Thursday, January 31, 2008

School lunch

Every day after school, or during supper, I ask Gage, "What did you have for lunch?" He almost always replies, "A chef salad and breadstick." I keep quizzing him each day about his lunch. Sometimes I'm confused because I know the hot lunch is something he likes, but he continues to choose the chef salad. Then one day, not too long ago, when I asked him what he had for lunch, he said he had had the hot lunch because they were giving out breadsticks with the hot lunch that day. So then, I started figuring it out. Gage loves the breadsticks they serve with the chef salad. So much, in fact, that he will sacrifice the hot lunch just to have the breadstick. I asked him if he could get a breadstick with each hot lunch and he wasn't sure. He has since said that he can get it only at certain times with the hot lunch. On our walk to school this morning Gage asked me if I could ask his teacher, Mrs. Vetter, if he could get a breadstick with his hot lunches. I went into the school with him to ask. She said she wasn't sure about that, and she would find out for me, but if I wanted to ask the gal in the office, she could probably tell me and I wouldn't have to wait for her answer. I was more than happy to do that. So, I went to the office to ask the secretary. She wasn't sure and asked another gal in the office. They weren't sure, but thought that probably the breadstick only comes with the salad except on select days when it fits into the hot lunch menu. The secretary suggested I go downstairs to the lunch room to ask Lisa, the gal in charge of the cafeteria. SO, I went downstairs to the lunchroom and found Lisa. I asked her about getting Gage a breadstick with the hot lunches. I said that I am completely willing to pay for it. Well, guess what? She didn't know either! She then got on the phone to call someone else to find out if Gage could get a breadstick with the hot lunch. I'm sure you won't be surprised when I tell you that the gal that Lisa called didn't know either!!!!! You've got to be kidding me? I don't think I'm asking for anything too out of the ordinary here. Lisa said the gal she talked to wasn't sure and mentioned something about ala carte, and said that it might be a thing where if Gage gets one, then everyone else will want one too. Well, I'd say if all the other parents are willing to pay a little extra for their child to have a stinking breadstick, then why not? She took down my name and number and said she would call me when she got the answer. I never received a call and I'm not the least bit surprised about it. Geez, you'd think I was asking for the moon! I guess I'm going to just have to figure out what kind of breadsticks these are and send them with Gage myself to eat with his lunch? I know they are really trying to make the school lunches healthier, etc, and they are concerned nowadays with childhood obesity. Gage doesn't have a weight issue at all, and he wants a breadstick with his hot lunch for crying out loud! I guess the salad is probably healthier for him anyway, but sometimes he comes home from school very hungry, despite the snacks of fruits or vegetables I send for him in the afternoon. I guess I'll have to start sending breadsticks. AND, if I can find whole wheat breadsticks, that would be even better. You can even buy whole wheat Zesta crackers now, so I might be able to find some whole wheat breadsticks? If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008





video

I wanted to share these pictures and video with all of you from Gage's music program Monday night, so figured I best get them posted before it's old news!

Another cold day out there. My friend Emily had a funny comment posted on her blog. Her husband Jody came into the house the other day and said, "Nobody's talking about Global warming out there today!" Ha ha! I'm sure that's the truth! They aren't talking about it today either!

Emma and I went to hockey today, despite the freezing cold temperatures. My fingers were so cold when I was trying to get her hockey gear on that they hurt. I sure would hate to have a job that requires you to be out in weather like this. Although, I'm sure if I did, I would wear gloves! I forgot them when I was walking out the door and certainly regretted that!

Yesterday I went online to pay a credit card bill and discovered that I forgot to pay it in December. I think I am losing my mind. Anyway, when I was looking I saw that it was due Dec 26, and figured I must have just gotten busy with our trip to Iowa and making all of those Christmas cookies that I just spaced it off. Another reason is because I get paperless statements, so every month I get an email telling me my bill is due. Well, apparently I didn't pay that much attention to the email. Anyway, I have had this happen before. Last month, in fact, I had gone online to pay my other credit card off and apparently forgot to change the default payment of the minimum amount due, and got charged a late fee, finance charge AND an over limit fee (we don't have a very high limit on this card). (This sounds terrible, I know. But, we don't abuse our credit cards. We pay them off in full each month). Anyway, yesterday I called up the credit card company to see if I could get them to remove the $29 late fee and the $1.29 finance charge (with that low of a finance charge, it's obvious the bill wasn't very high.) Anyway, I call the place up and ask if there's any way they could remove that charge. The guy told me that he couldn't do that until I paid it. I knew that wasn't true, because my other credit card company took the charges right off. I had scheduled a payment online to occur on the next due date. I asked him if I re-scheduled the payment to occur today, could he then take the charge off. (And, by the way, he wasn't American so I was having a hard time understanding him). He told me I would have to pay it first, and then I could call back later and they would credit my account. Well, I didn't want to call back later, because I wanted to deal with it now, otherwise I would forget, which is why I have this problem in the first place. Then he asks, "Do you mind if I ask why you didn't pay it on time?" I said, "Sure! I guess I got busy over the holiday season and since it was due on Dec 26, and we were out of town, I just plain screwed up and forgot!" He would just not do it and he was making me mad. I then told him I just wanted to cancel the credit card then. (We've had this card for nearly 10 years, so they usually don't want to get rid of good customers.) I couldn't understand a lot of what he was saying, and I really did NOT want to cancel this credit card because we earn college savings for the kids with the use of this card. Then, he told me since I wasn't the primary card holder, I couldn't cancel the card. I got mad and told him I would have my husband call later to cancel the card and I hung up the phone. So, last night I had Scott call them. They took the charge right off and had no problems doing so. UGH! I'll bet the guy I talked to must have left a note on our account saying that I threatened to cancel the card and they didn't want that to happen? Anyway, they removed the charges and all is well. Why do they have to be so difficult?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Deep Freeze

