Friday, February 27, 2009

Top 10 mommy list

My blogger friend Tara gave me this idea of a top 10 list.  Her list was a top 10 of things she says all the time.  I think I'm gonna switch it to a Top 10 List of things I thought I would never say.  Enjoy (and how many of these things have you said, too?)
10.  Wait until  your daddy gets home.
9.  Yes, you do have to go outside and play.
8.  I'm gonna jerk a knot in you.
7.  You'll poke your eye out.
6.  Finish that cheeseburger if you want dessert.
5.  Because I said so, that's why.
4.  Sure, you can watch another movie.
3.  We'll see.
2.  How about we bake cookies for a snack?
1.  You kids are making me crazy!
And just to balance the tables, here is a top 10 list of things I always say, even if I have to force myself to whenever I'm having one of "those" days:
10. Good job!
9.  Please.
8.  Thank you.
7.  I'm very proud of you.
6.  Can I have a hug and/or kiss?
5.  You're my bestest boy/girl.
4.  Are you making good choices?
3.  Let's go show Daddy.
2.  Tell me a story.
1.  I love you.
What's on your top 10 list?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sorry, can't think of a title.

(Sorry about the title, I'm just not that creative tonight)
It's cold in our house.  Why, you ask?  Because our furnace isn't on.  It's not working properly and it's old and it's leaking water around the base and carbon monoxide into the house.  So it's not running tonight.
On a side note, this explains why I've been getting terrible headaches and that overall yucky feeling over the last few days.  (No, Daddy, we haven't had the CO detector plugged in - it's still in a box somewhere).  I think I'm more sensitive, though, because Trey and the kids haven't really been effected.  Unless CO makes kids fight with each other and not share and just be all-around normal kids.
As much as it sucks to be cold, today it was actually kinda nice out and it won't get that cold tonight, so it could be worse.  "That cold" meaning below 35.  Trey brought home a space heater from his work and we've been moving it back and forth between all our bedrooms.
So tomorrow we're getting a brand-spanking-new furnace installed.  That should be fun.  Just in time for winter to be over.  Murphy's Law really sucks.
*    *    *    *    *
We're done, for now at least, with the kitchen.  If I can keep it straightened up long enough, I'll take a couple of "after" shots and make a nice pretty post about it.  Of course, now that we have the walls and trim painted, we're thinking we want to paint the cabinets.  Yeah, that should be fun.
*    *    *    *    *
I'm participating in another really big consignment sale coming up next month.  I need to get everything tagged before the 14th so I can order the bar codes.  Because of that, I won't be around too much in the next couple of weeks.  I have some posts that I'll hopefully be able to get together and get out, but if I'm not around, it's not because I don't love you.
Off to curl up under an old down comforter.  Hope it doesn't get really cold tonight, like they said it wouldn't.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The homeschool update

A couple of weekends ago, we received a letter addressed to Monkey about some area magnet schools in our town.  At first, I was more curious about how we landed on the list to get their open house mailer, but after talking to friends, I found that it's sent out to all the children registered in our county (that's a LOT of paper, friends).  So I started looking at one of them online - an honors academy for elementary children. Children had to test in the 85% or better to attend and they seemed to have a very creative program for kids.  The problem was, it was about a 20 minute drive in a questionable part of town.
But because I like to give the benefit of the doubt, I still planned to go to the open house.  I thought that maybe we could enroll Monkey in the honors program instead of me trying to piece together my own honors curriculum.  I arranged for Little Man to go hang out with his buddy and hit the road.  It was an easy drive - interstate the whole way - and it took just over 20 minutes.  But because of the location and the interchanges between the highways, the potential for early morning traffic issues was definitely there.
When I arrived, however, I didn't even get out of the car.  First impressions are quite often the only impression and my first impression of the school and the neighborhood were not good.  Yes, I was willing to give the school the benefit of the doubt, but not risk the safety of my child.  While I'm sure the school administration takes steps to take care of it's children, there are just some situations that given the choice (and we're blessed to have a choice) I would rather not be a part of.  I know that I'm being judgmental and I'm not quite happy with myself on that note, but unfortunately that's how things are.  I have to do what I think is best for my family and the long drive twice a day and a questionable neighborhood is not on the list.
So, even though I wasn't really off the homeschool train, I'm now much more confident about it.  I've been researching different curriculums, trying to find something that will suit and challenge Monkey and still be fun for both of us.  Little Man was registered for preschool for the fall and he'll be at his school M/W/F and the enrichment program for Monkey will be on M/W so I'll still have some time off for myself to get things done during the day that I don't want to have to do at night or the off days that Trey is home. 
There is an unbelievable amount of information out there on different homeschool curriculums.  Now what I have to do is start to narrow it down.  Thankfully, I have good friends who have done this before, so while I'm doing some research on my own, I'm not reinventing the wheel.  My dear friend, we'll call her Lori, is homeschooling her 2nd grader now and will be teaching both of her daughters in the fall.  At this time last year, she was buried in curriculums and programs and books and thankfully, because of all her hard work, I'm able to just follow the links she gave me.  Lori's daughter also attends the enrichment program that Monkey will be going to, so I've been able to get a lot of information about that as well.
So now I'm hoping that the curriculum I piece together will be the right one - fun, challenging and easy for me to teach.  If any of you are homeschooling your child/children, I'd love to get your feedback on the curriculum you use and why you chose it. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

