Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday 11/19/12 - new blog

I have started a new blog. it is called ''''and am very excited!!! The name is better. Please visit me at my new blog.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

9/1/12 written Sunday 5/6/12 Maggie got Baptised...

Maggie got Baptised today!!! We went to the once a month Sunday evening church service at our church tonight...Maggie, Beth, Beth's friend and I went (William didn't want to go). We sing and worship, have baptisms, eat and the kids play. When they were talking about all of the people that were going to get baptised they said that if anyone else wanted to get baptised they could. Maggie decided to make this visible commitment to God. It is a full dunking at our church. The church had an extra shirt and shorts for Maggie. She was excited. I am happy for her. The kids had been baptised as infants, but it is good to see that she has made this choice on her own.

Friday, August 31, 2012

8/31/12 written Saturday 5/5/12 Prom...

Beth went to Prom tonight. She is all dressed up with high heals. She is so happy that she is going.

We took pictures in the front yard. She wanted to go in an hour early so that she could fix her hair with her friends. The dance is from eight to eleven. She looks so much older and mature. Beth is the first one of my kids to go to Prom. William didn't want to go to his Prom. Maggie can't go to Prom at her school until she is either a Junior or is asked by a Junior or a Senior.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

8/30/12 written Wednesday 5/2/12 Lego League and the basement...

Maggie is at Bible study tonight. Beth is a Lego League which is a group that teached kids how to program robots. They sponsor a big compotition at her school once a year. Grade school and Junior High kids come in teams and compete with their robots.

We have started cleaning out the basement. It is going well. A lot of it is clothes that should have gone to the Goodwill and boxes that need repacked. I will be glad when this project is done.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

8/29/12 written Sunday 4/22/12 cont. volunteering and McDonalds..

Last Wednesday, when Maggie was at her share group / Bible study at church. I saw a volunteer pulling weeds at the church. That is something that I could do. We are at the church on Wednesday and Sunday evenings and I could pull a few weeds while the kids are inside. We still need to find a spot where we can volunteer as a family.

After the Sunday night concert at church, the kids usually go to the McDonald's. Today the girls are going for the first time. They were each given some money and asked to come out in a half hour. I waited in the parking lot. It is difficult to let them go but they are older now and need some time with their friends.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

8/28/12 written Sunday 4/22/12 William signs up for college...

We signed up William today for summer classes at college.

Beth got her Prom dress, shoes and purse this weekend. We took her friend with us. Beth got a knee length dress.

Maggie's air gun does shoot out a candle at 20 feet. What a relief. She needs to write the paper that goes with it. It is all due tomorrow.

We are almost done selling candy bars for the girl's mission trip. Selling was fun for a while, but now I would just like to be done with it. Selling candy bars in the winter isn't stressful, but as soon at the weather gets hot, I spend a lot of time wondering if everything is going to melt.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

4/26/12 written Wednesday 4/18/12 air gun...

Maggie has almost finished her air gun. The first one that she built didn't work. She got onto the Internet and got some directions. We got another bucket and some painters plastic. This one is better, but still doesn't work at twenty feet. Half of the problem is the design, and the other half is the aiming. She still has more time. Maggie is taking the project to school tomorrow to get help.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/25/12 written Sunday 4/15/12 flower seeds...

We planted flower seeds in the two pots in the frount yard. If we get more snow or frost, we can get more seeds and plant them. The seeds that were planted last year were perrenials, so they may sprout this year too. We got two packs of flowers, two different kinds, so there may be a lot of colors in the planters.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

4/24/12 written Saturday 4/14/12 air gun for science class...

William worked on the dishes today, Beth did the laundry and Maggie needs to make an air gun for science class. It uses a bucket and some plastic and a bungee cord. A hole is cut into the bottom of the bucket and onto the top is taped some plastic. When the bungee cord is pulled back and let go the air rushes out of the cut hole in the bottom. To get an "A", her air gun must be able to blow out a candle at 20 feet. She needs to write a paper on the project too and do a drawing. It is due in a week or two.

Monday, April 23, 2012

4/23/12 wtitten Wednesday 4/11/12 board games and unicycles...

We played board games a few nights ago. We haven't played board games in a long time. We played "Blockus 3D" and "Go". It was a lot of fun. We played for a few hours.

Maggie has been riding the unicycle. She has been holding onto the fence as she rides along it. The last time that she was riding she started by the garage and tried to ride down the driveway. On the first try she was able to the length of a half of a peddle before she fell off. By the time that she came in she was able to pedal twice before falling. Maggie was so pleased. She looks sturdier when she is away from the fence, because she is relaying on her own balance and not on the fence to balance her.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4/22/12 written Monday 4/9/12 unicycles and Easter...

Last Friday night Maggie was able to get onto the unicycle. It was Friday so she didn't have any homework, it wasn't raining and we were at home. Her balance is getting better but she is still holding onto the fence.

Yesterday was Easter. The kids and I went to the Easter service on Saturday night. I love Easter. It is such a good time to say all is forgiven and we can start over.

Friday, April 6, 2012

4/6/12 written Sunday 4/1/12 cont. being baptized...

I was baptized today. I do feel new, like a burden was lifted. The kids and I picked up Beth's friend and went to the church. There was a short meeting to make sure that everyone was sure that they were ready to be baptized. We got our pictures taken and gave them a copy of our spiritual story...what we had done before, what we had worshiped, like work or money, when did the change happen and why did we want to be baptised. They baptize people in large pools with full dunking. We went to the chapel where they showed us how to line up and how the service would go.

then we went into the sanctuary and all sat in two areas together. There are two tubs so one group sat on the left and one on the right side of the church. The water was very warm, 104 deg. The washing away of the, person etc,. and coming out of the water as someone who belongs to God in a deeper and closer way was so fulfilling. It all happened so fast. About seventy people were baptized that day.

There was a church service and communion at the same service. There was singing as the baptisms were being done. After that there was community time out in the church. They had "walking tacos", root beer floats, inflatables for the kids and music.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

4/5/12 written Sunday 4/1/12 kids zoo interview...

Maggie, Beth and I went to the Zoo teen interview this morning. It was scheduled at 8:30 am. They got name tags and had their pictures taken. After some short introductions the kids went downstairs to play some make them more comfortable to talk during the interviews...and then to be interviewed. The parents went upstairs and were told a little about what the teens do. They do a lot more than just inform kids at the zoo. It runs May through October. They go out of the zoo and do some community service, like packing bags for the homeless. They also have picnics for the teens and do a one day field trip to a nearby big city. It is possible to be a zoo teen year round, if the kids are that interested. The group takes about one hundred new kids a year. One hundred and eighty kids have applied.

When they were done telling the adults about the program, the adults had about forty-five minutes of free time. I went downstairs ...there was a fallout shelter. I don't see many of those any more. I looked at some of the animals and read a little until the kids were done. When they came out they said that it had gone OK. We should hear back if they were selected in about two weeks We looked around the zoo for a few hours. The battery ran out on my camera after taking only a few pictures outside. Beth's camera on her phone worked so she took a lot of pictures.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

4/3/12 written Saturday 3/31/12 sewing machine...

We got our sewing machine back on Friday. It is nice to have it fixed. It is an old treadle, Franklin machine that we got at a flee market. It came with the bobbin and the instruction book. We have had it for a year or two and have been trying to get it to work off and on.

We have two old jackets of Maggie's that have broken zippers. They are still good jackets, they just need the zippers fixed. I need to take the old zippers to the store so that we can get new ones of the right color and length.

This machine is an old foot pumping treadle machine. Before we use it, it must be oiled on five places underneath where the treadle is, oiled on top of the machine in about five places and oiled under the machine where the pieces move to make the bobbin move. Then the machine is run for a few minutes to get the oil worked in and then wiped off so that no oil gets onto the material. We need a project to do so that we can use the machine.

Monday, April 2, 2012

4/2/12 written Saturday 3/31/12 National History day...

Maggie and I went this morning to the University for the National History Day competition. We had to check in between 9 and 9:45 AM. Her website was judged at 12:30 and the winners were announced at 2:30. She saw a friend of hers and his step-mom, so we sat with them until he presented his project at 11:40. He did a documentary on Germany. Later Maggie presented her website. After that we ate lunch at the school cafeteria. Some of the questions that the judges asked were "Why did you pick this topic?", "What type of sources did you use?", and "What would someone learn from this that they didn't already know?" The presentations went smoothly for both of them. We walked around the building for a while. We looked at the bookstore. At the awards ceremony, neither of them won. It was sad, they had both worked so hard.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

4/1/12 written Friday 3/30/12 National History Day...

