Holy crow, it's HOT! I know, I know we do nothing but complain about the weather, here in Washington... it's too cold, too rainy, too snowy, too hot! Well, I think 101* is too hot for anyone! It's cooler in Texas, for goodness sake!

Now, I don't have a lot of room to complain about the heat because I have air conditioning in the house, so we're quite comfortable.

We are sharing it with our neighbors though... I think we're going to have a full house today. I'm not sure how we'll entertain all of the kids, but we'll manage!

MADDI SAID "I LOVE YOU" FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME THIS MORNING! I'm smiling inside and out... nothing can ruin that today!

Marshmallow Madness

On Monday, we returned from a 6 day camping trip to Whidbey Island. I was ready to come home on Sunday, but it was great!

I have a bunch of pictures that I still need to download from the camera... I should probably get those taken care of before I run out of space!

After 3 days of crabbing and fishing, we had 5 crabs and 1 fish... I know, we suck, right? We made a huge seafood boil with churizo, kielbasa, potatoes, corn on the cob, shrimp and crab... It rocks! The fish ended up having worms of some sort in it, so needless to say, we didn't eat it... ick!

We made s'mores every night, Gjerness style... marshmallows, kit-kats / peanut butter cups, and graham crackers. And each night, Josh made his marshmallows get as large as possible... it's unbelievable how big they actually get!

One day, I was trying to occupy Maddi with a badminton racket and birdie. I was afraid the birdie would hurt her, so I swapped it for a marshmallow. Do you realize how far a marshmallow will go? LOL When everyone returned from crabbing, I showed them my new "invention". There were marshmallows all over the entire RV park... we did clean them up. Although, I'm sure we didn't get them all!

Maddi found her shadow... at first she ran away from it, or at least, tried to. Then she was trying to grab it... LOL... very Peter Pan!

My Dream Car

In February of 2007, I ordered my dream car. I ORDERED it! The color I wanted, the options I wanted, everything I wanted... it is my dream car! This isn't a Mercedes or a Porsche, no, nothing like that. Like most people. My dream car is a Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring in Black Cherry. I got it on April 7, 2007!

I love, love, love my car!

The problem is that the lease is up and I have to return it on August 7, which is less than a month away. With my hubby being unemployed, we can't buy it as we planned. I know, it's just a car, but it is heartbreaking.

Minivans, here we come! They are the most economical way to go, and we can fit everyone in them! Last night I test drove a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country, and it was a very nice ride. It had a DVD player, tons of storage, and stow n go... but it had 82,000 miles. This morning I test drove a 2005 Kia Sedona... it was okay and had 41,000 miles. And I drove a 2005 Mazda MPV, and it was almost like driving my CX-9... great features and only 33,000 miles.

I'm leaning towards the Mazda... scratch that... my heart is set on the Mazda. So, we're waiting to see what they come back with for financing. With it being a Saturday, they couldn't talk to anyone... remember, Dale is unemployed, so they have some finessing to do.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking positive thoughts and visualizing myself driving the Mazda off the lot. And, yes, a little prayer never hurt... although, I don't usually pray for material things. Hmmm, I'm not sure how I feel about that.

"Vacation on a budget", seems like an oxymoron, doesn't it?

In 2005, Dale and I brought the kids to Disneyland for a week... for our honeymoon, actually. I know, sounds crazy, but it was fun... AND Disneyland is the happiest place on earth! I digress... this vacation cost us approximately $6000. We have not been on a vacation like that since! Having a family with four kids (at the time) makes for costly travel. Now we have five!

Now, with Dale out of work, we can't even contemplate a family vacation like that. Our current financial situation got me thinking about ways to work our way out of it. Once Dale's working again, with careful planning, we CAN vacation like that again!

After reading the Vacation Budgeting guide by a credit counseling company, I found that if you get creative, you CAN have a spectacular vacation! We have an appointment on Friday with a credit counselor to help us work through the logistics of spending money appropriately and saving money... I know, I know, that is such a strange concept... to actually save money!

Their Website offers reports showing how you spend your money and a debt to income ratio... might I say, I did not like what I saw! But then again, it was based off of Dale's unemployment income, which is about 1/4 of what he normally makes.

What is wrong with this kid?

Yeah, that's actually a rhetorical question. I know what is wrong with JT... it's actually NOT him. It's the PEW.

This kid has been coddled and babied his entire life. Not to mention, poisoned by PEW. Have you heard of something called parental alienation syndrome? I hadn't even heard of that syndrome until reading so many books on trying to co-parent with PEW. So, now that he's here with us, he's not the baby, cuz... um... yeah, the baby is the baby!

JT doesn't even seem to like Maddi, his own sister. I know it's not because he really doesn't like her. He's been trained to think of her as only his half sister and he's told he's not loved enough since he isn't the youngest here. So annoying!

So, yesterday, while all of the other kids are watching their parents light fireworks, JT is pouting because he can't light them. Now, this kid is a pyromaniac... seriously, no joke! He built a bomb with an air soft gun, fireworks and other such materials two days ago. After I was able to scrape my jaw off of the floor, I immediately confiscated it. Who's kid is this?

This morning, I told him that on Wednesday we're going to the Imagine Children's Museum for their light splitting workshop. You know what he said?


Literally, he said "Yawn".

I told him that he could just stay home with dad and do chores, because I certainly would not bring an ungrateful child to do anything that would be too boring. And proceeded to tell him that being rude and disrespectful will not be tolerated in this house.

I know, I know... he was told by PEW that I am not his parent, so he doesn't have to listen to me. This poor child! What must be going through his mind?

Tonight, Dale and I will be discussing this issue. I know it's not entirely JT's fault, but that does not mean that I should have to endure his disrespect. And I will not.

Wordless Wednesday

This is the happiest dad in the Universe! His son is home for the summer!