Thursday, January 31, 2008


Her costume is amazing. Someday I'll dance again.

Party ideas?

I usually start planning my kids' birthday parties the day after their birthday. I love to plan ahead! Because their parties tend to be expensive, we are only doing them on the even years. Cyra just had her 8th, so she won't have another until she's 10.

I was looking up ideas for Hannah Montana parties, Movie Star parties etc. I have a general idea, but was looking for something over the top for her 10th.

I typed in "10 year old birthday parties"...that let me to a site of a woman looking for info for her daughter's 16th b-day. Curious, I opened her link. It was NOT about her daughter's birthday. I tried quickly to shroud Kenady's eyes and shut everything down.

It's disguisting that so many porn websites are linked to such innocent searches. I was looking for party ideas. Problem being, it's not a swinger party.

Oops - I missed dump day

I was so busy yesterday, that I forgot to dump.

*Last night it was 50 degrees
*This morning it is 0 degrees
*No school?
*Oh man!
*The roads are too icey
*Ross had to drive 3 hours in this
*It took him over 4 hours in this weather
*I hope Heather calls me.
*I'd love to go out tonight.
*What will I wear?
*Tom will be there.
*He always looks at my shoes
*He has a "shoe thing"
*I think I'll wear hot pink, fur lined boots
*Yes, I've succombed to the culture
*They don't match my purse exactly
*Maybe, he won't notice.
*My 2nd favorite guy Matt is coming too
*They flew in on a private jet.
*The flight took 3.5 hours from Eugene to Elkhart
*I really need a private jet
*That flight's normally 8 hours
*With layovers included
*But not drive time.
*Ross's meeting ran late
*I had to pick up Heather
*My car is frozen
*Seriously frozen
*It took 20 min to be able to see through the windshield
*The wipers never defrosted enough to work
*Yes, we have a 3 car garage
*The Excursion doesn't fit in it
*Neither does the Toyota
*I feel bad picking up Heather late.
*We also got home late
*Who knew dinner would take 2.5 hours?
*I gave her a little extra $
*My kids were ill-behaved
*I got on facebook
*1st time in a month
*Heather made a video
*Using her new Mac
*She has tons of friends
*She included my kids in her friends video
*She used "this is the life" by Miley Cyrus
*I love Miley
*And Heather
*And GS cookies.


Ross had a business dinner last night, and invited me. I went to one about a year ago, but normally just stay home with the girls. It's hard to find a babysitter during the middle of the week.

I was able to go last night. The meeting was with Jim, Rich, Ross & Ryan (all from IN) and John, Tom, Jason & Matt all from Oregon. We went to a new restaurant in Elkhart called Indigo. It was absolutely beautiful inside. They had little coves built in for private dining as well as a large dining room. The lounge was uber trendy. It reminded me of a place we ate at in Chicago.

We started in the bar for drinks (not me....yuck), then moved to the large dining room. The server brought the menus which were full of very delicious sounding entrees. It was fun to answer questions about the food. The boys were like "What's a satay? What's a kalamata olive? What's creme fraiche? Which fork do I use first? Which bread & butter plate is mine?" I actually felt useful.

Here are some of the food the group ordered:

White & wheat ciabatta - with garlic butter or a dip that was a cross between hummus & tapenade
Jerk shrimp - with a spicy / chunky salsa
Coconut jumbo shrimp - with a raspberry sauce
Beef satay - with peanut sauce (this was my favorite)
Duck spring rolls
Crusted veal w/ prosciutto
Peppercorn crusted bone in ribeye
Wasabi salmon
NY strip w/ truffle butter
Side dishes
Szechuan green beans
Salad w/ mango
Roasted fingerling potatoes w/ chives & creme fraiche
Creme Brulee
Apple tart
Molten chocolate cake (it was baked when ordered!)

They had some great food and even better ambience. The prices were a little high, but not abnormal for a great meal. I would say for someone ordering a beef dish, side dish, dessert & would pay around $55 plus tax. For a meal with chicken, duck or veal it would be about $12 less.

Not something you could do often (or at least most of us) but a great place for special occasions. Besides, it takes around 2.5 hours for the entire meal. Who has that much time on their hands?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


My prayer today is that I remember that the death & resurrection of Christ for our sins is a gift...I can't pay for it with works or tithes. It's free.

Thank you Jesus for the gift, because I've done a few things today that wouldn't earn me much. Oh, and I'm sure I will tomorrow as well. I apologize in advance. =)

My dog is nasty

I am sitting here reading blogs and clipping my fingernails. I have a little trash can here to catch the clippings. One of them didn't make it. No worries, the dog got it. =P

Tax Stimulus Check

I have had SO many conversations over the past few days about the stimulus check coming in the mail in the next few months. I am so surprised at how many people see this as "free" money.

