Thursday, December 31, 2009

books, books, 52 books

I know you all have been sitting on the edge of your chairs wondering how I did on my goal of reading one book a week for the year. I DID IT. On the nose. I read 52 books and then decided not to read one more this year. I am burnt out. (((Amended. I finished a book today called The Swiss Courier. It was pretty good. Ben was watching basketball so I had to start another book even though I thought I was done for the year. It was historical fiction from the WWII. I was reminded how much I like historical fiction. May need to add that to my list for 2010.)))

What I realized is that there are only a couple of really good authors. Then there a lot of authors who must just write to make money, and some authors that should never have picked up a pencil.

The favorite for the year was Charles Martin. I love his writing and am anxiously awaiting his next book to come out in June, 2010. I was also surprised to find I liked DreamHunter and DreamQuake by Elizabeth Knox. Those were suggested from a blog that Stephanie Meyer's keeps, author of the Twilight series.

I also really enjoyed Last Lecture and books by Cecelia Ahern and O, My Stars by Lorna Landvik. I found I do not like Ted Dekker, though there he does have a following,and I was really disappointed in Vanity Fair.

I still have a stack of books to read, though none of them are really screaming to me to read them. They may be put away for awhile.

Next year I plan to have a reading goal again but am changing it up a bit. I would like to read a few more classics, Christian books, ones on specific areas of the Bible and Jesus' life, and maybe some history books. I would like to stray from what I normally read and try some other genres. Not actually sure how I will put guidelines on my goal but I need to work on it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good Husband Good Daddy

Last night when Ben got home from Salem, where he put in a hard day at work he piled us into the van and drove back to Salem. Why? So we could see some snow. Salem had snow. Stayton did not. We had a few flakes and I mean a few. We had nothing to really even get a smile on for. The area where Ben worked got a decent (well decent for Salem) amount so we drove there and touched it, I barely took my eyes from the window as we drove around town. I knew it would be gone. I love the snow. So I am thankful I have a husband that is willing to drive around just so I can see me some snow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Makes me grumpy

I wanted to post the picture I talked about below for Kim. So I tried to download it but there was some problem with 4 pictures and they were deleted by my computer! I cannot find them anywhere. I am so upset because the picture of the kids Christmas morning was SO good. I was so happy about it. Now I am grumpy. Even after seeing some snow fall. Still grumpy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas week recap

Christmas is over. The Christmas tree is now outside ready to be chopped up and thrown in the yard debris can. The decorations are in the process of being packed away for another 11 months. It was a really great week with the kids and family. One of my highlights was just getting a picture of my two kids in their Christmas jammies, under the tree, Christmas morning. Usually Alicia runs away when a camera emerges but she was in such a good mood having her Nana and Grandpa (my parents) here that she let me. Best of all- -she smiled.

Now one more week off of school before New Years. I am not a big New Years person. I could care less about this holiday. It does force me to stop and think a bit about the last year and what I want out of 2010 though. I wish I had some great ideas for it but at this point I have nothing for you.

Anyways, back to Christmas. The kids got some great things and seem very happy with their gifts. One of the most used gifts so far is the nerf dart guns I got Ben and Ethan. We have had some great family fights the last couple of days. It has been a lot of fun. And while the kids are sleeping Ben is playing on Ethan's Nintendo DS. So that too seems to be a popular gift. :)I have a couple of games I want to play on their DS' as well, so I may be "borrowing" it too.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

As I run around my house this morning trying to finish food, for tonight and tomorrow, cleaning, wrapping gifts, etc., I thought I should take a break to wish you a

And if you are reading this Becky I am praying for your mom right now! God will have his hand on her surgery.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let the Fun Begin!

So the kids had their Christmas party today. What fun. I got to be there for part of the morning. Roths came in and made a gingerbread house and then the kids got to decorate gingerbread men. We did crafts and ate treats. In a few minutes some friends are coming over for a few hours. They haven't played with these two girls much lately so it will be great fun for my two. I will then take them home and come back to clean out our van for the next part of our evening. For when Ben gets home we will pick up Papa and Grammy and head to pizza before we find a Starbucks for our mochas, and hot chocolates we annually take to the Keizer Lights. What a fun day this will be. And I know as I look towards the next 2 weeks making cookies with the kids, doing crafts, staying up later, watching Christmas movies, the kids convincing daddy to take them swimming, opening up presents, eating yummy goodies, etc., that the fun is just beginning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Lazy lazy jane."

This morning my sister-in-law mentioned it had been a few days since my last post. Then as I was getting my mail I got to thinking of a post.

There is a stack of cards sitting on my counter. They will be sent tomorrow. If you have not gotten a Christmas card yet, hold tight. They are coming. I have not forgotten you. I am not purposely forgetting you.

I am lazy.

The cards I have sent are ones that their addresses were in my computer. The ones that will be sent tomorrow morning are the ones that I actually had to go find my address book or look up. I know "LAZY."

On another note, I am almost all done with Christmas presents!!! I just need a few stocking stuffers for my dad. That's it. I love not having to worry about it next week. Next week I plan to spend time with my kids making Christmasy things and drinking hot cocoa. No shopping.

How is your shopping going? O, and do you have ideas for stocking stuffers for my dad?

Friday, December 11, 2009

This is what I want. . .

Doesn't mean we'll get it though





Snow. And when I say "snow" or think the word "snow" I actually am hearing the word sang like it is in White Christmas. I love that old movie.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kids say the Darndest Things

Once a child can read I think you should give children the words to Christmas songs. Then maybe when a family is lying in bed talking about the nativity story they just watched on DVD at Grammy and Papa's house. And when the dad starts to sing "We Three Kings" and the daughter joins she won't sing:

"We three Kings of Oregon are."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wii remote skins

So I am on the hunt for cheap skins for our wii remotes and nunchucks. I have seen some states have had wii skins at the dollar store so have any of you seen them in Oregon for a buck? I found a store online called DecalGirl.com that has SOOOOOOOOOOO many nice looking ones and shipping is really good but I would like to see if I can find them cheaper first.

Anyone know anything?

AND I WON the $25.00 to amazon gift card! YIPPEE

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

*****Help me win $25.00****

Today in sunshinerewards.com's forum they are having a contest. I got an item that was a good deal into the contest now people have to vote for their favorite. the most votes wins a $25.00 gift card to amazon.com!

If you are a member of sunshine already all you have to do is join the forum and then go here: http://www.sunshinerewardsforum.com/showthread.php?t=35051 and vote for the Disney Pink MP3 player! I would love to win me some more cash for Christmas!

Thanks guys
Dee

UPDATED: 8:35 AM- I am 1 vote ahead right now! 25 minutes to go.

Dreams

There is something I have wanted for about 3 years. We have discussed buying this "want" but it is expensive. I know if we bought it we would look back and know we enjoyed it and be happy BUT buying it puts other dreams on hold. We decided awhile ago that we would have to say no to this "want." I am okay with that. But I am not sure my subconscious understands. This morning I woke up from a dream where some friends of ours had bought said "want." I was so excited because it is something I can borrow or rent from them. In my dream, I felt it was a better fit for this family anyway. :)
Maybe I haven't really let go of this "want" yet.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I DID IT




First time ever finishing a whole month of blogging every, single, solitary day. I will not try this again until next year. It was tough. :)

monday blues

A normal 2 day weekend can really do some damage to my house. So you can imagine what a 5 day weekend can do. I really want to move all my Christmas boxes from the garage to the living room and start going through them but I know I can't until my house is clean. But where to start? Laundry, dishes, cleaning sheets and making beds?

I also need to start emailing people for their mailing addresses. Bluck.
So if you read this please email me your mailing address! I want to send you a card I had made for free.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Date Night

Last night the cousins invited Alicia and Ethan for a slumber party. You know what that means? Ben and I went on a date! We went to Claim Jumpers and then to see The Christmas Carol in 3D. It was so nice to have some alone time and not worry about how many hours we were out and adding up how much our babysitter would be getting.

