Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm only cheating myself.

Only four posts
left to make
thirty for the
month of March!

crazy lady

The owner of our house called Tim's cell phone out of the blue today. She asked him if we were planning on moving. Tim said, "No. Not in the near future." Then she asked him why she hadn't received the rent check. I do the bills, and Tim had no idea when I had sent it, so he told her he wasn't sure when it would arrive. (It's in the mail.) She reminded him of the late payment policy on our lease (a fee if paid after the 4th of the month) and then ended the call.
WHAT THE HECK? Why would the landlord call a renter's cell phone in the middle of the day while he's at work and ask these things when not only is the rent not late, it's NOT EVEN DUE UNTIL TOMORROW???? We've SO gotta move.

Monday, March 30, 2009

work in progress

There seem to be some problems with my blog template. I've wanted to get a new one for a long time, so I spent a good portion of this afternoon trying to make my own background and header for this blog. I found a little tutorial on it that seemed easy enough. I learned that I need to learn how to use my photo program better. I don't have photo shop; I have to use what came with my computer: Microsoft Digital Image. It took me a long time, but I dug in and did alright. That's the secret to learning how to use the computer that a lot of older people don't get: you've just got to mess with it and figure it out through trial and error. You can't really ruin anything that can't be changed back without much difficulty. So anyway, I finally got my background and header done, but when I downloaded them into blogger they just looked bad. I think that together they are too dark and need more color--so I reverted back to my old broken template for now. I'm not very good at arranging things, so this was a fun stretch for me. Here are the header and background that I made all by myself. What color could I add that might be a good compliment to the black/white/kiwi green?

favorite shirt

I probably should have bought a larger size, because last summer when the shirt fit, Owen couldn't care less about Star Wars or Legos. Now that the shirt is waaaay too small, it's all he wants to wear. He even cut a little hole in the shirt ("safety scissors" apparently are not fabric resistant) but still wants to wear it all the time. Tim's been watching the older Star Wars movies with Owen on Sunday afternoons so now he's TOTALLY into it. And he could play Legos for hours, if I let him. Guess that proves he's a Koford, inside and out.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

He's getting pretty fast now!


I love how he walks with his arms up. It's like a little monkey!

Growing Boy

Take a baby. Remove the pacifier, add some top teeth and a hat, and you get....

a little boy!

Peep Peep!

I made these cake pops with a friend yesterday after getting inspired from Bakerella. I love that blog! Forgive my bad photography. They weren't quite as cute as Bakerella's, so I need to practice dipping some more. They are so yummy, though! To make these, I baked a cake and crumbled it up into a bowl. Then I mixed in a can of frosting and rolled the cake into little balls, which I dipped in melted chocolate after they chilled. The little cupcake bites turned out super cute, too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

unintentional collection

My sister Merilee posted recently on her blog about her sprinkle collection, which I must say was pretty impressive. At the time I tried to think of what I collect, but came up with nothing. If anything, I think I might be an uncollector. I'm one of those types who abhors collections of knick knacks or clutter. Not that I don't have any clutter, because jeepers, have I got it, but I try to keep it confined to useful stuff that eventually I either get to or throw away in a reasonable amount of time. If my Grandma Mitchie, who saved everything including years worth of TV dinner trays and butter containers, could have seen how much stuff I throw away, she would have put her hands on her hips and said, "Didn't come from my side!" And if Owen knew how many old junky toys and drawings I strategically hide in the trash every week, he'd request an inspection before Tim takes the trash out.

Anyway, I was doing some housework today and learned that I have a collection that I didn't even know about. In fact, I have purchased only one of the articles in my collection--everything else was given to me. I was sorting through Henry's warm weather clothes and apparently what I collect is baby swimming trunks. Check out a picture of my collection. I've got TEN PAIR of baby swimming trunks in the sizes 18-24 months! That's not including all of the swimming trunks I've got in other baby and toddler sizes, either. I couldn't believe I had so many! It's not like we even have a pool, in fact Henry's never even been swimming! Someone help me, I've got a baby swimming trunk hoarding problem! This picture convinces me we need to buy a house with a pool.

