Monday, December 29, 2008

Neil and Deb....that's us

Do you ever get called the wrong name? I get called Deb, Debbie, or Deborah quite often. Ever since I was in college people have called me the wrong name. I have worked in many places that I've worn a name tag with my name on it and people have still called me the wrong name while looking at my name tag. My sister's best friend introduced me to her parents as Debbie one time--while I was wearing my name tag. I've learned to laugh it off and find it quite funny sometimes. When I worked for Service Merchandise in NC, I had an assistant manager who called me Debbie all the time. One day I borrowed a girl's name tag that said Debbie. The assistant manager took one look at it and told me that wasn't my name. I told him since he called me that all the time I thought I should have a name tag with that on it....LOL!

Neal just has the problem of people misspelling his name. He has one of those names that can be spelled several different ways. He was blessed with the less common spelling. At least he still gets called the right name.

Just this Christmas we received a sack of goodies from a neighbor and it said To: Neil and Deb. We had a good laugh over it and of course had to give the neighbor a hard time ;-)

ps. I should mention that Kinsey gets in on this all the time too. She gets called McKenzie quite often. I tell people it's just Mc in front.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas is over and we survived!

We had a very nice Christmas this year. We decided to open our gifts on Christmas Eve and let Santa come Christmas morning. Santa left Kinsey a scavenger hunt to find her gift. After following the clues she found 4 packages and 1 each for Mama and Daddy. Here is her reaction at opening her main gift

It's a Nintendo DS Lite--the thing she has been asking for more than anything else. She also got an accessory pack for itand a gameSanta also left her a gift card to buy another game. Mama received a new pair of tennie shoes and Daddy got a new gun case.

Today we are cleaning up the house and putting things back in order. We have company coming Tuesday and are very excited! My Mom is coming to visit for a few days and have Christmas with us.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Breathe, breathe, breathe...

I'm finally feeling like I can breathe again. I've gotten all the shopping done, the presents wrapped, and the meal planned. I have one project to finish and can call this year done! Oh sure there are little things to get done but all the major ones are finished.

I have loved our bigger house this year. It was so nice to have the room to set up the big Christmas tree and not have to move furniture. We have a mantel over the fireplace to display special items and to hang our stockings from. My kitchen has plenty of counter space for my baking and candy making. We have a guest bedroom for my Mom to come stay.

We are feeling quite blessed to have found this house. We have used the fireplace quite a bit this month. After getting our natural gas bill we decided that us cutting wood and building fires would be much less expensive than using the heater all the time. We can build a fire in the evening and it keeps the house warm until late into the evening. We are hoping to see a big difference on our next bill.

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Glitter glitter every where!

If you know me you know I am not a big fan of glitter. I loathe it. Working in a daycare/preschool I see my fair share of it and always seem to find something else to do when it comes out. Kinsey has been wanting to make some ornaments for our Christmas trees--the big one in the living room and the little one in her room. When I was getting the decorations out last week I came across a package of "stained glass" ornaments and told her she could do those. The first thing she did was say "Oh look there is glitter in here!!"....UGH...she saw it! I told her we could put some glitter on them but I would be holding the glitter at all times. The ornaments turned out really cute and will be for her little tree! Mine are the ones without glitter ;-)

Sunday Neal wanted to go gather wood for our fireplace. We went to one area and got some smaller logs and branches. I had planned to pick up pine cones but there weren't any where we were at so I convinced him to drive to a nearby lake where there are tons of pine trees. Kinsey and I picked up 4 grocery sacks full of pine cones! We are making ornaments out of some, taking some to the daycare to make ornaments there, and the rest will be used for fire starters. I took a few pictures of some we decorated.

These will be put on our bigger tree and shared with family. Now we can put the glitter up and be done with it for a very long time........

