Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 3 - Lots of Pain(t)

So here it is week 3 of From the Top Down.

Everything was going great this week. Someone who will go unnamed....

....but you know who you are. Don't play innocent with me! Someone had drawn....


...and made goofy pictures of me on her walls and furniture. All over it!

I got a fix for you my pretty! Paint! Lots and lots of paint!

I was zooming along! I got the walls painted, are you ready for this color? You can see a bit of it here. The pictures I took are not the best. I would retake them, but we are getting ahead of myself now. I got the furniture cleaned and painted. The desk and dressers are going to be this creamy white. All of the drawers are going to be white and pink stripes. I have the stripes marked off, but not painted.

I was cruising along, like I said earlier. I took down the curtains to wash them and that is when it happened. I was feeling good, the kids and hubby were down at my MIL's house. I was traipsing through the living room with the curtains, caught my laptop cord with my toes and fell. Hard. Threw the curtains up in the air fell. You know it just isn't a project til someone gets hurt. Remember the last time I fell cleaning the kids room and ended up on my back looking at my boob light? This time I just rolled around crying in pain. I was talking to my sister on the phone. I told her I had to call her back. She called my husband. He came home to see if I was ok. I thought the next day I would be fine. My foot really hurt though. I can't put any weight on it without screaming and crying.

Yup! It's broke! Hey, if you are gonna do something, do it right! This is the 3rd time I have broken this foot. They put it in a soft cast for now. I have to go today to have it set and a walking cast put on. For now I am to not put any weight on it (like I could even if I wanted to), keep it elevated and get some rest.

The tribe has been wonderful. The boy even offered to stay home from school to wait on me! I have bitty one to do little things for me. I just have to wait while she "wraps" things up. I asked her to get my medicine for me. It took forever cause she wrapped it up like a present.

So the rooms are on hold til I get the walking cast and can thump up the stairs. I can get around pretty good with crutches and an office wheelie chair though.

That was my week. How was yours?! I hope it was alot better!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Something Sweet For A Sweet Lady!

Sweet Marydon @ Blushing Rose asked me weeks ago for my bread pudding recipe. I am just now getting around to it. The hardest thing about this recipe is my secret ingredient!

Doughnuts! I have to beat the kids off of them! The first ones I bought, they gobbled down when I was at a school meeting. Yeesh! The recipe says cake doughnuts, but we prefer yeast doughnuts. I also cut the doughnuts in 8 pieces instead of breaking them up. We first had this years ago. My husband loved it. A few weeks later, Michael Chiarello featured this on his show and we have been hooked ever since! You can use any kind of doughnuts, but it's best with Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Doughnut Bread Pudding

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raisins

16 cake doughnuts

Rum sauce:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 pound confectioners' sugar

Dark rum, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine butter and sugar briefly, just until it forms into a ball. Add eggs, heavy cream, cinnamon, and vanilla, and process until blended.

Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Break up the doughnuts into 1-inch pieces and layer in the pan. Scatter the raisins over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the doughnuts; soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You will need to push doughnut pieces down during this time to ensure even coverage by egg mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10 minutes to brown the top. The doughnut bread pudding is done when the custard is set, but still soft.

Make the rum sauce: melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan, and take off the heat. Add confectioners' sugar to the melted butter and whisk to blend. Add rum, to taste. Pour the sauce over the bread pudding and allow to soak in.

It's good hot out of the oven, or cold the next day!

BJ @ Sweet Nothings says she puts Lemon Curd on hers! Oh Mama! I am so there! You can find my recipe for Lemon Curd here.

So there ya go! A bit of a twist on an old favorite!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Week 2 - A Bit Late!

You should be used to me being late on stuff! If not, get used to it! I didn't get as much done week 2 as I had hoped to.

I thought I would get the room painted.


I hoped to get the furniture painted.


I wanted to get it organized and the clutter contained.


Oh well. I did get a couple of problems solved though! Does that count?! I had painted the chest, 2 nightstands and desk a couple of years ago. I also had swapped out the old hardware for some new acrylic handles and knobs. Now, I've added a dresser and took out the 2 nightstands. Makes much more room for all the clothes the 2 girls have. Problem is, the dresser has 7 drawers and they no longer sell the handles that match the other furniture! I got a fix for that though! You will not foil my well laid plans dresser!

