Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Turbo Challenge: Unplug

Starting next month Turbo is taking on a challenge.  As anyone who knows a 10 year old kid must know, they love video games.  Turbo is no exception.  The kid would happily while away hours, days, weeks playing video games if we let him.

Nick came up with a challenge for him a month or so ago.  Could Turbo go 30 days without video games?  If he does he get $100 to do with as he pleases (within reason and mom and dad's approval).  Turbo thought about it and decided he would like to try.  He thought that it would be better to do it while school was in session, so he didn't have as many ours to fill during the day--less temptation.  He has plans to read both with me and on his own--he has discovered that chapter books aren't so scary. The weather is warming up (not that you'd believe it today) so he will be able to ride his bike and take the dog for walks.  He has Legos and music in his room to hang out with.  He's really looking forward to the challenge.
The one exception day is his birthday.  Nick allowed that one day to give an exception to the no video games rule.
So starting tomorrow, the xbox, wii, playstation, and games on his kindle are all off limits.  We shall see how this goes.  I'm hoping that unplugging Turbo from the video games doesn't drive us all nuts. I think he can do it, he just needs to keep his eye on the prize.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Random Stuff

OK, so Monday sucked.  It was truly a Monday in every sense of the word.  I am ready to move on to better days of the week.  That said let's random:
  • We have depended on the grandparents to help with kid care since Turbo was born.  We are in the home stretch--just another 4 months and Bruiser goes to school and then it's only after school care we will need from them.  We appreciate everything they have done for us.  But they do have their moments.
  • Yesterday afternoon we had to go rescue my mom on the interstate.  She had run out of gas.  In getting her back to the auto garage, she went through 8 gallons of gas.  It was 15 miles at most to travel.  We aren't sure what broke on her car, but something did.  The car is only 16 years old, and has something like 200,000 miles on it. She finally admitted she needs to get a newer car. She is just resistant because cars are so much more automated than the one she has now. She keeps claiming she doesn't want a car that's smarted than she is.
  • And to make the evening even more fun Nick's dad dropped a bomb on us about taking care of Bruiser.  It was such a fun evening.  Nick and I are scrambling to figure out a solution.  More discussion with Nick's dad is in the future.
  • Four months and Bruiser is in school and so many of these worries will be minimized. We really have been lucky. We haven't had to py tons for kid care, but I really wish Nick's dad was a better communicator.

  • In other news, I get a gas stove on Friday!  AND I will be learning how to cook all over again.  The last time I cooked regularly on gas was 1995. There will be something of a learning curve.  I'm looking forward to it, even if I burn a few things in the process.  Nick is way excited about gas.  He will be doing more cooking now. 
  • It will have a convection oven--baking will be better. I will totally be getting my bake on this weekend. I'm almost looking forward to trying to make cookies and bread and brownies.  My hips will hate me, but the guys will love me.
  • We have had snow off and on since Saturday night.  Winter can go suck and egg.

So how is your week going?  Got any random?  Go link up with Stacy!She who is now Random Queen, or our fearless leader of the random!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dreaming Monday

Not dreaming of Monday, but dreaming of a better day of the week.  Or maybe location to spend Monday.  Monday on a beach somewhere would be fantastic.
Where to begin with this weekend?  One thing, we got this kid back:
His selfie on the bus returning from his trip.
He had a fabulous time at the Teton Science School. He was however, ready to come home.
Saturday was a fairly normal day--laundry, clean house and such.  Nick brewed a batch of beer, The kids went to Papa and Nana's house to help plant some stuff in their greenhouse, and I got a nap. 
After my nap I prepped and put the pork loin roast in the oven.  We were all looking forward to having some.  I was doing some dishes up and Nick asked what was on fire in the oven.  It is an electric oven, there should not be fire. Well, we had sparks, fire and a dead element when it was all said and done. Nick and I took this as a sign.  While we were not planning to replace the stove this quickly, we were planning to move to gas in the near future.  It just happened sooner than we expected. My new gas range will arrive Friday.  This give Nick time to run the gas line up and a outlet down for the new stove.
Sunday was quiet, the boys gamed out and we went to buy the new stove and arrange for delivery and disposal of the old stove.  Thullee wanted out mid afternoon, so I let him.  Nick had closed the gate to the front yard and after a while I thought he had been out for quite a while without wanting back in, so I went to check on him.  This is what I found:
Poor dog was stuck.  He got up, but couldn't figure out how to get down. Oh, and yes we did have snow off and on all day on Sunday.  Our weather is being brought to us by Sybill. It was 60 degrees on Saturday.
So with the weather in mind I am spending part of today dreaming of summer activities.
MMMM is a freebie, so since I want summer and the fun it brings let's find some summer songs:
Summer Girls by LFO:

Kid Rock, All Summer Long:

Rascal Flatts: Summer nights:

So, I'm dreaming of summer fun.  Camping, get togethers, easy summer evenings hanging out outside, the smell of sun screen and bug spray. It's so close but so far away still.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ahh Friday!

