Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Bane of My Existence

Want to know who really grates on my nerves? i just know you're thinking it's the crazies down at Wal-mart. Well, they do, but that's not who (or is it whom?) I'm talking about.

Could it be Bill who has suddenly been struck with a case of amnesia when is comes to replacing the toilet paper roll? No, with a quick demonstration, I think I have re-taught him that skill.

Nope, it's this character:

Now, before you all jump on me and start yelling things like, "Ah, she's so cute!" and "Look at that face. She's so adorable!" Let me explain.

Lucy dog only has three hobbies and they all annoy the crap out of me.

1. She is a shedding pig. I swear that dog puts out 2 pounds of hair a day. I literally have to vacuum twice a day. And I don't want hear that I should brush her more. I do brush her, but she tends to try to run away from home when I do that task. I believe she actually flipped me the bird the last time I tried that task.

2. She barks constantly... bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark! Annoying, right? And it's not like she even barks at anything in particular. She just sits on the deck and barks when she hears a bird sing, or sees a leaf float by, or if an airplane flies overhead, or if someone starts their car 4 blocks over. I think you see my point.

3. She is a food thief. Her favorite person in the world is Riley. Not because of any other reason other than his hand is mouth height. His snacks are easy pickins'. He's like her own mini-smorgasbord. Here's the proof:

"Why dear Lucy, what's that in your mouth?"

"Oh, I see Riley once again didn't get to finish his lunch."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dinosaurs!!! In the back yard?!??

In our backyard, we have a Little Tykes climbing set with a dinosaur theme, similar to the one above. There is a spot at the top where the creative people down at the Tyke builder place had the great idea to put dinosaur tracks into the plastic so it looks like a real dinosaur walked across the play thing-a-ma-gig. (This is where people who know Tate start to wonder if these tracks scare him and he won't play on it it because of them, but no, he actually likes them.)

For some reason, the kids have suddenly started playing dinosaur hunters. We've gone from "driving" race cars, to being Lightening McQueen (Please tell me you know who that is?) to suddenly being cavemen overnight. I have no idea where this came from because believe me, Tate wouldn't watch a dinosaur movie... too scary!

Now, here's the funny part... Riley comes running in the house last night yelling that we have a dinosaur print in the back yard. I'm thinking it must be a doggie print in the mud. (Have you seen the size of my dogs... they could use some saddling up.) Or maybe he was talking about the prints I mentioned above. Nope, these are not those.

He leads me out to the bottom of the deck where the posts are cemented into the ground and low and behold, there are prints there! Only there the hand prints of the former owners daughter... not dinosaurs. Darn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remodeling or How I Almost Ended Up Wetting My Pants

I put on the kids' new favorite movie, Max and Ruby, and went downstairs to do some laundry. While the kids were finally occupied and not hanging off of my leg, I decided to take a look around the basement and plan my newest remodeling adventure.

I took a look in the back bedroom (aka the pit of despair) and came up with a plan for getting all my books organized and have it still function as a craft room. It will take a bit of work, but not so much that it can't be done in a short amount of time. I then meandered over to the laundry room for my next planning mission. This is where all hell broke loose.

I was looking around, planning how to make it brighter and more functional. I was also trying to plan when I would get the trusty vacuum downstairs to take care of the cobwebs that seem to accumulate this time of year, when suddenly this giant "thing" came crashing onto my head, covering my eyes, nose, mouth, and even my hair. It came out of nowhere, making me jump out of my skin. Was it a giant spiderweb? Perhaps a bat, a rat, a howler monkey? Nope... a stray four year old with a butterfly net. This is why animals in the wild eat their young. Hello new gray hair!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After a 20 minute tantrum over not wanting to get dressed, here is the conversation I had with Tate:

Tate: "I'm going to run away from home!"

Me: "Would you like me to help you pack? Take a granola bar."

Tate: "I'm going way far away!"

Me: "Well, I'll miss you."

Tate: "Will you come with me?"

Me: "That kind of defeats the purpose of running away, doesn't it?"

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Last night, I cooked dinner for the fam damily while the boys and Bill played outside. It's nice to have time to myself to get some cooking done. I enjoy cooking, but sometimes it is too hard to fix a great meal with two monkeys hanging off your leg. Last night, however, I was able to put together a tasty meal and it only took me 30 minutes!

First, I made some sugared almonds for the strawberry and spinach salad. These were just chopped almonds heated in a frying pan with sugar for about 8 minutes. I then let them cool on a sheet pan and broke them into small chunks. This would also make a quick snack.

