Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Big burger night

The hub came home early this afternoon. His back is acting up in a new way, so I am trying not to worry and feel that old familiar dread creep back into my tummy. Let's all pray that he just over-soccered this weekend and his back is giving him a talking to today. The oldest and I made a trip to the grocery store to find the makings for dinner. With all of my lovely allergy drainage(TMI, I know), my stomach didn't want food anymore than it does 1.2 seconds after i've taken one too many forkfuls of Thanksgiving dinner. I wasn't feeling stuffed, just like I had no desire to ever see food. So I had S call her dad and ask what he wanted for dinner. He wasn't a whole lot of help, so I decided to just get some burgers since I was standing in front of the butcher's counter. I was lazy and got some premade patties. I didn't really look to hard at how big they were until I got home and then I realized that I had made an error in judgement. These burgers could have been cut in half, like one would safely cut a bagel, and still be huge. It was taken in stride and the burgers were grilled low and slow. Since I have never been a person in need of having my beef cooked all that much, my burger seemed fine as did the children's share as well. Unfortunately after another time on the grill, the hub could not finish his since the earlier rareness proved too much for his tummy to forget. Lesson learned. I will always let him form the burgers himself...though he did an excellent job on all of ours. I may have to make him a second dinner here later on tonight.

Thus ends the tedious minutae that fills my days. I'm getting a shower and going to bed. Night all.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Doc day makes cleaning easier

So I heard lots and lots and LOTS of buzz about a documentary that had been shown at Sundance last year and premiered on HBO last night. Titled "Going Clear", it was an expose' about the Church of Scientology and its founder. I will not give my complete opinion about this particular organization, but it was a riveting movie. It sure made cleaning the basement easier. Instead of whistling while I work, I "doc" while I work.

On a sad note, I would like to express my sadness upon hearing of the passing of Dr. Paul Torgersen. He was the President Emeritus at Virginia Tech, a highly respected scholar in the field of engineering, the sitting president when my graduation was conferred and a longtime family friend. The hub had him for a class and they were invited to The Grove, the president's house, for a reception and to wander around. He and his wife gave him a picture of my mother riding on a camel when they were on an overseas trip together. He was held in high esteem by so many and the Hokie Nation is poorer with his loss. Godspeed and rest in peace, Dr. T.

Night all.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Well, it can hopefully only improve from here

Hosannas were shouted all over church this morning from the children waving their palm branches and the choirs singing it in beautiful verse and melody. We are entering into a heavy week and anticipating the joy of the Resurrection next Sunday. But for today, the mood was exciting. I was in a fog. The choice to take cold meds was not a great one and I found myself running into walls and forgetting people's names. Great impression given to parents by the person in charge of child care.

After I left work, I changed clothes and went to watch the youngers play soccer while the hub watched the oldest play. The boy was a little sluggish to start, but woke up soon enough. He scored on an indirect kick and it was quite lovely. G's game was not so happy. It stinks in this club soccer atmosphere when other teams substitute players and try to pass them off as the same age as the rest of the team. G's team was pure U-11 today. The other team looked to be U-Driver's License. It was a yucky loss, but also their first game. G made some mistakes, but also had several situations out of her control as did all of our girls. They can only improve from here I think.

I am going to take some good cold meds and luckily not have to be around other humans, other than family, for a bit. That will be a blessing to all involved.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Simple and sleek

So today was another busy day, but a successful one again. After two extra cruddy days at school, the boy's spirits were low, very low, and he needed some drops in his bucket for sure. Between hitting his head a combined two day total of at least 8 times, one of which required a call from his teacher, not getting any awards on awards day, having a classmate drink his milk AGAIN, overthinking his classwork and issues on the playground, he was done. So when we got up this morning to ready ourselves for his very first Pinewood Derby, I was worried. I told the hub that I just prayed he did at least kind of okay. Oftentimes this event can be one of frustration if parents get over involved and you find your child's car(that he did everything on except use the table saw) and someone else's car (with a hand carved spoiler and a paint and poly job worthy of display in the Louvre) up against each other and you worry. But the boy had a plan and he knew what he wanted. Thank God for a husband who is a wonderful carpenter and who was able to decipher the boy's rather phallic drawings into a paper design that got the boy's stamp of approval. He helped him use the tools that would cause amputation and instructed him in the proper way to trim down the size, add weight, paint it and add the wheels(and put the messy graphite on in the yard). It was one color, no stickers or embellishments. Just simple and sleek. Race time came and we found ourselves trying to get him to set his expectations low and be surprised if the outcome was different. Shame on us. The first race he ran? Second place. He was THRILLED. Each car got to run in four races in their den group so they could try out all four lanes. He hept being consistently second and sometimes first. How 'bout that? By the end, he was in the finals and wound up third place overall out of maybe 26 cars. Shame on me for worrying his car wasn't flashy or goopy enough. Shame on me. I will say he needs to name his next one. My two favorite names today were "Kermit" and the "Black Death". The boy his riding high on Derby success. It was wonderful to see. He is the cutest darn thing and loves being a scout!

