Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pasta Salad

I've rarely met a pasta salad that I don't hate. I do however love the one my mom makes. I make it too. Well, mine is really more of free form homage to that particular salad. I use the same general dressing ingredients (Zesty Italian Dressing and McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning) and whatever pasta and veggies I have on hand. This time, I used a fat free Italian since I didn't have Zesty. I made this yesterday with leftover pasta from Thursday's dinner, and the veggies I had in the refrigerator. My home grown tomatoes really kicked this up a notch to fabulous. Too bad I'm the only one here who will eat this. Oh well, more for me. :)The little Mexican Lime tree that I planted last fall is not growing very quickly, but it is producing quite a few little limes. They are not great in the flavor department yet, but they are useful as an added flavor to drinks.

4th of July?

If one was visiting my house right now, they might think they had blacked out and "lost time". While the 4th of July is quickly approaching. My hall tree defiantly shouts, "Halloween!" I didn't have the heart to throw out this lovely pumpkin. I hate pumpkin pie, and this is a jack-o-lantern variety, so I can't make anything with it. I'm just going to admire it until it starts to turn yucky, then throw it away.

Note to self: Add repaint hall tree to "to do" list.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Quilt Fever

This is not a good time to be feeling quilt fever. I've got too many other things to accomplish. Like it or not though, I've got it. I've been thinking about L's quilt (I already made B & J's several years ago). I'm trying to pick a pattern that will be slightly more challenging. Especially since I was lazy and made mine, B's & J's all with the same pattern. As I was searching I found this one which would be a fun little easy project for the peas and I...For L's I like these patterns...

I haven't decided on a color palette yet. Mine is all blue and white. B's is pinks and purples, J's is pinks and greens. I'm leaning towards pinks and browns, or greens and reds (like sage greens and rose reds). I've linked them all to the patterns. That way I'll be able to find them again from here if I decide on one of these patterns.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Shameless Excuse?

I'm starting to think this blog is just a shameless excuse to talk about the peas and plaster up endless pictures of them. But, since this is my journal and I'm not forcing anyone to read it...too bad. Can I help it if I'm in love with these little people?

Here are 2 of L from today. Playing with her Weeblot Castle and chasing her sisters around my bathroom. Now that she runs at me laughing every time she sees the camera, my pictures are getting blurrier and blurrier.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Super Talented Brother

I like to google us from time to time. I was thinking that I should google my brother to see if anything cool would come up...and it did. Here's his demo reel for your viewing pleasure. He did this awhile ago before he started working full time. You should see the cool stuff he's working on now. But alas, I'm sure it's super top secret.

Sea World & The Alamo

Well, we've finally made the decision to take a small trip to Sea World and the Alamo. We weren't planning on going anywhere this summer, but figured we should at least do something. If anyone has any great tips, or a suggestion for a good, clean hotel, please email me or comment. We are looking forward to spending some fun time together as a family.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Mom Didn't Raise a Wimp

Our front bushes have been needing a trim badly for a long, long time. I was waiting patiently for Daniel to trim them. My red verbena in the front flower bed were burning up in the June heat and I went out there to snip them off at the base. I have another type of plant with little purple flowers that have grown so large that it was just a huge mess of flowers anyway. So, the verbena definitely needed to go.

Anyway, after I finished sprucing up the front bed, my eye fell on the path of bushes leading to the front of the house. It had gotten to the point where when you walked up the path, a long branch would likely smack you in the face. I said to myself, "Erika, if mom were here she would just go get those hedge trimmers and give these bad boys a haircut" So I did. I mercilessly attacked the bushes until they were nice and even. I didn't even manage to maim myself in the process.

I also harvested about 2 more pounds of tomatoes today and one nice orange pumpkin with absolutely no purpose being that it's June. When Daniel got home from work he thought that some of our local lawn maintenance people had worked on our yard by mistake. Not so. I'm just awesome like that (wink wink). I even cleaned up all the debris and swept the front porch. I feel so empowered, who knows which of our power tools will be next.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Memory Lane Monday

I believe this is the only picture of me in the hospital when I was born. It's a polaroid, and was rapidly deteriorating, so I thought I should scan it in now. If there are any others, I don't have them. Interestingly, I don't really have any pictures of me as a baby. I'll have to check at my mom's house. If there are any, I'd like to scan them in before they rot away.
Color correction on Photoshop helped this photo out a lot. It has turned very orange. This is me sitting on the diving board of my grandparents pool. I was probably about 4 years old. It was a great pool back in the day. I have a lot of fun memories of parties at that house. One of my other favorite things about that house, besides grandpa's enormous garden (which is obvious), was the giant weeping willow tree across the street. It was such a pleasant view out of the big front room windows. I can still smell the garage with the big freezer full of horrifying oddities like liver, and the den with the shag carpet and the window ac unit. The den still smelled the same until Grandma pulled up the red shag a few years ago. I didn't REALLY learn how to swim until we moved to Florida. So, I spent most of my time in this pool in the shallow end. I don't recall ever actually jumping off of that diving board. I'm glad the peas are braver about learning to swim than I was.This is the infamous picture of me with my shorts on my head. It's been talked about for decades now. Wow, I'm getting old. Nothing like using the word "decades" to make you feel 100. From the looks of it we appear to be in a hotel. Maybe mom can comment and fill in the details of where this was taken, or why I have shorts on my head.

