Bible Banter

March 1, 2010 2 comments

It’s an unusual title I know but it’s become a fun game. One of my aunts came up with it and we now both have our Bibles cocked and loaded by our computers and daily we give eachother one of our favorite versus. The other one has to look it up and respond back. It’s been a great way to start a day or even end a day. If you have a friend or relative that can be your partner you should try this fun, uplifting game. It’ also helping me familiarize myself with my Bible more. Good luck and go forth in His name.

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The Land of “Aus”?

September 28, 2009 1 comment

Tonight the kids and I watched the Wizard of Oz – a longtime childhood favorite of mine. As we were watching Emily chimed in that our family could dress up as the characters for halloween. While my first instinct thought it sounded a little outrageous, the more we talked about it seemed like a great idea. Of course Emily suggested she would be Dorothy, Ethan the Tin Man, Andrew the Scare crow, Evelyn wants to the Wicked Witch, I would be the Good Witch and Paul would be the Cowardly Lion. So far everyone is on board except for Paul. We’re still trying to figure out how we can bribe him to dress up:).

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30 Days…and Nights

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

This Thursday Paul is coming home for the weekend and the kids and I are very excited!  It will have been 30 days since we’ve seen him.  Friday we are heading up to UNI to pickup Ally for her 18th birthday on Sunday.  OMG; is she really going to be 18?  Saturday we will celebrate Ally’s birthday and probably head to the apple orchard for some apple picking and turnovers.

It’s going to be a busy weekend but we have a lot to fit in in a short amount of time.  Next trip home….hopefully October 9th.

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Pumpkins anyone?

September 1, 2009 1 comment

This year we planted pumpkins in our garden and maybe a little too soon…..we already have 3 perfectly round orange pumpkins.  What do you do with pumpkins in September?  Well, a friend of mine from small group said she cut hers in half, scooped out the insides and baked them in the oven at 200 degrees for about an hour.  After they cooled she scooped out the cooked pumpkin and is now ready to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake (which was delicious), pumpkin bread, etc.  So, today Evelyn and I cut a pumpkin, scooped out the insides and it’s in the oven now.  Looks like pumpkin cake for the parent social at school on Thursday.  1 down and 2 more to go – fresh pumpkin anyone?

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Roadtrip

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

It wasn’t your average roadtrip – you know the kind where there is much anticipated excitement and sightseeing along the way. This was just a short 5 hour road trip to Osceola and back home with at stop at one of our favorite restaurants Red Robin. The 3 youngest kids and I packed some snacks and set out for Osceola where we would be picking Emily up from her dad. We pulled away with Emily in car for the return trip home about 3:15 pm. We pulled out of the driveway and Emily announced that she wasn’t feeling well – maybe car sick. We were only a half block down the road when she got sick in the front seat. It was then that I decided I should ask her what she had for lunch…..crab and corn from Joe’s Crab Shack. This should be fun to clean-up:) After we cleaned up and got back on the road – next stop Red Robin; Emily said she was feeling much better. About an hour later we arrived at Red Robin and placed our orders. Yum – I can’t wait to have one of their famous burgers. Emily decided that spaghetti would be a good choice. By 6 p.m. we were back on the road filled and ready to roll. We were oh so close to making it home when once again the words “I don’t feel so good” came tumbling out. This just happened to be about 1/2 mile from our exit. My quick response was put your head out the window (I’m going 70 mph what was I supposed to do?). While Emily has her head hanging out the window I can hear the boys in the back seat “Gross, there are spaghetti noodles on my window”. At this point all I could do was laugh. Once again, I pull over and get Emily cleaned up. We’re on our way again – literally less than a mile from home. I have one quick stop at the store for a gallon of milk. It turns out to be not so quick when the truck doesn’t start after getting the milk. Here I am stuck in the parking lot of a grocery store at 8:30 p.m. with 4 kids and vehicle covered in vomit. Ugh! A quick call to a good friend and 5 minutes later, the kids were on their way home and I was on my way to the carwash. Will this day ever end? It finally did after a couple of more times of vomiting, a load of laundry and a glass of wine. I’m so glad it’s a new week.

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It looks like I’m back

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

I knew that it was time for a post when I received a text message from Ally (away at UNI) that read “you need to post something on your blog – I neeed something to read while I’m at college”.  So, here we are – this is for you Ally!  Last week was a whirlwind with a move to college, 1st day of school for the younger kids and Paul left for Maryland.  This week doesn’t seem to be much different. 

