Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Monday, January 31, 2011

Playing with Food

Meet the newest member of our family.

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I’d introduce you properly, but he doesn’t have a name.

Although, if Ty had given him a name I’m betting it would be something really “original” like Orangie. Ty is not creative at all when it comes to naming things. He’s got a frog named Froggie, a dog named Puppy, a duck named Duckie, and a dragon named Draggie.

Anyway, last week we decided to do some food sculpting as a way to work in an art project for school. It was also a great opportunity for Ty to practice using some common kitchen equipment.

Now don’t freak out, but this is a knife he’s got in his hands.Surprised smile Hey, you have to learn sometime, right?

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Then Ty took a whack at the vegetable peeler (no pun intended.) He really liked this. I think I might be able to recruit him as my sous chef.

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Orangie watched with great anticipation, eagerly awaiting the addition of some upper appendages.

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Not one to overlook the details, Ty added some lettuce eyebrows to Orangie. What a looker!

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Close, But No Cigar

I’m cursed.

That’s the only explanation.

The decorating gods have it out for me. Just when I think the upstairs is close to completion, they send down their lightning bolts, and ZAP! Things go horribly wrong.

The painter is “finished” (well, 98% finished, but close enough), and the carpet was installed yesterday.

The problem?

It’s the wrong carpet!

Yeah, it seems that the installers picked up the wrong roll from the warehouse, and it just so happened that the carpet was close enough to the right color and yardage that no one noticed it was wrong until it was too late.

See. It looks O.K., right?

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But looks can be deceiving. All it took was one touch, and I knew that something was wrong. The pile is sooooo short and sparse. You can almost see the backing through the fibers. Not something you’d want to lay down on. Uggh!

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We’re talking a quarter inch max here.

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And one more thing. Because this wasn’t the right roll, there wasn’t enough carpet to finish the job. So the closet just has padding in it right now. Which I have to say is softer than the actual carpet.

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Thankfully, dear Mrs. Alice came out this morning and took a look at the carpet. Then she went back to her office and tracked down the right stuff. It’s still in the warehouse waiting for us. So tomorrow we’ll give it another go. And you can bet I’m gonna be inspecting, before they start installing.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trash to Treasure

What do you see when you look at this picture? An ugly cardboard box, right?

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Put on your creative glasses and keep reading…)

Step 1: Butcher the box.

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Step 2: Cover the box. Everything’s better with burlap!

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Step 3: Add a little “fru-fru.” I gathered a scrap piece of denim I had leftover from another project.

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Step 4: Decide what you want to say. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner I wanted to make something to do with love…the Greatest Love. I used freezer paper to stencil the words onto the burlap. Just cut the design out of freezer paper, iron the paper shiny-side-down into place, and paint. Peel away the paper to reveal a perfect print.

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Step 5 & 6: Add the main ingredient and hang to enjoy!

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I just love crafting on the cheap. "Smile

P.S. I'm linking to these parties.

Made with Love at Sew Chatty

Sundae Scoop at I Heart Naptime

Marketplace Monday at Finding Fabulous

Monday, January 17, 2011

Be Still My Heart

I have the most idyllic picture to share today. It’s my two little monkeys.

Big brother and little sis.

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A seasoned driver and a first-time passenger.

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I can hear the one-sided conversation now. “Hang on Lu Lu Girl. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.” Good advice for a trip to the mailbox or for life in general.

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It seems that times like these are few and far between. Times when the monkeys are playing together in peace and harmony. Both are getting their way, yet neither is screaming or whining. A mother’s dream come true!

Although they may not always show it, they do love each other.

Really. They do.

