Wednesday, October 28, 2009

50th birthday party.

I turned 50 on October 16. My family, well all of them that could anyway, took me to dinner on the 18th to celebrate. One of my best friends and her children were there too, helping to make the day special. We had a great time visiting and catching up with the comings and goings in each others lives. My niece and her family were having some trouble getting the people they bought their house from to move out. So they weren't feeling very festive, but they came and I think they had a good time anyway.

Here are some pictures the Howard took during our dinner. We got trainer chop sticks for the kids, and some dollar tree whistles for them as well.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Traditional family roles.

I may have mentioned before that I feel at conflict with myself sometimes. On the one hand, I'm very much an old fashioned wife and mother. I like stay at home with the kids, I like knitting, sewing, cooking and even feel a bit of pride when I manage to keep the house clean for several days at a time. I like planning things for my family, and bringing it off well.

On the other hand I also enjoy working, or going to school. Maybe because the kinds of jobs I'd be doing would revolve around kids and families. I like being out and about, spending time with other adults, and making money.

I think I've found a good compromise, at least for now, watching kids in my home. I can usually find the time to do the things I like to do, and still make money. Being a good housekeeper is harder to work out, because I feel that my JOB is watching the kids not cleaning the house. Right now I work for 11 hours 5 days a week. I do the big cleaning on week-ends, and do the daily dishes in the morning between waking up to get The Boy to school and walking out the door to get him on the bus. Sometimes I do some dishes or other cleaning while the girl I babysit is napping. I can knit and watch her, but sewing has to wait until the week-end because it's kind of noisy and demands more attention than I'd like to take away from watching her.

My husband and I are equals in our marriage. We are not the same, however. Our talents and educations differ and that helps determine our roles. I'm much better at watching the kids, cleaning, and other domestic things, he is better at things that need more physical abilities, like moving the furniture, and dealing with tools. I deal with the people stuff, he deals with the mechanical stuff. He fixes our computers, I call and deal with people about bills or other problems. I'm sure I could make it without him, I just wouldn't like it as much. I'm sure he could make it without me, he just wouldn't like it as much either.

We seem to have fallen into more traditional gender roles. It's not because either of us thinks that's the way it should be, but because that's the best way to use our individual talents and strengths. There are people who seem to feel that I'm not a very good feminist because I do more of the old fashioned wifely things. Or that my husband is a male chauvinist because I don't work out side the home. Neither is true. I'm learning that what other people think doesn't really matter. It's been a hard lesson for me to learn. I have to keep reminding myself of some advice my Grandmother gave me, "Do what makes you happy, because at least one person will be happy. Trying to do things just to make other people happy doesn't always work." I'm trying to remember that as long as our family is happy it doesn't matter what other people think.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dried Chiles - Samples from Marx Foods.

Just before I went to my parents house for vacation I received a box with some dried chile samples. I talked to to Dad, who grew up in the South West, about what he would do with some of the stuff I got. The only thing he thought of was to use the New Mexican Chile to make either Enchilada sauce or Chili con Carne. I'm still looking for a good Chili recipe.

I use some of the De Arbol Chiles to make some Chile oil. I put several of the dried pods in a bottle of Olive oil. It's been sitting on my counter for about a week now, I haven't noticed much of a flavor from the Chile just yet, but I'm hoping I'll be able to taste it eventually. I wonder how long it will take? I guess I should check around on line and see if I can find the answer.

It looks pretty, but I wish more of the chile would sink to the bottom.

The other chile's I got, and need to find recipes to use them in, are:

Japones Chile

Puya Chile

Smoked Serrano Chile

New Mexico Chile

and Chipotle Chile

All of them, except for the Chipotles, are medium in heat. I took a small piece from each of them and re hydrated them to taste them. That helped me pick one for the oil, but didn't help me think of anything to do with the rest.

So if any of you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I'm excited and frustrated about them. They smell wonderful. If all else fails I guess I could ground them up and have some Delicious chile powders.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The First day of First Grade.

I somehow didn't get things together early enough to get pictures of The Boy on his first day of school this year. He was so interested in changing to go out to play I didn't get any after school either.

He didn't want to talk too long, he wanted to go play, but said that he had a good day. I'll get him to talk later, after dinner and find out some more information. I'll ask about the kids in his class, and his first school lunch.

