Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Last Sin Eater

She's done it again. Francine Rivers knows how to write. I just finished The Last Sin Eater. Again, I wasn't disappointed and had trouble putting it down. I am looking forward to getting the movie from the library.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Swivel Me Sweet

I haven't got to garage sale-ing all summer. So this morning, a Saturday where we are not only home, but we don't have plans; I got to have a little me time. I got some coffee and I went to garage sales. It was a good day for them, too. I was able to just travel north and south on the main road that our road shoots off and hit quite a few.

I was able to get Andrew a couple really nice jeans for school (He's four and wears sixes.), I got a few books for me to read and I also hit the jackpot by finding a Swivel Sweeper for TWO DOLLARS! It has all the parts and works like charm. Way excited. A friend and I have been coveting those since we saw the infomercial for them about a year ago.

One of the places where I got a couple books was the home of an elderly couple where the husband was an avid reader. The entire garage sale was books... mostly hardbacks in good shape. I picked a few out and we started chatting. He even recommended a few books and threw a few in for me to read without charging.
I noticed he had a few Louis L'amour books out. I told him my hubby was a big fan. He mentioned he had a whole slew in the house and if I brought him by he could check it out. So... guess where we went back to this afternoon. The guy ended up give Marc a deal for the whole lot. 48 books in all. Marc was thrilled and is currently next to me on the couch with "Last of the Breed" and I am reading to head to bed with a Barbara Kingsolver bestseller.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Things I Love.... Thanks Mom.

The thing I love today is my new pan! (or maybe it's a pot.)

You see... a good pan to make rice krispy treats is hard to find. I'm serious. First of all... it has to be big enough. You don't want sticky krispy's sloshing over the side. But it also has to be light. If you need both hands to lift the pan upside down, how are you going to scoop the rice krispies out? Finally, it has to be Teflon coated. Melted marshmallows are about as sticky as they come and well.... enough said.

You wouldn't think that a pan like this would be that hard to find. On the contrary. You can't find one anywhere, unless you are willing to buy a box set that has an additional pots and pans that I don't need. So, we have been a rice krispy treat free home for quite a while now, ever since my last pan started flaking the Teflon making our treats seem peppered. Rice krispy treats are a family favorite - so a new pan was needed.

Finally, my mom found one. Macy's to the rescue! Tonight - we put the pressure on the pan.

I enjoy reading The Pioneer Woman's cooking website. So I am taking a leap into her usual format to show off new pan's ability to make what it was made the do... make Rice Krispy Treats! (As if anyone needed any help or instructions making these).

Who would have thought that these three measly ingredients would do so much for the taste buds.

I start by lining a pan (in this case a cereal box missing a side - something I use often in freezer cooking) with foil. I then spray that foil with non-stick spray. I also like the cereal box over a cake pan... it's a little smaller so the treats a little thicker.

I also take a sheet of wax paper and spray it good with non-stick spray. It comes in play later.

Notice the plastic spatula. No metal against my new pan. No No No. Add one half stick of margarine to the pan and let it melt....

...and bubble.

Add 1 bag of mini marshmallows. I think that's about six cups.

Stir until all the individual mellows melt into one giant mellow mushpuddle.

Add six cups of rice krispy cereal. Stir until some of the mellow mushpuddle hugs each and every piece of krispy cereal.

Now the most amazing part of this whole show I didn't even capture on film. (Can I even use that expression anymore in this digital age?) It was me turning my new pan upside down with one hand and with my other hand guiding the oohy-gooey-oh-so-yummy mess easily into my lined box with ease. Ahhhh...

Remember that sprayed wax paper. Enter scene. Cover treats, sprayed side down and pressed gently and evenly.

Let cool and turn on Word World just to keep little boys from asking you for the millionth time if the kwispy tweats are ready yet.

Once cool - or at least cooled enough they stick together somewhat, remove the foil lined treats from the box, lay on cutting board and...

Oooooh. Aaaaaahhhhhh.


