Friday, September 23, 2005

Look How My Monkey Has Grown

Remember that monkey chair I got last year from my aunt?

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Here it is one year later:

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Can you believe that is the same little baby???

And I guess I have another Computer Addict in training (guess who he inherited that gene from? ;-) )

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I'm So Popular!

Wow, I just checked my statcounter, and found out I have been getting lots of hits from people I don't know. I followed some links there and found out that I am listed in link lists on lots of blogs! Wow! I had no idea my readership was so wide! Now I feel doubly guilty LOL. The pressure is on - how will I entertain all these people?

Well, just a little something for those of you curious about what it's like to live in a house full of boys:

Caleb (5 yo) just announced a few minutes ago that he is starting a new club up in his room this afternoon. It is going to be The Disgusting Club, devoted to nasty bodily noises. He demonstrated with a huge burp. Yuck! LOL

Feeling Guilty

I know, I know, it's been a long time since I updated. Well, not much is going on here besides trying to kick this darn cold out of the house (Levi is doing great after his round of meds, but Micah and I are still suffering, and Chris isn't fully recovered yet either) and washing size 3T underpants. Ugh. Potty training is NOT going well.

So, to assuage my guilt, I am posting some pictures I took today, to show you what is going on in our house:

3 of the 4 Computer Addicts; this is the first place they run once schoolwork is finished:
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I will admit, it works well as an incentive to get their work done.

Here is what Caleb was busy with today:
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He ended up making a pretty cool scene with several buildings and sidewalks. Samuel also had a good building up yesterday, but obviously it had to be pilfered to create the new one. Troyer is still working on his last page of schoolwork. He spent too long this morning sketching robots in his sketch book.

And here is our baby:
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Just the cutest thing ever! Ok, maybe I am a little biased ;-)

If I could figure out how to post links here, (I know, it's not that hard, I'm just too lazy to figure it out!) I would direct you to a neat website I found today. It is called "It's Good To Be The Queen" and is a site for moms with houses filled with boys. A girl here or there is allowed, but it is about being surrounded by testosterone and all that entails! I thought it was funny, since long ago my boys crowned me "Good Queen Mommy" LOL

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Yesterday Was a Loooong Day

I mentioned before that Levi had a cold this weekend. Well, on Monday night he barely slept, so in the morning I called the doctor and brought him in. It turns out he has pink eye and an ear ache, in addition to his cold. So from the doctor's office, we went right to WalMart to fill his two prescriptions. The pharmacy there was very busy, since the day before was a holiday, and it took an hour to fill the Rx's. We managed to waste the time by going through the clearance toy aisle, and then through the movies. We ended up picking up 4 dvds, to put back for Christmas.

After WalMart, I decided that we should run over to BJ's, which is a warehouse store like Sam's Club or Costco. I had a one day pass that came in the mail, but I had already decided to buy a memebership, because I learned that they accept coupons. We got there and got in line at the service desk to get a membership, and had to wait almost 20 minutes. There were 4 people on line, but no one at the desk. Finally someone came, but then a man walked up to the counter to ask a question and then had the girl leave the desk to help him find something. I thought it was very rude for him to not wait on line to be helped. By this time Levi was very cranky and crying because his eyes itched but he couldn't rub them without it hurting badly. Poor baby. After we finally got the membership card, I ran through the store picking up what I wanted. I had just been in a few days before to price things, so I knew just what I wanted and where they were.

Back home, we only had an hour to get lunch and get some eye drops in Levi's goopy eyes, before we had to head back out to the YMCA for homeschool gym. Our Y offers a 45 minute class once a week for homeschoolers, and I signed up Troyer, Noah, and Samuel. They have a class for 5 yos too, but it is not at the same time, and I just didn't think Micah and Levi wanted to wait another 45 minutes for Caleb to have his own class. The boys ended up having a good time. While we waited, I took the stroller out back. I had been told there were walking paths in the woods out behind the building. Well, there are, but they are dirt and on a steep hill. Ick for a stroller! Plus, in several spots just in the first 10 feet down the trail I saw poison ivy, so we turned around and put the stroller back in the van. I ended up letting the kids play in a side room while we waited for the class to end.

