Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just call us pros :)

As I already mentioned, neither Kevin nor I had ever carved pumpkins before. Sunday afternoon when we went out to Rach and John's, we took a pumpkin to carve. John has carved pumpkins since he was a kid so it made it easier for us to figure out what to do by watching John. We had bought a book of Disney patterns for almost nothing at Michael's last year after the season was over. I helped Kevin a little bit with the "tracing" part but he did the rest himself. I thought he did a great job for never having done it before. When we got home that night, he sat it out front on one side of the house. He took the top off of one of our solar lights and put it in the pumpkin so that the light will re-charge itself during the day and we don't have to waste batteries. Because of my weird perfectionist ways, I thought it looked a little funny having one sitting on one side of the house and not the other. Monday evening we were in Wal-mart - AGAIN! - and I said, "I'm trying to decide whether we should carve another pumpkin or not." Kevin said, "Well, we can get another pumpkin while we're here if you want." I figured I would probably be on my own if I wanted a second one carved but I was kind of wanting to see if I could do it anyway. So I spent Monday evening carving my Minnie Mouse pumpkin. I thought it was going to be a lost cause part of the way through but I decided if we could tell what it was, we would keep it. And you can tell what it is - at least I think so.

Kevin and John tracing the patterns onto the pumpkin.

Kevin tracing Mickey Mouse.

John chose a more advanced pattern for his.

Cleaning the pumpkins out - ick!

Kevin intense on his carving.

The finished products.
A "dark shot" of John's artwork.
Kevin's masterpiece.
A lighter shot of Kevin's pumpkin.
Both of the pumkins.
... And the creation of yours truly.
Kinda' freaky but cool huh?
Kevin took some pics. on my camera then decided he
needed his camera and the tripod to get better pictures.
All the pics. of my pumpkin are ones he took on his
I had gone and washed my hair while he took a bunch
of pictures trying different effects, thus the "wet look".

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I wish...

You know, I read some people's blogs and whenever they are stressed and depressed or no matter what is happening in their lives, they just openly share it with their fellow bloggers. In some ways, I wish I were like that. Truth be told though, sometimes my husband can barely drag things out of me (when it's serious that is) and I'm not certain that people really want to sit down and read "depressing" blogs. :) I've been struggling since about last week with something that just makes me want to sit down and cry - nothing greatly private and a lot of you will know what I am referring to. Even when I talk about the basic facts of the matter with people, I don't tend to talk about my feelings about the matter. The problem is, if I did express my true feelings on this blog, I would have to hide out in my house for like, 3 months - and my house stinks right now! :) So why am I even saying this much? I'm not really sure. I guess I just need to "vent" without worrying about what people think about how I feel. Will I still want to go hide in my house for awhile if I actually ever get the nerve to post this? probably. But see, I don't see most of you very often so I guess it feels safer to sit and "talk" to no one in particular and I can pretend that maybe no one really even sees this.
Gonna' go ahead and post this now despite the nervous feeling in my stomach. Luckily for you, my next blogs should be more normal. Kevin and I each carved a pumpkin for our first time ever and you can actually tell what they are supposed to be so I figure that makes them "worthy" to be posted. :)

There's a chill in the air!

Some of you , actually probably most of you, are going to be amused with me but that's okay. For the past week, it has cooled off a bit here in Florida. It still gets up into the 80's during the day but it has gotten into the upper 60's for the the low temperatures. When I got ready to leave for school yesterday, it was in the 60's still and so I decided that maybe if I wore short sleeves and didn't have a jacket, it might actualy stay cool all day! :) It was very nice yesterday and was in the 70's all day. Last night it started getting cool and Kevin and I were actually able to stop and get hot chocolate from DUNKIN' DONUTS without looking like we were totally weird. When I left for school at 7:00 this morning, it was only... [drum roll please] 54 degrees. Some of you are probably either snorting with laughter now or shaking your head in disgust that I am blogging about it being 54 degrees but you just keep laughing because I am sitting here in my new sweater and my jacket just as excited as can be that it is cold enough to wear a jacket! By tonight it's supposed to dip down into the 40's - goodness - we might just get snow! Okay, so I'm joking about the snow but at least it feels like fall now even if all the palm leaves are still green!
P. S. Pumpkin carving pictures coming - probably tonight!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Someone PLEASE make it go away!

