Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thinking about 2008 and 2009

Another year is coming to a close and it's about this time every year that has me wondering what the new year will bring. And as I get older, each year progresses faster than the year before (something my dad told me would happen back when I was in Jr. High).

This past year has been an interesting one. It started off well and then life threw a bomb at me that I wasn't expecting, and it's taken the rest of the year to recover from that. LIfe happens when you're making plans or think that you have things all figured out. So for this year, and the years after that, I have no intention of making resolutions that will frustrate me if I don't keep them in the time span of a year. I'll make goals and give my self a bit more time to accomplish them. I won't say what those goals are because I've discovered that if you tell people what you're trying to accomplish (such as losing weight), then they constantly ask you about it ("How's that diet coming?") or try to "help" you ("Is that slice of bread on your diet?"). So, I guess, as I reach each of my goals, I'll write about them then.

2008 started off alright, and then at the very end of January we lost my Granddad Lloyd. He was one half of my favorite set of grandparents. He'd had dementia for quite awhile and finally had to move to a facility. I did visit him two weeks before he passed and he knew who I was (he didn't know my name but he knew that I was his granddaughter) . So February started with a funeral for us. My granddad was flight instructor in the Air Force during WW2 (he didn't want to crawl on the ground like the Army so he joined the AF and graduated at the top of his class). He was a dairy farmer and was very successful at it (Last month I met a guy who grew up drinking milk from Lloyd's Dairy). He liked to build things (bunkbed for my dolls, a playhouse for my sister, rigging a swing off of the back patio with some rope and a flat piece of wood). Granddad Lloyd loved my grandma very much (he once told me that he would look my grandma and just think about how lucky he was that she chose him), and he loved his family, and we all miss him very much.

On a lighter note, we also saw Bill Cosby perform a show at the Hult Center. He was really entertaining and definitely worth the money we spent on the tickets.

In the Spring, my "baby" turned 10 and we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary by going to see the new Indiana Jones movie. Such a disappointment (the movie, not the anniversary).

In the summer, my grandma turned 90, my nephew turned 1, my daughter turned 12 and my dad turned 66. That's about the extent of our excitement. Oh, yeah, Kevin went to a concert up in Portland as well. So he had a little more excitement. We had many hot days, and always thankful for our air conditioner! It would have been really nice if we could have traveled somewhere, however the price of gas was a bit much for us.

My sister-in-law, Lorrie, came to visit in the Fall to spend time with my mother-in-law who has Alzheimer's. Just before Thanksgiving, my MIL moved to a care facility for Alzheimer's patients. It's quite an adjustment for everyone, but mostly on her.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I turned 40. During the two weeks before my birthday, I really wasn't happy about the new number, but now I'm ok, and life is moving along. My husband tried to have a surprise birthday party for me, however I found out about it one week before it was scheduled. Then it was postponed due to snow that was supposed to come on that day (and didn't until the next day), and then it was cancelled due to weather again. He felt rather bad that the birthday party didn't happen, and I appreciate him for trying. I suggested that he wait until my 50th.

Christmas has come and gone, and now I'm feeling a great need to put the decorations away and clean and organize around the house.

If we do anything for the new year, I really hope that we're able to travel somewhere. We've talked about possibly going to Crater Lake. That would be fun. I haven't been there since Heather was 10 months old. She has no memory of the trip and Kylin hasn't even been there. There has also been talk about going to see some waterfalls as well. Both destinations would give me a chance to practice taking some awesome pictures with my camera!

So hopefully, in the new year, I'll have some interesting things to blog about as I try to meet some goals, major and minor.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Day 3 of Snow

We're sort of in a lull between snowfall sessions. It's still very cold outside. More snow is supposed to arrive in a couple of hours with freezing rain this afternoon and then more snow this evening. The weather guy also commented that we could have a white Christmas after all. I just hope that the roads are safe to drive on by then.

Another concern that we have about this weather is that one of our cats never came in last night. Kevin went out to look for him and he never turned up. So hopefully little Emmett found a warm place to spend the night. He loves the outdoors but he usually comes in at night. Hopefully he'll turn up today.

Since we knew this freezing rain was coming, Kevin braved the roads and made a store run for things to get us by in case we were housebound for more than a couple of days.

Even though other kids are having no school or delayed school, my kids are still having school today. One of the perks of homeschooling. Unless they're sick, they shouldn't have a problem getting to school (the kitchen table or tv trays in the living room).

On another note, I cut and paste my blog on 3 other sites. Someone had commented about yesterday's blog and had asked me if as I had gotten older, did I wish that I had had more children, as that's how she was feeling at having just turned 39 and had two older kids. Since she posted anonymously and I couldn't find her blog page to answer her, I'll answer in this general blog here, and hope that she sees it. So, yes, I do wish that I had more children. I'm very thankful for the two that I have, but one of those dreams that had died for me was to have a larger family. I was an only child for most of my childhood (my sister came along when I was nearly 15, quite a large age difference there) and I didn't care for not having siblings. After my second child, we had two more opportunities to have another child (but they didn't make it) and we even tried to adopt and that didn't happen either. So, yes, I do wish that I had had more children.