We are definitely in the deep freeze today! Last night Gage had a music program at school and the wind gusts were bone chilling! I decided right then and there that we would NOT be walking to school this morning. -20 degrees temperatures and -50 wind chills warrants a ride to school in my book. Gage was grateful. I did; however, walk to pick him up. It wasn't too bad on my way there, but after I picked him up and started to head down the hill from the school, the wind was now blowing into our faces. As we were heading down the hill Gage said he was already cold, and when our neighbor asked if we wanted a ride, we took her up on it! Other than taking Gage to and from school, we haven't left the house today. We even skipped Emma's hockey, which is not typical for us to do. Emma stayed in her p.j.'s the entire day. She told Scott at lunchtime that it was a p.j. day today! :-)

Gage's program at school last night was really good. He seems to excel in music class as well. He had his hand raised every time the teacher asked a question, and when she called on him, he knew the answer. It was a neat little program where they got to show what they were learning with different rhythm instruments. We got his report card this week and he is doing excellent in school. He is exceeding what is expected in all areas. We are very proud of both him and Emma.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wonderful weekend for all

Emma and Kim getting ready for some BINGO!


Gage, Erin and Emma at BINGO for books

Erin and Emma, 2 beautiful girls

Emma loves "see food"


Gage caught red handed with a bowl of popcorn.


Wow, Gage and Emma are sharing!


Emma is very talented to play BINGO and eat at the same time!


Gage, Erin and Emma try to win a BINGO


Gage, Kim and Emma. I believe the main photographer, Juanita, is in the background! :-)


Gage, king of the mountain.


Gage plays "wipeout"!


Gage is going to get back on the horse that bucked him off.


Hallie, Emma and Erik sledding.


Emma and Hallie climbing back up for another run.


Gage devising his plan of attack.
A wonderful weekend was had by all! Gage and Emma had a great time at BINGO for books with Juanita, Kim and Erin. They brought home 2 bags of great books! Gage was MOST excited about the Star Wars book he found. Thanks so much to the Hockings for making this a great time for Gage and Emma! They are a wonderful family and we are so blessed to have them in our lives!
Saturday was spent sledding. Scott, Gage and Emma went sledding with our neighbors Chris, Hallie and Erik.
Sunday was also spent sledding, but this time with Gage's Cub Scout pack.
I had a GREAT time in Medora and was very productive getting 34 pages completed! I only had 4 more pages layed out, but I couldn't even do another page. Believe it or not, I was scrapped out! My friends Amy and Tonya had a great time as well. We arrived at Eagle Ridge Lodge just after lunch and got straight to work getting our stuff set up and soon afterwards the creativity just started flowing. We were up until around 12:30 a.m., if I remember correctly, on the first night? Amy was the first to rise out of the group of 18 Saturday morning, soon followed by me and the fun continued until 1:30 a.m. However, after going to bed we engaged in a "girl talk" session until about 2:30 a.m. I was first to wake Sunday morning at 7:15 MST and got straight to work. Amy and Tonya slept in til about 9:30 a.m. mountain time. Tonya said she hasn't slept that late in 14 years! I couldn't say that about myself!! We wrapped things up around 5 p.m. sunday evening and left our scrapbooking paradise. We weren't even off the gravel road yet when Shelly, the CM consultant, got a flat tire. We were right behind her and had to flag her down to tell her that her tire was flat. Amy stepped right up to the plate and she had that tire changed in at least 30 minutes flat (no kidding!) with minimal help from myself. Shelly and Tonya supervised. I have never had to change a flat tire before. I really think I could have done it, but it would have taken me at least 3 hours to figure out how to get the spare tire out from under the van! One gentleman did stop and offered to help. Amy said she didn't need it, but decided to let him stay and loosen the lug nuts. And, that's all he did. I believe Amy knew more about changing a tire than he did! There was one other pickup that drove by and didn't even bother to stop. You would think 4 women standing along side a secluded gravel road out in the middle of nowhere with a boat load of CM product and tables laying out in the road would have made him at least curious enough to stop. Not! It didn't matter anyway because Amy had it all under control and we were actually loading the stuff back into the back of the van at the time. I decided that the next time I receive one of those emails that asks you to fill out information about yourself and send it on to all of your friends so they can learn more about you, I'm going to fill it out a little bit differently. When it asks "Who would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?" From now on my answer is going to be Amy Hullet! I don't think there's anything she can't do! She changed a tire in at least 30 minutes flat with heels and not once did she have to lay on the ground like every man I've watched change a tire. In fact, she had on a pink turtleneck sweater and I don't even think she got it dirty? Her hands were the only dirty part of her body, aside from maybe a little bit of sweat! Amy was the hero of the day!
We made it home about 9:30 p.m. and I had a WONDERFULLY DELICIOUS supper waiting in the microwave for me. Scott made a new Pampered Chef recipe that was "to die for"! Venison and broccoli stir fry. (The recipe didn't call for venison, however.) It was really good! He also had the house picked up for me and even dusted the ceiling fan in our bedroom! (Believe me, it needed it!)
Now its back to reality. :-)
We had Emma's Junior Kindergarten parent-teacher conferences. She is doing VERY well and we are so proud of her!
What a WONERFUL WEEKEND! Thanks to everyone involved!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Brrrrr!!!

Let me tell you, it was COLD here this morning!!! We walked to school this morning and just before we left the weatherman said it was -16 degrees! (And that's NOT including the wind chill!) I had Gage wear his snow pants and all of his gear so he was quite bundled up. I on the other hand was bundled from my waist up. I wore my track pants that aren't lined and I was regretting that before I made it home. My legs seriously were hurting by the time I got home. I should have had some snow pants on myself! My black scarf had turned white with frost from my breath it was so cold. I hope Gage has great memories of this when he's older. I want him to be able to tell his kids and grandkids "You know, when I was a young boy I had to walk to school when it was -20 and also had to walk up hill both ways!" (And that will actually be the truth!)