As I'm sure you can tell by the title of this post, the smell still has not gone away. Kevin and Rod both spent an evening (Kevin Wed. and Rod Thurs.) up under the house ripping down insulation trying to find the source. After spending lots of time and still not finding it, they decided to stop because we are already going to have a bit of repair work to do. They did find and "entrance hole" for whatever it was. The evenings have been tolerable because it has been very breezy and in the 70's so we can turn the air off and open all the windows. It makes a HUGE difference! During the day however, it is too warm for that so the smell is pretty horrible. Kevin talked to someone who does insect extermination and they said "it" should be decayed within 3 or 4 days and then you can spray the house. We have been doing everything imaginable to try to combat the smell.
I have gone back and forth with my positive thinking. :) I try to keep reassuring myself that it's better that the creature (we're assuming a rat) died rather than getting into the house. I mean, I can handle a bad smell for a few days... then, I get back home, walk in the door and all the positive thinking goes away. I am SO ready for it to be all over. We kicked the odor battle up a notch last night. I think both Kevin and I had had about all we could take. We used a special chemical up under all the sinks (the smell is a lot worse under the sinks because there is open space in the floor where the pipes are) and we sprayed it into the central air intake. We had been shutting the windows and turning the air back on when we went to bed but last night, we left all the windows open just far enough to get fresh air into the house. I guess a combination of all the stuff we sprayed, leaving the windows opened, and [hopefully] the "source" being about gone, made it quite a bit better today. We've gone out to grab something to eat several times this week because it is really hard to want to fix/eat anything when the smell is so overpowering. So... that's the scoop right now. I know the guys did everything they could so I'm trying to be a good sport about it but I sure could use a little fresh air about now!!!! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1 stinky house for trade!

When I woke up this morning, I thought I smelled a strange smell. However, I was in a half-asleep stage as I stumbled out of bed and once I got in the shower and got dressed, I didn't really notice anything so I thought I must have been having some weird dream where I actually had a sense of smell in my dream. Well... when I walked into the house this afternoon, I thought I was going to die. Other than the "thinking I was going to die" part of this story, no other parts are exaggerations. So, I walk into the house and the ENTIRE house had the sharpest, awefullest, sickeningest smell ever! I checked all the "natural" spots you would check to find where a bad smell was coming from and I am NOT kidding when I say that when I stuck my head down to the trash cans and things like that, it was actually a relief to breathe in those smells rather than what I was breathing in walking around the house! I immediately called Kevin (because of him being a bad odor specialist of course) and said, "Something is bad wrong!" I couldn't find anything but I quickly realized it HAD to be something dead. I grabbed up bubbles for Kaelyn and a book for myself and we headed outside. I blew the bubbles for her all of 2 minutes and 17 seconds before the noseums started biting us so badly that I thought about going back into the house - for 2 seconds - and then realized there was no way I could handle it. So, the natural thing to do was to call my bad odor specialist again. I informed him that we were going to be somewhere outside around on campus running away from the noseums and the evil smell. If you have a mental picture of Kaelyn and I running away from our house as fast as we can with a swarm of bugs and green smoke curling after us, you have it about right! Kevin assured me that he would come right home and take care of it. Well, we found ourselves at the campus playground, which was just fine with Kaelyn. Once she started moving around, the bugs left her alone. I, however, was trying to sit and watch Kaelyn and so I was just an easy target for them. (If you live in Fl. you know exactly what I'm talking about.) Actually though, the noseums were just a minor inconvenience in this story. After I had swatted, walked around, and scratched about as much as I could stand, we left the playground and came back home. Kevin had opened the main windows but it was still just about as bad as before. My "dead animal theory" was right. Apparently, something had gotten up under the house and then died. However, Kevin and Rod didn't think there was really any possible way to find where the ---ummm--- "remains" were so we were left with the sad fact that we were just going to have to combat the smell. Kevin ran to Winn-Dixie to get some stuff while I got Kaelyn and myself around to go to Stuart once Kevin got back. I try to be a positive person so - you know how once you're around a smell for awhile, you just get used to it and you don't notice it anymore? well, that was my positive thinking philosophy about how we would deal with this. But guess what? 30 minutes in the house and I was NOT used to the smell! By this point in the story, I really was not feeling well! I don't have a weak stomach and I don't really get grossed out by bad smells but I was struggling with this one. Kevin used moth balls and vinegar in the guest bathroom (the place where you could smell it the strongest) and he had the Brown's ozone machine going and every vent and fan in the house on. He did all the "odor control" stuff. Now you know why I gave him the honorable title of "bad odor specialist". So we finally headed off to get supper someplace - someplace miles away from our house. I was thinking about this blog while we were out and I was going to title it 1 stinky house for sale but I really do like my house so I decided I would just like to trade houses with someone for a few days. Now for the results of Kevin's work: We got home and it was MUCH better! If you were to step into our house tonight your nostrils would be greeted with the slightest scent of something dead, mixed with the smells of: moth balls, vinegar, candles, deoderizing spray and anything else that we thought might help the smell. I know many of those smells are not pleasant folks but trust me when I say, I would sniff mothballs any day over the other smell. Of course me being my "paranoid about what people think about me" self, I was worried about a couple of things. First of all, it was one of those smells that was so strong that you are just sure that even when you walk out of the house, you are going to still smell like that smell. I could just imagine it:
Another customer in the restaurant we are in: "Does it smell like there is something dead in here to you guys?"
Us [laughing]: "Oh no, that's just us - but don't worry, you'll get used to the smell."
I really was paranoid enough that I asked Kevin if he thought our clothes had absorbed the smell. Then the other thought on my mind was "What would people think if they smelled our house?" I know that sounds weird since it really is no reflection on how clean the house is or anything but that's just me. So I did the "What would you think if it was someone else?" and I realized that not only would I think nothing bad about it but I would probably also find it humorous - thus my post. So now, you all no the secret about our stinky house. Why don't ya'll stop on by for a visit? :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

