Monday, April 28, 2008


Since Cole missed school all last week, he has had lots of work to catch up on. He's almost completely caught up now. He had a big project that was due last week...Friday I think, but he'll be turning it in, depending on when you read this. (Tuesday) He was suppose to design a game board having to do with a subject in school. His favorite subject is math so that is what he went with. We sat down tonight and worked together on it so it wouldn't be turned in too late. I already had plain white pizza boxes that I bought years ago so we used one for his game box. Cole wanted the game board itself to somewhat resemble a monopoly board, but not be exactly the same. The white foam core board has ghost lines on it so it made it easy to grid it out how he wanted. He chose the colors he wanted to use to color the strips and then painted wooden disks the same colors for the playing pieces. He used my quickutz to cut out the word "trapped" and glued it to the middle of the board. He used the Khaki font with the shadow. He totally knew exactly how he wanted the game to play. When I made suggestions, he would say "no...I want to do it this way." Who am I to argue? His rules were just fine the way they were.
Each player rolls the dice and they move to the number they roll. They have to do the multiplication or division problem on the space they land on. They have scratch paper included to work out the problem. Other players have to check their work to make sure it's correct. (that way everyone is doing more math) If you land on a "trapped" spot, you lose a turn. The first one to reach the end wins.
He has to get up in class and tell about his game, then all the students get to play it. They rotate stations to play other kids game boards. I think they will have fun with it. I would totally feel guilty for helping him if he didn't already know exactly what he wanted. Before we even sat down, he had the name of the game picked out, the rules all laid out and the board design. It doesn't hurt that his mom has fun creative resources on hand for him to use. :o) He is really proud of it and I know he's going to want to play it at home after he gets done with it at school.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Never a dull moment...

So yesterday we had a bit of excitement....not good fun excitement. First let me set up the story. We rent the house we live in from a guy named Tony. His sister in law owns the house next door. Her house has been vacant for a year and she's been paying the mortgage all this time. She has decided that she can longer afford to pay it so she plans to let the bank take it, but for now she is still in possession. Tony made arrangements for us to trade the window blinds from house to house because ours has icky 1 inch aluminum and hers is 2 inch faux wood and it's the exact same house so it's an easy switch. He brings us a key and we send Chad and his friend Will next door to start removing the blinds. They had run an extension cord from our house over there to listen to music while they work. I get ready to jump in the shower , but before I do Cody calls and needs his homework, so I ask Chad to take it to the school. During the time that I'm in the shower and he's driving to school, Will continues to work next door. Apparently someone calls the police saying that there is a burglary going on. Will hears the music stop playing so he comes out of the room he's in to find 3 guns pointed at him and they put him on the ground and tried to cuff him, but he has a cast on from a broken wrist. Needless to say, he is scared to death never having guns pointed at him before. Chad gets back and runs over there to see whats going on. Cole bangs on my door to tell me there are tons of cops outside and I better get out here quick, so I hurry up and get dressed and go next door. There are 7 cop cars out front and police everywhere. I try to explain the situation that we are not stealing and it's a prior arrangement between the owners of the homes. I get my landlord on the phone and have him talk to the officer in charge and he explains that we are not stealing. How could it be stealing with permission and a house key? The problem is that we couldn't reach his sister in law to verify that she did give permission and she did still own the house and it wasn't bank owned yet. They were totally going to arrest Chad and Will for theft and Mark and I for accessory to theft!!! ME the girl who has spent her whole life avoiding trouble at all costs. I never even liked to be in trouble with my parents when I was a little girl. Total rule rollower. Heck, I've gone back to the store to pay for a bag of ice that they forgot to put on my receipt. I am not a thief! Police don't tend to believe the "we're a nice honest family..really". They are more about the proof. Needless to say, my heart is racing. The shallow side of me is thinking, I've never had a mug shot and now I'll have one with no make up and wet curly hair straight from out of the shower. NICE! Not exactly a shining moment. I call Tony back and tell him try harder to contact her or we are all going to jail. Finally after a while she calls my phone and talks to the officer in charge verifying our story. Thank heavens! They let us continue and mark their records just in case other neighbors call the police on us. Talk about scary! My heart raced most of the rest of the day. Now we can laugh about it, but it wasn't much fun while it was happening. Good impression for the neighbors. What must they think of us now because they have no idea what was going on? CRAZY!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Random chatter with the ick factor...