So, there's the latest................. so far. The snow saga continues.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The 40's have begun!

Well, this is my first post as a 40 year old, and I don't feel any different! For the past two days that I've been 40, I've been ok with the new number. When September first arrived, I knew that this day was coming, but it didn't bother me that much. I was busy enjoying Fall, teaching my kids, running my errands etc. Then about two weeks ago, it hit me that I was almost to the middle of my life (I plan to live to be 100 ) and I wasn't at the place in my life where I had hoped to be at this age. When I turned 30, I was just fine with it because I was where I had hoped to be at that age. However the past 10 years brought with it unexpected things that weren't pleasant at all, and pretty much changed the course of how life went and the dreams that I had had, slowly died, and at times I have felt like I was dying inside as well. If I didn't have Christ in my life to depend on, I don't know what kind of choices I could have made. God hasn't "rescued" me from the hard times and the difficult issues, but He's certainly helped me through them and is still helping me. (ok, this is probably the end of the not-so-perky-depressing part of this post).

So 40 was coming whether I liked it or not. My sister-in-law and another friend have told me that the 40's are much better than the 30's. I hope so, or it'll be a dull ride. I've also heard that the 40's go by fast. They did for my dad, but I think that had a lot to do with the fact that he was busy raising my sister and watching her get older and not necessarily realizing that he was also getting older. I really hope that the 40's don't fly by so fast that I reach 50 and wonder "where did that time go?"

So, anyway, my birthday started kind of early. We were supposed to have some snow, and I woke up early (on my own, because I just don't have the ability anymore to sleep in), peeked out of the window into the semi-dark early morning and I could tell that the back yard was still green and not white. My husband sleepily asked if I saw any snow and was disappointed when I said "no". He was able to sleep in a bit longer, I couldn't. I did finally doze off after Kevin left to make breakfast for me (as the routine goes, Kevin cooks and serves breakfast in bed on my birthday and Mother's day). I didn't doze for long because I could hear the kids talking to Kevin as he was cooking. While I waited, my dad called and I visited with him. I think that he's had a harder time with me being 40 than I was. He just can't believe that he has a kid who's 40. He still feels like he's the one who should be 40 still. Our chat ended just before breakfast arrived. Breakfast consisted of biscuits & gravy, vegetarian sausage, fried eggs and O'Bryan potatoes (I love potatoes for breakfast!) and a vanilla latte, and several presents. My husband gave me a card that reads "More and More over the years, you and I see things the same way. We hold them up close and squint".

The snow that was forecasted for my birthday, didn't come. It was pretty cold, and I stayed home because I didn't want to go somewhere and then have it snow while I was out and then have to drive home in it (for anyone who might be reading this, we only get snow about once per year and it never lasts long so we're not well practiced in the art of driving in the snow and we all tend to stay home and close schools). I just kind of relaxed a bit during the day, sitting on the couch watching "Gilmore Girls". While I was watching that, Kevin made a birthday cake (from "scratches" he said as he scratched the box of cake mix--funny guy!) So I had a very good birthday and 40 doesn't look so dreadful after all.

The snow finally came yesterday. I realized just how ill prepared we were for it. Last year for Christmas, we bought the kids snow gloves (after so many years of knitted gloves, we thought that they might like being in the snow longer if their hands weren't cold and wet) and we kept them in the kids dressers. So yesterday, the snow is here, and the gloves aren't in the drawers and we can only find one. So, the kids went out in knitted gloves and they were cold and wet, and the snow wasn't rolling right for a snowman (according to my daughter) and they were back in the house within 15 minutes. My son decided that he will stay in the house for the duration of the snow. So, I'm on the alert and looking out for the missing gloves (and other gear) so snow will hopefully be more enjoyable to them.

While the kids were outside, I came out with my camera and took pictures of the white neighborhood. The kids noticed that a hummingbird was at the feeder and were calling for me to take a picture. I've only seen a hummingbird at the house 3 times in the 11 years we've lived here and this one hung around to have his picture taken which was cool. I was able to take about 5 pictures of him while he was in our maple tree. I hope that the little guy stayed in the tree because there were 5 cats roaming around on the ground below who would have loved to have him for a snack!

So today is day two of the snow. Yesterday, the roads were more icy and the bus that Kevin was riding to work bumped into the curb a few times. After work, Kevin had to wait in the freezing cold nearly an hour for his bus to arrive to take him home. He was pretty cold when he finally arrived home. This morning, it was 11 degrees outside. Kevin told me later that the roads were better and he made it to work on time.

So, that's the latest update here.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving, and the goings on afterward...

