Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Invisible Woman

You have got to see this...

Thanks to Super Fun Mama for posting this.

Pictures of my Half Apron (and another recipe)

I finally had pictures taken of my half apron. You can see how it ties in the back here.

It would also be cute with a pleated pocket or two (check out the tutorial by Made by Rae). Remember I made this apron years ago (if I recall correctly I was pregnant with Lee at the time, he is 10 now) and I didn't have the time (or the know how) for the pleated pocket, but I think it would be so cute.

The nice thing about making an apron out of a dishcloth is there is no measuring and cutting AND the edges are already finished. There is very little sewing (just attaching the ties) that even a novice could do this. This would be a great project for a girl to make for her hope chest (yes, I live in the South and we still do 'Hope Chests' down here). I have to admit, I don't wear mine very often (I should wear it more - it would save some clothes), but in a pinch I have even used it as a dishcloth (don't be surprised, after all that's what it was in it's first life). It has been washed and dried quite often and it has held up just fine.

Reasons this is one of my favorite summer recipes (great one to try out your new Half Apron on).

1) It is quick and easy, but it doesn't taste quick and easy. (It tastes like you slaved over a hot stove, made from scratch kind of good.)
2) It doesn't use the hot stove or oven so you don't have to heat up your kitchen (or just uses oven very little for crust).
3) It is cool and light. Great for hot summer weather or for after a meal.
4) I almost always have the ingredients on hand (most of them in the freezer).

I got this recipe from Taste of Home's Quick Cooking Magazine's Premier Issue (this magazine is no longer in print). :o(

Quick Cocounut Cream Pie

1 (5.1 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix (I use Jell-O brand)
1 1/2 C cold milk
1 (8 oz.) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided (I use Cool-Whip brand)
3/4 - 1 C flaked coconut, toasted and divided
1 pastry shell, baked (or graham cracker crust) 8 or 9 inches (I use the pastry shell)

In a mixing bowl, beat pudding mix and milk on low speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping and 1/2 - 3/4 C of the coconut. Pour into crust. Spread with remaining whipped topping; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Chill. Serves 6-8.

What's your favorite summer dessert (with recipe please - I love recipes almost as much as I do comments)?

My Mother's Wisdom

"Never date someone that you would not be willing to marry. You never know who you will fall in love with."
~Judy Stanton

Monday, June 29, 2009

I've Learned to Knit

I've learned to knit...well sort of. I just finished my first project. It was a small dishcloth made with a very small ball of leftover yarn. It is very lopsided, has several dropped stitches, it is just in one stitch (the knit stitch), but it is completed. It's pretty pitiful looking, but it's complete.

I'm really not disappointed. I remember my first few crochet attempts (pretty much the same). It will take time for me to get my tension right (not too tight and not too loose) and to learn other stitches (I am still learning new crochet stitches). My next attempt will be to learn how to pick up dropped stitches (or better yet, not to drop them) and to work on my tension. I am very slow, but I know that my speed will improve with my other knitting skills as I continue to practice.

I still enjoy crocheting, but I like the look of knitted items too (crochet and knit just look different). I also wanted to learn a new skill. I am happy that I taught myself (by book, YouTube, LionBrand.com instructions, and lots of heart). And with 4 boys running around it was quite a feat.

What I learned (I will still have to check my cheat sheet for awhile)...
...to cast on
...the knit stitch
...to cast off/bind off.

YES, knitting is harder than crochet (I heard it was the other way around - if I learned to knit first I might agree, but right now I don't), but it is well worth it. And NO I'm not going to show my dishcloth. I am proud that I completed it, but it is still pitiful looking (the dishes won't mind).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I am so excited! (and a recipe to boot)

I just won 'A Month Of Meals E-Book' from 5 Minutes for Mom (you can check it out here). I really NEED it. I can hardly wait for it.

Usually I stand at the pantry at 4:30 p.m. trying to decide what to fix for supper before Frank gets home (at 5:30 p.m.). I know, that's really pitiful isn't it? When I get the E-book, I'll let you know how it goes.

Here is something that I fixed this past week (yes, at the last minute).

