Thursday, September 28, 2006

Money, Money

This charming morning, my dear husband volunteered to take the kids to piano lessons, allowing me to do some things at home.

Instead of staying home, however, I went to the bank, where I had an account to settle. :) literally.

On Monday afternoon, a new teller had failed to make a split deposit correctly. I noticed it after I left the bank (it was getting late and dinner was calling my name, "make meee, make meeee" - so I didn't go back to make sure it was corrected). Since then, I've been waiting to see if the error would straighten itself out (by checking my online banking), but alas, it has not. So not only did the teller screw up, so did the proofing department (or whatever the double-checkers are called. Rebecca, can you enlighten me?)

So this morning, as soon as the doors opened, I went in, armed with my information. Fortunately "my" banker was there, and she was able to pull up a proof of the deposit slip, where very clearly I had designated a certain amount to go to a different acct. In doing some checking, she was at a loss to see where my money had gone! So, she went ahead and made the deposit for me, using Bank of America's money.

That was a tidy 45 minutes gone, but not entirely wasted.

ON TO SCHOOL. We began math at 11:30 this morning. Skill to be learned: Counting back change. I had all these paper cutouts of $1, $5 and $10 bills, as well as real change from our change jar littering the table as we played "store." I would "buy" a plate of tortilla chips for $5.56, give the kids a $10 and make them give me change. If they did it right, they got to eat the chips (or what have you). And inflation/deflation was rampant. Sometimes the chips cost $12.23 and I gave them a $10 and a $5. Other times it cost $.49.

We took a break at 12:30. Confusion abounding. Lights coming on in S's head, but not D's.

Resumed at 1:30. AUGH. *Pounding head on table*

It's now 3:30. We just finished math. I think I'm going to hang out on this lesson a few more days.

But I'm gonna have to take a prozac first.

Money pressures can be very stressful!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's a Doozy

The Fair ended two days ago, and I REJOICE in that fact. The insanity factor trebles around Puyallup for the 17 days of the fair. You just can't get around downtown conveniently, and that happens to be where I live and shop. However, I don't live close enough to offer Fair Parking in my front yard, the way some do. (I bet those people pay off their property taxes and go on a Caribbean vacation with the booty they receieve those 17 days!)

And, the Fair has changed the way you can enter the home-grown vegetables/fruit competition. No longer do they send out premium books; you have to go online and look at the PDF files to find out entry times. AND...They moved the entry deadline back by one day; therefore, we were unable to submit vegetables to get our Exhibitors' Passes (the only way our family of four can afford to go to the fair!!)

I was irritated at myself for not checking sooner, and irritated at The Fair for being so, so, so...I dunno. I was just irritated.

We still went for free (if you get there before noon) on the first day. And so did about 60,000 other people. I have never seen an opening day so packed. The scone wagon line went back 50 feet. Earthquake's line wasn't as bad, but they were moving slowly. We purchased only scones, burgers, and drinks, dropping a tidy $46. And the kids wanted to know why they couldn't ride rides! Ha.

September 16 was the Junior Gardeners Exhibition day. Your vegetable is your ticket into the fair! So we got in free a second time. D and S had chosen their prime vegetables the day before the fair started; most unfortunately we had also PICKED them that day, based on previous years' entry times. We could have left them to grow for another 10 days! But oh well. So, D and S both entered the "Largest Zucchini" contest. It was a wrench for D, having to give up "Walter," but he managed to keep control.

So, I'll let the photos tell the story from here:

D. and "Walter"

And for some stupid reason Blogger is being lame and won't let me post the piece de resistance. I'll save it for another post I guess.

It's a Doozy II

This is the photo I couldn't get on the first Doozy post :)

Second place!! We'dve PWNED the competition if only we'd left the zukes on the vine until the 16th!!

Ah well. Happy Child. :)

Mount Washmore

I woke up at 5 am on Monday, unable to sleep, thinking about the detritus remaining on the living room floor following our weekly Sunday night picnic and movie ("Another Thin Man").

So I figured I'd make good use of the quiet and aloneness of the early hour, and tiptoed out into the kitchen. A minute later, I heard my husband's footsteps and the sound of our bedroom door slowly creaking open. I peered around the corner of the kitchen to find my husband cautiously peering back at me.
"Oh, it's you," the relief evident in his voice. "What are you doing?"
"Can't sleep. House is a mess."
"Well, be quiet, ok?" and he shuffled back to bed.