The other problem is that their old room had 2 windows. This room has 3. Guess what?! They no longer sell those either! I really want to reuse the ones that I have for them since I like them and they will go with the room. I figured out a fix for that that will cost nothing! Mwahahaha!
But you have to wait to see what I have come up with on both of those.

I've been hesitant to paint their room the color I want to since Dad said he didn't like the color. So, I had to spend last week thinking it through. I've decided I am going to go for it though anyways. Darn him if he turns out to be right!

I am hoping that this week I can get crack a lacking on it! Dad's in Florida. Perfect time! He should know better after 16 years to leave me alone for any length of time! Once this gets done I can start putting some stuff on the walls that is laying around, get some shelves up, buy some cute containers for girly junk....

The boy's room is another story. I got no idea in there and he is NO HELP! I think I might be on the right track with it. Just more planning to do for it.

The wackiness is going strong here at the farmhouse. The boy has decided he is the class clown. I found an appreciation certificate from his English teacher the other day. I am so proud! At his school, they get appreciation points from the staff when they do something nice. I was just busting with pride! My boy did something good! Finally! I gave him a big huge hug and asked him what he did. He bust out laughing. You know the kind of laughing where you can't even talk?

My pride meter was slowly dropping.

Seems that their classroom had a water problem last week, so they were moved to another room. This room had it's own bathroom. No one used the bathroom because everyone in the room could hear EVERYTHING going on in there. He was bored. The class was doing silent reading.

Have you thought UHOH yet?!

He raised his hand to ask the teacher if he could use the bathroom. She gave him permission, totally oblivious of what was about to happen. Now this kid has acquired a new skill of farting on command lately. Loudly too. So he went into the bathroom and just ripped off a couple really loud ones. He said he could hear everyone laughing in the classroom. When he came out, the teacher gave him an appreciation point for it.

He thought it was funny. He thought it is hilarious that his name is on the appreciation board for the week in the lobby of the school.

It also seems that his new "skill" has made him one of the more popular kids at school this year. I guess there are other things more terrible to be popular for.

Dad has been nominated to do all conferences with his English teacher this year.

I would like to thank EVERYONE who lent their love and support to Anna and her family during this terrible time. You guys make me proud! Your outpouring of condolences just made my heart sing that I have such great friends! They have set up a scholarship fund and memorial fund in his name. If you would like more information click here.

I am so behind on things! I have a package to get out to a bloggy friend (I promise soon!), recipes to post..... I really need to post more too! Since I don't see things slowing down any time soon, I just need to suck it up and get it done! I wish I could just take one day a week and work 24 hours. I keep thinking that will help me to get caught up!

Oh well....

....til next time....

....Semper Fi!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Next Blog

Have you ever hit that button at the top of your blog that says "next blog"? I do when I am bored and can't sleep. Last Wednesday night, I did it. Usually I find old blogs that haven't had a new posts in years or months. Sometimes I will brush off the cobwebs and read them.

One I found last week I really liked. It was up to date too! Bonus! I sat there reading for an hour or so. I could relate to her. I read about her "hot" date with her husband that lasted an hour and ended with him coloring her roots after! How lucky is she? I can't even get mine to pick me up a box of hair color let alone color my roots for me. I totally blame him for it too.

I drooled over pics of her projects

Looked at the pics of her two beautiful children on their first day of school

I joined her site cause I enjoyed it so much. I checked back to see if she had any new posts. Nope, she may be too busy being supermon to post on her blog. The beginning of the school year tend to require alot of time.

Saturday, I read a blurb about her on another blog. Her handsome son, Jack, was killed in a flash flood. I don't even know her or him, but my heart immediately broke.

It still brings me to tears. I can't imagine what Anna from An Inch of Gray, or her family, is going through. Their loss is unimaginable. It was a terrible and tragic accident. He was playing in his own back yard when a flash flood swept him into a nearby creek. He was found 2 hours later.

