Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I did it!

With a little help from Drew. LOL He wanted to put the Christmas tree up so started cleaning and rearranging the livingroom (his favorite thing to do...rearrange). He pulled everything out of the bottom of our tiny coat closet which had things piled up over 3ft high (shoes, boots, old backpacks, sports equipment, play jackets, etc). This made it so I had little choice but to get off the computer. Once I started working though...WOW! I couldn't stop!

Carrie and Liz had brought down a bunch of clothes out of their room on Friday when the cleaned. This meant my hallway full of laundry was even fuller. On Sunday afternoon Luke and Jake decided to clean all the clothes out of their room. This left a pile at the end of the hall almost 4ft high! I knew a lot of the clothes in there weren't being worn so we went through them. They were mostly older boot or peg cut jeans that weren't comfortable to Luke who's been wearing carpenter cut and relaxed cuts for a while. So I bagged them up for the thrift store. There were also decent shirts that were too small for Jake. Seeing as he's my last boy *sniff* *sniff* they went too. We ended up with a huge garbage bag full of clothes to give away.

I started the laundry and by the time I went to bed had done....3 loads of dark, 1 load of light and had my 3rd load of whites in the washer...pretty good evening of laundry as far as I'm concerned. Of course what was left was still a LOT! Monday was a light day of laundry with 3 loads of light. I still have at least 4 or 5 loads of darks to do, plus whatever was worn since I started this whole thing. I then need to wash winter coats, hats and gloves, a pile of jackets and old bookbags/totes I have here and then bedding. So my work is cut out for me.

I took care of all the bags of clothes Drew threw together. He decided to help me clean a few weeks ago and threw a bunch of clothes that had accumulated on my floor into garbage bags. I sorted through them, found about half a bag destined for the thrift store and 1.5 bags ready for the trash/rag pile. The rest were sorted into piles...one of my clothes, the other of Tom's. We'll wash and go through them when we have time. My night was complete when I found a pair of Tom's work pants in the last bag I went through and discovered that I was right....his wallet he's been missing for a few weeks was in there!!!! So now he's a real person again and can prove it! ;o)

I finally found a bit of relief from my sinuses Monday night. I remembered the bottle of nasal spray in the cupboard and used it. For the first time in over a week I could actually breathe through my nose!!! I still didn't sleep very well though...not sure why. I can feel myself getting stuffy again now but don't want to use the nasal spray too much and become dependant on it. I'll try to use it everyday and save it for nighttime use only.

Pat's not faring too well the last few days or so. His headaches have started again. It doesn't help that the 2 bottles of Ibuprofen I bought on Friday seem to be missing either! He's missed classes yesterday and today. I hope it doesn't mess up his whole semester...they're almost done! I thought his headaches were a thing of the past since last year he only had them a couple of times. I'm just hoping they don't last all the way into February like they have in other years.

I need to get out and run to a few stores. While making things for the bazaar I keep running into the...oh yeah, I need A or B to complete this. So I have a bunch of things started but not finished. I'm hoping that Friday night will be organizing and pricing things....maybe even setting up the tables. So I'd like to have then all finished by Thursday night/Friday afternoon. (yeah right!) It's going to be a busy busy week once I get to the store (hopefully today!) I'll have to charge up the batteries and get the camera busy taking pics of what I finish so I can share them here.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I'll just claim temporary insanity

That's what I was feeling about 5pm Saturday night. My sister had called on Friday to ask if I could take her 3 girls (13, 11, and 6) for the night and she'd reciprocate and take 3 of my girls the next night. The girls have been trying to get together forever (actually since they were here last time LOL). I told her my house was a mess but to call at 4pm and I'd let her know if I could or not. I told Carrie and Liz the deal...clean your room and your cousins can come spend the night. THEY DID IT! Within an hour they cleaned it all up (including under the bed). I was exhausted from barely sleeping and shopping the Black Friday sales so took a nap while they cleaned and didn't touch the main living area.

My sister called me back and I told her to bring them over. Then I yelled for the kids to hit the main area while I did the dishes and worked on the kitchen a bit. I wasn't ready grocerywise to have extras. I really needed to go shopping but thought we'd make due with what we had until next week/payday so I could use the money for Christmas shopping. I think my neices were a little surprised as usually when they come here I'm well prepared with tons of goodies to eat. It was a job and a half trying to get enough to feed them all. We had a hodgepodge of things for dinner...eggrolls, sloppy joes, and lemon chicken (for picky neices). The kids had fun for the night and weren't really a problem. We had the occassional...she won't play with me, she said this and that, but that's about it.

Saturday was the day I lost my sanity. Michelle and Val asked if C and F could come over and I agreed. When Jake heard that C was coming over he asked if little C...C2 could come too (little C/C2 is C's younger brother and Jake's bestfriend since Kindergarten). I agreed again. I think that was the start of my insanity. C2 and Jake are two peas in a pod...energetic goofballs who don't know the meaning of the word QUIET! It was chaotic but tolerable here. What got to me was the dishes and the cooking. I didn't think I could be bothered by cooking but I felt like no matter how much I made it wasn't enough. Just me and my imagination really. Not having any paper plates and limited real ones kept me shoulder high in dishes most of the day. (that was after doing them for 1.5hrs Friday night to catch up)

My sister came for the girls about 5 and I finally sat down for the day. I must have looked tired because my sister asked me what was the matter. I said nothing, just relaxing. She's one of those people that I feel I can't "admit" my family size has been anything but positive...even if it's only for a second. By the comments my neices have made to me while here I can safely say I'm sure she's voiced things about my family size to them. (mostly about ALL those kids, ALL that work, being able to handle it, etc)

After the girls left I took a little nap. C2's mom came to get him and then we were down to only C and F, well Allison was here too but she's always here. LOL Drew, Allison, Olivia and I ran to Save-a-Lot to grab some essentials. I now have 30lbs of flour and 16lbs of sugar...Atkins be damned! At least we'll have bread and cookies for the week. LOL

We got Luke and Jake to bed and Michelle tried to keep Olivia busy in her room. Drew brought in our Friday morning purchases from his trunk and Allison and Val teamed up to wrap most of the bigger things up. So I do have presents wrapped!!! I think this is the earliest, now to keep it up.

