Sunday, February 24, 2008

a "clean sweep" of this week....

Well, here it is Sunday again and I don't know where the week went.  Last Sunday, I was feeling productive and now this Sunday - just feel overwhelmed with a to-do list that I don't know how I will get through.  Luckily Tom and the boys are home and willing to help.
So to sum up this week...  Monday and Tuesday are a blurr.  I honestly can not remember what I did those days.  The boys were off from school... oh - Jake went on a field trip with his cub scouts.  They went to work on their last pin before crossing over to boy scouts.  They went to a local wetlands but it was closed for the President's day holiday.  So they went to McDonalds instead.  I am not sure how that relates to nature, but they got their pins....
Lucas and I went to the airport Monday and picked up Angie and Vicki.  They were gone to CHA and also a consumer convention in Costa Mesa.  They were gone for 11 days and good to have them home again.  I sure miss you girls when you are gone!  Glad you are home safe and sound.  I made dinner Monday night and made a second pan of ravioli lasagna so I would have it for the potluck Wednesday night.
Tuesday, Jake had tutoring that evening.  After that and homework and the boys were in bed, I made a photo board for the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet that was on Wednesday night.  I had 140 photos to work with and got 80 of them onto the board.  Turned out pretty good and the boys sure liked looking at their photos at the dinner.
So that brings us into Wednesday.  The cub scouts had their banquet and crossing over ceremony into boy scouts.  This was at the same time of the eclipse so it was difficult to keep the attention of the kids and the "big" kids...  Pretty cool to watch and it was such a beautiful night so it was very clear to see..   Jake earned his Arrow of Light and received many of his last minute pins and badges at the ceremony.  He also received his new boy scout shirt, a mess kit, and a hat.  He was so excited.  At times, he has said he didn't want to go into boy scouts, but he really does enjoy everything they do.  But he was so proud Wednesday night.  Tom was there in his full scout uniform and was standing pretty proud himself.
Thursday, I checked in at Jake's tutoring to get an update of where he is at.  Wow - this boy has come along way.  When he started he was below second grade level.  Now he is in 6th grade level in many areas.  He is still struggling in one area and is at 4th grade level, but the director said that is a pretty difficult book he is working on.  It is just awesome to see him excited about reading.  He is seeing his own progress too.  The director said it is time for us to decide how far we want to keep going with the tutoring.  Jake says that he wants to start 6th grade next year a year ahead.  So guess we will keep going.  

Friday, I got to meet Angie's new puppy, Cabo.  She is just too cute and really tugs at me to want to get a dog....  Good thing the boys haven't seen her.  Welcome to the family, Cabo!  Angie, I hope you were able to get some sleep this weekend....

Friday night, we went to the Lumberjax lacrosse game.  Angie and Vicki gave us tickets for Christmas.  Thank you so much - girls!  We had a great time.  Awesome seats two rows behind the penalty box.  It was an exciting game.  The jax won and lots of fights...  :)  Tom and Lucas didn't realize there were going to be Jax dancers.  I couldn't even talk to them when the ladies were out.  Jake did everything he could to not watch and Tom and Lucas couldn't look away.  It was pretty funny.  Then since the Jax won, we took our tickets to Krispy Kreme for a free late night snack.

Saturday was a day of house cleaning.  Tom decided Thursday to refinance the house so we have an appraisal on Monday.  AH!!!  Mad house around here now to get things cleaned up and organized (at the least the appearance of it).  Got through my room, bathroom and the game room.  Did a dump of the toy boxes and put the legos in their own place again and put a huge toy box in the car for give away.  

Lucas had a sleep over birthday party last night so Tom, Jake and I went out to dinner.  Oh yummy Newport Bay.  I love that they will still make me stuffed shrimp and crab halibut even though it isn't on the menu anymore.  We stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond on the way for an omelet pan and a new pillow for Jake.   A couple fun family nights out...  

