Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the road to recovery

Well that was one of the longer 48 hour periods of my life and I am not completely convinced, based on reports of others, that I am out of the woods yet but I think I can see the edge of the trees.

For the first time in two days I appear to be nearly fever-free without meds. That is an awesome feeling. Now the cough and sore throat are still here but they are much better than they were too.

Woohoo.

I like this.

I do not recommend getting this flu thing.

I am off to find the spray can of Lysol.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cold or Flu?

So is it a cold or is it the flu?

Meh. Who cares what it is called.

Bottom line is that whatever this viral nastiness is with its chills, sweats, headache, sore neck and cough is horrible and can take a hike any time now.

Hmmph.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another new recipe

I found a new recipe to try last night. Actually I found it a few days ago and wanted to give it a try then and every day since but circumstances have conspired against me. For example the first evening I wanted to try it was forced to go on strike and prove to my children that I do expect them to listen, respond and do what is laid out for them to do. They quickly discovered that I am not their maid/slave who will soldier on through a pile of dirty dishes to make their dinner. You see, my girls are expected to empty the dishwasher, refill it and generally tidy up the kitchen each afternoon. After repeated reminders, I was ticked so I went on strike and left them to fend for themselves in the dirty kitchen. It would have been made infinitely better if I was not too tired to run out and get take out for myself and DH but alas I was.

Anyhow, I finally got around to trying the new recipe last night and it was delicious. It is a Pioneer Woman recipe. You can find her post here complete with all her fabulous pictures. I made three little adjustments, leaving out the chicken stock and fresh herbs because I didn't have any and leaving out the nutmeg because I don't care for it in savory dishes.

Enjoy!!

Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 14.5 ounce can artichoke hearts (quartered or whole), drained
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
1 pound thin spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives or other herbs

Cook spaghetti till al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream and chicken broth.
Add salt and pepper to taste (do not undersalt!) Cook over low heat until heated through,
then turn off heat.
Place drained pasta in a large bowl.
Sprinkle with 1 cup Parmesan. Pour sauce over the top.
Add chopped chives.
Toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems too thick.

Delicious!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Recipe Challenge

A challenge has been suggested by Judy over at Scrapshare to try a new recipe each week. You can see the initial thread here and this week's challenge thread here. I encourage everyone to come join in with us. Many of us are recipe collectors. We see something in a magazine and clip it out intending to give it a try. We do this time and time again with the best of intentions but just never get around to trying all those wonderful recipes. Add to that all the wonderful recipes one can find on the internet and you can have quite the backlog of recipes cluttering up your life. This challenge encourages us to get out all those random recipes and start giving them a try in the hopes of cutting the clutter and finding some new staple recipes to add to our meal line-ups.

I took up the challenge because I have many, many recipes I keep intending to try. The idea is to commit to one night a week, each week to try a new recipe. I have tentatively picked Wednesday nights because there is rarely anything going on that takes us out of the house on that night. This challenge was suggested today and as it happened I was already planning to try a new recipe tonight so I went ahead and gave it a shot.

I have had a version of Indian Tacos that was commercially produced and I love them. I found a recipe for the fry bread recently along with a recipe for the tacos themselves at this website. It sounded really good and pretty easy so I gave it a shot. These turned out great and were super easy to make though I did modify the topping recipe a bit. I added a can of chili and a bit of taco seasoning to the meat to give it a bit more ommpff. The whole family enjoyed it. This one is a keeper.

I encourage you to give it a try.

Indian Taco Recipe - How To Make Indian Tacos

1 pound lean ground meat (beef, lamb, venison or pork)
1 cup diced onion
4 cooked Navajo Fry Breads (see recipe on right)
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 tomatoes, diced
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (3-ounce) can diced green chiles, drained
Sour cream (optional)

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown ground meat and onions until cooked; remove from heat.

Place Fry Bread, cupped side up, on separate plates. Layer ground meat, lettuce, tomatoes,
Cheddar cheese, and green chiles onto top of each Fry Bread.
Top with sour cream, if desired, and either roll up or serve open-faced with a fork.

Makes 4 servings.


_________________________________________

Navajo Fry Bread Recipe - How To Make Navajo Fry Bread
by Cynthia Detterick-Pineda

Fry bread is wonderfully lumpy (puffed here and there). It can be served as a dessert or used as a main dish bread. Our family will often take them and stuff them, much like one might use bread or tortilla to dip into their food.

1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying

Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump.

Flour your hands. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. NOTE: You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. NOTE: Don’t worry about it being round. As Grandma Felipa would say “it doesn’t roll into your mouth.”

Heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. NOTE: You can check by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large fryer.

Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take about 3 to 4 minutes.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

It's been a year

We talk about how quickly time goes by and that it seems a year slips away so quickly. It seems like time moves so fast and we want it to slow down. However, for one special family that I know, this past year has been a rollercoaster of excruciating proportions. A year ago this week they lost one of their precious children to a rare brain tumor. What was most rare and stunning was how quickly they lost him. He went to the ER one day and only days later he was gone. It has been a year and it is a painful reminder of just how fast life as we know it can change. Donnanne and her family are still trying to find a new normal without their sweet Danny. Please help me to remember this family in prayer over this week. Also, hug your kids and live in the moment because none of us have any idea how fast that moment can be gone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Something new

I am trying something new. I have this box of tomatoes that has been sitting on the table in my kitchen for quite some time now. Normally I make tomato sauce and canned tomatoes for use in all kinds of dishes. I love the freshness of homegrown, home canned tomatoes in the dead of winter. However I finally had to admit to myself that I just was not into it this year. I mean, I have every morning free now days since David is in kindergarten but still the tomatoes are still sitting in their box. If I did not find something else to do with them, they were just going to go to waste. What a shame that would be. So in a desperate attempt to save them from such an awful fate, I have decided to try freezing them. Now the instructions I found online said to freeze them individually and then bag them up. Well, I just do not have the space to do that so I took a chance and stuck them into big gallon sized Ziplock bag and tossed them in the freezer tonight. Well, part of them anyway. I ran out of bags so I have to run to the store to get more tomorrow. I am just hoping this works as well as the testimonies claim.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Teen TV

I have been watching Degrassi with my DDs. I am amazed, concerned and impressed all at the same time with the topics that are tackled in this program. From school shootings to teen pregnancies to drug/steroid us, etc. I am sure that many parents do not let their kids watch this program because of this but I have taken a different tact. The girls (ages 9 and 13) need to learn about these issues and my stance on them. Watching the episodes together gives me the opportunity and opening to discuss these topics in a nonthreatening way. Today we were watching reruns in preparation for tonight's season premiere. It struck me that I am so not ready for my girls to grow up and take on some of these issues. High school is a scary, threatening place. I have many fears about sending my kids there. The oldest starts next year. I need to be sure that I can maintain the lines of communication, which is something I am not always really good about. So I find myself watching teen soap operas so I have the chance to hold conversations with my kids. It may make me uncomfortable and it may be downright scary at times but I am so glad that the programs are there to give me the opportunity.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Portrait Photography

I enjoy reading Pioneer Woman's blog. In particular I enjoy her photography and cooking blogs.

