What a packed weekend!  Especially when I start making a list of everything that we did, or everything that happened at least!

Friday it rained all day long, again.  No construction took place at our house- it was just soooooooo wet.

Jim took the day off and went fishing with his dad and I had no idea when to expect him back.  Once I realized he wouldn’t be home in time for dinner, I decided to take the kids to Costco to get our big shopping trip for the weekend out of the way before he got home.  Save some time, right?

We drove all the way to the Hillsboro Costco and just before pulling in to the parking lot I remembered *not* seeing my Costco American Express in my wallet the night prior.  Sure enough, I rummaged through my purse and looked under the seats in the car, etc. and there was no Costco AMEX to be found.  I could have probably gotten a temporary Membership card to gain admittance and be able to purchase our stuff, but I had a long list and was going to be spending a lot and wanted to be able to put it on the AMEX for the reward points.  Plus, I needed to get gas and I couldn’t get the 3% savings without the AMEX.  So we turned around and headed for home.

Well, actually we went to the library first to return a few books and pick up another one. Oh, and we stopped at McDonalds to get dinner since I was totally flustered by the experience and waste of gas/time with the Costco situation, and that was what I had planned for dinner (Costco Food Court).

We went to Fred Meyer for gas (save $.10 gallon!) and I ran in to grab a couple grocery items, then we came home.  Jim was home then.

I looked for my AMEX and couldn’t find it anywhere, so I went online and it showed the last purchase made as being the dinner date I had with some girl friends on Monday night.  So I called the restaurant and sure enough, they had the card!  I told them I’d stop by on Saturday to pick it up.

Bed early that night.

Saturday was my birthday!!  We had plans to go to dinner that night (weren’t sure exactly WHERE yet) and nothing else was planned for the day.  As we lay in bed, I suggested going out to breakfast and surprisingly Jim agreed (that’s TWO meals out in one day, not a commonality for us by a longshot).

We got to the Black Bear Diner sometime after 8:00 and were seated right away.  Riley ate her entire plate (french toast, bacon, fried egg) plus a quarter of my belgian waffle, one of Jim’s pancakes and another piece of bacon.  Holy cow!  Brooke at all the orange slices (garnish) and all the whipped cream off her plate before starting in on her strawberry waffle.  Anyway, it was a good breafast as always and we all left full.

We decided to play the rest of the day by ear.  It was definitely TOO wet to do any work outside, and Trevor’s 3:00 soccer game was canceled due to field conditions, so we decided to use the day to run errands.

First stop: Goodwill.  I had bought a suit for Trevor at Kohl’s earlier in the week (regularly $75 on sale with coupons for $32.50).  Unfortunately it fit him perfectly and I wanted something a little big that he could still grow into.  None of the Kohl’s in the area had the next size up.  So we thought we’d try Goodwill and the local resale shop and see if we could find any ‘used’ suits for less.

We went to the newest Goodwill, the one on Westgate across from the old Beaverton Mall.  It was pretty big and nice, but really didn’t have much for a kids department.  I asked the gal about suits and she said when they get them in, they hang them on an end aisle- and they usually sell that same day.  No luck there.

I looked a frying pans while I was there….we have an Omelet Skillet- it’s 8″, really thick, perfect curvature- we’ve been looking to get another one for about a year now but can never find the right one.  I usually make omelets on the weekend and it would be nice to make 2 at a time.  Anyway, found something that would work as an omelet pan, but I’m picky about the handles and it had an ugly handle so I passed on it.

Next stop was a Moving Sale in our neighborhood.  Nothing exciting to report there, other than that his house was only on the market for 2.5 weeks and he was asking a bit more than we thought he should have.  Not sure what it actually sold for, I’ll have to look that up.

We dropped Trevor off at home- he didn’t want to participate in the rest of our errand running.

Next stop: Lowe’s and Home Depot to look at light fixtures again, and also carpet.  I’m trying to match the carpet we have and Trinity Carpet is no longer in business.  No luck at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  Oh no!!!!!!!

Lighting was a success though- I showed Brooke a chandelier I had found online ($105):

and she liked it, but decided she wants a plain white ceiling fan instead.  Found one there for $39!  I won’t complain!  Plus Jim pointed out the issue with keeping a chandelier dust free.  Yeah, I don’t want to take it down and clean it all the time.  Pass.

Riley is pretty adamant about wanting this light fixture:

I found them online at Lamps Plus for less than at Globe Lighting, so we might take that route.  Comes in other designs, too.

