Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas!

We figured out the slide show thing, so here it is! And here is my Christmas post:

Merry 2 days after Christmas! I have a few pictures to share…some from our home Christmas fun! I don’t have pictures of everything, but we have a really great time and our “new” Christmas traditions turned out GREAT!


It all began Friday night with our birthday party for Jesus. Katie and Noah picked out decorations, plates, etc. We had birthday cake, sang, blew out candles. For dinner we had made homemade pizzas together. It was a lot of fun and Katie and Noah were very excited. The feared question didn’t arise (how old is Jesus) so I didn’t have to answer that one this year! lol.
After we ate we read the Christmas story from their children’s Bible. Then we talked about why we are getting gifts for Christmas and why we are giving gifts. Then we all opened one present: each of us ended up with a game. We enjoyed spending time together playing the games as a family. Katie and Noah even pitched in to help Corey with Mario. Then it was leaving out a piece of cake to pretend that Santa ate, then to bed.


Noah was the first one up the next morning and he woke up Katie and the rest of the fun began!:
Katie got Baby Alive with a crib (her wanted gift), all her supplies for ballet/tap beginning in January (her need), and Cranium Cariboo (her gift to enjoy with the family). Baby Alive poops a LOT by the way, and we still don’t have extra diapers bc we haven’t been out yet! Cranium Cariboo is probably THE neatest and most fun kids game I have ever played! They get to use a key to open doors and find balls to drop in this chute that opens a treasure box…AND it is educational bc they have to match up characteristics on the doors to open them…anyway really fun, highly recommended!


Noah got his “transformer robots” that he asked for, a balance beam and tumbling mat to practice his tumbling (his need) and Cootie for the family to enjoy together. I have to say that Cootie is not nearly as fun as you remember it being, in fact it is a long tedious game! His tranformers are very loud but cool apparently according to Noah and Corey.


Corey got his Mario Galaxy game he desperately wanted. He has put in many hours of late night play so far. He also got a tool organizer chest thing (the something he needed) and a new boombox/charger for his Ipod (something the entire family will enjoy :), and did for the rest of the day listening to Christmas music!


I finally got my mixer! After resisting Corey’s pleads to open it all week, I got my KitchenAid mixer. It is white and I used it immediately by mixing up gingerbread cookies and two batches of suger cookies! I also got Cake Mania for the DS….a HIGHLY addictive game (my thing I wanted) and for my thing I need I got a cute apron (blue with cherries on it). The mixer is for the entire family to enjoy! And we will!!!!!


Each of them had giant stockings with other “stuff”….dress up outfit, some educational games, typical filler stuff.


Overall it was a great Christmas for us! We enjoyed it SO much!


The next few days were very busy, but we are all settled in again and the mess has been tamed.
I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as us!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas Friends!


I have created a "digital" Christmas letter for you all! I got the idea from someone else's blog, so here it is:

http://creativecarriet.wordpress.com/

I hope you enjoy it! You can leave comments here!

Thanks!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Something serious, but not...

I have a warning for everyone reading this blog: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy Crayola Silly Scents crayons for anyone on your shopping list. Not unless you have an abnormal affection for the smell of dirt and old avon perfume.
I picked these up at Target to put in my kid's stockings. Well, I am battling a bad cold today and trying to rest all day. Needless to say as soon as I secured the front door, had all juice cups refilled and settled in with a blanket and closed my eyes I get screaming kids fighting and running to tell me that smoothie has been spilled all over the carpet.
So....we got a little Christmas surprise early. I went to the closet to take out a surprise to distract them for a while so I can rest. And boy was it a surprise! I expected things like red = strawberry, blue = blueberry, black = licorice, etc. Well...these "silly scents" have a totally different theme!
purple = pixie powder, pink = princess perfume, teal = sea serpent, green = alien armpit, and the ridiculousness goes on and on!
Anything "girly" sounding smells like old avon perfume. Anything "boy" sounding smells like dirt and avon from being in the box with the other ones. Noah only colored with them for about 30 seconds before he was putting the "stinky" crayons back in the box!
I don't know whose bright idea it was to have such horrible smells for crayons, but apparently they must have unearthed an antique supply of old lady's cologne, or else something went terribly wrong at the crayola factory and they decided to capitalize on it with a weird smell theme.
Anyway....don't buy it, unless it's for your GREAT grandmother's stocking!
I am really glad we didn't "open" those on Christmas morning! UGH! What a spoiler that would have been!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Latest....

If this is the first time you are catching up with the Katie story, you must scroll down to Dec. 7th to read the whole thing from the beginning. I said that because there are a few people that I sent the story to who I know haven't had a chance to read it yet....

Katie had a great weekend with her glasses. She is so good and hasn't complained one time about wearing them. In fact, yesterday she put them on all by herself before she came out of her bedroom! She said, "The eye doctor said I must wear them all day!"

Today we will do our first patch therapy. I am sure it will go fine. I am going to print off some coloring pages for her to do...something "fun" the doctor said.

Noah already broke his pretend glasses! First of all, Saturday we were at Steak and Shake and he laid his down on the table, they got knocked off and kicked way up under a booth seat. So, I got down to fish them out. Then, yesterday in the car suddenly one of the ear pieces was completely bent! No idea how it happened! This leads me to another blessing! We are blessed and thankful that if one of our children needs glasses, that it is KATIE and not NOAH! ha ha. Do they make glasses out of rubber yet?

