Thursday, April 30, 2009

The big question is.....

Will Val go through with it? Val keeps getting told she should model, she should try out for America's Next Top Model. She tells them, I'd like to but one of the requirements is that you are over 5'7". She's 5' 5.5" if she tries hard. The new casting call came out for Cycle 13 and with it was a new have to be UNDER 5'7". Everyone thought Val would be chomping at the bit to try out. There was open call in Albany a few days after she found out about was too soon for her to be ready. So then there was talk about going to the New York City calls a few weeks later. She decided she'd miss the No Doubt Concert (her all time favorite band, with Gwen Stefani being her favorite person in the world) and she didn't want that to happen. She reasoned if the concert was more important than trying out for the show, then she didn't want it bad enough and shouldn't try out. I can understand that so told everyone to leave her alone. And they did. Until...TODAY!

Pat works at a kiosk in a huge mall around here. He called here looking for Val. Val was at Janna's getting her pink highlights put in for the No Doubt concert which is Sunday. (they're leaving for NYC tomorrow) I told him where she was and to call Michelle who was with her. The girls walked in the door way before I thought they would. I asked if Pat got ahold of them and they said yeah, he wanted Val to come down to the mall.....America's Next Top Model was having a casting call there today until 6pm. Val said she couldn't go there with PINK hair (it frames her face). Michelle said it would be fine. Pat called a few more times. They called Drew who was on his way home from work....will you take us to the mall and explained why. Drew said SURE! I want her to do it! Val put on her makeup and changed her clothes, printed out the application and off they went. I'm wondering if she'll go through with it. I'm hoping if she does that she's mature and acts like a lady if they give her any criticism. I'm wishing I was a fly on the wall. It's killing me not knowing what's going on!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

WHY am I up?

As much as I hate to waste time sleeping. I know that being up since 2:30 is not a good thing for me. Oh well, maybe I can write some and then go back to bed. Things have been busy around here. Michelle's working, Sean ended up sick again with a fever for a day (I think it was his ear, we weren't very diligent about giving meds). Drew turned a quarter of a century on Sunday and Tom and I went away for the weekend.

We had a great a weekend! We kept going back and forth between leaving Saturday or Friday. There was so much to do around activities on Friday, Michelle to work on Saturday (although she had rides lined up), the dump run to do. Tom said we'd leave by 11 on Saturday morning and I was ok with that, kind of. The girls kept saying it was silly to spend the money and no even have 24hrs in a room and I agreed. So Thursday I worked on Tom a bit and he agreed that we'd leave after work on Friday! Yippee!

Friday was a busy day and thankfully Michelle had it off. She worked around here with me and kept the little ones busy when I needed them to. I booked our hotel room for the weekend. It was SO hard to push that pay button. So much money for something so frivolous. But then someone reminded's an investment in our marriage. One we really needed to make. So it was bit easier to swallow. I made phone calls and got arrangements worked out for the kids' rides on Friday night. Saturday was a feast at church and the kids were kind of on their own about those arrangements since I wasn't sure what time it couldn't make set plans for it. Tom walked in the door at 4:10, we walked out the door shortly after 5. Stopped by Della's and then hit a few stores for snacks and essentials (Underwear are kept in the bathroom. Tom was in the bathroom when I was packing. I never went in after he was done so forgot to pack underwear! lol). We ran through Arby's drive thru for dinner and then jumped on the thruway shortly after 6. We crossed the Canadian border by 8:30! (Why do I get so nervous at border crossings? It's not like I have a warrant out for my arrest or anything!)

We stayed at a Country Inn and Suites and it wasn't half bad. We got a little lost when trying finding it (I was driving so tons of fun for me...NOT!) and laughed when we finally saw where it was. It was right next door to the hotel we stayed at last February when we took the kids to the waterpark. We were RIGHT there when we first came into Niagara Falls, we just didn't know it. So we figured the driving tour of the area was a bonus, just wish it wasn't so nervewracking with all the pedestrians and such.

I'd reserved a whirlpool suite. I figured it was the weekend and the hotel would be crawling with kids. I wasn't too fond of the idea of spending my time trying to relax in a hottub with someone else's splashy kids. So the plan was to not have to go into the public area to relax. It was a good thing I did since the pool and hottub were closed until April 30th anyways. :o) The only problem...our 2 person jacuzzi was made for 2 kids and the jets were all at the bottom half of the heart shaped tub!!! Who doesn't put jets in a whirlpool so that it'll hit the user's back? Oh well, we made the best of it. So what if only one of us could use the jets on our backs at a time and your left arm had to rest ontop of the faucet. At least we HAD the jets and could use it in peace...whenever we wanted!

