Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's a Birthday!

Steve's family makes a big deal for birthdays and I just love that. My mother-in-law has a big family dinner for each birthday person, no matter how young or old, with a special meal and dessert. She usually makes the cakes herself and tonight was no exception.

The Birthday Girl, The Boyfriend, and The Niece Whose in the Middle of Everything Fun

It was Steve's youngest sister, Susan's birthday. Last year, she moved back to Louisiana from Virginia to go back to school full-time. She turned thirty-mumblemumblemumble and her boyfriend flew in from Virginia for the party. We had boiled crawfish and crabs and a yummy orange tie-dyed cake. It was so moist and delicious and everyone loved it. (Okay, everyone but Steve, who must have been attacked by oranges at some point in his infancy.)

We got Susie a gift certificate for a spa pedicure, so I made her a special card and wrote a special pedicure poem:

Ten little pigs
Went to school
Waited tables
Dressed real cool.

For their birthday
They get to play,
Rest and relax,
If just for the day.

So Susie gets to take her pigs
Down the street to Lily's digs (*the name of the nail salon - she knew that*)
For a pedicure that's sure to please
With love from the Tuddie C****'s.

She loved the card and I am sure she's going to love her pedicure (and manicure, too).

Happy Birthday, Susie! We love you!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008


Brooke was invited to go to the Audubon Zoo's Kids Zoo-To-Do with her best friend, Teeny and Teeny's parents.

I nabbed this great shot of them from Teeny's blog. They had their faces painted...

...and Brooke had a tiger air-brushed on her leg. Scary!
Thanks, C Family, for inviting Brooke along to this fun event!


That is what I have been. Forbidden. To paint, that is, since my appendectomy. So we had to call in the professionals. A crew of five. They started today. And here is just a SMALL sampling of what they accomplished. IN ONE DAY!

In one day, these guys:

*painted one side on 10 interior doors
*primed one side of four French doors
*took all unfinished cabinet doors off their hinges
*primed my bathroom cabinets (both sets) inside and out (they actually did this first)
*sanded bathroom doors and drawers
*primed bathroom cabinet shelves, doors, and drawers - ALL OF THEM - and got a first coat of oil paint on the base cabinets
*primed the wood panel that goes in front of my tub
*caulked and puttied door trim and baseboards
*painted all the shelves (there are lots) top and bottom in both my closet and Steve's

I was a wee bit depressed. Because I know it would have taken me a LONG TIME to do all of this. Boy, they were good.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Strawberry Picking

Today Morgan, my mother-in-law, and I went strawberry picking. Okay, *I* did not pick. I just rode along, sat in a chair in the shade, manned the camera with a telephoto lens, and read a book.

Nana and Morgan, awaiting instructions on where to pick.

It seems like this is becoming an annual event and I think it needs to be. We had planned to go to the strawberry farm with our homeschool group today. Friday after my surgery, the girls asked about it and I said, "We won't be able to go, because I can't drive." Sunday my mother-in-law suggested she drive and I just ride along. (I think she secretly wanted strawberries, too.)

Morgan's looking for the juiciest ones!

Brooke decided to help her aunt with a big painting job, so we only had Morgan with us. But I bought some strawberries for Brooke. They sell big flats for a really great price.

Nana was a strawberry picking machine! Her bucket was filled in double-quick time!

It didn't take long for Nana and Morgan to fill their buckets. Besides the gallon buckets, we also bought one flat each of picked berries.

Once home, we ate our fill. I added strawberries to a yummy salad brought as part of dinner from a sweet friend. Then I topped her strawberry cake with extra strawberries. And tomorrow morning, it'll be strawberries for my oatmeal!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

No More Tyvek!

At least on the front!

Steve finished installing the vinyl siding on the exterior of the house. Now onto the back, then the carport, then to do soffets and eaves and all that other stuff.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cosette Will Demonstrate....

...the proper way to recover from surgery.

Some of this....

And a little of that....

And more of this....

And a little more of that....

But I don't think I'll be doing this....

Yes, she did completely crawl up into Steve's lap. I think Cosette believes she is a toy poodle!

Friday, April 18, 2008


After two days of a painful belly, I went to the doctor and after all sorts of poking and tests. I had acute appendicitis. At 1 a.m. this morning, I went to surgery to have my appendix removed.

Here's one of three of my owies. (Aren't I brave to show my belly on the internet?) Thankfully, they were able to do this laparoscopically and my incisions are tiny. I felt good afterwards, all things considering, and got to go home Friday night. Much better to rest at home. Resting in the hospital doesn't happen at all.

