Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dog, Cat & Rat

Got this in an email from my mother-in-law.

"This is a video of a homeless man in Santa Barbara and his pets. They work State Street every week for donations. The animals are pretty well fed and are mellow. They are a family. The man who owns them rigged up a harness for his cat so she wouldn't have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along, and as no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and, often, on the cat!"

"The dog, will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him for a few chin scratches. The Mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a holiday card."

Thanks, Martha

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I've Been Doing All Day

Can you believe all these cookies? I've never made so many cookies! Cookies, cookies, cookies! Find the recipe over on Southern Plate. This recipe is supposed to make 112 cookies. It feels like 1112 to me - ha! They're good though.

I also tried my hand at making peppermint bark.

We're having our Christmas with my in-laws tomorrow at our house, so I've been busy, busy, busy cleaning and cooking and wrapping presents. Had to take Maddie to the doctor today. Turns out she's got an ear infection - her very first one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Little Drummer Boy - Johnny Cash

I don't know why, but this is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs. Maybe it's because my grandparents played this record every year at Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Maddie Asks Why

One day while in the car, Maddie started asking me tons of "why" questions. Some of them made me laugh, so I decided to write them down. Here's just a few:

Why don't cars fly?
Why do bees fly?
Why do elephants blow air and water out of their trunks at you?
Why do trucks don't drive themselves?
Why do trees have leaves?
Why do books don't move?
Why do monsters have legs?
Why do mamas have eyelashes and eyes?
Why do bears growl at you?
Why do ducks scare you sometimes?
Why do potties don't fly either?
Why do I hide?
Why does the sky have clouds?
Why do pigs oink?
Why do I jump?
Why do fairies fly?
Why do you have a nose?
Why do books have pages?
Why do peoples have arms?
Why do doors have a knob?
Why does a remote put on shows?
Why do pumpkins have stems?
Why do lamps don't turn theirselves on?
Why do I love you?
Why do the birds tweet?
Why do pillows have pillowcases?
Why do I shut the door?

I'm sure there's plenty more to come. Now, if I only knew the answer to all of them.

What Christmas Is All About


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What To Buy A Man For Christmas

Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1: When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it. Men love saying those two words. “Hey George, can I borrow your ratchet?” “OK. By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?” Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car: a 99 cent ice scraper, a small bottle of de-icer or something to hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Never buy men bathrobes. Once I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn’t have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out. If you have a lot of money, buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner. Watch him go wild as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after-shave or deodorant. I’m told they do not stink — they are earthy.

Rule #7: Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. “Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink.” You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #8: Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over. No one knows why.

Rule #9: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire. (NAPA Auto Parts and Sears Clearance Centers are also excellent men’s stores.) It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t know what it is. (”From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need. Hey! Isn’t this a starter for a ‘68 Ford Fairlane? Wow! Thanks.”)

Rule #10: Men enjoy danger. That’s why they never cook - but they will barbecue (No one knows why). Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell him the gas line leaks. “Oh the thrill! The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?”

Rule #11: Tickets to a football game are a smart gift. However, he will not appreciate tickets to “A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts.” Everyone knows why.

Rule #12: Men love chain saws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chain saw. If you don’t know why, please refer to Rule #7 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule #13: It’s hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder. Never buy a real man a stepladder. It must be an extension ladder. No one knows why.

Rule #14: Rope. Men love rope. It takes them back to their cowboy origins, or at least the Boy Scouts. Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8″ manila rope. No one knows why.


I wonder, is there any truth to this?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Newest Member Of Our Family

Meet Wallie. Isn't he adorable? He is nine months old. We adopted him from the wonderful people over at Arlington Kittens & Cats. He is by far the nicest, sweetest cat I think I have ever seen.

We hope he loves us as much as we love him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - This Will Come Back To Haunt Me

I have a feeling Maddie will have issues with this. Poor baby. She looks so pitiful that it makes my heart hurt.

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sad Gingerbread House

This is possibly the saddest gingerbread house ever. My mother, sister, Maddie and I decorated it last week. Maddie and I had never decorated a gingerbread house before. As for my sister and mother, I have no excuse for them - ha!

Even though it looks horrible, we had a great time doing it.

What Movie Is Your Christmas Most Like?

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.

Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

What Movie Is Your Christmas Most Like?

I guess I never considered A Very Brady Christmas a Christmas movie. I thought for sure it would be A Christmas Story - love that movie.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Southern Plate + Southern Beauty Magazine = Greatness

Christy from my all-time favorite food blog, Southern Plate, will be a contributing writer for Southern Beauty Magazine. She's having a giveaway on her site where one very lucky Southern Plate reader will win a Beauty Basket, filled with over $200 worth of pampering products for face, hair, and body courtesy of Southern Beauty!

Go here to check it out.

Wordless Wednesday - Glamour Girl

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.

