Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Tree Hunt

This is the view of our "picnic" site before all the cars showed up to tamp down the snow. Brian, Lee's nephew, was driving his mom's truck and broke the trail. We were the car behind him, but we let the 4-wheel drives go past us to mush all the snow down.

From this point, everyone parked as safely as possible, the kids used the slope on the right to sled, and the fire was built so we could stay warm.

We just walked into the forest from this point as well to hunt for our trees.

We managed to stay dry, and had snow come down a bit when we were starting to pack up again. There were patches of sunshine, but it was overcast for most of the day.

I thought Lexie's dog had it the best, hiding in Lexie's coat. I suppose it kept Lexie warm too. That's Lee's sister, Donna, on the right of Lexie.

Connor enjoyed himself so much, I think we're going to have to go up to the mountains over the holidays so he can get more of a snow fix in. I think we have a sled-type thing somewhere...


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I've fallen and I can't get up!

Oh, the dangers of tree hunting!
(sorry about the water drops on the camera!)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas Tree Hunt

It's a family tradition to go into the mountains to "hunt" for our Christmas trees. We buy a permit for $5 at the Ranger Station, and caravan up with our snow gear. We've had all kinds of weather from blizzards to rain, but this time around it was just great. The snow was a really nice, dry kind, that packs together well. If I were Eskimo (Inuit?) I'd probably have a word for it.

In any case, we had a ton of chili & hot dogs, as well as other snacks, and the kids got to play in the snow the whole time. Brian, my nephew, made the comment that it was better to search for trees uphill, because then you could drag it DOWN to the cars. Good plan!

Our truck worked out great. Once the snow got harder to drive in, we had to leave a minivan behind at a junction in the road. They had chains, but they were plowing the snow in front of the car because it sat so low. Everyone else was in a higher car, or 4-wheel drive. This time around, even 4-wheel drive didn't mean you weren't going to slip in the snow. I think almost everyone had points when they were spinning wheels & we had to dig down. We had someone with a tow line, and at least 2 cars were tugged back up to the road, tho there was no damage to the cars. I don't like the slippery slidy part. Our truck has rear-wheel drive, not 4-wheel, but we did great once the chains were on.

I think most of us gals cringe at the drive up & down, but the guys see it as a challenge. Once we're all parked & hanging out though, it really is worth the drive. Connor had an absolute blast. He came away with a big scrape on the side of his face. No one in our family saw it happen and he certainly didn't cry or anything to let us know. But it's a pretty good scrape and must have hurt! I think he was too busy having fun to pay attention to it though.

Fun fun fun!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Lee got 4 days off in a row, so we were able to go down to visit family and stay!

We had the big family gathering at Myrna's. This year we tried Bunco, and it was a lot of fun. Connor played as a "ghost" most of the night (you roll for him if he's your partner). He was enjoying the pool table upstairs a little more than the chaos of switching partners every round. He actually rolled the dice one time :)

On Friday, we ignored all the big sales, and just went shopping to get what we needed for playing in the snow on Saturday. Both boys needed boots. Then we went to see Happy Feet. It was very cute. We aren't used to the way they do previews in their theater. They show trailers for DVD's coming out - the same trailers you saw in the theater before those movies came out. It lasted a good half hour before the "real" previews for new movies came out. Then the show finally started. 15 minutes in, Connor was already "done" with movies. If we would have gotten popcorn, he would have lasted longer, but we'd all just eaten lunch.

I think I prefer the rinky-dink silent slide show they show in our theaters. You can at least have a conversation if you come early. And make fun of the slides. Then once the previews start, you know the movie is coming pretty soon.

After dinner, we went over to the folk's place, and then went out to a newer restaurant for dinner. They still have some kinks to work out at that place. heh. I'm sure it will be running great in a month or so.

Dan & Diana went to the mall then so she could check out Hot Topic. We went to pick them up after visiting with the folks some more, but then we found out Dan got sick. At first, we were afraid it was food poisoning, but looks like it was a flu bug.

Next entry will be for Saturday's fun in the snow.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mrs. Q's Apple Crisp

Got some apples? Need a quick & easy dessert? Here ya go!

In a large bowl mix:

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup oil

Then add:
4 cups peeled & diced apples
1 cup chopped nuts

Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes in a 13x9 inch pan.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. My mom sprinkles powdered sugar over the top to make it pretty. I just served it plain.

