Styrofoam Cup Easter Baskets

For those of you coming here today to find out if we found a solution to our bed situation, I am so sorry to tell you that our mattress and box springs are still sitting on the floor. McDaddy didn’t have any luck finding wood that would match at Lowes today, so now we must find out if a carpenter friend of ours might be able to make some rails to fit our mattress set.

I spent most of the day cleaning out our closet and getting rid of clothes we no longer wear. I am determined to clear out the clutter up in here. It might take me most of the year, but I will get it done.

On Wednesday evenings, I teach a Pioneer Class of Kindergarten and First Graders, with my friend Jeana. We are always on the prowl for holiday crafts and activities to do with our kiddos. Years ago, my dad taught me how to make an Easter basket out of a Styrofoam cup. I looked for an Easter craft on Pinterest, but I didn’t find anything I liked better than my daddy’s creation.

They are simple and cute.

Start with a large Styrofoam cup.

Using scissors, make a cut in the “lip” of the cup and cut it off.

This piece will be the handle.

Next, use your scissors to make small cuts all the way around the top of the cup.

This next step would be much easier with an X-acto knife, but since I didn’t have one, I used scissors.

Make a small cut on both sides of the cup.

Put one end of the handle through one side of the cup and place the other end through the hole on the other side of the cup.

Very carefully, push down gently on the top of the cup to “fan” the slats out.

Aren’t they cute?

You can choose to fill them with Easter grass OR you can do what we did and cut tiny strips of green paper to make the grass.

Fill the baskets with candy and goodies.

Finally, send the kids home before they get all “sugared” up.

Enjoy!

 

Questions You Might Ask Me Today

I spent Wednesday in and out of medical appointments. I had a follow-up appointment with the urologist (as well as an ultrasound and x-ray) to check up on the kidney stone situation. According to the 24-hour urine test I completed last week, the medicine prescribed by the urologist is doing its job, and helping to shove the sodium out of my body.

To that, I say, Praise Ye The Lord.

Only time will tell I suppose, but I remain hopeful.

Here are just a few questions you might ask me today.

How is the truck running?

Well, actually it’s having some serious issues. The “check engine” light came on this morning just after I pulled out of the driveway, so I turned around, high-tailed it up the hill and drove the Jeep all day today.

What are your thought on this season of American Idol?

First of all, I love Harry Connick Jr. I am also so happy that J-Lo is back, because it means that Nicky Minaj is gone.

How is the weight-loss effort going?

As a matter of fact, we ate dinner seven hours ago, and I am starving. After finishing this post I’m going to straight to bed so that I don’t dump a bunch of calories into my body minutes before bed.

What are you listening to?

I am watching The Young and The Restless and listening to Duke (the dwarf hamster) running 90 MPH in his wheel.

What aggravated you today?

Y’all. There is a construction zone on the Interstate near our home. It gripes me when people refuse to slow down and merge into one lane because a lane closure is coming up, choosing instead to fly past drivers who are obeying the posted signs, racing to the front of the line and expecting rule followers to let rule breakers into the line of traffic.

What’s on the agenda for the weekend?

Let’s see. There’s baseball, the father/son bake-off, and more baseball. Saturday is Opening Day for our Little League and around here, that means two boys, ten weeks, fifty-three games, concession stand coverage, Bookkeeping, and few free days.

Enjoy your weekend, folks!

 

 

Purses, Pianos and Peanut Butter Eggs

I’ve had a productive day. After living here for eleven years, I finally got around to de-cluttering our loft. I have always loved that our house has a loft. The boys enjoy playing up there when they have friends over. Their favorite thing to do is pretend to be spies, and shoot nerf guns at me from up there.

I took this picture while I was up there cleaning today.

I love looking down into the great room. I can’t even begin to tell you how much dust was up there. It was actually embarrassing.

I bought a new purse earlier this week. We are slowly bonding.

Isn’t it pretty? I just love the lime green!

In between bouts of de-cluttering, fighting dust mites, and massive piles of laundry, I sat down to this earlier today.

I had forgotten how relaxing it is to play. Oh, and I also dusted it, too!

