Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

While "whole family" photos will be available later this week I thought I'd give you some of the goodies from our costumes before our school's "Monster Mash"

First off, our little partner in crime, Robin.  Can I just mention I made this cape with no pattern.  I think it might be my finest piece of rogue craftsmanship.

 
and, in true Halloween spirit he is sportin' a Jack O'Lantern grin.  Love that kid.

 
And, on to the Green Lantern...  I am thinking he may have had some crime fighting to do, rather then have his picture taken.  When exactly will this "phase" end?
 
 
I love that this costume consists of a T-shirt, mask and ring.  I didn't lift a finger other then to buy stuff on Amazon. :)

 
And finally our tiny cat burgler...  Frankly, if anyone on the planet should be allowed to wear unitards it should be 3 year olds because this girl knows how to shake it when she's in this outfit.  It's too cute.
 
 
Cat-like reflexes...

 
And, for your view pleasure or pain, a glimpse at the wonder woman herself:
 
 
I wish her lasso of truth would work.  no really, I do.
 
Our little band of caped crusaders had a great time at the Monster Mash and already has big plans for Halloween night.  Hope you do too!
 
 
 If you loved these costumes, please go vote for us on this page (we are #32).  I'm petty far behind, but I figured maybe if I got all of Drew's students to do it...
 
 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lab Tests

After every one and their dog telling me I most likely had a thyroid issue and realizing I hadn't had a lady-part exam in a long time I finally broke down and got a doctor...

and I saw her.

I literally just picked one out of the offered doctors, which is really not like me, but it was good.  I like her, and I actually think I'm going to switch my whole family to their office.  I ended-up not really being a fan of Mesa Peds, and I think they're over-priced, but that's a blog for another day.

Back to me.

I got my lab results back

My thyroid was 1.63 -- which is on the lower side of normal, but still normal.  Guess that's not why I am fat.

My glucose was 93, which I am not thrilled about... still seems a little high.

My cholesterol is still high (224).  Which it has been since before I got married.  And it's just dang annoying.  Anyone have anything that actually brought their cholesterol down?  I have lost like 40 pounds and it's still the same.  It may have gone down about 10 points, so I am hopeful that further weight loss will bring it down more... but I am still not happy with it.

Anyway -- oh, my pap smear was normal.  Hip-hip horray.

So, the moral of this story is:

Have you had a check up recently?  You really should.  It's important to be seen, and thanks to Obamacare, mine was free. :)

I mean, "free" (with my 505 monthly insurance premium).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Update on SEERing.

Last year we got a new air conditioner/heat pump unit.  Our other one was under-sized for our house, and was probably about an 8 to 10 seer when it was installed (approximately 1994).

We replaced it with a 5 ton, 15 SEER unit (SEER is how they measure the energy efficiency -- the best seer ones seemed to be around 18, I think... it was a while ago).  Just for an idea, we bought from ChasRoberts -- and it was about 5600 dollars (they also had to do some other stuff because we were up-sizing and adding a clean air vent.

So, here is a comparison from this year's and last year's utility bills:

8/2011 -- 267 (partial month) 8/2012 -- 149 (118 difference)
9/11 -- 365 9/12 -- 225  (140)
10/11 -- 300 10/12 -- 166   (134)
11/2011 -- 365     11/2012 -- 123  (242!!!!)

That last one seems a little weird.... not sure how that is right, but I am happy either way.

We also bought this great thermostat:

I like it for a few reasons:

1.  You can put the temperature to "hold" for a certain set number of hours, so if I want it to not come on while we're gone, I just set it to a temperature it's not going to come on, and then when we're coming home it will be back to cool.  You can also do this for vacation, so your house is 900 degrees when you come home.

2.  I like that it has 7 days of temperature control.  Because I am a control freak I set it for Sundays and our church schedule (it doesn't come on while we're at church) and because we do a money saving program through SRP I have it pre-cool before 3pm to save money.

Anyway, electricity costs here in the summer are a pretty big concern and I'm happy to say that we have consistently saved money with this system.  I am also a cool-ness miser and I set ours to 79 most of the time.  That seems to be a bit higher then most people I know but it works for me.