I got two more getting to know you cards in the mail. They are so stinking CUTE! The one on the left is from Maren. The one on the right is from Andi. Thank yo so much ladies! I appreciate you! I'm extending the deadline to May 10th for 2 reasons...I haven't gotten many cards, so that gives who ever wants to more time and I'm too busy right now to put the prize together. :o) I will announce the winner on May 11th. (mother's day) My address again...Jolene George P.O. Box 40512 Mesa, AZ. 85274

Do you know why my mini fridge is still full of Pepsi? Because today is day 6 with no Pepsi. I've decided that I get to drink it one day a week. I have yet to decide which day that will be. I guess it depends on my needs or the level of stress I'm under. I have really learned to love water (with my teeny sonic ice) but I do miss the flavor of my sweet Pepsi. I think just maybe I'm a junkie.

In my bathroom I've posted the wall of shame/motivation. I'm definitely a girl who needs to check things off of list. I feel more accomplished. I'm a big time visual learner. I have dropped 1 pound so far. I won't mark it unless it stays down for a couple of days. I've been exercising in my room at night, but I think I'll add walking in the mornings. I had Chad ride is bike around the neighborhood loop. It's 3.5 miles...which may not seem like far to most people, but for me that is a REALLY long ways. I'm going to take my dog Pappi with me because he has gained a considerable amount of weight over the past few years and he loves to go on walks.

This afternoon I went to watch Stacey (one of my young women) play girls softball at the high school. She is an amazing athlete. I was so impressed by her. She is really great at any sport. I got so many great shots of her...even through the chain link fence. I really loved watching her play. Such a darling girl!

Just as I got home from the game, Chad was leaving to meet up with Mark and the guys for their night ride. Yesterday he was on his other motorcycle and he called me saying the valve stem broke on his front tire and I needed to come get him with the trailer. Just so you know, I've never in my life hooked up a trailer. I couldn't just back up to the RV gates and hook up either because it was in the back yard backwards. Cole and I unloaded the junk off of it and pushed it by hand through the rocks, turned it around and pulled it out to the street to hook it up to Kyle's truck. Then getting the hitch securely locked onto the ball and hooking up electrical is a whole nother issue. It took a few minutes but we did it. We then hop in the truck (that has NO AC mind you and it's HOT here now) I look down and the gas tank is empty. PERFECT! Now I need to try to pull into a gas station with a big trailer behind me and do my best not to hit another car or the gas pump. It wasn't easy, but I did it. By this time Chad has been standing in the sun for a good 45 minutes and we still have 20 miles to get to where he is. Added bonus is that he went to country thunder this weekend and got really bad sunburned so just being out in the heat hurts. The majority of his body hadn't seen sunlight the whole time in Afghanistan. So we get to where he is broke down and we load up the motorcycle and he ties it down with ratchet straps. On the way home I hit a significant bump and the bike falls over in the trailer totally cracking the fairing. UGGG! I feel just terrible!

Other random icky things...

Chad was changing his shirt before he left tonight and his chest and back are completely blistered. Looks like water blisters times a million. I took pictures but it looks so gross. Makes me throw up in my mouth....Shudder...

They got all the wood out of Mark's hiney/leg. Now he has a major infection. He says it hurts worse now. They put him on antibiotics.

Cole missed church on Sunday and 2 days of school this week. He's had a cough and runny nose, plus Sunday morning he woke up with these awful and equally gross cold sores from his lips clear up to his nostrils. We've been putting abrevia on several times a day. He says he's not going to school tomorrow either because kids will make fun of him. I'm not sure what school policy is on icky cold cores, so I'll have to call in the morning. I need that boy in school if at all possible!

I teach this Sunday, so the stomach aches are back. I've been studying and preparing.

There is so much on my plate this week. I'll be glad to see Monday come around. I do love my Mondays!

Enough about us.....How are YOU?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Convention and getting in shape...

