Friday, October 31, 2008

Call Heroes

Today of course is Halloween...hope everyone had a fun and safe night (and that their kids will sleep after the sugar high from all of the candy!).

The boys this year wanted to be Call Heroes. This stemmed from a cartoon that Corey drew of the boys being super heroes. They of course were the call heroes....walkie talkies in their belts let them know if there was an emergency....for some reason mom seemed to be the one always calling for help!

I bought sweat suits at K Mart on sale for $8 and then used fabric paint and freezer paper to make the logo that Corey drew.

First I drew the symbols on computer paper with a sharpie (although I have heard that you can use your printer to print directly on to the freezer paper). I then traced the image on to freezer paper and very carefully cut it out using cuticle scissors. The freezer paper acts like a stencil after you iron it on to the shirt or fabric.
Then I just painted the symbol and tore off the freezer paper. Not too bad if I do say so myself!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Putting Out Fires

Wow...this is a record for my little blog..3 posts in as many days :) ....should get me through for a while..hahahaha!

Last night the boys stayed the night with their incredibly over indulgent Aunt and Uncle, so Jim and I had yet another date night! YIPEE! This is a luxury that I am really enjoying! We went and saw the movie Fire Proof. It had a certain draw with Jim being in the profession that he is, so it didn't take much coercing to get him to go to a "chick flick".

All in all, I'd say that we have a pretty strong relationship....don't get me wrong, we have our days just like everyone else. The big difference is that we make a point to communicate, we don't let things stew too long and (plug your ears, close your eyes..whatever you need to do) we don't let our problems effect our..umm..sheet music (if you know what I mean!). Recently we've had quite a few friends who have been experiencing marital problems, some resulting in divorce, some just miserable. What is the main common denominator? They let life get in the way. Before you know it, you're in separate bedrooms, barely talking...just coexisting. How can people who at some point had to have been madly in love with each other become strangers? It's pretty easy..selfishness moves in and you stop trying to woo the other person. Soon it's: "He always drops his clothes on the floor right in front of the hamper!" or "She always has a headache." the list can go on and on. The book Love and Respect teaches on this principle of a "crazy cycle", where everything mounts up and you start spinning out of control.

The trick is how to stop this out of control spinning ball of emotions before it's too late. The movie had a book to go along with it called "The Love Dare". Basically, it's 40 days of focusing on your spouse, reconnecting, and hopefully realizing that they aren't the only problem in your marriage. Most of the things we already try to do, but it's always nice to refresh your memory. It's hard to keep it up. We inherently seem to drift back into a mentality, but what if we just started with baby steps? Day one was to not say anything negative to your spouse for that day (I tend to be a little sarcastic if you haven't noticed, but it couldn't hurt, right!)....who knows the difference, the walls that could crack if for once, we stop nagging and focus on the good.

I really would recommend the movie and definitely the book. (for some reason I have this old Coca Cola song in my head about living in harmony!) Some of you might be hesitant because of the "Christian" content of the whole thing. But I honestly believe God IS the author of love, who better to go to for teaching and guidance then the creator of it all? The verse references, no matter what your beliefs are, might just be the kind of light bulb moment you need to make your married life a healthier place.

(ok..once again, I'm off my soap box! Next post it'll be back to life as usual!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ooops! Kathy caught me! I totally forgot to post about our weekend...not that we didn't have a great time, just been extremely crazy on the home front!

Sunday we went up to New Glarus with Crystal and Duane to do the brewery tour and just hang out.

We headed up north on 26 only to spot a sign in Cedarville "winery open".....Jim did a quick right turn as I, every so gently, yelled "TURN!!!!" It ended up being Famous Fossil's opening weekend and the place was really quaint. They have had the vineyard for 4 years, this being their first usable crop. We tasted some wine and I begged Jim for a bottle of their Autumn Blush....which was awesome!

