Friday, May 31, 2013

The boy is back from Perul

He's at least back in the states.  He has to drive home from Mississippi tomorrow. 


Okay, a little.

The kids got a little cleaning done.  I was useless on that front because my mom lost her purse and a lot of my day was taken up looking for it and going and getting replacement keys and finally mom's caregiver found it, but then I had to have some time for myself to work through some sadness that I have over my mom's Alzheimer's.  I wish I was one of those people who clean when I am upset, but I am not.  After that, I decided to go do my volunteering, which was a difficult decision because I really feel that I probably should have gone to see mom again because she's been feeling lonely.  However, going to mom's drains me and going to the hospital refreshes and renews me so I chose to put the oxygen mask on my own face first, renew my spirit a little and I'll go see mom today. Meanwhile, I'm going to see if Medicare will pay for her to have more services. 

We still haven't heard from the oldest.  That is seriously stressing me out.  His phone goes to voice mail.

I'm trying to work and not think, but obviously, not having too much luck. 

Now I just got a call that my mom's purse is "lost" again.  Mom's apparently hiding it to keep it from thieves or something and then not being able to find it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today we clean?

We keep saying that and honestly, we have not gotten as much done as it may seem like on the blog.  After the kids got their own rooms clean, things seem to have stalled.  I think we were just lazy Monday  (I can't remember) and then Tuesday we had that big field trip.  Yesterday, my work was only slowly trickling in so I was working off and on until 10:00 p.m. last night and during the middle of the day had a ferocious headache and needed to lie down for a little while.  I thought the kids were cleaning because they had asked for 'clean and screen' time, but it turns out, they only had time for the screen time (watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and no time for cleaning.  Grrr.  That brings us to last night when both of them were still up at 3:00 a.m. reading and and this morning they are  not going to want to get up at a decent hour.  So while last week I was overjoyed with their cleaning, this week I am annoyed with them and today they are going to have to do makeup cleaning to make up (so to speak :-) ) for yesterday's slacking.  We need to get this done!   I've made a deal with myself that I will not swim until the cleaning is done and the pool is beckoning ...

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Need a win.

I was watching "How I met Your Mother" and they were having a race and talking about how in their own way, each character "needed the win".  I thought about the stuff I'm having to deal with and I feel like I 'need a win".

My mom is talking about selling the home I grew up in and moving to an assisted living facility.  I agree that she needs to but this makes me very, very sad.

My son is in Peru and has been for 9 days and I have only heard from him once.  He borrowed someones phone to call me the first night but has not been able to do that again (I assume) and has not called.  He also did not take a device to access the internet.  So no news.  It's kind of stressful.  Also, I haven't seen my son since January.  :-(

I have experienced a betrayal of my trust by someone who should have my back.

A dear friend is moving away to another state.

The kid's spring cleaning involved getting rid of some childhood things and I'm not ready for their childhood to be over.

I've been gaining weight lately and boy did I feel it yesterday on the hike.  :-(

So yesterday's "win" of a great field trip that I arranged for our group really helped. 

I could use a few more things going in my favor though, some emotional balance.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Field Trip.

A couple of years ago, we took the kids on a program they run at a local forest called "Bring a Book To Life."  The first time it was based on the book "My Side of the Mountain".  They also offer it for another book, "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen, so we took the class again and this time, it was even cooler.  The 2 rangers took us through the forest, pointing out wild edibles, telling us how to tell by the sun, which direction is north and how to further tell from that based on shadows, what time of day it was and therefore, how many hours until sunset, in case you are stranded and need to build a shelter before nightfall.  Then of course, they took us to build shelters and they had the kid builders get inside and poured water on the outside (hilariously pretending it was raining and cracking jokes the whole time) and a few of the builders got a little bit wet.  It was funny.  Then, we went to another area and learned how to start fires with flint and steel and a couple of other methods and learned how to boil water in a paper cup complete with demonstration.  Then, to another area where the kids got to try and hit target pictures of birds like the ones Brian hunted in the book with first a spear and then an atlatl.  So cool.  The atlatl is mentioned in one of the book series we have read, Brotherband Chronicles, so we had heard of one, but never seen or used one. 