I had read that the local apple orchard (Wilson’s) would be getting some peaches from Michigan so I thought this would be a great opportunity to pick some up and make a batch of peach jelly.  Apparently I misread the sign for half bushel which I thought said 20-25 peaches; it was actualy 20-25 pounds of peaches.  I asked for 2 half bushels and left the orchard that day with about 50 lbs.  So, my work has been cut out for me – with 42 jars of jelly made and about another 2 to go.  I also canned 12 pints of peaches, made peach crisp and will try my hand at peach salsa.  I’m not sure I’ll want anything to do with peaches for quite some time.  I am really excited about the peach salsa though – I think it will be great on grilled chicken or pork.  Unfortunately, I don’t think the kids will enjoy and since Paul’s gone it might not be worth doing.  Looks like hot dogs, pizza, mac-n-cheese and burgers for the next couple of weeks….

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Forgive me blog…

July 13, 2009 Leave a comment

I know folks, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated the Aus Family blog.  Trust me, there has been plenty to blog about but not enough time to do it.  So much has happened that I don’t know where to begin so I’ll give a brief update.  May of course was graduation – absolutely perfect!  The weather was beautiful, the family and friends were plentiful and there is still pulled pork and beef brisquit in the freezer.  Early June found us camping in our new camper in South Dakota.  The weather was not so perfect but the camper was fantastic!  We did a lot of sight seeing (Mount Rushmore, etc) and saw a lot of wildlife.  The rest June was spent trying to recuperate from the graduation party and back to back vacation.  July 2nd was Paul’s 40th birthday and were blessed to have our friends from Texas here for the weekend.  Unfortunately, July 4th was a bit soggy but all in all it ended with a bang!  The Coralville fireworks were fabulous preceded with a game of whiffle ball (kids against parents). 

Friday July 10, was spent with some friends for our monthly porch party.  The Plahn family traveled from Michigan so it was a special occasion.  The theme for July was “down south” with a delicous shrimp boil.  It was so easy and delicious.  Large pots cooked potatoes, corn on the cob, sausage, shrimp and slew of seasonings.  The meal was served (dumped) on the table (covered with freezer paper) and silverware was not allowed.  The adults gathered around the table with beers in hand and ate until we could not eat anymore.  The kids of course skipped the shrimp and went for burgers on the grill.  It was a great evening and thankfully the weather held out.  If you have never hosted a shrimp boil or attended one, I highly recommend it!  It’s easy, fun and the clean up is simple.  Visit http://www.skiptomylou.org/2007/08/27/shrimp-boil/ for a fun summertime gathering.

Porch Party potsPorch Party table

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The cost of 2 Senior Proms….Priceless

May 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Last weekend was Ally’s Senior Prom. It was an eventful weekend with 5 girls at our house primping, a stretch limo in the drive-way and parents over for priceless pictures. The next morning was filled with 10 teenagers over for breakfast replaying the night before. Where has the time gone? Can this really be Ally’s last prom, can graduation really be only 2 weeks away? It seems just yesterday that she was just a baby and now we’re sorting through those baby pictures to get ready for the graduation party. Yikes! I am very proud of my dear Ally. She has turned out to be a very beautiful young lady inside and out. 2009_0502_April_2025

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Prom down and 1 to go

April 21, 2009 1 comment

Ally attended Prom this weekend with her boyfriend Nick.  It was at a much smaller school than West High so they have a “Grand March” that allows the parents to come and take pictures while the kids walk a runway.  West High Prom is on May 2 so check back for a wardrobe change….

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“You’re Timeless to Me….”

April 21, 2009 1 comment

As promised, here’s a picture of Paul and
Mark, AKA Wilbur and Edna Turnblad from
Hairspray. I’m still working on a video so keep checking back.
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Dress shopping with your husband

April 18, 2009 1 comment

Forgive me blog for I have sinned; it has been way too long since I have posted but the wait will be well worth it. We have had a lot going on in our lives. In fact, today we have a prom, solo contest, musical rehearsal and a dinner. So why did Paul and I spend our Friday night dress shopping – for him? If you’ve ever seen the movie Hairspray, imagine Paul playing John Travolta’s part and singing in a nightgown AT CHURCH! For the past couple of years Paul has been the Emcee for the annual High School choir fundraising concert. This year’s theme is Broadway Live so he decided there needed to be some Hairspray songs. Also, since this is Ally’s last year why not make it memorable? He and another parent are actually Emceeing together as the Producers but will end with a song from Hairspray (complete with a wardrobe change). If your intrigued, the concert is at St. Andrew Church at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. Watch for more to come – especially pictures!

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Go Fly a Kite!

March 20, 2009 Leave a comment

That’s exactly what the Aus Family did on Tuesday.  It was a beautiful day – sunny and a balmy 75 degrees.  We couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day.  I won’t day it was perfect – not the best windy conditions and there were some frustrations but all in all it was fun.

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Happy St. Patricks Day!