My sinuses are packed! I'm afraid I'm starting to get a sinus infection again. I'm figuring since they're already stuffed up I may as well dive into my room and go through some bags. The other motivating factor is that around the time that Drew threw the clothes into the bags, Tom lost his wallet!!! He hasn't found it in weeks and really needs it. I don't know how he's surviving without out it. Luckily his work ID badge wasn't in there or he probably couldn't have. I also have to get some bazaar stuff done NOW! The bazaar is Saturday and I haven't gotten anything really done done. Looks like I'm heading to a week of little sleep again...so much for trying to be organized and ahead of the game. I guess it's just not in me.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Ebaying the day away

I spent most of my day in front of the computer but not here. :o) I spent it at ebay. I decided to hit it up to get some Christmas presents taken care of. I can't say specifically what I bought but I got something for Drew, a few things for my mom, Michelle & Val (combo gift), something for Eileen or Olivia and 40 LED strobe necklaces to sell at the bazaar. Thinking on it now, I just hope they get here before Saturday morning!!! Oh well, if they don't then I have a bunch of stocking stuffers, presents for neices and girls' birthdays all next year. LOL They were less then $.50 ea. I think I'm almost done buying for Drew! I'm thinking of getting him a couple other things but nothing I really have to shop hard for. Pat, Michelle and Val are my hard ones. Although Pat did give me an idea...just not sure I want to buy it. I might have to hit ebay again ;o)

I'm pretty happy tonight. The kids are now on Thanksgiving Vacation!!! wooohoo! Every morning this week I kept reminding myself...it's only a 3 day week, it's only a 3 day week. The next few weeks until Christmasbreak are going to be hard after all these short weeks. Being super busy and getting exhausted doesn't help either. Seems my kids are always exhausted. Eileen wormed her way into staying home again today!!!!! Wish she'd like it more. She's the type of person that once it sinks in she'll have NO problem. Getting it to sink in though...UGH!!!

I ran out of dishsoap today. Actually one of the younger girls helped in that department. It was so weird to try to feed them dinner wihout any clean dishes. If I didn't need to take a shower and get properly dressed I'd have driven into the village myself. As it was I was at the mercy of Drew. I now have it but it was late before it showed up so things are still waiting for me.

We're still enjoying the oven. Tonight we had baked potatoes for dinner. Last night I made Carrie's pumpkin muffins for her Native American Indian project. They were pretty good! Here's where I found the recipe. I also made a quadruple batch of chocolate chip cookies. I didn't have to run to the store for the chips after all! If it'd been a snack it'd have bitten me. Problem was it had lost it's original bag and was disguised in a gallon ziplock (I was looking for a shiney silver bag). I made them with half butter and half margarine. Liz took 3dz to school and everyone was going crazy over them! :oD

I didn't really work on anything for the bazaar today but I have some ideas that shouldn't take too long. It's mostly computer graphics stuff. Just wish I had my old graphic program...this new one is ok for quick picture fixes but doing complex things and I'm frustrated!

Tomorrow we'll be heading to my parents' house for turkey dinner. I guess we're the only ones that are going to be there for dinner. My sister and brother might pop over later in the evening for pie. Pat and Drew will be eating at Jessica's and Allison's house respectively. They've mentioned coming in for pie too but I'm not sure it's smart. It's suppose to start snowing tomorrow. On Friday I'll PROBABLY be heading out into the shopping madness known as Black Friday. I'm thinking I might, seeing things in other stores' ads that I can pricematch just might convince me to go. I'd like to get a few of the special priced things but I'm not sure how much I want them. Is putting my life on the line really worth it? A couple of the things are BIG things so fighting the crowds with them isn't too exciting. I'll talk to D tomorrow night and see if she's going. Drew and Allison will probably come again, we've gone out together for the last 2 or 3yrs now. I think the smart thing for me to do though is to take inventory of my closet first! Would be nice to know what I already have and for who it'll be.

Olivia is super excited for tomorrow! I don't remember being that excited...especially without all the commotion in the kitchen going on. It was just a day to eat and watch a parade. I wish I'd had my camera ready tonight though. She asked what was after Thanksgiving. I told her the next day is Christmas time when we start getting ready for Christmas, decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. I don't think I've ever seen her eyes get that big before in her life!!! Of course Pat had to remind up that HIS birthday was what was coming up next. Guess I'll have to find the advent stuff soon.

Time it is a flying!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Came to a grinding halt!

That's what my motivation did. Sunday I spent it mostly vegitating, although I did do some necessary things like dishes, small time picking up and laundry. My eyes were really bad and I think I have either a sty or a blocked duct thanks for all the garbage in them overnight. Sunday it was really sore and today it's just tender on and off. I've been doing hot compresses on it.

Ovenwise I baked fish sticks! LOL They were yummy though. Tom tends to make the fishsticks here due to it being an easy meal. He's also afraid to touch anything that MIGHT be a meal I have planned out. After dinner I made 4 loaves of bread. YUMMMMMM! They smelled delicious! They looked a little light in the browned department but tasted fine (the warm loaf did at least). I'm surprised we still have some left. I thought the first few loaves I made would have been gobbled up just because it's been so long since we've had homemade bread. Well I took care of almost 1/3 of a loaf on my own last night. *blush*

Tom went to a Buffalo Bill's game Sunday. He rode a chartered bus and had a tailgate party before the actual game. He came home barely being able to talk. I told him they mentioned him on the tv. What they actually mentioned was that there was a delay of game due to a knucklehead in the endzone that security had to deal with. They didn't give the knucklehead publicity and show him on tv but we were almost positive it was Tom. Tom told me he took the day off today to make up the day to work around the house he gave up on Sunday. I know he's just an old fogey and can't handle going to work after a hard day of partying anymore! He can't fool me!!!

