And I'm back...

Good grief. Here's the run down since I checked in with you last.

So, last Friday, my laptop decided that it had served it's useful life and passed onto the peaceful gigabyte resting place, the docking station in the sky. I actually think that the spirit was willing but the screen was weak, as it appeared to be running, but the screen was done. Which, turns out is a key component to do most anything with a laptop other than using it for a paper weight.
Needless to say, I had to take a break from the good ol' blog because let me tell you--I love you all, but it is entirely too inconvenient to have to go, gasp, upstairs to the office to check in.

I had been saving my pennies and so yesterday afternoon, my new and shiny laptop came. It is red and sleek and very, very fast--the old one, bless it's heart was 6-7 years old and like a lot of us, just wasn't as quick as it used to be. Blogging on my new one is going to be a much more efficient and fun experience for sure. And besides, it's red so really I could just sit and look it all day, but apparently the kids need to be fed at some point. I tell you, some people's children.

Friday afternoon, the installer from the satellite company came. According to DH's conversation with the company, the installer was to come primarily to replace our current dish--as DH's suspected that it too had served it's useful life because of some miscellaneous issues we'd had with it over the last couple of months. Oh, and while the installer was here, two of our receivers would be switched out as well, because you know, why not? So, the installer gets here on Friday afternoon solely on a mission to swap out the receivers. Umm, hello? Dish not working. More pressing issue to me, because now the TV and the laptop are not working. I was fearing that we sadly might have to read a book or actually fold the laundry. The installer claimed he knew nothing about the request for the new dish and just when I was fearing the worst, he "fixed" the cables to the old one and we were back in business. Crises averted.

Sunday night Vacation Bible School started. It is my third year of directing it at our church and as usual, by the time VBS starts, I'm excited to see all of our planning come together and for the kids to experience the Jesus' love for them in a new way--but also, so ready for the week to be done. I am blessed to report that the week is going well (we have an awsome team of volunteers) the kids are having fun and the adults are tired--all true signs of a great kids' ministry!!

Monday morning we discovered that the AC was out, AGAIN. I made my weekly call to the contractor only to find out that he was going to have to order the parts which was totally fine. I can totally handle 90 degrees and 70% humidity, a toddler and an infant and no AC. RIGHT, because I'm a well adjusted pioneer woman. Oh, how I kid. While I was waiting for the contractor to call me back as to when the precious parts would be in to repair our AC--which by the way is only two years old--DH suggested that I grab the other fan from the attic and get it started upstairs. In theory, great plan. In reality, the kathunk, kathunk, kathunk noise the fan made when plugged in-not so great. Fortunately, there was just a hint of breeze Monday morning and with these big farmhouse windows flung wide open we were able to capitalize on it.

Lest you be concerned that my children and I melted in the sweltering heat and humidity, the HVAC contractor called back with the news! the good news! that the parts were in stock and that his son would be out to repair the fan in the afternoon. And he was. And the AC has been running since. Another crises averted.

That concludes my whining and sarcastic ramblings for today. Thank you for allowing me to vent. I feel better now. Really. Thank you.


Growing Like a Weed!

I just got back from taking The Little Man for his four month well child check. He now weighs 15 pounds 11 ounces and is 26 1/2 inches long! It is so remarkable how much he has grown and changed in the last two months! He is rolling both ways--quickly rolls off a blanket and half way into the next room if you give him just a minute! He has begun working on the coordination and process of crawling--something I am definitely not ready for! And is drooling like no body's business which I'm assuming can only means that the first tooth is right around the corner. Princess Pigtails had her first tooth through at four months, so it would not surprise me.

I can not believe how quickly the time is slipping away. Truly so much more quickly the second time around!

Things I Love Thursday--Freeware

Okay, so I have to say that I struggled this week coming up with something that I truly love to share...but in the interest of getting back to regular blogging--here it is. Probably a touch weak and really isn't necessarily a LOVE, but more something that I have found to be handy.

I do quite a bit of volunteering--primarily at our church and have found from time to time that it would be handy to create a PDF from a document that I've worked on or created. I discovered some freeware that makes this super easy--Cute PDF. You can check them out here.

So, this concludes the sad and pitiful TILT post. That's all I've got. Head over to Diaper Diaries for more items that are truly more exciting! I promise!


Preventing Post Vacation Laundry Pile Up

It's another Works for me Wednesday and I'm having a little trouble switching from post vacation/laundry mode to real life mode. Which brings me to my tip--that I should've followed while on this last trip! I once read that while on vacation, you should take time to do a load or two of laundry (if possible). I know, I know. It's the last thing I want to do while on vacation as well! But I can tell you from experience, coming home from a trip with suitcases mostly full of clean clothes, ready to put away is such a refreshing change! To make this easier, there are now two load laundry soap containers in the travel/sample size baskets at Target. And if you use dryer sheets, just pull a couple out and put in your suitcase when packing for your trip. Your clothes will smell fresh during your vacation despite any funky smells they might be exposed to and the dryer sheets will be available when you are ready to do your load of laundry. So, that's my tip. Find a washer and dryer while you are gone, do a load or two of laundry and ease the return from vacation! For more great ideas that work head over to Rocks In My Dryer!


Getting a Handle on Things

I know that I said I was off to do laundry, but I really must share this one picture before I log off! Okay heading down to attend to my laundry before I melt into a puddle and ruin my laptop!

We're Leaving on a Jet Plane

It's a big week around here. Midweek we are heading out on a short vacation. It will be the kiddos first trip in an airplane and our first big trip since the arrival of The Little Man. Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous about the whole deal. We have a three and a half hour flight and then about a three hour drive once we arrive in Portland. I've packed a bag of goodies for Princess Pigtails--the last two months of Animal Babies and Highlights High Five that I snatched out of the mail before she saw me--that girl is almost as bad as her mama about magazines, some books, a new coloring book and a paint with water book, couple of toys, etc. My hope is that I have enough things in there to keep her occupied at least until we get through security!

