Monday, December 31, 2007

My Week In Photos

We got in earlier tonight from another whirlwind trip to Illinois. First was Christmas in Peoria and then a late Hanukkah in Buffalo Grove.

We decided to do Christmas Eve dinner this year. While the adults were upstairs, the cousins were all in Dad's basement playing roller coaster with Dad's computer chair. I handed Jacob the camera and got some good shots.

I love this one of Emma's foot and Hannah.

Emma pushed Daniel while Mary Rose runs along.
Mike and Jeff ran out to get some movies (and beer) and came back with The Incredibles. They couldn't help but watch it on Dad's huge TV.
One of Dad, Hannah and Daniel on Christmas morning.
Dad's new kitty is too cute...he looks just like Guillermo!
Unfortunately, we had to attend a funeral while we were in Chicago. Mike's Great-Uncle-Sammy passed at the age of 93. The blessing out of that was that we got to see a lot of family that we would not have otherwise. We were able to go to lunch with Ev, David and Rachel after services were over.
Jacob, Rachel, Daniel, Hannah and David
We were able to see Ken, Donna and Dave while we were in BG. Here, Ken and Donna's son, David, yells at Daniel for making an illegal chess move. Jacob and Eric play in the background.
Adam, Hannah, Eric, Katherine, Jacob and Daniel enjoy brownies and ice cream after Lou Malnatti's for lunch.
Lighting the candles.
Daniel plays a game of Pokemon with Ed and his very own set of cards.
There was so much snow and ice everywhere in Northern Illinois (on the way home). Mike took this one just outside of Dixon, IL.
We stopped in Sterling to visit Mom. It was the first time I'd seen the marker in place. Mike and I had to brush the snow off of the stones (not as easy a job as it might seem since most have raised lettering). I took this picture and thought that Sue might like to see it.
Our family plot. The Rock River is in the background.
Back on the road, I took this one outside of Des Moines. I ended up taking a lot of pictures of the landscape for some reason.
This cracks me up everytime I see it (they are everywhere in Iowa).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This, That and The Other

One nice thing about Kansas is the beautiful sunsets. They've looked just like this the past few nights...
Apparently, the fuzzy stuff in the sky (not the defined clouds) is snow that's aloft and not reaching the ground. Very interesting.

Hannah's finally starting to feel better. I took her back to the doctor yesterday morning because she was just off. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but I knew that it was something. After being told that I was overreacting by the nurse, the doctor told me that something was, indeed, going on. Her strep symptoms were clearing up nicely but her asthma was still a problem. Oh! And now she has croup. They gave her a nebulizer treatment there in the office and sent me home with a prescription for Orapred. I hate giving her that stuff but it made such an improvement to her demeanor. We still skipped gymnastics today and I think that the break's doing her good. I may let her do TKD this evening but we'll have to see.

The weather here's been very strange. We're supposed to be near 60 tomorrow and then a big snowstorm hits on Saturday. Weird. They're saying that travel on Sunday should be okay...I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This Made Me Cry

I found this in Jacob's backpack last night. He had to write about someone he admires. I'm copying it exactly (including typos) from what he wrote.


My Awesome Mom
By: Jacob

My mom's name is Barb. She works for Creative Memories. She has a fun job. You get to have a scrapbook! She is the best cook because she makes the best matzoball soup.

She wears earings. She has blue eyes. My mom has dark brown hair. She has medium ears, also.

She brings me to school. My mom reads a lot. She talks to friends too. She used to bring chala to my sinugogue.

My mom always says, "pikachu evolves in to riachu, right?" She also says, "Put on your shoes!" and "What did you do at school?"

My feelings about her is, she is a good person. She is nice. I am glad she is mom even thow she does things for my sister and not me!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Barb's Top 7 Reasons I Love Mike (I know there are more but these came off the top of my head)

7. He makes me laugh
6. He takes me out on dates
5. He's an amazing Dad
4. He puts up with my crap
3. He's supportive of whatever I want to do
2. He takes great care of us

But the number one reason I love Mike is because he says things like this:

(I was reading my Bradley Hilltopics Alumni magazine tonight and was feeling down because I read that a friend of mine from high school/college wrote and produced those Macy's commercials...you know the ones with Martha Stewart and Jessica Simpson and I was feeling like I hadn't accomplished much)

Me: Look what Matt's done and what have I done with my life?
Mike: Does he have three kids?
Me: No.
Mike: (Very serious look on his face)I certainly wouldn't have come this far without you.

Mike...I don't tell you often enough how much I appreciate you and everything you do, but just know that I do appreciate and love you very much.

Monday, December 17, 2007

And Then There Were Two...

Hannah started running a fever yesterday. As long as she had Motrin in her system, she was all good. This morning, she looked like the living dead. I decided that she should not go to gymnastics or preschool and that a visit to the doctor may be in order.

I set up an appointment for her at 9:45 and, wouldn't you know, my phone rings at 9:15 and it's Betsey...the other room mom. What should have been a 5 minute phone call about the party on Friday turned into a 20 minute conversation about how hectic her schedule's been. Betsey also reminds me that I signed up to bring 2 dozen cookies to school tomorrow. AAAAAAAccccccccckkkkkkkk!!!!!! She was impossible to get off the phone! I told her 3 times that I needed to go so that I could take Hannah to the doctor...I almost had to hang up on her. Thank goodness she didn't have my cell phone number or I'm sure she would have called that and talked to me all the way there.

Anyway, we arrived 5 minutes late to her appointment. After finding out that Jacob had strep last week, they immediately do the swab test. After a few minutes, the doctor comes in and says that her test came back positive. Ugh. However, she looks more like she has the flu than strep (her thought was Hannah had flu on top of strep). She orders a flu test. They swab her nose and the nurse takes off. Another few minutes go by and the doctor comes in again. Flu test is negative (which is awesome news...not just for Hannah, who probably would have ended up in the hospital, but for the rest of us as well) so it's the strep that's causing her problems...and aggravating her asthma. We walk out with a prescription for amoxicillin and one for albuterol.

She's definitely a lot sicker than Jacob was (I think I caught his earlier) and it makes me feel terrible for her. I hate it when the kids are sick.

Anyway, I call her preschool to let them know she won't be there and that she does have strep. She was supposed to bring sprinkles for the cookie decorating party they were having this afternoon and I told them that I would try to send them in with Gwen (two doors down). At 11:45, I walk down and knock on their door. Little Gwen opens the door and just smiles at me. I hear Katie (her mom) yell from another room, "are those the sprinkles I've been waiting for?" I said, "how did you know I had sprinkles for you?" Katie says, "I called the school to see if they needed anything else for the cookies and they told me to expect sprinkles from you." LOL! Then, at about 3pm, there's a little knock at the door. I look out and there's Gwen. I open it and she tells me that she's bringing back the leftover sprinkles (that was nice and unexpected) and that Mrs. M wanted Hannah to be able to decorate cookies too, so she sent home 3 cookies and a cup full of frosting. I just thought that was so sweet and it made Hannah's day.