Today I started making decoupaged glass plates. I'm using fabric and wrapping paper to decorate them. I've never done it before and I'm not sure if it was such a great idea to do them to begin with. The wrapping paper one started off looking neat but I came to a standstill on how to finish it up (only did the bottom of the plate...not the sides). Doesn't matter anymore anyways because it needs to be redone. Seems I left the plate to dry on the kitchen table where Eileen and Olivia found it. They took it as the perfect opportunity to practice their peeling skills. UGH! I almost always have a project that I do, ditch and not sell at the bazaar. I also tend to have a project that one of the kids manages to mess up at least once. So I guess the next two weeks should be NO problem! I'll take pictures of the plates if I decide they're going to work out. Have to get my camera and charge the batteries first.

I do have other things I would like to do. I also have some school projects that are due soon. Jake needs me to make his class a batch of blue 'playdough' for a land project they're doing. Carrie has a Native American Indian project due by Thursday. We're making pumpkin muffins from the "Three Sister's Cookbook". I'm just waiting for her to finish the paragraph she has to write.

I know there was more I wanted to say (actually there always is) but it's slipped my mind. If I remember I'll let you know.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Gentlemen....start your burners....

WE HAVE A WORKING OVEN!!!! It's nothing fancy but it's nice. The oven is actually a few inches bigger then my old oven, it might even be deeper. (tried to use my old oven racks in it and they didn't fit).

We had it hooked up before 10am but I didn't start baking until 3:30. At first I wanted to see if I could smell any escaping propane. Then I got busy doing things with the kids. Finally I decided if was going to use my kitchen it should be somewhat clean. So I cleaned in the kitchen for a few hours. IT's looking better but still has a way to go.

Tonight we enjoyed...
Funetti cake with cream cheese frosting.
French vanilla mini bundt cakes with peanut butter glaze
3 huge pizzas...pepperoni, cheese and garlic

What I really wanted to make was chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies. We are out of chips and raisins and almost out of oatmeal. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be going to the grocery store. I'll make the cookies Sunday night or Monday. (don't hold your breath though lol) Tomorrow I definitely need to make bread. Yuummmmmm! First though I have to get my rear out the door and to church!

My eyes are really bothering me from cleaning. I took Claratin but it didn't help like it did yesterday. I can barely see the screen right now. I hope my stuffiness doesn't grow into another sinus infection! I'm thinking I may as well push forward and keep digging stuff out. No sense recouping and then starting it all over again. It's keep the momentum going that's the problem.

A really nice thing happened tonight. Michelle had C over and Val had F over. Eileen and Olivia have a habit of clingy to whichever friend is over here. Poor F, everytime he stood near the girls they'd get his legs into a bear hug, look up at his face and start telling stories. I scolded the girls to not bug F and to leave him alone. F got all upset that I told them that. He said...Oh no! They don't bother me! I like coming here because all the kids like me! I like when they do that. It's nice! I love coming to this house! Just a benefit of a TOK family....lots and lots of maulings to go around! ;o)

Almost but not quite

My stove is here! It's only in the livingroom but it's here, in the house so that counts as something. My SIL D and I went and picked it up in their pickup. What a laugh that was! Lowe's couldn't FIND IT!!! How do you loose a stove? Loosing something is NOT a good thing to do to a couple of TOK moms on a schedule. Both our kids needed to be at church by 7. We thought getting out of Wal-mart and getting to Lowe's by 5:20 would be plenty of time to get us home by 6:30 (only 20mins driving time to D's house at the most). NOPE! They didn't load the stove into the truck until almost 6:30!!!! Luckily I bought us both boxes of fried chicken for dinner so they had something to eat as we ran back out the doors.

Tom wasn't feeling so hot so I converted the stove over to propane myself. Here I thought it was just a simple matter of turning over one thing on the regulator. Wrong again, it took forever. Mostly because I didn't have the right tools. Not that I don't possess the tools, just that I have NO idea where my tool box is right now. It's been under the pool deck all summer but supposedly it's not there not. (took Tom's word for it). Someone's in trouble if I go out there today and find it where I left it!!! ;o) I'm terrified I didn't do something right or didn't tighten something tight enough and we're going to blow up as soon as we try to use it!!!

It was after 10:30 by the time I got it all done. Tom went to bed so I decided to wait until the morning to finish. So as I type this it's sitting in my livingroom with my old oven pulled out and in the middle of the kitchen. My house is a DISASTER AREA!!! In the guise of cleaning and organizing we tore the place apart. When D called to see if I could run to WM I did the only logical thing and just left it! Whatelse was I to do?!? We needed to get the stove and we were out of milk, eggs and bread. My family was starving!

So I have my work cut out for me today. Turn off the gas, hook up the stove, test it and adjust it (hopefully I won't need to do that too much!) Then we'll dump the old stove, clean and organize the livingroom and kitchen/diningroom. Hopefully I'll have enough energy to get some laundry done. Don't want to go to church naked!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Made it through

parent/teacher conferences and didn't shed a tear in the whole ordeal! woohoo! Actually I was pleasantly surprised that the kids were doing well. Yes, they all have areas that are of concern but it's not a dire situation.

Luke and Carrie's teachers both mentioned that they thought they'd matured and were handling things better then last year! :o) Both of them had teachers that taught them for the last year and this one. I guess Luke is staying on task with only one reminder needed at times (never stayed on task at ALL last year...there was thoughts of starting meds.)

Jake's spelling and writing are low on his priority. We'll be working on it and studying at home more. Reading is picking up and she's decided she's going to push him a bit. Math is off the roof (especially money LOL). Eileen's struggling just like I thought. Her teacher and I both think once it kicks in though she won't have a problem. She has always loved to write and copy letters...if she can only get the oral part of it down!!!

I LOVE Jake's teacher!!! Luke had her for 2nd grade too. She just gets the biggest kick out of the kids. She always finds something about them to praise. Jake has her hook line and sinker, being the joker that he is. She's very similar. She's one of the only teachers that I don't feel patronized from. I think part of it is that she's the youngest of nine kids. LOL Most other teachers sit there with huge smiles on their face, nodding their head saying....I bet, I can only image, well you can only do your best, blah blah blah. She just says...well that's what happens when you have a bunch of kids. She also readily points to the siblings to help out with studying and such.

