Friday, August 21, 2009

What!?! It's Friday already?

Wow that week went fast. That's ok this week since it means that when Tom gets home tonight....he'll be on vacation for a week! Woohoo! I've put in an order for next week to move at a snail's pace though. It's not like we have any big plans. It'll just be nice to see him be able to take it easy for a while.

Monday proved to be a pretty hot day and we spent it in the extremely hot van. I took Michelle to work, came home and picked up everyone else, went to the city so Val could put an application in for a job (which she got but now doesn't have...story later), got almost to my parents' when Val called and needed to be picked up, got her and finally made it to my parents for an hour or so, back in to pick up Michelle at work, run some errands, run home and grab Drew, take Drew to work, stop at McD's for a bite, onto Target so Val can look for clothes for her new job (needed khaki pants which she owns none of), then home...without the khaki pants, she refused to pay $20 for them. So we decided to try Marshalls the next day since she was suppose to start work on Wednesday.

Tuesday proved to be a bit of a bummer for Val. She got a call that the owner of the cafe that had hired her had already filled the position and never told anyone. So she didn't have a job. I was disappointed for her but also a bit relieved since that meant no worrying about arranging rides for me. Michelle bought a queen size mattress set at work. We spent a good 15 minutes wrestling it into the van! It barely fit. She's storing it until Val moves out, then it'll replace their bunkbeds in their/her room. This meant that the huge mess in the library from the great bedroom switch had to be taken care of. So Michelle started in on it after getting home and worked on it for quite a while Tuesday night. I took over on Wednesday afternoon. It took ALL day but it's DONE! Sean is loving his drawer of cars and has discovered a few Thomas the Train pieces to take possession of. Danielle has been happily playing with the kitchen things. They even ran on the treadmill now that there's a place for it. I like walking in there and seeing it all clean, knowing where to find what I'm looking for, etc. It's made me want to get my bedroom and laundryroom taken care of.

And now Friday is almost a memory. I've done a ton of laundry and taken care of stray baskets of clothes around here. The livingroom is as mess! I haven't picked up the floor or swept today and there are a lot of baskets of laundry waiting to go to various bedrooms. I still have a lot to do around here, especially if we're going to refinance the house which means we need to get it appraised. So we need to spruce up the place a notch or two.

I am VERY thankful that Tom has a job and probably always will no matter how bad the economy is. Even if he had to knock down a ton of people and take the job he held 10 years ago....he'd still have an income, albeit almost half of what he's making now. But things with the county are not great and there are things that will effect us financially. He'll probably be losing his county truck, so we'll need to buy, insure and gas up another car. I's a perk and they're talking about offering them mileage instead. But still, he doesn't make nearly as much as the private sector does so I considered that part of his pay. They are also talking about layoffs (but see above) and making everyone take a 44 day furlough without pay. Now THAT would hurt us, big time. We're not really making ends meet now, so to lose almost a day of pay a week...OUCH! So we're considering refinancing the house even though it goes against everything we're worked for. (paying everything off so Tom can retire in 4plus years...only have 7 yrs left on the house!) I keep assuring Tom that we can pay extra toward the house and it doesn't have to last as long as the mortgage is. I know how much a month I'd need to pay toward it to have it paid off when we want. I also promised I'd go to work if we couldn't swing things when he wants to retire. He's come the closest to agreeing to doing it then he ever has, so we'll see how things go.

Thursday Carrie had her TODAY study appointment. They weren't happy with us not keeping up on her meds. It's so hard when we don't have a routine or she's always on the go. They kept asking...can you put the medicine near where she eats? No, the little ones will get it. Near her, again the little ones. Besides we keep the medicine on the computer desk about 2 ft from our noses. We'd be dead if it was a snake. I'm not sure how much more in our face it can be. I know once school starts things will go better for her in it. She did admit that she balks at it because it makes her gag (they are horse pills). So unless I put them right into her hand, she "forgets". Over all though her numbers weren't too bad. I can't help but wonder if she'd have been showing symptoms and diagnosed by now if I hadn't caught her high numbers like I did. (fooling around with my glucometer during my pregnancy with Danielle)

And NOW it's Tuesday!!! UGH! When will I ever get a post out on the day I start it?

