Thursday, January 31, 2008

On Giving Advice

Learn from my mistakes.

Never, under any circumstances, get lured in by the pre-packaged sushi in the deli of your super market. (Unless we are talking Central Market where they prepare it right there!)

I should have been suspicious of the Sell-By date of February 12. I also should have come to my senses with the $6.95 price tag. But y'all, it's been a tough week, and I have sick kids, and I needed me a California roll!!!!

They are the most vial thing I have eaten, and paid seven bucks for...

And I am half Hispanic, and we Hispanics can eat some weird stuff.

I forced myself to eat two pieces, but the other seven got tossed.

I swear to you that there was mayonnaise in the rice to hold it together. DIS-GUST-ING!

Just thought I would let you know.

If You Can't Beat Em....

This morning I have officially joined the club of many Mom's across the internet, the country, and across the street. I have joined the Mom's of Children At Home with Fever's Club.

Luckily, I have been given a Two-for-One pass. Both The Boy and The Girl came home yesterday looking puny and sniffly, and this morning they are lying on the couch, in nests (quilts and blankets that we arrange for maximum comfort), drinking cocoa and watching TV.

I know they are sick when they are willing to watch Clifford the Big Red Dog on PBS. We don't have cable and nothing else is on at 6:30 in the morning. They are well beyond the PBS age, but when you're sick, who cares?

You better believe that I will be taking two Zippy Zoo's, a zinc, and a vitamin C, with my bowl of cereal this morning.

I better explain the Zippy Zoo's...The Mister had gone out to the Target to buy a few items about 8 months ago. He was concerned about our kids not getting enough vitamins and minerals in their daily food intake. Target had their huge, 300 count, Zippy Zoo's (generic version of Flintstone's) on a BOGO sale. They aren't sweetened with aspartame (we are one of those weird parents who don't let our kids eat fake sugar), so he stocked up. Of course, the kids hated them because they taste like, well, vitamins. When I ran out of my normal daily vitamin I decided to use what we had before buying more. Hence the Zippy Zoo's.

I had plans to run some errands today, but I guess this day at home will force me to pay some attention to a task I have been avoiding for weeks: filing.

I have a pile of paperwork about a foot and a half tall that must be filed. I don't know why I put this off. It's not hard, nor does it take much thought or energy, but I have avoided it for far too long.

OK...last on the agenda. Have y'all tried the Wheat Thins with Cinnamon yet?

You may remember my post about my favorite lunch/snack/dinner.

Well, my friends, it's about to get better. When I heard about my favorite cracker being treated with cinnamon, I was skeptical. I had tried the Tomato Herb flavored Wheat Thins, and I thought they were awful.

However, the Cinnamon option is amazingly delicious. Normally I have no problem sticking with a small portion of Wheat Thins, but I will have to be sure to not eat the Cinnamon flavored ones right out of the box...because they are amazingly addictive!

All right, I need to take off the Blogger Hat, and go put on my Nurses Hat, then it's the Filer's Hat, and I am sure the Cooks Hat, then the Maids Hat, and then maybe, just maybe, I can put on my seamstress apron and go do something fun!

I hope y'all have a great Thursday.

To my Fellow Club Members out there...Hang in there! This too shall pass!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


You are about to know more about me than you really ever cared to know.

If hearing about medical stuff grosses you out, then the short story is: I'm fine!

The long story is: I don't have an angry appendix. Apparently I have angry ovaries. For the two men reading this blog I am sorry to write about ovaries on the ol' blog. But it is what it is.

Here is the main point of the whole silly saga...Apparently my ovaries are twins that enjoy dressing alike, we'll call them Lefty and Righty, and they are identical in that they both have cysts that are hemorrhaging, just a bit. Apparently, this is actually a painful thing, unless you have tough ovaries like mine, that are only hurt when the cysts get bored and decide it's time to bust. According to the sonograms and ex-rays the bleeding has stopped, and I may have some discomfort for a little while, but things should resolve themselves with time.

Lefty has a cyst as well. If I have pain on that side sometime soon, I will know why.

I am grateful for your prayers, and phone calls, and emails, and comments. I am sorry I worried you. If I hadn't been told it was appendicitis by a couple of doctors I wouldn't have worried y'all. I also wouldn't have EVER gone to the emergency room. Because that place is scary.

The other good news? Because I did the diagnosis in an 8 hour Emergency Room visit, I can proudly tell you that my spleen, pancreas, liver, kidneys, fingernails, eyeballs, and yes, appendix, are healthy and in working order. I can also tell you, with certainty, that receiving a Foley catheter with an epidural (before giving birth) is a much better option. Oh and also, when the gal who comes to put it in that catheter tells you she's "new", you might insist that she get someone to help her on the first (or second) try. Although apparently three time's (and a nurse who knows what she's doing) a charm.
The surgeon wanted me to stay over night for more morphine and observation, but I just couldn't stay there. In my opinion, morphine is not nearly good enough for an over night stay in the ER.Especially since they didn't have any rooms left in the hospital, and had plans to keep me in the ER bed overnight, next to a moaning old lady who had the TV turned up very loud. The ER was a mess full of people hacking and barfing and screaming. They called three Codes in the eight hours I was there. It was chaos and bedlam.

Since the ER staff and docs thought that my story was going to end with me in the Operating Room, I had been kept (NPO) all day. Which meant I had had nothing to eat or drink all day, with the exception of three gigantic cups of ice cold "contrast" that I needed for the CT ex-ray. Yummy stuff, let me tell you...

