Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What a crazy day I had yesterday. First off, I forgot to wear my 'union' shirt we are supposed to wear every Monday. I just forgot - no other reason. I steered clear of the main office all day so I wouldn't be humiliated. Long story.....

After work, the kids and I came home to see Omid's mom (Fari) who had just arrived from Iran. Arezou was here too. I saw them both for about 30 minutes & then Arezou left to her home and Fari & Omid to look at houses.

Nas received her dress in the mail & it is absolutely darling. She now just needs the perfect pair of shoes...I see DSW in our future (tomorrow?).

I did a few loads of laundry, washed some rice and then took off to spend 2.5 hours at the high school (open house). Saw lots of friends & coworkers and met Nas' teachers. I like all but one. Her English teacher is a bit loopy & has a para from Hell. The para wasn't there -but I intend to ask some questions today (to the powers that be). If I acted the way at my job (the way I have been told this woman acts at hers) I would be fired. I wasn't satisfied with the answer the teacher gave me last night regarding the para. Stay tuned.

Sorry no pictures - maybe later today or tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shame, shame, shame.....

Brenda: This post is to shame you into posting on your blog. You have been home from vacation for exactly one week. When are you going to share the 100s of photos you have promised your audience?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scary Real Estate People....

Omid & I visited a few open houses today. One just seemed too perfect. We stopped the car and made our way up the walk. Right before we reached the front door, I happened to glance at the For Sale sign out front and saw the realtors name. I stopped Omid and showed him. We looked at each other and RAN back to our car. It was our realtor from a few years ago. A Scary, inept, fake woman. It would have been disastrous if we had a face to face meeting with her.

We were so happy we escaped - just in the nick of time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

finished tie dye shirts

Here are our finished shirts. It was fun & worth every penny. :)

Goodbye Paul

My Hollywood crush passed away last night. Paul Newman I miss you already.

I was so sad to hear the news. I am not into Brad Pitt (Yuck!) or Ashton Kutcher (double yuck!)...George Clooney is handsome, but he lacks the class Paul Newman had. I heard something today that made me like Paul 100 times more. He was asked several years ago if he was ever tempted to stray from his wife, Joanne Woodward. He answered, "I have a steak at home. Why would I go out for hamburger?" What a gentleman!
Goodbye Paul. I will watch Cool Hand Luke with Omid tonight to remember you.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bad, bad boy

Omid and I went to pick the kids and friends up from the CHS football game tonight. There was one hilarious moment in the car I have to tell here. Z100 was playing on the radio and the rapper TI was rapping away. Our friend, Richard announced that he "likes TI now." Matty said TI was his favorite. Omid chimed in with, "I like AT&T." Omid and I were laughing so hard and there was dead silence coming from the 3 teens in the backseat. Oh...I wish I had it on tape.

After we dropped Richard off, we headed home to see Remy. He was 'innocently' sleeping in his kennel. I went into the kitchen and was looking for the Amish Friendship Bread starter and asked Omid if he put it in the fridge. The exact minute he said no, I saw this: Yes, my innocent, perfect, well-behaved dog had bit into the gallon-sized bag of starter mix and devoured almost half of the contents. I told him what a naughty boy he was and pulled him across the floor to the evidence. He was digging in his heels all the way, his head down. He refused to look at the bag and broke away from me and took solace in his kennel. I couldn't believe it.

The only thing I can think that happened is it's payback for giving you that sticker today, Sarah (& it was darn cute, too!).

Tie dye shirts

Nas came home from school today and said one of the spirit days next week is 'tie dye' day. So...we stopped at Michael's, Nas bought a kit and we picked up some shirts.. Prepping the shirts

the kit

Matty's shirt

my shirt

Nas' shirt

Remy - protecting us while we were dyeing the shirts.

The plastic-wrapped shirts (resting for 6-8 hours). Check back later to see the results.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Love it!

I thought this was so clever! I hope we win!!!

The first part of this post is for you Heidi :)

I was totally caught with egg all over my face today. Sarah brought me a piece of 'butterscotch' bread and it was just delicious. I told her I wanted the recipe, etc. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was really Amish friendship bread. Yes...the same bread I complained about many posts back. Sarah said the only thing she did different was add butterscotch pudding instead of vanilla. I know it's hard to believe, but I requested the starter.....and will return the favor with Herman sometime soon.