So welcome are you this week, Friday!  It's been a long and interesting week.
On to the confessions:
  • Having Turbo gone this week has been interesting.
  • I've missed him at very odd times--like waking him up in the morning.
  • Thullee has missed him too.
  • That dog will just about burst out of his skin when Turbo comes home tonight.
  • Bruiser has been basking in the center of attention.
  • He has been hyper animated and mostly exhausting to us.
  • Blogger has been annoying recently.
  • It keeps claiming that I'm not following any blogs and helpfully tells me how to add blogs I want to follow.
  • Like I'm some kind of newbie.
  • Multiple refreshes later, wow, you are following blogs after all.
  • Lovely.
  • I think tonight, after retrieving Turbo, it will be chocolate beer time.
  • I love me some chocolate beer.
  • Ready for this week to be over--come on Going Home Time!
So what's on your plate for this Friday--the last one in April.  Where is the time going?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spin Cycle--Mannerly

Oh boy, manners.  Something that is kind of lacking in this day and age.  Oh, some people have manners, but most don't really exercise them as much as they should.
We started with our boys early with please and thank you.  The grandparents have had a large role in fostering the please and thank you routine in our kids.It is rather cute to have a three year old lisp please and they can be a forceful in reminding you to say thank you, or bless you after a sneeze.
I will admit, they lack on the table manners somewhat, but we don't eat at a table all that often.  It really is something we should work on. Our boys tend to make lots of meals finger food.  That one reflects on us.  Not that we eat with our fingers when we shouldn't, but that we really haven't enforced the rules.  Kids do learn by imitation and constant nagging reminders.
Manners come in other areas too. I think they go hand in hand with consideration.  Being considerate will lead to good, or at least better, manners.
Clearly, we are not manner nazis.  But we are trying to raise civilized boys.  Girls kind of prefer the boys who are caveman like, so we are trying.
What is your take on manners?
Spin it up and link up with Gretchen and Ginny Marie, they would love to have you!

Second Blooming

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Kindergarten.  Bruiser goes to Kindergarten this fall.  He's growing up so very fast. It all came home yesterday--registration for fall Kindergarten classes is this week.
Five years ago I had a three month old and was just starting a new part-time job.  My mom came to watch the baby in the mornings while I went to work.
About three months old here.
He was such a snuggly baby. It's still easy to see the baby in his face:
He is just so very cute.
We have had our struggles with him.  Potty issues, which are mostly resolved now thank goodness. Sleeping was rough for him as a baby.  But now he sleeps like a champ, even he does talk in his sleep.
He's a sensitive soul.  Look at him crosseyed and he'll cry.  Unless he's mad at you.  Mom!  That doesn't make me happy! How many times have I heard that?  Too many to count.
And now, after a year of preschool, he's headed to kindergarten. He's ready.  In a way I am too.  It means less will be required of the grandparents in the kid care realm.  It means he's going to become more independent.  I know he's going to love learning.  He loves having books read to him and he's soaked up the teaching he's gotten this year.  He surprises me with what he knows every day.
So, Kindergarten. Next fall will be bitter sweet.  My last baby heads to full time school. Part of me wants the snuggly baby back, the other part is going woo hoo!

This is part of Shell's Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Randomly Random

Or maybe not so random.  I do have Easter stuff to tell, the whole weekend and then a random bit of stuff.  Let's get on with it:
  • Our weekend was wonderful.  We smoked ribs on Saturday.  They came out awesome.  We had friends over for dinner and it was a really good time. Our first use of the backyard and deck.  Makes me really want to have it be nice here.
  • Saturday morning the boys dyed eggs:

  • And that night, after the company left, we set out baskets and put the eggs out for the bunny to hide.  When the boys got up, the bunny had eaten the carrots and hid all the eggs.  The bunny also hid the baskets, the bunny got a little hide happy. The grandparents came over for breakfast and a nice morning was had by all.

