Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Savers

This is all about those tips and tricks that you have acquired through your life that save you time, money or sanity.

My savers for today are money-related:

1. Shop sales. I love a good sale and will stock up when things are at rock-bottom prices. The key thing is to only by it if you actually need it and will use it. Some of my favorite items to stock up on are school/office supplies in the month before school starts. Boxes of crayons for 20 cents, rulers for a quarter, flue sticks or bottles for 20 centers, a package of pencils for a dollar, notebooks for a dime apiece, things like that. I just love it all.

2. Shop used stores. I love buying excellent quality clothing and furniture, kids' gear and toys or books from secondhand stores. We have a few kid-specific stores here. I can often find very inexpensive clothing for my kids at these stores. Often, I can even find brand names, which don't really matter to me or my kids, but they do have a better resale value than other brands for when my kids outgrow them.

3. Shop used stores' sales. My husband likes to joke that I'm so cheap that I won't even pay regular used store prices. But it's true! If I can, I wait for the used stores to have sales. One of my favorites is a locally owned store that is also run by the woman who owns it. Twice a year, (generally the last week of June and January) she has a HUGE sale. Usually the discount is something like 10% off on Monday, 20% off on Tuesday, so on and so forth until Saturday when the discount is 60% off (if not more). She is closed on Sundays, which is another quality I like. The sale in June is all spring and summer clothing (and really, its the perfect time for it because it's just beginning to get consistently warm enough for it) and in January, it is fall and winter apparel that is on sale. She even has a regular discount program and you get 20% off your entire purchase with all the stamps on a card filled. She even lets you use this on top of the clearance sale. Very nice!

Okay, those are my three tips for the day. Hope that helps you out some. Tell me what your "savers" are by signing the MckLinky below. Be sure to link to your individual post and not your main page to make it easy for others to find your post. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday

This week's tackle was a big one! We rearranged our family room to make it more conducive to use for the purposes we intend for it. Our family room is a longer, semi-narrow room, that we use for so many different things.

It is where our family computer is located. It is where the boys do homework and other side lessons. It is where the kids read books and watch movies. It is also our family's main entrance into our house. (Only guests and service people use the front door) So many uses, yet this is the room that also sees the biggest amount of clutter and disorganization. So I had to change that.

First step was to move van seats out of the room (they are supposed to go out to the garage, but it was raining so Hubby put them in our unused playroom) and then clear off the deep freeze and move that into the place previously occupied by the van seats. This serves a couple of good purposes which you can read about here.

The second step was to clean out the area where the deep freeze had been. Once that was done, we decided to move the Bigs' desks down here. The boys don't use the desks in their room and just allow them to be catch-all surfaces in their rooms. So, to alleviate that, the desks were moved. You can read about our desk organization process here.

Then it was just a matter of fully cleaning the room. Picking up and discarding trash and clutter that had accumulated around the room. We keep a big can for soda cans next to the computer desk because Hubby likes soda. A lot. And he drinks it mostly at the desk. So, to make it easiest for him to dispose of his cans and not let them all pile up on the desk, we placed this can nearby. It sometimes work. The ratio of it working vs. not working is much better than the ratio when it was up in the kitchen, so progress at least, right?

We also moved my desk down from our bedroom. My laptop will be working again this week so I have my desk down here as a place to use it and store it. Plus, it will also be a good place to keep track of all of our monthly things that need to be kept track of. Household management and all that.

So now our family room has been tackled. It still needs a good honest cleaning, but it's decluttered and organized, so now all that is left to tackle is the actual cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, windows, glass, carpet cleaning, wiping down walls, etc.) Yay! :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

H1N1...

Last weekend, I got really sick suddenly on Friday night. Fever, cough, headache, etc. But my cough made me think it was more like bronchitis than anything else. I called the doctor who was on-call for our office. He called in a prescription for me.

Saturday night, I was getting worse and was also having trouble breathing. I called the doctor back again and this time he said to go in to the emergency room, so we went in. Hubby took me in and my mom stayed with the kiddos.

They did numerous tests (I don't quite remember it all because they gave me a dose of Tylenol - yeah, I am super sensitive to medication) but I do remember the H1N1 test. Ouch and yuck! The test came back negative. The doctor said that the test has a high false negative rate (about 40% of all negative test results are false) and that I had the classic symptoms of the H1N1 flu, so he told me to discontinue the medicine prescribed the previous day and to take the Tamiflu he prescribed instead. So, I did and I'm still not feeling 100% but I am definitely feeling much better than I was.

Fast forward to last Monday night. Boy B started having the same symptoms. We decided that we would keep him home from school the next day. We also made him a doctor's appointment because he ends up with severe respiratory infections and this was the second time this school year that he has had something like this. His ped tested him for H1N1 and sure enough, it was positive. Our ped gave him a prescription for a steroid to help his lungs but no Tamiflu because its not really effective in children.

Boy B started to get over it (to the extent that last night, he came up to me and said, "Mom, I think I lost the flu.") and then by Wednesday, Boy A started showing signs and symptoms as well. So, home he stayed from school for the rest of the week as well. Both are on the mend now.

Another fast forward to Sunday morning. Boy C woke up at 2am and Boy A woke up around 3am. I had my route to do and Hubby hadn't been asleep for very long, so I decided to have the boys go with me. Boys A and B like to go along and do the actual running of the papers if they are up in time for it (not very often are they up at that hour though). But I figured that on Sunday morning, Boys A and C could ride along with me. That way, they would both be supervised and Hubby could continue to sleep. We got home afterwards and Boy C slept from 7am until 9am. Not a very long nap considering he was up most of the night.

All of the kids laid down for naps in the afternoon (Boys A and B are getting over being ill, Girlie is just starting to show signs of it and Boy C appears to have scathed by untouched by it all). Hubby was in charge of naps and he let them all fall asleep late and therefore, sleep late. I ended up waking them all up at 5:00pm. Boy A came down to the family room and ended up falling back asleep on the floor. Boy B stayed awake coloring and Girlie watched a movie. Boy C went to the living room and laid down on the floor up there and fell asleep. It was the same thing that Boy A did so I figured it was related to their non-sleep the night before.

Next thing I know, Hubby is freaking out that and yelling that Boy C is seizing. He rushes up the stairs and before I can tell him not to, he has Boy C in his arms. I take Boy C from him, bring him down to the family room and tell Hubby to call the doctor's office, or rather, the nurse line that answers for them. He is placed on hold immediately - it doesn't even go to a person before it goes to hold. So Hubby is on hold on the phone and I'm sitting with Boy C and making sure he is on his side while he seizes, etc. Meanwhile, our other kids are gathered around, worried about their baby brother.

I tell Hubby that the nurse line is taking too long and tell him to call the hospital ER instead. He calls them and we switch places. I talk to the registrar (though I wish I would have talked to the triage nurse instead) and she said in a very ho-hum way "if you want to bring him in, go ahead" (more on her later, ugh!)

Hubby tells Boy A to go get Boy C some clothes (he had taken his nap in just a diaper) so Boy A goes and gets some footed sleeper jammies for Boy C and we dress him once he stops seizing. At this point, Boy C is back to newborn-like muscle control. His head is too heavy for his body, he is just limp, and unable to help dress himself or even sit up.

Once dressed, I head out the door with him and we go straight to the ER. When I get there, the lovely and caring registrar is sitting at the desk. "I can't help you right now," she informs me, "I'm stuck on something." She was on the phone about a patient, I could tell and I wasn't sure what else to do, so I stepped back to allow for a bit of privacy (you know, HIPPA and all) until one of the other registrars calls to me and has me come back. We go back and I explain what we are there for. The triage nurse (a really wonderful male nurse with fabulous patient care!) comes up before we even have the papers signed and asks me if this is the child with the seizure. I tell him it is and he ushers me back to the triage room. He takes a quick set of vitals (including a temp of 102.6) and health history and then checks on room availability. He says that if we wait for the paperwork and armband to catch up with us and we walk real slow, we could time it just right, because the room was just being cleaned. He checks on the paperwork and the armband and has us wait in the triage room.

