About Me

Monday, August 9, 2010

Go read this blog

This is my friend, Holly's blog.  She is wonderful and her life makes mine seem a bit, um, underachiever-y. 

A Lifetime of Days

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sno-Biz

No text - just pics and videos - kinda busy :-)

Opening Day and our friend, James.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sno-Biz

What did you do today?  I bought a Sno-Biz, Hawaiian Shave Ice!  Well, technically, Doug and I did. :-)  Cool, huh?

About a month ago, we drove past the Sno-Biz and lamented the fact that it has not opened this year.  Paige noticed the "for sale" sign and, on a whim and out of mild curiosity, I called the broker.  It was a reasonable price, I thought (not knowing how much a business really costs, to be honest).  I called Doug and expected him to shoot down the idea of buying it immediately.  When he didn't, I started to think seriously about it. 

I met with the broker and got some basic information and then Doug and I met with the broker and seller for more detailed information and a tour.  We were impressed with the simplicity of the operation and talked about it but decided the initial investment was just too much for us to take on right now. 

About a week later, the broker called and offered us the option of purchasing it for a very minimal investment with the seller financing about 3/4ths of the sale price at a great rate and with unbelievable conditions.  I called my dad and asked for a loan for the rest.  He responded with an even better rate than I expected and offered to send a check right away.  It is in the mail as we speak.  We should close on Wednesday, barring any major events.  As you might imagine, time is of the essence in a seasonal operation as this is, so we are moving quickly.

I have completed a host of applications and filed a silly number of forms in a span of two days.  We are now officially Dolbi, LLC dba Sno-Biz and are well on our way to being legal to hire employees and collect sales tax.  I have an appointment with an accountant tomorrow to make sure all ducks are firmly in a row, but so far there have been no real glitches.

We will both keep our full-time jobs and just hope to break even for the next few seasons, but then maybe be able to put money away for retirement and college and cars and vacations and...

So, that's my very unexpected and rather spontaneous news. :-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Khan Academy

My friend, Laurel, posted about the Khan Academy on her blog and I followed the link expecting it to be nice.  Holy cow!  This site is amazing!

The article Laurel posted about (Global Teacher) only touches on the enormity and quality of the lessons available for FREE!  I plan to use this as a very large part of the kids' math, science, current events, and history curriculum fro the rest of their education.

Today, we watched lessons on multiplication tables for Paige and "lattice multiplication" for Levi, which I had never even heard of!  Levi also watched the "intro to physics" and we talked about how Myth-Busters uses those principles.

Sal Khan is a genius and amazingly generous man and I am so thankful to have people like him in my "village."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yea for volunteers!

We had our homeschool co-op meeting today to plan for the fall semester and it was the easiest meeting and the easiest term yet to plan!  There are more volunteers for class teachers and assistants than I have ever had to work with.  I am used to having to scrounge for classes and beg for assistants and this term there is none of that!  We actually have more classes than we need! 

It is so wonderful to see the idea of a true cooperative coming together just as the original planners had in mind so many years ago (gosh, what is it, six? maybe?).  It took us a bit to get there but it really feels like a family-run unit this time.  The fact that there is so much "new blood" this year is also helpful.  The homeschool community, in general and in our group, is becoming much more diversified and that is a beautiful thing!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer!

Well, looky here, we might get summer, yet!  I thought we were going to be stuck in winter forever! 

Last Sunday, Joe closed the Pirate early because it was so cold and rainy and miserable - you could see your breath for heaven's sake!  BUT- today was glorious and magnificent - hot (like 90!) and sunny with a nice breeze - just perfect!

I can't wait for tomorrow!  The kids and I are going to change the oil and clean out the car before I go to work.  I know, you're all jealous, I have such a glamorous life. LOL  I love it, though!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ranch Dressing

As most everyone knows, I don't eat any dairy.  I am allergic to casein and lactose-intolerant.  It's really not too bad doing without most things and substitutes are readily available (for a ridiculous price, usually, but that's another post).  I hadn't tried to re-create ranch dressing because it's not a favorite of mine, but I did miss dipping veggies in it, so I made some for Christmas dinner and it is amazingly easy and scrumptious! 

I searched for recipes and tried to boil five or six versions into one basic template.  It's amazing how many "from scratch" recipes included Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch mix as an ingredient.  I mean, really!  How far removed from scratch cooking are we when adding mayo makes it from scratch!  LOL 

I made some more tonight and I think this is just about perfect, but as with all things I cook, I didn't measure precisely so it might require some fiddling.  Of course, this would also be delicious in the dairy version and significantly cheaper if you use dairy sour cream.  I had a stroke of genius that you might have already figured out, but I felt pretty darn smart.  Most recipes called for garlic and onion powder.  I don't keep them on hand because I'm a purist and just don't think they are ever as good as the real thing and I always have onions and garlic in the house anyway.  The problem was that I didn't want any chunks in my dressing and wasn't sure how to add onion and have it still be smooth, then - genius struck!  I stuck the onion in the garlic press and - voila! - smooth onion!  So, here's the recipe:

Kolbi's Ranch

1/2 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream (real or dairy-free)
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 piece onion (the size of a medium garlic clove), pressed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
sprinkle MSG (but if anyone asks I will deny, deny, deny using this) ;-)

Mix and dip - super easy!

