Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - May 30, 2012

Currently feeling: love my family

May 2012 Pinterest Inspirations

Got quite a few more pins tried this month. Nothing was an amazing standout, but nothing was bad either. Remember, all of these photos are from the source of the pin. They are not my pictures of the results of my efforts. (Would y'all prefer that? To see my photos (when I have them) of how the pin turned out for me? Rather than the photo that "goes with the pin"? Let me know.)

Creamy Garlic Pasta - This was good. It is difficult to get the cheese to melt, and the garlic flavor was not as intense as I expected (could probably be fixed by adding more). It also wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. It was good, just not exactly what I was after.

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

A cute handprint card idea for Mother's Day - We made these for Mother's Day this year, and they turned out great! We glued the handprint shape inside a folded piece of paper to make a full flat card. All the moms in question absolutely loved them!

Buttermilk Roast Chicken - I did this with boneless skinless chicken breasts, baked at 375 for about 25 minutes, and they were very good. Nothing fancy, just excellent "plain" chicken that didn't taste plain and boring at all. I'm sure it is better with bone-in chicken.

Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken that does *not* use bottled teriyaki sauce! (Crock Pot / Slow Cooker) - This was quite good. DH really liked it. I don't know why I'm amazed that the sauce came out exactly the consistency that I think teriyaki sauce to be. Guess I'm just surprised that non-bottled sauce could be such a great texture.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps - Other than needing 3-4 times the amount of cheese and crumbs, and nothing actually stuck to the zucchini (we made a pile of crumbs, put the zucchini on top, then pressed more on top), they tasted really good! Definitely eat while hot, almost as soon as they come out.

Butter Dip Biscuits - These were really good. Might back down 1 tsp on the sugar (possibly leave it out altogether), and definitely bake them in a larger pan! We made a mess using just a 8x8; recommend 9x13.

Sloppy Cornbread Muffins - I used my own cornbread and sloppy joe recipes, but I wouldn't have thought to do this with it without this pin. It was just okay, though, not really great.

So, not really any new meals to add to the rotation, but no complete failures either. I should have a bunch of new ones for June, so stay tuned!

Currently feeling: pinned

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Are we feeding him Miracle Grow?

As if the First Grade first day/last day comparison photos weren't dramatic enough, according to marks on closet door, Luke grown almost one inch (2.5 cm) since Feb 4! I took that measurement not long before we went Disney shorts/t-shirt shopping. I decided at the time not to buy him a complete summer wardrobe, just enough to get him through Disney, in case he grew. Looks like that was the right call! Good grief.

Currently feeling: what on earth are we feeding him?!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last Day of First Grade!

As of today, Luke is officially finished with First Grade. It's been a good year, if a bit rough in places. He's really grown and blossomed in some areas, and he's still struggling in others. Such is life, I guess. Want to see the difference a school year makes?

First day of First Grade, August 8, 2011:

Last day of First Grade, May 24, 2012:

He hardly looks like the same kid! Here is a comparison shot of the same two photos cropped in a bit more.

I think I'm cropped in a little bit more in the end photo than the start photo (thus somewhat exaggerating the difference), but not much. You can click that one for a larger version. I mean, I know he's changed a lot, but even I am completely blown away.

Currently feeling: what happened to my little 1st grader?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - May 23, 2012

Currently feeling: that my party planning skills are inadequate

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gabaldon in Less Than a Week?

Yes, when you aren't working or doing anything else even remotely useful, you *can* read a full hardback Gabaldon book in less than a week. Try four days, in fact! I really thought it would take at least a week to read An Echo in the Bone, maybe 10 days, but I couldn't really put it down. That was a nice surprise, actually, since the last 2-3 books haven't been nearly as enjoyable to me. This one, though, I found quite excellent. Ready for the next one! Shouldn't be too long now, by the end of the year, I think.

Currently feeling: well read

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good Neighbors

It's good to have good neighbors. We've never really known many of our neighbors before. Still don't, for that matter, but more than we did a few weeks ago. When Luke started riding the bus home in the afternoon, we discovered that one of his classmates lives in our neighborhood. His mom invited us over to play, and she and I clicked immediately. She told me to call her if I ever needed anything, and of course I said the same.