Not only was I surprised with Butterscotch bread, but I received quite a surprise in the mail today - a summons for jury duty. I need to report on the 27th of October and finish up by the 31st. I hope I get excused the first day. I have watched too many Law & Order episodes and will not be happy if it turns into a 3 week, sequestered nightmare.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Netflix This

Omid & I watched the movie Outsourced tonight. It is a very good & cute movie. It's about a guy whose job is outsourced to India and he has to train his replacement. The great part of the movie is the 'cultural education' this guy gets. It was great and I highly recommend it.

I started my new schedule this week. M,T, Th & F work 6 hours and have Wednesdays off. It sounds exciting to have the day off - until I realize that I'm not getting paid for that day. Bummer. :(

My day just flew by. I spent the a.m. cleaning, distributing Ethiopia fliers for the 7th grade supply drive, looked at jobs on Linked In, updated my Facebook status, and caught up on all the blogs I've been neglecting to read. Not very exciting.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Nas stayed home with a cold and needed some comfort food to feel better. She requested the cinnamon roll muffins I almost made the other day. I could not believe how easy these were to make. I think they are just "okay", but Naseem thinks they are "delicious." I prefer regular cinnamon rolls.

Next time I make them I will reduce the brown sugar. 2/3 cup was way too much for me. Also the 20 minute baking time includes the time the oven is preheating. I wasn't sure and had to scroll through the comments on the recipe site.

ready for the oven

Nas & Matty each ate a few before I could snap a photo.

Next baking project: Blueberry lemon streusel bars from Noble Pig. They look heavenly.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Today was Washington State Youth Bird Hunting Open Day. Matty took the Hunter Safety Class 2 years ago this month. He & Omid have been shooting regularly at the local skeet shooting range. This year, they took Remy with them. I chose not to go as I was worried about transferring negative energy to Remy (learned this from Cesar Millan).

Here are the boys with their 'chaps' (Filson pants) before the hunt. Unfortunately, Matty didn't get any pheasants & Remy refused to flush the birds. Omid said Remy walked behind him the entire time. Since we couldn't have pheasant for dinner, Omid chose to make khoreshe bademjoon (eggplant stew).

Omid prepping the eggplant (bademjoon).

frying the eggplant

finished eggplant

limoo omani (dried limes)

Omid decided to make a triple batch. We froze some khoreshe bademjoon for when Omid's mom and sister arrive next week.

Omid - not letting you see his clean-shaven face.

Here is Remy. He just had a bath. He walked for 5 miles today with Omid & Matty. Remy was so dirty he even had mud in his belly button!

I'm tired (man khabaloo hastam) Remy speaks Finglish too.

I wish smellavision was invented. I am sorry all of you are not lucky enough to be married to Omid. The smells coming out of our kitchen are amazing. Matty keeps saying he is hungry! Remy has been visiting Omid regularly for bits of lamb. Omid would like to say...On Gaza-i-ke mara chon jan ast ..... ghooreh va joojeh va bademjan ast...but today we made a subsitution to jujeh and used barreh.

Here is the finished eggplant stew (eggplant on the bottom). This batch is ready for the freezer.

**Check out the new feature I added to the right side of the blog (it's a Farsi(Persian) word of the day). You can all learn Farsi/Finglish too.

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

I can't decide if I should make these muffins or not right now. I am trying to catch up on laundry & general cleaning (in between reading blogs on the computer & constantly updating my FB status). I found the recipe while catching up with the Not Martha site and they sound terribly delicious.

Seriously Stupid

Well Sarah: you were right. Stupid Prices is a yucky store. It's exactly like Big Lots - but more expensive and not very clean (not that Big Lots is that clean either). The prices are just that: stupid. I saw some of the exact same items that Fred Meyer carries for a dollar or two more at SP! It's insane if Fred Meyer has cheaper prices. Needless to say - I was in the store for about 7 minutes. The clothes SP was selling: I can't even comment on. Let's just say I've seen nicer at garage sales & Goodwill.

Bottom line: avoid this store!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stupid Prices

Yes, this is the name of a real store. I heard of this place a few weeks ago on Clark Howard's radio show. I never dreamed we would have one in town. Today we were driving along and I happened to see it. Has anyone ever shopped at this store? I am thinking it must be like Grocery Outlet. I plan to try and visit one day this week to see what all the fuss is about. Stay tuned.
We've had an exhausting day today. First, Omid shaved off his goatee/mustache combo he's been sporting for a few weeks. It was super cute while it lasted and I already miss it.

Then we went to a memorial service & lunch for our friend Tamra. It was very emotional for all of us. Over 200 family/friends showed up for the service. It was beautifully done.
We dropped Nas off at home as she wasn't feeling well.

