Thursday, July 31, 2008

Feng Shui

Omid & I are taking a Feng Shui class downtown tonight for fun. I will post info later about how it went and if we learned anything.

Yin Yang Egg

** Update: We are back from our class. We didn't learn much (except that we wasted $20). The instructor spent all of her time promoting her business and showing photos of her work. All of her before & after photos were terrible (& that is pretty much all the class was: looking at her Feng Shui photos). Her makeovers were clutter central (I need less clutter in my life/house - not more). It was a BIG advertisement for her business and if you really wanted to learn more - you need to set up a $300 consultation with her.
To boot - we got Dixie cups only half filled with wine (no refills!). For $20, I expected A LOT more.
There were about 5-10 minutes of "tips" you could use and they are:
* Pets are good! All living things keep the good energy (ch'i) moving in the house.
*Real plants are good. Fake/plastic plants are bad.
*Don't have mirrors in your bedroom.
*Have a nightstand on either side of a double bed.
Most postive part of the eveing: Omid & I spent time together. :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Naseem signed me up for Facebook today. This was so I wouldn't stand over her shoulder the entire time she was on the site. I finally have learned to navigate Blogger and now I have to learn how Facebook works. Nas has set up my account for me and is emailing people for me until I can get the hang of it. One great thing about Facebook so far for Nas - she has reconnected with several of her cousins who live far away and whom she never sees.

Gnasty Gnats!

Sarah had rat invaders, we have gnat invaders. Yuck! Omid & I recently repotted a bunch of our house plants. Little did we know, we were supposed to "bake" the soil first (to rid the soil of gnat larvae). Well - we didn't and now we have a house full of gnats. At first I thought it was fruit flies from the fruit we had out. I put all the fruit in the fridge and we still had gnats.

Then, some lovely person had the gall to say maybe Remy was bringing in the gnats. How dare they! My dog is bug free!!! I make extra sure he doesn't play with other dogs, doesn't lounge in the grass, etc. Remy is one of the cleanest dogs I know, so there! Hmmppffh!! Lesson to be learned: DON'T insult my husband, my kids or my dog. Now, back to the story.

We started seeing these gnats in different places last week. I cleaned all the drains with ammonia as I read online that the ammonia should do the trick. Nothing. We still had gnats. Yesterday Matty and I set a bunch of apple cider vinegar laced with Dawn dishwashing liquid traps all around the house. That's how I found out our plants were infested. The traps near the plants caught about a 50 gnats in less than 5 minutes. I placed a trap in the giant plant container and had 100's more. I took a flashlight and bingo! Millions of gnats! Omid helped me take the plants outside and ever since I have been researching ways to get rid of the gnats without throwing out the plants.

Apple cider vinegar trap

I want to do this pesticide free if we can (c'mon people - I have kids & pets in the house - I don't want them to be poisoned as well). Matty is spray painting cardboard bright yellow for me right now. When he is finished, we will rub petroleum jelly all over the strips and make our own glue traps. We'll see how well this works!

But for now, the plants are staying outside until I can dig out the top 2 inches of soil and replace it with baked soil. Then, I will cover the final layer with an inch of sand.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I love the Dollar Store! I went there today to buy bins/baskets to organize my kitchen pantry. I stumbled on these adorable black & white baskets. They have many different sizes and some are 2/$1. I only wish today was payday...I have to wait until Friday to go & purchase more. I also intend to get lots for Nas' room.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Summer Reading Groupies (Continued)

How are you doing on your summer reading? I am still plugging along with East of Eden. I took the kids to the library the other day and picked up a few more books. I recently read The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin. Wow. I read it in one night. I couldn't put it down. Omid & the kids had to fend for themselves for dinner. One warning: Armistead Maupin is not for: the faint of heart, the prudish, or the extreme conservative republican. If you are one of those three - you will be offended (big time). I am also reading: Sandra Dallas' The Persian Pickle Club and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I put Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place on hold (long wait).

AHOPE Tshirt is here!

If I had only checked the mail on Saturday...I could have worn my new shirt to Camas Days. Oh well. It's clean to wear somewhere new this week. Remy graciously posed with me and Nas hit the B/W button again (it's kinder on the facial features than color). One fun fact...the tshirt arrived from Moscow, Idaho. That's where Omid and I were married. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pix from the weekend

Here are some more photos from this weekend. Enjoy!
Remy's breakfast. Everyone gets blueberries in our house.

After blueberry picking, we headed to Camas Days. We ended up at Camas Antiques. I found the phone I've always wanted and had a mock conversation on it. :)
then I found a Queen's crown...what more can I say...?

Samee & Cayden outside of Camas Antiques. Happy we were finished shopping.

Cynce, Me & B at dinner. Nas found a cool B/W feature on my camera (which I didn't know I had) and snapped this photo.

Sammee - happy I had the foresight to pick up the glasses last week at WalMart.

The kids watching the CRAZY Hannah Montana Concert Movie.

Mom & Sammee Jammin!

