Sunday, July 27, 2008

show me the money!

Yesterday was a busy day but I was too preoccupied with Snot to get a grip and post about it.

Matt, getting over his Snotty handicap, got up at the butt-crack of dawn (4am) and went fishing with our neighbor across the street. Mr. Nelson, said neighbor, who I believe (but very well could be wrong) owns Japan or something gets to go fishing in these fishing tournaments whenever he wants. He does this often and he was gracious? enough to extend the invitation to my husband. I told Matt that there was nothing going on during the day today but he needed to be home by 3pm to help me retrieve all the clothing, toys and furniture that didn’t sell in the consignment sale.

Matt left the house while I was enjoying some REM sleep. The kids and I slept in until 7am sharp and then had a relaxing and productive day. They watched a heck of a bunch of TV and I read my favorite blogs, did an extended work-out, showered, ran 3 loads of laundry (before the washer broke…but that’s another story) and got lunch and dinner ready to go. At 3:30 I called Matt to see what his time schedule was (this was a trick question because he was supposed to be home 30 minutes ago!) He was just getting off of the boat….at the lake…West Point for all y’all wonderin’…which is 60 minutes away from the house. I immediately wrote his name on the chalk board and added a check mark just because.

After washing the chalk dust off my hands I woke the kids up from their slumber (nap) and forced them into the car to accompany me to the consignment sale to pick up my leftover garbage. I left them to munch on PB and honey sandwiches in a corner while I hoarded up my loot. To my amazement, it appears that a bunch of the crap sold. I’m actually excited to see how much money I made at the sale…and a little worried that I just may have to declare it on my taxes next year. Yeah, y’all….I’m hoping to have sold THAT much stuff.

Back home…I got the kids ready for bed…clean up, snack, pjs, teeth brushed--umm, oops, 3 bed time stories…all the while Matt fixed the washer which decided to stop working mid-cycle and pre-drain. Secretly I was hoping he wouldn’t be able to fix it because I would love one of those new age styles you see on all the GE and Home Depot commercials. But no such luck…since I married a Genius….he had it going in a matter of minutes.

And that, plus the enticing and tantalizing movie, “One Missed Call” check it out here: pretty much sums up our Saturday.

Saturday, July 26, 2008



Please note: In this post Kleenex and facial tissue will be used interchangeably since Matt no longer works for GP and Kimberly Clark is no longer the enemy.

We are all recovering from the same cold. The cold was pretty mellow. Just a sore throat on day 1 and day 2 and then it went away. No coughing, no watery eyes, no miserable nights due to Matt’s LOUD snoring because he can’t breathe. But this one does seem to have a silent annoyance. There is an endless supply of snot.

I can’t stand snot in my nose but even worse I can’t stand snot in my kids’ nose. Much to the kids’ displeasure I am constantly wiping their nose with Kleenex, using a bulb syringe to suction out a portion of the endless stream or, I must admit, using my fake nails to get those really stubborn boogers out. This requires a lot of facial tissue and now there is facial tissue all over the house.

Much to Matt’s displeasure, my mom taught me not to waste a good Kleenex, not until it’s been used over and over and pretty much disintegrates. So I blow my nose and carefully set it down (so as not to get germs on anything else of course.) I always intend to reuse it later, however, I don’t always remember where I left the old Kleenex. Instead, I usually just grab another….every 3 minutes or so. Lauren has also embraced Grammy’s wisdom on Kleenex and so literally there is Kleenex everywhere.

And poor Matt who’s own mom didn’t teach him the finer things in tissue etiquette stomps and grumbles around the house disposing of our perfectly decent hardly used Kleenex.

Friday, July 25, 2008

rants and raves and a little from our day

let's start off with RANTS, two of them.

ONE: Earlier, while listening to a commercial during my Dr. Laura radio show, I heard a commercial for life insurance. It said, "Life insurance is like a promise; a promise to your family that if something happens to you then they don't have to worry about how to pay the bills....[blah blah blah."] Why do they have to be so P.C?! Why don't they just say "If You Die?" To me, "something happening" to me is getting stung by a bee or getting a flat tire in the double stroller. Not something!