Occasionally Ree or one of her contributing bloggers issues a photography challenge. She has a Flickr group set up for all her readers to contribute their selections. You can check it out here. I enjoy seeing what others contribute.

This week's assignment is to find your favorite portrait. I am by no means a professional photographer but I will claim some pretty cute subjects so I decided to go through my photos and pick a few to feature here. I have not decided if I am going to contribute to the flickr group or not.

Here are some of my favorite portrait photos:
My oldest girl and a friend's puppy. I just love the softness of her face.

My second girl with her rocket. She spent all day with Daddy working on it and then firing it off.

My boy's eyes. They are so expressive.

My friend and her new husband during their first dance. The sun was just right and that smile. Oh my!

My grandmother. While not the most technically correct portrait, I love this one because it is the last one in which grandma looks really healthy. It was taken just months before she passed away at nearly 96.


DH and I. A self-portrait utilizing my timer and tripod.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seeing it happen

This afternoon I saw a wonderful thing happen.

My darling boy started kindergarten this fall. He has been less than thrilled with it. Don't get me wrong, he likes the school and his friends that he is making. I think he also likes his teacher. However there is a great big list of things he does not like. He does not like getting up in the morning and getting ready for school. He does not like doing his "morning seat work" each day when he arrives at school. To his credit, I don't particularly like coloring seemingly (to his young, 5yo mind) meaningless worksheets either. He does not like handwriting. He most especially DOES NOT like homework.

The kids' school is a charter school. It is a school with high-powered dreams mascarading as a small country school. It is great. We added a new curriculum this year called The Riggs Method. You can learn more about it here. It is a total immersion English language program. It is a great program that promises great things for our kids. But, and this is the biggie, it is new, a bit scary and a lot of hard work for the students. My two girls, 8th grade Jessie and 4th grade Emily, are adapting well enough but the boy is having issues. It is a big adjustment from "play"school, i.e. preschool to all this work. DH has been dealing with the morning issues and I have been dealing with the homework issues. It has not been fun until today.

Today I finally saw what this program can do. I think my DS finally saw what he is working so hard to achieve. He did not have any homework today so instead we got books to spend some time reading. He just happened to grab a book titled "Go, Dog, Go!" With the Riggs program the students learn the letter sounds as their mode of identification versus their names. For example, A has four sounds in the English language. The letters/sounds that the kindergarten has worked on so far are A, C, D, F, G and O. As you can see, this book that he chose was perfect. Three letters and all ones he has been working on already. With a little prompting, my DS, the one who has not wanted to do the work and has been fighting us every step of the way realized that HE CAN READ!! Yes it was only two works, three little letters but HE CAN DO IT! This program is working. Furthermore the book has a lot of color words in it which is something else they have been working on in class. He is starting to get those too.

Let me say this again....MY DS READ WORDS TO ME!!

I had the pleasure of seeing that the program is working. Furthermore, I had the pleasure of sharing this success tonight at the PTC meeting. Now granted I got emotional about it but really, it brought tears to the eyes of many in the room, particularly the ones with whom I have shared my frustrations with over the last few weeks. I am so excited. I am so ready to see what comes next.

Seeing it happen, seeing that look on my DS's face when he realized that he was actually READING makes the frustration and the difficult times worth it. I am quite sure that there will be more bumps in the road, after all, DS is a stubborn little bugger but for now, for today, I am just going to revel in what we accomplished today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Monday Menus

I am trying to be more money conscious, organized and eventually health conscious. So I have started working on having a meal plan in place at the beginning of each week.

This week's menus are:
Monday: Pork Chops, Zucchini, Corn on the cob, rice
Tuesday: Sara's Crab Chowder
Wednesday: Chicken and Noodles
Thursday: BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Friday: Beef Pot Pie


I have a crazy week ahead with so many things going on, this will help me make sure we are not hitting the take-out menus to survive.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hmmm.....

Apparently ice cream for dinner is not the way to go. Who knew?

I had a turtle sundae in a chocolate dipped waffle bowl from Dairy Queen for dinner. This was apparently a bad idea as my body is now adamantly telling me.

Drat!

To-do lists

What is it about to-do lists? Why do they never get any shorter? I work and I toil but never does that list seem to get any shorter. The more I do around here, the more appears to replace the things I have crossed off the list.

I have been participating in the Manage Your Life forum at Scrapshare for about a year now and I have noted that I am not the only one who has noticed this phenomenon with our lists.

So my current to-do list looks like this:
Laundry
Can tomatoes
Can beets
Shred zucchini
Sweep/mop kitchen floor
Completely clear/wash microwave counter
Clear out/organize food container cabinet
Take fall pictures of kids
Put away food dehydrator
Clear/clean island counter
Clear/clean sink counter
Collect all printed recipes and organize
Clean out/organize island cabinets
Dust every flat surface in house
Do some fall decorating

I have to stop there. There is so much more. And that is not even getting into the big projects that need to be done like building a hay storage area for Jessie's goat feed/hay, fixing the leaky spot in the shower rail in the master bathroom, closing out the garden, etc., etc.

So, short of hiring a cleaning crew, I can't figure out how to make the to-do list get shorter. There is only one me and since Matt is spending his every-other-Friday-off sleeping, I am guessing from long experience that no help is coming from that quarter. The kids are in school and when they aren't, well, let me just say I have not trained good workers.

Anyone got a magic wand they aren't currently in need of? Because I could put it to good use!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How??

How do I get back to blogging faithfully? After all I have not updated this blog since July 16th.

I have been thinking about this question a lot lately as I contemplated reviving this little blog of mine. I wonder if it is worth it. I wonder if anyone is interested in anything I have to say.

Is what I write about (when I have written that is) interesting?

How do others decide what to write about?

I am just not sure if my life and thoughts are interesting enough for a blog.

Clearly I have dropped the ball on keeping the blog updated over the summer. We are crazy busy in the summer and I just ran out of time.

So I wonder, is it worthwhile to make the time? Is anyone interested? Am I talking to myself? Is that a bad thing? Perhaps I need to talk to myself more.

So my friends, does this little blog interest any of you? Should I bother to continue? If I should, how do you that also blog decide what to write about?

Hmm, much to contemplate.......