Our Daddy...Paul Bunyan

As I was making lunch for all the peas today (a process which takes quite a long time) I overheard a conversation about Daddy. There was some discussion about how giant daddy's mouth is, and whether he could swallow a whole sandwich in one bite or not. They were doing hand gestures to try and estimate the size of daddy's "giant mouth". Then the tall tales started. By the time they were halfway done eating I overheard that Daddy's mouth was so big it went up into space, then past space, until it got to Pluto. At this point the stories got off topic because apparently Daddy told them it was so cold on Pluto that you couldn't live there. B estimated that means you would need 100 jackets to live there. Lunch conversation is always so interesting around here.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Nature or Nurture?

The insanity continues...

Sometimes I feel like I am running a training camp for computer geeks. This is my old laptop. I got it when J was a baby. It's been repaired a ton of times under warranty. After I had finally gotten a new one last summer, Daniel found out there was a class action suit regarding it and he was able to send it in to be repaired again for free (even though the extended warranty was done). So, add 1 to our tally of computers in this house...I think that makes 8, if we include the media pc's and the server. It's an illness. Someone needs to have an intervention. My daughters now have a desktop and a laptop, which hardly seems justified since they are on the computer at most 30-45 minutes a day.

I have a picture of J on this laptop when I first got it...

Big Girl in the Kitchen

We are in the middle of another toy and clothing purge, excuse the mess.

Friday, June 22, 2007

3 Peas in a Tent

Time to Purge the Drawers

This was J's response to the statement "go get ready for bed"...
This lovely ensemble of size 2t pink striped cotton pants, size 3t rainbow stamped turtleneck, and pink old navy baseball hat, is complemented by a purple foam cowboy hat. Yes that's right people double decker hats. It's a J original.

As you can see a serious drawer purge is required here. That wasn't an enormous undertaking until we had 3 peas. Now, it is easily a half day's work to purge all 3 of their wardrobes. As you can see, I don't like to do it very often. Will today be the day?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bitten and the Bug Guy

I've been wanting to go check out the new Bitten line, by Sarah Jessica Parker. It's only sold at a store called Steve & Barry's. I wouldn't have known about it, but was watching Oprah one day about a month ago when she was on promoting it. As you know, I am no fashionista. I am a jeans and t-shirt girl all the way. Lately though, I've been feeling a desire to branch out a bit. I am so cheap though, I can't stand to spend a lot of money on clothes for myself. So, this new super cheap line fits the bill. Also, the sizes start at a 2, which lately I've been having a harder and harder time getting my hands on. I had to track down a Steve & Barry's store, which was difficult. The closest one was about 45 minutes away. But anyway, all of us girls, grammy included, took a trek today to go and check it out. It was very picked over as it was launched a couple of weeks ago and I'm sure I wasn't the only one excited to give it a spin. I got a pair of jeans and two tops. My total was $35. Can't beat that. We'll see how they hold up. The fashion queens might look down their noses at this line, but I like it. Anything is a step up for me fashion wise.

Also, it turns out we DO have a Gymboree Outlet. I didn't find it when I tried to look it up on a few months ago. I was so excited to see it. However, the prices at this one were not really that great at all. They were barely lower than a normal Gymboree. I was not impressed. I did go into the Children's Place outlet though and found lots of great deals there.

We've been starting to have minor bug issues. Mainly spiders. A lot of our neighbors use a particular company that uses supposedly non harmful spray (non harmful to pets and humans that is). Our neighbor told me that they only treated her indoor area once several years ago, and they haven't had any bug problems since. They do the whole inside of the house once (no fumes or anything), then they do the entire outside perimeter, yard, etc every 2 months. They said that the stuff they sprayed inside is less toxic than salt water. All I know is that it had no odor. So, we'll try them out for a year. After that, I think we'll just have Daniel treat the perimeter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

B Colorized

Had to share this. There are more of the other peas on the aforementioned photo blog. J's had identifying info in the picture not suitable for this public spot. Anyway, I have no idea where this stunning little pea came from. We think she's far too beautiful to be composed of our genetic material. Well, we think that about all 3 of them, sometimes it's just striking though. Like this...

Photography Blog

I started a 2nd blog, which is set to private, where I'm putting pictures I've taken, most of which I've altered in photoshop in various ways. It's mainly just a place for me to journal my learning process as far as photography and post processing goes. All the images there will be saved in a large size, unlike here where I resize them to be smaller. I set it to private since I use people's names and what not. If you know me "in real life";-) and want to be an invited reader, send me an email.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Picture Day

I took L in to the Dr today. She had a 103.5 degree fever this morning. They didn't find a definite source of the fever, but thought her ear looked a little inflamed. It also had a little fluid in it. So, she's taking an antibiotic. After we got home her fever seemed to go away quickly. She was feeling good and had no apparent fever by the late afternoon. It must have peaked early this morning.