Remember we have paid this into the system. It is OUR money. But the scary thing is that the government doesn't really have this money to give. They are printing it, in order to boost the economy. This means that the value of the dollar is plummeting. =(

In 2001, the government gave stimulus checks as well. Within 6 months, two-thirds of the nation had spent theirs. They hit the malls with their "free" money.

I wonder if they were as ecstatic when the following year, their tax refund was shortened because of their early withdrawal. That's right....when you cash it, it reduces your refund for the following year. What if your refund is less than your stimulus check? You pay the difference!

My suggestion? Either put it towards debt, or stick it in a great mutual fund and let it grow baby! That way if you owe money in've got it, plus a little more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Call me Heather S.

Heather S - if you read this call me! I need a sitter for Wed. night at 6. It's too late to call!

Free Hugs

I found this video and fell in love with it. It was nice to have a "happy" cry first thing in the morning.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Kenady received a belated Christmas gift from her Grandma. It was special markers that can color on special jewelry. Campbell got a hold of's been over a week and it's faded, but not gone. Last year they got pink makeup that is FINALLY out of my carpet. My NEW solution for those "not for kids" gifts that they get......basura.

Kid commissions

I thought I'd let you know that our kid commission system is working great! The girls have a chart that I print off each week that lets them track their chores. Cyra has 5 chores, Kenady had 3, but asked for another so she now has 4.

I decided to pay them once each week. I chose Sunday. I didn't want them to start an early habit of getting their money on a Friday or Saturday night and then (as teenagers/adults)blowing it all during the weekend.

Cyra is so good with her money. She takes her bills and change upstairs and sorts it. She'll calculate at least 10% for tithing and then splits the rest evenly between savings and spending. Although lately she's been puting more in savings. I'm so thankful that I started her so young!

Kenady puts hers in a big clear jar. She crumples it up first so she can see it grow faster. When it's full she gets to decide how much she wants to give to the church. I'm going to praise her whether it's $1 or $10. Just learning to give is a big deal at 4!

Campbell doesn't have any chores, but she has a little money in her jar from Christmas.

They are all saving for Disneyworld. They want to go to the bibbidi bobbidi boutique and it's around $200. If they save their birthday money, Christmas money and commissions...they could have a lot more than that. We decided that we would give them Disney dollars instead of gifts for the entire year. They received $10 in their stockings, they'll get some for Valentine's Day, Easter, Birthday, and loosing teeth. They are so cute and can be used for merchandise or food at Disney Store, Disneyland, and Disneyworld.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's cold here

I finally went grocery shopping last night. While I was out I noticed something. First of all, it's much quicker to go without lil ones. =) Secondly, people here really know how to make snow boots look good!

Growing up, I would have been mortified to tromp through a store in those clod hoppers. Here, people have NICE snow boots. Some are knee high, some lace up, fur lined, patchwork, you name it....we've got it.

I bet women here have snow boots just like they have flats, tennies, or heels. A pair to go with a few outfits and that one coveted pair that only goes with THE outfit. I must say that I've never seen such trendy snow boots in my life. I guess that's part of the culture here (instead of in's cars).

Alright, I have to take Cyra to the bus. I better figure out which snow boots go with black yoga pants and a V-neck!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Deena Louise

I mentioned my Mom in the last post. I thought I'd share a little about her.

She grew up in a somewhat volutile household. Her Mom and Dad divorced in her teen years and she chose to live with Grandma Aimee instead. Grandma & Aunt Phyllis spoiled her. She had very expensive taste and they obliged.

Her Dad worked on a car lot and was able to get her a new car to drive whenever she wanted. She once backed into one of the lot's cars and creamed the side. Grandpa said, just go pick out another.

Needless to say her life looked easy. I know she ended up struggling with relationships as an adult though. She seemed like an introvert, but controlled everyone with her passive aggressive behavior. She was blunt and brutally honest at times.

Once we were at a Mary Kay luncheon. We had just finished eating lunch and they were delivering dessert. Mom asked for another (on a cruise Mom could do triple desserts). When she asked for a second dessert. The woman next to her made a smart comment. Mom's reply "MY figure can afford it!" Like I said, brutally honest.

Sometimes her honesty hurt those she loved the most. When I was going to marry Ross, she relayed that I should pick someone who always says "yes Ma'am" instead of having his own opinion. She said that in ten years, I'd regret my decision. It's been eleven and I don't. Sorry Mom, you were wrong.

When my Sister in law had her baby, she was telling Mom about the delivery. It wasn't necessarily an easy delivery like mine. My Mom's reply? "Cats have kittens in closets everyday." That was extremely hurtful to Jennifer.