Excuse me!!

So from 5:30 - 7 I did two loads of laundry, picked up the living room floor, and cleared off all the kitchen countertops. AND made coffee. :) At 7 I sat down to watch next week's video Bible study so I could make some preliminary notes, and by 7:35 I was sound asleep, scrunched into a shape that would help me fit on the loveseat couch.

8 am signaled the restart of the day when the rest of the household began filtering into the living room.

I got some checklists together for the kids' school, and headed over to Dr. J's to do the weekly cleaning. Moving furniture is such fun! Mimi dislocated her hip (5th time) two weeks ago, while she was teaching a lesson, so I am doing all the big stuff for her so she doesn't blow it again.

Returned home about 1 to find that dear husband had continued in the laundry tradition, so that there were about six loads of clean laundry on the couch! :) Now, I know that I preach the values of doing ONE LOAD A DAY, and it's very true, it's the only way I can stay on top of the laundry of four messy, dirty people....but I fall off the wagon occasionally often, I can't lie.

So this morning was Fold The Laundry And Put It Away.

Now I'm sitting across the dining room table, ignoring the child who is steadfastly refusing to do his math in a timely fashion. I have just informed him that he has 5 more minutes to finish up this particular assignment, and then anything else left over will be homework, done on HIS time, not mine. "There is no such thing as homework," he maintains.

Mess with me, child, and I will win.

I have just started the timer.

I love the tabbed browsing that Firefox has! I can have one browser window open with many different tabs at the top with different pages open. Hence I can switch back and forth between k12 screens and here rather quickly and easily.

Oh, joy! The child is now Focused, Intent, and Working Diligently. WOOHOO!

Argh. It's so difficult not to get an argumentative spirit sometimes, or to respond in kind when the children are grousing about school (the old "martyr" routine; "Look what I'm sacrificing so I can stay home with you!" does nobody any good, least of all me.)

Ah. Number One has finished his math, so it's lunch break now!

Monday, September 25, 2006

not blogging time

A. left this page up on the puter screen, which is a silent way of saying "update this please!"

Meanwhile my two halflings have flown the coop and school awaits.

Clearly, this is not a good time to blog.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

eating beans from a can...

You know I had to do this twice: once for my online name, once for my REAL PERSONA.

I thought the online result was extremely apropos:

Anne --


A real life muppet

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

But there's juuuuuuust no escaping the sad truth about myself:

[mysecretidentity] --


Like in nature to a train-riding hobo

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Notes from the schoolroom

...which in reality, is my dining room table. We're currently working on vocabulary (Wordly Wise 3000). Did you know that "astrominers" discover stars? At least, according to the child on my left, that's what they do.

Earlier when we were beginning a new unit in science (vertebrates), D. ended up teaching the lesson, though unintentionally. We started off with a discussion of the three kinds of fish: jawless, cartilaginous, and bony. D. launches into a lecture about the hagfish, a jawless fish that produces large amounts of slime to escape predators. Then it ties itself into a knot to remove all that yucky slime stuff.

One click of the mouse later, and there it was: D's spiel about the hagfish's ability to escape predators, down to the very knot! You could almost see the child preening himself, so pleased he was to have "outsmarted" k12's science.

I predict this unit will be one that he finishes with flying colors.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Avast, ye scurvy dogs!

Tomorrow be September 19, which be National Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrrr! So ye scallywags better be keepin' a sharp lookout for them what sounds like pirates and give em a hearty gutting from the scurvy wench Bloody Anne Vane.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

My First Woot

I've been running over to daily to see what marvy bit of techno-geek coolness is being offered at a ridiculously low price.....and that I actually wanted/needed.

So, getting a jump on Christmas shopping, I bought my son a waterproof 35mm camera for $9.99. Waterproof is necessary with this child. Bear in mind this is the boy who demolished my $375 Pentax by tossing it willy-nilly into the turtle pond.

But I am willing to let bygones be bygones......and, come December 25, he'll be able to chuck his OWN dern camera into any pond he chooses!

Celebrate Good Times, Come on!

The happy child herself. We selected a table far away from the madding crowds at Chuck E. Cheese's so my dear husband would be enticed to stay longer than he normally would. His tolerance for such places is rather low.

Difficult to get a regular photo of this child nowadays. This is a fairly typical pose for him. His definition of Chuck E's as a "kids casino" will definitely become part of the family repertoire.

