Thursday, February 28, 2013

Today

Field trip to Great Harvest Bread Co. with Lambs. (Yum! Of course I broke gluten free diet.)
Church-help set up tables for fundraiser night.
Eat very quick lunch.
Write to do list for Ram and Lamb 1 and 3 to do while I'm gone.
Take Lamb 2 to speech.
Pay bills while Lamb 2 has speech.
Bake 25 lbs of chicken for fundraiser night.
Do dishes.
Rest for a little bit.
Clean one bathroom (did other two yesterday).
Help inlaws unload car/visit with them/put away some of the things they brought.
Go out to eat with inlaws because gasp, I hadn't made dinner for them. (Not paleo either!)
Put Lambs to bed.
Ram cuts up onions for fundraiser night for me.
Make raspberry ganache pie for fundraiser night.
Trying to get to bed early tonight to be rested for tomorrow.

On tomorrow's schedule:
Shred chicken cooked today and season for tacos.
Find a store selling raspberries in March and buy them for the pie.
Pack up car with food we're bringing.
Visit with inlaws/do stuff around the house tomorrow.
Help set up/be there for fundraiser/help clean up.

On Saturday's schedule:
Sleep in.
Spend the whole day with the inlaws without doing stuff for fundraiser.
Go out to eat for Lamb 1's birthday.

On next week's schedule:
Get ready for the ladies lunch at church.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Home Anniversary!


Wow, one year since closing date. That means our one year home warranty on everything inside the house is up. Thankfully our realtor got us two more years of home warranty-we pay the service call and everything else will be taken care of after we pay the service person to walk in our door. We did take full of advantage of that first year warranty-dishwasher repaired several times, stove repaired, several doorknobs replaced, garbage disposal repaired, outside lights on garage repaired, and I'm sure more that I've forgotten. Hopefully everything is repaired now and we won't need to use that extra warranty.
I wish that we were farther on unpacking/garage was more empty, but it will come. We are so thankful to God for providing this house for us. It really is laid out perfectly for us. The location is perfect for us too.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lord, Thee I Love with All My Heart

At church yesterday, we sang LSB 708. I didn't make it through any of the verses while thinking of Adam Menze. Ram said he made it through LSB 708 but he got more teary while reading the translation of Beethoven's Symphony 9 while thinking of him. The last few months I have helped choose hymns for our services. When I "complained" to Ram that we picked that hymn, he said when we picked it we didn't know about Adam at the time.

I will put verse 3 here, but I would recommend reading or singing all 3 verses. You can also listen to it on YouTube here.

Lord, let at last Thine angels come, To Abr'ham's bosom bear me home,
That I may die unfearing: And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me, That these mine eyes with joy may see,
O Son of God, Thy glorious face, My Savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

Menze family, you are in our prayers without ceasing. We especially pray for health and strength to get through the next few days. Rev. Weber, you are in our prayers without ceasing too as you minister to the family and conduct the funeral. We also pray for safe travel for all the family and friends going to the funeral.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our weekend

