Thursday, December 26, 2013

Feeding my OCD for Organizing Stuff

The spice storing system in my house drove me nuts.  I had little shelf things that were intended to help make the bottle labels viewable.  But beings I didn't exactly get the height in my family, I still could not see a darned thing. Even the step stool sometimes was not enough and I would have to go pawing through the spices.  So Santa got me these Pampered Chef twirly things.  Gotta say - I LOVE IT!!! 

I can see the labels on everything.  Everything about it feeds a part of my personality that I mostly do not have time to feed.  It is a part of me that organized people love and drives less organized people nuts.  Transferring the spices to proper sized bottles, printing out labels, labeling the bottles, alphabetizing the spices, combining duplicates, and tossing aged spices brought me such pleasure.  Pleasure that was only slightly hampered by having an 8 year old assistant.  But she and I figured out how to work as a team. 

I can't believe I didn't take a 'before' pictures, but I didn't.  You would be even more impressed if I had.  Didn't know how happy this could make me.  But it does. 

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 has come and gone.  Although too busy for my taste, we had a good December. 

Not usually one to shop on-line at the very last moment, I was forced to by the fact you cannot find short-sleeved button down shirts in stores in December, which Curt wears to work daily.  Kohl's promised delivery by the 24th if I clicked "Place Order" before midnight on the 19th.  So I did, with about 4 hours to spare! 

However, the package got caught up when UPS exceeded their package delivery limits. Oh well, we just printed off the pictures of the shirts and wrapped the pictures for Daddy-O!

The Hubster had no gift idea hints for me this year.  Nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  If you have no hints for me, then you get underwear.  Jenna was appalled by that idea.  She really could NOT believe I was going to do that.  She would not even wrap the gift for me.  But niece Valerie didn't find it awful at all, so she wrapped the undies for me. 

The bottom right picture is Curtis proudly displaying his gift.  He also received a nice office chair for our computer table that I have he has been wanting for a while. 

Elsa's Final Hiding Place

December 25:  I thought Elsa's final 'hiding' place was so obvious, so in your face considering the activities of the day that she would be spied immediately.  It actually took several hours and a subtle reminder that she had not found Elsa yet to get her looking.  Guess she was perched just high enough to be out of view for an 8 year old. 

Bye-bye Elsa!  We are going to miss you!  See you next year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Morty!

A Sack Race

December 24:  This morning when Jenna found Elsa, she was barely in the lead in the First Annual Housley Sack Race.  Monkey was closing in.  Pteradon was giving Monkey and Elsa a run for their money.  But poor Kitty Kitty was really struggling in last place.

Note:  I was not up when the sack race was discovered.  So when I came downstairs, I asked Jenna "what was Elsa up to this morning?"  Her reply?  "I don't really know what she was doing."  Huh? 

I said it was a sack race.  She said she didn't know what that was.  I ask you people - what have end-of-school celebrations come to if there is not a sack race???

Christmas Came Early for Jenna

Jenna enjoyed a sleep over at her cousin's house on Sunday night.  She thought it was because she was staying there Monday while mom and dad worked.  It was, but there was an ulterior motive.  While she was gone, mom and dad redid her bedroom to fit in her Christmas presents. 

A study desk and a TV.  The excitement and pure joy was overwhelming! :-) 


Monday, December 23, 2013

Elsa was here!

December 23:  Elsa was hiding out in Jenna's newly redone bedroom.  "Elsa was here!" she wrote in Trix cereal.  That silly girl!

A Sticky Situation

December 22:  Elsa and her kitty were caught sipping a bit of syrup this morning. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Stocking Stuffer?

December 21:  Elsa was all snugly and bright in Jenna's stocking this morning!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gone Fishin'

December 20:  Elsa decided today was a good day for some R&R after her harrowing experience with the kidnapping yesterday.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Held Hostage

December 19:  Elsa was taken captive by a bunch of Army guys last night.  Luckily they were only after her candy canes!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December . . .whirrrrrr it's a blurrrrrrrrr!

