Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meg's Mess

Meg cleaned out her closet on Saturday.  Guess where she put all the stuff she is no longer wearing?  Right in the foyer for everyone to see.  I'm so glad we haven't had a lot of company lately.
Meg's Mess
(I folded the clothes because she left them in a big ugly pile.)  Mattey went through the clothes to see if there was anything she wanted.  I think she walked away with one or two things.  I think I need to find a girl smaller than Meg and with her tom boy style to give the clothes to.  Anyone have a girl that fits that description?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IT Problems

We have had our beloved iMac for about 3-1/2 years.  It seems that it's starting to die.
Blacked Out Computer 
Today Mickey and I were checking some things on line and it went black.  We thought it turned off on its own somehow.  It had been making some grumbly snoring noises.  It could be the hard drive.  Not good.  I'm sure blogging is going to be a problem.

Monday, November 28, 2011

These Hands...

These Hands
-work hard, dancing across keyboards, to support our family.
-know how to have fun with video game controllers.
-can build and fix things.
-clean up messes.
-give blessings.
-hold mine.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Oreo Truffles

I mentioned I made treats yesterday.  Today we plated those treats and dropped them off to some big friends.  They were well received.
Oreo Truffles 
One of the treats I made is Oreo Truffles.  I'd made them before but didn't like the Bakers Chocolate.  This time I made them with Nestle semi-sweet chips instead.  I still haven't eaten one but everyone that's had one has loved them.  I took some of the treats to share with my Sunday School class.  They were a big hit.  Did I mention I teach the teenage class?

Another treat I made are these.  Mickey loves them.  They are so easy he or the kids can make them.  So next time they want cookies I'll tell them what to do while I lounge on the couch.  :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011


(guest photographer, Mickey)
This is what the reds were up to for a good part of the morning.  They also lined them up along the window sills, bridging the gap between them with a domino.  Maybe we need to get a bigger set of dominos.  Hmm...That would be a good family gift.  Ooo, then we can play chicken foot.

Other things we did on this busy day:
-cleaned up leaves
-winterized the lawn
-hung Christmas lights (it's after Thanksgiving)
-made lots of treats
-helped a friend clean her basement
-watched the last regular season ND game
-went to bed a little disappointed but very tired

Friday, November 25, 2011

Date Night

The other day I mentioned to Mickey that I was thinking of inviting some friends over for dinner and games tonight.  He said that was a good idea but was thinking of taking me on a date.  Okay.  Sorry friends but I want a date.  It's been a long while.

We had a hard time coming up with something to do.  Since I just wanted time with him I suggested we start our Christmas shopping.  He agreed so out we went.

Alone.  So peaceful.

Before heading home we stopped at Chick-fil-a for dinner and shakes/ice dream.  We were nice and brought the kidlings home a little something too.  We continued our date at home....
Date Night
(guest photographer, Megan)
...with three little monkeys running around asking us what we were doing and then ultimately joining us at the table.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I didn't take a camera with us anywhere today so I'll have to settle with sharing our Thanksgiving card picture with you.

Family Photo 2011
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Leaf Blower

This morning Kade woke up saying his throat hurt.  I let him stay home.  It's not like he'd be doing much in class today since it's a short week.  Plus I wouldn't mind having a shopping buddy for while running my errands.  At Sam's I knew he wasn't feeling well because he rode in the cart the whole time and kind of looked out of it.  Then Mickey came home early and Kade was bouncing around like normal.  This didn't last too long because then he was vegging in front of the tv playing video games.  In the afternoon he must have gotten more energy again because when I came home with the girls Mickey and Kade were out cleaning up leaves.  It was Kade's lucky day.  Mickey let him use the leaf blower.
Leaf Blower
Here he is hard at work.  His little tongue is sticking out.  He was obviously really concentrating.  The leaf blower is a little heavy but he cleaned up a lot of leaves with it.  He's a hard worker like his dad.

