Saturday, July 30, 2011


Look!  All the cupcakes and cake pops made it to the party!  (Beau's cupcakes weren't in this photo, but they were all me.)  Chloe was really happy her big day had finally arrived.

And how old are you, Chloe?

And how old is Daddy?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Just chillin'...

These (and about this many more of their friends) are hanging out in my fridge till Saturday.  Yikes!

One of the special treats for the girls last weekend was driving through Starbuck's for a cake pop.  Chloe loved it.  Caitlyn not so much...she took a bite and gave the rest to Chloe.  But since Chloe DID like them (she asked to go back to Starbucks the next day, but I had to disappoint her), and it is HER birthday party on Saturday, I made these for her using the Bakerella recipe and instructions.

I also have two dozen cupcakes in the freezer waiting to be decorated. feels so good not to be doing all this at the very last minute!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A willing student...

Last weekend while the little girls were visiting we worked very hard to keep them entertained...and they managed to keep us entertained with no effort whatsoever.  Like when I prepared Swedish meatballs...a dinner I was pretty sure they would like.  We were about half way through the meal when Caitlyn says, "This is a really good dinner, Grandma.  Just like at my school cafeteria."  Carey and I almost choked on our meatballs.

Caitlyn has been asking recently to learn how to knit. I was about her age when I asked my mother to teach me to knit. My mother wisely steered me first toward something that my 5yo hand-eye coordination could be successful with. She took me to the fabulous craft department of Litchenstein's Department Store in Corpus Christi, where we chose a needlepoint project and I was given lessons by their staff. I felt very grown up.

So while she was spending the weekend, I pulled out some plastic canvas and yarn and headed her down the path to a crafty life.  We set it aside when she got bored, and went back to it later.  I love the look of concentration she has above.

And the look of happy accomplishment in this one.

We'll get around to knitting one day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

On my last trip to the library with the girlies, I picked up Bound by Sally Gunning.  It's the story of a girl who was indentured as a small child in pre-revolutionary Massachusetts.  Very good so far.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...

Hmmm...what can I say about this one?  Not everything turns out the way you first envision?

I should have just given up and gone back to the drawing board, but I was: a) short of time, b) trying to keep the girlies entertained and out of trouble, and c) just generally not in the groove.

This is a prime example of something going not quite right, so you add another element to try to balance things, and it just keeps going more and more wrong.  (shaking head at self)   And not just that, but I was very untidy as well...loose thread ends and even uncut tails!  (I didn't notice that one till I saw the photo enlargement, and the postman had already picked up the mail!)

Oh, well.  It's on its way anyway.  The recipient has severe vision challenges, so maybe she won't notice, and it really will be the thought that counts.

I also combined the mailing of my RSVP regrets to a wedding invitation with a handwritten letter to the bride.  Now I can order her gift from an online registry and feel better about it.

accountability stats:  12 weeks / 24 letters
(skipped last week all together, but I'm still on target)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Catching up...

I saw this metal sign at Hobby Lobby the other day, and it made me laugh.  If I had found it a couple of years ago, I would have had to buy it.  But since we are no longer ranching, I just took a quick pic, and left it where I found it.

But speaking of working in town...this week was incredibly busy at the office!  Kind of unusual for summer.  It made the days pass in the blink of an eye.

And today the girls came to stay for a few days.  So far...we have stamped...we have gone to the library...they played outside with Papa (I was not into playing outside in 100 degree F heat)...we set up the color-me playhouse...and played with blocks...and colored...and read...and went out to dinner...they had a bubble bath...and ice cream...and stories...and kisses.

And now I need to go recharge my own batteries.  It does not pay to let them have a headstart on me.  :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

I have started This Fine Life by Eva Marie Everson, but I will probably set it aside for awhile.  I'm in the mood for something...different.   I'll be honest. I got it for my Kindle, because it was a bargain.

As for The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley that I finished up last week, it was really good...I loved it!

Over the weekend I read Plain Jayne by Hillary Manton Lodge (another Kindle bargain).   I read it straight through, because I was procrastinating (as usual).  It was okay.  A little too cotton candy for me.   

I just feel the need for something meatier right now...a good legal thriller maybe.

(And have I mentioned lately how AGGRAVATING blogger is to me?!  Anyone else still having issues with placing photos and line/paragraph spacing?  Grrrrr.  While the published posts look ok on my monitor, the drafts are completely misaligned with huge hard to lay out like I want.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Critical fail...

I tried a new recipe in the crock-pot today.  Blech!  Ptttoooeey!

My dear husband, who will eat anything and hates to waste anything, has even agreed to throw the inedible experiment away.

We may not have a bellyful, but we have shared some belly laughs over this one.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thank you Borge Madsen...

 Oh, the temptation!

I am reading such a good book on my Kindle, and SO wanted to take it in the bath with me last night.  But after dunking a paper-and-ink book in the bath water a week or so ago, I just couldn't risk it.

