Monday, June 30, 2008

The Trombone

Here is Dylan playing The Imperial March. For his birthday (June 20) he picked out a bunch of sheet music to practice with over summer vacation. He got Star Wars, Shrek, and a variety of others.

This is his progress since the 20th, when he officially started playing the trombone. He has played around with it for a couple of years, but has now decided that this will be the instrument he's going to focus on. I wish you could have heard him play this song on the 20th...you really couldn't recognize what he was supposed to be playing. He starts taking trombone lessons this week.

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Maestro Dylan

Here is Dylan after three piano lessons and 30 minutes of practice each day (piano and trombone combined) for the past two weeks.

Now, I obviously have no experience with which to compare his progress, but I think he's doing pretty well! At this rate, he'll be impressive for his University of Victoria audition...which is the goal, of course! I wish I could send him to Modesto for "Piano Bootcamp" for a couple of weeks, but I don't know how he'd do in that summer heat...

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And then there were four...

I dropped Nathan off at the Radmore's last night around 7:00. There were three cadets leaving for camp this morning, so they decided to make a slumber party out of it. Besides the three leaving, there were supporting cadets there so there was a houseful! It was someone's birthday, so they were having a cake, etc. So it looks like Nathan's summer fun has already begun.

So now we have the two girls and Dylan. And Dylan has his job across the street on many days, so we get to be a small family. It's kinda nice....like respite. Less cooking, less laundry, less dishes, etc. I'm not saying I'm glad they're gone, I'm just saying I'm going to enjoy all the derived benefits to the fullest. Otherwise that would be wasteful. You know me and waste : )

Nathan took 2 huge bags to Quadra. One was clothes and shoes/boots. The other was fun stuff. This included a DVD player with a couple dozen movies, a Nintendo DS with a couple dozen games, his new digital camera (a gift from Don and me), my cell phone (so he can call home for free), all the cables and chargers for the aforementioned electronics, books, magazines, and so much more. He's all set up to have a phenomenal summer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Beating the Heat

Yesterday the recorded high was 90. When Don got home yesterday he and Dylan set up the pool so of course the water was freezing. But that didn't hinder Patience and Jordyn from being in it most of the evening. We ordered pizza and ate on the back patio. Don made "mocktails," which were basically like Mai Tais without the rum. The kids loved them.

Today seems almost as hot, maybe a few degrees cooler, or maybe it's just that I've been inside most of the day. We deep cleaned Nathan's room, washed all the bedding, etc, because we're going to start sleeping in the basement. Last night Jordyn didn't get to sleep until 11 because it was so bloody hot, even with the ceiling fans going and the windows wide open.
So the girlies will sleep in the twin beds in Nathan's room and Don and I will sleep on the fold-out couch in the t.v. room. The basement is at least 10 degrees cooler than the upstairs (maybe more) so we figure we should sleep in the most comfortable part of the house!

Here are some pics of Nathan and the girlies in the pool this afternoon. You can see Nathan has his signature Quadra haircut : )

The Girls on the Pony...

Or maybe it's a mini...I'm not sure! This might have something to do with why the girls love to go to Aunt Valarie's house! It might also be the chocolate cake.


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And here is a still shot for your viewing pleasure.


Jordyn's Pretty Hair




Okay, I admit it: one of my favorite things about having girls is doing their hair.
This morning I put 2 French braids in Patience's hair. Jordyn's is still a little thin for that, so I used ponytail holders for a similar effect. She looks so adorable...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

HOT!

That's the weather this weekend, and it's forecasted to be like this through next week! My thermometer says 84 in the shade.

Don's out right now getting an inflatable pool for the girls. We decided against setting up this one until next year when our backyard lawn is a little more mature and there's less chance of a small child drowning in it.

We did our yard work early in the day and now Patience is watching t.v. in the cool of the basement and Jordyn is taking her siesta in her ransack-proof room.

All is good.

Foiling Jordyn

It seems like much of my day is spent staying one step ahead of (or at least not too far behind) Jordyn.

