1 week in Germany

>> Thursday, June 2, 2011

I’ve been having problems with finding current info on Stuttgart so I thought I would share my experiences so far, 1 week in. OK so here's how it went. Dropping off the car was easy and took about an hour. You just have to have what they say on the website www.whereismypov.com or on the automated phone system and you'll be good there (you can get the numbers from the website). If you have a loan on your car, make sure you go ahead and get a letter stating that it’s ok to take it out of the country. We had no problem with Pentagon Federal letting us take it out of the country. They took forever getting the letter out to me and I had to request it twice. We rented a car for a week in DC and shipped our car on May 23rd, a few days before we shipped it out of Baltimore. It isn't due in Germany until July 5thish. It took us about an hour to get it shipped and it’s an hour drive to the Dulles airport. I would not suggest shipping your car the same day as you fly out. At least in Baltimore/DC.  If you are flying out of Dulles then get there extra early. We waited in line for 2 hours and barely made our flight. We got to the car rental return at 4pm and our flight left at 6:54. If we had had another hour then it would have been perfect. We did fly out close to Memorial day weekend so that may have been the problem. Also, an hour layover once you get overseas is NOT long enough. You have to go through passport checks and security again...I got patted down! Fun. I would suggest at least a 2 hour layover, we ran to the airplane and were the last ones on...the plane was already boarded. Give enough time for food and drink and running around. Maybe you are used to foreign airports but I was so lost, the airport in Frankfurt did not flow like an American airport and everything was confusing. At least everyone I encountered spoke English. Once we were on the plane they served us drinks and dinner. We ended up not using the CARES systems but with the car rental, those car seat vests came in handy http://www.amazon.com/RideSafer-Car-Seat-Travel-Vest/dp/B000KCV61U! We have 3 car seats and we shipped them with the car since we didn’t want to mess with them at the airport…and because 3 car seats just don’t fit in one backseat. The boys slept pretty well...until my 2 year old threw up all over everything within a 2 foot radius. It was horrid. BRING EXTRA CLOTHES FOR EVERYONE (and wipes)!! I actually packed some full sized kitchen garbage bags on a prompting thinking it was stupid to do. Now I'm glad I did. It holds vomitous clothing very well. Once that was all cleaned up we had about 3 hours and 45 minutes left. The flight didn't feel that long. Overall it was a good trip. I was stressed out and my husband probably didn't like me that much during our travels but we made it. Driving across the country was worth it, we drove from Fort Carson Colorado to Baltimore. Even though it took 3 weeks because we visited family all along the way, it was slow and relaxed and the boys did really well. Taking off a few hours of flying time was well worth the time in the car.  Staying in the Panzer hotel is cramped. We have a one bedroom and would have to have 7 people in our family to qualify for a 2 bedroom. You would be fine in here with just 2 or 3 people. I have heard that the hotel on Patch is better for families.  All we have is a convection microwave oven that is very German and I had to borrow the owners manual from the front desk to try and figure out how to use it. I think I figured out the dishwasher. The only thing I can think of that I am wishing I had sent in my fast shipment is something to put the baby in (bouncy seat). I REALLY wish that we had sent our fast shipment a whole lot earlier. It takes the same amount of time to ship your UAB and your HHG so they are only arriving one week apart. No one told us when to ship so we messed up there.  We still have 2 weeks until our fast stuff gets here and another 3 weeks until our slow stuff gets here.  We are trying to figure out how to get our iphones unlocked so we can use them. Take my advice, unlock them before you get here or wait to buy something once you get here. No one will unlock it here and the German internet is really weird....so far....atleast in the panzer hotel. All incoming calls and texts in Germany are free no matter what service you use. I bought a phone for 14 euros and am doing the prepaid thing here until I figure out my iphone. I am not going to do a contract, too much involved I hear and the prepaid thing has been great so far. If you go to TKS you can do prepaid or a contract. For unlimited data it is 10 euros a month. If you are just going to use the phones here then all you have to do is walk into a store and point out the phone you want and its active once you put in the number from the phone card. It ended up being about $115 after we bought 2 phones and 2 phone cards.

We found a house by looking on the bulletin board at the commissary on Patch. It wasn’t listed with housing and no realtors are involved so it’s allowed.  Housing seems to have a lot of drama so I’m glad that we found a house so quickly without using them. I have heard that once you find a house that you like you should jump on it. They don't last long. I would say the average size of a house here is about 1400 sqft. We like everything about the house except that it is a little far from work. 