Yesterday was his service. You can read the loving tribute his mother wrote and said at it here. I have just found her, but I have to say that I admire this woman immensely. Her strength and courage to speak so honestly about her son is admirable. I don't know if I would be as gracious as her. I hope and pray I never find out. I would be pissed off. I would yell and scream at anybody that would stand there and take it. I would want to shake someone and ask "why him"? Why MY son?! I know there is a great scheme to things and everything happens for a reason but this is one of those things that I just don't see it. I couldn't handle seeing his friends grow up. I would break down with every little lego I found stashed in an obscure corner. I wouldn't know how to move on after a great loss like this.

I hope you all will stop by Anna's blog to lend your support. My hope and wish is that she and her family can find comfort and peace.

Semper Fi!

All photos were taken from An Inch of Gray blog.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 1 - From the top down!

Aucune nourriture ou absorbe vos pièces

Keine Speise oder einsaugt Ihre Zimmer

Nessun cibo o beve le sue stanze

Ningún alimento ni bebe en sus cuartos

Ingen mat eller dricker i dina rum

Sorry, I am trying to figure out how to say "No food or drink in your rooms!" that my children will understand. Obviously the english version, even screaming it, is escaping them. This is the first week of From The Top Down! I am determined to get this house in order cause it is driving me crazy. It's not a long drive either....

At the top of the house is my darling and loving childrens rooms. As far away from humans as possible really. Last week we spent somewhat cleaning. 17 loads of laundry. Can you believe it?! I thought I would teach them a lesson by making them do it. I told them if they just put their clothes in the laundry hamper, I would go up and gather it and wash and dry. I found clothes in the doll stroller, under the bed, everywhere except for the laundry hamper. Guess who is doing their own laundry this week? Guess who tried to tell me it just wasn't fair?!

It is pretty much straightened out. Now I just need to get some things to organize their stuff and make it look cute. Hopefully this week I will be painting and getting the closets organized. Just to prove how crazy things are....

....I found Bitty One standing on her headboard looking at the cars going by. Isn't that a pretty picture?! Thank gawd she goes back to school tomorrow! That also means I have to go back to work. Ugh....

Wait til you see what I have in store for the girls room though! The Big Girl wants black. Everything black. The Bitty One wants pink. Lots of pink. So what are they going to get?! I guess you will have to come back next week to see. I think you will be surprised. No, the Big Girl isn't going to get her wish for black.

Til then....

See ya!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning?

Tomorrow marks the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Bloggers all over are remembering where they were when tragedy struck the United States. In remembrance, blogs will be silent tomorrow.

My oldest daughter was 5 and in kindergarten. The boy child was a rambunctious 3 year old, running through the house creating as much noise as he could. I was in the living room watching the Today show and talking to my dad on the phone.

"Did you see that?!" I asked him.

"That's got to be a joke" he replied.

"No Dad, that just happened!"

It was played off as if a plane went off course and hit the towers. I kept watching. The boy kept making noise. Terrorists. It was no terrible accident. It was on purpose, to make a point. An attack on American soil. A reporter in Washington was on talking about what was happening there. An explosion occurred outside the Pentagon. It was said to be due to construction going on at the Pentagon. This quickly changed to the Pentagon was also hit by a plane.

What the hell was going on?!

I called my husband at work. I couldn't get through. At the time, he was working for a wireless company as the Director of Civil Operations. He was also a Marine Corps Reservist with only 7 days left to go for his contract. I didn't get too worried about getting in touch with him, he was usually on the phone 24/7. I kept watching the news. Hearing about the plane in Pennsylvania. More lives lost.


The phone ringing scared the crap out of me. I don't know why, maybe I was too caught up in what was going on.


"Hello ma'am. This is Sgt Imagonnakickyouinthegut from Selfridge Air Base. I am calling to confirm this is a working number for Sgt Jeff DeLauder".

I think it was about that time that it hit me. This was serious. They were getting ready to activate my husband and his platoon.


"Yes, it is. Is he being activated?"

"Ma'am we are just calling to confirm. I don't have any additional information at this time."

