyard.

We had a great time at the incline and on lookout mountain. Next time you are in Chattanooga TN, check it out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pardon me boys....


Is that the Chattanooga choo choo? Track 29.

We just got back from Chattanooga, Tennessee and my Broadway family reunion. (Broadway as in my mothers family surname, not The Great White Way in New York City- and wouldnt THAT be an interesting Family reunion??)

I have LOTS of pictures to sift through, photoshop etc, so I will post more tomorrow with some Collages of our doings in one of my favorite Southern Cities.


TEASER FOR LATER IN THE WEEK: 16 boxes of chocolates. Chocolate? Did someone say Chocolate??

Friday, June 20, 2008

America's Got My new favorite trombonist

So this week "America's Got Talent" started up again for its third season. For those of you who dont watch, AGT is a talent show for people of any age, talent etc to perform in front of 3 judges.
You can sing, dance, do comedy, magic, baton twirling...ANYTHING. If they like you, you get a callback and start performing for America and we vote through the phone and internet. The people with the lowest votes get kicked off every week. Kind of Like American Idol, but with wierder people.

If you recall in season 1, Bianca Ryan, the 11 year old with the pipes of gold took the million dollar prize.




THEN in Season 2 Terry Fator took the million with his impressions and ventriloquism.He has since signed a 110 MILLION dollar contract in Vegas, making him the winningest reality TV star ever. This was my favorite Terry Fator moment. (Maybe because I am a huge Roy Orbison fan)
Go to You Tube and search Terry Fator and watch some of his performances, you will see how amazing he really is.




But for season 3, I would have to say thusfar my FAVORITE audition was Jonathan Arons from New York City. Iwill admit, he walked out and I thought "Oh this is going to be terrible". The music started and I thought "Yeah, I was right". THEN he pulled out the magic. I was laughing so hard I just about cried. This guy is brilliant.






I wish I had moves like him.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pictures from Peters day

Here are just a few pictures from Peters little family birthday gathering on Saturday. We grilled out hot dogs and hamburgers and had fruit salad and pasta salad. It was nice, just the family and gram and papa and Pooty(Oliver the cat). We are going to be having a little party later on this summer for him and Finn combined at Monkey Joes with church and school friends.


His cake with 8 candles. We got his cake from Dairy Queen and had them put a Transformers Optimus Prime Edible Image on it. He would have preferred Bumblebee, but beggars cant be choosers.His cake was half chocolate and half vanilla with a fudge crunch center.





Peter opening a bunch of Transformer related presents: slotted paper robot figures(you piece them together like those styrofoam planes)




.


And Yes, Transformers UNDERWEAR!!





He also got a Transformers T-shirt with a SONG in it. There is a special button you push on the T-shirt and the Transformers Theme song plays. "Transformers, more than meets the eye. Transformers, robots in disguise. Autobots wage the battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons" So now he will have his own personal theme music wherever he goes!




Peter licking of the last vestiges of frosting from his candles. I think everyone does that on their birthday. I remember seeing my dad do that from one of his cakes when i was little and I thought it was a pretty cool idea, so I started doing it too. I think it is just one of those things, like turning frosted mini-wheats frosted side up in your bowl. You dont know why, you just do it.


Well Pooty was feeling left out and wanted to open presents too, so he dove into the tissue paper and shredded it to bits, leaving a nice little heaping mess all over the rug.




Finn wanted in on the candle action as well, so he purloined one of Peters candles and sucked off every trace of sugary goodness...and some wax.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A great Tag from Lindsey

Ok a few weeks ago I was tagged by Lindsey to do a really cool tag. However it was all about your favorite blogs and the post that started your love affair with them etc. I can only pick five, and if you look off to the right of my blog you will see a HUGE amount of blogs that I read .
Now I LOVE each and every blog that I read and it is hard for me to pick just five. So if I leave you off I am very sorry but please know that if your link is on my blog I read you on a daily basis. But for this tag I am choosing the following individuals (and be sure to read the links, they are the reason I love these bloggers)