After the hard work was done he came in and laid down.  He was cold and didn't look great.  He had a low grade fever.  Later he complained of a tummy ache and then lost the contents of his stomach.  This happened while we had company over for dinner.  Luckily they have kids and didn't bat an eye.  The weird thing was that he was back to normal a little while later.  Like I said, weird.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Failed Project

I had about an hour of free time today.  I've had a little project waiting in the wings for a while.  I thought today would be a great time to get it done since it shouldn't take more than an hour.  Or so I thought.

Have you seen the cute and supposedly comfy camera straps/covers?  (If not check out this.)  I have wanted one for a while.  I picked up some minky fabric so I could make it.  I pulled out some black and white fabric scraps and got to work.  The cutting was fine.  The pinning and sewing was fine.  Then I realized I should have hemmed it first.  Duh.  So I had to pick out some stitches.  Then I got it all done only to find out that my seam allowance was too big and the strap cover wouldn't go over my camera strap.  Dang it.  After picking out a lot more stitches I was left with this.
Failed Project
I had to walk away from my failure.  I needed to think about what I did wrong.  You learn from your mistakes right?  I'm sure I'll come up with something great once I have more time to sit down with my pieces.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rushing Christmas

Last week I was rudely awakened to Christmas music 6 times.  A local station plays Christmas music non-stop until Christmas.  I'm fine with that as long as it's after Thanksgiving.  Why do stores and media providers have to jump from Halloween to Christmas?  Thanksgiving is a good holiday and deserves its time in the sun (unless you live here where we don't have a lot of sunny days this time of year).

In the last few weeks we have noticed people have hung their outdoor Christmas decorations already.  I understand that the weather had been nice and they wanted to get it done before it turned, but do you have to turn on the lights?

And then we have this.
making a list
Catalogs and ads marked up with all the kids' wishes.  

I'm not a Scrooge but I would just like to celebrated the blessed day for the original reason and not for the commercial reason.  And I would like to enjoy a good Thanksgiving before really thinking about Christmas.  So please stop rushing it.  Time is flying by too quickly as it is.  

Thankfully I seem to have spoken loudly enough about this and the kids seem fine to wait until after Thanksgiving to set up the tree and the outside lights.  See I'm not a total Scrooge.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shoe Marks

Last week I asked Kade to stop wearing his new tennis shoes in the house because they were leaving marks all over the floor.  This morning I realized it wasn't his tennis shoes.  It was his new church shoes. 
Shoe Marks
Why do some shoes do this?  Is there anything I can do to stop the shoes from marking up the floor?  

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This morning Mickey left part of the newspaper out on the table for me to look at but I'd looked at it before he said anything.  I don't usually read the paper but this morning there was something that caught my eye.  It was a picture of a red-headed boy that looks a lot like our red-headed boy.  I had to do a double take.  It wasn't Kade but the resemblance was there.
When I put the picture next to Kade the similarities seemed to fade some and the boy in the ad is a little older.  But can you see why I would do a double take?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Card Makers

This year we're doing Thanksgiving cards.  I've been a little busy this week so I asked the kids if they'd be willing to help me make the cards.  They thought it sounded fun so I got to work this morning cutting out all the pieces.  I had everything all laid out on the dining room table and called the kids in to help.  I gave them a quick demo of what I wanted and let them loose.
Card Making
They did pretty good.  I did have to fix a couple but let the others go.  That's very good of me, in case you don't know me very well.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Kade's been having a few of these lately.  We're not loving it.  We can't figure out why.  He speaks his mind just find.  He seems to get enough sleep but I don't know.  Today's meltdown was over the electric piano.

On Sunday I talked to someone at church about the piano and she expressed interest in it.  She talked to her piano playing husband and called me last night saying they had a spot for it in their tiny apartment if we really wanted to get rid of it.  We worked out the logistics of the guys moving it.  This afternoon, once the girls got in the car after school, I told the kids that we were giving away the piano to a family at church.  The girls didn't seem to care.  Kade asked why.  I told him it wasn't used very much and we had another piano.  After Meg's friend was dropped at her house the tears started.  (Mickey said that was very manly of him to be able to hold off the tears for so long.)  Once we were home I found him laying across the piano playing while sobbing.  (I wanted to take a picture then but figured he'd get mad at me for doing so.  The picture is a re-enactment.)
We talked.  I heard him out (which wasn't easy through all the tears) and then messaged Mickey.  I ended up calling the lady and said I had a little problem named Kade.  She was understanding and thought her husband would be too.  I hope so.

