Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas. I'll have pictures and updates in a few days!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

**Important Announcement**

My birthday is in one week! Woohoo! That's all...just wanted to share. :P

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Funeral

We have another funeral to attend this week (the 3rd since September). This is another young person. I don't know any of the details, but it sure puts a damper on the holidays. My heart goes out to Chris' (aka DO) family during this time and I know there are so many friends who will miss him.



*sigh*

Monday, December 17, 2007

Power Failure

It's been crazy windy this weekend and we lost power last night. For 4-5 hours. I'm not sure how long, but all the frozen stuff was still frozen and all the refrigerated stuff was still cold. Power came back on about 20 minutes before the alarm went off this morning (thank goodness for battery back-ups, huh?). Anyway, the house was a smidgen cold when I dragged myself out of bed. *sigh*

So, we had a busy weekend. Friday night I was up until midnight cleaning the house first and then wrapping presents. I'm like 99% done with everything. I feel like I've been 99% done with everything for like 3 weeks...so I obviously wasn't that far along before. I've never felt so far behind like I do this year. Sheesh!

Anyway, on Saturday morning, I had to get up much too early so I could get showered and get to my friend Belynda's house. We were carpooling for our morning tea reservation. Becky and Christina also rode with us and we met Sze-kei. It was a cute place and yummy. YUMMY! And then we hit the fudge shop next door so I could pick up a few hostess gifts. Smelled delish in there, of course!

After tea, I had to book it home to get a few things done. PJ had taken on the task of cleaning up the leaves. Since the sycamore tree in the backyard is finally bare, we knew we needed to get to task. They were predicting a wintery mix for the afternoon, so PJ bit the bullet and started on it. PJ's brother, Chris, came by right after I got home. He had to drop something off for us and had a few things to pick up (his crock pot, for one!). Then we all chatted for about an hour while I pretended to think about doing laundry. Once he left, I threw a load into the washing machine and went to take a nap. PJ decided to nap too. Joe called at about 530 (45 minutes before we planned to get up), but we weren't able to get together with him since we had plans at 7pm for a Christmas party that we had already RSVP'd to. And it was dinner (YUM) and 21 and over only.

We went to Mo's party and it was a good time. Got to see a few friends we hadn't seen much and catch up. Got home very late...oh around 230am. zzzzzzz! Oh, and that wintery mix turned out to be only rain. Lots of rain!

Sunday, PJ had to do his Christmas shopping since he's seriously running out of time. And since we're opening gifts this coming Saturday, he's REALLY pressed. So, once I managed to push him out of bed, I went back to sleep until...oh, 1230pm! sheesh! I then lazily watched something on the classic movie channel and finally at 2pm, decided I should get into the shower. I mean, we did have somewhere to be at 4pm!

PJ and I left around 4pm for Glory Days where they had a mini 10th anniversary party. It was very mini. And so we chowed down on some chips and queso and then headed to another Christmas party.

This Christmas party was hosted by Tim and Lori. Tim and Lori are Mike's in-laws. Mike is PJ's boss. We met Tim and Lori at Mike's house last summer. Our friends Kelly and Chris walked into the party about 10 minutes after we did. **shock!** Apparently Chris works for Tim. So small world! Anyway, we only stayed a couple of hours since I had to pick up Ethan by 8pm to get him ready for the next day. And so PJ went out to watch football after changing and I did some laundry and then went to bed. And when PJ came home, I found out about our little power issue.

Thank goodness the power is back now. I'm cooking dinner in the slow cooker today! Phew!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Potluck Pictures

I'm a little bit behind. I've been dogsitting for a few days and that has kept me very busy. Anyway, I don't have much to post about...here are the pictures from the potluck and also of us girls who went to see the Nutcracker.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sixteen Days until my Birthday

I'll have a more exciting post later... One with pictures since we just had our holiday potluck, but I'm too busy to download pics. Hope you had a great weekend. Just about two weeks left to buy me a gift! HAHAHA!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Snowball Fight!


snowball fight!
Originally uploaded by melissahaas01
Yep, we got our first snow last night. And the kids built a fort and had a snowball fight. No definitive teams existed, it was everyone against everyone. Today, there's a two hour delay for school. Thank goodness it's a quiet week at work.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Important December Updates

First of all, let me throw out birthday wishes to my December peeps.

Nickel, 12/25. He'll be one!
and um... ME! 12/26...what'd you buy me??? :P
I know there are extended family members with December birthdays, but I can't keep everyone straight. Happy Birthday to anyone with a December birthday!

