Friday, December 25, 2009

I wanna Cardboard Kitchen for Christmas!

Good morning everyone out there in Blogland!


Ok, it's almost noon and I'm sure all of you are done opening your gifts. If you have children under the age, of let's say 30, the floor space under the tree was probably cleared in record time, lol.  Well, having only one at home calls for some record setting too.

I know that you probably don't wanna spend a bunch of time reading blogs today...especially the blogs of those of us who hardly ever update anymore :-(. But I'm here today. 

NormallyI don't make New Years resolutions, but I'm gonna make an exception this time. 2010 (that looks really weird) 2010, I, (state your name) Bibbs, will make EVERY attempt to update my blog at LEAST once per week. AND...get back to the business of doing the Friday Flower Fix on said blog.  Ok, there, I said it...hope I can do it :-D.

Alrighty, GUESS what I did?  Tell ye what, how bout I just show you and narrate as I go....

Photo #1 I built Jayla her very own...Cardboard Box Kitchen!

Let's take a tour, shall we?

Photo #2 The sink with a working clock, REAL Stainless steel faucet and sprayer.

Photo #3 The refrigerator w/ bottom freezer. And of course, water & ice in the door.

Photo #4 (My favorite appliance) The stove/oven/range (Not really sure what it's called these days, but you get the idea)

Photo #5 Close up of the stove.

Photo #6 Yes! That is a real oven rack :-).

Photo #7 And finally, the stacked washer & dryer complete with a view thru window and Tide (Front Loading detergent, of course) :-)

Well, that's it!  I have been working on this kitchen for about 3 weeks and I'm proud to say that I only have 2 minor X-acto knife injuries, both on the same finger :-). 

Jayla has been asking for a kitchen now for about 3 years. And we REFUSED to pay the ridiculous prices they charge for them (even the used ones)...I saw prices ranging from $100 - $400.

I'm assuming most 8 year olds aren't really into play kitchens. Because, although these kitchens cost a small fortune, they're very small. So I decided to get creative and make my own.  Wanna know what I spent on Jayla's? Here's the breakdown.

Boxes - $8 (2 of them, we already had and I used Staples Rewards coupons and my $8 for the other)
2 frame mats - $3 (used for the front of the oven and the "water/ice" maker on fridge)
Tape - $6
Knobs - $0 (these were left over corner brackets for the Target wire cubes)
Pulls - $2 (dowel rods painted silver)
Silver & black paint - $0
Oven rack - $0
Faucet & sprayer - $10 (from salvage store)
Clock - $0 (made from old CD, transparency, number stickers & old clock parts)
Pink/White/Black "Tiles) - $0 (scrapbooking cardstock)
Bins - $3 (purchased from thrift store. used inside fridge/freezer)
Sink - $1.88 (Walmart)
Fabric - $4.00 (Hobby Lobby. Used for under sink & clock face.)

TOTAL spent - $33.88

Merry Christmas everyone! Talk to you soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Now serving #21...years of wedded BLISS

Ok...maybe not the ENTIRE 21 years :-) (20 TOPS!)

Today, Thursday, December 17th is my 21st wedding anniversary. You may remember last year for our 20th, Mister M. gave me an  AMAZING gift to showcase on my left ring finger for the next 20 years :-).  So this year for our 21st, I just shined up the little beauty and continue to admire it ;).

Anyway, as in years past, we spent the day together at Jayla's Holiday breakfast and Christmas shopping for her. We always have such fun together.  And we sure do love Toys R Us :-).  Afterwards, we had Mexican food for lunch.

We will do our real anniversary celebration tomorrow night. guessed it, we'll be dining at our favorite anniversary restaurant.  Can't wait!!  Thanks Briyanna, for watching Jayla for us :-).



Well, here we go...hand in hand into our future. Love you honey!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ain't 8 GREAT...continued a couple of days late.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Ok, ok...Imma couple days late doing the 2nd part of Jayla's birthday post. But in my own defense, we had Jayla's birthday party on Friday night and by the time we got home, I was BEAT! Then yesterday, we were at a soccer tournament all day and my daddy left to head back home. And again, I was tired. I am today. Better late than never, I always say ;).