I wanted to scream into the phone, YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM! WE NEED HIM! HE ONLY HAS 7 DAYS LEFT ON HIS CONTRACT! The Sgt had hung up though. The line was silent. There was no one to scream at. Standing in the doorway stood a mini version of my husband looking at me with big eyes, suddenly quiet. I felt like someone had hit me with everything that was happening. I just sat in the chair and cried while he hugged me tight telling me not to cry.

I called my husband and got through. I told him about the phone call. He figured it was coming. He had hired some of his fellow Marines to work for him on crews. He was busy calling them in from the field. Selfridge was under orange alert. He was to report to the base that night for further instructions.

"Can you get my gear ready?"

Get your gear ready?! They can't have you! I need you here! The kids need their daddy! YOU ONLY HAVE 7 DAYS LEFT! It's not fair! They can't have you! I knew it was wrong to feel like that, but I did. I knew this was what he had signed up for. To fight for his country. We said goodbye not knowing when we would see him again that afternoon. I remember just standing on the porch watching his truck go down the street, wondering if he knew how much I loved him and was proud of him.

My husband, center right and his fellow Marines that worked for him.

He didn't come back that night or the next day. They were sequestered on base with no outside contact permitted. I didn't sleep at all that night. I just sat there in front of the tv crying. When he did come home I was grateful he didn't go. I found out though that he was not going to take his discharge date. He was going to stay in the USMC til the crisis was over. I was proud of him. He was torn. Do his duty or stay with his family. He felt he needed to do this, so we supported him. He told me he had to make a will while he was there. My heart sunk. I couldn't imagine not having him there in my life, watching our kids grow up. It just wasn't fair.

His gear sat by the front door. A constant reminder that everything we had worked so hard for could be taken away with a simple phone call. Every time the phone rang my heart stopped. He had given them his cell phone number though to activate him.

Our daughter was in private school. The school had a fun fair coming up. We were required to work so many hours for the fair. Since Jeff was required to be at the base on weekends, I had to change my volunteer hours. The lady across the street was going to watch the kids for me while I did the volunteer work but only was able to do it on Saturday. I explained to the volunteer chairman my situation.

"I'll get someone else to do your hours for you. Don't worry about it. You have enough to deal with now."

I told him I would do it, I just needed to switch. He obliged my request. I was all set for Saturday. When I walked up to report for my time, the entire staff stood up and clapped. I had, and still do remembering it, a knot in my throat as big as Texas. The love and support that I found that day was overwhelming. It was nice to know I was not alone now.

Fortunately, they never activated Jeff. In January, the commander gave him his discharge papers and told him to take them. He did, but felt like he was deserting his fellow Marines. One month later, they were deployed overseas.

Sgt Duane Dreasky being interred at Arlington. My husband attended high school with him.

He has lost fellow Marines and even a high school friend during this time. It seemed for awhile there was new news of someone he knew giving their life for their country. My heart goes out to these families they left behind.

It has been 10 years. My Marine has made me laugh, cry and madder than a wet hen at times. Through everything that we have been through, he has never made me ungrateful that he is still here. He is my rock, my best friend and I don't know what I would do without him.

My blog will be silent until Monday morning in observance of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have suffered terrible loss on this fateful day. I hope that they have found comfort and peace.

Semper Fi!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back To School!

Yesterday was the first day of school, THANK GAWD! The day started at 5:30 AM! I can't believe that people do this on a regular basis. I can't remember when I did this on a regular basis! Oh wait, last year.... I am not a morning person. I need to get up atleast a half hour before the tribe. They ARE morning people. Morning people who like to talk. ALOT. Everything was going great. Everyone was getting along, laughing, joking, until it came time to leave. Bitty One threw herself down on the floor in front of the back door and screamed and cried "IT'S NOT FAIR!" Unfortunately, her school doesn't start til next week.

Trust me honey, if I could send ya early, I would!

After an hour of this, I felt like joining her! Thankfully my MIL surprised me by taking Bitty to visit great grandma. PHEEEW! Bitty even gave me permission to watch something else besides Mickey Mouse Playhouse. Is she a peach or what?! Guess who didn't change the channel til an hour after she was gone?