I've been going to the CK convention for the past 12 years. I haven't missed any since they started here in Arizona. I use to take classes, but gave them up a couple of years ago. It got to be a waste of money...for me. So I would just go to shop and browse the vendor faire. Well this weekend it was here again and for the first time I wasn't planning on going at all. Mark had called me Friday morning because he heard from friends that convention was here so he wanted to know why I hadn't mentioned it and if I was going. I told him no because we really didn't have "spending" money right now. The sweet man that he is informed me that he hid some cash and I could have it to go shop the faire. His instructions were to get out and have some fun. :o) I did just that and I got some great deals in the process. The packs of bazzill forz (8"X8") which are normally $5.50 I got for $1.00. With a deal like that I had to get every color combination they had. I also got a box full of 12X12 bazzill for $20. I counted and I crammed 106 sheets in there. There was a new booth there this year that I loved. Stamps by Judith and Heather. So many cute things in there. Later that night I went scrapbook store hopping with a group of friends. It was a lot of fun and something I've never done before. Scrapbooks-Etc is still the best, hands down!
Saturday Mark spent most of the day helping a friend rip off his roof to put on a new one. Some how he ended up with a hunk of wood in his hiney....well technically where the leg meets the hiney. It broke off deep inside and the hole sealed up. It's infected and he's been in pain ever since. There is NO WAY I would be able to cut into him to try to get it out, so he's at Express Care as I type getting it removed. Poor guy! All in the name of service.
Okay to the getting in shape part of my blog Miss Angie is going to start an additional blog for a support group for weight loss/getting in shape. I'm in need of both. After the realization that I could die at girls camp and the fact that I got on the scale and I'm at my heaviest EVER...that includes being full term pregnant!!!! Sick!! I put on a t shirt and a pair of stretchy pants and had Cole take full on front and profile pictures of me. I knew I couldn't wear jeans because they do hold in the tummy a little bit. I wanted true pictures. I uploaded them to my computer and as I sat here looking at them tears started rolling down my face. I couldn't hide from it anymore.My first reaction was to delete the pictures as fast as I could, but right then I printed the horrible profile picture and I made up a weight loss chart, a water intake chart and a daily exercise chart, then I taped them to my bathroom wall. I've decided I'm not going to beat myself up and sit and cry about it. I'm going to do something about in instead. Today is day 4 of my new routine. I haven't had a pepsi in 4 days!!! That is HUGE for me! I'm not saying that I'm giving up my pepsi totally or other things I love because I will never stick to something that deprives me of things I love. It's all about balance and moderation. I think the best thing is that I will be able to go to Angie's blog and get the motivation and support I need to do this. She is setting it up as a "better YOU in 12 weeks." I know I won't meet my goal of 40 pounds in 12 weeks, but I plan to be well on my way down the right path. Anyone else in?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Camp stuff and hair cut...

This past Saturday I went to the girls camp to check it out. We took pictures and sort of got a game plan on where needed to be decorated and how we wanted to do things this year. The square wood platforms are where each tent is put on. There are about 12 of these little groupings scattered all over the camp. We got to tour the whole thing and let me just say I AM SERIOUSLY OUT OF SHAPE! I was huffing and puffing while climbing up mountain trails. It was a real eye opener....and not a happy one. Thoughts passed through my mind as the others hiked effortlessly around me and I was gasping for breath. We were only there for a few hours and all I could think was I'm going to be up here for 5 long days in the middle of summer. I'm surely going to die on the Mountain. I hope they plan a nice memorial service for me because there is no way in heck I'm going to survive this one.

See the little building the ladies are standing around? That my friends is an outhouse. There is nothing to flush in there. Nope! I'm fully aware of the irony that I have a cute outhouse bathroom in my house and I'm whining about an outhouse, but my toilet flushes. I appreciate the ability to flush. Flushing is good. Flushing takes away bad smells. What will I do at night when I have to take one of my numerous trips to the bathroom? Mountains have lots and lots of bugs and I can't see them all in the dark. Panic has set in. I fear I'm going to come home with a kidney/urinary tract infection from holding it in too long and I know I will be sleep deprived and physically exhausted. I've already informed Mark that he WILL be driving up to come get me on day 5 because I will not have the ability to drive home alone.This cute little ramada is my one true perk. This is where the "craft shack" will be, therefore I will be spending all of my time there. So cute...I love it! I've designed my main craft and have plans for 2-3 small ones. I'll share those as I get the samples made.