While all these instances seem hurtful, she really was a caring person. She spent the first part of her life caring for special needs students. We even had several in our home on weekends to provide respite for their parents. Two lived with us short term, and one lived with us for several years. Her heart had a special spot for kids with autism & downs syndrome. She spent the second half of her life building some great relationships in Mary Kay.

We never had the relaltionship where I could come to her if something were wrong. But, I was blessed to have other women in my life I could turn to for advice. I choose not to look at that as a bad thing. It's taught me to cultivate that part of my relationship with my own daughters. I want them to come to me, because I know what it feels like to not have that. It's something I can thank her for. I may not have seen the importance otherwise.

She was a great homemaker. Baked goods were always in our house. Breads, cookies, candies...Mmmm. She always had a beautiful dinner on the table. Chicken ala King, Tetrazini, Buttermilk fried chicken.....double Mmmmm. You could count on the house being clean everyday, my cheer uniform was laundered promptly. You could almost time the sound of the vacumm coming through your room at 2 am. Eventually you stop waking up, because it becomes the norm.

I learned to sew at an early age. She encouraged me to enter stuff at the fair. I won many awards for my vests. Yes, it was the 80's! I also won awards for my biscuits, banana bread, and many varieties of cookies. All of those lessons, not just the cooking, were great lessons to learn so early. I hold value to those skills she taught me that are no longer considered valuable in 2008.

One of the most important and selfless things she did was encourage my brother & I to love the arts. My brother can play the saxophone, drums, piano and guitar! He's best at guitar, playing right hand and left hand! I play piano, although I did it more for approval than the love of the instrument. It is nice to be able to sit down and play something though! Choir was important from 7th grade on. I was also involved in all types of dance from age 3. Ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, clogging, name it, I probably love it. I know these lessons cost big money, but she continued to make allowance for it.

I think about her often and wonder where I would be if she were still on the earth. It's hard for me to say, but things are actually better now. I've learned to be myself. Make decisions for my family without considering her opinion was quite difficult for a year or so. I'm actually enjoying my new adventure, more than I thought I would.

It's dump day...

Sorry - I had no suggestions for a new name. So until are stuck with it.

I missed doing this yesterday. Hectic day with Girl Scouts stuff.

*I found a new light fixture for our entryway.
*Ross has to set up scaffolding to get it up there (18 ft).
*While you're up should paint.
*I should go to Menard's to look at paint chips.
*That is the dumbest name for a store.
*I drove past it on Monday and someone had stolen the "R"
*Immediately called Ross and had a good laugh.
*Drove out the the Girl Scout store and spent over $100.
*Had all of the girls over on Tuesday.
*Learned about eating healthy.
*Hard to do during cookie season.
*I desperately need to go grocery shopping, but the weather is yucky.
*I don't mind driving in the snow.
*The Excursion has NO problems doing so.
*I just hate putting kids into snow gear.
*They complain about having to wear it in the store.
*I think I'll go tonight.
*Oh wait, it's church night.
*Maybe tomorrow.
*Friday night spent at the market? I'm old.
*I wish I was going to dance class.
*Too much money to sit around for most of the dancing.
*No partner. =(
*Ross says someday he will.
*Not counting on it.
*I should just learn the guy part so I can dance with the girls.
*I've kept my NY resolutions, for the most part.
*Only 2 sodas, no Pepsi.
*My office is slowly getting there.
*My pants are looser.
*Did any of you used to wear parachute pants?
*I had red ones.
*I wore them on the first day of 3rd grade.
*I also had hammer pants.
*I wore them for 8th grade graduation.

*My mom allowed me to express myself with clothes, hoping I wouldn't drink or use drugs.
*It worked. I still don't!
*Her motto was "If you've got it, flaunt it."
*THAT lead to a whole other list of problems.
*There aren't words to describe my Mom.
*Love her and miss her.

Cottage Grove bloggers

I have been searching for someone in my hometown who blogs. Can't find one!

Maybe it's so back woods that nobody knows how to! =)

This is the closest thing I've found. I've been viewing this page about once a week. It reminds me of the beauty of a small town, close friends and gorgeous foliage.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mercy Me - Hold Fast

I watch this video about once a month. It just reminds me who I've got watching out for me.

Life is short

I was so sad to come across this article about the death of Heath Ledger.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1 many more to go.

I told you all about my sewing projects that needed to be completed. Guess what? I finished Aimee's! Her family is filled with die hard race fans. I found this fabric fitting for her new little man. The front is all Jeff Gordon fabric and the back is all checkered flag. I quilted with a meandering zig-zag stich. It turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself.

I said the "f" word.

The girls and I had to venture to South Bend today. It's only about a 25 minute drive, but it's so yucky here most people choose to stay at home.

On the way home, the girls asked for chicken nuggets. I'm so tired of McDonald's, I said yes but only to Burger King.