Works well as breakfast the next morning too :P

Monday, November 20, 2006

Connie's art

My dad used to do stained glass. My sister Connie likes doing mosaic-style art.

Isn't this a cool way to use up scraps from stained glass (or broken tile)?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Comic Redo

Diana decided to restart her comic. She didn't like her original work, because she's grown enough in her style that it didn't look good enough to her anymore.

I fixed the link on the right, so it works again.

So, if you're interested, read along from the beginning again. And post a comment if you can - since she loves the feedback!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Comments can be posted...

I switched over to the beta blogger with Google. Now you don't need to have a blogger account to be able to post a comment, if you have one.

So all you family & friends, go ahead & let me know you were here.

At the bottom, click on "comments" and then click on the "Anonymous" button to post your comment. You might want to sign off with your first name or nickname, so I know who said what.

So - Post away!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Totally using my idea!

So, I've been combining my gaming with riding my exercise bike since, oh, the BETA of ASHERON'S CALL! It works for me, even tho I've got my desk way high on cinderblocks.

This guy has taken it to the next level. He's got the mucho macho thing going. I'll bet a lot of people would be exercising while gaming if they had HIS set up!! Go check it out!

very cool biking set up

Monday, November 13, 2006

Veteran's Day

We just had our long weekend. I did not get to sleep in a single day of the three.

Friday I had off, but I had a chiropractic appointment scheduled for 7:30 am. Then the chiropractor got sick, so they offered me a 1 hour massage instead. I'm all - YES!!!! So that was worth getting up at 6:45.

Saturday was Veteran's Day. The local American Legion had requested Girl Scouts to help with set up, serving & clean up. Well, no one offered, so I had Renee spend the night, and she went with Diana & I to help with the breakfast. We had to be there at 6:00 am. The breakfast started at 7:00 and was supposed to run until 10:00. Somehow, that got translated into 11:00 in the newspaper, so people were still coming in after we were trying to clean up. Oh well, we still had food & smiling faces so we stuck around until 11:00! Then I dropped the girls off at the parade, since they'd made signs & I'd gotten Diana's vest up to date with patches & badges!
That was worth getting up at 5:30, and both girls said they'd do it again next year. (Amanda & Mary couldn't help due to Band & Search and Rescue, also at the Parade).

Sunday was Diana's paper route. That's our weekly thing anyway, and after the papers were delivered, we went to the empty school parking lot to practise her driving a bit. I'm used to getting up early for that. She just really needs to get used to the car more than anything else. They use little compact cars when they drive with school, and all we have is an extended van, and the big honkin' truck. The rest of the day was laundry & getting WoW characters up & ready to meet with the guys that night.

Maybe I'll be able to sleep in NEXT weekend. Or Thanksgiving week? I only work Monday the 20th and the rest of the week is off for Connor & me.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Big Honkin' Truck

This is the new truck. Well, new to us. After driving a Ford Ranger since '90, this feels really big, even bigger than the van. Lee is really liking it though. It's a Chevy Silverado & it seats up to 6, although I wouldn't put adults in the back so much. It's fine for the kids tho.

The engine is a V8, I think, so it is plenty capable for hauling something heavy, or putting a camper on there or something. It does suck up the gas though, so I don't think we'll be using it for that sort of stuff very often. The trailer stuff is all there, with wires for lighting & everything.

Living in a town where you haul your trash to the dump, and you have a burn pile for yard waste, it really is handy to have a decent truck. It will be especially handy for our annual Christmas Tree Hunt with the extended family. Since we moved up here, we've had to split ourselves amongst the other cars. I think we dragged the Nissan Sentra up there once or twice with chains on the tires, but I never attempted a van. We would use the Ranger here & there, but that only seated 3, so that meant 2 of us didn't even go on the tree hunt. The years we didn't have a truck, we'd have to arrange a separate trip to go pick up our tree from someone who did have a truck, or we'd ask someone to drop it off on their way back north.

This will be a lot easier - not only for getting there & back with a tree, but also for the cookout part. I will be able to cart along my cooking stuff from camping and use my own propane stove to make our hot dogs and, most likely, Lee's chili. We can pack an ice chest with drinks & the whole bit. I like it much better if I don't have to split all my stuff up between 3 cars so we can make our contribution to the potluck!

