Saturday, May 28, 2011


I like this time of year for just one reason. I get to teach the biology of human reproduction. It usually generates good discussions. Even with kids who think they know it all. There's lots of "really?"s and "OMG I'm never having a baby!". You know, things I like to hear. And there's such a mix of kids. Some have too much sexual knowledge but not the biology part. Some are just babies and disgusted by the whole thing. But they need info about menstrual cycles and ovulation and how and why. And man are they quiet when I ask them to be. Sex sells and they don't want to miss a thing. If only every thing I taught could elicit that response. It's almost to the end of the year. Home stretch. Then it's Gracie and mommy time. Wa hoo!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Random update

School is almost out. I feel like I'm a used car salesman wheelin' and dealin' with the kids over grades. It brings me down. I had a girl bring me homemade cheese and bread this week. That was really yummy and sweet. I like my kids so much, but I'm happy to be able to pass them on.

We starting Gracie's room redo today. I'm a little overwhelmed. The paint started peeling off of her door. I took off the door knobs and outlet covers, etc. I got some white paint for the trim and doors. I got TSP for cleaning. I'm going to do that tomorrow. Then maybe maybe start the white painting. Gracie and I went to Home depot to get paint supplies and look around. She has picked out her own door knob and both bathroom and kitchen faucets.

I wrote out and posted our calendar for next month. It looks like fun! I think July will be a quieter month, despite having her party in the big middle of it.

I won 2 of the Sew Mama Sew giveaways. I'll post pics of my loot when I get it.

Changes are coming

My inlaws are moving closer to us. Now they live 6 hours away. Hopefully by the end of the summer, both of them will be 1.5 hours away. My MIL is cleaning out her house in preparation of moving. She brought us some stuff.

We got a Wii.

There's also this neat cross stitch Christmas tree skirt.

And lots of pretty breakable knick-knacks. My friend came by Saturday and gave us ideas for making the house better. She didn't know about this stuff, but I'm sure she can make it work.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Google stalker

OMG! Google is such a stalker. They know - they know everything!! They have stats on what I read in my reader, the time of day I read most and the day I read most. On one hand - NO ON NO HAND that is just creepy. And now they know why my house is a wreck. I am ashamed!

Wild hair crafting

I got a wild hair (as my mother would say) a few months ago and used this tutorial to make coasters. I made lots. I cut 5x5 squares then put them together. As per my nature, I didn't count how many of whatever I needed, I just crafted. I ended up with lots of mismatched coasters. Since I want to give them as presents for Christmas, I'll need to make more to even them out.
These are the coasters I have so far.

I made these as a wedding present for a friend.

These are going to be pin cushions when I find some cute Christmas buttons.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Today is our 9th wedding anniversary. It seems like we've been together forever. I like how we've grown closer and grown up into the people we are today together. Even when we were dating we were like an old married couple. He's great and he knows me and puts up with my stuff anyways. How blessed we are!
And then us as parents - Here's looking at many, many more years together.
Me and SB

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Books I love - Kate Daniels

This is the second series I love that has a new book coming out at the end of this month. Ilona Andrews is actually a husband and wife team. I follow their blog - neat people. They have teenage daughters they adore plus animals. They have 2 series out and I think they are working on a third. I like the first book in the second series - I haven't read the second.
Here is another case of authors and books being hyped in the blogosphere. Buzz, buzz, buzz and I'll be damned if it wasn't all true. I have and love all of the Kate Daniels books in ebook and audiobook. They aren't straight romance - more urban fantasy in an alternate magic Atlanta. Kate is a great protagonist. Tough, generous, does the right thing, etc. Not too perfect. She and the hero have just now gotten together in the 4th (?) book. I can't wait.

