Monday, April 16, 2007

So Much to Say, So Too Lazy to Get My Butt Here to Post

You know, I write posts in my head all the time. Several times a day I think about what I would write about what is going on in my life. I have stuff to say, I have pictures of it to post. But can I get around to actually writing it out? Do you think those pictures are not still in my camera? Of course not. Sorry. Every day I get online and spend my time checking out my message boards, and reading everyone else's blogs. I get annoyed at the ones who don't update often enough. And then I log off. Sigh. I'm soooo lazy.

I'm sure you are wondering how we are all doing here after letting you know that we had a cold coming through the house. Well, it got us all, and stuck around for over 2 weeks. It turns out that the rash that Jacob had was indeed viral, because it finally cleared up last week. He is once again a beautiful baby. I think we also coughed our last cough about the same time. Unfortunately, Levi managed to catch a stomach bug just as he recovered from the snot bug. He ate a great Easter supper, then Sunday night puked it all up. Poor Chris, he was holding Levi while the two of them napped on the couch. Ick. Luckily it all ended up, um, not on the couch LOL. He went on to puke for another 2 days, and then moved on to the runs. Meanwhile, Micah woke up Thursday morning (early, 4 am, ugh) puking. His didn't last as long, thank goodness, and it also hasn't moved on to anyone else. I hesitate to say it, but I think we are all finally well now. That was a looooooong 3 weeks.

During all of that illness, life went on, of course. We went to MIL's for Easter supper. It was very good, and the kids all ate pretty well. She hid eggs outside for them to hunt, even though it was only about 40 degrees and WINDY. It was torture for us adults to stand out there while they searched, but they had fun. Thank goodness 24 eggs get found pretty quickly when split between 6 kids!

Sunday morning, Chris went up in the attic and brought down the baby swing. Putting it up is always a hopeful gesture; you never know if a baby is going to like the swing or not. Most of mine have not. Since I was feeding Jacob at the time, Troyer decided to try putting it together by himself. I was very impressed that he did it! He only needed a few hints, but remember how old this swing is and don't even suppose there are any directions left, LOL. It did make us a half hour late for MIL's house, because we were enjoying watching him figure it out, but oh well for her! And even better - Jacob loves it! He likes to swing even when he stays awake, though we certainly can't leave him in there for hours. It's good enough to get me a bathroom run, lol. He will also sleep in it, and that he can do for hours. Woohoo!

On Monday, Aimee came for a visit. She brought the cousins, and the boys were super excited about it. These poor kids just don't see enough of each other. She stayed for a week, though she took a side trip to Michelle's for one night, since it's only a few hours further to her house. Much easier than trying to make a separate trip. It worked out well, because it gave us a chance to tidy up the house a bit mid-week; it was getting ugly with all the kids too excited to clean up after themselves. Hoo Boy, I should have taken a picture of Troyer and Noah's room on Saturday morning, just before Aimee left. It was scary, LOL. We had a great time together, and Chris watched the kids (all of them except for Jacob, so 8 - I'm very proud and grateful!) twice so Aimee and I could go out together. Aimee managed to get out of here and get home just in time to miss the worst of the weekend storms, but she cut it close.

And that brings up one more thing I was going to post about; but then again, you can guess what I'm going to say: Where the Heck is Spring????? It has been in the 40s for over 2 weeks here, when the average temp should be 60. It has rained and been windy, and overnight we've had snow flurries. I can only be thankful that I don't live farther north, where they are getting feet of snow! But I tell you, my poor daffodils and tulips and hyacinths are looking very sad this year, with trying to survive all the freezing weather. I did finally see some light at the end of the tunnel, in the forcast this morning I saw a 65 for Sunday, and a sun! Dare I get my hopes up?

Oh, also while Aimee was here, I had my 6 week post-partum check up. I was disappointed (but not surprised) to see that I had gained back 8 lbs already. At about 3 weeks I had lost all my baby weight and felt great. That darn Sam's Choice Indulgent Trail Mix is Evil! I really want to try to lose more weight. My total short-term goal is 25 lbs. My dream goal is 50, but let's not even go there right now, LOL. I'm not really prepared for the commitment that would take. I had managed to lose 13 lbs before I got pregnant last year, so I'm hoping I can do it again.

The boys also had an appointment last week, for the dentist. This time 4 of them went at once. I am so pleased with my dentist; he was able to schedule them so that they were all done within an hour. They all did really well, too. This was Caleb's first dentist visit, and he was nervous, but he did great. Poor Troyer, though, had to be reprimanded for poor brushing. He has a problem with heavy tartar build up. He was told this last fall at his last appointment, and he had been doing really well with brushing regularly and flossing. But it seems he has been slacking off. He actually admitted to the dentist that he hadn't brushed in two weeks before his appointment! Ack! You don't suppose he was the only one to get in trouble for that do you??? Oh no, the dentist came out into the waiting room and reprimanded me for it too! I could have died right there in the office. Nothing like getting parenting advice from your dentist. He suggested that I ground Troyer from t.v. until he starts brushing again. Well, duh, I thought we had taken care of that! What do you think Troyer's excuse was? He said "well, you stopped telling me to brush, so I stopped brushing." Huh??? Oooh, I was not happy with that one! Unfortunately, 12 year old boys are not known for their ability to empathise with their mother's embarrassment and take it upon themselves to remedy it. I will be having to inspect his teeth every night again. sigh.