You probably figured out by the updated picture at the top of my blog that we went to the pumpkin patch. Kaelyn was very excited about going though I don't think she really even knew what it was when we told her we were going. As soon as we got there she was running around excitedly everywhere saying, "Hey look! It's pumpkin patch!" She had a great time though she was getting very sleepy towards the end because she hadn't had a nap. Sadly, it wasn't cool at all and it barely even reached the "pleasant" mark because we went before the sun went down so that we could get pictures in the daylight. So without further adieu, our annual 80 degree pumpkin patch trip:
(There are like 50 pictures in the slideshow so probably only you "devoted fans" will want to watch all the way through.)

Click to play Pumpkin Patch
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Friday, October 17, 2008

"Blueberry Uppins"

This afternoon, Kaelyn helped me make blueberry uppins, as she calls them. A while back, I tried to get her to help me make something (cookies or something) and she had NO interest. She didn't understand what we were doing and she didn't want to have anything to do with pouring, stirring, or any such things. I think the main reason she was interested today is because in one of her Mickey Mouse clubhouse stories, Mickey and the gang search for a "mystery guest" who ate some of the blueberry muffins that Minnie had made. They didn't actually show Minnie making them, but all the same, Kaelyn was interested when she saw the box. So... we made blueberry "uppins" and I was able to get a few pictures.

Dumping the mix into the bowl. Somehow, we ended up
with the mix in the bowl, all over the counter, and on the
stove (not sure how she managed to get it over that far).

Pouring the milk in (AFTER I had poured the milk from
the jug into the measuring cup!)

Stirring. I only got her to do it long enough to snap a
quick picture. She wasn't really crazy about this part
though I don't know why.

And finally... tasting a muffin. (She was very excited when
I pulled the muffins out of the oven and they actually looked
more like the muffins she has seen on the movie.)