Camera Strap Cover Giveaway

Go check out this blog for a chance to win a beautiful handmade camera strap cover made by Shey B. They are adorable and I need one for a certain someone in my family!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Baby Shower

Who in their right mind would say that?


Toy-A-Day Blog

I read about this over on Tell Me Something I Don't Know. He says:

The toy-a-day blog is an awesome site that not only displays a nifty little paper toy each day, it also provides you with a corresponding PDF file that you can use to make one yourself!

Go check it out.

I Like To Move It

Madagasar 2 music video.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Squeaky Toy


Disney On Ice

We went to Disney On Ice this weekend, my mother, Maddie, myself and a friend of my mother's. I had never seen people ice skate before - well, never seen professionals ice skate before in person. It was really a neat show.

The main characters were The Incredibles. I've never seen the movie or even a cartoon of The Incredibles. Is there a cartoon? I have no idea. Anyway, the show was really cool - focused a little too much on The Incredibles for me, but still an awesome show. Definitely worth the money.

You can tell by Maddie's face below that she loved it.

In other news...we went to a Mexican restaurant after the show - El Asadero. I read about it over on a blog called Fort Worth Hole In The Wall. The food was pretty good. I've had worse and I've had better. What I did like was the mariachi band that came in and serenaded Maddie for a few bucks.

You can tell by the look on her face that she didn't care for it too much though. She said it was too loud. Aww, come on, Shorty, that's what makes it good!

Maddie's Pick - Take 7

So I totally forgot to take a picture of Maddie's favorite books this week - and I can't remember the names of any of them but one. It was my favorite. One of the cutest books I've seen in a long, long time. And here it is:

It's called When Cows Come Home for Christmas by Dori Chaconas. It's a cute story about cows coming home for Christmas and a little accident happens and they turn it into something good. Very cute rhyming story!

12 Days Of Christmas @ The Lil' Peanut Patch

The Lil' Peanut Patch

The Lil' Peanut Patch is having a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. They've selected a wide range of products to giveaway. Head over there and enter for your chance to win.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you and your families have an excellent Thanksgiving. Enjoy your time together.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maddie's Pick - Take 6

It's been a while since I've done a "Maddie's Pick". That's because the library put a hold on my account saying I still had a book that I checked out a long time ago - which I didn't. Thankfully they took it off my account.

I thought instead of listing all the books we checked out and telling you her favorite to least favorite, I figured I'd just tell you all her favorites. Makes more sense that way I think.

So here's all her favorites (and mine too!)

The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka - such a cute book that talks about a window in his grandparents' house. I think we all have a hello, goodbye window.

How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight? by Varsha Bajaj - adorable rhyming, counting book.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback - cute story about how a man has a worn overcoat and he turns that overcoat into many other things.

I Love It When You Smile by Sam McBratney - beautifully illustrated story about a mama kangaroo and her baby.

Little Rabbit Lost by Harry Horse - cute story about a bunny who thinks he's a little big for his britches and winds up getting lost and learns a lesson in the end.

Fanny by Holly Hobbie - great story about a girl who makes her own doll when her mother won't buy her a fancy schmancy made-up doll (like a Bratz). I had no idea Holly Hobbie was a real person - duh!

Wordless Wednesday - Still A Fan

This is an older picture of Maddie. My niece bought her this outfit before she was born. Even though Tech lost big time to OU last weekend, Tech still has some fans out there.

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Popular Baby Names Map

This is pretty cool. Go here to check it out.

ICE at Gaylord Texan

We went to the Gaylord Texan to see the ICE exhibit or show or whatever you want to call it. We had never been before. It was awesome.

The Gaylord itself was awesome. When I win the lottery, I'll have to stay there - ha!

It cost $52.80 for me and my husband and Maddie to see the ICE exhibit - and Maddie was free! Way too expensive.

It's 9° inside there. Felt good and refreshing at first - then near the end I was, like, get me the heck outta here!

The picture below is the ice slide. Maddie slid down it - and, yes, I did too. Someone had to walk her up those stairs! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kitty Cat


Real Housewives Of Atlanta

Do y'all watch this show? I do. All I have to say is there is only one "real" person on this show and that is:

I love this girl. She cracks me up.

And Lisa would come in a close second as far as a "real" person is concerned.

And, Kim, cat is spelled C-A-T.

Just my two cents.

Wordless Wednesday - Weeeee!!!

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.

My Little Weather Buddy

This is the cutest thing I've seen in a long time. Such a great idea.

From My Little Weather Buddy website:

Simply stick it on the window and eliminate the power struggle!

Have my little weatherbuddy show'em what to wear! Studies show self motivated children stay focused longer and complete tasks more quickly! my little weatherbuddy combines simple visuals and a little MAGIC to motivate children to make dressing FUN & EASY! It's pretty simple, my little weatherbuddy offers a unique means of teaching your child this important self-help skill, increasing their SELF ESTEEM a little each day! (It saves time too!)

