Friday, August 29, 2008

Finally Friday!

Today is finally Friday. It's been a kind of busy week, so I'm glad it's over.

No Labor Day gathering for us at the Hamlet...Lynn is going to paint at the church tomorrow and at his regular job on Monday. So, I guess it's just me and the munchkins, hanging out at home and trying not to kill each other.

I took all three of them to Wal-Mart today (I know, I know, I deserve what I get) and it was AWFUL. I am not kidding you when I tell you that it was like trying to contain two little baboons in a banana factory. We went there with the intention of ordering three (gasp) pair of glasses. We'd already had the eye exams, but for some crazy reason the insurance wouldn't pay for them, so we had to was a whole big thing. Anywho...while the sweet lady helping us was fitting Benjie for his glasses, Jonah was running around the store, trying on all the half priced sunglasses and asking in a very LOUD voice-"Why is this taking so LONG???" Then..."I smell a toot....who tooted??" Then..."Burrrppppp....hee, hee, hee...uh..excuse me". I wanted to throttle him. Then it was Jonah's turn to be fitted, and Benjie entertained the masses...with louder burps that Jonah, and announcing, again in a very LOUD voice, "Mom, I need to use the bathroom. I can't hold it any stomach hurts...MOM???? CAN I GO TO THE BATHROOM??"

Jacob took Benjie to the bathroom, and other than that was right by my side the entire time, like he was attached to me. He chatted about each of his brothers' glasses, he mentioned the party he was attending tonight about a dozen times and asked about 210 wildly assorted questions, really important stuff like "Are we going to have spaghetti for dinner any time soon?" and "Do you think Nanny will let me drive her truck when I learn how to drive" and "Did I tell you that the party starts at 7:00?" Then, it was his time to get his glasses fitted...and he was no where to be found. He was over by the little kids glasses, chatting up a very cute little girl. Turns out she's someone he knew from school, and clearly someone he'd like to know better. Boys are so funny at 15.

After leaving $400 of my money with the glasses lady, I had intended to buy some groceries for the weekend. After the dog and pony show, though, I just didn't have the heart, energy or desire to shop for groceries, with the baboon brothers in tow especially. I picked up Arby's on the way home...and it was Gooood!

Have a great Labor Day weekend if I don't talk to you again until next week!


Thursday, August 28, 2008


Not a whole lot going on around here, just the usual laundry mountain climbing and raking a path through the house.

I'm kind of thinking about putting together a little gathering to celebrate Labor Day, but it'll have to be on Saturday, if I do. Lynn will be working on the actual day, and if we do something in the evening, it makes it hard for kids to get up for school the next day. I guess I could do it around 5 or so, I'll need to get a list going for that!

I posted over at the Haunted Hamlet today about my list making compulsion and how my husband ridicules me over it...well, ridicules is a harsh word, but he does tease me a lot. Why can't men understand that list making is essential to good planning? I agree, I do go a bit over board, but you have to understand-I'm a list maker from way back, and old habits die hard. I do actually have lists of my lists. No kidding, and stop laughing. You'd think that someone that makes as many lists as I do would be better organized, wouldn't you? Not so!!

I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I think I might do it if we do have a get together. I've been craving spinach dip lately for some weird reason, so this sounds really good. It's from Susan Branch's cookbook Vineyard Seasons, now out of print. I found mine on Amazon for a song, and have enjoyed it greatly.

Spinach Dip
(makes 2 cups)

1 10 oz package chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. minced red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all ingredients, mix well. Cover and chill.

Susan has a note on this saying she serves it with cut up fresh raw veggies and all kinds of crackers. Plain ol' Lays potato chips are also good with spinach dip! That's my note, not Susan's!

I'll let you know about the get together!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tablescape Tuesday

Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch is hosting Tablescape Tuesdays, starting today. I just now read that-it's 10:00 pm-so I didn't get a chance to send her a link. But I'm going to try to remember to do so next Tuesday. In the meantime, since I didn't have time to set up a tablescape, here's one from last December...a ladies' church brunch I attended where each hostess was responsible for dressing her table, from cloth to centerpiece. We used my Nikko Christmas dishes and my Dept 56 Original Snow Village Wedding Chapel church. The church was a wedding gift and the dishes were my late mother-in-laws. Aren't they beautiful? I loved this tablescape!

Be sure to hop over to Susan's site..don't you just LOVE the name? How darling...and check out that magnificent wicker porch swing in her header dream come true!! Someday, I'll have one of those, as well. By the way, I found Susan's site by way of Cindy's fabulous blog, My Romantic Home. It's just beautiful and one of my favorite blog spots. Check it out, too!


Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Musings...better late than never!

As everyone knows, last Monday was the first day of school. It's a big year at our house for Jacob, he's a high schooler now! Even though it was a very long time ago, I do remember being a BHS sophomore! He is going to have a blast this year, I just know it. Benjie and Jonah are having fun being 3rd and 2nd graders, too.

Here they were on the first day of school:

On Saturday before school started we had our August family breakfast, even though over half of the family were doing other things. We had a small but fun crowd, and Braylen got to come, too! He's a big ham, as you can see in the picture below. He had his mouth full of bacon when I took this picture..he loves the stuff. Aren't they cuties?

They had a good time together that day.
I am working on some fall and Christmas crafts today in between loads of laundry and other house cleaning chores. Check out Haunted Hamlet and Scarecrow Soup for what I've been up to..and hopefully I'll get around to a Christmas post today, too, over at Pumpkins and Reindeer.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Full Weekend

We've had a full weekend. It all started on Friday afternoon, when we left the boys with my mom and headed to Camp Ferncliff for a youth group leaders' retreat. We ate dinner with our youth pastor and his wife, Jonathan and Mandi, and another fun leader, Pam. Then we went to the conference room for some games, good conversation and hot tea! It was a cool (well, relatively speaking) evening, and we had a great view of the ducks on the pond outside the picture windows of the conference room. We stayed up late for us, and then headed to our room. It was a quaint little room with a twin bed and a double bed, a small attached bathroom and no tv!

Saturday morning other leaders joined us for breakfast and then we had a full morning of worshipping God, fellowship and planning for the 08-09 season of Chapter Two, our youth gatherings on Wednesday night. Our youth group is called 8/12 for the grades of students attending, and we have 11 leaders in all. We each take a grade and gender specific small group for discussions after Jonathan's presentations. It's a fun time of worship and fellowship, too!

After we ate lunch with the leaders, Lynn dropped me off at the Crowne Plaza in Little Rock for a Jewels by Park Lane fall line launch and fashion show. Yes, I modeled! I wore a gorgeous turquoise set. We had chocolate, coffee and new jewelry! What more could you ask for? We even had a bride in her beautiful gown modeling a stunning crystal and pearl ensemble. It was fun and girly, and lots of people showed up. It was a good ending to a good start on a weekend!

Saturday night we watched the Olympics again, cheering for all the Americans who were competing. Aren't they doing great?

Now it's Sunday afternoon, and we are all sort of doing our own things...retreating to our own corners, I call it. Lynn is napping, Jacob is doing homework and Benjie and Jonah are playing with their cousins Makayla and Conner. I am writing this post, then I plan to nap for a while before we go back to church.

That's the exciting details of our weekend! We rarely do anything, but it seems like when we do have things to do, it's all at the same time! Such is life!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Day 2!

Yesterday I played, today I pay!

Yesterday as you recall, Mom and I shopped all day. We hit the craft stores and looked at all the Christmas decorations as well as the fall decor. Lovely, lovely day!

Today...another story! I have a mountain of laundry (Monday is my usual laundry day, but see above!) and a dirty house. So, I'll spend this lovely, lovely rainy day inside cleaning and folding laundry! And that's ok, too. I like rainy days, and with the kids gone, the house may actually stay clean, at least until 3:30 when they all get home!

I'm looking for some good crock pot recipes. Got any? Let me know if you do..I'm planning on doing some substitute teaching this year, so I need to have a few meal plans in place. Send me any goodies you have and I'll give you credit here!

I bought a pad of scrapbook paper yesterday that is so beautiful, I just can't wait to get started tearing out pages and cutting things out. It's Christmas paper, so it'll be seasonal projects..stay tuned for details and pictures! I know I'm going to do some altered drink carriers (for details on this, see Pumpkins and Reindeer) and possibly some pinwheels. I made a lot of those a few years ago, and they were big hits. I'll post directions if I decide to make them. I glittered them up and gave them as gifts that year, and i have to say, they were pretty cute ornaments. I even made some small ones and used them as place cards at Christmas Eve dinner!

I'm thinking that between loads of laundry I'm going to get creative with Christmas scrapbook paper! I'll let you know how it turns out!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh, Happy Day!

Today was the day I've waited all summer for-the first day of school! Oh, happy, happy day!

I dropped the three scholars off at their respective schools, did a little happy jig, then headed to Mom's to pick her up. We had breakfast and hit all the best craft stores in Little Rock. It was a good day.

