Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Doing my job as Chief Worrywart

Where I work, I often see kids with injuries.  Some are relatively minor, some are drastically not.  I thank my lucky stars we don't have a trampoline or ATV and the boys aren't into high contact sports - even if Firstborn does love skateboarding. But for some reason the girl is the most injured among our kids.  Maybe it's because she just puts herself out there, in harm's way, living life large.  Broken toes, tendonitis, possible concussion, hairline fracture of her elbow with nerve damage...I really thought all of that was coming to an end and had breathed a sigh of relief in February.  We were almost done with high school sports...  Warning:  look away from the following pics if you are feeling sensitive today...you were warned. 

I cannot even express how badly it sucked to have her injured at the last game, senior night, right before finals.  It was bad for her, too, and I know it was only a clavicle, but people, you actually do need your clavicles, ok?  And now hers has a lovely piece of steel and 8 screws.
And that's not the worst part...the worst part is...
She has a walk-on tryout meeting for basketball at Texas State on Wednesday.
I want to wish her well, but I also want her wrapped in bubble wrap from head to toe.




Monday, August 30, 2010

Pretty lamp

Not too long ago I repainted my desk lamp.  Painting it made it a little more pleasing, but it wasn't the style I really wanted, nor the look; it was a temporary fix.  Until today!  I had found a wooden stick lamp at Goodwill for $3.  Some "Italian Olive" spray paint and voila! Gorgeous green!
Add to that a little of the fabric leftover from this basket project and I love how it makes my desk  prettier and little more inviting.
Here's what I did:
Laying my lampshade on a big piece of paper, I held the pencil close to the edge and rolled it around from seam to seam.  This was tricky with holding a camera, too. Please excuse the shaky pic!
I then cut the shape out to use as my pattern - beforehand I was careful to make sure it fit all around the shade before I cut out the fabric.  Gosh I love this fabric...I think it was $3 a yard at Wally World while they were putting all fabric on clearance - they don't carry fabric by the bolt anymore...boo! hiss!
I used a pencil on the wrong side of the fabric to make where to cut.  I cut it exactly to fit the shade; I didn't want to tuck under the edges.  (Make sure you don't cut it "upside down" if you have a one way design.)
I squeezed craft glue directly onto the shade and used a foam brush to spread it around in a thin film then just pressed the fabric to it and smoothed it out as I went.  Yes, that is the world's ugliest ironing board cover...
Ideally, you want to match the seams so you only have one seam showing when your lamp is lit, instead of two.  I did the best I could and gave it a little overlap as well.  Imperfectly beautiful, you know!  I sealed the edges with a small amount of craft glue to keep the fabric from ever fraying.
I LOVE IT. 
Cost of the lamp: around $4 which includes the lamp, a small amount of spray paint, and shade and fabric that I already had.  Plus, it only took me about 15 minutes. The colors in the fabric are green, terra cotta, purple, and gold - and look so good with everything else in there.  I might add a little trim onto the edges, but I'm not making rash promises here.  On to the next project!






Sunday, August 29, 2010

My thrifty "day off"

Well, I didn't get a real day off, mind you.  But I did ease up on my To Do list and allow myself to go bopping around Salvation Army and Hob Lob on Friday as a reward for a successful first week back to school (:  Check out what I got:
At Hobby Lobby I spent $22 with tax and got the pumpkin I had been coveting, a round fall candle, and some decorative little gourds and pinecones.  The pumpkin was 50% off! Yeah!  I have plans for the candle and little thingiebobbers.  More on that later...then I stopped at a Salvation Army I had never visited. The store was HUGE, well-lit and very clean.  I will definitely visit there again.  Turns out it was half off Bric-A-Brac day so I spent a whopping $3 on a cute silver wire basket, that lovely amber colored vase with tiny bubbles in the glass, and the daisy plate.  As soon as I got home, I got busy on the plate, I had a plan, you see...
I cleaned it up and rounded up some of the leftover fabric from the girl's room re-do.  Added modge podge, fixed bumpers on the bottom and now...
It's a pretty catch-all for coins, jewelry, name badge, keys, etc.  I got to use my glitter modge podge, and tho you can't see it in this pic, it adds a little extra sparkle to the plain fabric.  The silver basket is also going in her room, as an "In Box" for mail on her desk.  
Hey, maybe thrifting once a week should be in my regular routine!



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bacon Ranch Chicken Crock Pot

I saw this recipe recently on someone's blog.  (I will get better about writing down exactly who, I promise.  I get so many good ideas from everyone who blogs and must give credit where it's due!) It reminded me of a dish that was brought to our house after we had baby #2 by some sweet friends.  You wrap chicken breasts in bacon, slather with a cream of chicken soup and sour cream mix, then bake.  Simple, and sooo good!
So when I saw this adaptation for the crock pot, I knew I had to try it.
I tweeked it a little, cause that's how I roll...



Bacon Ranch Chicken Crock Pot

6 Boneless chicken breasts (I always start with frozen in my crock pot)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 package Ranch dip or dressing mix
about 8 slices bacon, cooked and cut up in small pieces

I used the microwave to cook the bacon - it comes out nice and crispy and it's easy to drain off the fat if you use a microwave tray for cooking bacon.  Spray your crock with Pam. Place the breasts in the crock and salt and pepper them.  Mix the soup, Ranch Dip mix, and sour cream and pour it over the chicken. 
Scatter the bacon over it, then set it on low and go on about your day for 8 hours or so. *Note: I used reduced fat sour cream and "healthy" cream of soup just to try to be good - but the bacon was plain, old, fatty, delicious bacon!
 Served with rice, and a salad on the side.  
That sauce was velvety-smooth and would be great on noodles or mashed potatoes as well.
Easy on a school night and a great meal!







