Monday, October 31, 2011


Today couldn't have been any better, for the kids, that is.  They didn't have school today because the first grading period is over and today's a teacher record day.  Then they got to put on costumes and go door to door gathering pounds of candy.  Here are the three ghouls.
Halloween 2011
They aren't very scary, are they?  Meg is Agent P (from Phineas and Ferb), Kade is obviously Captain America, and Mattey is Little Red Riding Hood.  I think they look great.  Kade is the only one that had to change his mind about his costume.  He wanted to be a football player but we couldn't find a helmet that didn't cost over $100.  So if anyone has one laying around and would like to give it to a 6 year old his dream could come true next year.  I think I'll start searching thrift stores and craigslist too.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Today Kade wanted to play checkers.  We have a set of big checkers that are played on a rug.  He wanted to use those but I don't think he could find them all.  So I looked in the game closet.  I didn't see a game.  Kade pointed one out.  Oh, yes, the pirate game set has checkers.
Pirate Checkers 
Kade has never played checkers before so you can imagine how the first game went.  I went easy on him but the game still ended with tears.  I talked him into trying it again.  He agreed.  The second game was much closer - we were down to kings and I had one more than he did - and there were no tears.  He asked to play a third game.  We played.  Let's just say that Kade is a quick study at strategy and the student surpassed the teacher.  I didn't cry, just for the record.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What the Hail?

(Mickey and I both said, at the same time, that this should be the title of today's post.  Sometimes it's scary how much we think alike.)

This morning was Kade's last soccer game.  It was chilly but the sun was out making it not terrible.  I didn't bring the camera because the battery was dead from last night.  So I got a picture later of Kade and his medal.  He's so proud.
Soccer Medal
Megan, who didn't go to the game because she's still sick, had called me to ask if I heard thunder.  The sky was blue with big fluffy clouds.  I told her it was just planes coming in for the game.  Little did I know that she was right about the thunder.  A little while later a storm front moved in from no where.  The sky got dark and the rain started.  Then came the hail.  What?
What the hail?
I opened the door to the deck to take a few pictures.  In between shots I saw a red flash and so after there was a thunder so loud it could only mean that the lightening had been right outside the house (probably the red flash I saw).  The entire house shook violently with the noise.  The freaking out began, by the kids. It was still hailing when Mickey wanted to leave for the game.  Luckily everything moved away so he and Chris could enjoy the game.  And a good game it was too.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Fifth Time

Way back in May we bought tickets for a concert in October.  The date on the tickets is today, not tomorrow like we thought.  The entertainers...Straight No Chaser, aka SNC.  This is our (Mickey, Meg, & I) fifth time seeing them and/or the IU group.  They were fantastic as always.  The time at the concert just flew by.  I could have watched them perform for a few more hours.
I'm Yours
In the picture they are singing I'm Yours.  They sang a lot of good stuff.  They did Elvis songs (I'm not a huge fan of his but they made it cool),  Michael Buble's Just Haven't Met You Yet, and my all time fave Coldplay's Fix You.  So glad they have a new, but small, album coming out the end of next month.  Can't wait to see them again....some day.

We got home just in time to watch the end of the world series.  Go Cardinals!  I wish I would have gotten a shirt when we were in St. Louis earlier this year. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Autumn Leaves & More Acorns

The acorns I made last week made a big impression on Kade's teacher.  (He just had to show it off when he took one for lunch.)  She called me last Friday and asked if I could come in and make them with the class.  I told her I was happy to.  I had thought of taking a picture of little hands making the treats but it went so quickly and I had to be aware of what was going on so I never made the time to take a picture.  But as Kade and I were leaving school I saw something I couldn't pass up.
Autumn Leaves
The weather had been gray and rainy in the morning but after lunch it started clearing up.  These clouds were still dark and I thought they made an interesting backdrop for the Autumn colored trees.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Popcorn & a Movie

Tonight we sent the kids to bed or at least tried to.  Meg had a long day at school so she was up late doing homework.  She needed some help with her Espanol.  That's my subject, I guess.  (I'll take that any day over math.  It's just been too long for me to remember.)  After she went back upstairs I popped some corn and we settled down to watch the end of a movie we began on Monday night.  We were both too tired to finish it then.  Can you guess what movie we watched?
Popcorn & a Movie

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A New Look

The chair we use at the computer desk has been bugging me.  One, it's not comfy to sit in for long periods of time.  Two, it blends in with all the wood cabinetry.  Three, it's kind of boring.
Chair Before
I've looked for a new chair but haven't found anything I liked.  The chair cannot have arms and the wheeled bottoms look too wide.  I decided this would be today's project.  So I went to the store for some spray paint and a chair pad.  After a little work and about $25 it looks like this.
Chair After
Much better, don't you think?  It still needs a protective coat but I can do that later.  