Friday, December 05, 2008

Old toys bring back memories

Early last week Kinsey and I were talking about her PE class and she said they used a thing you put around your ankle and jump over it. I asked if it was a Skip-It or something like that and she wasn't sure what it was called. When we got to my parents I went to the outside storage closet and pulled out my old Lemon Twist--it was similar what she used! My sister and I each had one and mine had a bee drawn on it since my name starts with a "B". We also found an old hula-hoop for her to play with. Everyone that went out into the backyard had to show her how to roll the hula-hoop forward and make it come back to you. Kinsey was finally able to do it a few times before we left. I'm so glad we were able to find some 30-something year old toys to entertain her. I have many fond memories of my sister and I playing with those toys for hours on end. The next thing I need to get Kinsey is roller skates to use there. My sister and I spend countless hours skating up and down the sidewalk.

Kinsey and my parent's dog Goldie (aka Red).

Sorry about the quality of these pictures. I'm still learning how to use all the setting on my camera. I need to work on taking pictures at dusk.

Monday, December 01, 2008

I didn't make it

Oh well, I didn't make it to the end of NaBloPoMo again. I will admit that I did post quite a bit this month and shared quite a few pictures. It was fun!

We had a great time at my parents for Thanksgiving. We ate to much, visited, and slept a! My parents and I stayed up way to late one night playing Phase 10 Dice. Earlier my Mom and I were playing and Kinsey wanted to play. We decided that Go Fish would be easier and she had a blast playing. My Dad kept teasing me because I only won one game out of about 10. After putting Kinsey to bed I came back to play Phase 10 Dice again. I won the first game and my Mom won the other 2. My Dad didn't win any...HA! It was so nice to get to visit with them. My Dad has had some hearing loss since he was young. He has always resisted hearing aids until this year. This is the first time I have been home since he's had them and it was so nice to be able to talk to him without yelling. It took a little getting used to since he's been that way my whole life.

We had a very relaxing weekend and got to see several other relatives. My paternal Grandmother came over for Thanksgiving lunch and my aunt Reita came by and visited that afternoon. We also went to Reita's apartment the next day. I have not been to it since she moved in and it was lovely...just like she is. I want Kinsey to get to know my aunts and uncles as she grows up so she knows what great family I had growing up. I have fond memories of going to my Mom's aunt and uncles houses when we were young and I want the same memories for Kinsey.

Ok, on to December. We have a parade next weekend and a school program on the 11th. There are also several other things planned through out the month. Also, I'm hoping to get the Christmas tree up this weekend so check back for pictures!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Magic Cookie Bars

Kinsey has a pen pal who lives in Canada. Her mother and I have belonged to the same online mommy group since the girls were born (Hi Kim!). Recently they posted pictures on their blog where Scarlett made Magic Cookie bars. Kinsey and I were looking at the pictures and Kinsey said she would like to make them too. We finally made them tonight.

The ingredients.

Adding the chocolate chips....some how a few made it into her mouth...hmmmm.

Ready to go in the oven.

Done! They are cooling on the counter now waiting to be sliced and put in a container. Kinsey had to go to bed so she will miss that part. I may have to sample them to make sure they turned out ok ;-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So when is his birthday?

We have this on going debate in my family as to when my Dad's birthday really is. He was born on one day but the papers weren't filled out and filed until the next day so that's what his birth certificate says. He was born at home in a rural area in 1944 and the doctor didn't want to drive to town. My Grandmother celebrates today and my Dad says it's tomorrow--what his birth certificate says. I want to wish my Daddy a Happy Birthday (whichever day it is)!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not doing so good at NaBloPoMo

So I've missed a few days here and there. I'm doing better than I usually do all year. Yesterday was one of those days that I was on the computer around 2pm then didn't get back on until about 2pm today. Kinsey and I have had a cold that we can't seem to kick. It keeps coming back with a barking cough. We'll feel good for a few days then back it comes. Yesterday Kinsey had a bit of fever, sore throat, and a cough in the early afternoon and evening. I made her watch movies in her room and rest. Today she feels great. I just wish we could get past this season but I have a feeling it's just starting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

my other job, part 2

Does anyone want to guess how many times I have printed the same invoice this week?? Anyone? Four times!!! Every day it's "Oh I forgot to tell you to add this" or "oh that goes to so and so not the seller" or "take that thing off that I told you to add". I'm done! If this isn't right then he can figure out how to do it himself.

