Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's that time of year again. HGTV starts their annual Dream Home giveaway tomorrow! I LOVE to watch the show & fantasize about winning. Of course, I'm the type of person who never wins anything, so I know it is just a fantasy, but it is soooo FUN! The last few years the houses haven't seemed very conducive to raising a family, I'm hoping this year's house will be better.
California wine country is one of my favorite places to visit & seems like it would be a very nice place to live (expensive, but nice). Since we don't have cable anymore, I'll have to wait for the tour to be available on the website. This year I'm planning to enter every single day!!!
Since this is one of my favorite fantasies, I'll probably be talking about this a lot over the next couple months. I'd love to hear everyone else's opinions on the house. Be sure to enter, I'm sure just about anyone has a better chance at winning this than Me.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Gramma (my Mom) made pink tutus for all the girls. We tried to get them to sit together for a picture...it didn't work too well.
Speaking of fighting, this is how my 19 month old daughter & my 15 month old granddaughter spent the afternoon. Baby Daughter is a bit of a bully.
Everyone had a really good day. The kids let us sleep until almost 9 & other than tired babies we didn't have any crankiness all day.
Pictures will be coming, but I need to find the card reader, suggestions on places to look greatly appreciated.
Friday, December 19, 2008
My Friend Janet at The Money Jar has given me the Lemonade Award!!! I'm so excited!!! THANK YOU Janet!!!! Janet has two GREAT blogs that I LOVE!!! Her strong faith and positive outlook are inspiring. I'm going to pass this award on to the blogs I read that I feel present great attitude and gratitude.
Life in Focus
Five Times Blessed
Musing, Rambling & All Around Blathering
Adventures in Learning
Sometimes We Do
My Love Knot
I Love this Circus
Here are the rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The babies were happy to see us when we got home, they had been busy writing on themselves & the walls while Gramma thought they were playing with dolls.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I've been keeping busy in the kitchen. Yesterday, I handmade 5 1/2 dozen tamales. Hubby has been selling them at work. They are a bit labor intensive, but not overly difficult. Authentic tamales are very hard to find in this part of Tennessee, there seems to be a pretty high demand for them. So far, I've only made pork tamales, but next week I plan to make up a batch of shredded beef & after Christmas (or maybe for Christmas) I plan to make a batch with shredded chicken.
Today, I'm making a crockpot of stew (taking some to a family from church who had a baby last week), a big batch of my homemade bread (some for the family from church, some for us), sugar cookies & cranberry nut bread. My kitchen smells soooo yummy!!!!
Cooking used to be one of my favorite hobbies, but over the years of fighting with my picky eaters, it has become more of a chore. The cooking I've been doing lately has been FUN again & I've finally figured out why. I've just been making what I feel like making & whoever wants to eat it can, those who don't like it for one reason or another can go without. Unfortunately, this plan wouldn't work for dinners, but at least I'm back to enjoying most of my time in the kitchen.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Miraculously Hubby, Baby Daughter & I were spared.....we thought. Baby Daughter started with the very ugly diapers this past Sunday. The bug has evolved with her, she also has a cough, green snot & runs a fever off & on. It isn't going away. The 3 yr old now has the green snot and a cough. Hubby was running a fever when he got out of work on Tuesday, his stomach is "iffy" & he feels congested. I spoke with our oldest on the phone Wednesday, he & his wife & baby all have a cold/stomach thing too.
I'm the last one & so far it hasn't gotten me *knock wood*. My stomach is feeling a little "iffy" though & today I noticed I was having trouble catching my breath after carrying Baby Daughter up the stairs. If you don't see me for a couple days, you will know why. Hopefully the 18 yr old, 10 yr old & 8 yr old are recovered enough to take care of the rest of us if I do succumb.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Our church had free Advent calendars on a table the first Sunday of Advent & I picked up 5. On the back they have a Bible verse, under each door they have a complimentary verse. 10 yr old, 8 yr old, 3 yr old & 1 yr old each have their own calendar....the 5th one is a spare for when the 3 yr old or the 1 yr old destroys theirs (I know it will eventually happen). Each night the 10 yr old reads the verse on the back for that day, they all open the appropriate door & 8 yr old reads the corresponding verse under the door. Then we count how many more unopened doors we have & finally they each get to pick a candy from the special present bag (recycled Christmas gift bag from last year). I bought a Hersey chocolate assortment & a Wonka assortment...spent about $6 for all the candy. Hubby asked if it was left over Halloween candy.....he knows me too well. Unfortunately I threw that all out before I hatched this ingenious plan.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
2 mini loaves and 6 bigger muffins with 1/2 cup of raisins added into their batter.
cooking time for the regular muffins was 20 minutes & the cooking time for the mini loaves & the bigger muffins was 35 minutes!
