Saturday, March 28, 2009

March MADNESS

Madness, absolute madness for sure. Remember it IS nearly April! But, we survived the big blizzard! What a funny experience. The boys had a great time with it. Here's the pic of them working on their "snowboards."

They closed all our roads Friday night at 8:00, which meant, essentially, no one would be out working on them till morning. I was on call and was afraid I wouldn't be able to get in till late on Saturday if then, so a little before 8 I decided to head for the hospital to spend the night there. The roads weren't really bad then, as we hadn't had much snow. However, promptly as I turned in the parking lot I drove right thru a huge (Huger than I thought) drift and that was it for me. I got out, tried to shovel a bit, then huffed in to the building. There it sat all night long. So I messed on the computer for a while, till the new ceiling tiles in the hallway began to fall in with snow on them. OOPS. What a mess that turned out to be. Before the end of today, we lost several more tiles in there due to some leaking of something. I was glad to be snowed in at the hospital because they were short staffed for sure with the people who couldn't get in. So I was able to be of some assistance to them. The state crew called around 8 am and asked who they could pick up for us. So several staff members got to ride to work in the road graders. Funny. Finally early this afternoon a couple guys from the city crew helped get my car out. It was a beautiful afternoon really, warm weather, not much wind. The DON and I spent a couple hours after that shoveling out a few cars belonging to the stranded staff. The highway to my house was graded off by late afternoon, so I finally went home around 6 this evening. J took some pics this morning--BIG drifts. Below is the front of the house--I asked J if he turned off the waterfall last night, which he didn't. You could barely see it but enough to see the water still running underneath all that snow. YEAH! That thing ROCKS!



The boys had tracks everywhere. C wanted to get out and check things over. We put on some shoes and her coat and let her out. 15 minutes was about enough for her. She got so tickled when we threw snowballs at D. She even launched a couple herself. sorry Becky--we taught her to throw stuff at people! The level snow fall was as nearly as tall as her!

The boys used their snowboards to get down the drift from the decks down onto the lawn.


J spent the majority of his day digging out the driveway. Not sure how he will get all the dead cars out to work on, and he is sure that it will be 2 weeks before he can get his race car found--says there's at LEAST 9 feet of snow out there :-) He was hoping to go racing next weekend. Granny and Papa got here to get their cattle cared for, and it seems all is well there. Evidently this is the most snow anyone has seen here since "the blizzard of '71" We are just glad that the worst is over, everyone has been healthy and safe from accidents, and now we can FINALLY get on with spring. . . starting tomorrow!! M

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mom, has Santa come yet?

"Mom, has Santa come yet?" That was the question my 6 year old asked me earlier today as we watched the yard turning white with the spring snow. I looked at him a few minutes and decided he was quite serious! Poor guy. I think we got him all lined out tho. The boys had a ball today. They spent the entire afternoon outside in the snow. We just haven't had much snow the last 2 years. T kept saying "Is this the most snow that we've ever had?" I'm sure it's not. It really came quite nicely, despite the fact that the weather stations were predicting such high winds today. I looked out to find they were using some old road signs that someone had given to J as snowboards. One was a stop sign and one was one of those rectangle bridge signs. It seemed that they worked pretty well! Anyway, they had a great time. They were in several times to guzzle hot chocolate. We didn't take C out in it. I went to work for a brief time this morning and the trip out to the car was enough for her, but we were getting pelted with sleet at a high rate of speed. The snow seemed much gentler this afternoon. We watched the birds at the feeder this afternoon. There were a couple of big, fluffy robins that kept coming to the waterfall for a drink. I'm sure they were wondering what happened to the nice weather.

We got our new apple trees the end of last week, so the boys dug holes while they were out of school Wednesday afternoon. We got those and the grape vines planted on the north side of the house before the weather started--the moisture will do them good. We also started on the new flower bed this week. J hauled home some old railroad ties and we got them formed up. All we need now is to fill with with the dirt and plants. The plants were supposed to be here this weekend, but didn't show up--hopefully they never got shipped vs. freezing solid in the back of someone's UPS truck! Our contractor came Tues to look about the sidewalk and J's concrete slab at the shop. We will need some dirt work on the east side of the yard where the walk will be. The shrubs I ordered to put in there came as well, so they are spaded into the garden and some in pots until I can get them in the ground. Next week looks like spring again--can't wait.

