Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day = Work Day

Since we have moved here, and taken over the "family farm", we haven't really done much for Memorial Day. For us, Memorial Day is a work day. Hubby and Mr. 17 are both already at work early this morning. Hubby stayed out at the farm last night and Mr. 17 was up early, well early for his standards, so that he could drive out and get to work, too. So in our world Memorial Day and Labor Day aren't long weekends to go BBQ with friends and family, they are days to work, as is the rest of the summer.
I sent Mr. 17 out the door with a cooler of food: sandwiches, drinks and goodies to tide him over for the day. It did however take all my prodding to get him to eat something besides a Pop Tart before he left for work.
How do the rest of you get your teens to eat breakfast that isn't junk in the summertime? During the school year it is really easy, we just set out the choices on the table and they eat it without complaining. During the summer it's another story. Mostly I feel lucky if they eat breakfast at all; also I feel lucky if they are up before 11 a.m.! If they aren't I wake them. How about the rest of you? Do you let your teens sleep late?
Miss 13 starts a summer school class tomorrow, so she has to be out the door very early. It's summer school by choice, actually a PE class, 4.5 hours a day for 13 days. They get to do a lot more than the usual school year PE. It's not the typical gym games, instead it's hiking, biking, baseball, swimming, canoeing, La Cross, track and field, etc. As a bonus it frees up a class during the school year to add those extras that normally there aren't time for. This way I know she will head to bed early for those 13 days at least.
Miss 9 has signed up for some art classes for the summer along with some sport camps. Since academics are such a struggle for her we try to steer her in other directions where she has more opportunities for success when we can.
Speaking of Miss 9 she has already managed to catch herself a fun summer cold. Not that an illness usually slows her down, but it does mean there are more germs in the house that I could catch. I am a little germaphobic, so this means lots more hand washing for me. (Read more as: scrub your hands 50 times a day until your skin peels off!)
Oh, excuse me, Miss 9 played Zoombinis on the computer yesterday, I better go wash my hands now!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

First Day of Summer Vacation!

Do you remember that first day of summer vacation? Today is that day for Miss 9 and Miss 13. Mr. 17 had his first day of vacation earlier in the week.
I remember how exciting that day was with all the promise of warm weather, fun with your friends, staying up late. Even now, certain songs can send me back to those days of summer fun.

Yesterday was a gloomy mess here. Not that I am complaining about getting some rain, but it was really cold too. By the time we were grilling supper you could see your breath outside~ seriously! It's May 25, you should no longer be able to see your breath outside! I'll take the rain, but I despise the cold!

Miss 9 had her birthday party with her friends yesterday. I had planned some fun crafts, a scavenger hunt and some fashion/dress-up games with prizes. They enjoyed it, and I loved being part of their upbeat, excitable energy. They made the most adorable flip flops, you can see some of them on the picture above. Miss 9 enjoyed her day.

When I tucked her in bed last night, she said, "It really doesn't feel like summer vacation, does it Mommy?" So my goal for today, despite a high temperature of less than 60 degrees, is to make it feel like summer vacation. A good goal for a long weekend, don't you think?

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I live in Small-town USA. I have some pretty good grocery stores, I have a major chain store for the necessities. (Although shopping there, and I have no other choice, frustrates the begeeberz out of me!) What I don't have is anywhere to shop for clothing, for myself or the kids. I can drive a few hours and find some things there, but really I am not finding a lot of time to do that anymore. The kids are busy with friends and involved in other activities, so driving to shop isn't always easy. I've been looking for somewhere online, with decent prices, and not the usual blah selections. I am not having a lot of luck and it's frustrating. Without being able to try things on I end up sending a lot of things back. Maybe I need to learn to sew my own clothes. That would be quite an undertaking. Can't you just see us running around in prairie skirts? Sounds like a recipe for the kids to get made fun of at school. Especially Mr. 17. Heh!
We've tried Kohls, AnnTaylor Loft, Talbots, Old Navy, Gap, Lands End, Eddie Bauer, LL Bean. Guess we are destined to live in Major Chain Store fashions. And don't we look lovely?

