25 December 2008
I made C wait to wake J and M until about 5 till 7am. With breakfast baking in the oven, we had all presents unwrapped and accounted for by around 7:45. Then the boys played with their new things, I talked to my mother-in-law on the phone and watched White Christmas on tv. J did what he does most days off and that meant computer time.
We ate lunch at noon and then headed out to the house. Being that we are to move in two days, we had some things to finish up at the house. So we did that and came home to eat a simple dinner of appetizers.
It was a low-key day and we really needed it for the simple fact that the next few days will be crazy!
We'll keep you posted.
23 December 2008
Here are a few pic highlights for the year:
Caleb's 6th birthday was the end of February:
In May, Matthew's godmother, Stephanie was married. He was an usher in the wedding. He did a great job.
In June, we went to Michigan to visit family:
July meant fireworks:
Caleb lost his first tooth:
We used the pool A LOT in August:
and visited Stephanie in her new home and made a day trip to Lincoln Park Zoo:
September brought the start of sixth grade and first grade for the boys:
Matthew's 12th birthday:
And the start of trumpet lessons. (Thanks, Uncle Dan!)
In October we carved pumpkins:
In November, we visited family in Michigan again and Matthew learned how to shoot a gun:
And we bought our first home:
December so far saw us closing on our home, packing, working, and moving into our home by the New Year. We've been very blessed this year with all that the Lord has seen fit to provide and look forward with great anticipation to 2009!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
19 December 2008
I love and appreciate my family - and they love me too.
I'm thankful that you are my daughter. That will always be true - regardless.
If the Lord has ever SPOILED someone - it's me. My family is better to me than I could ever deserve.
My life is changing these days - as my career changes. I'm spending more and more time with people whose lives are slipping away - seeking to help families cope and maybe even celebrate a wonderful life lived by the one they love. This is a very good thing.
Everyday is a gift from God. YOU are a gift as well.
I'm proud of you - for sure~!
16 December 2008
Baking for Christmas is the thing that had to give this year. Tradition states that the boys and I sit down with the cookbooks and recipes and they each choose 3 cookies that we bake and give as gifts. We compiled our list just after Halloween. That was the end of that. Last Tuesday, we had a snow day and we did get a batch of peanut butter bonbons made. Six bonbons went into the freezer for Santa for fear I wouldn't get to another batch and the rest were eaten. Gone. I do need to make another batch to give to J's co-workers at the Christmas party this weekend. I think the day for that is Thursday.
I finished up Christmas shopping today, with the exception of that we are still trying to locate one gift for M. This was, of course, at the expense of the huge basket of laundry that needs washed. I figured it'd wait another day. It had to, I really wanted to get the shopping finished. Tomorrow will be laundry day and set aside for beginning to wrap gifts. What gifts I don't get wrapped will probably have to wait until Monday.
Over the weekend, we will need to purchase and hang 15 (or is it 17??....it's written down somewhere) mini blinds at the house, clean the carpets and other floors and just get the house generally ready for the onslot of boxes and furniture come the 27th. AND I still need to make a trip to Sears to purchase a washing machine and dryer. (Yay!)
Add to that church services on Sunday morning and the company Christmas dinner at 4pm and J will be once again looking forward to getting back to work on Monday.
Is it the new year yet?!?!
12 December 2008
I didn't expect to get emotional when it was all over, but I did. Everybody understood. :)
After a celebratory lunch at Red Robin, we made a our first trip to Home Depot. We went out to the house to change the locks and do some light cleaning and then got home around dinner time.
I didn't remember to grab the camera to take some pics, but the next time we are out at the house, I'll get some.
And in two short weeks, we're making the big move!
09 December 2008
I am thankful that J is so on top of all the hoops for getting the house. He may have a breakdown when it's all over, but for now, he's taking it all in stride.
I am thankful that we have a warm place to call home while it snows and the wind blows.
I am thankful that my Jesus has everything in His control. There isn't a thing that He doesn't see or know about where we're headed. He has what is best in store for all of us.
06 December 2008
03 December 2008
I let M sneak up and get some pictures:
It was a cute concert and all the kids did a great job!
02 December 2008
1. I'm thankful to see the sunshine this morning when the temp with the windchill is -2.
2. I'm thankful that one of the kindergarteners told me yesterday that she missed me last Tuesday when we were absent.
3. I'm thankful for my grandparents.
4. I'm thankful for hot showers.
5. I'm thankful that there is plenty of money in the account so that I can shop for groceries this afternoon.
24 November 2008
1. I'm thankful for the drop in prices at the pump. I got a *full* tank of gas last week for just under $30. My last full tank cost me double.
