Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All I got for Christmas...

is a lot actually! ;o)

Let's start with what Darly got for me...

I asked my friend Marsi if she wouldn't mind taking Darly shopping because when DH takes her, he waits until the week before Christmas and only takes her to one store (luckily it isn't a convenience store!) for her to get me something. Marsi was happy to do it, so we planned which stores Darly wanted to shop at and I got her gift cards for those stores. I thought the cards would be easier than money to deal with. Darly was a very good shopper and got me some wonderful gifts!

She got me some nice fleece pajama pants, fuzzy purple squishy slippers, a pair of fuzzy slipper socks with rabbits on them (each sock has a plush rabbit at the top that you slip your foot through...so it is kinda like wearing rabbit slippers!), purple fuzzy slipper socks and a nice pair of ear rings.

Dh wasn't too bad in the shopping department either this year. Mind you, I did give him a list...but it on had two items on it and he got me some extra.

He got me a pack of Hanes comfort t-shirts (because I always borrow his!), a Blue Collar Comedy Tour DVD (no idea what he was thinking there!), a US Flag that was flown over the headquarters in Iraq in honor of US Veterans, a pair of Isotoner gloves (item from my list) and a anniversary ring (also on my list!)

I've been bugging DH for an anniversary ring for years and he's always said that I could have one for the traditional diamond anniversary year... that's 60 if you're keeping track of things! However, I explained to him that this ring was necessary because here in Colorado my fingers shrink up, (are smaller at the base than at my knuckles) which causes my engagement ring to spin around on my finger and the stones to poke me rather painfully. So I don't wear my engagement ring all that often...unless we go out of state. They fit fine just about everywhere else. I think it's a water retention thing or something. I also figured I deserved one after the last 7 months.

I guess that DH must have figured I deserved it too as the house is still standing, and when I showed him the ring I was interested in it wasn't a fortune. So under the tree this year was my nice new ring.

Right now my ring is at the jeweler's getting resized as they don't really make rings small enough for my tiny fingers. I can only buy rings for my pointer fingers that are "off the shelf" or a size 6. Everything else has to be sized down for me. What I don't like is that we get charged for this...they get to keep the extra gold. oh well... I'll be calling today to see if it is ready, it was supposed to be done by yesterday.

Rosarita Salsa Blog Tour

The story of a dinner that didn’t end up on Failblog! ;o)

As many of you know, I suffer the indignity of living with two very picky eaters. The stuff these two won’t eat is just surprising. So perhaps you can imagine my distress when I was asked to try out the new line of Rosarita Salsa… in a recipe! Normally around there the most we do with our salsa is to put it on top of rice with some cheese (dipping tortillia chips into is a normal thing though.)

Luckily the good folks at Rosarita were nice enough to send me a few recipes that I could try the salsa with…and they looked like they might be something I could get my picky eaters to try.

Enchiladas Verdes – Green enchiladas
Ingredients
• PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
• 1 jar (16.8 oz each) Rosarita® Medium Salsa Verde, divided
• 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
• 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
• 12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup of the salsa over bottom of dish; set aside.
2. Combine chicken, 1/2 cup of the salsa and 1/2 cup of the cheese in medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
3. Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Heat one at a time in skillet over medium-high heat on both sides until slightly puffy and softened.
4. Top each tortilla evenly with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture; roll up. Place seam-side down in prepared baking dish. Cover with the remaining salsa; sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
5. Bake 30 minutes or until cheese melts and sauce is bubbly.
Cook's Tips
1. For delicious Enchiladas Suizas, drizzle with Mexican cream. As an alternative, serve with sour cream.
Or I could try
Spicy Chicken Tostadas
Ingredients
• 1 can (16 oz each) Rosarita® Traditional Refried Beans
• 12 tostada shells, heated according to package directions
• 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
• 4 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
• 1 cup Rosarita® Hot Salsa Taquera or Rosarita® Mild Salsa Mexicana
• 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
• Fresh avocado, peeled and sliced, optional


Directions
1. Place beans in medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH 3 minutes or until hot.
2. Spread each tostada shell evenly with beans. Top each with chicken, lettuce, salsa and cheese.
3. Serve with avocado slices, if desired.
However, when it came down to cooking time, I ended up doing a variation on a Salsa Chicken recipe that I found online. See I had a raw chicken in the frig that I needed to use up with no time to cook and shred it…so instead I put my cut up chicken in a baking dish, covered it with salsa and baked it at 425 for 40 min (turning it over at 20 min). I cooked up a pot of rice to serve with it (adding 1 tbsp of beef bouillon per cup of water, onion and butter). I figured that worst case my picky folks could eat the rice.

Well the verdict was… it’s YUMMY! They both loved it and so did I. They of course didn’t eat extra salsa on the chicken, but they did put the salsa on the rice. I had a bag of tortilla chips out too for them to dip into the salsa. Now I need to try the Salsa Verde! :D

Here’s what the folks at Rosarita would like you to know…

Rosarita, maker of the #1 selling refried beans in the United States, is excited to introduce our new authentic Mexican salsas! Available in three distinct and flavorful varieties, Rosarita Salsa is more than a dip – it’s an ideal topper and ingredient for creating any authentic Mexican dish.

Rosarita Salsa comes in three authentic flavors

Mild Salsa Mexicana – a mild Mexican salsa
Medium Salsa Verde – a zesty, green salsa
Hot Salsa Taquera – a hot, spicy Mexican taco salsa

Rosarita Salsa is made in Mexico using only the best ingredients, giving it the authentic flavor, spice and heat of a homemade salsa.

Rosarita Salsa is now available in the Hispanic foods aisle in four cities — LA, Dallas, Phoenix, and Denver at Walmart locations and select grocery stores for the suggested retail price of $2.99 - $3.29 for a 16.75 oz jar.
Make sure you go check out www.Rosarita.com for more yummy recipes! They have a very nice recipe search there!

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Rosarita and received a sample to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Homecomming!

YES! DH is home now (well not RIGHT NOW!) but home from over there!

