2013 The Elves Adventures Begin 

The elves heard the kids talking about putting up the Christmas tree, they also heard how tired people were and so decided to just help out a little.
It was a bit of work, but Lily and Fredwardo are pretty tricky elves!

The next evening, they found the box of Little People.

With a little teamwork they were able to have quite a bit of fun.
Since they are new to our house, there are a lot of things and places to explore. One never knows what to expect in the morning. 

This evening they did a little exploring and decorating. 
Lily and Fredwardo found that we have a great Little People Nativity and a fun Christmas book. Who doesn’t love a good Christmas story?

They learned quick that there many things they don’t know. Lily and Fredwardo are quick though and took to the web to find this fun string game to share with Scott and Em.

A Christmas carol is always a good idea.

With a little creative stacking the elves were able to get up to the window and have a peak outside.

Paper airplanes are so much fun that Lily and Fredwardo thought they’d make a few.

Phase 10 was next to be conquered by our good little elves. 

Lily was thinking hard about creating something fun, but then she fell asleep under a few papers.

Fredwardo got busy crafting and made some fun snowflake decorations.

I’m not sure if lily and Fredwardo were playing hide and seek or trying to fold the laundry.

A snowball fight! What creative elves have come to visit us.

Digging through the books they came up with this fun one.  

 Do you know how much fun it is to read and play along with these Can You See What I See books? Fredwardo and lily sure had a good time.


They were curious about the crochet project laying out. I guess they thought they could finish up the rug for Rez. They might have bitten off more than they could chew…. But it’s always good to learn new things.

This evening, they wanted to remind Scott and Em about the true meaning of Christmas and drew them some pictures.

They have been paying attention to our nightly routine and have message of reminder for us all.

They sometimes need to climb a little to find a nice place to just rest!

Lily and Fredwardo found the kitchen and discovered the wonder of baking.those look like really yummy cookies!

The twins had to wrap up the mugs for the exchange. Such good helpers.

Checking out the African mounts: Impala and blesbok.

Card houses, I used to make these or try to when I was a kid. Lily and Fredwardo did a good job with theirs. 

All that building worked up a good appetite and they decided some banana bread would make a yummy snack. I sure like helper elves like Lily and Fredwardo.

 A little game of hide and seek is always fun.

Fredwardo decided to check things out in Scott’s room.


Lily went down to Em’s room, but as she got in the door, Em started to rummage around. She spent the evening guarding the door.

With Fredwardo and Lily on the job, the presents were successfully placed under the tree and Scott’s plan to capture Santa foiled! 

#christmaselves #lilyandfredwardoadventures

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Christmas Elves

December 2012 Scott and Em heard about the Elf on a Shelf and wanted one. I did a little research and didn’t like that elf! I found a cute Christmas Elf crochet pattern and told them I’d make them a cool elf.   
This is Lily and she is the first I made. I followed the instructions, but wasn’t really happy with the results. So I made a few changes for Scott’s elf.

Meet Fredwardo, he and lily are going to have many adventures each December! We don’t tolerate naughty elves in this house, so let’s hope that they are helpful and fun loving elves!

#christmaselves #lilyandfredwardo 

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Verizon is NOT on my good side…..

My daughter recently turned 18 and she went down and got a pay by the month Verizon phone. She has not had a problem with it and was wanting to upgrade to a 2 year contract so she could have an iPhone.  We figured a valid driver’s license would be sufficient to open an account, after-all it is proof of ID and age, right?

A little backstory on my daughter, Shantel: she has been working at the same place since she was 15, has purchased 3 vehicles with her earnings from said job, she has paid us for her insurance since she was 16, she is paying for the college classes she is taking while still in high school and she is very money savvy.

She goes into the Verizon Wireless authorized retailer in our area and fills out all the required paperwork, after they run the information corporate headquarters (customer service) informs the local dealer that she must send in a copy of her driver’s license and her social security card as proof that she is 18.  Well I’m totally old school on social security cards and numbers.  I’m highly against them being used as a form of ID.  I sent her birth certificate with her as proof of age along with her license.  It was rejected by headquarters because it was not the SSN card!


