Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Random Views from Random Windows this week

What I Did With

my bottle of holy water.

I was talking to the boys today (Chan is staying with Kei for a couple days) about Christmas and what they want to do.  Matt has the whole week off, whether we like it or not kind of situation.  A few years ago, we spent the day with Cathy and Kaitlin.  We went to the Shrine and had dinner out. 

At the shrine, I was asking a lady about the holy water spigots in the creche and she said she felt compelled to give me a bottle of holy water and that I would know what to do with it when the time came.

That was three years ago and all I managed to do was give a smaller bottle to Jake to ward of vampires and I put the rest under the sink.  She said some people use it after they clean house, so I put it with the cleaners.  I never felt compelled to spread it. 

Ben remembered her saying the group she was with came and got holy water in gallons and poured it into the Mississippi River to heal the nation.  Instead of diluting the holy-ness, the blessed water engulfed the river water and made the entire thing holy water.  That image stuck with him, so in honor of his birthday, we opted to pour the bottle into the well on the back porch.  Now we have a holy well with loads of holy water for if I ever figure out what to do with it.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Snownado 2011

1-3 inches in the next 36 hours.  I feel oddly compelled to run to the grocery store and get milk, eggs and bread.  Why is that?  Some sort of group herding instinct gone awry.  ""  I never have good compulsions, like chopping firewood or knitting warm things.  I don't even LIKE eggs.

Today, other than the weather, the news is all about the damn road crew, back at work making our driveway wide enough to dock a cruise ship.

Tomorrow we are having lunch out and running errands-if the snow does not shut down the upper half of the state.  Chan is heading off for the rest of the week, Ben's birthday is Thursday and Alex is coming to stay a couple of days.  Skate Day is Friday and the week is over.  Bam.  And it will be December and the year will nearly be done. 

I hope next year I will finally get the date right.  I wrote a check last week to rent a dvd and put 2008 as the year.  OMG, that's just not even normal.  2012 is good, though.  It's NEARLY a Rush album (2112, which sadly, I will have to miss getting to write on my checks on account of I will be dead by then) and it's even and it's alliterative.  Twwwwenty Twwwweleve.  I am feeling okay about my chances on no longer thinking it's 3 years ago.

I am going to haul out my list of things I wanted to get done this year and see how many I will have to move to next year.  I forsee the bathroom trim not being done in another month, though we DID trim 2 walls!  That's waaaaay more than last year.  If we do 2 walls next year, it will be done!  Amazing! 

Oh, I have one more thing of note.  Ladybugs!  The new window seals and trim and such kept the bulk of them at bay, so it's just that much more surprising when one flies directly into my face.  How does a whole entire subset of beetles manage to survive when they seemingly are attracted to bowls and pots with liquid in them, faces and hair and light bulbs?  I don't see how any of those items help with the continuation of the species.   But then again, I don't even know what year it is and still insist I can do a better job with my kids than the schools.  So, maybe they know something I don't.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday Afternoon

We got up today and cleaned up a bit and around 12:30, I started lunch.  Daddy arrived exactly on time and the biscuits were out about 5 minutes after that.  : )  We had a great lunch, I made SO much food, by the time I covered all the favorites and must-haves, we only had room for a tiny scoop of each thing on our plates.  I am glad it was all so yummy because that's lunch tomorrow, too!

After lunch, Judy wanted to help clean up the kitchen, so we puttered around and Daddy visited with the kids and then we all went fishing until dark.  Jake got to drive us back home, it was a big deal for him to show Granddad how well he's doing.  And he is doing REALLY well, I am pleased beyond belief with that boy.

It feels like there should be a story attached to this one!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgivathon 2011

We started our holiday break Wednesday when Matt left work really really early!  We went to get some groceries and had a late lunch with Chan at Chic-fil-a.

I got my new bumpersticker in the mail!

Thursday, we headed to Mathea's house and had dinner with Matt's whole family.  

It's the cousins!  There's one more on the way, a girl due in February.  That will be 4 boys and 4 girls! 
I know stripey boy, Bryson, is a first cousin, he's Emily, Matt's sister's boy.  She's due with the unnamed girl in February.  The yellow girl, pink skirt and blue shirt are his cousin Mathea's three, Ainsley, Kian and Brennan.  I think they are considered second cousins.  Bren is the cutest baby, she still has the pout lips and that guffaw laugh that I miss SO much.
Chandler and Jake were much too old to roll down the hill in the leaves with the little kids!  For about 30 seconds!  Even Ben did a little interacting! 