I left the finger smudges on the monitor to show you that my house is not perfectly clean.  Mickey had a little problem with this but since I'm the one blogging I'm leaving it.  I want to blog real life not a perfect life.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kade's Collection

This morning I noticed the top of Kade's nightstand.  He had quite a collection of things on it.  I felt the need to document that.  I just hope this doesn't mean he's going to be a pack rat.
Kade's Nightstand
A few things I found interesting in this collection are the papers that stickers used to be on, the coffee straws he took from the hotel we had dinner with friends at last night, the "football" mints from Nana, and the empty gum wrapper (from Grandma).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meg's Sick

This morning I got an e-mail from Meg.  "Grandpa's bringing me home before church.  I don't feel good."  Even though it seems that Meg gets hurt a lot, or re-aggravates a previous injury, she doesn't get sick a lot.  She complained of a sore throat, maybe some allergies, and just feeling yucky.  I gave her some Benadryl and told her to drink a lot and rest while we were gone.  To my surprise she listened to me.  When we came home from church she was asleep.
Sick Meg
She had a fever later.  Hmmm.  Looks like she's staying home from school tomorrow.  She wasn't too sick that she couldn't enjoy the candy from the Trunk-or-Treat yesterday.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blinding Bling

Mickey and I went to the game tonight.  (The kids stayed the night at Grandma & Grandpa's house.  Thank you!)  This is the first night game in a long time and it was against a big rival, USC.  ND had on their new helmets.  We couldn't decide if we liked them or not.  They were a little blinding under the lights.  They looked a little like bling. What do you think?  Maybe they were trying to blind their opponents?  I don't think it worked.
Blinging or Blinding
This was not a good game to attend but I'm glad it was me that went instead of one of the kids.  I'm not saying that because ND couldn't pull out a win but because of the vulgar and rude mouths sitting all around us.  Come on people it's just a game not a life and death situation.  Not enjoyable at all.  I'm glad I stayed warm (thanks to Amy for letting me wear some of her cold weather clothes) or I would have been totally miserable.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Touring the Gug

Mickey had the opportunity to tour "The Gug" this morning.  He went with our big friend and his family.  Then they went over to the stadium to look around the locker room.  Mickey got to touch the sign.  He's so lucky.
The ND Tour
Today was an ND filled day.  We ended up going to the pep rally.  We were given some family passes which let us get close to the stage.  So not worth it for me.  I would much rather watch from the back and not really see much than be squished in with rude people all around me.  After the pep rally we walked over to Eddy St. Commons to listen to Mickey's cousin's band.  It was a late night and by the time we got home we were freezing!  I hope it's not as cold tomorrow night for the game.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I don't think I've ever blogged about this.  Chicken Cordon Bleu is something I've been making for at least 16 years.  The best part, most of us really like it.

It all started when we were invited to dinner at someone's house.  It was soon after church so when we got to their house the wife was just starting to get dinner together.  She made Chicken Cordon Bleu.  This was the first time I really absorbed a recipe by watching, at least a complicated recipe.  Over the years I have tweaked it more to my liking, for example, the wife used ritz cracker crumbs but I now use bread crumbs.  Just a little more sophisticated.
Chicken Cordon Bleu 
We had company for dinner tonight so that's what I decided to make since I haven't had it in a long while.  We thought we were having 7 extra people for dinner so at Mickey's insisting I made 18 servings.  We know our company can eat so we wanted to have enough.  Actually Mickey thought I should make 24.  (I had to buy a meat tenderizer for today's dinner because the last time I made this I broke my rolling pin flattening the chicken.  Oops.)  Boy am I glad I only made 18.  There were only 5 guests and we only emptied one pan that had 7!  We sent a few home with our guests and now we'll have to figure out what to do with the rest.  Maybe we'll eat it but probably not.  I guess we could always drop some off to the missionaries.