Liz did great! I didn't have a conference with her teachers (she never got the paper for me to hand in...was home sick that week). I just asked for her report card. We all admitted she's doing well and her grades show it. She's always been my academic freak...looking for work to do in her spare time, etc.

On the way out the door I got roped in and bought Luke, Carrie, Jake, Eileen and Oliva each a new book at the book fair. I bought...

Lemony Snicket, The Meanest Doll in the World, Captain Underpants, Junie B Jones and a DW (Arthur) book. They were all excited and have already started reading it. Somehow though Eileen lost her Junie B book between climbing into my bed with it and handing it to me!!! It's in my room somewhere...we'll find it...one day...maybe when we find her dad's wallet.

Michelle and Val have school tomorrow but the rest are home. Hopefully I can get them all working! I definitely want to clean the inside of the fridge while it's empty (need to go grocery shopping!) Kitchen and Livingroom still need help! I also have to take Carrie to get her new glasses.

Tom's made plans with D's husband to use his pickup tomorrow night to pick up my stove. So hopefully by this time tonight I'll have a working oven!!! Maybe I'll have baked something and devoured it already! Hmmmm...what to bake first? LOL...watch...I'll be sitting her on Sunday whining that the 'toopid thing is still sitting in it's box in the livingroom!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Abundance of Love

Just found this story written about Monika and the kids and wanted to share it. (click on post title to see it) It's nice to read about THEM and not about what happened to them.

It's here! It's here!

Well it's not HERE here, like in the house. But it's at the store waiting for me to pick it up. MY NEW STOVE!!!! Now the problem is trying to figure out when and how to pick it up. *sigh* I miss our pickup. I'd like a pickup to be our next vehicle or a mini van. lol

Dentist update. I don't think we did too bad although some would be appalled. There wasn't too much fingerwagging (actually they just mentioned Michelle's care). I was really nervous due to everyone getting x-rays this time and x-rays tend to show up missed little cavities. Jake, Carrie and Eileen are cavity free but Eileen needs sealants on a few teeth so has an appointment. Olivia didn't have anything new but still has the small one from last visit. I put off getting it taken care of due to her freaking out at the end of some extensive work before that cleaning. We're going to give it a shot again this time. It's small and we don't want it to get too much bigger. Val has 3 cavities but all on the same side so only one visit needed. Liz and Michelle have 2 cavities each, needing 2 visits each (they're on opposite sides so they won't work on them in one visit), Luke has 2 cavities right next to each other. I lucked out in that we've fit all but Val's appointments into 3 days. None of them are anytime soon, and they're spaced out decently too. (running to the dentist 3 times in 1 week STINKS!)

On the way to the dentist's Val was eating a sugar daddy sucker and chipped her front tooth. It wasn't her tooth tooth. She'd had a huge chip in it when younger and had it repaired. So it was a piece of the repair. It's tiny and you can barely see it but you'd think she was missing a whole tooth the way her and Michelle were acting in the van. She kept holding things up over her mouth when she talked and she kept insisting she couldn't go to school. I laughed. She could go to school with the flu last year so as to not mess up her perfect attendance record (swore up and down she wasn't sick). Yet this will keep her out. She wasn't happy when I told her I didn't make her appointment due to not knowing her volleyball schedule. Poor thing *playing my tiny violin*

I took the kids to Taco Bell afterwards. I used all my Enjoy the City coupons and bought $52 worth of food for $26. We had 6 chalupas, 8 burrito supremes, 4 steak border bowls, 4 chicken border bowls. While the ladies were filling our order Michelle and Liz heard them whispering....7 kids!!! And they all look alike!!! LOL If they only knew. We took the food and ran to my parents house a few miles away. My parents had JUST finished eating dinner of leftovers and weren't hungry :o( Oh well we ended up with leftovers which just became my breakfast and will be a few afterschool snacks. (Carrie intended to take some for lunch but forgot it when she was running out the door to catch the bus....she'll be bummed when she realizes what she did)

I sat and talked while the kids ate, did their homework and then ran upstairs to watch CABLE! Nothing like the reruns of the Munsters to help digest your dinner! While talking about the Woerlen's fire I mentioned my blog. My mom immediately shot out....People who have blogs are STUPID! It shocked me. I didn't realize that she knew what a blog was. Their computer is old and they don't do the net very well. They can't even get their email accts to work (outdated system) and won't let me set up a hotmail or yahoo one for them. I asked her why she thought that. Her answer....No one is THAT important that they need to have people read about their life. I said...People have kept journals since the start of time. What's wrong with keeping one online? Her response....well, their stupid for putting out all that info on themselves. Yeah she's got a point in that, but I'm not living my life according to what ifs...never have and never will. I admitted it's a little bit of an ego booster to know that someone might find you interesting enough to visit your blog regularly. I told her it's also been a really big help for me to be able to come and write things out....especially this last week. End of Topic. :o) I wasn't too sure if I wanted to share this with immediate family anyways...guess I just made my decision.

I've been meaning to share the link to this writing piece since I read it on Sunday. It was a nice thing to read before I went to bed after a not so great weekend. Angels Among Us

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

3rd time is the charm?

Now that I've rambled on about my week to be, how about I talk about what's happening now. I haven't had a nephew B update in a while. (story here) He's headed back to surgery. It seems that while they concentrated on the huge gash on the front of his leg, there was some damage to the tendon in the back also which wasn't a real concern at the time. He's been having infections in there on and off since his accident 3mos ago and has been on antibiotics nonstop. The dr was optimistic that long term antibiotic care would be the answer. Well, this week it looks like something gross exploded under his skin back there. He went back to the doctor last night. They opened it up a bit and took a culture to see what it is. They're thinking that it's not healing well because there isn't the greatest blood supply to the tendons, that they might have missed an object or germ when first treating them (due to concentrating on the front), and/or that there is damage in there. They were suppose to find out when the surgery would be today. I haven't heard yet. We were joking that they only had Wed available for it...is that ok with you? LOL TOK....sorry! too busy to fit in surgery.