THANK YOU LEVI AND DONNA!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas can begin

Ben got all my boxes out of the garage attic today. So happy. I can start going through them and remembering what I bought last year that will be new this year! I am hoping we can get our tree tomorrow, though that may be optimistic.

I love this time of year.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy

My Daddy turns 60 today. I am able to celebrate with him which makes this day even better.

Happy Birthday Dad!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"thankful"

I can truthfully say I am thankful. They are not just words one says on a day like today they are words I think about almost every day. Ben and I have had a great year. Things have gone really well in most areas of our lives. As friends and family have struggled, and I mean hard struggles and struggles that should never have to happen, we are reminded how blessed we have been. We have talked about it a lot the last few months. So today I am thankful that Ben has a good job with a great boss. That I can stay at home and be there for our 2 HEALTHY kids. That we belong in a growing church and have great loyal friends. That I love and trust my husband. And that I live in America where people have fought hard so they can live free. Free to serve a loving God.

Thank you God.

James 1:17 (King James Version)
17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Psalm 9:1 (New King James Version)
1 I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart;
I will tell of all Your marvelous works.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

POST 300

I have posted 300 times.
300 times I have posted.
This all started on January 21, 2008.
Almost 2 years ago.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

rearranging

Every few months I sit in my living room and I get this feeling. It is accompanied with the lack of being able to breathe deep happy breaths. I look around and I see that our living room is not as clean and organized as I like it. Things have found homes where they don't belong. Toys are left out, legos have rolled away and are now hidden, things fall behind couches. I don't like it. So then I move all the furniture. Yep, every few months I rearrange. I can't help it. Last night Ben took Alicia on a date and was gone for the evening. I took advantage and rearranged. I am getting geared up for Christmas and made room for a tree. I look around my room today and I can breathe. At this moment every thing has a place. There are NO hidden objects. Every thing is vacuumed and clean. And the very small control freak in me is happy again.

AND I am ready for a Christmas tree.
Maybe on Sunday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Soap


My favorite soap is discontinued. I thought of it this morning as I was smelling the new scent I am adjusting to, well it has been MONTHS. We now use Dove nectarine and white ginger. It's fine. I like the smell BUT it is not my favorites soap. The soap I took with me to the hospital when I had Ethan. The soap that makes things seem better in the shower. Dove Calming Night. It is a blue bar and comes in a dark blue box and it was perfect. I bought a few bars and then when I found out it was discontinued and I could not find anymore I saved the very last box. Once in awhile I go and smell it. :) I am not sure when I will finally break it out and actually use it but for now I can smell it.

PS I found it on amazon.com just now and paid $20.00 for 8 bars. It is that good. I figure I can put it in my stocking to make me feel better about the price.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

pinch me!


They announced that LOST begins February 2!

There will be a one hour recap followed by a 2 hour season premiere.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is the month over yet

I don't want to complain. really I don't. But this posting every day thing is wearing me out! I want a chance at free stuff but I am not sure it is worth this.

So I leave you with a picture I took on Thursday. I was sitting in my chair looked outside and saw a bird on our neighbors roof. A bird I would not ever expect to sit for hours on a roof. Usually you see them in swamps. I enjoyed watching it walk around the roof and finally settled on their chimney. It was there for quite awhile but did disappear before the kids came home from school. Pretty bird. Just for me.
My camera's zoom is broken and I couldn't very close to the bird so zooming in makes a pretty grainy picture. SORRY

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon

Last night I was up very late. Yep, I went to the midnight showing of New Moon here in town. It was sold out so I was glad I bought my ticket ages ago. I am also glad I was by myself because when I got there at 15 after 11 it was already PACKED. Not alot of places to sit and being solo allowed me to find a spot. I enjoyed watching the how they made Twilight as we waited and waited. New Moon was good. I am glad I went to a midnight showing even if I am 32 years old! But I am not sure I would go again. These people are die hard fans. So they cheer and cat call throughout the movie. They laugh at parts that I think are mildly funny. I found myself smiling at the way teenage girls act, and knowing I am way past that.

I thought this movie was better then Twilight but I had found Twilight the movie to be cheesy compared to the book. I thought this movie lost a little of the cheese. I enjoyed the movie and know all you Twilight series fans will too.

Free pictures

Yes, I used the code from freebies4mom yesterday. Have my free 50 cards being sent to me. I had just really wanted to use my kodak code as well. Not sure what I will do with 50 cards, but they were free.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

UPDATE

So Alicia came home from school today in a great mood. She asked if she redid the pictures if she could be ungrounded from Webkinz. I said sure. So they went out and let me take some pictures. Sadly Ethan wasn't too in to it ths time but I made one work and ordered some cards! I really needed to do cards this year as I made the cutest stamps from a WDW picture we got in January. I am now excited to get these cards and send them off to everyone.

Lost temper

I tried to take pictures of my kids yesterday in their Christmas garb. They got all pretty, while grumbling, and I took them outside. But I did not get 1 picture. They were not in the mood to be accommodating. Alicia is now grounded from Webkinz for a week and I am in a bad mood. I really wanted to use my kodak code to get my free Christmas cards but Alicia hates her picture to be taken. I don't know what to do to get a few pictures out of her. I lost my temper. It isn't too soon after I loose it that I realize I loose a lot more then my temper when I let in to my ugly feelings. My daughter gets very hurt and looses a little bit of her respect of me.

This week in my Bible study we were reminded how we need to be in prayer over our day. If I had really been listening I would have been praying before those pictures. I knew they were going to be hard to get. I knew it wasn't going to be fun. So why didn't I take it to the Lord before? Hopefully I learned something from yesterday. I am sure I will be tested again. Hopefully next time I will react with grace.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tv in our house continued

These are my top favorite shows. Notice they are my top favorite. Some of those I watch by myself. Ben has a different top list.

1. LOST
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. The Biggest Loser
4. NCIS
5. Bones
6. So You Think You Can Dance

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tv in our house

This is what is saved on our DVR right now. Most have 5 saved of each.

Man vs Wild, mostly reruns
Survivorman, also reruns!! When will they do some new ones
Mythbusters
The Prisoner, 2 parts of the 3 part series
Dirty Jobs
Magic School Bus
Numbers
The Colbert Report

So now you have an idea of what this household watches. My kids love these shows. They are our go to's when we need something our whole house can watch toegther. Well, of course not all of the above are family friendly but you know what I meant.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dandelion Wine makes me whine

I finally finished Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury. I was excited when I started this book months ago as I had read some high opinions of this book. Ray Bradbury is a well know sci-fi writer but this is one of his few that isn't. As I started reading I was thinking if I was an English teacher I would have my students read a few chapters of this book. Learn how to use words to describe things. He writes things like, "The golden tide, the essence of this fine fair month ran, then gushed from the spout below, to be crocked, skimmed of ferment, and bottled in clean ketchup shakers, then ranked in sparkling rows in cellar gloom." I loved the way he uses words but I felt that the book was missing a real plot. Descriptive writing should invoke some kind of emotion from a reader. All I felt was a dread to pick the book up and read one more chapter. Dandelion Wine covered a normal summer for a couple brothers in a small town. It jumped from one event in their lives to the next. Nothing very climatic happened. We didn't learn anything, except maybe that all things come to an end and I never felt a real connection to the boys or the town. But I did read some pretty words.
I am so happy to finally have finished it. To cross it off my list. I hope I never see this book again.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dreams

Things I hope I get to experience before I die.

1) Ride in a hot airballoon
2) Visit Italy and Greece
3) Take dancing lessons
4) Go on an African Safari with Alicia
5) Learn to surf
6) Make a real marshmallow
7) Swim with dolphins
8) Go to the Olympics, don't care where

Saturday, November 14, 2009

feeling nostaligic

Ben and I went to Whistler, Canada for our Honeymoon and then for our 5 year anniversary. So many beautiful places to hike, stroll, take jet boat rides, eat.
We had the best plum sauce with chicken strips in the square. We even went back another night to have them again. We dream of that sauce.
I loved the place we stayed for our honeymoon, pictured here. But then everything was magical about that trip.Both times we went in August. I would love to go back to Whistler in the winter. Maybe someday.


