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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feeling ick

I'm either getting a cold or my allergies are in rare form. Either way, I feel ick. I've sneezed, oh, a million times, and my nose should be nice and red tomorrow. ARG!
On a happier note, old former neighbor is here for the night. She came for the afternoon, but Mimi and R were having such a good time that we decided she could stay the night and go to church and Willy Wonka with us tomorrow. Then, I will trek half way to Tampa to take her home :-).
On a not-so-happier note, she's never actually spent the night because she always would freak out about 11 PM and start crying to go home. Tonight, she started early. BUT, unlike when she lived across the street, she's here for the long haul. Unfortunately, she is needy on a night I am needing to not have any children around so I can sniffle and sneeze in peace. It's good I have a nurturing daughter :-). She'll do fine I am sure and I hope that after one tough night, she will be okay in the future, because with the price of gas, it's more worthwhile if they can visit for a longer period of time and not just a few hours.
I'm signing off now to go blow my nose, LOL.
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How did we get here?

How did we, as a nation, get to a place where speaking of erections (or the lack there of) on television is okay? Just a question...
And are there really people out there who need to be told that if you have one that lasts over 4 HOURS you should see a doctor? Is that NOT intuitively obvious?
Just a thought...
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Monday, May 26, 2008

How green is your life?

Your Life is 60% Green

Your life is pretty green - and you know a lot about how to live an eco friendly life.

So congratulate yourself for being good to the earth. And maybe think about implementing some of the ideas from this quiz!

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

The family that plays together...

has FUN! 5 years ago, and no, that is NOT an exaggeration, I bought a badminton/outdoor game set from Jennie at a yard sale we did together. For 5 years, it has been in its storage bag out in our shed or on the carport untouched by human life other than to move it out of the way to get something else.
Until 2 weekends ago.
Two weekends ago, I returned home from shopping to find the badminton net up in our yard! Ever since then, the kids have been having a blast. Several nights we have all gotten out there and played. We, collectively, are awful at it, seldom hitting the birdie more than 3 times in a row, but we laugh and have fun. We should have done this years ago :-).
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Paper Mache

These are the finished products from our study of Brazil. The kids started out making masks, but Mimi's turned into the hat, Bonnie, from the Peter Rabbit Easter special. Scott's became a home for his Webkinz Polar Bear. Of course, the ever-compliant TJ made a mask, LOL.

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Sewing fun

Mimi and her friends have a little sewing club going on compliments of Presley, whose daughter has had lessons and sews really well. They met two weeks ago and made beach totes and a quilt block for a park blanket. Here are the finished products:

This tote is the same bag she's making for my sister to take to Hawaii (in a different fabric, of course), and its the pattern I used to make mine the other night. Fun Stuff. My husband wants to know when we start making money doing this?
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It was an interesting morning

We started out with a juvenile red shouldered hawk in our yard this morning. It was a baby from our nest. (Well, actually there were two hawks...but one of them was dead.) Apparently, some freak gust of wind blew them out of the nest last night, and one must have hit a branch on the way down and it died.
The other one? Well, it was calling, and calling, and CALLING for its parents, but they apparently abandoned the nest as soon as there were no babies there. We kept a watch on it from the house (and outside from a distance) for an hour and a half, but no sign of the adults.
So what do you do?
Well, you call animal control because it is the only number in the phone book. And ironically, that turned out to be the right place. The girl there was very helpful. She wanted to wait another hour or so to be SURE it was orphaned, but she said they could come get it and take it to a rehab location if the adults did not show up.
So we waited, and did our school in the meantime. We played the geography game, and the kids watched a travel video of Europe while I spoke with PH (who called from NC) for a while. Then we read a few stories from different parts of Europe, had a snack of Camembert and crackers, and I called Animal control back to come get the bird. They arrived within 30 minutes, and were able to subdue the bird just by gently placing a towel over it, and then wrapping it in the towel to put it in the crate. It turns out the bird did not even have its flight feathers yet, so it had no hope of getting to the nest even if the parents were around. They will take it to a Bird of Prey Rehab place, and it will be fine. YEA! Oh, and I even sweet-talked the guy into taking the dead one away too. I'm sad that our hawks are gone, but hopefully they will return next year.

After lunch, we finished our Geography game, and I did reading with Scott. He also practiced piano a bit too. Mimi worked on cleaning her room and also started sewing the bag she is making for my sister. I think she is ruing having a perfectionist mom, since I ripped out her stitches twice, but it is coming along.

(Yesterday we did silhouettes, which I forgot to blog about, but they turned out well. I traced an cut them out, they just had to sit still. I would have let them do it, but the light source was not great, and so the edges were not well enough defined for them to trace and have the silhouette be even remotely recognizable.)

