Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A "Very Hungry Caterpillar" 1st Birthday Party!

I knew that Easter weekend was going to be an absolute whirl of activity because not only were all of my children and grandchildren coming in town to celebrate Easter, we would also be celebrating Holli's 1st birthday here in the south!

Caitlin had been planning Holli's birthday party for quite a while and had settled on the theme of one of her favorite books, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".  Well, to say that Caitlin and I LOVE planning parties and events is putting it mildly.  When she mentioned the theme, I was on board to help offer suggestions and help her implement every little detail to make this one of the cutest 1st birthday parties one would ever see!

          It all started with the invitation!  Caitlin bought the pdf on Etsywww.etsy.com/shop/DigiPartyShoppe.

And then I contacted an artist friend of mine (Penny Abraham, Alexandria, Louisiana;Facebook) to make this Birthday Poster will all of Holli's "Firsts and Favorites".  She used the thick poster board and I will have this framed for her to hang in her room and then save forever!
This "Hungry Caterpillar" bubble suit was another Etsy purchase, www.etsy.com/shop/prncsinpigtailsdesgn .  The over sized headband was made by one of Caitlin's friends (www.lemonsandlace.com)
This AWESOME birthday cake was made by the same person who made Caitlin's wedding cake and all of our cakes now, The Cake Barn (Tioga, Louisiana; she can also be found on Facebook.)
One of my favorite gifts Caitlin got at her baby shower was this cake knife set.  One knife is engraved with her name and birth date to be used to cut her first birthday cake and when she gets married, she will engrave her husband and her name along with their wedding date and cut their wedding cake with the other one.

Earlier in the week, Caitlin e-mailed me a grocery list for the party.  Their plane landed at 6 p.m. and shortly after arriving, she began to work on all of the other goodies!  They were the other things that hungry little caterpillar ate through in the book...
                               Here is a turkey sandwich caterpillar with a little tomato head.

       These are Rice Krispie Treat ice cream cones.  Robby made the stand the day of the party!
                                                            Blueberry Pie Pops!
                                                         Cream Cheese Strawberries.
                       And, of course, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" book...and some apples!
I already had these little milk jars (Tuesday Morning) that we served the drinks out of with the green striped paper straws (Tuesday Morning.).
      Red and green plates, napkins and utensils (Wal-Mart) were also used in keeping with the theme.

And all of Holli's BIG, FAT SOUTHERN FAMILY was there to help her celebrate.  Everybody from Parents, to grandparents, great-grandparent, aunts, uncles and cousins...

                                              She got lots of really cute presents too...

                                           And the cake?  Well, it was a SMASH...literally!

              I would say that Holli's "Very Hungry Caterpillar" 1st Birthday Party was a success!
                               HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOLLI BUG!  AND MANY MORE...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Our Gardening Adventure: Part 3...We Are FARMERS, That's What We Do!

I watch that garden of mine like a hawk and so, the other night I was checking the weather (because that's what we do...we farmers, that is...) and gasped when I saw that the temperatures were going to drop back down to freezing!  OH MY GOODNESS!  It had been 80 degrees the day before; what was happening here?!  I quickly told Hubby that we had to cover everything again so as not to lose all of those tender little plants.  We got out flashlights, tarp and buckets and hurried out to cover our soon-to-be produce.  WHEW!  That was a close call but the garden was saved and now the time had come to fertilize those little plants to give them a growing boost.

                               As you can see, everything is beginning to coming up nicely!

The blueberry bushes are still small but are getting a little bigger since we have put fertilizer stakes around them.
The olives are kept in these pots, so every time we have a freeze warning they are easily moved in to protect them.
This is some of the squash we planted just outside of the garden (because we ran out of room inside...).
These are bush beans (green beans).  We also planted them outside the garden and they have only been planted for about one week!  Apparently, beans grow pretty quickly.
                                               The blackberry bushes are growing well too.
We thought we had lost this blackberry bush but were surprised to find that it had reseeded itself and has started coming up again!
                                                 The nectarine trees are getting there too.

                      Yesterday, it was time to fertilize and see if we can boost those plants of ours.
Hubby poured all of the fertilizer into a bucket, gave me a cup...WAIT!  That's one of my good cups (sigh...).  And told me to get out there and help him fertilize the garden.  He told me, "You said we are farmers.  This is what farmers do."
He told me to just take a cupful of the fertilizer and make a ring around each plant.  That was easy enough.
                                                    After the fertilizing, then we watered.