These are not my pictures. I took them from the web. 9 years ago I did not have a digital camera.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Praying with kids

In the morning it is always a race to get the kids bathed, fed, clothed, and with all the right things in the right bags. I like to leave a bit early and once we get to school we sit in the van and we pray. I started this last year and this year I have noticed a few things. They are exciting things to a mommy. One, the length of my prayers have gotten longer. They don't fidget or move around as much as they used to and so I can pray longer. And two they will not let me forget that I need to pray before we leave the van. I love it.
I have also noticed that this has become a good time for them to talk with me. It's only a few minutes but they seem to be very open this time of the morning. Yesterday we got to talking about cave men and dinosaurs. I immediately thought she meant cave men like apes but Alicia said of course we didn't come from apes. She just meant that men lived in caves before they built houses. :) Too funny. It was a good lead in to praying about seeking out truths and not listening to the lies the world can try to sell us.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FREEZING FOOD

I have gotten away from making double meals and freezing them. But I want to start having things in my freezer again, for when I really really don't want to cook. I am also trying something new! Lately we have been having a hard time knowing what to have for breakfasts. Partly because I didn't want to go over our grocery budget so we had minimal options. So yesterday, when I went grocery shopping, I made sure for the next 3 or so weeks we have lots of options. I bought some things and am planning on freezing some breads and muffins but yesterday I froze breakfast burritos! I made some for the kids and some for me- corn tortillas. I am excited that I will have an option that is fast for me. I mean the kids have all kinds of options but being gluten free really kills breakfast ideas. Now I have 6 corn tortillas filled with eggs, cheese, hashbrowns, and cheese rolled up and put away in the freezer JUST FOR ME. So yummy. The kids have the same fillings in flour tortillas.

I am also planning on freezing more gluten free foods. I find myself eating bad for me goodies if I don't have a fast gf option. So I am going to make some gluten free breads and muffins and also freeze those. I froze a few gf brownies yesterday as well.

What is your favorite thing to freeze?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ungrateful

I have so many things to be thankful for. I mean really 2009 has been a very kind year. Thank you Lord, as I know enough to know He has given me, well, everything. BUT I have a few things I am not grateful for and feel the need to tell you all. (Mostly as I need something to write about.)

1. DOGS. . .I hate them. I am so sorry if you have a dog that is just like a child to you, but I detest them. The ones that bark all night. The ones that sneak in from our neighbors yard to "go" in our yard, The ones that bark at me in grocery parking lots as I walk by scaring me to death. The one that bit me when I was a child. ALL OF THEM

2. Eating Gluten Free. I also Hate this. Everything that tastes good has gluten. And then I really dislike when I decide it is worth it to eat a cookie or sandwich and I keep eating gluten for DAYS, as gluten is an addiction, and then I feel my body fall apart. Not fun.

Well, I think that is it. Not bad really. Only two things I am ungrateful for.

I am thinking twice about posting this. I know I will get hate mail from PETA, and my sister in law will disown me. But we should always tell the truth, right?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"padding"

I was watching Brothers and Sisters where Kitty was recalling pulling shoulder pads out of a jacket and putting them into her bra. Her date hugged her and they popped out and went flying. It reminded me of a very embarrassing moment I had in high school. I am far enough past it that I think I can share it with you all. :)

For my first prom I went with a boy I didn't care for much. One of my closest friends convinced me to be nice to this guy that liked me and so I said "yes." And then regretted it, well, until this day. ANYWAY, I was even more flat chested then I am today and so I added some "padding." I used the ones you are supposed to use but somehow while we were at our restaurant one slipped out and fell down my leg. I could feel it falling out and making its way down my body but there wasn't much I could do. I discretely picked it up and went to the bathroom. I took the other one out and threw them both away. I still don't know if anyone ever saw but I would like to think not.

I hadn't thought of that moment in years. I don't think I shared it with very many people even then. So consider yourself lucky, or not.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Deep thoughts

I remember in high school and into college, my mom and I would shop at this store called Hirons. (love that store by the way.) It's a pharmacy that sells really cool gifts and has a mass amount of greeting cards. There were cards by Jack Handey who writes Deep Thoughts. I find this man hilarious. It may say something about me that I find him so funny, and not something all that good.

Here are two of my favorite ones:

****"If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is, "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, "Probably because of something you did."

****One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going
to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh no," I said, "Disneyland burned down."
He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but decided to go home instead.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Anniversary dreaming

Ben and I have been dreaming about what we will do for our 10 year anniversary next August. We most likely won't end up doing anything because we have an extended family tripped planned for Yellowstone in June BUT we are still dreaming. And I think hoping a bit that we can pull it off. (Maybe it will have to be our 15th) We have thought about Mexico and Hawaii, kids or no kids, August or January. I was thinking about letting you guys in on the dreaming. Where should Ben and I go? Do you have places you love or somewhere you would love to go? You can dream small or big.

P.S. Ben likes beaches with shade and he also likes castles. I like beaches.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Basketball Season

Last Saturday was the last day of soccer for my two, today was the first day of basketball for Ethan. I think we have now hit the age of busyness. Last year Ethan would not shoot a basket. 1 year later he won't stop shooting and actually made a basket today! It is amazing how a 4 year old plays versus a 5 year old. He is more aware of his body, surroundings, coach.


Are your kids playing sports?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Olive Kitteridge


This book has been om my "list" for A LONG time. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009, and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award, so I knew it was a must read. I finally got it from paperbackswap.com a few days ago and was excited to start it.

This book has 13 chapters that all connect somehow to Olive Kitteridge. Olive is married to a well liked man who seems to never really confide in his wife and left the child rearing to her. Each chapter is more or less 13 short stories and the stories wander through many years, going backwards and forwards in time, set in a small town in New England. But almost every story has an older couple that has had an affair at some point in their lives. Some physical some emotional but all impacting their married lives. I found it all rather depressing. I found myself actually leave the story as I was reading and wonder about the author. I do believe Elizabeth Stout is a very gifted writer but I don't think she would like to hear I left her story to contemplate how someone could view marriage the way she does. Also if she wasn't writing about marriages that were shallow she was having her characters brood on suicide or murder. A book, a town, an author definitely missing Jesus.

In one of the chapters, Olive bursts into tears when she meets an anorexic young woman. “I don’t know who you are,” she confesses, “but young lady, you’re breaking my heart.” “I’m starving, too,” Olive tells her. “Why do you think I eat every doughnut in sight?” “You’re not starving,” the girl replies, looking at this large woman, with her thick wrists and hands, her “big lap.”
“Sure I am,” Olive says. “We all are.”

This is what I felt this book was trying to say. We all are starving for something. Attention, love, admiration. Olive feels everything is unfair and everyone is lonely. What a sad way to see life. There was no hope in this book, no real love. In fact the author does a great job of criticizing Christians (and Republicans).

I am not sure I recommend this book but I did think it was very well written. I am sure at least one of my readers has read this book. What did you think of the book. Am I missing something?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

P.S.

I am so done writing about swagbucks. I know those of you not doing swags could care less and I don't want to loose the few readers I have. BUT I did feel a bit responsible to those of you asking how to get more points.

So tomorrow I plan on writing about books, especially one I am about to finish later today. (It gave me weird feelings and almost made me angry) Because I know YOU ALL love to read about books. :)

After writing all this I wonder why I even have one reader left. I would not want to read about what I write about either.

