Wednesday, February 29, 2012

He Is BACK!!!

I haven't said much about it but Louis Dean has been 'out of commission' lately. After the last heavy rain when he dug a trench while it was still raining - and COLD rain at that - to keep the water from coming in the house.......well, it took a toll on him! From that he went right into digging it deeper and laying the drains in.

 Then he spent last Thursday - first shopping - then cooking brisket all night. The next day he baked his famous dinner rolls. By Friday night he was sick and exhausted. He completely missed the party we gave on Saturday as well as the party on Sunday. That is Quad Party #1 and #2 he has MISSED.  I fixed the guest room up as the sick room and that's where he has been lately! He did get up at one point on Saturday to visit the party but didn't last long. My daughter in law, Leigh Ann, went in to visit with him for a few minutes and those were the two high lights of his day! Summer, Sabrina, and Leigh Ann pitched in and took up the slack so the party went on without a hitch. Then on Sunday Summer attended the other party with me.

 So with two parties down and the final third coming up - he was afraid he was going to miss them all the way around. His doctor appointment Monday confirmed what I thought.....a severe asthma attack brought on by exertion and allergies. He was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago but had not taken his medicine. I let him get away with more than I should so now I am being a real nagging wife and he has no choice but to do the right thing.......TAKE THE MEDICINE!

Since he has been doing that the last few days he is miraculously feeling better!! Which is a good thing because now he gets to go down to Houston with me for party #3!!
While I loved giving the first one and seeing all the friends and family - and I enjoyed attending the second one where I could relax and visit without any hostess duties - this third one will be a real party scene since it starts at 6:00 pm and who knows when it will end! (Amber better take a LONG nap that afternoon so she can stay up late!) All of the 'Houston Crowd' will be there from friends, family, co workers, and neighbors! It will be a Texas theme as well so I am taking all the things we used up HERE down THERE!

To make it even more daughter, Summer - who took a day off to help get the party ready up here - AND went with me on Sunday - is driving down Friday after work to help with THIS one! Can you tell she loves her little sister? After the party is over, she and I will spend a couple of days setting up the nursery for Amber.

So! As I write this, Louis Dean is sound asleep! I have been busy cleaning because I like to leave the house nice.....IF I am taking him WITH me! If he is going to be 'home alone' I don't bother. You know what I mean! I come back to damage control no matter what!

We plan to leave EARLY! Like 4 AM! Which is fine with me because he drives and I sleep until we get to Fairfield where we eat breakfast (this is about halfway) a great big, old fashioned, home cooking kind of buffet! I nap again until we stop for coffee or tea and then ride on in the rest of the way in the front seat because you don't go to Houston without someone helping you navigate if at all possible!

I will close now with this needlework I did back in 1983. I noticed it as I was piling things up in the foyer to carry out to the truck.

I love that saying.......and isn't it so TRUE??
Although I must say........mostly I wonder about ME!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Party - Texas Style!

It is quiet here this Tuesday morning in the hush of 'after the party's over.' I love throwing a party - and going to a party - I even loved cleaning up AFTER the party!
As I went through each room I could recall the guests and chatter and laughter. It was a good time.

This Texas themed party was actually a baby shower - or BABIES shower! - for the quadruplets Amber is carrying. Although as a child, Amber's favorite colors were pink and purple, silver and gold, she is NOT into the baby pastels. She doesnt even OWN a pink garment now that she is grown. Amber and Mike wanted an opportunity to visit with as many of their friends and family as possible - not just the females but the husbands, boyfriends and male family members as well - so a QUAD PARTY it was!

Saturday was a perfect day for it, too!! Blue skies and mild tempertures!

Look at this ADORABLE Western cake!! It was made by a lady right here in Irving.
Her name is Rose Blake and she is on the Irving ISD approved vender list.
Last weekend alone she made NINE cakes -
 including 2 gorgeous wedding cakes, a grooms cake, a princess birthday cake, a quinceanera and several cakes for confirmation parties.... she was a busy woman!

The thing about hosting a big party - you can't take a lot of pictures while doing it! Summer and Mike took quite a few and I hope to post some of them later in the week.

Summer snapped this one before the guests began to arrive.
I popped Sabrina's western hat on my head and kept it there for most of the afternoon.

We had thought to use it as part on the decorations on the bales of hay -
until I decided to WEAR it!!

We had lots of people come to SHOWER the quads with welcoming gifts!
My favorite gift of all was from the most creative gal I know!! Her twin sister just gave birth to TRIPLETS earlier this month!

The little boy came home from the hospital yesterday and the two little girls went home today! Aren't they beautiful???

Their awesome aunt made these personalized  'Minky' Blankets for them!

She made FOUR of these gorgeous MINKY  blankets for the quads!
They are lined with silky fabric and are amazing! Talk about a blanket you want to wrap yourself in! I should make a big one for ME! Marie had Amber's Texas Taste in mind when she created these!!

Marie does everything to perfection including the packaging.......

.....and the card......

....and even the laundry instructions!!!