DH had asked someone from his office to send me his return flight info and she did...but that was it. LOL! DH told me that I should be able to find them at the airport so we could all be together to greet them... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

After DH had passed his job on to the new guy he had quite a bit of free time and was emailing and instant messenger-ing me a lot. It was quite funny as his night was my morning...so he would always sign off "good night! sleep well." and I would of course say "good morning" but he was "talking" to me during his evening before he went to bed.
When it was getting pretty close to time for him to leave I asked if we would be IMing the next day and he ignored the question. So I knew he was leaving the next day. His return trip took a few days, but we knew when he would be home.

So Wednesday (9th) Darly & I headed to the airport. When we got there we learned that the parking area that I was intending to park in was full and we had to park way out in the boonies. The temp was below zero and by the time I got our car parked and locked up we had missed the shuttle to the airport. So we walked. As we approached the next shuttle stop we had also just missed that shuttle...ugh! Well we walked quickly!

When we got inside the terminal we went to the Airlines ticketing to get a pass to go out to the gate. but of course that info isn't posted on a sign anywhere...and I didn't find a "Customer Service" counter anywhere. I had walked past all the lines trying to find a Airlines employee to ask where we were to go and as I headed back I finally saw a gal trying to make sure that folks were in the correct line. I hollered at her from over 3 lines of folks if I could ask her a question. She says I can and as I make my way to her another gal cuts in front of me to ask something. *eyeroll!*
So I finally get to ask this employee ... "My husband is returning from Iraq today. I was told I could get a pass to go meet him at the gate. Can you tell me where I need to go to get that?" As I finish saying that another family meeting their service member had showed up too. This employee says she can help us and directs us to an empty computer to print out our passes. It turned out that the other family's service member was DH's boss.

So next we get to wait to go through security and then take the train to the concourse. When we get to the gate of course there is no arrival info because normally you can't meet folks at the gate. It doesn't even tell you at the gate that the plane is coming from Xcity. So I asked the gate agent while flashing my pass.

We don't notice anyone else at the gate to meet our guys...hummm

The plane finally arrives and starts unloading. DH's boss' family has a "flat daddy" (they took a picture of their service member in uniform and blew it up to life size and mounted it on cardboard...they had been taking it with them all over and taking pictures of them doing stuff with the "flat daddy" in the shots) One of the other passengers notices the "flat daddy" and tells us that our guys are all waiting at the end of the gangway to come out together.

Finally our guys come out of the gangway...and it seems that no one else has noticed (meaning the folks waiting for to board for the next flight) so I started clapping for our guys. You could tell when folks realized what was going on and started joining in. Many folks walked up and thanked our guys and wished them a Merry Christmas.

As we made our way up to baggage claim some of the guys disappeared, so we waited for them all to get back together. Turns out that one of the kids had left his backpack and they had to go back to get it (I was wondering why all those kids had backpacks when they weren't going anywhere??? I never did find out why) So we all rode the train back to the terminal together and everyone else from the office, boy scouts and some veterans were there with flags and welcome home banners!

it was a very respectable welcome home for the guys!

We then had to make our way to the base for DH to fill out all his paperwork. That took a long time because everyone kept coming in to talk to the guys...especially DH because of his position. DH was actually getting a bit annoyed with them.

We finally made it home and let Lilly out into the garage to greet DH. At first she was scared (I think the balloon that DH was holding might have been part of it) but as soon as DH said "Hello Lilly" she knew who this guy was and gave him a proper hello!

DH won't have to go back to work for real until mid Jan. So I should come up with something for us to do or we're going to go nuts!

I've been working on our Christmas cards and we still need to get our family picture taken so I can get the cards printed. I'm hoping to get that all done today. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good news and more good news!

I'm coming to you live from my newly re-built computer! :D My friend's hubby put a new hard drive in my old desktop and it's running great! Now I just have to get all my bookmarks on this one and we'll be all set! YAY!

and in other good news... DH will begin his journey home this week! His actual arrival will probably take the entire week or so as it all depends on availability of transportation. But we should have him back home soon! Yippee

course when he gets home he is supposed to have a lot of time off...I don't know what I'll do with him here all the time. ugh

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good News/Bad News

The good news is won't cost me any more to retrieve my data from the old hard drive.

The bad news is that the reason it won't cost me anything is they CAN'T get it!!!! Something has written over all my old data and it is all gone! Yes, they could use other software to rewrite the data like you see on TV crime dramas...but that costs tons of money and for my data it isn't worth it!

So now my hard disk will just be shredded and recycled.

4 years worth of pictures that I never bothered to print...GONE!
Music files that we paid a buck per song...GONE!
My "how to run the house" file that DH wrote for me...GONE!
My spreadsheets with all my homeschooling info...GONE!

ARGH!!!!!

I'm gonna go cry now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oxfam America Unwrapped Blog Tour


Make your own Countdown Clocks

With the holidays right around the corner, my thoughts inevitably turn toward the challenging task of buying gifts for friends, family, and colleagues. With an ever-growing list of people to buy for, each year I find myself searching for unique, meaningful gifts that fit my budget. Instead of giving to the Human Fund, I found this…

This year, Oxfam America Unwrapped introduces gifts that help those who need it most. From $20 for a pair of school uniforms donated to a poor community to a $50 goat sent to a struggling farmer to help provide fertilizer and food for his family, Oxfam America Unwrapped offers a convenient, easy way to find something for everyone on your list while helping those less fortunate and avoiding the excess of the holiday season. When you buy a gift from OxfamGifts.com, your recipient gets a card with the image of your specific gift and the money goes toward providing lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice in over 100 countries.

To see how your donation affects the lives of people around the world, log on to the Oxfam America Unwrapped website and click on the "How your donation helps" section. Visitors can learn about Oxfam America's amazing work on projects such as restoring Mangrove trees to Vietnam's coastline and the creation of savings and loan programs in Mali, Senegal, and Cambodia.

