Monday, April 25, 2011

Another weekend gone by...

Trae and Jessica were home this weekend... full of stories and excitement to be home. It really floored me the first night that Jessica was here... she threw her arms around me in a huge hug and was crying... she said it was all so overwhelming. She's the one who's always composed and never phased by anything normally, so it was definitely a shock to know she loves me  

Since it was Easter weekend, they also got to spend a day with the cousins & everybody, so that was definitely fun for their first weekend home. They're already looking forward to the 2 weeks that they get off in the summer. They're ready to be well-fed with home cooking, and not the "institutional" food that they serve at Job Corps.

The counselor at Job Corps is helping Jessica apply for a Pell Grant, and she'll be able to live there on campus and attend college to get her associate's degree. She's thoroughly happy about that...attending college has always been a huge goal of hers, and I'm so thrilled that the people at Job Corps are working on that with her.

Trae has new eyeglasses... and they make him look all collegiate and smart I had him bring home his prescription so that I could order extra glasses for him. We generally pay $8 for glasses from ZenniOptical, so it's definitely worth having a spare pair of specs, or at the very least to get some prescription sunglasses. 

Saturday was pleasant with the family for Easter. We all met up out at Grandma's house, had a nice lunch and did the Easter Egg hunt. I do wonder every year when my kids will be allowed to outgrow it. Vicki volunteered to skip the hunt and help hide the eggs... it was apparently intended for me to hide them since Andrew was absent, but I volunteered to NOT hide the eggs, and NOT let my kids hunt... apparently that wasn't an option...

We left there shortly after 2pm, which is technically early for us to leave a family gathering, but I had to head home to drop the kids off, switch vehicles, and go pick up Andrew from the airport. It was definitely time for him to come home. 3 weeks is seriously pushing the envelope in regards to him being out of town. He spends his weekends thinking of the things he could be doing if he were home, and the weekends get spent with nothing getting done. The poor guy's brain turns to mush with all of the tv that he ends up watching in hotel rooms, and his honey-do list just piles up.

Vicki is out the door for her 2nd day of work. I don't know that she's entirely thrilled with the situation yet, but she'll get there. I think she had planned for her first job to be (a.) indoors, in air conditioning, and (b.) part time. Her first day was Friday, and she put in a FULL days work. She was across the street by 8am, and didn't get home until 6pm. She was completely exhausted by the time she made it home. She'll work today - I don't know for how long, but I made sure she left in time to walk down to their house to be able to start at 8am again. I did make her a cheese omelette for breakfast :-) so she had a good, healthy breakfast in her tummy to start off with.

Tomorrow and Wednesday she'll be with us in Grapevine, Tx. We're heading up there to Great Wolf Lodge... we've never been there, but a fellow homeschooler took the initiative and worked out an excellent rate that would be applicable if she could manage to get 10 families to sign up. I think we almost doubled that! So it's $166 total (with tax included) for two days of the waterpark, and hotel overnight at the Lodge, for up to 6 people per group. I think we're all looking forward to some fun family time. It's been a crazy year, and I know that I'm definitely going to enjoy a chance to just take some down time, and be with Andrew.

I think it's time for a 2nd cup of coffee this morning... and I also need to start working on my grocery list so that I can run to the store later... hope everyone has an amazing week!

Cute things that land in my email...

On the first day, God created the dog and said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. For this, I will give you a life span of twenty years."
The dog said, "That's a long time to be barking. How about only ten years and I'll give you back the other ten?"
So God agreed......
On the second day, God created the monkey and said, "Entertain people, do tricks, and make them laugh. For this, I'll give you a twenty-year life span."
The monkey said, "Monkey tricks for twenty years? That's a pretty long time to perform. How about I give you back ten like the dog did?" 
And God agreed...... 
On the third day, God created the cow and said, "You must go into the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer's family. For this, I will give you a life span of sixty years."
The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. How about twenty and I'll give back the other forty?"
And God agreed again...... 
On the fourth day, God created humans and said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. For this, I'll give you twenty years." 
But the human said, "Only twenty years? Could you possibly give me my twenty, the forty the cow gave back, the ten the monkey gave back, and the ten the dog gave back; that makes eighty, okay?" 
"Okay," said God. "You asked for it."
So that is why for our first twenty years, we eat, sleep, play and enjoy ourselves. For the next forty years, we slave in the sun to support our family.. For the next ten years, we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren. And for the last ten years, we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.
Life has now been explained to you.
There is no need to thank me for this valuable information. I'm doing it as a public service. If you are looking for me I will be on the front porch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The days are flying...

It's Tuesday already... the week is already beginning to blur a bit. A dear friend (Thank you, Lana!!) came over yesterday and helped keep me on task with sorting things in Zachary's room to help initiate "The Great Room Switch." Yes, it totally needs a grand name, because it's definitely turning into an event. We were able to get the beds taken apart in his room, empty almost all of his stuff out of his room, move most of Victoria's stuff into his room, a-a-a-a-nd that's about where my energy level ended... oops. Even another cup of coffee didn't help.