Today, however, I had to take her at her word. Luke has been very tired lately, bordering on overtired (might be growing), so I decided to let him sleep a bit this morning. Instead of getting him up at 6 AM, I left him in bed until about 6:45. All we had to do was leave by 7:15, and he would still be at school on time. He got up, ate breakfast, and changed. As he was putting on his shoes, I went to get my car keys. Um, yeah, car keys. You mean, the car keys that I put in the glove compartment of the other car for the soccer game on Saturday and never retrieved them? The car that is now in downtown Atlanta at my husband's office? Yeah, those car keys.

I immediately called L to see if she had left to take C to school yet. She was just about to leave and would be happy to take Luke with her, if we had a spare booster seat. I ran to the carport to check my car doors, expecting them to be locked, but I had accidentally left my car unlocked last night (sure, *now* you don't automatically lock the doors, though that's a good thing this time), so I could get to his booster seat out. She drove up, we put him in the back seat next to C, and off they went.

Whew! Crisis averted. I either would have had to wait for DH to come all the way back home, or I'd have had to call a cab. Neither of those would have been a pleasant option, and Luke probably would have been late for school either way. Instead, through the generosity of a friend, things worked out fine; a friend, I should mention, that I didn't even know six weeks ago. Things sure have a funny way of working out.

Currently feeling: relieved and thankful for good neighbors

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Reason I Love My Husband #3762

An example of how sometimes frighteningly in synch DH and I are: As mentioned previously, we saw The Avengers yesterday. Now, we all know that big budget action flicks in general, and super hero films in particular, are chronically prone to *not* following the laws of physics. Willing suspension of disbelief is required, and for the most part (in spite of being engineers), we just let it go, often not even realizing that something was wonky until after the fact because we're just enjoying the moment.

However, The Avengers did have one moment that was so egregious to me that it jerked me "out of the moment" with my brain screaming "nuh-uh!" (Hulk jumps onto the nose of one of the alien ships and then uses his strength to "redirect" it. Um, no, you blatantly and absolutely CANNOT do that, no matter how strong you are!) It just kept eating at me, as much just to verify that I was right as anything.

Here's the funny part. I started this conversation with DH, mentioning that I know these movies don't really obey physics, but there was one singular moment that was just *so* wrong that it was annoying me. He looks right at me and says, "you mean where Hulk jumped on the ship and turned it?"

I so love this man! LOL

Currently feeling: happy sigh

Friday, May 04, 2012

Movie Muse Shorts: Marvel's The Avengers

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Really enjoyed Marvel's The Avengers! Come on, super hero movie plus Joss Whedon? What's not to love?! I can't say it is my favorite super hero movie ever. I would probably put Iron Man and Captain America ahead of it, personally, but still very good movie. I think Joss did an amazing job of giving each super hero their own time and moments, but also did a good job of having them play off each other, both in adversarial and cooperative situations. And there was one moment where a theater full of people laughed longer and harder than I have *ever* heard that many people laugh before. We did not see it in 3D, so I can't comment on that. Definitely see it in the theater if you have any interest in seeing it, though. Great start to the summer movie season!

Currently feeling: off to a good start

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Love You, Mom!

I know it's not Mother's Day yet, but I've been sharply reminded this week to be thankful for what I have, especially my mom. Two of my friends lost their moms in the past week. One was a girl I knew in high school. We were never very close, but my heart still aches for her; she has been completely devastated (I can only imagine, and hope I only have to imagine for a very long time).

The other person, though, is the director of the KinderCare that Luke attended for all those years. She and I have become quite close in the last 5 years, talking for hours about everything under the sun. Her mom had a stroke several weeks ago, but she had a massive heart attach a few days ago and died almost immediately. S is beyond shattered. She, her mom, and her sister have always been extremely close, and I cannot imagine her pain right now. I hate that I haven't seen her in a few weeks, since Luke stopped going. I was going to pop in next week to see her and to check on the summer camp program they run. I'll wait a couple of weeks now until she might be back so I can see her.

It also reminds me of another friend of mine I've known since high school. Her mom no longer knows who she is. Though she is still living, it must be terribly painful to visit with your mother and it be like visiting with a stranger. Her father died suddenly several years ago, so she has effectively lost both parents. She's kept her mom's illness somewhat quiet, so I won't share her name here. My heart breaks for her, for all of them.

So, go hug your mom, if she's still here and part of your life. Do it now, because you never know.

Currently feeling: remembering to be grateful; love you, Mom!