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July 31, 2009

Mostly Finished Packing

Thursday I went to my book club meeting. It was a lot of fun to get together and discuss the book. There is a meeting once a month and I plan on going to the August meeting too.

After the meeting Alex and I ran some errands. We also dropped off nine cans of formula at a shelter. Gabe does some work with the shelter and there is an infant there currently. There were multiple types of formula. They were all unopened. I was going to take them back to Wal-Mart and get my money back, but it turns out they just throw unopened food away. After giving me back my money, they would have thrown away the nine cans of formula. The idea of trashing perfectly good formula really bothered me, so I donated it instead. You might be wondering why I had nine cans of unopened formula. We went through twelve types of formula with Alex until we found one that he could take.

I finally finished packing. I still have a few last minute items to pack (like my laptop). Hopefully I won't be too tired to remember tomorrow morning.

I managed to finish two Christmas presents last night and two more tonight. I think I am down to 16 or so. Go me!

July 29, 2009

Christmas Present

So, the allergy shots weren't so bad. I did think I was only going to get one per week. Turns out I get three at each visit. I do have a slight headache, but that could be from anything.

Since I already did our workout I have had a couple of hours to myself. Alex is in bed and Gabe is doing Kenpo. I decided to work on a Christmas present or two. I completed one, but I love it and I decided I am going to keep it. It is was for my sister. I will just go to the fabric store and buy some more of the same fabric and make her one too. I started on four more presents. I can't finish them though. I am missing something. Once I obtain the missing ingredient I can finish them up in no time. I will take plenty of pictures and show you all of the Christmas presents in December or early January.

I think I am going to get ready for bed. Tomorrow I just have to go to the book club meeting, do some laundry, and pack for our trip. Not too bad. Maybe I will be able to work in a Christmas present or two.

9 Months

Alex had his 9 month pictures taken last night. I think they turned out much better than the 6 month portraits. The CD and our free 8 x 10 should be ready for pick-up about the same time we return from our trip to South Carolina. So, I was feeling pretty good about getting my hair cut before the 9 month pictures. After the session was over and we were looking through the photos, I decided that just having a hair cut doesn't do any good if you forget to brush your hair before the photo shoot. Stupid wind!

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Who knew a laundry basket could be so much fun?

I made rice krispy treats for the book club meeting tomorrow. I always like to add extra marshmallows for that extra- gooey goodness. Hopefully my fingers won't stick to the pages of the book.

I also worked out this morning. Gabe and I usually work out in the evenings together, but I have to get an allergy shot today and I don't know how I am going to feel.

Tomorrow's schedule includes packing for our trip (plus the 6 things from today that may or may not get completed). The good news is that creating a blog entry is one of the things on the list. Anyone out there know where I can find a small beach ball? All of the ones I have seen have been either 18" or 24". I am looking in the 6" to 12" diameter range.

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Alex 9 months and 1 day

Happy Birthday!

BD4-tn.gifHappy Birthday Jimmy!BD4-tn.gif

Graphic courtesy of Pat's Web Graphics.

July 28, 2009


I finished cleaning our house. Now I just have to put things away that we get out and use each day.

Saturday we spent a good portion of the day running errands. I managed to get my hair cut. Alex will be having his 9 month pictures taken tonight. This is the first time I will have had my hair cut before the pictures. Usually I do it about a week after. We also went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. They stay open until 10:00 p.m. during the summer evenings. It is a little cooler and different animals are active.

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Bighorn Sheep

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Alex & Coyote

Sunday we took Alex to the kiddie pool. He had a blast splashing in the water. It was a fun way for Gabe and me to cool off too.

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Ready to swim.

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Relaxing in the pool.

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Hanging out in the pool.

Yesterday I met K at a local ice cream shop. She brought her little girl and we both had soft serve frozen yogurt...yummy! I also finished a Christmas present last night. Not counting things that I need to make last minute and a couple of "store bought" presents, I have about 20 things left to make. Everyone will get at least one homemade present, but I am having a really hard time coming up with more than one homemade item for some individuals. I found a local fabric store and I went there today to buy some material for a couple of things that I need to make. I am just waiting on Gabe to get home so we can start getting ready for the pictures tonight.

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Cute baseball outfit.

I have plans to start packing on Thursday for our trip. I already have the packing list printed, so it shouldn't be too difficult. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone and eating a Krispy Kreme Doughnut (or two).

