Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Fight at Chick-Fil-A

Since it's New Year's Eve I told Mickey I would buy him dinner.  The kids were going to eat the leftover pizza from last night.  (Meg had some friends over and apparently they eat like birds.)  Kade misheard what I told Mickey.  He said he wanted my favorite sandwich for dinner.  I gave in to buying the whole family dinner and then lucked out when Mickey said he'd pay.  Sweet.

While at Chick-Fil-A a fight broke out.  It got so bad the police were called.  Just kidding.  The fight was all in good fun.  And all over a shake.  If you haven't had the Peppermint shake at Chick-Fil-A you are missing out.  It is GOOD.
Fighting over a Shake
It did get a little rowdy.  That's when we knew it was time to go.

We didn't stay up late and party tonight.  We've all been staying up too late and some of us have been rather grouchy.  We all went to bed around 10.  I couldn't sleep so I read for a while.  Only to be disturbed by 20 minutes of fireworks at midnight.  What the crud?  Why so long?  Why so many?  I guess the good weather helped in the celebration of the new year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tres Toilets

The kids spent some time with Grandma and Grandpa today.  While the kids were away the parents decided to run some errands.  One of those was to look for toilets.  I know, it was so exciting.  I'm happy to do just about anything as long as Mickey is there with me.

We finally found the toilets at Menards.  How many men does it take to get three toilets on a cart?  The answer is three.  One to put two on the cart, one to roll over a ladder and decide he couldn't lift it, and one to actually climb the ladder, lift, and carry down the third.  It only took one to put the three in the van.

We got the toilets delivered home safely.
Tres Toilets 
Now they are waiting in the garage for my brother to come install them.  Some day.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Field Trip

We took the kids to see Chipwrecked this morning.  It was funny, at times.  If it wasn't so cold in the theatre I probably would have fallen asleep.  (That really doesn't have much to do with the movie, more to do with how tired I've been.  Ahh, the holidays.)  The kids really liked the movie.  We lucked out.  The place was packed and the movie sold out a few minutes after we bought our tickets.

After the movie we stopped by Rural King to pick up some softener salt.  We also heard a rumor that they had baby chicks, ducks, and rabbits.  We had to see for ourselves.  We only found the rabbits.  Been there, done that.  Kade found something he wanted to take home.
Can I have this?
I had to put my foot down and ruin his hopes of adventure by saying "No way."  He was okay with that.  I think he thinks he'll be able to talk Mickey into one in a few years.  Good luck boys.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

R.I.P.

The electric toothbrush I've had for around 10 years died yesterday.  I mourned for a little while and then cheered up when Mickey told me to look on Amazon for a new one.  It came today.  I was so excited!
toothbushes
Doesn't the new one look much better than the old one?  They both look way better than the sad little toothbrush I've had to use the last few days.  I thought I was going to break it because the handle is not hard like an electric.  My teeth just don't get clean enough with those regular old brushes.  I have totally converted to electric and will not go back.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We've Got Snow!

Didn't I just say we didn't have any snow?  Well, we woke up to snow this morning.  It didn't take long for the kids and Mickey to go out and play.  But first Mickey and Meg cleared off the drive way.  That's oh so important.  Then the boys put their snow shaping skills to work and made this guy.
Kade & Mr. Snowman
Later this afternoon there was a snowball fight amongst the kidlings and a few more snow people were built in the back yard.  I'm glad the kids got to play in some snow on their vacation.  The forecast says it'll be gone soon.  Thursday should be sunny with a high of 47 and rain on Friday.  At least we can enjoy the snow for a couple days.  That's just the way I like it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

No Snow

I forgot to mention yesterday that we had a green Christmas.  We've had snow about 3 times so far this winter but it only lasts about a day or two.

Today Meg and Kade took advantage of the lack of snow and the 40 degree temps to ride their bikes.
No Snow
Maybe global warming is real.  Or maybe we'll be buried in snow from January to April.  Who knows.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

12:14 a.m. I finally fall asleep
4:30 a.m.  Kade wakes up and then wakes up Mickey and me
5:15 a.m.  I join the rest of the family downstairs and see that Santa did make an appearance even though there had been many threats made in the last few days of him not coming

We opened presents from Santa and checked out what was in our stockings.  We lounged around for a while before eating some rather unhealthy breakfast (cinnamon rolls and chocolate and other candies).  Then some of us got cleaned up before going to church.  (While there I was called as the 2nd counselor in the Primary.)  It was a nice service, lots of music along with a narrative.

