Thursday, October 15, 2009

Solar Powered

So, it's 10:30 in the morning, and awfully quiet in my house. When I went to check on my hard-working student who was supposed to be plowing away at Science (his favorite subject), this is what I found:

Don't think that the light on his knee is the real deal though. That would be artificial illumination in all it's glory. NO SIREE... no real light here, peeps. We haven't seen the likes of that big orangish-yellow ball o' fire in far too long, I'm afraid. Therein lies the problemo. Something about dreariness during the day acts as a mild sedative for some of us (see above... HA!) which isn't exactly helping the old motivation toward productivity.

In conclusion, I'm letting my boy sleep... you know... to avoid hypocrisy.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just Thinking (watch out!)

Do you ever get completely amazed at the sheer amount of information at our fingertips (literally) nowadays? I mean, think about it, when we were kids and we wondered about something, how did we survive without Google? I promise you, I've searched for at least 10 things today (please don't ask me what they were because the randomness would seriously make your mouth go agape).

I mean it, though, when I say that I can't imagine life without internet now because I'm so dependant upon it. I keep up with almost everyone through Facebook or blogs, all important information is passed via email now, and even my shopping is done with the click of a mouse while I lounge around in my jammies thankful that nary a soul can see me... Well, except for my kids... but this will be the least of their issues during therapy over their Mama. ;)

Anyhoo.... You know what I've noticed that each of these *conveniences* take out of the mix? Human interaction. Like real, live connection with other living, breathing people. The kind where you are flat-out LOOKING at them or hearing their actual voice. Yeah, I'm not so sure we were meant to ever get away from that.

I know that we are some of the busiest people on earth, but I swear, putting down this old box to ask the elderly person about the Depression rather than Googling it, or picking up the phone to reconnect with that old friend rather than just reading about him/her on Facebook, or (OUCH) getting out of my soft, comfy jammies to go browse at the mall with someone that I love, that's where it's at. Don't be fooled... this box has nothin' on real life, but it can suck it away if we're not careful.

Conveniences are great, and I certainly won't be forsaking any of it any time soon, but... well... I'm just thinking we don't need to forget to be intentional with the whole human interaction thing, too.


Monday, October 5, 2009

The Post O' Randomness...

Has it been a week already? The first part of the week went much like the picture in the post below except, by Wednesday, it was ME banging my head off the table. :)

On Thursday, we plowed through school as fast as possible and then got the heck outta Dodge for a few hours. We punted all things scheduled and went to the zoo to take advantage of the absolutely AWESOME Fall weather we've been having. It's not usually this cool around Sweet Home Alabama at the beginning of October, so it's been especially nice.

Check this guy out. He was totally wanting me to stick my fingers in just a leeeeeeetle bit closer so he could show me what he thought about me shoving a camera in his face during bath time.

But I just winked at him and walked away. Sorry man. That's the way it goes. Life is hard and before you know it Paula Deen is stuffing you between a turkey and a hen on her Christmas show for the whole world to see. That's the life of a duck in the spotlight, so enjoy the perks and deal with it.

After the zoo, we buzzed by the Dollar Theater. Let me just tell you about our little diamond in the rough if you're not from around here. The Dollar Theater is a cinema that only charges ONE DOLLAR for everyone to see movies that are in limbo, so to speak. They are the movies that have just left the full priced theater, but have yet to come out on DVD. Cool, huh?

We LOVE it and we very rarely go to the full priced cinema anymore because we know that if wait for only a few months, we can get the whole Crew in for a mere SIX bucks. That's not even the price of one ticket at the regular theater.

Now, the reason I call it a "diamond in the rough" is because the accomodations aren't exactly state of the art. It's an OLD theater with carpeting from 1972 and a few chairs that are in need of repair, but I'm not the kind of person that gets my knickers in a twist over that kind of thing.

We saw the movie UP, and we all adored it! It completely made me cry a few times, but it was awesome. We will definitely be purchasing this one when it comes out on DVD! We are thinking of going back this week to watch the latest Ice Age before they take it off of their list. It is taking everything in me NOT to go to the regular theater to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, though. That was my favorite book when I was a little kid and I've been looking forward to this since I first saw the previews.