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“Be still my heart!”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Infamous Upstairs

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…well, maybe not so far away… The Tool Man and I decided to build a house.
“Let’s have an upstairs,” we said. “ Two great big rooms, for our baby monkeys to run around in.”
So, we built a house, and we allotted for two nice bedrooms upstairs. But since we only had one monkey at the time, we opted not to complete the upstairs. At least not yet.
Well, Monkey #2 arrived and she needed a place to live. So work began upstairs again. With a full nine months to prepare for her arrival, we were sure that bedrooms would be completed in time.
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Monkey #2 will be 18 months old next week and guess what. She’s still got a tent pitched in the corner of my bedroom.
But do not despair. We’re closer to completion than we’ve ever been before.
With the trim work finally complete, the Tool Man and I spent my birthday cleaning up the space. We toted boxes and boxes and boxes of tools and scraps and trash downstairs. Then we swept up the whole place. That’s the worst part - sweeping up sheetrock powder and saw dust. That stuff gets everywhere. On your clothes, in your hair, up your nose! And it drifts downstairs to the rest of the house and coats everything a in fine white powder. Maybe we didn’t get any snow outside this weekend, but it looks like I got a half inch on my dining room table.
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And of course the dust sticks to the bottom of your shoes, so every time you walk back downstairs, you leave white tracks across the floor. Just look at the stairs!
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Remember a long, long time ago when I promised to show you some pictures of the upstairs? Well, today is your lucky day.
The basic layout is this. A bedroom on each side with a bathroom in the middle connecting the two rooms. The rooms are mirror images of each other, and each has it’s own vanity area.
I had originally intended on this room to be Ty’s, but I’m seriously thinking about switching things up and giving this one to Lucy instead. The rooms are basically identical, but this one has a large closet, and we all know that girls come with more clothes than boys!
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This next picture is the back side of the same room. Each bedroom has two dormers. I just love all the neat angles in these rooms. They add so much architectural interest.
I plan on adding some free-standing shelves or cabinet under the sloped ceiling in the right of this picture so the monkey’s will have a place to store their towels and other bathroom essentials.
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This is the part of the bathroom that the rooms share. The shower/bathtub is directly behind me in this picture. This is where the “throne” will be!
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Here’s the vanity in the other bedroom. You can see the tub through the door.
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I had these awesome built-ins custom made. They are huge! I’ll be able to hide all sorts of toy clutter in there. There are two of these in each room, one with doors and one with just shelves. I hope to find some cute baskets or boxes to contain the clutter on the shelves.
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This “little” cabinet came from my mom’s dress shop. It was in the building when my grandmother, Nick Nick, bought the store some 40 years ago. They used to keep the lingerie in these drawers. The sizing labels are still on the drawer fronts. I just love pieces that have a history, especially when it’s a part of your history. My grandmother used to hide the money bag in here every night under the panties! How funny is that? Which drawer was it? I’ll never tell.
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So I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of the infamous upstairs. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer until completion.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cheetos & Cell Phones

So Lucy has discovered the wonderful world of Cheetos. I just had to share these pictures with y’all. She’s so dang cute! Cheetos have to be the messiest junk food known to man. Well, at least they run a close second behind chocolate.

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Take a look at those cheesy fingers! A mom’s worst nightmare. Interestingly enough, as much as Lucy seems to be enjoying those chips, she really doesn’t like to have dirty hands. It drives her crazy. She’s such a girl.

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On to the cell phones.

She got this phone for Christmas. I don’t know how she knows to hold it like that. And talk about talking! For someone who doesn’t speak more than five English words she sure does a lot of “talking!”


She cracks me up carrying her purse like this. It is amazing the things that kids pick up on!

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Such a girl. If she’s acting like this at 18 months, I can’t imagine what she’s gonna be like when she 18 years old.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Maybe it sounds a little egocentric, but I just had to wish myself a happy birthday. Although no one seems to like the idea of getting older, it sure beats the alternative….

But on to less depressing things.

Like food! Food is good! Especially good food.