Katie has spent a majority of the morning sitting and looking at/reading books! I read one of her readers with her this morning and she was able to read it laying in the floor and I think she did better than normal! I will truly be able to tell when we get a brand new book.

I just put the strap on her glasses for tumbling today. At first they pushed all the way against her eyes so that wasn't good, but then we got it fixed. I am anxious to see if she does better on the balance beam today, but prepared if she doesn't....it won't be an overnight fix.

Anyway, thanks for keeping up with us! I will try to get a picture of Katie and Noah with their glasses (if we can fix his) to post soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blessed again!

Katie's glasses came in YESTERDAY! It was supposed to take 5-7 business days. BLESSED AGAIN! I was on the phone waiting for a friend to come to the line and the eye dr. beeped in...needless to say my friend got "hung up on" before she even got to the phone. They said Katie's glasses are in...they are open till 6. It was 4:20 and I had JUST put bread in the oven and we were on a "must have a shower before we go out the door one more day" day. So....at five minutes till five Katie and I had both been bathed, dressed, the oven shut off (good luck bread!) and we were on our way! When we got there and they put the glasses on Katie, as I told my friend, it was no "Helen Keller" moment, but her eyes got really big and she got really close to the mirror to look at herself. She kept saying "I look SO cute!" (I think she may have heard that from me :)
Here is Katie in her new glasses! She kept making funny faces so this was the best we got...we were on our way out the door....
I think that these glasses just look like they were made for her! It's almost like she is finally herself...her personality is now complete! If you have been around Katie then you know what I am talking about when I say that....it just seems so natural!
I didn't even make it through the morning without another tearjerker though. This morning as I was getting her ready, I took off her glasses while she was standing in front of the mirror so I could brush her hair and pull it back. She squinted and looked in the mirror and said, "Mommy, I need my glasses back on...it looks like bumpy water!"
Katie has been seeing "bumpy water" as normal for as far as we know 5 years.....

There is no telling what she has missed....everything that she didn't look straight at apparently. We stopped by the in-laws on the way out of town to let them see her glasses. When she got out of the car she immediately looked into their flower bed up next to the house. There was a Brinks security sign on a post next to the house. It was white with blue writing against their basically whitish house. She said "What is THAT?!" They told her. I said, "How long has that been there?" Nana answered, "The whole time we have lived here." (since before she was born).....................

What an amazing and wonderful world for Katie to get to rediscover!
Keep her in your prayers as she continues to adjust and we do the patch therapy with her.

THANK YOU GOD FOR HELPING US HELP KATIE TO SEE!

(The bread didn't get done....oh well....)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Blessings....