The girls' bedroom has been emptied of everything except for the two beds because when Jordyn has a difficult time going to sleep she'll entertain herself with whatever is in the room. She went through a phase where we'd find her every morning wearing several outfits...she'd rifle through the drawers, finding and donning miscellaneous garments. So I moved the change table/dresser into the hallway where she can't get to it during naptime or bedtime.

But she could still get to the closet. And there were clothes in there. And hangers. And other stuff that didn't have any other suitable home. So most mornings I have the added chore of cleaning up the girls' room after Jordyn's nocturnal foray.

Bwah ha ha. Until now. One step ahead of her. I'm so smart...

Hen Update

I realized that it's been awhile since you've seen the hens. My have they grown, and they've developed wonderful personalities. We are going to have to hamper their freedom, however, as I found them in my strawberries yesterday! So Don is going out to get some chicken wire to reinforce their new enlarged pen.







Going down to one car...

has been no problem at all. Mind you, the kids aren't in school so I don't really have to be anywhere except home. But we've been able to share the Toyota quite easily and Don's been really good about picking up whatever we need while he's out and about. Savings=$350/month between insurance and (astronomically priced) gas. Not to mention anything about maintenance and repairs. Owning a vehichle is expensive. Hopefully we can go indefinitely without putting the van back on the road. It'll make Dylan's university education a little more doable.

Pie Season

Krause Berry Farms, across the street (and where Dylan is now working!) has been having some computer problems lately. Don spent quite a few hours over there the past few days getting them all operational. $240 worth of hours. Is he billing them? Heck no! We have a credit. Which means anytime we want pie for dessert, we can just go over and get one. I love pie season.


These are the kinds of pies we're talking about:

The cake, on the left, is Waneta's famous Black Forest Cake. Probably my favorite dessert in the world.
So, anyway, I'm probably going to lose more than just baby weight come October.

Potty Training Bootcamp Underway

This is not going to be a quick, decisive battle. We will need every bit of July and August to teach Jordyn the finer points of using the potty and getting her entrenched in the habit of doing so. But I'm so up for the challenge. The weather is beautiful. We're outside lots.

Having two in diapers at the end of September is not okay.

Exit Murphy Mobile...

Well, there is news at the Murphy's (you're shocked, I know). Nathan has been planning on selling his car to a friend from cadets, Walter, who was planning on workthing through the summer to afford buying the car and the insurance. Nathan was going to cancel his insurance while he was at Quadra for the summer and just store the car at our house and then sell it to his friend when he returned. It was all good....

Until we took it yesterday to AirCare. We did it yesterday because it still had insurance on it, and once you get your AirCare certificate, it's good for a year. Well, it didn't pass. Without an AirCare certificate, you can't license or insure the vehichle. Unless you fix it. But really, how much money do you want to pour into a $1000 1993 Nissan?

That's when Providence took over. Nathan's friend, Tiffany, who he met while working in the Quadra Boatshed last year, was over visiting friends and had spent a lot of time with Nathan. He drove lots because he was the one with a car. She mentioned to him how much she'd like to buy his car, but of course it was already promised to Walter. Well, Tiffany lives on the Island, where there is no AirCare requirement! So, within 30 minutes of Nathan's car failing AirCare, he had another buyer on the line who wanted to buy his car. Phew! It could have been such a not good situation.

Nathan went to pick up Tiffany, and we all went down to the licensing/insurance place together. By 4:00 yesterday, Nathan is no longer a car owner, and Tiffany was over the moon at having such a great deal fall in her lap.

Our driveway is looking less and less like a used car lot. And I like it that way!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My countdown...

My sister, Valarie, has difficulty thinking or planning any event if there is another event preceding it. One thing at a time, in order, is how she handles things. Which is unfortunate if she has, say, back-to-back events, because the first one will get all her attention and the second one will be be planned for, oh, a day or two. But she always seems to pull things off beautifully, so I thought I'd take a page out of her book and write my own timeline. Then I'll focus on one thing at a time until the end of September...

