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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Road Trip

Well, it's finally here! Vacation time. We've been planning this trip with my family and it's finally time to head out. We are driving to Colorado. I believe it's pretty close to 2000 miles give or take a couple of hundred. I hope I don't hear 'are we there yet?' 2000 times! I'm hoping that Ian will look at parts of this country that he's never seen in person before.
If all goes as planned, we're leaving in an hour. Usually, something goes wrong and we leave a couple of hours late. I hope that doesn't happen.
So for the next two weeks I will be in the following states: Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado and hopefully the state of happiness!
On our way back we are planning to stop in Utah and see where they drove the golden spike in the ground when the western and eastern railroads connected. Of course, if we wanted to see the spike, we'd have to go to California, it's in a museum there. Seems a little dorky, but I'm sure if they'd left the golden spike, someone would have stolen it a long time ago.
Since I am going to be in the Rocky mountains for the majority of my vacation, I don't believe I will have access to the internet. So I'll see you in a couple of weeks! I'm sure Colin's computer will groan when it sees how many pictures I want to store on it from the trip!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yard Sale and Vacation--I'm Doomed!

Last week I was really tired and felt like I might be fighting another sinus infection. Then we had a yard sale and I got nemesis. I should have known it would happen, it always happens when we have a yard sale or we're going on vacation. We're doing both. The yard sale was Saturday and by that evening I was so congested, I could hardly breathe.
We were supposed to have a picnic with our Sunday School class on Sunday after church, but I had to cancel. I had a meeting tonight, but that didn't happen. I was supposed to make corn bread to take to our new church building site to help feed volunteer builders, but that isn't happening. Wednesday night we are going to get our pictures taken for a new church directory. We are going, but I doubt that I'll want to buy any of those pictures!
My sweet husband stayed home with me today to let me get some rest (when I could stop coughing) and also drive me to a Dr. appointment to address this new bout of sinusitis. It also let him get a little rest, he wasn't feeling good on Sunday either.
So I went to my doctor appointment. I don't really "get" my doctor. I mean I've been told by some of the nurses that he's really smart and I find him to be nice, but he's a little odd. He always seems to be nervous and uncomfortable and awkward. I tell you, if I went in and found him chewing on a piece of straw, barefoot and in rolled up jeans with a straw hat on his head, it would probably make sense to me. I guess he reminds me of a tall, really nervous Huck Finn.
Thankfully, my appointment was a snap. I'm sure they heard me in the hallway hacking up my lungs! All my doctor did was look in my throat and ask me which antibiotic works best for kicking this stuff (I'm sure explaining that I'm going on vacation helped a bit, that and the fact that he's seen me for this same thing for at least two maybe three years). So now I'm on Augmentin for three weeks and Prednisone for 10 days. Let's kick some infection booty so I can enjoy our road trip!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A Four Day Work Week

I am very excited about things to come. This week Colin's work sent everyone an email about flex time, meaning that people can change their schedules to four days a week instead of five (four ten hour days). Colin looked at and realized that it wouldn't work with him riding the bus to work (he'd end up being gone 13-14 hrs. a day or more), but he realized if he could form a van pool leaving from our area, it would be possible. So he started doing his homework and found out what it would take to form a new van pool.
Guess what?! He already has enough people signed up for a full van! He just got the email on Monday or Tuesday!! Now he just needs to get all the paperwork done to get on the waiting list for a van (they're in great demand right now, which isn't a big surprise considering the cost of gas!)
I am so excited! I have all kinds of ideas for an extra day a week with my hubby. We can get things done around the house. I could substitute teach a couple of days a month. We could go camping!! I am getting giddy just thinking about all the possibilities!
It's going to be hard waiting until August or September for this plan to go into action. I think I'll start making my "honey do" list now!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Hello Thirty-seven and Hello Mudpie!