Friday, August 27, 2010

The Back to School Crazy Train

We've had a smooth week at Camp Rustown and this year is the first in a looooong time that I am a little less stressed about back to school.  Why?  Because after 15 years one is out of school and working, one is in college, one is in high school, and one is in middle school.  Only two to shop for instead of three! Or four!  Only two BTS nights to attend! For 15 years we've had at least one child in elementary school.  In 2001, oldest went to middle school,  two youngers were in elementary, and the baby was in Mother's Day Out two days a week.  By 2003, we had 2 in middle school, one in elementary.  In 2004, the baby started Kindergarten and  we had all four in school at the same time - K through ninth grade - a very busy year to say the least.  2006 - a break from middle school - yay!  By 2007, 2 were in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary.  Pretty spread out - we were feeling the burn again.  The oldest was getting ready to graduate so there was light at the end of the tunnel.  By the start of 2009 I was back to having a kid at each campus again. There were many times this made it tricky for both parents to attend BTS night.  This June #2 graduated - hooray for us! Now we are getting somewhere! We will have the "one in MS/one in HS" combo until spring of 2014 when #3 graduates.  Then the caboose will spend 3 years as our only school aged kid - a lonely place as the baby, but it will be so nice to slow down the crazy train of school for the parents....
Rustown Art

When the last one graduates, hubby and I deserve some sort of prize, or at the very least, a vacay.  It has been a tough but rewarding job, worth every gray hair, and I was glad to do it...room mom, PTA meetings, field trip chaperone, hubby as scout den leader, pit crew member for the band....etc, etc...I am getting closer to being ready for the day when Back to School doesn't exhaust me...but I will feel empathy for other moms who are just beginning that journey. (:



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sad Fig tree

My fig is not loving this Texas Summer heat...
She is suffering and I can't stand it.
I've harvested zero figs. The ones that actually form are sad and small and squirrels end up getting them.
I see fig trees in other neighbor's yards, so I know it's possible for them to thrive here...
Just a week and a half ago, my mother and I were admiring how healthy she appeared, even tho figs were no where to be seen....and now this is how she looks. Forlorn and thirsty.  I watered her.  Hubby watered her.  There is even a sprinkler head in the corner of the fence that waters her briefly a couple times a week.
Anyone got suggestions?



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just about done...

...with The Girl's room.  Want to take a peek?
Before: yellow walls, mismatched linens, LOTS of clutter
(understatement of the year)
After: walls painted "Naturally Calm" by Behr - a grey lavender. Bed on "bed elevators" making more storage room underneath, most childhood trinkets and treasures stored, frames painted silver, books stored on shelves so we can get rid of the cheapie bookcase. (yes!)
No way am I painting this IKEA furniture.
Before - this curtain is a little too country-fried, if you know what I mean...
 After - pretty sheer curtains from IKEA, lined basket, open space...room to breathe!  The girl decided she didn't need her pink lamp at the dorm  - that's OK, it looks good in her "new" room as there is a small amount of pink in her linens.

 
One, two, three pillows - not my best job on embroidery...oh, well...I was learning! 
This reminds me of that "Princess and the Pea" story...
 
A childhood favorite gets a bow and a place of honor..
  A new switch plate will help light the way...
and a little birdie says 'Tweet! This room is sweet!'
OK, I may be losing my mind - I have worked on this room for two days straight and I am now officially tired and am taking a break.  All that's left to do is re-paint the bulletin board....




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Monday, August 23, 2010

Dreaming of Fall...

As soon as I get caught up on the projects I want to do it will be Fall, my favorite time of year.  I love everything about Fall - family birthdays, the cooler weather, football games, the smell of the fire pit on the patio, decorating the house for Halloween and sitting out in the driveway with hubby and neighbors, planning and prepping for Thanksgiving...the colors, the smells, the beauty of Fall.  Time to pull down the "Fall Decor" box and see what I need to visit Hob Lob for...
...and I really want to either make or buy one of these:
This would look spiffy next to my front door!
I am dreaming of fall and wishing this heat would ease up a bit outside - geez louise!
Do you love Fall, too?


Linking up with
Thrifty Decor Chick
and getting some great ideas!

I'm not worried

I'm not.
I think you are going to have so much fun and do a great job in high school.  I think you will make many friends with your easy, genuine smile and your friendly ways.  I think you will love all the classes you picked because they interest you.  I think you will have an adventure learning your way around today but you will see many familiar faces from band camp and scouts and find that you know people you can turn to for help - upper classmen, even.
You are a great kid and you will have a successful high school experience and we are all excited for you!
And not worried one bit!
******
We love you !



Saturday, August 21, 2010

A wish for you

That you get a teacher who is young and fun and as eager to teach as you are to learn.
And a teacher who lights a fire under you to never stop being curious about the world around you.
That you "make new friends, but keep the old" - yes, I know you aren't in Brownies, but still!
Be proud of all your hard work and accomplishments because, after all, you did a great job.
And we know you are ready for the next step!
Keep doing your best and always remember...

Your parents are proud of you and love you very much!!

GOOD LUCK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, Bubbie!
********
We look forward to great things for you - you are a smart kid!


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