I will let you know which service I like better, Vonage, Skype or magic jack. I have had all 3. My observations so far are that Magic Jack is the least reliable with the crappiest reception but the cheapest and calls to and from the states are free. Vonage only works if your internet is working (along with Magic jack) and so that is why Skype is my next option because even if your computer is down, it will still forward calls to whatever phone number you input. Skype is costing me around $60 a year for a stateside number and then you have to have Skype credit or a calling plan for Germany in order to forward your Skype number to your German home or cell phone. The down side to Skype is when you call out you have to use your computer. So my plan is that I'm going to get a home phone through TKS and they offer unlimited calls to the US. So people from the states will call you on your Skype number so its free for them and you will call them on your TKS home number so its free for you. Otherwise you would never get calls from the US.....maybe that’s not a bad thing though :) It's about 50 Euros a month for home phone and internet...another 20 Euros for Cable TV.


New Blog

>> Friday, February 11, 2011

Check out my new blog at http://www.thetreeofrecipes.blogspot.com/


Homemade Cream Cheese

>> Thursday, September 23, 2010

So for the last year I have wanted to make my own cheese. I read that cream cheese was the easiest and you don't have to wait months to eat it....turns out it takes about 24-30 hours. Since I made my first batch of bagels yesterday (recipe below) I thought "when am I going to find a better time to do it!" So here is how I did it. Most of this was copied from the website I got the recipe from.

What I personally recommend is to buy culture that you add directly to your milk. These are called, “Direct Set Cultures”. I like this because I can decide to make cream cheese and not have to wait for buttermilk to culture.

I buy these cultures from Leeners http://leeners.com/ . They have good prices and are super to do business with. The type of culture needed for this cheese is called, Mesophilic-M. You can find this culture on this page: http://leeners.com/cheesesupply.html#mesophilic . You don’t need a lot: ¼ of a teaspoon will culture 1 gallon of milk. You will also need to purchase liquid rennet for my recipe. Rennet is used to set the cultured milk. You can find the rennet here: http://leeners.com/cheesesupply.html#Rennet

There are a few other miscellaneous, but important items you will need. One is a thermometer that is easy to read. You can purchase these at the grocery store in the cooking aisle or at a store such as Wal-Mart.

The other item you need is cheesecloth. I learned that I don’t actually need cheesecloth and that it is not really even the best material for the job. The very best material to use to drain your cream cheese is simply an old pillow case. You can call this stuff “case cloth”! I took an old pillow case and opened it up. I washed it with hot, soapy, bleach water to clean and disinfect it. This works great and will last you a long time.

You will also need a strong string to hang the cheese. Again I found through some trial and error that old shoestrings work the best. I washed the shoestrings right along with the pillow case in the hot, soapy bleach water before I used them.

1 gallon goat’s milk (I used a gallon of whole cow's milk from the grocery store)

¼ t. direct set mesophilic-m culture

2 T diluted rennet (add 1 drop of rennet to 5 T cool water)

In a large pot (I use a 6qt) add goat’s milk. Heat your milk to 80 degrees. Remove from heat and add the mesophilic-m culture and stir will. Add the rennet and stir. Cover the pan and let sit undisturbed at room temp for 12 to 18 hours.

After your time is up what you have in the pot should look like very thick yogurt. Now you will drain and drip your cheese.

Line a colander with your clean pillow case. I set this colander in a large bowl to catch the whey. Now drain your thick yogurt looking cheese into this cloth. Gather up the cloth and tie it tightly. Now you need to hang it somewhere. I have a clothes bar in my laundry room that i tied it to. Whatever you hang it make sure it is up high enough to allow the whey to drip through the cloth into a bowl below. Now let your cream cheese drain for about 6 to 8 hours. You can speed this process along by stirring your cream cheese up about halfway through the time and you can do it again if you need to.

When it is completed what you have left in the pillow case is your cream cheese! You can salt it a bit or not, that is up to you. It is ready to be used right away over a homemade bagel or you can use it for cooking or even cheesecake!

The whey can be used for cooking. I use it as the liquid to make bread or in pancakes.