Secondly, an easy (and free) way to encourage our soldiers:
Say Thanks

Finally, I'd like to note that Chef Ethan was in the house last night. He helped me saute a couple of chicken breasts, then he put in garlic, lemon and lime juices, mandarin oranges and chunk pineapple (with juice) and a smidgen of SunnyD and let it simmer for a while. Then he made Jasmine Rice and Brussel Sprouts. It was delicious!!

On Monday night, we had Steak Cups. I made it up, but it was good (eye of round steaks mashed thinner then put into a muffin tin. Then I sauted onions, mushrooms, garlic and spinach and spooned it into the "cups" and then I put a little cream of mushroom soup on top and parmesean cheese. baked it for like 15 minutes. the cups held their shape!). We had peas and loaded baked potatoes along with it.

Tonight, we're having Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo. I've been craving it for about a week now. I can't wait!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Walnut Brittle Syrupy Sundae Topping

So, I had this brilliant idea this year to make Cooking Light’s Walnut Brittle Recipe as Christmas gifts. It’s not “good” for you, but it’s not so terribly bad for you as candy goes. I thought it was a good compromise.

Well, the kids and I worked on it…we followed the instructions to a T, except I didn’t have a candy thermometer…when we were done, it didn’t harden like it was supposed to. I thought maybe I missed something, so I stuck it in the freezer. I then left it out and guess what, still not solid. So, I put it into the oven and baked it for a few minutes. It got deliciously hot and bubbly, but it didn’t harden. It has the consistency of honey. It looks like Smucker’s Walnuts in Syrup.

So, once it cooled, I poured it all into a container and refrigerated it. After a bit of thought, I decided to put it into jars and give it away as syrup instead. Once refrigerated, it acts like cold honey…hard to pour. This has turned into an epic adventure by now.

Megan and I went to the grocery store and bought a lot of baby food. Those 4 oz jars are the perfect size.

Last night I started filling the jars (it took a few days to use and then clean out the baby food! And we don’t have any babies in the house anymore! My homemade dog food just got a step easier). In another couple of days, they’ll be all done and I can wrap them up to give out to people (if I can bear to part with them).

The moral of the story – use a candy thermometer when making candy. Fortunately, the Walnut Brittle Syrupy Sundae Topping tastes divine, even if it’s not hard and brittle. I bought a candy thermometer this weekend. I'm armed for next year now!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Down with ING Direct (or Why We Like Emigrant Direct)!

A week or so ago, I posted about our meeting with a financial planner and the tips/instructions we left with. Well, I had also recommended ING Direct.

Well, since that post a few things have changed. I can no longer recommend ING Direct and let me tell you why.

PJ and I both opened accounts with ING Direct in April 2005. There was a promotion going on…you’d get $25 free if you opened with a minimum of $10 and left it there for at least 3 months. All fine and dandy, so we did that. PJ and I opened separate accounts. That Christmas, PJ put a decent sized deposit into ING Direct. I didn’t. I didn’t have the time/energy to deal with how to handle that account. We already had a savings account set up, so I was still trying to figure it all out.

Anyway, in February of this year, I finally started automatic deposits into both the accounts. It wasn’t large deposits. Just like $10 each. PJ’s account went through with no problem. Mine, however, cancelled and they simply deposited the money back into my checking account (all $35 and change). LOL Anyway, I got a letter later saying it was closed for inactivity. Fine. I can understand that. I mean for 22 months I hadn’t done anything with the account. That’s a fair business decision.

So, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. We decided we’d just use PJ’s ING Direct account and move our savings there since the APY was so much higher than our regular bank. Yeah, well, since I had a low balance account with no activity for nearly two years, they won’t let me have an account at ING ever again. WTH??? Are they nuts???? I mean, if I had defrauded them or something, that would make sense, but I simply didn’t do anything and so I’m now longer allowed an account?!?! I also can’t be a joint owner on any account.

Well, I did a little research. For accounts that have no minimums and still pay a high interest yield, Emigrant Direct kept coming up as an alternative. So, ING Direct has lost all our money and business and Emigrant has gained it all. And guess what? Emigrant pays a higher APY!!!! So there! **sticking tongue out**

We’ve only had the account a few days with Emigrant Direct so far (maybe a week), but so far we’re pleased. You can create your own log in name. This is important to me since I could never remember my ING customer number (and never had the doc handy when I needed it). So, if you’re looking for a high yield savings account, let me highly recommend Emigrant Direct.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Guard Dates Are Up

I've updated our calendar with the Winterguard dates. Unfortunately for you, you can't see past Dec 2007, so you can't see much of my handiwork. Sorry about that, but you'll be able to view them soon (if you figure out how to view them, let me know because I can't!).

