Katelyn has arrived!

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree -or- Spirit Week.

This is Homecoming Week at our school district. Michael - who rarely takes an active part in "extra" school activities - shared with us last night that today would be "-er" day as part of the dress-up theme week that always precedes Homecoming in our high school. When I took him to school this morning, we saw a runnER, a plungER, and I'm told that my nephew Christian was a gangstER.

Well, Michael chose to dress up. I was shocked and pleased! What did he choose? Something not far from his heart, but oddly enough, close to my heart as well. Now, mind you, this entailed a new bandana, wristbands (which Jonathan had on hand), one hoop earring, and best of all: I made him up with eyeliner before school! What a kick I got out of that!

Michael was: an 80's Metal DrummER:


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Michael's Birthday Soiree - or - Enthusiasm.

Here is how enthused Michael was to be celebrating 16 with the fam:


And here is his candle-moment:


Needless to say, he is obviously very enthused.

A Day at Aunt Shellie's - or - Yoplait.

So, I had the pleasure of spending yesterday caring for my 22 month old nephew, Zachary. We had a good day, but mid-morning we made a discovery: Zachary *loves* yogurt. He ate two full containers of Yoplait - Peaches 'N Cream and Raspberry Cheesecake.

That being said, I decided this young man would be the perfect new Yoplait advertisement. Unfortunately, my camera did not pick up how much of the yogurt he was wearing along with savoring in his mouth. Here he is:



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Like winning the lottery! - or - Coupons.

I am proud to announce my first success as a newly-schooled "Frugal Mom." I recently joined a forum of women who specialize in being frugal. They do insane amounts of saving their money; they can show receipts reflecting $100 of purchases which are acquired with as little as $10 out-of-pocket (OOP). While my success was not quite that remarkable, I was able to reduce today's grocery/toiletry shopping trip by quite a bit.

I used perhaps a dozen coupons printed from various Internet coupon sites and combined these savings with Jonathan's 10% discount on taxable items at Wal-Mart. My biggest rule of the day: I could not purchase anything that we would not normally buy. (i.e. I did not use coupons that lured me into buying things you won't normally find stocked in our household.) The result:

$168.xx in purchases
$14.xx in coupons
$ 8.52 in employee discount

New total: $145.xx!!!

I saved $23.xx just by printing a few coupons and having a husband who receives a retail discount! Not nearly the 90% discount I've seen out of my friends at FrugalMomsRock.com, but a success nonetheless!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to You! - or - Michael.

Boy, things just aren't quiet in our house between June and September. Birthdays and holidays galore!

Today, we honor the 16th anniversary of Michael's birth. He's no little boy anymore! He is preparing to become employed and to attend Driver's Education classes in October. We ordered his class ring two weeks ago. This truly is not Mommy's little Magoo any longer...
All sixteen years of him have been a joy. No, that isn't a mother's bias; Michael truly is one of the best kids to have come along. He's smart, he's wise, and he's just plain funny. (He truly is a Steoger. Any of you who know my sister Jill and my father knows exactly what this means!)

I present to you: Michael Eugene Steoger.


Aruba, Jamaica... ooo I wanna take ya... - or - Vacation.

After much thought and discussion, Jonathan and I have decided to take a little journey - just the two of us - this year. We had a *great* time on vacation with the girls this summer and have both been anxious to plan our next trip.

We've kicked around a lot of great ideas... including returning to Oregon, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or a warmer coast stateside (Key West, South Padre Island, etc.) Well, the decision has been made. I present to you:

Cabo San Lucas!!

This scene is Los Arcos at Land's End (the tip of the peninsula):

Los Arcos

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My favorite picture of us. - or - Happiness.

You will find the following photo to be one that you may have seen before. But today, as we plan our upcoming "just-the-two-of-us" vacation, this picture comes to mind. I love this image of the two of us, and I hope that we'll have many more great pictures upon our return from this next adventure.

Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Capers 7/27/07:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Blogging is actually work! - or - Procrastination.

