Sunday, July 31, 2011

No longer MIA.

Phew!  What a weekend!  Don't know if you noticed, but I took some time off.  And actually, not just from the blog, either.  I left the kids with my mom for a night while mr was off at boy scout camp and visited my best friend to celebrate her birthday with her!  We haven't been together on a birthday for way too long, and it was awesome!  More details on that later.  Don't tell me if you didn't notice - that would just make me sad.  I'm back now.  And there's lots to do!  First off, Scavenger Hunt Sunday!

Walking Empty Streets
Those are mr's feet.  That is all.
Repeating Patterns
My now beautiful railing that I painted.  And painted.  And painted.
Confession, this is archived.  BUT The editing is new.  Acceptable?  It's actually one of my favorite shots of bug.  It's from April when we got our new carpet and none of us could stop rolling around on it because it was so much softer than our old stuff.
Then and Now
Well, I had issues with this one, but finally decided on this shot.  It's out on the lake at our close family friend's house.  What's amazing about this place is how much it changed and yet, somehow, still remains the same.  Swings break and rot away, new docks are erected, new hammocks are hung, plants are planted, paths are worn, ponds dry out or are overcome with weeds.  But the green, the calm, the peace will always be the same.  Oh, and that heart bench.  That's always been there.
Aw, I love those fingers.  And the smile.  The eyes.  The hair... the hugs!
And over at Paper Mama, the theme this week is "Yellow."
The Paper Mama

I'm linking this:
Wish she was big enough to really mow.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Oh, I know you thought I was channeling my inner Carly Simon.  But really, I'm talking about this kind of vanity:

That, my friends, is my kids' bathroom.  They don't take very good care of it.  Of course, they ARE three and one, so maybe that's why.  The above picture is the only one I could find readily available that showed the state of the vanity at all... It was taken after I discovered just why bug had been so quiet during quiet time.  Noiseless = destruction at my house.  Just so you know, I don't really keep the bathroom this dirty.  bug had gotten into EVERYTHING - smearing Vick's Vaporub all over the mirror and sink, spraying mr's shaving cream around, playing with the nail clippers, throwing toilet paper all over, and - to top it off - attempting to flush an entire bag of wipes down the toilet, then swinging the dirty plunger around while he tried to unclog it.  See the cabinet door - how it's hanging off it's hinges?  bug did not like the fact that they are "childproof", which obviously does not mean "bug proof."  Did I mention this happened that one week mr was in South America and I had been dealing with destructive, atrocious, crazy, and scary occurences like this for TWO and 1/2 WEEKS??  

Huh.  Not sure how I got off on THAT tangent.  Just wanted to let you know why my bathroom is a disaster in the ONE before shot I have.  When the family and I were away in Utah months and months ago - like last summer, I think - our toilet leaked all over our bathroom.  We came home to standing water and some damage to the wall and - worse - the vanity.  It was not good, people, not good.  Then, when bug was in one of his destructive moods, he decided to peel up the bubbling veneer on the side of the vanity - near the toilet.  He ended up ripping about a quarter of the veneer off that side completely.

Fast forward.  You may remember I mentioned a refi we were trying to get ready for.  Obviously as part of the process we needed to get our house appraised, and mr (for some odd reason) was concerned about the state of our water-damaged bathroom.  So I said I'd take care of it.

Two days, three full sheets of sandpaper, some Cool Lagoon paint, and a bit of frustration and made up swear words later, no visible water damage!! 

It was harder than I'd anticipated, but I like it so much better than that oak color.  So all the work and effort was worth it.  Notice I repaired the door that was falling off it's hinges as well.

Any items that used to live on top are now tucked away inside, as it should be.  Goodbye lime green!

I wasn't sure about the color at first, but it has definitely grown on me.  I've even decided on a "scheme" for the rest of the room.  

Now that the cabinetry is so light, the room is really washed out.  I think there may be some gray and white stripes in my future.  Maybe some pops of orange?  It only took us a year to get the vanity done.  We'll see how long the rest takes.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Everyone loves a parade. Finale.