Also, we're not done with our home improvements. This truck will be very helpful in moving the bigger gear around - the drywall sheets were kind of tricky in the Ranger last time. We are hoping to do central heat/air as the next project, and it will be easier to load equipment into a big truck (actually extended) bed, vs. our little Ranger. And this one is even lined!

Other improvements besides the size: The Ranger's seat was mashed (just gave out) and I had to sit on chair pads to drive it. The window was all full of spiderweb cracks from various rocks and a car seat (empty!!!) hitting it at one point. The bench seat lever to move the seat forward & back had broken in the fully back position, so I also needed a cushion of some sort to lean against when I drove as well. The Silverado has fabric seats and air conditioning. The Ranger did not.

We got it for a really good price, and more than half was paid out of the settlement from the accident with the Ranger. Lee's foot is pretty good now, and he's back to walking to work.

I guess it was time for us to move up in the truck world!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ebay for Christmas

Because they'll ship for you. It's just easier than shopping, waiting at the Post Office to mail packages, and all that stuff.

And while I'm at it, I'll be watching those items I still need for me :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rainy Rainy

We are having some funky weather. After freezing on Halloween, the clouds have collected over us and it's raining - with the cloud cover comes a warming temperature, so it's quite balmy. I am wearing sandals, a t-shirt and capri pants to work. Over the last couple of weeks I'd been wearing boots, turtlenecks, vests/sweaters & cord pants.

I have crossing guard duty this week, so hopefully it will taper off enough to keep me from getting completely drenched. At least we have Friday off so it's a short week.

Hopefully it won't rain on the Veteran's Day Parade on Saturday. I have to find out today which girls in my troop are going to walk in the parade. Amanda will be with the band. Mary might be doing something with Search & Rescue, which leaves Diana & Renee (and me). We'll see!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

In the Newspaper

So, Diana was quoted in the paper the other day. She's doing a class on video production, and as part of that, she's supposed to create a PSA about the dangers of drug use. There was a all-day presentation at the fairgrounds, and all the kids doing video production or related classes were there learning tips from the local TV people.

The bit in the paper from Diana:

"We already know long-term effects." She said she would never do drugs because her parents would eventually find out and make her life a nightmare. "My parents educated me early on," she said. "If I were to do drugs, that would just totally mess up my family."

What didn't make it into the paper was that she has brothers with special needs, and she has a lot of responsibility at home - if she were to do drugs, it really WOULD mess up the family dynamics.

Lee is fine with the world knowing that yes, we do pay attention to our kids and when they do things they shouldn't, there are repercussions. It probably isn't clear to most people, but Diana's idea of her life being a nightmare would be us taking away her computer. And if she did drugs, besides going to counseling and other interventions, she would most definitely lose a lot of her current freedom. And she'd probably have to do more chores.

She would still have Japanese club & Girl Scouts, because those are both positive activities that discourage drug use.

Not so much a nightmare as some would think, really. But for her, yes, very bad.

These PSA's aren't aimed at a kid like Diana, who has great self-esteem & confidence in herself, who doesn't bow to peer pressure and who comes from a loving, involved family. It's really supposed to be trying to help those kids who don't have that kind of life. Kids who need someone to say, "It's okay to do your own thing. You don't need drugs to be happy."

I'm interested to see how Diana's PSA comes out. If we can manage it, we'll post it on the blog when it's done :)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween, part deux

After going to the Neewollah Parade downtown (Halloween spelled backwards), Connor was pretty much done with the trick or treat thing. It might have something to do with the temperature being 38 degrees after the sun went down.

So after we got home again & ate some spaghetti for dinner, Trevor & Diana changed into much warmer clothes. Then they went out to really trick or treat. They had to go to most of Diana's route customers, and then through a newer housing tract near where Christy lives.

People were either giving out handfuls of candy because they didn't expect anyone to actually come to their house (but had candy just in case) or it was getting late & they wanted to get ride of their candy.

For round two, Diana was Puss in Boots, and Trevor was an elf - what else can you be with green hair?

We handed out full-size candy bars this year. They were on sale, and we only had 6 kids come to the door anyway, so what the heck? Lee figured if they took the time to come all the way up our hill, they deserved something more than a tiny Snickers bar.

It was good our kids used pillow cases. They came home with a LOT of candy. Yay!