I finally get in touch with Mike later in the afternoon and he tells me that he went to the clinic at work because he hadn't been feeling well either. He now is on an antibiotic as well. That just leaves me and Daniel. I tell you what...if that boy starts coughing or has even a minor sore throat, he'll be in the doctor's office in a heartbeat.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Crazy Week

I am so looking forward to Winter Break. No gymnastics, minimal TKD and no school. I am certainly looking forward to the break. Poor Jacob was home with strep on Monday and, at about 4pm, he looks at me and says, "we weren't home at all today!" He was, pretty much, right. Between dropping Daniel off at school, taking Hannah to gymnastics and then to preschool, taking Jacob to the doctor and then picking everyone up again, I think we were home for about 1 1/2 hours on Monday (during the day). The ice storm on Tuesday slowed things down a little since it cancelled school and MOPS...it would have been nice to have a couple of days like that.

The boys found out yesterday that they earned their high green belts. Mike already has the blue markings for his belt (that's how they designate high from low) and the boys should get theirs on Tuesday. They are pretty excited. They have one more round of testing to go before they have to start breaking boards (and two before they test for their low brown belts)...that should be interesting. I'm just thrilled that Hannah is now in the boys' TKD class on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Maybe now I won't feel like we live there.

We got about 3 inches of snow yesterday...a lot less than the 4-8 they were predicting. That's just fine with me although the kids weren't too happy about it. They wanted that 8 inches. It was still enough to play in, and they did for about 2 1/2 hours yesterday afternoon. They came in for a brief hot chocolate break and then headed back out. I don't know how they stood the cold. It was 20 degrees with a wind chill of 8. They told me that they weren't cold...and I believe them. I remember playing in the snow for hours and not feeling it until I came in. I just can't remember the last time they were able to get out and play. The weather's been so bad that we haven't been able to go out.

Daniel was getting upset with his teacher about the fact that they were only doing Christmas stuff and no Hanukkah stuff. Leave it to Daniel to not let that happen. Wednesday, he convinced his teacher to dedicate a whole day just to Hanukkah. She even asked him to bring in a menorah so that everyone could see it. I guess he ended up showing the whole first grade (not just his class) how to light it and what prayer to say (he actually remembered the prayer). I was pretty proud of him.

Last night was the TKD Christmas party, hosted by the black belts. Members of our school and of our parent school were there. Roxanne and Stephen hosted it at their auto shop. It's not your typical auto shop. Stephen runs a Porche place...they fix and rebuild Porches. The cars he had there were amazing, and the place was huge. At some point, Roxanne forced a big plastic cup of wine into my hand and, not long after, I found myself doing the Electric Slide with her as Master Johnson acted as DJ. After the Electric Slide, YMCA and a couple of other dances, I decided that was enough and walked off the dance floor. Roxanne came up to me and asked me why I wasn't dancing anymore..."I'm too hot," I told her. "Yeah, me too," She said. "I'm afraid I'm getting stin-kay!" She says as she throws her hands in the air and heads back onto the floor. She cracks me up. The kids had a great time and so did Mike and I. I love our TKD school. It's just such a family atmosphere and everyone really cares about you...and misses you when you're not there.

I should really stop blogging right now...Mike's invited a few work friends over to watch football and I need to finish getting the house ready. Then, I get to look forward to another busy week (2 gymnastics classes, 3 TKD classes, 1 Cub Scout pack meeting, 2 Christmas parties, a MOPS meeting and a birthday party). I may just collapse when we arrive in Peoria next week!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Even More Ice Storm Photos

It seems as if it's finally over. We had a little more rain last night and temps dropped like a rock so we got even more ice. Not much more, but it also didn't help that everything that had melted yesterday refroze. I don't know if anyone watched the Today Show this morning but they had someone reporting from St. Joeseph, which is just north of us. The difference between us and them is that we warmed up to 31 or so degrees and they stayed at 28. If it hadn't warmed up, we would have what they do. They said yesterday that as much as 95% of St. Joe was without power yesterday. We had one flicker, but that's it. I did see a transformer, somewhere close, blow last night...it's hard to miss that distinctive, bright blue light. Oh, and they're calling for snow on Friday and Saturday.

Anyway, I handed Jacob the camera on the way to school this morning and he took some (pretty good) pictures of some of the ice in our area. Any white you see on the trees is pure ice. There is a touch of snow on the ground but not much.

This is the little farm (soon to be subdivision but they're keeping the barn) across from the school. You can tell that it's still really ugly outside.

A tree in our subdivision. Trees leading out of our subdivision.
Windbreak trees.
This tree is right next to the school parking lot. I don't know if you can see where it's snapped up at the top right. It also never hangs this low.
More trees by the school.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More Photos

Still raining but with temps right at 32 degrees, it's really not freezing anymore. I did go out and take some more pictures, though.

Jacob thought it was funny that there were still a few green leaves left on the tree. They were acting like a funnel for the rain and ice...

More thick ice on the branches.

Another leaf completely covered in ice.

My poor rain gauge. I don't know if the little beaker's going to make it since it's completely filled with ice and it's glass.

Dodged a Bullet Big Time

Our temperatures rose a little bit last night, so for us, the ice storm wasn't as bad as they said it could be. Of course, they were always saying that one or two degrees would be the difference between a major ice storm and one that's manageable. We got those one or two warmer degrees. Of course, those just 40 miles or so to our north weren't as lucky...they got slammed. Lots of power outages and tree damage up there. People on the weather blog were talking about how they saw transformers close to my house blowing but we were fortunate enough to keep power...so far not even a flicker (desperately knocking on wood now).

It continues to rain and temps are dropping a little but they are saying that the worst of the storm is behind us. I'm a little nervous because it is supposed to rain through the evening and stuff will probably refreeze but I guess as long as the roads are good, we should be fine. The kids are thrilled because they don't have school today and are praying for another snow day tomorrow. I highly doubt that there will be one tomorrow, but I guess I don't blame the kids for wishing.

Here are a couple of pictures that I took this morning...

The tree in our backyard

A close-up of the branches

The ornamental grass in front of the house. Usually, the grass comes up to the middle of the front windows but the ice is weighing it down (I can't remember the last time I could see so clearly out the front windows! LOL!)

The pine tree in front of the house...I hate this tree but it keeps hanging in there.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update

I have a feeling this is going to be bad...

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KANSAS CITY/PLEASANT HILL MO 147 PM CST MON DEC 10 2007

...A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM IS EXPECTED FROM LATE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR DAMAGING ICE ACCUMULATIONS....

A COLD AIR MASS WILL REMAIN ANCHORED OVER MUCH OF KANSAS INTO CENTRAL AND NORTHERN MISSOURI THROUGH TUESDAY...WHILE A POWERFUL STORM SYSTEM OVER THE MEXICAN BAJA SHIFTS NORTHEAST TOWARD THE CENTRAL PLAINS. A LONG-DURATION EVENT...BEGINNING LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUING THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT...IS EXPECTED TO BRING DAMAGING ICE ACCUMULATIONS TO A LARGE PORTION OF THE REGION.

