Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's TOO quiet

Before they left to visit their dad in AR, I got to spend Thursday with the kiddos. Audie and I had an interesting conversation. We were talking about their behavior recently and how it upsets me that they'll listen to Tim, but won't listen to me. Audie said that I seemed to be happier and less stressed when they come back from visiting and thought this was a mini vacation for me. In truth it is a little. A week of not having to yell to be heard, or repeat myself or repeat myself or repeat myself, or being ignored. It's nice to have a break every once in a while.

But it's too quiet in my house.

This is particularly evident on nights when I get home and Tim is already at work. Like last night. When I throw something quick together because I'm the only one eating. When I look around and the house is empty. Good grief, what will I do when they're grown and move out???

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Yes, folks, it's back by popular demand! Or is it? The anniversary is one of those less celebrated holidays because society has cheapened its value through separation and divorce. Now I know what you're thinking. 'But you got a divorce!' You're right, I did. There's only so much abuse one person can take, and had I not I wouldn't be in love with my husband of two years now. I'm not talking about those kinds of divorces. I'm talking about the Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson kind of divorce for irreconcilable differences, or the Tiger Woods being unfaithful thing. Gee, if the Hollywood stars can't make it, then who among us can?

You know, my parents have been married for over 30 years. Tim's parents for longer. My grandparents were married to each other without separation until the day they died. Marriages like that aren't a fairytale. They truly do exist! And, in this humble blogger's opinion, they exist far too infrequently.

*stepping down from my soapbox*

Anyhoo. Instead of traveling all the way down to Tyson's corner, we decided to stay a little closer to home and try the new Logan's Roadhouse in Martinsburg. I can't tell you how hard it was to throw the peanut shells on the floor. Tim kept laughing and doing it for me. We tried their sampler appetizer with loaded potato skins, mozzarella sticks, and country chicken tenders (don't get the other ones, they're spicy!). He had the porterhouse, I had sirloin and shrimp, and we each had one of their "bucket" desserts. We even got to keep the buckets for souvenirs! Everything was tasty, and the steak was SOOOO good! We stopped by Game Stop so that he could use his gift card from Christmas. I let him get Golden Eye for the Wii and paid for the rest as his anniversary gift. Finally we went to the theater and watched Tangled. It was such a cute movie! A little more singing than I think I would have liked, but overall cute. I think the kiddos will enjoy it. Then we went home and whooped on each other playing Wii games. I beat him in bowling finally! He said he felt bad that he didn't get me a gift to which I responded, "Write the letter so we can get sealed in the temple." He said he'd do it today. I'm so happy!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas at the Whitcomb's

I took Thursday off from work so that I could spend it with the kiddos before they went to AR for a week or so. Tim and I ended up going shopping for their gifts during while they visited with my parents. I got to spend 2 hours that evening wrapping everything. :)

Friday the kiddos and I baked some pies and chocolate meatball cookies, then while Tim was at work, we watched some movies and worked on dinner. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, green beans, Mom's deviant wheat rolls, and Hannah's salad. Then we read the Christmas story from the scriptures and opened gifts (since we were traveling on Christmas day). The kiddos loved their gifts. Audie got the bow and arrows he'd been asking for, Dougie ran around in his SWAT gear "shooting" the rest of us, and Chloie is excited to use the knitting needles and *bright* pink and purple yarn we got her after they get back (she's been asking me to teach her to knit for some time). We finally broke down and got them a Wii, though I must admit I like the archery and bowling in the Sports Resort we got with it. We got enough controllers so that all 3 kiddos could play. Tim and I have already challenged each other several times!

We left at the butt crack of dawn on Saturday morning bound for Knoxville, TN. It flurried a little on the way down, but all in all it wasn't bad. The kiddos were occupied for hours with the Crayola Color Wonder sets my parents got for them. Awesome stuff there, BTW, just sayin'. The only place open to eat on the way down was Waffle House. I will tell you that since VA raised the speed limit to 70, the trip went a lot faster. We met, JD left with the kiddos, and Tim and I ate at IHOP.

We left at 2pm from IHOP fully ready to get home around 10 or so, but the weather had a different idea. At about 5:30, the snow had mucked up the roads enough that we were only going 40 mph. Add to that the darkness, and we decided to spend the night at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Dublin, VA. We had dinner at the Waffle House (yay) and passed out from exhaustion. Those beds are comfy! I'd already called my parents to tell them what happened, and I called my friends in the Primary to let them know I couldn't get home to do singing time on Sunday. It broke my heart, but I didn't want to risk the trip.

We left the hotel at 9am and headed home. By that time, the sun was up and the roads were well cleared. Driving home from then on was a breeze. We watched a movie, washed the road grime off, and went to bed. I'm glad to be home. I think we're going to start looking into trains, buses, or airplanes for future trips.

On a bright note, I finished the blanket for my brother-in-law and his wife. I also had enough yarn in those colors left to do booties and a hat to match. I showed her the unfinished blanket Friday night while they were at dinner, but these are the first pics of the finished set.
Aren't they cute!!! So tiny!I admit that the booties are crocheted while the hat and blanket are knit. I wasn't sure that I could do booties with knitting needles, so I went with what I knew.
This project was a first on many fronts. First time using circular knitting needles, first time cabling (the lines and twisting), first time knitting with 2 colors separately, and the first time using double pointed needles (for the hat). I can't wait to do the next one!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hunk a hunk a Christmas spirit

Last night the family got together and went to Chloie's school for the 1st and 2nd grade Christmas concert. Chloie was part of the drama club and had a part as an elf in the show. There was even one child dressed up as Santa and a rather clever rockin' elf named Elfis (think Elvis with the wig, glasses, and sparkly cape). This is Chloie in costume...You could tell the kids worked really hard on it because it was really very good. We particularly liked the Elvis-impersonating comments from Elfis during the program. The room was packed, and we'd even talked my parents and sister into coming. The kids' music teacher at one point ripped and tossed the script from in the sleigh because it was distracting the actors. Hehe. Even better, Tim pointed out the archaic equalizer attached to the iPod they used for the music.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The stuff of dreams

Last night Tim and I watched two movies. One, with the kiddos, was Despicable Me. It was surprisingly cute and a little mushy at the end, but it was funny. We all liked it. The other, after the kiddos went to bed, was Inception. I must say that the movie was appropriately trippy. Things like the Penrose Stairs made an appearance that just make you go wow. O.o I love optical illusions like this. Does the fork have 3 tines or 4? Which line is longer? Are the lines parallel? It's great stuff. I could follow this triangle around for hours trying to make sense of it, even though I know it can't be done.

