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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ready to Go



These pictures were taken a few days ago. The kids have been wanting to go in the car. They want to go to the airport. They want to fly in a plane. They have been sad ever since we dropped Grandma off at the airport and they didn't get to go on a plane. To make them feel better I told them we were going to go in the car again soon to see the other Grandma--the one with Peter (the dog!). They keep going out to the garage to sit in the car and wait. Caleb took his harmonica and Eva took an apple. They are so prepared. All day yesterday Caleb kept saying, "We're going to see Peter tomorrow! And the ducks! Quack Quack!". I hope we all survive the trip down to Oklahoma. My mom has been planning this family reunion for a long time and they've been working hard on "Camp Greer" and rumor has it they've purchased a huge waterslide for the event. Shoule be fun!

I'm going to try and keep up my blog a day schedule while I'm there. We'll have the laptop. If I'm not around for a day or two, just imagine me having a lot of fun at Camp Greer!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Big Kids

We took down the crib yesterday. For good. We are taking it back to the original owners (my dad and stepmom) when we go to Oklahoma* tomorrow. My kids are now both in twin beds.

Yesterday Eva spent most of the afternoon putting all of her toys down for naps in her new bed. She would pretend to give them a drink of milk, tuck them in, tell them goodnight, give them a kiss, shut the door, and tell us to SHHH! When it was finally Eva's turn to go to bed, she did an excellent job and didn't leave her bed even once in the night. Even when she did wake up, she yelled for Daddy! He went down and gave her a drink of water and we haven't heard from her since. Good stuff.

It sure is nice to have the kids in beds, out of diapers (still not totally trained--but CLOSE!), and out of strollers. Woohoo!


*I don't know if we're actually going to make it into Norman on this trip. My dad's so busy we might be meeting him while he is in Tulsa at the races. Maybe next time Tiffany and Melessa!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Child Labor


FYI: I found a really unique way to help get clean water in Africa. PlayPump Systems is a way one group is turning a kids toy into a useful tool for the community.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Showing Off


Mingle2 - Free Online Dating





I got 100% on my first try! Woot woot!

Attached I-Cord: The Tutorial

I've been knitting an i-cord edge on my cardigan and I thought I'd share the way that I do this. I've searched online for several explanations of how to do an attached i-cord but this is the way that works for me. No need to pick up all those pesky stitches around the edge. Just start with a simple 3 stitch cast on.

For the sake of this tutorial, I'm using a different color yarn. To make an attached i-cord you need 2 double pointed needles.

WITHOUT TURNING YOUR WORK, knit those three stitches. Next, with your garment's wrong side facing you, pick up one stitch.
DO NOT TURN YOUR WORK! Slide your four stitches to the other point of your needle (as shown) keeping the yarn in back.
Knit the first two stitches and then knit the last two stitches together (this is including the one you picked up). You will now have three stitches again on your needle. You are now ready to pick up another stitch and repeat the process.
As you move along in your work, you will notice a nice cord forming around the edge of your garment. When you come to the end of your work, cut the yarn and thread the tail through the three stitches on your needle and pull tight.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Lizard Ridge


Remember this afghan? I've wanted it long enough. I'm ready to start accumulating the yarn to make it. It takes 21 skeins of Noro Kureyon. Ouch! If I grab a skein here or there it will lessen the sting of a REALLY expensive blanket.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Favorite Things: Another Installment

I've got a few more of my favorite things to share and since my regular life is pretty much regular right now, I don't have anything personal to blog about today.

This is Irish licorice toffee. You can find it at Licorice International. I love black licorice and I love that this store is in Lincoln. You can go in and taste any kind of licorice they have. I think I'm going to make it one of my 101 in 1000 days goals to taste every single one. They have an online store if you want to try some of the best licorice in the world! Other good ones: Kookaburra (from Australia) and Black Licorice Caramels (from America).


For the past few weeks my legs have not been white as a ghost. It is because when I had my Beauticontrol spa party I picked up this lovely product. I'm always a little nervous about self tanners because I don't want to be orange. I also don't want to be super dark. I just want a "healthy" glow. That is exactly what this gives me. I'm pleased as punch.
These, my friends, are Addi Turbos. If I had enough money to replace all of my circular needles, I'd get Addis. Definitely. They really are turborific. The join is clean, the wire is smooth, and my yarn loves them. A lot.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bubba's Banana Bread

I think I'm going to have to rename Bubba's Banana Bread to:


Bubba's BLUE RIBBON Banana Bread

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another Busy Saturday

I've got a lot going on today so I'm going to just post quickly about the agenda for the day.