EARLY THIS AFTERNOON...A BAND OF FREEZING RAIN EXTENDING ALONG AND JUST NORTH OF THE INTERSTATE 44 CORRIDOR...WAS AFFECTING MUCH OF SOUTHERN MISSOURI AND NORTHERN OKLAHOMA. THIS BAND OF PRECIPITATION WILL LIKELY REACH A PAOLA TO BOONVILLE LINE AFTER 4 PM...WITH MINOR ICE ACCUMULATIONS POSSIBLE THROUGH EARLY EVENING. FURTHER NORTH...A SECOND AREA OF PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ACROSS NORTHEAST KANSAS AND NORTHWEST MISSOURI LATER THIS EVENING...GRADUALLY BUILDING SOUTH AND EAST ACROSS THE REST OF THE AREA ON TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT. ACROSS AREAS ALONG AND SOUTH OF THE MISSOURI RIVER... TEMPERATURES MAY BRIEFLY WARM TO AT OR JUST ABOVE FREEZING ON TUESDAY...POTENTIALLY REDUCING THE SEVERITY OF ICE ACCUMULATION. FREEZING RAIN IS EXPECTED TO BE MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES TONIGHT AND TUESDAY...WITH ICE ACCUMULATIONS GENERALLY RANGING FROM ONE HALF TO ONE INCH. FREEZING RAIN MAY MIX WITH SLEET OVER FAR NORTHWEST MISSOURI WHERE TEMPERATURES ARE COLDER.

IN ADDITION...ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT AND TUESDAY...WHICH WILL RESULT IN RAPID ICE ACCUMULATION AND LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. DUE TO THE HEAVY ACCUMULATIONS OF ICE...THIS LONG DURATION STORM MAY CAUSE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO POWER LINES AND TREES...WHILE MAKING TRAVEL DANGEROUS IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE

Yet Another Reason I Hate Winter...


ICE STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT CST TUESDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PLEASANT HILL HAS ISSUED AN ICE STORM WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT CST TUESDAY NIGHT. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

FREEZING RAIN IS ONCE AGAIN EXPECTED TO DEVELOP AFTER 6 PM...AND CONTINUE THROUGH TUESDAY. SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS OF ICE FROM ONE HALF TO ONE INCH ARE POSSIBLE WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR ACCUMULATIONS EXCEEDING ONE INCH. IN ADDITION...ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE...WHICH WILL PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT GLAZING IN A SHORT DURATION OF TIME. THIS STORM SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO TREES AND POWER LINES.

AN ICE STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. TRAVEL IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. COMMERCE WILL LIKELY BE SEVERELY IMPACTED. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. ICE ACCUMULATIONS AND WINDS WILL LIKELY LEAD TO SNAPPED POWER LINES AND FALLING TREE BRANCHES THAT ADD TO THE DANGER.

Luckily, we're all ready to hunker down for several days if we need to. Hopefully, we won't need to!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Consecration Sunday

This morning was Daniel's Consecration at Sunday School. Consecration is the official welcome into Torah study and education in the synagogue. When Jacob was consecrated in Virginia, they didn't make a big deal out of it. Here, they do.

We weren't sure if we were going to be able to make it there since we had some ice last night, but the roads were okay and we made it just fine. They had asked last week if we could make sure siblings didn't walk down with the consecrants because it takes away from them so Mike and I decided that he would walk down with Daniel and I would stay with Hannah and Jacob.

We (Hannah, Jacob and me) sat in the sanctuary for Family Service. Halfway through, the Rabbi says to welcome this year's consecrants. The back doors open and the kids start walking though with their parents. They were so cute all dressed in their gowns and new yarmulkes, carrying their Torahs. Mike walks Daniel up and comes to sit down next to us. After they sing some songs, the Rabbi asks the parents to come back up with their kids. There are more songs and the Rabbi asks the kids a few questions. They then walk out and we finish the Family Service and I take Jacob to his classroom for Sunday School. Hannah and I then go look for Mike and Daniel.

While we're eating cake and drinking coffee, I tell Mike a story about what happened toward the end of the service.

In the past several months that we've been members of this synagogue, I have never once felt uncomfortable about not being Jewish. Most people don't ask and those that know don't care. After Mike walked back up to be with Daniel after the kids sang, I heard a little girl behind me ask her mom why I wasn't up with the kids if I had one up there. The mom said, very loudly,

"I don't know. Maybe she's just a Christian."

Number 1: Me being a Christian had nothing to do with me not being up there. It had everything to do with the fact that I had two others that I could not leave alone.

Number 2: What business is it of hers anyway?

After I told Mike, he went into protective mode. "Who is she? I'm going to say something." No no. He did have me point her out to him and I could tell that he desperately wanted to say something to her. He then decided that he really wanted to give her husband a "free TKD lesson." LOL! The thing that made me so mad was that it put such a negative light, for me, on a day that was meant to be happy for Daniel. Luckily, it was a great day for Daniel.


On a separate, yet related, note...Daniel decided to make things out of foil yesterday. Jacob told me last night that, "Daniel had a very Jewish day." I asked Daniel how he had a Jewish day.
D: I made a dreidel and a Baby Jesus out of foil and taped them to my door!
Me: Umm...Daniel, Baby Jesus is a Christian thing.
D: Oh man! Really? I've got to take it down now! (after a conversation with Jacob, Daniel decided it was fine to have a Baby Jesus up on his door, so it still hangs up there with his dreidel)

Mike said that he went up to check on them in the shower and Daniel was singing and dancing in the shower: "Torah, Torah, Torah Torah...(sorry, I don't know the rest of the words, but he does!)" Mike thought it was really funny.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hanukkah, Testing and the Ice Storm

We went to the synagogue last night for the 3rd-5th grade dinner and service. We met a guy who's just curious about Judaism and was there to enrich his own faith and a lovely couple who are from Russia. They explained to us that the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox designations are purely an American thing...everywhere else in the world there are simply Jews. During the service, Rabbi L gave a very nice sermon on why we celebrate Hanukkah. He told us that the real miracle was not the fact that the oil lasted for eight days when it was meant to only last one, but was that for the second time in history, Jews had their own country (it is currently only the third time in history) and that was the miracle. He went on to elaborate even more, but that was the main point. I thought that was very interesting.

The boys had testing this morning. Hannah didn't test this time since she's not quite ready. We slip-slided our way out there since we had freezing rain this morning. Actually, the main roads were fine but the roads in our subdivision were really icy. Like going 4 mph and still sliding around icy. At one point, the tires began spinning and I was actually going backwards. Ugh. We still have a freezing rain advisory and they're expecting close to .5 inches of ice to build up. I'm seriously tired of winter.

Anyway, the boys did great during testing. At one point, Grandmaster Lee made the comment that Daniel kicked very good and high during his one steps. We were a little concerned that he'd have a problem with testing and weren't sure if he was ready but he did just fine. I can't imagine that they won't get their high green belts.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ugh!!!!!

I hate winter weather. It started snowing about 1/2 hour before we had to leave for gymnastics. Since the road outside the house was already covered, I figured that we had better leave early. Good thing we did. What would typically take us 10-15 minutes took almost 1/2 hour. The roads were (and still are) crap. It doesn't help that we have a sleet/snow combo right now.

Driving in this stuff really doesn't bother me too much...you allow extra time to get wherever you are going, put plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, go much slower than normal, double your normal stopping time, etc. My problem is that all of the lights here are messed up. The yellows are about 3 seconds (literally) long. After skidding into the middle of the intersection at my first yellow light (luckily, I never lost control although to continue going straight in my lane, I had to turn the steering wheel all of the way to the left which made going again interesting), I decided that if there were any others where I was the lead car, I'd have to run the red and take my chances if any police decided to pull me over. I got really lucky when the guy in front of me decided to make a left turn (no turn lane) and stopped like the roads weren't slippery. I would have run right into the back of him if the lane next to me hadn't been open.

