Friday, December 31, 2010

Things I plan to be better about in 2011......

Oh goodness. 

This could be a long list.....because I always have a lot I need to be better about. 

Well, let's see. 

  • I definitely need to be better about reading my Bible and having quiet time. 
I always start off good in January, but then I'm not as consistent as I need to be...until of course the kids are stressing me out and I start quoting Ephesians 6:1 to the family in my calm, loving voice (NOT), "Children, OBEY your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

Oh stop laughing and thinking critical probably do the same thing and you're just too embarrassed to let everyone know it.  No point in me trying to hide it...the neighbors probably hear me hollerin' it anyway!

  • Sigh.  I'm going to try to be better about not finding the weight I lose at the beginning of the year.  
I mean, really....what is it with that?  When I lose other things....sometimes I never find them.  But by God...let me lose a few pounds, and lo & and behold they show up like nobody's business.  I've battled it my whole life it feels like.....  Anyway....I said I'm going to try to be better about it.....which doesn't box me into unrealistic expectations.  

  • I'm going to try to blog more often. 
I don't think I did terrible for being a newbie this year...considering what a long year this has been with a pipe busting and flooding Karissa's room and then her suffering an injury leading to a yucky diagnosis.  But I would like to be better about blogging more often. 

  • I need to be better prepared for the next morning...the night before. 
I know, I know.....four kids and a substitute teaching would think I would be all organized and on top of things.  Not so much.   I have gotten very lax about the kids getting their things ready the night before and it always ends up in a, "I have no idea where your belt is....I don't wear it" sort of session in the morning.  Or a "check in the dryer and see if there are any school pants in there!" kind of conversation.  And then there's the ole', "I'm sorry there's no milk for cereal....grab a granola bar!" for the 5th day in a row routine. 

So yea.  I'm thinkin' I probably have a lot of room for improvement in that department. 

  • And I have got to get back to what I know is best for the budget, and plan my meals better. 
This is something that I am usually really good about, and then the holidays show up and it all goes crazy.  I spend way too much money at the local grocery store, when with better planning and ad-matching I can get a lot more for less at Wal-Mart.  It's just about making the time to do it.  Making a list of the meals for that week...figuring out what I have vs. what I need....and then shopping for it.  These $30 trips to the local store KILL the grocery money budget. 

So what about you?  What things do you want to be better about in the new year?  Leave me a comment below!  Share with me!!! 

Oh. There's one more thing. 
  •  I plan to be better about letting my readers know how much I appreciate them....because I do.
I love ya'!

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

You know that feeling you get.......

when you enjoyed the holidays a little more than you should have and your pants aren't fitting like they did back in October?

Or how about the suitcase that refuses to close because you are taking way more home from vacation then you came with. 

There's just that sense of determination. 

You WILL get that zipper shut.  No matter what it takes. 

Yea.  I can sympathize. 

Really.  Well. 

You a really snazzy, knock-your-socks-off kind of present for my husband & myself....I bought some new sheets for our bed. 

Boring.  I know.  But when you've been married as long as we have....practical gifts take on a whole new meaning.  I get tired of having to wash the sheets as soon as I take them off just so that we have clean ones to sleep on that night.  And no....we aren't dirt poor...we just don't have multiple sets of sheets.  And really....that's not the point of this story anyway. 

So.  Back to the riveting Christmas present to us from me. 

And may I just add, that the whole purchase of sheets can be a rather daunting task.  It's the whole thread count thing....200?  Nah....400?  Hmmm.....ooooooo wait...there's a 700 thread count.  And then what I want to know is....who's the poor soul having to count all those threads ??? 


But seriously?  It is a wee bit confusing. 

So I finally make my investment purchase of sheets (those things are SO stinkin' expensive), and I come home so proud that I finally settled on 700 threads per square inch or whatever.....wrap them up and anxiously await Christmas morning when I can rip those babies out of the package....and get them nicely on our bed before we sleep tonight. matter which way I turned the fitted sheet (which is another gripe of mine.....HOW do you know which corner goes where???), it wouldn't fit on my bed. 

