Friday, August 31, 2007

New Opportunities

A lot has happened over the past week and I haven't blogged about any of it! During the coming week, I will have close to 12 hours of "down time" as I attempt to busy myself while The Dragon is attending her preschool class. I have meals to plan, groceries to buy, coupons to clip, bills to pay, a birthday party to plan, and stuff to blog about. Hopefully I will be successful in getting this stuff done while I am sitting around. Have laptop, will travel!


I do have some very exciting, up to the minute news to share with you...

I just signed up to be a Creative Memories consultant (again)!

I am very excited to have this opportunity as Creative Memories has changed and expanded over the past year. I can now offer "traditional scrapbooking" services, in addition to "digital scrapbooking" and "custom framing." Yahoo!

It's going to be a lot of fun, and I can't wait to get started. I'd love to share more information with you about all the great products that Creative Memories has to offer. There truly is something for everyone now, because you can even get your digital photographs printed through Creative Memories. And, I can hook you up with 20 free 4x6 prints if you are interested.

Wish me luck!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Exhaustion Finalized

You've heard it before, you'll hear it again, but nothing else expresses this past week as well as the following:

What a long strange trip it's been!

In an effort to explain what I've been going through, I have rewritten this post several times. In writing, my week sounds very boring and I can hear the chorus of "What's so difficult about that?" echoing throughout the blog comments.

All I can say is that this week was emotionally draining on me. And a simple call to my Mother made everything OK.

I am required to spend 3-hours (approximately) a week in The Princess' school class. I figured that this wouldn't be so difficult to do because The Dragon will be in preschool for 3-hours a day, 4 days a week. HA! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

The first attempt of scheduling resulted in the teacher wanting me to teach Science in the afternoon. This doesn't work for two reasons. One, I don't want to "teach" anything that requires me to come up with a lesson plan on my own. I want to simply "show up" and "do" whatever the teacher needs me to do. Sometimes this does require "teaching" but I NEVER have to come up with the lesson plan. Two, the afternoon won't work for me because The Dragon will not be in preschool at this time.

The second attempt of scheduling was better because they moved Science to the morning hours. This got rid of my second excuse, but I held strong to my first excuse in that I did not want to PLAN anything. They finally caught on, and now there are two parents who are willing to "teach" science, and I am their assistant. I will be there every week to help maintain order in the classroom and keep things running smoothly, and I will also assist in the "shopping" for supplies as needed. This I can do.

You might think that this solved the problem, but it wasn't that simple. I still wasn't meeting the 3-hour a week requirement. So I offered to come in earlier during the day and spend the morning in the classroom every other week. The teacher was thrilled! I'd be helping out with math. I explained to the co-op coordinator that I wouldn't be able to be there at 8:30 due to dropping my child off at preschool at some unknown time, but I was assured that whenever I got there would be just fine.

Last night was "Back To School Night." Turns out that there is a new math program being implemented this year, and that 2 parents plus the teacher are essential to making this work. My coming in late is not ideal to the situation, though the teacher was very kind to me about my concerns.

At this point, I am stressing. Stressing is something I do very well - just ask The King.

So I broke down. And this morning I called my Mom. And I asked her if she would be willing to take The Dragon to preschool every other Thursday for me. And she said...


I hate relying on somebody else, but at this point, I don't really have a choice. I think it will work (except for when my parents go out of town, etc), but at that point the teacher will just have to take what she can get... and I can't worry about it until it occurs... IF it occurs.

All I can do is get some sleep.

[ By the way, I was floored by how many responses I got to my whiny lack-of-sleep post and by how many of you are also 'Sleepless in Blog-land.' Wednesday night I was in bed before 1:45 - not a great improvement but it was a full hour earlier than the night before. But Thursday night? Yeah, last night I made it to bed before MIDNIGHT. Crazy, I know. Keep the comments coming, eh? You guys totally made my day! ]

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


With school starting next week, The King has been very good at reinstating the 8 o'clock bedtime for the children around here.

I, on the other hand, have gone the opposite direction and do not go to bed until 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning.


I need to reverse this, and fast. Next week I will be getting up at 6 AM in order to get my child on the bus by 7 AM. Ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I think I'll go to bed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oi! Redux

You might think, that with school starting in LESS than TWO weeks, I might have our schedule arranged. You might think, that with school starting in LESS than TWO weeks, the SCHOOLS might have THEIR schedule arranged.

You might think that. But you would be wrong.

As it stands, other than knowing that my kids WILL attend school, I don't know much.

Fine. I'm exaggerating.

The Princess will be attending the same school that she has attended for the previous two years. School starts at 8:10 am and they release the monsters children at 2:45 pm. Most likely, The Princess will be transported to school by bus, at the oh-ouch-early hour of 7:00 am. Well, that's what happened last year anyway. The bus schedule has not been confirmed yet. Did I mention that school starts in LESS than TWO weeks?

