Friday, December 28, 2012

Snow Day TGIF

TGIF Babe!  It's finally Friday.  I am so excited.  I'm kind of in a kick-butt-take-names kind of mood.  I have accomplished some great things at work already this morning.  I also call it Eating Frogs. Feels so good to check things off the list.  There are 5 new computers sitting next to my desk.  I'll be tackling one or two of them next. 


Last week John and I went out to Shells Brewery to pick up a few Christmas Gifts.  It is beautifully decorated for the holidays.  I had never been in the store before.  It is very nice and more reasonably priced than I anticipated.
Shells_Brewery_New_Ulm_MinnesotaShells_Brewery_New_Ulm_Minnesota

Shells_Brewery_New_Ulm_Minnesota

Shells_Brewery_New_Ulm_Minnesota
The Famous Peacocks!
Shells_Brewery_New_Ulm_Minnesota

I don't have a lot of specific plans for the weekend.  I am hoping to get a few projects done around the house.  John and I are working on some organizing in the basement.  The kids have so many toys and are big enough now to play down there without supervision.  We're hoping to have it somewhat set up by the end of the weekend.  I might have to go shopping for an area rug or carpet remnant.  Maybe some bean bag chairs.  Something to make it nice and cozy and inviting. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Visit the Armory Shop

Jacob is in his 3rd year of Cub Scouts and enjoys it for the most part.  His leader does a great job getting tours and projects lined up for them.  Recently they had a tour of the Armory Shop in New Ulm.  John had to work the day of this tour so I took off work a little early and took him.  If this had been just a normal meeting we might have skipped it but I thought this tour would really interest him.  I have to admit it held my attention too!

Officer Dahl gave us a great tour of the shop and trucks that had just came in from Hutchinson.  They were inside the shop and were thawing from the latest snowfall.  The boys got to go inside and could see the thick bullet proof glass.  Dahl showed them where their big GPS units would go and the Communication Radio's were going to be installed.

I didn't make notes but I believe he said there were 11 guys that were working in this shop right now.  Usually a few less but because of the current deployment it was a few more than normal.
Jacob checking out the inside of the Hummer!
What a Goof!
Lock and Load!
Check this out!
Jacob and Office Dahl
Awesome Snowmobile!
What are these for?
Tank!
How the Army carries water.
What goes in here?
What is the difference between the Brown and the Green?  Such great questions they had!
Where these in a war?  Nope.  For training purposes only! 
A lot of the equipment we saw is used at Fort Ripley near Little Falls, MN.  It was a very interesting trip.  The boys were pretty good listeners with a few reminders not to climb on the equipment. 

I am looking forward to sitting down and reading some of our Discovery Adventure Series books with Jacob.  I think the Tanks one will be a perfect fit for this topic!!

Usborne Books & More - Tanks IR

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Visitor for the weekend

We were very excited to hear our friend Jenny was coming for a visit this last weekend.  We don't get to see her often enough.  She made the trek over from Sommerset, WI, and stayed for the whole weekend.  The kids were so excited to see her.  Especially when they realized she brought presents.  She brought Jacob a Volcano kit and Amanda a Bracelet making kit. 

Friday night we went out to Carl's Corner in Beautiful Downtown Essig for supper.  It was very nummy and great to sit and visit.  We get such great service and food out there.  It was fun to introduce Jenny to one of our favorite places.

Saturday Jenny, the kids and I did a bunch of shopping in Mankato.  We got to see Grandma and finished up our shopping.  Saturday night Jenny and I went down and met up with her friend Al.  It was great to visit and relax while doing some people watching.



Jenny
Jenny and Al
Jenny and Al
Crazy Book Lady
Crazy Book Lady


I will try to write up some more details about our Christmas and share some pictures soon.  We had a great time and the kids received many wonderful gifts.  Hope you had a wonderful time with your families also.

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Camera for me please!


I broke down and bought myself a new camera last night.  I love technology. (Remember, I'm a geek!)  Especially cameras.  I bought the Nikon 1.  I chose the white one.  I think it's very sleek and sexy.   My old camera wasn't zooming in/out anymore correctly and the lens reaction time was terribly slow.  I'm going to do some checking and see if there are any warranty left on it.  I think I only had it 18 months.  Anyways.... on to bigger and better!
I did a little research before hand and this was a great informational video I found. I like that it is set up for inexperienced photographers.  I don't know how to use a lot of the fancy features.   I'm hoping to test it out this weekend and see what I think.  I have a tripod and am hoping this will mount on there as well.  I have some more of the manual to read tonight.


What kind of a camera do you have?  What specific features do you look for?  I take a lot of action pictures so this camera has to react fast.  The specifications from the website state it can take 10 frames per second.  Hopefully that will work well for pictures of Nick at Basket ball.  He just rolls his eyes when he catches me taking his picture.  Some day he will appreciate these.

Speaking of Nick.  He is a Sophmore already.  Can you believe that!  Before I know it we'll be planning a graduation party for him.  Can you imagine!?!  I'm thinking it's time to get started organizing some albums so that I'm not down to the wire and in a time crunch.  The pictures below were taken with my iPhone.  Not great quality but better than nothing.

Nick's All Conference Team 2012 (Nick is in the Back Middle)

All Conference Team as they were announced at the opening of the tournament!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thankful

I started out this post writing about my mixed feelings about the holidays.  About how I hate the mess of the tree and all the wrapping paper.  About how much work it is.  About how much I want to put everything back to "normal".  Then I started to write about Connecticut and how sad I am for these children and their families, for the survivors and the witnesses. 

The grief that these people have gone through make my little grumbles and day to day things seem so petty and whiney.