We turned it...turned it again....nothing.  That sheet was not going on my king size mattress. 

And I felt pretty confident that as long as it had taken me to make a decision in the store that day, that there was no way that I could have possibly come home with the wrong size sheets.  No. Way. 


I was sadly mistaken. 

I had purchased a queen size set of sheets for our king size bed. 

And just in case you're wondering if it's possible to fit those perfectly folded sheets back into the teensy tiny package that they came in? Let me just tell you....where there is a will....there's a way.

I will spare you the details of how it took two of us squeezing, folding, shoving, pushing to get them in there. 

But they're in. 

And they look just as good as when I bought them. 

Don't you think??

Well....I might have to overlook the broken zipper and all.....

I'm just sayin'. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

How could I have forgotten these???

I mean, really....when I was typing my post the other day....I had every intention of including these. 

Karissa made this first one in Kindergarten....back in 1999, and we used it as our tree topper for years...I think it was sort of a self-portrait'ish sort of angel.....

Don't ya' just love how she chose curly, long hair??  Just love the handprint wings, too. 

And one would think it just couldn't get any better then that.....but two years ago, Destin came home with a project to do.  He had to make an angel....and it had to be of someone who he considered his "hero". 

Get out the tissues 'cause here it goes.

Have you recovered yet?  Sniff, sniff......'s me who had to recover. 

So....when your child comes home with this, and says that he has to make an angel that represents his hero, and that his hero is is gotta' deliver...know what I'm sayin' ?

And I wish that I could tell you that I took pictures of every step, so that you could see the full transformation....but that was two years ago and I wasn't blogging yet. 

So before you see the first picture, I will tell you (just in case you ever want to make your own...) that Destin and I bought a solid, white ceramic ornament along with a hair piece from the local Walgreens.  (I swear we keep that place in business.)

I had Destin draw on the facial features, and then we began the hair implant.  Pieces from the hair piece, hot glued on to the upside down ornament....little bits at a time. 

This was no easy task.

And no, this isn't suppose to look like a bad "bed-head" morning....we just haven't made the hair lay down yet. 

Stop laughing. 

Angel wasn't too impressed with the fact that we made her try on the glasses.....

Sorry...couldn't leave her out.

So after attaching all the pieces of hair, then we had to get it all to lay down...and give him a hair cut, as well as a mustache.

See the resemblance? 

Nope...not finished.  

Oh dear.....that needs a serious trim!

But before you see the finished product, you need to know that the wings are made from Darwin's hand prints along with Destin's smaller hand prints. 


He looks even better on top of the tree.....

And.....I'm probably gonna' be in trouble for this post!! ;-)

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things......

Gosh I love that movie....The Sound of Music.  Has to be one of my all-time favorites.  I think I have the whole thing memorized.  I used to practice singing Maria's songs while flitting all through the house....not sure what I was practicing for, but I did...none the less. 

Wow.  Talk about side tracked.  I use a line from a song in the movie for my title today, and next thing you know I'm on a bunny trail sharing intimate details about my life-long desire to be Maria in a musical.  Good grief. 

OKAY.....moving on. 

A few of my favorite things....

Raindrops on roses.

Whiskers on kittens.

Sorry.  I'll stop. 

So the other day, Destin asked me what was my favorite part about Christmas.  And of course, if you know me, then you know that I would feel guilty if I said anything other than the obvious, that Jesus was born to save us from our sins.....because that is the true meaning of Christmas. 

However....that's not really what he was asking me.  Because that, of course, should be everyone's favorite thing about Christmas. 

But what he was really asking me....was what did I enjoy the most about the holidays....and I really had to stop and think. 

I love baking. 

I love Christmas music. 

I love the Christmas movies. 

But I would have to say, that one my most favorite things about Christmas is re-living all the previous years when pulling out all of the old hand-made ornaments and decorations that the kids have made over the years.  And fortunately for me....I'm still getting new ones...for a couple more years I hope.