Next was the salad. It's just spinach, a bit of lettuce and some sliced strawberries. Simple. The best dressing is poppy seed. I think ranch would be tre' gross on this. Sprinkle with the sugared almonds and your ready to go!
Then I put together some strawberry lemonade with real strawberries. It's a mix of Country-time lemonade, strawberries, and ice. Mix in a blender and serve. It would have been cute to serve with a slice of strawberry on the glass, but I think little touches like that might be lost on three boys. This was a bit sweet, but was still tasty.

Finally, as you can see from the last picture, I used the George Forman grill to grill up some chicken. I always forget how easy this thing is to use. Chicken is done in 10 minutes! I then poured some Italian dressing over the chicken and topped it with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. A bruschetta inspired chicken even the kids will love. Please enjoy my Alton Brown inspired photo below...

Ha ha... did you get that? No? Go watch some Good Eats. I'll wait for you. Got it? Good.
The kids and the hubby ate most of this. Although the kids did just pick the strawberries out of the salad to eat, overall this meal was a success. And if you're the mother to toddlers, you know how hard this can be!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Tate says, "Ri, i'm tired of you!"

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Muffin Men

I've been trying to make muffins by the millions and freeze them up so our family can have a quick snack without breaking out the jelly beans or candy. Today was the day to whip up a triple batch of pumpkin muffins.
I started with a can of pumpkin that Mom had passed down to me a few months ago. Quite surprisingly, (insert hint of sarcasm here) it was more than a year past it's use by date. (if you know my mother, you will know that this is not uncommon. Plus she buys pumpkin purree, tomato sauce and cream of mushroom soup every time she goes to the grocery, whether she needs it or not. Don't pretend it's not true, Mom!)
Luckily, I had picked up some at Wal-mart this week, so all was not lost. A triple batch made 30 muffins. I will freeze these up and we will enjoy them for weeks to come. In the meantime, I let the boys try them out. No complaints so far!
Riley can be such a diva! No pictures, Mommy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Haircut

Well, here it is. Tell me what you think.

It is soooooo easy to fix. Wash and dry, that's it!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They're Here!!!!

Here's the lovely couch we've been using for about 6 years. My mom and Dad bought it about 11 or 12 years ago and handed it down to us after we got married. It originally came as a love seat/couch combo, but one cold day and a bored dog left inside took care of the couch. From a distance, the couch doesn't look too bad, but up close it had seen better days. To top it all off, is the the pink/purple recliner that was also a hand-me-down. We got it from my step-grandma who used to smoke in this chair featured below. It took a year of storage and two bottles of Febreeze to get rid of the smoke smell, but now you can't smell any smoke on it. (Maybe a bit of dog smell, but no smoke.)
Below is an example of why the couch had to go. The fabric was pulling apart all over. I have several couch covers, but they never quite fit or look nice.

And ta-da! Here are the new couch and love seat. We got a great deal on them. They fit great in the living room... not to overpowering. If you've seen my living room, you know how hard it is to find furniture that fits in here.

This is a close up of the new "fabric". It's a darker brown with a hit of burgundy. It's not true leather, but a Durablend fabric. It looks like leather, but cost half as much. (Let's hope it holds up as well as leather!)

The boys are already enjoying their new seat, but Riley has to use a stepping stool to get up on them. They also make a kick-ass race track for hot wheels! Hope their durable!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Well, someone tell my hairdresser to run for the hills. I once again plan on cutting all of my hair off. I don't think I've had the same haircut for more than 18 months ever. It's been down-to-my-butt long and up-above-my-ears short. I've had flippy hair, choppy hair, curly hair and stick straight hair. This time I want to go for an updated bob. I'm posting pictures so you can vote... Let me know what you think!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Friday Five

Stranded!It's the "stranded on a desert island" question! You can only take one thing from each category. What is it and why are you taking it?

A food that can be planted and regrown. I would take some type of berry. Probably a raspberry bush. I could eat berries every day. In fact, my old neighbor can vouch for the fact that I am not able to keep my paws off of berry bushes, whether they are mine or someone else's.

A person you haven't seen in a long time. I would probably take my old roommate Charity. We had a big falling out after college and haven't talked in many years. I know she has had a colored past from snippets I've heard here and there... plus Google will tell you a lot about a person. I would like to get the full story of what happened between now and then and get answers to some questions that have been burning in my mind. Plus, she was a very fun person to be around. She was always able to plan a good time. So hopefully after we cleared the air, we could come up with things to entertain ourselves.

A book you (were) read as a child. I always loved the book "Harriet the Spy". I read that book over and over.

A celebrity. I would take George Clooney. He strikes me as someone who would be fun to be around. (And he's easy on the eyes!)