The Dragon will be attending preschool.

[ Imagine me taking a very big breath here ]

I loved the preschool that The Dragon attended last year and originally thought that she would attend that preschool again except I realized that it would be a very long commute that I would have to make four days a week which I wasn't sure that I really wanted to do except I couldn't bear the thought of her attending a different school so I did what any sane person would do and registered her at TWO schools.

You followed all that, right? [ I am taking another very big breath ]

So all summer long I have been tormenting myself and anyone who would listen to how I didn't know which preschool she would attend but also telling myself that we were going to have to go to the old preschool rather than the new preschool because when I registered for the new preschool we were actually stuck on the waiting list - in position number eight - and so while there was a very good chance The Dragon would get in nothing was guaranteed and it was very frustrating because The Queen likes to have a plan and a plan was nowhere in sight besides which even if the school had guaranteed us a spot I might not have taken the spot because the old preschool was oh so good and what if the new preschool wasn't all that I expected it to be?

Still with me? [ Inhale ]

So on Tuesday I got a phone call from Lisa whose daughter was registered at the new preschool and she told me that there was going to be a new preschool teacher because her husband got a job in Las Vegas and she wanted to go with him - imagine that - so I thought to myself that maybe I should call the school and find out exactly what was going on and if our position on the waiting list had changed any since early June and so I called the school and left a message explaining what I wanted to know and they called me back today.

And guess what I found out...

You'll never guess...

No, no that...

The Dragon is not on the waiting list at all. There is NO paperwork indicating that she was ever on the waiting list. In their minds, she does not exist at all. But they would be happy to ADD her to the waiting list - in position number 14 - which means that she MIGHT get in - in JANUARY.

Um, no.

So, I guess my dilemma of not knowing which preschool my daughter should attend has been solved for me. I should be grateful - but I'm not exactly. I kind-of wanted to choose. At least I know it is a very good school and The Dragon loves her teacher VERY much.

But this brings me back to one very tiny point. School starts in LESS than TWO weeks - and guess what? The old preschool still don't know exactly when they are going to start - date wise OR time wise. Or stop. They have some rough dates in mind - but nothing is official. They should know NEXT Wednesday.


Labels: , ,

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Pantry Runneth Over

I love to shop. Not for clothes, not for shoes, not for groceries. Well, OK, maybe I DON'T love to shop.

I think what I love is a good deal.

So my new hobby (oh yes, it is definitely a hobby) is coupon-ing.

There are people out there who can out-coupon me by far - this post is not a claim to be named the reigning Queen of the coupons, OH NO - but I think I've gotten some pretty good deals.

I have made several trips to the store over the past few days. I made my lists, I clipped my coupons, and yes, I dare say that I shopped until I dropped.

I spent (including taxes): $177.80

Here's what I purchased:

Apple Jacks (3 15-oz boxes)
Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats (3 8-ct boxes)
Cheddar Cheese (8-oz block)
Sunsilk Shampoo
Sunsilk Conditioner
Red Grapes (1.76 pounds)
Banquet Frozen Dinners (2)
Eggo Waffles (4 boxes)
Michelina Frozen Dinners (6)
Dole Salad Mix
Bic Pens (10-ct, 2 packages)
Tyson Chicken
Hillshire Farm Lunch Meat (8-oz package, 5-oz package)
Broccoli (1.42 pounds)
Green Onions (2 packages)
Cabbage (2.53 pounds)
Baby Spinach (Fresh Express Packaged Salad)
Fried Chicken (Fresh from the oven, ready to eat!)
Croissants (2, 4-count packages)
Charmin Toilet Paper (4 packages, 12-rolls each)
Nice-N-Soft Bath Tissue (1 package, 4-rolls)
Kroger Cereal (Forgot the name, 15-oz box)
Apple Juice (1 gallon)
Italian Salad Dressing
Dole Mandarin Oranges (6 15-oz cans)
Macaroni and Cheese
Shedds Spread
Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
Ibuprofen (24-count)
Trident Gum
2% Milk (2 gallons)
Eggs (18-count)
Kiwi (2)
Limes (2)
Bananas (2.35 lbs)
Frozen Vegetables
Honey Roasted Peanuts
Imitation Crab Flakes (8-oz package)
Kroger Cooked Bacon (8-oz package)
Hot Dog Buns (8-ct)
Birthday Card for my brother (It cost $4.99, but it plays the "Chicken Dance"!)
Downy Fabric Softener (32 loads)
Bounty Paper Towels (8-ct)
Puffs Facial Tissues (3 packages)
Cascade Dishwasher Detergent
Hunt's Manwich (6-cans)
Fruit Gushers (2 10-ct packages)
Fruit Snacks (5 10-ct packages)
Fruit Roll-Ups (3 8-ct packages)
Betty Crocker Frosting
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix (5 packages)
Betty Crocker Muffin Mix (4 packages)
Nature Valley Granola Bars (4 packages)
Hamburger Helper (7)
Tuna Helper (3)
Yoplait Yogurt (2 6-ct packages))
Go-Gurt (4 packages, 8-ct each)
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (6 packages)
Pillsbury Biscuits (1 package)
Pillsbury Toaster Strudels (3 packages)
Honey Nut Cheerios (5 boxes)
Fruity Cheerios (3 boxes)
Lucky Charms (2 boxes)
Hunts Pudding (14 packages, 4-ct each)
Gasoline (10.85 gallons @ $2.69 a gallon)