In other news, I think my dogs have colds...they're wheezing a bit. They need baths too, but I'm in no hurry to do that in this cold. **shiver**

In the near future, I'll be reviewing EmigrantDirect vs. INGDirect. I'm a recent convert...explanation coming soon.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Great Christmas Card Race

So, I was up until MIDNIGHT last night finishing up our Christmas cards! Ninety-five percent of them went out with today's mail. Wait, maybe more like 90% - seeing as there were just under 100 cards! Sheesh! I always rush to get them out by the first of the month because 1) I already have a lot to do and 2) we have to get the potluck invitations out. And don't you know that we had already RECEIVED one Christmas card by the time I got ours done?? **Waving hello to Kevin, Becca & Aidan** They were our first card, arriving the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Wow!

In other news, PJ and I made the executive decision to celebrate Christmas with the kids a few days early...12/22 to be exact. Typically, we pick up all the kids from their other parent's house at about 2pm on Christmas day. After that, we head to PJ's Mom's to open gifts and eat and then we head home between 6 and 7 pm. Well, that's an awfully long time to wait to share Christmas with our kids and let me just tell you how cranky they are by that time. OHMIGOSH...Christmas present time should be fun! And it's not fun. So, after looking at the calendar and brainstorming, we've decided to go ahead and do it early. We'll be at my Mom's on the 23rd and at my Dad's on the 26th. On the 24th we typically have no kids (except this year as Ethan's Dad will be out of town). Anyway, when I shared the news with Megan, she was very excited. "I get tired of opening all those gifts on Christmas anyway." LOL

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How long until Christmas???

It's only 29 days until Christmas! Woohoo! So, I know that in my last post I said I'd be back before Thanksgiving...well, I lied. I didn't mean to, but life got in the way of blogging. HA!

Anyway, Wednesday, I worked from home. Ethan had friends over for a while hanging out. Overheard this conversation:

J: S, don't you need to go to the bathroom?
S: Um, no.
J: Yes, you do.
E: He's trying to tell you to leave for a minute.
J&E proceed to discuss S. S is a girl. :P

Ah, I love listening to preteens. The girls came over in the evening and we hung out. Watched Sleeping Beauty . I watched The Last Unicorn on Monday...I feel like I'm reliving my childhood. heheheehehehehe. Joe is back in town from school.

Then on Thursday (that would be Thanksgiving!), I made some YUMMY Corn Pudding and the kids went over to Grandma's while PJ and I got ready. We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade too. Good times. We ate at 1pm so the girls could go back to their mom's. We celebrated Mary's birthday too, though it's really Tuesday. After the girls went home, PJ and I hung out at his mom's for a while catching up with everyone; Ethan walked home. Once we were all home, we putzed around and watched some TV and whatnot. I played Mastermind with Ethan. Heidi & Kurt celebrated their 5 year anniversary today!

Friday, PJ and I went up to visit Trisha and Dave and to see their new house. Ethan was supposed to go with us, but he hung out with a friend. After we got the tour of their new house, the four of us went to meet Tammy and Tim (that wedding we went to in FL) for lunch and the six of us had a good lunch with marginal service at Longhorn. That night, PJ went to work at the bar and I was going to get the girls. Joe brought them over instead, so I just got a few things done. Joe didn't end up staying and Ethan stayed at a friend's house, so the girls and I just had leftovers for dinner (or whatever they wanted) and after cleaning the bathrooms, I settled down in front of the TV to watch my latest celebrity crush (Alex...the guy in front).

Saturday, we got up and PJ went to help Natalie with some cabinetry stuff. I can't remember what I did, but I think it was laundry. The girls finally got up and then once everyone was home, showered and whatnot, we went to pick out our Christmas tree. This year we cut ours down at a tree farm. That was a first for us as a family (actually, I think it was a first for the kids, period). We're definitely doing it again because the tree is sooooo much better than any of the other cut ones. It's hardly lost any needles. Anyway, here are the pictures of our day (picking it, cutting it, and then decorating it). We also swung by to see Leslie who is in town and then went to pick up Megan, who was visiting with a friend for a few hours.

Sunday, Joe and PJ went to breakfast. My dad stopped by to drop off his compressor. He's upgraded his. PJ is excited (ooo...tools & toys!). Then we did yardwork...we had a million leaves to clean up. Thank goodness for yard vacs (thanks Dad!) and riding lawnmowers (thanks again, Dad!). The job was a bit quicker and the kids could help. Ethan was at his dad's, so he missed out on all the yardwork fun. :P The yard looks great though!

