Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Christmas Tree

     I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I really enjoyed being off work and spending quality time with my family. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it, until I had to go back to work yesterday. My kiddos are still out of school (lucky ducks!), but the daily routine is almost the same. Just maybe a little more rushing and a little less waiting :)
     Anyway, before it gets to far from Christmas, I wanted to show you guys my tree.  There really is no theme, rhyme, or reason to it. Just love, really. 

This is with no filters or special effects! Isn't it pretty?!



     Of all the ornaments on our Christmas Tree this one is my favorite.  Five years ago on Christmas morning, my then boyfriend handed me a box and this ornament was inside.  I thought it was so cute and artistic and sweet that he made me something.  So I'm looking at it and I turn it around to see the other side and I'm in complete shock.  I looked up at him and he had gotten down on one knee and opened up the ornament. He removed some of the tinsel and in the middle was a tiny little black box.  As you already know, I said YES!

I forgot to get a picture of the front :( but here is the back




     I spotted these two frogs at Cracker Barrel a couple of years ago.  They reminded me so much of when my husband proposed that I had to get them.  Aren't they cute! I like to put them under the above ornament.





     I am obsessed with popcorn.  I'm pretty sure it's a family trait but I'm the only one that will admit that.  One year I thought it would look cool to make a popcorn garland. I had no idea it would take so long.  Three hours later and I called it quits.  We didn't have enough to wrap around the whole tree, so we just zigzagged it across the front.  This is actually my second popcorn ornament.  My hubby accidentally dropped the first one last year while trying to fix it and it shattered.  He felt bad and promptly replaced it. Isn't he great?! :) 






     Here are some other ornaments on the tree.......

This zebra has the longest eyelashes.  I'm so jealous!




There are boy ornaments too!




This made me think of my husband because he likes cheese.





     Every year we let the kiddos pick out a new ornament for our tree.  It's usually pretty difficult for them to make up their minds when they see all the colors and sparkles. But this year they knew exactly what they wanted and it took all of two seconds.  How often does that happen?!
Peach squealed when she saw this.   She loves unicorns, the color pink and all things sparkly.  This was MADE for her!




Teddy loves animal prints and pandas.   I let her get both since they were cheap.



      I would love to see your tree and how you decorate it.  Feel free to leave a picture in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall!

     It's hard to think about fall when it's 80 degrees out, but it's here!  I was driving down back roads yesterday and the breeze was cool and I could smell burning wood. I would say that fall is my favorite but really I love the start of every season.  I started to think about all the things I wanted to do this fall and decided to make a list. 
     1. My husband and I will be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary! We have been following the list of traditional wedding gifts and this year is fruit or flowers. So he has it easy :) but I am completely stumped! I've searched for hours on the Internet trying to find something manly to get him.  On one website someone suggested getting an Apple electronic, but my husband is more of an Android fan. On another website they had bacon shaped like roses for sale. I seriously thought about the bacon because honestly, what man doesn't like bacon?!  But then I accidentally hit a button and the web page disappeared. That figures! So if anyone out there has a suggestion, I would greatly appreciate it!!!! Time is ticking...   
     2. Starbucks pumpkin spice latte! I'm sure this is on a lot of people's list :) The funny thing is that I'm not really a big pumpkin fan.    I'm enjoying this while I type :)
     3. Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows! I like my marshmallow a little on the flaming side when you first pull it out of the fire.   
     4. The County Fair! I love the live bands complete with banjos, the crafts, and fair food. Chicken on a stick anyone? 
     5. Carving pumpkins! And then trying to roast the seeds and always failing. I never give up though. One of these years I WILL succeed!
     6. Make an apple pie! From scratch! I did this a long time ago in home economics and I want to try it again. My husband is reading over my shoulder and I know he is thinking,  "No! Make a pecan pie!" because that is his favorite. But if I screw up a pie I want it to have cheaper ingredients.
     7. Dress up for Halloween!  My twelve year old self is screaming I'm too old but I'm not going trick or treating.  So far I haven't found a costume. Or a place to wear one to.  I tried to get the hubs to do a couples costume but he didn't want to be the peanut butter side of a PB&J.
     8. Corn Maze! I'm going to my first in a couple weeks. I love mazes but I'm not good at them.  Perhaps I should take my cell so I can call for help if I get lost :)
     

