Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Michael is building a new dance pad. As a reminder...we are we have lots of projects. I had bought all of the materials to build a dance pad for Daniel for one of his birthdays. Wayne said to build it or get rid of Michael is building it. For those of you who don't know, a dance pad is used with "Dance Dance Revolution" (DDR) and my boys have been doing that for many years. We used to buy the plastic pads from the store but they would never last for more than a couple months. Michael built his first one shortly after we moved here (so around 5 1/2 years ago). Daniel had to do some fine tuning with the electronics, namely to get it so that when you stepped on the arrow it would actually work correctly and it has been working great since. If Michael can't get this to work we might have to fly Daniel back home temporarily :) To give you an idea here are some pictures: 
 The top one is the work in progress. The bottom one is the one we have had for 5 years.
So as you can see it is made out of plywood, 2 X 4's, sheet metal, clear acrylic, and a few other odds and ends. I will try to post more pictures along the way. This is the BEST type of dance pad...pretty much like the ones in the arcade.

Now to get back to my sewing...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I have had this project this year of making quilts for my grandchildren. It has been difficult to accomplish because of the 4 months I was out of town. Now I have this goal to finish them for Christmas (my original intent was for their birthdays...oh well). I finally got the top of Elisabeth's it is:
Wish me luck...I think that I will need it :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maryland trip

Wayne and I went to Maryland this past weekend. We flew into Baltimore, picked up a rental car, and drove down to Saint Mary's County. It was called an interview trip because we are probably going to relocate there. It was basically so we could look the area over and decide if we like it enough to live there. Wayne would be working on the PAX River NAS as a contractor for his current company and on the JSF. We flew there on Thursday and drove down through Calvert County and over a ginormous bridge to get there. Wayne took a nap and by the time he woke up it was dark so we just stayed at the hotel that evening. On Friday he had a tour of the base and was there until around noon. Then we went out to look over a few areas we wanted to see and basically just drove around. I will explain what we did with the pictures posted. Then on Saturday we went out with our Realtor and she showed us more housing areas as well as subdivisions and basically told us about the schools and history of the area. Even though we don't have kids in school, what school district we are in will play a big part on where we move to. On Sunday we went to church and then drove back up to Baltimore and flew on home. Here are a few of my favorite pictures:
This is the view out our hotel window. I loved the beautiful colors of all the trees but especially the red Maples.
What really surprised me was how there are broad leaf and evergreen trees interspersed. It will be green there year round because of that. Even more encouraging was that there was not a hint of allergies from either Wayne or I...yippee!!

As part of our ride on Friday we went down to Point Lookout State Park. That is on the very tip of the peninsula and there is a lighthouse there as well as a few other buildings. Unfortunately it was only open for tours on Saturdays but we still got some good pictures from down there. Above is the lighthouse itself. It is said to be haunted according to some signs. It was in operation from
I tried to get a picture showing how the water went around on all three sides but was not successful because of the fence. This was the closest one I could get.
This looks like a grave stone but in actuality it is a marker of a hospital that was there. It says it is dedicated to the soldiers, sailors, and hospital personnel from both the North and South who were there between July 1862 and July 1865.

 The picture above and below are both looking west from Point Lookout. It was a chilly, breezy day and I was really glad that I had brought a windbreaker. I love how the sun shines on the water.

This picture is looking east from Point Lookout. This area is located just west of the Chesapeake Bay so not quite to the ocean but you could not see land when you looked across it so in my opinion it might as well have been the ocean. So I have seen from sea to shining sea this year. I have loved all the traveling I have done.

This is a smokehouse that was at Point Lookout. It said on the sign that it was used by the keeper of the lighthouse. I tried to look inside but it was too dark.

This was a Confederate Cemetery at Point Lookout. Unlike the one I saw in Iowa, this one had no markers. The pictures from my Iowa trip are on my phone but I think that I will send them to my email so that I have them with my other digital photos.

These last two photos are from our tour with our Realtor. Most of the time I was too busy taking notes but when we stopped at this water access that was with one of the subdivisions I had to snap a couple photos.

We both really liked it there. The people were nice and friendly. The only deciding factor now is whether the pay increase is enough to afford it as the housing is much more expensive than in Texas.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Random thoughts

Leaving on a jet plane early tomorrow morning...VERY excited.

Found out I will get a new granddaughter in March. Diane has never found out ahead of time before and was so sure she was having a boy they are having a hard time getting used to the idea of having another girl. I don't think she will find out again next time...if there is a next time. SOOO...has anyone out there (besides my niece Amber) been told they were having a girl and then it ended up it was a boy???

Diane is also worried about her VBAC. She has never gone into labor on her own and her OB won't induce with a previous C-section and she really doesn't want to go through another one. Plus she is worried about knowing when it is labor and getting to the hospital in time because she goes VERY fast...just like her mom did. I hope that all goes well when the time comes.

Talking about my niece Amber, she is due to have a baby GIRL (I hope they got it right this time) after 6 boys...not counting the twin boys she lost...any day now. I hope that all goes well with her labor and delivery AND that it really is a girl this time...all though she has some mighty handsome boys.

And Julie...she had her mediation today and all went well. She sounded so relieved to have this part behind her. She says it is about 6 weeks before the judge signs the papers and it is legal. She was worried about having Daniel watch the kiddos but all went well...they had to tell her all about going to the bounce house when she returned home.

Michael went to school today and then out with the missionaries tonight. AND he has been going to family home evening with the singles...WOOHOO!! I am so glad that he is doing something besides staying home all the time.

AND did I tell you that I am leaving on a jet plane early tomorrow morning? ... VERY excited.


Yesterday I went shopping for the month of November after making out a meal calendar. I went to Walmart and Kroger (as well as Borders and Barnes and Noble for Michael but that doesn't count). At Walmart I spent $93.29 but that is including fabric and buttons and screws and spackling and pet fresh carpet deodorizer ($15.82 including tax). I didn't buy a turkey because we are going out of town for Thanksgiving but I did buy the ingredients for making pies. I did buy an eye of round roast and 4 pounds of ground beef...the rest of the meat for my meals I already had in my freezer. So for food I spent $77.47 for the entire month. I will only have to get bread and milk weekly now. My trip to Kroger was mainly one to get the sales. It was buy 10 items and get $5.00 off (which is running again this week). I was going to buy the chicken but forgot...duh!! I used 4 coupons for 4 of the 10 items plus I bought 2 Hungry Man TV dinners for Michael since Wayne and I will be gone this weekend. I spent $11.55 and saved $16.57 with my card and coupons!! I am proud of myself and thought I did good spending less that $100 for the groceries for the month. I might have to spend $40 or so more to get bread and milk but I think that is doing well for a family of 3...all adults.

As for our trip this weekend...we are going to Maryland!! I am excited. I have heard that the trees are still beautiful colors...I hope so. We are actually going out for a job interview and if we like it then we will be moving there next summer. Exciting things happening in the lives of the Burke family!!