Alrighty, now back to the reason for this post. GUESS what I did? I made Jayla's birthday cake this year. I know, that's not that big a deal. But Jayla "requested" that I make it. Originally, she asked for a 2 or 3 TIERED cake. However, once I convinced her that she was turning 8 and not getting MARRIED, I was able to change her mind a bit. Anyway, her request wasn't simply that I make her cake. She wanted the layers to be 2 separate flavors (one devils food and the other white with confetti) and wanted me to cover those layers ready for this? She wanted ME to cover the cake in fondant. Now this child can often be found in front of the TV watching the Food Network as well as other cooking channels. But her favorite shows are, the Food Network "Challenges", "Ace of Cakes, & "Cake Boss". So that's where she got the wild idea for *ME* to use fondant.

I'm up for a challenge! Let's do it!!  This year we didn't really have a "theme"...we had more of a "pattern". Jayla is on this polka dot kick, so that's what we went with. Here's the front of the invitation that I made. The details of the party are on a striped background...similar to the Thank You card, pictured below.

The Thank You card.

Ok, here's how things progressed with the cake. First, there's no picture to prove it, but the 10" layers came out PERFECTLY!!

#1 "Dirty iced".

#2 Big ball of Fondant.

#3 Fondant rolled out. (Note, for quite a few weeks, I priced all the items I'd need to make this special cake. And a fondant icing roller was one of those items. The cheapest I found this special roller was $20! So I decided against that purchase...especially since I don't plan on using Fondant again any time soon.  Then I read on line that a piece of PVC pipe would do the trick just as well. So after spending $2.13 at Home Depot, I had my own version of the "special fondant roller"! It worked PERFECTLY!)

#4 Fondant draped over the pre-iced cake.

#5 Smoothed fondant covered cake. (I was REALLY proud of this part) :-)

#6 Beginnings of the decorations.

#7 Taa-Daa...The finished cake!

#8 All lit up at the party.

#9 Inside :-).

Well, what do you think?

I have to say, I was really pleased with how this cake turned out. One, because it's been a LONG time since I've made a cake larger than 9" round. And two, because I've never used Fondant before. As I may have mentioned, I use to be a cake decorator at Kroger many, MANY moons ago. But we never used fondant. And another interesting thing came about with regards to this cake. As I was lighting the candles and we were singing happy birthday to Jayla, this lady, who was with another party came to our table and started taking pictures of the cake. Then she asked Mister M, where we got such a beautiful cake from. He told her that I made it. She then asked me if I made them for other people. I don't, but I gave her my contact card anyway. Who knows, I may get an order one day :-).

So this was an experience for me. Although my forearms are STILL sore from rolling out that hard mound of icing.

Oh, and one last picture....

Some of you may remember me telling you what a "funny man" my dad is? Well, as we were leaving the place where we had Jayla's party, I had my hands full with the left over cake and a couple other items. My dad walks up and asks if I need him to help me carry anything. As I'm about to answer, he takes the cake topper from me and sashays towards the door, LOL.  Of ALL the things he could've taken from me, he takes the lightest thing. And he holds it up in front of himself, as pictured, and walks out the door. You should've seen how  people were looking at him. He's a NUT!! :-)

ANYWAY, I think that's it for today. But before I go, tell me about something new YOU made or created, that you were really pleased with the turn out.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ain't 8 GREAT?!?!?

In 2001, on this very day...actually, it was a Tuesday...but you get the idea :-) this sweet little baby girl was born into this world!!

 And today, in 2009. she's a BEAUTIFUL, funloving, vibrant, full of life 8 year old!

Happy, Happy, HAPPY birthday to my sweet little Jaylabear! I love you, baby!!

Stay tuned everyone...HOPEFULLY, another post will follow later on today. If all turns out well, I have something else birthday related that I need to share with you.

