Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have had quite a thing for potatoes lately.  I watched the movie "Food, Inc." a few weeks ago (still shuddering) and I'm trying to fit in more meatless meals in my cooking repertoire.  Potatoes help a lot, if you're a carnivore and green veggies don't always cut it.  So far, this is the best thing I've made, & man is it good:

Easy Potato Soup

1 large potato per person
2 stalks celery
2-3 shallots
2-4 slices bacon
1/4-1/2 stick butter; I used a 1/2 stick
Milk--whole, 2%, skim--whatever's on hand
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder

1) Peel the potatoes (or not--your choice), cut into medium size chunks & put them in a pot; add just enough milk to cover them & begin cooking on med. heat

2) Chop celery (incl. leaves) and shallots--relatively uniform pieces are best since they'll cook evenly--you want them really soft

3) Dice bacon & saute for 1-2 min.; add butter and stir until butter is completely melted

4) Add shallots & celery; saute for about 3-4 minutes longer

5) Dump all the bacony, buttery goodness into the pot with your potatoes; at this point you may want to add more milk--it's really dependent on the consistency you like best

6) Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, & whatever else blows your skirt up

7) Cover & cook 25 min.--about 1/2 way through, take a potato masher and do some mashing--leave some chunks, though, unless you want it to turn into mashed potatoes.  Which is fine, 'cause they're pretty darn good, too.

8) Revel in the fact that this meal is delicious & CHEAP--two of the best adjectives in the world!

Friday, December 4, 2009


You must doesn't snow here.  I live in a suburb of Houston.  Last Thanksgiving it was like 80 degrees.  Snow fell from the sky, and for just the briefest period, it stuck to the ground and covered everything in white.  The last time that happened, I was 8 years old!  I'm so grateful we got to have a little bit of winter weather.  Hope all of you are as warm and cozy tonight as we are!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas At Our House

Missy very generously shared this little "get-to-know you" list, so I figured I'd be a copycat.  I've officially used all my creative energy on dreaming up Christmas presents for the approximately 4,790 people in my family.  I'm spent.  Feel free to copy & paste in your own blog if you're spent, too.  So, here goes:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  I have honestly never had a single urge to try eggnog.  It seems disgusting.  What I do like is Starbuck's hot chocolate with an extra shot of vanilla.  Nummers.  

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  We had to tell Sissy about Santa this year.  She was devastated.  I'm not sure how this will affect the whole Santa thing yet.  Back when there was a Santa, he wrapped them.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  It has long been a known fact among the females in my family that colored lights are tacky.  I understand that now, but when I was little I always wanted colored lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.  My husband doesn't need any more encouragement to be, um, frisky.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Day after Thanksgiving.  I always think I'll put it off until the first weekend in December, then can't resist & do it anyway.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?  Cookies, cookies, cookies.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  I need to get a copy to read Sissy this year.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My mom let it slip when I told her I lost the necklace I got for Christmas when I was 8.  She was pretty mad, & I figured out why.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We do Christmas Eve with my in-laws, so we open a plethora of gifts on Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Gold and red balls, then a mixture of sentimental stuff.  I'm not really sentimental about anything except Christmas ornaments.  I love unwrapping them every year & remembering who gave them to me/made them etc.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? If I ever saw any, guess I'd love it, but here outside Houston, we're more likely to get a hurricane a-blowin' at Christmas than snow.  When I was younger & lived in Tennessee, it snowed about 18" & stuck for 2 weeks.  I started out loving it & hated that crap after about 3 days.

12. Can you ice skate?  Only if I'm trying to win $100,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos.  I suck.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  I got a Barbie Dream House that I nearly wet my pants over one year. 

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Umm...Jesus!?  Kind of the point of it all, dontcha think?

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? see numero 6

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Though I gripe about it, I really do like going to my mother-in-law's for Christmas Eve.  It's less tense than being around my family (though the food is terrible, terrible, ter-ri-ble).

