Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Meet Mr. Stripes

Meet Mr. Stripes
This morning, I went out to check on my flowers and I noticed a turtle "stuck" under my outdoor sink. He was just sitting there. It looked like he'd gotten himself wedged between the concrete pad and the bricks and he couldn't get out. 



I figured he'd eventually get himself out so I left him there and went back to work. I came back out around lunch to check on him, but he was still in the same spot.  I got the broom and tried to lift him up onto the concrete pad so that he could go on his way, but he was hissing and acting all angry and I couldn't really get him up onto the concrete. In the middle of my "daring rescue," my phone rings and I have to abandon my broom and go take care of work.


I came back about an hour later and he was gone! I started looking around for him and finally found him up on the porch underneath my favorite chair. He was just sitting there hanging out. I checked on him several times during the day and he just stayed in that comfy spot in the shade.


When it was almost time for the kids to come home, I went out to check to make sure he was still there so that I could show the kids, but he was gone! I found him making a break for the back fence. I used the broom to bring him back toward the house and left him about 6 feet from the porch so that the kids could see him

When the kids got home not five minutes later, that turtle had made himself at home right outside the back door by the flower pots! 


He stayed there all evening, but when I went to check on him a few minutes ago he was gone again. I couldn't find him in the yard so I guess he's off living the dream. 

Oh well, how about a picture of a pretty hibiscus instead?



Saturday, June 17, 2017

At the Movies

At the Movies
This afternoon, we went to see Captain Underpants at the theater. Noah has been asking to go see this movie since it first came out several weeks ago.



We finally had time to go today and I'm glad we did. The movie was full of potty humor, which a certain young boy thought was hilarious.


What was really cool about this movie was that it was shown in one of the theater's "Screening Rooms." I'd never been in one of these before, but it had heated reclining seats, individual armrests, and snack trays. It was very nice. I never want to go to a regular movie again. Okay?


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Interesting Neighborhood Walks

Interesting Neighborhood Walks
When I go on walks around the neighborhood, I see a lot of interesting things. No, I'm not talking about my 'interesting' neighbors!

One day I saw these baby ducklings swimming with mom in the pond. 



Another day, I saw these bigger ducklings following their duck parents by one of the side ponds. I've also seen a lot of broken duck eggs in the last few weeks. 

I'm not sure what kind of animal is getting them, but whatever it is has been raiding all the duck nests around the neighborhood.  


I also saw this fat frog at the edge of the pond one evening. He was just sitting there on a rock enjoying the weather. 


I like to check out everyone's flowers when I'm out walking. I kind of want to pluck the spent blooms on everyone's daylily plants and cut the suckers off their crepe myrtles. Would that be bad? Do you think that's frowned on in the neighborhood?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Catching Up

Catching Up

Last weekend, my parents came up to visit for a few days. For some reason, I did not take any pictures while they were here. I think we were just so busy that I didn't even think about it.

The kids were so excited that Grandmother and Granddaddy were coming to visit them.  Noah had been planning what all he wanted to show them since he found out they were coming. Emily wanted t show them her slime.  She's been talking about making slime for a week straight!

One morning, I took my laptop outside and let her make slime while I worked. She bought all of the supplies on her own and came up with the recipe from YouTube. It was messy, but she had a lot of fun.







While they were here, Mom and Dad helped us install some new shelving in our garage. It looks so much better. I'm surprised how much of a difference it made. We still have the same amount of stuff, but it's so much easier to see what we have. I wish I'd thought to take before and after pictures. I will have to get out there and take some "after" pictures this week though.

Granddaddy also put together Emily's Flickr Scooter for her. We all had fun riding that thing. Even Granddaddy took it for a spin. He was actually really good at it, too!

I hope you all are having a great week. It feels like this month is flying by. Before you know it, it'll be July!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Happy 12th Birthday Emily!

Happy 12th Birthday Emily!
Emily turned 12 today!!! We have celebrated with her all weekend.

Yesterday, she wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory for lunch with the family.  We had twelve people go to lunch with us. She got a lot of fun presents. You can tell in the picture below that she was pretty excited. 