Speaking of trippy things... the moon was very bright last night, made more so by the reflection from the snow. It was almost bright enough to mimic a cloudy day. Weird, huh? It reminded me of something from when I was a kiddo. I remember looking out of the window and seeing the back yard lit up by the moon just like it was last night. It was so bright. I also remember going outside and playing in the back yard and swinging on the swing set. Something like this so simple a memory, yet my parents insist that it never happened. Is is possible to remember a dream from so long ago? The funny thing is, I don't remember much else. It's not like I can recall my favorite toy, or what we did on any given day, but this is my most vivid and most easily recalled childhood memory. Just weird.

Monday, December 20, 2010

That was sNOw coincidence.

I promised pictures of the snowman I made for the ward Christmas party on 12/11, so I finally sent myself the pictures from my hubby's phone. Here he is, Elder Snowman! We carried him in in pieces (one ball at a time) and assembled him on the table. He's even got a name tag and tie! :)
The best part was the name tag. I love details like that!
Nobody wanted to cut him. I had to do it before anyone would eat it. I did make Cody make the first cut because it was his "likeness". After that I continued the demolition. I will say this... putting fondant on a sphere-like cake is not fun. Just sayin'.

The kiddos and I spent the weekend baking and making the tasty goodies for our bonanza. I spent a couple hours dividing all of the treats among the boxes we're gifting out this year but realized too late that I'd forgotten the chocolate-covered pretzels. Go figure.

We got to hand a bunch of the goodie boxes out at church on Sunday morning. Even better, the Primary kiddos got to sing Have a Very Merry Christmas to the congregation. They did SO well, and I'm SO proud of them.

Sunday we had a fun activity in Primary singing time. My kiddos made some felt ornaments from Michaels as wee gifties on Sunday (we had penguins, Santas, reindeer, and gingerbread men). On Sunday, I selected a seeker to find some random adult in the hallway and bring them into the Primary room (we had a member of the presidency standing by for assistance). While they were seeking, I selected a wrapper to pick an ornament and decorate a gift bag with felt holiday stickers like trees, gifts, mittens, candy canes, and snowflakes while the rest of us practiced a Christmas song from the songbook. Then our guest was brought in (quite surprised, I might add), we gave them the gift, sang them our song, and wished them a Merry Christmas. We never knew who was coming, and they were always so suprised. It was a lot of fun, and both the junior and senior Primary kiddos enjoyed themselves. I'm definately doing this again next year. The joke was, however, that this was a new program to make sure the adults were in their meetings instead of in the hallways.

We had the Markland family over for dinner Sunday evening so that Nora and I could work on selecting music for the first quarter in January. We've decided to do an opening song that they either know or one that we can teach easily, spend 10 minutes learning our Program song for the month (or part of it), then sing a song we know and learn a new one from the songbook. This way they're being exposed to more of the songs and giving us more options to select from later. I'm also going to work with the senior Primary to teach them more about the music itself... reading and conducting, singing in parts, etc. Things that they don't normally learn. I figure this way it will prepare them for Young Men and Young Women where they aren't sung the song to learn it. It will also build their confidence as they learn to conduct and lead others. I'm excited about the new year! The last thing we've decided is that I'm going to build a huge set of scriptures for the Primary room (since this year's theme is the scriptures), and having a member of the ward dress as a character from the scriptures and visit us on the fourth Sunday of the month. So one day we'll get a visit from Adam and the next time maybe Joseph Smith.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What is this stuff?

As you read this, keep in mind that I don't see daylight during the day until I leave work...

Yesterday I was talking to one of my friends at work. How are things? Well, and you? Great. Have you seen all of the snow we've gotten so far.

Wait, what?

We have snow; about 2 inches of it.

When did this happen???

Sure enough, school has been let out early, Hubby is worried because I have the car and not the Trailblazer, oh, my!

Lucky for us we had received the new tires for the TB and Tim had them installed that morning. He would pick up the kiddos and make his way to my parents' house, and I would meet him there so that we could leave the car and borrow the Explorer... 'cause you know how much *fun* it is to navigate our driveway and surrounding back roads without a 4x4.

I managed to get there without issues, unlike some people. The little grey car in front of me looked like it had the hiccups because the driver didn't know how to drive in the snow. He (or she) kept pulsing the gas pedal, and oh my goodness when he hit the breaks.

The only trouble I had was crossing the bridge to my parents' house. In second, tempted to use first to slow down, I came over the bridge at a crawl and promptly slid into Berkeley Station Road. I saw the snow plow coming, so I gassed it and just drove through. We stayed at Mom and Dad's for a dinner of home-made pizza (YUM!) and headed home after a quick trip to Martin's for raspberries (for a cake) and Jiff peanut butter (it has to be Jiff, I don't know why).

The cake is done, and sitting on my desk at work waiting for someone to come pick it up. I was up past midnight working on it, but it looks good. When I get home today, the kiddos and I will start molding and baking for the bonanza. And you know what's even better? School has been cancelled for today!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And I still have shopping to do...

I'm just a little behind this year. It seems like I don't have the time or energy to do all of the holiday shopping done that I need to. I mean, I have some small gifts, but the larger ones are still sitting on the shelves at their respective stores. I think I'll start earlier next year. I could do it like Mom does it and collect gifts throughout the year as I see them, wrap them up in December, and give them at Christmas. What do you think?

I do know one thing. Before we give the kiddos any more toys, we're going to go through the ones in their play room and sort out some to give away to Good Will or something. This way we can reduce the clutter before we add to it. I'd like to make some bins or something so that they can organize their toys a little. One for blocks, one for cars, one for Chloie's tea set, one for the train pieces. It would be nice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lego my cake

I made a cake for my BFF's hubby's birthday, and being a fan of Lego blocks, we thought he'd like a cake like this.

Imagine if you will...

A cake.

Made up of Lego's.

Made up of cake.

I love it. The best part is... it was solid carrot cake! Mmmm, tasty!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holiday madness

It seems like I can't catch a break... then again most people can't this time of year. I've decided to start my cookie baking bonanza this week, and finish it by Wednesday next week. On the menu...

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Sugar Cookies (in festive holiday shapes)
Pecan Dreams

And for the less bake, more make variety...