Thanks! Needed to get that out! Night all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Twelve cans of pumpkin....for now

Hip-Hip Hooray!! The grocery store is having it's big Thanksgiving sale! I love this sale because I stock up on all my baking supplies. I buy can pumpkin by the case--at two for a dollar you can't beat the price. I buy fresh cranberries to put in the freezer for later use. I also stock up on chicken broth.

I seriously LOVE pumpkin. My sister got me a great pumpkin cookbook for my birthday and I want to try so may of the recipes. I will probably go back and get another case of it before the sale ends. I want to try pumpkin butter in my crockpot very soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

my fancy bejeweler

I took my sewing machine to work today to hem some curtains (easier than bringing curtains home with me). I was sitting at the kitchen table sewing when the school kids came in off the bus. One of the girls stopped and asked me if that was one of those machines that puts diamonds on things....LOL! I laughed then told her no it was my sewing machine. I guess no one she knows sews but they must bejewel things ;-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

my other job

Since Neal started his own company I am his secretary. Earlier he asked me to make an invoice for an inspection he did today. I told him to write the info down and I would get to it after my TV show was over. So I get to the computer and there is a little piece of paper with what he did but no who he did it for. Of course he has gone to bed and I don't want to wake a sleeping bear. I'll leave my own little note for him and he can get it when I get to it.

He is hopefully going hunting early in the morning so I may not see him. The hunting gods have been working against him the last few days. His alarm hasn't gone off so he hasn't gotten up early enough. Sunday the power went out during the night and last night he forgot to set it. When he has been out he's only seen does or cow elk. In some ways I hope he gets a deer but in others I hope he doesn't. The meat would be great to eat this winter but it's a huge chore to process all that meat and get it in the freezer.

I'm off to bed.....yawn

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Party's over....

We had such a good time yesterday at my nephew's going away party. There was a lot of food, a lot of family and a lot of friends. There were toasts made, crying, and cake. Overall, a great time was had by all. He will be missed but we all know he will go on to better things! Good Luck Drew!

My Mom and I standing, my younger sister and brother are sitting.

Kinsey trying to fly with a whole bunch of!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Mom

I'm enjoying a visit with my Mom. We've helped decorate for my nephew's party, eaten dinner, and play a game. Lots of visiting and having fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Swab the deck matey!

In a previous post I mentioned that this house has a white linoleum floor in the kitchen. I detest this floor. It's beautiful when it's clean but living in dusty NM on a dirt road it's not clean very often. I can sweep everyday and still get a ton of dirt. I decided I had better mop it today so it looks some what clean this weekend. The last time I did a thorough cleaning I got down on my hands and knees and used a scrub brush. It killed my back! Neal suggested that I get a brush on a stick like the guy at the car wash uses--he comes out and scrubs your tires and windows before you go through the wash. After searching around Wal-Mart I finally found what I was looking for in the Hardware section. They have a small area for industrial cleaning supplies. I was able to scrub the floor while standing and not kill my back. I scrubbed an area then would go back and mop it. It worked perfectly and my floors are gleaming white.....for now.

We still plan to put down a different floor but that's one of the things that will be in the future. I'm still waiting for Kinsey's bathroom floor to be done and it's a very tiny bathroom. We have the tile and all the supplies it's just motivation someone to do it. I can't say to much though, our deck which was almost falling down when we moved in has been totally redone and is so much sturdier. Whomever built it didn't know what they were doing and didn't secure it to the house. Neal and I couldn't be on it at the same time for fear of it collapsing. A few weeks ago, Neal and a friend of his completely tore off the old deck and rebuilt it. Now you can go in and out without fear.

One thing at a time............

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dont' you hate it when...

you put something up so you will remember where it is and then can't find it? Last Friday I went through some boxes in the kitchen that I had never gotten around to unpacking since we moved in. I came across a package of the brackets that hold up mini blinds. In the back of my mind I told myself to keep those out because I needed them.

Fast forward to today when I needed them and couldn't find them! Last month I took the mini blinds down in Kinsey's room and put up heavy blackout drapes because they keep her room warmer and help her sleep later in the morning. I put the mini blinds in the spare room to put up in there since I had never bought any for that room. I wanted to put the blinds up but couldn't remember where I put the brackets. I looked on the counter, in the junk drawer, several boxes, etc. I finally gave up and moved on to other things. I was putting something in a cabinet and saw a plastic sack sitting in there and it hit me.....maybe it's in there....but why would it be in that sack? Sure enough I looked in the the sack and there they were!