This morning, Tom made omelets..  They actually were pretty good.  Even had a fresh pot of coffee going when I got up.  These types of days start off to a good start...  Tom and the boys are going to start building a storage shed today.  Ours is caving in and just too small.  It is one of those metal ones so they are going to build a wood one this time.  I am going to finish off the house and my work hours today.  Good day to just hang out in the pjs!  Well, maybe at least sweats....   

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

been a productive weekend....

Seems like it has been a long time since I could honestly say that I felt like I had a productive weekend and really accomplished something.
Friday night, we had our family night out at the auction.  It just cracks me up how much these boys enjoy that auction.  Of course they both had the 42" plasma tv picked out for their "man cave."  I don't think so boys...  The opening bid was $1,000.  Lucas looked at me, like why aren't you bidding, Mom?  Ummmm because I don't have $1,000....  I didn't even have the $550 that it sold for in the end.  But Tom did get a box of tools for $15.  Some things he can use and were practically brand new and some things that probably will end up giving away. He mainly wanted the hatchet and got some bonus toys with it. The boys ended up with two contemporary style chairs and an ottoman for their "man cave" and only cost $35.  Jake didn't get the large tv he wanted (they had another besides the plasma) or the exercise equipment, they had a cool eliptical but could only afford so much and it was out of my range.  But it makes for a fun family night out and the big challenge of the night was trying to figure out how to get the chairs and ottoman into the back of my Tahoe....  :)  But we figured it out without going home to get the pick up.  

Saturday we got up bright and early and made breakfast.  Full out scrambled eggs, turkey sausage and toast.  What exactly is turkey sausage anyway?  It didn't taste like turkey and it certainly did not taste like sausage.  I think it was something Lucas picked out at the store for a camp out and it either never made it to the camp out or it came home...  Think maybe it needs to go back to another camp out or something...  Then we headed over to Home Depot to buy Tom's new toy (a miter saw) and then over to Shauna's house to work on the trim.  We finished all the trim on the top of the wainscoting and put the baseboard back on in her bedroom.  The boys played video game fest '08 with Spencer and Kaelin.  They had a blast!  We all got our fix of Simba - who is just a cool dog!  and it was great to have Shauna there.  Put a face with the name for Tom....

Oh ok, speaking of Tom.  I realized Saturday night I may shelter Tom from my friends.  I guess I have limited his exposure to them...  From the conversation and questions he had at Shauna's house, I just really started to see how much I talk to him about all the people in my life.  But he has really not met many of them in person.  I am not sure why this is....  I don't think I have done it on purpose...  Or maybe I have, I don't know.  But those that he has met, I think he is comparing me to them....  One day last weekend when we were over there, he saw her mom scrubbing the laundry room floor.  He admired what a hard worker she was.  "Did you see that?  She was on her knees scrubbing the floor?  That is a hard worker..."  Ok, I saw it.  Yes, she is a huge help to Shauna and her family and she was cleaning the laundry room floor, and no I am not going to scrub my floors on my knees...  lol  I will continue to use my mop.  Then last night, he was making comments about your kitchen, Shauna...  That it was so clean and the counters were not cluttered.  First of all - since when does he pay such close attention to these things.... Ok, so I scrubbed my kitchen counters down today and did the bathrooms....  No comments about how clean my kitchen is or the bathrooms???  

Ahhhh - I get it now as I proof read this, he is playing me like a fiddle.  He knows that if he makes these comments, he gets me to work more around my house.  You learn quick, Grasshopper!  I liked to think I was a little quicker than this....

Anyway, guess the lesson of this story is to continue to limit Tom's exposure to my friends....I know he has met Paris and I will have to make a note to never take him over to her house....   

But he was really happy with how the room came out.  Meeting you, Shauna, made it worth it for him, I think.  He is a good man and he doesn't see that or hear it very often.  So doing a good thing like this is good for him in so many ways.  And then you gave him cookies, so all was right in the world!  

Today we finished some final trim pieces in Shauna's room.  With the wainscoting being panels, there was a space that broke the pattern.  So in order to fix that, Tom made some trim and corner pieces.  Of course, a couple trips to the toy store was necessary first to complete the task.  But he did a fantastic job and it looks great.  We need to just now do some painting and we will be finished.  But he is done with his part and has some new toys out of the deal.  