2. I'm thankful to be able to live and work and worship in the United States. We are so fortunate.
3. I'm thankful that my boys had the proper winter gear to head to school today.
4. I'm thankful that four years after Mom's breast cancer diagnosis at age 50, she is healthy and whole and able to celebrate with us!
5. Most of all, I'm thankful this week for the opportunity to spend time with my grandparents, parents, siblings and neices and nephew. AND to get to eat Mom's cooking!
Have a happy Thanksgiving everybody!!
21 November 2008
I'm so tired.
I hate packing. *stomps feet*
Awfully cold overnight. Lovely.
I've been obsessive about getting on the web to look at the pictures of "our" house. I can't wait to be in it!
I can't wait for Tuesday.
I shouldn't have eaten the chips and dip at 2:30; I won't be hungry for dinner.
I miss my Mom.
I can't wait to hug my sister.
Hopefully C will let me sleep in tomorrow morning.
I wanna watch the Michigan/Bl-ohio State game tomorrow, but I don't.
Sometimes people suck.
I really want to meet 2 of my message board friends.
Thank GOD today is Friday!
19 November 2008
M had to tell the Safety Patrol advisor that we were leaving. He had done that last week some time, but today was the first time that she had a chance to mention it to me. And like everyone, she was happy for us but sad to see us go. She's especially disappointed that she will have to choose a new captain for Safety Patrol. She assures me that M will do well with his adjustment to middle school; he's apprehensive, but he'll settle right in, I hope. J and I have promised him that we are going to do everything possible to make sure that the next time he has to move, he'll be headed off to college. That should allow him to put down some roots and hopefully graduate from that district with a few "lifelong" friends.
C hates change with every fiber of his little 6 year old body. He's going to have a harder time, I think. But our current principal encourages us to still attend dances and events held at our school and that C can write to his teacher and classmates if he chooses. I pray that he is able to find a buddy at the new school that will help him make the adjustments.
I've promised myself that I'm not going to cry on our last day. Some days, I think that I'll make it; today, I'm sure that I won't.
We're excited and sad too, in a way. For me, it just brings back every time I ever moved as a kid. There's sadness at leaving the friends and home that I've known and excitement at what having new friends and a new home means. I'm very social, so it wasn't particularly hard for me to move. It was much harder for my sister who didn't make friends as easily. But it all worked out in the end.
And this move will too.
18 November 2008
I'm thankful for my husband. He's doing everything he can to see that we get into that house and can stay there. He's a hard worker and an involved dad and one of my best friends. I'm very lucky.
I'm thankful to see the sunshine, even if there is a dusting of snow on the ground. :)
I'm thankful for my co-workers reactions to our house and moving news. I'm glad that not one of them have been happy to see me go.
I'm thankful for leftover pasta. "They" are right, it does taste better as leftovers.
17 November 2008
2. The living room looks like a tornado hit it.
3. How could we have accumulated so much crap in only 2.5 years??
4. The majority of the food that I have consumed in the last 36 hours has been bisquick sausage cheese balls.
5. It snowed this afternoon and most of it already melted. Thank God.
6. I really need to tell my neighbors that we're moving.
7. I swore that J wasn't going to help me pack, but I'm not sure that I want to do it alone.
8. I really wanted to have a third baby.
9. I can't wait to see my family next week!
10. If I see a mouse in the basement I'm never going down there again.
14 November 2008
Really, I hate that Christmas "comes" so early. We don't even get past Halloween and the tree displays are up in stores. And when I was at WM this week, there is christmas music playing over the loud speaker.
Now logically, I understand why someone would shop early. My mom, for example, hates crowds so it's really nicer for her to get her shopping done early. And if you don't wait till the last minute, you are much more able to find things that you're looking for. But for goodness sake, it's November 14th!
Today was payday, so I thought that I'd get a jump on the boys' lists. Would have been helpful, of course to have M's list with me. Oh well. I was aware of certain things that were on his list and did get some things that I had in mind first. It was much easier to remember what was on C's list, since everything he wanted he announced to his brother as we walked the toy aisles. (M was writing a list!)
I got a start. And I admit, it felt good. I got everything that I had in mind so far and the best part is that I paid in cash! That's a victory in itself, I tell ya.
13 November 2008
We've lived here for two and a half years and you wouldn't believe the crap we've accumulated. It boarders on ridiculous, really. I just spent a good portion of the late afternoon going through the cabinet above the range hood and the file box in the bedroom. It doesn't sound like much, but that was totally enough for today.
J comes from a "packrat" background. God love him, it makes me crazy. I come from a "pitch it" background. And for some reason, the packrat in this marriage has slowly taken over. I just tossed out overtime checkstubs from a job he had before C was born; that's previous to 2002! Oh, I should correct that; I put them through the shredder. That poor shredder got a workout today, that's all I can say.
