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 www.klove.com 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 home...how 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.