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Showing posts from January, 2009

The Seemingly GIANT To-Do List

for our house that was move in ready...
-fix the door jam and install catch/latch mechanism on the french doors near the sun room.
-put a door onto the master bath (why people don't put doors on their master baths, I don't understand.) There is a door on one side but not on the other.

-paint the master bedroom
-fix the printer so it prints remotely (heck if I know how to do that.)
-build in a magnetic chalkboard *new*
-build in a built-in entertainment unit (may need to get a carpenter for this though we have the tools.) As a side note, we bought the TV in Albuquerque. Wouldn't you know it, the TV fits just perfectly with about an inch to spare. I will generate an AutoCAD drawing for this at some point.

-caulk the exterior door and window jams
-caulk a few places inside the house where the house has settled a bit (relatively new construction)
-organize the garage (nick can't find his tools in its current state)
-seal the back porch (wood)
-paint the office
-put up an antenna i…

Pizza Night at Our House

I'm always trying to help Nick with his pizza addiction. He likes pizza ever which way. Pizza pockets sandwiches, pizza rolls, frozen pizza, thin crust pizza, chicago deep pizza, etc. I could go on but I feel like I might start sounding like Bubba Gump. Basically, he would eat it every day of the week if I let him.

Rumor has it that before we started dating Nick had several stacks of pizza boxes piled up to the ceiling in his apartment. The collection was removed prior to the first time I saw his place. His place was so clean that day that I thought he was a neat freak. Later, he would tell me that he spent several days cleaning his apartment in preparation. First impressions aren't always what they seem to be!

As I have yet to succeed in ridding him of this pizza obsession, I have found a way to embrace it. The pizza below is a mere 250 calories for the entire pizza. Admittedly, it is high in sodium, but you can't win every battle. You can find the full recipe h…

Worth another shot?

So after what went on last week, I was pretty upset. I wasn't about to go back to the same Kroger. But I couldn't go to Food Lion though either. The prices are terrible. In reality, Kroger is a good deal. So I shirked and went to a different Kroger down the road even though I should not go based on principle. I guess they win and the prices are currently worth the horrible service FOR NOW.

I got A LOT for my money this time. My most notable deals:

Colgate Toothpaste $2 each times 2 tubes
minus two 1.50 coupons from the paper
minus 1.50 on shortcuts e-mail coupon
=-50 cents. I made 50 cents on this and got two free tubes of toothpaste. Holla.

Cottonelle Toilet Paper
original cost .99
had four .50 cent coupons i printed out from the web... they get doubled
add an additional .25 off from cell fire
=Made .25 cents and FREE TP, again. Four things of it!!

Green Giant Steamers
original price 1.49
minus.50 shortcuts e-coupon
minus .50 MFG coupon doubles to -1.00

Two Percent organic KR…

Home Office Improvement Frustration

Right now our office looks like a garage. I say that because all the office and craft supplies we have are sitting in large plastic storage boxes. It's quite an eye-sore. Fabric from my sewing/quilting habit, French Workbooks, Scrapbooking Supplies and bills to-file fill up the room.

We'd like to add some new cabinets to our home office to solve the problem: however, they are very expensive. I've looked into doing pre-fab cabinets from local building supply stores but the problem with them is that they don't make the bottom cabinets at a height appropriate for a desk. They only come in kitchen counter height sizes. They wouldn't work.

Yet, out and about, in all the professional offices I see plenty of what appear to be pre-fab cabinets at desk height. Does anyone know of good places to get pre-fab office cabinets? I've tried online and found nothing.
Plan View

If we go with the custom cabinets, they will cost $4,326 excluding tax and without adding on an a…

On Being Morally Defunct, Mentally Unstable, and Stupid

I surfed around the other day and I tried to find some blogs that represented the right side of politics. I guess I thought it would be a good way to expand my view. We all need checks and balances. I think we all have something to learn from each other.

Unfortunately, I really couldn't find anything that wasn't in some way insulting or degrading. Within seconds I discovered that liberalism is a brain disease and that the democratic party is a party lacking any morality. Another political blog went on to associate democrats as promiscuous alcoholics. Yet another blog urged individuals to read a defamatory web-site and oh, be sure to get your t-shirts to annoy the liberals here. I could go on and on. I guess this is all to combat the leftist media?

Now, that said, I'm sure there is just as much nonsense on the web that is on the left.

As a result of this research, I have a public apology to make. I am sorry for getting all upset over a little comment a friend made plu…

Long Run Must-haves

****TMI WARNING on this post****

So today we did our week 3 long run. We hit the hills hard and we didn't feel like pushing much further so we increased our mileage a whopping quarter of a mile. Nonetheless, we have reached a time in our training where preparation with the right gear is a MUST.

