Friday, December 17, 2010

Sing Baby Sing!

What is it about little kiddies music programs? I mean, they are so darn cute! Those sweet little voices, bodies jumping up and down with excitement, the enthusiastic waves at mom and dad and the light in their eyes when they finally see mom and dad. Such joy and jubilation in those little spirited angels!

Cupcake Girl had her first music program at her preschool. Oh what FUN! Her mama was soooo proud. We stood on opposite sides of the room. Me with camera in hand and her with her video camera. GrandBob had the center view. Her mama said she was excited and wanted to make sure that she (her mama) would clap for her (Cupcake Girl). I look over at her mama a few times and could she her welling up with tears!

Yes, I remember those first music programs. Oh the memories!


Looking for mama. Oh she sees GrandBob first, then Nunu and finally mama!
































And sing she did!








This picture on the left just cracked me up. One little one digging for gold, one looks distressed, one looking bored and one wishing this thing were over. Little Cupcake Girl, well, she was actually paying attention! Then in the picture on the right she decided that the action behind her was worth observing more so than the action in front! Funny!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Adventures in Gingerbread

There I was, browsing through Target and I saw the aisle end-cap. Look! Gingerbread Houses and Gingerbread Trains. Read the back of the box and hey, looks pretty easy. They even give you a tray to help you stand the house/train in. Bet I know who would like to help make this! With oodles of excitement I purchased those babies!

Friday night rolls around and it’s time to make the Gingerbread House.













Everything is packaged nicely and after a little kneading of the royal icing you are ready to go!



















I had assembling duty and Cupcake headed up the decorating committee.













Observations: Well I would have to give this project a rating of 5. Take a look at the pictures below. Note, the top picture is not our finished product.





























The worst part of this project was working with the royal icing they provided. The vital element to this project was the royal icing they provided. I even put some of the icing in a small Ziploc and cut a tiny hole so I could master the tiny windows and other tiny spaces that required the icing. Failure! Although decorating was fun for both of us, it was a PITA to assemble!

Cupcake had fun playing with all the candy and she did ALL the candy decorating unassisted. Love those little details!













Fast forward to Saturday morning. Now it’s time for the Gingerbread Train! New idea…..let’s get out the…..




























HOT GLUE GUN!!!! Fool me once you Gingerbread Kit Makers and shame on me! Ahhh the hot glue gun. Gotta love it! Now, if it would just come in colors, that would be awesome!


















Someone decided that being the Head Candy Decorator was hard work and required the removal of clothing items. So, once that good ‘ole train was hot glued together it was time for the adorning process.



















Unveiling of the finished product…..





















Observations: Much easier to assemble with the hot glue gun but the royal icing was still a PITA.

All in all, it was a fun project to make with Cupcake Girl and I love how they turned out. Next time, I just won’t compare to the pictures on the box and maybe I’ll make my own royal icing!

How about a parting shot?
































There she is!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Little Bit of Christmas

































































































































Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hawk Rescue

Today I experienced something that is certainly not an everyday occurrence. I headed out to pick up Cupcake from preschool and realized I still had about 45 minutes. So, I turned around and headed to a little shop up the road. When I took the off-ramp I glanced over to the grass and saw a huge bird. After yelling “Oh sh#$ that’s a hawk,” I took the next right and drove like a bat out of hell through the backside of KFC.

A red tail hawk was perched up on a grassy knoll and I thought he might be guarding his lunch. Of course, I didn’t have either camera with me so I knew I would have to use my camera phone. I walked slowly toward the hawk and he just seemed to look at me, not moving, then ignoring me. Continuing on, I kept snapping and zooming with the camera phone.







































And finally I was about 6 feet away from him….













He decided to fly away from me just a little bit, but kept very low to the ground. I thought something might be wrong. I looked around and didn’t see anything that he might have been guarding. So, I decided to take a video of this beautiful creature.

In the video you can see that he is keeping an eye on the crows that were flying overhead.

Two painter-guys stopped. After a brief conversation, painter-guy decided to try an scare him into flight to see if he really was injured. Yep. He was favoring his left leg and wing just a little bit. Enough that he couldn’t get more than about 4 feet off the ground.

At this point painter-guy decided he must be captured……the crows numbers were growing and they were getting anxious. Today I learned that crows actually kill hawks. Sad, but true.

