Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Harley Visits for the Weekend

Last Friday in the wee hours of the morning Mason was up and gone taking a huge group of students on their Choir trip to Port Aransas, Texas. He is a very busy man, they have 9 choir's at Arlington High School. I'm not sure which choirs got to go on this trip, but taking a large group on a trip like that would be work.

Mason chillin for a minute in Port Aransas
with the other Choir Directors and Chaparones.

Kristi and Cassi drove over to Arlington to pick up Harley and bring him back to our house. She didn't want to be away from Cassi on the week-end she was home. Harley needs a vaca too!

Front seat driver help.

Mr. grouchie-pants (when it comes to animals in the house) was caught doing this:

Oh, oh, OH! What's this we are seeing?

Jered teasing Harley with his Monkey baby.

Is there something wrong with this picture?

Trying to get Harley to hold still for a
decent picture was difficult. He wanted to PLAY.

He jumped up and popped Kristi
right in the nose with his face.
Let the swelling commence.

Harley was like- Did I do tha'at?

Dancing in the kitchen and singing
loud enough to raise the roof.

Cassi headed to a YSA dance with friends.

Some TX sunshine and a dip in the pool is
just what these two thrive on. That, and music.
Oh, and boys (of course). Hehehe

Oh. My. Lanta. Applebee's will never be the same.

So much fun.

Jered is a casual observer. LOL!

Dad's having fun too.

Well, time flies when you are having fun. Cami is still in school and she works full time too so we got to see her for little snippets of time. She is a great student and those grades are important for her to get into the program she wants to apply for. I'm glad she is so serious about her future. I should have taken more pictures at dinner on Wednesday. Oh, hindsight! That's a bit more of our news. Back to reality.

Momma D

Monday, April 16, 2012


Mason has a dog named Harley and he is such a great dog. We were introduced to him a couple of months ago and everyone liked Harley, even Dad (who is not much of a pet person). So for Mason's Birthday (In March) I decided I would make him a special present, can you guess what it is? Oh, you are SUCH good guessers! A Mini-quilt of Harley! It was inspired by this little picture Mason texted to me.

The caption said: "I has a berfday party today by myself."

With this adorable picture and a dog pattern I had seen by- Amy Bradley...I set to work. I knew I could tweak a few of the doggie parts to make it look more like Harley. The pattern called for little pointy 'pincer' ears. But I looked off this picture of Harley and made some uniquely 'Harley' ears.

Giving Harley some 'style'!

Machine Appliqueing his name.

Working on it while I wait for Jered
who is in Seminary class at 6am.

Binding in the car while waiting.

Here is a look at the back after quilting. You can see
that I add a little 'sleeve' where the wall hanging frame
slips into this for a more even weight distribution.
The last thing I add is my little label.

I hung it on my quilt stand for the big

Cassi came home Tuesday the April 10th. It is her break between semesters so we were celebrating her coming home & also Mason's Birthday. I made Brisket in the crock pot, mock Boston Market squash casserole (yum), potato salad (everyone's favorite), and fresh strawberry and lemon Bundt cake. 
That's me in the background. So Cassi
must have been snapping pictures. I
don't suppose they eat like this much at college.

Pre-steaming the squash before adding
to the casserole dish for combining.

This little concoction is the squash sauce.
There is butter, onions, garlic, sharp cheese.
I also baked corn bread to break up
and add to the squash w 1 C of broth.

Cassi's 2nd favorite cake of all time.

The YUM ingredient is fresh strawberries.
It also calls for 8-10oz of Vanilla Greek yogurt.
Cassi prep'd these darlings. That is not sugar
but the recipe called for the berries to be
tossed with 1/4 C of flour instead.

Finally into the pan. Oh yeah!

Cami helped me get it onto my cake plate.
It took all 4 hands. But...voile!

I made a lemon glaze with freshly
squeezed lemon juice. Mmmm.

Mason & Cassi see each other for the first
time in years. Side-note: My vacume died....but, oh well.

Everyone is home for the first time in a long time, great food, lots of laughter and most importantly...love. These are the times I treasure most. Mason loved his gift and I loved making it for him. Win-win. Cassi's break from college went by so quickly but we had some wonderful times while she was home. Her flight left this morning at 8:30am. I get all verklempt when she leaves. She said, "Mom, it's ok I'm just going to college!" I said, "I know that....but tell that to the Cassi part of my heart." {{{sigh}}} I am happy inside for her. She is doing so well. This winter semester she pulled all A's but one B+ in math which is funny because she LIKES math. lol. (She may get mad that I 'outed' her "bad" grade) LOL! She is majoring in Health Sciences and wants to pursue becoming a Physician's Assistant. She has changed her mind a couple of times as she finds what feels right and fits with what she wants for her life. She came to the conclusion that becoming a surgeon didn't fit with her desire to be a wife and mother. So she ratcheted it, squoze it, molded it, and stewed a bit about the right fit for her. I have taught my children to have faith in prayer. God is there and cares about our lives. She has the right to receive personal revelation from Heavenly Father regarding her life if she lives worthy and keeps His commandments. It's my job to be a sounding board, a counselor, and to love her...but she can choose for herself as she seeks to align her will with God's. I think being a P.A. will fit her nicely. She wants so much to help people. :) Well, that's our news on this beautiful Texas evening. Good night y'all.