And now the watching continues.  This gardening thing is pretty fun so far.  It's not too big for us to be stressed out over and can be easily covered with the threat of a freeze; I wonder what "real" farmers do?  For now, all we have to do is water and wait.  Oh, and and when we go out of town, find someone to water it for us.  HEY!  We are farmers (OK, "gardeners"...), that's what we do!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Don't Bath Towels Last FOREVER?

It was brought to my attention the last time all of the kids were in that perhaps I needed to invest in new bath towels.  "What do you mean?  My bath towels are perfectly fine," I replied.  One daughter-in-law was actually folding some of those towels for me at the moment and held one up to show a very frayed edge.  I said, "Just tear that edge off and the towel, itself is fine."  Another was held up to show me that one could see through to the other side.  And then, David said, "Mom, you have Ninja Turtle towels in the cabinet...I am almost 30 years old!"  Well, those are good towels too, I replied.  But then the question was asked that I had been waiting for:  "Just how long have you had these towels anyway?"  "Why, since your dad and I were married...32 years ago."  And that brings me to this weekend.  A weekend where my husband insisted on buying new bath towels.

Having never really shopped for bath towels, himself, Hubby rushed over to the towel section at Bed Bath and Beyond in search of some fresh threads to dry off on.  I was having a bit of an anxiety attack because I knew how much towels cost and truthfully, I could find something much better to spend my money on than bath towels.  And besides...mine really were still good.

                                              We entered the "towel section" of the store...
          And Hubby went in with a BANG!  Pulling towels out.  Look at them and feeling of them.
                  I, on the other hand was noticing that there was such a thing as "designer towels"!
                                                        That were pretty EXPENSIVE!!
    OH MY GOSH!!  Who in their right mind would actually spend 40 bucks for a TOWEL?!
And so while Hubby was still popping towels out, I continued to search for something a little more affordable to dry a wet body off with.  20 bucks...still too much.
Nope!  Still too expensive for me; especially if we were going to buy more than one or two.  Which I suspected we were (sigh...).
Hmmm...We were getting there but surely I could find something a little less than 10 bucks a towel.
And then I did!  I  moved Hubby over in the direction of these towels and then I had to decided on colors.  Well, truthfully, the more expensive towel had prettier colors, but I was confident that I could find something in this section.
                                            I did and then Hubby started filling the buggy up. 
How many towel were we going to get anyway?!  I sent a photo of this to the kids, who cheered him on and told me to have a glass of wine afterwards.
              The pile of towels that would make their new home with us continued to grow.
                             And then before I knew it, he had moved on to the kitchen towels!
As we were checking the towels out, I had to make a deal to throw one bath towel away for each new one that was purchased; 24!  On our way to the car, I sent a text to the children that said, "Question:  Do I have to wash all these towels before using them?!"  The replies began to pour in, some saying yes, some saying no.  I said, "How about let's just say we did and don't?"

I got home and sat those bags of towels in my house and just looked at them.  I wasn't going to deal with them until Monday.  On Monday, I pulled them out, started tearing the tags off and folding them (true to my word, I was NOT going to add to my already heavy laundry load...).  I was also doing laundry that day and began to take my old towels out of the dryer to determine which 24 would "bite the dust".  As I went through them, I still thought they really weren't as bad as the children said they were.  I sent them a message that said, " I have a BIG dilemma.  I don't know where to start with throwing these towels away because there are some perfectly good ones in there."  To which I immediately received several replies:  "Start with giving up the ones you can see through.  Then, the ones you catch your toenails on or get your fingers stuck in; just remember handles were not meant to be in towels."  As you can clearly see, I was dealing with a bunch of funny guys.  But I started making my pile...
And yes, I threw away the Ninja Turtle towel and a see-through Bambi one and the ones with the frayed edges.
I sent them this photo with the caption:  "Happy now, children?"  To which they replied, "Those look great!  But where are the old ones?  And I hope you aren't keeping those all in YOUR bathroom."  UGH!  Children.  Bossy little suckers, aren't they?

Well, to answer the question of "Where are the old ones?"  That is "classified" information of which "The Children" are not privy to!  Because after all, "Don't Bath Towels Last Pretty Much FOREVER?"