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Making Cookies...

 Sunday, May 30, 2010

Look what an awesome helper Connor is in the kitchen...

No.  Really.  He is.  He loves to help.  Can you tell?!?  We just need to practice not turning the mixer on full throttle while tossing in the flour for the cookies.  Then, we will be alright! 

But on another note, the cookies were delicious! Maybe we will make more tomorrow...



 Saturday, May 29, 2010

No, I don't have one.  Do I want one?  Heck yes!  I think it is the coolest!  I thought it looked so cool before it came out.  And the commercials have sold me on the 'cool' factor.  When did I become some a gadget freak?  I don't even have a cell phone that has web capabilities.  Or that does pictures or texts for that matter.

But I want an iPad.  I am becoming an Apple fan.  And we only own 2 things that Apple has made.  One being a giant ipod from when they were super cool, new, and hip---it was the first gift (and I think maybe the last) that I got for Chris' birthday right after we got married.  The second, the iTouch.  Which I love!  Connor & I tend to fight over it now.  It is debatable who wins most of the time. 

So, the boys & I were at the mall this week and happen to walk into the Apple store.  Oops!  I was thrilled to be able to touch and play with the iPad.  And so was Connor.  He said, "WE NEED THIS!"  I had to bite my tongue and tell him that no, we didn't need this, but it was okay for us to want it.  He then proceeded to tell me how cool it would be to watch movies on it and play his games.  Oh wow!  He sure is my kid.  Because I am pretty sure when Chris came home that night I told him that "We needed the iPad".  But he just laughs at me.  I guess I can't be taken seriously when I tell him we need the Awesome Auger.

Do you have an iPad?  Is it really as cool as I have imagined it to be?


Social Butterfly...

 Thursday, May 27, 2010

I think Connor is coming out of his shell.  He is SO talkative, especially when he is tired.  But lately, when we are at Costco, the mall, or just out for  walk, he must say hi to everyone and ask about half of them about their day.  Oh my!  While this is super cute and I love how talkative he is, it can be quite embarrassing sometimes.  And sometimes we are in a hurry.  But he is making friends and playing so well with other kids lately too.  Tonight at the Rockwall Concerts by the Lake he made friends and had a blast playing...and running.  A lot!

I think Connor is turning into a social butterfly.  And Dylan just continues to want to do everything big brother does.

This music was great, it was a Jimmy Buffet cover band.  And the dessert we took was awesome.  It was individual shortcakes, topped with homeade vanilla whip cream and strawberries & blueberries.  Yum!

But the views are just amazing...
This was when we first got there.

At sunset.

At dark as we were leaving.



Connor has recently started to gain coordination.  When we were at the zoo and he was playing in the water, I took a few pictures of him jumping.  He had no idea I was taking pictures.  And it took all my will power to not yell at him to stop jumping!!!

Here is the sequence...

 Go Connor Go!


Garden Box!

 Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Well, we finally found the time & energy to build another garden box since I went a little overboard on the tomato plants this year.  This is the first one that I have helped build.  We used this plan from Knock-off Wood.  She has some awesome plans that I would love to make in the near future.  And the BEST news is that this box cost only 10 bucks!  Yes, amazing.  However, the bad news is the soil mixture we used is quite expensive, so it is a good thing we saved on building the box :)

And the other AWESOME part...I got to use the SAW!!!  Yes, Chris finally let me make some cuts.  I loved it.  It was great!  And here is the proof...

That's Right!  I used the skilsaw AND the miter saw.  And I know the names of them!  Impressive, huh?

And here is the finished box...
The boys were double checking out work.  (We could have used their help earlier on the corners!)

That was all we could do for one day, so yesterday I went and got some more compost and mixed all the soil.  All by myself, after I mowed the lawn.  Am I getting any sympathy?  It was a lot of work.  See...
Measuring all the compost, peat moss, and vermiculite out.  

A big pile!

Ahhh, but look how pretty it looks all mixed up!

And this is the second pile, as you see I have a little helper now.

Finally, I got it all filled after A LOT of mixing and shoveling and sweating.  And I planted 5 more tomato plants and filled some other containers.  It looks good.  And notice, I have another helper now.

Any sympathy yet?  I would love to say that I am not sore and not sunburned, but that would be a terrible big fat lie.  I hurt.  I feel like I aged 30 years over night.  With the added pain of a sunburn, ouch! 

Here is what I learned...I love Chris for his perfectionism, but I also dislike him for his perfectionism.  It is just a garden box for goodness sakes.  And it only cost $10, so what if we screw something up.  He was just frustrated that the wood we used was cheap and split easily and we didn't have to correct tools, but we made due and it worked just fine.  I could tell he was unhappy with it, while I was just thrilled I got to use the saw and the box is holding the tomato plants, so it was a success.  We definitely balance each other out.  And I wouldn't have it any other way!


A new little friend!

 Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As we were finishing up in the yard this weekend, the boys were already in bed, Chris came across a new little friend...a Gecko.  He was bringing the lawn fabric out from the garage to put in our new garden box.  As he set it down, he felt something on his hand (yuck!) and there it was...