Thursday, June 26: Sean leaves for family reunion with grandparents
Monday, June 30: Nathan leaves for 8-week summer camp job
Saturday, July 5: Sean leaves for 3-week summer camp course
Friday, July 25: Sean graduates; we'll all spend the weekend on Vancouver Island (except Dylan with a job)
August 22: Nathan returns from summer camp job
August 24: Nathan's Launch Party
September 2: School opens for Dylan and Sean
September 5: Nathan leaves for bootcamp
September 29: Have baby

There! My next 3 months in bite-size increments! But, according to Val, all I really have to think about is getting Sean packed and off to Merrit! That's not so bad...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Futbol!

Our church has been planning an outreach program for the many Mexican migrant farm workers here in our area. It's a great idea...they come to a park in Aldergrove, play a game (or two) of soccer, and have a barbeque dinner. They've been announcing at church that they need people to help: to come play soccer, to come barbeque, or to come and help interpret for the men who speak no English.

Yesterday at church, Doug said that the Spanish-speaking gentleman who was going to come was now not able to. Now they were going to have a lady there who spoke Portugese but that's all. So I thought, okay, I haven't spoken Spanish in 25 years, but if I combine my 14 Spanish words with this lady's Portugese, maybe I could be somewhat helpful.

I talked Nathan and Dylan into coming with me. Nathan had two cadet friends over so the 5 of us went and we had a great time! The four younguns played some hard soccer (I got compliments later about how great it was to have Nathan and Dylan out there playing, because they'd actually, like, run after the ball) and I got a chance to interpret very basic conversations. Dylan said that he'd like to go again (we're doing this every two weeks through the summer) and Nathan will be inbetween summer camp and boot camp for the last game of the season.

7 of the workers actually come from Krause's, right across the street from us! We sat and had dinner with two of them, and Dylan found out that the other sport they love to play (besides soccer) is volleyball! So they're going to try to bump the ball around together at work if at all possible.

The turnout was so good that all the "gringos" decided we'd better hold back on eating any food until all of the farm workers had eaten first. More than 20 farm workers came out...almost double our projections! It turned out there was plenty of food for everyone! : )

If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you'll see Nathan and Dylan in the very left side of the photo. As you can see, it was a beautiful evening.

Volunteers

This flower bed is 100% volunteer cosmos and bachelor buttons from last year. Gotta love it!

Work Weekend (again...)

I don't know how we were ever involved in summer swim club. We've been so busy these past two months that I can't imagine being gone every weekend. How did we get it all done? It must have been insane...good thing I don't have a good recollection of it!

This weekend we did more home and yard improvement projects. On Saturday Don finished the fencing, so now the dog and children are actually contained in our little piece of earth. We have to rent the sprayer and paint it some upcoming weekend, but at least it's in the ground.
Yesterday Don decided to go out and take a look at the vinyl siding project on the suite-end of the house. Remember the wall that used to be windows, that Don turned into a bump-out for our new t.v. to live in? Well, the outside of the house was still just black tar paper. Our neighbor, a vinyl siding installer, was invited to come over and fix the siding, but he hasn't come over in the past two months. So, Don just went out to see how hard it could be. It turns out it wasn't hard, it just took him every bit of 8 hours to do it. But now it's complete and looks professional, in my humble opinion!


I'm so lucky to have a handy husband! Between the siding, the fencing, and Don fixing his Toyota driver-side door lock (which Jordyn jammed a couple of months ago), I think Don saved us probably close to $1,000 this weekend.


Here is the complete fence. The gazebo will be given a fresh coat of paint along with the fence. And you can see how we've put the trampoline on top of a bed of bark mulch. And you can see my continued fight with getting our grass to grow back there. So far I think I've spread about 5 times the amount of seed that I'm supposed to. We're supposed to have some nice weather this week. That, combined with regular sprinking, should help.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bathtub Safety (?)

You know how everything's more fun when dad is in charge, but it might not always be safer?