Chocolate-dipped Peanut Butter Balls
White Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Other molded candies

It should keep me busy until Christmas Eve when we're hoping to have family over for dinner before the kiddos go to Arkansas for a week. I might take the 23rd off and stay home to prepare. Of course it wouldn't be a bonanza without my sous chefs to help me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

When "addiction" meets "OCD"

Sometimes I just can't help myself. Of the top 5 things I could consider addictions in my life, two are ribbon and yarn. When my "addictions" meet my anal-retentiveness, bad things can happen.

Take, for example, the white elephant gift exchange we did last night in the Relief Society meeting. I wrapped my gift in a shoe box... no big deal there... until I put packing tape on the lid to keep it closed. Red paper... check. Ribbon... oh, my! YES! The poor sister who got my package couldn't get the ribbon off, but it looked pretty... This is the final product of the Mystery Crochet-along I did. I still have to finish the other two, but I wanted to get one done. I spent a lot of time obsessing about getting the squares even, but I suppose in the end it all paid off. Oh, and it's warm.
I am now officially 1/2 done the baby blanket for S&H. I say officially because I ran out of yarn from the first skein and had to start the second. I had a wonderful evening talking about knitting with Sister B Carpenter; it was so much fun!

As for my third addiction, well, I'll be caking the night away for the fourth night in a row! I can't wait to finish the cake for tonight!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

One Down

I've been caking the night away for the last 2 nights in preparation for this weekend, but while things have been baking, I've been trying to finish the afghans I started as part of the Bernat Mystery Crochet-along. I finished one of them last night. Now all I have to do is sew the last one together and put the edging on both of them.

I've also gotten to the half way point on the baby blanket I'm knitting for S&H (no, not shipping and handling). So far it measures 36 x 20 inches. It's funny how something like this will attract attention. I've been sitting in the foyer of the church building on Tuesday nights while Audie is at Scouts, knitting away, and people will stop and watch. Some just watch, others ask what I'm doing it for, what is that extra needle for, or how it is done. I knit in church, too, though not so much to pass the time but to focus on the talks. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but Mom and I are the same way. Repetitive work with our hands helps us listen. I don't know why. Just KOOKY, I guess.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

'Tis the season

... to start baking!

That's right, it's time to start on my cookie-baking-bonanza! OK, well, I also had to add a few cakes and pies and truffles and fudge to the bonanza, but at least it'll all be in the kitchen. I can't seem to help myself... the flour is calling my name!

And it all started last night.

I have a relief society meeting this Thursday that involves a cookie exchange, so I made a batch of triple chip cookies. Tonight I'm baking cake for this weekend. I'll give you the riddle now so you can try to guess, and I'll give you the answer on Monday. :)

What's cold and white and gives away a Book of Mormon?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

No more lip

Actually he's still got his lip.

Dougie's stitches came out yesterday morning without incident. Tim went with him because I had to work. He said Dougie just sat there and let them remove them without crying or anything (my dude is such a trooper)! I got to see him last night when I got home from work. He's got a thin red line where the scar will be, but it has healed nicely and will continue to do so.

It is simply amazing how quickly kids heal.

Monday, December 06, 2010

We're finally finished!

After what seems like a year... or was it really? I can't remember... we've finally finished the dressers!

Tim was kind enough to finish putting the polyurethane on the pieces for me. Saturday afternoon I went downstairs and finished putting the knobs and felt pads on the drawers, waxing the runners, and checking for fit. I had to make a couple minor adjustments, but all in all not bad.

So here is the finished dresser! I had the kiddos put everything from their room in their closet, and we spent Saturday evening breaking down the boys' beds from bunk beds to individual beds, one on each side of the room. I had little helpers to lift and move the pieces, and as we moved everything we vacuumed the floor under everything. We broke down the old particle-ply dressers and put the new ones at the foot of their beds. The kiddos took the drawers up, and Audie helped me take the cabinets upstairs. We filled the dressers with the clothing we knew was clean, and then we started going through everything in their closet. YIKES! Turns out Dougie has been sneaking candy during his naps; I found 7 uneaten lollipops in their room and wrappers and sticks for what must have been 8 more.

The boys seem to like their new setup. They are allowed to have a couple small things on top of their dressers, but no more toys in their rooms. The conditions for their rooms are:

1. Beds are to be made every morning with their jammies under their pillows.
2. Dirty clothes are to be put in their baskets.
3. Church clothes are to be hung up in their closet, belts on the belt hanger, ties on the tie hanger.
4. Mom and Dad will check to make sure their room is picked up and everything is as it should be.

It's been 2 days, and so far things are good. My goal is 1 week before we have another hurricane in their room. :)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Behold the terror... Franken-Dougie!

Here he is 24 hours after his catastrophe...The swelling has gone down nicely, and it looks like his scar won't be much of one. He's having trouble saying his "P" sounds, and brushing teeth is a little painful, but otherwise he's doing well. Thank you all who wished him well.

He's in such good spirits about it, that he spent the evening drawing pictures for Santa... Franken-Dougie's self portrait, Franken-Audie, Franken-Chloie, Franken-Mommy, and Franken-Daddy all have an impressive assortment of stitched scars and neck bolts. All of the pictures are on the wall behind the tree. :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Are stitches contagious?

I ask because last week a boy in Primary had to get them, and now this...

Last night at home I was working on a project for Primary on Sunday, the kiddos had finished their homework and were playing in the living room and front hall.

I hear a scream.

This wasn't the normal "He hit me and now my feelings and arm hurt" kind of scream. It was the "blood-curdling, stop Mommy's heart because I'm really hurt bad" scream, and Dougie comes into the kitchen holding his mouth with blood on his hands crying. A quick look (and later discussion on the way to the emergency department at City Hospital) revealed he had run into the corner to the hallway and split open his upper lip, which successfully kicked my mode from just Mommy Mode to Panicked Mommy Mode.

The next few minutes were a flurry of activity... Get your shoes on... don't worry about socks right now... help your brother get his coat on... put this on your lip... everyone in the car... who wants to say a prayer? We took turns praying in the car, and when the direness of the situation finally started to upset everyone else in the car, we started singing Primary songs (THANK YOU for my new calling where I learned the songs we sang!!!). I started making phone calls when we reached the top of the mountain - I asked my parents to take Audie and Chloie while I was at the ED with Dougie and left a message for Tim.

My sister, who met us at the hospital to pick up the kiddos, said I sounded different because of the evening's events, and looking back I would have to agree. There's something about a hurt kiddo, I mean beyond the normal bumps and bruises kind of hurt, that puts an edge of panic in one's voice, like you're walking a fine line between trying not to cry and remaining calm.