It was so nice out that we dumped our things in our room and went out for a walk. We walked down Victoria Ave until it turned into another street. We finally turned around when we started looking around and thinking...should we be here? Is it safe? At least we were away from our "friend". A beggar decided to target us for his wrath. He was in an electric wheelchair with a beer in his hand and sign around his neck saying he needed money for a new leg. We walked past him and were talking when we heard BEEP! BEEP! Then the guy yell...GET OUT OF THE WAY as he buzzed really past us really fast. Then he stopped up ahead of us and when we ignored him...he did it again. On the third or forth pass we finally crossed the street. I almost expected him to follow us. We ran into him again on Saturday but luckily he had bigger fish to fry by then.

We eventually ended up standing in front of the American falls with the Canadian falls to our left. I was so glad it was night because I started crying. Tom asked me if I was thinking of the guy who went over the falls last time we were there. I said yeah and other things. It all came back to Billy. WHY? Who would think that things were so bad that it wasn't worth living for? To be able to do what they were thinking of doing, knowing that it would be the last thing they EVER did. Considering that I've battled depression, I guess it's a good thing that I can't imagine or understand it. Although it makes it hard to live with in your life.

Saturday was a beautiful day and we spent it outside on and off all day. Well, after breakfast and Tom taking a nap. I crocheted while he slept. We walked down to Table Rock (top of the Canadian falls) and back, stopping to get cooled off in the mist of the falls. We went to the casino where I blew $5. Then the next $5 saw me double my money. Tom and I had made a deal that if we doubled our money, you had to cash out. I was hitting the machines just right and the planned worked, we walked out of there with about $60 extra. We now had money to "play" with and could keep the money we brought in our pocket. We went back to our room, had a snack and watched the food network...why do we always end up watching that channel? Then back out for a walk. This time it was back to the American falls and then onto the Rainbow bridge. We walked to the center of it and straddled the US/Canada border. We didn't think about having to go back through customs again on the way back. Luckily I had Tom carry my driver's license incase I got proofed at a bar or the casino (wishful thinking? lol) Otherwise I'd probably still be standing on the bridge because the US wouldn't have let me back home either. We explained that our birth certificates were in my purse in our hotel room with all our other things. She believed us and let us back in. Of course we had to go through the casino to get to our room and my winnings dwindled a little bit. While relaxing in our room, we decided since we weren't spending any of OUR money at the casino, we'd splurge on dinner. We decided to go back to the casino and play the rest of the money and then go to the casino's buffet. The money went fast and it came the time when we thought we'd eat, but neither of us was very hungry yet. So back out for a walk we went. We realized it had gotten late, the buffet was almost closed. It had also started to sprinkle so we changed plans, grabbed two $5 footlongs (canadian even!) at subway...a meatball one to split now, a coldcut one for tomorrow's lunch and back to our room we went.

I was missing the kids, kept wondering how Sean was doing without me. I was tempted to call and find out but decided it wouldn't do any of us any good. I'd be upset and stressed if things weren't going well. Sean would be upset if he got wind that I was on the phone. Michelle would probably lie and say things were fine anyways. Not to mention I'd get extra charges on my phone for being out of the country. So the calls stayed unmade. I did call on the way home though, almost as soon as we crossed back into the US. lol

Sunday we had breakfast, packed up, moved the car to the casino lot, walked around and then hit the souvenir shop to use up our Canadian money. We bought the kids each something. When checking out, I made a comment to the cashier about the total. Tom mentioned that if I didn't have 12 kids, then I wouldn't have had to have spent so much. I admitted it was all my doing and I made him admit he just HAD to tell someone at least once while we were gone. The lady was really sweet and had tons of compliments for both of us, including a sincere God Bless You!

Then it was back in the car and over the border we went. The line we got in was short or so we thought. There were three of us in line, yet the lines on either side of us were flying by. The guard in our line made the first car pull over into a lot, I'm assuming to be searched. The second car took just as long. He was brusque when speaking but while taking a bit longer then the other guards, he didn't take as long with us as the other two cars in front of us. As we pulled away I said to Tom...he could've at least said Hi or Welcome back or even a Welcome to the United States, heck I'd have taken a good bye or drive carefully. but nope all we got was can go. Why thank you all great and powerful border crossing guard. We bow at your feet in gratitude. I know...he's just doing his job.

