Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween, Spiders, and Tigers - Oh my!

Mummy Dogs
I just love making fun food for Halloween.  Its really one holiday that it doesn't have to be fancy food - it just has to be FUN food!  And if you screw it up, just say its supposed to be that way, and go with it!  Here's what I cooked up this year:

Veggie Tray - gotta have SOMETHING those potato chips on the side..... and the french onion dip in the pumpkin; Apple teeth in the background - and a mysterious hand stealing from the plate....yikes!
Frankenstein Dirt and Worms (its supposed be be green - did you know its really hard to make chocolate pudding green?) 
Spider Matt

The BEST part of Halloween is these kiddos having fun eating the food, trick or treating, and handing out candy to other kids. They were awesome tonight!  We ended our evening with "Its the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"

Benny Tiger

Cairo @ 12 1/2 years old.....Happy Birthday!
And Cairo is celebrating his 10th anniversary of being rescued from the pound today.  We always call it his birthday since we don't really know when the b-day actually is...... So Happy Birthday Cairo!
(I think Ben was a little disappointed that we didn't have cake and candles for Cairo's big day.... ha!)


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wreath Tutorial

My fall wreath
Ben helping me out*

So I made a wreath from my front door and posted a pic on Facebook.  I got lots of sweet comments, and someone even asked if I used a tutorial to make it.  Yes, I did use a tutorial - my mom standing across the table showing me what to do.....  But that doesn't help my FB friends very much.....  So, I thought I'd just write down what I did so you can make your own if you want to!

18" wreath form
Pipe cleaners that match your large mesh ribbon
21" deco mesh ribbon
Burlap ribbon
Wire edged ribbon
Picks and silk flowers
Hot glue gun and fireproof fingers :)

How to do it:
1. I started by twisting 10 brown pipe cleaners to the inside ring of a wire wreath form - evenly space.  I hot glue the back when I have them where I want them so they stay put.
2. Twist 10 more brown pipe cleaners to the outside ring of the wreath form, spacing them out so they are between the pipe cleaners on the inner ring.  Glue in place.
3. Start with your wide mesh on the inner ring.  Fold edge of mesh under an inch or 2 and secure doubled mesh with a pipe cleaner.  Twist it tight, but leave room to twist more above it.
4.  Using your hand to squish it all together, pull mesh out to the third pipe cleaner, then secure with the 2nd pipe cleaner, making a bump.  Then pull it to #4 and secure to #3, etc. Continue until you have made the circle.  Be sure to finish the inner ring by pulling the mesh to #2 and securing back to #1. (You can make your bumps bigger if you want - this is just how I measure.)
5.  Continue with same mesh and jump over to the outer ring.  (I don't like to cut it and start again, so I just keep on going with the strand attached to the inner ring.)  You can make a little bump when you jump, but you don't have to.....  Use the same method to secure your mesh around the outside - secure to 1, pull to 3, secure to 2, etc......
6. Finish the circle by clipping mesh just a little longer than your usual "bump" so you can fold it under like you did when you started; and attach to #1 on the outer ring.
7.  Now you can "fluff" the mesh to your hearts content and see whatcha got!  It might look thin at first, but you are gonna fill in holes with your other ribbon and any flowers/picks/bows that you are using.
8.  After fluffing, I started going around again with the burlap ribbon, randomly attaching it to the inner and outer ring as I saw fit - not necessarily to each pipe cleaner.  I like it to weave in and out, through the middle, around the outside of a bump, etc. so it looks flow-y and fills in the gaps.  Reattach to the beginning.
9.  On this wreath I used a second ribbon and did the same thing as the burlap and tried to tie it down in opposite places.  I also tried crossing some under the burlap so it doesn't look so layered.  I have done wreathes with only 1 ribbon, and they look good too. 
10.  Attach whatever flowers/picks/bows that you want either with the pipe cleaners, or by securing them to the wreath form.  I didn't glue mine in place, but you could..... 
11.  Twist all the pipe cleaners to the back of your wreath to hide them. 
12.  Look what an awesome wreath you made!  Take a pic and post it on FB so everyone will think you are amazing, even though they are pretty easy to make, though a little time consuming!

Let me know if something doesn't make sense!  Happy Hallow-Thanks-Xmas- wreathing!