I order and when I go to the pick up window, the man hands me my Sprite. I grab the sides and he apparently didn't get the lid on tight. When my hands surrounded the cup, the pressure popped the lid off...all because he didn't take the time to make sure it was on properly. It spewed all over my coat, pants, steering wheel, seat, floor, center console, and my dog. I immediately without thinking spit out the word s*** and then followed it up with f***. Oops. Those of you who know me are shocked right now aren't you? I never use those words.

What can I expect from a fast food joint that only pays their employees less than 6 per hour? You Oregonians haven't seen a minimum wage so low since 2000.

He did apologize and gave me a new one. Somehow that was suppose to make me feel better. I'll try and remember that when I'm cleaning my car today while simultaneously freezing my hiney off. It's currently 27 (feels like 15) and snowing. =(

Blog shout outs

Here are a few blogs (not on my blogroll) I've been reading lately.

Anne - she's friends with my SIL. I've never met her, but I like her idea of recording her highs and lows each day on her blog.

Lisa - she's my cousin who is about 8 years younger than me. She's active in the LDS church and has 3 boys.

Amber - she's the daughter of our pastor. She's so adorable and is funny to boot!

Jon - he is a great source for a faith based pick me up. I enjoy reading his stories that always seem to tie perfectly into scripture.

Click on over and give them a look! Leave them a comment....they'll love it.

Surprising my girls

I just bought Hannah Montana In Concert movie tickets for my girls. They would love to go to the actual concert, but I'm not forking over 2k for that!

Any ideas on how I can surprise them on the big day?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Friendly debate

A few friends of mine have been discussing their feelings on child harnesses. Let's be honest, it's a leash. Can you already see my opinion on this subject?

Supposedly they feel it is for "safety". I feel it's because they are lazy. Notice there are no quotations on lazy. Here a few points that support my opinion.

Mark Beeson once did a sermon on the fact that as Americans, we dance on the edge. When we're dieting, we cut an m&m in half to avoid going over our 1200 daily calories. When we drive, we go 74 instead of 70. At curfew, you roll in at 11.59. We all take things to the limit.

He says we have to install rumble strips on our lives. You know, those things that make a gastly noise if you happen to go over the white line while driving? He says those let you know that you are getting too close. You best pay attention to what's happening around you. Something bad could happen if you don't.

We need to put those rumble strips WAY in from the edge so that we have plenty of time to react if something goes wrong. For example:

*Walk past the m&m aisle at Walmart so you won't buy them. Then you won't have the chance to cut one in half and ruin your diet.

*Plan your time better. If you have to be across town at 7, then leave 10 minutes earlier than you really need. That way you can drive the speed limit and still be early.

*Plan on being home at 11:45. Then if you get caught by a train you still have time to make curfew and avoid getting grounded.

If you purposefully put your child into a harness/leash, aren't you teaching them that it's ok to go to the edge, or until the rope snaps back? Then they have to come back to reality. Aren't you teaching them that they don't have to be responsible, you WILL be in their place? That it's ok to dance on the edge? Who's going to be responsible in their place when they're in a situation that involves liquor? Who's going to take the responsiblity of that child they conceived because they had no rumble strips set into place? I know what happens. I've seen it. Parents point their fingers and say "You should have known better." How could they have. We've taken their chance at practicing good decision making since they were able to walk.

I have 3 children of my own. They have tried to run away and Walmart. I've had to teach them about safety. They have to learn the rules. I refuse to take the lazy way.

BTW- In the summer of 2006, I took all 3 girls to Disneyland by myself. A flight from Chicago, to Denver. Denver to Los Angeles. Then Disneyland, American Girl......almost 2 weeks worth of fun. They were 6, 3, & 1 1/2. There were no leashes used.

What's next? A muzzle?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Knight Rider

My hubby just ran upstairs from the basement frantically.

He's watching Las Vegas on tivo and spotted the new Knight Rider commercial. First of all the car is.... can't put into words how I feel about it.

Second of all, I don't know much about the actor (former A & F model) that's playing Michael Knight... except that he's really cute.

They say it's not a remake, but a continuation.

I'm still waiting for a revival of Air Wolfe.

Nothing's sacred

On the way to dinner last night, I suggested that Ross put his ipod Touch in the glove box so it wouldn't get stolen.

His reply? "Everybody wants my touch."

I can't believe he could say that with a straight face.

My response? "You know I'm gonna blog about this right?"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Barret Jackson

You know you are a serious car fanatic when you cry while watching the Barret Jackson auto auctions. =/

Watching Tony Stewart & Craig Jackson step up for charity was awesome. Check out the charity they earned $500k for in one auction!

