Wednesday, May 28, 2008

One Word

A friend emailed me this one, but instead of emailing back, I thought I would put it up here for the whole world to see.


Not as easy as you might think. Change the
answers to suit you and pass it on. It's really hard to only use one
word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? kitchen

2. Your significant other? John

3. Your hair? annoying

4. Your mother? working

5. Your father? driving

6. Your favorite thing? sleep

7. Your dream last night? boring

9. Your dream/goal? happiness

10. The room you're in? entry

11. Your hobby? gardening

12. Your fear? death

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? fulfilled

14. Where were you last night? home

15. What you're not? weak

16. Muffins? no

17. One of your wish list items? vacation

18. Where you grew up? Minot

19. The last thing you did? curl

20. What are you wearing? sweats

21 Your TV? off

22. Your pets? Decker

23. Your computer? Dell

24. Your life? busy

25. Your mood? hopeful

26. Missing someone? yup

27. Your car? dirty

28. Something you're not wearing? socks

29. Favorite store? TraderJoes (what, it's one word!)

30. Your summer? short

31. Like someone? yes

32. Your favorite color? teal

33. When is the last time you laughed? Sunday

34. Last time you cried? Monday

35. Who will repost this???? La Reveuse

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Days of Suckage

I will post about the graduation festivities another time, but today is devoted to total suckage. I have Miss 14 and Miss 10 with some sort of stomach virus. They are both still in bed, sort of sleeping when they aren't doing other things.

I was up late worrying about Mr 18's activities last night, and was awoken at 4 a.m. by Miss 14 today. On top of them being sick, my parents were sick, my mother in law is sick, BabyBrother and SuperNephew were sick and I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Won't you please ask fate to leave the illnesses out of my life for a while. I'm tired of being a nurse!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Hooray for Friday!

It's Fabulous Friday everyone! Do you feel it?

I feel it here at our house. Today is the day when all of my kiddos are home, and done, completely done, with school. Miss 10 finished up this morning with Mass and the handing out of report cards. Miss 14 and Mr 18 were done on Wednesday when they took final tests. So here where we live, summer has officially started!

Now, if only someone would tell the weather that, because right now we have winds gusting to 34 mph and it's not quite 60 degrees. Hello, Mother Nature, in case you didn't know, we would love it if the wind would quit and if it would rain. We've waited patiently but we are beginning to believe you have forgotten about us out here. Are you listening?

How else do I know it is summer. Because I already have two girls who are b-o-o-r-r-r-ed... and there's nothing to do!! So I hope to find some of the magic feeling of summer despite Mother Nature.

We're going to bake cookies, and cake and make Rice Krispie bars. What? You don't do that in the summer? Well, neither do we, we're all about home made ice cream in the summer, but since it's so darn cold, and Mr 18 has requested cookies for his family gathering after graduation, it's time to start baking!

So Fabulous Friday today is all about summer vacation! Let the fun begin!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Party at my house!

Happy Love Thursday everyone!
Today, as I write, I have more irritation in my heart then love, but, I'll try hard to get past the "why are these children in my house and why are they so blasted crabby?" phase and move on with the day.

Tuesday evening was Mr 18's graduation open house. We were incredibly lucky and fit the day in between two days of 30+mph winds. The day started with Hubby staying home, thank goodness, and helping with the final prep, deliveries and pick ups. Hubby got the yard mowed and the trimming done while I prepped all the assorted accouterments that a party demands. Meaning... I stacked in alternating coordinating colors the small paper plates, the large paper plates, the napkins and the cups. Brilliant, no? I also did some physical labor outside as well, so don't think I got off easily. My to do list for the day was an entire notebook page long and that didn't include the regular day to day tasks like driving Miss 14 and Miss 10 to the places they needed to go.

Hubby and Mr 18 washed and polished the 1970 Cougar Eliminator and 1969 Mach 1 Mustang and got them set in the front yard car show style. We decorated the back yard and set out various bulletin boards of Mr 18's life in pictures. I prepped the food and set in on rented tables and set out tables and chairs for the guests. The yard looked great and other than being a few degrees cooler than we would have liked the day was perfect. Hubby, Miss 14, Miss 10 and I all got ourselves into various Nascar t shirts and we were set.

Four o'clock rolled around and we were ready for guests. But no one showed up. Well, at least for the first 15 minutes. It's good to be fashionably late, right? Plus that way I got to sit for a brief moment. While I sat I watched Mr 18. Having people over isn't normally his cup of tea, but he had willingly and even excitedly helped us to get ready for this day. As he's waiting for his friends to show up, he's playing a few rounds of yard games with his sister and casting glances towards the gate and garage to see if anyone is ever coming. I'm sure to him the wait seemed long. Before long the yard was full of young people and some older folks as well, which was lucky for Hubby and I because exactly how much teen speak can one adult take?