Saturday was spent at my parents' house. My sister and her girls (and my Eileen since she had her) were there too. My brother wasn't there as his neck is really bothering him. He has a herniated disc in his neck which he's having surgery for today (oops! I forgot to call him like I wanted to...yeah I'm a sucky sister). Oh well I can say a prayer for him at least. We stayed way too late as usual but yet it didn't seem long enough.

Tom's on vacation this week! YAY! Sunday we decided to spend it around the house. Today we're going to a state park in the afternoon. First we have to pick Michelle up from work (she switched her hours so it would work out) and I have to take Carrie and Sean into their dr's appt. I was tempted to cancel it but it's the 2nd or 3rd time I've rescheduled it already. Carrie hasn't been seen by him in forever (even though she sees someone at least every 3mos) and Sean is behind in his shots.

The rest of the week is full of opportunities....the beach, the fair, bonfires, camping in the yard or in the neighbors "gravel pit", the state fair, the drive-in. Oh yeah and we can't forget....Danielle's birthday! She'll be 4 tomorrow! Ontop of fitting as much fun into the week as possible, I'm also trying to finish the baby shower gifts for Saturday (party for 3 nieces) . 2 of the big gifts and 2 smaller of the ones are done. I have confidence that the last big gift will be finished, just not what else I had in mind.

On that note, I guess I better get this posted and off my fanny so I can get done what needs to be done to get out the door.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hot and Muggy with a chance of melting

I can't complain too much since we've been waiting for the hot summer weather all summer but...IT IS HOT out there! And wouldn't you know it, my pool has perfect timing and has decided it wants to be green. I think it was hit by lightning during an intense storm a week or so ago. Every time you plug the filter in it blows the breaker. Tom threw in 4 gallons of liquid bleach to see if things would clear up enough to use it. It's still a deep dark green. Totally we sweat and melt with the rest of the state. At least the kids aren't in school already like some areas are. That would be unbearable!

I've been crocheting a lot. We're having a baby shower for 3 of my nieces who are due within a week or two of each other. I'm trying to make some things. I'd be fine and done with the major presents if I could let myself be satisfied with what I've made already...but I can't. One thing is definitely too small. Another is smaller then I'd like, so I'm making more. I have about 5 projects started that could be used for presents. Thing is, I'll probably only end up giving them the big things I'm working on.

I'm not really sure why I've latched onto crocheting like I have. I figured I'd do it a while, buy too many supplies and they'd sit there. I figured when it got hot out I wouldn't want to work on things. I know my MIL didn't like crocheting in the heat. I think part of why I do it is that it's a connection to my MIL. While working on things I talk to her, think of things she's made, yarn she's worked with, etc. I'd like to make up something small for each of Tom's siblings incorporating the yarn and few granny squares I have that were MIL's. Then again I have tons of ideas and plans and not enough time.

One thing I was hoping was that keeping my hands and lap busy would discourage Sean from wanting to nurse. Instead it's the opposite. I'm sitting and stationary so therefore I must want to nurse. It's driving me crazy and I find I can become easily frustrated with him! I keep trying to remind myself that my job is to take care of him, not do what I want to do, when I want to do it. This is just a short phase in his life and when it's's done for me for good. So I should be trying to enjoy it while I can.

We've been really light on kids here. Carrie and Eileen went to a friend's camp, Danielle and Olivia went to my sister's, Jake has been to a few different places and Luke is at my BIL's house. Friday night we had Michelle, Luke and Sean home. Saturday night it was Michelle, Carrie and Sean. Friday night Tom went to bed early so that shot that night. Saturday night him and I got some time to talk. He made a fire and we sat out on the back patio with some music and beers. Oh yeah, can't forget..and the MOSQUITOS! It was nice but I finally put an end to it due to being one big mosquito bite. It made me look forward to Tom retiring. It's still 4 (at the least) or more likely 10 years away but until then I can dream. I know people say...just wait, you'll wish he was back at work. And I'm sure there will be times that I do. Thing is, I hate to see him go to work everyday. I wish he could be lucky like me and stay home. He works so hard, I can't wait until he can slow down and enjoy life a bit more.