Happy Momma D

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another Mini Share

This is the Mini-Quilt I made for January. I actually combined the patterns from two different designers and came up with this. The fabrics are mostly made by Moda. I have a Moda Bake Shop button on my blog. Do yourself a favor and go look around their sight. Moda has turned quilting into kind of a baking metaphor. I know...kinda ironic. They carry fabric from some of my favorite designers (of fabric). Anyway here's my January Mini a little (Okay a LOT) late.

The binding I used on this piece is little
tiny mittens. I cut a pair out and draped
them from one of this fella's arms. I
love the inspiration that comes when I sew.

Love these fabrics. Too bad designer
fabrics START at about $12. per yard.

I have the BEST DH (dear husband) in the whole wide world. He gave me cash to buy fabric for my Birthday this year (March). Now you know why we've been married for 30+ years. Besides him being good to me, and generous to a fault...he's way cute too! Just sayin...

Sandi D

Sunday, April 1, 2012

OK, Fess-Up Time...I Cannot Bake. There I said it.

I'm not saying I cannot cook. I can cook to beat the band. I don't like to, but when I do...there are no complaints. In fact the wonderful people in my life don't even complain about my baking skill, or lack thereof. Still, for all the trying that does go on... for some reason this little thing called baking eludes me.

My children turned me on to the Cake Boss which is a TV show where they make masterpiece nummy artistic creations they dub  merely 'cakes'. One thing about masters in singing, athletics, baking or mostly anything beautifully done, the masters make the extremely difficult look easy, effortless even. I can make a brisket that melts in your mouth. I can make potato salad that cause family fueds over who gets the last spoonful. Why can't I make a pretty cake? Luckily for my family, this old bird doesn't give up on many things...or people for that matter.

I've watched many many youtube videos on cake baking. I even used my discount coupons and bought fancy Wilton round cake pans. I have a cool cake decorating 'toolbox' filled with gismos and gadgets galore. One of my recent epic failures happened to fall on Velentines Day this year. Truth be told, Valentines Day kinda snuck up on me. Not my favorite holiday. It's great for the young people who have a sweetheart in their life and they have fun shopping for stuff to buy them. But for most of us with longtime companions that we love and adore on a daily basis, and show in a thousand ways of our love and devotion...Valentines is dumb. OK, let's not go there. This is about cake. Like I said, Valentines snuck up on me. So I decided what would make my family the happiest is if I would bake a cake. I got down the crystal cake stand and pulled out my fancy Wilton cake pans and set to work.

I had some extra batter so I made a dozen cupcakes too. I could share these also with the sisters I Visit Teach. The cupcakes and cake came out beautifully. The pans worked! My use of Bakers-Joy worked! My cake cooling racks worked! I was rockin it so far. I should have just sprinkled them with some powdered sugar and walked away. LOL.

It had been a very busy day and I was trying to get this cake made before DH (dear husband) woke from his nap (he works nights). He was taking me to dinner somewhere. I knew he wouldn't mind making a couple of stops first with cupcakes. I looked at my cakes cooling in the kitchen and thought. Hey- I can shower and get ready for our date and then have time to ice and decorate the cake before he wakes up. That was the plan. I got all decked out in my dinner clothes (new outfit I got for Christmas and had not been worn yet) and headed for my kitchen.

I got out my handy-dandy tool box of gadgets and started frosting the cake and as soon as I touched that yummy chocolate icing to that lovely chocolate cake...that's when things started to get ugly. I think there is a trick to icing a cake that the universe has hidden from me and secretly giggles as it watches me try. I finally finished getting the frosting on the cake and then decided that I would decorate it and maybe 'cover up' some of the uglyness. I had seen a cool trick someone used on Pinterest.com where you place the piping back in a sturdy cup which leaves you with two hands to scoop the icing in. Right. After a Three-Stooges-like escapade I started 'decorating'. Oh good grief. I wasn't to be deterred though....I had nothing else to give my sweethearts. So onward, I told myself...ONWARD! Well, I was just about finished when I guess I was starting to pay too much attention to the decorating and not to the piping bag just re-filled with chocolate frosting. I gave it a good confident sqeeze and it exploded out of the top all over me. My hair, face, new shirt, arms, and my hands were covered. I even had it dripping down to my pants. Just then my DH walked out of our room and saw me standing there staring at him. I croaked out an embarrassed, "Help." He kindly hopped into action and soon things were under control. After cleaning myself up and changing my clothes...I walked into the kitchen and looked at my poor little ugly Valentine offering. Ugh.

The wonderful men in my life sweetly gushed compliments and gratitude for my efforts in their behalf. My son said, "Momma, it's CAKE! I don't care what it looks like I bet it tastes great!" His Dad nodded in agreement. Here is a little look at my offerings, humble as they were.

The message says it all.

Oh dear.

How hard can it be to ice a cupcake?

I tried to make up for ugly icing
with cute packaging for my kids
and my sweet VT sisters.

Well, now you know another thing about me, I'm baking challenged. However, I am not to be deterred, I will try yet again, keeping a closer eye on the closure at the top of my piping bag next time.

Baking impaired.

Momma D