Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Six?!?!?!

My Monster turned 6 today.  I can't believe my baby is so big.  Soon he will be a full blown kid, no longer my baby.

His party was last Saturday, and he had a Martial Arts Party.  It was a blast...it was the first birthday party I've ever gone to that I wasn't exhausted when it was over.  His friends all had a blast, and the cake and pizza was all gone when it was over.  We played a game that you had to kick a balloon from one end to the other, using only your feet.  If your balloon hit the ground, you were out.  It was hard, but it was fun, and even the adults participated.

Today is his actual birthday.  We are celebrating with cupcakes at school, and dinner, gifts and desert with the whole family tonight.  His chosen menu is Hamburgers, French Fries, Mac and Cheese and Cucumbers.  I've purchased some cupcakes and a Strawberry pie that looks like it's made from ice cream.  He even has a gift and card from his daddy to open.  I know he misses his daddy more on days like today, but he will be surrounded by his family that loves him, and that will help.

Santa is coming through our development on a fire truck tonight...and he's going to call Monster by his name and tell him Happy Birthday.  He is going to lose his mind.  I can't wait.

I love you little boy.  You are a great source of love and joy.  Your imagination and empathetic nature make my heart almost burst with love every day.  I pray you never lose those traits.  Happy Birthday, big boy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fun Monday - RAK

MommyWizdom is our host this week, and she's helping us to remember that it's the season of giving.
The Assignment for this week was:
1) Your job this week is to go out and perform a random act of kindness. Now, before you freak out, please read on. This is actually really easy!! This act may be for someone you know or for a perfect stranger. It can be big or small, it'll all up to you. Obviously, it should be something within your means. For instance, don't go out and buy your next door neighbor a car and then complain to me that you can't make your mortgage payment, ok?
Your choices were to:
2) Blog about what you did and why. How did it impact the person(s) you did it for? And better yet, how did it impact you!? How did you feel after you did it? Would you do it again?
Or
3) If you've had a random act of kindness bestowed upon you (recently), we'd love to hear about it. How did it impact you? How did it make you feel?
I try to live my life remembering to find the blessings in each day.  Early in our marriage, DDS and I were poor.  I don't even think poor is a strong enough word for it.  Yet, somehow, we always managed, and I believe that God led people to do those Random Acts of Kindness when we needed them most.  Remembering those times, I'm always quick to try and use my resources when I know someone needs a hand.

I have a RAK in the works, but can't blog about it yet.

Every year, my section adopts a group of seniors at a local nursing home that don't have any family to provide Christmas for them.  We collect money and donations, and try to get them everything they ask for and more.  This year, in order to make sure we could really do some good for them, we organized a bake sale and silent auction.  When I say we, I mean one of my employees and myself.  It's a lot of work, but we raised over $300 in a few hours.  Our seniors want things like underwear, socks, brushes and such.  It makes me sad to see their list, as there is very little "frivilous" stuff...mostly because they don't need or have room for most things we all want.  They may ask for a small radio, or headset, or maybe a vcr, but never anything really big.  So we make sure we get everything on their list, maybe even extra sweats or something.  In addition, we try to buy some toiletries that are a little nicer than what they get just living in the nursing home.

We go and deliver the packages a few days before Christmas.  I cry the whole time.  Not sobs, just tears.  These people are so appreciative, not just for the stuff, but also for the company and attention.  Many of them decide to wait until Christmas day to open their gifts, but there's usully at least one person willing to open their items with us there.  I love to watch their excitement and joy over these simple items. We've talked in the past about trying to do something for them around Easter or something, but haven't ever pulled it off.  I'll have to post a reminder on my calendar.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

The best darn pagent ever...sort of.

Today our services at church were led by our youth. I love these services...they are refreshing and entertaining.

We have a youth handbell choir that PB participates in (as does Bug when she's here). (When DDS and I were engaged we joined the handbell choir for this church...then became members. We stayed active in it for a few years, and then kids and such required us to take a break...and I haven't made it back yet. Maybe next year.) I love handbells. The whole group makes up one instrument, requiring that they work together to make the music. It's a good entrance into music, as you are generally only responsible for one or two bells (notes) to start with. And they just sound so pretty.

There is a great Ring -A-Story called Twinkle and the Bethlehem Star. It tells the story of the three kings, through the eyes of Twinkle, an escort for the Bethlehem star. This is the sermon for this service. In addition to the bells, we have children from the church act out the story. Monster was a sheep last year, and he was adamant that he wouldn't be again this year. To quote my sweet boy "I looked ridiculous, and I won't be a sheep again." So, he got to be a king this year. And what a cute little king he was.
They also acted out parts and sang songs before the sermon. My son was right next to the microphone, singing loudly into it. If he forgot the words, he just "ahhhed" his way through it. He made me laugh, but I'm glad he is so brave, so unafraid.
Lest you think I don't appreciate PB's part in this, she (and the rest of the handbell choir) did an awesome job. But I was very busy videotaping, and between services she was very busy hanging out with her friends, so I missed out on a photo of her.
It was a long day, but both services were awesome, and our kids did a great job.
Oh, and I totally made that crown (and two more just like it) using Jessica's Tutorial. Unfortunately, there was no wool felt in our one measley fabric store (the chain one, that's it. Yuck), so its crappy felt, but it did the trick.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

First tree up, but soon to come down.

All day yesterday, as I was feeling so grumpy, I tried to remember to count my blessings. And I know that I have a good life, but sometimes, it all gets to be too much.
I've hinted in the last couple of posts that I had to decorate a tree that wasn't mine and my hosue. I've mentioned my game night before and Thursday night was the time for our Christmas one. The lady that was hostess this month is in the middle of remodeling her house...which means it's not in any state for her to host, so I offered her the use of my house. And then I remembered that meant I have to put up a tree.
My sons birthday is next Tuesday. We've never really been ones to get our tree too early anyway, but when I had him we decided not to get our tree until after his birthday. My husbands birthday is the 27th, so he appreciates what it's like to have a birthday so close to Christmas.
So back to my epiphany. I asked my mom if she could lend me her tree. It's not a very big tree, but I knew I could make it look cute and work. And boy did I...
I chose to go with a color theme, using all lighter green and red ornaments with white lights.  Everyone loved it, and it did the trick.  And I'm enjoying it, as are the kids.  Unfortunately, we have to give the tree back to my mom and replace it with our "real" tree next weekend :)
But I totally think I need one of these for our den...it's not very big in there, and this would help make the space even more festive.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I swear it's coming

I've started the Christmas tree story, but I've been too tired, too bah, to upload the photos and finish it. And now, I'm beat. I've been hanging with my mom and working on Christmas presents, and tomorrow is Monster's birthday party, so I'm off to bed. Night all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bah Humbug

Today was not a good day. I was feeling like a major grump, and had to work very hard not to take it out on those around me. And it started as soon as I rolled over and realized that we had all overslept by an hour. Then I remembered the meeting I had to go sit in this morning, and I sincerely just wanted to pull the blankets back over my head and hide away. And I hear the rain. That tells me it's a perfect day to do just that. But there is work to go to, children to take to school. So up I go.

