Saturday, March 15, 2008

I've Moved!

Hi Ya'll!
Thanks for dropping in. I decided to move to another page and archive this blog. Hope you will update your links and visit me often at the new location.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Preparing for a new look...

What do you think of this header? And how do I load it onto blogger?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Camera!

I did it! I ordered a new camera. After much debate and research I have gone back to my original game plan...a battery powered backup camera to the one I currently have. I love the ease of use and slim design of the Canon ELPH? and the kids can use it too. I just can't spend over $500 for a camera that will require another $500 to get the lens I need to take the kind of photo that I am looking for. I want something that I can take close ups(macros) and long distance shots (telephoto) without worrying about changing lenses or carrying around a bag full of equipment. I don't think I'm ready to go there yet...someday maybe but not right now.

So what did I get? Ok, well obviously you probably KNOW the answer to that already...I ordered a Canon A570IS from Amazon. For $169.71 I got a 7 meg camera and a 2 gig memory card + overnight should arrive by Friday. I will certainly be doing lots of practice shots on my favorite subjects as soon as it arrives. Of course that won't be too hard since my kids LOVE the camera...if you have not figured that out already. I also love that this camera has video...yes I have 2 nice camcorders but it seems I use my cameras a lot more than I ever do the camcorders. It's just more convenient and easier to download.

I can't wait to get outdoors and shoot some nice "green" shots. Its a bit slushy and grey out right now, but no complaints here that means that the snow is MELTING!!! Hoooray!

2 week old Tomatoes

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

Eating us out of house and home...

I want to know how great big families do it. We have the five of us and I don't know, maybe the kids are all on a great big growth spurt right now but we cannot keep food in our house! We purchase 4 to 5 gallons of milk per week and still have to sometimes ration it the day before supermarket day (usually Tuesdays) I used to clip coupons but who has the time for that? I do like that there are a lot of coupons online now but every time I print them off I forget to use them...I know I am like Dorie the fish

So any penny pinch tips out there? How do you make the most healthful snacks and meals for your families. Recipe ideas are a welcome plus too! We had our families favorite meal tonight: spagetti - usually there are leftovers, tonight no leftovers...and this was after the two younger kiddos had a plate of chicken nuggets for an after school snack.

How can I fill these munchkins up???

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hippity Hop, Spring IS on its way!

Yay!!! Our temps finally rose above freezing yesterday! It appears for the moment that the icy grip of winter has released its hold. We have seen a tremendous dip in the snow pack and in spots can even see DIRT! Praise the Lord!!!

I am coming down with a serious case of spring fever. The tomatoes are getting pretty tall and have lots of leaves now. They really grow fast under artificial light. Its amazing when I check on them each morning and afternoon how much they have grown in such a short time. I can't wait to get out and start digging in some dirt :)

It seems the whole neighborhood was out last night enjoying the warmer weather. Neighbors brought out their dirt bikes and where ripping up and down the street (we live by a river so off road vehicles are permitted on the streets) We are still considering buying 4 wheelers and since it looks like we will be here for another couple years we may as well start enjoying it here. I know I have been nothing but bad vibage since we arrived...I am now pledging to make an effort to be POSITIVE and look at the good things here and stop focusing on the not so greats. (I may need some reminding of this pledge)

I am still debating what camera to purchase. I would love to move up to a digital SLR but I am so SCARED of picking the wrong one! I hate to spend all that money and wish I'd gotten a different model or brand. I have had several point and shoot digital cameras over the years and I really love the Canon Powershot 6 meg that I have now but it just doesn't have the clarity that I would like for portraits and nature shots. I am also scared of the SLRs because of all the different lenses and the possibility of getting dirt on the main body. Plus I've never been good with math and all that lingo about depth of field and aperture is confusing...I just want a camera that takes a good picture when I push the button. I've always wanted a Canon Rebel but the cost is way up there and then you have the lenses...the multitude of lenses. Why are there so many choices? Which ones are the best? I would like to purchase a new camera to take along for our family vacation next week...time is running out. Soon we will have spring flowers to capture when nature explodes into color and I don't want to miss a single shot. Please help!

Winter Update 08

(Written on 5 Mar 08)

Our winter has been very long. It is now March but it doesn’t appear that it will be over anytime soon. Even the locals are getting tired of winter. It feels like it’s been winter since we arrived… oh yeah that’s right, that is the day we arrived…first day of real winter weather 07 and it has been cold ever since.

We are looking forward to the highlight of our year, the annual family reunion in Louisiana . Scott will not make it this year. Hopefully somewhere along the 22+ hour road trip there, Cody will learn to drive. He is so excited that he has his learners permit now…but of course we have not let him behind the wheel in months because the roads are covered in ice and snow. You would think that up here they would be more efficient at clearing the roads and keeping them safe but at 7am there are no snow crews to be found and the roads are very hazardous after a nights powder or a hard nights freeze. Especially after a day of sun and then a hard nights freeze…then the roads are slicker than snot. Weeeee! We have a lot of fun times getting to school and work each day. I nearly took out a light pole one morning, it was great. Luckily there was a 5 foot snow bank that would have softened the blow had I slid that far.