This afternoon, I drove to a nearby city with a scholastic warehouse for their warehouse sale. I got some really cool things, which I would share here, but some of your children will be getting them as gifts when birthdays roll around, and I'd hate to ruin the surprise, LOL.

I then went to Joann Fabrics to get some of the things our local store doesn't carry, and because I may never be able to set foot in our store again, but that's another story.

On the way home, I got an iced coffee since I was getting a migraine, and that seems to have helped...but I may never sleep tonight, LOL. That's okay though because Sari just woke up (she is potty trained now and had to go potty...but that woke her up. And now? Well, she may be up a while!)
Gotta go deal with a not-so sleepy 3 year old.
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Monday, May 19, 2008


We've actually been "doing school" lately, and that is an accomplishment in and of itself. We are currently studying Europe, and wrapped up France today, so I made the kids crepes for breakfast, we bought Camembert cheese to have for our snack tomorrow, and I made pain au chocolate (chocolate bread-crescent rolls filled with melted chocolate chips) for dessert-YUM!
My 5 years of studying French have helped some, and we had a few days of French lessons too.
Oh, and THEY, completely on their own, decided to sculpt a mini-french experience out of model magic. They made the Eiffel tower, a train, some fountains (Versailles has 1400 fountains-they were impressed with that), and a castle. It's pretty cool!
I checked out a bunch of videos last week at the library-travel video stuff-but they are only for a week, and we've only watched the France one. We will probably watch one or two more tomorrow, and cover some of the countries the curriculum skips before we move on the Germany.
I also took a stab at sewing a beach bag like Mimi's sewing club did. It turned out really well-even if I did forget to put the straps on. Yeah, I know, but YOU try remembering to do everything with FIVE kids running around, and a 30 minute phone call from your MIL. I had to rip out stitches to put in the straps, but I don't think you notice.
I really LOVE the fabric, and I should because it was the cause of some grief that I can't share here. I wanted to finish the bag so I could take it with me to the homeschool conference. That way , I have a sturdy bag to carry around anything I buy :-). And now it's done, and I can get Mimi sewing the bag she's doing for my sister. The fabric for that one is already cut and ironed, it just needs to be sewn.
I had a follow-up appt. with the wrist surgeon today. I ALMOST forgot. I was sitting in therapy, and God must have whispered in my ear that I should look at the clock, and when I did, it suddenly clicked that I had an appt. 5 minutes ago with the Dr. Luckily they share the same office. He said my wrist looks good, but it is "frozen up" with scar tissue, and I need 6 more weeks of therapy. Yeah...but I don't think our insurance will pay for that. I had a $2500 cap, and the average visit is about $100, so I should maybe have 7 visits beyond the first session. I'm not sure what happens then. He did suggest that I take a Vicadin before my therapy appt. so that I'm doped up and the pain is not an inhibitor to them ripping the scar tissue apart. I'll give it a try Wednesday, but there's that whole I-have-to-drive-myself-to-and-from-therapy thing that might make that plan impossible. Luckily, Vicadin did not make me "wonky" after the surgery, but I didn't try driving then either. We'll see. Pray for me!
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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Has it really been that long?

I keep having things to blog about I don't remember them when I am actually at my computer. So much has happened recently, but my days being so busy mean that I have little computer time, and what I have, I tend to spend reading everyone else's blogs, LOL.
This week will be busy too. I have physical therapy twice this week, and they have really stepped it up. I only have 4 sessions left, and I have not made adequate progress-not in their book, and certainly not in mine. So Friday, the torture began. Really, I'd rather have yet another child without pain meds than go through the therapy. I was reduced to tears Friday, and that's always great when the person reducing you to tears is a young 20 something guy. I felt like a wuss. I was a wuss. But there is no way to describe how excruciating it is. For a visual, imagine you have a few layers of fabric sewn together, and you need to free them from each other, but the only way to free the stitches that bind them is to just pull like crazy on the top layer, then bend the fabric to its extremes to try to pull the middle layers free. Eventually, the stitches rip apart, but it isn't easy, and when those "stitches" are scar tissue, and the fabric is skin/tendon/muscle/ and a ridiculous amount of nerve endings, there just is no way to explain. The worst is when they take my fingers and bend them into a fist. Every little tendon SCREAMS in agony, and the little ones are the ones that run from where your hand and fingers connect all the way up each finger. (Actually, those tendons are the same as the ones that run in your arms, but they get smaller as they move out into your fingers.) Anyway, having someone else, who is not in your body experiencing your pain, moving your fingers into a fist bring levels of pain I just can't describe. But enough of beating that dead horse.
The reason I only have therapy twice is that the homeschool conference is this week, and I am going down there Thursday for the leaders' day, and staying through Saturday. I will even have a room, that I got for ridiculously cheap, and as of right now, I have to myself! That will be exciting! Although the right roomie would be fun too.
SO much for all the things I was going to blog, 'cause I need to get stuff done...maybe tomorrow!

