Surfside Beach, TX
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My children are delighting me this week.  I'm adoring each of them, and easily appreciating all that makes them unique.  What a splendid vacation.  

Texas Born. Texas Bred.
Friday, July 23, 2010

I think this Okie-born mom will have to break down and buy this kid a Texas Tech shirt.  He's resorted to making his own!


Easy as frozen pizza. Slightly tastier.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For those nights you don't feel like cooking:

I know these products are down right offensive to many Southern cooks.  Pre-breaded frozen chicken strips? Gasp!  Mashed potatoes from a bag? Egad!  And, perhaps worst of all, COUNTRY GRAVY from a MIX!!!  The horrors!

My apologies to the Paula Deen's among you.  The rest of you, bury the packages deep in the trash and give yourself a break one night this week!

Throw in a frozen cobbler and you'll have yourself a feast.


Bean Bags
Monday, July 19, 2010

Alternate Title:  We've reached the point in our long summer days when I'm really stretching to find fun, cheap stuff for us to do together.

I couldn't figure out why the kids were so overly excited when I suggested that we make some bean bags.  Then I figured out they thought I meant the big, floor-size bean bags that you sit it....but I didn't buy nearly that many beans.  Sorry kids. 

They picked out their favorite fabrics from my grandmother-donated stash (she gave me nearly 50 yards of random fabric!), helped me trace and cut out the squares, and after I sewed them together they used a funnel to filled them with beans.

(FYI: a 2 lb. bag of beans was enough for six bean bags.)

 First they lined up some buckets for the obligatory bucket toss game.  They assigned arbitrary points to each bucket, like 200, 750, and 1500.  Unknowingly, they also assigned themselves some great math practice.

I witnessed a sweet sibling moment, when of their own accord the boys took pity on Lauryn not making any shots, and encouraged her to stand closer to the buckets. (That might not seem like a big deal, until you've grown accustomed to the normal cries of "No fair!" and "She crossed the line!  She's cheating!")

Then they used chalk to create a target in the driveway, and played happily for a while longer.

So.  Bean bags.  Kinda fun.

Here's the boys' bean bags --- Lauryn had already hopelessly misplaced hers by the time I wanted to round them up for the photo shoot.  Like mother like daughter! 

Big Tent. Small Living Room.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

If I had just set up the tent, it would have entertained them about an hour.

If I would have just given them a package of 100 bendy straws, it would have entertained them about an hour.

But happily, the combination of the two, tent + bendy straws,  kept them creating and playing together for an ENTIRE AFTERNOON! Some kind of awesome playtime math was happening, where the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Or something like that.

New Favorite Snack
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I was introduced to this cereal when I found it in the pantry at my in-laws house.  It's really good. I ate it every morning for a week at their house.

I got back home and bought my own box.  I mixed it into a bowl of yogurt and have now found my new favorite afternoon snack.  Mmmm, mmmm.


Monday, July 12, 2010

If you live in or around Lubbock, check out DomestiCakes!

DomestiCakes is owned and operated by my friend Candy.  Jonathan and I have been raving about her cheesecakes for a couple of years now (seriously - the BEST cheesecake I've ever eaten), and now she's taking her amazing baking skills to the masses!

If you need a cake or dessert for your party or event, I encourage you to give DomestiCakes your business.  Candy is a loving wife and devoted mom to four delightful kids; you couldn't ask for a better person to trust with your business. I'm proud of her for starting this new adventure, and wish her loads of success! 

click image to enlarge

And really....isn't DomestiCakes the cutest name ever?!? So cute and creative! Great job Candy! 

Flower Hair Clips
Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lauryn and I spent a fun, girly afternoon together.  After a haircut (for her) and lunch, we went on a shopping expedition to find what we needed to make flower hair clips. A much requested item of late, as it's been reported that "all" her friends are wearing them. 

After rejecting the price Hobby Lobby was charging for an artificial flower ($4 bucks for ONE individual flower?  Ya gotta be kidding me), Lauryn and I ended up at Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree never lets me down!

3 bunches of artificial flowers = $3.00
8 metal hair clips at Michael's (FYI: find them in the ribbon aisle) = $2.00

First I popped a flower off its stem, then pulled out the green plastic thingie in the center holding it together.  Like such:

Then I cut some fabric the length of the hair clip and hot glued it on:

The fabric isn't seen; it gets covered up by the flower, and gives the flower more to stick to:

Then I just hot glued the petals onto the fabric, layer by layer. Easy and quick.  

Here we are, modeling our lovely creations!

So cute!

I should have purchased some small fake jewels for the center of the flowers. But I forgot, so we used a button on one, and a clear stone on another.  Still cute.

I have a lot of flowers left -- if your little girl receives a gift from me anytime soon, it will be decorated with a flower hair clip!  Wouldn't these be cute clipped on a gift bag, or used as a bow on a package?


Alkalines, Acids and Beakers. Oh my.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

In the 5th grade, I got a "C" - in science.   This, my first "C" ever, was because I was never able to build a correct complex circuit thingie that would light up that darn little light bulb.

 Inductor with battery light bulb tutorial

Reading the directions now, I see that it's not that difficult.  In retrospect, my failing this project was likely due to spending my time talking to my friends in my lab group, rather than concentrating on the task at hand.

Regardless, that C in science in 5th grade set me on a course of avoiding science classes whenever possible.  After taking the required biology in 10th grade, I never again graced the inside of a science classroom.  Amen and Hallelujah.  

Alas....Ryan loves science! He names it as his favorite subject in school.  His Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Michael bought him a chemistry set for his *birthday, and he's had fun learning the basics of alkalines, acids, and the various fizzing, bubbling, color-changing reactions between them .  We've already sailed well beyond the limits of my chemistry knowledge, and now we're learning together.

  click image to enlarge

I told his Aunt Stephanie that any gift that comes with safety glasses, and no less than 18 safety notices on every page of the Experiment Guide is sure to be a hit!

*I think a science kit is a great item to add to your metal list of birthday gifts to buy for the 8 - 10 year old set.  Such a hard age to buy for! 


I have found the limit of my motherly "self-sacrifice."
Monday, July 5, 2010

Like most moms, I give the best of the food servings to my kids.

I take the burned chicken. I take the bruised apple. I take the broken cookie. I have witnessed this phenomenon in other moms, so I know it's universal.

However, there is a limit to my altruism.

The biggest, gooiest, cinnamon roll with the most icing - that baby goes on mama's plate! Every time.

This post inspired by a delightful morning of cinnamon rolls and freshly squeezed orange juice, enjoyed outside in lawn chairs on a beautiful summer morning. 


Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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