The evening ebbed and flowed with at times only 1 or 2 guests and at other times many, many more. That's the nature of an open house I suppose. Mr 18 was never at a loss for someone to visit with and he was the center of attention for a few hours. I saw lots of hugging of friends, males and females and a few tears. I saw surprise when a few guests came and sadness as some of them had to leave. I saw college age friends stop by and be greeted with a heroes welcome by the graduates of this year. For those few hours our yard was a happy and exciting, energetic place to be.

There were times I wondered why I was going through so much work to get ready for an open house. Why I felt the need for it to be so perfect, because really will a bunch of teenagers even notice the decorations or the yard? Apparently they did because compliments to Hubby, Mr 18 and I were abundant by both teens and adults. I didn't expect to feel so proud of ourselves and our hard work. But I did. I was even more proud of the hospitality and grace that Mr 18 showed as he greeted guests and didn't ignore anyone, young or old. In true host fashioned he "worked the crowd" and made everyone feel welcome.

I realized then why I had put so much effort into this one day. I wanted Mr 18 to feel like this was his big day. I wanted him to have an open house that he would remember for a long time to come. Why did I do it? Because I love him! He's my very favorite 18 year old. (Don't tell your sisters!) Mr 18, I am very, very proud of you and all you have done this year. Congratulations!

Monday, May 19, 2008


He's waiting, sometimes patiently, sometimes not so patiently. Sometimes he's excited and sometimes he's sad. As for Hubby and I there is a little of every emotion available in this mix. It's hard to imagine that the small boy we brought into the world so many years ago is graduating from high school already. Everyone would tell us to enjoy our time, that it goes by so quickly. Apparently I didn't believe them because I couldn't imagine on those sleepless nights, and those difficult crying days that the day would come when he would be officially a grown up.

Last night was senior camp out. (Don't even get me started on this tradition, just walk away!) The seniors all camp out in the parking lot of the high school. In the morning they block the lot to all vehicles except for those driven by seniors. Crazy, I know, but apparently a tradition that's been going on for years. As I lay in bed this morning wondering if he made it through the night. (My cell phone didn't ring and the cops didn't bring him home, so those were good signs!) I heard the back door. Open, close, open, close. So I knew, as the usual, he had forgotten something he needed for class. But he didn't stop and say hello or good morning, he just came and left. I am sure it was his attempt to be quiet, but it was sad anyway. Hubby turned over and asked me, "Will you be glad when this is over? These few weeks have been chaos. It's been so hard. Do you want to do it again or was labor harder?" (36 hours mind you!) I told him, "Labor was easier, I think I'd do that again before I'd do these last few weeks of senioritis." And it's true! So much worry, stress and tension.

It's Mr 18's last day of high school. Sure he still has a final test later this week, but it's the last full day. I am sure that he and his friends are clinging to their last day of togetherness before they all head in many different directions. High School has been their identity for years, being together and seeing each other, the familiarity of the school(s), the teachers and parents coming and going has been their source of security and identity. Their friends, friend's parents, teachers and peers have been their security blanket. Whether they realize it or not, parts of their blanket will never be the same again after today. Life for them is about to speed up and take twists and turns that will lead them to places they never imagined. There is such promise ahead for them. Do you remember what it was like?

Last night was Baccalaureate. Mr 18 and I went. It was good to see all the young faces. They wore their caps and gowns and there were prayers and songs and words of encouragement. Although it is optional, I was shocked to see that only about half of their class was there. I was so proud of the kids that did come, but I was also surprised more by those that didn't. Half of the class. It makes me wonder why.

This week will be a mess of Open Houses, and rehearsals and final tests. Our Open House is tomorrow afternoon/evening. I have lots to do to prepare, but I'm on the right track. Mr 18 has a full schedule for the week, and hopefully has remembered to inform me of all of it so I can get him out the door when he needs to get going.

In the meantime I am spending a lot of time in my head, remembering. I'm sad, I'm happy and I'm scared. I'm worried, I'm nervous and I'm relieved. If I have so much emotion, what must he be feeling?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Miss 10 is Fabulous!

Here's a short clip of their performance, it's not the whole thing, but instead about half of it. The girls had a blast practicing for this, and although they were nervous for the performance, they did a great job. Most importantly this was so good for Miss 10 and her anxious personality. One more reason to encourage her to put herself out there a little bit now and then.