The bad news is that it's still coming down and I get to go back out into it a little after 3!

Thursday...Just Thursday

Hanukkah, night 2 Hannah got a Baby Alive for her Hanukkah present last night. It's not nearly as creepy as I thought it would be, and Hannah's been so cute with it. She loves it when the baby sings and takes it very seriously when the baby says it's hungry or thirsty. I do have to say that it's kind of nasty when it poops. The boys each got a Squakers McCaw. That was brilliant of me. These things is so loud and annoying...I hope the batteries die soon. I don't know what in the world I was thinking.

It is so cold and gray outside. If it's going to snow, I just wish it would get on with it. Gary, our weatherman, said last night that if it didn't snow at least an inch today, he'd wear a bag on his head tonight. I'd pay to see that. LOL! With my luck, that inch or so will come while my van's sitting outside during Hannah's gymnastics class. Then I'll have to scrape off the van. I suppose I should make sure there's a brush and scraper in the van before I go. That would be a great idea!

Oh...it's just started to snow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I HATE This Time of Year

*Update* We're now under a Snow Advisory for tomorrow. They're saying 2.5 inches for us by the time it's all said and done. Of course, just north of the metro, they're calling for a little more. I am so not looking forward to this!

*****
We are currently in a Winter Weather Advisory. There's a 90% chance of really crappy weather tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to it. My awesome weathermen over at KSHB (who actually get the weather right) say that we could actually get every form of precipitation tomorrow: rain, sleet, snow, freezing rain. Okay, so we probably won't get hail, so I guess we won't get every form of precipitation, but we're going to come pretty close. We're also supposed to get freezing rain on Friday night and Saturday morning. If we do, I don't know if I'm comfortable driving out to Shawnee for TKD testing. I just want to say that I HATE winter weather!!!!!

How long until Spring?

Oh, and for my Virginia friends, I had to remind Jacob (who told me this morning that it was probably too cold for outside recess) that we don't live in Virginia anymore and it has to be really cold (10-15 degrees) for them to cancel outside recess. He didn't believe me. Sure enough, at 20 degrees this afternoon, they had outside recess. AND they have yet to cancel school for tomorrow for the nastiness that's heading our way. LOL!

Happy Hanukkah!

Last night was the first night of HanukkahThe kids love to light the menorahs and each year, we seem to get more. Daniel made this one out of salt dough at Sunday School last week...
...and was excited about lighting it. It turned out so cute that I'm having Jacob and Hannah make one as well. I'll post the directions for anyone that would like to make one.

*Note* Daniel's class did it a little differently as he doesn't have a designated space for the shamash. They also painted their menorahs before they were baked (we did the baking at home) instead of using food coloring, which I'm sure was a less messy way of doing it (my hands are blue).

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Dough Menorah
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
blue and yellow food coloring

Mix flour, salt and water in a bowl. Knead until dough is smooth. Divide dough in half. Add blue coloring to one half and yellow to the other and knead until dough is colored. From each half, make 5 balls (there should be 10 total balls...5 blue and 5 yellow). On a cookie sheet, line nine balls of dough up next to each other. Press the sides together using a little bit of water as glue. Put the last dough ball on top of the middle ball to hold the shamash. Make indentions in each ball to hold a candle (I actually used a Hanukkah candle for this so that I knew it would fit).

Bake the menorah at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely and enjoy your menorah!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Daniel

I had my last Bible study class for the semester this morning and I was the only one there. Okay, so Patsy, the instructor/facilitator, was there too, but it was just the two of us. As was about "a billion" (that's what Patsy said) breakfast burritos that she brought. I was really hoping to hide in the back since I hadn't really done the homework but we ended up just talking the whole time anyway. She talked to me about some struggles that she's been having and I did the same.

I had mentioned to her that Mike and I have a meeting with the psychologists and Daniel's teacher on Thursday and that I was really nervous about what was going to go on. She asked about why we were having the meeting and I told her the long, drawn out story about what's been happening at the school. I explained to her that Daniel's a highly creative, highly energetic child that just doesn't seem to fit into the school's mold. After telling her about Daniel, she went on to tell me about her 13 year old and I thought that she was describing Daniel right back to me. She said that they also went rounds with the psychologists when her son was Daniel's age. She told me about how he had a really hard time with spelling. You could go over a word with him 10 times and then immediately say to him, "how do you spell it?" and he would look at you like you had two heads. THAT IS DANIEL!!!! (teaching that boy the word "the" was a nightmare) She went on to tell me that he has all of these notebooks full of drawings and stories (also Daniel!). I almost fell out of my chair when she told me that her son is a big ball of energy and that he really didn't talk until after he was 3 and even then he was difficult to understand.

When I told her that our boys sounded exactly alike, she told me that we need to have Daniel tested for gifted education because that was her son's "problem." Seriously? I hadn't thought of that. Patsy told me that sometimes, giftedness is mistaken for ADD. Who knew? I then asked her about the reading thing. She told me that, for her son, it was just a developmental thing. One day, it just clicked for him. It also had to do with the type of learner that he is. He's not a rote memorization type of kid (neither is Daniel) and just had to figure out how reading and spelling fit in the bigger picture of things for him.

So, if it's not brought up on Thursday, I'm going to make sure it's brought up to the psychologists. Patsy told me to insist on testing. It would be pretty cool if it just turned out that he was super smart. That would make my year.

Here are some things from one checklist I found at the National Association for Gifted Children site (the ones in bold are the ones that are really really Daniel, although most fit him as well):
makes unusual associations between remote ideas
is flexible in thinking patterns
senses when problems exist
acts spontaneously, intuitively
tolerates ambiguity and uncertainty
senses inconsistencies and discontinuities
readily guesses and makes hypotheses
is uninhibited in expression, sometimes radical
is intellectually playful, interested in fantasy, imagination
always trying to adapt or improve things
has a keen sense of humor, seeing humor in situations others don't
doesn't mind being different
doesn't accept authoritarian pronouncements without own judgement
asks provocative questions, challenges parents, teachers, written and other authorities
is bored with memorisation and recitation
displays energy, sometimes disruptively
produces unexpected, sometimes "silly" responses
is considered, and perhaps resented, by some peers as "crazy"
can show unusual degrees of originality, concentration and persistent hard work on projects that capture their interest and imagination

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Not Easy Bein' Green

Okay...so I'm just making baby steps, but I'm trying. I think that there may be a link between how sick I've been lately and cleaning products. Today was cleaning day and I decided to try something a little different. I made all of my cleaners today. To my shock and awe, they actually worked better than the commercial stuff that's full of chemicals. The house has a slight alcohol smell from the glass cleaner but I'm quite surprised that there's no real vinegar smell. My stove is clean and shiny. The bathroom is sparkly. The best part, though, is when Hannah asked if she could help, I didn't think twice about handing her a spray bottle. Awesome. Now, I need to go make some furniture polish.

*Update* Michelle asked for the recipes so here are the ones I have. If anyone else has any that are different or are for different things, please post them (especially if you have one for a good floor cleaner)! Just put all of these things in a clean spray bottle and go to town.

All Purpose Cleaner
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water


Glass Cleaner
1 cup isoprophyl alcohol
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar


Wood Polish
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
(I halved this recipe)
Shake well before using. Spray on surface...wipe down and, with a clean towel, wipe off excess.