quote of the day

I'm still working on my kitchen today, so it's hard to type and sand/spackle/paint all at the same time.  So, while I'm waiting for the spackle to dry so I can sand some more, I thought I'd share a quote with you.
It comes from a set of prints my mom gave us.  The artist is Brian Andreas and he has a collection he calls the Story People.  They are bright and colorful; fun prints that brighten any room.  This quote is from one called No Regret.  
I sometimes wake in the 
early morning & listen to the 
soft breathing of my children
& I think to myself,
This is one thing I'll never regret
& I carry that quiet with me all day long.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

He stole a pancake

Sunday morning, something funny happened in a not-so-funny way.  The kids were eating pink  pancakes (I made extra pink pancakes on Saturday so they could also have some on Sunday) and I was downstairs catching up on my emails while they ate.  I usually get a good 5-10 minutes uninterrupted, depending on what they're eating.
Monkey has this habit of getting up in the middle of breakfast and dashing to the bathroom.  One would think that she would get that bit of business taken care of beforehand, but not so.
She came back to the table (after cleaning up, of course) and I hear, "Little Man!"
Monkey walked downstairs, calling for me, and I could tell by her tone that she was barely holding it together.  
"What's up?"  I ask, thinking any number of things that Little Man could have done.
"Little Man ate my last bite of pancakes,"
"Really?  He really did that?"  This was not on my list of things that Little Man could have done.
"Yeah, he really did."
Oh man, what to do.  Well, he can't really give it back, now can he?  So we go upstairs and have as reasonable a conversation as anyone can with a 3 year old about how it's not nice to take food from another person's plate, not even his sister.
But I have to wonder if she'll be leaving her plate of pancakes unprotected again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

future topics teaser

Yes, I have done the unthinkable in the blogging world.  I have gone 8 days without writing a post.  That's bad, I know, but it's been one of those weeks.   Nothing has really happened that was worth writing about and I really don't want to bore my readers with the mundane things like "today, I folded laundry.  Woo hoo!"  But this weekend, several different things happened so, like a good blogger should, I'm hanging on to them and posting about them separately and spreading them out so at least it looks like I'm a productive blogger.
There was a conversation/event between Little Man and Monkey that was pretty funny in a not-so-funny sort of way. 
I received something in the mail that could be another option for Monkey's education next year.
We're painting and cosmetically upgrading two different areas of the house - the office downstairs and the kitchen upstairs.  Yes, I know it sounds funny to say the kitchen is upstairs, but we have a split foyer, so there.
Oh, and I have a post idea that was given to me by Mawmaw (my mother-in-law) about something that happened to them that paralleled something that happened to us.  
So, assuming I can find time in the day when I'm not doing laundry, painting, prepping, working, taking care of the kids, cooking dinner, cleaning and organizing the office and the kitchen as well as normal day-to-day housecleaning , then I'll be typing away at my future posts.
And to help me out for future blogging, please feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comments area.  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Daddies and daughters

I've mentioned this before, I think, but sometimes I take pictures for our church.  I'm not a great photographer but occasionally, I'll get lucky and snap some really cool shots.  There are still some things I'm trying to learn about my camera and taking pictures; technical things, like adjusting the aperture, shutter speed, exposure.  But it's fun and sometimes, as I said, I get lucky and find that "money" shot.
Last night I felt a little like Ashton Kutcher from the wedding Nikon commercial, getting great shots (although I didn't knock over any champagne glasses).  That is, when my head wasn't imploding with frustration trying to get those great shots.  And I really wanted to get those great shots.
You see, last night I was a part of something few moms ever get to see.  It made me laugh, smile, grin, giggle and even feel the sting of tears.  I found myself watching my dear friends' husbands and daughters and holding them even more dear than I did before because of what I was seeing.  I was able to observe, somewhat anonymously, daddies and their daughters laughing and playing and being silly.  Last night, our church had their 11th Annual Father Daughter Dance.
There's just something special about a relationship between a daddy and his daughter.  If you are a parent, you already understand that there are bonds between a daddy and his daughter and a mommy and her son.  There's just no explaining it.  The fact that there were at least two scheduled Daddy Daughter dances last night (our church and one at a hotel downtown) is a simple proof that it's there.  (On a side note, there was also a Monster Truck Jam this weekend, for the Mommies and Sons.)
So last night I show up a little before all the other dads and daughters to practice taking pictures with my camera.  As any place decorated for a dance should be, the lighting was low, with some stage lights (we had a DJ) and a few white Christmas lights for decoration.  As people started showing up, I started taking pictures.  It was very frustrating at first - little girls don't tend to stand still - but I started getting the hang of it.  The nicest thing about a digital camera is seeing the shot after it's taken and being able to take hundreds (I took, literally, about 400 pictures last night) and just deleting the ones that were no good.  I think I'll be deleting a lot.
As the night wore on, I can't even begin to tell you what it was like.  I almost feel like I'd be betraying some big secret if I talked too much about what happened.  Like it's some secret society and the rituals involved can't be discussed outside it's members.  I can tell you that I saw daddies dancing with their daughters without any hesitation about how they thought they looked.  No one seemed self-conscious about it at all.  They all looked like they were having a great time with their daughters.  Trey tried to get Monkey to dance some early on, but she was feeling a little bit shy.  It took her a while to get warmed up to dancing and, naturally, it was a Hannah Montana song that got them out on the dance floor.
The ages of the daughters ranged from about one year old and still figuring out that their legs can do more than just walk, to a mom dancing with her daddy, but I'd say the majority of the girls' ages fell between 4 and 14.  The girls were all dressed up in their fancy valentine dresses and the daddies were in suits, tuxedos that matched their daughters' dresses and I did see one in an Air Force uniform.  There's just something about a man in uniform!
I'm so glad that I was there last night.  It was something special and wonderful and I won't soon forget it.  I can't wait to start culling the pictures I took and I hope I find those "money" shots of all those daddies and daughters.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monkey's photos

