Friday, February 28, 2014

Things I Learned In February

I am linking up with Chatting at the Sky  "Things I learned in February"

1. My dog doesn't like my Zumba moves. The actual moves anger him.  Every time I start dancing he starts to bark and jumps on me. I don't know what is up with that. Seriously, I have been having fun learning to Zumba so I have been basically practicing my non moves everywhere.

2.My Son has been working on his science project. He has been trying to figure out if temperature effects the height of the bounce of a tennis ball. I learned that temperature does effect ball bounce quite a bit. It does. Much to the chagrin of my family it also triggered a few new band names for me - "Frozen Balls" or " Boiling Balls".  Get your mind out of the gutter PEOPLE.
Boiling Tennis Balls
3. I am one of those people who get songs stuck in my head.  Currently the Lego Movie song is stuck in the sound track of my brain. We went as a family last week to see it. It was cute. You can basically apply this song to everything - Everything is AWESOME when you work as a team. It is quickly becoming my anthem.

4. I was inspired by this Evolve quote I used for my one little word so I took it to the next level.  Not quite happy with it. No pun intended, this is how it evolved. I also learned that I can't help tweaking things.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Project Life - February

I am linking up with The Mom Creative at Project Life Tuesday

Well, I think I am approaching project life a little different than in the past.  There seems to be a lot of bloggers on that path, too.  I will be doing monthly spreads or event layouts because that works for me.  I have older kids and with school during the week we don't do much during the week. I also plan on inserting more of my blog entries into project life as well.  So far, I only have one layout complete.  I love that Project Life is whatever you make it.  There is lots of flexibility. Here is my Superbowl layout.

Superbowl Layout
Journal Cards are Project Life: Cobalt Edition (discontinued) I slightly modified the dot cards with white stickers with common Seahawk Sayings.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Booking It February 2014

Well my reading hasn't slowed down.  I read a few books this month. I am once again on a non-fiction kick. Check out what the ladies are reading over at Life as Mom - Booking It 2014.

I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza.  I picked this up on a whim.  I thought it was excellent look at a inner city school and the challenges that new teachers face whether they are famous or not.  One of the things Tony Danza touched on the concept  I often am reminded of when I am teaching my kids - Sometimes you need to get out of their way.

Claiming Ground by Laura Bell.

In 1977, Laura Bell left her family home in Kentucky for a wild and unexpected adventure: herding sheep in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin. The only woman in a man’s world, she nevertheless found a home among the strange community of drunks and eccentrics, as well as a shared passion for a life of solitude and hard work. By turns cattle rancher, forest ranger, outfitter, masseuse, wife and mother, Bell vividly recounts her struggle to find solid earth in a memoir that’s as breathtaking as it is singular. - Amazon

Claiming Ground was mentioned in our library's "What to Read Next" column as a book you would like if your liked  Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  Wild is our Whatcom Reads book for the year.  I thought Claiming Ground was interesting and the writing kept drawing me back in.   Often I felt like the story jumped around.  Some things are alluded to but not really explored. I read another review somewhere else that the person had to keep reminding themselves that this is a REAL person.  I found myself doing that.  There are no fairytales here.

A Memoir- Hungry - What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food by Darlene Barnes.  Darlene was a Frat House Cook.  She discusses her journey to become a cook and how she introduced the guys at the Fraternity to real food.  I thought this was an interesting funny enlightening book.  I love that she cooked for Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity on the University of Washington Campus. I live in Washington State so I felt the local connection. Darlene said the guys taught her more than she taught them. The book also includes recipes. Darlene has her own blog.  Darlene is in the process of buying a farm in Skokomish, Washington.


Tigger loves to help with the snow removal
We are in the snow.  It is a rare snow day for school here today.  These pictures are from yesterday.  We are having lots of wind today and a little snow so far this morning. This afternoon has brought freezing rain which sounds really strange against our windows.
Doesn't everyone use their scuba mask as a snow goggles?

Drift on the Garage Roof

Experimenting -Photo/Ink

Every once in a while, I have a creative urge.  I love the art work of Alisa Burke.  I keep seeing a similar picture about Your Comfort Zone and Where the Magic Happens. I decided to make my own version.

The original diagram had the comfort zone as a circle. I think of mine more as a box. I used Photoshop and took a sunset photo and cropped it. I added the words in Photoshop. the final product below was inspired by Alisa Burke. It is imperfect.  I did use my sizzix to make a flower template. I traced with a fine scrapbooking marker and added embellishment with a white marker.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Snowy Linky Love

Tigger and Charlie
Just sharing a little linky love on snowy day in the Pacific Northwest.

Stop The Bashing - Really good blog on the bashing of teachers

Things Not to Say to Someone with Anxiety - If you know someone with general anxiety, this is a good reminder of what NOT to say to them.

There has been a rash of really good Costco posts.  Check them out.

