Eliza has the best expressions, lately she looks like this a lot....GUILTY! She was smuggling candy upstairs in the Kohls bag.

Still a Boy!

** This is a FOOT, not something else, people get your mind out of the gutter!

People keep asking us if we are keeping the name under wraps for a big surprise, the reality is we have yet to decide. I still like Zenock (zek), Jared thinks its going to get him beat up. Jared likes Jordan, but I think its too feminine these days...and he is going to get beat up. The fact of the matter is, based on parental genetics the kid is going to be small (mom) and smart (dad) and we could probably name him Mike and he would get beat up....So far no luck with names.

I had my second part of a Level II anatomy and echo ultrasound last week and we are happy to say our boy is 1. still a boy and 2. Officially Congenital Heart Disease free (as far as they can tell)! Everything looks great and he is about 1.5 pounds, has monstrous feet (like both of our girls) and is incredibly active (also like our other two monkeys).

I love the scan of his heart, picture perfect. Although the anxiety of having another heart baby declined after Eliza was born heart healthy its still weighs on my mind, a clear scan helps me relax and try to enjoy pregnancy….at least a bit :)



Canon .....Define Paper Jam For Me

...When I looked at canon online it said the "E3" error code stands for "Paper Jam."

Reset Directions: While holding the power button, hit the start button three times to reset, unplug printer and error code will reset". You printer will work after code is reset.

I think they need a new error code for "Foreign Material Jam".

Reset Directions: While having a 18 month old helping you, remove ever screw possible, disconnect scanner wires and take apart every piece of you printer until you discover the hidden treasures lurking deep in the components placed by curious minds. Remove all foreign objects and attempt to reassemble having only a handful of screws left over. You printer will work after code is reset.

Last week my printer died, it had an eternal error that could not be reset. Even though it was a printer error, the scanner would not work until the error was cleared. For the last few weeks it was having feeding issues. We purchased it last year (of course the warranty ran out in November). I can live without a printer, but not a scanner and I am really OCD about buying canon products. I have been looking and after fixing the door and redoing the girls room our budget didn’t have an extra $150 for a new printer.

So while I was on hold this morning about our new door handle that broke (so another story). I was ticked anyway so I grabbed a flash light and saw a little piece of paper stuck down in the reels. I couldn’t get it out, figured the printer was shot anyway so I took off the exterior and interior casing. Twenty screws and ten component later I finally had access to the area I needed.

Much to my surprise, I found more than a jammed piece of paper, I found a few papers, part of a Kleenex, a color pencil, and my favorite a plastic strawberry. What the freak? Its like ohhh, there is a slot, let see what all fits down it. I have no idea how the strawberry got in there because it was so far in you couldn’t even see it. I had to go in and unscrew the feeder bar to dislodge it. And the amazing thing was it was completely unharmed. So that explains the printer dilemma.

Screwed it back together and much to my amazement it prints beautifully and scanner is up and working. I was only short one screw…. I have a feeling Eliza ate it…or dropped it back into the printer.

Tonight we will be having a dinner discussion on what is appropriate to put in the printer….PAPER!

Stickin to the Day Job

I have learned to cook alot over the past five years and most of the time am successful with it. I decided to try a new chili recipe for our wards annual Chili Cook Off. The next day we had a potluck and church and a guy said "Hey Em, your potatoes are excellent, maybe you should stick with potatoes and leave the chili alone."

I think I need to reconnect with colder climate again, its hard to even think about chili when its 70 degrees out. It was all in good fun, there was wonderful food, and it was a beautiful night out. We had a great time....especially Eliza, she ate two bowls of chili, 4 pieces of corn bread and who know how many brownies. And she finished up the rest of the GI chili when we got home.

They hand out several awards, but the main to categories are 1. Texas Chili (no beans) 2. Yankee Chilli (with beans) 3. Its good, but it ain't chili.