17. What tops your tree? A tin angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both, equally.  I'm kind of a present slut.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "What Child is This" is the bestest.  I also love Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas music.

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yuck by themselves, but yum in the following: ice cream, hot chocolate, milkshakes, and cookies.

21 Favorite Christmas Show? Charlie Brown.  I know, I'm boring.  I also like to watch "When Harry Met Sally' at Christmas, though it's not really a Christmas movie.  Just one of them things, I guess.

22. Saddest Christmas Song? "Little Drummer Boy" is so melancholy-sounding. 

What about youse guys?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Will Pay For This, I'm Sure

Umm, a roll call of the hideously-bad-for-me-yet-delicious food I consumed today:
  • fried turkey
  • cornbread dressing
  • Gulliver's Corn
  • sweet potato casserole (no marshmallows--that is sacrilege)
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • macaroni casserole
  • cranberry sauce (homemade & Ocean Spray --I love food that retains the shape of its can)
  • roasted garlic mashed potatoes
  • Parker House rolls
  • deviled eggs
Aaaand, for the desserts: (I've only had 1 dessert so far--this will not be the case by tomorrow)
  • chocolate pie
  • caramel bread pudding with vanilla ice cream
  • apple pie with crumb topping
  • pecan pie
  • carrot cake
  • pumpkin pie
I will now go and wallow on my bed, if I can fit through my bedroom door.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free at Last!

I refuse to waste very many words on the parents of these 8 children, so I'll merely say this: I am incredibly glad these kids aren't being forced to support their family anymore.  Fame is fleeting, and I hope it flies far away from them so that they can have a shot at a normal life.  If anything, I hope when they are older and watch the footage from their "reality show", they'll realize they had nothing to do with  the break-up of their parents' marriage.  Such a depressing end to a family, and such a shame it was offered up as "entertainment" to the rest of the country.    

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop: Diary Entry from my 13 Year-old Self


Awesome writing prompt from Mama Kat a diary entry from when you were 13.  Since there's no possible way to locate my diary from 1987, I'll have to think back.  I haven't matured much past the age of 13 so it probably won't be very hard.

Dear Diary,

I really hate my new haircut.  It was my 13th birthday present (I'm a TEENAGER now!!!!).  It's really short, like a super-short bob with short bangs.  It makes my face look round and fat.  Since my hair's straight, I've been tucking it behind my ears, so it's a little better, but not much.  My aunt took me to this fancy place in the mall, which was cool because I've never been to one of those places, but now I'm totally sure that Davis will never even look at me again.  I really wanted tickets to see Madonna, because she has a concert exactly on my birthday, but I had to get the haircut instead.  I'm going to try and fix my hair before Monday, because I will die if I have to see Davis looking like this.


Oh my gosh, I am going to kill myself!!!!!  I begged my aunt to help me fix my hair and she said OK and took me to another hair place (not the cool one at the mall) and she said she thought it would help if I got a perm.  What do I know, so I said OK.  MY HAIR LOOKS LIKE A POODLE.  My bangs were so short the lady could barely get the little perm roller thingie in them and now my bangs are LIKE A FRIZZY LITTLE PUFFBALL exactly like those fancy poodles you see.  I went home and cried so hard I threw up.  Now I'm going to the mall to try and find a hat.  There is no fixing this hair.  I want to die.  I'm going to see Davis tomorrow!!!!

There is no explanation for why the adults in my life allowed this abomination to be done unto me.  Just so you know, during the summer I turned 13 I gained about 15 lbs., started my period, and got this awful hairstyle.  I wore a hat for the rest of the summer, a la Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, but I started a new school in the fall and they wouldn't let me wear the hat.  Eventually, my hair grew out and it was actually kind of cute, but when that perm first set, it was baaaad.