Tomorrow, Maggie and I go to the University for her to compete in the National History Day competition. She has done a web site. The doors open at nine AM. Her project will be judged at 12:30 PM and the award ceremony is at 2:30 PM. I am excited to go. Last year mom took Maggie and I was with Beth at a choir competition. If Maggie wins, she will go to the state competition.

Friday, March 30, 2012

3/30/12 written Monday 3/26/12 shoes and bikes...

We have been putting our shoes on the trays on the floor in the kitchen for a while. Any shoes that do not fit on someones tray must go to the basement shoe shelf. It has been working really well. William and Maggie are each keeping one pair of shoes on their tray. I have three pairs and Beth has a stack. Beth has them balanced very well. It has really helped a lot to have the kitchen floor cleaner.

We got William's bike back today. It needed two new inner tubes and a lining that prevents the spokes from going through the inner tubes. Some broken spokes were also fixed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3/28/12 written Sunday 3/25/12 cont. flowers and Legos...

We bought some wild flower seeds this weekend to go in the front of the house. These are perennial, so they should come back every year. We got two packs, of two different wild flower mixes. Once we mix them together, there should be a lot of color in the front yard.

Beth helped to set up the Lego League contest at her school this year. It is where groups of younger kids come to her school with remote control robots. They have the robots do things like push Legos from one area to another or pick up Legos and move them to another area. The Legos that they move aren't single Legos, but they are built into specific things, like chickens. The principle asked her if she wanted to come to the school over the summer to work with the Lego league. She and Maggie are also on the mission trip and have their Zoo Teen interview this weekend. She might be able to be in all of it, we don't know how the hours will work out yet.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

3/27/12 written Sunday 3/25/12 weekend accomplishments...

A lot was accomplished on my list of extra things to do, this weekend. I usually can't say that. Willaim's bike had two flat tires and it squeaked. It went in to be looked at. The sewing machine went in to be looked at. The Christmas shopping was started. We now have one stocking stuffer. Maggie needed dominoes for her science project. We have the dominoes now.

I am hoping that next week is quiet. Maggie wants to ride the unicycle. Every time that she goes out, it starts to rain.

Monday, March 26, 2012

3/26/12 written Wednesday 3/21/12 cont. science class...

In Maggie's science class they need to invent something. The example that they gave was if you wanted to open a door, instead of opening it by the handle, their invention might have marbles rolling down a tube, hitting a toy car that bumps into books that fall over that somehow opens the door. It is called a "rube Goldberg machine" I think. The kids have two weeks to design and build this. They are working in pairs. Maggie and the girl that she is working with are going to invent a way to get hand sanitizer out of the bottle.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

3/25/12 written Wednesday 3/21/12 cont. games...

When I picked up Beth from school, they were outside. They had two boards about six feet long. Each board had four blocks of wood nailed to the top of them, and four ropes attached to them, each rope was by the blocks. Four kids stand on the board, like the boards are skis, with one foot on each board, all facing the same direction. Their feet are up against the blocks of wood. The object is to lift their right foot at the same time and move the board forward. Then they all move the left board forward. They had a girls team and a boys team. When someone fell off of the board, they had to take the boards back to the starting line. One person on each team called out "one, two, three, right, one two, three, left...". Then they could all move together.

The second game they played, I couldn't hear the instructions. They had big blocks of different heights. Some were about five inches high, and some were about ten inches high. The blocks were in a circle about a foot apart. The kids were each given a little piece of paper and they had to move to other blocks. They had to pass each other without falling off of the blocks.

The third game that they had was a string wall. They must have played this game first, I didn't see them use it. It is two metal poles about five feet high and about six feet apart. There is a string tied between them at the top and at about one foot from the ground. Between the poles and the string, more string is tied to make openings of different sizes. There were seven openings, so each team had seven people. The object is to have everyone go through a different opening, without touching the string.The openings are different sizes and at different heights. To get to the upper openings the kids can be picked up, use chairs, use the blocks to stand on, etc. Whatever the kids can think of.

The kids like these games, they need to work together and think to play them.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3/22/12 written Wednesday 3/21/12 "Hamlet"...

Maggie is reading "Hamlet" in English class. They just finished "Mid Summers Night's Dream" and "Animal Farm". She didn't talk much about the other two books, but she talks all of the time about "Hamlet". Before the class started reading the book, Maggie found the cliff notes on the computer and she got the book from the bookstore. This book has the story in Shakespeare's words on one side of the page, and a translation on the other side of the page. She found a "Hamlet" comic book on the Internet. She has printed it, punched holes in each page and numbered the pages. She is now coloring in the characters with colored pencils. It is so hard to find what will spark a child's interest. "Hamlet" has sparked Maggie.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3/21/12 written Tuesday 3/20/12 spring cleaning and ice skating...

I made out a list of jobs that needed to be done for our spring cleaning. It is written in my little notebook, so I won't need to rewrite it again next year. The list is longer than I expected it to be.

The girls are now signed up for ice skating lessons. William won't go to lessons, but he will go with us to open skate. It starts in a couple of weeks. This session is four lessons. The next session after this is in the fall when the kids go back to school. It is an indoor rink, so we can go to open skate all year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3/20/12 written Sunday 3/18/12 unicycle...

We got the unicycle out on Saturday. The kids were so surprised. They pumped up the tire. William was thrilled to see it, but he said that he would ride it later and went back inside. Beth was all dressed up for St Patrick's Day and said that she would ride it later. Maggie did ride the unicycle. We have a chain link fence in the backyard by the driveway. Maggie rode there. Maggie said that she didn't want to take it into the front yard, where there is no fence, until she was sort of steady on it. Then the neighbors wouldn't see her falling over. I tried it too. It is tough but do-able. It was a bigger work out than I had imagined. On a bike you need to balance to keep from falling over sideways. On a unicycle, you need to not fall over sideways or forward or backward. Maggie and I practiced for about an hour. We need at least two more unicycles so that when the kids get their balance and don't need to hold onto the fence, they can ride together.

Monday, March 19, 2012

3/19/12 written Friday 3/16/12 Maggie's web site...

Maggie's website is due tonight.Changes must be done before midnight. She showed her website to the teacher today and he said that it was not right. Maggie had done a lot of quoting and footnoting . The teacher said that she couldn't have any quoting. The whole website had to be in her words. She has to re-type the whole website tonight. Maggie has the "deer in the headlights" look.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

3/18/12 written Thursday 3/15/12 cont. lightning, homework and magnetics..

There is lightning everywhere in the sky. There is no thunder, the sky just keeps lighting up.

Maggie's paper is due on Monday, but her project, the website is due tomorrow. the website will be locked out at ten pm tomorrow. No changes can be made after that. Maggie may stay up late to work on it.

We have out two Easter decorations. Little trees that sit on the dining room table, with Easter ornaments hanging from them.The trees must be magnetic because the kids have started hanging magnetics from them.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

3/17/12 written Thursday 3/15/12 unicycle...

We now have a unicycle. It was on There were two more listed, but when I called no one answered. This one is about the correct height for us. It needs the tire pumped but it looks in good shape. I put it in the chicken coop so that the kids won't see it yet. Maggie has a huge paper due this week and I don't want to pull her thoughts away from the paper. I would like to get another unicycle. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday 3/14/12 birthdays and gardens...

Beth and the boy that she likes have reorganized the calander so that all of the holidays fall during the school year. They celebrated his birthday last month and are celebrating her birthday this month. I think that they celebrated her birthday, on her birthday too. Maybe they are celebrating them multiple times a year.

Our garden from last year has sprouted. All of the plants from last year were annuals, but maybe because we had such a mild winter, some of the plants are sprouting. I had really wanted time off from the garden this year, but if it all sprouts, we will have a garden. We have a drip hose that we can set up to do the watering and we can mulch it really well. The tomato plants can go out into the middle of the yard so that they can be in the drip line too.

The garlic is two or three inches high. It needs mulched because we won't be able to mow the grass that is around it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday 3/13/12 Bible, homework and catch...

Beth gave her friend at school the Bible yesterday. It has a bookmark in it so he moved it to the beginning of the book.

Tonight Maggie is doing homework. Her paper/project is now due Monday because they are having proficiency testing this week.She has her website close to being done.

Beth went across the street tonight to her friends house.She took her glove so that they could play catch.

I am ready to start the spring cleaning.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday 3/12/12 shoes...

I found trays for us to put our shoes on in the kitchen. We have too many shoes in the kitchen and I needed a way to tell the kids that they can't have shoes all over the kitchen.

The trays are about seven inches by fourteen inches. When I showed the trays to the kids and presented my idea, two bought into the idea and one melted down. The one piled all of their shoes on the tray making sure that if they hung off, some part of the shoe was on the tray. I said, "no, the shoes must be fully on the tray." The shoes were unloaded and all but three pairs were taken to the basement, to go on the shoe shelf.