If anyone wants my recipe let me know.  It's late and I don't feel like typing it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Making Costumes

The one costume real costume I'm making for Halloween may as well be three for all the trouble it's giving me.  I got all the supplies together to start working on Mat's costume, Little Red Riding Hood.  (The trunk-or-treat is Saturday so I have to have everything done a week early, which is good and bad.)
Making Costumes
My first problem was there were about 5 pages of pattern pieces because each piece was printed twice in two different sizes.  Normally I like this because it makes the pattern last a little longer but I was starting to feel the time crunch and didn't want to search through all the pages to find the right pieces.  The next thing was my fault.  I read the pattern piece wrong.  There were two different cutting lines for the body of the cape but I only saw the bottom one which meant I didn't have enough fabric.  Once I figured out my mistake I was good to go until...the pattern info was wrong.  I bought the gingham to be the cape's lining.  The back of the package said I needed the same amount of fabric no matter the width, 45"-60".  That was wrong.  I couldn't make it work and now I have to go back to the store tomorrow for more fabric.  Like I really have time for that.  We're having company for dinner.  Those are my only complaints today.  There might be more later.  Like I'm sure it won't really be a 2 hour project like the package claims.  Does anyone really get projects done in the time stated on the envelope?  I don't think I ever have.  That might be the user's fault though.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lots Going On

I had a lot to choose from to blog about today.  I had lunch with my grandma.  I borrowed Meg's shoes (yes, her feet are that big), without asking.  (Shh, don't tell her.  She never found out and she really doesn't like it when someone, especially Mattey, goes in her room and takes things.)  Then Mattey and I went out to get all the stuff I'll need to make her costume.  She's the only one I'm really sewing for, thank goodness.  Even with all that going on I decided to go with something else.

A while ago, maybe back in September, I read on some blog I follow about acorn treats made with doughnut holes.  They were real cute and looked very easy.  I tried finding where I saw it but alas I cannot, but here's something like it.  So I tried making them tonight.  It was pretty simple and they look cute.
Acorn Treat
(Please ignore the frosting I used as glue on the bottom of the acorn.  Ugh.)

For the next time...I will melt the frosting or Nutella so I can dip the doughnut hole instead of doing the hard way of spreading the frosting on top.  I would also like to use a doughnut hole with a non-gooy glaze.  It was way too sticky.  And last I would like to try some crushed toffee instead of the jimmies.  Maybe I'd use different flavor doughnuts too.  Hmmm....

Now I need to find something to do since I am a 360 widow tonight.  The new Batman game arrived on our doorstep this afternoon. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Big Leaves

The leaves are falling down and around here we have some really big ones.
Big Leaves
I found these at Walmart, of all places, and had to get them.  Kind of wish I would have seen them a few weeks ago.  At least they can stick around for all of next month too.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Family Photo Shoot

This year I want to send out Thanksgiving cards, along with a photo, of course, since I never got around to sending out Christmas cards last year with our new address.

One day I was driving down a nearby road and saw a great spot in which to take the family's picture.  It just said Autumn to me.  Now that I found the spot I had to put together outfits for everyone.  That can be a challenge with all the picky people I have to deal with.  I found all but one thing at one store.  Wow, this was really going together.  I planned to take the picture Saturday because the forecast said it would be overcast and no rain.  Here's where the hitch in the plan comes in, 'cause there's always one, right?  Yesterday was windy and I'm talking 50 mph winds windy.  The tripod was not going to stay up and our hair would be everywhere.  Dang.

Today's forecast was for scattered showers but very little wind.  Maybe it would work.  After church it was sunnier than I thought it would be.  I decided we better to the shoot about 30 minutes before the sun set.  It was pretty much perfect timing, light wise.  I told the kids we didn't have a lot of time to mess around and I really needed them to cooperate.  I told them what I wanted so they knew what to expect.  It was going really well until Kade decided to tell a joke.
Family Photo Shoot
Did you really think I was going to show you the picture that's getting sent out in our card?  Maybe when I send it out.  ;-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Our Little Volunteer

Today has been very windy and somewhat chilly.  If the sun hadn't been out we would have froze at Kade's soccer game this morning.  When we got home from the game we noticed that the neighbor was cutting down a dead tree in his yard.  As soon as the van was put in park a few of us ran right over to watch the neighbor in action.

Kade ended up staying for about 4 hours to help the neighbor.  He opened the truck doors when Mr. L. brought the wood over.  He carried very heavy pieces of wood.  And pushed the empty wheelbarrow back to the worksite.  I'm sure he talked Mr. L.'s ear off too.  He did all that hard work wearing my gardening gloves and his soccer uniform.  (And of course I never got around to taking a picture of him helping.  Why haven't I learned that lesson yet?)

We thought he deserved a treat for being such a good helper.  We went out to eat, which has really become a treat since we rarely do it.  Kade got to pick where we went.  He picked Arby's.
Our Little Volunteer
He had a shake to wash down his roast beef sandwich.