And, Davis?  Was an 18 year-old boy who never even knew my name, except in my vivid 13 year-old stalker/fantasy life.  I doubt I ever even said hello to him.  He sure was purty, though, I remember that.  Man alive, thirteen sucked. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Felt Food Fun

A few more little felt cakes, made the same way as my first tutorial.  These were made with smaller styrofoam rounds, but all the other steps are the same.  I love making felt food, primarily because it's such a quick process from start to finish.  Being a little ADD, I love a project that I can finish in one sitting.  And, the very best part, the total cost for these three cakes was (excluding needle & thread) about $6.  Can't get better than that for a handmade, one-of-a-kind toy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Timesaving Thanksgiving Recipe

OK, I have a thing for corn.  I detest creamed corn out of the can, but any other form of corn, and I'm all over it (well, except for high fructose corn syrup, but that's a post for another day).  I make this corn only at Thanksgiving, because otherwise I would weigh 350 lbs.  It is the most fattening corn dish you're ever going to have, but man, is it good.  Whipping cream, butter, white flour and parmesan cheese?  How can you miss?  Plus, this sucker can be refrigerated for up to 4 DAYS before baking.  Perfect to whip up the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and have one less thing to worry about when you're trying to thaw the turkey.

Gulliver's Corn

16 oz. pkg. frozen corn
1 1/2 c. whipping cream
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
3 T. flour
3 T. melted butter
3 T. parmesan cheese

1/2 c. parmesan cheese
2 T. butter

1) Butter baking dish & sprinkle with 3 T. parmesan.

2) Bring whipping cream to a boil; reduce heat and add corn.

3) Simmer 5 minutes, then stir in salt & sugar

4) Make a paste with the 3 T. butter and 3 T. flour; stir into corn & cook until thickened.

5) Pour into the buttered baking dish, sprinkle with topping ingredients

6) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This is some dang good corn, y'all.  I always have to double the recipe because my family looooves it.  Hope yours does, too!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Handmade Christmas--Felt Fun

I'm dedicated to making some gifts for my girls this year, in hopes that they'll be a) cheaper, and b) a happy memory for them to look back on.  I've made felt food off and on for the last couple of years, and it's so much fun and easy, too!  If you're interested in how to make this cute little cake, keep reading.  I've never done a tutorial before, so bear with me.

Overall, this is a super-cheap little toy.  Many people use expensive wool felt, but I'm poor, so I use the 5 for $1 stuff you get at your basic Hobby Lobby/Michael's kinda joint.  True, my felt food may not last years, but I'll just replace as needed.  First:

I picked up these styrofoam rounds at Dollar Tree.  They're about  4 3/4" across, and 3/4" thick.  You'll need both of them.


You'll need 2-3 pieces of felt.  Trace your styrofoam round onto your felt and cut out the circle.  You'll need to do this twice, as this is your cake top and cake bottom.  I used a sewing marker with disappearing ink.

Cut two strips of felt 7 1/2" long and 2 1/4" wide.  The sewing is about to begin, so if you're not familiar with the blanket stitch, go here.  It's the best one I've seen online.


Using the blanket stitch, stitch the ends of the felt strips together to make a circle.  Then, take one of the felt circles you cut out and stitch it to the bottom of the circle just made.  This can get tricky, but once you're about 1/4 of the way around the circle, it gets easier.  Voila:

At this point, you're going to fit the styrofoam rounds down into the felt shape you've created.  Now, if you're using the cheap felt like I am, you have to make sure you don't stretch it all out of wack.  The felt has a little stretch to it, but just tug gently to get the rounds inside.

Now, you have two ways to give the top of your cake a little fun "smooshiness" to represent frosting.  I cut three (I only showed 2 in the picture) circles from some thin quilt batting I had in my stash:

You could also just sew on the top felt circle, leave a little gap, and stuff it with Poly-fil or something like that.  At this point, you've got a cute little cake that's got a pretty sturdy bottom & sides:

Now you're ready to decorate.  You can pretty much do whatever you'd like at this point.  I've seen a lot of cute decorating kits where you cut out felt shapes and let your child decorate the cake however they'd like.  If you'd like to do the piped icing I did, here's how.  So easy!

