Thursday, October 30, 2008

who does this?

I came home from somewhere recently and saw this on the counter. This means popcorn with M&Ms was consumed in my absence. Have you ever tried it? The kids love it. My kids at school love it as well. 

Anyway, as you know, we are "dish challenged" in this house, so it might have sat on the counter for many more days. Up to a week even. I don't know. At some point it disappeared and I didn't give it any further thought.

That is, until I found it in the pantry. Really?

Wait maybe you need a closer view of this.

That's right, there's one ~ ONE ~ M&M in the container. Does that make it just an M since there are no other Ms with it? Who exactly are we saving this for? Is is for when you have an M&M craving, but you are watching  your weight? Is it for company in case we don't have any other dessert to offer. I'm sorry, all we have is this M ~ perhaps you can split it.

Seriously. Who thought it was a good idea to save this M?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


When I finished making this little beauty I proudly showed it off to Greg and the kids. Stephanie said, "Oooo, cheetahlicious!" That's how a name is born, folks. Can you believe no one scooped her up at the craft show? You can, if you hurry!

Monday, October 27, 2008

craft show

Saturday was the craft show and fair at Grandma Smith's community center. I was going to be having my own table. I didn't know what to expect. Even getting ready for the show I didn't feel like I had enough stuff ~ or even the right stuff. I didn't have many duplicates of things. I had variety ~ sewing, paper crafts, and tole painting. 

I stayed up way too late Friday night getting everything ready and pricing. It doesn't look like much here.

I even tried to finish another outfit at the last minute. This is as far as I got on the skirt ~ which is actually almost done here. At 1:30 a.m. I decided I'd just better go to bed. Notice I pinned the bottom ruffle on backwards. I didn't realize that until after I sewed it on today. I had to rip seams. Crap!

Once I got to the clubhouse and set up I started feeling better about everything. The table wasn't bare and I think the variety was a good thing. Do you see that brown crate at the back of the table? Yeah, I spray painted that Friday night in the backyard, in the dark. 

Here you can see that Grandma is chatting up the competition. Geez, whose side are you on anyway? 

Not only was this a craft show & sale, it was very much a social event. Many of the men and women mingled and chatted the day away. Grandma knew tons of people there and introduced me to those who walked by. She is in the card club, takes beading classes, and takes other classes. They have this men's club called the Romeos. It stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out. Grandpa Smith won't join. Huh? Who doesn't like to eat out?

All the other ladies said sales were slow this year. I made some sales, but since I wasn't sure what to expect in the first place, I was not let down. I walked away with more money than I had when I came. Not a bad day all in all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

homework al fresco

Monday is a long day for us gals. First, there's school all day ~ learning and teaching. Then the kids change and we head off to dance class. We are there three hours. Stephanie dances, then they both dance, then Heather dances. When they aren't dancing they are doing homework. In the waiting area there are padded benches (that aren't so comfy for mommy in hour number three) so they do their homework in their lap. The restaurant across the courtyard just got some tables for the courtyard area.

Heather did her homework outside in the courtyard last week. By the time it was Stephanie's turn to do homework, it was dark but it was still plenty light enough. The weather was great and it was a nice change of pace. Now I can have a table to grade papers on too instead of juggling them in my lap.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Remember I said I thought Stephanie was doing more playing around than actually doing the dishes?

Well, it may be because she organized the plastic bowls in rainbow order. That and she was singing and "painting" all the dishes with the basting brush. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

tuna juice and all that sour milk

Greg said he wanted a light dinner tonight, so I started making tuna sandwiches. Stephanie hates tuna ~ hates fish. This is coming from a girl that used to tell me that the "chicken" was so good when she had fish on her plate at dinner. I never tricked her, she just thought all meat was chicken for a little while.

While I was making the tuna, Stephanie was being forced to do the dishes. She was doing more playing than washing if you ask me. When I was ready to drain the tuna I told her to scoot over while I drained it in the sink. At this time, she again sang the praises hatred of what we were having for dinner. (Oh, and just so you know, I don't make her eat the tuna. She has to make her own ham sandwich.)

With the tuna juice drained into a sink full of dirty dishes, I moved on and told her to continue washing. I heard her gag a little and say "ew." I chuckled a little to myself and thought about all the times I rinsed sour milk out of sippy cups. I thought about all the times I rinsed sour milk out of regular cups they leave on the table for a couple of days ~ as recently as this week. (You already know we are never on top of those dishes around here!)

handmade holiday

The Nester is hosting a Handmade Holiday party. A party? I love a party. Let's go.