The kitchen looks much better now and it is safer. It will be easier to mop.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

3/11/12 written Saturday 3/10/12 fixed the car,a new Bible...

Our car is fixed. The brakes and the exhaust are fixed. We can get the oil change next weekend. It is so nice to drive around with the exhaust fixed, everyone doesn't stop and look at us.

We got Beth's friend a Bible. he is new to church. He said that he would like one to read.

It was such a nice day out today. Beth went outside but Maggie had too much homework.William goes out a lot during the week.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

3/10/12 written Thursday 3/8/12 Kitty, matched clothes...

I am hoping to get the car fixed this weekend. It needs the brakes and muffler looked at. It will be so nice to have the muffler fixed. It will be nice to have an anonymous car again.

The weather has been nice all week.

I am really glad that I matched my clothes last weekend. It was so much easier with our cat passing away to have some things done.

Friday, March 9, 2012

3/9/12 written Thursday 3/8/12 We burried our cat today...

I am not normally a sad person, but this has been so sad and so sudden. William dug a hole in the backyard. A foot down he started running into roots. Willaim took out the tree trimmers and the saw to cut the roots.

We wrote on the coffin, it was a cardboard box shaped like a coffin, his name, other names that we had for him, like baby, and wrote out good-buys. We said a prayer for him and put our kitties coffin into the grave. When the dirt was put back, we put bricks over the grave to keep any animals away.

It is really lonely here without him.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3/8/12 written Wednesday 3/7/12 cont. hope, shoes...

There is a question in this journal about what gives you the most hope? I had to think about the question for a long while. What gives me hope is to see my kids happy about their accomplishments, and when I have a problem that can be solved and I work out a solution. A problem that can't be solved would be if I have to drive somewhere and there is only one way to get there and there is too much traffic. I can't change the location or the traffic. When we have a problem that can be solved, like too many shoes in the kitchen, and we, or I, can find a solution, I begin to have hope of solving other problems.

Today I found plastic trays that can each hold two pairs of shoes. I got four of them. I will tell the kids tomorrow that they can keep as many pairs of shoes as they can fit on their tray in the kitchen. The rest of the shoes must go to the shoe shelf.

I keep three pairs of shoes in the kitchen. one pair each of dress shoes, tennis shoes and sandals. It is so convenient to have them all by the back door. I may have two layers of shoes on my tray.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday 3/7/12 remembering our cat...

Today was a sad, long day. We thought about our kitty a lot. He was such a good kitty. When we were playing, If he was using his nails, we would say to him "We are not wrestling with our nails today." he would pull his nails back in and keep wrestling with us. He liked to play chase with William, sit on Maggie's book when she studied, and sleep in Lizzie's chair.

I had wanted to wait a short while to get a new cat, but my mom made a good point that it might be a good idea to wait until the kids were back from their mission trip to get a cat. Then the cat could get used to all of us at the same time. This sounds like a good idea to me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday 3/6/12 Our cat passed away...

Our cat passed away today. He was fine when we got home. He greets us at the back door. Maggie took him upstairs with her. When he was in the hallway, he lost the use of his back legs. The doctor thought that he might have a blood clot. Our kitty was also breathing heavy even with the oxygen. They thought at the animal hospital that if we took him to other doctors, specialists, he might have only one or two weeks extra to live. Maggie went with me to the hospital. She and I decided to have our kitty put to sleep. It would take him out of his pain. We think that our kitty was about seven years old.

Monday, March 5, 2012

3/5/12 written Sunday 3/4/12 weekend...

It snowed a bit last night. On the grass it is still green with sprinklings of white. It is lightly snowing. I have heard that by tomorrow it will be really warm again.

I wanted to make an extra effort today to get everything ready for next week. last week was such an unneeded struggle. My clothes weren't matched, I hadn't written or typed up my posts for the week. None of my background items were done. Everything went well with the kids, but I spent the whole week setting things up. Today, I am going to get things set-up so that next week goes easier. It seems difficult for me to set things up on the weekend. I need to have a weekday as my set-up day. Maybe that would work better.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

3/4/12 written Saturday 3/3/12 family tree...

We worked on the family tree today. Maggie and Beth wrote family names on paper and cut them out. William put them on the wall with pushpins. The family tree was straight at first. We had kids, parents and grandparents. We have started to add aunts and uncles. William connected all of the names with yarn...connecting the people to their kids and parents. We need to put up pictures of the aunts, uncles and cousins. We need a bigger wall.

We went for a short walk today. It was a little chilly.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday 3/2/12 replacing the gas lines...

The city is going to replace all of the gas lines in our neighborhood starting mid March through the end of summer. They are also going to move all of the gas meters that are in peoples houses to outside of their houses. Ours is already outside, so ours won't need to be moved. They plan to dig up the streets and go in all of the yards to replace the pipes up to the meters. The letter said that they would let us know when they would be digging on our street or when there would be an interruption of service. I am not looking forward to the streets being dug up.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3/1/12 written Wednesday 2/29/12 rolling duffle bags, holidays, family trees and gum project...

Maggie took her rolling duffel bag to school today. She was very happy with it. But...she did say that it was loud and it was hard to roll in the grass. She has now started using the sidewalks.

I went to the store the other day. The stores have out their St. Patricks Day and Easter items. They also have their Valentines Day things on sale.

We got more pushpins so that we could update the family tree in the dining room. When we first started it, it looked cool. Now it just looks wrong. Three pictures tacked up on the a spot where three pictures without frames wouldn't normally be. We need to add more names and pictures. Then it will start to look like a family tree.

Beth is doing a project for school. They had to pick an invention and do a PowerPoint presentation on it. She chose chewing gum. I think that Beth said that it was invented by a man who was inventing something for rubber tires. He wondered what the rubber would taste like so he put some in his mouth. He realized that if he added flavoring it would be a great product. He called his invention "Black Jack" gum. He was very adventurous with what he would eat.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2/28/12 written Sunday 2/26/12 cont. snow and names...

It snowed last week sort of heavy, with big flakes. Then it rained. A few days later it snowed with small light flakes that never made it to the ground. There was a light breese that blew them all around. Between the two snows we had about an inch of snow. It must have rained last night, the snow is all gone. It is the end of February and we haven't had a good snow yet. we shoveled once this year. We have had a decent amount of rain.

We were working on names for our Blog last night. Here are some that we thought of but didn't like: "is this a bad haircut?", "We found the remote" and "I'm texting your dog". Then it all broke down into all silliness.

Monday, February 27, 2012

2/27/12 written Sunday 2/26/12 Bible covers and backpacks on wheels...

We got Maggie's Bible cover and backpack. What a relief. She has a very large Bible so we took it with us to find a cover. My advice was to get a cover with a handle and a pocket. We found a store that has a few choices and good prices. Maggie went through the choices, unzipping them to see if her Bible would fit. She found one that she liked. It has an outer pocket, a handle and a place for two pens. She was very happy to have found a Bible cover.

We went to another store to get a backpack on wheels. We found a large duffel bag on wheels. It is as big as her current backpack. She opened it up to make sure that all of her things would fit in it. She tried all of the zippers and the arm that pulls out when it is being rolled. Maggie made her choice of colors, blue, and we took the bag home.

When we got home, Maggie moved all of her things to the new backpack so she could use it the next day.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2/26/12 written Sunday 2/26/12 s'mores...

We made s'mores last night. Beth didn't want to make any. Maggie heated up her marshmallow in the microwave. She said that it would take less time and leave less of a carbon footprint. William and I got sticks from the backyard and toasted the marshmallows over the flame on the stove. William whittled a few sticks so that they had points. It smelled like camping in the kitchen. I said that we should all get our sleeping bags and sleep in the living room. The kids said that if they were ten years old, that would be fun. Toasting a marshmallow takes a lot of skill. It was hard to get one to toast and not burn. Beth did come in later and toast a marshmallow over the stove.

Friday, February 24, 2012

2/24/12 written Wednesday 2/22/12 Ash Wednesday, snow drops and backpacks...

Today is Ash Wednesday. Our new church doesn't have an Ash Wednesday service. On a normal Sunday they have four almost full services. If they had an Ash Wednesday service, they would need to have it four times. I understand, but I still miss the service. Maybe next year we can find a church to go to for Ash Wednesday.

The girls are at Bible study tonight.

Our snowdrop flowers have sprouted, and are blooming in the front yard. They are very pretty. The ones in the backyard and side yards haven't sprouted yet.

