Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Catching Up

It always seems to be so much more work to come home from a trip than to leave! We spent today in catch up mode. I got our stuff put away and went grocery shopping, since we were out of everything (seriously, we had no bread in the house!). Olga's THIRD fountain broke while we were gone, so I had to buy number four. She adores them (feels like fresh water that way), but the cat fur is killer on them. The first one really doesn't count - she didn't like it more than it broke (I gave it away...I threw the next two out!).

We also had Adam open the rest of his presents (we didn't bother to haul them MI and back). He adored his train set! He was Adam-zilla - climbed right up on the train table to destroy and play! I took some videos that I'll get up tomorrow or the next day. Most of the toys he got in MI stayed here - PaPa's house toys. That means they are like new each time he goes up, so that is great. By summer, he is going to be all over PaPa's driveway with that Hot Wheels trike!

I'm also working on laundry - mostly the new stuff we brought back - and making peach cobbler to take to card night tomorrow.

Right now I'm trying to motivate myself to work on my class stuff. I still have a lot of lecture notes to write....but I don't wanna......oh, well....no one said life was fair!

Overall, it has been a productive day, just feeling like we are treading water at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow will be forward motion!

Monday, December 28, 2009


We made it home - we do have snow here and the roads from Cleveland on were a mess! We ended up doing pizza delivery (risk someone else's neck) for dinner!

Heading Home in Snow

Snowing today, but we are heading home (of course). We are hoping that it is also snowing in Ohio! Dave had an appointment this morning and so was off early. We got up with Adam and are mostly loaded and ready to leave!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adam Playing Basketball

Adam, Daddy and PaPa were playing basketball today - they were quite good....maybe better than some of those NBA players! Their hoop height might have helped....

Sometimes the ball doesn't go the right way though...

Adam and PaPa Plowing Snow

There really wasn't enough snow to plow, but PaPa and Adam still made an effort!

Daddy and Adam on the Harley

Daddy pushing Adam on the Harley

Adam Excercising

Adam was checking out PaPa's treadmill, so PaPa took him on it! He was quite confused at first, but got into it!

PaPa's House

Adam and PaPa Reading
Who is in PaPa's Olds?
Mommy taking Adam on a sled ride
Daddy and Adam hanging out

What's Up

Well, we are getting a little snow. Not much else to report - hoping for a quiet day with everyone healthy!! That's our goal for today! Otherwise, just some laundry.:) We are planning to take Adam outside here after lunch to enjoy the snow as it is pretty nice out as well.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Adam took his medicine like a big boy! He has been improving on this! Once he figured out the decongestate tasted like grape (which he likes), he was okay there (and the syringe is easy), but taking the pink stuff on the spoon was harder. But he is doing great with it now! Go, Adam!

Adam Figuring out the Tricycle

Adam's legs aren't quite long enough, but he's trying! He has achieved some movement!

I can push it forward!

Let's try those feet!

Okay feet aren't working...let's go back to pushing!


Daddy and PaPa put the decals on today so Adam's tricycle is now a HARLEY!!


I made sugar cookies last night. I'd actually bought the whipping cream for it quite awhile ago and didn't get to it, so I brought it with me and we made them here last night.

Adam's Tape Measure

Ready to work with the MEN

Trying to figure it out!

Feeling Better

I don't want to jinx us (knock on wood), but I think we are all on the mend. Luckily this is just a 24 hour bug, so by today we are all getting better. We are off to visit family today and maybe do a little after Christmas shopping (we are looking for some outside decorations for next year).

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dad's New Videos

Here are some cool new videos from my father.

Using Carl to haul Andrea's stuff

Moose in Talkeetna

What bears can do....

Adam's Hot Wheels

PaPa got Adam a Hot Wheels tricycle - for his house. Adam already loves it, but by this summer he should be able to ride it.
If you won't open this, I will!

Helping put together the Hot Wheel trike - Adam liked the handlebars!