I'm packed and ready for my weekend retreat in Medora! I am so proud of myself for being so organized and not scrambling around at the last minute trying to get my things rounded up! I don't know when the last time was that I wasn't panicking at the last minute!

Scott has a decoy party to go to Friday night, and I will be out scrapbooking. The kids are so excited and happy that they will still get to attend the BINGO for books event at Gage's school! Our wonderful friends, The Hockings, are going to take them to the school and have a fun-filled evening (I hope!). I know the kids will have fun, I just hope they don't wear anyone out! This is such a fun event. You bring in books you don't want anymore, kids books and they also have adult books as well, and you get a ticket for each book you bring, and then you can "buy" other used books with your tickets. There are several tables jam-packed with books. Then, if you get a BINGO, they have a table of new books you can pick for your prize. They also have pizza for $1/slice, free popcorn and lemonade and ice cream for $0.50. I'm actually very sad I'm going to miss it because I had a great time last year. If it was anything other than Medora that I had going on, I certainly would have skipped it to attend BINGO for books! I hope Juanita and/or Kim and/or Erin have a wonderful time! Thanks so much guys!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hump day

Today is hump day, which is another day closer to me heading west for a scrapbooking retreat in Medora. I can't wait. I have been doing very well at getting my stuff organized to go and plan to get a bunch done!

The other night I got a phone call from school wanting to know if I would serve on a task force committee to help get the Corpus Christi Church get ready Northridge Kindergarteners next fall. They asked 3 parents of incoming Kindergarteners to be on the committee, and I happen to be one of the lucky ones. I wasn't able to tell them no, so the first meeting was today after school at the church. I was under the impression the meeting was going to be at the school and was told that the kids could spend that time in the library or the gym, which I had relayed onto Gage. He was not happy that the meeting ended up being at the church. He was so BORED he tells me. However, when we went to tour the classroom area, he and the other kids that were there got up and started running laps around the gym. That was good for them and got his mind off of being BORED! I don't understand how a 7 and almost 5 year old can get BORED so easily? With all of the toys and books and everything else they have I would never think they could get BORED! I'm going to have a list of chores ready for them when they tell me they are BORED again!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sick

Today Scott stayed home sick from work. Last night around midnight he woke up and decided he felt queasy and was freezing to death. He layered up in a lot of warm clothes and went back to sleep. I then thought I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach myself. However, I think mine was just the power of suggestion. I was, and am, fine. Scott has been running a low-grade temp and laying around the house all day. I do want to commend him though, as he has been taking it very well and has not been on his "death bed" like many men claim when they are the least bit sick.

No school today for Martin Luther King, Jr day. The kids kept pretty busy playing most of the day. Gage read a whole Star Wars library book called "The Making of Star Wars". He found it quite interesting. Later in the afternoon they were invited over to the neighbors' house to play. They were excited to get to play with Hallie and Erik.

I worked a bit at getting organized for my weekend scrapbooking retreat in Medora. I am power-laying out my pages so I can hopefully get LOTS accomplished! I typically get somewhere around 30-34 pages done. I'm hoping that will completely finish up the year 2005. I'm a little over 2 years behind. I'm working in Emma's scrapbook right now because I have Gage caught up to start 2006. It's fun to look back at these pictures. She is 2 1/2 in the pictures I'm on and boy was she a cutie! I just love her little curly piggy tails! :-) What a sweetie.

Speaking of Emma, I just wanted to mention something about her. We have this book, 2 of them actually, that have built in pianos and the pages are the notes to play different songs. Last week when I was cleaning in her room, she stumbled upon this piano book and sat down to play it. She has been playing it a lot, and is has been driving me a little nuts. Especially when I'm trying to concentrate on something. Well, just a couple of days ago, I was doing something and Emma was playing the piano book. I was dumbfounded! She started playing a song. Seriously! She was playing "God is so good". I couldn't believe it! The notes and keys are color coded and she figured it out! I have been wanting to get a piano to get Gage and Emma both started in piano lessons. I have a friend who wants to get rid of one and said I could have it, I just have to figure out how to get the thing moved! I am much more motivated having heard Emma playing that piano book! She LOVES to sing and dance and I think she is going to be good at all of those things.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crunch

That's an interesting title that probably has all of you wondering! Yesterday morning (Saturday) Scott and Gage left to run a few errands. As they were leaving, I just happened to look out the window while I was standing at the kitchen sink and noticed he drove off in my van. I thought to myself, "Why doesn't he drive his own vehicle?" Then I went about my business. Approximately 5 minutes later he called from his cell phone and said he had rear-ended someone.
Stacy: "No way, you did not!"
Scott: "Yeah, I did."
Stacy: "You did not!"
Scott: "I did too! I was stopping behind this guy and slid on the ice and ran into him. I didn't hurt his vehicle at all, but it cracked our bumper."
Stacy: "WE JUST TALKED ABOUT THIS THE OTHER DAY! HOW YOU WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO STOP! I TOLD YOU YOU WERE GOING TO REAR-END SOMEONE DOING THAT!"
Scott: click. He hung up the phone.