Well, this is how Don gave the girls their bath last night. I'm not complaining, mind you, because I'd rather he give them their baths however he'd like than to have to do it myself...it's already getting difficult to bend over for long periods of time.

Montana Trip

My dad just got back from taking my sister, niece, and grandniece to Montana to visit his parents so that they could take a 5-generation picture. Here they are!








And here is my dad.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Driver Dylan!

This morning Don and Dylan went out bright and early so that Dylan could take his driver's test (the knowledge one). He passed (shocked gasp!), missing only two questions, so he's now a bonafide Learning driver. He's driven several times today already, including downtown Langley!

This is Dylan's 16th birthday. My dad is here visiting before he goes back to California tomorrow morning. The weather is cooperating, so we're going to barbeque some steaks tonight, and even roast some marshmallows in our new fire pit (the girls are so excited).




Thursday, June 19, 2008

Preschool Graduation

This morning Patience had her last day of preschool. I had a doctor's appointment, so brave Don took Jordyn to watch the ceremony and have goodies. He said it was very cute. Here is Patience with her two teachers, Mrs. Tracy and Mrs. Tammy.
And here is Patience with her BFF Danica. At least they're BFFs when they're not arguing over who is the most bossy or who will eat Danica's lunch : ).

Here is Don and all three girlies having their goodies.
So now we have a little over two months of no school, and then in September both Patience and Jordyn will attend this preschool. Still only two days/week, and this time in the afternoons.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taking the Plunge!

After much debate and discussion Don and I have decided to take the van off the road. Gulp. That means, yes, I will be stuck at home with many, many little children and no vehichle with which to transport them. But that's okay. Because where in God's green earth would I want to go with all those children? Heck, when my parents were here we went shopping one morning and managed to lose Patience twice and Jordyn once and that's when we had 4 adults!

We figure with fuel costing more than $6 a gallon here, and insurance running around $150 each month, we'd do well to just bite the bullet and pull it off the road.

So, how will I manage, you ask? Well, I will be depending on Don for nearly everything. I will text him whenever I need anything, like a gallon of milk, and when he is out running errands or visiting clients he will pop in and pick it up. Sure, it will inconvenience his life, but I don't care it'll be worth the money we'll save.

As for doctor appointments, we'll just have to coordinate our schedules really well. Thankfully, Don's got enough schedule flexibility that he can be home when I'm needed somewhere else. And in a worst-case scenario, I always have the truck that I can drive. We'll be taking that to church as well, since it's the only vehichle that holds our whole family. When new baby arrives, we'll be taking two vehichles to church. But that's okay because three children go to Sunday school so we'd have two shifts anyway. It'll all work out okay.

We discussed selling said van, but found that we'd get so little money for it that it's really not worth getting rid of it. We'll just tarp it and store it and if we ever decide we need another vehichle, viola, there it will be!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Orthodontist Appointment

Sean has a 12-month recall because he still has too many baby teeth! That means he'll be 14 before he even starts his braces. The good news is that of all the boys, his teeth are the best, so he'll probably have the shortest treatment time.

Father's Day BBQ

Yesterday afternoon Don and Patience went to her preschool "Father's Day Bar-b-que" at a local park. Don said it was one of the best times he'd ever had with Patience. There were lots of families from her school there, and they even played a game of "baseball" with the preschoolers.

While they were gone, Nathan and I started on his room. No, this was not on his priority list. He figured it could wait until September 4th... But I persisted, and Nathan, being intelligent and used to having me as a mother all these years, acquiesced and humored me. We had several containers which everything had to go into: trash, short-term storage (these boxes will be shipped to Nathan after boot camp), long-term storage (these will be shipped when he requests them), going to Quadra (summer camp), recycling, return to cadets, give away, give back, other. And by the end of the evening Nathan was happy we went through this exercise because he found a check for $30 from his school, dated December, that he now has a chance to cash, or ask to be replaced if it's too old to cash. He said, "I could really use $30!" We also found Don's earphones, which he had been looking for and asked Nathan if he had. The only stuff he has out right now is his clothes, which can certainly wait until September 4th to be put in their appropriate containers...

