Friday, October 31, 2008

It Must Be Bad

Last Friday I got to finally get a haircut and a color. Shhhh, don't tell though, everyone thinks this is my natural color and it changes changes shades randomly all on it's own. I hadn't had a cut since June, and was very anxious to get it done.

I had been growing my hair out for a couple of years. I have really thin hair, so it didn't exactly end up like a gorgeous cascade of locks. It was more like a thin strand of blah hanging down my back, plus I curled it all, every strand, nearly every day. It was a lot of work. I did like being able to french braid it when I had to spend days outside in 30+mph winds and when I had to spend days in the humidity of a swim meet. But mostly by the end of the day it was just flat and droopy.

So I had been warning Hubby that once I turned 40 I was chopping it off. It's just too much work. When it came time to hit the salon I gave my stylist the word that she could do what she wanted with the length. I also told her what I wanted with the color. She decided to do an inverted bob, which means the front is longer than the back. She cut about 8 inches of hair off the back and it comes just to the nape of my neck. The front nearly touches my shoulders. I left the salon and cried. It wasn't so much the cut, but the color was horrible. To me it looked like I needed to wash my hair, I had stripes of dark and light, and it was plain awful.

By the time I got back to my mom's house I knew I had to do something. Mom convinced me to call my stylist and tell her (thank you mom!) that I did not like the color. Luckily Madame Stylist had no problem having me come back in to get it fixed up the next morning. In fact when I walked in the door, she agreed with me, it did look awful. She added and subtracted some things and the color is much more to my liking. I was so glad she fixed it, and that she didn't charge me a thing!

The cut is another story apparently. Whenever I go somewhere and see people who haven't seen it they say, "Oh, you cut off your hair."

"Yes, I did."

"Do you like it?" They'll ask.

"I'm still deciding." Is usually my reply, because I am. I love having to do a lot less work. I don't necessarily love the look, but I thought it was just me, getting used to a new hairstyle is hard.

But... no one has yet to say, "Oh, it looks nice!" or "I like you haircut!" or any such utterance of any similar words.

So my only assumption can be... It Must Be Bad...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This photo is supposed to be the 3rd photo of the last post... so go read the post before this to completely understand what this is. For some reason, every time I try and add it to the previous post, the order of the picture changes... and I am not taking time to figure out why... I'm lazy that way.


I know you have given up on me. I've been so slow at posting recently. The computer hasn't been on my to-do list much these last few days/weeks. Right now my to-do list is consisting of a little home remodeling. No huge projects, but projects that in order to save money, Hubby and I pitch in and do as much as we can before the professionals come in to finish up what we start.

The first picture is of Miss 15's room. (Maybe I've posted that before. In my weary brain I just can't remember.) We had ripped up the carpet in what used to be Mr 18's room, and began choosing paint colors, carpet, etc. to transform what was once a very smelly boys room into a teen girls idea of what her room should look like. Since I was doing the work, bringing home the paint chips, and generally own the house, I got to have a say as well, and I was able to "lead" Miss 15 in the directions I wanted her to go for her room. But, in the end the decision really was hers, except for the carpet. The second picture is the after photo of the same area of the room. We did not paint all the walls the gorgeous shade of robin's egg blue, but only 2 of them, it is gorgeous in her room.

*In order to see the photo I talk about here, you'll have to go to another post, the one entitled Argh! Sorry 'bout that.
The third photo is of what used to be Miss 15's room, but is slowly becoming Miss 10's room. Yes, that is the paint color she chose. The interesting choosing of a young girls mind. Hmmmmm, I know what you are thinking "Wow! That is really bright!" Yes, yes it is, in fact this room has 2 windows and when the sun is shining in them, now that I have it painted this color on 2 of the walls, it feels like I may need sunglasses. But, bear with us, we do have a plan in mind, and it is a tween room, color is their friend! Lots and lots of color. The carpet has also been installed and the painting and wood polishing has been completed as well. Stay tuned for photos of the final product if I ever get it done.