Yummy blueberry uppins

Monday, October 13, 2008

Veggie Tales slideshow

First of all, thanks for all the birthday wishes on both my blog and Rachel's blog (from her slideshow).
Here is the slideshow of the Veggie Tales show we went to. Most of the pictures are not great quality for a few reasons. As you can tell, there was all kinds of different spot lights and special lighting, the people and characters were constantly moving, and I don't have that great of a camera. The combination of all those made it difficult to get good, clear pictures. (It did help that we were so close to the stage though.) It's so much fun doing things like this with Kaelyn because she is so expressive and gets so excited!
I have to thank Kevin for putting my two songs I used on the slide show together in my adobe photoshop so I could use them both rather than have one song play over and over. I got the songs onto the program but then was lost and he fiddled around for a few minutes and had the file loaded to my slideshow in no time at all - it's nice to be married to a computer whiz!

Click to play Veggie Tales Live
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just really quickly...

I am going to post all of our pictures from the live Veggie Tales show in a slideshow because there are quite a few of them and I am too lazy to go through and decide which ones are decent and are not repeats. But for now, I wanted to show you all just a couple:

Kaelyn in awe of the larger than life Veggie characters. She
may have actually been singing along here, I'm not sure but
she did sit with her jaw dropped for a lot of the show. She is
holding a Veggie Tales "wand" that is a light. (She took it to
bed with her tonight and we went in and turned it off after

We were on the SECOND ROW and were just feet away
from the stage!!! Quite cool!

Junior Asparagus and Archibald Asparagus. I
couldn't believe the "costumes". There were people
inside of them of course but they were not "normal"
sized characters. The taller characters were probably
8 or 9 feet tall. (I may be all off on my numbers because
I'm terrible at guessing sizes/distances but they were
very large!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still trying to figure this one out! :)

I didn't intend to post again tonight but I was kind of amused by this so I thought I would share it. This afternoon, Kaelyn was watching a movie. I had been in the other room cleaning and when I walked into the living room and saw her sitting there, I got so tickled. She was sitting in her little chair and she had her Donald Duck toy on her head. When Kevin heard me laughing, he looked up and started laughing. She was totally oblivious to us and was just minding her own business watching her movie like it was perfectly normal to have Donald Duck on her head. I took pictures and was thinking that maybe I would post them tonight. Well, we went out to eat for my birthday [Monday] and then ran to Wal-mart this evening. When we got home, I was out in the kitchen taking care of the groceries and folding some laundry. When I walked through the living room she had just put a movie on and this time she had Minnie Mouse on her head. Of course, she can't tell me why. I asked her a couple of different ways what Donald Duck was doing, why he was on her head etc. and she just kind of looks at me blankly and says, "I've got Donald Duck on my head." I have no doubt that in her little brain there is a perfectly logical reason why they were balanced on her head while she watched a movie but I have yet to figure out what she was doing.
(She was looking at the pictures after I uploaded them to my computer just now and then she went and got Donald, put him on her head, and walked very slowly into Kevin's office with Donald balanced on her head the whole time. At least she has good balance!) :)

I took this pic. from above her so you could see
Donald better. She had no clue I was even taking
the pictures.

As you can see, she was just watching her movie like
nothing was unusual.

I didn't get a very good one of Minnie because right
after I got the camera out, there was a part in the
movie where she had to stand up and help a walrus
"chip through the ice". (Don't ask!) So she carefully
removed Minnie before standing up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Out on the town

