31 December 2008
27 December 2008
I want to know if a Youth Counselor position will open up in Concord within the next few weeks. I want to know if James will get an interview for that Court Counselor position in Charlotte that he applied to. I want to know if it would be worth it for him to fly out there just for an interview.
I want to know if we're moving to North Carolina, or possibly some other place in Texas just until the end of the summer and then to McAllen if he got the South Texas College teaching job. I want to know for sure when/if we'd lose the Axia thing if he took that job.
I want some idea of what the future holds. It's been 3.5 weeks of nothing but questions, questions and more questions. The closer we get to getting some answers, the more nervous I get.
Sigh. At least tomorrow is Sunday. Sounds like I need it, right?
On Christmas Eve we let her put them back under the tree.
As you can see, they didn't stay under the tree for long. Both girls got tons of enjoyment from all their gifts while they were still (mostly) wrapped.
As bedtime approached we let them open their matching Princess PJs and Daddy read The Christmas Story (I can't wait until they're old enough to start acting it out!).
Elizabeth was determined NOT to go to bed. She was not leaving her treasure hoarde! We let her sleep like this for a couple of hours before Daddy carried her to bed, protesting loudly even half-asleep!
But of course she had to go to bed so Santa could work his magic. (Pretty gender-balanced for a house of 2 little girls, don't you think?)
19 December 2008
16 December 2008
I have my new toy up and running. I'm on "exploding appendix" duty at the hospital with a youth, so here is my chance to hack into the hospital servers and discover what really happened to the Reavers....
....err, I mean, I can use the hospital's free wi-fi link to go only and find things to do for the next 12+ hours. Yes, I just barely got home from work when I got the call, but hey, it's overtime that has to get paid, and I get to work on my Axia College stuff, watch movies, and take a nap all on the clock!
11 December 2008
09 December 2008
05 December 2008
03 December 2008
James has a phone interview today with Axia College, to be a part-time online instructor for the University of Phoenix. All of their instructors are full-time professionals, working in the field they teach. We were looking at this as a way to really escalate our debt snowball, but now we really may need it just to help make up for the housing benefit here. When we have job-hunted in the past we've found that James could get a similar salary elsewhere (about 40,000/year) but having to add rent/utilities into our budget is obviously a huge hit.
So please pray for us at this time, and if you know of any good jobs (hopefully without losing any semblance of family life/church attendence, i.e. not dependent on crazy schedules/massive overtime) for someone with a Masters in Criminal Justice and 3 years experience in Juvenile Justice...let us know!
02 December 2008
19 November 2008
18 November 2008
I finally found/devised a pizza crust recipe that's a keeper.
Forgiving Pizza Dough
3 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 cups warm water
Mix together and let sit until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add in the following:
4 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 shakes garlic powder
2 shakes italian seasoning
3 cups flour
Knead in another 1/2 to 1 cup flour as needed to make a nice dough. Let dough rest for about 5-10 minutes, then roll out your crusts. If you're making a bunch of DIY pizzas it works great to roll them out ahead and stack with wax paper in between.
Other recipes I've used were too yeasty and the crusts turned out too fluffy. This dough was perfect. Even the last batch didn't rise too much. That's why I called it "forgiving." Your timing doesn't have to be perfect.
05 November 2008
We wanted to get a dutch oven for our anniversary this summer. Started looking on Amazon and found one that was 62% off. The information was a bit fuzzy on the size, but it seemed to be a deep dish 14 inch , based on the quarts. Maybe a big larger than we needed. Still, who could resist 62% off!
Turned out to be a standard 16 inch. It is HUGE! So we hadn't used it yet. James decided he wanted dutch oven cooking for his birthday dinner. He found a dutch oven recipe for Cornish Hens, calling for 5 birds. Perfect! You don't cook that in your normal 12 inch dutch oven! And we were having the Sister Missionaries over for dinner, so one for each adult and one for the girls to share. Actually, I ended up sharing one with the girls and the missionaries took home the rest of theirs in doggie bags, along with the leftover one.
I think we might do this again when Mom and Dad are here. It's such a fun meal with great presentation appeal. Also thinking a 16 inch dutch oven would be great for pizza.
Oh, and we have a nice brick fireplace type thing on our back porch. It's a homemade contraption and quite cool. But even that wasn't large enough for this monster dutch oven! Fortunately it has a metal top, so I used it as a charcoal table and that worked out just great. I put some more coals inside the brick fireplace and threw on some foil-wrapped potatoes, which I replaced with the dessert (lazy cobbler...chocolate cake mix, 2 cans cherry pie filling, 2 sticks butter, butterscotch chips) half-way through cooking the chicken.