So I thought I would share a few with you.

Get ready....some of these go way the 90's!

There's Rudolph the one-eyed reindeer....circa 1999...courtesy of Karissa in Kindergarten....

Well...I mean...he didn't start off that way....but why fix him?  It gives him character?

And Christmas wouldn't be the same without this Santa ornament.  He's been through so much since Kaleigh made him back in 1998. 

Yep....if I'm not mistaken, he had a "furry" band on his hat and a very full beard at one point, as well as perfect vision.  What IS it with those pesky eyes?? 

The newer reindeer haven't been through quite as much!!

I think it's amazing how many things they can come up with for you to do with candy canes....

Apparently, the possibilites are endless......
I feel sure you didn't notice the scotch tape wrapped around the broken candy cane???  Endless possibilites for scotch tape as well.

And handprints.....

Don't forget thumbprints.....

And....I know that the teachers have all the children make the same ornaments....and I love this boy to know I do....but there's just something about this picture that seems a little...well...I don't know...out of character....

I'm just sayin'. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I can remember it......

like it was yesterday. 

It was a Friday.  I was already a week and a half past my due date that I had outlined in gold on my calendar (because that's what you do when it's your first baby and you naively think you're going to have it on THE day)....huge and miserable. 

Stop was my first baby, and I didn't realize that you shouldn't trust your raging hormones and get your hair all cut off just days before the birth of your first child.  Lesson learned.

And perhaps someone should have told me that horizontal stripes weren't flattering at 9 months pregnant.....what was I thinking??? can quit laughing now. 

The day began like any other trying to HOIST myself up and out of a water bed.  (Geez.....remember those things???)  And if you've never experienced being nine months pregnant on a water bed....then there is no way I can describe the roll-grab-the-edge-then-PUSH-up-with-your-hands-on-the-edge routine.  I feel confident it wasn't pleasant to watch either. 

But I quickly realized that something was different about that day.  I just didn't feel well.  The doctor had already told me that if I had not had the baby by the following Monday, that they would probably induce me.  I quickly called my mom in St. Louis (which is 12 hours from where I live), and given the fact that I wasn't feeling well, she decided to go ahead and fly down.  (She'd had four babies herself, and could probably sense that I was in early stages of labor but I just didn't know it.)  We'd hoped and prayed that somehow it would work out for her to get here in time for the delivery.....but living that far away....timing that perfectly was not easy. 

I had already promised Mable that I would make a quick run to Wal-Mart with her and out to lunch, but once at the store, I realized I shouldn't have gone.  Having to stop in the middle of the aisles for what I now know were contractions....was not a good thing. 

By the time Darwin got home from work, I was hurting...but so excited.  Contractions were five minutes apart, mama was on her way down, bag was packed, we were heading to the hospital.  (Because that's what they tell you in those childbirth classes - wait until they're five minutes apart.)

It was the night of the local Christmas parade and though only minutes from the hospital, we had to be strategic in our route to get as not to be held up by the parade.  Darwin wasn't too keen on the idea of delivering the baby himself....and how were we to know how long this process was really going to take???  No need to be worried....but we didn't realize that. 

Once at the hospital, everything we rehearsed in our "tour of the birthing center" went as expected.  That is...until the nurse informs me that I am maybe 1 cm., and I should go home.

Ummm....did she just say home?  Are you kidding me????  This was not how it was suppose to go.  Nope....they didn't say anything about that in those classes.  My contractions were steadily coming at 5 min. apart, and she was sending me home?  AND she was giving me a pill that if it wasn't really labor, would make me sleep?  

Sigh.  Talk about a let down.  And it only got worse from there.  That would be the first of three....yes I said three trips to the hospital through the night.  My contractions steadily got worse and as close as 2 minutes apart, and still.....nothing.  My plans of a "completely natural" delivery without any drugs or an epidural were quickly waning, and I wasn't even admitted into the hospital! 

