Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Project Life: Quotable

Walking home from the bus today, Scarlett said “God knits and makes the animals’ fur. And butterflies are how God paints. And God cooks with grass because it’s shaped like spaghetti.”

Monday, September 3, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Week of August 28-September 2

What a week! I’ve spent all summer in complete and total denial that I am overextended during the school year. I’m so overextended that I made up for it by spending my summer doing absolutely jack.

On Monday, the kids went back to school. Ted started middle school (sob!), Daisy entered 4th grade and Scarlett began 2nd grade. The Viv will start preschool Sept. 5 (double sob!). And actually, to add to this rather momentous year, Hubby started working at the high school, rather than the middle school.


(Some of us were less than ready for the first day here)

On Wednesday, I resumed my relentless meeting schedule (coming soon: a post in which I examine my schedule and life and see what’s going to give, because right now I feel like something has to).

On Thursday, Hubby and I went to our first middle school back to school night, which was an interesting experience for him, since he’s normally there as a teacher, not a parent.

Sunday was my grandmother’s 79th birthday. I haven’t been able to visit on her last couple of birthdays, so I made a point of going up to see her on this one. While we were there, we stopped by our state fair. My kids don’t really like rides and we weren’t able to get that line of credit for them to play games, so we checked out the animals and craft exhibits and enjoyed the food.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

My favorite day of the year…

Nope. It’s not my birthday, New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July or Christmas (although, for the record, my favorite holidays are New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Christmas, in that order). It’s the start of college football season.

I’m not at first glance someone you’d think would be into football. First of all, I’m sort of a reserved nerd. I don’t scream (unless Notre Dame is scoring a touchdown) or cheer (see previous comment) or yell (unless Notre Dame got a bad call – in other words, a lot). I am quiet. I sit back and watch and take everything in. I like to read and watch the History Channel the rest of the year.

Secondly, I’m a bit of a girly girl. I love the color pink and having fresh polish on my toenails and wearing dresses (not very often, but I do. sometimes. Okay, fine, I love the idea of wearing dresses, even though I never wear them). I am not outdoorsy. I knit while I watch football.

Thirdly, I’m not athletic myself at all. Sure, I’ve become a runner in recent years, but I’m not competing against anyone. I don’t have the team sport competition gene. Neither does my son, unfortunately for him and his soccer coach.

So why am I so into college football? It all started when I was twelve and my mother was a crafter. She went to an annual craft fair that was held Thanksgiving weekend and since it was out of town over a holiday, the whole family went. Except there was NOTHING to do. So we hung out in the craft fair’s dining area, where they showed nothing but college football for two days straight. We went every year until I was eighteen, so those weekends were somehow enough to infuse my soul with the sound of a college football crowd.

You know I don’t even care who’s playing? I love the sound of the game so much that I will turn on any college football game. Sometimes you will even catch me turning on a pro game (although this is usually brought on by college football withdrawal in December and January), but it isn’t the same. The sounds, the uniforms, the overpaid jerks (not all of them are jerks of course, but the ones who are tend to get more attention) – NFL football just isn’t as much fun to watch.

So from September through December, if it’s Saturday (or Thursday and sometimes Friday night), you will find me parked on the couch, possibly pretending to do some household chore that can be done in front of a football game (laundry is perfect and I can stretch it for a few hours).

Friday, August 31, 2012

Random Lists of Three…

This is all stuff that’s been floating in my head lately, so I thought I’d take my random thoughts and make random lists:

Goals: (If I had a bucket list these things might appear here, but I don’t, so Goals it is)

  • Learn Italian
  • Learn Mandarin Chinese
  • Become proficient at web design (look for a blog makeover soon)

Pet Peeves:

  • Poorly written/edited books
  • Kids not filling the Brita pitcher back up
  • People who whine that no one will help them when they’ve never actually asked for help

Guilty Pleasures:

  • “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC
  • Trashy Free Kindle Books
  • My nightly dessert that I hide from the kids

That which makes me happy:

  • Homemade brownies with vanilla ice cream
  • Holding my Viv’s hand
  • Library Kindle Books

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Book Likes/Dislikes:

Why? Because I’ve been on a reading kick lately and have a lot to say about the matter. This list is by no means complete, just a factor of what I’ve been encountering lately.