July 24, 2009

Exciting Stuff

One (we have two) of our air conditioners was not working properly. So, I hung around the house all day Wednesday waiting on someone to fix it. Apparently it had been overcharged and was not draining properly. I guess it was an easy fix. Luckily, it is still under warranty.

Yesterday we went to Walgreens and Wal-Mart...very exciting stuff.

I finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. If it had not been for the book club, I would have quit after the first couple of chapters. That is saying something, because I generally finish a book once I start it (even if I don't like it). The father shoots Junior's dog in the head because he is sick and they can't afford to take him to the vet. That about did it for me, but I kept reading the book and it was actually pretty good. The book tells the adventures of Junior. He leaves the reservation to attend an all white school in a little town. My book club meeting is next week. It is the first one that I have been to out here, so I guess I will see how it goes.

We are going on vacation soon and I am really excited. I need to get packing. In preparation for our trip I am trying to deep clean every room (including closets). This also includes cleaning out every drawer.

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Alex reading a book.

July 21, 2009

Harry Potter

We went to see Harry Potter Friday night (SPOILER AHEAD). I enjoyed it. However, one part of the movie bothered me in particular. I did not like the way that the scene where DumbIedore is killed took place. It did not follow the book closely enough for my liking. Just in case you are wondering, when we left the drive-in at 10:30 p.m. it was a cool 86 degrees.

I was not sad to see Jamika leave The Next Food Network Star. I think that her attitude was horrible during the challenges. However, I do wish that Debbie would get voted off of the island. She is so sneaky and I just don't like it. I don't think that I could trust her enough to watch her television program.

Yesterday I managed to finish up a quilt top. I started working on it several months ago and never finished it. It is for my grandma for Christmas. My goal was to finish the top and then make my "quilt sandwich" so I could quilt it while we drive to Las Vegas. I started quilting it last night while we were watching TV. My new goal is to finish quilting it before Vegas and do the binding on the trip.

The show that we watched was Moonlight. We started with the first episode of the first season. So far it is interesting. It is about a vampire that is a private investigator and he helps to solve crimes. We only watched the first episode and about five minutes of the second, so we will have to see how it all unfolds. It was canceled after the first season.

July 17, 2009

This & That

I have a medium length list of things on my to do list that I do not want to do. So, similar to Karen, I have decided to do one lingering item each day. One thing isn't that bad. I am happy to report that it has been very successful. Hopefully, very soon, I will have a really short list of things on my to do list.

I recently finished Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center. The main character is Lanie. She and her husband, Peter, pack everything and move across the country so he can pursue his dream. She finds herself somewhere along the way. This is not the type of book I usually read, but I gave it a shot. It turned out to be pretty good. Plus, there is a cupcake on the cover of the book. It can't be bad if there is a cup cake on the cover, right?

We rocked at the no spend challenge the first month (June). We found plenty of free or inexpensive things to do. We went to the zoo and since we are members, it was free (or prepaid...however you want to look at it). We watched a lot of movies. Our DVR is near capacity. We have been too busy to go out and do anything for the past month or so. However, we have had a lot of unexpected expenses. There is a conference that I will be attending soon and that took a huge chunk out of the budget. There are quite a few things that had to be pre-paid (registration, classes, hotel). There is another major expense, but I don't remember it. So, if you remove those two things from the budget for July, then we aren't doing half bad.

I have slowly been working on more Christmas presents. I completed 9 last night, but they were all the same thing. I need to update my spreadsheet pretty soon.

I decided to complete a few projects that I have wanted to do for a while now. I made us some luggage handle covers and I made myself a pin cushion.

I am giving a brief description of the steps that I followed to make the luggage handle covers. I made a very tiny change to the instructions from Little Birdie Secrets. Make sure and check out her awesome tutorial for the project. She has a lot of very easy to follow pictures.

Cut out two 6 x 6 1/2 pieces of fabric and one 6 x 6 1/2 piece of batting. Place the two right sides of the fabric together and then place the batting on top. Sew the fabric together (1/4" seam allowance), but make sure to leave a small opening so you can turn the material right side out.

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After turning the cover right side out, fold the material for the opening under and sew all the way around the cover (this is different from the tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets). Next, sew on the two pieces of 5" velcro so they match up. Place on your luggage. Now our black bags will stand out a little more. I used striped material so I had to match the lines up. If you use something with a random pattern then matching up lines won't be a problem.

