Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hot chocolate recipe

I have a fantastic recipe for hot chocolate. This is not Swiss Miss or Hershey's but real hot chocolate. I posted the recipe in Thyme in the Kitchen. I can vouch for the tastiness and the richness. Give it a try when you have a chocolate craving.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


We had a great day out at Hidden Springs. Natalie and Weston had the community barn reserved for a big group and we had a long day of eating and playing. Starting with brunch then dinner and then snacks. It was great to see and visit with everyone. We didn't get group pictures which would have been nice but I did take a few pictures. Some we hadn't seen in 6 years and some probably longer. Frank and Delores we haven't seen since Crystal's wedding I suppose. There were nearly 20 kids mostly under 8. There were also 2 dogs. The amazing thing is that with china place settings only one dessert plate was broken.
I took my recipe for hot chocolate which is very rich and you really only need a small glass full but it kind of turned from rich hot chocolate to ganache to pudding. I had put it in crock pot so we could sample it throughout the day and it steamed off little by little and got thicker and thicker. I will post the recipe as it is very good for chocolate lovers. I kind of overdosed and it may take a while to post the recipe as I don't even care to think about it at this time as it makes my stomach turn just thinking about it as I overdosed on it.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Xmas Eve Fondue

We thought we would start a tradition of fondue on Xmas eve. We over cooked meaning we made twice what we needed so we ate 1.5 times what we should have. I am surprised I don't feel worse right now given the sludge in the bottom of my stomach. fondue poured on top of cookies, candies, other treats.

After the fondue there were a few presents from the grandparents and then one present for the family. It should be great fun especially when the weather improves.

Tomorrow is our big shindig with the Lehman's and friends. I don't think I have seen Norm since they hosted our going away party in Reno 6.5 yrs ago. I don't think I have seen Crystal since her wedding. So it should be lots of fun with a repeat of the whole overeating all over again.

More pictures tomorrow

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Fun with sugar and children

Needed - An experienced tracker

This morning I came out and saw tracks on the back porch and in the back yard. My oldest daughter took a look and thought initially Bear but then after another look and further consideration she decided more likely it was Kangaroo. I will admit I am not too sure. the pictures could be better but I will ask our readers what they think. I was guessing deer or raccoons but ????

This is a closeup. It looks like little hands.

The interesting part is that these tracks are spaced 4-5 feet apart.

Still getting things put away

We found a place to shelve two kids. If only they would stay on their shelves.

Bowling at BSU

BSU has a little bowling alley in the student union. We met mommy after work as well as one of her colleagues and his family for some bowling. The sad thing was Remy almost did better then I did and my wife actually beat me.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Big Father Daughter Day out to the Nutcracker

We joined some friends of ours for a Saturday matinee performance of the Nutcraker. I haven't seen it in years (probably almost 20) and of course this was the first time for our sugar plum fairy. You would not have believed all of the young girls her age dressed in very similar costumes. It seemed to hold her interest fairly well. There sure was lots of dancing. There were some slow parts for me I will admit but I did enjoy the music and overall it was worth the price of admission and a special day out with an enthusiastic 4 yr old. She did admit she was, "A little bit of scared with all of the mousies". There were some pyrotechnics and explosions that startled her but nothing that really scared her. BSU has a nice theatre and it will be fun to have return visits. Another picture here with our local Ent ( of which we have two. One in the front and one in the back. They are a little funny but we like them and will keep them around.

Nerd Alert

These two have become quite the computer nerds. In the last month my daughter wants to be using the computer to play games, look at pictures, etc. She has been hooked on and some other website my wife found. She will sit for an hour plus engrossed in playing the games. I am amazed at how well she has picked up trackpad use and how to navigate browsers on her own with minimally taining. Her brother will crawl up next to her and watch but his attention span does not last nearly as long. I don't know where they get it?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Demotivational posters

Wondering if anyone is familiar with this website. It is one of my favorites.

My personal favorites are:

Mistakes Lithograph
"It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others."

Wishes Lithograph
When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.

Ambition Lithograph
"The journey of a thousand miles sometimes ends very, very badly

It seems the founder has added a book and some obnoxious training videos. I can longer look at those posters hanging in offices yesterday without thinking of a good demotivational saying.

