"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

We've had a fabulous Halloween and I hope all of y'all did too. We carved pumpkins, roasted pumpkin seeds (2 flavors), dressed up in costumes, and, of course, Gabe and Joey went trick or treating.  My only complaint about the whole thing is that my lower back was aching after spending hours sitting on the floor carving pumpkins. Heh, I guess that's what happens when you decide their needs to be a pumpkin for every person in the house and one can't carve (Gabe), one picks a pattern so complicated he can't carve it himself (Joey), and one's busy at work (Vic). The split was mom carves 4 and Marty carves 1. Oh well, we had one hell of a pumpkin display.
Marty's murder victim pumpkin.
That's a butcher knife sticking into it.
Gabe's pumpkin...on Halloween it was 
puking pumpkin guts out of its mouth
My Harry Potter pumpkin.  I fracked it up a
bit when carving and had to correct it on the fly.
Joey's werewolf pumpkin.
Vic's Puss 'n Boots pumpkin

I have to send a shout out of thanks to Jen of Epbot and Cake Wrecks. I found the Harry Potter pattern and the Puss 'n Boots pattern through her.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CSN Review and Giveaway Winner

First of all, I'm sorry this went up so late. The kids have been cracking the whip all day long and have had me carving pumpkins.

I have to say that I have been totally and completely impressed with CSN Stores from the first moment I started dealing with them. Their delivery time is super fast and the products are top-notch. I recently got the Anuschka Check Book Wallet in Henna Butterfly from LuxeByCsn.com. This gorgeous wallet is made of high quality, soft leather and the designs are hand painted on all sides of the wallet.

I have gotten so many compliments on my wallet since I got it. I have to say that my favorite part isn't even the gorgeous design. I LOVE the fact that the interior has enough space for all my discount cards, insurance cards, and other cards.
And, see that row of cards on the left of the picture above...those slots are on the back of the removable check book cover. I think my only complaint is that the license slot is so tight that it's hard to get my driver's license out when I need it.  To sum it up, the shipping is super quick, the products are high quality, and you can literally find anything you want when you shop CSN Stores.
Now, thanks to the wonderful people who created Random.org, I can announce the winner of the $45 gift card. Random.org generated this as the winner...
Congratulations Dora, you're the winner. You'll receive your gift card from CSN Stores soon.

*I was provided with the wallet at no cost to me in return for offering an honest review.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How do you tell it is REALLY Fall?

How do you tell it is really Fall?  Is it when the leaves start changing colors?  Or, how about when they start falling?  Could it be the cool nip in the air?

Nope, it's none of those nice, normal signs around here.  Around the Cruz household, it is finally really and truly Fall when the evenings and nights get chilly enough that my feet are replaced by ice cubes.  The weird thing is, I can be toasty and warm but my feet frequently freeze.  I could have on any one of the nice fluffy, fuzzy warm pair of socks right up until I change for bed.  Those 10+ minutes it takes to change, brush my teeth, and wash my face...ice cubes baybee.

And, you know what, I kind of like it because I take a truly perverse delight in snuggling up to Vic in bed and then oh so carefully and slowly (so he doesn't know it's coming) bending my legs up so I can put those ice cubes feet on his stomach or maybe his upper thigh if I'm really in a mood.


Craftiness Abounds

Welcome to the new edition of Show & Tell blogger style hosted by wonderful and fabulous Suzy at not a fertile myrtle. I know I already made y 'all look at the crafty goodness of the red ghost costume but I can't resist sharing more craftiness with you.

I recently finished the cutest hat for a friend's preschool aged son. Since her son has a big head (just like my kids), I used Gabe as my test model.  This hat was crocheted using the Divine Hat Pattern from Rheatheylia and I added my own little twist.

I also finished the front of what will be a denim rag quilt tote bag. With this style, you sew pieces with the wrong side (inside) together so the seams fall on the outside of the piece. Then, when you wash it, the edges of the denim fray and give it a really cool look.
Head on over to Suzy's to check out the other Show & Tell entries this week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Introducing Blinky

I know many of my long time readers have heard about Gabe's obsession with Pacman. For those of you new here, Gabe is my almost 5 yr old and, about 2 yrs ago, he discovered Pacman which is an obsession second only to volcanoes for him. He plays Pacman and Ms. Pacman on the Wii and on the computer. He has been known to run his own Pacman patterns in the house. I've made a Ms. Pacman birthday cake. And, this year for Halloween, I got to make a red ghost costume from Pacman. May I introduce you to Blinky, the mad, red ghost...