Also, with that thermostat, I can set it down a few degrees for a half an hour and cool it down when I'm feeling hot, and then it will just go back to 79.

This isn't to say that I think you should buy a new air conditioner if the one you have is working perfectly fine. Ours wasn't putting out much cool-ness, and we were pretty miserable so it was a good investment overall.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

White Flies/Tomatoes

It's only 10 am and I've already tried to cure my crazily growing tomato plants of white flies and I fixed a fountain in my drip system.

Horray.

For the white flies I took some yellow cardstock and coated it in vaseline.

Yum.  right?

Then I stuck it into the cage.  I did that about 2 hours ago and just now there's probably 20 white flies stuck to it.  I am hopeful it does some good.  I guess, after doing some internet research, that white flies suck the juices out of the tomatoes.

And I need juicy tomatoes.

need. 

Here's how I did the "trap"

 
And because what's a blog without some garden photos.  Here's what the garden is looking like right now.  The stuff on the far right is butternut squash. That plant's gone insnae, we have like 8 or so already!
 
We have some seriously growing jalapeno peppers and the egpplant is still cruising along.  Yay.


Our tomatoes didn't do so hot this past summer, so I researched it out.  The leaves were all curly and kinda leather-y looking so I added some calcium (by way of Gypsum) to the soil and my fingers are now crossed.  I also added a couple scoops of compst to each area where I planted.  Hopeful to see good things soon!  Don't forget to vote for #32, and get really excited to see what our costumes for THIS year are going to be!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I just want to know

I just want to know what YOU are going to do, not what the other guy is/isn't going to/thought about doing.

I'm not talking just presidential I'm just SO tired of it!

I think it's fine to point out weakness every once and a while, but I am SO ready for this election to be DONE.

and that is all. :)

Don't forget to vote for our amazing costumes here.  We are #32.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wedges

I find driving an axe into wood and hearing it split open strangely satisfying.... of course, it's not like that happens often...

But the wedges that are being waged lately are driving me crazy. Gay vs straight, men vs women, rich vs poor... and the candidates & news programs just keep hitting the wedge, & they want to hear us splitting apart...

People are adding to that wedge with social media... these awful posts with nasty language seem to be constants.  People are buying into the wedges, & I don't see good outcomes.

Personally, I don't find the wedge.  I see good things in both cadidates & I am all too aware that we are a nation of both checks & balances, and neither one will change our nation all that much, thanks to all the wedges being waged in Washington. I am sympathetic to most sides of an issue.  I see the woman who felt she had no choice besides abortion. I see people who live on government subsidies & can't seem to find a way off. I see gay mariage advocates, I get what they want, & they are all good people with whom I most likely have more in common with then differences....

But.  I think this is a time to look at yourself.  Are you driving a wedge in?  Are you hoping the wood will crack? Who does that help?

Soon we will be a dead tree begging to be made into furniture instead of going into the fire.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

California Girls

It was really weird to be "dropped" into my old town.  I thought it might be awkward with some of my old friends but honestly, it felt like I never left.  Sure, kids are older and problems have changed, but life went on so smashingly.

Drug Bust House


Moms instagram-ing drug bust....
Perhaps you saw my drug bust on instagram?  It just seems like crazy fun stuff like that happened pretty frequently when I lived there.  Too funny.  It happened right across the street from my old school with so many old friends, it made my day...

We went to Yumi Yogurt, Stans Doughnuts and Athena grill...

Honestly, it was so cathartic.  To kind of realize that it's all there and I can probably visit it yearly, or perhaps more often.  Allegiant seems to have such great deals to there.

I just felt torn inside though.  I missed my AZ friends when I was there.

And frankly, that's just lame.

I realized that each place has so many great things about it, but I'm supposed to be here right now.  and I am amazingly grateful for that.  Grateful that I knew how many blessings I was coming home to and all the great people here.  I remember leaving for the unknown when we moved here.

But I know it's great, and now I know how great it is to visit CA. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vote for ME!