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Coming out of the shadow

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit puffed up today. Today is one of those days that moms and dads replay in their minds over and over and never cease to get a little teary each time they do. Being a middle child is hard, so I hear. I am the youngest of two, so I have never felt it myself, but I have seen it with family and friends...and my own daughter. As the mom of three children, naturally I think they are all the tops and, like Beverly Goldberg, often have my mom goggles on with things they do...barely suppressing the raging desire to stand up and scream "That's MY baby!!!". G has lived in a unique position most of her life. She is the sister of an amazing big sister S and an equally amazing little brother, F. Through the years, she has been kind of, well, just G. Overlooked and in the shadow of her siblings. Not a new story to anyone and probably one of a million out there AND not the worst place one could be, sandwiched between two people who love her so very much. But she's ours and we think she's incredible. So when she had difficulties and was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia, she bucked up and took every bit of tutoring like a champ. Oftentimes there were weeks where the weekends were her only off evenings from tutoring. She sacrificed a lot to learn how to learn and read in a way that made sense to her beautifully wired brain. Through all of this, she remained quiet and refused to tell her friends, only her very closest one from birth knew. We let her know it was nothing to be ashamed of and her brain was wired to do incredible things that regular ones couldn't, but still she guarded her "secret" and we respected her wishes, though we shared with our friends and family from time to time. So as her fifth grade year began, we entered it with severe apprehensions and realized that this was her last year in a somewhat protective educational bubble before she was thrown to the hounds in middle school. As always we told her, "We don't care aout grades. Just as long as you do your best." So far, she has pulled straight A's all year. No, it's not about the grades, but those A's really pump up self esteem. Her teacher has not allowed her to give up or claim inadequacy in an area. She has forced her to work through and perservere. She has thrived. It has been exciting and scary to watch.

So, let me get to the meat and potatoes of today. Our school has an award/scholarship called "Hamilton's Heroes" that has the safety patrols write an essay on the six pillars of character diiscussed at school and how they use those in their lives and their jobs as safeties. The essays are then blind judged and scored on a Rubric. The winner gets their Patrol Trip to Washington DC paid for and their name goes on a plaque in the school hall. Today, after being in the shadows, G stepped out and accepted the award for being a Hamilton's Hero. The look of shock and pure joy on her face was devastatingly beautiful. Then suddenly I was filled with dread: she has to read her essay in front of her classmates. Her reading might halt; her dyslexia secret would be out to her friends. Shame on me. SHe held her head high and spoke out with every word. Sure she was nervous, but she allowed her classmates to hear about her life and her closely protected secret. It was wonderful. The little boy that she is in charge of getting to class every morning ran to her afterwards and hugged her so very tight and she hugged him right back. The teachers and principal commented about how good she was with him and how he listened to her instructions. That said it all to everyone watching.

All my children are heroes to me. Today I am proud that a great girl, often overlooked, received recognition and a prize that fit her to a tee. Love you, Grace the Ace.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Soggy soccer kids

The monsoons came this evening after a fairly lovely day. Shoulda, coulda, woulda, I know, but I should have mowed the lawn. Oh well, it will still be there...just a little bit longer. Thursdays are long nights at the fields since G is doing keeper training, which is an hour before the boy's practice which is an hour before G and S's regular practice. Confused yet? I am. Anyway, we got through keeper training and then, whabang, the rain came. It was cold and miserable, so we all fled to our cars. No, practice wasn't cancelled; we had to wait it out. About 5 minutes later, the coach started calling and I sent my girls out in pouring rain and wind to practice. Needless to say they were soaked and frozen an hour later. We cranked the heat and drove a steaming car home.

I am going to benadryl up and hopefully conk out soon. Night all.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ants and Allergies

I woke up this morning heavy headed and sounding like one of Marge Simpson's sisters. All the mucinex and allegra in the world did no good in battling any of the symptoms. I did manage to crash after school drop off this morning and catch a little nap. As I expected, it was a pretty big mistake and I walked around feeling as though my head had been filled with a bicycle pump full of lead. I staggered around the kitchen looking for effective meds and noticed that the counter seemed to be moving. I really didn't thing that the allegra was that strong, but maybe it was making me think the counter was moving. Nope, the counter was moving...with the spring breaking ants that had arrived to take over. They were vacationing on top of the apples and I saw a pack of them carrying a crumb of toast up the wall through a grout path. Thankfully the hub called our bug guy and he arrived later on in the afternoon. I must have looked rough because Kevin, our sweet bug guy, asked if I was okay. "You look upset!". I explained that I had allergy eyes and my day was much better now that he had come to send the vacationers packing.

