Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30

When I was a freshman in college, I received a phone call on this date that changed things. My friend from home, Jami, called to tell me that our mutual friend, Chuck, had been in a car accident. She didn't seem too worried about it, so I didn't worry. I talked to my mom later that night, and she had also heard about it and promised to keep me informed. Since I was in Virginia at the time, I relied on information from my friends and family. The news for a long time was that he was in a coma, but no one seemed too worried about it. I think we all assumed he was going to wake up. I went home for Christmas break and visited him in the hospital, and nothing changed. For quite a long time, I visited him in the hospital, but there was never an improvement. He changed hospitals, and his mom called and asked me to visit, because people had stopped going by, obviously myself included. I took another friend, Mark, with me, and we were able to walk him around in a wheelchair, but, while his eyes were open, and he sat upright, there was no indication that he was aware that we were there. His parents finally moved him to a long term care facility.

In June of 1990, I was now married, and my mom called. She had read in the newspaper that Chuck had died. His parents had a private service for him, and not very many people even knew that it had happened.

I am reminded of that time every year on this date. Chuck was my first really close friend to die. I still miss him. His mom and I still exchange Christmas cards, and I look forward to receiving hers every year.

This wasn't exactly the feel good post of the year. But I thought it was important to remember...because Chuck is remembered.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rivalry Day

We are running some errands early today so that we can get home to watch football. Actually, the boys are going to watch football. MK and I are going to see the movie Twilight. She read the book and has been eagerly anticipating the movie. Somehow I missed out on the book, so I will just have to put up with MK saying, "That's not how it was in the book." But I'm looking forward to an afternoon out with MK.

Right now we're on the road heading out to start our Christmas shopping. Yes, I know many people that are already finished, but we are just beginning. The Big Man managed to get an unheard of third Saturday off in a row, so MK is babysitting T. and we are going to see what we can accomplish without them.

And that's it. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!













Our day was quiet, but it turned out nicely. The Big Man went to work at 4 a.m., so the kids and I went there for a late breakfast. I ate something I haven't tried in 25+ years, because I never liked them...pancakes. MK ordered them and got me to try them, and they were wonderful! I always thought they were mushy and didn't like the syrup that we used, Log Cabin type. But these were a world apart from what I remembered. I may be eating breakfast 3 times a day.

We ate our dinner and are happily "miserable" (I stole the word miserable from Bridget...it is fitting.) We are watching the Eagles who are winning right now and ready to just settle in for the night. I talked to some good friends today and called my family this evening. They have a lot of company, so it was a hectic but fun call. I was so happy that my cousin's daughter answered the phone. I mentioned a few months ago that she had been diagnosed with cancer, but she has been responding well to her treatments and sounded bright and cheerful on the phone.

I hope the Eagles win, but more than that, I hope you had a great holiday and were able to spend it with people you care about! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And we're home

Turkey Creek was a lot of fun. It is a walking trail along the creek with some swimming areas along the way. The kids had a good time walking and exploring. Better than hearing it from me, here are some pictures!











































































































Guess who took this?



























































Good morning!

The Big Man is working today, and the kids and I haven't been doing much, so we're going to have an adventure. Here is where we're going. T. Willy went there on a field trip a few weeks ago, but MK and I have never been. It is chilly today, but that should be part of the fun. We won't be trying out the swimming area today but will check it out for the future. We're going to pack a picnic lunch and just explore. I'll be sure to take some pictures.

When we get home, we'll start some Thanksgiving baking. I have a couple of new things to try, but I'll be making my standard "Garlic-Rosemary Turkey." A girl I worked with in Roanoke, VA, in 1992, gave me the recipe, and it's been requested every year. Some years it's better than others, but it's usually pretty good.

I've written about our Christmas traditions, but we don't really have any specific Thanksgiving traditions. When I was growing up, we alternated houses with my dad's sister and her family near Washington, D.C. This year they're at my mom's house. I admit that I'm a bit sentimental about it. The last time I had Thanksgiving with my parents was when I was expecting MK - 1994! My memories are of the big meal, football watching, football playing, then leftovers at night while playing board games. The last few years, the Big Man's parents have been here. They weren't able to come over this year, but we'll still have a good time.