Costco Price List  at Queen Bee Coupons

Stuff I didn't Know I Needed from Costco by Anglea over at the Coupon Project

Making the Most of Your Costco Membership by Mavis at One Hundred Dollars a Month

Saturday, February 22, 2014

T.P. 5k Fun Run/Walk

Today, we walked the T.P. 5k.  I honestly can't make this stuff up.  I just had to participate.  I run a blog all about an outhouse that I use to be able to see from my dining room so that seemed like reason enough.

All kidding aside, this was TP raiser for the local Womancare Shelter.  Registration cost was 4 rolls of TP.   So this morning despite the snow/sleet/rain, we walked around Cornwall Park.  We were definitely the last people to cross the finish line except Cody who sprinted ahead. We were wiped out . (that is the best I got people)
Some of  us had loads of energy
Below was my Horoscope for today.  I kinda thought it fit perfectly ( Just for the record, I don't believe in horoscopes but it is funny)
The turn out was decent despite the weather and a lot of TP was donated.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Counting Steps

Yes, I am one of those people who have been counting my steps.  I have been trying to get 10,000 steps daily.  I don't always succeed but sometimes I do.  It is all about my one little word - evolve.  I am trying to evolve from my couch loving self to someone who is fitter.  I am doing it one step at a time.

I have tried a whole host of pedometers but this Christmas both my husband and I got the Fitbit flex.   I have been wearing it over a month and I have to say I like it. I love that it syncs to my phone and computer.  I think it does a pretty good job of counting steps too.  You get a lot of feed back from this little device. It is addictive. Loved the article in Parade Magazine by Connie Schultz and her addiction to her fitbit.
My fitbit

The March All You has a whole article on different Pedometers and little ways to get more steps. I particularly liked the idea of right before bed walk around your house for 5 minutes picking up.  That alone is suppose to net you an extra 250 steps.

Fit Bit has it's own blog.

**** All the opinions above are my own.  I was not paid for my opinion.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

LeMay America's Car Museum

We got a chance to visit Lemay America's Car Museum next to the Tacoma Dome with Nonna and Pappy. The architecture is amazing in itself.  The view from the Museum window is very cool.

They were having a special exhibition of VW bugs.  We particularly liked the Wedding Bug.  IT was like a fairytale carriage.

There was so much to look at in the Museum. Any motor head would be happy in here. On the bottom floor, there was a kids area.  Adults and Kids seemed to be drawn to this pinewood derby setup to race cars.  You could put different weights on the car.

There was also an old car you could touch.  You could even use the hand crank and turn on the lights.

There is quite a bit of walking so Pappy sat part of it out.  We got our complimentary photo in the old car.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Learn Something New Every Day

Well, I learned something new at the grocery store.  Did you know that there are 3 different places for sesame seeds in the grocery store and the price varies wildly. A lady was in the baking aisle asking about sesame seeds.  She had found some in a bottle. 

Do you see the price?  The clerk kindly directed her to the ethnic food aisle and the Mexican section. Hanging in the spice section there was a 99 cent bag of sesame seeds.  I had no idea you could find sesame seeds in that section.  I can't recall any Mexican dish that uses sesame seeds but there they were. Any idea on what Latin American dishes that contain sesame seeds? 

I usually just buy sesame seeds in the bulk bins.  This is off course the cheapest place to get them, usually.  Though I know many people don't like the bulk bins because of the ick factor.  I  have to say at my Fred Meyer's some of the more frequented bins I might be leery of .  These weren't in the kind that you had to stick your hand in the bin and scoop. These especially handy when you only need a little of the ingredient.

****All prices were from my local Fred Meyer's Grocery Store.

So what do I make with Sesame Seeds.  Well, there is a sesame seed bread that we enjoy. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy 44th Anniversary

It's my Mom and Dad's 44th Wedding Anniversary today.  I hope they have an awesome day! Knowing them they are off on an adventure.  Love you Mom and Dad!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine Cards 2014

This is the card I made for 2014.  It is a origami heart with a heart message that fits in the origami .  Directions for the heart origami can be found here.  I used tie dyed origami paper.  I think this project easy enough that 3rd graders and up can do this. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Great Balls of Fire - Geocaching Event

We got to visit Cama Beach again this past weekend. Kevin attended a 101 Geocaching Puzzle class.  He said it was extremely helpful and he learned a lot.  While Kevin did that, Charlie and I went to the beach.  We found a geocache.  We made some beach art. We hung some shells on this stump.
Charlie also made a small snowman on a grill.  There was a tiny bit of snow left on the ground.

The highlight of this event was the crazy hat competition and the giving away of 3 hand blown glass balls.  The hats were pretty incredible. Someone had a cardboard ammo can geocache on their head. They won. There was a lot of creativity in this group and a lot of fun.
Charlie and I had our own crazy hats.  Charlie had a crazy camo hat and I had a sunhat with felt flowers and a giant trackable on the side. We took a selfie.