All this for 6 dollars a kid.


Monday, May 27, 2013

In honor of my dogs

who crack me up every morning running into the house and sliding all around the kitchen, I designed a new dog T-shirt for Cafepress.

I should explain.

B is for baby and also because I'm too lazy to search for another image.
When I said that the NICU trusted me to take care of this baby the other night, I should explain that it is a tad more difficult than changing a regular baby at a regular house.  First I needed to know where all the clothing and thermal blankets were stored, then I need to get the baby's diaper changing materials ready, then I needed to scrub, gown and glove up, put the side of the isolette down, change the little guy around his EKG, respiratory and oxygen leads and his hospital ID anklet with gloves on (this is hard!), apply his diaper cream, then take off the gloves and rescrub, change him into his shirt, rescrub and then swaddle him, pick him up and rock him to sleep.  Then when he is asleep, I need to put him back in his isolette, put the side back up and hook his leads back up to the monitor or get the nurse to do it. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Did you ever?

Did you ever feel like you were at the right place at the right time when you didn't really mean to be there.  I felt like God used me yesterday.  My mom called and asked me to get her a cake to take to a family reunion she's going to today and since I have her car on near permanent loan right now, I couldn't say no.  Our family needed cheese (emergency!) and I needed to get sign making materials at Lowe's.   So I went to Lowe's first.  I went in, got my sign, came out and walked confidently though mistakenly to the right in search of mom's car, even though I had parked to the left of the exit and really I knew that.  (I almost always note carefully where I park).  Anyway, as I was walking in the wrong direction I heard someone call my name.  It was a very dear friend who is going through some awful stuff lately and she needed to talk and there I was, ready to listen.  :-)

Friday, May 24, 2013

I wish

I wish I had one of those memes or whatever it is, that had a different subject for me to post on each day of the week, for example one blog features a different one of her children on Friday and another posts pictures of kid built forts on Friday.  I've got nothing.

I've been working and the daughter has been cleaning her room and the youngest son has had the day pretty much off from cleaning.  My daughter is off from official cleaning today but just wants to clean her room.

She doesn't take after either one of her parents.


We still haven't heard a word from the boy in Peru.  I guess we won't until he gets back to Mississippi and starts his drive home.  

I haven't got as much of the cleaning done as I had planned to, but am planning to get it done.  I'll do a lot on Sunday.

 Last night I volunteered.  The nurses are getting used to me now and trusting me more.  We've got one baby there who is 2 1/2 months old now and getting big and he doesn't want to sleep all the time like most of the other ones do and he seems to never have any visitors ( :-(  ) , so the volunteers spend a lot of time playing with him, pushing him around in a stroller, and just holding him and talking to him.  Last night, I finished what I was doing and walked out into the common areal.  One of the nurses said, 'Hey, we've still got a volunteer here!" and they handed me the little guy with this message.  "He needs a new shirt.  He needs a new blanket and he's got a dirty diaper." and they trusted me to take him and get a blanket, get a shirt and change him.  That was something that I found a little difficult when I first started, that someone was always watching (as they should) to make sure I was doing things correctly and now they know that I am.  It feels good, like I'm part of the team.  :-)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Read alouds.

