November 30, 2006

Thursday, not a whole lot going on. School went well this morning with the kids. Morgan is almost finished with Math-U-See Alpha and will be moving on to Beta. Alex is moving along at a great pace for a 5 year old. The numbers seem to come pretty naturally to him. For Morgan it is the processes but not the actual computation that comes naturally. We also covered history and science and Morgan did more art. They both did some reading today as well.

I have to share with you something I found. The link was at the top of the page when I was reading email on my gmail account. It is Little Democrats and I love it! I had to share with friends.

The storm that has been moving through the midwest is hitting TN but we aren't getting any of the snow. Just the cold and the rain. You should hear the wind howling outside right now. We watched the rain for a bit and it was just pouring... too bad it isn't snow. ;-) The kids would love it.

Tomorrow morning Mom, Morgan and I are heading out for part of the day. We are going shopping. :-) Our high on Thurs was 74 degrees....the high for Fri is supposed to 38!! Hello...that is a 36 degree drop!! Winter is coming, winter is coming!

November 29, 2006

Sunday evening we watched Akeelah and the Bee. Morgan watched it with us and we all thought it was a great movie. Recovery day was nice. ;-)

Monday, Corey had the first half of the day off so we all got some things done around the house. After lunch he went back to work (and it hit him like gangbusters!) and the kids and I got down to some school business. Morgan had her dance classes in the evening and Corey got the grocery shopping done. Alex and Kelly hung out and then made waffles for dinner.

Tuesday came early for Corey as he had a change to push throught at 6:15am...yuck. The kids and I took care of school business and then had plenty of play time. As soon as Corey was done with work we headed out of the house for an early dinner since Morgan had a Yule ball decorating committee meeting to attend. We had pizza so the kids could use their Book-It certificates before the month was out. They thought it was really cool that they each got their own pizza. LOL!

Today...another early one for Corey (6:15am again). Double yuck in that he isn't feeling good and didn't sleep well. Morgan slept until 9am! I got worried and had to tiptoe upstairs to check on her. My goodness she hasn't slept late in a long time. She wasn't feeling the greatest either, sounded stuffy & slightly congested, so no park day for us today...even with nice temps & weather. Bummer. We took it easy on the school front today...making paper lanterns for the Yule ball was art, some educational tv & computer time, lots of reading and conflict resolution with each other.

Tonight Corey and I watched An Inconvenient Truth . Great job on the movie....and such an important message that has to get out there. Actually the message is out there and has been out there but for some reason (denial??) people just refuse to get it. And it is a refusal and it is costing us all dearly...and the ones that will pay the most are our children & their children. I don't understand how our government...for years and years now...has just ignored this. Has actually put things into place to help make it worse (not even "just" ignoring it). WHY our country won't cut emissions...oh wait...the pockets that are lined with OIL PROFITS...that's why!! Ok, hello to all the *normal* *average* American citizens out there...not the independently wealthy, rich off daddy's money & his investments & connections with the oil companies...wake up! It doesn't matter where you stand on any other issue...if we have no Planet Earth left...the rest doesn't matter. You can't take it with you honey and it won't do your kids any good while they cook with 200 degree temps in the summer time with no drinking water. The number of places that will no longer exist when the sea level rises...umm...FL are you paying attention? Manhattan anyone? CA?? New will cease to exist again (permanent this time). everyone out there doing what they can? Are you taking steps in your every day life to HELP?? There are so many little things we can do, that if everyone would do them or some of them, it would make a huge impact. A good site to check out is Stop Global Warming . If you have children you should be doing something every day to help save the Earth for them. If you don't have children yet you should be doing something every day to help save the Earth for future children. If you don't plan on having children you should be doing something every day to help save the Earth for your future, and the future of your neices and nephews, cousins, friends' children, and all those that will be here after you are gone.

