Sunday, August 29, 2010

Garden Bounty




The garden is FINALLY starting to produce some food. The cooler summer gave the garden a slow start.

The herbs are hung so they will dry and I need to start threading the chilis that I don't use right away so I have some homegrown summer spice in the middle of winter. But first, RANCHERO SAUCE.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A New Season



Summer is over, the kids have started back to school and my garden has a few surprises for me every day.
Nate is now is his new school for the immersion program. He came home from his first day and was asked by Mike, "How was your first day?"
"It was awful," he stated in a matter-of-fact way. "Not awful, awful; just awful."

Erik is at a new school as well but with the same teacher he had last year. His new school even has the same mascot, so it's all good.

Here is Lena, ready for her next adventure! I don't know what it is exactly, but it must have something to do exploring the cabinets or "helping" with the laundry....

We are still working on the basement. It's been studded in and some new insulation to cover the concrete walls. We're waiting to hear back from the electrician, so we can move forward. It's a little frustrating since we need to get that basement done before Mike comes home to work.

In a few weeks, I'll be teaching swimming again. I don't get paid a whole lot, but I do get to sign the boys up for free lessons, so in a way, that's money saved, thus earned. In a roundabout way.

All in all, we are well on our way into fall!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Changes

I haven't posted in ages. So let's start at the beginning...

Mike didn't have a job so I found a teaching position at Mt. Jordan swimming pool. I would be teaching in a 5 hour stretch in the mornings and then two hours in the afternoon. Add onto that my usual clients at La Montagne and it adds up to a busy schedule.

Mike heard of another position, at yet another company and sent off the usual resume and cover letter. He interviewed and we settled back into our routine- not daring to hope for an offer.

We waited....I kept teaching.

Mike got the job.

He started the following Monday- just 4 days away. Two days before we were supposed to go to California. We quickly scrapped original plans and scrambled to come up with Plan B, Plan C, D and E.
.
We went with Plan D. Mike would drive to California with us on Friday. Family pics were on Saturday, he jumped on a plane and flew home Sunday. The kids and I stayed for my parents 50th anniversary and my 20th High School reunion, played in the pool and hung out with cousins.

Two weeks later, Mike flew to Reno late Friday night, woke up the next morning and drove us back to Utah.

Mike is now working full-time with benefits, insurance, everything (something we haven't had in about 2 or 3 years). He's planning on teaching part-time at UVU in the fall. Coincidentally, my hours were reduced at the pool to just two afternoons a week plus a few private clients. I still have my clients at La Montagne.

The future now looks brighter- where are my shades?

Friday, June 4, 2010

out of the mouths of babes

Clear back in March, my sister-in-law and her brood went to Maui for 2 weeks. They asked if we could keep their two dogs- A neurotic dachshund (or wiener as Erik likes to call it) and a needy golden retriever. We agreed and stated our price- bottles of coconut syrup and other Hawaiian treats.

After a ridiculously circuitous route, we finally picked up a grocery sack of Caramacs, coconut syrup (only one?!?), and even some Spam-flavored macadamia nuts. Also in the sack was some microwave popcorn. Not exactly what you think of when Hawaii comes to mind, but it was an unusual flavor. We set that aside for Mom and Dad time.

Fast forward to tonight. Mike is at a Search and Rescue business meeting, so the boys and I decide to watch Toy Story 2 and pop some popcorn. Erik tried to make it on his own, but he kept undercooking it and putting in back in for more time. One can only imagine how that would have tasted after the 6th attempt, so I hollered out, "Isn't there anymore microwave popcorn?"

I can hear Erik rummaging around and then he proclaims, "I found some Ass-Kickin' Chile Lime!!"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another blog

Hey all! I decided to start another blog about under-employment. It's called "Catch you on the flip side." The flip side is supposed to be gainful employment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

AAAALLLL BY MMY!-SEE-EELLLLF...

Try to channel Barbra singing my title. You can hear her can't you? That belting, nasal-y quality.. Anyway...

Mike personified the "perfect" husband last weekend slaving away in the yard all last weekend so he could take off guilt-free for a SAR workout today. He'll be back sometime on Monday, maybe even Sunday if the weather is cruddy.

Mike was great though- he rebuilt the garden plots a few weeks ago so now I have gorgeous, pressure treated wood, bi-level raised garden beds. We packed almost 20 square feet of dirt into our borrowed Audi and threw in a couple bags of expensive Miracle-Gro soil for luck and voila! After two years of nagging, I have my garden beds!