Jena's Marvelous Meatloaf

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 - 1/2 C oats
1 egg
1 Tbs. of dried minced onion or 1/2 of small onion finely chopped
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
1 Tbs. Heinz 57 Sauce
1 Tbs. A-1 Steak Sauce
1 Tbs. Ketchup
1 Tbs. Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce
1 Tbs. Dale's Seasoning
2 additional Tbs. of your favorite sauce listed above

Mix all the above ingredients together and mix well. Place in muffin cups or mini loaf pans (you can place in traditional loaf pan, but that takes too long - I'm always trying to get it on the table before DH gets home, remember?). Then top with more of your favorite sauce (mine is either the 57 Sauce or BBQ Sauce). [The nice thing about the muffin cups is 1) it cooks faster 30 min. or slightly less, 2) it is already in individual serving sizes-great for kids, 3) you can put a different topping on for every person (ketchup for the kids, BBQ Sauce for DH, 57 Sauce for me)]. Bake for about 30 min. depending on your oven (slightly less for muffin cups and slightly longer for mini-loaf pans and 45 min. - 1 hour for traditional loaf pan). Delicious!!!!!!!

Quick and Easy Half Apron

Update: 6/30/09 I finally took pictures of the apron (or I should say Champ took the pictures for me - Thanks Champ, you're a great photographer).

This picture is supposed to show the ties of the apron and not so much my backside (but it's hard to do one without the other - sorry).

Want to make a quick and easy half apron? I did this several years ago. Our women's club annual dinner had an apron theme and they wanted everyone to wear an apron. I didn't have one so I had to come up with something really quick. I took a dish towel (my was large green and ecru gingham check) and I took scrap fabric (ecru) and made 2 ties for it (you could use grosgrain ribbon - I think that would be great - I love grosgrain). I turned the dish towel so the long sides were on top and bottom (it was horizontal) and I sewed one tie to each top corner (you can machine stitch this, but you could also do it by hand because there aren't that many stitches). And taaaaa-daaaaaaaaa. You have a half apron.

Have you ever had to do something like that in a pinch? What was it and how did you do it? (Was it a child's costume? Was it decorating a hat for a special occasion?)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Please Stop by and Say 'Hi!'

My friend Amanda at Faith, Food and Family has been unable to blog due to family illnesses and issues. She has now returned to blogging so stop by her blog and tell her Hello.

Glad you're back Amanda I missed you.

Blessing Others by Being Blessed

"I am willing to help others, but often times I am reluctant to let others help me."

Last night at church the class teacher had made the above comment. He asked how many of us that statement fit (just a question we didn't have to raise our hands). It fits me. Does it fit you?

Did you know that being a Christian part of our duty is to serve others? That's great, but if you don't allow others to serve you, you are robbing them of their Christian duty. Have you ever thought of that? I hadn't (until last night). Then this morning I was checking my e-mail and I read my MOPS Int. weekly e-mail and it was basically about the same thing.

How many times are we reluctant to allow others to help us? Is it pride? What is it? I am going to try to be more aware when people offer help and be more accepting of it. I really enjoy cooking for others in need (or other forms of helping), couldn't someone else enjoy helping me? Who am I to rob them of their chance to serve others as God wants us to? Will you be more accepting next time? Try.

How do you serve others? How has someone else served you?

My Husband Really Rocks!

My Husband is so supportive of me. He encourages me in my crafts, in MOPS, in whatever my interest is.

I just found out Monday that he is going to allow me to go to MOPS Convention (this year it is held in Nashville, TN)! MOPS Convention is Thursday, Friday and Saturday. That means he will have to take off work for a couple of days and have all 4 boys by himself. He will have to take 2 to school and entertain 2 preshcoolers at home, then have to pick the older 2 up from school. Along with getting supper on the table (I will try to have supper fixed and in the fridge).

He is so good to me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Boojiboo Flirty Apron GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain does it again. She never ceases to amaze me. She is giving away a beautiful apron from Boojiboo! Oh, how I would love to win this (just like every other one of her giveaways).

Spark Book

Do you have all these ideas running around in your head and you don't know what to do with them? I did until...

A year or so ago I learned about a Spark Book on HomemadeSimple.com and I just had to make one.

Here is the cover of mine.

