Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday night we had my brothers and their spouses/girlfriends, as well as our neighbors over to play Dominoes. Everyone laughs when we mention our Domino tournaments...but they get pretty loud and rowdy!
Thursday was Thanksgiving dinner at my parents for my mom's side of the family. It was nice to see all of my cousins. The family keeps growing and growing and it seems harder and harder to get everyone in one place. I treasure the one or two times a year it happens. We also had birthday cake and gifts for Josie at my parents. I won't be winning "Mother of the Year" this year since I forgot birthday candles. The poor kid had two flaming toothpicks on her cake. (Sorry, Dozie-Bug!)
Friday, Kyle convinced me to venture to the mall with him and the girls. We didn't arrive until after 4pm and only had to make a few stops. That's only the second time in my life I've been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Not too bad - great deals though!
Saturday night, my brother Phil organized a surprise party for his girlfriend, Sarah. Last week she returned from a college semester in Australia and he wanted to have a "Welcome Home" party for her. It was fun. It gets pretty noisy and a little crazy when all of the Payne kids and my cousins Shelly and Jeff get together. Gotta' love us though!
Sunday we stayed home and relaxed. Kyle shot his deer, and the girls and I snuggled on the couch and watched Barbie Princess and the Pauper. (Confession: I love the Barbie movies. There. I said it.)
I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and had much to be thankful for.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Two days before the season ends, Kyle shot a deer. He calls it a "sympathy" deer, my neighbor called it a unicorn. It only has one, large, long antler–we're not sure what happened to the other one. However, we're not picky. The past two years my brother has been giving us venison. This year I'm proud to say my husband will be filling our freezer. Good job Kyle, we're proud of you!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Gift Idea: Green Toys Tea Set and Green Toys Tool Set
Great For: Boys and girls, ages 2 and older. (The tool set does have two smallish pieces, so use your judgment for children under the age of 2.)
Why: We've had the tea set for a while - the girls enjoy it daily, and Josie received the tool set for her birthday yesterday. Our neighbors and our nieces and nephews play with the tea set when they are over - and they range in ages 5 through 12 (it gets a lot of use!) Both of the sets are made from 100% post consumer recycled milk jugs, they contain no phthalates or BPA, are sold in 100% recyclable packaging, and nicest of all...Made in USA!
Price: I found these for less $18 each on Amazon.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Birthday you little ball of trouble - we love you dearly - mischief and all.
Oh...and those pumpkins pies you "sampled" yesterday... the rest of the family can probably overlook the empty spots, it being your birthday and all.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (And happy 0-2 Dozie Bug!)
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Ellie drew this for me yesterday. It's a drawing of Mommy's big baby belly.
She informed me that was her first house. She lived there with Josie.
They played games and slept a lot.
I think that's accurate.
(I also think the giant legs and back-side are depicted correctly. I gained 60 lbs. with that kid!)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I'm not a lipstick wearer. I love the way it looks, but I kiss my husband and kids too much throughout the day for it to be practical. (They'd all look like they have some type of kiss-pocks.)
Last week, one of my magazines featured Cover Girl Lipstain as one of it's New Best Buys. I haven't worn anything Cover Girl on my lips since the 8th grade when the roller ball glosses and "Slick Sticks" were all the rage. But this stain sounded right up my alley, so the next time I was in Muskegon I picked up a color.
Not bad, not bad at all...I put it on after washing my face and rubbing in my moisturizer. It kind of feels like you're writing on your lips with a Sharpie marker, but by the time I walk downstairs for coffee, it's dry. It gives me the perfect little color boost. (I'm not a fan of the washed-out over-tired mom look.)
It's been lasting me until about 3pm or so and is great under the lipbalm I apply and re-apply no less than 10 times a day.
If you have an extra $6 and need a little pick-me-up – give it a try!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Here is the picture that Amy took of Dana, Brooke and Zach. The three stars in my story from last Thursday.
I sent the story and photo to our local paper. I hope (for the kids' sake) they print it. There has been so much negative news in our town this past year - everyone could use a good heart-warmer before the holidays!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This shirt (and a matching one for Josephine) were my fall projects. I've been quite busy with work, so a sewing project that would typically take a few days, took a few months. However, they were worth the wait.