March 17, 2009 Leave a comment

To start off our day today, Paul donned his apron and spatula and went to work making green pancakes. Not just any old green pancakes, but Mickey Mouse shaped green pancakes. I topped it off with green milk to which Andrew almost tossed his cookies when he saw it. He refused to eat the pancakes at first because in his mind, why would he eat anything green?! After a couple of bites he realized they taste exactly like “normal” pancakes but he did refuse the green milk. I can’t wait to see what’s on the dinner menu. Check back tomorrow for more – complete with pictures.

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Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

March 2, 2009 1 comment

It’s from a movie and supposedly a term used in Vegas.  I’m using this phrase to brag about my win at our family bowling game on Saturday.  I’m not one to normally brag but I have to admit it felt pretty good to be the high bowler of the night with my 95.  Evelyn wasn’t too bad either – she beat her two brothers and a friend.  Not bad for a 4 year old!  Regardless, the best part about the evening was the fun we had as a family. With pizza, soda and shoe rentals it ended up being less expensive than going to the movie theater.  We can’t wait to go again.bowling

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Dial 911….

February 27, 2009 2 comments

It’s a good thing we didn’t need to at our house last night.  Our cordless phone was MIA for quite some time last night.  We could hear it beeping (indicating that the battery was going dead) but we could not find it.  We checked every cushion, pillow and theater seat in the room to no avail.  At least we thought we checked every cushion.  One of the kids didn’t do such a good job of checking and Paul finally found the phone in the cushion of a chair.  While on the search for the missing phone, I found something else; or should I say our chocolate lab found something else……Paul’s mom gave our boys the jaws of a shark (small one) complete with teeth.  I happened to walk into the living room as Sam was chewing on the jaws -if I hadn’t seen it, I could definitely smell it.  I had no idea that it would still smell so fishy after being around for so long.

I just as soon it never came here in the first place so I was actually OK with Sam chewing on it – expect for the after affects it might have.

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Random Act of Kindness

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

If only more people would take those words and put them use the world would be a better place.  This past week was Random Act of Kindness week and I was the recipient of it one day.  We recently had a challenge in the office that if we reached a certain level in sales for our annual outlet sale then we could earn a discount on a new bag of our choice.  Well, not only did we reach the goal, but we blew it out of the water.  So, to reward everyone for their efforts in making the sale a success we were able to pick a free bag.  Any bag we wanted – even from our new hostess program (beginning March 1) that is offering exclusive fabrics to our hostesses.  All of the bags in the new program are delicious and this would be the only time we could get one without hosting a party.  Two of us in the office wanted the same bag – meaning one of us would have to wait for another one to come in from Chicago.  We settled it like you do with any dispute; a coin toss.  It turns out that I would be the one waiting for a new bag to come in.  This is where the random act of kindness comes in…..when I came into work on Thursday there sat the bag in my chair with a note saying “I’ve been scotchguarded and am ready to use”.  I knew immediately that Anita from our production department had given me her bag that she won in the coin toss.  It was such a great mood lifter and so sweet of her.  Thanks Anita!  Look back next week for a picture of the bag.

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It’s Operation Organization

February 17, 2009 Leave a comment

I think it must have been the 60 degree day we had a week ago; it struck a chord with my inner longing for warm weather and gave me that ‘spring cleaning” bug.  It could also be the fact that Paul is gone for a week so I have free reign over the house which means I get to rearrange the furniture without any complaints.  Whatever the reason, it’s taken a hold of of me and won’t let go.  So far I have rearranged 2 of the kids bedrooms, the kitchen counters and the living room.  My only focus while Paul was gone was going to be on the basement, yet I haven’t even started on it.  The idea of sorting through years of schools papers and pictures for the 4 oldest somehow isn’t motivating.  I think it’s because of the sadness I will feel while sorting through Ally’s things knowing that graduation is just around the corner.  Paul and & I agreed that we would get a head start on the graduation projects (picture boards, party invites, etc) over Christmas Break but that has yet to happen.  It is now mid February and I still can’t seem to get motivated to get down there.  Maybe Spring Break?!  I have a feeling that the rest of the house will be rearranged, organized and redecorated before I move on to that project.  Ugh!  Where does the time go?

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Another Birthday

February 11, 2009 Leave a comment

Friday was Evelyns 4th Birthday – we can hardly believe how fast the time has gone.  We celebrated with some friends, pizza and beer (for the adults).  We have found that alcohol makes children’s birthday parties a little easier to endure.  Evelyn’s big gift this year was a kitchen.  She had been asking for one since before Christmas and since Santa didn’t deliver – it was up to mom and dad.  So far it has been a big hit and I’ve had to eat more imaginary cupcakes than I can count.  The good news is that they are zero calories.