Monday, March 23, 2009

fantastic family fun

Tim's brother Adam has a book out this month. Adam is a brilliant artist who is getting more and more famous every day. He's also hilarious, so good drawing + funny = a great comic strip about hobo cats who talk like those LOL cats I'm sure you've seen. There's so much more to the story of Adam's Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, so I'd recommend you go to his site and read up! Anyway, he had a book signing last Saturday in LA and Tim really wanted to go, so we decided we'd all go and I'd take the kids to Disneyland while the guys were signing books.

Adam and Tim's sister Amber both work for Disney, so we have a great hookup to go to Disneyland, for free. Amber, Aunt Sherrill and I went in the morning, and then Tim and Adam joined us in the evening. We had so much fun! I learned the perfect arrangement for a day at Disneyland with the kids is to go early in the morning, then leave in the afternoon and let the kids nap; then go back in the evening for some more fun minus the whining and tiredness. It worked out great that way. I wish the whole Koford family could have been with us!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Found and Lost

This past week we found a house to buy. It was a foreclosure of the right size at the right price, and of course needed some work but was lay-awake-at-night-just-thinking-about-it exciting. I tried not to get emotionally involved making plans of how exactly I'd change it to make it my own, but it was impossible to avoid. We made an offer that we felt was good, the realtor thought was good, and my parents thought was too much. We waited 48 hours. Then we got a call from the realtor that our offer was not accepted because someone else's offer beat us out. And I felt two emotions at once: relief and sadness.

The house was not in our ward at church and it was hard thinking about leaving our fun ward and starting over. So I was relieved to know that this house was not meant for us. But I was sad because it could have been a great house, with some paint and carpet and flooring along with a new stove and of course new toilet seats. And it would have been much closer to Tim's work, so that would have been nice. So goodbye, spacious floor plan with vaulted ceilings in living room & dining, abundance of cabinets in kitchen, breakfast bar, alarm system + fire sprinklers, large covered patio, corner lot. Your window seats and big laundry room would have been nice, but honestly those fire sprinklers were a little too industrial for me, anyway--and it would have been a LOT of wallpaper to take down.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I look pretty good in sketch form.

We took this picture at Chuck E. Cheese when Owen FINALLY filled up his independent-pottying-dressing-flushing-washing-hands-chart. My teeth look straight and white--pretty good for one token! I just love that Chuck E. Cheese.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

music music music

I think I'm addicted to Craig's List. There are some really good deals on there! I found this electronic piano today for $125 and couldn't pass it up. I've wanted one of these for so long, and it was the perfect use of my birthday money. It's kind of old and rickety and I've never heard of the brand, but it will do for the time being (until Tim buys me that baby grand for our 10th anniversary next year...I can dream!) I like that I can change the volume because as Merilee can vouch, I kind of bang on the piano when I play. A lot--lots of loud banging, she'd remind me. The bad thing is that there is no place to plug in headphones--the whole reason I wanted an electronic piano in the first place. It makes no sense, and I didn't notice that until after I'd brought it home. Oh, well. This treasure just might show up on Craig's List again in the near future!

Monday, March 16, 2009

This amuses me

I was looking for a carpet cleaner on Craig's List and found this. Does it remind anyone besides me of that Punky Brewster episode where Allen puts one of these through the coffee table and then sits on it to cover it up when Henry comes in? Man, I loved that show--I think I thought I was Punky for a few years of my life. Now that I think about it, I'm not even sure I'm thinking of the right show. Gotta get to bed. By the way, it's going for $225 if you're interested.

The story of three loaves of bread

I didn't have much to do today, other than stay home and babysit for my friend Megan. So I figured I'd have plenty of time to do some laundry, go through Henry's clothes (he's moving up sizes), and tidy up the house. I decided I also wanted to make some bread with my new-used bread mixer.