You would not believe how long it took us to round up all the kids to get them back upstairs to even bother with cake! 20 tokens to play games takes a long time for inexperienced youngsters to get through. The luau cake came out rather nicely, I must say. Thanks to Jennifer for the use of her palm trees, hula guy/gal and fishies. Oh, and for you moms out there, the cake is ridiculously easy to make. Just bake a 9x13, toss on your favorite frosting, spray on some blue Color Mist (Wilton) for the ocean, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar for the beach part. I also threw on some white chocolate shells made in candy molds. Voila. Anybody can do it. I did!

A small, yet simple party, NOT at my home (woot), and happy, tired kids.

We drove in silence all the way home, and kept the TV off when we got there. Sensory overload. Especially since we knew that the following morning we would be off to THE FAIR! Photos later.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I knew it. I just knew it.

You scored as Geek/Nerd. Haha! ok. go computer geeks!







Emo Kid














What Highschool Clique Do You Belong To?
created with

Shameless plug

Bluebird Blogs is having a contest for a free blog design! Go enter!

And I'm shamelessly promoting this because she'll give 5 extra entries to me for putting this on my blog. Wuahah.

Savvy bizness!

Even if I don't win, I can still live with the daisies and popcorn for a while longer before I need to make a new theme.

On painting...

As my four readers will remember, I vowed to eschew all beiges, eggshells, and off-whites in the repainting of our home.
Behold "before":

We went to Wally World to select colors. I needed A's artistic ability. He chose a lovely buttery yellow for the dining room/hallway and a "scotch yellow" as an accent wall behind the piano which I was "hmm..." about. He reminded me of my pledge to USE COLOR! So I gave in.

The pictures do not do justice to the intensity, the severity, the gagaciousness of the color~~ but here, in its glorious hideousness, I present to you:

The Nacho Cheese Wall Incident

And a better (worse?) shot, from another angle:

You see the lovely contrast with the remaining parts of the house:

We left it up for about 12 hours, to see if it got any better. It didn't. It reminded me of the interior color of the concessions stand at our home-town drive-in theatre. A. ran back up to WalMart, became infuriated by their lack of knowledge and lack of staffing("I refuse to give my money to incompetence"), and scooted to McLendon's instead to get a more livable color.

Here's what's up now: caramel. Again, the light doesn't do it justice. It is a great improvement on the former color! Nachos have their place, but not on my wall.

More photos to come of the completed project (i.e., everything back in place, with crown moulding put up) - plus photos of the completed living room (colors: angel ivory and olive branch).

Rebecca seemed to approve of them! :)

Happy Birthday S!

Spawn No. 2 is EIGHT today. And just for the record, I am NOT MIDDLE AGED, contrary to what my doctor said. (JERK!)

I welched out on the party business. I'm not as organized as Crystal is, the way she sent out Evites (argh, which I still have to respond to!) - like, one month in advance of her kidlet's party ... here I was on Sunday night (5 days before the event) waffling on what to do, where to go to celebrate this ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT! So it's helpful to have friends like Audra: "Juuuuust go to The Mouse."

So we're going to Chuck E. Cheese's tonight. I bribed all the adults with earplugs and ibuprofen. When I told D what we were going to do, he observed, "Oh, great! We're going to a Kids' Casino!"

.....where did he come up with THAT?? Because, really, he's right! I know Washington's full of casinos and Indian gaming, but how that kid figured out what a casino is like, I have no clue.

So the cake's in the oven, the kid is in the shower, and I'm listening to Rush Limbaugh and blogging instead of being profitable.

You see how it is? MUST GET UP. Pictures later!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A "Dear John" funny

A young girl on a years training course in South Africa recently received a
"Dear John" letter from her boyfriend back home. It read as follows:

Dear Mary:

I can no longer continue our relationship. The distance between us is just
too great. I must admit that I have cheated on you twice since you've been
gone, and it's not fair to either of us. I'm sorry. Please return the
picture of me that I sent to you.

Mary, with hurt feelings, asked her colleagues for any snapshots they could
spare of their boyfriends, brothers, ex-boyfriends, uncles, cousins etc. In
addition to the picture of John, Mary included all the other pictures of the
handsome lads she had collected from her buddies.

There were 57 photos in that envelope....along with this note:

Dear John,

I'm so sorry, but I can't quite remember who you are. Please take
your picture from the pile, and send the rest back to me.
Take Care,

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chai Recipe

OOOoooh, there is a GREAT recipe on the back of the Stash Tea boxes for how to make chai tastes just like the expensive stuff you can buy in the box cartons!