It's been a very busy week!  Well actually, it's been a very busy month!  We have:
  • Attended a birthday slumber party (Jenna)
  • Seen the Endocrinologist (Jenna, with Curt and Shelley)
  • Seen the doctor (Shelley, for a very sore ankle)
  • Goes to Awana with her friend Amy every Wednesday (Jenna)
  • Attended the Healthwise Holiday Party (Curt and Shelley, luckily on a Wednesday so a baby-sitter was not necessary)
  • Gone to a school Christmas Program (Shelley, to see Jenna perform)
  • Attended Western States Automation's Christmas Party sleigh ride, cowboy dinner at a cabin, and magic show when we got back to town (Curt, Shelley and Jenna)
  • Hosted a cousin sleep-over
  • Gone to the dentist (Jenna, with Curt as her driver)
  • Attended Mama Jo's Daycare Christmas Party

And in between times,
  • Worked full-time
  • Attended school
  • Did homework, homework, homework
  • Finished up the Christmas shopping

Whew!  And we still have another two weeks of December to go.

Jenna's growth progress was excellent for these last four months.   We are almost out of her medicine and have no news about when it will be on the market again.  However, I did see a post yesterday on the web group I belong to that said Increlex (Jenna's medicine) will be back on the market in Europe the last week of December.  I know Europe and the USA are not the same, but it feels like reason to have hope we will be able to get Increlex again soon! 

If I don't 'talk to you' again before then, Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!

Hiding in the Pantry?

December 18:  Elsa was hiding in the pantry holding a note for Jenna today. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Little Naughty

December 16:  Elsa was a little naughty.  She left Jenna a note . . . . on the bathroom mirror!  Jenna was concerned that Elsa used Sharpie markers.  Sure hope 'she' didn't make that mistake!  :-) 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elsa's Jam Session

December 15:  Elsa was rockin' the electronic keyboard when Jenna and Valerie found her this morning. 


Saturday night niece Valerie had a sleepover.  The girls played and played with Elsa.  Sadly, she had a terrible fall over the railing from the top of the stairs.  Luckily both girls are medically trained and they were able to perform emergency surgery on Elsa.  She quickly recovered and was back to her adventurous ways by Sunday morning. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Little Snooze

December 14:  Elsa was exhausted and taking a little nap this morning.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Elsa the Gymnist

December 13:  This morning Elsa was found swinging from the Jenna Den doorway!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

December 12:  Jenna found Elsa sitting in the middle of the produce plate on the kitchen counter. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Story Time

December 11:  Elsa was reading a story to a herd of friends this morning. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


December 10:  Elsa and her furry friends were deeply involved in a game of Catopoly when Jenna woke up today!

Monday, December 9, 2013


December 9:  Elsa and her cat friends were sliding down the stairway handrail when J-Bear found them this morning!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Flying Elsa

December 8:  Elsa took a whirl on the ceiling fan in Jenna's bedroom. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Card Shark

December 7:  Jenna had a sleepover birthday party Friday night.  When she returned from 'staying up way past midnight', she found Elsa had a little party of her own.  Elsa and her friends played cards all night long! 

Vandal Elsa

December 6:  Elsa was on the kitchen counter making herself some hot chocolate on Friday morning.  Who knew that Elsa was a Vandal fan, too?

Elf Antics

December 5: Jenna found Elsa making S'mores by our fireplace!

Elsa the Elf

December 4:  Elsa took a little bubble bath in Jenna's bathroom sink.

Elsa the Elf

We started a new Christmas tradition at our house this year.  Elsa the Elf has joined our family.  I learned about 'Elf on the Shelf' last year, but I couldn't get my poop in a group enough to do it last year. 

Our elf isn't an official 'Elf on the Shelf'.  Ours is an 'Elf on the Shelf' knock-off.  And our elf doesn't give Santa behavior reports.  Our elf just surprises Jenna with different antics each morning.  And a few coins, which is much to Jenna's delight.  

Still didn't quite have my poop in a group this year, being we didn't start on December 1.  But in life you just gotta deal with the parents you were assigned.  :-) 

Here is Elsa the Elf on Day 1, which was December 3rd for us.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

And the winner is.....


We have decided to return to Hawaii, our honeymoon location, for our 10th Wedding Anniversary Celebration Trip next March.  We are going to Oahu this time.  We have rented a condo on the North Shore near Turtle Bay. 