We've always done a bunch of read-alouds.  For years that has been what we do right before bed.  Lately, it's often been audiobooks and when we do audiobooks and I don't have to read, I've  been art journaling.  When we got to the Percy Jackson book Mark of Athena, my daughter decided to do the reading.  We're past that book now but she has been reading every night.  It's very cool.  It is helping her with some pronunciations of some  obscure words (last night's words for lariat which I could help with and some of the ancient Egyptian gods names that I couldn't help with.) If we listen to the recorded audio books, then we can get some of those right.  I enjoy the Percy Jackson series because they have so much humor in them and they teach a lot of ancient history.  I don't like that everyone has to have a boyfriend/girlfriend even the 12 year-olds.  Also, the fact that the gods have all of these illegitimate children is weird but is how the mythology went.   I went looking for a quote that I've posted before but the quote turned out to be the last 2 lines of an entire poem.  I may frame this and put it in the house somewhere.

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a Mother who read to me.
Strickland Gillilan

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My response.

Tonight, I asked the kids if they wanted to go to Grandma's with me.  I had set them a deadline of getting the boy's room cleaning finished tonight and my daughter said 'If we go to grandma's, we won't get done tonight."

Did I say "You know that is just an arbitrary deadline that I put in place, and I can take away?"


I said "Okay.  See you later."


Surprisingly ...

The kids are doing a great job with this cleaning.  No squabbling.  No griping.  No whining.  They are just getting it done.  We hope to have a party for our homeschool group when the oldest gets home and they are willing to put in the work in order to get to have their friends over.  They are on task to finish cleaning on the boy's room this evening  (it was really a mess) and then there's the girls room, which shouldn't take very long at all, the living room and kitchen, the porch and the yard.  I hope my husband is able to get the mower fixed to mow the lawn or I may have to get my mom's lawn mowing service to do it.  Why does our lawn mower have to break down every single year?     Anyway, back to the kids cleaning ... it's weird.  I kind of never thought this would happen.  Be encouraged moms of whiny, uncooperative kids who think cleaning is going to kill them and act accordingly .. it gets better.  Just keep on making them do it.  :-P

I had a pretty good mom's night out last night.  We had 100% of the moms in our group there, which is very rare.  It wasn't as hilarious as last month's night out but it was pretty nice.  We ate at Bob Evans where they serve a nice cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun and then went to a frozen yogurt place I can't remember the name of.  Yummy.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The oldest.

My oldest son is now officially in Peru.  He's traveling there as part of a class that he is taking for the summer intercession at his school.  He had to get up at 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning and he didn't call me to let me know he had arrived until 1:30 a.m. this morning, so it was a long, long trip.  His phone did not work there, but thankfully he was able to call me on someone else's.  It cut off after I heard his voice saying he had arrived, but I was thankful to be able to know that.  He will be there for 10 days.

When he finishes this class, he will have 30 credit hours of school for this year.   I got him a camera and he says he's going to take lots of pictures so hopefully I will be able to share those in a couple of weeks. After spending a day yesterday in anxiety with my son traveling, my heart goes out even more to those people in Oklahoma who are affected by this tornado.  So sad.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Okay, better late than never, right?

We finally started the cleaning today.  I'm doing the kitchen, starting with the fridge, daughter is cleaning the boys room because they can't and the boy is outside picking up the garbage that the puppy has shredded in the yard.  We have to work around how we work best and apparently, that is in separate rooms.  :-P  

Saturday, May 18, 2013


We were supposed to go to our first big sale for 4H Means Business club today but we didn't go for several reasons.  One was that we only found out yesterday that it was supposed to be outside (it is a park, but in our defense, we've sold there before and we were in the visitor's center) and then it was predicted to rain today, I have been suffering since yesterday with some pretty severe vertigo and my daughter just felt like she didn't have enough stuff to sell or at least, that's what she said at 6:30 a.m.  It may have been more of a case of 'now that I know what it is like to wake up at 6:30 a.m., I don't want to."  but she made the decision not to go.  My new plan for this club is when her brother gets home from Mississippi, he can take her to all the Farmer's Market sales all summer (which are all at the crack of dawn) and then when he goes back to school, she can take a break and do a bunch of crocheting and knitting to get ready for the next time he's in town.  I don't mind going with just my daughter and selling, because we really end up talking mostly to each other and I feel more relaxed, but to me, this was going to be dragging my vertiginous, slightly nauseated self someplace to sit out in the rain and cold and make 7 hours of conversation with virtual strangers.  This hits my shyness funny bone somehow.  I know I'm weird and backwards, but I would rather stand up and sing a concert or give a speech than sit and talk one on one to almost-strangers all day. Also, in the plan, my daughter needs to get her learners permit and start driving herself to these things, although, she's so shy, I am not sure if she would go without someone going with her, even then, although she has come out of her shell somewhat recently.  With her older brother, you can drop him off anywhere and when you come back, he's friends with everyone there.  Anyway, I'm working today and I actually prefer it.  :-P.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's weird.