Mama's flight came in....she got there around midnight.  And by 6a.m. the next morning...either the hospital got tired of sending me home, or they figured if they didn't keep me, Darwin was going to be asked to be admitted himself. 

I'm not kidding. 

It wasn't pretty.  I was miserable.  Nothing was going like my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book said it would.  No one ever told me that you could labor all night and not be progressing.  I was already exhausted. 

And I will spare you the awful details of what turned out to be 36 hours of labor from start to finish.  Including, but not limited to 3 hours of pushing.....

All to deliver that 9lb. 12oz. baby girl.  (she was the smallest of my four children).

(Check out those glasses...circa 1992)  Hey...if you can laugh at my pictures, it's only fair to get a good laugh at the proud daddy too!!!

I know....can you believe she's a newborn in the hospital???  No one could believe this was a hospital picture!!!

That was 18 years ago today. 

And now...just look at her......

Where has the time gone, Kaleigh?  How was I to know that not only would you be my longest, most difficult delivery....but that I would learn so many things about motherhood because of you. 

It's not easy being the first child. 

It's also not easy parenting your first child.  Everything is a first.  I have made plenty of mistakes over the years, I'm sure....but we are so proud of the young lady that you have become.  God has had His hand on your life ever since you were conceived, and we cannot wait to see where this next phase of your life will take you. 

Happy 18th Birthday, Kaleigh!!!  We love you!!!

I'm just sayin'. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If I weren't in such a good mood.....

over getting to go to our local high school's state championship game tonight, then running out of coffee creamer WHILE I was fixing my cup this morning would have probably put me in a very foul mood.  (Sorry...major run on sentence I know.  But I'm a substitute teacher...not a real leave me alone.  Me and run on sentences go way back.)

But seriously.  Coldest morning of the season so maybe 32 degrees (YES that's cold when you live in the south), and I have a 4 hour road trip ahead of me, AND I even went to the trouble to have the coffee set up to brew on it's own this morning. 

All to get in here and get that feeling.... 

You know the one.  When you pick up your creamer container and it feels unusually light? might have enough to change the color of your coffee, but not nearly enough.  And as if that wasn't bad enough....I get this bright idea to pour just a teensy tiny bit of milk into the creamer bottle to try to make it go farther. 

Ahem.  This would not be the time to realize you're out of milk too. 

No, I'm not kidding. 

I wish I was. 

And I also wish that I could tell you that when I spotted my daughter's partial cup of milk that she put in the fridge to save because she knew she was drinking the last of it........that I didn't use any of it regardless of her germs on the cup....but I would be lying. 

I know.  I have sunk to an all new low.  But this is CREAMER we're talking about here!  The one thing mama cannot do without in the morning.  Well....I mean....I guess I cannot do without coffee either, but the fact is, in a desperate situation I could borrow some coffee from a neighbor but when you're a creamer snob addict like myself, not just any creamer will do. 

And don't try to tell me I should get sugar free or fat free either....because there are some things a girl should not skimp on.  

Creamer is one of them.  

I am proud to say that my theft borrowing of oldest daughter's leftover milk was successful in helping me swish around the last of the creamer and though it wasn't quite as rich as it usual is in the sufficed. 

And I'm not in a "lack of my coffee" foul mood. 

I'm just sayin'. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I knew it was gonna' happen.....

really....I did. 

I knew that I'd end up making those darn mashed potatoes, even though I had a mile long post promising you that I wouldn't. 

And the dumplins?  Sigh.  The chicken is boiling as I write this.  He got me like a knife in my heart...what's a girl to do? 

Thanks to The Pioneer Woman we are having her Dreamy Apple Pie today... but we almost cut into it last night! 

Okay, look, I realize mine doesn't look as perfect as hers, but that crust IS homemade.  I didn't have a food processor to get the topping quite as fine as she did, but I don't think our stomach's will know the difference. And mine is more special.  I made it in my late grandmother's pie pan.  Sigh. 

Lots to do to finish preparing for the big meal.  Gonna' force myself up off of this couch to get those dumplins made for Jack. 