The weather is beautiful, but I will gladly say "Adios" to the pollen and ants that come with it in the Spring. Night all.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Little voices

Today in a meeting, we were charged with three questions and how, as Easter approaches, are we going to answer them. The one that really got to me was basically how are people going to perceive our organization or area of specialty based on how we present ourselves. How are people going to see Jesus in the way I act at work? Well okay. That is a great question. And on days like this, which was pretty crappy, I struggle. I was certainly not projecting a Christ-like face as I walked around with steam coming off the top of my head. The people who come into contact with me deserve to get my best self, whether I feel like doing it or not.

So here I was, walking with two of my three children(who were both angry bout one thing or another) and needing to let them blow off some steam. I took them into the playground, with a big frown on my face...probably talking to myself, and I heard two little voices yell, "Mrs. Jenny!!! Hey!!! Hey, Mrs. Jenny!!!". I looked up and saw two of my sweet little girls from church high up on the play structure waving enthusiastically down at me with big smiles on their faces. I wanted to run up there and hug them and crawl under the play structure all at the same time. Jenny Stormcloud walking onto the church playground, frowning and muttering like a psycho in front of two sweet little faces. While they did perk me up and make me smile, I learned a very valuable lesson. There's something to be said for faking it 'til you make it. While everyone is allowed a bad day here and there, we can't let that bleed over to those innocent ones around us. I am thankful for those two sweet little faces who taught me a valuable lesson. You never know who is watching and who might see you at your worst. But they also gave me a gift today...they showed me that I am doing something right. And I'll give them some good hugs the next time I see them. Night all.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

All I wanted was some gauze

I have determined that a certain crafting store with an "ETC" after its name must hire people from anger issues anonymous to cut people's cloth at the counter. They are the foulest bunch of people and not a smile among them...an it makes me so sad. I really don't want to go in there, but when they are the only ones who have the exact fabric pattern I need, well, I'm kind of screwed. I have found a particular kind of really soft doll that I am interested in making. Not a creepy, big eyed psycho looking doll, but a sweet soft and plain doll that will be good for a young one to snuggle. The particular pattern requires "tubular gauze". So, silly me, I asked the angry cloth cutters where I might find that. "What in the world is that?!". I explained. "I don't think that is really a thing. Go get some gauze out of your first aid kit and make a doll out of that." "Go to the doll section...this is the cloth section." Uh, ouch, ladies. I will be looking online instead. I went to try and find the doll section, with no luck, and spoke to the customer service guy. He was bored with it being a "slow night" and all and make sure I knew about how the insole had gone out in his shoe(explained his limp) and how he needed to go to Wal-Mart tonight before it got "too crazy over there". Now I'm no looker, I get it. I let the childbearing years take control and every Monday and Thursday now I got to get a beating and try and fix some of that damage, but I think this guy was trying to bust a move. Here he is showing me creepy doll heads and eyes and asks if I like Wal-Mart and if I needed anything while he was there. "Uh, thanks so much, but I'm good." I kept looking around to see if anyone else was hearing this, but I could find no rescue friend. "It's always nice to have a woman's opinion on shoes and insoles and stuff like that." "Uhhhh. Sure. I'm sure you can find a nice lady there to help you...I've got to get on with my shopping. Thanks for your help." So, um, there's that. Maybe I'm reading it wrong. You tell me. I'll be online looking for gauze that angry cutters say is a figment of my imagination....as I held the book with instructions up to show them. Didn't matter.

Night all. I'm leaving the bizarro world now.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Egged out

Today was the Easter Egg hunt for the little guys and gals at church. There were excited little hunters all around and excited parents readying their cameras. An Easter story was read to the children by a very patient parent, but I don't think many of the children were listening...they were focused on the eggs on the lawn. There were some who listened and made comments to the reader. After giving them the rules about staying out of the freshly mulched and planted flower beds, I gave them the go ahead and they were on their way. We had what seemed like a metric ton of eggs and not ahuge amount of children, but a loyal and enthusiastic group. Sure, Easter is not about the eggs and candy, we all know that. But these little ones know that God loves them and takes care of them. The candy is what it is...but their hearts know the real meaning. And that is what we all hope come out of these experiences.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Soccer boy is now a sore boy

The boy had four games today. Four back to back games. While they were somewhat abbreviated in length, they were not so in intensity. The kids played their hardest. It was somewhat messy at first being their first game of the season(lots of rainouts), but they found their groove soon enough. They came in second out of five. The first place team was in an age level above them, so I really count them as first amongst the teams who were of the same age. That may sound sour grapey, but I have my mom goggles on. The boy scored several goals and was very excited, even though his coach grumped at him after each one for either not being in the correct position when the play started or not using his left foot. Oh well. The kids plays hard and falls hard. I don't think any of his goals were finished with him remaining upright. Moms next to me were saying a drinking game should be created around how many times my child falls down. Ouch...but I can see the humor in that. They would be unconscious before the half of the first half. He is better than he used to be.