We drove out to see M&P and kids this evening. Mainly because I was asked to take some family photos for them. I took over 200 pictures. Hopefully some of them will be good. It's hard with a crowd that large.

These are a few other photos I took.
This is a funny one. The boys were explaining to the girls about the algae, minnows and snake that live in the pond. Notice how mortified they look.I love this picture of M & D. I think it came out really nice.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Daniel wearing his "Superdad" hat.

Grampy opening his presents.

For Father's day, Daniel got a digital picture frame, a Superdad hat, and a Star Wars wallet (courtesy of B, it was her wallet). We had his favorite Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. We also had his favorite yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting and ice cream. Grammy and Grampy came over this afternoon to visit and have dinner. Other than the fact that L had a 102 degree fever, it was a good day.
This is a picture from the last time we saw Daniel's dad. It was last July 2006. It's been too long.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My daughter..."Tennille"

J has been asking to get her hair cut like B's & mine. She finally nagged me into taking her this morning. She said she wanted it short. The stylist tried to get the front and back close to even. She's been sporting a natural mullet for a LONG time. The front just grows half as fast as the back. I think it's too short, but it will grow. B's has grown a ton since we cut it last month.

For those that missed the "Tennille" reference. That's just the first thing that I thought of when I saw this haircut. If you saw the bowl shape from the back, you would understand. Here's a clip for your listening pleasure. Captain and Tennille - Love Will Keep Us Together

Kids Say the Darndest Things

My children think I am some kind of magical gardener that can make things like apple and cherry trees grow in the Texas heat. They are always asking me to plant something new.

B: I wish we had a cherry, nut, gummy bear tree. Then, I could eat them all the time.
Daniel: That sounds gross B
B: We would eat them SEPARATELY!

Friday, June 15, 2007

More Garden Stuff

I made a new gardening friend at swim lessons today. She even brought me some seeds. One in particular that I'm very excited about planting. It is a white squash or gourd of some sort from Pakistan. Maybe she'll come on here and give me a more detailed account of exactly what it is. She's also a blogger, a knitter, etc. I added her to my sidebar links (Sam).

I tried to deny for the past 3 days that my pumpkin is turning orange. What am I supposed to do with an orange jack o lantern variety of pumpkin in June? Anyone?
Also, my Mrs J. Spangler hibiscus which were damaged in our last frost of the winter have finally recovered. Here is my second flower. I was so excited. I LOVE these flowers.
This is also my first year growing sunflowers. Here is our first one.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Office Romance

I have a little secret love affair going on "at work". My office mate likes to come over to my "desk" for kisses and snuggles. She's quite forward really. How can I be held responsible? Look at her, she's fabulous.

It could be worse right? This could be my office mate.

The Yogurt House

I hate yogurt. I've always hated it. The peas LOVE yogurt. They literally eat at least $10 worth of yogurt every week. They eat 2 types of yogurt. The Dora yogurt pictured, and Go-Gurt. B won't eat yogurt with any chunks of fruit in it, it has to be smooth. Part of the reason they eat so much is because they can argue that yogurt is an acceptable food in many situations. If you want a snack...yogurt. If mama says it has to be a healthy snack...yogurt. You don't want cereal for breakfast...yogurt. You need something to dip your apple slices in...yogurt. A side item for your meal...yogurt.

My nephews know this is the yogurt house too. They happily go straight to the fridge and ask me for yogurt or G0-gurt every time they come over. Luckily I went shopping on Tuesday and came home with another giant box of G0-gurt and two packages of yogurt. I may end up with 7 crazy kids in this house tomorrow, and if there's one thing they know, it's that I've always got yogurt.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Goldfish Frenzy

Why do the goldfish in the bag look so much tastier than the ones your mama already put in front of you? They do say "the grass is always greener..."

Why Did She Climb It? Because It Was There.

One thing always suffers when mama's working...the laundry. This laundry mountain is clean. It's just not folded and put away. There are only so many hours in a day, and during a scoring session I spend them mothering and working. Housekeeping goes to heck in a hand basket. Luckily tomorrow is my last shift until fall.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Air Re-freshener

When I got in my friend Leslie's car on the way to the airport yesterday it smelled good. Now, a car smelling good is no miracle. However, the car of a mother of three children, particularly one in diapers, doesn't usually smell good. She mentioned that she had one of those car air fresheners that clips to the vent. So while we were at target this morning we picked one up. It's the Glade brand car type. While we were in the Chick-fil-a drive through, I got it set up. Within moments all 3 of the peas starting sticking their little noses in the air sniffing. B said, "Mama...I know what that is. It's an air Re-freshener." She sounded so cute I didn't have the heart to correct her pronunciation. So, we're trying out the car air re-freshener. It's working out well. Now if only I could actually get the car clean...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rock Tumbling

Here are some pictures I just took of Daniel & the big girls working on their rock tumbling. This is the end of phase one, shaping. B was very excited to see how they were coming along. I have to admit Daniel did a good job on this birthday present. She is CRAZY for rocks.