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Worries

I admit it, I am a worrier. I worry about most everything. I stress. I stew. I get myself so riled up when packing for a trip that I can't think straight. So right now I am in a true dither. DH's job is stable but they are client based and one of their big clients made a major cut in their job two weeks ago. This resulted in a pay cut for DH and all his co-workers. This is major scary for us. We are treading water here, trying to pay off bills without compromising our lifestyle. I know, I know, that is a serious case of having your cake and eating it too but we thought we should be able to do it. It all made sense in my head. However, things have not worked out that way and now I am in serious worry mode. This cut is going to translate to a loss of about $400 a month. That is pretty much the $400 we live on. The rest of DH's considerable income goes to bills, savings, health care, the mortgage, etc. We are not upside down on our mortgage. It is the credit card bills that are killing us. We were not good stewards of our financial future when we were younger. Now we have these huge debts hanging over us. I know that we have to take of our 4 walls first. I know that we need to make changes to adjust for the loss of income. I also know that this is not the end of the world. We will adjust. We will survive. It is the getting there that is the problem. I have to figure out the how. This is where the worry comes in. This is where I freak out. I am obsessively tracking the checking account to make sure we do not become overdrawn like last month. That cost us big time, nearly as much I hate to admit it, as we are going to lose from our income. So I am frantically trying to make sure it does not happen again.

Then there are the upcoming expenses. This is the time of year we lay out large chunks of money to different places to fill our freezer and to take care of our animals. Most of the animals will be gone by the end of August and the costs will readjust again. We will have some income from some of them, i.e. the steers we will be selling. That leads to another worry. I have got to get meat customers lined up before butcher day in August. I hate the constant phone calls to some of my customers. I hate having to bug people to get answers. It drives me nuts. The alternative is to not sell the steers, also not acceptable! So I worry and stress and wind myself up and get to the point that I can't even pick up the phone.

Which leads to another thing I stress about all the time. I hate to make phone calls. I don't mind talking on the phone as long as someone else calls me but I hate dialing the phone particularly if I don't know someone or only know them slightly. I always feel like I make an idiot of myself if I have to talk to an answering machine or stumble over myself if someone actually answers. Oyy. How embarrassing to not know what the heck I was calling about when I am the one doing the calling.

Oh boy, that is a lot of confessing for one day. I can't believe that I wrote all that out. Furthermore I can't believe I am about to post it for all my friends to see. But if I get it out there, maybe someone will have a helpful solution to at least one of my issues or neuroses. So dear friends, bring on the ideas and suggestions. If nothing else, thanks for reading all of this for me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Poor neglected blog space

Oh my poor, neglected blog space. How I disregard you. I know you are thinking that it is all just excuses, excuses and more excuses and you are probably right but somehow the words have not wanted to flow. Perhaps I am not cut out to be a blogger? Naw, that can't be true. I just have to find the right balance. Life isn't complete without self-reflection and that is what this space is supposed to help with.

So poor, neglected blog space, for today I am back. I can't guarantee that I will be here tomorrow but I do pledge to try.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

So I have had a few hours of complete peace and quiet. My children are all elsewhere and my sweetie is at work earning us a living so I have had the house to myself.

As mothers we yearn for these times. We work hard to get them. But then when they arrive how do we spend them. Trying to decide how to spend them. Well, maybe you don't but I do. I worry about wasting my free time. I dream about ways to use it wisely and get the most bang for my quiet buck. Then reality sets in as it has today. In two hours I will go pick up one of the children so I will no longer be completely free. Of course since that child is the oldest one and she has been at a "sleep"over all night with one of her BFFs, the reality is that she will be more zombie than person until tomorrow morning, so it is sure to still be fairly quiet around here. But nevertheless I feel a little like I have squandered my time.

Yesterday after dropping Jessie off I stopped at the girls' school. I spent most of my 5 hours of free time over there helping. A good use of time really but what about doing something for me? So my sweetie and I went to dinner together, alone, last night and then came home to an empty house. So what did we do? Did our children's animal care chores and then sat with our computers in our laps until the news came on. This morning I slept in then read my book for at least an hour before getting up. There are so many things I could have been doing, even should have been doing but I did none of those things. Is this a good use of my free time? Tomorrow we are off and running again and there will be no time to scrapbook, bead, sit and stare out the window, garden, shop, or any of the multitude of other things I could do with my free time.

So was what I did a waste of my free time? I don't know. What I do know is that I felt good about helping where I did yesterday at school because the teachers have the monumental task of moving every single room around because of changes we are making in configuration and layout of the school. I did something good by giving up my free time to help for a while. And I did something good for me by staying in bed this morning, enjoying the chance to do some extra sleeping and reading. Should I have gotten up, gone for a walk, gotten the garden planted or cleaned a room, sure, but where is the fun in work when you don't have to.

Now though it is time to get with it. I have tomato plants to purchase, a garden to plant, animals to care for, dessert to make for tomorrow, a child to pick up, a car wash fundraiser to prepare for and on it goes so until next time, I say enjoy your moments when you can get them doing whatever it is you want to do because they are fleeting and we get so few of them. Make you a priority if for only a few moments before jumping back into that to-do list.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tastelessness in the news media and comedy

What is the world coming too? How did we get to the point that tastelessness and tackiness are the norm in comedy and news media?

I have been struck speechless two nights in a row over this very point.

The first is a tasteless "joke" made by David Letterman about Sara Palin's 14-yo daughter regarding an incident that happened at a Yankee baseball game. As I understand the story, the girl and her mom were at the game when Alex Rodriguez went after a fly ball and fell into the stands hitting the young girl. On Monday night David Letterman made a joke about Sara Palin's daughter getting "knocked up" during the 7th inning of the Yankee game. Here is a link to a youtube video of the joke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5g8kE_g-YA

Now tell me, does this not sound like he is making the joke at the expense of the child who was actually at the game?

Of course, now Mr. Letterman is backpedaling after being called on his atrocious behavior, justifying it by saying the joke was about Governor Palin's older daughter, who had a baby last year. Seriously, am I to believe that makes it any better? I am disgusted. I am angry. I am this close to writing angry letters to the powers that be at CBS, the Letterman Show, etc. Please someone tell me, how is any of this funny?

The second appallingly tasteless event was on tonight's local news broadcast. Most people have heard of the sad, senseless loss of life at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. I am saddened for the people this event effected. I feel awful for the family who lost a father/husband/son. I am feel for the people who were going about their business, trying to enjoy their vacation and had to witness this heart wrenching event. So the news media felt that the appropriate thing to do in reporting about this story was to go find the child of the guard who died and stick a camera and microphone in his face to ask him how he felt when he heard the news. Seriously??? This is what the news producers thought was appropriate? A child lost his father today. He has not even had time to assimilate that information and he has a camera stuck in his face? I don't care who gave permission for this, it never should have been sought. There is a line here and the news crew bypassed it by a mile. I started to look for a link to the video proof of this but then I stopped. I refuse to perpetuate this travesty by posting a link for more people to watch it.

Enough is enough. It is time to return some sense of human decency to news stories, late night comedy, etc. I am so sick of this kind of thing. These are only two recent incidents. So many times lately I hear something in a news story or on a comedy show and think to myself, "what a tasteless thing to do/say". If these things are okay now, where is the line not to be crossed? Is there one anymore?