I missed him all day! Little Day Care Girl missed him too. I couldn't wait for him to get home, and he just wanted to leave me again. LOL

I'll try to get pictures tomorrow, no promises though.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I finally got around to making my own puff pastry. I think it will be easier this winter when the weather is cooler.

Anyway, I made a pineapple-apricot filling and made turnovers. I don't know if it's because I cut it wrong, or because of the way I tried to "seal" the edges but it didn't puff very well. The flavor was out of this world! They were rather light and flaky, but not as puffed as I thought it would be.

I have half of the dough left, and some cherries that were frozen that I'll make some filling out of, and I'll try again soon.

Here are some pictures:

Why The Boy won't be using the clippers any time soon.

The Boy gave himself a hair cut a few days ago. Don't worry, it's okay, really.

His Dad was trimming his beard with the clippers, The Boy was "helping" and at one point he held the clippers for his Dad. He decided to find out how the vibration would feel against his forehead. He liked it quite a bit and before he knew it, or his Dad could stop it, he ran the clippers across the side of his head. Cutting his hair to about an eighth of an inch. But that isn't were he stopped, he moved the clippers almost to the top of his head and clipped another strip of hair. Dad told him to come and show me what he had done.

After looking at it and discussing what needed to be done, it was decided that the only thing that could be done was to cut the rest of his hair to the same length. It's shorter than I would have liked, but it will grow out again.

Here are some pictures.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Last week the weather was too hot for me, so we got an air conditioner. Things have cooled down quite a bit, thank goodness. I haven't done much, I've researched how to make puff pastry, but didn't make any yet. I've kept up with the dishes, and kept the apartment mostly clean. Of course I've babysat. I haven't done much creative stuff. I'll get in the mood again pretty soon, I'm sure. I put up the curtains I ordered, they are WAY too long, so I'm slowly getting them hemmed up. Instead of being floor level they are now just long enough cover the window. I think I'll hem the other pair one inch longer.

Day Care Girl is learning more and more words all the time. We are working on body parts, beyond the starter parts like eyes, nose, feet, and tummy. I'm adding in colors now too. She can count to 4 without help, so we are working on that as well. I really want to get those little puzzle mats with the alphabet pieces on one and numbers on the other.

The Boy is excited about going back to school. I'm going to miss him very much, he will be in first grade so will be in school all day. They are going to try to get him in a regular class room for reading and math, but he will have the special class room for support and social stuff. He still doesn't understand when other kids are being mean to him. I'd say his social interaction level is closer to a 4 or maybe even a 5 year old, he seems so innocent to me. School starts September 8th this year, I think.

Howard sometimes seems to appreciate what I do, the home baked bread, and the fact that I'm here for The Boy whenever he needs me to be. Other times, he seems to resent that he has to go to work and I get to stay home. He will mention that I don't make much money, and that he thinks I should get an other job or more kids or in some other way I should do more. He sometimes just says that he wishes he could stay home and cook, clean, take care of the kids, and whatever else he thinks I'm doing all day.

He wants a car, but if we get one all the extra stuff we can get now, and the savings we could be saving, will not be affordable any more since we would have to pay insurance, gas, upkeep and maybe even car payments. I know it's hard for him to have to ride the bus to work 4 days a week and have to hitchhike the other day, it's hard for me not to be able to go get groceries whenever we need them, or go run errands around town. However, he is the one who applied and was excited about working some place so far from anyone we know. He is the one who says he wouldn't take a day schedule no matter what, and he is the one who doesn't have a license and so wouldn't even be able to drive himself to work anyway. Most of the time he is okay with things, and is happy that I am making some money so we can get some of the extras we have had to live without for so long. He usually likes the things I do around here and often tells me how much it means to him. I just needed to vent about the rest of the time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The last day of Kindergarten.

Today was The Boy's last day of Kindergarten. I had thought of dressing him in the same outfit as he wore on the first day of Kindergarten, but the bright yellow shirt is a little stained. Messed Up Daddy took these pictures after school today.

Hiding behind his certificate.
With Mom, showing off the certificate.

