Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whew! Where did the time go?

It certainly didn't go to getting any blogging done. For my followers, I apologize, again for the long delay in posting.

Summer was busy around here. You would think life would eventually slow down, but I don't see it happening yet. I remember thinking that everyone was wrong about it getting busier as the kids get older; I was the wrong one.

A1 was busy getting her freshman year finished up over the summer. With her reading college level literature and history material and juggling her volleyball schedule and other aspects of life, like chores and eating and sleeping and youth group, she got a touch behind. So summer was spent doing Biology and briefly finishing up Algebra II.

It is so hard to believe she is 16 already. I sound more like my Mom everyday. The driver's license is officially in her wallet and on our insurance; a month later than it could have been due to her busy schedule not meshing with mine. She does a great job and takes it very seriously. It was funny while we were driving with her. Just a few things said are coming up. Most of these phrases came within the first few weeks of driving and taking her classes.
  • When looking out for new obstacles: Andy said, "Did you see it before I told you about it?" A1 replies, "No, and that's why this is training." Andy, "Yea, that's why I lay awake at night."
  • I don't remember what this was in reference too. "Oh geez that was really bad."
  • When told probably scuffed tires coming back onto the road after slipping onto gravel at edge of back country road. "I love you car"
  • Me, "We nee to work on stops." As I am locked into the seat belt. "But Mom I can stop on a dime."
I have these posted in the office when I want to laugh and remember how very far she has come. I love that she has it! It is now more prayer time for safety when she is driving, but that next step to independence is there. She has been driving herself to volleyball practice, and Austin and herself to youth group and quiz practice. I had the flu a couple weeks ago and she got to fulfill one of the things she thought would be so great to do for me when she got her license; getting groceries. She came home and promptly came to the door of our room to tell me that she wasn't ready to be me anytime soon. It wasn't quite as fun as she thought it would be. We still let her drive as much as possible, yes even when we could drive ourselves. The more she drives the better she'll be.

A2 didn't have to make up any school work. He had a great school year and a great summer. Beside all the other things I posted about, he was our lawn mower guy again for his summer job. He also got to go flying this summer a couple of times and is hooked. He has wanted to do this for a couple of years and found out this year on time when the Young Eagles program was going to be happening. He has .9 hours logged of flight time in his book. He has been blessed each time to be in a single passenger plane and the guys have let him actually fly the plane. No take offs or landings, but in the air he has it. The biggest grins I've seen in a long time are across his face when he comes in. The last flight though he learned that flying with a sinus problem is just not the ticket. He used some of his money from summer mowing to get a flight stick for his computer and used Flight Simulator all summer. This fall at the start of school he even was flying the WWII planes and doing battle on Flight Sim Air War over Europe. He is growing, and growing and he hasn't even hit the spurt yet, just steady growth. Just after I was out of quarantine(mid October) from flu/bronchitis, we measured on the post and he had caught up to his sister. He is only 12. So we had them back to back and she was about 1/4" taller. I thought that was strange, so we checked her to the post and she had grown about that much since her birthday. She said it was out of sheer desperation since she doesn't want him to pass her. I am guessing maybe around Christmas or his birthday the day will be here. He can wear Andy's grey cowboy boots and he looks just as good in them as his Dad. Size 10.5 shoes. The clothes are at a tricky spot. He is caught between a 18 boys and small men's so we might have some swimming in clothes for a bit.

I spent the summer gardening and freezing, canning(52 pints of salsa) and planning the school year this year. Tweaking things to work better and so far that has happened. I also had to keep reminding my freshman that if her work wasn't done before the new school year started that she wasn't moving up in grade level. She handed in her last assignment at 5pm the night before the first day. Nothing like taking it to the wire. I also got to go work at the farm planting in late May. We helped get the fencing done for the cattle too and we had our 3rd baby for our personal herd. I also spent the summer getting my thyroid medicine straightened out and think we are finally where it needs to be. Wahoo! Now if I can just stay well enough to start hitting the exercise hard again to see if it holds that would be great!

Andy stayed busy at work and helping freeze and pick the garden here. I don't know that as much would have gotten done without his help. Gotta love a guy that helps out.

We went camping in Brown County State Park this year, stopping at the Children's Museum on the way there in order to see the King Tut exhibit. A perfect wrap up to our school year. The exhibit was so amazing and it was really cool when the kids asked questions of the people that they were curious about from their school work and things they were seeing. They people were impressed with what the kids new. The sad part was no pics. The hard part was not touching, for me. I could get so close to something that we had studied and that was so very, very old. It was so surreal. I just wanted to feel it. To touch something that people touched thousands of years before. I didn't though. Still amazed when I think about it.