1. Go to a few garage sales.
2. Make banana bread.
3. Make sugar cookies.
4. Go to the Blue Ribbon Stake Fair. This is an all afternoon/evening activity for our church. The whole stake (about 10 different congregations) is participating. Carl gets to be a judge for the food entries. I think he's pretty excited about that.
5. Win "prizes" for my banana bread. I'm only assuming this will happen as my banana bread is the bomb! There aren't really prizes so if I don't win it will be okay....I guess. ;)
6. Come home and SLEEP!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Too Good To Be True?

The good behavior didn't last. They are still doing better than normal so for that I'm grateful.

Here is some news that is pretty darn awesome...

EVA POOPS IN POTTY!

I missed it because I was at the class but Carl filled me in as soon as I called during a break. I'm so proud! This is the first time ANY of my kids has pooped in the potty in all the years of their existence. I hope she can keep it up.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Showing Off

I didn't see the kids much yesterday because I was at my class in Omaha and then picking up their Grandma Nelson at the airport. We got home in time for dinner and then Carl left for his duties at church (for those that care--he is getting released this Sunday from being Ward Mission Leader--FINALLY!). Anyway, that left Janet and I to keep the kids occupied until bedtime.

THEY WERE SO GOOD!

They played so well together. Caleb built with blocks and drew on his board. Eva built with blocks and drew on the board. They didn't fight over a single thing! When it was time for bed I told them to clean up and they IMMEDIATELY started to sing the clean up song and picked up EVERY SINGLE BLOCK! They both went to bed without any fight.

I really hope they are this good the whole time she is here even if she thinks I'm crazy when I talk about how aggressive they can get.

I'm off to my class again today. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to catch up on all my blog reading!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Minimal Crazy

The Cooks are sick of life on the road and have decided to go straight home today. Carl should have a pretty normal day with the kids while I'm at my class and we'll be anxiously awaiting the arrival of Grandma Nelson.

I made some awesome Crazy Bread for dinner last night. Want to make some? It's delicious!

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water

Mix it all up in a mixer for a few minutes. Let it rest while you drink a little Pepsi (or whatever). Dump the dough into a 9X13 pan or use a stoneware bar pan from Pampered Chef. There really is no equal. Get one. Roll it out. Sprinkle some italian seasoning on top. Pour some melted butter and garlic on top (about 2 tbsp. worth--or one of those Papa John's garlic sauce packets). Score it into breadsticks. Sprinkle a little parmesan. Let it sit for about 15 minutes while you finish your Pepsi and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake them for 20 minutes. They are best served piping hot. They are also good served the next day---if you made enough. They don't last very long.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Let The Craziness Begin

Today is the beginning of some major craziness around here. It's all good craziness, but craziness nonetheless.

The Cooks are on their way back to Indiana. That's four kids, Tara (Doug is already back home), Tara's MIL, and I think her BIL, too. They will stay tonight and tomorrow night.

I won't be at book group tonight, ladies!

Janet, my MIL, arrives tomorrow and will be here for a week. So, tomorrow night we will have a total of 12 people staying in the house. Good thing 6 of them are under 4 feet tall and don't take up too much space.

I'm taking a class in Omaha starting tomorrow that runs from 8-4:30 each day. It is on Teaching Communication to Children with Autism. I'm really looking forward to it. The two presenters are from Lincoln and just happen to be Caleb's preschool teacher from the last 2 years and the district's behavioral specialist (she has spent some time with us as well).

The Cooks want to spend tomorrow in Omaha up at Winter Quarters so I'll meet them after I pick up Janet at the airport and we'll probably grab some dinner up there. I'll miss out on all the sightseeing but I'm only sad about not getting to spend more time with Tara.

On the 30th of June we are leaving to go to Oklahoma for a family reunion. We will be gone until July 5th. This is going to be a really fun trip, I just know it.

I think my little brothers, Sam and Joe, are going to come back with us to stay for a while. If they don't come back with us now, I'm going to have them come up some other time this summer to hang out. They are 11 and 10 and I think they'll have a good time playing with the kids. Not to mention, they'll be a big help to me if we want to go do some fun stuff. Extra hands to corral the young'uns.

What I thought was going to be a pretty uneventful summer has turned out to be full of fun!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Free Time

Ashley, my wonder-student/nanny, is here right now. You'll probably notice that now that school is out I don't have my mornings freed up to blog like I did before. I either have to get up really early before Caleb (highly unlikely) or find some way to sneak upstairs while the kids are playing (also unlikely). Now I just know that it can wait until Ashley comes.