I take the kids to school, and get to work just a little late. I was out yesterday handling several appointments, so I sit down and get busy catching up. I know I'm grumpy, but I just can't seem to shake it. I head off to the two hour meeting. I sit next to my boss, who is completely handling work while listening, and I'm struggling to stay awake. The meeting ends, and I have a voice mail message from PB's doctor...her blood work came back positive for the one bacteria, she needs to go on an antibiotic. So I give it a little time, and head out to pick it up. The crazy people at Target are weaving around the shoppers coming out, people are parked all wrong, and I feel the grumpiness overtaking me again. I head back, pick up he prescription, and laugh with the pharmicist over my grumpiness. They are nice to me, and I feel a little better. I stop and get a cookie and soda (I love their cranberry walnut oatmeal cookies...yummmy) and I feel a little better. Then I go out to the parking lot, feel frustrated, get in my car, see that I just missed my husband calling me, and look at all the people all trying to get where I am, but blocking me from getting out of the way. And all that feeling better starts to run down out of my soul.

It goes on. More people who couldn't park. A long line of traffic going nowhere at the one entrance to where my kids are. More rain. The stress of getting my house ready. (this getting it ready is a continuation of yesterday...I'll post about it tomorrow. I'm not feeling it today.)

Back in September, my husband was able to make dvd's of himself reading stories to our children through the USO. They arrived yesterday...the DVD and a copy of the book. My son lost it. He threw the book and dvd away, yelled and screamed how stupid it was, etc. I tried to talk to him about the anger and hurt and sadness. He didn't want to talk about. So I encouraged him to yell, to rant and rave. I taunted him a little...told him he could be louder...other people couldn't hear him. We did this for a few minutes, and then the anger left and my little boy cuddled up on me and started chattering and giggling with me again. A little later he asked to watch the dvd and read the book, and he loved it.

Days like this are hard. The time until he is back seems to stretch so far away. I wonder about the toll on the kids, on him, on me. I know that we will all be fine, that it will be good when he gets home.

Tucking him into bed tonight, he told me the story of a little girl doll who was bought at the store. She was very sad, because she missed her mommy. So the lady that bought her took her back to the store so she could be with her mommy. And I reminded him that he had his mommy right here, and I wasn't going anywhere. And he grinned up at me, clutched me around the neck, and declared that he loved me more than anything else in te world. All was right with my world again.

Happy Love Thursday everyone. I didn't think it was going to be one, but it sure ended up that way.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm finally finding a little Christmas spirit

I've actually been very busy working on gifts for several weeks now. But tonight I had to actually put up Christmas decorations. I haven't taken pictures...I'll do that tomorrow. But there's at least a little bit out. I have a lot of great ideas for decorating, but not a dime to put towards them. I used a $10 gift card to buy a few things today so that I could have the color scheme I wanted on my temporary tree. I'll explain that tomorrow as well. Now I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Update on my hubby

Daddylang has finally made it to Iraq. He starts his job Wed morning (which is actually now) and he is very excited. I'm hoping that it's everything he wants it to be. Lots of people feel stuck in their jobs, but in the military deployed to Iraq? Not thinking there's much of an escape there.

We sent him a box of Christmas decorations as his "present" since we were advised by the USPS to mail the package by 12/4 to get it there by Christmas. He received the package Monday morning his time, Sunday evening ours. That's 2-3 days. I can't mail packages 3 states away that fast. I'm glad he'll have longer to enjoy them. It's been hard to come up with presents, since he wasn't there to figure out what he needs yet. Hopefully he can supply us a list this week, and we can still get some more stuff there. His birthday is the 27th, so we have to get stuff there for that as well.

He posted today (I think) (this really does get confusing...lol) about the box he received, and posted a picture of his decorated tree. THis is the man that enjoys making our house look like the Griswolds. I know he is missing the decorating this year, and I put up some outside decorations in his honor this weekend. I have to admit that I do enjoy pulling up the house in the early evening dark and seeing the lights and blow ups in our yard. And I love how excited the kids are every single night about seeing it again. It's one thing I can do to help them feel like this topsy turvy time is at least somewhat normal.

Times are stressful here, I'm finally starting to feel better, but now PB has a weird rash and has been out of school all week. We go back to the doctor tomorrow for follow up and maybe results from the blood test next week. In addition, work is crazy, and I'm trying desperately to make as much for Christmas as possible, plus decorate the house. I need at least six more hours in every day.

This year, mostly, I pray that my husband is safe. And that my children can remember this time with pride in how we all handled this separation.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fun Monday - Christmas is coming!

I'm hosting this week, and I asked everyone to share their top three Christmas songs, and their favorite Christmas item. Since I dreamed up the topic, I should know what my answers would be huh? But I've really had to think on this topic.

I love Christmas songs, pretty much all of them. Narrowing down my favorites is hard. But...here goes:

3. Silent Night - We always sing this at church as the candles we each hold are lit, on from the other. It's so beautiful, and it never fails to make me cry. I have a feeling it will be worse this year.
2. Mary Did You Know - I've heard several versions, but I love them all.
1. Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant - This is just a great song.

You can see that I really relate to Mary's part of this story. I always wonder about her experience. As a mother, I could totally "get" the meaning of the song, but as a mother to a litte boy it was even more powerful. I know that he was God's son, and that God gave his son to save us. But Jesus was Mary's child. She carried him, and gave birth to him. She loved him and nurtured him. Can you imagine the anguish she must have felt when he was killed? Even believing fully that he was the son of God, and that he would rise, I still imagine there was immense pain. To me, Christmas is as much about all she went through to carry,give birth to, and then raise and love Jesus, as it is a celebration of his birth.

And I chose this video of Silent Night as the group singing it is from my hometown. I'll try not to hold it agains them that they went to college at my schools rival. They are all very talented men.

My favorite Christmas item is our Christmas tree. We aren't putting ours up this year until just before Christmas, and of course I can't find the picture of last years without searchin a bunch (hello New Year's Resolutions), but it is my favorite. I love so much about the holidays, but the beautiful tree, filled with lights and all of my family's memories is my favorite.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fun Monday - I'm HOSTING!

So I'm crazy and I volunteered to host Fun Monday next week, December 8th. And hopefully I'll figure out Mr. Linky below. ETA: Who wants to host next week? ETA again to say that mommywizdom has volunteered to be our hostess for next week. Thanks!

So here's your topic...

It's the Christmas season, and I want you to tell us what are your three favorite Christmas Carols and a picture of your favorite Christmas "thing". It could be a Christmas tree, or your mantle, or a church, you in a Santa hat.

Thanks y'all. Can someone tell me how to make this a sticky post?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Questions I have...

I'm at the grocery store yesterday, buying our groceries (surprise!) and I notice that my cart has a ton of frozen veggies in it and not so much fresh. Not because fresh isn't available. It's just a little more expensive, and with only three mouths to feed, and a very busy schedule over the next couple of weeks, frozen seems to be the best bet. But it made me think of the question that bug me a lot. To be healthy, you're supposed to eat a lot of fresh veggies. They give you the most nutrients and are better tasting. But if they have to truck those fruits and veggies in, even just from a neighboring state an hour or so away, then you're not being "green" or supporting your local economy. We have a few farmstands around us, and the produce stinks and is expensive. I want to do my part for the environment, but I also have never had disposable income to just throw around. The store I use does try to use local (meaning within a couple of hours from our area), family farms to suppy it's produce. So, what's the right answer here?

I also get angry when people compare gas prices here with gas prices in Europe. Most of the cities in Europe were built well before cars, and the roads can not support the type of cars we drive here. It's well good and fine to tell me to drive a smaller car...which child should I make sit on the roof then? And walk? Let's see, I live with a couple of miles of a couple of stores, but we have to cross two extremely busy roads to get to them. And there are no sidewalks or crosswalks. My children go to school 3 miles from my house, and again there are no sidewalks along the busy road. Also, Europe has a much better public transportation system. Can you really see us trying to build such a transportation system out in the wheat fields of Kansas? In larger cities, mass transit should be an option, but unfortunately, the money is not always available to make that so. My city has bus service, but it doesn't run on Sunday...it was a big deal when Saturday service started a year or so ago. And it's not very user friendly. We are mid size city with quite a few small towns surrounding it. If you have to drive into the city to catch the bus, you might as well drive to your destination.

Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Night!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Family Love

I went to the doctor today, and as I suspected, I have a sinus infection. I slept the afternoon away, and I'm heading that way again shortly.

PB had her choir concert tonight. I love going and seeing the elementary kids perform. It's so funny to see them all dressed up and still being children. They did a wonderful job, and PB managed to deliver her speaking part perfectly.

My SIL and her step-son (so my nephew, right?) came as well as the grandmothers and grandpa. He is one year younger than PB and just came to live with his dad at Thanksgiving. So far he's fitting in well. He's enjoyed his first week of school, and is loving that he has cousins here to hang with. Monster went over last weekend to spend the night, and he was in heaven. It's great that he has a family member that can also be a friend.

I love my family...not just my kids and husband, but the whole group. They really care about us, and they aren't afraid to show it. I was flustered by the time we got there, and they took over Monster, and left me to do what I needed to get done. It was much appreciated.

I didn't do Love Thursday this week, and I haven't listed my blessings lately. So here they are...I am blessed with an awesome family.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I figured out a way to make it a sticky post

It's a bit unconventional, but it works. Now if I could just learn how to code and make my site prettier. Maybe in the new year.

I'm sick, and I feel like I'm geting sicker. I really need a good nights sleep, and to stop having to run all over the place with my kids, but that isn't going to happen anytime soon. Arhg.

I know, boring drivel. Can't help it. Mind is not functioning enough to be depp and insightful. Stick with me, it will get better.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'm just not feeling it

It's been a very long day, I don't feel well, and I'm ready for bed.  Talk to you all tomorrow!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fun Monday, Crazy Neighbors

Ari is our hostess this week. And what a timely topic for me.


Here goes: Tell us about your all-time worst Neighbors from Hell. You know, the family of Irish clog dancers who once lived in the flat/apartment above you? Mrs. Nextdoor and her banshee-like multiple orgasms? Mr. and Mrs. Hard-of-Hearing with their television on full blast? The guys across the street who set off 4th of July fireworks starting in March and didn't stop until the first real snowfall?
When we first moved on base many years ago, we lived next to the Green Bay Packer Fans. They had a logo in rocks in the front yard. The flag flew out front (with the bright light that shined into our room. At least, until my husband loosened the bulb a couple of days in a row.) But the back yard...they had put up an awning, created bleachers, and they would sit out there and watch the games. Every time the Packers scored, they blew an air horn. This was their ritual, no matter what the hour or weather. I was 8 months pregnant when they played a Monday night game. My hubby warned them that if the air horn went off after 9:30 and woke myself or the girls, the police would be called. I was a mean, cranky pregnant woman. He retired and they returned to Wisconsin that spring.

Next was the family that had a bunch of kids...and not a lot of supervision. There were a few others there as well.

We had new neighbors move in last fall. We were excited, as they seemed okay and had kids that were PB's age. They recently moved because they had flies, ants, and maggots. Somehow, I managed not to point out that the maggots were there because of their cleaning habits. Unfortunately, it now sits empty, and I picture the maggots crawling all over the inside of the house. I'm hoping someone does something with it soon, as I believe they were renting, and we haven't seen anyone enter the house in over a month. We live in a relatively nice area...I hope it doesn't end up in foreclosure forever.

Make sure you visit all the other Fun Monday Participants.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Inspiration from...reality tv?

Have you seen the new reality series Ruby on Style Network? I was skeptical...I really don't like reality shows in general. But this one has drawn me in.

For those of you who haven't watched, Ruby Gettinger is a woman living in Savannah, Georgia. She's very pretty, very southern, and very heavy. Ruby weighed almost 500 pounds when she started this series. She has assembled a team (with the help of the network, I'm sure) that consists of a nutritionist, a psychiatrist, an obesity specialist, a personal trainer and her family doctor. Ruby received a wake up call when her doctors told her she was going to die if she didn't take care better care of her health.

Ruby struggles. Although she is handed prepared meals and has a trainer and etc., she struggles. And she is honest about that struggle. In a recent episode, she went to a pizza place with her friends, and you could see how hard it was for her to ask them to heat up her meal, and not order just one slice of pizza. In the same episode, she ordered a smoothie, and even though she justified that she was allowed several snacks a day, she still didn't finish the smoothie. Determination is there, and she allows everyone to see her struggle, her weak moments. It truly is inspirational to watch.

I have a very good friend that has struggled with her weight all her life. I have been angry for her many times since I met her. I hate when people say "she could be a beautiful person if she would just lose the weight." "Maybe she just needs to eat better." The list could go on. She is beautiful, just the way she is. She is stylish, put together. And she is an awesome friend (and godmother). She doesn't eat any worse than most people...sure she eats ice cream or chips sometimes, but she also eats veggies and lean meats. For some reason, she is heavy. That shouldn't make her an object of pity or scorn, and most of the time, she is able to ignore those who would detract from her.

I have also struggled with my weight...I was always 20 pounds heavier than I should be. I'm a relatively active individual...I don't sit on my butt watching TV for hours on end. I walk, I play with my kids, I mow the grass, I clean my house. But I can never seem to fit exercise into my day. I eat pretty healthy, and I've tried Weight Watchers, several times. I might lose a little weight, but nothing major. I know how to eat. I know I need to exercise. What I don't know is how to cram more into the 24 hours I've been given. I'm going to work on that. I may not get it in gear before Christmas, but after...I'm going full force.

And that time thing? It's just an excuse, just me finding yet another reason to not do what I know I need to do. Over a year ago, Heather at OMSH wrote a great post about the struggle to lose weight. She broke it down to us in realistic words...we are selfish brats. These paragraphs have remained with me since I read them almost 15 months ago.
If you, like me, have managed to find an amazing man to love, marry and bear children with, you are being selfish by being obese. If you, like me, have children who love and depend on you, you are being selfish by being obese. If you, like me, have immediate and extended family that loves you, you are selfish for being obese.

It is selfish. It is choosing sugar in my coffee over the possibility of seeing my grandchildren. It is choosing “just one more bite” over being able to have monkey sex with my husband (you can’t erotically swing from chandeliers if you are obese). It is choosing ROUTE 44 SONIC CHERRY COKES over being able to participate in your child’s Fun Run, Jump Rope for Heart, Turkey Trot, Track ‘n Field.

IT IS CHOOSING YOURSELF OVER EVERYTHING ELSE.

I am lucky...I fell in love and married a man who loves me. He loves me just the way I am...unconditionally. And for the most part, I am happy in my life. But this one thing, this "beast" as Ruby calls it, has defeated me. And I'm tired of being defeated.

I am tired, but I'm also realistic. It's the HOLIDAYS. I can not avoid food for the next month. But I can make an effort to counteract the junk food that is available. I can pack my lunch (which saves money as well, so it's a win/win!). I can make healthy meals for my kids and I. I can skip the evening snack. I can drink less tea, continue reducing the amount of sugar I put in the pitcher. I can say no to soda, no to the cookies and cakes and candy that lay around this time of year. I can do it. And it's time I start.

So, I'm going to start keeping track. And I'm going to report to you all. At least once a week, I'm going to report how selfish I've been. It's time to stop being so selfish.

And thank goodness, it's the end of NaBloPoMo. And only one month of Blog 365. I think I might have missed a few days in September, but I really have almost posted all 365 days. Go me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thrifty Christmas

The Monster is spending the night with his cousin tonight, so PB is getting some one on one mama time. That doesn't happen so much anymore, so it's nice. We're going to work on finishing up the ornaments for Daddy's unit.