I'm finally feeling human again and since the kids are out of school AGAIN today, I thought I'd park them in front of the cartoons and update my blog.  Great parenting, I know, but it's only 7:00 in the morning.  I have all day to get them moving.
As I said before, Tara, over at Sticky Fingers, photo tagged me.  The rules are go to the folders you keep your digital pictures in, find the fourth folder, look at the fourth picture and tell about it then link back to who tagged you and tag four more people.  I've done this before, a while back, but I wasn't organized enough to do it right, so I just picked a random picture.  We use a Mac and all our pics are in iPhoto and we don't normally create separate albums - I know we should, but we don't.  A few months ago, we created albums for Disney, Christmas and pictures that Monkey had taken with her camera.  That was my fourth album.  I hadn't gone any further than that.
So, the fourth picture in the folder was this one:
She went around the day Trey gave her his old digital camera and took pictures of EVERYTHING.  She staged her toys, followed the cat around, took goofy pictures of me and Trey, photographed photographs, went outside and took pictures of flowers and weeds and plants.  I think she took 50 pictures that day.  In the space of about 30 minutes. 
Here is a small selection of her portfolio.
However, I realized when I opened up Photoshop, to add my watermark to her pictures, that in Photoshop, everything is in folders already.  So I was able to go through and (sorta) follow the instructions.  I say "sorta" because there are some pictures of family and friends that I won't post because I don't have their permission and so forth, so I had to fudge it a little.  This picture is actually from the third folder, the fourth folder in that folder and the fourth picture of that folder. 
It's an old one and I'm not really surprised I landed on it.  First, it's a good example why Monkey is called Monkey (she was a year old when this picture was taken) and it was taken at my Great Aunt's farm in Pennsylvania.  She just passed week ago yesterday.  My daddy's side of the family has a reunion in Pa. every year.  We try to go every year, but haven't been in the last three years for a variety of reasons, so she never got to meet Little Man, but she enjoyed Monkey.  She still maintained a small vegetable garden and she had a wildly crazy boarder collie that would chase balls all. day. long.  She was a spunky ol' farm girl with a clear head and a kind heart.  She will be missed.
Now, for the tagging.  Hmmm.... I'm trying to think of who I haven't tagged in the past so here goes.  Tammy, Kathryn, Betsy and Ryan.  I don't know if any of you have done this photo tag before or not.  I tried going back several posts and didn't see anything, so if this is a repeat from the past for you, my apologies.

Monday, February 2, 2009

quick updates...

We have another snow day today.  The kiddos were dismissed early because of it.  
I'm still recovering from being sick over the weekend, so... yuck.
Oh, and I've gained a child.  WB, Little Man's best friend (and arch nemesis, in the way that only they can be) is hanging out with us while his mommy and daddy are at the hospital.  She's due in 7 weeks, but may have to go early, so she's checking with the doctor today to see what they say.
Needless to say, I may not be blogging too much in the next couple of days.  Yeah, I know, how is that different from how often I've blogged in the last few days, but cut me some slack, will ya?
I've been tagged by Tara over at Sticky Fingers, and I fully intend to follow through, but it may take a couple of days.  I will get it done, however, so stay tuned.  It's one of those photo tags and it just so happens that the photo file on our computer the tag landed on is a folder of pictures that Monkey has taken.  Should be interesting.
Oh, and while I'm at it - what a game last night!  First, I couldn't believe I stayed up for it and second, I couldn't believe how good it was.  Personally, I was hoping the Cardinals would win simply because they were the underdogs, but since I have family from PA, I'm also glad the Steelers won.