Well it is official. I am no longer thirty-six and am now thirty-seven. If you want to be technical about it, I have about 2 1/2 hrs. before it's official, but I don't go by that!
So far thirty-seven is turning out to be more of the same. I'm doing laundry and dishes and making my own birthday cake. It's painfully obvious to me that one more year has not added much more wisdom to me. Allow me to explain.
I was making my cake and saw that Dilly wanted to go outside. I knew I didn't have time to take her for a walk, so instead of putting her in her crate, I decided to put her out on the run that Colin had rigged up for her. I don't know what I was thinking!
It had been raining a little this morning, but by this time it had stopped. The grass was damp but not too bad I thought.
I forgot to consider the fact that Dilly is still a puppy (even though she's big and doesn't really look like it much anymore) and that Dilly likes to dig. I did check on her periodically and I should have suspected something when Ian asked me where daddy had found the brown leash that Dilly was tied to. It isn't brown, it's bright purple. Rather, it was bright purple. Right now it is so muddy it is brown.
I finally got a good look and Dilly and wasn't pleased with what I saw. Every paw was caked with mud and so was her beard. I knew she needed a bath, but the tub is in the middle of our house, across acres of beige carpeting. I thought long and hard and decided the only way in was through our home school room. It's very close to the bathroom and has a sliding door. I made a chain of towels to cover the floor and then took the clean leash to get Dilly. Of course, she kept putting her muddy beard all over my putty colored Bermuda shorts and I'm certain that they will need to soak in a gallon of Shout Advanced for at least a week, but we made in the house and to the bathroom tub without ruining the carpet.
I proceeded to rinse off half my yard and wash it down the drain. The dog is wet and clean and relatively happy again. I have gained a little wisdom. Don't put the puppy in the slightly muddy yard and expect a sparkling clean dog to be the result, it's not gonna happen!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Farewell Thirty-six

Today I am spending a few last minutes with Thirty-six before I must say farewell. It's been a good number. A lot happened during the course of one number in my life. Here are the highlights of thirty-six:
June- signed up for my own home business ( wanted to earn some cool things for my home)
July- launched my new home business, helped at Summer Hummer (VBS over the top for those of you unfamiliar with this program), had my first 4th of July party at my own home,got sinusitis which pretty much killed the rest of the month.
August- celebrated my husband turning thirty-four, wondered if my tomatoes were ever going to turn red, wondered if August had ever been this cold before, worked on my home business, earned my starter kit for free, started teaching my son 1st, read, read! Joined a homeschool support group, watched my son start playing soccer, signed him up for swimming lessons twice a week plus a tumbling class, homeschool sports and AWANA (basically, I must have lost my mind and got event happy)
September- gave up on tomatoes ever getting ripe and instead made green tomato relish, had my first yard sale in MY OWN HOME, hosted a housewarming party that no one (except my bestest friend, who'd already been here)came to, back to AWANA and Bible study, had to take my son to everything I had signed him up for (became un-event happy)
October- had my last home business party and stopped having a home business, too much hassle! Responded to an email from my H.S support group to be in a Bunco group.
Celebrated Halloween with my *Sheriff* son at Light Up the Night
November- got to play Bunco with my group for the first time...yeah!! Planned and went on a field trip on an Amtrak train to Seattle and the Seattle Aquarium Celebrated Thanksgiving with 37 other family members- fun!! Started setting up the Christmas tree, said good-bye to our sweet dog Lucy who was super sick and had to be put to sleep, wished my dad a happy # 60
December- lived through a bad storm, went to Hawaii for a week where my brother-law got married and we added three new kids into the family(Ian was so happy to have more cousins to play with and they aren't all girls!), was diagnosed with sleep apnea, got sick for most of the month, barely got the tree finished with decorations before Christmas
January- got a machine to help me breath when I'm sleeping, started sweet talking my honey so we could get a new dog, bought Piccadilly Jan 27th, started researching the Internet for puppy-training advice almost daily
February- got sick again didn't do too much (even felt lousy for Valentine's Day), AWANA games practice, started going to a small group for 6 weeks (sure, what's one more night a week, right?)
March- took my son to the AWANA games, started thinking about what to do for my son's birthday, finally got to play Bunco again (hadn't played since that first time in Nov.), helped my son be THE greenest for Green Night at AWANA!!! Wished my mother-in-law a happy #60
April- celebrated my son's 7th birthday with a very simple party at Grandma and Grandpa's. After having had some elaborate parties in the past, Ian said this one was the best because he got a Nascar cake and got to play outside. Good to know he's easily impressed. Discovered the world of coupons, free samples and living frugally, started working on all that, said good-bye to Colin's grandpa(he passed away at 92), wished my mom a happy # 60
May- went on a second field trip on a train to Portland and visited the zoo down there, finally wrapped up almost all of Ian's activities except for baseball, wished my father-in-law a happy #60, started my first REAL garden
June- went to many baseball games and practices for my son, discovered I love club sandwiches and so does my whole family! Got my dog a proper haircut and stopped picking up hair clumps everywhere, got ready for vacation (only two more weeks to go) and got ready to say good-bye to Thirty-six.
It's been a good year. Hopefully, I have learned not to over-schedule (although I still am tempted to do so) and not to take on so much that I overwhelm myself. I've made new friends, had fun new experiences and am ready to see what thirty-seven holds!