Anyway, next we headed for Costco (Jim had his Costco AMEX, mine was still at the restaurant!) but first we swung by Sarah’s house to see their home improvements and check out their moving sale.  Looks like there’s not much left as far as furniture and general “stuff”.  The kitchen renovation looks great, really brightens up the place!!  Much more modern looking now.

At Costco we stocked up on coupon related items and also picked up 4 bags of Miracle Gro Potting Soil and four new ceramic pots.  They are the same size/height/shape as our current pots, but in a rich chocolate brown.

We put one in the front yard, the other three will go in the back, we just aren’t sure what/how/where exactly.  I think we might have a pot addiction.  Although if you are going to have a pot addiction, a ceramic pot addiction is much better than the other kind!

Once home Jim decided to go out and try to do a little bit of prep for our Sunday yard project.  I decided to go run a couple more errands, so I left again, this time just Trevor and I- the main goal was to talk to a local carpet store to see if they could help me match our carpet.  I went to JK Interiors (corner of TV Highway and Cornelius Pass Road- same complex as the Bark Zone Doggie Daycare) and he was pretty optimistic that he can match it for me.  He said he’d call his manufacturer’s rep on Monday and see what he could find.  So I’m waiting for a call back on that.

Trevor and I went to the resale shop around the corner from there- where he DID find a suit.  It’s a Nordstrom suit so probably higher quality than the Kohl’s suit and it does fit a little big so it should be perfect!  Then we went to another Goodwill where he found two dress shirts and a couple Nike Dri-Fit items- a soccer shirt and a jacket.  We got some great deals!!  Trevor now loves Goodwill and wants to shop there as much as possible.

OH, while we were there I thought I’d look at their frying pans, but Trevor was antsy to get home and I figured I was too, so we skipped out on any further shopping.

We must have been home shortly after 3:00 or so?

Home for housecleaning and I don’t know what else I accomplished, but at 6:00 my mom came over and we all headed to McGrath’s Fish House for dinner.  The meal wasn’t nearly as good as the previous two times we’ve eaten there, although the last time was my birthday in 2009 I think, so it’s been a while.  I ordered the cajun catfish which Jim had previously and I sampled and loved it….it wasn’t as ‘mouth watering’ as I remembered.  I also ordered their stuffed prawns and they were pretty flavorless.  Bummer.  I got the obligatory put-this-fish-on-your-head-and-we’ll-snap-your-picture-while-we-sing-Happy-Birthday:

I was too full to get any Birthday Dessert….and my loving husband didn’t want me to miss out on a slice of birthday cake, so he suggested I just order it To Go so I could eat it later.  And I did!  I ordered the Chocolate Ganache Cake which comes drizzled with a Marionberry Puree and whipped cream.  To-Go it’s sans whip cream, but I got the Marionberry Puree in a separate container.  THAT was a delicous dessert.  I ate it for lunch the next day!

OH, while we were at dinner, Trevor get’s a goofy grin on his face and says, “Can I go to the car to get my jacket?”  I just knew something was up.  Turns out they put a few birthday presents in the car before we left (while I was otherwise occupied) and they wanted to surprise me with them at the restaurant… so Trevor went out and brought them all in.

(I sure wish I was more photogenic)

I got a Victoria’s Secret Giftcard….a Starbucks Giftcard….and a new Omelet Pan!!  Yippee!!  Apparently Trevor communicated to Jim that it was a close call at the Goodwill, that he had averted me from the frying pan aisle at the store and he was proud of that accomplishment.


So in all it ended up being a very good Birthday dinner, even though my dad couldn’t come because he was out of town, my sister couldn’t come because she had friends over, and my in-laws couldn’t come for one reason or another.  I was pretty bummed all morning seeing as how my birthday was finally on a Saturday night and nobody could join us!  Oh well.  I was glad my Mom took the time to share my special day.

So that brings us to Sunday.  It started out fairly typical- we read the paper, shopped the ads, drinking coffee.  Once the kids were up and we were done with the paper I made French Toast for breakfast.  Actually, I taught Riley how to make French Toast.  She was quite the helper!  She also washed and sliced all the strawberries to put on top of the breakfast.  It was delicious!  I almost took pictures of our plates because they were so yummy looking.

The kids were going to Bethlehem Lutheran for the first time, to check out their Sunday School program.  We didn’t have much time after breakfast to get ready, and I didn’t explain anything to the kids about how they should dress other than “try to look nice”.  Brooke of course was wearing her purple velvet and satin fancy dress with her black heeled shoes….Trevor was wearing black jeans with a polo-shirt type top and tennis shoes (OK by me)….and Riley was wearing her typical jeans and t-shirt.  I suggested instead of tennis shoes that she wear her sparkly flats, but she declined and threw on tennis shoes and a brown ragged hoodie.  I hoped we were not severely underdressed.