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saturdays

 This is how I like to spend my Saturdays. 
     After my stomach is full from lunch I start to feel sleepy, but I don't want to take a nap yet because I'm at a good part in the book I'm reading.  So I get out my favorite coffee mug, stick it in the Keurig,  and press brew.  I can't remember a single time in my life where I didn't love the smell or sound of coffee brewing.  I've tried to be like my mother and drink my coffee black, but I just can't. It's against my religion! I prefer mine with creamer and today it's going to be Hazelnut.
    No matter the weather outside it always seems cool in the house and I end up curling up in this blanket on the couch.   It was a wedding present from my husband's cousin and I'm pretty sure she made it herself.  In my opinion handmade gifts are better than anything you can buy at the store.
    I love getting lost in books! I love flipping the pages and seeing what others have written or left behind. I love the smell of paper and the journey it took to get to the used book store. But when I can't get to the store I turn to my Kindle.  I have found a lot of good cheap ebooks that are worthy of my Saturday's. 
    I click on the book I've been reading and pick up where I left off. I read page after page while sipping my coffee and thinking, "why does every single woman own a cat" and "What are you thinking getting involved with a married priest?!"
   While I read I change positions a lot.  I start out sitting with my legs curled up to one side.  My cat Floppy prefers this position because he has a nice little nest to nap in.  Then I'll prop my legs up on the coffee table or stretch them out lengthwise one the couch.  Pretty soon I'm laying on my back with my kindle in my hands........reading......reading........reading.  The next thing I know my hands are letting go and my Kindle smacks me in the face and I realize I had fallen asleep.  No lie, this happens almost every week.  This is also another reason why I prefer books to my kindle, because they don't hurt as bad when they hit you.

   
   

Friday, June 13, 2014

Green Thumb??

   
 
 Could it be that I have a green thumb after all?  Or is it the power of Miracle Grow, sun light, and rain? Either way I went outside today to water the crops and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.
 
 
 
It's Squash!
 
Wow, this is more than I was expecting!  I think I'll make a casserole.


 
No red tomatoes yet, but I'm already planning on spaghetti sauce, sandwiches, pizza, and this yummy cheesy noodle stuff my great aunt makes.
  
 
    I didn't mention in my Adventures in Gardening blog that I also planted watermelon. To be honest I thought it had the least chance of producing anything but thought I would give it a try anyway.  So far I have two watermelons the size of Whoppers candy 
 
Watermelon #1


Watermelon #2

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I admit it,...

    I admit it,...I cry while watching movies.  Not all movies of course.  I didn't cry when I watched Twilight even though the acting WAS sad.  I didn't cry when I watched Red, The Faculty, or Shrek. 
    But I did cry when I watched Bambi for the first time. You know that part where Bambi's mother is shot by the hunter? It was just awful. And at the time it was worse because my dad was a hunter and all I could think about was him killing my deer friends.  I think I was 3 or 4.
    I'm sure I cried at other movies while I was growing up, but the next movie I remember is Titanic.  I was 12 and I went on opening weekend with my mom and my best friends.  It's a good thing my mom grabbed extra napkins when we got popcorn because we were all balling. Why couldn't Rose let Jack on the board with her? There was a ton of room.  She realizes that he's dead and while he is floating down into the ocean she says, "I'll never let go Jack."  Then Celine Dion's song My Heart Will Go On is playing.  I remember riding home and that song came on the radio and we started crying all over again.
   Now that I'm older, if I see a movie preview that looks good and sad, I wait until it's on dvd and watch it at home.  Every movie based on a Nicolas Sparks book has been viewed right here on my couch, because I know that there is always one character that is going to die.
    Last night I watched UP with my kids and I cried.  It starts out with two adventurous kids and then shows them falling in love, getting married, and growing old together.  The whole time they are fixing up a house they played in as kids and saving up to go to a waterfall in south america.  They finally have the money to go and the old man buys the plane tickets.  Just as he is about to surprise his wife she falls ill and dies.  The only thing he has left is the house that developers are trying to take away from him.  He makes it his mission to get the house to the falls for his wife. 
    I felt like a dork crying over a kids movie,  until I heard my youngest say, "This movie is sad."  I looked over at her to see a big crocodile tear before she wiped it away.  Poor kid is turning out to be like me.
   