I also used a paste of baking soda and water to scrub my stove and sink.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Garth!!!!

Okay, so Sue's blog got me thinking about Garth Brooks. Garth played 9 concerts here in KC at the beginning of the month and I'm, only now, a little sad about the fact that I didn't go to just one. *sigh* I did, however, buy the new Garth collection from Wal Mart a couple of weeks ago (as if I didn't already have 98% of these songs on multiple CDs already). The two CDs have the usual...The Dance (my favorite Garth ever), If Tomorrow Never Comes, Papa Loved Mama, Callin' Baton Rouge...you get the idea. It does, however, have 3 new songs on it. One of which is this song. Typical Garth...he still sounds great...and I must say that he looks pretty good too! So, if you haven't heard it, here's the video for
More Than a Memory.



And I couldn't help myself...here's The Dance

A Note to Bobbi

Check your AOL mail!!!! I lost your work address. :( But you have AOL mail in your mailbox.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Little Socialite

It seems that Hannah is everyone's best friend. Right after dropping her off at preschool yesterday, I ran into another mother who wanted to know if I was Hannah's mom. She introduced herself as Olivia's mom and told me that Olivia doesn't stop talking about Hannah (Hannah talks a lot about Olivia as well) and we need to get the girls together for a playdate soon. We exchanged phone numbers and that was that.

After I brought Hannah home from school yesterday, Gwen came by on her bike looking for Hannah. About 5 minutes later, Lisa from up the street comes out yelling Hannah's name. They all play until I tell Hannah it's time to go pick up the boys from school. Both Lisa and Gwen ask if Hannah will be able to play when she gets back and then head to their respective homes...like now there was no one to play with since Hannah was leaving.

I was working in the two year old room for MOPS this morning (everyone has to take one turn working with MOPPETS each year) when Kelly (another mom) walks in. She asks me if I'm Hannah's mom. She then tells me that her daughter, Kloe, talks about Hannah all of the time and desperately wants Hannah to come to her birthday party next month. She then went on to tell me that her daughter was shocked when Kelly said she didn't know who Hannah was. I guess Kloe told her, "you know Hannah. From MOPS. The girl with the black hair and black eyes." LOL!

When we were leaving, I told Hannah that I had talked to Kloe's mom. She looks at me and says, "yeah, Kloe's from MOPS (like I didn't know!). She said I could come to her birthday party. It's going to be a princess party." I told Hannah, "I know. That's what her mom was talking to me about." Hannah says, "Kloe's nice. I guess she can come to my birthday party, too." I'm not looking forward to what her party guest list will look like.

Hannah's definitely much more the socialite than the boys were at her age. Jacob always had a hard time making friends but usually has one or two really close friends. Daniel made friends everywhere but, aside from Luke and Jake in Virginia, really has only recently had a circle of friends that he talks about a lot. Everyone Hannah meets is her best friend and even if she only plays with someone for a short amount of time, she'll talk about them for days. She cracks me up.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to the Same Old-Same Old

Bobbi and Ed arrived a little later than we had expected on Thursday, but it was just a couple of hours later so that wasn't so bad. I had brined my 20.5 pound turkey the night before and it was already in the oven when they got here. BTW, I don't know if brining the bird helped it any...it was just a extra step that I don't think I needed to make. Anyway, the turkey ended up cooking faster than I had anticipated, so dinner was served about 45 minutes earlier than I had wanted it to be. The only problem with that was trying to get all of my sides done, too. Oh well. It got done and it was a tasty Thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday, we headed into KCK for family photos. Mike takes TKD on Saturdays with a guy who's a photographer and he's the one that took the pictures. I was a little disappointed but I'm sure they'll turn out great. The kids had the best time when we put them into their TKD uniforms and told them to kick and punch. I can't wait to see those pictures!

We then headed over to Independence to the Truman Presidential Library and Museum. While it was neat to be able to see and say that we've been, it really wasn't what I was expecting. I guess I was actually expecting a library. It was absolutely a museum...lots of presidential stuff and a replica Oval Office but I didn't see anything that would resemble a library. The kids really liked meeting Harry Truman (they had a guy that looked a lot like him there) and making campaign buttons.



Coming back, there was a lot of traffic at the I435/I70 junction. At first, we thought it was a accident or something like that. Then, we realized that it was the traffic heading to Arrowhead for the KU/Mizzou game. It was backed up in all directions for miles around I70, but it was good the way we were going. We came home and watched the game, which is funny because, as Mike pointed out, I'm not into college football and I have no attachment to any of the teams. I did find myself rooting for Kansas and was upset when they lost. There will be no love for KU, however, if they have to play Bradley or SIU in basketball again this year. LOL!

It was a nice Thanksgiving and a nice visit, but that break was too short. I had to drag the kids out of bed this morning and I got a lot of glares from both boys when I even mentioned school to them. I had anticipated Jacob trying to play sick so that he could stay home but I told him that I wasn't buying it and that he was going to school. Last night, he would say that his chest hurt or that he was having a hard time breathing. I told him that if was really having a hard time breathing, I should take him to the ER. His words to me were, "Why can't we just wait until the morning to see how I feel?" That's what I thought. I'm having a hard time knowing when he's really sick since he told me he used to fake the stomach aches so that he could stay home. Silly boy, you don't tell your parents that stuff until you've made it to college!

I should probably feed Hannah some lunch so that she's got a full belly when she goes to preschool this afternoon. How many days until the weekend?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Preparations

*Update* It is now snowing quite heavily. The ground seems to be too warm for it to stick to the roads but it's definitely sticking to the grass and deck.


The kids are off of school for the holiday and we've all just been hanging out this morning. I really need to get my act together and get the shopping done or we will have nothing to eat for tomorrow! Actually, it's mostly just picking up our turkey but it's the act of leaving the house. I still have to make the pies and cornbread for the cornbread stuffing but I may just end up buying one pie and making the other. I did get the kitchen and fridge cleaned so there's room for the turkey and there's a load of dishes washing in the dishwasher, so I guess I have done something today.

The weather has been absolutely nuts. Monday and Tuesday, we were in the low 70's and today we're in the low 30's. It's just raining right now but people just to our north are reporting light snow. Hopefully, it'll stop before tomorrow when Bobbi and Ed fly in. There's a guy on the weather blog who's an air traffic controller and he's keeping those of us who need to know how the travel conditions are at the airports. He did say that Chicago wasn't looking good today. Ugh.

Anyway, I just thought I'd blog real quick and let everyone know we're still here. We're cold, but still here. Hey Deb, how's your turkey grillin' weather there in Illinois?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fun With Old Friends

I got an e-mail from Emily last week saying that she'd be in town visiting a college friend this weekend, was I free to get together some time? (For those of you that don't know, I've known Emily since I was 4. We went to grade, middle and high school together.) I hadn't seen Emily in about 4 years, so I told her that I would be happy to block out some time. She said she'd call when she got in. Fast forward to yesterday when my phone rings and Em's on the other end. How does breakfast and coffee somewhere sound? Great! The plan was that I'd drop Daniel off at Sunday School after picking him up from his sleepover and meet her. Oh, and was it okay that she invited Amy (a friend of mine from high school who recently moved here but I had yet to see)? Absolutely.

