Monday, June 30, 2008

A Public Service Announcement (of sorts)

Some of you may have signed up with the little blogarithm email alert on the blog awhile back - this handy tool allowed you to be able to sit back and relax and only visit the blog when there was something new to read, ie. you received an email letting you know when there was a new post.

Well, you may have noticed that those emails stopped awhile back....or you didn't and you've been avoiding us here at the Old House Spill (boo hoo hoo!).

Well, we'll assume the first reason and go on!

As you may or may not have noticed, RSSFWD has taken over blogarithm. Thus far my emails from their service have been spotty and I'm not real impressed. But, that's just me. It may be working just fine for you.

But, if you want another option, I have added a new email alert signup box to the blog that is run by Feedburner. This post will be my test (first post since I added it) and hopefully I'll get a handy dandy email updating me that the blog has changed.

So, if you want, sign up w/the new email alert box and hopefully it'll start sending you updates immediately. If you want to see about the RSSFWD, click the link above. If you want, sign up w/one of the RSS feed readers that you can choose from on the blog where the little Subscribe button is. Your choice! Or, you can just check the blog every day because you love us so much!

This ends our public service announcement. Go back to your lives people!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

....and continues

Well, after our fun day at the stockyards, we wanted something low key and air conditioned for the following day.

CKB had read a review of the new movie Wall-e and we decided to give it a go. We made it there just in the nick of time (opening day, mind you - eek) and sat way down CLOSE to the screen. I have no interest in ever sitting that close again, but it was impossible to find 6 seats together any farther up, so we went with it.

After a few previews, the movie began and Mr. A sat pretty still for awhile - then decided it would be more fun to walk back and forth between CKB and I (we were sitting on either end of the children). I got him to sit still for a little while longer after giving him a juice box :) Hooray!
Toward the end of the movie, one of the children HAD to go to the bathroom - and therefore, we (the two of us) missed the end of the movie. Ah well. We were told what happened and I'm sure we'll rent it when it comes out on DVD so we can see the ending for ourselves.

The movie was pretty good and everyone seemed to enjoy it to some degree. It certainly had some interesting messages.

The following day (Saturday) we decided to take a Paris! Yes, we've been there before, but we desired to go back. Paris, TX, that is :) Mt. Paran Primitive Baptist church was holding a 5th Sunday meeting and so we headed over to attend morning and afternoon services. We had a good day there and are glad to have been able to attend. Some of the ministers who were called on to preach were Elder Vernon Johnson, Elder Chris Blevins, Elder Thomas MacDonald, Elder Joe Phillips and Bro. Mike Welch.

One thing mentioned that seemed to jump out at me was the reminder by one of the brethren of the need for us to pray for labourers to be sent to the vineyard. Something I hadn't thought about of late - and shame on me - Lord willing, I will not forget again.


  1. [37] Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
  2. [38] Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Dinner at one of our favorite spots, Johnny Carino's followed on our way home that evening and then it was home to rest a bit.

That just about wraps up our "vacation" doings thus's Sunday night and we're all pretty tired from the day (we were in Madisonville today).


Vacation continues....

Day 2 of vacation at home was just that...we stayed home most of the day. CKB played video games w/the children and I got a few rounds of laundry taken care of...sadly a maid doesn't come w/vacation at home!

We had a fun, quiet day!

Day 3 we headed over to the Fort Worth Stockyards for the first time. After a quick stop in the visitor center (and, of course, a quick picture!)....we headed back outside to wait for the morning cattle drive.

We arrived in time for the cattle run (walk) and then spent some time walking through the shops.

After a stroll through to see what shops there were to explore in later, we headed over to the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze - a maze where you go through looking for each letter (M - a - z - e) and when you find each one there's a punch to punch your "passport" with that letter's punch. CKB took the girls and I took the boys.

22 minutes later (drumroll please.............................................................................) The boys and I made it out!

FIVE minutes later, CKB and the girls finished up :)

The children all led the way and did great - I believe this was their favorite part of the day!

Mr. E locked up Mr. A in the jail, but let him out shortly thereafter...

It was H - O - T after running the maze so we headed across the street to a BBQ place called Riscky's (I'm pretty sure that's how it was spelled...) and cooled off while we had a wonderful lunch. I haven't had barbeque that good in a long time - and don't get me started on how fabulous the fried okra was - YUMMMMMMMMMMM!

Everyone cooled down and the shopping began. The shopping area is covered, which is wonderful, because it was hot out there. Being under the covered area (and the breeze!) kept us from getting too overheated.