Megan and I hit the grocery store and Big Lots (for the SECOND time this weekend). We had a few miscellaneous things to do around the house and then we baked some Christmas goodies. Our holiday party is in two weeks (12/8, for those of you attending and you're all invited) and we need to get our act together! Must get working on those Christmas cards. Our tickets for The Nutcracker arrived! I can't wait!

Okay, later - Ethan needs to get ready for school tomorrow and he's way too distracted juggling clementines.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Various Tidbits

Sam found out she made the varsity winter guard team. She's very excited. Congrats Sam!
Ethan is busy making "Goo Cake" for his class tomorrow. Oh fun. LOL
No updates on Megan.
PJ's out somewhere watching the Skins lose to the Cowboys. I think he'll be bummed when he gets home.
I just got home from a baby shower. It was very nice and fun to sit and chat.

And that's about it. I was trying to post every day in November for National Blogging Post Month, but then I realized that just may be too much excitement for you guys. :P

Have a great week. I'll plan to be back before Thanksgiving! :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Blog Has Been Updated

I just upgraded the template and a few other things. Look you can subscribe with any RSS feed reader. You can also subscribe via email, if that's easier. :) How cool is that????

I'm still looking for other ways to bring my blog to the 21st century...though I may need to start working on 22nd century stuff here pretty soon.

:)

I'm so glad it's Friday! Woohoo!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spirit Week



It's Spirit Week at Ethan's school. Today was Crazy Sock Day. Ah yes, he had some pretty crazy socks on, but go ahead and click on the picture and check out how he "fixed" his shirt. LOL

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Conversations with Ethan

PJ, Ethan, Megan and I were hanging out in the kitchen tonight. I was IMing with a friend, Melissa Washington.

Me to PJ: "I didn't know you went to school with Melissa Washington. She just told me a couple weeks ago."
PJ: "Really? I didn't realize you didn't know."
Ethan to PJ: "Wait! You went to school with George Washington's wife?!? Man! You are old!"
Me: "Not Martha Washington, Melissa Washington."
Ethan: "Oh. Okay."

In other news, Ethan made honor roll. Go Ethan! Sam and Megan both had As, Bs and Cs. Not too shabby either!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Marching Band Banquet Tonight...

Which includes Color Guard. I hope to be able to post a quick update and pics when I get home from it tonight. :)





Sam got her letter! She was also nominated as "Most Loudest" and that doesn't surprise us at all. :P

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Quick Weekend Recap

It's Sunday morning and I should be in the shower, but I thought I'd pop on here real quick and knock out a post.

Friday night, it rained... so I didn't go to the football game (aww, shucks). Anyway, Megan still went, so after I dropped her off, I went home to get a few things done. Ethan was "cleaning" his room and Matt was "helping." After I picked the girls up, everyone got ready for bed. It was a late night. Matt stayed over. We have Brogan this weekend too.

Saturday, we got up and cleaned the house. Everyone cleaned their rooms, they raked leaves, I cleaned the bathrooms, we all vacuummed our rooms. We just organized in general for our Chili Cook-Off today. I also managed to get 95% of the laundry done! I baked 3 pumpkin pies and some cornbread too. For dinner we headed to the mall so we could let the kids do a little Christmas shopping. Another late night.

Sunday is just starting, but we're expecting people sometime around noon. The game is at 1 and a few of the attendees decided they wanted to make chili too, so now the contest is on for the best one. I threw all my ingredients into the crock pot about 45 minutes ago. Hopefully it'll turn out good since I'm making up the recipe as I go along. HA! Aside from football and chili today, I'll just have to put things back in order tonight when our guests are gone. A few things had to be rearranged to accommodate everyone. So, hopefully tonight won't be a late night!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Grocery Shopping...

So, I was reviewing the grocery shopping list the other day.













But wait, did you look closely? I have some very special requests on the list.











Ethan didn't get too specific, but I think he's tired of granola bars, fruit cups and the like. Though he said these in the pizza flavor were okay. I don't think they are healthy, but I'm pretty sure they're not downright unhealthy (I hope!).

PJ, on the other hand, was very specific. Unfortunately, I don't think it falls into the grocery budget. Maybe next month.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Night Lights

So, tonight is the last football game for Samantha's high school. Let's just say that I'm not too excited about this. It's our weekend, so I'll have all the kids. And generally, if there's football, that means that we attend the game. So far this year, I've lucked out...one game was rained out and one game we organized a ride for her since she had a competition early the next morning. It's not that I don't want to support her in her extra curricular activities or with color guard, but let's be honest, I'd much prefer if I was supporting the kids (any of them) with an INSIDE activity.