We sat there for about 45 minutes before we were called into triage. Tim's perfect timing brought him to the ED just as we sat down. Luck for us the split didn't go all of the way through his lip. It did have a bruise line on the inside of his lip, but his teeth were OK. They took us back to the minor injury section to get him stitched up. A physician's assistant and then the doctor came to take a look, talked to us about the injury and what they would do to fix it, and started making preparations. There was some concern about the location, but the doctor was confident that he could fix it with minimal scarring and without the need for later cosmetic correction. He said that the hardest part would be making sure the lip line was straight, but after that it was only closing the wound. He also said that he would use smaller stitches to reduce scarring, but more of them so that they would hold it closed and wouldn't break.

We wrapped Dougie in the papoose to keep him still, and Tim and I took turns covering his eyes when the doctor injected the numbing agent. I kept my eyes closed. I saw the first stitch at the lip line, but couldn't handle the tugging on the skin around the cut, so Tim took over and I sat down. I seem to remember that the head injury last February was a lot easier to handle than this. Tim (a.k.a. the poster boy for the American Quilting Association for the number of stitches he had to get as a kid) was fascinated. Dougie was a little trooper. He only cried when they injected his lip. He'll have a fat lip for a couple days, and the stitches will come out Monday. He'll have to be gentle eating and brushing his teeth for a few weeks, but all in all he will be OK.

I wasn't brave enough to take pictures of the before and after, but Tim did. I'll post pictures later when I get them from him. In the mean time, Dougie is spending the night at my parents' house. The whole excursion from leaving the house to the ED to my parents' house for dinner (we left our house before we had a chance to eat) to getting back home took about 4 hours. I'm glad it is over.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More Decorations

Since we've gotten all of our decorating done at home, and because Tim doesn't like to do anything more than the tree and stockings (and begrudgingly the train), I brought the window clingy things to work with me to decorate my office. A few snowflakes for the glass in my door... And what winter scene would be complete without penguins? These little guys adorn the window of my office that overlooks the production floor (no outside window here). Do you know what I had to do to make sure my reflection wasn't in the picture?
Either way, these little cuties have already made some one's day in addition to me, of course. Once I get my white board cleared off, I'll put the rest of my snowflakes on it. :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm still stuffed

So much to catch up on, so little time.

Over the weekend we worked on the dressers a little more. We're down to the last of the polyurethane needed to finish the dressers. Once it's all dry, we'll put the last of the knobs on and put them upstairs. I'm very pleased with how well they're turning out. Not bad for a beginner, right? Monday Amy and Mike came over to the house. Because I'd missed the Super Saturday Relief Society meeting a couple weeks ago, Amy brought the plates I'd bought, 3 smaller square plates she'd gotten for the kids to paint, and the paints to do them. We taped the pictures to the front of the plate, then painted the back and coated it with a sealant. Now the plates look cool and you can use them, too! The plates are the same size (12" or so) but the camera on my phone doesn't like to send pictures in the same size. I kept the snowman and gave the penguins to my M-in-law for Christmas. I love the little guy with the hat pulled down over his head! This was so much fun that I've decided to get more of the smaller square glass plates over the year and paint them for Christmas cookie gift platters for next year. That's right, folks, you too could be the proud recipient of my December cookie-baking-bonanza cookies on your very own hand-painted plate! :) If I do this every year, you could start a collection of different holiday designs or something like that.

I took Wednesday off last week for the trip to NY so that we could leave on Tuesday evening. We ended up arriving at 1am Wednesday morning and slept most of the morning away on an air mattress we brought with us. Ugh, my back still aches, but it was better than sleeping on the floor. We took the kiddos to the park and watched a movie or two with Grandma and Grandpa and had G-Grandma and G-Grandpa over for dinner.

For Thanksgiving, I helped Grandma in the kitchen (what she would let me), and we took all the food over to the G-grandparents' house for dinner. There was so much food! I tried to get a little of everything, but I think I might have missed the fruit salad. :( There was even a lot to take home.

We left Friday after taking a trip to Savoia's bakery to get Tim his cookies. Mmmm, tasty. We got home around 6 or so on Friday evening, watched Kung Fu Panda and ate dinner. Tim's mother sent 3/4 of a cherry pie home with us... it didn't last the night.

Sunday I went to the fireside at the stake center where they organized the Falling Waters (Spanish) branch or "Rama de Falling Waters". They asked me to do a cake (or pastel) for the occasion with a waterfall and the stake center and all of the flags of the Spanish speaking countries of the world. I took a picture of the cake, but not the flags (my bad). I had several people ask for a piece with their country's flag on it. This is another "water color" like cake where I painted fondant with food coloring like the Preach My Gospel cake. Over the week (and end) I've been working on finishing the afghans for the mystery crochet-along, but during the trip I started the baby blanket for my B-in-law and his wife. He actually got to see part of it Saturday, but it'll be a surprise for her. :) I'm about 1/3 done. This is the first time I've tried to knit using circular knitting needles, using two colors at the same time, and cabling, so this has been an adventure and a learning experience. I'm using a new yarn that is also very soft, and that's before I've washed the sizing out of it. My last hint about it's look is that it is light blue with a white boarder. Sorry H. when you read this, that's all you're getting until it is done.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Still Crocheting

I'm waiting for Wednesday's post over at with bated breath. They're supposed to give the last clue for the border of the mystery afghan. I can't wait!

I've been trying to put the afghans together. I've finished sewing one together, and I've laid out the squares on the second and safety-pinned them together, but I won't be able to sew it together for a few days. The third is still in pieces. As soon as I get it together I'll post some pictures.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kind Strangers

Yesterday after the kiddos and I got home from church, we were pleasantly napping when I got a phone call. The caller was nice enough, asking if we were home, wishing to deliver a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving. Wow.

I couldn't believe it. There they were, the family of five, with a box of assorted dinner items, a huge bird, and the pan to roast it in. They delivered and left, and I'm sorry to say that I didn't catch their name. When asked how they got our name for this delivery, they said that someone had turned it in to their church or organization. Wow again.

Somewhere out there is an awesome someone (s) who cares for us. I talked it over with Tim, and we decided that because we weren't going to be here for Thanksgiving dinner, that we'd pass it forward to someone that could use it more than we can. The kiddos and I loaded it all into the Trailblazer and made a trip into Inwood to deliver it to the Bishop and ask him to find someone who needs it.

I don't even want to know who it will be.

Just as long as someone can enjoy it.

Events like this renew my faith in the kindness of people.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Does this mean I'm getting old?