On my way home, took the air compressor back to Jim and Paris' house - Thank you again, Jim for letting us borrow that.  Was such a huge help having the portable compressor.  Paris - was great to see you!  Playdate soon for sure....  Been too long.

Then I went to the grocery store and actually had a few meals planned out for the week.  This is a rare thing for me.  They know me at the store because I am there so much, or maybe it is because it prints on my receipt....   So that is what all those stupid store cards are for!  Oh I am quick tonight.....   Anyway, we have a potluck on Wednesday night for Jake's cub scouts.  So plan to make a double batch of lasagna ravioli tomorrow night for dinner and save the second pan for the potluck.  

When I got home, the boys were ready to help unload the groceries.  Lucas had a plan for dinner.  Nice treat - this scout stuff is paying off in many ways.  So he and Tom made a fire in the fireplace and started some briquets.  Then he made stew pockets, he called them, with stew meat, potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, garlic and grill seasoning.  Folded it all up into tin foil and cooked it in the fireplace.  He steamed some broccoli on the side and we were set for dinner. Boy the house smelled good!  And it really tasted good too.  I was surprised.  I also made a big pot of clam chowder for lunches this week.  Nice to just have some leftovers.  

So besides being tricked into doing some housework by my subliminal hubby, I also got my projects done for work.  The kitchen is a mess again, guess they forgot to teach that in scouts.  The cook needs to clean up after dinner.  But since the boys are camping in the living room tonight, Tom is snoring and it is after 11pm, I think I am going to just call it a day.  

Tomorrow is another day and the dishes will still be there!
Good night.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is a day of Love.  Whether you are married, in a relationship, a parent or single, it is a day to appreciate those you love.  

But in my house, it goes unsaid...  There are no flowers, no candy, no card for me.  I bought the flowers for the dinner table and the candy for Tom and the boys.  So we are having our romantic spaghetti dinner tonight - thank you Albertsons for the last minute run to the store.  We don't exactly take this day with a lot preparation!  

I do know my family loves me though.  Tom and Lucas are out in the cold and dark changing the oil in  my truck as we speak.  Jake brought in the garbage cans without being asked.  The boys put their backpacks away from last weekends campout - THIS AM!  It is the little things.  Most of all the hugs that they don't mind and don't break off before I am ready.

So appreciate those you love whether it is spoken or unspoken love.  Time to put the noodles in and Tom to pick up Jake from tutoring...  Life still goes on and our world keep spinning!

Hugs to you all!
Love always,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 day is done!

Boy - it feels like a short one.  I left the house this morning at 8:45.  I got home this evening at 7:45!  While Jake was at tutoring, I went and did a little retail therapy.  I went to Kohls.  Not a store I go to very often but at Christmas time, I found some amazing deals there.  So thought I would try again.  I was really there only for one shirt for Tom.  He wears this quilted flannel shirt everyday as a light jacket.  Well, it has seen better days.  I didn't think to get one at Christmas time when there were plenty to choose from.  But today, some good deals were made.  Everything I bought was 60, 70 or 80% off!  I got Tom two work shirts for 4.80 each, a quilted shirt, Lucas a sweatshirt and t-shirt and for Jake - a sweatshirt and two shirts.  Jake's shirts were buy 1 get 1 free.  Good deal for me since the kid only wears one style of shirt!  I just get every shade of grey, blue and black they have!  I did get him a red sweatshirt though.  For 9.00, I couldn't pass it up.  He told me that "it doesn't meet my color requirements, Mom.  But the logo is appropriate so I will wear it."  Gee - where is an Adidas outlet when I need one.  That kid could be a walking advertisement for them since he wears it everyday!  

My purchases came to $68.00. Tom's quilted shirt was originally $55 so came out of there pretty good.  Then hit the grocery store for some basics and the ever dreaded Valentine's!  Just have for Jake's class this year and hopefully this will be the last.  But Albertsons had a good deal on those candy heart boxes.  Must of been my day for bargain shopping or something.  