Here is my spark book open. I have pictures that I have cut out of magazines with notes that I have made to myself. It could be the color scheme, it could be the picture arrangement on the wall, it could be a free crochet pattern that I printed off the internet, it could be something that I dreamed up, whatever. I carry it around with me most of the time (it's small enough to fit in my purse) because I never know when inspiration is going to hit me.

I picked up a journal from Hobby Lobby and made my tabs (you customize it to your interests). I have a tab for crafting, decorating, organizing and gift ideas.

How do you organize your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What's Your Take On It?

I was at the store the other day and commented to the cashier how my grocery bill was going to go up now that the boys were out of school for the summer. The cashier said "Maybe they will go over to friends' houses this summer."

Well, I explained to her that I don't really mind the grocery bill. The grocery bill to me is a small price to pay. I would rather my boys and their friends come over to our house. I want our house to be the "Hang Out" house.

What's your take on it? Would you rather your children go visit friends or would you rather their friends come over your house?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Something Great at Etsy

Karen from mysticwynd just let me know that she included some of my hand crocheted dishcloths in her Treasury List. You can check it out here. I am so excited and I feel honored. Please go check it out. While you're visiting Etsy, you can stop by mysticwind and check her out also.

If you want to check out my Esty shop just click on the link to the right of this page. Happy looking. If you have suggestions for items that you would like to see in my shop just let me know.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't give up

Don't give up on me. I haven't quit blogging. Since my boys are out of school (which I absolutely love), it has been busier around here. We went to the Knoxville Zoo one day (couldn't get pics - long story). We've been to visit my Aunt, we've had a cousin over for a couple of days, had some friends over and all sorts of stuff. I haven't been able to do as many crafts as I would like, but I am still doing some. Will try to get some pics (having trouble with my camera, and I just don't feel like it's a good post without pictures) and post some real soon.

Have a great week this week and I will try to do a real post with pictures and all as soon as possible.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another Beach Towel

I embroidered a beach towel for my SIL for her birthday later this month. It seems that I get their whole family the same thing each year for their birthday. Last year I got them each a camp chair and embroidered each of their names on the back of their chair (my 2 nephews, my SIL and my brother - I did not do this for my 3 yo nephew though). This year I got my 2 nephews beach towels with their names embroidered on them (you can see them here) and I am doing this for their mom too, so I will probably do this for my brother also. I may even do this for my nephew who will be 4 this year. (My SIL's mom has a pool and sometimes we all go to the lake with my dad - I thought it would be really neat, something cute and useful.) I did the camp chairs because they are always going to ball games and going camping. (Again I did the practical thing, but they are so hard to buy for I don't really know what else to do for them.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Monogrammed Pillowcases

I monogrammed a set of pillowcases as a wedding gift. I wanted the tone on tone look, but I didn't have any ecru colored thread so I did tan thread on white pillow cases. (If I realized that I didn't have any ecru thread, I could have gotton ecru pillowcases and the tan thread would have been perfect.) Anyway this is how it turned out. Not too bad.

I have also been working on something really cute (at least I think it is cute). I just finished yesterday, now I have to get some pix of it and I'll post about it. Can't wait.

Friday, June 12, 2009

God Given Talent

Have you ever thought about your creativeness? The ability and desire to make and create things was God given? I hadn't until Tamara Kelso came to our MOPS Scrapbook ing Luau (2008) and gave the devotion.

Here are some scriptures she gave to back up her thoughts (I wish you could have heard her, she was fantastic!).

Gen. 1:1
Exodus 31:3-6
I Peter 4:10

I had to fight back the tears when she was giving the devotion. She is an excellent speaker.

God is the Ultimate Creator. If He made us, why wouldn't He give some of us that same desire? I have always enjoyed crafting (making, creating, anything). Now I feel better about it, I no longer feel that it was just a hobby. I never thought about it as a talent or something given to me by God until now.

What is your God given talent?

Father's Day Printables for Kids

Father's Day is a little over a week away. Here are some printables that kids can make for Father's Day.

This one is for coupons and it is in color...Family Fun

This one is all sorts of things to print (look for the coupons), you can print them in color or in black and white so the kids can color them...DLTK-Cards

This is an assortment of crafts to make for Father's Day...All Kids Network

More Homemade Coupons from Love to Know

Here are cards to make for Father's Day...Associated Content

Do you have crafts that you and the kids make for Father's Day? Do you get your DH a gift for Father's Day? What do you get him/What are you getting him this year?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How's it going?

