January 29, 2007

It is COLD in middle Tennessee! Finally. ;-) LOL! Still no snow but maaaaaaaan it could if we would just get some precipitation. Alex still has his cold but it is still all nasal & postnasal drip stuff so no worries. Thankfully not affecting his asthma. Our forecast is calling for some snow on Thursday &/or Friday so we shall see. I've become quite the skeptic as far as snow is concerned around here.

On Friday, my mom and I drove Morgan up to Nashville so she could spend the night with her friends, Tayler & Autumn. They are sisters and the 3 girls together get along like peas in a pod. Mom and I then had lunch at Puckett's (where my brother used to work) and had some yummo sweet 'tater fries. We then did some errands for her. We had our black bean burgers for dinner but still don't have the consistency right so I'm searching for other recipes to see what we can do to tweak this one. We love the flavor...just need to get them a smidge sturdier. Corey and I had a nice night with Alex. I think he enjoyed his "only child" time with mom and dad.

Saturday we got the dishwasher problem resolved. Yea!! Corey and I had tried working on it again but it was still dripping & we weren't happy with that. My brother got it all fixed up and completed the install. The sweetheart is refusing any form of payment though...ugh. I'll have to think of *something*. He and Corey took measurements for our backyard fence too. While outside they ended up chatting with the neighbor directly behind us. It was good chatting and he said we should tie into the back corner of his fence so we don't have double fencing & wasted money,etc. He gave us tips on digging the post holes (severely rocky ground here). We also discovered that one of the triops had died so I removed it from the container...down to 2 (1 big and 1 small). Morgan came home late in the afternoon, worn out. The girls had all stayed up until 1:30am and then woke up for the day at 6:30am! Egads. All 3 had fallen asleep in the car on the way to bring Morgan home. LOL! We then headed to my mom's to meet up and drive together to my brother's house for dinner. We had some wonderful turkey sloppy joe's for dinner and a kickbutt bonfire afterwards. We brought 'smore makings so we had a good ole camp fire night. The kids had never roasted marshmallows over a fire before! My mom had a great time too. They were calling for snow but all we witnessed was a drop in temp and a wicked wind chill with the wind blasting us...just as the fire was dying down. Good time to head back indoors.

Sunday was an icy cold day here...no ice or snow but it felt like it. We wanted out of the house but not out in the cold so we took the kids to see Arthur and the Invisibles. It was a very cute movie. The kids enjoyed it and Corey & I got a kick out of all the references to other movies. Corey and I watched Walk the Line last night and enjoyed that as well.

This morning Morgan discovered that the smaller triop was missing and said the big one must have eaten him. I was still in bed when she was telling me this...she was getting their breakfast ready. Then I hear "Mom, what did the other big one look like when it was dead?? This one is creamy-gray and is just sitting there." Well...they don't just sit there, they zoom all over the place and they breath through their tiny feet & you can see them constantly fluttering....plus the bigger ones had taken on an orange tint...so creamy-gray isn't good either. Being a good mom I got up to come check it and let her know this one was dead too. She was sad for a second and then said "Sorry you are dead" and flushed him down the toilet. We will try again when the weather is warmer. We think the lower temps just stressed them too much. They were 3 weeks old and they only (normally) live 30-90 days. So we didn't do too horribly considering our water was always cooler than it was supposed to be. Alex was feel well enough to get some school work done so I got him caught up in history and language arts. He did some reading with me, writing and some math as well. Morgan wrote a letter to a friend in Tampa, reviewed history with us, did some reading on her own, her math, and language arts. Then we made some Phoenician bread (pita bread but a little crispier). It was one of the activities from the current history unit they are studying. It turned out really well and was easy. We will have to make some again.