There was a condition to Kade keeping the piano.  He has to take lessons and practice daily.  He was fine with that.  Now I just need to schedule that lesson so we can keep good on the condition.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This morning I volunteered some of my time in Kade's class.  I didn't feel like I did much but I did help one little guy with his math.  He seemed to do better with it one on one.

I stayed until lunch.  A few of the kids asked if I was going to stay for lunch.  Um, not today, I said, maybe some other time. Then the teacher asked if I could cut some things out for her.  I said sure.  So she handed me a packet of stuff.  I couldn't believe I was given homework on my first day of volunteering.  Good thing I have a paper cutter (or two) because I would have been cutting forever if I didn't.  This homework was right up my alley.
Homework for the Volunteer
I got it all done in less than 2 hours.  Some of it was a little tedious but now Mrs. J. doesn't have to spend her family time doing it.  After this weekend I'll be ready for more.  Bring it on, Mrs. J.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Two of the Ms have been anticipating getting something for a while.  M1 a new iPhone.  He had to get everything approved through work since it's a work phone.  The approval took a l.o.n.g. time, at least in M1's eyes.  The phone came in today.  He's been playing with it setting it up since he got home.  I think he likes it.

M2 has been looking forward to getting these.
(Notice she picked ND colors for her bracket bands.  Her friend Julie got the same colors in hers yesterday.)  

The reason M2 got braces is because her 12 year molars came in all wonky and she is biting into her cheeks on a daily bases.  Sadly she has to get a whole mouth full of braces to fix the four teeth.  She'll get the bottom ones in January.  The orthodontist thinks she'll be done in 18 months.  That shouldn't be too bad.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fancy Nails

One of Mattey's favorite pass times lately is to do her nails.  She redid them tonight and added a little bling.
About once a month I make her clean off the counter in the kids' bathroom because she gets polish on it.  (I can't even count how many times I've told her to put something under her hands, like a piece of paper, when she paints her nails.)  Thankfully it comes off or we'd have one colorful countertop.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bowl of...

While we were outside yesterday I asked Meg to pick me some pine cones so I can put them in a cute little orange bowl I found at TJ Maxx.  She couldn't find many of the small ones I wanted but she found a lot of other seeds.  I decided to use them instead.  What do you think?
Bowl of….
The good thing about these seeds is they don't look very yummy so I don't think anyone will eat them.  I love their texture.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Room Check

It's Thursday and it's 7:00.  Is your room clean?

This has become our weekly routine.  It's how the kids get their allowance.  One of the three has not always been very motivated to get her allowance.  I'm sure I've mentioned this before.  She surprised us all two Thursdays ago with a clean room.  (I have to admit that I threatened to withhold trick or treating if her room wasn't clean.  I know, I'm so mean.)  For some reason Mickey didn't get around to paying the kids' allowance last week.  And now we have two weeks worth of chores and room checks on the board.
Room Check
It's quite amazing to see all three kids with two room checks.  I don't know if this has ever happened before.

If you look you'll see the chores are a little on the sparse side.  School work and sports practices are taking too much time for them to do many chores.  This means I have more to do but in all honesty it's not getting done very well.

Other news from today...we went to a funeral for a family friend,Keith Rigby this morning.  Then we came home and Meg and I mowed, or should I say mulched the leaves, while Mickey and Kade took the trampoline down for the cold season ahead.  Then Mickey and Meg headed to Elkhart for two basketball games.  Mickey got a promotion tonight.  He was head coach instead of assistant.  The real head coach got tied up with another game.  Busy, busy day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Too Much Grumbling

I woke up this morning feeling very tired.  I planned to go back to bed after the kids were gone.  Mickey so nicely put up a reminder for me about Kade's award ceremony at school today.  Ugh.  It was at 8:45.  In the A.M.  So much for going back to sleep.