1. LIST OF THE DAY: He can have some pretty bad stuff on there(R rated), but One post that had me cakling all day like a hyena was this one. THEN he posted Olan Mills and glamour shots baddies and had me wetting my pants. But I have to say my favorite is This one, (if celebrities looked like normal people)

2. LINDSEY THE HAIRWRECKER: So yes she and I have been friends since we were 15 years old. She and I both find the same things funny. She and I both have the exact same favorite books. We are both tried and true class A hairwreckers, both experts on every diet known to man and both have had to deal with her grandmother, Busia. We also have the same unphotogenic gene in our bodies But the post I laugh the most at was this classic "Prepare for Pain". I know that when I read a hairwrecker post I am in for hilarity.

3. HIGHDESERTDIVA: This gal from Oregon inspires me daily. She is an interior designer and collector of amazing vintageness! They moved to central Oregon, and bought a GREAT piece of land and have a double wide that she is remodeling. (they decided they would rather have great land than a huge house. The things she has done with her design is amazing.)Her hubby is a metalsmith so her house is full of AWESOME things he makes for her as well. Jealousy is starting to rear its ugly head here, so I must move on. But Charmaine you rock...totally.

4. HOMEISWHEREYOURPILLOWIS. This thoroughly entertaining blog is written by my neice, Denice. She is an ESL school teacher in Korea right now (She bravely teaches first graders. God Bless you Denice) Her blog is like a little travelogue and really quite funny. This is her first post . I especially Liked this easter post , with ramblings about her blue hoodie, and this post where her kids gave her a korean name. I really like her blog because the first few weeks(months) she was there she would go for walks, usually end up getting lost and come back with a funny story to tell and beautiful pictures.
But then there is THIS post about Progress reports (complete with pictures and what she would have LIKED to say) that had me cracking up. She seems to really be adjusting to Korean Life.

5. PIONEERWOMAN. She was living the high city life when she met Marlboro man and they moved to a cattle ranch. Why do I love pioneer woman?? Her Recipes! check out Marlboro Mans Favorite Sandwich and her marriage proposal Lasagna and the chooclate sheet cake.
Her photography! She shows you how to use photshop and elements and the different tools and how to sharpen your photography skills. Her Dogs! I want to take Charlie home with me and just snuggle in all his wrinkles!! Plus she uses words like dad gum and plum (as in Plum tuckered out). The fact that she had the life in the city and then was swept away by a cattle rancher just amazes me. Plus she holds all these cool giveaways and contests. One day I may win!!!


Honorable mentions: Dawn, Erin and Cheasty. Plus all the etsy blogs I read, which inspire me to be more creative.
Now I dont believe in tagging because people get mad. So if you want to do it, feel free, it is yours. I tag you all!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Theme and Variation

I decided to bead this weekend. I havent made anything new in awhile and I broke in my new desk and "jewelry station". It was heavenly. I had plenty of room, everything was neat, organized and right within reach. Made my stringing fun again!

OK, Remember this pink bracelet... I made it for my mom and she never wears it, thus perpetuating my feelings of inadequacy??

Well I took the pink bracelet and used it as the original pattern, then made 3 variations on it with different stones, including another pink one. I made several of each design, so I would have one to sell and one to keep.(because lets face it, you can never have too much jewelry! )

Here are the 3 I have strung thusfar:
Baby Blue is a Cats eye, glass pearl and swarovski bicone bracelet with sterling silver and pewter. Finished off with a toggle clasp.
Blue Stone is made from an aqua colored stone bead, glass pearl , white cats eye, sterling silver and pewter. The clasp is a self springing claw clasp, so it is easy on easy off...however I will be changing it to a toggle clasp once I get my delivery.

Ruby Red is red czech fire polish faceted rounds, glass pearl sterling silver and pewter. Currently There is a claw clasp, which will also be changed to toggle clasp.

I will be listing these in my etsy shop sometime this week.

I will be making several more of these in various colors(I also have a green milk glass, a pink cats eye, a purple milk glass and a white firepolish.

