Tuesday, December 23, 2014

OH!!!! The Screaming!!!!

This morning as I was reading (or maybe just playing on the phone or computer) Melissa screamed at me. "MOM!!!!!"  It was the kind of scream that made me think she saw a bug or a mouse (not totally out of the realm of possibilities!) Then I heard some like "twenty" and I thought she wanted twenty dollars.

Then my slow brain computed what she said, "I MADE A 29 ON THE ACT!!!!!"

Then she ran into my room and jumped on me like she was two - legs and arms wrapped around me in a full body hug (of course, since she's my size, she ended up dropping because I couldn't hold her up!!!)

Oh, how proud and happy she is!!  Through-out the day she was come up to my side and say, "Hey, mom...guess what??  I made a 29 on the ACT." 

Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled!!! 

We even when out to dinner to celebrate at one of her favorite places to eat.  What a happy girl we have!!!

She will have to take the test again.  Every spring the school gives the ACT during school hours to all juniors (and whatever seniors that want/need to take it again).  She's already planning to study even more then than she did this time around - after all: she wants to score higher than Big Brother William with his 32.

Sibling rivalry.  I love it when it works in favor of my checkbook!

(From what we can gather without a formal visit to the school of her choice, this test score along with our alumni status should knock-out about 75% of her college expenses.) 





Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Christmas Quiz

Last Wednesday night at church instead of continuing to teach on the life of Samuel, our pastor gave us a Christmas Quiz.  He ended had us "grade" it.  And he rewarded(gift cards to the local restaurants) the top ten highest scores - I'm happy to announce that I was one of them!  Here's the questions - see how YOU do!

1. Who told Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem?
2. According to the Bible, what form of transportation did Mary and Joseph use to get to Bethlehem?
3. Which Old Testament prophet has the most to say about the birth of Christ?
4. Who told Joseph to name the baby Jesus?
5. What does the name Jesus mean?
6. What does the name Emmanuel mean?
7. How did the shepherds find Jesus?
8. How did the Wise Men find Jesus?
9. What were the three gifts given to Jesus by the Wise Men?
10. Who ordered the execution of two year olds and younger?
11. What was the name of the priest who was told he would not die until he say the Savior?
12. Who visited baby Jesus the night of his birth?
13. How old was Caesar Augustus when he died in 14AD? (This was sort of a trick question since the Bible really doesn't say, but the pastor used it as a tie-breaker - we got points for being close.)

(Our pastor, also, added some questions about Samuel since we have been studying him, but I won't add those here.)


Answers:
1. Caesar Augustus to be numbered for a tax; 2. The Bible doesn't say; 3. Isaiah; 4. an Angel (possibly Gabriel, but the Angel is not named); 5. Savior; 6. God with Us; 7. Angels; 8. a star; 9. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh; 10. King Herod; 11. Simeon; 12. Shepherds; 13. 75



So? How did you go??  Let me know!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The End of the Week....Somehow....

It's been one of those weeks that I find it hard to believe it's Friday already! This week really has flown by....it's been much busier than I excepted.

Monday I had lunch with my Tuesday Morning Bible study ladies.  Tricia had to work this Tuesday, so we moved our day up some.  We each brought part of a meal. I made curry butternut squash soup.  Oh, so, yummy!!  (but not according to my kids - they were glad this time around I was serving it to some one other than them!) We really had a nice and relaxing time, but it didn't last long as shortly after lunch it was back home for laundry and chores and cooking dinner and getting ready for a soccer game..

We all were excited that it was an early game - and we won! With a goal by William.

Tuesday I worked in the front office of the middle school.  It started out slightly crazy as it was the first day of 2nd quarter exams.  Instead of reporting to their homerooms, the students had to report to a different place for testing.  And of course, there were about 40 kids whom had NO IDEA where to go.  It took about 45 minutes to get them all sorted out.  I was very glad I wasn't in charge of it! I just helped out where I could.

After school it was more chores and cooking dinner and getting ready for a soccer game. (Sound familiar?)  We were excited that we won this game as well!! With 3 goals for William!!!!  He was just over the moon!!

Wednesday I drove over to my parents for a little while.  I entertained Dad while Mom has a doctor's appointment.  We went to the Outback to eat lunch.  They have a great little salad with candied pecans and blue cheese that I enjoy.  I do wish it has better lettuce though....it was a very white "green" salad....really needed more greens!!

After I got home it was more chores. Mainly, this week I have been working on my Christmas treats for my neighbors and my Christmas cards.  As I said in an earlier post, I had to recreate my address book due to it being lost when our computer crashed.  It took lots of hours tracking people down through facebook, an old yahoo address book I found, and through a white pages web-site.   I ended up using the yahoo address book and just updating as much as I could.  There was a lot of cleaning out as well.  Apparently, our yahoo account had kept every email address we had ever emailed something to.  Sounds like a good idea, but I really don't need to keep any address that has "customer service" in it.

I finally finished the new address book Thursday and so I was able to get all the Christmas cards addressed and stuffed and stamped.  I had not sent out cards last year, so I wanted to this year.  (As of now, next year is iffy!)

Thursday was also more chores - laundry!!   And getting ready for a soccer again.  This time it was a late game.  And we lost. And William got no goals.  Blaaaaaa.

This morning I finished the last of the Christmas sewing I wanted to do and cleaned my sewing room since I'll be having a guest tonight.  I'm sure my brother-in-law, David, would like to sleep in a room he can move around in with out the fear of stepping on a pins...or over an ironing board...  After that got all cleaned up, Melissa and I went out for errands.  She is looking for any reason to drive!  And it was nice to have someone with me as I went to the post office (Christmas cards are mailed!!!), dropped off recycling, and picking up those last few gifts.

We ended up stopping at the Goodwill - one of Melissa's favorite places.  She found a few things and I found some great books!  We were both happy.

And some how that's our week.  We have  few things planned for this weekend, but they should be relaxing.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas and Friends

Years ago as we started to get pictures in Christmas cards, I really didn't know what to do with them after Christmas. I ended up putting them in a photo album. 

Until it got full. 

Hmmm. What to do.... Then I found this black photo box. I made dividers from left-over scrapbook card stock. On each divider I wrote the friends' names as well as their children's names as they started to come along. I, also, added how we meet and the location.  After all, as many moves as we have made and as many people we have meet, it all sort of runs together after all this time. 

The other day I sat down and went through the box to start a Christmas card list. Usually I use our address book in Ouook, but the computer it was on crashed...and they all were lost!  Yes, I was very sad and frustrated!! But thoroughly, enjoyed looking through the names and pictures of our friendships. 

Some have been lost to moves and years, but many are still in our life
- much thanks to facebook. 😍 I wish they all lived close to us. Through the years we have been richly blessed with wonderful friends! 



Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Funny Side of Life with Teens

The other night at dinner the kids and I (Drew was working late) were just going over things upcoming.  One of the things I said that they needed to set some time apart this weekend to buy Christmas presents for their family members.  I told William while I enjoyed the NOLA Saints' pendant he gave me a few years ago, I did not need anything sports related this year.  Melissa didn't remember that particular gift, so I told her the story:  A two years ago William had a $25 gift card from Academy for helping out with a church soccer program.  He decided to use that to buy all his Christmas presents instead of his own money.  After all, why spend his own hard earn cash???

Apparently, he couldn't find anything for mom, but a Saints' pendant.

Drew and I have laughed at that gift often! (It's currently hanging in my side of our closet....yea...I had no idea what to do with it!)

Melissa enjoyed the story  and was laughing about it as well!

At some point we were all laughing again, and Ben put a sausage ball on my plate.  I looked at him  - very surprised because he loves these things! I asked him, "What? Are you full already??!!??"

"No - I just took it off of Melissa's plate."

OH! How I wish you could have seen the look on Melissa's face!!!  Totally shocked! Then we all started laughing again.

These kids are a lot of fun!!

Last night was the youth Christmas party.  They were told to look around their house and bring something they no longer want.  Melissa found two unopened VHS movies (Left Behind 1 & 2). William pulled out some old baseball cards my dad passed on to him (just a lot of commons - no one famous!).  I think Ben found a karate movie.