The Woodlands Shirt pattern is from Sew Liberated. I love the accent stitching and the old buttons. My favorite part...
The little tree embroidered on the pocket.
I'll get pictures of both shirts when they wear them together on Thursday.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
It looks like this:
Ellie and Josie can share about 30 minutes of play time before I have to break up a disagreement - but I'm not complaining!
Friday afternoon, while Josie napped, Ellie stepped on a toy. She was sitting on my lap crying when her tears took a turn for the worse. I knew she was tired from her morning at school, but there had to be something else that was making her so sad. When I asked her to please tell me what else was wrong she said this to me:
"I just don't want Josie to take a nap anymore. I want her to be a bigger girl."
I tried to explain that Josephine needs her afternoon nap. Eleanor wasn't convinced.
"But Mommy..." she said. "I'm just so lonely at nap time!"
Goodness sakes. I wish she loved her little sister that much the rest of the time!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Gift Idea: Mini Glass Prep Bowls
Great For: Anyone who loves to cook or bake.
Why: First, a confession...when I was little I loved playing "Julia Childs". I would use my Mom's small Tupperware bowls, fill them with "ingredients" and speak in a strange voice while "cooking" a masterpiece. I'm not kidding. Back to the gift...Kyle's Aunt passed away a little over a year ago. While helping pack her belongings for storage I came across three Mini Prep Bowls in a drawer. I asked if I could have them if no one else needed them. I was told they were mine – and I was excited. Since then I've used these bowls no less than five times a week. They've become those things you didn't know you needed. I love 'em! (Plus, I think of Aunt Lin each time I pull them out of the drawer.)
Price: I found these for $9.95 at Crate and Barrel.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
At 10 o’clock that Saturday, I heard a knock at the door. It opened a crack and the face of our neighbor, Brooke, peeked through the opening. She pushed her way in, followed by my niece, Dana. “Aunt Lisa”, Dana asked “May we borrow your garage if it rains?” This unusual request took me a second to process. “Sure, but for what?” I asked. The two girls quickly, and excitedly, explained that they were having a sale at the end of Brooke’s driveway, and since our house was closer, our garage was a closer refuge if this beautiful fall day took a turn for the worse.
The girls left, and not much later I could hear a commotion outside. A glance out the window revealed Brooke, Dana, Brooke’s brother Zach and their black Labrador Daisy, all jumping up and down trying to drum up some business. (Well, not Daisy. She was sitting with her head cocked to one side watching the rowdy children.) The site made me smile. I think I need to point out that the three of them were hosting a sale on a dirt road that has only five houses its entire length – not the busiest place on a Saturday morning. My mother-in-law was in town that day, so the two of us walked outside to do a little shopping.
The small table that Brooke and Dana had set out was covered with a few sheets of stickers, one cupcake, and 5 or 6 small rocks with the words “You Made My Day!” written on them in black marker. A few little signs stated “Stickers 1¢” and “Rocks $1”, but the sweetest sight on that sad little display was a sign that read Sale for Cancer.
A few dollars lighter (and a rock or two heavier) my mother-in-law and I walked back to my house, discussing how proud we were of those three kids. Little did we know how proud we’d be by the end of the evening.
After lunch, my husband and I packed up the family and headed out for the afternoon. Before we reached the end of our driveway we saw a few more goods for sale on the table. My neighbor, Amy (Brooke and Zach’s mother), had made a batch of cookies for the kids to sell. “They needed something besides rocks!” she told me. They had also put out a sign that read “Pet Daisy - $1.00”. To my surprise the cupcake had sold. (Earlier, I had called my parents – Dana’s grandparents – and told them about the activity on our road that morning.) Apparently, one cupcake was exactly what my mother was shopping for that day. We said goodbye to the group and wished them luck with the rest of their afternoon.
When we arrived back home that evening, my phone rang. It was my sister-in-law, Marge. “Guess how much money the kids made today?” she asked. “How much?” I replied. “You’ll never believe it…seventy five dollars!” I listened, speechless. “How on earth did they do that?” was my eventual response. Marge went on to explain that after we left, business picked up considerably. The word spread about the three kids and the Sale for Cancer on Stone Rd. Amy provided more cookies, and even baked a few loaves of zucchini bread. The dog petting didn't bring in as much as the kids had hoped (Daisy kept getting bored and would run back to the house) but the stickers, rocks, and baked goods were a hit. The grand total…$75.63.