TWO: And what's up with Nancy Grace. Why am I addicted, as of late, to her glam/drama/dare-I-say-smut? (as in the invading fungus!)

and now for the RAVES, three:

we got this in the mail yesterday and Matt custom installed it today. (comment him for details re: the custom install.) I haven't used it yet but I Love It! I knew this when I took the picture.

TWO: Google Reader. It's been around for awhile but I've just fallen head over heals. I can subscribe to my favorite blogs and Google Reader will tell me when they've been updated and will display the new posts to me. I'm sure it does a heck of a lot more but I just discovered it and am still trying to figure it between loads of laundry and vaccuuming sessions and other stay at home Mom activities. E-mail me or comment me and I'll let you know my Favorite blogs...which are so good you don't know what you're missing.

and THREE: Consignment Sales. I just dropped off Lauren and Tyler's winter clothes along with outgrown toys and furniture to the Kids Stuff and More consignment sale . By consigning, I got to shop early. And boy did I shop. I spent a little over $100 but I got most of the kids winter clothes and also a majority of their Christmas presents too.

Here's a pic of half of the loot. Keep in mind I also have a Ton of clothing draped on a chair just out of shot. The shopping was a complete success. Now lets just hope that other people find as much success In the clothes and other items which I'm trying to sell. They have their chance's a one day sale.

And now for a little from our day:

It was Friday and that means Playgroup day. It was my turn to host and I intended to turn it into a swim party at the neighborhood pool but the weather just didn't cooperate. It was 90 degrees, overcast, thick and overwhelmingly humid. For those with allergies, it was not a day to be outdoors. So we bypassed the pool and the kids had a blast running around the house. The kids ran lap after lap through our track which consists of the kitchen, living room, entry way, play room, narrow hallway w/ the basement door and back into the kitchen. The kids play so well together now that Claudine, Nicole and I have plenty of time chat and learn more about each other.

After playgroup, the kids had lunch and then went down for a nap. When Matt got home we took all our consignment loot and set them up at the sale. Later, I went to shop during the special hour alloted to us consigners, while Matt got the kids ready for bed.

And to bring us up to the current time....Matt is snoring in bed since he is going fishing with Mr. Nelson (neighbor from across the street) at 4am tomorrow morning. And I am watching the latest TIVO'd episode of Swingtown while posting this blog.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

monkey see, monkey do

Tyler has started to talk A LOT more. Most of it is repeating his sister and whatever happens to fly out of her mouth.

Typical Conversations

Lauren: I want to brush my teeth first.
Tyler: No, I want to brush my teeth first.
(said in perfect "parrot" to where he sounds exactly like Lauren.)

Lauren: Where's my lipstick, I need some lipstick? (it's acutally berry flavored lip gloss)
Tyler: No, I need lipstick.
(he proceeds to put some on after Lauren finishes decorating her lips and lower face)

Lauren: I want to wear a dress today.
Tyler: I want to wear a dress today.
Mommy: you can't where a dress Tyler, boys don't [typically] where dresses.
Tyler: (very loud crying and a tantrum tummy flop.)

So this is life as of late...monkey see, monkey do/say/desire/neeeeeeed/etc.

And as for other exciting family adventures...
Wednesday, the kids and I went shopping for ME! I wanted to buy some lightweight dresses for our trip next week to Florida. Something that won't become drenched and cling to me in the 90 degree wet-washcloth-humid-intensely miserable-Orlando heat. I went to Ross, thinking TJ Maxx was located there instead and sorted through the junk to try on about 8 dresses. This was done in a 4 ft. by 4 ft. stall with the 2 kids crammed in there too. I tried on the dresses as fast as I between games of "I'm going to bop your tushy" which are fun if I'm the one bopping the tushy (I wasn't) and if we are alone in the privacy of our own home (we weren't, there were 3 other people trying on clothes at the same time.) Sadly, only 1 dress was acceptable...lots of wasted time. From there we went next door to Kohl's and I decided to just buy workout clothes instead. These were made to absorb sweat right? The one good thing I can say about Kohls is that they have good workout clothes and at great prices. (Plus I don't need to try on workout clothes...I can pretty much eye-ball it.) After that long shopping trip, the kids were finished and we went home for a much needed nap.

