Thursday, September 16, 2010

There Must Be Something In The Water

click to enlarge

Weighing in at 4 pounds this zucchini was discovered hiding among the lower leaves of a tomato plant in my garden. I swear I think our rain water has steroids in it. One day the cute little zuchs are almost ripe the next day they attempting a complete take-over of my garden! We shredded this sucker up and made 1 zucchini bunt cake, 2 dozen zucchini muffins, 2 loaves of zucchini bread, and put 6 cups shredded zucchini in the freezer for later.
Anybody want any zucchini?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why Daddys Should Never Grow Up

Matt is on vacation this week so the girls are having the time of their life. I remember the days of my own childhood doing the same thing with my brother and daddy too.
Except we didn't have grass...
Or cicadas making it sound like we lived in a pressure cooker...
Or a video recorder...
Oh never mind!
I think Daddy just might be their favorite person.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mr. Salamander Goes To School

Journaling Reads:

One weekend, towards the end of August, Matt was pulling weeds from the flower bed in front of our house. I remember noticing how cold it was that morning and feeling a relief that autumn is just around the corner. I had put the girls in the bathtub and was doing the usual swish and swipe of their bathroom when Matt came traipsing in with a huge grin on his face. “You’ll never guess what I just found!” he said to the girls as he opened his hands to reveal his newest treasure. Matt had found a salamander. in our garden. in the land of “I’ve not seen a salamander since I was 8 years old”. NEATO! The cute little bugger was enjoying being passed around from warm hand to warm hand. Matt totally scored some cool dad points for finding THAT creature! He made sure he tucked Mr. Salamander back in the flower garden under the lily plant.

Fast forward to last week. The girls both had the honor of brining something to preschool for show and tell. Many of my facebook friends saw the comment I made about Abby taking a toad for show and tell. Let me just say he was the hit of the class and Abby declared she had the best day of preschool ever. Never mind she’s only been in school all of five weeks. It was still the best day ever.

Matt and I were wondering how we were going to live up to the coolness of bringing a toad to show and tell when it was Bree’s turn. She had captured a few cicadas and even a weird looking beetle but nothing was really fitting the bill. On Wednesday night she had tearfully settled for a Praying Mantis from the garden. All was not right in Bree’s world. Thursday morning rolled around, much too early in my opinion, and as I was sending Matt off to work and wrangling two grumpy girls to get their hair combed when the light bulb went off in my head. Matt headed out to the flower garden with high hopes of finding Mr. Salamander hangin’ out in the flowers. YES, Daddy scores again!

By this time daddy is running late for work and puts me in charge of finding proper accommodations for Mr. Salamander to travel to preschool for his turn in the hands of every. single. preschooler.

Oh yes Mr. Salamander…the places you’ve been.

You are a world traveler in this Chinobilly’s eyes.

Hopefully he didn’t tell all of his salamander buddies to head for the hills. We may need their assistance again someday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spittle Bug Spittle Bug Go Away

Oh no! My grapes, my grapes! See the nasty white blob of foam in the pictures? That icky froth is the spittle bug’s way of invading my grape vines and getting all snugly-cozy like and well I’m not going to take it. No I’m not!

After doing a little bit of online research I found a recipe for organic bug killer to rid these pests of my grape vines once and for all.

I think.

So here is my plan of attack.

Fresh habaƱero peppers are not a kitchen staple in the Chinobilly house. We use the canned stuff; don't judge me it’s just how we roll. Oh and cheesecloth was another item I had to purchase at exorbitant prices here at our local grocery store.
The author at recommended I “spray each of my plants with the spittle bug spray. Squirt some on the ground around the plant, too. Then spread a band of the spray around the outer boundaries of my garden, creating a spittle bug barrier. It will repel other garden pests, as well.”

First, I sprayed down all of the white frothy stuff before I sprayed like crazy in hopes to really get the bugs not just their happy little love nests. Hopefully that will send a message to all their buddies and we won’t have further infestations issues.

I used the entire spray bottle in one visit so maybe my barrier is more like Fort Knox.

Here's hopin' anyhow...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

I made this cake for a family picnic over the Labor Day weekend. It is one of Matt's favorite cakes and we like to top our slice with fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries and of course whipped cream.
click to enlarge
If you would like this recipe card, I'd be glad to email it to you in a pdf version.
Well, that's all I've got for today...back to canning tomatoes.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Wow! In the last two days I have picked over 10 pounds of tomatoes from our little garden. It's very exciting to see our little garden do so well yet quite intimidating to think I have to can all this goodness. I've been skimming through a few canning manuals that my mom gave me. For now I think I'm going to stick with the basics of canned tomatoes then work my way into the sauces and pastes. I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew...ha!

 click to enlarge
Journal reads:
I planted 17 tomato plants in our garden this year in hopes that three would survive. All 17 plants are thriving…much to my dismay. The plants are yielding about 5 pounds a day so I guess I better get this canning thing figured out again. I know it will be so nice this winter to make salsa with tomatoes grown in our very own garden.  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tap, tap, tap...Is This Thing On?

