Friday, July 31, 2009

Zoo, Food, and Organization

So as you read previously, my dad had surgery and has since been at home recovering. The doctor told him to get out and get moving to help him heal faster. Him, my mom and my niece went to the Fort Worth Zoo and invited Nuge and I along for the ride. This will be mainly a picture post, because we all know that pictures are more interesting than actual words. So here ya go:
Well if he had turned around I could have gotten a better shot.Nuge's favorite.Nuge with our beautiful niece, who hates her Aunt CayCay by the way.On the termite mounds.Nuge said "no" when I asked him if I could have one. :( boo on him!
So after the zoo, Nuge went off to work. I made him dinner! Potatoes Romanoff! So good and so easy!
You got your ingredients (3/4 cup of milk, 2 cups of water, a can of Cream Of, and Au Gratin). It called for Cream of Mushroom, but that stuff always makes me sick and I hate mushrooms, so I used Cream of Chicken and it was perfect!
Brown your meat. With seasonings.
Drain fat, then pour everything in. Just dump it all in there nice and good.
Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 25 minutes. Yep, that easy.
I was going to make Brussels sprouts but I picked up one bag and it was broccoli, so I put it back and picked up another bag and it was broccoli, too. Apparently, God wanted us to have broccoli instead. So I put frozen broc in the pot with some minced garlic, salt and pepper and water and let it heat up and come to a slight boil as the main meal was cookin. Real good stuff.
Wash it all down with those awesome cookies and there ya have it folks, an awesome, easy and delicious meal.

And one more thing:
I have a hard time staying focused on my weekly chores. I can't stay motivated to clean (but I still do it). So I decided to make something a little more fun and loud that will, hopefully, keep me on my toes. I call in my Colorful Cleaning Caldendar!
I bought some magnets from Hobby Lobby and measured out construction paper with the days of the week and chores (obviously). Hung em up on the fridge and it's nice, big, and colorful. I can rearrange the chores depending on if company is coming or not. I can add stuff or take away. It was fun to make and has really helped me stay organized.
Up close. I have doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen 5 days a week, as well as laundry 3 days a week. I also have trash and recycle done the night before pick up day so I can remember to do it. I tried to not put "big chores" all together and to break them up throughout the week. And if I have anything going on later in the day (like LifeGroup on Wednesdays) then I obviously don't want to be scrubbing potties before I head out, so those are on different days. I think it's fun and it lets me know what needs to be done. So far, so good!

And of course, can't leave you without a nice picture of Gus!
Silly puppy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's up with 2nd shift?

For 2 weeks, Nuge was on first shift for "Summer Shut Down". After being on 2nd shift since May, it was really difficult to adjust. In fact, I don't think either of us did. We were constantly tired, Nuge was getting sick, and I was having head aches. It was rough and I feel sorry for people who have to do 1st shift all the time. Not really. There are some pros and cons of 1st shift, 2nd shift, staying home, and working.

1st shift:
*Wake up at 6:30-6:45am. For natural night people (ahem us), this is no fun! For some people out there (ahem Mom and Davis) this is late.
*No breakfast because that would require waking up even earlier.
*No lunch with the wifey/hubby and that's sad, cause then we have to go the entire 9 hours without seeing each other. And let's face it, that's never fun for anyone!
*Morning nap with Gus that usually lasts between an hour to 2 hours. Always a good time!
*Wake up again and be hungry. But if you are anything like me, you don't like eating alone. So I would sometimes put off my hunger until later. I would try to snack on things, but then I'd remember that we don't keep snacky foods in the house for this very reason. So maybe a bag of popcorn, maybe nothing at all. Either way, not healthy.
*I'd lay around in jammies all day, because most of my friends work during the day, so I have nobody to hang with usually.
*I make dinner for Nuge.
*He's too tired to do anything because he's been running on 6 hours of sleep (and we all know that that's not enough).
*Gus is all confused about sleeping.
*I'm usually tired around 10, but stay up until Nuge gets tired which is around midnight, and then we start over.
With first shift, it just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. It feels like my time with Nuge is cut short, and that's no bueno.
*Get to hang out with the Walkers for LifeGroup more! Any day that we spend with the Walkers is a good day!