I would love to go to one of their auctions someday. Just to be in the presence of a GT500...I could die a happy woman.

Those of you who watch the show are laughing right's ok to dream, right?

Walmart flip flops

I am not a Walmart flip flop wearer, but know a ton of them. I prefer to have one nice pair of flip flops, rather than 20 pairs that could go with different outfits.

Now I know why. Check out this girls blog posting about her reaction to Walmart's flip flops.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A letter to my 15 year old self

My sister in law Jennifer posted a letter to herself at age 15. It sounds like it could be fun.

Dear teenage Mandy~

You need to calm down. You need to think before you act.

I realize you probably have no idea who you are, so you're running around between straight-A student who pretends not to be a straight-A student so the cool kids will like her. The reality is that they don't like you, they are pretending to be something they aren't just like you are (there are a few exceptions). The truth is, some of those popular kids are now living in a 5th wheel down by the river! Or they are divorced or have filed bankruptcy. Some of them are just counting the minutes until they can go out and party again. They are not cool like they were in H.S (even though they probably still think they are).

The good news is that you aren't really any of those things you pretended to be and the sooner you figure that out, the happier you'll be. You turn out to be a confident woman who is able to make good decisions with out questioning yourself because of your past.

It turns out you can be funny without hurting people's feelings or using foul language(insert jaw drop here). It turns out that straight-As in high school don't really matter much at all. It turns out that if you aren't the head cheerleader, your life ISN'T over.

Man, quit with all those boyfriends. Being single at 17 does not equal a lifetime of unlovable loneliness.

This sucks to say, but yeah. It turns out high school really will be one of the worst times of your life. You aren't being dramatic, even though your mom thinks you are. This also sucks to say, but moms aren't always right. You'll figure that out on April 19th 1997. Which is when life goes from "great" to "really really really awesomely great."

Speaking of moms. On Saturday May 31st 2003, your mom will complain of a headache. Turn around and drive her to the hospital. If for some reason that is impossible, then make sure you give her a big hug and tell her "I love you". It will be the last time. And you will make it without her. In fact, you thrive.

Make sure when your brother comes home from college, you let him know that it hurts your feelings when he makes fun of your big butt. Remind him to take a good look in the mirror while standing sideways. =)

Try to be a better friend. It will pay off! You shouldn't gossip about friends or betray their trust. It will suck your friendship well dry. I promise that you do end up learning your lesson, but not without a lot of loss along the way.

Important - don't give up dancing. It is what makes you who you are. It feeds you. You'll come back to it, but it's not easy to do at 30. YES! You do live to be 30. I know you questioned that many times. You also end up having an amazing husband, and 3 drop dead gorgeous daughters that will give you a taste of your own medicine.

Love, Mandy

P.S. If one day, hypothetically speaking, you happen to own a REALLY EXPENSIVE handbag, don't leave it in the shopping cart at Safeway.

Anthony Bourdain

He is loud mouthed, foul mouthed, and I love him! I enjoy watching him eat raw food, intestines, all of those gross things we would never touch (at least most of us).

I am so excited to find that Anthony Bourdain has started blogging! If you have a weak stomach for swear words, don't follow this link.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's dump day...

Ok, that doesn't sound so good. I was trying to play on words (hump day), it sounds kinda gross. I'll try and think of something else for next week.

I've been reading several blogs lately and my favorite post recently has been from Terrace Crawford. He does a manic Monday minute. He just types whatever is going through his brain. It's very intriguing.

Here's my Wednesday version:

~My sweet puppy is sitting at my feet.
~She really needs a bath.
~And her teeth brushed...blech!
~Cash cow is the game of the day on Webkins.
~I like Goober's lab better.
~Campbell just fell down the stairs.
~She's ok "It was cary!" (scary)
~I'm so sick of hearing Dora saves the Mermaids as background noise in my house.
~At least it's not kids screaming.
~Girl Scouts cookies are in.
~I only have about 60 boxes to deliver.
~Correction, Cyra has 60 boxes to deliver.
~What's for dinner tonight?
~Last night was chicken ala king.
~Maybe mexcian lasagna tonight?
~The Schwan's man just rang the door bell.
~Their stuff is too expensive.
~And full of salt & fat.
~Why can't they seem to get a good looking Schwan's man in Granger?
~Not that it makes the food taste better or the prices cheaper.
~Melinda stopped by.
~We talked about tornadoes.
~She asked why I feared them so.
~Is she kidding?
~Kids can run to the basement pretty quickly.
~But who's gonna run all of my precious china down those stairs before "Twister Bertha" hits my house?
~Why are tornadoes named after women?
~Come to think of it almost all natural disasters are...
~Must have been a man's idea.

Ok - that's what's going on in my head right now. Stay tuned for next week's version. Hopefully I can think of a better name for my new weekly installment. I am willing to entertain ideas.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What's been going on?