Super Deluxe Ranch Nachos

I am sharing one of Colin's favorite meals with you. I came up with this recipe last summer and it was a big hit around here. If you get to the end of the recipe and think' hmmm, that seems pretty close to Taco Salad, you would be right. It is very similar, just with a little less stuff and by calling it Nachos, I get a positive reaction from my husband, which I don't get when I say we're having taco salad.
So here's the recipe:
A little side note...we use the ranch dressing made from packets (we use Uncle Dan's, but Hidden Valley Ranch works just as well). I have not tried this with bottled ranch.
Super Deluxe Ranch Nachos
1 lb. hamburger
1 taco seasoning packet
Crumble and brown hamburger and use taco seasoning packet (following the directions on the packet)
1 can refried beans ( warm in microwave or in a pan on the stove)
Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
Shredded ice berg lettuce (I cheat and buy the Shreds bag, but you could easily shred your own)
Diced tomato
sliced green onion
Ranch dressing
Salsa (if desired)
Tortilla chips ( I use ones that are like what you get in the Mexican restaurant)
To assemble:
Place tortilla chips on plates ( 1 plate per person, not a big plate for everyone, although that would work if you are using this as an appetizer instead of a meal).
Sprinkle cheese over tortilla chips ( I usually microwave each plate for about 15-20 seconds on high to melt the cheese.
Place shredded lettuce on top of tortilla chips ( a little or a lot, that's up to you!)
Place a dollop of warmed refried beans in the center of lettuce. Sprinkle taco meat over lettuce and beans. Sprinkle a little cheese over the top. Sprinkle on diced tomatoes and green onions and drizzle the whole thing with some Ranch dressing. If you want salsa, place a little on top.
Serve and enjoy!
This is so easy to make and my guys love it! This is "my " recipe that I came up with one day when I wanted to make taco salad and realized I was out of sour cream. I know it looks like a lot of steps all typed out, but it really is super simple!

