Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bi-weekly check-in

Just jumping in this morning to let those of you still reading know we are all still alive here. As for most people, December can be an activity-filled month for us. One of those activities has nothing to do with the holidays... That would be the graduation of my husband's students. I don't play a huge role in this, other than to create the invitations in November and then make the graduation programs in December, once all the details (speaker, awards, etc.) have been ironed out. This year had to have been the latest I have ever done the programs. With graduation occurring on Wednesday, I didn't finish the programs until Monday and didn't print them out until Tuesday (when I got the paper for the job).  

In addition to those programs, once again I designed the programs for Emily's choir concert coming up next week. Her director like the job I did last year so well that she asked me to do them again. I got about a 2-week notice on that job. I was able to get these done and emailed the file to her a few days ago. The nice thing about that task is that it gives me credit towards the 20 service hours each family is required to do every year.

Speaking of Emily's concert, this year she is doing a duet with one of the guys from her choir. They are doing PiƩ Jesu. I am really looking forward to hearing them. I've looked at the music here at home and it is a really pretty arrangement.

Today is Halle's dress rehearsal for the Christmas program at church. We'll be heading out in a few minutes for that. Rehearsal is from 8:30 to 12:30. The performances are tomorrow at 9 and 10:45, so we will be at church from 8-12:30 tomorrow. During at least part of that rehearsal time, I'm hoping to make a couple of quick stops to look for some Christmas gifts. Also today, after I get Halle home from her rehearsal, I'll be taking Emily to a hair appointment at 1:30. Hopefully after we get back from that, I can be done running for the day. I know tomorrow will be extremely full... I'll probably have to go grocery shopping once we get home from church.

One really nice thing about the upcoming week is that Brian is taking a few days off and will be at home with us. I know the kids will enjoy having him around; so will I! He and I will try to get some time alone to take care of some of our Santa duties... should be fun!

Monday, December 01, 2008

On the first day of December....

Since I last posted, it has been much the same here, with various runnings to and fro. The Six Flags trip was fairly uneventful. The weather was perfect and it was blissfully not crowded, so it was actually somewhat enjoyable, except for the overpriced lunch that was so horrible no one really ate it.

On a more recent note, we spent a nice Thanksgiving with friends from church. This was the first Thanksgiving in a long while in which I didn't spend hours in the kitchen. All I made for this meal was a small ham, a coconut pie, and a chocolate pie.

Over the weekend, we got quite a bit of cleaning and rearranging done around here. Brian is a dynamo when it comes to that kind of stuff. We also set up a new computer area for the kids, tucked away upstairs in the walk-in hall closet. We developed a new set of guidelines for use and times and the kids have been really good about them so far.

In other news, I recently received a very nice compliment from Carrie. She nominated me for this blog award:


This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships!
These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement.
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers!
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Thanks, Carrie! Here are my nominees:

Betty at  JettyBetty

Jenny at Enlightened Eyes

Dee at Finding Direction

Katherine at Raising Five

Donna at The Other Blog

Shane at Come Back, Shane!

Franklin at Youth Ministry Hilarity

Jim at Jim's Journey

Monday, November 10, 2008

Air miles

Someone in this family has been logging the air miles this month, all 9 days of it . Just one hint: it hasn't been me.

Yes, the ol' USAF has kept my husband hopping. He had a quick trip for a meeting in Tampa last week (had a 6am flight on Thursday morning and got home Saturday around 3:30 or so). All that way for a 2 1/2 hour meeting on Friday. While he was there, he was notified that he was needed at the base in Ft. Walton Beach this week. They booked him on a flight that left around 6am this morning. He isn't scheduled to get back from that one until around midnight Thursday. (I started to say he "wouldn't" get back, but if there is one thing I am learning this month, it's that I can't plan on anything right now.)  

Besides just missing him, his absence presents some logistical snags, which I have thankfully been able to get ironed out.... at least most of them. Tomorrow night is a rehearsal night for both me and Halle, but we have different start times and locations. My CR worship rehearsal starts at 6:30 at the home of one of the band members; her Christmas program rehearsal starts at 7 at the church. One of my friends whose son is also in the Christmas program is meeting me at my rehearsal and will take Halle on to the church. I'll finish up with plenty of time to pick her up when she is done.  Then Tuesday night, Hal has AWANA and I have a step study meeting both at the same time, a good 15-20 minutes apart from each other. Another church friend who lives a few blocks away from us is picking Halle up and bringing her home.

The only snag that isn't completely ironed out is some fun we had scheduled for Tuesday. It is homeschool day at the Six Flags nearby and we have tickets to go. Brian was supposed to go, since Tuesday is a holiday (Veteran's Day) and he was going to be off work. He was going to drive the RV so that we could take a lunch break there and maybe rest our legs a bit. Plus, he is Noah's thrill ride buddy. We would have been able to split up at times so they could ride rides while I did the tamer things with the younger ones. Without him, we'll have to go at a much slower pace, and Noah won't have a ride buddy. Sigh Oh well... at least we can still go, I guess.

So now you know a little of what is keeping me away from the blog... all these things on top of the usual driving Emily to and from school, homeschooling, music lessons, CR, etc. I think about blogging, but seems there is always someone or something else screaming for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Ipod fun

Ran across another Ipod meme at John Dobb's blog tonight and just had to play along (the laundry can wait 5 more minutes).


1. Put your iTunes/Ruckus/Napster/etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 11 friends who might enjoy doing this. 

Here are my answers:


I Adore You, Phil Wickham


Miss Texas, Shaun Groves 


Sing to the King, Zoe Group (thought this was fitting)


Mystery, Phil Wickham


I Rejoice, Matt Maher


Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone), Chris Tomlin


There She Goes, Sixpence None the Richer (this one made me laugh)


“Love Don’t Live Here,” Lady Antebellum (oops... remember this was random!)


“Brighter Days,” Leeland (very true!)

WHAT IS 2+2?

“Listen to the Radio,” Nanci Griffith


“Your Grace is Sufficient,” Won By One


“Grace,” Phil Wickham


“If Wishes Were Changes,” Nanci Griffith  (Bingo!)


“Ordinary Life,” Mark Harris


“We Trust in the Name of the Lord,” Keith Lancaster & Acappella Company


“Does Anybody Hear Her,” Casting Crowns (Hmmm....)


“You Are My All in All,” Keith Lancaster & Acappella Company


“Shout to the Lord,” Lincoln Brewster (although I would prefer Darlene Zschech’s version)


“In Christ Alone,” FFH


“Fingerprints of God,” Steven Curtis Chapman


“My Hallelujah Song,” Julianne Hough


Ding Dong! Merrily on High, Chanticleer


“No Higher Calling,” True Lift


“Once in a Very Blue Moon,” Nanci Griffith.  (Oh dear.... LOL)


“Beautiful,” Phil Wickham


“Everything Glorious,” David Crowder Band


Hope of the Nations, Zoe Group  (I don't get this question at all.)

I'm not tagging anyone, but please feel free to play along and leave a link to your meme in the comments.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

With hope in my heart

OK, it's been over a week again... but I really do have good reasons.  It seemed like we were under attack from all sides this week, but through God's grace, we were not defeated.  It began with the death of one of Brian's coworkers, an ENT surgeon who was much too young. It was unexpected and swift, and totally rocked the world of the staff at the hospital, including Brian. So while he was dealing with his grief, I was trying to keep things running here at home (and elsewhere).  