I hope you'll have a wonderful holiday and let me know how you plan to spend it!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not much to tell

The last couple of days have been quiet. The kids are glad to be out of school, but we haven't been doing much. I've been baking and making big breakfasts...both out of the ordinary for me. Breakfast for me usually means cold cereal, but for some reason I can't get enough hash browns and biscuits and eggs or French toast. I will be rolling around the house if this keeps up, but there's a breakfast casserole on the menu for tomorrow. I have been trying some of the recipes I found, and they have been appreciated. Here is a picture of MK and the "Lemon Drops." These are basically cupcakes with a lemon glaze and sugared cranberries on top. Dessert for us means chocolate 99.99% of the time, but I really wanted to try something different.












Thanksgiving is just about here. I cannot wait. I hope you have a wonderful time, wherever you are.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...well, you know.












Yes, I'm early, but it feels good to already have it up and ready. Here is a picture of the outside taken with my phone. I'm not sure how much you can tell, but it's an attempt to show you. I keep saying that I'm not going to turn the lights on until Friday, but I know at least one neighbor may not believe me. I've turned the lights on twice just to check them, and the same neighbor has been out at both times. But they really aren't on for good yet.

We had a quiet weekend, but everyone caught up on rest. I tried a couple of new recipes yesterday, and I'm eager to try more. We are off this week and hope to find some interesting ways to spend our time.

And, MK and I have picked out our Christmas movie. We saw a commercial today for The Tale of Despereaux. MK and I read the book and loved it, and the movie is animated and rated G, so it should amuse T. Willy. I love to go to the movies, but rarely get a chance to go, so I do plan this early.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 21, 2008

MK is home

She had a wonderful time. She had so many stories, and I'm sure she'll have more as she remembers things. Her favorite thing was the Hyundai plant. She said that she walked into one building, thinking it was huge, and realized it was the smallest of the several buildings there. It was a great experience for her, and although she was carefully monitored by chaperones, was able to feel a bit independent.

My day went well, but very different than expected. I was asked to go in to teach p.e. I was there for one p.e. class (which met outside at first....have I mentioned that it is COLD here?) During that class, the principal came in and said that the teacher I was replacing was coming back. She was scheduled to drive a bus for a field trip, but there was some miscommunication and they ended up with too many drivers. He said that one of the secretaries was out and asked if I would mind working in the office. No problem. Then, while waiting for the p.e. teacher to return, another p.e. teacher received a phone call. His child was sick and he needed to pick him up. So he went to the principal, asked if I could take his class, and it looked like I was staying in p.e. Then...if you're still with me, he didn't have to pick up his son, so it was back to the office for me. I met the principal as I was entering the office. Another change of plans! A teacher had been demonstrating a science experiment (how height affects speed) and was running at full speed and tripped and fell and it looked like he had broken his wrist. So I ended up in Science class. What fun school is on the day before a week long break! (Note some sarcasm there.) But it all ended well, and I learned several things. I am also hoping that all of this interaction is going to help the principal think of me favorably if he has future hiring to do.

The school where I worked this week is being closed and a new school has been built to replace it. We found out today that our neighborhood has been rezoned and MK would be attending the new school. She is so happy that she won't have to change schools during middle school. We know several people whose kids will have to change schools...not that it's a bad thing, because the new school is a bit closer to our house and it looks beautiful. All of the teachers and administration at the old school will just be moving to the new one, but surely they'll need to add some teachers, right? I am trying to be optimistic.

Chellie asked what we're doing for the holiday. We will be home. The Big Man is working until 3:00 or so, so the kids and I may go to his restaurant for a late breakfast, then we'll eat dinner when he gets home. I enjoy that, because I love to spend the day in the kitchen getting ready. My in-laws were in town for a few days, and my mother-in-law gave me a bunch of magazines with some recipes that I'm eager to try. So I'll let you know how it goes.

And we are going to do something tomorrow that we never do. We are going to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. The Big Man has an extremely rare 2nd Saturday in a row off of work before he starts a long stretch without any days off, so this is the best time for us to do it together. The cold weather has something to do with us all being in the Christmas spirit early this year. I think we have burned more fires this month than we did all of last fall/winter combined. It was so warm last year but has been really cold this year; yet no word of snow. I will continue to hope but not expect.

That's it for us. I hope you have a great weekend! I can't wait to hear about them!

I miss MK.

MK went on her overnight field trip to Montgomery, AL. She has been to a planetarium, some civil rights landmarks, and a Hyundai plant. She has sent us several texts and seems to be having a great time. I went to sleep early last nght and woke up to find two more texts. She was being annoyed by two of her roommates. She described herself and her best friend as the "moms" of the room. I hope she was able to get some sleep. Today she is going to the Shakespeare Festival then should be home in time for dinner.