Last year we were able to provide a donation of chickens to a village. It reminds me of the saying “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” And I’m also reminded of the Girl Scout law that says “Make the World a Better Place”. I hope in some small way I can do that, one gift at a time.

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Oxfam America Unwrapped and received a credit for a gift on the Oxfam site.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Christmas Ornament Exchange! :D


It's here!  It's here!  Time to sign up for the Christmas Ornament Exchange!  Woo Hoo!
I know that when I did this last year a few of you (1 or 2) said that this is something that you might be interested in doing also.  So here's the link!  Go sign up.  It's very easy.

Here's what Kailani says:
For the past couple of years, I’ve been hosting a Christmas Ornament Exchange and have been able to add some really beautiful ornaments to my tree courtesy of some of my blogging friends. It’s so exciting when you don’t know what you’re going to get. That’s why I’ve decided to host it again.

Here’s how it works:


■Ornaments should cost between $8–$10 + shipping.

■If you’d like to participate, please fill-out this form. Your information will be kept private and will only be shared with the person you’re being partnered up with.

■You may participate even if you don’t have a blog.

■The sign-up will continue until November 25th and partners will be announced soon after. Please try to mail out your ornaments within the first week of December.

■Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
 
Please take some time to get to know your partner and hopefully you’ll make a new friend in the end. Have fun!

Now I need to run over to my Christmas store and see if the ornament I wanted to send out is still available.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

dead desktop update

well it's not much of an update really. My friend has removed the hard disk and I am shopping for a data recovery place. Apparently they're quite popular.

I sent an email to the one closest to me asking:

1) how is the data returned to me?

2) aproximately how much does data recovery cost?

they emailed me back "we would love to recover your data for you. Just bring in your hard disk and we'll take a look at it and quote you a price."

...

...

Yup! That's all they said! No answer to the questions I asked. The reason I'm asking how the data gets returned is I need to know if their price includes a new hard disk (some places put the old data on a new hard disk that you just put into your computer.) Or will I need to provide them with something to put the data on? I have no idea and when I tried to call them, no one but the voice mail would pick up the phone. sigh

off to look elsewhere.

I've sent an email to a company that's a bit further away but their website has a "request a quote" link. I've requested the quote.

Monday, November 02, 2009

desktop died

I'm reporting to you live from my laptop as my desktop computer has died.

It started by giving me the blue screen of death. I some how managed to overcome this a few times, but then alas the desk top was asking me for things I just couldn't give it...like a reboot disk (honestly I think I was supposed to make one when I first plugged in the computer...but I didn't)

So I took my computer to my friend's hubby and he has diagnosed it as having a dead hard drive. He was able to get to the "second hard drive" that I learned isn't really a second drive but the second split of my dead hard drive. :(

so now I get to buy a new hard drive. sigh! and research how to recover all my data that I haven't been backing up.

oh lovely laptop...please don't ever die on me.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Life in a small-ish town funny

The other day Darly & I were shopping at our local Wallyworld. We had finished our purchase and were waiting for our friends. Darly looks over and says to me "I think I know that guy from somewhere."

I look at who she's talking about...who has now passed us by a bit, but I could tell who it was.

I say to Darly "read the back of his jacket"

She does and now knows who it is... the back of his jacket (a high school letterman style jacket) has in script letters The Mayor. This is the same mayor we had just saw a few weeks ago at the Cemetery Walk who was pretending to be one of the city's founding residents.

Where but in a small town would you see your very own mayor?

But that isn't all, today the mayor was at our local Library...he's there on a regular basis for folks to just come up and discuss city issues with him. He also works at a newby Border's store.
Darly says "I think the mayor is stalking us!" I giggle and say, no we just keep running into him. Luckily he has no idea who we are...wouldn't that be even weirder if we knew the mayor?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Listerine Oral Care Challenge Blog Tour

A few weeks ago I was selected to take part in the Listerine Oral Care Challenge. As part of that I was sent a box of Listerine and Reach oral care products.

Darly & I were pretty excited as we have tried some of the products before and liked them already. I was even asked to do a product review on the Listerine Total Care Anticavity Mouthwash before! Here's what we were asked to try this time:

Listerine Total Care anticavity mouthwash. We received some in Icy Mint and in Cinnamint flavor. I really liked being able to try the new flavors, they both taste good and leave your mouth feeling really clean.


Darly was asked to try Listerine Agent Cool Blue tinting Rinse. This product tints the teeth blue so the kids can tell how well they are brushing. Basically they dye their teeth and then brush it all off...still blue? better brush some more! ;o) Darly really likes this as it has a nice bubble gum flavor and it's fun to use.

Also included was the Listerine Smart Rinse anticavity fluoride rinse for kids. This product didn't get as big of a thumbs up from Darly as the Cool Blue, but for one simple reason... the product makes Darly thirsty and to set the product you shouldn't drink for 30 minutes after using it. I suggested that Darly get a drink before brushing her teeth and I haven't heard anything about it since. I guess all is well.

Next up was the Reach Access Flosser with extra disposable heads. And Reach Total Care dental floss. The Access Flosser is GREAT! I loved them so much I had already gone out and bought one for everyone in the family (well, not the dog!) I really like how the flosser holds the floss for you and helps you to reach your teeth so well. The Total Care floss is nice too, it has micro-grooves technology to help clean between your teeth better...that's always helpful for those pesky popcorn bits!

We also received some toothbrushes that we really couldn't use as they're for toddlers and a BatMan toothbrush. I think I'll see if my nephews can use those.

Darly was given a chart with stickers to keep track of her brushing. Well at age 11 that was a bit too childish for her...she used the stickers for about a day or two. However, she was fine with using all the rinse and floss products.

I'm pretty sure our dentist is going to be happy with our nice clean teeth!


If you would like to take the Listerine Oral Care Challenge, just click Listerine or Listerine Kids. Once you get there, take the time to check out the websites! They are terrific. The Listerine Kids web site is full of excellent information and tips for keeping your kids' mouths healthy and clean at any age. Oh, by the way, if you need more incentive - The links I posted above had coupons for the products!