And while I am slowly losing my mind in the chaos, J's only response is "I guess we have our work cut out for us." To which I want to reply, "What in the WORLD do you mean WE?!?! Have you ever packed for a move??" Actually he did for our last one and after the complete randomness of all the boxes that he packed, I swore that he was never packing another box.
Thank god that we have 29 days before we close on the house. I'm gonna need every spare minute. And the number of a good therapist.
10 November 2008
We expect to close on it in mid December and get out of our apartment by New Years Eve, We'll keep you posted.
08 November 2008
Now I guess the bbq should hibernate for the season:
The bushes right outside the front patio. If you squint and tilt your head to the left, you can make it out!
Now granted, by the time I stepped outside to take pics, it was more of a rain/snow mix, so it won't last. And by March, we'll be sick to death of seeing it. But for today, I'm glad that I have no plans to leave the house and I can just watch it come down!
07 November 2008
C had a "super" day today. He helped out one of his classmates and she reported to the teacher that he was a good friend. C then got to move his clip to "Super". He was very excited!
My house is warm. Since we are supposed to be getting snow in the next few hours, this is a big deal.
I love my dad. I'm very thankful that I have him in my life. He's a great Christian man who strives to do God's work and do right by his wife and children.
I'll live anywhere as long as J is with me. We're struggling with the knowledge that we pay more in rent than ever, so we're trying to find a house. For the amount we can afford, we haven't had much luck. That makes me disappointed, but when it comes down to it, I'm happy just as long as I have him by my side, house or no house.
God has a plan. He sees all and knows all and He knows what's best for me and for my entire family. And that's good enough for me.
05 November 2008
Why, oh why does it have to be dark so early?!?!
But that does bring us to Thanksgiving and Christmas, which I love. The food, yes, but more getting to see family. It's a few short days that we get to spend with family every year and it goes by SO FAST!
I look forward to the holidays, but for once, can't we just have them without the winter afterward?!?
31 October 2008
Here's my trick-or-treaters.
Matthew didn't ever ask me about a costume this year, so I suggested a Halloween t-shirt as his "costume" instead. He took to that idea right away. Caleb was the blue Power Ranger this year; he'll get something new for next Halloween.
Jon took the boys to our church's Fall Festival tonight. I was planning to go also, but by the end of the afternoon I really needed some time to myself. So I asked if he would mind going alone and he didn't. Yay! I was a bit sad that I couldn't get any pictures of the festivities as it all sounded really fun but the time alone was worth it.
Now if I can just keep my hands out of the candy.
30 October 2008
Fast forward to getting home from vacation in June. I'd thrown some bone-in chops in the crockpot at 7:30am; at 6:30pm they still weren't done. And they weren't frozen that morning either. So, I cry a tear or two, we call a time of death, and we toss the crock in the trash. *sob*
Well, then comes summer. And while there were a few days this summer that I wished that I had my crockpot, most of the summer I hardly gave my loss a thought.
Sometime yesterday Matthew casually mentions to me that he thought that they (himself, Jon and Caleb) should have gotten me a crockpot for my birthday, but that Jon 'poo-pooed' the suggestion, telling Matthew that a "crockpot is not a birthday gift".
So I mention this conversation to Jon last night and the long and the short of it is that if I want a new crockpot I should go get one.
This morning we did just that.
Oh my goodness. Rival Crock-Pot Smart Pot. This is a COMPLETE upgrade from my former friend. It's like being friends with the freshman class president and then getting invited to Senior Prom by the captain of the football team. WOW! It even has a 'warm' feature that kicks in as soon as the food is done.
We're having chili for dinner tonight, which I regularly make on the stovetop. But mark my words: by the end of the next week, we will have a crockpot dinner and I'll tell you all about it.
And now I can get started on making recipes from the crockpot blog! Yippee!!
28 October 2008
Today, I am thankful for:
1. Jon being so willing to help the boys out with their pumpkins last night. It was quite a bit of work for him and he didn't complain!
2. The smell of cinnamon/sugar pumpkin seeds that are roasting in the oven.
3. Our short school week due to Teacher's Convention.
4. Heat. It's getting very chilly at night and if you've ever awaken in a house with no heat, you understand.
5. God's protection and provision!
6. My friend, Stephanie. She called to check on me this morning and I really needed it. Talking to her was just the thing to help me get some perspective!
C was definitely more excited to do this. To start. His excitement waned a bit looking at the "slimy, disgusting guts". J pretty much took over from there.
J is carving while C watches.
C decided that he wanted to carve the eyebrow.
The finished product! Thanks, Daddy!
M wanted to do his himself. He did scoop out the guts and scrape the inside on his own. He even transfered the pattern on his own. But as soon as he went to his Dad for help getting the cutting started, something in J took over and he cut the whole thing. Whatever.