And speaking of good food, I’ve already received a couple of cookbooks from my foster monkeys for my birthday. Did y’all know I had foster monkeys? Yeah, the Tool Man and I adopted a few of the kiddos from the pizza joint. They gave me a Southern Living Cookbook and the Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook. I have had the books for a grand total of 18 hours and I’ve already read through both of them! I can’t wait to try out some of those recipes. Particularly the breakfast recipes. Breakfast has to be, hands-down, my favorite meal of the day. I don’t know why it appeals to me so. Maybe it’s the combination of savory and sweet. You know, biscuits and jelly. Pancakes and syrup.
Bacon and Cinnamon rolls . Hash browns and fruit. Now look what you’ve done! You’ve got my stomach to growling.

So now it’s time for the last recipe that I wanted to share from our holiday get-togethers. (F.Y.I. I had actually planned on sharing one more recipe, but due to the fact that I’m now another year older, my memory fails me, and I cannot seem to remember what the other recipe was. Sorry.)

Perhaps the easiest way to share this recipe is simply to direct you to where I found it.


It’s called Fried Pork Chop Vegetable Soup and I first saw it on the show “Down Home with the Neely’s.”

The Tool Man and I made this for our Christmas Eve “Souper” Supper. (Yes, I admit, I did take some assistance from the hubby on this one.) The soup was a hit at our party.

A word of advice: The recipe calls for center-cut, bone-in, one-inch-thick chops. That’s what I used, but for serving a crowd, I think it would have been easier to use smaller chops.

Now go forth and cook! Isn’t it supposed to snow this week? Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a big pot of this soup to warm you up?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Christmas Recipe

The next recipe I promised to share this week is cornbread salad. Probably the most impressive thing about this dish is its visual appeal. Don’t get me wrong. It tastes wonderful, but it’s almost as pretty to look at as it is good to eat. The best of both worlds – a feast for the eyes and palate.

I got this recipe from one of Diane Cage’s cookbooks. If you aren’t familiar with her, I guess you could say she’s a local celebrity cook of sorts, appearing on TV every now and then with cooking and gardening tips.

Cornbread Salad

1 – 6 oz. package cornbread mix
1 – 1 oz. envelope dry Ranch dressing mix
1 small head Romaine lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 – 15 oz. can whole kernel corn with red & green peppers, drained
1 – 8 oz. package shredded Mexican cheese
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
5 green onions, chopped, tops and bottoms

Prepare cornbread according to package directions; cool and crumble. Set aside.

Prepare salad dressing according to package directions and set aside.

Layer a large bowl with half each of cornbread, lettuce, and next 6 ingredients; spoon half of dressing evenly over top. Repeat layers, ending with dressing. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Lindsey’s Tip of the Day: I made this salad in a trifle bowl. It really allows you to see all the colorful layers. A very impressive and festive dish for the buffet table! If only I had taken a picture to share with y’all.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas 2010 - Part II

For the second installment of Christmas 2010 I thought I would share some pictures from Christmas morning. Lucy was the first monkey to wake up that day. Not because she was excited about presents, but because she was hongry! After breakfast she quickly spied all the goodies wrapped for her by the fireplace. (Yes, Santa wraps the presents at our house. I think he thinks it adds to the suspense, and there's just something about ripping through all that wrapping.) Being the chocoholic that she is, the first thing Lucy went for was the pack of M&M's sticking out of her stocking. She wouldn't rest until I had opened them for her, even though it was only 6:30 in the morning. We finally decided to wake Ty up about 7:30, and the two monkeys quickly commenced opening gifts. Ty's m.o. was to tear through all the presents as quickly as was humanly possible. Lucy on the other hand was content to let someone help her open up a gift here and there. She was really only interested in eating those M&M's.