Then they came home.  Melissa got one of the best gifts of the night: a lava lamp.  William received a roll of toilet paper and one lone sock full of dead batteries!!  We thought that was a good gag gift - very resourceful!!  (Sorry....can't remember what Benjamin came home with....)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Being a Judge

Tonight instead of watching a soccer game (where we sadly lost), I was a judge at a local high school for senior projects. Currently, all seniors must complete a lengthy project which includes the student writing a detailed research paper as well as producing a "product". The last requirement to to preform a presentation. 

That's where I participate. It's been very enjoyable seeing what the students come up with. Tonight the best projects were the ones the students had a passion and a true interest in their subject.  One girl learned to shoot a bow, another to repurpose clothes, a boy learned to box, and another girl held a fundraiser to support a local home for unwed pregnant teenagers. 

This is my six or seventh time judging and I enjoy it every time! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weekend Update

Soccer....

While we won Thursday and Friday night, we lost Saturday morning 5 to 0....which, sadly, knocked us out of the tournament.  In soccer the amount of goals counts and when you lose by five, it pretty much is not good.  William was pretty bummed.

Melissa...

Melissa was able to make up all the work she missed being out of school Monday afternoon and Tuesday due to mono.  She probably should have stayed home at least another day, but she was done being sick.  She knew how much work she was missing and did not want it to pile up any more.  She did start some steroid medication and it has helped.

Election....

I did work the election yesterday.  As I have in the past, I enjoyed myself.  The day went by fast since we were very steady for the first part of the day.  After lunch it tapered off and was sporadic, but overall we had more voters to show up for this run-off then for the general election in November in our precinct (not sure what it was state wide, but heard it was less than November). I enjoy working and getting to know the ladies at my table.  We all are from different parts of the parish, so I'm don't think I would have met them otherwise.

Church....

This morning was the choir's Christmas concert.  As usual, they did a great job. But I will say, it's mostly the same music/songs they have done for the last two years.  Oh, well.  They did sound wonderful...nice way to get in the Christmas spirit.

Kids...

Melissa and Benjamin went to the youth retreat this weekend.  They seemed to have a good time, but I'm not sure what they learned spiritually....I guess time will tell if I hear more of the lessons or more of the games and socialization!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Soccer Tournament

Last night started a three day soccer tournament. We won 3-0. And the weather?? So nice!! Last year we froze at the tournament. This year we don't enough need a coat. 

But we are playing in the fog...


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Fallout

While we had a wonderful time with family over Thanksgiving week, William some how lost his wallet. Very frustrating! It had all the normal important items in it...driver's license, military ID card, the Wal-mart gift card he used as his gas card &, of course, a good bit of cash as he just got paid from a tutoring job. 

So, today j checked him out early from school to go to the DMV for s replacement license. (Too bad there's not a place to go to get replacement cash!) Thankfully, we hit it at the right time -we were in and out in 35 minutes. 

Probably a record. 

The Friday before Thanksgiving Melissa came home from school not feeling well. I gave her some meds and she took a nap. She felt better & over the next few days to a week really didn't complain too much (she has a high pain tolerance!) , but as it turns out, she felt bad still. 

By Sunday evening she was complaining, so I set up a doctor's appointment. Turns out she has mono. 

Yuck! Poor thing! I had mono at 16 as well. No fun! (Of course, I'm hoping she didn't infect the whole dang family that we saw last week!)

The thing about mono is that you can be a carrier & not even know it. Since I had it as a teen, Melissa could have gotten it from me as I could have become 'active' again and not known it. It has a 4-6 week incubation period, so it's hard to track down when you were infected. 

For the most part with mono you have headaches, a sore throat, fever, fatigue, no apptitite....  Her glands around her neck are swollen, but the great concern is her spleen could become swollen, as well. The doctor didn't think it was - hopefully, it'll stay that way. 

She stayed home from school today, buts wants to go back to school tomorrow no matter if she still feels bad. 
She missed one big test today, had at least one small quiz tomorrow...she wants to at least take them & try to stay caught up. With it being the end of a semester, its a bad time to miss school. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Opposing Messages

As I was Christmas shopping yesterday in Target, I came across this display in the men's department. The top row is full of  decorative beer glasses. Then there's the next row: cartoon merchandise. 

In the men's department. 

Apparently, for men who, also, drink beer. 

Why?

If you are old enough to drink beer, then put away the cartoon characters.  Be a man. Not a child. 


Friday, November 21, 2014

THAT Mom....

In my circle of friends, we sort of look down on people who go to Wal-Mart in there pajamas.....after all the are meant for the bedroom not the public.  But today I came pretty close to being one of those people.

It all started out innocent enough. Melissa wanted me to drive her to the bus stop as it was raining.  No problem.  I have done this many times.  There is no need for the kids to stand in the rain when they can stay dry in my van.

So, I just grabbed my keys and jumped in the van in my pajamas  - even without my shoes.  The boys had already walked to the bus stopped, but were glad to jump in the van as well as one of their frineds.

Then we waited for the bus.  And waited. And waited.

After awhile, we decided it would be best for me to drive the kids to school, so they would not be late.  We had to drive back home to get my purse - I refuse to drive without my license.

So, there I was....driving the kids to school...in my pajamas....with only my socks and no make-up.

Of course, as I was dropping off the kids I saw several teachers I work with....while I was in my pajamas...no shoes and no socks.  Lovely.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Update

Yesterday I posted about the three teenage boys baking in my kitchen while I sitting in a (boring) church business meeting (I really came to church for the study on Samuel - which is NOT boring!).  When I pulled into my driveway after church, my front door was wide open. 

Not a good sign. 

As I walked into the house, I could smell burnt brownies. Yea...as I suspected, they used a pan that was too small and the brownies spilled over onto the bottom of the oven. Drew was scrubbing the oven while the three teen boys were looking at the brownies trying to decide what happened. 

And the brownies were very greasy - way too much butter (a whole pound!!). I kept asking if they did the math right, but of course, thet claimed they did. 

After about thirty minutes of hemming-and-hawing they finally tasted their product. Not the best....sadly. 

Then they had to finish filming and editing  the video that was required. 

The last boy out of my house left about 9:15. They arrived before 3:30. 

Almost six hours for bad brownies. 

Hopefully, the rest of the grade they get will be better than the taste of the brownies. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Learning Curve

When I arrived home from work today, William had a few friends over to work on a school project. They worked on it some Monday, but did not finish. For the project they had to work out math problems to figure out how much of certain ingredients used to make brownies. 

Or at least, I think that's the basic ideas of the project.

Watching three seventeen year boys bake was....interesting.  They really were not prepared....as in they didn't have all the ingredients. There was at least one boy making a trip to his house to raid his mom's pantry. (It would have been so much easier if William had let me know what he needed as I was at the commissary earlier this week.....but they are seventeen and NOT bakers! Or planners!!) 

It was so hard for me not to take over!! I did give a few helpful hints...then left the room. William like all teenagers are a little sensitive to mom being around at times. 

They definetly were taking the long way to bake....like it seem to take them almost an hour to melt the butter and chocolate over the double boiler. (Would have been faster if they had defrosted  that frozen butter in the microwave a bit....but no.) 

As I said I came home at 3:40 and they were gathering the items. I left at 6 for church and they were just putting the brownies in the oven.  

Oh, my. 

Hope they taste good!! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Another Soccer Game....

No pictures this time. Tonight was the first offical game of he year, but this was not a district game. We tied 1-1. Our goal was beautiful. Their's? A pentality kick that shouldn't have been. 

Oh, well. It's was a good game - even in the very nearly freezing temperatures. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Lazy Saturday

After having to get up the early for most of the past few months on Saturdays or just having someplace to be (mainly the soccer field!), today we had nothing planned. So very nice.  All but William slept in late...he had to get up before seven to ref some soccer games.  This was the last day for that, though.

As I was being lazy and just reading in my chair, a friend text saying she was going to Sam's Club and wanted to know if I wanted to go. I had told her a earlier in the week that I would like to tag along on her next trip there.  While we now have a Sam's Club close to us, we have not bought a membership.  And after today I think we still won't....just don't think we'll save money there since we have access to the base's commissary.  But I did buy a few things today that I thought were a good deal....some lotion, chips for the kids' lunches....sugar and salt were a good price.... But not enough deals to want to fork over the money for a membership.

We spent the rest of the day trying to stay warm....reading, watching some football.... Drew was able to plant some azalea bushes and got some other chores done around the house. I made roasted acorn squash curry soup - oh, so good!! (Also, made hamburgers because I know my kids did NOT want that soup!!)