  • Free Kindle Books from Print-Published Author’s Backlists
  • E-books from my library (they return themselves! On time!)
  • Well-designed covers. For me, this means simple. A solid background with a single graphic representing the title or something from the book or, hell, something completely generic.


  • Getting halfway through a book (probably a free Kindle download or library check-out) and discovering I’m reading Christian fiction. Nothing against religion as a whole, but I prefer to keep it out of my romance novels, thank you very much.
  • That books set where I love to read about (1800s American/Canadian West, in particular, but in general 19th century America) are almost always Christian fiction these days. Or “erotica.” I don’t mind reading well-written historical erotica, except that it’s rarely well-written. And as noted above, I can do without religion in my light-hearted romance novel.
  • Poorly-designed covers. Take a poorly exposed photo and slap some words over it. Done. NOT. Also not a fan of the 80s romance novel with a long-haired dude holding some tiny lady. If you must use this type of image with a romance novel, hide it discreetly inside the front cover, which should be a sweet rose on a pink background. No one needs to know I’m reading smut.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Weeks of August 12-19/20-26

August 12-19: Not much going on for our family. Hubby continued to host band camp in his first year as marching band director. I sewed a billion flags (not really, just eight and they were basically straight hems more than flags). I presided over my first arts council board meeting. Hubby and I volunteered at our local street festival, working for some of our various non-profits we help with.

August 20-26: Hubby returns to school officially. The kids and I have plans to visit out of town, but it never happens because one thing after another came up. Ted has started soccer practice. We had middle school orientation, where Ted got to figure out how to open a locker and reunite with some of his buddies. My MIL took the kids shopping for school shoes, which she did last year and has decided is now her “thing.” On Friday, Ted was invited to a water gun battle as an end of summer celebration and the girls got to meet their teachers.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Week of August 5-11

Sunday: I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the project I’ve been working on for almost a year.

Tuesday: Scarlett and Viv get their first haircuts. Scarlett has actually had a tiny trim about two years ago (she’s 7 now), but scissors have never touched the Viv’s hair until this day.



Wednesday: Daisy had karate and I had a meeting to plan a gala event in February.

The rest of the week we did very little in anticipation of everything kicking back into gear for the school year. I’m not ready.

Project Life Roundup: Week of July 30-August 4

Monday: Guess who’s birthday it was!!! Yeah, me. It was kind of a bummer of a birthday. I renewed my driver’s license, applied for a new social security card and went on a job interview for a job I didn’t want. Happy birthday to me.

Tuesday: We celebrated the birthdays from the past week, Scarlett, Hubby and me, with my in-laws.

Wednesday-Friday: I spent most of my time running up to our county seat so I could help with a grand opening of a project I’ve been working on.

Saturday: We had a girls’ weekend for the middle generation in our family. My sister, sister-in-law and cousins went and hung out on the beach and went shopping.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Week of July 22-29 (AKA Vacay!)

Lots to wrap up this week. This will probably  make two layouts worth, there’s so many pictures and things we collected. Speaking of collecting things, that’s my challenge to myself – to collect the ephemera of our lives to put in our album. So far I have the Delaware State Fair program, the scorecard from mini-golf and the parking permit for the beach we went to on Saturday.

Sunday: We just casually scoped out the area. We’ve been there plenty of times, but not for a week-long vacation.

Monday: Beach! We had our first day on the beach and loved it. The girls are water babies and Ted, well, he’s not. A few weeks ago we visited for the day and he was brave and went out pretty far into the ocean, but got wiped out. Now he won’t venture out past his knees. That night we went to the Delaware State Fair, which is actually closer to our house than where we were vacationing, but whatever. We love going there, so it’s worth it. We ate fair food (though nothing deep-fried), pet the farm animals and checked out the exhibits. My kids aren’t ride riders, well, Viv would, but no one else, so we skip all of that for the most part.