"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Listerine and Reach and received Listerine and Reach products for the Oral Care Challenge and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate."

Flu Prevention Steps

Obama declares swine flu national emergency

the following is just my personal opinion (shared by many others) but feel free to ignore it. I think this entire thing is just a bunch of hype! I think that the pharmaceutical companies have lobbied to get the Prez to declare this "emergency" to help boost their sales. Why? Because I know several people who have already had the H1N1 flu and it wasn't any worse than a regular case of the flu. In fact their doctors are telling them to stay home!

As part of the hype I was recently asked to share with you the following Flu Prevention Steps.

People should take simple steps to help prevent the spread of the seasonal and H1N1 flu viruses in their homes:

· Wash Hands Frequently: Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice).
· Disinfect Germ Hot Spots: Disinfect the surfaces kids touch most frequently – like doorknobs, faucets or plastic toys.
· Do the Elbow Cough: Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands to help prevent the spread of germs from touch.
· Follow Good Health Guidelines: Eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep to help boost your body’s ability to fight the effects of colds and the flu.

I'm happy to share this part with you...there is a part that I edited out because I don't feel like posting it. I know you can find what I edited out on the web. :D

I sincerely hope that you don't get the flu. and if you do get the flu that you recover from it quickly and don't share your germs with anyone else. Take care!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Letters! an idea ...

I've swiped from my friends.

I've seen this idea on a few of my friend's blogs and I've always wanted to try it...well now I'm going for it!

Dear Owner of the gymnastics gym that Darly goes to,

HOW DARE YOU?!?!? How dare you break my little girl's heart like that?!?!? We told you that we could not attend a class on Wednesday, yet YOU told us to sign up for the try-outs anyway. YOU said you would work something out because Darly wasn't the only girl who couldn't do Wednesday nights.

Yet last night after Darly did a stellar job earning her a position on the Team you had your minion come out to let us know that yes she got a spot, but she couldn't have it unless she could be there on Wednesday nights!!!

Did you really expect us to choose gymnastics over GOD??? Do you really think you're more important? I THINK NOT!!!

Lucky for you that Darly's tuition is already paid for the next 4 months! We know that Darly has the skills to be on the USAG Team, Eagles or Cara... and while my little girl's heart is breaking over not being able to do this, she won't give up God for you. I'm so proud of her! and so MAD at you!

Sincerely,
a very ticked off mom!


Dear Roofing Companies that won't return my calls,

Yes, I realize that you are super busy right now. Busier than you've ever been...but if you want to continue to be busy, you should have someone answering the phones! I won't be giving my business to someone who doesn't have the courtesy to return my phone calls...if you can't be bothered to call me back now, how can I believe that you'll call me back when I give you my business. pshaw! You won't! Which is why I WON'T be calling you back or giving you my business. oops! There goes $11K for you!

a not that stupid homeowner!


Dear House,

Would you PLEASE stop piling up with junk all over yourself? You're really letting yourself go and it isn't attractive! Stop it now!

Your owner

Dear Postal Carrier,

Would you please STOP filling my mailbox with junk mail that I don't bother reading? You're continued stuffing of my mailbox is leading to my House's problem with the piles of junk (see letter above)!!! I have to rip my name and address off each piece and then recycle all this paper and I have NO IDEA where the recycling center got moved to!

thanks!
resident, occupant, and homeowner


Dear Dishwasher,

You had better stop leaving a film all over my dishes or I'll have to call someone to come and take a good chunk of my money (money that would otherwise go to supplying you with the nice dishwashing packets) to come and rip you all the pieces!!!

Your owner


Dear Snow,

Just go away!!! It is only October for pete's sake! Now we don't get to go to the Pumpkin Patch for our yearly trip. I really wanted to see the bunnies this year. Sigh!

me


Dear brother,

Would you take a few seconds out of your life to call and check on your sister? I haven't heard from you at all since my hubby went out of town. Your wife my have told you that I bought a new car, but you probably don't even know that. And sorry I had to HIDE you on my FaceBook account, but all you ever post are cryptic Computer Geek updates for your potential clients.
I don't even know if you intend to be in town for the holidays, and I don't want to invite myself over.

Oh and can you let our other two brothers know that they should be checking in on me too? I know that oldest brother is intending to come out for the annual Ski week.

Your favorite Sister



Okay, I think I'm done now! Whew! That was kinda fun!

Friday, October 16, 2009

another busy week

Monday I was asked to come in to cover the phones so the staff could have a meeting. Darly went shopping with her friend. So I go, but I forgot to ask how to use the phones...luckily there were only 3 calls...but it turned out that the meeting ran long thanks to a HUGE issue within the church. Hopefully we can get it all worked out soon.

Tuesday Darly & I went to this place called Jump Street. It is an indoor trampoline "park" where they have these HUGE trampolines all over the floor. It looked really cool. Darly thought so because it was her idea to go there. However, the place was soon packed with kids who had been bussed there. WHAT? Why are children who should be in school at a park that should be being used for kids who are home from school during the day??? I don't know. sigh Well Darly was not happy that she couldn't get a few feet of trampoline to herself, but I wouldn't leave until our time there was up...in case she changed her mind at all...also I was chatting with my friends. hee hee

Tuesday night - gymnastics. I'm so glad that Darly didn't injure herself at Jump Street and was able to go to the gym. Cuz she did a near perfect bar routine! YAY

Wednesday we met up with friends for lunch before going to CYT Denver's production of Beauty and the Beast. Turns out we had met Belle at Church a while back...she was awesome as were the rest of the cast. I was a tiny bit disappointed with Beast but the rest of the kids were awesome and cast so well.

Wednesday night Darly's friend had dinner with us and loved my Pizzania and then the girls went to confirmation...where they went to buy goodies to ship to the soldiers.

Thursday was a day off, but Darly & I went to Kohls and bought her a new wardrobe cuz she's outgrown everything!