I am disgusted and angry. I don't think I will be any less disgusted and angry for a long while to come.

Maturity

How do you define maturity?

I have been struggling with how to categorize maturity. My oldest DD is turning 13 and we have had a few talks lately about maturity. We have discussed that it is important to present yourself in the best light and to put your maturity on display through making good decisions, being able to converse with others intelligently and generally presenting a positive face to the public.

I have a couple of reasons for discussing this now. I need to reinforce responsibility and to me that is connected directly to showing maturity. She needs to prove that she is ready to take on responsibility. She holds an officer position within the 4-H club and she needs to be a leader. She is also a jr. leader. Just by the name you can see that the above statement is true. Furthermore, she is now one of only three eighth graders in her school. She is the only one who has been at this school since kindergarten. She has to be the leader. She must demonstrate the maturity of being part of the oldest portion of the student body. She is a good kid and she needs to model that behavior on a daily basis.

Additionally, she has chosen to take on projects that put her in contact with the public. She must present herself in the best possibly light. People around here have long memories. What she does and how she presents herself now will have impact on her for years to come.

So how do you define maturity?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Oh no,

I have done it again.

My poor little blog has been so neglected the past month and a half. I have been so busy with school, home and life that I was not called to come here. But now summer is in full swing, the kids are done with school and I feel a need to come back to my little spot on the web.

Actually I have lots of little spots on the web, places I spend my time puttering around, talking to friends and playing games.

There is Scrapshare, where I go for all things scrapbooking. I also go there for friendship and comraderie. There I can vent about my kids, get advice on nearly any situation, get motivation for my struggles with home care and weight issues. I am also inspired daily by the fantastic artists that share their creations daily.

Then there is Dottie's Weight Loss Zone. This is my first home on the web. I have to admit that I have not been here in the last few weeks either. But I know that any time I want to go back, I will be welcomed with open arms. My friendships there a fantastic. I know that I have people there who will walk with me through the beginning, middle and end of my weight loss journey and then just hang around for the fun of it. I have been going to this web home for many years and I know that I can slip right back in.

Oh and then there is the newest obsession, Facebook. I resisted, I fought to stay away, I knew better but in the end I gave in. I am so glad I did. I have such fun learning more about my friends from Scrapshare and Dotties. I connect with my brother more over Facebook than I have for a really long time. I play games. It is my down time. I love it. I have not connected with a lot of people from my past but truthfully that is okay. I am having a great time getting to know current friends better.

So why did I feel I needed to share this today? Who knows. It was just what came to mind when I opened the blogpad today. Maybe later I will find something more substantial to write about...... or maybe not.......

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 1 - Exhausted

I am so tired. If this pygmy goat does not have her kids soon so I can sleep a normal schedule, I will be a walking zombie!

Lots to do today and not much energy to do it. I will keep track of my points though and I will move more than I sit, unless I am asleep. LOL.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Self-evaulation

Wow, it has been a week since I posted last. I really miss the blog challenges at Scrapshare. They kept me blogging regularly. I guess that is the lead in I need....

I am trying to some serious self-evaluation. I have tried this before and frankly, I suck at it. But this time I have to get serious about it.

Life is not as I wish it to be. If you read my last post, you should know at least some of the frustration I feel with my parenting. I also have issues to deal with personally regarding my weight, health, eating habits and exercise habits. I need to make some changes. Knowing that is easy. Doing it is hard.

So I started yesterday by joining Weight Watchers online. I have got to get my weight under control. I have got to get more active. To further that idea, I have to hold myself accountable. I am currently taking part in a weight loss challenge at Scrapshare. I have taken part in several of these but really I have not done well because I am only sort of committed. This time I must commit and see what I truly can accomplish. We are currently entering week 3 of a six week challenge. This goes hand in hand with the WW thing.

So since I know I need to be more accountable to myself and since I need to blog more, I am making a committment to blog about my progress at least 3 times over the coming week. There I said it, so hold me to it okay? I am also committed to keeping track of my points for the entire week, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Okay, off to find something active to do, even if it is just moving the laundry from one machine to another.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How....

How is the question of the day.

How did I survive my children's babyhood years on so little sleep? We had an interrupted night of sleep around here last night and I am just dragging this morning. I feel like I have been drugged. In fact, it feels a little bit like when I was on the mag sulfate for the preeclampsia just prior to David's birth. So seriously if I feel like this today, after only one night, is it any wonder that all of us have such blurred memories of when our little ones were newborns?

How can one little virus wreak so much havoc on an entire family?

How can we go from 80 degrees on Monday to 55 today?

How can the state economy be so messed up and how can politicians think it is a good idea to solve the mess on the backs of children, sacrificing both their educations and their recreation.

How can it be nearly the end of April already?

How do other people get their children to listen, be respectful and do what they are told or what is expected? Okay, this is the biggie for today. I have complained about the discipline issues that run rampant in my house before either here in the blog or to various forums on DWLZ and Scrapshare. So what gives? How do other parents get respectful, responsible children? I had several people recommend the book "A New Kid by Friday" By Dr. Lehman the last time I went off on a rant about my kids and our issues so I got it and I read it. I think I understand the concepts because truly they are not that hard but how does one go about implementing them. I don't get it. The say it once and walk away thing sounds so good. But if I say it once and walk away, they go about their business, playing, goofing off and nary a chore gets done. No homework would ever make it back to school. He discusses B not happening until A is done but there so rarely is a B around here. We don't have requests to go to little Suzie's or to the roller rink or whatever. We are homebodies. We watch TV, way, way to much TV. Yes I admit to being a TV junkie. There is no doubt. So taking TV away is as much a punishment for me as it is for them but if it is on, they do nothing. I, on the other hand, can do all kinds of things while it is on. But TV is not the focus here.

So what is the focus, you may ask? The focus is how does this plan work if the main conflict with the children is them not doing what they are told? It seems that this plan gives them license to just ignore their responsibilities and go about their own business then nothing gets done. Miss Em spent 3 hours dinking around with homework that should have been finished in less than 30 minutes. Why did this happen? Because she would not just sit and stay focused on the task. So, please someone tell me how does the "tell em once and walk away" thing work in that situation. I must be missing a vital part of this plan. My children are masters at ignoring the things they do not want to do. They are masters of misdirection.

So seriously, how do others parent their children into respectful, responsible behavior? Because from where I sit right now, I am the worst parent in the world.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another layout to share

Here is another layout I did for a speed scrap this afternoon at GingerScraps.

While we were on vacation at Ft. Stephens State Park in Warrenton, Oregon the kids did a lot of bike riding. David is finally "getting it" with the whole bike riding experience. He now can pedal, steer and watch where he is going all at the same time. I took these pictures on our way to the beach which was a mile from the campground. Thank goodness for bike paths.


Credits:
Papers and frame by MadScrapper Designs
Alpha by Tracy Kosofsky
Gem elements by Wenchdgraffix
Butteryfly by MimiLou
Font is Sylfaen

Friday, April 10, 2009

Speed scraping

Do you scrap? Well of course most of you do because you all know me from a scrapbooking site for crying out loud.

