Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not sure what this post is going to be about

I'm finding myself with a rare morning on the 'real computer' as opposed to the ipod, so I thought I'd see what I could do.

I'm really trying to savour Advent this year and keep the Christmas season from flying by! We have an Advent craft that we hope to do today and maybe I'll even manage to get some pictures of it on here.

Our house is about 3/4 decorated. Since we've changed rooms around we've changed the placement of trees as well. The real tree is in the window in the front room (we got it last night, no lights or decorations yet) the artificial tree is in the family room where the real one used to go, it is pre-lit, but still no ornaments. I really wanted wanted to use some of the old fashioned colored lights outside this year (sort of a retro look). We bought some and Mike and Jonathan decorated a board with green garland and big old lights, it is over half of our garage. We have the stuff for the other half, but that probably won't make an appearance until the weekend. So basically right now our house looks like a game of "what's missing here?"

On the night before Thanksgiving Jonathan was finishing up his English semester final exam when he got booted off and locked out of the test. Tech support was no help and he had to wait until yesterday morning to talk to the teacher. Thankfully she was able to retrieve it, but it was a lesson in handling frustration when things are out of your control.

I changed my background color to "Christmas this up a bit".

When the kids' Theatre moves to their new venue in January they will have two separate classes because the first one filled up very quickly. Finally the word is out about the best Theatre in the area. The disappointing part is that most of the kids' closest friends are moving to the other class. The new class is on Mon and Wed and Madi has Church Choir on Mon (and CCD on Wed). Madi is really thriving in choir this year so there is no giving that up. She was the "cantor" for the 9:30 Mass the week before last and she was fantastic. It was hard for me not to stand up and clap when she was done (it was a prayer after all-- the 122nd psalm).

Mickey is really a fun addition to our family. He is loving the fenced yard. We are doing fine at keeping the house smelling yummy (I often have people say our house smells good, so I'm trying to keep that reputation, not to mention I personally enjoy yummy smells and dog smell isn't one that I'm a big fan of...I do like skunk, but that's another story). Anyway our house still smells good, but the kitchen floor is pretty gross! We really have to keep up with sweeping and vacuuming everyday. Besides the shedding, Mickey brings in a ton of sand because of our nonexistent back lawn. The five second rule is not really in play at the moment.

Madi has a lowgrade fever this morning. We're dosing her with vitamin D and Silver Shield and we'll see what comes of it. She's supposed to have dress rehearsal today for this weekend's Christmas Cabaret. I'm letting her lay low this morning. She's gone camping with the Brady's and watched Greg and Marcia campaign against each other for student body president.

Can you believe it has taken me three years to finally use blogger's spell check? Let's see if you notice a difference.

Jake is next to me "casting" his show of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat.

I'm sure there is a lot more I could say, but I'm not feeling the creativity at the moment so I guess it's time to start cracking the school whip.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Quick Thanksgiving post

It's Thanksgiving night and I'm getting my first chance to check blogs all week, I figured I'd do a quick post as well. We are at my parents' house having a very calm and quiet evening. I'm not generally a big Thanksgiving napper, but today I really wanted one. It hasn't happened yet, but I think that means I'm going to go to bed early (like 8 or 8:30 early). I am TIIRED! My father is asleep on his bed and Mike is laying on another bed, my mother has been dozing, and the kids are watching Cake Boss. Mike and the kids and I delivered 41 Thanksgiving meals to shut-ins this morning. It was a great experience, something we've talked about doing for years. We will definitely do it again! We camped a few nights earlier in the week, and had a few quick trips to Disney, our passes are winding down and expire in a few weeks. We'd been hoping to get Universal passes next because the kids are chomping at the bit to get to Harry Potter World. It was looking like that won't be possible for a while, but Mike was talking to his brother who might be coming down in January and told him we would probably get the passes when he comes down, so we'll see...