I have so many projects to work on in the next couple of weeks. I'm really relying on my craftiness for Christmas this year. My list of things to make is long, and I've started to make a dent, but wow am I going to be busy for the next month.

I have 9 fleece blankets and matching pillows to make. (I have 6 cut and 5 tied.) I have coasters to make, a few aprons, Christmas Cards to finish, calendars to complete, a knight's tunic to make, pj bottoms, Chef's hats and apron sets for the kids, a couple of purses to put together...and who knows what else.

I also have to coordinate the shopping for both Monster's birthday in two weeks, and Christmas for the kids. I have to mail out DDS' package this week. This is all in addition to the usual work, housework, and activity schedule. Time for sleep...who needs that?

I'm off to spend some quality time with my girl.

Friday, November 28, 2008

busy, busy, so dreadfully busy

So how was your Black Friday? Did you hit the sales? This is the first year in 6 that I didn't go out and get the majority of the shopping done. 6 years ago, I was pregnant with the Monster, and knew he was coming in the next 2 weeks. We had a place for the other two kidlins to hang while we shopped, so off we went. Not at 4 am, more like 8 am...I am not a glutton for punishment.

This year, I am broke. Deployment is exepensive..all that extra money? It doesn't come until next month, and the hubs has been spending it already. So I have to go get a few things for Monsters birthday next weekend, but Christmas shopping is going to have to wait until closer to Christmas.

However, I did hit Joann Fabrics for their sale this morning. I bought over $400 worth of material and supplies for $120 and I have presents for more than 10 people...good presents. So that's what I've been doing all day. Sewing. I'm getting kind of tired of looking at material now. Luckily my mom has been around helping me out.

There are two sweet little kidlins in my bed, sound asleep. I think I'm about to go join them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and yours are enjoying your family today. Although I try to be thankful every day, today I'm really trying to focus on those things. I hope you have many blessings.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shots! and a movie.

I had the day off today, as did the children, so I scheduled their well child visits for today. This visit included the flu shot and a TB test. Neither of my babies are very good about getting shots, but I had mentioned it to PB a couple of weeks ago. As I was tucking them in last night, I mentioned that after their appointment, we would go to the mall and have Chic-Fil-A for lunch and then go see HSM3 at the movie theater. This was met with much rejoicing.

So the doctor comes in, checks them out, chats with us, asks how PB has been doing after the earlier bout with Lyme's Disease, etc. Then she leaves, letting us know the nurse would be right back in. The nurse comes in, and PB hides in the corner. I have Monster sitting on the bed, and I hug him tight. The nurse has to struggle a little and he is crying so hard. She gets both needles done, and he just keeps sobbing. I haven't heard him cry this hard in a very long time. The nurse corners PB (literally...lol) and talks to her about being a big girl while I deal with Monster. I get him to sit down, load her up on the table, turn her head the other way, and a few tears later we are all done. I grab Monster back up (he's almost 50 pounds, and I can still carry him around. How do I not have arms of steel?) and try to sign the paper. I'm then informed we have to come back Friday morning to have their TB tests read. ARGHHH. Shouldn't you have mentioned that before, to make sure we could make it in? Since not going in means they have to get a needle again, I will make it work, but still.

Monster cried unil he was in the car, and then I was able to get him to laugh. He still whined a bit here and there, but then there was Chicken Nuggets and Fruit and Root beer, then popcorn and some chocolate. All was okay again, and I was his number one love again.

PB enjoyed the movie, and it was exactly what I thought it would be. Monster enjoyed the dance/music scenes, but mostly was bored (which is funny, because he loves the other two.) The time with my kids cuddling on either side of me? Priceless and worth the gold I had to sell to afford the movie.

Now they are spending the night with my mom, and I'm enjoying being totally alone. Ahhh.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Goodness

Today, I'm counting the blessings I've had today. Today was the equivalent of Friday...no school or work until next Monday. PB didn't get her lesson, but she got to visit the pony and comb him. Monster got a strip for his belt, and had a great class with only one other kidlin there with him. We had yummy (and easy to make) spaghetti for dinner, the kids watched the Grinch, and I GOT TO TALK TO MY HUNNY! Yay.

Now I'm off to sleep as I'm passing out sitting here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fun Monday, High on Life

Mariposa has stepped up again to host our Fun Monday this week!

High moments...in our lives! If you could share to us 3-5 high moments in
your lives...this could be funny moments...the you can't believe you did it
moments...the "I told you so" moments...or the times we asked the ground to go
open and eat us moments! You need not write a book to explain them, the
highlights will do.



Wow, this is kind of tough.

My wedding had a lot of those funny moments. Both DDS and I caught some sort of stomach bug the night before, and in two different locations we both started praying to the porcelain god at 4 am. Our wedding took place at 4 pm. We were feeling better by then, but weak. I made arrangements for someone to have some candy to give me in case I felt faint. Less than 5 minutes into the ceremony, I felt faint. No one would hand me the candy. They brought me a folding chair, a program, a wet cloth. My husband and best man brought the unity candle to me. It was like a comedy...all I could do was laugh. We even had to sit on a piano bench for our receiving line. Everyone thought we were just nervous, but really, we were sick.

That's all I have at the moment. I'll come back to edit if I think of more.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The cutest little white belt, hands down.

I'm finally getting the planets aligned to write the Martial Arts post.  Yay Me!
So Monster decided that he wanted to learn Martial Arts.  This is something DDS and I have thought about enrolling for a year or so now.  We wanted him to learn the self control and have an outlet for some energy, but we were worried that it would just be another way to harm us.  I finally think he is old enough to understand the difference.  I asked around to several people I knew that had children or themselves enrolled, and found a school with good references.  He had his first of two private classes on Tuesday night, and the second on Wednesday night.  These classes allow the staff to determine where the kids are, and how well they will handle the classes.  He was so excited, he was literally vibrating.  He couldn't stand still.  He listened well and really comprehended and learned the movements.  But he didn't ge his belt the first night, and he was a little disappointed with that.
So, we went back the second night, and mama remembered the camera the second time.  OMG, I love that boy in his little uniform.  He's so stinkin CUTE! 
He was vibrating again, and he remembered the bows, and the moves.
At the end of the lesson, he had to break his first board. 
And may I introduce to you...the newest white belt.
I really want to eat him up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Today seemed to be designed to remind me that there are Holidays coming and soon. 

Last night it snowed.  It doesn't do that in Delaware in November. 

I went to the commissary for my every other week grocery shopping.  OMG.  I forgot it was Thanksgiving next week, and it was totally crazy.  I just wanted to cry and run screaming from the store, but unfortunately, we need food so we can eat.

After we managed to escape and get the groceries put away, we headed out to the Festival of Trees with my mom, stepdad and grandma.  It was okay...we did get a good picture of my kidlins with Santa.  We had lunch a the buffet there, which was a treat for my kidlins.  Then we headed to my grandma's place to decorate her tree.  She had asked for the kids to help her (translate into actually do all of) decorate her tree.  So we did that.  Then we came home, rested a bit, had a light dinner, and tucked them into bed.  It's been a long day, and I have a bit of cleaning to do now.  Yawn.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things that bug me.

I know...a list.  Yuck.  Too bad. 

1. I wanted to write a post about Monster's first/second Martial Arts Class, but my camera is downstairs and I'm not.  It will have to wait until tomorrow.

2. That when my husband calls, I have so much to tell him, but all of it seems too trivial...or it's a surprise (we bought Christmas and birthday gifts today.)