Have any of you seen it? I heard it was completely different from the book, but still good. Do you agree?

I've got to get my girl to piano practice, so I need to sign off! Hope you're having a great Monday.

Monday, September 28, 2009


{In my best voiceover}: "We never knew that it would be the coloring in of the even numbers with a yellow crayon that would send him over the edge..."

It's Monday, peeps. The End.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How to Make Hairbows (a slightly stolen tutorial)

Lately I've had a mission brewing in my mind, so last night I set out to find the tools that I would need to complete it.

My mission was fueled by my female instinct toward accessorizing and my duty to train my daughter up in the way that she should go. Well... and there's also this little issue that I have with paying 15 bucks for a stinkin' hair bow that will soon be lost or broken... but let's just pretend it's all about accessorizing, shall we?

So, I loaded up my little charge and off we went to Hobby Lobby. If you don't have one of these in your area, I am deeply sympathetic to your plight. For those of you who do, every single thing that you need for this project (along with a ton of other awesome stuff) is 50% off through this weekend. Woot! God knew of my bow-making need and He provided. Amen.

Ok, so here's what you'll need (minus the wrinkley tablecloth):

*Metal hair barrettes (I used the 60MM size), alligator clips or even bobby pins will work.
*Needle and thread.
*and finally, SHARP scissors.
If you have a glue gun and a few extra minutes, I'd break it out too, but it is definitely NOT necessary.

Now, because I'm not one to try to reinvent the wheel, here is the video that I found last night that shows us how to construct our hairbows. It's so easy, she pulls it off in just a few minutes! Turn off the sound if music distracts you.

Cool, huh? And it really is as easy as her teenaged self makes it look, I promise! I was whipping out finished products in less than 10 minutes despite finger/needle calamities, and working with the metal barrettes, which add a little extra work (but they are more sturdy, I think).

If you are working with a thinner width of ribbon, I just made three of these:

And then placed them together like this:

I sewed them together, then wrapped the thread around it several times so it would be more "bunched". Then I cut a small strip of material...

.... and placed it over the sewn part.

Flip the whole thing over and center the barrette on the other side, threading the material through the little hole like this:

Then stitch it up! I rolled the stitched part under the barrette part after this for aesthethics. Here is where you could take the extra step of hot gluing the barrette to the bow, but again, it's not necessary.

You *could* skip securing the barrette with the material that you sew around the middle and just hot glue the barrette to the finished bow, but honestly, I've had a trillion that were made that way and they inevitably detatch from the barrette. This extra step is really the hardest part of the process, but oh-so worth it in my opinion. :)

If you are using the wider ribbon, I cut off a piece of the material and folded it like an envelope before securing it around the bow.

Here are all of the finished products! They were almost all made while watching 20/20 last night with Mark. The crime was solved just about the same time my mission was completed which brought me an unspeakable sense of accomplishment.

Here's what our favorite one looks like on my happy model:

Now go forth, ye, and prosper... er.... multiply... no... GO MAKE YOU SOME BOWS! And show me pics if you do, k?

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I love Thursdays! I don't know if it's because it's the day before Friday (my favorite day of the week) or what, but Thursdays always seem to start with a little more spring in my step. But, we will make no mention of "spring" because it's FALL, y'all!!!

I love FALL!! It's just such a beautiful time of year. I love looking at the mountains as they become so colorful, and I love standing under a tree when the wind releases it's leaves. I love pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pie scented candles. I love camping and roasting marshmallows with the kids and hanging out with friends around the campfire. I love going on hayrides and temperatures that drop low enough that you need more blankets. I really do love this season.

And I love this:

Feeling very blessed on this Thursday in Fall,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well, At Least She Shines

Lately I've been loving this kicky little lotion from Bath and Body Works that comes from their aromatherapy collection. It's called Orange Ginger and it's supposed to give you a renewed sense of energy... blah, blah, blah... but I just like the way it smells. It's different.