Today I am thankful for my little life in New Ulm, MN. With my crazy Geek day job and Crazy Book Night/Weekend job. With my beautiful family and friends.  Please God keep them all safe.  


Monday, December 10, 2012

Heartstrings

Maybe it's the season.  All the sappy Christmas songs I've been listening to.  The pictures from Christmas Past that I dug out when I decorated.  Maybe it's hormonal but I'm a sappy mess these days.  My heart is sitting softly on my sleeve.  I'm just a little bit more sensitive than I like these days.

I can't believe Christmas is two short weeks away.  We finally got snow this weekend.  I have to say I'm ok with snow.  A brown Christmas is no fun.  The kids have enjoyed it so much.  They were in and out of the house most of the weekend dragging wet snow pants and mittens in with them.  Times like this make me wish my dryer was on the main floor!!  They had such a good time. 

video
Here are some pictures from our house.  I didn't brave the outside yesterday until I was forced to. :)  Amanda had her dress rehearsal for Just for Kix Dance.  Her recital is next Sunday.

Out my front door.  There is Broadway.

 
Out my kitchen window overlooking the back yard.
I participated in a Craft Show in Gibbon, Minnesota, on December 1st.  It was a lovely day.  Beautiful outside, amazing food in the concession stand and a wonderful Santa.  It was a wonderful time.  Lots of Christmas shopping going on and great books went home with lots of Moms and Grandmas!!

 
Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop Elementary School


Ho, Ho, Ho!

Are there any good little girls and boys here?

Look there are some elves over on the left side!

I'm a Jolly ole soul!


And what would you like little boy?!

A little boy so excited to see Santa


Little girl playing with Wind-up Train!!!

Even Santa loves Usborne Books & More!!

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Getting them excited!!

This Crazy Book Lady has been very busy the last week.  I haven't had a chance to update you all on my progress so I hope to have a few posts over the next couple days!  So many great pictures to share with you.

Last week Thursday I participated in a cook exchange so I had my Crazy Cookie Maker hat on and it was quite the production.  Everybody helped out.  There were 14 women involved in the event so we made 13 dozen of my famous cookies.  I will be sure to share the recipe soon!  It's a good one!  We all brought an appetizer and had a great time eating and visiting.  Then we loaded up all our cookies and headed home.  What a fun night with great conversation!

My Cookies!!
 On Friday I made a quick trip to Madelia on my lunch hour.  I am doing a book fair there next week and I made up packets for the Elementary Teachers.  Letter telling the teachers about the book fair and how it would work.  A catalog and a wishlist for them to fill out.  For the 5th and 6th grade teachers I included a copy of Conspiracy 365 January!  I know the kids are going to LOVE IT!!  I can't wait to see which books the teachers selected!!

Teacher Packets!  look at them all! Even printed a Google map so I knew exactly where to go!  How's that for organization!!

Driving over the Cottonwood River headed south!!

Madelia, Minnesota!! Population 2,308 nestled on the scenic Watonwan River.

Madelia Elementary School!!!
It's going to be a busy week next week.  Thankfully I have an amazing BHH!! (Book Hauling Husband)  Tuesday night we set up the bookfair.  Wednesday John will run the book fair for a short time while the kids make wishlists.  Thursday Sara and I will run the book fair before and after the band concerts.  Friday the book fair runs from 1-3 and then BHH will be packing it up and hauling it home for me.

Working a full time job (45 hours a week) and being the Crazy Book Lady is definitely a challenge.  I am blessed to have an amazing support system at home. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Watch Out Madelia!!! Here I come!

Just a quick note this afternoon.  I'm on the run and Amanda has dance in 34 minutes.

Watch out Madelia Elementary!! I just scheduled a book fair there and I can't wait to make it fantastic!!!  Tonight I am getting packets ready for teachers.  They're going to find out how Usborne Book fairs are done!!!  CRAZY BOOK LADY STYLE!!!  so excited!!  Wednesday, December 12-Friday, December, 14th!!!
Madelia Elementary school!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Geek Stuff

I haven't told you much about me (other than my love of my family and books).  I am a computer geek.  I spend my day fixing problems and helping to maintain the computers at a trucking company.  Things are so time sensitive.  Sometimes things fall apart.  Completely apart.  Some days are really hectic.  Some days you just try to maintain a sense of calm. 

I really do love helping people.  Especially when it's something I can fix quickly and the "users" can get back to work without much problem.  I have been a computer geek of sorts since I was little.  I learned DOS at a very young age.  When you live in the country and you want to play computer games on an old computer you learn how.  Dad talk me what I needed to know to get around the folder structure and away I went.  Trial and error.  It's how I learn best. 

Here are some pictures of my insanity.  Or hoarding as my neighbor, Michelle, at work calls it.  I have Christmas music playing today so imagine that mixed in with cords and computers and yellow sheets of post-it notes.  (I know a crazy amount about Post-it but that is a lifetime ago and a story for another day.)

Extra cables and phones
Did I mention I handle a Centrex Phone system also?  It's a crazy punch board of red/white wires and numbered slots.  Somehow it all makes sense in my head. It is quite old technology and we hope to upgrade some day soon.

Old computers to be cleaned up, wiped of data, OS re-installed and sold.

My work area. A sea of cables.  Power, monitors, keyboard, mouse and network.

My desk.

New computers, still in the box.  Need to be unpacked, an image pushed to them, configurations made and installed at the users desks.  Windows 7.  I love these new machines.

Off to finish a set up on a new computer.  The user has been having lots of problems and hopefully this will solve all of them.... just like batman. :)  or the Crazy Book Lady!