Monday, March 31, 2008

A little greener and a lot of nostalgia

We bought a new mower this past weekend. We thought it would be a little ridiculous to buy a gas powered mower when it will literally take 15 ~ 20 minutes to cut the entire yard (not like the 1 1/2 to 2 hrs on a riding mower in DE). So here's to going green! Do you think it will offset the amount of gas we use driving the Excursion? Probably not, but it's a start. Having a push mower like this reminds me of the neighbors we had growing up. The Hamerdingers lived two doors down from us. They had 5 kids. 1 girl - Ronda (who babysat me) and 4 boys - Mark, Dana, Andy, and Rusty. Rusty was the youngest and at a year or two apart we were friends. There are so many crazy, silly memories I have of this family... Mr. Hamerdinger did the best Donald Duck impression of anyone I know - hands down. He was also one snazzy dancer (He and his wife stole the show at my wedding). The boys would walk up the street to our house and demonstrate their 'boyness' by swallowing live goldfish - much to my horror and fascination. Their family won a car (an orange gremlin , I think) on a game show and once their whole family was on the Family Feud. Dodson asked the question "Answer something you lick" and Rusty answered "your nose". Oh so many memories... Believe it or not, Rusty taught me the 'finer' points of house cleaning. Both our moms worked so when we got home from grade school we had chores to do before we could go out and play (no homework in those days). He would come to my house and help me complete my chores then we'd go to his house and I'd stand back and watch as he'd sweep everything off the kitchen counters into a trash bag and declare it clean. (Works for me!) His mom also had this plastic indoor rake for fluffing up their shag carpet. So after sweeping off the kitchen counters and raking the floors we were free to catch bees in glass mayo jars and shake them up to get them really buzzing or he'd show me where his brothers were growing pot in his mom's garden (like I had a clue what the stuff was...) there were also many a fort built down the street a little further in the open field. Most of kids in the neighborhood walked to school together and on chilly mornings we would always be a few minutes longer waiting at the Hamerdingers because Rusty's mom would put his shoes and socks in the oven to warm them up for him - sometimes they'd get a little crunchy. Well, I could probably go on and on if I sat here long enough and tell you more stories like the time the boys put a snake in our mailbox for a surprise when we got home from vacation, or a couple of sleep walking episodes a couple of the kids had, but this post was about a lawn mower... The Hamerdingers had a push mower (the only family I knew who owned one) and I always felt a little sad thinking they should have an industrial gas powered mower like my dad's. I wonder what the neighborhood kids will think of me when they see me pushing mine and I wonder what the H family is up too...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Break '08

Nana and Grandpa flew out of the snowy north to enjoy Spring Break with us. Here are a few of the highlights.

A day at the Dallas Arboretum. They say they have the most tulips outside of Holland. They were in full bloom when we got there. So beautiful!
We drove to San Antonio (about 5 hours away) to spend a few days. The flowers you see in this pic are bougainvilleas. Growing up, my parents had a bush that vined itself up the side of the chimney all the way up to the roof top.
Dining alfresco with a little entertainment from the Mariachi Band. Here's a travel tip for you. Make sure you're sitting under the protection of an umbrella while eating along the Riverwalk. The birds have pretty good aim!
One of the many bridges spanning the canal at the Riverwalk.
The famous Alamo.
On our way home, we stopped for a little animal action at the Wildlife Ranch.
Zebra waiting for a handout.
I was a little (ok, a lot!) surprised when this fellow stuck his inquisitive head in the window. I'm not sure what he would've done, but I snapped the photo and put the window up in a hurry!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Teacher gifts

I don't help out in the girl's classes like a lot of the other moms do so I feel like I make up for it with the occasional treat. I made these fabric fortune cookies (tutorial found at Brassy Apple) for St. Patrick's Day. They were super fast and easy to put together. I know... Fortune Cookie and St. Patrick's Day? Hey, they're green and I put an Irish proverb in each one. Plus, I piled some mint patties in the bottom of each container with the cookie on top. It works! Don't you think?
I got a little carried away and made a bunch of them! I plan on putting these out on the table on the 17th. It will create some good conversation with the kids as we try and explain what the meaning of some of the proverbs are. For example The tongue ties knots that the teeth can't loosen. They each have a different saying. Aside from buying green MnM's, I never celebrate this holiday, but it looks like I am this year. My inlaws will be here and we're having our neighbors over for dinner (you know the food thing always stresses me out). What to serve? Cornbeef and cabbage? Do people really it that? Is it any good? Please give me your suggestions. The full menu would be nice.


This is Ashley's all-time most favorite sundress. She would continue to wear it forever if I would allow it, but the kid keeps growing and it's just too short...
This is just one of the many pairs of jeans that she's worn a hole in. I think they must crawl around at school or something. All my girls are sporting holes this year.
This is how I've solved the dilemma of a too short dress and holey jeans. I'm thrilled with the results and can't wait to tackle the next outfit. I'd love to do something like this etsy seller does. Click here.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Get your gear on!

I was so excited when the opportunity came along to ride with my friends Heather and Mike yesterday. I didn't even have a chance to knock of the layers of dust that coated my gear. Not to mention to check my bike out. I was just happy to be riding again... Despite almost a year and half long hiatus, I think I was able to hold my own and not slow the group down - too much. I was fine on the flats, but any incline at all and I was sucking wind and feeling the burn (It's a good thing Texas is mostly flat!). I only have 7 more weekends left before the MS150 is here and it became quite apparent that I'll need to utilize every day to get in shape. Anybody else out there training for an upcoming event or goal?

Green Goodness

My very funny friend Jill who recently fell down a set of stairs ( in front of her colleagues and broke a rib - yes, a painful and embarrassing situation, but when told by Jill would make you laugh.) sent me this basket full of all kinds of green goodness to cheer me up! I didn't realize I needed the cheering until the following day when I came down with strep throat! Your timing couldn't have been better Jill. I'm putting a little something together for you my graceful friend. Hopefully, it will ease your pains and melt your stress away... Thank you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fort Worth Zoo

The oldest zoo in Texas was the perfect spot for a Saturday picnic with the Dye family. The girls were excited to see their friend Kayley who also moved from Delaware.

I won't bore you with the usual animal pics. You've seen one giraffe... you've seen 'em all.

Texas has a new wonder to add to their hall. (Remember, we're at the zoo!)
The girls in an aquatic bubble.
Every zoo has a stagecoach. Right?
Feeding the birds.
All the fun wore us out too.

I Won! I Won!

Somebody in North Carolina had been holding out on me, but they finally gave it up. And at a very decent price too.
The collection is complete... somehow it makes living in Texas a little more real. Notice the long skinny green thing in the picture? This is part of my Cereus plant. I thought it was a new leaf, but it just keeps growing up and up... I should take a pic of it so you can see how precarious it looks.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Party Fun

2 1/2 months of party planning paid off! With her husband's blessing and $$ I have been in high party gear since December prepping and planning for Mari's 50th Surprise Party. It was a lot of work and sneakiness, but well worth it. Mari blesses the socks off everyone she knows and it was finally her turn to be on the receiving end.

Every pampered birthday girl needs her own monogrammed Spa Robe!

I made fancy spa slippers and comfort warmers and included yummy soap in the Gift Bags.

Guest made there own bath salts from the recipes provided. What an indulgence!

Spa Water

A big shout out to those of you who helped me throw the Birthday Girl off the trail by responding to my fake party invite. She was completely surprised. Yeah!

In the end it was Mari's dear friends who flew in for the special occasion that really made the day!