3.  That they build all of the necessary stages and such for the Inaugaration from scratch.  All that lumber, all that money.  What a waste.

4. That it will cost the Obama's more than I make in a year to send their children to the private school in Washington.  I get that Public Schools probably can't handle the publicity.  But seriously...almost $60,000 a year for these girls to go to school.  Most colleges aren't even that expensive.

There's a lot more, but these are the most recent ones. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nothing ever goes right when you're dealing with the military

My husband called me at 5:30 last night to tell me that he had landed in Maine.  He was supposed to be there for an hour or so and then move on to the next stop.  We headed out of Monster's martial arts class (post is coming soon...that's tomorrow's topic), dropped him off to his uncle, picked up PB and took her to the YA performance.  It was a very good show, but it ran a little late for a school night.  When it finally ended around 9:30, I looked down and found a message on my cell phone.  From my husband.  The one that wasn't even supposed to be in country any more.  His plane broke and they were still stuck in Maine.  They could be there all night.  At 12:30 last night, he called to tell me that they finally checked them into a hotel for the night.  Talk about anti-climatic.  How many times can you have your last conversation for a couple of weeks in one day.  Apparently, several.

He moved onto his next stop today.  I knew that contact would be limited over the next several weeks, so all I asked him was to let me know he got there okay if the opportunity arrived.  Another wife called that I'm friends with called tonight to let me know that they had landed at the next destination, and that he missed me and loved me.  They have a special calling plan as she has family in another country, so her soldier was able to call her.  It was a wonderful gesture...a gesture that a loving husband gives to show that he loves his wife.

Happy Love Thursday.  Absence does make the heart grow fonder...and mine was pretty fond to begin with.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'll take "This person is an emotional mess" for $1000, Alex.

My hubby is on his way to Kuwait. There's so much that sentence doesn't say. It doesn't say that going to Kuwait is one step away from Hell for him. That for the next 2-3 weeks, we won't have much if any contact with him. The Holidays are arriving, and I'm not sure what I'm going to send to him, if it's going to get there. And his birthday is two days after Christmas, so I have to make sure that is ready as well. And this week, I've given myself permission to wallow in the depression some. I've allowed myself a couple of times to think about how very long the next 9 months will be. How much he is going to miss...how much we are going to miss. And it makes me sad, makes me angry.

PB is participating in a Young Americans workshop at the high school this week. Bug would have been able to participate if she had stayed here for the school year. This is not an event that happens often, so she probably won't have another shot at it. Monday night was the first session, and we had to bring the kids dinner for their break. I was there a little bit early, so I was able to sit in the audience and watch as the small groups joined into a big group and showed off what they learned. I sat there pretty much sobbing. Oh, I always cry a little when I go to one of the kids concerts...choir, band, school, whatever...Childbirth made me an emotional crazy woman. But those are just the normal little sniffly tears. This was full blown ugly cry (but quietly) and I was mortified. But I couldn't even talk...all I could do was sit and cry and hope no one was watching. I watched as Bug's friends and her sister stood on the stage singing...watched as they laughed and had a good time. And I ached for her. I was so sad that she was missing out on this experience. I was sad that my husband wasn't here to watch, to enjoy. That he isn't going to watch the show tonight.

Monster started Martial Arts last night. Another moment of emotion.

I'm still sad today. The alarm company had to send someone to fix one of our alarm sensors, and I think it's Gods way of making sure that I stayed home this morning. Because I am an emotionl mess this morning. I spent a good chunk of time on the phone with him this morning, as he rode the bus to the airport. Knowing that this could be the last chance I have to talk to him for weeks. Not having much to say, but not wanting to disconnect.

I know that it will get better. We have things to do, things to prepare to help pass the time. And I know that I have to allow myself the chance to feel and work through these emotions.

And for $1000, the "answer" the title? That would be "who is mamalang?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm over at my new digs, too!

I started a review blog...why? Because sometime I want to post about some cool things, and I don't want to have to worry about my Blogher ads contract...and why not? Come on over and check it out!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun Monday - Talismans

Margaret from M is for Misanthrope is our hostess this week, and our assignment is:
Do you have a piece of jewelry or other item that holds great personal significance for you, and that you wear or keep with you every day? Show us a photo of your talisman, and tell us why it is so important to you.
I have a note that my husband wrote to me several years ago on a small hotel pad that I carry with my in my purse.  Everytime I touch/see it, it reminds me that he loves me.  I also have two cards that he gave me with flowers that help me remember where we've been and how we've come through.  The first card says "things will be better, Our cars may be broke, our house may be broke and we may be broke, but our love will never break."  That card was accurate...it was all broken.  Several years later, he sent me flowers again, and this card says "Once I told you that we might have been broke, not anymore, Our house was broke, not anymore, our cars were broke, not anymore, Last but not least, I love you, not any less but more and more every day."  Next to that is a series of pictures of us when we were engaged.  We were young, and broke, but we definitely had love.  And still do.

I miss you honey.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is why I don't watch television very often

Somehow I landed on VH1 this evening, and the show Rock of Love Charm School.  It really is like watching a train wreck.  I can't stop.  And I'm glad that I know better.  After that, it was the Pick Up Aritist.  Okay, that show is just plain stupid.  I'm not even continuing past the 15 minute mark.  They have names for al these pick up moves, so they can sit and talk in code.  They try to make it sound so important and it sounds so stupid instead.

Seriously, what is up with all the lame reality television nowadays?  Is there a lack of creative screenwriters now?  What happened to good ol videos?  Remember Pop Up Video?  Behind the Music?  Shows that you actually sort of cared about watching as a brain suck?  No more. 

Saturday, November 15, 2008

pause

This is hubbies last night home, so I'm not posting much.  I have lots of thoughts to share, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Feeling crafty?

I found this site through a series of clicks from somewhere, but I've found I love it.  You Can Make This is a fun site with lots of great ideas, some free and some part of inexpensive download e-books.  They've offered a free doll skirt pattern, in return they just ask that you make one or more to donate to Toys for Tots.  Because after all, what fun is a doll that you can't change?  Check it out. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Horseback lesson one

So as I mentioned the other day, Tuesday was Princess Bear's first horseback riding lesson.  It was awesome.  The owner/instructor has a son Monster's age, and they made fast friends. 
We met Napoleon the pony when we visited last week.  This is "her" pony for lessons.
Isn't he just so sweet?
The instructor explained that when you are learning to ride, you shouldn't try and ride any horse who's back is taller than your shoulders.  So all of her kids learn to ride on a pony.  Next, PB learned how to groom her pony to prepare him for a saddle.  Her instructor explained what they different brushes did, and why it was important.  They kept up a steady stream of chatter the whole time, and I saw her really taking the information in.
The she learned how to saddle him up, and led him out to the practice ring.  You have to walk before you ride, so that is what she did.
Doesn't she look so big?  And such a natural!
Now you climb up in the saddle and ride around a bit.  You have to learn how to control the horse, not just with your hands but also with your legs.  It also requires quite a bit of balance.
Then, to help with balance and learning how the horse moves, she to try a little bareback.
I can not stress how great I think this instructor was while working with PB.  She was patient, and explained they why behind what you do.  She helped PB learn to feel comfortable on the horse, and allowed her to slowly feel a little independence.  It really was a great lesson. 
Of course, I needed my inhaler by the time I got home.  I'm seriously thinking it's about time to go get the testing and see about shots.  Allergies to most animals sucks.
I'm really looking forward to next weeks lesson!  Maybe I'll remember my camera, so I don't have to take them with the crappy cell phone again!
Happy Love Thursday everyone.  I hope you and yours have found the things you love to do.