So, this morning, I dropped Daniel off at the synagogue and left for Panera. As I was driving over, I remembered that Emily was always consistently late and I probably could have hung out with the kids for a little longer, and, I discovered, that she hasn't changed. LOL! I was waiting in the lobby, checking over my calendar for the week when a family walked in. I looked up and thought that the mom looked familiar. They walk past and once I hear her talk, I knew instantly it was Amy. I looked up again and, kind of quietly, said, "Amy?" She turns around and says, "yes? Barb? Are you kidding me? I thought that might be you!" She introduces me to her new husband and stepdaughters (we've already decided her oldest stepdaughter and Jacob are going to get married...LOL!). A little later, Emily and her friend, Karen, come in and we all sit to chat.

What's kind of cool is that we did less reminiscing than I thought we'd do and mostly shared stories about our lives now. Amy has some very interesting stories from her days of being a police officer (she still is but she's more in ballistics and forensics now), and Emily had some interesting stories from working in the psych ward. We all thought our lives were pretty boring to us but there was a lot of laughter and interest when we shared them with each other. Emily told me that it was strange that I was such a grown up. When did that happen?

All of us did try to convince Emily that she needed to move out here. Her oldest friend (me), her high school best friend (Amy) and her college best friend (Karen) are here, and apparently, she's the glue friend since she got Amy and I to finally get together. It was obvious that she'd like to move out here but probably won't.

Anyway, after almost 3 hours of catching up, we decided it was time to go. Amy and I decided that we were going to start doing a couples' night and would try to get the kids together the next time they had them. It is so nice to have friends!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Daniel's a Star!

Daniel came home from school earlier this week talking about how to cook a turkey. I didn't think a whole lot about it until I got a voice mail from Mrs. H, his teacher, saying that they chose a few students to answer the question How do you cook a turkey? for the district television station (run by all four high schools) and their show Good Morning Blue Valley. Good Morning Blue Valley is a one hour show that shows news, weather and sports for the week around our school district. All of the segments are written, produced, delivered and shot by students. They only tape once per week, so I was pretty sure that if he was on, I hadn't missed him. I set up the Tivo and there he was! All of the other kids they asked are also in his class. How they picked him, we're not sure, but I doubt they were sure of what they were in for! At one point, you can hear the interviewer laughing as she asks him a question. (Sorry about the quality...I had to use my camera since I don't have the Tivo hooked up to anything.)


video

Thursday, November 15, 2007

How Does This Make Sense?

I swear my neighbors across the street are one fry short of a Happy Meal. Amy is militant about her kids wearing their helmets when riding their bikes. I've even seen her chase Sydney down to put it on. So, why is it okay for her to take her kids to school when they don't have their seat belts on? Even worse, this morning I saw Sydney (she's 6 and in first grade) sitting in the front seat of her huge Expedition with no seat belt with Courtney (she's 5 and in kindergarten) SITTING ON SYDNEY'S LAP IN THE FRONT SEAT!!!! Oh, and obviously she didn't have a seat belt on either. Christy (she's 3) was standing between the two front seats. It's almost 2.5 miles between our houses and the school and you have to drive on a major road. It kills me to see it. You know, if you don't want to wear yours, whatever. You're an adult and can make that decision for yourself. But your kids need you to tell them to buckle up! They'll only be here for a few more weeks and then I won't have to see it anymore, but I know Amy will let it continue. It just makes me so mad!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Need to Smile?

When I need a good laugh (which I seem to need today), I like to check out the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. It always puts a smile on my face.

Where Has This Week Gone?

Is it really already Wednesday? Why do I find myself wondering where the days are going?

Saturday night, we went over to the synagogue for the PreK-2nd Grade Havdalah dinner. Gus even went with us. The kids had fun playing with the other kids and enjoyed the little service after the meal. Seriously, the music was so soothing that Mike and I thought we were going to fall asleep. LOL!

One of Mike's new favorite things to do is to get Daniel to recite a prayer that Daniel was learning for the Havdalah. It's in Hebrew, which makes for some very interesting things from Daniel.

Mike: Hey Daniel...Ba-ruch...
Daniel: Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech (he'll stop here and repeat Me-lech if he doesn't think he has a strong enough ch sound in the back of his throat!) ha-o-lam (this is where he goes off track) bree abomen habernash AMEN!

The ending part changes often, but he's got most of it! LOL! He and Daniel are also up on most of the songs they sing during the family service on Sundays and it's not unusual to catch them humming or singing the songs to themselves. It's pretty cute.

Hannah got her little TKD uniform on Tuesday. When I was talking with Master Johnson about getting it, I told him that we're going to have pictures taken next week and we'd like to have them all in uniform for one. He then looked at me and said, "pictures, huh? Where's your uniform?"
Me: I haven't gotten my flowers yet.
Master Johnson: Yes you did...last week.
Me: Those were on my birthday! They don't count!
Master Johnson: Sure they do.
Me: Even Mike's Mom said they don't!
Master Johnson: Okay, okay!

Last night, we were talking with Roxanne and Stephen about the four of us leasing sleeping space from Dave. We're all there so often that we may as well move in. LOL! Daniel's all excited because Master Johnson invited them all to start the 6:30 Monday class for TKD, Ju Jitsu and Hapkido. Great. Jacob's not all that thrilled about it but he may as well do it if we're going to be there anyway. I'm a little nervous about it all since I heard Stephen ask Mike, "so, how do you think you'd do with some numchucks?" I missed Mike's answer but I know that I turned around and said, "no numchucks!" Personally, I think that Daniel would love Hapkido but the Ju Jitsu makes me a little nervous.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Daniel's Weekend with Gus

Daniel was chosen as Star Student for his class last week. At the end of Star Student week, you get to take home Gus, the class mascot. Mrs. H also sends home Gus' Scrapbook and we are to fill it in with pictures and whatnot from his weekend here for Daniel to share on Monday. So far, Gus has had a pretty good weekend with us. He got to go to Tae Kwon Do with the kids this morning and will be attending Sunday School tomorrow. Here are some pictures so far (sorry, I just thought this was so cute and fun...I'm getting into it more than Daniel!)

Gus enjoys a Hawaiian pizza dinner with us last night.


Jacob, Daniel and Gus pose together before TKD...Gus even got his own white belt!

Gus clowns around at TKD

Daniel shows Gus some TKD moves

Playing chess with their friend, Brandon

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Scary Phone Call

First, I have to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!

Okay, so I come home from dropping off Hannah at school. Actually, I also stopped by Hen House to order my Thanksgiving turkey (thanks for the reminder, Deb) and then came home...whatever...when the phone rings. I always get nervous when I see the school on the caller id. I answer the phone and she says...

Her: This is so and so from the school. Mr. L (the principal) wanted us to call all of the first grade parents. On the way back from their field trip this morning, the bus your child was on was involved in a minor, and I must stress, minor, accident. (My heart goes into my throat) There were no injuries and they are all back at school and are doing fine. You don't have to, but we understand if you want to come and pick up your child.

Me: So, everyone's okay? Are they shaken up?

Her: Yes, everyone seems fine. They were lauging and whatnot when they came in.

Me: Oh, okay. Well, if he wants to come home, please let me know.

Her: Absolutely.