We, the kids and I, came home and got back in our jammies.  Later, when Mickey was home, we opened the rest of our presents.  The kids just hate love that we get them clothes but this year they really did like them.  Then it was time to open the hand-made presents from me.  I counted to 3 and the kids ripped into their tissue paper stuffed bags to find....
Three More Pillows
...three more shag pillows.  (Actually I made a fourth.  I gave it to my friend and neighbor.)  Now they all have one of their own and will hopefully leave my brown one alone.

After watching some really not-so-great Christmas movies we had dinner.  Mickey helped with the preparation since I wasn't feeling well.  We had a turkey breast, ambrosia waldorf salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, and leftover biscuits from yesterday.  I totally forgot to make a veggie and to bake the crescent rolls I bought.  Oh well.  The turkey was so good.  I roasted it in a bag, breast down.  It was so moist.  I also made a cake.  It was supposed to be a birthday cake for Jesus but we never got around to it.  Maybe we'll eat it tomorrow.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Today was filled with lots of yummy food and family.

We started with a brunch at our house with the Standiford family.  Kade was a big helper in the kitchen.  ("Mom, you can take a picture of me and it can be picture of the day.")
Kitchen Helper
He's working on the sausage part of the gravy.  As you can see the biscuits are already done.  Christmas is the only time we have this yummy, fatty dish.  We also had scrambled eggs, coffee cake, snickers salad, and german pancakes.
German Pancake
This was the first time I ever made them.  Actually Mickey did all the hard work since I was busy with a few other things.  He did a good job.  They tasted great.  We have lots of leftovers so I don't even have to make breakfast tomorrow.  Nice.

This evening we had our non-traditional dinner at my parents' house with the Ault family.  We had a cookout this year.  We had lovely weather for it too.  Well, at least no snow.  (Looks like we'll be having a green Christmas.)  B was grilling in a winter coat and hat.  There were burgers, dogs, sausages, mac & cheese, baked beans, chips, apple crisp, and cookies galore.

Now it's time to put the kids to bed.  And myself too.  The morning will come way to soon for me.

Merry Christmas to all.  And to all a good night.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Beautiful Sunset

IMG_2927
Do I need to say anything more?  Probably not.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nest

Several months ago Mickey read about a new thermostat on Twitter.  After finding out that a former Apple employee designed it he had to read more about it.  He was totally smitten with it and had to have one.  (There is too much to tell about the thermostat so you'll have to read up on it on your own.)

Fast forward a little.  Last week Mickey got an email thanking him for his interest in the nest.  Due to production and demands for the product he was wait listed until February.  He was okay with that.  Then Monday he got another email saying his thermostat was being shipped and should arrive in a few days.  What?  How did that happen?  Who cares.  We're getting a nest!

It arrived at our door today.  The Nest was installed with very few problems.
Nest
It's so smart.  And looks way better than the old thermostat.  Now we need to update the humidifier control box because it looks terrible above the nest.

Mickey tweeted something about his thermostat downloading an update.  What a tech geek.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

That's a Wrap

The kids are out of school.  Mickey is off of work, which makes the first sentence not so bad.  We are all in Christmas mode here.  Finishing up hand made presents, wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies, reading Christmas stories, and eating lots of sweets.  This morning Mickey and I tackled a lot of the wrapping.  It's nice to have it done and under the tree.
Lights All a Glow
The pink post its are Mickey's doing.  I don't put name tags on the kids' gifts because I don't want them snooping.  I have a secret system for marking the presents so they can't tell which goes to who.  I like to keep them guessing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teacher Gifts

Teacher Gifts
Here's a look at the ornaments I made along with the packaged up carmel corn.  It seemed to go over well.  So my effort was worth it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Special Delivery

We got a package in the mail today.  Not that we haven't been getting a lot of packages lately with it being close to Christmas but this package we didn't request.  It came all the way from Hawaii.
Gift from Hawaii
It was from some "relatives" of a friend of ours.  It was a nice surprise.  I can't wait to open it up and eat a few.  