Thanksgiving has come and gone rather quickly. Christmas is just around the corner. The kids keep lamenting how slow it is in coming, but I'm lamenting on how fast the time is flying and hoping that I'll be ready in time.

Our week was off to a rather sad start. My mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer's, was moved to a care facility on Monday. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 2 years ago (as I was writing this, I asked my husband how long ago it was that she had been diagnosed, and his reply was "I forgot". Yes, we did have a brief chuckle about that). We've tried to help my father-in-law out by staying with her on Fridays. My husband and I took turns, so every other Friday, she was with one of us. Now it looks like we'll be visiting her on Fridays, and another other day that we can.

For Thanksgiving, we went to my dad's, as we have for at least 11 or 12 years. My little nephew was there too. He's walking now, which means that he's more interested in everything that my dad has around the house and wants to touch it. His parents were saying "No" alot because my dad's house isn't baby/toddler proofed. Eventually, my nephew was frustrated with the limitations, not having anything to play with really and he was due for a nap. So my sister and brother-in-law rushed through their dessert and left. They were going to the other grandparents' house and fortunately for them, my nephew had mellowed out by the time they got there. Plus there were little cousins for him to play with there. Hearing all of his fussing at my dad's house though, made my husband very glad that our kids were not that age and no longer in that stage of life.

After leaving my dad's, we came back into town and visited my mother-in-law at her new home. She was really happy to see us (especially my husband). We visited for about an hour. We were able to check out the facility and see her room and the courtyard. It's a really nice place. The kids drew some pictures for their grandma so she could hang them in her room. The ladies that worked there brought out a game for the kids to play with so they wouldn't be bored. So it was a good visit, yet a difficult one. No one wants to see this happen to their parents and it's hard when it does happen, and in this way. I can't really understand what my husband is dealing with, really. When my own mother died (from cancer), I had less two weeks notice really that it was going to happen, and when it did, it was sudden. Alzheimer's is just cruel and slow. For now, we're grateful that my mother-in-law remembers us (not our names, but she knows who we are), and we plan to visit as often as we can with the kids (though I think that my husband plans to visit daily).

Anyway, on Friday, I did not get up before the sun to catch the sales. The tradition we have is to put away the fall decorations and get out the Christmas ones (I think that I have about 9 Rubbermaid containters of them now.....time to purge them maybe?). My husband cleans up the front yard, and gets all of the lights (I think we counted about 8 containers of them) and starts planning the "outdoor illumination". Today, he spent most of the day outside and was even up on the roof. He'll probably be out putting up lights tomorrow too. Yes, it's that time of year, where the lights will come on at dusk, and during that time, we won't be able to use any hairdryers or vacuum cleaners (we know our limitations during the Christmas season, from experience).

So that is all for now,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Well I thought that I'd take advantage of the time that the house is quiet to blog again. Kevin and the kids are out in the garage at the moment. Kevin is practicing his drums, Kylin is playing with the model train set, and Heather is videotaping everything that is going on out there. There is also the possibility that a cat or two has joined them and will be in Heather's "movie"

My daughter has a job for next week cat "sitting". The cat will stay in her own house and I'll drive Heather over every day to make sure that she has food and water and that anything needing cleaning up will be taken care of. This is one of those perfect jobs for her as she loves cats!

Yesterday, the kids and I went with my grandma to Shari's restaurant for lunch. I was in the mood for soup and their menu showed this very delicious looking baked potato soup. So I ordered that, without the bacon bits on top (we don't eat meat). The waitress said that there were bacon bits in the soup too. So I switched to the soup of the day which was Wisconsin Cheddar. Well they didn't have that either because they had forgotten to order it and were replacing it with a chicken & dumpling soup. Well that just wouldn't I ordered a veggie omelet with hashbrowns (I still had a potato in some form!). Still having a craving for potato soup, I made a batch when I arrived home. I blended a little sour cream into it too. It was soooooo good! I did eat too much of it, but I got the craving out of my system. I have about a cup of it left, in the freezer.

Tonight, I thought that I'd make chili, which is what Kevin likes. I also chose a cornbread recipe that I hadn't made for my family before. It was called Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread. It was alright. I guess we're used to the Marie Callender's sweet corn bread (really it's more like cake). The chili was declared delicious, the cornbread will take some getting used to. Kylin declared that he liked Marie Callender's cornbread best.

The kids are getting anxious for Thanksgiving to arrive next week. The Macy's parade is something the kids will get up early to watch. Then we'll go to my dad's for dinner. My sister has been telling me that my nephew walks and has started saying a few words. So Thanksgiving at my dad's may have some extra entertainment this year! The kids are also excited about the day after Thanksgiving as that is when we put away the Fall decorations and get out all of the Christmas decor. Kylin has a singing snowman that he's looking forward to seeing again. We usually put fresh batteries in it when we get it out and then let them run out of power. It only takes a few days. While I'm inside with the indoor decorations, Kevin will spend most of the day (and into the evening) putting up the Christmas lights. By Christmas day, aircraft flying overhead will know where we live. :) Maybe next time I blog I can post some pictures of the goings on during "decoration day".