The mini blinds are up and while I had the curtains down I washed them so they are nice and fresh. I'm thinking those nights that Neal tosses and turns or snores this will also be my place to!

I totally forgot to post yesterday

It was one of those really long days yesterday and posting slipped my mind. I will make sure and post twice today! I worked from 6:45am to 5:45pm. Needless to say we had frozen pizza last night and I watched TV before bed. YAWN!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yummy Crockpot dinner

We are having Chicken Cacciatore tonight. I found the recipe in a new cookbook my sister gave me for my birthday. It's called Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook. There are a lot of good recipes in here from breakfast to dessert. There are a lot of helpful hints and ideas. Check it out if you have a chance.


one 16 ounce jar Italian marinara sauce, such as tomato basil
1 medium size yellow onion, cut in and half and sliced in half moons
1 to 3 cloves garlic, to your taste, minced
1 medium size green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and 4 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
2 tablespoons all purpose flour (optional)
2 tablespoons water (optional)
2 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)

1. Layer half of the tomato sauce and all of the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and chicken in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the mushrooms on top and cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 2 1/2 to 3 hours on HIGH or 6 to 7 hours on LOW. The chicken will add some of it's own juices to the dish.
2. (Optional) Transfer the chicken to a warm platter. If you wish a thicker sauce, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, water, and wine until smooth. Stir into the sauce in the cooker, turn to HIGH, cover, and cook until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the sauce and vegetables over the chicken and serve.

Serve over white rice or noodles. Serves 4.

***The changes I made--I just used spaghetti sauce with mushrooms that I had in the cabinet, my minced garlic in a jar smelled funky so I threw it out and sprinkled some garlic powder over the chicken, and I used sliced mushrooms since that's what I had on hand. I'm sure it will be just as good as the original recipe.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

We now have a guest room!

The guest room is done! I just have to put sheets and blankets on the bed and find a place for a few odds and ends. Neal cleaned up the yard and covered the air conditioner today so that's taken care of. Now I just have to dust, vacuum, sweep, and clean the bathrooms.

The reason we are having company is that my nephew is joining the Air Force and my sister is having a farewell party for him. We are so proud of him. He will be 23 in December and has decided this is what he wants to do for the next 6 years. In this time of war it is a big decision to join the military. I wish him the best of luck and will pray for him to be safe every day.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Feeling much better today

I have felt so much better today. I guess I just needed a good nights sleep. I went to bed early and slept late today. I still have a stopped up nose but that's not unusual for me.

I've been working on making our guest bedroom into a real guest bedroom today. When we moved in everything that didn't have a home was just shoved in there. We will be having company next weekend (Hi Mom!) so I thought I had better have a place ready to sleep. I have found all kinds of treasures today and a whole lot of! I did empty out or consolidate quite a few boxes and threw out some stuff. Sometimes I wonder why I keep half the stuff I do. I know part of it is genetic (Hi Mom!) and part of it is living 20 miles from Wal-Mart. I would rather have stuff handy and not have to drive to get something. I've been going through boxes of craft stuff and sorting them into Avon boxes. My Grandmother has sold Avon for over 50 years and she gets her deliveries in sturdy boxes. They've been the same size box for years. When I was in high school I covered several boxes with contact paper and kept stationary in them. I still use those boxes to store stuff in. In the guest bedroom/craft room I have a long shelf over a storage hutch and I plan to put the craft supply boxes up there. I need to cover the boxes but that will have to wait until another day. I will at least label them so I know what's in each box.

I'm lucky that the two twin beds we have are captains beds. They have storage under them and 3 drawers. They were mine and my sister's when we were growing up. My brother used one as he grew up. Kinsey has the one that was mine and the guest bedroom will have the other one. I was able to store some boxes of odds and ends under it and will fill the drawers with "stuff". I can't wait to get this room done so that I can do some sewing and crafting in that room. It will also be nice to have a place for guest.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Quick post

I have a sore throat and the beginnings of a cold so this is just a quick post to say I posted today. I'm off to take some Nyquil and go to bed. Nighty-night

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Children of the World

The 2nd grade has been learning about all the continents and countries in them. Today they had a program where each child had a small speaking part and they sang several songs as a group. Kinsey dressed as a Brazilian woman. This is almost the same costume she wore to World Thinking Day for Girl Scouts.

