Oct 31, 2008

Happy Dress-Up Day!

I got one! I got one! A decent picture with BOTH of them looking at me and smiling!!!! Granted their arms aren't around each other or anything, but do you know how golden this picture is????AMAZING! I've been trying for months. Hunter cooperates now, but Ainsley doesn't and then when she finally looks, he's bored and looking somewhere else.

His "AAARGH!" pirate face.
We went to the convalescent home in the morning to show the patients their costumes. They were a hit with the patients and nurses and the kids did quite well. Hunter was shy but nice, and Ainsley waved and said "hi" to all of them. The we went trick or treating around the block with the neighbors. The second house had a dog, a very nice dog, but since Hunter is afraid of dogs, he wouldn't go up to any more doors, so that was the end of it for him. But he said he "loved trick or treating Mommy!" and didn't want to go home either. I felt kinda lame though going up to the door as an adult and saying, "oh yeah, my kid's back there...." Needless to say, we home after a couple more houses. Then we went to the church's carnival in their gym. I had a hard time getting Hunter out of the bounce house to try any games. We basically hung out there all night with a brief break to watch and climb inside of the fire engine that came (he didn't want to get out of that). My Aunt painted Hunter's face with a rocket ship. He is currently in bed afraid to roll over in case it might rub off on the pillow.

What did Ainsley do at the carnival? Dance to the kiddie band, twirl in circles, and basically charm everyone who came by her by saying "hi" and doing her miss america wave. She also liked the bounce house and had no fear with the bigger preschool kids in there. Oh yeah, and eat. Shocker I know......(when does that girl ever NOT eat????) This is Ainsley perfectly entertained with some smarties candy while Hunter got his face painted. The fact that she had to work to get each piece out of the roll made it that much more interesting to her.

Oct 30, 2008

Sissy as a little purple fairy

I finally finished Ainsley's costume last night and Ainsley modeled today. She's a little purple garden fairy. I'm tired of pink, so I thought that she could be a purple fairy. I thought that she would hate the wings, but she loves them and gets mad when I try to take them off. She prances around in this costume and really enjoys wearing it. I had a little photo shoot of her in it in the yard and thought I'd share my pictures with you. Hunter is a pirate, but I only have one picture of him in it before he stripped down to regular clothes. He is not so into wearing it like sissy is, though he likes the concept of being a pirate. I did not want a green tinkerbell costume either to go with the pirate theme but maybe this is Tinkerbell's sister?

The back I purposely left open so that it could grow a bit with her and be easy on later for dress up. She can wear this for quite a few years as a skirt for dressing up. The straps over the shoulders also turn into a sash.

Hoping I will put her on the swing. I had to take the wings off though and she wasn't happy about that. No, I did not make Hunter's costume. All I made were the felt shoes because that was the only thing I couldn't find cheap.

Oct 29, 2008

Pumpkin extravaganza

Today was pumpkin day. We went to the pumpkin patch this morning to pick out a pumpkin, and then Katie and Brad came over to carve our pumpkins. Lots of fun!
Sissy was not so enamored with the pumpkin patch. She kept saying her new favorite word when ever I tried to show her one and ran in the other direction. (her new word by the way is "noooooo!" with overly exaggerated puckered lips and it rhymes with "moo" like a cow). She finally got excited when I pulled her around in the wagon and she got to throw hay over the side.
Hunter is fairly bored with the wagon since I told him the little pumpkins were not balls and should not be thrown around like balls. Do pumpkins get bruised like fruit? I sure hope not!

Finally happy.

Checking one out, but as soon as she noticed that I was interested in taking her picture, it was "noooooooooo" and a run in the other direction.

As good as it got with them together. Typical.

Attempting to lift it.

Hunter posing for the camera on a "cute little white one Mommy."

Carving pumpkins. Hunter wanted a T-Rex. Unfortunately this was not one of the stencils in the book. I had to create the design and I finally found a simple stencil online. He did not want to touch the inside. He would reach in a carefully take out one seed at a time so that the "goop" did not get on him. I pretty much did his pumpkin.

Looking scary like a T-Rex (or so he says).

In it's place of honor on the front porch.
Mine, Brad's and Katie's. I have a bird in front of a full moon, Brad has a face with free-style flames, and Katie has an anorexic cat. Of course Katie has a cat. She is the ultimate cat lady. I wouldn'tbe surprised if she bought that particular stencil book just because there was a cat in it.

Oct 22, 2008

The Gloaming hour

Yesterday we worked in our yard getting it ready for the winter months. I bought some rose bushes because they go on sale this month, and we ripped out old annuals that had looked beautiful during the hot months, but were now getting leggy and over grown. We also trimmed back the flowers, ripped out the border beds to plant winter pansies, and weeded everything. I moved some plants to better locations, and gave the beds lots of "breathing" room. We went from overgrown to lots of dirt again. The thing about gardening, is that a full bed after a season looks like an overgrown dying bed. It must be replanted for the new season's growth. I hated pulling out things that were still flowering, but I knew that they had to go because they were on their way out and I had to make room for new growth. The new growth is tiny and it looks pretty bare for a month or so, but it pays off with a riot of colors and beauty later. A gardener must be a patient person, and one who must be willing to rip out. God must be a lot like a gardener. How I hate it when He rips things out of my life that I want to hold on to, that need to go, to make way for better things. Bare times are times when God is planting seeds of promise.