I know that there was more to the conversation, but I just can't remember it. I hung up and was still a little freaked out. I checked the school voice mail (each parent has a voice mailbox for school communication) and there was a message from the principal saying that they were all back and were eating lunch and that they were allowing anyone that felt they needed to see the nurse. He also gave us his cell phone number in case anything came up over the weekend. Ugh. I didn't need this today! The one time the boy rides the bus...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Birthdays Don't Have to Suck

Okay, so I'm 32 now. When did that happen? LOL!

I've gotten to the point where I just don't look forward to my birthday anymore. Out of the past several years, there have been a couple that I've had to spend alone, and, aside from some phone calls and a visit from a florist, they hadn't been very special. So, I try not to build myself up and that way I'm not disappointed.

This year, I actually had a really nice birthday.

Mike had called during the day to wish me a happy birthday, as did Dad. I also got to hear the sonic boom from the Space Shuttle as it crossed overhead on its way to Florida. I didn't see it, but the boom was cool enough. And, Daniel wished me a "happy 24th birthday" which got him some huge hugs and kisses. Of course, the high from being called a 24 year old wore away quickly when Jacob told Daniel that I wasn't 24, but more like 45. LOL! I also managed to get the house all cleaned, which took a lot of stress off of me. Why is it that a dirty house just adds to stress?

After picking up the boys from school, we headed over to TKD for Hannah's class. Mike told Master Dave that it was my birthday, and he wished me well. As we were getting ready to leave Hannah's class, Roxanne and her boys walked in and she wished me a happy birthday too (she remembered from a few days ago). It was just nice to hear others (that aren't family) wishing me a happy birthday since that hasn't happened in a while. Quinn, the youngest of Roxanne's two boys, starts to give Daniel a "tattoo" and Jacob waits in line. Roxanne and I laugh and say that Quinn needs a show called Overland Park Ink. I really didn't notice Mike rushing out and then rushing back in but I had to laugh when I saw what he had behind his back.

Mike announces that he wanted to give these to me when Stephen was there but he would do it anyway since he had other witnesses. He pulls a vase of flowers out and hands them to me.

Me: They're very nice, but don't think that these count as "no reason" flowers.
Mike: Can't I give my wife flowers for no reason even on her birthday?
Me: No.
Roxanne: They are very lovely flowers. They look like something Stephen would have picked out. He'll be here in a minute.
Me: Yes they are very nice, but they don't count.
Mike: I need a black belt ruling. Master Dave, can you give your wife flowers for no reason on her birthday?
Master Dave: (thinking for a minute) Yes.
Mike: See!
Me: They don't count. (to Master Dave) Do you know what's riding on these flowers?
Master D: No
Me: When Mike gives me unexpected flowers, I have to join TKD
Master D: Oh. (laughs)
Mike: (says something like) Stephen ruined everything for me! (laughs)
Me: (laughing) I've waited for 9 years for you to turn into a romantic and it's just not happening.
Mike: (to Roxanne) Can you give Stephen one of the flowers as proof for me? (starts to pull a flower from my bouquet but stops)
Roxanne: (hearing Stephen's car pull in) If you wait a minute, I think he just pulled in.

We say goodbye and head to our cars, where we meet Stephen in the parking lot. Mike walks up to him, holding the flowers.

Mike: I wanted you to see the flowers I got for my wife.
Stephen: Those are nice. I would have gotten something like that for Roxanne.
Me: They don't count!
Mike: I asked Dave for a black belt opinion and he said they do count!
Stephen: Hey, at least it's a start. (in my opinion, he was agreeing with me that they don't count!)

The flowers Mike gave me


And then, for some reason that I missed, Mike gave Stephen one of my flowers. LOL! We then headed over to Cheesecake Factory for my birthday dinner.

Mike had the kids make me cards and he gave me a gift certificate for a massage and a manicure. He said that he was going to just schedule the appointment for me but thought that I may want to pick something else. I think I'm going to get a massage and a pedicure since I've never had one before. I think it was one of the most thoughtful gifts. He also told the waitress that it was my birthday so my cheesecake came out with a candle and a plate that said, "Happy Birthday Barb!" Mike and the kids sang Happy Birthday and that was the end of a very, very nice birthday. Thanks, Mike, for making my birthday very special!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Yes, We're Still Here

Okay, so it's been a while since I've last blogged. That just makes this one that much more special. :)

We took the kids to see Bee Movie on Friday night and they loved it. Actually, I don't know who liked it more, me and Mike or the kids. I really hadn't expected to like it at all...especially since I had no idea what it was about. Totally funny and original. Go see it if you get the chance.

Saturday night, there was Dinner and a Movie at the cul-du-sac. Everyone brought a side dish and we grilled up hot dogs. One of our neighbors put up a big screen in their driveway and once it got dark, they showed Night at the Museum and Transformers. Hannah had enough by the time Transformers came on, so I walked her home while the boys stayed to watch. It was pretty chilly outside, but we all had a good time. At one point, I was handed a shot so that we could toast Dave, another neighbor, for his birthday. It was a huge shot and I was asked if I needed a straw. LOL! Anyway, about 5 minutes later, I was talking to Jackie (a former neighbor who only recently moved) and I told her that it was strange that I couldn't feel my lips. I knew I was a cheap drunk but I didn't think it was that bad. She asked me if I knew what the shot was. I said that I thought it was some sort of schnapps. She said that it was straight vodka. A shot of apple vodka and a shot of caramel vodka. No wonder I couldn't feel my lips!

Hannah started Tae Kwon Do yesterday. She loved it. When we got there, Master Johnson looked at us and asked why we were there on a Monday. I put my hand on my hip and just looked at him. The AH HA! light popped up above his head and he told Hannah to come out. There were two other little boys there with Hannah and they were all so cute. She did everything she was asked to do and even started learning some of the one steps. Too cute. At some point, Stephen came in and was a little shocked that Hannah was out there. Stephen's a good guy. At one point, he mentioned that there was just one left to start (he was referring to me) and I told him my condition for starting. He sighs and says, "great." Anyway, it'll be nice when she can bump up to the boys' class. I don't know how long I can take going out there four nights a week.

The boys have early release today and I hate that. Then it's back for another round of TKD and Daniel has a den meeting for Cub Scouts. Can someone at least slow the ride down a little?

Oh, and Garth Brooks is in town for the next several days (yes, Garth Brooks). It's either 6 or 9...I can't remember (I'm pretty sure it's 9). He's doing concerts with Trisha Yearwood at the Sprint Center. Every one of those concerts sold out. I'm not surprised. I'm a little bummed that we didn't get tickets (yes, I tried), but I have seen him twice before so I guess I can't be too upset. It just sucks that it's all that any radio station can talk about. :(

Friday, November 02, 2007

It's Helpful To Have A Title (and not just publish without one!)

I headed to Wal Mart after the kids were in bed last night. I had a short list, but it always seems to take forever because the things I need are always on opposite sides of the store. Ugh. I hate that. Anyway, I got the bunny food and toothpaste from one side and then headed over to the grocery side. I remembered that I was almost out of coffee, so I headed over to get some more. I searched for the Folger's Black Silk coffee that I have been enjoying for the past month and was shocked to see that it was almost $10.00 for a can. WHAT?!? Colombian Supreme was $8.50 for a can. The last time I bought a can (a couple of weeks ago) it was about $5.50 for the can (how many times can I use the word can?). And that was at Price Chopper (just a regular grocery store).I looked at the unit prices and you know what? For the first time, that I've ever seen, it was actually cheaper to buy Starbucks coffee than it was to buy my favorite Folger's. I ended up buying some Dunkin Donuts ground coffee and it's just as good at home as it is in a Dunkin Donuts (they really do have the best coffee). I suppose that I could have bought the regular Folger's (it was $5.50 per can) but right now, I'm a little angry at them. Seriously...$10 per can for Folger's is a bit silly.

