Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Last year when Libby was having shortages of canned pumpkin I hit an abundance.
I have a couple of favorite pumpkin recipes but have always used canned pumpkin in the past. I had even purchased a can with the intention of doing something with it and it is currently still sitting in my cupboard.

Enter Andrew....fan of quantity.
Last October we went to a fall festival that Jim's brother and his wife annually host. Andy decorated not one, not two, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 or 6 pumpkins. Josie and Doug each did one.
We also had three pumpkins for carving that were picked up from the church's visit to the local pumpkin patch as well as a few pumpkins that the kids painted during the church Fall Carnival.

I was about ready to open my own pumpkin patch when I realized that I could actually make my own pumpkin puree. So as many pumpkins as I could I roasted in the oven until fork tender, scrapped out the innards, and sent it through our food processor (which is impressive considering my food processor is a hand-me-down from my grandmother and only holds a total of 1-2 cups). The puree came out beautifully but since I started with so many pumpkins I ended up with a lot of it.
Unfortunately I did not think about freezing it in reasonable quantities until the last of it was done. I also sort of ran out of time to do anything with it and just dumped it all in the freezer.

I've only removed one small baggie of the pumpkin for a friend who wanted to make pumpkin soup but couldn't find any canned during the Libby pumpkin shortage.

So as October is looming right around the corner I realized that it might be good to actually get some of that pumpkin out of the freezer before the possibility of more.
This weekend it smelled like Fall in my house because I had enough pumpkin in one of the containers to do two sheets of my mom's pumpkin spice bars and two pumpkin pies.

Fortunately my children like the pumpkin spice bars and the pies turned out to be the best I've ever made (I had a piece for breakfast this morning). I still have at least one big container that I will need to deal with at some point, but at least I made a dent.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Could things be looking up?

I'm almost afraid to say anything for fear of jinxing myself.
1. I got a new cell phone. I called to check on something on our bill last week and it turns out that Jim's line has had insurance on it from the beginning and somehow mine has not. I tried to talk to someone in the wireless division to see if I could get more functionality out of the replacement phone I had and she took pity on me and talked to her manager. So they worked out some deal where I was able to pay a price and get what I had before. Fortunately I am within the time that I should be able to return my replacement phone and it should cover what I had to pay for the new phone that is like what I had before. I may have to call back and give positive feedback for my customer service rep because she was fabulous!

2. The dealer has the part and it is uncracked and hopefully (fingers crossed) I should get the car back soon. I pray they do not find anything else and that it all goes smoothly.

3. I might have hit my stride with our afternoon routine. The past two days I have been able to get lunches packed for the next day while I am working on dinner or in between when the boys finish homework and I need to do dinner. That means that when the kids go to bed I have a bit more time to get some other things done.

4. Andy was fabulous today! Yesterday was the first time that he came home with something besides a good job stamp on his behavior sheet. The teacher note said he was unfocused and was not getting his work done. So today he had good behavior and he actually finished his writing work in his room on his own without me nagging him (normally we work at the kitchen table and I constantly have to remind him to get back to work). He also knew 18 out of the 21 sight words that we are working on (this includes ones from August) and it was actually more than what Doug knew. I am hoping the trend continues.

5. I also felt like I got a ton of work done while Josie was in preschool. Not anything big but a lot of little things that just needed to be done.

It was a good day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Offsetting my emissions....

You know how big companies can pay to offset their environmental emissions?
That is how it is with me and the truck right now.
The dealer still has the truck and we are nearing on three weeks. I got away with not having a car for awhile because my in-laws and Jim were in town for Josie's surgery and the weekend, but I had to go get a rental car again this morning. They did get the transmission in last week but it wasn't running right. So they found something else related to the transmission that needed to be ordered. Once again it did not show up the next day so that was another day. Then when they got it apparently it was cracked and they had to reorder it.

So I am paying to have a more fuel efficient car.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Preventative medicine

There is nothing like taking a child who appears healthy and happy and doing some preventative surgery so that she is miserable for a few days....
However I think in the long run taking out Josie's tonsils (and adenoids...and getting the last of the ear wax out) was the right thing to do.
The doctor walked in after the surgery and said that her tonsils were very scarred and that it was like tonsils you might see in an adult. So that tells me that we did the right thing.
She is recovering....slowly she is talking more and eating a bit more and being a little less Velcroed to me. Our post-op appointment went well. She is starting to act more like normal.

We did get a picture of the tonsils from the doctor but I will spare you the details because I do not want to gross anyone out too much. So I guess it is something for her scrapbook?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yeah, this about sums up my afternoon

I won't go in to detail here....
But sometimes you have to wonder what a 5 year old was thinking. I can't decide whether I am glad that Doug admitted it to me or not....

...And how come you listen to a song one time (or in this case Jim put it on) and your 5 year old picks up on the ONE line in the chorus that is catchy but inappropriate for a 5 year old to be singing. Nothing like Andy sitting there doing his homework singing "You throw back a bottle of beer..." over and over and over again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

On Overload

Things are just incredibly busy and lots of stuff going on....however, I am getting lots of messages in my life right now about keeping things in perspective. How can I complain about not having my truck back when at least I am not in the hospital with cancer? How can I worry about trying to get everything done when at least I have work to do?

One of my very dear professors is currently battling cancer. I do not really know how she is doing because I try not to be too nosy so I get filtered messages here and there. She is out of the hospital now, but just over a week ago I went to visit her while she was in the hospital. She gave me the information I needed to keep her class going while she could not keep up with it....and then, she ministered to me. She read me a devotional and said a prayer for me. I don't know if I was able to do anything to comfort her...but she comforted me.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Andy's Family Picture

Andy's family picture is quite different from Doug's.
On the left you see a tall ladder with Andy and Josie at the top. They are holding tools. The thing in the middle is a camera....I guess we are on TV? I am next holding a tool. I could not quite get out of him if we are building anything specific. Then Doug is smaller in the corner with no tool (Andy was very specific about that). Daddy is not pictured because he was 2 hours away where he works and spends most of the week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I jinxed?

So here is my list lately....
  • Lost my phone only to have it stolen by someone....have a new phone that is workable but noticeably not what I had before.
  • Transmission went out on the car...it is still under warranty but the place that did the work last time never registered the transmission and is now undergoing bankruptcy. The district manager did get involved and get it straightened out but they may only cover the transmission and not the rental car.
  • My computer on my desk on campus is acting wonky. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't and there is no obvious reason for what it is doing.
  • Josie is going to have her tonsils out. It is not completely unexpected but it is the most complicated kid's surgery we have encountered so far. Doug's ear tubes were recovery in a matter of hours. Andy's tongue surgery was back to normal action by the next day and just watch it for a few days. This looks like recovery is generally 7-10 with the worst pain not occurring until days 5-7. The good news is that they will clean out her ear wax while she is asleep....
Just pray that things are a little less exciting around here for awhile.