I have had too much going on to post! Nothing major, but a lot of small things.

Here's a brief review:

~Christa & I made a plan to keep our houses super clean through 08.
~I took 8 bags plus numberous boxes to The Bridge.
~That stuff came out of my office & basement (cleaning)
~I've been researching new phones.
~Hubby returned from Oregon...doing his laundry.
~Sheet day!
~Sitting in the bathroom waiting for Campbell to pee. Only once so far.
~Cleaning up her pee and poop that didn't make it into the toilet. Ewww
~Brushing her teeth. She ate a small dog terd. =P
~Took Kenady to the Dr....she's covered in moles. (J/K shout out to Larry the Cable Guy)
~Threw away a TON of papers & junk in my desk.
~Paid bills.
~Played Barbies with the girls.....non-stop.
~Caught up on my "daily" blogs.
~Indulged in some mindless computer games. Goober's lab.
~Talked to Heather on the phone for a LONG time. She's such a talker!
~Prepared for tax time.
~Made an official decision to avoid buying Marie Callendar's chicken pot pies.
~Moments later, nullified that decision.
~Ate a Marie Callendar's chicken pot pie.

As you can see, I've been dreadfully busy. Not with anything exciting, but it's my reality none the less.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kudos to Nick!

My kids love watching Nick & Nick Jr.

I was quite surprised when they announced they were hosting a "Kids Pick the President" campaign.

Linda Ellerbee would host a show that would introduce the candidates and let a kid who supported such candidate express why they would vote for them.

Of course I was worried about them swaying to one side..rhymes with shoe. But, they did not. Linda was matter of fact and gave equal time to both parties and didn't give any inkling to her personal opinion.

I'll be excited to share the show with Cyra tomorrow. It's a great lesson on how & why the electoral college is set up. Thanks Nick!

Where are my keys?

I searched all morning for my car/house keys. I was so worried that Campbell hid them. But usually she hides stuff in my snow boots...they weren't in there.

I tore apart my purse. I dug through coat pockets. I looked through kid toys. Nothing.

Then I go outside to take out the garbage. I found them in the doorknob. Oops. I guess I'm glad I live in safe neighborhood.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Campbell is a techie

Campbell (2) loves playing with the ipods. If one of the girls leaves theirs within reaching distance, or low climbing distance...she'll get it.

I found her today playing with Kenady's. She was pushing all sorts of buttons and had the marshmallow buds in her ears, but they weren't plugged in.

She then told me SHE wanted and ipop. I told her that that was a Papa gift. So, she asked for the phone. I called Papa and she said "Papa, I wanna ipop." I of course told him no. I just wanted him to hear how cute it was for her call it an ipop.


Last night, the girls and I decided to have a party for Ross. It was a belated Christmas dinner, early birthday, going to Oregon on a business trip kind of party. We hadn't had Christmas dinner because our turkey was rotten...yeah, gross. Ross's b-day is Jan. 20th, and he's traveling this weekend to take care of some issues with our Portland rental.

I spent the day baking a b-day cake and decorating in an Oregon Ducks theme. We brined and roasted a turkey, had mashed potatoes, rolls, stuffing, corn & gravy. It was delicious!

While I was cooking, I was reminded of a Christmas a few years ago where a family member was going to use packaged gravy instead of homemade....TRAVESTY! I could not let that happen.

Homemade gravy is easy. I'd like to share a few tips. First, you have to let your turkey rest about 15-20 minutes after it comes out of the oven. This is the perfect chance to transfer it to a cookie sheet and use the pan's dripping. I use a whisk and scrape up all of those tidbits over low heat. Next you add some flour and mix that in with all of the drippings (not too much, maybe 1/4-1/3 C for a 12 lb bird). When I drain my potatoes, I catch the water in a large pyrex and use this as my liquid for the gravy. It adds great flavor and the starch from the potatoes helps thicken the gravy. I then add pepper and you can add salt. I brine my turkey so there's no need for salt. It takes about 10 minutes for it to reach a good thickness.

I swear it's easy to do and it tastes much better than the packaged stuff.

An update on my resolutions

Well, the one I was most worried about has been the easiest! I havent' had any Pepsi since Dec. 31st!

The one I'm going to try and work on this weekend is my office. Ross has gone to Oregon for the weekend, so I won't be in anyone's way if I tear it apart.

I'll try to take a few pics of the disaster that is known as my office.

I don't drink beer

Terrace posted this video. I stole it. Please watch.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Best show on TV

I must have my weekly dose of The Soup. I don't know how many people watch this show, but it's been a fav of ours since the beginning.

Joel McHale has a dry sense of humor...which is right up my alley. His dog is adorable and Mankini is....well, he's just gross.