I was welcomed home by this.
Sinkful of Dishes
Not that I didn't know it was there but I didn't really look at it since my eyes were kind of closed earlier.  So I took a picture and planned on complaining about it.  Then I realized I've been grumbling a lot this week.  It could have something to do with not sleeping well all week.  (I think the time change and going off muscle relaxers have done something to my internal clock.  Although with the time change I should be going to bed earlier not later.  I know, I'm weird like that.)  So I thought since it's the month of giving thanks I should come up with some things to be grateful for while I took care of the dishes.

Things I'm grateful for, in no particular order.
- The sun was trying to shine through the clouds.
- I didn't have to do the dishes by hand because I have a lovely dishwasher that does the hard work.
- We have so many dirty dishes because we had a yummy dinner last night.
- I could make dinner last night.
- Mickey has a good job that provides us with all the food we need and most times want.
- I have a nice kitchen filled with all kinds of handy tools.
- The kids were fed before they went to school.
- The kids are old enough to make their own breakfast, although Kade tries to play the incapable card sometimes.
- Spotify, although I like Pandora better.  (less commercials)

What are some things you're grateful for?

I think that worked.  I'm feeling less grumbly.  Now I think I better take a nap because I don't want to be falling asleep at the viewing and birthday party we have later.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

First Snow

I am not happy to blog about this but the kids are so excited.  We have snow.
First Snow
So not ready for this.  It should melt tomorrow but I'll believe it when I see it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Expensive Service Project

Last night Mickey and some other people from church went to a member's house to rake leaves.  The husband/father had passed away on Sunday morning.  While there Mickey scratched his eye on a branch. (This is not a surprise at all since he seems to scratch his eye about once a year or so, usually in odd ways.)  He mentioned it last night when he came home.

This morning the eye was really bothering him.  He made an appt.  He not only scratched his eye but poked a hole in his contact.  The doctor prescribed antibiotic drops and some ointment.  He went to pick them up and texted me that last night was a "very expensive service project".  The cost of the drops and ointment were $170!  For real?  Good thing that's not out of pocket but out of the HSA.

Hope this picture doesn't creep anyone out.
Eye Drops

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Kade has a new "job" for class, writing for the class paper, Weekend News.  The kids are given a writing assignment, the teacher edits it, and then the kids have to do a rewrite.  Here's Kade's first rewrite.
Mickey pointed out that he still had a couple errors, Hershey dar.  Apparently I didn't look over it when he was done.  He'll fix those in the morning. 

My favorite part is the picture to go with the story.  In case you can't figure it out he drew himself as Captain America with his shield.  The head above it is an "old lady" giving him candy, specifically a Hershey bar.  The only reason I know what that black triangle floating on the right is is because Kade told me it was the doorbell.  Okay, if you say so.  I look forward to what other news he reports on.  Maybe I need to make an effort to have good weekends so he'll have something to write about.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Little OCD

I used to joke about Mickey having OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) because he had OcD (Osteochondritis Dissecans) in his ankle a few years ago.  But the truth is is that I'm the one with a little OCD.  And by a little I mean it's not a repetitive thing or a strong desire.  There are things that I have to fix or they bug me.  Lately, and I had to fix it today, it's been the light switches.

You see in this house there are multiple switches that control the same light(s).  And I don't like to see the switches looking like this, unless one or two lights are on.
Flippin' Light Switches
So I had to go to three different locations to fix these switches so all go in the same direction.  I know, I'm a little nuts.  I'm sure I'm not the only one out there that would be bugged by this.

(As I was editing the photo I noticed the plate and switches are a little dirty.  Good thing they usually hid behind the computer or that would bug me too.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Seder Dinner

For dinner tonight, we (Mickey, Meg, and I) were invited to attend a Passover Dinner.  A couple ladies (Nadine and Liz) from church put the whole thing together.  The older kids at church have recently studied the Passover and Exodus so they thought it would be a good idea to experience the dinner.

