Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You My Great Grandma

I inherited this photo when my Great Grandma passed away. It was December 1999, and she was just shy of her 109th Birthday.
This photo was taken in October of 1983. Look at those sporty socks I'm wearing. And the velcro shoes... Oh yeah, I was a styling kindergartener.
I apologize now, Mom, this is not the best photo of you. My brother looks pretty cute though. Scary thing is, I realize from this photo how much Mo looks like him.
For more photos, head over to We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Office Fun

Our office has cleaners come in each Monday night to, well clean. Now we can debate this in our office based on what does and doesn't get done, but the fun part is some of the things they do.

We recently had a note saying we had the wrong paper towels. Well we didn't. We had changed the paper towel dispenser in the kitchen, so that it would take the same style of paper towels as the other dispensers. The multi-fold towels do stick out nicely for you to grab, but the restroom dispensers were designed for C-fold and when you would try to take just 1 multi-fold towel, you'd end up with 5 or more. It was messy and wasteful, but the kitchen dispenser couldn't dispense C-fold.

This was an easy $30 fix, and we quickly put it up. For some reason the cleaning staff felt that because the towels didn't stick out, they were wrong. So they didn't fill the paper towel dispensers and left us the note. So the next Monday, my coworker put up a very nice note asking them to please fill the dispensers, that we wanted that style of paper towel.

Apparently they took offense to that. They left a note to let us know the towels wouldn't stick out, but they would fill them anyway. My coworker came in to find her desk wiped down and her stack of rubberbands sprinkled across her desk. Now we've always laughed about how much stuff around our desks move after cleaning. But this wasn't just moving something to clean.

After a few weeks, my coworker came in to find her phone turned around, her picture frame laid face down, the adding machine cock-eyed and more. We knew that this was deliberate. We had a good laugh, because they weren't doing that to anyone else's desk.

So the next Monday as we were picking up so that they could wipe down desks I said to her, "Why don't you move everything to where it was when you came in on Tuesday? See if they leave it, or put it back." So she did. And next morning, everything was put in it's rightful place.

This Tuesday morning, her computer, which had been turned off Monday night, was on. Everything is passworded, so they didn't go into her PC, but they had to have turned it back on. Tuesday mornings are fun now, just to see what's been done this time. Do you have any crazy inside jokes or games that you play? Or are we just wierd? Or both is an option too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Where Did These People Come From?

Friday night Mo and I went to Thomas the Tank Engine Live on Stage at the Capitol Theatre. We had a good time, and the show was actually pretty good. What was really fun was people watching.

God made all kinds of people, and some of them are very interesting. I didn't see any designer moms, which surprised me. It may be that we were in the cheap seats, and they were all on the lower level. Thinking of it, I wouldn't expect designer moms to buy the least expensive ticket and hike up all the stairs to watch the show. My section was for us moms that don't blow a fortune on tickets to children's shows and designer clothing.

I did see someone that I'm sure stepped right out of a time machine. I first saw her hair. Bleach blond, frosted, wavy and big. Then I noticed the silver and black shoulder padded shirt. Wow, I thought. No one told her it was 2009. Think CC Deville (second from left for those non Poison fans)

This is not my photo, I have no idea who owns it, but it was the best photo I could find of CC's hair.

The worst part was, I looked at her son. The poor kid is probably 8 or 9 years old and he had a full on mullet. The mullet with his hair spiked up front, and long in the back. Now, I have no problem if an adult can't leave the 80's behind, but to subject your child to the 80's... Come on, have some pity. The look was bad then, and it's still bad.

Now if my encounter Friday night wasn't interesting enough, on Sunday, I saw a guy walking into the grocery store wearing shorts. Although it was only 40 degrees out, that isn't the strangest part. What was really strange is that he was wearing a flannel shirt with the sleeves cut off. He had to be freezing, and he looked like he was ready to audition for a part in the next Dukes of Hazzard.

I enjoyed my people watching this weekend, and they definitely made me giggle. What interesting looks have you seen lately?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday Finally!