Maggie needs a new backpack and a Bible cover. We are going shopping for them this weekend. Her backpack is still good, but she has to carry so many things to school that it is too heavy. She has wanted a backpack with wheels for a long time, but all of the ones on wheels are small backpacks. A friend of hers at school has a suitcase on wheels that he uses. It seems to be OK at her school, no-one makes fun of him, so Maggie feels comfortable getting one. She is very excited. She will only need to pick it up to get it in and out of the house and car and up and down the stairs at school.

We have been looking for a Bible cover, but her Bible is so big that we haven't found one so far that will fit. We will look again this weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2/23/12 written Sunday 2/19/12 cont. household jobs, no chickens and driving tests...

The kids have switched household jobs. Maggie is now on break, Beth has the dishes and William has laundry.

This spring we are not going to get any chickens. We had chickens last year, and after about a year we gave them to a friend. It was a nice learning experience, but I need to be in the house right now. We still have the chicken coop, so we can get more chickens another time.

Maggie had mentioned last week that she was ready to learn to drive. I found on the website what paperwork we needed to take in for her to take the written driving test. I am excited. I think that she will enjoy driving. When I told Maggie what paperwork was needed to take in and that we could go next weekend, she looked panicked. Maggie said that she couldn't study for the driving test now since she has a big paper due this month. She said that she will let me know when she is ready.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2/22/12 written Sunday 2/19/12 pop bottle rockets, exercising and volunteering...

Maggie made a second rocket out of a two litter bottle for science class. She used more tape on the four fins and taped a paper plate onto the bottom of the bottle, which when shot is now the top. The top needed more weight. The changes worked. Her rocket shot up this time instead of to the side. She was very pleased with it.

I have started exercising. I have a friend who was talking about wanting to exercise, so we are both going to exercise each day and check in with each other. We are both trying not to be the first one to drop out.

I volunteered at a retreat at church this weekend. It was fun to serve. There were a lot of friends there that I usually don't get to see.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2/21/12 written Wednesday 2/15/12 cont. pop bottle rockets...

Maggie is trying to build a rocket out of an empty two liter bottle, for a school project. She taped four cardboard fins to the bottle and took it to school. They were launched in science class today. The goal was for the bottle rocket to shoot straight up. Maggies went off to the side. She got a new two litter bottle from her grandma today. The school will be launching rockets again tomorrow, so the kids have a chance to re-design their rockets. Maggie says that she needs to have a heavier cap. She is going to tape the four old fins onto the new bottle. She wants to make a heavier cap by taping a paper plate to the lid. She said that two kid's rockets flew up, everyone elses went to the side.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2/20/12 written Wednesday 2/15/12 cont. Beth is an Atheist...

Beth is an Atheist. She doesn't have beliefs in religion. I am not sure where the edges of her beliefs are, but she is sure that she doesn't want to be baptized. Our new church baptizes people as adults. The church that we now go to has a Sunday night concert for junior high and high school kids. Beth did want to go to that, it is more loud music...Christian music, but loud music...than preaching. When Maggie decided to join the Bible study, Beth said "No", it was not for her. That is OK with me. She should only go if it is something that she wants to do. At the Sunday night concerts, one of the girls started talking to Beth and invited her to the Bible study. Beth's is separate from Maggie's, they are grouped by grade. Beth said that she would try it out. The first time that Beth went, I asked her to observe a little and not start out by telling them that they are all wrong. The friend said that it was OK if Beth was an atheist and the welcomed discussion and other points of view. Beth wasn't happy after the first time that she went. She said that they were all wrong about everything, but she hadn't said much because I had asked her to observe.

Beth decided to go back a second time. She was beginning to get to know the kids. The second week she did join into the discussion. She didn't come out any happier. About two weeks ago she came out of Bible study and said that she was never going back. She is a teenager so she didn't tell me any more than that. I didn't ask why. I said that it was OK and I trusted her judgement. The next week she went back, not mentioning the prior week. When Beth was done she said that the kids had been happy to see that she had decided to come back. The next day one of the kids texted Beth and said, could she be Beth's texting buddy and send her Bible verses every day and Beth could text her and tell her why each verse was all wrong and the girl said that it was OK with her to debate about the verses. Beth thought that this sounded fun. The friend is following through and sending the Bible verses. Beth texts her right back with how they are wrong. Last week Beth came out from Bible study and said that they had had a forty-five minute discussion where they had debated about Christianity, Beth had said how it was wrong. Beth said that she thought that she had won.

Last Sunday at the church concert one of the kids from her Bible study introduced her to a boy who had been an Atheist and was now a Christian. They talked for a while. He said that he had read a book that had really helped him to become a Christian. I don't know the name of the book. I will share it when Beth finds out the title. The boy asked Beth if he brought in the book , would she read it? She said yes. Maybe he will have the book next week. I am hoping that little by little God is working in Beth's heart, through all of these people so that Beth can become a believer.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2/19/12 written Wednesday 2/15/12 yearbooks, candy bars and Valentines Day...

Maggie's school is pre-selling yearbooks. She is taking in the money tomorrow. She will keep the receipt. In junior high one year, they didn't record that she had paid for a yearbook and they didn't have any extras. Luckily we had the receipt, so Maggie did get one. Beth's school hasn't said anything about yearbooks yet.

The girls and I are selling candy bars to pay for the girl's mission trip to New Orleans this summer. Sales are going slowly, but we are still trying. We have a few more months to keep selling.

For Valentines Day yesterday, we bought pizza and watched "Lord of the Rings" while we ate. I know that it was a school night, but one night in front of the T.V. won't hurt. Our church is having a retreat this weekend. I am not going on the retreat, but I am hoping to go Saturday night to help.

2/18/12 written Sunday 2/12/12 cont. vacuums and haircuts...

Our vacuum cleaner died. We vacuumed the house Saturday. The kids said that it didn't sound good the last time that they used it. I had just finished the house when the motor started to get really loud. There is a vacuum cleaner shop down the street that we have used before. We have a lot of hair in our house, so we go through a lot of vacuums.

William and Beth got haircuts this weekend. William needed new tennis shoes too. Maggie was glad to stay home. She had a lot of homework to do this weekend. She has been working on the big paper that she has to write. Also, she has an empty two litter bottle that she is making into a rocket for science class. They have a lot of math to do for the rocket project, like figuring out how fast and far it will go. I think that they will go outside and launch them. I don't know what other homework Maggie has.

Friday, February 17, 2012

2/17/12 written Sunday 2/12/12 cont. homework, snow and Valentines Day...

Maggie turned in the rough draft of her paper on Friday. She was relieved to have it done. I think that the final project is due this month. Maggie thinks that it is due in March.

It snowed about two inches last week. Just enough so that we have snow on the grass, but all of the roads are cleared.

Valentines Day is this week. My kids are in college and high school now so we don't get the packs of cards for them to give out at school. When Beth was in the seventh grade she took in cards and gave them to her friends, but she was in junior high, so there was no party.

I miss having young kids, the Valentines Day parties, the Halloween costumes. Kids are always so excited about everything.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2/16/12 written Sunday 2/12/12 Morse Code...

We talked about learning Morse code last night at dinner. William had nothing to say about it, wheather he would learn it or not. Maggie is ready to learn it. She goes over each time that she sees another letter up and begins to memorize it. Beth says that her life is already full enough with school and friends. She is not learning it. She can do all of the sign language letters by memory. Beth says that this is enough. We now have the letter "C" up. I am still trying to learn the letter "A".

William noticed that if we have the family tree up on one wall and the Morse Code on another wall, he doesn't think that it will all fit. He thinks that I should put all of the Morse Code on one paper and be done with it. It would be quicker and take up less room.. I said that if the Morse Code starts to take up too much room we can always re-write it to one sheet.. I like having one letter go up each week, it gives us time to absorb it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2/15/12 written Wednesday 2/8/12 cont. summer vacation...

I like going on vacation with my kids. There was one summer when the kids were young, we couldn't afford to go any where. What we did was to get a map of our town. We found our street on it, where their grade school was, where the church was and we looked at which streets we drove down to get to each place. We also looked at which way was north and south. Then we looked at where some of the playgrounds were in town. We found playgrounds in parks and at schools. Each Saturday we would get out the map and figure out which parks we had already been to and where we should go to next. We went to different parks all summer. We kept the map in a spot where the kids could get to it. Sometimes on Saturday morning they would get the map out and look over it. They would try to remember which parks we had gone to and decide where we should go to next. One would say "We have been to that one already, don't you remember, it had all of the swings." or" it had the best slide." In the end we were taking containers of water with us. I thought about taking packed lunches and making a full day out of the trip, but we never knew if there would be a bathroom at each play area, so I never promised a full day. By the time that it got cold out we had other activities to do on Saturdays. We had seen a lot of play areas, but there were a lot of ones that we didn't have time to get to. When we were out and driving around town in the summer and we spotted a playground, we would try to remember if we had already gone to that one or if we should try to go to it next. There was usually a lot of debate. If the playground only had a slide and a few swings then it never made the list of possible choices. This was the best, cheapest and longest summer vacation that we ever went on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2/14/12 written Wednesday 2/8/12 cont. thesis statements and Morse Code...