We tied a scarf around her head and add a few more necklaces.

Kinsey and Mrs. Jones--her teacher.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Change in menu

I have decided to switch up two days in my's obviously the last two since that's what's! We will be having pork roast with carrots, potatoes, and onion tomorrow and Easy Baked Potato soup on Friday. I work late tomorrow and just want to come home to dinner made. The baked potato soup is easy but still will take about 20 minutes to put together.

So far this week everything has been met with great enthusiasm by Neal. Kinsey only liked the beans and cornbread. We've been having her try more and more food that she previously turned her nose up at and she has found that she likes more food than she thought. Neal loved the unstuffed peppers tonight. I thought he might explode if he ate much! I used brown rice and he never even knew the difference. Next time I'll do brown rice and ground turkey for a very healthy meal.

Yesterday did not go as I had hoped it would

I stayed up late to watch election results and things didn't go the way I had hoped. New Mexico is one of those states that flips back and forth between red and blue. We have such a diverse group of people in the state that you just never know what will happen. I hope for everyone that the next four years do turn out to be as wonderful as people think they will but I'm not holding my breath. I'll just keep up my hopes for 2012.

On the local front we re-elected the county sheriff. That was a very good thing! The "other guy" had been the mayor of our little village a few years ago and well lets just say we've already experienced his politics and didn't want any more of that. It was a landslide victory so yes the people spoke and were heard!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

On this historic election day....

I thought I would share some pictures from the Road to Victory Rally I went to last month. I found out Sarah Palin was going to be in Roswell, NM and managed to snag 2 tickets. Unfortunately no one else was able to go with me so I went by myself.

I started out right under the flag then worked my way up closer to the stage. There were around 10,000 people there but I was about 10 people back from the side of the stage. It was so hot that day. Many people had heat exhaustion and had to be carried out. I drank plenty of water and tried to keep cool.

After a few local people spoke they announced there was a special guest....out walked Hank Williams, Jr! Neal was wishing he had gone with me at this point. Hank sang a few songs and talked about the campaign.

Finally, Sarah Palin's plane landed and out she walked with her beautiful baby boy. After handing him off she came in and gave her speech. The crowd was very motivated and jubilant.

I very much enjoyed this day. I have never been to a political rally and got to meet a lot of interesting people from all over New Mexico and Texas. I was amazed at how far some people had come to go to this rally.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Crockpot cooking all week

I'm trying to use my crockpot as much as possible lately because I don't get home until 6 most nights. I hate to try to start dinner then so it's nice to walk in and dinner is made. I went to the grocery store earlier with an idea of what I wanted to make this week (should have made a menu first) while keeping in mind what I had at home. My plans so far include

MONDAY pulled pork sandwiches, guacamole with chips, and a veggie to be named. Pork sirloin roasts were on sale so I bought a family pack with 3 in it. I put the 2 smaller ones in the crockpot with a sliced onion for tonight. When I get home I have to shred the meat and add BBQ sauce. YUMMM! This will be for dinner and a few lunches.
TUESDAY pinto beans and cornbread
WEDNESDAY unstuffed bell peppers and a veggie to be named. This is a recipe I discovered a few years ago. It's so easy and very good
THURSDAY Easy baked potato soup with cheese and bacon. I learned to make this recipe a few yeas ago at a Taste of Home Cooking School. Very filling and easy. I will "bake" my potatoes in the crockpot while I'm at work then assemble the soup when I get home.
FRIDAY pork roast with onion, potato, and carrots. I will make drop Bisquick biscuits to go with it. This is the 3rd roast from the family pack.

