Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected recently by Hurricane Irene. My oldest daughter and her family live in St. Mary's County, Maryland. They decided to stick it out and stay in their home for the storm. I don't think anyone in their area expected the storm to wreak the havoc that is did. Last Saturday the rain began to fall and by 4:00 pm their power was out and they spent the night in darkness listening to the howling winds, water pounding their home, and the snapping, popping, and crashing of trees. It was frightening! In the morning they surveyed the damage.
This area was a yard across from their property. Massive downed trees covered it.
Fortunately nothing fell on their neighbor's home.
Their home escaped falling trees, although one narrowly missed the front of the house.
This is a tree that fortunately fell parallel to their driveway.
Another neighbor's home was a resting place for a tree. Many homes in their neighborhood suffered tree damage and water damage. Adam took a drive through the neighborhood to see if they could get out and head for Pennsylvania because there were major power outages. Initially the roads were blocked by fallen trees, but folks with chain saws cleaned the way to Route 5. So they packed up the four kids and headed to our house.
Trees like this and much larger were everywhere. Area schools were used as shelters. We were happy to have them home and safe for several days, but were so sorry for those who had nowhere to go. On Tuesday evening they returned home. Power is still out in many areas of the county, but school starts back tomorrow - Thursday. We are thankful that they weathered the storm and are back home safe and sound. You never know when Mother Nature throws a hissy fit! Keeping those who lost lives and property in our prayers.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Butterfly Art!

Sometime this summer I saw a butterfly craft project on someone's blog and thought it would be a great project to do with my granddaughters. However, the summer is almost over and time was running out, so I decided that today would be the day! You start with a blank canvas. I got mine for $4.00 each at Big Lots - love that store!
My next stop was Michael's to get acryllic paint (it was on sale for 49 cents!), brushes, some butterfly embellishments (also 49 cents!), a butterfly punch, and ribbon.
I put some paint on a paper plate and the girls brushed it lightly on the canvas. Sasha chose an abstract approach and Clara actually painted some flowers.
While the paint dried, we raided my stash of scrapbooking paper and punched out butterflies. Aren't they beautiful? Next we folded the butterflies down the center with the good side of the paper facing in so they will have a three dimensional look.
The girls arranged and rearranged the butterflies on their canvases to get just the look they wanted. It was fun watching them decide on their butterfly layout.
Using a clear glue the girls glued the folded area of the butterflies onto the canvas. We finished it off with gluing ribbon on the sides of the canvas. This one is Clara's.
This one is Sasha's. Both are so unique and special.
Then we made cupcakes - cupcakes make every day special!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Love, Fun, and Food in Minneapolis!

This is Grace. She is a nine month old cutie who LOVES Jayce. This is her expression after giving him a big ol' smooch!
Jayce made the rounds at the convention after hours!
The decorations reflected the theme of "Cut Loose" and were complete with lights and music. Jayce loved the balloons and music.
Today Jayce and I returned to Cosi for lunch. I had the Bangkok salad, which was very good! Everything is so fresh and the flatbread - yum!
Jayce is a great little lunch buddy. He definitely attracts attention with those big blue eyes!
I returned to Cocoa and Fig for a chocolate cupcake with Raspberry cream frosting and a lemon macaroon and coffee macaroon. The lemon macaroon was delicious, but I wasn't impressed with the coffee one. I saved the cupcake for Jennifer since she did not get dessert last night.
After lunch Jayce and I took a walk and near the concert hall we discovered these cool music note sculptures.
It turned out to be such a pretty day after our morning rain so we sat awhile in the grass surrounded by pretty flowers. I wonder what the little man is thinking about?!? We sure have had a good time together.
After Jayce's nap, we got dressed up for our last night in Minneapolis "date night."
We went to Bombay Bistro, an Indian restaurant near our hotel. Doesn't he look like such a little man? Hard to believe he is only six months old!
I had a wonderful chicken dish with garlic Naan bread.
This is my third trip to Minneapolis! The Tastefully Simple convention is always fabulous, even though I can't attend the events, I get a firsthand report on all the exciting new products and promotions each day and I love it when I can come along as one of the grandkids' "nannies" for the trip.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mayhem in Minneapolis!

I am in Minneapolis with Jennifer Jayce, and Annisa. While they attend all the exciting events at the annual Tastefully Simple Convention, I get to babysit Jayce - I am his nanny "Nana!" Before the convention started, we ate a wonderful lunch at The News Room. Take a look at what Jayce was attracted to - typical guy!
Annisa had a Reuben which was delicious . . . I had to take a bite!
Jen and I had the Thai Noodle Salad. It was light and so good. The peanut sauce was wonderful!
Later that night we encountered this metal chicken. There is a hilarious metal chicken story that prompted Jen to have her picture taken with the chicken, which she then sent to Adam. Enough said . . .
On Thursday morning we had breakfast at one of my favorite Minneapolis restaurants, Hell's Kitchen. I love, love, love their homemade lemon yogurt with fresh berries. This is me and Jayce in the lobby area.Annisa had their famous lemon ricotta pancakes, which were heavenly!
Thursday afternoon Jen was a session presenter at the convention. According to Annisa and others who attended, she did an amazing job and even had some folks reaching for tissues!
She spent HOURS developing her presentation and you can see that she is happy that her session went so well!
Today Jayce and I took a long walk and around lunch time I spotted a restaurant that looked pretty popular with the locals - Cosi. I had the Adobe Chicken salad with lime dressing. Doesn't it look yummy? The flatbread and salad were awesome!Then I discovered a little bakery - oh my! Although they can't compare to Crumbs ginormous cupcakes, they were so tempting.
They also had a selection of cake pops and macaroons, which are gaining in popularity.
I gave into temptation and got the chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache topping. Wish you could taste it!I also got three of the Hazlenut filled macaroons: one for Jen, one for Annisa, and one for me!
We are having a great time and I will post again tomorrow. Who knows what Jayce and I will get into and what great food treats we will find!