Tonight we had dinner with our bishop and his wife and some other friends from church.  After dinner we all went grocery shopping for the food baskets that are going out tomorrow night.  I don't know if the kids got the point of the activity (service) but they had a lot of rowdy fun with their friend Jack.  That kid can entertain all three of our kids at one time.  That's quite a feat.  

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Good Book

The choir performed a Christmas Cantata at church today.  It went alright.  But we ended a little too early so poor Mickey had to get up and fill the rest of the time "off the cuff".  He had a little luck on his side.  Earlier this morning he had to give a spiritual thought in a meeting so he was already kind of prepared.

We bought a few Christmas books at an LDS bookstore last month.  Honestly we just grabbed three not even really looking at them.  We wanted a few books to read to the kids and they were already clearanced.  How could we pass them up?  One of these books is what Mickey used today.  After the meeting was over he got a lot of compliments for his inspiring remarks and his ability for improv.

This is the book.
A Good Book
If you can find a copy we highly recommend it.  It's about how Santa got his start.  St. Nicholas was asked to help celebrate a very important birthday.  It's very heart-warming.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

When Will I Learn?

Recently I've made a pillow with 500 rectangles sewn on the front (it's no longer just one pillow I've made) and a blanket with about 114 lines of stitches and about 114 rows of fabric to cut.  I must have a thing about doing projects with a large amount of pieces because I just started another project with 108 circles.

As if I didn't have enough to do already I started making fabric ornaments for part of the teachers' gifts.  (They will be paired with a bag of Caramel Corn.)  I know, what was I thinking?  I really should have done something simple and quick but no, apparently that's not how I work.  Complicated and stressed out are key words that describe my life.

I saw this tutorial over at V & Co.  (I love her blog.)  The ornament kept coming back into my thoughts like I just had to make it.  So now I'm making it.  Only it's not one, it's twelve.  Yikes.  I didn't realize exactly how much work making 12 ornaments would be.  I didn't think about the 9 circles it takes to make one ornament and that I had to multiply that by 12.  I've spent about 8 hours working on them tonight.  This is what I have so far.
When will I learn?
Piles of circles.  Most are turned right side out but some are waiting their turn to look pretty.  Maybe I'll get the kids to help me with that tomorrow.  It's time for bed.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Advent Calendar

We have not had an advent calendar for a few years.  I had high hopes of making one a couple years ago but other things got in the way.  (Story of my life.)  About a week and a half ago Mickey got a picture texted to him.  It was a picture of a little Lego Star Wars ship.  Do you see where this is going?  His friend had bought the Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar.  Being the good friend that he is he had to share the daily treasures with Mickey.  This made Mickey "need" one.  (Thanks, C.D.)  So he went out and bought a Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar that night.  We had a few days worth of building to do to catch up.  The kids are loving it.  I don't think they really care that it counts down to Christmas, just that they get to see what the next figure, ship, or whatever there is to build.
Advent Calendar
The reds are often setting up the pieces and acting out scenes.  Mostly scenes of their own making since they haven't seen the movies.  I know.  Can you believe that?  Maybe that could be a family activity while they're off of school.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Miss First Chair

Tonight was our third and final concert of the month.  Unless you count the choir performance I'm in on Sunday, but I'm not.
Miss First Chair 
Tonight was Meg's turn to shine.  (Not that she doesn't get enough attention for all the other stuff she does.)  I didn't know this before the concert but she is First Chair Violinist.  As a 7th grader!  She shared this honor with an 8th grader.  Her teacher is very happy to have her in his class.  He recommends that she get a private teacher.  He also wants her to do a solo, with me on piano, for a local state competition.  That's in January.  

The grandparents were all busy tonight but she had other people cheering her on in the audience.  Some of her Young Women leaders showed up.  She was thrilled they could make it.  Thanks ladies.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Food Storage

Our church leaders have asked us to have a year's supply of food on hand in case of an emergency or loss of job.  I can say that we have never had a year's supply of anything.  When I think of taking on this project I feel overwhelmed and can't fathom where I'd store all that food.  Then I think about having to rotate it all so the food doesn't spoil.