We also bought a new battery powered DVD player for the trip and picked up a few new movies, so if everything else fails, we can always resort to the entertaining antics of Curious George! Although, I have to say that I am pretty pumped about the Season 1 of the Muppet Show DVD and the copy of Mary Poppins that I snagged while we were at Best Buy on Saturday. We also bought her a set of child size ear phones--which she is so excited about!

I've got a million things to do before we leave, so I'd better get back to my laundry and my checklists. Thanks for stopping by and if you think of it--say a little prayer for us this week that we would have a seamless trip!


Things I Love Thursday--Norwex

Happy Thursday, Everyone. Once again, Jill over at Diaper Diaries is hosting a Things I Love Thursday so I feel obligated to share!! I have a new "thing" I love! I recently received some products from Norwex from my parents. Among the few items I now own are the universal microfiber cleaning cloth and the antibacterial window cloth.

Here's the deal to say wash the window in your screen door. You wet the microfiber cloth with water. Fold it, wipe the door down and follow with the window cloth. I was skeptical--but holy cow people! The results are awesome. I've now used it on the mirror in the bathroom and to clean up the nose and little hand prints from the bottom panes of the windows with the same great result. And really, can you get any easy than that? Easy, safe to use around the kiddos and not harmful to the environment. The cleaning cloth can be used to clean all sorts of surfaces--I actually also used it to wipe down our leather couch. The best part? When you need to wash it--drop it in the washer. The only inconvenience? You are not to wash it with items that generate lots of lint--like towels and it's not to be exposed to fabric softener. And I suppose it is an inconvenience that you have to order through a rep. But really? Totally worth it.

So that is one thing that I now love. Head over to Diaper Diaries and check out other items that you can't or shouldn't live without!


A Fine Day For A Picnic!

Here's a recap of our weekend. Happy belated 4th by the way! Last Friday, we headed to my parents' house to celebrate the 4th, my dad's 60th birthday, my mom's birthday (belated), my birthday and the baptism of my niece and nephew. It was a great weekend. We enjoyed the fireworks in the bug-free comfort of air conditioning. Talk about speaking my love language!

A little less than three years ago, my parents moved back to northern Iowa. I say moved back, because now after twenty some years of living else where in Iowa, they are within twenty five minutes of the town where we lived when I was in elementary school. On Saturday morning, we loaded up and headed to one of my favorite child hood parks for a picnic. It was a glorious day with lots of sun, a warm breeze and very few bugs--the absolutely perfect day for a picnic!

As you know, parts of Iowa have experienced some pretty devastating flooding this summer, and parts of northern Iowa are no exception. In fact the park where we picnic-ed was underwater just a couple of weeks ago. Although it was not as lush and scenic as normal, it looked pretty good considering! And we had so much fun! Here's a few of my favorite pictures from our picnic at East Park...

To quote Princess Pigtails "This is so fun!!"...

Princess Pigtails and her Daddy...

All ketchup and attitude...


Works For Me Wednesday--Easy Recipes

I'm back with the recipes that I promised. Both are favorites that I grew up and are super easy!

Tuna Chow Mein Noodle Salad

Very easy, tasty and perfect on a summer day! But as a warning, I must disclose that I've never actually measured the amounts for the ingredients, so please understand the approximations.
Two cans of tuna
grated carrots--probably 1/2 cup or so
diced dill pickle--approximately 1/4 cup
mayo--approximately 1 cup or so
Stir together and refrigerate. Immediately prior to serving (or they will get soggy) stir in about two cups of chow mein noodles. Serve on a leaf of lettuce. You could certainly embellish on the recipe--add chopped celery or water chestnuts, etc.

Oven Pancakes
I first had a version of these while staying with family friends as a child.
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400. Spray sheet pan or cookie sheet well with cooking spray or coat with melted butter.
Beat eggs slightly in a medium bowl with a wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in remaining ingredients until just mixed. Pour into sheet pan.
Bake approximately 25 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown. Serve immediately drizzled with melted butter and sprinkled with powdered sugar. (Some recipes call for drizzling with lemon juice instead of butter.)

So there you have it. Two super yummy recipes that won't keep you in the kitchen all day! Enjoy! For more easy recipes, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer!

Just a Couple of Things

A little bit of randomness this morning--hope you don't get whiplash!

1. The Little Man has mastered the roll from his back to his tummy and back over to his back!
2. This week's Works For Me Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer is sharing recipes that use
five or less ingredients. You can bet I'll be back shortly with a recipe or two to share!
3. My Blackberry came Monday night. So far, I'm loving it. Still need some more time to get it
set up so I'm not driving off the road trying to figure out my new phone! But I think it's going
to be the start of a beautiful thing!
4. Beachy Mimi tagged me last week for the six word meme. I guess the origination of the idea
was the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous &
Obscure by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser. The book apparently includes a story that
Hemingway was once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words
were, "For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn."

I've spent more time on this than I care to admit. Apparently I have writer's block or brain block or something. This is all I could come up with in six words. "Because I'm the Mama, that's why." That's it. That's all I've got.Sad. Queen B came up with like ten or fifty. She is obviously more clever than I.

I'm supposed to tag five more people to keep the meme going. I'm going to tag Jill over at Minnesota McGregors, Laura at My Crazy Kiddos and then who ever else wants to play...
Here are the rules:
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it to your blog and link back to the person that tagged you.
3. Tag five people at the end of your post and leave a comment on their blog inviting them to participate!

Have fun! And stop back later for a few recipes!