Tomorrow is our 16th anniversary. Mike's been talking about early black Friday shopping, I think we will go, but not terribly early. The kids are performing in a "light up" show tomorrow evening (and another on Saturday) and then Mike and I have late dinner reservations in France (EPCOT) tomorrow night, so tomorrow is shaping up to be another typical full full day where we try to squeeze everything out of life. I better try to sleep while I can! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


I didn't sleep much last night. Mickey barked and woke my up around 1. He quieted down after that, but it took me a lot longer to settle down. He barked again around 2, at which point I got up to let him out (which involves me and a leash because the fence is almost done, but not quite). He was quiet after that but I could hear other dogs barking and howling in the distance (I'm sure that's what he was barking at in the first place). In the three (or is it four?) weeks we've had Mickey, he's only barked in the night twice, so don't worry Kirsten, we love him and aren't sending him back:)!

At 4:45 Mike's alarm went off. He is playing in a golf tournament today. Jonathan also had to get up at that terribly dark hour because today is his last day "on the set" of the movie he is a production assistant for. We didn't know the exact time Jonathan needed to be there though, so we were going with the time Mike had to pass by there on his way to golf. This worked for me because it meant not getting out of bed to take him. What didn't work for me was falling back to sleep though. Being the (sometimes) helicopter mother that I am, I had to stay awake to make sure when Mike and Jonathan got to the set that someone was there so he wouldn't be all alone in the dark of (still really) night.

When I say "last day on the set", I mean the last day they are filming locally and the last one Jonathan committed to. I am hearing rumors, however, that they'd love for him to continue helping them, but next week they are filming about 2 hours away. Maybe someone is able to drive him there one or two days, maybe they have room and board for the crew... These are things I've heard. Yikes! I'm not sure what we'll decide on all of this. He is LOVING this! It is right up his alley!! BUT... I miss him. Also, he is getting mixed messages from his on-line teachers about missing work this week. One teacher, who I love, thinks it is a fabulous opportunity and told him "Pleeeease...don't worry...try to do at least one or two assignments a week, but definitely take advantage of this fantastic opportunity!", but the two other teachers, who I'm not nearly as fond of said... "Please let me know how it goes and try to not let the glitz and glamour get in the way of you reaching your educaitonal goals,[the typo was hers not mine]" and "Please make sure you call me to take the oral portion. You are two weeks behind. You should be on 4.07 this Sunday. Here is a review for the oral test. Call me today, if possible." Yikes again! Parenting may get physically easier as the kids get older, but decision making gets exceedingly harder!! I have to point out that the teacher who didn't want the glitz and glamour to get in the way of his educational goals is his drivers' ed teacher! I mean you and I know safe driving is in deed one of the most important things a person needs to learn but it's not usually spoken of in terms of "educational goals", and as for the "glitz and glamour", he is not getting paid for this and he's been there everyday for between 10 and 14 hours sometimes with only a boxed ham sandwich lunch for compensation. The best part of this opportunity, aside from the fun he is having (and the fact that they are loving him so much) is that it will be a great resume and college application builder (how's that for helping the educational goals?) Not to mention this may truly be the career field he chooses, aren't educational goals only a means to an end (like a future) not the end itself?! On the other hand, the guy who seems to be Jonathan's biggest mentor this week told Mike that he will no longer be on the set as of next Wednesday because he is starting school here. This is the university that I've had in the back of my mind for Jonathan for a while. This guy just got out of the Navy and is going there on the GI bill. In all likelihood Jonathan will not be going anywhere on a GI bill so he (we) will depend on the Bright Futures Scholarship to help with his bill. Which brings us back to the need to kiss up to these teachers and do the work needed to get into college with Bright Futures and other scholarships. So now do you see why I can't sleep?!?

I am in a big de-cluttering mood, yet have no real energy or desire to act on it. While blog-hopping the other day I saw something about this book which is currently on hold for me at the library. On CD, so I could actually listen while de-cluttering, since I am all about multi-tasking anyway. However, I currently have three different books to read for three different upcoming bookclubs coming up in the very near future, so again, see why I can't sleep?

The cat is out of the bag and the kids ever moving Theatre company is moving to a great new location (after they do two final shows at an old but newly renovated location). They are without a doubt the best kids theatre around (and I don't say that just because my kids are in it), but for the past few years they've been relegated to performing in the poorest of locations. Not anymore! Watch out, there's not stoppin' 'em now!

I have been cruising through a large (industrial size?) box of hot chocolate since the weather has cooled off. There seems to be no stoppin' me either!