Cut three leaf shapes out of a contrasting felt color, about 1 3/4" long.  You'll need 3 shapes for each "pipe".

Stack the three leaf shapes on top of one another, and sew them together down the middle (using a standard straight stitch).  Then, just sort of separate the individual pieces & kind of fluff them out to resemble icing.

You'll need to make 10 of these to fit around the top of the cake (cut a total of 30 leaf shapes).  Sew the individual pieces together, end to end.  It just takes a few stitches to secure them.

Stitch the circle of icing to the top of the cake.  Just a couple of stitches per individual "pipe" will work, you don't have to go crazy.

I tried to do another ring of piped icing around the bottom, but it didn't look right to me.  Instead, I cut two
7 1/2" long, 3/4" thick strips of the contrasting felt, stitched them together into a loop, and fit them over the bottom of the cake.  I didn't bother stitching it to the cake; it fit pretty snug.  That's pretty much it! 

It still needs a little something on the top.  Since I've made one for each of the girls, I'm thinking their first initial on the top.  If you're adventurous, maybe you can figure out a way to write "Happy Birthday" on the top or something.  Anyway, enjoy!  And for more DIY fun, go visit A Soft Place to Land or Just a Girl sometime today.

Monday, November 9, 2009


My girls are starting to argue.  I imagined that having my girls 5 years apart would cut down on that sort of rivalry, but it looks like I was waaay off base.  Gone are the days when Sissy would look at her little sister lovingly and sigh, "Oh, Mama, isn't she cute?  She's cuter than all the other babies in the world!"  Now there's a lot of "Mom, she's in my room!  Get her out!"  Not to say that Sissy doesn't still cuddle Sassy and mommy her, but the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. 

Sassy is now almost 2 1/2, and her little (or should I say BIG) personality is emerging.  She is sweet-natured and loving, but has a hot temper and knows exactly what she wants.  Sometimes when Sissy wants to snuggle, she gets an emphatic "NO!" and sometimes even a push.  Of course, Sissy is outraged, and proceeds to huff away to her room.  She's no slouch in the "knowing-what-you-want" department either, I might add.  I keep telling myself that one day God will use these strong personalities in an amazing way.  Right now, their primary function seems to be to make me tired.

I know in my heart that all of this stuff is normal.  I know siblings fight, and it's all part of the deal.  It's still hard sometimes to let that idealized notion of sisters go.  I just need to go ahead and embrace the noisy, fussy, sweet, messy business of sisterhood.   

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Friday Faves--Favorite Kids' Toys

So, favorite kids' toys?  We are NOT video game folks around here, but we broke down and bought a Wii a couple of weeks ago and every one of us loves it.  I can wholeheartedly say it offers exactly what it promises:  interactive family fun.  It's been a great way for Sissy to spend some fun time with her daddy, who is most grateful not to have to play Barbies anymore.

Anything and everything by Melissa and Doug.  Sassy got the Slice and Bake Cookie Set for her birthday, and all 4 of us play with it.  We've asked Santa for the Bake and Decorate Cupcake Set, so we'll see.  A tried and true toy for around the 9-18 month range is the Playskool Ball Popper, which is loads of fun.  Sassy played with it so much she lost all the balls and we had to find new ones.

Sissy has mostly outgrown the toy stage, so this year we've had to branch out.  I don't have a link, but we picked up some great art supplies at Michael's last week, and each was under $5.  So for the price of a cheap piece of $20 plastic junk, we were able to buy her a set of pastels, real drawing pencils, real watercolors, and watercolor pencils.  If I can find a cheap easel, we're on the way.

Since I'm a little bit crafty, I've made some felt food for the girls as well.  It's so much more fun than plastic food, and even Sissy (who's 7 1/2) loves to play with it.  I'm hoping to post some tutorials soon, but there's adorable stuff like this and this if you don't have the inclination to make your own.  Go get your Christmas shopping done so you can actually enjoy this year, OK?!  Go see Missy to get more toy tips!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday--Christmas is Coming!!!