Went back to pick up Jake and we came home.  Tom and Lucas were gone to pick up some scouting equipment from some guy that was donating it to the troop so we finished up his homework.  Then when Lucas came home, the boys finished their applications for the option schools.  Try again this year, I guess.  They both are trying for ACMA.  We will see what happens.  I am going to check out some private schools too.  So will drop the applications off tomorrow, because they are due tomorrow. No sense in trying to get anything in other than on the due date!  I have got to figure out a way to get organized.  There has to be some hours in the day where I can get things done - like when the sun is still out.  Laundry, dishes, cleaning bathrooms - does this really have to be done only when everyone else has gone to bed?  Somehow it does, because for some reason we only own four bowls now and they get used every morning.  I don't know who is using all these towels and wearing all these clothes, but for some reason, Lucas once again has no clean pants for school tomorrow.  So off to load the dishwasher and put the clothes in the dryer and head to bed for me...  Tomorrow is another day and it is time to declare this day complete.

Have a good one!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Going postal!

Warning - she may explode at anytime throughout this post....

Well, I was hoping for the day to get better as it went along, but as of this afternoon - not so much.  What is with the lack of customer service and just the rude drivers out there these days?  I was having difficulty getting the online postage to work and tried calling.  After being on hold for 15 minutes and hearing the pre-recorded message of how  important my phone call was, I finally got a person that then told me I had to call the tech department.  Well, that was not one of my options when going through the menu so I just asked for customer service.  Then she couldn't transfer me, I had to call direct. Ok, so did that, again another 15 minutes.  I put it on speaker and filled another order for UPS!  And then gave up.  I don't think anyone was working today in tech dept...  Then I had a customer that was very close to free shipping so as a curtiousy (that just doesn't looked spelled right....)  I called to see if they wanted to increase some items to reach free shipping.  So she said she would check over her order and would call me back.  Nope - she didn't.  So since we are technically closed this week for CHA and I was getting ready to leave for the day, I thought I would try her back so I could get the order out today instead of next week.  So I get a different employee at the store.  Now the gal is too busy to talk to me and that I should "just do whatever.  Increase whatever.  I don't care."  Well, excuse me!  I am still on the phone....  

Then I went to the post office because I couldn't print postage off the website.  Stood in line for 15 minutes.  The line was going out the door and only two people working.  Apparently it was "I can't speak English" day at the post office.  One guy had a slip for picking up a package which apparently was supposed to be his medications.  Oh - ok....  But the slip didn't have any kind of identification on it as to who the carrier was, USPS, UPS, FedEx, or what...  Well, the claim number was not USPS so the postal guy was trying to just get him to move along but it wasn't working.  Finally, he just said, your package is not here, try UPS.  The second window was a gal with next to little personality.  She had a customer that was convinced she had a PO box there and this was the number and why didn't her key work....  Well after 5 minutes of explaining to her that the PO box was not there it was at the Tigard Post Office, the customer finally realized that she was in Tualatin - not Tigard!  While standing in line, there was a little three year old singing happy birthday, cha cha cha.  It was cute the first time.  But after 15 minutes - I was so done with that...  Some lady kept trying to drop her box at the counter without standing in line.  She had this big huge box and since she already had the postage on it - for some reason the online system worked for her...  she should of just been able to drop her package on the counter and go.  That is what I would of done.  I wouldn't of stood in that line to just drop off a box.  But the guy tells her she needs to stand in line.  She said but there is postage on it.  So he tells her to put the box in the drop box then.  The box isn't going to fit in the drop box!!!!!  That is why she is bringing it to the counter....  Finally she just said that she was going to leave it on the counter and he could put it in the drop box or wherever he wanted to put it.  I had to bite my lip or start laughing. Then when I was the third person in line, they finally opened the third window.  Oh was she a happy camper!  She came up to her computer, tapped the screen and said - "Ok, I am here..."  then she walked to the back, got a cart for packages and then said, "I am not deaf.  I heard your page - each time."  Oh nice friction in the air.  But I finally got my packages posted and on their way to their destinations.  