I tried to convince Tom we needed to stop at the outlet mall on the way home. Not for one exit on the thruway but for two. He wouldn't have any of it. Not that I expected him to. He's not a shopper and detests going in stores. I almost beaned him after we passed the last exit for the mall when he asked me...can you get things really cheap there? YES!!!! It's why I go there!!! The next exit was home and I was getting excited. Usually on the way home I get the dreaded OH no back to reality thought. This time it wasn't happening. Not that Tom and I didn't have a good time or desire more time together. I told him that these trips make me wish he was retiring sooner then he already is planning on. Although I also put out the dislaimer that I may change my mind on that thought at any time. We ran to the store after getting off the thruway and grabbed a 5 pkgs of meat for $19.99 deal, 2 bags of salt potatoes and 2 small cakes for Drew's birthday dinner.

We pulled into the driveway to see Eileen carrying a tear streaked Sean around the yard. It was the only way he'd stop crying. I thought he'd dive into my hands when he saw me. He looked a little confused actually. As soon as I sat down he dove to be nursed. I was happy to oblige since I was extremely sore and engorged. He tried to nurse all evening long. We all ended up outside sitting around the grill. It was delicious dinner with dancing bats as entertainment. They were circling us for most of the meal. Then back into the house to sing Drew Happy Birthday and cut the cakes. A yummy ending to a delicious weekend.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's almost over!

Spring break is over, only the weekend is left. It was a great week weatherwise which makes the fact that we really didn't do anything sad. We also didn't manage to get anything done around here which I'd hoped to do. Oh well, at least we got to unwind a bit.

The stomach bug has been going through the house slowly. Luckily it hasn't involved too much throwing up. I was feeling icky for two days but never lost it. Val, Jake, Eileen threw up a few times each. Danielle had one bout of diarrhea so not sure if that was her being sick or not. I hope so. I kept expecting her to throw up all night but she didn't. I think Olivia might be next, she said she felt like she was going to throw up before she went to bed. I'm still dealing with some icky diapers from Sean. It doesn't help that he doesn't want to eat, just nurse....ALL THE TIME! Hopefully Liz, Luke and Carrie stayed healthy...especially since they are at church with hundreds of other youth. It's always a concern that they'll bring home something new from something like that too.

I think we're in trouble. I left Sean home last night when it was time to go pick up Michelle from work. He threw a fit and cried almost the whole time I was gone. He's gotten to be such a clingon since he's been sick, wanting to nurse constantly. It's like...Mom's sitting down! Time to nurse. And if I'm standing...he whines for me to sit and directs me to a chair. Here I've had thoughts of him weaning and he's nursing like a newborn! It really makes me wonder how Tom and I are suppose to go away this coming weekend (my birthday present from the kids). I'm afraid if we don't do it now, we won't go at all. And I think Michelle is thinking the same thing. We were originally thinking of going away for one day, then we switched it to two, now I'm thinking we'd better make it one and keep it really close! Just in case. I know that if things don't go well they'll all survive but it just kills me to think of Sean so unhappy and the kids so frustrated.

I did manage to get outside a few times this week. I pruned up the apple trees quite a bit. We've let them go and they really need some drastic cutting. But I did manage to open up the bottom half the trees, need to get a ladder to do the rest. I also got into the chicken coop and cleaned it up a bit. We really need to do some work in there! The nesting box seems to be falling apart (an old dresser on it's side...was only temporary). They seem to be laying eggs where ever they feel like it. We really messed up the last month or so. I'm going to have some work ahead of me while I retrain them and get them back in shape but of course I need the $$ to do it. (fix the fence, build permanent nesting boxes, etc) I guess we better assess if we want to spend the money because it's an expensive source of eggs for us ATM. We really need to raise some chicks for meat to make it more economical.

I keep intending to get out my crocheting but it hasn't happened. It just sits on my bedroom dresser...mocking me each morning, right along with the totes of fabric in there. The girls could really use some summer clothes.

It's starting to hit me that Liz will be leaving in a few months (waiting on her visa). We haven't really done anything to start getting ready and we probably should. We also have to start thinking of her graduation party. Oh yeah and I have to call the school to ask what to do about graduation. She originally thought she was leaving for Norway before her graduation ceremony so she didn't order her cap and gowns when it the time came around. Now she says she doesn't want to go to the ceremony but I'm not sure if that's how she truly feels or because she thinks she can't. Guess I should talk to her more too lol.