I'm trying to get the kids to write out some things they want for Christmas. Melissa, of course, has a list of things that she would like. The boys?  They have no clue. As usual. Boys are so hard to buy for!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

And So It Begins...

Winter has arrived in the Deep South....just in time for the high school soccer season begins. Tonight was our second scrimmage - we have won both! William played more on Monday night including a beautiful goal. Tonight he only played about a third of the game. I think the coach was trying to see how others played. Tomorrow he announces whom will be on varsity and those on junior varsity. As a senior who has played varsity even as a freshman, we are expecting William to be on varsity again. 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Back Patio

Expanding our back patio has been a saga. Of course, that seems to be the story of our life. After trying to work with six or seven contractors, we found one that could do the work in our budget. We have been very happy with him! 





It's not done totally done. The contractor needs to fix one light (there's small lights under the flagstone top) and swap out that ugly gas line for one that won't stand out. Also, we will add some nice azealia bushes along the back. We've ordered a nice patio table as well, but soon we'll be able to enjoy eating meals outside (well...when the temperature goes back up!) and roasting s'mores over the fire pit.

 

Friday, October 24, 2014

This Week


We started the week here.....


....mis-reading a food label brought out the epi-pen for William. I would like to say this mistake won't happen again, but sadly, I'm sure it will. I will say it was a great reminder to the kids that there's a reason why I harp and harp about keeping epi pens close by. (The reaction happened at church and none of the kids had an epi with them. Thankfully, we only live three minutes away!)

We ended this week with Benjamin's honor roll ceremony. 

All the kids earned all A's but the high school does not hold awards ceremonies. Ben not only got all A's, but also top ten for reading points. 

In between these events we got concrete poured for our backyard. A few weeks ago the front driveway extension was poured, but then we got rain, rain, and more rain. Nothing was done last week other than drying out. They are currently working on the brick wall and should finish by next weekend. Pictures to come! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

All for Safety Sake...Really???

I'm all for safety.  I tell my kids that most of the rules in our house revolve around safety.  We don't throw a ball (more like kick the soccer ball in this family) in the house, because I want to keep our possessions safe.  I want them to wear a helmet while biking or a seat-belt in the car all for safety reasons.

But I think there comes a time in our world that we have taken safety way too seriously.  Currently, in Washington State insurance companies want schools to pull down their swing sets. Really?  I think it's a bit ridiculous. Yes, there are times people - small kids even - get knocked over from someone on a swing.  But can't we watch our little ones better?  Can't we teach the older kids to watch out for the toddlers instead of taking a part of childhood away?

Then there's football.  This weekend after BIG wins, Ole Miss and Kentucky students and fans stormed the fields.  Both schools were fined. The reason? Safety.   But yet Baylor wasn't fined during their annual Baylor Line Run as the current freshman class run out of the tunnel. As you can see from the video it's total chaos! They were lucky than those students that fell down were not trampled to death!

Compared that "run" to the almost cooperative spirit at Ole Miss and Kentucky, where people (security guards!) were helping people down from the stands, which is more dangerous??

We just need to step away from fear and the law suits and let people have fun!

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Quick Update


I never mean for so much time to go by between postings...life is good....on the busy side as I'm getting more days to work than I thought I would. For the month of September I worked nine and half.  I know that' not a lot to some, but for me it is.  As of now I only have about four days for October, but I'm sure I'll get more

The kids are good....soccer has started and, also, has started to eat up our time....  I did miss William's first game last weekend as I was in Dallas with friends for a ladies' conference. I will get to see him play tonight! Sadly, it's the late game! Starts at 7:45...blaaa!!!  But I'm NOT working tomorrow, so I'll be able to sleep until almost six (when Drew's alarm goes off) and get ready slowly as Bible study doesn't start until ten.  I'm looking forward to seeing him play.  Last week he got three goals and two assist! Yea!!  I'm so hoping this is a good year for him.....he played so well as a freshman and sophomore...not so well as a junior.....so, this year is it! He's a senior and should get lots of play time.

The other two are doing well. Ben's soccer games start next weekend as he had a bye this week, but practice is going strong.  Melissa is still babysitting a lot, but this year she is getting more involved at school. She has joined the Interact Club and is, also, on the Student Council. And yes, still babysitting a lot.

Friday night Drew and I went out for dinner with friends and then a play.  We ended up eating at the restaurant the kids and I went to to watch the Ole Miss vs Texas football game last year when Drew was living in DC. Great food again! Then we saw the little theater's new production, The Adam's Family - While I not sure I agree with all the casting, they did a great job.  The actress that played Wednesday was spot on!!

Our other big news while I was in Dallas last weekend, Drew signed a contract with a contractor to expand our driveway and back patio. Finally.  This was like the sixth or seventh contractor we had talked to.  And the exciting part???  He started last Monday!  We should have some of the concrete poured this week. We're very excited about getting this finally taken care of!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Heavy Heart

I received word today that a daughter of a friend from Guam was killed - strangled by her boyfriend.   My heart is just broken for my friend.  She has been threw a lot since she left Guam. She had to deal with several deployments, then just when she thinks her husband is home to stay, he leaves her for another women.

My friend did not take it well....not at all.  There were several post of facebook that had me worried for her life.  And now she has to bury her daughter because the man who was to love and take care of her, killed her.

What a crazy, evil world at times.

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Warning!!

Melissa has several dreams & aspirations for her life. One is to be a contestant on the show 'Survivor'. So much so, she likes us to ask her questions to see how prepared she is. Today I asked her, "How do you know if a berry is poisonous?"

Her answer:  "Have a friend eat it."

So....you might want to be careful if Melissa offers you something to eat....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Joan of Arc

If you had asked me a few weeks ago, what I knew about Joan of Arc, I couldn't have said much.  I would hope that I would have said she was from France...but I'm not sure about that. I knew she was some how involved with the military...but I just didn't know her story.

But I do now.

Donald Spoto wrote a very entertaining book. He honored her story - her faith. It seems many thought out history disregarded her faith, but this author did not. While I'm not convinced he believes she truly heard the voice of God, he does honor her.

While I very sad at how she died at the hands of horrible men, I am glad to know her story.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be Like a Duck


Many times when someone says a negative comment, it's easy to shake it off...like a duck does water.  Other times those comments are less like rolling water and more like a splinter under your skin. Trying to more like a duck this week...some times it's harder than other weeks....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Dream Let Go

Today my parents sold "the land".  I think if my dad could have put how he felt into words, it would be bittersweet. Sweet, because, it was nice to sell the land and not have to worry about it anymore or pay taxes. Bitter, because, he never got to fulfill a dream he had for the land.

Part of the land was  given to him long ago (probably in the 1960's) from his grandfather. Then much later he received the bulk of the land from his father. Dad always wanted to build a house on the land and pond he could fish in....live in the country like he did in his childhood.  (My mother being the city girl was NOT much into this dream.)  But life got in the way.  They never seemed to find the time or money to make this dream a reality as they were raising their family. After my brother and I were grown-up and married, Dad's career changed and then his health. 

One of my favorite singer/song-writers has a phrase "Some dreams are better from afar, that's just how things are" (Joshua Kadison's Georgia Rain).  From the first time I heard this song - this phrase, I've thought about this land....this house and pond that lived in Daddy's mind and heart.
My brother and I grew up going out to the country where my father spent part of his childhood. I remember fishing in relatives' ponds....and yes! Catching a few fish.  When we were out there, we always stopped to visit Dad's aunts and uncles and cousins. I'll always think of Uncle Ed when I see a coo-coo clock....I remember asking cousin Vic who is a pastor Bible questions...and the chickens. So many chicken farmers in this part of the country, and while I love eating chickens, chicken farms do NOT smell good...not all at!  I remember being really little and picking corn with my mom and other relatives.....going to several family reunions.....lots of memories....

The man who bought the land is, also, from the area. He even goes to the church where my grandparents were members and are buried at. He is spoken highly by my father's relatives. He talked about the pond he was going to build...and the house he would live in. There's still the shell of my great-grandparents house left.  He plans to incorporate  part of the old stone foundation into his new house, old bricks on part of the flooring, use some of the tin roof as a ceiling in one room....it's nice to know part of our history will be still around for the future.

He offered for us to come back in a year and see what all he has done....see his dream fulfilled.  I think the land is in good hands.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gone.....All Gone....