Sean was the recipient of much stuff: all cadets stuff that didn't have to be RTU'd, several binders, an almost-new backpack to start Grade 8 with, school supplies, a bike lock, just a plethora of useful guy stuff. I imagine some of Nathan's clothes and shoes will go to Sean as well.

Yesterday Jordyn slept until 8:40 a.m. and then opted not to take an afternoon nap. I was okay with that, thinking that she'd definitely be ready for bed by 8:00, and that this was going to be her new pattern as she gets older. Well, at 9:30, she was still up and not anywhere near going to bed. Obviously not worth giving up a nap over. Mind you, it doesn't help at all that it's still broad daylight at 9:30, but we've got to do something about this child's ability and willingness to fall asleep at night.

Today Dylan goes to his orientation at Krause Berry Farm, where he'll work this summer. Meanwhile, we'll do a little yard work around here before we head off to the Dad/Grad Bar-b-que at Val's house. Both Val and Kelsey graduated this week, so we have much to celebrate! Patience has been counting the sleeps until she gets to go to Aunt Valarie's...

And that is all from our neck of the woods...

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gender news...

in case you were waiting on pins and needles...

It's a Boy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lots has happened, but little news...

We've been going like gangbusters since my parents arrived on Friday, June 6, for Nathan's graduation. So hard and fast that I have had no opportunities to blog, and there really hasn't been much newsworthy stuff anyway...kind of a dull frenzy.
Nathan had a lovely (but long) graduation ceremony on Friday evening. Each graduate wrote a little blurb about themselves, which was read as they crossed the stage. There were 200+ graduates. So, while it was really nice that each got there moment of fame, it did make for a long evening. Thankfully the speeches were short. After the ceremony, Nathan, Don, and I, and two sets of grandparents (Don's parents, and my mom and Lee) came home for cake and some presents. Don and Waneta got Nathan a lovely citizen watch that's diver-certified, so he'll be able to wear it in the Coast Guard with no problems. Don and I got Nathan a portable DVD player, which he really wanted for his summer job at Quadra this summer. Mom and Lee had already given Nathan his present (cash, and a lot of it) when he was a little short paying for prom expenses. Pesky prom...
We did have a bit of a hiccup on Friday night. When we got home from the ceremony we found out that there had been a bathtub accident whereby Patience pushed Jordyn, who then fell in such a way as to cut her chin. A short, deep cut that looked like stitches were going to be in order. We called the emergency room who told us that while they couldn't estimate the wait time, they were pretty busy. So we put steri strips on it, gave her Tylenol and waited until morning.
The next morning Don took Jordyn to the walk-in clinic while Mom, Lee, Patience, the boys, and I all headed to Old Navy. The boys were looking at some trendy plaid shorts and since Mom and Lee have these magic 20% off discount cards, we try to wait for their visit to do any shopping at Old Navy. And lo and behold, they were having a huge 40% off sale of all mens clothes in honor of Father's Day! The boys each got a couple of outfits, and even Lee got in on the action and bought some jeans and a new t-shirt.
From Old Navy, we headed over to Costco. Don and I have given up our Costco membership so we wanted to make a quick trip while Mom and Lee were here. We stocked up on staples. The flour is nearly double the price it was at Christmastime. Yikes. But we now have enough staples to last us until the next time Mom and Lee bring their membership card! After Costco, Mom and I brought the girls home and put them down for a nap and then we worked for a long time reorganizing my pantry to make room for all the new food. We got it all to fit!
Don, Lee, and Sean had gone from Costco over to Best Buy because Don had his birthday gift card burning a hole in his pocket. He bought a surround-sound system for the big-screen t.v., but right now it happens to be hooked up to Sean's computer. Halo 2 is so much more fun in surround sound.
When Don and Lee got home, Don said that he'd really like to go to Old Navy, since he missed our morning excursion tending to Jordyn (who ended up not getting stitched, just super-glued). So, we left the still-sleeping girls in the capable hands of their brothers and the four of us headed back to Old Navy. Don got 6 or 7 outfits, mostly shorts (since he still has shorts from the 80s in his closet) and some new, cool shirts. We came home and he purged lots of clothes out of the closet and armoire to make room for his new wardrobe. The old clothes are getting donated.
And that was just the first 24 hours of their visit!
On Sunday we went to church, came home and had deli-style sandwiches, and then put the girls to bed. While the boys babysat, the four adults went to Fort Langley for a little stroll. We've wanted to do this with Mom and Lee for the longest time, but this is the first time we've been able to carve out a slice of time for it. We came home and prepared a delicious salmon dinner, and then the adults and Nathan headed to church for the graduation celebration/dessert/slide show. It was really nice.
On Monday Mom, Lee, the girls, and I headed back to Langley to go to WalMart. Mom and Lee bought us some bathroom rugs and I bought a huge mirror with a black frame to go in the boys' suite over the fireplace. I've been wanting something like that since we finished the room. Lee and I hung it while the girls napped. That evening the adults went to watch the One Act Festival at D.W. Poppy; Nathan was directing one of the plays. It was a late evening and we stayed up visiting even later.
Yesterday Mom and Lee left in the late morning, while Patience was in preschool. She was not a happy camper to come home and find Grandma and Papa gone, but she'll see them on Saturday so that will help ease the pain. And then they'll come back in August for Nathan's launch party! And then back in September for the new baby's arrival! I'm telling ya, Mom is retiring from her job just in the nick of time!
Mom and Lee are staying with Val for their graduation festivities this week. Kelsey graduates from highschool tonight, and Val from Whatcom Community College on Friday night. On Saturday Mom and Lee are hosting a Dad/Grad barbeque.
Tonight we are going to the D.W. Poppy talent show to hear Dylan's duet. And then we'll be done with end-of-the-year festivities until Sean's Grade 7 Farewell on the 24th. Which is good, because I'm tired.
Oh, tomorrow I have an ultrasound. I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that this baby is cooperative and lets us see his/her private parts. I'm about going crazy not knowing what this is...
And then tomorrow afternoon Dylan and Sean both have orthodontist appointments. We're going in to see if Dr. Woo thinks Sean is a candidate for braces or not.
I'll update tomorrow with gender news (Lord willing).