The boys are already planning their outdoor adventures for tomorrow! And the laundry WAS caught up! Maybe Jolly Old Saint Nick will do a load for me if he happens through the neighborhood tonight! I'll leave a request with his cookies. M

Monday, March 23, 2009

Survived Parent Teacher Conferences

WHEW!! Am I glad those are over with. I'm usually excited about them and dread them at the same time. I really don't like critique and I always feel like my children are being critiqued--trust me, I live with them--I have their faults pretty much down! I know they are supposed to be helpful, and generally they are. It has always been a struggle to listen to T's simply because of the problems we have with his attention problems. A dear friend of mine has a daughter in the grade ahead of T. Last year when she was in 6th grade, Jen always said, "she is so stressed out and she is such an organized kid--what in the world happens to the boys??" Well, I can tell her as far as T goes--He just doesn't give a rip. Yeah, I'll do it later, Yeah, I'm not sure where the paper is, Yeah, I might have a test tomorrow, or was it yesterday?? EEEK. I am highly organized too, so listening to the teachers tell me that he isn't very organized and can't find his homework, or didn't remember to do his homework or whatever, is very stressful for me. So the day they got out of school for spring break he says "Um, I think I have a D in science" and kept on walking thru the room on the way to his room. My response wasn't not able to be repeated here. I was so proud of him when I got to his conferences today. No D's on his report card--not even a C. A's and B's and hardly even an assignment not handed in (almost none). He has finished the standard goal for reading (a whole 9 weeks early) and earned himself a place on the mystery trip they take the kids on in the spring. He really doesn't get into reading much, so this was a big deal--also considering that we spent the first semester constantly hounding him on getting his books read. And his teachers seem to enjoy him--so that is even nicer. His music teacher would sure like him to take a solo to contest, which he told me was too late to do. HAHAHA--He was wishin I didn't know that. So hopefully he will agree to that.
G's conferences are usually good. He is a good student, tho he likes to rush thru his work so he can be done. It always a cringing moment for me too as I listen to them tell me about the mild OCD/anal-ness/black and white issues that he deals with--It reminds me of the things in myself that I don't always like!! I think he and I are a lot alike and wonder if my mom listened to the same things that I hear about him. He also had A's and B's.
D's conferences were better this time around. The first time I heard that he was a bit of a chauvanist pig and didn't really like the girls, except for one. He has grown out of that and the girls are no longer scared of him. He still likes things to happen the way he thinks they should (OCD/anal/black and white-I see a pattern!!) Overall, things are going well for him too. Hard to believe that summer will be here before we know it!! Hope everyone has a great week! We're hoping for one here--a little rain would sure help!! M

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Papa's BIG Birthday

Well, my mom totally did it this time!! She truly managed to surprise my dad with a 60th birthday party! He thought that we were all going out to eat a prime rib dinner as a special event that a restaurant was doing. It took several seconds after he came into the room full of his friends and family for him to process the whole thing! In fact, in reviewing my pictures this evening, I believe the mouth position of my first photo caught him saying "what the H is going on here!" UMMM, which is actually what he said.

While we didn't eat prime rib, the food was good, the company was plentiful, the entertainment was . . . well, entertaining, and the night went off fabulously! Dad enjoyed visiting with everyone. As a highlight, my brother spent hours putting together pictures from when dad was a toddler until now into a 14 minute slideshow. It was so awesome. Sounds like it took my grandma 2 weeks to find those pictures from his childhood. They got packed away somewhere when they moved to town a few years ago. The old photos were sure fun to watch! Another highlight was the presentation that my ornery uncle Pete put on. He is quite a craftsman of all sorts of things. He put together a John Deere green walker that any old farmer would sell his eyeteeth to have. It had dual headlights (flashlights), blow horns (which were quite loud!!), a basket (to hold his "go juice," and a toilet paper holder (for when the unexpected occurs). Everyone got quite a chuckle out of the whole thing.

Dad also recieved a crutch that had a "boot saver" on it. I was tickled about that, after it was explained to me. The old wooden crutch had a little wooden trough on it that folded out. This was obviously to lay an old "unit" on, so's it wouldn't spill into the boots! EEK. He recieved a very nice book entitled "Sex after 60." I walked by and saw that at his party and thought (in my head, of course) "GROSS!!!" When we got home later that evening, I picked up the book and thumbed thru it, only to find that every single page in the book was BLANK! HAHA, oh the things people think up! He also got quite a few cute, nice, obnoxious, and downright hysterical cards. What a fun time! J and I were even surprised to find a scrumptious birthday cake there for us as well, since it was our REAL birthday Saturday. Then we had to agree with many people how uncanny it is that our birthdays were on the same day, of the same year.