We hit Jimbo's for a youth hunting license for Matty (tomorrow is "youth hunting" day - yes, my 12.5 year old son with a big gun & ammunition. Look for tomorrow's blog for highlights of the hunt). I stayed in the car looking for coupons to spend in my Payback book. Too bad I didn't go inside. The police showed up and had to escort a man out (with his 4 kids!). He apparently left his wallet inside yesterday and it was put in the safe. The manager wasn't on duty to retrieve it for him and he wanted his wallet NOW.

After Jimbo's we went to Costco. We ran into Mrs. Pierce and her husband. We sat with Mrs. Pierce at Tamra's service, so we stopped to talk about it some more. After we said goodbye, we still saw her in almost every aisle in Costco. So funny!

After Costco, I ran Nas to her babysitting job (where she receives $8 an hour! - do you hear that all you $3 an hour people?). When I came home, Omid was talking to me in Farsi. I answered him in my Pidgin Farsi. He was laughing so hard, he called it Finglish. Isn't that cute?

Finally, after dinner, Remy got stuck in the pantry closet. The door was open about 12" - but he refused to walk through it. This is the same dog who will "suck" a door open - but refuses to push. Anyways, we heard his squeaks and encouraged him to come out. After about 5 minutes, he found the courage and busted (I mean, busted!) out of the closet. He was so proud of himself! We all congratulated him and showered him with love and cookies. It was a good day. :)

Congrats Nas!

Nas graduated to another belt rank last night at her martial arts class. She has one more belt to go before she is halfway to a black belt. It was 2.5 hours of physical testing for Nas & her teens class before they found out if they made it or not. Nas & Lauren

The 'teens' (& instructor on far right)

It wasn't all sugar & spice for Nas last night. She was so excited to graduate. For some reason, the assistant there (also named Erin) forgot/misplaced Nas' belt & graduation certificate. Nas was hot under the collar - everyone's name had been called but hers. I was sweating too - wondering why her name wasn't being called. Finally, some classmates spoke up and asked, "what about Naseem?" Gigi, the head instructor, was so embarrased and called Nas up. Here is that little exchange. The good part: Nas got her belt!! Woo Hoo!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Comfort Food

*Update: I made the casserole for dinner last night. It was so good, Matty & I ate 1/2 the 9 x 13 dish ourselves.

I didn't have to work today and had planned a grand day of cleaning/ironing/dog walking. Instead, Omid ended up working from home and we prepped a bunch of food to take to our friends who have just lost their mom. Rocks-in-my-Dryer posted a recipe for Comfort Food the other day. Ham Hashbrown Bake. It sounded so good & easy (plus it freezes well) I made it. It looked great too. Omid even said so & he doesn't 'do' casseroles.

So - here is the recipe. I bought extra ingredients so I could make it one day next week for our family as well.

Ham Hashbrown Bake

Ingredients:1 lg. bag frozen hashbrowns (approx 2 lbs)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 8-oz carton of sour cream
2 cups diced ham

Mix all ingredients together, reserving 1 cup of cheese to the side. Pour into greased 13x9 inch casserole dish; cover with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. Serves 12.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Saying Goodbye

I always try to keep this blog happy & upbeat - though today is a different story. Our friend, Tamra, passed away yesterday from lymphona. It's a sad, sad story. Naseem was especially close to Tamra & practically lived at the Sorensen household. Naseem is having a very hard time today. We got the call around 8:30 this morning & Nas went to school on that unhappy note.

The good part of this story: Tamra is no longer in a diseased body & is rejoicing in Heaven. Her story inspired many to sign up to become bone marrow donors (myself included) & she educated us all about the scary word cancer.

I wish I had read this link before Naseem & I went over to visit Steve (Tamra's husband) & Karen (her sister-in-law). You know that old saying, "open mouth, insert foot" - well that is exactly what I did. I stupidly asked him, "how are you?" Dummy! Thank God Steve was gracious and let it pass. I immediately regretted my choice of words. I just couldn't believe that is what came out of my mouth. And it did - right after I told Naseem - just pray that you won't say the wrong thing. Guess who forgot to pray. Oh well - I meant well and I think he knew it.

The family is holding up amazingly well and wanted us to come over. They invited us to come over tomorrow as well. They are definitely strong in their faith and it is showing.

Nas chose a beautiful verse to put in the card we got for the family (it brings tears to my eyes every time I read it).

Here it is:

They will walk and won't grow tired.
Don't be afraid, because I am with you.
Don't be intimidated; I am your God.
I will strengthen you.
I will help you.
I will support you with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10


Why do cosmetic companies always seem to discontinue the products I love? Why don't these companies post a sign a month or two before they discontinue their products so I can stock up on them?