I almost think I will not be able to explain this fully through a blog...but I am going to do my best....
Those of you who have known us for a long time know all this, but I am going to share a little background for anyone reading who doesn't....
Katie, our 5 year old daughter, has had a developmental delay with her gross motor skills from birth. She didn't crawl until 11-12 months and didn't walk until she was 17 months old. Her pediatrician didn't seem overly concerned (although she is quick to refer to any kind of blood test available-another story) but she did eventually refer us for physical therapy for her. She went for a month or so....was catching up somewhat....but still far behind her age group. She is also very big for her age, so it appeared to be even worse than it was...for a child that looked 2 years old to be barely walking. She is smart, was talking, mentally fine. Just confusing to us all around and frustrating.
It really broke my heart as a mom. Why was our little girl dealing with this? I prayed over it, I worried and cried over it....but we were in such a different season of our lives at that time. I was a full -time student...pregnant again...dealing with all kinds of things.
Eventually Katie caught up to be not that far behind. We figured and accepted that Katie is just Katie. She likes to walk slowly, she very very slowly and cautiously took steps one at a time on the same foot, didn't enjoy playground as much as she should...etc...just heartbreaking.
Side story ....at her 4 yr check up, she was slightly not perfect on one eye during her vision screening. They said follow up with an exam, but with the "over-cautiousness" of my pediatrician always reccomending some test or another I didn't ever get around to taking her. Katie is SO smart..already knowing all her letters and sounds at 3 years old, and in the earliest levels of reading at 4. I talked to her 3 yr pre-k teacher who agreed that Katie was doing GREAT in school and didn't seem to struggle with her sight at all, saw things fine in class, etc....plus we did not have vision insurance.
Fast-foward to Oct 2007. Katie is taking Tumbling classes....not doing so well as we expected. I mean I am proud of her because she has started turning foward rolls (a major feat), attempting the balance beam, being a real trooper. In our first year of homeschooling I had started noticing that Katie was having fine motor skill trouble as well. It was a struggle for her to concentrate on forming letters with a pencil and for putting little pegs in a hole. I just thought, well Katie will be a little behind with fine motor skills also.
Nov: 5 yr check up. Same results with the eye screening. For some reason (GOD!) I decide since it is the second time, we will take her for an exam.
Yesterday: Take Katie to the eye doctor. They spray her eyelids with this stuff that makes them relax the eye muslces so they cannot strain. I quickly notice during the exam as it was confirmed by the dr. Katie's vision is extremely bad. She basically sees in blur. Both eyes are very bad, and one is hardly being able to be used at all because she has overcompensated most likely for FIVE years!!!! She has no depth perception. She has no peripheral vision.
I asked the dr. knowing the answer, "Could this possibly affect her gross motor skills?"
The dr.'s answer brought me straight to tears: "OH ABSOLUTELY YES!"
She continued to say that it will also make them complain of headaches (check) and make them feel sleepy (double check!).
It all makes so much sense now. But I never would have thought that her delay in going up and down stairs, jumping, climbing on playground equipment, etc. was due to her sight, as much as it seems SO OBVIOUS now. And her tiredness....just everything. I might have thought of it had there been ANY other symptom (not learning letters, not recognizing objects, not being able to see things we saw) She was "seeing things" but just the way she had always seen them and was smart enough to adjust to that. Motor skills were the ONLY thing that she showed a delay in, which to anyone would seem to be a strenth/movement/confidence issue. Difficult to have confidence climbing a ladder with blurred vision and no depth perception!
At first I felt SO overwhelmed with guilt. But the dr. assured me that it is wonderful that I brought her in when we did because something can still be done about the one lazy eye and that she is just starting serious school so this is year.
As the day went on I went from guilt to complete and total overwhelming joy!
What a BLESSING! Katie, whom I have cried and worried over...who we had just accepted to be a little behind...is going to have a HEALING of sorts over this thing we weren't even thinking about anymore. And I am compelled and happy to give thanks where thanks is due, because I can't even tell you what a miracle this is for us. I really wasn't planning to take her for an exam. She didn't seem to show ANY symptoms at all with struggling with sight. She has dealt with it for so long that it is just normal for her. She doesn't struggle academically, has started reading by just getting by with her one eye. There was no sign that she would need glasses. I fully expected to get the same result as at the pediatrician: she is a little bad with distance. It was the opposite: Katie has trouble with closer distances. Which even further explains the particular issues she has (handwriting, pegboards, balance beams, steps, etc.)
We weren't worried over it anymore actually, we were past that point. I didn't even know that this was an area that was even "up" for a miracle anymore. But we were just dealt the biggest blessing of our lives!
GOD was in this from the beginning.
WHY didn't I take her last year? Because God's timing is PERFECT!
My husband and I have also been on a spritual journey the past 6 months in a new season of our lives....and if we had been given this miracle last year....we would have said Thank God, but not to the degree we can this year. God is real and in our lives as #1 priority to us now, and he knew that ALL HONOR would be given to him...in THIS year, at THIS TIME, and in THIS CIRCUMSTANCE.
I am just so thankful I can't express how much. We are excited to see in a few days when we get her glasses how the world is going to change for her. I am holding on to the faith that was poured out on us yesterday. I will not let it fade.
I know that Katie's first few days with "working eyes" will be an adjustment, but I am ready...SO ready to see how this changes her life. THANK YOU GOD!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Reality Check

I have recently had the priviledge of running across the blog of a wonderful and sweet family. I have added the link to the blog over on the side. They have an absolutely amazing story. They had planned to adopt a baby from Africa and through a very long process ended up with two beautiful 12 year olds, a boy, and a girl. The boy was born with a rare and serious heart condition that can never be fixed short of healing, but is a miracle walking that he has lived to be 12 in a place with no ability to really help him. Aries is the girl and she is very pretty and sweet. They are added to the family with 2 small children to make a family of four. The boy was called "darling boy" in his family, but now they have named him Emmanuel since he has joined their family.
The reason I am posting this, is that from what the mom has shared, this boy has great insight and feels a calling of God on his life to help his birth family/people who have so little. She wrote of a dream he had that was just heart-wrenching to read. It was about his family being desperate for food....you can click on the link to the right to read the story from today.
How easy it is to take things for granted. I mean, really...not to just be cliche, but how much food did I scrape off my plate last night? How many people in our country myself not excluded, deal with overweight issues? Kids in this country for the most part do not know what hunger really is. I feel "dying of thirst" but I should hesitate to even use those words!
It has become an ever-increasing feeling with my husband and I to want to DO something to help these people. And the people in our own communities as well....
I am enjoying reading this blog. It is a daily reality check for me....
Their story is amazing. If you begin reading in October you can see the journey that has brought them to where they are now. Simply amazing!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Random Questions....

If you are reading this and you have a blog.....have you seen the "random question" option in the "edit profile" menu? These are really and truly random questions....one so random I couldn't even quite understand what they were asking. People can see the question and answer if they click to view your entire profile and it is VERY amusing sometimes!
After a while you can check the box to "give me a new question" and save your profile so you get a new and exciting random question. You can click to view my profile to see the latest random question!
You can post YOUR answer to the random question as a comment here if you like! I love this kind of stuff! Have fun!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Just when I think I've run out of things to blog.....

So I will just get right to the story here. ?!?! The "?!?!?" are here to represent my emotions during the entire fiasco that can be described in no other terms.