 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm so excited, and I'm having a hard time hiding it.

My hubby is on his way home.  He should be here any minute.  I'm so ready to see him. I'm excited to see the kids faces when he wakes them back up to say hello.  I can't wait to crawl into bed with him and cuddle into his arms.  And so, the rest will have to wait.  I can't keep it to myself much longer...hopefully he's home soon.

I just had to come back and add a little note.  I'm watching the CMA's while I'm waiting, and the lady who just introduced Carrie Underwood?  The widow of a hero?  That made me bawl.  Not just cry, but bawl.  I'm so impressed and awed by her composure.  I had hard time listening to this song before this, but now I don't think I can do it without crying anytime soon.  The power of music is amazing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I have a lot to talk about

But I just woke up in the chair with the computer on my lap.  Apparently all the fresh air today zapped me.  So I'm off to bed, and I'll have to tell you all about PB's first horseback riding lesson tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun Monday - Veteran's Edition

Jan is our hostess this week, and her assignment takes into account Veteran's Day tomorrow.

Since Next Tuesday is Veterans Day, I thought it would be nice to salute our Veterans and show our appreciation. Photo requirement of something patriotic.
I am truly grateful for our all of our Veterans, but the citizen soldiers of the National Guard rank a little higher in my heart. I personally see the dedication that these soldiers bring to the Guard. They put in long hours when most people are off having fun. They sacrifice their jobs, their families, their hobbies to serve. They are frequently given old equipment and supplies, since they only use them once a month. Training for real world situations wasn't always available before deployments became the norm. They are looked down upon by many of their counterparts in the full time Army. To me though, they are the true heros.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Another frustrating day

This whole weekend has felt frustrating with my kids. I know that they need more sleep than they have gotten in the lst few days, and I'm trying to plan some early bedtimes over the next few nights. But the level of frustration was just too much tonight, and I spoke in that bad mommy tone for a short while. And I can sit here and justify it to myself. And I know it happens. But even as I was doing it, I was feeling like a heel. And I wanted to stop, but I couldn't get that 10 minutes I needed, as we were in the car. Once we were home, and they had time to romp in their rooms without me hearing them, I was in a little better frame of mind.

This sole caregiver thing is tough. I don't say single parent, as I am least blessed to still have the second income to help cover expenses. And I have wonderful family and friends that want to spend time with my kids, that want to help. But I've had a lot on my plate the last couple of weeks, and I feel like my kids have had a little too much time with those family members. They need me. And so, knowing I had to go to work today, I made plans for them to come with me, and watch a movie in the conference room on the wall. They enjoyed it, and they were pretty good. I'm hoping that this will be something they remember, and that this evening's outburst will be shortly forgotten.

It isn't just being the main care giver for the kids, but all the things that entails. I am the only one capable of taking out the trash, cooking dinner, helping Monster with his shower, washing, drying clothes. PB can help fold, and they both help put theirs away and help unload the dishwasher. It just gets tiring and time-consuming sometimes. I really would love for someone else to figure out what's for dinner for a few nights.

On top of all this, I'm frustrated again tonight with Bug's situation. Her mom can't afford to buy her a coat apparently. The child told me that the area they are in isn't as prosperous as ours (I really don't understand why this child thinks we live in the lap of luxury...seriously) and they are having some job issues right now, so they are looking into getting her a coat. This woman has barely contributed to the cost of raising this child for the last 8 years, and now she wants us to continue to pay for everything while she gets to make all the choices. And I feel stuck. I hate to know that the child is walking to and from school in the cold without a coat. No child should ever have to do that. But it pisses me off that it's just assumed that we will cough up the needed funds. So on that note, I'm off to push aside my anger and irritation, and see if I can cram this coat into one of those flat rate boxes. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

linky time

My hubby is still in the states, and will be coming home for a short pass this week. We haven't told the kids, as he wants to totally surprise them. Luckily, they only have half days Thurs and Fri, so they'll get a large amount of time with him.

This homecoming is bittersweet for several reasons. It will be nice to see him, touch him, kiss him. But it will be for such a short time. And the kids seem to be settling in, and this will restart that process for them. And it's not for good. But I am trying to make it a relatively stress free, normal time for him. We may even start the house decorating outdoors for Christmas.

He's posted two poems he found and enjoyed over on his site. Stop by and say hi. He doesn't get to post often, but I know he would enjoy a visit from you.

Friday, November 07, 2008

handmade?

I know, everyone is feeling the crunch this year, and lots of people are looking for inexpensive items to make for Christmas. I am no exception, except this is my story every year.

I have a few ideas floating around in my head for the kids and my employees. But I'm looking for fresh ideas, things I can provide to other family members. Seen or thought of any interesting ideas lately?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'll Trade You

Do you have kids?  Have you been looking for ways to help them learn how wonderful the internet is?  How people you have never met in real life can become great friends?  Well, we have a swap for them.  Sign ups are going on now for the I'll Trade You Swap group over on Flickr.  It doesn't require a large amount of funds.  The suggested minimum is $10.  My kiddos participated in the Book Swap this summer, and they found it great fun.  It forced them to look at some genres they might not have otherwise.  Interested?  Let me know.  You have to be approved, to help maintain privacy for the kids.

I'll Trade You . . . Secret Santa Swap by the SmockLady, on flickr

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Post-Election Depression

So, it's the day after.  I've been trying to gather my thoughts all day, to evaluate this anxiety I feel.  Trying to find the words to say how I feel, why.  I'm not sure if I can.

First of all, if I hear one more person say that America has a new President today, I seriously might have to slap them.  We don't have a new President today.  We've elected a new President.  We have a President Elect.  He has a lot of work in front of him over the next 2 1/2 months.  The world is already watching.  But he isn't the President, yet.  Semantics, I know, but still.

That makes it sound like I am Pro McCain, and just sending out sour grapes.  That isn't the case at all.  I did vote for McCain.  It wasn't an easy decision for me, and my reasons are mine.  They are based on my life and what I feel.  It wasn't a whim, it wasn't a vote for more of the same.  As I said before, I didn't feel particularly strongly for either candidate.  My real choice would hav been a do over, but on a much shorter scale.

This whole election process started way too long ago.  It's been America's obsession for well over a year.  I'm tired of it.  I am afraid of what next year will bring.  I'm not full of hope, spouting rainbows and unicorns every where I go.  I worried that McCain would be more of the same, and it isn't working.  Big corporations should not be bailed out.  If you build a business, and you make bad business choices, you should not be rewarded for that, especially not using my money.  If you consumed too much trash, spending money you don't have...then I guess you need to learn your lesson.  Because of these choices, I am watching people that I love struggle to make it.  Decent, hardworking people just trying to keep it all going.  I worry that Obama will be too much change, too fast.  I worry that the world will want to test him...see how strong he is.  I worry that my husband may not have a job in 2 years.  That we will return to the state of the military we had back in 2001.  Not enough people, not enough equipment.  Part of the reason the war in Iraq costs so much is because Clinton didn't spend enough to keep equipment and personnel at the necessary levels.  When something does happen and we need to respond, there isn't enough.

I work for the State government.  We elected a new governor.  I think that he will be a good governor, and I don't fear for my job as I would have if his competitor had been elected.  But I know change will still come.  We are doing more with way less, just as every person is doing in their personal life.  Something will have to give eventually.

I am praying.  I am hoping that this will be a good thing for America.  If nothing else, I hope that the senseless name calling can stop.  I'm tired of people inferring that I am stupid or brain damaged, simply because I haven't become one of the many followers.