January 25, 2007

Sniffle, snuffle, cough, cough...that is what we've been hearing in our house for a couple days. Morgan just has the sniffles and they don't seem too bad for her. Alex has a regular cold I think and while he's not miserable he isn't quite himself. It mostly affects his sleeping. We are just having him take it easy until he feels better. All of us seem to be dragging a bit but we aren't sure if it a case of winter duldrums, situation blahs, coming down with something...or a combination of all of these.

We are in the middle of dishwasher drama. We received a call on Tuesday that our dishwasher would be delivered on Wednesday between 8a-12p. So we called the warranty company to let them know so they could have someone out to install it. They told us they couldn't schedule anyone until after the dishwasher was delivered so to call them once we had it. Ugh. So 8:30am Wednesday the dishwasher was delivered to us and the big ole box was put in our living room. We called the home warranty company and they said they would get back with us to let us know who would be coming out & when. Well, when they called us back it was to let us know that Sears (who came out for the original service call) doesn't do installations and they have no contractors in our area so they will send us a check for $70 and we will have to get someone to install it ourselves. Egads!! What a load of crap...did they not know this when they covered us? When we called for the service call? Why give us the option of them picking the dishwasher & having it delivered & installed if they didn't have someone to install it? Thankfully my brother happened to call to tell me he was coming over Saturday to help us check for water damage from the leak. I told him what was going on and that we had the dishwasher in the living room and he came right over and helped us remove the old one, check for water damage (minimal & easily taken care of) and started installing the new one. We needed 2 things to complete the installation and he explained everything for us. He had to go to work but we all felt confident we could finish up. No problem...Corey had to work late but finally got to Lowe's to get the 2 things we needed and he & I went to work. Well...one piece isn't quite doing what it should and it is leaking...or spraying water if we turn the water on....and we can't get it to stop. Soooo....until my brother has time in his busy schedule to come help we are on hold with the dishwasher. Sounds like no big deal and in the grand scheme of things it isn't...but in the meantime the hot water is turned off in the kitchen. If we turn it on then water sprays everywhere from the dishwasher water line. This makes hand washing the dishes even MORE fun!! You either have to heat up water in the microwave or get it from the bathroom to make dish water. Wheee....are we all having fun yet?? LOL! We plan on using the $70 to pay my brother for all his help. It was very nice of him to drive over here (45'ish mins) and work on our kitchen for an hour and then head off to work. I'm so lucky to have such a sweet brother!

After all that complaining I will relate a sweet, funny kid thing. You've seen the commercials and heard parents say "No matter how much money you spend on toys it is always the big box that something came in that is the most fun". This still holds true. The kids are having a blast with the dishwasher box. Morgan cut a door, Corey cut them a window and they've decorated the outside to be their clubhouse. It is in the middle of the living room and they have both spent a lot of time inside it. They even used some extra cardboard panels as walls for a patio/deck. LOL! At one point yesterday Alex was inside the box, eating lunch & watching tv out the window of the clubhouse.

Morgan wrote a story for the AKC magazine story contest. It had to be about any registered breed. I'll have to put a link to it so people can read it. I think she would like that. Her triops are doing good and have really grown. They are getting big...well, for triops they are big. At some point yesterday or last night we lost one though so we are down to 3. She's moving along in math & is doing good. She made dinner all by herself last night. It was the meal she had picked and she did good. It was a big salad with chicken pieces. It was yummy.

I am working on planning a February trip to Jacksonville with my mom to see my grandmother. Due to how rough the last trip was (Aug, right after we moved up here) I refuse to go with her and both kids. The number of stops, the close quarters,etc....I'd have to put them all in trunk in order to make the drive. So we are trying to work around Corey's pager schedule so Alex can stay home with Daddy and just the girls take the trip. It isn't much fun for a 5.5 yo little boy at a nursing home anyway.