More swagbucks help

I know I have already posted this, or a very similar post, a few months back, but I have had some of you ask how to get more points at swagbucks.com

**First for those not doing swagbucks this is a search engine ran site. I used to go to msn.com to search. Now I go to swagbucks and I can earn points occasionally just for my normal searches. This is really all this site does. It is not surveys, offers, etc. It is a search engine. So I make points, and then turn those in for amazon codes, doing something I normally do anyway.
**Second, you should not do any more searches on swagbucks then you would normally on any other search engine. You will not get more points for more searches. Usually I can get a swagbuck in the morning, one in the afternoon and sometimes one in the evening.
**Next, and I think an important part of earning points, I also check slickdeals.com for codes. I go to this page and click the last page to be current. These people are great at catching and posting codes that swagbucks has put on twitter, facebook, their toolbar, etc.. Swagbucks puts codes out on popular areas to draw people to them and advertise. If you want me to I can email you the codes as I find them. Let me know if this is something you would like and make sure I have your email address. Sometimes the codes are good for a few hours sometimes they are out for a few minutes.
**Referrals are a good way to get some points as well. Every point that a referral makes, up to 100 points, you also get. You don't get their code points just there searching points. I have 5 referrals right now. If you can even get 1 or 2 people to sign up under you and they make 2 points a day you can add 4 points to your account every day.

So there you have it. And more questions?

As incentive I have now made $50.00 in amazon codes since I joined mid-August. I am saving the money for a present for Ben. :) That way he can't see what I am spending. :) Total surprise.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

catch up

I am catching up on pictures that have been living on my card for the last month.

This picture is one of my all time favorites this year. Ethan and one of his very good friends that he has grown up with, 5 years together. Plus it shows the missing teeth without his cheesy smiles. Then there is Alicia with one of her classmates on this very same field trip. They are such different children. She will never ever give me a smile, unless I happen to catch her off guard.

For Halloween I had a disco dancer and a storm trooper. They were great costumes for dark nights. Alicia's outfit really sparkled and Ethan's was a nice white. We had a really nice day with soccer games, naps, carving of pumpkins--there first time, trick or treating and lots of family throughout the day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Christmas reading

I like to read Christmas themed books at Christmas. I really like a good Christmas mystery. Last year I read an Agatha Christie Christmas mystery. This year I am lost? I have read quite a few Christmas themed mystery's over the past 5 years and so now I am having a hard time finding something new. Do you guys have suggestions for a good holiday themed book to read this year? I like mystery's but I like them to be more mystery then scary. I used to read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark (college days) but I think now she may be too much for me.

I need help for you all, those that post regularly and those that lurk and have never posted on my site before, to come up with your favorite holiday read. I NEED some help.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaBloPoMo

So how many of you are doing the November challenge put out by NaBloPoMo? I know some of the blogs I visit usually do.

I love this month in blogger world. Those of you that post infrequently let me catch up on your lives for one month. Last year I made it almost the whole month before I forgot a day. O, well. There is always this year.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Soccer Season

Today was the kids last soccer game of the season. I was very pleased with the way both my kids played this year. I wasn't sure how Alicia would do, as she hated soccer a few years ago as a preschooler and she wasn't the best at basketball, but she was fairly good! It was so fun to be able to cheer for her and hear other parents talk about her on the sidelines. I was so proud of her. AND then today Ethan made 3 goals. Depending on who you ask some say 4. :) He also has really enjoyed soccer this year. So I end the season one proud momma and so glad they both liked soccer and had a good time while playing.


I would add pictures but my cameras zoom has stopped and pictures of the kids far off in the distance just don't cut it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

***********Wonderful hubby***********

Most of you have picked up on, or have recently read about, my love for caramel apples from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Well, my hubby actually picked up on it as well! He went to Portland yesterday (FOR WORK) and on the way home he stopped off and bought me 2 apples! What a guy. I ate one last night and will have the other tonight! WONDERFUL, my hubby and the apples

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UPDATE

I finished book 41 for the year today, and got to wondering where I am in my goal of one book a week in 2009. 41 books may sound good but I need to read 11 more books and there only 9 more weeks. I need to pick up the pace. Thankfully I do have about 4 books half read but they have not held my attention. But I will try to finish those up and that may help. We'll see, but at least I will know that I came close.

Tonight is Family Fun Night at our church. Ethan has been asking almost every day how many days until tonight. They get to wear costumes and do fun games.

Which reminds me of another bad mommy moment. Alicia wanted to be a TIGER for Halloween. She LOVES animals. So I told her I would get some orange clothes and we would put black tape on for stripes. I would order a tail and some ears. So I did all that. Or so I thought. On Friday the ears and tail came. Except I am not an animal person and didn't think much about ordering a LION set.

So a male lion mane came and well, lions are not orange with stripes. To top it off on Sunday I checked the status of the clothes I had ordered and found I never ordered them. So Alicia's outfit pretty much fell apart.

So we went to Shopko Sunday night and they were thoroughly picked over. We were about to leave and decided to check one more time and found a disco girl dress. She loves it and I think she will pull off a hippie retro girl well.

So that is all the random thoughts I can think of right now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Moon, the movie


So New Moon comes out next month. I wasn't too much of a fan of the first movie. I really enjoyed the books, but felt like the movie was missing something. That said I am looking forward to this movie. I felt like Stephanie Meyer's series just got better as she wrote more. I am a Jacob fan. Sorry Edward followers. So I am excited to see what this movie does with that story line.

The small theater here in town is showing the movie at midnight the first night it is out. I am contemplating going and seeing my first midninght showing of a movie. But I would be going alone and I still have to get up in the morning to take kids to school and be in Ethan's classroom that morning as well. So I can't decide. I know I can definitely wait to see it, it's more the feeling like I am getting old and should be able to do some fun, crazy things like I did in college. :) It shouldn't be such an ordeal to decide if I am going to a movie.

What do you guys think? When, if at all, are you going to see this movie?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

need some Help

So as I have been thinking about and getting ready for Christmas I have been going through rooms and closets getting rid of things. I guess for me it would be called fall cleaning. (I never have the energy in the spring to spring clean. But I do in the fall.) ANYWAY, I was looking at the present Ben gave me last year. I really wanted it. Was so excited to open it but it never worked. Ben got me a very nice blender but he got it at Linens and Things before they went out of business. We were never able to return it and when I called the company that made it they needed a receipt. Ben tossed the receipt knowing all sales were final at Linens and Things. OOPS.

ANYWAY, I would love to find someone who is good at fixing things to take a look at it. It does turn on but just doesn't blend. Do you guys know someone who could fix my blender? I could pay about $20.00 but not much more then that. I am desperate! We still have our old one but it is WEAK.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

something about me

Yesterday I went shopping with my mom. Every Columbus Day she comes up and we go shopping. Some years we have had kids, the last few we have not. I look forward to it. I rarely go shopping where I can actually try clothes on and I save my money up so I can actually buy things. But I was actually most excited about buying a caramel apple! I love Rocky Mountain Chocolate's apples. YUMMY. I bought 2! Last night when Ben was at basketball and the kids were in bed I ate one. Tonight I plan to eat the other one. I love the sourness from the apple with the sweet of caramel and chocolate.

So now you know something new about me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

79 days until Christmas

I love Christmas. There are so many good things about Christmas. Jesus came to earth to be our Savior. That alone is a wonderful thing. It's such a great truth to be able to read with your kids. And our reason to celebrate Christmas. It is the popular saying, "Jesus is the reason for the season" But Christmas has also become a family season for us. We try to spend extra special time with the kids. Do extra special things. It isn't about presents but family. Traditions. Fun. Family.

This year I am doing 3 presents for each family member. (and 1 family gift) It really takes the emphasis off presents and onto the season. This is actually a tad hard for me. I love to buy presents. I love seeing there faces when they open something they will love. But three presents gives us another way to get back to the story of Jesus' birth. The wise men brought baby Jesus three gifts, well at least listed, so they will be fine with 3 themselves.