Not sure what happened....or how it happened by all my bookmark "favorite" websites are gone on my laptop and my iphone (they are connect via the "cloud").

Urgggggg.

So....all those cute quilt patterns I was saving for later?  Gone.

All those yummy looking recipes? Gone.

Those good Bible reference pages I like? Gone.

Urggggg.

I was able to recover some through the "history" list, but not all.

Not a good day in tech-land.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Yearly (or More Often) Event

As I posted yesterday, it was my first day of subbing. As usual the kids rode the bus home instead of with me. I usually follow the bus home, so why ride with mom when I can be with my friends?? 

And there's the fact they usually forgot that I'm working and just get on the bus out of habit. 

Yesterday I was about five to eight minutes behind the bus as I stopped by the library to pick up a book that was on hold. When I got to the house, what did I see?? All three of my kids outside the house. Why, you ask?

Because not one of them had a key in their backpack. 

This happens at least once at year. Or more. 

One of the first times, I get a tearful phone call. They had called their father and got no sympathy and were told to go to the neighbor's house until Dad got home. I was away with my parents that first time visiting the graves of my grandparents. They didn't get much sympathy from me either since we talked several times about having their key with them. 

They didn't get any sympathy yesterday either from me....well, Benjamin did. As he was trying to get to the hidden key in the back yard, he was attacked and stung three times from wasp. 

Feel bad for the little guy....but maybe now some one will remember a house key????!!! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

First Work Day

I should have gotten the kids to take MY picture this morning as it was my first day of school  - as a sub, anyway. I have turned down several jobs - most later this month or even next month. I was actually surprised that I was offered a job this EARLY in the school year - a week to the day! 

While it is early in the year, it's not the earliest I have worked. The last year we were in Guam I worked the second day. Yep. The second day!  (You can read about it here.)

I had great classes today. The school has changed from a seven class day to a five hour block day.  I really liked it! I ended up having two algebra class (8th graders) and two math honors class (7th graders). (The teacher has one hour off for planning.)  Just about all the students knew me...just a few new faces.  Since all the classes were honors, they are filled with students that know how to be a student -meaning they know how to BEHAVE!!

The only real problem I had was the problem was the teacher did not leave enough work for the students. I had this problem last year when the classes were 50 minutes.  And it seems to see that I'll have the problem again  - maybe even more so - with the classes 90 minutes. urggg. But at least the kids were well behaved.

(Can I say the most well behave student was my little duckie, Benjamin?? I love having my kids!!)

Here's praying that the other classes I teach this year will be just as well as behave.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Normal Life

Life around here as been normal....nothing too earth-shattering.  Today is the fourth day of school....so far everyone seems to like the new year with their new schedules.  We did have a minor issue with William's.  He was placed in a speech class - which he had waaay back in Guam (yes, in 7th grade but it was considered a high school class).  After talking with the school counselor, there's really no other choice.  The class he wanted ended up not being offered for some reason. But the counselor did say she would put in on his transcript a Speech 2. I really don't think it matters, though. It'll be an easy class - fun, too, hopefully!

He does have some heavy duty class this semester....pre-calculus & pre-physics - yikes!  He has them next semester as well, and if he does well on the test in May, he'll get college credit (I think that's how it's to work). He's, also, in ROTC again.  We are disappointed that he did not get English 4 now.  A senior project is required in order to graduate and we really wanted to do that this semester.  Oh, well.  Not much we can do about that.

Melissa, also, has a heavy schedule this time around: English, Biology, World Civilization, Algebra 2. Next semester will be a little easier for her as she will have Spanish 3, PE, US Civics, and another elective. But she seems happy with it. She does have some good friends in her classes and at lunch. Sadly, she and William do not have lunch together now....maybe in January.

Benjamin is still at the middle school and is on more of a regular schedule, and so has all the normal classes.  I know all but one of his teachers as she is new to the school. I hope she's good...she's not whom I wanted Benjamin to have for science but she is NOT who I did not want him to get.   Hopefully, he'll learn something in 8th grade science - unlike Melissa did with "that other" teacher.  Ben is happy that he has all but one block with his best friend, Gannon (who has recovered nicely from his bike fall and concussion). 

On a surprising note, I have already turned down two sub jobs!!  One was in September on my Bible study and errand day.  The other was for this Friday when we have plans.  I do have one job lined-up, but it's not until October.  The district has a new computer program that handles subs instead of the teachers calling for themselves.  It should be a better way, but I'm not clear on how it all will work. (I think it automatically goes to the next sub if I reject a job....but I'm not sure....I did email the teacher anyway....hopefully, she will still request me in the future!)

I've been keeping busy these first few days of school....there's always cleaning (this week it seems to be laundry EVERYWHERE!) and errands (its amazing how fast we run out of milk and bread!!).  I'm hoping to get some sewing in...I've started on a new quilt....and of course, Mr. Seam-Ripper is making more appearances than I would like!  (That really means that I need to pay attention and quick trying to do more than one  thing at a time!!)

All in all - life is good.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Catch a Kiss Where and When You Can!

Every marriage has it's traditions...ways....quirks even.  One of Drew and mine is that we give each other a quick kiss during the welcoming part of our church services.  Most of the time no one notices....but then there are the times that a few people do. It usually shocks them. They totally don't expect to see a quick kiss.

This past Wednesday night at church we had two older ladies sitting behind us.  And they REALLY didn't expect to see our kiss. (It really is a quick one!) They were like "NO!! None of that - especially not in front of us that have no one!"

Really?  That's your problem, not mine.  You not having any one has nothing to do with me.  How about we be happy that a couple that's been married for over 23 years, still enjoy catching a quick peck and still enjoying being together??

Yea....they hit a nerve!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Times

Tonight Melissa & I were watching part of the CMA Fest where lots of country music singers performed. (I'm assuming there's a music award show soon.) There's a lot of performers that I don't know- in fact, most I haven't heard of. Of course, that's because I usually listen to Christian music. 

But as we sat here, I amazed at how many songs were about getting drunk. 

Really? 

What happened to all those sad country songs? 

But there's is definetly a new type of country singer. Most now seem to look more like a big city 'hipster' with their skinny jeans and tattoos instead of a flannel plaid shirt and a cowboy hat.  One drummer even had a two foot Mohawk. 

I'm sure Jonny Cash and Patsy Cline are rolling over in their graves. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Those Frantic Phone Calls

Saturday night as I was cooking dinner I got a phone call from my friend (& neighbor & walking partner), Alice. I could barely understand her through her tears.  At first all I got was: "You were right!" "He'll wear a helmet from now on!!"  "Trey's taking him to the ER now."

WHAT!!!???

Turns out Ben's best friend, Alice's son, Gannon, fell off his bike. A neighbor who saw the accident said it looked like he flipped three times before hitting the ground.  Thankfully, Gannon doesn't really remember that part.  He now is sporting two very large bumps on his head.  Alice said one was the size of a golf ball, the other an orange.

While the CAT scan came out clear, he was still in a lot of pain Sunday night...very scratched and bruised.  And can we say "lucky"? "blessed?" to be okay??? 

I just looked at Benjamin - "This is why!! I'm not just being mean or old!!" All my kids have basically quit riding their bikes because they don't want to be seen with a helmet on - you know, how "uncool" they are, right??  But I'll take no riding a bike over riding with no helmet any day of the week!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

An Un-Welcomed Guest

Had every intention of going to bed early last night.  Until I saw/heard a wasp buzzing around my head in my bedroom.

And of course, everyone was out of the house for the evening. Lovely.  NOT!!

This happened a few times in Guam, but with geckos.  They ended up being sucked up in my vacuum cleaner.  Maybe not the best choice, but I was able to sleep with the knowledge that a gecko was NOT going to join me in my bed.

I sat very still and quite reading for well over an hour before William came home.

Sadly, he had no desire to kill the wasp.

Thankfully, the vile thing finally landed on the floor and I was able to hit him several times with a shoe.

Then I sucked him up in the vacuum.

And yes, I was able to sleep nicely with the knowledge that no wasp would be joining me in my bed!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Growing Up

This week the kids are with the youth group for Mission Week.  They stay the night at church and during the day they volunteer at different places around town. Last night as they were getting all their stuff together, we had to gather blow-up mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets, towel....all that fun stuff they need to camp at the gym at church.    At one point I asked Benjamin if he had everything he needed. He said yes...that he just needed a quilt.  I asked if he was sure and he said was.