We're almost done making our parade!  We've finished all the instruments and all that's left are a few extras - to really make our parade fun.

First, we'll need something to direct the parade with.  Every marching band leader needs a baton.

You'll need:
a skinny dowel
colored duct tape
small styrofoam ball
mod podge or white glue

Take your dowel and cover it with the colored duct tape to make stripes.  You'll have to cut your duct tape into a skinny strip.  You could also just paint it - after all, it's wood - but last time I toted the excellence of decorating with duct tape, so I followed my own lead here.

Stick your styrofoam ball on the dowel.  (You can slide it off and put some glue in the hole then replace it for added security)

Cover your ball with glue or mod podge.  Roll it around in glitter to match.  Sprinkle glitter over the top.  Glitter-fy that thing.

And march!  March!  March!  

What's a parade without spectators?  Well, ok, so it's still fun without spectators, but whether you've got extra marchers or people cheering from the sidelines, you'll need flags to wave!

You'll need:
felt scraps
hot glue gun
skinny dowels

Now, I don't have pictures of this process, because, well, I totally missed the boat on that one.  BUT, it's easy, and you can figure it out.

FIRST, take a scrap of felt and fold it in half.  Cut a right-ish triangle out so that the straight side is against the fold.  When you open it, you'd have two triangles connected on the straight edge, get it?  Just run hot glue along that fold, stick your dowel in there with the end sticking out just a little, and sandwich your dowel between the triangles.  Spread a bunch more hot glue in the inside of the triangles and glue them together.  Then cut shapes out of the scrap felt and glue them on the felt triangles to decorate them.  Finally, cut some ribbon at different lengths that matches your felt and just tie them in a double knot around the top of the dowel.  Secure this with some hot glue.  It'll add just a bit of whimsy.

This one's my favorite.

 mini likes them all.

And that's pretty much it.  Except you'll need something to put everything in.  The box part of the "Parade in a box".

You'll need:
a box

That's pretty much it.  Just find something that everything will fit in and there you have it!  You'll probably want handles so it's easy to transport.  That way you'll have a parade with you whenever you need it.

I used an orange crate I found at the thrift store.  I wanted to add handles so I cut some strips of this thick vinyl stuff and folded it into thirds to make it sturdy and thick.  Then I just used my handy staple gun to staple the ends onto the crate.

And poof!  An easily carry-able parade box.

A little note:  You may want to add some fun things to wear.  Every parade has hats!  Maybe a few scarves or something?  Make it fun!

 And now?  Turn the crate over and you've got the perfect seat for all the onlookers!

Have a fun summer parade!  

If you've missed the initial posts for creating your parade, you can learn how to make all of this:

DIY Wind Instruments - bugle, harmonica
DIY Percussion Instruments - drums, xylophone, maracas

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Monday, July 25, 2011

turkey. a step by step guide.

Get the details about Yummy Mondays HERE.

I've never made a turkey.  Does that surprise you?  If it does, you must be new here.  I mean, you're talking to the girl who only buys her chicken as it would look plucked fresh from the chicken breast bush.  You know, like this:

And, if you read that post, then you'll understand that I don't deal in animal.  Well, I do.  I just prefer to pretend that it's not.  No T-bones.  No whole chickens.  Heck, I've never made a whole lobster and really that's just a large bug, not a real animal.

BUT, when someone offers you a free turkey, well, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth, right?  Where does that expression come from?  What IS a gift horse?  And, quite frankly, I don't think you should be sticking your eyeball near any horse's chompers - gift or not.  But that's neither here nor there.  Free turkey.  On a budget.  Do the math.

That is how I found myself making a turkey for dinner.  On a day other than Thanksgiving.  (And just so my family has this perfectly straight, I will NOT be hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  Ever.)  I would like to share with you a little tutorial about cooking a turkey - so that you may learn the in's and out's of turkey-making without having to call your mom at work about 6 times total with questions such as "Ok.  How do you get the handcuffs off?"