For me, handmade started before Stephanie was born. Actually, we could go way back to childhood, but let's just start a little further along in life. I started with painting. I love painting! I took tole painting classes and was hooked. Sometimes I use other artists' patterns and sometimes I design my own stuff. What you see here is my own design with the exception of one inspiration.

Check out these cute magnets.

You may have seen this in a previous post sitting in my front hallway.

Here's proof I'll paint on just about anything. This is a barely used purse I found at a thrift store. This sweet angel was the inspiration of Renee Mullins.

Tissue anyone?

I can't just be satisfied with one craft! No way. I also do paper crafts. I make cards, scrapbooks, and whatever else I can figure out.

Urban summer criss cross card.

This birthday mini mini album turned out so cute!

Remember home ec in high school? I took that. I also took a sewing class. Earlier this year I was reunited with my sewing machine. 

A cute little tote will be any young girl's dream.

A spooky skirt set is just right for Halloween.

Don't forget somewhere to put your cosmetics or other smallish things.

Keep track of important stuff with your own stylish Bee Journal.

I have two Etsy stores you can visit to see more. The Barn Door has all my painted items. Daffodils and Daisies has everything else.

Visit The Nester to see tons of other very talented ladies and what they hand craft. Let's support a Handmade Holiday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

i might

be in a little bit of a mood.

Can you tell?

dear pizza delivery dude

Listen buddy, I made an agonizing choice to order pizza for the family tonight. We're supposed to be saving money, but it's been a looong week. Rather than subject everyone to potluck (you know - what the kids call the fend for yourself night) and be happy with a bowl of fruit loops, I decided to order them a hot meal. Then when I ordered online the nice internet order screen said it would be an hour before you'd be here. 

An hour? You must have been busy because usually it's half an hour. 

Then you came early.

So when I opened the door and said, "hang on" while I ran to get the money you could have been a little more patient. You were early. Did you not think I heard your gargantuan sigh as I rounded the corner, but before you could see me? Did you not know my husband was sitting in the living room and could hear you too? And when you hand me my change, do you think you could force a little smile after I just gave you a tip on top of that outrageous delivery fee? It's the least you could do. Didn't your mamma teach you any manners?

Listen buddy, the extra one minute it took me to run to the other room to get money is not going to hurt your on-road average. I'm certain of it. It's not like you work for FedEx or anything. You deliver pizza for goodness sake!

Oh, and another thing. Next time I order a cheese pizza with extra cheese, don't tilt it while you wait for the money and let the cheese start to slide off. That's just lazy and wrong.

The Lady-who-should-have-just-had-cereal-afterall

the bearer of bad news

A couple of weeks ago I sent home midterm grades. Along with the grades, we put each students' reading level in the comments. I have 4 kids in my class who are reading dramatically below grade level. One of these moms wanted a conference.

Today we were able to meet. In discussing the reading, I said, "Well, you know Squirmy is reading below grade level." I expected to move on to what we could do to help him move along. Afterall, that's why we are meeting, right. Well, yes. But when she told me she didn't know that until I told her I was flabbergasted. His first grade teacher did not tell her! It's not like he's reading just a little lower than expected. He's reading at an ending kindergarten level and this is the first she's heard of it? I do not like being the bearer of this kind of bad news. 

I know who his first grade teacher was and I really should not have been surprised by the mom's comment. But still, it shocks me that a teacher cannot be kind enough to clue the mom in to what is happening. Not telling is not doing anyone any favors. Not telling is hurting the kid even more. Many parents are willing to put in extra time at home if only they knew the truth. This woman is a joke of a teacher with no classroom management skills and who knows what teaching really goes on in that room. Am I being unprofessional? Yes. And I just don't care right now. She doesn't read this blog. If she ever found out what I said, maybe I'd finally be brave enough to say to her face that I think she's horrible and we all dread getting students from her room. I said maybe. 

The moral of this story? Be honest with the parents, first grade teachers. Don't make me be the one to break the bad news to a parent!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

lunch rescue

Twice, in the last two weeks, Suzanne has come to the rescue of a lunch distress. 