How's the challenge going? Have you read James at least once yet? Well, if you haven't and if you don't think you can get it read 3 times this week once, is better than nothing (but try for 3 times).

There are 5 days left this week (including today). James has 5 short chapters (the first 2 are the longest and they have around 30 verses - so they are still not long), read 1 chapter a day starting today and at the end of the week you will have read the book of James.

It was written by Jesus' half brother and has lots of practical advice. And who better to give advice (other than Jesus)? Very useful, especially today.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Challenge for You

James is my favorite book in the New Testament. It is a short book, easy to read with very practical advise (and instruction from God). I challenge each of you to read it 3 times this week (I've heard that if you read 3 books on 1 subject you are considered an expert on that subject). I don't know if you would be considered and expert on the book of James, but you would obviously be more educated and closer to God.

If you are up for a major challenge. Read the book of James once each day this week. I bet if you do that, you would have read the book of James more times than most people.

My favorite translation of the Bible is the King James Version (it is the most acurate, but not easy to read). My next favorite is the New King James Version (basically KJV, but withou the Thee's and Thou's). When I read my bible I like to have several versions. I usually read the KJV, but if there is something that I'm having trouble understanding, I look at another version to see if it makes things clearer. Beware of what version you are reading, some versions leave things out and some add their own words into scripture.

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."
Deuteronomy 4:2 KJV

"What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." Deuteronomy 12:32 KJV

"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." Proverbs 30:5-6 KJV

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19 KJV

Just remember... "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

So...are you up for the challenge?

Happy Birthday Champ!

It is very hard to believe that 9 years ago today you joined our family. You are a very special boy (or I should say young man). You are a terrific son, a wonderful big brother and so much more. You bring joy to our lives. We love you!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sewing Machine Meme

Sew Mama Sew is doing a Sewing Machine Meme and I would like to participate so here goes...

My Brand and Model of Sewing Machine: Bernina Artista 180

How long have I had it?: 1 year (it was my Mother's Day gift last year)

How much does this machine cost (approximately): Not exactly sure, mine was purchased used and was almost $1,000, my MIL said she thought new it was in the $3K range.

What do I sew with it?: clothing (mine, my kids', and gifts), handbags, totes, diaper bags, home dec projects, crafting projects, anything that I am in the mood for.

How much do I sew?: Depends on my moods (sometimes I can't quit, I sew every chance I get, but with 4 boys it is not enough).

How do I feel about my machine?: I love it. My MIL let me borrow her Bernina (not sure what model but it was only a sewing machine) a couple of years ago and I fell in love with it. I have always wanted an embroidery machine so she helped my DH get my Bernina Artista (it's a sewing/embroidery machine) for me. I am still learning how to use the machine. Sometimes it doesn't do what I would like for it to do, but then I find out that it was an OE (operator error). ;o)

What features do I like?: I love the Free Hand System. That is probably my favorite feature (aside from the embroidery module).

Is there anything that drives me nuts about my machine?: Yes, I haven't learned it all yet.

Do I have a great story about it?: I have hinted about it already. It was my 'Mother's Day Gift' last year. I have been wanting one for a long, long, long time. Frank talked to his mom about it (she sews and has for years, she also has a sewing/embroidery mahcine, etc.). She got mine off of e-bay for Frank and it was shipped to her house. One day Frank called me from work and said I needed to go to his mom's and pick something up (it was just a couple of days before mother's day). When I got there it was my machine. I was so excited, I wasn't sure if it was real or not. I couldn't wait to get home and try it out, but when I got it home I was kind of afraid of it. I watched the video that came with it and I looked at all the manuals and finally I decided I needed to turn it on.

Would I recommend this machine to others?: Yes, deffinitely. Berninas have great reputations. They are good, quality machines, and very user friendly.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? I really don't know. I have never purchased one. My mother bought me one several years ago at a yard sale (I thought I was interested, but I wasn't sure), so it was a good starter machine. My grandmother handed me down her Singer (it is an antique and still runs great!!!) My DH and MIL purchased the machine I have now for me as a gift.