I was very upset with myself for reacting the VERY same way he reacted to me when I ran into a lightpole when we lived in Memphis while I was trying to drive my psychotic cat to the veterinary clinic, after he freaked out and jumped straight into the rolled up window! I shouldn't have reacted that way and I think the reason I did was because I was annoyed that he took my van in the first place instead of taking his truck. UGH! I wouldn't have said anything if it had been his own vehicle that he had crunched! Anyway, he cracked the front bumper and bent up the license plate. I'm sure our deductible is higher than the amount of damage, which I'm sure will be somewhere around the $1000 mark? I don't know that for sure though. He did try exlpaining to me later that he did not come to a sudden stop, he was slowing down gradually, and then slid on the ice. I found that very difficult to believe, because every time I am in the vehicle with him he waits until the last minute to stop and just stops, almost as if he were slamming on the brakes. It annoys the heck out of me. We had just had a conversation about this very thing a week or so prior to this. It was a little slippery out, and I kept ramming my foot through the floorboard on the passenger side using my imaginary brakes.
Scott: "When have I ever ran into anyone?"
Stacy: "Well, you bumped into someone when we lived in Bozeman, and you have also bumped into someone since we've lived here." (now that makes 2 times since we've lived here).
Scott: no comment.

The funny part of this whole story is, later in the afternoon yesterday, we had gone out to run an errand to take supper to a couple who just had a baby. On our way there, we discussed the "accident" a little bit. Scott, again claims that he did NOT wait until the last minute to stop, that he was gradually slowing down. Then Gage comments from the back seat.
Gage: "Dad was a little bit distracted Mom."
Mom: "Oh?"
Gage: "Yeah, he was reaching up to get $3.00 out of the ashtray to give to me for getting 100% on my spelling and dictation test, and then he looked up and saw he was about to run into the car in front of us, so he hit the brakes."
Mom: "Ah, so the truth comes out!"

I looked at Scott and he laughed as he said that wasn't true. Then Gage proceeded to tell step by step, again, what had happened. I think I have mentioned before that I don't usually get into arguments with Gage about memories!

Shall the truth set you free!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Family Fun Day

Yesterday's play date went very well. Gage had a great time, and as always, was not ready to go home when I came to pick him up. I stayed for a little while after I dropped him off and the mother was very nice. She works with a good friend of ours. Emma also had a play date with Silas. She too did not want to leave.

Last night I went and played Co-ed volleyball on a city league. One of my friends asked if I would like to play Thursday nights. That was a hard decision because my favorite shows are on Thursday nights, Survivor, Grey's Anatomy and ER. I decided to tape the shows and play. I had a good time. I love playing volleyball. Our team won the first 2 matches, then lost the last one. We should have won it too, but pretty much beat ourselves. I am a little stiff and sore this morning. I think my body doesn't like diving for balls. My brain; however, thinks otherwise. I'm very competitive and will do pretty much whatever it takes to save the ball. I would like to get a team of friends together to play next year. It would be a lot more fun if I was playing with people I knew!

Today is Family Fun Day. It was Emma's turn to pull an activity out of the box. She picked out "Watch a movie at home with popcorn and drinks". They were both excited about this, but then couldn't decide on a movie. Of course Gage wants to watch Star Wars. He bought Return of the Jedi a few nights ago with his own money. I'm not really into Star Wars. Emma wants to watch Barbie stars In The Nutcracker. Not really into that either. I'm going to have to go to the video store and find something we all can enjoy. Although Gage has made it clear he will only REALLY be happy if we watch Star Wars. I'm not sure this "Family Fun Box" is working out to be much fun for me? However, it does get the kids out of bed on Friday mornings!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Play dates

Today when Gage and I were walking home from school (and it was quite cold by the way!) he told me that he gave another kid in his class his phone number. He told me the name of the kid and said if I get a strange call from someone, it would probably be from his mom. Soon after we got home, the phone rang and that's who it was. I was a little surprised they actually called. I really don't know many of the kids' Moms in Gage's class. It's a little harder meeting mom's now that he's in school and not in Preschool. At preschool we went in and stood outside the classroom waiting for class to get out, and in that time, I met alot of different mothers. A lot of whom are my good friends now. At the public school, there are still alot of people standing around waiting for their kids, but now there are 700 different kids in at least 25 different classes exiting the building and I am not typically the type to just strike up conversations with people I don't know. Anyway, Gage's friend wants him to come over for a play date. His mother seemed very nice on the phone and mentioned that she too didn't know many of the other mothers. She also voiced concern about kids going to people's houses that you don't know. So, she had the same feelings I did, and was very easy to talk to. She said that if I wanted to stay too, she understood. I told her that Gage would love to come and play and that I would bring him and stay for just awhile so I could get to know them a little more. I was thinking about Gage's birthday this past fall and I was shocked at how many of the kids that were able to come of families that had no idea who we were. This classmate was in a private school here in Bismarck last year and his mother works at one of the hospitals. I know that is no way to determine whether this is a nice family or not, but I trust Gage's judgement. He's very observant at school and he typically doesn't like to hang out with the kids who are misbehaving. He says this boy is a good kid and he likes to be funny "but only when it's appropriate Mom." :-) We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Do any of you have suggestions on what you would do in this situation? I did have a similar thing happen this past summer, and I had a mother asking me if Gage could come and play. I had said yes, and this too, was someone I didn't really know, although I would see her alot at different activities that Gage was involved in. I had no idea where she lived, and after we left hockey, I panicked and backed out. I'm going to try again and see how it goes.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Just give me something to talk about!

I don't really have anything exciting to blog about tonight. I can't even compare with the stories on my friends' blogs yesterday. I mean, Kara being accused of wearing a tracking device like Martha Stewart while at Target, and Jody accused of "Hit and Run" after running into a neighbors tree in their yard, I've got nothing!

I guess even when there's nothing to talk about, you can always talk about the weather! It is going to be quite balmy here for the next couple of weeks. The wind started tonight and I can hear it gusting down the fireplace. It is also snowing, making for some bad driving conditions.