Tuesday: Back to the beach. We planned to have lunch from one of the boardwalk joints and have a long day beaching it, but Viv can’t hang. She melted down as soon as we ate lunch and we left. Lesson learned. Four-year-old can only hang on the beach for about three hours.

Wednesday: Hubby had to go to a meeting, so we met my cousin and the kids she nannies for the summer at a nearby beach. The kids loved playing together and we pushed Viv to well beyond her three hours. I think it was the most exhausting day of vacation for me.

Thursday was Hubby’s birthday, so he got to call the shots (that’s how we roll on birthdays around here whenever possible). We mini-golfed and hung out at the pool and had crab dip for dinner.

Friday: My sister and sister-in-law arrive for the big family celebration. Besides Scarlett and Hubby’s birthdays, mine was coming up on Monday. So we partied and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (we discussed drinking around the world in honor, but decided a few representative countries would suffice. I help up my end with a German Riesling).

Saturday: The whole family went to the beach. And I mean the whole family – my mom and dad, sister and brother and all associated kids and spouses. It was fun for the kids, but a little hard on the adults, I thought. It was very crowded and hot. Or possibly by that point, I was sick of the beach. (I know!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Week of July 15-21

We started the week off with a visit to our extended family, mainly to see my grandmother, who loves visits from the kids. However, it turned into a tie-dying party since my aunt had some extra shirts from a previous tie-dying event.

We spent Monday visiting again before we headed home.

Tuesday, Scarlett lost her first tooth! The tooth fairy brought her $5 – either because it was her first tooth or she was out of one dollars.


Wednesday was Karate night, Thursday an easy night at home. On Friday, Hubby and I went to the funeral of his friend’s father. It wasn’t the first funeral for one of our friends’ parents, but it was hard because it made me consider my own parents’ mortality. They’re young. My mom is 20 years younger than this man was, but anything can happen. So I spent the day sad for my friend and putting myself in his place and freaking out. Traffic ended up with us taking the longest route imaginable home.

Saturday was Scarlett’s birthday! She’d been hoping to lose that tooth on her birthday (we’ve heard rumors that there’s a bonus reward for lost birthday teeth), but no dice. All she wanted was As Seen on TV crap and I didn’t have my stuff together in time to get that (most of it takes several weeks to arrive). Shh – don’t tell her, but I found one on Amazon Prime that will arrive today for her birthday party at her grandparents’ house.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Week of July 8-14

See, this is why I need to write all of this crap down when it happens and not rely on my utterly useless memory to get it all straight. I can’t think of a single thing we did that week. Possibly because it’s summer and I’m trying to have a light schedule and we really didn’t do much. Also, possibly because it was a thousand degrees most of those days. We just hung out in the house.

Sunday, Daisy’s Girl Scout troop went roller skating. All of them were there for the first time. Daisy has more guts than ability, so she went all out and ended up bruising the heck out of my ankle when she couldn’t get her feet under her properly. She did work it out by the end of the day and was getting around pretty well.


Monday: A little rain shower leads to some puddle jumping:


Thursday: Storytime at the Library (as Viv says, “the lellow libaly.” She is in speech therapy for some of those sounds, so I’m not making fun of my four-year-old. I think it’s adorable and will be a little sad when she speaks just right).


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Project Life Roundup: Week of July 1-7

Oh, did you think there were going to be pictures of a completed Project Life layout? Silly, silly. No, I’m just planning ahead for the day when I will actually work on my PL album. You know, in the future. I actually have a vague plan of doing it during a girl's’ weekend I have scheduled with my cousins, but then again, I also have plans of emptying the fridge of wine that weekend. So maybe Project Life will wait a little longer.