Exhibit A: I keep my frozen lunches in the garage freezer. One day last week, in my haste to get out of the house and not be late (stop laughing) I forgot to grab one from the freezer. Even though I chanted the mantra in my head, "get lunch, get lunch." The items on the school lunch menu were not fit for adult consumption, so I decided to order from a sandwich place. Being the nice gal that I am, I asked Suzanne if she wanted to order with me. She said she had enough lunch for the both of us. Crock pot leftovers. There was plenty and it was quite delicious. 

Exhibit B: Yesterday Heather turned her nose up at the school lunch menu (that's my girl!) so I made her a gourmet PB & J and packed all kinds of other lunchy goodness. Just as school started she came to my room to tell me she wasn't sure where her lunch was, but it was not in her possession. She also mentioned that if she left it at home it "would be great" if I went to get it for her. Don't think so, kid. At prep, I checked the car. Nope. That means it was sitting at home on the counter where I left it. Suzanne saw me coming in from my car and asked what I was doing. I told her what happened and told her that Heather was out of luck. School lunch for her. Suzanne felt sorry for her and had extra uncrustables and other lunchy goodness in her room. She packed her a sack lunch and we delivered it to the relieved child's room.

So, here's to the the president of the Lunch Rescue Squad ~ thanks, Suzanne!

win a quilt

Who doesn't love a giveaway? You could win a gorgeous quilt from Pigtails and Snails. Just enter here. Wait a second ~ maybe you shouldn't enter afterall. That just lowers my chances! Well, alright, go ahead and enter. Just don't be surprised when you find out that I won this yummy quilt!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

not exactly as planned

Remember these? I cleaned the frames & took them apart.

I thought it might be quicker spray paint them, but it was really windy outside. So I painted them by hand with craft paint. Luckily when I needed to varnish the frames it wasn't windy so I could spray them. 

I brushed this one with a little ivory paint for some interesting detail.

This one got a little metallic gold paint. This will be for a different project.

Ok ~ so here's my idea. I wanted to do a silhouette on the glass with something interesting behind it. I cut out the bat and got the background ready. I intended on putting the bat on the underside of the glass, but it looked funny. Too bubbly.

So I put it on the outside of the glass. It's ok, but not what I had in mind. It bubbled and I couldn't smooth them out. Greg asked why I didn't just put it on the paper behind the glass. Well, dear, since my idea turned out like crap, let's try yours.

That's better. I took it apart, cut out a paper bat and attached it to the paper. Dumb vinyl. Plus I like this bat better. The other one was way too big. I'm sticking with paper.

Sometimes these things don't turn out as planned. As long as they are cute in the end, that's ok. I bought two packages of vinyl thinking this was going to be the bomb. Right. Bomb it was. I'm taking one of the rolls back.

Monday, October 13, 2008

where everything is not as it seems

If you look with a careful eye, you can see past the current condition and into the beauty of an object. I mentioned this to you the other day after I visited the thrift store. 

I saw this candle holder on clearance at Target. It was about $2, I think. It's not incredibly ugly if it were in just the right house, in just the right place. In my house? Yuck! I bought it anyway with something in mind.

I decided to spray paint it another color. This may have been easier if it were plaster, but it glass underneath all that shine. So I sprayed a primer coat first. I ran out of primer in the middle & had to buy more. I also see where I missed a spot. Oh well, getting a base coat on was what I was needing.

When the primer was nice and dry (actually a few days later) I sprayed it black, at sunset, while Greg was trying to mow the lawn. I'm not always easy to live with, people. 

When this was dry it sat in the garage for a few days. Then I put it in the entertainment center with a bird on it. It looked kinda dumb. No photo.

Yesterday I found this white pumpkin at Michael's. I found the leaves at Joann's. 

I like the way it looks. Fall. Simple.

I didn't glue anything down, so after fall is over I may find a way to use it with the Christmas decor. Then? Who knows.

Keep an eye out ~ you never know what you'll find to change. 

I'm working on doing something with those frames. You'll be the first to know when I'm done.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

because i needed one more project

For a while I've been admiring the tassels that The Nester makes. I even bought one several months ago with a rooster on the top. Shh ~ don't tell Greg I snuck another bird in the house!

After finding a tutorial online (can't remember where I found it), I decided to try them for myself.

This is my first one. Not bad, I think. I didn't even burn myself with the glue gun ~ much.

