Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Birthday/Memorial Day Weekend

Not only was this Memorial Day weekend, but it was also my birthday weekend.  Actually this was Rick’s and my birthday weekend combined.  His birthday was back in the middle of the month, but I’m a kind wife, so I share my birthday weekend with him.

I have to show you the card my mother got me this year.  How she ever found it, I don’t know, but it’s perfect!  (except for the 200,000 part.  Mine is more like 20)


We spent Saturday at my sister’s place in the country.  They have a little pond that the boys enjoyed paddling a rowboat in.  This was Jack’s first time in a boat.  He didn’t want to get out!


It was a lot of fun for Jack to find snakes, turtles, catfish, geese, ducks, and bullfrogs.  I was a little worried for this one’s safety.


My sister and brother-in-law are great hosts.  We had such a good time relaxing and playing at their home.  We hope to spend a lot more time up there this summer.



The big hit of the afternoon was the badminton game.   Jack loved playing with the ‘fish’ (shuttlecock) and ‘net’ (racquet).  He was running all around the court trying to steal the ‘fish’ from our game.  Everyone kept saying “he’s going to sleep well tonight!”  (he did) But I think Jenn was the one who was really going to sleep well that night! She was often left playing by herself against the other team because Jack had stolen my racquet.   


Of course my mom came up for the day too.  Jack loves seeing his Gramma Donna.  I think the feeling is mutual.


I loved my brother-in-law’s glasses, because they had a mirror reflection.  I made him sit really still while I took this picture.  Sitting still and not talking is next to impossible for this man, so it’s good that I have documentation that it can be done.

A self portrait.  You can see everyone looking.  Love it.

A little self-portrait love.  Here are the birthday kids! Not so much Kids really as Old People.  One is 39 and one is 34, but I’m not going to tell you which is which.


Thanks for the wonderful weekend, Jenn and Rod!  We had such a great time with you guys.  And thanks to all the men and women who gave their lives to make this weekend celebration possible.  Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day, Family!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Foto Friday–On and On

Have you noticed how good I’ve been with linking up to this party?  I’m amazed that I’m still going strong.  I am not a photographer, but I do love taking pictures.  When there’s a challenge or theme to stick with, it makes it even more fun. 

I went through a couple of ideas for this weeks’ theme: On and On.  I could have taken a picture of Jack – he keeps growing on and on! It could have been the rain – it keeps going on and on!!  I actually tried to take a picture of the rain, but I don’t think it turned out.  Plus it’s still in my camera.  I also thought of taking a picture of my laundry or dirty dishes.  Those seem to go on and on as well!

Jack and I went for a drive yesterday and took pictures of airplanes (I live near an airport, and the planes were doing touch and go’s today like they do often.  It goes ON AND ON!), roads that seem to go on and on forever, and the rain.  But what we landed on as our favorite was the railroad tracks.  Jack LOVES trains, and wouldn’t ya know – they go on and on!  So, here is my picture of something that goes on and on. 


Stop on by Mom Tried It to see other pictures for the theme On and On.  I look forward to seeing how everyone translates this into a picture.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Delightfully Inspiring–Organized Recipes

(Today’s post will be linked up to Delightful Order.  Go see other inspiring posts at her site today!)

I have a lot of recipes.  I mean a LOT of recipes.  I have a bunch of cookbooks, and few years (maybe 8?) worth of Quick Cooking magazines (which, evidently they stopped making years ago), a ton of favorites saved online *oh wait!  No I don’t. I lost those when the computer crashed* and a full large index card box.  I also have my grandmother’s two small index card boxes that are packed with recipes that I’ve only gone through once or twice in the past 5 years.

I’ve tried a lot of different ways to organize my recipes.  I tried to organize them in a nice neat binder, but that took too much work for me.  At least the way I was doing it took too much work.  So, I have pretty much stuck with and like having a big index card box on my kitchen counter.  My problem is that I have too many recipes now and my box is ready to explode.  And I only have 5 dividers for all of my recipes and that, for some reason, drives me crazy!