And the paper consumption will be reduced again, and the roadside signs will stop marring my view.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fun Monday

Our assignment this week comes from Bee Dancing

I'm relatively new to blogging, & I'm sure this has come up before, but I'd really like to know WHY you blog. Tell me how you got started or why you got started and why you keep it up. Plus there's a photo requirement: Post a picture of the one person/place/thing that most symbolizes the town or area where you live.


I think I have posted this before, but basically, I was reading someone else's blog. I had to register to comment, and so I figured I'd give it a shot. Now I'm addicted. I'm working on updating this blog, and making it more interesting :)



This is our Legislative Mall. This picture was taken during my husbands deployment ceremony, so you can see secret service and various other security people hanging out. It isn't like tht any other day.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

November already?

Is it really November already? I can't believe how fast time is flying.

Monster had a soccer game this morning. Only one more and the season is over. After that, we went to teh big craft show that is always the first weekend in November here. It's a big deal around here. I managed to find gifts for my game night this month, so it was productive. When we got home, I laid down on the couch and fell asleep. Monster cuddled with me and watched a little tv. After that, we cuddled some more while I played a game on the computer. He likes to sit and watch me and help me. Eventually, I noticed he wasn't chatting and moving so much any more. He had passed out on my shoulder, and I couldn't move. Sleepy boy slept for an hour, and then he finally woke up so I could move. We made home made pizza, chatted with DDS on the webcam and hung out a bit more before bed. Now I need to go reset my clocks and head to bed myself. Too bad I'm not tired now...lol

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone.  The mummy and I will be going out for a haunting good time tonight.  PB is going camping with her girl scout troop and they will be having a costume contest and many other fun activities, but no trick or treating for her this year.  That makes it a little difficult for me to post a picture of her in full vampire gear, but perhaps I'll make her put it all on one day next week so I can get a picture for posterity.

I'll leave you with my mummy...isn't he just too stinkin cute for words?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exhausted

It has been a world wind week here.  Costumes and goodies to complete, unpleasant meetings, tons of work, plus all the day to day requirements have left me wishing for a lot more hours in each day.  I'm looking forward to a ton of sleep this coming weekend...we even gain an hour on Sat night/Sun Morning.  I need it.  Let's hope I don't stay up thinking...ah it's only 10, not really 11...lol.

The kids had their harvest festivals today at school.  I think it's crazy that they are so afraid of offending people that they have harvest festivals on the 30th.  Harvest festivals filled with a costume parade, halloween candy, etc.  I don't understand how moving it by one day and renaming it makes it okay for those people opposed to their children celebrating halloween.   It's not that I don't respect their right to hold that belief, more that I don't understand how it changes things.

Here's a picture of the favors we made for PB's and Monster's classes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the story of the munchkin

When Bug was 3, I met her father.  2 weeks before her 4th birthday, we were married and I became her mama.  Truth be told, she had me before he did, and he knows it.  I fell in love with the sweet little girl she was.  At this time, the custody agreement was in place for her to spend 6 months straight with each parent. 

When Bug was almost 5, we agreed to let her move in with her mother for the school year so that she could start school.  It was a difficult decision, but we did our best to make it work.  PB was born while Bug was with her mother, so they didn't meet for the first time until Thanksgiving.  I believe it could be considered love at first sight.  We worked very hard to make sure that Bug knew how much we loved and missed her.  We set aside time devoted to her when she visited, but made sure she still had rules and limits.

After a year and a half, she decided she wanted to come live with us.  We told her she had to finish out her first grade year with her mom, and we would discuss it over the summer.  We mde sure she understood that if she said she wanted to come live with us, she had to be sure.  Once the wheels were turning, there would be no mind changing.  She was adamant.  At the end of the summer, DDS informed Bug's mom that she wouldn't be returning to her for the school year.  She arrived on our doorstep 12 hours later afer driving all night.  She went to court and filed for Emergency Custody.  In our state, as soon as a custody petition is filed, the child is required to stay in this state unless both parties agree otherwise, or a judge rules differently.  Several months later, they met for mediation, which failed.  In January, we went to court, and after listening to both parents and speaking with Bug, the judge decided that she was best served living with us.  Bug's mom did not act very mature about this decision, and Bug ended up with a lot of anger and anomisity towards her mother after this time.

Bug has lived with us ever since, with regular visits to her mother. I have been her mother.  I have taken care of her when she is sick, driven her to her many activities, helped her with homework, planned her birthday parties, spent hours at airports with her.  I'm the one that schedules the necessary doctor and dental appointments, who gets her up in the morning and helps tuck her in at night.  She has always been treated just like the other two in this house. 

Usually, we've found that 8 weeks is when it all starts to fall apart while at her mom's.  It will be interesting to see how long she lasts living there full time and going to school.  Her decision to go live with her mother hurt me and made me angry.  I'm still working through these feelings, trying to be adult about the situation. 

I'm afraid of the damage she has done to her relationships with the family members here.  Not just myself, or even her brother and sister, but her aunt and grandmothers.  I'm also worried about what it's done to her academic future.  The schools where she transferred to don't have the same level of classes as this school here does. 

I love her, and I wish her the best.  I'm hoping that somehow we are all proven wrong with this experiment.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Noodle Net...safeguarding your computer from the real threats!

Looking for a nice piece of software to help you manage your kids computer?  I've found and fell in love with Noodle Net. It's $40.00 for a year subscription, but you can get a 30 day trial for free. You log into it, and it locks your children out of everything except those sites and programs you approve. No more of them messing around on the desktop and diconnecting your wireless, or changing the font. You approve programs and websites and that's what they have access to.  There's also a timer feature that locks them out after a certain time limit is reached.  You just have to remember your password. My 5 year old loves it, because he doesn't need any help getting to the sites he's allowed to be on. It comes loaded with some kid friendly sites already, and it's very easy to add more to it.  You can have several accounts, and you assign each child a symbol as well as there name, so it's easy for the younger ones to use. 

This is not a paid review.  This is just a product that I found and liked.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A haunting good time

Tonight, we carved our pumpkins.  Well, PB and Monster carved their pumpkins (with a little help from mom, of course.)  Usually, I manage to get a few pictures of the process, but being the only pair of adult hands makes that a little difficult.  I did get pictures of the after.  I'm pretty proud of both of them.

Monster and I drew his jack'o'lantern face on a piece of paper before drawing it on the pumpkin.  There was a little confusion with the mouth.  Apparently we weren't speaking the same language there, but a visual helped us work through that.  We have those special tools, so we pulled them out and he was able to do a lot of it himself, with just a little bit of help from mom.  When he was complete, he named him "Jack", and his nickname (or second name as Monster refers to it) is Little Jackie.  Monster loves him.

PB picked a stencil of a ghost. With a little direction and very little help from me, she was able to handle this on her own.  Watching her reminded me how big she is getting.  And I was able to catch a glimpse of her father in her...that tongue as working hard during the carving process.

When we returned home from soccer practice, we placed the electric tea lights in and oohed and ahhed.