With the kids being out of school.  Nobody else we know finished this early but we went right up to Christmas, started promptly back in January and didn't take a spring break or a fall break.  So here was are, done in May.  We were going to start spring cleaning yesterday, but they begged for 1 day off, then their father got them working all day on the pool anyway, so they didn't really end up getting the day off.  Today, I was planning to give them a list, but I didn't get around to it.  So I guess we'll start tomorrow.

I did my volunteer shift tonight.  I was kept very, very busy.  As soon as I walked in, one of the nurses waved towards me and said 'over here, over here' and there wasn't a time I wasn't holding a baby for the next 4 hours.  Busy busy.   It's more rewarding to hold the babies than do the laundry, which is what I do if all the babes are sleeping peacefully.

Tomorrow.  We clean.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's day stuff.

The cookie said Happy Mother's Day, but then it kind of melted.  Still tasted good though.


Frog on the patio doors. 

Piper.  She's saying "I have no idea how this happened."

My new headphone covers.

Demonstration of pole top rescue.

Out and about yesterday.

I got as much work done as I could and then we went to our homeschool group 4H club at a local ceramics studio, painted some ceramics and visited with everyone.  It seems like forever since I've seen them, but the prom was what, a week and a half ago?  My daughter still has the blisters, so it can't have been too long.  Anyway, after that we went to another 4H class, which was the electricity class.  This one is run by our local electric cooperative and they do an excellent job.  Yesterday they demonstrated their pole climbing and pole rescue methods.  It was super cool.   We have pictures but there is always a delay in my stories and my pictures on this blog, since I am not the one with the camera.  Both of my old cameras have issues and I am not even sure where they are and my phone takes pictures, but I don't have a computer cord for it.  One of these days, I'll get a camera so I can be a better blogger.  :-P  

I went over to see my mom yesterday as well, after all the 4H clubs, gave her her mother's day present which had finally arrived along with mine, which was a pack of Sharpies in all kinds of cool colors for my art journal.  Then, I came home and typed for another hour and a half. I must have got the hospital caught up because there's no work this morning and I've been sitting here looking at 5 cds of prom photos.  I think our photographer worked a little too hard.  She's wonderful, but I really don't think we needed every minute documented.  Next time, I'll encourage her to sit for a while and take a break.

Okay, someone has dictated a report for me to type, so I'm off.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A good day.

Yesterday was a good day, an oasis in what was otherwise a kind of a bad week.  It was really good.  We went to church, then to Walmart to buy supplies, then came home and baked a jam cake for my mom and made scalloped potatoes for my mother-in-law's party.  Then we went to both places.  At my mom's house we played UpWords and at my mother-in-law's party, we played Rollick, which turned out to be pretty hilarious.  We had gotten it for Christmas and the kids don't care for it, but we grown-ups do.  I kind of think once my kids get out of their self-conscious teen years and feel comfortable enough with the people they are around to act out things like being a cat using the litter box (LoL!) they'll enjoy it too.   It turns out my husband and his brothers are particularly good at charades.   Last night, when we got home, I got to spend a few minutes with the new Sophie Kinsella book, Wedding Night.  I hope it is as fun as her other books to read.  Even later last night, the kids and I finally finished listening to The 13 1/2 lives of Captain Bluebear, a book my son really enjoyed, but my daughter and I not so much and started on the next book of the Kane Chronicles which is part of the Percy Jackson series.  My daughter has started doing a lot of the night reading, when it's a book she likes or owns, like the Percy Jackson series.  I also got wished a Happy Mother's day for the first time, long distance, from my son in Mississippi via Facebook.  Not my favorite way to be wished a Happy Mother's day, but it will have to do, I guess.  Our sermon at church yesterday was about embracing the stage of life you are in - which is something I'm struggling with now, especially since my most recent birthday.  :-P