What do you do to celebrate Halloween? Do you dress up or do you think it's a kids' holiday? Got any cool pics to share?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Household Hints from Evil Mom: Tip 3

Temporarily changing the name from Household Hints to Helpful Hints...

Hi y'all, it's been a long time since I've brought you a tip or hint and I'm sorry for that...but, I'm going to disappoint you yet again because the hint I have today won't apply to most of you. In fact, this hint is aimed at the lowest of the low...the telemarketer. Wait, they aren't the lowest. The phone scammers are worse.

Now y'all, I know most of you who do the actual phone work for the scammers probably aren't horrible people. You probably don't even know just how bad the scum sucking bottom feeders you work for are. These days, most people have gotten pretty savvy and are really careful not to get sucked in by scams. But, I have to tell you, there is one sure way to make sure you are a failure at your phone scam job. Take a look below...

That's right, most people have caller ID these days. When you call my house and your phone number comes up labeled as PHONE SCAM on my caller id, there is no way in hell you are getting anything from me. Isn't modern technology a wonderful thing?

So, do you have any tips or hints you want me to tackle?

A Funny From The Fair

Edited to add this to Perfect Moment Monday...Lori over at Weebles Wobblog says that "Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between."

Joey, Gabe, and I had been standing and watching a Percheron mare and her mule foal.  Joey and Gabe decided they had to go look at yet one more cow with my mom.  I thought the mare and foal were more interesting so I stayed there.  A kind of snooty couple were standing a little down the fence from me when Joey and Gabe came back.  The kids slid in next to me and the woman said (in a very snotty, cold tone of voice) "Well, excuse you!"  Now, the kids did not push by anyone nor did they even have to squeeze in.  There was plenty of room.  I chose to ignore that snotty biotch because I decided it wasn't worth responding to.  I did however take GREAT delight when Gabe loudly exclaimed how he got to see a cow's butt and he got to watch the poop coming out of the cow's butt and then the cow stepped in it and "Why did the cow step in it?"  I was desperately trying not to laugh out loud at the look on that biotch's face when Gabe said that.  I almost applauded when he then announced that was his favorite part of seeing the animals.

I think Gabe's presence and comment turned that into a truly perfect moment.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Fabric Porn

Here are the rest of my favorite quilts from the show.  I had intended to split the pictures evenly between posts but, obviously, I can't count...

Do you have a favorite quilt out of all these or do you have a style that appeals more to you?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

These were a few of my favorite things

There were so many truly incredible quilts.  And, the vendors had some truly amazing fabrics and fabric stamps and yarns and embroidery threads and...despite all that I was a very good girl.  I only spent a total of $22 ($5 entrance, $5 on raffle tickets, and $12 on fabric).

Here are a few of my favorite quilts from the show...

I came away with so many ideas and plans for quilts.  I will have to put another post up tomorrow with the rest of my favorite quilts.  I think this is long enough as it is.

Off to the quilt show...

I'll be back with lots of pictures later.  Don't do anything I wouldn't do.  Bwahahahahahahaha

Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome to Fall...

I'm feeling a bit lazy today so here are a few pictures and a video.  Welcome to Fall!

Gabe after preschool

Marty, Gabe, Joey, and my mom

Gabe and me

Live from the bumper cars

from the top of the Ferris Wheel

Gabe and scarecrow at
preschool field trip

Gabe and T in the corn maze


Welcome back to Photo Friday. The brilliant and beautiful Calliope of Creating Motherhood is back to cracking the weekly whip. This week she is demanding pictures of ORANGE.  Since I never turn down a chance to indulge my inner artist, here are my two photographic submissions...

Now, head on over to Calli's y'all and check out everyone's photos this week.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's that time of month again...

Hey y'all!  Welcome to ICLW and all the fun that goes along with it.  BY now, I think everyone knows about ICLW.  If you happened to have missed the memo, click on that little tobacco brown bar with the cute doggie that says ICLW.  It will take you to am explanation.  If you happen to be new to my blog, WELCOME!  I have a bunch of links right above the newest post that explain my history but you are also welcome to just browse.

I thought it might be fun to start out ICLW with two little lists and I'd like you to humor me by telling me these things about you in the comments.