Tomorrrow is a big day at work. Gots to let the little guys and gals hunt for some eggs. Here's hoping it all turns out. Night all.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Special lunch

Today has been another creepy rainy day in our fair city. We have all become a bit crazed with the sogginess of our environment and would love for normal rainfall amounts to resume. The dog is bearing the brunt of these conditions. I am a horrible person and have not had her to the dog park as much because, sorry, I don't want to have to give her multiple baths when she jumps in the mud and looks like a chocolate covered chocolate lab. So she has a few little runs in the backyard, trees a few squirrels here and there and looks longingly out the front window and the open road. I get it. So do I.

S went to participate in a mission project with youth all day, so the youngers and I took a trip to a couple towns over and visited the hub for lunch. With his busy schedule and theirs, lunch dates are few and far between. It was nice to visit and see some of his coworkers at the drug store diner where we ate. While I am always grateful for what he does, traveling there makes me even more grateful for his dedication to his job and family. That drive is no fun and to do it twice a day five times a week is brutal. It was a nice end to the last week day of Spring Break.

It is currently 8:27pm EST and I am going to go to bed. I have hit my limit for the day and we all must be up early for soccer games. Wish the boy luck!

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Don't grow up so fast

Well...my boy is officially eight. He woke up this morning with his breakfast in bed tray and declared that he thought he had grown overnight and was indeed bigger. I have no doubt that his sttement was true. Honestly, I can't believe how time has flown. We were reminiscing tonight about the children and their different birth stories. S claims hers was the scariest...maybe so since she was my first experience with wanting to die and live all at the same time. G claims hers was the best...maybe so because she arrived the fastest, the right side up and was ready to nurse and be just happy about everything. The boy claims his was the longest, hardest and strangest. Longest for sure. I often imagine there are claw marks inside where he held on for dear life to the warm environment he had been dwelling in for the previous nine months. He did emerge sunny side up, at least an hour past the time his oldest sister was born I had to use pitocin, which I had been lucky enough to avoid the first two tiimes. It had been set too low and when they turned that mother out, so to speak, I really wanted to consider some drugs. Thankfully he finally arrived, healthy and perfect, ready to take on the world...and two big sisters. The same boy who swallowed a quarter...who stuck a chunk of carrot up his nose...who, when he tried his first pair of glasses on and was asked what he could see said, "Oh Mom, I finally see everything." I am so blessed and humbled to have this kind soul in my life. What a kind boy he is and how blessed I am. Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

He's almost ocho

I cannot believe what tomorrow is. My boy will be 8. I'm not sure I am emotionally ready to handle it. Time marches on, whether we want it to or not, and he will age regardless of my preference. He was kind of born a little adult, so 8 seems old and young all at the same time. The other day he told me that he wanted to be "like Vincent Van Gogh except not cut my ear off." He is just the best entertainment.

We got two new postcards in the PO Box today. I would share them, but they have been squirreled away by some children. I will locate them soon enough and share them I hope. I have worked all day in the dungeon and hear my pillow calling. I will wax poetic about the boy's birthday tomorrow...maybe. Maybe I'll just post my yearly breakfast in bed picture and be done. Tune in to see. Night all.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sweet Georgia Brown that was fun!

As the boy's birthday approached, we asked him what he would like to do or eat or see. Without skipping a beat, he said he wanted to see the Harlem Globetrotters. They have been playing their promotional commercials for what seems like months and he was intrigued. I went to see them when I was a bit younger and remember laughing the whole time. Curly came into the stands and rubbed my dad on his head. We got to see some of the greats and loved every second. So we got the tickets plus an etra added bonus to meet some of the players before the game. I must say that I was starstruck by the coach, Jimmy Blacklock. I watched him as a Globetrotter when he was on Gilligan's Island. The kids got to practice dribbling with a Globetrotter and see how how they could reach in a jump. The boy screamed loud enough and his dad had a good enough reach that he caught a free tshirt. The players, once again and just by the skin of their teeth in a sudden death overtime, won the game. There was smack talk from the General's coach, an ejected dirty referee and a player who climbed up and sat in the basket. What else really does one need? The laughs and squeals of delight let us know we had a hit on our hands. Even the nasty lady who sat in front of us, doling out dirty looks every time we yelled as instructed by the flamboyantly excellent emcee(and who tried to get nasty with my son when he yelled, worrying me that I had to open a can, well, anyway)did not cramp the evening. I am grateful to the players who were so kind to the children, big and small, and were so very polite and gracious with their time. The girls got selfies with several of them and the boy got several pictures. A good time was had by all. Night, friends.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

It's so pretty

At 7:45am, a crew of roofers arrived in our driveway ready to get their shingle on and do a facelift on the top of our house. My gracious did these men work fast and hard. As the hub said, they must have ankles of steel the way they scattered around on that roof like it was nothing. I knew the volume level of roof removal, because I have done that many a time myself(believe it or not). I did not realize the vibration that goes on inside the house. We had clocks and pictures in the floor that weren't there this morning. It got a bit exciting. G was desperately trying to take the TCAP practice test that is sent home every Spring Break(evil), but had to stop after a while. Trying to take a test and hold the table still is a challenge that she was not willing to embrace this morning. Except for lunch break, those guys WORKED from 7:45 until 8:45. God bless them. I will say that we got tickled at one point. We walked outside to watch the progress and saw something white on our porch. It was a microwave. And they were cooking their burritos. It was just excellent. I loved it!!