Adam "helping" the men put together the tricycle - what dads and grandpas do on Christmas - put together toys!
Riding the bike!
Drinking and Driving - he'd better watch out! And he has TWO drinks - juice AND milk

Adam's Bowling Set

PaPa got Adam a bowling set - he quickly figured out that the best way to knock over pins (which he adored), was to dump the ball on top of them rather than roll it!

Opening up the bowling set

Let's roll

Hmm...how can I knock these down?

I know - dump the ball on top of them!

New Tools!

PaPa got Adam tools for his house - after all, Adam needs tools everywhere!

Yep...Adam can say "tools" - he knows his "important" words!

Figuring out opening presents....

Let's see what Aunt Maureen got me!

The really tough part - getting the toys open!


Jennie and Andrew (okay, yuck...I did this just for those who asked)

Aunt Maureen didn't forget Andrew!

Christmas Morning 2009

Adam and Ray

Adam's Stocking

Adam checking out his stocking. As you'll see in the bottom videos, he was just figuring out what to do with wrapped presents - he liked the loose stuff in the stocking the best as he got that - I found a toy!
Look at my cool trucks!
Hmm...what's in here?

What can I find in this thing?

What do I do with this thing?

Okay, Daddy, you help me get this open!

Christmas 2009

We put out the presents on Christmas Eve (we didn't before as Adam would have had to explore).

Passing Sickness Around: Not the Holiday Spirit

Adam was sick and must have had a bit of a 24 hour bug and he didn't know it. So night before last, Ray wakes up sick and is sick most of the day. Then I get sick...now last night Dave and Brian both got sick! Luckily it is only 24 hours, but still a miserable bout! Had Ray I known we were bringing the sickies, we wouldn't have came until we were better!

Also raining here - also not Christmasy! Adam is sleeping right now - he was so overstimulated he crashed at naptime!

Update: Yep, Brittany has it now...we got EVERYONE sick!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Remember the pink stuff?

I remember taking the pink stuff whenever we were sick as kids. I actually remember it asked pretty decent. Now Adam is taking the "pink stuff." He's slowly figuring out it isn't too horrible, but is still fighting the process.

Everyone's Sick Now

So Adam is doing better (hates taking his medicine, but what's new?), but Ray was sick most of last night and now I'm not feeling so hot. Definitely not fun for us! And its Christmas Eve - not fair! We aren't supposed to be sick on the holidays!

Adam Tobaganning

PaPa got out the tobagan and Adam went sledding around the yard! We made it right before the rain started....will ruin the little snow we do have!

Adam Keyboarding

Linda also found a keyboard for Adam. He quickly figured out how to turn it off and on on its own! He's loving making music!
Hmm...how do I figure this out?
Let's make music!

Dancing to his music!

Making Music!

Playing Basketball

Linda (Dave's girlfriend) brought over a BIG hoop for Adam to play with!
I made it!

Adam playing basketball

What can I get into?

Papa's Computer
Aunt Brittany's horse magazine
Uncle Brian's Fish


Dave's house:
Post-Adam (you can see the culprit in the corner!)

The Men

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Old Pictures

I've been sorting pictures (I seriously have a mess and given that I'm an organization freak, this is weird, but it is a huge and daunting project...I'm trying...). Anyway, these amused me enough to post!
Jennie and Andrea

Ray's wrapping job

Ray still hasn't outgrown his wrapping tendencies....all expired aeronautics charts

House Updates

When Dad was here, he did some improvements for us (he likes his to-do list!). I took most of these pictures right after, but I just this week finally got to reorganzing the back closet where we put up shelves and so finally took the last pictures.
New ceiling fan in guest bedroom
New garage door opener
New vanity and medicine cabinet in downstairs bath
New light in our bedroom
New shelves in downstairs closet (most of Adam's old stuff that will soon be back out for Andrew!)
Dad rewired our lights in the downstairs bathroom and put in a switch versus the pull chains and linked them together (we always keep all the electrical work for the electrician!)
New shelves in laundry room
Dad also put in a new thermostat for us - it is all digitally controlled now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poor Sick Kiddo