  • The rest of Sunday was quiet.  It was nice but windy here so indoor activities were best.  Nick and I watched some classic movies and lazed around.  It was a great way to end the weekend.
  • Although I did have to get Turbo packed for his trip to the Teton Science School.  All the fifth graders at his school are headed up there today for a four day visit and learning experience. His packed bag was due at school yesterday, he was due at school to load the buses at 5:45am.  It was a really early morning this morning.
  • We will see Turbo again Friday night, with hopefully good time tales and dirty laundry. He was pretty excited to go and looking forward to a good time.
  • Bruiser ended out his first run through swim lessons by making it to level 3.  We get to do another run at swim lessons in June.  He's so very proud of himself.
  • Nick and I just need to figure out when we will be going to exercise.  Without the lessons, we must find kid care of some sort.  We will manage.
  • Nick and I did take yesterday as a mental health day.  I made banana bread in the morning, took Bruiser to school and then we went for a drive to the mountains. WE checked out the snow (lots still) and stopped and had lunch at the Beartree Tavern in the tiny town of Centennial Wyoming. Had a very good pizza to share. So nice to be adults now and then--makes us better parents.
So what do you have for random?  Link it up with Stacy!
She who is now Random Queen, or our fearless leader of the random!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Confess Sessh

Time to do a little bit of confessing. After all it is Friday and Easter is speeding toward us at an alarming rate.
  • I swam again last night.
  • It Felt pretty good.
  • Now if only it would help the hips reduce.
  • Turbo leaves on Tuesday/
  • We have a lot of packing to do this weekend.
  • The Easter Bunny is totally not ready for his visit.
  • Hopefully we can remedy that this afternoon.
  • It's tough to think of things to get kids when they aren't asking for anything.
  • Well, except for things the Easter Bunny can't bring--like Lego Death Stars.
  • Our weather has been improving--but I know it will snow again--probably a couple more times at least.
  • There have been flying objects around our house:
The blur with lights is the helicopter in front of Nick.
  •  He doesn't do too bad with the flying, but sometimes you do need to dodge.
  • Im thinking we need a drive out of town soon.  
  • I might just have Nick take us for a drive Sunday afternoon.
  • We will most likely see plenty of snow, but the drive will do us good.
Other than Easter, do you have any plans for the weekend?  Or is Easter stuff all you want to do?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spin Cycle: Easter

Easter has always been  family holiday.  We do the traditional dying of eggs with the boys and have the grands over for a meal--be it breakfast or dinner. It's a nice day for us to remember family and relax. 
Some of our Easters past:
2008--the last year before Bruiser was around.
Turbo is 4 here.

Egg hunting

Basket from Papa and Nana.
Garden tools.
Easter at Papa and Nana's

First Easter he was mobile.
Dying eggs.
This year we will dye eggs with the boys and then have a breakfast with the grands. The rest of the day is a day to enjoy being lazy.
What do you do for Easter?
Spin it up and link up with Gretchen and Ginny Marie, they would love to have you!

Second Blooming

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FAQ at the Jones House

Frequently Asked Questions around our house:
  1. What can I do?  Frequently combined with I'm bored.  They never really want the suggestions I give them, such as clean your room, read a book, go clean up after the dogs, clean up the attic/playroom.  Yeah, chores are not what they are looking for.
  2. Can I play video games?  This is what they really mean when they say they are bored. sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is no.  The no answer happens more often than they would like.
  3. What's for dinner? the response to this question is met with varying degrees of enthusiasm.  If asked by me to Nick a discussion of what to actually have will ensue.  Meal planning has reduced the drama this used to cause.  If asked by one of the boys to me, well the response could be yum, I like that or yuck!  Bruiser is far pickier than Turbo right now.  Making a meal that he approves of and that the rest of us will eat is challenging.
  4. Can I have a snack?  This one depends on the proximity to a meal. Bruiser will ask for a snack right after finishing breakfast or lunch.  The kid would snack all day if we let him.
  5. Where are we going?  Often asked when we head out for road trips.  If I'm feeling ornery I'll tell the boys we are going crazy and they don't have a choice, they're coming with me.  Other times we make them guess, and sometimes we just say enjoy the ride.
  6. What movie do we want to watch?  This one causes much drama.  Bruiser doesn't like "scary" movies, Turbo likes a wide variety, I have moods about movies and Nick will watch anything, as long as it's not been watched too recently. Sometimes we tell Bruiser to just deal with the movie selected.  Often, he will start playing with his toys about 15-20 minutes in anyway.
  7. Where is my....? Fill in the blank.  The guys lose stuff all the time.  They are also less than effective at finding things.  Mom to the rescue more often than not.  Mom has amazing abilities to find the lost stuff.
  8. What's the weather supposed to be like today?  Often asked by Nick, before he checks his phone on his own, recently asked by Turbo so he can gauge what to wear to school.
  9. Will you make...? Turbo has been asking for Lo Mein for dinner, but both boys will ask me to make things like banana bread, strawberries and cream, chicken with the bone in it. It's gratifying to know they mostly like what I cook.
  10. And most recently from Bruiser: Why do I have to go to bed, it's not dark yet?! This one will be harder to answer as the days get longer.  We may invoke more nap times this summer, cause the kid is cranky without his sleep. He tries so hard to keep up with Turbo.
So there are some of the frequently asked questions around our house.  Do you get the same questions?  Or do you get other equally frequent questions?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Time to Random