We did have a fun weekend. The kids were tired. The cousins were in bed by the time we got there Friday night. They had a fun day on Saturday tho. The weather was windy, but nice and warm. The little girls enjoyed a ride in the John Deere wagon pulled by Aunt Peanut. I got lots of fun pictures. They all had their hair up in ponies on top of their heads. C sure enjoyed following Taryn and Haley around, now that she can keep up with them. Those girls got some bubble wrap at Papa's party and had a ball dancing on that as they popped. Dylan is sure growing too, and will be as big as they are before we know it!

Haley, Cami, Taryn

The boys rode bikes and played Grandma's computer games. Uncle Chris fired up a movie for them to watch at the birthday bash. They look tired don't they!!

Tristan, Colton, Brady, Grant, Devin

My sister and I enjoyed some time together as we set up a blog for her and then went on a vigorous 3 mile walk in the afternoon. We got halfway done and discovered each of us was trying to keep up with the other's pace!! We laughed about that, and the fact that we made our 3 miles in 35 minutes! We even talked thru the whole walk. . .a couple times I was sure I knew what a chronic lung person felt like!

The guys worked some cattle and then we spent some time all together visiting in the back yard watching the kids.

Was a long trip back home! Always is. J commented today on how long it always takes to get home! Lowe's is looking like spring. Got some pavers to enlarge (slightly) my back patio. We are hoping to get a few dirt moving projects done this week so I can start planting. Our apple trees and grapevines arrived on Friday. With that shipment also came some honeysuckle shrubs, a couple of grasses, and the red-twigged dogwoods. I guess all those will go into my garden to await our construction guy. He is supposed to come out this week to look about pouring J a concrete slab on the north side of his shop, and me a couple new sidewalks on the east side of the house to replace the little rock path which break our ankles every time we step on them (whose STUPID idea were those anyway??) The bushes will go along the east side of the yard to provide a living screen so I can't see the endless sea of dead vehicles. YEAH!

Well, it's nearly Monday. Parent/teacher conferences this week--Heaven help us! M

