Saturday, November 26, 2011

6th Birthday Party







Today we had B's 6th birthday party. He wanted an army party. We told him that we were going to do an obstacle course and tug-o-war. This afternoon we surprised him with the news that we were actually going to have laser tag. Boy was he excited!

Unfortunately, Texas weather didn't help us out today. The temps were in the 60s this morning. At 11:30, the wind turned, blasting in from the north.  The temp fell and the wind blew steadily all afternoon. The party started at 3:00pm. Luckily, you hand a 6 year old a laser gun and they don't really care too much about the weather. An hour into the party, spitting rain started. They lasted another half hour before they finally gave into the cold. We told the guy to go ahead and pack up. The 15 or so kids (party guests and siblings) played in our newly cleaned out playroom. It was noisy and chaotic but fine. We had cake and guests trickled out.

B had a fabulous time at the party. Of course a long day and a long active party ended in a meltdown. I was declared the stupidest, meanest mom in the universe. When I said I was sorry that he thought I was the meanest, stupidest mom on earth, he corrected me and told me it wasn't the earth, it was the universe. Needless to say, he went right to bed.  Now it is time for me to go to bed. 


I've been knitting a lot lately. I joined a knitting group with a few women from school. They meet twice a month but I usually only make it once. I want to have some progress to show month to month, so I've been making more of an effort to pick up my needles.

I started a project in August. I bought the yarn for the project last January because I saw a sample scarf in my LYS. It was so lovely. The owner didn't have the pattern, but thought I could figure it out easily. Fast forward a few months and I was back in the LYS and they had the pattern. I immediately bought it. Fast forward until August and my needles were free and I decided it was time.

It was a doomed project. It took me three times to start and get the stitch pattern down. I finally knit close to 9 inches, picked it up to lovingly admire my work and noticed a dropped stitch in the first two inches. I had to frog most of it and start yet again. Since I knew I loved the scarf, I kept at it.

Life got busy when school started and it sat on my desk for a couple of weeks. In mid September, I went to knitting group and had to find something to take with me, the scarf was on top. As I knit that night, I knew exactly what I was knitting. It was a 40th birthday present for my roommate from college & B's godmother. I just knew that it belonged to her.

Her birthday was in mid October so I had a lot of work to do. I knit when ever I could, waiting rooms, carpool lines, gymnastics class. I still didn't make it time for the actual birthday. I did finish it early November. I decided to keep it for a week or two to show it off at knitting group, since they had seen it grow from the start.

Finally Wednesday, I mailed off the gift.



Details on K's scarf

Today I got a call from K.  The scarf had arrived and she was so gracious and loved it. It was so nice to know I was right, it was meant for her.

Giving thanks

Friday we had our second annual Giving Thanks Clean Out.  since we did it last year, it can be an annual thing and I decided that I should name it.

We had a nice morning with a little shopping, going to see the movie Hugo and relaxing.  In mid afternoon, we gathered together to clean the playroom.  We sorted though all the toys making piles to toss, keep and donate.  The cabinets were totally cleaned out.

We set aside some toys to keep but put away.  My Little People collection will be packed away and put in the garage or attic.  Yes, that is my Little People collection because I love them way more then that kids ever did.

The arts & crafts cabinet was cleared.  All the half used coloring books, scribbled on papers, scraps of construction paper, dried out glitter pens and play dough are gone.  I need to sort through it again.  I didn't allow DH to touch my arts & crafts cabinet so there is more to organize.  Some of the stuff in my cabinet is probably allowed in the kids cabinet now.  I hope that now that B is almost 6, we're past the write on/spill anything and everything phase.  Fingers crossed. 

We kept a small stash of baby toys accessible for when others bring their babies to our house.

Toys that they insisted on keeping on last year but hadn't been touched since were put in the donate pile.  I had to keep B way from the donate pile.  He kept finding things he had to have.  There were several things they wanted to keep that I snuck back into the donate pile.  I did this last year and they still haven't noticed that the toys are missing.  I think I'm safe.

In the end we had a big pile of stuff to donate.


Hopefully there will be other kids out there who will love and play with the toys as much (or more than) the kids did.  We gave thanks for the plenty we have and prayed for those who don't.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Go Ravens

B couldn't find his Cowboy outfit.  J wouldn't let him wear the A&M outfit.  Luckily the Ravens outfit still fits (sort of!)


ETA: S#2 requested a picture of B in the outfit when it was way too big. All I could find was this one of him in the helmet

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

We started off the day with a Family Turkey Trot.  We skipped the chaos of 25k people downtown and took a 3 mile walk through our neighborhood.   Walking with a 5 (almost 6) year old and an 8 (almost 9) year old, made it slow.  B's foot hurt and J's legs were itchy.  A was fine and said we should  do family walks more often.  Frankie loved it except halfway through he refused to go any further until I held the leash.  Darn, I was enjoying a leash holding free walk.





After our 3 mile, 1+ hour walk, we came home to finish up the bit of cleaning and start prepping the food.   We ordered a smoked turkey and Chris fried a turkey.  The rest of the dishes were split up among the family.  I was in charge of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

The pie tasted good but had a crack the size of the Grand Canyon in it.


