Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mooommmm! Halle's Throwing Needles at Sophie!

And, in fact, Halle was throwing needles at the cat- well they were actually straight pins. She had gotten into my sewing kit and was pulling pins out of my pin cushion and was throwing them at the cat. She's also eaten a crayon and colored all over her wall, door, bed and dresser with a fuchsia marker. I am really way too stressed to deal with this- sigh.

Chloe however, was trying to play with her leap pad and was having trouble with it. I finally told her (I yelled it from the kitchen since she was in the living room) that I thought the batteries were going dead, which isn't a stretch since she got it for her third birthday and we've never changed the batteries. So the next thing I knew Chloe was running from the living room saying, "small phillips head screwdriver, small phillips head screwdriver"! She's six! Then she called me into the bedroom to help her open the tool kit; she'd already gotten it out but couldn't figure out all the latches. I gave her the requested tool and before I knew it she had the back off and was asking for new batteries. I love it that she's growing up and hate it at the same time. I love my girls.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mommy Can You Agua the Swide? Is Got Ooky Haiws!

Can I agua the slide? Seriously? Halle cracks me up! She has this intense hatred of "ooky haiws" which is any hair that is not attached to someones head. Which she totally gets from Travis. Yeah, fake hair freaks him out but enough about my husbands phobias- and there are quite a few.

I finally finished the scarf that I started a year or so ago. It's not the first scarf I started but is the first one I finished. The first one I started was with eyelash yard and another small yarn together and it was just really difficult to work with. Somehow I kept adding a stitch on every line until I ended up with a trapezoid. So I finally scrapped it and started with a much thicker yarn on much bigger needles (US 15). And I just knitted and knitted and knitted- no fancy stitches here. When I got to the point that I needed to add another skein I just stopped because I thought it would be very difficult. But at my super-fun sewing party last week Tisra fixed it for me and I finished the knitting part that night. So, I called her the next day and suggested we get together so she could show me how to bind it off and she assured me it was very simple and I have a knitting booklet that shows you how so I looked at that (more than once because reading the directions is confusing) and got the hang of it on my second try. Then I just had to work the "tails" in (which I don't really like doing) and add fringe and my precious Chloe had a very much desired scarf knitted by her mommy.

And even though it's not in the budget right now, I picked up some very inexpensive (actually the same yarn as the green scarf) but still soft yarn in a beautiful mango color. Well, the tag says "mango" but I'd call it tangerine. I love it but I'm almost disappointed that it doesn't smell "tangeriney". I'm sure in the bleakness of winter I'll love looking at its sunniness- assuming that Amanda wears it.

And since this is pretty much a productivity post I thought I'd "show off" my poor lone Black-Eyed Susan. I planted a whole packet in the pink tub along with a sunflower but I planted them late-late-late and this is all I've gotten so far. I can see two other potential blooms but three blooms for all the care I've taken with them seems pitiful. So next year I'll do my best to plant earlier.

And last but not least is my sunflower. It's another one that I planted late. Thankfully I planted a species that gets several blooms rather than just one gigantic one or this would be all I get. I think that once they all bloom I'll be able to get a decent picture and maybe to another sunflower painting.

Ooh, and I almost forgot....Amanda had her first day at community college today! She's so excited that she's taking a nap now. Well, she has a big gap between her class at college and her classes at high school. She will actually be done for the semester at HS in less than 7 weeks, then she'll just finish out two days a week at college. She's loving the new schedule but hates it that her "Mommy" has to drop her off and pick her up. Well, I'm not really loving it either. It's a lot of running around for me or if I let her drive I'll be without a car. But this is a great opportunity and I'm so thankful that she's able to take advantage of it.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

She's In!!!

Well, Amanda was just accepted to a different High School today. She only has to take two classes for the rest of the semester instead of 8 (obviously she didn't need all of them). So today is her last day at FHS. I'm sure there will be dancing in the streets this evening. Her new school has a completely different philosophy of education and is much more laid back. She can also do dual-enrollment at the local community college but we need to hurry if we're going to make that happen. So if you read this before 2:30 you'll know before she does!
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

These pics go with the following post but Blogger is acting a bit goofy today.

