Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Look Back

If happiness had an odor this is what it would smell like. I had to go into a "natural" food store to get it but it was SO worth having to talk to the hippy tree-hugger at the check-out counter! But I digress...the point is my funk has lifted. Nothing chases away the funk like spankin' new cleaning products!

In light of my new-found cheerfulness I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 2008. My favorite pictures from the past year, in no particular order:

1. Caitlin's butterflies we hatched in her Butterfly Treehouse that Mammaw gave her for her birthday.

2. My girls at G & G Camp. That's Grandma & Grandpa Camp for you uninformed people.

3. Our trip to Playa Mujeres, Mexico courtesy of Wes' employer, Neurometrix. Too bad he quit the day we got back.

4. The Huckabee Victory Party on Super Tuesday.

5. My new Sheltie puppy, Tess.

6. My small group at church. I love these people!

7. My first official Arts and Crafts Show as a vendor.

8. My new niece, Faith.

9. My first ever fancy garland on my fireplace mantel and also the new drapes I made with my own two little hands.

and last but not least...

10. Riding the 4-wheeler with Wes and the "girls."

Farewell 2008! You were a good year!

Design Dilemma

I need help. Our comforter is beyond repair what with doggie toenails digging into it and a series of unfortunate events involving my foot getting caught in a small hole in it while trying to exit the bed and falling down and ripping even bigger holes. I've finally gotten my decorating mojo back and I think I'm going to make a duvet. I found this fabric that I LOVE.

My walls are this color and I'd rather not repaint them. It's Sherwin Williams Sconce Gold and I love it.

I'm thinking I would only use the giraffe print in the center of the duvet with a border of something else. Therein lies the dilemma. I don't want to use solid cream because it will show dirt. I don't want to use solid chocolate because it just seems too dark. But what kind of print do I use with giant giraffe?! I would probably use the same mystery fabric for the bed skirt and I'd need a third coordinating fabric for my drapes. Also, what accent color should I use for pillows?

I think I need professional help...decorating or mental, take your pick.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Post-Christmas Funk aka Pressures of the New Year

My hubby pointed out that I haven't posted in almost a week so this post's for you, Wes.

I guess I haven't posted because I didn't want to burden you with the funk I'm in. But since you're my friends, I'll go ahead and burden you anyway.

It happens every year. The few days before Christmas are magical...sparkling lights on the tree, the smell of cinnamon and sugar cookies in the air, the sense of wonder and eager anticipation, the warm glow of the fireplace. Then on Christmas morning, in the harsh light of day, after the packages are opened and the brunch is eaten, I start to see...the dust that has gathered around the garlands and candles, the glitter that once seemed magical is now sprinkled on the floor and just looks dirty, the pretty paper that once adorned those beautiful packages is shredded all over the living room, plastic pieces and wires from the child (and adult)-proof toy packaging are scattered all over the house. So begins The Post-Christmas Funk.

I hate the thought of taking down all the decorations and putting them away. They never fit in the boxes they came out of. I hate the thought of trying to find a place to put all the new stuff not to mention what do I do with the old stuff it replaces? So begins the Pressures of the New Year.

It begins with me scouring the internet for organization ideas, buying assorted containers and boxes and bins and baskets that never seem to go where I intended, grand ideas that THIS will be the year I get our household clutter under control but then I don't know where to start so I just don't and then I'm overwhelmed with a sense of failure. The New Year is a bust before it even starts!


Please excuse me while I wallow in self-pity for a few more days.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Checklist

Ok, let's see...

1. Wrap presents. Check.
2. Make grocery list. Check.
2. One more mad dash to Wal-Mart. Check.
3. Bite tongue when fat lady breaks in front of me in the check-out line. Check.
4. Mad dash to Brookshires to get the things that Wal-mart was out of. Check.
5. Panic when I realize there are no more red seedless grapes in this town. Check.
6. Plan B: use green seedless grapes. Check.
7. Accept that if it's not done now it probably won't be. Check.
8. Relax with cup of coffee with Peppermint Mocha creamer. Check.
9. Stockings hung by chimney with care. Check.
10. Enjoy family time. Check.