Chances are, if you have talked to Ty anytime in the past 30 days, he has probably hit you up for a Big Foot robot. "If you have $100 you can buy me a Big Foot for Christmas," he would say. Now, I tried my hardest to convince Santa that Ty didn't really need that Big Foot, as I was fairly certain that although he would play with it for a week or two, it would soon get stowed under the bed, never to see the light of day again. But you know how hard-headed that Santa can be. And sure enough, on Christmas morning Ty found the Big Foot remote control in the toe of his stocking. Boy, you have never seen such a reaction! I believe his exact words were, "Oh, joy! Oh, joy! Oh, joy, joy, joy! Praise the Lord!" Oh, if only I had had the video camera rolling. We'd have a hit on YouTube for sure!
I don't know if you can read it or not, but this was Ty's letter to Santa. He asked for a Big Foot of course, and he suggested a Baby All Gone for Lucy.
This was his, "Oh, joy!" moment.
Lucy had fun trying to beautify Big Foot. Good luck, girl! That thing is u-g-l-y!
Ty also got a cowboy hat and shirt, a Pillow Pet, candy and fruit, clay targets, a mousetrap car, a balance bird, a pair of hunting gloves, a Mickey Mouse watch, and a helmet for this..........
Drumroll, please.............(trumpets sounding)..............

A four-wheeler!

Is Santa out of his cotton-pickin' mind? Why don't we just go ahead and pay our deductible now?
Reese and Faith got a couple of four-wheelers too, and the three cousins had a blast last weekend riding those things. No telling how many gallons of gas they burned in just two days. And no accidents either. Hooray!
What about little LuLu? She got M&M's and fruit, hair bows, a Pillow Pet, a play broom, a Tinkerbell makeup and salon set, a silver Mickey Mouse necklace, a teeny tiny chair just her size, and real, red cowgirl boots!
It's obvious Lucy has some things to learn about putting on her makeup. She always goes straight for her ear with the lipstick!

After all that present fun, Papa, Sandy, Jude, and Shelley came over for a full Christmas breakfast. I cooked Poptarts and Eggos.

Aw. Y'all know I'm just pulling your leg. We had waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, milk, orange juice, coffee, and grits.

Now these were not just any grits. They were a perfect, creamy concoction of cheese and herbs and spices. Officially they're called Rosemary Polenta, but you and I both know that polenta is just a yankee word for grits!
So here's the second recipe I promised to share with y'all this week.

Rosemary Polenta by Ina Garten courtesy Food Network.com

1/2 cup (or 1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups milk
2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and saute for one minute. Add the chicken stock, half-and-half, and milk and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and slowly sprinkle the cornmeal into the hot milk while stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a few minutes, until thickened and bubbly. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan. (I served these immediately.)

My Words of Wisdom: This is as far as I followed this recipe. There's actually more to it - something about cooling and cutting into squares and pan frying, but you don't need to do all of that. Grits are not meant to be eaten with a knife and fork. Just pour them into a serving dish and serve them with a spoon. Also you might consider cutting back on the garlic a little. It seemed a little overpowering to me for breakfast. Don't hesitate to make this dish for times other than breakfast, though. It's great as a a side to any meal. Next time I make it I'm considering adding shrimp or ham. Sounds yummy doesn't it?
You really must try this recipe. I promise you won't be disappointed. And don't forget I've got three more recipes to share. A main dish, a salad, and a dessert. So check back with me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year & A New Way of Doing Things

Pardon my progress.  I’m playing with my new laptop here, and I’m testing out a new program, Windows Live Writer.  Just trying to see how it all works.  I’ve read some articles about how this program makes for better blogging.  I hope it will be as beneficial as it sounds. It is going to take some getting used to, though, so please be patient while I’m learning the ropes!

Just look at all the different fonts that are available for me to jazz things up a bit.  So far this program is looking pretty Good………..

And look!  I just found these Surprised smileIsland with a palm tree Just kidding!  Isn’t that fun?  (It doesn’t take much to impress me, does it?)

Thanks for indulging me while I’m getting the hang of this new program.  Hopefully it will help me improve the overall look of my blog.  Not that there’s anything wrong with the way it is.  It’s just nice to make some improvements every now and then, don’t you think?  And there’s no better time than the beginning of a brand new year to start improving!

And speaking of new year’s…have a happy one!Party smile