I just hope he stops with the pickle licking girl. Yes I still laugh, but it IS getting old Joel!

Only 10 minutes!

Oregon is more conservative

I finally found the one place that I think Oregon is more conservative than Indiana! Prescriptions!

It seems everytime we go to the Dr. here, they hand me a prescription or recommend a new shot. I almost always say that I'm going to research that before I say yes. They look like they're going to run to the phone to call CPS.

Dr. Benda was always great about saying "This is the new thing, let's wait until more accurate info comes out about it." Or if I say "My kid keeps biting me." He's not such a high & mighty health care professional to say "Bite her back."

I wish all doctors would learn more about the family they are caring for and provide care accordingly.

Stuck in the burbs...

I'm really starting to hate living in the burbs. It seems like a great place, but it really isn't. I found a post that explains almost exactly how I feel.

The only place I love to go is GCC. Although in the 2 years I've been here, I've connected with several Moms at church but no couples.

We haven't had any dinner parties since we've been here and have only been invited to one (last week). I've tried to plan neighborhood progressive one is interested. This is the most anti-social place I've ever experienced.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Potty training

I usually don't mind potty training. But I think Campbell will be a different story. She is so stinking independent and bossy.

She'll take off her diaper and I'll remind her to use the potty. Mind you, she never has. She says "No, I no want to. I want bupper." But an hour later she rips it off again!

Here are a few songs I've used to help entice using the potty chair....making it fun!

"I'm a super duper pooper." (about 3 min. in)

"Tinkle, tinkle, you're a star." (no, I don't know either of those kids but they were cute)

"I'm a big girl, potty all the time, potty all the time, potty all the time."

"Hey, get up, get loud, you're poopin on the potty now."

Nothing like a little Hannah Montana or Eddie Murphy to help you go!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Kenady decided she wanted to google a bunch of animal pics today.

Here is the most interesting. Make sure you read how long their tongue can be.

My favorite pic of the day is here. "I swear, I'm kisses, yeah kisses."


I am a Candy-proclaimed Ebay expert.

I have attended Ebay University (insert proud feeling here), and learned some great things about how to sell to your target audience. How to get the most for your ebay fees. And most importantly how to increase your sell through rate.

This morning, my friend Candy says I'm crazy over ebay. She was looking for the Wii sports bundle. She unsuccessfully bid on one, but lost. I volunteered my services for the second try.

First I looked up the few that were ending within 10 min. I read their feedback, description, return policies etc. When I found the best one, I look at the bid history. This tells you how intense the bidders are. If there is a bidding war going on etc.

I have Candy on the bidding page ready. All she has to click is "confirm bid". I wait until there is around 6-8 seconds left and yell "OK NOW!" She won! And for $10 less than her max bid. It really ticks those involved in the bidding war to have someone come out of the blue and "win" instead of them.

When I do it at home, I open up several windows to compare products, timing, pricing.

It didn't cross my mind that people wouldn't take their Ebay purchases as seriously as I do. I think I can blame this on my OCD.

Monday, January 7, 2008

What in the world?

The weather in Indiana is weird. I mean really weird.

We had over a foot of snow less than a week ago. Now it's all gone and it's 62 degrees.

I wore flip flops to town today. Yes I know it's 62 & raining.......I'm an Oregonian.

Oregonians walk in the rain, jog in the rain, play soccer in the rain, ride bikes in the rain, golf in the get the picture.

I laughed out loud!

Each morning I get Cyra off to school and the first thing I do is check my daily blogs. Oh, c' know you do it too.

I seriously laughed out loud within the first paragraph of DC Curry's post.

Did you catch it? Ok, maybe it's only funny to me. I thoroughly enjoy when people spell things wrong. It usually makes the whole sentence so much funnier. He said that he was "horse" at last night's student meeting. Hahahaha. (I'm laughing out loud again.)

What in the world are they studying to need a horse present? (still laughing) JK - I'm sure he meant HOARSE. Keep blogging DC! I love hearing about your ministry, and sometimes you make me laugh pretty hard!

Man, is my sense of humor dry or what?

Thanks Jennifer...

My sister in law Jennifer blogged about listing all of her daughter's clothes on ebay. She has over 100 listings. WOW!

Of course now I feel obligated to list my ebay stuff. I've been avoiding it. Why? Who knows.

I don't have any kids clothes to list. I give all of those to Reta of Elkhart. But, I do have a ton of Talbot's stuff with the tags on them that would easily sell. I also have a few pairs of my Mom's shoes that I've been holding on to. Not sure why? I don't wear a size 7.

Best of all, I have scrapbooking stuff. I'm always so surprised at how much it all goes for. Would it sell better in a lot, or individually? It's easier to photo in a lot.