The latest product to be discontinued: my favorite foundation. I have spent the last month wasting time & money to find a new one. The foundtions I have been trying have either been too light/dark or chalky/pasty on my skin. Before my foundation was "killed" a different company stopped making my favorite eyeliner.

It's a frustrating cycle and now I have a drawer with several foundations/eyeliners I can't use. :(

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I just LOVE this tshirt and it's on my wish list. Check the styles/colors out here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another chance to help orphans...

My son's 7th grade teacher is leaving for Eritrea & Ethiopia in October to volunteer at an orphange. Check out the information below. I made up a flier with this same information and am placing it at work (both locations) and am also emailing friends/family. It's another great opportunity if you feel you would like to help.

Want to help orphans in Ethiopia & Eritrea? Here’s your chance!

The Skyridge MS 7th grade LA/SS class is collecting supplies for orphans in Ethiopia & Eritrea. Mrs. Baldwin will take the supplies with her when she travels to various orphanages in October. This is just one of the ‘service learning’ opportunities Mrs. Baldwin & Ms. Cooper’s classes are participating in. If you would like to help, please purchase an item/items and place it/them in my box.

Thanks so much for your support!

-Milk and soy base

-Any size 1,2,4,& 5


kitchen toys such as play foods and dishes
-Musical instruments
-Dolls and doll clothes
-Automobiles, etc.
-(they also just sprayed lines for and created two soccer goals a little while ago so I was going to ask for soccer balls and cleats for kids from munchkins up to 15 years old)

SCHOOL SUPPLIES: Please place messy items in plastic baggies
-Play dough
-Books, etc

MEDICINES: (must be in original /sealed package)
-infant acetaminophen (regular)
-any antibiotics
-cough and cold medicines
-rash creams
-Vicks Liquid Vapor
-Infant Gas Medicines

PERSONAL TOILETRIES: (must be in original sealed package)
-stick deodorant
-bar soap
-wash cloths

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kitchen Heaven

We toured a huge house today. It reminded us a little of The Venetian in Las Vegas. What really struck my fancy was the kitchen. It was absolutely beautiful. I took a picture so Omid could remodel our kitchen to resemble this one someday.

Go Cougs!

I know, I know...the football team is not doing too good - but I was so excited when I saw this plane landing this morning. I did a double take on the main drive to the airport. Once again wishing I had my camera. Guess that's what Flickr is for. Ejoy the pix!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We went house hunting today. Not for us, but for Omid's parents. We found a lot of beautiful homes and are actually going through them tomorrow. On our quest we stopped and toured one that was being built. It must have been 7500-8000 sq. ft. and was covered in marble and even had an elevator. It had the most amazing views of the the Columbia. It was in a word: spectacular. We were guessing who was having the home built: a rock star, a movie star, a school superintendent? My camera is still missing, otherwise I would have taken a photo.

On a side note, my mom and sister are coming down tonight. They are flying off to Mexico in the morning. Omid is bbqing flank steak for dinner. It should be delicious.

One more side note: Nas was nominated by about 40 people for Homecoming Princess - isn't THAT cool?!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tootin' Her Horn

Well, Nas won't toot her own horn, so I am going to toot it for her. :) She had
I have the day off today as I have already worked over my hours for the week (& the powers that be are not authorizing OT - just comp time. If I opt for the comp time - I won't be able to take it off - frustrating).

My plan for the day is to: take Remy on a much needed walk (he's been neglected since school began), deliver Ethiopian supplies to Heather, redo my resume and post it on LinkedIn, scrub the floors, fold a pile of laundry, clean the bathrooms, bake something tasty for dessert, & look for my camera (which has been missing since Saturday).

Union Update: Our PSE Union met with the school board yesterday. About 75 of us members marched/picketed the meeting. The Union came out after 25 minutes and said no deal. Today, PSE will file a motion to obtain a mediator to try & negotiate a new contract. If no deal is reached by the 28th of October, then our Union will take a strike vote.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shopping for Ethiopia

That saying is so true: it's better to give than to receive. Matty & I just went shopping for the kids at Layla House. We purchased:

*5 tubes of Neosporin
*10 board books for toddlers (mini board books) abcs, 123s, first words, nursery rhymes
*5 SpongeBob toothbrush/toothpaste kits
*200 Pooh & Dora stickers

This is what I could afford until payday. Heather is leaving on our payday - so it had to be a light load for us. But...more good Ethiopia news. Matty's Social Studies teacher is going to Ethiopia to volunteer in an orphanage for a week in October. She has rallied the kids to bring in items for her to take to the orphanage. We will also stockpile items for her trip & I will post the list of needed items if you feel you would like to donate as well.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

UPDATE: Neosporin, band-aids, stickers, liquid Tylenol, hand sanitizer, & travel toothpaste. I will add more if I hear of anything else there is room for. Thanks!