Wednesday night I received an e-mail about one of the Loopers. Adam Menze went to be with his Lord after a plane crash. He leaves his wife Rhonda and their 6 children. I did not sleep well Wednesday night after receiving this news. I was in shock all day on Thursday and only did what was necessary. Please keep them in your prayers, also keep their pastor in your prayers as he does the funeral on Tuesday. On Friday I received another e-mail from Rhonda and was so glad to hear that her family and friends and community is taking so well care of them. I got to know Rhonda shortly before we moved to ID. This is one of the times that I wish we were still in MN.
Friday was Ram's day off so he took care of some appointments and errands for us. Then Friday night I went to scrapbooking at our church as a fundraiser for our youth. It was fun to spend the evening with my friend, Joelle, and the other ladies from church. I didn't accomplish a lot of scrapbooking, but it was a fun evening.
Saturday we got another Bountiful Basket so we had salad for lunch, baba ganoush for snack with carrots to dip in it, and potato leek soup for supper. I worked on taxes some. I trimmed the boys hair. We needed a few days to take care of tasks like this at home. I'm still not used to Fridays being Ram's day off but trying to adjust.
Sunday was church and Sunday School. We had a family that just moved to the area that visited with 3 children to add to our Sunday School. We all were friendly with them and hope they come back again.
We came home for a quick lunch and then took the Lambs to the Philharmonic. I had read in Treasure Valley Family Magazine that this was a one hour concert, but it was a regular concert over 2 hours total including intermission. I had complained about the price of tickets, but when we had a full length concert the price wasn't that bad. We had seats in the center of the auditorium about half way back-we bought the cheapest seats and thought we had great seats-not front row but not back row either. The concert was Beethoven's 1st and 9th symphony. What a treat to hear a work from when he was in his 20's and a work from the end of his life. It did get long for the Lambs, but they were anxious to hear Ode to Joy which both Lamb 1 and 2 have practiced on piano. After the concert some people that sat near us complimented the Lambs on their behavior. Lamb 2 said all weekend that Beethoven's 9th symphony is his favorite symphony! I had ushered for the Philharmonic in high school so I've been to several concerts and I've never experienced anything like this concert. Amazing with orchestra, choir, and soloists. I bet Beethoven in his wildest dreams never imagined his work performed like this with the translation of the words on the screen behind the choir. I kept thinking, wow, the Lambs experienced this at their young ages, I had to wait 3 more decades. Their piano teacher was also at the concert and very impressed that they were there.
Then we went to Fuddruckers, they had free hamburgers, fries, and pop with a donation to Boise Rescue Mission today. We had a nice meal out after the concert and were happy to donate $ to such a good cause.
Now the weekend is over and I'm still not used to Ram not having Monday's off and now Lamb 3 began speech on Mondays too. This week I will try to finish getting taxes together, prepare for Ram's parents to visit for Lamb 1's birthday, prepare for Lamb 1's birthday, our preschool has a fundraiser this weekend, and get ready for our LWML ladies lunch in March. Whew, I think we'll need a vacation after Easter!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MN vs. ID expenses

I began to get our info together to send to our tax lady. Last year I had already sent it off by this point. I am hoping to get everything together and send it by early next week. I found these expenses interesting.

City water/sewer/trash 2012 was $298.50 cheaper than 2011

Electric 2012 was $521 cheaper than 2011

And there is no comparison for propane vs. natural gas. 2012 all natural gas was $506. We usually prepaid our propane in MN to get a better rate and would pay about a $1000 a year. A fill was usually at least $350 and we often had 3 fills a year. Some years we had money left of that prepay for the next year, some years we had to pay more, it depended on how cold the winter was and how much propane we used and the price of propane. The propane was just to heat the house. Here natural gas is for my water heater, stove, fireplace, and heat.

This is not a good year to make a comparison because we lived 2 months of 2011 in a rental house and there were a few extra expenses to close accounts in MN and open accounts in ID. Then we did it all again in 2012 by living in a rental house for 3 months and the rest of the year in our new house. For a short time we paid utilities at both houses. I don't think the rental house furnace worked properly so our gas in that house was more expensive than our gas in the new house. So I expect next year our expenses will go down slightly because God willing we will be in the same house all year.

We have the same number of people in our house and have roughly the same amount of laundry, dishes, keep the temperature the same etc. Living in a small town was expensive because there were less people to pay for the city expenses. Electric was much more expensive in MN than in ID. Plus add in that it doesn't get as cold here and it gets hotter but not as much humidity as MN so it doesn't seem as hot to us. We love the expenses of utilities in ID after living in MN. Thank you ID Power and Intermountain Gas Company! I have just begun taxes but I'm sure I'll notice more things like this as I continue to work on them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bountiful Baskets

Before we moved here over a year ago, my friend Joelle told me about Bountiful Baskets and suggested that we begin ordering from them. She has reminded me several times and we never did it. She reminded me in January and I decided to order once to try it. It becomes a little addicting to see what they offer each week.
This is the way it works, you place an order online on Monday afternoon or Tuesday and you go pick up your veggies and fruit on Saturday morning. It has a 20 minute time to pick up, if you aren't there then they will donate it. I don't think we will participate in the summer when we can go to Farmers Markets, but this has been a nice addition to our produce in the winter. They would appreciate your help volunteering at the site at least once every 6 times you participate. We have not volunteered yet as we were seeing how this works. We will try to volunteer soon since we appreciate it. We began ordering in January.