(notice the ‘not for identification’ that use to be printed right on the cards?!)

I went on to the government page on social security  and as I already knew that social security numbers were never intended as a means of identity.  Here’s the reason it was created:

“The Social Security Act (Act of August 14, 1935) [H. R. 7260]

An act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue; and for other purposes.” (the whole act is there to read, I’m not going to paste it here though.)

Basically it is for the government to know what you have paid into Social Security to provide for you in your old age and to provide for disabled persons.  Nowhere does it say this is a form of ID.

Another page on the site states this:

“The use of the Social Security number (SSN) has expanded significantly since its inception in 1936. Created merely to keep track of the earnings history of U.S. workers for Social Security entitlement and benefit computation purposes, it has come to be used as a nearly universal identifier. Assigned at birth, the SSN enables government agencies to identify individuals in their records and businesses to track an individual’s financial information. This article explores the history and meaning of the SSN and the Social Security card, as well as the Social Security Administration’s (SSA‘s) SSN master file, generally known as the Numident. The article also traces the historical expansion of SSN use and the steps SSA has taken to enhance SSN integrity.”

Later in the article is states that the thinking of the citizens has changed and people are not as willing to use the SSN as ID :

“December 2004, IRTPA legislation prohibited states from displaying the SSN on driver’s licenses or motor vehicle registrations. In 2007, the President’s Identity Theft Task Force (2007, 3) included among its SSN recommendations that “federal agencies should reduce the unnecessary use of SSNs, the most valuable commodity for an identity thief.”

On November 18, 2008, President George W. Bush issued EO 13478 rescinding the 1943 EO requiring all federal agencies to use the SSN as an identifier. Then in December, the FTC (2008) issued a plea to companies, schools, and other private entities to find better ways to authenticate identities than using the SSN. State and local entities have begun to delete SSNs on electronic versions of public records. Congress has also considered legislation that would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to use an alternative to the SSN as the Medicare claim number. Even SSA, which created the SSN for its program use, has ceased to print the full SSN on some of its correspondence with beneficiaries (Lockhart 2002). The agency now advises individuals to keep their Social Security card in a safe place and not to carry it with them (SSA 2007a).”

After reading these articles on the government’s site I accompanied my daughter back to the local store to try and enlighten Verizon Wireless in these matters.  The local guy contacted headquarters and then gave me the phone.  I gave the woman on the other end the ‘what-for’ and after informing me that the conversation was being recorded, then said she couldn’t talk to me because I wasn’t the one on the “contract” . I gave the phone to Shantel and she also told them that she would not be providing a copy of her SSN card as it is not a valid form of ID.  She then asked to speak to a manager or someone who could actually address the problem.  The woman gave her another 800 number to call and talk to them.  When she asked to just be transferred, she was told:  “I don’t have the authority to transfer you.”
After a few more words with the local guy about the stupidity of this requirement which is only for young adults, we left.

I then went to Verizon Wireless’s FaceBook page and left this:

It’s really quite insane that in order for an 18 yr old to have their own contract you require a faxed copy of a social security card! You do realize that SSN# is not meant for that, right? The purpose of SSN# is for tracking how much you’ve paid into social security, so that you can be properly compensated after your reach the age of retirement. You should check out the government site in reference to social security and see that it is not recommended that places use this number to identify a person as it sets one up for identity theft! The number itself is on the application, to require a physical copy is asinine!