McDaddy and I attend a wonderful church. Every spring, we host an Easter egg fund-raiser. We have a wonderful time of fellowshipping. It is definitely a labor of love. I am one of the decorators, and I enjoy it very much.

We made over 1,000 eggs on Tuesday. I am proud to report that after two full days of decorating and three eggs consumed in my house so far, I haven’t eaten the first bite.

Aren’t they pretty?

In my humble opinion, the GCC peanut butter egg is one of the best things you will ever, EVER, put in our mouth.

If you have a good memory, you may recall a post I wrote back in 2011 where I shared an incident that happened up in here. A friend of mine ordered twelve eggs and I had planned to meet her a couple of days later. After seeing a mouse in the house, there was no way I was leaving them on the kitchen counter. I decided to store them in the oven. And then I forgot they were in the oven.

Yup. You guessed it.

Then, I preheated the oven.

It started to stink.

The smoke flew.

And then, I remembered that I had over $40.00 worth of chocolate eggs in the oven.

Just before burning the house down, I realized what was happening. The chocolate eggs were melting into the plastic containers, and I had a mess on my hands.

Not to mention, DORK!

It will be a long time before I ever live that little doozie down.

Can you believe that we woke up to snow yet AGAIN? Y’all, do you have any idea how tired I am of seeing snow every. single. week? For the first time in as long as I can remember, there is NO SNOW showing on the ten-day forecast weather APP. I am hoping and praying that the snow is OVER and OUT.

I have a pretty girl just waiting to make her spring debut. And, like me, she is getting all kinds of impatient.

Spring, I’m begging you to COME QUICKLY!!!!!

Have a great Thursday, y’all!

Daily Dose of Crazy

I have a lot of things to catch you blog readers (all eight of you!) up on.

Even though there was never a clear diagnosis, my ear is better. It’s not completely healed, but it is much better than it was last week. The ear specialist tends to think the culprit was either MRSA or staph infection. Neither of those sound too appealing to me, but since it feels much better, I don’t guess it matters now. All I can tell you is that IT straight-up HURT like heck!

I am proud to report that I’ve lost 11 pounds so January 10th. It has not been easy and it has been painfully S L O W, but I have kept it up and seeing the numbers on the scale move is a great motivator. I have whined to McDaddy for weeks that the numbers weren’t moving, and I was discouraged, but I am so happy that I am finally seeing some progress. I have cut W A Y back on my drug of choice COKE and I’m quite sure that has to be helping. I ordered a Kid’s meal at Steak Escape for dinner on Saturday, and it was plenty of food for me. Also, I have started eating yogurt which is a miracle, because NASTY!

I have been swarping like a crazy person this weekend. Am I the only person who uses the word “swarping” which is another word for cleaning crap out? It feels good to organize and straighten. I always have some type of ongoing project in the works around here. Our latest project included sorting through ALL school papers and organizing them in a file box. It feels good to have that project completed.

And speaking of projects… Stevie has a Biome project on Coral Reef due in two weeks. The first thing we need to figure out is what a biome is. The last project included memorizing The Gettysburg Address. Thankfully, Stevie has a wonderful memory (in fact, he never forgets a thing!) and he learned the whole thing over the course of three days and he got a perfect score on reciting it.

I can’t hardly even bring myself to type these next five words. Snow. Is. Expected. On Tuesday. I can’t even tell you how depressing that is.

Have a great week, y’all!

Three Little Words

Three little words
American idol on
Unimpressed thus far
Bye bye MJ
Busy day today
Snowman put away
Easter decor out
It’s spring y’all!
Snow hopefully finished!
Ear is better
Chilly ballfield evening
Multitasking queen
Stevie injured today
Perfect report cards
Dusted bedroom today
Todo list long
Bloggy business lunch
Living room cluttered
Relaxing weekend ahead
Share three words

Picture This

McDaddy bought me a recumbent bike for Christmas. It was always my favorite piece of equipment at the gym, mostly because I could sit and play Words With Friends or stalk my Facebook friends while getting my miles in. And also because, unlike the treadmill, I didn’t have to worry about falling and busting my face.

Surprisingly, I’ve been consistently using it 4-5 days each week. I try to ride during the hour that The Young and The Restless is on. I feel great when I hit the 15-mile mark in under an hour.