And we are thrilled to say that our two nieces, Valerie and Amanda, will be joining us for the trip!  Telling the three girls that they all would be going with us was so fun.  There was squealing, screaming, dancing, throwing themselves to the floor and rolling around with glee. And the girls were pretty happy about it, too.  (ha ha!) 

This will be within view for a glorious week in a mere 111 days (yes, I counted!)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I hope you have spent your day in a way that is special to you with people that are special to you! 

We hosted the Thanksgiving Feast at the Housley House today.  My sister's family, Maryon, Sally and Jasmine joined us.  We followed our meal with a lovely walk around the neighborhood only to return and celebrate the November birthdays in the family. 

1.  The birthday people with the birthday cake decorators
2.  The birthday cake chefs
3.  Maryon and Sally
4.  Amanda and Jasmine
5.  Valerie and Jenna
6.  Loren and Amanda

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Big Black Cat Mix Up

Back in September, Jenna and I took the dog for a walk.  Over on another street in our neighborhood we found a big black cat.  It came right up to us and dropped at our feet to roll around on the ground.  We determined it was OUR big black cat, picked him up and took him home. 

On the route home, I noticed his collar was missing.  And while we debate the color of Tippy's eyes (I think they are yellow, C&J think they are green), I thought to myself - "Man, Tippy's eyes are sure yellow tonight!"  And he had several globs of matted hair on his belly.....

Jenna and Valerie wrote up the story last weekend.  I think I will just let them tell you the rest of the story. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Halloween 2013

The Witch, the Cheetah and the Apple Tree.  Yup, an Apple Tree.  You gotta give Valerie credit for being original! 

School Picture

Jenna's school picture turned out excellent! 

You might recall my earlier post about my experience with school pictures and why I always stay home to help Jenna make good hair choices for the picture day.  (See September 25, 2013 post.)  In that post, I said it was 2nd Grade.  But when I got out my school pictures book, I see it was actually 3rd Grade. 

Presenting THE bad hair day photo!  People are constantly telling me that Jenna is my 'Mini Me'.  They say "sure can tell who her mama is!" and stuff like that.  To me, she looks like Jenna.  But if you can overlook the hairdo, what do you think?  Are we twins? 

Moscow Trip

We left the Mama Jo's kids at Linder Farms, picked up Amanda, and headed north to Moscow/Troy to visit and attend an Idaho Vandal football game.  The day was beautiful, we could not have asked for a better pumpkin play or traveling day. 

We stayed in Troy with Mary and Mike Yenney.  Saturday morning, we went down to the Troy Park for the girls to play.  Kelly Johnson and I visited while we walked laps around the park. 

We headed to Moscow and hit the Vandal Bookstore.  Then Taco Time for lunch.  Curt took the girls on a walking tour of the campus while I attempted to visit my friend Laurie Chamberlain.  She was not home, so I headed up to the Dome. 

During the pre-game festivities, I discovered Tim and Bebe Dodds were in town for the game.  I had posted a Moscow picture on Facebook.  Their daughter, Katy, saw it and sent a text to her mom.  Bebe sent me a text and I found them tailgating in the Dome parking lot.  Found my family and we headed into the game. . . . . but left at half-time because sadly it was a blow out.

We stopped at the New Hong Kong restaurant and picked up dinner, then headed to Troy where the Johnson, Yenney, and Housley families celebrated Mary's and my birthday. 

1.  Doing jumping jacks in Riggins to blow off steam before the remainder of the drive. 
2.  Jenna, Kelly and Amanda at the Troy Park. 
3.  Amanda, Jenna and Bebe at the game. 
4.  Amanda the intense football fan.
5.  Jenna the pondering football fan. 
6.  The girls and me
7.  Curtis with "Joe Vandal", Jenna's purchase at the bookstore, stuffed into his shirt pocket.
8.  A beautiful fall day on campus.
9.  McCall on the drive home.
10.  The game.
11.  A&J at the Troy park.
12.  A&J at Taco Time.

Mama Jo's Day Care at Linder Farms

The first weekend in October, the Boise School District has a two-day teachers work day and the kids are out of school.  We generally go to Moscow that weekend, since Jenna is available to travel on Friday.  Traditionally, Mama Jo takes the day care kids to Linder Farms on the Friday.  We have never gone, since we were headed up to Moscow.  This year, we decided to stick around for the morning and join the festivities.  Sure glad we did.  The kids had a ball!