I also spent several days working on a project for our CR leadership team.  We collected statements from as many CR participants and leaders as wanted to participate regarding why they were thankful for Celebrate Recovery. I gathered them and printed them on colored paper, then put them into a gift scrapbook for our lead pastor as a gift for Pastor Appreciation Month. I just finished it this afternoon and will give it to him one day this week.

We had our usual flurry of meetings and gatherings during the week... something every night. I only managed to cook one meal, and that one was practically inedible (chicken and dumplings... I think I didn't get enough salt and pepper in them and the dumplings were terribly bland). That was Tuesday night... I can't even remember what we did Wednesday; Thursday we drove through BK and Friday, Emily made a Tombstone Pizza while Brian and I were in a meeting before CR.  I had to leave CR early in order to pick Emily up here at home and take her to school for homecoming. Then Brian picked her up at 11:30 that night.

Yesterday seemed like a rather long day. After the week we'd had, even seemingly simple things like planning the menu for the week and making a shopping list seemed like gargantuan tasks. Somehow I managed to get it done, with just enough time from the time I got home from shopping left to finally cook another meal, only this time it wasn't for us! A family in our small group from church had a baby the morning Brian's friend died and the families in the group were taking turns bringing them a meal. I made chicken tetrazzini and a cherry dump cake for them and delivered it a little after 5pm. After I got home, Brian grilled steak for us. It was definitely the best meal we'd had all week! The rest of the evening was spent in more leisurely pursuits: Brian and Noah went to see "Eagle Eyes" while I played a couple of board games with Joel and Halle.

I am eying this coming with with hope that it will be filled with less drama. 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is there life out there?

*tap, tap, tap* Anyone still here???  I am appalled that I haven't posted at all this month. I guess it is just a testimony to how little time I have these days (or maybe that I would rather watch this season's TV than blog....).  I could actually be doing more running around right now, but since Emily isn't standing in front of me asking when I will take her to the BX, I decided to take this opportunity to write. If I weren't here at home, I would be taking Halle to her rehearsal for the kids' Christmas program. Brian volunteered for that duty tonight.

Biggest news from the past two weeks is that we have a new 10-year-old in the house. Yesterday was Halle's birthday. We celebrated on Saturday and Sunday: Saturday with a ceramic-painting party followed by pizza here at the house and a small sleepover in the motorhome. I baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast and one of Halle's friends went to church with us. After church, we went to Halle's choice of restaurant for lunch (Tahoe Joe's) and then home for a little while. Then we went to the mall so that she could get her ears pierced. While we were there, I decided to get mine done again. My decision had nothing to do with wanting 2 sets of holes, though. My first set are just too high up and too close to the outside of my ears, so that earring with dangles or small hoops just don't hang right. So don't look for me to be sporting 2 pairs of earrings at a time; it wouldn't look right anyhow.

Had to take Emily to the Verizon Wireless store for a new cell phone after school today; her Envy was just dead. Thankfully we were in the zone for a new phone and got it for nearly nothing. She chose the Glyde phone, which will wind up costing us less than $30 after the $50 rebate. I am hanging onto my phone until it dies... or until the IPhone is unlocked for other service providers.

Well, my hiding is over... Emily is ready to go, so guess I will jet. Hopefully I will find (make) time later this week for more.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday night stuff

After a week of coming and going, it was nice to be a little less busy this weekend. The week was full of things; worship team rehearsal for CR on Monday night, Joel's first drum lesson Tuesday evening, plus Halle's first night of AWANA this year, leadership team meeting for CR on Wednesday night, small group meeting Thursday night, and then the CR anniversary celebration Friday night. Insert big tired sigh here. 

Just a few comments about all that stuff up there: Joel loved his drum lesson. By the end of the lesson, he was playing the bass, hi-hat, and snare together and accompanying his teacher's guitar playing on the chorus of "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord." His drum set arrived on Thursday and I was lucky enough to know another homeschooler whose husband plays drums in the AF Band here and was more than happy to help us get them set up.

Friday night's CR was awesome. We moved the meeting from our small ministry center into our main worship auditorium. What a difference in the music between the two places! I hated for the worship to end. 

After taking care of business around here yesterday (laundry), the kids and I went to see Eagle Eye. It was pretty good.  Made me think of the old Sandra Bullock flick, The Net.  Then this afternoon, I went to see Fireproof.  GREAT movie! I highly recommend it.

This week looks to be a little less packed, although Tuesday night is full: Joel's drum lesson from 6-6:30, Halle's AWANA from 6:30-8:30, and I have CR worship rehearsal at 6:30 as well. Thankfully there are 2 parents available, so I will be able to drop Halle off on my way to rehearsal while Brian goes to lessons with Joel. Ai-yai-yai.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday meanderings

I'm trying not to go too long between posts, but often postpone sitting here to write in favor of the many other things vying for my attention (namely household management-type things). With school back in session, I have less time to devote to keeping things up, so it is important to grab the time when I have it or life will quickly become quite unmanageable. Can't have that. I am not a happy camper when I feel overwhelmed.

Brian, Noah, and I were able to go see Steven Curtis Chapman last Friday night. It was a great concert (SOLD OUT!) and a testimony to the power of God to heal and comfort. SCC shared so much of his heart with us, including stories about Maria Sue, his little daughter he lost in May, in addition to sharing his music. I could have stayed there all night.

Saturday we did a lot of stuff around the house. Halle cleaned out her room and we helped her move some stuff out to make room for a small table where she can work on jigsaw puzzles (a favorite activity of hers). There is no room anywhere else in the house to do a puzzle other than the dining room table, and that location is no good for obvious reasons. Then we went to a local music store and ordered a drum set for Joel. He begins lessons tomorrow night from one of the musicians at church. 

We are helping the boys make room in their bedroom for the drum set. There is just a little work left to do in their room to have it ready. The drum set should be here by Wednesday, so we are doing fine with that.

Tonight was worship rehearsal for the anniversary celebration for CR on Friday. I am really looking forward to Friday... I cannot wait to see how many folks come and who will wind up coming back again.

Since Emily gave me permission, I will close out with one of her pictures from

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The time, it escapes me

I have been meaning to sit and write for a while now, but there seems to always be something a bit more pressing than a blog post demanding my attention (chauffeur duties, school, and housework/laundry, namely). Oh, and preparations for the 1-year anniversary of the Celebrate Recovery ministry at church. I've been making signs for the barbecue, name tags, and also doing some typing to revamp our operations manual. Then there's the research and development of the ministry website.  I have a meeting later this morning regarding that.

Since the last post, we celebrated Joel's birthday (twice!) and made plans for him to begin music lessons. Celebrations began on Saturday with a party at a local jump house. We were able to convince Emily to invite a friend and come along. It was fun to see them enjoying themselves almost as much as the younger kids. After the party, a few of the boys stayed with us for a pizza dinner, followed by a sleepover in the RV. We parked it in the FamCamp on base and Brian chaperoned. It seems to have been a rousing success.  Part 2 of the celebration was on his actual birthday, Monday. Joel chose Baker's Square for his birthday dinner. 

As far as music lessons go, Joel has been asking to take drum lessons. After much thought and consideration, we talked to a guy at church who does this (he actually gives lessons on both drums and guitars... trains a lot of our youth so that they can participate in the youth worship and eventually the main worship bands at church) and he had an opening. So now we are looking for a drum set for him. This will involve some rearranging of the boys' room in order to fit them.

I spent last night at a CR training session on leading the small groups and newcomers' group. I had plans to write last night after I got home, but got very sidetracked here. I wound up messing around with photos of me, Noah, and Brian. Emily even got into the act (of course, posting anything  of her here is an act punishable by death, so I will respect her wishes). Can anyone guess the year of this photo?