Out of all the things they did to me, hearing that I would have to stay the night regardless of surgery, was the most painful thing (and the only thing I actually shed tears over). I couldn't stand the thought of being there all night.
As long as my major organs were fully operational, I couldn't see any reason why I should stay, so I got the OB/GYN doc to discharge me.

So that's the scoop. I am at home, taking ibuprofen because narcotics aren't necessary. I have promised to take it easy today. But tomorrow I am going back to the regularly scheduled program, because as long as I know that my appendix isn't going to explode I am pretty much all about moving on with life. Grouchy ovaries and all.

La Vida Dulce

Monday, January 28, 2008

Blogger Luv

Oh, I love me a giveaway. Today (at the time of thispost) I had over 700 people listed on the site meter! And almost 400 comments.

But I on a day like today, I sure missed my regular blogging peeps.

700 on the meter is fun, but I would take the handful that read this blog over the masses any day. Just thought I would tell you that.

Yes, today was not a fun day, nor was yesterday. And tomorrow might be a gut buster. Literally.

Apparently, I have myself an angry appendix. Although not quite angry enough. So I am waiting for it it to get real mad before I sit in the E.R. waiting room. Because sitting in Urgent Care today for 4 hours was more than enough.

Today I was in a Health Care Catch 22, if there ever was one, but the story is too long to into now. The gist is that they couldn't see me at the base clinic and referred me to the Urgent Care, who took four hours to see me. Which made it too late to order CT's or sonograms. So my option was to be sent home with pain pills, to wait 4-6 hours for the pain to get worse, and then go to the E.R in the middle of night with all the weird people in the city, all while shuffling the schedules of a busy family.

Because I am not at the point (yet) where I am writhing in pain I think I will wait it out in the comfort of my own home, and go in the morning, thank you very much.

If I make it through this evening without having an emergency trip to the the E.R. I will most likely be going in the morning after The Mister and I take the kids to school. So far, as I type, the pain isn't any worse, but it's still there.

I am praying that it will either go completely away by morning, or that it will just go ahead and get angry (without exploding) so that when I do go in I won't have to wait for-stinkin-ever! If you're so inclined, you could pray that too.

So, this is how much I love y'all: while I am sitting in the Urgent Care, with 48 people hacking and spewing, all I can think about is how, at least, this will be something exciting to post on the blog.

It's a sickness people....and I am not talking about appendixes.

Even though I didn't do anything but sit all ding-dang day (to use a Junie-ism), I am actually thinking about going to bed at the fine hour of 7:55 pm.

If you don't hear from me tomorrow then chances are I am in a hospital giving birth to my appendix.

I can't wait to show pictures.

This is where I throw out the shameless Appendix Card.

If you are a lurker, or a visitor coming back after the giveaway, or you are one of my regular bloggy friends, and you feel so inclined to hand out some (nice and friendly) blogger luv....the comments are open.

Bloggy Giveaway

***Comments now closed****Thank you!!!!

Hooray! It's here! The Bloggy giveaway hosted by Shannon over at Rocks in My Dryer Bloggy Giveaway.

I have made two things but can't decide what to give away! So I am going to let you choose what you want, either a pink bag (and a journal, because you should never give someone a hand bag that is empty), or a pink cup cake apron.

Here is what they look like:

Leave a comment and let me know which one you want, the apron or the hand bag, and then go check out what others are giving away and sign up there too! I will use a random number generator on the morning of Saturday, February 2nd to pick the winner.

The Good News? You don't have to be a blogger to participate! But you do have to have a valid email address.

The Bad News? I'm sorry, but I can only mail to addresses in the US and Canada.

La Vida Dulce!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Easy Bake Blues

Good Sunday Morning!

It is a drizzly early morning, and I have already had a couple cups of coffee and am thinking about what's on the agenda for the day.

I have about 5 banana's that are begging to be made into some bread. After church I plan to come home and bake...and get ready for the great bloggy giveaway that starts tomorrow! I am pretty sure I will be giving away something in the pink palette, and probably not an apron as I first thought....but sewing this afternoon will be very exciting and fun for me!

Before we come home from church I will be heading to the Target to pick up a new Easy Bake for my soon-to-be-eight Baker, because I destroyed the one she had. It's probably better this way, because the one she had was actually re-called last year, but I decided that she was old enough to handle not sticking her hand in the oven and getting it stuck. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said for her 35 year old mother.

I didn't stick my hand in there, but I did stick the little purple plastic 'cake pusher' into the oven to try to clean up some cake batter that had overflowed it's cake pan. I was interested in scraping it up before it started to burn, and spew smoke all over my kitchen. I stuck the scraper in and it got caught in that trap that does not allow you to pull things (like fingers and plastic spatulas) out, and instead of burning, smoking, cake, we had burning, smoking, plastic. I quickly unplugged the oven and carried it out the back door.

The real problem came when I walked back in the house and said, "Well, Girl, I just killed your Easy Bake." Which was not a good way to break the news to The Girl, who burst out crying (she loves her Easy Bake as much as I love my Kitchen Aide Mixer.)

So today, I will be replacing her oven. I tried to tell her that she could use my oven just as easily to bake her little cakes and cookies, but that went over like a lead balloon...

OK...I now have only an hour to get ready for church and I haven't decided what I am going to wear, which always adds about 30 minutes to the "getting ready" routine, so I better go.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Blog Tour - Brenda Nixon

Today I have the opportunity to participate in a blog tour.