*I asked Ben to hold the storm door so I could take a pic - he though he had to hold it exactly where my hand had been..... just a little higher baby!! :) 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Last official day of summer

Wagon Bridge - Canadian, TX

Get that thumb out of your mouth!

Sometimes on the road of life you have to stop and admire the beauty.....

Or in his case, wave at the train!
Beautiful old wagon bridge....

 I have to consider Friday the last official day of summer - assuming the weekend doesn't count......  With the weather being in such a pleasant phase right now, I figured one last summer fling was order.  So I took the boys up to Canadian to have some fun.  We hit Dollar General on the way in for allergy meds for Mommy.......  Then we headed to the old wagon bridge that has been beautifully converted to a walkway.  Matt loves to ride his bike down the long straight path, and I prefer it to the street for numerous reasons - one of which is no wildflowers to stop and pick every 3 ft. :) (Though I do love wildflowers from my son.....)  Ben takes the more laid back route - strapped in of course because I just can't stop the visions of him leaning out over the side and falling......  Usually there is a nice little run of the Canadian River about 3/4 of the way down the bridge.....apparently by August its reduced to something like small tide pools here and there.....  So to the tide pools we looked - saw tiny fish and water striders - and headed back to the car.
  We hit the little park by the rodeo grounds.  Matt looked for bugs and Ben was a kiddie slidin' fool!  Then we tallied the fast food options in Canadian......and came up with DQ. (Okay - it might be the only true fast food option in town - hey! its more than we've got here!!!)  I have to say I was SUPER impressed with DQ today.  They made a special sandwich for Ben (grilled cheese all the way baby!), had great customer service, and they gave me a Mom size drink even though I ordered a kid's meal.  Plus, you just can't beat a dipped cone for dessert!  So, thanks DQ!  I'll check you in Canadian again!
  Before little bit toddled off to dream land, we made a quick stop at the super cool kids section of the Hemphill Co. Library.  The boys were more interested in toys than in books..... what can ya do?
  We hit the open road mid afternoon and Ben snoozed while Matt and I took in some Dave Ramsey.....  I'm sure he was thrilled!
  Did I say my boys are super totally stupendously awesome??  My boys are super totally stupendously supercalifragilistically magnificently awesome!  Thanks God!  You rock!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Look to the right (you can't miss it!)

I'm going to use this new feature to the right as the reason I have not finished blogging my 10 day challenge.  I finally got all my pictures digitized and put in a scrapbook from my trip to Tanzania, Africa in 2001.  Yes, I know its a long time coming.  However, I must say I LOVE Mixbook for doing this kind of thing, and I'm pretty sure it didn't exist in 2001....So I was just waiting for the someone to invent it.....REALLY!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 3 - 10 Days of Real Food

Back already!  I know! 

Day 3 Menu: Breakfast - Oatmeal with honey and raisins; Lunch - PB&J with grapes and apples; Dinner - Slow Cooker Chicken with mashed potatoes and salad.
     Thoughts:  Another successful day.  Ben and I enjoyed the oatmeal this morning along with some granola.  Then we headed to a friend's house to play with lunch in tow.  Worked out great.  One of her kiddos even liked the granola I had packed for a snack.  The "big" boys did fine with breakfast and lunch. Dinner was very good.  The slow cooker chicken was easy to make and turned out great.  Spices could have been ramped up a bit.  I looked forward the the mashed potatoes ALL DAY and they were worth it.  Quite good if I say so myself.  (In fact, I'm thinking about sneaking the leftovers right now!)  I'll say what I'm missing most is the sweets.  I need to get some whole foods dessert recipes!

1 week to go!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10 days of real food - days 1 and 2

So my wonderful friend Sally wrote to me that her family was going to take on a challenge called "10 Days of Real Food."  Curious, I looked into it (100 Days of Real Food) and thought "We could NEVER do that!"  Several days later, David told me he was curious about eating fewer processed foods and getting healthier.  "Hmmmm......I just saw this thing online about exactly that!"  And the journey began..... 

We had this whole discussion pre-Christmas, so we COULDN"T start then.....  But just after New Year's we renewed the discussion, planned a menu, and I struck out to shop at the healthy food store last weekend.  New territory for me - and it kinda smelled funny in there........anyway, groceries bought and stocked, we started the 10 day challenge Monday.