The puree in the ziplock bag was from one not very big pumpkin, I am amazed that there were 6 cups of puree!!! All together I ended up with 8 mini loaves, 12 regular muffins, 6 bigger muffins with raisins & 2 pumpkin pies!!!!! The kids will make short work of the muffins & the pies. Poor Hubby doesn't like pumpkin, I guess I need to get busy making something special for him next.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thank you to my friend Janet for starting this today....it was just what I needed to brighten my day!
Loreena McKennitt-God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The logistics of getting everyone there were complicated. 18 yr old had to be at work at 4. 8yr old and 10 yr old had to be at church to get into their robes by 4:45 and then I had to get to Hubby's work to pick him up by 5. It was a bit on the frantic side, but I managed it all & Hubby, Baby Daughter & I were even on time for the 5:30 start.
This is the first time I have ever been to a service like this. There were at least 7 bible readings, no sermon and lots & lots of singing. Baby Daughter is still under the weather, so she nursed most of the time. After the service there was a very nice reception in the parish hall.
Getting dinner made & eaten and the kids to bed on time was a challenge. Everyone is sleeping soundly now & tomorrow will be another busy day.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I lived in the California Central Valley for 30 yrs. We got actual snow ONCE in those 30 yrs. I can count on one hand the number of times we got snow flurries. The week after Christmas in 1990, the temperatures were in the teens all week & our pipes froze, but it had never happened before.
The website we consulted told us that the average winter low in our California town was 38 and the average winter low for our new Tennessee town was 36....only a two degree difference. The average high for both was 46. Sounds like a good match on the computer screen, but now that we are starting our 4th year here I see that looking at averages can be a very flawed way to determine what the ACTUAL weather is like.
Our California winters were cold, rainy, grey & foggy. The cold was a damp wet cold that soaks into your bones & makes you feel like you will never be warm again. It would rain for weeks at a time & everything would be covered in mud starting in October or November. Some years you wouldn't see the sun for a month or more. When it wasn't grey & raining it was so foggy you could barely see the front of your own car while driving. We didn't have snow or ice delays, we had FOG delays and even a few FOG days in particularly bad years. I remember one Christmas that the temperature was in the upper 60's & we took pictures of ourselves opening presents at the park in shorts to taunt our New Jersey relatives....but usually it got cold & wet and then stayed that way until mid March.
Tennessee winters are FROZEN....it is a dry cold & doesn't sink into your bones in the same way as the dampness, but it is soooo much colder. We frequently have ice on our car that won't let us open the doors in the mornings, the roads are icy & snow flurries are so frequent they are no longer even worth mentioning. We have to leave the water dripping in our bathrooms to prevent the pipes from freezing & the pipes outside the house are all wrapped in thick foam stuff to keep them insulated against the cold. The most actual snow fall we've had was about 2 inches the first year we were here, but it is early in the season this year & a BIG snow has been predicted before the season is over. Every year we've been here we've had at least a week when the HIGH temperature didn't get out of the mid teens. Night time temps frequently dip below 10. But every year we've also had a week or two in January or February when the temperatures suddenly jump into the mid 70's and the night time temps are in the 50's or even 60's....those dramatic swings must skew the average. Spring is not predictable here either. Some weeks will be nice and warm with temps in the 50's & 60's but just when you think it's ok to pack up the winter coats & gloves it will suddenly drop back into the 30's or even 20's for a week or more just to keep you on your toes.