After we ate our lunch, the waiters brought out an ice cream sundae and sang Happy Birthday to her. 


The bakery ladies decorated her cheesecake with chocolate sauce and sprinkles. She got the salted caramel cheesecake. She said it was really good. 


Noah and I shared the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake. We both liked it, but it was pretty sweet for me. 


Today, Emily invited a few friends over for an ice cream sundae party, but only her friend Haylee could come. They still had fun though. It's just really hard to get people together for summer birthdays. Everybody is always on the go. 


We had chocolate cupcakes and neapolitan ice cream with all the toppings. We had caramel sauce, hot fudge, marshmallow sauce, chocolate chips, mint chocolates, cookie crumbles, pretzels, mini M&M's, and even gummy bears. And of course we had whipped cream and cherries. Is it a sundae if you don't have whipped cream and cherries?



I got these cute little ice cream cone bowls on Amazon.com. Aren't they cute? They come with little spoons, too.



After the girls ate, they went out to bust the pinata. Actually, it was a pull-string pinata. Emily went first and picked the right string on the first try. Since there were only two girls, they both got A LOT of candy. They also did some Perler bead crafts and painted nails outside on the back porch.


And after the party was over, little brother came home and got to have an ice cream sundae too. He was more than a little upset that he didn't to attend the all-girls party, but maybe someday he'll understand. 



Emily,

You are growing into such a smart and beautiful young woman. I'm so proud of you and I can't wait to see what the next twelve years brings for you. Enjoy every minute!

Love,
Mom

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Memorial Day Patriotic Cake Pops

Memorial Day Patriotic Cake Pops
Emily and I made some patriotic cake pops to take down to Magnolia for the Memorial Day weekend. I've posted about my elephant cake pops, the blue sprinkle cake pops, the red apple cake pops, and even the ones I made for the piano recital. So I knew my family was going to want to try some. 


The cake was red velvet with cream cheese frosting. I thought that was perfect for a patriotic cake pop. 


For the drizzle, we just melted a little bit of the candy coating and put it into plastic storage bags the snipped off the tip. With the white candy coating, we snipped a hole that was a little too big and it didn't squeeze out smoothly.  We did better with the red and the blue. It didn't reheat well in the plastic bags though so you're going to have to work fast and probably use one color at a time. 


We used red sanding sugar on a few of the red cake pops. I thought that made an interesting look. We also used red, white, and blue nonpareils on a few cake balls for variety. 

I don't know if you noticed, but I laced red and blue ribbon around the cake pop stand this time. I thought that was cute, but I don't know how noticeable it is. 

We're going to be making more of these next week for a bake sale at Mike's work. 









Friday, June 2, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Memorial Day Weekend Recap
Sorry my Memorial Day recap is so late. I've been having to work at night and haven't had much time for blogging.

I thought I'd do a picture overload post for you to show you some of the fun things we did on our Memorial Day weekend.

Perhaps the #1 thing was a whole lot of fishing. Everybody got in on the fun.

This one is Heather's catfish.  We didn't want to touch it.


Emily got several fish. This was one of them. You can tell that she was very proud.


Noah did do some fishing, mostly with his Rocket Fishing Rod. #asseenontv (It works, by the way!) But he was also a big fan of the popsicles that Grandmother keeps in her freezer in the shop. I'm not sure how many popsicles he ate while we were down there, and I don't really care. 


Tyler caught several fish although I did not manage to get a picture of any of them. 




The picnic table ended up being a great spot for Carter to rest in between fishing derbies. Carter did a lot of fishing -- and catching!


Heather took some pictures of all the fishermen. She also caught several fish. Stephen and Daniel both got out into the kayak to fish. One afternoon, Stephen spent several hours in the kayak and caught a lot of fish.


Oh, I caught a few fish too, including this nice catfish. I only go fishing for catfish when someone is out there to take it off the hook for me.  


 Sometimes there were a lot of people out by the pond fishing. That was a lot of fun.


Emily caught this bream on a cricket. She has actually gotten a lot better at fishing and not getting her line all tangled up. It's becoming fun to fish with her.