Will post blog for critiscism

OK, I am likely to get some flak for this post. If I were smart I would stop right here but....
I didn't. I have noticed with the onset of the Xmas season that there is always an increase in so called homeless people stationed at intersections with their placards requesting money, food, work, beer, etc. Now, I am aware that I am privileged and considered middle class. I don't want for food, shelter, etc. I also realize that some of these people do have legitimate problems but I have also noticed that a fair number of these indigent people are wearing nice name brand clothes that I can't afford. Maybe they are just lucky and someone gifted them a nice North Face jacket and some Timberland boots. Maybe our homeless in Boise are better off then those in Michigan. Every time I sit there at the intersection I just think to myself that there has to be a better way to make a living then standing in 35 degrees at an intersection hoping someone will give me money, work, food, beer, etc. I am sure the reason why many of these people are there instead of at a more conventional job is because they have problems with alcohol and or drugs and or mental illness and they can't hold down a job. I guess once again, I am thankful that I don't have any terrible addictions, significant mental illness (notice I didn't rule it out), or other issues that require me to stand at a corner soliciting passersby for my money, work,food, beer, etc. There was one time that I thought I might get laid off from work. I told my coworkers that if I was laid off I would sit at the intersection by the hospital I worked at with a placard that would read, "Will do Speech Therapy for food." Thankfully it never happened.
I thought I was done but one other thing popped into my head. I always wonder how much these panhandlers make in a day. It has to be worth it. I heard on NPR one story that is only slightly related but I found interesting. I heard that during the holidays that doorman in NYC can make $15,000 in tips during the Xmas season. That seems insane to me but I suppose it may not be the greatest job and you do live in NYC with a high cost of living but but but. I am one that in my 12 years of working has not once received a holiday bonus except for a free ham, turkey, or 20$ gift certificate to a grocery store all of which I was thankful for. Just think if you were the doorman and you happened to get sick in the month of Dec. that would really stink. OK, I am done now.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Successful Deer Hunting Trip

We are quite enjoying our new house. The commute is great and we have met a few of our neighbors and they seem great. Most of the neighbors are of the senior variety which I think is not a bad thing. They are home alot and like to watch after the place and know the area well as they have lived here forever. I went out walking today with the kids. I think I have said before how much I enjoy the river. We met a lady out walking today. She was probably in her 70's. She had 2 walking sticks and reported to me that she had had 2 knee replacements. She complained that she wasn't what she was and she could only manage a 3 mile walk instead of 4 miles. She was very spunky and we enjoyed talking and walking with her.
One of the impeti (does that count for plural of impetus) for our walks was to see some wildlife, most specifically deer as my daughter had missed the deer the rest of us had seen the night before. I am glad to report we were not disappointed. We say 3 deer on th eother side of the river down by the water getting a drink. We also saw countless ducks and geese on the river. I think in th eyears to come we will really enjoy the river and the animals. We have also had a couple of raccoons that fight like an old married couple outside our bedroom door. This is not so great but it might be fun for the kids to see one one of these days.
There is nothing much else to report. We have lots going on this weekend with a dad and daughter day out to the nutcracker on Sat afternoon and two xmas parties and maybe a basketball game if we aren't worn out. We haven't made any games this year but might have to venture out and support the local team.
I guess that is it for the night. I will try to get some pictures together for the next post. Of course if I would have taken the camera tonight on our hunt there wouldn't have been any deer.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Red letter day for our 2 year old big boy

Today we had two major accomplishments:

1) We had the first poop in the potty
2) He went to sleep in the big bed (aka toddler bed)

Now that being said, we realize that this does not mean that he is potty trained and that we can throw away all of our diapers and by a bunch of spiderman or superman underwear but it is a good start and positive progress toward the day that we can do the above mentioned. It will be a joy not to have to spend 30$ worth on diapers every 2 weeks or however often it is. He seems to be more interested in the whole potty thing so we are encouraging it as much as possible with a few successes we will be on our way.
With the bed thing I set up the old toddler bed in the room along side the pack and play that has been his bed since near birth. The rule is he has to stay in the bed or he goes back to his old bed. After 4 nights of losing the privilege of staying in the big bed he managed to stay in the big bed tonight for the first time. Just when I was thinking we should change our strategy to the Bill Cosby method which is to inform the child that there are snakes under the bed and if you get out of bed they will bite you. "Snakes - Don't bite. I am just going to stick out my toe and you give it a little snakey lick"

Not too many blogs but lots of boxes and work.