Because of Ashley, I've stopped looking for therapists and mental institutions (for now). I'm caught up on the laundry. I can go on lunch dates. Not that I have gone on any lunch dates, but I can now if I want to. I feel I can make it through anything because I know that Ashley will show up and give me a little bit of respite.

I feel no guilt whatsoever paying Ashley to come and play with my kids for a couple of hours every other day. She works with Caleb on teaching him how to be more versatile with his toys and play schemes. They work on turn taking. She reads with him. They play outside. They work in a workbook and practice writing.

I can do all of these things with Caleb, too. I do. It is just that Caleb is just the kind of kid that works better for anyone else but me. It would take me all afternoon and a lot of fighting to read a new story to him. It takes Ashley five minutes. Once he gets used to a new story with Ashley, it takes me less time for him to do that with me. I've got a win/win situation on my hands.

Added bonus: now that I have some free time during the day, it makes me want to spend more family time together in the evening. Before I would not want to do much because I was just spent from keeping them entertained all day. Now I can do the extra things (like the Omaha Childrens Museum) and ENJOY them.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing all the men out there a Happy Father's Day!


Here are some random things about my dad, Brent Charlton.

1. He trains race horses.
2. He loves The Blues Brothers.
3. He sometimes calls himself B.R. and he calls me C.R. My knitting group now knows why!
4. He has to plug his nose to go underwater or he will gag. I get this from him.
5. He is really strong. I think most people think their dads are strong but mine really is. I'm sure he can beat up your dad.
6. My dad was on the cover of a phone book because he's a cowboy. This was when we lived in California. There are lots of cowboys in Oklahoma so I doubt he'll make the cover there.
7. He likes to drive. This is a good thing because he has to travel a lot hauling his horses all over the country. He prefers to travel off the interstate.
8. My dad likes to be a red neck and puts lawn ornaments in his yard. I got him some pink flamingos one year and I don't think I've ever seen him more excited about a present before.
9. He went through a phase in the 80's when he was a yuppie. He had a Mercedes, owned part of a plane, wore a Member's Only jacket and went golfing at the country club. We also only had one very tasteful lawn ornament at that time. It was one of those cool jockey lantern holders.
10. My dad taught me good values like honesty and responsibility.




Saturday, June 16, 2007

Messing Around



This blog post is coming to you from my couch! In my own handwriting. Ooh La La. Carl used some of his startup money to buy a Tablet PC. He brought it home this weekend so I could play with it. There is certainly a learning curve but it is recognizing my writing just fine.

Good Riddance

I've seen my last mouse at Super Saver. Yep, I saw another one on Thursday. I'm going to have to reconfigure my shopping list to reflect the aisles at another store. Where am I going to shop from now on?

Thank you, Wendy. She blogged about her super-savings at Russ' Market on 33rd and Highway 2. I've never had any reason to ever shop there before. But, I was inspired to go check out the super deals myself. There were some deals but everything was a little pricier than Super Saver. I don't care. Here is what I'm getting for my extra pennies:

1. Clean floors.
2. Helpful employees.
3. Onions that I will actually buy.
4. A discount on gas.
5. Wi-fi--in case I ever need to take a break in their little mart and have a laptop.

And the best thing? My apples were on sale for $1.18/lb. They charged me $1.88. I took my receipt to customer service and instead of just giving me the difference, they gave me the whole purchase price of the apples back! Woohoo! I checked my receipt again once I got home and they also rang up my potatotes wrong. This is kind of annoying--but knowing that I can go back and get back $5 is worth it. I'll make sure and check my receipts BEFORE I leave the store from now on.

Their mistakes have more than made up the difference on the extra I may have spent by shopping there, and then some.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Omaha Childrens Museum

Once Caleb found this room full of balls, he didn't leave for an hour and a half. And, he only left because we had to go. I think he could have stayed in there for days.
Eva, on the other hand, was ALL over the museum. We divided up so she was with Carl most of the night but for a little bit I chased her around trying to take pictures. She was still long enough for me to snap this one because the phone was ringing! It is at a pizza place and the phone rings and they give you an order.
The next place I was able to snap her picture was once she was strapped up in her carseat ready to go home. It looks like she got into the face painting when she was with Carl. So cute!
Poor Caleb. He didn't want to leave.
We had an excellent time. I thought the Lincoln Childrens Museum was really nice (it is) but it doesn't hold a candle to what little I saw of this one!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

On the Docket

My knitting is coming along. I actually finished the sleeve of my cardigan and am now busy working on an applied i-cord around the front bands and neckline. Once I put in the sleeves and seam it all up, I'll probably do an i-cord around the bottom as well. I think it adds a nice touch. I also need to find the perfect button.