We get Boy C's sheet of stickies (the labels that they use on anything that pertains to his visit tonight) and head off to the room, without the paperwork or the armband. We go in and get situated and the nurse comes in and talks with me and does a quick check of the boy. She asks if I had given him anything for his temp and I said no, because he hadn't had a temp all day and other than the odd sleeping hours, he was acting just fine all day, right up to the point when he started to seize. She said that most likely he had been fine and then spiked a sudden fever which caused the seizure. Okay, cool, I can handle that. Febrile seizure, no big deal. But then they want to know why he had a sudden spike of fever and they decide to test for the H1N1 flu of course. Hubby comes in and joins us at some point during this, but I can't remember when exactly. Anyhow, the nurse goes to get the swabs and comes back with an assistant to help hold Boy C down so she can do the test. It's a quick process which is good because it is one of the most unpleasant experiences ever. Anytime someone has to forcibly stick something up your nose is the makings of a bad day (or night) in my opinion.

She takes the test out and lets us know that they will also do an x-ray to rule out pneumonia, which I guess is a fairly common side effect of H1N1. Then the doctor comes in and talks to me and tells me what they are going to do (or have already done) and then he's gone. I think it was at that point, that registrar came in and finally gave us Boy C's armband. She was totally rude and I'm glad that the whole experience was not based on just her manner. (I also didn't find out until later on when we were leaving that when Hubby got there, the good registrar had caught him and had him sign papers for consent to treat, etc.)

So we go to x-ray and a tech and I hold Boy C in position for one straight-on chest x-ray and one side-view chest x-ray. I am not a big fan of x-rays in general. My father-in-law is a radiologist and he can back me on this one. But when the benefit outweighs the risk, it's worth it.

We get back to the room and the doctor comes back in and informs us the test is positive, and that he will be starting Boy C on Tamiflu to treat it and is ready to head out the door. But I stop him and question his use of Tamiflu. He said that because of Boy C's seizure and the severity of his symptom onset, it was best in his opinion to prescribe the medicine. He also said that if the symptoms had not been so severe and so quickly onset, he wouldn't prescribe it. I accepted that as a good response. I don't like doctors to just throw a prescription at a set of symptoms and even when given prescriptions, we are very cautious about giving them.

By the time we get home, Boy C is almost back to himself. He is still acting very much like a baby and would just lay wherever he was placed. Oh - and one other odd thing that happened while we were at the hospital...it seemed like Boy C was trying to nurse. I was holding him and he started to do the rooting motions and when he was close, he opened his mouth and started licking my shirt. I kept repositioning him but he kept trying it, so I ended up laying him down and just rubbing his tummy or forehead or his arm instead. It was so odd - he's 24 1/2 months old and hasn't nursed since he was about 10 months old. I don't know what prompted that tonight, but Hubby and I both found it incredibly odd and plan to ask his ped about it later on.

So that was our experience this past week. Hoping that Boy C gets over it all fairly quickly and that Girlie will get it and get it over with as well so that we can all get back to normal again. Ahhhhhh!

Yoplait Giveaway

While blog-surfing, I came across this blog Confessions of A Psychotic Housewife which I got drawn in by the name alone.

While browsing through her blog posts, I came across this one which is a giveaway for a Yoplait YoPlus Yogurt Package. It has a lot of cool things in it. You should head over there and check it out!

And definitely read what she has to say about Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Awareness! And thanks to Yoplait for your continuous support of research and awareness for this disease that affects so many women!

Not Me!

There is a blog carnival that I had never heard of before at a blog that I had never heard of before either. This weekend I once again ran across this blog "Feels Like Chaos" and that blog had a post and a link to this blog "MckMama" which hosts "Not Me Monday" each week, which sounded like quite a bit of fun, so here I joining in. Hmmm, a few things from last week that my kids and I surely did NOT do:

1. Boy A did NOT wake up at 3:30 on Sunday morning and since he was already up, I did NOT suggest that he give me a hand with newspapers. And while doing so, he did NOT deliver each and every newspaper (with full supervision of course!) on my route for a point equivalent of a penny per paper.

2. Boys A and B did NOT begin rearranging furniture in our house at 6:30 on Sunday morning either. And I did NOT just sit there and watch them do it.

3. Girlie did NOT sleep in a recliner almost every night last week. And of course, I did NOT just let her stay there since she would have been so adorable sleeping there like that.

4. My kids did NOT play in a pile of clean laundry last Friday, which did NOT in turn prompt me to need to rewash half of it. And I did NOT in turn get upset with them, since I have endless patience and I so enjoy doing laundry.

5. Hubby and I did NOT have childcare arranged for Friday night so we could go grocery shopping without the kiddos and then sneak dinner at a restaurant into our trip. Surely we would not have done that!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday




It has been awhile since I have done Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Org Junkie so I figure that its time to join in again. Following is the week's plan for our dinners.

Monday Homemade pizza
Tuesday Grilled chicken and steamed summer veggies
Wednesday Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
Thursday Hubby's super yummy chili
Friday Burritos
Saturday Leftovers I think...

The big kids eat breakfast at school and the days that I have obligations outside of the home, my mother-in-law feeds the Littles breakfast at her house. This is a busy week so I don't think I'll have any breakfast prep at all.

Same thing with lunches. The Bigs will have lunch at school, the Littles will have lunch at my mother-in-law's house, so it's just myself and Hubby to plan lunches for. And honestly, we will probably either have leftovers from the previous night or else a quick salad.

That's our super simple plan for this week's meals. Head on over to Org Junkie's blog to join in for Menu Plan Monday.

Organize Your Work Area: The Homework Edition

Next up is my kids' homework area. They originally had their desks in their room, but we were having a few issues with that. The biggest ones being that the boys generally do their homework in the family room anyhow, they were hoarding supplies which their sister would end up getting into and they just collected miscellaneous items in and on their desks.

So after moving the deep freeze from one area of the room to another (which you can read about here) we had a sizable open area that I had to fill up that I knew would work perfectly for their desks.

I talked to the boys about it and they agreed that moving the desks to the family room would work the best so that was our next step.

Once the desks were in place, I decided to also organize their workspace. They each have three deeper drawers on the left side of their desks and one long shallow drawer over their lap. The long shallow drawer holds their pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, ruler, pair of safety scissors, glue stick or bottle, package of crayons and a highlighter. The top drawer on the side holds lined paper, the second drawer holds blank printer paper that they use to color on an the bottom drawer holds their finished art projects. On the wall over their desks is their daily chore list and expectation sheet.

When they come home from school, they are to hang their backpacks on the back of their chairs, take their homework out and begin working on it. When they are done, they are to put their homework in their folders, put it in their bags and check their list for what to do next.

This process allows them the opportunity to take responsibility for their own homework assignments. If they use the process that has been set up, they won't have to scramble looking for lost or forgotten assignments or try to find their backpack at the last moment in the morning, which we have faced in the past. We have even allowed them to go on to school without their backpacks and/or homework and allowed the natural consequence of that to take place (while at the same time, having explained to the teacher what was going on - a lesson in person responsibility).

So anyhow, that is our homework set-up. Hope that it may help someone else or spawn other ideas. Share the set-up you have for your kids below. Remember to link to your individual post and not to the main page of your blog to make it easier to find.

Organize Your Work Area: The Newspaper Edition

There are a number of ways to organize different work areas. Today the focus is on my newspaper prep area.

A short while ago, I decided to take on an early morning paper route. I am an early riser or a night owl, depending on the day so this works really well for me.

It also forces me to get some exercise as well. Since it is done in the middle of the night, no one can see me, dripping sweat and looking rather scuzzy.

So anyhow, the papers are dropped off at my door (how convenient is that?!) and I bring them inside to insert the ads, count them up and then either bag or band the papers. It took me about a week to find a workable solution that did not involve straining my muscles and making them cramp up.

There is also a fair amount of paperwork involved in the process, which also needs to be kept well organized.

So this is what I did:

I took an area that was being mis-utilized in our family room, near the door where the papers are dropped off. I had Hubby move two van seats and a huge amount of clutter that had stacked up on top of the seats and dealt with it, leaving me an empty floor area.