I think I'll make this tomorrow night for my birthday. Yum!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!
We had a wonderful sermon about fathers and parenting and what God desires for fathers today. I'm still drying my eyes. Our pastor has a tender heart and tears up easily. All I need to tear up is someone else to tear up in front of me. Throw in touching stories and I'm trying not to sob in church. I did okay, but there was at least one woman who had a bit of those sobs that make you sort of hiccup when you suck in air.
I left the sermon feeling like I should call my dad right away, which I haven't done yet, so I guess I'd better take care of that now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Expiration Dates

I was washing my hands today when I noticed something odd about my hand soap. It has an expiration date. Really. I thought to myself 'I wonder why my soap has an expiration date? Will it no longer function as soap once it reaches that date or even goes past that date?'
I understand about expiration dates for medicine and food. They make sense to me. Medicine can lose or increase in potency once it reaches a certain amount of shelf life. We all know what can happen to food once it's past the expiration date; it can become quite funky and disgusting.
Why the expiration date on soap though? Will it genetically mutate into the blob? Will it no longer clean my hands, but actually, in fact make them dirtier? What evil lurks in having liquid hand soap after the expiration date?
I am very tempted to go buy another bottle of my hand soap and keep it on the shelf until it's past the expiration date. The only reason I don't is that I'm pretty sure that by the time 2010 rolled around, I'd have forgotten exactly why I had this bottle of soap in the back of my bathroom closet or my son would find it and use it before it expired.
I think as a society in general, we have become rather expiration date happy. We are putting them on things that aren't really necessary. Maybe this is why things are getting so expensive. We have to pay for the people whose jobs are putting expiration dates on all our products!
So what items have you found ridiculously marked with expiration dates? I'm glad people don't come with expiration dates because, really, I don't wanna know.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What's in a Name?

My friend Missy accidentally misspelled my name on her blog the other day. I let it slide. I tend to do that most of the time, since my name gets bungled up frequently. She realized the error and let me know that she had fixed it, which was very sweet of her. It got me thinking about what wrong names I have been called in my life and why.
Allow me to share a few of the misspellings and flat out wrong versions of my name that I have heard:
Dee Anne (this was my 7th grade English teacher. You’d think that an English teacher would be able to remember how to spell someone’s name). Her name was Mrs. Coushnet, but I secretly called her Mrs. Coconut-head, since she always misspelled my name, even when my name was right there on the paper for her see!
Dee- this was my 5th grade teacher. He just liked to give everyone nicknames. Unfortunately, my mother told me I wasn't allowed to shorten my name (and I believed her).
Deanna- my favorite great aunt always forget and called me this. I loved her, so I let it slide.
Diane- this happened recently. A new, sort of friend replied to an email with my name all over it and she called me Diane. *sigh*
Denise- a boy in high school who had a little crush on me…obviously not a big enough crush to remember my name!
Dina- one of my much loved college professors Dr. Bonner would often mix my name up with that of a fellow student. It happened so often, that I got to the point that I didn’t correct him anymore (he wasn’t purposely doing it) so my classmates started correcting him for me!
DeDan- this was how my brother pronounced my name when he started talking- cute, huh?
Dan- I'm pretty sure this wasn't on purpose, but my brother's best friend's name was Dan and half the time we weren't really sure which of us my brother was talking to. There were times when my brother said "D*an" and I waited for his friend to reply and his friend did reply and my brother was really saying "DeAnn". Whatever happened to enunciating?
Dott (y) (ie)- I have been called this probably due to my over exposure to people named Dotty/ Dottie. My mother-in-law and my best friend are both named Dotty/Dottie. Of course, just to mess with my head a little, they aren't spelled the same!
Well there you have mixed up names. I think I feel an identity crisis coming on!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convincing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.