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Adventures in Gardening

    So, I don't have a green thumb, but I like to think I do.  I pretend that it was passed down to me from my grandma on my mom's side who is good at all the things I wish I was.  Her name is Lucille and she can paint, sew, and make the world's best popcorn (in my opinion). 
    I remember helping my grandma when I was four or five dropping tiny seeds in a long row and then covering them with dirt.  The garden was big but the only vegetable I remember is corn. 
    Sitting on the back door cement slab in an old aluminum folding chair I shucked corn. The sun warmed my head as I tried to get every silky hair from the kernals. The finished ears went in a big plastic bowl and their casings went into a Meijer plastic bag (Now that I think about it, I remember snapping the ends off of green beans in much the same way).
    A few years ago I thought, let's have a garden.  So we cleared out a good size part of our back yard and planted tomatoes, bush beans, peas, carrots, eggplant, basil, jalapeƱos, and cucumbers.  In my mind I was imagining using my newly acquired canning skills and making our own salsa and spaghetti sauce and pickles.
    But it turned out that our back yard didn't get as much sun as we thought and we hardly got anything to eat. Also I didn't account for the cute little bunny that ate all my peas and carrots or the snake that liked to hang out and scare the crap out of me.  I'm not going to lie, it was pretty discouraging to spend all that time and effort (not to mention money) for nothing.
    The next year was spent learning about growing vegetables and scouring over Pinterest pins on container gardening and when to plant guides.  I found though that the best advice came from our grand parents generation, when if your garden failed you didn't eat.
    Armed with newly found knowledge and excitement I decided to give gardening another try.  This time my husband suggested we plant our vegetables in planters (my wonderful mother-in-law gave us 3) and place them in the front yard where there is more sun.  We thought it was too late to grow from seeds so we cheated and bought tiny three inch plants from Lowes. We chose two tomatoes and two summer squash.  While we were there we also grabbed some fertilizer and soil.
     Fast forward three weeks and look how much the plants have grown.  So far I have only fertilized them once and they are getting plenty of sun and water (it's been raining a lot!).
   
   
squash
 
 
Tomato 1 and 2


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lucky

 
    The warm sun shown down on us as we walked slowly down the sidewalk sipping our peach ice teas. I pointed out all the clover and told you about how when I was 8 I would lay in my aunts yard for hours searching for one with four leaves. You said that every patch has one as I tucked my long hair behind my ears, so as not to obstruct my view, and began searching. "Did you find one?", you asked as I plucked a clover.  "Nope it only has three." Before I could search again you reached down and retrieved what I thought was impossible.  It was the most perfect four leaf clover I had ever seen. It was like magic and I called you a leprechaun.  It lay delicately on your outstretched palm and I took it smiling. It sounds cliche, but you made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Day

    Living in the south means that snow days are few and far between. But when they happen its pure magic!
     When I was little I loved snow days. It was awesome that we didn't have to go to school and I could play outside until I turned into a Popsicle. We didn't have sleds so we used trash can lids or pool toys to slide down hills.
     My brother would sneak up behind me while I was trying to build a snowman and smash a huge ball of snow in my face. Of course I wasn't going to let him get away with that. We ran around the yard throwing snow balls at each other until our mittens were soaked and we were out of breath.
     Then we ran inside tracking snow everywhere, unbundled ourselves, and stood by the kerosene heater.  Sometimes while regaining feeling in our toes we had hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.
     It wasn't long before we bundled ourselves up again and were playing in our winter wonder land.
     After mom had her morning coffee she would come outside and help us build a snowman.  She also showed us how to catch the falling snow on our tongues.  But then my brother smashed snow in her face and she was ready to go in.
     These are the wonderful times I thought about as I watched my children play in the snow and then run inside, rosy cheeked, begging for hot chocolate.  After the chocolate was gone and dry mittens were on they were back outside.  I looked out the living room window just in time to see history repeat itself as my oldest smashed a snow ball in her sisters face.
     And I thought about this when I woke up at 5am this morning so my husband and I could build a snowman before the snow melted.