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Message from Queen M

A lot of things have gone on in the last week!! In fact, I sit here tonight wondering where the time goes!! You blink twice and a whole week is past. Thursday was by far our busiest day around here. I started my day on only 4 hours of sleep after a long/short night of call. Did the big family planning clinic. I am still loving that. It is a different kind of work, a little different than the regular routine. And is something fresh. I work with women from age 15 (and yes, they think they qualify as women) to age 51 (my oldest client so far). A client I worked with recently has been having sex since she was 13--which is totally apalling to me, especially since I will have a 13 year old in about 4 months. I no longer freak out when I look in a throat and am greeted by a strange looking foreign body pierced thru their tongues. And I have to smile when I see the closed up belly button rings and have to wonder if they weren't too impressed with the appearance of that ring when they were nine months pregnant! My advice to every woman seems to be different--with not much rhyme or reason to it, and I have to think that God is surely in control of my tongue, choosing words that will be important to each lady in an individual way. This next Thurs, a gal from the the state health department will be here to observe my work throughout the day--I am a little nervous about that, but I know it will go fine. We ran late that day, so I met the guys in the driveway and jumped in with them to get to an appreciation pancake supper and then on to the 5-8th grade program. The boys did a great job. Their bands are coming along well and it is fun to hear the older grades singing in male/female two part harmony! I love music and vocal stuff so much--I enjoy watching them learn! And it should be more fun for their Christmas and church specials. D hated every minute of the program--I think he might get that from his dad,who by the way stood outside the door for the entire program while C played in the hall! D's kindergarten teacher sat behind us and encouraged D to show me the project they had been working on in class, which she had hung on the wall that day. He was so proud to take me down there to check it out. They were working on the letter Q so they had made portraits of their moms who were the "queens of their hearts." Of course, they were all beautiful with their string hair, interesting eyes, and some moms even had a LOT of lovely teeth in their mouths (thank God, not mine!) They had impressive crowns with glitter all over them. D boasted "I just dumped the glitter on mine!" He knows how much his mom LOVES "bling" His teacher said he was pretty worried about getting my yarn hair curled up just "so."
Friday I went with my inlaws to Wichita to be there when my father-in-law had his heart cath. Bless his heart, the procedure was to be at 1:00 pm and he couldn't have any food or drink. He was miserable--they finally got him in around 2:30. The cardiologist was pleased with how things looked. One of the original 5 bypasses had closed but re-routed itself and was supplying the heart with good blood circulation. The other bypasses were clear and all looked good! J brought the kids after school was out. They made it in time for supper and Rog even got to go home Fri night, we thought he would stay till Sat or Sun--as they were pretty sure that he would need an intervention (stent, balloon). After the kids were tucked in, I went all by myself across the street to do my grocery shopping at the new Dillions store. Oh how fun it is to browse slowly thru the aisles to see all the cool things for sale!
Saturday we drove to Kingman for the 4-H regionals. T and his ensemble of girls performed and received a blue rating. They really did a good job. Hoping my friend can get me a copy of the performance (all 3 minutes of it) to put up for you to see. We then went back to Wichita to finish shopping. It was a good trip.
Today was Sunday school and church. I always feel sorry for whoever we sit around in church. C is so distracting I worry that no one can pay attention. She loves interacting with everyone, and is really not choosy. She'll go to anyone and is usually passed from one person to the next. A couple weeks ago, she sat on the lap of a grandpa in the seat behind us and read him a book, loudly! We kept trying to shush her. Finally I stuck a mini M and M in her mouth. She went from babbling to going MMM, MMM, MMM--like chewing out loud. You could see countless people shaking as they giggled. The people with grown children (which is most of them) always say how nice it is to have the "noise" in the church. I know when the kids are gone, I will look forward to those noises again too! At least they are mostly happy noises.
Well, about time for bed to rest up for the new week. Only 5 more days until spring! We are EXCITED! Hope this finds all well, have a great week. M

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Confiscated Footage

T is a slob. The worst I have ever seen!! It was while cleaning his room that I found the dead goldfish among his books. It was while cleaning his room that I nearly peed my pants when I came across the "in theory" dead tarantula, when "in reality" he was in hibernation. His room is always, always has been, and likely, always will be a disaster zone. While watching him do some cleaning earlier this evening, I noticed the new camera he got for Christmas. He came over and showed me how to see the pictures on it. They weren't too bad, a few from Christmas and lots of his favorite subject, his sister. He also had a few "videos"on there. If you could stand the nausea from the constant movement, they were amusing. Now, everyone that knows me knows that I am proud of the fact that my children are SO intelligent (or maybe NOT so intelligent) so I know those of you that watch this short, occasionally nauseating clip will get a laugh out of how smart our daughter must be. And we had such high hopes for her! At one point I actually expected her tonsils to go shooting through the machine. Obviously, she thought it was funny! So now you all know what we do for entertainment at our house! Enjoy the video and have a blessed day! M (By the way, it took me 1 1/2 hours to blog this because I had to turn the computer desk, office desk, and the remaining part of T's room upside down to find the USB port to get the video uploaded to my computer, and there were no instructions to get the video, which wouldn't just upload by itself, AND I finally googled my question and found some genius who knew how to get the video off the camera (as a video and not just a captured photo) And so it actually only took 5 minutes to write and 5 minutes to get it off the camera. Will never remember how to do it again)

video

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Grant's big day!

Well, G made it to age 11 this past week. Of course we had his friend sleepover last weekend, which I already updated you on. Below is a picture of the crew being silly.


G wanted funnel cakes for his dessert last weekend instead of cake or ice cream. We put strawberries, blueberries, powdered sugar and whipped cream on them. YUM! J was the official funnel cake frier--and doesn't he look happy! Really, I joke about it often, but he is such a great guy and a good sport (usually)!



G got a new ipod nano for his birthday. Except the catch was that I paid him a certain amount for his old MP3 player, and told him what I planned to spend for his present. The rest of the amount he handed over to me from the birthday money he got. It is a black one, and he is very pleased. D and I are excited because we get to share the other one! I have yet to have my turn with it tho! We grilled burgers for the family after kids church Wed night and had cake and rocky road ice cream. Grandma made a chocolate fish cake and brought me a beautiful bouquet of daffodils from her garden!