Mickey was asked to be the dinner leader.  Meaning he had to lead us in recitations and prayers.  The event was well planned, the tables were beautifully set, and the food was yummy.  (I didn't try the lamb though.)  Here's some pictures from the night.  (I ended up being the event photographer.)
Seder Platter

Seder Dinner

Chocolate Torte 

Slice of Chocolate Torte
Thanks ladies for a great dinner and night.
Thanks to my parents for keeping the reds.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Little Tedious

...but so worth it.

This morning/afternoon I spent a lot of time cutting 500 1-1/2" by 4" rectangles.
Cutting Rectangles
I didn't do it all with scissors.  I started with a rotary cutter.

Then I got to sewing those 500 rectangles to a 20" square. 
Sewing Rectangles

The project ended up looking like this.
Shaggy Pillow

Project inspired by this.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Report Cards

All three kids got their report cards today.  I can say that Mickey and I are very proud of our kids.  They all did well.  In fact this is probably Mat's best work in a while.  I think having a good teacher helps.  (The last two years were iffy teachers.)
Report Cards

This afternoon, when I came home from hanging out with Jan, Mickey told us that Mat's glasses had come in.  I took her right over after she got home.  They look really nice.  I guess I should have gotten a picture of that.  I'm sure I will soon.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eye Exam

For a few weeks Mattey had been subtly hinting that she needed to see the eye doctor because she couldn't see.  I guess I'm not all that good at subtlety sometimes because it took her telling my mom and me again clearly that she couldn't see at school.  I finally remembered to make the call and got her an appointment.

Mat really doesn't like the part when the doctor numbs her eye and all that goes with that part of the exam.  But she does love the shades that come with it.
Her Rx went from 1.75 to 2.50!  That's a big difference.  I put a rush on the order of her new glasses.  They should be here Monday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Celebrating Success

One of the cool things about my company is that they like to celebrate success.  My team currently completed a rather large project and today was the day that we got to celebrate that success.  Our manager took us golfing at Warren Golf Course.
Golfing at ND
It was a gorgeous fall day for golf.  We played  a scramble, which is where you all hit a ball and then you pick the best shot and everyone hits from that location.  The play continues that way until you get it in the hole.  This is a really fun way to play, especially when you have people who don't play very often.

It was a great way to celebrate.  Big thanks to my manager!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Finder of All Things Lost

That is my self-given title.  For some reason I tend to be the one that finds all the missing items that people around here can't manage to keep track of.  I usually find things with my common sense but sometimes it's divine inspiration or just dumb luck.

Last night Meg noticed that her iPod was not where it should be.  Hmmm....that's a big surprise.  She asked Mickey to use his handy dandy iPod locater app on his iPhone to find it for her.  (This is not the first time she's had to ask for his help.)  He got out his phone and used the app.  Nothing happened.  Then he got on the computer to check something.  The iCloud screen said that the iPod was off line.  That meant he couldn't do anything technologically to find it.  Then they both started freaking out.  Meg backtracked through her day.  She took it to the doctor's office (she has a sinus infection, by the way) and while there she turned off the wifi because she didn't want to use it.  She took it to Target with her when she got her Rx.  She couldn't remember if she had it when she came back home.  Thinking she might have dropped it at Target Mickey called to see if it happened to be in the lost and found.  Nothing there.  Meg went to bed sobbing.  Mickey was trying to decide if he should remote wipe or lock it.  Neither would really work since the wifi is turned off.  I sat back and watched the chaos.  No one asked for my help so I didn't bother getting up and looking.

This morning I woke up to my alarm.  On my way to the bathroom I heard something odd.  It sounds like a duck.  I stopped and listened.  I heard it again.  It was kind of loud.  The duck would have had to have been on the porch to be that loud.  Then it clicks.  I walked down the hall to Meg's room and asked her if her alarm sounds like a duck.  She said it did.  I told her she better get up quick because the alarm is going off and she needed to look for it.
Lost iPod 
It was on the piano.  Wonder how it got there?

I claimed credit for finding the lost iPod but Mickey said I had a little help since the alarm was going off.  I remarked that I would have seen it at some time during the day.  The alarm going off makes this find fall in the dumb luck category.  I'm thinking I need to start collecting a finders fee for all the things I find.