Nick discovered today that at the 9+ mile mark, he needs to start using nipple protection. His nipples crack, get red, and bleed if they aren't protected. It's really quite disgusting. I can't even think about it without getting the heebie geebies. NipGuards are a must-have from this point on.

BodyGlide is also a must-have. The sport lubricant is miracle stuff. Most every long distance runner knows that once you reach a certain point in your training your shirts, socks and shorts will cause you to chaffe all over your body... in places you would never think about. Without this fine product, the experience has the potential of becoming much more painful.

Political Compass

I did a politcal compass test here today. I haven't done one since high school. I thought the results were interesting. Below is my graph. I lean left on social issues and slightly right on economic ones. Economic Left/Right: 1.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.54Nick did the same. Here is where he lies. I don't think this test is very accurate. According to the test he slightly left on economic and social issues. I thought we were the other way around?Economic Left/Right: -1.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.85

So, this has been our attempt to weekly long run. We better get going.

Neighborly Discourse

So today we had our first HOA meeting. Unfortunately, Nolan decided to get cranky during the middle of it so I was forced to leave early. That was a bummer for me but Nick stuck around and gave me the 411. I was there long enough to get the gist anyway.

Our neighbor across the road is hilarious. Rose (not her real name) is a little uptight. In the planning world, I'd refer to her as a NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) type. Apparently, she doesn't like the fact that some people decide to use our subdivision entrance as a turn around spot. Tom, a very friendly neighbor asked her, "Do you ever find yourself lost and need to turn around from time to time?" She exclaimed, "Well sure, but they are tearing up our grass!!" We examined the area she is referring to. It's about six inches off the shoulder.... maybe. The road we live off of is not heavily traveled but there aren't many places to get off the road. Our subdivision entrance is one of just a …

Gruesome News

This post is not appropriate for children or adolescents. Please be advised.

Another horrific act occured on the VA Tech Campus (my alma mater) a few days ago. This article is disturbing and stomach turning. If you aren't feeling up to it, don't click here.

Little Cherubs

Around Christmastime, we had a photographer come to take pics of green eyes. Below is one of my favorites that I downloaded from her website. They don't stay little for long and this picture captures what I wish to remember most about this time in our lives. Isn't he the cutest little cherub?

This photo was done by Keri Hensley. You can check out her photos on her website. She is the BEST photographer EVER.

Family Values

Though my husband and I see eye to eye on most everything, we don't always agree. For instance, we don't have the same belief system. He is a "militant agnostic" while I am Christian. Sure, I know that the bible states I should not have allowed myself to be "yoked" with a non-believer but my husband embodies many of the Christian values that others wave around like a badge but don't actually live by. He makes me a better person and a better Christian. While like me he is not a saint, he almost always sees the best in people and gives them the benefit of the doubt. He is loyal, hard working, responsible (fiscally and emotionally), giving to others, and loving. He just doesn't believe that you need to have faith to be a "good" person or strive to do good deeds. Considering how much evil and bigotry there is out there that is done in name of Christ (or Allah or God, etc.), I have to say that I agree with him. Though we may differ on th…

Friendly Country Advice is Always Welcome Here

We are just learning the ropes here in the country and we sure could use some friendly advice from time to time.

The task of changing the water filter had become a laborious task. It took Nick at least an hour every month to change the dang thing. Even with his great efforts, it would still manage to leak.

Thanks to the advice to some country folk, namely my Aunt Ann and Uncle Borum, Nick has figured out how to get our water filter not to leak. Apparently, you need to soak the gasket to make sure there is no sediment inside of it. A single grain of sand will cause trouble. Then you need to put Vaseline on the gasket before you screw it back in.

It worked beautifully and it took only 15 minutes. What a little friendly advice will do to improve the quality of our lives!

Kroger Can Kiss My Grits

I went to Kroger today. I go every week, sometimes twice a week, and spend around 125-175 bucks. Today's trips was an out of the ordinary trip. I needed to stock up on some special deals and really do this coupon thing.

I did a few experimental coupon runs for several weeks in a row to make sure I really understood the lay of the whole coupon process at Kroger. I was informed that the Kroger policy was to double coupons up to .99 cents. Awesome. I used this doubling in conjunction with the coupons I find on Cellfire and Shortcuts and made some great deals. I did this successfully several times for several weeks. My coupons were doubled beautifully up to a dollar.