Merry Christmas, y'all!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Sweater

Many of you know I'm a HUGE Glenn Beck fan. If you don't know who Glenn is the first thing I would say is "What the heck is wrong with you?! Have you been living under a rock?! and the second thing I would say is please click here. Glenn has a new book called "The Christmas Sweater" which you can purchase here. And you should, you really should. I'm actually holding my breath in giddy anticipation that my hubby remembered to order an autographed copy for me. We'll see. Well, anyhoo, Glenn also performs a stage show based on the book. We weren't able to go see it live, much to my dismay, but we did get to go last night to Tinseltown and see it simulcast live.

It. was. incredible!

Oh my! I do believe Glenn is the most talented person I don't really know. (And the smartest--if Glenn ever tells you to get out of the stock market and invest in gold, you really should listen. I didn't and if I had I would be much wiser and much richer today.) The coolest part is that the book, and therefore the show, is based on his life. I don't want to say too much and give anything away so you'll just have to read the book. I do, however, want to share some of the thoughts that it provoked in me.

First, I was struck by the sincerity and authenticity of Glenn. I appreciate so much his willingness to open himself up to the ridicule and criticism he is bound to receive in order to share this beautiful story with us. I think what I like best about Glenn is that he is one of us. He is a radio personality, tv personality and an author but before he is any of those things he is a husband, a dad, a friend and a Christian. His humility is inspiring.

Second, with specific regard to the plot of the story, if Eddie's mom had taken out a credit card so she could go buy Eddie exactly what he wanted for Christmas (which is what most parent's today would do) Eddie would have missed out on the most important, life-changing lesson of his whole life. It made me think about the disservice we do our children when we cater to their every whim. How will they learn to appreciate anything if we hand them everything they want? How sad to live your life in constant want, never satisfied, never appreciative, never recognizing the blessings all around you. The blessings of family, friends and faith. These are the finer things of life. Have I taught my children to be grateful for them? Do they see evidence of gratitude in my life?

Third, life is hard. Bad stuff happens to good people. We all face our own storms. When we do, we often cry out to God to deliver us from the storm when what He really desires is to deliver us through it. In His infinite wisdom our loving Father knows that we must go through the storm in order to be who He created us to be. The storm changes us. It's up to us to decide how.

I don't profess to understand it or even like it. But I do know God is good...all the time. I trust in His nature, His excellent lovingkindess. I put my trust under the shadow of His wings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bloggy Christmas Tour of Homes


If you are a regular reader you may have already seen a few of these pics. If you are new, Welome! Make yourself at home!

First, let me say that I was so excited when I heard about BooMama's 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes. For nosy people like me it's so great to peek into other's homes without having to cruise by your house trying to casually look into your open, well-lit windows. Second, let me say that I really have NO BUSINESS spending time taking pics and blogging when I am drowning in clutter, dirt, grime, unwrapped (and unbought) Christmas gifts, etc. It's confession time...I just cleaned the parts of my house I wanted to take pictures of. I KNOW, shameful! Don't judge me.

This year I have really scaled back my decor in the name of sanity. Thanksgiving came so late this year there just hasn't been enough time to drag it all out and I must admit I lack the willpower to put it out knowing that I'll just have take it all down again. I'm a SAHM but I recently started a little business here at home and my first show was Dec. 6th. Yep, that was a shameless commercial plug.

So here's my tree:

and my
Nester- inspired garland:

These guys make me smile:

And these little guys:

I really like my entryway:

This is the beautiful nativity that my mother-in-law gave me:

These are a few of my favorite things...and now you're gonna have that tune stuck in your head too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Pics Gone Bad

Today was the day I forced myself (and my family) to attempt to take a picture for our Christmas cards. Emphasis on the word "attempt." I finally gave up after 71 pics. You'd think there would be at least one good one out of 71, right?

Not so much.

We started out with this:

which wasn't too bad except for the creepy eyes and Caitlin's flyaway elbow.

But quickly degenerated into this:

Don't worry. No animals were harmed in the making of this picture. Maddie is actually just yawning. Apparently my feverish attempt to snap the perfect pic was boring.

So we gave up and fired Maddie and Dazey. They were banished outside where they promptly killed a squirrel and played tag with it. Nice.