I am actually done buying for Alicia! I have been saving money and amazon gift cards and as good sales came out over the last 2 months I have bought and put things away. I was so thrilled when I ordered her last present a few days ago. So nice to know I will not be rushing around in December. I will be making cookies with the kids, decorating ornaments, going and looking at lights. Ben will take them on dates, we may go to the zoo lights, the list goes on and on. No stress in my house this year. Just some good ol fun.

What fun things do you do as a family at your house. I would love to try some new creative things this season.

Monday, October 5, 2009

meal planning

I used to meal plan. Until summer started. I like to have things planned out and this includes dinner. It helps me save money and it helps me from becoming lazy and wanting to go out. One of my friends asked me about meal planning today. I gave her my few hints and then told her I would get back to it and make up a schedule today or tomorrow and give it to her to get an idea of what mine look like.

But when I go to make the schedule I NEVER, no matter that I created one last month, NEVER know what to make. :) I get stuck in a rut. Tonight I decided to use some mashed potatoes up and have made shepherds pie for the first time for dinner tonight! Hope it turns out, as I pretty much did not follow directions so I could make it gluten-free and use what I have in the house. BUT. . .I need more new recipes. Otherwise I do the same things, tacos, lasagna, chicken pot pie, steak, pork chops, tamale pie, etc. I want some new fun recipes! For example I know next week I am going to make some orange chicken. That will be new for us. We usually only buy that at a restaurant.

Do you girls meal plan? Do you have a fun recipe you are willing to share post here on my blog?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not much of interest going on around the Wilson house lately. Alicia and Ethan have started soccer, school has been going for awhile now, Awana started back up for another year, and small groups are back and running. This doesn't leave much time for anything too exciting.

I am starting to plan a little bit more for our June Yellowstone trip. Ben and I have decided that after a week with my family in Yellowstone/Cody Wyoming we are going to say goodbye to them and head south for about another week. I would really like to add on another few days to that and go see Mt Rushmore but the reality is that Ben does have to work, and this is probably all we can do. And truthfully it is probably enough time for the kids to be on a road trip. We are going to go to a place called Thermopolis and then head to Salt Lake City. Not so much for the city but Alicia wants to see a salt lake. I am starting to get real excited about this trip. It will be so much fun to be with my family (parents and sister's family) for a week. Have the cousins play together and get to know each other. But then it will be nice to head out just the four of us and have family time. I love to plan trips. To look at forums and see where we should stop for food, where we should stay, what is a must see. So much fun.

The kids are home today and tomorrow. They just got done eating watermelon and now I have, I mean get, to play some UNO with them. :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

wii on sale

So today there is a wii on sale at dell.com. The price of wii's has come down to $199.99 but toay they have it on sale for $179.99 with 3-5 day shipping! Great price if you have decided to get one for your household. If you would like to get the item sooner, you can use code 232F46?QB982DR to get free 2nd business day shipping.

Our family enjoys our wii. I am glad we finally decided to get it.

Swagbucks tutorial

I know I have already posted this, or a very similar post, a few months back, but I have had some of you ask how to get more points at swagbucks.com

**First for those not doing swagbucks this is a search engine ran site. I used to go to msn.com to search. Now I go to swagbucks and I can earn points occasionally just for my normal searches. This is really all this site does. It is not surveys, offers, etc. It is a search engine. So I make points, and then turn those in for amazon codes, doing something I normally do anyway.
**Second, you should not do any more searches on swagbucks then you would normally on any other search engine. You will not get more points for more searches. Usually I can get a swagbuck in the morning, one in the afternoon and sometimes one in the evening.
**Next, and I think an important part of earning points, I also check slickdeals.com for codes. I go to this page and click the last page to be current. These people are great at catching and posting codes that swagbucks has put on twitter, facebook, their toolbar, etc.. Swagbucks puts codes out on popular areas to draw people to them and advertise. If you want me to I can email you the codes as I find them. Let me know if this is something you would like and make sure I have your email address. Sometimes the codes are good for a few hours sometimes they are out for a few minutes.
**Referrals are a good way to get some points as well. Every point that a referral makes, up to 100 points, you also get. You don't get their code points just there searching points. I have 5 referrals right now. If you can even get 1 or 2 people to sign up under you and they make 2 points a day you can add 4 points to your account every day.

So there you have it. And more questions?

As incentive I have now made $50.00 in amazon codes since I joined mid-August. I am saving the money for a present for Ben. :) That way he can't see what I am spending. :) Total surprise.

Monday, September 21, 2009

update

So the car was found in Salem. It was completely on empty. EMPTY. They took most of the stuff in the car, leaving Ben's baseball mitt and golf shoes though. They did No real damage to the car BUT they sprayed the inside and outside with who knows what. It was so no finger prints could be taken from the police. I guess the policeman that found the car said he could try to get a print but it was unlikely it would work on the spray and it would leave a real mess on top of the spray. So it has to be cleaned. They also kept the keys so it has to be rekeyed. Just a pain in the rear. Tomorrow it will go to the Acura dealership to start all that. So Ben gets to keep the rental a few more days it looks like. Ben is not sorry about that. He sprung to upgrade from our rental policy on our insurance and pay OOP $2.00 a day and got a brand new Ford 150. He loves it. LOVES IT LOVES IT LOVES IT.

This is the truck minus the running board. BEAUTIFUL

He loves that truck so much we drove it to Salem Saturday to get some soccer shinguards for Ethan. We then found our way to the Oktoberfest. On Sunday we drove to Tillamook for some cheese and icecream and then went to Oceanside for some ocean time. It was a really nice weekend. Enterprise may be a bit surprised to see the mileage when they get that truck back.

Now we have to start looking to replace all Ben's golf clubs, sunglasses, and electric shaver. But really the most important are those golf clubs. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I have been feeling incredibly tired lately, have had some headaches the last few days, and our internet has been flaky lately so I am not really in the mood to give much of an update, but the car was found and we went to the Oktoberfest today.

Think I may go to bed early tonight. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

A confession

Any of you watch "Fringe?"

Ben and I watched it last season together but this season he doesn't want to. I think it is a just too strange to him. I love it though. I love the idea of weird things happening and weird science figuring things out. I am not sure if it is the math loving part of me that likes to think science and math can do some neat things, things we can't even fathom. Or if it may be that Joshua Jackson is a main character. I have always liked his work and he is really good in Fringe.

What are your thoughts on this show?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

no news

I know some of you are wondering about the missing car. It is still missing. I am not sure if it is somewhere in pieces or if someone is driving around in a new-to-them car, but it is gone.

Amazingly, Ben and I are taking it fairly well. (Ben even better then I am) It is only a car. We were insured. I actually feel no ill will towards the thief. I know some family members are not very happy with them. But truthfully I think all of us have sinned, all of us have done something that has hurt someone. I can only take hold of my actions and feelings and make sure they stay Bible based and Truth filled. Besides, it is only a car. It is a pain in the rear to get everything right with insurance and police reports, and of course these things always cost money, but I can deal with it.

So now we wait until tomorrow when we can look into getting a rental. Then in a few weeks if the car hasn't showed yet we will look at replacing it. In the mean time, Ben's gracious boss has loaned us one of his cars.

We are blessed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

off to a bad start

So today is Monday and our week has started off poorly.

Ben's little Acura was stolen. So I am at home calling insurance companies, waiting for police calls. I had wanted to actually spend this morning running errands but Ben has the van so things aren't going along as planned. Why couldn't they take the VAN! It is older, not nearly as fancy and was empty. Ben's car is NICE and has all his sporting equipment in the trunk. Darn thieves!


WWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

(And yes, Ben moved it off the street when you girls went home. It was in the driveway.)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Monster Cookie Recipe, GLUTEN FREE

This is for my "girls!"

I made some cookies for a special girl day today. They were a hit, always a good thing. I told them I would share the recipe and figured this was just as good a place as any to share.

blend together:
1 lb butter (a box)
3 lb peanut butter (6 3/4 cups)
2 lb brown sugar
4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 dozen eggs

add:
8 tsp baking soda
18 cups rolled oats
16 oz bag of m&ms
1 cup coconut
1 cup raisins
1 12 oz bag chocoalte chips
1/2 cup molasses
cinnamon (optional)----Ben and I both do not do well with cinnamon so I leave it out.
1 tsp allspice (optional)

Cook for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Technically I think all the yummys above can be optional but why would you leave them out!