I don't miss damp, grey, foggy winters, but I do wish it wasn't quite soooo cold here. Thinking about it, weather is one of those things I seem to rant about the most. Be warned when summer gets here I'm sure to rant about the horrid humidity.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The cold, gray, damp weather really doesn't help my mood, neither does the sick baby who not only is teething, but is also still fighting the stomach bug that the rest of the kids had earlier in the week. I need a break in a big way & it is not going to happen.
I'm trying to get started on decorating for Christmas. Unfortunately, even that is being depressing this year.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Check out the other great tips on this weeks WFMW.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
My current strategy when considering purchasing another diaper has been to get one size or adjustable, that is neutral colored or natural. Baby Daughter's diapers will still be in very usable condition when she is totally potty trained & it will be really nice to pass them down.....that will be a HUGE cost savings.
There are contests going on all the time all over the blogasphere & whenever they involve baby or kid stuff that interests me I try to enter. I have not won anything yet, but I'm very hopeful about the chance to win the latest Cloth Diaper Whisperer drawing. I have NEVER bought that many diapers at once & it would be such a thrill to win. Of course pretty much every person who has a child in cloth diapers is also trying to win, so I know my chances are rather slim.
If you have a baby or know somebody who is having a baby soon, I highly recommend checking out both the blog & the online store!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
My favorite online cloth diaper store is having a GREAT giveaway!!! I would LOVE to win all this stuff for Baby Daughter. She is now totally in cloth, it is amazing to me how much money we are saving. She will probably potty train by Summer, but she may not be our last.....maybe she will have a younger sibling eventually to pass these down.
I have more to say about this, but I'm going to spread it out over a couple days to get some extra entries to the contest.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
It makes noises, takes a bottle & pacifier & turns it's head, but unfortunately it doesn't close it's eyes & it has no hair.
Another that I'm considering is this Fisher Price doll.She has hair, she says her ABC's & plays games, but she doesn't take a bottle & doesn't sleep. She is also over the $20 budget.
Fortunately, the 8 yr old & the 1 yr olds were easy this year. I'm struggling a bit on this doll thing for the 3 yr old, but also procrastinating so that I don't have to even think about how difficult it is going to be to shop for the 10 yr old, the 18 yr old & the 21 yr old.....boys stop being easy when they outgrow trucks & move into the "everything must be electronic" phase. Plus they can all read & know way more than I do about computers, so I can't even ask for help when it comes to finding things for them.
Anyone have any good doll suggestions?
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
10 yr old's box is for a boy age 5-9. It has a bar of soap, a cotton washcloth, a toothbrush & toothpaste, a comb, lots & lots of hard candy (mostly lollipops), two packets of hot chocolate powder, a packet of spiced apple cider powder, a Cars mini spiral notebook, colored pencils, regular pencils, stickers, lined index cards & 5 miniature Cars skateboards. It is all small stuff, but it is a nice variety. Hopefully the child who receives it will enjoy these things.
8 yr old's box is for a girl age 5-9. It has a bar of soap, a cotton washcloth, a toothbrush & toothpaste, a comb, hair ties, hair clips, lots & lots of hard candy (mostly lollipops), two packets of hot chocolate powder, a packet of spiced apple cider powder, a Princess mini spiral notebook, colored pencils, regular pencils, stickers, lined index cards & a jump rope. We ran out of ideas & space to put anything else inside, hopefully it will be enjoyed as well.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
My Mom is still here. Organizing is going slowly, but it is progressing. Yesterday we found a house for her to rent that is less than a mile away. It needs work, but it is the kind of work she really enjoys doing. She will have free rein to decorate any way she likes & there is a private yard with lots of trees. Best of all, she got a great deal on the rent in exchange for the work she will be putting in. It is bigger than the apartment she has now, costs less per month & is 2 minutes from my house!!!
Hubby saw the vein Dr today too....yesterday they did an ultrasound of his veins. They have decided he needs a laser procedure that he is a bit squeamish about, but hopefully it won't be too difficult for him & it may actually help a great deal with the problems he's been having. Now we wait to see if the insurance approves the recommended treatment & if the Dr's office can get him scheduled before the end of the year when our insurance carrier is due to change.
Second Son is hopefully registering to start college soon. I need to go with him & find out WHY they are saying he needs remedial English, he passed 4 yrs of high school English, got a decent score on the ACT & he passed the schools English placement test. He can't get a straight answer, so MOM needs to step in & figure out what the problem is. We will also need to finish all the financial aid stuff. He will turn 19 in January, so if he isn't in school full time by then or at least registered, our insurance may drop him.