Grandmother and Granddaddy also have a turtle pen behind their house. If they see a turtle when they're driving down the road, sometimes they'll stop and pick it up and add it to the turtle pen.  Emily was playing with the turtles and she found a baby turtle!  Awww!


There was also another baby that was a little bigger. I didn't end up with a picture of the big turtles, but they are significantly bigger than these little babies. 


We also rode on the Ranger, the Mule, and the 4-wheelers a lot. The kids are getting big enough to ride the kids 4-wheeler by themselves now. 



Emily and Tyler also enjoy having "driving lessons" on the Mule with Grandmother. And I'm talking about a 4-wheeled Mule and not an animal, by the way.

This is a "Mule".

It's not unusual for us to have all the ATV's out at once. Sometimes we look for each other and sometimes we


We all had a really good time and it was really nice to get to spend some time with our family. I love watching the cousins play together. They are all different, but they all get along well. I know they will all have fond memories of these times when they grow up.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Birthday Celebrations

Birthday Celebrations
On Friday, the kids and I went down to Arkansas for the Memorial Day weekend. First things first, though, we had to celebrate Emily and Tyler's 12th birthdays. How is it possible that we already have two twelve year olds in the family? Time is just flying by.




Tyler's birthday was on Thursday. Grandmother and Granddaddy got him a Texas Rangers cake. 



And also some Texas Ranger jersey cookies. 


Emily's birthday is exactly 10 days after Tyler's so we went ahead and celebrated her birthday, too. Grandmother and Granddaddy got her a butterfly cupcake cake. Is that what you call it? A cupcake cake?


She also had some flower cookies. 



The cakes and cookies were SO good. I told myself that I was only going to eat one piece of cake the first day, but I lied. I ate at least one piece of cake at every meal all weekend! That. Is. Terrible. I have a lot of making up to do this week.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tip! How to Save Leftover Candy Coating

Tip! How to Save Leftover Candy Coating
How many times have you melted chocolate or almond bark or candy coating only to have a bunch leftover and you end up just sticking it in the refrigerator in a plastic container until it becomes a brick? 

I have done this so many times in the past, but not any more! 

Now, I just pour the extra out in a thin layer onto a piece of parchment paper and let it dry.


Then I just break it into smaller pieces and store in a plastic zip top storage baggie until I need it again. It's so much easier. 



I don't remember where I learned this handy tip, but it has been very helpful in my baking lately. 




Friday, May 26, 2017

Red Apple Cake Pops

Red Apple Cake Pops
I know that school is out for the summer, but I wanted to share another thing that Emily and I made for Teacher Appreciation week.

One of the PTA special activities as a treat day for the teachers where people could bring sweet treats and baked goods. Emily and I searched the internet for some teacher-related goodies and we ended up finding these red apple cake pops. They are so cute! I know I say that all the time about the stuff I make, but look at these! They are sooooo cute!




The stems are broken pretzel rods. My tip is to break the pretzel rods pretty small and just lightly place them into the red candy coating, don't try to jam them down into the actual cake ball. If you press the pretzel rod pieces into the actual cake ball, you'll likely get some of the cake ball showing through around the "stem". My cake was a nice dark chocolate so it looked like I had some bad apples.



The green "leaves" are green Tic Tacs. I used wintergreen Tic Tacs. They looked cute, but they were not great to bite into when you're eating a cake pop. If I make these again, I will probably find something different to use for the leaves, maybe some large leaf sprinkles



A lot of my apple cake pops cracked. I think it's because I inserted the sticks then put the tray of cake pops into the refrigerator for about a half hour. I think cold cake pops are a problem and they should be dipped at room temperature. 


I individually wrapped the cake pops and then put them into a little cardboard tray that I found at Hobby Lobby.


Then I wrapped the whole tray of apple cake pops in cellophane and tied a nice red shiny bow on it. Ya'll, I need serious help with my bow tying. They never end up straight or pretty. 


I've appreciated Emily and Noah's teachers so much this year. They have done a lot of the kids and I hope they have a great summer. It will probably take them that long to recover. Ha ha.

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