I spent a happy 2 hrs. (solo, even!) at Western Garden and came home with fistfuls of seeds, a paper bag of seed potatoes and some onion sets. Per Anne, the veggie garden gal, I rinsed my onion sets and carefully divided them so I would have lots of onions instead of just a few. Planted my seeds, planted the potatoes, planted the sets. *sigh* now I can relax for a few weeks.

WRONG!! I spend my days hovering around my garden beds. OOhhhh, how are my onions?? Are they hungry? Do they need some water? I'm like the overbearing Mom at a playdate. Have my seeds sprouted yet? No? Can I help them along? Okay, I'll be right over here if you need anything....

I swear, until I have decent sized plants, I totally stress out over those seeds. I'm one step away from digging up the onions just to see how they're doing (Mike will attest to this. I am notorious for digging up and moving perennials so much, I kill'em).

Breathe, Michelle, breeaaaathee.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

dual immersion

Hooray!! Hooray!! We applied Nate to two dual-immersion programs and he got in!! He wanted to speak Chinese or Spanish (that's my boy!). The district offered French as well, but he wasn't interested in that language.

I filled out applications to approximately six different school, hoping that Nate would get in SOMEWHERE. It worked!! Nate got into the Chinese program at Ridgecrest elementary and the Spanish at Silver Mesa. I was hoping for the program at Alta View elementary, but Silver Mesa is still pretty close (I'll have to drive him myself).

My nephew currently attends a dual-immersion program in Farmington. He started in kindergarten and now he's in second grade. Whenever I speak to him, his Spanish is spot on! He speaks it with ease and correctly, too. By the time these kids get into High School they'll speak better than RM's and will be ready begin ANOTHER language! Can you believe it? Tri-lingual!

It will be tough for our Nader at first, but he's on board and is excited to speak Spanish!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Well blow me down!!

The other day, the weatherman said it would get, and I quote, "a little windy." He even said it while raising his eyebrows as if to say, "sure will be fun, won't it?"

I didn't think it would get so windy that the mountains, just mere miles from my house, would be completely obscured by dust. You can even smell the dust in the air. Inside the house! My nose is all ticklely too. Crazy!

I'm wondering how Mike's day is going. The SAR group got a "callout" for Willard Bay. Someone drowned a few days ago and they are helping with the recovery of the body. I can't imagine how big the whitecaps are; and knowing Mike, he'll be hungry when he gets home 'cause waves and Mikey don't mix.

Of course this hits the day before garbage day. Seriously, it never fails. On garbage day all the neighbors stuff gets blown into my yard. I haven't been drinking beer, I don't get the paper and I hardly use plastic wrap- yet all this crap ends up in my yard.

At least we're not in "stinky Idaho." Our friends, Liz and Travis, dubbed it as such. Liz is a Montanan to the core and Travis mumbles that he grew up in Utah. They even taught,then 3 yr. old Andrew, to hold his nose and say "stinky Idaho" in his cute, nasal-ly voice.

The wind never. stops. in Idaho. NEVER. Idaho Falls is a constant barrage of wind with dirt, snow and leaves mixed in. No wonder girls there use so much hairspray.

So batten down the hatches and hold on to small children. Let's hope we don't end up like Dorothy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'Rents visiting

Mom and Dad are here "on business." That's code for signing the tax return forms at the financial planner's office and then spending the rest of the time visiting with friends and family.

We went to lunch at a the Bench family stand-by, Wendy's. Grandad fed fries and Frosty to baby Lena while Mom and I talked about the Karren's reception this weekend.

Of course we went by "the Wagon" (The Chocolate Covered Wagon) for some treats for my brother, Mike ( he loves those sandwich mints) and popcorn and truffles for others. I actually didn't eat anything when I went, not even a sample of caramel (is that good or am I insan?).

Afterward, Lena needed a napper-dapper so we visited while she slept. I introduced Mom and Dad to Facebook, which they have absolutely NO INTEREST in doing. So naturally, I desperately moved on to the family blog. I think they have even less interest in that although I said, three times, "I'm doing this for you guys so you don't feel left out." (I'm also doing it for you, Dear Reader!! Please don't feel left out!) Could I BE more desperate?!?

Evidently not. I moved onto the new topic: their 50th wedding anniversary. I had a nice sit-down dinner on a patio outside the institue building for immediate family and close friends, but Mom said, "No. Let's just go to a restaurant." I said, "I will plan it for you! Just give me a budget and I'll make it work!"
"No."
"We could set the table, etc to coordinate with the colors she had at her wedding"
"I don't even remember what we had!"

Dad breaks, "Michelle, WE'LL (pointing at himself and me) will plan the annivesary and all your mom has to do is show up!"
I like Dad's style.

I haven't given up yet- I still have the whole week to talk Mom into the dinner.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What's up?