As usual when the kids are gone, I get in a cleaning mood to clean their rooms. As I was straightening up Ben's room I saw his sleeping bag.  And that's when it hit me why he said he just needed a quilt.

His sleeping bag?  It's a Hot Wheels one...not exactly what a 13 year old wants to take for all the youth group to see.

Tonight after I helped cook and serve dinner for the youth group, I went to Target and bought Benjamin a nice plain blue adult size sleeping bag...with not a Hot Wheel in sight.  I'm sure he'll sleep much better tonight than he did with just a small quilt. He may be my baby, but he's not longer a baby.

Friday, July 25, 2014

First World Problems

Last night as I was able to watch the runway show on Project Runway, our power went out...then briefly came back on, then went out again and stayed that way.

URGGGGG.

I really like Project Runway....like seeing all the pretty and different and even usual outfits the designers come up with, so I was a little frustrated.

Contrary to reports on facebook, the power was only out for about ninety minutes.  The first reports were that three sub-stations were down and it could be two or three days to get them back on.

URGGGG.

Now I'm not worried about the runway show, but the food in my freezer!! I remember stories from my mom during Hurricane Andrew and the power outages for weeks.  During the early days people had to grill the food from their freezers and eat what they could or throw it all out.  We had this issues during Hurricane Irene.  And of course, there's Hurricane Katrina...lots of issues there with power.

We lost power quiet often when we lived in Guam.  There, it is usually only lasted three or four hours.  Those nights the food court in the BX became huge social events, since no one could cook. (I think that's why we were at the food court the night Benjamin participated in an jalapeño eating contest...or it could have been laziness on my part since Drew was out of town....) The only time I was really scared on Guam was when the whole island lost power due to a lady lost control of her car and ran it into the main transformer.  Most of the time the power went out due to brown tree snake getting stuck in a transformer....simple reason, but it took hours to find the right transformer, clean it, and then fix it.

We have lost power here many times - way more times that I would have thought!  No brown tree snakes here!  Last night was supposedly due to damage a storm did the night before. I think every one thought that since three sub-stations were down, it would take days to fix, but apparently they were able to fix the main station, the sub-stations came right back on. As of this morning, there were still about a thousand without power - but I think they were the same ones that lost power during the storm the night before.  Since there was already a power outage when ours went out, there were already repairmen on sight or nearby.  I guess that helped!

Whenever we had a power outage in Guam, we would get our generator out. Usually, by the time we finally did and got it all hooked up, the power came back on.  And yep! Same thing happened last night! While Drew was getting it all hooked up, the power came back on....like it was just waiting for us to be almost done...

But I'll take power any day! Yes, I love the cool air of my A/C. I love knowing my food is at the right tempature. I love being able to watch tv.  Yes, I'm a spoiled first world girl.  And I'm fine with that.

A few months ago a friend adopted two siblings from Ethiopia. I asked her how they did during the power outage.....wondered if it freaked them out.  Of course, being from a developing country, they are more use to having no electricity at all, so they really weren't bothered by it (I think it helped that they were already in bed when it went out.)  But they were concerned about all the noises they could hear now the A/C was off and not drowning out all the nature sounds.  What they really were concerned about were hyenas. 

Yes, hyenas.  They had them in their village  - so bad that NO ONE went out during dark alone.  In fact, once a packed killed their donkey.

Makes me shudder just thinking about what all these two kids and so many others had to live with - and what people live with  NOW!!

Crazy!

After hearing that story, missing part of a tv show is no longer a great concern.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crazy Teens

A few weeks ago, the church hosted a lock-in for the middle school. Benjamin said he had a good time. Last night it was the high schoolers turn with a lock-out.  Why, oh, why do teens like to stay up ALL. NIGHT. LONG????

Yes, I did it, too as a teen.  But now?  No way!

So, after youth meeting last night, they first saw a movie, then bowling, then ate at IHOP, then roller skating, then went swimming at one of the youth's pool.  Melissa and William walked in about 6:30 and were in bed asleep by 6:35.

Don't blame them there.

Sadly, they both had ortho appointments at ten.  After they got home from that, both went back to bed. Although, William said he really didn't go to sleep....just dozed for awhile.  Melissa slept hard until I woke her up at four.

Hopefully, they both will sleep well tonight.

I remember going to several lock-in as a teen.  Most were with my youth group, but we rented another church's facilities as they had an in-house bowling alley and let roller skates on their gym floor.  I, also, remember going to a few with my Methodist friends.  Let's just say the Baptist  believed in more supervision than the Methodist did.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lazy Summer Day

This is a lazy week for me....not too much going on. Yesterday, Melissa and I went shopping for school uniforms. At one of the local 2nd hand places, we were able to get the rest of the bottoms she needed as well as a nice dress for her cousin's wedding. She still needs a few of the uniform pull-over/polos....hopefully, we'll find some she likes soon.  I think both boys are okay.....probably should  check on pants for William....but getting either of the boys to go through their clothes is a major ordeal.  I'm just not up for it yet.  Time is running out though.....maybe tomorrow morning since soccer is cancelled.

Melissa babysat last night for one family and this morning for another family.  She'll keep another family for the rest of the week.  Good thing too...she was down to $9 in cash!  Meanwhile the boys are just hanging out with me at the house....yep, you guess it: playing video games. 

I was able to work on a Bible study project this morning and got some sewing done. I started the day off with a slight headache and, so, was not so motivated to work....got a book finished though!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be more productive!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

No Happy.....

Friday I picked up my new glasses. This time I went with the "progressive' no-line bifocals.

I don't like them.

And I don't like my old glasses because they give me headaches.  Urgggg...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Paper Work Done!

Today was the last of the kids' doctor appointments. YEAH!!  In the past I have tried to have all three in one day - that was just overwhelming for the doctor.  We just have a lot of paperwork that has to be signed in order for the kids to have epi-pens at school, and the doctors don't like to be rushed through them. Also,  I've gotten to where I don't like having two or three kids in the room at the same time.  Room is too small....feel like the doctor doesn't really give enough attention to each child. 

Last year all the paper work was done wrong, so the school nurse, then, had the hassle of calling and faxing the clinic to get it corrected. So, this year I felt that if each child was seen separately, then we could avoid that problem.  And I think we did! Each child got a thorough exam...we got to talk about each child's health in depth...and got all the paperwork done.

Also, each child got a lunch out with mom and dad as their appointments were all at 11:10. Love it when we can spend time one-on-one with a child.

Poor William, though....  He got  a little more education this year....you know the kind...."turn and cough".  Poor kid.  But he is almost eighteen and he plays a sport that can be very physical. Oh, well. Such is a part of growing up.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nerves of Steel

"You're too close to right side!"

"Slow down!!"

"You're too close to the left side!"

"Now you're driving too slow."

"Keep your speed steady."

"Both hands on the wheel!"

"Eyes on the road!"

"You're driving too fast again!"

Melissa heard these and many other instructions as she drove us home from my mom's today. It was her first time driving on an interstate.  Frankly, I just don't think I have the nerves for this new driver thing.  It's only 90 miles between Mom's and my house, but today it was the most nerve-wracking 90 miles I have driven in a long time....probably since William helped me drive to DC in November.

If you know of where I can buy some steel nerves, please, send me the info!


Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Report

We enjoyed watching the World Cup over the last month....even if William fall asleep just before the
final. Not sure why he was so tired....but we all enjoy a nice long Sunday afternoon nap every now and then, and I guess it was his turn.

Friday night we had a few couples over for dinner. It went very well. One of the couples have a four month old.  So sweet! The other couple just came back from their honeymoon. We joked that the baby is what happens after the honeymoon! While we laugh, they did not. So, I guess it's a touchy subject.

Today Benjamin had his summer check up.  He needed his normal meds renewed as well as paper filled out for school so he can have his Epi Pens at school.  While he weighed one pound less than he did at his last appointment in April, but has grown one inch.

Not sure how you grow one inch but loss a pound!!

Crazy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Calendar Quilt

For quite a while now, I have wanted to do a quilt based on the months of the year. I probably had about half of the fabric I needed.  A few weeks ago I used my birthday money to buy the rest (as well as some other fabric I "needed" with some notions.) I started the quilt last week, but got side-tracked with a few things like kids and being out of town (and possibly a few books.....).