You know you love our halloween cotsumes.
I entered our Peter Pan year in a contest and I'd love it if you'd vote for me.
I'm #32...
 But, in other news there are a TON of great family costume ideas over there, so even if you don't vote for me you might get some ideas too! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oh, what a day

I knew today would be a roller coaster of a day....

The up's: seeing old friends at church, so much fun. We had such a great ward.
Watching Conner pass the sacrament with kids he grew up with
Seeing old friends at the celebration (Roddy didn't have a funeral, he had a celebration of life).
Funeral potatoes were a huge hit at the funeral!  Those Mormons, we know they're better then alcohol!

The down's: So many amazing influencers in my kids lives are here in CA, I miss that the people who have seen them grow-up aren't in their lives anymore.
So sad to have the party that Roddy would have adored, without him...
Sad that Drew couldn't be at the party...
Drew wrote a lovely tribute to Roddy which I somehow felt compelled to read and try not to cry through.
P wouldn't go to nursery, that girl!

The truth is that I really wish I would have written down the many feelings I have had on this trip. It has been good & hard, hope to expound more this week when I am not blogging via my thumbs.

The other truth is that I know Roddy is cancer free now and he and Noona will be together again.  At some point separation, be it death or just miles won't be an obstacle for us. I look foreward to that.  That, and my own bed.... :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

A quick update...

My absence has been due to a trip to the Bay... oodles of fun, check out the instagram picture to see my true love, Stan's doughnuts....  drew is now home to protect the homestead and march his rear off....
Anywho, just checking in.
Turns out people are just as lovely here as when I left them. :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Medical Billing 101.

I am on hold with our pediatrician's office, trying to figure out how much Princess P's visit from last week would end up being.  We actually haven't had a sick visit since we started on that insurance, so I 'm interested to see how it shakes out.

Mind you, we're saving 300 dollars/month by doing this plan.  Our total out of pocket is pretty close to what it would be on Drew's plan, but we are required to pay the office visits, there is no co-pay.

Here's some information you need to be a good health consumer:

1.  Doctors (or medical providers, we saw an NP) bill a certain code for how extensive their visit with you was.  I'm hoping she didn't bill for much, because she certainly didn't spend much time in the room.  I mostly didn't need her to see her, but I digress...

2.  That code has a dollar amount the doctor's office sets.  I think she said this was 90 dollars.  BUT, then it goes your insurance, and they have a certain amount that they're in contract to pay, which is the dollar amount I will end-up paying.  I will also end-up paying for the strep culture.  She said that is usually around 10 bucks, after insurance.

So, just because they SAY this particular visit would be 120 bucks or whatnot, you need to find out what your insurance has contracted to pay for a specific code.

But, here I am a week later and no one has a clue what the cost will be.

I mean, would you walk into Ross and just say, "I'm going to get that shirt and it doesn't matter how much it costs, I just want it."  But, doctors offices hide behind your copayment and just bill whatever they want.  Which is annoying.  I realize they can't really tell you what the MD is going to need to bill for until after they see you, but after that it seems fair they could come up with a bill.

But they can't.

Did I mention that is annoying, because it is.  It makes me extra happy I bought those strep cultures.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Gratitude

Yesterday was El Presidante's last primary program (BTW, if you had a kid who'd graduated to YM at some point during the year prior, would they be in the primary program in your ward... shwondering?).

As I looked at him (and yes, he was probably eyeing ways to die rather then sit there and sing the Wise Man and the Foolish Man)... and just thought about ALL the people who have put SO much time into him.

Sure, I put a lot into him, but I brought him here, he's my responsibility.

But all the teachers, and now as I'm looking at the youth program I'm suddenly SO thankful for all the time and effort people will be pouring into him.  I think, because we don't live near family, I take these relationships extra special and truly appreciate all the effort.

I had a friend recently post all the reasons that she has left the church.

While I disagree with her reasoning and almost every point she made in her "broadcast" I also just don't how I could parent without the support of the church and also the gospel.  It really backs me up 100%.

I feel very lucky.

So, if you've ever given C a little of your time, I am giving you a little internet hug. :)

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