Friday, February 25, 2011

When enough isn't enough

I've been working on a blanket for a young couple at church expecting their first baby (a boy). Two 6oz skeins of Caron Simply Soft Collection yarn in "pistachio" later, I'm only 2/3 complete. I need to get another skein to finish the blanket, but neither wally-world nor Michael's in Martinsburg have it in stock.


I'm waiting until after the AC Moore in Hagerstown opens before I call to see if they have any. Lucky for me this particular color is a no dye lot, so the yarn shouldn't be any different. If I can't find it at AC Moore, I might be forced to order it online... for $4 a skein with $5 in shipping. Grrr! My hope is that it doesn't come to that. As soon as I get it done, I'll post pics of the blanket here. Hopefully it won't take long to locate that last skein.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"I am a dalek... EXTERMINATE!!!"

My parents and sister showed me a video last night that my sister had captured on her camera. Somewhere after a TV show that had a model or picture of a dalek from Doctor Who, Dougie began walking around in a stiff robotic manner with his hands out in front of him, moving in choppy up and down arcs, saying, "I am a dalek... EXTERMINATE!!!"He "attacked" my father who played along and screamed as Dougie the dalek touched him. Then Dougie went after my mother in the kitchen with a similar response from her.

I love that my kiddos are as kooky as I am sometimes!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So much for Groundhog Day

What's this? Ice on the front of my Trailblazer Monday night? An inch of ice and then 2 more of snow?

What happened to no shadow?

I thought that meant spring! And so it begins. Right after I took the unused snow boots back to wally-world, it gives us this. Fun. Tim worked overnight and said the roads were a mess, so I stayed home with the kiddos (with no school). We watched movies, cleaned the house, had sausage gravy and biscuits for dinner. (yum)

I did start working on the cake for the pinewood derby this Saturday. I'll give you a hint...

There is a car... that is all. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

A force field of stink

Sometimes I forget that Audie is a kiddo when he says things like that. Apparently, the skunks were encouraged by the ground hog's prediction of an early spring, but their senses are still a little groggy. I've counted no less than 6 dead along the road. Worse yet, as you drive around them, the stink gets in the car, and the only way to get rid of it is to open the windows for a time. As Audie was describing this, he called it a force field of stink. Tim and I just looked at each other and laughed. Very clever, kiddo!

Chloie had a similar instance with the "fresh air button" on the AC controls. Dougie is, well, DUDE. I have awesome kiddos. Chloie is feeling better, though the cough is still a little harsh. I'm hoping that since her fever broke Saturday night, it'll go away without too much persistence.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Soup's up!

My uncorked bottle of bouncy sunshine (aka Chloie) has not been feeling well the last couple days. She's been, well... still. It's so unlike her, that her teacher sent her home. That and she had a fever of 102.4. Now she can't go back to school until she has been 24 hours fever and medicine free and all because of the H1N1 thing last year. Personally, I think they might be over reacting, but that is a discussion for a later time.

So, we went to my parents' house so that she could spend the night and today with Mom, and I made my chicken noodle soup. Yes, a soup the kiddos and Tim will actually eat. For my sister who wanted the recipe...

2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans hot water
1 'box' of Swanson chicken broth (not the cans)
1 12oz package of egg noodles
1 16oz bag frozen veg (I used the pea/carrot mix)
1/4 cup minced onions
various herbs to taste (I used 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp oregano, 2 Tbsp parsley, 1 tsp garlic salt)

Mix the water, condensed soup, and broth together over medium heat until completely dissolved. Add herbs, veg, and onions and stir until almost boiling. Add the egg noodles, stir gently until everything is under the fluid level. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

You can also add chunks of cooked chicken, but I didn't this time. This is a little thicker because of the condensed soup, so it works really well in bread bowls.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"I gave the old man some candy"

Last night while Audie was in scouts, I made a last minute decision to join a Relief Society service project. We even talked a non-member scout parent into joining us. Our project was to visit the residents of Care Haven in Martinsburg and give them valentines hearts and candy. Our little kiddos even went with us and helped us pass them out. The residents were grateful, the nurses were happy to see us, and I'm so impressed with the kiddos' behavior and willingness to serve.

On our way out, Dallas (my friend's youngest son) had two pieces of candy left, and he gave them to the elderly gentleman sitting in his wheelchair by the door. He proudly exclaimed, "I gave the old man some candy!" Good job sharing, kiddo!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is it Chili's in here?

In a move of total spontaneity, Tim decided that we should go to Chili's in Winchester for dinner. We LOVE Chili's. We were delighted when we discovered they'd brought back the classic nachos. YUM!!! The ones they had in place of them just weren't the same. Tim ate his classic bacon burger, I had honey-chipotle chicken strips, Chloie had a cheese burger, Dougie had pizza, and Audie had a corn dog, 1/2 of Chloie's burger, and a piece of Dougie's pizza. That kid can really pack some food away!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A sweet paint job!

