Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

The desserts kept in Myrna's bedroom.  Connor made two lemon meringue pies :)
We always called them Stuffing Balls - but Pretzel Dumplings might sound a little better...
Getting ready to say grace.
Myrna's busy kitchen with LOTS of food!
Myrna & Doug hosted Thanksgiving this year.  There were 30 of us in attendance.  Pop brought Mom to join us, and she did really well.  At the end of the evening, she said, "I love you" to Lee, which was unexpected & caught Pop, Lee & Myrna off-guard.  I guess since the Alzheimer's really took hold, she doesn't say that much anymore.

We met Jonathon's girlfriend Erin from Colorado, and Crystal turned 30 (which means Megan is also 30).  Brian also had his girlfriend from California (I can't recall her name at the moment, but she was very nice!).  Tony was there too, and he seems to be doing very well.  Trevor & Diana spent most of their time with Daniel, as usual.

Connor played a lot with Karrie & Shane's oldest & middle son.  They are rather rambunctious, and he had to hide from them now & then :)  He gets so far, and then it's too much :)

Besides the regular visiting & such, I kept tabs on Connor.  He loves the yard at this house, but it's pretty wide open, and I like to know where he is.  The cougar mounted on the wall was killed on the property, after all.  Connor's going to miss the house when it gets sold, but he's been very good about changes lately - including us missing the tree hunt this year.

Lee had to work at 5:00am yesterday (Black Friday) and he's also working today.  In the past we'd spend a couple of nights with someone in Medford and join in on the tree hunt on Saturday.  We are trying to figure out a different time to get our tree now.  There's a U-cut tree farm just outside of town.  They're more expensive than the $5 any-size tree tag to get from the mountains, but that doesn't count the cost of gas, food, etc. when you do that day trip.  And I'm not wanting us to go all alone to get a tree anyway.  Two years ago my co-worker & her husband were doing that, slid off the road & he had to trudge 12 miles to try to find help, while she stayed behind in their truck.  She wound up spending the night alone in the forest and burned the wood flooring and carpet of the truck to stay warm.  Eeek!  That was around the same time the Kim family got lost & Mr. Kim died of exposure trying to find help for his family :(

Anyway - there are plenty of places to get trees around town, even if we don't do the U-cut.  Connor is already more or less resigned to that.  However, we WILL have to take him up to the snow at some point for fun.  Probably some week day during the holiday break we'll go to the "Sno Park" and take him for that.

This coming Saturday I sign him up for Special Olympics Cross-Country Skiing anyway.  :)  I took the kids to see Tangled yesterday & Trevor & Diana will go see Harry Potter either today or tomorrow.  Then we have to get Diana back to Eugene & everyone goes back to school for two weeks (college) or three (Connor & me).

At least it warmed up & driving is safe again :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Prepping for Open House

Yes, I know it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but I have to parcel out my weekends so I have everything done that I want done.  There was enough of a break in the weather today to allow me to rip out all the dead wild sweet pea stalks in my front planter.  I went out to put bark mulch around my baby hydrangea to hopefully protect its roots from frost.  I think I read that in a book somewhere.  Anyway, I still had some bark mulch and I had to clear the weeds out of the front planter before I could put it down.  I have a bunch of bulbs in there that will be fine poking up through that, but I'd prefer to not have to yank out a bunch of grass when the daffodils are blooming.

In any case, I went ahead and made up my little invites for Open House that I can pass out at work & stuff.  I won't do that until a couple of weeks before - it's on Sunday, December 12th this year, so I still have some time.  I'm also composing the Christmas letter so I don't wind up sending it in January as has happened a couple of times :(  We will take the family photo at Thanksgiving at Myrna's house.  Lee is working on the following Saturday, so we won't be able to do the mountain & tree one this year.  That's okay, I think it's been a few of those in a row again anyway.  I'll order the photo cards & should be able to get those out on time :)

I also worked on the menu for Open House today.  Usually we make everything pretty much, but dang - Costco sure has a lot of great pre-done stuff!  I have to see what the cost difference is.  Like I'd usually make the spinach dip, but the one at Costco looks pretty inexpensive.  After I add up the ingredients, if it's a push - I'm getting it at Costco!  I know the chips are cheaper there too.  I had Lee take a photo of the regular price at the store on the crackers the other night to see how they compare to Costco as well.  I'll be pricing things as I go & get the stuff I need to make my share of the Thanksgiving food - probably tomorrow.

