Sunday, August 31, 2008

Who me?

You Are Betty Grable

The ultimate girl next door

You're the perfect girl for most guys

Pretty yet approachable. Beautiful yet real.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meet your teacher

We found out yesterday who the kids have and I must say I am happy. Not to sound like an obnoxious mom with perfect kids, but I am very lucky to have "easy kids". They could be in any classroom and do fine. They like school and it comes pretty easy for them. So of course, all of the teacher drama is purely me and I can admit it.

I want a teacher who likes kids (you'd be surprised) is excited about teaching and has good communication with parents. That really isn't a tall order or at least it shouldn't be. I'm happy with who the kids got. Sam got my friend Holly who also was Ben's K teacher. I adore Holly and so does Sam. I don't know Ben's teacher too well yet, but she was always friendly around school and I've heard good things. Ben could really care less, he found out some friends were in his class so he is happy.
Tonight is Meet the Teacher Night. I'm so glad I have nothing to do with this event. I just get to go and say "hi" and then get the heck out of Dodge before the drama (and there is always drama) starts.

This summer zoomed by so quickly. Back to school for the kids means I will start working as well. I've signed up to sub in 2 districts as well as continue testing for the ESL program. Hopefully that will go smoothly. I'm so nervous to sub. I know I have forgotten how much energy it takes to wrangle kids. I think I will try and start with half day sub jobs. I really don't want to work more than 1 or 2 days a week. We shall see. It will definitely be an interesting Fall.

And now for something completely different...

WSU Laura gave me an award. What a sweetie. I found her through another blog's blog roll I read and her blog name caught my eye since I'm a wannabe coug. Anyway, her blog always makes me smile and if you haven't checked it out, you should.
Another sweetie you should check out is Marie. She also passed this award on to me a while back. Marie is always stopping by and checking in. She is fun and creative. She is actually getting a headstart on Christmas stuff. How uber organized is that?? Seriously, she's great. Stop by and say hi.

Last but not least...
The pic of Miss Beadle is from one of my favorite episodes of Little House. It is the one where Laura finds all the fool's gold and dreams about coming into town in a beautiful white carriage and bringing Miss Beadle a huge basket of apples. I love the look on Miss Beadle's face when Nelly then gives her the rotten apple. She shrugs and hucks it over her shoulder. Wasn't Little House the best show? I never missed it and I could not go to bed until Laura jumped in the air during the end credits.

Okay, enough rambling. Gotta get going. There is actually some sun today, so I should run my errands before the rain comes back.
Happy Humpday :0)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conversation with a 5 year old

Me: Bring me the lipstick
Sam: Is it because I have on too much?
Me: Yes
Sam: I just wanted to be beautiful.
Me: You are beautiful
Sam: Yes, I know. It is because of the lipstick.

Monday, August 25, 2008


This is getting ridiculous.
It hasn't stopped raining for the past 2 weeks. Oh sure you might get a sunbreak here and there, but seriously, I'm on the look out for an arc.
School is just nine days away and we are finishing up last minute details. Today includes a trip to the dentist and shoe shopping. After lunch we have a playdate and those are always fun. Maybe we will get lucky and the rain will stop for a few hours. Playing Princess and Power Rangers is a lot more fun outdoors.

The past few days have been pretty lackluster and not a lot to blog about. The one exciting bit of my weekend was the fact that my best friend Jenny P. came to town.

We went to lunch yesterday down on the Tacoma waterfront. We went to the Ram. Jenny ordered a "Buttface" (hehehe)I would have too, but I was driving. We had the best time. We just sat and chatted away. She really needs to move back to Washington. I miss her. I am definitely going to pop down to AZ for a visit.

Here is a pic of us. It is not the best. I was having a really good hair day, but the run from the restaurant to the car in the torrential downpour kind of killed it. I was hoping to get a pic of us at the restaurant with beautiful Commencement Bay in the background, but no dice. Oh well, maybe next time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The One and Only
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another Wet Wednesday

Ever since we got back from camping, it has been raining. Not light sprinkles, but full fledged downpours. January type rain. It is a little depressing. I really hope it goes away. I need my last few days of summer vacation to be sunny so I can seal in that last little bit of summer color. If there is anything I've learned about weather growing up in W. WA, it is that the first week of school will always be in the 80's.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Camping Recap

Well, I not only survived, but had a really nice time. This year the 7 kids were a little older and that made a difference. We had over an acre to ourselves with no one in earshot and that made a difference. We only spent one night up there and that made a difference. I'm sure next year will be even better. I have to say I came home with a renewed appreciation for my mellow kids :0)