Homemade Bagels

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So for the past few days I have been going through my cookbook and testing recipes that I have never had.  I made Bagels this morning!  It was a success!!!!  Even ALEX is eating them and he hates bread....he can't be my child!  I think I may have killed the yeast because they didn't rise but I also used a batch that has expired so not sure which...doesn't matter I guess if they taste good :) So here is the recipe and some pictures of what I did. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon but could have added more.  You can always add raisins, chocolate or whatever else your heart desires :)

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. margarine
2 teaspoons salt
4 T. white sugar

1 2/3 cups warm water
1 T. white sugar

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
About 5 cups of water for boiling the bagles
Mix 1-1/2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and yeast. Heat water and butter to 120-130 degrees F. Add water to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed on mixer. Add 1/2 cup flour, beat at high speed 2 minutes. Stir in more flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 8-10 minutes. Cover and let rise. Punch down. Cover; let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces; shape 3 pieces into smooth balls.
Poke a 1 inch hole in each. Drop bagels into a large skillet with 1 inch water (simmering) with 1 tablespoon sugar and 2 teaspoons salt in the water. Cook on medium low heat for 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes; turn again, cook 1 minute more. Drain on towels. Repeat for rest of dough. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes. Remove from sheets and cool.

If desired, before baking, mix 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water, brush on bagels, and sprinkle with sesame, poppy, or caraway seeds.

My little helpers :) They call themselves the chefs :)

Boiling away!

This is right after I pulled them out of the water and right before going into the oven.

Ammon loves bagels!

Even my bread hater ate a few!!! YAY!!!



>> Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This Salsa recipe is very simple to do.  It is a little sweeter than regular Salsa you buy at the store but it is rediculously good! Here it is! NO PRESSURE COOKER OR WATER BATH CANNER NEEDED!
14 cups chopped tomatoes (about 35 Roma Tomatoes)

4-6 Jalepenos chopped(depending on how much heat you like)

5 chopped onions

1 cup vinegar

2/3 cup sugar

8 teaspoons canning salt (I use regular table salt when I can't find canning salt and it hasn't been a problem)

6 teaspoons garlic salt

Put all of the chopped veggies into a pot and mix together. Add vinegar, sugar and both salts. Stir and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes. Before you start this process you should have the jars and lids sanitized and in hot water, ready for use. To do this, boil the lids (the flat round disc) on the stove and leave them in the hot water until you are ready to use them, the rings don't need to be hot. You can run the jars through the hottest setting of your dishwasher or let them sit in really hot water in your sink until ready to use. I use pint jars to can my Salsa but any size will do depending on the size of your family. Use your canning funnel to fill the jars one at a time and then wipe down the top of the jar with a damp cloth (to make sure you get a good seal) and put on the lid and ring, use your magnetic jar lifter to get the lids out of the hot water. (I mean to fill one whole jar at a time....not all the jars at once and then the lids...got that...the jars need to be hot as you fill them and taking them all out of the hot water at once will cool them off.) Turn the jars upside down on a towel and leave them there for 1/2 a day or so to cool. Remember to screw the lids on tight enough!!!  This makes about 8 pints of salsa and can be stored with all of your other canning stuff on a shelf!

To make sure the jar sealed properly, make sure the middle of the lid is down.  To tell the difference, take a lid that is not sealed and you can pop the middle up and down. A jar that is sealed should be suctioned down and not move.  Check only after the jar has cooled.  If it didn't seal then you can store it in the refrigerator and use it first. You should not be able to remove the lid with your own strength....unless you are much stronger than me :)  The ring should unscrew easily but the lid should not come off without the help of something else :)  Hope this made sense!


Food Storage and Canning - The basics

So I have had a few requests to post about my canning adventures and food storage plans.  I am in the process of coming up with some classes that I will teach in our ward and I will post those here. Feel free to ask questions.  So the last 2 days I have been canning Salsa and Beef Stew.  I think I will start off as if everyone reading this has never canned before.  Also, if you live in the area I would love for you to come over and join me in a day of canning. I would love to teach you all I know....scary prospect I know! What you need to get started is a Pressure Cooker Canner...this is not the same as a pressure cooker. 
<--------this is a Pressure cooker canner. This particular one is a 23 quart double stacking canner and you can buy it for $$85 at http://www.amazon.com/Presto-23-Quart-Aluminum-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0000BYCFU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1283866713&sr=8-2

If you don't want a double stacker for whatever reason then you can buy this one for $84 at http://www.walmart.com/ip/Presto-16-Quart-Aluminum-Pressure-Cooker/10771204. It makes no sense to me to have the single stacker when you can get double the jars done and for the same price....so get the double stacker!

