Friday, July 10, 2009

4th of July 2009

For the 4th of July, we did what we've done the past four out of five years......went to Dean's brother's cabin on Nelson Lake in Wisconsin.

It's a six hour drive with no stops so the plan was to leave at 7 am Thursday. We pulled out of the driveway at 7:25 - not too bad! The skies were blue & sunny when we left home but by the time we got to the cabin at 3:00, they were grey & overcast & the temperature had dropped considerably! It was very cool; too cool to enjoy ourselves outside so we all went inside, turned on the fireplace & enjoyed some wine (well, the adults did anyways!). Whoever thought we'd be sitting by the fireplace on the 4th of July weekend!! Not me, but it was fun!

This year was a smaller crowd than usual. There were a total of fourteen people staying at the cabin - six adults & eight children ranging from 1 1/2 years to 13 1/2 years! Oh, and can't forget, Oscar the dog! Crowded & noisy but lots of fun!

Friday morning started out sunny but shortly after lunch it was overcast skies again! The boys went golfing which is also a tradition! This year Tanner was old enough to join in on the fun & he loved it! Each family is assigned a day to make lunch & supper (for breakfast, we all do our own thing) and Friday was our lucky day. The cabin is near Hayward, WI, which has a WalMart so last year I waited until we got there to buy our groceries - which was a BIG mistake! Everything was SO picked over so this year I decided to plan ahead & bring all my groceries. This also turned out to be a mistake. Last year I made walking tacos for lunch & they were a hit! I thought about making them again this year but I hate repeating myself so decided not to make them. Well, when I got there, everyone was requesting & hoping I was making walking tacos & much to their dismay, I told them no. So now I know for next year & the following years, I HAVE to make walking tacos!

For lunch, Dean & I served grilled hot dogs & brats along with taco salad (close to walking tacos but not close enough!). I made Texas Caviar for snack. And supper consisted of grilled, barbecued chicken legs for the kids & marinated, Italian chicken breasts for the adults along with Italian pasta salad & baked beans.

It started to rain while Dean was grilling supper but he finished like a trooper! Normally the kids would eat inside at the dining room table while the adults ate outside on the deck but with the rain we had to eat in shifts at the dining room table but it all worked out being we had to grill in shifts due to all the chicken!

Of course, each night we enjoyed a bon fire & s'mores! The resort had a very nice fireworks display on Friday night. By the way, WI has mosquitos the size of small birds!! And bugs, too!!

On Saturday the kids enjoyed swimming & tubing. They also played a wiffleball game with the neighbor kids on Saturday & another on Sunday with the kids & some adults. The kids broke the two wiffleballs in half so they had to use a plastic ball which was very dented by the end but at least it was still in one piece!

Saturday after lunch we went into town to the candy store. This place is awesome......there are barrels & barrels & barrels of candy - everything you can think of - you choose what you want & put into your basket. They also make fudge & tons of chocolate candy treats. I couldn't leave without getting a 1/2 lb. of peanut butter fudge but now that I have only a small bite left......I'm thinking I should have went with a whole pound! Later we enjoyed rootbeer floats & tattoos - glow-in-the-dark & glitter ones! That evening, we also enjoyed a few little fireworks & sparklers!

Sunday morning the kids enjoyed snaps, smoke balls & firecrackers. We left WI at 2:00 & made our regular stop at Space Aliens in St Cloud! Love this restaurant - if you ever go you gotta try the Cajun Ranch Chicken Baked Potato! We finally got home at 9:15, exhausted from driving/riding for so long & many late nights!

Vacation is fun but it feels so good to get home afterwards!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I Gotta Job!

So I am employable......I was beginning to wonder!

After FOUR trips to the SF area for interviews, one finally paid off! My interviews began the end of April. The first interview was for a Finance Manager at a DVD kiosk company, the second for a Mortgage Loan Processor at a credit union, the third for an Accountant at a CPA firm, the fourth for an Accounting Assistant/Administrative Assistant at a non-profit food organization, and the fifth (and lucky one) for a Settlement Accountant at a third party credit card servicing company! WOOHOO!!!

I applied for a gazillion jobs......seriously! =) The good news is that companies are hiring; the bad news is that there are LOTS of people applying for jobs! Every interview I've been to, they've told me that they had a huge number of applications/resumes! At the non-profit organization, they told me they had 150 applicants! Even though I did not get offered the job, I feel so lucky to have even gotten an interview! That's CRAZY competition! I did end up getting a second interview at the CPA firm but still did not get the job......which I'm OK goal is to obtain my CPA license but I just don't know if I can handle the dreadful tax season at a CPA firm!

