Sunday, July 26, 2009

I need your help

I feel like the Octo-mom. I just inherited 7 fish overnight. Ok, that wouldn't make me the Octo-mom, that would make me the umm, Septo-Mom? That doesn't sound right. Sounds like Septic. Anyways, I have 7 fish now.

One is a sucker-fish (?) and he is a recluse. He lives in his little cave and hardly ever comes out. Jack has named him "Darth Vader". Pretty appropriate. There is a tiny, little fish and we have named him "Pepe" (Joe's nickname growing up). But then there are 5 fish. Please don't ask me what kind. The kind that swim, underwater, and have fins. That kind. We think one is a female and four are male. We need names.

We have already gone through Mermaid and Swimmey, rest their fins. We would like something with a theme. I was thinking: Yosemite, Lassen, Kings, Sequioa, and Death Valley. But I was turned down. Maybe VeggieTale names? Maybe real boring human names? Spanish names?

If you have any ideas on fish names, please leave your comment here and in a week I'll update and let you know the names we selected. Who knows, it might be yours. ha ha

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Iced Mochas for only 18 cents!

I know! Iced Mochas for only 18 cents!? Tax alone costs more than that. Until you learn how to make it at home. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

I must admit that I got the original recipe from If you are not checking her out, you really must. I get good ideas every day. She shared a recipe for a peppermint mocha. I just tailored it to fit my tastes and I'm in love.

I don't drink alcohol. I don't smoke. I don't do drugs. I don't go on huge shopping sprees. My vice is Iced Mocha. I used to get it at Starbucks, but McDonald's came out with the McCafe. It was cheaper, sweeter, and drive-thru. The only draw back was that it was out of the way (like 10 minutes away) and it still cost $3 a pop. And I could have a mocha everyday, if my budget allowed.

So, when I saw this recipe I had to try it. Here's how it works:

6 coffee ice cubes

2 Tb sugar

1/8 cup chocolate syrup

1 cup milk


Coffee ice cubes? yeah. I was making my mochas before but they always tasted watered down. Well, you know that coffee in your carafe at the end of the morning? You don't drink it and you throw it away, right? Well, stop. Let it cool and then pour it into ice cube trays. I get about 8-10 cubes per day just from left over coffee. Oh, and it doesn't have to be fancy, flavored coffee. Just plain old Folgers will do as you will spice it up with the chocolate. I figure with this recipe I can save us at least $30 per month (I would have wanted more mochas, but felt guilty) and I don't have to drive anywhere. This is just what I need before I go back to work.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bare with me

Bare with me as I try to eek out time to blog along with other stuff. You know like being a mommy, going on vacation, keeping the house clean, getting ready for the first day of school. All this while I have been ordered NOT to work while the boys sleep. Crazy, huh? That's when I get stuff done. But, the world goes on. I will post. I have great video of the vacation that I can't wait to share.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bound to happen

It was bound to happen. I knew it would happen. It was just a matter of time.

I am attached to those darn fish. Now that I'm attached, they'll probably die tomorrow. Darn fish. It happened last time with Mr. Fish. Some of you may remember Mr. Fish from our Oakhurst home. He was our first child. I ignored him. I tried not to talk to him. I left the cleaning and feeding to Joe. But, what happened? I got attached. I started to notice his behaviors (and yes, fish have personalities). I started to talk to him. He would follow me around (in his aquarium, of course).

And then tragedy struck. I came home and found him on the floor. I threw him back in the aquarium and called Joe as an emergency at work, crying. I was pregnant at the time, so I blame the hormones. Crying over a darn fish.

Jack used to lay on the counter and watch Mr. Fish. Mr. Fish liked Jack too, but we could tell I was his first love. Until............ about a month before we moved, he committed suicide. Jumped right out of his aquarium and onto the floor, for who knows how long, until we got home. We had a service for him in the guest restroom. Sad day. From that day on, I vowed never to fall in love with a fish again. I knew what could happen. I knew that love hurts.

And then........ and then we go to the carnival and Jack and Josh win fish. Great. I promised to not fall in love though. My neighbor got off easy. Her fish died the next day. You can't build a relationship in a day. You can't get attached in a day. She's done, moved on. But me.... ..... ..... I knew it would happen.

Last night, I found myself watching the fish as I made dinner. Observing their personalities. Mermaid is definitely the outgoing one. But Swimmey is coming along. He swims a lot more than when he first moved in. And that' when I knew it. I had broken my own rule. I have fallen for these darn fish. They are probably dying as I type this.