A few other tools you will need:

•Magnetic Lid Lifter - conveniently removes sterilized canning lids from hot water for easy placement on jars

•Canning Funnel - fast-flow design for wide and regular mouth jars

•Jar Lifter - cushion-coated lifter safely removes hot jars from canner

•Jar Lid Wrench - easily removes jar caps plus any size screw-on lids

•Kitchen Tongs - sure-grip vinyl coating on handles tackle a multitude of canning tasks
Here is a link so you can see pictures of these, you can get them cheaper at your local Walmart and other places so look around.

You will also need canning jars, rings and lids, the size of the jar will be determined by what you are canning and how big your family is.  They come in half-pint, pints and quarts.  As I go through the different recipes that I will post on here I will post what size jar I used. Here is a link to see what they look like.  These are rediculously expensive so don't buy them from here.

It is also helpful to have a canning book.  You can check one out at your local library or you can buy one.  Not necessary if you are just going to be following me but you may want to can other things that I am not doing.

Occasionally when canning you won't need a pressure cooker canner!  Like with Salsa.  There is a thing called a Water Bath Canner that you can also get.
I rarely use mine but it is also nice to have for things that don't need to be processed in a pressure cooker canner.


Dresser turned entertainment center thingy :)

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

I went to ARC thrift store and found this piece.  It came with a mirror too but I didn't need it for what I was going to use it for.  It was $150 and they would only come off the price by $20. The guy then told me that it would be half off on Saturday....I waited until Saturday and it was still there!!!!  I an estimating that it was built between 1850 and 1930...just from a little research I did.  I bought some paint and new knobs and here is the before and after pics.  Sorry I didn't build it but sometimes its cheaper to buy used and clean it up a little. It cost me a total of about $100 after paint and new hardware.  I will order some glass to go on top soon.


Cake Competition

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010

So the cake competition is done and here is the cake! Enjoy.....I won 2nd place!

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.

See how they run. See how they run.

They all ran after the farmer's wife,

Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,

Did you ever see such a sight in your life,

As three blind mice?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Hey diddle diddle,

The cat and the fiddle,

The cow jumped over the moon,

The little dog laughed to see such sport,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,

and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Prego lady dreaming of her baby and nursery rhymes.....

Here was my competition

The green love cake won first place...


Cake interference

>> Monday, May 10, 2010

So I have entered in a cake competition and have been busy creating cake stuff.  I am so excited to make this cake!  I REALLY want to get to building those kids chairs and I still might do it this week but cake takes priority until the 22nd.  Wish me luck...I will post pictures soon!


Food Storage Rotation Shelf Plans

>> Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Food Storage Rotation Shelves

Let me first say that I usually do things the hard way.....so if you figure out an easier way then please do it your way....this is just how I did it.  My brain doesn't have an "easy" button :)

Materials Needed

4 – 2”x4”x6’ ( you can use 7 or 8 feet lengths depending on how tall you want it)  

6 – 2”x4”x8’ (make sure you choose very straight boards)

6 - 2’x4’x1/2” sheets of plywood or pressboard for the shelves
(they come in sheets of 4’x8’ and Lowes or Home Depot will cut them for you)

24 – ¼” round x3 ½“ long bolts

24 – hex nuts (I found out the hard way that there are 2 types of these, make sure they screw all the way onto the bolt and don’t stop at the end. You need to be able to tighten them.)

24 – ¼” washers

Approximately 20 - 1”x2”x8’ (depending on the size of your cans)

36 – 1 ½ inch wood screws

Power Drill

5/16” and 1/8” drill bit (this should come with your drill)

Phillips head screw driver bit (this should come with your drill)

Miter saw

Tape measure


Ratchet to tighten hex nuts

Assembly Instructions

It’s easier to have two or three people to help put this together but it can be done with just one person. First, you are going to build the shelves. Cut the 2”x4”x8’ in half to get two 4’ boards. Place the 2”x4”x4’ boards parallel to each other on the floor (narrow side up)

and place the piece of plywood on top of the boards, making sure the boards are even and flush with the plywood. (It’s ok if the boards are a little shorter than the plywood)

Get your power drill and attach the 1/8” drill bit. Drill 4 holes, one in each corner of the plywood all the way through into the 2”x4”x4’ where you are going to put the screws (otherwise the wood may crack, and it’s easier to get the screws in.) Trade out your drill bit for the Phillips head screw driver bit and attach the piece of plywood (already cut) to the 2”x4”x4’ boards as shown in the picture. Use the 1 ½ inch screws to secure the 2”x4”x4’ underneath the piece of plywood on either side, flush. It would be easier if you had 2 drills so you don’t have to keep switching back and forth between drill bits but it’s not necessary.