That night Matt, again, went out to dinner with co-workers so we, again, had Dana (and the kiddos) over for dinner. I made "Pasta with Olives, Garlic, and Herbs" along with a "Greek Cherry Tomato Salad" both from my Cook's Illustrated Magazine. I love this magazine. The secret ingredient of the pasta was a puree (well actually a finely minced mixture of) garlic, anchovy!!, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. This pasta was so good. I wouldn't let Dana look at the ingredients until she ate it because she ain't no fish girl but she said she did like it...although she declined any leftovers...hmmmm. =) We all ate (even the kids!) at least one serving of it and the tomato salad (definitely worth commenting me for the recipe!!)

Today, Thursday, it was pretty much the usual. Volunteer, grocery store, community group.

Matt was in Valdosta, GA for work today. He told me his office went from 50 employees when he was hired to 10 he is doing a lot more travelling to pick up the slack. I'm just thankful they realize/(recognize?!) that he is such a valuable employee and well worth hanging on to.

For dinner I made a "Caprese BLT" from Cook's Country Magazine.
Cook's Illustrated sends me countless e-mails and mail offers encouraging me to subscribe to/buy an endless amount of products. Their latest marketing ploy was to send me this Cook's Country Magazine. If you talk to them THANK THEM. It's awesome as was this Caprese BLT. I didn't have any basil, however, so I used some sun-dried tomato pesto that I had in the fridge in it's place. It was good and even the kids ate their sandwiches...well Lauren ate her sandwich and Tyler picked it apart and only ate the bacon.

Instead of our normal community group, we went to check out the progress of the new church. Yes, we are building a new church due to some amazing growth. I was in awe of the new building but also a little be honest. The building is huge, with lots of room for everything we need, very functional and very economical. BUT, when I think of a church I think of steeples, stained glass windows and lots of unnecessary bells and whistles. This has none, but it has everything to encourage the average person to attend and not feel overwhelmed. Which is the driving force behind Crossroads.

And that leads us to tonight. Matt is updating Quicken and I'm trying to FINALLY finish this post while watching Nancy Grace and the sad stories she's reporting/(generating drama) on.

Night Y'All

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bugaboo Creek

On Tuesday evenings Bugaboo Creek lets the kids eat free. Since a BBQ dinner party fell through this week I was left without a weeknight meal. So, of course, we had to eat out. The kids enjoyed posing in front of the big moose stationed outside the restaurant. Inside the restaurant, I ate way too much as did everyone and it wasn't even that good but at least we had a few dollars knocked off the bill because "kids eat free." According to Matt we still paid "way too much." Oh well....we'll be eating home cooked meals for the next 5 days.

Our meal yesterday was absolutely delicious. I made Enchiladas Verdes from my Cooks Illustrated magazine. The verde sauce was made from scratch from poblano chilis and tomatillos. I'd post a link to the recipe but apparently Cooks Illustrated requires a paid internet subscription in order to give one access to the internet recipes. So if you are truly interested (and according to the number of comments I get.......nunya are...but anyway....) I'll send you a hard copy of the recipe. Along with the enchiladas, I made Mili's aji salsa and garlic rice. I still haven't mastered the aji salsa so next time will either add seasoning to the salsa or will cook my rice in chicken broth to give more flavor. I will conquer it though...mark my words.

Since Buddy was out of town and Matt was out to dinner with one of his bosses; Dana enjoyed dinner with us. She raved about the meal which made me feel great. Hey... it doesn't take much people.