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Stuff to Blog About

I try to keep things around here light because blogging should be fun, right? But I can't imagine that the things I freak out about are strictly limited to me. So here goes....

Since I came back from Florida I've had some serious, "What have we done?" moments (don't freak out, we're not planning on moving). When we left we'd been married less than a year, we'd only been out of college for a little over a year, we only had Amanda, who was well past the "little person that needs constant care" stage, I wasn't close to Trav's parents and neither was Amanda, Chloe and Halle didn't exist, and we were definitely in the "world is our oyster" frame of mind. Life was still an adventure waiting and the thought of leaving family, while we were sad, wasn't something that was going to stop us from doing what God told us to do (not that it would now).

I never grew up near my grandparents or aunts and uncles. My grandparents lived 10 and 24 hours away and we saw them once a year. I never talked to them on the phone and aside from the occasional present I had no interaction with them and therefore very little relationship. I don't know why it was that way. But Travis' family is completely opposite. They get together, they call each other, they send cards, their feelings get hurt if you don't do all of the above and it was very difficult for me to understand when we got married. My family lived very isolated with few, if any, real friends. People came and went out of our lives and it really didn't seem to matter to my parents. But I have changed a lot since we've gotten married. The thought of living an isolated life like I did before seems crazy- although my circle of friends hasn't grown much in the last several years. Anyway, my "what have we done" moment came after spending time with Travis' parents and seeing the amazing bond that Chloe has with her Grandma. Really, those to are like twins separated at birth by quite a few years. They both love to bake, scrapbook, pink, butterflies, and their family. I just hate it that they have to be apart. And little Halle is Grandpa's girl! She 'd yell "Gwandpa!" every time they were separated for a bit and came back together. Of course, I don't want to minimize the fact that my parents are close by and the girls have a relationship with each of them as well- only it's the opposite. Halle is Nanni's girl and Chloe loves nothing better than to go golfing with Poppi. I think it's because of the sand traps. Then there are Trav's brothers who are so close...I've had a tough time with this recently if you can't tell. It's not like I want to live in Florida, I feel more at home here than I ever have anywhere else. I like the quality of life here. There are things I miss about Florida- a lot- but I love living here. I don't have an answer for any of this except that we live here and our life is here and theirs is there and occasionally our lives intersect so we can visit and catch up. It just feels like were missing so much....Oh, and Shane and Angie are expecting again! I do have a hair brained scheme to get to move here but my schemes rarely work :) Actually, I think we've tried to get every one of our family members here, to no avail.

But you ladies that read my blog faithfully have to know what I'm talking about. It can't be just me, can it?

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Are You So Desperate You Have To Pose Behind Muffins?!?...

Asked Travis to Amanda, an incredulous tone in his voice. And I laughed, hard.

I made these yummy cherry muffins last night from this recipe. It calls for blueberries but since I'd pitted about 3 pounds of cherries I wanted to put them in something. And since my sweet little (fever-running) Halle asked in a pitiful little voice for muffins I decided it would be muffins. I must confess though that I've never actually made muffins from scratch before. When I was in High School I made the Martha White paper package ones with the blueberry "pellets", which are made from figs- who knew? And then I graduated to the boxed kind with the "real Maine Blueberries" in a can. I do make a lot of things from scratch, actually a lot more than when Travis and I first got married but I mostly rely on boxed cakes and muffins. Which is probably because I don't bake that often and the kids always scarf them up within a couple of hours. But I was box-less last night and I wanted to use some of the fresh cherries. My only issue with the recipe is the struesel. The muffins don't necessarily need it but if you're going to have struesel my feeling is that it should be substantial. I added a handful of oatmeal to the mix which helped but if you really want a struesel muffin you should double what the recipe calls for in addition to the oatmeal. I won't go so far to say that I'll never make boxed ones again because they work in a pinch but this is a great recipe.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I was bored today (not that I don't have a thousand things to do, I just don't feel like doing them) and decided it would be fun to look back to the beginning of Tisra's blog. I do this with my own blog from time to time but since I have a very clear picture of where they are now I thought a blast from the not so distant past would be fun. Anyway, I found this on her blog and decided to check it out myself. Basically it asks you several questions and determines where the best places for you to live are. And on my list are several places I want to visit including Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA, a few places I would never consider living like Jacksonville, FL, and a few places that would make my Mom-in-Law very happy-Clearwater,FL and most importantly Tampa, FL. So if you're bored it's a nice little diversion, Thanks, Tisra.