But before I go...guess what? THIS is my 500th post!  And what a day for it to be baby's 8th birthday. How cool is that??? I'm thinking about doing some sort of fun drawing for you guys to celebrate my 500th post. Stay tuned for that!

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Now serving #43 (and a day)

Hey ya'll!!!

You're not gonna believe this, but I have logged onto Blogger about 3 - 4 times within the past couple of days. All with the intentions of doing a new post. Hopefully, that gives you an idea of how CRAZY busy life has been lately. AGAIN, I'm not complaining...just making conversation :-).

Anyhoo...I don't really  have time right NOW to be posting either, but I'm MAKING time because I miss all my blogland friends. AND there are a few things I'd like to share with you. But I think, to make sure I get out EVERYthing I want to tell you...I'd better take little steps.

First things first...Jayla and the rest of the Brasil soccer team are finally done with their season. And what a season it was. Sadly, they only won one game. But it was the last game of the season. So at least they ended on a high note :-). Boy, I sure wish you guys could see Jayla play. I can't even put into words how good she is. And I'm not saying that just because she's my daughter. She REALLY is good!! And of the 12 girls on her team, she, and maybe one other little girl, are the only ones who play the ENTIRE game. Which usually lasts about an hour. Jayla never wants to come out for a break. Nor is scoring at the top of her "to do" list anymore. That girl simply wants to be the last line of defense and keep the other team from scoring. Of course, some get by her, but it's not without a fight :-). Anyway, our #17 has got it on LOCK! :-)

Secondly, guess who showed at my house on Monday? (those of you who have kept up with me over the years, probably already know the answer to this)...but it was my dad!  My dad lives in New York! And from what he's told me, he flew to Tampa, Fl over the weekend to visit with a friend, then rented a car to come surprise me and Jayla for our birthdays. He'll be here all week. He's such a cool daddy!

My surprise visit from my dad leads me to my 3rd "nugget" of information. Since my last post, I have gotten a little older. Yesterday (17th) was my 43rd birthday! (Now my post title makes sense, huh?) I am now on my 2nd day of serving in my 43rd year of life :-).   And I just want you to know, that I am TRULY blessed. You would not BELIEVE all the amazing birthday wishes I received from friends & family on my Facebook account.  And then, my local friends are just as sweet as they can be! My friend Jacki and my friend Stacey must have gotten together and decided on a what to get me. (actually, I know they didn't...because they don't know eachother) But check this out...


Jacki and I had plans to meet for lunch on my birthday, she was even gonna treat me. But then my dad showed up, came to lunch with us and treated BOTH of cool is that? Stacey also got me a cutest coffee mug from this little coffee shop we frequent.  So now next time we go there...which will be tomorrow night, I get free coffee! (from then on, every time I bring my mug in, I only have to pay $1 for a "refill".) SWEET!!

So about 45 minutes ago, my dad and I were walking downstairs and I see this van pull up in front of my house. And I say, "Hmmm, I wonder who that is in front of my house?" My dad answers, "Well, I dunno, but whoever it is has a big ole box of Dr. Pepper!"  So he opens the door and ANOTHER one of my friends, Lynnetta, says, "Happy Birthday Dawn! Sorry I'm a day late!" You guys she went to Costco and bought me a HUGE case of Dr. Pepper!  And I don't mean a case of 12 or's a case of 30!

Are ya'll seeing a trend here?

Do you think my friends know me pretty well? :-)

As far as the (combined) 5 tubes of lip balm/lip gloss that I received, I don't know if I should be offended or not. Did they get this for me because they know I love ANYTHING Dr. Pepper? Or because I have a dry lip problem? LOL

Thank you guys! Ya'll are the best.

Ok, I'm gonna end right here for now. Because there are a few things I should be doing :-). But I WILL be back to post soon, as there's yet another milestone event coming up at the end of this week...Stay Tuned!

Ya'll have a great week and I'll talk to you soon! Love ya!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween 2009

Happy November 1st everyone!

