Archive for the ‘Joe’ Category


Summer Do

April 15, 2010

Erin has been bugging me for a few days to cut her hair. I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to let her have short hair. It irritates me that she won’t brush it, but I can’t bring myself to let her have it short. Well, this morning I decided I’d cut it for her after I had a chance to rest. The last several days have had me up early, running all day, and then falling into bed fairly late. Today I had to get up early, but once Jeff left for work, I didn’t NEED to do anything other than help the kids with school work.

While Erin worked on her math, I took a nap. She didn’t need my help, but I definitely needed a nap. At one point, while I was sleeping, Sarah came upstairs to ask if she could borrow my camera. In my sleepy state, it didn’t occur to me that I had it set to “no flash” because the last pictures I took were of a 6 week preemie, who was only 3 days old. I thought the flash would be a bad idea! Sarah wanted to take pictures of Joe and doesn’t really know how to work my camera, other than the obvious, aim and push a button. She knows nothing about the settings. The pictures she took were very fuzzy because the kitchen is dark and she was in the kitchen. One of them was sort of okay, so I decided to post it beecause the subject matter is rather funny!

Joe gets a little more than a full cup of high quality, grain free dog food with a Tbsp or 2 of pumpkin over the course of a day. He only weighs 16 pounds and he’s a couch potato so he really doesn’t need more than that. Oh yeah, he also gets a bite of banana every day (thank you Jeff) and several small dog treats as well. He even gets the occassional fast food burger (no bun) or pizza crust. Apparently there was a mutiny in the kitchen this afternoon! Sarah reports that Joe opened the bucket with his nose and proceeded to munch a few pieces of food before she put a lid on his fun! I suspect someone didn’t fully close the lid on the bucket. At any rate, Joe always “thinks” he’s hungry, but I think he just likes to eat…all the time! He will pathetically sit and stare at the buckets, right after being fed, if someone walks into the kitchen. He’s not spoiled or anything!

After dinner this evening, I told Erin I would cut her hair. I am by no means a hair stylist, but her hair is long and unlayered, so I usually am okay with cutting it. She told me she wanted it just about shoulder length.

This is where we started. Jeff thought a yardstick would give some perspective.

This is where we ended up. I oopsed a couple times while trying to get it even.

At first I wasn’t sure if she liked it. She looked as though she might cry and I thought perhaps I had traumatized her. In all actuality, she had really bad split ends and it needed to be cut pretty short. In fact, to get rid of the split ends, I think she’d need a cut almost as short as mine, which is too short for her, in my opinion! She took a shower and decided that she really likes the length. Whew! I think Jeff may be a bit traumatized by it, but it’s only hair; it WILL grow back, quickly!

She was watching something mildly amusing on TV. She has this incredible contagious laugh. She cracks us up all the time.

She’s even cute when she’s being rude!

I’m just glad she likes her new summer do!


Easter Sunday Morning

April 4, 2010

We didn’t do a whole lot today, but I took a lot of pictures, so I figured I should break up the day into two posts. So here is the morning, next will be the afternoon. But first, I must tell you about last night…

Yesterday was so crazy that Jeff and I both fell into bed fairly early. Our bedroom is in the attic, so it reaches insane temperatures on hot, sunny days. Yesterday the area saw record high temps, near 90 degrees F. Unheard of this time of year here! When we got home from the rink, our bedroom had to be near 90. I took a brief nap, then decided that the air conditioner might be a good idea. Last year, it started making an awful noise, but the repair guy couldn’t find a problem. I thought perhaps it didn’t like sitting on carpet (it’s portable), so Kyle found a board in the basement to set it on. I orchestrated, while Jeff and Kyle installed the blasted thing.  It worked fine, until I plugged in the vent hose, then awful noises were heard. I put a piece of paper near the port, wondering if it was the hose connection or something else, only to have the plastic fan blades  begin breaking and come flying out of the exhaust port! YIKES!!!! We gave up, opened the skylight all the way, took down the shade, and installed a fan (set to exhaust) on the opposite side of the room. Thankfully, the then 62 degree F temps outside, blasted into our room and quickly cooled it off. Then, we fell into bed from sheer exhuastion (around 11…rather early for us)!