I was planning on posting some photos but there’s a funny story behind that.  I took the camera into work on Monday because Janice is working on a video to post on our website for our customers to view.  Paul’s new camera does a great job with video so he has been kind enough to let us use it at work.  Janice had been working on her video yeterday afternoon after I left for the day.  However, when I came in this morning her first words were “well, I didn’t break the camera”.  It was then quickly followed by her telling me that she wanted to re-record her video so she was erasing what was already on the camera and deleted everything – including Evelyn’s birthday; before it was downloaded.  Hey, it happens and when Evelyn is older she’ll just think the reason we don’t have any pictures is because she’s child number 5.  The good news is that grandma is visiting and she was able to take a couple snapshots with the old fashioned 35 millimeter.  All is well; the camera still works, we’ll have a couple of photos and the video was completed.

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Another way of looking at it

February 10, 2009 Leave a comment

Monday nights are our weekly bible study with our small group – it is a coveted time for me because I feel like it is the only time I can really “connect” with God – more so than Sundays.  Tonight we had this passage and it seems to be so fitting for the way things have been in our life as of late.

“True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time – but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going”

                                                                         –Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Black Friday

January 30, 2009 Leave a comment

No, I’m not referring to the stock market.  Today is being affectionately referred to as “black Friday” among Pfizer colleagues.  Paul was kindly told on the telephone today that there was no longer  a position for him at Pfizer.  I took the day off of work to spend with Paul as we anxiously awaited the phone call.  Emily happened to have a choir concert at the elementary school so we headed over to watch it rather than sitting around and waiting…..As luck would have it, Paul’s cell rang only 2 minutes into the first song – this was it.  I stayed and watched the concert so that Emily wouldn’t notice both of us leaving.  About 15 minutes later he returned with the news “my position is no longer needed”.  Although we had prepared ourselves for this outcome and actually prayed for it, my emotions took over.  My first reaction was tears and then kindly told me to pull myself together.  Once I took it all in, I knew that was the best outcome for our family.  Paul has lost his passion for his job and is looking forward to reinventing himself with a new company and new avenues.  Already, he has received calls from 2 people that have positions in mind for him.  We have put our faith in God and know that he will provide for us.  Although we have joined the ranks of many that are now jobless, we are thankful for what we do have.  Pfizer brought us to Iowa City and introduced to a town we love, with a church we love and many friends who have offered so many prayers and support.  For all of that, I am truly THANKFUL!

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Changes may be coming

January 27, 2009 2 comments

Our lives could be changing on Friday as many of you may know.  Pfizer is down-sizing for the 3rd time in 3 years and this could mean the end of one career and begining of another for Paul.  After 10 years with Pfizer it could mean a big change for our family – both financially and personally.  Neither option is worse than the other but nontheless it’s a little scary.  We put our faith in God and know that whatever the outcome only he knows the reason and we must have comfort in that.  I’ll continue to update so keep checking back.

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Birthday Month

January 21, 2009 2 comments

Andrew turned 7 on Sunday the 18th – my how time flies.  Not only is January a busy birthday month for our own family, but Andrew has a close group of friends and all of their birthdays are in the month of January.  It makes for a very expensive month for us.  In addition to Andrew and Evelyn’s combined party this weekend, Andrew has been invited to 3 other parties.  Our family is obviously facing budget cuts since we are combining parties for Andrew and Evelyn whose birthdays are only 3 weeks apart, but how do you explain that to other 7 year olds?  Any ideas for cheap birthday presents that Andrew can give without getting made fun of?

Happy Birthday Andrew!

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What was I thinking?

January 18, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday I decided was as good as day as any to clean my oven.  Cleaning doesn’t entail much since it is a self-cleaning oven so after I finished baking Andrew’s birthday cake, I pushed the self clean button and walked away.  Generally a burning smell emits from the oven so before I headed upstairs to iron, I warned Paul that he would be smelling some burning but no worries, because afterward the oven would be spic-n-span.  I was into my ironing only about 15 minutes before the smoke alarms started sounding off throughout the house.  On any other day this would not have been that big of a deal except we had just discussed at dinner that it was the 4th anniversary of our house fire.  I of course was not genuinely concerned when I heard the smoke alarm but the kids came running out of various rooms in somewhat of a state of panic.  Once we were able to get the alarms stopped and the kids calmed down, I immediately turned off the oven.  However, it wasn’t until the alarms sounded at least 10 more times before the house went back to somewhat of a normal state.  I apologized to everyone and Paul’s natural response was “what were you thinking?”.  I don’t know, except I was really looking forward to a clean oven.  Now I know to never clean it on January 17th!

