Monday, November 30, 2009

Harvesting (Potatoes)

This year, I decided to plant red tomatoes in the garden. I love red potatoes. They grew well and the kids had fun digging them up and playing with them.
This is my favorite red potato recipe (from memory. Hopefully, I am remembering it correctly.) It is so yummy!!! You HAVE to try it!!!

A bunch of red potatoes (maybe 2 lbs?)
1/2 stick of melted butter
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 t. marjoram
1 t. thyme leaves
1/4 t. black pepper

Combine first six ingredients. After cutting the potatoes into fourths or smaller, coat the pieces in the mixture. The potatoes should be at least two layers high in the dish. Place in a cake pan size dish, pouring the excess mixture over the top. Bake covered at 450 for 50-55 minutes (until potatoes are finished.) You may want to take them out once and stir/mix the potatoes up once while cooking to recoat them. ENJOY!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Painting the Outside of the House

***We have A LOT of firewood! If you are interested in buying some, Chris is charging $100 for a truckload. Contact one of us, if you are interested.***

The beginning of Sept., we started painting the outside of the house. It has been a long time coming. I guy who lived here a long time ago would buy some random paint and paint PART of the house. When we bought it, the people who owned it before us tried to give it a decent looking paint job. Their problem was they only painted as high as they could reach on a short ladder. When we bought it there were 7 different colors on the outside of the house (dark blue, light brown, white, pink, mint green, purple orange). We are trying to only make it the first three.

Our neighbors had a tall ladder and Chris borrowed it to reach the highest points! I'm so nice to let him do the high parts!!! While he painted, the kids sat on the roof of the car or in the trunk.

Cooper loves to put keys/pencils/tools in holes/keyholes/outlets to pretend like he fixing or unlocking things.
Cadence liked helping to paint on the little ladder. She is getting to be such a big girl!!!

Here are the before and after pictures.
The East side of the house!

The West side of the house.

The Back of the house.

We did our best to match the paint, but you can see where the new paint is. Oh Well! Painting brick and that cottage cheese texture stinks. Next year we will work on painting the trim white! It will take us a long time to scrap it down and re-paint it, but at least it looks a better for now!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big Boy Bed

About a month ago, we took down Cooper's crib because he hated it. I think he feels like he is in....PRISON!!! Behind bars! Locked Away! Since he was a horrible sleeper his first year (waking up 4, 5, 6 times a night!!!), he didn't sleep in it much anyway. He kept trying to climb out and I just knew it wouldn't be good to keep him in there. He is a climber.
Instead of putting up the toddler bed, we went straight t0 a bunkbed some neighbors down the street gave us last year. Cooper won't stay in bed if one of us doesn't lay next to him until he falls asleep. Of course, the bunk beds are officially cool and have become a source of play. Many adventures will be had on that top bunk!!! The kids love to bonk their heads on the ceiling since we put it where the ceiling slants in Cooper's room. He almost sleeps through the night now. It is so nice for me!!!! Now, I just wish he was lay in his bed and fall asleep by himself:)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Homecoming Parade

We took the kids to the USU Homecoming parade at the beginning of October. The weather was awesome. Notice the kids are in shorts and short-sleeve shirts. Cooper really loved the parade. There was so much candy thrown and the kids cleaned up. The nearly filled the Cadence's backpack. I thought we should save the candy to give away at Halloween, but we ate it all (minus the candy we gave away to other kids)! When there was music, the kids would dance, dance, dance. Everyone loved watching them bounce to the music!!!
They waved at all the floats especially if there were animals on it!
Parades are so fun. I would take the kids to one every month if I could find one. They love them!!!
Unfortunately, this is the only Homecoming activity we participated in. There were many fewer activities this year for the kids when compared to last year.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Voting Totally Stinks!!!

Today was election day and I am totally bummed! All three of my guys lost. I knew they were underdogs, but I really wanted an upset. If you don't want to hear me rant, don't read below the picture. I am tired of wealthy people who don't relate to the majority of citizens winning and ruling our city and country. I am tired of wealthy people enforcing their standards and ways of living on us when we can't afford it. I tired of the rich neighborhoods deciding what happens to poorer neighborhoods. I am tired of the apathy of middle and lower class citizens who don't vote and therefore, allow the wealthy people to keep making decisions for them. Just vote, people!!! I really don't like making elections out to be a money issues, but it just keeps coming back to that. The rich people (who have the highest % of voters) in the rich areas vote for the rich candidates.