Today, I'm thinking about sewing. It is kind of kicking my butt. I am beginning to remember why I've never really got into it. I'm not ready to give up, or anything. I just realize that it is going to take practice and I need some lessons. I also need a project to really motivate me. I'm on the lookout.

This afternoon we are taking advantage of a free pass to the Omaha Childrens Museum. I got it because I'm going to take a survey on what it was like with a kid with special needs. It is for some company that specialized in sensory integration displays and special play areas.

The potty training is going okay. Caleb is over his phobia of sitting on the toilet. I'm so glad. That was a long year of kicking and screaming every time I tried to get him to sit on the potty. Now I just need to convince him to sit on the potty when he goes poop. Eva still needs to master that, as well. It doens't help that she usually poops when she's napping so she has a pull-up on. She's getting the pee pee down, though. She's still having a few accidents but for the most part, it is going well. I can't complain. I KNOW it could be worse.

I would like to introduce you to one of my new best friends. This is Pod. Pod is getting a lot of use around the house cleaning up all sorts of messes. I had a coupon from the Sunday paper a while back and decided to give it a try. I love you, Amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Busty Dilemma

I've been knitting a lot. Just over a week ago I finished my short sleeved braided cable sweater. I use the term 'finish' loosely. I want to re-work the neckline. I haven't decided how exactly to do this. I think I might just be able to rip it out to the decreases and then not decrease as much so I have more fabric across my shoulders. I would also need to re-do the back and make it a little higher. The fit is fine everywhere else. Just that darn neckline is giving me problems.


Then I started thinking...maybe I should make it into something else. Here it is laying on a pattern called "Bombshell". It has got a majorly open neck as well but this is worked from the top down so I'd be able to work on that from the start. I will also be able to try it on as I'm making it. It has some clever shaping and ribbing across the waistline. It is also reversible. I don't know what I'm going to do yet. Feel free to leave me some suggestions in the comments. I'll still end up doing whatever the heck I want, but it might be nice to get some feedback.

Next:
I bought this copy of Interweave Knits based solely on the cover. I love this little wrap. I decided I must make one. I ordered Knit Picks Shine in the color "Reef". I thought it would be more turquoise and less teal. I'm not totally in love with the color but I don't think I hate it enough to send it back and get a different color.

Care to opine?

Next:
I am not allowing myself to cast on (or take apart) any other projects for myself (clever loophole as I also bought some yarn to make a few baby gifts) until I finish this cardigan. I'm only 2 inches away from finishing the final sleeve. Then, it is seaming time. There is also a buttonhole band but I'm thinking I might do an i-cord edge with a loop for the lone buttonhole.

Next:

The kids like to see themselves in the view finder of the digital camera. They do all sorts of poses and tell me to "Click!". I never know exactly what I've captured until we're finished. Because I know a lot of you don't care about my knitting, I thought I'd throw in a couple of shots from today's photo shoot of the kids.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Disney Quiz

Melessa took this quiz and shared it on her blog. I thought it was a really fun quiz to take so I thought I'd share my results.


You scored as The Beast, Your alter ego is The Beast! But that is only a name... you are kind hearted and sweet, people just misunderstand you.

The Beast


81%

Donald Duck


75%

Sleeping Beauty


63%

Peter Pan


56%

Goofy


50%

Cruella De Ville


44%

Cinderella


38%

Snow White


38%

Ariel


31%

Pinocchio


31%

Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with QuizFarm.com

101 Things

For the past few weeks I've been working on a list that I'll eventually share ont he blog. It is a list of 101 Things to do in 1001 Days. That's a lot of things---but it is also a lot of time. It has been really fun making the list but so far I'm only on 52. I want them to be meaningful but at the same time, I realize that not all of them can be major goals. There just isn't time for that.

Here's a preview of some of my goals:

Learn to sew.
Give away 10 of my favorite books.
Ride my bike to campus and back.

What would you put on your list?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jícama 101

This, my friends, is a jícama. It is pronounced HEECK-uh-muh. I love them and I want you to love them, too.