Day 1: Breakfast - Homemade granola cereal; Lunch - Organic PB and all fruit jelly on organic whole wheat bread, banana, raisins; Snack - Apple and popcorn; Dinner - Steamed wild caught salmon, steamed green beans, sweet potatoes
      Thoughts:  I'm impressed that the whole family ate the "real" food for 1 whole day!  Wow!  Ben loved the granola cereal and PB&J.  He wasn't so big on the fish, but I covered it up with sweet potato, and down it went.  Matt did ok on granola cereal.  This is his first time to take a lunch to school instead of purchasing school lunch, but he was excited to carry a lunchbox! Ha!  Everything went swimmingly until snack time when there was some sort of misunderstanding.....the story I got from him was that they (meaning whomever is in charge of snacks) told him what he had for snack was "inappropriate" (his words).  Their alternative......PUDDING!  Yep!  Pudding!!!  That cracked me up!  Organic apple slices and organic popcorn weren't appropriate, but PUDDING was ok!  (Still LOL about that.  And, if I weren't the principal's wife, I might have said something.....)  We adults did just fine on day 1.  If nothing else, I felt great that EVERYTHING I ate on Monday was real food - not filled with preservatives, fillers, and sugar.  And, I remembered to drink more water just because I was focused on things I could ingest without guilt.  1 day down.

Day 2: Breakfast - Whole wheat banana pancakes with 100% pure maple syrup; Lunch - Fruit Smoothie and Triscuits; Snack: Yogurt with honey, frozen blueberries, and granola; Dinner - Chicken fajitas on homemade whole wheat tortillas with cheese, sour cream, and homemade salsa
     Thoughts:  Everything went over great again today.  The smoothie was a little tricky for Matt's lunch, but he loved it.  The website has more suggestions for kids lunches, but I just bought what was on meal plan 1 for the challenge.  Ben indulged in another PB&J for lunch because he enjoyed it so much yesterday.  Dinner was FABULOUS!!!  Even if you aren't into the real food diet, you must look up their recipe for fajitas and homemade tortillas.  Yep - my first time ever making tortillas and they were fab! (And I got stunning compliments from the fam!)  And the veggies were SOOO good too.  Love the suggested seasoning!  Made David's favorite salsa to go with the fajitas.  This is kinda fun......Day 2 check.
 (Now we'll see if I get days 3-10 journaled within the next year.....wish me luck!)

Monday, October 24, 2011


In September we were sad that the boys had to go to school on Labor Day.  But in October we were glad because we got to take Columbus Day off instead.  So, we decided to get away on our 3 day weekend.  Mimi was kind enough to watch Ben for us the for the weekend, so we took Matt and headed W bound on the 40 to the ABQ.  It was a lot of fun!  It actually snowed on us on the way there!  We did the Balloon Fiesta, the Zoo, and the airshow featuring the Thunderbirds.  Here are some pics...
Mass ascention on a day that was less than ideal conditions, so not many special shapes went up.  :(

Matt's chilly perch

Aren't they just darling!  Married for 36 years!

I describe it as "ethereal" to see so many balloons gently floating in the sky. 

You MUST go sometime if you've never been!

They landed this one on the median of the access ramp for I-25.  No traffic jams caused I'm sure....haha!

Matt and Daddy

Howdy folks!  Such a good looking crowd.

ABQ Zoo - What a great pic!

"Those birds only have 1 leg!" Matt said.  Sleepy flamingos.

Capybara.  Don't you just want to take him home?  He's so cute!

Matt and the barrel of monkeys - too funny!

Sleepy polar bears too.....

Matt kissing this seal that came right up to him.

Giraffe exhibit - who has the shortest neck?

Chow time for the zebras.

Enoying every bite of those $8 chicken strips @ the airshow! (But admission was free, so that makes up the difference, right?)

When you forget your hat, just grab a burger boat and you're set!

B-2 Spirit (also called a Stealth Bomber) - AWESOME!

Kirtland Air Force Base airstrip - beautiful setting

Why don't these people look worried that the 5 year old is in the helicopter?

Firing missiles as fast as he can!

Thunderbird is taxiing down the runway..

I told Matt it would be loud.....

And he didn't believe me.......

But now he does!

Wow!  That's incredible!  Not something you see with commercial airliners.....

This either!  That is CLOSE!


Love those navy blue Thunderbirds!

"Off we go into the wild blue yonder".... it fits!
Oh, and Matt's favorite part of the whole vacation was that he got to go swimming at the hotel!!!!!  HAHAHA!