I always half my recipe but this is my mother-in-law's recipe and she makes the whole recipe. She is great and makes this for Fathers Day and gives all her boys a big bunch of these.

I like this recipe because it is flourless. I can gluten free oats and this recipe is so yummy I don't feel like I am giving anything up by eating gluten free. That is what it is all about! But it can be spendy to get all the ingredients.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

new series

I just finished a two book series by Elizabeth Knox. I found this author because I actually went to Stephanie Meyer's website hoping to hear more on her vampire series. She had written some on her blog about who she was reading and liked. I thought I would give these books a try. I am glad I did. They were so different from anything I have ever read. They are scyfy, which I am not a big fan of. But these books were so creative. Dreamhunter is the first book but technically I think these two books should have been put in one book. You cannot read them separately as they are the same story, just book one is the beginning and just as it hits the climax she finishes in book 2, Dreamquake.

It is about a group of people who can go into "The Place" and catch dreams and bring them back to everyone else. The underlying story is that "The Place" seems to be made for a certain family and the reader is trying to figure out why and how. It is quite the journey.

I am not good at writing reviews but I think you should give this series a go. I had to give them 5 stars as shelfari won't let me put 4.5. They are not my favorite books but they are so original and creative that I loved reading something different. I liked not knowing where she was going and then at the end realizing she had left many hints along the way.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So my kids are back to school!

I love it. Ethan is in school until 11:30 so I actually have time this year to head into Salem before picking him up. Which is what I did today. I had two fluoride prescriptions to refill so I took those to RiteAid for the $25.00 gift cards you could get for transferring a prescription. Then I went to LifeSource and bought a few gluten free items. Then I went to pick up my prescriptions. The pharmacist said it would take half an hour. An hour and 20 minutes after dropping them off I finally walked out of the store with my fluoride and 2 $25.00 gift cards! Took forever but I figure $50 bucks is worth it.

And the the other thing I did today was a bad mommy moment! Most of the time when I get Alicia(They walk the classes down to meet us at the parking lot) I leave Ethan in the van with the door open. They go to a small school and so he is perfectly safe there. This year he has been going with me. So I got Alicia and started to walk away. I was about 30 feet from the school when it hit me that I did not have Ethan, at that same time I heard him screaming mommy and running after me. Thankfully the car that waited for Alicia and I to cross the parking lot also waited while Ethan chased after me! Gave me a heart attack. He was very hurt and I felt like a total loser mom, as everyone there saw my poor mommy moment.

So the kids are back to school.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I was looking for some sales today on items we are looking for, Labor day Sales. There was only one thing that was on sale for a great price, but it isn't on our buy list until next spring. A highly rated GPS. The Garmin Nuvi 265T is on sale today at Dell for $150 and there is a 10% off coupon, QQ?CBW1T326X4L, making it $135.00. So if you are looking for a GPS for Christmas this would be a great one. I have checked around and this was rated as a tie for #1. But we don't want to spend the money until next spring, before our Yellowstone trip.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Eating Out

I am always looking around online for new gluten free recipes, hints, restuarants, blogs, etc.. Today I stumbled on a blog that reviews places to eat in Portland! WOOHOO! Glutenfreeportlandoregon.org It has got me excited again about the thought of going out to eat. I have pretty much decided I will just be ordering drinks from now on at any restaurant. Even ordering salads has got me feeling sick. This is disheartening for a girl who loves to go out and loves food. However, I need to get more serious about taking care of this temple God gave me. But maybe once in awhile I will be able to stop by a real gluten free restuarant or bakery like New Cascadia Traditional. This place looks so good and they ONLY make gluten free baked goods. No chance of cross contamination.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

one-on-one time

So last weekend was hunting camp for the Wilson clan, the males at least. Ben took Ethan last year and Ethan talked about it all year long. So even though Ben is not a hunter he takes his son and they have s great weekend together. This leaves Alicia alone with me for a weekend. It is a great bonding time. We went to the Enchanted Forest, watched movies, ate junk, did our toenails, made real lemonade for the first time, went to McDonald's for an American Girl toy, went to Grammy's and played card games with the aunts and kids left behind. It was a nice weekend. I look forward to this time alone every year with my little girl. I am trying to figure out what we can do next year that will be special. She has definitely outgrown the Enchanted Forest.
So this picture is of Ethan last year. And the next one is this years picture. He has just woken up at 2:40 in the morning and is in the van ready to head out on his adventure. He loves the waking up in the middle of the night almost as much as the entire weekend of fun. I love taking a picture at the same time and place every year. It is so fun to see how they change and grow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Wish List

I have been trying to figure out what I want to get each family member for Christmas. This year I am doing 3 presents and three only. So I want to get perfect presents for each child and for my hubby. But as I look for them I have been eyeing things I want. I have been wanting a kindle for awhile now. The price has lowered but not low enough. I have told Ben when it gets about $100 lower I would love that.


But there is something even more expensive then the kindle that I would love to have. A Nikon D40! We are heading to Yellowstone next summer and I would love to take some great shots while there. My camera is fine but the zoom stopped working and I would like to get some animal shots without having to ride one of them. O, well. :)

Do you guys have things that are just out of your price range that you have been eyeing?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wii remote on sale

At Dell today they have Wii remotes for $28.00, usually found from $35-$40. The kids have only had 2 player games until this Christmas when they will get Mario Kart so I need another remote! Happy to find this price!

Also there is a lego code floating around $5 off of $20. bsv29. I am waiting for a better deal because the set I need is $90.00 and the code just covers shipping. But I know some of you moms of boys are always looking at legos. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

desperate

So I must be desperate for summer not to be over. This week has been full of fun things, making it feel like I am trying to fit it all in before the kids go back to school. The kids had friends over Tuesday and Wednesday and we had friends over for dinner one night. Today we went with friends to Salem's riverfront park. Plus I made peach jam Wednesday and tomorrow Alicia and I plan to go to Enchanted Forest. Where did my summer go!


And while I am at it I should just admit something. I only did one month of summer school. :) I knew if I planned things out I would do great. So before school was out I made lesson plans. Well, I made lesson plans for 4 weeks. :) I figured I would just work on the next 8 weeks in June. NOPE. There just wasn't time and I just didn't want to spend summer making lesson plans. So this next school year I am going to work preparaing for next summer. I will have 9 months to work on it and it should really help me. I plan on doing the same thing as this summer. The 7 continents. There are plenty of countries to study and it was fun for the kids. But I will be buying what I need now and putting it away, I will be writing out what I want to teach each day and I will be looking for books that go along with each weeks lessons. That way when the time comes I can go to the library ready!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

About time . . . camping on the Southern Oregon beach

So we left Friday morning, a couple weeks ago now, and meandered down to a cabin I reserved at a State campground back in April. First, we stopped and got ourselves a Jamba Juice!!! I had found buy one get one free coupons and Alicia was all over that. This was a HUGE treat for the family. The last time we went there was when Ben was working extra hours at H&R. Yep that long ago. I am a full fledged Jamba Juice lover now though! I could have one every day and it is a good thing we do not live close to one.
Anyway, along the way, we stopped for lunch, rest stops and boat docks to stretch our legs and got there about 2:00 pm. It was a great place. I want to go there every summer. Ben isn't so sure he wants to drive that long drive every summer though. We'll see who wins.
The kids loved the ride because we rented some Nancy Drew books on CDs, from the library, and they run about 3 hours long. We listened to one the way there and one on the way home. Made for fast traveling.

The cabin was great. This cabin had a double bed and bunk beds. It worked very nicely for us. And for $35.00 a night it was GREAT! We could see the ocean from our fire pit and there was a little forest for the kids to climb trees right beside our spot.
Sadly the picture is supposed to show the ocean but it just shows a lighter area. Just IMAGINE you can see the beautiful blue ocean through the trees.