I don't know about you, but I'm STILL trying to figure out what happen to the last 10 months!  My goodness, 2010 will be here in just a minute :-).

So, what did you all do for Halloween last night? Was it as cold and rainy where you are? It was pretty darn cool here and not really RAINY...well, not for long anyway. After the 10+- minute rain we had, it was just a heavy mist the rest of the evening. Talk about a bad hair halloween :-).

Anyway, the kids still had fun. Here are a few pix from our annual neighborhood hayride.

Here's the pretty little, Dr. Jayla.

And of course we can't take pictures of Jayla without the famous "head tilt" shot :-).

Here's the doctor and her cute little friends, Briah and sisters, Madison & Macy.

The doc again, with her cute little witchy friend, Briah :-).

And...the crew!  We did have the hayride this year, but due to the rain, just the smaller kids road on the covered hayride. The older kids and all the parents just walked the neighborhood. In fact, Dr. Jayla said she enjoyed the, in her words, "Old school" way of trick or treating, lol. What does she know about "old school"? :-).

Of course we couldn't have a night of trick or treating without some Father/Son bonding :-).  Nothing like a Pimp and his gangter son. Just warms my heart :-).

It was so of the other kids asked this dad what he was dressed up as. And without missing a beat, Greg answered, "I'm a...SUPERVISOR!" lol...Good save, Dad!

I didn't dress up for Halloween. But at my weekly GNO, we did have a bit of halloween get together. Check us out.

Ok, I decided to follow in my daughters footsteps and be a nurse. I'll tell ya, these scrubs are comfy :-).  It took some coaxing for my boss, Dr. Jayla, to let me borrow her "heart listener" and blood pressure thingy. What can I say? I've gotta pay my dues in this (medical) business :-)..

Here's my good friend (and personal photographer), Cynthia, the SuperGirl!

Ya'll remember my good friend, Stacey, right? Well, this is what she looks like when she doesn't put make-up on, brush her teeth or do her hair :-).  I think the picture in the background fits this moment, don't you? lol (The "red eyes" worked great for this shot, huh?)

Here's the lovely witch again!

Has anyone seen my good friend, Mandy's puppy?

Ohhh, there's the puppy! You see him? LOL Poor thing!

My good friend, the Grecian Goddess, Lisa F.

My other good photographer friend...Lisa S. ,the sister of Super Girl Cynthia.

Do ya'll remember hearing the story about the little boy, Falcon, who was thought to be floating away in a box that was attached to a giant milar balloon? Well, he was really a girl, my good friend Lynnetta. LOL!

Here's the whole gang.  I just love all these guys! Who better to spend my Wednesday nights with?

Oh well, that's all I've got for today.  It's a lazy day around here today. So I'm gonna go chill out with my family.  Ya'll enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great Sunday!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It takes a village

Hello everyone!  I've missed you all!  But once again, I am to blame for not "initiating" and opening the lines of communication. However, I have a good reason....

You may have heard on the news a few weeks ago, that many, many Georgia families had become victims of flooding due to several days of continued rain fall.  It still continues to baffle all of us Georgians, as a couple years ago, we had just the opposite as an issue. We hadn't had rain in several months and were in a drought.  In fact, we weren't even allowed to water our lawns or wash our cars, in an effort to conserve water. The major lakes here, such as Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona and many more, were WAY below level.

Well, due to the most recent rain fall, Georgia being in a major drought is a distant memory. NOW...there's too much water!  So much so that several lakes, roads, businesses, homes and schools were flooded.

Fortunately, our home had no problems with flooding. However, our backyard did get a little swampy.  But again, our home was never threatened by the overflow of waters. There were many roads not too far from us that, due to all the constant raining and standing water, were compromised and in turn, collapsed and/or became sinkholes. 

Several counties, including ours, closed schools early. Some, in fact, stayed closed for a couple of days. 