I come home and start to put the stuff away. I'm talking with Mike about what's for dinner on Friday night.

Me: We're having wraps for dinner tomorrow.
Mike: What? Scraps? From where?
Me: Scraps?!? Yes. From the garbage. You all have to eat dinner out of the garbage.
Mike: Seriously. What's for dinner? It sounded like you said scraps.
Me: WRaps. You know...chicken wraps.
Mike: (laughing) Oh. Wraps.

Not long after, Mike headed for bed. He pokes his head through the little window on the stairs and tells me to come up for a minute. I ask if something's wrong. He says no, just come up. I start to head up the stairs and see that Hannah made a little bed for herself on the floor in our bedroom doorway. Her body was in our room but her head was in the hallway. After trying to figure out what would make her decide that was a good place to sleep and just smiling about how cute she is, we put her in bed.

I asked her this morning why she was sleeping on the floor in the doorway and she said that she didn't know. My kids are strange. LOL!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Well, This Should Be Interesting

We talked with Master Dave after the boys' TKD class tonight and decided that Hannah will start Tae Kwon Do on Monday. She seems to be excited about it. She'll do the Monday/Wednesday class (which is a white belt orientation class) for a few weeks and then move to Jacob and Daniel's class on Tuesday/Thursday nights. So, for the next few weeks, we'll be at TKD four nights a week. We may as well just move in for the next month! LOL!

After our conversation with Dave, I turned from the desk to get ready to go home when Roxanne (another TKD mom and a brown belt herself) very quietly says to me, "now we need to get YOU enrolled." Mike starts to agree with her and says something like, "well, we could work something out if you want." I said something like, "I'll give it some thought." and left. Seriously, my main hang-up is that I don't want to completely humiliate myself in front of everyone. I know that sounds stupid, but it's true. Somehow, I have a feeling that I'll be starting up with Hannah next week.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Ahh...it's Halloween. I have to say that I'm glad it's over. Seriously. Halloween, for me, is one of those holidays that I like the idea of...I love the costumes, the decorations, the pumpkins...but if the actual day never came, I'd be okay with that. I guess I could just do without the whole trick-or-treating thing. I'm quite sure that when I was a kid, Halloween was right up there with Christmas, but the thought of dressing up the three kids and knocking on strangers' doors, begging for candy has just become old. It is getting better, though. All of us were tired of trick-or-treating at about the same time AND we were close to home. They did get a nice amount of candy...which will not be enough to end the begging the next time we go to the store. They also didn't eat a whole lot of it tonight...they just enjoyed sorting it all. They were pooped tonight...all three went right to sleep. No sugar highs for them this year. At least not tonight. That's more than awesome.

So, Halloween is over for another year. It was a crazy day but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

Oh, and our Target already had most of their Halloween stuff down this morning and most of their Christmas stuff was up.

Hannah had a Halloween parade, party and program with her preschool this afternoon. For anyone interested, here is video of her program. (I'm pretty excited that you can now upload video to Blogger since I don't have to go through YouTube now!)

video

And here are some photos (of course) of the kids tonight.


L-R Jacob, Daniel and Hannah (don't ask what Hannah's costume is...we're not really sure ourselves) Our carved pumpkins...Hannah's, mine, Mike's (well, it was the pumpkin that the kids picked out for Mike) and Daniel's
Jacob's pumpkin

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MRSA and Me

If you haven't heard about MRSA, you need to get out of the cave you're in and join us in the world of the living. LOL! Seriously, it's that antibiotic resistant staph infection that is freaking everyone out right now (myself included). Locally, the people who've had it (or have known someone who has) say that it begins with something that looks like a spider bite and then just takes over.

Anyway, Saturday morning, I woke up with what looked like a spider bite on my tummy. Great. Somehow I've contracted MRSA. I start searching the internet for stuff when I realize that I'm over reacting. Being a person that loves to cook and eat what I cook...and what others cook, I'm not the picture of thinness. I've got some tummy blubber. Okay...a lot of tummy blubber...but I digress. My jeans like to hide out in the space where my waist should be. And, because of the colder weather, my skin's pretty dry. Well, apparently, the waistband (specifically, one of the belt loops) of my jeans decided to rub up against one part of my waist to the point that there was a mark.

Even though there is an explanation for the mark, I've still got it in my mind that I'm going to die. Dad tells me that if I do, indeed, die, he'll make sure my headstone reads, "see, I told you I had antibiotic resistant staph!"

I put some Neosporin and a Band-Aid on it and go about my day.

I forgot that this time of year, because my skin is so dry, I have a hard time with Band-Aids. Once I realized that I was getting a reaction to the Band-Aid, I took it off and left it off. Sunday morning, the initial mark is a lot better but one of the spots that had a Band-Aid on it is all red and puffy. Nice.

Yesterday, I took a look at it and noticed that my first injury is looking pretty good and is almost gone. The Band-Aid mark is now itchy and still a little swollen. Great. And, of course, I keep thinking that maybe I do have MRSA.

I tried one of those "advanced" Band-Aids that are meant to totally enclose the injury...another lesson learned. Those do the exact same thing as regular Band-Aids. So, now I have two Band-Aid marks on my tummy. What's funny is they are shaped just like the sticky part of the Band-Aid. The good news is that I now have a good excuse to wear my sweat pants all day.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Catch Up Post

I got the, "ummm...Barb...you didn't post on your blog today," from Mike so here you go.

Dad came in for the weekend and arrived late Friday morning. It was a nice visit. We really didn't do anything but that's okay. Dad headed back for home on Sunday morning...leaving behind a copy of Shonen Jump for Daniel that he's hardly put down.

We decided to carve up some of the pumpkins tonight. The kids were surprised at how hard it was to get all of the insides of the pumpkins out. I gave them each a sharpie and had them draw faces onto the pumpkins. I told them that it works best when they use large, standard shapes. Jacob and Daniel followed directions pretty well...Hannah, well, she's four. Basically, she drew a bunch of ovals all over it and called it a cat. Ummm...okay. I did the best I could do carve it out and she seemed very happy with it. I think it looks like a pumpkin with a bunch of ovals cut out of it but she really thinks it looks like a cat. Hey, at least I didn't disappoint.

After the pumpkins were done, I prepped the seeds and tossed them into the oven. Mike came home from work and immediately went to town on them. Apparently, he'd never had them before. Unfortunately for me, I only got a couple because by the time I was done with whatever it was that I was doing, they were pretty much gone. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Enjoying the seeds...I didn't expect them to go as fast as they did!


Jacob finished up his poster for his Truman Home project for school. I think it turned out great. We were going to have him write a couple of paragraphs about his visit on the poster but realized that it would be much more legible if he printed it out on the computer and glued it on. We also printed out labels for the photos (some were postcards since we couldn't take pictures of the inside.). The poster is due tomorrow and he'll be doing his presentation either Wednesday or Thursday. I'm still shocked at what they ask these kids to do. I don't remember doing anything like this until at least middle school. The bonus is they like to do it and are so excited to see it come together.