My back had been bothering me all day long. I'm not sure why it gets sore but it seems to happen every 4 months or so. It's pretty much a grin and bear it recovery since nothing else seems to work. Nothing seemed to work last night and I was in so much pain that when Matt got home from his working dinner I gave him a hug and walked out the door. I went immediately to Dana's house to relax and watch a movie. (of course I told Matt what I was doing beforehand...c'mon peeps) She had rented The Eye. Which was right up our alley of cheesy scary movies. This one starred Jessica Alba and so was a plus since most of our cheesy scary movies star celebrities no one has heard of.

To help my back, Dana told me to alternate Motrin and Tylenol every 3 hours. I'm happy to say it seems to help. Of course, we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Matt is now telling me it's time to go to bed. Since Big Brother is over I suppose I'll agree with him. g'night y'all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

pools and projects

It's been almost a whole week since I've posted last!! I can't believe how fast time is going these days.

Let's see...this week was full of pools and projects. On Friday we had our playdate at Miss Claudine's new house...which is equipped with a built in salt water pool. My kids were more excited to play with the toys inside so I got to enjoy some pool time without having to stay within arms reach of the kiddos.

On Saturday, Buddy and Dana made us dinner in return for watching their dog Belle last week while they were on vacation. Buddy smoked ribs and Dana made confetti corn salad, bread and a green salad. While the meat was smoking the kids (and Daddy for awhile) played in our blow up pool.

Matt was so tired from doing his projects (this weekend's was to pressure wash the back of the house) that he couldn't even put on his bathing suit.

I have to say the back of the house looks so much better with all the mold and dirt washed off of it.

Sunday, Matt finished up his pressure washing project and I nursed a sore back. I'm not sure what I did but once again it's really bothering me. Hopefully it will clear up soon because I need to get everything ready for the consignment sale this Saturday. I'm hoping to get rid of a lot of the baby clothes and baby items we have hanging around the house.

And here's the week in pictures....

Tyler and Lauren playing in their dump trucks.

Tyler right after he fell out of his dump truck.

Lauren made a "Picnic Salad" from her cookbook for dinner on Sunday.

And the finished product.

I'm off to lay down to nurse my back while the kids are napping. TTFN.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

pool day

Last night Lauren had her first sleepover. As posted earlier, Tera spent the night. It was pretty successful except that Tera woke up crying around midnight but quickly went back to sleep while I rubbed her back and first this this morning, 6:30am to be exact, I had 2 little blond girls climb into my bed and actually kick me out.

Lauren woke up a bit under the weather with some tummy touble but after an hour she was running around as healthy as can be.

When Tera's Dad came to get her, we decided to take the kids to the neighborhood pool. We ended up spending all day at the pool. My kids even took a little nap on a pool side chair.

It was a fun day and luckily I'm the only one who ended up getting burned. In addition to Tyler and Tera; Lea and Bethany (friends from the neighborhood) along with their parents, also joined us.

We got home with enough time to get our baths in just before Matt got home from work. He's fighting a sore throat so I'm sure that's putting a crimp in his day.

For dinner I made a bay scallop stir fry which I thought was delicious but Matt thought was a bit "saucy." Maybe tomorrow I'll start taking pictures of my meals again. This one did appear picture worthy but I just didn't think of it. I was too excited to eat outside on our new patio table. It was really a beautful evening.,

Here's the recipe for the Bay Scallop Stir-fry:
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
1 red bell pepper (ribs, seeds removed, thinly sliced)
2 bunches of scallions, white and green parts separated
2 carrots, halved lengthwise or quartered if large and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 pound bay scallops, patted dry

Pepare rice whichever way you like.
Whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set sauce aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high. Add bell pepper , scallion whites, carrots and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are crisp-tender, 4 to 5 mins.
Add scallops and scallion greens, cook, stirring occasionally, until scallops are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk sauce briefly, and add to skillet; cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
Serve scallop stir-fry over rice.

Big Brother 10 is on so gotta go....