My family has a cabin in the little town of Index, WA on the Skykomish River just off of HWY 2. It is very rustic and small. 4 humans is about its max, but it sits on about an acre so there is lots of room outside. It was a million degrees on Saturday (I guess technically it was more like high 90's) so we actually went swimming in the river. It is the first time ever I have been swimming in the Skykomish. It is snow run off and usually very cold, but I didn't care it was hot. I haven't been that hot and miserable since I was in China in the middle of summer. (Okay, quick side note: Ralph Lauren should be shot for designing Olympic outfits which consisted of long pants and blazers!! It is a million degrees with 95% humidity over there in the summer! I saw those outfits and felt their pain) Anyhoo, the river felt great and the kids spent the day splashing around. We never did make it into town, which was too bad since Index was holding their annual arts festival. Oh well, maybe next year.

It was really great to see all the kids just hang out and play. The arguing was really kept to a minimum. The moms stayed out of it as much as possible. It was pretty much kid law unless there was an injury. Considering the age range was from 3 to 11 they did pretty well. They had a talent show and did skits. They roasted marshmallows and threw lots of rocks in the river. Good old fashion kid fun.
We set up a big tent for the kids to sleep in and I was surprised that even the younger kids slept outside. Unfortunately, a nice storm rolled through around 5 am and it sent the 6 kids running inside soaking wet. They all just huddled up on the couch and fell back asleep for a few hours.

We headed home around 3:30 and arrived home around 8:00. I learned that when I'm on an adventure there comes a time when I am done. When I reach that point, I want to be home. I don't want to stop and walk around. I don't want to stop and get something to eat. I want to power through the drive and be home. I felt a little bit bad because when we finally got home, Maura was telling her kids to unload the car. By the time she rounded them up, I had unpacked everything and was halfway up the driveway. Yes, I was done. All in all it was a fun trip. I'm sure we will go again. It won't be long before the kids are too cool to camp with their moms, so we have to savor the time while we can.

Friday, August 15, 2008

On the road again...

Tomorrow I'm heading out for a little "girls weekend" with two of my dear friends Maura and Sarah. We are bringing the kids. For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while you might remember last year's "girls weekend".
We are keeping it simple and "camping" at our cabin. The weather is supposed to be fantastic and Index is holding its annual arts festival. On paper, it should be a great trip. We shall see...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A recipe and nod to the past

When one is trying to watch what they eat they should probably avoid having really good treats in the house. I have survived multiple batches of cookies (I truly believe the more I bake of something the less appealing it becomes)but then Ben requested I make some nut goodie bars and now I'm in trouble.

These little suckers are so yummy. I think they taste like a baby ruth bar which has the perfect balance of sweet and salty. I made them 2 days ago and I think Ben has had one. I, on the other hand, keep "testing" them. I finally had to put them in the freezer. We went to the Brown's last night for dinner and more running and the plan was to take a bunch over there, but forgot them, ugh. Oh well, I'm sure I can pawn them off on someone :0) If you like to live dangerously, here is the recipe. You can click to make it larger.

Speaking of recipes...I love it when I get recipes handwritten on actual recipe cards. I had always wanted to retype all my recipes into the computer and make it all fancy, but then I read somewhere about how the handwriting of the giver was part of the history of that recipe.

This is "the green cookbook". I have all of "my" recipes in it. You can tell by the splattered cover this baby gets a lot of use. It has to be good to make in here.(yes that is the back of a Bisquik box peeking out the bottom. I keep my bisuik in a jar and I can never remember the waffle recipe) It is also where I put the recipes that are given to me. Here are two recipes that are special to me.

The first one is from my grandma. It is for a Hungarian potato bread. I miss my grandma. How could I retype that. The second one is from my dear friend Megan who shared the secret of the perfect crust. Every time I flip through my book I see these and think of my friends and family. Isn't that part of the cooking tradition? Someday before Ben and Sam leave the nest, my plan is to make them a "green book" as well full of their favorite recipes handwritten, of course, by mom.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I have a regime