Since this is one of my more popular designs I am going to make a good selection of them to sell at the craft show in October. I will be creating them in birthstone colors. (garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, diamond, emerald, pearl, ruby, peridot, sapphire, citrine, opal, and blue topaz) I will mostly use czech firepolished glass beads. For Pearl I will be using swarovski glass pearls and for the opal I will be using round swarovski beads in "white opal".

I will be designing Moo cards to go along with each month and attach the card as a tag to the bracelets.

Since they are a costume jewelry and most of the findings are pewter, they are much more affordable than if it were completely sterling silver. So I am hoping to have much success with these at my craft show.

have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 16, 2008

GARDENING MONDAY

Ok not much to show except this:

My first little harvest. I have a zucchini, which grew a little too big (but in my defense it wasnt nearly ready 2 days ago. Next thing I know boom it is gigantic). I have 3 more zucchini just about ready out there as well. Looks like I am making zucchini bread this week.

I have an anaheim pepper that I have no idea what to do with right now. I guess I could chop it up and put it on taco's.

A hand ful of bush beans , with lots of them still out there "ALMOST READY"

and 2 grape tomatoes. I have several clusters of them that are just now starting to turn. They are that greeny orangy streaky color. But given a few days and more water and sunshine we will be good to go. They were delicious. So sweet and still warm from the sun. Nothing better than fresh from the garden tomatoes. We dont use pesticides or fertilizer and we hose them down every day so I feel comfortable that my kids can go out and pick them straight from the plant and not worry about them eating them straight from the garden.

My Romas will be coming into their own fairly soon as well. I have lots of those, just hanging out waiting their turn to color.

I still have nothing on my heirlooms though and it is frustrating. I dont know how to get them to grow. Heirloom vegetables are hard to grow, which I why I only got ONE heirloom plant. They taste etter than any of the other tomatoes, but for some reason they are finicky and a little more difficult. I dont know why.

anyhoo thats my garden this week.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Haiwreckers part deux

In my own quest to destroy my follicles, I have spawned a mini-me. His name is Finn, and he is a burgeoning Hairwrecker. (see also here)

I thought we were past the age of this nonsense. Apparently I was wrong.

I SHOULD have just let him walk around like that, teach him a lesson. But I didnt. I pulled out the Wahl Clippers, took off the attachments and buzzed the heck out of him. Voila!

This buzz should las all summer. Unfortunately, it will probably NOT be the last time I have to do this. We hairwreckers are notorious for not being able to leave our hair alone...ever.

Friday, June 13, 2008

To My Oldest Son

You were born June 13, 2000. You weighed in at a whopping 8 1/2 pounds and 21 inches long. You were the easiest labor and delivery I ever had. 6 days later you were having open heart surgery and threatening to leave this world. That was one of the worst months of my life. But you pulled through, and we loved you. You were a good baby. Slept through the night at 2 1/2 months of age.

Your First Halloween I dressed you up like a Pumpkin to match the little bear the nurse in the hospital gave you. She called you her "little pumpkin". You brought joy to everyone around you. Your ready smile, your snuggles and love and big bright eyes. You were just starting rice cereal(which you HATED) and oatmeal, which you couldnt get enough of.




At 6 months old you had your second open heart surgery. You pulled through like a champ and were better than ever. We had these pictures taken and sent them to everyone we knew. Aunt Lindsey kept them on her desk and showed everybody who would look. "Uh Lindsey, you know he is not YOUR baby, right?" people would say as she flashed her brag book. In fact she loved you so much, you are the reason Aunt Lindsey got pregnant with Faith!
You LOVED mashed sweet potatoes, carrots and the tropical delight desserts from gerber.


Here you were at 1 years old. Around this time we found out you had Cerebral Palsy and the left side of your body was affected from the stroke you had when you had your first heart surgery. We started you in physical and occupational therapy. You were always such a hard worker, except with the speech therapist. You refused to talk her talk or walk her walk. I dont think I have ever seen someone get so frustrated!! You always did things on your own time table and no matter what she pulled out of her magic bag, you refused to go with the flow. We called it quits after 6 months. It was going nowhere! You LOVED pancakes and salmon!