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

General Update (because I really don't have a title for this one)

The rainy weather seems to be in full swing these days. I don't mind too much. I like to hear the rain when I first start to wake up in the morning. I wouldn't mind having my cup of coffee in my cozy bed on those mornings. However, the sound of kids in the living room indicate that I really can't do that for several more years Rainy days also bring more regular hot cocoa days for the kids.

Two weeks ago we also went on our annual drive through Cheshire, Veneta, Crow and Lorane (very rural areas near where we live). We've been taking this drive every year at this time since we started dating (so about 14 years now I guess), and every year, we are just so fascinated with the pretty colors of the fall leaves, and at the end of each drive, we comment on how we should have brought the camera. So this year, we brought it, and took about 64 pictures (one of which is the picture at the upper left of this post). Some of them I actually tried to take while the car was in motion (I had read the blog of someone else who was traveling by motorcycle and had taken pictures while still in motion, so I thought I'd try it as well, just in the safer car). A couple of years ago, Kevin bought me a really nice camera for my birthday and it takes fabulous pictures. I just love it! Anyway, some of my pictures in motion (or "drive-by-shootings") don't look half bad (note the picture at the upper right). Maybe just a hint of a blur in one area but not too bad. We took the kids on this trip too. They've been going with us ever since they arrived, and when they were little, all we had to do was buy a basket of French fries and a soda for them and they thought it was a great trip. Not so anymore. Hopefully one day when they're our age, they'll actually have fond memories of it.........maybe.........I hope so. They are both very artistic and only one is currently interested in drawing pictures of scenery.

It seems that a cold that has been going around has made a visit to our house as well. Just as my husband is starting to feel better after a week of having a cold, my daughter has the beginnings of one. Hopefully it won't last long. Thanksgiving is coming up and I'd really hope that our extended family will be giving thanks that we didn't give the cold to them.

So that's just about all there is to report. It's evening, the kids are in bed, and it seems like a good time for a cup of tea.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

An odd commercial for sponsoring a child

Just a short post on something I saw on TV yesterday that made absolutely no sense. There was a commercial for a children's charity for children overseas, and the spokesperson was a well known former child actress asking us to sign up and sponser a child, and by doing so, you'll provide the child with food, clothes and an education, AND have the love and gratitude of your particular child. Now that's all fine and good, I have no problem with that. What I found odd, was what they used as the carrot to dangle in front of the public to get them to sign up. The first 3 months you can sponsor a child for FREE! So for the first 3 months, how is this child going to get the promised food clothes and education from your sponsorship if you aren't paying anything, thus not truly "sponsoring"? After 3 months, it'll be $22 per month, but buy then, will person who signed up remember to budget that in. Who knows, I'm sure that there are some who will. We're also told that we'll receive a letter from the child we sponsor. So if we get the first 3 months free, should we expect a letter from "our child" in that first 3 months that says, "Thanks for nothing!"

This isn't buying a car or a piece of furniture with the promise of "no payments 'til after New Years!". It's rather sad that a charity feels that they need to offer this kind of motivation to get sponsors.

Ok, I'm off of my soap box for now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We have a stash.........

of tape!
I don't know what it is that is so fascinating about tape with kids. I know that I loved tape as a kid, but I don't remember why. But today's topic title was inspired by my kids when my son asked my daughter if she had any tape in her "stash". My son has such a fascination with tape. My daughter had one when she was younger, but now sees that it's only a necessity for wrapping gifts and fixing pages in her books. My son uses tape for building things and hanging things up. He uses it to hang up pictures on walls, to tape yarn to shoeboxes ,hoping to hook it up to one of the cats so they can pull it like a trailer, or in the case I'm seeing right now, taping it to the back of himself so as he's picking up clutter, he can put it in the box. However, he's realizing that the tape won't hold the box and everything he's putting it in.

Before my son discovered tape, there was plenty available for gift wrapping, closing boxes to mail, and preparing to paint. Not anymore. We are always rather hardpressed to find tape in the house. I have hidden it and he's found it.

Maybe for Christmas, we should just give him a box of tape for his own........that blue painter's tape so as not to wreck the paint on the walls.

Lp (as I end this, he is still trying to tape a box to the back of his shirt)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fun facts About This Mom

My husband did this several months ago, so, I thought I'd come up with something similar. Anyway, trivial stuff about me! Enjoy!

1. Until I was married, I had had maybe 2 coffees, and I didn't know how to make coffee. I married a major coffee drinker, and learned from him how to make it and my coffee intake is now every day, more than once per day. A friend of mine refers to it as "Mama's Little Helper", and I would have to agree.