2nd shift:
*Going from a first shift Friday to a 2nd shift Monday = longer weekend!
*Go to bed around midnight or 1am on Sunday and wake up around 9:30 on Monday. That's a nice 8.5 hours of sleep! Not too shabby.
*Get up, have breakfast since we don't have to do anything until 2:30 when Nuge leaves for work.
*Hang out, watch a movie, play with Gus, talk, play around, and just have awesome husband and wife time.
*Nuge goes off to work, leaving me and Gus here all day to get stuff done. Usually Gus is ready for a nap, but I'm already up and ready for the day. So I stay in my jammies and start cleaning the house. Do laundry, vacuum, dust, change sheets, mop, and just all sorts of good stuff. All the while, watching movies to keep me entertained, because really, who enjoys cleaning in a quiet house? Better yet, who really enjoys cleaning? Show of hands now. Jan, you can't participate in this survey!
*I make dinner around 5pm. I usually make something kinda nice. Well, at least Nuge thinks it's nice. As soon as it's done, I put it in some of our handy dandy Tupperware that we got for or wedding, put Gus outside with some nice ice water (yeah she likes crushed ice...weird I know), then pack up and head up to Nuge's work.
*Arrive for dinner with Nuge. Nothing fancy, because remember, we are eating out of Tupperware, but at least we get to have dinner together. We talk and hang out for about 45 minutes and then he has to go back to work and I gotta go back home. After all, we do have a puppy that needs my love and care.
*Everyone goes to bed around 10 or 11 because everyone else has to wake up early for their jobs (suckers!) so Facebook gets a little lame late at night (sorry to the ones that I do chat with late at night. That's not meant for you. I love you, please don't leave me).
*Watch movies some more and play with Gus. Maybe bake some cookies to have ready when Nuge comes home. After he's home, we get another few hours to chill together before we turn in for the night.
So it just feels as though we get more QUALITY time together. That really is the main thing to me. I love spending time with him.

Staying home:
*There is only so much cleaning you can do.
*I am free to run errands at all hours of the day or night sometimes because I'm not bogged down with a "job". I'm totally not saying that staying at home isn't a job, because if you've ever stayed at home, you know it's hard work.
*I can do the things that God designed me to do; cook, clean, take care of children (hey, Gus does too count!!), and be there for my husband. It also gives me time to work on hobbies, which I've never had before. I'm learning how to sew and plan to get very good at it some day.
*Most of my friends work, so it does get lonely. But I can also go have some fun time with my mom and niece when I'm not lazy. Sorry Mom, I'll come by more often. I promise.
*When my mother in law is in town, we pick on each other and that's always fun. At least it is for me. ;) Love ya MommyJan!
*I get to have 3 meals a day with my husband.

Working outside the home:
*We made more money.
*The house was always a mess cause by the time we got home, we didn't want to do anything. Too tired from our long days.
*I only really cooked on days that I didn't work. Last thing I wanted to do when I came home from screaming kids was cook a nice meal. So we spent more money on fast food.
*I didn't get to see Nuge as much.
*It got me out of the house.
*I loved being a substitute. It was so much fun. Such hard work. So tiring. But at the end of the day, they weren't my kids and I could just walk away and never go back if I didn't want to.
*I hated being a substitute. Kids were rude, disrespectful, mean, loud, needy, sick, full of runny noses, can't read, can't write, can't say my last name, smell, and were terrible. But at the end of the day, they weren't my kids and I could just walk away and never go back if I didn't want to. And believe me, there were definitely some classes and schools that I never returned to. :Shudders:

So there ya have it. The pros and cons of everything. Well, not everything, but the staying at home, going to work, 1st and 2nd shift everything. And that's not even everything. And I'm really sad to say that I don't have any Gus pictures on this computer, but let me see if I can find something entertaining to you.

Well there ya have it folks, our very first date! June something, 2007. Rangers Game. Rangers lost super bad, but we didn't notice. Well we did actually, that's when we started watching the trash fall from the stands. Entertainment. Dollar Dog Night. Perfect!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hospital, party, quilt, and Gus

So I know everyone is dying to know how Keziah liked her quilt. But before I get into that, I want to thank everyone for all the prayers, phone calls, texts, comments, and e mails that my family and I received while my dad was in the hospital.