At 2 years old you were a joy. You were struggling to learn how to walk and still refused to talk. But you worked hard in therapy and always had such a sweet smile and great attitude.
Then one day, sometime in your second year, you just stood up and started walking. Then a stranger asked you a question and I said you didnt talk and you opened your mouth and havent shut up since. It was as if your mind said "Oh I get it" and boom everything fell into place.
You loved Baby Einstein videos and really showed your sense of rhythm and musicality during the clasical music. Your favorite food was grapes and sushi...oh and jello.



At 3 you were really starting to show your personality and independence. You loved your new brother and were always so sweet with him. You also had your 3rd heart surgery and were in the hospital for 2 LONG months. We had a few scares, but again, you pulled through and continued on !! You were getting better at walking, you REALLY loved Bob the Builder. You loved spaghetti, bananas with peanut butter and yoghurt.



Here you are at 4.
I could never get that one side of your hair to lie flat. You Loved Bob the Builder, Thomas, and Shrek. You had a Shrek Birthday for your 4th birthday ! I made a swamp cake with oreo crumbs and gummy worms, and we had everyone wear those shrek ear headbands. You loved the park and going shopping. The grocery store was one of your favorite places(probably because I always bought you a bag of M&Ms to bribe you). If there was pizza or spaghetti involved you would eat it. Pancakes were a pretty good thing as well.


Here you are at age 5. You were at UNC Hospital for 3 months waiting for a heart transplant. The nurses all fell in love with you. They named you "The King" and made you a crown that said "King Peter". You are still one of their favorites up there and still can't wait to see you when you go up for check up's. This was such a hard time for our family, but we loved you and wanted to be there with you all the time. You were crabby and mean and nasty sometimes, and liked to give the nurses a hard time about taking your meds. But after your new heart you were a changed little boy. You had so much energy and zest and life!! We were so proud of you and the way you came through everything. You were Thomas the Train and CARS (lightning mcqueen) crazy!! Your favorite food was pancakes and you really started to like bacon. In fact your first real meal after your transplant was blueberry pancakes with raspberry topping. You ate an entire adult sized portion of them and demanded more!!


Here you are at 6 years old. All dressed up in New Orleans at the National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation. We got to meet the Leger family, whose son Devan was your heart donor. People there fell in love with you too. You made everyone laugh while you were on stage. Seeing yourself on the TV screen as they filmed you, you put on quite a show. Flexing your muscles, hopping on one foot, picking your nose, smiling and making faces. You were so famous, you had nurses and doctors coming up to you all night wanting to get your picture and autograph!You started Kindergarten this year and had Mrs Whitacre for your teacher. You Loved Danger Rangers!! you loved tuna sandwiches, fruit by the foot and golden grahams!



Here is age 7. 1st grade, Mrs. Grimes class. You were running the mile. You did such a great job in school this year I am so proud of you. Your teacher really had her hands full this year with you, but she really loved having you in her class. This was the year you were named the UNC Childrens hospital inaugural ambassador of the year. You were so popular up at UNC that several of the nurses and doctors nominated YOU to be the patient ambassador. You are The King. You loved transformers, danger rangers and cars!! You started getting a taste for steak, sesame chicken and salad.




And here you are . Your 8th Birthday. I cant believe it. I am too young to have an 8 year old!!

You will be baptized this year(if you choose) and I am so proud.

You will be in 2nd grade. You love Transformers and cars. Your favorite food is steak and salad(or cheeseburgers, it's a toss-up) and your favorite color is purple. You have seen the Transformers movie a zillion times and can quote it word for word. You like to jump on the Trampoline with your brother. You are really good at reading and like to read books to Finn before I come into your room at night to "tuck you up".We are reading James and the Giant Peach together and you really like Junie B Jones chapter books.

One thing I really love about you is your willingness to try new things. Your cousin Alecia made a resolution to try new foods. You decided to do it too. I am very proud that you will try anything and generally like everything. Sushi is one of your new favorites again.


So HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear Peter. I love you and I am so proud of you!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

GROUCHY

I admit it, I was UBER-grouchy yesterday.

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and let it completely destroy my day.


I stomped, I pouted, I moped, I yelled. I was really my charming self.


So to my kids who took the brunt of my hostility, I apologize.


And to my husband who brought me home ice cream to help soothe the savage beast, thank you.


Last night we had TORRENTIAL downpours and wind. We lost 3 large branches from one or two of our pine trees in the back yard. I could stick them into a piece of florist styrofoam and have a Christmas tree. All I need is Charlie Brown and the cast singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

2 of my poor bean plants were flattened, so I stood them up and hard packed some dirt around them to keep them upright. I am just so glad I had the foresight to add stakes to my tomatoes and tie them up along with having cages around them. I wont complain about a handful of beans, because we desperately need rain in these parts, and it could have been worse.


PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT!!!! PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT!! (and I am not even getting paid to do this)

I have found my new favorite shampoo and conditioner. Herbal Essences HELLO HYDRATION. i foudn them through Dawn, who emailed me about their free mani-pedi offer right now. (buy any two specially marked herbal essences shampoo or conditioner, you get a voucher for a free manicure or pedicure). So I went to Walmart(GASP!) and bought a bottle of the shampoo and conditioner.

Let me just say: HEEEEEELLLLLOOOOOO HYDRATION!

My hair was soft, smooth and shiny. It smells great too. I swim with my kids every day so my hair has been feeling the brunt of the pool water and has been kind of dry. This combination has REALLY helped. One thing I REALLY like about it, is the thickness. The shampoo is thick and creamy and makes a great lather. It rinses clean too. The conditioner is thick and creamy as well, not thin and wimpy like other conditioners. It sort of made me feel that it was clinging to my hair for dear life, moisturizing the heck out of it. My hair was baby butt smooth and silky. It really was amazing.

Oh and I found THIS GAME. Dan and Laura, I shall KILL you for telling me about it. I spent TWO HOURS trying to figure out how to get past level 6!! (please email me and help or my kids will go without lunch and dinner)

hopefully today will be better than yesterday. Send me good thoughts and good karma.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Strictly the best movie ever


IFC channel was showing my Favorite Movie yesterday. So even though I have seen it a jillion times, can quote it word for word and practically dance along, I STILL sat and watched it. I spent 2 hours of my life, watching a movie on TV that I already own on DVD sitting on the shelf right next to the very same television on which I watched.
Strictly Ballroom is one of those films that every time I watch it, I remember how good it is. It is one of those films that I can watch again and again and again and never tire of it.

Plot synopsis from imbd..."Scott Hastings is a champion caliber ballroom dancer, but much to the chagrin of the Australian ballroom dance community, Scott believes in dancing "his own steps". Fran is a beginning dancer and a bit of an ugly duckly who has the audacity to ask to be Scott's partner after his unorthodox style causes his regular partner to dance out of his life. Together, these two misfits try to win the Australian Pan Pacific Championships and show the Ballroom Confederation that they are wrong when they say, "there are no new steps!"

It was directed by Baz Luhrmann, who also did Romeo+Juliet(with Claire and Leo) and Moulin Rouge.

I first saw this movie in 1997. Charles borrowed it from the library for me to watch while he was working second shift when we were first married.I sat and watched it. I immediately rewound it and watched it again. I had 3 days with that movie and watched it 4 more times. Over the years I would randomly borrow it from the library, rent it from Blockbuster or watch it when it was on Television. Finally for Christmas a few years ago, Charles bought me the BazLuhrmann Red Curtain Trilogy
so I had a copy of my very own. On a related side note, I am surprised that my DVD copy has not disintigrated with so much use!

I love this movie for so many reasons. Ugly Duckling/swan element, the power of love, stereotypes and cliches of the ballroom world, the music, and the dad saying "Son, can I bend your ear for a tick?" In the end when Scott finds out the truth about his parents his dad cries out "We lived our lives in fear!"