Yeah, I've been working on important stuff.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The day I learned some things

I think I've posted about our 9/11 experience more than a few times, so I won't go into that story again. If you haven't read it and would like to (or if you have, but feel like you would like to read it again), last year's post is here

Looking back, I realize that day taught me some things I didn't know. Or maybe they were things I knew but had forgotten and needed reminding of.  Like the fact that despite the myriad ways in which we try to deny our creator, His image often shines through us in the darkest times. We cannot deny we were made in his likeness when in times of terror and pain, true acts of goodness come out of broken vessels such as we.  For me personally, this was seen in the kindness and unselfishness of the driver who spirited us away from the chaos that was the Newark airport and drove us around looking for a rental vehicle so that we could return home. Or the man who reassured me he was helping me keep an eye on all of my children as we evacuated the airport and were being herded through the terminals and out the doors. Read any number of accounts of the day and you will find other similar stories. 

I was reminded that my husband was a man of duty and honor. As a military member, he realized that even though he was "on leave," his first duty was to his country. He called his immediate supervisor, whose first words were to not worry about coming back, but who after hearing that Brian was willing to do whatever was needed, went ahead and recalled him.  He went right to work once we made it home. 

I was reminded of how many people cared for us. The phone calls from friends wanting to make sure we were OK, letting us know they were praying for us... Our families, waiting to hear from us that we were safe...

Most of all, I was reminded of the God we serve... How He never left us before, during, or after those fateful hours. How a tragedy such as the one our country suffered could be taken by Him and made into something to bring healing to others and honor and glory to Him. 

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A welcome departure

I often wonder if it gets a little old hearing about the day-to-day (or month-to-month) happenings around here. I've thought a lot about trying to have something more meaningful to share, but have never known just what. Well, last night I had a little bit of an epiphany, and while I can't share it all here, I think at least part of it might be of some interest.... and who knows? Maybe this will start a trend in my posts.

Anyhow, I imagine many of you are familiar with the oft-quoted "Serenity Prayer." Or are you?? Until about a year ago, I was only aware of one small portion:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,  the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Little did I know, there is much more to the prayer than that. It continues:

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is;  not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. AMEN.
This prayer is used to close out the worship/large meeting portion of Celebrate Recovery groups. Sometimes I think that it is easy to get used to repeating the words without even thinking about what we're saying.  But if you are in a position in which you are seeking a change in your life, these words make so much sense. How many of you have spent countless hours trying to affect a change in something of which you had no control? Or know what things you do have power over, but lack the courage to attempt to change? It's a sobering thought. Who wouldn't want the ability to differentiate between the two, along with being able to be content in our powerlessness over some things?

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time.... We've all heard the platitudes of taking life a step at a time, a day at a time, etc. But isn't it true? We only have control over what we are doing in this moment. If we can live in this moment, rather than tomorrow or next year, won't we experience a bit more success? 

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace... Ouch. Yeah, I could totally leave that line out. It doesn't sound like too much fun. But of course, exercise buffs are famous for saying "No pain, no gain." Doesn't that ring just as true for growing personally and spiritually?

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.... That says a lot. How much trouble do we get ourselves in wishing the world was different? 

Trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to Your will.... God won't hand stuff over to me until/unless I surrender to him. 

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next.... Let's not get greedy: reasonably happy, not perfectly and totally happy. We can save that for eternity. After all, if life were perfect here, what's the hope in heaven?

So there you have it... my little thoughts on this short little prayer attributed to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Don't faint

Unbelievable, I know. It's been less than 48 hours since my last post and I'm already back.  Got quite a lot accomplished today. I never got around to the bookcase yesterday, so that was left for me to tackle today. I wish I had taken before/after pictures. I am very pleased with my work and hope we can maintain it. To understand the size of the job, you need to understand the size of the bookcase: 4 feet wide by 7 feet high with 12 shelves almost 2 feet wide. The only shelves I didn't have to do anything with were the 2 shelves with the encyclopedia on them. I pulled off almost 75 books to either store on a different bookcase or to try to sell online (the sell pile was the smallest, around 25).

Before tackling the bookcase, the kids and I went to the mall (Aeropostale for Emily, her favorite place for hoodies and jackets) then Target. Dropped a few bucks on notebooks and binders for Emily for tomorrow and a few things for the other kids first day of school as well. We will figure out just what we'll need as we go along.

Cable guy did finally show up yesterday about half an hour before the deadline. Unfortunately, the installation order wasn't written correctly and they didn't bring the correct equipment. The set top boxes he brought didn't have the HDMI connections we need.... and closed captioning does not work on either one of our televisions if the box is connected via the component connections. Sigh. So we will have another technician coming tomorrow morning to fix that issue. There was also the issue of only one box actually showing on the order as well.... so the cable in my bedroom isn't even functioning.  Oh well, not like I have had time to sit and watch anyhow.

Forgot to mention that a friend from church cut and colored my hair this past Friday. I am so happy with it, and think I've never gotten as many compliments on a hair cut as I have this one. Via the magic of the built-in ISight camera on my IMac, and a little crop-work done in IPhoto, I give you moi:

Happy 1st day of September!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Still gimpin' along

Sorry to have flaked out and been AWOL for so long. It has been an incredibly hectic couple of weeks and I don't think I will even attempt to tell you anything of why. Suffice it to say we have had plenty of things to occupy our time; most good, a few benign, and a very few unpleasant. I guess ranking in the unpleasant is the fact that my knee surgery had to be postponed because of my cold/allergy symptoms I was having. Haven't rescheduled it yet, but it will probably be in October. I am going to start taking a glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplement to see if it is any benefit, since I have so long to wait.

School starts for all my kids on Tuesday. The Christian school Em attends built a new building  for the high school, and Em will be there. She got to see it this past Friday when she went in to get her locker assignment and picture taken. It is very nice... big rooms, lots of technology, bigger lockers (inside this time, instead of outside, like at the other school). The other three will be in the same place as last year (here with me). My goal for this weekend is to get the bookcase in the dining room cleaned out and organized for our school year. I need to remove some books and add new ones. We are trying something new this year in our writing. We're subscribing to My Access, an online writing teaching/evaluation system. I think the kids will enjoy it. 

Today we spent time getting ready for the cable guy to come tomorrow afternoon. We've had HD TVs for a little over a year now, but didn't have HD cable receivers. That will change after tomorrow. We'll have 2 HD receivers, one of which will also be a DVR. Yeah, we're finally entering the 21st century in home video recording. Anyhow, you know how TV areas can be really dusty. Add to that a bunch of JUNK and you have a big job to do. The downstairs is a real problem because the kids' computer and the Wii are both there by it and the kids spend a lot of time there. They had to get a lot of their gunk out of the room and I had to dust and vacuum so the guy won't be grossed out.  I still have to do the same upstairs in our room, but it will mostly just involve moving some things on our chest and dusting. It won't be the time-stealing production the living room was.

So there you have it. Still gimpin' along with the knee, getting ready for school, and cleaning for the cable guy. Don't know if I can stand any more excitement. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Hubby comes home today. The kids and I have been scurrying about to make the house a welcoming place for him. It has been a crazy week or so since I posted last, what with all the running about and then just holding down the fort while Brian was gone. I managed to contract a cold/allergies in the last few days, which has made the evenings/middle of night less than enjoyable. Lots of coughing/sneezing/leg-crossing/nose-blowing. (Sorry if that was TMI.) Thank goodness for 3am Olympics programming. 