I'm actually glad that they have gotten together. They are great together and if written well, can be a benefit to the series. One of the things that turns me off about the Sookie Stackhouse series is how great Sookie is - and how unimpressive all of the males in her sphere are. Not one of them are worthy of her. It's annoying.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cleaning house

My inlaws came in for Gracie's recital, so we had to clean house. It's a process. So we cleaned and tried to make things look pretty.

This is Grace's attempt at a centerpiece.

This our joint effort for the front hall table. She wanted to put her Easter block there so everyone knows that Jesus is risen!

This is pretty clean for us. Kinda. This is really after the recital - unpacking all of her little gifts and whatnot.

Looking around, it's still pretty clean for us.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Gracie's recital

Gracie is a Drama Queen - with a capital DQ. She takes dance and is really good at it. Last night was her recital. She was a ladybug and a zebra and had a pretty costume for a daddy-daughter dance. I was so proud of both of them!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaways

This is the second round and I'm excited to see new bloggers and more crafty ideas - though I need to stop spending so much time on the computer! I'll add more as we go!

Click here to enter Samelia's Mum giveaway for some very lovely fabric.

Flamingo Toes Sew Mama Sew giveaway

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My first tutoring session

I taught my friend Joyce to crochet the other night. She had a pattern for a baby blanket that she wanted to make. Aim high! So I tried to teach her. I showed her how to hold her fingers and work the needle. It was fun. She worked on it this weekend. Hopefully it will be successful for her!

Gracie's people

This is how Gracie draws people at this stage. I think it's darling.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Books I love - Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is one of my favorite authors. When I first started reading blogs, Nalini Singh was the next big thing, lots of hype. And it was all deserved. While I haven't loved every single book in her series, I've loved most of them. That's quite a feat, considering there's more than 8 of them. Kiss of Snow comes out at the end of the month. I would buy it then, but she's coming to the US - she lives down under - for a tour this summer and I plan to go see her at a book signing in June. I can't wait.
I have reservations about Kiss of Snow. The hero is much older and in a position of power over the heroine. But he's totally hot and previews of the book are good, so I'm looking forward to it.
The series is a not so distant future alternate history that includes humans, changelings and those with psychic powers - the Psy. Tensions abound. There are some short stories sprinkled in too. The first book in the series is Slave to Sensation - and it's great. The second is Visions of Heat - and it's great. The third is Caressed by Ice - and it's great. The fourth is Mine to Possess - and it's great. The fifth is . . . need I go on?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad mama moment

Scott ate some food I had been saving for my breakfast. Special food - pancakes with protein, multigrain, etc. The whole shebang - just for me. I was griping at him and Gracie comes in to the room,"Daddy's such a dumbass." What could I say. I should have said, "No, baby. Daddy's wonderful. We love Daddy." I didn't say anything because, man o man did she sum it up nicely. Bad mama moment. :(

Monday, May 16, 2011

Jury duty

is such a waste of time. I know it's important and I show up (usually) when I'm called, but it's such a waste. We got there and did all the preliminary stuff. Trotted upstairs to a courtroom - bailiff told us to come back at 12:45, then sit around in uncomfortable chairs for HOURS until the defendants decide to settle. It's all part of the system and it's predicable by those who see it everyday, but man o man. I liked getting off of school, but I hate wasting time. I did use my gift card to get my first ever pedicure during the break and ran some other errands, but still.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mediterranean festival

The Orthodox church in Beaumont had its annual Mediterranean Festival. Gracie and I went. It was nice - exhausting, but nice. There were tickets instead of using cash, which was ok. Train rides were $2, face painting was $1, but so were drinks. Food was $3 to $8. We saw dancers and heard music. I ate a spinach and cheese phylo dough thing; I tried the grape leaves wrapped around beef. I think it's a strong acquired taste. Gracie rode the train and got her face painted. It was a beautiful day. We were supposed to go and meet friends, but that didn't happen. It would have been more fun for us if it had, I think.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garage sale finds

My first garage sale expedition in a while netted a few goodies.
I got a pretty summer dress 11/12 for $2. A small Mario brothers shirt - it fits, but it's tight - for $1 and a pack of green and silver bracelets for 10 cents. A teacher friend said she likes to do estate sales. Maybe we'll hit some this summer!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Gracie and the list

I'm a listmaker. It seems like Gracie is too. She's started her shopping list for Daddy to get at the store tonight. I'm helping her with spelling, but she's going to be a force of nature when she gets older.

