Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Leaves, please leave

It has been a lovely Autumn. Then it rained. It just kept raining. Now all my leaves are down. Lots of wet leaves. I am out there daily, for an hour or two, trying to rid my yard of them with a leaf blower that was on sale at the hardware store this year.

I keep going out there, but they keep falling. And getting wet. Well, now they are all down, and I can just feel the snow creeping around the corner. Yes, it was in the 50's today, but it won't last.

So, its man versus the leaves, or woman in my case. My kids yell from the house while I do this, they need various things. It doesn't matter what, they need it, and I must stop, help and go back to my chore. Sometimes they come outside and play, but these leaves have critters in them because its been so wet, and other stuff (yah, we have a dog). So, they aren't leaf pile quality right now.

Will I finish before the snow settles in? It arrived last year by early November and it didn't melt till April. My neighbors across the street have no trees, they barely have to lift a finger. On our property, we have at least a dozen trees, and some forest around the property. I guess its a forest, at least I tell the kids that. Ok, its a bunch of lots with a whole bunch of trees in them.

I saw chickadees today. I suppose they have been there hiding and now are exposed in the bare trees. Cute little birdies.

Ok, somebody please buy this lovely house, so I don't have to do this job again next year!?!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our Anniversary

Today John and I have been married for 9 years! I love my husband, and thank God for giving this wonderful man to me! Special days are often celebrated in curious ways when you are a military family. Since we are apart, this one was via emails. I'd like to say that we will celebrate big when he returns, but honestly, I will just be happy to have my spouse back home.

So, we got a couple cards (I never send anniversary cards to anyone- shhhh) and I told a few people, and I told the kids, and they really don't get what an anniversary is, even when I tried to explain.

And, we had a regular school day. Regular meaning, lately, I do school in what ever order appeals to me. Sometimes, I give the kids a choice. Sometimes, we start by reading a book (Charlotte's Web is the current one). As long as the work gets done, I have given up the rigid schedule. Well, ok, I haven't given up the rigid schedule, as much as the time table for the day. It doesn't have to get done by 2 PM. Today we finished at 4 PM. Lots of play going on today, and that's a good thing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A bit scatterbrained?

I have a sinus infection. I went to the doc, and she told me to use this neti-pot thingy. Eeww gross, have you used one or read about exactly how to use one? Evidently, this little contraption, used with special saline powder and distilled water will keep my head clear of sinus problems, if used a couple times daily. You pour this liquid through one side of your nose/sinus and gravity causes it to drain out the other. Breath normally, and don't swallow. You lean over the sink while doing this, obviously. Really? I'd ask you what kinda freak came up with this thing, but he is so proud of it, it includes his picture with instructions.

So, I went to Rite aid, bought the thing, and then realized, it was 100 packets of powder stuff to use with the neti-pot, only it didn't include the pot.

Now, my kids are in bed. I forgot to go back and pick up the antibiotic, get the neti-pot thingy, and am clueless as too when I took my other various meds today. One, is 24 hour med, Claritin, and I can't remember if I took that- but, I don't really want to take it twice?!

So, i have been living on cough drops, trying to decide what to do. Tomorrow, I will try to make a list, and proceed with a little more direction.

My daughter has told me that I need to stop coughing, because I am spreading millions of germs, and she and her brother might catch them. Smart girl, huh. I cough into my elbow and wash my hands, but yah, they will still probably catch my cold.

Its not swine flu! Although, its here in Traverse City, and I for one am glad we homeschool, because its hit full force in the public school, from what I've been told. Notes went home today. And lice notes when home in the city's catholic schools. Yucky, yucky!

We are gonna kinda hide out here, as there are no swine flu vacs here, and the regular flu shots have run out. Well, except we will go out tomorrow to get that funky looking teapot thing. Don't worry, I will spare you the details of my personal experience as to how well it works. LOL!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Simply Canceled it

In my last entry, I described my hatred for an old druid holiday, which is widely celebrated in America. Halloween. Well, we canceled it. So, now I don't hate it so much :)

See, since homeschooling, I have learned to make decisions about what I want or do not want to teach my kids. Sometimes the decisions are based on time, or what is vital for a good education. Sometimes it has to do with raising a Christian family. Some of these decisions clearly go against the norm of our society. So, this is one more thing that we are changing. This holiday really conflicts with the values that I want my children to learn. I teach my children that participating in things such as witch craft, the occult, having spiritual guides, visiting psychics etc. is dangerous. The Bible is very clear about only worshiping the One True God. And, even if the holiday appears somewhat benign on the surface, at the core, it is a celebration of evil. I pray daily for my children, and for God's guidance in my decisions concerning them, in Jesus'name.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I still hate Halloween

I was curious, and looked back to last year to see what I wrote in my blog last year. Yup, there it was. A gripe about a Halloween party. I hate Halloween. Gosh, its still two weeks away. We aren't even to the actual holiday yet. (And if you don't know me well, my birthday is the day before Halloween, and NO I don't wish that I had been born a Halloween baby!)