We only have 1 planet and we are "single-handedly" destroying it as quickly as we can. We've got to stop and shift into reverse. I'm only 38 (for another 10 days) and in my lifetime there could be (being realistic) horrific changes and consequences to what we (humans) have done that it is very scary. It is all about natural consequences folks.

November 26, 2006

Stuffed! I think that about covers the past couple of days. LOL! Seriously, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and we got to celebrate several times with sooo many family members and friends. We are truly blessed. We did miss our family and friends that we could not be with and haven't seen in a while (since the move, or even before). You were all in our hearts.

On Thursday we had over GC (Kelly's mom), Michael (Kelly's brother), Tish (brother's girlfriend), Ray & Kat (friends) and with the 4 of us that makes 9. Everyone brought yummy dishes to share and we had a wonderful time. I didn't get ANY pictures of the first Thanksgiving in our new house...can you believe it?? I think my brother took some so I'll have to see if he will share them with me. Ooooh brother...can you spare a square? picture that is. ;-)

On Friday we headed over to Tullahoma (about 1.5 hrs east of us) to Corey's stepbrother's home. John & Jodi were hosting a Thanksgiving meal at their house. There was a whole slew of family there too. :-) John & Jodi and their kids Patrick, Arika and Patrick's girlfriend, Amber. Corey's other stepbrother, T.J. was there as well with his 3 boys, Ryan, Marcus and Matthew. Unfortunately, his wife was sick at home so we didn't get to see her. We hope she is feeling better soon!! They also had some friends over to join in the celebration...Jennifer & JC & their 18mo son, Andrew. JC just returned home after 1 year in Iraq! I thought it was a nice way to spend Thanksgiving and definitely gave us all something to be thankful for...his service to the citizens of our country, the fact that he survived and arrived home healthy & safe when so many of the men & women serving our country will never return home to their families or return home so damaged that life will never, ever be the same for them or their families.

Johnathon, Corey & TJ with Morgan, Arika and Alex

On Saturday my aunt and cousin were able to come to our house for a nice visit. I was so glad that they were able to come over and that they were able to stay for so long...gave us a good visit! Lots of talking & laughing & talking about old & new times. :-) My cousin's husband had to stay home in Atlanta because he was sick. Hope you are feeling better Stefan!! The kids were asking about you. :-) Alexa is the history buff in our family and she's now a high school teacher. Morgan & Alexa were like pea pods, I tell ya. My history buff girl loves having another history buff in the family...after having to deal with her science & math parents. LOL! Several hours into our visiting my mom managed to swing by & she got to visit a little while too.

Kelly, Michael, and Alexa - these dimples are a Claremont gene!
Today is recovery day as Corey put it. We hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend with their family & friends.

November 23, 2006

The house is clean, the turkey has been thawed out, and we are ready for company tomorrow! Yesterday was a difficult one with the children, we had a lot of errands to run & then Morgan had a meeting for the Yule Ball decorating committee with her HP Club. I am getting frustrated with one of my projects. I need flax seed (not for human consumption) and I've called every farming supply, livestock feed store, farmers co-op around & 1 place finally said they had some but when we got there they couldn't find it so we have to check back Monday or next Friday. Ugh! Corey got me a little bit from the organic section of the grocery store. It isn't cheap and I don't want to have to buy it all there. Getting it from the farm co-op would be MUCH cheaper and I could get it in bulk. *sigh* I can get it a little less expensive through our local organic co-op so that option is still available. We shall see.

Today we cleaned the house, baked the sweet potatoes for the casserole, brought Parker Bunny up to spend time with us in the living room while Corey cleaned his area, and then headed to the movies with the kids. We saw Happy Feet. It was so cute and Alex couldn't stop dancing in his seat & in the aisle. Thankfully the theatre was almost empty so it was no biggie that he was up dancing around. Morgan, Corey and I want the soundtrack. LOL!

We will be eating about 3pm tomorrow, going to Tullahoma on Friday, and hopefully visiting with my Aunt Ilene, cousin Alexa and her hubby, Stefan on Saturday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Remember to think of all the things & people in your life that you are thankful for.