Tess was being fairly cooperative so we proceeded to try some pics with just her.

Not sure what's going on with the eyes.

By this point even Tess is depressed.

Now we decided the lighting was bad so we moved outside.

Again with the eyes. And Tess is more interested in watching the other two dogs play tag.

So I gave up. This is the one we decided to put on the cards:

So now when you receive our card and open it with eager anticipation you will appreciate what it took to get it. Instead of thinking to yourself with pity, "Is THIS the best she could do?" you will think with admiration, "Wow. This IS the best she could do!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

O Chrismon Tree

Tonight we made Chrismon ornaments for our church Chrismon tree. I had planned to look up the story of the origin of the Chrismon and what the different symbols mean so I could patiently share it with the girls while their angelic voices sang along with Mercy Me's Christmas CD and we all sipped hot chocolate and created beautiful ornaments together. Sigh.

But as usual I waited until the last minute, made a mad dash to Wal-mart for supplies and we made ornaments while listening to the kids call each other "dumb head." And I had to tell them I have no idea what a fleur-de-lis has to do with Jesus.

Here are the results...we're kinda proud of these three...

And then there's this poor unfortunate fellow...

He's supposed to be a lamb but looks more like a rabbit. Was there a bunny in the Christmas story? There should have been.

Here's the aftermath:

The really sad part is that my kitchen didn't look much better than this before we started. And it's all still there.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Party

Tonight was our church small group's Christmas party. We decided to go out to eat at Ta Molly's. We're easy to please...we just enjoy being together without the kiddos. We also played Dirty Santa and I got this...

Isn't it beautiful?! You too can own one of these handpainted ornaments by Vanessa by clicking here.

Here's a pic of the whole group that I swiped from Amber's facebook:

I also took a 3 1/2 hour nap today. Yes, I had a lot of things I needed to do and no, I don't feel guilty at all.

Caitlin declared today the best day ever because they had baked potatoes at her small group (her FAV food) and they made gingerbread houses and took them to some older ladies and caroled for them too. I'm so glad that my kids like doing things for others. Hayley's youth directors will be leaving soon after they graduate this month. They are moving to CO to go to seminary. We will miss them so much. They have been such a blessing to us and to Hayley this past year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun Day

Well, today was the day. My first show. My friend Amber and I shared a booth at the Red Cross' Ribbons and Bows Extravaganza. She was selling her beautiful, unique, handmade pendants and I was selling my pet accessories. We had such fun! We had plenty of time to visit with each other and with our new friend from the booth next door who sells Mary Kay. It's always good to know a Mary Kay lady. And the girl from the Stone Turtle. She was a lot of fun too.

We also enjoyed having our booth next to our good friend Stephanie who sells her precious kid's stuff and her friend Vanessa who sells really cute pendants among other things.

I am in love with her Christmas pendants. Must. have. one.

There was an interesting assortment of vendors. Towels to hang on your oven door that were shaped like dresses...magnetic jewelry...candles with fragrance names like "Butt Naked" and "Sex on the Beach." I'm not kidding.

Oh and the handmade leather cowboy belts with your name stamped on them...lamps with a hunting/fishing/cowboy/Indian themes...

and my personal favorite (not!)...the booth where they make music cds and insert your child's name in the songs. I will be humming Veggietales and Mickey Mouse in my sleep tonight after listening to it all day long. Please make it stop.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Cheer

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a good time with my family here at our house and with Wes' family at his brother's house. Yes, I cooked a turkey...a 20-pounder...thank you very much. No, I don't have pictures like Amber. You'll just have to trust me. Everything went fine except for a few misadventures involving the corn pudding.