We made a new friend....have you met her? Her name is Calamity Jane!

After a little while looking around, we headed over to a couple of the museums and saw some interesting items from days gone by.

Then it was time for the piez de resistance - we took the Trinity River Run! What's that, you ask? It's a 1 hour run via the Grapevine Vintage Railroad that departs the Stockyards and takes you on a 1 hour ride. Mr. E was thrilled, as were the girls. Mr. A seemed to enjoy it as well.

When we returned, we stopped for some Blue Bell and enjoyed a visit from one of the locals ;)

After everyone finished their ice cream, we visited the Cowboy Hall of Fame and then headed on back toward home after a quick stop at Sonic for some COLD slushes to cool everyone down on the ride home.

All in all, a fabulous day which we all enjoyed and hope to repeat sometime in the future!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Vacationing at Home

Well, we are officially on vacation - hooray! Even though CKB works from home, we don't get to see him all day so it'll be nice to have him around all the time for awhile!

Instead of a long trip in the car, gallons and gallons of ridiculously expensive gas, eating out 3x a day and a bunch of tired and grumpy children, we decided to vacation around home. Great minds think alike it seems - my friend over at The Zoo is doing the same w/her family right now! (wish we lived closer!!!).

Anyway! Yesterday afternoon after CKB finished up some work we started our vacation with dinner at Spaghetti Warehouse and thrill of thrill, we sat in the trolley car (yes, at 2 tables across the aisle from one another). Dinner was nice and everyone enjoyed the unique atmosphere. I was going to get a picture, but got self-conscious and decided against it. Next time I'll take a pic when we get there (there wasn't hardly anyone there when we showed up right at 5 pm - oh well).

After a nice dinner we headed back toward the homefront, and decided since we were "on vacation" that we'd explore a new shopping area that was recently built and is still being worked on. We drove through it and decided it was nice, but a bit on the "fancy" side of things for us :) We then drove around through the outlet mall that we pass quite often, but never stop at, just to see what stores were there. It was alllll clothing stores and a few shoe stores - maybe a suitcase store and a kitchen store, but NO BOOK STORE! Horrors! So, we kept driving....closer to home we remembered a street we pass every time we "go to town" and that we've always thought looked interesting and decided it was high time we explored down that road - we managed to not miss the turn and are so glad! The road headed out of town some and through some lovely, more "country" neighborhoods with LARGE lots and beautiful homes - and TREES! Sigh. We stumbled upon a public playground and stopped for a quick break - the children enjoyed it, but the playground was built for much bigger children - there was a slide that was at least a story high - yikes!

Here's Mr. A enjoying the swings - "higher Daddy!!!!"

"Look at me!!! MA - MA!!!! Look at me!!!!"

Anyway, we didn't stay too long, but stretching our legs and enjoying the semi-cool summer night was a treat. We got home "after bedtime" (Miss E kept noting the time and how we were out past bedtime :) ) and got everyone in bed.


It was a nice first day of vacation! No schedule. No requirements. Nowhere we HAVE to be. We have some places in mind we'd like to try to go in the next week or so - hoping it all works out, but if it doesn't - there's always another day! We'll probably have a lot of "crazy dinners" and some nice dinners out - we're saving a ton on gas and hotels so we can treat ourselves around town - we may never go out of town for vacation again! :)

Here's the crew before we left the playground (I forgot to change my camera settings and didn't realize it before this pic and the ones of Mr. A on the swing - sigh - so my others were blown out completely - ack!).

Stay tuned for Day 2!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's all Russell's fault!

Russell Stover, that is! Once a month we drive 3 hours to church and on our way home, inevitably the potty chorus begins when we get to the outskirts of Corsicana - home of the Russell Stover Outlet.

From the backseat(s) of the van: (you know the song - "Maaaa-ma....I need to go pahhhh-ty")

Oh, man, stop here? It's such a burden....sigh, but we do it and as a result we seem to have a lot more chocolate around the house than any person in their right mind should have!

Well, recently we've discovered their vintage replica tins - and now I have a new thing to collect (just what I need - more stuff! Thanks Russell!).

Here's a pic of the most recent additions to the collection - aren't they sweet? My favorite is in the forefront with the pink flowers - and those little ones are just darling! (Now to just figure out what to use them all for! One of the small ones did a great job of transporting jewelry on a recent trip and one of the larger holds my crochet hooks for the others....I'm envisioning a pen/pencil box use for the red/gold Whitman's tin....thoughts on other uses for them?