After another snow storm hit last Monday into Tuesday, I was thrilled when it was warm enough to walk our mile-long street several days last week.

I sent this

to my friend, Missy on Friday as I was walking up this

big, hilly curve on our street. (You know, because a walk is more fun when you can text pictures to your BFF!)

Walking down the road (hill) is no big deal. But walking up is serious business and I have to stop two or three times to catch my breath.

I’ve also been tracking my calories on the My Fitness Pal APP. It is so simple and helpful in this weight loss endeavor. As you put foods into your daily diary, it will calculate the percentage of carbs, proteins and fats in your diet that day. I especially love that I can scan a food item bar code and the nutritional information is right at my fingertips.

Naturally, I am always way over in CARBS. (They are of the devil!)

In an effort to balance the nutritional scales, I ate this for lunch on Thursday.

Which is a small miracle, because I HATE YOGURT! I think it tastes nasty and smells nasty, and I especially hate when I pull that top off of the yogurt and it splashes out on my clothes.

ICK!

But, I held my nose and ate it like a big girl. And apparently, my bravery paid off, because those three super foods pulled my proteins and fats up and my diet was pretty well-balanced that day.

On Saturday, the SUN came out and it was a beautiful day!  The boys and I spent the afternoon outside. I walked and they rode their bikes.

And then, THIS!

Yes, it’s that time again.

That time where our schedule is crazy busy and looks like this.

 

Both boys had their first baseball practice of the season. Stevie was drafted by the same coach he has had for four seasons. Alex was drafted by a new coach, and I’d be lying if I said I was okay with it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the new coach – he’s a great guy (and quite honestly, it really wouldn’t matter who the new coach was!). It’s just that, in my head, I had planned on another season in the stands with the same group of mommies cheering on pretty much the same team (except those who moved up to the next age division) that went undefeated last season because they were so comfortable playing together. I keep telling myself, “Self, this is not about you!” and I know that it really isn’t. In my defense though, I have spent four seasons with the majority of parents on Stevie’s team. We are like a family (which is how Missy and I became so close!) and I absolutely love that we are close-knit and we all get along so well. That is why I love baseball season so much! I really wanted that same experience with Alex and his teammates because as you can see from that calendar, we spend a LOT of time together at the baseball field (and that’s just a practice schedule!) So, I guess it’s fair to say I’ve been spoiled having Stevie on the same team with at six other boys for several seasons.

At any rate, the next three months will be busy, busy, busy.

Bring on the chaos, the warm evenings at the ball field, the flip-flops, the baseball t-shirts and of course, this,

as I am once again, the bookkeeper/team mom for Stevie’s team.

Have a great week, y’all!

Because I Am Good At Rambling

I have a bazillion (yes, that’s a word!) things going through my mind this evening, so chances are this post will be like a bag of Chex mix – meaning you never know what you might get.

So basically, this post will be like all the others.

Normally, I would be live-blogging American Idol, but if I’m being honest, I’m just not that into AI this year. I mean, I am watching it, and I’m even enjoying it, but I just don’t feel connected to any of the contestants at this point. My lack of interest this season probably has something to do with the fact that I started DVRing American Idol once the Olympics began and I didn’t start watching again until after The Olympics were over, but maybe after I watch the show for a week or two I’ll get back into the American Idol groove and pick a favorite. What I can say with 100% certainty is HELLO Harry Connick Jr, and WELCOME BACK, JLo. I’m not sure I could’ve endured another season of Minaj and her kind of crazy.

I am happy to report that a fair amount of snow melted today. I am so aggravated though, that more snow is in the forecast for next Thursday.

Dang. Is it spring yet?

OH Y’ALL. I think I’ll take that back. I’m rootin’ for my girl, Malaya. I am a sucker for a contestant who can sing and tickle the ivories at the same time.

I almost forgot the question I meant to pose here on the blog today.

A friend of mine posed this question (which I have paraphrased) on Facebook and I would love to hear your opinion.

 When and if you go to a restaurant, do you tip when you only carry-out?

I was baffled by some of the responses, and it dawned on me that maybe I just don’t have my stuff together.

So, what say you?