03 November 2008
02 November 2008
01 November 2008
Elizabeth couldn't have cared less where Mommy and Daddy were all evening as she was in her element, playing with the big kids and just generally running around in the crowd. We probably should have kept a better eye on her, but James was busy running things and Amelia was glued to me, so we were just grateful Elizabeth was happy.
Even after everyone else was done with the "cookie walk" Elizabeth tried to keep going. I caught her drawing a "winning number."
During the "Trunk or Treat" portion Amelia started perking up a bit and actually let me put her down.
Yes, I DO need two suckers!
On Halloween night she practiced walking with both pumpkins AND wearing Mommy's shoes.
Elizabeth wouldn't pause long enough to take a picture once after leaving the house and it was too dark to take it from a distance. But I did get this darling picture when they came back. Even just our little neighborhood of employee housing was too much for Amelia. She insisted on carrying that huge rubber duckie the entire time. Elizabeth was invited into one of the first houses, so after that she walked right in every time someone opened the door. Cute girls, if I do say so myself. So excited for Granny and Grandpa's visit next week!
30 October 2008
This is as far as I got before getting some bad news about a friend's daughter being in the hospital. I'll finish up soon.
21 October 2008
What would your 3 topping pizza have?
18 October 2008
Last night, I got her to use a walking toy we received a while back for Elizabeth which was never used for walking. At first, Amelia didn't want to let go of my hand, so she walked around with one hand on my finger and one hand driving the toy. Then I showed some tough love and made her use both hands on the toy.
After some fussing, she discovered she could do it by herself, as fast as she wanted to. Steering isn't the greatest, but it was still all Amelia. So we got the camera to watch her.
And we caught her taking her first steps, not counting a few tries over the past few days that were more of a controlled crash than a true walk (though they were progress).
Amelia spent the rest of the night exploring her new mobility, before switching back to crawling or Daddy support because she was getting sleepy and fussy.
11 October 2008
And, yes, I thought of Bill Cosby.
10 October 2008
2. Significant other? Christie
4. Your mother? mom
16. One of your wish list items? lightsaber
08 October 2008
Since school has been back in session attendence has really shrunk and of course it has been younger kids. The past few weeks it's mainly been the Nursery and Sunbeam crowd and the lady who does it has really focused on reaching and including each one at their level and has had lots of hands on stuff. Obviously that's been great for Elizabeth.
Today a bunch of people from a Baptist mom's group came, so we probably had a dozen kids. Several of them were playing with the toys when we arrived (we were a few minutes early!) and Elizabeth joined in. But as soon as it was time to start she ran over and sat on the mat!
She paid attention the ENTIRE time! Sure, she stood up a few times, tried to sit too close, and tried to grab the book a time or two, but she STAYED! That was huge!
She also enjoyed the songs and nursery rhymes ande tried to join in. She will now let me sing Old McDonald and Twinkle Twinkle (Elizabeth has a thing about singing, usually).
Oh, and another new development in Elizabethland is that she has suddenly learned the alphabet. She can say/sing it in order and also identify each letter out of order. Still struggling with colors, though!
04 October 2008
What is about 20 minutes from Kansas City? Independence.
Now, I'm assuming he didn't just announce THE temple...but, wow!
And Rome, Italy? How much longer will the Pope be Catholic?
02 October 2008
At this point I knew I was really pushing my luck. But we headed to Wal-mart and I treated myself to the clearance fabric tables. I take after my mom and already have way too much fabric from my teaching days, but just can't help but lust after more, especially if it's just $1-2/yard!
We almost didn't make it out of there, and I mean that literally. James left a worried voicemail on my phone when he got home early and we weren't there, asking if I needed him to drive out to wherever we were and help. In June Elizabeth had a meltdown at the mall near the Dallas Temple and I couldn't get her out to the van forever and James caught a ride with a friend he'd run into there! Just a couple of weeks ago Grandma Blair had to use all her strength to carry an hysterical (extremely overtired) Elizabeth out of Wal-Mart.
Thankfully I saw the signs and we made it to the checkout before she snapped. She actually climbed back into the cart so I was able to hurry. I looked down while loading our purchases onto the belt and saw this.
Even the bumpy ride out to the van didn't phase her, nor unloading.
Transferring her to the van did wake her up but I was ready with a juice box and mini cookies that managed to calm her down. Amelia soaked herself in apple juice and slept the whole way home. Overall, a good day.