I am in full Christmas Cheer mode. We put up our tree today and I was inspired by this post to attempt a garland on my fireplace mantle. I'm pretty happy with the results. Not bad for a first try! The tree is always a challenge. First of all, it's huge. Nine feet. Wes managed to drag it into the living room and wrestled the bottom section into the base, screwed it in tight and plugged it in only to discover that it was actually the MIDDLE section. So, we undid everything and wrangled the real bottom into the stand and then it went smoothly. Hayley is mortified that I put feathers on it. She calls it the Big Bird Tree. I think it's kinda fun and funky. I only uttered the phrase "I'm losing my Christmas joy!" about five times while we were decorating and we only broke two or three glass balls. That's pretty good for us. All the while we were listening to my new Christmas cd by Third Day. And we only had to go to Wal-Mart twice. And the dog only stole my ribbon twice. Around the Sullivan house we call this Success!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tying up loose ends

I've been meaning to blog about the contest I won for several weeks. I entered some of the Bloggy Giveaways and I WON!!! I won a $20 Starbucks gift card from Becca at Becca's Backyard . Go check out her blog sometime and tell her I sent you. I can't wait for the next Bloggy Giveaways. Now that I know how it works, I plan to do a giveaway myself!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fun stuff

I got some fabric this week for making the doggie beds. You'll recognize two of the fabrics from the collars and Tess' bed but the one on the far left is new. I just LOVE it!

They are from left to right: Disco Dot-Sherbert, Santa Dot and Lotus Paisley-Lime. I'm planning to make beds in two sizes: Small-24" x 24" and Large-35" by 35". The insert is made with a really sturdy off-white ticking and stuffed with 20 oz polyfill (small) or 40 oz. polyfill (large.) You could also buy additional decorative slip covers. Think seasonal! I can do custom sizes but you wouldn't be able to use my stock slipcovers. I made a large insert today and it's really nice...I would use this size for my Golden Retriever and German Shepherd. The really fun part was trying to stuff it with Tess trying to lay on it! I finally convinced her that I meant business so she resorted to snatching tufts of polyfill and running away. She thought it was a really fun game! If you're interested in buying a bed leave me a comment and let me know which size and what fabric you're interested in and I'll let you know about pricing. If you don't see a fabric you like, keep checking back because I'll be getting in more fabric periodically.

I went shopping today. Momma needed some retail therapy! I found the cutest little jingle bells!

So about now you're asking yourself, "What in the world is she going to do with teeny tiny jingle bells?" You'll just have to wait and see!

I also had a Pier 1 gift card that I've been saving because my favorite thing to buy from Pier 1 is their Christmas stuff. Look what I got!!!

I spent 30 minutes in the store mixing and matching and rearranging Christmas balls. Fun stuff!

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm not sure that's a word but I like it anyway. It's been a few days since I posted so I thought maybe you might be worried about me. :-) So here's a few thoughts that are floating around in my brain...

Did you watch the shuttle launch tonight? It's unusual for NASA to have a nightime launch and it was really neat. Did you know that one and a half minutes into the launch the shuttle has burned so much fuel that it weighs half of what it did when it took off? Wow. If you ever get a chance to go to Kennedy Space Center you should. We went a few years ago. In fact, we were there shortly after the Columbia accident. Things were pretty sombre but it was still impressive. You really don't get a feel for the immense size of the thing when you watch on tv. We're so used to these launches these days that it hardly even makes the news. But have you ever really thought about what an accomplishment it is every time one of those ginormous (another non-word that I love)shuttles launches? Think about the intricate details involved and even the tiniest flaw can be disastrous. Think about the incredible brain-power required to figure out how to get this huge chunk of metal into space. I mean, in less than 3 minutes the thing is leaving our atmosphere. It's mind-boggling!

On a totally different subject, have you tried the new Candy Cane Oreos? Oh. My. Word. They taste like Girl Scout Thin Mints! I feel a little guilty for not sharing them with my family before they left for the deer camp. But not too guilty.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Capitalism is alive and well at the Sullivan's home. I am launching my new line of handcrafted pet collars and doggie pillows under the name "Pet Panache." Drum roll please....

I suppose if I were a good little socialist I would just give these away since I obviously have plenty and there might be some poor pet owners out there who can't afford fashionable neckwear for their pooch. But alas! I am a capitalist pig! And you, my faithful readers, are going to be my market research focus group. Here's where the question comes in...

Which one of these fabrics is your favorite? I have plenty of fabric but limited hardware so I need to know which ones to make more of. Since I'm not smart enough to figure out how to put the poll inside this post...please scroll down to the bottom of my blog to choose your favorite(s). The poll will end on Tuesday at 2:00 pm. Thanks!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I cannot be silent

My apologies to those of you who hate political blogs but I have few things I need to say. As the saying goes, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" or perhaps, to say nothing.