Maggie talked to a teacher today about her thesis statement for her project. The teacher had told her yesterday that her thesis statement was a statement and not something that needed to be prooven. Her thesis statement needs to be something that she prooves. The first rough draft is due this Friday. Today she had a chance to talk to the teacher and fix her statement. Her paper needs to be six pages long. Maggie has started to write the paper even though the thesis statement problem needs to be worked out.

The kids noticed the Morse Code "A" on the wall at dinner the other day. They weren't excited. They asked why it was on the wall. They said "Didn't we learn this already?" I said that we had only gotten a few letters into the alphabet when we took them down to sell the house. The kids don't want to learn Morse Code on purpose, but if the letters are on the wall, maybe the kids will learn Morse code by just seeing it all of the time. I would like to learn this language too. Sometimes I teach the kids things, but I don't really learn it. With this, when I walk past the letters, I am going to make an effort to say the letter and the symbol each week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2/13/12 written Wednesday 2/8/12 new blog name coming soon...

Happy Valentines Day!!!

We are trying to find a new name for this Blog. I would like to name it something that doesn't have a name in it. Most people either have cute names or names that describe what they write about, like "Frugal Mom" or Circus Life". We are trying to re-name it as a family but we can't come to any agreement. We have thought of a few names like "this is how we grow" and "are we there yet?", but we all don't like any of them. If anyone has some suggestions for a name, that are "G" rated and describes our blog, please comment them.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2/12/12 written Sunday 2/5/12 cont. Morse Code...

Since I was writing about Morse Code, it seamed like a good idea to start learning it again. I got some notebook paper and cut the sheets in half and put one letter and it's symbol on each sheet. I also wrote up the numbers. The letter "A" is now hanging on the dining room wall. It's symbol is "._" The rest of the pages are in my room. The goal is to put up one new letter a week. The kids can tell me if that is too fast or slow.

This is the first picture added to the blog! Very exciting!!!  
I don't have any plans for after church today. It would be nice to lay out my clothes for next week The kids get their clothes together each weekend, but sometimes I don't get to it. About two weeks ago, on the weekend, I got my clothes together and planned the meals. The next week was so nice. It is always such a relief to have some things done ahead, but sometimes I just don't get to it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

2/10/12 written Sunday 2/5/12 cont. family tree and updating the calendar...

We haven't done anything with the family tree on the dining room wall lately. Maggie has printed her family tree from the computer.What we should do is write the names and relationships on papers and hang them up. The reason that we stopped is that we didn't have any pictures of the next generation. We could hang up names and when we get pictures we can add them in. This would keep the project moving.

We need to get a back-up ink for our printer. Since Maggie has a big project due this month we will be using a lot of ink.

I need to finish updating the calendar. It was started at the end of December.The appointments have been added, but the repetitive events are not on it yet. I need to go through it again, month by month, looking at last years calendar and finish it. Also the dinner jobs need to be written in the corner. Their dinner jobs are, napkins, silverware and drinks. The kids keep the job for a month and then switch. They are written on the corner of each month of the calendar because we can't remember each month who has what job, much less to remember them day to day. My dinner job each day is to make dinner.The kids do help make dinner now and then.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2/9/12 written Sunday 2/5/12 cont. new journal and Made in America presents...

I have almost filled my journal. I went out last Friday to the Hallmark store by my house to get another one. The store must have moved. There was another store in its spot. I like writing in a journal, then the kids can have them when they grow up. Since the Hallmark store had moved I went to the Christian Book Store, to find a journal. They had a lot of choices, but they were all printed in China. I wanted one that was made in America. The cashiers said that they didn't know which, if any, were made in America. I did find one. It was the "Max Lucado Journal - Outlive Your Life."

At Christmas the local newscaster had a challenge for our town. Could all of us, when we bought our Christmas presents for people, give at least one present that was made in America? This challenge was more difficult than I thought it would be.There aren't many things in the stores that are made in America.The kids each received one present that was made in America.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2/8/12 written Sunday 2/5/12 cont. foreign languages...

The kids are required now to take a foreign language in college. We don't know any foreign languages. Maggie and Beth both took spanish in grade school. At home, for a while, we were playing a CD of Chinese language lessons while we ate dinner. I had hoped that we would learn some Chineese from it. We didn't. We also tried to learn Morse code. I don't think that the kids could take this in college, but it was fun. It is dots and dashes. I took a piece of writing paper and put an "A" on it and the Morse code for "A" under it and taped it to the wall. We found the code in the encyclopedia. The next week I hung up the paper for "B". After the kids learned all of them I was going to give them treasure hunts using Morse Code. I know that Morse Code isn't often used, but any time that they are learning it is good. We didn't finish learing the whole alphabet because we were going to move and they had to come off of the wall.

We have also tried to learn sign language. At one of the teacher supply stores we got a sign language poster. We have it in the dining room. Some of the kids picked up the alphabet very quickly. I am trying really hard with it. We need to start learning it again, this would be a good choice for a college class.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2/7/12 written Sunday 2/5/12 school project...

Maggie has a big paper due soon. The teacher is going to give them the details of what is required on Monday. The first rough draft, typed, is due on Friday and I think that the paper is due this month. The kids can do a paper, web site, documentary or they have a few other choices.They take their project to the local University and compete against other schools. Maggie got her books about a month ago. We have already renewed them once.The kids had to take their books to school last week to do their bibliography. Maggie wants to do a web page. She has her topic.Once the teacher gives the guidelines on Monday then she can start working on it. She will be relieved to have it done.

Monday, February 6, 2012

2/6/12 written Wednesday 2/1/12 cont. kids household jobs and maps on the dining room table...

The kids switched household jobs again, since this is the first of the month. William is now the laundry person, Maggie has dishes for the first half of the month and Beth is on break. It was tough for Maggie to do homework and the dishes last month (we do have a dishwasher), but she got through it.

We have a map of the world on our dining room table. There is a big sheet of clear plastic over it. (I like the plastic from the painting areas at the store. They are big, thick and inexpensive) The corners of the plastic are taped down around the under side of the table so that the map and plastic stays in place. When we first started doing this we had a map of our town on the table. We put it there at about the same time that we started using a map to see where all of the play areas were in town (see post from two days ago).Now we have a map of the world. I currently sit by California. William is by Russia. Maggie sits by the North Pole and Beth sits by the South Pole. I would like to put a map of the Universe on the table, but I haven't found a cheap one. The map of the world is useful. If we hear something on the news about another country, we can find it on the map.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2/5/12 - need web site address

Inside an Insane Mind left a comment. I can't access your blog. Can you please leave your web site? Thank you for thinking of me!!!

2/5/12 written Wednesday 2/1/12 cont. high school grades and college acceptance...

We went to a meeting at Maggie's school the other day. All of the kids from her grade were there. It was like all of the kids and their parents going to the guidance counselor at the same time to see how they are doing. We got a copy of her high school and college transcripts and her standardized test scores. She is doing OK. We were told that the kids should look closely at their high school grade point average and standardized test scores and make sure that they are high enough to get them into their field or college at the University. The Principal said that they could be accepted into the University with lower scores, but when it came time to apply to their college, like the College of Engineering, they may need higher scores. When we got home Maggie got online and found out what GPA and test scores she would need to be able to apply. I explained that the scores that were on the web site were the minimum scores to apply. If everyone else has higher scores than her she might not be accepted. We hadn't thought about that before. Now she has some numbers to strive for.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2/4/12 written Wenesday 2/1/12 moving furniture and mission trip meeting...

Maggie and Beth share a room now. So far it is working out well. The girls moved the rooms themselves. Since they didn't want any help, I moved the boxes in the basement so that they aren't in front of the shoe shelf. We need to sort through the shoes on the shelf and have the kids get rid of everything that doesn't fit. It will be nice to get all of the extra shoes out of the kitchen and onto the shoe shelf.

We went to the mission trip meeting at church. There were a lot of kids there. The meeting was about how to raise money for the trip, what the kids would see and do on the trip and they had time for the families to ask questions. It looked very organized to me. They did say that everyone should go with an open mind because sometimes plans do change. If the supplies don't show up or if they had planned on an outside project and it starts to rain, everything changes. They said that everyone needs to be ready to make an adjustment without complaining. The girls each saw someone that they knew at the meeting. I was glad about that since we are still so new to the church.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2/2/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. church mission trip and moving rooms...