I had the privilege of hearing Pam Tebow speak last night. She was amazing. She talked a lot about "God stories" and it was kind of a God story how Mike and I ended up at this event last night. A few weeks ago I was glancing through a magazine and was reading an article about a family that did a lot for young single mothers and their babies. A thought crossed my mind that I should do that, and not two hours later we got a phone call inviting us to this event. We were given an opportunity to financially support this local organization which we did with a onetime gift. When it came to the part about supporting them on an ongoing basis. I indicated that I would like to offer the gift of my time (not that I have much of it, did you see my last post?) When Jonathan was a toddler, long long ago, I was a mentor for a teenage mother. When I signed up I thought "teenage mother" meant 18 or 19, but this girl had actually just turned 13!! Sadly I didn't keep in touch with her (I wonder if I could find her on facebook?), but just thinking about this I realized her daughter would now be older than she was when she had her!! (There's lots of YIKES in this post huh?)

Well Madi (the only one here besides me, Jake spent the night at a friend's house) is now up and so I guess it's time for me to start the day of reading and de-cluttering, and continuing to ponder all of these parenting (and volunteering) options that are before me.

Or maybe I'll just go back to bed!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Jonathan is a production assistant for a movie that is being filmed locally. Today is his second day "on the job". He loved it yesterday. I haven't heard from him all day today so far (he's been there since 6am), but Tiffany did call me mid-day to say she saw him when she was driving through town. I am thrilled for Jonathan that he has this opportunity! He will, I'm sure, not be able to keep up the "pace" of his virtual school classes this week (although I will nag him to do some when he finally does arrive home this evening), but this kind of opportunity is what homeschooling is all about. So far some of his biggest interests (career interests?) involve technology and the behind the scenes side of entertainment. What is more educational than getting a chance to try out what you might want to do when you grow up? This whole experience is very educational for me. It is reminding me that Jonathan is getting closer and closer everyday to the end of the growing up years. I'm trying really hard not to worry about if he's gotten to eat or had enough water to drink, if he's being helpful and seeing what needs to be done before someone asks (part of his "job"). This is another step along our homeschooling path, and I'm trying hard to "let go".

Yesterday, Jonathan's first day "on the job", Madi also had a job. She babysat for two sweet little girls for a few hours. Just another reminder that the intense homeschooling years are fading away. I've taught them, and will continue to teach them, but they are having more and more opportunities to go out there on their own to demonstrate to others things they have learned. As it looks right now, Jonathan will very likely do something related to technology and entertainment and Madi will very likely do something with young children. It's pretty exciting (and terrifying) that they are already forging their way in the world.

The days are flying way too fast. I think I may have blogged this already, but it seems to be the theme of my year. Gone are the days of young children, the days that seemed endless, the days where it seemed 6:00 (or 7:00) {and Mike's arrival home} would never come. Now the days and weeks fly by us and we have so much more we want to do. I'm so afraid that the months and years are doing the same. Not only are Jonathan and Madi on the backend of homeschooling, but I'm more than half way done as well. Yikes! I'm glad they have some ideas about what they want to do when they grow up, but I have no idea what I am going to do!!

Just a few years ago this was a hands on 24 hour a day 7 day a week job. Now it is most definitely still mentally 24/7, but not so much hands on anymore. I can go to the gym when I want to. I don't have to take everyone with me to appointments or the store. This weekend Mike and I have some dates coming up (a banquet for a pregnancy counseling center and a 50th birthday party for a client of Mike's) that don't sound nearly as exciting as they would've a few years ago, when I could barely get a chance to go to the bathroom by myself. I like it when we are all home together. I want to savor those times. I've noticed lately that I often use the term "I can't wait"... (ie bookclub coming up..."see you then, can't wait", the impending Christmas season... "can't wait", a summer vacation..."can't wait"), but really I thought about it the other day, and I CAN wait! I WANT to wait. I can't forsee anything, no matter how great it might be, that is worth rushing the time we have right now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tagged again!

I was tagged again, this time by Cindy with new questions. At this point I'm still not playing the right way and making up new questions and tagging new people, but I will bless you by sharing my answers with you, dear readers...