So do you digiscrap? If so, have you ever done a speed scrap at one of the many digiscrap sites out there? No? If not, you should. For a long time I resisted. I was scared and shy. I don't have relationships with anyone at these sites. I follow several of the blogs associated with these sites to get ideas, see new kits, get freebies, etc. On one particular site, GingerScraps, they do lots of speed scraps as well as lots of other challenges. I have participated in a few of the challenges. In February, I finally due up the nerve to give a speed scrap a shot.

So what happens in a speed scrap? A speed scrap lasts one hour. A hostess gives instructions one by one with a few minutes in between each one so the scrappers can accomplish that direction. At the end of the hour, the scrappers will have one more hour to finish up their layout and upload it to the associated gallery. Usually there is a cool or cute freebie that each participant gets.

I had fun with my first foray into speed scrapping in February but then things got busy and I have not had time to really get back to do another until today. Since I have been working so hard to get the house cleaned up (see the previous post for my to-do list this week), I decided to take a little while this afternoon to scrap.

Here is the result:


The color palette for this scrap was black, white, gray and silver. This is one of the reasons I like speed scraps. It makes me scrap outside my comfort zone. I would never do an entirely black and white layout on my own but I love how this one turned out.

Credits:
Background paper from Gingerlikethecracker’s A Star Danced in Space kit.
Frame by Pineapple Princess
Glitter border by Inspired by Dominic Designs.
Diamond by Broken Jar Creations
Staple by Angela Coles
Alpha: JanelScraps
Font: Snap ITC

To-Do lists

I have been working on that control thing I mentioned all week long. On Monday I created a to-do list that I have been working since then. As each day has gone by I have color coded what I have done each day. I am feeling good about my progress. This list started out all black but is now all sorts of pretty colors. :)

Today I took a break, volunteered at school and then did a speed scrap at GingerScraps. I will post the resulting layout in another entry. Now that the kids are home from school we will have to hit the list hard so we have less to do this weekend before dinner with my parents to celebrate Emily's 9th birthday on Sunday.

Items in red were accomplished on Monday. Items in blue were accomplished on Tuesday. Items in green were accomplished Wednesday. Items in purple were accomplished Thursday.

This is what I have accomplished:

LAUNDRY ARENA:
Fold all outstanding clean laundry
~Basket 1
~Basket 2
~Basket 3
~Basket 4
~Reload of Basket 1 from overflow of other baskets
Start load #1 washing
Move load #1 to dryer
Start load #2 washing
Move load #2 to dryer
Fold load #1
Start Load #3 washing
Move load #3 to dryer
Fold load #2
Fold load #3
Put away all the folded clothes
Load #4 - Wash, dry, fold, put away
Load #5 - Wash, dry, fold, put away
Load #6 - Wash, dry, fold, put away

FRONT PORCH/ENTRYWAY
Clear off front porch
~all accumulated garbage to outside garbage
~organize all gardening stuff and move to side porch shelves
~sweep
~Clear entryway bench
~pick all shoes, organize and get rid of old or too small ones
~take broken toys out
~Sweep floor
~mop
~Wash inside of front door
~Vacuum cobwebs

KITCHEN
Clear sink
Unload/reload dishwasher (DD's chore) - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Clear Microwave counter and wash down
Clear sink counter and wash down
Organize plant shelf area and wipe down
Clear telephone counter and wash down
Clear table and wash down
Clear island and wash down
Wipe down cabinet fronts and sides - Did some Tuesday, Paid DD to do the rest of this
Sweep floor
Mop floor
Organize cookbooks/telephone stuff

PANTRY
Reorganize counter tops (again)
Bag up all escaped bottles for recycling
Remove all burnables to burn pile

GREAT ROOM:
Pack up and put away all Snowmen
Straighten knick-knacks
Dust
Straighten bookshelves
Clear wooden table completely
Vacuum

LIVING ROOM:
Straighten up and clear off the top of the TV and Stereo cabinet
Pick up behind TV
Clear off glass table completely
Wash down glass table
Straighten up wooden bookshelf - Started this but it is not complete yet.
Send coach blankets to laundry for washing
Straighten up/purge around my chair/computer
Straighten up/purge around DH's chair/computer
Clean under and around kids computer area
Vacuum

DINING ROOM:
Finish bead organization project and pack away
Clear table completely
Straighten/organize buffet counter
Vacuum

HALLWAY:
Pick up and put away misc. stuff
Vacuum

UTILITY ROOM:
Sort out what stays and what goes
Empty garbage
Sweep
Mop
Clear out utility sink
Organize top of dry
Organize storage shelf

HALL BATH:
This is the girls' bathroom and I will just make sure that they do their cleaning chores.

MISC:
Take newspapers to burn pile
Cut goat out of hole she got herself stuck in
Bring in meat for dinner from outside freezer and defrost
Take out garbage bags in hall
Change batteries in caller ID unit
Start picking up irrigation system in the garden.
Start clearing out debris from garden area to prepare for working and planting.
Update blog look for spring
Get minutes ready for PTC Tuesday night.
Do agenda for PTC meeting Tuesday night.
Spend a freakishly long time at PTC meeting
Volunteer at school
Go to fairgrounds office to book date for next year's fundraising auction.
Go grocery shopping
Put groceries away
Change vacuum bag.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Control

I have decided that it is time to take back control.

Of my house that is.

I am sick and tired of living in a pigsty.

I am also tired of being the only one who seems to care.

Unfortunately that is the current state of things around here and I seem to be able to do little to change it. So instead of beating my head against that particular wall again, I decided that I was just going to have to suck it up. So far yesterday I did three loads of laundry from start to finish and folded all the other laundry that had been sitting around in baskets. I also cleared the kitchen table completely. Finally I spent some time out in the garden pulling out the irrigation system in order to get ready for the planting season that soon will be upon us. Today I worked on my entryway. I cleared the bench we have there, picked up all the shoes, swept and mopped the floor and washed all the dirty fingerprints from the door.

It is time that my house became a healthy, clean home again. Obviously I am the only one who cares so I will have to do the work. I am proud of the start I have gotten.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What do you think?

So what do you think of the new look?

Is it too much?

Is the picture too big?

Let me know what you think. I like it but that may just be because I am tired of trying different things and am ready to head to bed.

Construction Zone

Please excuse the dust as I update the blog for spring. I am ready to kick the snowmen to the curb in favor of blue skies, butterflies or pretty flowers. Then I will have to work on the header because that snow picture, while pretty, has got to go.
I saw this on my friend Patricia's Blog and thought it would be fun. My answers are in bold.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you could to a charity - I've given a lot, but never more than I could.

7. Been to Disneyland (once)

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. OH WHERE OH WHERE IS NUMBER ELEVEN??

