Saturday, September 26, 2009

Read, America, Read!

JJ and I attended the National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington today.

It was so great! So many authors, so many readers, so many people. Here's a little taste of our day:

We got there early to get in line for James Patterson; both JJ and Nicky really like his books and with Nicky camping with the Scouts this weekend, I represented him to get a book signed. His line was already working on the second rotation when we got there, so I saved us a spot while JJ walked around. I stood in line for an hour before the line even started moving! So after an hour and a half:

Here's JJ getting James Patterson to sign the books. He was a very nice man...showed up early to the signing when he found out how many were in line. Awesome.

We didn't get any other signatures, but I took some more pictures. Here's John Grisham, of Saving Christmas and The Firm fame:

Talk about awesome! This guy was scheduled to sign for 45 minutes. He stayed 2 hours and would have stayed longer but the Festival needed the booth for another author. Great guy!

Here's everyone's favorite children's author, Judy Blume!

Look at that smile! (Superfudge was nowhere to be found, though. Haha!)

And then...for me...I sat in on this lady's presentation:

It's the last picture I took with my camera before the battery died. I was so mad! But yes, that's Paula Deen!

I got a decent picture of her at her book signing with my cell phone:

She was very dynamic and quite the ball of fire! I enjoyed her talk tremendously and she was so personable at the signing. Too many people in line for me, though. Maybe next time.

And of course, since we were in the Nation's Capital, I had to get a picture of the Nation's Capitol:

I'll definitely go back next year. I can't wait to see who's going to be there!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Busy, busy, busy! Time has gotten away from me since school started up again. I'm long-term subbing in 7th grade Science class until October 12th and between the lesson plans and all the grading, there's no time or energy left!

Plus...Eric has been travelling a lot lately. First to Pennsylvania for 9/11 and then for a Presidential visit. Now he's in Colorado...just look at the beautiful picture he sent me a few hours ago:

Yes, that's snow! Denver was under a winter storm watch a couple of days ago...first day of fall, in fact! But all Eric saw was rain. Not on this mountain!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Guard Dog! Haha!

Something is on the patio!!!!!!!! Bingo is doing his best to keep the intruder away!!!!!

What is Bingo so upset about??

Aw...Mr. Bunny is back!!!!! Ooh, he's so scary! Ha ha ha!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Eagle Project is Delivered!

JJ finally finished his Eagle Scout project! Last Sunday some boys came over to help him assemble the 100 toiletry's what they all looked like in the box:

After buying up all the paper products in the tri-county area with the donated gift cards and cash...

We finally loaded up the car yesterday afternoon and delivered everything to the shelter.

I'm really proud of all the hard work JJ did securing donations, leading the boys in assembling and building, and delivery of everything.

Now for the paperwork, conferences, and the big Board of Review! Hopefully we'll know something by mid-October.

Good job, J.

Monday, September 7, 2009


What's so odd about this picture, you may ask???

Poor kitty in the crate...but she's never been a crated cat.

Apparently, Kiki has decided she's a dog. She's walked into Muffin's crate (that she's only in when we're not home) and made herself at home.

And where was Muffin during all this? Probably hiding under the table...she's afraid of Kiki!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Eagle Project...Done!

JJ's worked really hard the last 2 weeks getting his Eagle project completed. He led the Boy Scouts from his troop in building a toy box and bagging supplies for 100 "welcome packets" for the homeless shelter in our county. Last week they built the toy box. Here is Nicky painting one of the inside panels:

JJ is drilling holes for the nails to assemble:

The toy box is painted and I have been assigned the job of sponge painting stars on the toy box. It will be done tomorrow.

The bags are all done, but I haven't gotten a picture of the box of bags yet. Maybe tomorrow. He plans to deliver the items to the shelter later this week.

Way to go, JJ! He did a great job!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Fall, Y'all!

I know, I's still early September and it's not even Labor Day yet. But Fall has arrived at our house!

Our living room has a long shelf the length of the room about 2 feet from the ceiling. Normally nothing is on the shelf except at Christmas.

Today I opened my bags from AC Moore from earlier this week and took out my fall purchases and with Nicky's help got the leaf garland and the potted mums, sunflowers, and assorted fall flowers up on the shelf.

Not the best pictures, but sitting in my living room now makes me happy. This is good enough...for now. I do love Fall.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Road to Oz

The kids and I went to Bethesda, MD today to the Council Boy Scout shop. It's clear on the other side of DC from us and is quite the drive. Just as we approach Silver Spring we come upon what looks like a castle:

This is the Mormon temple located in Silver Spring. When Eric was growing up there, he always thought it looks like the Emerald City from "The Wizard of Oz".

Yeah, I can see it.

And did you see the traffic in the first picture?? Thank goodness JJ was operating the camera while I was driving! What a mess DC traffic is! But that's a story for another time...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Hungry...What's for Supper?

Somebody's hungry!
Silly tables are for humans!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jambalaya, Mon Cherie

Thanks to my good friend Carrie for posting the link to this fabulous recipe on Facebook!

I saw the post yesterday on Facebook and decided to head to the grocery store and get the missing ingredients for this healthy Jambalaya, courtesy of Ellie Krieger on It was a quick fix, too...about 40 minutes start to finish.

First, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven. Then dice 1 large onion, 1 green bell pepper, and 1 red bell pepper (thank you, Pampered Chef food chopper!) and 2 cloves garlic, and add to the olive oil. Saute for 10 minutes or until soft.

Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, a bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 6 ounces diced smoked ham, 2 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth, and 1 14 1/2 ounce can of no-salt diced tomatoes.

Bring to a boil.

Stir in 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice, cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20 minutes or until rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add shrimp and cook, covered, 5 minutes until shrimp is done.

Salt and pepper to taste and serve with hot sauce.

I did not add hot sauce to mine because the 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper made this dish HOT!!!!!!!! The French baguette really cut the heat for me. Next time I'll cut the cayenne in half!

But this was yummy!

Jambalaya with Shrimp and Ham Recipe


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Peekaboo! I See You!

Muffin is a silly girl.

She did this all by herself...dug her way under the blanket! Guess she was cold.

My printer/scanner is off to the repair shop today, so it may be a few days before I have some new pictures. I took some good ones on Sunday of JJ's Eagle Scout project in progress, but I haven't uploaded them yet. They'll have to wait.

In the meantime, we'll have lots of pet pictures! Gotta love dogs, cats, neighborhood bunnies...