Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sunday 12/11/11 cont. Christmas tour and New Years resolutions...

I went to see the Christmas decorations at a local historical house today. It was a nice tour. The house is always decorated so beautifully. About twenty rooms are decorated. Individuals, groups or companies can ask to decorate a room. Each room has a different Christmas theme. One room may have Christmas dresses, the next may have a lot of ornaments.The kitchen may have many old Christmas cook books one year and a lot of Christmas cookies the next year. The kids didn't want to go with me. They have gone on this Christmas tour many times. Years ago they would go twice, once with their grandma and once with me. After the tour I always want to do more needlepoint. It gives the house such a homey, warm feel.
I need to make some New Years resolutions. I am not sure what to choose. They should either be to start or to stop a habit, or be something that will bring me closer to God.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunday 12/11/11 cont. Christmas cards and haircuts...

I need to finish writing the Christmas cards and send them out today. We have already started getting cards from other people. We are sending out the picture of the kids in front of the tree.
We went out yesterday and got haircuts. William likes his hair really short, but still long enough that he isn't shaved, or asked if he is in the military. His was so long that it was starting to curl up around his neck. Maggie's hair is about waist long. She got an inch or two taken off. Beth's hair is between shoulder length and waist length. She got about an inch taken off. She also got her bangs cut. The style today is that the girls have bangs that hang in their faces. Beth get her bangs cut so that they could be high maintenance...every couple of minutes the bangs fall into her face, and she needs to brush them back. She is really delighted with her high maintenance bangs. I got my hair trimmed.
When the kids got to grade school they were allowed to pick their own hair cut., not their color, just the hair cut. William right away picked a spiky, shaved, cool cut to match the tail that he already had growing. We got gel to hold the spikes up. It didn't work. The spikes fell. It didn't matter if we gelled them when the hair was wet or dry, or at night or in the morning. We used a little gel. The next time we used more. We asked people for advice. The spikes wouldn't stay up. After about two weeks, the shaved parts on the sides grew out and no one could tell that they had been saved. He said that he wanted to go back and get a regular cut. He has had conservative cuts since then. He had his tail until high school. Then he said that it was too much of a bother, so he had it cut off.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday 12/11/11 cont. decorating the tree..

It is cold now. Some days are 17 deg F. Next week it may be forty deg F. Last year it got cold and stayed cold. I don't know what the weather will be like this year.
We put up our Christmas tree last weekend. We had fun. We had Christmas music playing and my camera was out so Beth took some pictures. We had the branches for the artificial tree mixed. When we put it up there weren't enough of the largest ones to go on the bottom row. We left the blank spots in the back of the tree and went onto the next row. Later we found the rest of the bottom rows branches and put them on the tree. We used about five strands of lights. We have one strand of colored bulbs and the rest are white. This year the colored ones are on the tree going around from the bottom to the top. Last year, I think that all of the colorful lights were all in one area, like all in the middle, or all on the bottom two rows. This year it looks more normal.
We have enough ornaments to put three on each branch. There are a lot of stockings that are hung all over the house. We took a picture of the kids in front of the tree. We took a picture of the cat too.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday 12/22/11 crispy rice treats, rain and shaving...

Maggie and I made crispy rice treats tonight. It is always nice to get to have some time with one child at a time. We put some M & M's in them and more on top. Christmas M & M's would have been festive, but I could only find regular ones. We used the non-peanut ones.
It is still rainy here. It should be about 30 degrees for Christmas. It would be nice to have snow, but they say that we won't get any.
William had said that he would shave once a month, at the end of the month. Christmas is this weekend. I have asked if he wanted to shave for the holiday, he is thinking about it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunday 12/11/11 Wisdom teeth...

Maggie gets her wisdom teeth out this Friday. She is ready to have them out. Hopefully it will go well and she will heal quickly. They come out at noon but she is going to take the whole day off from school. She can't have anything to eat or drink for twelve hours before the surgery. The doctor said that she could go to school, but there would be a temptation to get a drink from the drinking fountain, so it was better to stay home, rather than to have to re-schedule the surgery.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wednesday 11/20/11 cont. wisdom teeth...

