Archive for July, 2009

Houses for James

July 27, 2009

The children’s second cousin Laura manages to find some of the best books!  (Thanks Laura!)  One year, I think for Christmas, she sent the children a book called “Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures.”  James pulled this book out today and drew.  While drawing the Parthenon, he was talking to me about our trip to the replica in Nashville, TN and how “cool” it was.  So, here are the drawings…

James's homes 7-27-09(Remember to click on the picture for a larger view.)

Mom’s Last Day Here

July 21, 2009

Today was Mom’s last day here.  She’ll be picked up early in the morning tomorrow.  It went OK, but we started out with a few bumps.  I was walking between the bedroom and the kitchen and had to stop a moment because it seemed that something was strange.  Mom was lying on the living room floor.  (Mind you it is tile, so not exactly comfortable.)  “Did you fall?” I asked.  Yes, she had.  I asked if I could help, but really I couldn’t.  Mom had to get turned around on her knees.  She didn’t trip over anything, she didn’t know why she fell.  Later I asked how she was and she said she was good, just her rear end was going to be black and blue.  This reminded me of the day years ago when my sister Marie fell down the attic stairs.  We actually took a picture of Marie’s cheek.  I suppose I’ll have to dig that up and post it.  (Just kidding, Marie!)  I offered to take a picture of Mom’s rump, but she declined. 

After that, all went well.  Joe brought home a lot of blueberries last night and Mom and the children were enjoying eating them today.  I was busy making all kinds of things.  John’s Blueberry Kanten, Blueberry Crisp, Blueberry Upside-down Cake, and a coffee cake that didn’t come out well as it was a little undercooked.  The upside down cake was going good until I tried to get it out of the pan.  Let’s just say that it still really tastes good even if it didn’t look so pretty.  It was my first attempt, so I was quite pleased with the results.  blueberry upside down cake 09blueberry upside-down cake

blueberry crisp 09Blueberry crisp

John's Blueberry Kanten 09John’s Blueberry kanten (which is all but a memory now!  They ate the whole thing!)

This dessert is such a treasured food in our house that Charlotte wanted her picture with it.  charlotte with blueberry kanten

The one thing that I wanted to be sure to do during this visit was take more pictures.  Sad to say that I was not very successful in that venture.  On another note, every now and again I will look on Craigs list, usually for chairs of the dining room table variety.  When I look at all the stuff, I usually e-mail Joe a few links and that is as far as it goes.  One day last week I e-mailed several things again, but this time he liked a couch and chair set!!!  So, we were able to get it.  He drove a bit of a distance and bought these lovely furniture pieces.  Every time I walk by the living room I cannot help but to smile.  We moved our old couch into the foyer.  We hope to someday have an addition to our home that will include a schoolroom upstairs.  I would like that couch to go into the school room so we can cuddle up and read.  However, that is really off the track of this story.  Since we had this beautiful new (to us) furniture, I wanted to blog about it and thought a picture with Grandmom and the children would be great.  The only problem was finding the time.  It was nearly bedtime and everyone’s clothes were quite dirty when I realized we had to do it now!  I had all the children change clothes so we could get a picture because, after all, they were not sitting on our new furniture with dirty clothes!  The baby was a bit cranky and so was Charlotte, but we managed to get a few pictures anyway.

children with Mom-Mom  09     children with Mom-Mom 2 09   children with the new chairs 09

Catching Up…

July 17, 2009

We’re not dead!  We are just busy as usual.  This past month has brought about a lot of change, but then again, when isn’t there change. 

In June I found out I made the deans list at the University.  I coudn’t decided if that was a sign or not, and it is was a sign, who was it coming from.  I was going to tough it out, really wanting to finish, but business statistics did me in.  I think I have the brain for it, but just not the time to work a lot of problems and really learn it.  I thought about re-arranging the schedule, but after discussing it with Joe, decided to just drop college at this point.  I started so that I could make a living if something (God forbid) happened.  Well, now my business is started and that really needed to come before school deadlines.  I was also wondering how I was going to complete tax returns while meeting deadlines in school.  The plan is to put a little more effort into the business and see where that goes.  Joe was afraid that I would miss everything, that I would wake up one day to find my youngest nearly as tall as me.  I would hate for that to happen, as they already grow so quickly.  I’d rather enjoy our time together, as I know it will not last forever. 

With all that being said, I feel like a free woman!!!  I have been quilting just a little bit and having fun “schooling.”  We started a Tennessee state study and are enjoying it.  We will be going to the Tennessee River museum soon since we have been learning about the rivers here. 