You can see Marie's Blog HERE!!!

She does just about everything from cakes and cookies, candies and cards, crafts and ALL THINGS Creative!!!

The party was a success as was the one given by Mike's family and friends the next day.

That party was done in a St. Patrick's Day theme......since it was originally scheduled for the holiday weekend. We are all so flexible when it comes to changing plans and switching gears for the Quad Squad and their parents!

This was taken at the party on Sunday.

My FAVORITE pic of Mike as he posed with a few of the many gifts from his parents!

I must say the support and encouragement from BOTH families and ALL of the many friends have been heartwarming. It does take a village as they say!

OK! Two down and one to go!
I will be loading all the Texas style decorations - including the bales of hay! - in our big white truck and heading south in a few days. We have a little more celebrating and partying to do before the next segment of the quad journey!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Getting Ready to PARTY!!

We are gearing up for a big party!! Saturday we will celebrate Amber and Mike's QUADS with an Open House for lots of friends and family. The time is drawing closer!

Louis Dean decided we needed a little fortification to start what proved to be a BUSY day!!!

SO! We treated ourselves to lunch at our favorite hamburger joint!

LD and I SPLIT a cheeseburger, fries and an order of ONION RINGS!
With all the fat and calories from such a meal - we were good to GO!!

This is the result of 'Shop til we DROP!!'
Have I mentioned we are having a PARTY???

Louis Dean is a GREAT cook! He does a mean brisket!
Or TWO!!! One end of the brisket is always bigger than the other.
Clever man that he is.....he cut them in half and cooked the two LARGE ends together!!
The two smaller ones will be cooked in the morning.

He says to tell you everything has to be measured precisely!!

We never do anything the same way twice! It is all good every time, though!
LD loves my homemade BBQ sauce. This evening I made at least a quart of it.
I never make it the same way twice either! Catsup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings -
garlic, onion, salts, pepper.....and some mustard.

A little 'hands on' action!

This is the first roaster of brisket! Another one will be on to cook in a few hours.
We will be up - off and on - all night!

The potatoes and eggs are ready to mix into salad!

We are beginning to set things up for serving.
I like to do as much as I can ahead of time!

This will be the beverage center.
Wine, tea, beer, lemonade and Coke.
Nita, do you see the jug of Captain Morgan???

LD loves his roaster! Our house is smelling good right about now.
I think it is time to pour a glass of wine and put our feet up for a spell.
Tomorrow will be a busy day of more preparations!
Summer is coming to help me get it all together.
What would I do without her??

This is going to be fun like a PARTY!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Romantic Lighting

Everything looks better with the right light!
This is our big elm tree to the left of the gazebo with a little pond beside it.
Louis Dean is so proud of the fountain he designed from a bird bath.
You can't see it in this pic but we love the sound it makes!

Last might Louis Dean and I spent some time together in our freshly cleaned gazebo!

We made a fire using some of the twigs and debris we have been cleaning up.
Sitting out there sipping a glass of wine and gazing into the fire is one of our all time favorite things to do. The nice thing about being busy and working hard is it is SO nice when you stop to rest! Which is what we have been doing on and off all day.
We each took naps and have been working in spurts. I think a lot was accomplished in this manner today! AND we are not nearly as exhausted as we were last night!
The deck is back down - hopefully for the FINAL time!
All that is left is some clean up outside, shopping, housework, cooking and baking.
Then it will be PARTY time!!

SO while our yummy dinner is cooking -
I think I hear Louis Dean out there at the side of the house.
I better go see what he is doing.
I swear if I were not here to stop him - I believe he would work til he dropped!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Wine Bottle Garden!

If I plant them deep enough - do you think I can get them to grow??
I am sprucing up the back yard in preparation for Saturday's big QUAD SQUAD party!
I have seen several post featuring wine bottles as a garden/flower bed border.
SOOOOOO.......I have been saving my bottles.
I know what you are thinking!!! "Did y'all drink ALL that wine?"
Yes, just not ALL at ONE TIME!!!
Actually I have been saving these for a couple of years now. Louis Dean says he drinks very little wine from a bottle. He prefers a BOX! He pours a glass and says, 'That was a good HOUR!' But I can't plant boxes!

Not only do I save the bottles but I save the corks, also!
I spruced up a wreath of corks I already had (lower right pic) by adding a few fresh corks and gluing some grapes that had come loose.
I made a smaller wreath with the rest of my corks and embellished it with some wired jute I picked up at Hobby Lobby while I was down visiting Amber last week.
I love redeeming things and making something pretty from what would otherwise be trash!

I saved a couple of bottles to make Texas Wine Lights.
The grapes I used to embellish the white bottle are actually two napkin rings I picked up at Stein mart last Friday for $0.48 each! I get a kick out of using things in ways they were not really intended! Everything is up for grabs!

While I have been playing with bottles and corks Louis Dean has been digging trenches.
A big LONG one that snakes across the front yard!

He is amazing! He is at Home Depot now getting some more drains and will soon be putting them in and covering this curved black scar up with sod.
Never again will we have to worry about the den getting wet if we have long heavy rains.

