Friday, May 29, 2009

The New Money Pit!

This is our not so new but new to us 1982 Travelcraft GMC class C RV. We inherited this from my FIL. His wife passed away on Christmas Eve. He has decided that he was not going to use this any more so he passed it on down to us. Which is a good thing he is 86 and I don't think anyone wants him out in the sticks driving something this behemoth. While I am grateful for receiving this I am beginning to wonder if it is going to be a gift or a nightmare. From the outside it looks to be in real good condition especially when you consider it is 27 years old. When we first received it we found out that it has been black tagged for about the last 8 years. In other words it has been sitting in my FIL backyard doing nothing for that long. We were really shocked when the thing started up. Never mind that it sputtered and complained. It was like waking up an ole giant. We topped the tires off with air. They were a little low after 8 years. Then DH drove the thing home (very slowly just encase there was a major malfunction). After telling our insurance about it they figured up what our cost would be. I went there to give them the deposit and once again I was amazed. I was expecting to write a check for $100-$200. When they told me it was only going to be $29 I was completely shocked (then our monthly amount is about $16). This was going to turn out to be a great adventure. Why hadn't we done this before. When I went to get the tag/title I was amazed the thing is so old that the tag was only $22.50. When we got home we started exploring our new friend.

These lights are probably one of the main features I told my DH that we needed to save if at all possible. Cann't you just see a disco ball and John Travolta doing there thing!

Once we were inside we knew we had our work cut out for us. Our aging dinosaur had been sealed up for about eight years and this was like a time capsule. We had a LOT of purging to do before we could even start making any repairs. It was a little entertaining. We even found an old rotary phone inside one of the cabinets. It was funny teaching my kiddos how that worked. Then you have to stop and think. Why on earth would there be a rotary phone in an RV. It's not like it could receive cell service. In fact if my memory serves me correctly. Back in the early 80's it was a big deal just to have a pager. Even the old suit case type mobile phones weren't about yet. Touch tone phones were just becoming popular. In the following pic you can see just the top of the piles of junk we had to remove. Sorry it is so dark but is was the best we could do at the time.

Then we started with some of the repairs. This before pic is one of my favorites. I call it the fish bowl head light. The cool thing was we were able to replace both headlights for about $20. I hope the rest of the repairs go this well.

Now our luck is changing. Remember I said it has some leaks. Well in this first pick that is mold so now we will be having to do some big repairs. At least it is just wood and insulation. Not to costly just time consuming. The others are pretty much just water damage but since we are already in the area these will get repaired as well.

This is going to be an adventure. I hope we will be able to get it going before to long. So that we can get some use out of it before school starts.

Well there it is in all of its glory.