This week is a bit crazy, and in order to avoid takeout or late dinners every night this week, a menu plan was essential. Tuesday and Wednesday night I'll be home late, Thursday we have just a short time between me getting home and the kids and I heading to church. Saturday Kaia is at Dance Camp most of the day. Luckily last week I did my real grocery shopping and stocked up, so this week will mostly be using up what I bought, and what's already in the freezer and cupboards.

Ham-Potato Bake
potatoes, carrots (I'm going to substitute broccoli), cubed ham, cream of mushroom soup, shredded cheese, milk, onion, pepper, bread curmbs, butter. Layer potatoes and broccoli on bottom of casserole. Mix the ham, soup, some of the cheese, milk, minced onion and pepper together. Pour half of it over the veggies. Put the rest of the veggies on top, pour the rest of the soup mix over. Top with the rest of the cheese, and the buttered bread crumbs and bake.

Pinto beans in the crockpot. Chopped onion, shredded cheese, and an iceberg lettuce salad. I'll make the salad and prep the onions and cheese tonight, so Dana and Kaia can eat while I'm at my Board Meeting.

Ribs in the crockpot. Frosted cauliflower. (cauliflower partially cooked. Then mix mayo and dijon mustard together, spread over the cauliflower. Top with shredded cheddar and finish cooking)

Stuffed Green Peppers. (hamburger and rice with cream of mushroom soup, inside the peppers and topped with cheese)

Tamale Pie

Orange Pork Chops with asparagus and grilled bread.

Chicken of some sort.

I only have about 3 things that I will need from the store for all of this. Mayo, chili powder and an extra can of cream of mushroom soup. I'll probably pick up some extra veggies to for sides.

For more Menu Plan Monday menus, visit

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Show and Tell: Gifts

It's now February, and I've finally taken some photos of the amazing Christmas gifts I wanted to show you. Of course I received many lovely gifts, but these are a few I wanted to share.

On my list was things for my retro dream kitchen. My dream kitchen is turquoise, red and white. Also my favorite color is pink, which doesn't go in my kitchen, but will be perfect for a formal dining room one day (as in, when we get a house with a formal dining room).

My first Christmas gifts were received in the early afternoon on Christmas Eve. I had no idea what my Mother in Law June had planned for gifts, as I hadn't told her anything I wanted. I wasn't worried about it though. She always has wonderful ideas. I was almost in tears though at how special my gift was.

June had filled a picnic basket with her teapot from Japan and the tea cups with lids. She bought these when Gordie was stationed in Japan, I think in the 1960's. There are 4 cups and the tea pot in a beautiful pink and reddish pattern. She also added a tea ball and loose leaf teas to the basket. She told me that they say if you want someone to have something, don't wait until your gone. She added that she had no plans of going anytime soon (And for that, I'm very thankful. My kids love their Grammy and Papa so much!), but thought I should have it.

While I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the tea set, she asked if I would also like the sake set. Of course I would, was the only answer I could think of. And she brought it to me.

Those little sake cups are so small. Even the pitchers are, just look at them in comparison to the poinsettia pot behind it. I have visions one day of having a beautiful side board to display both the tea set and sake set on. Of course they will be used also, but not until the kids are a bit older.

Later on Christmas Eve I received more wonderful gifts. My Nana (aunt) made me a beautiful retro valance for the kitchen window. We still need to purchase drywall anchors (or some such thing) in order to hang it, otherwise I'd show you it over the kitchen window. My mom took some of the material from the valance and put it onto some kitchen towels.

Aren't they beautiful?! They will be perfect in my dream kitchen. And for now, the towels and soon the valance look pretty good in my modern kitchen.

One last gift. The white table center that all of this has been displayed on, that was a gift from my Grandma in Mexico. She's so thoughtful and always leaves gifts for Christmas when she visits in the fall. I think it really dresses up our patio table turned dining table.

Thanks so much for visiting. For more great items, visit Kelli's blog.

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You Hair

I could give you a blow by blow of yesterday's battle with the headlice that has been going around Kaia's school, and finally hit her. But, I won't, because you are probably all scratching your heads as it is. I still am. None of that story will ever be in a scrapbook (if I ever had the ambition & creativity to scrapbook in the first place).