Sean had us laughing hysterically on Saturday. With no one to play with, he'd been exploring and into things. He was also in our faces trying to get us to pay attention. Tom told him to quit being destructive. I told Tom he was just bored and was trying to get some attention. Tom said, no he's being destructive. Sean was standing in front of me, he turned to Tom who was standing in the front door and says very loudly...I'M BORED! I'm pretty sure he had NO idea what he just said but it was the perfect retort (albeit if he wasn't 2, he'd have been in trouble for being mouthy).

The girls (came home with my niece Emily) are setting up beds on the living room floor since their room is so unbearable. We've decided to have a movie night and they're waiting for me so they can put in the Transformers dvd.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let the vacation begin!

Luke is done with summer school! I feel safe to say that he will NOT be doing that again if he can help it. I know he needed it in English and I'm worried about how this coming year is going to go for's 11th grade, the year of the English regents and tons of writing...his arch nemesis. I asked him yesterday if there were things they did in summer school that he felt would help and we could ask for. I know they were listening to the stories on tape as they were reading them. But his reading problems aren't a disability now, he just doesn't like to do he'll slog through and I'll keep on him as usual. He also dictated some of his writing assignments which is where his main disability lies. He LOVED that. We've talked about going that route at his IEP meetings but him and I both agree he has to write or learn the keyboard himself. I do wonder though if it would be easier for him to get it on paper if he dictated to himself first. So I may be looking at getting him a little recorder or such.

I thought that since I didn't have to be out the door at 6:55, I could sleep in this morning. Unfortuntely Oreo had other thoughts. Tom got up and I rolled over only to have to get up and shush up the dog. He was barking up a storm. Seems he's not so hot on change in his routine and he wanted our one on one time whether I was tired or not. I did manage to get him to stop barking and lay down before Sean woke up too much. Luckily it didn't take much to get Sean back to sleep. PHEW! I'd had a killer headache before going to bed last night and I was still feeling it a bit so REALLY wanted to stay in bed. Luckily it's down to a dull roar right now.

Last night was a bust for dinner. When the garden is producing like gangbusters we have an all veggie dinner every once in a while. Last night was suppose to be one of those nights with cucumbers and dip, green beans and zucchini. Well the zucchini have decided they don't want to drown us in produce anymore and have sloooowed way down so no zucchini. I cut up cucumbers, almost one a piece and they were huge. I figured with all those cucumbers and an 8qt pot of green beans waiting to be cooked, we'd still be ok. If they were still hungry they could make ham and cheese sandwiches. So I turned on the green beans, stirred them a few times and then went out back with Oreo and his brush. I'd noticed some clumps on him and it was bugging me so I figured a quick brush would be ok. I guess quick is a relative term because as I was brushing him out, the green beans were on the stove BURNING! UGH! So at 7pm I was left with trying to figure out what we were eating for dinner besides cucumbers. Luckily we had some frozen burgers.

Yesterday Jake and Danielle had well child checkups. As seems to happen quite a bit it fell on a day that Michelle had off. That means running into the city when I didn't really need to. We decided to make the best of it and do some school shopping before we had to be home to pick up Luke from school at 2. The question was were to go...there was suggestions of the outlet mall (too far away and not enough time), the regular mall (not a place I want to go with 2 wandering preschoolers and there's not much in there for my kids, much less cheap stuff), the salvation army and rescue mission store (yeah, but I'd like to find some sneaks for Jake who is only down to a pair of sandals need new things). Finally I decided we'd go to Kohl's and see what they had. It's a store I rarely go to. They're a bit pricey for me, even their clearance stuff at 80 or 90% off can be above the "limits" of what I want to spend on things. Then again they do have nicer things at those higher end but reasonable prices. The kids kept asking why they couldn't look at jeans since they were buy one get one free. Until I pointed out that the one pair would cost $36-48! They finally got that it's directly to the clearance racks in each department. I managed to find Jake a pair of dockers and the much needed sneakers...and they were only $13! Olivia found some sneakers too which Eileen really liked but they didn't have her size. According to my receipt, I saved over $300! Too bad it cost over $100 to do it. lol