Obviously, some things will be homemade still.  Trevor's fudge, Diana's (she hasn't decided yet), Connor's Rice Krispie treats, my Stollen.  Lee usually preps the veggies & dip, but he will probably be working through some of Open House.  We'll ask to have him be scheduled as early as possible - he never has Sunday off because it's time & a half.

The cleaning part is pretty much on schedule.  I am procrastinating on clearing the dressers in my room right now, but they'll be done by the weekend.  I'm working on some knitting & intend to do some sewing too.  The knitting is easiest, because I can work on it during my lunch break at school.  The sewing shouldn't take too long if it goes the way I hope (you never know).

As for Thanksgiving, at this point Lee has Wed-Thur-Fri off, but we're not sure that's right as Lee  has heard EVERYONE works Black Friday.  We will head down to Myrna's on Thursday, and we don't know yet if we have to drive home the same night, or if we might crash at Pop's and leave in the morning.  I'm not a fan of mountain passes in the dark with winter weather.  As I said, we will have to miss the tree hunt this year though.  I'm going to have to figure out a different time to get Connor up into the snow to play.  He's already looking forward to it.

Elephant Car Wash (my footage)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Video from German TV on the "Elefanten Car Wash"

My cousin, Heiner, contacted me today thru Facebook - he saw us on TV!  So here's the link :)

German TV station RTL Elephant Car Wash

Click the link!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Elephant Car Wash

Life is funny.  I was home on Friday because our school opted to use the day after Veterans Day for conferences.  Around noon or so I get a call from our neighbors who run the comic book shop downtown.  Our local drive-through style zoo is going to be featured on a German TV morning show.  They wanted to have a family do the "elephant car wash" so they can put that in the clip.  Wildlife Safari called the comic book shop, because they figured they'd know families.  Heh.  Comic book shops know kids who buy comics.  They don't know whole families that shop for comics together.  However, the folks running THIS shop are our neighbors, and they knew we'd done TV stuff before, so they called us.  I got the number of the guy in New York who was planning this out, and called him.  At first I looked at the wrong schedule & thought Lee could join us.  He actually had to work.  However, the fact that I can speak German was very exciting to the New York guy anyway.  So this morning, the boys & I drove out to Wildlife Safari for the elephant car wash :)
Dan, the manager at Wildlife Safari, with Silke, the German reporter.  
Alice the elephant flapped out her ears when spraying.
Lots of water in the trunk!!

Silke & Douglas the camera guy, interviewing the elephant handler.

Alice wipes the window with a sponge.  Connor thought this whole experience was great :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Connor's How to Make Juicy Lemon Cake

This was last Sunday :)  Sorry I couldn't figure out how to add music like Diana did.  Enjoy folks!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

Bunch of Stuff

I have the day off today.  Connor had Friday off because our town did the inservice day then.  I'm working in a different town, and they chose to have their inservice day AFTER Halloween - which I actually thought was pretty smart :)

Anyway - I'm home today since I had no inservice to attend (yay), and trying to get stuff done that typically escapes me during the week.  My list grew to 18 items.  So far, I've gotten eight done.  I'm currently heating the iron to do Lee's shirts.

Granted, some of these things are fun (like dropping off a travel bug for geocaching), but others are pretty menial, like finishing the laundry.  Others just need time, like sorting out Connor's clothes he's outgrown.  Still others will be moved to tomorrow's list when they don't get accomplished today.

I have been productive - I got a document notarized, talked with Financial Aid about Trevor's account (they are very slow & he still hasn't gotten his award letter), and I did my physical therapy exercises twice of three times so far today.  I only have one laundry load left (but then I need to sort & fold - I may delegate that to Trevor after he reads his assignments).

I still have my Girl Scout Leader meeting tonight, and some sewing I'd like to get done, although I did get some things sewn yesterday afternoon, too.  It's a good day for this sort of thing; overcast & windy.  I'm not missing out on great weather by doing chores & running errands.

Iron's hot now, so off I go.