Took the kids to see Wall-E over the weekend. Eh. It was OK. The last part of the film was more enjoyable, but I really am getting tired of movies with agendas. Can't we just make stuff to entertain anymore?

Then yesterday I went to see Tropic Thunder with Emily.   She was supposed to go with a friend, but the friend canceled at the last minute and she didn't want to go alone. We'd already Fandango'd her ticket so I wound up being her second choice. The main reason she wanted to see it is that she is a big Robert Downey, Jr. fan. In my opinion, he was the best part of the film, other than one small part involving a little Vietnamese boy. Other than that, I really wouldn't recommend the film. It was crude, full of f-bombs, and just not my cuppa. 

OK, break time is over. Joel just put on Emily's accompaniment CD for Annie and is busy working to the tune of "Hard Knocck Life." Gotta love him.

Monday, August 04, 2008

*Tap, tap, tap* Anyone still here?

Sorry for my extended absence. No excuses, really. Other than not wanting to bore you to death. But then again, perhaps that is what I do even when I post.... But truly, the only thing of note that has happened since my last post was that Halle had to have a tooth restored at the dentist. Funny thing... the incident that made this necessary actually happened before we left on The Great RV Road Trip of 2008. She and the boys thought it would be fun to throw empty 20-oz. soda bottles at each other. The ever-wise and prudent mother suggested that it was not a good activity, but the participants insisted they were "having fun." Said fun ended rather quickly when Halle wound up with a split lip when one of the bottle missiles hit her in the mouth.  It wasn't until  about 2 weeks later, at her monthly orthodontist appointment (just a few days before we were due to leave town) that we found out more was split than her lip. When the orthodontist removed her rubber bands and wire, off popped part of her tooth. It had broken straight across about halfway up.  Of course, it wasn't  a baby tooth, either. The only thing that could be done for her at that point was just a protective sealant until we returned from our trip.  Then last week, the dentist built up the remaining portion of the tooth with a composite material. She'll have a more permanent tooth made for her once she is all done with braces.

August is one of our busiest months of the year. Brian always has at least one week-long TDY; usually it is two. This year is no different. He leaves Friday to go to the AANA conference in Minneapolis.  He'll return the 14th, only to leave again the 18th for San Antonio. Then he comes back on the 20th, in time for my meniscus surgery on the 22nd.

Meanwhile, this week is VBF (Vacation Bible Fun, as opposed to Vacation Bible School). Halle and Joel both went today and had a great time. Joel wasn't sure he wanted to go; in fact, it was only threat of a pleasureless existence at home that convinced him to go without me dragging him by his heels. Once again, the mother's wisdom was boundless... he can't wait to get up and go tomorrow.  However, our schedule here at home is so crazy that I had to enlist the aide of a neighbor who goes to church with us to help me get the kids there tomorrow and Wednesday. Noah is getting his braces off tomorrow, but his appointment begins about the time I would normally leave here to head to the church building. Then on Wednesday, my pre-op appointment in the orthopedic clinic is scheduled for the start time of VBF.  Thankfully she had no problem with being able to take the kids, and if she hadn't been able to, I had at least 2 other folks who probably would have been able to fill in.

If that weren't enough, I'll have to pick them up just a little bit early tomorrow because VBF doesn't end until noon.... which is when Halle and Noah's music lessons begin. And on Wednesday we won't have time to hang around afterwards because I have my other pre-op appointment at 1. 

Also on the agenda for the week, another appointment at the ortho for Noah to pick up his retainer (Thursday morning), a birthday party for the boys Friday afternoon, one for Emily Saturday evening, and if I get the timing/transportation for Emily worked out, I want to attend this guy's comedy show Saturday night:

Next week should be a bit calmer...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuff to do, but here I am

It's a fairly busy day around here, but here I sit. As if writing about what I need to do today will make it all get done. Ha.

So today is a big day for my husband's co-worker/partner. She is retiring from the Air Force after 20 years of service. Brian has been working very long hours this week to get ready for the ceremony, never arriving home before 7pm, with the last 2 nights being 9:15 and 8:30 before he hit the door. He has been in charge of getting everything arranged for it and will be narrating the ceremony this afternoon at 2 (1400 in military speak). And once again, I had the pleasure of creating the programs for the event. Now that I bought Print Shop for the Mac, designing and printing the programs was much easier than when I did the ones for the anesthesia graduation.

Meanwhile, around here I have a few things to do before heading up to the hospital for the retirement ceremony, including folding 2 loads of laundry, feeding kids, and getting myself showered and dressed. Then tonight we have a dinner honoring the retiree. I'm a little nervous about it, because I don't usually enjoy these kind of things. I always feel very out of place because I rarely have much in common with anyone or know anyone very well. Plus there is usually a fair amount of drinking going on and I have never been very comfortable around people drinking alcohol. It just isn't my scene. With Brian being such a major player in the group, we will probably wind up being there for most of the event, which is scheduled to go from 6-10. I am thinking of sneaking a good book in my purse, or hoping the folks hosting have a dog so I will have someone to talk to. If all else fails, I do have Yahtzee on my cell phone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Coming up

So I haven't exactly taken the time to sit down and write since the 4th. We've had plenty of other things going on to keep me occupied. Mostly the usual and the mundane. Plus a little crud... Brian was sick most of last week; not enough to keep him home, but enough that he did come home early one afternoon and went straight to bed for the night. Then Joel started getting sick. Unfortunately, his led to a raging ear infection for which he is on Zithromax. We are celebrating his first afebrile day by taking in a movie this afternoon (Journey to the Center of the Earth, in 3D, no less!).

I met with the orthopedic surgeon today about my knee. The MRI I had back in June showed a large tear in my medial meniscus. Can't repair it, so we'll have to remove the torn part. August is Brian's busy month, with 2 TDYs of 7 and 4 days, so it looks like we'll be doing this on the 22nd. The doctor said I probably wouldn't be driving for a couple of weeks, so we might be looking for an alternate way for Emily to get to school the first week of September, or Brian will have to fix the schedule so that he can go in a little later than usual that week. So I have a whole month to look forward (?) to this now.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Fourth of Photos

Happy 4th of July! We got home a little while ago from watching the fireworks in Vacaville. They were nice... nothing spectacular, but then again, when you've seen Disney World fireworks as much as we have, it's hard to be spectacular.

Anyhow, I was able to get some photos uploaded earlier today and thought I'd share them here.

This was Rory's favorite place to be while we were going down the road.

Sometimes she even shared with Campbell.

This is Joel and Rockwell, my sister's 6yo Great Dane. He is a BIG boy!

Another one of Rory's favorite spots (but only when the RV was parked!).

Here you can see a bit of how tall Rock is. He weighs nearly 200 pounds.

This is a picture Noah took of my sister and me. (Even if it doesn't look like it, I'm the younger one... by a whole 5 years.)

Brian and Campbell as we were headed home.

A peaceful moment as we go down the road.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Home again

Well, the Great RV Road Trip of '08 is officially over. We pulled into the driveway around 2:30 or so this afternoon. Yesterday we drove from Needles to Chowchilla, a distance of around 420 miles. That put us within 3 hours of home. We stayed at a very nice RV "resort" called The Lakes. It's only a couple of years old and had great amenities, including an off-leash pet area, which to me is a huge plus.