Today was Girl Scouts where the kids studied different cultures and we had some foods from different cultures. I brought cream puffs from france...yeah right, they were from the grocery store's freezer. :D but we had a lot of yummies.

Tomorrow I hope to drag Darly to Stemapalooza. Last year she didn't have a good time, but this time SHOULD be better.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sprinklers

Dh left me a list of stuff to do and how to do it. Now that the weather has gotten colder it was time for me to shut off and drain the sprinklers. Unfortunately Colorado got hit with a very sudden cold snap sending us into freezing temperatures very quickly. By the time I realized the sprinkler lines needed to be drained I didn't have the time to do them they way Dh told me to.

Here's his list...

Shut down: At first freeze
1. Shut sprinkler water line off in basement.
2. Open cap on line in basement. Cover to drain into bucket
3. Open valve at on backflow outside with a flathead screwdriver. Let water drain into bucket in basement.
4. Run sprinklers though full cycle. A minute or two on each zone.
5. Close outside valve at backflow, and cap nipple on the line in the basement. Empty bucket.
6. Make sure Mom’s was done too.

and here's what I did...
1. shut off sprinkler water line in basement. check!
2. open cap on line in basement. Cover to drain into bucket.

and here is where the plan changes. Step 3 takes place outside and it was already dark out. So I decided to leave it for later and hope for the best.

That night temperatures dropped to the 20s! But I had left the line open in the basement and it was still dripping all night.

The following moring it was still bitter cold out, but I tried to complete the list. However, there was no difference and I noticed ice crystals in the valve. oops!

Today was much warmer.

When Darly & I returned from Church this morning I noticed copious amounts of water flowing down our street...on the other side from our house. As I pulled into our garage I look and see that the water is shooting like OLD FAITHFUL from my neighbor's backflow valve! I knew that she couldn't be home or she would have heard that much water running.
So I ran next door to see if our neighbor could come and help get the valve shut off. He wasn't home but his oldest kid offered to call him...meanwhile I head over.
Luckily the person who installed her sprinkler system (probably the first owner who was extreemly smart!) also installed a shut off valve right under the backflow. Although I got drenched on my right side, I was able to shut off the water quite easily.
I then talked to the neighbor across the street and learned that they had noticed the problem and had tried knocking on her door. They promised to get the owner's phone number in case anything like that happened again. I also told my nextdoor neighbor's son that I got the line shut off.

After that fun, I went to my own backflow valve to check it. Everything seemed fine...water was still dripping in the basement (I had rigged it so the water was dripping straight into our sump pump...no mess). So since it was warmer, I decided to complete my check list.

I was now able to open the valve and I heard noise of air rushing in it! And sure enough when I checked the basement, the water had splashed on my splash guard. woo hoo! I then tried blowing air in the valve like DH does, more splashing. YAY! However I couldn't get the sprinklers to do anything when I turned on the system. Normally they spit and sputter.

So I left the valves open all day dripping and closed the outside valves this evening. The line is still dripping inside, so I figured I would let it drip until either it dries up or I can hire someone to blow out the lines.

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 05, 2009

the update... or I'm such a sloth!

Okay, I haven't posted anything since Sept 24th... and this is so terrible... I'm looking at my calendar to try to figure out what all I've been up to since then and when that didn't ring any bells I looked at my Facebook.

On Sept 27th Darly had to Acolyte at Church service. This was her first time ever serving communion and she did an awesome job. Her dad (after hearing my report) and I are so proud of her. She also managed to actually do her Sermon notes. So I'm pretty happy about that.

After Church and lunch we went over to our local cemetery for a Cemetery Walk. This is where folks dress up as some of the people that are burried there to tell us their stories. I have to say that after living here for almost 8 years this was our first time to ever do this...and it will be our last. While it was neat to finally see this, I was pretty disappointed that everything that we heard was info you can get from the town's historical society in print. The one fella's script was so bad I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing. It was nice that one town resident's granddaughter played her...but perhaps it's time for her great-granddaughter to take over.

Sept 28th was Darly's book club. We had a HUGE turn out for this month. It appeared that the girls had a very good time talking about the book, but honestly I don't listen to them. I want the book club to be a lot like what I get from book clubs which means not always talking about the book, eating yummies and just having a good time. And that is what they get. We have a great bunch of girls in the club.

Sept 29th I could hardly contain my excitement as we went to the CakeWrecks book signing at a local bookstore. Jen & John were a hoot! We all had a great time. Darly made a "wreckplica" (copy of a wrecked cake) and while she didn't "win" she got a prize anyway. I don't think that anyone (but us) realized that they had a Jr Wreckinator until we came up to get our book signed. If you go to the Cakewrecks site you'll notice that Jen & John are both currently sick in a hospital in Texas...please pray for them as John is in critical condition. Poor guy!

Sept 30th we went to the park, enjoyed yummy PeiWei for lunch and then came home to my dinner disaster! I had tried to make chicken & rice in my crockpot and learned that rice cooked that long turns into GLUE!!! It tasted okay, but it wasn't good eats. Sorry to our dinner guests. I WILL make it up to you next time with food that is acutally edible!!! After that the girls went to Confirmation.

Ahhh finally into this month...

October 1st we went to a coop class on making stop action movies with a digital camera. The kids learned the history and mechanics of making a stop action film and then got to acutally do it. I learned that there is very easy to use software available online to take the pictures and make them into a movie. Too cool! While we were there we enjoyed playing with our friend's new kitten. This little kitten is just a ball of energy and just wanted to play, play, play the entire time...I was expecting her to go take a nap...but she never did. And she pounced my head twice! LOL! But she also gave me hugs.

October 2nd was our Girl Scout meeting. The girls made butterflies for this...
1,500,000 innocent children perished in the Holocaust.

In an effort to remember them, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.

The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2012, for all to remember.
Here's a slide show of the project... The girls took a coloring sheet of a butterfly and placed it under contact paper to use as a template...then they opened the contact paper sticky side up and placed bits of tissue paper on the contact paper in a butterfly design. Then we stuck the rest of the contact paper over it to sandwich the tissue paper between the layers. The end result made some very pretty suncatchers. We had a visiting grandmother at the meeting who liked the butterflies so much that she wanted her granddaughters to make her one...we had to disappoint her that these were for the project.

