Welcome to the mayhem

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Social Affair

Ah, the winner of one round of cake walking.  What a great way to end the week at a church social.  Ginger (in red) did the planning for the Relief Society sponsered social.  She did a fabulous job of making the branch happy.

 This group worked the music in musical chairs.  It was a interesting way in doing a cake walk.  I've never seen one done this way, but it was fun. 
 It was also very competitive.  Dakota got the final chair ripped right out from under him.  He won by default.  It's okay he would have ripped the chair out from under Brother Kucnick if it had been the other way around.
The kids got to swim in the pool too.  It was a little village pavillion with a swimming pool and pond close by.  Ginger planned a nickle scramble for the kids and the cake walk.  Soccer, volleyball and swimming were available and the laughs were free.  It is fun getting everyone together.  I told Ginger, let's not stress about the meat, we usually only get about 40 people coming.  You know there was closer to 80 people there.  Wow!
I really enjoyed being around everyone.  I got to chat with Sister Kitchen/Benfield who moved when she got married.  A lot of people brought their families from out of town.  It was good to see everyone so comfortable.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have been on a roller coaster of emotions for awhile.  Sometimes up, sometimes down.  I never know what I am going to wake up to.  I realize I have a choice in the matter most times.  I get to chose how I'm going to react to things.  I have been conciously trying to choose to handle things more positively.  My husband would tell you that I don't always suceed.  Nevertheless, I am learning.

It seems that life has been throwing a lot of curve balls to consider.  Church life is busy as Relief Society President.  That has a lot of emotion just in itself.  I have two teens.  One who seems to be trying hard to do everything the hard way.  (Honestly, this is where most of the emotion comes from)  Another who is just very busy.  Work life has started back up, with summer school well underway and August meetings are starting to pile up.  I'm excited to go back to teaching everyday, but I'm a bit unsure about this year.  I have a difficult line-up this year.  I have a very high population of very needy kids, socio-economically, developmentally, and behaviorally. I'm going to be exhausted most days: physically and emotionally.

Don't get me wrong, these kids are great some days and the next day you want to pull your hair out.  You know kinda like dealing with my teens.  I'm worried about balance.  I'm excited for the challenge.  I'm hoping the learning I'm doing this summer about trying to react to things positively will help with the school year.  I anticipate it being my toughest yet.  To top it off, we will have a new principal, (we still don't know who yet.).  I feel a little anxious about that.  There will also be a new teacher on staff to learn to work with.  I'm excited to get to know her.  We will be attempting to co-teach this year.  Exciting, but new so bugs will have to be worked out.

I'm on the brink of a new horizon.  The kids start two-a-days for sports next week.  It seems like summer vacation is coming to a close.  Let the games begin and maybe a bit more learning!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Magical Decade Comes to a Close

Yesterday our family went to see the last Harry Potter movie.  I loved sharing Harry with my family.  Dakota was six years old when we went to see the first movie.  We went to this one with Grandma and Grandpappy Crawford when they were down for Christmas.  We went to see it in a movie theater that isn't even there anymore.  (the one by the Kingsgate Mall, which is now Hobby Lobby, in Mansfield.)

  Kota even dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween a few times.  I eagerly awaited the new releases from JK Rowlings.  I would devour those books in just a day.  I loved the magical world of Hogwarts. 

The movie was good.  I enjoyed it.  It's crazy to have watched the actors grow into young adults.  My children have grown up with them.  Good-bye Harry Potter, I'm glad you beat the villian and have entertained my family for a long time.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

These Boots are Made For Walkin' or learning patience

Last week while Dakota was home we took him to "The Fin" to get work boots for school.  Boots are a requirement for the career center program he is taking this year.  (The Fin is a local place like Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops.)  Anyhow, we can put them in layaway, which is nice since they cost $160.
The lady ringing up our order hit the wrong button on the computer instead of paying a $20 payment she charged the whole amount on my debit card.  No big deal right....at least that is what I thought.  I assured the girl it was no big deal, she credited it back to my account and started over.
Needless to say, this simple error overdrew my account.  It froze the money in my checking account for 3 days.  In the mean time one check cleared and the initial $160 charge for the boots.  Two fees of $27.50 for pulling out funds that weren't there.  Ugh!!
I called the Fin, ended up talking to a parent of a former student.  I'm glad I was feeling nice that day.  I asked nicely, could they help me get the fees refunded in my account because I did not overdraw my account, it was a simple error on an employees part and I really wasn't angry I just wanted the fees refunded.  She was glad to help me.  She even called the next day to see if the bank refunded the money because they said they would.  I called her back on Monday to tell her they still hadn't refunded the money.
Tuesday, I noticed they refunded one of the fees, but not the other.