Mickey and I have talked about food storage a few times.  We decided we would be happy with having 4-6 months worth.  Now we need to figure out how to gather all that food.  And make sure it's food we'll actually eat.  We also have a storage problem.  We have a huge basement we could use but someone wants a man cave, the kids like to have some place to run around and scream, and some of us use the exercise equipment that's down there.  So that leaves us with small sections of the huge, unfinished room.  The previous owners left us some storage shelves.  They are nice except they are so tall in between the shelves it's hard to store smaller items on them.  Enter Shelf Reliance.  Mickey ordered a couple cansolidators to try.  He put them together today and loaded them up.  It does help with all the canned items.  Now I have room for a lot more.
Food Storage

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Concert

Tonight was Kade's school's Holiday Concert.  We no longer look forward to these because every other year it's the same show.  We know all the songs.  The really annoying ones are stuck in your head for weeks.

Tonight's show was....new.  The kindergarten children sang all new songs.  Wow.  I was impressed.  The 1st and 2nd graders sang a few new songs.  As did the 3rd and 4th grade choir.  It was amazing.

Kade did a great job, of course.  He stood straight and tall, sang every word, and was even a helper to a boy with special needs.  He was also proud to show off his new clothes.
Christmas Concert
Isn't he so handsome?

We continued our tradition of getting ice cream on the way home.  One more concert later this week and we are done for the rest of the year.  Wish it was longer than just a few weeks.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cheer

We've decided that every year we'd add a little more Christmas cheer on the outside of the house.  Last year we did the icicle lights.  I've been wondering what we were going to add this year.  I got an email this morning that helped me decide.  I've been getting a daily special email from Michael's.  Today's had garland for $1.99.  I ran over there this morning and picked up a few along with some red bows.  This afternoon I strung them along the porch railing.  It looks good, in my opinion.
Christmas Cheer

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Two Becomes Three

There was a lot of speculation and whispered voices at church this morning.  We were told two weeks ago that our two wards/congregations (South Bend & Mishawaka) were being split into three.  Mickey and, by association, I have been asked many questions over the last two weeks about what was going to happen.  We were under orders not to talk (and we didn't know all the details).  So we didn't, much to people's dismay.

So here's what happened.  Mishawaka ward gave up some of its members.  South Bend ward gave up its name as well as some people to add to the afore mentioned members to make the "new" South Bend ward.  Are you following so far?  Then the original South Bend ward became the Norte Dame ward.  The bishopric from the original SB ward went to the ND ward so Mickey still has his calling as second counselor.  I know totally confusing.  Maybe this will clear it up.  Here's the map.
Ward Boundries
Since I don't have anything positive to say, and I've already spoken more than my fair share of negative, I'm not left with much to talk about.  We'll see how it goes.  I think that's all I can say.

Later today Mickey asked Kade what he thought about going to the Notre Dame ward.  He replied, "The Notre Dame ward rocks!"  At least one of us is excited about the changes.

Oh, wait.  One good thing, we have the 9:00 a.m. time slot.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ward Christmas Breakfast

I love when we have a Christmas dinner for church but this year we had a breakfast instead.  (That's what it was last year too.)  It was alright.  The food was much better this year than last.  There wasn't a lot of pot luck dishes but plenty of pancakes and waffles.

After the meal we had the opportunity to do a little service.  Mickey joked about us driving separate so I could leave early.  I don't like these forced socializing events but I stayed for over two hours because I had a project to work on.  We tied fleece blankets.  I even got a little help.
Service Project
The best part of the activity was when 90% of the kids were making gingerbread houses.  It was amazing how engrossed they were in their creating.  It was an awesome idea.  Here's Mat's house.
Mat's Gingerbread House

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nativities

Tuesday night while Mickey and Meg were at church Kade and I set up the little tree and all the nativity scenes.  We have four.  For some reason I have put off decorating for Christmas but I really wanted the nativities out.  Since that's what Christmas is all about anyway.  I didn't have much to photograph today so I got a picture of one of the sets.
Nativity
I plan to set up the tree tomorrow and let the kidlings decorate it.  They will enjoy that.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chenille Blanket

Chenille Blanket
This is a Christmas present for my grandma.  Since she doesn't use the internet I can show you before I give it to her.  I love it so much I almost kept it for myself (the colors would work perfectly in my family room) and thought about making her a different one.  I don't think I really have the time for that.  It was a tedious project but so worth it.  I was inspired and taught by Dana's tutorial.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

School Lunch

Kade has been begging me to come have lunch with him at school.  I've tried getting out of it or putting it off but he is relentless so I just gave in.