1. What is your favorite type of music?
Almost all kinds, it depends on my mood. My favorite Pandora station is still "Train radio", at the gym lately I tend toward Abba on my ipod, I am and always will be a huge fan on 80's music (as are my kids... they just pooled birthday money to buy Rock Band 3 for the Wii and their latest favorites are Power of Love by Huey Lewis, FFFoolin' by Def Leppard, and I Love Rock n Roll by Joan Jet.), we generally have Z-88 (Christian music) on in the car, but when I'm alone I often go back to my old favorite 107.7 (is that 70s, 80s, and today?), Mike got me on a country kick for about 10 years but we've been off of that as of late, and...I am so excited about the upcoming season of another favorite type of music...Christmas music!!!

2. What parenting advice would you give to a new mom?
Meeting a baby's many needs is not and will never be spoiling them!

3. What is your favorite holiday?
Question 1 should give you a clue...Christmas of course!!!

4. What is your favorite memory from childhood?
The favorite that comes to mind is our family trip to California when I was 12. Every year on April 8, I still remember that as the day we left on that trip (in 1982!) Because Cindy tagged me with this, I will also say that I remember going to her house as a kindergartener or first grader and eating mini milky ways. (We took dancing lessons together then and went to the same school-- though not in the same class, but then I moved away. I moved back to the same area in high school and we "met again" (on January 8, 1986)).

5. What is your favorite movie?
Soo many, Grease, When Harry Met Sally, Toy Story 3 (and most pixar movies), The Notebook, Bridges of Madison County, and it is also getting to be the time for perhaps my all time favorite...It's a Wonderful Life!

6. If you could travel anywhere, money not being an issue, where would you go?
If money were not an issue I'd go to tons of places! Every state in the US (I plan to visit every one at some point) (Especially California, Alaska, and Hawaii), Europe, Australia, lots of cruises, and many more places!!

7. What type of books do you like to read?
Books about life and love and realtic people, as well as books that challenge me to be a better version of myself.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween/ All Saints Day

We are moving in SSSlllooowww motion around here today. I guess it's sort of like a half-day of school. Jake did three days worth of spelling today and he and I finished the chapter book that we've been reading aloud for months (don't worry we've read other stuff in between), now he's outside playing with the neighbors (because in the rest of the world school is over for the day anyway)...good enough! Madi's done a pretty good amount of work, maybe 3/4 of a day, she did however fall asleep in the middle of it. Jonathan has worked a fair amount on virtual school stuff, so I think we can safely pack it in. We had our traditional trick-or-treating hayride with friends last night, always a ton of fun! Then we went on to the traditional Halloween party with other friends. The kids slept over there, but I use the term slept rather loosely, I suspect that more candy and less sleep than is optimal for growing kids occurred over there last night, but who I am to mess with our traditions?

Speaking of traditions, today is All Saints Day. I copied and pasted the following about the saints because it is often one of the most misunderstood aspects of Catholicism.

The Communion of Saints
Like all Christians, Catholics believe in life after death. Those who have lived good lives and died in the faith of Christ will, as the Bible tells us, share in his resurrection.

While we live together on earth as Christians, we are in communion, or unity, with one another. But that communion doesn’t end when one of us dies. We believe that Christians in heaven, the saints, remain in communion with those of us on earth.

So, just as we might ask a friend or family member to pray for us, we can approach a saint with our prayers, too.

You can also read more about All Saints Day here and here.

We've always been big celebrators of Halloween. Candy and costumes, what's not to love? It would be great to have the kids actually dress up like saints, but so far that's not part of our family tradition. We generally don't dress very scary, with the exception of Jonathan's Darth Maul last year. I lived almost 30 years before I even knew that some conservative Christians didn't "do Halloween". It's taken me another 10 years to realize there are even some Catholics among this group. Madi did inform me today, however, that kids from one of the most conservative Catholic families that I know were dressing up last night as a vampire and Taylor Swift, so I'm pretty sure what we do is just fine.

In case you can't tell Jake was Paul Revere (he was annoyed that a lot of people mistook him for a pirate), Madi was a maid (she was going to be a kangaroo, but that costume got stolen--not from us, long story), and Jonathan was a scarecrow. Notice the banana, the latest member of our household, Mickey.

On the hayride...

The morning after...I don't think I need to point out that Jake apparently slept in his costume!

Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God,
today we rejoice in the holy men and women
of every time and place.
May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Liturgy of the Hours