What's for dinner?

During this more frugal time in our lives, I'm cooking a lot. I buy whatever chicken is $1/lb and bake it. Then I chop it up with miscellaneous frozen/fresh/canned vegetables, noodles, rice, etc.
I'll cook several meals at a time, then do like I do with my own lunches - put them in individual containers - some of them go into the freezer for later, most in the bottom of the fridge for Scott to eat and take in
his lunch. Of course, his portion sizes are bigger than mine, but the same principle applies. I use ramen noodles sometimes because Gracie likes them a lot. Scott doesn't like spicy, so the blander the better for both of them. It helps that he's not very picky. For myself, I use quinoa, all sorts of beans and veggies and chicken in a casserole of sorts. I freeze it in small containers and put them in the freezer to take to work with me.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The importance of talkin' it out

I went to my friend's house for a Cinco de Mayo party and I was struck with her decorations and colors, etc. So I'm feeling a little dissatisfied with my own house. I expressed that to my friend and she offered to help me do some things this summer. My problem is that I have no idea what I like. She suggested looking through magazines - so smart!! And so obvious, but I hadn't thought of it. Now, where to find free magazines :)
I was telling her about a project I saw online and she suggested I try a smaller project to see how I like it - again - brilliant. She's my go-to gal now.
I did go through and demolish my huge rose bushes. Maybe not demolish. But I did prune them - though it's not the right season. I feel better. Maybe I purged some demons along with it. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gracie's people

This is how Gracie draws people at this stage. I think it's darling.

Books I love - Quicksilver by Amanda Quick

Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz, Jayne Castle - same gal writing paranormal romance in 3 different time periods. Amanda Quick books are set in the late 1800s. Jayne Ann Krentz books are set in the present day. Jayne Castle books are set on another planet with human civilization in about the same level we are at now, just there, not here.
I really enjoy all 3 worlds. I don't think the futuristic books started out being linked to the others, but you can see the bones for it in the early ones. Same for some of the really early Amanda Quick books. But now they're all linked. She's written one trilogy with a book set in each setting. I liked all three of them. She's released 2 of 3 of the next trilogy, Quicksilver being the second and set in 19th century London.
I have been collecting the audiobooks and they're my comfort listens.

I found these on my phone

From Aggiecon - Gracie and Scott eating at a Japanese restaurant. I'm there too, and so is Ric.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brady's cross

My baby nephew was dedicated on Mother's Day. Gracie and I like to make home made gifts, so we made him this cross.

We took a cross that my husband had had since he was a little boy and some craft paper in different shades of blue.

Gracie was very helpful cutting and tearing paper to mod-podge to the cross.

The end result is really nice.

Mother's Day

Here's my haul. Scott took Gracie shopping and I got some snacks, some sugar free syrup, some yummy wasabi peas, my coffee I like to make protein coffee from, a pair of shorts (Scott is tired of me wearing his) and a belt.
It was a day. We went to Jasper for my nephew's dedication, then we went out to eat. Gracie was pretty good - until we got home. She got in trouble and was sent to her room. Then things got ugly. Lots of screaming. Scott mainly handled it until he left for his game. I eventually let her out and we watched Planet Earth and did some crafts. It ended ok, but not an ideal Mother's Day. Of course, I am so blessed to have those problems. She's such a great kid. And raising her should be a challenge. I want to continue to live up to it, though I know I fall short a lot. Hopefully she'll forgive me - or have a lot to tell her therapist. ;)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Homemade yogurt