T. Willy knew she would be away. The first thing he said when he woke up yesterday was, "I miss Maddie." I assured him that she wouldn't be gone long, and he accepted that.

This might make you laugh...I am subbing today in a p.e. class. This should be fun.

And no school next week for any of us; we can celebrate and sleep in!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brrrrrr

We spent some time this evening on the hammock watching for the Leonid meteor shower. We did not see any meteors, but we had a great time looking for them. It was freezing (well, 39, almost freezing,) but we bundled up in blankets. MK was hilarious. She really enjoys some time without T. Willy. She has a great sense of humor, and it really shines when she gets rolling.

MK is going on an overnight trip with her Social Studies class on Thursday. They will have a packed two days. They are going to a planetarium, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, a Civil Rights museum, and an auto plant. I can't wait to hear how it goes. She was given the "behavior lecture" tonight, so I think she's ready.

I am completely enjoying the cold weather. I sit on my front porch in the rocking chair and read, and I don't mind a bit. I love it! However, there was snow in Delaware today (and Virginia as I've now realized.) I am jealous!!! Mostly because they were able to see it snow, but it didn't stick, so they aren't having to deal with it. I just want to watch it snow, not drive in it.

And that's it for me tonight. I hope you have a great one!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good evening

Do you "hulu?" Hulu.com was recently introduced to me. It shows episodes of classic tv shows. I 'hulu' for one reason...Alfred Hitchcock Presents. It was broadcast in 30 minute or hour long episodes, and I cannot get enough. My brother introduced it to me when I was in high school, and it is just as good and creepy as I remember. So if you have been looking for yet another time waster, "Hulu!"

That's it for me. I sub again tomorrow, and that is the last I have scheduled. I'm hoping more dates will come up, but the job search continues. I found a job that sounded perfect for me, but it was 900 miles away. I'm afraid the commute would be a bit strenuous, so I'll keep looking around here.

Have a wonderful night!!!

Good morning!

The Big Man had a rare Saturday off, so we spent the day running errands and watching football and movies. T. Willy was very resistant to go out with us. He wanted to stay home and play and was quite upset to have to leave. He pouted for a little while then came up to me and said, "I changed my mind," and was fine after that. That truly is indicative of his easygoing personality. MK did not mind going, until she realized that we were leaving now, and she still had wet hair. The horror! Fortunately for her, we only ran into one friend, and she realized that it didn't matter what her hair looked like!!

So, that's about it for us. I hope you have a wonderful day, no matter how your hair looks!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Kite Runner

A friend of mine, an English teacher in a neighboring county, recommended the book The Kite Runner to me. I read it and have to say that it was one of the last books that I've read that I absolutely couldn't put down until I'd finished it. In our local newspaper today, there was an article about it. A concerned mother wants the book removed from her child's high school reading list. Incidentally, her child is not in the class that has the book on its list. MK and I were just talking about it last night. She asked if she could read it, and I told her that she wasn't ready yet; it was more high school appropriate. Now this article made me think. The concerned mother submitted a five page list of things she found objectionable. I admit, the reason that I would not want MK to read it now is due to a shocking crime depicted in the book. I would love to read the list, though, to see five pages of objections. So, I'm just curious if anyone out there has read the book, or heard about it, and what you might think.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maybe it's the moon

I was awoken at 4:30 to the sound of T. Willy crying. I went into his room and calmed him down by snuggling in his bed with him. He recovered quickly and asked for a drink of water. So I went into the kitchen, poured him a cup of water, walked it back to his room, and he was already sound asleep! I came back to bed, was almost asleep, and he cried out again. He only did it once, but I'm wide awake now. I need to be up in 45 minutes, so there is no point going back to sleep now.

Yesterday was an uneventful day. I gave a practice exam at the college. That class is winding down, and we are reviewing for their final quite a bit. T. Willy and I went to the library and on a grocery trip that I've been putting off. I was trying to get rid of everything that I could, but couldn't hear, "There is no food in this house," one more time. That was my signal to go. T and I enjoyed the most beautiful full moon while we were out, and I was able to get a book I've been waiting for, so it was a fun night after all.