I’m really proud of Dana, Brooke and Zach. These children spent one of the last beautiful weekends of fall, not riding their bikes or playing in the yard, but sitting at the side of a quiet, dirt road, hosting a Sale for Cancer.
The next time you want to donate money to a good cause, take a drive down Stone Road. I can’t guarantee they’ll be offering receipts for tax purposes, but I can promise you that every last dime you donate will go to a good cause. Plus, you might get to pet Daisy for a dollar – not a bad deal at all!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- Searched high and low for the best airfare
- Booked a flight
- Realized two hours later that I booked for the wrong return flight
- Canceled our tickets
- Looked again for airfare
- Booked our flights again
- Went to bed
- Woke up
- Got the girls ready for school and Grandma's
- Returned home
- Answered the phone to hear my husband say "Can you still cancel our tickets? We're not going."
So, wait...don't hit me over the head with a shovel...I feel like that's already happened.
Thank you SO MUCH for all the great ideas for flying with children. I'll certainly use them in the future - just not the near future.
Monday, November 16, 2009
I know the basics - something to chew on while taking off and landing, something to keep them entertained - but what?
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tonight - time to do some laundry, straighten up the house, and veg on the couch with the girls and Kyle.
This week - work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then off to Dallas on Thursday for a long weekend with Grandpa and Nana Kirker.
We have a busy week ahead of us. I'm going to enjoy tonight's couch time immensely.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Have a great Saturday, I know we'll be enjoying every minute of it!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Gift Idea: Endless Scarf
Great For: The friend, sister, mother-in-law who loves being cozy!
Why: Last winter I saw one of these on Etsy. Since I don't knit (I'd probably strangle myself with yarn), I thought for a bit about how to do this the easy way.
How to Make: Find an old scarf (or buy a new one), the fuzzier the better. Lay it out, bring the two short ends together, and hand-sew them together. To wear, simply wrap around your neck a few times.
Price: The price of a scarf. (This one was knit for me by my Grandma Payne. Being grandma-made makes it extra cozy.)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
So far I've made five of the recipes in this book, big "YUM" to all of them. It's comfort food, it's getting colder, it's necessary that one of you share the wealth and gain a few lbs. along with me this winter. Pioneer Woman to the rescue!
If you'd like a copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks, leave a comment telling me what your favorite comfort food is. (Even leave me the recipe if you're so inclined!)
Good luck. I'll draw a name next Wednesday!
First, this made me laugh. Is Josie an addict? Then I realized she needs to start breaking the habit - at least during the day. We'll allow the paci at bedtime and naptime, but no longer during the day.
I tried to break this to her gently. It hasn't gone over well.
She's asked me four times already if she can take her nap. It's only 7:50AM.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Josie remembered them. All of them.
This morning at 6AM, I woke to Josie's voice over the monitor...
"Bad boy! Bad boy! What de dunna do, dum for you?"
I PROMISE my child does not watch violent police reality shows. Promise!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Well...here it is! Instead of using Ellie and Josie's old socks, I decided old tights would work better. Tights are still "tight" enough to stay up on their own and have the length for the bunchy leg warmer look. You could also use knee socks, they'd give you the length you need.
How to make leg warmers out of tights (or socks)
Find a pair of tights. You could certainly buy a new pair, but I used tights that were a little too short for the girls.
Lay the tights flat, lining the legs up side to side.
Cut off the top portion as close to the crotch seam as possible.
Cut off the feet. (For some reason I find this picture to be kind of sad!)
Almost done. Now it's time to sew the open ends. I initially folded the ends over 1/2" and pinned them, but the result was too bulky. I found that simply rolling the edge over as you sewed made a much better seam.
Fold the edge over 1/4" to 1/2" and zig-zag stitch on the smallest setting. Back stitch at the start and end of your seam.
Repeat the zig-zag hem on all four openings.
You're done! Cover your favorite little legs with their new leg warmers!