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Friday, May 9, 2008

A really nice day

Yesterday, for a really big change from our norm, we had NOTHING...except church last night. No therapy, no girl scouts, no field trips. So what did we do? We went to Sea World. I try to go every month, but that doesn't always pan out. But yesterday was perfect. We just finished one country in our curriculum and were moving into the next one, but hadn't started it yet, so it's not even like we interrupted what we were studying. In fact, we just wrapped up Norway, so we were able to visit the Puffins and Murres (the arctic equivalent to penguins, except they fly) and tie that in to our studies. We did NOT visit Wild Arctic, but we do that a lot, so that wasn't really missing out.

Mimi and TJ both decided to ride Journey to Atlantis (a big water flume/roller coaster) for the first time. Mimi of course was all bravado until it came time to get in line, then she bailed and made TJ ride first and tell her about it. That left me riding TWICE-but I lived to tell about it. It was better that way anyway since the seats are only two across. Scott stayed OUTSIDE the attraction and watched Sari. Talk about stepping out in faith! But everyone survived, and JTA is now Mimi's favorite ride. It was a good day for a water ride too, since it got into the low 90's.

Scott was very even keeled, and the day was actually very enjoyable. Also, they let me park in the medical parking, so I did not have to deal with a tram, a broken stroller, and a wrist still very limited in mobility, so I was pretty even keeled too, LOL. Scott has been begging to get a pearl (they have pearl "divers" who will bring up oysters for you to chose from for $14.95, and each one is guaranteed to have a gem quality pearl inside.) Since his birthday is coming up, I let him get one. I think he slept with it last night, he was soooo excited.

I even did the good mom thing and stopped for ice cream on the way home (I may be a good mom, but I'm not crazy enough to buy ice cream at Sea World for $4 a pop.) All in all, it was a really nice day!
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The teaser for tonight's news?

"Your child's school day could soon get drastically earlier.", NOT.
Have I mentioned how much I like homeschooling sometimes?
And get this, the reporter who is covering the story just said that changing the start time might make the student's day "hecticer" instead of "more hectic". Bet he went to public school, LOL.
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Yeah, not going to the beach anytime soon...

Not when it seems like there is a shark bite story on the news every other night. Today it was a 6 year old. I have one of those, and I'd like to keep him in one piece. And then there's the whole situation with me not liking salt or sand that just about cements it. Ironically, I was thinking how nice it would be to GO to the beach soon-in the late afternoon so we could be there in the evening when it's cooler. Don't think that's happening now.
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Have I ever mentioned that patience isn't my thing?

I KNOW this is a huge area in my life in which God is really trying to refine me. I just am not good at waiting. At least not in places where the wait is due to poor business practice/lack of workers properly allocated to meet customer needs.
So where did I go last night to exasperate this?
Wally world.
I begin with, at the deli counter, there was 1 person working, and 3 people in line (I was the third). There was another guy behind the counter, but he was busy messing with the saran wrap roller. For at least 5 minutes. Really, is that a priority when there's a line at the cutting counter? I guess it didn't really matter because they were down to one slicer for cheese and one slicer for meat, so even if someone else was working, they would not have been able to do anything. ARG.
In my humble opinion, the deli should be fully open until it's actually closed...then they should pay the workers past closing time for the time it takes to clean the slicers. Crazy, aren't I? It would be one thing if the above situation with waiting so long was an abnormal occurrence, but this happens EVERY time I go to the deli at that hour.
THEN? Then I go to check out. And find myself wishing desperately that our store had the self-check-outs Christine was just blogging about because even malfunctioning, they would have been better than the 30 minute wait I had to check out. No. I'm not exaggerating. And 20 of that came from the person whose check-out was already in progress when I got in that line. Leave it to me to pick the new cashier and the woman paying with WIC checks. (And buying a new comforter for her bed too. I know it's none of my business, but if our system is soooo warped if we are giving people WIC money for their groceries when they can then turn around and afford to buy a 350 thread count comforter. We need to help people who are really in need, not people who just can't afford all the things society tells them are necessary in life. But I'll move on.)
Again, I was the third person in line, but there were only 3 lanes open, and this was the "shortest" line. It wasn't until later that I realized short was relative. The lady in front of me and I were doing our best to show the cashier grace, but I have to admit while I kept my mouth shut, and spoke graciously, it was not necessarily reflecting all the internal dialog-and that's the dross that God's still working on. I need to be ale to look at the cashier and MEAN it when I say, "That's okay. Take your time." Instead, I was thinking, "My ice cream is melting. I mean, 30 minutes here and then 15's going to be melted mush. Should I even buy it at this point? Maybe I should ask to exchange it. But that would take too long, and I don't want to upset the cashier. Oh well, it will freeze back up eventually." The wait was so bad, the lady in front of me and I joked about exchanging phone numbers so we had a witness for our husbands, because there was no way they were going to believe us. And then what does she do when it was her turn to pay? Pulls out two gift cards to use, and then wants to write a check for the rest.
It was a very long night :-).
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Friday, May 2, 2008