To know me is to love me.
A jícama is a vegetable that comes from Mexico and South America. It has often been described as a blend between an apple and a potato. It is somewhat sweet, watery, and can be eaten raw as well as cooked. It can be boiled, steamed, and mashed or cut up to be eaten with guacamole, put into salads, or with just a smidge of lime and salt (my personal favorite). You can even grill it! I can imagine it could be a little intimidating to try and figure out what to do with a jícama if one ended up in your shopping cart one day. Here is my tutorial on how to make my favorite Mexican street snack!

I like to give mine a little rub with a damp towel before I get down to the real business.

This particular jícama is well over 3 lbs. They range from ounces up to 6 lbs. I usually try to find them that are 1-2 lbs. but it seemed like the store didn't have any smaller than this when I was there. I'm not complaining! That just means more jícama for me! For the sake of this tutorial, however, I cut out a chunk for demonstration.

I use a knife to get under the skin and then use my hand to peel it back. It is much quicker and faster than trying to cut off the skin.

See that big chunk of peel? That was fun. There is still a small bit of rough skin on the outside. When I begin to cut the jícama, I can easily cut this off.

I cut slices about 1/2 inch thick.

I stack some slices and cut them into sticks. Before I do this, I trim the sides so my sticks will not have the rounded edges. These sides either go directly into my mouth (highly likely), I give them to Eva, or I save them for a salad.

I place the sticks in a cup and squeeze a little lime juice over them. Then add a dash of salt. A little goes a long way--remember, you can always add MORE but it is harder to take away! Feeling spicy? Add a dash of chili powder.

Wrap up any leftover sticks in plastic or place in a baggie. You can refrigerate them for up to a week. Jícama sticks make great snacks. They are healthy and refreshing on those hot summer days. It really takes me back to the time I spent in Mexico when you could buy jícama sticks from street vendors on every major corner. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Potty Humor

I took this picture not long before Eva went pee in the potty for the first time.




This one, I took after.



Congrats all around!


Check back tomorrow for a jicama tutorial that somebody better upload to sk*rt!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My To-Dos

Here's my to-do list for today:

1. Attend World Wide Knit In Public Day. Our Lincoln Knitters group got a booth at the local farmer's market and we knit all morning and handed out fliers with our information on them.

2. Clean the church. It is our family's turn to clean the church this weekend.

3. Do some laundry.

4. Continue with the potty training. Eva peed in the potty for the first time (and only time so far) last night at 6pm.

5. Carl is performing a baptism tonight so I'm going to stay home with the kids. I can just imagine what they might do seeing daddy in a big font of water. It's best if we stay at home.

6. Peel a jicama. I bought a HUGE 3 1/2 lb. jicama and I'm going to peel it and cut it into little strips so I can enjoy it (with lime juice and salt--yum-o) throughout the week.

7. Watch the special features of Nacho Libre. I actually rented a movie for this weekend. We watched the movie last night (pretty funny--must download some of the soundtrack from iTunes) but I want to see the special features before I return it on Monday.

8. Start reading New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. Thanks, Catherine! I've got another book that I still need to finish but I'm going to send it to you when I'm done.

9. Start the second sleeve on my blue cardigan. I finished the first sleeve this morning at WWKIP day.

10. Right now I'm going to go and drink a Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. Yummy.

11. Find my iPod!!!!! Ick. I'm starting to feel sick that I can't find it. Must. listen. to. Enrique. and. Maroon. 5.

I think that's about it. Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The GOOD:

Caleb SAT on the toilet and went pee at the same time (he usually stands to pee). He has never done this before and I think he is getting over his aversion to sitting on the toilet. He did this on the toilet WITHOUT the Blues Clues cushioned seat.

Eva looks really cute in panties.

Ashley was here for 3 hours yesterday to help me.


The BAD:

Eva doesn't mind having wet panties no matter how much I tell her that Curious George doesn't like to be wet.

Ashley had to leave after 3 hours to help me.

No poop made it into the toilet.

The UGLY:

I almost forgot what it was like to clean up Caleb's poopy underpants. Not good. Especially when it spills out of the underwear onto the carpet.



Here's to another day!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It's Potty Time...Again.

Now that school is out, I'm going to spend the next few days in the bathroom. Eva is ready to be potty trained (probably more so than Caleb) so I'm just going to work on both of them at once.

I've prepared by:

stocking up on laundry detergent
buying a spot scrubber for the carpet
having the washer empty so I can fill it with underwear
buying lots of snacks
getting the travel dvd player to set up next to the potty


Good thing I have my spa party tonight. I'm going to need it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

School's Out



Another school year has come and gone. Caleb's last day of preschool at Holmes Elementary is today. I can't believe how much he has changed since last August. He can answer questions -What's your name? How old are you? How are you?- with the correct answer most of the time. His echolalia (repeating phrases over and over) has become less and less now that he has some better communication skills. He still does it. A lot. Just not constantly. He's learned some good social skills for dealing with others. He will sit on the potty with a bare bum! This was a major victory and you all know I'll be shouting it from the rooftops when we actually see some action!