Then Jim got us (that means ME) back on track. So we got back on 26 and headed towards Monroe. We ended up eating a quick lunch at Baumgartner's (Dad always raves about their famous cheese sandwiches....which are exactly that: 2 pieces of bread and a huge hunk of cheese!). We ended up with chili and cheese sandwiches and a couple of beers: Jim of course got Spotted Cow and I had a Berghoff Oktoberfest, which was pretty good definitely something I'll try again! As we were eating, I looked up on the ceiling and noticed that there were a ton of $1 bills up these are super high ceilings so curiosity got the best of me and I asked the waitress what was up with all the bills. She said that it would cost a Crystal whips out a dollar. Once a year they clear off the ceiling and donate the money to a charity ($5200 last year). So the waitress brings a box full of metal thumb tacks and 3 quarters taped together. She put the tack in the middle of the bill and then did this fancy little wrap around the quarters....then she chucks the thing in the air and splat the bills up on the ceiling and the wad of quarters is barreling down (which she caught!). The only thing better would be if they had a little monkey!!! I would definitely take the kids back with like $10 in ones..too funny!

Back on the road again, we finally made it to our destination: New Glarus. Since Crystal isn't much of a beer person I thought we could go through their shops first. We ended up at their bakery (we got a loaf of sour dough and a huge chunk of Carmel apple cheese cake). Then we stopped at this little swiss cottagey shop with cheese and fudge. I tricked Crystal and Duane into eating Jalapeno Fudge..heheehee! We got a couple blocks of cheese and Crystal bought some fudge. The only disappointing thing was that I would have passed up the cheese cake if I would have known that the cheese shop had "apple pie" which was exactly like the apple danish my mom used to make! (pity party!) I got over it after we got to the brewery! We took their tour and had a tasting, which is pretty cool: the tour is free and for $3 you get to sample 3 beers and keep the cup (they make good juice glasses!). So we bought a couple of mixed 6 packs, but what I really wanted was the t-shirt that said "Real women don't drink light beer." Oh well, next time!

On our way home we stopped at Walmart, got a few groceries and a couple cheap movies. I made minestrone soup to eat with our sour dough and we watched movies all night.

This was definitely one of our best anniversaries! We had so much fun doing absolutely nothing....and we saved a ton by not staying somewhere overnight! (well it was kind of like staying in a mom's friend gave us her queen bed from her guest room and the house was clean...that changed once the boys were home!!!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm short on time, but wanted to post something! I've started a new sweater...pattern is from the fall Interweave knits called Sidelines. So far so good, finished the back panel and am almost done with the front. This has definitely not been mindless knitting (worked on it last night while drinking wine from Famous Fossil in Cedarville only to discover a mistake and had to rip out 10 rows arghhhh!). Regardless, I have some high hopes for the pattern.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Decade

A Decade
Originally uploaded by princess and the purl
It's hard to believe that this weekend we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary....where did the time go?

I have to say that through all of the ups and downs I have no regrets! I love this man more and more with the passing of each day, it only seems to get better with age!

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Birthday Cake...OH JOY!

make cake...check....have complete melt down decorating the stupid thing....check....going home to drink lots of alcohol....CHECK!
I should have known from the start that this would be a wonderful day...HA!

Had to go to the big 'city'....felt like I was trying to run in waist high mud! Was every slow person in the tri state area trying to tick me off?!? Finally after almost 4 hours got done with my relatively short list of to do's. Went back to my mom's house, who had graciously watched my kids and volunteered to help with the cake..little did she know! Baking the cake started off fine (yellow sheet cake).

Decided to make it a layer cake using 11 x 17 pans. First cake came out beautiful....second...aaahh...not so much! My mom had "smoothed" out the first batch of batter into the pan. I did the second one....pulled it out of the oven and one side was like a 1/2 inch high..ARGH! Ok..ocd in control...not going to make another cake..this will be fine!

Used the recipe from the website for butter cream frosting...turned out good. Was going for a gray color..looks lavender, but who cares right?!?

Next up...recipe for gel frosting. (2 envelopes Knox gelatin 2Tbs Water 2 cups karo syrup). Added the water to the gelatin..turned into this lumpy thing...said to heat over low until dissolved and clear....heated over low, but only got something that (sorry for the grossness) looked like a sauce pan full of pus...literally PUS...smelled gross too! Decided to keep going, added the 2 cups karo syrup...INSTANTLY turned to this slimy mess! I am completely convinced that this is what they used for ectoplasm in the movie GhostBusters! Heated it through like the directions said..poured it into 3 glass bowls and added food coloring....refrigerated to cool, but it never got thick enough to use....finally gave up and made some more butter cream..turned out great (7 hours into making the stupid cake!!!!)