We went to the light house a mile away, checked out a fish hatchery, played on the beach, and just enjoyed ourselves. Here are some random pictures. The first is Cape Blanco Lighthouse. Rich with history. The others just the "kids" goofing off on the beach.





It now feels like summer is officially over. Our last summer family plan is done and I am ready to send the kids back to school.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Updated Aaagggain

I got tired of the darkness of my blog. And now that I know how to change my backgrounds I feel I may do this A LOT. Sorry guys. :)

random coupons

Here are some coupons I have stumbled upon the last few days. Sometimes I share sometimes I forget or think you don't care but then I get reprimanded so here I go.

smithfield.com
$3.00 off when you buy 1 bacon. go to the site and "sign up" after you sign up they will let you print 2 coupons. Safeway has the bacon for 3.00 this week so FREE
NOTE: Safeway official internet printable policy allows only up to 50% off an item price - your cashier may or may not read and compare the price and can refuse this coupon. It will help if you only use one at a time and it is part of a larger order.

lunchboxbuilder.com
allows you to print some coupons for uncrustables, goldfish and motts applesauce

at coupons.com they have the pepperidge farms cookies coupon for $1.00 off. At safeway this week they are $2.00 so you can get them for a buck.

I will add more today as I find them, so keep checking back.


*********************************************
Went to safeway this morning and got a few things with my coupons. I did really good but when I got home I realized the cashier lady did not take off the coupon for the free bacon, though she did use the safeway doubling coupon for it!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRR. So I did not get $3.00 off but I did get .50 cents off.

I will have to go back and try with my other coupon and get real free bacon.

I will also go get more uncrustables. I know I can make pb&j sandwiches but Ethan LOVES uncrustables and when I find them for $2.50 plus use a $1.00 off and double it I feel like I can almost justify buying them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garlic Jim's gluten free

I have many posts I could write. We have been camping and then spent another night at a beach house in the last week. This makes for some fun times and good posts but I am going to write a post screaming from the roof tops that I had pizza! I had heard there was a gluten free franchise called Garlic Jim's in the US. I just assumed it wasn't in Oregon. But. . . Salem has one! So on the way home from the beach Wednesday we stopped by and ordered a pizza. It was a bit pricey but I would pay anything, and I mean anything, to have myself a tasty pizza. It was goooood. I have been craving a pizza for months now so maybe that was it. I could eat there every night. I am bummed it is in Salem and not closer. :)

They also make regular pizza's, but for the price I would just go somewhere else.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Charles Martin is my favorite, so very good


I have read many many books over the years. I started to read ferociously as a child. I remember as a child thinking if I could be forgotten and locked away in a bookstore that would be the greatest thing in the world. My grandmother would give me gift certificates to book stores for presents. I was the kind of kid that loved that. So it makes sense that over the years I have read many different authors in many different genres. Sometimes I go through spurts where I read everything a particular author has written sometimes I read a lot in a certain genre before switching to another. I have favorites that have stood over time. But today I finished a book that has jumped one of my favorite authors to my all time favorite. It isn't that this book was better then his others but it is more that this book is as good as his others. He is consistent. Each book is different from the others. Most authors write and after awhile those books all sound the same. Martin's books are rare. They are special. Charles Martin is the best author I have read to date. I know reading is personal, we all have different reasons we read, styles we like, reasons we choose to read what we do. But I think you all should run out and read everything he has written. I love his books. I love his writing style.

I just finished Chasing Fireflies. By page 39 I was crying. He has that kind of control on his writing. In 39 pages he had me connected to his characters and able to feel with them.

He has also written, When Crickets Cry, The Dead Don't Dance, Maggie, Wrapped in Rain, and Where the River Ends.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Camping

When I think of summer I always have a fleeting thought of camping. It is not what I want to do all summer but I have to go at least once. As a child, camping was the "roughing" it way. But, as an adult, I do not want to rough it. But my kids want to the experience, so we compromise. In about a week we are heading to a state campground and staying in a small cabin, last year it was a yurt. It still has communal bathrooms, fire pits, sleeping bags, but I get a roof that will not leak and a mattress!!!

Anyway I am trying to think of some good recipes that I can do most of the prep at home and then cook fast onsite. I am leaning towards kabobs and potato foil packets for one dinner and then hotdogs and potato salad for another dinner. But I would love some other ideas. What do you do for camping dinners? I want easy, easy to prepare and easy to clean up. I have checked websites but I want the foods my friends and family make that have been tried and are make agains.

Do you have any other camping family secrets?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Laundry all day

So we bought our Washer/Dryer set about 4 years ago. Yesterday we had a repair man look at our dryer and he said it would cost about $450 for parts, not including the labor! He suggested we buy a new dryer. I could have cried. We bought an expensive set at the time hoping it would last longer then this! We even bought the pedestals so they sit higher and we have that storage. Last night, while the kids were at VBS, we went to Salem. The bad news was that there would be NO dryer that would fit that pedestal! NONE. And then the other bad news are dryers are not cheap! I cannot get over the fact that we had to make a large purchase that we had not planned on. I am not in a good mood.

The delivery guy asked if I was excited about a new dryer. I had to say no. And now I get to catch up on all the laundry that I haven't done.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brownies


I was missing me some brownies. Really missing them. I had gone to the local grocery stores looking for the new Betty Crocker gluten free products they added to their line this summer. Of course I have read reviews of people eating them on the East Coast but not in this area, yet. I have put in a request at my local Roths but I am sure it will be awhile before I see it there. So to pass the time I ordered it off of amazon.com. You have to buy 6 boxes at a time but I knew I would actually eat the 6 boxes at some point.

I finally got around to baking the brownies Saturday night.

They are not the brownies I am used to. . . but I think if I made them you would not know they were gluten free. They are more fudgy then regular brownies and don't have that crust on brownies I kind of like. But they are close enough and I am glad to find a gluten free product that is easy to make! The mix is more expensive then a normal gluten loaded mix so I actually put pieces of my brownie into ziplock baggies and into the freezer and am not sharing them with my family. Then I can take them out as I need a chocolate brownie fix. Or take them with me if I am going somewhere that may not have gluten free desserts.

I am now waiting to try Betty Crocker cake and cookie mixes when they hit a shelf near me. YUMMMMMMM

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Forever"

So by now most of you have seen the amazing wedding entrance that was posted on youtube and then hit the morning show and then onto evening news. I know I have watched a few times myself. I love it. But it isn't only the feelings you get from watching the couple having fun with their friends and making a great memory but I love the song. And I got to thinking about youtube. One video gets posted, is watched MILLIONS of times and that one song is heard those MILLIONS of times. I hope that Chris Brown is selling a boat load of his song, "Forever". I know I am thinking of adding it to my ring tones. And I would love to add it to my itunes, if I had an ipod :)

The Internet is an amazing thing. It has helped me find my newest favorite song.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

29 weeks

Nope, not pregnant. :)

I started the year off with a goal to read one book a week, making 52 books read by the end of the year. I also began that journey commenting on my blog about the books I was reading. This soon ceased as I was getting comments that my dear readers would like less information on books. (I have some non reader friends and family.)

But I got to thinking about where I am with my goal. So I looked at a calendar and figured I needed to have read about 29 books today, it is more accurately 28 books and then most of a 29th book. I then went and counted the books on my bookshelf, here on my blog, of the books I have finished. Guess what?! I have read, get this, 29 books!!! So I am right on. I actually thought I was going to be short a few books. I am doing it!!! I am past the half way point and I am feeling good about getting the goal done. I have a big stack of some interesting books to be read and I have others I want to get to.
How are your reading goals? Any good or interesting books you have read? Any books that you are interested in? I need to read 23 more books so I am still looking for a few good ones.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A New Look

I have been blogging for awhile now. I have watched my friends make themselves beautiful blogs and wonder how in the world they accompished such a feat. This weekend I was out with some girlfriends and they let me in on the secret. (Thanks Kim and Karen.) So this morning I put aside a chunk of time to see if I could actually find myself a template I liked and to see if I could do this without somehow erasing all my posts. But you know what? It only took about 5 minutes to see how easy it was. It took about another 15 for me to actually settle on a background but it is done. And it was easy!