Don't you just hate Spam?? Not the kind the Hawaiians love to eat, (although that isn't too appealing to me) but the kind you get in your email. I have just been going through my email account that I use for signing up for online offers. A coupon here, a newsletter there, a couple of prize giveaways, that kind of stuff.
Anyway, my email has a special folder for email that it suspects might be spam. Keep in mind that sometimes my email server deems things spam and they never even reach my email account. I never see those. I must say though that I don't like that they do that. They always seem to delete things that I would have wanted, like confirmation for signing up for something or an email from my brother.
Back to the topic of my spam folder. So tonight I decided to wade through the spam emails (all 8100 of them) to make sure there weren't any in there that really aren't spam. I'm scanning the sender line and I have to tell you, some of what they put on there is pretty funny. For instance, did you know that if I clicked on several of the emails in there I could meet my sole mate. That is excellent news! I have a hard time shopping for shoes and that would be really helpful, oh wait, I guess they meant soul mate. *Sigh* I've already done that, I really would have liked to meet my sole mate. Bummer.
Here's a bit of good news that I found in my spam emails: I've been approved for a change on my loan for my old apartment. Wait a minute. Did I have a loan for my old apartment? Hmmm, nah, it didn't cost THAT much a month. Oh, well, I'm sure they have honest intentions ( wah ha ha).
One of the most amazing things I've noticed in my spam folder is that I can get email from the future. That's right, you heard it here first! I am getting emails from the future. Mostly thirty years into the future. I receive these mysterious emails from the year 2038. I'm sure they are of the utmost importance. They probably tell my future. From reading them it looks like in thirty years I will be fabulously wealthy, I will have gone to at least 20 different schools and I'll be dating everyone! Amazing! Is anyone else receiving emails from the future? Strange how they always end up in the spam folder...
Oh, and I had an email from Mr.Nnanna Uba. He wants to help protect me from a dangerous scam by giving me a Citibank card and sending me money. Hey, come to think of it, people all over the world keep writing to me telling me that I am a beneficiary. I've had so many of those emails, I'm just positive I should be fabulously wealthy, oh that's right, they're phishing. Oh, well. You must admit that Nnanna Uba is a really great name, it makes me giggle when I say it!
Okay, time to finish making sure all the emails in the spam folder really belong there. Maybe I'll find a couple more that will give me a chuckle!

Friday, June 6, 2008


June 6th is about to come to a close and it only got up to maybe 58 degrees today. The sun only peaked out for a little bit this evening. The whole day was wet, gray and dreary. Not really a great warm up for summer which is only days away. In fact the mountains around here are supposed to get some snow tonight. Talk about depressing.
I can see that once again, my son's experience of summer will be nothing like the summers of my childhood.
Growing up in the Midwest, school was always out right before Memorial Day weekend and, boy were we ready. The days were already growing warm and sunny and no one wanted to be stuck inside a school building. We were ready to play outside! Summers were filled with my brother's baseball games and swimming (where ever we could) it might be in a kiddie pool in our yard or at our Grandma's neighbor's pool or the city pool (mostly when we were a little older for the city pool). Mom made sure we took swimming lessons until we were proficient little swimmers. We loved swimming. All that sunshine and those hot Kansas breezes blowing on us as we came out of pool. That was the only time we would shiver in the summer unless we happened to have a summer rainstorm. Most the time, even those were warm.
I loved summer storms. The fast, heavy raindrops pounding onto the pavement. Thunder booming across the fields and lightning cracking. I, of course was safe inside and didn't have to go out in the storm.
Sometimes our summer days were so hot that our window air conditioner just couldn't cool the whole house. So we'd pull our mattresses into the living room (where the air conditioner was) and close off the bedrooms and have sort of a camp out in the living room. That was the closest I ever came to camping with my family until a couple of years ago. I loved it! I felt safe and secure and happy surrounded by my family.
Do I miss 100 degree days? No, not really. I think I just miss those sunny days where warm breezes and swimming pools were about the only thing on my mind.
Well, at least Ian has baseball, even if he has to wear a coat to play the game. Maybe we'll get a couple of hot days where he'll need to camp out in our bedroom. He did have to do that once or twice last year and I got the feeling that he liked it just as much as I did when I was a kid.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