We also had an egress window installed. Hubby dug the 5 foot deep hole, and early this week the concrete cutter and contractor finished up most of the project. I am in charge now of painting (Yes more painting) the trim that was put up in the window. The room it is in looks spectacular, almost like you aren't even in a basement. This will eventually become Mr 18's room and we will be moving his things there as soon as we move Hubby's office into what used to be Miss 10's room, and that won't happen until I once again get that room painted and polished. Sigh... it's a never ending vicious circle of home ownership.
So I am ending this post and headed to Miss 10's current room which is actually the office and putting things into Miss 15's old room so that Miss 10 can have her new room and.... confused yet?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Festivus For The Restuvus

At the school Miss 10 goes to, we don't do Halloween parties. (I know! It's simply horrible.. wink wink!) Instead we have a Fall Festival. All of the grades party together for about an hour at the end of the day. It's really loud, it's very busy and it's highly stressful (for the organizers) for about an hour. We have parent volunteers to man different stations and for those who can't volunteer we ask for donations for snacks and supplies.

I have been the co-chair for this event for about 6 or 7 years now. I know, I'm just glutton for punishment, aren't I? But we have to put in 30 hours of volunteer time per family, and this usually gets us off to a good start. Typically I put in about 9 to 10 hours of time doing the planning, shopping, prepping and actual partying. None of it is stressful until the actual party. Then I'm running around making sure everyone has what they need, and delivering things to classrooms and cleaning up, and generally feeling pretty much on the verge of a heart attack.

Tomorrow is our Fall Festival. We are gathering all the grades in the gym, dividing them up into mixed age groups and then spending 10 minutes at a station totaling one hour. We will have 6 stations total. We have done some great stations in the past, and try to cater to each age group. This year we will have 2 relay stations. They are always the biggest hit of the festival. One of them involves putting on old, big, baggy, clothes and the other I'm still planning. Why am I still planning something the day before the event? Well, because the station we had planned involved apples, and no one was willing/able to donate apples for us. We can't afford enough apples for each of 120 or so kids, so I am stuck doing last minute planning. Not that a relay is all that difficult to plan, but I'm hoping for a brilliant revelation of something new and exciting that caters to ages 5 through 12. Sigh....

In other news, the play was cute, difficult to hear, but cute. Miss 10 was amazingly loud enough for everyone to hear (One of the few) and she wasn't shy, she wasn't totally out there for the world to see, but she wasn't shy, and that is what we hoped for. It's a huge, huge step for her.

Meanwhile, I am in the middle of this festivus, home remodeling projects, and I leave on Thursday for a trip for a few days. So I'm feeling a little stressed, and cranky, maybe I just need a drink~ a stiff drink.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lights Camera....

I spent two hours sitting in a cold gymnasium yesterday watching a group of 66 children audition for The Missoula Children's Theater directors of Rumpelstiltskin.
I've seen these auditions before and they are always fascinating.

This year Miss 10 was once again auditioning. Typically I stay to watch so that every so often I can make eye contact with her and remind her to smile, STOP TALKING, or sit still. She has been in their shows before, playing a duck in The Frog Prince and a doll in Pinocchio. The last two years she hasn't been able to perform however. Last year she didn't get a part, and the previous year we were at the state Cross Country meet during the performances. So this year she was anxious and nervous that she wouldn't get a part again.

If you haven't had the privilege of watching a MCT show, you really should take the time. The cast is set, the practices are done and the show goes on all in less than a week. Sure, it's not a big Broadway performance, but it's entertaining anyway, and the kids are always adorable. It's nothing Tony worthy by any means, but it's a chance for the kids to perform, learn and create, and really can you ask for more?

I was incredibly proud of Miss 10 during the audition. There was no sign of the usual shy routine from her. She didn't duck her head when she was supposed to give her lines. She didn't shuffle around during the tiny little dance number and she didn't mumble her name when asked. She actually tried very hard to do exactly as the directors asked. When she was supposed to be sad, she was droopy and glum, when she was to be overly jubilant she was big and expressive and when she was supposed to be mad there was stomping of feet and crossing of arms with a big old pout thrown in for good measure. More than one parent commented to me on the big change in her. It was a good feeling. Even if she didn't get a part this time, I was thrilled to see the side I know of her showing up to others.

The directors rated, debated, wrote down, moved kids around, made lines of children, made circles of children, listened to them sing in groups, watched them memorize a short dance routine and perform it, paid attention to who listened to precisely the right directions, watched who spent the entire time screwing around and after two hours they magically cast the show with the the exact right people in the exact right parts. The kids we know to be performers got the big parts, the kids who typically are the ones we are always asking to be quite, listen or sit still got the "villager" parts in the background. It never ceases to amaze me how the directors can pick out those kids in a mass audition like that.