I walked in to find a sparkling clean house. My neighbor and her daughter had the key to the house while we were gone and worked their magic on the place. She let me in on it earlier this week so I wouldn't be too freaked out (and also so that I could warn Emily that her room would be clean instead of covered in wall-to-wall stuff). I didn't know whether to cry because she was so sweet, or to cry from embarrassment at her seeing how filthy my house was. Either way, it was the sweetest thing to do. Her daughter told me this afternoon that it was my birthday present. Great present, huh? And really, she did much more than just clean: she used her magic and luck with finding other people's cast-off items to find me a great area rug for the living room, plus some throw rugs for the front and back doors. Plus she put wastebaskets in all the kids' rooms. Her hard work made coming home feel a lot more peaceful.

So with the time I've had, I've managed to wash and fold 2 loads of laundry. A 3rd is in the dryer and a 4th in the wash. I think there are at least 2 more to wash as well. Between clothes, towels, and bedding from the RV, there's a lot to do. Tomorrow we will sweep, vacuum, dust, and polish the RV (and clean the bathroom/shower) so we can put it away all fresh and clean. It's a little after 10 now and I'm really ready for bed. I'll check on the laundry and then head there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Catching up

Sorry for the break in posting. Connectivity on the road hasn't always been great, then there's also the issue of fatigue, plus sharing the laptop with others. To update, after we left Arkansas, we spent Tuesday night in a KOA just past Clinton, OK. Not a bad little place. From there we headed to Albuquerque, NM. That was our longest drive day up to that point, around 450 miles. The RV park there, American RV Park, was one of the nicest we've been to. Unfortunately, there were thunderstorms in and around the area, so no swimming for the kids that night. Had a little blast from the past while flipping channels there... saw a news anchor who used to anchor the local news back in Cape Girardeau, Dianne Anderson.

Yesterday we drove all the way from Albuquerque to Needles, CA, around 520 miles or so. That's our record. We hadn't made reservations for our last couple of nights, so Brian figured he'd see how far we could go and decided Needles was a good spot to shoot for. No difficulties in making it, although we did stop a little later than we had been. We did make a sight-seeing stop at the Meteor Crater just east of Flagstaff. Brian and the boys wanted to see it. The rest of us hung out in the RV. When we arrived in Needles, it was HOT, over 100 degrees. We got set up as quickly as possible and then Brian and the younger kids hit the pool while I worked on laundry. We were getting pretty low on some things, so I did one load of necessities. That took almost an hour and a half. It was nearly 9pm by the time I had it folded and put away. By that point, we decided dinner wasn't going to happen, so it was one of those "snack-your-hunger-away" evenings.

Not sure how far we will drive today. Brian wants to stop at a Camping World and see if he can get our roof A/C looked at. The front unit doesn't seem to cool as well as the back. The length of that stop will probably determine how far we get today. Even without that stop, it would be about 575 miles from here to home, which would be a pretty long drive. Traffic is bound to be worse here in CA than it was anywhere else, so I think it wouldn't be realistic to expect anything like that. But we should be able to get far enough along that our tomorrow's drive could be a short one.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

West on I-40

Greetings from westbound interstate 40 in Arkansas! We just left the KOA campground in Morrilton few moments ago and are bound for Clinton, OK today. We left much earlier today (7am) than most, trying to avoid the hotter parts of the day.

The kids (well, us too) have really enjoyed this trip. At one point, Joel asked if we could just not go home, but spend our time driving around visiting relatives. Huntsville was definitely everyone's favorite leg of the journey, even the dogs. They were quite happy to be at Aunt Pam's. Rory was a little overwhelmed at first, but settled right in. When we get home and I can hook up the camera, I will post some pictures of Rockwell so you can see how big he is. Poor guy is getting old (for a Dane, anyhow) and is so heavy his joints are paining him. But he put up a brave front for us and showed us his playful side.

We celebrated my birthday Sunday by going to Olive Garden with Pam & Kirk and their oldest son, Dustin. Service was slow, but the food was good. Then we just hung out for the rest of the day. Oh, except for a trip to the commissary. Pam went with me to get groceries to stock up the RV for this week.

Noah fulfilled his wish of getting an electric guitar this week. We had told him that one of Pam's boys would probably be able to give him good advice on one. Sure enough, Drew (Pam's #3 son) took him out to look at guitars and amps on Saturday. The ones Drew felt were good choices were a tad under $300 for the set. Turned out that he had 3 guitars himself, plus an amp he didn't need, so he offered to sell them to Noah for $100. We are splitting the cost with him, so he is covering $50 of it.

4 more days, and we should be back at the old homestead. Truth be told, I haven't missed it much at all. Doesn't say much about my love for California, does it?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy in Huntsville

Had a great day yesterday, even if it did seem a little long at times. My sleep is all messed up because I still have a cough that wakes me up at night. I found myself falling asleep several times yesterday, even while playing Rock Band! You know you're tired when you put yourself to sleep playing guitar on Rock Band.

Brian was able to get the RV situation straightened out. Apparently someone double-booked several spaces at the RV park. At any rate, we are in our original assigned spot and will be staying for free this weekend.

We spent a lot of time playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band yesterday. Actually, I haven't even tried Guitar Hero yet; I have only done drums, bass, and guitar on Rock Band. I am a total novice and have to play on Easy, but with practice, maybe I could make it to Medium. I won't hold my breath.

I had brought a bunch of sheet music with me, thinking Pam and Kirk and I could do some stuff together, but I have no voice. This cough has left me quite hoarse. I am totally disgusted.

In the evening, we went to a new shopping/dining district in Huntsville called Bridge Street Town Centre. It appears to be quite the happening place. Ashton Kutcher has a restaurant there called "Ketchup." Everyone was hungry while we were there, but the wait at most restaurants was 90 minutes and up. We were able to get immediate seating at Red Robin, and while it wasn't anyone's first choice, the food and service were good.

The dogs have settled in quite nicely to hanging out at Aunt Pam's during the day. It is good to see them all get along. Pam did board their bulldog Toby at the vet's while we are here, though. She says he is very possessive and would probably start a fight. It's a shame; I was looking forward to seeing him.

Not sure what today will bring. I am sure there will be more Rock Band and Guitar Hero, but at some point, I know we have some movies to watch together as well. We'll probably do some laundry today and/or tomorrow, too. The nice thing about being with family is not feeling like every moment has to be scheduled. Just hanging out in the same place is good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama

Arrived in Huntsville a little after 5 pm yesterday. The drive from Missouri was straightforward and uncomplicated... just the way I like 'em. However, once we arrived at Redstone Arsenal, everything changed. It took a few minutes to get on base (my brother-in-law met us at the Visitor's Center so that he could take Brian to get a rental car once we were set up at our RV spot). Once we located the small RV area on the main part of post, we discovered a fifth-wheel parked in the spot that Brian had been told would be ours, and no one there. Being after 5pm, there was no-one answering the phone number for Outdoor Rec (the group that oversees the RV park). There was one empty spot left, so we pulled in there and hooked up. Brian left with Kirk and the girls to go to the airport and get a rental van. Some time later, another Class A motorhome pulled up... I happened to be sitting outside the rig with the dogs. The owners of that rig were confused as to why we were parked in the spot reserved for *them*. I explained the situation and told them I was waiting for Brian to get back with the rental car. These folks were very nice, but also fairly insistent that this was their spot and they wanted to park there. They wondered if perhaps our reservation was for the "other" RV spot on base, located out near the river. I told them it shouldn't have been; that wasn't the area we had requested.

In the meantime, Brian called and I told him of the situation. This was not a happy time. He did locate the other RV area, but the site number we had been assigned was occupied there, as well. It took him a little while to find his way out of the woods there and get back to the main RV site, but while he was doing that, the folks occupying our spot arrived. They said they were supposed to have been in a different spot, but it was occupied when they got there; they called Outdoor Rec, who told them to take our spot.