I never updated about volleyball tryouts. Val MADE the team! YEAH! She's a 9th grader and didn't think she had a chance. Looks like she might even be a starter! Great boost for her. I'll survive figuring in practices and games...it's not really THAT hard. Just something that would make life easier if I didn't have to do. Tonight is an example. Val's had her dentist appt for 6mos now. Practice is at 5:15....dentist appt is at 3...they're 45mins apart and I have 7 other people that need to be seen after her. Luckily Tom is half way into the city so he'll be stopping by to pick her up after work, although he's not really suppose to have "civilians" in his county truck.

Oh to be FOUR! Olivia is absolutely giddy with the thought of Christmas. She's been driving me crazy, collecting things around the house, wrapping them up and asking me to help her label them. I think her cousin "L" has at least 7 presents around here already. Oh well maybe this will be good. We can be generous, giving and declutter all at once! LOL It might not be so irritating if we'd already celebrated Thanksgiving. I still have this old fashion notion that Christmas season doesn't start until after Santa makes his appearance on the Thanksgiving Parade. As soon as I see him I start...usually by putting on Christmas music. Hopefully she'll be contagious and by the time Thanksgiving rolls around I'll be chomping at the bit to get started. Maybe I'll start this weekend and make a batch of christmas cookies in my NEW OVEN and freeze them! ;o)

The rest of the story....

PHEW! This week is and will be busy!

Yesterday was well child checks for Olivia and Jake. Nothing to talk report really. We talked about Carrie for a bit. Was nice that the dr remembered her and asked how she was doing. I asked him about her getting a flu shot. He said she's one of those on the cusp of definitely qualifying it. He wouldn't object to it if I want it. I'm not really sure I want to do it. What if her getting it makes it so that someone else who REALLY needs it can't. I know how I've felt with MIL really NEEDING it and having a really hard time trying to get it. The nurses at dialysis finally gave her one that was intended to be given to the healthcare givers. They eventually got some for some of their neediest patients (MIL is at the top of that list!) So anyways back to Carrie, they really aren't too sure how strong her immune system is this far out from transplant. I think it's fairly good, she's not a sickly girl. Then there's the question of whether the meningitis was a result of the flu and if it makes her more susceptible if she gets really sick again. He couldn't really answer that question for me. I'm still unsure what to do. At least I know if I do decide to go ahead with it, I won't have to fight for it.

Today is the dentist for the kids...Michelle on down. 8 appointments, plenty of time for the dentist and hygentist to make me feel like I'm 2 inches tall. My kids have been cursed with teeth as soft as cheese. I've asked time and time again...do genetics play a role in cavities. They always say yes BUT when they clean their teeth I get a finger wagging. They aren't brushing well enough. Are you making sure they brush everyday? You kids need to watch my special movie (they've seen the boring stupid thing FIVE times!!!!) Of course after today's appointment I'll then be living at the dentist office for some time. My record number of appointments for fillings and such between cleanings (every 6mos) is 11. Let's hope it stays that the record!

Thursday is parent/teacher conferences. Another thing I'm dreading. I have 4 of them. At least 2 of those will be for kids who are struggling. Eileen who hasn't scored over a 60 or 70 on her spelling test and often is under 50. This inspite of studying to the point of tears. Luke does seem to be handling things better but I'm afraid I'm just not seeing things right. Carrie is also iffy. Sometimes she's got it, other times she doesn't. She's a tough nut to crack. Jake seems to be good! Hope I'm not blindsided with news from HIS teacher. lol

And then there's Friday or Saturday when I get my new STOVE!!! whooohooo! I'm getting excited (can you tell? lol) I'm SO looking forward to baking bread again. I've been dying for a slice of homemade pizza too. And oatmeal cookies...yummmmmmmmm...............

Who knows after this excitement I'll get my foodblog going again. It's bugging me that I'm not taking care of it, but it's a lot of work too. I definitely couldn't have maintained it this last week. So hopefully I'll restart it soon!

This Weekend

I think I'll post a few short separate posts today. I have lots of things running through my head but don't want them all running into together. I'll start from the beginning.

I deliberately didn't post this weekend, it was just too hard. I kept writing and deleteing. Nothing I said could get out how I truly felt. It wasn't a good time. I found myself crying on and off all weekend for every and no reason. While cleaning the bathroom floor I started singing a church song, broke down. While doing the dishes (EVERYTIME I did dishes actually) I'd start thinking, think too much and start crying.

I really was wishing I'd found a way to get up to Canada this weekend. Saturday was hard knowning that almost everyone was up there, being with the Woerlens and Van Stralens, and I wasn't. It was good to hear about it from those that were there though.

I am WOWing over an email I just received! I knew the community was supportive of Marc but this is amazing! It seems 3 radio stations held a telethon to start a memorial fund in the name of the Woerlen kids (the idea was to build a playground in their honor). By 11:30am they had raised almost twice their goal. By the end of the day the stations had raised over 5x their goal, with more to come!!! It's nice to be reminded just how good people can be instead of always hearing the negative.

And I'll end this section on that great note!

Friday, November 12, 2004


Yep, that's exactly what I did tonight. I found myself getting irritated over a few simple things tonight. So after I put dinner on the table and called Tom in, I went into my bedroom to try and deal with things and take a few minutes for myself. I turned on my light, climbed on my bed, threw the covers over me and immediately started bawling. OOPS! That wasn't what I'd planned on doing. It wasn't how I'd thought I'd react to the situation.

Tom came in to see if I was ok and saw me. He climbed into bed and hugged me. To console me he reminded me that I'd just cooked a great dinner and everyone was out there enjoying it. It didn't help...it made things worse actually. I finally realized what was wrong. I was feeling guilty. I was feeling like I wasn't appreciative. I was feeling foolish for letting something as silly as a dirty plate cause me to be angry with my children. There are families out there that will never see their daughter, wife, kids, grandkids again. Who'd love to have one of those kids leave a dirty plate where it wasn't intended and I'm getting angry over it. I thought I'd gotten over the worse of dealing with this week but I guess not.