Wow! A week since my last post (before my previous two I just posted tonight). No wonder my life has been feeling so empty and meaningless! :) Life has pretty much just been "life as usual" for us so that means more boring posts!
Tonight, after staying home the last couple days (Kay-Kay and I), we went to Chick-fil-A with Rod & Betty and family, Gay, and Rod's mom Kathy (you have now officially made it into my infamous blog Kathy! :) ) Chick-fil-A is like the best of everything to Kaelyn because she eats chicken nuggets AND gets to play on the slide (besides getting a balloon and usually ice cream). When she's 16 I'm going to constantly remind her that "all it used to take to make you happy was chicken nuggets and a swing and slide". :) Anyway, we both enjoyed getting out of the house (with Kevin) and Kaelyn was quite hyper at first. After we left the restaurant, we went to the mall. Christopher & Banks was having some good sales and I ended up getting several items for about 70% off. I got three jean skirts and a couple of tops. The saleslady informed me that tomorrow for about two hours they are having a fashion show where customers can volunteer to "model" their various clothes and if you do it you get 40% off anything you buy in the store even if it's already on sale. That means that the $35 dollar jean skirts that are on sale for $21 dollars (40% off right now) would be $13 etc. So what do you think - is it worth putting aside all pride in an effort to get a good deal? I told the woman that I love a bargain but I'm not sure I would make a good model. She said, "Oh, I think you would make a good model", to which I chortled heartily. I tell you what though, those ladies there continue to charm and deceive me (refer back to the post about the nice ladies at the C. J. Banks larger sizes store that convinced me I was "way to skinny" for the plus sizes store). If they start telling me that they can tell by looking at me that I'm a world class cook and seamstress though I am going to confront them about their brazen lies! :) I always seem to walk out of there with a smile on my face as I leave all of my money to the smiling clerks. (They're probably like, "Hey, it's that sucker again. How much do you think we can get her to spend?") We also picked up a couple of bargain books in Borders - you wanna' talk about a place where I could leave all my money! I rarely even go in there because it's so tempting to buy books - I LOVE books! So it was a nice little outing and now I've gotta' get some work done tomorrow. Sunday afternoon, we are going to a live Veggie Tales show. I bought the tickets months ago as soon as they went on sale (back when I still got a full time paycheck). I have had them tucked away in a drawer for awhile but I can't believe how quickly time has gone by since I first got the tickets. So, I don't know if it will be possible to get any pictures but I will probably at least post briefly Sunday afternoon about it. For now, have a great weekend!

One of the books on the bargain shelf was this Little
Einsteins book/etch-a-sketch. I don't remember how
much it was originally but it was marked down to $4 so
since Kay-Kay is quite a big fan of the Little Einsteins,
we got it for her.

She has never really gotten into the etch-a-sketch
things too much but when we showed her how to do
it, she really enjoyed it this time.
I know that you probably want to ask why I don't ever
comb Kaelyn's hair but I would just have to tell you that
actually I do. Unfortunately, that's another trait she shares
with her mother. I think my mom would have super-glued
my hair to my head when I was a kid if it would've done any
good but I was a hopeless case when it came to staying
neat - especially my hair.
P. S. That drawing thing is not actually an etch-a-sketch
but I can't think of what it's called. I was coming up with
magna-doodle too but can't remember if that's the right
word for it either.

A box of goodies from Nana

My mom just sent us a box of stuff. There were gifts for Kevin and I and then some various things that she had picked up for Kaelyn. Kaelyn got to help Kevin and I open the gifts which she enjoyed very much. Her favorite things were the "lounge" chair my mom sent her and the toy pictured below.

Unwrapping my [early] present.

She likes unwrapping gifts no matter what they are as
most kids do.

I thought this chair was too cute!

She gets her "lady-likeness" from her mother - poor
girl! (I guess I should say "unlady-likeness")

Opening Kevin's gift.

She absolutely loved (loves) this! She sat there
for a good part of the evening playing with it.

Last Saturday

Last Saturday we were at the mall for just a little bit. Kaelyn has ridden the little train there before but it's been a long time since she last rode it. For some reason, this time she got all excited when she saw it and decided she wanted to ride it. Here are a few snapshots. As you can see, it took several tries as she went by to get a picture without the red bar blocking her (in the picture).

She was going "Wheee, wheee!" the whole time.

And finally, success! (with the photo attempts)

Getting off the train. She said, "It was fun train!"

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blue eyes are much better!

I just realized that I never even said one of the things that I originally intended to post. Kay-Kay is doing much better though she still has a really bad cough and a runny nose. She has had tons of antibiotic-laced yogurt, applesauce, and even pudding (she didn't care for that) lately. She is still not sleeping the greatest because she wakes herself up coughing so hard. However, her eyes seem to be totally back to normal and it only took a half day's worth of medicine to start clearing them up. When her eyes were so bad, she got up a couple of mornings and said, "Oh no, I'm stuck! May I please have wipe blue eyes?" because she couldn't get her eye(s) open. All eyes are blue eyes to her because when she first learned where her eyes, nose, etc. were, we would talk about how HER eyes are blue so now all eyes are blue eyes. She would look at herself in the mirror when her eyes were so bad and she could tell something was not right so every since they have cleared up, she gets up in the morning, walks into the bathroom to look in the mirror and says, "Blue eyes are much better!" And we are all very happy about that!! :)

Hello again.