M discovered this pattern to be tougher than he thought.
Dad is both the gut scooper and the carver, I guess.
M proudly displaying his pumpkin!
And finally, the finished pumpkins!
All I did was dig through the bowl of gunk for all the seeds. Speaking of which, I need to go get them roasting now. Yum!
24 October 2008
So what do we do then? We bake cookies. And not just any cookie, but Grandma Jill's chocolate chip cookies!
Here's M using the mixer:
And then adding flour:
C adding the chips after I mixed in all the flour by hand:
Then scooping the dough onto the sheet:
And here's a pic of some of the finished product cooling on the counter.
While not a perfect activity, it kept them busy for about 45 minutes. And now we get to enjoy cookies too!
23 October 2008
I just wanted to pay homage to their marriage. Thirty seven years today* and that is getting to be a rarity.
They met in 1970 as high school juniors on a youth group hayride. It was actually a blind date set up by a mutual friend. He tells everyone that he knew he wanted to be with her right from the start. He could take her out once a week and then something dawned on him. If he went to church, he could see her. And if he joined the choir, he could see her then too. (He's so sweet.)
He played baseball in high school and even though they went to different schools, she was at the baseball games cheering him on.
(The little boy is my Dad's cousin, Robbie. He was about 4 at the time and is in just about every reception pic.)
They graduated high school in June of 1972 and were married that October. And the rest, they say, is history. I came along in '74, my sister in '78 and our brother in '84.
What they have together is amazing. Sure, they fight sometimes; nobody's perfect. But one thing that I learned from them is that you never give up on someone you love. If you value your marriage, you'll do the work that it takes to make it something special. It's not an easy ride, and there is no magic pill, but if you work at it, it can be an incredible experience. And how lucky we are, my sibs and I, to be able to have grown up with that Godly example of marriage.
It means everything to me.
originally published Oct 23, 2008 *updated for 2009
21 October 2008
Today I am thankful for:
1. Thirteen years of marriage today. While it hasn't been all sun and roses, it has made us stronger as individuals and as a team!
2. The traits of our 12 year old son that allowed him to be Safety Patrol Captain this year.
3. Our six year old's thirst for learning and love of school. I know that won't last forever. :)
4. My sister. One poster on a message board that I frequent was sad earlier this week for not having a close relationship with her sister. I am thankful that I do.
5. The sunshine. Soon comes the cold, dreary Wisconsin winters and it won't make an appearance nearly as often.
6. My parents' marriage. Thirty six years this week! What a blessing that is to me!
19 October 2008
This morning in church, Pastor Bill told the story of a little boy who wanted to buy time with his dad. It made me very teary. It made me wonder if my boys had ever felt that way. I pray they haven't and never do.
Then he pointed out that isn't it a great thing that our Heavenly Father isn't too busy for us. That when we go to Him in prayer He doesn't say, "Come back later, I don't have time."
He desires relationship with us if we call ourselves His children. He beckons us to make time for Him, and He has all the time in the world for us!
That is a great thing!
16 October 2008
The other supervisors and I joke that by this point in the school year, you know two types of kids by name; the really good ones and the really naughty ones. And it's true.
One of the particularly good ones I'll call R. She's a kindergartener and has red hair and blue eyes and looks a lot like my youngest neice. Her particular table is one that I help on a daily basis; C had that teacher last year and I do what I can to ease her load. R and I have never had any particularly bonding moments other than the fact that I help her get her milk open. She's on the shy side, but she will say "Good Morning" and "Hello" if I address her first.
There's a point to this.....hang on.
Parent/teacher conferences were held today and since we live so close to the school, we walked. We had just left the building and rounded the corner when who do I see coming but R. And when she spots me, she comes running and gives me a giant hug. I hugged her in return, of course, and told her to have a good conference. Then I turned to J and with a lump in my throat say, "That's the reason that I kept this job."
To have maybe been a bright spot for sweet R, and in return, she is a bright spot for me.
That makes all the other stuff TOTALLY worth it.
15 October 2008
Today I am thankful for:
Peace and quiet.
His job in these tough times.
Our marriage, celebrating 13 years next week!
Our boys. They keep me on my toes.
My Lord and Savior, Jesus.
My job, that gives me a chance to 'be Jesus' to some kids who may really need it.
My car. It's a beast, but dependable.
My closet full of things to wear.
My shelter from the cold and rain.
My family, who love me even when I don't deserve it.
My friends who make me laugh.
The fridge in the kitchen being stocked full of good food.
The heritage of the Church of the Nazarene.
Automatic washing machines. Imagine having to do all that wash by hand!
The successful surgery and recovery of my friend, Janet.
The freedom to worship when we choose.
Fall colors. Isn't God's design AMAZING!!?!
