Friday, November 20, 2009

Okay, hmmm, let's catch up

The household has been sickly. Thankfully we have avoided the regurgitation form of sickly, but still ... it hasn't been fun.

We spent last weekend in Chicago. I can't remember if I have mentioned it here, but we will be moving there soon, and we went for a recon mission. We had a fantastic time. Busy, but fun and productive. And it sure is going to be different than the South.

The urchins and I drove all day Friday, listening to Anne of Avonlea. We all love that series. On the last trip we listened to Anne of Green Gables. We got to the hotel right at 5 pm, and we mostly took it easy that night. Swimming was on the bill, of course.

Saturday was the 'big' day, lots of going and doing. The only thing that we planned in advance for the day was to visit Legoland, but we ended up having a full and fun day. Sadly, I have no photos for any of our stops yet because the camera didn't care for the cord we have. Picky, picky.

We visited the Old Joliet Prison, which was featured in The Blues Brothers. Beautiful building, almost like a castle rising out of the city. That was just a short drive-by stop, but I think we will go back at some point.

Afterward, we drove to Ikea. Oh, I do believe that my Target love has been eclipsed by Ikea. I could have spent hours in there, but the urchins were waiting patiently for Legoland, so I kept it pretty short. I will return though. Oh yes I will.

Legoland was quite fun, although oddly enough the funnest part was the free play area in the cafe. I think we spent half of our time in that area. The sculpture areas were really cool, but, well, you can't play with those.

We saw Big Bowl, a Chinese/Thai restaurant, as we were walking through the parking lot toward Legoland. We knew the moment that we saw it that we would be eating there for dinner. And we did. We left Legoland around 6:30 -- prime dinner wait -- but the wait wasn't horrid, only about 30 minutes. I am SO glad we waited. The meal was fantastic, but the best thing on the menu for me was the ginger ale made with fresh ginger. Oh. my. word. It was fabulous!

Sunday was less fun and more business. We did neighborhood scouting and a bit of house hunting. We did locate a magic shop though, and Spyder spent a happy hour in there. The magic shop is also a party store, and Skeeter found a great cactus pinata that we will use for this year's 10th annual Christmas Eve fiesta. Ole!

The urchins and I left on Monday morning at 6:45. Spyder is attending meetings of a local IBM ring, and he had a meeting that night. So, bright and early, we were on the way.

And since Tuesday, we've been home sick. I suppose it was good that we had a great weekend!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I had planned to write a post about our weekend in the Chicago area, but alas, I have been catering to an icky-feeling Sassy today, so instead a reposting seems more appropriate. I'll tell you about the trip tomorrow. :)

Originally posted 2/2/06

Yesterday Sass was sick. She woke up at 4:15 am and said she needed to "frow up." We made it into the bathroom and waited for a few moments, but it never happened. After a bit, she decided it would be best for us to sit on the couch for a while. Personally, I wanted to go back to bed, but I could tell that she really did feel sickly.

We went to the living room, put on the Heffalump Movie, and cuddled up on the couch. Surprisingly, she didn't go back to sleep during Heffalump (she usually does when she's tired), and we moved on to Scooby Doo after Heffalump. Sass and Spyder have both become huge fans of the classic Scooby Doo cartoons recently, so Spyder heard Scooby and came running!

Skeeter left for work at 7:30, and the day continued pretty much the same way that it began. Sass took a nap from about 9:30 to 10:30. I was shocked that she didn't sleep longer since she had gotten up so early AND she was so sick. She had started out the day feeling tummy-sick, but it moved into sniffles and coughs. By the time she was up from her little nap, fever was added to the mix.

She and I spent most of the day cuddled together on the couch or in the rocker. And it was actually a pretty good day.

Years ago, before Sass was even born, I read an article in Mothering Magazine called "Mom Medicine: Offering up the Day to a Sick Child." It completely changed my outlook on "sick days." Instead of feeling upset and exasperated and annoyed that my to-dos are still undone, I offer a prayer of thanks that we have so many healthy days, and I welcome the excuse to do nothing except be with my child.

Last night, Spyder said, "Mom, today was a really good day." And his day was essentially the same as usual, so I think HIS day was better because MY day was less hectic. It's food for thought, anyway.

Today is beginning pretty much the same way as yesterday. Skeeter got up at 6:00; I got up at 6:30; Sass got up at 7:00. Skeeter left for work at 7:30. Sass and I are on the couch, watching Scooby Doo. Sadly, there are three errands that MUST be done today, but I think I can make them painless. :o)


Monday, November 16, 2009

Fun in the rain

We have had a rainy autumn. A very rainy autumn. At times we had to sneak visits outside between rain showers.

The urchins and I had planned to go to the zoo one day, and, well, we had rain. Of course. It wasn't cold, and it wasn't a huge storm, just rain and more rain. We decided to go anyway -- rain or not.

I admit, I was rather skeptical about the whole endeavor. Mostly because I don't like to have wet feet. That annoys me beyond measure.

We did skip the planned picnic, but other than that, it was exactly as we had intended. And we had a blast. In fact, it was probably our funnest time going through Cat Country. The normally lazing cats were up and ... frolicking. That's the best word I can use to describe it. We stood and watched JUST the tigers for nearly 45 minutes. They came into the water, right up to the viewing area and stared at the urchins, who were just behind the window. It truly was a bit disconcerting.

It rained pretty steadily for the first 20 minutes or so, then it tapered to a drizzle, then just to damp. If it had been cold, we would have skipped altogether, but we were all glad to be outside that day, rain and all. Sometimes it really is just as easy as taking the plunge and doing it anyway.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009


The urchins and I volunteer at our church food pantry at least once a week. And every single time we are there, it is such a humbling experience.