What I will show you is why it isn't fun with Kaia. She has my hair. A very full head of hair. Just trying to see the scalp is an adventure. I have my hair cut so that it is thinned and can lay flat on my head, but I didn't always.

My hair was naturally puffy, the curl was not. The perm probably made the puffiness worse. Luckily today, I have a good haircut and a straightening iron. As for free time? Not so much, I will be spending at least an hour a night with the special metal comb (the plastic ones broke in Kaia's hair) making sure she is lice free.
For more photos that won't be in a scrapbook, and stories that won't make your skin crawl as much as this one, head over to Kristin's at We are That Family.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Real Shopping Trip

On Monday, Kaia had her first filling at the dentist. She did great, and afterward we went to Wray's, a local grocery store, because I had a $15 off a purchase of $50 or more that expired on Tuesday. I didn't want to miss out. I used to shop at Wray's every Saturday morning when Kaia was a baby. Dana worked Saturdays, and that was our routine. I shop there a few times a month, and I like it because it's local, but typically I go to Fiesta Foods (also local, sort of) and Safeway because they are closer to my office.

We went and I had an idea of what I wanted. We were in serious need of fruits and veggies in the house, so I picked up asparagus, cauliflower, oranges, bananas, and green pepper. Almost all were on sale and the prices were good. Then in the meat section I picked up a family pack of pork loin and chops for $4 something (it was $2 off with a sell by date of 2/17) and a pack of WA grown split chicken breasts for $1.48 a pound. They make great ground pork sausage in the store, so I bought some at $1.99 a pound, the usual price and well worth it. Then I made sure to buy the Folgers coffee on coupon, and the milk also on coupon.

In the dairy section, x-large eggs were $1.99 a dozen. They aren't the Omega-3 eggs we love, but they work. A large container of yogurt was marked down to $1.49, and I also picked up some bread and Valentine's goodies on mark down.

It was a good trip, and I bought well over $70 worth of groceries for $50. Plus I have enough food in my fridge and pantry that there won't be any emergency trips to the store. Which is nice. Especially since Friday night I need dinner ready when I get home. We have tickets for Mo to go watch Thomas Live on stage.

Monday: Chicken breasts cooked over homemade stuffing, garlic bread (also on markdown) with broccoli and cheese.
Tuesday: Pork Chops coated in homemade "shake n bake", salad (leftover from dinner this weekend), asparagus, leftover garlic bread.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: Beans with ham in the crockpot, homemade hamburger helper, BBQ ribs or pasta. We have cauliflower, green peppers, and green peas to serve for veggies. I like having plenty of options, and while I haven't come up with a strict plan, I know that it will be easy to fix dinner each night.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meet Danger

Lately Kaia has been lamenting the loss of Snowball. It was just by chance that last week Dana happened to search for hedgehog breeders in our area. And it was by chance that one breeder in Eastern Washington had a 9 month old male up for immediate adoption. I don't believe it was by chance at all. He was completely meant to be with our family. He had been up on the website less than 24 hours when we said we'd take him. It turns out she bought him for an East Coast breeder to add to her breeding stock. He has an excellent pedigree, excellent colors, and great temperament. What she didn't count on... he's gay.

Ok, that's my theory. The truth is he's been with her females, and while he doesn't mind snuggling up to them at night, no babies came of it. She lent him to a friend, who put him with her females, and again no babies. He's either not interested or sterile. But she did laugh when I told her that I thought he was gay.

We met up with her in Ritzville on Sunday. If you've never driven across Eastern Washington, I can tell you this: We drove 2 hours through flat land full of sagebrush and empty farm fields. It's a better drive in the summer, because at least you can look at the crops. We met her at the Zips, which is a great little burger joint found in E WA and Idaho, and a good burger and fries coupled with the most adorable hedgehog made the trip 100% worth it.

He's got deluxe accommodations now, and is settling in. He's a beautiful boy, and I can't wait for him to get used to us (mostly the loud kids) and play.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Watch Out Fish!