Long story short, we unhooked and pulled out and drove over to the church behind my sister's house to boondock for the night. I don't even know what time it was when we finally arrived. Much later than it should have been, that's for sure. Brian has plans to get back over to the Arsenal today and get some satisfaction. The folks in our spot were only staying one night, so hopefully we will be able to get in there before someone else comes along and takes it. Our credit card had already been charged for a 4-night stay, so there will have to be some refunding done at any rate.

Anyhow, once we made it to my sister's, we had a good time saying hi and seeing the dogs and kids (3 of her 4 boys were there... they are all grown and out of the house now). I can't wait to take some pictures of Rory and my sister's dog, Rockwell. He is a Great Dane as well, but has 5 years, a few inches and MUCHO pounds on Rory. He is massive. But for all that size, he is just a big lover. He spent much of the night giving me kisses and hugs (a hug involves placing his head next to mine and then leaning into me.... we were having a contest as to which one of us could lean the most).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Git 'r done

It's our last day in MO and we will be busy trying to do everything we can before heading out to Alabama tomorrow. That will include a big group lunch at Lambert's this afternoon. Not really sure what the rest of that "everything" will include; could just be hanging out and playing with the family.

The kids have really enjoyed being with their cousins this week. One of my nieces has kids that are the same age (within a few months) of my oldest 3. This makes for lots of fun for all of mine. They've played pool, ping pong, and washers. Last night, my nieces both came back to the RV with us and the kids and went swimming in the RV park pool. Then two of the kids spent the night in the RV with us last night. They'll be heading to lunch with us today along with their brothers and mom.

Time to hit the ground running!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back where it all started

We arrived in Cape Girardeau yesterday afternoon around 2:30. This is the city in which Brian and I both went to college and where we lived the first 3 years of our marriage (he was still finishing nursing school then). The kids were uber excited to get to Grandma Betty's and Uncle Larry's houses (conveniently located side-by-side). The boys spent much time at my brother's house playing ping pong and learning how to shoot pool. Emily and I spent most of our time at my mom's, just reminiscing. Rory and Campbell were introduced to one of my niece's dogs, a little Miniature Pinscher named Zeke. In true big dog fashion, Rory was terrified of him. Now that is something I'd love to have on video.

No hard and fast schedule planned for today. The only sure thing is a good ol' dinner off the grill tonight... I believe Larry will be barbecuing ribs and pork steaks. At some point, everyone will want to come out to the RV to see it. I'm sure we'll also work on getting in some game time. Since there is a fishing pond here at the RV park, that might also be a possibility for some fun time today or tomorrow.

The kids are all asking to go to Lambert's to eat at some point as well. Perhaps we'll make that tomorrow's lunch. Meanwhile, it's time for me to get started with my day. I'm going to shower and get dressed and head over to the homestead while everyone else sleeps in.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Family gatherings

I am slowly getting over whatever it was that was taking me down. I stayed in the RV last night while Brian and the kids/dogs went back to his sister's house. Joel also stayed behind at his own initiative "to take care of" me. I dozed off and on and didn't get out of bed for good until 10am this morning. Still have a bit of a cough, but other than that, I can't complain. Brian and the kids are guzzling Airborne to try to keep from getting it, but I'm not sure if Brian started soon enough.

The dogs got to go up to the nursing home with Brian and the kids to visit Brian's mom today. Rory was quite the lady. The day room has a large glassed-in bird cage there (and birds are Rory's favorite thing to watch). She sat and calmly watched them; Campbell was the one who wanted to break through the glass. No manners. Tsk, tsk.

We were able to see lots of Brian's family today; ones we hadn't seen in a really long time and some we'd never seen. The 3 younger kids had a blast meeting cousins their own age and hanging out in the back yard with them. They played junk ball, top toss (a homemade version), and washers.

We did get a phone call from the RV park that the winds were picking up and we needed to head back to put our awning down. Didn't get there in time to save one of the support arms which snapped. We did manage to get the awning retracted and everything back the way it should be; we just won't be able to use it again until we get that arm replaced. Seems like it would be a straightforward enough repair... We'll be 2 hours from the factory when we are in AL, so maybe we can call them and set up an appointment to have it fixed while we're there.

We'll visit Brian's mom one last time in the morning, then return the rental van and head down to Cape Girardeau.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Missouri stop

We made it to St. Charles, MO last night. I started getting Emily's sore throat late last night and today feel like a train hit me. Drinking lots of water, and sucking on lemon drops and Halls cough drops.

We visited Brian's mom earlier today at the nursing home, then took our laundry over to Brian's sister's house to get it worked on. I fell asleep on the couch. While I was asleep, Brian went to the grocery store and bought fixins for a hamburger/hot dog grill here at the RV. Both his sister's family and his brother's family came. They had planned for his mom to come, but weren't able to find a transportation service to get her here. The one that they had originally contracted with had mechanical issues at the last minute and couldn't do it.

Brian, Emily, and his sister are up at the nursing home now visiting his mom again. They took her some of the food from the cookout. Tomorrow they have another transportation agency that is picking their mom up from the nursing home and taking her to her brother's house, where all of her brothers/sisters and their kids will be gathering for a get-together.

I myself am ready to hit the hay, even though it's only 8:30 here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just as we get used to the routine of life on the road....

Real life steps in and smacks you upside the head. After we left Ogallala yesterday morning (6:30 am MST), I was online looking for a van to rent while we were in Omaha having the RV checked out. After I finished that up, I hopped over to my Google Reader to see what was new in the blogworld. I never expected to encounter what I did... a short post from our former preacher, Jim White, alerting us to the death of the 13yo son of friends from our church there. He was one of the 4 scouts killed in the tornado that decimated the Boy Scout camp in Iowa on Wednesday night. The youth minister from church, Franklin Wood, wrote a very touching tribute to Sam last night.

The news made for a somewhat more subdued trip. Friends had planned a cookout and had invited others from church to come to visit us. I wasn't sure whether we should continue it, but we decided it could be a good thing to help lighten the mood a little. We did spend some time talking about Sam and sharing stories about him. Tonight is a memorial service at church and we are so torn. It brings up memories from 3 years ago, just a week or so after we moved to CA, when one of the teens from church was murdered. We were so far off and felt so helpless. Well, now we are here, and feeling just as helpless. We want to stay for the service, but are stuck on a schedule.

Please pray for the Thomsens: Larry, Sharon, Lindsay, and Sara.

Today we will head to the St. Louis area. We have to return the rental van and then drive by our friends' house, as the 3 younger kids all wanted to spend the night there last night.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 3: From Wyoming to Nebraska

What an interesting day yesterday! Lots of wind, which made for some intense moments, especially on one stretch of interstate that was down to 1 lane and was a descent with many curves. Makes me very glad we aren't returning by this route. Took us a little while to get situated once we arrived in Rock Springs, and we wound up eating dinner at 9:30 at night. It was also rainy and even SNOWY. We had flurries this morning for the first hour or so of the trip as well. We were at a KOA last night.... not any place I'd like to stay at for any length of time. Their "pet walk" area was just a fenced-in plot of red dirt. Which meant mud because of the rain. UGH.

We are nearing Cheyenne, WY now and will be stopping for lunch there. Then it will be on to Ogallala for the evening. We should arrive there well before dark. This is a good thing, because we will need to leave early tomorrow in order to arrive in Omaha before noon. We have to take the RV to a local service place to have it looked at. The lights on our instrument panel aren't working for some reason. We tried replacing a fuse, but that didn't help. We'll spend the night in a KOA outside Omaha (Gretna) and then head on to Missouri on Friday morning.