Caleb has always been the funnest kid I've ever known. I'm really proud of him and I'm looking forward to the good work we'll be able to do this summer. Sleeping in once in a while will be nice, too.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My New Sewing Machine


I bought one. I went to four different stores and finally decided on this Singer 7466.* I know some people warned me about Singers. I know some other people told me to get a Singer. Only time will tell how this one works out for me. The price was right (within my Carl approved budget), it does everything I could imagine using it for (one step button holes-woohoo!), and is light. I'm already making a mental list of everything I want to make with it. I know one of the first things is a quilt for Carl. He finally decided that we can get rid of his t-shirts that are over 10 years old that he's been saving for sentimental reasons. Before I cut up the important bits for the quilt, he wants to take pictures of them. I was joking with him that he'll need to get a new wallet so he can put all of those pictures in there and show them to people like they are his kids or something. He said I probably shouldn't give him any ideas.

*I didn't purchase it from this e-tailer, I just used it as a link for information. Mine came from Husker Sew & Vac.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sk*rt

Did you see Design Mom's announcement of one of her new ventures, Sk*rt? The site is up and running and is really cool. If you've been familiar with Digg or even the brand new knitting related Pligg, you'll have no problem navigating Sk*rt. The best part? Because it is so new I can use my actual first name when I register.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Breaking Up

If Christy is taking a break from blogging today but posts about taking a break, is it really happening?

Discuss.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

It's Good to Be Rich

I know that title sounds all snotty but I don't mean it like that. After years and years of being students, it is really nice that Carl has a good job. We're still digging ourselves out from the lean years but we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and it is great.

I had an appointment with the Social Security office yesterday to see about getting some benefits for Caleb's disability. I was really hoping that we'd be able to get enough to pay for the student I hired (just under $200/month). I spent six weeks filling out the preliminary paperwork and I was denied in about 2 minutes. Why don't they put the income requirements out there in the first place? Then I would have known not to bother. I was encouraged to fill out the paperwork by the psychologist and the speech pathologist. They thought we might qualify. But, we make more than 2X the maximum of what they would even possibly consider. We're certainly not rolling in the dough. It's not like an assistant professor makes six figures or anything. We just need to have about 8 more kids and get no more raises if we want to qualify for a little government assistance with Caleb's therapies. I think you all know we're not going down that road. I guess I'll start to put my efforts into pushing legislation through so our insurance providers will start covering the extra therapy that would benefit our children.

The end.

p.s. Kayli--I answered the Chicago sight seeing question in the comments on the previous post.

p.p.s My computer has been on its last leg these past few days. We'll see if it lasts the weekend. Carl's going to try and find a new power supply soon but until then I'm just using my computer for the necessary things like blogging and reading my email. ;)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Gas Mileage

I filled up the gas tank in my van on May 1st. I'm still using it. I have about 1/4 of a tank left and it will probably last me at least another week. Apparently, I don't do a lot of driving in my van. If I have to go anywhere I usually wait until Carl comes home so I can go without the kids and take the Honda. It also helps that when I do go out in the van, everything I need is all really close by.

Did you read see the story about Hypermilers? I saw it online somewhere and I think I even remember reading it in our local newspaper. There are people out there that squeeze every last mile out of their tanks of gas. They coast to stoplights and even find the highest point of a parking lot when they park so they can coast out of their space instead of accelerate. They don't drive over 55 mph. Sound extreme? One of these guys drives a Honda Civic and regularly gets over 55 miles per gallon in the city. It is rated at 34 mpg on the highway. I wonder how long my tank would last if I put some of these tips into practice?

I've got some six degrees of separation for you today:
Wendy's best friend Lisa's brother is the guitarist for Maroon 5. She's also guestblogging at Design Mom today if you want to read about it. Lisa is married to Topher and he is Cjane and NieNie's brother. Their grandma is married to Carl's grandpa Don. I didn't know this until I was reading Cjane's blog one day and found a picture of them. I wasn't really expecting to see a picture of Carl's grandpa floating around on blogland. But, now I've made the connection and I'm related by marriage/marriage/marriage to some really great people that Wendy told me about when I first moved here to Nebraska.