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (knitting)

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa

20. Traveled by Train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse (solar)

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - I don't need money to be truly satisfied, but yes... we're comfortable.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung Karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on the beach in the moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling DH and I snorkeled in Hawaii

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Number 54 ran off with number 11

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. MISSING

65. MISSING

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job (Once only, and I hated the job, so it was a good thing)

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chicken pox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby (three times)

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in a day

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Challenge: Women I admire

The question of the day is is there a woman "Who you'd love to have a one hour conversation with?"

There are a number of women who fit this bill. My most recent addition to this list is Sarah Palin. I don't care much about politics and I have a hard time sorting out all the whys and wherefores when it comes to political campaigns. However, this woman struck a cord with me. It was not about her politics but her personality. I think there is a ton of stuff I could sit and talk to her about. I would love to chat with her about parenting and getting kids safely to adulthood. She and I share an interest in fishing. In fact, it would be so awesome to have this one hour conversation while standing on the bank of one of her State's rivers with fishing poles in our hands. I think we could have some fun debates about the different teams in the field of 64 that made up the NCAA tournament.

I really admire this woman and her ability to put it all on the line to run for the second highest seat in the land with little preparation. I would love to spend an hour with her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A pleasant day

What a pleasant day. The kids are with my parents having fun. They went fishing this afternoon. I am alone in the house while DH is at work. I have the TV tuned to March Madness. The window is open and a nice breeze is blowing. So far the weather has been dry today. The animals are all healthy and happy. Sure there is housework to do but the laundry is caught up and the dishes are all clean or in the dishwasher.

Yep, just a pleasant day.

Blog Challenge: Women I admire

I looked over the list of writing prompts for the blog challenge this morning and kept coming back to this one:

Write about a woman "Who inspires you?"

My friend Laurie inspires me. Laurie has had some really hard times in her life. She has overcome all of it and now is in a stable relationship, is a great mom and is a fun, loving friend. She is a co-leader of our 4-H club and works hard at everything she does. Her son, a friend of Jessie's, has some pretty serious health issues but Laurie deals with it all with grace.

In her younger life, Laurie had a drug problem, lived in her car with her little boy and escaped an borderline abusive relationship. She found the inner strength to pull herself together, get out of the relationship, and make something of her life.

Now Laurie works tirelessly to make things better for her son who deals with debilitating migraines and behavior issues. She nearly single handedly put together a huge fundraiser for our 4-H club that raised over $2500 dollars for our Relay for Life team.

Laurie inspires me to be a better, stronger person. I am so thankful to count her as a friend.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog Challenge: Women I admire

Oops, I have neglected my blog a bit this week with all the business of life getting in the way. I need to get back to posting daily. Nothing like the blog challenge to drag a post out of me. Today I want to write about a woman who had a wonderful influence on my life and is someone "Who you wish was still here with you?"

I wrote a lot about my grandma and my feelings about her passing last year in a couple of posts. One is here and another is here. Finally here is the last one here.

I desperately miss my grandmother. She taught me so very much through my life. I wish she was still here as she was when I was a child so my children could learn from her too.

My grandmother was just fun. She loved to play with us. We played cards, dice games, read stories, worked in the garden and just generally had a great time together. I miss Grandma. I would love to spend more time with her. She was a wonderful influence on my life. She is someone I aspire to be like.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog Challenge - Women I admire

Wow, lookie there this is my 200th blog post. Cool.

I just finished up a digital scrapbook layout using the 3rd sketch from the Feeling Scrappy class I am taking. Since the layout is of Matt's great-great aunt on her 100th birthday I will use it as a jumping off point to honor her.

Given the "rules" of this challenge I need to pick one of the writing prompts. This lady fairly personifies a woman I am in awe of.

Credits: Sketch by Stacey Lokovic. Maroon paper, yellowish paper, lace, bling and heart are all from a free kit by DigiLover's Addiction.
Purple background paper designed by me with a PSE 6 brush. Font: Lucida Handwriting.

Aunt Melba is a fascinating lady. She is tough as nails and fiercely independent. She has lived on her own since her husband Ray passed away over 10 years ago. Given that she is 100 years old, it amazes me that she still gets around on her own with just the use of wheeled walker. After all there are days I would like to be able to use one of those so she is doing great. She lives in an assisted living facility where she has a little apartment. She has a couple of doggies to keep her company.

Did I mention she is tough? She and Ray lived their entire married life in Los Angeles where he was an artist and furniture designer/builder for Hollywood. Their home was on the fringes of the LA riots in 1992. Let's do the math for a second. That was 16 years ago. 100 - 16 = 84. She was 84 years old at that time. Did they leave and let the police protect their home and property? No they did not. They stayed. They, with the help of some trusted young people from the neighborhood, protected their home through all the burning and fighting.

I am in awe of this woman. She had no children of her own but helped to raise her sister's children and helped those children with their families as well. One of those children was my husband's grandmother. Melba has outlived so many in her life including, sadly, Grandma Dessert. Frankly just the changes in this country and our social norms this woman has seen leave me in awe. We are coming up on her 101st birthday soon. Oley smokes that is a long time.

Since her health has held, her mind is still firmly intact and she is so independent, I would not be surprised to be invited back to celebrate 105 years in 2013.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blog Challenge for March

My friend Traci has issued another great blog challenge for us. If you want to participate, jump on in.

Here are the details copied from her blog:
This month's challenge is of a different sort. March is Women's History Month. Since we are all women, it seems fitting to have a monthly challenge that honors the special women in our life.

Is there a woman...
  • Who you wish you spent more time with or talked to more often?
  • Who inspires you?
  • Who you can always talk to?
  • Whose story you're always in awe of?
  • Who touched your life in a major way?
  • Who taught you a skill that you use often?
  • Who you could trust to point out the lettuce stuck in you teeth from lunch?
  • Who you could invite over to your messiest house?
  • Who you want to be like when you grow up?
  • Who made you want to be a mom?
  • Who you've never met, but always admired?
  • Who you wish was still here with you?
  • Who you laugh so hard you cry with?
  • Who can finish your sentences for you?
  • Who has been your friend as long as you can remember?
  • Who you've been greatly encouraged by?
  • Who you'd love to have a one hour conversation with?

Since this is also the month of St Patrick's Day, we'll throw in a little "luck o' the Irish" and make the rules unique:

-Pick 7 (get it "lucky number 7?) of the above writing prompts and roll with them. Write 7 meaningful posts about 7 special ladies. If you don't like my prompts feel free to substitute some of your own.

-Prizes will also be unique this month. EVERYONE who participates will get a special little prize. I hope to have a bunch of participants and I'm willing to give out oodles of prizes!

Remember to leave a comment and let me know you're playing!!! And if you finish before the month is over feel free to stop over early and let me know that you've participated!

I look forward to reading about a bunch of special ladies! Happy Blogging Everyone!

This will be a real, well, challenge for me and could result in tears as well but I am game. I will get started tomorrow.