Weekend Projects

Jared now gets every other Friday off...and he is going to learn to hate them :) Over the course of Friday and Saturday, we put up the bunk beds, stripped and refinished the front door, dug out the sod and planted our garden, mowed the lawn, planted the rest of the flowers and did a few odd and end around the house. I think I am freaking out this baby is coming in in three months :)

I love the color we did in the girls room, it does not show up real well in the photo, but its really pretty. Erin and Eliza are thrilled about the new bunk beds. Eliza is still in her crib, but already mastered climbing up and down the ladder to the top bunk.

We picked up the beds on swapshop (NASA's classifieds) for a great price. I love how it has a desk, bookshelves and small dresser built into it.

I need to finish the frame today, but I FINALLY got my garden in (3 weeks late). The soil down here is poor and I have spent the last two years working this area and adding lots of compost and finally we have a real in-the-ground garden. We planted mainly peppers and tomatoes.

And the door, that is a different story....


Imagination at HEB

Grocery shopping is always an experience with a four and one year old. Erin and Eliza were getting rowdy in the baking isle so I told them to play a game. Erin said “I know, let’s play castle! I’ll be the princess, Eliza you can be the tower and Mom….your the gargoyle”.

Thank you very much. I thought the old lady next to me was going to hyperventilate from laughing.


Ode to Gunther….

Its Stake Conference which means only two hours of church today and no meetings! So I thought I would take some of my free time and catch up on the blog.

When I moved down here almost five years ago, I hated it. Today, we have adjusted, but its still not home. A few years ago my sister in law Britt (who now also lives in the urban jungle of Houston), and I were joking around that I needed something in my kitchen to remind me of home.

If you know Jared at all, he is not much of an art lover and so half joking, half serious we talked about needed a painting of a rooster for my kitchen. One reason was to ease the homesickness and the other was just to drive Jared nuts. I dug up an old photo of our family’s rooster and told her to make it a conversational piece.

His name was Gunther and he was one heck of a mean old fart. In actuality I hated him, he use to jump up and dig his talons into your back. H lived close to a decade (which is a long life for a chicken) and he was incredible cocky and territorial. He use to strut around the yard and would take on animals several times his size, including steers. But in such a small town he provided good entertainment on a summer night.

So much to my surprise, Brittany gave me a square present at my baby shower a few weeks ago. I had forgotten about the painting idea. When I opened it, everyone was like “Wow Em, ummm, that will look great in your nursery!??” "Don't you think it might scare the baby?" It was hilarious! She did an excellent job painting him; she even captured that crazy look in his eye. I just need a frame and he will go up on the wall (and Jared can’t even get rid of it since Brittany lives a few miles away and visits often :) Job well done Britt!

corn gluten meal

Long story short, our yard was addicted to synthetic fertilizer. The guy who lived here before fertilized on a monthly basis, the lawn was beautiful, but in reality it made it really weak. Last summer it got a bad fungus and when its 90 plus degrees most commercial fungicides will kill whatever is left. Ironically the guy at the feed store ( I was buying guinea pig food at the time) recommend corn gluten meal as an fungicide and great fertilizer. I had ready a few studies about it, I thought why not, and within two weeks the fungus was gone. Our lawn looked pretty bad, and then the hurricane came and the great garbage jaws that picked up debris ate the rest of my lawn (and my new planted shrubs).

So now that spring is here, we thought we would try corn meal again, figuring it can’t hurt our yard. The great thing about it is its non-toxic and the girls love to help spread it. By the end they were both white as a ghost from the dust and Eliza was spotted from running through the sprinkle while we watered it in. It would be awesome if this is our answer to going chemical free in the yard.

In the Works…..

Ace Hardware had a sale Saturday and I finally decided on a color for Erin and Eliza’s room – Carthage Blue. We purchased a set up bunk beds off of the JSC swapshop (classifieds for NASA employees) and they are red oak, so pink was out. The woodwork is cream and I didn’t feel like repainting so blue it is. Erin picked out the color and I think I am really going to like it.

I love going to the local ace store in town, they have this old guy that runs the paint department that can tell you anything you want to know about paint and color (and it will). He still mixes the paint the old school way. He let Erin help him measure out the blue and green pigments and she really thought it was cool.

I got home and had a few hours open so I got the first coat on. Hopefully we can finish it early this week and get some projects cranked out before the baby comes…