I worked out and then walked today. My legs feel like jello. I must go to bed. I will put a before the new roof picture on tonight and do a new roof one tomorrow. Night all.

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

What is that bright, shiny thing in the sky?

It was so nice to see this almost blinding yellow orb in the sky. The warmth and happiness it gave was quite lovely. After I got home from church/work, we changed clothes and went out to play. The kids got up in the playhouse and I sat on the porch and played my ukulele. I know, we need to hang out because I am so cool with a uke and Cat Stevens songs. The children, wanting for greener pastures in which to play, got their wish and we went to a park near our house. They kicked the soccer ball around and the hub and I watched a couple of adult rec league games that were being played. There is something really relaxing about getting to watch a soccer game that does not involve your children in any way. I didn't have to fear that one of them would take a ball to the bean or a kick to the skull or a beautiful game inspired Joe Theismann moment with their leg. I just watched groups of adults play and mess up and try to get in fights with each other and play some fairly lousy soccer...but it was entertaining. We dined outside on hot dogs and fruit salad and then visited our niece who was in town for a bit. She was a bit travel weary and enjoyed all she could in about 20 minutes before overstimulation took over and she went thermonuclear. Feeling pretty responsible, we took our leave, picked up the hub and went to get ice cream as a part of delayed dessert night. Apparently everyone had the same idea, because we saw lots of people there. We shared a table with our good friends and had a lovely end to a really nice day.

Tomorrow the roofers come to start the ripping off process for our new roof. Since it is Spring Break and most people go somewhere, I have come up with an idea. We are going to put our soccer chairs in the front lawn facing the house and picture the new roof as a mountain retreat that we would have liked to visit...before we had to get a new roof. Not really. I am so thankful we have the funds to get a new roof. We can make our own fun here at home and we will.

Enough of all that. My boy wants me to see an app he is trying to develop. I've got to listen. Night all.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Not sure of a good title

This morning started out with yet another round of rain. For the love of everything holy, my friends, the rain needs to go away for Spring Break. The mongrel we have living inside our house needs to run. Not run the length of our yard, but she needs to run a couple football fields worth for a good hour. The dog park is a muddy mess which leaves us few options to take her where she can get a full head of steam without turning into a mud covered mess. I don't mind her getting muddy except that when we wash her she turns into a crocodile who goes into a death roll. I need medical attention afterwards.

I went shopping for the boy while the hub took one to soccer and the other went to a birthday party. While he is easy to shop for, I must ask: how many Legos does one really need? I can't complain. He'd rather play with those than watch TV or play video games. They all just start to look the same to me. Oh well. He is so easy...he'll be thrilled with whatever he gets. Love that boy.

Around dinner time, we went to visit my "niece" dog Dakota. Her parents were gone for a day trip and she needed some food and time with a little boy. They were happy to love on each other for a bit. SOmething about a boy and a dog:

Instead of going straight home, we decided to go check the PO Box and see if we had any paper visitors in there. Squeals of delight came from the boy when he saw 1...2...3 letters in there. My gosh it was great! Our secret pal sent one again. The grandparents of some friends sent one. I was delighted to see that one of my three readers, A, sent one. She is the godmother of my dear friend and a frequent commenter on posts. I am so thankful for her, because it is nice to know someone really does read this thing from time to time. The boy was most thrilled with it and who wouldn't be with this on the front:

The kids are currently in discussions about who gets to keep it in their room. Uh, sorry kids, it is mine. Move on. Thank you so much for making our rainy day a little brighter!

I have been summoned by the boy to play a game of Blokus. If you haven't played it, you should. It gets pretty competitive up in this house. If you hear smack talk coming from inside, no doubt Blokus is out somewhere. Night all.
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Friday, March 13, 2015

The dynamic is off

We got to school this morning at 5:50am. 5:50AM!!!! There is something unholy about that statement. We got there and stood among similar bleary eyed faces while it drizzled and felt kind of yucky. I have been grateful today for social media and kind teacher friends who have put pictures up on Instagram so we can see what S is doing from time to time. She has been away from us before, but once a parent always a parent. I will never stop worrying about her when she is away from me. Our family dynamic is off in general. Sure, the kids fight and bicker, but they aren't quite themselves when one is gone. The dog is beside herself. She does not understand why her blond sister is not playing with her and babying her. That and the fact that I won't stop playing the new ukulele is driving her crazy. At least she will sleep well tonight.