So, today, I figured, I know how to do this now, let's go and stock up on what I need. I piled my grocery cart full of great deals. Well, then, I roll into the cashier lane and I get what had to be the nastiest cashier on the face of the earth who hated her life and her job and felt the need to pull all those…

Training - Week 2

We completed week #2 of training. We are already at 9 miles (technically 8.94 miles). We only planned on doing 8 today but we accidentally did a little more. I prefer to do a little more at this point because you never know when winter weather might hit and set us back. (I admit, I'm kind of sad we haven't had any winter weather at all at this point.) But, it's a blessing. We only have 4 more miles to add and we'll be ready to go for our spring race. Then we will have a solid base for summer runs.

Our runs are incredibly difficult. Unfortunately, the 20 foot GIS elevations google bases the elevation maps on aren't accurate and they don't show all the hills. I mean, there are at least 3 hills that are as big as the big dip in the elevation profile below yet it only shows one?

The kids were champs and slept pretty much the entire way. The high was about 24 today (near record cold) thanks to the high pressure air mass hanging out in the southwest. While …

A Goodbye to Grandpa John

I drove out to Fredericksburg alone with the kids to say goodbye to their great-grandfather John (he is technically my step-grandfather but I knew him better then any of my biological grandfathers). It was really sad, but he will be in better hands. He is heading out to California to live with his biological son, Don. He had been living with his ex-grandson-in-law which was really a terrible situation.

While I was there, grandpa informed me that during WWII he had spent some time in France. In fact, he met a nice girl there but he never acted on it because he was married. When he got back, his lady had two men on the side. Of course, this all happens for a reason. Later, he'd meet my grandmother (his second wife) and make her a very happy woman. She's been gone for a little over a year now.

On the way there, Ladybug vomited in the car. I witnessed it all in my rear view mirror. She did that on our last Fredericksburg trip. I guess I need to take the country curves a li…

Mom's Gotta Vent from Time to Time #1

Vent #1:

Who hasn't gotten a new phone number only to find that person was being followed relentlessly by debt collectors? The last person to have our phone number was deep in debt. We get so many GD (gosh darn, sure...) calls from her old creditors. It's driving me up the wall!! Every other day it's a new one. And, it appears the chick is still using our number as a reference. Seriously?

Vent #2:

I'm all for Obama's plan to inlay the infrastructure required for fast internet connections out in the rural parts of our country. Currently, we pay 70 bucks a month for a HORRIBLE satellite internet service (hughes net). You have no idea how horrible it is. Unfortunately, we have no choice. DSL doesn't exist out here. Our service is slower then DSL but we are charged more. Let's not even talk about how much it cost to install.

Vent #3:

All of a sudden I'm getting ear infections every other month. WTH (heck), I mean, I'm 32 and I'm reliving my seco…

Venison Anyone?

Perhaps it's a bit controversial, but we have a bunch of venison hanging out in our freezer. My Aunt Ann gave me some during our visit. She had gotten a bunch from my Uncle Sonny who lets people hunt on his property.
While, I don't like the idea of killing bambi, I don't like the idea of animals going to waste either. I'm also quite adventurous culinarily speaking and intrigued to see what can be done with the exotic fare (I've never had it except in a sausage form once.) I'm sure many are laughing at me calling it exotic, but that is what it is for me.
My husband assures me that if deer were not hunted they would overwhelm the forests and cause accidents on the roads so there is no sense in feeling sorry for the guys. I'm not a stranger to this. I have hit a deer and in so doing, destroyed my oh-so-awesome chevy chevette (seriously, I really liked the car because it ran better then any car I had ever had at that point). My brother was with me at the time.…

Nick: Fryer Chef

Nick fried the oysters we got during our trip tonight and I thought I'd share the pics.

It was incredibly unhealthy, fried oysters, corn bread and for the sake of saving the meal... some broiled asparagus. I actually do not know how to fry at all. I've never learned. (I prefer Pam) That's why Nick took care of the frying tonight. We don't have fried stuff but once a year, so I'll save it for the experts.

All I could get was a shot of the oysters before they were fried. They went quickly.

Ladybug was skeptical. We called them ocean muffins and she pretty much bought that, hook, line, and sinker.

Crazy Hill Work

There is a price we pay for all the beautiful scenery around here. Tough, make-you-want-to-quit hills . They have a half marathon/marathon here but it is one of the toughest in the nation. At this point in my life, I'm not ready for it. Instead, I've opted for the flattest. Heehee. Once we complete this one we will consider doing the local one as well.

Regardless, we have to train on these insane hills because flat terrain doesn't exist here except on the highways. There is no such thing as an "easy" run. We did our 7 miler today. It was pretty tough. Below is the elevation profile. Keep in mind that this is one of the "flatter" courses in our area and those small hills are decent hills in and of themselves. You'll need to click on it to see the elevation changes closely.