Jack & I are the only ones up and about this morning.  Is there something wrong with that picture???

I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I know there are plenty of things I should be doing.....

but sitting here on the couch, curled up with coffee and a blanket was much more inviting.  It just was. 

I mean, think about it.  I will spend the rest of today and tomorrow preparing food for what will take about 30 minutes to eat.  Sigh.  That's a shame, isn't it?? 

I haven't completely decided what all we're having tomorrow.  I know....I's the day before Thanksgiving, but I can throw in a last minute decision if I want to....I'm the one doing the cooking!!  And just for the record....I think I'm gonna' be a rebel this year and not make mashed potatoes. 


I said it. 

You heard me correctly.  No mashed potatoes.  I mean, really.  I make them often enough, and isn't it the dressing that we all get so hyped up about on Thanksgiving??  Or wait.... is it called stuffing? there really a difference between the two?  Couldn't you just stuff the dressing into the bird, and then call it stuffing????

And really....who CARES what it's called?

Now, back to me being a rebel and not making mashed potatoes....  

That is SO not my style.  Matter of fact, the only thing I'm good at doing "rebel" style is talking smack.  When it all comes down to it....sigh.....I will probably end up making those darn mashed potatoes because somehow I will feel guilty that Paw-Paw loves them so much or that "Thanksgiving just won't be the same without them." 

But if I were to be a rebel...just think of the dishes I wouldn't be dirtying by not making them.  The big pot, the mixing bowl, the spatula......oh forget it.  I just don't have it in me to be a rebel. 

And was it really the best decision I've ever made as a mother to ask each member of the family what their favorite Thanksgiving dish was?  I would think that I would get answers like...dessert, dessert, and more dessert. 

Instead, Jack looks at me with "that look", and almost gets choked up as he quietly says, "dumplins".  Ugh.  Knife in my heart. guessed it.  Mable again.  She made dumplins just for him ALL the time.  It didn't matter that it was Thanksgiving and we were going to have enough food to feed "Cox's Army" (as she used to say)....(and who was that anyway...I've always wondered.) 

Yep...if she ever found out something was your favorite, then you could count on having it....often.  So here I would be, making the traditional Thanksgiving foods, and she would walk through the door with a pot of dumplins for "Jack Marshall".  


So of course, when he says it yet again...I nearly start squawling and think to myself..."why did I ask?"   And if this picture doesn't touch your heart....nothing will. 

Yes, those are homemade dumplins.  Jack was only 3 that sweet is that?  

Gulp.  What was I thinking......

Fortunately, the other requests weren't quite as sappy.  Homemade cranberry salad, turnip know....nothin' too crazy.  But then Karissa had to go and ask for rutabegas.  (Don't feel bad...I didn't know what they were either until I moved here.)

And I hate to get all sappy again, but rutabegas were the last thing I asked Mable to show me how to make....just a few weeks before she passed away. 

The longer I sit here and think about it, the more I realize that there is not a day that goes by in my kitchen that something I do or make doesn't have her name written all over it. 

I am thankful for many things this Thanksgiving.  But I am especially thankful that God blessed me with a mother-in-law that taught me so many new things in the kitchen as well as life lessons I couldn't have learned any other way. 

I'm just sayin'. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just in case you're interested.....

in making a carrot cake for Thanksgiving....or just because you're cravin' some homemade cream cheese icing....I have now added a separate blog for recipes & step by step instructions. 

Although I must probably won't get another recipe until next Thanksgiving....because of how long it takes to load pictures and give you the step by step low down. 

You can thank The Pioneer Woman for her inspiration.

I'm just sayin'.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I got a little nervous....

this morning when I dropped him off.

I mean.....what if today wasn't really 2nd grade Colonial Day???  What if I had my days mixed up???

He'd probably feel a wee bit sheepish wearing hiked up sweatpants, long white socks and black water shoes. 

Why yes....actually, those are the same black water shoes that we used for the flea costume.  And no....we were not all prepared for this morning...last night.  Who in the world plans ahead?? 