Cody has really found his niche in the sporting goods department where he works. He works several days a week and his grades are improving. He’s looking forward to baseball season getting underway and is treating us to a Boston Red Socks/Minnesota Twins game in May. Actually two games, Scott and Jared get to go with him on Saturday to celebrate Jared’s birthday (which is on May 9th)and then we will all go on Sunday (Mother’s Day) I have to go shopping at the Mall of America and IKEA on Saturday and you know how much I’m going to hate that ;) ...If you are watching the game either of those days look towards the back left field. Cody has already made a huge banner to take along to show his team spirit. His favorite player is Papi. He has also been busy outfitting us all in proper attire for the game, making sure we are sporting the appropriate team logos. Go Red Socks! Yay!

Jared is doing well in first grade. His attention span is not quite as much as his teachers wish it would be. He is always in constant movement and this tends to be a bit distracting to the class with his tapping of his feet or snapping his fingers. He tries to focus his mind but his body is still in motion. I think if the school had a way to let him bounce or run while he listened he would do much better. He has hit another huge growth spurt in the past couple of months too. His legs seem to have grown another foot..… (Ha Ha) did ya get it?

We have moved Jaiden out of daycare. She is now in home care at our neighbors right behind us. She has flourished in the 4 weeks that she has been there. She’s gone from recessing back into baby babble, which she didn’t do much of even from day one, into talking full sentences. Of course she is a typical two year old and the word “mine” is her favorite to use 99% of the time. She still likes to hit us when we are in her space, but she has started learning a bit of remorse and says “I sorry” where before she would only look away and pretend that she did not hear us talking to her.

The days are getting longer so spring should be coming sooner or later. Working at the weather service has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is sometimes having the best view of the weather from my perch by the window. I have the opportunity to gaze at the blue sky and my computer screen blocks out the glare coming off the snowbanks, or I watch the softly falling snowflakes during a winter storm and envision myself inside a snowglobe…its truly beautiful. (unless you are a light sensitive, southern thang with claustrophobia issues when cooped up indoors too long) Guess that might be considered a disadvantage. But it’s the things that don’t kill you that make you strong.

Our move to Dallas will be postponed for a while it seems. The housing market is steadily declining and even here where they are telling us the market is strong, we are seeing a lot of stagnancy. We have 3 houses just on our street that are for sale, two of which have been on the market since summer. So, in order to get a good price and be able to put down a down payment on a new home someday, we will have to stick it out. Scott still plans on retiring in June of 2009 and Cody still plans on graduation in May of 2010 so we’re not sure where that puts us for any sort of future plans… We will take each day as it comes and trust that things will work out for the best. It’s not that bad here, it’s just way too cold, far too dry and who wants to visit the frozen tundra?

In order to bring a bit o’ green indoors, and to have a bit o’ garden once the ground thaws… I’ve taken the leap of planting some seeds. Last year my seed sprouting endeavor did not fare so well with my gazillion pots sitting in the southern windowsill so this year Scott has built me a lean mean growing green things machine…ok he took out some spare shelving units from the attic and strung up a fluorescent light but it works amazingly well! So far almost all 72 of the tomato plants that I planted have sprouted and are now steadily working on their second set of leaves. They are growing happily in various stages under the light and they are only a little over a week old! So in another month we may be up to our ears in tomato plants??? Hmmmm…guess they don’t take up nearly as much room as seedlings as they will – so I suppose I should plan out new homes for them soon. Our ground is not scheduled to thaw before May…anyone want some maters?

I will close on that note, and wish everyone well. Hope you have a lovely spring! And as always, I’m looking forward to hearing from you too.
Love Lots,

Friday, February 22, 2008

February doldrums

Wow, I haven't written here since October...and it's been a long winter. Guess I didn't want to write about what a funk I've been in or how miserable I am cooped up inside. There are worse things to have to contend with and I know I am blessed beyond measure. I know God will give me the strength to pull through.

I have just been so exhausted, mentally which leads to physical exhaustion. Not knowing what tommorrow brings and having absolutely no control over our future. I've always been a planner and a dreamer. I love to dream about things and then work towards making them happen. Well living in the great northern frozen tundra has never been one of my "dreams" and I've been on survival mode it seems since the day we arrived. I find myself consistently moving further from my main source of strength, we stopped going to church a long time ago and I do not even know when the last time was that I picked up a real bible, not just a devotional book to help get me through the day. I know what I need but I am being stubborn like a child to reach out for it.

So here I am struggling to figure it all out myself, what is it all about? What is life's meaning? What is my purpose here? Where am I going and when will I get there? There is no road map. Faith is blind and trusts completely. I need to find that place again of complete surrender. Let go of every hope and dream that has me bogged deep into my own self loathing. There has to be more to life. Its all in the perspective.

We are in mid Feb and my weather guys keep telling me that spring is coming. Yesterday was one of the coldest days ever so it was a bit hard to believe them (-44 wind chill) Looking back at last years photos I see that Feb had snow and March was nice and the kids actually went outside...I can't remember the last time we went outside (Sept?) The winter has been alright until February. Feb is the coldest month of all and the longest too it seems (although its really the shortest month) It should warm up by May they say. Yay I'm all over that. I need to dig something so bad and lately all it seems I'm digging is my own grave. The ground will thaw around April/May and I can plant something again.