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It’s a new Season

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Of Americal Idol that is!  Tonight is the season opener and I can’t wait to see who the next American Idol is going to be.  I know, I sound like a loser but it is the one reality TV show that I enjoy.  I love David Cook so I am anxious to see who America picks this year.  I know I’m not alone on this one so don’t pretend that you don’t like to watch the beginning of the season when the world’s worst singers make fools of themselves; that’s really the biggest reason I watch the show.

 

 

Read more…

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Clark W. Griswold is snowblowing for me….

January 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Seriously, blizzard conditions?  I don’t mind the snow part so much but the blowing snow with a 30 below zero windchill is ridiculous!  Of course we haven’t had snow for a couple of weeks and now when Paul is still recovering we get dumped on twice within 3 days.  Thankfully, we have wonderful neighbors so Al has been kind enough to snow blow our sidewalk and driveway.  Al’s family has a sense of humor; last year they got him a snowmobile suit with the name “Clark W. Griswold’ embroidered on it.  Trust me, if you knew this family you would understand.  Now, whenever he’s out snowblowing wearing his suit I always get a little chuckle.  His kids are lucky he’s a good sport.  To show my apprecation, Emily and I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies and took them over while still warm.   I am so grateful that I didn’t have to get out and snowblow – thanks Clark!

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Snip Snip

January 10, 2009 1 comment

Today was the big day! Paul took one for the team and went in for his vascetomy. I think he had a lot of apprehension but after all said and done, he’s doing
just fine. When we arrived home this afternoon, there was a nice chain of paper scissors hanging across the front of our garage door. The two suspects we had claim they know nothing but I still think they had something to do with it. Good thing Paul has a sense of humor – thanks guys, it was pretty funny!

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Happy (Japanese) New Year?!

January 1, 2009 Leave a comment

Paul and I spent New Year’s Eve with his brother and his wife at a local Sushi Restaurant called Takanami.  We only ordered Sushi, lots of Sushi and of course some beverages to wash it down.  The choice of beverage last night seemed to be Saki which I am not a fan of.  I stuck with an Asian Pear Martini and since Paul was the DD (designated driver) he was satisfied with Sierra Mist.  The Sushi was delicious, the conversation was striking and the time together with family was fun.  I have to say, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to it but all in all, it was a great evening.  Paul & I usually stay home and hang with the kids in our jammies on New Year’s Eve, but it was fun to get out last night.  We made it home in time to watch the ball drop, toasted with a glass of champagne and then off to bed. 

Today we are preparing for some company.  Paul’s only cousin on his mom’s side is coming from IL with her husband and two boys.  We’re keeping it simple with pizza and wings from the best pizza joint in town Wig & Pen.  Hopefully we’ll get to watch some of the Hawkeyes play in the Outback Bowl.  At the beginning of the season we thought the only Bowl they might get would be the toilet bowl.  So glad they proved us wrong.  In the past we have watched the game with friends eating pizza and drinking beer at Old Chicago at 9 a.m.  I think that was the first time in my life that I ever had an alcoholic drink before 5 p.m.  Good times…..today I’m looking forward to the pizza but think I’ll skip the beer this morning.

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Why is it so bright in here?

December 30, 2008 Leave a comment

You really learn a lot about a person from their sibling.  Paul’s brother Perrin and his wife are visiting with us for holidays and it has brought out a side of Paul that only comes out when Perrin is around (but that’s to be saved for another post).  They couldn’t be more opposite except for 1 similarity – they both like to have every light on in the house.  At dinner tonight Perrin mentioned that he likes to have every light on while Julie (his wife) is always going behind him turning them off.  It struck a chord with me because I am experiencing the same thing!  It was then that I looked at their mother and asked if they had to sit in the dark all of the time as kids.  Her response was as I suspected was “yes”.  They are frugal people so lights were not something to be wasted when they were kids.  I knew it!  I figured that was the reason they both liked lights so much – they were deprived that luxury as kids.  Unfortunately, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks so I will just continue walking behind Paul and turning off the lights that he doesn’t need.  I guess Julie will do the same.  Thanks mother Aus!

lightbulb

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December 27, 2008 1 comment

Greetings, friends and family!  We would like to wish each of you a joyous holiday full of God’s blessings.  If you are visiting our blog for the first time, we hope you enjoy reading about the everyday life of the Aus’.  If you’ve been her before, thanks for visiting and we hope you will continue to check back.  If this is your first time, please leave your name and email address in the comments section so we can catch up with you.  Many Blessings to you!scan10009

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Meet my good friends Tom & Jerry