The girls want to go on a mission trip with the church to New Orleans. We got them boxes of candy bars to start selling to pay for the trip. We know that Beth is allowed to sell candy at her school. Maggie is going to check Monday and see if she can sell candy too.

We are going to move Beth's bed into Maggie's room. They like to be in the same room, and Beth's room has the old style of outlets, so Beth can't plug anything in. I am not sure that this will work, but we will try it. When I asked Maggie what she thought about moving Beth into her room she said yes right away.. Maggie started yesterday moving her shelf, toys, table... into her closet. She said that she would rather have these things in her closet than in Beth's room.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2/1/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. plastic on the windows and freezing pipes...

William and I put plastic on the last window in the living room yesterday. It is cold out finally, so it couldn't be put off any longer. It got really cold on Thursday night. In the morning, all of the pipes were OK except for the one going to the tub. Only a small trickle of water would come out. The bathroom is built over a crawl space. There is a vent in the crawl space that leads outside. We have Styrofoam on the outside of the house in this vent to keep the cold air out of the crawl space. We take the Styrofoam out when the weather turns nice in the spring. If we didn't take it out, then there would be mold in the crawl space. We also have the door to the crawl space open to the basement and a screen over the opening. Then we have an infrared light in there all winter. The bulb in the light burned out Thursday night. In the morning the water barely came out of the pipe. I took the hair dryer to the basement and began blowing hot air into the crawl space. I am not saying that this is the correct way to thaw a pipe. I have heard of people who have done this and have had the pipe split which made a big mess and cost a lot of money to fix. This is just how I thaw a pipe. When it was time to leave, there was more water coming out of the faucet but it wasn't totally unblocked. Beth was home for the day. Her school had the day off. When the water pipe began to freeze up later, she went every ten to fifteen minutes and turned the water on. We can't leave it on because our tub only has an "on" and an "off", not a "slower" and a "faster" setting. She also took an electric heater to the basement and put it by the crawl space opening. She checked that a lot too to make sure that it wasn't overheating anything in the basement. The pipe didn't freeze. Beth did a great job handling this for us. We got a new light bulb and within an hour or two the pipe was unfrozen. We need to get a back-up light bulb.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1/31/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. shoveling...

We went outside to shovel snow yesterday. It took a while even though we have a very small drive, because we had a snowball fight and then threw shovels of snow at each other. We had to keep re-shoveling each spot.

There is one empty house on our street. I sent the girls over to shovel their sidewalk and the front part of their drive. Then the house won't look abandoned.They also walked through the yard a few times, it just looked too abandoned.

William likes to do all of the finishing work when we shovel. When we get done he will go back and scrape all of the way to the cement. Sometimes the girls do that too, but not today. I like to do enough to get the car in the garage and then let the sun melt the rest.

Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. winter plans, church volunteering and the cat's toy...

We need to make plans for something fun for us to do this winter. Then we will have something to look forward to. There are a lot of free local newspapers outside of the library. I need to get some and see what is happening around town.

We signed up to volunteer at church in the kid area. I am not sure if we should go to an earlier service and then volunteer during the next service, or volunteer first. I am really looking forward to getting to help. We volunteered at our last church. It will help us meet more people too.

Our cat got some toys for Christmas. His favorite is round and plastic and has a ball inside that can go around on a little track. He can reach in with his paw and move the ball, but the ball can't come out. He likes to play with it, but he doesn't like us to watch him play. If he catches us watching him, then he steps back from the toy and looks around like he is saying "I wasn't playing with it, it wasn't me." When we leave the room he will go back to it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

1/29/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 cont. changing household jobs and books...

We made the kids household job change of the dishwashers on the fifteenth. William finished washing all of the dishes that couldn't go into the dishwasher. He also washed all of the dishes that had gone in the dishwasher but hadn't gotten clean, by hand. Maggie is the next dish person and William is now on break. Beth still has the laundry for the rest of the month.

The first day that Maggie had dishes was her day to do the kitty litter and do dishes and she had homework. She did most of the dishes and finished them the next day. She has only been doing the dishes for a few days. We will wait and see how it goes.

The girls and I have been reading a book called "Dateable". It is advice about high school kids dating. It talks in their language and has a lot of good ideas. It is by Justin Lookadoo and Haley DiMarco. It talks about what kids should put into dating and it talks from the girls and the boys point of view. William and I read it together a few years ago.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

posted 1/28/12 written Wednesday 1/18/12 family tree...

We started to put up the family tree in the dining room. We got out a bunch of pictures of the close relatives, the kids, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and started choosing pictures to hang up. We decided that if we had a choice of pictures, for an older person, we would choose a picture from when they were middle aged. It took about an hour to go through all of the pictures and to decide which picture of my kids to hang up. We now have three pictures up. They are about halfway up the wall with a thumb tack in each one. We didn't put names or relationships on them yet. We are not sure how we are going to attach the names to the pictures. We are going to connect the kids to parents with blue yarn, so we can see the relationship against the white wall. Maggie has a lot of the family history. She had to do some research for a school paper. She is going to print it for us. It is so exciting that we have started this project.

Friday, January 27, 2012

posted 1/27/12 written Sunday 1/12/12 cont. family tree...

We need to start hanging up the family tree in the dining room...I know that it is one more thing that will need to come down when we move. We tried to figure out a way to hang it up without putting a lot of holes into the wall. We are going to use thumbtacks. At least the holes will be small. We are going to try to find a picture of each person and put their name and relationship to the kids under the picture. We will probably only have pictures of people for the first few generations. Then we will hang up names and relationships of the other generatons. We will have colored string or yarn connecting kids to parents. The kids want to know who their relatives are. When the Christmas cards come in they say that they would like more information. We should start putting this together today. We chose the dining room because people won't see it when they first come into the house.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

posted 1/26/12 written Sunday 1/12/12 cont. posters and baked goods...

One of Maggie's teachers took some of the maps out of his National Geographic magazines and gave them to Maggie. She has started to hang them in her room. Some of the maps are three feet by three feet so her walls are starting to become completely covered. Beth has pictures of celebrities on her walls and William's walls don't have any posters. It is OK that the kids have posters up but when we move they will need to come down. People like to see what the walls look like.

Beth needs to take in a baked good to school on Tuesday and one on Wednesday this week. She is going to make brownies. On the first day they are having a baked sale. On the second day a friend is leaving to go to another school.

The calendar for next week is blank. Nothing going on. There is so much opportunity there to do so much, or to do nothing and rest.

We got home tonight from the kids concert at church and watched "Once Upon a Time".

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sundaposted 1/25/12 written 1/12/12 quiet weekend and dish person changes...

We don't have anything planned to do today, besides church this morning and the girls have a church concert to go to this evening. The concert is for the junior high and senior high kids. The band plays Christian rock songs and the kids sing along. It is nice to have a weekend where there isn't much planned.

Today is the last day for William to do the dishes. Tomorrow he is on break until the end of the month and Maggie is the dish person. If you are new to this Blog, look back two posts to see how this is set up. Beth has the laundry for the whole month. So far this plan is working well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

posted 1/24/12 written Saturday 1/14/12 movies and the library...

Today was mostly a quiet day. We had gotten movies from the library yesterday. We watched movies and the kids also did homework and played. Maggie and I went to the downtown library. She has a big project that is due in a month or two. She got twenty five books. She only needs ten, but we can take back the ones that she decides she doesn't need. They were heavy. We had to carry them to the car. Later we all went outside to play. We have about an inch of snow. The girls took out their soccer ball and kicked it around.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wednesday 1/11/12 kids household jobs...

We changed the kids jobs at the house again. At first we had a rough time setting them up because Maggie had so much homework. We were trying to get the kids to have dish nights. With three kids and seven nights a week we finally settled on Beth doing dishes on Monday and Tuesday. William had dishes on Wednesday and Thursday and Maggie had dishes on Friday and Saturday. Then I would take Sunday. It didn't work. Having those days of the week worked with Maggies homework, but nothing else worked. The dishes would be started too late for two loads to be done, or all of the things that couldn't go into the dishwasher wouldn't get washed. Everyone could remember who should have done what dirty dishes and it was never theirs. So the next person wouldn't do the dishes because the person before them hadn't finished theirs, etc, etc, etc. That was plan "A". So we moved to plan "B". We added in laundry. Remember that my kids are in college and in high school...and I am trying to teach them some responsibility and skills so that when they go out into the world, they can survive.