Speaking of sleeping, I am going to get a nice hot shower and hope that it will help me sleep tonight. I need some zzzzz's. Night all.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

My dogs are barking

I have been a pretty good girl today, but it may kill me. Workouts with Dr.Pain are actually fun...it is like I'm working out with a brother. He kicked my patootie pretty hard today, but I was not going to give up. Planks in the push up position are of the devil, but I managed to get through my allotted time without giving up early or throwing up. It helps that I got a lot of encouragement...and smack talk that I was not going to let go unanswered. I left jelly legged, but on my own two legs nonetheless.

This evening we had an outdoor soccer practice which was wonderful! It was a beautiful evening and my friend and I walked...and walked...and walked while the kids practiced ball. I am thankful for good conversation that helps make the cardio go by with relative ease. My determination is strong. I will better my self and my health. This family of mine is way too exciting to leave because of poor health.

Travel mercies for my oldest who leaves at oh dark thirty tomorrow on her school trip to historic venues. Nothing says "Teachers need Xanax" like a bus trip with 8th graders. God bless all the particpants. Night all.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Excitement in the box

Our first resident in the PO Box arrived today. The kids went bezerk, especially because of the fact that it was written to them from a "Secret Pal":

It was so very exciting. I am going to start a file in hopes that there will be more. Postally, this was a bonus kind of day. Not only did we get our first box mail, I got my new ukulele delivered by FedEx today. Isn't he beautiful:

I don't know if stringed instruments are gender specific, but I felt with his low sound he might be a guy. The light makes him look very stripey, but he is not so blatantly striped as you might think. I got to mess with it for just a bit this evening and he sounds wonderful. If I can find a way to blur out other faces on the video, I will put one up of G singing her song with her requested accompanist: me on the old uke. It was fun.

It has been a long day and I feel a sore throat coming on. Let's pray nothing is starting for Spring Break. I might have to be sad about that.
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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Get outta my way

I had a bad day today. Just plain rotten. I won't go into details, but it was one that even a peanut butter cupcake(that I did not need)could fix. Nasty is contagious and I caught it and then when I picked my children up they caught it. It was not their fault. I will say that the high point of our day was going to the grocery store this evening. There were two delightful people working in the deli who were kind enough to decipher my request for "some kind of very rare expensive roast beef that my husband got on Sunday" and set us up just right. They even gave us a sample to make sure that it was the right one. They were so kind and diffused the ticking mom bomb that was about to go off and fed my new addiction for Boar's Head London Broil lunch meat. As our friend Ed once said about something he found tasty: "When you take a bite, I'm pretty sure you can hear the angels sing." He was correct. My apologies to my vegetarian family and friends. The bomb did go off when I went home. Life happens and I need to remember how to deal with things, but my free sample was wearing off faster than my patience. Thankfully we all survived several blowups and drama and mopping of floors and polishing of stainless steel appliances and vacuuming up of glue gun strings to make it to bedtime. We are still speaking to each other, I think, and the children are resting peacefully in their beds. Now it is my turn. Night all.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Shameless attempt

Okay, friends, it's come to this. I am so anxious(as are the children) to have a blog "Mailbag Monday" or "Fanmail Friday" or "Message March" that I have taken drastic measures. I purchased 20 pre-stamped postcards, addressed them and have started to hand them out to various and sundry people with whom I am acquainted. Cheating? Yes. I totally own it. This whole process of having a PO Box has been quite the teaching opportunity for the children(and for me). I can remember being in college with a little box that corresponded with our dorm room. How exciting it was to go to the mail room and find something in our box. Heck, the ads getting you to buy 100 CD's for a penny were thrilling. AND, gasp, if there was a yellow slip in your box, you got to go to another location and get a highly coveted package. One time I got a package that had a huge jar of peanut butter, some homemade cookies and a fresh big box of Crayola crayons. I was the room to visit that week mostly, suprisingly enough, for the crayons. The peanut butter and cookies didn't last long either. Thankfully I wasn't like the next door neighbor. She got a huge amount of microwave popcorn from her aunt, decided she had a hankering for some about 3am, left it unattended for too long, caught the kitchen microwave on fire and caused a 3:03am firedrill...in February...in Virginia. She got rid of that popcorn pretty quickly after that. I think she carried the name "Orville" for the rest of our college career. The kids have now started taking turns going to check the box, each returning with a sad face. "There's not even junk mail in it!" one said with frustration. For a while now, we have struggled with getting our thank you notes written in a reasonable amount of time. The funny thing is that they get crazy excited to get a handwritten note in the mail, but fail to think that someone else might feel the same excitement when visiting their mailbox. So with every empty handed visit to the PO Box comes the lesson of "See how it feels when you are expecting something and nothing comes?". Heads drop a bit and I hear a pitiful, "Yes, ma'am." "Maybe we can be better about thank you's and 'Thinking of you' notes, okay?". So today I gave a couple out to a friend who was actually really excited at the possibilities of what he could put on the notes. He was more concerned about doing something for the kids...he thumbed his nose at anything for me. I imagine that I might receive something evil from him, but that is fine. I'll share it with all three of you...if the whole thing doesn't have to be censored. I joke. He wouldn't do anything too evil...I don't think. So I will now be like the weirdo prestamped postcard fairy, sprinkling merchandise from the United States Post Office to people here and there to try and drum up a weekly blog post to add interest. We'll see if it works. I sure hope so. There are few things I find that make my day more than snail mail.