Monday, July 14, 2008

time flies by

I'm not sure if time goes faster on the east coast but the past 3 days have just flown by. Here's a quick recap:

We got home Saturday afternoon and had nothing in the fridge so we went out to dinner with the Hancocks and the Corbitts. We ate at la Parrilla and I had the enchilada dish which was delicious. I washed it down with a couple of margaritas. It was a fun evening and I was happy to go out to eat since I didn't feel like being creative to find something to make with an empty fridge and pantry.

Sunday, Matt mowed Ms. Maria's lawn and I made up the weekly menu and grocery list. Matt dropped me off at the grocery store and he and the kids went to Home Depot to pick up a couple of attic fans since ours had rusted up thanks to this muggy climate.

Back home I hurried to put the groceries away and then it was off to Lea's 3rd birthday party. She is Frederick and Maria's daughter and lives 2 houses down from us. It was a fun birthday party with snacks, pasta salad, pizza and homemade sangria. There was also the obligatory birthday cake and ice-cream. Lea's parents went all out and even made up t-shirts for all the guests. Lauren and Tyler have pretty much lived in theirs since they got them. They wore them to bed and then each insisted on wearing them today.

Here are picture from a few minutes ago of them playing in the sandbox with their t-shirts. Later tonight Matt is hosting the Monday night poker game and we are going to have Lauren's friend Tera (Mike's daughter) spend the night since Mike needs me to watch her early in the morning. This will be Lauren's first slumber party and she's really looking forward to it.

Well the kids are starting to act up and Matt is off mowing Mike W's lawn for some poker money so I better stop ignoring them and find something for them to do.

it was pretty cool in retrospect...

The plane ride home was a little exciting so I thought I'd share. We got to the bustling Boise airport about 50 min. before our plane was to leave. We forgot our stroller at G'ma & G'pa's house so although G'ma Jan drove us there we had to wake G'pa Michael back up to bring it to us. They only live 10 min. from the airport so not too big of a deal. We got to the gate just in time to start boarding. (perfect timing if you ask me.)

The kids sat with Daddy on one side of the plane and I sat comfortably across the aisle. The kids enjoyed the take off and were doing great....although Tyler decided to go #2 not long after take off. Sorry to the other nearby passengers if you're reading this. After we reached our cruising altitude there was an announcement over the loud speaker saying there was an emergency on board and is there a Dr. on the plane. Hmmm. Alarming looks all around until we found the emergency. A girl about 4 rows behind me had passed out and seemed to be in some sort of diabetic shock (my own unprofessional assessment.) 4 flight attendents were surrounding her and giving her oxygen and a Dr. on board was taking her blood pressure and trying to revive her. After awhile and a glass of OJ she seemed to recover so the flight carried on as usual. About an hour and a half later I noticed that the girl was again surrounded by flight attendents and I saw her eyes rolling to the back of her head. Yikes. This time I could feel the plane slowly start to descend so I figured we were going to land and she was going to go to the hospital. After a min. later my thoughts were confirmed when the pilot came on and said we were going to make an emergency landing. A flight attendent came on next saying that this was going to be a rapid descent so stow all your carry ons, buckle your seat belts and hang on tight to those lap babies. I was a little surprised because I could feel the descent and it didn't feel like any descent out of the ordinary. Until...all of a sudden it felt like the plane just dove straight down. It was fast, very bumpy, and I couldn't even keep my feet on the floor. I'm not sure if it was due to the quick change in altitude or a panic attack but all of a sudden I felt very hot and that I couldn't breath. I put my head between my legs as well as I could since I only had about 3 inches between me and the seat in front of me. Finally, after what seemed like a long time being in a dive position we came to a safe landing at the Omaha, Nebraska airport. 4 med evac personnel came on and escorted the girl off the plane. She was able to walk off herself so I'm pretty sure she'll be fine.

