Saturday, November 12, 2011

Home life...

So, I did really well in my last class, but my current two classes are so much different and so much harder for me! I know that I'll pass and do well, but it's going to be a trying month for sure.

To give myself scheduled "me time" I am also taking the second course of the Wilton's cake decorating class at Every Baking Moment, a cake store in Dixon. That is a lot of fun, but its difficult when I have to do prep work at home before the class. I wish it was something I could just show up to and not have to worry about homework for cake decorating!! It's a 4 week class, but I'll have a two week break for Thanksgiving and the Tree Lighting the week afterwards... By then I'll not only know how to do creative decorating with buttercream, but I'll be able to make gum paste flowers and work with royal icing... mmmm.... We'll see how this works out!

Because that's not enough on my plate, I'm also in a flute choir for a Christmas concert in December! I'm really looking forward to this chance to play with a group... I haven't really played at all since high school, except for maybe a song or two as a descant for a church Christmas program!

Add to that the kids keeping me busy with Kyle's school and activities and Elizabeth and Ranen just being very BUSY toddlers! I get to help out with Music Makers for Elizabeth and Ranen, a mommy and me music group that we go to once a week. I do marching time and story time and next month I'll be the one in charge of singing time. We have circle time with finger-plays, singing time, marching time, dancing/movement, and story time... They love it and have a lot of fun with it. I'm excited to be the one in charge of music time for Christmas songs!

Right now I'm procrastinating doing my homework that's due tonight, but Ranen is now awake so I won't be able to do it now anyway... It will have to wait until after their bedtime! The thing that's killing me with these classes isn't so much the work load or the material, its the MLA sourcing. I source everything, and make sure the works cited information is up to MLA standards, but there's still things that I miss, or do incorrectly that's hurting my grade. It's frustrating, because I feel like I know the material, but I'm just getting hung up on the technical side of things...

This Monday we're starting our first bit of remodel on the house. Nothing major, just updating the laundry room, getting the furnace and water heater up to code, and making it look nicer. We'll be doing different parts of the house bit by bit until it's all done and ready to sell. I had originally wanted to do the bulk of the work myself, but I just don't have the block of time needed to get projects done. Naptimes aren't regular enough, or long enough, to do what needs to be done, and I don't want to have Elizabeth's "help".

Anyway, it's time for dinner! More mis-adventures of the Abel family to come soon!!
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Friday, September 2, 2011


So, I've always enjoyed history and reading about it, but I don't have the mind capacity these days to really dive into a good narrative book... so I read my historical fiction and it's kept light enough to give me a taste of history as well as the fluff that I have to read in order to easily read it without much thought. I recently discovered Helen Hollick and read a series of Harold II (the one who was defeated by William the Conqueror), that was pretty good. I like her writing, but the editors need to be fired. The punctuation was horrible! Primarily their lack of quotation marks. I would be halfway through a paragraph before I realized it wasn't an inner monologue, but he/she was actually speaking. Very frustrating. I'd also like to read her series of King Arthur, but blast it! Our library has the 3RD book of the series, but not the 1ST or 2ND!! Grr.... Oh well... I guess we can't expect too much of our library these days with funding being cut everywhere... but still... it'd be nice if ALL the books in a series were available!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spinach Salad

I have to tell you about a salad I made for lunch the other day that I LOVED. I'm sure there's a real recipe for it somewhere, so I can't take credit that it's all mine, but I just put in what sounded good to me, and it was sooo... yummy! It was spinach with homemade candied walnuts (just walnuts and carmelized sugar with a bit of sea salt), chopped strawberries, apples, and craisins topped with fetta cheese and a raspberry vinegrette. I was thinking of adding chopped poached chicken, but I'll do that next time... SO good!!
Once again, life is non-stop!! :) Just the way I like it... this week has been a whirlwind! I finished a very difficult class, but ended up with 100% on my final project and a B+ in the class (it would've been an A, but one assignment I submitted was 0.24 MB over the accepted limit, so the teacher gave me a zero on that assignment... he could open it just fine, just a very strict instructor), so I'm happy! Kyle had a belated birthday party/end of summer party on Wednesday and had a blast. We had water gun fights, slip 'n slide, potato sack races, tug o' war, and swimming with KFC and brownies (he's not a cake fan). He loved it! Thursday he started school. He tried to be non-chalant about it, like he wasn't excited, but it was so cute how giddy he was about being there! I'll post pictures with him talking with friends of his in his class as they were waiting to enter the classroom. So fun to walk him up to his class and have them call out his name and say "Yeah! We're in the same class!!!" Love it...