Plans are in full swing for the October 25th Boo!Bash2. You can check out all the details as they unfold on Haunted Hamlet. I hope that if you are in our area, you stop by and have a hotdog and a hay ride with us!

All the stores are just full of autumn decorating things, faux leaves, pumpkins, gourds, etc. I just love the sight of them. I hope it gets cool soon, although the weather has been just delightful lately. It was only about 85 degrees today, with low humidity. Lovely, lovely day to keep little kids cooped up in a classroom. Even better for Moms and Nannys to shop!

How was your day?


Friday, August 15, 2008

Finally Friday!

Well! It's Friday again, and the final one before school starts. This summer has gone so quickly that I can't even believe it. We have stayed pretty busy this summer, so it makes for a quick one.

Today is my niece Kourtney's 18th birthday! I can't believe she is 18! She's so much fun to be around and I'm going to miss her riding to school with me every morning! We had the best fun going to and coming home from school every day. Happy Birthday, Kortie!

It's a happy day in the Miller household-Donny and Marie (Osmond, for those who live under a rock and don't know that) are on Good Morning America this morning! I am a die-hard Osmond fan, have been for a long, long time! I actually got to see Donny (be still my heart!!) in Las Vegas a couple of years ago, when I was there for a convention. Really, a convention. Sent there by the city, where I was employed at the time. It was a tough job, but hey-I got to do it! It was the night before I left, and I went to the concert (and to Vegas) all by myself. I had a blast! I sang and screamed with the rest of the Donny nuts! It was fabulous! I scored an autographed cd and a t shirt for myself and one for my BFF Melissa. She was thrilled and so jealous, especially since I had asked her to go with me and she DECLINED! I also asked Lynn to go (asked him first, of course) and he DECLINED! Next time I'm going to ask Melissa's husband Eddie to go...he wouldn't DECLINE! He might not love the Donny show, though.

And, here's the sweet part-Donny and Marie just announced that they are going to Las Vegas to perform for a year....and I am going to Las Vegas in February for another convention-Jewels by Park Lane this time. I'm going to do my best to see them. Whoo hoo! By the way-they both look FABULOUS for old people! Donny is a couple of years older than me, but Marie is actually 3 days older than me. Sigh.

We are planning a quiet weekend for the last weekend before school starts-breakfast tomorrow morning with the fam, then just hanging out for the rest of the weekend. I usually make a special meal for the boys either the night before school starts or that night. They usually want either pizza or spaghetti or mac and cheese...easy kids' stuff.

By the way, I did manage to make it to Bunco last night, won 2nd! I got a sweet little reed diffuser thingy that will look great in my newly decorated bathroom! Thanks, Kathy! Next month Bunco is here!

Open houses went well. Lynn took Benjie and Jonah to their school, I took Jacob to the high school for sophomore orientation and open house, and I was at Kathy's house by 7:20! Just in time to eat! Oh, yeah, Bunco is all about eating. We had 50th birthday cake for Ann (happy late birthday, Ann), our resident brainiac and state representative candidate, and chocolate brownies and chocolate cake bites. Oh, my it was all so good!! The food, the fellowship and the conversations are always great! Glad I didn't miss it!

What's going on in your world this Friday?


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Notes

Aren't the Olympics fun? I love watching them, and so do Jacob and Jonah...Benjie, not so much!

And that Phelps kid-isn't he something?! He's a swimming machine! He makes me proud to be an American all over again. And isn't his mother precious! You just know by looking at her that she is a hoot and a lot of fun to be around. I saw an interview with his sisters this morning, and when the interviewer asked them what they thought of their brother being called a "sex symbol", they were both laughing so hysterically that they couldn't even answer! I love that! That's what I'd do if someone asked me that question, too!

And, for my Aunt Peggy in Arizona's benefit, here's the other "news" of the day!''

Tonight is open house at both schools, and at the same time, and across town from each other. And us being "vehicle challenged" right now...I'm not really sure how that will play out. I also have Bunco tonight, but I may have to miss. I sure hope not, I don't like to miss, but what's a girl gonna do?

We are packed and ready for school. We bought supplies over the weekend, new shorts, shirts and shoes yesterday. We also sat down and sorted out supplies, named them and packed them into backpacks, ready to be transported to classes tonight at open house. We know Jonah's teacher, Mrs. Carper. She taught both Benjie and Jonah in kindergarten, before she regained her senses and moved to second grade. She and Jonah are old friends. We haven't met Mrs. Goff, Benjie's teacher yet, but I expect her to be as nice as all the other teachers we've had over the years. And since Jacob is moving to the high school, I don't know any of his teachers yet. I hope to meet them tonight.