Nope.  Matter of fact, if I recall....I was scrambling around at 10pm last night trying to find a pattern for an easy colonial hat, and cursing at myself for waiting to the last minute...again.  And oh-yes-I-did bust into the bag of hand-me-down clothes that were sitting by the front door to be donated....because I distinctly remembered putting two pair of black sweatpants in there that "he never wears". 

And if I remember correctly, I think Jack spent 30 minutes this morning, buried in his closet while slinging back multiple items that were not "the other black water shoe".   He obviously found the bottom of the toy bucket, but not after ransacking the closet, dress up box, shoe basket AND under the bed. 

But he found it. 

And that's what matters.

And if you ask me?  I think he's the cutest Colonial boy there is. 

I'm just sayin'. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is it just me.......

or do you find it odd that we're out preparing for next spring's garden the Saturday before Thanksgiving?   I mean really, shouldn't we be taking advantage of grocery store ads, and planning the menu for the big day? 

Or if I was really on my game...I would be out Christmas shopping. 

But here's something you gotta' know about me right now. 

I.....did not grow up here.  Warm weather that causes you to work outside in capri-pants-with-sleeveless-shirts-and-flip-flops, is not the kind of weather I grew up with.  (And no....I am not posting pictures of that get-up I was wearing....truly embarrassing....I have no business in sleeveless anything!) 

And for those of you who are in cold climate areas that think it would be nice to have these warm temps right now, I'm sorry.  I'm not trying to rub it in your face.  I just can't get into the holiday spirit.  Not when I'm crankin' the a/c down a couple degrees because we come in from working outside...sweatin' like pigs!!!

At any rate....that's how we spent our Saturday.  Darwin is tired of the "bucket garden" and ready to move on to a real garden.  It seems that everything starts out good.....and then it's just too hard to regulate the moisture in the buckets, etc. 

But I do have to tell you.  You wouldn't have believed my jalapeno plant bucket.  That thing went crazy this summer.  It was such a pretty "ornamental plant" (as my mother called it).  And was. 

And it produced SO many beautiful jalapenos!!!  The more I would cut them off, the more little blooms I would see. was the most resilient plant I had ever seen.  (Not like I had seen many in my day, because I'm fairly new to the whole "gardening" thing...but still...)  I'd look outside and see it all wilted, needing water in our Africa hot temperatures......

And a couple of watering pots would perk up and be back to normal again.  Amazing. 

But the last time, I had let it go without water for too long.  My beautiful jalapeno plants were dead.  Brown. Shriveled. Dead. 

Or so I thought!!!!  It was nothing but brown twigs out there, and we got a bunch of rain over a couple of days, and would you believe that thing started turning green and producing NEW GROWTH AGAIN???????

I know...pitiful isn't it???  Almost embarrassing to put this picture on here.  But you needed to see it to believe it.  

And now...just look at them. 

So now....the jalapenos are back to life!  Probably only for a short time...because we will eventually have a freeze.   But isn't that amazing???

Wow...I am way off track here.  I believe this all started with Darwin not liking bucket gardens anymore....which led to our family project yesterday in high temps the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  So sorry for that bunny trail. 

And if you know my husband....then you probably know that if he does a project....he does it perfect.  I shudder to think of what this would have turned out like if I had been made responsible for the "new garden".  

Destin....take close instructions from your daddy....because I think we can all agree that from the way I took care of the jalapeno's, if left to my own devices it could get ugly. 

Bless that man's heart. 

Perfect.  Like every other project he does.....sigh. 

But honestly.  Who does this the Saturday before Thankgiving? 

I'm excited about next year's garden, but am really ready for some seasonal temps here....

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I will never forget.....

where I was, or what we were doing when we received the phone call. 

You see, the first grade classes at our elementary school do what they call "The Ugly Bug Ball" parade for Halloween.  And if you know my son, Jack, then me telling you that he came home and told us he wanted to be a FLEA comes as no surprise to you. 

Ahem.  Yes.  I said a flea. 