Brenda Nixon is a writer and speaker with a heart for families. Here is a short interview to get know her better!

Tell me a little bit about what you do for a living.
I travel to speak at parenting and childcare conferences, schools, churches, MOPS groups, parent expos, or anywhere I’m invited if the audience lives or works with kids. I belong to a couple of speakers associations and continue to read and learn as much as I can to continually improve my craft and service to others.

Since there’s a marriage between speaking and writing, I also write books and magazine articles about child behavior and guidance. If a person is going to speak to audiences about a topic, it’s natural to put those words on paper and publish. Most of my colleagues do both speaking and writing.

With my education background, I’m contracted to teach Ohio Health & Safety curriculum to childcare providers, and I am adjunct faculty at an Ohio university.

What topics do you address?
Number one topic: discipline. Close behind that are toilet teaching, understanding temperament, and boosting a child’s school success. Depending on the program planner’s request, some want my Kindergarten readiness talk and others just request a review of normal child development. To keep things interesting and fresh, each presentation is unique; some use power point, some use role-play, and some have silly jokes. When I was in Iowa recently, the event planner asked me to close an early childhood conference with “Women Are Winners” — a motivational, lighthearted talk about all the work women do. It’s based on the Proverbs 31 poem in the Bible’s Old Testament.

How do you balance building self-esteem with not letting my kids become prideful?
That’s a good (and common!) question. Self-esteem is a quiet, inner sense of value or worth. It isn’t prideful self-centeredness. It’s OK for parents to nurture self-confidence and inner worth in a child. To foster a healthy sense of worth, I actually encourage parents to allow their child to make mistakes. After all, we learn about our strengths and weaknesses from mistakes. Another way to build self-esteem is to use statements showing your confidence in your child.

Be aware of your manner of communication with your child. Avoid hurtful words that express unbelief and decrease his sense of competence such as, “Don’t you know anything?” or “You’re always getting into trouble,” or “You never listen!” At the other end of the spectrum, a parent could inadvertently teach prideful thinking if she said something like, “You’re the brightest, best kid in the whole world.” Now, you and I both know that’s not true. But it could give the child a sense of being better than anyone else.

What are some ideas for little things I can do to build my daughter’s self-esteem?
Don’t put down your child’s other parent. Think about it this way; it takes two people to make one. Your daughter is a combination of her daddy and mommy. So when you say negative, demeaning things about her other parent, you’ve just insulted half of who she is.

Value your child’s uniqueness. Kids don’t have to always agree with us or follow in our footsteps. They may have their own opinions, likes, and dislikes that differ from ours. Yet well-meaning parents often push their child to go into a sport, be an academic winner, or pursue the parent’s unmet dream. I love the little poem, “Accept Me” written by Ruth Reardon.

ACCEPT ME – for what I am
Not what I could have been or even will be.
Accept me.
Acceptance must be present tense, with no conditions, and based on reality.
If windows of your heart must rosy-tinted be
you have not accepted me.
See me as I am without distortion of your dreams . . .
A human being, beautiful, unique.
Free to grow according to the seen within myself.
Accept me – so I need not twist myself to fit your pattern. . .
But resting in acceptance,
can grow.

When do I need to start working on self-esteem?
At birth. Even babies can sense if they’re wanted, welcome, and valued. School-age kids need to sense that, as do teens! As parents, we can be our child’s resting place in a hectic, often hostile world.

What suggestions do you have for rebuilding my child’s confidence after a tough blow?
Be honest. If you’ve had a tough blow, share it with your child. I once told my daughters about a friend who betrayed me and how I felt, and they responded, “Really?” Kids don’t realize that we were kids at one time too, and we can understand their defeats and feelings.

You can visit Brenda's own website to learn more.

You can also follow Brenda's blog tour by visiting yesterday's post at Jenn Doucette's blog. Or go to Momma (and More) on Monday (1/28)!

Cookie Scandal

I was walking in the Target today. Minding my own business and doing my best to "stick to the list" when something quite shocking happened.

Actually, it might border on scandalous.

You see, I was on a mission to purchase graham crackers. In this home graham crackers and milk, or graham crackers and cheese, or graham crackers and peanut butter are a beloved evening snack. And I'm not talking about the kids or myself.

The Mister is my graham cracker monster. A hunky, lovable, graham cracker, monster.

When we ran out of them last week he asked me to pick more up. But I kept forgetting (normally I only eat graham crackers if there is nothing else sweet in the house and I am desperate). Last night, he sighed as he looked longingly into the pantry, and I new I was treading some mighty deep waters. My man needed him some graham crackers.

I, of course, in the sweetest way possible asked why in the world he didn't just eat ice cream for a night time snack like every one else. Then I laughed real hard (and alone) at my joke, and got up quickly to help him find something to fill his hunger, because y'all, hungry men sometimes don't see the humor in life.

OK, so I am at Target, and I am getting panicked because I can't find Graham Crackers.

But! I did find Nilla Wafers, which is where the scandal in this post is laid out for all to see.

My name is Kellie, and I am addicted to Nilla Wafers. (We love you Kellie.)

I love everything about them: their crunchy, light brown goodness; their partially hydrogenated oils, the way they smell when you open up that foil-y, stay-fresh pouch. Don't even try to substitute with a generic brand, or tell me you have a homemade comparison, because it is not the same. I've tried them.