I recently started going through my Quick Cooking magazines with scissors and glue stick in hand.  I want to get rid of the magazines for space issues, but I don’t want to lose any of the good recipes I know have to be in there. Every good recipe I find, I cut it out with it’s picture if it has one, and glue it to an index card.  It’s working great.  (I’m still not done with this process yet)

A few weekends back, on my Girls Trip, I brought along my exploding recipe box along with a second box (given to me by my teacher friend turned SAHM, Justy who just happened to have a baby last week), a packet of alphabet dividers, and some brightly colored labels.  I spent about an hour or so bringing out every.single.recipe that I have and laying them out on the table in neat little piles.  I then labeled and categorized  each pile, then put them back into the two boxes. 


It was so much fun!  But I have to admit.  I was a little overwhelmed, so I had to have my good friend Heather sit by me and walk me through my categorizing process.  I got a little stuck with a few recipes.  She was so patient with me.  Every time I asked Heather what she thought about where a certain recipe should go, she’d say the same thing, “Where would you go to look for it when you want to cook it?" I can’t tell you how many times she said that line, but it helped each time.  I must have had a brain block or something going on.


The end result was two beautifully organized recipe file boxes that now reside on my kitchen counter.  I used 25 out of my 26 dividers.  I mean business when I set out to divide (and conquer).  Maybe one day I’ll get really crafty and mod podge them so they’re all cutsie, but for now, they’re as plain as my kitchen walls and counters. So sad.


I used the different colors to create 4 main categories and labeled the outside of my boxes with those colors so I would know which box held which recipes.

P5230010P5230011*It’s Desserts.  Not Pesserts*

You can all laugh at me now because of how crazy I am about organizing my recipes.  But I have to admit that having them color coded and organized makes me a little giddy.  I love that some areas of my life are neat and orderly.  Have you seen my junk drawer recently?? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All This Green

All this rain has been driving me a little batty. 

We are lucky that we haven’t had any tornadoes or devastation in my area.  My heart goes out to those who have to start from scratch with nothing left after a horrible storm.

The crops haven’t been able to go in as planned around here, and the water level is pretty high in all our local ponds and creeks.  But the one thing that I have noticed this year is all the GREEN that comes with so much rain.  Sure there’s brown too – all the mud left over from receding water, but the green has been so vivid it sometimes takes my breath away.

Though we don’t love where we live, and we really don’t love our neighborhood, we’re fortunate enough to have a very lovely, tree-filled backyard.  When I look up from my chair I see GREEN, and it makes me happy.


Having these POPS of green in my pictures makes me happy too.  Even a bad picture looks better with the bright pop of green in the background, I think.


I call this next one: Boy Meets Snake. I call this one "boy meets snake"

I’m an eternal optimist, so I’m always looking for the good in things.  This is my “good” in the horrible rainy season we’ve been having – I’m thankful for all the green. 

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the nations, And I will sing praises to Your name.” 2 Samuel 22: 50

He wanted to listen to my music

*On a side note: all these photos are Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC).  Can you imagine if I ran them through Photoshop to enhance the green?  Breathtaking, I’m sure. (at least for me)

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Heart Faces




I’m pretty sure this is only the second time I’ve ever entered the I Heart Faces photo challenge, but it just happened to line up with some pictures I took this weekend, so I thought I’d give it a go.

Their theme this week is YELLOW.  Though I have a lot of cute pictures of Jack in a great yellow shirt (I can’t post pictures or I’d be out of the competition for having more than one photo), I  just visited my friend and her new little baby this weekend (Maggie May) who happened to be all wrapped up in a yellow blanket. 

She was such a sweetie at just 5 days old.  Her big sister loves to dote on her and her big brother probably likes to squish her (he’s 2).  She’ll be very loved!! 

(Jack liked to pet her. He was so gentle with just his little pointer finger touching her forehead)

Mr. Sandman

Though I wish he’d come and bring us a dream, I’m not talking about that sandman.  I’m talking about Jack!

Daddy built us a sandbox this weekend. He used lumber he already had, the cheapest white exterior paint I could find, and a LOT of sand.  This project probably cost more than getting one of those little plastic turtle sandboxes because they don’t hold as much sand, but we wanted a nice big sandbox for Jack and Daddy wanted to build something.  He loves to build things.

A long time ago, he invented his own paint can stirrer.  He made it out of a coat hanger. 


He plugs his drill in, attaches the stir-bit as I call it, and then stirs the can of paint.  It’s like using a hand held electric mixer.  It works great. I told him to market that idea and make millions, but he figures it’s already been done.  And if it has, we can see that anyone can make their own, so it’s not all that impressive anyway, right?