Now Saturday Oct 3rd was my truely Slothy day. I never bothered to get dressed! However I didn't sit around doing nothing... I paid bills, balanced the checkbook, tried to figure out my health insurance, and filled out a spending diary for a survey company that I'm a part of. If you follow me on Facebook you'll see that I also took frequent breaks. LOL! Oh and on Friday night I bought some dishcloth yard to make myself some dishcloths. One spool of the yarn is only $7 and so far I have made 3 dishcloths of different sizes. Once I figure out what size I like best, I'll make a bunch more. I think I can get at least a dozen of the large sized ones out of this...probably much more. So I made two dishcloths on Saturday.

Sunday we didn't do much either which is sad cuz I really needed to do my laundry that day. *line removed for TMI content* So hopefully I get some laundry done today...otherwise things won't be very pretty. Oh wait! I did buy a pooper scooper so Darly would complain less about picking up after the dog. Only she gets paid a buck per week to pick up...she hasn't picked up for 3 weeks or so. So I only have to pay her a buck. hummm she needs to figure out the math on this situation. LOL!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Because I've got nothing better to do!!!

I've been running to and from the dealership that I bought my car from and it's driving me a bit nuts.

I suppose I could have saved a few of the trips... If I had bought the car on Friday night instead of taking it home and buying it on Saturday. If I had remembered to get the title for my old car before making the deal that would have saved a trip too.

But the dealer caused my trip in this morning... they misplaced my lender's electronic check. so I had to go over there today to take them a new check for that.

And now the lender has sent me yet another form to take back to the dealer because they needed an adendum for the final amount that we are borrowing. UGH!

If I had known that I would need to take this paperwork tonight, I could have had the bank just fax the dealer the paperwork that I took over there this morning and saved myself a trip. I sure wish they had told me that! UGH!

well instead of coming home while Darly is at the gym tonight, I get to drive yet again to the dealer.

boy I sure sound very whiney... sigh!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cuz you asked nicely...

I'm here, I'm still here! Rumors of my demise were greatly exaggerated.

Why I've been absent? Well frankly I've been pretty lazy. It's so much easier to post a little blurb on Facebook than it is to update you here. Hummm I wonder what I've been up to over on Facebook? Should we have a look? Sure why not? What else have you got to do?


Renee says it is about time for Church. see you later! 5 hours ago · Comment · Like / Unlike Write a comment...

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DeleteJoan Fine looking car you have there. Congrats! 6 hours ago
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RemoveRenee I went, I saw, I test drove, I got to take it home...but it still isn't mine yet. So I'm not gonna post the pictures until DH says it's a go! He better check his email tonight (tomorrow morning for him)! LOL! If not he might end up with a car regardless.Fri at 8:13pm · Comment · Like / Unlike · View Feedback (9)Hide Feedback (9)
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View all 8 commentsRenee I should explain...the link above is to pictures of an expedition...The car currently in my garage (until about 10ish) is an explorer.
Yesterday at 7:58am · DeleteJoan Can't wait to hear whether this is THE car for you so we can finally see pics!
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If you followed any of that, you might have caught that this weekend I went and looked at some cars and you might have even caught that I bought one too!

Here's the story...
I've been car shopping for a while since DH finally agreed that my old car was getting to be too much of clunker. So Thanks to the internet I've been able to do most of my shopping online. whew! Cuz looking at all the dealerships is a pain. Darly & I went to one and I ended up missing my electrician coming by. boo!

So after looking for quite a while I decided that it might help if we had our financing all lined up and I went to my bank's website. Let me say right here and now how AWESOME USAA Bank is! Along with all the other things we have through them I found that they also have a Car buyer's program...where they've worked out discounts on cars! WOO HOO!!! I immediately signed up for it and we saved so much money! :D They hooked me up with some local dealers who had the car I wanted.

I went on Friday and looked at 3 cars, test drove the one and ended up taking it home with me that night! I had a pretty good deal hammered down (after the first round went total bust! Why do they even bother playing that stupid game???) But I ended with telling them that I should really check with DH before making the final purchase. It seems only right...it's a $30K vehicle!

So I go home take some pictures and zip an email off to DH right away...and wait! and wait and wait! When it was almost noon and I still hadn't heard from DH I prayed about it and went to go buy the car. It is now ours.

Of course when I got back home, DH finally emailed me back to ask me more questions about it. LOL! In the end DH is okay with my purchase, but I'll owe him when he gets home.




Okay... The color of my car is called Black Pearl. This immediately brought up images of Pirates of the Caribbean and so it seemed that a name for the car from the movie would be in order. I'm thinking Turner or Swan for Will Turner or Elizabeth Swan. I'm leaning heavily towards Turner cuz well Orlando is CUTE! But Turner is the name of the camp where DH stayed so he's against that. Darly likes Ella for the car's name cuz she's reading Ella Enchanted right now. I could also be talked into Sparrow I suppose. But I'm not a huge Jack Sparrow fan (or Johny Depp either!) and honestly I didn't like that Elizabeth decided that after years of loving Will that she would rather have Jack. I need to see movie #3 still.

So any ideas or help?

Zhu Zhu Pets – Product Review & Contest!

Parents everywhere: Has your child been begging you for one of those cute Hamsters they see in the pet stores? Your first thought was “How much work is one of these buggers?” If you’ve ever had hamsters before you then already know about all the feeding and cleaning that is involved with real hamsters and UGH who wants to do that again? Right?

A while back we were asked if we would be willing to host a Zhu Zhu Pets party for our friends to try out a new toy. We checked out the website http://www.zhuzhupets.com/main.html and were excited for this opportunity. Like every other child Darly had been bugging me for a real live hamster because they’re so cute! And now I had this opportunity! YAY!