I have a tendency to eat them until they are gone. Which is why I don't buy them. Ever. Well, ever is a little harsh, but I haven't bought them in a very, very, very long time.

I do believe that this is a genetic problem. I believe I have a gene that is Nilla Waferized. I believe this for two reasons: One, because then I don't have to admit to my gluttony, and Two, because The Girl probably loves them more than I do. I have passed on my gene.

I left them on the counter, unopened (aren't you proud of my self control?), so when she arrived home from school she would see them.

She was literally speechless when she saw them, and looked at me as if I had just given her a pony, and that white fluffy puppy that she has been persistently asking for.

(Sidenote: What's even more funny is that she just walked in the room and said, "Mom, you have to come into my room so that I can show you something funny, and you will have to blog about it." This is what I saw:She placed cookies in each of thier hands.

Since it was so cute, and involved my favorite boxed cookie, I will let go of the fact that she was eating cookies in her room.

Well friends, that is the scandalous story. Oh, you may have wondered what this has to do with graham crackers?

Absolutely nothing.

But it does go to show you that addiction effects everyone...I never ended up buying The Mister his graham crackers...which means I'll be back at the grocery store tomorrow.

End note:
Does anyone else feel like this was the longest week of the year, even though it was only a four day week? I am so glad that it is finally Friday!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Everything and Nothing

OK, for those of who know me in real life (or IRL as my friend cd likes to say) you'll know that I often talk about everything and nothing, all at the same time. If you have read this blog for any length of time, you also have probably figured it out.

Today, that is what you get, Everything and Nothing. Fasten you seat belts.

Let's start with the fact that I am almost finished with the book Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon. If you are familiar with the Mitford books her name will sound familiar, if you're not, log off right now, and run, don't even think about walking, to a library or book store and pick up her Mitford series.

It is very rare that I read during the day, unless I am on an airplane, lounging by the pool in the summer, or on vacation. I usually save my reading for the bedtime routine. This means that I may read a book for almost a month before I finish it. But I like it that way, because if it's a good book, I like to make it last. But I digress...

Home to Holly Springs is such a good story. Oh! It's heart breaking, but it's delicious. So much so that I have been reading in the middle of the day. Afraid to go too fast, and afraid not to.

I must tell you that I was skeptical, Father Tim and the people of Mitford are like friends to me (which I know sounds weird, but it's Everything and Nothing day, so hang with me) and much like a mother, with only one child wonders how she will love the second, I was feeling doubtful that Ms. Karon could improve on such a good thing. She has. Go get it.


Confessions of a Textile Junky

(Is paper considered a textile? Cuz I really enjoy pretty paper too.)

I went to work at my Mom's office today, to make up time for the beautiful three day weekend. Here is the part where I confess to you that I have had covetousness in my heart. A couple years ago when we came to visit I snooped in the guest room/sewing room closet and saw that she had some beautiful Mary Ingelbright fabrics she was planning to use for a quilt. When we moved here almost 11 months ago, I remembered those fabrics, and secretly began to nonchalantly look around her home for a mere peek.

Well, finally I just gave up and came right out and asked her about them because I couldn't find them A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E. She had hid them very, very well. I have a very keen gift for finding things that are not meant to be seen before their time. So I was surprised at how well she hid them. I also have an amazing talent for unwrapping Christmas gifts, without even messing up the tape, but we won't go there today.

Anyway, today we pulled out two boxes full of material and she gave me a huge stash of material, including all the Ingelbright stuff. She also gave me a whole bunch of pale pink flannel (pictured above with my new shiny thimble) and I literally cannot stop thinking about the possibilities for that flannel. I may have trouble sleeping tonight.


No Scrap is Sacred

Last spring, shortly after we moved here, I drove to the Target for a few little items and walked out with this really cute "baby doll" type of dress/shirt. I bought it and wore it once or twice over a pair of jeans, but the real reason I bought it was because I loved the fabric pattern.

Honestly, I am too old to wear anything that is empire waisted. 'Too old' because I did not have babies in the "show your bump and look cute" period. I had babies in the scary time between large tents and empire waists. Secondly, I was too old for this specific top because it had puff sleeves. Which was fine when my mother was making me Laura Ashley jumpers but now, not so much. Plus, I have very broad shoulders and adding cute little puffs made me feel like a linebacker. But anyway...I had been looking at that top hang in my closet for awhile and decided I could make something cute out of it, so I made this.

(Gotta love pics with the head out of frame.)

I think I will be keeping this one for me, however, I am really excited about this. I have all sorts of fun new stuff, so the possibilities are endless!

OK, I think that's it. Well it's actually not, but I am cutting myself off, just like the picture.

(I am kellie coffeegal, of La Vida Dulce, and I approved this craziness)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Full Moon

Y'all, I got up this morning to walk with a friend. It was very early and should have been very dark, but the light being cast by the full moon made it very bright outside.

Then later, around 7:20ish, I looked outside our kitchen window and saw the moon hanging so close to our home that I thought I might be able to touch it. It was amazing. I had to try to take a picture. Although I have to confess, since I now have two amazing, real-life, photographers (Lisa and Megan) reading the blog, I am a little nervous with my amateur-auto-focus ways.

Anyway, I wanted to share.

I hope you are having a fine Tuesday. We had a great three day weekend, and now I will be trying to remember what day it is all week long. I'll need next weekend to recover for sure.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Sweet Shop is Now Open!

The shop is open! Go take a look!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lunchtime at La Vida

I like to post to my blog while eating my lunch.