In plan "B" we went to a more monthly approach. One person did the laundry all month. This is really only one or two loads a day.( I cam already hear everyone panicking) The other two kids split the dishes. They go every other day. The laundry part worked. No-one is thrilled with the laundry, but there is no pan scrubbing involved. The dishes didn't work. We had the same problems that we had with plan "A". Now, we have just started plan "C". The laundry part will stay the same. Here is the plan for the dishes. The kids will still switch jobs each month. This month Beth has laundry and William and Maggie have dishes. From the first to the fifteenth William has the dishes every day. Maggie has a break. She had laundry last month. Also...she has less homework this year. Maggie will have dishes from the sixteenth to the end of the month and William will be on break. Next month William will go to laundry and Beth will start the month on break while Maggie will have the dishes from the first to the fifteenth. This really isn't as complicated as it sounds.

This is our first month on plan "C". So far the dishes start-up was slow. William wasn't doing the dishes , or wasn't doing all of them. Then he realized that no one else was coming to do them the next day, and if I was going to make dinner, we needed clean dishes. It has been going better this week. I hope that this plan works because I don't have a plan "D".

Saturday, January 21, 2012

1/21/12 written Sunday 1/8/12 cont. pre making lunches...

Another time saver that we used to do was to pre-wrap the snacks for the kids lunches. I would put the chips, crackers etc. in individual size amounts in sandwich bags and put them into a large plastic container with a lid. The kids made their own sandwiches on the weekend and put them into the freezer. Each child has their own type of container. One has a square container, one has a round one and one has a butter container.

Each night the kids would pick a snack and put it in their lunch box. In the morning I add the sandwich and the juice box. Some mornings as we are about to leave, we realize that we didn't pack any lunches. Since everything is pre-done, we can get the lunches together as we leave. I don't pre-wrap the snacks anymore. Each of the kids likes to do their own.

Friday, January 20, 2012

1/20/12 - written Sunday 1/8/12 cont. matching the kids clothes for the week...

When the kids were little they couldn't match up outfits for the week, so they helped me match their clothes. First they were asked to bring me five pairs of school pants. These were folded in half the long way and layed flat. Then they brought five pairs of socks, five shirts and five undies. These were folded and one shirt, pair of socks, etc.was put on the pants. The pants were either rolled up with the other items in them or folded up. Then we had five rolls of clothes.

The first week that we did this all of the clothes were put in the kids rooms, but the kids knocked them over and everything came undone. After that everything was kept in my room until they were old enough to keep the clothes matched. This helps us to see when we need to have laundry done by. If there were no shirts for Thursday, we knew that Wednesday was the latest that we could do laundry. It is a great visual. It also makes getting the kids dressed each day easier. I have a friend that told me about doing this, but she hangs each matched outfit over a hanger. Then any child old enough to take the hanger down can get their own clothes. We tried hanging the clothes on a hanger, but everything kept falling off of the hanger.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunday 1/8/12 cont. moving boxes, sprouting centerpieces and puzzles...

My goal...again...this next week is to move the boxes in the basement from in front of the shoe shelf. Maybe the boxes will get moved, or maybe I will just write about this every week.

At Thanksgiving we had a cutting from the blackberry bush and another bush as our centerpiece. We also had a glass container of pine cones. The blackberry bush cutting has sprouted a root.

Maggie has one of her puzzles partway together. It is a cartoon of a lot of office people in their cubicles.

I think that it is only about four more months until spring.

I didn't do any of my weekend jobs this weekend. Tonight I need to match my clothes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sunday 1/8/12 cont. washing the car windows...

Yesterday I wanted to wash the car windows. It was so nice out. Then I noticed that the kids were sitting on the front porch, their friends hadn't come out. They washed the windows with me. Sometimes I forget to ask them to do jobs with me. Sometimes they like learning new things, and sometimes they don't. The windows needed a good cleaning. We washed off the headlights and the tail lights too. One day a long time ago, I was at a gas station and there was a man washing his car windows. then he washed the headlights and the tail lights. I thought that it was a good idea.

After church Beth did more math. William played a game on his computer. Maggie had bought some tabs for her Bible that say the books of the Bible on them. When she was young she got some and put them on her junior high Bible before we could go over the directions together. Maggie put them all in a straight row and then realized that she couldn't see them...because they were all on top of each other. This time she read the directions and we talked about it. She can read all of them this time.

So far we have found two more ornaments that need to go into the Christmas box.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sunday 1/8/12 my notebook of lists...

I make lists, then I know what needs to be done. This helps because then I don't need to keep trying to remember what needs to be done, I can just look at my list. As long as the list isn't lost, everything is OK. The problem is that on a lot of lists, I am a list maker, and not a list doer. If it is a list about what to do this weekend, like match the clothes for the week, we can usually accomplish those lists. When I make a longer term list, a lot of it doesn't get done...or it takes a really long time. For a while I was making long term lists, not accomplishing most of it, and loosing the list. Then I got a small notebook. In the front I put short term items, like fill out Christmas cards or check everyones winter jacket to see if they still fit. I didn't think that there was that much to write but it ended up taking four pages...don't laugh, it's a small notebook.

In the back of the notebook, I put long term items like move to a new house. The notebook was started last summer. The simpler things have been crossed off, but there is still a lot left to do...even in the front of the notebook. Each page has some crossed off and some not crossed off. The items that still need to be done need to be put on a new sheet and the old pages thrown away. It will be easier to see what needs to be done. Having a list that won't get lost has helped. I have started to make a plan for what to do this summer. One of my New Year's resolutions is to accomplish at least one item from these lists each week.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Saturday 1/7/12 cont. shopping with Christmas money and school projects...

Yesterday the girls wanted to stop at the store to spend some of their Christmas money. Maggie wanted K'nex, she builds with them. They are plastic and they snap together. Beth wanted a memory card for her phone. Maggie didn't get the K'nex. The sets cost more than she had. Also, they were kits to build specific things, like roller coasters or Ferris wheels. She wanted generic pieces. Maggie ended up getting two puzzles. Maggie has a big project due in a month or two for English? Social Studies? for National History Day. She is going to make a web page for her project. We were going to go to the library this weekend to get books, but we forgot. We will try to go next weekend. She is not sure when the first rough draft is due. When they were young they used to tell me when projects were due...sometimes. Now there isn't as much information coming home. It is probably better this way, because when they are in college they will need to be able to handle the work on their own. But it does worry me. The colleges will look at their high school grades, so they need to be their best...but at the same time, they need to learn to handle their work themselves (I am always here if they need me). It is a tough balance.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday 1/7/12 taking down the Christmas decorations...

We took the Christmas tree down today. We brought the plastic bin and the Christmas tree box into the living room. We wanted to put the lights on the bottom of the box, because they are the heaviest, but they come off of the tree last. So, we took all of the ornaments off of the tree and put them on the couch, then we took off all of the lights. Somehow, no one sat on any of the ornaments. We put the lights then the ornaments into the box.We also have some Christmas stockings around the house and some of the kids Christmas artwork from grade school around the house too. These all went into the box. The most breakable ornaments went into egg cartons...this idea came from the K-Love radio station Everything fit into the box except for the wreath that we hang outside. After the Christmas tree box and the plastic container of lights and decorations was carried into the basement we started finding ornaments that had been knocked aside. Some had fallen off of the tree on their own, some the cat had started taking down. The living room looks so empty now.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday 1/4/12 cont. starting school and Christmas decorations...

Beth went back to school today. She has at least one more week to finish her math. Maggie goes back tomorrow.
We will probably take down the Christmas decorations this weekend. Sometimes when we take them down, I am really ready for them to be put away. This year I will miss them. We really enjoyed Christmas this year.
We have a blue plastic container to put the decorations into instead of boxes. This will make it easier to find the decorations next year. Also, it will be easier to put away stray ornaments that we find later. We gave our extra tree to Goodwill before Christmas. We also gave them all of the extra Christmas tree bases.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday 1/4/12 Finding the Bible study house...

Our evening has revolved around high school age kids. Tonight is Bible study for Maggie and Beth. Maggie's group meets at the church. Beth's meets at someones house. We tried in December to find the house. We couldn't find it. We had a street name and a house number, but no phone to call and get more directions. Today we had a street name, a house number, a street that it was by, the high school that it is by, a phone number and a working phone. We still got lost. We found it on the map before we left the house. We were in the correct neighborhood the last time. It took about five texts and five phone calls, but we found the house.
When the kids need to to get directions to someplace new, it is always an adventure trying to find it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sunday 1/1/12 cont. volunteering...

I hope that we can start volunteering at church soon. We have the phone number of who to call to get signed up. The lady that I talked to today said that if we brought a different person with us each week, it would be OK, they could help too. We are at a big church and they do background checks before people can volunteer with the kids. The friend that we bring wouldn't have a background check done.
We need to join the church too. There is a packet of information to read over to be sure that we agree with the teachings of the church. We all need to look it over and decide if we are going to make a commitment to the church.
It is slightly rainy today and about 40 deg. F. Tomorrow we should get one to three inches of snow and it should be about 20 deg. F.
Yesterday we watched ''Mr. Magiriam's Wonder Emporium''.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunday 1/1/12 New Year and Christmas ornaments...