Have a blessed and thankful day!!
13 October 2008
First, a little back story. When the "stamping" craze started, I had a neighbor, Lisa, that got sucked in. She had a party and I bought a multi-colored ink pad, two stamps and some note cards. I really thought that I wasn't going to get into it; boy, was I wrong.
Fast forward a bit and I am so into it that the Christmas before C is born, I make all our Christmas cards. Now, I didn't think to start early, no. I waited until about a week after Turkey day and then worked feverishly to get all 50 done in time to send out. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I got burned out so bad that I hadn't opened my supplies since. We're talking about SIX years.
Today I decided that I wanted to get back into it and got out my supplies. Again, I don't need to tell you, but I will anyway.....some of the ink pads were very dry and therefore useless. As I'm looking over my supplies in dispair, J comes home.
J: "You busy?"
Me: "Nope. I wanna be, but my supplies are uninspiring."
J: "Well, there's money in the checkbook and Hobby Lobby isn't far. Go get some new supplies."
Me: *shocked and amazed* "Okay. I promise to not spend more than $50."
God, how I love Hobby Lobby. If I hadn't been leaving the house only an hour before the boys' arrival from school, I'd still be there. That place is all ready for CHRISTMAS! Yippee!! My absolute favorite holiday!! And the best part? All the "Stuff" that I was looking for was 30% off!! Double Yippee!!
I completely behaved, spent just over $20 and here is a pic of my work.
I figure if I create one or two a day, I can have them all created in the next 3 weeks or so. That should even give me a few for people that I forgot to have on my list.
Maybe tomorrow while I work, I'll play Christmas music.
How nice it was to get to reconnect with friends that we have made in other churches. To share some struggles, but joys too, and to know that they understand.
Sunday School yesterday was lead by my favorite teacher, Jon. Once again, he really gets to the heart of a passage and helps us apply it to our lives. Yesterday was particularly 'toe-stepping' for my friend Rhonda and myself.
In Exodus chapter 16, the Israelites are grumbling against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt and into the desert. And in their grumbling, their memories of life in Egypt get distorted; they start to forget that it was a terrible experience. And they are angry with Moses and figure that it's his fault that they are all in the desert to starve to death. To which Moses replies ' You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord.'
My Mom always said that as a little girl I wasn't a complainer. So when I did complain, she knew that it was for a reason. I think that I have found myself complaining more and more over the years, when I really should be grateful for all that I have. So it isn't new stuff and all of that, but it's something. And God provided it for me and I need to have a spirit of thanksgiving, not a complaining spirit. The Lord can't use a critical, complaining spirit and I want Him to use me.
Thankfulness, not grumbling. That was my lesson for the weekend.
Oh and J scored some major points over the weekend. I got my favorite auction piece for a price of $170.00!! Now, I just need to remember that when Christmas rolls around.
10 October 2008
We never went before last year. We had a great time with some friends, met some new people and had the bonus of time without the boys. And as soon as we left, we started making plans to go back.
Well, some things have changed in the last year and one of those was that we no longer attend the church in Green Bay. We had several reasons for making the change, but the top two were that we needed to be somewhere that M could get involved with a youth group AND that the expense of making two 80 mile trips a week was wreaking havoc on our family budget.
We started attending a community church about 15 minutes from our home and we really like it so far. Taking 15 minute trips to church versus 40 minute trips added up very quickly. And M looks forward to youth group on Wednesday nights almost as the highlight of his week.
But we left so many friends back at the other church. Friends that are like family to us. So, it was an easy decision to make to register for retreat; we would get to spend some time reconnecting with old friends and get some time alone with each other that we really need.
The weather this year is going to be exceptional and that will mean that we probably take our 2nd annual hike up the forbidden trail at the state park during free time on Saturday. It's a memory that we made last year that we still like to talk about.
And as far as what God has in store for us at retreat? That's always unexpected and exciting and I can't wait.
Now for the packing.....
08 October 2008
This week, as soon as the bus rounds the corner, I come inside. It's fall, FINALLY, and to say that the mornings are a bit chilly is an understatement. So even in a sweatshirt and slippers, I feel the need to come inside as soon as I can.
So this morning, I'm doing my thing by standing on the porch, and C yells something in my direction. I didn't really hear him or understand, so I'm thinking 'Man, this better be important.' Instead of grumbling, I say "Come here." He runs to me and once he gets to me he says "Mom, I want to wave to you." "What?!?" "I want to wave to you. You know, when I get on the bus." Of course I feel immediately guilty and mutter 'Okay'.
That's what I do. I stand on the porch the extra 90 seconds or so, and as the bus drives away, I look up and C is frantically waving. And I wave back, with a smile on my face.
Because in his little first grade mind, that was important. And I'm glad I didn't miss it.