Tonight we had the girls tying camp quilts that they will lay over their sleeping bags. You can't tell from the pictures, but the fabric has little stars all over it to go with the theme. They still need to be bound, but at least they are tied. The girls did a great job and we so appreciate the teachers who came and taught them how to do this. I think it's a great skill to learn. Their little camp quilts will be a keepsake for many years to come. I got my hair cut last week and covered the gray. Actually I'm already getting some feisty little gray hairs peeking back though. They seem to like me so I'll have to learn to get along with them. I cut all the dead off the bottom...which is quite a lot, but now my ends look healthy instead of fried and sparse, so I'm pretty happy with it. My hair is a bit tousled in the picture. I just got home from running an errand and it was real windy outside.
Why is it that teenage girls can take their own pictures and they are cute, but a 40 year old does it and she looks dumb? :o)
Happy Thursday!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Youth cook-off...

Last Wednesday I planned a youth cook-off for our combined activity. It was so much fun. I gave both teams the same 10 ingredients...chicken breasts, hamburger, potatoes, carrots, butter, can biscuits, pasta, cheese, angel food cake and strawberries. They each had one hour to cook and prepare an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert. I also gave each team $5.00 to buy extra groceries from their host home just to mix it up a bit, not knowing what they would come up with.They had to be fast thinkers to decide what items would be used for what and how to cook it and well as what to purchase to make it better.This is team George that used my kitchen to cook.This is team Greer who used the Greer's home. It was so fun to see how their minds worked and watch them work as teams to make decisions.
Both teams met at my house and I had the young men leaders judge the food. They even posed for a prayer shot. I think they were praying these dishes wouldn't make them sick. LOL! They got lucky and the meals were all really good. They were judged on creativity, taste, and appearance. Plus the teams had to leave the kitchen's clean.
I forgot to get a close up of our teams appetizer. It's the one on the bottom left of this picture. They cooked the biscuits, cut them open faced, buttered them, browned the hamburger, added cream of chicken soup and cheese, put it on the biscuits, topped with mashed potatoes and garnished with grated carrot. Ours won for best appetizer.Team Greer made loaded potato skins for their appetizer. Team Greer's main dish. Theirs won for best main dish.
Team George's main dish
Team George's dessert. Ours won for best dessert.

Team Greer's dessert

Team Greer's garlic biscuits
George team bought a box of vanilla pudding, milk, cream of chicken and cool whip.
Team Greer bought pineapple, mandarin oranges and a jar of alfredo sauce.
Seasonings and cooking oil were free of charge. These kids all had a blast together and it was fun as leaders to watch them create their meals together. Both teams were so proud of their accomplishments. After the judging, everyone devoured all the food. It was such a great night!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More homecoming pictures...