Monday, May 25, 2009

First River Kayak

Ok, so I'm a little behind. I don't want to let this memory get away with out its significance. On the 17th I went on my first river kayak. I had not realized the significance of this until I was on the water. While I have been on the kayak several times in lakes I just did not realize the difference. A river would be. It all started the day before when hubby mentioned a group wanted to go through Stinchcomb on Sunday. I have been wanting to do that for some time but with kids, school, and life in general it just never worked out. This time though I knew I would be ready after the previous two days of dance rehearsals and recital. We made arrangements for the kids to stay with someone and off we went. (Currently we only have two kayaks so taking kids really isn't much of an option yet.) We met up with the group at the Route 66 bridge at Lake Overholser. Left a couple of cars there and then went to the drop in point. Now remember I have never done this before. The closest has been maybe canoeing on the Illinois River in NE Oklahoma with one of those "professional" places. Most recently about 10 years ago. To just drop at any place in a river was quite different. There wasn't a nice sandy beach with a gradual drop off. OMG when they showed me just where this "drop" in place was I just about turned around and went back home. We put in where Garth Brooks Blvd. crosses the North Canadian river in Yukon. Where's the sandy beach? Where's the gentle slope? Where's my freakin brain? I looked down to what might as well have been the ledge of the Grand Freakin Canyon! Let me get this. I am not only going to climb down this boulder wall to my death but I am going to carry a kayak while I do it! Never mind the paddle, life jacket, sun screen, and beverage. I will give hubby some credit here. He stepped up and did all the carrying. In reality it probably was only 20 or 30 feet down. Although it was still jagged boulders the size of watermelons. He managed to get both of the kayaks to the bottom in the amount of time that it took me to just climb down by my self. Now mind you by this time the entire group knew this was my first time in a river. Do you think they would have warned me about the current. Heck no! Hubby nicely holds the kayak in place while I climb in. Now if you haven't been in a kayak you should probably know there is absolutely no way on God's green earth a graceful way of getting in or out of one. Lucky for me I remembered to hold on to the paddle. What I hadn't realized is that I was the first one in my boat. At first my thought no big deal, then followed by "Thank God I didn't dump over getting into the boat. Geesh I wouldn't want to look like a dork in front of this group that I would like to be friends with." Now comes the fun part. Once I finally and I do mean finally figure/remember how to maneuver this thing I look back and there isn't ANYONE! Then I proceed to yell at the top of my lungs. "How did the most green person end up in the front of the pack!" From around the bend I heard chuckling. "You were the first one in!" You would think that someone one anyone would get the hint and get their sorry @#% up to my rescue. Finally after what seemed like an eternity hubby caught up. He kept pointing out these "places" I might be able to bank the kayak and wait. He never did get it. "Don't you see I am on this class 4 rapid and I don't know what the h-e-double hockey sticks I am doing!" After about another 20-30 minutes the rest of the group managed to catch up and I was starting to calm down. Really this was only a class 1 river and I have discovered I am a big CHICKEN! During this same trip several in the group were trying to convince us to go with them this weekend on a river that has a few 3 foot drop offs. DO YOU THINK I AM FREAKING INSANE! Give me a few fallen trees in the river and that is enough. Maybe once I have a bit (A LOT) more experience we will give it a try. As the picture above shows I eventually did relax and enjoy myself. We did 7 1/2 miles. I was a little worried that I would lose the use of my arms for the next week. To my surprise it wasn't bad the next day. On a scale of 1 -10 I would guess a 2. I even managed to finish the trip on a good note. I pulled directly into the unloading point perfectly. Then got out of the boat without falling back into the river. See I wasn't too much of a dork! I stayed dry.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Last Dance - Maybe

This is my beautiful little girl and her friend just moments before what will probably be her last dance recital last Saturday. I wish I was a better mom about taking pictures but I tend to get so wrapped up in the moment that I don't get enough snap shots for the scrap book. This is probably my favorite dance costume she has worn to date. I was so proud watching her. She has really grown as a dancer and shows a lot of maturity in her dance. I can not believe it has been six years since her first recital. The time is going so fast.

Here she is in her last ballet dress. While I think she is beautiful I think that this neck line may be just a little older than I want to admit that she is. I think I am going to have a little trouble letting her grow up.

Remember how I said I get to caught up in the moment. I did not get one picture of her in her tap costume. Some of that has to go with the fact that it was pretty simple. A blue sequined vest with hot pink neckline, black pants, tan shoes and then this hot pink boa feather thing on top of her bun. While I was not to impressed with the costume the dance was terrific. The girls did such a good job at keeping in step. I do believe it was probably her most difficult number this year.

There she is in her last Hip Hop out fit. The group was so cute. They were all in black, yellow, or white and it was all mixed up. No one was wearing the same thing as any one else. My daughter complained about the music it was "Together Forever" from "High School Musical." They still did a great job.

As anyone who knows me knows how I liked to complain when it came to recital time each year. Secretly though I actually really enjoyed it. Planning out how we were going to get to where we needed to be. Figuring out just how I was going to get something nutritious for her to eat when all she wanted was the abundant junk food while we were on the mad run from place A to place B. Arguing with her while we were putting her make up on. She wanted more and I wanted less (don't figure). Even when she was little and they insisted that all little girls hair MUST be in curls. My daughter's hair is as strait as a board. I don't think there was a single recital that I did not end up teary eyed and full of pride. I have sincerely enjoyed seeing the accomplishment in my daughters eyes as she would come off stage. The true beauty she exudes. She is such an amazing girl. I am going to miss this.