The first time we ordered a regular basket and this is what we received. The Lambs loved all the oranges, apples, and bananas. The brussel sprouts and carrots (purple and white ones too!) were great as roasted veggies. We decided to participate every other week after this nice basket.

The second time we got a regular basket. The Lambs loved the watermelon but we don't eat many white potatoes so I wasn't as impressed with the veggies as the week before. 


We did order some extras this second time. We got two of these guacamole packs that have what you see in this photo. It had garlic, jalapeno, onion, lime, lemon, and avocado. We loved this having fresh guacamole and our favorite recipe of colored bowls. We were glad we ordered two of these packs. A few of the avocados weren't good, but we had so many that it was ok.
On the left you can see that we also ordered 8 lbs of strawberries. I made jam and the leftovers were cut up for a nice big bowl of strawberries when we had company for lunch one day. It was great to make jam in the winter plus our jam was almost gone after giving away so much for Christmas gifts.
I wasn't available to pick up the third time we ordered so Ram and the Lambs did the pick up and took the photo. So the photo is of everything together here. We received a regular basket plus ordered a lot extra. This was our biggest order so far. We also ordered a Italian theme veggie pack that had garlic, basil, oregano, rosemary, onion, parsley, bell peppers, mushrooms, and eggplant. This was great to have all these veggies in the winter!
We also ordered 20 lbs of oranges (which the Lambs ate really quickly) and 25 lbs of tomatoes which I put in the freezer. When we lived in MN we were given tomatoes by several of our members and what I put in the freezer in the summer was enough for all our recipes all year. Here some members gave us tomatoes and we had one tomato plant. But we have used many more cans of tomatoes than ones frozen. I was glad to take this chance to freeze a bunch of tomatoes which will hopefully last us until this summer when I can get some at the Farmers Market.

We ordered this week for our 4th time and will pick it up on Saturday. We ordered a regular basket and some extras. We ordered a veggie pack with a Mexican theme with garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, lime, onion, grey squash, avocado and tomatillo. We ordered a Tropical pack with vanilla beans, pineapple, mango, lime, coconut, kiwi, fresh mint, and ginger.

They offer many more extras that we have not and probably will not try-good quality bread, coconut oil, tortillas, etc. We are attempting to eat gluten free and I like Tropical Traditions coconut oil. I have been quite pleased with Bountiful Baskets and it has helped stock our fridge with veggies and fruit during the winter at a very reasonable cost.
The one thing is you get so much at once that you have to think right away what to fix and you don't know ahead of time what will be in the regular basket. So far we have thrown out some spinach and some celery because we didn't get to it fast enough. But when you look at all the veggies we have had that wasn't too bad to waste those two things. Plus it is so nice to the budget to not put any of this produce on your grocery list-we are stocked up on onions and garlic again from the extras we ordered. The Lambs are happy to have fruit to snack on too.

Ordering every other week has worked well for us. The first week we work on what will spoil soon, the second week we work on what will last a little longer like potatoes/squash/apples/oranges. Sometimes the first week seems like we have too much, the second week seems like not enough veggies. But it has seemed to work out and if we really need something we could get it at the grocery store. We only have to come up with recipes to use what will spoil right away the first week, we get a little break from immediate recipe planning the second week. Plus this way we only have to get out of bed early every other Saturday!
The other nice thing is when you order on Monday you usually know if you will be busy or out of town on Saturday so you shouldn't order. So far the timing has worked out perfectly by ordering every other week-the one Saturday that Ram and I were both busy was the week that was our week that we didn't order.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Kenyan Hymnal

It seems like it was a long time ago because we still lived in MN, but a couple of years ago we donated some money towards the Kenyan Hymnal project. I was excited to see  that they recently dedicated these hymnals. You can read about the dedication here. We rejoice with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya.
Soli Deo Gloria!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February????

