Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekend Update

Alice's Adventures have ended.  I am glad to be done with the running back and forth and waiting, but as things wind up at the end of a show, it's always a little sad to realize all these people you've grown to know and have seen so much of are about to be out of your life again, most forever.  We did make a couple of new friends that I think we will keep in touch with.  It's hard when everyone has such different schedules, even with homeschooling, there's stuff going on, especially in September when everyone is so gung-ho about getting back at it.  It's easy to let things slide.

The ants are nearly gone.  We ended up getting Terro ant bait stations and it took about 2 days.  It's the same thing I was using, but the mixture is more appealing they way they do it.  And cheap.  The pack of 4 is about $4.

Our fall trip is halfway there.  Michelle has rented the house we will be staying in and Matt has his vacation time scheduled and in writing.  After so much flailing around about forced vacation and cut hours, now they are about to say no one can have time off until after December!  We have one week planned, but not the other, it will depend on weather and money.  Like...everything else.  ha

In other news, my external hard drive has failed, so currently, all my photos from October 2010 until May of this year are inaccessible.  I have many between this blog and the 2 websites, but the bulk of everything I have done-Grand Canyon trip, Zeppie's whole life with us other than the photos on her tribute page and the lost dog flyers I still have, camping trips, hiking, days at home, haircuts...they are currently locked on a broken hard drive.  We ordered a new enclosure hoping the connection was the issue and the drive itself is still usable.  I put off making a back-up all summer, planning some gathering of other people who also needed to burn cd's for 6 hours.  Making it a gathering instead of a singularly dull chore.  I'd trade being this sad for being that bored now.  I hate 'live and learn' experiences.

Today I am in full 'do' mode.  I have dusted and cleaned the kitchen, the laundry is all done, I am about to start cleaning the bathrooms and run the vacuum.  The beds all have fresh bedding.  I feel energized by the end of the play and the openness of our time for a few weeks.  I want to have a tidy platform to launch from!  The cooling weather only helps, I am ruled by sun, moon and humidity.  Those first mornings when the air chills your lungs and the sun sparkles off the dew in blinding flashes.  Those are the days when I feel like I could live forever and take on any task out there. 

This coming week, we are playing with friends and Jake wants some more scheduled 'school' stuff.  We will see how that will be interesting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fun Food

Veggie dogs cut into fourths

Poke uncooked spaghetti noodles through

Cook as usual

Spaghetti Monsters!
This was a huge hit!  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Swim Fun!

 We went to Heather's to swim today and had cake for Britney's birthday!

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Stuff

We have had a good batch of days, the play is going along without much ado and public school started back today, so the world was devoid of other kids when we got out and about.  Ben had an eye appointment at 10, his eyesight is an amazing 20-20.  The doctor said that because he's always been homeschooled, he is probably having problems reading things from across the room just out of lack of practice.  He sent us home with 2 exercises and if that does not help after a month, he has a prescription ready.  Our vision insurance is really good, the whole thing cost me $10.

Our ortho appointment this afternoon went well, too.  Jake has a final record appointment in November and he will be done.  I am not 100% satisfied with his teeth, we both have the same crooked tooth and it makes me feel irritated.  Chandler had a couple broken bands on her braces and they just repaired the wire and left them off.  She's nearly out of her braces, which means oral surgery coming up.  UGH  I dread that so much.  So much that I am considering not even doing braces on Ben.

The boys have started reading and I don't mean now and then, but for at least a couple of hours a day now.

Chan has always read, but it still makes me happy to see her doing it!

 Today we picked up a dragonfruit, we have not had it fresh before and I lucked out and accidentally picked one that was perfectly ripe.  I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking for!
You want a firm fruit that has a little 'give' to it.

 I think it looks like a freaky fish of some kind.

It's very easy to slice open.

 It looks like Oreo ice cream!  But the flavor is super mild.  The seeds are edible.

Just scoop the fruit out with a spoon, it's very soft, like a banana

It reminds me of a kiwi.  It's pretty good and apparently high in fiber and antioxidants! 

All gone!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekend Review

After a rather hectic start of the week with the busy weekend and then 2 long dress rehearsals, we were able to spend Wednesday being home and doing nothing, we did not even run pick up dog food or bread.  Thursday, Jake worked on his opening song and we started listening to The Hunger Games-which no, I have not read yet.  I started them months ago and could not get past the first part when she arrived at the Capital.