While it breaks my heart that we are closing this chapter can still be the beginning of another. She has a true desire and interest in music so we will start exploring that journey soon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Day that was 12 Years in the making!

Can you tell what is going on in this picture? That is my DH finally for the first time EVER cooking breakfast for me. To his credit he has done many things for me in all our years together. Breakfast just hasn't been one of them. I'm not sure what FINALLY gave him the idea but I'm not complaining. This really was sweet of him and I only gave my 2 cents once. (I told him which pan to use so the eggs would not stick to bad.) Never mind the fact that I closed my eyes and blocked the view from myself. He even had the munchkins clear the table and do the dishes! I got breakfast as well no mess (well for the most part).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two for Two by 2

The first half of this "Two for Two" deal relates to lunch. This year I made a deal with my kids you reach this certain goal at school each nine weeks and then I will take you out to lunch. Bless their hearts they are achieving this goal now. First it was my daughter whom I took to lunch yesterday. I picked her up and we headed to her favorite fast food place. We place our order and then to my horror my bank card was denied. "What!" I just made a deposit the day before. No way was this possible. Then to make me stress more my kids only get 20 minutes for lunch and then 20 minutes for recess. So time was of the essence. Luckily said fast food joint was across the street from a branch of my bank. So we went through the bank drive through for a quick cash withdraw and then back the the fast food drive through. This really stunk because I believe part of the reward is the one on one time my kid gets with me during said lunch. I apologized to my daughter over and over as she was now left to cram her lunch down while I drove back to school. Some reward she got to sit in the car and listen to her mom go insane. Turns out that there had been some sort of security breech at my bank. While they had reissued me a new card I had not had time to activate it. This was explained to me after I had dropped my daughter back off at school by another branch of my bank. To make it worse for me I still had a few errands to run and I needed my card but since it was just activated by the branch it meant that it would be another 24 hours until I could use it. Which meant I had to go back to using checks at the stores. UGH! Now for the second child's reward lunch we went to his favorite fast food place. This time I was prepared with cash in hand in case the new card didn't work. We get there and I could barely find a parking spot. Went inside and had to wait in a pretty short line to place our order. Then we sat down to wait for our number to be called 4182. That is all I wanted to hear was 4182. We sat drinking our soda's and making small talk. Then we kept waiting and waiting and waiting. This was supposed to be FAST FOOD! I kid you not 20 minutes later and they were only at 4179! OMG! My son kept saying he was hungry and bless his heart I wasn't going to let this be a waist. Remember he only gets 20 minutes for lunch followed by 20 minutes of recess. Finally we get our food and he has less than 10 minutes to eat and get back to the school and about 7 minutes of that needs to be driving time. He agrees to eat just the chicken strips and one serving of his favorite mashed potatoes and agreed to save the rest for his after school snack. So now I am two for two on reward meals that turned into chaos for my kiddo's. Maybe I should rethink this reward.

Now for the "by 2." Recently I had loaned a close friend Beth (not her real name) one of my husbands rather pricey tools. When it was returned it had been damaged. What really stunk is that it would not have been a big deal if Beth had just said something when she returned it. After all she is a friend and friends forgive friends because accidents happen. But when we did not know about it until we went to use said tool for ourselves and made the discovery. The part that really stunk both figuratively and literally was that by this time it was after normal working hours and now we were left in a stinky situation for about 48 hours until our problem could be taken care of. This could have been avoided if Beth had just said something. Now for the other half. I had asked friend Tom (not his real name) loan me something to help Beth out in a pinch. I put my name on the line so to speak. I recievd the items in question back 2 days ago to return to Tom when I realized that 2 major pieces of what I had loaned Beth were missing. I am so disappointed. While Tom knew what I was doing I still feel guilty that Beth has let me down again. Now I am off to Tom's to return what I can and tell him the rest. I just hope he doesn't get too disappointed with me. Because I think that Tom is a good friend who has been there for me several times.