Yeah, um…. so, you know how when you haven’t talked to a special someone in a really long time, you think about calling her up, but you know that you will have so much to say, and right now you really need to round up the kids and get to swim lessons, so maybe you’ll call after, but then you have cranky kids begging you to make dinner so maybe you’ll call after that, but then there’s dishes and bath time and “mamma when is daddy comin’ home?…will you cuddle “wif” me till he gets here?” and then it’s just too late, so maybe tomorrow, but then tomorrow comes and you wake up with a migraine so you’re behind all day and then…you realize it’s been weeks and weeks and then you don’t call because you know you’ll never have time to properly catch up and so you kind of drift apart but you think about her lots ‘n lots and wonder how she is and so finally you just email at 11:45 at night just to say, “Hey, I just wanted to tell you I was thinking of you,” but you wish it was more, because she’s your friend and you love her and you’d like to tell her all your stories and you’d like to hear all of her stories, but right now you’re doing your very best to just keep your head above water, so you just think, “some day soon I’ll call” and you hope she’s not mad, but you know she’s probably not because she’s a real friend, a good friend, and she knows how it is. She knows how YOU are.

You know?

It’s been like that.

I’ve missed you.

I’ve thought about you.

I’m trying to slow down…to just have a moment…here and there…where I can let my thoughts wander…draw close to my Lord…wander down memory lane cuz my cuties are growing up too fast…to just regroup.

I’ve just spent the afternoon with my friend Jen² scrolling through the photos taken at the girl’s birthday party. After she left I sat down and looked at all the photo’s I’ve taken and not yet posted here.

Since May 18, 2010!!!!

Um yeah, that was the last time I visited this ol’ blog porch. Wow, I’m gonna need to be a bloggin’/scrappin’ ninja to plow through this list!
click to enlarge photo
Here’s the Chinobilly Notes version, so that we can move on, and act like this long and awkward absence never happened:

1. We planted a garden; it’s going really well but the zucchini are on a mission to take over the garden and my freezer.

2. We’ve spent special time with sweet friends, at the zoo, at the mall, parades, fireworks, camping, playing in sprinklers, and just visiting; you know doing the summer thing.

3. Vacation Bible school was the highlight of May for the twins.

4. But their daddy still rocks their world

5. Matt and I (read Matt totally did all the work) finished the tile job and Abby became Cinderella…I have pictures to prove it.

6. Olivia ate the wall in our laundry room…seriously…she ATE the wall!

7. The wall was only the BEGINNING of the laundry room saga. (You won’t want to miss reading abut THAT adventure…)

8. We took a trip to Colorado, camped out with some of the family, it was wonderful.

9. The girls took 4 weeks of swimming lessons at the YMCA.

10. Abby & Bree turned 4 and they had a “Carni-cus” birthday party shared with friends, fun and food…more on that later…

11. We have preschoolers now…what a rollercoaster of emotions and doubts…for mamma anyway!

12. Summer was just too dog-gone short.

Anyhow, I promise, I’ll tell you the rest of these stories and share pictures soon.


The wonder woman wannabe

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where oh where have I been?

Do you hear that?
I'm pretty sure you can actually hear crickets on my blog porch right now.
In case you were wondering, the answer is no.
My computer didn't crash.
I didn't close up shop.
I didn't spend time in the looney bin.
I was, however, juggling those busy summer days with our girls.
We had a crazy hectic schedule
which required amazing mamma “skilz”,
and quite often feats of strength with a bit of sheer faith to get through the days...
and maybe just a little bit of lazy summerdayitis.
People blame seasons for allergies so why not blame them for absences?
Although this ol' blog porch has gathered quite a few cobwebs,
I have been right there for my sweety and our two precious girls - who aren’t staying little for long.
So, while I know I should feel horribly guilty
(and sometimes I do)
I am not going to say I'm sorry.
I just won't do it.
Okay, but seriously...look at this face:
"Sorry, baby girl, but mamma can't play princess with you
because she has to post on her blog,
share with Facebook what I ate for breakfast and what I may or may not eat for lunch and dinner
and answer 823 emails."


Wrong answer.

See what I mean? You say no to that face! :)
In all seriousness though,
I have had fantastic time with my family this summer
and thank you for stopping by for a visit...
I plan on chillin’ with ya’ll on my blog porch more often.

One Lazy Chinobilly Mamma