Miss 10 did get a part, she's not the star, but she's not a villager. She's in a small group as a Wizard. She has a small speaking part and just enough lines to memorize to give her a little challenge and a brief moment in the spotlight.

Our week will be insane with school from 8:15 to 3:20 and rehearsals from 4:00 to 8:30, but it's only a week. We can survive one week~ I hope.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


It is the 12th of October and once again Mother Nature has decided we deserve a little wake up call. Here is what my yard looks like this morning. Miss 10 and Hubby just went outside to build a snow man and try to rescue some of our trees. Miss 15 and I are inside pouting and whining. We are under a winter storm warning until 1 a.m Monday morning. Great. We had a power outage early this morning. Fortunately it was back on within 2 hours, but it did get chilly, and I was glad for my down blanket.

Miss 15 got back from a swim meet last night. Their bus ride down and back was in lots of snow and freezing rain. I spent 2 days with my fingers crossed and prayers in my heart waiting for them to return safely. They were on the road for 6 hours each way. The good news is they are home safe, and Hubby and I are a little more relaxed. In other good news she qualified for State in another event, the 100 back.

Miss 10 is beside herself with glee at the thought of being outside in the snow and playing. She's insane really, what kind of person actually wants to go outside in the snow? Right now she has been outside 3 times since she got up, and she's only been awake for 2 hours.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Over (Home) Work

Miss 10 has been working very hard at school lately. She's anxious to "catch up" with the other kids in the subjects that she struggles in. I mentioned not too long ago that we had reviewed her IEP and changed it to focus more on Math. She is doing better already, not well, but better. We have made modifications for her in spelling and math, the rest of the subjects are just like everyone else.

In the last few weeks, little things keep getting added to our homework schedules. This is for the whole class, not just Miss 10. I'm not opposed to homework, I don't mind helping out when needed, and Miss 10 and I do extra things just to get her on par with everyone else. What I do mind is the level to which the extras are starting to interfere with life outside of school.

Band started last week: Great, I love band (I was a band nerd, what can I say?) So Miss 10 has started and is enjoying playing the tenor saxophone, although it is nearly the size that she is! This requires practice of course: 100 minutes per week. That's fine, we decided on 20 minutes a night/5 nights a week. It works better to have free nights to be able to switch as we need.

Reading: One of the ongoing reading assignments at school is to read 15 minutes a night, I'm all for that as well. We get a calendar every month and record our minutes on that.

Typing: Don't get me started. This is something that was just added to our schedule. They are to practice AT HOME 15 minutes a night every night of the week.

Did you keep track of that? So far, without any homework from the school day included, that equals 50 minutes of homework! Essentially before homework even starts, we have worked almost an hour at other homework. Now, typically Miss 10 also has to study 20 spelling words every night, we pre-read all the reading book stories a week before the class covers them, I pre-teach the math lesson each night, we do flashcards of multiplication every night (Miss 10 can't memorize, can.not...we have to teach her to figure them out by adding) usually there is a minimum of one other assignment a night, sometimes 2. That's just school work. Miss 10 also has to eat supper as a family with the rest of us, (Oh the horror!) she must shower every night and she needs to have her bags and anything else she will need ready for the morning the night before. Do you see any problems with this schedule?

Where does the time to play or be involved in any outside activities take place?

When do you find time to spend together as a family?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Apparently I'm It

I've been tagged by Allen Fieldhouse, so you are stuck with it. Blame her, not me!

Trios: 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions and 3 random facts:

1. Adorable nieces and nephews coming to visit before they get too old! (AHEM!)
2. Watching my kids experience successes that they have worked hard for.
3. The love I get from Miss 10 just because she has a sudden urge for it.

1. Mr 18 being away at college and knowing one of his suite-mates is 21.
2. Hubby's job; too much machinery, too much driving, too much danger.
3. Flying

1. Getting the girls bedrooms all painted, re-carpeted and them transferred over to their new rooms ASAP.
2. Getting Hubby's new office painted and his stuff moved in.
3. Installing a new egress window downstairs which will lead to a bedroom for Mr 18.