Do I have a dream machine?: If I had a dream machine, it would be a new Bernina sewing/embroidery combo with all the bells and whistles (but only after I have mine all figured out). Basically I am very happy with what I have.

Make Your Own Bookplates

Goodhousekeeping.com has a great place to download and print your own bookplates. Check it out here.

They have 3 different designs. You print them out on self-adhesive lables (like Avery) and then you have ready made bookplates. These are great for books, gifts (friends, teachers, etc.), you can put them on movie cases, and lots of other useful places.

Where are all the places that you could use a bookplate?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Turning Ordinary Napkins Extraordinary

Start with a plain ordinary napkin and an embosser (my mother purchased mine for my birthday several years ago).

Put the plain corner (if some of the edges have a border) into the hand embosser. Gently squeeze the handle (not too tight or you will tear the napkin, but it has to be firm enough to leave the impression). You may have to try it a time or two.

Ta-Da!! Your embossed napkin, simple yet ellegant and expensive looking.

Shabby Apple

Check out my new Shabby Baby Button on the right and my Shabby Apple Banner at the bottom of the page. Aren't they cute? Now click on one of them and check out Shabby Apple.

My Husband Rocks

O.k. Here is the story about the cake issues (that I mentioned in one of the earlier party posts).

I had made the cakes a head of time (they have to cool before you can ice and decorate them), plus we had such a busy schedule (there was a lot going on that weekend) I had to do what I could do when I could do it. After the cakes cooled, Frank put the first layer of icing on the cakes for me. We had to let it set up a little before decorating.

Well I had 4 haircuts that morning (I know, I know, I had way too much to do to prepare for the party and we had Cub Scouts Crossover Ceremony that afternoon, but I just can't say 'no,' especially when I had a couple of them come from Nashville to get their haircut).

Frank was outside mowing and weedeating getting ready for the party the next day and I was downstairs in the Salon cutting hair. I got finished at the last minute and had just enough time to change clothes before leaving for the Crossover Ceremony. I ran upstairs changed clothes and went into the kitchen to find Rance sitting onthe counter eating cake!!!!!! I just froze.

Frank said "Don't get mad, he [Rance] just got up there. Anthony did it first and Anthony said he was really sorry and he didn't mind if his birthday cake had extra icing on it to fill in the holes." [This should have been a Kodak moment, but I was so exhausted and totally in shock that I didn't even think of my camera until much, much later.]

I probably would have cried, but there wasn't enough time. Mari, a very good friend of mine, was taking all 4 of the boys home with her after the Crossover so I could do last minute stuff (she actually kept 3 of them all night - which helped tremendously). I planned on having my house clean before Crossover and concentrating on the cakes after (well, that didn't work).

I still had quite a bit of cleaning to do and decorate the cakes, plus somehow fix them before deocrating them, there was no way there was enough time to bake 2 more cakes and let them cool, and frost them and let them set and deocrate them (unless I stayed up all night and still not sure there was enough time).

We went to Crossover, Frank took the boys to Mari's house while I ran to the store and picked up a couple of last minute items, came home and I started cleaning (avoiding the cakes). I did everything that needed to be done (except sweep and mop the floors I would do that Sunday morning before church - to avoid any spills and anything like that). It was after 9:00 p.m. and I still hadn't started the cakes (not sure where to start I was still avoiding them or just plain dreading it).

Frank was so sweet. He had repaired the holes while I was picking up last minute items. So there really wasn't that much to do except deocorate, but I was just so disgusted with what happened I couldn't get in the mood (but they had to be done).

Frank said, "Tell me how you want it decorated."

I said, "Really?"

Frank, "Sure."

So, Frank decorated the cakes for me. Really. I took cake decorating class, but he decorated the cakes for me. I did the names on the cakes and trim on Anthony's cake. That's all I did. Honestly. I can't take credit for the cakes.

Isn't he awesome????????? How does your husband rock? Don't forget to click on the MHRF button in my right side bar to check out how other husbands are rocking.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Making Pizza

Sorry this is such a long post, but I couldn't resist posting so many pictures. Yesterday, our MOPS group went to Momma Rosa's Pizzaria for the kids to make their own pizzas. It was a hit!!!!!!! The boys loved it (it was fun, I really enjoyed watching them having fun). I helped them very little, they did their own thing and they did it very well. It even tasted good after it was cooked. The cost was $5 per child and that included the drink.