It is a bit addicting though. I think I may change it every season as there are so many to choose from!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Blueberry time


So this morning my daughter convinced me it was time to go picking, blueberry picking that is! Last year we went 3 times, freezing it all. A few weeks ago we used our last ziplock baggie up. We enjoy crepes and smoothies all fall/winter with our horde. It was actually perfect weather for it and the kids are much better this year then last at actually putting blueberries in their containers.

So tonight we eat CREPES.

By the way, for those of you who want to go, there are a few weeks left out at Olsons. Their berries are still pretty green. (And they are $1.00 a pound u-pick.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

SYTYCD or "So You Think You Can Dance"

Summer may mean the ending of a lot of our favorite television shows but it means the beginning of one of my favorite seasons. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. I really don't care for reality shows about dance or singing or skating. They bore me. So I was surprised to really fall in love with SYTYCD a few years ago. Last night was the night where the 12 dancers, down from 20, dance to see who will make the Top 10. I picked two favorites the first night, Evan and Caitlin. To me they seemed to have good stories and I liked their styles of dance. I am afraid though that they both could be going home tonight. I liked their personalities but last night the other contestants showed much more skill. The very last dance of the evening was so good I even rewinded my DVR to see it again, never done that before. It was two thieves about to steal some jewels and was really really well done. I think it was so good because I don't really like the guy, Brandon. I didn't think he was that good. BUT I was WRONG. He is very talented, just doesn't have that personality I can grab onto.

Anyway I am going to be sad to see my favorites go but I don't think they are the best dancers. :( Sadly I don't think many of the guys this season or worthy of staying. The young ladies are much better. (That is a switch from last year when I thought the guys were much stronger.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Amy



Happy Birthday my friend. Wish I could see you more often.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jeff Foxworthy and "Living in Oregon"

THIS IS WHAT JEFF FOXWORTHY HAS TO SAY ABOUT 'LIVING IN OREGON!

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Oregon.

If you've worn shorts, sandals and a parka at the same time, you live in Oregon. Think this could be me.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number, you live in Oregon.

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Oregon. Doesn't everyone do that?

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you live in Oregon. I like this one, probably because I can think of a few people.

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' and back again in the same day, you live in Oregon.

If you install security lights on your house and garage but leave both doors unlocked, you live in Oregon.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Central, Southern or Eastern Oregon.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a 2 layers of clothes or under a raincoat, you live in Oregon.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow and ice, you live in Oregon.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction, you live in Oregon.

If you feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash, you live in Oregon.

If you know more than 10 ways to order coffee, you live in Oregon.

If you know more people who own boats than air conditioners, you live in Oregon.

If you stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the "Walk" signal, you live in Oregon.

If you consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it is not a real mountain, you live in Oregon.

If you can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Dutch Bros, you live in Oregon.

If you know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon, you live in Oregon.

If you consider swimming an indoor sport you live in Oregon.

If you know that Boring is a city and not just a feeling, you live in Oregon.

If you never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho, you live in Oregon.

If you have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain, you live in Oregon.

If you think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists, you live in Oregon.

If you buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time, you live in Oregon. I like that one too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Tuesdays

So Tuesdays are fun days. Alicia has private swim lessons and our town pool is right next to the library and park. Today we went to the library and picked up some movies and books I had reserved, then to the park for about 45 minutes and then to her lesson. After that the city has free lunch for kids under 16 so we walk out the door from lessons and go about 6 feet for the kids free lunch. We sit there in the park with lots of good friends or cousins and then head home. It is a great way to spend Tuesday mornings. This afternoon we plan to finish our paper mache globes! We went grocery shopping earlier this morning and I bought some liquid starch. I really did not want to buy anything for this project but I did not have a good experience making the flour-based glue for the first layer and have heard this will work better. We will see. Cannot be worse then the burnt stuff I made. :)

Now I am trying to think of something for dinner. My nose crinkles at the thought. Some days I like cooking, some days it is more of a chore I like to put off. Like today.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FREE is the word of the day

So a friend let me know about some free paint at Glidden a few days ago, and then I have seen it advertised everywhere but just in case you don't have a friend to tell you or haven't seen it everywhere, like I have, here is the hint for the day.

Glidden is giving away a quart of paint. FREE!! Go to glidden.com and choose your color and they will ship it to you within 3-4 weeks! WOW.

I have been wanting to paint some more rooms. I actually ordered paint to do our bedroom but if I don't care for the color once it comes I may use it for the laundry room. You can only order one per household but I have been heaing people have been using their mothers and sisters to get more paint so they can actually do a whole room.

SO there you go!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer School 2009

So last week we studied Australia and this week we are doing Africa. This week has been cut short a bit with swim lessons and then the zoo yesterday(the zoo has animals from Africa you know!) but we are learning. They at least can show me where the continents are and I am not sure they knew before this summer. And we are also having fun and are less bored. There are so many good books out there about each continent for kids. AND it has worked out nicely to help the kids in their summer reading program they are doing through our library. We also went to the Outback Steakhouse last week and it was really fun for the kids to see the decorations there.
Anyway I thought I would let you all know how it is going. There have been some things I have decided not to do, some are half done, and some I am so looking forward to doing later this summer. The paper mache globe is one of the half done things. After letting the first layer dry I just haven't been in the mood for that kind of mess again. I think I am going to try liquid cornstarch for the next layer and just haven't bought that yet. I will finish before the end of summer. So this is the progression of the "globe." The last picture is where they have sat for the last week. Out of the way of little kids reach.





The last picture is of some projects or work we have done since school has been out. The funny looking thing in the picture is a camel. Though, I guess to you, the koala may be funny looking too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

sad news

The summer I went into college my family got a little calico kitten. She would climb things and walk around on her HUGE back feet so she was named Raptor. She was a really fun kitten. Better then a lot of kittens we had in my childhood. Full of life and fun. Now Ben has a different view of her. He think she is a snob. Raptor became kind of a picky cat as she got older. She always let me pet her but she didn't like big crowds. She was fairly good with the kids, tolerated them as long as possible. Alicia and Ethan loved her!!!!

The last time I was home she looked sick. It was really only a matter of time.

Monday Raptor was put to sleep and buried under the big fir tree in my childhood backyard. It makes me sad. I really only saw her on my summers home from college. But my parents have loved this cat. She was 14 and Danette and I have been gone from home most of that time. She was their baby. I feel for my parents.

Losing a pet is really hard.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So last night I made cookies I can eat. Ths was after Ben's mom gave her boys monster cookies for fathers day. They are one of my favorite cookies and I knew I could not have one. So I started to look around online for a cookie recipe. I found one I thought would work for me.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies.

They were okay. They look like the real thing, giving me hope and they will do in a pinch when eveyrone is eating a yummy cookie and I am not. But they are no real peanut butter cookie. I did forget to add the chocolate chips so maybe that would help.

Eating gluten free is not all that hard but there are things that you miss. cookies, pizza, etc. I need to find a good pizza dough. I would like to find a good bread recipe so I can have a sandwich. But overall not too bad.


Tomorrow we will be in Portland so I may try to stop by Trader Joes. I hear they have a nice selection of gluten free products.

I am going to try a peanut butter brownie in a crockpot recipe soon. I am just looking for the last ingredient, gluten free oats. Stayton doesn't seem to have those. Well, I haven't gone back to our local healthfood store to check but they are almost a joke. They carry very few things.

So maybe I will let you know how that recipe went. Maybe even take a picture. I know how you all like pictures.