Occasionally I share a picture of what 's for lunch. Today it's the avocado sandwich.

I took pictures. It was supposed to be a progressive set of pictures that started with mustard on the bread.

They all turned out blurry. So you only get the cucumber smiley face, and the finished project.

Honestly, I was in a hurry, sometimes a grumbling stomach overrides a good picture. Plus, I was in a thoughtful mood. Not very deep thoughts, but thoughts all the same.

Have you ever thought about how much we could get done in a day if we didn't have to eat? There wouldn't be any grocery shopping or food prep, it would be glorious.

You know, when my kids were little and at home it was easy to break for lunch since I had to feed them too. But now, lunch sometimes feels like such a chore.

I like to eat, but when I am in the middle of things like cleaning, reading, running errands, sewing, and doing stuff, I often think about how much time (not to mention money) that we could save if we didn't have to eat.

Back to my lunch. When I finished making my sandwich I pulled an orange from the fridge. I peeled it, and the inside looked like grapefruit. I tasted it, and it tasted orangey and grapefruity. It was quite refreshing. I was thinking that some orange tree must of been standing too close to the grapefruit tree.

Thinking about cross pollination of fruit trees made me feel weird. So I thought I better hurry up and eat, and blog, and get back to work.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Random Sleepy Thoughts

Last night The Mister and I watched a documentary about the Badwater Ultra Marathon. The course is 135 miles from Death Valley to Mt Whitney, CA, in July, where the temperatures can be up to 130 (F) degrees. That's like running six marathons, all at once, in the oven.

I am not sure if these people are a picture of perseverance or craziness. Probably a little of both.

The documentary was fascinating, but when I tucked myself into bed, I felt uneasy. It's weird to see people push themselves past the point of well being. I kept thinking about how hard that would be on the body. Not mention dangerous.

Strangely, it also made me really miss running. I am trying my best to rehab my knee from the 10 miler in October. It's still not great, but it's getting better. I am hoping to have my knee back in shape by the time it warms up and the sun rises earlier. Right now it is still dark until almost 7am. I don't like to run in the dark by myself.

Anyway, my thoughts were on running when I went to bed last night and I didn't really sleep well. The Girl woke me up 4 am this morning with a bad dream and I never went back to bed.

I see much coffee in my future.

Today I will be doing my own extreme sport:An Ultra Clean-athon. I am thankful to have a full day to finish things around here and get ready for the weekend. Hurray for long weekends!

I better run...I need to drink another large cup of coffee, before tackling the bathrooms, but before I go I wanted to tell you that I found this link on Martha Stewart and it may save my sanity! Here is a great tutorial on making recycled notebooks. They are super easy and use all the supplies you probably already have. I have made two for each of my children already because they love to draw and write little stories. Their creativity is great, except we end up having papers ALL OVER MY HOUSE! Which drives me a little crazy.

These notebooks are really great for keeping things organized, and my kids love them. (they are also learning about reusable resources in school right now, so the timing was perfect for a little recycling lesson at home). The link also includes a video, which I think is a lot more clear than the written instructions!

Have Fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Kona says, Happy New Year. Although she's not real thrilled to be wearing the ribbon. The Girl thought she needed to have some ribbons since we are allowing her to wear long hair during the winter. Kona prefers long hair, but until she learns how to sweep, she'll have to be happy to keep her long tresses for just the winter month. And yes, I mean month. Singular.

Here is another picture of her looking very stately, and alot less annoyed. The Girl loves this dog. So much so that sometimes it's painful. For the dog, not The Girl.

I have several things in the works right now. Mostly aprons that I wrote about yesterday. Unfortunately, it is Science Fair time and so all of a sudden my best-laid-plans are all being set aside as we try to figure out (using the scientific method) if vinegar will kill plants. I am not sure that we will be able to get a good outcome at all.

Can I tell you a secret?

I am a plant killer. I have tried, and tried, but I just can't do it.

I can feed and water my children and so far, so good. But don't give me a plant, cuz it's a guaranteed goner. I hope my black thumb doesn't skew our scientific method.

But I digress...just when I thought that we were down to the easy part of the science project The Girl came home with news that she has to do one too. Which is fine, it just means that I have to lay aside some of my own stuff for another little bit because I keep having to run into town to buy supplies (which eats a lot of my sewing time). This, my friends, is what you call Motherhood. If it's not one thing it's another. You think that when you stop breastfeeding at 12 months you will have all sorts of free time, and then Whammo! they are coming home with science projects. Well, you know what I mean.

So my little projects for etsy are coming along, but it may be the weekend before I am totally up and running. Here is a little preview:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Going Dark

I may have to give up trying to blog on Monday's.

Theater's are usually dark on Monday's. Maybe La Vida Dulce will be too.

Tomorrow I will post my thoughts on last week memory verse, which is typed but not spell checked. I also am going to give y'all a preview of what will be going up at my etsy shop. I have made a few really cute aprons for Valentines day. Both for adults and kiddos.

OK, typing at you for five minutes is almost worse than not posting at all. But I wanted you to know I was alive....cuz I just know you've been worried all day!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Random Friday Thoughts from Kellie's Brain

Just for the record, yesterday morning was pretty darn fun.

I loved the facial. Probably too much.So very relaxing.

Today has been just as much fun. Despite my best laid plans, I got absolutely nothing done around the house. I had planned to sew from the late morning until early afternoon, but better things kept popping up. On most days I like to keep to The Plan, but every once in awhile it's fun to live spontaneously.

