Friday, February 19, 2010

Give A Day, Get A Day!!

Today, my family participated in the Disney Give A Day, Get A Day program.  Originally we were supposed to drive to Florida and volunteer there tomorrow with my parents, niece and nephew.  Fortunately, we were able to keep checking the Disney site and found something in our area that we could all do.  Except Maeve.  She's too young.  Finding something that the other kids could do was not easy.  Most opportunities wanted you to be at least 16.  However, we got lucky and found something for today that we could all do!  It was indoors, only for 2 hours AND we didn't have to drive to another state!   We went to a community center where clothing, etc. is donated.  Out job was to sort through bags of clothes, discard anything that we wouldn't let our kids or mother be caught dead in, or was stained beyond repair, and hang up the rest.  We also had to pair up shoes.  Nothing too difficult.  This is the building we spent our morning in.  It's also a transitional house for women who are needing a place to stay for no more than 2 years.

Aidan and Aislinn sorting clothes.

Don't you love the look on Aidan's face?  I think they were a little grossed out by the condition of some of the clothes.  Who could blame them?  I mean, really.  People WASH your clothes before donating them!  If you wouldn't wear it, what makes you think someone else wants to?  Poor Aislinn picked up a piece of clothes that had slime on it!  GROSS!  And donating your used underwear?  YUK.  I try to only donate clothes that either don't fit, or are not my taste any longer.  And underwear, it just gets tossed.  Maybe that makes me a snob.  Whatever.  On the other hand, some of the things that come in - holy moly!  Brand new $50 jeans with the tags still on them, Nine West boots with nary a scuff mark?  Hello!!  I might just go back on Monday, when the store is open to the public and grab those babies.  Everything is only 50 cents, too.

The 2 hours passed in what seemed like the blink of an eye.   Now, we just print out our vouchers for Disney and that's it!  Easy Peasy.

Popcorn Balls

Yesterday was the Valentine's parties at the kids' schools.  I had already made several batches of pretzels and Hershey Hugs, but with the unforseen snow day on Friday followed by "Winter Break" on Monday and Tuesday, the snacks seemed to have vanished.  Hmmm....

I did make a couple more batches, but this time also made a pan of popcorn balls.  I got the recipe from Michelle who assured me that it was easy to make.  After all, I didn't feel like spending all my free time in the kitchen.  I used pink marshmallows just to make sure the finished product was nice and pink. I popped 2 bags of popcorn and let it cool for a bit before doing anything else.  Once cooled, I take out all the kernels.  (Aislinn can't eat them because of her braces)  I then mixed the melted butter, pink marshmallows and strawberry jello mix; poured it over the popcorn and stir it all up.  Doesn't it look good?

Then I sprayed an ice cream scoop generously with Pam. 

I was able to get a total of 29 scoops of popcorn balls!  Not only that, but it was a hit with the kids!!   I'll be making these again.  Once the scoops were firmed up, I put them into cupcake liners.  A quick pop into clear bags tied with ribbon and they were ready for the party.  Delicious and Adorable!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Finished Dollar Store Tray

I was going to wait until later to post, but I am positively giddy about this tray!!  I gave it a top coat of Mod Podge last night and this morning ran by Hobby Lobby to pick up some lace and other things I came across that I just had to have.  So, with lace in hand, I got out my glue gun hoped for the best.  I was not disappointed at all!!

I bought a yard of this lace.  In the end, I had maybe about 2 - 3 inches left over. 

Ignore the bottom of the tray.  I know it's a mess from all the Mod Podge and paper.  Anyhow, after the lace was glued on, I cleaned up the bottom and got out the Gorilla Glue.  I spray painted the little legs last night and they were all dry and ready to go.  Actually, the legs are drawer pulls for $1.47 for a pack of 4.

Apply a little bit of pressure and they are good to go!!  All done.  I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out.  And how inexpensive is this?  I'm in love!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mod Podge Monday!!

I'm so excited!  I've never used Mod Podge before and was a little nervous.  But then I started reading other blogs and seeing the really cool things they were making with this stuff (like this) and figured why not give it a shot.  Well today I invited Michelle over to work on some of these trays.  And yes, I actually DO have other friends besides her, but it's so much fun when you have a friend who likes the same things you do and who lives around the corner!  (btw Michelle, thanks for showing me how to use this link thing!!)   So, we grabbed our Mod Podge 

and trays and got down to business.  Before too long, mine was looking like this.

I love it!!  I also have 4 small round drawer pulls that are in my garage all spray painted white.  Tomorrow, when they are dry, I will glue them to the bottom of the tray and cover it with a sealer so we can use it for food.  How cool is that?!  I'm also going to put some lace around the bottom edge so that it looks like a dust ruffle. Actually, I just want and excuse to get out the glue gun. 