Good Pan = Happy Mommy = Happy Family.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good News - Bad News

This week Andrew had I dentist appointments. The good news is that he did amazingly well once again. He had a great check-up and was cavity-free.

The bad news is that I was not so lucky. I knew I had one spot that needed filled already (but it didn't hurt and we don't have dental insurance, so I waited) and another spot they were watching last time I went. Well, now both spots need filled. Ugh!

Did I mention we don't have dental insurance? Or how about that our flex money is gone and spent already. Darn teeth. (And I take good care of them, too - that's what I think is the most frustrating part of it all.)

Okay, vent over. Here is my big boy doing a great job getting his teeth cleaned.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Keeping them up past their bedtimes.

We had a nice weekend. We headed to Ohio to visit family. We relaxed, hit the beach, played, ate, and just had a nice time. We got home Sunday evening with enough time to still feel like we had a bit of the weekend at home, yet.

Yesterday, I spent the day unpacking and working around the house. We decided to take a trip to Grand Haven in the evening. It was so nice and the weather was beautiful. We ate dinner outside while people watching. We saw the big boats. We walked the pier and saw the lighthouse. We kept the boys up way past their bedtimes. It was really nice.

This morning has just been running a few errands. I need to get back to picking up the house and folding clothes before I get too buried in them that I get overwhelmed. I think we are hitting the Gardens later this week one more time while the Great Lakes are still up and running. We are going with our neighbor and Andrew's to-be-classmate, Gabe. Very exciting stuff.

Well, not a very exciting post, but I know it's been a while since I posted anything. Here's a few pictures to help make up for the last of content.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Many of you know that I do quite a bit with pictures on our laptop, from digital scrapbooking, to blogging, to photo books, homemade cards, etc... I have relied on my Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 up until this point and I have loved it.

However, once we got our new laptop (insert voice full of contempt here) with VISTA, my Photoshop know longer works right. In fact it is all jacked up. It will still do minor things... but not much more than a basic photo editing software that comes on the computer and now it is a major headache to use.

I googled the issue and it seems like it is just a known issue that Photoshop Elements 3.0 and Vista are just not compatible and I am just out of luck. Ugh! I didn't choose Vista. Blah. I just had to vent.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Couldn't put it down...

I just finished reading "and the Shofar Blew" by Francine Rivers. Whew.... what a good book. I couldn't stop reading it. I confess that between the Olympics and reading, I haven't got much done lately and have been exhausted from lack of sleep. But both have been worth it.

This was a great book. The characters were so real and so lovable (or hate-able). At one point in the evening, Marc told me I needed to stop reading because I had gotten so mad that I had to vent about it to him and yet five minutes later I was sobbing.

Francine Rivers is quickly become a favorite of mine. I am looking forward to hitting the library soon to get another book for this weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sounds like...

So the other day, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we were over at our neighbor's house and the boys were playing in their kiddie pool. The pool was a perfect depth where AJ could sit and float around without me being too concerned about him. They had even brought their tub toys out for the boys to play with.

At one point, AJ was sitting on the bottom of the pool and said, "Mama, I sitting on my butt."

I replied, "You mean you are sitting on your bottom." (We do not use the b-u-t-t word.)

AJ: "No, I sitting on my butt."

Me: "You mean you are sitting on your bottom" (Now wondering how he even knows that word.)

AJ: "NO! I sitting on my butt!"

And he pulls a little toy boat out from under him that he was sitting on. He was sitting on his boat!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Okay, so both boys are currently going through weird phases.

Both boys have tag blankets that they sleep with. In this home they are called, "B's". Anyway, lately Andrew will only carry or allow his B to be carried in the middle. In other words, no one is allowed to touch the tags. He claims he doesn't want the tags to get hot. Huh?

AJ has been going through a baby phase. It's just what is sounds like. He crawls. He babbles the same thing over and over, "Bluh, bluh, bluh". He tells us he's a baby. When say his name, he says, "I not AJ. I baby." Huh?