July 1: The two middle girls met the granddaughters of a woman we go to church with. They were visiting from California and were looking for some friends. It was one of those experiences my girls (who are 7 and 9) will probably have a vague memory of, but not much other than that. One summer, we visited some friends of my parents on our drive home from the beach. They had kids my age and we played on their swingset. I have no idea who they are or why we stopped to visit or really a single other detail about that experience.

Then we drove off to my parents’ beach house for dinner and an evening at the pool. The kids love to swim so convincing them to leave to go to bed wasn’t easy, but we all had fun.


July 2: We got up early to go to the beach to find it was cloudy and raining. It cleared up by 10, so we drove off in search of good parking (smart move – it was crazy just an hour later). My brother and his family were driving in to visit that morning and they joined us on the beach. I love for my kids to have a chance to visit with their cousins.


July 4: We actually had an invite to a party – and not just our family plus Hubby’s parents. No, it was actual people. We ate crabs and the kids rode bikes together. We left to go see fireworks in a nearby town that we’d never seen fireworks at before. We loved it – so relaxing and easy to get in and out of the downtown area. Definitely going back next year.

web-5082 .


July 5-7: It is hotter than the sun here. Saturday’s high is 105. The A/C in Ted’s room broke so he had to bunk with the girls until we got a new one (our house is older than everyone living in it combined and multiplied by 4). Other than that, we all just hang out indoors.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

I’m so lame…

Forgive me, Father. It has been three months since my last blog post. Wait. That doesn’t go here, does it? Sorry. My Catholic upbringing is deeply rooted.

June began with my Windows 7 operating system getting destroyed for some completely unknown reason (luckily I’m something of a computer nerd, minus the dorky – which I secretly think are hot – glasses, and was able to restore my system with minimal loss. It would have been zero loss, but I’m a dumbass and forgot to back a few things up when I had the chance).

So it was a rocky start. I tried Camp NaNoWriMo, but totally failed (see above). I was hitting my target on Days 1, 2 & 3. Then on June 4, I woke up to a system repair. I never got back on track.

I’m going to try to recap our June if for no other reason than I want something to refer to when I actually get out my Project Life supplies and get to it.

June 4-10:

Monday was my oldest child and only son’s fifth grade “graduation.” They don’t call it a graduation here, for which I am supremely thankful since I think only high school and college graduations count. My son did famously once say that he could finish school in fifth grade because by then he would know everything (I think he was in kindergarten when he said this).


Tuesday was the last day of school. Yes, June 5th. Normal last day of school around here is June 15th. We didn’t get any snow and our calendar allows for four snow days, which get cut off if we don’t use them. So yay! Kids are home! I love having my kids home for the summer, so me and the Viv were happy when those buses came home at 1PM (last day is early dismissal).

Friday we took advantage of our early summer and visited my family who live two hours away. We spent the morning with my mom at a park and Toys R Us and the evening with my huge extended family celebrating our late spring/early summer birthdays.


Four kids in the same picture!

Saturday the kids went to my dad’s family reunion and the hubby and I went to a wedding near our house.

June 11 – 17

This was a totally crazy week. Scarlett AKA child #3 takes ballet and had her recital on the 16th, but leading up to that was a very full week of rehearsals. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday for two hours and three and a half hours on Friday night.


Saturday was the Viv’s fourth birthday AND Scarlett’s recital. We made a big fuss over the Viv at lunchtime to make up for the fact that we weren’t doing our usual celebration at dinner. She didn’t mind.


Sunday was just as crazy. It was Father’s Day and my in-law’s 40th anniversary. We went to church, where we had arranged flowers dedicated to them. Later we celebrated Viv’s birthday, Father’s Day and the anniversary at dinner.


June 18-24

A slightly less crazy week. My second child, Daisy, was taking tennis lessons (this was actually week three – forgot about in the other two weeks with all the other craziness going on) on Mondays and Tuesdays. It rained out on Monday and Tuesday was postponed due to the parade in our town.