I also made some clipboards for my kids.  A while ago I won 2 of them from another blogger far more talented than I (whose name escapes me - I'm so sorry!).  Anyhow, today I finally got to work and made 2 more.  They are all done except for the initials.  I need my Cricut for that, and it's too late and too noisy to get it out.  But as of right now, I like them a lot.  What do you think?


And with that, I am a happy girl. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Big Snowstorm of Twenty-Ten!!

It seems funny even typing out the title to this post. I live in southern Georgia. We aren't supposed to get snow. If we are lucky, we get it once a year. Well, today was apparently that day. Joe's job decided to let everyone go home early today due to the "Treacherous Driving Conditions". Are they serious?? This was the road on the way to his office. Looks like wet roads to me. However, we were happy to have him home early.

Since we very rarely get any of the pretty white stuff, as soon as it starts, we throw on the coats, pile out the door and into the yard. As you can see, there is nothing even sticking on the ground. The kids don't care, they love it anyways!

Maeve likes catching snowflakes on her tongue. So do the boys.

After a little while, the snow started sticking and the snowball fights began! Aidan got Declan right in the back!

Maeve and Declan have a rare moment where they actually get along. Declan is trying to give Maeve instructions on how to build a snowman.

I feel like I have done laundry all day long, while the kids come in and out of the house changing out of wet clothes and putting on dry ones. Aislinn was outside for a little bit today, but since she had a girlfriend come over, they mostly stayed inside watching TV and playing the Wii.

These are some of my favorite pictures:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Treats!

Tomorrow was supposed to be all the Valentine's parties at school. So, in keeping with my whole "Waiting Until the Last Minute to get Everything Done" schedule, I spent part of my day in the kitchen. I made these Hershey Hugs with pretzels and M&M treats for party snacks. My husband wanted to take some to work, so I made extra for him, too. I know, I'm such a good wife, it's almost nauseating. Anyhow, the snacks are super easy to make and they are practically bite-sized so there is hardly any wasted. They are so good. Start with some square shaped pretzels and add a Hug. The regular kisses won't work. Something about chocolate and white chocolate cooking differently. Pop them into the oven at around 250 degrees for a few minutes until the Hug starts to get all shiny and softened, but not too melted. These are fresh from the oven.

Take them out and put on a couple of M&M's! Mine are all pinks and reds for Valentine's Day. (This is such a great snack any time of year because the M&M's change color for the holidays.) After the M&M's are on, just slide the whole cookie sheet in the fridge to harden. I leave mine in overnight and the next morning, Voila!! Instant party hit.

The problem now? School was just cancelled for tomorrow due to the possibility of snow. Not only that, but the kids have their winter break on Monday and Tuesday. Do you think these are still going to be here by Wednesday? Not a chance.

Drums, Baseball, Drama - Oh, my!!

What am I getting myself into? Drums lessons with Aislinn have officially started. They are only once a week so that's not too bad. It's the at-home practices I'm worried about. I better stock up on Tylenol while I can. She wanted a female instructor and I must say that the girl teaching her is super nice. And tall. Instead of going to a music store who offers private lessons that cost an arm and a leg, we went through the local college. We called the Conservatory at Columbus State, who matches you up with students willing to give lessons to make some extra money. They also let us use any of the instruments at the college which is great. By the end of the first practice Aislinn was reading the music like she'd been doing it for months. (It just looked like a bunch of doodles to me.) This week, she started Aislinn out on the snare drum. Next week, she's going to be on the entire drum kit. Cymbals and all. I think I'll get the Tylenol tomorrow.

Last week, Aidan had his baseball tryouts. He's been playing for several seasons and loves it. He plans on playing for the Atlanta Braves. Anyhow, they have a draft each year so all the kids have to come and try out. The coaches are funny to watch. They carry around their clipboards and make notes on all the kids. During the games you will see them checking out other games and making notes on which kids to look for at tryouts, etc. I swear, if you look close enough, you might see money change hands! I thought little league was supposed to be about boys playing ball and having fun. Not in the south. It's serious business. The head of the league in our area called last night and asked us if we were willing to put Aidan up to A-ball, instead of B-ball. I guess some of the A-ball coaches have been watching him and want him moved up now instead of waiting until next year. I told him no, but thanks. I'd rather he get another year of experience first. Not sure how it went over, but at least he respected our decision. Now we are waiting to find out who the coach is and the practice schedule. Two days a week for practice and another day, possibly two a week, for games. The season seems to never end. I just hope it doesn't interfere with the school play he signed up for! He has his first read on March 1st. If he makes the cast, he will practice at least 2 times a week until May. I'm getting tired just thinking of all the running around I'm going to have to do. I think it's time to buy another car.