We did learn today that Emma will for sure be attending Kindergarten next year all day every day. I also saw on the KXMB web-site that the school board voted for the Kindergarteners to be the ones to go to Corpus Christi. I'm not sure what Emma's thoughts were on that, but I think she seemed a little sad that she won't be in school with her big brother next year like we had hoped. She will have a shorter walk to school, however. And, on days like tomorrow, I'm sure she will be grateful!

Monday, January 14, 2008

De-cluttering

I am always inspired to clear out the clutter after I have talked with my sister-in-law Christy. She is very good at de-cluttering and it is always helpful for me to talk to her and then get in the mood to throw things out. Emma's room has been bothering me for quite some time. Even when it's picked up, it still looks like a mess to me. I tore into her closet where most of her toys are kept and filled several bags. I also cleared out all of her Little People toys. She never plays with them anymore, and all they are doing is taking up space and collecting dust (literally!). I have kept most of the boxes for them, as these are toys I would like to keep for them to have for their kids one day. It was amazing how much room that made for organizing things in her closet. Christy and I also talked about collecting things. She isn't a collector. I am not much of a collector anymore. I once had a Coca Cola collection. I think my Mom ended up either selling or giving away most of that stuff, which I am very grateful for. I hate having stuff just sitting around that doesn't have a purpose. I want everything to have a place. I've watched several Dr. Phil and Oprah shows about hoarders. I am not a horder thank goodness! Scott has hoarding tendencies and I'm slowly getting him to realize we don't need to keep that old crap. He still has his old basketball shoes from high school sitting on a shelf in the closet. The last time I was at Scheel's I noticed back in the shoe department that they have a great big wooden box for lightly worn shoes that will be given to people in countries who typically don't have them. I thought that was a WONDERFUL idea! I told Scott about it and he said that he had noticed that too and wanted to get rid of some old shoes. So, I went through the closets finding shoes that we never wear to add to the box at Scheel's. I told Scott that his old basketball shoes needed to go. He says, "Well, what if I want to start playing some basketball over the lunch hour or something?" I told him if he wanted to do that, I would be more than happy to go out and buy him a new pair of shoes!!! (I think I'm pretty safe there.) Some less fortunate person will be overjoyed to get those ugly old basketball shoes that have only been collecting dust here. Having moved about 5 times also helps me to get rid of things. Why move all of the junk that doesn't have a purpose? Just get rid of it.

Emma's room is shaping up. I also removed everything from her walls and I'm hoping to get the urge to start tearing the wallpaper off of her walls and give it a nice fresh coat of paint! We are halfway through the month and I'm still keeping up with my New Year's resolution to get organized! I hope it can last throughout the whole year!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thank goodness tomorrow is Monday!

Man oh man is Scott ever a GROUCH today! I'm not sure what bit him in the butt, or why, but it has been a very unpleasant day. He did recognize that it was HIM today and not me, however! (There's always a first time for everything!) I will be glad when everyone is in bed and maybe we can start out differently tomorrow.

I have been having issues with my calendar. My last calendar was a Mom's planning calendar that lasted 17 months. This calendar wasn't the typical calendar, because it read the days vertically down the side of the calendar, rather than across the top horizontally (like a normal calendar). Anyway, I really liked the calendar because it gave each person in the family a line so you could write down all of the activities for each person on each day. FINALLY, my calendar ended! I found a new Mom's planning calendar at the mall in one of those shops in the aisle. This one was very similar to my other one, except that it reads normally, across the top. Apparently I got used to the other one that read vertically, and now I'm messed up trying to read a normal calendar. We had cards this weekend with friends that was to be on Saturday night. I hired a babysitter for Friday night. Scott went to get her and as he was coming home he drove by our neighbors' house that was hosting cards this month and there were no lights on. He asked me when he got home where it was, and I said it was at the Munson's. Well, there were no lights, so I checked my email, and it was for Saturday, not Friday. UGH! I decided since the babysitter was from Mandan, that I hated to have to take her all the way back home, so we went to Target, Scheel's and Barnes and Noble. Then, I had to hire another babysitter for Saturday night. I hope I can get this calendar business straightened out because I can't afford too many of those types of mistakes! Then, my other issue with the calendar is this. Why in the heck would they make a 17-month calendar that starts in August, then ends in January? So, I bought this new Mom's calendar, which also started in August, so 5 months of it are already wasted because the previous one ended in January? Such a dumb thing. I guess they can charge more money for it because it has more months, even though you won't be using half of it because they have already passed? Just something to think about.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Horrible experience

What a day! Last week I had scheduled a time with the Public Health office for Gage and Emma to get a second chicken pox vaccination for today. I intentionally did not tell them where we were headed this morning, because I knew it was not going to go over very well with Miss Emma. On our way there, I decided it probably wasn't very nice of me to keep them uninformed, so when we got there I picked Emma up to carry her into the building, because I knew it wouldn't go well. Boy, was I ever right! As soon as I told them why we were there, Emma tried leaving. Every chance she got, she attempted to escape the building. She was hysterical. And, I am not using that term lightly! She was crying and nothing was going to make her stop. (Well, I'm sure if we had left without the shots, that would have done it.) While the nurse was copying their immunization records, Emma carried on and carried on. Scott was not tolerating it very well, and I wasn't either, but I had a few more patience than he did, so I tried getting her to calm down prior to the shots. The nurse asked me if I wanted to just go ahead and have her 5 year old shots given too. I wasn't sure about that, but the nurse talked me into it because she said that she was pretty sure I didn't want to go through this again in just a few weeks. She was right. However, this turned 1 shot into 4 shots!!! I told the nurse, as Emma was carrying on, that the red hair sure does look cute, but...................They thought that was pretty funny. If they only knew! Gage got to go first, and the nurse had whispered into his ear that she wanted him to be very brave and not cry so that he could show his little sister that it didn't hurt. Well, Emma could have cared less about how Gage reacted to it. Then came Emma's turn. The nurse had to call in another nurse to help with Emma, and they each gave a shot in each arm at the same time, then they did it again with the legs. I got to be the lucky one to restrain her since I was holding her at the time. I had to bear hug her like I've never done before and I'm not sure who came out with more bruises, Emma or me? She was kicking like crazy, screaming at the top of her lungs, and it took every ounce of energy I had to contain her. Prior to this I had to strip my coat off because I was sweating to death so there were coats all over, papers, my purse, checkbook, etc etc that I had to gather up after we were done. I told Scott just to take her out to the car and I would be out in a few minutes. I think they were so relieved when Emma finally went out the door. I was so exhausted and my nerves were nearly shot and I just wanted to get the heck out of there. I apologized to the nurses and left. We had promised the kids Webkinz if they would behave. Emma certainly did NOT deserve one, but she ended up with one anyway. As we were on our way home, it just popped into my head that I had forgotten to pay them for the shots, so we had to go back. When I came in the door, they were like, "Uh oh!?" I said, "No, it's just me this time because I forgot to pay for the shots!" I think they were so happy to get us out of there that they had forgotten too! I wrote them the check for $40 and we were on our way. My muscles have felt like Jell-O all day and my nerves have been fried. I hope to never have to go through this again!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Weird