I got the Transformers Logo from a graft off of Ravelry by Elizabeth Thomas...very cool lady! I think that it turned out pretty good considering all that happened...Riley loves it so that's all that matters!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Monkey Munchkin Turns 5!

It's finally baby turned 5! It seems like yesterday that we brought this tiny, cuddly bundle of joy look at him! He spends most of his days running around like a mad man, flipping off things, doing burn outs on his name it, he's probably done it!

Happy Late Birthday Baby!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Masculine Bovine Feces

The more these campaigns go on the more bogged down with masculine bovine feces I feel (that's my country girl equivalent of bs for all of you city people..hehehe).

This morning while watching these talking head shows I just wanted to scream! People...think for your calculator...something!!!!! Get off your comfy tushes and do some research!

One of the big issues of this campaign is health care. I'm not big on universal health care (which is NOT what Obama is promoting), mainly because I see the hoops that hospitals, ambulances, nursing homes, and clinics have to go through in order to get payment from Medicare, Medicaide, and Kid Care. If you don't have every t crossed or i dotted, they deny the hospital payment, which then causes the hospitals to charge more for everyone else to even out their loss.

McCain, in his generous, no pork barrel spending ways, wants to offer us a $5,000 tax credit and then make us choose our own health care. What planet is he on?

To be completely honest, we are one of those families who do not currently have health care. We have looked into buying it on our own, but there isn't an extra penny available with all of the other increases we have faced over the last year.

In response to this wonderful "tax credit" I have only one thing to say-----
LADEE FRICKEN DA! That tax credit will do a lot of good if we're in a "Van down by the river"!!! (sorry, I love Chris Farley!)

I did a little research of my own (thanks to google and e health insurance):
Quotes are based on a family of 5 in our county

Blue Cross Blue Shield:

$324/month+ 1750 deductible+$6000 annual out of pocket (deductible not included) =

$466/month+$500 deductible ($1000/family)+$6000 annual out of pocket =
$12, 592/year


$189/month+$10,000 deductible(once your reach deductible, 100% coverage)=
$12, 268/year

I don't know about you, but a $5000 tax credit (which you already can claim every single penny of your medical costs as a tax deduction) doesn't really make a dent in the cost of independently acquiring your own insurance. Also, this isn't saying that you'd automatically receive a $5,000 increase in your tax refund....that money would go to the insurance company to offset your plan's cost....and....McCain would then start taxing the previously "pre tax" money from your pay check that goes to your health insurance, if you get your insurance from your employer. you feel duped?!?

Friday, October 3, 2008

30 Never Looked So Good!

Ok...I think we are finally ending our year of 30's. Amber was always the baby of the group and now she's joined our old fogies club!

She had a little git together last night and I had so much fun! These last few months have been awesome since we started hanging out again. It's like old times, but so much better! I am truly blessed to have her back in my life! I hadn't seen her dad in like forever and a day....can I just say he has to be THE FUNNIEST person I have ever met! He was always a funny guy when we were teens, but more on the polite funny hahaha as we walked out the door......there must be a metamorphosis that happens as we age, but now he is stinking hilarious!

I also had the pleasure of picking up Kathy from the bus was so good to see her again! In the short amount of time that we spent together last night, I realized how much I miss her!!!!!! Kathy: here and now I am promising to try my hardest to keep better tabs on you and...Drive up to the Mad City and pound back a couple of beers with you!!!!! (and of course nab some of that awesome cheese bread you guys were talking about) I am thinking road trip...Amber are you up for it?!?

Yesterday was spent trying desperately to finish my February Lady Sweater, all I got was a blister on my thumb....aughh! So I finished it today. I like it, not totally in love with it like the picture, but it will work. The pattern called for a worsted wt. yarn...I would make it again in a sport or DK wt, but probably not worsted...the arms feel thick