Friday, May 31, 2013

Kevin's mystery photo 4

Hmm.  I wonder what this is?  Maybe a prototype of a tithing savings box for a child's dresser?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Busy, busy day!

Camp Laffalotta's theme this week is cooking and baking.  Last night I got out our children's cook books and had the girls each choose two recipes they want to make this week, then write me a shopping list for her recipes.  I got some writing in that way--sneaky, huh?

Since the cleaning ladies come on Thursdays I always try to have that be a field trip day of some sort for the girls.  Everyone feels more relaxed when the girls are out of the house during cleaning day.  We started at the library where the girls signed up for the summer reading program and each checked out two books.
Next we stopped by to return Season 2 of Downton Abby to our friend.
Then we went to Hobby Lobby to return the three unused t-shirts from Sophia's birthday party.  I didn't know how many girls were coming and figured I'd better buy more and return them than buy too few and regret it.
Last, we had a shopping list from the girls' recipes and headed to the new Neighborhood Market about 3 miles from home, but relatively on the way home from Hobby Lobby.
It's amazing how fast the bill adds up when you're not shopping the sales or using coupons.  I'm not accustomed to buying pricey specialty ingredients, but since it was for the girls for Camp Laffalotta I just did it.

Here is the first recipe which happened to be the only dinner recipe chosen.  It's Steak and French Fries Salad.  Really.  And it was really good.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Elizabeth's sewing project

Elizabeth is the first one to finish her Camp Laffalotta sewing project.
His name is Troy, although I was thinking "Justin" with those long bangs. :-)

The face was sewn by hand and the construction of the pillow was sewn by machine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Camp Laffalotta 2013

I'm tentatively dipping my toe in again this summer.  The girls are out of school and I want to give a little structure to the summer.  It works best for us to have our week go Thursday to Wednesday, so for this half week, we are doing some sewing.
Only Elizabeth has done any sewing, so they are making little pillows with funny faces on them.  I had some quilted material from the edges of my most recent quilt.  It was the extra fabric that extended past the edges of the top when it was machine quilted.  So the girls are using a lightly printed muslin with batting quilted to it--very nice, actually.
They got the basics of the faces hand-sewn on today.  Tomorrow they'll add the decorations such as fringe, "hair," bows, and so forth, then I'll show them how to use the sewing machine to sew on the backs.  A little stuffing from Elizabeth's Christmas sewing project and they'll each have a cute little pillow.

Monday, May 27, 2013

This is the life!

I want this life!
They're waiting for a delicious bbq dinner that is on the grill.  Ribs, Hebrew National hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad, YUM.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Unhappy with a Tulip product

Since I wanted red, white, and blue tie-dyed shirts for Sophia's birthday party, I bought white shirts and single color packages of red and blue.  The blue turned out a really nice, deep blue.  The red, however, was a different story.  It separated into red with seepage of yellow on the white shirts.  They turned out to be more of a primary-colored shirt with red, blue, and yellow.  Not ugly or anything, but not what I was hoping for.
Tonight I wrote an email to the Tulip company's customer service telling them what happened.  I'll update when I hear back from them.

June 1 update is in this post.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Party for Sophia!

We invited Sophia's friends for a tie-dye party and told them to wear old clothes!  Here is Sophia with her self-portrait pinata. 
The day was hot but not bad on the patio.  I had red and blue dye along with white shirts so the girls could make red-white-and-blue shirts for the patriotic holidays this summer.  They were just getting started here.  There was a LOT of dye here and there before it was over. :-)
Bill is getting ready to hoist the pinata.
Getting the spoils . . . .
See you next year when Sophia hits the double digits!

Friday, May 24, 2013

We had a birthday this week!

Sophia is nine!

We had David and Alicia over for cake and Alicia brought Sophia a squidlet she crocheted.
 Sophia in her candle-lit glory.
Four of the ladies.  We sure do love having family in town.  In total we have three family households in our city now.
Bill and I are very happy to have had Sophia for nine years.  We sure do love her.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A little service for a friend

My elderly friend is moving to a bigger apartment.  She has medical problems and needs help moving, so my friend and I have gone over to her house a couple of times to help pack things up.
It is immeasurably easier to pack up someone else's stuff when there are no emotions attached vs. packing up your own.

I hate moving.  I'm so glad I don't have to unpack those boxes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

It's that patriotic time of the year!

Today I went to Hobby Lobby to do a little shopping for an upcoming party.  I couldn't help stopping by the seasonal aisle.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

5th grade promotion

Coming in to the cafeteria
Caroline's turn.
Elizabeth's turn.
Look who's looking at me!
So proud!

With their wonderful teacher whom they had in both 4th and 5th grades.
What a wonderful grade school experience these two sweet girls have had!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mystery picture from Kevin 3

What will it be this time??
Oh my.  Umm . . . he's a soldier in the war for independence from Portugal?  And that man to his left made the sword?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Meal Plan Sunday

Monday:  Lasagne from the freezer, vegetables

Tuesday:  Cheesy Chicken Skillet, rolls

Wednesday:  Beans in the slow cooker + corn bread

Thursday:  Seven-layer dip + chips

Friday:  Pizza

Award ceremony at school

I got a "heads up" note that Sophia would be receiving a reading award at school this past week and here she is!

Sorry the aspect is off.  I can't get it to a more normal size.  The man in blue in the second picture would certainly thank me, I'm sure.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Camping trip

Alicia and I took the girls camping to our favorite camping spot.  It's about 75 miles from home, but takes more than 2 hours to get there because we wind our way past cattle ranches, vineyards, and through little towns before we start into the mountains and the roads get progressively more, shall we say, "patched"?