Happy New Year!!! I can't believe that it is 2012 already. Our cat has started to stalk the Christmas tree ornaments. He sits in front of the tree and stares at the ornaments and then jumps up and pushes his paw at one to see if it will fall. If it does he chases it around. We need to take the tree down. I wish that he would get that much enjoyment out of his presents that he got for Christmas.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday 12/26/11 cont. Christmas presents and calendars...

The kids Christmas presents are still in the living room. I hope that they leave the presents there, it is such a fun, Christmas-y look. It reminds me of the fun when everyone was here at Christmas.
The kids are off of school next week. Beth has a lot of math to do over the vacation.
We finally have a calendar for 2012. I need to sit down with the new one and the 2011 one and write in all of the important dates. We write in birthdays and other big days like Thanksgiving. Then I put a note one or two weeks before the holiday that has a reminder of what needs done for that event. Like'' buy Thanksgiving food''. If we are extra busy with homework or life, it is good to have that note on the calendar ahead of time. I write notes ahead for all of the events...birthdays, holidays, school starting, etc. We also put garbage day on the calendar. Last year our garbage day would move out one day if there was a holiday. This year it is back to the same day every week...I think. Also, every other week the recycling is picked up.
We usually keep the Christmas tree up for a few weeks after Christmas. The tree is so pretty. I love to have the lights on when we are at home.We left the ornaments off of the bottom two rows of the tree this year, so that the cat wouldn't get them.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Monday 12/26/11 Christmas day and thank-yous...

Merry Christmas!!! We had a good Christmas. We got up on time this year, so we were able to make breakfast. Maggie helped me make breakfast first, then Beth helped later. My mom and brother showed up at eight am. We used to have the Mary and Joseph figures finish their trip through the house and go to the manger scene and we would add baby Jesus on Christmas morning. We have stopped doing that. It was fun when the kids were young. When we set up the Christmas tree we had Mary and Joseph start out in the kitchen. Each night they would be moved closer to the manger scene. Sometimes we forgot and had to move them farther the next day. One year we forgot completely and they had to make the whole trip on Christmas morning...there was a lot of homework that year. Then after the manger scene is all together, and baby Jesus has been brought in, we read a short passage from the Bible, usually from the book of Luke. Then we open presents. I know some families that make a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, but we don't do that.
Christmas is a lot easier now that the girls don't get as many dolls. The dolls were always tied so tightly to the boxes. One year Christmas just stopped while we got the dollies out of the boxes. The next year, I went out early and unattached the dolls from the boxes. That Christmas went so much smoother. As the kids open presents I keep a list of who got what from whom. Not from Santa, but from other people. This makes writing thank-yous so much easier. When the kids were little, I wrote the thank-you, and the kids drew a picture on it. Now they can write their own thank-yous. We try to get them written the day after Christmas.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday 12/18/11 cont. Shoe shelves and snow...

I would like to get everything moved from in front of the shoe shelf. The kids and I can't use the shelf until we can get to it. I would like to get four rubber mats for the kitchen and tell everyone that they must keep their shoes on their mat. Any extra shoes need to be kept in the basement. I don't think that all of the water that comes into the house in the winter is good for the kitchen floor. The rubber mats would either be like the mats that dishes are dried on, or like small car mats, the winter kind that absorb water.
We had a dusting of snow last week. It was pretty. The ground is still warm so the snow only stuck on the grass and trees, not on the streets or sidewalks. It is about thirty-five deg. F today. I heard that next week it will get up to forty deg. F. I am ready for spring.
I haven't started making my New Year's resolutions yet this year. Some years I have lists of things that I want to do or change, but this year seems to be a little more quiet or settled... maybe because the kids are older.
The kids don't make New Years resolutions, that I know about. They say that they are happy with themselves the way that they are.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sunday 12/18/11 cont. Christmas cards and cleaning the basement...

Yesterday the kids also wrote their Christmas cards to everyone. They give people cards instead of presents. They make about ten to fifteen cards. This year Maggie and Beth did their cards together. One wrote Merry Christmas and Happy New Year on each paper and the other drew a picture on each one. Then they both signed their name. William made his own cards. Usually they all make their own cards.
Today we went to church. After church Maggie studied science and Beth worked on math on the computer. Tonight the girls are at church. The kids (junior high and high school) have sort of a youth group / concert.
We have been doing a lot of sorting and cleaning in the basement. It looks a lot better. Maybe over the holidays we can spend some more time sorting down there. It always feels so good to take a load to Goodwill. The basement needs to be sorted so that we don't need to move it when we buy our next house.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sunday 12/18/11 cont. Buckeyes and Christmas ornaments...

On Saturday we started the Buckeye cookies. Maggie and Beth mixed the peanut butter with the butter and powdered sugar. Then they formed them into small balls and put them on trays covered in Saran Wrap (so that they wouldn't stick to the tray). We put all of the trays into the freezer to harden. Next all four of us made Christmas ornaments. We had wooden ornaments with a hole punched in the top. We color them with magic markers and put our initials and the year on the back. Later all four of us finished the cookies. It seems strange to write that all four of us did the ornaments and cookies. Usually we have one person that doesn't want to participate. For the ornaments, we color one for that person and put their initials on it. The next year when we decorate the tree, as we put on ornaments that were made by us, we show the person the ornament and say something like, "this was yours from last year." When the ornaments are shown that the person didn't do, they spend a bit of time looking at the ornament and trying to remember coloring it . They can't remember because they didn't color it, so they say, "wow, I don't remember coloring that one". We always guess that it is one that we did for that person.
We finished the cookies. We melted the chocolate chips in a double boiler...the recipe says to add paraffin wax. I can't put wax into something that we will eat, so we leave it out. What the wax does, I have heard, is to keep the chocolate on the peanut butter. Our chocolate does run off, so there is a big base under the peanut butter ball. But it still tastes the same. We took the trays of peanut butter balls out of the freezer and, using toothpicks, we put them into the melted chocolate, almost covering the peanut butter completely. Next they were put back onto the Saran Wrap covered trays to dry.
We had Christmas music on when we did all of these Christmas things, and movies playing the rest of the time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sunday 12/18/11 Taking Maggie's wisdom teeth out...

Maggie got her wisdom teeth out. It went really well. It took about a half hour total to pull all four teeth. They took both of us into the room that she was going to have them pulled in. She sat in the patient chair. They asked her name and grade, to make sure that they had the correct patient. As they asked questions, they hooked up three or four heart beat monitors, one on each arm, and one on her ankle. They also put a temperature strip on her forehead. This took about ten minutes. Then the doctor came in and looked at her x-ray and talked to us for a minute...just to say that it looked like there would be no complications because the teeth had not grown in too far. Then they had me go to the waiting room. About ten minutes later they came back for me. Everything had gone well. Maggie was in a recovery room, sitting up and looking very groggy. They gave me directions of what to do at to rinse the mouth, when to start the medicine, pain medicine and antibiotics. She was groggy on the way home. We already had the pain medicine and antibiotics prescriptions filled and we had the ice cream, apple sauce and pudding, so we could go straight home. We also had some library movies.
Maggie watched movies and ate ice cream and apple sauce for the rest of the day. The next day she was allowed to brush her teeth and she felt well enough to eat regular foods. I am so relieved that it went well.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thursday 12/15/11 Wisdom teeth out tomorrow and weekend plans...

Maggie gets her wisdom teeth out tomorrow. She is excited. The teeth hurt. She will miss school tomorrow. The surgery isn't until 12:30 but she can't have anything to eat or drink that morning. The doctor said that if she went to school for the morning, there would be too much of a temptation to get a drink from the drinking fountain. The doctor said that it would be best if she could just stay home.
We bought ice cream for Maggie to have after the surgery and we will get her some applesauce too. They said that cold soft foods are best at first. Later she can have warm, soft foods. We already have pudding. We also got some movies from the library.
If Maggie heals fast, we need to do some Christmas things this weekend. We still need to color our ornament and have the kids make Christmas cards for other people. The kids give Christmas cards to people instead of giving gifts. When they were little, I wrote the cards and they colored on them. Later they could sign their name and draw a picture. Now, they can do the whole card. We also need to make cookies. We want to make Buckeyes first. I think that the Buckeyes are peanut butter mixed with powdered sugar. They are shaped into small balls and frozen. Then the chocolate is melted in a double boiler and the peanut butter balls are dunked in almost to the top. They are dried on waxed paper or Saran wrap.