Thursday, November 15, 2012

Turkey Day Menu

Thanksgiving is going to be here in the blink of an eye.  For several years we went to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with our families.

I was looking back through some photos for this post and came across some family photos that were taken on our trips up North.

This is from Thanksgiving 2001

 This is with my husbands family.  All the great-grandkids with great-grandma.

Thanksgiving 2002

This is my kids with my sister's kids and our parents. 

Thanksgiving 2003

We took a family portrait with hubby's family.

Thanksgiving 2005

Cousins on my side of the family.

Thanksgiving 2006

 My kids ready for dinner at my parents house.

Thanksgiving 2007

 My kids with my parents.

In 2009 and 2010, we decided to stay home and had Thanksgiving here.

Thanksgiving 2011

 All the girls on hubby's side of the family.

 My and my dad.  
This was the last Thanksgiving I got to spend with him.  He passed away 2 weeks later.

We decided to stay home again this year.  I just don't have the gumption to go to Ohio.  

I love to cook and plan menus so I'm excited to be able to plan our Thanksgiving menu.  My father-in-law is coming down to spend the week with us.  

So this is what's on our menu for this year.

Ultimate Stuffed Mushrooms
Deviled Eggs
Good Eats Roast Turkey
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Corn Casserole
Dinner Rolls

Dessert will include:
New York Cheesecake
Apple Crumb Pie

I've been making my shopping list and hope to get my shopping done before the weekend hits and I have to fight the crowd.

I'll be sure to share the recipes for all these delicious items after Thanksgiving.

Do you plan a Thanksgiving menu? Do you find yourself having the same things over and over each year?  I like to throw in something different every year.  

Whatever your style is or whatever is on your menu, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Basic training

The son of a good friend of mine just headed off to basic training with the National Guard.

It brought back so many memories of when my own son left, a few months after graduating high school.

He was only 18 and I just knew he was too young to be heading off to Missouri with a bunch of strangers.

I vividly remember taking him to the National Guard armory to board a bus that would take him to the airport and then to Fort Leonard wood, Missouri.  He was going to be gone for 6 months.

I cried.

I cried a lot.

It was so hard to see him go.  He was so young and had never been away from home for any length of time before.

He left on August 17, 2009.  This was the first picture that I got from him while away, it was taken November 29, 2009.

I went over 2 months without seeing him.

He already looked so much older.

I was telling my friend how hard it was.  My son was gone for almost 6 months straight.  He did get to come home for Christmas, but then had to go back for the last 2 weeks of training.

We drove out to Missouri for the family day and graduation.

It was an awesome experience.

I was telling my friend that she needs to make a point of going to the graduation.  It's a once in a lifetime experience.
This is Trency with his drill sergeant.  That guy doesn't look so scary!!  I think he's even trying to smile.

If you've ever been to a military graduation, I think you'll agree it's something you will never forget.

If you have never been then you can get an idea of what I'm talking about from these 2 videos.

Warning: the volume is really loud, you may want to turn your computer volume down.

And here is the second one...

He is leaving in February to head oversees.  If I thought basic training was hard, I'm sure this will be much harder.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My first painting class

A few months ago, I was invited to attend a painting class with some friends from church.  I've never seen myself as much of a painter, in fact I'm usually the one that would spill an entire gallon of paint on carpet.

I'm generally very clumsy and sloppy when it comes to painting.

I was a little apprehensive about attending this class, since we did have to pay for it; but I figured what the heck, I'll go and enjoy myself and it'll be a nice afternoon out with the girls.

Well let me just say, I loved it!

In fact, I loved it so much I've been checking their website every month to see what I would like to go back and paint.  So far I haven't been able to find the time to attend another class :(

The class itself was 3 hours long.  That may seem like a long time, but you are busy every.single.minute

There is so much that goes into the painting.  You don't just go there and slap some paint on a piece of canvas.  The instructors take their time and actually teach you how to paint.

We went to a place called Sips n Strokes.  You can check out their calendar here.

The painting we were doing was called Whimsical Tree.

We started out with a blank canvas and a paper plate full of paint.

Talk about daunting....I'm not sure how I'm ever going to get all this paint onto that white canvas and make it look like anything but a big gloppy mess.

Julie and Pam are excited and ready to go.

 Ok, so all of us are excited and ready to go.

The instructors were fabulous.  They taught us how to do everything in baby steps.  That's exactly what I need, baby steps.

This was our first layer.

I could have just taken this home and it would have been better than anything I had painted before.

But no, they made us keep going.

The top of my tree.  It's already starting to look whimsical.

We just kept adding more and more to our tree, eventually filling up the entire canvas.

Then we added all the other colors.  I loved that we could do it anyway we wanted, it was our own painting and it could look how we wanted it to look.

Our finished products.

My family couldn't believe that I had painted it.

I have my painting proudly displayed in the library.

I really did enjoy myself and can't wait to get back and do a second painting.

If you have a Sips n Strokes in your area, you definitely need to check it out.

I think you will love it too!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How to frame a window

Framing a window seems like it would be a fairly difficult task, but it really isn't as hard as it seems.

There are a lot of steps to it, but it can be done by almost any DIYer.