All the paperwork came this week for the new insurance plan too, now I have to crunch the numbers & figure out which of 3 plans is REALLY the best one for us. Because of merger stuff going on inside the company Hubby works for, this insurance plan is only temporary & I will have to make all these choices again in the Spring for a new plan that will start June 1st. I guess the only consolation in that is that if I screw up the choices for the plan that begins January 1st we only have to live with it for 5 months.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
She wore the gown that my Mom made by hand for our youngest son. The four youngest have now all worn it. Youngest Son was a little over 7 months old for his baptism & the other girls were 5 months & 3 months respectively when they wore it, it is amazing that it fit. It actually looked like it had been custom made just for her, the sleeves were the perfect length, the hem came to her toes, allowing her to walk without tripping. It truly was perfect.
She did not like having her back to the water as the priest scooped it up & poured it over the back of her head, but other than that, she did very well. Telling us "wet" & feeling her head in amazement after she was handed back. Fortunately, she didn't actually cry.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The usual punishments of grounding or taking things away don't seem to be enough to deter misbehavior & defiance in the 10 yr old anymore, so a new punishment was needed. Hmmm, how to impress on him that listening to authority is THE most important of household rules? Well, we decided that it was time for him to learn a new chore. He has had the responsibility of unloading the dishwasher for almost 2 yrs. Tonight he learned to LOAD the dishwasher. He put everything in & then I showed him how to rearrange a few pieces to their appropriate places. His only complaint was that the dirty dishes were slimy...he threw quite a fit about the sliminess, so we decided that he also needed to learn to wash dishes by hand. First he had to take all the dirty dishes out of the sink & stack them, then he had to learn about getting the water to the best temperature, how much soap to put in the sink. He washed the dishes, rinsed the dishes, dried them & put them away. He declared it to be a "fun" chore. Since he likes it so much, he will be keeping it for a while. I guess we'll see if he still considers it fun in a few weeks.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Like I've said, I've got SIX kids. I LOVE toys. I still have the original Little Tikes Bowling set and the Wee Waffle Blocks & Bucket that were bought for my now 21 yr old son when he was a toddler, I think those toys are older than my 18 yr old son. All my kids have played with & loved them. Soon my granddaughter will be joining in the fun. When my 18 yr old son was about 4, we discovered the Thomas the Train & Brio Wooden Trains. They were quite pricey & we didn't buy many at a time, but over the years we have acquired quite a collection. These get played with frequently & have held up well. We also have a collection of wooden blocks that have been added to over the years, each of my children has loved them for an extended period of time & they are still one of the most popular toys on days when the kids have to play inside.
When my oldest daughter was 2, I found a Fisher Price Doll House at Once Upon a Child (2nd hand store). It came with a bunch of people & accessories. Over the years, we have added more people, vehicles, pets & furniture. She is now 8 and still plays with it. My 3 yr old & 1 yr old play with it almost daily and the neighbor's little girl LOVES it so much her grandparents just bought her one of her own.
When we fall in love with something that is very pricey, I look for it in second hand stores & buy some of the accessories as they go on sale. Over the years we have acquired almost the entire Rescue Hero's set. My youngest son is now 10 & doesn't play with them anymore, but my 3 yr old is just discovering it & I think they will soon be one of her favorite toys. Fisher Price seems to have discontinued the line.
I try to buy toys that can be added to, that are very sturdy & that allow for lots of imagination. The toys I've listed have certainly lived up to our family's needs in all these areas.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I have Catechesis training this Saturday and she will watch the kids for me. We are hopefully going to work on some organizing things around the house next week & then on Nov 9th, Baby Daughter is being baptized. My Mom will be one of the God Parents. After that, we will start getting ready for Thanksgiving. By that time, it will almost be time for my December Catechesis training, she may just stay for the whole month.
She is supposed to be spending Christmas in California with my brother, it will be nice to get to spend some time together before she goes away. I think she will probably be in California for about a month too. Maybe by the time she gets back we will have found a place for her closer to my house.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This is such a FUN Halloween background. I just love it, but of course I'll have to pick a new background on Saturday. Suggestions gratefully accepted!!!