For those of you that don't know, Wednesday morning, at like 4 am, my mom text me to say that she was taking my dad to the hospital. Now my dad never wants to go to the hospital, so I knew he was in serious pain. Turns out, he had appendicitis. He got to the hospital's ER sometime after 4am, but did not go into surgery until 5:30pm. So they put him on some meds for a while so he could "rest comfortably". Now, my dad has had more knee surgeries than any other person I know and his pain tolerance is really high. I have never seen my dad in so much pain. But they wheeled him into surgery and 2 hours later, he was out. The surgeron said he had gangrene all over his appendix and sourrounding areas. So, of course, he took it all out and cleaned it up real nice. My dad then spent the next few nights in the hospital draining out the fluids and healing.
Saturday, the day of Zia's party, he was relased to go home! He is now doing much better. So thank you for the prayers. They were definitly answered.

So on to the party for my favorite 3 year old. Here is a picture of Keziah.
And her sweet baby brother Kohen.
He's starting to be able to move around pretty good and his laugh is contagious! I love hearing him laugh.

I also baked the cake, but since my cake decorating skills aren't top notch, I won't post the pictures here. That, and I didn't take any of the final product. But here are some of Keziah and her quilt.
She just opened it and Kim is telling her that it's from Caren and Nuge.
"Thank you Carewen and Nuge."
I think she really liked it!
So while Zia is opening her presents, I got to the play with Kohen.
He is so sweet!
And what post would be complete without some pictures of Gus?
So while I'm baking Keziah's cake, Nuge and Gus sleep. Lazy bums!
Can't believe how big she is getting. The vet said she would be about 65-70 pounds!!!
Now see, Gus is a smart dog. I'm doing laundry and this face cloth falls on the floor. What does she do? She makes sure I'm not looking, then she RUNS off to the living room and starts to play with it. Now, she knows she's not allowed to be chewing on this stuff and she runs before I even have to time to see what she has in her mouth. I get into the living room, she rolls over on her back (I didn't get a picture) because she knows this is the one position that is hard for us to get her out of, and clamps down on the cloth. What a sneaky, smart doggie!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Very first quilt

I hope this will be the first of many posts about my sewing.

My friends, Kyle and Kim, have a daughter, Keziah. She will be turning 3 this month and her birthday party is Saturday. I will be baking her a princess cake but I also wanted to make her something. What do you make a 3 year old that will be special and not outgrow?