I'm subbing today, so I may as well get up and start getting ready. I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Day for MK











MK had an orthodontist appointment today and they took off her expander. She is so happy! They sent it home with her as a keepsake, and she asked if we had a sledgehammer. Already her speech has improved. We really had trouble understanding her with it, and she already talks really fast, so that just compounded it. But now she is speaking clearly, and just has to deal with braces. Eating has been an issue with the expander too, so she got to pick dinner tonight. She chose Chinese, which was good for everyone.

So I'm going to sit down to recover from my MSG overload and watch the CMAs.

Have a great night!

Good morning

I found this video of T. Willy while looking through some old pictures. He's 2 years old in it. We couldn't stop watching it.


video

Monday, November 10, 2008

May I come to your house?

Well, I was thinking that earlier...things have calmed down now. Earlier we had three giggly teenaged girls and a very excited four year old running around. I was ready for a break. They were well behaved, just LOUD. I actually don't mind; I'm always glad to have MK's friends here. They helped with dinner and made tea (a big deal, if you knew the amount of tea that is consumed at our house. I don't drink it and am glad to relinquish the responsibility of making it.) One of the girls left, and one girl is spending the night because there is no school tomorrow. Do I dare dream that I can sleep till 7:00? I suspect I'll still be up and about around 6.

Subbing went well today. I had four Social Studies classes and a free period, then I had to take the last class to an assembly. It was a great day. The assembly was to honor our veterans, and it was really good. The band and chorus performed, and a few people spoke. One was a veteran of the Vietnam War, and he really personalized it. I hope the kids took it in. So thanks to all of the veterans out there for their duty and sacrifices.

And I'm off to watch football. I'm glad I don't care about either team, because the teams I do care about went 0-6 this weekend. It's much easier to enjoy the game when I won't be disappointed either way. I hope you have a great night!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sleep well

T. Willy certainly is. He has not adjusted to the time change yet. He is still getting up around 6 a.m. and fell asleep tonight at 7:00. We have to get up early tomorrow to go to school, so I won't mind if he gets up early.

We had a very nice weekend. Today I cleaned the house, made a real dinner, baked a cake, and did laundry! I don't exactly live on the edge, but it feels good to have accomplished so many things.

I leave you with a picture of T. Willy as he looked when he fell asleep watching MK play Rock Band tonight. I hope you have a great week!


Saturday, November 08, 2008

I love a parade

We had a good time at the parade today. It was much smaller than the Homecoming and Christmas parades, but it was still nice. We saw a lot of scouts and students all out to celebrate our veterans. We live in a military town, so we know a lot of veterans, young and old, and we were glad to show up and thank them for their service!

I am posting from the laptop in front of the fireplace. We are enjoying our first fire of the season, and it is very comforting. It's not really that cold; we also have the windows open. It is still enjoyable though. MK is at the fair, and we are watching football. It is definitely fall!

I will close with some silly pictures. We arrived at the parade early, so T. Willy and I had some time to kill. I was trying to get one decent picture of the two of us. I didn't succeed. But they're fun and reflect T. Willy's mood and my inadequacy gauging composition with my phone. The one in which he looks the most fed up was actually the first one that I took. I am also including one of T. in front of the fire in his cozy pajamas.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!! Good night!






Friday, November 07, 2008

Looking forward to tomorrow

We don't have any big plans, but we don't have to get up early. I am not an early riser by nature (see yesterday's post...no wonder.) But due to school schedules, I am up around 5:30 every weekday morning. I'm hoping T. sleeps until at least 7:00, but I'll probably be up by then anyway. MK has to march with the band in the Veteran's Day parade tomorrow afternoon, but that is our only obligation, and it doesn't require getting up early. She is going to a fair in town tomorrow night with a friend, so she will have a full day.

I'm subbing on Monday and Friday, so it should be a full week, but I don't teach Tuesday due to Veteran's Day. So I'll spend the day thanking our wonderful veterans and enjoying the day with the kids. I can't believe the semester is winding down already. We've been doing some practice exams to get the students ready for their final. It's a state exam with both a writing portion and an objective portion. I don't grade the writing, so I'm trying to prepare them as well as I can. It has been a lot of fun, but 8:00 classes are tough. I am wide awake, but most of the students aren't.

So, that's a little update. Have a wonderful night!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A chip off the old block

Before I had children, I wondered what characteristics my kids would have. At that time I thought about physical characteristics. I prayed for MK to have brown eyes, and she does! People usually say MK looks like I do, and I have even heard T. Willy referred to as "Little Erik." However, the behavioral things are what I notice more these days. MK is quick on her feet like her dad. She's funny and right there with the joke. T. Willy loves letters and words, just like his mom. MK has a real gift of empathy; she always thinks of others. Her dad is like that. I'm not, though I wish I were. But the thing that struck me tonight was sleep patterns. MK and I can stay up all night, as Melissa may remember. But when the Big Man and T. Willy are ready for sleep, it's time to sleep.