Adam woke up about 4 AM last night, coughing, which he's been doing for about a week. It's all sinus drainage. But last night he started throwing up (all clear, so sinuses again). We were up and down the rest of the night and went to the doctor in the morning. We figured it was sinus/congestion related, but weren't sure what to give him. So we got a prescription and the decongestate seems to be helping - he took an awesome nap. He actually went in and wanted a tub in the middle of the day - he wanted bed! So I gave him a bath (I'd been considering it after all the throwing up anyway...would have last night, but he just kept falling asleep, poor tired kid!) and then we all (Ray included!) fell asleep in front of Toodles (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). We got Adam into bed and took a nap ourselves - we don't like being up half the night either and while I got some sleep, Ray never got back to bed at all. Adam slept for over three hours - he really needed it. He's been better most of the day, but was a bit dicey right before bed. He's sleeping now - hopefully we'll all get the sleep we need!

Oh, though, I do think Adam planned one thing...I spent today rewashing most of the sheets/blankets I just washed!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Andrew Joseph Weber!

We found out today - Adam is getting a little brother! Everything looks great and Andrew is already very active - just like big brother! He was moving all through the ultrasound!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What your lent tells you

I've been washing blankets and normally our lent is regular looking lent, but when you are wash our blankets, you notice a huge predominance of kitty fur....hmm...what does that tell you?

Ann Purser

I mentioned this author awhile back as a new "found" author. I'm now on Thursday (her books go by day of the week) and am still happy. I found a great book lot deal on Ebay, so I have all the way through Sunday (then she starts on hours of the day....). From Wednesday to Thursday, the books skip abuot 5 years in their lives - not sure if the author just wanted so new fodder (older kids, etc.) or there was some other reason. I will admit the Anglican priests are always pretty messed up - kind of annoying on that and the books definitely run the gamut of the types of issues, but still very enjoyable. I'll keep reading!

I also just started a book by John J. Lamb - it is a teddy bear mystery series set in Viriginia. So far, so good!

Presents Wrapped!

I forgot one thing on my accomplished list for yesterday - all my presents are wrapped and hopefully well enough hidden to keep them from Adam's destructive hands until Christmas! I had everything that had to be shipped out last Monday, so I'm feeling ready for Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Adam Update

Adam is still having nap issues, but he definitely is doing better. He slept really well last night and hopefully will do so again tonight. He's definitely getting back to "Adam" - much more active again and eating better. He seems to be beating this cold finally. I washed all the sheets today, so hopefully got rid of all those germs!

8 Week Vs. 16 Week Classes

I teach 8 week classes, but honestly, I'm not a huge fan of them. I think they hurry students only too long. I know why students like them and I know why colleges offer them. Some classes actually work well in an eight week format (like 1 credit classes or "seminar" classes), but "regular" classes that are normally offered full term are usually better on the student in the full term. I think students go in with a lot of misconceptions about 8 week classes, though.

First, we still have to have all the same requirements as we do in a 16 week class. That means taking an eight week class is NOT easier - just more work in less time. I find many students seem to think that they will have to do less work if they take an eight week class - that is SO not true. It will just be faster and more work each week. So when you take an eight week class, assume you will be doing double the work each week - plan for it! That means you have to have double the time to devote to the class!

Second, if you are bad at a subject (whether you are or just think you are - I find many students think they are bad at a subject, but really aren't - it is all mental), taking it in a shorter time will make it miserable for you - you don't have time to take the time you will probably need. So if you know algebra will be a painful subject for you, take the full term class! Taking it quicker might get the "pain" over faster, but you are more likely to fail or not get the knowledge you need for later even if you do squeak by.

Third, don't take an eight week class if you know you are going to have a high workload in other classes or at work (or at home) at the same time. Eight week classes (and some universities offer even shorter) require a ton of work each week, so you have to have time to devote to it.