The day the box arrived Darly’s friend K was visiting. The girls are both 11 so I allowed them to open it up and check out the party kit. The girls immediately were able to set everything up and start having fun with their hamsters. I also allowed the girls to plan the party. We decided to not invite as many kids as the party kit had hamsters for because we wanted to give all the girls a chance to play and so that we could give a few away on our blog…more on that later. This is a shot of the girls playing with the hamster city

Besides the obvious perks of these toys (all the fun of a live hamster without the mess!) there are many other great qualities to these pets!

1) They’re so cute!
2) They make cute noises as they zoom along.
3) The habit trails have something that the hamsters read so the hamsters know what part of the trail they are in and they respond accordingly.
4) Did I mention the cuteness?
5) Your child will be happy with just the hamster toy as they run on any solid surface (they kind hop on carpet which of course leads to more cuteness!)
6) The habit trails are easy to assemble in a variety of ways…unlike a real hamster’s habit trail where once you decide how you’re going to put it together, you better leave it alone or your hamster could escape!
7) When you’re done playing with your hamster, you just turn it off!

We had our party and it was a HUGE success! The girls all loved the hamsters and had fun picking their very own from the four different hamsters (5 more coming soon!) Everyone had a blast putting their hamsters through all its paces. Here is a video of the girls playing…

I think another thing that I loved was finding out how reasonably priced Zhu Zhu Pets are. They'll be available at Walmart, ToysRUs, & Amazon.com soon!

and now... for what you've all been waiting for... the Contest! We have 3 Zhu Zhu Pets to give away. So go earn your chance to win one you'll have to first visit http://www.zhuzhupets.com/toys.html, leave a comment on my blog here with what part of the Zhu Zhu hamster city you like the best and then visit Darly's Blog and leave her a comment too. Only folks who comment on both my blog and Darly's will be entered in the drawing.

The small print I received the Zhu Zhu Pets products you see here for free from BSM Media/MomSelect in exchange for me telling you about them. It was my idea to give away the extra hamsters on my blog.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Chatting with mom

Sunday morning (yes...I'm just NOW getting to blogging about it! If you read my Facebook you already know about some of this.) as I was leaving my bedroom to come downstairs I heard the unmistakable chirp of my cell phone going off for just 3 or for notes of it's song. Enough to know that it wasn't someone on my call list...see each number stored in my call contact list has it's own ringtone assigned to it. Some of the tones are really humerous (to me anyway) and fit the caller well. I like being able to know who is on the other end of the call before answering.

okay I digress...so the phone rang for just a bit and it wasn't someone on my call list. So when I got downstairs I looked at the phone to see who had called and was shocked to see it was my mom's phone number. (yes, I know I'm a bad kid for not having my mom's phone number on my cell phone. but I should tell you that every time I call my mom it's at least a 90 min call and I AM NOT USING MY MINUTES ON THAT!!!)

I'm going to digress again... see I have a cell phone but I have it under protest. I never wanted a cell phone. I don't like them. If you need to reach me via phone, call my land line. If I'm home, I'll answer (usually!) and if I'm not home there's this really neat invention called an answering machine that will record your message for me...if you're really desparate for an answer, perhaps you should email me. Anyway if you're lucky enough to know my cell phone number you've been given directions for it's use...Call the land line first!!!

Okay back to our story...so I see it's mom and I'm in a panic mode. Why is she calling my cell phone?!?!? So from my land line I call her back and my step dad answers. Still in panic mode! why are they calling? Is mom sick again?

Step dad immediately appologizes. See he was setting up the voice mail on mom's phone and accidentally hit the send button...he tried to end the call quickly but not quick enough. But since I called back...why don't I have a chat with mom.

and so we did!

We ended up having a really good chat focused mostly on me this time. See having a deployed hubby and a hail storm and needing a new car...helped me keep the conversation on me. hee hee

So the talking about the hubby part went really fast. He's there and he's hot.

I did get some good info about the hail bit. When I was a kid we had a hail storm and they filed a claim. She said that back then they never saw the insurance check at all. it went directly to the mortgage company who dealt with the contractor after they hired him. So I guess I'll go ahead and send the check to the mortage company for them to deal with it. sigh!

We talked about how I need a new car. She tried very hard to talk me into buying in Lincoln Navigator instead of the Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer. Saying how much nicer it is and well insulated and it comes with roadside assistance & free maintence. Ummm yeah, it also comes with a price tag that is about $15K more!!! After being car payment free for about 10 years now, seeing payments that are upwards of $700 per month is quite shocking enough...I don't need one that rivals my mortgage!!!! So sorry Mom, but NO! I won't be buying a Navigator! I don't need a vehicle that is that big anyway!

I checked yesterday and it seems that the local dealer with the used 2009 Eddie Bauers has sold them. :( They had a few fleet cars that had less than 10K miles on them. sigh so now it's back to the drawing board for my new car. I can buy either an older car with more miles on it...or I can buy a new one. pout pout pout! I really wanted that blue Explorer...or the red one! But alas they are gone. They don't even have any of the Eddie Bauers left.

I cannot believe that it is already September. Where did summer go? I guess I should start bugging the kid about doing school work again. Which means that along with all the house/car and yard stuff I need to get crackin on school stuff too. sigh

Friday, August 28, 2009

Miss Communication

well as evidenced by my lack of posting here, that definately isn't my name. LOL!

As you know my house was pelted by hail a few times this summer. And I had the pleasure of calling my insurance company to file the claim. The adjuster came out and did everything so I could get a check for the damages.

However since we have a mortgage the check is payable to the mortgage company TOO! Bad enough that DH's name is on there, but their name is too. The insurance company said to call the mortgage company (although they are supposed to be the same company) to find out about getting it endorsed.

I called the mortgage company. The friendly gal there tells me right off that since my name isn't on the mortgage she can only help me this time...after that I will need authorization.