Now, I'm not implying that Barak Obama and/or the Democratic Party are evil. I do, however, believe that this country is going down a very dangerous path. On Tuesday, a little more than 65 million people in this country knowingly, or even worse, unknowingly embraced socialism. How is this possible in America, the land of the free?

Our first mistake was kicking God out of schools and out of the public square. As John Adams said on October 11, 1798 in an address to the military, "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." (Emphasis mine.) Our nation was founded on Christian principles and the idea of self-government. But self-government depends on the assumption that the people willinglly subject themselves to God's laws. Patrick Henry understood this necessity. On March 23, 1775 he said, "Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom." Mr. Henry also warned that "it is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains." May we remember God and may He have mercy on this nation.

While we kicked God out of school we welcomed every other philosophy, ideology and attitude. Our children are being subtly indoctrinated to believe many things that are contrary to the Christian principles on which this nation was founded. We teach our children that life should be "fair." We give every child a ribbon or trophy just for participation. We don't allow our children to fail at anything because it might damage their self-esteem. As a result, we have raised a generation that believes everything in life should be handed to them. There is no such thing as work ethic anymore. Even in our churches we emphasize the warm, fuzzy side of God. God is love, grace, mercy. He IS all those things but He is also righteous and holy. We have watered down the gospel message so that we don't hurt anyone's feelings. We have become so tolerant in our society that we have now tolerated the taking of our liberties bit by bit. Joseph Stalin understood. He said, "America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within." Dear friends, we are collapsing from within.

I believe that our freedom comes from the Almighty. Thomas Jefferson did too. He said, "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever." I, too, tremble for my country. We allow the killing of unborn babies and we celebrate it as freedom of choice. We enslave people with government handouts, sentencing them to a life of bondage, and we celebrate it as fairness. We stifle speech about Jesus Christ and celebrate it as separation of church and state. We accept the perversion of the God-ordained definition of marriage and celebrate it as tolerance. Yes, God is just and we should all tremble.

I don't believe that our founding fathers would recognize the nation we have become. On July 4, 1837, John Quincy Adams said, "Posterity--you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." I am ashamed when I think of the cost that previous generations have paid to preserve our freedom and then see how we have abused, perverted and taken for granted that freedom. We have made very poor use of it indeed.

My faith and my patriotism are entertwined. My liberty is a gift from God and that liberty allows my worship of God. Therefore, if my liberty is threatened, my faith is threatened. My liberty and yours is slipping away as this nation of sheep creeps closer towards socialism. It is up to people of faith, like you and me, to educate the people around us of the dangers of loving peace and security more than liberty and freedom. Dare I say that this may be almost as important as sharing the gospel? Indeed, our freedom to share the gospel depends on it. We must fight to preserve this great nation as our founding fathers intended it be. In the words of John Quincy Adams, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity...From the day of the Declaration...they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct."

Friday, October 31, 2008


I've been working on a few projects and here's the latest:

A doggie pillow for Tess!

It has a removable cover that velcros on the back. It wasn't really hard except I completely finished it and then realized that I had forgotten the piping and had to rip out the seams and start over. Grrrr!

Here's Caitlin's Halloween costume. In case you're not sure...yes, she's a hippie and yes, I made it! It was a little more challenging than the pillow but it was totally worth it. She loved it and she's been telling her friends what a great mom I am. *grin*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Too cute not to share!

My younger daughter, Caitlin, is 8 years old. At school they have been discussing the upcoming elections. She was asked to write a paragraph in response to the following question:

In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a person running for President of the United States should have?

Her answer:

"These are the qualities a President should have...He should be loyal and brave. He should be really responsible and truthful, smart and faithful. He also should know how to keep peace and keep clean. I think McCain-Palin has ALL of these qualities. Go McCain-Palin!"