3 Things I Wish I Could Do
  1. I wish I could sing.  I love music.  I love to sing.  But, sadly, my singing voice sucks.  It is perpetually flat.  I can hear what's wrong with it.  I just can't fix it.
  2. I wish I could play the piano...not just play a little...I want to be damned good at it.
  3. I wish I could tell my high school self to relax and be confident...that there is a lot of good things coming.
3 Things I'm Really Good At
  1. I'm a damned good artist in many different mediums.  I can get an idea for how I want something to look and I can develop the idea and follow it to fruition.
  2. I'm a good cook.  I often experiment in the kitchen and 9 times out of 10 the dish turns out.
  3. I'm a great wife and mother.
Now, if you humor me and put your own version of these lists in your comment, I'm going to extend the invitation to ask me a question (or 2 or 3 or...).  Ask me anything...pry into my personal life, ask advice, whatever.  I will answer on Monday.

PS...don't forget to enter the big giveaway I have going on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

For My SIster...

My sister's heart is breaking a little today.  This is why and this is what she wrote...
I wonder if you have every been given a gift that taught you a different way to love? My gift was born on at my home on Christmas Eve 2000, an adorable blue and white pit bull puppy named Asia! She was a tiny little girl that just wanted to be loved. Over the years she showed me a lot about what love should be. She never cared if I was busy and it cut in to our time together-whether I was happy, sad, silly, or mad she was constant and never changed. All she wanted to do was love me for no particular reason, and to get a little love back. She showed me that love never judges. She played a part in my engagement and became a mama all in the same weekend. She made us a family. We had to say good-bye to our sweet girl yesterday. I held her face in my hands and looked into her eyes and told her how much we loved her as she took her last breath. A good friend told me that even though we lost our girl yesterday, God got a new puppy...and I know it is true. There will be no more pain or sickness and she will breath easily again. Thank you Big Mama for all of your love - if only we all could give love so freely.
 I love you my sister and we will all miss your sweet girl.

Good Things Come To Those Who Blog

I am so excited. I get to be part of the Preferred Blogger Program through CSN Stores. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from stylish handbags, to modern bar furniture, or great cookware.

I first found CSN Stores when I entered a giveaway sponsored by another one of their preferred bloggers. I won a $40 gift card and was able to buy this fabulous ice cream maker by Deni.  My kids have had so much fun with it and I've loved it for its quick and easy clean up.
Since then, I've been window shopping on a number of their sites and looking at gorgeous handbags...
Ellington Bella Crossbody in Paprika
fabulous cookware sets...
Farberware Affiniti Nonstick Aluminum Cookware in Red
and, unbelievably stunning shoes...
Shane and Shawn Women's KK Pump in Red Snake
Thanks to the wonderful people at CSN Stores, I am getting to select a product to review and I have a $45 gift code for one of you reading this right now.  While $45 won't cover the cost of these three red lovelies, it is enough to buy some pretty fabulous things through any of the 200+ online stores in the CSN Stores family. To get a chance to win the gift code, follow the directions below.

Remember, ONE COMMENT = ONE CHANCE TO WIN.  In other words, each additional chance to win requires an additional comment.  Winner to be chosen with the help of Random.org.

Mandatory Entry:
Visit CSN Stores or any one of their 200+ stores and tell me how you would spend your gift code

Extra Entries:
  • Follow my blog through Google Friends Connect and comment to tell me you do (1 chance)
  • Follow CSN Stores on Twitter and comment that you do (1 chance)
  • Follow me on Twitter and comment that you do (1 chance)
  • Tweet about the giveaway and leave me a link to your tweet in a comment (1 entry a day) - Check out this awesome #giveaway from @csnstores and @dragondream http://bit.ly/dtiFSv
  • Blog about the giveaway and leave me a link to the post in a comment (3 entries, so 3 comments)

The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 PM on October 29th.  Stop by on the 30th to see my review of my selected item and to find out who won. Make sure I can find your email address either on your profile or in a comment.  I need it to contact you if you win.

My doggie hurt herself *UPDATED*

After I drop Joey off at school, I'm taking my sweet Jolie girl to the vet.  She has done something (God only knows what) to her left hind paw.  One of the claws looks like it is twisted sideways.  I'm not sure if it's the claw or the toe.  Be back later with an update.