The boys preparing the dough. (Lee, Anthony and Champ)

Rance preparing his dough.

Still working on the dough. They were probably done, but they couldn't keep their hands off while we were waiting our turn for the sauce and toppings.

Champ adding sauce while Rance is still forming his dough.

Lee and Anthony adding their toppings (looks like that is pepperoni).

Let's add the cheese and lots of it (except for Anthony, he barely put any on his).

Waiting for the pizzas to bake.

Waiting patiently.

Their patience pays off...Lee with his pizza.

Anthony, proud of his pizza.

Champ can't wait to take a bite.

Rance testing to see how hot it is.

O.k. he's ready to take a bite.

Lot's of fun.

Lee taking his first bite. (It's a little hot.)

Little Girl's Dress

This is a dress that I did for a friend of mine that is expecting a baby girl (her 3rd). It is red and white gingham (can you tell I like gingham?) trimmed in white with red buttons on the shoulders.

Here is the matching ponytail holder.

I love this style of dress. I think it is sweet and simple looking. She can wear it just like this in the summer. In the winter, can't you just picture it with a solid red or white turtle neck under it (for Christmas the turtle neck can have candy canes embroidered on the neck) with white tights and black patent Mary Janes? How about when the dress is too short for a dress? Picture it as a top with either denim or white capris and red flip flops. How darling?

I really like cute, but being a mom of 4 I usually go with practical (I try to throw in a little cute too though). If I give clothes, I try to give 12 months or larger (it seems everyone likes to give the "cute" newborn/baby sizes). I figure the new mom will get plenty of small sizes, but the baby will need clothes when he/she gets bigger too. Also, they outgrow the small sizes so quickly, they barely get worn (especially with so many). With a dress like this, you don't have to worry about what size she will be in during certain seasons. It works will all seasons.

Do you have a practical outfit that your kis/grandkids wear? Or one that you give? Or do you go for cute? (Cute is so hard to resist.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Party Decorations Pix

I went to a restaurant supply store and purchased clear condiments bottles. I printed off the names of the condiments that I was using from the computer. Then I cut them out and using clear packing tape I applied them to the bottles. (The clear packing tape kept them attached to the bottles, but it also kept the lables clean.)

I then placed the bottles in this old (probably antique) 6 pack soda carrier. The Fanta drink carrier was my grandmother's also (my grandparents used to have a General Store).

I wish I had a picture of it on the table with the quilt. It looked really neat.

I like the look of the drink carrier, but it also made things easier...it kept the condiments contained in one area, it was easy to get from the fridge to the table and back to the fridge again. I meant to get some springs of ivy and I could have tied them to the handle. (In my mind it looks good, I will have to try it out sometime to make sure.)

A New Addition

We now have a new addition to our family (well actually 3 new additions). Our cat, M.C., had kittens last night. One is solid white, one is calico and the other one is a grey stripe.

We got our cat from someone giving it away. She said it was a stray (she tried to locate the owners, but was unable), but it was expecting and it was very early this spring and she didn't want to leave it out in the cold so she took it in. She already had a cat of her own and couldn't keep it.

By the time we picked her up she had just had her kittens (5) a couple of days before. They didn't make it. I don't know if it was because of the move, the temps or what. Because they all died almost immediately, she ended up with mastitis. I hope she has more luck with this litter.

She seems to be a great Momma Cat (that's where she got her name M.C.), she's also good with my boys. We had a stray dog show up a few days ago (we live out in the middle of nowhere and people are always dropping off animals they don't want - it is really sad). The dog is not much bigger than M.C., I heard him yelp this morning and ran out to see what was happening. M.C. was just protecting her kittens (I don't think the dog would hurt them - he is real timid - I think he was just curious). Does anyone want a sweet little male dog that needs a home desperately?

He's hiding under the boys' picnic table. He's good with the boys, but we just don't need him. He needs lots of love.

Champ's Clematis and Trellis

This is Champ's clematis in full bloom. I was beginning to think we would never see it in full bloom (every time it would start to bloom the rain would beat the flowers off).