Noah comes in to the living room while I am talking on the phone and says "Katie pooped a domino!"
??!?!?!??!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?
What?
"Katie is sitting on the potty and she pooped on a domino!"
?! okay just a little bit more sense in that statement.?!
Going into the bathroom.'
Katie is standing up from the potty and Noah points and says "See?"
Sure enough, there is a Diego domino IN the toilet.
What would be the next logical question of course..."Who put the domino in the potty?!"
They both point to each other. "She did" "He did"
WHO put the domino in the toilet ? I REPEAT.
"We both did."

Next question: "WHY did you put a domino in the toilet?"

Noah: "We were playing hide and seek dominoes" *matter of factly spoken*

?!?!?!?!?

Noah's reponse: "I guess we have to flush it now"
NO! We have to get it out!" I say.

Noah: "You have to get your toilet scooper."

?WHAT!?!?! No clue what that means, just move on...

Fishing the domino out of the toilet....to the great cheers of Noah who I suppose thinks it is an awesome day when you get to put your hand in the toilet.
"WOW MOMMY!"

For the record, there was no poop, just a domino.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We Three Kings

Changing things up a bit this Christmas at our house....as far as the gifting goes. I had read an article several years ago in a parenting magazine about the gift tradition that this one particular family did. I really liked it at the time, thought, "that would be a neat thing to do" with absolutely no thought that we would ever consider it.
Now, after several Christmases with small children, we have considered, and adopted it for our tradition this year.
Each of our children, (plus Corey and I) will receive THREE gifts this year. This will be a remembrance of the three gifts presented to Jesus by the Magi.
One gift will be something we want.
One gift will be something we need.
One gift will be something that the family can all enjoy.
This was a tough decision, as it is difficult to not go crazy at the toy store with buying every cool new toy and fun thing you see. But, as a blessed family with many close relatives nearby, our children have the priveledge of getting pretty much whatever they want/need throughout the year...so it doesn't all have to be over the top at christmas. The other reason for this is for there actually to BE a reason for getting gifts for ourselves at all at Christmas! We aren't crazy about the whole Santa thing. When Katie was first born I just felt silly pretending about Santa, lying about it, feeding these ideas in her head...it just seems strange and improbable that a guy, for no reason whatsoever, would travel around the world sneaking into people's homes dropping presents. WEIRDO! Then, my friend, shared with me how her family never "believed in" Santa but just pretended and how it was JUST as magical and special to them. It didn't ruin their lives or the surprise of the holiday and gifts. She has taught her son about the fun of "pretending" that Santa brings gifts (but how he isn't a REAL person) and he has a blast leaving cookies that they will "pretend" that Santa will eat, etc.
So, as I was already on the bandwagon, it didn't take much convincing to throw the Santa story out the window. Not that it isn't fun to pretend, kids love pretending...so why lie to them? They know that there are no such things as unicorns and fairy princesses, but they still have fun pretending.
So...at our house, the tradition changes this year. I am looking forward to actually playing with each and every one of the three things our children get. Taking the time to enjoy each one, to discuss WHY we are getting these presents and what it means. Talk about what we can/did for others for this holiday to make it better for others since we are so richly blessed with "stuff."
I guess between my last two posts I am looking more and more like the eccentric mom here. But...it's not like I am crazy about everything. My kids have chores, are respectful, have healthy imaginations, love to play together, enjoy life...they are having just as much fun as other kids...if not more I think!
anyway...go ahead and post your comments...
Oh...and for my friend who has so many great ideas:
I am really not a stalker trying to be you and copy everything your family does! I just think we are long lost kindred spirits and now you are helping me "out" all the ideas I have had since now I can say "well...she does it so I am not the only crazy mom thinking of this!" thanks!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Peace in Homeschooling

Well..I have avoided the topic till now, just because I didn't want to offend anyone...but really I don't have anything offensive to say...and if you are reading this, then you must be my friend and will hopefully realize that I am talking about my belief here, and nothing is meant to criticize anyone for their choices!
So, with that being said, I just want to say that I LOVE homeschooling! And...my children seem to enjoy it as well!

They are learning so much! I want to brag that my daughter is reading end of year kindergarten level books (in case you didn't know they read in kindergarten these days!) and so that puts us at being on track for first grade level by the end of the year! (She just turned 5). She knows even and odd numbers, can add number up to 10 in her head, and her handwriting is looking very good!
Noah is also doing very well! He has learned his address, phone number, birthday, letters A-G and the sound (the important part) and can recognize numbers and count. Besides that, he knows all this colors, shapes, lots of stuff about various "stuff." Oh, and Katie knows what a quadrilateral and parrallel lines are! And...Noah can write his name! (he is 3)
They also both have friends at church, can interact in a group of students at the local playschool where they play while I have moms bible study, and have access to many more, but we have such a full schedule that we just haven't had time to go to park day yet.
I am saying all this to say: homeschooling works, and it works well!
I do not mean at all to sound like I am bragging...but I am a mom, and as the one who was there when her children learned all the above mentioned things: I am PROUD of them! (and their teacher!)
Why should a mom cry because she has to send her child "off to school." I believe our family is growing closer every day, bonding, sharing our lives in a way that is just incomparable. I have to say that homeschooling has equaled "PEACE" in our home. Just like the name we chose for our school: PEACE Academy.