We got home just before 3 and I put Levi down for a nap, with more drops in his eyes. Initially the drops make his eyes water, so they were goopier than ever, and they stung a bit, so he hated them, but I could already see an improvement by this morning. By 4 I needed to lie down too. I had only had 3 hours of sleep the night before, and was running the whole day. Chris got home while I was napping, and I thought he was fixing dinner, since he usually does on Tuesdays. I came out to the kitchen to find flowers and candy, and a card for me, for our anniversary. :-) But no dinner. I started fixing chicken nuggets and french fries, and then suddenly realized that it was Tuesday! With the holiday weekend, my mental calendar was off. Troyer's first Pathfinders meeting was at 6:30. Oops. So I turned dinner over to Chris and ran out the door with Troyer to get him to church.

Troyer wasn't so sure he wanted to sign up for Pathfinders, mostly because he didn't know what it was. It is a cross between Boy Scouts and youth group. It is a scouting program run by the church, with uniforms, a pledge and law, and lots of camping and service programs, but it is co-ed. Since so many scouting programs conflict with the Sabbath, this is a great group for our kids to get involved with; run by the church, so it will always coordinate with church services. We got to the meeting almost a half hour late, but settled in ok. I left Troyer to his group and then had to waste time until 8:30. I will have to get him a uniform, but at least he already has socks and shoes. They gave him his t-shirt while he was there.

When we got home, Chris had 3 of the boys in bed, but Levi was still up. That was good, since I had to give him his medicine, but while I was getting Levi settled down, Chris went to bed. He didn't even wait up to hear how the meeting went. I was hurt that on our anniversary he didn't wait up to talk for just a few minutes. He said he was really tired, but hey, I was too!

I ate a late dinner, got caught up on some things that I hadn't gotten to during the day, and then washed the dishes (so the boys could have bowls to eat out of for breakfast!). I think it was 1:30 before I got into bed. I'm glad trash is delayed a day after holiday weekends, or I would have had to collect the trash and take it to the street too! As it is, I am now 2 days behind on laundry. It will be a busy day again today, trying to catch up. And I have my first exercise class tonight at the Y. I will be sore tomorrow!

Losing My Mind for a Moment

On one of those evenings when I just didn't feel like going to sleep yet, but didn't have anything to occupy my brain, I started blog wandering, following links from one blog to another, exploring outside of my usual blog tour. Chris, at the Big Yellow House, has a few House Blogs listed, of people like her who bought older houses that need a lot of fixing up. I got sucked in and read for hours. It is a romantic notion, to find an old fixer-upper, and turn it into your dream home. I started longing to find a house to fix up for my own. I dreamed of what it would look like, and how it would be to live in it. Then I read some more blogs, and started noticing just how much sweat and agony is involved, LOL. When they started getting technical, I realized just how far over my head all of it is, and I know I don't want to do that! Our old house was bad enough, and it wasn't literally falling down.

But thinking of buying a huge old house to fix up, which is probably the only way we will ever be able to find a huge house out here, put me in mind of the old house down the street from Chris' parents. It has been empty since the early 70s, and Chris and his sisters used to go over there and sneak inside and play in it. Over the years, teens have used it as a hang out, and it has been vandalized, in addition to just declining with age, so it is in horrible shape. The historical society has been trying to buy it for years, but the old lady who owns it wouldn't give it up because her husband had died in the house, and she insisted his ghost haunted it. While at MIL's on Labor Day, I learned that the house has finally been donated to the Historical Society. Poor Chris, he had always dreamed of buying it and fixing it up for himself. On the one hand, I am sad for him, but on the other, whew I just dodged that bullet! Here is what the house looks like now:

A view down the street from in front of MIL's house:
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A closer view of the front:
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The brush you see in the 3rd picture is not growing there, it is actually tree limbs that were trimmed and then left to lie in front of the house.

You can see what bad shape it is in. Inside is worse, FIL says the floors are falling through, and things like the mantles have been looted. The roof is slate and would need to be replaced, ugh on the cost of that.

Romantically, it would have been so cool to fix it up and live in it, but I think I am glad that option is gone, LOL

Labor Day

On Labor Day we headed to MILs for a picnic. Chris misunderstood what time we were supposed to be there. He thought she told him "anytime after lunch" so we showed up at 2, after we ate at home, but she had meant to come for lunch, so we missed the food. We ended up having leftovers, which was fine.