I received a new crockpot cookbook for my birthday recently and have been looking at new recipes. I'm hoping to try a few next week. I also found a recipe for crockpot pasole on the internet that I want to give a try. Lastly, I have a blog that I have been finding all kinds of great recipes at. It's where I found out you can "bake" potatoes in the crockpot. Go check it out at A Year of Crockpotting.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Juliette Low Day Camp

Kinsey and I attended Girl Scout camp yesterday. We were celebrating Juliette Low Gordon's birthday--the founder of Girl Scouts. The girls learned about fire safety from a forest ranger and we went on a nature walk. They made a sit-upon (pillow) out of old jeans. The best part was learning to make a cake in a foil covered box and a peach cobbler in a dutch oven.
It was cold first thing in the morning but once the sun came up everyone warmed up. I think all the girls had a good time and learned a lot. Here is a picture of Kinsey and a few of her friends.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

First day of NaBloPoMo again!

That means National Blog Posting Month. I plan to post something everyday in November! Lets cross our fingers and hope I can do it this year. I made it almost to the end last year and didn't finish so my goal this year is to finish. I have lots of pictures to share from things going on the last few months and new ones still to be taken. Wish me luck!

By the way, I changed my back ground again. I've found so many cute ones at this new place. Can't wait to try some more.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

More pictures

Kinsey is enjoying Brownies this year. I'm a co-leader for our group and we are having a lot of fun. We have 4 different age groups so it is an interesting mix of girls. Here are a few pictures from activities we have done so far this school year.

Labor Day parade in Carrizozo, NM. There were several troops there but this is some of our girls. Silly Kinsey is in the middle with her hat over her eyes.

Last month, the Holloman Air Force Base Girl Scouts invited area troops to come bowl on their base. We had a lot of fun and got to meet a lot of other Girl Scouts.

Today we carved pumpkins, decorated small pumpkins and had a snack of caramel and apples. It was a wonderful fall day!

Next weekend we have a day camp at a local park. We are hoping for good sunny weather. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun for the girls.

Kinsey and her snack

I've been working with Kinsey on making her own snacks and breakfast. She is able to use the toaster now and learning to use a small knife. One day she wanted fruit with Cool Whip so I told her she had to cut up the fruit.

I helped her get out a pairing knife. We practiced keeping her finger back and slicing strawberries and banana. She also washed some grapes and added those.

Kinsey was very proud of herself when she was done.

Sharing a few pictures

Kinsey and Neal on a tractor mowing behind the house. Kinsey loved driving the tractor.

We've gone to a few football games this year. I just loved this banner from one of the games. Very cute! Sadly the Tigers aren't doing that great this year due to a few injures. We enjoy going to the games and seeing friends.

Neal and I went to see Trace Adkins on August 8, 2008 (08-08-08) and really enjoyed the concert. I entered a drawing from his fan club to go back stage for a meet and greet. I was able to get an autograph and quick picture. Wow! Trace is tall and muscular but very quite.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Look I changed the back ground!

I've been seeing these cute back grounds on other blogs and wondered how to do it myself. I finally clicked on a link and it's easy peasy. Aren't they cute?

I guess this is going to count as my October blog because I sure haven't been keeping up with blogging. November is just around the corner and that means a blog a day. I have a ton of pictures I need to post from all the things we've been doing. I'll try to get on that soon. Just wanted to say hi and that we are still around!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to School 2008

yes, I know it's been almost a month but hey at least I'm posting the! Kinsey's first few days of 2nd grade. She is in Mrs. Jones class and is enjoying it so far.

First day of school getting off the bus. Our pictures from that morning were not that great but this one turned out good.

This is the 2nd day before school and it turned out much better.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Capitan Cheer Camp 2008

Kinsey attended cheer camp this week with our local cheerleaders. She learned several cheers, dance steps, and lots of spirit! Here is a picture of her with my pom-poms that I use at football games. She recieved a small pair from the camp but she likes mine better.

Cheerleaders leading the girls in a cheer.

Kinsey after they got to play in the sprinklers on the last day. It was a hot day and the girls really enjoyed getting wet.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A little update

It's been a busy 2 weeks since I last posted. It's rained almost everyday which means we are in the "monsoon" season now. I'm hoping that all the rain helps with our serious drought conditions. As long as the lightening stays away we are good! Of course the rain has really messed up our home improvement projects. We have not been able to pour concrete for our new storage shed so that means we haven't put the shed up yet. I had rented a huge storage room when we weren't sure where we were going to move to this spring and only had about 1/4 of it full. This weekend we moved that stuff in to a tiny storage room until our new one is built at the house. It's not a lot of stuff but it's stuff we don't have room for here....Christmas decorations and trees, yard sale stuff, tools, camping/fishing stuff, and yard stuff. I can't wait to have the storage here to put it all in.