Peace in knowing that Katie and Noah can learn at their own pace (Be it fast or slow). Peace in knowing that they are safe. Peace in knowing that they can stay in out of the stormy, snowy, cold, or hot weather. Peace in knowing that the friends they have are from families we know, that we know will be a positive influence in their lives. Peace in knowing that what they are reading, being read to, learning about science, learning about values, are all things based in a belief system that we believe to be honest and true. Peace from knowing that there is no divided allegience between what is going on at school and what is going on at home. Peace in knowing that their faith will have time to be built strongly, matured, and nourished before it is attacked by outside views. Peace in knowing that that we can say that we did what was right for us, and we have all benefitted from it.
Some may view this as being a sheltering parent. I believe that all the "unsheltering" my child needs can be acheived by walking through the mall or Wal-Mart.
This is just my opinion. Some may not feel called to homeschool their children. That it is a matter that should be prayer over, and I don't disagree. But, how many people pray over sending their children anywhere else? Would they be willing to accept that they weren't called to send their children to public or private school? God doesn't always call us to our comfort zone. I just felt the need to share my views, as it has become something very dear to me. I want everyone to experience the closeness and rewards of being a homeschool family. It is just so much fun, so rewarding, and not to mention the flexibility. All that stuff I mentioned at the beginning? We just started school in September, and we average 2 1/2 hrs 3 days a week of actual "school." It is awesome! And our kids are wierdos because of it. We were all wierdos long before we started homeschooling! :) Oh, and I don't claim to have any advantage by having been a teacher before...I am glued to every word of the script in my math teacher's manual!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Voice in the Attic!

Isn't it funny how kids view the world? When I was little I remember being so fascinated by the speakers of the stereo. It was so above my level of comprehension the way a stereo worked...I really and truly pictured tiny people playing tiny instruments in there. How else would that music be coming out of there? I guess now that I think about it, that must be one of my earliest memories...I thought I had no memory before like 5th grade, but there are vague remembrances.
We took our daughter to Fuddruckers for a late birthday dinner Sunday night. The idea was to go somewhere they would make a big deal and sing to her and all that. She always gets a thrill when that happens to other people when we are eating. So...we talked to the people and they said they would see what they could do. The manager comes over and says that he doesn't understand, but his people just don't know the birthday song (?!?!?!?!?) and they don't sing there. But he is going to work out something special. (I have to ask: who is the manager here can he not require his workers to sing for birthdays and just what country did these waiters and waitresses grow up in that they don't *know* the birthday song?!?!?!) Anyway...long story short which includes us ordering a brownie blast bc we didn't think we would get anything free, hoping that if we buy, they will sing...the manager brings over a big ice cream sundae with a cookie for Katie. She is thrilled. Then, right after, he announces over the intercom: "We would like to wish a very happy birthday to Katie who is 5 years old today!" and everyone claps etc.
And now to where I bring it back around to the subject of the post. Katie was sharing with her Meme later about the fun and relayed the memory as this: "The voice in the attic said happy birthday Katie!"
The things we just don't think about having to explain. I don't remember when I didn't know that voices "in the attic" were real people talking in a speaker. I do, however, remember when I thought that there was such a thing as people who could fly. Ask my husband when he found out that Epcot wasn't all "in the big ball!" lol.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Let it Rain, Let it Rain, Let it Rain

I had not noticed just how bad the rain situation is. I avoid the news, and the only time I check the weather is when it looks like it might be "bad." So....I didn't know just how long it had been since it rained. I don't enjoy being out in the rain, so to me, out of sight, out of mind. I knew that we had water restrictions but when was the last summer when we didn't? So...this morning, when my kids got up...they ran back from the kitchen yelling "It's raining! It's raining! Mommy, it's raining!" You would have thought they were talking about snow! Seriously, in the life of a child, a day seems like a week, so to them it has been a lifetime since they saw it raining out the window. Remember when waking up to snow was about the #2 best thing that could happen in your life? *sigh* Just this week, someone told me that there was some town in GA that was completely out of water...which upon researching I discovered that they were 2 weeks away from no water...(huge difference here people, get your facts straight :) That's when I realized it was so bad. Then, when I did bother to check the forecast (not because of the rain, because our air is messing up and I want to know when the fall weather is coming for Pete's sake!)...anyway, when I did check the forecast...what do you know...2 days of rain in the forecast! So, my worrying over the rain for months did not bring it any sooner or later. I missed out on all that stress....and now it is raining. I am sitting here in the same rain as the people who checked their brown plants every day, who worried over the level of the lake for weeks, and who got out in the middle of the night to water their grass for months. I am happy that we are getting rain today, don't get me wrong. I think it is great. So do my kids. But what I am more worried about is this: are we going to sweat in the halloween costumes or what? Where is the chilly air and the frost!??? My air conditioner unit and I WANT TO KNOW!

Monday, October 8, 2007

No mail today...