Now some of the people are stinky liars who are just there for the free stuff. We know that, and we can pretty much tell who they are before they ever open their stinky, lying mouths. And we do serve those stinky liars if they qualify based on income. But most don't fall into the stinky liar category. Most of them are there because they simply don't have another option.

Skeeter was unemployed for several months about 5 years ago. We went almost 6 months without a paycheck or insurance. We used our church food pantry twice during that time, and let me tell you, it was a tremendous blessing. The pantry challenge may be a game for me now, but at that time it was a necessity.

Recently our church's pantry has seen a significant increase in younger people, families with young children, who are there because of unemployment. And I have been there. I know how it feels to humble yourself and ask for help when you'd rather do anything but. And yet the rational part of you knows that if you've got food in the pantry, you can use food money to pay for other, just-as-important things like electricity and water and a place to live.

We also have the older people who are now getting by, barely, on Social Security. Some of those people have to ask me to write their special requests because they aren't even functionally literate. Some of them are just doing the best they can to take care of their grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

As I said, it's humbling. It's one thing to hear about people who are struggling; it's another to see it. And because of that, I do think it's important for us to be there, the urchins included. Learning to show caring to others is just as important as history or math -- and arguably more so.

Many food pantries are now overwhelmed with requests, ours included. During the upcoming holidays, I encourage you to think about setting aside an amount to give to a food pantry, even a small amount. You would be astonished at the amount of food that $5 can purchase from the food bank. You will be making a difference in someone's life. And you just might be showing God's grace to the stinky liars.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am totally stealing this

Kris at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers has an excellent post about her 30 Days of Gratitude. Nothing unusual; a lot of people do that in November. But read a little further down and look at the Gratitude Tree.

We focus on thankfulness at our house quite a bit, and each night at bedtime we all give our Yay of the Day, something excellent that happened that day. More than one is good too. On those really craptastic days where you want to throw in the towel, it's a good reminder to look for the little things that really DO matter. On the good days, it's easy to see how blessed we really are.

I love the added visual of the Gratitude Tree. The trio of hearing/reading/writing will plant that gratitude a little more firmly in their hearts. I am shamelessly stealing it for our house. Thanks, Kris!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today Skeeter and I celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Well, technically we won't celebrate today because he is away on a business trip. But 14 years ago today, we were married.

1. We were married in the church that I had attended since I was 5.

2. Everyone made fun of me because I wanted an opera selection as part of the music. I think everyone else hated it, but I loved that piece. Still do.

3. It rained horribly the night before, and I just knew, KNEW, that it was going to be a terrible mess at the church. The rain stopped in the early morning hours, and one of the men of the church was thoughtful enough to clear the tree debris from the parking lot. That was an incredible kindness that I have never forgotten.

4. I quit my job a week before the wedding. I moved from my city to stay with my parents, then after the wedding, I moved to Skeeter's city. It was a scary time for me.

5. Skeeter and I went to England for our honeymoon. It was fabulous.

6. One of Skeeter's groomsmen couldn't come to the wedding because his wife went into labor. I can always remember his son's birthday because of it.

7. The Michael saved the day and stepped in for the missing groomsman.

8. Skeeter was nervous and made one of the candles shoot into the air at the ceremony. Everyone in the church laughed, but he borrowed and lighter, relit the candle and we moved on. It's a great memory.

9. I wish my Nana had still been alive to be there.

10. Skeeter's cake had Mickey Mouse and equations that I still have no idea what they meant.

11. Skeeter's nephew was the ring bearer. The nephew is now in college.

12. I bought the gifts for the attendants at antique shops. My hometown's downtown area is filled with little antique shops, and I had fun looking for individual gifts.

13. I still think that potluck wedding receptions taste far better than catered. They may not be as pretty, but you can't argue with the flavor.

14. I would happily do it all over again.

Happy anniversary, honey!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For no particular reason

Thanks for all the welcomes. See, it's easy to forget how much I like doing this, and then once I begin again, I'm all, "I LOVE IT!" What can I say? I'm a complicated soul.

An example:

I had a few free minutes over the weekend, and I started cleaning out some old bookmarks. One of the bookmarks I found was a blog named I'm Just Sayin'. Shamefully, I don't remember bookmarking it, but of course I had to check it out, if only because Skeeter has been enamored of that phrase lately.

On the first page, I ran across this little jewel. Skim on past the rude peeps and get to the awesomeness of the dog. I laughed so hard that I woke MY dogs who were snoring nearby.

And then, for some unknown reason, I decided that I needed to get back to blogging. Because of a flatulent dog that I don't even know. Perhaps 'complicated' is an understatement.


Monday, November 09, 2009


So, yeah, it's been a while.  When I "take a break" from blogging, it's easy for me to forget how much I enjoy it.  I wonder why that is?  Like splashing in puddles ROCKS when you're a young thing and then it's as if you forget eventually.  So I'm making myself remember to splash in the bloggy puddles again.

I haven't really been reading OR writing in the last few months.  Um, should I be ashamed to mention that it's been so long that I didn't realize that Blogger had changed?  It's not a lack of things to mention, that's for certain.  I just don't take the time.  And in fact, I am making myself write now because it was a busy day and I'm just worn out.

Tonight we went to a farewell celebration.  The urchins take fencing, and their instructor's dog is dying.  The dog is 16 years old, and he has had a wonderful life.  He has been a real companion for his owner.  So fencing classes were canceled for this evening and the instructor hosted a celebration instead.  It was lovely. 

Afterward, we met The Michael at the pizza cafe for dinner, which is slightly amusing because last week at this time I was swearing that I didn't want to eat pizza again for a year.  We had been in Chicago for a week, and I think we ate pizza every day for that entire week.  Next time, I am going to have to make sure to branch out a bit.

And perhaps tomorrow I will schedule time to write a post before the day has gotten the better of me.