Sammee - exhausted from dancing/singing to Hannah Montana & Jonas Bros.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


We made a quick trip to Meadowglenn Farms today with Matty, B, Cayden & Tom

Starting our quest.
Look who we ran into! I forced them to pose for me. B is an avid reader of Sarah's blog and told her in no uncertain terms what a big "fan" she was. Sarah: B isn't a stalker - I promise!!

Matty taking a break.

B showing me her eyeball size berry.

Cayden picking away.

Look who else we ran into - and she was advertising Daisy sour cream while she was picking.

Finally finished.

Look who else (for the 3rd time) we ran into. Cynce & Sammee came with 5 mins left to pick.

20 pounds! Woo Hoo!

Honesty is the best policy

This morning I was reading Angie's blog at Bring the Rain. She wrote about God watching our life in pictures. Then when we get to Heaven, handing God the scrapbook of our life (with both the good & bad photos). We all have good & bad photos of ourselves in our life. I recently had two instances I know God will see and I am pleased to say I did the right thing in both instances.

I was shopping at Winco a few weeks back. I bought 2 pounds of walnuts & some cucumbers. My total was a whopping $2 & some odd cents when it should have been more like $17. I just paid my total and instantly stopped while I was walking out the door. I looked at my receipt and realized the cashier didn't charge me for the very expensive walnuts. I went back in line to pay for my walnuts. The person with me thought I was crazy. I just saved myself $15! Do I know what I could buy with $15, etc. I told this person that basically, as a Christian I have to be an example etc., Karma, etc. & what goes around comes around. To make a long story short, I did the right thing and paid my $15 for the walnuts.

Two nights ago, I was at Fred Meyer to buy some things for dinner and I found a dollar right next to the cashier. I picked it up and started to walk away. Then I turned right around and gave it to the cashier. I know that was the right thing to do. The person I was with again thought I was crazy and said I was just giving Freddy's the $ outright. I told this person that maybe it was an elderly person who really needed that dollar and maybe they will come back and asked if anyone turned in some money. This person didn't believe me - all for a measly dollar? Well, with the economy in the state it's in right now, let me tell you...every dollar counts! So, yes. If I drop a dollar, I am going to ask if someone turned it in.

Am I a cheapskate? Definitely. Am I honest? I try to be!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Africa on my mind...

I was thinking about my new Ahope tshirt and wondering when it would arrive when I noticed this:

Omid & I washed both of our cars today and when I had just finished reigning in the hose, I noticed Africa on our pavement. Wow! Is that a sign or what!?
Nas, Matty, Remy & I met Lin, Ward, the girls & Jack at the Heritage Trail this morning. Ward is training Nas & Lia for Cross Country. Matty & Amy rode their bikes, Ward took the dogs & Lin & I walked. Ready to run
I hid my purse before I left the car.
Ready to go!
The tired bunch.
Happy to go home (you have no idea how happy!)
Lin & Ward came over for dinner last night. Omid grilled salmon & London Broil. The food was great.

Nas & Lia

Omid & Lin


This is what was left of 5 pounds of blueberries at 11 p.m. last night. I didn't even make anything for dessert with the berries. They were just on the counter for everyone to eat.

This is what was left at 7:55 a.m. I see blueberry picking in my future tomorrow. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I went blueberry picking this morning. Usually the kids come with me, but they were still sound asleep. In 30 minutes, I picked 5 pounds of berries. I thought this would be enough to last us for a few days. I think I will go again on Saturday & Monday. Call me if you want to come along! I stayed in this one row the entire time.
Beautiful dusty blue.

This one went right into my mouth (it's important to sample the berries to make sure they are sweet). :)

5 pounds in 30 minutes!
Blueberry bath (in my kitchen sink - not the bathtub!)
I wash all my berries (blackberries too) before freezing them. I know Martha Stewart wouldn't, but she doesn't live here. :) I did follow her advice one year and did not wash my blackberries. I popped them in the freezer and made a pie around Christmastime. I forgot the berries weren't washed. While making that delicious pie....there were all sorts of frozen twigs & bugs in the berry mix. So now....ALL berries get washed before being frozen.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Reading Groupies

I joined the Summer Reading Groupies today. I LOVE to read. I read a lot of the time (to the annoyance of some family members) when I actually should be doing other things.

Here are some of the titles I am currently reading. I just finished A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs & The 5:45 to Cannes by Tess Uriza Holthe. Both great reads. I have just started East of Eden by John Steinbeck and am "consulting" Parenting with Love & Logic by Jim Fay & Foster Cline.
Here are two other Steinbeck books I am going to read this month. Tortilla Flat & Long Valley. I love that my local library has these really old books. They are scotch-taped all over the place and dog eared to boot. Well loved copies.

Set a goal for yourself and join the Summer Reading Groupies with me. It will be fun!
We just LOVE Sara Lee Poundcake at our house. It is so good & tasty. I have tried to recreate the recipe at home, but have yet to come close. Look at the perfect crumb on that cake. It's so perfect & light. Perfect cake

It tastes just as good plain

as it does all dressed up.
We can't keep a loaf of this cake in stock at our house. Once the package is opened, that's it. No leftovers. Lin told us a while back that WalMart sells the "family size" loaf of this cake. we only buy that size. This way we can each have just one more slice. :)