8 Random Things About Me

So I was reading yet another blog and they had written 8 random things about themselves because they had been "tagged by someone else. I got to the end of their post and it said if you are reading this and have a blog, consider yourself tagged. So here goes: (if I can think of more than 8, I'll try to list those, too).
1. I have my very first "real" garden of my own this year. The in the ground kind of garden, not in containers. I did do that before, but it isn't quite the same as a garden in your yard.
2. I despise conflict. It seriously stresses me out. I hate having to say something to someone that might upset them because that means they might get upset with me.
3. I paid for part of my college with a vocal scholarship. It covered everything, books, tuition, art supplies (I was an art major at the time). I wish I could have paid for all my college that way. The scholarship was a "God" thing. I know it was because I went to the college to sign up for one class as I didn't have enough money for more than that. The college advisor looked at my transcript (I was returning to college at this point, I'd already gone 2 years somewhere else) and saw that I had been in choir at my previous college. But guess what?! The only reason I had been in choir is when I was taking music for the elementary teacher, the instructor was also in charge of a choir and needed a few more people and encouraged us to enroll. That had been 3 or 4 years prior to my going back to school at this new college. So the advisor saw that and said she had an idea. She took me over to the choir director and I tried out for the choir right then and there and that was it. I was in the choir and I had a full scholarship. Amazing!
4.I am a cancer survivor. So far in my life that has been the scariest thing I've ever heard- you have cancer. I am thankful I have been given more time here and even more thankful that even after chemo I was able to have a son.
5. I had my first job at age 13. I started babysitting. I don't think there's been a year in my life since then when I haven't been working with children in some way or another.
6. I hate pantyhose! Can't stand them. They always get twisted on me and they're just ANNOYING! I am positive they were invented by a man!
7. I love my family. All my family, even though a lot of my family is far away from where I live. I talk to my mom on the phone almost every day.
8. I don't like going to the dentist. This is another thing that completely stresses me out. It's nothing against the dentist, it's just me. I had a huge gap between my front teeth and when I was five they cut the muscle in between my two upper front teeth so the gap would close in. I've had issues with dentists ever since.

Okay. That's 8. If you're reading this and you have a blog, consider yourself tagged! You knew that was coming, didn't you?

Monday, June 2, 2008

All about Ian

I have a couple of cute things to share about Ian from this past week. First, let me start by saying that Ian loves music. He's got a great ear for it. Pretty sure that runs in the family, I have a pretty good ear for a tune and so does my aunt Gail.
Anyway, Ian hears all different kinds of music and you never know what will stick with him (whatever sticks, you'll hear him humming it for weeks to come). Well, this past week the tune that stuck with him was Brown-eyed girl by Van Morrison. (Personally, I really like this song and also Green-eyed Lady, I claim them both as my eyes are a brown/green hazel, but I digress). Anyway, Ian was humming the tune and he got to the part where Van Morrison sing La Ti Da, la ti da. Only Ian sang it Lucky Duck, lucky duck. It fit the rhythm and it was incredibly cute!

This evening Ian had another baseball game. I debated whether I should take my camera or not (I just took a bunch of pictures at his Saturday game) and I decided to leave it at home. Of course, that turned out to be a huge mistake. My sweet little boy neglected to tell me that at the game the day before, he had volunteered to play catcher. So there I am, camera-less when he starts gearing up. He was so cute, my little Charlie Brown. He didn't know he was supposed to squat down or even bend his knees! He had to get lots of tips, but he did a pretty good job! He never caught the ball, but he chased it down rather well. He was catcher for 2 innings. When his team was up to bat we got him to look at the catcher on the other team who knew that he was supposed to squat down and after that Ian figured out how he was supposed to be behind home plate. One of the coaches even got him to put his unprotected hand behind his back so he looked pretty good out there. He stopped several balls with his leg protectors and each time he couldn't find the ball! It was right in front of him, but he thought it must have rolled somewhere else.
He told us after the game that being catcher was an easier position to play. Yeah, I don't think so, I think it's just a position that's busy enough for my busy guy. For the two innings that he wasn't playing catcher, he was backing up first base in the outfield. I have never seen an outfielder jump up and down that much! I hope he plays catcher again so I can get a picture!