In other news, my camera died week before last. I've had that camera for about 4 1/2 years and was having a few minor problems with it. I hated to see it go but love it's replacement. I bought a Canon Powershot A950 IS this weekend. It has a lot of the features that a DSLR camera would have but in a small body. I will be able to add a telephoto and wide shot lens in the future with an an adaptor. I'm really happy with it so far and have had a blast taking pictures today. I can't wait to take it out and shoot some scenery and plants.
Kinsey and her silly cat Annabelle.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pumpkin-carrot Snack Bars

I have been experimenting with healthy but delicious recipes lately. I've been craving something sweet but am trying to cut back/out refined sugars (which contribute to diabetes and overweight). That's hard because there is high fructose corn syrup in so many things--things you wouldn't think of. Go and read labels of things in your cabinets, pantry, bread box, and fridge then come back and tell me how amazed you are. It's so hard to find whole wheat bread that does not have fructose in it. I finally found Nature's Own 100% whole wheat bread and it uses brown sugar. Also, it doesn't have artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors and it still tastes good! I know I could make bread and not have these concerns but I haven't quite gotten that far yet. One of these days I'll break out the bread machine and tackle bread making.

Anyways, back to finding a healthy snack. Last year I bought a book called The Sugar Solution which is not a diet but a change in lifestyle. There are many, many diabetics in my family and I want to try to keep from having it or stave it off as long as possible. I'm trying to change what I and my family eat. It's going to be a little at a time as old habits are hard to break. We are eating a lot more whole grains, more fresh fruit and veggies, and less meat. Neal is having the hardest time with less meat. He is a meat and potatoes man but I'm trying to find veggies he really likes so that he can eat more of those. I forget he grew up on a farm and ate a lot of veggies where as I grew up in a family that did not eat a wide variety of veggies. I keep finding things he has ate and likes so we are eating a lot of different things now. I love to try new recipes and finding something I haven't ever tried. I recently purchased the cookbook to go along with The Sugar Solution called The Sugar Solution Cookbook. I have found a lot of recipes that I want to or have tried. I was really excited when I saw the recipe for Pumpkin-Carrot Snack Bars. I made them this weekend and they are WONDERFUL!! These bars are loaded with fiber and have a lot of vitamins with all the fruit and veggies in them.

from The Sugar Solution Cookbook

1 c canned solid pack pumpkin ***
1 c shredded carrot
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c dried cranberries or raisins, chopped
1/4 c canola oil
2 large eggs
1 c whole wheat pastry flour*
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c shelled pumpkin seeds or chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13" x 9" x 2" baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, carrot, sugar, cranberries or raisins, oil, and eggs. Stir until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds or walnuts, if using. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed lightly. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Makes 16

per bar: 99 calories, 2 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 1 g
dietary fiber diet exchange: 1/2 bread, 1 fat
carb choices: 1

* I used regular whole wheat flour instead of pastry flour and they turned out ok.
** I added 2tbs ground flax seed for extra fiber and omega-3s
***Just realized I used the whole can of pumpkin instead 1 cup. They are really moist and cake-like instead of "bars". I'm not sure how this will skew the calorie/fat count.

by the way, I would suggest these two books to anyone interested in cutting out/back on refined sugars. There are a lot of really good recipes and ideas. The Sugar Solution was very eye opening for me. I fell better and am thinking clearer since starting to eat better. I don't feel so tired all the time. I'm rarely hungry like I was before--always craving sweet things. I would also suggest Betty Crocker's Healthy New Choices cookbook. There are lots of flavorful healthy recipes in it.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A trip to the zoo

Kinsey and I went to Roswell, NM on Saturday and visited the zoo while we were there. I only just recently found out they had a zoo or we might have gone sooner. It's a small zoo and park but was a lot of fun. We had a very windy picnic then Kinsey played on the play ground while I read for a bit. Next she road the carousel a few times.