I'll remember next time to not cook all 10lbs of potatoes, even if it doesn't look like that much more. It is that much more. I need to google leftover mashed potatoes to figure out what to do the rest of them.

Everyone came over.  Everyone helped with last minute preparations. 


Kids helped with decorations.


Food was ready right on time.  Everyone ate. Cowboys played. Desserts served at halftime.


Cowboys won. The kitchen was cleaned.


Now we're settling in to watch the very last A&M/Texas game with Black Fridays ads wondering if there is anything worth losing sleep.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving too.

Friday, November 18, 2011


More wildlife was found inside our home this morning.  A large green anole was hanging out on the trim to the boys' closet.

I think he must have been very frightened because he made no attempt to run when I first try to catch him in a box.  It was DH's idea.  It didn't work at all since trim is all curvy and the box didn't fit flush over it.

Next idea (mine) was to capture him in a towel.  J brought me paper towels but they worked.

It's kind of hard to tell from this picture but he was about the length of my hand, tail included.


I planned to take a picture as he scampered away but he was way too quick.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

little hat for a baby girl

My recent crafting got me into a finishing/crafting mood.  I finished up a project that I'll talk about later.  I was even more inspired to keep going.

Friends of ours had baby #4 a few weeks ago.  They had a little girl after three boys.  She is a most welcomed addition to the family.   I stopped in my LYS to pick up some needles and found a soft natural skein of yarn, perfect for a little hat.


Now if the weather would just turn cold and stay cold, maybe the baby will get a chance to wear it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I like Big Bundts

Yesterday was National Bundt Cake day.   In honor of the 3rd annual 30 days of Bundts, I made a cake.  Last year I just made box mix in a bundt pan.  This year, I actually baked a cake.

Vanilla toffee pound cake made with the toffee crumbles from Texas Toffee purchased at the State Fair of Texas.



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dallas Rocks

You'd think I'm excited about my city, but that's not so.  Not that Dallas is bad but I don't know that it rocks.  Unless, of course,  you're rock climbing at Dallas Rocks.

J went to a birthday party there on Saturday.  I wasn't sure how it would go.  He's been nervous lately when trying new things.  We've been working on that and he went to the party without a fuss.  Huge improvement.


He liked the short rope-free climb to the slide best of all.  He can't wait to go back and try it again.

Happiness is.....

a new ball and a pile of leaves!

Friday, November 11, 2011

palindromic date

I caught it.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

In N Out

Look what opened up!  In N Out Burger.




I guess the excitement has worn off because it opened up without much fanfare.  I stopped by on my way home the day it opened.  There were a half dozen people there to direct traffic which consisted of maybe 5 cars.  I think the word is getting out because I drove by today and there were probably 15+ cars in line.

The Midway/635 location is close to home and overall it better than most fast food places.  The family is torn on the fries.  I think I like Wendy's sea salt fries better.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pinterest Challenge Times Two

I read the Young House Love blog.   Well, sometimes I read, sometimes I just look at the pictures.   They do such cool house projects.   The best part is they decide to do something and then they do it and then they finish it.  That's my problem.  I get some great ideas and I start something, it's the finishing that causes the problems.

Last week, they posted a Pinterest Challenge.  You find something on Pinterest you like, you make it and then you blog it.  This was just the motivation I needed to get moving.

About a year ago, I also started hanging out on Pinterest.  There were so many pictures on there that made me was to make/do/create something. So much so, I actually started two projects, started being the key word.  Now this weekend, I finished them.

Pinterest Challenge #1

I loved some of the cool embroidery projects I found on Pinterest.  I didn't to make something traditional or cutesy.  I wanted to make something abstract, something like this

I came up with the idea of embroidering my fingerprint.  I used markers to copy my fingerprints, picked one I liked (left index finger) and blew it up on our copier.  I went all the way back to art class with Sr. Joseph Marie and drew a grid on the fingerprint and grid on fabric (bought off the sale rack at JoAnn's for $1.00.)  I then copied the image to the fabric and set to chain-stitching.

I wasn't sure how to frame it and I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  I came up with foam core board from the $1.00.  I used spray adhesive to glue them in a stack.  I tried taping the fabric to the foam core board, but that was a failure.  The tape kept peeling off.   I propped it up against the fireplace and left it.

The Pinterest Challenge made me pick it up after two months of sitting.  I trimmed the fabric better and used the spray adhesive to make it stick and hung it up with those command strip velcro picture hangers.  I think it looks fabulous.  And not bad for less $5.00 artwork.



Pinterest Challenge #2

DH likes to collect tree stumps.   He picks them up from bulk trash piles and puts them out by our fire pit.  I didn't think much of them until I saw tree stump tables.

I decided that I could make one of those.  I picked a stump and, using a chisel and hammer,  I knocked off some of the bark.  I had to leave it outside to dry out more.  On and off all summer long, I would hack at the tree stump a bit.   Friday I finally bit the bullet and decided that it was as good as it would get.  I stained it, decided I didn't like the top and painted it, decided I didn't like that paint and painted it again, added legs (very difficult with the slope of the bottom) and poly'd it to finish it off.




Despite the legs being a little short, I love my tree stump table.  And it holds a diet coke (or tennis balls) without falling off.  Project done!

Here are links back to the original Challenge posts.

Katie, Sherry, Erin & Ana