I told Tom that everyone was driving up to Canada tomorrow morning. He offered to let me take the car and go, to cancel his plans for tomorrow so I could go. I knew that he would. I told him it was too late, I hadn't signed up by noon today, we didn't have the money for gas and I didn't want to drive by myself up there and back in one day. Although I'd have really liked to have been there with everyone.

We sat there and talked a bit about a lot of things that needed to be talked about. I came out into the livingroom and apologized to the kids. I explained I wasn't really upset with them. I just wasn't handling this week too well. I know the older ones understood.

Round and round...

my thoughts, they go. All day yesterday I was an exhausted mess. While emotionally I was better then I've been. Wednesday night's prayer meeting wiped me out completely. Even though I seemed to have slept well I felt like I hadn't seen a bed much less used it in weeks. My eyes were still swollen and my sight blurry for most of the day. Guess my thought of trying to get an eye appointment was out of the question.

While writing here has helped I haven't really been able to do much more thinking than that. The kids ask me a question and laugh as I look at them with a glazed look in my eyes. They know I haven't acknowledged what was said and I have to ask them to repeat it a few times until it sinks in.

Saturday is the funeral and memorial service. Sunday is a special meeting in Toronto. A lot of people from our fellowship are going up for the day Saturday. I keep going back and forth about going. I want to go up but not by myself. I don't want to go because it's easier just to deal with it from afar. I know just how much good it would do to be a part of it though...especially after Wednesday night. I guess it's a moot point, seeing as we were suppose to sign up to attend by noon today.

I had promised Carrie I would take her to pick out her eyeglasses Thursday. (why I thought I'd try to be a walkin for an exam at the eyeglass place). WHY did I promise her? I make it a point to not promise the kids things yet I did it this time. With a TOK family there are just too many variables to deal with to make promises a common occurrance. This is a prime example of it. I didn't feel so great driving. I felt like my relexes were a LOT slower then normal (and I feel like my normal isn't so hot already). But we did it. Obviously my being exhausted wasn't a secret as the lady measuring Carrie for her glasses made the comment...you look like you're ready for a nap! Isn't this day the type where you want to just stay in bed all day? If only she knew....

I wasn't happy when they informed me the glasses would cost $100 instead of the $75 I thought they'd be. We have a great eye care plan really. Most times it only costs me $10 for the eye exam and glasses. Carrie is different in that we buy her transition lenses. These are the lenses that darken or lighten according to the lighting conditions. I have to pay for those and last year it cost $65 ontop of the normal $10. This year it was over $82. She doesn't even need the glasses to see! Her sight actually improved over last year. The dr wrote the prescription for the weakest lenses he could just so she could have the transition lenses available to her. I told Carrie as we were pulling out...I could have bought you a decent pair of sunglasses a month and probably come out ahead!

She better not lose them this year! She lost her pair last year....a month or so after getting them! Up until that day she was great about keeping track of them too. We think she lost them in the grass with her sandals (which were found about a month or so later). The thought is that she took them both off to jump on the trampoline and forgot to put them back on when she was done. If only we'd found a TINY piece of her frame or lenses we could have gotten them replaced for free. She did without because I couldn't afford to pay full price for a new pair!

After we finished at the Eyecare place we went to Lowe's and I ORDERED MY NEW STOVE!!! It's a special order and should be here next Friday or Saturday! Wooohooo! After being without an oven for almost a year I'll be able to bake bread and make pizza again! I knew the cool weather would leave me wanting my oven. I'm glad I did some research online because they didn't have the info on the model I wanted in the store. I had to take the saleswoman to the site online to find out what I was talking about. She wasn't trying to oversell me anything, just wasn't aware of what I was talking about without a model number. The one she thought I was talking about was $40 more and had a smaller oven. Isn't it a beauty!?...

With that finally behind me we ran to Walmart to grab some soft food for Liz. Her canker sores are still bothering her (although I've noticed not as much as before) so we grabbed some soft food for her. I had to buy some for everyone else too. It's been a while since anyone's had yogurt. I also had to buy some cabbage and egg roll wrappers while I was there. I'd been in the middle of working on a chinese dinner for an 80th birthday feast when this week's tragedy occurred. I'd started looking forward to the eggrolls so much that I decided I'd have to make some for the house. (birthday feast was set for this Sat...it's been canceled). I made them as soon as I walked in the door...they were a big hit with everyone!!

I've had a odd thing happen this week. At least three times I've had people inquire whether I was pg or planning to be pg. I know I'm definitely NOT...AF just left. The chance of me becoming pg is small. I don't think Tom would agree especially now that Olivia's almost in school. The thing is though...I've fought baby fever on and off through the last 4.5yrs. This week it has been REALLY bad. IN the aftermath of death there is an undeniable need for new life. Sitting in the prayer meeting on Wed night, holding my 6mo nephew "J", I just kept thinking...I want a baby!!! For the first time in a while I feel like I need to talk to Tom about this again, thought I pretty much know what his reaction will be. Who knows..I might be pleasantly surprised...he might have the same reaction to what's happened this week. Oh then the fears I'd have to overcome! YIKES! Maybe it's easier just to stay in this nice little niche we've come to after all. :o)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

This is good

I find writing here to really be a help this week. It occurred to me last night that I haven't really shared too much of my personal faith here before. I tend to keep that part private...probably too private, especially around this house. And for those that aren't interested in this, I'm sorry. It's an important part of me whether I share it or not.

I've been amazed by amount of time Monika and Marc come to the front of my thoughts throughout the day. Almost everything I do brings something of them or the situation up. Climbing into bed and nestling up to a sleeping Tom brings thoughts of Monika and Marc as a couple. Having the kids climb into bed with me one by one this morning brought up Monika surrounded by all her kids at the conference center. Even doing the dishes brings up thoughts of Monika. Usually it's of us as teens serving at D & M's wedding, watching her sing with her family, or watching her deal with her kids during meetings (when I wasn't dealing with my own lol).