So we're back to the old routine now. Today is a feast for a family at church that is moving back home. :o( Then we'll come home and start getting ready for school...laundry, baths, homework lol. I know Jake has to figure out a costume for his presentation next exactly was Hades suppose to look anyways? I know there's been talk of finding 3 stuffed dogs and mutating them into Cerberus. I have an IEP meeting for Luke tomorrow morning at 9am. Not the optimum time but oh well. Then Tuesday we're heading to the dentist for the afternoon.

Well the washign machine is finished and ready to get hung out on the line. The only one asleep now is Tom, so I should probaby pay attention to the kids and get them to be a bit quieter.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Testing out the mobile posting option. It's a beautiful day out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oh no, is it my turn now?

I'm pretty sure Sean's throwing up was a stomach bug and now I think I have it. I feel like I'm pregnant....I'm hungry but the thought of food makes want to barf. My nose is super sensitive and all the smells are grossing me out. I just hope it runs it's course quickly and that it doesn't go through everyone. The weeks looks to be a nice one weatherwise. I'd hate to be stuck in the house because of sick kids. Especially on Friday which is Michelle's day off.

So Danielle wakes up on Monday morning and the first thing out of her mouth is...My ear hurts. I told her I know and I was going to take her to the doctor's soon. Her immediate reaction...I only kidding, it not's all better. lol I told her she was still going to the doctor's. She was fine with it after I assured her there would be no shots given.

Danielle had a fever of over 102 and her ears were really bad. Sean had one ear that was pretty red so they're both on antibiotics. After both of them were hooked up to the oxymeter and got readings of 95% I was worried that they both had pneumonia or something. Thankfully both of them had clear lungs.

Sean threw up again last night after being free of it all day. I think that was related to coughing though. He's driving me a bit crazy. His newest trick is that he can take off his pants or shorts. He's been able to undo his diaper for a long time. To stop him we only had to make sure he had a pair of shorts or pants on. Well it works no longer. That kid is naked almost everytime he's standing on his own. The last few days it hasn't really been a problem since all he wants to do is lay in my lap and nurse 24/7.

4:30am the next day...

I'm almost positive I have what Sean did although I haven't barfed...thankfully. It was all I could do to make dinner. I've had homemade pizza on the plan for so many days and I never seemed to get the dough made. Today I did! Go me! I was starting to throw them together (always make a garlic one first) and realized we were out of spaghetti sauce. I know I probably could've improvised and thrown a sauce together but I was in a hurry and didn't feel like it. So all our pizzas were garlic! lol We had garlic only, garlic with spinach (canned), garlic and sausage and garlic with sausage and mushrooms. They were yummy and that's all that matters.

Michelle closed up at work and had to be picked up in a different location that Tom wasn't familiar with so I went. I'd put Sean to bed before I left but I guess he didn't last long. He was sleeping in Liz's arms when I got home. So him and I ended up going to bed before 10.

Olivia woke me up about 2:30'ish saying her ear hurt. Eileen was complaining of an earache too for about 12hrs. I gave Olivia some ibuprofen and sent her back to bed. Hopefully her earache will be gone when she gets up.

Well Sean is crying again. Time to climb back into bed.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Last post of they day...I think

The newest photo of all the kids. I figured it may be the last opportunity we get to take one before Liz leaves for Norway.

click to see it larger
Back row... Drew holding Sean, Luke, Jake and Pat
Middle row... Michelle, Val, Liz holding Danielle
Front row... Eileen, Carrie, Olivia

We also got a picture of the older kids and their girl/boyfriends

Drew/Allison, John/Val, Pat/Alex, Cory/Michelle

I'm pretty sure the last group picture we took was also when Jake was in desperate need of a haircut. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend. He's difficult to do as he freaks out when you attempt to cut it. He had a few bad experiences due to broken cutters. (cut his neck and his ear pretty good)

My parents' house

Enjoying dessert

Val, my mom and John

Drew and Pat

Me and Tom

My Dad

My sister

Me and Drew

John and Sean having fun in the hall (such a fun pic I had to share even though it's blurry)

Carrie with her back to the camera, my niece Amanda by the fridge, Olivia by the stove and my niece Emily in the forefront

Michelle and Val filled easter eggs and hid them for the kids to find.