I'm not a huge football fan. I'm not a huge sports fan. I can support the home team (it's hard when Sam's school plays Ethan's future school since they are then on opposing sides of the field!).

I don't like the cold. At all. Ever. The only good thing about the cold is that I can have a fire in our fantastic wood burning stove. And that means I can use some of this. Anyway, so there is a chance it will rain this evening. And if it rains, I already warned her that I'm not going. Ethan, Megan and I will just hang out at home and go pick Sam up at the appointed time. It's sprinking now, which makes me concerned it won't still be sprinkling tonight. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want it to rain. HA HA!

So, there's my conundrum...how to support your kids' interests when you 1) don't share the interest and 2) hate the cold. *sigh* oh well.

In other news, we've got a busy weekend. Cleaning up on Saturday and a Chili Cook-off/Football party (there's that sport again!) on Sunday.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Here's what $350 of firewood looks like


It's a cord of wood. A full cord, not a face cord. Two wood racks and then a whole other stack. Phew! We should be set for the whole winter!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ready, Set, Save!

PJ and I met with a financial planner from Merrill Lynch the other day. Here’s what we learned.

1. We need to get our wills done.

2. We’re underinsured (life insurance).

3. All adults (age 21 and up) should be saving 12% of their income for retirement.

4. You should not have your money in a savings account that earns less than a 4% yield. Plug for ING Direct here. If you don't already have an account with ING Direct and you want one, talk to us...there's a little mutually beneficial referral bonus involved. :) **you don't want one. Talk to us about Emigrant Direct!

5. If you haven’t already heard it, you should have six months of your salary set aside in cash assets in the event something serious happens (obviously, whoever came up with this didn't have kids. HAHAHAHAHHAAH).

6. We’re at a very good debt to income ratio. :)

7. We might be able to retire when PJ turns 65, but I have to keep working until that time. So much for an early retirement. LOL

We discussed various other things, of course, but this was some of the important stuff.

In other news, I am NOT pleased with the election results for our area... *sigh*

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I voted!



If you haven't voted, get out there and do it! PJ and I had both voted by 730am this morning.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Polo & Echo Turn Five Today!

It’s hard to believe that we’ve had Polo for almost five years now and Echo for about three and a half. How time has flown! It’s been a busy few years with a lot of learning about whippets, but our lives wouldn’t be the same without them.

They’ll be lucky if I remember to give them an extra rawhide today though. LOL



Happy Birthday, Polo and Echo!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Picture Updates

Here are the Halloween pics.

And pics from our vacation, including Ethan's birthday and us starting to clean up! :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Reminder! Daylight Savings Time Ends

Remember to turn your clocks back one hour before going to bed tonight! Enjoy your extra hour of sleep. :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

November Birthdays

I'm trying to stay ahead of the game.

Heather, 11/15
Belynda, 11/17
Kelly W-R, 11/19
Mary, 11/27

Happy Birthday to you all!
ps did I forget anyone?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

October Birthdays

Did I do this already?

Happy Birthday to:

Courtney, Oct 5
Tina, Oct 16
Melanie, Oct 22
Trisha, Oct 23
Corky, Oct 24

I see that I was late for ALL of them. I guess I'll try to list everyone at the BEGINNING of the month next time... doh!

So, updates...

The weekend of 10/20, PJ went out to see Samantha's guard perform. I think they ranked "Excellent," but I can't remember. I was attending Annie's baby shower. PJ had the camera. Here are his pics. Sam's Show and Balloon Festival

That evening, we met up for Melanie's birthday party. It was a good time! Melanie's Birthday

I can't remember what we did that Sunday now. Hmm....

During the week, we did all the regular ole stuff you do. I'd have to check my calendar to know exactly what that was. HAHAHAHAHHA

This past weekend, Samantha and I went to Tammy & Tim's wedding at Disney World! It was so much fun! :) We stayed with Dave and Trish too, who kindly shared a measly double bed so Sam and I could use the other one. Dave even suffered through scorching temps in the 70's for us. :P Here are the pics. Disney World Wedding

PJ, Megan and Ethan went to a halloween costume party and carved pumpkins. Pictures of those events are forthcoming. :)

Sunday, I just had to chill...we arrived back from Orlando at about noon and then I had to do some laundry and stuff, but I just wanted to sleep. I dozed a bit during the Redskin's horrible loss. While I don't much care, PJ sure does! And we finally turned the heat on. I'm thrilled! It's been cold at night!