It's Amore!!

While I was over at Michelle's house last week making our burlap wreaths, I saw that she had made some of the cutest frames. She is pretty creative and I love everything she comes up with, because you know, I have no creative talent at all. I just wait for her to make something and copy it. Anyhow, when we got together yesterday, I brought over all my supplies to make my own. I have to say it was very easy to make these. You just start with this stuff...

And in no time at all, you end up with these:

On the X and O frames, I used small, clear marbles that were flat on one side. The glue is strong enough to hold regular marbles, but I just had visions of them all falling off and making such a huge racket during the night and scaring me half to death, that I opted for the flat sided ones instead. I will warn you that if you've never used this glue, it smells very strong.

I also made this heart one. I accidentally made the heart a little too close to the bottom of the frame. Nothing a little ribbon tied in a bow at the top couldn't fix once I got home.

I think this might have looked much better with smaller marbles, but I couldn't find any in the same shade of red, and I really wanted this color. Overall I like how they all turned out. Plus, when my kids saw them, they asked if I could do a frame for their rooms with their initials! I can't wait to get started!

The Dance

Last Friday night was the Denim & Diamonds dance over at the middle school where my two oldest kids go. Personally, I think it's a good idea for the kids to have small dances like this to go to, rather than their first dance being something more formal, like a Homecoming. At least now they can see what it's like and have a little experience with dances. The dress was casual (denim) or you could dress up if you wanted. Some kid even showed up in a limo. Serously. Anyhow, my kids opted for the denim. Can't say as I blame them. After all, it is February. Some of these kids, though, Lord have mercy, they were dressed up. Not to mention, a few of the girls had apparently raided their mom's make-up drawer. And applied it themselves. Yikes!

Aislinn wore this really cute white jacket with rhinestone studs on it. She has real diamond earrings, but was afraid to wear them in case they got lost. Smart girl!

Here is Aidan chilling out on the bleachers. He is such a people watcher!

A girl in his class asked him to the dance. While he said no to her, he still wanted to go and hang out with his friends. It turns out, he went and the girl did not go after all. I felt so bad when I found that out. Still, there was about 150 kids there and it looked like they had a good time. (I stayed to chaperone.) Besides, I wanted to see who the girl was that asked Aidan! They had a DJ that played songs for line dancing. Of course, when the Electric Slide came on, none of the kids knew what it was. So some of the adults, *cough cough*, went out on the floor and did it. Yes, as a matter of fact, we did all look cool. Except to Aislinn. She proceeded to come up to me while I was back at my post on the bleachers, and tell me her friends kept commenting to her that "Oh My God! Aislinn, your mom is dancing!" I think she might have been embarrassed. Mission accomplished!! hehe

Monday, February 8, 2010

What I like about Winter

I was going through some old posts and noticed one that was about my favorite summertime things. So, I thought I'd post about what I like about winter. I love drinking hot chocolate; snuggling under a warm blanket; lighting a fire; the smell of the air when it's crisp and cool; wearing thick socks; when the leaves have turned and are falling (I know that's more of a fall thing, but I love it anyways); cardinals; the smell of someone else's fireplace going; eating hot foods that you just don't make in the summertime because the kitchen gets too hot; putting up holiday decorations; and Christmas vacation. I'm sure there's more, but I'll end it there.

Later on, I will post about this past weekend and the school dance!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 2

So what else has been new over the past few months? Well, I got a job. I've been a stay at home mom for over 12 years. The thought of starting back to work just about gave me hives. But, we all have our crosses to bear, so I applied to a few places and waited. Because, you know, there is such a demand for those who haven't worked on a computer since WordStar was popular. Anyhow, as luck would have it, I got a call, interviewed and while there, was actually offered the job! According to my daughter, since I was hired on the spot, the must have been desperate. Yeah, thanks a lot. Anyway, I set out to purchase something that didn't have an elastic waistband, or involve shoelaces. And pantyhose! Dear God, what was I getting myself into? I managed to find a few items and bring them home, rather proud of myself. However, upon trying on said purchases, I returned them to the store. Except the shoes. You can never have enough. And I'm sorry to say, I kept the hose as well. Next on my shopping list was a car. We sold one of our cars over the summer and have yet to replace it. During this time, Joe and I were talking about the job and how the 2 youngest would have to go to an after school program. My kids have never been in a daycare at all. Declan was happy to finally have some kids his own age to play with. Maeve was not happy. I don't blame her at all. She's only 4 and wanted me to keep picking her up after school. Then she started waking up with nightmares. Every night. For a week. When the light dawned as to why, we realized that this was not going to work. We didn't want her to feel this kind of stress. I know that there are parents who don't have a choice and need to provide childcare so they can work. I get that. But I wasn't one of them. It was just not worth it. Once we told Maeve that I was going to stay home and life as we knew it was staying the same, the nightmares stopped. She is a happy girl once more. Now if I can find a job from home, I'm there! And I won't need another car either.