Donations needed!

I know someone who is travelling with her family to Ethiopia in just a few short days to visit the child she and her husband are adopting. They still don't have a court date and she is several months pregnant. They think they may not get their court date until she is almost 8 or 9 months along; so that is why she is leaving later this week. She plans to spend lots of time with their child and also to visit the other children at Layla House. I have offered to purchase some donations for the kids living at Layla House. Items such as Neosporin, band-aids, candy, etc.

If you would like to donate an item or two to send along to the kids who are waiting for families...let me know. I hope to hear either tonight or tomorrow on what donations are needed.

Thanks for your support!
P.S. = you can read all about her adventure at: http://lifewiththefriesens.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 8, 2008

Clammy Goodness

Omid waited until almost 9 p.m. tonight to cook the clams. My meeting went until 8:45 p.m. They were definitely worth the wait. Omid soaked the clams in water with salt & cornmeal to expel the sand. He changed the water 3 times and the first two times there was plenty of sand. The third time - no sand. He knew the clams were ready to be steamed. There was only ONE clam that didn't open - the other 73 were okay to eat.

Steaming the clams with lots of delicious spices.

Ready to eat

Oh, so good!

The empty shells.


I will be leaving shortly for a union meeting. It appears we may be taking a strike vote. I have mixed feelings on the issue so am going to get as much info as I can. Scary & exciting at the same time.

UPDATE: We aren't striking tomorrow morning, which is good for now. We did take a strike authorization vote that if the Union and the school board don't reach an agreement on Thursday; a mediator will be brought in. If no headway is made, then on October 28th, we meet again and could vote to strike. Yikes. The sad, sad thing is the kids are the losers in this whole game. Even now with my cut hours, I will not be seeing/serving kids who NEED to be seen. It is so sad. I have a set amount of hours I am only allowed to work and after that - sorry! My heart is wanting to stay and do what needs to be done - but I can't do that. The district needs to know that I can't do a majority of my job in 4.8 hours. It can't be done. I couldn't do my job in 7 hours last year. I either got overtime or comp time for the time above and beyond. So now, I have a huge pile of "to do" at work which needs to be done before kids can be seen. If this work is not done soon, then the start date when kids will be seen will be even further down the road. But...this is nothing new. Look at everything the certificated teachers do ABOVE & BEYOND what they are REQUIRED to do. It's frustrating cycle - while those with administrator certificates get paid thousands and thousands. I could go on and on - but I won't.
Bottom line: Please don't shop at any store in Camas that does not have a PSE sign in their window. You will see these signs in the coming weeks. We need to support all the classified staff who do so much for the kids (& who are not getting the respect from the school board/district big whigs).
Thanks so much!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Omid, the kids and I went clamming at Willapa Bay today. Here I am testing the clamming beds. We did really good and got 74 steamer clams in 30 minutes. Woo hoo! Let me tell you, steamer clamming sure beats razor clamming (we actually got clams this time).

Me wearing Omid's hip waders (they kept me dry & warm).

Omid, Matty & I


on the boat

Omid setting the bait for the crab pots.

crab (we threw him back - too small)


Remy again

Look at all the oyster shells

B, Grammy & Cayden came to visit us


We tried to leave Ocean Park and it was bumber to bumper traffic to Long Beach. It took us 4 hours to get home (usually a 2.5 hour trip). Apparently on the weekends, the "locals" set up shop on the main drag and watch people drive by. We thought it was because there was a car show in town. Omid asked at Jack's Country Store if the people were waiting for a parade. Our cashier said, "no, that happens every weekend. That's what we do for fun." So....for 25 miles....there were fans on both sides of the road watching the traffic (some of them with signs - both good & bad). Sudsy water was included if you felt inclined to do a burnout. Omid obliged several times (with a 24' boat behind us!!). My sister (in her volvo wagon - also right behind us) declined and drove on with fervor - despite the locals egging her on to "come on volvo!"
I felt like a celebrity driving through town. Locals were waving at us and yelling at Omid - how much they LOVED the boat. We felt special. :)

We saw the General Lee! (didn't see Uncle Jesse, Daisy, Bo or Luke)
The Locals
The guy in the grey afro really wanted Omid to do a BIG BURN OUT. Omid led him on with a big revvin' of the engine and drove on by. :) Heehee.