On a whim, I hitched a ride to the gym this morning with one of the girls I work out with. Our kids go to the same school and we were headed the same direction, so it was fun to ride into town together. After the BodyPump class we decided that we should re-fuel by having some breakfast. I decided some girl-y bonding time would be way better than 40 more minutes on the elliptical, and since I didn't have wheels of my own, I was forced to go.

She dropped me off at home with just enough time to get cleaned up and then run out to get the kids from school. I was so surprised when that same friend stopped back by the house and asked if the kids and I wanted to go to The Dairy Queen for a treat. Again, I was forced to take my kids for a delicious chocolate dipped cone.

It's been such a tough day. You know, pumping iron, and socializing with girlfriends, and eating ice cream, is really tough. I 'm exhausted.

The Girl is having her first (non-related) friend spend the night tonight. As I type, I can hear High School Musical 2 and copious laughter in the background. I'm giggling a little bit myself just listening to them.

I hope we aren't all giggling too much past 10pm. Cuz' although I was totally being sarcastic in the paragraphs above, I do turn into a pumpkin way before that....

I hope you had a great Friday too.

La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Personal Latte

Today is going to be a great day because I get to have my hair cut and colored (one of my favorite things!). I also will be cashing in a gift certificate I received in October for a facial. For those of you who are seasoned salon goers, you may want to sit down for the next statement. I have never had a facial, so I am excited to get to the salon this morning and see what that's all about.

While I am being properly scrubbed, and neatly trimmed, and blessedly de-rooted, I thought I would share a fun little Coffee Survey I found (link is below). I have seen it floating around on several different blogs over the past weeks but reserved my survey for a time such as this.

On the way to the salon I will use the last 5 dollars on my Starbucks card to pick up a grande, non-fat, vanilla, extra foam, latte, stand-by beverage, and the focus of this survey.

What Your Latte Says About You

You don't treat yourself very often. You find that indulging doesn't jibe with your very disciplined life.

You are a very frivolous person. You don't take anything too seriously. Why should you?

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You're addicted to caffeine. There's no denying it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are expressive and friendly, but you are never pushy.

I think this survey is a little twisted. I am not sure I am any of these things. Especially since #'s 1 & 2 are polar opposites. However, I completely disagree with #4. Addicted is such a strong word.

I would have said, really likes, or, passionate about, or, strongly enjoys.
But addicted? Come-on! ;)

Happy Day!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On Being Safe

Is it just me, or have the news headlines been more than horrible lately?

Last October, as part of a Beth Moore's Daniel study, I chose to stay away from reading the news headlines as part of an exercise that was to help get our focus on the Lord.

I like to read the news, but I was reading way too much, and I was filling my head with garbage. So I stopped. At first I really missed it, but when the period of time was over I was kind of relieved. I felt free, unburdened by all the ugliness in the world that I have no power to change.

I did go back to reading the news online after the exercise but limited myself to and the local paper, and cut out the news groups that tend to sensationalize things.

I may have to "fast" again, cause the headlines are getting me down.

This whole thing with the young female hiker in Georgia makes me sad. It's a sad story anyway, but for some reason it's tugging at my heart because the La Vida Family are big hikers. Hiking is a great family activity. It's good, active, safe, and fun.

Not only do we hike as a family, but The Mister and I have had hiking dates together, and many, many times we have hiked on our own. I cannot even count how many times I hiked by myself when we lived in NC. There were at least five different trails within a three mile radius of our home. I always called and let someone know I was going out (and called again when I got home). I kept my eye out, and tried my best to be aware of my surroundings....but if a young woman, who was a black belt in karate, was apparently surrounded by enough people who knew who she was talking to, and was with her large dog isn't safe, I don't know who is.

I guess that is where the whole problem lies: the things I label in my mind as "safe". I want to think that I am safe. I want to think that I am picking activities, and places to be, that are safe. The truth is that life has no guarantee's, for anyone, where safety is concerned. I can take precautions, I can do my best to make wise decisions, but ultimately, I cannot make life entirely safe.

When I hear stories like this one my gut reaction is to be fearful. I want to hide and not engage in any type of activity where I cannot control my environment. The truth is, if I did that, I wouldn't be able to send my kids to school. I wouldn't be able to go running. I wouldn't be able to go to church. I wouldn't be able to fly, or drive, or really, live.

This morning I was praying this scripture for a friend:

Psalm 91:5
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

Perhaps I need to take another break from the news and pray that for myself too.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Lunchtime At La Vida

Tuesday's Leftover Menu:

Spaghetti (from Monday) &
Green Beans (from Sunday)

Aren't ya glad you're eating lunch somewhere else!

I'm having a quick bite in between "things" here, but I wanted to share some fun pictures of our hike last Saturday. The weather was amazing. Cool enough for the bugs and desert creatures to be somewhere hiding, and warm enough to wear tank tops! It was awesome! I must tell you that summers can be brutally hot, but it is well worth a couple months of sweltering for winters like this...would you remind me of that, like say, in July/August?

Monday, January 07, 2008

As Promised

This weekend I whipped up another blanket. Mitered corners and all. They aren't as horrible as I anticipated them being, and since there are four corners on one blanket, they get better with practice.