My mom gave me my bread mixer for Christmas. It's very old, but works great. I'm not sure exactly how old it is, but on the underneath side it says it was made in WEST GERMANY. How long has it been since people stopped prefacing Germany with "east" and "west"? 20 years or so? So it's pretty OLD. Someday I'd like to have a Bosch mixer, but for now this mixer works great. I haven't used it much yet because I've been off bread for the most part on my diet, but I really wanted to bake some bread today.

Anyway, along with my new-used bread mixer, my mom passed along the Bosch mixer recipe for whole wheat bread. She even gave me the gluten and dough enhancer the recipe calls for, so I was all set. After mixing the ingredients and adding the 10th or so cup of flour, I realized that maybe my old mixer bowl is not quite as large as a Bosch bowl. The dough was so high that it was completely over the top of the dough hook and flour was flying out before I got enough mixed in. I couldn't put the lid on while it kneaded, but that was okay. The motor ran great regardless of the heavy load.

At that point both Henry and baby Bailey woke from their slumber and I had to leave the dough in the bowl. I changed them both, got Henry settled on the floor with a bottle, and sat down to feed Bailey when Megan came by to pick her up. I was embarrassed because at that point the house was a wreck, and I'd barely had time to shower. The kids had kept me occupied for the majority of the day. Hidden away in my bedroom lay piles of baby clothes that I'd begun sorting but had to abandon earlier in the day due to demanding children. Megan stayed and chatted while Bailey finished her bottle. Once she sped off I remembered my bread dough, which had grown so much that it was coming out of the bowl. Whoops! I wrestled it into some pans and put it in the oven. Between the overflowing kneading and rising, I figured my bread was a lost cause--but it actually came out beautifully and tastes great!

So what did I actually accomplish today? NOTHING--except bake three loaves of bread.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

365 days and counting!

My Henry is one year old today. This past year has gone by fast! It's amazing to me how he's grown so big. I love Henry so much. He's almost always happy and mellow. He plays on his own really well but also likes to sit with his Mommy at times. I could be out all day with him going in and out of his car seat, stoller, shopping cart...little to no naps, and he's still happy. Henry loves to play with Owen. He follows him around and watches what he does very intently. He loves to be where everyone is, and has a sensitive side. Whenever anyone leaves out the front door, be it Tim or the home teachers or anybody, he always starts crying--even when everyone else is still in the room. Henry's favorite thing is taking baths. He loves the water, so I'm looking forward to swimming with him this summer. Today Henry started pushing the buttons on the DVD player. Tomorrow I'm going to have to figure out some sort of shield to keep those little fingers out!

We celebrated Henry's birthday with my parents today. I made a lemon bundt cake with cream cheese frosting, not a very babyish cake, but it was the cake that I wanted on my birthday but waited a week to make (to lessen cake consumption because grandparents are around to help eat it). Tomorrow Tim's parents will be here to give Henry another go at the cake and see if he can at least attempt to blow out the candle before Owen just does it like he did today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

$3000 Seats

My parents are here visiting this week. They're helping us look for a house. I really value my parents' opinion, and I don't see myself making such a huge purchase without them seeing it first. We took a chance and went to the county tax auction this morning. There was one particular house that we wanted to bid on, and it turned out that a lot of the people at the auction wanted to bid on the same one! Needless to say, we didn't get it. In fact, we didn't even get a chance to bid, it went up that quick. The minimum bid was $11,500 and the winning bidder paid $73,000 for it--without seeing the inside! I could NEVER spend so much on a home without a thorough inspection. Crazy!