So, if you happen to pass through Corsicana, take a break and visit the store - you might just run into us sometime!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Store bought produce or Down Home Goodness?

Well, in my book there's no comparison!

I bought some peaches at Wal-mart about a week ago and they still weren't ripe (sitting out on the counter since I bought them) a few days ago, so I put them into a paper bag to help them along. A few days later one of them felt ripe and with great anticipation I took a bite. Sigh. It was tart... soft and "ripe", but tart. I took a few more bites, not wanting to waste it, but it wasn't very good.

This past Saturday we took a quick drive to a roadside produce stand we've spotted before and brought home some peaches and tomatoes - in paper bags - the next day some of the peaches were ready. I tried one last night and it was FANTASTIC - sooooo much better than the ones from the store. Peaches are my favorite and it's hard to justify getting any more from the store....maybe ever :) We also happened upon a sign pointing the way to a Farmer's Market and plan to visit it next weekend for more peaches, at the very least :)

If you have a Farmer's Market or fruit stand nearby, I highly recommend taking the time to stop and pick up a few things - your taste buds will thank you!

One of my favorite memories is of a Saturday morning when I was visiting home before CKB and I were married and Dad had gone to the Farmer's Market and came home with peaches. These were no ordinary peaches. They were perfection - you had to stand over the sink to eat them because the juices just came pouring out with every bite - ah, the quintessential peach - one day I will find some like those day...until then, I'll enjoy these yummy Texas peaches, direct from the farm!

Oh, and those tomatoes - they're on the menu for the weekend and I expect them to be fabulous too!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The skirt - finally!

Well, since I wore my skirt today, it was the perfect opportunity to get a quick picture of it. So, here 'tis - what do y'all think?

Aside from the slippery nature of the fabric, the construction of the skirt was very simple. I decided to go with an elastic waist pattern for the first skirt for myself and it was a very quick project.

(excuse all the wrinkles - I had a wiggly 2 year old in my lap all morning during church services) :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Father's Day and camera play

Well, Father's Day has come and gone. The children showered their Daddy with some thoughtful gifts and the biggest gift was from all of us - a new grill that Daddy wanted. A few nights ago he cooked dinner for us on it - it works great :)

Here 'tis the new (in the foreground) and the old (in the background). The old grill became a table of sorts during the grilling the other night - it's still useful for small cookouts, but then, with 6 people in the family, we don't do a lot of "small" cooking!

Hope y'all had a great Father's Day as well!

On another note, I've been meaning to figure out the 'manual shooting' mode on my camera for a long time, but the manual for my camera is missing in action - a product of all the moves we've been through since CKB got the camera for me. Today I decided to run a search online and see what I could come up with and ended up finding the manual online in .pdf - hooray - a quick search through the .pdf and I found the information I was lacking on how to adjust the aperture - I never could figure out how to change it after adjusting the shutter speed!

So, a quick test on Miss E (since she happened near me at the time) and here's a before (no flash)

and after (no flash, but w/much better settings - in manual :) ).

I'm so glad to finally have unlocked this door on the camera! Now, for much more playing! Not a problem :) I have so many good subjects around here!

Also, one shot of Mr. A playing outside a few days ago :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

'tis the season

for blueberries!

And thusly, I can't help but think about the superbly wonderful blueberry preserves we bought in Gatlinburg this past January. (Yes, I know, I never blogged about the trip like I said I would....sigh...maybe I of these days?)

Anyway! We're planning to go and pick blueberries tomorrow morning w/some good friends - I'm hoping to pick blackberries as well - yum!

But, if you don't have the "You pick 'em" spots nearby, you'd be thrilled with some of the preserves from Gatlinburg - you can purchase them online (actually you'll need to give them a call, but they have a listing online of all the varieties they sell) from the Pinners - they are really sweet folks and would be happy to help you!

Jams, Jellies, Nuts & More
Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Village
170 Glades Rd., Suite 5 & 6
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
(865) 436-8911

Hmmm, wonder if I can talk my sister into popping over there on her vacation next week and procuring a few jars for me......hint hint?

If I didn't say it before - BLUEBERRY is the way to go!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

At the dinner table..... never know what you might hear....

Tonight CKB was asking the children some questions about sin.

CKB - Can you tell me an example of a sin?
Miss E - Taking something that doesn't belong to you?
CKB - And what is another way of saying that?
Miss E - Stealing?
CKB - Yes.

CKB - Mr. E, can you tell me another sin?
Mr. E - taking someone's goldfish?
CKB - (smiling) What is it called when someone tells you something that isn't true?
Mr. E - mmmmmmm
CKB - (offering a bit of help) Liiiiiiii...? (sounded like Lie, of course)
Mr. E - Lyology?