Turkey-Making: A Tutorial.

You'll need:
one behemoth of a turkey.  I mean, what were they feeding this thing??
A sink.  Preferably a behemoth sink, to fit said behemoth turkey.
An oven.
A baking tray of some sort.
Various pincer-like instruments - such as tongs, ice pinchers, tweezers, pliers, forceps, what have you.
Gloves.  Optional.
Time to kill.  Lots and lots of time.  Because who has anything better to do than flip a stupid turkey and change it's bath water every half an hour?


Step 1.  Acquire a turkey.  If it's fresh, you can skip this whole tutorial.  Yea, you!  But if it's July and you're making turkey, most likely it will be of the deep freeze variety.  Yea, you.  (Shouldn't they create a sarcasm font already?  We all know we need one.)

Step 2.  Lift the solid, heavy boulder-like turkey into your sink.  Forget to put the plug in.  Create a lever system out of a stainless steel spatula using the side of the sink as the fulcrum, hoisting the turkey just high enough to poke the plug into place in the drain.

Step 3.  Fill the sink with cool/lukewarm water.  Heaven forbid it be warm.  Then the darn thing would actually defrost before you're wrinkled and decrepit.

Step 4.  Wait a half hour.  Use the same lever/fulcrum system to flip the turkey over.  Let the water out and refill the sink with cool/lukewarm - definitely NOT warm - water.  Like it would matter.  The darn thing is a 20 pound chunk of solid ice.  Think that water's staying warm for long?

Step 5.  Get distracted and forget about the turkey in the sink until you need a drink.  Think "Aw, crap."  At least it's only been about an hour and a half.  Flip, refill.  

Step 6.  Repeat.  Yes, even the forgetting part.  Apparently it's really important to soak this guy in a bath.  I believe the point is to make him feel nice and relaxed and comfortable.  You know, give him a false sense of security.

Step 7.  Get really impatient.  Poke the turkey a bunch.  Determine that it seems "squishy" enough.  Heft the turkey that weighs more than your first born out of the sink onto a baking tray.

Step 8.  Call your mom to determine what is the worst that could happen if the turkey is not, in fact, fully thawed before cooking.

Step 9.  Hang up and decide to proceed.

Step 10.  Cut open the turkey bag and try REALLY hard not to gag as all that yummy raw turkey-ness comes gushing out.  Delish.

Step 11.  Remove the bag.  Notice the handcuffs.  What the...?!?  Huh.  Pull on them.  Wiggle them.  Do your best to keep your hands away from the old man flesh of the anemic-looking bird.

Step 12.  Call your mom and ask her how to remove the handcuffs.  Or, more precisely, the legcuffs.

Step 13.  Dig into those handcuffs with all of your strength, pinching, pulling, gagging, wiggling, digging, gnawing and gnashing of teeth... until the handcuffs fly free with a force that sends the foul fowl scooting across the counter.  Thankfully, not onto the floor.

Step 14.  To put it delicately, uh, separate the legs.  Yep.  Just pull them apart.  Take a moment now to think about just how inappropriate this seems.  

Step 15.  Ok.  Proceed.

Step 16.  Get down on eye level and look - discreetly, you don't want to humiliate the poor thing - for what is referred to as "the bag of giblets" but which I refer to as, "blecccccharrrrrgggggulcccchhhhh - ack."  

Step 17.  It does not appear to be present.  Grab the pincer-like instrument of your choice and poke around just a bit.  Hm.  Seems rather hard on the inside there... maybe cold too... like ice?  Huh.

Step 18.  Call your mom and ask her if she's sure every turkey comes with a bag of "blaccccharrrrggggggulcccchhhack."  Ask her if there's more than one opening to a turkey.

Step 19.  Turn the turkey around.  Apparently there IS another opening.  You know, where the head used to be.  Oh, sheesh.