I'm going to go a try a sneak a little tidbit of G's choir practice. I want to figure out what language they are singing. it sure is beautiful!

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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Glorious day

Well...getting up this morning wasn't as horrible as I thought it might be. I would've much rather been asleep, but I took on the day with all the enthusiasm I could muster. The morning went almost smoothly and without many hiccups, so that was nice. I got sweet hugs from three children who I haven't seen in a good while...that made my day. I walked out of the building to a beautiful sun shining in the sky and almost perfect weather. I got home to find the children outside playing with the dog. The sidewalk chalk was out and soccer balls were sprinkled in the backyard. Even the air smelled good. There was a trip to the park to practice punting and lobbing and then more time in the yard with soccer balls. I will say very enthusiastically that I loved the snow. I found it wonderful and fun and it provided lots of family time that we had badly needed. I found today equally as wonderful. Lovely time outside to again be together as family. So very thankful for such a glorious day.

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

First sunburns of the new year

The kids had been slated to play in a soccer tourney today that mercifully got cancelled. If it hadn't been, we would just be finishing our last game for the evening. Since they didn't have constant play all weekend, their coach called a practice this morning. The hub took the kids and I worked on trying to find our bedroom floor post consignment sale. They came back hot and sweaty and tired. I thought their red faces were from exertion, but nay nay, they were the first burns of the year. Thankfully we have what seems to be a year's supply of aloe and the kids' crimson faces have all been slathered. They did have some down time to go play soccer with their cousin and watch their uncle brew beer. Science and phys ed in one day. And on the weekend. Nice.

I am turning in early since the dreaded "Springing Forward" happens in the night. While the longer evenings will be nice eventually, I hate losing an hour. Oh well. C'est la vie.

Oh and by the way, please send a postcard or note to this address. There needs to be a mailbag day on this blog and my kids need to get some cards from a pen pal. Please don't let the P.O. Box purchase be in vain. Please.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

If you can't say anything nice....

Same story, different day. I worked the consignment sale this morning and have now completed my shift obligations that I signed up for to get my extra earnings. We are currently in the car on the way to see some professional magicians perform. My daughter, G, has taken magic lessons from a dear friend of ours who is a professional magician and he may be able to introduce us to some of the super duper guys tonight. This is very exciting and all of our tummies are a little swirly with anticipation. But before we get there, I need to rant for one litle bit.

As I was waiting to help another customer, I got thrown into a conversation about educationa and children with special needs and learning differences and high IQ's and labels and all that business. I have been involved in a conversation on this topic with at least two of these people before and knew better than to engage. I knew. Shame on me. So a mom of a "gifted" child and a mom of a "learning difference" child were trading war stories. One is having to jump through hoops to get help for her child while the other cannot get enough challenging work for her child. The LD child's mom left. The other mom said, "What makes me mad is that my child will be a tax payer and contribute to corporate America. They will make our economy better. That woman's child will just be a drain on everybody and be nothing but a laborer. LD kids. A waste." Now as a mom of a child who is both extrememly smart and has the added bonus of dyslexia(and we have had to be on top of things to get her the help and confidence she needs), I just about lost my mind. God was standing behind of me holding me back and had struck me dumb and it is a good thing. I turned and went back to my job. I don't care if your child is a genius, has mental challenges, has learning differences, has emotional problems....they all deserve a chance. Whether that means they fix your HVAC or your bank statement...plumb in your bathroom or design the new bathroom for you, they deserve respect and grace and kindness in this world. No child is a waste. Shame on you. Shame.