Well, time keeps slipping away, and each day I glance at the browser tab that houses my blog and think... "Jeez, it really does take dedication to update a blog nearly daily!" I've always wondered - when viewing other people's blogs - why they can't seem to make entries regularly. Well, I don't have to wonder anymore.

Since my last post, we've had a birthday party for Lauren, a volleyball game, and autumn has become much more obvious.

Here are the photos with the evidence of all these things:

A princess turns 12.
Lauren turns twelve 1

A novice volleyball girl who outperforms all others:
Volleyball 2 9-13-08

A solitary leaf gives it all away:
Solitary Leaf

The tree that gives it all away:
A Maple Conversion

Maple conversion:
First signs of red

I have decided that if I am going to blog and begin digital scrapbooking, I am going to have to become better friends with my digital camera, so you may find random pictures posted that do not have particular significance other than I photographed it. This morning, the girls were my victims:

Elizabeth 9-17-08

Lauren 9-17-08

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to You!!! - or - Lauren.

Today is a remarkable day. At 12:32 p.m. CDT, our daughter Lauren Michelle marks her 12th year on this planet. The years have zoomed by with a speed no one can imagine until they are in the situation of parenthood for themselves. Twelve years. A dozen years. A decade plus two. Wow!!!

Lauren has become a beautiful young woman who is academically gifted, physically blessed, and she has more potential than even her wildest dreams might portray. Lauren, you are a remarkable girl who is growing into an even more remarkable young lady. I am so proud of you, and I love you more than words can say.

Today is your day, Princess. May it be even one tenth as special as you are (as that would be QUITE a special day!!) Happy birthday, Lauren!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First signs of Autumn - or - Ecstasy.

It is finally here! Our first markedly obvious signs of autumn being just around the corner:

The temperature has dropped since this afternoon to a beautiful brisk 60 degrees.

A few crisp leaves are beginning to appear upon our grass.

The next door neighbor's tree is converting to yellow.

Wal-Mart is stocking their Halloween candy.

Lauren and Michael are dropping birthday wish list items into all conversations.

And perhaps most importantly... we shut off the air conditioner!!!

Here are the photos I've caught of the first signs of fall...

Reverse Photosynthesis?

The first few leaves have hit the ground:
Autumn leaves?

Our home - First week of September:
House 9/4/08

And not so much Autumn, but just as Awesome:

This is Jonathan, my husband, doing the one pass-time that he truly loves. And I love him.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Joining the Blogging Masses - or - Conformity.

So... summer has ended and school has begun. We've had a fabulous summertime including a two-week vacation which included driving to Oregon and back.

All three kids have begun school for the year. This year, we have a sophomore in high school, a sixth grader, and a first grader! Open House night was problematic, needing to visit three schools in the 90 minute time frame, but we managed.

I continue to enjoy working weekend package; this requires me to work two 12 hour shifts overnight on Saturdays and Sundays, but those are the only days that I *have* to work. I appreciate said schedule for how this allows me to be more available to the kids for weekday activities such as school activities, dance lessons, sports and so on.

Lauren (11) is playing volleyball this fall, and Elizabeth (7) is enrolled in ballet & tap dancing lessons. Michael (15), of course, refuses any extracurriculars that don't involve his laptop or his X-box 360.

Jonathan (DH) has returned to school for the fall. He is taking a course on Native American culture and a religion course through a private school which can provide him with a Bachelor's in Business Management. He continues to work full-time for WalMart while going to school, and each night around 9:30 one can find him readying for bedtime.

So, that is a general update on what everyone is up to. I won't usually belabor such "mundane" information in this blog, but I felt like I needed to establish a foundation for this blog I'm building. I hope to include family activities and pictures, personal thoughts and quirkiness, and anything else I come across that I think I might like to share. I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me! Until next time...

Lauren and Elizabeth overlooking the Snake River Canyon
Family capers at the Snake River

Happy seventh birthday, Elizabeth! Your present... the Pacific Ocean!
Happy 7th birthday, Elizabeth! You get an ocean!

Family capers at Oceanside, Oregon.
Family capers at Oceanside.