Emily seems to be feeling better. She actually got out of bed today and has spent the better part of the trip up front with us. She and Rory are reclined on the couch together now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On the road

Greetings from Elko, NV! We left home yesterday morning a little after 6:30 and arrived here around 10 hours later. That included a couple of potty stops for the dogs and a refueling stop, during which we also ate lunch. (Speaking of refueling... gas has dropped 16 cents a gallon from the Fairfield, CA area; last price we saw was $4.o9. I'm wondering how far east one has to go to see it rising again.)

It has been a fairly easy trip so far, save for one spot in CA where I truly thought we were rushing to our deaths. Since I had only slept 3 hours the night before, I thought I'd try lying down on the bed in the back and seeing if I could catch a little rest there. This was on a stretch between Auburn, CA and Reno, NV. For starters, California roads are some of the worst in the world. Very rough and bumpy. I felt like I was on a trampoline with someone else doing all the jumping. But that wasn't the worst part. I could feel the RV heading down some big inclines and it felt like we were on a runaway train. Rory was lying down next to me and I held on to her and prayed out loud: "Dear God in Heaven, we're all gonna die!" and "Save me, sweet baby Jesus in the manger!" After what seemed like forever, things settled down and I came up front and asked Brian if it was as scary up here as it was in back and he looked at me like I had 2 heads. Apparently, I was having sleep-deprivation hallucinations or something. He said it hadn't been bad at all. So how fast were we going down the inclines? I asked him. 50 or 55, he said. My jaw dropped. I could have sworn it was more like 80. Note to self. Don't ride in the back when going through mountainous areas. It will conjure up images of death, destruction, and very bad things.

Anyhow, the rest of the trip was much easier. The roads in NV are as smooth as buttah (but with out all the fat). Once we got here and set up camp, I cooked dinner. (French Country Chicken.... a make-ahead dinner I made at Dream Dinners a couple of weeks ago.) Then Brian took Halke and Noah swimming. Joel stayed here and helped me wash/dry dishes. We took the dogs outside for a bit and played some catch, then came in to watch some tv. I was asleep by 8:30 or so.

The dogs were ready to go out at 5:30 this morning... yawn. They've both had breakfast now and are lying around. Everyone else is still asleep as well. Not sure when we'll get on the road today. Our goal for tonight is Rock Springs, WY. According to Google Maps, that's 410 miles. Brian is in charge of dinner tonight.... steaks on the grill.

One low spot of the trip is that Emily is sick. She seems to have come down with the same virus she had a few weeks ago ... kinda like a bad cold with a sore throat. She spent the entire trip yesterday sleeping; all except the last hour or so. Then she was back in bed after dinner. Hopefully she'll feel better soon.

Will write more later today or tomorrow!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Is this how a hamster feels?

I was just answering an email to a friend, telling her what was/is/will be going on around here and realized perhaps I could use it to make updating here a bit easier. Perhaps after seeing it you will be more likely to forgive my protracted absence from posting:

We are leaving for a 3-week trip on Monday and I am stressing bigtime over all I have to do between now and then. Brian will be working in Sacramento on Sat. and Sun., so I will be packing the RV all by my lonesome (well, with the kids, but that doesn't help in the "remembering" dept.). Today, Emily has to be at school at 10 for her last final, Halle and Noah have ortho appts at 10:30, and I have a hair appt at noon. (Have to pick up Emily and get her and other kids back here between ortho and hair appt.) Then Em has to be back up at the school for graduation by 4:30 (choir is singing), and Brian and I have to be there at 5:30 (directing traffic).

I have to drive to Sacramento and back tomorrow morning to pick up a replacement iPod from the Apple Store there, so I can get it loaded up with music to take with me on the trip. Emily has some place to be from 1-3 tomorrow, then we have Celebrate Recovery at church... I am supposed to be there by 5:30 for worship team practice. Plus, the 3 younger kids are going to a birthday party (we'll drop them on the way and pick them up on the way home). No present bought for that yet: Can you say "GameStop gift certificate?" I knew you could.

Noah has a baseball game at 8 am on Saturday. If they win, he will have another at 1, followed by his team party at 4 at the base bowling alley. Emily has a birthday party to attend that evening; thankfully, it is just a few blocks away at the conference center here on base.... Evidently it is a big sweet 16 bash.

Somewhere in all that, I have to shop for groceries for the trip and get the RV loaded up with that stuff. Brian is going to pick up the RV from our storage unit today and plans on washing it this afternoon, then parking it in the "famcamp" (base RV park) so it will be ready for me to load up. It will be all hooked up to water/electric/sewer, so the fridge will be getting cold and ready for the perishables to go into it.

This is pretty much the way my life has been going lately... Running from one thing to another. Is it any wonder I haven't stopped to write a blog post???
There you have it: just a glimpse at the insanity that is my life lately.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Life is so daily

Eeek... I have been neglecting the blog again. Life gets in the way sometimes. Ball games, play rehearsals, grocery shopping, laundry, housework.... Even though I've stopped to read others, I haven't taken the time to write anything. So what is/has been going on here?

  • We're about 2 weeks away from being done with baseball season. Can I get an Amen?
  • Emily's play is over. She totally ROCKED her part. I have had more people come up to me and tell me how awesome my daughter's voice is since that weekend. It's funny how having her complimented feels almost identical to being complimented myself (as if I have anything to do with her beautiful voice).
  • Rory is finally out of her "come-hither" phase.
  • Brian had his Yukon broken into Sunday morning while at church in Sacramento ... thieves smashed his window and looked around till they found his GPS (stored away). They also took his registration and a $5 bill he kept in his visor for toll bridge emergencies. Thankfully he was able to find a way to get it repaired so that he didn't have to leave the truck unsecured while he is on the East Coast this week. One of the nurses from the hospital he moonlights at volunteered to stay with his truck at the airport until/while the repair company fixed it; she locked it up and will meet Brian back at the airport when he returns Thursday to give him his key.
  • We've planned all our stops for the first leg of our RV trip and made the reservations. We have most of the return trip figured out as well.
  • We went to see Prince Caspian on Sunday afternoon with around 300 other people from church (our church rented a theater for it). Great movie... kids loved it and the time went by so quickly it didn't seem like an almost 2 1/2-hr flick. Looking forward to adding it to our library when it is released on DVD.
  • I've been battling a bum leg for a while. Finally decided to see a doc about it and wound up scheduled for an MRI in a couple of weeks. Basically checking the meniscus out to see if I've torn it or something. Sure fits the symptoms. Of course, won't be any time to do anything about it before the road trip. Doggone. Some day I will stop being such a suffering martyr and handle these things when they happen.
  • Noah had an awesome ball game last night... He was 3 for 3 at bat, got on base 2 of those times (last at bat, the ball was fielded to first before he could get there), batted in a couple of runs, and made a great play at 3rd that nearly wound up a double play. His skills have really improved this season. Can't ask for much more!
Lotsa stuff coming up.... Tonight is Emily's choir concert. I was in charge of making the programs again and got the final product done after school yesterday. Noah has 2 sleepovers this weekend; one on Friday night and one Sunday night. Brian and I have a wedding in Sac this Saturday and an anesthesia department function to attend the following one. That weekend should also be our final weekend of baseball. (Cue chorus of angels)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Things are "heating" up

Sometimes I slay myself with my razor-sharp wit. Take the title of this post, for instance. It has nothing to do with the weather, a malfunctioning thermostat, or the state of the relationships in this family. No, this has to do with that beautiful creature gazing at you from the header up there (and just in case you're reading this in a feed reader.... or eons from now when this blog has undergone a major image revision, I am referring to our Great Dane, Rory, who just turned a year old 2 weeks ago.) Yes, my "little girl" became a woman this week. *sniff, sniff* Believe me, it was much easier reaching this milestone with my eldest child than it has been with a canine. Oh my stinkin' heck.