To bid in the auction we had to present a deposit of $3000 in guaranteed funds, so we called our seats "our three-thousand-dollar seats". There was a family sitting right in front of us and right before the auction began, I heard them talking about which house they were planning to bid on. They wanted the same house we wanted, and they had about three times the amount of money we had to bid for it! My heart sank because I knew I'd lost before I'd even began. (By the way, they didn't get it, either.) After that house was sold, we stood up and about half of the people there also stood up and left, even though the auction was only about half over. It was hilarious--I guess a lot of hearts were broken over that house today. Oh well! It was a learning experience, I guess, and I'm sure we'll find our house eventually!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Four Eyes

I wear contacts most of the time, but I also like to wear glasses occasionally and have them for backup. The last time I bought eyeglasses was probably more than four years ago, and it's been time for a new pair for a LONG time. They've taken a lot of abuse--for example two years ago Owen bent my glasses almost completely in half, and yep, I've still been wearing them all this time (although mostly just at night and in the morning before I get ready). The problem: our vision insurance sucks. Tim got a new pair of glasses late last year and even after choosing a pair of frames off of the cheapest rack, we still paid more than $160 out of pocket. And his glasses are already looking bad--the paint on the frames is actually flaking off in places. I didn't want to go through the same thing, so after lots of debate within myself I decided to spend eight bucks and take a chance. I heard about a company called Zenni Optical (which operates out of Hong Kong or something) maybe a year or so ago, but was always afraid of ordering eyeglasses online. How could I possibly choose eyeglasses without even seeing how they'd look on me? Well, Zenni is famous for selling eight dollar eyeglasses. And that's for lenses, frame, even anti-scratch coating. Shipping is 5 bucks regardless of how many pair you order. I'm a sucker for a good deal, and the cost alone sold me.

Anyway, I had current prescriptions for both Tim and I, and I figured that we wouldn't be losing much by each picking a cheap pair. Zenni's got all of the dimensions of the frames in millimeters, so Tim's choice was easy because he almost always gets the same type and size of frames (half rim wire frames). I had a hard time deciding, so I ultimately chose two pair--one wire frame and one plastic frame. My wire frames cost a bit more than eight dollars, they actually were $15.95, but the other two pair we ordered were $8.00 each. With shipping I paid a total of $36.90. Three pair of glasses for less than 40 bucks!!! You really, really cannot beat that (okay, unless you buy three pair that are 8 dollars, in which case the total would only be $29.00. Man, I totally got ripped off!). It's been a little over two weeks since I ordered, and my glasses arrived yesterday.

So now, unless you're the impatient only-look-at-blogs-to-see-pictures type and you've already scrolled down and seen them, you're probably wondering what, exactly, these cheap eyeglasses look like. Well stop reading, smarty, and take a look:

Tim's look really good on him and are very lightweight. I ordered the frame in grey but they came in silver instead for some reason. I think I wish I had spent the extra five bucks for anti-reflective coating on his, though.

This pair (which cost the most) is a bit more bookish than I expected, although I can totally see myself wearing them to stake conference or fitting in quite nicely at my old school librarian job.

This pair is black on the outside and blue on the inside. They pretty much turned out just how I wanted. I definitely think they'll be able to take lots of abuse from grabby toddlers!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Don't bother reading this lame post.

I can't think of anything to post about today. Well, actually the thing I was going to post about is going to be tomorrow's post. So instead, without looking I clicked on a random picture file in a random folder to post. I ended up choosing the most unflattering picture of me eating ice cream with then-baby Owen on my lap. It was so bad, I just couldn't post it! After deleting I found this picture to share, instead:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Golfing on my B day

Miniature golf with a three-year-old is WAY more fun than with a 2-year-old. Every time Owen's ball made it into the hole, regardless of how many strokes it took to make it there, it was an amazing feat worth jumping up and down and celebrating. Not being very good at mini golf myself, (especially on those blasted ant hills!) I love that. It's better to just have fun than to get so aggravated counting strokes and constantly comparing them to Tim "Tiger Woods of Mini Golf" Koford. He wanted me to add that he is game for any challenges anyone wants to make.
I had a fantastic birthday, by the way. Along with our golf game, Tim gave me some flowers and a cute pink ipod. We went house hunting some more and found a couple of good prospects. I got lots of birthday calls, texts, and posts on facebook. Really, after yesterday, I think that having lots of friends wish me a happy birthday is the very best thing about facebook! I feel happy and loved!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baby Steps

Henry is starting to walk. He's such a fast crawler and it seems he has little patience for this walking thing. He'll grab something to stand up and then let it go, balancing for a few seconds. He can take about one or two steps before crashing. I love this age he's at--it's so cute. Henry's top two front teeth have nearly made their appearance. I can see the teeth just below the surface and his gums are pretty swollen, making Henry a pretty cranky little boy.