When you call in an order to a restaurant, do you tip when you pick up the food?

Happy Thursday, y’all!

Just Some Stuff

– I am watching Curling and wondering what all the hollering is about. I think I could be a successful curler just for that fact alone. (As you may recall, I still have several Olympic Events on my DVR, including the closing ceremonies). I had once called Curling a big, fat snooze fest, but the more I watch it, the more I wonder to myself HOW DO THEY GET THAT THING TO GO WHERE THEY WANT IT TO GO, and does anyone every trip over one of the slidy things and fall because I would be the one to do that. Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be a successful curler after all.

– I biked 17.85 miles on my recumbent bike earlier this evening. And I did that while watching a show on TLC called My 600 pound life. Y’all. If that ain’t motivation to pedal faster and longer, I don’t know what is. All I can say is, wow. Well, that AND I finished the day 400 calories under my goal. Maybe I should watch that show every single day. I am starving, but have no desire to eat.

– We are just days away from the start of baseball season. I am so ready for warm weather, flip-flops, and evenings at the ball field.

– Can you believe we had another friggin’ snow day today? It started out as a two-hour delay, but an hour later the delay changed to a cancellation, which is fine with me because SLEEP. The sun teased us a little bit over the weekend and we had sixty degree temps, but wouldn’t you know the snow is back to show itself.

–  I spent the day logging clothing items into the computer for a consignment sale. I am always amazed at the amount of clothing the boys grow out of each season. And speaking of clothes, McDaddy just brought another load of laundry up from the mudroom that needs my attention. It simply never ends. (But I do love my fancy front loaders. I can do the same amount of laundry in half the time, so YES!)

–  I am participating in a 5-day wrinkle regimen trial at the request of my sister-in-law. It’s a six-step process for the face, which is about 5.5 steps more than what I’m used to. Seriously, I am all about simplicity. Six steps morning and night doesn’t seem simple to me, but I must admit my face feels fabulous. After everything I’ve slathered on it this week, I shouldn’t have one wrinkle left at the end of the five days.

– I hope you’re having a great, wrinkle-free, WARM Thursday!

Workout Playlist

I received a recumbent bike for Christmas. I have ridden at least 10 miles 4-5 days each week since that time. This past week, I kicked it up a notch and began riding at least 15 miles at least four days a week.

But today, something wonderful happened.

The sun came out and it was SIXTY FOUR degrees.

I just couldn’t stand the thought of riding that bike for an hour in our basement when the sun was shining brightly. Instead, I dug out a pair of ear buds and I hit the pavement.

Y’all.

I. WALKED. TWO. MILES.

And, I walked fast!

Afterwards, I felt rejuvenated, and renewed. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to be out and about in Capri pants and a short sleeve shirt in the middle of February, especially after we’ve been up to our eyeballs in snow for the past month.

I enjoyed a brisk walk through my neighborhood with my iPod. I listen to music when I exercise for a number of reasons,

  1. It helps me walk faster and pedal harder.
  2. It ALWAYS helps my mood.
  3. It helps to pass the time.
  4. It makes me happy.

I thought it might be fun to share the list on the off-chance that you haven’t found a great playlist that really gets you moving. Before I get started you should know that I have a very eclectic mix of songs. (458 of them to be exact.)

1. Rag Doll – Aerosmith
Oh shoot. Nothing gets my blood pumpin’ quicker than some Aerosmith.
2. Love On Top – Beyonce
I first heard this song when Maks danced with Zendaya on DWTS. I added it to my playlist that night and it is a great song for getting your rear in gear. This song always makes me kick it up a notch because, BEYONCE.3. Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon HeathMy favorite song by Brandon Heath. Great words. Great beat.

4. Sing A Song – Third Day

You know, because after Beyoncé and Steven Tyler, I need to clean things up a bit. Seriously though, I have more Third Day on my iPod than anything. Love them.

5. Shoop (Ghetto Lab Full Rub Mix) (whatever that means…) – Salt-N-Pepa

Hey, 1993 called. They want their song back. It’s apparently Ghetto fabulous, and it will cause you to go harder, faster, and stronger.

6. Made To Love – TobyMac

When this song blares through my ear buds, I pedal like Lance Armstrong.