T. Willy's bedtime is 8:00 on school nights. I would do anything to avoid my bedtime as a kid. My mom had to stop giving me naps when I was 2, because I would want to stay up all night. I think I was afraid I might miss something. MK is very similar. When she went to her first slumber party, the parents told me that she was the last one to fall asleep. That happened several times after that. But T. Willy isn't like that at all. He likes to go to bed. Imagine my surprise tonight when he asked at 7:40, "Can I go to sleep now?" I'm not sure those words have ever come out of my mouth. I can tell you, it's very nice to have a child like that, but I can't relate.

So, T. Willy is tucked in bed for the night, and MK is going strong. I hope you have a good night, whatever your sleep patterns may be!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Pictures


















I love my phone

I am actually walking around my neighborhood posting from my phone. I haven't run into a car or garbage can yet, but there's still time!

I hurried home from school today to participate in a phone interview. It was the follow-up to an online interview I had completed awhile ago. I was told to prepare for it to take 20-30 minutes but it took 6 or 7. I'm not sure if it was because my answers were so cleverly put together and I was so quick on my feet, or it just took her a short time to decide I wasn't right for the job. Either way I should know in the next week or so. It is to teach some online English classes similar to what I'm teaching now. It's part time, but I could work from home, so I could design the schedule. I'm optimistic but not counting unhatched chickens.

Pictures will follow as soon as I get home. It's a beautiful afternoon. It has warmed up but the air still has a crispness to it. I hope your day is going well too!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's over.

And by that, I mean the election. Now let's move on.

Today was a good day. I taught, voted, went to the library and a bookstore. How lovely to have so many books! But that wasn't the best thing about the day. MK and I had the nicest afternoon we've had in a long time. She just sat on my bed while I ironed and we talked and talked. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. Rock Band 2 arrived, so we played that for awhile. I got a 100% on a Duran Duran song. Who knew? Then we went outside and built a fire in the fire pit. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and made smores. Then we sat by the fire and talked until there were just a few coals left. It was cool outside, and a great night to just sit outside and talk. T. Willy did get a little bored, but he was a great sport and was worn out, because he fell asleep on the Big Man's lap. I will post pictures soon, but their quality will be a bit lacking. Most were taken with my phone and light was at a minimum. But it was a good family night.

I'm subbing at MK's school tomorrow...7th grade English, my favorite! So I'd better get to bed. Have a wonderful night!

Monday, November 03, 2008

See you at the poll

I have absolute convictions, but my blog has never been a political forum, nor is it going to be now. I will exercise my right to vote tomorrow, and I will choose the candidate of my choice. Because that is what my vote is...my choice. I will base it on what I feel strongly about, and I will vote for the candidate that I feel is best suited for the job. And if my candidate of choice doesn't win, I will move on. If I have any quibble with politics, it is that people have lost the ability to 'agree to disagree.' If you don't agree with me, we can still be friends. There are so many things that divide us; this shouldn't be one of them.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November

It is now my favorite time of year. The holidays are coming but not soon enough to overwhelm. It's cool outside, and this year has seemed cooler than most in recent memory. It is just a wonderful time.

Not much is going on. The Big Man has to work today, so I need to find something for the kids to do. I'm thinking a trip to the park sounds like fun. There is a park in our neighborhood that is close enough to walk to, or for T.Willy to ride to in the wagon. There is a pretty big hill, but I could use the workout.

That's it. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The day after

We met up with some friends and had a great time trick or treating last night. MK didn't really get candy, but brought a friend and they were a big help with T. Willy. We walked with his friend, D, and a new friend, K. However, when they got tired, T. Willy wouldn't ride in the wagon with K., because she is a girl, I guess. Maybe it was just because he didn't know her well. But they all had a good time, and came home with a lot of candy. I'm not sure how the honor system worked with the candy, but the candy was gone and our bowl remained, so I'm hoping the first people there didn't take the entire stash.

T. Willy hamming it up.

















T. with friends, D and K.
















T. Willy and Mk.

















Mk's costume idea was a little light this year. She got this from the Addams Family movie.


And that was our night. Have a great day! And Happy November!