Here is their reply (which I was happy to see they took me semi seriously.  I will post the comments as of now):

Verizon Wireless Hi Carrie, I apologize for any frustration with needing to provide the requested information. There is another option available. Please bring the needed information into one of our corporate stores. This way the information can be given without it being faxed in. Here’s a link to our store locator http://bit.ly/3SdsA Ed


    • Carrie Flynn Keiser The problem is that showing a SSN card in no way proves you are 18. There’s no birthdate on it, no photo of the person. Willingly we provided a drivers license and a birth certificate as proof of age and the SS# was on the application. That should have covered the age issue. Thank you for responding.
      Like · Reply · 3 hrs · Edited
  • Carrie Flynn Keiser I’m not impressed with AT&T either as they gave Cody Keiser the
    amount he needed to make his account current and buy out the contract since he was leaving for 2 years. The amount was paid and the phone given to his grandpa. When grandpa tried to activate the phone, they were told an additional $250 needed to be paid!
    Like · Reply · 2 hrs
    • Verizon Wireless I can understand your point, Carrie. However, we still use the SSN information as a valid way to verify an account and information. I suggest going to a local store with all that you mentioned such. Presenting the driver’s license can go along with the SSN card that would match the name up and be considered a valid document. Ed
      Like · 2 hrs
  • Carrie Flynn Keiser Like I said the number was on the application. The birth certificate is a much more valid form of proving ID. As that is what is required for obtaining a valid drivers license or a passport. No state or government issuing ID requires PRESENTATION of the actual card. It is stated right on the card that it is not to be carried around. After looking at the government website and reading that legislation has been put thru stating states can no loner require the SSN on the licenses, I think you should re-think your ID policies. We also live no where near a corporate store.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

I also reposted the original post to my FaceBook page and asked people to like and share it.  I went one step farther and created a photo to go along with this post:

Warning to all the #responsible young adults, you too might run into a snag when wanting to get your own phone contract with #VerizonWireless. They have this crazy policy that requires a physical copy of your#sociasecuritycard as a second form of proof of age! WHAT?! even though you put your number on the contract and present your driver’s license as proof of your age, they will require a faxed copy of both sent to their home office. now if you want to vote, you can present your driver’s license or your birth certificate as proof of age, same if you’d like to get a passport, but heaven forbid you present them as proof of age to Verizon Wireless! Spread the word people! We’ve all heard how social media can be a great help, let’s help others who might be considering proving they are an adult ready for adult responsibilities!

 — with Shantel Keiser.

Photo: Warning to all the #responsible young adults, you too might run into a snag when wanting to get your own phone contract with #VerizonWireless.  They have this crazy policy that requires a physical copy of your #sociasecuritycard as a second form of proof of age!  WHAT?! even though you put your number on the contract and present your driver's license as proof of your age, they will require a faxed copy of both sent to their home office.  now if you want to vote, you can present your driver's license or your birth certificate as proof of age, same if you'd like to get a passport, but heaven forbid you present them as proof of age to Verizon Wireless!  Spread the word people!  We've all heard how social media can be a great help, let's help others who might be considering proving they are an adult ready for adult responsibilities!
3Like ·  · Stop Notifications · Promote ·  · Tag photo

I would love for this to be a “wake-up” call for Verizon Wireless, for them to realize that what they are requiring of these young people is a misuse of the SSN card and pretty much not legal.  I would love for them to accept a birth certificate and driver’s license as forms of ID that prove age.  I would love for them to realize that they are not helping these young adults to grow and become responsible citizens of this country.  I want them to realize that if this is their policy then EVERY person wanting to sign a phone contract with them will also have to prove who they are with the same documents, or no dice!

Wake up Verizon Wireless! and any other company that thinks this is an acceptable ….. It’s NOT!