Nope! Just checked on 'em. They're still swimming. Fish. I knew this would happen.


Just after I opened my heart, it got broken again. Mermaid passed away last night in her sleep. We had a private viewing for the family and then a funeral service in the guest restroom. Jack was the official bowl-bearer and Joshua was the official flusher.

Jack says that Swimmey is now lonely and is looking for Mermaid. He is more animated. Perhaps he is happy she's gone. Perhaps she nagged him all the time. Perhaps he slipped her something last night in her water before she went to sleep. I'm beginning to have my suspicions.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Three Years

It was three years ago, on July 4th that we rode into town. We were the last "car" to pass through before they closed the road for the parade. Perhaps the trooper saw the truck, trailer, U-Haul, and transport and knew what was going on. We were just a family of 3 at the time. Joshua was on the way, but we didn't even know it yet. It was only 10 am, but it had already been a long day. As I was driving 70 miles an hour to pass Joe on the highway, he noticed that my front tire was separating and about to explode. Complete with myself, Jack, and Pepper in the truck, hauling a trailer. We had to drive 30 miles per hour for 13 miles to the nearest po-dunk gas station that had an air compressor. Word to the wise, check the air in your spare before you drive 800 miles across mountains and deserts. Then, as we were filling up with gas, my credit card was called in as fraud. Turns out that since I hadn't used it for months previously, they thought it was stollen, as all of a sudden it had gas stations, hotel, and a u-haul on it.

Three years later, we (Susan, Jack, and Josh) have this parade thing down to a science. We have our favorite spot. We have neighbors who go with us and sit with us. We know about the splash zone, and we DON'T sit there. We even know when the parade is ending and we run back to the van and can get home in 15 minutes! (Last year, it took us 1 hour) We have been invited to a BBQ for lunch. We will be going to church tonight, of which I am getting more involved. And then we will watch the fireworks tonight from a secret location.

Three years. Three years and one day. A Big Step for Me

Friday, July 3, 2009

Art in the Park

Our town just blossoms this time of year, as many people are up visiting from the hot valley. I love it, as it offers the kids fun stuff to see.

We just got back from Art in the Park at Charlie Clarks (locals, it's there til Sunday). I am so amazed at the beauty and diversity of artists. I always thought of art as paintings to hang on the wall. There is so much more. God is truly an artist, as He has created us to be artists.

There were beautiful blown-glass pieces. Jewelry. Clothing. Food. Music. Marionettes (spelling?). Paintings. Landscape photography.

And the weather was unbeatable. When it's 110 degrees and 100% humidity in Phoenix, it's 75 degrees here with thunderclouds moving in.

The boys had a good time as we were with 3 adoptive grandma's.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Red, White, and Bluau

Every Fourth of July, our town has a luau to celebrate. They have it at the city aquatic center. Really, it's not fair to call it just a pool. It is the coolest place. Remember when we were growing up that our city pool was just one big rectangle? And there wasn't even a shallow end, it was like 4 feet deep? And the water was bitter cold? This pool is so much more. They have the rectangle for the lap people. Then they have the kiddy pool. It is probably 4 feet at the deepest. The shallow part is actually like at a lake or something. It gradually goes in. And gradually. You can walk in about 5 feet and still have the water at your ankles. It's great for kids. And it's heated. nice. And it has fountains and slides and stuff. How cool is that?! But, I digress.

Ok, so a celebration for Fourth of July, they call it Red, White, and Bluau. They have hula dancers, both adults and kids. I tried my best to get good shots, but it was dark. Forgive me. This first shot is pretty cool in that the dancers had candles and this is what it looks like when they are dancing.

They also had carnival games. Jack and Josh got matching tattoos, on their muscles. They are very proud of their muscles.

One of the carnival games was to catch fish with your bare hands. I thought it was impossible. Not for my fishermen. They both caught fish! Lucky me, huh? Jack took it upon himself to determine the sex of the fish; one female, one male. The girl is called "Mermaid" and the boy is called "Swimmy". He came up with these names and I'm shocked. He used to name everything "Jack" and "Josh". I guess he's growing up. We'll see how long they live. I offered to feed them to Spooky, but Jack was offended and said that they are his fishes (plural fish, I guess) and that he loves them. Great. This carnival game is going to cost me a fortune.