This was my first emergency landing and now that I'm safe at home (although it caused about an hour delay) it seems kind of cool in retrospect.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the rest of vacation IN A NUTSHELL

it's been so long since I've posted that I think I'll just stick with the day by day picture-descriptions:
We went back to the Enchanted Forest for more fun. Lauren got brave and went down the slide by herself...quite a few times. Afterwards, we headed back over to Uncle Kevin and Aunt Mili's house for another delicious Peruvian dinner.
Back to the park at the bottom of Skinner's Butte. This time we brought Matt and we brought along a picnic lunch. The kids had fun playing in water and the sand there. We brought swimsuits this time. Here's a pic of Tyler swinging at the park.
The next day we packed up and caught a flight to Idaho. Grammy went with us for her first trip to the Potato State. Our first stop was at MeMa and Papa's house in Garden Valley.
Cousins Hailey and Cassiday
Tyler playing with cousin Madison

MeMa and Papa reading bedtime stories

Family picture in front yard of the Worley's "cabin"

Next stop: Boise, Idaho. Here we are with cousin Katlin at Grandma Jan and Grandpa Michael's house. (Aunt Carol is in the background.)

playing in the "swimming pool?" in G'ma Jan and G'pa Michaels courtyard

paddle boats at the park in downtown Boise.

Boise Nature Center

BBQ and pool time at cousin Madison's house.

Matt, Christine and Grammy

Big Boy Tyler on the plane ride home.

Sleepy boy Tyler on the plane ride home.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

lotsa pictures, notamany words

We made it to the Portland airport! (l-r Lauren, Mommy Christine, Tyler, Aunt Mili)

Pizza Party in Junction City, OR. In attendance, (my) Uncle Butchy, Aunt Charlotte, Cousins Kelly & Kyle, cousin David and brother Brian, Mom - Gloria and Grandpa Barley (the kids's great grandpa)

Here is a pic of the kids and I with Uncle Brian. Lauren was quite aware the picture was being taken and chose to offer her profile to the camera.

Enchanted Forrest
"there was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile he had a crooked... ... ..." anyway - this was his house we visited.

Alice in Wonderland roller coaster. Such fun!!

down the roller coaster with Uncle Brian and Aunt Mili

back home at Uncle Kevin's and Aunt Mili's house. Uncle Kevin is winning the kids' affection.
We came back to their house for dinner and to spend time with Uncle Kevin after he finished working. The kids are really enjoying their Uncles (Brian & Kevin) and Aunt Mili and Grammy.

we took it easy today

Matt flew into town. Brad, Uncle Brian and I picked him up at the airport.

family get together at GG's house (Grandma Great.) We had fun visiting with all the cousins and uncles. It was pretty hot so we had fun in the bird bath and later in the mini swimming pool.

Isabella, Lauren and Tyler play in the bird bath.
fun in the mini pool

Barley family get together in Halsey, OR. Another fun fun day. Food inside, trucks and ball games outside and a pool and horse shoe tournament for the adults.

Tyler plays ball.

Uncle Kevin broke a Barley family record by winning both the pool tournament and also the horseshoe tournament. Here he is posing with his trophies.

Matt and I went wine tasting near Portland with Kevin and Mili while the kids went with Grammy to GG's house. Cousins Isabella and Conner (and mom ShaLee) came over to play too.

Here the kids are having a snack at GGs house.
Today Matt helped Brad at work. Our good friend ventured out on his own and is the proud owner of Brad's Car Tunes. Check him out here to get all of car audio and video needs met.

While Matt worked the day away the kids, Grammy and I went to a pretty cool park. It had lots of toys, sand and even water. That's a dangerous combination (sand & water) but luckily the kids stayed fairly clean.

playing in the sand

playing in the water

After the park we went to the 5th Street Public Market to eat lunch and also to visit the Elephant's Trunk toy store. Grammy bought each of the kids Thomas trains. Percy for Tyler and Molly for Lauren. As I type the kids are playing with these trains. I'm going to have to sign off now to get them settled into bed.

Have a good evening y'all.