Later, we took Ranen to get his first haircut. :( SO sad! I loved his cute little blonde curls, but it was getting a little shaggy, and its time for him to look like a little boy, not a baby... From there we went to have lunch with my cousins, Zara, Sasha, and Wendy, with Auntie Dorothea and Grandma Beth and a niece of Wendy's. I love that we try to get together for lunch once a month. Sometimes it doesn't happen because of our busy schedules, but when we get together we never want to leave. I have the best cousins in the world. So sweet, and you'll never find better people anywhere than you'll find at that lunch table.

We've decided that Kyle can start taking the city bus home from school now, and I had Devin drop me off at his school so I could ride home with him for the first time to help him know what to do, and today he did it all by himself! He thinks it's awesome, and I think it makes me a nervous wreck! If it was a straight shot, I'd be a little more calm about it, but he has to make a transfer and that freaks me out. So, from the time he gets out of school until the time he comes off the bus at the stop around the corner, my eyes are glued to the clock wanting it to go faster so he'll be home. He loves it though, and there are a few other kids on there too... I'm just a nervous mommy not wanting her little boy to grow up... it happened way too fast!

Today I had a meeting for Music Makers, a program that I take Elizabeth and Ranen once a week that's just an hour long of singing, finger plays, marching, dancing, and story time. I've agreed to be a helper this year, so I'll be doing the story time portion of it for a few months, then doing singing time, and then change to something else. It'll be fun, and I was so happy to see my friends at the meeting as we were talking through what we'll be doing for the year... I just wish Elizabeth and Ranen weren't so clingy sometimes. My friends kids were all fine playing with each other, but no... mine both wanted to play on my lap and climb all over me while I was trying to participate! In all fairness, it was Ranen's nap time, so he had an excuse, and then Elizabeth always tries to vie for attention whenever she thinks Ranen is getting too much from me, so if he's in my lap, she wants to be too...

Anyway, it's getting late and I have a Pampered Chef show tomorrow that I have to prepare for. Nothing big. Just have to get all my PC stuff that I'm going to take out of my kitchen and into my bag. I really like doing shows. It gets me out of the house, meeting new people, cooking food (if I'm lucky, I get to eat some too), and make a little extra for us at the same time. Can't get much better than that! It's also a perk to get the products at a discount... BUT! I'm restraining myself from getting EVERYTHING I want... ;)

Hopefully I'll post pictures soon! I have such a hard time taking pictures, then transfering those picturs to the computer, then posting them on the blog and/or Facebook... *sigh* Trying to be better! Don't even talk about scrapbooking! Yikes! That requires so much more time than I can dream of right now... ;)

Friday, July 22, 2011


It's been SUCH a crazy month but fun too... Kirsten and Karin came out to visit and it was so nice to have them here! We all went down (minus Devin who had to work) to San Diego for the weekend to take Kyle to a youth camp at San Diego State (check out to see pictures and video!) and went a few days early so we could go to Sea World and the Zoo with the kids. It was a bit cramped in that hotel room, but we had fun and all got burnt! Our favorite part was the dolphin and sea lion show. Kyle really liked when we got drenched on the water rafting ride, but we did it a little too late in the day and were pretty cold after that!! We came back and spent a day in San Francisco and took a tour around the bay. Ranen slept through it all on his Aunt Kirsten and Elizabeth seemed to have fun just sitting on my lap and being on the boat. We worried she might get sea sick, because she gets car sick a lot (threw up once going down to SD, and again coming back up to V-ville, poor baby), but she just had a good time and the boat guy (not the techincal term, I know) was so helpful with bringing blankets for us, and even a sucker for Elizabeth.

Back home I started up classes again and they've been pretty labor intensive. I'm trying to keep up with that and keep the house in somewhat of an order, and I've found that if I stay on top of the housework and keep to my menu plans, things run a lot smoother, but it's a daily struggle! Elizabeth doesn't like to take naps much anymore, and that throws a wrench in the works. I'm trying to get her and Ranen in separate rooms, but to do that I have to finish making over the room I'll be moving Kyle into, then makeover the room he's in now (scraping popcorn off the ceiling, priming, texturizing, priming again, painting, etc.)

Ah! She's in the garage and I just heard our recycling hit the floor.... I know she's fine, but my semi-organized garage is no longer even semi-organized... that's my cue to go!!

Just set up my phone for blogging!! Maybe i'll blog more now... ;)