In addition to the groceries, I also received:
120 Box Tops For Education ($12 to The Princess' school)
2 coupons each good for 5 cents off per gallon of gasoline on my next fill-up

I spent $1.045 cents per item purchased - keep in mind an item could be 1 lime, or could be a 12-pack of toilet paper. Not, bad, right?

Would you like to know what it would've cost me without my coupons?


I got a discount of approximately 65% on all of my groceries. I'll take it.

(I realize that many of the items purchased wouldn't be considered typical groceries. I would like to clarify that this is NOT what our family would typically eat in a couple of weeks. For example, "sugar cereals" are banned 99% of the time at breakfast - at our house they are stuffed into zip-lock bags and taken to church for a "please-be-quiet-snack". One box of cereal will typically last us more than a month when used in this way. The King takes "frozen dinners" to work - we currently have a supply that should last at least a month. We're definitely not the most health-conscious people around, but this is not our normal diet either. Simply put: the "extras" that end up in your shopping cart every shopping trip have already been purchased at my house -- for a discount of 65% off the regular price! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!)


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Dog Lake

As a child, a family tradition was to hike to Dog Lake. I remember singing camp songs as I marched happily along the trail. I remember blue skies, and the smell of spruces and wildflowers. I remember being relieved to find that there weren't dogs at Dog Lake. I remember fun.

I shared these memories with The King with the desire that maybe our family could go to Dog Lake too. The kids should be able to handle it, after all, I did at their age. And of course, it wouldn't be a problem for us because my parents could handle it.

I researched the trail. Despite what my Mom said, there was no mention of Dog Lake in Mill Creek Canyon. There was, however, a Dog Lake in Big Cottonwood Canyon. My Mom said that the trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon was not the trail we walked, but that it did connect to the same Dog Lake.

The website said that the Dog Lake trail was half of a mile long, and was described as "easy." I was fairly convinced that this must've been the same trail that I had walked as a child, and decided that even if it wasn't the same trail, we ought to give it a try.

On Saturday, we prepared for our adventure. Good walking shoes? Check. Water? Check. And away we go.

We arrive at Brighton Ski Resort near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and find the trail head. The sign informs us that the trail was actually .75 miles long. We weren't worried, a quarter-mile ain't nothin'!

The trail started out going up. I was tired, exhausted, in pain... it became very clear to me that I was out of shape. Particularly when a man with a broken leg on crutches passed us up. Talk about a blow to the ego.

As we reached a relatively flat part of the trail, we noticed a beautiful waterfall up in the distance. I pulled out the camera and snapped a photo of it, using all the zoom capabilities available to me.

We continued our climb, and finally reached a plateau where a sign informed us that Dog Lake was only 500 feet away. We had made it!

Dog Lake wasn't quite as I remembered it. It seemed rather swampy, and very small. I figured that since I had been much smaller the last time I had seen it, it must've just been my perception. I did know, however, that this climb to Dog Lake was definitely, positively, NOT the one I had experienced as a child.

We explored the lake for a few minutes, and decided that we would begin our hike back down after we had checked out the spring we could hear nearby. We shortly discovered that this was not just a spring, nor was it just a river. This river, was actually the waterfall! In the course of this hike, we were now on top of the waterfall which we had first seen when it was oh so far away.

We progressed back down the mountain, much faster than we had climbed up the mountain, though The Princess and The Dragon were grateful to hang on to The King's hands as they tended to slip and slide down the trail.

Once at the bottom, we glanced at the map once again. Apparently we had traveled 580 feet upwards, during our .75 mile journey. No wonder my legs were killing me.

Further research informed us that there are actually TWO Dog Lakes. One can be reached from Mill Creek Canyon (by either the Big Water or Little Water trails) and Big Cottonwood Canyon, and the other... well, we know all about the other.

Maybe in a few weeks we'll try the Dog Lake that I actually remember.

Labels: ,

  Graphics by and Copyright © 2001 Point of Focus