Danielle going for the spoils

Liz, my niece Jess and Sean trying to find some eggs

John and Sean hamming it up

Eileen showing me the big egg she found (only one of it's kind)

The older kids planned on going to the 9pm show at the cheap theater in my parents' neighborhood. By the time it was time to go to the show...Val and John and Drew and Allison had bowed out. That meant that if we didn't wait for Michelle and Cory, Pat would have to drive them to our house and before going home (quite a bit out of his way). So we decided to wait for them. We threw in the video of Disney's Cinderella and settled onto the couch. I was nursing Sean and he started gagging then threw up. I wasn't sure if it was because of his cough or something else but he didn't do it again. While I was cleaning him up Danielle started crying that her ear hurt...and she didn't stop. Not finding any children's pain reliever in my parents' house I finally asked Tom to find someplace open and buy a bottle. There was no way we were going to be sane when we got home if Danielle cried like she was all the way home. So him and my dad went out.

In the meantime I thought I heard a car pull into the driveway and then pull out. It occurred to me that it was probably the big kids coming home from the theater. They saw the van not in the driveway and assumed we went home without them. So Pat took them home. I tried to call their cells but no one was answering. They brought the medicine back and I had force feed it to Danielle...not a pretty site and it made Sean upset. Finally about half an hour after the movie should've ended I decided we couldn't wait for the big kids any longer and we'd go home. About half way home we called the house and sure enough Michelle was had been them I thought I'd heard.

We got home and I got Danielle settled into bed. Then someone brought in a sleeping Sean. Shortly after falling asleep myself I heard that sound that mothers everywhere dread...someone throwing up in bed. Luckily it was a tiny bit, breastmilk and it ended up on my pillow which was easy enough to clean up. So Sean and I made a nest of towels and blankets on the couch. I grabbed an empty easter basket/bowl and settled down as best I could. Sean threw up about 5 more times through the night. It didn't take long before Danielle was on the couch with us, crying that her ear hurt. I finally managed to convince her to take some Ibuprofen about 3:30 and she settled in for a little bit. Needless to say between the two of them, sleep was very scarce.

Sean doesn't seem to be throwing up anymore now but both of Danielle's ears hurt. They're both heading to the doctor's at 2:15 (only appt the office had) and luckily coincides with when Michelle needs to be at work.

Here's Danielle curled up in the blankets on the couch this morning..

Pictures from church

During the transmission at church the little ones got restless so the older kids took them into the foyer to hang out and play. The lighting in the foyer made for some great pictures. It's hard to choose which to share.

One of my favorite of Charlotte, Danielle and Sean

A game of duck duck goose

Danielle and Charlotte hanging out

Best friends

Kathryn and Camille

Eileen and Sean

Some girls


Easter egg hunt...

Danielle with her loot

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not in the plans

The original plan for Saturday was that we'd spend most of the day at church, watching transmissions and eating lunch with our friends. Sean threw that plan out the window when he started burning up in the middle of the night and coughing his brains out. I debated on whether he needed to be seen by the doctor and decided to wait it out another day or two. Still I couldn't take a feverish, gooey nosed toddler around all those kids. Not to mention he was too miserable to behave during the transmissions. Liz, Luke, Carrie and Jake went without us.

I felt bad for Eileen and Olivia since they were stuck home with me, not able to do too much. Then the phone rang. It was Drew wanting to know if anyone at my house wanted to go to the Easter egg hunt in the next village over. So the 3 little girls scrambled to get ready and out the door they went with Drew and Allison. They came home LOADED with candy and big coloring book. They had a ton of fun.

Later Val, John and their friend Joe came in the door carrying kites. They announced that everyone had to get their shoes and coats on because they were going kite flying. Next thing I know Michelle came running out of her room with a my little pony kite. That kite proved to be a super kite! It got stuck in a tree but Joe managed to use tension on the line and the wind to get it loose. Then it went up and kept going up. The kite string that came with it was all used up so I ran in, rummage through the junk drawer and found another one (from an island week kite that's hung on the wall). That one was extended to the end so they tied the string from John and Val's kite to the pony kite and it continued to climb. Suddenly it came to the end of the line but it wasn't tied to the plastic holder like the rest of the strings were. The kite was free of any human control and it started to fly away in the wind!!!! Awwwww! Suddenly they realized that the kite stopped moving but continued to fly. They decided to take a walk in the back and see if they could find what it was caught on. They did, it was a pine tree that Michelle climbed. She got control of the kite and they were flying her once again. Because of all the trees they were kind of stuck in the back. They tried to talk up along the neighbors yard but realized the power lines were in the way once they got to the road, so they headed into the back again. They flew that pony until I called them for dinner. Luckily they managed to reign it in without getting it stuck in anymore trees. It must have flown for over an hour and a half.

When the kids first started flying the kites, Val asked me if I wanted to do Easter baskets. So her and I went into my room and filled them. Well I can't call them baskets since we used bowls that Della gave me for my birthday.