2. My desk is currently covered with teacher's manuals, school books and the kids art papers, a large printer. My desk seems to be the "catch-all" here in the livingroom.

3. I haven't ridden a bicycle in at least 20 years

4. Current favorite soda is Wild Cherry Pepsi

5. I've been to a Star Trek convention (I went with Kevin when we were engaged. He got Marina Siritis' autograph).

6. Favorite comic strips are "For Better or For Worse" and "Stone Soup"

7. When I was in 6th grade, I went to a Christian School and we went to our state capital to hear Jerry Falwell speak. There were several tv stations and protesters there as well.

8. I've been to Canada twice. The first time I went to Edmonton with my parents and I was about 4 or 5. My mom and I swam in a hot spring and I think that it was snowing there too. The second time I went was on my honeymoon and we went to Victoria B.C.

9. I've never flown on an airplane. All of my traveling has been done by car

10. I've visited at least 10 states

11. I took piano lessons for 2 years (most of my lesson time was spent listening to my teacher tell stories about her youth).

12. I'm not a huge cat fan, but because my husband and daughter are, we have them in the house. We have 5 of them.

13. We are organic gardeners. Actually my husband does most of the gardening and I do the harvesting and preserving.

14. I went to a taping of "Who's The Boss" nearly 20 years ago.

15. Celebrities I've seen. The cast of "Who's The Boss", Scott Baio, as he was entering the parking lot of the tv studio, as we were leaving a taping of the show. Marina Siritis from "Star Trek: The Next Generation".

16. amateur photographer (I took a photography class 20 years ago, but it would help if I took it again since we now have cool digital cameras).

17. I used to work for the 2nd largest computer software company in the world (hopefully it's still the 2nd largest).

18. I grew up with dauchsunds as our family pets.

19. Related to Daniel Boone as I'm a descendant of his older brother Samuel.

20. My first 8 years were spent around a dairy. My granddad owned the dairy and my dad managed it. For 8 years we lived out in the country surrounded by cows. If anyone who lived in Lane County back in the 60's and 70's ever drank Lloyd's Milk, that was from my granddad's dairy.

21. There is a quilt with my name on it in the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum in Burr Oak, Iowa. My fourth grade class made a 9 patch quilt and donated it to the museum.

22. When I was in college, I studied to become a television director

23. I'm mostly Scottish, then Danish, Welsh, and a little Native American. My maiden name is an Irish one, but I think that's about as far as it goes.

So anyway, fun little facts that you never knew, and probably never wondered about, but now you do!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Being Flexible

About 2 years ago, I had acquired a list of character qualities from a parenting seminar I had attended. It is titled "Christian Virtues" and has a list of them and next to each one is a rather simplified explanation so that even a small child could figure out what they mean. So, I had this on my refridgerator , and I made a copy for each of my kids and hung it in their rooms. I went over each character quality and their meaning and since then will go back to it when I think that they need to be reminded. I really don't think that they bothered to look at this list at all in the past two years..........until this week.

About 3 days ago, something happened where things didn't go for Kylin as he had planned. Usually for him, that means a meltdown. Kids with a autism or a form of it, really like to have things a certain way and they really don't like to have any kind of change from the status quo. So, anyway, something didn't go as expected and Kylin dealt with it pretty well and then told me, "I am willing to change if change is needed". Well that sounded a bit too grammatically correct for him to come up with that statement on his own. So I asked him if he read that somewhere and he said that it was next to "Flexible". So he finally read something on that list and made a connection. And he was so pleased with himself that he handled the change well.

Then came last night when we went to church. Usually when we go to church on a Wednesday night, he goes to his class at right away. But, we were informed that the kids were going to sit with us during worship and then go to their classes when the parents go to the adult class. That didn't sit well with Kylin, and I could tell by the look on his face that he was angry and trying hard not to have a meltdown. At some point, the children's pastor came by, said "Hello" and reached out to shake his hand and asked how he was doing. Kylin stuck his hand out and said, without any joy, "I'm flexible!". I think that the kids' pastor was amused.

Possibly one day, he'll wish that he never learned what "Flexible" means, and he'll wish that we never knew that he knows what it means.


Monday, September 8, 2008

School has begun.

We did it. We made it through the first day of school and all of our lessons. I arranged the schedule a bit differently this year in that I had both kids here in the kitchen and I worked with Kylin in getting through his subjects. He was finished in about an hour. Heather who is in 7th grade had all but 3 subjects that needed my undivided attention so I let her wait on those until after lunch, when Kylin went to his room for a couple of hours of "room time" (formerly known as "naptime"). We got through everything except math in the first hour. Her math lesson took up that second hour and she was yawning and telling me how tired she was and just not putting much effort into it. She'd rather stay in her room and read and have "roomtime". I did remind her that if she were going to a regular school, that she'd be in a class or in P.E. at that very moment, so it's not like she was the only 7th grader doing schoolwork at that time. I also reminded her that most kids her age also take schoolwork home to work on in the evenings and they are really tired.