It was so chaotic.  The kids talk so much, because it's their only down time of the day, that they hardly eat their lunch.  Then there was a lunch lady yelling for a class of kids to put their heads down and turn off their voices.  She was just lovely.

I survived the lunch and even got an awkward picture of us.
School Lunch
In case you were wondering I took my own salad for lunch.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Laundry Novice

Meg was doing laundry today.  This is part of her chores.  I really love this because then I can never be blamed if something isn't clean.  (I don't let laundry pile up so that was rarely ever a problem.)

I walked into the laundry room to check on her laundry because I wanted to use the washer.  Something didn't look right.  I opened to door to find this.
Too much detergent?
I think she used a little too much detergent.  I asked her about it and she confirmed that she used a lot.  So I set the machine to do a rinse and spin to clear up the extra suds.  Then I noticed a funny symbol lit up on the display.  The machine had gotten off balance because she had done such a small load. It couldn't finish the cycle, hence the suds.  So I guess it wasn't Meg's fault after all but she was retrained about not  using a lot of detergent.

The one big complaint I have about the front loading washers is that you can't do a small load without upsetting the machine.  Otherwise I love it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Decorating Game

Our technical problems have been solved.  It was not a cheap fix.  It was not the video card.  It was the display.  Ugh.  Now I have to catch up.

I like to play a little game with Mickey.  I'll buy or make something and put it in a visible place.  Then I sit back and wait to see how long it takes him to notice.  Sometimes it's right away and other times it could be days or weeks.

This is the most recent item for the game.
Little Owl
It was love at first sight when I saw him sitting on the shelf at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.  How could I pass him up?  I couldn't.  He found his new home on the mantle watching all the family chaos as it unfolds on a daily basis.

It took Mickey about 3 days to spot him.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe 
This is not my favorite meal.  In fact I have a hard time being in the kitchen when it's being made or eaten.  The vinegar and tomato smell really do me in.  (I also can't stand the smell of ketchup.  Kade's pregnancy really changed things for me.)  Mickey came home this afternoon from home teaching and mentioned that the lady he visited said something about sloppy joes and now he was craving them.  He totally lucked out that we had the supplies to make it.  I was lucky that he can make it and clean up after himself so I don't get nauseated.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gift Buying

We've been trying to get our gift buying finished.  While Mickey and Kade were out running errands today I got a text from Mickey saying, "I bought my Christmas gift at Menards.  They had a cordless drill for 100.  It was 150 at Amazon with almost all 5 ratings....".  I guess I don't have to worry about getting him a gift.  Maybe a few little things.
Mickey's present 
He put it in the studio so it would be in my possession.  What do you think he'd say if I wrap up a box about the same size and put something else in its place?  I think that would be kind of funny.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Rainbows

I worked out rides home for the kids after school.  My dad was scheduled to be at our house when the kids arrived.  Mickey and I left around 7:45 a.m. for a trip to the Chicago Temple.  We'd been talking about going on a school day, which should be much easier than a Saturday, for a while but never got around to scheduling it.

When we go on road trips, usually to Chicago, the weather does not always cooperate.  Today was no exception.  There was some rain and a little snow.  Nothing too bad but it was still a little annoying.  It was kind of weird.  To the north, the sky was very dark with some serious cloud coverage.  To the south, the sky was blue and mostly clear.  One minute it was raining/snowing and the next it let up some and we saw this.
Rainbow over the Toll Road 
Actually we saw more than one rainbow.  This just happened to be the best picture.  Twice we saw two different double rainbows.  That made the trip a little more enjoyable.

It was lovely to spend some quiet time with Mickey and be in the temple doing work for our family members.  On the way home we had to stop at IKEA.  Mickey said it was probably the cheapest trip we've ever had.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"My nerves are large."

This is what Mattey said on the way to her first ever band concert.  Mickey and I tried not to laugh out loud because that would have hurt her feelings but we thought it was hilarious.

Mattey's first band concert was at her school in the cafeteria of all places.  I guess they couldn't get a better place.  It was hot and crowded.  The kids gave it their all.  Mattey did a great job following Mr. H., the band director.  She played her little heart out.
Band Concert
After the show we stopped at McDonald's for sundaes because that has become the tradition, even if it is 30 degrees outside.

We are still having IT problems.  The computer seems to pass (black) out and then comes back to life on its own a while later.  Mickey now thinks the video card is to blame.  I think the iMac is partying too much while we are away.