While we were there, she was looking for someone to take a stand-up freezer off her hands, she'd gotten a bigger one from work and an identical one from a friend who needed them to store it for him, so she no longer needed the 'little one'.  It's the same size as our refrigerator!   It's on the porch until we can find some place to put it, the truly small one we had that quit working was on the back porch, where Jake now lives.  We will figure something out and for now, it's REALLY nice to have the extra storage. 

We went to the grocery store while frozen breads and veggies are nearly half off and picked up enough to partially fill it.  We will keep stocking it over the next few weeks, I will finally have enough ice on hand!  Matt and I did a high-five after we loaded it up, it is pretty exciting to have enough food for ahead, not just the next couple of weeks.  It's been SO tight all year, it really has not been a good year for us for extras, though we have been paying down debt and braces and trying to add to our savings.  As funny as it may sound, it felt like we were doing okay for a change, having food we don't specifically NEED yet.

Today we wanted to hike, but not have to deal with traffic or crazies out to risk their lives to save $50 on something someone else is going to stand in line December 26th to return for store credit...anyway, we talked about Hurricane Creek and ended up deciding to hike here instead. 

I always forget how much I love the woods here.  Yeah, there's no trail and I end up lost and bleeding before it's over, and the way the hills fold, I sometimes get disoriented as to which side of which creek I am on...but it's so peaceful back there.  You could wander for several hours before running into another house.  Today we saw deer, which the dogs chased and Kuma bayed, Zephyr looked at us with her ears in the surprised mode and looked after them and looked back and we told her to go get that deer, so she ran off, barking and barking, she was SO happy.  About 90 seconds later, she was back, still just as thrilled about chasing deer with the big dogs.

A while later, all 3 dogs were in the log road bed, resting up and looking around when another deer went sailing past them about 20 feet down the hill.  None of them even turned their head.  So much for the amazing hunting pack.  Kuma ate one of my butterscotches!  I don't know if he would even know what to do with a deer.  He likes shrimp, though.

 If we could put a house anywhere on the property, this would be the view from the front door.

After our hike, we had veggies for lunch and ran a couple of errands locally.  Thank goodness it was not crazy in our 2-store downtown area.  : )  We dropped off recycling and another bag of clothes that no longer fit.  I have been stalled on further loss for about 2-3 weeks now, and recent feasts have done nothing to help.  So I was a little freaked to drop a bag with about 1/3 of what fit me barely over a month ago into the drop box.  My recent purchases are still a little snug, I need about 5 more pounds, which won't be happening this week!

Tomorrow Daddy and his wife will be here for lunch.  I have not hosted them before, I don't think his wife has been to our house.  Wait-no, she came to see Chandler when she was first born.  Daddy will pop up from time to time, once or twice a year, but I have never cooked for him.  If I had any sense, I would be off here and scrubbing the house and trying recipes, but it's such a foreign concept, I don't even know to panic. It would never be clean enough anyway and she will probably have a heart attack before she even gets to the porch.  She hates cats and I have 4 who love to visit with visitors. 

Her grandson grew up less than a mile from here, there were times I would be in town to see Daddy and she would be out here.  I sometimes think because I don't gush my emotions, people think I don't like them.  Not sure how to change that, but it has to be me.  Who else has in-laws and steps that are not bad people at all who are totally unwilling to cross their threshold?  Matt's dad drove the freezer here in his truck, nearly 2 hours one-way, and would not come inside even though it was freezing out.  Matt's mom owns the house and she has not come here in...?  I think she stopped in back in February when she had her taxes done, but Matt thinks she just called and we met her somewhere.  Maybe I need better hair.  Something that says 'not a serial killer'.  Maybe the house reeks and I am oblivious.  That's long been a worry of mine.  With a neighborhood that reeks of chicken manure about half the time, I can't really tell, just that it does not make my nose hairs curl.  That's hardly definitive.

Anyway, that's the news from the castle, I am off to re-bandage my hiking wounds and watch a Batman cartoon and hit the sack.  We have company coming tomorrow and I need to be up early to buy some scented candles and maybe do something with my hair...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I am thankful this year for new experiences, for scraping by, for stronger bonds and for the continued health of our little family.  I am thankful the tornadoes stopped 2 miles short of our house in April, thankful that instead of mourning our losses that weekend, we went wading in the Hiawassee River.

I am thankful that both vehicles have been running strong all year, that there have been no major repairs to contend with.

I am thankful that Jake's braces are off and that he did so well, that he wears his retainer without being reminded and that he was able to study for and pass a major rite-of-passage test all on his own and that his confidence is so high.