Also,we were going to Drama classes a few times each week, and Declan broke his pinkie finger while riding his bike. Thankfully he didn't hit his head, because he didn't wear his helmet. I'm hoping he learned his lesson. It's been no fun sitting out of gym class for a month while his finger heals. Poor baby.

I've been doing a few craft projects. The latest one is a burlap wreath. I really like how it turned out. I got together with Michelle the other day and put this one together. Whatcha think? I can't wait to put it up!

Also, this week, my daughter got braces! She is thrilled with them. Actually, I think she was just looking forward to getting blue rubber bands. The shirt she has on is from the orthodontist. (Um, HELLO! I'm the one who paid him. Where's MY shirt???) Anyhow, it says "Custom Grill Work" on it. Love it! She's decided it makes a pretty cool nightshirt.

We were told that as the day wore on, her teeth would start to become a little sore. Well, when I got home in the afternoon, I found her lying on her bed with an ice pack on her teeth! (Personally, I think the Drama classes may have added to this) Two days later, and she is good to go. The bonus is that she is bringing her tooth brush to school for after lunch! Gotta love that.

What else? Last week I signed up at a local gym for a 6 week session. Today, I went with Michelle to take the Kickboxing class. Oh. My. Goodness. I am sore. I want to cry. My legs are hurting something awful. I'm making myself feel better by eating cookies. Tomorrow I am taking a weights class, so if I make it out alive, I will let you know how it went.

Ooh! Before I forget, tomorrow night is the Denim & Diamonds dance at my kids' middle school!! My 2 oldest kids are going. *Sqeal* You're darn right I'm going. I need to take pictures!

Have a nice night!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

After quite a hiatus

I am back!! Please, hold your applause. Just like everyone else, things have been hectic over the past few months. But, after receiving threats from family and friends, I've decided to give this blog thing another chance. Wish me luck.

Usually September through February is a blur. But, I will try to catch you up.

In September, Declan turned 7. I am always surprised by each birthday and the fact that he's never broken a bone. Next year, I can't say that, ahem. More later. In October, Aislinn turned 12! I am being reminded, on a nearly daily basis, that she's almost a teen. As if I could ever erase the memory of her body trying to gnaw and claw it's way out of my girlie goodies. We also took a family vacation, with Joe's mom, to Hilton Head, SC. We had a lot of fun kayaking, playing mini golf, going to the beach and lots of other stuff, too. Hilton Head is a beautiful place and I highly recommend it to anyone. We are looking forward to going back one day. This November, we stayed in town for Thanksgiving. My parents as well as my niece and nephew came up to stay for a week. I love it when the kids come up with my folks. They are the only cousins my kids have and we don't get to see them nearly enough. They are also about the same ages as my kids. This time I don't think there was any fighting!! On black Friday, the girls, except Maeve, got up and out early this year to start the Christmas shopping. It's become a family tradition, and my niece, Oceon, was upset when she almost missed it. Christmas was fun. Joe's mom came to visit and see the kids all open presents. I think they pretty much got what they were hoping for, so it was a success. January rolled around and brought us Joe's birthday. Since it is so close to Christmas, we usually don't do gifts, but instead he chooses any special food to be made. From scratch. Did I ever mention that I am NOT Betty Crocker? I give it my best shot anyhow. This time the desert was an incredible chocolate torte. It was so good! Betty Crocker - Eat your heart out!!

Also during the past few months, I've been busy around the house. I've painted my foyer, which is now my FAVORITE room in the whole house! The paint is Gentle Fawn by Glidden.

I love the color. My foyer used to be a very light, almost cream color. Same as the living room. In fact, my house is painted in all pastel colors. I feel like I'm trapped in a nursery! I want to paint the fireplace wall this same brown color. *sigh* It's love.

I've also FINALLY hung up some valances that have been in my closet for over 3 years. I'm hoping it will get me moving on painting the living room. I love these curtains. My favorite part, they aren't hung with a rod, but cup hooks!!

What else? Oh yeah. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my parents and I made my daughter a headboard. It was so easy. All you need is plywood, fabric, some kind of padding (I used a twin sized egg crate that fits on a mattress) and a heavy duty staple gun. Viola!! I love it. As a matter of fact, I think I might have gone looking for anything else in the house to staple. I'm not sure. Just sayin'.

I'll be back later on to show you some more things. I don't want to overwhelm you all at once! Have a great day.
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