Friday, July 22, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

I recently decided to utilize the "self-clean" function on my stove.  It seemed like a fantastic option when compared to the "bend over and scrub and scrub and scrub" option.  I also thought implementing it during the late evening/night was a great time to try it out seeing as I wasn't planning on cooking while I was sleeping.

I'm good, but I'm not that good!

The following warning is issued for those of you have who may have pondered using this function yourself.

* WARNING * Use the self-clean option on your stove with caution.  And by caution I mean the following:

1.  Do not use while you're home - it stinks to high heavens.  And you feel really bad that the kitchen is right next to your children's bedroom and you're sure you're burning their retinas while they sleep.

2.  Do not use if you have highly sensitive smoke detectors... because it sends smoke pouring out the top of your elements, forcing you to open all your windows so that you don't scare the daylights out of said sleeping children.

2.  Do not use while you're home on a really muggy night - because self cleaning means turning your stove as high as it can possibly go for a long period of time, and that sure makes things really toasty inside, and the windows open on said muggy night means you can't also use the air conditioning because that's just pointless! 

3.  Do not use if you have anything plastic on or near the vicinity of your stove.  My Kirkland brand Salt & Pepper Grinders DID NOT SURVIVE!

The bottoms are entirely warped, so they don't stand anymore.

 R.I.P. little grinders, I sure enjoyed you while you were in my life. 

If you adhere to these warnings - you'll be just fine.  And it did it's job - clean oven with minimal involvement from me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Life in Collage Form

Because this month has been so busy, I decided the most effective way to recap without making this post a mile long was to put everything together in collage form. (Click on any collage to see it bigger!)

So here's my look back at life in the first two weeks of July.

Dinner at our house & pictures taken at church together.

My Uncle Matt & Aunt Jenny spent a month in Oregon with our family.  They've been living abroad in England for the last two years and were on their way back to New Zealand before moving to Australia for the next couple years so it was great to catch up with them.  Matt is my mum's older brother and it was their first time visiting us since we've been living in the States.  They picked a fun time of year to come, and we had a great time introducing them to all things America over the 4th of July weekend, showing them around, making them letting them play with our kids and I really enjoyed getting to know them on an adult level instead of the relationship I remember as a little girl.  I feel like I really fell in love with them in a whole new way during their stay, and can't wait until the next time we're together.

Hanging at the Rodeo with Mum & Dad, Russ & Jodi, Matt & Jenny - and about 1000 other fans.

Saturday the 3rd we hit the Molalla Buckeroo... cowboys, cattle ropin', bull riding, barrel racing, bare back broncos, elephant ears & fireworks ~ that's what we call a rodeo!!

Some of the friends & family we "paraded" with this year.
One of my very favorite holidays (second only to Christmas) is the 4th of July.  This year we started our morning at our good friends (and new neighbors) Rob & Shay's for a french toast breakfast before heading to the Molalla Grand Street Parade, conveniently within walking distance of our house and watching it with our family and friends.  Hayden finally got the hang of the "candy getting" this year and stood excitedly with his plastic bag waving and cheering for the floats as they went by.  We told him the more he waved the more candy he'd get and sure enough - he came home with an impressive stash.

Tractors, horses and an occasional driving outhouse... that's what Molalla Parades are made of!

The parade was filled with the usual... tractors, horses, rodeo queens, Ronald McDonald and a couple favorites, the Clinkscales portable toilet and the Kell's Irish Bar Highland Band with their bagpipes.  But this year I was especially excited to see my dear friend LaTonya with her family walking in the parade representing her husband's insurance company... go Feauf's go!!  There they are in the middle left with the Country Financial sign.

Following the parade two of Dave's brothers and their families stopped by for lunch and a visit. It was the perfect weather and we ate lunch on the patio, the kids ran around playing and we relaxed!  Thanks Dom, Syb & Jesse for stopping by ~ it's so fun to be together!

Fun & friends at my parents BBQ

Then that afternoon/evening we had a big BBQ at my parents with family and some close friends. The kids swam and played on the slip n' slide, the adults sat in the shade and then around the fire pit as the day progressed.  We ate until we almost burst and had a wonderfully, relaxing, easy time together.  And Hayden for the second year in a row was terrified by the fireworks.  I really thought he'd be okay with them this year but no... poor little guy shook and trembled and clamped my hands over his ears while shoving his face into my chest... not quite the reaction we'd hoped for.  Oh well, there's always next year!