Maggie goes the the Doctor / Dentist tomorrow to have them look at taking out her molars/wisdom teeth. Tomorrow is the first meeting. Hopefully they will come out soon. I hope that they come out without any problems. William's came out nicely. We don't know if Beth will need hers out, they don't hurt her.
Maggies teeth have been hurting. First we talked to the regular dentist about them hurting. He referred us to a dentist that takes the teeth out. It took a month to get into see him. Every week Maggis says" I can feel them growing today."
William just finished this quarter/semester at college.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday 11/20/11 cont. Christmas shopping and church...

The morning after Thanksgiving we did a lot of our Christmas shopping. I had asked the kids a few weeks ahead to start thinking about what stores they would like to go to. They said the mall and the book store. We got to the mall at around 6:30 am. It was busy but not packed. The kids each knew how much money they had to spend. I will go and get them a surprise gift later.
I am not sure what we are going to do about church on Christmas. Since the kids are older, they don't have a Christmas program to be in. Also, this is a new church for us I am not sure if they have a Christmas program. William and I were going to the new church last Christmas, but we were also going to the previous church too. So we went to the previous churches service too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Wednesday 11/20/11 Beth's birthday, Thanksgiving...

We had Beth's birthday after the birthday date. She couldn't decide what she wanted for a present or even what store to look in. We tried to wait for her to decide, but we couldn't wait too long because we wanted to have her birthday before Thanksgiving. Beth likes cake and ice cream. We didn't measure the cat again.
Thanksgiving was fun. The day before we cleaned the house. One person vacuumed, one cleaned the bathrooms, one swept and mopped the floors and one did clean-up of all of the little things that needed to be put away. Two years ago on thanksgiving, when grandma and my brother came over,the whole meal was done and on the table. We all sat down and ate. It seemed wrong not to have any time together getting the meal to the table. Last year we didn't have anything done. The night before Thanksgiving we were still setting up the new chicken coop. When they arrived we had to finish up everything. Not good either. This year was better. I planned for the mashed potatoes and the deviled eggs to still need to be done after they arrived. We also had to put all of the other dishes onto serving plates and bake the biscuits. There was a lot for us to do, but it was fun. The kids took turns using the blender on the mashed potatoes, and we spent a lot of time saying to people "did you put a dish-up spoon in that?"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday 10/27/11 William's birthday...

We celebrated William's birthday yesterday. We had pie and ice cream. Trying to put twenty-two candles in a pie isn't easy. The candles are close together, but not close enough that if we light one, they all catch the flame. We measured William on the measuring stick. He is 6'2". He hasn't grown in a few years. We also measured our cat. I think that the kids were holding him differently from when we measured him at Beth's birthday...we measure his back, not the top of his head...his back must have been arched higher because he has grown two inches since Beth's birthday. Maggie says that if the cat keeps growing she is going to put a saddle on him.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sunday 10/16/11 A new home for the chickens...

We found a new home for the chickens. William and I took the chickens to their new home today. We couldn't fit all four of us and the chickens into the car. We loaded the chickens into a cardboard box, with a garbage bag under it to protect the seat, and a towel on top to keep it dark. They didn't fuss too much on the car ride. The new place is more in the country and has a larger area for them to run. The family already has about seven chickens. They have a coop and an enclosed outside run area. They also have about an acre or two that is fenced that the chickens are sometimes let out to play in.
They said that they will keep them in the coop and enclosed area for a few days, so that my chickens can learn where home is. Then they will come back there at night and lay their eggs there each day.
It rained today so we didn't take apart their outside chicken run. We had had the chickens for about a year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday 9/28/11 cont. School pictures, conferences and shaving...

Maggie had picture day last week, Beth's is next week, but we don't have her order form yet. Maggie has parent / teacher conferences tomorrow. She is in high school. We have an appointment time with the homeroom teacher. Then we can go see the other teachers as they have openings.
It is raining sort of hard. It has rained a lot this week. The tomato plant and the beans haven't needed watered in a long time.
Saturday 10/1/11 William shaved last night!!! He did an excellent job. This was his first time shaving at home. He said that he would shave once a month. In the past we have been having his beard trimmed when he got his hair cut. Last night was a clean shave.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday 9/28/11 Christmas cards and chickens...