Tomorrow, we get to do it all again. Hopefully, there will be less yawning (and just typing about it makes me yawn)

In other news, it looks like I'll get to be an aunt again! My sister, after confirmation from her doctor, announced that she's expecting her second child in the spring. Her firstborn just turned one just over a month a go. She is going to be sooooo busy, (at least one year of changing two sets of diapers) but she'll be happy too.

So anyway, that's my latest tidbit of news!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

School starts........Next week for us.

I decided to postpone the beginning of the school year for us because Kevin is taking this week off as a vacation. When he's home, it's just harder to keep a school schedule when he isn't following any schedule. I do have the first week's lessons planned out and I have some curriculum ordered that should arrive very soon. So I think that I'm about as ready as I can be.

The weather is finally getting a bit cooler. It can still be sunny, but there is a bit of a chill in the air, which of course excites me, because it's "fall-ish", and that means long sleeves, sweaters, jeans, colorful leaves coming, and makes me feel like making soup (potato/cheddar is my favorite).

Recently, Kevin bought a 10 gallon fish tank that he found on Craigslist for $10. Yesterday we went to buy some fish to add to it and wound up needing a heater, new filter, water conditioner and a net. When all was said and done, we wound up spending $$41. About twice as much as what Kevin was expecting to spend. So we named the fish, "Hugh", "Navarre", "Dwight" and "Dex", and an algae eater named "Al". This morning I was informed that "Navarre" had already died. So once again, the pet I personally pick out winds up dying. Kevin is out running errands and he mentioned wanting to get another fish for me. So maybe if he's the one choosing it, it'll live!

This afternoon, I am going to make up some soup to freeze for later lunches and possibly some macaroni & cheese as well. It'll really depend on if I have enough containers.

So, that is the plan. Hopefully I'll have no interruptions and I can carry it out.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6-The Summer Festivities Are Almost Over

Well just as I was doing the last time I posted, I am enjoying a berry smoothie while I blog! Hot weather just seems to require that treat.

Yesterday, I discovered (and I don't know why it never occurred to me) why, in the 11 years I've lived here, I have rarely seen a hummingbird. I was out side pulling the shade down over the window when I noticed to my left, one of our cats playing with something and I also kept hearing what sounded like a loud squeak. I thought that he had a small mouse (I've seen the cats play with one of those recently) and discovered a very small hummingbird. The poor thing was still breathing (barely). So then I started thinking about how we just haven't seen as many birds as we used to. Then I started thinking how, by setting out bird feeders, I'm really setting up a buffet for the cats. Poor birds!

Heather had her birthday earlier in the week. We planned to have family over for dinner and cake on the evening of her birthday. Kevin was out of town taking a class for work, so I was parenting by myself and getting the house ready for company. It wasn't that hard this time. Our days stayed busy and we'd hear from Kevin in the evenings. He came home two days before the birthday.

The day before the birthday was spent doing last minute shopping and baking the birthday cake. Then wrapping up the gifts and leaving them on the table for Heather to see when she awoke in the morning. Sure enough, when we got up on Sunday, Heather was already in the livingroom waiting for us so she could see her loot. She was pretty happy with her gifts, but I have a feeling that she sort of knew what she was getting. Either that or kids don't get that excited when they're 12. Later in the morning, we took our birthday girl to the mall to get her ears pierced. I think that has been the thing that she's been looking forward to the most. She was rather anxious because she knew that there would be pain. She made it through, almost cried, and when all was said and done, she had a big smile and earrings in her ears.

So now that the birthdays are over, for a while, we're taking a few weeks off from doing school. I need the break and the kids do too.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

July part 2

I'm sitting here on a Sunday evening, enjoying a berry smoothie, made by my spouse.
Summer is cruising along at a steady pace. Heather is nearly 12 and this is the first year that she's noticing how fast the time flies. It's hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks, Kevin and I will have been parents for 12 years. When Heather was born, I had a 13 year old sister. My sister is now 25 and just last year, became a parent herself.

So anyway, we have a birthday coming up and the thing that Heather is looking forward to is the trip to the jewelry store to get her ears pierced. We've also been gathering gifts here and there, and before we know it, it'll be the morning of her birthday. She'll wake up to presents at her place at the breakfast table and she'll be anxious for us to get up so she can open them. We'll have a get together with family here at the house and then perhaps the following weekend, we'll take both kids and hopefully one of Heather's friends to Chuck E. Cheese for an afternoon of constant noise and arcade games. Pretty close to Heaven for kids I think.

Speaking of birthdays, this weekend, we went to my nephew's 1st birthday party. He was pretty cute and my sister put on a great party for the little guy. I'm guessing that she and my brother-in-law were exhausted and possibly took a nap when they came home.