You can hang tassels from anywhere! This one is on the entertainment center in the living room. The rooster is hanging from a hook on the bench in the front hall. 

I bought some stuff to make more for the upcoming craft show. And etsy, of course.

Friday, October 10, 2008

keep your chin up

Yesterday I had playground duty near the intermediate playground equipment. Stephanie and some of the kids from her class (plus a few 5th graders) started having a contest to see who could hold a chin up on the bars the longest. Stephanie beat them ~ every time! Oh, I wish I had had my camera to show you her beamy face each time she squashed her opponent. I wish I could show you those boys' faces as they dropped from the bar and got that surge of testosterone that screams "unfair" as they challenged her again. That's right, she beat the boys ~ hands down chin up.

Money for gymnastics/dance lessons is clearly unwasted here!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

harvest time

Our test garden is coming along. Greg has learned some should and shouldn'ts for next year. We planted a bell pepper plant. It responded poorly to Greg's love and care at first. We thought it was a goner.

Apparently not. Greg harvested these bell peppers this weekend. They are delicious!

The first corn crop was planted too early. The ears were mini. Greg tried once more. The stalks are larger and have the promise of larger ears this time.

Sometimes I think it's odd to have a "corn field" outside my bedroom window.

We did not grow these.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

adventures in thrifting

Ok, right about now, Greg is giving a huge shudder as he reads this. Hee hee. He hates thrift stores, garage sales, and anything of that used sort! Ebay even gives him a mild case of the willies unless it's new items.

Hmmm. I'll admit, those places give me pause sometimes too.

But I do like to go look for items that I can clean up a bit and repurpose. Generally, the repurposing includes painting of some sort and I'm pretty picky about what I will buy.

Tuesday after school I went to the thrift store I like the best. This one is the cleanest, the least creepy, and actually the cheapest. I was looking for a couple of specific things, but always try to keep an open mind. I try to see past the previous use of items. I try to see the future beauty of how I will transform these items.

I gotta tell you, the man checking out the suitcases who smelled like a pungent bouquet of b.o. and booze gave me the heebeejeebees. The wild eyed, disheveled man at the in front of me cash register who turned and pushed my cart out of the way, then just stood and stared at me freaked me out. He left the line and shopped for a minute more. As soon as I paid my $5.50, I hustled the kids the heck out of there because he got back in line behind us.

And I came home with these. The frames and the crate were items I was searching for during this trip. I have an idea that I've seen around blogland for the frames. The sconces were a happy find. I've refinished and painted a pair like this before that looked pretty nice. I'll do the same for these. These are actually in better shape than the last pair. I'll show you as I finish my projects.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

spooky spider

Don't you know a certain size 2/2T somebody who just needs this boo-tiful skirt set?

See more here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

ways i drive my husband crazy

We all do it, whether we are brave enough to admit it or not! We all drive our husbands crazy! Oh, but we aren't the only ones. Husbands drive their wives crazy too.

I've made a list. These are all the ways I know, for sure, I drive Greg crazy:
  1. I'm habitually late. The man works for FedEx, people. You do the math on how this might drive him nuts.

  2. When it's time for bed, I find 10 more things that need to be done before I go to bed. The most usual is pulling laundry out of the dryer and putting more clothes in the dryer. Sounds simple enough, but most of my clothes do not get dried, so I have to spend the time hanging up some wet clothes. Then I need a drink. And to go to the bathroom. And to plug in my phone. And... And...

  3. When he asks, "What's for dinner?" my number one response is, "I don't know."

  4. I love to stay up late. And I always want to read before I go to bed. Greg leaves the house at 4:30 these days. He just wants me to turn off the light and go to bed with him. I get up at 4:30 with him. He needs more sleep than I do.

  5. I allegedly break sprinkler heads. We have a curvy driveway. When I'm backing out of the driveway I may or may not sometimes end up a little bit in the grass to avoid his truck. I still think the neighbor boys do it with their toy 4-wheelers. Do you believe me? Good thing I got a smaller car.

  6. When we plan errands I try to sneak in a few extra stops along the way. Greg doesn't like shopping unless it's at Best Buy or Home Depot, so for him this is torture. Of course, the saving gas angle is always a good one. The extra stops are usually in the same area as the other errands, or on the way home. Sometimes he gives in, sometimes he doesn't.