I digress…the early bedtime meant rising rather early. We were both hungry, so we went out and grabbed some quick food, then came home quickly. I had plans for the kids! My mother-in-law bought Erin some raised beds to plant veggies and flowers in, but the place we wanted them to go in the yard is quite uneven. I asked Kyle if he would be willing to remove the grass and a little dirt to try to level it out. He enlisted Sarah’s help and soon the 5 of us were outside. Oh the five included Joe, not Jeff. Jeff goes outdoors in the spring as little as humanly possible due to horrible springtime allergies!

Our lawn has many random areas where chunks of concrete are buried a few inches below the grass. We dug several chunks up, near the garage, last spring thinking they may have made up a sidewalk…not the case. I had the kids leave the chunks in place, so nobody would stumble into the ditch and get hurt.

As the kids dug near the house, I had them move the sod chunks to replace the concrete near the garage.

Looks much better and it’s much safer now!

Sarah was jumping on the transplanted sod to make sure it was where it should be and packed in well… You MUST enlarge this picture to get the full effect. Look at her feet in relation to the ground. Can you tell she’s a dancer? Straight up, legs straight, body straight, tons of air! I laughed pretty hard when I uploaded this picture.

Kyle dug up and moved the majority of what needed to be removed. He quickly decided this was the preferred method of moving the grass…

…rather than this.

Sarah did her fair share…

…of standing around contemplating …

…and working, until…

…she stole my lawn chair!

Meanwhile, Erin got creative…

…until she skinned her knuckle.

I know you can’t see the skinned knuckle in the above photo, but I thought it was a cute picture anyway. She went inside to wash and put a band-aid on it, but Jeff was in the shower so she couldn’t run water (old pipes, badly controlled water flow). She came back out with a clean tissue wrapped around it, like this…

It’s her flower finger! Kyle, not paying close attention to the whole exchange, asked her if she had skinned two fingers, since she was holding two fingers up. She rolled her eyes, looked at him, and explained that she had skinned the first knuckle on her middle finger, and it would be rude to just hold that one up for the camera! I just about fell out of my chair laughing. She is right…it would have been very rude, and I NEVER would have taken the picture! Smart kid!

Joe thoroughly enjoyed his time outdoors with us! He sniffed around and even rolled in a worm he found (YUCK)!

Then he posed showing me his good side…

…then his better side!

He even convinced Sarah to stop working and scratch his belly. Tummy rubs are one of his favorite things. He’s not spoiled or anything!

His final pose looked so snobbish, that I thought I’d try to make it look more dignified than snobby by desaturating it. I guess it makes a nice portrait.

While the kids were working, a couple of critters caused interruptions in their work. ALL work ceased when this guy showed up on the scene.

Kyle has been stung multiple times by bees, and is therefore, very wary of them. Sarah has never been stung, which is a bit firghtening, considering her many allergies. She is therefore, also very wary of them. I just like to photograph them and really have no fear of them at all. I’ve been stung a few times, but I survived without incident (other than much crying when I was little and got stung)!

This silly bird halted the kids’ progress as well. It was apparently cleaning dead grass out of the gutters and dropping it to the ground, from right over the kids’ heads! Then it would cock it’s head and watch. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it knew what it was doing.

All three kids really did get a lot accomplished towards leveling the area for the raised beds. We only had about an hour and a half to spend at it, but they managed to almost completely clear one of the two areas that needed clearing! Erin was cracking me up. She was going to use the edger to split a piece of sod when I decided to take her picture. She thought it would be funny to hide behind the edger…now she is skinny, but not THAT skinny, lol!!!

Here she is checking out the Easter Lily that her grandma got her.

This is the area they got leveled. They need to go back a little more toward the house, then it should be good enough.

Now that this post is ridiculously long, I will leave you with one more picture. I found these in the middle of my yard and thought they were pretty…


Around the House

March 31, 2010

Yesterday I wandered through the house and took a few pictures of the girls rooms and Erin’s “garden.”

Sarah didn’t want to be photographed.

Erin, however, really didn’t mind.

Sarah is a collector of many things.

The horses on top of her bookcase are horses that I collected when I was quite young. I gave them to the kids when they were fairly small and I am amazed that they are still around. A couple of them are probably close to 30 years old!