Last night when I was putting the kids to bed, I had gone into the bathroom and put the kids' toothbrushes away and glanced at myself in the mirror. YIKES! Seriously! I don't know why, but I had purplish red splotches all over my face?? I couldn't think of anything I might have gotten into that I could be allergic to? We had pizza for supper and I had had a Starbucks coffee. Man, that would save me a lot of money if I were allergic to Starbucks!!! My face felt flushed and hot as well. I have no idea what that was all about, but thank goodness they were gone this morning when I woke up!!

We have been getting snow today. I am babysitting my neighbors' house and the next house north of them while they are vacationing in Hawaii. I decided I better get outside and get the 3 driveways shoveled because I didn't know for sure when it was going to stop, and I didn't want to get too much snow out there to have to remove. I felt nice and warm when I was finished with that! Then I went to get Gage at school. He was very happy to report to me that he got 100% on his spelling test and 100% on his dictation test! I was very happy for him. He's gotten 100% on each of his spelling tests, but due to rushing and not looking over his dictation part, he has missed a couple with each of those. I thought this was his first set of 100%, but he told me he had one other on his first set of tests. I don't remember that? I'm going to have to go back through his papers and look. I should just trust what he says, because if we're having a battle of memories, I'm typically the loser!

Today was the 2nd week of our "Family Fun Box". I bought this box at a Once Upon a Family party that a friend had and decided to put it to use. The box comes with sheets of paper that you write down different fun things your family likes to do, then once a week you pull one out of the box. Last week they pulled out "Invite Friends Over". Gage invited Grant and Emma invited her friend Jadyn. I'm not so sure the whole thing turned out as "fun" as I thought? (However, nothing is ever fun when you have PMS!) Emma wasn't always playing nicely and it got a little loud at times. Emma's friend Jadyn; however, had a GREAT time, and I'm glad of that. Typically she is very (VERY) shy, and I think this was the first time I have seen her come out of her shell. I don't think I had really ever heard her talk? Anyway, they had fun. Today, was our second time to pull a sheet out of the box. Gage got to draw it out this time and he pulled out "Coloring Night". Well, Gage was not too thrilled about this. (It was Emma's idea for this to be written down). I'm just thrilled that it's cheap! :-) It was amazing at how quickly they got out of bed this morning when I reminded them that it was Friday and that they got to draw an activity out of the Family Fun Box! :-) This seems to be going over very well with Gage and Emma.

My friend Kara has started a blog. You will find her link listed on my blog. Her daughter Jadyn is the friend that Emma had over to play last Friday. Check it out when you get a chance!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

TracFone

When I was at my parents' house over Christmas, my Mom gave me a TracFone. She said I need to have one for emergencies. She had already bought it, so there was no arguing with her. I brought the phone home and hadn't done anything with it until yesterday. I was reading the instructions on how to activate it and I had bought a TracFone card at Walmart. When I was on the website, activating the phone, it kept telling me there were no phone numbers available for this area and to choose a different zip code. I went through 3 different Bismarck zip codes with the same thing happening. I finally had to call the customer service person. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to understand him. He was talking away as it was occurring to me that I couldn't understand a word of what he was saying. Then, he asked me if that was okay.
Me: I was like, "Uh, what was that?"
Him: "Is that okay?"
Me: "Uh, what was that again?"
Him: He goes into another session of talking that I can't understand. "Is that okay?"
Me: "Uh, you said it is free?"
Him: "Yes."
Me: "Uh, sure, whatever, as long as it's free."
He told me the TracFone I had was not able to be used in this area. He was going to send me a new one free of charge and instructions on how to send the other one back to them. Well, I figured that was the end of the TracFone. Until today, I was completely surprised to see it in between the doors when I answered the door when the mailman brought me a package. I received the new phone today!! I have registered it and it appears to be working. I called Scott on his cell to test it out, and so he could put the number in his phone. I have no idea how to program it with numbers, etc, but if there's an emergency, I'm set! Thanks Mom!!!