I forgot to get The Mister to take a picture of me wearing K2's contest prize, but the day I finished it my niece was here and I made her be my model so I could get a good picture. She is a long, lanky child, and this apron is made for an adult shaped like me (who has birthed two very large children). You cannot see the pink sides of the apron that wrap around. Which is why I included the last picture of the apron laying flat on my bed.

I was inspired by an apron that was made from two dish towels, but I wanted it to be longer, so I came up with a pattern using four. There are a few things that I will do to "tweak" my pattern, but all in all, I think it came out all right. I am also working on a bunch of other Valentine's Aprons. I have set up an on-line shop and will be placing a few aprons for sale (both for adults and kiddos) in the coming weeks. For those of you who have emailed me in the last month or two and asked about buying aprons and blankets and such, I will let you know when the shop is up and running.

Today was the first day back to "normal-hood". I went to the gym for the first time in 15 days. It wasn't has hard as I thought it would be, but then again, I didn't lift as heavy as I usually do either.

After my workout it was back to Monday mornings at the office, where my Mom eased me back to work by only assigning a small handful of things in which to administratively assist (since my title is administrative assistant, a fancy work for secretary).

My Dad made me the loveliest avacado sandwhich for lunch, made just the way I like it: avocado, lettuce, tomato, 7 grain bread, mustard (no mayo!), and a quick dash of Lawry's seasoning salt.

All in all, a good Back-To-The-Routine kind of Monday.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Summary - John 17:4

Three weeks ago I said I was going start the year by memorizing a new scripture verse each week. I'm still going to do that, but with one change. I had planned to use the church bulletin for their verse of the week but my bible has several different lists from which to choose, and it's always available in the event that we don't make it to church. *It is my intention to write brief thoughts about my weekly memory verse on Sunday's.* Mostly because it will help me to solidify some of the thoughts scripture produces, but also as a means of accountability. This is because from start to finish, a whole year is a long time, and I want to finish this goal of 52 verses memorized this year....Which brings me to this weeks thoughts:

Week 1- John 17:4:

I have brought you glory by completing the work you gave me to do.
These powerful words of Christ had me deep in thought throughout most of the week.

It's in this first week of the New Year that I find myself looking to the horizon and the opportunities of a clean slate. It's always this time of year when I am motivated and ready: Lists must be made, plans written out, goals set. There are workouts to complete, menu's to be made, chores to be done, people to see, money to be made, and Christmas pounds to lose. There are things I want to do, have, see, and make. I know you have them too.

But here's the thing, often times the things that sound great right now are the things I give up on sometime in February. Have you ever been in the middle of something and realized it was ten times more difficult and twice as messy as you thought it would be?

As I began to have this little bit of scripture in my head, I soon began to remember that a strong start is a dime a dozen, but a strong finish is beyond price.

Christ was the ultimate Finisher. He brought glory to God here on earth with His finished work: Undeserved death on a cross (settling our debt for sin, one and for all.)

How much more should I seek to be a finisher in the things He sets before me here on earth!! From thoughts of how I am going to deal with the mountain of laundry on my living room couch, to how to handle ministry, and everything in between, I am to be a finisher: To seek God for wisdom on the work He has given me to do, and do it. Not because I can cross it off a list, (Disclaimer: I love me some lists, they make me feel like I have a modicum of control) or say that I have "been there, done that", but so I might bring glory to God here on earth.

Somehow that helps me want to finish, even, when in the finishing, the prize doesn't seem so grand (for instance, I know I will be folding that same laundry next week!). Christ has given us the perfect picture of being a finisher. We can be finishers by looking to Christ. Realizing that I can bring glory to God, in both the big and the little things, helps me to want to start this New Year not by making a long list of things I can start this next year , but really focusing, on the things that come my way, with the intent of being a finisher.

* If anybody wants to try this little Year of Memorization with me, let me know. I can send you my list for the year (or it will be updated weekly on the blog each Sunday).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pink & Blue

I wanted to get some sewing in before all of life goes back to our normally scheduled program. I always make room in the schedule to do the creative things I enjoy, but the large chunks of time to sew and glitter are definitely drawing to a close until summer.

There are a couple of friends of our who had babies before Christmas and so I have been working on a couple of blankets. I am making two of these blankets: one in pink, one in blue. I have made several blankets like this in the past but this time I thought I would try my hand at blanket binding. Since this is a friendly blog I won't type what I have thought and said out loud while trying to make a mitered corner, but I will tell you that it isn't anywhere near as innocent as this blanket looks.

Sometime this weekend I want to show you another project I have been working on this week. But since it is the prize for this contest I don't want to post until I can get a decent picture (like when The Mister is home to help take it). In the interest of getting you to come back, I'll leave a teaser...

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's Gonna Be A Great Year!

I think that this year is gonna be a good one.

I'll tell you why.

Before Christmas, on December 30th, 2007 to be exact. My hunk of a man, (you might want to be seated for this one) went shoe shopping with me. I needed something high heeled and, maybe opened toed, and in black to wear with my dress to a wedding. As you can see I had a plan. Of course, I didn't exactly put the plan into action until about 2 hours before this wedding because I was not looking forward to shopping at shoe warehouse the week after Christmas.

Normally, I do not take The Mister shoe shopping because his profession jades him.

I am going to tell you a secret that is just between the Internet and myself:

The Mister doesn't believe in high heel shoes.

He says, "they're too hard on a women's body. Specifically the feet, knees, hips and back".

He doesn't believe in the oh-so-popular-and-cute ballet flats because "if you have jacked-up feet (like mine) or you pronate, a flat shoe has no support."