So after I showered the other day, I went out to Mark to ask him if he liked it. I stretched out my wrist and he drew a deep whiff... and slightly recoiled. I thought "Whoa! He must be breathing in the energy!"

Then the conversation goes on as follows:

I'm like, "Well, whatdya think?"

He said, "It's ok... Hey! Do you know what that smells like?"

Me, "Energy in a bottle?"

Him, "No... Pledge. Isn't that the stuff you spray on the piano? I mean.... it smells good and all. Just a little lemony, I guess. Soooooo, I like your hair today...."

Whatever. Obviously, I need a new smell. HA! Is there anything that you are loving right now? We'd probably do well to stay away from the citrus, though. ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, Monday

Happy Monday Morning!

We've had a mild snafu with the aforementioned cookoff photos. It seems that when I handed my darling hubby the camera to take shots of the contest, he thought it would be hil-ar-i-ous to get SEVERAL photos of us putting food into our mouths or chewing, ect., which landed us some pretty goober-esqe pictures. None of which I will be posting here. HA!

Here's one of Ty (in the back) and his friend cooking. They are both pretty soaked! I'm wondering how The Next Food Network Stars would have fared in these conditions?! Hats off to ALL of the guys who worked so hard!

On to other news: It's raining! Can you believe it? It's been at least 10 minutes since that's happened.... hee-hee! Oh well, it's much better than a drought, which is where we were last year. I will say this, though; It's definitely harder to get motivated in the morning when it's dreary outside. It's 20 till 10 and we've barely accomplished anything. It's a 2nd cup of coffee kind of day (month) for sure!

Okey doke, I've gotta get busy,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Up, Up, Up, And AWAY!

After morning number 654 of rain, one might become convinced that a thorough study of Genesis for the blueprint of an ark might be necessary. Hmmmmmm....

Today was the annual Boy Scout cookoff, where parents get to come out and taste the fine cuisine that is prepared for them by their sons and company. It's actually a competition that they take very seriously, so they work extra hard to make sure it's good and this year was no different!

I was a judge for the second time and was completely impressed! The toughest part is the decision making process because it's hard to see anyone disappointed. They really do put their hearts into it. We've got a ton of pictures, but I'll save those for tomorrow.

The really cool part is that we had the competition at a local park whose main attraction is a cavern. I can't tell you how beautiful it is up there! This was an old entrance into one of the caves. Keep your eye on the boy...

He has absolutely NO fear.

All the while his brilliant Mama is trying to not throw her hateful camera to the ground and tromp it because it keeps giving me fuzzy pictures, he's just shimmying up...



Until finally, I realize...DUH! It's been raining like crazy for 654 days and he's on a perfectly vertical incline on slippery rock. "ANDREW!"

Thank goodness for Daddy. The original Recue Hero.

Blasted camera.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let's Try This Thing Again

Hey, guess what? I love blogging! I really do despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and I think I'ma gonna start doing it again. I can't promise gorgeous pics in every post (or any posts for that matter) because it's just me and my old, pitiful, flat-out broken down, Kodak EZ share, but we'll do our best! :D However donations are being accepted for the sweet Nikon that I disgracefully covet. hee-hee! juuuuust kidding...

And I will probably be so random that your head will spin, but I know that my faithful few will still hang with me, won't ya?

I came thisclose to letting the sun go down over here at The Westie Crew (obviously..HA!), but I just can't do it. So, I'll see ya tomorrow. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Working the Weekend

You know how I said that I like unpacking? Well, I retract. I *did* like unpacking in the beginning, but now that we are down to the last 7-10 boxes, I've run out of steam. The stinkiest part is that it's the classroom stuff.

Organizing a classroom is a fine art, I wholeheartedly believe, but I think I'm overanalyzing, a bit. I want it as practical as possible, yet, I don't want it to feel like we've walked into a How to Create Bulletin Boards with 5000 Pieces or Less seminar. In other words, I'm having a hard time putting my History Timeline, ect. on the wall because it clashes. HA! Isn't that ridiculously vain? Oh well. There will be time for perfect Southern Living style dining rooms when all my kids graduate, I guess.