The first day was a good one though for the big ones. They love it, but give them a few weeks and they will be back to normal and hating it. Especially the boy child. That is a feat in itself!

The good news is that I didn't get swallowed up by cleaning the kids rooms. You know, the rooms that I told them at the beginning of summer that we weren't doing ANYTHING til they were clean?! Yeah, those rooms. My washer and dryer has run nonstop all weekend long! Of course, I made them take everything out of the drawers and wash it.

They were talking about how nice it is to have a clean room. I was glad they appreciated it, but I had to burst their bubbles and tell them they are far from clean!

They are just kinda organized. I still have the closets to clean out, hang up clothes, mop floors, paint (LOTS of paint!) and some ways to organize the mounds of crap that they accumulate. I threw out 7 garbage bags of broken stuff, plain old garbage and too small clothes already. Yes, I am a proud mama!

I am going to start a series for Mondays. From The Top Down. Next week starts week one. It's going to be about cleaning, organizing and decorating this house from the top down. I am just sick of all the clutter that has accumulated and continues to grow around here. Mom is on the rampage! Watch out!

Thank you everyone for your sweet comments. It does help to go through the unthinkable having my sister with me!

I will be posting some recipes that I promised last week at the end of this week. Pinky promise!

Until then....

See Ya!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Inspiration Party!

Can you believe it is almost September?! The stores are already pushing Halloween AND Christmas! Ugh!

My inspiration this month is someone who is often taken for granted. Let me tell you her story.

I first met her 47 years ago. She was unemployed and just showed up to live at our house! Can you believe it? Well, I tried it out for a week and decided she had to go! All my mom did was wait hand and foot on HER! She fed her, clothed her, even bathed her in MY sink! The nerve! I found out that the mailman was the culprit who brought her here. I put her on the porch in a laundry basket of clothes that my mom was folding for him to take her back. Unfortunately, my mom found out and immediately brought her back in and announced I was NOT TO DO THAT AGAIN!


I was expected to share everything with her. My toys, my room, my mom's attention. After a few years she settled in and realized that I was top dog though. She was fun to play with. We spent alot of time getting to know each other over tea parties when our dolls were sleeping. We grocery shopped together in my mom's pantry in the basement. We rode bikes through our town drawn out on the driveway. We even built a house together out of a refrigerator box in the backyard.

When I was about 16, she turned into the creepy one that I was stuck with again. Her friends were nerds, mine were cool. She didn't get into trouble, I stayed in trouble. She got good grades, I didn't "apply" myself. She wore a bra, I didn't just to drive my dad crazy. She was stable, I was a wild child also pushing my dad's buttons when ever I got the chance.

It wasn't until a tragedy struck that I realized what my role as big sister really was. My mom commited suicide when I was 22. I was stationed in Georgia in the army. She was still at home. I remember calling that night. It was soon after it had happened. I don't know why, but I felt that I had to call home. My sister answered hysterical, said she couldn't talk and hung up. I knew something was wrong and called my mom's best friend who went to the house. It still hurts to think about that night. I have to say that was the worst night of my life. I was in the hospital at the time. I had pnuemonia. The next day I checked myself out of the hospital and went home.

I landed in Detroit and there was the shattered remains of my family. My sister grabbed me first, crying and asked me "what are we going to do now?" My dad was just crumpled. He couldn't talk, just look at me with tears in his eyes. We got through it together, side by side and have stayed that way since.

She is still the good one and I am still the wild child. We have been there for each other. I was a bridesmaid when she walked down the aisle. We have been there for each other when our children were born. She is my best friend. I can tell her anything. She knows my deepest darkest secrets and keeps them safe for me. We have shared our lives with each other and I couldn't think of a better person to do that with. We have grown close through the years and I wouldn't trade her for the world.

My inspiration this month is my sister Loretta. She is an inspiration to me all the time though. She is beautiful, funny and loving. I am so proud of her. She is raising her son on her own, working a full time job and finishing up her Master's degree from U of M. She is untiring and ambitious. I wish all the best for her!

Now it is time for ya'll to post your inspirations!

You know the deal!

I can't wait to see who inspires you!