There is a new girl in town. She will catch you and keep you. And even though she plans to eat you for dinner, after a few hours walking around the sportsman's show with her dad, you will smell to high heaven and be good for nothing but fertilizer or the trash. Unfortunately for you, the ground is too frozen for fertilizer, so you will be destined for the City of Yakima issued trash bin.

Now, lucky for you, next time she goes to the sportsman's show, she will not keep you and will donate you back, so you can live for another few hours before another child catches you and takes you home. At least her former vegetarian mom will not have to gag at the smell of your decomposing fishy self. Even if she was proud enough of her daughter's fishing prowess to take photos of the first fish ever caught, she still is grossed out and isn't sure she will ever eat another fish again. Not that she eats many of you in the first place.

You have been warned, watch out for the new fishing girl in town!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Interesting Trip to Walgreens

I took a trip to Walgreens today to pick up some of the free after rebate items and Kaia's High School Musical Valentine's Day cards. As usual, several of the free after rebate items were impossible to find. I wandered around the store looking where they should be, and where I've found them before.

While looking for the Zucol Cold Care Lozenges, I walked through a zoo of senior women picking up their prescriptions. I didn't seem the lozenges near the cold medicines or the throat lozenges, but it could have been because there were so many women in line at the pharmacy, and they kept stepping toward the cold aisle. So I walked over by the Therma Care items, to get my free trial size, and not finding any of them there, thought I'd turn down the supplement aisle, just in case the Zucol was there.

Before I turned down, one of the women that had a moment before been in the pharmacy line, walked down the aisle, went a quarter of the way down, and then turned around and walked back to the pharmacy area. I thought this was odd, and began to turn down the aisle, when the most horrible smell hit me. Now I can't be 100% sure, but I think she walked over there just to fart, because the only other person in the aisle was the manager at the other end who had been working at that end for some time.

I decided nothing was worth smelling that, and quickly walked to a different section of the store. I never did find the Zucol, or the Revlon Age Defying Spa Concealer, but did pretty good. I spent $26.21 total at Walgreens. My free after rebate items include:

  1. Fructis Wonder Waves Wave Enhancing Spray (yes I have straight hair, but these sprays usually help with the frizzies) $3.99 I had a $1 off coupon for that, so I will make money on that purchase.
  2. The Therma Care trial size neck wrap to help the next time my neck siezes up. $2.49
  3. Revlon Creme Lip Gloss $9.99

My great find was a clearanced box of Nice and Easy Perfect 10 haircolor, marked down to $5.69. When I submit that through the rebate, I will get a $5 gift card back. So 69 cents for a $10 box of haircolor.

And of course I purchased Kaia's High School Musical Valentine's Cards. Only $2.99 for 34 cards and 34 temporary tattoos.

So I spent $26.21, I'll receive $23.11 back once I submit online and have it credited to my Walgreens gift card. Bringing my total to $3.10.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

100th Day

Today is Kaia's 100th day of school, and to celebrate, each child in her class is to bring in a collection of 100 things. When the paper came home from school, I immediately thought of the tin of my grandma's buttons. Kaia agreed. Then we needed a way to display them. Lucky for us, I had a stained doily picked up for free after the church yard sale and an embroidery hoop. Kaia counted out the buttons and helped me thread them on. It's not the best, and part way through struggling with knotted embroidery thread and my bum thumb, I considered sending her with a roll of pennies. However, I think her display turned out quite nice.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Messinator

Dana gave Mo a new nickname this weekend, The Messinator. I think you will find it was well-deserved.

This mess took no time at all. Good thing because he had a busy mess making schedule.

We discussed how icky it was to get into the catbox, after he had spread Cinnamon's litter over the TV room.
Apparently, it didn't sink in. I found this mess after he had 10 minutes alone while I helped Dana in the garage. I took the picture after I removed his toys that all had to be disinfected.

At least he got a haircut, and doesn't look as messy himself anymore. Even if his room is a disaster.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Looking Back

"Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, the Bank- or the Company- needs- wants- insists- must have- as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masers all at the same time. Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters."
John Steinbeck
Grapes of Wrath

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another "Bad Mommy" Moment

Kaia went back to the dentist today for a full cleaning and check up. Please note this was her very first check up. She has had dental insurance since she was 3, but I haven't made it a point to take her in. I knew I should, her doctor has told me that she should have regular visits, I always meant to make that appointmetn but I procrastinated. It may have something to do with the fact that I haven't been to the dentist in 12 years. Maybe?