You can order one for girls or one for boys. Only costs $9.95. Go here to order.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Invisible Mothers

My sister-in-law sent this to me. You might have seen it before, but I never have. Made me cry.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask me a question.

Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'

Obviously, not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.

I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England ..

Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in.

I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:

'To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.

It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.

The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right.

And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Thanks, Laura

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Things I Didn't Know Until I Had Kids

(Some of these things I still don't know - but I could add a few)

How many seconds it takes to microwave 4 fish fingers perfectly.

Who John Jacob Jingle Heimershmitt is.

Which lines of The Cat in the Hat and If I Ran the Circus can be skipped over without a child noticing.

How bright a 3 a.m. full moon is.

The design marvels that is Velcro-strap shoes.

Locations of public toilets all across town.
Never to stick a finger into a childs nappy to see if its wet.

Why anyone would bother retracing their steps for miles just to retrieve a lost 'comfort' blanket.

That tigers live in the trees in our back garden and that you have to ritually look for monsters under the bed and in cupboards.

The amazing technicolor variety and 'Play-doh' consistancy of infant stool.

The fine art of vacuuming a floor without hosing up a Barbie shoe or pieces of Lego.

That solid white socks get lost in the dryer at a much slower rate than do the mates of patterned socks that coordinate to special outfits.

How little sleep a human body truly needs to function.

Almost every Disney lyric ever penned.

Just how high a baby boy can pee when you are changing his nappy.

How to spell amoxicillin, let alone say it.

That one can never own too many refrigerator magnets.

Scientific names of dinosaurs from A to Z.

That reverse psychology really works.

The recipe for a homemade version of 'Play-doh'.

That Duplo and Lego blocks procreate in the night.

The distinctive sounds of Rice Crispies crunching underfoot.

Why they call them Happy Meals.

How far you can dilute juice and still retain it's taste.

That man (or child anyway) really can live on peanut butter alone.

What time CBeebies starts.

That the more my kids learn, the less I seem to know.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blog Roll

Look on the right at the very bottom of the column is my blog roll. I have never put together one of these before. Took me a little while. I probably missed some. I'll update it as I go along.

How about you? Do you have any suggestions for me?

On this blog I'm trying to focus on activities for kids, cooking, crafts, and saving a little money.

If you know of any excellent blogs I don't have listed, let me know!

Humpty Dumpty

(Insert ba-da-dum sound here.)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mom-Preneur Shop-A-Thon & 12 Days Of Junkie

To help promote & feature some of the amazing women who have joined the Mom-preneur Shop-a-thon, Tip Junkie has set up the 12 Days of Junkie! It starts tomorrow, Tuesday November 11th.

Go here to read more about it. It's an excellent idea.

Thanksgiving Craft - Hand/Feet Turkey

Isn't that a cute turkey? What makes it even more special is it's made by tracing your little one's feet and hands.

Go here for instructions to make it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Amazon's Frustration-Free Packaging

I can't remember where I read about this, but Amazon is offering frustration-free packaging. What does that mean? It means you'll spend about 99% less of your time trying to get that dang toy out of the box.

From Amazon:
The Frustration-Free Package (on the left) is recyclable and comes without excess packaging materials such as hard plastic clamshell casings, plastic bindings, and wire ties. It's designed to be opened without the use of a box cutter or knife and will protect your product just as well as traditional packaging (on the right). Products with Frustration-Free Packaging can frequently be shipped in their own boxes, without an additional shipping box.

Go here to read more.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Remember The Soldiers Fighting For Our Country

My niece's husband is in Baghdad. They have a 3-month-old baby boy.

I copied this off of her Facebook page:
"If you are reading this, please take a moment to remember all of the men and women who are currently serving our country especially those currently deployed and realize what it is like to be someone who loves and cares about those they cannot be with."

And watch this video:


Here's Maddie Halloween night. She was sooo excited to dress up like a kitty cat. She had to bring her stuffed Dalmation dog with her too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trickin' It To The Treats


Sorry this is so huge. But it cracks me up.

Wordless Wednesday - That's My Girl

For more Wordless Wednesday, go here.



Don't Interrupt Your Mother

(Click For Bigger)


Teaching The Kids A Lesson

Weary of constantly picking clothes up from the floor of her son’s room, a mother finally laid down the law: each item of clothing she had to pick up would cost her son 25 cents.

By the end of the week, he owed her $3.50. She received the money promptly, along with a 50 cent tip and a note that read, “Thanks, Mom; keep up the good work.”


All Things Halloween

Has anyone else noticed how more and more people are getting into the Halloween spirit? Why not? Halloween is fun because you get to dress up and act like someone else if you want to. And you get free candy!

Anyway, here's a link to all things Halloween that I read about over on The Presurfer.