The things they had. God is so amazing.
As we continued being chauffeured down to Brown County to our camp site, we talked about the exhibit and how neat it was to see. Camping was a blast! We always have a great time camping and it is something we look forward too. The forecast was just a touch off in the rain category. It started to pour just after we got tents up and had started to eat. We all dashed to the van for cover as we hadn't set up a rain tarp over the eating area. It didn't last too long, it just seemed like forever. We hiked. Found a couple of interesting mushrooms on the path. Just had to post a pic of this one because, well, the guys noticed it first, enough said. Enjoy your laugh! We also biked and ate traditional camping food, not fajitas and other things we usually take. Andy and the kids went to the nature center talk the first night while I stayed back with the fire and worked on getting some computer things done for school. It was peaceful and quiet, just what I needed.

So that was summer. This is now. School has started and it is going great! I have had to tweak a few things on HST+ because of illness and having somethings scheduled too tight, but we are having a great time. We picked up at the Fall of Rome and just ended our first Unit with the War of the Roses. It was so very cool to read my family tree history to the kids, reminding them that this was their family history too. We have things traced clear back and even mentioned fighting in the War of the Roses. The red rose, for the House of Lancaster, is on our family crest/shield. It made learning all the dates and kings more of a reality than being just out there. Both kids did awesome on the unit test(10 weeks of material, timeline and maps). We didn't review any, with me being sick for 2 weeks school is going longer, due to illness, not snow days. Plus this time I wanted to see what the remembered without going back. Both got high 80's. Great job guys!!

Our unit celebration, was a ton of fun. We didn't do the medieval feast, timing was off. What we did do was make cookie shields Andy's traditional shape. Dad chose to be a Viking even thought the kids told him that they lose in the end. Austin went with the traditional shape, as did Ashley and Mom.

We also played a castle siege. Thanks Laura! This was great!

We played it two times through and the winner only won by 2 or 3 points. Lots of "I am on a rocky island"-like this solved all the problems of a moat and making her impervious to attack at all. Austin's quote "I have 28 towers and 150 foot walls."-kind of hard for arrows to get over those from attackers, but also tricky for those inside to climb up the ladders. My parents came again for the celebration! Anytime I want Dad to come for school, I think all I'll have to do is mention cookie maps or cookie anything. Dad and Ashley were on a team for their castle. She had to work on designing hers on the paper that day. Austin and Mom were on the other team together. He had a head start, since his work was done, and he worked on it one or two days while he was down sick.

The teacher and principal have declared this week Fall Break! Also known as catch up week around here. While A1 isn't quite as far behind this year at this point, the 3 hour/2 day a week practice really cut into her time, so catchup week. I had wanted to schedule the year like this at the beginning, but the kids didn't think it was a good idea. They've changed their minds. It also gives me time to catch up on some grading as report cards are going out on Monday.

No promises of when I'll write again. I may bring my posts from my other blog here and just do the one. I can't even keep up with the one.

Thanks for reading everyone. I'll get to a post on what I did different with TOG and HST+ this year soon(relative speaking). In the meantime if you want help before posting, drop me a comment and I'll get back with your.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Life Just Keeps Rolling On-written in August

You know it's pretty bad when I have to read my last posts to know where I left you guys off at. As the title of this post says life just keeps rolling on; just at a faster pace then I want.

The rain finally let up enough here to get things planted. The kids and I made a trip to my parent's for a planting marathon. We had just enough dry weather to get everything in and it was growing fine last I heard.
We have strung more fence at the farm since the last post that was a second trip out to the farm. We always have a great time whether we are working or playing.

The rain kind of took a nose dive in July, but this week we have gotten some. Just yesterday and last night our some was quite a bit 4.7". It had been a few weeks before that without anything, but the hose going on the garden. The garden is doing great as you can see by the picture. The recent rains have made things perk up again. We have got green beans, zucchini and beets in the freezer already with more to come. Salsa making should start up this week and more green beans are coming toward the end of this week too.

A1 has started working at her Dad's place of employment for the summer crew. They are a few weeks behind due to the cool weather in July(this is what saved our crops from drying up). She has also started volleyball practice for the JV team this year and been practicing her driving every chance she gets. She is pretty whipped some days when she gets home. Last night she climbed in bed and was out around 7:30pm. She slogged through the fields in the hot humid weather for the morning and then followed that up with 3 hours of volleyball practice. Her Daddy and I think this is good conditioning for volleyball for her.