I promised pictures of Audie's pinewood derby car, and here they are... Tim helped him pick a design, and I drew it on the block. Then he and Audie cut and sanded the car and painted it with flat black paint. Then Audie and I taped off the windows and coated it with 2 layers of chameleon paint.
From different angles it looks blue, purple, pink, greenish, etc. Finally, we taped off everything except the racing stripes (painted in chrome) and finished with a clear coat or two.
I don't think he cares if he wins or not (which is kind of the point), but he's really proud of his car. I think it looks awesome!
I can't wait to see what we come up with for next year!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Hair-Raising Valentines day

Friday afternoon, I retrieved my kiddos from the bus and took them home. Audie successfully completed his first week in the new disciplinary program we co-designed, so he got to play on the Wii for 30 minutes all by himself. Chloie then joined him. While they were otherwise entertained, I took my shower and started the 1.5 hour process of putting my hair up for the Sweetheart Dance at the church. This was the final result... I had to take a picture for a friend at work whose advice I received while trying to figure out what to do with it all. She liked it, so I'm happy.

The dance itself was a lot of fun. There were a lot of songs that I didn't recognize, but Tim and I got to dance to our song. I think we were one of 3 couples out there during that particular diddy (compared to a packed floor for others), and I'm sure we got some weird looks as we sang to each other. They did have a couple fun songs like the Electric Slide and the Twist. Oh, and the lasagna and cake were awesome, too. I didn't do the cake this time, but it was nice to just attend and enjoy myself.

Saturday morning we had pink heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.Tim and Audie changed the oil in the Trailblazer, and then we worked on cleaning house. Sunday we made valentines during singing time as we talked about Heavenly Father's love for us. Our valentines said, "I love you like He loves me. In my heart you'll always be." The kiddos and I visited Sister Fanning in Martinsburg to give her valentines we'd made for her and to say hello. When we got home, Audie and I put the wheels on his pinewood derby car (pics on that later), and I helped Tim put some cables on his motorcycle. We were having trouble putting the seat back on, but then we realized that the front bracket was on upside-down. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Conversation Hearts

The kiddos and I did these little cuties last night. I'd bought a box of the real thing and wrote down different phrases to use on my hearts. They helped me decide which phrases went on which colors.
They don't know it yet, but these are for dessert on Sunday at my parents' house.
Some of the more... interesting... ones I left out. Like "boogie" and such.

I think I might offer these next year for Valentines day. What do you think?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Budgets for a B movie

I sat down last night and worked over our budget for the year. Some things, like car payments and rent, didn't change. Others, like GAS (yikes!) and insurance (we added another vehicle) did change. With Tim on part time, we've had to cut back on a lot of things. I'm truly looking forward to a time when it's all paid off.

I am grateful, however, that we have the means to pay our bills on time. Once upon a (not so long) time ago, that wasn't always the case, and we were living very closely to bankruptcy. As we got smarter with our money, things got better. Everything is paid on time for the full amount, and sometimes we add a little extra when we can to pay it off sooner. I've read that by taking the money originally used on a bill now paid off and rolling it into another payment, the debt will shrink faster. I'm happy to say that this will be happening fairly soon to one of our credit cards. :)

The true intent behind all of this is to pay off enough that we can start saving more money up for our eventual home purchase. We've refrained from any new credit accounts, paid up everything, and continue to pay on time in the hopes that when the time comes, we'll have the income, credit, and down payment available for a comfortable home we can afford. Something with 4 bedrooms and a LARGE kitchen would be nice. Especially if it is in a neighborhood with other children for the kiddos and no turney-pothole-y roads for us adults. Something in southern Berkeley County so we can keep the same schools, but a little closer to work so I don't have to drive 40 minutes (or more) to get there. For now we'll buy a house, but later on I think we'll have our dream home built.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

You can Can-can, too!

I got to go to my friend's house last night to dry pack can my food order. I didn't realize what the volume would look like. The total tally looked something like this:

25 lbs macaroni (6 cans)
25 lbs potato flakes (11 cans)
25 lbs hot coco mix (4 cans)
50 lbs white wheat (10 cans)
25 lbs oats (9 cans)

4 lbs pancake mix (still in the bag)
25 lbs spaghetti (still in the box)
left over potato flakes and hot coco mix for 1 can each

My pantry looks shiny now! I've got a few shelves full of #10 cans. I'm so glad we're on our way to being prepared!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

My new range

What's this? A range? A range of what? dates? temperatures?

Nope. My new cooking/baking/totally-awesome range.

It's a 'whirl pool'. *giggle* Sorry, a throwback to Home Improvements. But it is a black Whirlpool freestanding range with 5 ceramic glass burners (1 is a warmer and two are dual burner that can be either small or large). It also has digital everything on it and a hidden lower element in the oven. We got it home last week, put it in, and didn't even have to adjust it - it was already level. Sweet!