That leaves tennis shoes and a lot of other shoes that are functional, supportive, and good for me, but not really very cute.

To quote our friend (and former graduate studies classmate), R.G:

When I see women wearing high heeled shoes, I see job security.

The Mister feels the same way. So when it comes to shoe shopping, I leave him at home. Plus, I am married to him, so I figure that if I get all messed up then he can fix me.

Anyway, we went to my favorite shoe store in town to find a pair of black pumps and while I was there I found the cutest maroon, patent, leather moccasins. I really wanted to get them but I decided to wait and see how I felt about those shoes in 48 hours. Sometimes shiny things make me feel all needy inside. I don't like to buy things when I'm feeling needy, because 9 times out of 10 I will have remorse. Maybe not while I'm wearing them, but definitely when I see the bank statement at the end of the month.

Well, I thought about those shoes all weekend long and I decided that I would go visit them today. You know, make a call. See if they needed anything, or

It turns out that 'anyone' wasn't me.

The store was having a huge sale. For heavens sake! they were practically giving shoes away. The maroon moccasins were, of course, not on sale, but I immediately went to them, picked up a pair in my size, and walked back to the sale racks.

This is where the happy part comes in...

I lost my lust for those shiny maroon moccasins because...I found something better. Two somethings better.

Here's the deal. I really did need black shoes. I had shoes to wear with everything in my closet, except black shoes that would go with things that were more casual. While I was carrying around those moccasins I was feeling that same funny feeling I had had all week about spending a big chunk of change on shoes, that I really couldn't wear with the majority of my wardrobe...but then again, shouldn't every girl have a pair of shiny shoes?

Pictured above is what I found.

Not only could I get a black pair, but a red pair too! For just a few dollars more than the pair not on sale!

I put the moccasins back and left with the "on-sale" items.

Let me introduce you to the little black loafers:

They were 40% off and are the most comfortable shoes I think I have owned. They are like butter, I tell you! Butter! Personally, I have never worn butter on my feet, but if I had I am sure that this is what it would feel like.

Just when you think there could not possibly be one more reason to like these shoes, there is! These are certain to win the The Mister's professional Seal of Approval! Glory!

The red ones were 70% off and they make me feel the same emotion I felt as an 8 year old when I got a beautiful, pleated, Sky Blue skirt, that twirled up perfectly when I spun around. If you are a girl, I know you know what I mean.

When I got home I couldn't bear to have those beautiful red shoes just sitting in my dark closet, all lonely and forlorn, so I am wearing them now as I type.

So here it is the, only the 2nd day in the New Year, and I already have one fantastic shoe shopping experience under my belt.

2008. It's gonna be good. I can feel it!

PS: I want to know what you received as a girl that made your heart swoon. What was your Sky Blue Pleated skirt (or patent leather shoes!)?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year Fun!

Happy New Year!

The Mister and I had the perfect New Years Eve last night. We dined on Italian at a small restaurant here in town, had an amazing conversation about goals for the coming year, and then hung out with some dear friends, playing games and laughing. Then I convinced him to take me to the grocery store at 11:00pm to buy Chex Mix ingredients and the toilet paper that was on sale.

We were tucked into our cozy bed, underneath the heating blanket, as the neighbors honked horns, set off fire works and made some happy noise at midnight. The kids were safely tucked in at Grannie and Paw's house.

All was right as we entered 2008.

I saw this great idea for today's post over at Musings of a Housewife, so I thought I would steal it. I have taken the first line of the first post of every month last year and linked it to the original post. I then have a favorite picture from that month (which sometimes doesn't match the post and it was VERY HARD to pick just one).

It was incredible to put this post together because in the last year my children have been to three different schools, we have moved across the country, changed jobs, made new friends, and heartachingly missed the old ones. In the stress evaluation test there are only three things we have not experienced this year: A new baby, divorce, or death (although we have done our share of grieving the loss that comes from moving).

And yet, life here in the desert is sweet. I wouldn't trade anything for where I sit right now. Sharing life with family and friends, and typing at the computer, on January 1, 2008, in a tank top. I LOVE this winter weather!

Without further ado...New Year Fun!

I've got my big hair and blue jeans and the captain has just come over the intercom announcing that our flight will arrive in just over an hour.

Snow in the Carolina's

Yesterday was a day that started with me seeing things through glasses that were selfishly colored, but the day quickly changed my view.

Saying goodbye to my amazing co-workers.


Trek across the country: Memphis on the Mississippi

Last Saturday my mom and I took The Girl to a local nursery to buy some seeds and flowers for The Girl to plant.

J and I complete the Komen Race for the Cure 5k
So it seems I am now a once a week blogger.

Celebrating Paw's birthday.

The movers have dropped everything off and we officially have our stuff in the new house.

All our stuff packed in crates.

*Thou shall not go to the Costco on a Saturday.*
(Especially on the Saturday before a holiday.)

My dear friend, Jen-with-One-N stops by with her family while on vacation.

"I know you have just been chomping at the bit to hear this news.

The Lemonade Stand

Yes, I caved.

Moofish Cousins (minus the baby!)

I was exhausted as we pulled out of our driveway for our trip to Northern Arizona; to cooler weather and beautiful views.

The Sisters I Had To Wait 30 Years For
(Are they beautiful or what?)

It is really hard to post a blog one handed, but I refuse to put down this fun size Snickers Bar.


All righty!My biggest little guitar groupie.
I love him.