It also appears that my earlier prediction of being bald for two years is incorrect--he's getting quite a bit of hair coming in. From the back it looks like Ben Franklin, because it's long and kinda curls under, but it's not quite long enough to be a mullet yet. The top is very thin and short, except for a small tuft right on top that sticks right up to make a mohawk. It's pretty cute!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

House Hunting

I want a house! Something of my OWN! Tim and I have been itchy to move. We have issues with the owner of the home we rent, and it KILLS me that I am nearly 30 and never a home owner. Now that housing prices have dropped so much, we can afford a small middle-class home that we've always dreamed of owning. :)

I spent all day with my parents looking at houses today. Tim went with us until he had to go to work around noon. We found some interesting houses, but still have yet to find that perfect home. The more homes I see, I'm realizing that I'm pretty picky about what I want. Two weeks ago, my wish list was for three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen with more than four cupboards (which is what I presently have), a garage, and a yard. Now I've changed my list to four bedrooms, living and family rooms, office or built-in desk space, indoor laundry, and the list goes on. We will see if we get everything we want.

So far one of the most frustrating things has been finding the best homes before they've been snapped up. In the past month I've found the "perfect home" probably ten times--but each time I've called on them, they've already changed to "sale pending". It seems nearly impossible to find them before they're gone. What's left at the price we want to spend is so much worse than the others that I don't even want to consider them, even though they're probably okay homes--they're just not good enough when compared to the others. It's pretty fun to look at vacant homes--I think I might like to be a real estate agent. I don't really like looking at homes where people still live, though. It's uncomfortable! Even though the owners aren't there, all of their stuff is. We saw one home last week that was a short sale and it was kind of sad walking through, seeing everything the owners had done to the house, their kids' rooms, and knowing they were about to lose it all.

I hope we find a great home soon! I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

a big bully

I have had it with Owen today. He is currently in his room for maybe his 12th time out today. And every time it's been for something he's done to Henry. Just now he took a stretchy vacuum hose extension, hooked it together to make a necklace, then put it around Henry's neck. Then he pulled it back and let it go. Earlier he put a couch cushion on Henry and jumped on top of it. Add to that several other offenses that I can't even remember now. And yes, of course, nearly every time he's done something I've been right within arm's reach, not paying attention. I hear Henry screaming, run in and demand to know what happened, and Owen tells me every excruciating detail, knowing he's in trouble. When he's told to go to his room, Owen gets a really mad look and yells, "I don't WANT a time out!" I guess on the positive side, my son Owen is very honest. I just can't wait until Henry's big enough to dish out some of the pain...maybe just a little bit.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

50 pounds down

Today is the last day of this round of my diet, and yep, I'm down FIFTY pounds since November! Tim's lost 52 pounds, and boy-oh-boy, does it show. Between the two of us, we've lost a seventh grader! (okay, maybe a scrawny seventh grader.) Now is the hard part--stabilizing and maintaining my weight loss for about six weeks until I start another round of the HCG protocol. Can you tell a difference in this picture I snapped earlier from one we took in October?