You (maybe not all of you) have no idea how hard it is pushing an extra 50 pounds of kid and stroller weight up the hills. Nick pushes the kids on the long run days. I…

On The Chesapeake

We spent some time on the Chesapeake this weekend to visit my aunt. She was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas and we thought we'd stop by and enjoy some good company. She is doing well and is in great spirits. She will overcome. As she said, she has a good 30 years left in her.

My Great Aunt Joyce came over and cooked us a huge family meal in my mother's family tradition. It was like Christmas/Thanksgiving all over again only better.

Above and below: pics of us and the kids on my aunt's property. They are my greatest blessing from God. What a beautiful day too. It was a wonderful 60 degrees.

On the way home, we stopped by some seafood shack for some fresh oysters. We intend to fry them tomorrow. They aren't on the healthy food menu, but they were just canned yesterday and we couldn't help but partake of the fresh local delicacy.We had some political content here but removed it because this is a family blog.

Old Style

I couldn't help but notice the controversy brewing on our friends' blogs E4H and Feet off the Table. Knowing some of the people where Ali lives (and I used to live) they should probably keep the Christmas program and teach some form of Christian values. As Napoleon said:
"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."



Feet off The Table had an interesting post about infomercials. I instantly thought of how terrible the ShamWOW infomercial is.

Nick and I noticed that they cut the frames up to show the amazing results from that stupid towel. We aren't the only ones who noticed. Did you notice?

Check out this little Youtube video to see what I mean.

Yay for Small Houses

How AWESOME is this?!!! Check this out! Believe it or not America, you do not need a big house!! Sara is out to set the example.

I find it funny when people keep saying our house is small (if they don't say it they imply it) for the four of us when it's just perfect. We are living off of 525 sf per person, perhaps it may eventually be 435 sf per person?? NO plans yet. Why have all that extra space if you are only going to use it for that very occasional dinner party or guest? Why? So that we can go and brag about it? Does a bigger house make you a better person, or a happier person? I'd much rather have money in the bank then a giant house I hate to clean and my husband in a job he hates to make sure we have money for it all. Bigger houses mean less quality time for yourself and your kids. I think big houses are for families that don't like to spend time together. Sure, everyone needs time away, but do we need an entire wing for the ourselves or the kids?


Pardon My French

English Version:
This little blog is for Marie-France. She is like a mother to me. As she can't be here with us, these are photos of Christmas Day at our house to share with her. Marie-France and Christian gave us a little catepillar toy for greeneyes and the cutest little doll for ladybug for Christmas. This is an attempt to thank her.

Version Française:
Ce petit blog est pour Marie-France. Marie-France et Christian nous ont donné cette chenille et une poupée pour noël. C’était très sympa de son part.Elle est comme une maman a nous. Comme elle ne peut pas partager noël avec nous, voici, les photos de noël chez nous.

Oh, It's Time!

So, I've been thinking (Nick HATES it when I say that)...

My green eyes is 6 months old now and it's time to get back to the old me. I'd really prefer not to wait until Fall, so I'm thinking of doing a Spring race. (This has nothing to do with new years... I sort of loathe resolutions.) I ran up until my 34th week of pregnancy. It was actually easier to go running then, then it is now for mostly logistical reasons. Then, I just needed one kiddo to work with me, now I need two. Then, there is the whole running in the country thing I haven't really gotten used to yet.

My plan is to register for a run tomorrow. We just need to verify whether Nick will be able to run with me (i.e. whether we have a babysitter.) Regardless, Nick is going to train with me. Until I get a giant, mean dog, I don't enjoy running in the country alone.

I looked up a few different training schedules and this one appealed to me the most. It's simple, and has none of that crazy…

Fun Times

We drudged the old rusted hunk of metal out of storage yesterday. It started off fairly easy. I thought for a second, it might only take an hour.

Well, we had a few hiccups along the way (mainly a tow strap that wasn't long enough.) It took us about 5 hours, not including travel time. Of course, we later found out that my grandpa had one in the garage. Ha. Joke's on us there.

The '66 Mustang is now at home. It has seen better days and I'm not sure what we'll be doing with it. There is a Christian jail ministry in town who works on cars for cheap, so that is where we are considering taking it. Hmm... Do we want custom cabinets for our office or a semi-functioning hunk of metal? Something to think about.

It has been a cold couple of days. I drug the kids out for a morning run. I put Raley in so many layers (shirt layer, sleeper, coat, blanket, etc.) she got pretty perturbed during the middle of it. I guess the 5 layers I put on her were overkill.

I was h…