So some things in life just suck 2 for 2 by 2!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chocolate Milk

Nesquik chocolate milk.

Store bought premade chocolate milk.

Chocolate milk made with chocolate syrup.

Here's the set up. We are sitting at the table eating breakfast when I make some chocolate milk. You know we've all done it milk, chocolate syrup, stir. That is when it dawned on me. The bubbles on top are white. That got me thinking. Why are the bubbles white? Now comes the experiment. I headed to the store and bought premixed chocolate milk and the good old fashioned Nesquik. When I got home I poured the ready made chocolate milk. The bubbles were brown. I know in the picture there is only a few left but they popped faster than I could click my camera. Now for the next one. One of my childhood favorites Nestquik. Once again this one suprised me the bubbles were brown. I expected them to be white but they were brown. Now I'm no expert scientist or anything but this is a good question to ponder.

What makes the bubbles white or brown? Hmmmmm

Now on to my personal side notes. Since I had these three glasses of chocolate milk I got the chance to taste test them side by side. I even surprised my self again. My favorite is the Nesquik chocolate milk. Just when you think you've grown up. The other benefit to the Nesquik is I can sneak a quick spoon full when no one is looking. YUMMMMMM! Second is the store bought chocolate milk and all its creamy goodness. Third place was the milk with chocolate syrup. This surprised me as well because I thought I was living it up using the syrup but it was a little blandish compared to the others. So I guess today is a good day. I learned something new.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Some of the best things in life are free.

Free Ice Cream with Omi, YUMMM!!!

Free Onion Fried Burgers, YUMMM!!!

The day started off rainy and dull. The perfect day for curling up in a cozy blanket and sleeping the day away.

Then there was this urge. I've been reading to many blogs I suppose so I've decided we just haven't done enough of the "fun stuff" as a family. I made the decision to try and do something/anything that may be Oklahomanie (like that word mom) at least once a month with the whole family. Now this is where last nights 10pm news comes in. They ran a short story about how this is the weekend for El Reno's Onion Fried Burger Festival. It was a small town event, about 15 or so miles away, and since it was rainy and drab I figured the crowd wouldn't be to bad, as well as the best part it is free. This just fit the bill. So after much persuasion on my part I managed to convince my entire family to go.

This was perfect for us from begining to end. We were able to park about a block away. Lucky us the closest point of entry just happened to be at the carnival rides. Oh, but look they had a 100lb wieght limit. Darn, our kiddo's just recently passed that mark. I didn't have to be the bad parent and say no. Just explained that they were simply to big. Then we were close to where they were cooking the bohemeth size burger I think I heard someone say that it was going to weigh 750lbs when it was done. As a crowd pleaser/teaser they were hosting an eating contest and just as we walked up it was the 10 and under catagory. They had four contestants 2 girls and 2 boys. This is what I really enjoyed. The girls were only able to eat 1 1/2 burger each in the aloted time. Don't remember what one of the boys ate but the winner ate 4 1/2 burgers. That was the bun, onions, pickles, mustard and beef. When they announced how much he consumed I was thinking to my self man I'm glad I'm not his mom. I can just imagine his after school hunger mood. After this we watched them working on the big burger a bit and then started wondering around. Ofcourse our kiddos talked us into a funnel cake. We managed to make it over to the big burger just intime for them to start cutting it up and passing it out to the crowd. For a free burger it was just quiet tasty. Before we left we looked at some displayed cars. It was fun to learn that my son likes the old muscle cars. I never knew that about him. Then to much of his suprise two of them were cars that I have previously owned (back before kids). My daughter really like suprise of all suprises (NOT) the Corvet's. Overall this little festival was just right. Took just enough time to fill an afternoon and didn't cost an arm and leg to attend as a family.

I don't think we had been home but about an hour when I recieved a call from my mother in law. She told us that Braum's was giving way single dip cones to kids for "Free" until 6pm. By this time hubby had laid down for a nap. I told the kids and I think they ran to the van. We had a great time visiting with thier Omi and eating ice cream.

This turned out to be one of the best gloomy dull days ever and the memories are Free!