The days are starting to get longer. The sun rises around 7 am now, which is nice to not have to go to work in complete darkness. That helps. Darkness makes me so tired and moody. plus with pms all the time it seems to never stop. I wish they made a pill to fast forward through the month of February...or sleep it off. Last night I crashed early (6:30pm) and hubs took care of everyone, he's such a sweetie! I woke tired still but I'm up so that is a step forward. Somehow I will trudge out of this. Another day, another chance to live

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A beautiful Day in October

Today was a gorgeous day. It was a bit chilly in the morning but the sun felt warm and toasty coming in bright and cheerily through our east facing windows. I had to throw back the curtains and rejoice in the sunbeam that filled my kitchen with a warm glow. I felt so good that I actually SCRUBBED the kitchen floor. The kiddos got into the spirit too and helped me, taking turns with the broom and mop. We alternated hand mopping, then sweeping and then vacuuming and then hand mopping some more then a final sweep...there were a LOT of dustbunnies hiding in the cracks and crevices. I don't normally like to clean so it had been a long time coming. It felt nice to stand in the reflection of the wood floor and enjoy the sunbeams, not seeing the streaks and spots of spills that previously shared the spotlight.

After cleaning the kitchen, hubs and I loaded up the kiddos and headed off to Menards for some paint to finish the new windows hubs had to install on the north side of our house. The first stop was of course Arby's for lunch. 3 little piggies had roast beef and one little piggi had ham. Numms all around. Then we headed off to the hardware store and got sucked into the Christmas village right helped that there was a little kiddy play area there so we crawled through the little houses for about half and hour. I love this model of Step 2 house that looks like a gingerbread house. It is so adorable! The fireplace kicks down and makes an "escape hatch" and it has all these neat little built in shelves and a tiny little sink...I can see hours of fun in one of those. Santa, I've been a very good girl this year...

We ran into some friends while walking through the Christmas ornaments so we headed back to the kids zone so we could talk without the kids causing too much chaos and destruction. We'd just seen this same friend last night when hubs and I went on a "date" to the Blue Moose for dinner and then walked over to Cabelas to get Cody some batteries for his Xbox controller. We hadn't seen them in months and then suddenly we see them twice in just hours? How weird is that? We don't socialize much so this was a nice surprise indeed.

We followed that up with haircuts for the guys while Jbabe and I just hung out in the sunshine, sitting in the car. Me reading a book, Jaiden playing with her blocks. It was very refreshing.

Tonight I am catching up a bit on my blog and email and the guys are watching Boston kick the Rockies out of the playoffs. Colorado is struggling yet not putting up much of a fight. The Red Sox are coming out with their game on and there is no stopping such a force once the momentum gets going.

Fun in October

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cody's first driving experience

Last night, I went to pick Cody up from day #2 of his first job. I found him strolling the toy aisles, straightening toys and putting labels on shelves. He seems to really be thriving in this newfound responsiblity. After ony one day he was already working independently. He seemed to have a great sense of ownership towards "his department" of the store. And he looks so adorable in his uniform, a Dickey's work shirt with the company logo on it.

So he gets off at 8pm and we head home. I cruise through the back portion of our neighborhood and pull over and say "wanna drive?" I think I put him in shock, he hasn't driven a car since he was 12 and plowed into our house when I let him pull the car up a few feet in the driveway. It was pitch dark out and there was not much traffic so I figured it would be as good a time as any to let him get a feel for the wheel.

Teaching a kid to drive involves some serious thought I realized after he sat in the drivers seat and didn't know how to move the stick to was even darker in the car and the console is on the floor. I think we got it into second gear instead of drive but anyway the car was soon going in forward motion all the same. Slowly taking his foot off the brake he manuevered into the street and edged toward home. There was a curve up ahead so he had to slow down, er BRAKE hard, I tell him "no brakes required, just let off the gas" so we ease around the corner, now entering the middle of the street so I tell him "keep to the right please and there is a left turn coming up right ahead" so then he drives into the middle lane again. "Blinker please" take a left here, slowly ok there is a car coming up ahead, just hold steady to the right, ok that is we're cruising. Down the hill and across a bridge (very nice) ok up a hill and there is a stop sign coming up, also two cars and what's that? Rollerbladers? in the middle of the street? They have NO reflective gear on AT ALL. So we come to the stop I say "ok are you stopping?" Yep, we're stopping "ok, now do you see those rollerbladers up ahead?" "You see them right?" "They are right in front of you" We proceed at a snails pace toward t hem and low and behold, they do not move out of the way! So we follow them for about a block before they finally decide to get over on the side so we can pass them. So then we turn at our street and Cody forgets where we live...honestly now I am starting to wonder if this was a good idea. "Um, our house is another 2 houses away son, keep going" So then he FINALLY pulls into the driveway and parks. I breathe a huge sigh of relief and say a prayer of thanks for making it home alive.

I think that really made his night, yes he needs a LOT more practice before he will ever get onto a main street. Wish me lots of luck!