I suggest hand-washing the leg warmers. I don't think the folded hems would fray too much, but better safe than sorry.
Ellie and Josie love them. My intention was for the warmers to be worn over leggings, but instead they've been wearing them with skirts, under pants, with pajamas. Hey...at least I know they are cozy!
Friday, November 6, 2009
Gift Idea: Buddah Bowl
Great For: The ice cream or popcorn lover
Why: Last summer when I went to Traverse City with my friend Tracey, we stopped to visit my friend Linda at The Happy Woman in Suttons Bay. I wondered what these silly "Buddha Bowls" were and picked one up. My goodness! They melt right into the shape of your hand. Even though it was 80˚ outside, my mind immediately imagined curling up in front of a roaring fire with a big bowl of ice cream.
Where to Buy: The Happy Woman online store
Thursday, November 5, 2009
A few months ago I pre-ordered The Pioneer Woman Cooks - I love Ree Drummond's blog about life on an Oklahoma ranch, and her recipes never fail. The book arrived on Saturday and I spent Sunday reading through every last page, compiling a list of what to make this week.
So far I've made her pizza crust, modified her calzone recipe, and had a taste-off last night to compare her Linguine and Clams to my recipe. (Kyle liked mine a little better, I don't use cream. Either he's being honest or he's just the sweetest husband on Earth.) But, the pancakes I made this morning...holy macaroni...they are amazing!
Small discs of morning heaven. Not too dense, not too thin. Tons of flavor. Drenched in real butter and real maple syrup. Yum.
I either need to promise myself I'll only make them once in a while, or move the treadmill into the kitchen.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
We grabbed the camera and tried to caputure the site, but the photos weren't turning out. Kyle called our friend Tim, and this is what he sent me this morning:
FROM NASA: Have you ever seen a halo around the Moon? This fairly common sight occurs when high thin clouds containing millions of tiny ice crystals cover much of the sky. Each ice crystal acts like a miniature lens. Because most of the crystals have a similar elongated hexagonal shape, light entering one crystal face and exiting through the opposing face refracts 22 degrees, which corresponds to the radius of the Moon Halo.
Thanks, Tim, for the photos. They are great!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
In the midst of grumpy kids and lack of sleep, I've been swamped with work this past month, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As soon as holiday advertising is wrapped up I get to spend time on fun stuff again. I have a small pile of sewing that I need to do before Christmas - including tunics for the girls that I can't wait to show you! Last week FROG PRINCESS and Wendy challenged me to A) find a way to make legwarmers for the girls out of socks, and B) bake a breakfast cookie that kids will eat. The timing on these challenges was perfect, two similar ideas were floating around in my head lately anyway, and it's been fun thinking about what I'll come up with.
Until then, I need to quit procrastinating this morning and get back to work/motherhood. Have a great Tuesday!
Monday, November 2, 2009
My mother-in-law, Jessica, had framed new photos of Eleanor, Josephine and cousin Anna. I noticed one of Josie right away - it made my heart stop. The smile on her face, the chubby cheeks. She looked so much younger than the girl she is today, yet the photo couldn't have been that old.
I had to have a copy. Jessica wracked her brain trying to remember which of us took it. Aunt Kellie, Aunt Amy? Did she take the photo? We searched through her photo archives and even logged on to Kodak Gallery to try and pin-down the original.
Then it occurred to me...I took the picture.
How is it possible that when I captured this in April it was just a sweet picture, yet when I see it six months later it brings tears to my eyes?
I think the answer is in how quickly things change. My pudgy little baby is almost two, and when I see her every day it's easy to overlook gradual transformations. The little girl I carried out of her "big girl" bed this morning is the same little girl in this picture that's just half a year old. It's hard to believe.
Maybe it's easy to believe, just hard to accept. I have a feeling this is the face I'll see in my mind ten, twenty, thirty years from now. And you know, it's a pretty sweet one.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Ok, so it's this morning vs. last evening, but here's a photo of our little Trick-or-treaters.
We stopped at the Great-Grandmother's houses, Grandpa and Grandma Payne's, Uncle Denny and Aunt Luann's, Cousin Shelly's, and our friend Nancy's. Those seven stops provided us with plenty of candy!