Mary Poppins at Keller Auditorium

One of my birthday presents this year from Dave was a ticket to Mary Poppins on Broadway with my sister and good friend Jana.  Wednesday, July 6th our day finally came and it was the perfect night... all the way from the weather, to the exquisite dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (Thai Crunch Salad... if you haven't tried it yet, it's a must).  We also learned that if you see a lovely woman waiting outside the theater and you notice that unbeknownst to her, her lovely black sheath dress has ripped completely up the back seam exposing her rear end and some lovely purple panties... the kindest thing you can do is tell her and then walk conjoined-twin-close behind her all the way back to her car so she can rush home and change. This is the type of kind gesture that my sister did for this poor woman... and she was incredibly grateful (and also mortified) that she'd stepped forward and let her know.  The play was wonderful - the props and set were unbelievable and the acting and singing was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!  I couldn't get past watching the young boy & girl playing Michael & Jane Banks, knowing they were the same age as my niece & nephew blew my mind for all the lines they learned, choreographed dances and songs.  The whole night was amazing!

Mike & Linley Meisch - June 9, 2011
And then lastly on July 9th I was the wedding coordinator for my cousin Linley's wedding. Hayden was a ringbearer, along with his cousin Blake and Kendall was the flowergirl/Jr. Bridesmaid.  The kids did GREAT, and it was a really fun wedding that totally screamed Mike & Linley,, including wedding "planking" during the photos!  The only bummer of the day was my ill-chosen shoes that tormented me for 90% of the day!!!

My extremely talented friend Shay of Be Photography did all their photos and I can't wait to see the finished product  I stole a couple of her shots she posted on Linley's facebook page for this collage!

And folks... you're basically caught up!  Whew!

Now I'm going to go harvest some incredible fresh herbs and veggies from my garden (pictures forthcoming) and get dinner going for this family of mine!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My how time flies

Remember that post I did a week ago saying how I'd get all caught up "tomorrow"... let's pretend that didn't happen.  July has proved to be the busiest month of the entire year for my family and it's a miracle that I'm sitting down at a computer right now.  Weddings, Youth Camps, Family, Beach Trips, Conferences, Exercising (don't laugh, I'm really trying) have consumed this month so far and my poor little blog has been deeply neglected. 

Well that and my blog may have also got behind because of the recent acquisition of my first smart phone, which is amazing and entertaining and has a million and one apps to fascinate, captivate and suck away time... like Angry Birds... it pains me to admit this, but I might be semi-addicted.

But I have big plans this week to get caught up on my blog.
If I can put down my phone.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Well... I HAD great intentions of writing a terrific recap this evening of our wonderful fourth of July weekend, complete with pictures and a full rundown of everything from my line dancing expo at church on Sunday (big step for me), to the rodeo, the parade, BBQ's and all the inbetweens... BUT....I just plugged in my camera only to find I left the memory card at work today.  GRRRR

So instead I will leave you with a couple tips for the night:

1.  IF you look at your photos at work because you're excited to show your co-workers how your fireworks setting on your camera worked... DON'T forget to put said memory card back into your camera.  It's really a hindrance on blog updates when you don't bring it home with you!

2.  IF you find you can't update your blog and you're home alone with two boys (because your hubby is helping friends move) and you decide to let those boys stay up late as a treat and go for a lovely walk around the neighborhood at their normal bedtime because it's such a nice evening, and then stop at a friend's house on your way and visit for a while... please make sure you're not low on anything at home... because arriving home at well past their bedtime is a bummer of a time to notice that you're now going to have to pack them into a car and drive them to a store to buy necessities such as toilet paper... and bread... and milk.

Which leads us to this tip:

3.  IF you are running to the grocery store at 9:00pm because you have NO TOILET PAPER IN THE HOUSE with two children who are tired and cranky, and you're hot and sweaty from pushing them around the neighborhood in 80'F weather and wearing workout clothes it's ALMOST A GUARANTEE you'll run into someone you haven't seen in years, and that's just the impression you want to leave with them... "wow, she's really let herself go and she's got unruly children... why aren't they in bed at this hour??"  Not that they said that, but that's what I imagined because it's exactly how I felt after that experience.

And lastly because it was just the topper:

4.  IF you finally get home, get your children in bed, put away your groceries and then go out to water your garden and take your BRAND NEW PHONE out with you in case your hubby calls... think carefully about where you place it; because finding it completely drenched in water as a result of overflow from your vigorous "come back to life strawberry plant" attempt, is NOT how you want to end your evening!

And with that... I leave you.
Fourth of July recap tomorrow!