January 21, 2007

Another weekend has come and gone. On Friday we had some homeschooling friends come over. We haven't seen them since before Yule and Christmas so we have missed them. It was Autumn's 9th birthday so Morgan had a gift for her, a horse figurine that she had painted herself. The kids all had some cake to celebrate and we grabbed lunch to take to the park. The girls all wanted to go but maaaaaan it was windy and cold. LOL! The kids still had a blast and Corey, Shannon & I got to talk quite a bit. It was nice having Corey off work and friends over. Morgan went to movie night with her HP Club. When she got home she was showing us her loose tooth...she could push it until it flipped almost upside down. I was worried she would swallow it in her sleep & convinced her to pull it. She barely grabbed it and it popped out. There was no blood or anything. This was her 13th tooth! My goodness. Corey had a weird movie from his Netflix queue and we watched it...too weird for me so I barely paid attention. It was The Black Dahlia if anyone else wants to try it. Saturday we had GC over for dinner and family fun. Corey, GC, Morgan and I all played a game of Scrabble. Morgan held her own with the 3 adults. Today we borrowed GC's car and headed into Cool Springs for a Costco run. The samples were yummy. LOL! We grabbed some Chinese for dinner at a local restaurant we've thought about trying...finally did it. It was pretty good and didn't cost a fortune which is always nice. We watched the football games and I feel bad for the Saints but we are glad that the Colts are in...sure beats the Patriots. Corey wasn't going to watch The Superbowl if it was going to be the Bears and the Patriots. Me, I could care less but it was fun to watch the Colts come back during the 2nd half of their game.

Our weather is driving me nuts. It has been chilly or cold every day but mostly gray & dreary or downright raining. Yuck! We aren't in an area that gets a lot of snow but darn we usually get some. I wish we would get some snow!

We are still trying to figure out the vehicle situation. Fun, huh? We have filed our taxes and I must say I really wish we didn't owe from last year because the full refund would be nice this year. At least we are getting back enough to cover what we still owe from last year & have some left over....car fund I think.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend.

January 17, 2007

A pretty good day for a Wednesday. It was nice and cold out today. The kids did good with school today, no fussing or fighting. They each did completely different things today and that was just fine. Today was the day we moved the surviving triops into their bigger home. We just used a bigger size Glad reusable container and that is working out fine. We have 4 that have gotten pretty big and are doing well (we think). Hey, they've survived with us f0r 8 days so I would call that doing well. *wink* We did see what we think were a couple carcasses of smaller ones that didn't make it. Alex is really into the Peru adventure from their Highlights Top Secret Adventures . He read the guide book and solved several puzzles today (various types & levels of difficulty). We made a blood model yesterday for science and we left it in the jar (karo syrup as plasma, red hot candies for RBC's, pistachios in their shells for WBC's, popcorn kernels for platelets). Well the red dye is coming out of the red hot candies and they are fascinated that the karo syrup is turning red and "really making it look like blood". They are really liking science and the labs.

Morgan is just amazed at how well she can see with her glasses. She was sitting at the table eating breakfast when she almost screamed about seeing a cardinal on the bird feeder. Poor thing hasn't been able to see them very well (if truly at all). She was so excited to be able to see it, watch it, and enjoy it. It was fun just watching along with her and feeling her excitement. Makes me feel bad for not getting her into the eye doctor sooner.

Corey, Morgan and I watched American Idol last night and tonight. I really think this season they have put more emphasis on the HORRIBLE auditions than before. I mean I know it is part of the show in the beginning to show the ones that didn't make it but I think they have created this monster of having people show up in the strangest, most ridiculous look they can muster just to try to get on for first few shows as the worst audition...their attempt at 15 minutes of fame? I like it much better once they get to Hollywood. Next week will be from their Memphis auditions so it will be interesting to see what happens there.

Tomorrow we are having the Sears repair man come out. Our dishwasher is leaking and we have cabinet & kick plate water damage. We've been washing dishes by hand since the weekend. Oh yea, tons of fun for a family of 4 that eats 3 meals a day at home. The dishes NEVER end. Wish us luck!

I think we will be filing our taxes soon. Corey has been playing around with the software and thinks he has everything covered. Time to get it over with.