Monday, August 18, 2008

He got the Big Fish on the Big Boat.

Hooky from Housework.

Today was nice day. Our house was a mess when I woke up and it's still a mess tonight. It can wait for tomorrow. Today I played hooky from housework. This morning, we got up and out early for grocery shopping. A very blessed shopping trip. Meijer, Aldi, and the bread thrift store and quiet a bounty with the resources spent. Thank you Lord.

We ate potato wedges (from the deli - my boys f.a.v.o.r.i.t.e!) and salami sandwiches (also from the deli) for lunch on paper plates (I told you I played hooky) and the boys took a nap. Oh, wait, I did do a slight clean up during naptime, but it was slight.

After a short nap time we headed across the neighborhood to some friends house. They have a 4yr old boy, Gabe, who will be in Andrew's preschool class this fall. They invited us over to go swimming in their kiddie pool. The boys had a riot. AJ was hilarious, walking around on his hands, head barely out of the water. They played hard.

Then hubby called and asked, "Pretty, pretty, please. Can I go fishing on the Big Boat?" Well, being the incredibly nice wife that I am and knowing that I am getting all my clothes folded for me now, I agreed. That left me open for the night. My friend then invited us to stay for dinner. So we did. It was a really nice evening. The boys had a great time, I didn't even have to cook, and we walked home in time for tubs and cookies before bed.

Tomorrow... cleaning is on the docket.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps wins a record eighth Olympic gold medal with his victory in the 4x100 medley relay!!

Up, Up, and Away.

During out visit to Iowa, there was a hot air balloon festival going on nearby. We all found a nice grassy patch to park ourselves and ooh'ed and aah'ed as the balloons rose and floated right over us. Some even landed near us. My pictures don't do the 'show' justice. I bet at one point there were over 30 balloons in the sky

Friday, August 15, 2008

Iowa Grandpas

I recently had the privilege of taking the boys out to Iowa to visit his grandparents and great grandparents. I have so much report about that great trip that I am going to break it up a bit as to not overwhelm.

The boys got to visit Great Grandpa B's farm. They rode on the mower and even sat on some great big tractors.

Grandpa slept out in the camper with the boys. They loved it. Espcially AJ - he would have stayed in the camper all week if we let him.

Bedtime routine.

Aren't Grandpa's Great.

Great Olympics = Jacked Up Bedtime.

Boy am I tired.
It's really messing with my sleep schedule. I just can't seem to turn it off at night. Especially last night. USA gymnastics.... Woo Hoo! Maybe I can get away with sneaking a nap this afternoon with the boys. It's highly unlikely, but a nice thought anyway.

Photo: Getty Image

Thursday, August 14, 2008

This is Summer.

Special Guest

We had a very special guest come to our home yesterday. A guest that we had been looking forward to and talking about for several days now. Around 11 am, Mrs. Doss, Andrew's preschool teacher, paid him a visit. It was very exciting.

She brought him a few gifts, including a homework paper for him to complete (My name is, My favorite color is, etc...). He also received a box of crayons and his very own t-shirt that has the preschool name on it. He is supposed to wear it on field trip days.

She sat and talked to him for about 45 minutes and they talked about preschool and food and animals and cars. He showed him his CARS backpack and his favorite purple car. AJ however was desperate for a piece of her attention butting in to tell her HIS favorite color, car, animal, etc... whenever possible.

She really seemed great and Andrew is really looking forward to his school now more than ever. Of course, it helps that our neighbor boy behind us will also be in Andrew's class and also received a visit from Mrs. Doss today. They boys rode their bikes together tonight and talked about the cool things she brought them.

It's so hard to believe that my baby will be in preschool in a month.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spray the fire hose

Yesterday we were invited to a firestation for an up close and personal look at a firetruck. It was very exciting. The boys got to push buttons (even if they weren't supposed to), wear the headsets and gloves, and even spray the fire hose. Lucky kids.

