Saturday, February 27, 2010


I made this little bauble for my niece Mia. She just turned 8, and is being baptized today, on the other side of the country. I wanted to send something that would mean something to her today, and in the future. I love how it turned out, and I hope she loves it too!

I love creating things. Whether it is a bracelet, a silly made-up rhyme to tease my kids with, a delicious meal, a clean and harmonious home, or a smile on someone else's face. It brings me profound joy, my heart delights in it. I think sometimes that I was created so that I could create. I believe that we all were.

So whatever it is that you are great at, whatever you enjoy creating, keep at it. It makes the world a much more beautiful place!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hump Day Happies :)

These are all things that have made me smile the last week or so that I've been too busy playing nursemaid, cook, housekeeper, etc, etc, to blog about!

Sharing my favorites with new friends.
(marinated artichokes)

Pyros being enabled by their pyro-Dad.

That we had enough snow 10 days ago to build THIS HUGE SNOWMAN...and it was gone by the next day.
Getting crafty with $3.50 grapevine wreaths and 7 Dollar Store silk branches for my front doors. I absolutely LOVE forsythia! It is the first thing that blooms in the Spring. They would have cost me at least $50 to buy pre-made!

Needing to replace my floor lamp (because a critter knocked it over one too many times), and ending up with something I love EVEN MORE! For a supa-gonga! I also love my new money tree! Don't you?

What made you happy this week?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's My Life

Sydney in her "sick-bed" She was diagnosed with Pneumonia the next day, almost 2 weeks ago and put on Omnicef.
She continued to be lethargic, and her cough got more and more crackly. Fever returned after a few days.

We went back to the doctor exactly 1 week after her initial diagnosis. She prescribed Zithromax and Tylenol with Codeine (so she could sleep...the coughing was keeping her up nights). We were also told that if she was still having trouble on Monday we would need to have some chest x-rays done. 2 days later...

She's back! Not 100%, we know we have to take it easy with her for at least a month. But antibiotics, the right ones, are miraculous! We are so grateful for modern medicine and it's power to heal.

(she took to licking around her poor lips that would dry out with the cough and now has a red rash all around them that I'm trying to keep cream on....she LOVES that...not.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

DIY - It's NEVER easy!

One Sunny (crisp) Saturday about a month ago, it was perfect timing to finally level the plot that we were to put the critter's play structure on.

You know, the one we purchased in December, that has been sitting in the garage since right after Christmas...waiting to be built while the single digit temps, sleet and snow have kept us inside?

And so, we became sod rippers. We cut the sod with a crescent shaped edger (my job) and pulled it up by hand (his job)...stacking the rolls so that we could lay them again after moving around some dirt. Easy, right?

Except the dirt here is clay. Heavy, dense, iron rich CLAY! He dug out the high side and chucked it over to the low side, and I broke up the clods.

We had to spray it down to get it to break down and spread even.

Look at the muck on the bottom of his shoes! It was slurpy. It grabbed you and didn't want to let go! I felt like I had moon boots on!!

The almost finished product, before the sod was rolled. All told, it took about 8 hours from start to finish. Ughhh. And Chris did most of the heavy lifting!

After this weekend it continued to rain and rain for weeks, so it took a while for the moisture level to return to normal.

Fast forward several weekends...and we have beautiful, sunny, warm and DRY weather!!

Have some hardware!

Inventorying all the boards! This is definitely a 2 person job!!
This is about 1/2 way there!

We heard horror stories about this taking some folks 10-15 hours to construct. We built it in about 6 hours! It's all about teamwork! Chris does really well when he has someone there to talk through the steps. I was the project ahead and pulled out the supplies. I also did some hands-on building. Chris was the man with the drill and the experience. Even though the instructions didn't call for a certain piece, he knew when it was needed, and they actually HAD provided the hardware, but didn't mention it anywhere in the directions!! It's a good thing he's built a lot of things!!

We now have a level, structurally sound play set that our kids can enjoy for years to come!

Not Easy, But Totally Worth It! It is so satisfying to work as a team and accomplish your end goal! (Better than therapy, I tell ya~)

Here is a pic as of this morning (raining again).

In all the excitement (exhaustion) of finishing up and coming in to clean up the house the kids had run free in and out of all day, I forgot to take one the day of. I plan to pick up some sand for the little sandbox under the fort this week. SO nice to have this project checked off!