Tim was the first to use it on Saturday (he made eggs), but I got to use it to make dinner Monday night and bake pizza, bread sticks, and cake last night. Those were tasty bread sticks, but I digress. I love this range! Everything baked beautifully, and with the big clear window on the front, there is no question about how things are doing, which means that the kiddos love it, too. The best part is, we got an awesome deal on it, but I can't tell you what it was. :(

Someday I will have to get a matching microwave and refrigerator! :)

Monday, February 07, 2011

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Chameleon paint, food orders and more...

I suppose we had an eventful weekend. The kiddos and I finished the second season of Star Trek: Voyager and got the third season from Dad. We had dinner with my parents Friday night because I got stuck waiting for the Variform train on Route 9. Grrr!

Dougie and Chloie went grocery shopping with me in Hagerstown on Saturday while Tim and Audie worked on his Pinewood Derby car. They looked online for ideas and asked me to sketch it onto the blank for them to cut out and sand. It looked really good when I saw it painted black on Saturday. I promised Audie that we'd put the chameleon paint on it Sunday after church. This is the same paint I have on my motorcycle. We taped off the windows so that when we're done, it will look like he has tinted windows on his car. :)

I also placed my first food order from the Church's provident living department (or whatever it is called). I'm going over to my friend's house tomorrow to can all of my dried goods. I'll finally have a year supply on something! Now if I can get the garden working, I think we'll be OK.

I did record the Super Bowl for Tim. We started watching it when he got home at about 9, but I couldn't stay up long enough to watch past the second quarter. What I did see was a pretty awesome game, and Tim told me that the Packers won. Since there wasn't a clear underdog (like the Saints last year) and his favorite team wasn't in the game, we rooted for Green Bay. YAY WIN!

Friday, February 04, 2011

What to do with a JERK

You've all met one...

They know the correct process to use to get a task done. They even know why things are done that way, and why that specific information is important. They know the form to fill out that contains that information. You've even had this conversation before explaining all of this and that they are to follow the process.

And then you get an email throwing all that out the window.

Because they're too important to follow the process. Because they "don't have time" to fill out the form. Because they "don't have the form" (even though you've sent it to them multiple times). Because they would rather argue back and forth through email instead of filling out the form.

Wouldn't it just be easier to fill out the form the first time? It infuriates me how this particular individual feels it is appropriate to disregard the way we do things, even feeling the need to throw out the big names because he thinks that it should scare me into allowing it.

Am I missing something? Is this "OK"?

*steps down from the soap box*

Thanks for that... I needed to let off a little steam.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Is it just me, or is it warm in here?

After the weather we've been having lately, this is a veritable heat wave! It was in the 50's yesterday here in WV, if you can believe it. Most of the snow is melting off, and I'm not exactly sorry to see it go. One unfortunate side effect is the ice frozen across the roads when the temperature drops for the night.

I know what you're thinking, but no, I didn't run off the road.

I did, however, slide half way through a deserted intersection at the top of the mountain. O.o

I yearn for warmer weather when grass is growing, flowers are blooming, trees have leaves, and THERE IS NO SNOW!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

When databases are like oil and water

You might or might not know what I do during the day... you know, when I'm working... non-cake related working.

I manage databases of parts, machines, data, more data. You get the idea. Part of the "fun" is making the data in those databases talk to each other and pull out needed useful information, and sometimes those databases don't like to talk. They give each other the cold shoulder and leave me in the middle asking WHY? and Where's the love?

Occasionally I can get my foot in the door, 'Hey IV30, IV04 wants to talk to you.' but it turns out to be a very short and unsatisfying conversation. There are ways around this, but I haven't found them yet. On the bright side, after I figure this out, it'll improve the response time for the machines we send out. For now I'll dive back into computer screen and see what I can do.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

What sanity I have left

That's right, folks, I got to go to work at my regular time at the butt crack of dawn this morning. I guess I was spoiled sleeping in until it was daylight, but that's over... at least until the weekend.

I also got to drive the Trailblazer to work. Well, technically I also got to drive it home from work after we got it from Bucky's. They did an awesome job fixing it up. No offense guys, but I hope I don't have to see you for a while. I didn't realize how much I missed driving my own vehicle until I started it up in their lot to go back to work yesterday afternoon. I did keep it in AWD the entire way home because the "precipitation" drifted on the road like snow, fell like rain, but hit my windshield like ice. It changed to snow the further up the mountain I went, however.

Tim's been trying to fix the heater in the Explorer. We've established so far that it is not the switch or the relay. The next step is to check the resistor in the blower, and if that doesn't work, replace the blower. Lucky for us these aren't hard-to-find or expensive parts.

The kids are off of school today (again). I get the feeling that they will be making it up later on in the school year. I'm sure that by 8:30 Tim will be pulling out his hair.