I'm technologically challenged when it comes to stuff like this. Pink is my favorite color. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
When my oldest two were little, I would take them to the library for storytime & they soon shared my LOVE of the felt board. When I started teaching Sunday school & helping at vacation Bible school, the felt board was always how I wanted to tell my stories. I even bought a small one with a set of Blues Clues felt characters for my daycare when my middle kids were babies. It was expensive & the quality wasn't great, but we all LOVED using it to tell stories.
Today I happened on a contest for a gift certificate to a company that sells felt sets. They are very impressive sets. I'm hoping to win the gift certificate!!! But if I don't, I will probably still be purchasing this set for my youngest two for Christmas. I'm impressed with how reasonable the prices are & the quality looks fantastic!!!
If you loved felt stories when you were a kid, you need to check out this company!!!!
Update.....I found another contest. They are giving away one of the felt paper dolls!!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Nobody warned me about how addictive cloth diapers can be. I started out using simple contour diapers, but I couldn't help but look around at all the options. I hate velcro and I'm not fooled by them calling it a hook & loop closure or aplix or anything else. The sound it makes when you open it grates on my nerves. Baby Daughter would have a field day stripping them off & running around naked. Fortunately, there are many diapers available with snaps. I have bought one of just about every fitted diaper I could find. They all work great around the house & even out in the car during the day. Most nights she wears a fitted diaper to bed with an extra soaker. The only slightly inconvient part about them is that they require a seperate cover. The added step of putting on a cover is more than Hubby can handle. This makes me think that the added step of a seperate cover would likely be too much for the church nursery as well. The All in Ones did not initially appeal to me because they take a lot longer to dry & they are pricey. I've heard really good things about Fuzzibunz pocket diapers, and since they are all one piece once you stuff them, I'm thinking they might be a workable solution for Baby Daughter to wear in the church nursery. Buying two of them will cost me almost as much as a months supply of disposables, but it could mean I never have to buy anymore disposables, EVER!!
I've been reading a blog called The Clothdiaper Whisperer, I can really relate. It is kind of nice to see that I'm not the only one who was slow to convert to cloth. I haven't seen any posts about addiction yet, but I'm sure they will get around to addressing that too. Her store has a special package where I can get two Fuzzibunz and 4 inserts to stuff them with for $35.90 & they are having FREE SHIPPING on everything at the moment, I'm very tempted.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
While I was taking the 10 yr old & 8 yr old to choir practice, Hubby found a recipe online for butter cream frosting & made frosting for my cake!!! My oldest is bringing Granddaughter over in a few minutes & we will all eat my wonderful cake together. I'm feeling very spoiled.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We have fallen into a really easy routine. I have a bucket in the laundry room with a locking lid. I put the dirty diapers in it after each change & when it is full, I do a load of diaper laundry. I have an HE front loading washer, so I do a cold soak cycle, then a hot wash with a small amount of soap & then a second quick hot wash with white vinegar instead of soap. They come out super clean. Because none of my diapers are more than 3 layers thick, they also dry pretty fast in the dryer. My washer & dryer are pretty energy efficient & I haven't noticed any change in my utility bills since switching to cloth.
After reading the label, I decided that the inside of my ancient dishwasher was a really good first project. The pictures on the left are the before & the ones on the right are the after.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Today some of the kids went down the street & picked apples from a neighbors tree. He told us in early September that we were welcome to pick as many as we like. The 10 yr old climbed high into the tree & passed them down to the 8 yr old, while the 3 yr old put them into a basket. They came home with 19 apples and are now busily peeling them in hopes that I will make them an apple pie.
Update.....They didn't get a pie, but I did make an apple crisp with no oatmeal (10 yr old doesn't eat Oatmeal)....it came out quite yummy!!! And there are still enough apples left for a pie.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The little ones are especially happy to finally be able to wear their sweaters & turtlenecks.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The 1 yr old is cranky because of teething. The 3 yr old is cranky because the sky is overcast & her friend next door doesn't seem to be home. The 8 yr old came home in a "mood"...she was complaining to herself outside before she even got in the door. Seems she didn't sleep well last night & thinks something is wrong with her tonsils. She took her temperature and when she didn't find a fever immediately asked to go outside & play with her friends.....at least her crankiness was short lived.