This week is busy with two baseball games (tonight and tomorrow is last!!), Halloween on Wednesday and PJ has a mid-term. I can't wait until the weekend! The bad part is we have firewood coming at 730am on Saturday! Oy!

There's a heart walk this coming weekend if you'd like to sign up or can donate! Natalie has a team for DannyAHA HeartWalk for Danny .

More pics and updates coming soon. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

One year ago today...

We were two days into our Discovery Park work. It's hard to believe that the playground was built and it's absolutely awesome! http://www.sullypto.com/discoverypark.htm

Monday, October 08, 2007

Fall Break


Joe's home on fall break. We had dinner tonight with all the family. Good times. :)

Mr. Ethan


Look at the glasses on this young man! How old is he now?!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

La Ti Da...

Ethan's team won their game last night. 9 - 4. Go Pirates!!!

And our website has been updated. It's about time... see the link to the right...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ethan's Yummy Dinner!


Chef Ethan made dinner tonight. After peeling all the shrimp, he sautéed them with butter, lemon juice, green onions and two cloves of fresh garlic. When the shrimp was done, we added leftover rice (jasmine rice with broccoli, carrots and raisins in it) to the pan and sautéed it all a little longer. He made brussel sprouts also. Very yummy. I guess we'll keep him a little longer. :P

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

And what does my little eye spy?


Siblings HELPING each other with homework? Wow!!

Baseball Updates


So, Ethan's team is 2-1 now. Last night's game was REALLY close. They only lost by one run and the game went all the way to the last minute. It was a late night for me. *sigh*

And here he is getting someone out:



Mail Call!



Check out Joe's package that's on the way to him. I hope the Post Office doesn't freak out over my "creative" use of stamps.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Final Update...for today...I think

Please let me draw your attention to the calendar on the right side of this page. It's up-to-date now, I think. If you want to come to any baseball games, let me know so I can make sure I'm going to be there!



And in closing, a picture of Brogan, Corky's dog who stayed with us over Labor Day weekend.

First Day of School


It's hard to believe it...


Before the block party....


The day before the block party, PJ took all the kids (including Aaron) to visit Joe at CNU. I didn't go for various reasons, so I can't explain all the pics. I know they went to a football game, saw Joe's room (can we say pigstye?), and explored the campus. The kids (and PJ) had a good time, but came home exhausted. It was a long day! All the pics are here.


Block Party Recap


We're eventually going to migrate to a new picture hosting platform, but I don't know how to use it yet, so these pics are still in shutterfly.


On 9/2 we had our second annual block party, which we co-hosted with Tamra & Paul and Cathy & Cesar. It was a great success! Things kicked off around noon (with the first guests showing closer to 1230) and finally wound down around midnight...at 1am, almost everyone was gone...I think I was in bed by 2am.


Here are some pics:

























And the rest of them are here.

My 100th Post - Tag Answers...

Blog Tag - I have to tell you 8 thinks that you don't know about me - and then I am to tag 8 different bloggers and they are to do the same.

Here goes:
1. I have figured out how to make about a week's worth of dog food in under an hour (the spoiled brats are fed a homemade diet).

2. My shoe size fluctuates between a 6.5 and a 7.5, depending on the shoe, though usually a 7 fits just fine. I will gladly accept gifts of shoes from you all.

3. I've already started my Christmas shopping (oh, wait, maybe you already know that).

4. I'm not sure I know eight bloggers that haven't already been tagged for this game. What if I just send it out in email to everyone? :P

5. Every so often I get baby fever and then I remember: teenagers. I then become quite content that there's a light at the end of tunnel (high school graduations...). The same thing happens with puppies, except I recall: chewing on my shoes. I've lost many a good pair of heels to puppies. *sigh*

6. I'm going to a wedding in FL in Oct! Must get tickets....

7. Ethan's baseball schedule this fall is stressing me out since his dad will be gone for some of his weekends.

8. Verizon no likey our email server. It's very frustrating and making it hard to transition soley to one email account...alas, I still check 7 accounts daily.

I don't know who I'm tagging....I guess I better go figure that out...

Many things to share...

There is a lot of information to share with everyone. I've been a little behind in the blogging due to some tragic news. A very dear friend of ours passed away on Aug 30. I spent a hectic two weeks supporting the family (and this will be ongoing!) and helping with various arrangements. We'll always remember Danny, and we'll be here for his family. **hugs** ---<--@

Danny's band was supposed to play at our block party on 9/2. His presence was missed and a few songs were dedicated to him by another musician that day. Pics and recap coming soon.

My grandmother pointed out that I was missing a very important August birthday - hers! I've added her to my list and my calendar: Aug 15. So, Happy belated birthday, Gram!