Hubby and I work together on a lot of projects in our home.  He will do the harder, or shall I say manlier stuff and I will do the easier things.

While he is at work during the day, I can get a lot of the steps for our projects done if he has done his harder parts before hand.

We have been finishing our basement, a little at a time, as time and money allows.

Framing the last window was next on our list so I got us started on this project.

This is the window to be framed.

It's just a single window in the basement and should be a very easy job.

The window had only been installed by the builders and left as is.  After drywall is installed, then we (the homeowner) have to finish the framing.  This makes the window look all pretty and hopefully will help to keep bugs out.

We had all the supplies on hand and start by having hubby cut all the 1x8's to the correct length and width.  You will have to measure your width from drywall to window to insure you cut yours correctly.

Four pieces will need to be cut to go around the perimeter of the window.

Once all the boards have been cut to length and width and you ensure they all fit correctly, they can be nailed to the 2x4 inside the window ledge.

Start by drilling a hole for the nails.   Drilling a hole first will help keep the wood from splitting when you hammer in the nail.

Then you just hammer in the nail.  You want to make sure that you put the nails close to the window ensuring that you hit the 2x4 that is inside.

After you install all the wood around the window ledge, you can begin measuring and cutting your trim. 

Cutting the trim is a little trickier as you have to remember to cut on a 45* angle and to make the cuts on each end go in opposite directions.  Other wise it won't line up correctly.

Attaching the trim is super easy if you have a pneumatic nail gun.  Hubby used to have to drill holes and then nail in finishing nails.  It would take him forever but with the nail gun, it's super quick.

After you nail up the trim, the window already looks so much better.

 The next step is to caulk all the openings around the window.  This will also help with keeping bugs from getting in.

Also use wood filler to fill in the indentations made from the nail gun.

After everything is sanded, it is ready for some primer.

After the primer has dried, the window is ready for a coat of white paint.  Sometimes I will go back and do a second coat of paint if I don't like the way the 1st coat looks.  Usually with the primer, that isn't necessary.

And now, the window is finished.  The drywall in this room has yet to be taped and mudded, so I'll have to wait for any window treatments.  

 Have you ever framed a window?  Did you think it was pretty easy or something you hope to never have to do again?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Lil Journal Project is Rolling Right Along

I have completed 3 weeks of entries in My Lil Journal Project that I am doing with Ashley over at Lil Blue Boo.

Last weekend we were to paint, draw or color something that is our favorite thing.  

I have been on an owl kick for about the last 4 months and when my grocery store got in Halloween cloth grocery bags I just knew I had to have the one with the owl on it.

I decided since owls have become my favorite that I would paint the owl from the grocery bag.

I really enjoyed painting the owl and I think that it came out pretty good.  The bag also has a cute skeleton on it, which is where the bones come from.  In hindsight, I probably should have included the skeleton in my painting.  It just might have made the bones look not so outta place.  I guess we'll never know.

Day 16 we were to make a timeline of all the places we have worked.  I've been a SAHM for 14 years so that list was pretty easy.  I do lots of different jobs in my current role so I guess that would qualify.

I have worked for temp agencies, I have worked for a grocery store when I was in high school.  I have also worked at a couple different banks.

I would say my favorite job has been staying home with my kids.  I have loved it.

My worst favorite was when I was in high school working in a restaurant in the very small town that was 15 miles from my house.

I was the dish washer.

It was disgusting.

It didn't last long. 

Day 17:

If money and time was no object, I would subscribe to 55 different magazines.

Some of my choices would be: People, Quilting, Food Network, Cooking with Paula,
Extreme How-to, Everyday Food, Atlanta Homes

I have many more on my list and it looks like the only things I do is to eat, keep up with celebrities and do home reno.

Day 18:
We were to map out a typical week.  

I sometimes joke with people that will ask me if I know where a certain place is in Atlanta and I tell them I usually don't leave my 10 mile radius of our suburban home.

It is so true.

My typical week includes going to places like the grocery store, 1 or both of the kids schools, Office Depot, Chick-fil-A, and to the high school softball field.

All of these locations are about 3 miles away at most.

Day 19 was probably my easiest day to do.  We were to list places that we went as a child.  

Mine is easy.

We didn't go anywhere.

We didn't take family vacations.

About once a year, a bunch of us (uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings) would jump in one of my uncles trucks and either head North to Cedar Point or South to Kings Island.

I only remember leaving the state of Ohio 1 time as a kid.  My parents and I drove to Indiana to get fireworks and bring them back home since they were illegal in Ohio.  It was about a 3 hour trip and we went and came back in 1 day.

I never even saw an ocean until I was 26.  

Why do you think I was so excited to marry my husband and move to Georgia?  I was finally able to cross the Ohio border.

Day 20 is to map out our social circles.  I know lots of people from various places.  Sometimes I forget all the people I know.

Most of the people I know are through my kids.  Their schools and sporting events.  I know lots of people from the 2 churches we have gone to over the past years.

I'm enjoying getting to "know" people through blogging and online social networking too.

Thanks for checking out my past weeks journal entries.  It really is a lot of fun and if you haven't started, it's not to late.  


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