Monday, June 02, 2008

Annual Ceremonial Review 2008

169 Columbia Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps had their annual review yesterday in perfect weather. The skies were gray, the weather was cool (except for me, because I apparently have a built-in furnace). Last year it was so warm that people were fainting. The year before that it was pouring rain. So we were blessed in 2008.
Nathan and Sean, both members of the Guard, did a great job. The members of the Guard won two medals last night: Cock of the Walk (best attendance of all the divisions) and Captain's Division (best dressed and best deportment). In addition, Nathan and Sean were recognized for nearly perfect attendance (among others).


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lord Strathcona Medal

Today at Columbia 169 Columbia's Annual Ceremonial Review, Nathan received the Lord Strathcona Medal from Rich Coleman, our MLA (Member of Legislation Assembly). I found this information about the Lord Strathcona Medal:


Within the Canadian Cadet Movement, there exists the Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal (commonly known as the Lord Strathcona Medal or the simply the Strathcona Medal) which is given to one cadet per unit, per training year. The medal is one of the highest awards that may be given to Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, Royal Canadian Army Cadets, and Royal Canadian Air Cadets.

The following information comes from Cadet Administrative and Training Order (CATO) 13-16:


  • The Lord Strathcona Trust Fund Medal, most commonly referred to as the Lord Strathcona Medal is the highest award, which can be bestowed upon a cadet in recognition of exemplary performance in physical and military training.


  • Lord Strathcona's objectives in establishing his endowment were to: encourage the improvement of the physical and intellectual capabilities of cadets; and foster patriotism in cadets through the acquisition of a good knowledge of military matters.