Half way through the hula dances, I noticed that Josh was missing a shoe. I take him and we are scouring the grass looking for his shoe. I asked him where his shoe was, and he said, "I don't know. Shoe! Shoe!", calling his shoe as if it would respond and come running to him. Too funny. We finally found it. Don't ask me how, because it was wayyyyyyyyyyyy out of the way and actually another mom found it. Moms. They're the best.

My unemployment status

Many of you have been asking what's going on with my unemployment. Here goes...

Although I have taught at the same school for 3 years, I resigned at the end of last year because we thought we were moving to El Paso. Long story short, we didn't move (which I am REALLY happy about). When I came back as a teacher in August, I was moved to the bottom of the totem pole in the district. Normally that would not matter. But, this year has been crazy to say the least with the whole budget/economy thing.

We all know that the state is going to need to make cut-backs in the budget because there are not as many funds (no one is buying, etc.) and they need to shell out more money for benefits (unemployment, health care, etc.). To be pro-active, the school districts must let the newest teachers go, in case they don't get enough money in their new budget for next year. Now, I'm not talking about just letting extra teachers go, it's affecting everyone. At my school alone, they gave out 6 letters. That would increase the class size for the remaining teachers to over 35 students! They have to hire us back, but they don't have the money.

And so we come to the state budget. Normally, the state has passed their budget long before now (think March or April) and the district knows how much money it will have next year, and they can hire teachers. But, our state dilly-dallied until the very last minute. Yes, last minute. It was due last night at midnight. It barely got to the governor's hands to approve or veto this morning. I haven't checked lately to see if she has approved it, but as of this morning, she was not happy as it did not have the things she was wanting.

How does that relate to me, Susan? Since I was not re-hired, I have no more health insurance. Not a big problem for me. I tend to be pretty healthy (except when I am working) ha ha. The boys are pretty healthy. Jack has asthma, but we have a nebulizer. It's Joe that needs the insurance. He just saw his Kidney Specialist last week, so he is up to date, but we need to keep him healthy.

My principal has assured me that I will have a job when she gets the budget. In fact, she has some crazy things in store for me this coming year. I might not get that amazing tech job, as there might not be enough money for a tech teacher if we can't even afford teachers. I understand. I love teaching, no matter what.

All in all, I have amazing peace about this. Friends are posting that they are so sorry. I'm not. I know that God will provide and seriously, 100%, from deep down inside, I am not scared. God pulled me out of Cali and put me smack-dab right here on the reservation. He doesn't just uproot His people and leave them there to starve. He will provide. Thanks for the prayers though, because we do need to keep Joe healthy and out of the hospital (at least until I have insurance again).

P.S. I am still doing my spa business (did a surprise $450 order yesterday). If you are local and want to pamper yourself and your friends, call (oops, I mean email) me. Love you all and thanks for your concern.

I have a contract. The governor was not happy with part of the budget. In fact, she was unhappy with the cuts to education. She passed most of the budget and called the legislators back to put more money in education. Way to go, Brewer! I have my job back. I will be teaching 4th grade. Although they put money back into education, there was not enough money for the amazing tech job. That's ok, as I think I would have missed being out of the classroom anyway. I love 4th grade (think, AZ History) and the students. I taught about 1/3 of them 2 years ago in 2nd grade. I am very grateful and feel blessed to have a job in this economy. And I knew that God would fulfill His promise in our lives.
Oooh, BeautiControl order just arrived at the house. Gotta go...........

Random but funny pic

We went to a restaurant to celebrate Crystal's graduation. Needless to say, Jack had never seen so many desserts in one place before. Too funny. You can just imagine what he is thinking.....

Cool website

You know me. I am always on the computer. Always looking for new things. Always looking for FREE things. I found this cool website.

I LOVE K-Love (Christian radio), but we don't get it up here in our small mountain town. I love music, hence the name Rodrigue Rock Stars. I could sing all day long. It works great in the classroom too. I have been missing K-Love since we moved but I don't have the money to buy CD's. I have tried to stream K-Love but my laptop is a school laptop and has many things blocked on it. Plus, it's a little old now (about 4-5 years).

On this website, you get to create your own radio stations. I picked Christian music, but they have everything. And you can create different stations, based on your mood. I'm thinking workout music. chilling out, reading music. I'm really digging it. Thinking about hooking up the speakers, so we can hear it throughout the house.

where Glory meets my suffering