On Friday we found a bike at Goodwill for Lamb 2 for $9.99. This was after looking at lots of thrift stores the last couple of weekends. We thought it needed a new wheel, but it just needed a new tire, so it was $10 more to fix it. Lamb 2 is really hard on his bike so this was good to get a used one for him. We put the training wheels back on his old bike to give to Lamb 3. The training wheels need some adjustment, he rides leaning to the side now. I do think this helped Lamb 2 learn how to ride a bike and he easily took of the training wheels after riding the "crooked" bike. So perhaps we will leave it that way for Lamb 3. Here are photos of them riding their "new" bikes yesterday.
Lamb 2 on his bike from Goodwill


Lamb 3 on Lamb 2's old bike


Notice the Lambs have on short sleeves! It was 57 degrees yesterday. At one point in the afternoon Lamb 2 came inside to rest because he said it was too hot outside! We opened the windows to get some fresh air in the house after winter.

I spent the afternoon getting 25 lbs of tomatoes ready for the freezer, thanks to Bountiful Baskets! (I know Joelle, I owe you a post about Bountiful Baskets!)


Ram made Eggplant Parmesan with fresh basil thanks to Bountiful Baskets too.


It sure seemed strange to let the Lambs play outside all afternoon and be freezing tomatoes in February! Last night snow was predicted, but all we got was frost on the grass. The Lambs were able to play outside after church today, but they needed to wear sweatshirts because it was in the 40s.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Do you know Latin?

I found out about this story from an e-newsletter from Memoria Press. I decided to find out a little more about it and I found this article.

The reporter that broke the news about the pope's resignation was the first to report it because she knew Latin.

We keep plugging away at our home Latin studies in between taking two Lambs to speech two different days a week, piano lessons for two Lambs, and all our church activities. One of the reasons we study Latin is we have no idea what career our Lambs will choose. Latin will give them a broad foundation for learning other languages in the future.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I found this idea on Pinterest here and I modified the template and made it like this.  The preschool director also has a son in Lamb 3's class and she made his Valentines also using Pinterest using the idea here. The other moms that helped with the Valentine's Day party were a little sad that they were just passing out regular Valentines and candy. We really didn't mean to show off to the other moms! Both of us agreed we just copied an idea from Pinterest, we weren't original ourselves. The preschool director said hers were cheaper than buying a bag of candy in packages, she bought some sand toys for the shovels and bought the candy in the bulk section. I was just glad that we both picked different ideas off of Pinterest since our boys are in the same class.

Lamb 3 with his Valentine bag

Lamb 1 and 2 and I went over and helped with the preschool party. It was a little interesting because the school was on "shelter in place mode" which is a "soft" lock down due to some activity at an area Middle School. By the time preschool was dismissed the lock down was done. Everyone was safe, it was just a precaution.

Lamb 2 had speech today. When Lamb 2 told the speech teacher about our plans for supper, she wanted to join us! I made Beef Rendang and also Chocolate Ganache Pie with raspberries. It was a little difficult to find raspberries this time of year-I have blackberries and strawberries in the freezer, but not raspberries. When I got home from the store I did the vinegar trick so the berries would last longer. Of course I used homemade raspberry jam. Lamb 1 and 2 both did a good job eating the Beef Rendang so they could have pie. Lamb 3 ate black bean dip that we had made as an appetizer. He ate enough of that that we allowed him to have pie too. We had some wine that my parents brought us from NE and the boys had sparkling apple juice.

Ram brought me a card, a rose, and a Starbucks mocha when he got home tonight. We don't usually exchange gifts on Valentine's Day. He reminded me that is why he did it, he didn't have to, but he wanted to. We have both been extremely busy with church activities so the gifts were extra special.

Happy Valentine's Day!