Mickey and I were not happy with the food.  For the amount of money we spent we could have had good food at Chick-Fil-A.  Arby's is now on our list of places we no longer frequent. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bedtime Shakes

Bedtime Shake 
The kids, mostly the reds, have been begging to have a shake before bed the last week or more.  Until a few days ago I didn't have a problem with it.  But today has been chilly and the house is only getting colder.  (In fact we sent the kids off to bed and Mickey is starting a fire so we can be warm while we watch a movie.)  They don't seem to care that it's chilly/cold.  They still want a shake.  Tonight I made it in the blender but usually we'll soften the ice cream (always vanilla) a little, put it in a cup, add milk and vanilla, and stir until blended.  I like that way better, less clean up.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another Reader

I love to read.  I haven't always but for most of my adult life I have devoured books.

Meg loves to read.  She has loved books since she could hold them in her hands.

Mat loves to read.  She has just recently discovered that reading is fun.

Mickey....we'll just say he doesn't have time to read and if he does he's asleep in 10 minutes.

Kade is the new reader.  I think he really enjoys it.  I want to cultivate that love so when we went to the library today I let him get his own library card (I forgot the camera, darn it).  He was so excited.  He checked out his own books all by himself.  I was so proud.  ( I missed the whole thing since I was on the other side of the library.  But Mickey witnessed the big moment.)

To mark the big day I thought this picture kind of sums it up.  He's reading Batman if you can't tell.
Another Reader

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Polishing the Brass

So to speak.

Our house has a lot of brass hardware in it.  I'm kind of sick of it.  I love the oil rubbed bronze and black hardware.  I have saved us money on replacing some of it.  If you don't recall this post, I spray painted the handles and pulls in the kitchen.  (I have found out from the wear and tear the handles take, I should have used some kind of sealer on them and maybe a primer.  Guess that will be a project for next year.)  I decided to do the same thing to a few of our lights.  They are in good condition and the style is pretty classic so there really wasn't any need to buy new ones except for the color.  So I bought some spray paint instead.  I thought I'd share the process with you.
Ugly Brass Light 
Step 1.  Get your handy husband to take the lights down for you, unless you know what you're doing electricity wise.
Step 2.  Clean the item to be painted and mask off anything that shouldn't be painted.
Step 3.  I skipped this one and will do it next time.  Prime the light.  Brass is very hard to cover so you use a lot more paint than you need to.
Step 4.  Set up a spray area, preferably outside.
Paint in Process 
Step 5.  Spray away.  Read the directions on the can and beware of the wind.  (I have some dirty looking feet thanks to the wind.)
Step 6.  Let the paint dry.  (I didn't seal it because they hang on the ceiling and no one touches them.)
Step 7.  Ask handy husband to put them back up.  Assist when necessary.  
Finished Light
I think they look great.  I have two more to do but the weather doesn't seem like it's going to cooperate anytime soon.  I think the Indian Summer is over.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catch & Release

Tonight for the Young Women activity Meg and the others went fishing.  It was a request from one of the girls.  Mickey called his aunt and set up fishing off their doc.  Everyone had a good time and even caught a few fish.  One leader freaked out when her fish wiggled itself off the hook.  She ended up kicking the poor thing back into the lake.
Meg's Catch
It was a gorgeous autumn night to be out on the lake, well, on the bank. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Leaves

The leaves are changing colors.  They are starting to fall off the trees.  At least they are in other people's yards.  The reds really wanted to jump in a pile of leaves.  I saw them walking off with rakes in tow to the neighbors' yard which was full of leaves.
Fall Leaves
(Photo courtesy of Mattey.)
They didn't ask permission so I made sure they scattered the leaves back up before they came in for dinner.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grilling in October

The weather has been so wonderful lately I had to take advantage of it and grill our dinner.
Grilling in October
Mickey asked how he could help with dinner and I gave him the job of flipping the burgers.  

I'm really enjoying this bit of Indian Summer we're having.  I hope it holds out for a while longer.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It Couldn't Have Been Better

It was finally my turn and I picked a great game to go to.
Game Day
First of all, the weather was perfectly lovely.  We couldn't have asked for anything better.  The sun was shining and there was a breeze.  The temperature was around 80.  Like I said, perfect.

Second, we got to meet some family of our player friends.  It was fun to talk to them and get to know them a little.

Third, Notre Dame won!  It wasn't just a win, they were blowing them away the first three quarters.  Then they let the first string guys rest which allowed some other guys to get some experience.

Fourth, we didn't have to worry about our kids all day.  Thanks to my parents for keeping the reds and the  Stones for letting Meg hang out with them.

Last, but certainly not least, I got to spend a lot of time with my husband.  Actually that was the best part of the day even though I kept getting splinters in my bum from the bench, we were packed in like sardines, and we were in the sun until the 4th quarter.  I would do it all again.