I have to say, the people who invite me and the kids to their Halloween parties are lovely folks. They are friends, and people that I like to spend time with. My kids love Halloween. In fact, it might just be their favorite holiday! Candy and little junky toys and spider rings are a big hit with my kiddos. They love to dress up and they love to play various games which are at every party. They love to trick or treat door to door - getting candy from strangers.

But, lets be realistic. Huge crowds of kids - especially when my kids only know a couple, paired with games where not everyone wins - just makes my kids fall apart. I come to the rescue, as they have their meltdowns, and as other parents look on with confused looks on their faces. This party added "wait in line" to the mix. Oh, and "the mean little kid".

My kids love the parties, because they love the junk from Oriental Traders. They love the chips, cupcakes, cookies, m&ms, lollipops, etc. They even love actually playing the games (well, except for musical chairs or pass the pumpkin) and the rewards they earn for playing. But, they whine and tantrum. They have no patience. They don't make friends. And, I watch over them, with a smile on my face, wondering why no one else's children are falling apart. Wondering why my kids are so tender and sensitive. And wondering, why in the world do we keep get invited to Halloween parties?

I will be hosting a birthday party in three weeks. We've invited about 11 kids. I am insane. My kids want this. It will be a puppy party. There will be no lines, my kids will know all the kids, and I will be taking Xanax before everyone arrives. Yikes!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A little big sad

I'm a little bit sad tonight. I talked to my husband yesterday, and today again. He should be calling later tonight. I keep my chin up, but gosh I miss him. Its a little bit lonely here - and I'm worn out. I dog is keeping me company, but he is more of a pest at night, than "man's best friend". He wants to be pet, played with and taken outside. He is too young to be lazy and a foot warmer when I am exhausted and the kids are in bed.

I feel like my emotions are on a roller coaster. I grab the happy moments, but those depressing ones try to consume me. Back and forth, I go. I could make you a list of happy thoughts and blessings. I know God has blessed my family richly. I could poor out my heart about all of my sorrows. But, I will still ride this roller coaster.

Fall is so pretty, but it is also very dark and gloomy in Northern Michigan. The days are getting much shorter. The weather is rainy and cloudy most of the time. I think I like Spring and summer here. They are so short, but not so dismal.

Next week, its my wedding anniversary. We will celebrate our 9th year - apart :( And then my birthday. I will be 38. Then our daughter's 7th birthday (she reminds me at least a dozen times a day!). I keep telling people how its so much better for my spouse to be away during this time, instead of during Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, guess what. I don't actually feel that way. I'm sorry if you are one of those people who I lied to. I try to put on a happy face, and maybe even convince myself. But, I don't want to miss any special days with my husband!! During the next 15 years or more in the Coast Guard, we will miss many special days together. Well, you learn to keep your chin up, but it still sucks!

So, there you have it. I am not grateful tonight. I am selfish. But, at least I'm being honest about it. Waah, waah, boo-hoo, and poor me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Skype is Nice!

We got a new notebook - its actually a PC (I know, I know, its almost sinful). I have used a Mac for almost 10 years now. But, DH has it on his deployment and it has a webcam. We got a cheap webcam for our laptop, and now once in a while, I can "see" my husband while he is away!! Its very cool!

I know this technology is probably considered ancient to most of you, but I'm a girl who never text messages. I've never even tried it. I don't know how to download pictures from my phone, and on that note, I have a "pay as you go" phone. Only one of you (husband) has the number to that phone because I have 19 hours to last me the whole year. I did it last year, so don't laugh. Its actually possible!

But, our kids can see daddy sometimes during this deployment, and that is really awesome. I can see my husband's face, which somehow makes everything feel right. Cell phones don't work very well/at all, where he is, and email just started up after a whole week. But, the kids don't really get into email.

Put daddy on the computer screen, and my son goes wild. He loves it! They make silly faces at each other, and he tells daddy all about what he is thinking about. Its usually something about trains, helicopters, or being squashed by a big butt (its a guy thing- daddy/son bonding, he's 4 ok?) Our son walked by the computer later in the morning, after a nice talk with dad, and yelled at the computer, "Daddy! Daddy? Are you in there? I'm talking to you Daddy!" I think he sort of believes that Daddy is living in the computer, but I am not really 100% sure.

Our daughter, well she is a little chatter box. On the Skype, its no different. She doesn't let him talk, she just has sooooo much to share. She shows him her Littlest Pet Shop Mouse, asks him about the room he is sitting in, and desperately wants to know exactly where he is, and what he is going to do tomorrow. It is hard for her to understand why Daddy can't tell her these details, and I think she will ask him every chance she gets.