Cut the 1”x2”x8’ in half to make 4’ strips (make sure you measure it before you start cutting). You should attach the outer boards first, flush with the plywood so it is easier to measure for the cans. Drill holes through the 1”x2”x4’ on both ends, smaller side up (like the picture) all the way through to the plywood and then secure the screws in the holes you just drilled.

This is where you will need to decide what is going on each shelf. On mine, I did one #10 can per shelf of the items I use the most and the filled in the spaces with everyday cans and jars. Take a can and place it on the shelf up against the 1”x2”x4’ you just attached and place another 1”x2”x4’ piece on the other side of the can. Make sure you leave enough space between the can and the 1”x2”x4’ board so it can roll freely all the way down the shelf. Secure the boards with 2 screws, one on each end, drilling first to prevent cracking. Continue this process until all shelves have the 1”x2”x4’ boards secured to them. My shelves seemed to end up with 4-5 4’ boards depending on the can sizes.

This is what the completed shelves will look like.

Once all of the shelves are complete, it is time to attach them to the 2”x4”x6’ posts. I have assembled this shelf twice now, and each time the holes weren’t aligning as well as I would have liked them to so I would drill the holes at this stage. It is possible to drill the holes before you assemble anything but I have found that once you start putting them together they don’t mesh as well and you end up drilling extra holes to have them align.

You are going to want to assemble this where you want it unless you have some big strong men to move it. It will start getting awkward and heavy once you start assembling.

Take one of the assembled shelves and lay it on the floor. Place your 2”x4”x6’ posts beside each corner of the shelf on the floor like this picture. Decide which is going to be the front of the shelf and which will be the back.

Take the posts that are at the front of the shelf and overlap the board by about 6 inches. Mark a spot with a pen or pencil 3 inches from the end of the post and center on the board like this.

Take your drill and the 5/16” drill bit and drill all the way through both 2x4’s through where you marked. Insert a bolt and loosely screw on the washer and hex bolt. Do not tighten at this stage because you are going to put the posts in an upright position and need the mobility. Repeat this step for the other front post. Once both are loosely attached, move the back posts to where they are overlapping the board by 12 inches. Mark again with a pen or pencil 9 inches from the end of the post. Drill a hole through both the post and the shelf board. Place a bolt through the holes and loosely screw on the washer and hex nut. Repeat for the other back post. Once you are finished with this step, you will stand up the posts so that they are at a 90 degree angle (use the level to make sure you are good). You can do this one post at a time and once they are up then you can tighten the hex nut to make them stand up by themselves. Do this on all four legs. You now have your bottom shelf in place and it should be at an angle to roll your cans down. This picture will show the shelf a little bit lower to the ground so do not worry if it isn’t exactly like mine. You want to make sure that there isn’t too much of an overhang on either side, if you have to have one then it is better going off the back.

This is when it’s handy to have another person around if you haven’t had someone already but you can still do it by yourself. Measure from the bolt up 11 inches on all four posts and make a mark, like the one you did for the bottom shelf. If you are working alone then it may be better to go ahead and drill out the holes once they are marked. Once that is done, you will want to take the next shelf and place it on the bottom shelf. Lift the front of the 2nd shelf and center the shelf board even with the holes in the post and drill through the shelf board. Slide in the bolt and screw on the washer and nut loosely until all of the bolts are in for this shelf. Make sure all posts are straight again with the level and then tighten the hex nuts. Do this for all 4 posts.

You will repeat these steps until all the shelves are on. The whole unit will become more stable as you put on each shelf and tighten everything.

Next, you are going to take the leftover 1”x2”x8’ boards and cut them into 6 - 26 ½ inch strips. These are going to be attached to the front of each shelf to keep the cans from rolling off. Drill holes in both ends of the boards first because these will crack if you don’t. Place them on the front of the shelf, about 1 ½ inches above the top of the plywood part of the shelf and screw them into the posts. If you put it too low then they won’t catch the food and hold it in place, the cans like to jump over the boards. I know this from experience....ugh

This is the end result!


*PRETTY* Food Storage Shelves

Just wanted to remind myself...and be held accountable to you to make plans for a pretty food storage shelf.  I was even thinking about making it look and function like a kitchen cabinet....maybe even take a kitchen cabinet and transform it to be more functional in the kitchen....instead of the monstrosity that I built before. I get that most people don't have room for something so big so I am going to create something.....Stay tuned.....