06 October 2008
Imagine my surprise when logging on this morning; I find an update that she is in a hospital. I guess she had a CAT scan on Saturday and a tumor in her head was discovered. Now I don't know any details of what lead to the CAT scan, but this is very scary. Right now they are doing more tests to try and get as good a treatment as they can in place for an excellent prognosis.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. She's my age, with a young daughter and a husband and now dealing with this.
I said a prayer for her and her husband and daughter as I was getting ready for work this morning; that the God who sees all and knows all would comfort her and just be with her in every step of this whole process.
Which brings to mind; how would I feel if I were in her place? Would I be sad that I hadn't spent enough time telling my boys that I love them? Would I accept that it meant the end of my life, or have the courage to fight to do what ever it took to stay alive? I want to think that I would fight, but I'd be scared to death. And maybe I'd have some regrets about how I used the time that I was given. And I don't want to look back on my life at any point, whether I live another year or another 60 years, and have regrets about the management of my time here on earth.
I pray that my friend gets a hopeful prognosis and that all the fear that she feels right now can soon be a thing of the past. That she can spend many more years with her husband and beautiful little girl doing the things that she loves.
Hug your babies tightly tonight.
Life is too damn short to take even one breath for granted.
01 October 2008
I had the opportunity last night to get together with two of my very dearest friends. We met at a restaurant just blocks away from my house, ate pie and talked and giggled. We probably disturbed other tables around us quite a bit, but we didn't get any dirty looks or anything.
It's good to laugh. It releases endorphins that are great for your body. And it's fun. And the opportunity to just focus on something else for a time can't be beat with a stick either.
I developed a raging headache about 2 hours before we were supposed to meet and got real serious with an Excedrin Migraine and a huge bottle of water. Thank goodness that did the trick; I would have hated to have to cancel.
I just feel very blessed to have friends that care enough about me to drag me out of the house and make me laugh. I never regret getting together.
30 September 2008
26 September 2008
Some weeks I think that my gig at the school is too good to be true; no fights, no injuries, no tattling. This week however, a completely different story. We just finished the fourth week of school and you'd think that today was the first day. Man. About half of one of the second grade rooms ended up on the wall for noon recess; seems that they had trouble turning their voices off at the sound of the whistle. And second graders know the rules. It's not like the rules changed over the summer.
The paraprofessional in charge of lunch and recess, Mrs. M, told me yesterday that "the grace period is OVER." Now we start cracking down even on the Kindergarteners on things like sitting nicely at lunch and NOT running up the slide. Oh, and a whole host of other rules too.
K-2 particularly was so loud this noon that I could barely hear myself think. Most of the week, the kids all acted like they do the day before a long vacation.
As far as a vacation, we don't see one of those until the end of October. Lord, help us all.
24 September 2008
22 September 2008
M had a soccer game at noon on Saturday. For a Saturday in late September, it was pretty warm outside. M's team won 5-0 and the fourth goal was scored by him. He was pretty pleased with himself and of course, I was also. It was the first time that he scored a goal in quite a few seasons; I think that he was in 3rd grade for his last one. He did get a bit emotional when the game was over when he realized that his dad missed seeing him score, but he is an understanding kid and knew that it was best for J to be at home.
My mother and father-in-law and my sister in law, K and her 2 kids and brother in law, J and his daughter were all in attendance for most of the second half of the game. I guess they all came in one vehicle except J and S, and while they parked in the correct lot of the soccer complex, they went right by the field where M was playing. And all I could do is watch them go; they were at least 100 feet from me and TOTALLY not looking for me; they were looking for and not finding J. By the time they get to me, my mother-in-law says something like "did you see us go by?" and my only response was "yeah, but what could I do?" After soccer, they took the boys out for lunch and to the park.
Yesterday was the occasion of J's nephew S's baptism. It's nice to get together with the other side of my brother-in-law's family; his wife's family are great people. Of course, J missed out on this too; I felt really badly for him. The service was really nice and Jason gave a great sermon. For my favorite brother-in-law, he's a pretty good preacher too. I enjoy hearing him speak. A and her mom put on a great spread of food, and there were plenty of cousins and friends to keep the boys occupied.
While I greatly enjoy weekends like these, it sure does make Monday come fast.
19 September 2008
C was in trouble today. He did great in the classroom all day and let it loose at recess. He wasn't the instigator, but he did retaliate in a way that was unacceptable. So, he and the instigator will spend at least recess time on Monday doing projects with the principal to "build community", as he put it. And then C will be with him on Tuesday and maybe on Wednesday, or as long as it takes for C to learn that his resolution to the problem was not appropriate. I love the boys' principal; he's a very firm but understanding guy. He told me that he knew that C isn't a bad kid, that he just needs to learn the boundaries of acceptable versus unacceptable behavior when put in a position like he was today. I vented some of my frustrations with C's behavior at the principal, I cried, and he gave me a tissue. He told me not to worry; that he doesn't have a "throw C to the dogs" attitude and that everything will be fine. I just pray he's right, or it'll be a long time until 2020.