Thanksgiving....You go to the mailbox twice checking for your goodies...scratching your head on the way back..."hmmm....I know we just had Labor Day in Sept...Halloween is at the end of the month but the mail runs that day...hmmm...what IS it today??? BOOM! Columbus Day! Surprise! No mail today! Need stamps? Sorry! ha ha ha haSo I am expecting something fun and exciting in the mail and it took two trips to the mail box before I figured out that today is a "holiday." And I use the term very loosely. I guess there is a reason for Columbus Day. The only use I have ever had for it is a chance to do some "fun" stuff for social studies when I taught first grade. If you consider learning about Christopher Columbus (who did NOT discover America) fun. Who celebrates besides bankers, postmen, and elementary school classes? I will name them all now: no one. This day is more or less just a joke by the tellers and postal guys on everyone else now. They take their "holiday" at home all the while laughing as they picture ALL THE REST OF THE BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL WORLD being caught off guard once again by the obscure surprise, just when you thought you were ready for Halloween and Thanksgiving! No money deposits today! (Thank goodness for ATMs...how annoying would THAT be?!) I will not be going out of my way to teach about Columbus Day at my homeschool either. I choose to be surprised. I choose to learn about Chris when the time come in our studies of U.S. history. (much later.) It's not that I don't care about him, it's that I think we could really choose someone else to honor by now...or something else....take out Columbus Day and replace it with a 9/11 holiday....or I don't know...something that MEANS something to someone now. I mean...really...the guy didn't really discover America...so why do WE have this random holiday hanging around still? We should celebrate the day a guy invented plastic...now THAT is something extremely useful and meaningful. Have you seen those plastics make it possible commercials? I had no idea! Labor Day too...what is up with that holiday? A holiday to take off work to commemorate that we work? Kind of strange...June needs a holiday...how about sharing the love?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Manipulation of Young Children

If you are parent, then you would be lying if you said you never manipulate your children. I know lots of people say that children are manipulated by cartoons, commercials, video games, etc. But really and truly, this responsibility lies in the hands of the parents. (I never saw a 3 yr old at Toys R Us with HER check card out buying a My Little Pony, or a 4 yr old with a Kroger Plus card buying the marshmallow cereal he saw on tv) How could you get through the 2-5 yr old years without manipulation? Notice the tone switch in teh following situations: "Would you like to go to the (lower voice to mumbling) the park (you really don't want to go it's really really hot) or (change tone to audible and obvious excited tones) or to the play place at the MALL?!!? "Honey, would you like to have (bland monotone lowering of voice) a grilled cheese sandwich (which requires prep and turning on the stove) OR (excited loud voice) pizza?!? (which I can get out of the freezer and nuke in the microwave). Again, notice the changes: "Son, would you rather stay here with mommy (making face like it would be SO boring bc mommy will just be taking a solo bath and reading a book) or GO to the store with DADDY??!?! (expression as if daddy would be going to the zoo rather than the home improvement store). We do this all the time. We want to give them choices, because what kind of parent would just DICTATE what their kids will do all the time...I mean we have to give them a sense of free-will here. But, doesn't it just make it a whole lot easier if they choose the one you wanted them to pick, if you WERE doing the picking?! Also...don't ever ever ever ask "What would you like to do today?" Especially if it is 4:30 on a weekday....when the choices are really kind of limited anyway. You will INEVITABLY receive the most outrageous and impossible answer they could think of. "Let's make doughnuts!" or, "Let's go see granny!" (who lives 2 hrs away). And, can you imagine what would happen if even for one day you did every single thing your child suggested? Imagine a day where you made up your mind, we are going to do whatever they want to do today, whatever it is! Imagine all the places you would go! Why do they choose those times to think of all those things they have been wanting to do that have been swimming around in their little heads!? And...if you ever TELL them yes, you are going to do a particular thing, you may as well have signed your name in blood! They will NEVER forget it! So, as easily manipulated as children can be...they certainly still maintain their intelligence when parents' set themselves up with those "gotcha" questions. "What do you want to do today...pick anything you want!" "WELL....SINCE you asked...I would very much like to make mud pies in the house and feed them to the neighbor's dog...and by the way...remember 5 months ago when you said we would go to the circus soon? How is that coming along mom?? "Well....do you really want to go to the CIRCUS?" (said with mangled facial expression and lowered tone as if it would be as fun as going to the dentist) or would you rather go to TARGET! They have My Little Ponies at TARGET!" (said with extreme happiness and glee!)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fitted Sheets

So...I finally caught up on my laundry, which means my sheets finally got washed! We always have a set of sheets that is last thing to get washed...it stays at the bottom of the basket because clean clothes for the kids, and underwear is a greater priority than the big bulky set of sheets. I really do not enjoy folding sheets. Especially fitted sheets. It is an absolute impossibility to get them looking even halfway decent. The sides just won't be flat, or neat, or it's like it wasn't even meant to be folded. Maybe I am just not gifted in the folding arts...maybe I am just too short and my arms don't spread far enough...I don't know what it is, but they always end up being rolled up into a mass of mess. I guess it just doesn't bother me. I imagine my friend Bethany wants to get in her car and come right away to help me with my disability. I am sure the vision of a mess of sheets falling off the shelf in the linen closet is driving her batty. If it wasn't before, then it is now! lol. No one sees our sheets anyway. I guess if I died and someone had to go through my closet and see my poor sheets, I would hope they would be so sad about my being gone that they would just have pity. "Carrie never could fold sheets...boo hoo hoo!" ha ha. Another thing I hate to fold: kid's underwear. It's just too little! Kind of pointless really. What do you find little joy in folding?

Monday, September 17, 2007

You better straighten up.....