Frank and the boys made the trellis earlier this spring (you can read the post here). The 2 youngest boys love to walk on the edges of the flower beds and they have been using the trellis as a rail and they have pulled it over slightly. Frank will have to straighten it up, but it is still beautiful.

Decorated Bucket

Last year I bought a galvanized oval bucket from Lowes. I primed it and painted it lime green and trimmed it in navy (I love those colors together). I trimmed it with a monogram (first initial of our last name) on both sides, a stripe around the middle and the handles.

I filled that full of ice and placed canned drinks, bottled water, and juice boxes in the ice. It was an easy and beautiful way to display the drinks.

We had a cooler of ice, so you could put ice in glasses for the jugs of sweet tea, fruit tea, and homemade lemonaid, but having the cans displayed this way kept the ice in the cooler from melting as fast (the lid wasn't opened as often) and it kept the ice a little cleaner (less hands and cans in the ice). I borrowed the idea (and colors - because I just love those colors together) from Momogram Momma.

I can also set potted plants down in the bucket at any time (and change them out with the seasons). Wouldn't it look welcoming and pretty next to your front door? You could do a lot with this beautiful bucket.

What colors would you decorate your bucket? What design would you use (a monogram, a theme, a picture)? Now how would you use your bucket? Where would you put it and what would you put in it? Let me know and send me pictures (I LOVE comments and pictures). I need inspiration, send me some comments please.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

All dressed up and ready to party!!!!!!

This is my granparents table all dressed up and ready for the party. I used one of my grandmother's quilts (the one she made the year dad was born - 1944). [Don't freak, I put clear vinyl over the top to protect it.] Then I put fresh flowers (I cheated and got them from Kroger) on the table in a Mason jar.

I used this table for all the food and condiments for the party (but ran out of space on my camera card to take a picture). :o( It was really pretty. We did a Shrimp Boil (I got the recipe from Skip to My Lou). I had been wanting to try it for awhile now (but had to convince Frank). I was very pleased with how it turned out, I think it was a hit.

I was unable to do it quite like Skip to my Lou. My grandmother's table was originally suppposed to be the drink and dessert table and we were going to put the Shrimp Boil on the main eating table (you have to check it out on Skip to My Lou to really understand what I mean) - I wanted the FULL experience. I wasn't able to get the extra tables and chairs, so I had to improvise (we had to use plates) and use my grandmother's table for all the food.

Also, I mis-read the recipe and thought it fed 30 people (it feeds 10 - how did I get 30 from 10????????). Well, since I haven't made this before I had a back up of hamburgers and hot dogs (just in case the shrimp boil flopped - it didn't). It's a good thing (I had hamburgers and hot dogs) since I was having 30 and could only feed 10 with the recipe. We actually could feed more beause I got a little extra of almost everything.

All in all I was very pleased with how this turned out (even with the cake issues - more on that later). We will definitely be doing this again sometime.

I wanted to purchase a Turkey Fryer (just for this event plus Frank likes deep fried turkey - actually that's the only way he likes turkey). Frank didn't want me to purchase one (I think he expected it to flop), he had me borrow my uncle's. Well, when I mentioned possibly doing this again he seemed all for it. He's not totally opposed to purchasing a turkey fryer now. He would still rather I borrow one (I mean really how many times a year are we going to do this and turkey fryers are rather expensive).

I'll have a few more ideas of what I did later (hint: see that green in the picture to the left of the table) . Keep checking back.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Settin' Up Housekeeping

My grandfather made a table when he and my grandmother were "Settin' up housekeeping." My dad mentioned the table to me and asked if I wanted it. I said "Of course!!!!" Well, this was a while back and since we were having a birthday party and family was coming (lots of people) I needed an extra table. We went to dad's on Thursday and got it. It had been down in his basement and had some posterboard sitting on top of it. Somehow the posterboard had gotten wet and stuck to the table. This is how is looked when we got it...

Well, it cleaned up beautifully!!!!!!!!! Just a little elbow grease (not much), a Pampered Chef stoneware scraper, some Murphy's Oil Soap and a rag.

Dad says that he never remembers eating at this table. Did they get another one before he was born?

I love it! I love old things, especially when they used to belong to family (I'm very sentimental). I'll show another pic or two later.
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