In other news, when I said 4H was dwindling down, I was mistaken.  We have 3 4H meetings this week!  I had forgotten to write 2 of them down.  It's a good thing I checked.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day.

Someone was busy last night at my house, cleaning my kitchen (which I admit was a mess when I went to bed), making a Happy Mother's Day sign for the living room, decorating a cookie for me that says Happy Mother's Day.  I also got chocolate.   I'll share pictures later.  Meanwhile, everyone have a great day.

Friday, May 10, 2013

End of last full week of school.

And it's 10:00 p.m. and school is still going on.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Expending mental energy.

I haven't done all that much today physically.  I worked and I cooked and cleaned up, but mentally, I feel like I've run a marathon, lots of thinking going on.  So right now, I'm just watching How I Met Your Mother and later on I'm going to do a little art journaling.  The kids are finishing up school right now and it's 10:17 p.m. so nobody's been too energetic today.


Tuesday, May 07, 2013

School year dwindling down and another 4H post.

Now that the prom is over, it's a relief.  It's kind of silly to feel that way over a party, but it is.  One of the older kids who has been to several formals said that this one was the best one she'd ever been to, that it was wonderful.  Now that our focus is off of that, we're kind of dwindling down our school year.  My daughter will finish the Algebra 2 lessons this week, my son has already finished his geometry.  Every thing else we do is kind of ongoing and fluid and those books will be packed away for the summer and gotten out next year.  

4H is kind of dwindling down too.  The main classes are January to June so they are almost over.  The only one we haven't stuck with and completed was the cooking class.  It was supposed to be a participation class, but it turned out to be a demonstration class and it was frequently at times we couldn't go so we dropped it.  The classes we have stayed with were for my son electricity, small engines and our homeschool club and for my daughter, needlework, 4H Means Business, our homeschool club and it seems like another one ... maybe not.  Anyway, my daughter taught the needlework class yesterday.  She's the teen assistant and the needlework adult leader only crochets a little, not enough to teach and the other leader is out with a heart attack, so my daughter taught the kids this month and next month she's going to teach knitting. 

Really, if you are a homeschooler and not in 4H you should look into it.  It's pretty much free.  We do have some fundraising selling candy that we do.  The kids learn all kinds of skills, learn to take on leadership,  (Oh yeah, dramatic arts club that's the other one!), get to go on interesting field trips (which are arranged by someone else! bonus!) and have all kinds of scholarship opportunities in the bargain.  It really is a great program. 

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Prom 2013


I'm a little bit better.  I did the dishes, did a load of laundry and had a little cooking marathon, ate some breakfast/lunch and improved my attitude quite a bit. 

I still would like to get everything fixed but I'm back to my usual, maybe not so great, but adequate coping ability now.

So frustrated today.

The car situation, not seeing my son for 5 months, the broken dishwasher, the broken dryer, the roof, the puppy, the repaired  (ish) phone line and some other things I just can't blog about.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Prom report.