From Doug

I think he loves me. :-)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A reminder

We Believe...

... that with intelligent inquiry, access to education, and utilization of informed choice and disclosure statements, parents are the sole best decision-makers about their own maternity care, for no one mode or place of birth suits all families.


I was just on the Friends of Missouri Midwives website and read this simple statement for at least the thousandth time, but it really struck me tonight.  It is the statement that I have had to fight to have the legal right to practice.  And so many others have fought so much harder and given up so much more, all to give Missouri families the simple privilege of doing what is best in their situation.  That this idea would be able to cause so much heartache is a sure sign of a broken system, that those with money and influence can remove a parent's right to utilize a profession proven by scientific study and time.  It is a travesty of the way the legislative process should work.  I hope that common sense is able to seep back into the legislature with each new class of legislators as we purge some of those who listen with their greed instead of their mind.
 

It's almost PIRATE time! And random updates...

Today was my last Saturday at Chili's for the summer!  Next week I start back at the Pirate and I'm SOOOOO excited!  I just love it there and we have had some perfect Lake weather.  I took out all my summer clothes this week and found my apron and server book and all my Jolly Roger shirts, it felt like Christmas! 


Chili's has been a bit better lately, I don't know how much is my attitude, knowing I'm almost free, and how much is the restaurant actually improving, but it's been easier to like going there the last week or so. 

I did have a bit of a surprise when I tried on some of my summer stuff and found it all too small, as it turns out, I'm getting a bit chubby. :-)  I found some great stuff at the thrift stores this week, though so I don't have to squeeze into my clothes from last summer.  I will probably slim down once I start the Pirate, but I'm certainly not going to exercise or quit eating so much, I'll just keep buying bigger clothes (Doug likes me a bit curvier, anyway). :-)  I have some days where my mom's voice slips in saying, "you can never be too rich or too thin" but I usually don't believe it.  I feel healthy and content, so being a little soft around the middle is probably okay.

It's Tracy's weekend, but he brought the kids in to eat at Chili's tonight with the Schollmeyers.  It was such a nice surprise!  I miss them when they're not here. :-(

They start baseball and softball this week and I'm going to miss a lot of games and practices because of work, but going to work supplies the money to allow them to play, so, what's a girl to do?  At least this year Doug will be able to be the representative from my household some days so I don't feel like only their dad is participating.

We have a plan this year to save for vacation to make sure nothing sneaks up on me that would make us have to cancel.  Every day Levi is in charge of collecting $9 from me and putting it in our Destin fund.  I work nearly every day all summer at either the Pirate or Chili's (the plan is Chili's on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Pirate the rest of the time, unless it's raining and then I can pick up a shift at Chili's) and so if I save $9 a day from May 1 to August 31 I will have $1107 for vacation.  The goal is $1000, but we figured a little buffer would be good.  I would love to be able to save enough to also go see Kara for a couple of days at least, but that involves plane tickets and I just don't know if we can swing it, maybe Doug will get a big raise this summer and can treat us. :-)

When I came home last night I found this on my stove:
A new stockpot (which I've had on my wish list for quite some time) and even better -FULL of Peeps!  I have a ridiculous addiction to Peeps (hmm, wonder why my clothes don't fit - I mean, they're fat free... hee hee).  This is definitely one of those times when I am reminded how lucky I am, not everyone would have squealed and giggled over kitchen ware and clearance marshmallow, but Doug really knows me.  He is amazing and thoughtful and - I'm not entirely sure why - completely in love with me.

I think that's all for the updates, we are all happy and healthy and without any drama, so I can't ask for more.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pics of kidlets

Kara is on my case about not keeping kidlet pics updated, so here are some recent ones:
Levi and Missy

Doug beating Levi up after a snowball battle (trust me, they are both enjoying this)

Our front yard makes for great sledding/rolling/falling
Paige's favorite is to have someone push her "penguin style"
How adorable is this?!  We babysit Kain a couple days a week and she begs to carry him in the sling!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Me looking hot

So, about once every... never... I get all dressed up and go out.  This time it was for my birthday and two of my friends, Danielle and Hannah took me out to the Ameristar Casino's club, called HOME.  Apparently, there is this show called, Jersey Shores, and on this show, there is a guy named, Pauly D.  He is a DJ and now, because of the tv show, he is a celebrity and was at the club.  Danielle asked if I would go and it just so happened it was on the weekend of my 35th birthday so I said, "yea!"  It was super fun, we all had a great time, here is photographic proof:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Margaret and Helen

I love Margaret and Helen!  She is able to put into words the things my brain has be trying so hard to avoid exploding from:
Your party had an issue with President Obama telling school children to stay in school and study hard.  I guess a black man can’t be trusted with your children regardless of his credentials. 
          You love the constitution but you seem to pick through that document the same way you pick through 
          the Bible – with all the effectiveness of eating corn on the cob through a picket fence.
We are actively involved in  two wars, but you  just can’t understand why the deficit is so big?   Regardless of what you have been told,  every time a bomb is dropped, an angel does not get her wings.  Hint:  Defense spending represents almost one quarter of all federal spending.
Today’s Republican Party has an issue with abortion, but then fights against healthcare reform knowing full well that more than 9 million children lack health insurance.