Tim and I were discussing a bid he wanted to make on EBAY last night, and right in the middle of the discussion, he says, "You have a grey hair!"

Me: "NO, I don't"

Tim: "Trust me, I'm the expert on grey hair." (runs his fingers through his own head of salt and pepper hair) "You have a grey hair."

Me: "I don't believe it."

Tim: "It's right here! Do you want me to pull it out and show you?"

Me: "YES."

So he pulls is out... I wrap it around my little finger so I can see the color...

... and it's not grey!

Chloie: "Mommy, you have a grey hair! Daddy pulled the wrong one. I can see it!"

Me: "Are you serious?"

Tim: "She's right. I'll pull the right one out this time."

Sure enough, it was grey. Really more white. There it was, a 2-inch long white hair from my own head held between my thumb and index finger. I didn't even have to wrap it around my finger to see it. It was WHITE and there was no denying it. If this little hair is any indication of what the rest of it will do, I'm in for a thick white curly mop later in life! Why couldn't I be more like my great-grandmother and still be naturally blond well into my 80's? And to think I almost made it to 30. It looks like I'll have to start investing in some hair dye.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dresser update

Oh, the things we can do with wood! And the best part is... we're almost done!

I've taken some pictures of the latest progress. This is the drawer runner I came up with. It's a mash-up of ideas from my father, my father-in-law, and some pixie dust from me. :) Dovetails are genius. That is all. Here is the underside of the top that shows the half round and coving we used.
The bottom edging (feet I guess)...
The polyurethaned top of one of the dressers that includes another shot of the runners.One completed cabinet.
All I have to do now is install the runners in the second cabinet, polyurethane everything, and put the knobs on the drawers. After that we take them upstairs and start putting clothes in them. I'm hoping for that to happen Saturday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences

We talked with Audie's teacher last night, and I'm glad we did. It turns out that the things we've been noticing weren't us just over reacting. Audie's been having trouble reading. Funny thing is that he doesn't have as much trouble reading scriptures each day with us, just the stuff from school. His teacher confirmed that he gets distracted easily, and as a result gets frustrated when he has to catch up. She recommended some ways to help him from home, and even agreed to send his reading book home an extra day during the week so that he can practice more. I think we'll start seeing some progress.

I really like his teacher (and her in-classroom helper). They really care about their students, and were willing to discuss at length the progress of our son. I don't remember some of my teachers being that nice when I was in school.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Cake is not a lie.

I walked into work this morning with a cake for my boss. As I passed a co worker's cubie, I jokingly remarked, "The cake is not a lie."He got this confused look on his face, so I had to explain about Portal. Such an awesome game! And they did it without blood or indecency! My favorite (or most memorable) level was the companion cube level; apparently this was also most memorable for a lot of other Portal players. I think I've decided to make the companion cube in cake for my birthday next year. It should be interesting to see if I can pull it off. There are a lot of *interesting* angles there.
I can't wait! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Grateful Pumpkin Says Thank You

I might have officially lost it, but that was the best I could come up with. I bought a little pumpkin a couple weeks ago from Wal-mart for $.50 on clearance to use this Sunday. We talked about translations don't always fully cover the meaning of a word or phrase from one language to another, but there is always a way to say thank you. We even learned how to say it in 10 languages (I didn't know there was a primary song already, but we still had fun). Then we learned the song "My Blessings" and played hot potato with the pumpkin, and who ever had the pumpkin when the song was over got to say what they were thankful for. Even the senior primary had fun with it.

The kiddos and I did our grocery shopping Saturday, then started working on the dressers. The 1/2 round and coving are now on both of them, and the base has been attached to one. The runners have been attached to the drawers, but not the dressers yet. This weekend I hope to do the base on the second dresser, put in the cabinet pieces of the runners, and start polyurethaning the snot out of them. Soon, very soon!

We did get to surprise Tim on Friday. He's been bugging me to let him get the new Call of Duty, but we haven't had the money. I talked to the kids and asked if they wanted to get it for him as an early Christmas present. They were super enthusiastic about it, so they each pulled $20 out of their piggy banks and we went to the Game Stop in the commons. I thought it was funny to see them put their crumpled, kid-folded money on the counter; that poor lady had to unfold it all. I paid the tax, and we met Tim at Chick-fil-a for dinner. Since he's been working overtime we haven't seen him much, so I thought it would be a nice night out. We gave Tim his game at dinner, and he immediately opened it to read the book inside. It would still be a couple days before he would actually be able to play it, but he was very appreciative and thanked the kiddos with big hugs.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Post about Mail

First, email! I received my first email from my website! Yay! Since then I've contacted the sender, and I'll be participating in a breast cancer awareness expo of women vendors next year. I'll have my own booth with tasty treats and everything! I might even be participating in a heart disease event in February... more on that as I get info.

Second, snail mail! My RS President and I (as the VT Coordinator) decided that we would group all of the inactive sisters into one companionship (the two of us) so that we could send them letters each month, but so that our other VT companionships could focus on more active sisters. We consider these our special cases that need a little more focused attention. I've been writing for 2 days, and I've almost reach the 1/2 way point. Each letter is hand-written on parchment paper (no typed or copied letters here!) with a copy of the most current RS Lamp. It's not a long letter, only a brief introduction and words of love and encouragement, but I hope that each sister feels the love we have for them. I was even able to wish one sister a happy birthday!

It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The monster square...

is out to get me...

Actually, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I finished 2 1/2 of the 3 I need to do last night, so it's not all that bad. I'll have pictures of it here tomorrow along with one of the flower square.

You know, it doesn't seem like I have enough for the afghan they say I should have. Just saying. And I still have a lot of yarn left over. Maybe this big reveal is the final square?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gang, I think we've almost solved this mystery!

I'm still recovering from clue 5 and making 16 for each of the 3 afghans I'm crocheting. I've managed to complete clue 6, and am now moving on to clue 7 and 8. This is my progress so far:

These are the colors I chose for my afghan. The colors for my visiting sisters will be a surprise reveal after I give them their afghans.

Clue 1: bottom right, made 2 (6 total)
Clue 2: bottom center, made 4 (12 total)
Clue 3: bottom left, made 8 (24 total)
Clue 4: top right, made 8 (24 total)
Clue 5: top center, made 16 (48 total!)
Clue 6: top left, made 4 (12 total)
Clue 7 is a monstrously HUGE granny square that equals 4 of the 8" squares we've done so far. Thankfully we only have to do 1 for each afghan we're making. I also just printed off clue 8... it's a flower... how cute! They said on the blog that next week is the big reveal, and I can't wait!