But this week I made a  point to work on it and last night I finished it.  I probably would have finished it earlier, but Mr. Seam-Ripper and I had (sadly) a few dates.  Uurrggg. I hate ripping out!!  But it needed to be done.  I had gotten a few of the pieces in the wrong place (which is easy to do when the pieces are the same size) and a few months out of order. Also, I wasn't happy with my football fabric (used for September). By the time it cut in to small triangles you could no longer tell it was helmets and footballs. So, I Mr. Seam-Ripper and I ripped out those triangles and I re-cut those parts.  I probably should have gone to the store and bought new fabric with a smaller print, but I felt that I had already spent enough money on this particular project.

I am a little disappointed with the over size of the blocks.....the picture from the pattern just looked bigger...I guess that's just a good photographer at work!  Also, I tried some quilt in some curves on the pinwheels....and I just don't sew curves very well....need to stick with straight lines, I guess.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

More Driving

Yesterday I had a few errands to do and I let Melissa be my chauffeur. Over all, I think she did a great job.  She does love to hug that right side...which is fine except here in  Lou-zee-ana we have almost no shoulders on our roads.  Seriously...what's up with that? Thankfully, she hasn't taken out any mailboxes...yet.

She was very nervous...especially, as a policeman was behind us.  Poor thing! I get nervous with a policeman behind me!! 

When she drove home from the DMV on Monday, there was a truck that was behind us all of the way home. (Turns out it was a neighbor being dropped off from a day camp.) Then the policeman yesterday.  But she did fine. She does have a little trouble keeping her speed steady, but as I told her that will come in time as she gets use to doing so many things at one. After all, driving is the ultimate multi-tasking event!

Made me think of a story a Sunday school teacher once told....  I don't remember exactly what kind of job this man had at Oxford, but part of it was to teach international students how to drive. He told us about how they would take FOREVER to look at the speedometer to see how fast they were going...which including them taking their eyes off the road and him slamming on the extra brake on his side and grabbing the wheel.  Of course, he told the story in a very entertaining fashion and acted some of it out.  Always makes me smile when I think of it....

...until I'm the one in the passenger side....and I DON'T have that extra break!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another Driver

Yep. It's that time again. We now have another driver in the family. Melissa finished her driver's ed class last week & today got her permit (after three loooong hours at the DMV....those people do NOT move very fast, do they???). She now has to drive for at least six months before she gets her full liscense. During that time she is to get at least fifty hours driving / fifteen of which needs to be at night. 

She is so excited!!



William on the other hand has decided to be safe while his sister is at the wheel. 


Independence Weekend

We  had a very nice long holiday weekend.....even if there were a few bumps along the way and that it didn't have the best ending.

Thursday afternoon we drove north to Hot Springs, Ark in time to have a nice dinner and to see a magic show.   Several years ago, Drew and I were in Hot Springs for a marriage retreat and saw this show - we loved it!  What I really loved was how family friendly it was. What a rare find! So many times a show or movie has a comment here or there that you just hope flies over the kids' head so you don't have to explain something you know they (or you!) aren't ready to know just yet.  Maxwell Blade keeps in  mind who in is his audience.  I, also, love how at the very end of his show, he tells how his life was in a very bad place and Jesus saved him.  He doesn't hit you over the head with the Gospel, but just says Jesus is the answer. Then he finishes up the show.  He just plants the seed and lets God grow it.  Love it, love it, love it!!

Based on how attentive my kids were, I think they enjoyed the show as well. They were trying to figure out how all the tricks worked.  We think we know how some were done...after all, Drew used to be a magician...but there were a few we weren't too sure about.  Good stuff!

Friday the boys just stayed around the hotel, watched tv....stayed lazy...which they all loved!  Melissa and I walked up to the main street and went shopping.  We both ended up with a few bath soap items. Melissa found a great top for less than $10. Then we meet the boys for lunch and some geocaching. (We found three.) It was just one of those easy - no rush days.  We went back to the hotel to watch some of the World Cup....take a nap....continued being lazy...catch some fireworks out of the hotel room window....just a great day.

Saturday we spent at the local amusement and water park.  While none of us are big on roller-coasters, everyone enjoyed the water slides.  Well, everyone but me. I'm more of a wave pool and lazy river type....that way I don't have to go underwater...which I'm not very fond of...after all, I have no gills so I'll just say on top of the water, thank-you-very-much. 

Drew spoiled us by renting a cabana...that even came with a tv....so we got out World Cup soccer games in...along with plenty of shade. So worth the money!!!

Off and on during the day, Melissa said she had a headache....yeah, well, so did I...but I had no meds so we just toughed it out.  Once we got back to the car around six in the evening, she took her migraine medicine...but it didn't work.  About eight-ish she took some more...and then started to throw up.  Thankfully, we had brought a bucket! (One of the things the cabana came with was a bucket with ice and water bottles...while I didn't really want the bucket, I knew it just might come in handy with a child and a migraine. As William said as we stopped along the road to take care of Melissa, "good call on the bucket, Mom!!"  See. We moms do know a thing or two!)

After we got home around nine-ish, Melissa just couldn't keep anything down and was still in massive pain.  So, after a twenty minute phone call to our insurance getting permission (twenty minutes!! I had to talk to three different people!! I'm trying to focus on the fact that I have great insurance - and I am VERY THANKFUL for that, but it's a loooong twenty minutes when your child is in pain.) to take her to the ER.  We got there about 10:45 and got home at 2:30.  Not a short trip....but it could have been so much worse, I guess.

(On a side note....there is some weird stuff on the tv that late at night.....unless you believe in alien adductions.....)

They gave her an IV for the dehydration, medicine for the nausea and two different kinds of meds for the pain.  About ten minutes after the medicine was given, I asked her how she was feeling I got a "I feel happy!" response in a sort of a loopy voice and a slight smile.  Very funny!  And she was still feeling happy Sunday afternoon. (I, on-the-other-hand, was not....I should have asked for some of that happy medicine, too. Thankfully, my head is clear this morning. Oh, how I hate migraines!)

So, our weekend ended with Melissa and I staying home from church and sleeping.  By supper time we both were functioning almost at normal. While it wasn't a trouble free weekend, it was still a good weekend....just next time I'll take some headache medication with us and try to get her to drink more water. Live and learn.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Geocaching


This morning Melissa and I spent shopping and this afternoon all of us went geocaching. We found three! Fun times.

Futbol now.....fireworks later...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hump Day

I started the day off with a walk with my neighbors, Alice and April. Alice and I have been walking most mornings since school let out.  While I don't really like getting out of bed at 6 a.m., I do like an early start to the day and visiting with her.  April usually walks with her husband, but he's out of town, so she joined us today.

Later in the morning I did some errands while Melissa was at her practice driving portion of driver's ed. Yep. Pretty soon we'll have another driver in the family.  I have yet to ride with her as the driver.....I'm still recovering from William driving when we were going to DC in November (that would be when he almost killed us in Atlanta and then later added "character" to my van.)

Anyway - back to Melissa.... She was VERY nervous  the first two days and was not happy with how she drove, but today felt calmer and felt like she did better.  She has one more day of practice driving with her instructor, then she can get her permit.  With this being a holiday weekend, it'll be next week before we're able to do that.

Later in the day I was able to work on my next quilting project....didn't get nearly enough done as I wanted to, but that's how things go in a full house! This project how each block representing a month of the year in a windmill pattern. Very excited about it!

As I posted a few weeks ago, I got off facebook.  But now I'm back on....not sure if I'll stay on....but for now it's fun catching up with friends.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Scrappy Quilt

About five or six years ago I realized that I had about three boxes of fabric....way too much for a military wife to be carting around. Some had been left-over from my projects....some left-over from a large project I over-saw for the ladies chapel group in Guam....some were given to me....some I liked, some not so much.  So, I set a goal to get the fabric down to one box...to make quilts with what I had.  Now, I did still buy fabric when I wanted to make a special quilt for someone, but I, also, really tried to use what I had.

I can now say I'm down to one box of fabric.  Below is my latest scrappy project....not sure who it will be for....so, it'll be sitting in my craft closet until the Lord tells me who needs a little love.