My Girl Scout troop walked in the parade on Tuesday with our homemade flag. The parade ends at the carnival, so we all go to the carnival since we’re there anyway. Of course the only one of my kids who likes rides is crazy Viv, so my $20 for 25 tickets was wasted. I think she rode the Merry Go Round over and over. .


Wednesday was our 14th anniversary. We celebrated by Hubby working at a camp all day and then going to a meeting of a local board we’re on. We did actually go out to eat at a very nice restaurant, but it was a bust of an anniversary.

Thursday Daisy and I worked at the carnival for her karate dojo. They run a booth and the money goes to the facility they use for their lessons.

Friday was our second year doing Relay for Life. We drove (in fricking crazy traffic) to the city where my family lives to set up, only to find that no one knew what was going on because it was supposed to storm. We basically got blown away, but after it passed we relayed on. I was on the crew that stayed all night. It really is not the most fun thing in the world. Our particular event was disorganized and sort of fell apart after the storm hit. I think everyone was disappointed in the experience and won’t be back. Of course, I have no pictures of Relay because I took my camera, made extra sure to charge the battery, REPLACE the battery in the camera and then left the fricking memory card on my desk.

Saturday, Mama was TI-IIII-RED. I slept for a couple of hours and then drove a couple more hours home. I slept better than night than I think I ever have. I even overslept for church (my mother-in-law picked up the kids and let me keep sleeping).

June 25-30

A much gentler week on us. We rather vegetated for the first few days while the Hubby planted soybeans. The kids went to Vacation Bible School. We saw Madagascar 3 (LOVED). We found a new source for crabmeat. The garden started producing squash like crazy. It was 101 degrees on Friday. VBS had an end of the week program and we went. A storm blew through and knocked a huge branch off one of our trees.  But being able to wrap up the week in a few sentences rather than paragraphs? Sigh. What a nice week.

Our July is currently looking a lot less crazy, so I’m hoping the real summer relaxation can start.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pinned this week…

Easter Egg Sun Catcher – I made a test model for my Girl Scout meeting tonight. I think it’s a go!

On the hunt for something to take to Easter dinner at my grandmother’s AND use up the spare buttermilk I have in the house:

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake

Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake (cake for breakfast? That’s what Mama’s talking about!)

Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cake

Buttermilk Pound Cake

I have a half gallon of buttermilk minus two cups and these recipes use 1/2 cup at a time. I’ll be making buttermilk crap for weeks. Or until 4/12/12, which is when it expires and I can throw it out without feeling guilty.

Friday, March 30, 2012

It’s garden time!


The seeds have been planted. They’re actually quite big right now, thanks to our very warm March. I’m afraid they’ve had a rude awakening the past couple of relatively much colder days.

The land has been turned for the first time. I can’t wait to get these babies in the ground. Gardening is one of my true joys of the spring and summer. I love taking a tiny seed, placing it in a little dirt, watering it and holding my breath to see if it grows. Because there comes a point every season where I feel totally in control. I’ve watered and fertilized. Yep, I’ve got this gardening thing down.

And then I realize that I am utterly powerless. I must force myself to let go of my egocentric thought that I had any power here in the first place. Nature has its own plan, which sometimes coincides with mine and sometimes just doesn’t.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Birthday Girl…

My second born child and first born girl turned nine yesterday. She’s a pretty cool kid. Super smart with a total oddball, slightly dark sense of humor. I’m not necessarily claiming credit for either thing, but you know, if the shoe fits. (Totally kidding – I have no idea how my kid ended up being so comfortable in her own skin. It just sort of happened)




Cake! It’s a boxed mix lemon cake with gourmet swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Yeah, I’m full of contradictions like that.


A headband from Grandmom and Granddad!


Her first American Girl Doll, McKenna!


And last but not least, cake!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pinned there, made that…

Hey, check me out! I actually made something I pinned. And it wasn’t food or scout crafts!