Thursday afternoon, I FINALLY was able to drop the radiator at Fed-Ex to return it for a refund.  Don't EVER buy from, their low prices do NOT make up for the truly crappy customer service.  I have been trying to return that part since July 19th and it took filing a complaint through a 3rd party before they sent me a return label.  It was less than 3 hours after I filed the complaint when the label came in via e-mail.  That is really bad business, not taking any action until they are tattled on.  I left the negative feedback anyway.  I have not gotten my money back yet...

Friday, the play opened!  Despite my misgivings, again, it went fine, again.  I have decided I just don't know enough about theater-though several of the kids did not develop musical talent overnight-Jake included-it was not a disaster. Or even dull, without the constant stops to redo a scene or move something around, it had decent flow.  Intermission came and I was surprised, there are still a couple of fairly tedious scenes, but it was...dare I say...a fun play! 

I stayed after about an hour and did cast photos.  Here are a few, mainly to show off the costumes, they are so good!

 Brittany, who plays Alice, is the first lead actress in a play we have been in who is not a total diva.  In fact, she's very sweet and funny and is nice to all the other kids.  Last night she helped the littlest cast member up to the balcony so he could see the view.

Not sure why the March Hare has huge rabbit legs and the White Rabbit does not, but I like both costumes!
The caterpillar (in blue below) made the Hare's legs!

Matt and I wanted more arms on this costume!

I loved the cat's costume, but had not posted any of her before because until last night, she did not have so much covering her chest!  She never popped out or anything, but taken out of context from a series of theater shots, she was a little girl in a bustier.  eep!

Not sure what was going on here.

A little audience participation.

Saturday and Sunday, the play will go on without me.  I am very glad to say I will be hogging some time to myself, this has already begun and so far, I have cleaned the kitchen and hall bathroom and scrubbed behind the toilet and mopped both floors and the hall.  The house is happier with clean floors.  I swept the porch and sidewalk, too.  And got the animals all squared away.  Now, when I am done updating this, the floors should be dry and I will go have a nice bath, then pop some popcorn and watch a ghost movie.

It must be the cooling weather, I can not get enough scary stories lately!  I wish I had some to recommend, I can't find anything 'supernatural' that scares me.  And I don't like murder/slasher/raper/kidnapper stories.  I know what people can do to each other and it makes me feel more hopeless and worried than scared-even if they are in the 'horror' genre.  I want that roller coaster feeling of the BOO moment.  I think that's why I love shark movies, the anticipation factor.  And being on dry land.  : )

There are just 3 shows left after this weekend, we won't work with this group again but it's been an interesting experience having a totally different type of director.  We are looking forward to some down time and being able to get some type of schedule back.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Walls of Jericho Part 2 with Sauta Cave

 After exploring a while, we started the hike out.  The kids and I stopped to swim one last time before starting the 3 mile climb out, Matt and Gina went on ahead of us.  We played a while, but the water was SO cold, we decided to just head back up. 

The hike out was not as bad as I had imagined, but harder to do than I had really thought out.  Climbing uphill is psychological as much as physical.  You look up ahead and the trail KEEPS going up and it's hard to want to keep going.  You get out of breath and have to stop so you can get your breathing back under control, it's hard work.  But over-all, it was not THAT bad.  I had to keep telling myself it was one less step each time.  I don't think I could have done it with much more weight on my back, though.  Not yet anyway.

I thought it looked like the tree was sticking out its tongue!

hahahaha, Look at Jake!  He cracks me up sitting like that.

Baby frog!

Jake is convinced he's draining the lactic acid from his legs.
I had to tell him 'elevated' does not mean off the ground, it means above your heart.

This log was like some woodland Granny had gotten after it with her bracket fungi beadazzler.

We drove the half hour to Taco Bell and then headed to Sauta Cave to see the bats come out.
White nose syndrome has been found in caves in AL, it wipes out 90% of the bat population in any cave it's found in, so we wanted to be sure to see the mass exodus in case it wipes out this colony.  : (

 Ben's eyes have gone from sky blue to grass green to dark green and now they are very nearly dark grey.

There's just no easy way to get a picture of a bat in flight.  The bright blurs are bats.

On the way home, I played with long exposure on the camera.  Check out the photography blog (link at the top) for more shots.