The entire episode run of a television show (it's a very nice desert island). Mash...I love that show. I used to watch this all the time in college. The re-runs are on all the time and yet they never bore me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Favorite

My favorite artist is Jackson Pollock. I love his free-for-all style of painting. I would have loved to see him at work on one of his pieces.

I actually got to get up close and personal with a few of his pieces while in New York. It was interesting to see all the "crap" he had mixed in with the paint in some of his work. There were cigarette butts, washer, nuts and bolts, etc. It was so cool.

I just found this website that lets your inner Pollock do it's thing. Click here to try it out!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holy Cow!

I'm still trying to get the new computer set up to my liking and haven't added any photo stuff yet, so you get a generic post from me. I wanted to post about the new insulation we had blown into the attic and the gigantic mess they left in the driveway (not the house where I expected it!) but I don't have pictures ready yet and I haven't posted anything in a while.

So, I found this picture of a gigantic sting ray found in Thailand and thought it would knock you out with how big it is. I can't imagine snorkeling along and seeing something this huge slide up beside me. (I can't imagine snorkeling either, what with my fear of finding dead bodies in the water, but that's another story)

Check this out:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How cool is this?

I adore this dresser. Doesn't it look fantastic. I wish I knew someone who could make something like this!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Like a pig in heaven

I decided to make Riley's birthday cakes for his kid birthday party. We had a farm theme complete with barns and animals. I used just a regular box cake and canned frosting to make both cakes. Mrs. Betty Crocker has made great improvements in the taste of her cakes. They no longer taste like the box they come in. They are moist and full of flavor.

I found the patterns for both of these cakes on They have tons of cake ideas that are easy enough for someone as inept at cake making as myself. The pig cake had a strawberry flavor and the cow was chocolate.

The only hard part about making these cakes was trying to find the right candies to make all the add ons. It is impossible to find black lace licorice in the big town of Helena. I had to cut up regular licorice into small strips.

This is the new "dog" that has come to live at our house. It was a birthday gift to Riley from his Auntie Nille. He's one of those dogs that grows and can be programmed to learn your child's name. I haven't yet programmed him, so he just says "friend" instead of Riley's name. (I know, I'll get around to doing it... hopefully today)
The crazy thing about this dog is as it grows, I swear it's voice gets deeper. The first day it has this cute high-pitched baby voice, but now It sounds like a big burly lumberjack. If that thing starts swearing or telling the kid it needs a beer, his batteries might go missing!
Riley carts this thing all over the house. He has a bit of an animal obsession. He loves anything with four legs.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Put on your bell bottoms and crank the Partridge Family

Can anyone guess where this lovely pattern is found?
On Mrs. Brady's shirt.... no
On a couch found in the back part of the Salvation Army?.... no
This lovely pattern lines the bottom of my silverware drawer. It's been there since we bought the house 6 years ago. It's a lovely piece of carpet and is glued into to drawer. I never think about it until it comes time to clean the drawer and then I have to break out the vacuum to get it clean. Who else has carpeting in their drawers?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to properly watch TV

TV on: check

Socks off: check

Every toy I own on the floor: check

Coffee table to sit on: check

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How exciting! My blog has their first follower! (Thanks, Sally. I feel like a rock star!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What you been doin'?

For Christmas this year, I decided to try my hand at sewing most of the gifts for the women in my life. This was no small undertaking due to the fact that the only sewing experience I have is from my 8th grade home-ec class where we had to make the unflattering sweatshirt that wasn't even popular back then. I managed to sew the neck on backwards, so my sewing skills left a bit to be desired. I did, however, manage to produce 7 cute aprons that I'm quite proud of. Here are a few examples: I made this one for my former teaching assistant. She sews constantly and has made many a quilt that I am lucky enough to have in my house. This one made me the most nervous to make, simply because she's the sewing queen. (She even sewed my junior bridesmaid dresses)
The fabric is very americana from Debbie Mumm. I think the fabric is adorable!

This one was for my friend Angela who is quite the biker babe. The fabric is a bit sparkly. She and I always seem to show up to events both wearing black and red.

This one is my favorite one. I like the polka-dots the best. The person this one is for hasn't recieved it yet, so I'm not telling who's it is.

I made this one for my kids godmother, Char. It's a fun brown polk-a-dot pattern and then a small pink flower print.

This final one was for my mom. The kitty fabric was very fun. The boys had fun picking out all the different colors of cats. I also liked the paw print flounce. But I really liked the orange buttons!

You better watch out...!

What is the worst thing about Christmas? What brings sorrow and pain to everything it touches? Who causes future need for therapy? Santa, of course! Who brings joy and good tidings throughout the land? Who puts a smile on all the children's faces? Who brings lots of toys whether you've been good or bad? Papa!
P.S. This is why I don't use tinsel on my tree... you find it everywhere!