It was 65 degrees and gorgeous yesterday and the critters played in it all afternoon! They are the happiest I've seen them since the move!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

V-day Gift Tip

"What do you get when you combine the warmth of a hoodie with the coziness of footie pajamas? A "Hoodie-Footie" – the perfect way to snuggle up and stay warm from head to toe. Made from the softest marshmallow microfleece to be incredibly comfortable and warm, the Hoodie-Footie Snuggle Suit features a full-zip front to make dressing easy (whether you wear them like pajamas or over other clothes), wrist cuffs with thumb holes to keep hands warm and sleeves in place, a drawstring hood to keep their head cozily covered, kangaroo pockets, and zip off feet to keep tootsies at just the right temperature. "

It's like a Snuggie for active peeps! You know, just in case you needed an idea for what to get your lady-love (or ask your guy for). LOL

I saw this on a friend's blog recently and just HAD to share it with you guys! Cause if I didn't, you might think I didn't LOVE you! And I do!

Happy Heart Day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Going Places

Our explorer finally had an opportunity to bag some NC peaks! King's Pinnacle and Crowder's Mountain are about a 45 minute drive from Charlotte. Days like this are what he loves. It's good for his soul.

Check out the cool shots of our beautiful new "backyard". I'm sure we'll be tracking all over it with the kids come Spring.King's Pinnacle in the distance...
I love stairs like these. Whaddaya bet this was somebody's scouting project?

Crowders Mountain, shot from King's Pinnacle.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tasty Thursday

My lunch this week....Southern Chopped Pork (I made 4 lbs of it on Sunday!), veggie straws, apple slices (I ate a lot more than 2!). Coke zero... Yum.

Check out my bun! Have you seen these sandwich thins from Orowheat (or Arnold, where I live)?? Perfect solution for things that NEED a bun! Only 100 calories, 5 g of fiber and 100% whole wheat. Nice option to have. Check for it at your grocery. I noticed they just started carrying them at my Costco too.

Here's the Pork recipe, courtesy of Paula Deen. I need a dutch oven or a 5 qt covered casserole for my bday this year, I think. (hint hint, Chris) Mine was a lil' dried out on top without a lid..

BBQ Chopped Pork Sandwiches

Dry rub:

  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
  • 4 pound shoulder pork roast
  • 2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 6 soft hamburger buns with seeds
  • Bbq sauce
  • Cole slaw


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the dry rub ingredients in small bowl. Sprinkle dry rub all over the pork roast, pressing into the pork. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Combine liquid ingredients and the garlic powder in a medium bowl and pour into a large Dutch oven. Place pork in the oven and tightly cover with aluminum foil then lid. Roast for 4 hours or until fork tender and shreds easily. Brush the roast with cooking liquid every hour.

Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred the pork with a fork or tongs into bite size pieces.

Serve on hamburger buns topped with BBQ sauce and cole slaw.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


This is for my friends and family that DO NOT have facebook accounts....cause if you DID, you would've already seen this news! :) Ummmmm, you need to COWGIRL (or boy) UP and set up a facebook account! Seriously, it's not that scary... LOL

Anyhoo, these are the pics I sent to Chris since he is in NYC and hasn't seen me in person yet. (and also NOT on facebook...what is it with you people?? haha...i kid, i kid)

I don't know what he thinks yet...but I guess it's too late, huh?? I totally LURVE it so far! And hair always grows back, so why not? But seriously, I've haven't gone this short since like 7th grade!! So big change for me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pick Your Battles!

Which of these things is not like the others, which of these things just isn't the same?? Can you hear the tune in your head?

If it was up to you, which would YOU choose to wear? Believe it or not, my resident, almost 7 year old, only son, would choose Front and Center!

He has this thing with shoes. If they are not flip flops, they don't FEEL good. And we can't wear flip flops in sleet, or rain, to school, or church...EVER. All of my kids are picky about the way their clothes feel. Savi, won't wear jeans....must have stretchy pants! puffy bugs her to have tulle under her skirt...or fluff in her jacket. Such is life. I pick my battles. I only have time to fight so many.

These shoes were purchased at the start of the school year. And are the ONLY shoes he would wear, ANYWHERE. Even in the snow, and rain...and they started to smell. Like rotting corn. As did his feet. Ewwww. And the gauntlet was thrown down.