We formed a posse, well a 3-person posse, and tried to throw a coat over the hawk. Hawk flew into some dead shrubs and painter-guy called several facilities. They said they would take him in, but they couldn’t send anyone out. That meant that we would have to capture the poor creature.

We formed our 3-person posse again and tried to tire hawk out. We accomplished this after about 15 minutes and painter-guy threw his coat over the hawk and rushed in to grab him. He immediately flipped hawk on his back so that he wouldn’t get clawed. He brought him out and we started walking quickly to painter-guy’s truck.

I must say, I think hawk was pretty relieved. He only hissed a little bit and didn’t even struggle. Painter-guy, on the other hand, was shaking like a leaf. He just wanted to get hawk to safety. He friend got in the driver’s seat and I stood in the passenger door gazing at this beautiful bird in painter'-guy’s lap.

I have never been that up close and personal with a bird of prey. Amazing, awesome, thrilling, exhilarating, etc…..

I asked painter-guy if he was okay and he nervously said yes. While he held that creature I gently placed his coat over the hawks body and made sure hawk’s head was tucked into the coat sleeve. I looked at painter-guy with tears in my eyes and saw tears in his. I asked him again if he was okay and he said yes.

I told him thank you and he said, “If it wasn’t for you stopping to take you pictures this big guy would be dead in a hour, so thank you.”

I looked at him, touched that coat one last time and said, Merry Christmas.

Just as he was closing the door, I yelled, “Oh yea…..make sure you don’t let that big guy go in your truck.” They both laughed and I watched them leave.


When I told my younger daughter this story she said, “Well I guess you can cross that one off your bucket list.”


I saw a saying around a picture frame today that said It’s not the day you remember, but the moment.


I will always remember the moment.

Thank you God for changing my path today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Little Movie Date

For the “Wednesday Playdate” the Captain and I took Cupcake Girl to lunch at Red Lobster.













She loves his iPad.






















Then we went to the theater and saw this:





















Tangled a sweet movie by Disney. It is the tale of the long-haired Princess Rapunzel. She gets kidnapped as a baby, then spends 18 years in a tower. Until a bandit happens her way and she bribes him into helping her venture into the outside world. Here’s a few shots from the movie (yes, I took pictures. It was so beautiful, I couldn’t resist!)









































This little guy was one of my favorites…I think his name is Pascal.























Oh yes, she loved it! After the movie was over she said, “Can we see it again?”

I have to say, THIS MOVIE WAS AWESOME!! Funny, beautiful, left-you-feeling-good, great musical scores, wonderful dancing thugs, amazing animation and I will go see it again…..and probably again. The Captain loved it too, and he said, “We will get the Blue-Ray.”

What a great playdate!

Up next will be this great movie:






















Love those Coen brothers and what a cast! I’m a big John Wayne fan and know that this will probably be a tab bit darker than the original, but I know I will love it!

How about TWO parting shots today?DSC_0425




















This is Cupcake doing…..he’s not really asleep!











More on this later……

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Word of Thanks

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

When I first read the quote above, I thought it spoke so eloquently of what I wanted to say. I decided to paraphrase it into my own words, so, on my recent facebook post I said, “I am thankful for all that has been, all that is and all that is to come.” The Captain (my sweet husband) said, “Even the bad?” Yes. Even the bad. Gratitude does help us to make sense of our past, even though we may not fully understand it. It certainly brings us peace and we see hope in the future.

Be gracious Show those around you, even strangers, your graciousness just as our Heavenly Father shows us His graciousness.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Mother

My Mother turned 77 on October 30. I know she wouldn’t mind me telling her age……she’s proud of it! Lately, I have been thinking about her and growing up. Not only do I love my Mother immensely, but I have tremendous admiration for her. She is kind, generous, strong and very loving. She is a woman of substance.






















Often, you hear that statement – woman of substance. I googled it and found the following:

To discover what it means to be a woman of substance, we must define the term. lists a variety of meanings for the word substance. One is: "substantial or solid character or quality." Other definitions included "consistency, body" and "something that has separate or independent existence." Based on these definitions, a woman of substance would be a woman who has strong character, is consistent, has more to her than meets the eye and has a variety of interests outside and within her home and family. She possess peacefulness, love, patience and steadfastness. She possesses virtues that make others around her notice that she is not shallow.

I could not have stated it more accurately. Those words are my Mother.