I don't know about you, but we're cutting back around the S and S household this Christmas.  We have L O T S of family, and I usually go overboard trying to make sure everybody gets something, and that the gift reflects their personality/interests...then I run out of time and start mass-buying Starbuck's gift certificates.  Sigh.  This year, I'm setting a budget, and that's it.  So, in honor of having more time than money I'm directing everyone here.

There are 2 years' worth of archived projects, plus new ones every day this month.  I managed to make some of these last year, and people actually used them.  Ok, I didn't actually make the cute tote bag, I made the rice heat therapy bags and buckwheat cold therapy bags.  Super easy, and super cheap.  Stitch some up and cross some folks off your list this month.

For more to help soothe your upcoming holiday headaches, go see Kristin at We Are That Family.

Mommy Secrets

I volunteered to be Sissy's room mother this year (we've stopped homeschooling...more on that later).  Obviously, like many moms I want to be involved and helpful, but it goes a little deeper.  My mother, for lots of different reasons, wasn't able to participate much in our lives at school, and it always bothered me.  So, of course, I'm dedicated to doing everything "right" now that I'm the mom.

Only, I can't.  Really, I'm ill-equipped for room-momming.  It's hard!  Calling other parents and asking them to do stuff...I can do it, but I hate it.  Making elaborate snacks/treats for parties?  No fun.  Chaperoning field trips?  Happy to, but the teacher in me is always evaluating whether or not it's really a "worthwhile" educational experience.  And there are all these other moms who seem to be doing it all enthusiastically.

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I'm a bad room mom. 

What is your guilty mommy secret?  Please comment so I can move on from my June Cleaver guilt!

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Little About Me

I've seen these questions a couple of places, most notably here, so I thought in the spirit of re-dedicating myself to blogging, I'd participate a little. Here goes.

 1) What's your favorite thing to snack on while blogging?  Umm, food of any kind.  I love almost everything, but if you make me pick, it would be Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream.

 2) What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?  Hands down, no contest...air conditioning.  I live in Texas, need I say more?

 3) Beach, mountains, or farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?  I romanticize the idea of living on a farm, but truthfully I know I could *never* take all the work that comes with farm life.  Mountains are beautiful, but I pick the beach, hands down.  Preferably Hawaii.

 4) What's your least favorite chore/household duty?  Dishes.  They depress me because they are neverending.  I often get the idea to bake or cook and get discouraged from actually doing it because it would mean more dirty dishes.

 5) Who do people say you remind them of?  I was once told Supernanny Jo.  Which seems to indicate my children should be way better behaved.

 6) Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?  Both, equally.  I love being at home, but am kind of boisterous, so sometimes I need to get out and socialize.  I'm a people person, definitely.

 7) What's your all-time favorite movie?  Because I'm a history teacher, it's Schindler's List.  Pretty depressing stuff, but really excellent.

 8) Do you sleep in your make-up or remove it like a good little girl every night?  I go for days without wearing any (which is not a pretty sight), but I often forget to take it off before bed.

 9) Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something that you've never had a
     chance to learn? What is it?  I want to write a novel.  Really badly.

10) What's one strange thing you're really good at?  Debating/Arguing.  Not really a strange talent, but quite annoying to my husband, nevertheless.

11) What first attracted you to your spouse?  He's skinny.  I love skinny rock-star boys.

12) What is something you love to smell?  I love the smell of shoe polish.  I missed a great opportunity to be a huffer in my youth.

13) Tell me something about you that you know irritates people.  I can be too loud and way too opinionated.

14) When you have extra money, what's the first think you think to do with it?  Go on a date with my husband.

15) Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher? What makes you laugh the hardest?  As stated before, I'm a loudmouth.  Tina Fey always makes me laugh.

16) Where is your favorite place to shop?  Super Tar-jay.

17) What's one thing you'd do more often if you had time?  Scrapbook.  I'm so behind, it's not even funny.

18) Are you a big spender or frugal?  Unfortunately, I'm a spender.  Big-time, but I'm working on it.

19) Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book, can't be real).  Elizabeth Bennett or Elinor Dashwood.  I'm a Jane Austen kinda girl.

20) Would you want to be famous?  I think I would love it at first, then rapidly lose interest as I lost privacy.

Pretty standard-issue stuff, I guess.   

Halloween Cuteness

OK, I'm re-committing to blogging--some Halloween cuteness to inspire me:

And some pumpkin yumminess to inspire you. Happy Halloween!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tiny Dancer

*Sigh* I think I'm in love. For the millionth time with this one...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Toys Worth Buying

With Sissy, our first daughter, we didn't know anything about toys. We bought practically everything Fisher-Price put on the market between 2002 and 2005, and if we didn't buy it, the grandparents did. Both of us come from single-parent homes where money was tight, so when we had Sissy I think we subconsciously decided that she woud never have to "do without" something that other kids had. Unfortunately, that mindset resulted in an overwhelming amount of toys, most of which never got played with. With that in mind, here's a list of toys that actually worked for us:

Fisher-Price Ball Popper -- I can't find anyone, adult or child, who doesn't love this thing.

Stuffed Animals -- depending on the child, these can lead to hours of imaginary play

Puzzles -- wooden puzzles are educational, long-lasting, and fun

Play Food -- the wooden variety is sturdiest, but check around the web to find felt food patterns

Blocks -- for younger kids, the bigger the block, the better!

Art Supplies -- a no-brainer

Fisher-Price Piggy Bank -- my 2 year-old is still going strong with this; good manipulative toy

Add a baby doll & stroller if you've got girls, or a cars and trucks with a road-map rug for boys, and you're set!

It's really hard for parents not to buy into the hype of the latest "developmental" toys being marketed today (& don't even get me started on video games!), but the basic toys are always the best. Fundamentally, what young kids like to play hasn't changed in generations. Head on over to We Are THAT Family for more tips and inspiration!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Gosselin Meltdown

I know that by writing about this subject I may draw fire from Gosselin-fans and Gosselin-haters alike. I do not want to use this blog to indulge in gossip or slander against the Gosselins or anyone else. But, since Christianity and parenting are both focal points for this blog, I hate to say nothing about something that troubles me so deeply.

I do not believe that Jon and Kate Gosselin are evil. I believe that they are Christians. I believe that they love their children, and that they began their television show with honest intentions. I even believe their claim that they viewed the show as a way to share their faith with others. I also believe that they have, like all Christians at one time or another, turned their back on God's will and are operating out of their flesh rather than out of the Spirit.

They've believed the enemy's lie that happiness is life's goal. They've believed his lie that comfort and security are paramount, and once they have been achieved there will be plenty of time to work on their relationship with God. They have looked for love and approval from others, from one another, and ignored their identity in Christ. The world and its lies have bewitched them, hopefully only momentarily, and they are floundering to understand why everything is disintegrating all around them. I would say that at some point, we have all, as Christians, been guilty of these same things--luckily, not quite as publicly.

Nothing about their story is new. The enemy of their souls is on the prowl for them as he is for each and every one of us, as he has been since human history began. He delights in the fact that these children of God have sinned and are being humbled and humiliated before the eyes of a wicked world. He loves nothing more than to mock Christ by "discrediting" His followers.

If you read this, please pray for Jon and Kate Gosselin. Pray that God uses someone close to them to speak the eternal truths they need to hear. Pray that they can lay their souls bare and receive the grace that can only come from God. Pray that they can find strong Christian counseling in order to restore their relationship. Pray protection over those eight precious children. Pray that God gives Jon and Kate the words to comfort and soothe the hearts of their children.

Lord, thank you that you are our portion and our strength. Thank you that when you are for us, it doesn't matter who's against us. Thank you for the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. And thank you for the opportunity to pray for our fellow Christians as they navigate the trials of this fallen world.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And, why do we homeschool, again?