November 18, 2006

We made it! We got through our week and we had a great time. Everything went well. On Thursday Morgan and I started working on her edible book project. She did great working with the fondant and shaping & frosting the sugar cookie part. And Thursday was *relaxing* day. LOL! It was the only day we didn't have to be somewhere. It was nice. On Friday we made the rice krispy part of her project and made an extra batch to take to her performance reception. This leads to the actual performance. It was great!! The kids all did a spectacular job and the show went great (both performances). Having been a part of the whole thing and taking Morgan to class every week I didn't think about how quickly this really was pulled together. But as part of the introduction, her teacher explained to the audience that the kids had 12 weeks...1 hour of class each week to learn this & get it all together. Really hits home when you think about 12 hours of practice...together...and it turned out so well. Here is a picture of Morgan & the other 2 Ice Sprites (Morgan is in the middle).

Today was the Edible Book contest at the library. We finished up her project this morning by putting the final touches on the Earth (had to add the continents). We took it up to the library and then headed to Lowe's to help pass the time. Corey discovered a few spots around our French doors that were letting in cold air. Not good! So we grabbed some weather stripping. Then we headed back to the library for the judging results. Unfortunately Morgan didn't win & she was disappointed & sad but got over it. She received a certificate for participating and got points in the HP Club for entering. Here she is with her project.

November 15, 2006

Hump Day in a busy week! :-) We have joined an organic co-op (get everything from places like Wild Oats & more) and went to our first delivery. You must attend a delivery & distribution day once before you can officially start making orders. We picked up some whole wheat flour & some speciality organic choc bars while there. The chocolate is amazing!! We got milk chocolate with chai and dark chocolate & chili peppers. Both yum! It took a little while because the truck was a little late and then we have to open all the cases, divide everything up based on all the orders and then check out. Morgan was a big help & had fun too. While waiting for the truck we got to meander around the mall. Our delivery takes place at The Factory @ Franklin . It is a neat place. So after that Morgan & I managed to get home with just seconds to get her ready for dance class & managed to get here there only 3 minutes late. LOL! *PHEW*
Amazingly enough we had been able to get some homeschooling done in the morning. Yesterday school went good, got some needed things done around the house and then got Morgan off to her Harry Potter Club meeting at the library. They were doing Japanese culture this month and got to try their hand at drawing anime style, traditional Japanese writing, using chopsticks, and origami. The kids all had a blast. Today was the last musical theatre class and it ran long since they wanted to get everything set for the performances on Friday night. I haven't seen any of their practices so I can't wait to see the show! Tomorrow we will start working on Morgan's edible book entry. She has picked Dear Children of the Earth: A Letter from Home . I am really curious to see how our vision turns out. Then Friday we have to get up to Nashville early because traffic will be horrible around the time we need to be there. Morgan has to be there by 5 p.m. and the performances are at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. I'll take pictures! Then on Saturday we have to take the edible book entry to the library for judging.

I know this might not be busy for a lot of people but it is busy for us. LOL! We don't usually have this much running around & things planned each week. Next week is Thanksgiving and we are hosting. Yea!! I think it will be fun and I'm not stressed about it. We will also be doing some visiting the days following Thanksgiving so that will be fun.

November 10, 2006

Poor Corey is just mentally wiped out. He's been working on a very important project at work. This project going smoothly is a must and is the ground floor for a few other projects (read lots of work for the future) very stressful. It has been behind some and they are finally getting some issues worked out. It goes "live" next weekend. He has had meetings booked back-to-back, no breaks, for several days and there is more of the same until this project is up & running. So my sweet hubby is just wiped.