It used to be a "Black Butterfly".
I'm glad it's over. I've missed him since he's been in school. He seems fine so far about not going to school next week, and for the whole summer. However, I'm not sure that will last very long, since I can still use not going to school as a threat to get him to behave the way I want.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The wedding, a story in pictures.

My favorite before the wedding picture.
The Bride and her Grandmother.
They had just finished doing the Brides hair.

The Bride and her Father.
The Bride and Groom's first kiss as a married couple.

Introducing Mr. and Mrs.

The wedding party at dinner.

The Bride hugging her Father. During their dance.

The first dance as a married couple.

Preparing to cut the cake.

Grandpa taking a walk with the Daughter of the Bride.

Walking with Grandpa, with Mom's wedding bouquet.


(There are many more pictures, of the Bride and Groom, Their children, Family and Friends. Pictures of the dancing, and kids playing. I'll post some of them later.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

The perfect bike for me.

Madsen Cycles has a cargo bike that looks like it would be perfect for me. I could take the kids for a ride across the bridge to the farmers market, and bring home our purchases. It would be terrific for shopping, or taking everyone out for a picnic. Here's the link to the cargo bike MADSEN Cargo Bikes what do you think?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Results of our IEP meeting at The Boy's school.

The Boy is doing quite well in school, academically at least.

He's right on track with reading, maybe even a bit advanced, and he's doing well in math. He loves to read and is always playing with letters and words.

His speech is still a bit off, but it's more of a communication problem. He speaks clearly, and has a fairly large vocabulary, but doesn't know how to explain, or describe something.

He was screened for vision, and seems to have depth perception problems and distance vision problems. We need to take him in for an exam.

He didn't finish the hearing screening, he says that the beeps made his head feel wobbly.

He is going to stay in the ERC, where there are more adults in the class room and is set up for adaptive educational opportunities, for the rest of this year and for next year. They will main stream him for reading and math next year, if it works out the way we all think it will.

He needs to learn some basic social stuff, like personal space, and how to read non-verbal clues. He doesn't seem to understand when people are being mean to him or want him to step back a pace or two.

His hands are fairly weak, and he hates writing and drawing. We are working on that still this year in school and home. Next year we will continue and see if we can find anything new to do to help him.

The Doctor's office is looking into getting him a referral for some neurological testing to see if there is a neurological reason for some of the things we have been seeing. They want to get him in as soon as possible, so they are looking at a few places in Portland that do the testing we think he needs to see which one will be quickest and which one our insurance will pay for. I don't know what we will do if the insurance doesn't pay for any of the testing.

He is showing some signs for epilepsy, but there are also some signs for other neurological disturbances. Of course it might not be any thing we have thought of, it might be nothing except for is own personality.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter, a photo post.

These are the Easter Cake Balls.
They are white cake, with cherry frosting and milk chocolate.
I tried to shape some sort of egg shaped.
They were really good.

Three silly children.

This is what happens when you let the Daddies watch the boys play.

I tried to get fancy with the chocolate covering.

The boys played Nintendo.

The girl played with her eggs. She wouldn't let me push her hair out of her eyes.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Another picture post, Strawberry-chocolate-white chocolate Cake Balls.

This is about half of the strawberry chocolate mix.

A Strawberry chocolate ball before it was dipped.

My Pizza pan works well for cake balls. It holds about half the cake balls I made.

I had enough white chocolate to cover about 1/4 of all the cake balls I made.
A couple of them got kind of messy.
The prettiest one. Top view.
The prettiest on.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Cake Balls, a picture post.

Here are the cake balls I made the other day. I just finished up dipping the last of them this afternoon. They took longer to do than I thought they would and I didn't feel comfortable doing them while my Little Day Care Girl (Now on know as LDCG) was here, and need the morning for dishes and cleaning. I got them done with only 15 minutes until she got here today. They are chocolate, with chocolate frosting and of course dipped in chocolate. The first batch were dipped in semi-sweet chocolate, the last batch was dipped in a mixture of what was left of the semi-sweet and some milk chocolate. Everyone loves them, I've even had someone suggest that I make them to sell!

The tray with 4 left over semi-sweet dipped cake balls
along with the milk chocolate dipped ones.

A bit closer look.

My favorite one.

Another close up.

Another look at my favorite one.