So now that I have rested from all that wine bottle planting.....and it WAS hard work!....
I am going to tackle the gazebo. It is all dusty and neglected looking but that is about to change! We have a party to give and may well need the patio, decks and gazebo for guests to congregate and mingle. I'm thinking the fire pit may add some charm to what the weather forecast says will be a sunny mild day.

It will a PERFECT day to CELEBRATE Amber and Mike's Quads!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crisis Averted!

The sun is shing here in Texas this morning. It was beautiful yesterday as well. Friday and Saturday......not so much. We had a real rain event around here. At least in our neighbor! Our den flooded a few weeks ago and Louis Dean had taken the deck up, hauled out many MANY wheel barrows full of dirt,  leveled the ground and finally put the deck back down! WHEW! He said he would put a drain in after some of the hoopla we have going on is over. Seems he will be be doing that THIS WEEK! Just as the 'hooplas' are beginning!

We were in the den late Saturday afternoon taking a break. The rain was still coming down. We felt like we were snug as a bug in a rug! Everytime I walked from the den to the utility room I rejoiced that the carpet was DRY! Until........I stepped down into the den and it was squishy wet! The water was coming in and FAST! After a brief moment of panic - LD couldn't find his shoes - and he looked at me helplessly and said - "Please help me pull myself together!" In a couple of minutes he was out in the rain digging a trench!

He worked fast and furious!!

We had a lot of standing water!

This was up past my ankle!


Every shovel full of dirt removed emmediately gurgled full of water.

He kept digging until he reached the sidewalk where the water flowed on down the street.

While he was outside digging I was inside sucking up water with my Rainbow.
I got up about a gallon before the water quit coming in and started draining.

By the time Louis Dean was through the carpet inside was simply damp. I drew him a hot bath and gave him a cup of chicken noodle soup to sip on while he was soaking.

Crisis Averted!!!
We are still praising God that it happened while we were in here and could instantly spring into action!

Sunday was spent in recovery mode. Louis Dean baked a big ham and I did laundry and we both rested a good bit! Needless to say, we cancelled plans for our music session and dinner party! They all understood!
There is never a dull moment around here!!

Today we are back in the groove. We have five days before the big Open House/Shower for Amber and Mike's Quads. Lots to do and now a long trench snaking across our front yard to deal with. We do love a challenge!!

Speaking of Amber and Mike.......they enjoyed a lovely weekend getaway!

They did a photo shoot for their maternity pictures. As Amber said, "This may well be my one and only pregnancy!" And you all know that in this family we document EVERYTHING!! Especially something of this magnitude!

This is my handsome HANDSOME son in law who is an awesome guy!
He and Amber make a perfect couple.

He also has an excellent sense of humor!!!

OK!! Look out Monday!!! Here we COME!!!!!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Hey, it's good to be back home again!"

I'm home!

Arrived yesterday afternoon early enough for Louis Dean and I to enjoy a little driveway sitting!

It was a beautiful evening so we took Lucy for a walk down to the local elementary school yard. Louis Dean had made dinner - baked fish, fresh cooked baby carrots and baked sweet potatoes. I can also just about tell you everything he cooked while I was GONE, too. My kitchen counters tell the stories! I came in and 'buzzed' for a couple of hours. Then we did what LD loves to do more than anything else!!
We SAT!! In the living room, wine glasses in hand - simply SITTING! Didn't even turn the TV on!! We caught up on all the news - even though we called each other many times every day while we were apart! I don't think  I will be going alone to Houston next time!

These were my travel companions on the drive down there and back.
I LOVE audio books! And Crazy Water AND taffy!!! BANANA taffy!

 AT&T Hot Spot Internet and a slice of apricot pie and coffee made for a welcome break on the home stretch into Dallas.  Louis Dean made an apricot pie last week. He scooped the filling out - NOT good, he said! - and then ate the pie crust! But not all  at one sitting he assured me!

I played all my Words With Friends and Scrabble games before climbing back into the car to bring 'er on home!

This morning I made the Fort Worth Beauty Shop Run for Mother. LD went with me! We hit up some good sales at Tuesday Morning and Steinmart before we all lunched on some great seafood at Red Lobster! (We brought home enough leftovers for supper tonight!) We ate so much we BOTH took naps when we got home! Bet Mother did, too!! We were SO full! I could make a meal off the Cheddar Cheese Biscuits and salad! Today Mother and I split the Coconut Shrimp and she also had a cup of clam chowder. One of her favorite meals!

Louis Dean helped me take my spring decorations down from the shed attic. I have a LOT to do in the next seven days! While I am NOT going to decorate for Easter until after next week's Quad Squad party - I AM going to add some touches of spring since the house has been 'bare' after the fall and Christmas stuff came down. I have the boxes all in here so I might as well get to cleaning AND decorating! We are having several musician friends over for a jam session and dinner on Sunday evening so I better get a move on!

This is one my favorite songs!!
John Denver!