September birthdays - Kurt, 9/7 and Ben, 9/27. Happy birthday to you both!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I've been tagged!

I've got a lot going on and a lot to update you on. I will do it soon, but looky here. I'll work on updating my blog all next week!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Updates to this blog!

More updates coming to this blog soon. I've got some picture things I need to figure out. But once I do...Look out! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Either way, I added a few links under friends and finally switched out Google News for something much more important (to me!) - Children International (I've been a sponsor for 10 years!) . You can sign up to be a sponsor too!

I might even find some ways to add some other cool things on the site. or not, but it's a hope.

In other news, Joe has a fancy new cell phone on it's way to our house. He's been added to our plan. No change in number, but heeelllloooo free mobile-to-mobile (he's on Verizon if you're IN too). I also switched us all to a plan with unlimited text messaging....since we seem to go over a bit. oops.

BLOCK PARTY NEXT WEEKEND...9/2, noon-whenever. If you don't have our address and want to come, you can email me, or comment here. Woohoo!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Vacation Recap

I’m sorry this is so late, but for real, I’ve got stuff to do beside just write about our adventures as a family…I do wish I could just write, but you know…

Anyway, so, here’s how our vacation went.

We drove down to Lake Anna on Saturday, 7/28. It didn’t take too long to get there. The house we stayed in was a beautiful log cabin. All of PJ’s family came (though Pat came later) and then there was us five. Joe couldn’t come (silly work is always getting in the way of fun!).

Upon arrival and after the initial tour, we had to unpack our luggage and food. After a little unpacking, several of us women-folk went to the grocery store to get some food.

Each night, a different person/family was responsible for dinner. It worked out well. We spent a lot of time swimming and some time boating and tubing (unfortunately, the boat was a little finicky and didn’t always work). I managed to read two books. We also played games and worked on a very challenging puzzle.

Patty, Byron, Cathy, Elana and Marc came down one day. Cheryl, Tyree and Zamir, Mike, and La came down also and Kerry came down on Friday (pics here - search for "Ethan's Birthday" requires registration).

Anyway, it was a good time and we’ve discussed doing it again sometime.

On Saturday, 8/4, PJ’s family went home and we five headed to Williamsburg to see my mom, sis and bro and their respective SOs and Nickel. Cute! We hit the pool and just caught up for a bit. We had dinner at Second St.

On Sunday, we descended upon Busch Gardens and had a blast. It was impossibly hot, but then there was a serious downpour. We got *almost* all the rides in. I didn’t ride the Griffon, but I got on the Loch Ness Monster and the Big Bad Wolf (which is my new favorite). I wish every ride could be the BBW. LOL

On Monday, we came home and unpacked, unloaded and returned kids. I’m glad to be home…it’s nice to sleep in our own beds again.

The dogs missed us, but they loved hanging out with Seth and Bailey. Rumor visited us for a few days, but she was very happy to go home when the Saylors got home!

You can see the previous post for the links to the pictures.

We're Back!



So we're back from Lake Anna. Yeah, we've been back for almost 2 weeks, but there's a lot to do when you get home from vacation. I *just* finished all the laundry. phew!


Here are the pics of Lake Anna and Williamsburg. There are a lot. I didn't edit them. Sorry, but just be glad there are pics at all!







Look at this neat picture of Ethan. One of the kids took it while underwater...it might have been a self-portrait.

Anyway, I've noticed I've been doing a lousy job of wishing people a happy birthday ON their birthday here (the blog). I had hoped I could do it the day of (or close) for everyone. Since I can't seem to keep up, I'm just going to list them and wish them a birthday all at once. It's already August, but let me recap July... July 3, Samantha; July 15, Mom/Judy; July 25, Lisa. Happy (belated) Birthday!

Now, for August birthdays:

Aug 3 - Ethan
Aug 6 - Bill
Aug 12 - Dad/Pat
Aug 21 - Kelly H

I think that's all of you. Happy Birthday to you all!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Wheels Arrived!

Yeah, I know, I know - I didn't even tell you that we had ordered new wheels and tires for my car, but we did. And they arrived yesterday and PJ installed them today. I love them so far (only drove once around the block). LOL



Here are the pics - I'm too tired to figure out the order in this blog right now.







































Here's the wheel (ASA JH8 Black w/Mach Lip)

Here's the tire (Kumho Ecsta ASX)


245/40-18 in the front and 275/35-18 in the back.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Good to the last drop....



And this was the problematic dryer vent "connector" that caused our drip to begin with. Pictures of the completed project coming soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sometimes an HOA is a good thing....