I had to grab the camera to be sure to get a few shots to show Connor in the morning.  He was more than thrilled and wanted to go see it.  And he immediately starting talking about how he had seen a gecko in our bathroom last year.  It is amazing how he remembers seeing a gecko in this house when we were house hunting back in August-it was when we did the inspection on this house!  What a great memory that kid has! 


Teeny Tiny TV

 Sunday, May 23, 2010

This is how the boys were watching a movie this evening while waiting for dinner.  How cute is that?  By the way, this is the first time Dylan has ever really even noticed the tv being on and he was growling at the Donkey in Shrek the whole time.  So funny.  The bulb in our tv went out this weekend, so it has been quiet around this house.  But the good news is that the bulb has been ordered (it wasn't available at any local stores).  So, hopefully we will not be without a tv for too much longer.


Giants of the Savanna

 Saturday, May 22, 2010

The boys & I went to the Dallas Zoo's member's only preview of the new exhibit Giants of the Savanna.  The exhibit doesn't open until Memorial Day Weekend.  There were a ton of people, but that was expected.  There were elephants, lions, cheetahs, ostriches, warthogs, and giraffes.  Our favorite was the giraffes.  We got to feed them!!!  And pet them too!!!  How cool is that?!?  It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  Sorry, no pictures of the boys actually feeding them, it was enough to juggle Connor, Dylan, the camera, the lettuce, and not let anybody fall down or stick their hands all the way in the giraffes mouth.  Dylan did share some of the lettuce with the giraffes and Connor did get a nice lick on the face from one.  Yummy!

Here is an idea of how close we were to all the giraffes...

And this one is nibbling on some leaves before we fed it some nice crunchy romaine lettuce...

Here are the boys waiting ever so patiently to feed the giraffes...

And look how happy those giraffes were after they ate our lettuce...

The boys had fun climbing on the elephant statues...

And the carousel was fun, as always...

And the boys had fun playing in the water area, good thing I brought their swim gear...

The Zoo was so much fun today!  Thank goodness for an overcast sky, the weather was perfect!  Next time we will take Chris along with us so we can get some good action shots of the boys feeding the giraffes.  There are lots of fun activities for the boys to do, I can't wait to spend more days at the zoo.  Although I still dearly miss the St. Louis Zoo, I am starting to like the Dallas Zoo more and more.


The BEST Thursday! Part Two...

 Friday, May 21, 2010

We decided to forgo the normal 7:30ish bedtime and head to Rockwall for Concerts by the Lake.  After all, the harbor in Rockwall is why I fell in love with this area where we live.  It is just gorgeous!  Here are some pictures from last night...

The sun went down quickly and the sky was just beautiful.  I loved seeing all the boats in the harbor listening to the music.  And the boys loved seeing all the boats.  

We ate did at home, but I had put a cobbler in the oven while I was making dinner since I had some blackberries to use up.  It finished in the oven a few minutes before we left, so I packed it up and we had dessert there.  It was delicious.  We all had seconds.  What a great treat!

Dylan liked the cobbler :)

Connor at sun set.  Can you tell how much fun he had?  

And we got to see the amphibious car again.  Connor thought it was quite silly.  He kept asking about the wheels on the car and saying, "Could you imagine a boat with wheels?"  and "Could you imagine a car that is a boat?"  "Oh so silly!"  So, I did get a picture (not a great one, it was dark by the time we saw it).  And I still need to work on my manual setting skills.

So, that was our Thursday.  Full of fun, adventure and lots of treats.  No wonder it was a great day!  Everyday I get to spend with my boys is a great day!


The BEST Thursday!!!

We started off the day with a park play date.  And the fun part, it was at 10:30am and we had ice cream!  What a treat.  Who would turn down ice cream sundaes before lunch?  Not me.  Not Connor.  Not Dylan.  Nope, we did not turn it down.  It was delicious! 

These boys are SERIOUS about ice cream!

Then, they got to play on the toys before the thunder & rain started...
The merry-go-round was a hit with all the kids.  

Then, the kids got to feed the ducks.  The ducks were friendly, the geese were not.

Dylan would run after the ducks every chance he got.  He could have cared less about the toys, he just loved the ducks.
Dylan was making a break for the ducks!

Then, once he would get close, he would stop and dance, clap, squat in excitement.  I think he was just putting on a show for them.  So funny.

Part two of The BEST Thursday post will be coming soon :)



 Thursday, May 20, 2010

We had gotten some shrimp at the Farmer's Market this past weekend.  I opted for the small shrimp instead of the huge tasty delicious Gulf Shrimp that I could have had.  Why?  Because the small ones were already peeled and deveined with tails removed.  So, yes, pure lazyness.  And If I have to do all that work and touch all that yucky vein "stuff", the shrimp tend to be a little less appetizing to me.  So, I went with the smaller little shrimps.  And we were not disappointed one bit!  We had them twice this week and now they are all gone.  They were delicious.  And all I did was thrown them into a pan to saute them (from their frozen state) with some a lot of butter and a little roasted garlic.  And cooked them until they were pink.  That's all. 