I decided to make her a quilt. Now, I know it was pretty ambitious of me to choose a quilt as my first major sewing project, but I have a friend who does quilting so I had all the confidence that she would not let me make a crappy quilt.
It all started with the fabric. First off, let me explain to you that I'm not a very good decision maker. I had talked to my friend about having a sewing party and so we were throwing ideas around, but I just couldn't make up my mind. I made my sister go with me to Joann so I could look around. Well when I'm in Joann, I'm like a kid in a candy store. Sewing has endless possibilities and I had no idea what I wanted. When I decided to make Keziah a quilt, picking the fabric was not as hard as deciding on what to make. So my sister and I picked 2 polka dot fabrics, 2 heart fabrics, and 2 butterfly fabrics. We also chose a nice pink for the backing.
Ok I forgot to take pictures of all the steps, so just pretend I spent over an hour cutting out squares, sewing 2 together, then 4 together, then laying them out so I can get the quilt to look the way I want it, and then sewing everything together. And Tricia and Catherine helped too, so we had a really nice assembly line going.
So now, I sewed on the border. So pretend Tricia cut out pieces to make the border and then sewed them together. Now I'm sewing the border to the quilt.
Then it was a group effort with the ironing. We ironed it flat so it would look nicer. Those are Tricia's hands but it's my shirt and Catherine is taking the picture. Team work guys, team work!
Then we laid the backing on the table, then put the batting on top of that, then the quilt on top of that. We used safety pins (while making sure not to scratch Tricia's new table) to pin all the layers together. We put a pin in each square and then on the bordering.
This is Tricia using her awesome, heavy duty machine to make the squiggles on the quilt. While she's doing this, Catherine and I are happily licking beaters to the awesome cookies that she made! Catherine, I'm going to need that recipe please! This process took Tricia a whole 7 minutes to do. Maybe longer, maybe shorter, but the point is: SHE'S AWESOME!!!
All the while, Gus is trying to get her afternoon nap. That's kinda hard to do at Tricia's because she has 5 kids, ranging from 14-5 (or 6, I can't remember) and 2 dogs. Everytime Gus got to snoozin, the kids or dogs wanted to play with her.
So then to make the edging, we cut pieces out of the scrap fabric. Since we didn't take cutting pictures with the squares, here's a good shot of me cutting the edging.
While I'm doing the cutting, Catherine is taking out the safety pins while trying to fight off Gus from taking a nap on the quilt.
So now it's time to sew the front side of the edging on. Pretend you saw pictures of Tricia sewing the edging pieces together and all of us ironing. Team work!
Now this part I thought was particularly tricky. After sewing one side of the edging on, you fold it over and sew along the line for the front part. I can't really explain it, but it was hard for me.
1.) I can't really sew in a straight line very well.
2.) It was really hard.
3.) I can't really sew in a straight line very well.
This part took the longest, I think. If not, it sure did seem like it. Tricia offered to do it for me, but I wanted to do it. I should have just let her. I mean, who would have known, right?
But in the end, it was all worth it. It took 3 of us 5 hours to do this whole thing from start to finish, give or take a few minutes. Not too shabby huh?
I can't wait to see Keziah's face when she sees this. I'm going to see what kind of left over fabric I have and maybe try to make her a matching something or other.

So there it is, my very first quilt. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and it wasn't as overwhelming either. I had a great teacher helping me and Catherine was a big help too. Thank you ladies for everything. And thank you, Tricia's kids, for wearing out Gus. She's been sleeping since we got home and has hardly moved. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

My New Obsession

It all started on Facebook. I posted something about how our awesome puppy, Gus, makes me laugh all the time. My friend, Tricia, told me to check out this blog. Once you read it, you'll see why I love it. It started out with this one post about her Basset Hound, Charlie, and it has slowly become an obsession of mine. Not only does she have fun stories about her Charlie, but she has awesome recipes, fun stories about her life on a working cattle ranch (which doesn't really sound like something I'd be interested in, but I've come to really enjoy reading), and her love story with her husband (that I spent a day and a half of unproductivity to read). All in all, I've really enjoyed her website. Between cooking, baking, taking care of Gus, and cleaning, I read her website. If you want to be sucked into her little world, then I highly suggest you check her out. She will keep you entertained.

So what else is new with us? Well those cookies that I blogged about a few weeks ago, yeah, Nuge makes me bake those at least once a week. The other day, I had HIM bake them for once and he really enjoyed it. Here are a few pictures from that night:
Here he is posing in front of all the ingredients. Nevermind my purse strap or sunglasses.
He's enjoying every minute of it. Notice the hand dandy laptop in back...that's cause I don't have the recipe printed off nor do I have it memorized.
"Uh honey, what's this this for?" :)
Since he's making the cookies, he gets to lick the beater.
They sure were good.
Somebody's gotta learn to keep SOME dough left over to eat. What's the point in making cookies if you can't eat the "left over" dough?
He enjoyed his cookies!
But now, the cookie jar is empty. Guess it's about that time to make more.

On doggy news: Gus is doing great with the potty training thing. We had to upgrade her to a bigger crate because she had outgrown her other one...obviously. She is now at 20 pounds! She's getting so big. Here are some updated pictures of her:
"You lookin at me?"
She was tuckered out after he walk. Just collasped right there on the cold floor.
But she didn't want to part with her harness.
Still sleepy.
"Mommy, why are you always takin pictures of me while I'm tryin to sleep?"

So not so much has gone on in the last few weeks. I will be going to a sewing party on Monday. Any ideas on what I can make? I have very poor decision making skills and the sewing world has endless possibilities. Leave me some suggestions.