I am still feeling under the weather and it's been 19 days. I was to the doctor this week for him to tell me that it is indeed viral and that it will have to run its course and that I'm "doing everything right". That was frustrating; and as I sit here, my throat and ears *still* hurt. Grrrr.
08 September 2008
Tuesday morning I was feeling a little better. At least the room had stopped spinning. It was about 90 degrees that afternoon and I needed to take the boys over to meet their new teachers. It's only a quarter of a mile from my front door to the front door of the school, but I wasn't feeling that great. We had no choice but to walk, due to the fact that there is such limited parking at the school. We met both teachers, dropped off all the supplies and walked home. As soon as I got home, I took a nap.
Wednesday was the first day of school. I had breakfast with my friend, Stephanie and then had to be to work by 10:30. Armed with a new pack of Kleenex and a bottle of hand sanitizer, off I go. One of the other supervisors gives me crap about being sick and I fire back something about being glad to be out of bed. That shut her up. I also watched Corbin on Wednesday. He got here with his Mom about five minutes after I got home from school. He had a giant meltdown at drop off, but then as soon as his dad showed up at 5:00, he didn't want to go.
By Thursday, I'm starting to feel a little better. They warn about not taking dayquil and nyquil around the clock, but I had no choice; that was the only way to feel even half human. Friday morning I have to call in sick to work. I have no voice and my nose has started bleeding at random and won't stop. Great. Oh, and my right eye is oozing green gunk. Super. I went back to bed a little after 8am and didn't wake up until almost 2pm.
Saturday, I just kinda lay around the house and watch college football. My teams pulled off wins, so that's always nice. I sat through M's first soccer game of the season. I don't remember much except that J's brother and family showed up. And I probably came off as rude because I felt so sick. Later in the day, I drug myself to the restaurant to celebrate M's twelfth birthday, and turned in early; even before C at 9pm.
Sunday meant church and then more football. It was the first day that I felt that I could skip a dose of medicine without dying. My in laws came by last night to give M a birthday present and all my mother in law can say is how sick I look. Gee thanks. Your son gave it to me; blame him.
Today I am feeling about 80% better. I've still had some medicine, and it still feels like C is sitting on my chest, but it is progress. I started taking chewable vitamin C sometime during all of this and I am convinced that it has helped. I plan to continue to take it all school year.
I know I should have blogged all this time, but I just couldn't. Maybe by 2020 when I can be sick without interruption.
29 August 2008
27 August 2008
First of all, you must ASK if you want a juice. I'm not in any way opposed to you having a juice, but you do NOT just help yourself into my refrigerator.
Second, I do NOT have to get every toy and game that you see on TV. I am your BABYSITTER, kid. You need to hit up your mom or dad for those things.
Third, we are NOT going to have Spongebob going for the entire day. Just because Nickelodeon runs it for hours on end doesn't mean that I have to see it.
And lastly, if you want my kids to play with you, you need to be nice. Don't get upset with C when he won't play with you after you smash the football into his face.
While the dad of this boy made arrangements with me to watch him, the mom doesn't seem 100% on board. So, he may go to his other grandmother's for part of the afternoon. Whatever the arrangements, I am happy that the committment is only going to be 2 afternoons a week. I couldn't handle more than that.
He's a good boy, and for his first day in a new place with new people, he did well. I just hope he's a really quick learner also.
****Updated**** Today, he did really well. Only a slight meltdown when asked to help pick up the toys. I think that this will work out yet. Although, I still admit to being thrilled that it is only a "twice a week" gig.
25 August 2008
That being said, having to say goodbye to my friend Stephanie was only the third time in my life that I was being left behind. And I don't do that well, so it's hard.
So, when she invites my family to visit her and her new husband, I jump all over it. I practically had my plan in place the minute the chat closed. And fortunately, J wasn't that hard to get on board. Turns out, deep down he really does want to do what he can to make me happy, and he figured out quickly that this would do the trick.
So, our plan for the Saturday is to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo. And here I wanna thank my dear friend, Jamie, for the suggestion! (Thanks!) It was a great one; one of the cheapest ones in the whole city! But we spend the first half of Saturday chatting over tea, at least Steph and I. The boys, especially C, were getting antsy, but, it's SATURDAY! We finally get everything together and out the door shortly before 11am.
J's gonna drive, so Steph hooks up the GPS and we go. All I have to say about that is that I want a GPS. Our drive into the city goes very smoothly, although it takes much longer than C has the patience for. He starts to bug his brother and M isn't having it, so I have to threaten to sit between them on the ride home.