Then driving home - it was just stupid person after stupid person on the road.  Usually when merging onto a freeway where the lane ends and the cars already on the freeway are going 65 mph - this is a good time to accelerate!  Nope, not today.  It was time to talk on the phone and just slowly drive along hoping that someone would move over...  So after a near miss collision, I got over two lanes and around that car.  

I was finally getting closer to home and get stopped at this light.  Why is it, that if you drive some heap, you think you are cool and can blow anyone away.  This car next to me at the light was held together by duct tape.  I am not really sure what kind of car it was.  It didn't even have windows - it was plastic held on with painters tape instead.  But the guy is just reviving his engine like he wants to race and the car is jerking forward.  Well, come to think of it now, maybe he was just trying to keep it running....  Anyway, the light turns green and this guy just floors it.  We merge into one lane and he slows down to practically slug speed.  Then he decides to turn.  What was his big hurry to get in front of me just to turn?

But I made it home and made a cup of tea!  A big one!  Tom and the boys are going to a scout fun night tonight.  I was thinking of going but think now that today is probably not the night for me to be at a boy-led function...  Hey, I won't even have to cook dinner because they will have food there.  

Anyway, just a little venting!  I feel better now.

uggh - is it Monday already?

Oh boy - these boys are grumpy this am, all three of them.  It has been a rough morning already and it is only a little after 8!

Lucas has a lab to work on this am before school so Tom has taken both of them off to school already.  I can actually now just enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe actually have some breakfast.  Then it is off to work for me.  Hope this day gets better...

And that you have a good day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

my guys are home...

I really do enjoy the time I get to be at home, but I do really miss them when they are gone. Just don't tell them that I said that. lol Tom and the boys called about 2:30 this afternoon and they were almost to the Rec Center. So I went and picked them up. Jake of course was in the same clothes as I dropped him off in and Lucas was ear to ear hot chocolate. Apparently soap and water isn't available on these campouts... I know I have never seen it on the packing list... Sounds like they had a good time. Tired and hungry and oh boy..... stinky! I'll make you guys lunch, but showers first!

Weekend went by pretty fast. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to do, but did get what I needed to do. Saturday, I ran a few errands and then kept the laundry going while I worked my hours for HOTP. Got some projects done. Of course had my crab legs for dinner. Guess this week's blessing will have to be the Alaska king crab fishermen and the Tillamook cows.... I had some wonderful king crabs legs with melted Tillamook butter. I treat myself when Tom and the boys are gone and if it wasn't for those fishermen who do the most dangerous job in the world and those Tillamook cows who provided for the butter, I wouldn't be able to give myself this splurge. So thanks to them!!!! Stay safe guys when fishing for those crab!

Today, I finished out my hours for the week. Now this evening I just need to finish up some of my housework that is so far behind. I put a pork roast in the oven for dinner and made one of Tom's favorite desserts. It isn't healthy in any way I am sure, but once in awhile, it certainly tastes good. I will share the recipe with you. This was one that Tom's mom gave me and it is definitely a family hit.

Blueberry Cream
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 cups blueberries
13 ounces graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
2 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 package Dream Whip

Combine the first 4 ingredients and cook until the sauce thickens. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter and press into the bottom of 9x13 pan. (save about 1/4 cup for topping) Mash cream cheese until soft; beat in sugar and vanilla. Prepare one package of Dream Whip as directed and fold into cream mixture. Spread half of cream mixture over the crackers. Then spread the berry sauce over the cream mixture. Next spread remaining cheese mixture over the berry sauce. Top with cracker crumbs. Chill overnight.

It makes a lot! So next time you have a family get together - try it!

Tom just showed me his targets from the campout. They did rifle shooting and the big boy had just as much fun as the little boys.... Tom even brought home his targets. lol Pretty good though for an old guy with bifocals... He hit all the targets in the middle. I am sure these will be hung up somewhere!