All I know is that my goal for 2008 is to organize my office (and keep it that way). I think getting rid of some things on ebay while making some money will help me reach that goal. Thanks Jen!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Muppet Show

I bought my kids the entire DVD collection of The Muppet Show. They watched it almost all day. I had forgotten how much fun it was to watch. Gotta love Beaker imitating Barbra.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Does McDonald's Hi-C orange constitute as soda? I thought it was a safe alternative to Coke, but if I'm wrong.....oops. There goes my resolution.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson came to our church a few months ago and spoke about his new book "In a pit, with a lion on a snowy day." Long title, good book. He also wrote "Lion Chaser." He recently posted "Lion Chaser's" manifesto on his blog. I need to print it and post it all over my house. Love it...

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Amen Mark. I hope this encourages so many people over the next year.

NY Resolutions!

Webster says resolution means - the act of solving; solution. Wouldnt' that say that I have a problem? Ummm.....yes, yes I do.

Soda is my problem. I drink WAY too much. I've had people ask how often I drink it. I respond with "Just ask me when the last time I had anything OTHER than soda...that would be easier." In fact, there is no need for a weight loss resolution. If I just give up soda, the weight will probably just come off!

So here they are in no particular order.

*No soda shall pass my lips. Oh man, that's so hard to type. Especially with this pounding (lack of caffeine) headache I have.

*My office will be more organized and stay that way.

*I will keep up with Flylady.

Notice that NONE of them use the word "try". I'm starting to hate that word. I heard someone say that when you insert the word "try" you are giving yourself to fail, but still keep your honor.

I refuse to fail with honor....wait, I mean refuse to fail period.

Famous People

There are very few famous people that impress me. I don't think there's anyone I would wait in line to meet other than Oprah, Prince and especially Jesus. =)

Here are a few memorable meetings with semi-famous folks.

Eric Braeden - From Y & R. He was on my flight from PDX to ORD when I was moving from Oregon. I had the two little ones with me and we sat close to him. He told me that they were the most beautiful children he had ever seen. Awwww.......I think he's right!

Michael Damian - My favorite soap used to be Y & R (I don't watch soaps now). I got tickets to see his show with my Aunt. My Mom made me a cute new outfit to wear. We were waiting in line to get our picture taken and he just grabbed me out of the crowd and squeezed me while Aunt Nita took a pic. I look like I'm drunk in love in the pic. I'll have to see if I can find it! He let us both come backstage and take some pics and hangout for a short time.

Greg Louganis - I was working at a new hotel, it was my first day. My co-worker said she'd be right back. Greg walked in a wanted a room for him and his dog. I didn't know the computer system AT ALL! I had to ask him for his personal info about 3 times. He just snickered at my folly. He got the yuckiest room at the hotel because he had his pet with him, and he smokes.

David Hasselhoff - OK, we didn't really meet. He kinda shoved me aside to get to the bar at the Cabo airport. He was there with his wife and daughter. They were yelling at each other, walking away, yelling, walking away.....for about an hour. We took a bunch of pics on my friends camera and wanted to sell them to pay for our trip. We chickened out. Within a week of returning, he was in the news because they had filed divorce papers. Ding dong-it. I should have went with my paparazzi instincts. David also fought with a man at the bar because David took the guys seat and wouldn't move. His BIG bodyguard put a stop to that real quick!

These were the most fun people to meet (or close to it).

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


I know the concept of "no debt" is difficult for some to understand. Most people say "Well, you need a loan to buy a house." My response is always "No you don't!"

Here is the scenario. You want to buy a 200k house. If you get a 30 yr mortgage at 7% your payment is only 1330.60 but you end up paying a total of 279017.80 in interest. Ouch.

If you bump it down to a 15 yr at 7% your payment is 1797.66 (only 460 more), but interest paid is only 123578.18. WOW - less than half.

If you go further and do a 10 yr at 7%, the payment is 2322.17, but you only pay 78660.35 in interest. Seriously....that is awesome. Over 1/3 less in interest.

But let's say you go one step further and just save that 2322.17 in a great mutual fund at around 10% (some higher!) you could have the 200000 saved (while still paying tax on the dividends) after 5 yrs 10 months! Hello? Which one is better? 10 years of 5 years? The numbers don't lie. (Except don't forget to add in a little inflation)

Some people say that they get a mortgage loan because of the deductions. Stupid. If you just save the 2322.17 for the 5 years to pay for your house and then continue saving the 2322.17 for another 5 years....guess what? You'll have another 200k in savings. If your tax man is able to scrape up 200k in deductions from your mortgage......HE'S A CROOK!

I think we are all in denial about our spending habits. Maybe it's just easier to pay the 1300 each month and not think about the nearly 300k we just blew on interest.