Monday, June 30, 2014

More of William

Back in  March some time, William along with all other juniors in the State of Lou-zee-ana took the ACT.  This was his third time.  Yes, that's a lot....and odd, I know, but  we had him take it as a ninth grader just to see where he was at (he had taken many classes ahead of schedule, so we felt like he was prepared somewhat)....to know what he needed to work on.  At that point he made a 26 - which we were THRILLED about!! It was high enough to qualify for the in-state tuition program. (He was, also, relieved. We have told our children they are responsible for paying for half of their college - hopefully, through scholarships.) He took it again a year late as tenth grader and made a 28.  Again, we were thrilled.

If it had been up to me, I would have stopped there.  But it wasn't.  As I said, all eleventh graders take it during school here - no exceptions.  Besides, my tax dollars pay for it.  He made a 30.  Yippeeee!!!

Now we were beyond THRILLED!!!  A 30 would get even more scholarships than that 28.  Love it!

But....he made a 26 in the math portion....he wasn't happy about that.   If he had gotten a 28, then he would qualify for the honors program at his current school of choice. He wanted to take it again.

Really??  Sounds like torture to me...but hey! Sure, I'll pay the $36.50....on ONE condition: you study math. He knew from his scores he didn't go very well on the basic algebra part (which he took as a seventh grader) nor did well in geometry (which he took in eight grade).  I wanted him to work on those sections.

And he did. For two weeks before the test on June 14, he worked out math problems as well as reviewed the English part.  Friday night we got his new score: 32 over all and a 32 in the math section!!!!

Once again: BEYOND THRILLED!!

A 32 will pretty much qualify him for a full ride any where he wants to go.  He's still leaning towards LA Tech an hour away from home, but it's so nice to know he can have his pick of schools and not have to worry about being saddled down with debt after gradation.

At the end of the night, Drew and I looked at each other and wonder out loud how in the world we ended up with such a smart kid! (If you add my ACT score and Drew's together, you might get a 32....maybe...no promises on that.)  The blessings of the Lord are amazing. We are very grateful.

And BEYOND THRILLED!! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

All About William

The other night the dishes needed to be put away at the same time as the laundry dinged.  I gave up years ago to being the one who did it all, so while Drew and Ben took charge of the kitchen (which is only fitting since Ben has kitchen duty this month), I had William help me with the laundry.  After all, as I told him, this load was mostly his stuff.

But my Mr. Seventeen had THAT look on his face.   I'm sure you know the one.  The one that says I was interrupting a very important moment in his life.  That couch really needed him to lay on it - at that very moment.

I tried to get him in a better mood - "Come on - you love spending time with me!!  And don't you love helping the Laundry Fairy??!!??"

His reply? "No. I want the Laundry Fairy to just magically do the laundry and put it my basket."

Yea, well.  That may happen during the school year when you are busy, but during the summer? You will get off your lazy butt and help me!!

Oh, to be  seventeen again.

Today was the day he decided to mow the yard.  We had talked about this earlier in the week, and I told him I would wake up him when I came in from my walk sometime between seven and eight.  I went to wake him up around 7:40ish, but it took about twenty minutes for him to actually get out of bed.  Later in the day he said he didn't remember me coming in the room...just him waking up to his lights on and the door open.

I didn't even ask how late he stayed up reading.

He really didn't want to be Yard Boy today.  (Not really my problem.) It did take him almost all day to do the yard.  Not that he worked continuously.  After all, that would have taken more energy than he had. He needed to stop to watch the US World Cup game, eat, watch another soccer game, watch Ben play on the computer....watch Sports Center.....oh, there are just so many things that needed to be done.

Mowing?  Edging? Raking?  Only if I have to.

You like that car you drive, right? Then yes, you have to.

One thing that he has learned is NOT to say "I just don't feel like it". Nothing gets my blood pressure up more than hearing that.  After all, that's what being an adult - especially a mom - is all about: doing what needs to be done no matter how you feel about it. Which is why he just grunts instead of saying those words (not that he really needs any reason to grunt...that's his first language after all.)

But at the end of this day, my yard looks great,and my Mr. Seventeen is tired.  I'm sure he'll sleep well tonight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Two Bath Day

For the second time this week I ate lunch out. Yesterday I meet four other friends for a final lunch as one is moving next week to Alabama with her military husband.  Today I met my friend Tricia to get all the good info (aka gossip) about last week's youth camp.  As I was getting my drink I could not find the lids for the cups.  Hmmmm   No problem, I thought. 

Well.....apparently, it was a problem...

Just after the severe severed our hamburgers, I reached over for the kitchen....and hit my drink....and it landed my lap.

I was pretty much drenched....so much so I had to come home and not only change clothes, but take a second bath as I was sticky in...well....all sorts of places.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Camp Report

My wonderful little duckies came home from camp at two a.m. Sunday.  The bus broke down - of course - and so they were two hours late.  But at least they are home.

Well.  Melissa was home.  She left today around 2 p.m. for the elementary camp where she is a counselor. My little girl was so tired! She went to sleep last night around 9:30. I had to wake her up at 11 this morning.  While most of her clothes were packed, she still had to gather some of her things and do a few chores before she left. I think she will be totally exhausted by the time she gets back Friday morning. At least this camp is shorter, close by, and since it's with elementary kids, they will be going to be before midnight each night.

Sunday we were able to sit and let the kids tell Drew and I stories from camp week.  Several were entertaining.... One night each group were to do a skit and it turned out most did comedy skits based on the staff members of the church.   I wish I had seen a few of those!  They sounded hilarious!

Of course, being a bunch of teenagers there were some problems. One issue was not new: modesty. One person definition of what modesty looks like is different from another person's....and yes.  The teen girls don't like the youth leaders definition.   For me, it seems to be an issue of respect.  You know the rules of the camp before you paid....so....don't complain.  If you don't like the rules, then don't come!  Many liked seeing how much they could  get away with....such a spirit of rebellion and pride in the end showing it's ugly head.

Then there was Benjamin and his lost wallet.  This is not the first time this child has lost a wallet.  Luckily, the last two times God had some grace for the child and it was returned to him with every cent still there.

This time?

Nope.  Totally lost.

On the way to camp in New Mexico, well over 15 hours from here, they stopped to eat on Monday morning (they left Sunday night at ten and drove all night long....and still didn't get there until after noon on Monday.) After they ate at a fast food restaurant, a few of the boys including William and Benjamin went into the nearby Wal-Mart.  Ben remembers having his wallet in his hands as he walked into the Wal-Mart, but doesn't remember what happened to it after that.

Over these last few years I have told the boys time and time again to NOT wear soccer shorts off the soccer field as they have no pockets to keep their wallets in.  Being boys that think they know better, they ignored mom.

So.

Benjamin had no where to put his wallet because he decided to wear soccer shorts on the bus ride to camp. And apparently, set his wallet down in the store as he was looking at something.  Urgggg......
makes me sick to think of how much money was in there.....he had at least $70 in cash and a few  gift cards....absolutely sick to my stomach!!

When I told this story to a friend, she said jokingly that maybe I can get him a "man-purse".  Sadly, he had one!!! Each of the boys have an Ole Miss soccer bag.  Ben used his to keep his wallet, a few snacks, his Epi Pen, a book...just a few things he wanted with him on the bus.  But when they stopped for breakfast he decided to just take his wallet not the whole bag.

Thankfully, I forgot to give him his military ID card, so at least that's not lost (that would have been a huge headache to replace!!!). I'm hoping this will be a lesson to him.

But just in case its not, I have taken all his soccer shorts away. He's not allowed to have them anymore....when soccer season returns, he'll get them back - but not now.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Today's This and That

Never did get the audiobook program to work....my personal Geek-On-Call (Drew) has had a cold this week.  So....I'm sort of staying away from him. I really don't want that cold...it seems nasty.

For the last few days I have gotten lots of sewing done....now I have lots of hand sewing to do.

Today I got my hair cut.  I'm having to break-in a new hair dresser. Again.   The first one I really liked here, moved away last summer, so I started seeing a mother of one of Melissa's friends.  The last haircut I felt like she was finally getting use to my hair and I was happy with the end product.

And now she's going into real estate.

So.  I'm now seeing another mother of a teen I know. She's in the same salon - which is close to the house and I love that. I think she did a good job.  I'll know for sure after I wash and style it myself.

Just like EVERY other hair dresser, she tried to straighten my hair. It looked good...for about an hour.  Then it falls.  And starts to curl.  I just go straight to the curl.  Anyway....we'll see in the morning what I think.