Let's back up a bit here. When DH & I got the mortgage on the house we were shocked to find out that they had not put my name on it. The title company said they could fix that for us and had us file the paperwork + give them a fee. ummm my name still isn't on the paperwork!!! sigh

So mortgage gal says no problem...just send the check to them and add a copy of the insurance adjuster's worksheet. She will go ahead and send me a Claim packet that I'll need for getting the part of money the insurance holds until the work gets done.

So I get the copies and I'm ready to mail in the check when I get the claim packet. But WAIT A MINUTE! The claim packet tells me that I & DH have to sign the insurance check and the mortgage company will hold the check in escrow until the roof is fixed and they will have the roof inspected and issue the payment checks.

HOLD THE PHONE! I can't call the mortgage company to ask about this again because I'm not DH and don't have authorization (forgot to ask what kind of authorization they wanted). So which do I do?

Now I totally get them wanting to protect their investment. totally! But ummm why didn't mortgage gal tell me this to begin with? Well I'm gonna follow mortgage gal's info and send in just that part and see what happens. LOL! This oughta be fun.

Good thing I'm in no hurry to get the roof done!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

vacation

Updated with photos!

Darly & I went on a vacation road trip with our friends Marsi & K (K is Marsi's dd who is a month older than Darly...they are very good friends.)  We left a few days early for our trip to South Dakota.  We arrived on Saturday and spent what was left of the day just relaxing.  Here's some pictures of the dogs:


On Sunday we went to Church with Marsi's parents - Renae & Dan (doesn't Marsi's mom have a great name?) :D  After Church we watched a movie on DVD and then went to the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD.  Oh yeah, we are staying with Marsi's parents.  On the way to the Mammoth Site we were able to see a bunch of wild life in the Black Hills National Forest...we saw Buffalo, Pronghorns & Deer.  We decided that we really didn't need to go through Custer State Park to do the Wildlife loop.


On Monday we went to Mt Rushmore and then to Crazy Horse monument to see the laser light show.


On Tuesday we went to Bear Country, Jewel Cave and back to Crazy Horse (thank goodness Marsi's parents can get us in for free) to see to museum that we missed on Monday.


On Wednesday we went to Bear Mountain Fire Lookout and to a local mine to look for rocks.  Dan thought the property was on Forestry property but we learned when the owners showed up that it was privately owned.  The owners were very nice and allowed us to keep the rocks we picked up (just quartz & mica) but told us the property would soon be posted to prevent liability issues.  I felt so bad for the owners that they have to face liability if someone gets hurt trespassing on their property.
We also drove through Custer State Park

We'll be driving back home on Thursday.  I'll be updating this post with links and pictures after we return.

Friday, August 07, 2009

camping trip

Darly & I went camping and got back yesterday.
of course Lilly came with us!  She had lots of good camp food to eat while we were there.  I am pretty sure she ate a lot of non-food stuff too.  ugh!
When we got there and set up the tent we had a small problem...the tent pole to the front "porch" of my tent broke!!!  (that's the lite blue flap you see hanging in the middle of the tall arch)  So we weren't able to use the front door of the tent and had no porch. :(  I looked up my lovely warrantee on this tent and I'm betting that broken poles falls under normal wear and tear...although I would like to argue that this is faulty design.  That particular pole takes the most pressure of the entire tent.  I could also argue that the company is lucky that I didn't get injured, the break happened right at my face level.  ugh!  Luckily my friend's husband took the pole home and fixed it for me.  Unfortunately, they still have the pole.
This trip I brought with us a screen shelter.  I put it over the table and it gave us a good place to keep the coolers out of the sun so our ice lasted much longer.  The cars got way too hot.another improvement I made for this camping trip was the purchase of the plastic tote bins you can see in the far right corner of the picture (magenta & purple) I think that once I put in my organizing dividers that they'll be just perfect!  as it was for this trip they kept everything watertight and also provided extra work surface when needed.
After the kids went to the beach on Tuesday I was pondering a good way for their swim suits to hang dry.  We aren't allowed to tie anything to the trees in the campground.  However they can't stop us from using our own cars.the old beat up clunker in the rear is mine.  The other car is Marsi's car.  This clothes line was so popular that we ended up with even our friends' stuff.  Luv my luggage rack!
We had good weather and the kids had a blast playing for almost the entire time.  I keep meaning to teach Darly how to cook camping food while we're there.  But I get so caught up in the fun that I don't want to let her do it.  I'm so mean.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Table Manners - by Mia King a book review

There's nothing like reading a good book in the summer. So I was very excited to get the chance to review Table Manners by Mia King.

I had originally planned to read this book while working out on my poor neglected eliptical trainer...or even take it with me on my camping trip...but alas when I picked up this book it was too good to put down and I polished it off in just two days without even taking it near the eliptical trainer. ooops!


From the Author:  Meet Deidre McIntosh, the ever-resourceful lifestyle maven who has a knack for getting back up when life knocks her down.  At 41, Deidre has created a new life for herself with her own line of branded baked goods and a wonderful relationship with Kevin Johnson, one of Seattle's most eligible and sexy bachelors.  Creative, energetic, and loving, Deidre is the person people go to whenever they need a helping hand.
But when Kevin's ex-fiancĂ©e, the sultry and successful magazine publisher Sabine Durant, appears in Seattle, suddenly it's Deidre who needs help.  Already intimidated by Kevin's glamorous, moneyed world--and his sister, Marly Banks, who wants Deidre out of Kevin's life--Deidre knows she's no match for Sabine.  She turns to her friends for advice, but finds they're having crises of their own.  When her business begins to slip from her fingers, Deidre knows she must do something to keep her career and her love life from imploding.


This book is the sequel to Good Things.  I read Good Things a while ago so it was fun to get back into the story and catch up with the characters and see how they are all doing now.  And if Mia needs an idea for her next book I would love to hear what happens with Sarah next. ;) 
I found the story to be funny and intriguing.  I loved the dinner scene where the character Marla thinks that Deidre needs to have better table manners. 

I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Penguin Group Publishing. Mom Central sent me a gift card and a copy of Table Manners to thank me for taking the time to participate.