"I have a regime. I eat a plum everyday, that is my regime"
That is one of many favorite Seinfeld quotes.
Last night Holly and I began training for our triathlon. Surprisingly, I'm not too sore. I'm more stiff than anything. After spending the day at the pool (happy days the sun is back) Holly asked me if I wanted to go for a run. Yeah, I don't run. However, Holly is a master of persuasion and talked me into it.
We live in a pretty hilly neighborhood, but fortunately there is one little loop that is flat and it is a mile exactly. We did the loop twice walking and running. I figure I ran about half the way, so I'm pretty excited about that. I was able to keep dinner down (lesson learned: run BEFORE dinner) and avoided any side aches. We are going to run again tomorrow. The local gym holds a "Turkey Trot" on the morning of Thanksgiving. I have done the 3K walk, but this year we are going to do the 5K run. Yikes!!
Today is another sunny day here in Western WA. We were getting worried that August had gone on vacation, but it is back and should be a warm one. The sprinkler guy is coming today to finish fixing our sprinkler system that has resembled swiss cheese the past few years. When we bought the house I was sooooo excited to have sprinklers and our grass actually stayed green and lush. Unfortunately, some landscaping resulted in busted pipes and it just became too much for Joji to constantly repair. So we bit the bullet and called in the pros. There is no sweeter sound that sprinklers coming on by themselves at 5:30 am. Green grass here we come.
Ben is up and rumbling around. I better go and make him breakfast. Happy Tuesday!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

While I was ecstatic that the rain came yesterday validating my decision to cancel my garage sale, I have to say I was disappointed it decided to actually stick around and continue to rain on and off all day.

After my cookie baking, I went to downtown Tacoma to keep my friend Holly company while she worked the Tacoma Art Showcase. Tacoma has come a long way over the past few years. There is no longer the "aroma of Tacoma" and the downtown is going through a total renewal now that there is University of Washington Tacoma branch there. The once very scary streets (when I was in college, I had the misfortune to take the greyhound home and found myself downtown at the bus station at 11:00 at night- VERY scary. I would NEVER do that again) are now full of cute shops and restaurants. I think it has everything Seattle has, but everything is more reasonably priced and there is actual street parking. Anyway, Tacoma is trying to build up it's artiness and they have hosted this art show/walk thing for a few years and this was the first year for Holly's gallery to participate. If it hadn't rained off and on all day, the crowds might have been larger. At about 5:30 the skies opened up and we had a dozy of a shower. At that point the festival, which was scheduled to run until 9 came to very soggy end at 6. Oh well, for the amount of folks who were there, we had a lot of people come in and get info on the gallery and artists being featured.

Holly had some really cool looking art. My favorite by far was the work of local artist Kathy Hastings. She is a photographer who kayaks around the docks in Seattle taking pictures of rusty ship hulls. Be sure to check out her "waterlines" series. A-Mazing!! There was one little piece that I especially liked. It was a picture of a number six, the blues in the piece were just so pretty, completely "my shades" of blue. Holly being the super sweetie that she is, gave it to me as thank you for keeping her company.
She didn't have to do that, I had fun just hanging out and enjoying the interpretive dancers tell the story of how tortoise got this shell not once, but twice.

So here is my new real art. I just love it. Right now it is hanging in the kitchen. The red walls really make it pop. I'm not sure if it will stay there, but I'm liking it for now. If you also find yourself moved by Kathy's art, contact Holly and she can hook you up. Anyway, I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday. The rain seems to have moved on and I'm thinking a trip to the pool may be in our future. Happy Sunday everyone :0)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Sweetest Sound

For all the griping about rain we Washingtonians do, can I just share how HAPPY I was to hear the pitter patter of rain this morning. I feel that my decision to donate my stuff was rewarded with this little summer time shower. I now feel less flakey which is always nice. Since it is raining, my own plans of garage saling are probably not going to happen. I will probably spend the day packing up my stuff to donate and then I will be making cookies.
Ben is camping this weekend with some friends. I asked him if he wanted me to make some cookies to take on the trip. He said yes and when I asked him what kind he wanted he said he wanted me to make the ones that were round. Well, that narrowed it down. We spent the next 15 minutes going through my repertoire of cookie recipes without luck. He felt it might help if he drew a picture of the cookies. It wasn't until he mentioned the "little guy in the white hat". The Pillsbury Dough Boy?? I was wracking my brain to think when I would have made Ben cookies from a tube, but then I remembered we had made cake mix cookies a few times and ding, ding, ding, those were the ones he wanted.
These cookies are the EASIEST cookies ever and they taste pretty good too. They kind of remind me of the Lofthouse cookies with the pink frosting, but they are much more moist. I usually don't frost them, but when I do, they do not last long. Anyway, I told this story to Joji and now he wants me to make up a batch. So today I will be making the cake mix cookies as well as White Chocolate Macadamia and Peanut Butter Chip cookies. (Today is my buddy Matt's birthday and so I'm taking him a big thing of cookies)
I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday. I know I will be :0)