Late this afternoon we headed up into Nashville to meet up with my mom and brother at Opry Mills. We wandered around & did a little shopping and then headed out to dinner. We were going to try a place where a friend of my brother is the chef. Turns out the place is a bar & grill which isn't bad in itself but there was no division of the smoking & non-smoking was a small place & all open and when we walked in we were all gagging. Well, with 2 kids and 1 adult with asthma there was just noooo way we were staying there. So we ended up wandering over to Cracker Barrel, waiting a couple weeks to be seated & get food, and finally got to eat dinner. The kids were good, we had lots of time to chat, so it all worked out just fine. On the way home we ran into a huge traffic snare due to construction on the interstate. They are putting up a new overpass or something so not only did they merge 4 lanes of traffic into 1 lane (plus had traffic merging onto the interstate right at that point) but then they would close the lane completely while the huge crane was lifting a piece of huge concrete slab into place. Oh my goodness...we discovered all of this as soon as it was too late for us to get off the interstate...of course!

Tomorrow we will be out & about some and then we have a busy week ahead of us. I'll check in.

November 9, 2006

I was uploading pictures from the digital camera and found a picture of Ashes. It was the last picture I took of her (and didn't know it at the time, of course). I put it up on the post about her death. We took the picture because she was curled up with a "bed buddy" (sock with rice in it that you can heat up in the microwave). The cold weather was really bothering her & she loved snuggling up with it & going to sleep.

Off to watch "Click" with Corey and Morgan.

Oh my goodness the changes that have come to pass within the past 24 hours. The Democrats have control of the House and the Senate now...breaking news on CNN as I type this that Webb has won the VA Senate race...and Rumsfeld has stepped down. Americans have truly spoken for a change and I sincerely hope that the President listens and doesn't continue on his selfish, narrow-minded path. We now have a female Speaker of the House....a woman is 3rd in line to the presidency. Wonderful steps for America.

I just have to say YEA for the U.S. :-)

November 7, 2006

Election Day! I am hoping that everyone exercised their right, and I feel responsibility, as an American citizen to vote. I am also hopeful that the citizens of our country are ready for a change. Something has to give in this country because the citizens...all of them, Democrat, Republican and other, are all being screwed to the wall by the current administration. It is sad that the rights of the citizens of this country are being sacrified without a second thought in the name of fear and "terrorism". We are being terrorized by the leaders of our country. They certainly are not doing the work of the American people. In Tennessee we had several offices to vote for and we also had a couple of amendments to vote for. Well, I'm sad to say that the citizens of this state voted to amend the state constitution with discrimination. I just find it difficult to swallow that anyone would want to insert discrimination of any kind into a constitution. Like there isn't enough out there. Ugh! Corey and I took the kids with us when we went to vote. Nothing like a little hands on social studies class. Alex was interested in the touch screen machine and Morgan was interested in how we were voting. She is very curious and talks to us a lot about why we vote, who we are voting (or voted for) and why we voted for them. We lean to the left and believe very much in making educated decisions and voting for the right person for the job. We love that she asks so many questions (and she can come up with some good ones) and hope that we can continue to foster this in her.

On the election & state of the country issue...I was sent a link to what I feel is an amazing documentary. It is an hour and 21 minutes but so worth it. I have to say that I felt disillusioned, disappointed and scared for our country but it also confirmed things that I had been thinking for quite a while. I think any issues with our elections & the voting process and our leaders does all of us a disservice. We can't be a democracy if the process has failed. How can anyone feel good about winning when there is a possibility of tampering or cheating? I personally wouldn't want to be a member of the "winning" party either. Anyway, here is the link
Hacking Democracy

On a different note...we've got Morgan ready for her musical theatre class performance. It is on Nov 17th and she is very excited. Her costume is done & so are the props. She knows her lines & songs very well. I worked on the program for the performance & think it turned out well. I'll deliver it to her teacher tomorrow so they can get it printed. They are doing 2 performances because there are more people coming to see it then there are seats. So next Friday evening they will do a performance at 5:30pm, have a little break, and do another at 7pm. I can't wait to see it. They are doing Hans Christian Anderson's Snow Queen by Kaye Umansky with Ana Sanderson.