1.  Marilyn, CJ and Jenna on the hay ride.
2.  Jenna climbing the rock wall. 
3.  The entire Mama Jo's gang on the hay wagon. 
4.  Jenna (background) and CJ and Curt driving the pedal tractors.  You had to be 8 years old to drive yourself.  CJ is seven, so Curt was her driver. 
5.  Jenna and CJ in the pumpkin patch picking the perfect pumpkin.
6.  More of the gang searching for their pumpkins. 
7.  Mama Jo herself.
8.  Jenna on the trampoline-jumping-crazy-high ride. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

School Picture Day

Having had more than a few school pictures that are *embarrassing to look back upon, I always stay home the morning of school picture day.  Help with clothing selection; help with hair. 

* Second Grade.  Kristin put pin curls in the top of my pixie haircut.  She didn't really know how to do pin curls, so the ends didn't get curled and my hair stuck up all over the place.  My Grandma Ball wouldn't let me wet my hair down because I would have to walk to school with wet hair.  We lived across the street from the school for Pete's sake!  

If I had it to do over now, I would go into the bathroom as soon as I got to school and wet my hair.  But back then, I would never have disobeyed my Grandma.

Grandma McKie wrote back, after receiving our school pictures "Shelley really should have combed her hair!"  Humiliating! 

Cascade Weekend

My poor neglected blog!  I can't believe it has been a month since I have posted anything.  I apologize to my readers and promise to doing better in the future!

Life has been busy.  The school year is well underway.  My work has been hopping.  Curt was in Minnesota for his work last week.  We have an appointment with an oral surgeon to remove a couple more teeth for Jenna on Monday.  We are headed north to Moscow/Troy the first weekend of October. 

Last weekend, we were invited up to Cascade, Idaho where our friends Mark and Lorraine have a vacation home.  It has been 10+ years since I have been to the Cascade house.  They have remodeled and wow!  I didn't recognize the place! 

My sister and her family, Lorraine and Mark, Sue and Jim, and the Housley family gathered.  Saturday afternoon we took the kids to Gold Fork Hot Springs near Donnelly, Idaho to swim.  It is a rather unique hot springs.  You really don't 'swim'.  It is more of a soaking place.  Their pools have sand bottoms and the girls had a ball creating sand sculptures.  They also have a huge chess set next to the pool.  One you stand upon to move your pieces.  Sunday morning, I threw on some shoes and took Morty outside first thing.  We scared off the four deer that were hanging out in the back yard! 

Scenes from our fun weekend: 

Thank you Lorraine and Mark for inviting us to come up.  I hope we were well enough behaved that we get invited back. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Valerie's 8th Birthday

Valerie celebrated her 8th Birthday at a rollerskating rink in Nampa.  What a blast from the past.  The place has been around for almost 50 years.  They do all the traditional skate rink things - reverse skate, duo and trio skates, limbo, skating races.  It was fun to watch the kids figure out how to skate!

In honor of her birthday, I made her stiletto cupcake shoes.  It was a very fun cake decorating project, but took a lot more time than I expected.  In the end, I was racing around the house trying to get myself and Jenna out the door and over to the party!  Next time, I will allot more time!

New Carpet

We returned from Tahoe only to immediately start a big home improvement project.  We recarpeted our entire house!  The carpet was the original and it was pretty beaten down.  It could not really be cleaned with much success anymore.  It was past time!

The idea has been in the hopper for a couple years now.  Everything finally came together financially and logistically.  Plus I found Meridian Flooring, a carpet store that felt a lot like doing business with Brown's Furniture in Moscow again.  Only thing it was missing was my good friend Mary to help me make good choices. But I think I did okay on my own!

We also redid the vinyl in our master bath.  Several years ago, we redid the counters and shower in a beautiful granite.  But the blue diamond vinyl remained.  This was purely a cosmetic change - and I love it!

Recarpeting your entire house is a close cousin to moving.  The only difference is you do not have to clean out cupboards.  Removing everything that touches the floor is a challenge.  Luckily it was a two-day job so we could use carpeted rooms for storage the first day, then move it all across the hall for day two.  It was a lot of work, but so well worth it!