My job here is done...the brainwashing is complete! I really love the part about being clean. Does it sound like she gets lectured about that occasionally?!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another list

I'm sorry that I haven't been a good blogger lately. I've had a lot on my mind and I'm having trouble organizing my thoughts. I recently saw this on my friend Meredith's blog and thought it looked like fun. I don' think she'll mind if I borrow it (especially since she borrowed it from a friend too!) I just love lists!

1. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall? In the past I would have said Fall because I love when the skies are bluer (yes, Amber, I think that's a word!) and the humidity is low. But at this stage of my life, my kids are so stinkin' busy in the fall! So I'm going to say Summer because I love sun, and being lazy. I also love the evening sounds of crickets and tree frogs.

2. Who is your favorite Disney princess? Ariel. At least I think she would be considered a princess. Wasn't her father the King of the Sea?

3. What's the last book you've read? Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Myers. The end of the Twilight Series...I'm so sad!!

4. What book are you reading right now? Living Simply by Joanne Heim. I feel so inadequate!

5. Name one "presidential" memory (an election you remember as a child, first time voting, etc.) I remember the election of '76 when Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford. I was six and a strong supporter of Ford. Yes, I know that's weird, especially since my parents didn't care about politics at all! When Carter won, I refused to stay in the room any time he was on TV. My dad thought it was hilarious. So even as a 6 year-old I knew I was a conservative and a Republican.

6. What are three things that scare you/freak you out?

1. Snakes
2. Spiders
3. Liberals

7. If you were running for office, what would your campaign slogan be? Life. Liberty. Opportunity. My platform would be pro-life, pro-capitalism, pro-gun rights, pro-small government.

8. Favorite football team(s)? Auburn Tigers. War Eagle!

9. How are they doing this season? I don't want to talk about it.

10. Do you have anything in particular you're looking forward to this fall? The end of the election.

11. Are you craving anything right now? Nope. That's amazing!

12. What's the last thing that really made you laugh out loud? Glenn Beck's program.

Monday, October 20, 2008


So I've been inspired by my entrepeneur friends to start selling stuff. Funny thing though, you have to have a product that people actually want. I've been thinking about things I love that other people might love too and came up with dogs and fabric. I know you're thinking I'm going to say I'm making dog clothes. Yuck! I think it is animal cruelty to put clothing on animals. However, what dog wouldn't love a stylish collar?! You've already seen the prototype.

The real story is that the collars were really an afterthought. My original plan was to make Organic Dog Treats. I bought this really neat dog cookbook last year mainly because I thought it was pretty and would look nice in my kitchen. I did make a chocolate(carob) birthday cake with cream cheese and honey icing for my big dogs' 1st and 2nd birthdays. I know...nutty.

Well, it turns out that making and selling dog treats is way more complicated than you would think. There's a lot of licensing and labeling requirements. So I don't know if it's gonna work out or not. Still looking into it. However, I did make my first batch of "cookies" today, much to Tess' delight. I call them Shelby Dog Barkery's Bacon Cheesies.

Here's the head chef and chief taste-tester, Tess, waiting anxiously for the oven timer:

And here's the finished product!

They are quite yummy, if you're a dog. If you're a person, they need salt. How would I know that, you ask? Why, because I ate one too!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Look at this beautiful fabric that I ordered from

It came all tied up in this neat little package:

I just love neat packages. It's so nice when you get something that you can tell the seller took great care with.'re wondering what I am doing with this fabric, right? Voila'!

A very stylish dog collar!

This is the victim of my adventures in canine fashion. Obviously, I need a model with short hair!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Tragedy has struck the Sullivan household once again. Tonight we lost Max the one-eyed rabbit. My poor girls found him. They feel so guilty because they're afraid they didn't take good enough care of him. I told them that he just wasn't healthy since the whole eye infection episode. Maybe his immune system was weak...maybe he had a heart attack. Rabbits are known for dropping dead of fright and we've had some coyotes hanging around. I finally got them calmed down enough to go to bed and it was a very good thing we have Tess for them to snuggle with.

We'll plan to have the funeral when Wes gets back. This is the fourth pet we've lost while he's out of town which leaves me to deal with the trauma by myself. Wes, you owe me! We've also decided that we don't need any more small pets. The guinea pigs were pretty sturdy and died of old age, but our first rabbit dropped dead while she was eating. We'd only had her 3 weeks. Now Max--we've had him a litle more than a year and a half.