We worked in our yard in the two hours before dark. In literature, this is called the gloaming hour and it happens to be my favorite time of the day to spend outdoors. The days is done, colors are softened, it's not as hot out any more, and the sun sends the sky all golden. It was also a happy family time yesterday. We were all happily working. Hunter, Ainsley, and Hunter's best friend who lives next door, Emma, were all playing happily in the dirt while we worked. Tone trimmed back our huge lavender bush, so the air was filled with the smell.

After we were done working, Daddy and the kids played a kind of chasing game with the rubber balls. I'm not sure that anyone knew the actual way to play, but it they just ran around screaming and chasing and throwing balls. It was delightful to watch them laughing their heads off and enjoying each other.

We left the door open while we worked so the kids could go in and out, and that was a big mistake! I came in after working and the ceiling was absolutely covered in flies! It looked like the inside of a barn. GROSS! I will never do that again! I know this trick though. If you put a cup of soapy water under a sleepy fly that is hanging in the ceiling, it will drop in and die. So after we got cleaned up and came in, we spent the next hour catching flies. Tone on a stool with his cup of soapy water, and me on the ground with a fly swatter killing the more rigorous ones. I am still killing tons of flies today, but I think we are down to the last of them. The following picture is a small sampling of what we caught!

In other news: Here is an update on Hunter's birthday on Sunday: We had a family party Sunday afternoon and evening, with extended family over for pizza, cake and presents. Low key and simple. That's the way I do parties. Nothing fancy, and Hunter still feels so special and loved.
I can't believe he is FOUR!

One of his presents was new roller blades. What do you think? I think he'll get it in the next day or so......or NOT. He was laughing so hard, that it was too hard to even teach him. The present he has enjoyed the most is his Lincoln Logs.

Oct 18, 2008

Hunter's Birthday Cake

Hunter's birthday is tomorrow. As I write this, I still have to hang streamers so he sees them when he gets up in the morning and it's already 11:00 pm. Yikes! So far, I got half the house cleaned today, a birthday cake baked and created, presents wrapped, grocery shopping done for birthday dinner, and some home business done as well. Whew! What a day.
I would just like to post some pictures here of the cake. I believe last year's was much better, but Tone has been gone for the last three days and has not been here to help me with it. Hunter wanted a train cake with his trains on a track. He was very specific. He just assumed I could create whatever it was he wanted. His confidence in my skills is greater than mine. I am getting better though. I will post here my other cake creations so you can see that I'm getting better. When we were growing up, the tradition was that we got to pick what kind of birthday cake we wanted and then my mom would create it. She had a cute little book that we could pick from. I am trying to continue the tradition, and so far, Hunter LOVES thinking about his special cake each year.
He is so excited about tomorrow!
I guess we'll find out if it tastes good. It's basically just chocolate cake and colored frosting. The bridge is pieces of cake too.
Hmmm, I'm thinking I'd better not go professional with this anytime soon.
Close-up of my bridge.

This is what my kitchen looked like after I was all done. What a disaster!
A half hour of cleanup and (whew) we are half-way back to normal!

When Hunter gets excited, he stutters. It's cute because he has so many words, he can't get them out fast enough. He must be pretty excited about this cake because he is having a tough time describing it.

My Cake History: I feel as if some of this could be embarrassing...

Ainsley's first birthday cake 6/08. Not bad considering this was made on the fly in someone else's kitchen.

Hunter's third birthday cake 10/07. This one just happens to be my personal favorite. It was tasty too.

Hunter's second birthday train cake 10/06. Yikes!
The Yellow lighting is making this cake look even scarier than it was. This cake is scary looking.

Hunter's first birthday cake 10/05.
Cute, but I had this leftover piece and thought I'd make grass. What was I thinking?!