I then moved our deep freeze into that spot. The freezer was already in the room, but in a different location and having it in this spot now is much more functional and aesthetically pleasing. It is also the perfect work height for me to do what I need to do.

On the wall above the freezer, I hung an unused over-the-door-organizer that I got at Target a few years ago. There is a basket above and seven (coat) hooks below. There are also seven (hat or scarf) hook type things as well, but I don't use those individual hooks.

In my basket, I store my paperwork in file folders: my route list, my contracts, my financial information, any paperwork that has to do with this job.

I also use six of the seven (coat) hooks for needed supplies. The first hook has the bags that I use for one publication. I deliver five, so it's very important that I keep the things that belong to each publication straight. The next hook is used to store the HUGE rubber bands that my papers come in. My hauler has to pay for these and while they don't cost much, I still try to save them for him so that it will save him a little bit of money as well. Plus, its reusing the bands which I also like. The next hook holds my bag of daily rubber bands. I can use these on all but one of the publications. The next hook is the bags for the main paper that I deliver. The hook that follows is for my Sunday rubber bands. Then there is an unused hook and then last, a third set of bags that I use for three publications. These bags are primarily for use for the one publication that is not to be banded, but I can (and do) also use these bags for two other publications that I deliver.

In the morning, when I get my papers, I bring them inside, look through the paperwork. I count up my papers, taking note of any changes to the delivery list for that day. I flip my papers over (inserting ads and folding/rolling the papers are so much easier from the "wrong" side) then I either bag or band the papers, drop it in my tote and move on to the next paper.

It has saved me so much time and has also saved my muscles an incredible amount. I can get through my stack of 40 papers in about 10-20 minutes and be on my way.

I love my set-up! It just makes it all so easy! How do you have your own work area set up? It may be your out-of-home office, your home office, whatever. Share with us. Click below to add your post to the list. And remember to link to your individual post and not to the main page of your blog so that it's easier for others to find it.

So anyhow, that is our homework set-up. Hope that it may help someone else or spawn other ideas. Share the set-up you have for your kids below. Remember to link to your individual post and not to the main page of your blog to make it easier to find.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Finish It Friday - Fridge Clean Out


Hmmm...so many things to finish today, but because of the way appointments were set up today, not much actually got finished. I had an 8:00am dentist appointment that I decided to cancel, since our older boys stayed the night at Grandma M's house last night and I was able to sleep in. (I did cancel prior to the appointment time though!) We had an 11:00 teaching appointment for Boy C, as we cancelled his usual Tuesday morning teaching session earlier this week. And then I had a 12:30 appointment clear across town that lasted about an hour. Then went to my mom's house and picked her up so she could come over and watch the little kids and be here when the big kids got home from school. Hubby and I went to Red Robin to use our $20.00 credit on our loyalty card, then we went grocery shopping. Maybe that's what I finished up today - grocery shopping (and the typical clean-out-the-fridge-so-I-can-put-the-new-groceries-away routine that immediately follows shopping). I took my mom back home and Boy B went with her as well. We had friends over for cards after dinner and it was a lot of fun overall! I also tackled a huge pile of dishes that have piled up this week. Yuck! Not planning on that one happening again!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Time For Me Thursday - Going Out



First off, HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY to Boy C!!!

Well, we have been working hard in the garage and in the house, both. Tonight, we are taking time off from both of them. We have plans to go out with a friend and just have a great time! We're both going someplace that we have never been to before and we're really looking forward to it. Our friend is an old veteran there, though.

So, that is what I'm doing for me today. Oh, that and I slept in this morning. Yay me! :) Woot!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wonderful Wednesday

Today I worked in my Big Kids' school. I spent the morning from 8:00am - 9:00am in the Kindergarten room, familiarizing myself with the students and participating in their morning routine. Then, at 9:00am, I went over to one of the 3rd Grade rooms and helped out with independent study time. The teacher does the "Daily 4" and basically then students can choose among four activities to do independently (a couple of options allow for work with one partner) and the kids have to chart what they are doing as well. I actually worked with my own child, Boy A, while I was in there. He read to me out of a Magic Treehouse book. He loves the series and we bought them for him last year, but he doesn't read much at home. Too many other fun activities to do, I guess.

Then, at 10:00am, when I was finished in 3rd Grade, I went back to Kindergarten and did some clerical work for the teacher. Cutting pages and stapling them into little books for the kids to work on and tearing pages out of math workbooks. It was a time-consuming process, but I had it mostly finished by the time the kids went to lunch at 11:00am. I then left and went to get lunch myself. On my way out of the school, the computer teacher/3rd Grade Math teacher, stopped me and asked if I would come in that afternoon to do Wednesday folders. I let her know that I had already done the folders that morning (in addition to listening to my guy read) but offered to come in anyhow. She said that would be wonderful but she didn't want me to be in the classroom everyday, since I work odd hours and often sleep while the kids are in school. I told her that I would be there to help out however I could that afternoon and that I promised to limit myself to 2-3 days a week.

I was back in the classroom at 1:15, ready for Math class to start at 1:25. There were some new things to be stuffed into Wednesday folders so I did that while waiting for Math to start. During Math class, I graded the kids' homework assignments, let Mrs. Z know that the kids understood the information from the day before (therefore, no reteaching needed) and then walked around the room, helping the kids understand the new information being presented.

There was one little girl that was not understanding the information exactly and with a simple movement of her head, Mrs. Z asked me to help this little girl out. Three or four classroom examples later, she fully grasped the concept and was quick with the correct answer. It was such a great feeling to help out the students.

After the lesson was done and the kids were working on that day's assignments, Mrs. Z and I were standing up at the front of the class and one of the students asked her if she watched Youtube videos. She said not much, but she did watch one when she needed to learn how to do something. The kid was talking about funny Youtube videos, but Mrs. Z doesn't watch those. I told her that there was a site within Youtube called Teachertube and that there were some good things on there. I then proceeded to tell her about this Animaniacs video that is featured both places. She then announces to the class that I know so much about what is available on the computer and that I have taught her so much! Huge compliment, but oh, so embarrassing! :)

The boys went to Bible group tonight. Girlie stayed home because she was cranky and needed to go to bed early.

All in all, it really was a wonderful Wednesday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Time for Me Thursday (and preschool picture day)



The thing that I did for myself today was...SLEEP IN! (Okay, so actually, technically, I honestly did it yesterday too!) And really, it wasn't quite sleeping in, so much as it was being able to go back to sleep. Because I did get up, make sure everyone else (and Hubby) was up and that Hubby got the boys to school. Then I went back to bed. Ahhhh! Such luxury!

Today is Girlie's preschool picture day. I'm not sure how I feel about the outfit she was wearing today. It didn't really "speak" to me and she did wear her glasses. I hope that they take the time to make sure she looks nice and that her glasses are pushed up and not slipping down on her little nose. I'm sure she'll look great though! I'm so excited! I love the company that the preschool has come in to take pictures! They do such a fabulous job! Well, that's it for today. I have something else to post about, but I will wait to tell you all about it until next Tuesday. Let's just say that its big! And it makes me very happy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Job Huntin'

I have been nervous about putting out applications and resumes because I'm a really shy person (What? Doesn't it show?) and the whole process just leaves me a bundle of nerves. But there are two companies that are hiring that I have worked in conjunction with through an old job and I really kind of need a new job. So I took the plunge and did it.

The first company I stopped to apply with, I also had an on-the-spot interview. I knew that I would before I went in there, so I set it up for a time when I would have time to do an interview as well. It went really well! I filled out a bunch of paperwork and then turned that in, then I had the interview. I first heard of the company through one of their contracted workers. I couldn't remember her name, though. But when the lady who interviewed me asked about it, I told her that I thought the lady's name was Nancy and she said a last name and I said that I thought it sounded familiar. She then started describing this person and it was the same person I was talking about. As it turns out, the fact that Nancy referred me to the company, I guess, says a lot. So, I have a bit of an "in" there already. I have to pay $15.00 for a criminal background check (it's blank, but I understand their need to do it) and then I'll find out in about two weeks if I have a spot or not.