Cause it's Tuesday!  So let's random!
  • I got to see the eclipse last night.  Gotta love the middle of the night bathroom trips.  At least with this one I got to see the moon looking all dark and stuff.
Not my picture, but about what the moon looked like last night when I saw it.
  •  My toe is a wonderful rainbow of colors.  Most likely broken, and causing me to hobble around and generally curse beer bottles. Swimming might be intersting tonight.
  • We spent last evening watching old movies.  From the 1930s.  Short mystery movies. We've got 50 of them to get through.  We borrowed a set from Nick's dad. Nick and I really like watching old movies.  Classics of you will, in the sense that these are old, not so much that they are great examples of cinema. But we find them fun. The kids don't really care for them--they are black and white and not funny so it's a no go for them.
  • I need some really good chocolate.  Maybe I should ask the Easter Bunny to bring me the really good dark chocolate turtles.
  • And some wine to go with them.
  • This:
So got any good random?  Link up with Stacy!
She who is now Random Queen, or our fearless leader of the random!

Monday, April 14, 2014


OK, so the weekend was pretty good, barring certain occurrences.  We hung out, stayed warm, watched movies, and generally relaxed.  It was good.  Excemtp for the part where...Wait, let me get it all in order.
Friday night the boys had a sleep over at the grandparents house.  Nick and I cruised over to Cheyenne and ended up buying a new faucet for the kitchen.  It's awesome and so much better than the old one. We came home (fastest trip to Cheyenne ever) and stopped and got steaks at the store and some salad stuff and went home and grilled.  I didn't do dishes til the next morning, so it counts--someone else cooked and I didn't have to do dishes Friday night.
Saturday morning, I sorted and started laundry and then grocery shopped. The boys came home and in the afternoon we went and rented movies: The Hobbit, the Desolation of Smaug, Thor: The Dark World, Frozen, and for Nick, The Hunger Games. Movie fest was on.
We watched movies for the rest of the weekend, Nick put my new faucet in, he helped bunches with the laundry. Sunday afternoon, we were watching the first Hobbit movie in preparation for the second one and I was getting lunch fo the kids and us.  Bruiser wanted a sandwich instead of pizza and when I went to get the lunch meat out a full bottle--large bottle--of beer fell out of the fridge and landed on my middle toe. I think I might have broken that toe.  It's all sorts of lovely colors right now. I saw stars and may have said some unfortunate words. Way to end a weekend.
On the bright side the movies were good.  I really think the Hobbit was kind of miss named--the dragon should have died for it to be the desolation.  What we saw was good, but they really just pissed the dragon off, they didn't desolate him.

And now we will wait a year for the third part as we probably won't get to the theater to see it at Christmas.
I really liked that Frozen acknowledged that love comes in all sorts--true love can be romantic love or family love.  That was pretty cool.
So have you seen anything good recently?

Now for MMMM.  It's a freebie week so let's see, what shall we listen to today?
Let's have some fun: 

Smash Mouth: All Star

Barenaked Ladies: One Week

Lou Bega: Mambo No. 5

Just a bit of fun to start the week with a smile.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Follies

Or confessions, whichever.
Made it through another week.  Friday is here.  Now to make it to going home time and all will be well with the universe. Or our little corner of it.
Confession time:
  • We get a night out tonight!
  • Boys are going to the grandparents.
  • For an over night.
  • We are going to run away.
  • Sort of.
  • We are heading to the bigger town 45 minutes away form our town.
  • We are going to hit Home Depot to look at kitchen faucets and possibly gas stoves.
  • The gas stove is a window shop sort of thing.
  • We really want one, but it's not yet in the budget.
  • We are getting a snow storm this weekend.
  • Yep, more snow for us.
  • I sort of swam this week for exercise.
  • I don't have a cap or goggles, so I was limited to kicking, breast stroke and side stroke. 
  • Got a decent work out though, about 700 yards.
  • Turbo moved up to level 8 and Bruiser will test to move up to level 3 next week. 
  • They're fish, slippery, fast learning fish.
  • Easter is creeping up very quickly.
  • We are not too sure what we are doing for the boys for Easter.
  • Oh, the bunny will come, but what he brings is still up in the air.
  • I started reading Dan Brown's Inferno.
  • It's holding my interest, but he goes off on exploratory tangents that really interrupt the story.
  • I find myself skimming the back story.  
  • I'll pay more attention on the re-read.
So what's up with you? Got anything to confess?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spin Cycle: Cats and Dogs