I've been surprised by the emotions that have come about because of this. I told someone that Monika and I haven't really had too much of an opportunity to talk since we've had families. Yet I feel like I lost one of my bestfriends. They reminded me that I lost a member of my family, a member of the body.

We've been knit together in something that none of us can fathom, yet we all know is great. This week has cemented me in my beliefs that this is the calling to which I've been called and this is the place that I belong. I can only hope that my actions can be a shining example as uplifting as Monika's have been to those around her.

Numbly exhausted

I'm off to bed but wanted to check in first. We had a very nice time of fellowship and prayer tonight. I of course cried my eyes out most of the night. I had everyone giggling when I admitted that I cry when ice melts! LOL I do have to say that there were times when the crying was done out of mourning but it was also done out of joy. It always amazes me how something like death can also bring up so much happiness while dealing with it. Laughing and giggling at a wake or funeral still seems wrong but it's so right! There were many fond memories of Monika and the kids (mostly Monika). It was awesome to hear from the youth! They tend to bring a whole new perspective to things. Maybe it's just that they tend to keep it simple and to the point. Whichever....I'm so glad that they too were heard from. I love how we're growing as a fellowship by leaps and bounds!!

It still amazes me and leaves me feeling blessed that all the churches have such a connection. I don't know many other churches where people are as aquainted with others so far away. It reminds me of all the people that are behind me and my family. Of all the people that were praying for Carrie both in January while she was dealing with meningitis and in '97 while going through her bone marrow transplant. While telling Tom of the fire, even he came up with a memory of Monika. It surprised me, seeing as he only attended church for a short time before we were married.

I have to say that being with the friends tonight did a LOT of good. The healing has started although it still has a long way to go. I am actually typing this without tears streaming down my face! (maybe I cried up my tear quota tonight...who knows) I can't imagine the depth of feelings that are occurring in Toronto and Ottawa right now though. My thoughts go out to the families, fellowships and community as they too mourn and hopefully start to heal.

Saturday is the funeral and Sunday is a memorial feast. (I think they are having calling hours on Friday for the community) I don't think I'll be attending although the need for babysitters is great up there this weekend. So maybe I will if I'm needed. Of course I'd have to talk to Tom about it first. Luckily he's very understanding and flexible about things like this. I'm considering myself blessed in that department. :o)

I find myself not wanting to put things off...like visiting friends I've been wanting to see again. Unfortunately it doesn't include my housework. LOL That I've kind of shut down on. Although the livingroom is looking ok right now and a good chunk of dishes got done tonight before I left. So maybe I just feel like I've shut down.

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day (and nephew B's birthday!) so most of the kids (college kids still have classes) and Tom have the day off. Val still needs to be at school by 9am for volleyball tryouts. Friday will be the day she finds out if she made the team or not. Part of me wants her to make it. Another would love not to have to worry about practices and games. I do hope she makes it though...she works hard. I promised Carrie that I'd take her to pick out her eyeglasses. I've been putting it off partly because her glasses cost a bit more then normal ones will. She has transition lens so that her eyes are protected against the sun. It also helps her see better because when her pupils dilate her cataracts block her vision a bit. I'm wishing I could bow out of this already...but I did promise which I hardly ever do. I'm going to try to take her out for chinese too...make it a special time. I said it'd only be me and her but I forgot that Liz's glasses got bent up and she needs them readjusted...so she'll have to come too.

Well, I can barely see the screen and it seems I've rambled long enough. I won't even bother proof reading this for fear that I'll delete it. So excuse the typos and such.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I feel like I HAVE to post yet when I sit here nothing I write seems right. I'm in a total fog over the Woerlen's and Van Stralen's loss. I find myself checking Toronto's newsite to see the latest updates on things. I really have no idea why. The fact that Monika and the kids are gone is enough to deal with, I really don't need the details to. Like the details will make it easier to deal with...I don't think so.

Tonight we're having a prayer meeting to help start dealing with this. I hope I can make it. I feel like I need to make it there. Unfortunately the nights here are jampacked and getting away is difficult. The good thing is tomorrow is Veteran's Day so Tom and the kids (not the college ones though) are home. No worry on having to get up early. :oD

I need to get busy. Things around here can't stop even though I want them to. Proceeding forward is a good thing though.

Liz has been having a cruddy week or so. I wrote that I was taking her to the drs a few posts ago. The dr we saw is a..."don't medicate unless the throat cultures shows you need to" type of guy. This meant that Liz was going to be out for a while. 24hrs to get the results, over 24hrs on antibiotics before she could return to school. As it came out Wed afternoon...Olivia's culture was positive and she was treated. Liz's was negative and he wouldn't treat her. HUH!?!?! Olivia was bouncing around here just fine and Liz was still out of it on the couch. Oh well, guess we'll deal with it.

Thursday night Liz was still complaining of her head and throat hurting. She was also burning up now (something new). I called the dr office on Fri morning and told them. Luckily they didn't insist on seeing her. (I think sharing the fact that Olivia was using Liz's toothbrush helped that LOL) I don't think Liz would've had enough energy to take a shower and get out the door.

She was starting to feel a little better by Saturday night and even better yet on Sunday. Unfortunately she got hit big time on Monday with canker sores. Her whole mouth and throat are coated with them and her lips are swollen. I hadn't realized she'd never had them before. I've had a few kids who've had a lot of them the first time they get them. Drew was the first and he didn't eat for a week (had lips covered in cold sores too). He lost 6 lbs on a 32lb bodyframe...not good. We're trying to keep Liz fed in soft bland foods but there isn't that much that I can think of! I have to call school and get her work sent home. She's missed Tues and today again. :o(

Luke seems to be handling school a lot better this year. He got an A++ on a science test....16 out of 15 score (bonus question...you should see how detailed he answered that one! lol) He's always been a science whiz. The things they are learning have me scratching my head. I don't remember having to deal with all these things. Monday night was the cell project. This is right up his alley...creative and hands on! It came out pretty cool!