Current Obsessions
1. Reading books and magazines and anything else I can get my hands on.
2. Getting Miss 15's medication working properly so she can continue swimming.
3. Miss 10's education and how I can make it better/easier/more beneficial for her.

Random Facts
1. I despise putting gas on my vehicle, the smell sticks to me and I end up with a migraine. I beg anyone to do it for me.
2. I hate with a passion shopping for clothing for myself. Shoes, hooray! Clothes, BOO!
3. I only have 9 songs on my Ipod touch because I can't make up my mind!

I tag my sister, La Reveuse, and whoever is reading right now! Ha!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Keep Out!

I have a list in my head of things that I know shouldn't be allowed in my house. They are things over which I have NO SELF CONTROL. Mostly, it's food, naturally. I know my weaknesses, but that doesn't mean that I always have control over them.

Some things I've learned: I've been able to learn to live without more than one soda a day. Soda, specifically Diet Mountain Dew, got me through college. Dairy Queen, I worked there for a couple of years, and I swear there is something put into the ice cream that creates addicts, for years after I worked there I craved it every single day. When I worked there I ate it, every single day. In some strange twist of fate when I worked at DQ I never gained a pound, not a single pound. It was some sort of miracle. My Grandma Borgen's cooking, she was the best cook, and now that she has gotten to the point where she rarely cooks anymore, I've gotten to the point where I don't have to stuff myself to the point of unbuttoning my pants. I can't list the amount of foods of hers that I gorged on every time she made them, but I would walk miles to have one of her home made doughnuts again.

We eat fairly healthy here in my house. There is a fruit and vegetable on the table for every meal, oftentimes more than one. We don't deep fry anything, I rarely bread anything I cook, and I've gotten good at tweaking recipes with cream, butter, etc. in them. I don't elimate them, that would be a waste of a good recipe, but I can modify the recipe a bit.

There are things though, that shouldn't even be brought through my door:

real potato chip~ it doesn't matter what kind they are, if they are in my house, I have an overwhelming compulsion to eat them

potato chip dip~ again, any kind, if it's in the house, and there are chips available, I eat it. If it's at someone else's house, I eat it. I have no self control!

Toffee covered peanuts~Menards carries the giant containers of these, Miss 15 and I have finished one in less than a week. Someone help me!

Hot Tamales~ we actually keep these in the van to eat and try to stay awake on long trips. I made the mistake of buying one for the house... and then I made the mistake again, and again.

Brach's (and only Brach's) chocolate covered malted milk balls~I hate the bridge mix, too many things to weed through to get to the malted milk balls! (If they are the candy coated Brach's chocolate malted milk ball eggs that are available at Easter... oh my!)

Lindt Chocolates~ Although I have solved this problem, I keep my chocolate in the bedroom, that way I have to walk farther if I really want one, and usually I'm much too lazy for that.

I am sure this list could be longer, but you've probably seen enough, and I'm hungry now!

So, what are your weaknesses? You know you have them. What can't you keep in the house for fear of eating an entire box/carton/package?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

End of Summer

Well, it's here, the end of summer. The end of warm weather, sunshine, barefeet, capris, t-shirts, sunglasses and walking in the grass. Sigh... Today though, is gorgeous, warm and sunny with little wind, and not a cloud to be seen. I'm busy enjoying it because the forecast is calling for rain, cold and windy. Hooray....

Today though we are headed to a Cross Country meet where Miss 10 will run. It's almost too hot to be running, it should be about 81 when the races start. I'll need to cool her down with a dousing of ice water when she finishes. It will be our first CC meet since Mr 18 graduated. I think I may not be in shape to run around and watch them from different perspectives like I used to. But, I'll work on it, maybe. Maybe I'll just watch her start and finish. After all, last year I nearly missed the finish because I had ran off to watch her come by in another spot, and she's faster than I am at getting back.

The warmth today reminded me of our favorite vacation spot. I looked back at a few pictures, and longed to head to the lake again. Above are some of my favorite views from our rented cabin at Kavanaugh's on Sylvan Lake in Minnesota. The girls talk often about how they really want to go back. I want to go back too. So the pictures, are my Love Thursday post. Because of all the vacations we have taken (not that there are very many!) those were the ones we loved the most.
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