Where the heck did they get green bricks????
Took PJ hours to finish the dryer...no pics tonight. Hopefully tomorrow, but I have a lot to do before Friday's Pampered Chef party!

Adventures in Home Ownership

So, PJ and I are home alone without kids this week (they’re all on vacations with their other parent). What do we do? Homework…both kinds…PJ’s in class and there are always chores to be done.

On Monday night we were in the utility room discussing ways to rearrange / clean up the space. I noticed what appeared to be dirty water spots on the dryer and mentioned it to PJ. Nothing was leaking, no water spots on the ceiling, etc. I devised a way to test if the water spots were new or old and then threw a load into the dryer.

On Tuesday evening, I was down in the laundry room and while re-fluffing the laundry (that I had put in on Monday night and forgot), I noticed my test showed fresh water spots.

I called PJ (my knight in shining armor). He came to investigate. We ruled out the master bath (shower and commode are not in the right place) and the dishwasher. Then PJ saw the water dripping. It was from the humidity that happens when the dryer is running. For some reason it was leaking down the outside of the dryer vent-hose-thingy.

It was before dinner and we needed to eat, so we ate, and I went to run an errand. When I came back, I found that PJ had dismantled the dryer, hoses and ducts. It was a sight for sure! He showed me what had started our lint collection / humidity problem and it was the COFFEE CAN that was used as a connector. Um..yeah, can we say jerry-rigged??? Anyway, I pulled on some gloves and helped clean out lint (soaking wet) from the inside of the dryer and the bent connector and then I dragged the shop-vac all around the utility room trying to suck up as much lint and dust as I could while PJ pushed the 8ft duct pipe out the exhaust hole in the house. I should have taken pictures of this whole thing, but I was too busy vacuuming (really, there was a lot of lint!).

Tonight, we’re going to one of the local big box hardware stores to get the necessary duct pieces so PJ can put everything back together. Ah yes, this is why we love home ownership…we should be footloose and fancy free this week, but instead, we’re doing homework. *sigh* At least it’s not the dryer and we don’t have to buy a replacement yet! I'll try to remember to take pics tonight!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I think this is it for tonight

Pictures from our OH vacation

Upcoming stuff...

Football will be starting in August...once I have the game schedule, I'll post it. It feels like summer is almost over!!

Sam and Megan are going to the beach this weekend. Joe is working while they're gone. Ethan is going to FL to visit his grandma with his dad. PJ and I are just getting stuff done around the house. We leave for the lake in two weeks and two days! I can't wait!

Nickel is so daggone cute!!

Just look at him!!! From his trip to CA with my bro and SIL.


Joe's Graduation Party


Yeah, it was a busy time....Joe's grad party finally happened too. check out the cupcake cake. YUM!


Happy Belated Birthday, Sam!


Her birthday was on 7/3. How did I miss posting that??!! Hmmm...I guess I was too busy making blueberry muffin cake with her! LOL




Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Woohoo!!!

Joe just heard that he made the marching band at CNU. He's pretty excited! Way to go, Joe!

We're back from OH. We had a great time at the reunion and got back on Tuesday night. Good time and Cedar Point was fun. Pics to follow. :)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tammy's Birthday Party



























Megan graduated from Fifth grade!


Woohoo! No more kids in elementary school!!

Ethan's New Pet


Meet Ashe, Ethan's new pet gopher snake.
Ashe was born at Ethan's school, raised by one of the science teachers. We believe DOB was about September 2006. Not a lot of other details.
In other news, PJ and I went to Kings Dominion yesterday.
We also celebrated Tammy's birthday her on Sat night...pics to come soon.
And Happy Father's Day to all the dads!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Anniversary to us!

PJ and I celebrated three years of marriage today. So far, I got one bouquet of flowers and three cards (one for each year???). But I haven't gone to sleep yet, so maybe there are more cards hiding in the house. :) **warning...gushiness** he's so daggone sweet. :)

He got one, count it, ONE card from me. But it was the perfect card. :P And really, we don't want him to get all gushy on me now, do we?

We also went to dinner, accompanied by Ethan. Ethan was very entertaining at dinner...I wish I had remembered my camera. Oh well.

I failed to actually say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Chris in my last post, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!!

And Ethan got a new pet...I'll be posting pictures soon. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend Update

So, here's our busy weekend.
Stop #1, Mark's Pool Party
















































Stop #2, Chris' surprise party
























Stop #3 (not pictured), Danny & Natalie's band party




and then on Sunday, we went to a pool party at Todd & Tracy's. Fun times!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007