The second company I have also worked in conjunction with through my old job. I stopped in there to drop off my resume, even though their ad had requested that resumes be mailed in. There was a guy walking through the lobby who offered to help me and I told him that I was there to drop off my resume and he said that I needed to talk to Mandy, and that she was "kinda the one who runs everything" around there. So he went in and got her. Mandy comes out of the office, looks at me and just halts. "Tell me how we know each other!" she exclaims. I feel like a deer in the headlights because I have no clue who she is. But I improvise and tell her that I used to work with this other company and that we shared a few clients and that is probably how she knows me. I also tell her that the head nurse on the clients that I personally had was Jackie. She nods her head towards the office and said that Jackie was actually in the office at that point. And then she offers to go get me an application as well. So, I'm standing there and Mandy is heading back towards me after grabbing the application down the hallway and Jackie comes out of the office. She glances at me then starts to head in the opposite direction towards Mandy. Suddenly, she stops, turns around and with wide eyes says, "Remind me of the connection." She remembered me! I wasn't sure that she would. So I mentioned that she and I had shared two clients, one whose name I remembered and one whose name I didn't. I mention the town where the family lived and the fact that they lived on a vineyard and then both she and Mandy said the family's last name at the same time. We briefly reminisce about the experience and then she asked me what I was doing there. I told her I was applying for a job and she went all smiles and said how she'd love to work with me again. I have the application and I need to fill it out and take it back in. I would have done it right there on the spot, but I didn't have enough time, as I had to leave to go get kids from school, which they both understood.

So, two good job prospects. One working as a private duty health care worker, the other as a CNA with a great hospice company. Hospice is a branch of my field that I really have a passion for. I have heard that it takes a special kind of person to be able to do it, but I don't feel special. Its just something that I enjoy doing. I like working with the families and the patients and being there to help them through an extremely hard time in all of their lives. It can be incredibly difficult for me, as I get attached to the clients and their families, but if I didn't, then I should just change my field completely.

When I was in school for my CNA, one of my instructors read a line out of our text book that said to remain impartial to the clients/patients. She put the book down and said, "If that ever happens, if you cannot connect with the patients, if you do not care about them, quit and find a new profession. Because you will be worthless to the patient. You cannot do this job well and remain impartial. It just cannot happen." I liked that thought and I haven't had to "try" to do it. It's natural. I love my line of work and the people I care for.

Anyhow, hopefully I will have some good news to report back to you all on.

Tackle It Tuesday - Pictures

Tackle It Tuesday


Well, today's tackle was to upload some photo images to my Facebook account. I took lots and lots of pictures this weekend (some of which I posted on here already) but Facebook was not cooperating with me, so I spent time on Sunday and Monday attempting (and failing) at uploading pictures, so today when I tried and it worked, I stuck with it. I had to do it in small chunks because too many photos and it overloaded something somewhere, I think. It took much longer than it should have but I'm glad that I finally got it done. It also wasn't something that needed to be done, but I really wanted to do it, so I did.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sleepover Saturday

Today was Saturday! The day of the sleepover! Yay! So much fun to be had. We started out the day by cleaning a bit. You know, the routine pre-company clean that you do when you know in advance that you're having company? Hubby got the boys' bedroom carpet cleaned and the playroom, well, it didn't get done. It worked out, though, because the kids didn't go in there hardly at all.

So, I call and talk to Girl L's stepmom and make plans to pick her up about an hour later. We head out and pick her up at 2:00. She is all ready to go and her dad, BFF N, and I chat for a few minutes in their yard, where he and Girl L have been tearing down old fencing and putting up new fence. (I'll have to have him come over here next to do our yard!)

We leave and head over to my in-law's house, where there is quite the group gathering already there. My mother-in-law (MIL) and father-in-law (FIL) were there, of course. My two brothers-in-law (BIL D and BIL N) and BIL D's girlfriend (GF J) were there as well. Hubby's grandma (GGJ) was there as well. And then, of course, our brood plus Girl L plus our dog, Freddy.

The kids head downstairs to the computer room and spend time playing on their Webkinz accounts. Boy A, Boy B and Girl L all have the animals and their own accounts. And apparently, this one-player at a time game is a spectator sport because the three of them did very well down there for almost two hours, taking turns and watching each other play. Yes, you heard me read that right. They took turns. For two hours. No fights erupting, nothing but giggles and friendly chatter from the computer room for two hours. I love having an extra kid over!



Meanwhile, Boy C was left to his own devices to play and was amused by simply playing with this toy that I'm sure every human being that has been a toddler in the last thirty years has played with. He loved it! He sat there for at least a good half hour, pulling the lever, listening to the sound and then giggling. Pull lever, listen, giggle, and repeat. For thirty minutes. I was sick of hearing it by the time he was done.



And Girlie was upstairs causing mischief of her own. As I rounded the corner from the mudroom after being with the big kids and Boy C in the basement, she jumped out and said "Boo!" Little booger!




I sit down to watch the football game with Hubby and his family and of course, snap some quick pics of his family from where I am sitting and just sit back and enjoy the get-together. I like our college team and football...just not so much on television. I'd much rather be there in person. So much better that way! This pic shows FIL and Hubby and GGJ.





Across from me, GF J went to sit back down next to BIL D but Girlie tried to sneak in under her.





My two BILs were sitting next to each other. It was a rather interesting time with the two of them. At random moments, they would burst out in song and sing together. It had nothing at all to do with anything going on at the moment, but for the most part, it sounded like they were two drunk college frat boys. Okay, one is in college and the other is waiting to get into medical school, but still... And the other interesting thing was that the more they drank, the less they did it. Kinda made me feel like scratching my head. And I think GF J is thinking about reconsidering her decision to potentially someday join the family. Can't say that I blame her, though! :)



Boy C decided to come up and join the family when he heard lots of cheering and loud noises. He started out with Uncle D (BIL D) but then decided that it was safer with Daddy (aka Hubby). Can't say that I blame him either. And I loved this pic so much that I decided to crop it and put it in a frame.



The big kids also resurfaced, though mainly for food and drink. They weren't up for very long before heading back to the computer room again. But while they were in the kitchen, I was able to actually take a picture of Girl L while she was looking at the camera. I got a number of pictures of the side of her head, but very few head-on shots.



Freddy thought it was too loud, so he made himself a comfy (to him) rest area behind the couch where the BILs and GF J were sitting. He stayed there most of the day. I wouldn't think that a brick hearth would be all that comfortable, but then again, I'm not a Cocker Spaniel. A fluffy Cocker at that too.



During half-time, BIL N went out into the sunroom/playroom to play with Girlie and then they ventured outside to play for a bit. They were outside playing for a bit and then before the game started back up, BIL N had her come inside. She was not pleased with this and sat on a bench in the mudroom, pouting. I tried to get a picture of her sitting there, pouting but she ran off towards the basement and closed the door. She was really angry. And I'm such a mean mommy by trying to get a picture of her being upset. But come on, who wouldn't?



The big kids had come upstairs during half-time as well and when they decided to go back downstairs, they discovered that the door was locked. And MIL wasn't sure if she had a key for it or not. She called upon BIL D to attempt to pick the lock and BIL D called upon Boy B to be his assistant. BIL D is the second child, so I guess he thought that Boy B would be a good assistant since he is also a second child.



Unfortunately, they were unable to get the lock opened, and MIL eventually went upstairs to her bedroom to get her set of extra keys. A large set of keys on a keychain, all unmarked, going to who knows what. She hands it to BIL D and he picks one out and opens the door on the first try. Way to go, BIL D! Of course, Miss Crabby little Girlie wasn't happy that her sanctuary had been invaded, but the rest of us were pleased about that.

So, I took the kids outside to play. All five of them. There was much fun to be had out of doors. There were toys to be ridden on, a disc swing to swing on, a slide to slide down, a tree to be climbed...and as you will see, yes, Girl L is wearing a brace, and yes, she is climbing a tree with a broken wrist. But Hubby is a tall adult and was actually able to lift her down from the tree with ease. And now, I leave you with pictures...enjoy!



