Step 20.  Oh.  There it is.

Step 21.  Use those tongs to grab that bag outta there.  Place it directly in the trash.  Then, for good measure, pile other bits of trash on top of it, hiding it completely.  Ah, that's better.

Step 23.  Get just a tiny bit weepy as you snip off the excess skin around the gapping neck wound.

Step 22.  Apparently, you have to bath the darn bird AGAIN, because once (for like a billion hours) wasn't enough.  So, dunk it in the sink.

Step 23.  And, you know, scrub it down.  Even the unmentionable areas.

Step 24.  Place it in the roasting pan.  

 Step 25.  Here's where you'll need those gloves.  Because apparently you're expected to massage this bad boy all over with salt and pepper and what have you.  Shudder.

Step 26.  Leave this for your husband to clean up.  You've dealt with enough already.

Step 27.  Mom says the trick to a moist turkey is high heat, shorter amount of time.  Heat the oven to 475 and set the timer for three hours. 

Step 28.  Pat yourself on the back for remembering mom so well.

Step 29.  Totally forget what mom said about making a foil tent around the turkey so it won't burn on the outside.

Step 30.  Slide that baby into the oven.  Done!  Now all you have to do is wait!

Step 31.  Wait.

Step 32.  Wait.

Step 33.  Wait.  For crap sake, it's been three hours!  What the heck is wrong with this pimply fowl?

Step 34.  Wait.  Explain to mom - who has just arrived for dinner - that it's still cooking.  After telling the story, try hard not to have a nervous breakdown when informed that your turkey was MOST DEFINITELY still frozen when placed in the oven.

Step 35.  Order Mexican.  From the new restaurant you've been wanting to try.  The night's not a total bust.

Step 36.  Remove the turkey from the oven around midnight.  The skin's nice and crispy - i.e. slightly charred.  Who likes that part anyway?

So now you've got a fully cooked turkey and you've already eaten dinner.  What to do with all that bird???  Sandwiches obviously!  Just wait till next week.  I promise it will be much more mouth watering than this.

Sorry if I made you loose your lunch.  Now you know how I felt.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Hope your weekend has been carefree.  And restful.  And not at all stressful.  So, the opposite of mine.  But, so I'm not reduced to a sniveling, self-absorbed winer, I'll just get to the goods.

It's Scavenger Hunt Sunday!  Woo hoo!  I tried to think about my shots a little more this week.  I don't know if that works for me.  I might take better photos when I don't think about it at all!

Music to My Ears
Is it silly to say that this little boy's faith infused prayers are like music to my ears?  I love it when he prays on his own, without help.  We're supposed to have child-like faith, right?
I decided to do a mini "photo shoot" for this prompt.  It ended up yielding some of my favorite shots.
It has been raining non-stop.  And not just rain.  Huge, crazy severe thunderstorms.  On a rare CLEAR day, we took the kids to the pool, along with Aunt Lise, Uncle Tall and K.  It was pretty CLEAR that mini loved this CLEAR, sparkling water.   (Overkill?)
Out of this World
So, very few clear days, but views like this at sunset aren't just "Outta this world!" but can also kind of transport me out of this world and remind me of a grander scheme - another world, if you will.
With thunderstorms come sprinkles.  Lots and lots of little sprinkles.  Tiny showers that begin and end the downpours.  I caught these sprinkles - or remnants thereof - on my brother IL's car.
I also thought I'd maybe try out The PaperMama's challenge this week.  
The Paper Mama
She does a month-long challenge with weekly prompts and I hope to do each week next month.  This week's prompt was "Summertime."
Out for a walk at sunset
And, ok, well, one more.  Just this once.  Because I thought I had a good fit for this week's iheartfaces theme.  Which is "Water."
I sure do love his face in this one.
Phew.  I think that's it.  But I will share these last few "Hat" pictures with you.  Just for fun.

*Be sure to check just below for all the fun parties I link to!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...