The 10 yr old was no where in sight when I arrived at school to pick him up from his after school orchestra practice. He came out of the building a few minutes later & informed me that he is in trouble because I "take so long" to come pick him up. The schedule was changed last week or the week before & he now gets out at 3:30 instead of 3:45 & since all us parents are such good mind readers the school didn't feel the need to inform us about the change, but they did send a note to all parents today reprimanding us for not picking our children up "promptly" and informing us that if we need after school care there is a cost of $25 per hour for drop in care at the school's program. If I fail to pick him up promptly anymore, he was told, they will drop him from the orchestra program. Playing the viola is also challenging for him. He thinks he is the only one who cannot hold the bow properly & he is upset because one of the cello students dropped out & now there are 23 violins, 5 violas and 3 cellos.......the violins will surely drown everyone else out. He's only been playing for about 3 weeks. We've payed the rental on his instrument through the end of November, so the plan at the moment is for him to stick it out at least until then & we will talk again about how it is going & whether he wants to continue. Things in his classroom were difficult today too....they have a new seating arrangement, he is now sitting in a group with his 3 least favorite classmates. He is supposed to turn in the money to be able to participate in the class Halloween party tomorrow.....we don't have the money this week.
Next week is Fall Break....the kids will be out of school for a whole week, I'm sooooo ready!!!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Last month their group had a bake sale to raise the money needed to "ship" the shoe boxes of gifts. A fee of $7 per box is required for each & every one. To me, this seems like a lot.
When we finally got into the exam room, a very nice nurse asked us the usual questions & assured us that the Dr would be in to see us soon. Much to our surprise, he actually showed up less than 5 minutes later. He agreed with the diagnosis we received from the Dr we saw on Monday & explained the next few steps that will help us figure out the extent of the problem & what our treatment options will be. For now we are to basically do nothing. We go back for some tests on November 11th & then see him for the results the following day. Prayers that this will not require surgery would be greatly appreciated, Hubby really doesn't like the idea of surgery.
Monday, October 13, 2008
We are of course now dealing with our first round of "Fall colds". It could be seasonal allergies, we are all stuffy & cranky, the baby especially. Doesn't help that she is also STILL teething. She is now 17 months old & barely has 9 teeth. Since I haven't kept very detailed records of the other kids, I can't tell you for sure how that compares to her siblings, but my foggy mind believes that only ONE other child has been this slow to get teeth.
Hubby had a good Dr visit today. He has been dealing with unexplained swelling in his feet & lower legs for several years. We have been to many Dr's, had many tests with no definitive diagnosis & no workable treatment. Hubby is the typical man who only agrees to go to the Dr when he believes that his life might be in danger. Last week his legs starting blistering for no known reason....he paniced & agreed to let me try ANOTHER Dr. The Dr we saw today was a foot & ankle specialist. He took one look & gave a diagnosis that actually sounds plausible & much to Hubby's delight it is not FATAL (my delight as well, I can assure you). The Dr wrote prescriptions to deal with toenail fungus & foot fungus & gave us instructions on how to deal with that & then he secured an appointment for Hubby to be seen this coming Wednesday (yes, this WEEK) with a vein specialist. I'm especially happy with how quickly he will be seeing the next Dr, it gives almost no time for Hubby to decide he is "fine" and cancel. We're hoping treatment will not require surgery, but if it does at least we have insurance.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
EEEK!!! I instantly retrieved all my children & forced them to sit roasting marshmellows next to the campfire, but it was probably too late. We left a short time later & I washed everyones hands with sanitizing wipes. Then washed the little ones legs & arms with another wipe, being careful not to contaminate from one to the next. Then I used different wipes to wash my own face, arms & legs....just in case even though I hadn't gone anywhere near the brush. I was itching worse than when the word lice gets mentioned in hushed tones. I tried really hard to convince myself that it was all in my imagination, but since I am one of those people who can get poison ivy from walking near a wooded area on a windy day, I was pretty sure we would all be painted bright pink with calomine before night fall.