Poor Jake! He received $20 for his birthday last week. It's not often that he has his own money so it was pretty special. He found something he wanted to buy with his money (and I was trying to talk him out was blo pens set..ick!). When he reached into his pocket to wave HIS $20 at me to try and win the discussion, he found was GONE! He'd lost it! Him and Eileen went running back to all the spots he'd been (dressing room, shoe department, sitting near the clearance rack of the junior department, drooling over the DS games, and the toy section. No luck. We walked back the way we went through the store and hoped that it was in the bottom of one of the carts, but no luck again. He took it pretty well although I'm sure he wanted to cry. I was thinking I had cash in my wallet and would surprise him with $20 after we got into the car, until I realized it I broke the $20 the day before. It goes so fast.

Today we're heading to the thrift stores and walmart after we pick up Michelle from work. I'm dreading it already but know that it'll be fine once we're done and out of there. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky and find exactly what we need. It'd just be a whole lot easier if Mr Man wasn't such a pain to keep in the cart. It's hit me a lot lately that before I know it, things should be getting easier. It's not in a...I wish it would hurry up and get here way. I really don't want to rush Sean and Danielle growing up (although they are doing a good job of rushing it themselves). It's just a fact of life way. Who knows though, by the time things get easier with those two, I might have grandbabies to deal with too. lol

So today is slated to be a going through the clothes day. I hope to be merciless. I thought to make a huge bucket of spray and wash and throw the things we just can't part with but aren't in great shape in there and see if we can save anything. I bought some totes so I can organize saved clothes for Danielle and Sean. My room is full of diaper boxes. I've already condensed 3 of them full of yarn into 2 totes. Tom was getting sick of finding yarn everywhere he turned. :o)

So now I'm off to Eileen's and Olivia's room.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Well there goes THAT day

My bad, I thought Michelle had Friday off. At least I could swear she told me she did. So here I was thinking I didn't have ANYTHING to do on Friday. Oops...except Jake's 13th birthday, we should at least have a special dinner with cake and ice cream for him. Guess I'm going to the store...but which way? I have major stores in 3 out of 4 directions. The problem is they are all 15-25 miles away. It would help too if Jake could make up his mind what he wanted for his birthday dinner. Then my decision was made for me. Michelle came running down the hall at 7:59am asking if I realized she had to be out the door in one minute (seems she forgot to set her alarm). So south and to boring Walmart it was.

Jake finally decided he wanted chicken, mashed potatoes, onion rings and pasta salad. I didn't manage to make the pasta salad and I think he'd have preferred greasy but yummy Walmart fried chicken. I splurged on something we haven't had in quite a while...shake n bake! I bought a box of extra crispy and parmesan encrusted. Then I added in a container of Italian flavored bread crumbs with some spices from the cabinet. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Pat and Alex came out for a brief visit. They took Luke and Jake home with them because they were having an Xbox party with 5 tvs setup in their living room. Michelle went along for the ride.

So Jake turned 13 yesterday...another teenager. That makes 8 down and 4 to go. It seems like Sean and Danielle will never be teens but I know it'll only take a blink of an eye before I'm wondering how they got to be so old. For now, I'll just enjoy sitting here cuddling a sleeping Sean while I type. Although I should be moving my rear end since we're going to the beach today. It's the very rare Saturday when none of my kids have to work (except for Liz who's in Norway and working her fanny off since it's their summer conference) nor are there any activities planned at church (that I'm aware of). Michelle's not going, she already had plans with a friend. Drew and Allison have Allison's family reunion to attend, so they're opting out and Val went to Chicago to see a concert. And of course Liz is in Norway. Pat and Alex were all for it though! It's only going to be in the high 70s so might be a bit chilly up there but the day looks to be beautiful!