This time I had to be nice to the lady at the bank and see what was happening.  Ugh!  All over a pair of boots I put in layaway.  I called explained what happened.  She was aware because she had been talking with the lady at the Fin for the last several days.  She said, that the first charge had nothing to do with the Fin error.  I wish you could see my bank statement to see that the check that bounced, there was clearly enough money in there to cover the check and almost $100 more.  I asked her why would it overdraft for a check that obviously had enough money; was it possible that the Fin put a hold for $160 on my account and that would have been the reason for the overdraft.  She understood my plight and had to get her manager to refund the second overdraft fee.  My question is why did it take 2 days for the bank to refund the money that never was taken from my account anyhow?  Weird.

So, it took 1 week after the layaway purchase to get my checking account back to normal.  I am proud of myself.  Never did I raise my voice.  Never did I make anyone feel like I was degrading them.  I actually handled this with patience.  I made the choice that I wasn't going to get that girl in trouble and everything worked out.  Phew!

Lesson learned, when making a layaway purchase at the Fin...write a check or pay cash.  I hope Kota will appreciate all the hard work I had to do for his feet!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rubba Dub Dub

My sister-in-law was telling me about this homemade soap she has been making to do her laundry.  I was intrigued by this possibility to save some money so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I looked up several recipies on line but went with the first one I read.

My kitchen smells clothesline-fresh tonight.  I have a 5 gallon bucket full of laundry detergent waiting for me to test out tomorrow.  It will take the yuck out of laundry....at least for a couple of loads.

Here's the recipe.
Homemade Laundry Soap

1/3 bar* Fels Naptha or (Ivory, Zote, any bar soap will do)
½ (1) cup washing soda (Arm and Hammer)
½  (1)cup borax powder

~You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size~
(double the recipe and use a 5 gallon bucket, doubled amounts in parathesis)
Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups (12 cups) water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups (8 cups) hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups (2 gallons plus, 12 cups) of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load. (1 cup, if clothes are extra dirty)

*Note: I used the whole bar of soap for doubled batch.

Picture directions at:

Hint: My sister-in-law said to add your favorite scent to the soap; buy a small bottle of your favorite detergent and add it to the mix at the end.  The websites I was reading said to add 1 Tablespoon of essential oil (your favortie scent) to each batch. 

This time I added a bottle of detergent.  Next time I am going to try the oil.

I spent a total of $9 to make this batch.  I have enough left over washing suds to make 5 more batches; enough borax to make 11 more batches.  The websites said it figures out to be about a penny per load.  The websites also said that Tide figures out to be about 20 cents per load.

Not that I'm going to save millions, but this will be another staple to have in that food storage I'm working on building.

Happy laundering.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lake Hope, Long Weekend

 I might enter this picture into the county fair coming up.  What do you think?
With Kota working this summer we didn't really have a chance to go on vacation.  So instead of going far away, we went to Lake Hope State Park.  We set up camp and enjoyed relaxing and camp food.
 Saturday morning we woke up bright and early in camp, and decided to do a polar bear swim.  It really wasn't to polar, it was more like bath water and actually quite pleasant.  The lake was beautiful.  Had we been in Minnesota we would have enjoyed the loons, instead we saw a blue heron fly in.  We were the only swimmers at that hour and it was nice.
 The campground we stayed at had a nature center that had events planned for the day.  They were showing how to flint knap.  Or make arrowheads, spears, etc from flint.  The boys sat and watched for a couple of hours.  They ended up buying a couple of the tools and are going to learn how to do this on their own. 