After the firestation, we made an impromptu stop at the company I used to work for after I graduated for Cornerstone. It was really nice to see the few remaining that were still there since I worked there over four years ago and see what was new with them.

We ran a few errands (in search for nice, yet inexpensive bean bags) before home for naps. I made us a nice dinner of pork chops for our anniversary and Marc came home with flowers. Then we stayed up way past our bedtime (as we have several of the last evenings) snuggled up on the couch watching the Olympics. It was a nice way to spend our Anniversary.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Look who's talking, now"

Oh. My. Word! Did you see Michael's Phelps' 400x100 relay swim last night?! I'm sure you did. It was amazing! It was exciting! It was dramatic! The French were favored to win and were even caught talking "smack" about the American team. Going into the final leg, USA was behind by a full body length and literally in the last 10 meters of the pool, American Jason Lezak caught the French swimmer to not only win but break the world record by a whopping FOUR SECONDS! Breathtaking.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Grisham on my Mind.

I've been on a Grisham kick again. I just finished a couple of his books. Both improved from the Last Juror and reminded me why I like Grisham as an author.

The first was The King of Torts. "Nobody earns ten million dollars in six months, Clay,' " a friend warns. " `You might win it, steal it, or have it drop out of the sky, but nobody earns money like that. It's ridiculous and obscene".

The second was The Broker. "In his final hours in the Oval Office the outgoing President grants a controversial last minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. "

I especially enjoy Grisham's little Author's Notes in the back of each book that allows him to take liberty with his fiction and usually says something along the lines of 'anything that seems remotely accurate in these books are purely accidental'.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Can I do spring cleaning in August?

Well, I got the boys to bed and I throw a few cookies in the oven to bake. I was all ready to watch me a little 'So You Think You Can Dance' finale. But no... the Lions have a preseason game that takes precedence. So they will be showing the season finale from 10:30 pm to 12:30am. Are you kidding me?!

Knowing how Fox News likes to also promote Fox Programming, it would totally not surprise me if during the 10 o'clock news they announce the winner (the live show is from 8-10pm) before they actually air it here in MI. Irritating. However, my disappointment is your great gain. Or at least a way to kill a minute of your time.

Now that we are back and out of the fog that was yesterday.... there is a lot to do. Our house is still in state of shock over the new floor. Granted the main floor looks great (save the missing closet doors, yet), but the rest of the house had paid the price. Add to that all our traveling and well... it's a little overwhelming. Baby steps, I guess.

Today was a beautiful day. Not so terribly sticky hot. We could open the windows and still stay comfortable. The downside is that our neighbor who also has their windows open can hear whenever one of my kids cries... as he told me today. The boys were able to play outside so I was able to get a lot of work done.

This evening after dinner, we ran a few errands then ended at the airport observation area. Getting there in perfect weather is tricky. It's always different there than it is everywhere else. So even though it felt really warm and comfortable at home, it was so windy it was almost too cold there. Or sometimes it's comfortable at home, but blazing hot there. It's a guessing game.

Anyway, we took a couple balls and Andrew ran around like a mad man, but AJ stayed close shivering. I found a towel in the car and turned him into a "baby burrito" so we could stay a little longer. It was a good day as far as air activity. Very exciting.

Tomorrow, Marc comes home. I can hardly wait. It will have been 11 days since we've seen him. We don't have much planned for this weekend, which is nice. We'll probably hang out with some friends one evening, church on Sunday,and just spend family time together.

Not an exciting post. Still getting back into the swing of things and dealing with an old computer. Bear with me and have a great night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back Home

This is just a quick post to let you know that we (the boys and me) are back home. We are a little out of whack with the crazy schedule we had been keeping along with the time change. This morning we all slept until almost 9:30am. We had a really nice week visiting Marc's parents. I will post more about it hopefully along with pictures later this weekend. Marc took the laptop with him on his trip and our 'spare' computer doesn't offer much. Now we are just playing catch-up. Catching up laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, sleep, etc... It's to go and it's good to be home.
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