But today Kaia went to the dentist. She got to watch the corny videos where the uncle dog takes his nephew to the dental clinic so he could learn all about it before his first appointment. The whole time I'm watching it, I'm thinking: I sure hope that is a set, and not a real clinic because those dogs are touching everything. Kaia enjoyed it though. Upon viewing her gray teeth again, the dentist said that there is a third one changing colors, which I had thought, and that it was dying too. None are loose though, and her gums still are healthy.

The "Bad Mommy" moment came when we discovered she has 3 cavities, and one spot that could become a cavity. This has nothing to do with Kaia's poor oral care either, none of the cavities are where her toothbrush reaches. They are all flossing area cavities. A certain mommy got tired of having the dental floss strung from one end of the house to another, and she put the dental floss up. Then she forgot to pull it out for Kaia to floss with like she had been, even though Kaia wasn't really the culprit to the mess (although she quite often left her used floss on the counter next to the sink).

We scheduled Kaia's first filling on Presidents' Day (way to celebrate!) and came home with a bag of goodies from the dentist. She now has a floss pick (no more floss strung through the house), a new roll of floss (ok, maybe Mo will still manage to make a mess), a timer, and a Sleeping Beauty toothbrush.

Tonight we will start a new routine. After dinner and dessert (Kaia doesn't believe in not having dessert), the kids will both brush their teeth while the sand goes through the timer. They will then floss, or rather, Kaia will use the floss pick, and I will bravely attempt to floss Mo's teeth without losing a finger. And then, it is water only until bed time.

Speaking of losing a finger, my thumb is not broken, but I still have to wear the horrid, uncomfortable splint for a week. I do take it off to shower, and a few times a day to ice it. After the week is up, the doctor wants to recheck it, and if it isn't improving send me for more x-rays.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mini Pizzas

I can't give you an update on my thumb, since I haven't heard back from the doctor's office yet. It was x-rayed and if broken I'll most likely be seeing a surgeon. Until I hear back it's in a splint and driving me crazy.

So instead I'll tell you about another quick, healthy and cheap breakfast that I forgot to include in my breakfast post. Mini Pizzas. We haven't been eating these for a long time, and I'm not sure why. They are so good and so easy.

Take an english muffin and split it in half. You can use white, wheat or sourdough. Top each half with a tablespoon of pizza sauce. (This can be leftover marinara or seasoned tomato paste.) Add just a little bit of shredded cheese. Now top with your pizza favorites. Sliced peppers, mushrooms, olives, pineapple... You can also add some crumbled cooked sausage, crumbled bacon, pepperoni, canadian bacon, ham, leftover hamburger... I've even had these with capers on them. Once you have your toppings, add shredded cheese to the top. Then place the pizzas under your broiler or in the toaster oven until the cheese melts.

This is a great way to get the kids involved in breakfast prep, and they are portable.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday Recap

  • Found out Sunday morning that we don't have childcare for Mo this week. My sitter's husband was laid off and they have to spend the week moving out of their apartment.

  • Cleaned the house for our Super Bowl Party.

  • Smashed my thumb between the love seat and entry way corner while helping Dana carry it upstairs for our party. I proceeded to cry like a baby.

  • Watched the kids have a blast playing with Sam and Charlie.

  • Enjoyed teriyaki burgers on our new grill (Christmas gift from my parents), macaroni salad, chips, and veggies.

  • Got really excited when it looked like the Cardinals would pull off a win.

  • Got very upset when the Steelers scored that last touchdown.

  • Had a great day despite the loss of the Cardinals, and a throbbing, black and blue thumb.

Photo is up, and I should add that this is my back up sitter, as my Mother in Law had surgery last week. The good and bad news is, Dana doesn't have much work this week, so he will have Mo most of the time, and when he is working, I'm taking Mo with me to the office.