When we went to ride the miniature train it was over heating so we walked through the zoo. Unfortunately the middle of a hot day is not the time to walk through a zoo. We didn't see many animals but did see tons of prairie dogs. When we got back to the train it was cooled off so we got to take a scenic ride through the rest of the zoo. As we were leaving we saw these two peacocks.

Friday, June 06, 2008

My nephew Cade

My almost 13 year old nephew Cade had a violin recital tonight so Kinsey and I attended. Cade started playing the violin about 6 or 7 months ago and is a natural at it. This is one of many instruments he plays. He plays the trombone in the school band, has taught himself piano/keyboard and harmonica. I was able to pick up some video/sound on my little camera and thought I would add it to this post. He is kind of in the middle, longer blond hair, and the lightest blue jeans.

The recital was held at the Smokey Bear Museum and Park. I forget they have a small stage and seating area. It was perfect for the recital. The temperature was so nice and the wind wasn't blowing! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

My new toy

After moving into this house we realized the last people had pets that peed and pooed on the carpet A LOT! I was debating on renting a steam cleaner or buying one. We use one at the daycare that is light weight and easy to use. After some research (and seeing what Wal-Mart had available) I decided to get the same one. It's a Bissell QuickSteamer Lightweight Deep Cleaner.

The last 3 days I have been cleaning carpet. This machine isn't a true steamer since it doesn't heat the water. You add the cleaner and hot water to a tank and then the dirty stuff is sucked up into another tank. Very easy to use and works great! I can't believe how much better my carpet looks. I did my bedroom, the living room, dining room, and hall. Kinsey's room was not bad so I haven't done it and the spare room has to much "stuff" in it for me to do it right now. That whole room project is on my to do list for the near future. It will be my sewing and guest room. I have it all planned in my head, just need the time to do it.

Neal pulled the carpet up in Kinsey's bathroom today. There were so many stains on the sub floor that I now realize where the smell was coming from. I poured a box of baking soda on the floor and let it soak up any smells it could. That helped a lot. I plan to go to Home Depot to get the tile we need for that bathroom next weekend and hopefully we can get it installed right away. Kinsey's not that impressed with sub floor as her new! I have her pretty new purple rugs down so she doesn't scrape her feet.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another great dentist appointment!

Kinsey had a dentist appointment today and didn't have any cavities again! The dentist said she had great dental hygiene and was taking good care of her teeth. Neal and I don't have the best teeth so we are diligent about Kinsey brushing her teeth and taking good care of them. She will have another appointment in 6 months for her semi-annual check up.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

20th High School Reunion

Wow...I graduated from high school 20 years ago. I don't feel like it's been that long. I think back on all that I have done (and not done) in those 20 years and wonder where the years went. I've lived in 3 states (moved 12 times!), been married twice, had a daughter, and have seen so much.

I plan to attend my reunion on July 4th and see old friends. I've changed a lot and I know they have too. I can't wait to see them and catch up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day 2008

Last night I stayed up way to late going back and reading old posts. It was really cool to go back and read about things that happened a year or two ago. Things I had forgotten about. I realize I should post more about every day things just so I will have that memory down the line.

Last year was a crazy year filled with lots of pain (on Neal's part), sadness, and anxiety. I honestly thought we wouldn't make it through last year with 2 surgeries, a broken foot, my Grandmother passing away, my Mom's illness, a wreck, and money woes.

This year is looking up. We've finally found a house we love and are enjoying making it ours. I won't say any more so I won't jinx myself ;-)

I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

More future projects...

This house has carpet in the bathrooms which is something that neither Neal or I can stand. In the near future we plan to pull out the carpet and tile the bathrooms in this

I picked it out at Home Depot last time I was there. It's called Morocco Slate tile. It has the neutral colors we like and the browns that match the cabinets.

Today, after scrubbing the kitchen floor, I decided that the kitchen needs to be done. For some reason someone picked out white linoleum for the kitchen and it shows every speck of dirt. I spent an hour scrubbing it by hand today. It's pretty but it won't last. Hopefully this is a project we will get to this summer. The bathrooms will be first but the kitchen will be soon after that.