T started real track practice this week, so far so good. He really wants to throw the discus. I think there are about 7 or 8 boys that want to throw and they can only have 6 in the event, so they will do a throw-off next week. He is also practicing high jump, which he loves and a relay. The first meet is in a couple of weeks.
The guys FINALLY hauled my giant mouse house into the shop Fri to "take a look." Amazingly, (as J assured me that they would NEVER find a hole--would be too small) they found A HOLE. Little booger had chewed his way out of my car (J said that would NEVER have happened) thru my windshield wiper thingee. They then made a fast track to my trunk, where upon inspection, a hotel was discovered in the spare tire thingee. HMMM! They will never admit to me that there was, indeed, a small neon sign confiscated. . . but I know there was!! So the nest was cleaned out, the hole was meshed shut, and they tell me that the problem is in the past! We will see. Hope to drive it next week. . . I miss my car!!
It actually rained a bit this afternoon--about a tenth of an inch, but it smelled wonderful. D had left with Granny on the four wheeler to go fix an electric fence down yonder. They hadn't been gone 10 minutes when it started. They came back soaked! She stopped by later and walked with C down to check the heifers--D said "This time I am NOT going with her!!" So he didn't. J listened to my new project list and dirt hollin' plan and shook his head. Got the trees watered that we put in last fall. They are crabapple trees and are already leafing out. The redbuds are about to flower. I have a handful of blooming hyacinths, daffodils and my creeping phlox are blooming as well. A lot of other plants are starting to wake up and peek thru the ground. Spring is nearly here! Wishing everyone a blessed week! M

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Camille and the 2 Little Pigs??

Once upon a time there was a baby girl. She grew so fast that her far away family didn't even recognize her when they saw her. In the long season between Christmas and the spring visit she grew two pigs (tails, that is) on her head. We certainly wanted to make sure you knew her when she got there! So her computer/internet/blogging savvy mom made a point to include an updated photo of the little damsel before her trip to the far away land later this month. Didn't want there to be any confusion! In the last 3 days, she looks so BIG and Grown-up?!? Trying to grow her hair out has necessitated "hair-do's" so the little thing can see! She now reaches up and grabs the pig and waits till I look at her then she smiles really big and pulls. She is already figuring out how to get under her mother's skin--and I truly believe that she enjoys it. Should I be concerned??




Monday, March 2, 2009

Survived Sleepover

Hope this beautiful March morning finds everyone well. Too tired last night to post our week in review, so will try quickly this morning before it's time to run off to the job. G had his friends over, 4 to be exact which brought our total child count up to 8, over for a sleep over Sat night. They had a great time. It was very cold here this weekend, but they didn't seem to mind, and especially enjoyed the hot chocolate to warm up when they came in. T starts official track after school today. J got him a discus last week on line and so they had been out practicing when the weather was nice last week. We have got to get somewhere to buy him some new track shoes. D has snacks at school this week--ones that start with the letter W. C had 2 pig tails yesterday--it was pretty cute, even though they werent very straight. It will take me a little bit to figure out how to make hair with a squirmy little thing, and she likes to twirl her hair and pulls those ponies right out--got on to her all day yesterday about it! Took a few pictures of her yesterday, so will try to post those and a pic of G's party tomorrow. We had a busy day yesterday. G played his bells for the church offeratory and did a good job. Everyone enjoyed listening to that, since it was different. Then had a potluck for the worship team, we are trying to decide on some plasma screen TV's vs projector stuff to use power point for our praise and worship section of church. We had an electronic guru there to explain what we would need. Then we buzzed over to a friends house for a "bow shoot." They walk thru their scenic place and shoot bow and arrow at some very realistic targets. The kids snack and play with a sitter, and the adults wander, shoot and visit. It was a fun time. I do not have bow, mainly because the ones we tried I couldn't pull. So will start with some exercises to stregthen my bad shoulder, (have to shoot left handed because I am left eye dominant) and then we will see. Was a fun group of people. By the time we got home yesterday evening, everyone was pooped!! C didn't nap all day and then didn't sleep well last night, so she and I are still pooped! G's birthday is Wed and he is excited about that. Will do his family BBQ that evening after kid's club. Otherwise, the weather will be beautiful and C and I have lots of yard work to get started with this week. Blessings to all! M