Sarah has quite the collection of musical things as well. The box to the right of her keyboard is a guitar, while the box underneath contains a ukulele.

As I was taking pictures, Joe was whining at the bottom of the stairs. As I moved from Sarah’s room to Erin’s room, I peeked down the stairs and found Joe on the lower landing. He isn’t allowed upstairs, but sometimes he tries…

Erin loves her new room even though it is quite small.

Erin is quite creative. She made a whole bunch of these angels…


 …and made this very cool picture with pastels.


This picture was on a shelf on the bottom of her easel when we moved her into her room. I thought it should be framed, so I found a framed picture that was in the house when we bought it. I had stashed the framed picture thinking it was an okay picture, but not really my style. Erin’s picture was the same size, so I put her picture in the frame instead. She was absolutely thrilled!

Although Sarah’s creativity usually comes out more in the form of music, she does occassionally draw and create on paper. These are on her door.

Finally, I went downstairs and photographed Erin’s garden that seems to keep expanding through my dining room. She is studying botany this year and has decided that she really likes it, so she has been planting seeds from all sorts of foods. She even planted seeds from the wild bird seed we bought to feed the birds at the park.


Winter Fun

January 10, 2010

Jeff and the girls went outside late this morning after Erin’s hockey practice. I decided to tag along for a little bit to take some pictures. I am nearly over this rotten cold, but it is presently stuck in my lungs and the cold makes me cough a lot, so I try to stay out of it as much as possible. They were just too funny, so I stayed out longer than I probably should have, but it was well worth it!

Erin decided to make a snow angel. She was wearing a very pale pink coat and with all the pale colors, I was having trouble getting the proper color balance, so I went with B & W. I think it looks pretty good that way.

A while ago we were looking for some boots with good traction for Erin. We happened into a local thrift store and found these beautiful, new, Harley Davidson boots in her size. They were only $20. She loves them and wears them as often as she can. Yup, that’s my girly-girl, pink coat, plaid purple gloves, and Harley boots, LOL!

Jeff and Sarah bought Nerf swords recently, against my better judgement, so they took those out with them to play fight. Erin stole Sarah’s sword and promptly “attacked” Jeff. It was pretty funny to watch.

While trying  to get Sarah’s sword, both girls made some rather funny faces. The whole thing looked like a bizarre dance. I took about 15 pictures of the whole thing, but won’t bore you with the whole thing…here are two of my favorites.

It looks as though Erin is going to bite Sarah’s chin…

As most of you, who read my blog, already know, Jeff does not allow me to post pictures of him. Sooo, this is The Mysterious Swordsman coming at me with his shield rasied and his sword ready to strike. These are posted with the permission of Jeff The Mysterious Swordsman.

Every time we get snow the kids shovel paths through the back yard for Joe. Typically they pile the snow into a mound at the back of the yard. When it is big enough they make it into a small sledding hill. This particular pile is a bit narrow on top, so the sled kept listing one way or the other. It was a bit annoying to the girls, but I laughed so hard every time they tried. Here is Sarah sliding off to one side…

…somehow managing to flip on the way down. She was giggling so hard she could barely get up.

I think this is right after Jeff swatted her on the backside with the broadside of his sword. She decided at that point that she should perhaps go inside and put on dry, warmer pants, and a pair of snowpants. Nothing like a swat on cold skin to drive wisdom into one.

Jeff threw snow at her, AFTER I told the kids not to throw snow in each other’s faces. I guess I should have told Jeff, not the girls! At least Sarah laughed about it.

Same as the picture above, just in black and white.

Joe joined us outside for all of about 5 minutes. He loves the snow, but he’s so small and close to the ground that he gets cold very quickly. He looks so pathetic when he starts to shiver. Then he runs to the gate and looks even more pathetic dancing to keep one foot, then another off the ground until someone takes him inside. He’s not spoiled or anything!

I have begun experimenting with color correction in Gimp. If the colors on any of these look way off, please let me know. I used my netbook, as my desktop machine is being squirrely, so it’s hard to tell sometimes. If the screen is moved a fraction of an inch it completely changes the look and colors. I tried to get the angle I thought was most accurate, but please let me know if something is way off.