All went well with the trip and the weather was nice.  We had lots of food, including s'mores over the campfire.  My friend Val met us Saturday morning for a hike around the lake.  Unfortunately this picture is dark, but here we are along the trail with her sweet dog.
The lake level was down pretty low, so some of the arms of the lake were empty.  We'd been hiking a couple of hours when it got confusing trying to figure out where the trail led and we ended up sort of lost.  Luckily we got advice from someone that eventually put us back out on the paved road near the campground.  I sent Alicia and the girls to the trailer to eat lunch while Val and I walked the half mile or so back to the marina to get our cars.  Said good bye to Val and we packed up the trailer and headed home.  Girl Power!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Christmas is finally over

For Christmas we gave the boy next door an "activity" instead of a wrapped present.
 He's an only child and well-doted upon by his parents and extended family.  We really like him a lot.
 We didn't see a particular need for a tangible gift, so we gave him a gift certificate for an outing instead.
 We went to a miniature golf place near our neighborhood.  It was probably built in the 1960s and it's meticulously maintained.
 After playing golf we went on the bumper boats.  We all got very wet because each boat had a squirting function that worked VERY well.
We stopped off for ice cream sundaes on the way home.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Caroline and Elizabeth's class award

The class did well on their standardized testing and surpassed the teacher's goal, so they got a party and . . . they got to tape the teacher to the wall.  Really.
I arrived as the students were taking pictures of her.  She was smiling, but not saying much.  And certainly not moving much.  What a trooper!

My girls loved the whole thing.
When it was time to remove herself from the wall, she gave about seven mighty heaves and the tape gave way.  If it had been duct tape instead of masking tape, she'd be there still.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When did bandages change?

Notice anything?
This bandage is darker than her skin.  Bandages used to always be even lighter than my very fair-skinned child.  Nothing wrong with the new ones; I just think it's interesting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another quail?

Caroline came home holding an egg today.  She's pretty sure she can hatch it.  We looked online and sure enough, it's another quail.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that you have to have a very precise temperature and relatively high humidity to successfully hatch a quail egg.  Oh, and flourescent lights don't produce much heat.  However, I'm letting her try.  Hey--with the swamp cooler on in the house, maybe we have the needed humidity!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cream of potato soup

Tonight's dinner turned out to be a pantry-and-leftovers dinner.  I had several big potatoes left over from the mother's day dinner, along with a little chopped/fried bacon from a dinner last week.  I thought it called out to be made into soup.
 Cheesy Cream of Potato Soup

3 large potatoes, diced
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cooked, chopped bacon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Sprinkle of onion powder (or you could sautee fresh onions with the margarine or butter, or sprinkle in a couple teaspoons dried onion flakes with the milk)

Boil the potatoes in water until tender.

While the potatoes are boiling, melt the margarine or butter.  Sprinkle in the flour and mix and stir until bubbly.  Slowly pour in the milk (I used dry milk I had reconstituted), mixing thoroughly, then bring to a boil and boil for one minute.

Add the cheese, bacon, salt, pepper, and onion powder.  Stir until the cheese is melted, then add the drained, cooked potatoes and gently mix until well-combined.

Serve with sour cream, additional chopped bacon, or green onions if desired.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

This has been a pleasant, low-key day and just delightful.

It started off with breakfast in bed complements of Caroline.  Next was brunch with waffles made by Bill.

Then was probably my most-anticipated gift, which was a Skype call from Kevin.  We might have misunderstood what his mission president said.  Perhaps he said 40 minutes, but we talked for an HOUR and forty minutes. :-)
I thought he looked great.  His hair was longer and in a parted-on-the-side style that makes him look older.  His face looked thinner and more angular.  The boy might be growing up on me.

I made it to Church just before the meeting started and at the end they asked all the women to stand up to receive a small gift.
The last part comes tonight for dinner.  I asked my mom what she wanted to have for her Mother's Day dinner and she said slow-cooker roast and vegetables.  I ran to the store last night and bought a big roast along with carrots and potatoes.  My house has been smelling incredible for hours!  We are waiting until David and Alicia get here, then we'll sit down together to enjoy it and each other's company.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nice Saturday breakfast

I woke up early this morning with a hankering for cinnamon rolls.  By the way, we make cinnamon rolls and seldom buy them.  I got a pan of them rising and went to clean the church building, leaving Bill with instructions to bake them when they looked risen enough.  I know, that was risky, wasn't it?  But he popped them in at the perfect time and made a batch of cream cheese icing to boot.
[Yes, I know I need to work on my photography skills . . . .] 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Mystery Quilt Pictures

I started this Mystery Quilt a few weeks before Autumn 2012 and finished just as Spring 2013 started.  Haha, just in time to pack it away from Autumn 2013, right?  Of course not.  It's been on my bed since the day I finished it.
The "Mystery Quilt" aspect of it is that the directions started off by telling me to collect "light warm toned fabric," "medium warm toned toned fabric," and "dark warm toned fabric," plus a couple of others.  Then came weekly instructions to cut so many triangles a certain size, and so many squares, etc.
Finally there were instructions to start sewing and I could finally see what I was making, which was a fall leaves design.  I'll have to say, if I'd known exactly what I was making I probably would have chosen different fabrics.  The "medium" ones turned out to be rather eye-popping.  All of them were from my stash and the stash I inherited from my mom (thanks Mom!).  The fabrics come from the 1950s to the 2010s!
There were no specific directions for setting the blocks and I didn't need the lap-sized quilt these squares were going to make (it is 5x7 but you can't see the top row of blocks in the top picture), so I put in sashing and a wider border than suggested to make it usable for my queen-sized bed.  It's just what I wanted!