 This is the reason to go camping for me...tinfoil dinners.  I love them.  Then we sat around the campfire and enjoyed some marshmellows.  Simple, quiet, just what I needed.
 Before we got to Lake Hope we stopped by our friends the Spellman's since we were in their neck of the woods.  They took the kids down the hill to do some target shooting.  Kayla found out she really likes to shoot a pistol.
 I think that is where I draw the line.  I don't want a pistol in the house.  I really don't care if we have the shotguns in the house, but the pistols seem to extreme.  I don't know, maybe I'm just too over protective, but I had a cousin die in high school because of a gun shot accident...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That's A First

 How often do you see a lawn mower in your living room?  Our lawn mower died today on the kids when they were mowing one of their clients.  They had to finish the yard with the riding mower and weed eater.  I found this a bit comical and had to post about it.
I also needed proof that my husband could read the directions to something.  Most times he's the put it together and wonder why there are extra pieces kind of a guy.  I really don't mind that he works that way.  It works for him.  I wonder who will be the first to push the mower, Kyle or Kota?  There is something fun about trying out new toys no matter how old you are.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Balance Obtained

The boys are home!  You know, I am so happy about this.  It is amazing how the house feels when everybody is here.  I feel balanced.  I was able to sleep well for the first time all week.  I have been staying up until the wee hours of the morning reading and then getting up early too.  I am glad they are home.
Kyle had a good week at camp.  It was hot, but they boys did what they were supposed to do. 

 Meal time at camp is what Kyle talks about the most.  They don't go hungry that's for sure.
 Noah was the only casualty at camp.  He ran into the back of someone's head playing football in the dark and broke his nose.  He looked fine on Saturday at our house.  He wasn't bruised at all.
Curtis had his first year at camp.  By the end of the week he was so tired that he didn't even hear the morning music playing to wake them up.  So the boys collapsed his tent on him to get him up.  I bet that was a rude awakening.

Glad your home boys.  I missed you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Yaya calls it widow week.  The boys call it scout camp week.  I call it miserable.  (sort of)  Scout camp is such a great cause, the boys learn a lot.  The scoutmasters get some time in the great outdoors.  I really miss my husband.  I miss sleeping next to his warm toasty body.  I miss his hug after he gets home from work.  I miss him. 

Two more days until he comes home.  I had such a hard time with the quiet empty house that I went down for family night yesterday.  Kayla was with the YW at Lake Erie, and I drove over an hour to have dinner with Kyle.  (pathetic, right?)

Well, I'm feeling every bit of the saying: absence makes the heart grow fonder, because I can't wait until he comes home Saturday around 1:00.

Kayla and I are going on a mother/daughter date tomorrow.  We might get to tow Yaya with us because not only is she a widow this week, but she's dealing with electric issues and we thought she might want to get out of the chaos.  Hopefully the chaos is died down enough she doesn't need to be there.

Two days and counting!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

36 and counting

Happy Birthday to Me!  What a fun couple of days I had.  I went with Mom and Kayla to Columbus.  We grabbed a hotel, The Homewood Suites and went shopping.  We drove about 35 miles south of Columbus and went to the Jeffersonville Outlet Mall.  Whohoo!  It was so much fun.
Mom bought me a couple of outfits for work.  There were so many stores there.  There wasn't one empty store, unlike the Outlet mall just north of us which has very few stores left open.

Then we went back to the hotel and repackaged our packages.  We went out to dinner and a movie.  We went to a place where they serve you dinner while you are watching the movie.  We watched a Chic flix; and saw Monte Carlo.  It was okay.  Kayla really enjoyed it.

We went back to the hotel and watched the fireworks out the window.  No traffic to content with.  Oh, and Kayla and I enjoyed the hot tub for awhile too. 

Today, I woke up to Kayla having a gift for me.  She used her own money and bought me a gift for the first time.  It was kind of cute seeing her so proud of herself.  She bought me a Willow Tree figurine of a mother and daughter.  I love it.  I'm going to let her help me figure out where to put it.

Even though the boys are gone, I had a great time these past couple of days.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Almost Back to a Full House

Ahhh, some normalcy here, Kayla made it back from camp today.  (I made a second 3 hour round trip to pick her and some other girls up today.)  Her cats are just as happy to see her as her parents are.  She came home not feeling well.  She has a cold and is feeling a bit miserable.  She slept for a couple of hours today.  She was glad for my surprise.  I spent yesterday morning cleaning up her bedroom and closet.  All of her clothes have a place.....for now! She hasn't acquired her mother's organization talent.  She has perfected her dad's carefree talent though. 

Tomorrow, the mooseman will be back home.  It feels nice when all my chicks are home.  I miss them when they are out growing up.  I'm looking forward to my birthday celebration with the family tomorrow.  Since Kyle is preparing for scout camp and Kota will be back at Nuhop (normally at scout camp) I get to celebrate my birthday early with them.  I think we are going to go upto grandma's, swim on the pond and have a barbeque.  That's what I want to do.  Chillax.