As soon as we got home, the babies went in the tub. All their clothes went in the wash. Next I took a shower & put my clothes in the wash. I used the most drying soap I could find in the house, now I'm not sure if my itching & little red patches are from the drying soap or poison ivy...of course it could still all be my imagination. Time will tell.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Back to the money thing. When you apply for a mortgage they tell you that you can't spend more than 30% of your income on housing, now I realize this is GROSS income, but even so, 30% really doesn't seem like much. We currently pay 54% of the money we actually see each month just for the rent. Utilities account for at least another 25% which leaves us with about 20% for everything else including food & gas for our only running vehicle.
Our lease is up in December & we may have to move again....I'm not sure how we would manage a new security deposit & the expenses of moving, but I've started praying NOW that if we are going to move again it will be to a place that better meets our needs & is more affordable. We somehow managed to only move twice the whole time our oldest was in school, but we have now moved more in the last 4 yrs than we did in the previous 15 yrs.
Have I ever told you that I HATE moving?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
In years past, I have bought at least one thing from each child in the house who is selling something for school, but this year the money is too tight & we really didn't need a coupon book packed with coupons for places we can not afford to go. The schools pitch is that for the $10 paid for the book you will receive $1600 worth of coupons. The problem for me is to receive these "offers" you invariably have to buy something...something that I have eliminated from our budget due to necessity. Try explaining that one to an 8 yr old.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The kids computer has been on the fritz for at least a week. Since mine died last month, that left us with only one computer in the house that could connect to the internet & that is not a pretty picture in a house full of internet addicts. Last night after dinner, I ran a diagnostic on the wireless connection & suddenly got a connection. Yay!!! But within 3 minutes the connection was lost & rerunning the diagnostic did nothing to get it back. I sent one of the kids to find an ethernet cable and started trying to figure out how we would get the DSL modem close enough to the computer to use the cable. Then I had a brainstorm....maybe the antenna on the wireless card really was the problem. (one of the babies had pulled the cover off it last week just before we lost internet). We have boxes of old computer junk in our garage, so I went looking for a compatible antenna. First I tried the router, two antennas, but they don't come off. Next, I found an old DSL modem in the garage & while the antenna was shorter, the connection was compatible & it WORKED!!!!
Later, when the kids were getting ready for bed I told the 10 yr old to help the 3 yr old get her teeth brushed. He started screaming for me to come into the bathroom. It seems the 3 yr old had forced her toothbrush down the drain. She is obsessed with brushing her teeth & was very upset that we couldn't get it for her. I sent them all to bed & after they were asleep, I got a wire coat hanger to see if I could fish it out. No luck. Hubby was sure we were going to need a plumber. We can't afford a plumber, so I unscrewed the pipe & out popped 2 toothbrushes. The pipe is pvc, so I just put it back on & screwed the pieces together. I ran the water for a couple minutes & was very pleased that it didn't leak. The toothbrushes went in the outside garbage & the 3 yr old will have to wait until Friday to get a new toothbrush, she's devastated....hopefully she won't put anything else down the drain.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'm trying really hard to get connected with people in real life and get things accomplished on a daily basis. My Mom was here over the weekend to watch the kids while I went to my Catechesis training on Saturday. She wanted to go home on Sunday, but we had a full day of activities to accomplish for the kids at church & I just couldn't find the energy to make the 3 hr round trip drive to take her home Sunday night. I spent most of my day on Monday taking her home, nothing else worthwhile got accomplished and I didn't even get a nap.
I'm fighting a depression right now and of course my Mom's answer was that I should talk to a Dr & get on an anti-depressant. I know prozak has saved my mother's life, but it is not for me. I have valid reasons to feel depressed and I need to be allowed to work through those things on my own terms. Going on medication is not going to help me have more money for utilities and groceries, it won't get our second car running & it won't magically get my laundry done or my dishwasher unloaded. Yes, I'm crying more than my mother is comfortable with, but crying is one of my only outlets for my frustration. I would LOVE to be able to stay in bed for days at a time like she did when I was a kid, but I don't have that luxury, my kids and hubby need me to cook for them, clean the house & transport them everywhere all day long. If I don't do these things, nobody else will & the whole family will suffer. If I get to the point that I am not able to meet my families daily needs, I will talk to a Dr, but for now, I am functioning just fine & she will have to accept that I do have emotions & do feel the need to cry when the frustration is overwhelming.