I attempted to head to bed early... went into the bathroom and discovered a scorpion in the tub Ick! Yuck! I hate bugs... spiders... insects... pretty much any creepy crawly. I managed to hold myself together (without Andrew here to be the man & kill it for me). I grabbed a jar from the kitchen, captured the scorpion, stuck a lid on the jar, and now I'm waiting for him to die I turned to take care of business, and a darned spider had spun a web from my toilet to the wall... no, it had not been that long since I'd utilized the facilities previously, so SERIOUSLY! He met with a much quicker demise... squished & flushed. But after all those heebie jeebies, I had the worst time trying to fall asleep

Today we worked some more in the rooms... well... a little bit, anyhow. Then I headed into town to run errands before Sit & Stitch, which I ended up skipping anyhow... oops. On the way home, we could tell there was a huge fire going on in Magnolia. There were two news helicopters, lots of fire trucks, a helicopter with a huge bag of water that he was filling and dumping... the news at 6:30 said over 60 acres had burned, 10 homes were in imminent danger, along with several businesses. Yikes! I'll be watching the news again tonight to find out more...

A perk today was getting the electric bill. I know - not a typical perk. But it was over $100 less this month than last month... so it really was a happy thing!

I picked up some scrubs for Jessica - only one had a floral print, but the others were at least a different design & color than what she received as uniforms, and I know she's been wanting to add some color to her life. I took some pictures and will have to post them. She seemed happy when I talked to her on the phone... I picked them up at the thrift store - shirts were $1.91, pants were $1.41, and the sets were $4.94 - so if there's something she doesn't like, I'll probably just let her see if someone else in her class wants it.

I guess the only other excitement in the last couple of days has been that there's apparently some sort of short in my car? This afternoon, when I stepped on the brake, the radio turned off... when I pressed on the gas, the radio started playing again. Weird. I haven't told Andrew yet... waiting for him to call me back. It's definitely never boring around here!

I'm heading to the kitchen to cook the rest of the chicken that's in the fridge - hope everyone has a splendid evening!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

way behind with no end in sight...

I always have intentions of sitting down to type, but then life seems to get in the way... Andrew is out in West Virginia training again, and the kids at home have decided to switch rooms around now that the oldest two are in Job Corps. We've been busily boxing things that the older ones won't need immediately, packing up things that the ones here don't want anymore, going through clothes they've forgotten (or denied) they've owned <eyeroll>

I'll get to take apart shelves and beds, put together beds and probably different shelves... all with the hopes that they'll keep their rooms clean once we get them switched. The drawback to all of this is that their rooms have subsequently EXPLODED all over the house! There are boxes stacked in the living room, leaving just pathways to get through This work is all going on around our normal schedule, too... if you can count anything about our schedule as normal, that is. LOL

Trae and Jessica are both doing well in Job Corps. Trae stresses out about things, poor guy... which means it's less fun for him than it is for Jessica. She seems to have adapted immediately, and is really enjoying herself. Now that Trae was able to choose his own dorm, his life might settle down a bit. He's definitely having to study harder than he's ever done before... he's finding out that mom wasn't as mean as he thought she was when assigning school work and pushing him to get it done. Jessica's always breezed through school work, so she works very well in an environment of "go at your own pace." She's breezing along, doing her work, playing games, writing her stories, reading books (and wishing for more - there aren't enough books on the planet to placate her!).

Trae's biggest complaint is the food... while Jessica says, "The food is FINE, mom! Trae's just being a wuss!" Be that as it may, he's always been a bit more of a connoisseur than Jessica, who would be satisfied with peanut butter and jelly or macaroni & cheese on a daily basis. I'm making sure to send Trae some seasoning, in hopes that it will improve his perception of the food if he can add flavor to it. Cross your fingers!

Jessica writes letters home, too... while Trae prefers to just send a text message here & there. I no longer hear from him on a daily basis, which means life must be equalizing for him. The daily phone calls & text messages were generally full of complaints and needs... so I'm going with the "No News is Good News" theory, and not hassling him. I do enjoy Jessica's letters, though. Each one is like a story that she took the time to put on paper, and I absolutely love that about her. Her quirkiness is just so completely fun!

One of her letters mentioned how excited she is to have the option of wearing PRINTED scrubs instead of just plain ones... another letter mentioned the need for a blanket? I'll dig further into that request while she's home for Easter. Her very first letter went on about how "Job Corps is like the world... a melting pot of different people and personalities." How cool is that? LOL

It sounds as though the kids are ready for me to come work on taking apart the shelves in one of the rooms... time to dig out the power tools This will be FUN!!