Jack aka Little Jackie by Monster
The Ghost by Princess Bear
Mama's pumpkin.  Not carved.  So pretty, huh?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Busy Busy Sunday

Wow!  What a productive day it's been.  I straightened up the garage, the shed, the back yard, and worked on the treats for the kids classes.  My mom came over and helped, which was great.  PB was at her quilting class...she ended up in a one on one class, and she had a blast.  She'll go back Thursday night to finish up the quilt top, then we have to show her how to back it and have it quilted.  It looks very cute, and very her.  I'll have pictures later this week of both the treats and the quilt!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Birthdy Bug

My Bug turned 15 today.  I missed her.  I received a text and sent her one, and we had mailed her package out in plenty of time for her to receive it, but it wasn't the same.  So many changes this fall.  We're all adjusting, doing fine.  But sometimes, I'm reminded that it sucks.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Off to the pumpkin patch

There's a local farm market that we usually go to in the fall.  They have a whole little festival thing going on, with two corn mazes, pumpking painting, and other activities.  We usually go out to their pumpkin patch and pick up a pumpkin as well.
This year, it seems like they are truly in it just for the money.  It no longer felt like the quaint farm market.  And then we noticed the pumpkin patch.  I've seen Easter Egg hunts that were harder than the pumpkins in this patch.  It wasn't much better than going to some store and picking one out of a bin.  That wouldn't do at all.
So, this afernoon, my SIL and I took PB and Monster to another patch a few minutes away.  This one has pumpkins and gourds in the you pick area, and still isn't too "commercial."  Of course, my battery died on my camera.  I always forget to charge the stupid thing.  But I was able to click off these two.
We all liked these gourds.  The orange one is as big as a pumpkin.
A good time was had by all.  When we were done, my SIL and I were purusing the little store.  They have lots of neat things, and lots of breakables.  We set our pumpkins on a table while we strolled.  Whenit was time to leave, PB picked hers up before I could get Monster and mine picked up, and the table tilted.  One of the pumpkins went rolling off the table, onto a very nice platter, which went flying onto the floor.  I'm still not sure how neither the pumpkin or the plae didn't break.  We put the plate back, picked up the pumpkins, and got the heck out of dodge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not even the lesser of two evils

I'm not very vocal about my politics. In general, I believe that sometimes the government needs to govern, but that we need to protect our right to choose. I'm actually a pretty tolerant person. Just because your views of life, your lifestyle, your choices are different than mine, that doesn't make them wrong. As long as you are not harming anyone, you should be free to go about your business.

I am a registered Independent. This means that I can not vote in any of the primary elections. My children often ask me who I'm going to vote for, and my answer continues to be I don't know. I don't know who I'm going to vote for in the Presidential election, our State Governor's election, the Senate, the House. I don't know. Its not because I'm not listening, reading, thinking. It's because no one impresses me that strongly. I just don't know.

There is so much hinging on this election, and I just don't feel a strong sense that either of these candidates can effectively, completely lead us going forward.

What also scares me is how fanatic some people have become about their candidate. People are judging people solely based on who they are supporting. Nasty comments, demeaning words, and I'm not just talking about the campaign commercials. It causes me to worry that this election will cause a divide so deep, it might not ever be fixed. And that scares me more than the thought of either of these candidates leading us into the future.

My choice this election? Can I have a do over?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drama really is over-rated

I'm always very careful about what I write about here. While I try to maintain some level of anonymity on this blog, some one could figure out who I am and who I am talking about with very little brain power. And while no one in my family reads this site but my husband, I know the day may come when they discover it, so I try hard to be fair to all parties, and keep my fingers closed on some subjects.

But I'm mad. And annoyed. Not with my family (well, not any more than usual anyways), but with a group that I've agreed to hold a leadership position in. And I keep trying to write a post aboout it, vent about it, and I know that someday I will have to answer to that post. So it doesn't come. So I guess a general gripe will have to do.

There are people that agreed to serve in a leadership capacity that haven't stepped up and done anything. There are people who want to complain about when the meetings are, and yet when we reschedule, they can't attend. There are people that just want to complain about everything and never provide input.

But there are also people who believe in what we're doing. People who come to the meetings, no matter what. People who stop and tell me what a difference we're making in other people's lives. They show me that all this drama, all this frustration, it has meaning. And so, for a little while longer, I'll serve. But one day, there is going to be an ugly post up here if things don't get better.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fun Monday

I need to get back into the Fun Monday group. I miss those posts, miss reading other people's view of a topic. And I need some blog fodder. Everything I want to post about takes time, and lately that has been in very short supply.

Can you believe Christmas is TWO months from Saturday? Where does the time go?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

What a load of clothes!

We handled the switching of clothes today.  Wow, PB as a lot of clothes.  Most of them are hand me downs from Bug, but goodness there is a ton.  My mom came over and helped us sort through the winter and summer and pass along the ones that no longer fit, store the ones for warm weather, and straighten a bit in her room.  I've worked through the Monsters clothes (his don't take nearly as long) and will be doing mine shortly.  I'm tired, but it's sort of fun having a whole new wardrobe available.  It's also nice having it all organized, at least for a bit.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Blocked

I have lots to say but no motivation and time to put the words down.  Maybe soon it will come.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh what a night

My game night was last night, and while it wasn't anything out of the ordinary and I didn't win any prizes, it was a good time. I needed the break from all of the responsibilities in my life, and I felt exhausted but recharged once it was done. I'm so thankful for the ladies in this group. They take the time to check on me, but don't dwell. They tell me great stories, and keep me entertained. And occassionaly they make me laugh so hard I almost wet myself. Pretty much, it's perfect.

And I came home to clean children sleeping soundly. Beautiful.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love is being bossy

Today is "National Boss Day." I didn't know this earlier today. When I was in with my boss earlier today, I noticed a very nicely wrapped package of candy on his desk, and I thought that I should go check the calendar. And then he gave me a list of a few things to get done before our 1pm meeting and I forgot all about it.

I went into my 10:30 meeting, and when I came out there was a lovely bouquet of flowers on my desk. The lovely ladies who work for me, who are all good employees anyway, had purchased them for me, along with two cards. They all wrote sweet things in the cards and they moved me to a few tears.

I was touched to know that what I strive to be (a caring boss that feels we are all on the same team) is how they see me as well. I really needed that today. It made my Love Thursday lovely.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas already

Today begins the sign up for the Color Me Happy Swaparooni's Ornament Swap over on flickr. This is a great group, but it's by referral only. So if you want to join, someone in the group has to know you and refer you. Do I haunt your blog? Have you commented here? I could probably sponsor you then :)

CMHS November-December 2008 Ornament Swap by Oh My Stinkin' Heck!

In addition to this, we're working on Christmas ornaments for the unit. Guess it's going to get me in the mood.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I need to overhaul my blog

I seriously have to find some time to sit down, open the tutorials I have, and fix the layout of this blog. I know I can do it, but can't seem to find the time. I'm sick of the colors, and now that I've added the blogher ad network, things are all unbalanced. Perhaps I'll get some time this weekend...hahahahaha!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A holiday, but not a day off

So, today was a state and federal holiday, which means I didn't have to go to my job. However, the kids still had school, and the Youth Center was closed (it's a federal program). So, I got to take PB to school this morning, and then take Monster this afternoon. I was supposed to stay and help out in his room, but his teacher went home sick and didn't leave any directions. So I went home and did some chores. Then back to the school to pick up PB for a counselling appt, and then home to get more chores done. It was a busy day, and I think it would have been less so if I had gone to work!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Busy

Princess had a busy day planned for us today. This morning she had to be in church to play handbells before late service, and then I had to drive like a maniac (a safe maniac though) to get her to a town 25 minutes away to show her sheep. We got there, and then proceeded to wait over 6 hours until her time to show. Not the fault of anyone we were there with, but oh my, that was a long day. We finally returned home at 8 and had to get ready for the next day. McDonald's on the way home was dinner...yuck.

They went to Sunday School for the first time this year this morning. They've had two other weeks of it, but the first weekend was Bug's spa sleepover, and then last weekend we said goodbye to daddy in the wee hours of the morning. Monster was so excited to go...such a difference from last year. He is doing so well, I am so proud of him.