December 23, 2008 2 comments

No, I’m not talking about the cat and mouse.  If your from Wisconsin or Minnesota, you know exactly who/what I’m talking about.  It’s a delicious warm drink with rum that makes you all warm and fuzzy on a cold winter night.  I came across the recipe in an old cookbook and Paul and I had remembered being introduced to these fellas years ago when we lived in Wisconsin.  I decided to whip up a batch and invite our good buddies over a long overdue visit.  Now it seems that Tom & Jerry seem to come by every evening after 8 and tend to linger on Sunday afternoons.  We have introduced them to our friends and one called today to see if she could take our good buddies on a trip with her over the holidays.  As I was emailing her the recipe, I decided that I shouldn’t be selfish and I should share them with everyone.  I hope you find Tom & Jerry as enjoyable and Paul & I do.  They’re pretty easy to get along, travel well and will keep you warm on a cold night.

tomjerry

12 Eggs separated
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb of butter
3 lbs of powered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp mace
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
 
  • Beat egg whites until stiff, add salt.  Beat egg yolks until light.  Cream butter with powdered sugar and mix until crumbly.  Add egg yolks and flavorings, mix well.  Add spices egg whites.  Beat until well mixed.  Batter will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.  May be frozen, covred for several months.  Use 1 heaping tablespoon of batter for each Tom & Jerry serving along with 1 jigger of rum and boiling water.
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Pleasant Christmas Suprises

December 22, 2008 Leave a comment

This past week has been full of pleasant suprises to brighten the spirt during the holidays.  At our doorstep we have received several boxes of popcorn, cards, pictures and my all time favorite – a kneeling santa ornament with the book.  Thanks Vogels!  I absolutely love it.  It is a touching story about how Santa came about and how every year on Christmas Eve he visits baby Jesus and is the first one to tell him Happy Birthday.  It is a true testament to the reason we celebrate this joyous holiday and the importance of it. 

kneeling-santa

Last week was our secret santa week so every day when I came in there was a little surprise from my secret santa and then we revealed on Thursday.  Janice was my secret santa – one of my final gifts on Thursday was a “What’s your Poo telling you?” calendar and some Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss.  This morning when I got to my desk, I was pleasantly surprised again with candy, a card and a beautiful picture frame from Cynthia!  It has been a fun week and I am blessed with so many thoughtful friends.  Thank you everyone!

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Ally’s new (used) car

December 18, 2008 1 comment

Ally got her first car last week as an early Christmas present.  It has made it’s rounds through the neighborhood.  It was purchased new in 1996 by our youth director and has been affectionately named the “pink turd”.  Randy will tell you it’s cashmere.  What do you think?

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Oh Christmas Tree

December 12, 2008 1 comment

This past weekend was our annual trip to a tree farm to in search of the “perfect” Christmas tree.  Naturally it was one of the coldest and windiest days so far this year, but that’s what bundling is for.  We packed everyone in the vehicle on Saturday morning and took our drive to a tree farm about 3 miles away.  We have gone to this particular tree farm for about the last 4 years but this year there were slim pickings.   We didn’t let that stop us, we headed to another tree farm about 20 miles away and trudged through the snow.  The kids had a blast running through the trees throwing snowballs at eachother.  After we searched the mass acreage of trees, still no luck.  The owner was so nice and led us to a “secret” lot behind the barn where we found our tree.  It was a cold bitter day but well worth it.  We have a beautiful tree just waiting for Santa to fill the bottom with presents.

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Being Thankful

November 25, 2008 Leave a comment

With all that is swarming around us these days, it has been hard to focus on the things that really matter most to us.  A good friend of mine has a blog and today she put it all in perspective for me with her post (thanks Dawn).  After reading her post it made me realize just how important the small things in life are that we take for granted and are not always thankful for. 

Monday nights are also our small group night with a group of people that I could not have hand picked better myself.  God put these people into our path and that is what our study was about tonight.  Are we living our path or trying to live someone else’s?  Why is it that we as a society feel the need to live like those around us and try to be something we are not?  Do we not know the reason we were put here on earth?  I’m still not sure what my path is, but I do know the people I have come to know as a part of my world have made me a better person and will have played a part in the direction of my path when it’s all said and done.  I am thankful for my family (home, church & work) and for my friends that have played a part in my life.  I hope this week you know just how much you mean to me and God’s blessing be with you as you celebrate all that we have been given this Thanksgiving.

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In mourning

November 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Paul is in mouring because his camera broke Thursday night.  I thought he was actually going to cry after he took it to the camera shop and found out it would cost more to fix than to buy a new one.  Paul has taken over 30,000 pics with his camera so it’s become almost like a part of his body – perhaps another appendage.  Now, he has spent most of his Saturday researching new cameras and that has become the focus of his attention.  I can guarantee you that we won’t be without one long so tune back for more update and pictures (with a new camera).

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Charate?!