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Make sure and head over to Paper.String.Cloth for a great tutorial on how to make the cute little pin cushion. I followed the directions exactly. I like the look of the patchwork, but next time I might try a solid piece of material and see how that works out.

I think we might see Harry Potter this weekend. I am pretty excited. A lot of it depends on the weather. If it is still 100 or higher around 8:00 p.m. I doubt we will go. It is just too hot for Alex to sit out and watch a movie when it is that warm (we go to a drive-in).

This was taken a few days ago. Can you read the temperature reading? It is 119! By the time we were back home it was only 111.

Books I have left to read:

Run For Your Life
by James Patterson
Rites of Spring (Break) by Diana Peterfreund
Tap & Gown by Diana Peterfreund (Available May 19, 2009)
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost
Broken Music: A Memoir by Sting
Catch Me if You Can by Donna Kauffman
The $64 Tomato by William Alexander
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (this one is for a book club, so I had better get cracking!)

July 12, 2009

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Chocolate Mint Cookies (from Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes) (40 cookies)
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 9 minutes per batch

Use a small ice-cream scoop to measure the perfect amount of dough each time. It also gives you a head start on rolling the balls.

1 (18.25-ounce) package devil's food cake mix
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
40 chocolate-covered mint-filled candies (such as Junior Mints)

1. Preheat oven to 350̊.
2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed just until blended.
3. Divide dough into 40 pieces. Press each piece of dough around 1 piece of candy, and roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake in batches at 350̊ for 9 minutes or until surfaces are dry and centers are soft. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks.


We have been pretty busy lately...even more that normal. Wednesday, July 1, I went to a Pampered Chef party. Alex stayed home with Gabe.

On Friday, July 3 we went to the Old-Fashioned Independence Day Festival. We had a lot of fun. We decided to watch the fireworks from home instead of the festival. We had a pretty decent view out of our extra bedroom window. Alex really enjoyed watching the fireworks, but I think he might not have enjoyed them quite as much if he would have heard the boom. We decided to watch them from home so things would be more quiet and less hectic.

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Alex modeling his beads.

We had lunch with Kevin at a Greek restaurant on the Fourth of July. We were actually late due to some confusion at Babies R Us. We bought Alex a car seat and when they went to get it out of storage for us, they couldn't find it. It took them 40 minutes to decide that their inventory system had not been properly updated and they did not have the car seat that we had paid for. Apparently the stores have two inventory systems. One system said that they had 1 car seat in stock and the other system said that they had -1 in stock. So, they ended up ordering one for us. I would not have minded the situation that much (we saved $80 on the car seat) except it made us late for our lunch date. Everything worked out ok and Kevin was pretty understanding.

During the evening of the fourth we had Mike over for dinner. We grilled hotdogs and hamburgers. We also had pasta salad, chips, and apple pie with ice cream for dessert. Alex went to bed and as we sat outside eating dinner we watched fireworks from our back yard.

Monday I went over to J's house for some socializing. There were quite a few people there and we snacked on yummy low calorie desserts. I made yummy chocolate mint cookies. I forgot to take a picture, but I will post the recipe in a different post.

Recent we have watched a few movies. We watched the entire first season of True Blood. It is about vampires that have come out in society and they are now seeking equal rights thanks to the invention of True Blood. It is a blood substitute that fulfills all nutritional requirements and stops the need for vampires to feed on humans. The main character is Sookie Stackhouse. She can hear people's thoughts and really has an interest in vampires. Her brother, Jason, just seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bill, a vampire, becomes Sookie's love interest. The series is based on books by Charlaine Harris.

We also watched Babylon AD. It was a much better movie than I had expected. Vin Diesel takes a job to smuggle a girl to the United States. We are currently watching Insomnia. It is doing a great job of keeping my interest (I always do two things at once). Al Pacino is sent to Alaska to investigate the murder of a girl. He kills his partner while attempting to apprehend the suspect. He does not admit to what he has done. While dealing with his guilt he is still trying to catch a murderer.

July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday!

BD4-tn.gifHappy Birthday Aaron!BD4-tn.gif

Graphic courtesy of Pat's Web Graphics.

July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!


Graphic courtesy of Pat's Web Graphics.