After dinner the kids set up the table to color eggs. I wasn't going to buy eggs since we have our own but you can't really color already colored eggs. Then I ran into some 8ct cartons of eggs for half price at bought 6 pkgs.

I'm glad Val encouraged me to do the baskets when I did because I ended up falling asleep on the couch with Sean and totally forgot I had to get things ready for Easter morning. Luckily I was the first one up and managed to set things up before too many kids got up.

12 baskets, each with a Nuts Galore egg that I got from the dollar store...2 for $1 (originally marked $ what if they're broken, the kids would be breaking them to eat them anyways! lol)

I had to put plastic wrap over all the bowls because a certain monster kept trying to sample all the different baskets. I guess peeps taste better when they're from someone else's basket.

Sean's fever didn't come back and he hardly coughed all night or yet this morning. So we're off to the transmission at church. The youth are having an easter egg hunt for the kids and then we're coming home, picking up the rest of the family and going to my mom's for dinner.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009


I am sitting here slightly stiff and sore. It's been a busy few days although you wouldn't know it looking at my livingroom. Unless you realize that the mess is mostly baskets of folded laundry waiting to be put away. I'm pretty proud of myself since I managed to get 12 loads of laundry done yesterday even with a broken dryer (needs a new belt). It was mostly easy stuff to hang...4 loads of darks, 3 loads of bedding, 2 loads of towels, 2 loads of lights and a load of whites. I cheated and took the lights and whites to the laundromat to dry this morning. I HATE hanging up the socks and underwear! And the lights have a lot of little things in it too. Due to running around town I was only able to get 5 loads in as of now. Thanks to Eileen and Olivia cleaning their room I think I have at least 5 more loads waiting to be done. I may do a few more so they are ready to go on the line after the stuff out there dries. That's my problem...not enough clothes line. I admit I'm tempted to take another 2 loads of lights to the laundromat tomorrow morning. lol

I also managed to make the poncho for a girl at church. It's her birthday tomorrow! I'm pretty pleased with it. I used a bigger hook (went from an I hook to an N) and paid more attention to measurements and stitch count. (I'm learning! I'm learning!) It's not as bulky and a lot neater. Makes me feel almost guilty for what I gave my niece.

Picture of my niece's poncho

And just because Liz was being a snot while I was trying to take pictures of it....

I also managed to finish the hook case I had started last Friday. I had to laugh at myself though. I was altering the pattern...adding pockets, rings and such and I realized....I have NO idea what I'm doing!!! But it worked and it's not too shabby. I'm hoping to get a picture of it this weekend.

This weekend doesn't look like the momentum will be letting up anytime soon. Tomorrow Michelle has to be to work by 8:30am. Then there's 2 transmissions at church with time to eat lunch in between. The kids talked me into buying eggs at the dollar store. Well the fact they were half price is actually what convinced me to buy them. They're pretty happy that they can now color eggs, so we'll be doing that Saturday night. Sunday it's basket time and then church. The youth are having an egg hunt after the meeting and then everyone's having dinner together. Unfortunately the plans were made late and I had already committed to dinner at my parents' house. I'm not sure if I'd have picked the church dinner anyways since it would've meant I couldn't eat with my whole family and Tom would probably be here alone for dinner (it makes me want to cry really). So after the egg hunt we're running back home, picking up the rest of the people and going to my parents' for dinner. Maybe we can get some family pictures while we're all there and looking half way decent. :o) Oh Michelle and Val are planning on going an egg hunt for the kids at my parents' too. I guess they bought and have already filled 72 eggs. Yay!

Things are going well here for the most part. Most of us are dealing with a really bad cold and cough. Liz is dealing with daily headaches which prompted a visit to the dr's and treatment for migraines. Hopefully it'll do the trick.

I've managed to get through days without crying. Of course Billy is always in the my thoughts and I still expect him to come in the back door. I look outside to see whether he's coming up while I'm making coffee. I see his jeep and for a split second forget it's not his anymore. This morning I got thrown for a loop because a pair of sneaks were next to the back door. At first I didn't recognize them and thought...oh Billy must be in the bathroom. Oh no they can't be. I looked at them closer...they were Jake's. Carrie had a dream last night that was about Billy but didn't include Billy. Instead all of us were dying in tragic ways. :o( We were both crying before she finished telling it. It "bothers" her that Billy said good bye too her as he left the house for the last time that evening. Something he didn't normally do since he was in and out often.