A1 has also celebrated her 16th birthday since last posting. That was a huge thing around here. She had a volleyball sleepover the night of her birthday so the Big Party couldn't be the next day so we ended up having it just last weekend at the pond at Andy's Mom's. Everyone had a great time. There were about 50 people who could make it a little more then half were kids. Only a few more weeks, probably, until getting her license and she is good to go on her own. For me this means I don't have to drive to and from volleyball practice! Her only disappointment for the summer so far has been the fact that she has quit growing as documented by the measuring on the post. She had 4-H and got one of her projects done. Her sewing project got an Honorable Mention. Pretty good for the 1st year! It looks really cute too! The URI that we all got didn't keep her down quite as long as it did her brother this time.

A2 has had a big summer! He is now as tall as A1 was when she was just 14 1/2; he is only 12 1/2. He went on his first mission's trip this summer and had a great time. He stepped out of his zone and lead devotions for his work group. Got to do some construction and came back more confident in himself and what he could do and what he had learned. Guitar lessons are going great! I have to peek in to see who is playing the song so I can tell if it is him or his teacher playing. The highlight of his summer was going on his first flight though! He flew at the local small airport with the Young Eagles group. He was able to get in a plane that only took one person and actually got to fly the plane. He is definitely hooked. They have one more Young Eagles flight days this year yet so it is on the calendar to go. He already has worked 3-6 hours on the classes they can get online and I just got that all set up for them the middle of last week. He has helped out at home a lot this summer with the yard, snipping the green beans and going to the grocery store with me, just for the company. It has been really nice. His other highlight is the bee hive that we now have. All of his fun reading this summer has been on bees or on flying. The bees are for fun and will now be used for 4-H too. That URI for A2 kept him down too long to get his projects done and be able to get packed for the missions trip. I told him not to worry about it, there is always next year and we will get registered earlier which would be a huge help.

Together with the youth group activities they stayed busy. They had quiz team finals and then on to quiz team internationals where their rookie team-the team they are on came in 2nd place. This got them some scholarships to Bethel College if they attend there. Yeah! Great job everyone! One of the Sunday night events was crud wars. That was interesting to see the pics of. I put the "Breakfast Slide" pic below. They throw all kinds of breakfast stuff, including eggs and milk on this plastic thing and then you have to slide through it. Disgusting as far as I'm concerned, not so much for the kids.

I have been busy keeping up with them, running to volleyball and guitar, running wires for computers and getting things loaded like they need to be, planning for school and getting things done in the garden. I have learned that I love having them home more then being gone. I still like my occasional time alone, but weeks with everyone gone were really, really quiet around here. My thyroid levels have been off still and we made another tweak on it in July. Hopefully this will be the last one and it holds up when I start working out again.

School is scheduled to start next Monday, but I may push it back one more week so I can get that final tweaking done and things entered into HST+. We'll just play that by ear until later in the week. I want to peek at a couple of things and how they line up to see if it would be better to wait another week. We are not doing school on 1/2 day Saturdays this year.

That is how things have been rolling here and they just keep on rolling. I have in my schedule for school to work out during PE with the kids and time to blog so maybe, just maybe I can keep y'all up to date better this coming school year.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mom's Dictionary as defined from Our Church's Women's Ministry Newletter

The following was in our Women's Ministry Newsletter for May. It got a couple chuckles and grins from me; so I though I would pass it on to y'all. Enjoy! School is winding down and then on to planning for next year.

ADULTS: Group of people Mom longs to communicate with after several hours of talking in small words about topics like "who touched who first".

BECAUSE: Mom's reason for having kids do things which can't be explained logically.

COOK: 1. Act of preparing food for consumption. 2. Mom's other name.

DATE: Infrequent outings with Dad where Mom can enjoy worrying about the kids in a different setting.

EAT: What kids do between meals, but not at them.

GENIUSES: Amazingly, all of Mom's kids.

GUM: Adhesive for the hair.

HANDI-WIPES: Pants, shirtsleeves, drapes, etc.(Not to be forgotten the good on spit on the finger to get "something" off your face-my edit in)

"I SAID SO": Reason enough, sccording to Mom.

KISS: Mom medicine.


QUIET: A State of household serenity which occurs before the birth of the first child and occurs again after the last child has left for college.

REFRIGERATOR: Combination art gallery and air-conditioner for the kitchen.

SCREAMING: Home P.A. System.(Actually the whistle that was suggested at Coach Mom works way better then the Home P.A. System-found this out when I had no voice from thyroid surgery)

SWEATER: Magically charmed article of clothing that can ward away colds, flu and even pneumonia.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Well so much for that....