Monday, November 08, 2010

The ART of thankfulness

Yesterday was my first normal day in Primary. I say normal because it wasn't a 5th Sunday solid music block bonanza. It was a little sticky for opening exercises because I had practiced the wrong week of music. Oops. It didn't help that the kiddos didn't know one or two of the songs. No worries, though, because we'll learn them soon.

So then starts my 20 minutes with the junior primary. We reviewed "We'll Bring the World His Truth" that we learned last week, then launched into learning "I Am Glad For Many Things" and talking about being thankful. So I taught them the song and told them things I'm grateful for... warm fuzzy socks in the winter, hot chocolate, blankets, kiddos, and most importantly my Savior. They seemed to respond well and had some ideas of their own. So we sang the song, and then I chose 3 helpers to draw their ideas on the white board. We continued this cycle - sing, draw, sing, draw - until we ran out of time. They were grateful for many things, of which the most popular was family. There must have been 8 drawings of families up there; how humbling to know that children that young already know the importance of family! There were also presents, clothes, pets and the like. Such artwork!

I had a 20 minute break to rest the voice and ogle over Scarlet Markland. She is such a cutie!

Obviously drawing wasn't going to work on the senior primary... you know the older kids that are too cool to do anything like that...

Yeah, OK.

So instead we chose scriptures from the Topical Guide headers under thank, thanks, thankful, and thanksgiving. We sang and took turns reading between verses. I even got to offer a nifty tidbit of information about how the topical guide was formed and why. Love the BYU channel. In any case, they left with slightly more understanding than when they came in which is OK by me.

Then I got to do nursery. Oh. My. Goodness.

I think 10 minutes with them wore me out more than the 5th Sunday solid music block bonanza. I've discovered that until I fix the pain in my back that I shouldn't sit on the floor. Ever. The bitties seemed to have fun with the songs. Even more so when we sang "It's Autumn Time" and Sister Gilbert started making the leaves fall. Everyone got a sticker with a smiling sunshine on it and walked away giggling. It made all the pain worth it.

I'm still trying to recover. In reality it started a couple days ago, and not bad at first, but standing in the work shop probably didn't help, and neither did sitting on the floor. Tim has popped the difficult bones back into place twice in the last 4 days, and that's a record. Usually I only need it after a week of standing in the kitchen for a cake, so I think it *might* be getting worse. Maybe it's finally time to see a doctor about it... or not. We'll try a hot soak and icy-hot and see what we get.

In the mean time, I owe you an update on my mystery crochet-a-long progress, and I'll post pictures of everything I have done to this point tomorrow. I've finally finished clue 5. It only took me 2 1/2 weeks to do it, but now I finally have time to catch up on clues 6 and 7. You'll see why tomorrow. :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

How long have you been home?

I got to take my bubble bath last night and relax. Oh, it felt SO good! I thought I heard someone moving in the hallway, but I chalked it up to my FIL. Out of the tub and dressed, I headed to the kitchen to put my glass next to the sink and saw the light on and the door to the garage unlocked.

I didn't do that.

The light in the garage was also on.

I might have done that?

So I went out into the garage to see if I was imagining things, and to lock the door and turn off the lights if I wasn't. Turns out that Tim had been home for about 45 minutes of my 1 hour soak, thought I was asleep, and decided to tinker with the bike. He managed to free up the brakes so that it moves freely now. I can't even begin to tell you how difficult it was to move the thing while the brakes were locked up. Now he can move it by himself. Yay! I think it's cute to see him so happy tinkering with it.

On a slightly related note, I received shipping confirmation on the regulator assembly that I ordered yesterday to repair the rear driver's side window in the Trailblazer. UPS and are on the ball... it's on a truck for delivery TODAY! We could fix it tonight! How cool is that???

I'm also due today to make an appointment with our favorite body shop to get the deer damage fixed. Yay there, too.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Gospel Truth in a Fortune Cookie

Randy, a coworker, and I went to lunch at Jumbo Buffet in Ranson. After a tasty lunch, we cracked open our fortune cookies and read aloud from the slips of paper. Mine said,

"Right now there's an energy pushing you to stay on your path."

Randy said, "Wow, that's suitably vague."

I said, "It's suitably accurate."

How comforting to know that the Holy Ghost is there with me, guiding me, "pushing" me to stay on the right path. I was grateful to have a brief conversation with him about it. Who knew a fortune cookie could spark a missionary moment?

The Coveted Bubble Bath

I LOVE making cakes. I really do. The only problem is that they're stressful.

Is the color of the icing right?
Why did the fondant crack?
How will I transport it?
To stack or not to stack for movement?
How do I fix the air bubble?
Did I bring enough icing?
Where will I put the cake until I'm done with it?
I need how much more fondant?
Do I have enough (butter, flour, sugar, milk, vanilla, chocolate, marshmallow cream, ...)?

You get the idea.

In response to these and other *fun* cake-related situations, I instituted the bubble bath. At the end of a cake run, I get to lock myself in the bathroom with a cold glass of sparkling raspberry juice, a good book, and a tub of almost too hot water and bubbles in which to soak. Que the scented candles and incense. Do not knock on the door, because I promise you that I won't answer. Then again I usually wait until the kiddos are in bed and Tim is playing his game. He understands this ritual and knows not to disturb the bubbles.

One a side note, I delivered the Young Women's cake last night (the last in this particular cake run). I humbly submit for your viewing pleasure the cake...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A bald eagle. On a cake. That is all.

For those of you guessing about the movie quote, it was Mickey Rourke's character Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2.

Here, my faithful blog followers, is the boid... ...on the cake.
Our young Eagle Scout was thoroughly pleased with the cake and the bird. One eagle for another. Go Parker!!!By the end of the reception they were picking the chocolate feathers off of his back side and eating them. Who knew eagle feathers were tasty?

For my next trick, I'll be putting The Incredible Young Women of Winchester on a cake... stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

I want my bird.

Bonus points if you can tell me what recent movie that is from. Really it was pronounced more like, "I want my boid." Any takers?

I was up late (midnight) last night working on this bird... for a cake... due tonight. It's huge. I managed to transform it from a vague lump of green floral Styrofoam into a detailed chocolate-covered bald eagle. Yep, you read correctly. A BALD EAGLE. Lofty goals, much?

In truth this cake is for a young man in our ward getting his Eagle Scout tonight. I remember talking with him and his mother in passing last year about it. I told him that if he earned his Eagle, that I would put a 12" tall bald eagle on a cake for him. Well, he did it, and so have I.