Well, the postings have been pretty sparse if not nonexistent. We have lots of good excuses. The biggest being that in the last 6 days we have moved, cleaned new house, cleaned old house, and attempted to put away boxes upon boxes of stuff. Thrown in between was work. I had good intentions to get some pictures to corroborate my excuses but alas. You will just have to believe me.
We are very much enjoying our new house in that our commute times are cut in half for me and in 1/6th for everyone else. It is also great to be so close to the greenbelt although because of unpacking and poorly timed naps we have only made it 1 time but it was a glorious evening with a almost full moon with crisp air and lots of honking geese and ducks looking for places to spend the night. The moon was coming up on one side and the sun was going down on the other. I think it takes me back to growing up by a creek and I very much enjoyed spending time there. The main difference is that I had free run of my creek for the most part but this river I have to share with lots of people. The good news is that this river also happens to have steelhead, rainbow trout, and brown trout that could eat the rainbows I had in my creek. We are within walking distance of some good holes that we need to explore. I need to get some new waders as my current ones have some nice holes in the crotch that you can't see but you feel when the 35 degree water leaks in on a 25 degree day. I also need to have some of the locals take me out and show me the ropes.
Speaking of having wet pants. The other day I did a good one. At work we carry around containers of fruit cocktail to test our patients swallow function with soft solid consistencies. I usually carry a couple in my back pocket but frequently take them out of my pocket when I get where I am going to be more comfortable. I then load them back up before I go on to the next pt. So I checked out the pt using one of the containers and I am cleaning up putting things back in my pocket and as you have already guessed I put a seemingly full and sealed container of open fruit cocktail in my rear pocket. I quickly figured it out and got a towel and sopped it up after removing the offending container. The good news is that it doesn't take scrubs long to dry and my behind gave off a nice fruity aroma for the rest of the day. It also made the day of the nurse that had the pt as well as some of my other coworkers that enjoyed my misfortune. This is not a mistake I am likely to make again and if I do I am not likely to admit it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New House Pics

We got a key today for the new house. I went over and took one load of junk and raked the leaves up in the front. Unfortunately this was as far as I got. It is supposed to snow tomorrow so I was hoping to get more done. I guess I will wait until it warms up to do the rest.

Siena in her new room with her light

Walkin closet in Siena's room

This is the entry way looking from the living room. The french doors directly behind go to the guest room. The front door is to the left and Siena's room is to the right as well as a bathroom.
The opening on the left in the this side of the front door is to the kitchen. The doors on the right are to closet space.

This is taken from the dining room. It shows the master room on the right, the living room with gas fireplace.

Obviously, the fireplace. I plan to do some sort of stone work with a nice wood mantle. I will have to decide. I just think that the fireplace could be much more of a center piece then it is now

This is the fromal dining room view from the fireplace. It has an opening through a slider to the outside deck.

This is not a very good picture. It is to show the view from the dining room to the kitchen with the living room to the right side.

This is a view of the kitchen from the garage entry to the kitchen. The door that is open on the left side is to the laundry area.

This is the other side of the kitchen. You can see the door to the outside deck here. There is also a door to the garage closer toward the camera on the right side.
This is a view of the master bedroom with a slider to the end that goes out to the back yard.

This is taken from the slider in the master room. The door in the rear is a walk in closet. To the right is the master bath and the left is the entry door that goes back to the living area.

This picture shows the vanity that is behind the wall in the picture above. This is taken from the closet. The shower, tub, toilet are to the left of this picture.
It seems like there is lots of wasted space with these two vanities.

This is the view of the shower, tub, toilet. The shower is behind the door. The tub is on the right and the toilet on the left.

That is all for now.


We had a nice trip to OR and enjoyed day after day of downpour. We had a great time all being together and even a night out for the middleaged without kids. We made it back over the mountains without having to put on the chains. I think next year I will try to get some winter tires though. It is supposed to snow here tonight. We went over to the new house to rake up some leaves and it was cold and spitting slush. We got the front done but there are a few bags of leaves to take care of next time. It should be fun moving in the snow.

New Birthday clothes from Alaska


Headed home

10 hours in the cow chair

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hail to the Losers!

So as predicted right here.....Michigan didn't quite win against Ohio State but they only lost be three and if you figure in the home field advantage which is typically good for three points they were right there. I am not sure what happened to the defense except to say that that ran into Ohio States offense. It was a good game and they are both very good teams. I imagine if Uof M plays our little team (Boise State) in a bowl they will be slaughtered.
With the two kids I did not venture out to watch the game at a local pizza joint but hooked up the laptop to a pair of powered speakers and worked on raking leaves outside listening over the intenet so I could hear the bias of the Michigan announcers. The only bad part was when the game got down to the wire and Michigan scored and were planning a 2 point conversion to pull within 3 with mins left my 2 yr old did his favorite trick of hitting the shutdown button on the laptop. I did manage to get it back up before the game was over but did miss part of it. He got a little alone time in his room as I had just said, "Don't touch that............." as the computer faded off along with Michigans hope for a national title. maybe next year as they always say.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Big Game