Friday, September 18, 2009

Failed Friday...well, sort of

Well, it was an interesting day. I can give it that much. MIL called in the morning and said that she was done with her electrician and that she would be ready at any time to go to that garage sale and get the table and chairs (and this side hall mirror/table thing) and that she would meet us at our house. So, she comes over and we drive up to the sale (she in her car with our Littles and us in our van) two blocks from our house. I park and then head over to the car to sit with the Littles while MIL and Hubby load her items into our van. All starting out well.

MIL comes back to the car and I get out and head back towards my van and she leaves, heading for her house with the kids. We are going to head that way too. Hubby wanted me to look at something (a pop-up kennel that we ended up buying for our dog) so we look and then buy it, get in the van and go to start it. I turn the key and the van clicks. Groan. Not now. Not with a van load of MIL's garage sale purposes. Not while I'm parked in a prime spot at a garage sale. So I try it again. Click, click, click. Deep breath. I turn to Hubby. "It's not working."

So, he calls his mom and lets her know. He also heads home to grab some oil (our van is almost 10 years old - it uses oil and is a bit overdue for a change, I just haven't gotten under there yet) and comes back. The oil level is okay, but Hubby adds some more despite my telling him not to.

While we are standing at the front of the van, the windshield wipers come on and start spraying water. The windshield wipers are off. The van is off. No clue what is going on with that (and I still don't know).

MIL comes over and after a quick assessment of the situation, she talks to the garage sale hosts and asks to borrow jumper cables. We try to jump it. No luck. The van at this point won't even click now. Great! So, MIL gets on her cell and calls her repair shop and then Triple A to come tow it.

Hubby leaves and walks the kids home so that they can go down for naps (as we have now been out there for awhile and they are getting tired and cranky) MIL gets off the phone with Triple A and says that they said it could be anytime within the next hour. "Might as well browse a bit more," we decide.

We walk up the driveway, I look at two picture frames that match the style of frames we use in our house and decide to get them (75 cents apiece and one of them was still brand new!) and I pay for my frames, then we start to walk out of the garage to look some more and a flat bed semi from Triple A shows up. I point it out to MIL and she wasn't sure it was there for us, since that would have been too fast. But the semi doesn't move, just sits there, so she goes out to talk to the driver. I follow behind.

By the time I get down there, the van is running. The Triple A guy was able to jump it with some tool he has. He informs MIL of a service they have and I explain the parts of it that he isn't explaining well and the MIL is not catching on to. We decide to use the service (a battery truck will come out and check the battery, replace the battery if need be, and also check the other systems to insure that they aren't needlessly draining the battery) and agree to meet the guy at MIL's house. The van is running and we can get the items to her house and get them unloaded before the battery truck gets there. So, we call Hubby and let him know that we are going to swing back around and pick him and the kids up and head back out so we can complete our original plans for the day, albeit later than we expected.

We pick them up and head over to MIL's. We unload the items and get them set up in her house. She got some fabulous deals! And then we wait for the guy. He was supposed to be there in about half an hour. About forty-five minutes later, he gives MIL a call, letting her know that he's about half an hour away. So, we feed the kids lunch.

The battery guy gets there and starts his tests. It's taking forever so Hubby puts the kids down for a nap. Once he gets them calmed down and settled in, the guy is done so its time to get those poor Littles up again. Hubby heads home with them (because now it is close to the time that the Big boys will be walking home from school) to put them down for their naps there (as he had originally tried to do. MIL and I get in the van and head down to FIL's business.

We spend quite a while, walking around, looking in the offices and checking out different chairs, lots of pictures and various things. In the end, we got six wood and vinyl chairs for our kitchen table, one wood and fabric chair for our computer desk, and a whole slew of pictures. I got a picture that is in the style of "The Rainbow Fish", you know, the childrens' storybook? I also got two Winnie-the-Pooh theme pictures and a bright Zebra picture for our kids' playroom. Finally some artwork to hang up to make it fun and whimsical in there! Then I got a wooden picture with muted tones for our bedroom. Two pictures for the living room and one that matches the style of pictures in our family room, but our family room doesn't need any additional pictures, although I did come up with two different spots in here where it could be used.

So, in all, that part of the day went well. We got what we went to look for and MIL and I had a nice time together. Any time that MIL and I have a good day together is a good day. Just plain and simple.

So, we get home and we transfer the pictures that MIL got for her house over to her car and she heads out. We unload some of the stuff from the van and I take a nap. :)

While I'm napping, Hubby finishes unloading the van and gets everything inside and then puts our van seats back in and gets the kids ready for the school carnival tonight.

The school carnival. It was all right. Nothing great and fantastic, but the kids enjoyed themselves and the little prizes that they won and seeing their friends and their friends' families. Boy A said hi to a group of older girls (he is in 3rd grade, these girls were most definitely in middle school) and one of the girls turned around, saw him and said, "Oh hi, Boy A." Of course, she said his real name, not "Boy A" but you know... And I look at Hubby and then I look at Boy A and I'm trying to figure out how my little boy knows those girls and I can't figure it out. So I ask him. "Oh, that one there," he points to one of the girls, "she's Girl S's sister." Girl S is a neighbor (and well, I guess her sister is also, LOL!) but Girl S was in Boy A's class last year and they played together quite a bit last year. They didn't spend much time together over the summer or this year yet, but I wonder if its just a matter of differing schedules.

So anyhow, I found out how he knew them and my ruffled feathers laid back down nicely and I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening. Then we came home, fed the kids and put them to bed.

The carpets didn't get cleaned, the playroom is not in playroom order, and there are chairs and pictures in my family room that don't belong. But there's always tomorrow. Girl L doesn't get here until 3 pm and technically, it's not even here at our house, it will be at MIL's house to watch our college football team play.

Oh, and I was able to borrow the camera. I can't remember if I said that or not, but I'll upload some pictures in a bit too of the boys in a race car of some sort tonight at the carnival. And there will be pictures tomorrow! You can guarantee that!

Finish It Friday

Today is "Finish It Friday" as dubbed by the great and wonderful Katie who I still need to email back (and I will! I promise!) :) Actually...maybe...yeah...maybe that's something that should be on my Finish It list. Finish my email! :)

On my list for finishing projects today is my van. That's actually towards the top of my list for a couple of reasons. Number one being that my van is actually my MIL's van. My MIL is the one who bought it and paid for it and takes care of the insurance and maintenance, etc, although she did buy it for us. We are extremely grateful for it too! Anyhow, I guess she went to a yard sale recently and bought a table and chairs and maybe some other items that she couldn't fit into her car. So, she called us and let us know that we were going to go pick it up today. But it is also the vehicle we use the most as a family. So, we had to pull the seats out, clean it out and make sure there was enough cargo room in there for what she needs. We have done that part, but it still looks messy. It needs to be vacuumed out and wiped down and the glass cleaned on the inside. It's kind of a vanity thing, but I want it to look really nice before MIL gets in there. Anyone who has little kids knows how messy a car can get when you spend a fair amount of time in there. Which is worsened even more if you car doubles as storage for some things. For us, that would be where we regularly keep our bowling balls. Hubby and I each have two and Boy A has one. Plus bowling shoes and other equipment. Plus our sporting equipment. We haven't seen the carpet in back of our van (behind the back seat) for a long, long time.

The other reason we need to get it cleaned out is because FIL's company just closed. So, we get to go over there on Saturday and pick out things that the company hasn't been able to sell yet. Namely, chairs. Although, we might have a chance at some pictures or other items. But I do know we are specifically looking at chairs. I'm excited about that too!

And the third reason, is because on Saturday, my son is having a girl over. Boy A is 8, Girl L is 8. Their birthdays are 3 months, 1 week and 5 days apart. Girl L is the daughter of my best friend, BFF N. I am older than BFF N by 2 months, 2 weeks, and 5 days. He and I grew up together. We "met" when we were two years old, though neither of us remember it. We just grew up together and have always been friends. His ex-girlfriend, L's mother, and I were pregnant together. L's mother and my BFF N didn't work out, but that's okay. BFF N just got married this summer and his wife is pretty cool. L's mother doesn't live in our city though, and BFF N only has her every other weekend and two weeks in June and two weeks in July, plus every other holiday or something like that. So, we don't really get to see her very often.