On Friday Noah and Samuel had to take their standardized tests for school. In Pennsylvania the law states that homeschooled children be tested in grades 3, 5, 8, and hmm, I don't know how often in high school. So I had 2 due this year. I knew Noah would do fine, as he is a good reader, and he did not disappoint me. He scored grade level for spelling and math, and 6th grade for word recognition (he has to read a list of words aloud and gets credit for each word he pronounces correctly) and 9th grade for reading comprehension! Woo hoo! Samuel, on the other hand, I was worried about. We are still struggling with his reading, though he has really come very far. He likes math, but because we have to concentrate so much on the reading, he has not had the chance to progress beyond grade level in math, though I think he could. He did score right on track with math. I was pleasantly surprised that, while he struggled through it, he managed to score right on grade level for reading comprehension and word recognition! Woo hoo! Spelling, on the other hand, he only scored 1st grade. I think it might be because he tried to spell boy "boi"? What? I have no idea where he got that from! You'd think in *this* house that is one word they all should be able to spell! LOL It was suggested that I take him to a therapist to have him tested for reading/visual disabilities. While I wouldn't submit those results to the school district, it would still help me to know for sure, and also would be helpful to learn if there are any therapies that could help him read a little easier, rather than struggle so hard. But all in all, I was pleased with the results.

I realize that I have not been keeping up to date on my reading list, or my movie list. I still have not gotten around to learning how to add that feature to my side bar (did you read at the beginning of this post, about my being lazy?), so for now I'll just add it in my posts:

We have watched Zoom, with Tim Allen. We really enjoyed most of the movie, though the ending was disappointing. Not so much the story as the fact that it seemed that Tim Allen decided to just stop acting at the end. It made you stop and go Huh? What happened? It bothered the boys much less than it bothered me and Chris.

We also watched Flushed Away, the CG animation about rats. It was really pretty cute, on the level with Wallace and Gromit to a point. There were a lot of jokes snuck in that you might miss the first time around, and went over the boys' heads, but were cute. And despite it being about the sewer and having singing slugs in it, was entertaining.

This week we watched the Ant Bully. Actually, the boys watched it, I never did get around to it. They liked it, Aimee rated it "cute" and Chris thought it was dull. I can't tell you more than that, sorry, LOL

Since we were together, Aimee and I rented a chick flick, Must Love Dogs. It was a good girls' movie. While I don't think there is really much chemistry between John Cusak and Diane Lane, I liked the story enough. I'm also still wondering how Cusak's character supported himself if he never sold any boats. Those materials aren't free.

On my bookshelf, or rather, from the library's, I have been reading some of Catherine Palmer's books. She wrote a series that I read last summer that I enjoyed, so I was looking forward to more of her writing. The first two were The Affectionate Adversary and The Bachelor's Bargain. Both are set in Regency England, and were ok. She is a Christian author, and I sometimes find it difficult to enjoy the plot and characters when they get bogged down with trying to sermonize from the pages. What I did like was that it is a series, so the characters from one book are found in the next, and she continues to develop them and reveal more about their lives. At the end of the second book, she advised rereading the books from the series I read last year, as she was going to include some of those characters in her next few books. I look forward to that.

Right now I'm reading Love's Proof, which centers around fictional members of Isaac Newton's extended family. Again, the sermonizing is distracting, although at least in this book it is actually part of the plot. I have to admit, my preference for novels would fall somewhere solidly in between the snow white purity of the Christian novels and the outright raunchiness of traditional romance novels. I find the heroines either fight their attraction to the point of irritation, or give in to it much too easily. Can't they think it without acting on it? Can't they *think* nasty thoughts even though they manage to control their tongue and not say them out loud? Oh well, someday Aimee and I are going to write our own romance novel, and it will be just the way we like it, LOL. And the heroine is going to be a short, well rounded (as opposed to tall and thin!) red head with blue eyes instead of the inevitable green, who is somewhat outspoken though not given to crusading for causes, and is intelligent but still enjoys a proper courting. It will, of course, take place in Scotland! LOL

Ok, I think I am finally caught up. I'll get those pictures uploaded soon!


Lisa said...

Same problem here. I write great posts in my head, just seems like too much trouble to actually type them.

Leeann said...

Hi Gretchen,

I was glad to see your post and that everyone seems to be getting well. Very good news! I agree with you, I am very eager for spring to come as well. I nearly froze to death in the wind and cold at my son's baseball game last night!
Looking forward to seeing the new pictures of Jacob!

Melanie said...

Glad to see you posting again. Can't wait to see the pics!