Friday, May 18, 2007


After a wonderful week for my kids, full of great achievements I should have known the other shoe would drop. Just 2 days ago Miss 13 won the Student of the Month Award at the Middle School. After school last night she came to me in tears. Her name has apparently been on a list of students that a group of boys want to "knife." We have done all the appropriate things: called the principal, the counselor, etc. We just wanted to be able to send her off to school this morning with a secure feeling. The adults are aware of the situation. They have done all they can. I don't think she felt any worse about the situation, but I am not sure she felt any better either.
Mr. 17 came to me last night as well. He has always been moody, always been a little emotional. Apparently he has been talking to the counselor at school this week. She brought in someone from the Human Services department. They think he is suffering from some depression and needs to see a psychaitrist. I spent the morning getting referrals for him, and setting up an appointment. The soonest he can get in is 3 weeks away. Why didn't I see this? Why did I think this was normal teen angst and not something more serious?
Protection... a parent's job. At the moment I don't feel like I am very good at it.

Friday, May 11, 2007


FINALLY! Spring has finally come to our corner of the world. Not that we haven't had warm days, but it finally feels like spring. The grass is green and the grass-stains are even greener! Although this time I can't complain too much because the grass stains aren't on the kids pants, they are my own. I've been kneeling and planting, and I have to say that I sure can make a big mess!

On another note it is Miss 8's Birthday today! So from now on I guess she shall be known as Miss 9. I just can't believe that it has been 9 years since this bundle of energy has entered the world. She came into the world with an attitude of defiance and she still has it! Hubby and I are fond of saying that if Miss 9 had been our first born she would be an only child. What a whirlwind she has turned out to be. But a fun whirlwind most of the time. It's nice to have Miss 9 because she still says, "I LOVE LOVE you!" and kisses our cheeks and hugs us, even with people around. She is much more capable of multi-syllable words unlike Mr. 17 who speaks in mono-syllabic grunts and semi decipherable words. Miss 13 has the eyeroll down pat, so we can usually decipher what she needs just by looking at her.

The weekend ahead looks to be a busy one. Mr. 17 has a track meet today and hopes to be home by midnight. Miss 13 marches in a parade with the middle school band tomorrow morning. Miss 9 and Mr. 17 will also be running a road race tomorrow morning. Hubby and Mr. 17 both have been working to get one of the show cars ready to enter in a Car Show this weekend as well. Plus I naturally expect to be spoiled completely rotten on Mother's Day! We are also waiting on word to see if my parents will come up so Grandma can be spoiled right along with me on Mother's Day. Aaah... the one day a year when I don't have to cook.

How do the rest of you get spoiled on Mother's Day? Or do the spoiling on Mother's Day? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Negativity Pays Off

All weekend the forecast was for rain, as was the forecast for part of last week. We desperately need it, it's so dry here, and since our livelihood depends on it, we pray for it often. As of Sunday morning, we had not much of anything. I was doing my usual negative whining, "It's not going to rain, look at that radar, it's all going east of us." etc. Finally though after lunch the skies got dark and we heard the first rumbles of thunder, they proceeded to get louder and louder. I was at a greenhouse picking out plants for the 50 or so pots that I do every year. I was in fact a little afraid of all the lightning and noise going on around me while I sat in a plastic and metal structure, so I picked plants quickly and left. The sky opened up and it rained! What a relief! See, negativity does pay off; Mother Nature heard me and thought, "I'll show you rain!" We got just over an inch which probably isn't much to most people, but here, that's a pretty good rain.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Locks of Love

Locks Of Love!

Miss 8 had her haircut over the last weekend to donate to Locks of Love. She has been begging to do this for a long time, but I haven't had the heart. She has had long hair practically her entire life. I have enjoyed the many styles we have created together for her to wear. I will miss her long, gorgeous, easy to comb hair. The short style makes me sad in a way because it makes her look so much older and it makes me realize how very fast she is growing up. Either way though, I still think she looks adorable!

I'm Back!

I've been out of touch recently because I had the fun of having my sister here to visit for a few days. She lives a long way from me, and since I don't fly well I don't see her much except when she comes home.
The kids love having her here, especially 8 and 13. She makes them feel special, grown up and important. Plus they love to brag up their accomplishments when she is around because she's so good at boosting their egos.
I enjoy having her around because I finally get to have a friend to visit with about the annoyances of life. She gets where I'm coming from and doesn't judge me for it. We have the same sense of humor and coming from the same set of parents we have similar mannerisms. It makes us laugh to see each other behave and do the same things even though we haven't been living in the same house now for over 18 years. We whine about our spouses but both realize how lucky we really are to have them. I whine about my kids and when she stays with us she realizes that I am right about them, and sometimes they really do deserve to be complained about.
She went back to stay with my parents yesterday. I probably won't see her for a long while because she is going "out on tour" with her hubby for several months. It makes me sad. My kids and hubby would say it makes me grumpy too. I hope all goes well for her while she is on the road, but I wish she would just stay here instead.