......if you want to get water in Adairsville! I was just remembering the other day when Corey and I first moved to Adairsville. Everything was in order, we were approved for an apartment, got the electricity going, etc. Then we had to go downtown and get the water switched to our names. Well, here we go. We walk into the little downtown office that housed two little old ladies who were gossiping about this and that and who and whatever. When we came in they looked at us with curiosity as we were CLEARLY outsiders, newcomers, that is. We were informed that there was a $150 deposit for water. WHAT?!?!? (Just for the record, you can buy a $127,000 house for NOTHING DOWN!). Also, we had to fill out an application. We actually had to take with us and fill it out to bring back because this was NO simple thing. They had to have both of our parents names, our last 3 residences, our last 3 jobs, our PARENTS residence and jobs, plus 2-3 OTHER references who did not live with us or were related! It was just short of a complete background check for WATER no less! So.....here's the moral of the story. You better straighten up and get it together if you want to get water in Adairsville. AND, be sure to bring your resume.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Caution: Road Work

I saw something quite funny the other day. It was annoying, ridiculous, laughable, and just plain silly all at the same time.

I was travelling to my Tuesday morning Mom's Bible study in Adairsville. While heading down Main Street ( a whole 3-4 blocks!) I saw signs warning me that I would soon approach some ever dreaded "road work." I sighed, seeing that I was already going to barely make it to the study on time, and prepared myself to wait. What I soon saw simply produced a chuckle and an eye-roll.

Standing in the road was the typical "guy with the stop/slow sign", "guy standing around the 12-14 orange cones," "other guy with the stop/slow sign in the opposite direction", "various guys standing around looking around as though about to do something important (I would estimate...eh...6-7 of these this particular go round), and then....*ta-da* the ONE guy actually doing something. And for once, I didn't feel sorry for him. Usually "said guy doing the work" is actually doing something...jackhammering, in a hole doing something mysterious, etc. I have to say this is the one time I was completely in awe and confusion as to what this guy was doing.

He had a paint roller in his hand, painting lines on the road. BY HAND!

This was not a paint rolling "tool." It was nothing electric, motor driven, fancy, or anything like that. It was a simple pain roller...and he was YES HE WAS applying yellow lines of paint to the road BY HAND! I was relieved that he had so many people watching his back...you never can be too careful painting. Especially with all the traffic headed to those 4 places downtown in Adairsville on Tuesdays at 9:30am.

I just don't know what else to say about this, except to share it with you. If you happen to attend the Locomotive Festival in Adairsville, check out the nice lines painted on the road....only in Adairsville will you find custom handpainted double yellow lines. What a unique town (in SO many ways...ask me about getting water around here another time!)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"Now let's just don't be silly," said the Mad Hatter.

This past weekend my husband and I traveled to Hahira, GA to help our friends move into their new home. Hahira is very near Valdosta. We left the kids to go camping with Nana and Poppa and headed off on our journey.

Traveling on the interstate is, in general, pretty boring. But, thanks to hotels and restaurants who put up ingenious billboards, we can have plenty to keep our minds busy...well...puzzled really.

Why is it that many hotels still advertise that they have cable tv and HBO? Do they really have to say that on their billboard? When is the last time anyone stayed in a hotel that didn't have the "luxury" of cable television? I know that billboard has been updated since then, so what in the world is up with that? Basically...I want to see a billboard that advertises "clean sheets and toilets" or "air conditioning works" or "real continental breakfast not just honey buns." I don't care one bit about what kind of tv service is available. I just want to sleep without bringing home a souvenier that keeps on giving if you know what I mean.

Another interesting billboard spotted was one for Burger King that boasted of their "drive-thru." Wow. We had been driving all night looking for some kind of fast food that had a drive thru, and we just weren't having any luck. I am SO glad they told us, now we can get some REAL on the road food in a real authentic drive thru facility.

Just plain craziness. But I guess they accomplished their goal since I am still talking about their billboards. I did not visit them. Well, the hotel we stayed in I am guessing had cable or HBO. I couldn't really say, I didn't turn on the tv.

By the way...if you are ever traveling interstate 75 south toward Florida..I know this really great place to eat...AND....it has a DRIVE THRU!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Day to day musings...

Don't you just wish you could keep them young forever? This morning I was trying to wake up my husband (a great subject for another day...waking up the dead!), while my son was in the living room eating his 2nd breakfast (he usually has 2-3). My daughter comes through our bedroom and says she needs to go potty and goes on into the bathroom that connects to our bedroom. No biggie, apparently though my husband and I were selectively blind for a moment or so as you will see. In a couple of minutes we hear the annoucement "I pooped!" We both pause as usual to see which parent will volunteer to go do the honors. My husband responds and gets up to go help and upon entering the bathroom.....sees our lovely daughter...sitting on the toilet............* while eating her breakfast*(sliced banana). I had no idea she could multitask so well. She was even using a fork! Wow. Such great moments to relive. They used to tell us at school to not miss the "teachable moments" that randomly arise throughout the day. Now there's a GREAT one for you!

Friday, August 31, 2007

It's That Time of Year Again....