Max was a good bunny. He loved to run around the house doing "binkies." He like to perch on the back of the sofa and watch TV. He loved the special fruit and veggie salads the girls always made for him. He really loved our old Sheltie, Shelby. He would sniff her and climb on her while she was napping. He made us laugh. Max, you will be missed!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Monday is usually my "throw together something that resembles a rough menu plan for the week" shopping day. I hate Mondays. I am not creative with planning meals and since my family is so picky that makes it even harder. The only vegetables they will eat are corn, green beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, and potatoes. My kids will also eat carrots provided they are cooked in lots of butter and sugar! So, we wind up eating a lot of spaghetti, Hamburger Helper, and chicken casseroles. For side dishes, we have a lot of rice, salad, green beans, and corn. I don't cook a lot of potatoes because if I do that is all Caitlin will eat. She has a real potato fetish!

Ideally, I'd like to have a set menu that I can rotate every couple of weeks (kinda like the school menu) so I don't waste a lot of time looking for recipes and making shopping lists. Hopefully I would get in the habit of keepings the items I need on hand rather than getting ready to cook and realizing I'm missing one key ingredient. Grrr!

This is where I need your help. What kind of meals do you fix often? What do your kids like? How do you make sure that you're serving nutritionally-balanced, healthy meals? If you have any favorite recipes, would you share them and let me know what side dishes you serve with it? I thank you and my family thanks you!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Evening Ritual

We live a couple of miles outside of town down a winding gravel road and up on a hardwood-covered ridge. There's almost no traffic since we're on a gravel road. The county keeps threatening to pave it but I really hope they don't. We only have one neighbor. They are a really sweet older couple and they live on the ridge on the other side of the road. We can barely even see their house from ours. Our land is surrounded by more undeveloped land covered in even more trees...I'm terrible at guessing acreage but I'm going to say 20-ish. There's also a really beautiful meadow that's currently covered in goldenrod and black-eyed susans and some really pretty purple flowers that I can't identify.

Here's a few pics of what I'm talking about. I'm bummed that none of my pics of the flowers turned out. It was really humid and my camera lens fogged up.

Our favorite thing to do in the evenings is take the dogs for a run. Now, before you get all excited thinking that Wes and I are exercising, I should tell you that we ride the four-wheeler while the dogs run. I'm pretty sure The Dog Whisperer wouldn't approve of our method! Wes has clocked Maddie, the German Shepherd, at about 25 mph. She runs like the wind! So a race horse. Dazey, the Golden Retriever, not so much. She's fast too but she runs like an elephant, a really clumsy elephant.

Here are the girls:

One thing you should know about Dazey...she loves water. The muddier the better. She practically lives in the creek behind our house and can't pass up a good mud puddle!

We usually see a lot of rabbits and the girls love to chase them. Don't worry...they wouldn't know what to do if they actually caught one. We have a pet rabbit and Maddie likes to play with him. She's actually really gentle but it scares him to death. Did you know rabbits can scream? Maddie knows how to open the doors and she let herself into the house one day while Max was out. I heard screaming and I thought it was Caitlin. I went running and found Maddie trotting down the hall with a very limp rabbit dangling gently from her massive jaws. I said very calmly, "Maddie, give me the rabbit." and held out my hands and she very gently placed him in them. Then Max really came to life and started scrambling up my arms, across my chest and onto my shoulder. By the way, it's not the girls fault, canine or human, that he's only got one eye. That was a whole other rabbit incident. Max likes to live life on the edge! Boy, did I just get sidetracked or what? Talk about chasing rabbits...!

This particular evening we didn't see rabbits but we did see a huge deer, a doe, according to Wes. She jumped out of the brush just a few feet ahead of us and ran down the trail in front of us for a little bit. That was pretty cool even though we see tons of deer. I always tell Wes, who still gets excited every time there's one in our yard, that it's no more exciting than seeing a stray dog! Anyway, she was moving way to fast for me to get picture. Too bad.

So that's our ritual. The girls love it and we know it's been a good time if their tongues are dragging the ground when we get back home.