Yea...we laughed too, but he was very serious.  When asked why...he informed us, that no one else would be a flea.  He likes to stand out and be different...can you tell???

And if you know me....then you know that I have always enjoyed attempting to make Halloween costumes over the years, and much like the cakes they ask for...I take it as a challenge.  But a flea? 

That was going to be a wee bit difficult.

I remember my mother-in-law, Mable, getting the biggest kick out of Jack.  The rougher and tougher a little boy was....the more she liked it.  I mean, after all, she had raised FIVE boys.  Yes..I said five.  So it would stand to reason, that when I told her Jack wanted to be a flea, that she laughed that mischievous laugh and couldn't wait to see what in the world we were going to come up with. 

And in typical, "Leah fashion", I had waited until the Wednesday before The Ugly Bug Ball on Friday to get my material and supplies for the costume.  Don't ask me why...I seem to work better under pressure.  Okay...not really, but it's how I roll...and I wish it wasn't. 

My husband and I had pretty much decided that it was going to require a stiff type of foam material to make it to where it would stand up in the a real flea.  And he would know....he manages his brother's veterinary practice...I think he probably has seen his share of fleas. 

So off to the local "salvage" store where they sell all types of fabric in a very crowded, small little area.  We were on a mission.  Jack and I walked in, and didn't have time to we explained the flea "dilemma" to the man working there, and within minutes, there it was.  Black 1/2 inch foam....perfect for the flea costume.  ( the picture was brown, but black was easier to find, and frankly....who cares!!!)  Inexpensive....God had blessed me yet again.  Umm....yea....of course I prayed about that one!  He always leads me right to where I need to be and helps me find what I'm looking for!!

Mable had left me a message earlier in the day when I had been working, and not wanting to call her and have to quickly hang up while I was in and out of my "flea errands", I made a mental note that I would call her later when I got home.  I couldn't wait to tell her that I had actually found the material we were looking for.  She was a fabulous seamstress, and I knew she would appreciate my find!  But we still had a black hat, black (ahem...long johns...not tights ;-) & a turtle neck to buy to complete the look.

So I came home and Darwin and I got down on the floor to draw out the pattern....cut it, and begin the daunting task of sewing it.  By hand.  Mmmmhmmm.....that's what I said too, but that foam proved to be much harder to work with than I thought it would be, and no machine I owned would be able to sew it. 

This would be where upholstry needles come in handy.  And I'm sure everyone has a few extra of those laying around the house.  Lucky for me...I did.  So there we were....literally pushing the needle through with all of my strength, and him pulling it through the other side.  Back and forth....until it was almost finished. 

And then the phone rang.  I knew by the sound of his voice that something was bad wrong....and I scrambled around trying to figure out what to do next, as Darwin rushed out the door. 

His mama had a stroke that night, which was the result of a hemorrhaged brain tumor that we never knew existed..and within 36 hours, Mable went to live with Jesus.  That was a year ago today. 

I never got a chance to call her back that night.  I took for granted that I would have another opportunity to talk to her.  That's a lesson I wish I wouldn't have had to learn the hard way. 

Mable taught me so many things....and I miss her dearly.  There are so many things I wanted her to be a part many things I knew she would be proud of.  But God chose to call her home before those things happened.  And this side of heaven, I will not know why.  

Take this opportunity to tell someone you love them.  Don't put off a phone call you've been meaning to make.  We never know what the future holds.....

Jack was still a flea for the The Ugly Bug Ball parade.  Mable would have wanted it that way.  And I could almost hear her saying that his costume turned out "great!!" and laughing her mischievous laugh and saying, "I love it!  That youngin' wanted to be a you let him be a flea!"

I think he turned out to be a pretty darn cute little flea.  I think Mable would have thought so too. 

I'm just sayin'. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October means birthdays......

well, at least for me it does.  Both of my boys and my husband have birthdays in the month of October.  And my sister...(bless her heart....she gets the short end of the stick...I NEVER get her something in the mail on time!!!)  LOVE YOU BEKAH!!!