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Irish Dinner

Irish Soda Bread
2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1 t salt
4 T sugar
1 1/2 t caraway seed (I never put this in)
3 T shortening cut into dry ingredients
1 cup buttermilk (about 1 T white vinegar or lemon juice in milk let sit a few mins. I added green food coloring to make mine green!)
2/3 cup raisins (sometimes I put these in, but most of the time I don’t)
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, cut in the shortening, mix well, add the buttermilk mix well, add the raisins and turn out on floured surface. knead a little and shape into a round loaf, place on an greased (or parchment covered) baking sheet, cut tops 2/3 of the way thru in quarters, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35-40 mins

Good-n-True Irish Stew
-Daren Flynn-
2 # chopped lamb
4 celery stalks
2 # potatoes halved (or cubed)
carrots (about 4 large ones or a handful of baby carrots)
1 # onions roughly chopped (big chunks)
salt, pepper to taste (I also added garlic)
2 T parsley flakes or fresh chopped
1/2 t caraway seed (i never put this in, I don’t like it)
about 4 quarts cold water
If your lamb has a lot of fat, you’re going to want to boil and skim it before adding the veggies. Place ingredients in a stock pot and cook on the stove 1 1/2- 2 hours or put in a crock pot and cook for 6 hours. taste and reseason as needed.


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Giant Fruit Muffins

Giant Fruit Muffins

Giant Fruit Muffins with Crumb Topping
yield: 12 Bake @375 for 20-26 mins

2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk (2 TBS white vinegar + milk to the 2 cup line)
1 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups flour
1 cup oats (I used quick oats)
1 1/2 to 3 cups fruit (I used about 1 1/2 cups chopped frozen strawberries and 1 cup frozen blue berries)
mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients (I find a fork to work best). Gently fold in fruit with a spatula (I folded in all the strawberries and then filled 6 large lined muffin cups, then folded in the blue berries into the remainder of batter.) I lined my muffin tin with parchment paper that I formed by placing clean cups in. Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (cut up)
mix until crumbly and top muffins.
Bake as directed (375 for 20-26 mins or until toothpick comes out clean).

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posting again…. :)

I’ve been terrible about getting weekly posts in so I’m going to try again, this year! 

First off the new year’s themes for 52 weeks of photos were:  week 1:  new year, week 2: snow and the combined 2 weeks: circle.



Rez enjoying his time out in the snow.  He loves to dig and play in the snow, as you can see by this shot!

New Year and Circle:IMG_3478mkd


There’s nothing techie cool about this shot, but the sun and cloud and cold created this neat circle in the sky for the new year.  Have to find a bright spot for the day as we headed out to do chores with friends in the balmy -15 add the windchill a tropical -51 is achieved!  

I’ve found this cool business that makes awesome boots that would look cool with my cloak or anything really! 



Here’s my cloak I made in October, modeled by my beautiful daughter, Savanna.  The place is called Gipsy Dharma.  They do giveaways, they are on FaceBook and they just joined Google Plus

Check out their cool boots and fun fairy type clothes!

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Socks and Shoes

Socks and Shoes

To all the manufactures of SOCKS everywhere:
Will you please show me the person who’s shoe size is: 6 to 12 or 4-10! Oh yeah, you can’t, because there is NO ONE who can comfortably wear a pair of socks that cover such huge size differences! I’ve been trying to purchase socks for my 9 yr old who wears a size 5 1/2- 6 shoe. (ya know a “big boy” or “young man” size) The shoe pictured is a 5 1/2 the nasty sock that is the one that needs replacing and that nice new sock is a 6-12 size When he tried it on and got his toes in just the right place, that heal was half way up his calf! What kid or grown person really wants to walk around with the heal of their sock half way up their calf? That’s attractive….. said no one EVER! I understand we are a “one size fits all” kid of society (well the sock business seems to be at least) but really, would you like to go buy a pair of pants sized this way? Let’s say you happen to be a waist size 30 and inseam 32, you don’t have to wear a pair of jeans sized 30-36 waist and inseam 30-34, do you? It’s ok cause you can just wear a belt and hem the end right?! Wrong! You just go buy the 30x 32 pants throw them on and be on your way. Not so with socks, you can’t get a pair of socks that fit unless you happen to actually be a size 12 or size 10, anywhere in between is just stuck wearing the heals of their socks half way up their calves!
Sincerely the Sock wearers of the world!
and this very frustrated mother of 6!

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