The first night, I served them with some fettuchini pasta with my new favorite sauce.  I take about 4 tomatoes, cut them in quarters, put them in a hot pan with some olive oil, let them break down, stirring them occassionally, then once they resemble a chunky sauce, I add some blue cheese and mix it all together.  It is delicious, then I just add the pasta straight to the sauce.  So simple!

The second night we had the shrimp, I didn't have any roasted garlic (and if I just add chopped garlic, then Chris tells me it is too garlicky, so I just didn't add any) and they turned out just as good.  I served them with a big salad and some fried potatoes and onions.  Yum.

The guy we bought them from has pictures from his boats of all the different sea life he has caught.  Pretty neat! And he told us about catching a sting ray...oh my!  The next time, I think I will have to get some of those yummy Gulf Shrimp before the oil starts affecting them. Because these sound so yummy....


One Cool Mama!!!

 Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Oh yes, Connor thinks I am the coolest Mama ever.  Why?  Because I am HIS Mama, of course.  And it helps that I have made homemade pop tarts for a breakfast a couple of times now.  I got the recipe/idea here.  I would have loved to make the lemon and blueberry, but I haven't been able to find lemon curd and really don't feel like making it.  Where is Trader Joe's when you need them?  That is right, not in Texas.  And they have awesome lemon curd.  Anyways, one morning I made some using some blackberry and orange cherry preserves and they were delicious.  And then I also made some using fresh strawberry slices.  I used the  pre-made pie crust from Target (their brand). 

Don't they look delicious?

And here is Connor helping with them.  He loves brushing on the egg wash. 

What a little helper!  (And look at those sideburns.  LOL!  He has gotten a haircut since this picture was taken.)


Garden Tour!

 Thursday, May 13, 2010

It has been awhile since I updated about our garden.  Some vegetables are doing great while some are suffering.  Any advice, words of wisdom, help, or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.  This is our first gardening experience in Dallas and only our second year of gardening all together.  Our garden in St. Louis did just okay.  But I have high expectations for this year.  Dallas weather has proven to be a little tricky--not sure how that will affect what we have planted.  I have heard that you can grow anything in Texas.  We will put that to the test!

We decided to go with a variety of vegetable plant purchases this year.  Some we planted from seeds, some we got from a local plant shops (Covington Nursery and Well's Brother), some from the big box stores (Lowe's and Home Depot), and some from mail order ( 

Our peas are doing great.  As the boys ate the first ones straight out of the garden...

And Connor keeps asking for more. I can not stress how important it is for kids to see how our food grows.  It is amazing what they will eat and try straight out of the garden.  Or even from the Farmer's Market. 

So, like I have said previously, we are doing the whole Square Food Gardening method again.  This is using a special mix of vermiculite, peat moss, and compost.  We used this mixture in both of the garden boxes as well as in our containers, inside house plants, and hanging baskets.  It is so easy to work with.  My concern is that a lot of our plants leaves have turned a light green and/or brown color.  Could the soil be missing an important nutrient?  And it seems that some are now growing very well, but still look healthy otherwise.  Any ideas?  Take a look...

Here is the first garden box:

The green leaf lettuce we just ate this week.  It was quite tasty.  We started some from seed in the same square and it sprouted and that was it.  It hasn't grown since.  Oh well.  And another question, do you have to keep re-planting lettuce once you harvest it?

Onions look like they could be doing better.  Is there something wrong with them?  Or is this how onions are supposed to look?

Here are these sad looking carrots.  (Sorry for the bad picture too).  Why aren't they growing?  Wrong season? 

And in the first box, we have beets and radishes that I planted from seed.  Only a few of the seeds sprouted, but haven't grown since they sprouted.  Last years garden, the beets and radishes did amazing!  Any ideas why they have not grown? 

Box two is doing much better than box one!  It has much more vertical growth and just more overall growth. 

Garlic looks like it is doing good.  Especially since this was one of the most recent things I planted.  However, is this what garlic should look like?  This is the first time I have grown garlic!  Help!!!

The peas are doing great.  They are getting bushy and climbing.  And these are the ones we planted from seeds.  The pea plants we purchased have died and gone to plant heaven.

These are the green beans.  They seem to be doing okay and already have a few beans we could problably eat.  Yah!  But the plant looks a little weak and is just starting to climb.

And the pepper plants (everyting from jalepenos to bell peppers have not done well in previous years and this year they are not looking that good either.  What gives?  I am at  a loss!

And there are MORE tomatoes.  I may have gone a little overboard on the tomatoe plants.  Oops.  But they don't like like they are thriving.  Any ideas???

This container of herbs has seen better days.  For some reason, everything in this pot tunred this yellowy color.  Too much water?  Not sure.  Any suggestions?

*I will post some pictures of some of our indoor plants within the next few days.  I have some questions about those as well :)  Again, any help is welcome!


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