This summer, I finally got to meet L. I just never wanted to infringe on BFF N's time with her and felt that their time together was special and important. So I finally met her and then the next week, she came over while BFF N and his wife went out and played pool. They were on a league. When BFF N came to pick her up, she begged him to be able to stay the night. I told him it was fine by me and it was fine by him, so that's what happened. BFF N and I used to stay the night at each other's houses until we were twelve years old or something like that.

Boy A has been wanting to see Girl L ever since then, but it hasn't worked well with our schedules so we haven't had a chance to see her again. I texted BFF N to check to see if he had Girl L this weekend and he said he did. I asked him if Girl L could hang out with us for awhile on Saturday and he said yes. And then he told me that he actually had a birthday party to go to for one of his friends in another town and would we just want to keep Girl L overnight? I talked to Hubby about it and he said, "I suppose" so we have Girl L overnight on Saturday night.

Kind of a long way to say that is the third reason I want to get the van super clean. Plus it gave me a good excuse to post some pictures.

I also was able to borrow my mom's camera for the weekend (or maybe a bit longer than that even) so that I can take some new and fun photos to share with you all.

Some other finish it items include:
*carpet cleaning the boys' bedroom (also because Girl L is staying over)
*getting our playroom into shape (also because Girl L is staying over)

And I honestly think that those three items alone will be plenty for me to finish up today. Actually, Hubby will be doing the carpet cleaning in the boys' room and we will all be pitching in on the playroom, but its on the list, so hopefully, by the end of the day today, I will be able to cross them off as finished projects.

Murphy's Law

Well, doesn't it just figure that the day I put up a post about wanting to get more active and such, it turns out that I ended up feeling the exact opposite? I had 0 energy today. ZERO. I did go in and talk to Boy A's teacher...well, two of them actually. And I talked to Boy B's teacher briefly. I signed up for the volunteer training so that I could help out in the classroom and then I came home. I helped Hubby get the Littles ready to go and we headed out over to Mother-in-Law's (MIL) house to drop them off. Did some job searching stuff and then came home and CRASHED. I was so tired! Woke up, worked on the computer for a bit, helped Boy A get his homework started (really, just on the encouragement front) and then CRASHED. Then, I woke up at midnight. Not working so well for me. I could still sleep the rest of the night, but I won't because I have a number of projects to work on that I didn't get around to working on today while I was napping.

So, I am going to go pick up my mom and she is going to stay in the house while Hubby and I go out to the garage and do some work out there and also clean out the van. We need to have the van fully accessible for this weekend, as MIL wants to use it for the cargo space and we need to use it for the cargo space as well.

So, that is what we are doing. At 1 AM. In the morning. Yay! LOL! It's a good thing that I regularly work nights and am used to being up right now and also that I function on very minimal sleep most of the time. Today being an exception - usually I have a day like that once a month or so.

I will also see if I can borrow my mom's camera so that I can take a picture of the garage so I can show you all just how much there is to do out there. It's a completely crazy mess. Ugh!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fitness Journey

I'm overweight. Most of America is. I get by just fine and I'm not actually that uncomfortable with my body. But at the same time, I would like to lose some weight. I will post a photo of what I look like right now. Well, not right this instant, as I'm sitting here blogging in my jammies and I don't think Hubby would want a picture of me in my jammies on the internet whether I'm a size 20 or a size 4. Just for the record, I'm a 20.

Anyhow, this is my picture. I'm the one on the left. You may notice that its the picture that I grabbed my profile picture from. Seated next to me is one of my best friend's sisters. I have known H since she was, oh, two days old or so? Probably something like that. I don't think I saw her while she was in the hospital but I know I saw her early on in her life.

So, the purpose of this post is to start documenting my work towards slimming down and toning up. Now, other than chasing after kids and the routine housework, I don't really work out at all all that much. So today will begin my journey of daily workouts and recording them. I will also keep an update going on weight lost or gained and how the clothes are fitting. I don't really care about the exact number on the scale. What I care about is wanting to get into a size 12. That was the size I was when I got married and I'd love to get back to it, but it will take a lot of work to do it. So here we go! Wish me luck!

Time For Me Thursday

I came across a wonderful blog the other day, Crafts by Katie. What a read! I loved it! And I liked the themes I saw there. So I did what any blogger should do. I emailed her and asked if I could use her graphics and her ideas for Thursdays and Fridays. And you know what? She agreed! YAY! Thanks Katie! So, before I go on to the part, I want you all to know that if you click on the sunflower picture, you will be redirected to Katie's blog (and really, you should go check it out. I liked it.)

Okay, now to what I am doing for myself today. Well, it actually seems like something that would be for Boy A, but really it is for me too, although he will benefit as well. Today, I am meeting with one of his teachers. I want to get to the bottom of some home/school issues that have been plaguing Boy A since the start of school this year. I started this process yesterday and today, I will finish it.

Then, once I am done meeting with this teacher, I will sign up for the training class to be able to help in the classroom. I love to teach (though I have only taught brief classes at the elementary level, as I don't have a teaching certificate and I'm not a teacher) and I love kids. Oh, and the subject that I'm looking to help out in will be either 3rd Grade Math or the computer lab, as I love both subjects. I will also probably put in a few appearances in the Kindergarten room as well.

Now, why is that "for me" I bet you are wondering. Well, the meeting is for me, because every single day after school, we are faced with this emotional drudgery from Boy A from something that happened at school and this is the teacher that he gets into the most trouble with. It may also help because if Boy A needs services of some sort or an alternative plan, this is also the person I would talk to about that.

The second part of it is signing up to help in the classroom. I just love it. Especially the subjects. I'm the math nerd person who signed up and took classes to become an tax preparer just for fun. That was three years ago, I believe, and I haven't honestly used my training, though I do a rough set of figures before we go in to have our lady, Preparer V, do our taxes. I just love math.

I also love computers. I love learning and teaching myself new skills on computers. I love looking up information and learning it so I can apply it. It's so much fun. And yes, I am a computer geek person.

I have been contemplating a career in teaching. This may help me decide whether or not to pursue it. The only thing is, I would want to pursue elementary education. Which would require a four year college, which costs a lot of money. Money I don't have to spend on education right now. So, we shall see. If it is meant to be, a path will open up.

What are you doing for yourself today? Make sure that you make time for yourself every single day. You need to take care of you so that you can take care of others. Head on over to Katie's Blog and see what she is doing for herself too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wonderful Day!

I had the most wonderful day today! I had to go into the school today to drop off some snacks for Boy B's Kindergarten class. I had picked up some graham crackers, a couple of jugs of apple juice and some dixie cups for the kids. I wasn't sure what "bringing snack" meant, but figured too much was better than not enough - and if there is extra, they just keep it for later use.

Anyhow, that was the main purpose of my visit. I go in, check in with the monitor, get my visitor badge and head towards Boy B's classroom. Before I get too far, I decide to quickly swing by Boy B's homeroom class to talk to his teacher about our homework dilemma. We are constantly getting homework sent home, Boy A does it, then we send it to school the next day, yet it somehow keeps coming home in his backpack. So, my concern was that the homework was not getting turned in. When I would ask Boy A about it, he would either say he did turn it in or else he forgot to turn it in. Both answers are usually given moments apart, so I felt that I should talk to his teacher about this.

I go in to talk to her and while she is not the teacher that I needed to talk to about this particular situation. This problem kept cropping up involving his math homework, but his homeroom teacher teaches his language arts, not his math or unit studies teacher.

We discuss his language arts progress and overall behaviors in the classroom and she reports to me that he is doing well and is showing improvement over his behavior from the beginning of the year, and we also discussed how the spelling tests are set up. She is getting her system established and she is doing well with it. So, report from Mrs. R went well!