Here is a close up of the medal:

He will get to wear this medal on his uniform for the rest of his cadet career, which, unfortunately, is only until August 22! Bravo Zulu, Nathan!

I am SuperMom!

Yesterday Don sprayed the trees at Radnai's all.day.long. Which was okay, except that I had a haircut scheduled for 3:45. Nathan and Sean were still at cadets. Dylan was at his friend's house. What's a girl to do? Taking a two-year-old and a four-year-old shopping just wasn't an option for me, so I called Dylan and asked him to come home, which he did. So now he's my new favorite until someone else does something amazing for me : ).

The haircut went great! I did get it cut before our cruise just a couple weeks ago, but Jackie left me with way to much responsibility in the styling of my hair. Like, I had to put mousse in it and blow dry it to make it look good. That hasn't happened since our cruise, so I went in and asked her to give me a no-maintenance cut. Jackie always delivers. It's now shorter, choppier, funkier, and best of all: required only shampoo on a semi-regular basis! She said, "there you go, you're 30 again!" So I tipped her well.

When I got home at 5ish, everyone was home and hungry. Imagine that! So, that's when I went into SuperMom mode. I took inventory of every vegetable in the fridge and made a huge green salad for dinner. We at this along with the leftover potato salad from yesterday. I chopped up the zuke and the mushrooms for sauteeing, but never got around to that...they're now waiting to be our lunch after church.

We have the cadets annual ceremonial review from 1 to 3 (right after church) and then a potluck dinner/awards ceremony right after that. So I had to prepare dinner and a dessert last night. I didn't want to go to the store, so it was back to the fridge to see what could be gleaned. I found the rest of a huge bottle of Ragu-type spagetting sauce, shredded pizza cheese and pizza meat that I was going to use on Friday but it was too warm to bake a pizza (plus I was at the dentist office from 3 to 5...no cavities for Dylan and Patience!). So I cooked some macaroni, made a white sauce to which I added some of the sauce. I tossed the macaroni into the rose sauce and then spread it into two 9 x 13 pans (one for us to take, one for Dylan and the girls to eat here). I spread the rest of the sauce on top, sprinkled it with the cheese and then topped it with the pepperoni, salami, and ham! They look great, and I think they'll taste great, too. They're very kid friendly. Dylan will be able to heat them up for us so we can zip home and pick them up for the potluck.

But my greatest accomplishment was the dessert. I looked for a cake mix in the pantry and found one box of spice cake mix. Not much to work with, and I like to save those mixes for dump cakes. So, after searching the internet, I found this recipe:
http://www.recipezaar.com/20112
It truly lives up to its description of being the moistest and richest chocolate cake ever. And this recipe makes a huge cake or 40 cupcakes. I made the cupcakes because I figured that would be easier than serving cake slices. I made a simple buttercream frosting which was, of course, delicious. How can you go wrong with real butter and powdered sugar?

At the end of all that meal prep, I felt so great knowing that I didn't need to go to the grocery store for a single thing. Plus, my fridge has been cleaned out sufficiently that nothing will die a slow and smelly death in there.

After all that cooking, I starched and ironed the boys' uniforms. I normally make them do it themselves, but when Nathan offered to babysit the girls for 4 hours in exchange for that service, I couldn't resist!

Good news! Sean got into summer camp! We don't know the dates yet, but it will either be three weeks in July or three weeks in August. And he didn't get sailing, because there were so many requests for that camp. He got his second choice, which is gunnery. That trade group teaches you skills to make you a hard-core soldier...lots of bush exercises, etc. I think it's a good fit for Sean.

Bad news : (. Last night at bedtime, Jordyn went downstairs to retrieve a beloved stuffed animal, tripped over something in the dark, and fell and got a fat lip, complete with blood. We got her cleaned up and settled down, but this morning at around 1 she came and got in bed with Don and me. This morning her lip is huge and she's asking me for chapstick : (. Poor baby.

Okay, off to the shower! Have a wonderful Sunday!