Apparently the new gadget didn't help me get anything posted any better. I still have to get this scheduling thing down. I have the kids going great, the house cleaning is much better this second year, but the computer work and blogging are still being tweaked. I guess you really can only do so much.

We are currently in the last weeks of school and on the home stretch with TOG. We are slowly winding down in Rome as it slowly decays. The kids are enjoying the movies that are suggested as extras for the week. We watch those on Fridays for movie night and after they have read all their history for the week and we've had discussion. It is fun to hear them remember who is who and knowing some of the background for the movies.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week they did their Standford testing. A1 needed these scores to be able to apply for the Honors Society for next year. Monday was a sunny day so we had a picnic on the back lawn with Subway picked up on the way home from the first day of testing. It was really a fun lunch to sit outside eat and chat. I was surprised at how quiet it was and strange it felt to have them both gone all morning. It felt empty here. I'm not sure that I'm looking forward to them both going to work with Andy in two more years.

A2 finished his last bit today with A1 was home doing her regular work. Today it isn't sunny out at all. The farmers here are not having good planting weather. My Dad hasn't been able to even start yet. He only needed a couple more days of drying and then we might have been okay, but the pattern right now for this spring has been dry 2-3 days then rain 2-3 days. That doesn't work for the fields. Thanking the good Lord that Andy has been able to get some of the plots in for work. They have been scrambling to do that too as the rain that comes through is in large bands running north to south cover the state as it passes through and getting all the areas wet. I do like being able to check the radar where he is and being able to "see" how they are doing.

I did get most of the garden in, thanks to the raised beds we now have. We have the plants in: tomatoes(Roma for salsa, grapes to snack on, an heirloom for eating), peppers-green and jalapeno, zucchini and summer squash. I also am trying watermelon; we'll see how it goes. The peas are up that Andy planted a couple of weeks ago as well as the beets. I have green beans to get in and pumpkins, radishes, lettuce, oh, and the red onion sets, then I will be finished with the garden planting. I had to cover up the plants on Monday night when I planted them as we had a frost that same night. Good thing I happened to catch the news or all that work would have been killed-literally. Thank you Lord for the timing of everything that night.

Maybe I'll get some pictures of the garden later this week, if it quits raining.

Hope everyone is enjoying their spring.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Trying a new cool gadget.

I am just tinkering around before turning in for the night and am trying out a new gadget. It lets you post from your windows sidebar. Way cool, I think. We'll have to play with it more tomorrow or Friday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Blessings Part 2

For our personal Christmas Day when we spend it together we came up with the idea of a Christmas Box since we weren't exchanging gifts, except for the ornament that we get them each year. Everyone was to write down different things that they wanted to do that day. The only thing they couldn't do was put drink hot chocolate in 10 times each-yes this did come up. I said once per person was enough. So everyone made their list. The day before our Christmas(the 27th) I wrapped a box and cut the activities into strips and put them in the box. There were some that I left out, just because all of our snow had melted and were were suppose to have 60 degree temperatures that day.

After waking up and eating our cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting and hot chocolate. We got started, not opening gifts we told them, you have to draw out ALL activities. So away we went.
It was a fun filled day with laughter and surprises. No gifts were open before 3pm and we took a break for lunch-hamburgers on the grill with everything, fries(baked) and chocolate or vanilla malts. We were stuffed. So much so that when we drew out any activity involving food we skipped them. All of these were put in by A1 who must have been craving sugar at the time; make fudge, make and decorate giant sugar cookies like Martha Stewart, make and decorate gingerbread house. The activities that we did do are as follows-not in the order we did them though:
  • Watch the Princess Bride
  • A2 open 1 present(that was all there was)
  • Pillow fight(no memory foam pillows allowed and no head shots-3 minute time limit)
  • A2 pick a movie
  • Parcheesi
  • Darts-team
  • Chinese Fire Drill-around the house
  • Sing Christmas Carols
  • Darts-individual play
  • Sorry-5 card type
  • Chess
  • A1 open 1 present(that was all there was)
  • A1 play a song on the piano-her choice
  • Mom open a present
  • A2 play a song on the guitar
  • Take a walk to the back of our addition if it's not raining(yes, the weather was very warm for December)
  • Make Orange Julius
  • Play Sorry-5 card again
  • Do 10 push ups
  • Play Eucher
  • Kiss A1
  • Kiss Mom
  • Kiss A2
  • Kiss Dad
As you can see from the pictures with our new digital camera that we had a wonderful time and will be using this again next year, even if we exchange gifts.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.