Last night we had a paper shredding party. Part of my "getting organized" plan was to go through our filing cabinet and ditch unnecessary papers. OH MY! I thought I had gone through the filing cabinet a couple of years ago, and maybe I did, but apparently I wasn't in the throw away mood that I am in right now. I had statements way back from 1999 from cable, phone, etc etc. We moved here in 2002. I would hate to know how many trees went through the paper shredder last night! I'm not kidding when I tell you the motor overheated twice and I had to wait for it to cool off. In fact, one time I noticed it was smoking!!!!!!!! YIKES! We filled at least 6 garbage bags with shredded papers. I can't imagine how terrible it would be if we had never moved and I had been saving from the time I left home? I would have had to buy three shredders to keep up. I had a huge sense of accomplishment after I was finished! It is a 2-drawer filing cabinet. I opened up the first drawer to admire its emptiness. Then I opened up the second drawer only to find it was still jam-packed full! I couldn't believe that was only 1 drawer! Scott was helping me pull the stuff from the cabinet, so I had no idea there was still another full drawer to go through. When I am finished I will be soooo happy! I'm not saving much at all and plan to start over. Only this time I'm going to start by putting most of the papers I receive through the mail straight into the shredder! No wonder when people's houses catch on fire they just go up in flames! They have so much "fuel" with all of the paperwork they keep stored in boxes. Not me! I'm throwing it all away!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

DU wooden chest

I've had several people asking me for pictures of the Ducks Unlimited chest I got at the banquet the other night, so thought I'd post one. I really love it. I started putting some of Gage's baby clothes in it this evening and I think he really liked seeing them. I'm not sure he's ever seen his baby hat that he wore after he was born while in the hospital, so it was funny seeing his reaction to that. I had to take some pictures of the damaged areas as well, so Scott can turn them into DU so they can report the damage to the shipping company. I'm anxious to get the new one so I can put some of Emma's things in it. Sometimes at the banquets can cause some buyer's remorse, but not this time. :-)

Kids

Today is Tuesday. We survived Monday, barely. The kids are still not recovered completely from our weekend in Fargo. I don't know if my kids are more sensitive to getting less sleep because we're pretty strict about getting them to bed at a decent time, or what? Gage is completely annoyed by any sound that comes out of Emma's mouth. Emma loves to sing. She sings all of the time. I love listening to her. She's really pretty good at it, in my opinion. Gage hates listening to her sing and constantly harasses her when she does. Yesterday, when Gage was playing with his Star Wars Legos contraptions, he was whistling. It was bothering me just a little, but nothing I couldn't deal with. However, I wanted to point out to him that he was making this noise, and why was it okay for him to make obnoxious whistling noises when Emma can't sing without hearing it from him? He had no answer for me. He just stopped whistling.

Emma's first day back at hockey was yesterday since the break. She spent most of her time on the ice making ice angels. She has been begging and begging to go out and do some ice dancing. I told her this was her chance. Strawberry Shortcake makes it look very easy on her "Let's Dance" DVD. Emma came back all upset because she couldn't do it. I told her that if she was really interested in it, I would sign her up to take figure skating lessons. She said she wants me to sign her up. We'll see what happens.

Not much on tap today. We have a few errands to run. Hockey for Emma over the lunch hour. I need to make myself a list on what I want to get organized to get myself a little more motivated.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

There's no place like home.

Saturday morning we left for Fargo to attend a Ducks Unlimited Volunteer Appreciation banquet. We had alot of fun. The kids were excited that we got to stay in a hotel that had a swimming pool. I was excited because we got to do some shopping at some fun stores that I typically don't get to shop in, i.e. The Children's Place, Kids Gap, and Gymboree. All I can say is that it's a good thing we don't have those stores in Bismarck! I told the gal working in Gymboree that and she said lots of people say the opposite. I told her I couldn't afford for them to be readily accessible to me! She said she understood, because she rarely takes home a paycheck! I wouldn't either if I worked there!

The volunteer banquet was fun. They made it fun for both the men and women. We played BINGO and the prizes were decoys and Longaberger baskets. I wasn't too excited about either, but I had fun playing BINGO. They had an item that I was excited about on the silent auction, however. They had a small wooden box, like a cedar chest, with a duck carved on the front of it. I didn't really care about the duck, but I really liked the box. Apparently when they unloaded the box for the banquet, they either broke it, or it arrived broken. So, the deal was, if you won the auction, you could take the broken box, and they would also ship you a new one. I have been looking for cedar-chest type boxes for the kids. I wanted to have a place to put the things I want to save for them to have one day when they have a home of their own. This was the perfect thing, because I got 2 for 1! And, Scott thinks we can fix the broken box with some wood glue and clamps. I couldn't be more excited! Scott was also excited about his new decoys. (We really needed more of those!)

The banquet lasted quite awhile, and I knew it was going to be bad news as far as the kids were concerned. I'm not sure about the time we went back to our room, but it was somewhere in the 10pm range I think? The rest of the night just went downhill from there! I told Scott to go for dessert with a few other DU guys and their families and I took the kids to the room. After I finally got the room picked up with all of our stuff organized, I had the kids ready for bed and read some stories. Emma was very fidgety and wouldn't lay still. My nerves were really being tested. We went around and around about this and finally Scott came back to the room. I was trying my hardest to have them asleep before he got back because he was going to bring me back a dessert. Well, needless to say, I had to share. It was a delicious chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream with nuts in it and hot fudge topping. The kids enjoyed it too. Then, it was back to business trying to get them to bed. I handed Emma over to Scott, as I had had enough. He had a few more patience than I did, since he had been out for awhile, but still could not get her to settle down. Finally, she started bawling and said she wanted to go home. She missed her bed and she missed Grusy. There was no getting her to stop. This went on FOREVER! She wanted to sleep on the floor and we weren't letting her because it was dirty and just didn't want her on the floor. I looked at the clock just as Scott fixed her a spot on the floor and it was 11:55 p.m. I don't think Gage or Emma have ever been up that late? She got down on the floor and no kidding, she was snoring by 11:59. UGH! If I had known that's all it was going to take, I would have started her out on the floor!!! Then, I could have enjoyed that delicious dessert all by myself! Needless to say, they were tired and cranky all morning until we left for Bismarck and they were pretty quiet on the ride home, thank God! I'm not sure how much more whining and carrying on I could take.