Things seem to be turning in an upward direction for Pat. He's been struggling so long. His new job is going well and he may be in for a significant increase i n salary come June 1st! His girlfriend Alex also has a new job working at the hospital. right up her alley since she's going to school to be a doctor. In 6 months if she is put on permanent she'll then be a state employee with good pay and excellent benefits.

Well I've dozed off in the middle of typing this a few times so I'm going to BED! I f!eel like an old fart going to bed so early but oh well. I'm ending with a fun picture. The kids were having fun with a piece of glossy cardboard the other day. Here's Olivia...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Internet troubles

For almost a week our internet has been spotty. It'd be fine for a few hours but then flick on and off, mostly in the evening. It made for some frustrated people here. Finally on Friday night it went off and never came back on. It took until Sunday when I moved the cord going from the router to the phone jack and dsl flicked on momentarily for me to figure it out. It wasn't bad service, it was the phone cord! I found a new (but too short) one and switched it out....taaadaaaa! Instant dsl and internet! YAAAAY!

The net being out became a problem for me on Friday night because I couldn't go to chat. It also meant I couldn't finish a birthday present I started for my niece. I was crocheting her a poncho form a pattern I found online. Someone closed the browser with the pattern opened on it which meant until I got back on the internet, the pattern was gone! We're going to her party on Sunday and I NEEDED it! Lesson a pattern whenever possible. At least I got the pattern back Saturday night and finished the poncho this morning. (I'm hoping to take a picture of it later today)

So what prompted me to crochet my niece a poncho? A yarn I've fallen in love with. I know I'm a texture and color freak when it comes to fabric and yarn. Most of the time when I buy it it's not so much to work with it as it is to feel or touch it. Well I'm loving working with this yarn and I keep thinking of new projects to use it for! It's Lion Chenille Thick & Quick...

I'm making another poncho this week for a girl at church, her birthday is the 11th. I want to make a rug out of it and I've seen a wavy blanket tutorial that I think it'd be perfect for. It's a good thing I bought a bunch of it. It's also a good thing I found it at the dollar store. I bought 10 skeins, worked with it, feel in love with it and then went back and bought 20 more. *blush* I'm trying not to start new projects before the one's I've started get done, but it's hard!!! Especially with the dollar store having a excellent yarn section...most of it brand name stuff. I also bought 10 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver this week. It's Summer Breeze....variegated with cream, blue, peach and green. I'm dying to make a swatch so I can see how it works out.

I have to admit, I blew Friday. It was a grey and rainy day and I was feeling a bit stiff from working in the chicken coop, so I sat and crocheted. Last week I'd found one skein of what I'm assuming was Red Heart in a plum color (no label). I decided to use it to make myself a crochet hook case. I'm at least 3/4 of the way done but then the Kaleidoscope chenille and the need for a birthday present came into my hands on Friday night. There's so much I want to do!! At least it's keeping me doing what I should be doing. Maybe not deep down what I should be (like cleaning my room) but I'm trying to make sure I get the daily stuff done inorder to allow myself the luxury of sitting and crocheting. OK...maybe on Friday night and Saturday when I had the deadline I didn't hold myself to that too much...but for the non "essential" stuff I do.

The essential stuff leads me to turn a pork loin (previously cook, sliced, and frozen that I'd defrosted) with gravy, mashed potatoes and green bean dinner into a...heat up a few slices of meat, throw it on bread and make yourself a sandwich before you run out the door meal. But hey, the kids were fed! I'm thinking this crocheting might be a good thing for me. I can't munch and crochet at the same it's my new diet. ;o)

OK, need to go get ready for church and then to my niece's birthday party. I think I'm going to have to make a laundromat run to dry clothes for the school week. At least this next week is only 4 days...then it's onto SPRING BREAK!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Oh my aching back!

And my legs, and my arms and my.... You get the picture. I went into the chicken coop and did way too much work! And now I'm paying for it.

At the last second Val and her friends volunteered to drive Michelle to work! So I took the little ones outside to enjoy the beautiful day. It's days like that that I wish I homeschooled. It just didn't seem right to send them...but I did, they've already missed way too much.

The sad thing is that Sean and Danielle aren't very comfortable outside right now thanks to the chickens. I can't get them to see that they're in the fence and won't bother them. They're like an animal at the watering hole....constantly on the lookout for predators. Hopefully they'll start relaxing again soon. At least they feel semi safe up on the trampoline. That's where they spend most of their time outside. They are starting to feel better up in the front yard so they use their ride ons there.