I mean, I'm sure all those uninsured kids would surely be adopted by loving pro-life parents, because, of course, a parent who can't even afford health insurance should have someone else take over the parenting.  I am sooo frustrated every day with the politics of our country it makes me sad that I ever started to care and think that could make a difference.

Why I don't write

So, I started this blog with a plan of regularly writing the interesting things that happen in our lives.   As it turns out there are fewer than I thought. :-)  Also, I am awful at remembering to post.  So here are some updates:

Levi helped with the sets for the homeschool play this year.  They did  Around the World in 80 Days and by all accounts it was wonderful.  He didn't really want to do it, but I prodded and he really seems to have enjoyed it.  While he had down time during rehearsals he listened to his MP3 player which Doug imported a bunch of songs and comedy to and he liked that as well.  He is an easy boy to keep occupied.

Paige is funny as always, while at the Capitol, a Senator asked her if she was going to be good and she responded, "it's possible."   She also told me she needs to buy more lion figurines because she has too many elephants and they will take over if the lions can't keep up.  That's my Paigie.

Doug and I are great.  Our schedules are weird and I wish we could see more of each other, but I like that he is able to take off for the kids things sometimes (and really wants to even without my asking!) and sometimes we have days off together, but when I'm at home at night alone, it makes me miss him a lot (like tonight).

Co-op has started back up again.  We just love it!  I am the 7th-12th grade coordinator again and the classes are very fun and easy on me.  I am teaching a dissection class (which I have done six or eight times at least) and a "Planning for the Future" class that helps kids with note taking and career and/or job planning and whatever else the kids feel like talking about.

Stupid Rep. Talboy has decided that midwives should be felons again and has proposed a bill that might possibly license some midwives, but in actuality will just drive the vast majority of them back into the dark.  I'm upset about this a great deal and would like to help all I can.  The leadership of our main lobbying groups is very, um, well, not me LOL and might not want my type of help and I will defer to them.  We have gotten this far with a very conservative lead and considering the Republicans have a majority in the state, it makes sense to have "friendlies" take the lead.  I have been able to talk outside the dome to several legislators from both parties and it's amazing how much more influence a casual conversation can have than a sit-down, scheduled conversation, which, of course, is where lobbyists earn their keep.  Hopefully, we will be able to stave off this newest assault while we try to pin down exactly what the midwives of Missouri want for their legal status.

So, why I don't write...well, I'm lazy, but really, I just don't think about the dull every day things being of interest to anyone else.  I'll try to do better...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cookie Day

Laurel has lots of pictures from Cookie Day:

Grace and Glory - Cookie Day!

Valentine's Activities

It has already been a busy Valentine's week.  We went to the annual FoMM Cookie Day at the Capitol.  The kids were so well-behaved, I was proud to have them to show off.  Mostly, they were just there for the cookies and pizza. :-)
 

We also went to a party at our new friends' house.  I knew Paige would have a great time, and she did. 
 

I was afraid Levi would be bored so I let him bring a book and this is how he started the party:
  

BUT! In a surprise move, he actually had fun, too!  He did a scavenger hunt with the other big kids (three girls his age) and even stood still and let a younger kid make him into a snowman with toilet paper for a game.

 
Scavenger hunt with Shiloh (it's her house)
  
Little kids scavenger hunt
  
That's Eowyn (it's her house, too)
  
Paige's snowman (er, snowgirl). It's melting. :-)
  
The process
 
The finished snowman (notice the black buttons and orange nose taped on)


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Personality flaws

Yup, I've got them. 

I am incredibly selfish and hard-headed.  I gloss over problems by being too light-hearted.  I avoid conflict even when I should stick up for myself.  I can't accept help from anyone.  I'm a lousy fighter.  I can't let things go. 

I'm also a pretty good person.  I don't like to see people hurting.  I always try to think the best of people.  I find the bright side even when there really isn't one.  I'm self-reliant.  I take good care of the kidlets. 

Just observations.  I've been cranky lately and the first list is really upstaging the second list.  I need to change that before it ruins the good things in my life.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Picture catch up

Here are all the pictures I would have posted if I was a responsible blog host (they are pretty self-explanatory):

Aunt Sue in the red sweater, my mom in the white one.