Happy birthday to me

Come on sing it with me. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.

Yep today is my birthday.

My kids very sweetly wished me happy birthday this morning before heading off to school.

Tonight DH, the kids and my parents are going out to dinner and then to the Oregon State Gymnastics meet. I am sure there will also be ice cream and cake somewhere in there.

Many people worry and stress about birthdays and getting older. I have never really worried about it that much. This year as I turn 35, I find myself more aware of my age. I think that is directly related to my oldest turning 13 in a few months. Oh boy, where have the years gone? I was 22 when she was born. 22!?! Oh how young that seems now. Each year seems to go by faster than the next. We get busier and busier the older the kids get. With that busier schedule I feel my age more and more. For example, I fell a couple weeks ago. I hurt my knee and my shoulder. A few years ago, this would have been a simple injury a few years ago. Now, it is still giving me problems. This has caused me to reflect on what is good for me and what I know I need to do. It is time to take control of my health. I have to put a plan in place to bump up my exercise, improve my eating and basically take back control.

Happy birthday to me!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sketch #2 - Daffodil Delight

I have spent a few hours going back and forth with this layout. I finally have it as I like it.

The journaling reads:
One of my very favorite flowers is the daffodil. I love the many color combinations but my absolute favorite is the bright yellow King Alfred daffodils. My grandfather raised King Alfred daffodil bulbs on his farm in Warrenton, Oregon. It would seem that the love of these flowers was passed down to me from him. It just says spring to me when the daffodils start to bloom. Spring flowers are a sign that the rainy, dreary, cold, gray winter is beginning to succumb to the warm sun of spring. On a bright, beautiful early spring day in March I got out with my camera and captured the gorgeous yellow color of these spring icons.

Credits:
Digital layout created in PSE 6.
Sketch by Jayne Jones - Sketch #2 in Sketchapalooza 3.
Green background paper is from Kristine Pocock's Wenchd Graffix, Fall Splendor Kit.
Orange paper is from Jan Hosford's Woodland Song kit.
Clips are from Beth Kern's Simply Love kit.
Bling circle frame is from Boutique Cute Dolls Dreaming Sampler kit.
The daffodil paper was created by from my own photo and the green background paper by Kristine Pocock.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sketch #1 - Enjoying the Sun

Here is the layout I did with the first sketch of the new Sketchapalooza class over at Feeling Scrappy. If you are interested, I am sure you could still sign up for this fabulous class since there are only two sketches posted so far.

Credits:
Sketch by Amy Bell. Sketch 1 from Sketchapalooza 3.
Digital layout created in PSE 6.
Photos edited using actions from Coffeeshop Free Actions
All papers from Digitreats Smirk Kit
Ric-Rac from Brittney's Britt-ish Designs.
Fonts: Poor Richard, Goudy Stout and Lucida Fax.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Almost didn't make it

I nearly forgot to sign up for Sketchapalooza III. Now that would have made me sad.

What is sketchapalooza? It is a fabulous class over at Feeling Scrappy. A wonderful design team will be providing us with oodles of sketches to get us moving to get a bunch of pages done. This is an inexpensive, fun class that will help get lots of scrapping done. Whether you do digital or traditional scrapbooking, this class will work for you.

Come join us for lots of scrappy fun. You can get so much inspiration just from hanging out with this group of ladies. It is not too late. The first sketch was just posted yesterday so there is plenty of time to get signed up and start scrapping.

Poor little guy

Yesterday the girls and today poor little David. He is running a fever (don't know how high since the thermometer battery is dead) and has been having episodes of vomiting all morning. At least he is good at getting to the bathroom.

Poor little one is all tuckered out and sleeping. Hopefully he will wake up feeling better.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Poor kids -- Poor me.

Darn it all.

So much for my quiet Monday morning.

Both girls are home sick.

Jessie has an icky tummy. She has been the longest holdout with all the illness swirling around. The colds have been in the house for a while starting with David going to Matt and I and finally Emily has been fighting it off for the last couple weeks. The only one not to get the cold has been Jessie. I thought she had a chance to avoid it all but nope, this morning the bedroom door cracked open with a "mom, I don't feel good". Now usually that is not enough to warrant a day off from school but she also felt warm and looked a bit green so back to bed she went.

Now with Emily I am not surprised at all. She has been struggling with a cough for a week and I had to bring her home from school early one day. But she has been trying so hard to work through it because it was her last week of basketball. Of course that was probably part of the problem, she was pushing herself to keep up and play in the last game of the season. Now she is paying the price for that dedication. Her cough is awful and she is exhausted which makes her attitude pretty testy.

Poor things are miserable. Poor me because I love my quiet, home all alone Monday mornings. Oh well, all I had planned was housework anyway. I just have to keep the radio volume turned down.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fabulous Day

Yesterday was a fabulous day. It was also a super busy day.

It started with an early morning wake-up. In order to get to town in time for warm-ups at 8:00 a.m. the alarm went off at 6:30. We were out the door into the cold, cold morning by 7:40. Emily's final basketball game of the season, against the toughest team in their age group, was set to start at 8:30. For this family that is waaaaayyyyy early for a Saturday morning.

The game, as I said, pitted us against the toughest team. The other coach is very loud and is teaching her girls to use game skills that are not allowed (such as a version of zone defense) at this level. All of that is very confusing for teams who are doing things as they should. Yesterday the girls did really well holding their ground and not letting the other team push them around. It was a hard fought game. Emily took a hard fall in the third quarter and hurt her shoulder. In the past this would have been enough to make her quit at least for the day. Yesterday, after shaking it off for a bit, she rejoined her team and finished the game. I was so proud of her!! Though there is no official score kept, all the parents know, we won this game!! More importantly the girls worked hard in the second half to come back from a fairly significant deficit for that win.

After spending a few hours at home doing some chores and relaxing, we headed back out to go to Corvallis. We gathered back up with the team for pizza, awards and birthday cake because it was coach's birthday. The pizza place we were at has a huge play area and the girls had a blast hanging out together and playing, eating pizza and cake and getting their team medals. Yeah I know the photo sucks but the focus was off in the dark room and it is the only one I have so I will use it and be happy that I have even that.

To cap off the day, the team got to go watch the Oregon State University Lady Beavers take on their in-state rivals, the University of Oregon Lady Ducks. The team got to sit together in fabulous seats to cheer on the Beavs to win. They also got a photo op with Benny Beaver. When the game was over the team and coach came up in the stands where the girls were sitting, giving high-fives and hugs. The kids were so excited and hyped up. Their eyes were sparkling and they were all talking a mile a minute. It took a good long time for all the excitement to drop down to normal levels.