Cake Mix Cookies
One box Pillsbury Cake Mix (I use the White, if you use a chocolate mix add 2 T of water)
1 stick of soften butter
1 egg
Combine ingredients and drop by rounded T on a cookie sheet 2" apart
Bake 9-10 minutes @ 350 Makes 2 1/2 Dozen
Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezey :0)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Knowing When to Say When

I finally broke down and started pricing my stuff, but then I realized that the amount of stuff was a lot less then I had originally thought. Not only that, the ratio of "fun stuff" to clothes and kids toys was way out of balance. Suddenly it hit me. If I was driving by my own garage sale, I probably would not stop. Ouch.
As I sat looking at my stuff I began to calculate what the potential take was (of course I cut in half to be realistic) Some how the idea of giving up my Saturday for 50 bucks became less and less appealing. So I made the executive decision to cancel my sale.

To make myself feel less like a flake, I have convinced myself that donating all of the stuff will ensure good thrifting karma in the future. The clothes will be taken to our local school clothing bank. I know Ben will be a little disappointed. He was really good about letting his stuff go with the promise of cash, but I'm sure he will understand. I will bring him with me to the clothing bank so he can see the good he is doing. Ben is a sensitive kid, he will get it.

So now I am able to go to bed without the stress of a garage sale hanging over my head. I will sleep peacefully and not dream about pricing, hanging signs or the frantic last minute rush to get it all done. My day is now free. What is on the agenda?? Garage saling of course :0)

Who is your 80's hunk

How fun is this??
I LOVED Jason Bateman on Silver Spoons and It's Your Move. I always thought he would have made the perfect Chandler Bing. Oh well, I'm glad to see he is working more these days. I think he looks as good now as he did then.

Your 80s Hunk Is

Jason Bateman

Yes, I'm putting off preparing for my garage sale. I'm secretly wishing a big storm would roll in and then I would have an excuse to take everything to Goodwill. Anyone know a good raindance??

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Are you worthy??

So with my garage sale pending for Saturday (the ONLY day with raindrops on the five day forecast) I thought it might be fun to share the rules that my mom and I use to determine if a garage sale is worthy for us to stop.

1. Have good signs.
Nice handwriting and easy to read are a must. If your signs are trashy looking it makes us think that your stuff will be too. You also get extra credit for bright colors.
Putting the date and time of the sale are also appreciated. Nothing is worse than trying to track down a sale that was held two weeks ago.
If you don't live off the main drag, put signs at every turn. You want folks to find you right??
2. Curb Appeal
Part of the garage sale dance is the slow the car down to peruse your stuff. Make sure that folks can see what you have before they have to get out of the car. If everything is hiding in your garage, we probably won't stop. At least have a couple of good "teaser" items close to the curb so it makes folks want to see more.
3. Displaying your wares
One of our big no no's is having stuff on the ground especially clothing. We do not want to be crawling around to see what you have. Make sure stuff is either folded nicely (yes, it will get all messed up, but refolding it will give you something to do during the down time) or hanging up.
Clean your stuff. It sounds simple, but no one wants to buy a dirty anything.
Organize by categories. Like stuff with like stuff. Think like a store. We are much more likely to stay and browse if it looks like you put some effort into your displays.
Cover those tables. Stuff just looks nicer when on a table with a tablecloth or sheet.
4. Pricing
Have your stuff clearly marked. Nothing drives me crazy like an unpriced garage sale. Don't ask me what I think it is worth, because it will probably be a lot less then what you want.
Don't tell me how much you paid for it. I don't care. If you are trying to get rich, put your stuff on Craigslist or ebay. It is a garage sale and folks are looking for bargains.
Expect to haggle. I need nothing that I'm buying. The thrill is purely in the hunt and the thrill of that great score.

There you have it. Our "rules". Of course now we must also follow these rules ourselves which means some work between now and Saturday. Today will be spent pulling out more items to sell and start pricing. Most stuff will be $5 or less. I have a couple pieces of furniture. I have a waterfall vanity that I bought about 15 years ago (at a garage sale) from a man to claimed to be Stevie Nicks' uncle. He told me that he use to change her diapers on it. Don't know if it's true or not, but make an interesting story. Will keep you posted on the progress.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Catching up