I am nervous about what the next four years (and thereafter) hold in store for us. Landlord licensing will happen. Perhaps a new expensive library will be built. More invasion and a bigger city government will be a reality. The government will be coming into our home and apartments looking for things that are wrong. I'm sure they will find many things because they don't want renters in homes. Watch out renters. Logan City will now be a roommate of yours (if you live in a home.) It is frustrating trying to get ahead in life only to find our lovely government a roadblock. I am discouraged that my dream will never be a reality. I'm going to bed!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Letter-to-the-Editor and Letter to Neighbors

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As Election Day approaches, our stomachs are in knots with worry and anxiety. We realize that these elections will impact us so much more than what we originally thought. Having listened to the debates and read more about what the candidates’ platforms are, we are scared and intimidated by Mayor Watts’ positions and the support that Holly Daines and Dean Quayle give to his ideas. I’m not joking when I say that Mayor Watts wants to financially destroy people like us.

When we were getting married, we thought ahead to when we would have children. Due to Chris’ modest salary, we knew if Michelle wanted the chance to be a stay-at-home mother, we needed a home with a LEGAL basement apartment to help us pay our mortgage. We found our fixer-upper on 200 N. and bought it with this idea in mind. We gutted the basement and rebuilt a very nice apartment (with a city permit) and have spent much more on the basement than we have on the upstairs (where we live). Now we find that Mayor Watts wants to FORCE us to turn our home “back into single-family housing.” On the record many times, he has said one of the goals of landlord licensing will be to “find homes that have basement apartments (whether legal or illegal) and turn them back into single-family housing.” One of his targets is “older homes,” “with apartments,” “in neighborhoods.” Well, that is us! The government already gave approval of our basement apartment long before we bought it. Why should our “trusted” leaders try to take that away?

If Mayor Watts follows through on this promise, our home will be devalued $25,000-$35,000 and we will lose a monthly income between $300-$400 a month for 30 years. That is a $150,000 loss to our financial future (and I’m not exaggerating). If this happens, Michelle will have to get a job and put the kids in daycare. This will also set back our retirement a few more years. We simply cannot afford for Mayor Watts, Holly Daines and Dean Quayle to win. (This would also affect other members of our neighborhood who also have LEGAL basement apts. and count on that income for survival.)

There are many other issues in this election which you may have read about in Michelle’s letter-to-the-editor. Mayor Watts wants to spend more money on fancy buildings (raising taxes). He wants the city to have more control over citizens and private property rights. MAYOR WATTS NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!!! At first, we started by telling our friends how awesome Mike Morrill, Tony Wegener and Steven Stokes would be for elected office. Since we have become more educated on the issues, we have actively encouraged people to vote against Mayor Watts. A vote for Morrill is a vote for common sense. Please vote for Mike Morrill, Tony Wegener and Steven Stokes on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Remember to take your ID. We would also appreciate if you would encourage your friends to do likewise through facebook, your blog, phone calls and word of mouth. Our future depends on it!
Michelle and Chris Johnnie

It’s Not About Fancy Buildings (LETTER TO THE EDITOR)
Published: Saturday, October 31, 2009 2:36 AM CDT

I’ve been reading letters to the editor about the candidates for mayor and City Council. Most of them focus on the candidates’ outstanding characters, honorable families, love of Logan, or how long candidates have lived in Logan. These are important in voting for candidates. However, ALL six candidates have outstanding characters, love Logan, have lived here the majority of their lives and come from great families. As citizens, we should vote on the issues facing us and how the candidates address those issues. The following are a FEW issues.

In the past year, Mayor Watts built a new building to house the police department. City Hall was moved into the former police building. In all, the cost of this was approximately $8.5 million — paid for in cash by taxpayers’ money. At the same time, city employees were not given raises and were forced to pay more for health insurance. If times are so hard, why was this building built? Now that the north side of the library building is empty, Mayor Watts wants to tear that building down and build a new library for approximately $26 million, which will probably be paid for by taxpayers. Mike Morrill would like to see that building remodeled for approximately $5.5 million. In a time of recession, unemployment and tighter finances, which candidate represents which is best for you?

Morrill has been endorsed by two different groups (to which neither I belong). One reason that Morrill was endorsed by them is because he took the time to listen and respond to them. The other candidate did not. Why? I want a mayor who is willing to listen and respond to citizens even if he disagrees with them. Isn’t that one of the major duties of a mayor?

Will landlord licensing solve the problem of lousy landlords? Characters and attitudes are hard to legislate. A lousy landlord will still be a lousy landlord, but with a higher price. There are already ordinances in place and they aren’t being enforced. Renters should have rights and inspection of their “homes” by the government at anytime is intrusive. Morrill believes that citizens are competent enough to make decisions for themselves regarding their living conditions. Do we need government to have “their foot in the door” in our homes?

Based on the issues, I am voting for Morrill, Tony Wegener and Steven Stokes. Their goals include providing essential services, being citizen-friendly, attracting more jobs to Logan and allowing citizens to control their own lives, property and checkbooks (taxes). Morrill, Wegener and Stokes’ priorities include focusing on the essentials that government should provide (sidewalks, curb and gutter, replacing aging infrastructure, improving roads, etc.), not fancy buildings and greater control over citizens.
Michelle Johnnie