I also find that students have a lot of misconceptions about online courses - they are usually more work, not less work, like some students seem to think. Yes, you don't have to go to "class," but you still need quality time every week to devote to class. You just pick the time, not the university. While that gives flexibility, you still need time. Students seem to think online classes will just "fit" in between their other things - you have to devote time to it just like any other class. That time you'd normally spend in class, you will spend on discussion.

That's my rant for the day!

Productive Week

I actually had a pretty productive week, but ran out of steam on about Wednesday because Adam wasn't sleeping well (not his fault, he's been sick). But I managed to get back on track today. I got a fair bit accomplished today:
  • lots of laundry (I stripped every bed in the house and every blanket I had out to get rid of the "cold" cooties)
  • Grading (one class is now completely done, one is VERY close (long story - don't want to get into as it will make me furious), and another ends tomorrow)
  • House cleaning - cleaned the bathroom
  • Prepped tests to scan and go out next week
  • Caught up checkbook
  • Got Adam to eat veggies!
  • Some fun - blogging and pictures

My main disappointment this week is that with my "derailment" on Wednesday, I got very little done on Math 210 (my new class) for next term.

We did make the decision to put off the terra cotta warriors visit to Spring Break - their last week is our first weekend. We'll go then and buy the tickets next week to make sure we can get in. That will make this break not so hectic (since we are going to MI for Christmas then HI in January).

I won!

I got Adam to eat veggies without knowing it! The idea of hiding it in meat worked! He ate this! As a note, this is full recipe, size wise, but I only made half of it this time (1 pound of meat total., so if you were mixing, then 3/4 sweet sausage, 1/4 ground beef - I went all sweet sausage this time).

Modified from Express Lane Meals by Rachael Ray [full recipe]

2 tbsp oil [she used EVOO, I just used vegetable oil.]
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced [I actually got out my mincer for this]
1/2 large onion, minced as well [same here]
4 small carrots, shredded [she just minced, I shredded so it would disappear into the sausage - this actually tastes really good with the sweet sausage!]
salt and pepper
1 tsp celery flakes [she put in minced celery, which I seldom have...I would use if I had it, I wouldn't buy it for this recipe (or really most recipes), so I use celery flakes for flavor in place.]
1 1/2 lb bulk sweet sausage [I actually used straight sweet sausage this time, and it was just fine - I was doing it convince Adam to eat and he loves sausage, but I think I will use the ground beef next time]
1/2 lb ground beef [she also used some hot sausage, but I wanted Adam to eat it, so I just went with the sweet and regular beef....she used all three - I really liked how the sweet tasted]
1 egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
***She made this is an Italian BBQ sauce, but I knew Adam wouldn't care, so he and I ate it plain and Ray used ketchup. She full recipe link if you are interested - it looked fine, just not appropriate for my purpose.

Preheat oven to 425.

Heat a small skillet with oil. When oil is hot, add red pepper and onion. Then add carrots a few minutes later (celey if you are using it here). She did this all together, but since I shredded my carrots, I didn't saute them as long. Saute about 5 minutes or until veggies are tenders. Season with salt, pepper and celery flakes (obviously you can leave these out if you use real celery). Remove to cool.

Combine meats with egg, bread crumbs, cheese and cooled vegetables. Mix well.
Form into patties (she did 4 large oval shaped ones, I went with smaller, hamburger like patties so got more...not more than 1 1/4 inches thick for cooking). Put on a cookie sheet (I put these on a wire rack on a cookie sheet the first time - not really necessary). Drizzle with some more oil and bake for 17-18 minutes or until cooked through.

If you wanted to make the BBQ sauce, you'd make it while the patties are baking.

Servings: 6 (in my opinion easily, especially with sides - as you can see I got four hamburger sized patties with half of the recipe.)
I'll be trying more variations on this theme - let me know if you have any suggestions! I'm trying RR's Florentine Meatballs next time.

Snow finally!

Not a lot, but we finally got some! Adam and I were out checking it out today!
He wanted a wagon ride - hard for Mommy to pull!
Hmm...what is this stuff?
Our backyard this morning