On steroids.

(And now, hours later, that is evidenced by my sore calves.)

9. Lose My Soul – TobyMac (My favorite of his songs!)

You can’t really go wrong with tobyMac. He knows how to really rock it out.

10. Have Fun, Go Mad – Blair

I have no idea how I discovered this song, but it is one of my favorites when I’m exercising.

11. Feelin’ So Fly – tobyMac

Remember when I said you can’t go wrong with tobyMac? I meant it.

12. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

With one minute left in this song, I started up the big hill in our neighborhood today. To hear MJ yell, “GO ON GIRL” well, let’s just say, it made me smile and made me push myself harder.

13. These Thousand Hills – Third Day

These several hills on our street are the reason my calves are burning tonight.

14. You Learn – Alanis Morissette

Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill helps put some pep in my step. (Have I mentioned I have one diverse playlist?)

15. Poison – Bell Biv Devoe

Y’all. I love me some 90’s music. This takes me back a year or twenty. (Am I really that old?)

16. Motownphilly – Boyz II Me

I have to fight the urge to break out my dance moves when I hear Motownphilly. And rest assured, I have some mean ones.

17. Rolling in the Deep – Adele

This is a toe-tapper for sure. A great song and a talented artist.

18. Oh Happy Day – BeBe Winans

I have this as one of the ringtones on my phone. This song changes my mood every time I hear it.

19. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke

What can I say, except I love a song with a good beat? I heard this song on the radio one night and immediately downloaded it to my iPod. It is currently one of my favorite songs, probably because I’m a good girl. Ahem.

20. Me, Myself and I – De La Soul

Another oldie, but goodie.

And there you have it.

A great collection of workout tunes that promises to make you go longer, harder, faster, and stronger.

Commentating From The Couch

I am sitting on my big, blue, bloggy couch watching the first events of the 22nd Olympic Games. I cannot convey to you how excited I am, and we are only two hours into the spectacle. Each Olympic year, for the better part of two weeks, I soak up every single moment I can, cheering loudly and proudly for Team USA as they compete for the gold.

Yes, I am a nerd.

I have been looking forward to the 2014 Winter Olympics since the last-minute of the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. I am an Olympic junkie, and have watched them for as long as I can remember.

My favorite winter Olympic event is figure skating. Whenever we watch I’m watching figure skating coverage, McDaddy asks, “Is that what they call a triple klutz?” after every jump. And each time he asks that question it makes me think about all of the times I skated around the kitchen floor in my socks years ago pretending to be Katarina Witt. I won’t mention the number of times I busted my tail trying to do a double toe-loop in sock feet.

But yeah, klutz.

I spent some time this afternoon clearing the daily docket on my TiVo to make room for the hours of Olympic coverage the boys will miss because they have to sleep at night. I am recording most of the events, but decided to skip hockey, cross-country skiing and biathlon, because SNOOZE. The Luge, Skeleton (I just love that word!) and Speed Skating are also favorites of mine, though speed skating won’t be nearly as exciting, now that Apolo Ohno made the decision to hang up his skates. Instead, he’ll be starring in Subway commercials and sitting at the speed skating commentator table.

I have two words in response to that.

DANG. IT.

The boys have mentioned several times over the last few weeks that they want to take snowboarding lessons the next time we go skiing. To add to their excitement, my dad bought – what he identified as – a snowboard at a yard sale. With a $29.99 price tag from Dick’s on the thing, I have my doubts, but the boys don’t seem to mind. They have declared they intend to try it out at the first sign of snow .

Heaven, help me.

Who knows? Maybe my two sweet fellas will get their Olympic snowboarding start on the hill beside of our house on a yard-sale snow board.

Watch out, Shaun White!

If snowboarding doesn’t pan out, I suppose they can always fall back on their second favorite sport.

Skiing.

Y’all, there are few things I’d love more than cheering on my baby boys at the 2022 winter Olympic games.

They could be just like those three Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Canada.

A momma can dream, can’t she?

For now, I’ll have to be content commentating from the couch, and whooping it up for Team USA. Oh, and don’t forget clapping and crying each and every time I hear our National Anthem, because that’s what I do.

Do America proud, Team USA!