My sister-in-law asked if this "springtime surgery" was going to be an annual event. (Last March I had my gallbladder removed.) I told her no. I thought I was finished. :^)

I'm SO grateful for all the kind doctors and nurses with whom Steve works. They treated me wonderfully and I appreciate their care. I'm glad I decided to have it checked out, glad it's over. And I'm glad to be home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rules for Interacting with Horses

1. Keep away from a horse's mouth. Horses have been known to bite.

2. Always wear proper footwear while riding your horse. Never ride in anything but riding boots.

3. Keep your hands firmly on the reins at all times. Sit properly in the saddle. Never, ever close your eyes while on your horse.

4. Make sure to have a firm grip on the reins or lead rope while leading your horse into or out of the barn.

5. Disregard rules 1-4 if your name is Morgan and your horse's name is Punkin.

Is there any better friend for a little girl than a good horse?

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Fun-Sucker and the Un-Pet That We Cannot Find

Several people have commented on my use of the term "fun-sucker." I first heard it in the movie Freaky Friday. Lindsey Lohan tells her screen mom, Jamie Lee Curtis, that she "sucks the fun out of everything." The mom says, "No, I don't!" only to be met with the term, as spat from the lips of her her teenage daughter, "FUN-SUCKER."

According to MY teenage daughter, *I* am a fun-sucker. I'm submitting my photo to the Urban Dictionary website so they'll have pictorial evidence for their definition.

Picture of one Fun-Suckerus domesticus

In other news, today while I was taking a break from painting (and checking in on the new construction across the street), I received a call from screaming girls. "THERE'S A SNAKE IN THE HOUSE!!!" Thankfully, the owner and his father-in-law were at the new construction across the street and they grabbed lethal snake killing rakes and ran with me to my house.

Brooke, my animal-loving child, the one who shows no fear of anything at all (except for perhaps an elevator), was ON TOP OF THE COUNTER! (Okay, when the frog got in the house, I only jumped up on a chair. And we won't discuss the fact that I'm not agile enough to scale the counter in a single bound.)

The men and I moved stuff out of the laundry room (the Place Into Which the Snake Ran). We got a flashlight and they looked under the washer and dryer. "Gee, Ginger. You've got a mess under here," says New Neighbor. I can tell he is not going to be my Favorite Neighbor at all.

Anyway, we look and prod and poke and rattle, but we didn't scare up the snake. (Let me clarify this "we." The part of the "we" that is pictured above as the Fun-Sucker stayed outside the laundry room door. I was watching in case the snake sneaked out from behind the snake-hunting men. Someone had to be the Watch Woman. I figured it might as well be me.) So the men gave a chuckle and left. Wimps.

Steve is now in bed. He's not at all afraid that the little 12" black Snake in the Laundry Room will sneak out in the middle of the night and leap on us while we sleep unsuspectingly in our beds to suck the very life from us. No. He's oblivious to this horror. So here I am, exhausted and trying to put up a brave front for the girls, "No, Brooke. If you stuff a small towel in that hole in the wall, a snake couldn't get in past it." Never mind that she's probably blocking the snake's way OUT of the house, further angering it and sending it on it's blood-seeking rampage for unsuspecting sleeping Cajuns.

It'll be a LONG night. I guess it wouldn't be fair for me to sneak away to the Holiday Inn Express down the road. I could have a wake-up call for early morning and be back before Steve gets up. It is an idea. But I probably won't do it, me being a fun-sucker and all. :^)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Met Linda!!!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Linda from my SHS email loop. I have been a member of this online homeschool support group for more than 8 years and have tons of friends I've never met In Real Life.

Linda and her family are going on vacation from Florida to Arizona. While passing through Louisiana, she stopped in our town and we had dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

Before going, I was cautioned on separate occasions and by both girls. "Mom," they say, "DON'T embarrass us." Fun-suckers.

She has a great family and I loved getting to know her even better. What a lovely lady! I sure wish we had more time together. I do believe Morgan would have taken Carys home. Gladly. What a sweet little 2-year-old. She was simply adorable.

The children reluctantly submitted to being subjected to Maternal Directed Photography With Complete Strangers.

Linda and I were more willing subjects.

The setting sun was really bright. Then Linda drove off into it, heading west. I hope she had her sunglasses!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friends, Food, and Horses

This morning, the barn owner called to tell us he was having an impromptu barbecue at the barn and we were invited. We weren't about to pass up free food - especially Mr. Bubba's good cooking!