I need to start writing the Christmas cards soon. In the cards I put a note about the things that we have been doing over the last year. Last year I had a terrible time thinking of what to say. The note should be more than just what grade the kids are in, but we haven't had any ''big'' events this past year. We have a lot going on, but it is all everyday things like homework and cutting the grass. On the cards last year we wrote that everyone was bigger and we were going to try to do more volunteering. Writing every ones address on the card is easy, thinking of what to say isn't.
It might frost soon. We have one tomato plant and a row of beans that will need to be covered.
We are going to get rid of the chickens this weekend. They aren't laying eggs and I need the winter off. If we can find a home for them before the ground freezes, we can pull out the fence posts. If we want more chickens, next spring we can get chicks.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sunday 9/18/11 cont movie night with vegetables and fruits...

We got movies from the library this weekend. The kids watched some of them, but I only watched a few minutes of a couple of them. Some of them looked like fun.Oh..I'm sorry...I forgot...I did watch "K-9" staring Jim Belushi (sp?). It was fun. We need to have a movie night, get movies and sit down and watch some of them. We haven't had a movie night in a long time.
When we watch movies if there is food in front of us we will just eat because there is food there, not because we like it or are thinking about it. Sometimes we have food while we watch movies. First we have cut up vegetables, then we have cut up fruit when the vegetables are gone. Everyone has their own plate and dishes up for themselves. I like to have salad dressing to go with the vegetables. After the fruit we may have a main dish, then if they are still hungry, we have chips with cheese and salsa. It's a good way to get a lot of fruits and vegetables into the kids without any complaining.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sunday 9/18/11 grass, a night off and basement cleaning...

William cut the grass today. It was warm today. We went for a walk without a jacket.The grass in peoples yards had just been cut. There was still grass clippings lying in the rows.
This week should be easier. We are getting William's alergy shot on Tuesday instead of Monday. That means that we will have Monday evening off.

My next project needs to be cleaning out the basement. When we were going to move a year or two ago, I packed up half of the house...half of the towles, half of the sheets, etc... and put everything into storage to make the house look less full. When the house didn't sell we brought everything back and put it in the basement. It all needs to be unpacked. If I could sort out one box a night it would help. I really don't want to move all of this when we do move. There are not enough lights in the basement, thats why I don't go down and sort the boxes there.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday 9/17/11 Duct tape and styrofoam...

Beth needed duct tape. She has a three ring binder at school that is falling apart. She wants to tape it back together instead of replacing it. We got her some tape at the store today. They have a good selection of colors and designs. When I was young, it only came in gray.
William put styrofoam in the opening to the attic and in the two vents for the crawl space. He measures the openings and cuts the styrofoam. This keeps more of the heat in the house for the winter. We checked the boiler today to make sure that it worked. It does. I try to check it before it is needed, then if there is a problem we have time to schedule a repair before winter. Last year it didn't work. The motor needed to be replaced. The pipes should be bled before we start using it, then the water that is drained out won't be so hot.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Saturday 9/17/11 school lunches...

The girls have their sandwiches made for their lunches next week. I need to make mine. We put the sandwiches in the freezer, each one of us has their own container...William doesn't have one this semester, he doesn't have any day time classes. Maggie's container is round, Beth's is square and my sandwiches go in the freezer door. It makes the week go so much smoother if we don't need to make lunches each night. We also try to lay out our clothes for the next week on Saturday.
We took Maggie's Bible back to the store to exchange it. She wanted a teenage Bible.

Wednesday 9/14/11 School reports and cats...

Maggie has a big report to do this semester. She would like to do the report on women in the military. The report must be about something that happened over twenty-five years ago. My only concern with this topic is that there might not be many books about it. Maggie must have at least ten sources. We hope to go to the library this weekend and see how many books she can find. The report is due in about a month.
We need a second cat. Our first cat is sweet, but he is lonely. I would like to get another white cat. Our first cat is white. He is a mixed breed with an almond shaped face.. I want a white cat so that if we get up in the middle of the night, there is a better chance that we will see him and not step on him. It would be great if we could get a kitten.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12/8/11 Christmas tree...