Sewing day

Actually, today started with physical therapy. I got 4 kids dressed, fed, and out the door by 7:50 so we could be at therapy by 8. My wrist has been tight and more motion restricted the past few days. If your wrist when held straight upright is 0 degrees, and full motion is 80 (although I have over 90 in my right wrist, and the left used to be even better), my wrist was about 10 maximum the past few days. Through therapy today, it is back to about 30 degrees, but regaining flexibility is honestly every bit as painful as active labor-except you are voluntarily letting someone else cause you that pain, and unlike labor, which doesn't stop until after the baby is born, you KNOW if you slugged the therapist hard enough, he'd HAVE to stop torturing you. It is really a mind over matter experience. It was so locked up that my hour appt. stretched to 1 1/2 hr. That left us late for our next activity...
Sewing. Mimi and a few friends are sewing now, and they have one day a month that they are meeting at Presley's house to learn new skills. They made beach bags today. I about lost it with Mimi so often that Presley finally stepped in to help her. It was not pretty. She has such a hard time CONTROLLING the fabric as it is feeding under the needle, so she ends up with wonky stitching, and no instruction I was giving her seemed to be making a lasting impression. ARG.
Sometimes, they really just need to hear someone else say the same thing in a different way, but she did much better with Presley (of course, Presley is not the perfectionist I am either, so there is some of the difference, LOL). I guess Mimi and I both need to work harder-her on developing sewing skills, and me on patience-which coincidentally is what our fellowship group is apparently talking about this month. God is good that way.
We went from sewing to home for a while, and I iced my wrist. Then, off to a UIP concert. I've just gotten home at 8:45. Just another day in our crazy life :-).
I'm going to sign off now because I can't ice my wrist and type too.
until tomorrow.
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Thursday, May 1, 2008

I flew a plane today...what did you do?

Today we had a homeschool field trip to a local airport. A newer family to our group owns the fuel rights there, and they lined up a bunch of great things for the kids to do. First the sheriff was there with their helicopter. They also showed us their plane. And let the kids climb in both of them (the camera for the plane costs more than the plane itself!). It was great.
Then, we saw some planes and helicopters for hire for day trips (at $1800-2500 an hour it's a little out of my budget). One that the kids got to look around in was worth 2 Million. TJ's favorite thing was seeing that plane.
Then off to another hanger to see them repairing a plane (the pilot came up early on the runway and clipped a barrel-he did $40,000 of damage...YIKES!). They also trick out and repair cars. Mimi's favorite thing was the car with no door handles. They opened when you pushed a button on the remote.
Then, the piece de resistance. They arranged for plane rides. For $25 a trip (each trip held 3 people), you got a nice ride-about 25 minutes. Scott and TJ went up with another boy in our group. They really enjoyed it. Then Mimi decided she wanted to go, but there was no one else to ride with her, so Sari and I joined her. Sari thought it was great, and can't wait to do it again (we literally sat her on 6 inches of books so that she could see out the windows. Mimi enjoyed it a lot, and was proud of herself for being brave enough to go. And me? Well, I've had a migraine since Saturday. The headache is subsided for the most part, but I've had lingering dizziness, fuzziness in my head, and just generally not feeling right. So what do I do? Go up in a small plane on a windy day. NOT a good idea. But, let me say, it was fun, and it was actually much better than I thought it would be. AND I got to fly the plane. From the airport to my town! Then the pilot flew over our house, and I got to take pictures (although by that point looking down as we were circling was NOT a happy thing). Then I flew back, and he took over again when we got to the airport.
It was actually not bad, in a relative way. But I prefer to have the vehicle I am traveling in to be firmly connected to the earth. It's weird to be going along in the plane and then suddenly the plane is blown over to the side by 10 feet. I imagine a boat is much the same way. We can suggest the direction, but when you are traveling on water or air, you are subject to many forces, most beyond the sphere of human influence. You suggest the direction, but wind and waves ultimately determine it , and then you correct for that, and the wind blows again. Yeah, not my cup of tea, LOL.
But hey, I flew a plane today. Pretty cool, even if I have paid for it with a resurgence of the migraine of epic proportions. Consequently, I spent the rest of the afternoon lying flat and still in my bed and imploring my children to breath more quietly, LOL. I missed church tonight, but it is getting better as long as I sit totally still.
We were blessed today to have such a wonderful field trip and an amazing opportunity. We were also blessed to have met some believers who were transparent in their faith, and that impacted the way they dealt with the kids, which was really positive. All in all a great day, even given the migraine thing.
until tomorrow,
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