I guess that it's time for me to close this entry. My daughter has brought out the game "Apples to Apples" and she's ready for us to play.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Keeping cool

Summer seems to be in full swing. The required heat is here too. I don't mind having the sun as much because we need it for the garden to produce the veggies that we planted. There's just something about harvesting your own food and having it for dinner or at least preserving it. It's a pretty good feeling.

The summer heat also provides us with a reason to make smoothies too. A few weeks ago, Kevin bought a heavy duty blender, that crushes ice. So on Friday nights, and sometimes other very hot weekdays, he can be persuaded to make smoothies using the frozen berries from last year's garden. They're very filling and very good, and not as fattening as what we'd normally get at Dairy Queen. Kevin made some smoothies tonight and they were soooooo good!

And finally, summer is bringing birthdays. Between last Saturday and the end of August, we will have a birthday party every two weeks. My grandma turned 90 last Saturday. We celebrated with a family dinner at Marie Callender's. My aunt & uncle joined us from out of town and my nephew, who will be 1 in a couple of weeks, was the main entertainment. Next weekend is my nephew's birthday and then two weeks after that is Heather's 12th birthday and 3 weeks after that are the birthdays of my dad and brother-in-law. It's a busy birthday summer.

So that's the latest with this report. Due to the rising price of gas, we aren't doing much traveling, so most of what we'll be doing will be here at home.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My real name is "Mom"

We've told our son, Kylin, several times, over the years, what our names are. My real name is "Elizabeth", but I've gone by "Lisa" for most of my life. So today, Kylin asked me what my middle name was, I told him. He repeated it back adding the "Lisa" to it. So I asked him what my real name was. He thought for a minute and then said, "Mom". Maybe I need to have my birth certificate changed to reflect his perception of me.

I'm currently watching a videotape that Kevin took earlier today of some local trains having a railroad crossing demonstration. I'm starting to think that my voice is sounding alot like my mother's. Yikes! When I mentioned that, Heather started to get a little worried that the same would happen to her. I told her, "Behold your future!"

Kylin's latest responses to the following:
1. When he asks us a question that we don't know the answer to, or when he asks where something is that we have no idea of it's whereabouts, he says, "Well you should have known!" or "Your lying"

2. When we tell him that he needs to get his chores or his schoolwork done before he can play, He'll say, "I'll do it super sloppy!" (and "super sloppy" has been the reason that my dishes have received more chips in the last month when the dishwasher is unloaded). I finally heard the word "sloppy" way too many times and finally started to take away minutes from his computer/video game time. He's a bit more aware of when he's about to say it now and sometimes manages to stop himself, but he does slip up a bit.

The weather is finally nice enough that we can eat outside. Kevin cleaned up the patio, and cleaned up the patio furniture, put up the umbrella, and brought out the cushions. So for the last 3 days, we've been having dinner outside. If the nice weather continues, we be doing this every evening.

Kylin's pretty happy with the warmer weather as it means that he can go outside and play which is a good way for him to burn some energy. Heather is ok with being outside, but she doesn't play really. She's happier sitting out in a chair reading her latest find from the library.

So that's my latest tidbit.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

What happened to Spring?

This is our cat "Oscar". This cat will sleep in the strangest positions (ones that would make my back hurt if I tried sleeping like that).
In April, we went to the model train show and swap meet at the fairgrounds. Kevin and Kylin are really into trains. Heather isn't at all, but she was a good sport and went (after she was reminded of how her brother went to alot of the events that she liked and he didn't).
Ok, here it is. I had blogged a few weeks ago about how Kevin asked our opinion about an earring and came home with one the very next day. So here it is!
A few months ago, Kevin had been driving home and saw a sign next to some plastic bags on the side of the road that read "Free Bulbs". They had already started sprouting so Kevin brought them home and planted them in the yard, and we spent the next few weeks wondering what exactly we had planted. Once they started blooming, we had our answer (and if you look very closely, our cat Fonzie, had some shade).
For Memorial day weekend, we went to Kevin's parents to visit and spend the night. They have a hot tub and within an hour, the kids were enjoying it.

It's hard to believe that summer starts tomorrow! I guess I'd feel worse if time had gone by so fast and we hadn't filled our time with things to keep us busy. What will summer bring?


Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Bang up and a Birthday

I thought that since I had put in an earlier status message that I was taking care of an injured husband, I should probably elaborate a bit.