Regarding the job I accepted, I had an interview last Tuesday. When I left about 4 pm, they told me they still had more interviews to conduct last week & would make a decision & offer by Tuesday (today) of this week. Well, at 9:30 Wednesday morning, barely 12 hours after I left, they called me & told me they liked me so much that they wanted to offer me the job & cancel the rest of their interviews! IS THAT CRAZY OR WHAT?!?! And of course, I accepted the job!

The position does not pay me nearly what I was hoping for but it is in the accounting field & the company has great perks & benefits. Plus the HR lady & my supervisor were awesome. I get to wear jeans EVERY DAY; set my own hours - work as early as 7:30, as late as 5:00, & take a 30 min or 60 min lunch; the company is located in a nice, new building in a nice, newer area; get 3 weeks of vacation the first year & 4 weeks of vacation the second year; has a great 401K! I think I'm going to really enjoy this job & the company! I'm really excited about going back to work after being unemployed for so long......since mid-December!! Being unemployed can be great, especially during the summer, but I'm ready to work! I start on July 27th - which seems so far away yet so close!

Being our house (STILL) has not sold, the kids & I are going to B tomorrow to find us an apartment to rent. Hopefully I have good luck finding a newer one with a short lease!


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy 4th of July

We are spending the 4th of July in Wisconsin at Dean's brother's cabin.
Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July!

I have some good news but I'm not telling you until next stay tuned!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Do You Need a New Vacuum?

I sure do! Mine died last week!! And I should probably buy (or win) one REALLY soon so I can vaccuum! Would you like to win a fabulous Dyson vacuum? If so, click on the link below to enter the contest Five Minutes For Mom is having.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

April & May Events

April & May (yes, Aisha, April & May) were busy months! Besides the Dance Recital and dancing at most of the nursing homes during Nursing Home Week, there were many more events keeping us busy!
Tanner played in several tennis matches. He played singles & doubles......and won all of his games!! I think we have a tennis pro on our hands!

Hayley's school had its Talent Show. A couple weeks prior to the Show, the kids have to try out in front of judges. If their acts are approved, they get to compete in the Talent Show! Hayley danced with a small group of girls this year, as she did last year! I am beginning to wonder if maybe Hayley isn't meant to be in Talent Shows. Last year after the girls were on stage, the sound person couldn't get their music to work so she finally asked them to leave the stage. By the end of the Show, they fixed the problem & the girls were allowed to come back on stage & perform. This year brought a similar problem. The girls were on stage & when the music started, the girls started dancing. However, I knew that it wasn't the correct song because Hayley had told me what song they were dancing to. But the girls, all being dancers, know that the show must go on. So the girls just started dancing even though the music was wrong. I think that's awesome!! A little ways into the dance, the sound person realized it was the wrong song & stopped the music. The girls were able to start their dance over with the correct music.

Hayley had her 6th grade band concert. For this event, they combine all the 6th grades in town (there are five) & perform. You can imagine this is a big event considering that between the schools there are two band instructors & the schools only practice together four times before the concert! (Hayley made first chair!) They also do the same for the 5th grade. The 5th & 6th grades play separately but then end the concert playing one song together. They struggled with this & had to stop the song part way through & start over but they did finally get through it all at the same time!

Hayley & Dean also found time to partake in a Dad & Me Girl Scout event out at the lake. The weather didn't fully cooperate but at least it wasn't raining! They participated in a variety of races: wheelbarrow race, three legged race, hard-boiled egg on a spoon race, balloon on a string tied to an ankle race. They also went on a treasure hunt and made bird feeders out of pine cones. And for lunch, they cooked hot dogs over the fire. (Dean isn't a shutter bug like me, and I suppose it's kinda hard to take a lot of pictures when you're involved in the two-person races, so this is all I have to mark the event!)

Hayley also participated in the band contest. She had to play a solo in front of a judge with her instructor accompanying her on the piano. She scored a I+ (the best score).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hayley's a Cadette!