Me, Mark and Cody painted a welcome home sign late Friday night for Chad and hung it on the garage door. (Actually, it's still there) Chad got a big smile on his face when he saw it. :o)Pictures taken in the Army National Guard hangerI loved this shot of the plane with some of the patriot guard members who always welcome the troops home as well as send them off.Chad wasted no time in finding his bag so we could get out of there. All the bags were soaking wet from sitting in the rain in North Carolina. We went straight over to Brek and Brittany's apartment so they could see Chad and because we had one one Chad's motorcycles waiting there for him. He really wanted to ride one home.
He's just so cute!
Wearing one of Mark's helmets. He has since bought his own "cool" helmet.
The 10 of us went to breakfast together before heading home. It was nice having the whole family together. The days since his arrival have passed so quickly. Sunday we had a packed full house of family and friends over for dinner. I believe there were around 46 people total that day. It was crowded, but fun and nice to have everyone come to welcome him home. I know he appreciated it. We made tacos, chicken enchiladas, pudding cake and Texas sheet cake. All things he loves! His first two days home he had to spend half the day at the base. Monday we went shopping and he bought a bedroom set and a new mattress. On the way home he found a car for sale on a street corner and bought that too. It's a 98 Ford Mustang. It was a great deal and he figured he really should have a car since most girls are not going to want to go on dates on the back of a motorcycle. Tuesday he had errands during the day and he met the Star Riders group at bike night. It was a lot of fun. He spent the night at a friends house that night. Wednesday was more errands, catching up on sleep and he went on a ride with some of his Army friends. Today we went to town to pick up his new bedroom furniture. Crammed it all in Kyle's truck and my car. We have some assembly work ahead of us....perhaps tomorrow. Really the past few days are a bit of a blur. I've been so busy from morning to bed time. Still feeling sleep deprived. We did a really fun activity last night for a combined young men/young women at my house. I'll blog it next time. Oh...I got my hair cut and colored on Tuesday. First time since June 19th of 07. I've been butchering my own bangs since then to maintain it. Mark couldn't ever tell a difference. I sure can. It looks and feels healthier. I think he should appreciate that I'm a low maintenance kind of girl. :o) Chad is sad I colored over my big gray streak in my bangs. He was calling me Roage from X-men. LOL! I told him not to worry. Not all the gray took the dye and that is the first place it comes back.
***Edited to add***
I've received a few emails asking about what happened to Chad and Sandy. Apparently they missed the post about him breaking off the engagement back in November. I figured I better mention it again in case some others were wondering the same thing. She turned out to be not the nice girl she once was. You can read about it by clicking on the November 2007 archive and scroll down to Thursday, November 22nd titled Thanksgiving and stuff. If I was a way cool computer smart person I would link the post, but I don't know how, so you'll have to click and scroll. She has gotten much worse since that post. Pretty only gets you so far. It only confirms it was the right decision for Chad and our whole family.

Monday, April 07, 2008

He's HOME!

I know you are all waiting to see if Chad arrived home safely, so I knew I had to check in. Our boy is finally home. He was suppose to get in Friday night around midnight. Just as we were about to head to the airport he called and said he was still in North Carolina and they couldn't take off because of a huge thunder storm. He text us a few hours later and said they were taking off soon. See you in 4-5 hours. So we set our alarm for 4:00 and tried to get a little sleep. I woke up at 4:36...oh crap! What happened to the alarm? It was set for p.m. not a.m. uggg!!! Hurry quick...everybody get up! Head to town...we are late! So sad! We missed the whole thing! He was on the ground for 15 minutes without us being there to see him. I did not get the first hug. Mark ran...I cannot run. Little stinker. :o) I do have way more pictures to share, but we've been none stop busy. I don't have the time or energy to share everything tonight. We are all sleep deprived. I will tomorrow. Just know that we couldn't be any happier to have Chad home. We all missed him so much. Life is good!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

got milk?

Last night we took the young women to the local dairy. (it is HUGE) One of the girls dad is a head guy there and gave us a private tour. This is in the milking parlor. They milk 10,000 cows-3 time a day here. By the time they get through all 10,000, it's time to start again so they are milking 24 hours a day. It's much cleaner that I was expecting. Jimmy was so full of information. I wish I could have recorded everything he said, because it was all so interesting to me. I learned so much, but I also forgot a lot or didn't hear it because I was at the back of the group and it's kind of loud in there. I think the girls enjoyed it as much as I did.This in underneath where they milk the cows. You can see the milk flowing through the lines.

These tell exactly how much each cow is putting out so they know if it is producing enough.
Then the milk goes through the chiller before it is pumped into milk tankers.

So dang cute! I LOVE cows!We ended our tour at the nursery. The girls loved the calves. They average 30 calves a day are born. They would suck on the girls cute! I would have loved to do the tour during the day so I could see all the cows out in the pens. It was too dark to take pictures. When I was young my dad was the milk man. Not this stage of it. He delivered milk to stores. Me and my sisters use to go with him a lot during the summers. It was pretty fun. We were milk lovers growing up and my boys are milk lovers too. We go through 8 gallons a week. We always drank whole milk, now we have 2%, but I love whole. For those of you out there drinking skim milk..DON' me! :o)
Some of you have been concerned about Brittany since she hasn't updated her blog in a while. Baby Mark has been sick. Plus by the time they boys are down for bed at night she's been to tired to blog, as I'm sure you can understand how hard it is taking care of 2 babies who are only 11 months apart whether they are healthy or sick. She hopes to update soon.