We are still trying to decide what we want to do for her entry into the edible book contest. We are thinking of something to go with Children of the Earth, Remember by Schim Schimmel . Just beautiful pictures but we will have to see if I can figure out how to run with it. LOL! Other thoughts are "How to Eat Fried Worms" and some others.

November 4, 2006

The weekend is here and we have no plans. How can that be? LOL! It actually isn't a bad thing since we've had some busy weekends lately. I would like to go to Old Time Pottery over in Murfreesboro but Corey is still on pager so that is a bit far for him to go this weekend.

Paula Deen was in Nashville yesterday on a book signing visit and I really wanted to go. I would love to meet her but it just wasn't in the cards. The kids and I were still off from Ashes' death, Corey is on pager so can't go far, and I just couldn't leave the kids with him all day while he had to work with everyone not behaving right,etc. Soooo, I'll have to find another time & way to meet her.

Yesterday I heard a meow every time I closed the bathroom doors, but no kitty around. :-( Dinner was also weird last night because we had no kitty begging for food. We buried her near the deck & flower garden on Thursday evening. I woke up this morning wishing for one more kitty snuggle. I'm doing okay, better than I thought I would be based on how Thursday went.

We saw "Take the Lead" with Antonio Banderas....very good movie. We have "RV" to watch tonight or tomorrow. And at some point we will see my mom and brother. Mom had a long week at work plus busy weekends with us too so needs to do some organizing at home. My brother will be moving in with her over the next week.

November 2, 2006

In Memory of Ashes Larabie 11/02/06

At 9:15 this morning Ashes died peacefully with me stroking her forehead and letting her know how much she was loved. Late last night she had some kind of episode and wasn't able to stand up for more than a few seconds. Corey & I took turns holding her on our laps & keeping her warm with the bed buddy (has rice in it & you heat it in the micro...holds heat a long time). For a while she just snuggled & purred. About 12:30'ish she had a seizure of sorts while on my lap and after that wasn't focusing on anything with her eyes or responding to noises. We knew this was the end. We laid her down on a fleece blanket on the floor next to our bed & said good bye in case she didn't make it through the night. This morning she was still on the blanket and made her first pitiful (confused? scared?) meow/cry. We snuggled with her some more and called the vet. We told the kids the time had come to say good bye and Morgan asked to come with me. Corey offered to come but he had meetings that I didn't want to ask him to miss so he said good bye at home. The vet examined her and said it wasn't a stroke but he felt kidney failure and the toxins building up were causing everything else to shut down & causing neurological problems. He said he felt we had timed it just right based on what I said happened & when. He said she wasn't in pain but would be a very miserable kitty within a day if we had tried waiting it out. He said her symptoms resulting from the kidney failure were severe. Morgan said her good byes and decided she didn't want to be in the room when she received the injection. I stayed. It was honestly as peaceful as you could ask for. She was ready, my sweet baby kitty. A huge part of my life has been affected and a "era" is over. The decision itself wasn't hard. How could I let her suffer? What kind of mama would that be? But oh my goodness, it doesn't make it hurt any less. She was my first baby. I got her when she was 1 day old, bottle fed her, and was her mama. She was very much a member of our family. She will be remembered with love and happy memories. I had 18 wonderful years with her. She moved with me to Potsdam and gave Corey quite a fight before accepting him. Once she did though she bacame a "daddy's girl" and wrapped him around her paw. ;-) She adapted well each time we moved, including this last move to Tennessee. Pretty good for an old lady kitty. As she got older she became more and more the character. She took to "begging" when we ate and felt like she deserved the people food as much as we did. When we moved to the house & got a real dining table she quickly learned that it meant FOOD. If we sat down (even for games) she would wander over and meow to see if we had anything to share. She had a great, long life full of love and she gave as much as she received. She will be missed.