Camano Island hosts the Great Northwest Ball Quest that starts Feb 14 where you can hunt plastic balls that can be turned in for hand blown glass balls.  Every day from Feb 14 to Feb 22 these plastic balls are hidden in the parks on the Island.  The artist was at the Great Balls of Fire event and it sounds like there are about 200 hand blown glass balls up for grabs.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Matter of Pride

Today is the day to VOTE on our local school bond. So if you still have your ballot now is the time to get that thing in the mail or in the drop box.

I don't usually venture into political talk on my blog.  But I guess today I am going to go there.  Our school is running a bond for a new high school and transportation center. The High School Motto is "It is a Matter of Pride."  

I am going to have to vote NO. That is to say I have already voted no.  So a call from the Mayor, more mailings, and a City Council Member endorsement is not going to change my vote.

 It tears at me because I want my kids to go to safe schools and physically the High School is falling apart.  A bond was ran in 2006 where promises were made and broken. But more than that there is has been a long history of deferred maintenance not only to our High School Buildings but to our elementary schools.  This bond falls well short of addressing those issues. It is no secret that this board has not done everything they can to keep these buildings maintained or why would they be in such horrible shape.  Though they are proposing a oversight committee which is a giant step in the right direction, I believe this was only when there was push back by the community.  I wish there was a maintenance oversight committee.  Pride has not been taken to preserve these buildings.  Money hasn't been spent wisely. We are a small community with limited resources.  It galls me that our tax dollars previously were not used with more oversight. I am unwilling to have my tax dollars write a blank check.

I WISH that changing the outside of the building would change what is happening inside the buildings.  I know bonds aren't for that.  As the bond is written right now, I am unwilling to vote yes. In order to get my vote in the future, I need a oversight committee in place prior to the yes, I need real figures on how much a new building is going to cost, and I need it vetted by the committee that the local neighborhood really wants a transportation center in the middle of dense housing.  "Hello who wants to wake up to 30 buses being started at o dark thirty? "  Not to mention the increase traffic on a narrow street. I don't live in the proposed neighborhood but I know what it is to have school noise.  There are too many unknowns. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Organizing Your Financial Life

Home organization isn't one of my strengths. This past weekend found me cleaning my coat closet under the stairs.  I dug out a HUGE number of these accordion files.  

I have in the past prided myself on how I have kept my financial life organized.  See all those files.  They date back to at least 1997and go up to 2007. These files contain our financial records. These were all taking up valuable space in my closet.

However last year, I didn't do so hot in this area.  I realized this as we were doing the taxes when I was fumbling through a shoebox of stuff. My filing wasn't cutting it. This is one area where it pays to be organized.

Can't find the warranty?  pay big bucks to get item fixed or replaced.

Don't have a designated area for bills to land once they arrive -You have late bills or even worse unpaid bills

Looking in a box for a receipt you know you have is a major time waster

It is not too late to get organized.  Keep it simple.  Come up with a plan.  This is one place where vigilance pays.

Have a place where bills are put to pay that you don't have to dig through other papers to find.
Have a place where you file the bills/receipts you will use for tax purposes
Set up phone reminders for bills that don't come through the mail
Sit down when you are paid and pay the bills

LASTLY, go ahead and shred those files that over 7 years old.  Don't be like me. 

Life as Mom had a great post on setting up a financial files. This is the system that I was using before last year.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Send Good Mail

Valentine's is right around the corner.  It is not too late to re-mail them from "The Sweetheart City"- Loveland, CO . Send some love through the mail.  Everyone likes to receive some GOOD MAIL

Here is the 411 if you missed this post.

1. Obtain Valentine Card.  Stamp and Address to the person who is going to receive the GOOD MAIL

2. Place that addressed and stamped envelope in a bigger envelope Stamped and Addressed to

Attention Valentines
446 E. 29th St.
Loveland, CO 80538-9998

3. Place in the Mail

It is that easy. 

Even Heloise recommends it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl of Linky Love

Need a distraction from the Super Bowl.  Check out these linky's

Why we are taking the fun out of life - interesting perspective on Why these parents have stopped asking their kids if they had fun.

Reading is Fundamental - Just a well written Op Ed piece about how actual reading has declined which is sad.

Adventures of Weehawk (geocaching Tale)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Simple Superbowl Decorations

Well, my other dollar store "12" decoration started to peel off the wall and we needed the wall for a science experiment (more on that later)  I like cheap and disposable decorations.  So, I came up with this pendant banner. It is green and blue construction paper pendants with dots. The 12 is also just construction paper

Then I kicked it up a notch with this super classy blue tape - "Go Hawks!" All of this was made with stuff I had on hand.

Charlie made a Seahawk on my chalk bubble.  He did a good job.
So the only thing left to do is for the Hawks to WIN and us to consume way to many snacks.