Friday, May 16, 2008

She's Got Talent!

Today is the talent show at school.
Miss 10 and a friend have choreographed their own routine and spent days practicing and deciding on props and costumes.
Yesterday was a gorgeous day outside.
The girls decided to practice in the backyard with their scarves and later they put on the costumes they have chosen.
I got to sit on the steps of the deck and critique their routine.
It was fun and funny and made me long for the days when I wasn't embarrassed to dance around in front of people, when life was a little more carefree.
For me being able to sit still, outside and watch these two giggling 10 year-olds celebrate their youth was a Fabulous Friday moment.
Aren't they just adorable?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Short List

Happy LOVE THURSDAY everyone! I've got a small list here of some simple things that I love this week. Without further ado, let's get started.

~ I love listening to Miss 10 and her friend "Belle" as they are preparing for a school talent show. They are re-enacting Fabulous from High School The Musical part 2. Does anyone else think it's a bit reminiscent of Popular from Wicked?
They have come up with some wonderful ideas, with just the littlest of help from me on deciding appropriate costumes and props for a parochial school.

~ I love watching Miss 14 when she coaches swimming. It's so fun to see her in charge of the younger kids, and they all love her. She's a great coach, encouraging most of the time and tough when she needs to be.

~ I love that Mr 18 is one of the first people to jump in when someone needs help with a project or problem. (NOT that he does this at home, but with the rest of the world he's a great helper) He'll jump some one's vehicle, change a flat, clean up a mess, run an errand, etc.

~ I love that I have been able to be outside without a coat, that I have gotten 27 pots of plantings done and that it's nice enough (tonight anyway) that I don't have to haul them all back into the garage to protect them from frost.

There's a short list from me. What do you love today?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Presenting Miss 10

It happened over the weekend, on Mother's Day to be exact. My darling Miss 9 graduated and is now Miss 10! Although there wasn't a lot of family around to celebrate with her, we had a good day and she was quite spoiled as I suppose is normal with your youngest child.

Yes, that is still the tag on her new sunglasses. She had just opened them and was trying them on for the first time. She has always loved to pose for the camera, just as she has always loved playing dress up. Miss 10 has two full boxes of dress up clothes, 1 upstairs in her room and one downstairs in their playroom. It never fails that when she has friends over they are digging in the dress up clothes for a costume of some kind to go with whichever game they have decided to play. Often they play with the sequined capes sewn by Grandma J. With a cape you can be a crime fighter or a princess, the possibilities are endless. I love that Miss 10 has a very vivid imagination.

Miss 10 is also an athlete. Over the weekend she ran a mile footrace despite the fact that she was home on Thursday with a migraine, and the temperature at race time was only 37 degrees. In fact she hasn't even been able to train much due to one illness or another, but still was all gung ho about running this race. And run she did taking 5th of all the girls under 16 and 14th overall in an 8:27 mile. That's with walking included when she had to stop and cough for a while. (leftover junk from a cold) Believe me, she wasn't forced to run, in fact I would rather have stayed home in the warmth for another hour or so before we had to watch Miss 14 and the band in the parade. This is the 5th year in a row she has ran this particular race, yes, that means she started running it right before she turned 5 years old! Miss 14 ran with her then, keeping pace with her and walking when they needed to. Miss 10 spent the afternoon after the race running like a crazy woman with her friends. Miss 10 is like the energizer bunny, she never stops moving. (Well, unless the tv is on, then just try to get her attention. That's why tv time is limited at our house)

Of my three children Miss 10 is the one who has always been the most willing to show her feelings. If she really, really loves you at the moment, "I love you!" and a big hug are handed out frequently. If you are in the doghouse, the daggers coming from her eyes are enough to make you run and hide. She is a child of extremes in many, many ways and I wouldn't have her any other way. I've learned more patience from her then I ever knew I was capable of. I've learned that just going to school won't necessarily make you learn, that sometimes you need to see the same thing again and again and again, and that parents often make the best teachers. I've learned that being forced into a situation doesn't make it easy, that sometimes the only thing that works is time. I've learned that many adults see shyness as lack of respect, and that as a parent you have to stand up for your shy child in many situations. I've learned to explain Miss 10's quirks to everyone who might spend time with her, because it makes her life easier and less stressful. Miss 10 has taught me that having a third child was exactly what I needed.

Happy Birthday Miss 10, don't tell your siblings, but you are my favorite 10 year old!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Miss 9 and her new friend.