When the school kids got off the bus I asked them to babysit so I could do some work in the chicken coop. Poor Sean was on the trampoline, crying because he thought the chickens were going to get me. Luckily he eventually realized I was ok and went back to playing. It took a while though. And there were times when he wasn't so sure I was ok and would start getting upset again. STOOPID ROOSTERS!

I worked for over 2.5hrs and ended up carting out 15 huge rubbermaid totes of muck out of the coop. I thought I wouldn't be able to get one tote out much less 15 but then I remembered the hand dolly and we were in business! I think I shocked Tom when he got home. At least it's one thing off his list (and mine). Now I'm a bit more gungho to be out there collecting the eggs. It was so bad that I hated to go out there before.

I think the last month we kind of messed the chickens up. Trying to deal with the loss of Billy and everyday life....the chickens were a bit neglected. Their egg production dropped drastically. Ontop of that I think they they've started eating the eggs. So now I have to work on that.

My next line of thought outside is the pool! I haven't checked but it looks like the ice is gone (might be some floating in the middle under water) So now I can hook up the filter and turn on the hose. Can this year be the pool saga free year? Will I get it sparkling clean before the end of May? I guess we'll see. The thing that stinks though is that I won't be able to get out there and work on it for a while. The one really nice day was really one nice day. It's set to get back to cold with snow mentioned a few days even. I hope it gets here and leaves before spring break starts!

Well, time to wake the kids for school. (my least favorite part of this job)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Maybe this time I'll manage to finish a post...

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes. It's much appreciated! The day ended up being very low key. While I was busy all day it wasn't a hectic busy. Funny how Sunday seems to be one of the days I'm the busiest, isn't it suppose to be a day of rest? Emotionally things calmed down a bit too. It only took a good hard cry on Tom's shoulder and a relaxing shower to get them under control.

I picked up Michelle from work and we ran through BJ's to grab a few of the things whose coupons were about to expire. When we got home we found Drew, Allison and Pat had arrived. Drew and Allison brought dinner...chicken drumsticks and sweet Italian sausage to throw into the oven. I made a huge box of potato buds to go with them. My chocolate cake Tom and the kids made was moist and yummy...especially with chocolate frosting. Michelle had bought me a small Lemon blossom cream cheese cake which was also very yummy.

I'm not sure exactly what kept me busy all week long but I did. I've been wanting to get at my crocheting and can't seem to find the time. Before I know it my eyes are too tired to do it and it's time to go to bed. Although last night I did manage to get a shower and sit by myself for about 20mins with it. Then Sean woke up and I headed into bed. I'm itching to pick it up today but it's so beautiful out that I HAVE to get outside!!!

Tom and I have decided that we'll be going away in a few weeks. Unfortunately it means I'll be missing a major feast at church but there really isn't any other time to do it in the next 2 months. After that it's gardening time and Tom won't be able to relax knowing he could/should be working on the garden. I don't want to wait for months before we get away anyways!!!! Now to decide where we're going and find a place to go to. lol

The kids are getting excited. Next Thursday is Grandparent/Special friend's day at school and then SPRING BREAK!! I always love when these days come around becuase it means the wind down to school, even if it's still 2mos away. I'm not so excited to see it come because it means that Liz will be going away for a year. Not that I don't want her to go...I do...very much. It's that I know how much we'll miss her, especially Danielle. We're already starting to have to adjust. At the dentist last week I had to take her off the schedule for the fall cleaning because she wasn't going to be here. I also had to ask for an extra tube of the extra flouride toothpaste we buy from them so Liz could take one to Norway with her. I got her yesterday after getting the mail. I ran into the house announcing her visa arrived. She was skeptical because we'd been yelling April Fool's to each other all afternoon. Still she couldn't help but be excited and hopeful that I was telling the truth. She was not happy that it was a joke.

Danielle got Carrie when she walked in the door yesterday. Danielle ran up to her and said...I peed in you bed! Carrie was livid before she realized we were all laughing and that it had to be a joke. She still had to run upstairs to check and make sure.

We've had a few sick kids here. Jake came down with a cold and was feeling pretty icky due to it and missed school yesterday. Eileen complained of her belly hurting and stayed home yesterday too. Olivia had a low grade fever, sore throat and her body ached. I wasn't sure if she was getting the flu or maybe strep. She seems to be feeling a lot better so I'm thinking neither. She's missed 3 days of school this week, hopefully she'll go tomorrow. Sean seems to be on and off stuffy but nothing major. Hopefully it stays that way.

Well, it's about time to head out the door and take Michelle to work. I'm hitting publish before time runs out and I end up with yet another draft that never gets put out there.