If you've never experienced the joys of doggie estrus, consider yourself blessed. Maybe if I had a toy poodle, it would be easier. Actually, I know it would. I remember the little "Sani-Panties" my sister put on her dog. I had no such option for My Little Pony, as one of my neighbors affectionately refers to her. My choices at the local PetSmart were either a disposable diaper, or a denim "diaper garment" in which you insert what looks remarkably similar to your grandma's maxi-pad. OK, probably not Grandma's, cuz they're "beltless." Let's go for your mom's. One scrawny little adhesive strip down the middle of the backside. Which to choose?

We began with the "diaper garment." Reading the boxes, I had to choose between one sized for a weight ending at 90 pounds (XL) or one beginning at 90, and recommended for Great Danes (XXL). Rory is a little over 90 pounds, so I went with the second. (Insert annoying buzzer sound here.) She is so svelte that it's really rather baggy on her and I have actually had to wash it several times because it just doesn't provide enough "protection," if you get my drift. So I went back to the store and decided to try the disposables. First size I try (Large) is too small. Then I get the largest size (XL, up to 90 pounds) and it's still too flippin' small.... They just don't come far enough up her back to fasten them. So the solution I have come up with? "Diaper garment" with disposable diaper as liner instead of the maxi-pad. It appears to be working.

Note to self: Schedule Rory's spay appointment.


In other news, the boys headed off in the RV this afternoon for a manventure. It was originally supposed to have been all of us, but I thought it would be better to keep Rory at home in her current condition. The boys had been looking forward to going, so Brian decided he could handle it alone. This trip was to a nice RV park almost 2 hours south of here. They even took Campbell with them. From the last conversation I had with them tonight, it sounded like they were having a good time. They'll be back tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

AI Top 5: Diamonds in the rough?

Neil Diamond night.... Folks thought maybe Mr. Diamond's stuff would redeem Jason's performance from last week, but even with *2* chances, I think he failed miserably. Both of his songs (Forever in Blue Jeans and September Morn) totally hurt me to listen to. At times he sounded like he was trying to just copy Neil's version and it just didn't work. I really think it's his time to leave.

I thought David Cook nailed both of his songs (I'm Alive and All I Really Need Is You). He is so smart to pick songs most people aren't familiar with, so they aren't comparing him to anyone else. Either one of those songs could be on the radio today. As much as I love me some Brooke, I think David C. is the one to take it all.

Brooke: Sweet heavens, I just can't figure out what is happening with her. She is not the same person who started this thing. I'm a Believer was not one of her best performances... it seemed very forced and just not as natural as I know she can be. But I Am, I Said was much closer to the Brooke I love. There's something about her and that piano that just works. The judges all noticed it, too. I was relieved to see they thought her #2 song was a good one.

David Archuleta... I'm sorry. But I'm getting a little tired of him and the over-the-top praise he keeps getting. (Well, Simon did label his first song, Sweet Caroline, as "amateurish".) Every time he grins, I keep seeing Alfred E. Neuman's face. He may be able to sing the telephone book, but I just don't see him as really being all that marketable. I think he'd be better off doing musical theater. I just didn't care for the way he changed around either the first song or America.

Syesha had another nice night. Hello Again was ok for me. Sorry, but I have junior year of high school memories of that song the way Neil sang it and any other version just doesn't do it for me. Now the other song, Thank the Lord for the Nighttime, was totally new to me and she sounded great on it. Funny that the judges all thought the same thing about how she does so well with songs that showcase her personality and acting ability.

My favorite(s) of the night: David Cook and Brooke (aww, it rhymes).
Who I wanna wave bye-bye to: For the love of all that is holy, Jason!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend in bullets and a few links

Typical weekend of "stuff" here:

  • Friday night was Celebrate Recovery. Brian wasn't here, but was in the air on his way home from a trip to the Washington, D.C., area (left Thursday morning, landed back in Sacramento at 11pm Friday). Because he is usually the in charge of running PowerPoint for the worship/lesson portion, he had to find a replacement. That was an easy task. But then I arrive to find out that this week's worship leader was sick and the other worship leader was taking over for him. Only problem was, he was the one who was going to run PowerPoint. So I wound up getting recruited to do that. Ordinarily, I would be singing with him, as I am on his worship team (a fairly new assignment I just accepted this week).
  • The other glitch in Friday night occurred because this was the last Friday of the month, meaning we were having our monthly CR dinner beforehand (beginning at 5:30 instead of the usual 6:30). It's normally not a big deal, especially when there isn't a parental unit missing from the equation. But this week, Emily had rehearsal for Annie until 5pm. I had to pick her up, drop off my food at the church, take her back home, and then drive back to the church. I didn't make it there until 6. To say I was feeling a little stressed would be slightly understating things.
  • Saturday was filled with our usual ball games. Thankfully , the boys' games overlapped so that we were only at the field for a little over 2 hours instead of the typical 4. I still managed to get too much sun on my face. One of these days I will remember the sunblock.
  • In addition to the games, our neighborhood was also having a garage sale. There really was no way for us to get ready for it or really participate, but one of my neighbors did let me stick a few things I had in the garage over at her place. Someone bought the kennel that Rory was shipped to us in, and that was the extent of my luck. Halle sold one of her GameCube games and a doll stroller/playpen.
  • Brian and I went shopping for things for the RV and house late yesterday evening. We bought some string lights for the back patio (need to go back and get one more set) and some indoor/outdoor carpet for it. Didn't have as much luck with the RV stuff. We may try to get to Camping World tomorrow if we have time. We're planning on doing another overnighter this weekend after Noah's ball game Saturday, so really do need to work on getting the motorhome more fully stocked.
  • We went to Fenton's Creamery for lunch after church today. Mmmm, mmmm. Thankfully I remembered from our last trip how huge the ice cream portions are and ordered a "small" rather than a "regular" scoop of ice cream.
  • After we got back, I made a trip to the commissary. While I was gone, Brian was washing his truck and using the power washer on the house and back patio. I pulled into the driveway to see Noah and his friend Beth giving Campbell a bath in the front yard. (Yes, it is warm enough to bathe the dogs outside... in the 80s.) I convinced Emily that Rory needed a bath as well. I will try to post some pictures of that tomorrow or one day this week.
  • Laundry was the other main chore of the day. I have some needing to be switched around right now, in fact.


And now for the links:
  1. I may be the last person in the blogosphere to mention this blog, but just in case you've somehow missed it... You *must* read the story of Angie and Todd Smith's baby, Audrey. (Todd is one of the guys from the group Selah.) Just go back to the first post in January and read all the way up to now. It's only 38 posts, but I guarantee you will not be the same person when you finish. The latest post from Friday has a beautiful slideshow set to a song that Angie and her husband wrote. I challenge anyone to watch it and listen and have a dry eye when she/he is done. Of course, if all their story does is just make us cry, then we've completely missed the point.
  2. Anyone else love Pioneer Woman's recipes?? I must have a list a mile long of her recipes that I want to try. The latest is her risotto. I don't think I've ever had risotto before, but her recipe sounds just delicious. I also am dying to try Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich.

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