I have always had a pet--cat or dog.  I prefer cats, but enjoy dogs too.  Since I moved in with Nick we have had a succession of pets.  It started with smuggling a cat into our first apartment.  We weren't able to keep Chuckie--yes Chuckie, after the possessed doll--because he howled when we weren't home and we got "busted" for having him.  I took him home to stay with my mom.  We called him Chuckie because we would roll over in the middle of the night and find him staring at our heads as if he was preparing to attack. It was slightly unnerving.
Our next cat came a few months later, in the same apartment building, but she was quiet and the landlords let us get away with having her.
Tinkerbell as a kitten

She was fascinated by the fish.

Never much of an outdoor cat, she liked the idea, but not the actual outsideness of it all.
Tinkerbell was a rescue cat and she lived with us for 16 years.  She played a mean game of fetch, could freeze the biggest guy in place by sitting on his knee and was dubbed Mean Kitty by most of our friends.  She had a habit of sitting on a knee and being fine until one tried to pet her. She also hated when we moved.  She would have been happy to stay in that first tiny one bedroom apartment Nick and I had when we got her.  After that when ever boxes came out she freaked.
Our next pet was a dog.  Nick had a friend who had puppies and Nick got to pick his puppy.  Tascha joined our family in November of 1996.

She had kidney troubles and left us in 2005. Nick loved her.  Her quirks were hating loud bangs, such as gun shots and fireworks.  She also hated cattle guards and would bark furiously when we passed over one. We still remember her when ever we pass over a cattle guard going done a dirt road.
Next to join the Jones family was Piper.  We got her the spring before we got married in 1998. She is still with us and very much a cat.

She must have fresh water in her bowl so she doesn't have to share with the dogs. I am also magic and can make water appear in an "empty" bowl by nudging the bowl to make the water move.  She likes to drink by dipping a paw in and daintily licking it dry--this is effectively used when drinking out of the toilet too.
Next to join the menagerie was Guinness in 2001.  A collie lab mix dog.  A little dumb, a lot neurotic about keeping us together, he fit right into the household.
He's getting old now at 13, he's slow to move, but still quite the herder.  He hates when we are not all together, but now will begrudgingly play with the newest pet, Thullee.

Yeah, we are pet people, not necessarily only dog or cat people.  They both have their perks and down sides. Dogs are under foot, slobbery and hairy.  Cats can puke right where you will step, only want attention at the worst possible moment, and they shed too. Wouldn't be without either.

Are you a cat person or dog person or both?  Spin it up and go see Gretchen and Ginny Marie, they would love to have you!

Second Blooming

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

33 Things That Make Me Happy

Some times I have a hard time remembering the things that I have to be happy about.  This is a list that I need to keep in mind.  Things that make me happy.
  1. Impulsive boy hugs.
  2. Little boy snuggles.
  3. Hearing "I Pooped!" from Bruiser (Like you have no idea).
  4. Road trips.
  5. Swim Lessons.
  6. Routines.
  7. Warm Sunshine.
  8. Girl's Nights
  9. A new book from a favorite author.
  10. Time to read a book.
  11. A warm bed.
  12. New pajamas
  13. A dinner 100% of the family likes.
  14. New Big Bang Theory Episodes.
  15. LOL Cats.
  16. Camping trips.
  17. The first shower after a camping trip.
  18. The greeting Thullee give us when we come home, get up in the morning, sometimes leave the room and come back. Full body wiggles and a toy in the mouth so he can sing us his song of loneliness.
  19. Seeing the fun the boys have creating forts.
  20. Friday at going home time.
  21. A clean kitchen.
  22. Baked goods.
  23. Nap time, for me.
  24. A good night's sleep.
  25. Good music.
  26. Time hanging out with friends.
  27. A comfy chair to read in.
  28. A snuggly blanket--I get cold all the time, even in summer.
  29. Shopping, any kind--thrift store, clearance, sales, house stuff, kid stuff, Christmas-really any shopping, even window shopping.
  30. Movie Nights, themed or not.
  31. A good beer or glass of wine after a long day.
  32. Knowing that phone upgrade time is the end of the month. We both really need an upgrade from the phones we have right now.  So knowing upgrade time is coming is nice.
  33. These guys make me very happy:
Yeah, that's a good list to keep in mind.  What makes you happy?


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