I'm breaking down and having a garage sale with my mom. I'm not sure why, I ALWAYS swear I will never do another one, but here we go again. So now the house is topsy turvy as I pull stuff for the sale. I'm really trying to be ruthless. I need stuff gone. I need to have emptiness in my life. Does anyone else feel that way??? I want to open closets without the contents crashing at my feet. I want to end the never ending game of Jenga that seems to be my house right now. So slowly, I purge one room at a time. It gets a little overwhelming, but I'm telling myself it will be all worth it.
One of the biggest challenges, it the pricing of stuff. I'm torn between what I would pay for stuff and what I want other people to pay for my stuff. I pulled a ton of clothes from Ben and it is nice stuff. My gut says a buck an item, but I think I could get two. I have to remind myself how much I hate at garage sales when folks tell me how much they paid for everything and what a deal their over priced stuff is. I will probably go for a buck. I have to remember who is my clientele. Around here there are a lot of Hispanic and Russian families and they will be the ones who are buying the clothes. I want the stuff gone, right??
As for the "fun" stuff, I think we will have a pretty decent selection. In fact I think most of the stuff will probably be other garage sale treasures that have served their purpose and now someone else can give them a new home. Isn't that the beauty of garage saling?? You get your stuff for cheap and then there is no dilemma of "I paid so much for this, I just can't get rid of it". It is actually a little bit freeing. I will definitely post more about the garage sale later this week. My mom and I have all these rules for garage sales we attend to we must make sure our sale will be up to snuff.

About a million years ago Marie and Timi tagged me. So here are my VERY interesting answers (hehe)

Four things you should know about me before you invite me over:
1. If you have a beautiful and immaculate home, DO NOT tell me about your lack luster housekeeping skills. This makes me dislike you. If you have lack luster housekeeping skills, I will not judge, but understand and welcome you into the sisterhood. You will also score extra credit bravery points. (However, I do draw the line at dirty laundry on display, no one wants to see the not so whitey tighties.)
2. If you we are just hanging out, please do not fuss. If I'm there for an actual event please DO fuss. When I "entertain" I make sure my guests are well fed and taken care of and I appreciate when others do as well. If you throw a party please provide more than a roof. I guess I'm old school, but unless you are hosting an official potluck, don't invite folks and expect them to bring their own food and drink.
3. I will always want "the tour", but will wait until it is offered. I understand there are public and private spaces in a house and will respect the fact that not all rooms are showroom ready. I do love looking at houses and seeing how they are decorated. I find it so inspiring, so please don't feel offended if I steal a really cute idea from your home. I'm kind of a house junkie.
4. If I'm coming over, have a plan for your kids. They don't have to be gone, just make sure they won't be bugging us every two seconds. I'm there to see you, not watch you parent the entire time. I love kids, but a front row seat to a tantrum is not fun for anyone.

The ABC's of Me
A: Attached or Single: Married 10 years
B: Best Friend: Jenny P.
C: Cake or pie? Cake with butter cream frosting
D: Day of Choice? Thursdays
E: Essential item? Diet Mt. Dew
F: Favorite color? Blue
G: Gummy bears or worms? Worms the sour kind
H: Home Town: Federal Way
I: Favorite indulgence? Pedicure
J: January or July? July
K: Kids? 2
L: Life isn't complete without? Beauty in everyday things
M: Marriage date? April 3, 1998
N: Number of sibs? 2 brothers
O: Oranges or apples? Apples
P: Phobias: Heights
Q: Quote: Less is more
R: Reasons to smile: my kiddos
S: Season of choice? Fall
T: Tag 5 folks Timi, Jamie, Jenny, Laura, Holly
U: Unknown fact about me: I have small ears
v: Vegetable? Artichokes
W: Worst habit: Not finishing things and following through
X: Xray or ultra sound? ultra sound
Y: Your favorite food? Depends on my mood
Z: Zodiac sign: Cancer

Monday, August 4, 2008


Just a quick post to let you know that I have not fallen off the earth. I have just been either super busy or incredibly lazy. I'm in the process of getting ready for a garage sale with my mom. Every year we vow never to do another one and yet here we go again. This time I'm being really brutal. We just finished Ben's room and it now holds 25% of what it did yesterday. One room down, how many to go??
The joke around here is that you need to "tap in" when the mood hits. Well, the mood has hit and I figure it is now or never to get rid of the stuff that is strangling our house. Whatever doesn't sell is NOT coming back in, but being loaded directly up and will be taken to GW. (This serves two main purposes: 1. It will be gone 2. I can't shop there for a while when there is a chance MY stuff will be on the shelves- it really creaps me out)
So there is my life right now. Busy and crazed. I'm hoping by doing this we can enter the school year with a little calm around here. Okay, I've taken long enough of a break. For those who have checked in and left comments, thanks. I'm hoping later this week to catch up.