Saturday is the August Family Breakfast with a back to school theme. I'll TRY to post pictures, but I usually get busy and forget to take any! I'll try this time, though!

More rain is predicted for the weekend (yay!!) so we'll try to enjoy the sunny, warm, low humidity day the Lord has given us today. It's supposed to be 90 degrees, but the humidity is very low, especially for August in Arkansas, so I'm not complaining! Todd the weather guy said we might not get to 80 this weekend with the rain. Works for this fat girl!

What's going on in your world on this Thursday?


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

Although this picture was taken just before Benjie and Jacob departed for church camp last week, this is typical of the first day of school...notice how ecstatic Jacob looks!

Ok, no homemade candy corn for us! After I posted about making it, I went back and re-read the directions, reassessed the situation and gave it up as a really, really bad idea! Although it sounds great, it also sounds like something that would end up a disaster at my house. But, hey-if you are so inclined, here's the link to it...let me know how it turns out.

This is sort of a transitional week here at the Hamlet. School starts Monday, and we are trying to get into a sort of school routine...earlier bedtimes, earlier rising times, gathering school supplies, sorting out clothes, making sure we have enough socks and underwear...always a challenge around here! I think B and Jonah are set, except for a pair of shoes each and a new backpack. Jacob needs some shorts and a few t shirts, then he's set. And of course, we have to get new glasses all around...hopefully they'll be ready before school starts.

And, next Monday morning when the last one gets out of the car and heads into school for the first time in 3 months, if you are watching, you'll see the strangest sight....mothers, all over the city, county, state and country, doing the "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" dance....all in unison...all with a blissful look on their (our!) faces! Oh, Happy Day!!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cave Day!

We had a cave day today, and it was soooo nice! If you don't know what a cave day is, you are missing out! "Cave day" is the name a local radio dj gives to those wonderful rainy days when you don't have to leave the house, and can stay home and watch movies all day long. I don't watch movies, but I sure do like to read all afternoon. Today it was 72 degrees and raining, all afternoon. In August. In Arkansas. Who'd have thunk it?

Over at the home place, Magical Holiday Home, there is a link in a post that gives a recipe for homemade candy corn. Seriously. Homemade candy know the little triangle shaped orange, yellow and white candy that comes out in the fall...the ones that I eat until I'm sick? I love the stuff. Truly. I buy bags of it and stash them so that I can have them far into the winter...but, come on, people! They cost pennies-about 150 of them, to be exact for a HUGE bag...why in the name of all that's candy would I want to make my own? Why in the world would I want to mess with food coloring, sugar, and rolling pins...cutting little triangles and putting them together...why would I do that? It's just silly...and so time consuming, and so messy....right?

I'll pick up the stuff tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

By the way, homemade ginger ale is good! When Michael found out I'd made homemade gingerale, he commented "if anyone would do it, you would" like it's a bad thing. Don't tell him about the candy corn, ok?


Friday, August 8, 2008

Welcome home, boys!

The boys are coming home today! Yay! I really have missed them, so has Lynn, but Jonah has MISSED them! The house has stayed relatively tidy (leading me to the conclusion that Benjie and/or Jacob are the messy ones...), relatively quite (same conclusion) and very low key (again, one can only draw the same conclusion from the evidence presented...). We have really enjoyed Jonah, but man, am I glad someone else will be here to help entertain him next week! LOL!

Seriously, boys, we're glad you had fun (I know they did, despite the LACK OF PHONE CALLS ALL WEEK), glad you had the spiritual experience, but mostly we're glad you are coming home!

In other news...

Have you ever heard of the Holiday Grand Plan? It's a comprehensive cleaning/holiday preparation plan for people like me who have good intentions to be ready early but tend to fall short when left to their own devices. Although I've NEVER, in about 8 years of trying, completed the complete plan, believe me, every little bit you do accomplish makes a big difference in your home at the holidays.

As I've reported off and on, I've just about got the house in shape, but there's always a little left to be done. This plan breaks the house down and focuses on specific rooms each week. Because I don't have several of the rooms (like a guest room, or a dining room or an attic or a garage...)I have lots of wiggle room to tweak and re-organize as I please.

But, my favorite part of the plan is not the cleaning part (go figure...) but the holiday prep. You really should check it out, because I'm not kidding when I tell you that if you get everything done in September, October and November that you can, December is waaaayyyy more fun!

Check it out! I'll be starting it August 31. Want to join me?