*Jolie is doing much better.  The only issue was with her claw.  For some unknown reason, that one particular claw grew too long and was twisting sideways.  A manicure cured the problem.  However, it was a good thing we went in because the poor girl had a UTI brewing and needed antibiotics.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

In Mummy Trouble

Welcome to the new edition of Show & Tell blogger style hosted by wonderful and fabulous Suzy at not a fertile myrtle.  This week, I finally got off my ass and recorded myself reading one of Gabe's favorite books.  I did a pretty good job managing the camera while I was reading but my aim was a little off when I was filming the opening and closing.  Please forgive the crappy camera work and enjoy the show.

Head on over to Suzy's to check out the other Show & Tell entries this week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Remembering our babies

Back in 1988, *"President Ronald Reagan Proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. 'When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, their isn't a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.' "

Back then, the need for a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month wasn't even a blip on my radar.  Surely I would grow up, get married, get pregnant, and pop out a few kids without any problems.  Babies don't die early, do they?

Now, I am so thankful that there is a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and that there is a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Please visit the site and watch this video to learn about the wave of light that will be sweeping through the world at 7 pm tonight.  If you are somewhere that you can't light a candle, please take a moment and say a prayer for the little ones we've lost.  Tonight, I'll be remembering my little girl Eva, lost 6/17/04, and the other 7 babies who came and went from my life far too quickly.  I'll also be remembering Adam Michael Seip, Bridgitt Kelly, and all the other lost angels of my friends.

* info taken from Remembering Our Babies

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My mantra for today

Sleep is a good thing.

I am not as young as I think I am and it doesn't make me a wuss to go to bed.

Sleep is a good thing.

I am not 20 years old anymore.  I need more than 14 hours of sleep in 3 nights.

Sleep is a good thing.

I will be more productive and not feel like a slug if I get more than 14 hours of sleep in 3 nights.

Sleep is a good thing.

When my husband is working nights, it is okay to go to bed.

Sleep is a good thing.

Despite the fact that is can be a lot of fun to talk religion and politics with my oldest, staying up until 2:30 is not a good idea.

Sleep is a good thing.

If I get more sleep, I will be able to help out on the editing jobs I have promised to help with.

Sleep is a good thing.


Shhhhh...sleep is a good thing.

Musical Obsession

My kids have always loved music and they all have very individual tastes in it.  Marty's favorite CD to listen to at bed time when he was little was Great Women of Song with artists like Etta Jame, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald.  Marty also loves Lois Armstrong.  Joey is my classic rock junkie.  He also likes good Christian Rock.  On any given day, you'll find him listening to Queen, Kiss, and Meatloaf.  He knows the words and can sing along to so many of my favorite songs.  And Gabe, well his musical preference hasn't really shown itself yet.  He seems to like a lot of the stuff both of his brothers listen too. 

The funny thing is, 2 of my 3 kids have had obsessions with TV theme songs too.  When Marty was really little, he could be anywhere in our house and, the minute the theme song to Home Improvement came on, he would come running.  He liked the show but he was totally enraptured with the theme song.  He would dance along the whole time it played.  Gabe's obsession was with the theme song to Jeopardy...seriously.  Even when he was less than a year old, that theme song drew him in like a siren's song.  He would dance to it, groove too it, and, yes, he would watch the show and wait for it to play again.

Is music an important part of your house?  does anyone in your family have funny music obsessions in their past?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day

and all day long my facebook status said Kristin Cruz is a straight ally and today is National Coming Out Day. I'm coming out for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality because it's 2010 and only five states plus DC recognize that love, not gender, is what matters in a marriage. Donate your status and join me by clicking here: http://bit.ly/cwB4QT.

To me, this seemed like such a small  way to express my support, to show that I care. But, I've recently been reminded that small gestures can make big differences and this reminder pushed me into action.  See, I am trying very hard to raise three loving, accepting young men and, to do that, I have to live the life I am teaching them to embrace and my actions must follow my words.  Evidently, my words have been getting through because Joey wholeheartedly supports and believes that two loving adults of any gender deserve the right to be married.  I want this belief to continue.  I want my children to know and understand that the qualities that make someone a good friend remain unchanged  no matter who that friend chooses to love.  If I expect my teachings to take root and flourish, I think I need to become a little more vocal in my support for gay rights and gay marriage.  

I have a Save the Ta-Tas t-shirt to show my support for breast cancer research.  I think I  see one of these in my future...

With all the horrific stories we've heard lately about young people who've taken their life due to being tormented about their sexuality, it is the very least I can do.