I can't wait for the USC game.  Go Irish!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Irish Green

We skipped out on Kade's soccer practice this afternoon because the weather was glorious and we wanted to go to the Irish Green to see the happenings on campus.  We haven't been yet this year.
Irish Green
The boys wore THE SHIRT.   We got there a little early so not much was going on right away.  Then we realized there was going to be a pep assembly as well.  Good.  Once things started happening people showed up by the dozens.  The main attractions were face painting, balloon twisting, a rock wall, a football toss, Ben's pretzels, huge slices of pizza, and a live band.  (We learned if we go again we better pack some snacks or a sack lunch.  Everything was very expensive.)  And of course hearing the band and seeing the cheerleaders, the leprechaun, and the team.  We spied our friends from our lousy observation point but enjoyed the lively atmosphere.  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

No More Spacer

When Mattey was around four she had to have a tooth pulled because it came in decaying when she was one.  By the time she was four there wasn't much left to it anymore.  Then it became infected.  We didn't worry about the hole that was left except to make sure there wasn't any food stuck in it.

At a dentist appt. I asked about the hole because it had started getting smaller with her adult teeth coming in.  They recommended she see an orthodontist.  Good thing Meg already had one.

I think it was about 18-24 months ago Mattey got a spacer to keep that hole open.  She has been waiting and waiting for the tooth to come in so she could get it out.  It didn't slow her down with eating but it annoyed her when food got stuck in it.

Today Mat had another growth check up appt. with the orthodontist.  I didn't think anything about it because we have to keep going in every 3 months.  Well I was sitting in the lobby waiting and waiting.  Then I figured out she must be getting it out since I'm usually called back within 10 minutes for the "everything looks good but we're still waiting" speech.  Mattey came out to the lobby with a big smile on her face.  My suspicions were confirmed.  She is now spacer free and loving it.
No More Spacer
We still have to go back in 10 weeks to make sure everything's alright.  I love how watchful the orthodontist is and I really love that all these growth check ups are covered in the one bill.

The only thing that topped the spacer removal today was Mickey coming home from a work trip to CA.  I'm so glad to have him back.  I don't enjoy being a single mother but it was better than I thought it would be.  Somebody must have been praying for me.  Thanks.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sad Day for Apple Lovers

In case you didn't know we are Apple lovers/users at our house.  We have more Apple products than I care to count.  It seemed only fitting to mention the passing of Steve Jobs today.  Thanks to him we have lots of toys to keep us entertained.

p.s. I just watched this video to learn how to take a screen shot.  I think I did good, right Babe?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Painted Letters

I finished another project today that I started weeks ago.  Meaning I got the supplies weeks ago.  Some of the lag time was not my fault.  You can't spray paint when it's in the 50s and raining, which was all of last week.

I found some gold letters at Hobby Lobby, where else, for 50% off and wanted to hang them in our bedroom.  I didn't like the gold so I painted them black to go with the rest of the room.

What do you think?  (I don't like that the wall color never comes through the camera right.  It's a lovely shade of aqua not this dull color I can't even name.)
Painted Letters
Now I just need Mickey to have some free time to help me hang them.  They're going right between the windows.  That blank space has always bugged me because I couldn't think of or find anything to put there. It's almost like it was sticking it's tongue out at me every time I walked in the room.  It won't be doing that much longer.

I'm thinking about putting a fancy FOREVER underneath.  That'd be lovely, don't you think?

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Little Bit Chilly

I am not ready to turn on the furnace yet.  How about you?  It's been chilly lately and getting down in the 30s and 40s at night.  This means our house is getting chilly too.  We have a space heater but it takes a while to heat up a room, especially a big one like our kitchen-family room combo.  Today I went outside and realized it's warmer outside than in the house.  When I went back in I opened the windows to try to heat the house.  It didn't really work.
Cold House
It only got up to 65.  The rest of the week's supposed to be in the 70s.  Maybe it'll warm up some more.  If not, I can always spend some time outside in the sunshine.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Listening to Conference

We listened/watched General Conference yesterday and today.  The hardest part for us is keeping the kids busy enough to listen but not busy enough that they get rowdy.  Usually they are coloring or working on some pages from a special conference packet.  It didn't get printed this time.  Instead they found something else to do.
Listening to Conference
I just hope that while their hands were busy their ears were open.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pink for October

It's October already.  Can you believe it?

Meg went to a Breast Cancer Fundraiser at school today.  There was a marathon volleyball tournament along with other activities.  One thing she couldn't pass up was getting a pink hair extension put in.  I was a little jealous.
I couldn't believe it when she came home with pink in her hair.  I guess when it's for a good cause she'll do something a little bit girlie.