The above paragraph states that a woman of substance possesses patience. Even when her life, job, friends, children or husband drive her crazy (and I’m sure we did), she knows that it is better to respond with patience than to react in anger. I don’t remember ever hearing my Mother raise her voice. Did she get mad? Yes. As a little girl, I remember developing a fear of thunder and lightening. My parents couldn’t figure out why. One day, Mother came home from work during an approaching storm. The house was quiet. She slowly and quietly walked toward the bedrooms and heard my two brothers laughing. They didn’t know she was home. She didn’t see me in my room. As she headed to the other part of the house she must have heard me crying. I was in a closet, not locked in, but I was too scared to figure out how to get out. That day, she figured out my developing fear. My brothers had been putting me in a closet during storms when my parents weren’t home (my brothers are 5 and 8 years older than me). I do remember her getting pretty mad and I think my brothers remember it too, vividly. As innocent/funny as my brothers thought this prank to be, it truly impacted my life. Thank you my sweet Mother for protecting me.






















My Grandmother, Mother and myself…..somewhere in Washington D.C.? I think? Don’t we look thrilled! 

A woman of substance also conducts her life with honesty and integrity. I don’t ever remember Mother saying unkind things about other folks. She has always avoided gossip. Her heart and soul are kind and she would do anything for anyone. There have been times where I have seen her beautiful heart and soul wounded. Wounded by those that said they cared and loved. Through the hurt and sadness she never spoke ill of them. I wanted to lash out and protect her, but her examples and her unspoken words have shown and continue to show me the right path to take. Thank you Mother for living your life with honesty and integrity.











Mother and Daddy with my baby girls. 

Mother has always had many interests. Gardening, sewing, cooking, decorating, crafting, etc. From the time I was born, my Mother sewed many of my clothes. I remember her telling me that she and her very dear friend, Mrs. Sawyer, would make trips into Birmingham and go to, I believe it was Newberrys. They would window shop and then Mother would sketch out designs of the little dresses and adapt these designs to the patterns she had at home. She was am expert seamstress. She learned these skills from her Mother, Louise, my grandmother, who was also a gifted seamstress and teacher. As I grew, Mother continued to make my clothes, from fancy undies to a prom dress and she even revamped her own wedding dress to accommodate me. When her beautiful granddaughters entered the world, she took on a new project, smocking. These clothes were beautiful and I still have each and every one. As a teenager, I know I may not have shown or verbalized my appreciation of her gift of sewing and there may have been times that I wished for more of the “store bought” clothes, but I did like to brag to my friends that my Mother made my clothes! She taught me to sew as well. I’m not as gifted as she, but I am very grateful that I have sewn for my daughters a bit and now my granddaughter. Thank you for the gift of sewing, Mother.












As gifted as Mother was at sewing, she was and still is an amazing cook. From homemade birthday cakes/desserts, to fried pies and fresh vegetables, baked beans and potato salad, made-from-scratch dressing and even liver and onions! Delectable! The list I could make would go on forever, as could the stories! I always got to lick the batter bowl after she made a cake and eventually I actually did the baking while she washed the dishes. One of the most treasured things that I have is her old recipe box and her handwritten recipes, especially her dressing recipe. I use to carry the dressing recipe around in my wallet, but it now resides in the recipe box. Thank you for the gift of cooking, Mother.












The dictionary defines love as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. My mother exemplifies this definition. You see it in her beautiful blue eyes as she looks at my father. You feel in in her touch as she caresses your hand in hers. You hear it in her voice and laughter. I makes me smile when I hear her scold my dad by saying, “Donald!” My parents are affectionate folks. A pat on the behind, a quick kiss in the kitchen, holding hands and loving embraces. My dad loves and adores my Mother. It shows. Mother loves and adores my dad. It shows. Both of them love me. It shows. Thank you my sweet Mother for your love. Your love for life, for others, your love for your husband and your love for me.












Mother, I love you will all my heart. Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Colors Continue

My, oh, my! As I said in my past post, fall seems to keep ushering in colorful goodness. Just take a look at the colors of today. The leaves, the berries, the clouds, the mushrooms, new discoveries and the painted face of Cupcake Girl.















































































































What better way to end a walk than with a little ride on your favorite shoulders.

























And what better way to end you beautiful day…..a little music and a birthday wish to Grandpa in Nevada! Here is today’s parting shot…….