After taking almost 150 pictures, I went inside and washed some dishes, then offered to make Jeff and the kids some hot tea. I think they were out there in the 15 degree weather for about 2 hours. At the offer of tea, they all quickly made their way into the house. They had a ton of fun playing and I had some pretty good laughs photographing it.


Happy Birthday Jeffrey!

October 29, 2009

On Tuesday Jeff had a birthday. That morning I, unfortunately, had to have some allergy testing done. Having never had that done before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I am still getting hives from time to time where I was tested on my arm. After the testing, all I wanted to do was sleep.

I did manage to throw some corned beef into the crockpot before taking a nap though. When I awakened, I remembered that I had forgotten to get cabbage, so we ran to the store and got some. I then made Jeff’s cake. When I asked what he wanted, all he told me was pineapple. I made a white cake in two layers, and made some pineapple yummy (filling) to go between them. Oh, he also told me that he is not fond of butter cream frosting, so I found a recipe for creme fraiche frosting, so I made that instead. The whole thing was rather yummy. I had gotten the Wall-E and Eve figures ages ago and somehow managed to hide them until I finished the cake. (He really likes Wall-E)


Today I was feeling rather industrious, so I made a grape pie with the filling my mom had given me. I tried an oil based crust which turned out fabulous! We had a little left over frosting from Jeff’s cake, so we put that on top of our pieces of pie and it was delicious! I also made pumpkin muffins to try to use up some left over pumpkin I made  last week. I also used the left over crumb topping from the grape pie for the muffins. Good stuff! As I baked, Joe (aka Hoover) looked on keeping an eye on the floor in case he was needed for clean-up duty.

new bed


Once I finished baking, I made curried, pecan crusted pork sandwiches for my family. I don’t eat pork so I planned to have left-over chicken as an open faced sandwich, but I was so tired, I skipped dinner. I can’t figure out why I’m soooo exhausted! Ha Ha Ha!


Turning Point Park

April 26, 2009

I managed to get the oil in my car changed this morning. It went remarkably faster than Jeff’s car except that the oil was like sludge. It’s been awhile! There is also a lot more room under the hood of my Taurus than his Alero, which helped with the speed of the oil change as well.  I still haven’t taken my car out for a spin yet. I don’t imagine the fresh oil will solve all of the car’s issues, but maybe it won’t hesitate quite so much. I’m not sure if Kyle was psyched or scared when I let him back the car off the ramps. His first time behind the wheel and he did very well. Good thing too, as the clearance between the back of the car and the fence was only about 8 inches when the car was completly off the ramps.

The kids and I went to Turning Point Park today and I got to take a bunch of pictures. The weather was, again, absolutely beautiful.  Just before we left, Joe was chillin’ on the futon.


While at the park we saw lots of boats.

Some were more sea worthy…




…than others.



On the other side of the path we were on was a wooded area with railroad tracks above. Here is a cool abandoned stairway that was beckoning to be photographed.


The path we traveled runs along the mouth of the Genesee River. At one point the path becomes a boardwalk that goes out over the river some. We were on the boardwalk when I took this. If you click to enlarge it, you can see more of the boardwalk across the picture.


We started out on a path that you can see in the picture above. It sarts up at the top of the hill and goes down a rather steep slope to the other end of the boardwalk. I didn’t think my back would tolerate the walk back up the hill, so we drove to a different area to go out on the baordwalk. This flowering tree was near where we first parked.


At one point along the path, as I turned around from taking a picture, I found Erin sitting on the path looking at the pictures on her own camera. I couldn’t resist taking her picture.


Kyle’s new sneakers are so white and nice that I had to take a picture of them. He danced around a bit thinking I was trying to photograph him, then finally he stopped and let me snap a shot of his shoe.


The kids thought these sheds were really cool. I thought so as well, after I cropped out all the extraneous stuff.


In between walks at the park, we drove Schallers and had burgers and dogs. Poor Sarah wanted fries, but everything is fried in soybean oil. Oh well. She seemed to enjoy her bunless hotdog anyway.

All in all we had a great time.


A Walk In the Park

April 20, 2009

Yesterday, after the cemetery, the kids and I took Joe for a walk through the park. Here are  a few pictures from our outing.