Then I head over to talk to Mrs. Z about Boy A's math homework. I go in and introduce myself and tell her that I would like to talk to her about Boy A's math. She gets excited and says that she is so happy that I am there and then closes the door. We sit down and she says that she is so shocked over Boy A's test score. (inward grown on my part) She goes on to say that she was sure he was going to have problems with his test, since he had been absent last week and missed a lot of the instruction time and then the review and extra practice. She pulls out his test and shows me that he only missed two problems. She said that since he had been gone, she thought she would have to reteach him the material and she didn't. He felt confident that he could do the work and so she let him take the test, against her better judgment and he did extremely well. She said that he has a math mind.

I explained our issue with homework and how it comes back. She explained that her process was to have the kids lay their work out in the top corner, and she walks around the room and spot checks the homework to make sure that its complete and checks a couple of key problems. She doesn't actually sit down and grade each assignment. So, that is why Boy A often brings the homework back home. She said he has never not had his homework when he should have it.

What an encouraging visit I had with her. We talked at great length, actually taking up most of her hour-long plan period. It was wonderful! She said that I was easy to talk to (and I totally felt the same way about her) and that she really enjoyed our talk.

How wonderful to have those conversations with two of his teachers. I have to talk to a third teacher tomorrow yet and I'll let you know how that one goes.

I then went on to Boy B's classroom and dropped off the treats. The teacher, Ms. W, seemed to really appreciate the juice and cups as well. I'm going to try to remember to take treats in once a month at least.

Works For Me Wednesday

Photobucket


Well, I actually had not planned on doing a WFMW post, but there was something today that just worked out so well that I had to share it. I wanted to blog but Boy A also needs someone to keep him on task to finish his homework. We normally do homework at the table, but due to time constraints this evening, I wouldn't be able to sit with him at the table and be able to blog at the same time. So instead, Boy A is sitting here next to me while I type. For the most part, he is staying focused on his homework and I'm able to get some "me" time at the same time. I love to write/type and blog and it has become really important to me that I have the time to do this every day. So, that is my WFMW tip. If you need to have some time on the computer and your kid needs you as well for some intermittent help, then set him or her up next to you. We happen to have a large enough desk that works well for both of us to sit and work comfortably. If we didn't though, I could set him up with a clipboard and a chair next to me as well. Which is something we sometimes do in the van on those evenings where we are running from one sporting activity to another.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What A Wonderful Evening!

Well, I got most of the things accomplished on my list for today that I had hoped to accomplish. And a few things that I didn't have on my list that also got done too. For instance, I have been having issues getting my computer and my printer/scanner/copier to communicate with each other...well, actually getting the machine to communicate with the computer. The computer communicates with the machine just fine. Anyhow, I found out one way to bypass the communication problem. I still plan to fix it but for now, I have found a temporary solution to the problem until I have more time to spend working on it.

Another thing that got done (though I cannot take credit for it in the least): Hubby rearranged some items in our garage so that we can actually park a vehicle in there. Our 2 1/2 car garage, which is also extra-deep, can now fit one car in. YAY! There is just so much STUFF out there to be dealt with that it is completely overwhelming to me. That will be a large (very large) ongoing tackle for the future. Most of it could probably just be thrown away but I keep hanging on to some of it because...I need to go through it. I just need the time and the energy (best if they are present together) to do it. Also, I need trash cans available to do it. When I do go to tackle this monster mess, I plan to go into it with a mindset of pitching most of it and only keeping out the things that are really important or worth something. Maybe I'll make a few trips to a donation center as well. I'm past the point now, I think, of holding on to something for a future garage sale. It was supposed to happens sometime this summer and it never did. No reason to keep it around until next year in the hopes that it may sell. Besides, we have cold winters here and I'd much rather have the space for the vehicles!

I went to the Mary Kay party tonight with my friend, Server G. It was so much fun! And my face feels AWESOME! I hardly ever wear make-up and honestly, do little more than wash my face in the shower. But I do love MK products and I have for a long time. I just forgot how much until tonight. And somehow, in the process of it all, I signed up to be a consultant. It will be fun! I'm not outgoing by any means. I know it may seem otherwise because I frequently have really long posts, but this is my comfort zone. At a monitor, by myself, with no one watching me. A spot where I can make mistakes, erase them and you never know. A place where I can be in the middle of something, decide that I don't feel like working on it anymore at that exact moment and then save it, leave it and come back to it later. For some reason, you can't do those things in real life. So, we shall see! However, if anyone is in need of MK products or anything, let me know! I can help you out! :) (Okay, slight plug, but I had to. It's my blog. I can do that, right?)

To top the night off, when I got home from the party (an hour or so later than expected) Hubby had the kids in bed asleep. It was wonderful! Yay! Thanks again so much, Honey!

I have a semi-busy day tomorrow. I have a lot of research to do before Boy C's 2 year check-up on October 7. There is so much information that I'm working on digesting and trying to figure out at the moment. But I plan to go in to his appointment with a list of things to talk and ask about and to have as much information on hand as I can. I have three weeks to get as much as I can done on the research front. But that will be another blog post entirely.

So, without further ado, I bid you good evening. I'm going to bed (at a closer to reasonable time tonight - I have tonight off after all.)

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday


I am determined that today will be much better planned and followed through with. Yesterday was a horribly planned day. Well, actually, it was well planned. The plan just was not followed. So today, hopefully, we can change that. And just for the record, by "we" I mean "I" because yesterday's plan deviations were all me.

Yesterday's lessons learned, and it is on to today.


  • Boy A needs to correct his homework

  • Boy B needs to finish his homework
    (Side note: Didn't get it done so went in and talked to his teacher. She hadn't expected it to all be done yet, so I marked it off. He worked on some of it.)



I need to:

  • clean the living room

  • bring blocks and other small kid toys up from the playroom

  • find out if our dry erase board is also magnetic(It is!)

  • get ready for Boy C's teacher and coordinator to come over



After teaching, then I need to:

  • take the Littles (this is Girlie and Boy C) to Grandma M's house, so she can watch them

  • go pay a couple of bills (including that garbage bill, ugh!)

  • come home, make sure I look presentable and go in to a company for a job interview

  • come back home, pick up the house a bit

  • NAP (as I work nights, I need to sleep some during the day)

  • wake up, get kids from Grandma M and come home Well, this one I delegated, but it still got done. That counts right?

  • make dinner, get kids going on homework Also delegated, but still it is done.

  • attend a Mary Kay party held by my friend, Server G

  • come home, get kids ready for bed Hubby got the kids to bed while I was at the Mary Kay party. How awesome is that? Thanks Sweetie!

  • spend some quality time with Hubby

  • go to work



There are a few things on my list that I can pass off to Hubby (and likely will, just for sanity and time reasons) but overall, I think that plan should work and work well.

But for now, I must get started on some of the pre-teaching stuff.

Link up with other moms doing "Tackle It Tuesday" by clicking on the picture above.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Unorganized and humbled

Okay, so this is the part where I have to admit just how unorganized I have become over this past period of sickness. I hate to admit it, but I must.

Today, on our agenda for after Boy A got home from school was homework, swim lessons, picnic at the park, get football attire from Grandma M's house (she took him to his last game two weeks ago and his stuff was still over there), go to Boy A's football game. Right? Yeah, maybe not so much. This is where the unorganized part comes in.

I was running errands when Boy A got home from school. When I got back, I asked Hubby if he had found Boy A's swim trunks. He forgot to look for them. So, it is half an hour before swim lessons and we're looking frantically for the trunks. Not anywhere to be found. We decide that he will miss lessons today. Boy B isn't feeling the greatest anyhow, so...sure.

We all leave to go run an errand that is CLEAR across town, to pay our garbage bill, so that, you know, garbage will be picked up tomorrow. It's kind of an important thing. I was sure they were open until 4:30. Nope, 3:30. Yi! So we had just driven all the way across town for nothing.

Since we were on that side of town, we decided to stop by to say hi to Grandma S (my mom), and see if she would want to keep the Littles (Girlie and Boy C) while we took Boy A to his game. She most happily agreed and the kids were excited to be there as well. Boy B decided he wanted to go there as well, so we let him.