Micah in "his" chair, which Levi also liked:
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Caleb and Aunt Shawna:
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He had fun walking around the deck, trying to climb up in the chairs, trying to get into someone's purse, trying to drink cans and bottles of soda, and eating cat food, LOL

The weather was beautiful, and the boys had a great time playing outside. Noah was trying to climb some trees, which started a contest to see who could get highest. First his aunt climbed up, to show him how to get in the tree, then Chris climbed up, then his Uncle Mike. Aunt Shawna and I decided to stay on the ground LOL

Chris in the tree:
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Eventually Troyer and Samuel learned how to get up too, and even Caleb found a tree more his size:
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After we ate, Chris took Troyer and Noah for a bike ride. They are getting pretty good on the road. I think they rode almost 4 miles. Troyer was beet red when they got back, lol. He needs a bit bigger bike, because his knees were almost up in his chest.

Micah wanted to go on the ride too:
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Heading out:
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Noah took off as soon as they were out of the driveway:
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While they were bike riding, the SILs and I took Caleb, Samuel, Micah, and Levi for a walk down the street.

Caleb rode his new bike that Grandma and Grandpa bought him:
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Samuel helped push Levi in the stroller:
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This was a bit nerve-wracking, since each time a car would come past, Samuel would panic and rush off the side of the road, almost dumping Levi in a ditch several times LOL.

If you look closely at the picture of Levi, you might see that he had a cold. He started getting cranky after we got back from the walk, so we headed home about 6:30. It ended up being a nice day.

Birthday Pictures

Here are some pictures from Noah's birthday:

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We went shopping for a cake with a theme toy on top, but there weren't any that Noah wanted that we haven't already bought from the bakery, so I got a $4 Lego set and put it together to put on top. It turned out so nice, and for sure it's a better $4 spent than the cheap bakery toy, which costs the same.

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Here is the whole group.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ok, My Turn

I went and opened my big mouth and posted a comment on another blog, so to be fair, I guess I'd better post here and let that blogger come here and post back. I only hope I didn't blow a good friendship out of the water. I'm sorry if I made you angry.

Just so you all know, here is my position: OMG what a huge devestating disaster. No question, it is shocking and unbelievable and heart-wrenching. I feel so so so horrible for all those people trapped down there in those horrible conditions. I can't imagine it, and I don't want to. I can't help but watch the news and all the images, and even still, I know I have no concept of how really terrible it all is. I want so badly to do something more than just throw money at it. I want to be involved. I want to invite some of those families to come and live with us while they sort out what they are going to do. I want to open my home and my heart to them, because they look so lost and hopeless and I want them to know that people care. But I live so far away, that isn't an option. I have heard that even sending needed goods down there isn't helping because the distribution issues are so difficult. What they need is money, so that is what I will do. But it feels so cold.

I see those people angry and crying and yelling to me through the cameras, thinking that no one cares because they have not been rescued yet. I see their desperation, and I wish there were more we could do. What, I don't know. I have friends who work with disaster relief, so I know a little bit about how difficult it is. It isn't a matter of simply passing out some bottled water and getting busses in and driving them out. This disaster is so huge that the logistics of it are mind-boggling. All that needs to be done, yes, as well as medical needs attended to, immediately. But there is unavoidable disorganization at the beginning, and it just takes time. I am well aware that many of those people don't have time, but that doesn't change what is.

What I am overwhelmed with, beyond the tragedy, is the anger. Not from the victims; that is understandable. They have no tv or radio, or contact at all with the rest of the country. They have no idea how large this disaster is. They know only that they need help, and need it NOW. But the anger from the rest of the country, those who are watching the newscasts and wondering what is being done, and seeing what is not being done, scares me. It is so frustrating to see it all and not be able to do anything. But getting angry to the point that I have been seeing and reading is just such a waste of energy and emotion. I guess when you are filled with such sorrow and frustration, anger is the most common outlet for it, but it hurts to hear it and see it. Please, put that effort into something positive to be done, rather than just throwing blame around, and name-calling. It makes me sad enough to watch the suffering; but sadder still to know that I live in a country so filled with hate.