Anyway, as I was saying, birthdays.  We have lots of them.  And as you know from my previous post...I make the cakes around here.  And the classroom birthday treats.  

My most recent discovery has been cake pops.  I just love them.  I love the book, I love her website.....I love it all.  

And one would think there would be nothing too difficult about making 23 football cake pops for Jack to take to school.  But they aren't as easy to shape as one would think.

Please don't even tell me what you think they look like in their beginning stages......

Because I already know.  The boys in the house let me know very quickly. 
 Need I say more???

And most 8 year old boys would probably not be quite so specific in what they want for a birthday cake.  But this year.....Jack informed me (in regards to the military) that since we had already covered "air" with the helicopter last year

and "land" with the tank for Destin two years ago,

that he felt we should do "sea".  He wanted an aircraft carrier...and how could I not deliver with his rationale?  The boy had a point! 

Lucky for me....this one wasn't quite as hard. 

Happy Birthday, Jack!!  Mama loves you very much!

I'm just sayin'.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hope he likes it.....

because considering the day I have had thus far....I'm surprised I didn't cave in and buy a cake from the store.  But a promise is a promise....and not only did I promise Destin that I would attempt to make a Foxhound cake, I promised you (my loyal readers that I love so much) some pictures if it turned out okay.  (At this point...if you did not read my earlier post this morning then stop right now, and read this first.  It will make more sense, and you will appreciate the rest of this post. 

So only moments after closing my computer after the previous post
I looked on the kitchen table, and realized that Destin had inadvertently left two of the treats, that I had painstakingly made for his class, right here at home.  This was not good, considering we had counted them out for his class, it was 9:05a.m.....snack was at 9:30a.m., and I was in my pajamas still with some bad bed head goin' on.  I will spare you the picture of myself and the details, but let's just say it wasn't pretty, but I got them there on time. 

Moving on.  So I got home all set and ready to begin the process of making his cake, only to realize that I was one container shy of having the right amount of icing.  And I wish that I could tell you that my quick trip to Walgreens was uneventful, but I would be lying, and I don't make a habit of I regretfully inform you that I ran over a squirrel that could not decide which side of the road he wanted to scamper to with the oversized nut he was hauling. 

All for this darn cake.  And the pressure was on...because I had already blogged about it....and I knew you'd be expecting pictures. 

And a promise is a promise. 

This is what I had to work from.  And he graciously said I could just do the head and not the whole body.
  Gee, thanks, Destin.

And not that you're going to want to make a Foxhound cake anytime soon, but just in case you do, here's a rundown of how it all went down in my kitchen today.

It's imperative to have all of your supplies ready and handy before taking your cake out of the freezer to begin creating.  You bought icing (already colored to the desired colors), laptop computer (in case you need to check your facebook, or get a better picture of a Foxhound), and some sort of choice today?  Diet Sunkist.

And please, whatever you do, do not ask me how I got that shade of brown.  I'm pretty sure I mixed some orange and yellow into chocolate icing, but honestly, I could probably never reproduce it exactly again. 

This is how they all begin.  A 9x13 cake that made the night before and FROZEN until the last possible second to ensure that cutting would be precise, and crumbs
would be at a minimum. 

Let the transforming begin.......a sharp knife is a must.

I usually score the cake into the shape I want....keeping in mind that the fewer raw edges I have...the less crumbs to contend with . 

No, he did not change his mind.  This is not a dinosaur head.  Be's a work in progress.  :-)

My least favorite part of doing "shaped cakes" are the crumbs from the cut edges of the cake.  SO annoying.  Time is of the need to get them covered with icing quickly so as not to get crumbs all in your icing. 

 Are you starting to see it???  I know it's hard. 
 You have to really envision the end result. 

I decided today, that his ear would be instead
of just drawing one with icing, I cut and iced
a seperate piece of cake...just for the ear. 

 And the finished result????


Happy Birthday Destin!!!!!  Mama loves you and tried very hard!!