This past Sunday afternoon, Kevin went out for a bike ride with a friend. We had had some rather hot weather so Kevin took some water with him. What wound up happening was that after riding for 6 miles, and then resting in the car, he tried to get up and walk and when he did, he passed out, hitting his head on the pavement. He had some short term memory issues and so his friend called me, and I went to pick him up and take him to the ER. The doctor said that he probably had been dehydrated when he fell. Kevin did get a CAT scan and thankfully, there were no major injuries other than a mild concussion. The doctor also said that the memory issues would go away too and by the next day, his memory was much better. After two days to stay home and rest (he was really sore and still is), he's back at work gaining sympathy for the scratch under his eye and telling folks that I beat him up ;)

Then on Tuesday, our "baby" turned 10. He'll be the first to tell anyone that he's not a baby. We have a new Chuck E. Cheese in town and Kylin wanted to have his party there. His party consists of mostly adults, and we discovered later at the party that adults really can't visit in a restaurant where there are little kids yelling, and screaming and marching around chanting "Chucky, Chucky.....". Kylin did have a good time. He likes noise. He likes to contribute to noise and has been since he was born. He and Heather played in the arcade and "won" all sorts of little prizes like tattoos and stickers and candy etc. Kevin was hoping that Heather wouldn't want to go there for her birthday, but she does. So we will probably change the plans to where the adults can come to a more quiet environment, like our house, for the family party and then one of us will take Heather, Kylin and maybe a friend back to the noisy Chuck E. Cheese.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Day After Mother's Day

I only mark this one as "The Day After Mother's Day" because I didn't have a chance to blog yesterday. We had a full day of celebrating and by the time we came home, I was too tired to type.

So, today, I write.

Mother's Day, at this house started with my husband waking up with a headache, sinus pain and not having slept very well. Yet he crawled out of bed, and took a steamy shower (hoping to relieve his headache) and set out to make Mother's day happen for me. While he was in the shower, Kylin came in and asked if he could take the next shower and when I told him that he'd have to wait until his sister and I had had ours (due to having to wait an hour between each shower for the water to heat up and that we needed time after washing our hair, to fix it), he had a meltdown and a major conniption fit. So Kevin worked on adjusting that attitude with the boy. After that Kylin said that he'd have a good attitude and wait for his shower. So, all is borderline "well". Kevin drove down to the store and picked up a Sunday paper and a magazine for me to read while I was going to be confined to my room while he made breakfast. He also stopped at a coffee stand to buy me a delicious vanilla latte. The person at the coffee stand asked him how the day was going so far and he said, "Well I woke up not feeling well, I have a cranky kid and I'm trying to make Mother's Day nice for my wife!". So he came home and gave me my reading material and set out to cook breakfast. Trying to judge by the smells coming from the kitchen, I could only guess that maybe he was making an omlet with green peppers (I could definitely smell those) or biscuits & gravy. Finally he arrived with breakfast and the guessing was over. I have fried eggs, vegetarian sausage, O'Brian potatoes and english muffins. He also made homemade "egg McMuffins for the kids. However Heather didn't like hers because the english muffin was whole wheat. I looked at it later and discovered that she didn't eat the egg inside either and when I pointed out that she still could have eaten the contents, she said, "I hadn't thought of that!". She still didn't eat it. When I finally came out to the livingroom, there was a flower on my desk and Kevin told me to look out of our front door and I saw the hanging plant that Kevin had put together for me. It was full of dark pink and purple flowers. What I like the most about it was that he put it together himself. Then it was time for Kylin's shower and he asked me what he could wear. When I pointed out that he could wear his nice yet casual shirts, he had another fit because he wanted to wear a play t-shirt (and they were still drying in the closet. Plus we were going to someone's house for a family dinner, it wasn't like I was asking him to wear a suit). He finally dressed and we started hoping that his attitude would be better during the someone else's house.

After we were all showered and spruced up, we headed over to my grandma's as she was going to join us on the drive to my dad's in Creswell. On the way, Kevin asked if I had been to my mom's grave recently. I haven't in at least two years. It's been 12 years and by now, going to the cemetery isn't what it used to be. In the first few years after my mom had passed, I did go more regularly, but now, it's like I put the flowers in the built in vase and see the headstone that I've seen many times and then what else does one do except go home. I didn't have plans to go yesterday. I may this week because we did have Mother's day and the cemetery just happens to be where she is.

We picked up my grandma and headed to Creswell. She was happy to spend the afternoon with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Of course when my sister and her family arrived, everyone wanted to play with my little nephew. He's nearly 10 months old and he had changed a bit since we saw him at Easter. Yesterday was also my sister's 25th birthday. Back when I turned 25, my then 9 year old sister informed me that I was "half of a half of a century old. So, in the last couple of years, I started "training" my daughter to say the same thing to my sister when it was her turn. That came yesterday. My sister was expecting it though. My dad made dinner as usual, but decided to save himself some clean up work and he used paper plates and cups. So he was actually able to sit and visit a bit more rather than being in the kitchen the whole time.

In the early evening, we left my dad's, we took grandma home (along with two hanging plants from her children), went to the store, picked up pie and ice cream, and went to visit Kevin's parents. Kevin bought his mother a metal lunch box with pictures of Elvis Presley on it. She loved it! She loves collectibles and music from the 60's so that gift was just right for her.

We arrived home after 9 and we were so tired. Other folks think that mother's get the day off to kick back and relax. I don't think that it's my turn yet.