After 6 years in Michigan we can appreciate the strong rivalry of tomorrows game. I can't even guess what tickets were selling for this week. hang on let me check ebay.
OK I am back. It seems some goofball has 2 tickets with good view for $100,000 dollars. Obviously this is a little ridiculous. Most tickets are in the $1,800 to $5,000 range. I think this is the first time they have met as a #1 and #2. It has been a while since a #1 has met a #2. So it has been quite a buildup I am sure in SE Michigan and Northern Ohio. I must admit I have only listened to one Michigan game this year as I have been taken up with our own BSU #12 and it is not easy to find them broadcast on the internet. I will have to see if I can take in this game though especially since if BSU can't beat Utah State they don't deserve to be watched.

So if there wasn't even drama. The old crotchety coach of the Wolverines that made the rivalry what it is when he left OSU to coach for Michigan died during a pregame interview. He has had a long hisotry of cardiac issues since a heart attack the night before the 1970 Rose Bowl. Earlier this week I listened to him being interviewed on a Michigan radio station over the internet. The TV people have to love what this ads to the hype. They have Bo and Woody (ledgendary OSU coach and mentor of BO) coaching from on high. It is a little goofy to me but it should be a great game. As a Michigan fan I don't think I would go if you gave me the $100,000 dollars because when Uof M beats OSU in Columbus it is the last place I would want to be. So all I have to say is GO BLUE.

Home Alone.

I had a busy day today. I think it all worked out ok but the start of the day seemed like a bad dream. Because "The Wife" (my mothers favorite moniker) was away in Nashville at a conference it was my pleasure to wake the kids up, get them dressed, hair styled and out the door by 7am so I wouldn't be late for work. We were almost out the door on time when I realized that my keys were not where I always put them.
This is an aside so I am am typing
it here. I am one of those
people that has a place for things
I make sure that I put things in
their place and I am not forever
looking for things like so one else in
my marriage. Anyway, the good
thing is that my stuff is where
it is supposed to be 99.8% of the
time. The problem is that the .2% of
the time it is not there I know I
am in trouble. So back to our
scheduled story.
So, I start to panic. I only have one set of keys. My wife is 1928.65 miles away with the second set.
Sorry another aside
I won't go into what happened to
the backup set of keys. I will just
say refer to the aside and you can
probably guess which member of
the household put them in a special
place where they haven't been seen
for the last 3 months.
I start looking around just in case I had put them elsewhere which was not likely. As I am looking i have a fuzzy memory from the night before. i had been on the phone with our realtor and we were trying to work out some house issues. i remember a couple of little munchins getting into my bag. They had my phone, wallet, and oh no I think maybe ......................the keys. I then take all the kids out to the car just in case they might be there. No such luck. We all go back in to search. 4 yr old daughter not being too helpful. "Dad I don't know where we put them." I check my pants pocket no such luck. I try to look around all the rooms encouraging the kids to find them. 2 yr old son is walking around saying "Daddy keys Daddy keys" over and over again. He is also not being to helpful as he is rummaging in some toys and then I look over at him and he is clutching a little handful of "Daddy keys". I had no hope that he would have it in his little brain to remember where he had put them and that he wouldn't be tempted by various toys when it came to the job of finding the keys. Life was good again and off we rushed to daycare and work where we made it on time.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I couldn't resist

The New House

So after 6 months of looking at houses this is what we have decided the bank should buy for us. It is not perfect but no house is. We like the location and think we can stay here for quite a spell. There is quite a bit of updating to be done. I am thinking about having one of those fundraisers where the donors get their name on a plaque to be displayed in the house (at least we will hang it up when we know you are coming over for a visist). The bigger the donation the bigger the plaque. We have grand plans but these plans I am sure will easily outspend the budget. The good thing is that because it needed updating we could afford the house. Now we just need to save and do projects one by one. It should be fun and give one a sense of accomplishment. So if any of you have any specialities in the construction business and have some spare time to visist your old friends just bring your checkbook, credit card, and experience and we will provide the free lodging, food , and entertainment. We look forward to your visits.

Backyard if not obvious
Living Room

Dining Room - we are thinking of staying with the same motif

Yes it has a pool. Just not on the property but down the road in the sub. There are also tennis courts and some other stuff we will pay for and likely not use enough to justify our HOA fees.