We've had a nice, productive weekend thus far. Mark and the boys tore down one of the existing sheds here so that we will have room for ours (which is only a year old).

All of our shed's contents are in the screened in porch area until that process is finished, which we are all ready for! It probably won't be until the beginning of the week though because it's storming today (blessedly). I've got big plans for the screened in porch and those plans include my swing... one of my favorite things in the world.
I can't wait for my outside haven. I had one on my back porch at our old place so it's pretty important that I have a place outside here for my sanity. It's where I go in the mornings first thing after I get my coffee and it's the most important time of my day.

What about you? Do you have a haven either inside or out? If you don't, get thyself to a corner somewhere and make it yours. It works wonders for the soul, I swear!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Diego's Got Nuthin on Us...

Today has been a long, but good, day (and it's only 3:00 in the afternoon!). We started by heading to the Alabama Wildlife Rescue first thing this morning because we found a sweet little baby bird who was about to die last night after dinner. We gently scooped him up and placed him in a cloth-lined shoebox where I fully expected to find him already gone this morning. But, this is what I saw instead:

He kept opening his mouth and peeping at me, so I soaked some bread in milk to feed the little thing. He gobbled it right down!
Then we headed out pretty early in the morning to the Wildlife Center:

When we got there, we learned that he is a Brown Thrasher and that he probably sustained an injury when leaving the nest for the first time since he landed on concrete. Thankfully, they gave us a way to track his progress via mail, which I thought was a nice service to provide.
After we came home for awhile, we decided to go celebrate Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A. We eat there more than any other fast food place, so why not join the party, right? If you dressed up like a cow, you would get a free meal, so we were all over that one.
Well, at least the younger two and I were... Ty and Jake thought that a chikin sammich wasn't worth their dignity, so they decided we were ridiculously uncool and kept their distance. Ha! I have no fear that they'll come out of this stage simply because it's in their genetic makeup to be a goober.

By the way, that's my front room if I may kill two birds with one stone (oops... that's a completely inappropriate analogy given the above content, huh?).

Anyway, we had a GREAT time when we got there. So many people were dressed in their various and sundry bovine digs, that it made the whole place happy and lighthearted. And who can't use some happy and lighthearted, huh?
Hope you're having a wonderful Friday!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ignore Madame Pink Elephant, Please...

Let's pretend that it hasn't been almost 2 months since my last post, mkay? I can't believe how time flies, though, for realz.

I thought about telling you about how the USB thingie on my internet card got smooshed thereby leaving me without reliable internet for all of this time, but... well... it's boring. I'm all connected with a cable modem now, so all is right with the world. :)

Charter truly swooped in just at the brink of insanity though, because I tell ya, being without a viable alternative to television when Michael Jackson dies is something akin to waterboarding, I swear.

Anyhoo, we are all moved in to our new home now and we are VERY happy that the moving process is over! The last time I moved, I only (said loosely) had 2 small children and not nearly as much "stuff". Factor in 10 more years of marriage, 2 more kids, and homeschooling and packing was kind of overwhelming. But, it's done, and I actually really enjoy the process of unpacking. It's fun to find a new place for all of my old stuff.... kinda like rearranging a room, only with different walls... in a different neighborhood.... yeah. Someone will be able to relate despite my weirdo analogy, maybe?

One thing I absolutely love about this place is that the kitchen is perfect for having big dinners with lots of friends. I'm a firm believer that awesome friends and abundant food together, at regular intervals, make life way more sweet.

On that note, and to celebrate my recent reunion with the Food Network, I will give you a recipe that I made of Rachael Ray's that is a PERFECT side for a grill-out (or anything, really). Corn Muffins with Bacon Bits and Cheddar Cheese It's YUMM-O, as she says... and she is absolutely right.

Ok, I need to go get my boys from Summer Reading Program at the library. Hope you are all having a great Summer!