While I was working on my hand sewing, we watched another game in the soccer World Cup.  Yikes! Some of these teams are very aggressive and physical!!  That was Greece today as they tied with Japan. While I like cheering for William's 2nd home country, they just could not get it together enough win - even when Greece was playing with one less player due to getting a red card (that's where you get thrown out due to aggressive and physical playing!)  I'm looking forward to watch the US play again on Sunday when I can watch the game with my two favorite soccer player.

Now we are watching baseball...which I think is pretty boring...even if it is Ole Miss. Love Ole Miss....baseball is just NOT my sport.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fustrated

You know....technology is great....WHEN IT WORKS THE WAY YOU WANT IT T0!!!

I had this great idea to listen to an audiobook while I do some hand sewing.  But first, I wanted to see how I would like it, so I tried to find an audiobook for free. Which I did.

But getting it to play on my kindle...or iphone....or laptop???  Seems to be out of my technology ability.  Need to get my personal Geek On Call...yes. That would be my husband.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Camp Day One....

Today was the first day the kids were gone to camp...and it was a lot like the first day they were gone on the mission trip during Spring Break:  I cleaned. Thankfully, nothing was as dirty as it was during that Spring Break cleaning spree.

Not sure why I'm like this. I think better when my house is clean. Also, I now have five days to play.

I have several sewing/quilting projects I would like to work on.....errands one day.....finish a book start another one.....

Last night we watched Ole Miss play in the baseball College World Series....tough loss.  Tonight we are watching the USA play in the World Cup (that's soccer if you're living under a rock or just don't care about soccer). At the moment we are winning....but that second half is a long one.... We scored within 37 SECONDS!!  Amazing!!  May it happen again!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Food Truck Round-Up

After VBS on Friday we went with some friends to a food truck round-up. After seeing so many shows on the Food Network about food trucks, we wanted to see if we could find some good food. While mine was just okay, everyone else said their food was really good. 






Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Moment of Opportunity

On Friday we survived the last day of VBS. I finally just gave up trying to get all the preschoolers (anywhere from 19 to 32 in four different classes) to listen to me.  Some just can't....too many kids....too much going on...very loud in the gym....and for 15 minutes it just wasn't worth it.  But I do think the preschoolers had fun.  We did lots of relays....with small balls, with bean bags. We played with the large parachute and played with hula hoops. In the end the main goal of running off some of their energy while the main teachers had a small break was achieved.

Friday as the boys and I were getting out of the car, both boys just jumped out of the van and ran for the church gym practically before I had my door open.   I smiled. Yep. They are ready to see their friends.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see William turn around about half-way and make his way back to the van to help me bring in the box of small bean bags.

Awww. My heart melted a bit.  See!! I AM raising a thoughtful sweet boy!!!  I even told him so: "That was so sweet! Thank you for helping me!"

As I walked into the gym a few steps behind William, I see him taking the bean bags out and PELTING his brother with them.

Awww. NOT SO SWEET!!!

Yep. Some times kids can make you look a good. Other times, they are peeing on the car tires at Wal-Mart. (back story here)

Later in the day as I was telling the story to Drew, I asked William if he planned it that way (to throw the bean bags at Benjamin). He said no..."Just took the moment of opportunity."

Yep. That's boys.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chef Benjamin

Today the boys and I survived day three of VBS....only two more to go!!  The first class was....well...crazy.  Just too many kids.  And for a portion of the class, there are other classes in gym. Which means these three and four year olds just want to yell and wave at their older siblings and friends.  The older kids are in the mist of their games, and so there's lots of screaming and yelling and none of my classes can hear me.

I really should just bring ear plugs and let my classes run wild.

Two more days....two more days.....

(Melissa is helping with the third grade class and loves it!!)

------------------------

On a different subject.....

One of my goals this summer is to have the kids cook more.  Melissa and Benjamin cook fairly often, but William?  Only sandwiches and the occasional scrabbled egg.. None of the kids were around when I made out my menu, so this time around they had to choose from my menu instead of what they wanted to cook.  Benjamin had his turn tonight. He made my (or rather my mother's) meatballs and spaghetti sauce.  He did a great job!!  Very tasty! I probably will make William take his turn tomorrow night....otherwise he will try to find a way out of it.

I'm not interested in making them perfect chefs, but would like to be reassured that when they leave my house, they will be able to feed themselves with something other than grilled cheeses and frozen stuff.  After all, if you can follow a recipe, you can pretty much cook anything.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

So Far This Week

It's VBS week here.  As I have for the last few years, I am teaching preschool games. Overall, it's probably the easiest job in all of VBS. I arrive late teach four 15 minute classes, then leave early. But mainly, I teach it because I didn't have an excuse not to teach.....not very Christian like I know. It seems that the older my kids get, the less I like little kids. The boys are helping me, so at least I get to spend time with them. This year the first class had 27, the next 16, then 27, and the last was two classes combine with a whopping total of 33 preschoolers. 

Woooza!

Yep. That's a lot of kids!! Hopefully, all those 15 minutes will go fast.  Yesterday we played golf with a shortened swim noodle and a little plastic 5 inch ball. Today it's the parachute....that usually makes them crazy, so I'm excepting lots of yelling and screaming today...maybe I should grab my ear plugs....

The boys are taking piano lessons this month.  As usually, Benjamin has complained at just about every turn. I'm convinced that he complains just to irate me.  None of my kids liked the teacher that are assigned to through the school. In fact, Melissa and William quit going to lesson with him.  Benjamin would like to, but in this family all kids take piano lessons until the end of 8th grade, then it's their choice.  He has one more year.   This summer they are taking lessons with one of the youth workers - it's actually William's Sunday school teacher.  He's newly married....about 26 yrs old or so...very likable.  (The guy through the school is very, very quiet....waaay too quiet....almost no personality quiet.) Both boys like Brian a lot, so I'm hoping this is a good experience for them both. I think William missed taking lessons.  I'm really enjoying the house filling with music! (Melissa is not taking due to total lack of interest and how much she is gone this month.)

The kids and I are looking forward to Friday.  There's a "food truck round-up" across town and we are hoping to find it on Friday.  We've seen several shows on the Food Network about food trucks. Hopefully, we'll find it...and hopefully, the food is as good as the TV host say it is.

While we are across town, we are will, also, be on the lookout for costumes the kids need for camp.  Each night of camp there's a dress-up theme.  This year it's America, Disney, Fan Night, Dress Your Best, and What You Want to be When You Grow-up.  So, we'll be hitting a few thrift stores to see what we can find.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Marking Off

I love it when I can mark people off my prayer list:

...A local friend recently had a double mastectomy, but thankfully, does NOT need chemo or radiation.  She'll return to work in the next week or so.

...A dear friend living in the northwest, also, got a great doctor report when her breast biopsy came back normal.  On top of this health scare, her husband had already moved to their new base while she and the kids finished out school.  School is now over and he's with her to help her pack up the house and move across the country.  Very good to know they are back together physically and not just in spirit.

I really looking forward to late August when I can mark off another family off my deployment list....they have these last few months of a year deployment... I remember those last few months of Drew being deployed to Iraq....you would think the last few months and/or weeks would go by fast, but they don't....I think they are worse than the first months.  She seems to be holding  up well, but I know how long summer came be....

Of course, it always seems that as soon as I mark someone off my list I hear of someone else needed extra prayers. This afternoon, I found out that a couple in our Sunday school class are in the final stages of a divorce. I was speechless!!  I had no idea they were having troubles. Very sad.  But explains why I haven't seen them together in class in awhile.

She's Home

Melissa made it home yesterday from her trip to Ole Miss and then her camp. She was very tired - which I excepted. I knew she would not get a lot of sleep. She even texted one night at 1:15 a. m. saying she was STILL up writing an essay. 

Well....such is life at nerd camp. 

Her team placed fourth out of eight. Not the first place they got last year.  

It was so nice to have all my little duckies at my dinner table last night. Life feels complete when that happens. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Pictures

 


Tonight I went through my cameras and pictures. My cameras were a mess in that one worked and one did not....yes...that's what happens when you have kids.  Of course, I should be totally honest.  I'm sure I dropped the camera as much as the kids did....but they were in possession of it when it finally died.   Anyway.  I needed to get the photos off of it - so glad photo cards come OUT of the camera!  Also, I got my photos off my iphone. 

I came across several photos I forgot about. Including this one.  We were waiting for Melissa Easter Sunday after church.  I guess William got bored...but he is totally safe to ride home!