I love lapbooking. I love the theory behind combining craftiness and learning, though I'll admit to being a little, shall we say, OCD about making everything perfect (I'm working on this, I swear). Sadly, I often take the fun out of it for Sissy, because I tend to hover to make sure she's doing everything "right". Today, inspiration struck and she wanted to make her own book about fairies. I vowed to leave her alone until she asked for help, and things went swimmingly. She needed help binding the pages, which is when I finally got a look at the book. Nice.

Not sure where 'Queen Caca' got her name, but see? It's so much more fun for both of us if I let her do it by herself.

PS--I didn't bother posting the picture of the fairy named 'Tata'. What's the point?

Goodwill Goodness

My other blog, Newly Thrifty, is about my effort to stop paying retail. I love our local Goodwill--I've been most successful at finding clothes for Sissy and Sassy and neat kitchen/dining items. At any rate, I couldn't resist posting this dress I found for $3.50. It's from The Children's Place and was easily $20-25 retail. No original tags, but it looked brand-new. Sassy wore it for Mother's Day and it was so adorable. I encourage everyone to hit their local thrift shops/Goodwill because though it takes some time, it pays off in the end!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


My friend Cathy has way more self-control than do I, and has been able to survive a whole pregnancy without knowing the sex of her baby. That would drive me insane. Anway, I made a Burt's Bees-themed diaper cake for her shower over the weekend & it turned out to be really cute! (I almost wrote "it turned out to 'bee' so cute", but then I would have hated myself. Aren't you glad I resisted?)

Monday, May 4, 2009

This is What Sassy Looks Like

Here's Miss Sassy. She goes, and goes, and goes non-stop, until she drops in her tracks. She's referred to as "busy" by friends and family who are too polite to use the word "wild". She also inherited my rubber-face, which means it's next to impossible to get a good picture of her; if her body's not moving, her face is. Sassy doesn't talk very much, but doesn't have to since she has a family of slaves at her disposal.
She is also headstrong (I'm thinking this is a girl trait, no?) and stubborn, but she's figured aout a strategy for herself: charm. She crinkles her nose at you, pats your hand, hugs you, and then proceeds to do just as she wishes, despite your protests. She loves her big Sissy with an unswerving devotion that is sweet to see. My prayer is that the two of them are each other's best friends for life.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Meet Sissy

Behold the two faces of Sissy, my 7 year-old. She is a beautiful, intelligent, sweet gift from God. She is also a lesson from God made flesh, because Sissy is just like me. She is headstrong, bossy as the day is long, and possessed of the sure knowledge that she is ALWAYS right. Ouch.
I'm not sure I believe in "generational curses" in quite the way that others do, but I do believe some of the characteristics handed down in the old DNA can shock you in their, ahem, familiarity. It's one thing to recognize your own faults and battle them in yourself every day, but to turn around and battle them again in a smaller (but much cuter) package can be overwhelming, to say the least.
But Sissy is unlike me in many wonderful ways. She possesses an astounding imagination that I completely lack; she acts out elaborate stories, sings her own songs, choreographs her own dances. She has a natural physical grace that is amazing (my husband's nickname for me is "Stumbleina") and a curiosity about knowing everything there is to know in the whole, wide world. She loves nature, animals, and bugs. Me, not so much.
That God. If he didn't wrap up some of our hardest lessons in such beautiful packages, what would we do?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stockholm Syndrome

Diaper Cake for my SIL

Another thing I'll be featuring is stuff I've made. I'm warning you, I'm a SAHM who homeschools...if I didn't make stuff I'd be in the corner with my thumb stuck in my mouth, mumbling to myself. So, you'll be forced to look at things I've made...and you'll LIKE it.

Jumping Into the Fray

Howdy, all!

I'm so glad to get this blog up off the ground. I've been messing around with it for quite awhile and am just ready to get on with it already. So, even if I'm just shouting into the void that is the internets, that's OK with me. I'm sure the two lovelies for whom this blog is named will figure prominently in many posts, but for now, let me just say: Hello, potential imaginary friends! Can't wait to potentially meet you!