Thursday, August 7, 2008


A break in the heat wave, and a break in the dry weather are both predicted for today and tonight. According to Melinda the Weather Lady, we should get some rain and cooler temps today, and then lower humidity and temps for all next week. I am so thankful...Thank You, Lord! A "cave day" as the guy on the radio calls it...that means staying in and watching movies and/or reading all afternoon..well, in theory, anyway! I'm sure I have more to do than that...but we'll see!

Lynn and I have had a good time with Jonah this week, him being an "only" and all, with the other two at camp. He had a rough time Monday, moped around all day, saying "I miss Jacob and Benjie" about every two minutes, but now I think he's getting the hang of it. He ended up sleeping in our bed last night-very rare "treat"-for Jonah, not for anyone sharing the bed with him. The boy has the sharpest elbows and boniest knees I've ever seen. By the time he'd drifted off to sleep, I had abandoned my side of the bed and taken to the couch in the living room. Poor Lynn! But Jonah was happy!!

As I type this, I'm watching the morning news and they have been discussing the mortgage's awful. I can't imagine what's going to many people are losing their homes in this unsettled economy...makes me sad for them, and thankful we are ok, at least right now. There's a lot to be said for little houses-and little mortgage payments!

The big boys will be home tomorrow-Jonah is happy! And I am too!



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wednesday Wanderings...

No news from camp! I guess no news is good news. I really didn't expect to hear from them Monday, but I thought they might call Tuesday. Jacob usually doesn't call home much when he's gone..he says it makes him homesick to call home. I'm sure they are having a blast at the Bogg!

Jonah and I have been having our own fun. We went to the dollar movie yesterday-saw Stuart Little 2-very cute movie. Then we went to the grocery store and then hung out at home all afternoon. Not much stirring around here in the 100 degree heat.

Speaking of misery, my cold is much better, but this eye thing is still going strong. I'm being treated for pink eye..but I'm not sure that's what it is. Whatever it is, it makes me remember why I'm not a fan of pink!

There's not a whole lot going on here today, either. Sorry this post is so, well, BORING!! I thought about deleting it, but I get fussed at when I don't post regularly, so...this is the consequence of me posting with nothing to post about.

I am working on some plans for the fall...details will be on the specialized blogs. But I'll give you a little sneaky peek at what's coming up at the Hamlet:

August 16 will be our monthly family breakfast. The theme will be "Back to School" and I plan to have the year-round tree decorated accordingly, along with a tablescape to match. The menu is almost always the same-scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes and biscuits and gravy. Juice, coffee, tea and milk.

August 18-the best day next to Christmas and my birthday-SCHOOL STARTS!! Big girl's day out planned for that day-breakfast at Mimi's Cafe, shopping (window shopping, but, hey-it counts as shopping) at Garden Ridge, Hobby Lobby, Pier One and the mall...then home to make spaghetti and/or pizza for the First Day of School Celebration Dinner. Not sure who besides me will be celebrating, but I know I will for sure!

August 22-23 is our youth group Leaders' Retreat-I don't really know any details, but I know that it's not at my house, so it's a party for me!

August 23 (afternoon) is our big Fall Jewelry Launch Fashion Show! Chocolate, coffee and new, shiny, gorgeous, fabulous jewelry! How can you not want to attend that?

September 11 I have Bunco here at the Hamlet. Details on that will be following, no doubt!

And of course in between all the scheduled stuff we have all the usual things-church, soccer practice, work, school and stuff!

So, obviously, a day or two here and there with nothing going on is NOT a bad thing!


Monday, August 4, 2008


Today Benjie and Jacob leave for church camp for a week. This is B's first time away from home, so I'm really glad that Jacob is going with him as a "sponsor". I was so impressed that he volunteered to do this, so that B wouldn't be so scared and homesick. They are both very excited. Benjie packed his own bag, and did a really good job, I must say. I asked him "did you get this or that" and it was always "yes, Mom".

Jonah is not old enough to go yet-you have to have completed the second grade-so he and I will have a week alone together. Pray for us.

I'm still a bit under the weather. I'm so glad I cancelled my trip last weekend. I would have been miserable on a plane and then in a huge crowd with this sinus infection. I spent most of the weekend taking it easy. It's bad stuff anytime, but on a 100+ degree day, it's downright miserable. I am a little better this morning, but my left eye is still quite red and swollen.

Today will be laundry/house cleaning day...a little of each. Jonah and I have to go to the grocery store and get things for dinner this week...he's requested "giant hot dogs", also known as smoked turkey sausages; "mac and cheese"; and "my favorite chicken" which is just chicken tenderloins grilled on the griddle with Italian dressing as a marinade. How easy is that?

What's going on in your world today?