Summer Fun

If a picture says 1000 words then I'm just going to let these pics say it. Actually they might lead you to believe that we're having much more fun than we actually are because going outside is rare these days. I don't remember having a summer this hot for this long since we've lived here and I really don't like it that much. I'm sure that a nice cool down will be here in about a month but with the thermometer hovering around 100 degrees most days we just haven't wanted to get out much. But the girls did have a lot of fun on the slip-n-slide that they got from Grandma. And we figured out that the "snow wedge" that we bought for the snow this past winter works wonderfully for going down the slip-n-slide and it tends to spin so it's even more fun. Well, I guess we might be having some fun these days. But did I mention the mosquitoes? Definitely consider mosquitoes if you buy a house that backs up to a wooded area. It's nice for privacy but our tiki torches aren't fazing these mosquitoes a bit. I guess it's a good thing that winter lasts so long here.

So onto the next thing. Remodeling here is going slowly. I love the way the living room turned out and it's very relaxing but my attention is now turning to the bathroom and kitchen/hallway. I bought a very soothing light green for the bathroom a while back and we have a great light fixture to replace the old icky one. We actually bought that shortly after we moved in for $6 at Costco or maybe $12 but either way it didn't cost very much and it's beautiful. I think Amanda and I are going to try to install that today and I need to get the rest of the wallpaper down, sand it all because it seems like it was possibly wallpapered from the beginning so it wasn't primed or maybe the paint or primer is just peeling off but at any rate I'm going to have to do a lot of sanding by hand. And then it's on to the kitchen and hallway. I still have wallpaper to strip although not a lot and then spackling and more hand sanding to do to get the walls ready for the beautiful new buttery shade of paint I bought a couple of days ago!

When we first moved in I decided that I'd paint the kitchen yellow because it seems like a neutral to me- only with more character. Since I like so many different colors I thought I could use turquoise, fuchsia, red, orange, black, lime green, blue or anything else I wanted (just not all at the same time) and the room wouldn't be beige. I love bright, tropical colors in the spring and summer but a more subdued palette in the fall and winter as I'm sure most people do. But I have pretty much resigned myself to buying only what I find in the oops bins at Lowes and Home Depot. Well, I dropped Travis off at work on Sunday (he's working a second job at Home Depot in case I hadn't told everyone that) and stopped in to buy some potting soil. It is my habit lately to drop by the oops bins every time I go in and as luck would have it I found 4 gallons of a beautiful yellow in semi-gloss which will be perfect for the kitchen and hallway. I'm excited to get it on the walls I just wish it didn't take so much work to get to that point. So there is much work to do but I know it will be all worth it when I'm able to just enjoy everything rather than having a never ending mental checklist of things to do around the house.
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The living room. I forgot that I took this picture the other day.
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Chloe is imitating Uncle Shane and is giving Halle a Horsey ride.
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I'm not sure how she did it but Chloe twisted up the tie for the shade in the kitchen into her hair. I made sure to get a picture and thought I might have to cut it out but luckily for her Amanda and I were able to get it out.
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Midnight Pass

I know I'm supposed to post pictures of the house today but I haven't had time. I still don't have time but a conversation I had with Tisra today made me think of this. I spent several weekends of my young life here catching fish- snook, trout, red snapper- and finding all sorts of odd things on the sea floor. Sea Urchins were my favorite but we found sea horses too. It was there that I learned that you could pull off one claw from a stone crab and toss it back into the water and the lost one would grow back. I also found out that a Sheepshead fish has teeth that look like human teeth.

Unfortunately in 1980 some wealthy homeowners who were concerned about losing their homes from beach erosion were able to persuade the court to let them plug the pass which has had a disastrous impact on the environment there. They ended up losing their houses anyway because when they plugged the pass it accelerated the beach erosion and because the water in the bay became stagnant it has polluted an area that used to be brimming with life and beauty. I was sad about it then and I still am.