November 18, 2008 1 comment

Evelyn came home from school today and announced that she knows Charate!  Now she had my attention.  Then of course she demonstated it for me; with some kicks and chops with her legs and hands.  Aah Hah!  She means Karate.  Of course at our house, it will forever be Charate which Paul says is a cross between charades and karate.  “Oh, let me guess – that’s a roundhouse kick”!  “No dad, it’s a scissors kick”.  As you can tell, we’re not very good at charate.  Oh the things kids say.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul

November 16, 2008 Leave a comment

Or for the common cold, flu or strep throat.  You name it and we’ve had it already this season.  In hopes of getting everyone back on the track to good health, I made homemade chicken and dumplings for dinner today.  I got a 3 out of 5 yes’ that actually liked it.  The other 2 ended up eating a grilled cheese – not sure how good those are for your soul.  Oh well, as long as I can work a full week without anyone getting sick – I’m happy!

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2020 Olympic Dream Team

November 12, 2008 Leave a comment

2008_1109_november_2008_0093  Meet the 2020 Olympics Gymnastics Dream Team!  Evelyn and Andrew started taking gymnastics lessons on Saturday mornings.  It’s a great opportunity for them to burn off some of that energy.  Andrew especially, he’s always bouncing around the house.  If I could bottle his energy and sell it – I would be rich!  They both love going and can’t seem to get enough.  Andrew has already learned to do cartwheels in just 3 weeks!  The only problem is he loves to practice at home.

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Blast from the Past

November 10, 2008 Leave a comment

shrinky-dinks1This weekend I introduced my kids to the world of shrinky dinks.  I hope I’m not the only adult out there that remembers this magical craft from my own childhood.  It was a great activity as the kids took great pride in coloring in their shape which allowed me some time to get some other projects done.  Then, we cut out the shapes and it was time for the magic.  The kids were glued to the front of the oven for 1-5 minutes and watched their picture turn into a minature rendition.  We now have a new favorite activity to do on a rainy or snowy day.

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Tis the Season to share….

November 7, 2008 1 comment

Germs that is!  It all started on Sunday with what I thought was a simple sore throat.  I could not have been more wrong.  Ethan has been sick since then with a sore throat, headache and fever.  My natural course on the 3rd day was to take him for a strep test – which naturally came back as negative.  I’m convinced that we’ll get a call tomorrow (Fri.) with a positive result from the cultured test.  Uugh! Of course it couldn’t just stop with Ethan; Emily came home from swimming yesterday with – you guessed a sore throat and the chills.  So it begins…….the sharing of germs as the crud takes it toll and makes it course through the family.  “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”?!  Whoever came up with that song obviously didn’t have 5 kids and a job outside the home.

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Election Time

November 5, 2008 Leave a comment

No, I’m not talking about electing the next new President of the United States, although I hope you did your civic duty and voted today.  Bagolitas is holding it’s first election ever and Janice needs your help picking fabrics for the next season.  This is always an exciting time at Bagolitas as Janice pairs fabrics and fringes and all of us in the Studio Ooh! and Aah! as we try to pick out top favorites.  Now it’s your turn to make a difference in a handbag – visit the following link and cast your ballot today (voting ends Friday).  Remember, if you don’t vote – don’t complain!  http://bagolitasblog.typepad.com/bagolitas_ballot/

bagolita-ballot

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The last memories of Halloween 08

November 2, 2008 2 comments

Friday brought about all types of ghouls, goblins and  even a “queen”.  Ally and a group of kids from school dressed as the candyland characters.  She was Queen Frostine!

The day continued with the Bagolitas Crew as we ended Spirit Week with everyone wearing their costumes to work.  Amy & Patrick did a great job of showing their “Spartan” Spirit.

 

We ended the night with trick-or-treating with the our own little goblins; a ghoul, an alien and a witch.  Evelyn lasted about 20 minutes into trick-or-treating before she was tired so it was an early night for us.

    

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Off to the Movies

October 31, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s a sad year at the Aus house as we lose another trick or treater to age.  This year Emily has decided that she is too old to go trick-or-treating so she is going to a movie with a friend.  While I completely understand, Paul on the other hand is heartbroken.  He can hardly believe that his little girl is growing up.  Since Emily is going to the movies for Halloween, it was only fitting that she went as the floor of a movie theater to the Halloween party for the church youth group.  She actually won 1st Place for best girls costume!

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Pumpkin Carving

October 31, 2008 3 comments

Can you guess who carved what pumpkin?  No, you can’t pick me or Paul – even though I do have stellar pumpkin carving skills.  The kids had a great time scooping out the “guts” and then carving their masterpieces.  It is an Aus family tradition that we look forward to every year.  It ranks up there with watching Charlie Brown Christmas and drinking cocoa in December.