Jack helped.  Kind of. 


He loved using the hammer and screwdriver when Daddy wasn’t using them.  I guess this chair looked like it needed some tightening.


Here is our beautiful new sandbox!  Rick put it directly in the sun, which is hard to find in our backyard.  He said it was so the sand would have a chance to dry out whenever it got damp.  We originally thought to put it under the trees in the shade, but for a few reasons, like acorns and hickory nuts dropping down our heads, we thought that wasn’t going to work out so well.  As you can see, if it’s a sunny day, I’m never going to get a good picture of Jack in the sandbox. 


We hadn’t figured out what to do as a cover yet, but since it was scheduled to rain for the next couple of days, we had to think of something quickly.  This junior size tent fits perfectly over the box.  We’ll see if we were geniuses or not after the rain clears.  It looks like it should work, even if it looks a little silly.


I think he’s going to love this sandbox. 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Foto Friday: Old

Today’s challenge at Foto Friday is OLD.  While I originally was going to post a self portrait, I decided I’m not THAT old, and I should post a picture of my dear husband instead.  (He just had a big birthday this month and is feeling really old)

Then I got my act together and figured out what I can take a picture of that is actually old and also has sentimental meaning to me.


These are my grandmother’s old recipe file boxes.  She died just 9 days after my wedding almost 6 years ago.  She was the sweetest little *really little* woman. I’ve ever met.  It still makes me a bit weepy to think that she’s not here anymore, but I’m looking forward to the day that I get to see her *and Granddad* again in Heaven. What a great celebration that will be!

Speaking of celebration…Whenever we would all get together as a family, Grandma would bring her famous Grandma Brownies.  They were Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies, and she was the only one who even tried to make them. They are pretty hard to master. She would fill a tin full of these brownies (two layers if it was the right size tin!) and give each family a tin to take home.  The understanding was that if you don’t return the tin the next time you saw Grandma, you don’t get any more brownies.  Needless to say, we always returned our tins!


When we were going through her house after she died, I was allowed to take home her recipe tins. You know, I’ve gone through these tins a few times and I think I’ve found 7 recipe cards for those brownies! She knew when she had a good thing going.   I am now making it my mission to be the maker of ‘Grandma Brownies’ in our family.  It takes a lot of practice.  I don’t think anyone’s complaining about that though.

Go check out other photos that are “OLD” today at Mom Tried It.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Kim’s photo today.  It’s a beautiful old barn and she’s done an amazing job editing it.  Go see it!!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Girls Trip 2011

The weekend before Mother’s Day, I took a trip.  I went away for the weekend.  8 mommies got away to a cabin in the woods and did whatever we wanted and had very little responsibilities.  It was wonderful!  I took my computer with me to jot notes about what was going on.  I had a quirky, interesting, “don’t forget these moments” draft started in my Live Writer. 

Then, my computer crashed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Foto Friday: Out of Place

Remember when I showed you the before and after pictures of my laundry room?  I’m proud to say that I’ve kept it clean!  I even added some colorful labels and a colorful tub to corral loose items. 

When I went into my laundry room yesterday, I saw something that was out of place. 
Can you see it?
No, not the spatula sticking out of the tub.  I use that to push down the diapers into the water when they’re soaking. 
There it is.
Mater wanted to help out with the laundry yesterday. 
Thanks for your help, Mater!
(Don’t forget to visit Mom Tried It and see other Foto Friday submissions for today’s theme Out of Place.  You can see last week’s theme BLUE here. )
On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to share with you that I lost my hard drive two weeks ago. It was rough, but God saved all my pictures, so I’m not crying as hard as I could be.  I also figured out how to get my music files back onto my computer from my iPod, so I didn’t loose my 2, 250 songs!  So, in the scheme of things, it wasn’t that devastating. 

One thing I did loose that is more of an annoyance than anything is my Live Writer.  That’s the program I use to write my blogs.  All my posts are saved online with Blogger, but Writer had all of my posts listed in it’s storage so I could easily link to a previous post with no fuss.  I had even started a post on my Girls Trip 2011 but lost it in the crash.  Oh well.  I’ve since downloaded Live Writer again and it will store all of my posts from here on out.  No biggie I guess.
I hope you all have a great weekend! We’ll be celebrating Rick’s birthday with his folks coming down to visit tomorrow.  Happy Birthday Wonderful Husband!!


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