That's when I received a little whisper of inspiration.  "You could read the screen and operate the buttons through a Ziploc."

Oh, the genius of a plastic-zippered bag!  Thank you Borge Madsen for inventing the plastic zipper, and all those with the vision to see what a marketing home run it could be (not to mention a gift to mankind!).

And thank you little voice of inspiration.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

photo credit

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley.

We have been having lots of beautiful, fluffy cumulus clouds lately.  I always think of my kids when the skies are like this.

One day, quite a few years ago, Kasey and I were riding in the car.  I said to her, "It's amazing how your children effect every aspect of your life.  I was looking out the kitchen window yesterday, and I thought to myself, the sky looks exactly like the opening credits of The Simpsons."

Kasey, a mother herself by that time, had expected something a little more profound, so her response involved laughter and rolling eyes.

I don't know if she remembers that conversation, but I think of it whenever the clouds fluff up.

Of course they make me think of Jared, since I would never have watched The Simpsons if he hadn't been obsessed with them when he was in high school. (He was forbidden to watch them when he was younger than that).  So these skies always bring to mind the hours and hours of episodes we watched together.

So what better way than this to say...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...

My endeavor to mail 52 letters in 52 weeks continues.

(apologies for my less than stellar photos.)

I saw a card awhile back that I thought was just adorable.  It was a card that Caroline made for the anniversary of her brother and sister-in-law.  I put my own take on it thusly...


And then another version popped into my head...
The inside of this one is the same as the other...'you & me' in things that just go better together than individually.

I mailed them to friends earlier this week.  I didn't want them to see them here before getting them in their mail boxes.

accountability stats: 10 weeks / 22 letters

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What I'm reading Wednesday...

Breath by Tim Winton.  I am really enjoying the story, writing style, and subject (Australian surfing). 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The big event...

Last month we had a wedding in the family.  A really wonderful, much celebrated wedding where our daughter, Kasey, wed her love, Beau.  Today I picked up the photos.  (I am truly blessed that one of my dearest friends is an awesome photographer.  What would I do without you, Drew?)

Chandler was his father's best man.  Bobby and Diego gave their mother away.  Caitlyn and Chloe were the bride's attendants.

It was pretty fabulous.

When they were pronounced man and wife, Chloe showed us all how she really felt about it.  And I was doing the same thing on the inside.

They're pretty cute together.  They're good partners and good parents.

They have our blessing. 

They are blessed.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!...

Alas we have no fireworks to view anywhere in our vicinity.  Due to the drought, all fireworks displays have been banned this year due to fire danger.  Remembering all the years we've attended great displays will have to carry me through.  I couldn't even get a photo to my blog will be dark tonight, just like my sky.
Hope everyone enjoyed their independence today!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday's snail mail...

I'm pretty proud of myself (if I do say so) for sticking with the 52 letters in 52 weeks challenge.  I got a late start (beginning of May), but I'm on target to catch up.  I don't remember where I originally came across the idea.  But today I have done a little research, and have found Katy, and I'm officially linking up to her challenge.

The Saturday snail mail I've been blogging about is all outgoing.  If I received on average one piece of snail mail a week, it would make all the junk mail and bills worthwhile (maybe).  Alas, I think the last handwritten letter we have received was an Easter letter from my mother-in-law.  My participation in the challenge is my effort to 'be the change I want to see in the world.'

Today I am mailing a birthday card to a friend who was born on the fourth of July.  I realize that because of the holiday she will be receiving it late, but she will be so surprised that I don't think she'll mind too much.  I made her a patriotic rendition of my previous bunting cards.

I also had fun playing around and coming up with these pink flowers.  The darker pink centers are crumpled and torn tissue paper...the stems are raffia...all sewn to the top layer of the card.  And I added some pearl stickies to centers to make them even sweeter.

accountability stats: 9 weeks / 17 letters mailed

Friday, July 1, 2011

Someday my prints will come...

The industry I work in requires employees to be fingerprinted.  I had it done ten years ago when I was hired.  Seven years ago I decided to leave the company, but shortly thereafter I was approached about going back part time.  Since the lapse was so brief (less than thirty days) I was not required to go through the hiring process again and be reprinted.  Earlier this week I was notified that that was an oversight, and I would have to give my prints again.

In the interim, technology has changed.  Now they want digital prints, which entailed a trip to the city.  I spent an hour placing my fingertips on what looked like a small scanner's glass top over and over again.  Though the prints often showed up on the monitor very clearly, they were frequently rejected by the program.  It was frustrating for me and for those attempting to capture the prints (three security company employees in all).

In the end, we all gave up.  We got the majority of digits digitally, but a couple were unsatisfactory prints.  The supervising technician decided to submit them 'as is'.  I was notified today that they were accepted by the FBI and the I get to keep my job.

My question is this:  does law enforcement use this system to fingerprint criminals?  Sheesh. I was a willing participant and doing everything possible to help in the process.  If someone is unwilling and hostile, how could this method ever work?
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