In other pins:

In anticipation of a hot summer: DIY Sprinkler

No cream of anything soup Cheesy Potatoes

25 Series to Read if You Loved the Hunger Games

Springtime Crochet-Along – I’m lame. Technically the CAL is over, but I haven’t even started yet. I lost the hook I needed to I had to go buy a new one. Right. That’s my story, people.

Cinnamon Sugar Scones – Words cannot express how much I love the cinnamon scones at Panera. Def. will try.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pinned this week: March 18

I’ve even made some of these pins!

Vomit Carpet Cleaner: Sadly, I needed this one last week but only found the pin this week. Hopefully, I won’t need it again for quite some time.

Stripey Egg Mug Rug: I really want to make this. I think it would be a great first quilting project.

Seed Starters: My Daisy Troop made these this week as we started the Daisy Flower Garden Journey. I don’t really recommend it for 5-7 year olds. Probably a better project for slightly older kids.

Spring Cleaning Checklist: Must. do. this.

Flower Mandala: Another project for Girl Scouts. Haven’t done this one yet, but I think we will later in April.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pinned this week…

Granny Stripe Tutorial

I’m taking up crocheting again. The nice thing is that it’s like picking up with an old friend. I know it so well. I love the colors in the tutorial photos, so I’ve decided to give it a go. It’s part of my Lenten resolutions.

Room Mom Ideas

I’m not a room mom. I never have been. I’m a) usually carting around a younger kid and b) totally intimidated by the very idea. But next year, my little Viv starts pre-K, so I’m open to more things like room mom-dom in the future.

Project Life Cards (and these)

I’m also working on Project Life. I have way too few photos from the first couple of weeks, but I’m hoping to make it work somehow. And the idea of capturing a year of the everyday is very appealing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Accidentally crunchy…

I’m accidentally cloth diapering. Yes, my youngest is three and a half and only potty-trained if she’s completely naked. Not the most practical definition of potty-trained. Yes, I’m a stay-at-home mom who can’t seem to get her kid potty-trained. Girls are easier? My ass. My youngest two girls have been the hardest. This one? If I hadn’t already called the baby making quits, I would now (and not just because of the potty-training – Viv’s a challenge all around).

I was buying Pull-Ups last week – for the last time, I promised myself (too bad Viv didn’t similarly promise me)–  when I decided to look at some cloth options. I found a couple of affordable pull-up-like cloth diapers and bought them to test out. I actually wanted to cloth diaper this child the whole time but living in a 250 year old house with dicey plumbing scared me off. We started this morning. So far, she thinks they’re diapers and she’s cool with that.

Between this and my mostly organic garden, I’m getting downright crunchy. Watch out – my candy coating might even disappear.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pinterest Hits and Misses

First, clearly I fell off the December Daily wagon. I got sick on the 10th and just never picked it back up again. Makes me think Project Life is not for me. I’m actually rethinking my photo-keeping strategy in general.

What I’ve Pinned this week:

Thin Mint Brownies – Heck, yeah. I’m a Girl Scout leader and it’s cookie time. For our cookie rally (the annual party to get girls excited/educated about selling cookies), we had a Girl Scout cookie sundae bar. They got a bowl of ice cream and could scoop hot fudge and Thin Mint or Trefoil crumbles (strawberry syrup was also offered, but not even cracked open).

Long story short (too late), I had leftover Thin Mint crumbles that needed a home. And they found one. In my favorite brownie recipe. Hel-lo.

Lucky 13 Wardrobe Builder – pinned when I had a job interview. Haven’t heard from them, so I’m thinking I can file this one away for another time.

The Seven Day Toy Cure – on the books for this week. I’ll let you know if it helps. At all. It sure couldn’t hurt. We were in toy chaos before Christmas. Now it’s just madness.

Clear the Clutter – sensing a theme? Yeah, it’s chaotic all over the place here. It’s been so cold all I want to do is curl up with hot cocoa and brownies and my laptop warming my lap (although that’s probably bad for me, isn’t it?)