We have had a few gorgeous days of weather this week. I've been able to get a lot of work done outside which makes me happy. With an Open House for graduation coming up, and Hubby not home to help out, the yard work all falls on me. For the most part I don't mind. I enjoy being outside and if the sun is shining just try keeping me inside.

A few days ago Miss 9 had some friends over. I was working in the yard and heard them calling for me. When I went over I found them sitting on the deck with a new friend. Although we haven't had any baby birds around yet, we have had lots of birds going through the mating ritual... ahem.

Early this week though I watched a pair of baby birds spend the day on our deck with mother bird coming back every few minutes to feed them. Even if I am outside, the babies don't fly of. I can work on the deck and they still just sit there. If you get within a foot they'll fly off, but they aren't very adept fliers yet, and more than once I've had to duck so they don't hit me in the head.

Miss 9 and her new friend sat beside each other on the deck for a long time. The little bird just sat and peeped at her when she would peep at him. Mother bird was up in a nearby tree frantically calling him, but he just sat on the deck with Miss 9. She loved her moments of communicated with the baby bird, and kept hoping he would come back again. That is my Fabulous Friday post for today.

Happy Mother's Day to all those special Mother's out there. Enjoy your day!

Here we will also be celebrating Miss 9's birthday on Sunday. So by the time I post again, my amazing, wonderful, loving and last child will be entering the double digits and whereas that makes her very happy, it makes me very sad.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I would love to do a Love Thursday post. But, at the moment I'm just not feeling the love.
I have Miss 9 home, yes, AGAIN, sick. This time monster headache and stomach ache. This is the 3rd time in two months. And she's not the only one, the entire class has missed a ton of school throughout the last few months.
I've called the principal and stopped in. We are discussing the disinfection of the room. The Custodian has done it twice quite recently using the guidelines they were given. Now the principal is calling the health unit and/or hospital to see how it can be done better. It's crazy because it is only the 4th grade classroom going through this. The rest of the school has great attendance.
Lucky them, huh?
So I am grumpy and frustrated. Maybe later I will be feeling the love, but right now, not so much.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hope Haiku

18 took a trip
brought home gifts for his sisters
there may be hope yet

Monday, May 5, 2008

On The Road Again

Mr 18 just returned from a 12 hour one way train ride trip to the big city in the east. He went with the Art Club to tour some art museums, attend a musical and generally horse around with his friends. They had a great time. He is tired and crabby and trying to catch up on missing 2 days of school on top of time he also missed for track meets last week.

The track team was supposed to have gone 180 miles west while he was gone, but the meet was canceled due to snow. Guess when it was rescheduled for: today! So now Mr 18 has packed up his bags and will miss another day of school to attend this meet that he didn't even know about until last night. I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him. He has spent so much time packing, unpacking and traveling lately that I bet his head is spinning.

Since the beginning of April, about a week into April actually, Mr 18 has traveled to at least 7 different destinations, some of them more than once. I added up his miles and he has a minimum of 5,096 miles traveled in that time frame. Can you imagine? This senior year is crazy.

Hubby is swamped at work this week, but has selflessly agreed to come home early to attend different functions that the kids are involved in. Last week it was a recorder concert for Miss 9. Tonight it's a band concert for Miss 14. Wednesday it's an awards night for Mr 18. Saturday will be a band day parade for Miss 14, plus a mile run/race for Miss 9 and Mr 18. Sunday is Miss 9's birthday, plus Mother's Day. Hubby's mother always comes to our house for Mother's Day and Hubby always stays home to spoil us. This year it will be even more spoiling with Miss 9 taking center stage for her day.

My head is spinning with trying to keep all the schedules straight and now we are receiving Open House/Graduation invitations from all the seniors we know. So far we have 11, I expect that number to quadruple which means trying to fit in that many open houses. Some of the open houses are after the graduation ceremony, but many are on the days preceding it, all at different times and places.

Stop May for a while. I am getting very dizzy!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Finally Fabulous Friday

My Fabulous Friday moment actually happened on Tuesday of this week. It was finally nice enough to sit out on my deck without a coat, in the sunshine, without horrible wind and stare out at flowers actually blooming. I know that elsewhere in this grand old USA places have had flowers blooming for a long time, but not here. I sat on the deck doing absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes. I sat in the sun and stared at my gorgeous blooming tulips. The sun felt hot and relaxing on my back. Then Miss 14 broke the silence with a plea for help with Algebra. I told her to go grab her book and we sat on the deck doing homework for a while. Despite the Algebra it was still a Fabulous Friday moment.