It's a good thing I'm a good cook and naturally hilarious. It makes up for all the craziness I'm certain.

Friday, October 3, 2008

where are all the children?

The children I gave birth to are with Grandma and Papa today. Hallelujah for semi-retirement because that saved them from daycare.

The children they make me spend my days with are torturing their own parents or grandparents. Or maybe they had to go to daycare because there is no semi-retirement option across town.

Why are all the children missing?


The kids feel sorry for me because I still have to work and they get a day off. Well, me too, a little. But today I get to
  • wear what I want to school,
  • hang out with my friends,
  • learn something,
  • pass notes to with my friends and try not to get in trouble (not really) (maybe) (not telling),
  • go out to lunch at a real restaurant,
  • not inhale my food in 20 minutes & forget to pee,
  • refrain from saying the names of certain misbehavin' boys continuously ~
Yeah, this day will be okay.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

party all night ~ or until you fall asleep

Friday night Stephanie had a sleepover for her birthday. We allowed her to invite 6 friends over, but only 4 were able to make it. Quite manageable!

We found some cute invitations that had a black border with pink polka dots. A polka dot party theme was born. I tried to do as many pink/white/black polka dot items as possible. At the party supply store, Heather found pink napkins with white polka dots on them.

We had cupcakes (hello, each one is a polka dot) with M&Ms for more polka dots. The table cloth covering the island was Stephanie's idea ~ pink plastic table cloth with paper dots taped on.

So the cupcakes were pink, they were strawberry flavored.

Stephanie wanted ham and turkey sandwiches cut into shapes (circle), chips, and apples with caramel dip. So easy to please.

While the kids ate their dinner, Greg bugged entertained them with his antics. He gave all the kids a healthy case of the giggles.

What else do you do at a slumber party besides play dress-up, scream and run around, dance to the latest tunes, and talk about who you want to be your boyfriend when you are supposed to be sleeping(yeah, I found out about that)? Make bracelets! The girls got busy choosing their beads, arranging their combinations and stringing their bracelets.

Their combinations turned out really cute.

Stephanie entertained us all while she opened her presents. Most of the girls were from Stephanie's class. A few times they broke out in songs their teacher is teaching them. You know, a little ditty here and there to get the kids' attention.

Make a wish! Take a big breath...

and blow!

Heather waits patiently for her cupcake. You know she was really thinking that her sister should get this show on the road! Give me a cupcake, already!

Rise and shine, sunshine! At about 10:30 we put spread the sleeping bags out and put a movie on for the girls. Naturally, there was popcorn with M&Ms in it. We were thinking that as they watched the movie they'd get drowsy and just fall off to sleep or be real close by the time the movie was over. Heather fell asleep. I fell asleep in the last 15 minutes. The rest of the girls? Not so much!

They wanted to camp out upstairs, so Greg helped them get settled. He told them they could stay up and chat as long as they wanted but they had to stay in their sleeping bags. Laying down, in the dark, past midnight. Who would last? These girls would. From the pounding we heard on our ceiling, they were not staying in their sleeping bags. We decided to be the fun parents and ignore this. About 1:30, Stephanie's friend with diabetes was having problems with her pump. A call to mom fixed that, but her blood sugar was too low so mom had to come get her. Last I heard at 2:30, they were still awake. I'm pretty sure they fell asleep soon after that. I know I did. This whole time? Heather is still asleep in her transplanted sleeping bag in the midst of all the giggly goings on.

The kids made foamy Halloween masks while I made sausage and eggs for breakfast. After eating outside and a little running around, parents came to collect their sleep deprived children.

One last polka dot. We sent these bags home with the girls.

Overall, the party was a huge success. I think all the girls had a great time ~ Stephanie especially. Prior to the party I was talking to some of my friends at school and they said they'd never do another slumber party again or they were glad it is only a once a year thing. Greg and I were thinking that it wasn't so bad. The whole deal was really low key and easy going. We weren't worried about a schedule or keeping the girls occupied every minute. We did have plenty of activities planned, but didn't need all of them because they had such a good time playing. In a couple of months, we'll let her have another sleep over if she wants.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering? We did not ignore the gal on her actual birthday. I made cupcakes for her class. She got to pick the dinner menu. She picked beef stroganoff, so Greg cooked.

This officially concludes Stephanie's birthday celebrations. We try to stretch them out as long as possible at our house, much to Greg's dismay!