I'm so proud of our Scouts. Audie and others in his den have earned their Bobcat badge, two of our scouts have recently earned Arrow of Light, and this is the second Eagle Scout in as many weeks. We have an active pack! I was surprised when Audie got his Bobcat and he got to pin me with a mini Bobcat badge. As I was new to scouts, I wasn't expecting it. I was expecting the dads to get all of the credit because they do the camping trips, hikes, etc. Way to go Moms!

I promise I'll post pictures of the finished cake after I deliver it tonight. I can't fully assemble it until I get it to the church. Did I mention that chocolate feathers are delicate?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hokey Happenings

Yep, it's that time again when the kiddos can't make up their minds about what they want to be for Halloween. We finally decided on the following three candidates:

Audie testing out his ninja skills. To his credit, he really is a sneak... especially when he's in costume with mask and all. He was "practicing" all week.Dougie posing as Iron Man. It's hard to see here because it is after the evening's festivities, but his face is painted to look like the mask.Chloie as a water bender. While the other two were store bought, this one was home-made. We're looking at a bathrobe, curtains, and retired ribbon.Of course, the evening wouldn't be complete without cake. This duo was for the trunk-or-treat at the church. Because we forgot what time it started, we got there 1 hour late so it didn't sit on the table long. After I hacked it up for all to eat, it lasted for even less time.

As for my first official day as Primary Music Director... well, lets just say we all survived. I've learned a few things in the last 24 hours.

1. Junior primary are easily entertained.

2. Senior primary not so much, but they will sing for food.

3. 40 minutes of solid singing is tough for the uninitiated. Next time I'm bringing a water bottle.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A week of cake

I hopped on the scale this morning and realized that if I ever want to lose weight and keep it off, then I will never be able to open my own bakery. Apparently the aftermath of staying home all last week and baking wreaked havoc on my diet. Oh well.

And to think that I'm at it again.

Not the week-long stay-at-home baking spree, but something close. With 3 cakes due in the next 5 days, I'm going to be having some late nights baking, icing, carving, and decorating. I promise I'll show pictures of my results in my Facebook cake album.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I stayed up late last night making Chloie's water bender costume for Halloween. I rummaged through my fabric scraps and found some old curtains I'd made in dark blue fabric, a medium blue fuzzy bathrobe, and ribbon bits from the store in Hagerstown. After some serious alteration and lots of safety pins, I think it is safe to say that it's ready for her costume parade today at school. Pictures on that after I see her in it.

It seemed that every time I sat at the sewing machine last night I started sneezing and sniffling. Once I walked away from it I mostly recovered, but when I woke up this morning I was sneezing and sniffling without the sewing machine. I hope I'm not getting sick. Ugh.

One day I hope the kiddos will look back on these late-night-costume-making sprees and see the love we have for our little munchkins.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When to stomp two feet in the puddle

I've decided that if I don't jump in with both feet I'll be timid for months. Annabelle will be there for a couple weeks to keep me straight and help me if I get stuck. I guess it's better to get the initial jitters over with sooner than later, so I spent some time yesterday obsessing about this Sunday's Primary lesson/sharing time/music time thing I get to do from now until I don't know when.

... OK, in reality I've been obsessing since they sustained me Sunday morning. That's not a bad thing is it?

Sunday afternoon and evening I sat at the piano with the primary song book, Annabelle's lesson plan for this week, and the kiddos to learn the songs we'll be singing. They helped me learn all of them except the one I'll be teaching them. Now I can't get them out of my head!

I got up in the morning humming them;
I drove to work belting them out in the car;
I find myself humming them at work;
I sing them on the way to get Dougie;
Dougie and I sing them on the way to get Audie and Chloie;
the four of us sing them on the way home;
I hum them while they do their homework and sing while I'm cooking dinner;
I probably sing them in my sleep (much to Tim's dismay).

I will say this for primary songs... I am now intimately familiar with the correct order of the books in the Book of Mormon. Who knew?

I sat with Annabelle last night after the pack meeting to pick her brain about this Sunday's music lesson. She said she hadn't worked on it at all, but thoroughly loved what I'd come up with on my own. Without giving too much away, we're going to see what 2,000 warriors looks like, dress and sound like warriors, and learn a new song about them. I've already tested these ideas out on Tim (as an age-group-appropriate gage for success) and he loves the ideas so far.

Maybe this isn't so bad after all. I'll let you know for sure after this Sunday.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not this time.

We have a pack meeting tonight at Scouts. I was kind of excited... scratch that, very excited... that Audie had completed the requirements for his Bobcat badge because that meant he would get it at the next pack meeting. Right?

I checked his book last night as we were working on another requirement for his Wolf badge and found that they hadn't recorded it yet. Meaning he won't get it this time. The whole family is a little disappointed. Apparently the den leaders have to notify the pack leader in the week before a pack meeting of any new achievements so that they have the time to get the needed items from the Scout store, and by the time we found out that there was an issue, it was too late to get to the store again. So we wait.

It's OK, though, because it gives us a little more time to work on more Wolf requirements. We're in section 4 creating job lists, phone lists, and learning how to answer the phone and door. We need to visit a historic site in the community for one of the requirements in this section... any ideas?

Monday, October 25, 2010

What exactly have I gotten myself into?

I've been released as the RS pianist... Yay, right? Or so I thought. Turns out that there is more for me to do. I've been called as the...

wait for it...

wait for it...

Primary Music Leader

Lucky for me Sister Chacon will be sticking around for a couple weeks to teach me what to do. I'm clueless, and I don't even know any of the songs in the Primary song book. Would you believe that I learned more in 1 day in Primary than I have in 2 years reading the Book of Mormon? Oh, of course you would. I now know there are 15 books in the BOM and (mostly) what order they are in. Oh, boy!

I've already found a good resource in at her suggestion. We'll be learning a new song this Sunday... The Army of Helaman... and I've got 2000 warriors for the kiddos to see. I think I'll also let them teach me a song or two. :) I suppose it is time to get in touch with my inner kiddo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Super Spuds!!!

There is something back-home-ish about a baked potato. There is something incredible when you load it with all of your favorite fixins and call it something more than a "spud"... and I'm a big fan! The best part is that everyone gets to customize their Super Spud any way they like. On hand for the event: butter, salt, pepper, cheese, sour cream, bacon, BBQ sauce, the works. Mmmm, tasty!

OK, in reality it's what we're having for dinner tonight. Can you tell I'm looking forward to it?