There's no place like home!

Today was a big day at home for my family in Iowa. My Dad's retirement party was today and my sister Jari Jo got married. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend due to the short notice of both events. I hope it was a great day for all of them. Congratulations Dad, Mom, Jari Jo and Brian!!!!! My thoughts are with all of you! I'm looking forward to seeing my parents here visiting in North Dakota now that they have no more excuses as to why they can't come! I hope Dad and Mom have a happy, fun-filled retirement!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Organized closet


Our closet at the back door is now organized! :-) My sister Kysa wanted me to send her pictures of my closet that I was bragging about, so I figured I might as well just post them on my blog, and give me something to blog about. I had to go to Target this morning to get 3 more of these rubbermaid containers to finish off the shelves. I'm so proud of it. I guess I should have taken before and after pictures so you could see the improvement. Believe me, it's 100% better. I thought it might be a good idea to have another set of these containers to switch seasons! I guess I'll need to get another job if I want to do that! I'm always excited by the little things. I was so excited that these containers fit perfectly on the shelf, almost as if they were made for this space. And there is just enough room for the 4 of them on the bottom shelf, and sideways, they fit perfectly on the top shelf. I was thinking of getting another container for the leftover space, but decided that would be a great place for the lids to stay until I put them on the containers after the winter season is over. Okay, now you all know that I am nuts. Soon, I am going to be nuts AND organized! (Maybe some organization around here will help my mental health?)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Last day

Today was Gage's last day of Christmas vacation. I am ready for them to be back in school. Emma's first day back will be on Friday. I'm going to have a party on Friday! HA HA!

I spent most of the day organizing! I finally tore into my scrapbooking room. It was so bad that I couldn't even stand to be in there, let alone find a place to actually scrapbook! I got most of my paper and scraps organized. I need one more drawer organizer and I think that will be finished. I will be so happy to finally get it done and maybe get some scrapbooking done? I at least need to get to power laying out because I have my big winter scrapbooking retreat at the end of this month in Medora. I can't wait!

We went to Walmart today so I could get my organizing drawers and the kids had some Christmas money burning a hole in their pockets. I can't wait until they have their wads spent. I'm tired of picking up toys. I am going to hit their rooms on Friday when they are in school and have a massive cleaning out session. I'm in the "throw-away" mood, so I best get going in their rooms.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Southwestern Chicken Soup

I typically don't post twice in the same day; however, I wanted to share a delicious recipe. Tonight for supper we had Southwestern Pheasant Soup. The recipe called for chicken, but since Scott was out hunting pheasants today and brought home a limit (3 birds), we used pheasant instead. I don't know when I've tasted soup this good! Seriously! Here goes:

1 jar Roasted Tomato Salsa (Tastefully Simple)
2-3 tsp Wahoo! Chili or Fiesta Party Dip mix (Tastefully Simple/we used the Fiesta Party Dip Mix)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
3 cups chicken broth
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz. can pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained (we used black beans)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Blue Aztec Chips (Tastefully Simple) I did not have these, so we just used the new Multigrain Tostitos and they were great.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on high 2-3 hours. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and Blue Aztec chips. (Makes 4-6 servings) Also, just in case you decide to make it and have the same questions as we did about precooking the meat, the recipe did not say to do it, so we didn't, and it turned out great. We were a little skeptical about mixing the raw meat with all of the other ingredients, because typically you brown it first. Apparently the recipe is correct and no precooking is necessary, because the pheasant was cooked and delicious.

This is sooooooo delicious. I bought this Tastefully Simple Slowcooker recipe book for $1.95 at a party a friend had. I didn't realize at the time (I didn't see it prior to ordering) that all of the recipes call for Tastefully Simple products, although it certainly makes sense. Anyway, I know a Tastefully Simple consultant and ordered some of the products and this was the first one I've tried and it was sooooo good!

(Juanita, I believe you mentioned awhile back that you had pheasant to use up and I told you I had a good recipe. Well, this one is even better!! You should definitely give it a try.)

I'm sure chicken would be just as good, but the pheasant was great. And, it was even better because Scott hit the pellet this time instead of me. Typically I hit the darned pellets, if there are any, and usually just thinking of eating pheasant makes me cringe, but this recipe has saved Scott from a lot of future complaining about eating pheasants!!!

Let me know what you think when you give it a try!

Quiet day

We have had a quiet New Year's Day. Emma isn't feeling well and has been on the couch pretty much all day. Her eyes look so pitiful. I must admit; however, that it has been kind of nice. I am one of those mothers who take advantage of those lethargic days. Typically I don't give any fever-reducing meds such as Tylenol or Motrin unless they have a really high temp. When I was working in nursing, the standing doctor's orders were to give Tylenol only for a temp greater than 100.8 or 101. I don't worry about increased temps unless they are over that. If you remember a Tylenol commercial awhile back, there was a mother who's kids were running around wild and the mother told the father, "I know, I had to do it!" I don't "do it" unless I really have to. I like those quiet days and I take full advantage of them. Gage had a few this week and now Emma is having hers. It has made the past week very quiet and I have been able to get some of my organizing done. I would be proud to show my junk drawer to anyone who wants to look. It has been so chocked full of junk that you could hardly even open the drawer. I have been ignoring it for too long. It is now very organized and I just look in it every once in awhile to see how nice it looks. I wonder how long it will stay that way? I did the same thing in the upstairs bathroom drawers. Walmart has the best little organizers, and I'm quite sure they are going to be getting some of my money for awhile as I continue to organize for my New Year's Resolution! I'm going to be like those Rubbermaid commercials and I'm going to need more junk, because all of my other junk is so organized! HA HA!