Okay so I know I have "dropped the ball" on blogging this week, especially since I have been home all week but I haven't exactly felt perky the last couple of days. It seems as if Kay-Kay was too generous and she shared part of whatever she had with BOTH Kevin and I. Neither one of us were nearly as bad/miserable as she was and we haven't had any eye issues (so far) but all the same, I really haven't felt up to doing very much.

I enjoyed the debate last night (I don't think I had ever watched or listened to a debate before this election). I won't get into the argument of how Palin did - whether she won or not - because everyone who watched it seems to have a very strong opinion one way or the other but I must say I can't help but like her and her personality from watching her. I have to share this one line just because of the humor in it (for those of you who didn't hear about it). I don't even remember the issue that was being discussed but something Joe Biden said that was not true (there were quite a few of those times by the way) she turned when it was her turn to respond and said, "Say it aint so Joe" which is a saying that goes back to an old baseball scandal in the early 1900's. Some people, even conservatives, have criticized her for being to "folksy" in the debate and maybe this just shows my lack of intelligence but I have to admit, I found it far easier to listen to than the typical political blah, blah, blah. I suppose that's exactly what some people are referring to when they say she had no substance but I guess that's why simple people like me liked it - sometimes "deep substance" just muddies the water if you don't understand all the "political speak". And since I have already gone against what I said I would not do (get into how she did) let me make another point. I have also heard a lot of people (once again even conservatives) say (via internet) that they were disappointed that she didn't answer some of the questions and even purposefully CHOSE to ignore some of them. While I won't disagree with the fact that she did that, given the fact that the media has purposely tried to ask her things to trip her up and make her look dumb, I think I understand why she had decided to not walk into that trap. But, lets say that based off of some of her answers in recent interviews, there are some things that she doesn't completely know everything about. Frankly, this might sound shallow, but I would prefer to have someone who is honest, firm in what they believe, and will honestly make the best decisions they can for the American people in office. I'm not convinced anymore that leaders who went to Harvard, Yale, etc. and know all about the "Bush doctrine" and other political jargon are better leaders (based off of the way politics are anymore). No I wouldn't want someone who is dumb in office but I don't think at all that she is dumb. We have so few leaders anymore (in either party) who have a true moral compass to do what they think is right that I'm willing to take the risk on someone who others deem inexperienced.

Well, I am so far away from where this post started that I'm thinking that it's a good thing I'm not a preacher. I would leave people scratching their heads as to how I went from preaching on God's mercy to God's will for your life. :) But if you ever have any other questions on my opinions on current politics, just ask me; you can be sure I will be happy to impart my wealth of knowledge and opinions on everything! :)

Now to totally change subjects on you all again, here are some completely random pictures:

This is SO Kaelyn. Anytime we have ever tried to get her
to color, she just wants to sit and twirl the crayons or drum
them on the table (those of you who know her know that
goes along with some of her issues). She can actually
entertain herself quite awhile that way but she never has
seemed to get (or at least care about) the concept of
coloring till recently. The past couple of weeks, it's like all
of the sudden, she has figured out what you're actually
supposed to do when you color - mostly. She has been
sitting down at her little table now constantly and getting
a crayon out to color. I have to really watch her now
because if she finds ANY writing utensil now, you better
watch out 'cause she IS going to "color" whatever is
"available". So, there we are a few evenings ago sitting
on the couch with our hands folded in our laps watching
our little angel color - okay, so we were actually
watching a movie and not paying much attention to
her - and I looked over there to see her very painstakingly
standing all of the crayons up. After they were all standing
lined up in a row, she would knock them over and start again.
It's really too bad we're too poor to afford blocks and things
like that she could build with. :)

In all fairness to Kay-Kay, I have to admit that
I remember as a kid using our crayons to try to
"build" log cabins but that was probably because
we were quite enamored with Little House on the
Prairie because my mom read us the whole series.
We also pretended to be Mary, Laura, and Carrie
and make feather beds. Then there was our covered
wagon... our Radio Flyer with a sheet over it. So
who am I calling odd??? :)
This has been such a weird post that I'm not sure I have the nerve to hit the "publish post" button now! :(