Oct 16, 2008

The Fair and tasty dessert

We went to the fair this week with Katie and her boyfriend, Brad, because Katie had free tickets. While I pretty much grew up doing the fair "thing" ( I was WAY into 4-H), I had forgotten that it was pretty much the most ghetto place you could go. There are some creepy people running those rides and games! That being said, the kids had a great time. The livestock building had a bunch of stuff for kids to do and unusual animals to see, and we had a good time just getting out and wandering around for a while. While we refused to pay for over-priced rides that looked like they were held together with wire and were literally supported on boards, we did let Hunter ride the Carosel once. I figured even if it broke, all that would happen is that it would just stop and we would get a refund. He picked the tiger to ride and grinned his head off the whole time and waved every time he went around.
riding a tractor
Playing in corn kernals.
Milking a fake cow.
Delighted with his tiger.
Ainsley with Brad, whom she really likes...a LOT.
Katie and I had a good time remembering all the 4-H things we used to do. We raised pigs, had a couple beef cows, raised a bunch of show rabbits and had a breeding line, a million chickens, along with cats, a dog, a hamster, and lots of fish. I remember that I won county in arts and crafts and had a million things entered. I still have all of my ribbons and trophies which fill most of a box in the attic (why the heck am I holding on to them?). I loved 4-H! It gave me a lot of my start in getting the "bug" to create and be crafty. I also remember the down-side. How much I hated spending an hour every night feeding the animals and mucking out pens. I spent hours with my animals working on showmanship. It paid off with my rabbits, but my pigs never cooperated and were the ones squealing around the edges of the enclosure trying to knock the judge over. I just remember that when that was over I was SO ready to auction off my pig I was so mad at it! I must be a country girl, because in our house, my husband comes and gets ME to kill the spiders. He won't touch them.
The weather also cooled down this week and I made my favorite pumpkin fall dessert. While it might not look like much from the picture, the taste of it ought to be illegal! Also, for the fact that it contains a cup of sugar in the mix and then a whole cup of butter dumped over the top. But really the top is so crunchy, sweet and buttery, and that it's just a whole pan of goodnes. Being a family favorite, it brings back a lot of good family memories. Katie and I just got a craving for it. Trust me. Take this to a gathering and there won't be any left over!

I had Katie over to help me eat it and then we went and watched the amazing series on Planet Earth. Fabulous photos and film of nature and animals. You just have to say, "God, you did really good!" And then sit in awe at what He made. As amazed you are at the wonders of this earth, you also see how sadly it is getting misused and how even nature displays that there is something flawed and wrong. I wish I could have seen it when God first created it, in all that it was meant to be.
For those of you who like recipes, I am including the recipe here (should you decide to make something really tasty, but not all that good for you):
Pumpkin Cake
1 can (large) pumpkin
1 13oz. can of evaporated milk
4 eggs
4 tsps pumpkin spices (or same as you put in your pies)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup melted butter
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts)
Blend first six ingrediants. Beat well. Pour into 9x13 inch GREASED pan. Sprinkle one box of dry yellow cake mix evenly over the top. Melt butter and pour evenly over the top of the cake mix. Sprinkle nuts over top. Bake approximately 60 minutes at 325 degrees. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Yum, yum!

Oct 12, 2008

Thank you Mamaw!

My Mamaw (who has been gone since I was in Jr. High), was an avid sewer. When I was in high school, I learned how to sew, and being money-strapped, I made a lot of my own clothes. My Papaw let me raid her sewing room and take the material that I wanted. I have several boxes of materials from her, and now I am getting back into sewing. I have rediscovered her assortment of vintage material, and it sure is fun! Tonight I didn't feel like sewing any more baby shoes (even though I have a pair only half done), and thought that I would sew something practical for myself.

I came up with this using her old material and vintage button out of her button box. It's for my purse. I am always finding that I wish I had paper to write a list on, doodle on, or put information on while I am out and about. So I made this little organizer.

Also, I saw this great idea for "mommy cards." They have your name, kid's name and personal information on it. I have had so many people lately ask for my information while I am at play dates, etc, and I am scrounging around for a pencil and a scrap of something to write on. This last time all I had was some paper torn off the side of a happy meal bag from Hunter's fast food lunch! How sad is that! So I made up little business cards that had all of the info on it. I sewed a pocket for them into this organzier so it's one less thing I have to write down. Just whip out a card! Of course, I can't show you the whole card here since this is a public blog, but it's peaking out to show you how it fits nicely in the pocket. I'm not sure yet what to put in the other pocket, but I think a little pocket calendar might work quite nicely.

Thank you Mamaw! I think she would get joy out of knowing how much I love sewing. She used to sew for me when I was little (before she got too sick), and I think she would be happy knowing that her collection of fabric is still being loved and put to use.

Oct 11, 2008

Baby gift

So Tone's aunt and uncle are coming to tomorrow for a brief visit on their way home from a wedding that was by our house. His cousin just had a baby, but since Tone doesn't have his cousin's address (of course not), I thought I would whip this up tonight and give it to his aunt (because grandmas always see their grandkids, and that way I know it will get to them.)

I had these baby shoes already done, but I saw this great idea for a bib that held a pacifier so that if it falls out of it's mouth, it doesn't fall on the ground, and baby can easily find it again. If baby doesn't like pacificers, a light-weight toy can also be fastened to the bib. I made up my own pattern, fused coordinating fabric to felt, and hemmed the edges. Then I added a snap and velcro. Wahlla! Easy-peasy gift.

The back side of the bib showing how the pacifier fastens.

Tonight I also worked up a new pattern for some boy loafers. I can do this in a lot of colors and I was able to make a pair in just 45 minutes. We'll see if people like them and buy them in my store. By the way, the success of last week, was followed by a dismal week this week. Only three pairs of shoes sold. Oh well.