We put the Christmas tree up last weekend.The boxes of decorations were in the basement. Every time that something was needed in the basement, everything is re-arranged. After a while the boxes get turned around and moved to different locations.When we needed the boxes this year, none could be seen. I went through the whole basement, sorting and moving and combining boxes until all of the Christmas decorations had been found.
Putting up the tree was fun. The kids helped. We had the local radio station playing Christmas music. Always in the past the tree has leaned so much that we had to tie it to two chairs to get it to stand up. Then we put blankets over the make it look more normal. We don't want the ropes in the Christmas pictures. Then...sometimes from the living room...we would hear someone call out "tree..." and we would all run into the room to help keep the tree up and re-secure it. This year we must have found the correct base. The tree is up straight, and it isn't tied to any chairs. I am going to give the other bases to Goodwill. We are keeping the rope behind the tree...just in case. I have found a green storage box to put the decorations into at the end of the season. Next year should go very smoothly

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday 9/13/11 School pictures and volunteering...

The order forms for school pictures are starting to come in now. Maggie brought hers home today. I have always tried to treat the kids equally, but school pictures are now the exception. The girls go to different schools, so they have different choices, and William doesn't get school pictures at all, because he is in college. I would love to get a family picture, but William says that he won't go with us.
Tonight William's class got out on time. He had gotten his homework done during class. Maggie has a spelling test tomorrow. She had a small amount of homework tonight. Beth also had a small amount of homework. So far everyone is doing OK in school.
We need to get our volunteer hours done soon...before it gets cold out. Maggie needs 12 volunteer hours this semester. Last year we waited until the week before they were due to finish. It was difficult to find places to volunteer in the winter. We could have gone to the parks, but decided that that would be too cold. We ended up volunteering at the Food Bank and at church. A lot of places that we called said they needed volunteers in the summer, but didn't have any need in the winter. We all go together to volunteer. Sometimes we take a friend with us. My car can only hold 5 people, so we can only take one friend.
The leaves are starting to turn colors and fall. I am not ready for cold weather.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sunday 9/11/11 Arts festival...

We went to a local arts festival. Maggie needed another cultural event for school. We took a friend of Beths with us. We had trouble finding his house. I think that at 9th grade the kids haven't given directions to their house to many people. Luckily Beth had her cell phone and we could call him along the way to get directions. It was a big festival. There were at least 50 booths with work from individual artists. I think that all of them were local artists. There were a lot of pictures, sculptures, jewlery, glass work, drawings and paintings. Beth and her friend got their faces painted.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

9/11/11 open house and birthday's...

Beth's open house was fun. We met almost all of her teachers, one was out. Almost every time that we go for an event there, they are giving out popcorn. We stayed a short time in each class. School had only just started, so they were group meetings.
Maggie's birthday was fun. She is 16 now but says that she doesn't feel any older. My mom and my brother came over for the party. We had spaghetti and garlic bread. Maggie doesn't like cake so we had pie and ice cream. She got her books and she wanted a Bible. After the party she asked if she could take the Bible back and get a high school one, instead of an adult one. We exchanged it on a different day. We measured everyone, including the cat on the measuring stick and recorded Maggie's new height. She has grown some. William is taller than the 6 foot stick, so we put his mark on the bottom of the board by whatever amount he is taller than the board.
Now that Maggie is 16, she can have her ears pierced, wear make-up, within reason, and get her learners permit. She says that she isn't ready for pierced ears, or to wear make-up. At first she said that she would get her permit, but now she says that she will wait for Christmas break to study.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sunday 9/11/11 Busy evening...

Last Tuesday was a busy evening. William had an allergy shot. He had gone to the mall and wasn't home yet when I came to pick him up. He was a few blocks from the house when I got him. He didn't have his school book with him so we came home for him to pick it up. I took William to his allergy shot, picked up the girls, and took them home. Then I went and picked up William from his allergy shot and took him to the computer store to get a USB drive to save things on for his class, then took William to school. I went back home and got Beth and took her to her schools open house. After the open house I took Beth back home and picked up Maggie.There was a local book store that was closing and she wanted to get lots of books for her birthday. After that I took Maggie home and went back to William's school to pick him up. His class ends at 9:10 but if he has a little homework he can stay and do it there instead of going back another day. At about 10 PM the gentleman who was cleaning the rooms after the classes were done shut off all of the lights in the building. I went and asked him if one class was still there. He said no. I told him not to worry that William had probably walked home. He walks over there a lot. I went back home, William was already there. They had had a sub and had gotten out early.When I was driving over to pick him up, I probably passed him. The day was over. It was good to be home.