TV shelf

>> Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I will eventually get to the chairs for the kids table...maybe even next....but my husband has requested that I build a TV stand for our bedroom. I am working on the plans now and will hopefully build something else this week...maybe next depending.  He of course made the comment "If you don't feel like you are up to it or can't handle it then don't worry about it."  Of course any of you who know Jeron, knows that this is a challenge and any of you who know me knows that you can't say stuff like that to me without me doing it...HELLO????  I am a stubborn, hard headed, independent woman who has to do almost everything that someone thinks I can't do....to my detriment sometimes :)  Pictures to follow once I figure out the plans....it takes me 10 times longer than a normal person to come up with plans because my brain doesn't work that way.  If I see it I can create it but if I have to come up with something original then it takes me awhile.....



Just a note that I made some Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday and are the best I have EVER made.  I just followed the directions on the back of the Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chip bag and added 1 package (3.5 oz I think) of Instant Vanilla Pudding...just the powder....and it was FABULOUS!!!!!  You should try that next time you have the need to make cookies!


Charging Station

>> Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I wanted to build something where all of my electronics would have a home to charge.  They were scattered all over my house and getting unplugged and tossed aside.....then, of course, lost.  So this is what I came up with.  It came from my head so it isn't the greatest thing but it works for me. 

Things I learned while building this:

1. All wood putty is not created equal...did you know that there is putty that is non-sandable and that apparently never dries...of ALL the wood putty, this is the one I got. Not sure what is going to happen with that but we shall see.

2. There is a right and a wrong way to install hinges :)

3. Holes are not easy to cut.

4. Like cake decorating, having the proper tools is key to having a decent product.

5.  I am definately an ameteur. 

6. I should have used 1"x8"x8' boards....so if you are building this....don't do what I did!

So here is where I started...a wooden box...I bought 2 - 1"x6"x8' to do this with.

I decided to put in a pen holder on one side and a catch all for Jeron's pocket stuff on the other side.

I put on a lid with 3 hinges to close in the power strip.

I then cut 2 holes in the side (one you can't see from here) for the power cord. I didn't want it to go out the back because then I couldn't push it up against a wall without a fight.  Jeron helped me get the hole :)

I then cut out some grooves with a skill saw in the lid and slid in these dividers.

The skill saw wasn't the best tool but the only one I had here are the apartment that would work...so....

Here is where I am at now....I am going to put a front on the dividers to hold in the electronical devices.  I will also drill holes in each section for the cords to go through.  Then I will paint it....more pictures to come!

I know it's sad that this is the farthest I've gotten but I am a very busy lady! 

I added the front peice and drilled holes of different sizes and locations depending on what I am charging in each station and the size of the plug that needs to go through the hole.  Hopefully today I will paint it and will be done.  Again....I should have used 8" boards instead of 6" boards...its all about trial and error for me. You will see why in my final picture....

Here it is! The finished product!


Charging Station

>> Sunday, April 25, 2010

OK, so I lied!  My next project will be the Charging Station that I designed last night to hold all of our electronical devices....I have also added some open spaces for pens, paper and all of our random "take to work" stuff....wallet, keys, knife....ya know...the stuff that you have nowhere to put.

I will build it tomorrow and post pics as I go along. The wood has been bought so I will probably start bright and early.  I am excited about this one and so is Jeron!

Chairs will be next...I promise!


The boys :)

>> Friday, April 23, 2010

Ammon on his 3rd birthday!  We spent it in North Dakota with Josh and Amy (Jeron's brother and sister in law)

Amy had these little chicks that jumped around everywhere and the boys absolutely loved them....they did break a few so I bought a few. 

Alex packed the balloons in the corner and just sat there for a long time....I guess they were comfortable!  We had a great time with the balloons!  I'm sure Amy is still finding them and cleaning up after us~

Getting ready for cake and ice cream!  Ammon loves eating his "red chips"...the clean-up is always fun!


I know you are all probably wondering where the fabulous cake is hiding....well.....all of my cake supplies are packed away and we were travelling so I cannot be held accountable for the lame cake this year....Ammon didn't care :) It tasted good and that's what matters.

So we got take-out Japanese...sushi for me and Jeron and teriyaki chicken for the boys....we rigged up some "training chopsticks" for the boys and it was so cute watching them try to figure it out.  Alex took forever to eat because he was determined to eat it all with his chopsticks :)

Alex had to keep his mouth open and his right hand open to make it all go smoothly :)


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Lauren Tree - (719)660-4106 - lauren.tree@yahoo.com

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