I was quite pleased when we walked in….a couple 7th grade boys were standing near the side entrance and showed us where to go and as we walked along the hall the gal I had spoken to on the phone was coming towards us (I didn’t know it was her obviously until she introduced herself) and she took us under her wings (so to speak) and showed us where all the classrooms were and introduced us to the teacher and made sure each child was introduced to a couple kids in the class and that they were comfortable before we moved on to the next room.  She told me to meet each kid back at their classroom door at 10:45.

I felt guilty pulling out of the parking lot, but I too was wearing jeans and tennis shoes and didn’t really want to tour the church on my own or be introduced to a bunch of people….yet.

So I went to Kohl’s to return Trevor’s suit, went to Goodwill to return a jacket I picked up the day prior, and stopped at Fred Meyer to check out their advertised hanging baskets (which by the way look nothing like the one’s advertised!!).  I also made a stop at Java Nation for their (best tasting in the entire world) white mocha. YUM!

I was back at the church by 10:45 and rounded up the kids.  I spoke with the teachers and let them know that although we won’t be back next week, we WILL be back.  The kids all told me how much fun they had and they can’t wait to go back again.  Each one made a friend or two and I’m really excited that we’re finally taking this step and have decided we can make the Sunday commitment.  Sometimes you just need to put God as the priority, we can always change back into pajamas when we get home, right?

Once home, I changed into work clothes because today was the day we were going to re-route the sprinkler pipes and connect the rain drains.  And it was still super muddy in the yard.  Before I got started, though, Jim sent me on an errand to pick up a couple more 10′ pipes.  I went to ACE since it’s closer than Home Depot, so was there and back pretty quickly.

I think we worked for about 2.5 hours on that project.

Then I worked on some yard beautifcation (spreading barkdust over the flowerbed against the house), and we set one of the new chocolate colored planters in the front yard (where the bird bath used to be), I hosed the back patio, then I came in and showered.

Trevor has soccer practice every Sunday from 5:00-6:30 at a High School near Washington Square.  It’s a really nice school with a great track and turf field, so I brought Brooke’s bicycle with us hoping she could get some practice riding.  She never really learned to “ride”.  She “could” but she just wouldn’t.   Every time she’d get comfortable, we wouldn’t have an opportunity to ride bikes again…and when we did, she wanted to ride her scooter instead.

I figured riding on a soft track would be a great comfort and confidence booster.  And it was!  She rode and rode and rode for the whole hour and a half that we were there!  While she rode, I walked the track.  Got a couple miles in!

We came home and she was so proud- she asked Jim to watch her so he went out and watched her ride around the cul-de-sac.  He hollered at me to grab the camera, because realistically THIS IS IT….she’s finally riding her bike, starting and stopping all on her own, confident, turning, and enjoying it!  And she’s the last one to go through the “look Mom and Dad- I can ride my bike!”

Of course now I think the bike looks a little small for her.  Figures!

At the end of the evening, Jim and I sat down and looked at the construction timeline and decided what we needed to get done each night.  There’s a lot of work ahead of us…stay tuned on the other blog for that one.

Oh, and Sunday we made some pastrami!  First you buy a Beef Brisket, and spend the next four days turning it into Corned Beef (we did that last week).  When that’s done you rinse it off and dry it and then put a different rub on it and throw it on the Smoker/Traeger at 225 degrees until it’s done (175-degrees).  We put it on the grill at about 11:30AM on Sunday.  Um, it wasn’t done until 2:30AM!!!!!  Yes, you read that right.  We went to bed at 1o pm and it still had another 15 degrees to go….Jim awoke and checked it at midnight, and again around 1:00am and I heard him get up around 2:30 and I looked at the remote thermometer and it showed the meat at 174-degrees….seconds later it beeped and was DONE at the 175 degree mark.  So we went out and turned off the grill and brought the meat in.  This morning I sliced it all up- now we have some yummy pastrami!!

It’s not as moist as deli-pastrami, but it’s still good.  And it’s not ‘red’ like regular pastrami because I couldn’t find any Morton’s Tender Quick or “Pink” Salt for curing meats.  Tastes the same anyway…I don’t care if it’s brown!

We made pastrami melts for daycare lunch on Monday and the kids loved it!

So that’s our weekend happenings… a lot happened!