I don't really do pictures of the kids on my blog, and I don't yet have pictures of the group or of the decorations, but believe me, when I get them, I'll share.  It went well.  Everything and everybody looked beautiful.  The parents served a meal of chicken, Paula Deen mac and cheese, green beans, carrots and rolls with fruit kabobs for appetizers and cupcakes for dessert.  There were a few minor things that didn't go exactly right like we didn't have enough cupcake icing to make them look pretty and we had way, way, way too many cupcakes.  I took 46 and I think I came home with even more than I took.  But the kids were great.  They danced, they played an impromptu game of volleyball at one point, they danced some more and more and more.  The did the cotton-eyed joe, the cupid shuffle, the electric slide and the swing dance we taught them. There was only 1 couple who didn't dance, but they walked around and watched everyone and seemed to have fun.  The moms and dads hid in the kitchen mostly, but for a while, we put chairs way over in the corner on the other side of the gym and sat and watched a little.  The music was fabulous.  One of the families sorted through lists of songs and came up with 6 HOURS of music with only a couple of repeats (cotton-eyed-joe and cupid shuffle mostly, because the kids would dance to those).  It was really nice.  Right at the end though, the music machine decided it had had enough and wouldn't change songs and started playing only the same few over and over and we decided to call it quits.  It was about half an hour earlier than we had planned.  We got home at 1:00 am, very tired, but pleased. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Prom Day.

Yesterday was okay.  We got it done.  We had a lot of people there and that was good.  At first, I did not think it was going to go well because we seemed directionless, but we got it together.  Our leader has not made us work too hard, instead she has made herself work too hard.  I kind of worry about her, because she and her kids are going to be cooking the entire meal and blowing up a gazillion helium balloons, but the balloons nor the food could be done in advance much.  I'm baking 48 cupcakes as I write this, so I am helping.  After a while, I'll wake my kids up and the girl will get busy washing her hair, drying it, curling it, etc., which will probably be an all-day process.  The boy will be doing school as usual.  Oh how I wish my older son could be home for this.  I miss him and he would love the prom. I'm looking forward to it now but it's going to be a long day like yesterday was, the kind of day I could not have survived before I went gluten free, but fun.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Homeschool Prom Stuff.

We've got to go and decorate and make food for the homeschool prom next year.  5/6 of the moms in the group were in favor of buying food trays or getting the event catered, but the other mom, who is the one whose idea the prom was and who is in charge, wanted to buy and make the food.  So guess what we get to do today?  yay.  Can you tell I'm not real happy about it?  We'll also be inflating balloons, putting up lights and streamers and stuff like that.  Today is my volunteer day and I might leave the gym and go to that.  I haven't decided yet.  It depends on how I feel after all that work and whether I need my mental health break at that time.  The spirit may be willing, but the flesh may be weak.  I'm way too used to sedentary work and way out of shape. 

I'll try to take pictures of the decorating as it happens. 

This picture is not relevant, except that it is a picture of balloons.  :-) 

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Prom hair bling.

The prom hair thing we ordered came in the mail today.  It's so pretty.  This is not the final hairstyle, we just put the clip in really quick.

Did you ever get a crazy song stuck in your head?

I listen to Christian radio mostly and most of those songs I don't mind singing in my head for a couple of days.  Sometimes I'll get a song in my head for a while, but I really don't know anything but part of the tune and a couple of words and that will drive me batty, leading me to look it up on Youtube or Songza (although Songza tends not to work as well with my internet. :-(  )  Once, back when I listened to country I got a Tim McGraw song in my head for at least a month, Live Like You Were Dying.  Again, that's a very good song and I didn't mind it at all for the first 3 weeks or so, but after that I wanted some variety, you know, in my own head.  :-P   Lately though, my inner jukebox has been driving me completely insane with this treasure:  Goodbye Earl.    WARNING:  If you follow that link and get this crazy song in your head, which is about killing a man with some poisoned black eyed peas (admittedly, a very bad man) wrapping him up in a tarp, etc.and you start singing it in the kitchen, your kids will start to wonder about you.  You should not sing it around little kids.  My teens think it is kind of hilarious and that their mother is nuts, but they already thought that, so that's no big deal. 

I'm really hoping another song comes along soon.


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