We FINALLY (at least according to the 6yo) arrive and we park out in the boonies, so it's a good 3/4 mile to the zoo entrance. All C wants to do is get a stuffed snake from the gift shop and ride the train. That's all he talked about for the whole week prior to the trip. We get him convinced that we WILL do those things, but that they are going to come last, so he needs to settle in and decide what animals he wants to see.
Now for some pics. And you just can't take pictures of absolutely everything, so these are my favorites.
The boys at the entrance. They are dressed alike...how silly.
the polar bear. (for you, sis!) This was so cool, watching him swim. But it took me about 6 tries to get that shot!
Timon.....or so C decided.
Pumba. Or not. And for at least the next hour, I had Lion King songs in my head.
The boys on the train. All it did was go around in circles for about 5 minutes on a little strip of asphalt. We paid $4 for that?!?!? Whatever. I think that we were thinking that it was going to go around the zoo, like the one in Green Bay does where the line is always like 1,000 people long. But C seemed to enjoy it regardless.
And then here's C about 5 minutes after leaving the zoo. I did help him get into a more comfortable position after I took the shot!
Poor boy, he was tuckered out.
We spent about $50 on souvenirs, and we got ice cream and ate a picnic lunch (thanks, Steph!) and had a great day!
C already wants to know when we can do it again! The answer? After I get a nap. *yawn*
24 August 2008
We had tons of fun and I am very tired. Too tired to download some pictures to make this more interesting.
I'm going to take a nap.
22 August 2008
Last night, after dinner, J was laying across our bed on his stomach. I was just sitting on the bed next to him and we were chatting about our day.
Next thing I know, in marches C, and he plops himself between his dad and me. I caution him to not jump on Daddy, as Daddy's back isn't feeling the greatest. He's on his knees on the bed, and starts to bounce up and down just on his knees. When he notices that it makes J bounce a little, all he can do is giggle.
Then from a sitting position, I start to bounce too. So it doesn't take long before J decides that enough is enough and he gets up. C, of course couldn't be more thrilled, because that gives him so much more room.
Now, I grew up where bouncing on the bed was taboo. So was bouncing on the couch, and putting your feet on the couch. All of course, because it ruins the furniture, or at least that was what we were told. I don't let my boys bounce on the couch, and they have bunk beds, so bouncing there is completely out. (Imagine that.)
You should have seen C's face when not only did I not keep him from standing on the bed, I stood myself. Now for years, my dad has picked on me because I'm fairly short, but I have to say that it came in very handy last night. *giggle*
And we bounced. And bounced. And bounced. And proved that my two and a half year old bed CAN take the weight of me jumping on it. (How embarrassing would the opposite have been? Yikes.) Until about 10 minutes later, I am pretty out of breath and choose to stop. C stopped, but he would have been willing to keep it up, I'm sure.
And I did stress the ABSOLUTE importance that he is NOT to jump without my permission. With a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye, he agreed.
Sorry, Mom and Dad. I'll make sure that there is no bouncing at your house. This is the ultimate joy of the old 'My house, my rules'.
21 August 2008
This is the child that because of his evacuation 4 weeks early at birth, wasn't really interested in eating at all. In fact, all he wanted to do was sleep. So, we'd have to wake him just to make sure that he ate.
But the time he is two months, he's interested in eating AND sleeping. And he would nap like it was going out of style. And that was one thing that I didn't do with his brother. I thought, at 21, that I was smarter than the books and advice and I didn't sleep when M slept. So, I have to tell you that M's first year is kind of a blur to me. So, I was sure to follow the 'sleep when the baby sleeps' advice the second time around.
C liked sleep so well that the summer before he went to K, I had to wean him off of naps. That was a painful process for him and for me. I guess if nothing else, kindergarten showed that kid that he didn't need a nap. And he started getting up earlier and earlier. And earlier. For the last year, that kid has been on a wake-up time of between 6:00 and 6:30 no matter what time he goes to bed. So sleeping till after 8 is nothing short of a miracle.
Although, school starts in a week and a half, so we'll be back to having to get up before 7am. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!
20 August 2008
18 August 2008
So, when J gets home from work tonight, it's about 88* outside and at least that inside. He asks what we are having for dinner. I just casually mention that I think that we need to have ice cream. Surprisingly, he agrees, takes everybody's order and heads for the local ice cream place.
About 15 minutes later, both boys and I are all sitting on the living room floor in front of the fan enjoying our ice cream for dinner. It really hit the spot.
Thankfully, a cold front moved through about an hour later and tomorrow is only supposed to reach the high 70's. While I am just fine with that for August, that does mean that I will have to make dinner.