To cap the evening we got a quick photo with one of the cheerleaders.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love post #11 - Candles


Oh how I love candles. Candles give my home a warmth and glow that is missing when I don't burn them. I love the scents and the colors. I love all the pretty holders that I can get to decorate with. Right now my current favorite is Party Lite candles. The scents are subtle and there are lots of them to choose from. I had a great time picking out all the beautiful holiday scents. I hold a catalog show about twice a year and get some awesome free goodies.
This hurricane candle holder is made from beautiful pieces of cut glass. It reflects the candle light and makes it sparkle. See how the colors shine? This one is really cool. It has bubbles all through the glass. Apparently they put baking soda in the glass while it is hot to make the bubbles. This one sits in my front window.

Candles go along with my love of storms too. As soon as a good storm starts up, I light my candles in case the power goes out. When we lost power for several days during the snow storm back in December, I kept my candles burning all day to help warm the house. Yep the warmth, flicker and glow, the pretty colors, scents and holders, just thinking about it all makes me want to go light some candles. I think I will do just that.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Love post #10 - A good storm


I love a good storm. Listening to the rain and wind against my windows while I am tucked warm inside is wonderful. I love to hear the patter of raindrops on my windows because I know that all that water will benefit my plants, my land and even my summer. All our rain and storms help keep our state it's beautiful green color. I know that many feel it is dreary but I know that each beautiful drop of liquid gold is beneficial and wonderful. Besides, it sure beats the frozen stuff that I have to shovel. LOL

Monday, February 23, 2009

Love post #9 - Those eyes

I just love DS's expressive, beautiful eyes.

Credits:
Background paper: Sarah Laming's Sassy_coldchocolate paper f
red paper: Christy Skaggs Christmasadvent_paper02
brown ribbon: Inspired by Dominic Designs_forevermine_brownribbon
blue ribbon: Dawn Wilson_trash to treasure freebie
Atomic cupcake’s Painted Wood action
Coffeeshop’s Perfect portrait action

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love post #8 - Speed Scraps

Hmm, I have never done one of these before. I decided to try it tonight since I was stuck in my chair anyway after hurting my knee this afternoon. I really think I love this scrapping style. It was fun! And the bonus was that I got a layout done in under 2 hours! How cool is that.
Credits:
Papers, ribbon, buttons and alpha R from GingerScraps Wild Cherry Tea kit
Journaling strips from Pineapple Plantation's Grateful Kit
Fonts: Gill Sans Ultra Bold in title and High Tower Text in journaling.


The process was pretty simple. I went to GingerScraps Speed Scrap forum and followed the steps as they were posted in the thread. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love post #7 - My Son and his trains


My Dson loves everything about trains. He loves Thomas trains, electric trains and big, real trains. He has been obsessed with them since before he could say the word. He could sit for hours near the train yard watching the pusher engines making up trains and sending them out. When we were in San Francisco the highlight of he trip for him was riding BART because it is a TRAIN!!

In May 2007, my parents, I and my girls took a short trip along the portion of the Amtrak rail that goes through one of our favorite portions of the mountains/Willamette Valley. DS was only 2 but I don't think he has yet to forgive us for not taking him too. LOL

Finally on Sunday DS finally got his ride. DH decided that DS was old enough and would enjoy the trip. Also, the new commuter rail line in the Portland area is up and running. So he took DS and DD#2 on Amtrak to Portland Sunday evening and then spent Monday riding all the Trimet train lines in Portland. If this is not a boy in love, I don't think I have ever seen one. Of course the long, busy day completely wore out both kids.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love post #6 - My hubby




Okay, nothing has been solved from yesterday's post but I have calmed down some. I am still hurt and angry but the only thing that will solve that is time at this point.

Now, I really do love my hubby Matt. We have issues but what couple doesn't?

So what do I love about him?
I love his willingness to be a parent. We both agreed from the beginning of our marriage that we would have kids and God willing, several of them. As you have seen on this blog and other places, we have 3 kids. Those kids run us a merry chase at times. They also raise our blood pressure and make us nuts at times. But Matt always participates in the raising of our children. He jumps right in to the good and the bad. For example, tomorrow he is taking two of the three of them on a train ride and then they are going to spend Monday humoring our youngest by riding every train style transportation system in Portland. My son LOVES trains so they are taking Amtrak to Portland tomorrow and spending the night at my in-laws house before their adventure on Monday.

I also love the fact that he supports my being a SAHM. We both agree on the importance of one of being a parent full time. There have been times that things are really, really tight budget wise but when we have talked about me getting a job, he agrees that it just would be better for our family to keep the status quo.

I love the fact that he works hard, is admired by his coworkers and most importantly, has a job that he enjoys. That was not the case a few months ago. I love that he took the initiative to go find something that makes us feel more comfortable from the prospective of job security but that also makes going to work more pleasant for himself.

I love that he does mornings. He gets the kids their breakfast and takes them to school every day. I don't do mornings well so this is a huge thing for me and the kids.

I love that he will put up with me. I know that there are many times that I am not easy to live with. I am opinionated, loud, set in my ways, ....... did I mention opinionated?....... and often grumpy and tired. Nonetheless, he loves me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hmmmmm

I wanted to do my next love post on my DH in anticipation of Valentine's Day. After this morning and its happenings, I can't and that makes me sad. I am still hurt and angry and unsure of what to do about it all. I am caught in a place I do not want to be. I think I know what should work but in the past what should work and what does work are two vastly different worlds.

For now, I am sad and hurt and angry. Hopefully, that will not be the case for too long.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love post #5 - Pictures

I love to take pictures. I love to analyze pictures (even though I don't know enough to truly do that but I do know what I like). I take pictures just about everywhere I go. I love to take pictures of sunsets flowers the beach and my kids. I just love to click away with my camera. Right now I only have a point and shoot but my dream is to have a DSLR someday. I love to experiment with my camera. Sometimes the results are good and other times are not so good but the experience always teaches me something about photography.

Today is the perfect day to love to take pictures. Last year I started joining others at Scrapshare doing a layout of the 12th day of each month. Today is the 12th and I have been working on getting my 12 shots. I love doing this because it gives me a record of everyday, simple things that I/we do each month. Since I tend toward "event" scrapping versus "moment" scrapping, this is a way to change things up a bit.

I love pictures and photography because it feeds my artistic side.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've been tagged!!

Aww the fun little blog games. I like to read what everyone does with these but I have never been tagged before.

This time Tracy very sweetly thought of me. You can find her blog here.

The rules of the game find the sixth picture in the sixth album on my computer. This requires a confession. I am now quite meticulous about my organization but at the beginning of my digital photography life I was not so err precise. I currently have albums for 2007, 2008 and 2009 and then there are all the random things. I have all the girls' pictures on my computer as well because the desktop they use is very short on memory and well....old. So lets see what I can find.

The 6th album is titled Beach. It is a collection of photos from a trip to the coast that DH and I took in November of 2007. He had a conference over there and I joined him for the last night. This photo was taken the next day before we headed home.


The rules say that I need to tag 5 more people. So I have tagged Brynn, Patricia, Sue, Menjiness and CloverGirl.