I found this tutorial (recipe) for making homemade yogurt a few weeks ago. I made it. It didn't turn out well. I guess maybe I didn't leave it long enough or something. It was too runny. This time I used whole milk and left it longer and it turned out perfectly. I was so excited when I uncovered the pot and scooped up the yummy goodness. Unfortunately I couldn't find my camera, so there are no pictures. I used a strainer and coffee filters to drain off the extra whey. I'm freezing it now because I know it has good protein. I may use it next time I make protein bars.
The yogurt now is Greek yogurt consistency. Oh how I love Greek yogurt - let me count the ways.
1). Greek yogurt has no added sugar.
2). Greek yogurt makes a great base to add almost anything to. I love to add sf syrups and splenda or sf jello or pudding. The last few days I've added some sf lemon pudding for my lunch dessert and it's yummy!
3). In it's unflavored state, it can be used as sour cream. We've been having chicken taco stuff and Scott and I both use it as a garnish. Very versatile.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lab reports

I got my 1 year labs back. They seem really good. My iron is low (to me), so I'm going to continue to supplement it. I need to be more consistent with it. My B12 is good, so no reason for the low energy. I didn't think I had a cholesterol problem, but my HDL (good cholesterol) numbers have gone from 47 pre-surgery to 61 now. The LDL (bad cholesterol) numbers have gones from 103 to 76. My Vitamin K is low. I need to see about that.

Book marks

For my mother's and mother-in-law's mother's day I made fabric bookmarks with this tutorial. With the flowers and linings. I upcycled some of Gracie's shirts that had stains for the bookmarks and for the flowers. I used the fused shopping bags to stiffen the fabric. That ended up being too hard to turn inside out, so I modified it a bit.

This is the first final product. In subsequent ones, I sewed the fabric together with an opening at the bottom. I put a smaller piece of the fused shopping bag in the center, then sewed it up.

This is the fabric I cut out to make bookmarks with.

These are my final ones.

They're fast to make up. Good gifts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another blog giveaway

Cranberry Samplings is giving away a beautiful box here.
Sew Dang Cute is giving away an Accuquilt Go! baby fabric cutter here.

Mom of the year, right here

I've been working on Gracie's recital costumes. I'm not a procrastinator; I have been working on them bit by bit. Tonight I continued the ladybug costume.
This picture is a before. They needed a single line of black sequins around the back of the wings.

Then they needed a black sequin on each black dot, then 7 more around that one - on both sides.

Planet Earth is getting me through. Tomorrow Scott is taking Gracie to go look for me a mother's day gift. I suggested a basket with some of my favorite snacks. And a belt to keep my pants on. Then she and I are going to decorate for prom, then go to the Mediterranean Festival in Beaumont. I'll try to take pictures.

Flower clip

I made this cute pink flower, then Gracie wanted it to be a clip, so we did that too.
Pretty. We'll probably be making more of these this summer.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Runs in the family

I walked in the kitchen and saw this. My sweet girl flexing her creative muscles. Mama's so proud!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Little bags

I've been sewing and sewing. I saw this tutorial and wanted to try it.
I used some argyle-like brown fabric for the outside and a pretty yellow for the lining. I ended up taking out the lining because I'm not that great with my sewing machine and I couldn't get around it well. Instead of the fusable interfacing, I used the ironed grocery bags. They were fine. I didn't have a magnetic clasp and wasn't sure I could get it in either, so I didn't do that part. The bag was a little small for anything I had, so I tried again. I used the same pattern and made it larger for the next go round. I used a pretty fabric and the same yellow. I used a probably more primitive sewing technique here. I made a sandwich with the fabrics and fused grocery bags, pinned, pinned, pinned, then topstitched around, then made the box. It ended up being really cute. I need to find a clasp. It's a little big for my phone, which is what I wanted it for, but my camera fits in it fine. I might do more of these for gifts, once I figure out the clasp thing. I do really need a cute phone case.