Sean is getting so big, he went on an excursion without me the other day. Val's best friend Janna called and asked if Val could take him to the beach so Kolson (Janna's son, that I was her coach for the birth of) could have someone to play with (or alongside...since they're 2). It was so hard to let him go off with them. I knew they'd keep an eagle eye on them but still...that's my baby! Val said he was perfect for her, sat and played while Janna had to chase Kolson around most of the time. He had tons of fun though and was very animated when he got home. Now if I could just get that sitting and playing to transfer to a shopping cart, I'd be happy. I had Sean by myself after dropping Michelle off at work yesterday. By the time we were done running errands, I was EXHAUSTED and my arms hurt! I guess I've been too lax in what I've allowed during shopping trips. Or having helpers who take him out of carts, carry him around, or hold his hand and let him walk...has spoiled him. All I know is that the kid is not a shopper. But he is a boy. lol We ran to JoAnn's because I wanted to buy yarn for a baby shower gift I need by the end of the month. While I'm wrestling him to stay in the cart, he's yelling CAR! CAR! CAR! I looked around to see where they might have a Lightning McQueen or NASCAR project set up, but I didn't see one. It happened a few times until I realized if you squinted your eyes and looked through the glass front of the store (we were WAY in the back, came through the street entrance) you could just make out the front right quarterpanel of a real car that was sitting in the middle of the mall. After we paid for the yarn, we went out to see the cars. He was so disappointed when we walked away and he realized he wasn't going to be able to get IN the cars. Poor guy.

I was asked how and what you feed all those kids at the beach. The answer is...apparently not enough since they all want to stop at McD's on the way home! LOL I tend to over buy for the beach actually. For some reason I feel like we can't be there without fruit AND cookies AND candy AND chips to go with our real food. Usually when we go to Southwicks we go for the whole day so I'll bring lunch meat and a few loaves of bread for lunch. Chips and fruit on the side. Then for dinner we'll grill. We'll probably do the same that Della did when her and I dogs, burgers and Italian sausage. I'm making the pasta salad Jake wanted for his birthday dinner and we have a watermelon we'll cut up. I'm thinking of running to the store on the way up and buying corn on the cob too. We've only had it once this year and it's YUMMY and easy on the grill. The problem is keeping them hydrated. It seems we can never bring enough drinks even if we have a 2.5 gallon igloo jug filled with ice water as backup. On that note, I should probably try to peel the boy off my shoulder so I can get the pasta cooked, things packed and our shopping list made. Have to remember to add batteries to the list...I NEED my camera to work!!!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The beach

At the end of July Della and I took the kids to the beach. In all we had 22 kids, ages 17yo - 20mos, with us. The weather was great (rained at home but not at the beach) and the waves were the perfect size to give the kids a thrill but not be too dangerous.

12 of the kids...11yo and under on the playground (Danielle is hiding behind Charlotte)

Sean must've missed out on lunch

Charlotte and Danielle thinking "outside the box"

Cousins and best friends

Luke stuck in his own hole. He was digging by himself on the beach when I went to see what he was doing, he informed me he WAS stuck but thought he could get out now. lol

Drip sandcastle Luke made per Liz and Michelle's request (Liz wanted a drip one, Michelle just wanted a sand castle)

Getting ready for dinner

Enjoying sunset pictures...

Carrie's "artistic" picture

Sean playing with his dump truck

Big kids playing volleyball in the water

Little ones wading

Finally getting some pictures up!

Now that I've recovered from the summer conference at church, I'm trying to get caught up on things all over. I'm working on my room as soon as I finish up here. Then it's onto the library. I haven't posted pictures in a looong time so bear with me here.

End of June...My dad's 70th birthday party. It was the Saturday before Liz left for Norway. It was also the same day as the graduation party for 2 of my nephews. Not to mention that as usual it coincides with the fire department's annual field days (my parents' road is a dead end into the fire department's parking lot). They have a parade which lasts all of 10 minutes. I'm not sure why they continue. Nor way we act like it's a not to be missed event, but they do and so do we.

Almost the full extent of the parade...

The only musical group in least they're really good

Drew and Michelle playing washers, a game similar to horseshoes

Sean trying to play croquet (I'm pretty sure he whacked Pat in the head shortly after this picture was taken)

Michelle and Carrie


Having fun at the field days

My dad conducting everyone singing to him

Relaxing in the livingroom

Then we had a cookout for Tom's birthday on July 11th...

Unloading the food for the party

Yard looking AWESOME (Tom worked his rear end off to get it looking like this)

Tom's present that Michelle made


Glow sticks and sparklers

Pat and Alex

Hanging out on the covered patio Tom put up

Yes, that's a stop sign made into a table. Tom's brother made it for him over 28 years ago.