I am thankful we have been able to pay for Chandler's braces and that her oral surgery went very smoothly.  I am thankful for her creativity and her steadfast stance in life, putting her priorities so well, to create and write every day, to laugh until she gasps for air, to surround herself with wonderful friends.

I am thankful for Ben, with his hair sticking up and his troubled eyes when he works through an idea.  I am thankful that his mind is so different from my own, that everything he does is his own work, his own process and that he can figure out what needs to be done next. 

I am thankful for Matt, who gets up every single day and shuts off the alarm and gets ready for work and has never groused that I sleep in and who is always happy when I wake up to start the day with him.  His patience only grows with the passing years and his happy acceptance of me, of the kids, of anything we come up with next is the base on which all my dreams are laid.

I am thankful for the life I have, the days I spend, the people I love and that I have the freedom to homeschool.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Go Here

Go here and watch as Randall narrates the scrolling text inside my brain about...sharks.

Go here and watch all 16 videos from Naomi Aldort, who has made a big difference in our lives.

Go here and take the Life Writing class free.  This is the actual class taught at UCLA!

Go here for a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do.

Go here to check out Arkive, a website with pictures and/or videos of nearly every animal on earth.

Go here and watch Ben dance.

Friday, November 18, 2011

16th Birthday

The boy turned 16 Monday!  I seems like I should feel older, but it's more like, the older he gets, the more I feel that he's just catching up with me.  I have not felt older in years, despite the cracking knees and achy joints I sometimes wake up with.  Mostly, I go back and forth between being happy at all the new stuff we can do as the kids get older and being morose about the loss of little kids.  Ben will be 13 next year, then I will have all teens and then they will be adults.  No more phases to go through.  They just...grew up.  I am an inch from being the shortest in the family already.  I can understand why some women go crazy and get a lot of cats.  I feel a little unsure about what's next for me. 

We celebrated his birthday with a big party with lots of friends, then 5 kids stayed overnight for a sleep-over.  They played D&D and airsoft and hide and seek and sardines and played on the Wii and who knows what all else.  They mowed through an astonishing amount of food, I moved my laptop into the kitchen because between cooking and cleaning up, I was hardly anywhere else.  At least I could listen to music. 

Britney and Evan stayed over a second night and that was fun.  I like having lots of friends over, but there's something to be said for one on one time, too.  They are both so easy-going, it was fun to just hang out.  We watched movies and the kid stayed up talking half the night.

On Wednesday, Emily came out to spend the day and I ran everyone back to meet their families late in the afternoon.  Not a bad 16th birthday at all!   I was allowed to date at 16, I never really thought much about when my kids could date.  I talked to Jake about it, asked him if he thought he would feel more pressured to have a girlfriend if he were in public school.  He said it wasn't lack of interest in girls, it was just that he's known all the girls in our group for years and they were more like sisters than real girls.  hahaha!  I wonder if Chan knows she's not real?

Evan, Britney, Jake, Kegan, Chandler
Zachary, Emily
Carson, Amanda, Griffin, Austin, Ben, Cody, Keilee, Kaitlin

Michelle, Suzette, Me, Karen, Gina, Cathy, Heather


Random shot that actually got all the kids that stayed overnight.

Last year, his cake was like a brick, this year, it was wonky and the icing was so sweet we had to wash down each bite.  Next year, I think I may just order one...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Memory Lane...

 Heather and I met the first skate day, January2005!  One of the first things we did together was get the Junior Ranger badge at Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.  G was 9 months, Carson was 3, Austin was 6.

This is the Swamp Stomp in May of 2005!  We met Karen S and Katy here!!
Brad was 8!  Alex was 5, Emma was 3 and Owen was a half.

We met Amanda in February of 2007
Rho was 8 and Elan 6

This is the first time I met Karen and Keilee!  Kei was not in the picture, but they were at OTW that day.  This was Fall of 2007.  Kei was 7.

The first play we saw Kei in!  I think we have seen every play since then.  : )  Britney and Cody were in the play, too, but we did not know them yet!

This is the day we met Suzette!  It was March, 2008
Emily was 10 and Zachary was 5.

This is the day we met Cathy and Kaitlin!  It was May of 2008 and Katlin was 11.

This is the day we met Gina and Bobby.  It was August 2008.
Britney was 9, Cody was 7.

Our latest
November 2011


Here is my collection of things I have found very diverting for one reason or another and have put in a folder and now I am cleaning out my folders and realized, I have done nothing much with them.