CKB and I hide our smiles for a moment before responding.

CKB - well, some people do seem to study Lyology, but it's called Lying
Mr. E - oh

Miss E - I think he's thinking about how we've been studying Biology (smirks)


Friday, June 13, 2008

3, then 2, then 3, then 2, then 3 again.....and holding

What on earth does that mean, you ask?

Well, it all began a few months ago. We decided to get some fish for the children. Why? We're insane, naturally. Actually, I suppose this goes back farther than that....about 2 years farther...we went to the pet store to get a fish, maybe 2, and came home w/2 mice instead - ack - that didn't last terribly long - one of them bit CKB during a cage cleaning and shortly thereafter we found some folks who were looking to add more mice to their mouse family and we gladly handed ours over.

Now, where was I...oh yes, present day insanity. So, we went to the pet store, procured a 1 gallon tank and brought home 3 small goldfish. A few days after that, 1 died...then there were 2. We didn't realize at that point that the size of the tank was the problem (hey, we're not fish experts! and weren't warned at the store), so we took Mr. E to the pet store to get a replacement. Then there were 3 again. A few days later, another one died, then there were 2 again. Still not sure what the real problem was, we took Miss E to the store to get a replacement. It was about this time we were starting to think about a larger tank b/c the 3 fish looked cramped in that small aquarium. The fish looked a lot smaller at the store. So, then there were 3 again.

In the coming days, we took the plunge and purchased a 10 gallon tank and all the accoutrements, transferred over the 3 fish and so far we are 3. It's been a few months and they're all growing and doing well. Whew!

The 1 gallon tank has been commandeered by the brine shrimp/sea monkeys as a larger home for them - they seem happy in there.

Here are our 3 new pets:

Orangie (Mr. E's) on the left, Shiny Silver (Miss A's) (in the middle hiding - the only one remaining from the original 3), and Sunspot (Miss E's) (on the right, the smallest as it was the newest addition)

They like to hang out under the bridge at night :)

(here we have from left to right, Orangie, Shiny Silver and Sunspot - incidentally Sunspot got its name b/c it had some black spots on it when we got it - they have since disappeared - strange!)

and here in the background is Shiny Silver, foreground is Sunspot and on the right is Orangie - who had black around its mouth at first, but that has faded away as well!


Driving along today, I happened to notice a big sign on the back of a semi as it passed me in the other lane - it read:

Air bag test

Ha ha - that was a good one :)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Apron Giveaway

If you like aprons, you'll want to hop on over to the Apronista and sign up for her apron giveaway. I've become more interested in aprons lately because it seems I can't cook w/o getting grease spots on my shirts and then they get washed and then have to be rewashed because I didn't notice the spot the first time....I could go on and on, but I won't - just go and sign up! The apron she's giving away is very cute and perfect for summer!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Adorable Mother's Day Project

Well, now that Mother's Day has come and gone and we were able to deliver gifts to both of our mothers, I can share our present with everyone. I found this idea a few years ago on message boards and thought it was cute. I toyed w/the idea of creating our own for awhile, but just never got around to doing it. I decided this was the year to make it happen and commenced shooting - after finally getting some pics I was happy with, I used fotofusion to create the final product and made my order.

I waited for it to arrive, hoping it would look like I wanted it to and when it arrived I was very pleased with the result. After a little trimming to fit the frames I'd purchased, we were in business.

I hope you can see the effect in this picture - the odd angle is to help show the 3D of the flowers coming out of the frame/picture at you when you look at it. Mr. A showed his personality by holding up both hands - how could I not use that picture! Mr. E had his Aggie hat on, of course. Miss E has her bonnet slung around her neck - true Laura-style. And, Miss A is just Miss A - always ready to have a picture taken and the most cooperative of them all in this endeavor :)

Now, to have one printed for myself and put it on *my* wall!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Are you a hillbilly housewife?

Well, I don't know about being a hillbilly, but I found a neat website a few days ago and have been trying to look around there in my spare time the past few days ( ha ha, which means I didn't get too far!). She has an "emergency" menu for feeding a family of 4-6 for a week for $45 as well as a version for $70/week that includes more meat in lieu of beans. Also, a lot of interesting recipes. Those menus also come complete with a guide on what to do each day/night to prepare for all the meals - looks interesting although I don't know how well a few of the menu items would go over around here ;)

Anyway, you might enjoy it - check it out!