In case you havent seen it, here are the first 9 minutes of the movie to get you hooked :



So sit back, pop some kettle corn and enjoy yourself some Strictly Ballroom!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summer number crunching



Schools out for summer. I have both kids home with me all day every day for the next 10.5 weeks.

By the end of this summer I plan to be 30 pounds lighter and 6 shades darker.

I will have gone to Chattanooga, Tennessee and Virginia Beach, Virginia, all in all a total of 1500 miles and 4 tanks of gas, spending an average of $58.35 per tank of gas.

I will have kicked my kids out of the house 1,972 times and heard "Im bored, when can we go to the pool?" 4,352 times.

I will have yelled at Finn "Turn off that hose, don't you know we're in the middle of a drought!"an average of 9,310 times.

I will have to buy 3 new pairs of goggles, as the kids will have left out the old pairs for the dogs to chew up. And every time I will say "This is the LAST pair I am buying, do you understand me??"

I will cook out hot dogs and hamburgers on my new grill 27 times and every time swear it is the last. "It is just too hot outside to be standing over a propane grill. so enjoy these hot dogs and hamburgers because I am never doing it again!"

I will run to the mailbox barefoot 72 times, cursing and jumping and ooh oohh ahh ahhh every step of the way

I will then get yelled at 5 times by the lady I will get my pedicures from for having dried, burnt skin on the bottom of my feet.

I will have an average of 4 different toenail colors throughout the summer and 3 different hair colors, depending on the strength of the chlorine in the pool and the help of the sun.

I will burn through 3 pairs of cheap flip flops 2 beach totes and 4 cans of spray on sunscreen

I will make fun of 122 people at the pool

450 people will make fun of me

I will have the air conditioner running 24 hours a day 7 days a week and have an electric bill of $200 a month.

We will burn through 50 frozen otter pops and 1 watermelon a week

I will step outside and say "ahhh, it is so hot!" 982 times then shake my hands, stick out my tongue and immediately feel sticky and gross.

I will yell at my kids "Shut that darn door! We are not air conditioning the neighborhood!" 9,522 times and with each time think to myself "I just sounded like my mother".

I will shave my legs 150 times, which is 4 times as much as they get done the rest of the entire year combined.

I will go through 3 bottles of moisturizing lotion, 2 bottles of aloe skin repair for sunburn and 2 tubes of cellulite firming cream.

By the end of the summer I will have purchased 6 pairs of kids sandals/aqua socks/shoes, 4 new pairs of swim trunks, and an average of 10 pairs of shorts and 16 new T shirts.

My food Bill will double as the summer brings out growing boys and appetites of elephants.

This summer Peter will turn 8.

This summer Finn will turn 5.

This summer I will turn 32.( My one consolation is that LINDSEY and DAWN got there first!!)

So all in all this summer will be pretty good. If I can just keep a grip on the math, I think I will survive!

HAPPY SUMMER Y'ALL!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Gardening Monday 6-9-2008

Gardening Monday again! And some pretty big things happened over the past week.
First I walked out to find THIS! I was so excited. My first red tomato!!

Awwww, too bad. Something got to it before I did. In its defense, it WAS grown right near the ground. Probably the neighbors cat or something.

Remember the baby bush beans from last monday, those little scrawny podlings??


Well check out these bad boys! Just about ready to be eaten!

Then I discover that my one grape tomato plant has shot up in size. (It looks scrawny from the way I prune them, but I already have several clusters on that plant)



And here are some of my NEWEST babies:

New Roma's and new grape clusters. And my Jalapeno plant has invited a few of his jalapeno friends to hang out!



Here are pictures of my Redneck Compost Bin, as promised:



We use an extra large dog kennel. It has the slots for aeration and the gate to cover the top.
It can roll, so we can easily "turn" the compost and there are enough openings for moisture to get in where needed.
We picked this up in our neighbors backyard when they moved out and left it behind.
You really can use just about anything to compost. As long as it gets the proper mix of greens, browns, scraps, moisture and air, you can make it anywhere.

I am lucky that I do have a larger area to compost in. It really can make a huge difference in your gardening results.

Happy Gardening!