Monday, March 2, 2009

The table is stained and DTV gets a thumbs down

I did something new and fun today--I stained my kitchen table. I've had this project going for nearly two months now (I know, it's taking me forever) and finally got to a major part. My table is pretty old, it's a hand-me-down from Tim's parents. It's a good solid wood table and extends pretty large with two leaves. But after years of use the varnish on top was completely worn off and it really needed a face lift, so I bought Tim a palm sander for Christmas with hopes of finding a diamond underneath the rough. Tim started the sanding back in January but pretty much pooped out on the job, (who knew he preferred to RELAX in the evenings after working ten hours a day???) so I picked up and have slowly sanded, primed, and painted it. Actually I painted the base of the table black, and today after a final sanding I stained the top of the table a reddish-walnut color. I LOVE how it looks so far! When I look at it now, I can't believe I actually wanted to throw the thing away and start with a new one. I just wish I had done this a long time ago--it looked bad for a long time. So now I'm trying to decide if I should stain it one more time before I start the varnish. I had no idea that staining wood would be so fun! It was super easy and looks great. (I'll post a picture when I finish it.) I've also got to find some new kitchen chairs that will go with my awesome table that are reasonably-priced (unfortunately or rather fortunately, which is the way I look at it, the old chairs will NOT be making it through the refinishing process). I think I have inherited my Grandma Mitchie's furniture-refinishing gene!

I went out and used my government coupon to buy a digital converter box today. Earlier my sister Merilee told me that with purchase of the box her number of TV stations had doubled, so I was excited to get home and set it up. I connected all of the cables and picked up NO stations. I figured the problem was probably the antenna--our antenna was pretty old and junky, so I convinced Tim to take me to Target after he came home from work to buy a new one. We spent 20 dollars and eagerly brought home our spoils. Now we get three channels: two are the same (Fox 26.1 and Fox 26.2) and a Spanish channel. I scanned the channels two more times and managed to get PBS the first time, then the second time I lost PBS and got CBS.

What is the deal? Do I need to spend even more money on pricier equipment to match the measly seven analog channels with which I was perfectly happy? I don't want to pay a monthly cable bill. Do I need to wait until June to get better reception? Or will I be stuck watching day-old television from my computer forever? In all honesty I guess watching less TV would probably be a good thing anyway--except for Lost and The Office and Amazing Race, without which I would be a sad, sad girl.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Year of 30

Next week I'll be turning 30. While on one hand I've kinda been dreading it, I know that there's so much to look forward to and my thirties will be some of the best years of my life. My friend Mimi told me about a list she made of things to do when she turned 30. I thought it was great and decided to make my own list. Here are 30 things I want to do while I am 30.

  1. Read 30 books
  2. Try 30 new recipes
  3. Run 30 miles
  4. Lose 30 pounds
  5. Complete all unfinished knitting projects
  6. Do 30 push ups in one sitting (not girl push ups)
  7. Blog 30 times in the month of March
  8. Finish snowman quilt
  9. Plant a tree
  10. Sew something for each member of my family to wear
  11. Put 30 pictures in a photo album
  12. Read the Book of Mormon
  13. Make homemade marshmallows
  14. Bake 30 loaves of bread.
  15. Watch 30 hours less TV a month
  16. Donate 30 hours of service to a worthy cause
  17. Spend 30 hours in the temple
  18. Go to the beach and Yosemite with my family
  19. Plant flowers in my yard—annuals in spring and bulbs in fall
  20. Take a trip with just Tim and I
  21. Take a class (maybe gardening, sewing, quilting, knitting, cake decorating, photography, haircuts?)
  22. Find a fantastic homemade salsa recipe
  23. Learn to golf
  24. Go to the Grand Canyon
  25. Grow Brussels sprouts
  26. Make a new banner for my blog
  27. Preserve some jam or other canned food
  28. Learn to swim better—learn the butterfly or breast stroke
  29. Make a home video with family photos
  30. Read every general conference talk in 2009
Some of these will cost a little money, but a lot of my goals don't cost anything or are almost free. And after looking over my list, I see that I haven't mentioned my children at all---I guess it's all about ME this year! (Yeah right, I'm sure that I won't be able to do very many of these things without O and H hovering over me and wanting to help.) Anyway, now I'm so excited to be 30 and get started!