So then, it was Hubby, Boy A and I. It was nice. We decided to do something special that we don't do often, so we took him out to dinner before the game. We ate at one of our favorite family restaurants, RR.

The selling point was that a friend of ours (who became a friend after we met him at RR) was likely working. He didn't answer his phone when I called, so it was a fairly safe guess. He was likely to be working or maybe playing basketball... So, we go in and he's working! Boy A was ecstatic!

This friend of ours, Server J, happens to be someone that Boy A looks up to and admires. Why? We haven't the slightest clue. But Server J is wonderful with kids, and our kids in particular. Boy A even tried to convince him to leave work and come watch his football game, because he could just work tomorrow instead (Server J's day off). :) It's cute.

So, we ate dinner and then Hubby and Boy A played a couple of arcade games. After all, what restaurant trip (that has an arcade) is complete without wasting playing a game or two?

Then off to Grandma M's to get football attire. We get there, get Boy A changed and head to the field. It was at this point that I realize I don't know which field Boy A is playing on. So I call Coach J. He says we are on Field 1.

We arrive and then I realize we don't know which of the numerous fields is Field 1. Hubby points out the first field we see. I say, "that can't be it, let's drive down there." So, Hubby obliges me and we drive down there. I see a sign that says Fields 1-4, and am just about to say how I knew that first field wasn't it, when Hubby drives by the sign again and reads, "Baseball fields 1-4" Okay. So, I have no clue where we actually need to be and I admit that to Hubby and ask him to call the Coach. I don't want to look as highly unorganized as I actually am, you know? So, he obliges me again and calls.

His end of the conversation:
"Hey J, we thought we knew where Field 1 was, but we don't have the field map with us. Which one is it?
"Oh really? Sure, sure I know that one."
Sideways glance at me to make sure I'm listening.
"Okay, the first field when we enter the park? Okay, we'll head back up that way."

No comment to Coach J about how he thought that was the correct field, nor that his wife was sure that it was not the right field, nor that he went with my plan just to appease me. Just a simple, "Okay, we'll head back up that way."

Hmmm. It made me think. If the situation were reversed, I'm sure I would have said that I thought that was the correct field. I may have even said that Hubby thought it was not the right field but that we had gone with his directions instead. But Hubby didn't do that to me. Hmmm. Seems to me that I learned a quick little lesson there by example. And it showed me where I wasn't right. (And I do so enjoy being right, if you cannot tell by my eagerness to point that out to Hubby when we had arrived at the Baseball Field 1 parking lot.)

So, we drive back to Field 1. We get out and Boy A hustles over to the field, ahead of us (since we are now not only unorganized, but also...late) and he joins his team. Hubby and I leisurely stroll through the grass, holding hands and talking on the way over. He actually still wanted to hold my hand, after I'd been so not nice.

We sit down and watch our boy and enjoy our time (relatively) alone. Our team won, which was nice because every team we're up against this year is "better" than ours. It's just the way our team was divisionalized.

And one of the great parts? We got Boy A's football photo and team composite photo back. We had gotten the smallest package available, with the addition of a button (the package came with one, but this way, we could both wear one) and a key chain, which Hubby claimed for himself. I had been concerned about not getting a bigger package, but when I saw the picture, I was so glad that we had chosen a smaller, inexpensive package.

The photo itself was okay, but I guess I'm just a photo snob used to the photos that Hubby's cousin takes, especially for the price we paid. In the end though, its worth it to us to have the team photo and buttons and key chain. I'm just glad that I didn't plan on giving any football photos out. Maybe if (and this is a BIG if) Boy A plays a different league of football, that will be different, but at this level and on this league, we won't be.

We leave and stop by the store to pick up a photo frame (which itself was $3.00, yet somehow we walked out of the store spending $40.00?) and then went to get the Youngers (Boys B and C, along with Girlie) from Grandma S. By the time we get home, it's an hour and a half past bedtime and the kids fall into bed pretty quickly.

Then I realize...Boy A never got his homework corrected and Boy B did very little of his because I wanted to go to a place that was closed to pay a bill and said we could come back to it later. Hmmm.

Oh...and by the way, the swim trunks? They were in the van, ready to go.

Homeschooling Day 1

Okay, first off..let me just state that my kids go to public school. However, Boy B has been absent from school almost as much as he has been there. Today, he woke up with a cough (that reason alone will get him sent home from school) and a sore throat again. Seriously. His ear feels fine, by the way. Go figure, right?

So, anyhow, today we are homeschooling.

Boy B and Girlie started off the day with some Starfall activities. They did the "ABC's Let's get ready to read" online activities for the letters Aa and Bb. Then I decided that we would do a more planned out lesson for those, so then I downloaded the Aa worksheet packet from the Starfall site as well.

I printed off an A worksheet for Girlie and printed her off an apple coloring page as well.

I think we will do something with apples today. Maybe make something with apples? Apple pie or apple bread as I am in a baking mood today. And maybe read some books that strongly emphasize the letter A. I'll have to check on the Internet to see what I can find because this wasn't exactly a planned activity.

I'll have to come back and let you know what we did. It's a "wing it" kind of day.

Menu Plan Monday

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Hmm...plan for a menu this week. Let's see what I can do.

Well, today (Monday) I have to fit our dinner between swim lessons (which end at 4:45) and a football game (which we have to be there at 6:15). Both of which are on the same side of town, which happens to be across town from where we live. So...

Monday: picnic in the park
Tuesday: burritos
Wednesday: homemade pizza
Thursday: Cheese Lover's Chicken A recipe that I want to try out, served with asparagus, I think.
Friday: Quinoa and Black Beans It can be served as a main dish or a side and I haven't decided which way I want to do it yet. I just know that I want to make it. Probably will be a main dish with a side salad.
Saturday: Kid's choice!
Sunday: roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and a side salad.

That seems like a good plan for the week for our family!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Soccer

Well, we had our soccer game today. Boy B spent much of his field time on his back. He thought it was fun to slide and also to kick and fall. His coach didn't scold him the way that I thought he should have. And parents are not supposed to call out instructions to the kids. They want the kids to listen to the coach on the field. I plan to talk to his coach tomorrow about coming down a bit harder on him.

Hubby missed coaching the game today, as he wasn't feeling well. So C coached instead. C is a great coach and the kids like him. I acted as Assistant Coach and kept track of which kids had been subbed in and out and who was next, etc. I think I gave them all fairly equal play time. Our team lost (not that we keep score, because we don't at this age group) but we did lose. Kids had fun and are learning the game, so that's the most important thing. Also Coach C does not follow the suggested practice plan. Maybe it's because he has played soccer for so many years that he just knows drills and stuff and just chooses them himself.

I had a to do list today and I don't think I got hardly anything accomplished off of it. I'll have to go back and see what I did or did not get done. Okay, I looked. Yeah, I didn't get much at all done. But what I did get done was good. And I had a great day!

After the soccer game, Boy A, Boy B and I went to their Great Grandma's house. We spent some time talking with GGJ and I invited her to any of Boy B's soccer games (since I had a schedule with me) and also to any of Boy A's flag football games. I told her I would send her a copy of his schedule in an email and I took care of that when I got home.

I am a bit worried about GGJ. Her hip is bothering her. I'm not sure what to do or say about it, but it does concern me. A lot. GGJ is in her 70's and very active, but these last few years, she's had to slow down a bit. My concern right now is her hip. Generally speaking, when older people break a hip, it is discovered after a fall. And the popular saying is "so and so fell and broke their hip" when in actuality, the broken hip is what caused the fall in the first place. One of the first signs of a broken hip, though, is pain in the hip region, which can be present for quite a while before a fall happens and the break is discovered. It all seems very backward in a way, but at the same time, it also makes a lot of sense. I think I may talk to GGJ privately in the near future to let her know my concern. She had company over when we popped in on her and I didn't want to bring that up while she had another person there.

We didn't end up getting home until after bedtime (roughly an hour later than we were expected to be home) so the boys grabbed slices of pizza leftover from dinner, ate them and headed off to bed. And guess what? They are back to school tomorrow!!! YAY!!!