In the mean time, there is nothing like dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets to bring out your inner kiddo.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Life in plastic, it's fantastic!

Plastic canvas, that is. With a little bit of yarn and a lot of imagination (or a pattern), you can make some pretty interesting stuff!

These manual covers were from a pattern developed by JaNae Barnes. They fit over the front and back covers of the Gospel Principles manual, have 2 ribbons to mark your place, and have a window in the front to show the picture and title of the manual. I suppose that this pattern could also be adapted for other manuals as they are published. They take about a week if you dedicate the time to them. I will tell you that the back takes the longest by far. They take only a few ounces of your chosen yarn - 7oz. (one skein) of Red.Heart usually goes for $2.50, and the package of canvas is usually $1.50 for 6 sheets. Between the two purchases you could easily make 2-3 covers.

These two were for friends at church - note the one is in a more guy-friendly color scheme. Open with ribbon... Both of these were done in variegated yarn, meaning that the yarn changes color at random (or regular) intervals. Depending on the direction you are stitching and the size of the piece you are working, it can create some pretty interesting patterns.
This one was done in solid colors. I try to have a contrasting color to break up the monotony of the one color.
See? Having that box in the back and the borders in the different color makes the cover more than a blob of blue. I'm not much for blue and yellow together like this, but this was a pleasant surprise.
One thing about cutting a pattern like this out of a sheet of plastic canvas is that you will have leftover pieces. Pieces that at first you might not know what to do with them. The cut-out from the front cover splits evenly long wise into two perfectly-sized bookmark pieces; I've been making "I ♥ Gospel" bookmarks for the kiddos. The other pieces I cut to make these charming little boxes with lids. They don't hold much... they're only 2" square and 1" tall, but they're cute.
The kiddos loved them, I and they're a good way to use up some of that extra yarn!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Freaky Fliers

Yesterday morning, as I was coming up to the top of the mountain, I saw something streak past in the dark of my peripheral vision. Then BAM! it hit my windshield and clung for dear life to my wiper blade, wings flapping in the wind. You'd be proud of me, I didn't scream or anything, but then I realized that the furry and winged creature attached to my vehicle was indeed a bat. I tried to run the wipers to get it off, but it hung on. It even hunkered down out of the wind as I drove. I felt so bad for it, but it finally died and let go, and I was able to run the wipers to get it off of the car. Wow. O.o

The sad part is, sleeping bats are cute. Really! We cleaned our weapons every Friday in the Army, and there was a commotion at the arms room one day. Hanging from the steel-barred door of the arms room was a sleeping bat. It was so cute. They told us to silently get our weapons and go clean while they waited for animal control to come get it. Hopefully it was a catch and release!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

♪♫♪♫ I'm FALLing in love ♪♫♪♫

OK, so it's not the photo quality you're used to, but on my way home yesterday I decided to snap some pictures of the changing colors with my phone. I especially like the contrast - all of that green then suddenly a jolt of red or orange or yellow! Some of the pictures might be a little hard to make out... the sun was not cooperating.
Still pretty, though! This last one was to the left of our driveway.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A tasty alternative to American cuisine

Yes folks, I've branched out beyond easy Italian and Mexican! I've pushed aside spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and ziti! Overcome tacos, burritos, and enchiladas! (still working on the overuse of exclamation points)!!!

That's right...

I've made...



The kiddos and I like the honey chicken at our local Chinese restaurant, but in the interests of not breaking the bank to go there often, we decided to experiment at home. My parents even joined the ranks of guinea pigs. I found a rather scrumptious-looking recipe online, bought the necessary vittles during our bi-weekly grocery run (surprisingly, most was or could be substituted with common foods and food stuffs), and waited for the day.

Sunday was the day.

Why Sunday? Well, Tim isn't as adventurous as we are, and he's not a fan of honey. I know, I know, blaspheme, but I love him anyway.

So, the batter was pretty easy to make, and while it sat for the required 30 minutes, we started the rice, heated the oil, and cut the chicken. I ended up deep frying the batter-dipped-chicken-pieces for a little longer than the suggested 2 minutes because I liked a deeper tan on my chicken pieces. While the pieces dried on paper towels, I made the sauce, also very easy, and once it was done, we tossed the pieces in it and sat down to eat.

For a first pass it wasn't bad. The author of the recipe was right, it wasn't nearly as sweet as the restaurant munchies we're used to, but it did have a nice garlic flavor to it. I did discover that ground ginger and minced ginger have different flavors, though I don't know enough about either do make that determination. I will add a little more honey to the sauce next time to even out the garlic.

Dad, Audie, and Chloie went back for seconds (thank goodness I doubled the recipe), and when Tim got home he ate the left-overs. Here's the best part... he even liked it, so I think this recipe is a keeper.

Oh, and did I mention we had home-made peach cobbler? With vanilla ice cream? And Oreo cookies on the side? Mmmm, tasty!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Ah, progress

It seems like you're cruising along, and then it hits you. I was hoping to break 270 this week and start working on the 260's, but alas it is not so. I'm so close, only two-tenths of a pound and I'm there. It brings to mind a line from one of my favorite movies, "Almost there... Almost there..." Bonus points if you can name it.

I've read that it is possible to under eat while dieting and that it causes the body to preserve what it has. Yeah, lets go with that. Admittedly I've been so busy at work that I've "forgotten" to eat my second package of oatmeal in the afternoon. Is it too much to ask that I shrink a size or two anytime soon? At least I'm showing some progress... granted it is not 2 lbs. like last week, but I'm still going down.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fun with wood

So first we started with a list of lumber we needed, a set of free dresser plans from the Internet, and three helpers. Then we started cutting wood, planing it to the proper thickness, and using the router table. Using the router table is fun.

These are pieces for the drawers. There are 2 small and 3 large drawers in each dresser.This is one of the small drawers completely assembled. At this point, all we have to do is polyurethane it and put the knob on it.A shot of most of the drawers assembled without the front attached (the two little ones in the front are complete).A picture of the "inside" of the side panels, partial shot of the front frame, drawer, and bottom trim.One frame assembled. We have to put the bottom trim, the top of the dresser, and the drawer runners in before we polyurethane the snot out of it. I ran out of screws before I could assemble the other one. One of my helpers posing next to his dresser.

This has been a long project, and there is still more to do. At least I know t hat these should last a lot longer than the $40 particle board Wal-mart jobbies we got almost 8 years ago. I have to admit that they held their own for long enough, through 6 moves and 2 destructo-boys! The new solid wood dressers should last a life time, and they're prettier! :)