Our Rector talked about how tough the economy is now, in Church on Sunday and about how those who were having a rough time needed to speak up & allow the church to help them. I am one of those people who is having a very rough time, but I'm not ready to admit defeat and ask for help yet. What he was saying hit home so hard for me that I had to leave the service and miss the sermon to get my emotions under control. I truly feel invisible most days in regard to how tough things are financially. I am sure that nobody who knows Hubby or I would ever consider that we may be struggling. All I can do at this point is keep praying and hope that next month will be better.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Hubby tried to talk me into making an actual cookbook at one point, but I've worked on several of those as fundraisers for various kid projects in the past & although it was fun to compile all the recipes it was also a HUGE pain & never seemed to generate the revenue enough revenue to justify all the work it took.
I'm also enjoying all the different challenge themes. I discovered a new one today, it is Tackle it Tuesday. I don't have anything to post for it this week, but I joined the CLR challenge they have coming up & I'm hoping to tackle rearranging my bedroom in time to post it next Tuesday.
I need to get one of our digital cameras reliably working and remember to charge the batteries.....I LOVE to take pictures & everytime I write something I think about how great it would be to post a picture with it, but saddly it seems that lately I never seem to have the pictures I want when I need them.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Since moving to the South, I have discovered that people here say "sorry" or some other form of apology for just about everything they do. Really, I get soooo tired of having people tell me they are sorry all the time for things that didn't bother me in the first place. I guess it is one of those things that comes from them having been raised to be polite. I was not raised that way & I'm sure it is obvious way too often that I am a RUDE "not from around here" kind of person. I do not apologize for opening doors for others, I do not apologize for taking more than 2 rings to answer the phone at my own home, I do not apologize to the cashiers at the grocery for not bringing in my own cloth bags....there are tons of things I encounter others apologizing for on a daily basis & I often find myself feeling hostile to the chronic apologizers. My youngest son is a chronic apologizer, he also says "Hi, how are you?" everytime he sees you, even if it has only been 5 minutes since the last time he walked past you in the kitchen. I find myself telling him that either he has no REASON to be sorry, or (when there really is a reason & it is the multiple time today that he has done the very same thing & apologized for it) that he needs to STOP doing whatever it is...apologizing is not enough. But I can do this because he is my child, with other people who continually do the same annoying things & apologize only to do it AGAIN, I seem to have no recourse other than to stop being around them. Now, back on track, I find that maybe I am the one who isn't learning the lesson....maybe all the apologizing around me has been targeted at getting me to learn to offer forgiveness.
After the church service on Sunday, I heard several profound stories of forgiveness. The first was about a local pyscologist who's mother was murdered. He later wrote a book about how he forgave the person who killed his mother & how by forgiving him he was able to move forward in his own life. Everyone listening was touched by the story & I heard several mumblings of "I don't know if I could do that".....I think being able to forgive no matter how BIG the wrong is, really is what being a Christian is about. In July, my Oldest son overslept & didn't go to a performance a friend invited him to at his church.....the friend's father was killed when a gunman opened fire during that performance. The members of that church are still struggling with their losses, but many have found it in their hearts to forgive that man and have publicly opposed him facing the death penalty. My son has not reached a point of being able to forgive, but looking back I'm not sure forgiveness was ever one of the things Hubby or I taught our kids.
My friend Stacey who passed away on Friday had many unjust things done to her by people who she trusted. She often came to her friends with tales of the latest injustice & we were always outraged for her, often it seemed even more outraged than she was herself and while we (her friends) have held tightly to these grudges & have talked amongst ourselves about how much we would like the people who wronged her to face some ultimate karmic justice, Stacey found it in her huge heart to forgive them all. She is at peace now and the care of her children is entrusted to people who made choices that hurt Stacey, but hopefully those same people will be influenced for the good by having known and been loved by someone so caring & giving. I am searching my own soul today looking for a way to truly Forgive the injustices done to my friend & I feel like when I find the power within myself to offer that forgiveness I will truly be a better person. Thank you, Stacey!