Morgan had a friend coming over who had never ridden horses, so before food, the girls had to ride. Brooke and one of the other girls whose horse is stabled at the barn rode as well.

The food was delicious. The day was wonderful - bright and breezy with temperatures only in the 60's. Definitely a rare treat for those of us in Louisiana - the scorching temperatures will be here shortly.

Friday, April 11, 2008

April Hostess Club

Here's tonight's layout. Again, inspired from a layout on SplitCoastStampers.

The pictures are OLD! They are from 1997 and they are of my nephews, who are now 15 and 17. The boys got into a fight in a big ol' mud puddle and were COVERED! We all thought it was hilarious - all but their mom, of course.

She made the older boy write a letter of apology to me, and also thanking me for giving them a bath and sending them home in clean clothes. He was not quite 6 at the time and the letter is so cute. I saved it and have it SOMEWHERE. When I move (and find it), I will put it behind the little poem on the second page along with the story of the "incident."

One of the funniest things was when the littlest one said, "Z was holding my head under the water and I opened my eyes and through the muddy water, I saw men all in white." My sister-in-law exclaimed in horror to Z, "You held G's head under the water until he saw ANGELS?" Z said, "Oh, no. Those weren't angels. That was (name of teenage boy neighbor and his friend)." LOL! Truer words were never spoken!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two Down, a Bunch to Go

The second set of cabinets complete with paint and installed (and leveled, thank you very much) cabinet doors. This is the linen cabinet in the girls bathroom. This is boring stuff. But I'm still proud that it's finished. And I'm LOVING the European hinges the cabinetmaker used - very easy to get the doors level and even and swinging well.

Now only nine more sets to go. :::sigh:::

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Meet My Husband

His name is Jack.

He can do many things. He can perform Advanced Cardiac Life Support. He can put in an IV like nobody's business. He can calculate medication dosages in the blink of an eye.

He can put new brakes on the car, fix the leaky plumbing in the house, and install new appliances.

He's great at killing bugs and removing scary frogs and lizards when they invade the house.

He can also score and stain concrete flooring, hang drywall, install baseboards, tile a shower, wire a house, and many other very handy things.


He can put up vinyl siding.

Yes, that's my husband Jack. Of All Trades, that is. We just call him Wonderful. Some people call him Steve. But I usually call him Tuddie. And THAT is for another post.

(By the way, doesn't the vinyl on the ceiling of my front porch look great? Thanks, Tuddie!)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Baby

A few days ago, we saw a new baby calf born in the field down from where our horses are stabled. He was the cutest little thing. So today we brought the camera in hopes of catching him.

He was napping by the fence while all the other big cows were eating hay. But as soon as Morgan went by the fence to snap a few shots, he started to get up.

And run away.

His Mama noticed him. And Morgan. She was not happy.

"Mama, there was a GIRL by the fence."

"Yes, baby. I've told you to stay away from girls. You just stay by Mama."

Hey! I have told Joshua that same exact thing!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Working Gal

What have I been up to lately? Well, I've been priming.

And painting trim.

And painting cabinets.

And painting doors.

And installing doors after they have been painted. I love using a screw gun! Power!

Tomorrow I think I'll paint some more. And when I finish EVERYTHING that needs painting in the house, I'll reward myself with some STAINING! Yeah!


I'm REALLY ready to be done. All in good time, I suppose.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Boys and Their Toys

Today Steve bought a new toy. A compressor. (I think that's what it's called.) The old one didn't have some adjustable air power something or other and was driving the nails too far into the green padding stuff on the outside of our house to do the vinyl siding properly. How much does that thing cost? Looks expensive. And can I have a Cricut Expression for my birthday? Just asking.

And here's some of the vinyl siding, just waiting to be put up. It is not all of it, by far. The rest is under the carport in the back. It's a lot. I know. I helped Steve carry it up here. In the rain. Across the mud. I'm helpful that way.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Paws for a Commercial Break

I've mentioned Nathan at CFHusband before here. His wife, Tricia, is in surgery now for a double lung transplant. Please keep her in your prayers.

And, if you've never thought about organ donation, please read this website and prayerfully consider signing a donor card. But don't stop there. PLEASE let your family know about your desire to donate your organs. Because Steve is a critical care nurse and has worked with our state's organ procurement team in the past, we know that just signing a donor card isn't enough if your family is unaware of your wishes.

So please register with your state's organ donor organization and/or carry a donor card with you. And let your family know. But, most of all, right now, pray for Tricia. And for the family of her organ donor.