After 3 very unsuccessful shopping trips where gnashing of teeth and wailing were involved on all sides, I went online. I searched HIGH and LOW for the PERFECT shoes. One pair for school. One for church. I found 2 excellent, high quality, pairs! Victory dance!

I told the boy they were on their way. I did my best. I hope he appreciates them. That when they arrived, the other shoes would disappear, and I crossed my fingers.

Bless his heart, the day they arrived, he tried to put on a brave face. Shoe fittings do not have a happy context for him. It ended in tears and flinging of shoes. I calmly replaced them in their boxes, pronouncing, "I have done my best, ALL I CAN DO, and I.AM.DONE!" Which brought on hysterics.

The CORNY shoes were still disappearing. He would learn to break in a shoe. I.WAS.DONE.

The new shoes sat on the kitchen counter for a couple of days. Saturday night Dad backed me up by saying, "Your Mom and I have gone to effort and expense to provide you nice shoes. They will not be returned. You will wear them tomorrow. End of discussion." Love it when Dad steps in and reinforces!! <3

And guess what? We all survived. He is wearing BOTH pairs of shoes for their designed intent. He is smiling, and saying, "MOM, you were RIGHT!" Music to my ears...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Treats

You know when you buy a big bag of fruit at Costco, and one of your kids bites into a mealy piece of said fruit, and then NONE of your kids will even touch the HUGE bowl you have left?

Yeah. That happened this week. With anjou pears. I loved them, and was eating them, but it got to the point where I could tell they would go too soft before I could eat them all. What do you do when you have 6 pears that might go to waste? You make COBBLER, of course.

It was a hit! So delicious, just the right dash of spices and sweet. And, I had ALL of the required ingredients already in my house. That is my favorite kind of recipe.

Yumminess bubbleth (I don't think either of those is a real word, oh well) forth!

Country Pear Cobbler


  • Filling:
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Dash of cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 to 8 medium pears, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • Topping:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp. margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. sugar, if desired
  • Light Cream, if desired


Combine all of the filling ingredients, except pears, in large skillet. Stir in sliced pears. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until hot and bubbly, stirring gently. Remove from heat and set aside.

Make topping. Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in mixing bowl. Beat on low speed of electric mixer for about 30 seconds. Add buttermilk and melted margarine. Continue to mix on low speed about 30 seconds, or just until blended.

Pour hot filling into 8-or 9- inch baking pan. Top evenly with large spoonfuls of topping. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar, if desired. Bake at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pears are tender and bubbly and topping is golden brown. Serve warm with light cream, if desired.

This is even better cold, the next day!

Oh, for the love of all that is good...make this cobbler!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"You asked for it!"

Dear Sydney,

I love you so much my baby girl! are STUBBORN! And you reallllllly don't like to have your hair brushed.

It is thin.

It tangles easily.

And lately, it's been bad. Everyday. Screaming. Crocodile Tears. I asked you, "Should we just cut it off?" Your reply, "YES!"

And so now you are Sydney of the shoulder length hair. Here's hoping for more smiles, and less tears in the morning!

Love, Mom

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow DayS!

We got an inch of Ice and Snow overnight on Friday. AN INCH. However, it was in the teens, and no snow removal equipment PLUS drivers inexperienced with driving in the snow = SNOW DAY!!

Chris went out and shoveled the driveway so the kids could build snowmen with the piles he made for them. Then they sledded down our driveway. It has a nice little slope in the front!
Here is the view of our back woods and the frozen over little pond in the trees. A few weeks ago when we were single digits for a few days running the kids were out there skating in their sneakers and having a grand old time.

It is really pretty, but it's hard when it means you can't go anywhere.

Church was canceled Sunday.

School was canceled Monday. Although, it should've just been a delay because it is sunny and beautiful today and the roads are all but dry now, mid-afternoon. Now they will have a make-up day on President's Day.

Every Charlottean has been pretty much housebound the last 2-3 days and with the kids home we're all trying to find a place to let them work off that cabin fever. We picked Chick-fil-A because it has an indoor playground. I think we were ALL thinking the same thing. We were hard-pressed to find a table. Ahh, such is life. Tomorrow they should be back in school and life will return to normal. :) NOW I know what a snow day is. I lived in Utah for 14 years and never had a single one, and we had many days that we had a foot of snow on the road. LOL The right equipment makes ALL the difference!