I will now go to my happy place, have some dinner and get my socks knocked off with some fabulous magic.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Happy unsnow day

We got a snow day today. Some places in town got some respectable snow and ice. We got a bit, but not enough to do anything in that was fun. It was mostly just slushy rain and yuck. I worked the consignment sale as usual. The hub dropped me off and left me there to work until I got kicked out.  Not really.  He dropped me off and said, "Stay until you need to leave.  I've got the kids."  Nice!  I eventually had to come home and do my motherly duties, but I did have fun while I was there. Before the sale began, I helped straighten up the doll baby area. It was an effort born out of  my love for the Picky Chick and her sale, because some baby dolls really creep me out. I just don't know what the makers are thinking when they design some of them. They just are the stuff nightmares are made out of I think. This Cabbage Patch doll was odd and reminded me of someone...which was even odder:

I mean, what up with the blue streaky hair? Don't get it. But this next one took the cake for me. It sat up on its shelf looking as though it was mocking all of us who were bargain hunting:

Curse you evil toothy baby! Its eyes remind me of the alien baby that the lady gave birth to on the original "V" television show back in the '80's:

If I'm still scarred from having to watch that during rained out middle school gym class, you can ride that crazy train with me. Sorry I had to put that up, but it was necessary.

Time to get a hair scrubbin' and catch up on some z's if that is possible tonight. I should've never googled that blasted baby. Night all.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Insomnia, get thee away fromst me-eth

I hate insomnia...although honestly I don't know of many people who just embrace it with an all encompassing love. Last night I flipped and flopped until I just finally turned on the TV and watched a movie. Yes I know that the TV just stimulates the brain and makes it even harder to go to sleep, but I wasn't making any progress laying there in the dark getting spooked by the weird sound I heard outside. I did watch "The King's Speech" which I have always wanted to see and just haven't. It was wonderful and Colin Firth certainly deserved his Oscar. But his performance did not send me into sleep land. My friend has some essential oils ordered for me that she swears by for sleep and relaxation. I am willing to try anything at this point. If I didn't have to get up and yield to nature's call, I would drink Sleepytime tea before bed. Melatonin is useless. So I will catch up on my deep thoughts and ruminations whilst listening to the hub breathe and the two youngers talk in their sleep. Maybe that will eventually put me to sleep as well. Peer pressure sleep style. It could work.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The tooth is OUT!

The boy has struggled for a few weeks with one of his top front teeth. It has been hanging by a root that must be stronger than Hercules himself. He has worked on that thing and it is a flippin' miracle that he hasn't gotten the flu or the stomach crud or worse with his hand in his mouth all the time. That tooth has been twisted and turned and pulled and pushed. Nothing. I feel for the boy, but frankly we are sick of hearing about that tooth. So tonight he got some floss(for the the third night in a row)and started trying to saw the thing out. The the hub crossed the ends and showed him how to try and pop the thing out. Nothing. Finally, we heard a cry from upstairs "It's OUT!". We got upstairs and found that it was indeed out. The problem was that it came out with such force that it flew to an unknown destination. So here we were with our cell phone flashlights crawling on the floor looking for the blasted tooth. "That thing is going to hurt if someone steps on it!". "What will the Fairy do if we don't find it?". All good questions. Then suddenly, I spotted something white with a red end. There it was. Thank goodness! It is now on his dresser awaiting Tooth Fairy transport. Let's hope she finds it.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Back to the grindstone

School started back today, friends, after two weeks of frozen, snowy, slothy fun. Based on how I received them at pickup, I imagine they will sleep well tonight. I know I will. Currently I am sitting at an elementary school while G has her practice for honors choir. The Daisy Scout meeting next to me is quite lively. They had a police officer as part of their meeting today, so we know they won't get too out of hand. I am fighting hard the urge to lay down in the hallway here and take a nap. That, I imagine, is frowned upon...especially in a public school building. They probably frown upon people squatting in the hallway. I have my earphones on and am blasting the wild sounds of Bob Newhart so I won't hear the choir practice. I want it to be a surprise when we see their performance. Tha Daisies are now coming out of their meeting. Apparently it was police and pajamas night with the Daisies. They are hyped up with the leavings of Girl Scout cookies on their mouths. One dad looked like he might make a run for it as his child ran out of the meeting, jumped on the wall and bounced off like a pinball. That should be a great ride home.

The kids are coming out for their bathroom break. I'm going to sneak a hug and then get back to Bob. Have a good evening.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

It's over

Today has been a whirlwind for sure. G's choir group had their fundraiser luncheon and performance today. It was so nice. We had more people show up than we thought would. The kids have a grade A group, but the weather has made promotion of their program nearly impossible. The kids were so proud to help serve and care for the patrons of their lunch and took ownership of the whole thing. Their program was excellent! My child sang her song and made it through quite nicely in spite of her shoddy accompanist(me). I brought a bit of the islands to her song with my ukulele when I started playing the thing the right way. Sausage fingers here got a bit fumbly and nervous. Okay, I was terrified and about to throw up, but G sang beautifully and cleaned up my mess. Her friends played lovely piano and violin and reocrder pieces and sang lovely songs. It was great and now it is over. Thank goodness.

On a different note, I ask you to pray for a family we know. One of their members is struggling in the hospital and we just pray for total and complete healing and strength for the family. It is a scary time for them and we hope for the best.

I'm going to get comfy and watch, yes I am, Downton Abbey. Night all.

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