Well, looks like a busy week ahead. Jake needs to make his Valentine's box tonight. His have always been on the small side. One year, Lucas took every box out of the recycle bin to make his Valentine's garage! It has cereal boxes on the sides marked for candy, the middle section had a pull up door for the cards. It was not something that he could take on the bus, it required driving him to school in the van. Jake's though have been shoe box size and usually decorated as a car. Wonder what it will look like this year? He doesn't want to make one but apparently the girls in the class have been asking him when he is bringing his in to school? The kids have had theirs there for most of last week. It is kind of funny because he could care less about the girls - but he is really liked by them... Someday that may change. But I can wait!

I need to figure out something for Tom for Valentine's day. We don't typically exchange gifts but this year, just feels like I should do something. If anyone has any suggestions - please let me know.

Smells like the roast is getting close to being done so better figure out a veggie.

Have a good evening!

PS Shauna got home yesterday and she loved her room. Sorry, I told you we put cardboard on the walls, Shauna.... Had to stump you a little bit anyway. You can check out the pictures of her room on Shauna's blog It isn't totally finished. We need to add some trim to the wainscoting and add some paint to it. The bathroom also needs some fixtures but it really did turn out beautiful. Tom is worried that I am getting the bug again to start on our house... There are so many projects to do around here. Just where do we start???

Enjoy the rest of your sunday!

Friday, February 8, 2008

time for a catch up....

Wow, where has time been going?  I can't believe it, but I made it through this week.  So now some time to catch up on the going-ons around here.  Hopefully this will make sense as I am pretty tired....

I missed my blessing for this past week.  So will start off with that.  This week, it is going to have to be my husband, Tom.  I certainly do not give this man the credit that he deserves.  Besides being a very involved Dad to Lucas and Jake, he really would do 
anything for me.  Or that I volunteer him to do - I just try to let him think 
he is volunteering himself...  Last Sunday and this Thursday, Tom helped me in Shauna's room.  I can't really say what it is he helped with because that will give away the surprise..   But Shauna - don't worry, we got all the cardboard stapled to the walls and the distressing paint made a beautiful texture.  The crackle paint in both purple and green throughout the room really turned out great.  Hope you like it!  We have some work to finish, but it will have to be done next weekend.  Sorry no more hints - you will have to wait til tomorrow....

But Tom is a good man.  I don't know if he ever thought that he wanted to be a dad, but he does it right.  The boys love to hang out with him - but boy are they quick to tell on him....  I think they are just preventing any fallout that might happen on them.  Kind of preventive medicine...  

But Tom is my blessing this week.  He helped me take on a huge project and I owe him big.  He keeps telling me - you owe me...  So when he says, I would like jalapeno chicken for dinner....  I went to the store and that is what I made for dinner that night.  He said, oh cake sounds good, I went to the store to buy cake!  I am grateful to have his love (even though he isn't a romantic), friendship, support and mostly humor..  We will be celebrating our anniversary on the 29th this month.  It will be our 4th official one since it is a leap year.  I will be working at the scrapbook convention that weekend but guess I will have to come home that night.  He loves the crab at McCormick and Schmick's so hopefully we can get a sitter and go there for dinner.  

Now for the rest of the week...   It has been a busy one.  Besides work, Jake had a scout meeting last night and the science fair on tuesday night.  Lucas had his scouts meeting on Monday night.Wednesday night was a late night for me at work and then we started to get the boys ready for their campout this weekend.   Yesterday and today, I was over at Shauna's helping there.  (Shauna - Simba is missing you...   He sure is a cute dog.)  Tonight, Tom and the boys finished packing and packed them a lunch.  I took them to the church and came home.  Now for a couple days of home alone!!!!  Had my taco salad and tomorrow shrimp and crab (been my usuals lately when the boys are gone)...  Have some housework to do and projects for work, but other than that - I am going to sleep...  It is about 8pm now and I am going to call it a day.  It is a cold windy night and I will end my day with a cup of tea and well wishes to you all...

Oh and a ps about my phone book ranting and raving - apparently leaving a bag of them on the front step for weeks prevents further delivery.  I haven't received any more phone books!

Good night!