We had a family camp with the cub scout pack last week.  I was really dreading it, but once I got there, and had Joe bring us all the stuff we forgot (like tent poles), I really enjoyed myself.  The kids had a great time as well.   I need to call my friend Shoana and see when we can meet up to go camping again.  The last time I went was with her and her children 4 years ago.  I am really an outdoors type of person.  If my spirits are down or I am angry, just get me outside in the country and I feel so much better.   Anyway, off topic, I know.   After spending the night camping, we went on a nice hike the next morning.  I put the baby in the back pack and even the other two girls went.  They had the option of staying and going on a “bunny hike” with some others, but they wanted to go on the big hike and they did great.  MaryEllen had quite a spill when we got on some black top.  I made her stop crying and walk it off (actually, I asked if she wanted to go back to camp and she said no), but later felt a little bad about that because she was a little more beat up than I realized.  Thank God for Arnica!  After that little camping trip close to home, I now feel confident to start venturning out to other places a little farther away.  These camping trips will go along great with our study of Tennessee.

My Mom arrived on July 4th.  After she arrived, we went to the church “picnic” which is more like a carnival.  We came home and Joe set up the fireworks stand and chairs for us all.  MaryEllen was…gee what is a good word here….appauled by the noise?  Well, I suppose she is just very sensitve (artist type, like Kevin who was very much the same way at that age), and ran in the house crying before Joe lit the first one.  They were really not that loud and after watching several, I went in the house to go get her and see if she would come out to see some.  We were standing in the driveway, just down the hill from where the chairs were set up.  John and Kevin were announcing the name of the fireworks.  My Mother and I both warned them about getting too close and fooling around with fireworks.  I think one of the problems is that we are both from New Jersey and nearly everything is illegal there, for our own good, of course.  When raised in this way, it can make one a little overly frightened of so many things!  Also, we used to have a next door neighbor who’s hand was nearly blown off from fireworks, but I digress!  Oh yes, John announced, “Saturn V Rocket,”  Just then, instead of the firework shooting out of the top, it started firing out from the sides – all sides!  My biggest concern was my poor mother who cannot move very fast.  I must admit two things:  1.  I was very grateful to be standing in the driveway at a little more distance, and 2.  I don’t know how it missed Mother because there was a fireball coming straight for her.  Mother and I attribute it to us both praying through the entire fireworks display. 

One day while she was here we went to the pool with some friends.  I told Mother to bring a bathing suit since we occasionaly do this.  We had a lovely time (I thought) until the lifeguards called everyone out of the pool.  We had no idea why.  I wondered outloud if someone had thrown a candybar into the pool.  (Think Caddy Shack).  Well, that was not what happened.  Someone, in fact, did poo in the pool.  They they poured a bunch of chemicals in the pool and said it would be closed for the next 30 minutes.  We (our friends and us) were the only ones leaving!  When Wednesday rolled around this week, Mother reminded us that it was “pool day.”  I told her that we don’t have a set pool day, we just get together sometimes.  She said, “Good because I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going.  It was too cold for me and took me too long to get into.”  Now, one thing about Mother, all my life she has taken forever to get into a pool.  She would stand there for hours trying to get in.  I can’t help but to wonder if it was really the poo incident.    Mother was worried about herself in a bathing suit because she is a little heavy.  I assured her that she would not stick out because in these parts, woman who are more than heavy not only wear bikinis, but are also very heavily tatooed to go along with it! 

James came to me this morning and said, “Mom, I’m scared.”  I asked what he was afraid of.   “When Mom-Mom leaves, we’ll have to do all these dishes and pick up again.”  Let me just say that I don’t ask my poor mother to do these things, as a matter of fact, I ask her not to do them, but she works like a slave anyway!  I don’t know how I’m going to get the children back in the swing of things when she is gone!  Joe and I have actually been out on 2 dates since she has been here.  I do believe that I will miss having that freedom the most.  Today the children worked her to death.  How you ask?  Playing cards and Bird Bingo.  Mother stated that she doesn’t want to see any cards for the next year.  Mother loves games, especially cards, but take that times 5 children and it would exhaust anyone. 

Well, that was a long post.  I have many pictures, but they will have to wait for another day.  I have things to do and it is getting late.  Now you know a little about what is going on around here.  Aside from all of that, we also have several prayer requests.  Please pray for my friend Misty who has had a nasty kidney infection (and is 33 weeks pregnant), my friend Emily who will probably deliver her baby boy very soon at 30 weeks.  He has a heart condition and they don’t think he’ll make it, but they will be doing some surgury to see if they can correct the condition and save his life.  Also, one of the boys in the cub scout pack lost his grandmother and we’ll be attending her funeral tomorrow.  Thank you for your continued prayers.