The kids talk about Daddy on an off all day. Little memories, and excitement about when he is coming home. They really don't have a concept of how long 6 weeks is, but they understand the order of holidays, so we map out- first is Mom's birthday, then Halloween, then Delenna's birthday and then Thanksgiving. Daddy should be home around Thanksgiving time. I don't really want them to count on him being home for Thanksgivng, because you just never know. I have learned not to make countdown calendars, because the Coast Guard doesn't work that way. And that is ok. If he isn't home - I am NOT cooking a turkey. We'll eat at the galley at the air station instead. Hmm, I could actually do this if he is home (that's not very nice of me, is it? LOL!)

I am feeling content, and ready to have a fun weekend with my kiddos. Looking forward to emails from my love, and thankful for a good school routine that gets us through the week.

Blessing to all!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Its quiet here

Its a very quiet evening. The heat just turned on, so its toasty in here. Tonight, I bought a leaf blower. Well, that wasn't quiet, actually, but my reflections on the evening are calm and peaceful. I tried it out, and the kids used their rakes. I cleared half of the front yard, and then surprised them by making two very large leaf piles. The jumped to their hearts' content! My son told me that this was the best thing ever! I had been scolding them and trying to keep them at a distance, because I didn't want them to play near the leaf blower- yah know, no eye injuries needed. So, when they realized that I was creating some fun for them, I actually caught them off guard. Mommy gets a star sticker tonight :)

They are in bed now, showered/bathed and squeaky clean. The dog is in his crate asleep. The bird in in his cage, covered.

I've completed one full week without my husband. He's my best friend, yah know, so its not easy. But, there are only 5 weeks left! He should be underway now, we talked last night for a few expensive minutes, and he is off to a boat out in the sea today, I would expect. I'm being vague on purpose. Military deployments are like that- all secretive and stuff.

I truly wonder who is following my blog, if anyone. I mean, I know my MIL is a faithful follower. But, now that I've left facebook (a colossal waste of time, if you are on FB, admit it!!) I don't know if anyone is still out there, or if I am just journaling to myself, which is not necessarily a bad thing either.

Its quiet here- feel free to reveal yourself if you are out there, and go jump in a pile of leaves for me, it will make your heart happy :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bold new glasses

Today, I took the kids on their "field trip" (hahahaha). We went to counseling (for me, and its working out great bringing both kids with me *sarcasm*, thanks for asking!), and then to the mall to buy a new pair of glasses for me, because the arm broke off my glasses two days ago, and I'm getting headaches from them not sitting right on my face. I went to 3 stores, had to order my lenses. And, quite honestly, they all sold really ugly frames. Ugly and expensive frames.

So, we had lunch in the food court. And we bought shoes and jeans (for the kids). We went home. After a half-hour breather, we took one more trip in town and got the job done. I spent almost $400 (YIKES!) on frame, lens, and anti-reflective coating (so I can drive at night). They sent me home with my frames, thicker plastic lens (temporary) and my new lighter lens in two weeks.

Guess what? Except that they are red on the top and rimless on the bottom- they are exactly the same size and shape as my broken pair. I did not realize this till I was home. I have a great imagination. I am willing to try new things. I thought I was being daring with red/rimless. They are almost the same. So much for bold. That is what happens when you look for the perfect eye glasses all day long- you end up settling on what is familiar. Even if it costs you twice as the first time.

Thankfully, these frames come with a three year warranty.

We now have to pay fines at the library since we never got there. I guess this was the "eye glass field trip". My daughter is ok with the fact that they are red, even though pink is much better. :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Very whiny

Last night my glasses broke, while I was talking to my mom on the phone. I took them off to clean them, and the arm just snapped. So, now I have broken glasses sitting on my face. I will have to drive into TC to get them replaced. I am unmotivated, but they can't stay like this.

I am to start a new reading curriculum with my daughter today, and I think I will put my glasses on hold till after our school day, if I can manage. I bought "McRuffy Phonics and Reading", it looks both cute and well organized. I hope it works, and I hope my daughter likes it. We are rewinding to kindergarten and redoing reading/phonics. Explode the Code was a huge waste of time. My daughter didn't explode anything- she liked the little pictures, memorized lots of sight words, and didn't learn phonics at all. I don't think it makes you a "reader" to memorize sight words. If you can't decode words, you'd have to memorize thousands of words.

My husband is gone on deployment. I have still been able to talk to him everyday, but in a couple days, we will be down to just emails for most of his 6 weeks. I usually adjust to all of this, but currently I am just cranky and anxious. I am going through the motions and asking God for lots of patience with my kids, multiple times a day, because they don't deserve a mean mom. The dog is being a big pest, its been raining for 6 days, and my house is getting messy again.

I have revisited the "Flylady", and am working on getting organized. Its a good program, and my house has less clutter than ever before. I like that. But, one day I am very committed and the next, I throw in the towel. There have been only two showings on the house, and (ok very whiny part) no one ever visits me anyways, so sometimes it just seems pointless.

I just want to stay in bed some days and wrap myself in a cocoon, and hibernate. But, I have a barking dog and two sweet little voices that keep me from doing that.