Things are a-happening at the Seely's.
We finished Erik's cub scout requirements in the alloted year, which actually means "Erik's mom was on top of things." Cub scouts is great, it gives me an excuse to spend time with my guy and teach him different things. Conversely, it is tough to get all the requirements done AND electives at the same time. Like I said before, we got the requirements done, just not a lot of electives. Erik will be able to get his awards at the Blue and Gold Banquet that's coming up. YAY, ERIK!!

Nate is signed up for soccer with his "church" friend, Charley Francis. He is soooooo excited. I'm just hoping this round of soccer will go better than his first attempt (playing for 5 mins. and then acting like a snot to the coaches). He is sounding out words all the time and is moving along well in reading.

Lena has learned to climb stairs so we are in TROUBLE!!! The half flight isn't a big deal, it's the main flight of stairs that has us worried. I need to get together some preggo stuff and take it over to Kid 2 Kid so I can trade for some baby gates!

Mike and Josie have a Search and Rescue workout this weekend in Logan. Mike asked if I wanted to arrange for someone to take care of the kids for the weekend and go with him. Usually I would like to go, but when spouses tag along on workouts you do two things: hang out with members and spouses alike, and play victim. Usually not a bad deal, but this weekend is avalanche work. Playing victim would involve getting buried in a barrel under the snow. Normally, I would be fine with it, but I am NOT using a favor from a friend to watch my kids so I can get buried in the snow and freeze for a few hours. NO WAY.

Me? I'm just getting better and better at procrastinating laundry and housework! Aren't you proud of me? =) I have been making an effort to watch my diet and exercise, and the scale is showing smaller numbers from time to time. Nothing major, but it makes the effort somewhat gratifying. Mike is also in full "lose weight" mode and while the scale is slow to budge, it's easier to just look at him to see the difference- Yeah, Mikey babie!!

I'm siging off- I'll be more interesting next time! Love you!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Victory!!

For the first time in a few years, we signed Erik up for Jr. Jazz. We haven't had the best experiences with group sports and Erik, so we have shyed away for a while. But this year, he asked and asked to play basketball.

It's hard to say, "no." Basketball is a social sport. Kids are always playing in front yards, at church, and on teams. I mean, even I know how to play rudimentary basketball!

So we signed him up on a "recreation" league, you know, instead of the competitive league. What's up with that? I mean, these kids are in elementary school, for crying out loud! "Competitive" league, give me a break!!

Anyway....
So Erik has been going through the whole thing- practices, frustration ("I'm the worst one on the team!!"), games. Some has been good, some has been bad. But we've seen progress every week. He's improved his skills, he is more willing to go in and he even gets involved in the game. Unfortunately, the team has an awful record! The closest they came to victory was a tied game....until last Saturday!!!! They won!! They even buried the other team!! WOOHOO!!!

All in all, it was a better experience than indoor soccer. Hopefully we'll see Erik in some more sports in the future!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Aren't you funny?

Here is yet another video of the cutest little girl in the world. We discovered this little, I don't know what to call it, thing, that Lena does. Now we just pester her constantly to do it and she is happy to do her little head shake for us!
video

Time for a high chair!

video

Needless to say, we headed out to "Babies R' Us" the next day to buy a high chair! I do have to hand to the "Safety 1st" company. That bouncer seat never budged when she leaned out that far!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lena Crawling!

Here are a couple quick videos of Lena crawling.
video

Here's another clip of Lena crawling....







video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I know. I KNOW!!! I am stinkin' it up with the whole family-blog-thingy. But after working like a dog wrapping caramel, bagging malt balls and dipping apples and pretzel sticks until the wee hours of the morning, I am ready to blog anew!

I am currently thinking up some ways to make money, moolah, greenbacks, schamolions this summer. One idea would require some start up money (anyone feeling generous?) The other, a lot of driving around the valley. Both would require childcare of some sort (ugh) and some serious time commitments on my part.

On the homefront, my laptop has been resurrected from the dead by Niels, master of all things I.T. Thank you, Niels! And I'm trying to get caught up on basic household stuff and organize some little home projects. I'm recruiting our fave babysitter, Miriam, pretty much against her will, to help me. It's okay though, it'll help her build character! Isn't that what our parents would tell us when they had some huge home project utilizing their free labor force, AKA their kids?

Mike has a secured two more classes for this term, so he is now teaching 4 classes at UVU. We're happy for experience he'll gain as a professor (he hates being called that, by the way) but we are still hoping for a permanent solution on the job front. It would help if folks would pay a decent wage here in Cheapskate Land.

Time to fold some laundry, vacuum a bit, take down the tree....