As I mentioned, several schools were flooded...some worse than others. But the worse by far, was a school not too far from where we live.  Clarkdale Elementary was the hardest hit in our county.  Take a look at this picture of the school sign...
This is one of the oldest schools in our county and happens to have been built on a flood plain.  So needless to say, this school has been flooded before, but NEVER to the extent that it was this time.

Here are some more pictures of Clarkdale after the rain took a couple of days off.

Can you imagine your school being under water like this? There were homes in this area that suffered the same or similar fate.  In the news interviews, you could just see how devastating this was to so many families.  There were about 400+ children at this school.  All of which had to be moved to other schools. Kindergarten - 2nd grade went to one school.  And 3rd - 5th grade went to another. This meant that some children would be separated from their siblings.  EVERYTHING was lost in this school. Several families also lost everything. The normal, everyday things that are needed for school were lost.

The school where Jayla goes, along with other schools in our county came together and had a school supply and clothes drive for the flood victims of Clarkdale Elementary.  The response was OVERWHELMING!  And I mean that in a really good way :-). 

Considering that these days, times are kinda hard for everyone, it was amazing how people rose above their own needs to extend a helping hand by way of donations.

Jayla loves "sharing" the clothes that she has outgrown with other people. So it was a very easy decision for her to give up some of her things. She was so excited that her clothes would be given to another little girl who now had nothing.

Last week I received an email from a friend whose daughters go to school with Jayla. She mentioned that all the clothes that had been donated now needed to be sorted and made available to the flood victims.  So last Friday, she and I met at another local elementary school and started sorting all of the items that had been donated by people in and around our county.

You guys, there were TONS of bags and boxes of donated items in this one little room. Here is a picture from mid-way through our first day of sorting.

The above picture doesn't even show HALF of what we received and had to sort. See all the book bags on that back wall? ALL of those are packed full of school supplies. The blue bins are what we are sorting the clothes in.

There I am, tossing some clothes in the "Girls - Size small" bin :-).  See the boxes on the table? There are about 20 - 30 of these boxes, jam PACKED with clothes. All of these came from a county about 50 miles away from us. On our first day volunteering, these 20 - 30 boxes were lined up outside the room we are working in. We just got to these boxes on Tuesday of this week. There was SO much stuff in the room that we had to get through before we could even get to those :-). 

This next picture was taken just before we left for the day last Friday. These bins are full of the clothes we sorted and folded.

See all the bins with lids on them? That's what we've gotten sorted as of noon today. We've been busy! :-)

My goodness, I can't begin to tell you how humbling this has been. I don't think that I take what I have for granted. I sure hope I don't, anyway. But just to see all of this stuff and to know that it'll be going to people who have lost EVERYTHING, makes you look at things a little differently. So far, the 5 days that we've been working on this, about 4 children have come into this room needing SOMETHING. A couple had holes in their shoes and we were able to give them a nice new (or gently used) pair. One kid had been wearing shoes that were 2 1/2 sizes too small for him AND they had holes in the sole. Another child came in for some jeans and a teacher came in to get about 4 coats for some kids who don't have one. It's been AMAZING!!!

I have throughly enjoyed myself. I volunteer at Jayla's school in some capacity every week. In fact, this week, I've been working at both schools. There's still plenty of work to do for the clothing drive.  I'll be there for a while tomorrow and I'm sure there's enough to do that will take us into next week.

I must admit though, I've been exhausted lately! But it's so rewarding to know that in some way, other than just by donating clothes, I'm making a difference in some childs life.

SO, now you all see why I've been neglecting my blogging "duties". :-)  I've truly missed you all.  I've been periodically putting a status of what's going on with me on Facebook. So for those of you who are on know how busy I've been. Busy with volunteering and soccer when weather permits.

ANYWAY...sorry for the long post. But I just wanted to share all of this with you. And in closing, I'd like to request that you keep all of the flood victims and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Sometimes we don't realize what we have until it's gone. I feel SO sad for the children that were affected. But hopefully, they will see the good that's being done for them through prayers and the volunteers.

Thank you all and I'll be talking to you soon. Enjoy the rest of your week and have a great weekend.