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Time Travel

October 30, 2008 Leave a comment

Today at work it was “retro” day.  It was definitely a flash back from the 60’s & 70’s.  My ensemble was complete with gold lamae flared pants (thanks Randy)!  Of course, when I dropped Evelyn off I quickly announced that it was retro day at work.  Evelyn actually cried in the car on the way to daycare because she didn’t want me to wear the gold pants.  Sorry Evie, your days of being embarrassed by your mother are only beginning.

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Pajama Day

October 29, 2008 Leave a comment

No, I didn’t take the day off and stay home in PJ’s today.  It was pajama day at work so everyone wore their pj’s – including Peytin.  You might remember, Peytin is Jill’s dog that comes to work occasionally.  In addition to the pj’s, most of us worse our slippers – which I have to say is quite comfortable.  I will admit that I was a little embarassed taking Evelyn into daycare.  For some reason I felt the need to announce that it was Pajama Day at work and no, I’m not being lazy and dropping my kid off at daycare so I can go home and crawl back into bed – although it’s a nice thought! 

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Getting Glammed Up

October 29, 2008 Leave a comment

Actually it was called “Dec out Day” – meaning get all dec’d out and come to work.  This week at work it’s Spirit Week and Monday was Crazy Hair Day – which I was unable to participate because I was leaving work early and going to Emily’s first swim meet.  I didn’t want to embarass her at her first big event.  Tuesday was Dec out day which vaired from person to person.  I chose to glam it up to the extreme – red feather boa, Evelyn’s dress up jewelry and to top it off, a crown! 

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Sugar Daddy’s

October 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Remember those candies?  A chewy caramel on a stick that is almost impossible to get off your teeth.  Then came the sugar babies….exactly how they sound; small chewy bites of pure sugar.  Then there was Paul!  Tonight was the annual Halloween party at church for the E.T.C. youth group and everyone was to come in costume – including the leaders.  Since Paul waited until the last minute to figure out a costume, we were running out of options.  So, I suggested my favorite pet name for him – Sugar Daddy!  All kidding aside, it turned out great; complete with nutritional facts.

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Fall Fun

October 26, 2008 Leave a comment

Fall is the Aus Family’s favorite time of year and Halloween just adds to the fun!  We spent the day at a local farm exploring the corn maze, visiting the animals and picking out just the right pumpkins to carve our Jack-o-lanterns.  The kids had a blast running on the large bales of hay and Evelyn tried running on her “hippie” toes as she calls it.  The day ended with a trip to Dairy Queen where we all topped off our tummies with a blizzard.  This week we’ll be carving our pumpkins and Ally will out do us all with one of her elaborate carvings.  Check back for more pictures!

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The world is my bathroom

October 24, 2008 1 comment

When I first started blogging I mentioned that I had a lot of things to blog about and maybe I would share them someday.  Today is that day since I’m out of “new” stories.  It all happened early this summer when I decided to use some “Tidy Bowl drop ins” after the usual cleaning of the bathrooms on a Sat. (which I dread).  Anyway, they naturally turned the water blue and that would be the last of Evelyn using the bathroom freely.  For some reason, the blue water really freaked her out and she did not want to sit down to go to the bathroom.  It started to get ridiculous and thank goodness for her she had daycare to go to on Monday so that she could freely use the “potty”.  On Monday after we were home for a little she and boys were playing out front.  I looked out the window checking on them and was a little surprised to find Evelyn standing in the flower bed at the front of the house with her pants in one hand and her “panties” (that’s for you Jayne) in another.  I hurried her into the house to get some clothes on thinking that maybe her pants were wet because she sat in the wet grass (we had a lot of rain the day before).  A couple of days later Paul was out front mowing the yard and as he finished up I went out to see how things were going.  He immediately mentioned to me that it smelled like “poop” outside and he was sure it wasn’t dog.  He informed me that he could definitely tell the difference between human and dog and what he was smelling was not from an animal.  He also went on to mention that he stepped in something in the yard while mowing and then proceeded to show me where.  I immediately started laughing because the spot he pointed out was the same spot I found Evelyn 2 days before with no pants on.  What many of you may not know, is that we live on a pretty busy street so the first the image in my head was that of an elderly couple driving past while Evelyn was “doing her business” in the front yard.  I promise that we do not live in a trailer park!  I was laughing hysterically and Paul was trying to keep a serious face as we walked into the house and Paul asked Evelyn “did you poop in the front yard?”.  Her response was “Uh huh”.  At least she’s honest.  Just when we thought we had encountered pretty much everything as parents of 5 and then this.  One thing Evelyn does do is keep us on our toes.  I’m pretty sure she knows that she can’t go to the bathroom outside anymore, but I have also been informed to never turn the potty water blue ever again.  It’s a deal!

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