The Girl Scouts Bridging/Awards Ceremony was held on a VERY windy (but sunny) day in early May at the Redlin Art Center. It was very fitting for the girls bridging from one level to the next to cross a bridge to mark the occasion. Hayley is no longer a Junior Girl Scout. She is now a Cadette Girl Scout! Her vest is now tan instead of that ugly green! This also marked her fifth year in Girl Scouts and she was awarded with a special pin. Hayley's troop was in charge of the flag ceremony and holding onto those flags in that wind was no easy task! Each girl that bridged also received a pine tree seedling. I'm not real fond of pine trees but have decided to make a conscious effort to keep it alive. Since we will be moving (hopefully) soon, we decided to plant it in a big flower pot so we can take it with us. So far it's still alive!

Hayley's troop here was not as aggressive as her troop in M in earning badges & patches. Being Hayley transferred during her Junior level, she has a lot more badges & patches than others. I even heard other mothers commenting on it! The bad part about it is sewing them on! I HATE sewing!! I recently found some iron-on backing & did try those on the last few so we'll see if they last......or if I'll have to sew those on too! Last time I managed to get approximately 14 needle pokes & sewed the vest to my ottoman!!

Hayley wants to continue GS when we move to B. It appears that they have pretty active troops there so it should be fun!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hayley's Dance Recital - 2009

On Friday, Hayley had her end-of-year dance recital. It was an even bigger deal than normal because the dance teams did not go to competition this year. They originally registered for one in early-March (Brookings) but many girls could not go so they registered for one in late-April (Fargo) and it ended up getting cancelled due to the flooding!! So all their hard work was finally showcased in this recital.

Hayley was in two dance classes again this year - Jazz and Pom. As you can see, not many girls took Pom this year - the class had only five members!! However, the Jazz team was pretty big. Also, they had new dance instructors this year so that took some getting used to.

The recital was also bittersweet because it's her last recital here at DG with her friends. She plans on enrolling in dance when we move but it just won't be the same!
Jazz Team

Pom Team

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Dean's New Job

Dean has been working at his new job for a month now. The company he is working for is probably one of the few companies that is busy, busy, busy right now! (The company makes fire trucks.) Dean is so exhausted by the end of the week!! We decided he would commute each day rather than get an apartment or hotel in SF. (We had to decide which was the lesser of the two evils, 15 hours driving & longer days or not seeing his family during the week.) He gets up at 5 am, is on the road by 5:20 & at work by 7:00! (Must be nice to be a guy & be ready in 20 minutes!!) He calls me when he leaves work (about 5:30) so I can have supper on the table when he walks in the door (about 7:00). We're used to eating supper between 5:30 & 6:00 so this 7:00 stuff seems SO late! There have been many times where I couldn't have timed supper more in, I was setting the food on the table as he walked in! (Yeah for me!) Then we get to spend a couple hours with him & he goes to bed between 9:00 & 9:30! (It's funny because he goes to bed the same time as the kids!! Now I'm the night owl who heads to bed later whereas Dean used to stay up later than me!!) Dean had to work the last two Saturdays for a half day so he is really pooped. He should also be working this Saturday but we already had plans to head out of town on Friday for Easter so they'll have to make due without him! (Plus his boss said he's been spending enough time at work!) Not only is he putting in 50+ hours of work a week, he's putting in 15+ hours of driving a week! And when he's at work, he's constantly busy & running around so he does not a minute to rest or think! But......he is enjoying the job & is looking forward to the day when he "knows his stuff" as this is a new industry he's working in! (His last job involved circuit boards & such for medical equipment & Dakt*ronics.)

Needless to say, we're REALLY looking forward to our house selling (soon) & moving to the SF area. Then we can get on with our lives as it feels like we're in a holding pattern & there are so many uncertainities right now.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Daddy, How Was I Born?

A little boy goes to his father and asks, "Daddy, how was I born?"

The father answers, "Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom & I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via email with your Mom and we met at a cyber cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said: 'You Got Male'."

Ha ha! Got this through email and just couldn't resist posting it. It's a good laugh!

Monday, February 02, 2009

He's Good...

PRETENSE: I was in SF all weekend visiting my sister WITHOUT my hubby and kids. Last night coming home from the Super Bowl party, this conversation between Tanner and me occurs...

Tanner: Mom?

Me: What?

Tanner: We missed you this weekend and didn't get to spend much time with you. Can we stay home from school tomorrow and have some quality time with you?

Me: (laughing) You're good! I wish I could but no. Nice try though!!

Yep, he's a keeper!