Time to get ready for the fall and winter holidays! No, I'm not talking about putting away a few extra dollars for those obligatory gifts for relatives you only see for Christmas. I am also not talking about winterizing your car or getting out the pumpkin carving supplies or the wreath for the door.
I am talking about preparing your body for the holiday eating season.
I have already started.
I plan to loose 10-15 pounds before Thankgiving.
And its not so that I can fit into a new pair of pants or a cute holiday outfit.
It is so that I don't come out in January even MORE out of shape than I am now. I can't afford that, so the best thing I can do is prepare for my inevitable holiday weight gain now.
There's no way I am going to cancel my Thanksgiving serving of turkey, sweet potatoes, rolls, pie, and cake. No way I am going to "not do" all that baking I do every year for Christmas. Don't even think about asking me to NOT dip everything in my cabinets in chocolate for gift giving and holiday enjoyment.
I will just prepare myself now. I KNOW it is coming, so the least I can do it get ready for it.
Come on fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
Everyone one should be as studious as I, as cunning and just plain out honest!
Why make yourself miserable later? Why turn down all those treats, giving yourself a microscopic serving of "turkey, oh no not ham for me" or a tiny little scoop of that deliciously sweet potato casserole? And avoid all those feelings of guilt when you didn't turn down another slice of pecan pie or coconut cake. I won't be feeling bad when I lick the bowl of leftover melted chocolate after dipping 100 peanut butter balls.
WHY?
Because I lost 15 pounds just to be ready for such an occassion as this!
Let the holiday preparation diet begin!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Butter Sandwich

Two years ago, I was in the beginning of my second (and last) year of teaching first grade. Oh, the poor little county kids in the public school system. Some of them didn't have breakfast before school, a few rushed in late by parents who drove them to school with no driver's liscense in a drug induced haze and hangover. The stories could go on forever of how pitiful some of these kids lives were. For the sake of upholding tradition, I can't mention the normal, well adjusted families and children. They are the ones who get overlooked. Can't bother with those who can function and who are actually smart, we have to focus on the extremes for the sake of test time. (Please don't take offense "normal people", this is all in good fun and for the humor and sake of the blog).

Somewhere in the middle of those two spectrums sat a child named Sally (named changed to protect the identity of the poor soul described here, and to protect me since I have written about this student NO DOUBT the parent will happen upon this blog and hunt me down to sue me for slander or libel or something like that).

So back to the story: Sally. Sally was, how should I say it.....challenged in the arts of getting around and doing stuff with her hands. She held scissors as though they were a spear, cutting "above handed" if you can imagine such a thing. She walked clumsily in clogs her mom bought because she was the first girl in the family and no fashion trend would be passed by without a proper "go" from her first grader. Hair cut so that she couldn't lean over to do pencil work or any work for that matter without pushing back her hair, almost stabbing herself with aforementioned spear scissor hold. Cute as a bug, but unfortunately, a danger to the public and herself sometimes!

And....the child ate butter sandwiches for lunch.

The first few weeks of school the teachers sat with the students to "instruct" them in proper table manners. A whole other can of worms: 18 first graders and "table manners." *chuckle* I found myself on more than one occassion sitting next to Sally and, after squirting the contents of her Go-gurt down the front of her shirt, knocking over her milk in an attempt to clean it up, and then wetting everything she was wearing in the process of wiping her shirt, she would then open her plastic baggie and take out a BUTTER sandwich. Bread, butter, bread. I felt so sorry for her! What kind of a mother sends their child to school with a BUTTER sandwich?!?!?!? Surely they at least can afford some butter of the "peanut" variety?!? And how unhealthy for her! Didn't she know they offer free lunch for kids? healthy lunches on top of that?
I came home apalled! I shared with my husband "Can you BELIEVE that mom sent her child to school with a butter sandwich?" I just couldn't get over it.
Two entire years have passed.

I have never forgotten that student who ate butter sandwiches for lunch. I want to share with you, though, that I finally figured out what kind of mom would send their child to school with a butter sandwich for lunch, and I am one of them.

Hello, my name is Carrie, and my child eats butter sandwiches.
There really should be a support group.

It just kind of sneaks up on you.
Somewhere between the "I don't like peanut butter and jelly" and the "I don't like spaghetti" comes the butter sandwich.
One day you are making infant cereal, the next day its butter sandwiches.
If you have a child who is a picky eater you understand what I'm saying.
You don't mean for it to happen. You don't want to be a bad mom. You want your child to eat green beans and love wheat bread, but then one day you are looking in the freezer for one of the 4 things your child WILL eat, only to discover that low and behold after 10 days of eating chicken nuggets and corn dogs you are finally out of both.
What can I make for lunch? Look in the fridge....eggs (no), ham (no), butter...*yes!*. Thus, the butter sandwich is born, and I am reminded of Sally, and how I bet her mom wasn't really that bad after all.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My first blog!

Welcome to my blog! Woo hoo! I have a blog through a homeschooling website, but I thought maybe I would give the "outside world" a chance to read my wondersome and frightfully entertaining thoughts, ponderings, and musings. You will want to check back at LEAST every other day because your life will surely be enhanced by your visits to my blog! I guarantee that you will experience such delight and amusement upon each visit that I will refund your price of admission 4 fold each time you are dissapointed! You can't get an offer like that on anyone else's blog, for sure. I always have something I can say about pretty much anything, so comment away and let the fun begin! Check back soon for more greatness in blogging!