For 1/2 gallon:
  • Bring 7 cups cold water to a rolling boil. Remove from heat.

  • Add 10 chai tea bags; steep 3-5 minutes.

  • Pour into 1/2 gallon pitcher. Add 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup sugar.

Enjoy hot or cold!

And if you use nonfat milk with Splenda or stevia....that's like almost zero points per cup!

A. says, "It tastes like Christmas." He's right!

photeaux~part deux

Gonna print this one and hang it up! Good shot from Audra's camera.
Chicken boy rides horse; looks happy.

Friday, September 08, 2006


What good is it living in Washington State if you don't have a apple tree?! :) Here is my family, harvesting our first apple crop large enough to do something with! These are Zabergau Reinette apples, which I'll use to can apple pie filling. In the background is Jonafree, which is like Jonathan, but resistant to the various diseases that apples (and roses) are prone to.

"One....two...threeeee....JUMP!!" Only my darling boy DIDN"T jump, leaving S. and friend N. to get all wet. It's ok, he ended up in the lake later on. It was so quiet and CLEAN and lovely there at the lake, which is just 2 miles down the road from Jennifer's house. It's a private lake with a gate, so it's just wonderful.

Sam the Happy Cowgirl! She's riding "Rowdy," Miss Jennifer's new horse. Except Ashley INSISTS that she's now changed the horse's name to "Carter." (As if that name's any better?) As I led Rowdy around the pasture, he nibbled the back of my shirt! Bad horse! D. was rather sketchy about riding the horse; he's only been on pony rides, and that when he was 4 or so. Audra has pics of that, must remember to get them from her.

More to come! Still have to show you the nacho cheese wall.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Got Tea?

Last night after K4T/Bible study, a man from church offered me some tea. He drives for a trucking firm, and he sometimes is able to take damaged freight that would be unsaleable (is that a word?).

Long story short....I now have three cases of Chai Tea.

Anybody want some? It's just the outer shipping cardboard that's damaged; the inside boxes are still intact, just a little dinged up.

I mean, I love chai and all... but...3 cases!! I'd better make some chai tea lattes, double quick!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

playing catch-up

Sometimes I get all set to post here and think, "omigosh, I've got too much to say, I don't have time to say all that!!" and fail to post anything. So, in the true Flylady spirit, I'm taking babysteps and posting just a little bit at a time to get all caught up!

First and foremost, school has started again, and along with it, piano lessons. I had one lesson yesterday and four today. (Parents are easing into the schedule). And I taught my own two kids last Thursday, yesterday, and...NOT TODAY! :) A. graciously offered to help teach the kids since my figurative plate-spinning has doubled up now that it's September. He'll cover History and Art with the kiddoes. I get everything else. WOOHOO!

Chewelah was a fun but tiring trip. Everything's on "maƱana time" over there at my dear friend's house. Breakfast at 11, lunch at 3, dinner at 9. Bedtime? Whenever. Kids got to ride horses (must get pics from Audra), feed (and get pecked by) chickens, swim in the lake down the road from the farm, and sleep out in the tent for two glorious, chilly nights.

Fun story: In the dark hours of the night, a horse whinnied near the tent. And my dear darling D announced that that wasn't a REAL horse--it was the GHOST of a horse who died on the farm last year! Which sent the other two kids into the freaks. Mission accomplished.

Jennifer made some Sneaky Apple Pie with a monstrous zucchini. Her garden is going gangbusters and I plowed through a pint of cherry tomatoes before I knew what I was doing. And, surprisingly, my mouth didn't feel raw afterwards! They were SO sweet and tasty.

The six-hours drive back to Puyallup on Sunday afternoon needed a coffee break inserted somewhere around Ellensburg so we could make it home in one piece. Kids and I slept VERY soundly and had a refreshing Labor Day.

Tonight after piano lessons, we ate a lovely dinner prepared by my husband (Spanish Rice), and got ready for our first ever Kids 4 Truth Club meeting, and the beginning of the Ladies' Bible Study (doing Dr. Berg's Quieting a Noisy Soul. Back to back! :) Kids are excited about the club, and it went pretty well. We're covering The Bible for the next six weeks, and tonight we learned the Key Truth: The Bible is the only book that is God's Word to us.

OK, baby steps accomplished. More later! and photos too!