Eileen did great on Monday when we did her first day of spelling studying. I'm not sure if it's the set of words or not. I did notice she didn't ask me how to make letters very much or try to guess which letter made which sound (although a few times she did). I need to work with her MORE!

As usual the nights leave me wondering if someone is getting left behind and if we're doing enough for them. I know the TV is on WAY to much around here. It was so much easier when we were TV free.

Hmmm...this seems to have been a good thing. Lots of things are coming to my mind on what I've wanted to talk about. Guess I'll try to get something done around here and then post later. I feel like I've rambled on enough for one post.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

A day of great sadness....

At 10:30am my SIL 'D' called to let me know that a Toronto church family had suffered a huge loss. Marc Woerlen has lost his wife and seven children...11yo to 18mos (Monika was pg with #8) in a house fire. They'd just sold the house and were planning to move to the church in Ottawa. He was gone on business when the fire occurred. My thoughts and prayers go out to Brother and Sister Woerlen, Van Stralen (Monika's parents) and Marc.

Monika and the kids

Our church is unique in that we frequently have huge weekend feasts and conferences through out the year. This enables the northeast churches to come together and get to know each other. I'm blessed that the main gathering place is 2miles down the road from me. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to attend things. (Tom doesn't go to church with me...so couldn't travel very well).

I'd like to share the public statement the Woerlen's made about Monika. It is a true testament to her faith and devotion....

“We are deeply shocked by the untimely and tragic death of our beloved wife, daughter and friend, Monika Rachel Woerlen, and her seven beautiful children. There are no words to describe our feelings other than that we are devastated by the loss. We will sorely miss them all.

Monika displayed a cheerful and joyful attitude towards life. She was a true helper, one who often did all she could to lighten the load of those who she noticed seemed burdened down by the cares of life.

From a young age of 12, she prayed to her Lord that she could receive the eyes to see what she could do to help and bless others. In that mind and spirit, she truly became the Lord’s example for her 14 siblings, mother, family and a light in her community.

We love her husband Marc, who must now carry on and live to honour her memory.

May God bless him to be strong in spirit, to obtain grace and courage to continue in this time of great loss of his dear wife and children.

How blessed then to have such good memories of Monika and the children, who were all so very special to us, their family and friends.

We thank you, the media and the public, for your concern in this tragedy, but request that you keep our privacy during our time of mourning.”

Marc Woerlen and Family

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The plans of men.....

As usual the plans end up not being fulfilled. Saturday was a fun day and went along fine. All the kids looked cool and had a blast. We had pizza for dinner, played the required games of balloon stomp, and filled grocery bags with tons of candy! I also handed out glow stick bracelets and mini bottles of bubbles.

Sunday was the problem. I got out the door with the 5 youngest kids (other ones were sticking around our house with their friends) shortly after the 1pm time I'd thought of. I consider that on time as long as there's no appointment time to have to adhere too. I made a huge pan of lasagna rollup that I've never made before. It was easy and everyone loved it, even if it looked kinda gross (lots of spinach in it).

At 3pm my dad and I ran to the grocery store to grab some things for dinner and more candy (mom was afraid they didn't have enough). When we returned from the store Olivia was upstairs whimpering. We assumed she was offended because I wouldn't let her go and my mom made her come back in the house instead of standing outside crying her eyes out as we drove off. I went up to talk to her and she told me her head hurt. When I picked her up she was burning up. UGH! There go the plans of visiting MIL's house. I couldn't take Olivia over there with my MIL on dialysis and such (list of things she's dealing with would be pages long...let's just say she's a walking miracle). D was also going to have her kids there so I didn't want to infect them. I called MIL and let her know.

As we were serving dinner Olivia had a meltdown. I laid her on my mom's bed and she immediately fell asleep. After dinner we got everyone's costume on. I asked my dad if he wanted to go out with me and he agreed. :o) I didn't want to leave my mom with an upset Olivia if she woke up. I also didn't want Olivia to miss out on TorT'ing so I woke her up....or I tried. It took a bit but she finally came out of it and got her costume on. We walked around the block (1 mile trip) and the kids made out like bandits! Folks tend to hand out big things and lots of them when there isn't a huge population of kids in the neighborhood. Even when I was a kid there weren't too many kids around, although my dad said more and more families with kids are moving in. At one point (not even halfway) Olivia put me on notice that she had ENOUGH candy and wasn't going to anymore doors! LOL I informed her she did NOT and Mommy needed some too. ;o) She actually did well and walked about half the block. I carried her on my shoulders the rest of the way. She wasn't feverish and was in a great mood by the time we were done. My sister with her 3 girls and my brother with his 2 kids (1 girl, 1 boy) stopped by. We ended up getting home a little before 10:30. From what I hear there were about 30 people hanging out at MILs house (3 families) and they all had a ball.

Monday morning was a hard one. The kids were exhausted and didn't want to go to school. I didn't make Carrie get up for Sunrise Scholars (reading program an hour before school starts). I ended up with Liz and Luke home. I came home on Sunday night to find Liz complaining of a sore throat (she had gone TorT'ing with the Bs). It was really bothering her on Monday morning. Luke was complaining of a headache and informed me that he smashed the back of his head on the van door when we were leaving my parents' house. UGH! WHY wouldn't he tell me about it when it happened!?!? Olivia's head still hurt her and her throat was starting to get sore.

I always let the kids fight an illness at least 24hrs on their own before I take them into the dr. (unless there's reason to take them in earlier, like with Carrie's meningitis) I figure it allows their body to build up a defense against things, gets the body working like it should be and the antibiotic (if needed) will be more a booster instead of a cureall. Not sure if that makes sense or not. Sorry if it doesn't, it's hard to describe in a few words. Anyways, Liz is still home from school and not feeling well. Olivia is the same so we will be going into the dr's for a 2:15 appt.

The appt gives me a chance to go to Walmart and see if there is any Halloween candy left! LOL I need to get my prescriptions refilled too. So even if there's no antibiotics given today (sometimes they don't want to medicate until the throat culture results are in) I'll probably run to WM.