January 16, 2007

Glasses, glasses, glasses! That is right, our glasses are in. So the 3 of us that need glasses are sporting our new eye wear. Morgan squealed and was jumping around the parking lot after we picked them up. To say she is excited to be seeing clearly (egads, do we feel bad!) would be an understatement. Corey has new retro-techno-dude glasses and mine are purple and very lightweight. Morgan's are little plastic ones that are lavender & she loves them. We took pictures and you can see them by clicking on the "New Glasses" link under the photo section on the right of this page.

January 14, 2007

I forgot something!! Morgan has had a loose tooth for a while. She's actually had 2, the right lower eye tooth & the one behind it...first molar maybe? Anyway, not too long ago she lost the back one, molar?, and the eye tooth has just been wiggly, wiggly, wiggly. Almost freaky wiggly! Today during lunch she was pushing it with her tongue and could make it lay down flat pointing out the front of her mouth. I have no idea what was holding it in still. So she decided to pull it today and I got it on "video" with the digital camera. LOL! I have yet to figure out how & where to upload it so I can link it here...but I'll work on that.

So, just had to share! By the way, this is tooth #12 for our 8 year old daughter. My goodness I never knew they fell out this fast!

We have had a nice Sunday at our house. I woke up to children playing nicely, we had breakfast and just chilled out. After getting some laundry going, entering a few more recipes into the computer (a project Michael & I are working on), and getting dressed we went outside to play. The weather was gorgeous...about 70 and partly sunny/cloudy with a breeze. Seriously...such bitter frigid winter weather, huh? We played soccer at Alex's request for a bit, then baseball at Morgan's request. Corey worked on measuring out a spot for our vegetable garden at the rear of the backyard. We also dug up a small bush/tree that is just in a very odd place in our backyard. There are a few and we are still figuring out what we want to keep (the 2-3 biggest trees). Corey did some pruning and cleaning up of the yard and we checked the sides of the house to help figure out where we wanted the fence to stop when we fence in the backyard. Michael is going to help us and my mom has leftover material so it won't cost us nearly as much as we were thinking. Morgan's triops are growing and are much more visible now. They start out just a step above microscopic so this is a big deal. LOL! It should be interesting to see how they continue to do.

Corey has been watching the football games this weekend. Must keep up with the teams to see who is moving on to the next step and guessing who will be in the Super Bowl this year. I've been entering more recipes for the project...I think I have over 100 in now. It was supposed to rain all weekend and Corey has been on call so we didn't have any plans for the weekend. It has been nice just having some nice family time to enjoy each other, get a few things done but not have plans to stress about.

We are trying to eat healthier...taking steps as we can...and we made black bean & brown rice burgers tonight for dinner. Oh my goodness they were yummy! We've all decided the recipe is a keeper for us. Corey and I felt we could play with the seasoning to add a little more oomph to them but they were great as they were anyway. We are also going to try to participate in a CSA program with a local organic farm. This is Community Supported Agriculture...you buy a share which helps support the local organic farm that you choose and you get to reap the benefits of the harvest each week,etc. We are going to split this with GC and Michael & Tish. We've wanted to do this for quite some time but this is the first real chance we've had to do it. We can't wait. This is who we will be buying into Delvin Farms . You can check for something near you by going to Green People and you can enter your area to see what is available. You get delicious, organic, fresh produce (some places do eggs, poultry, beef, etc) and you support a small, local farm. How much better can it get?

January 13, 2007

We have TRIOPS ! Morgan is the proud mommy to several triops babies. LOL! She got the kit on Tuesday night at her HP Club meeting as part of their cryptozoology theme. Corey put several eggs in late Tuesday night and they are supposed to hatch within 18-48 hours. The water is also supposed to stay between 72-84 degrees and they are supposed to have 24 hours of light during the winter. Well, heck no where in our house is above 72 degrees! It is suggested they be under a desk lamp for heat & light...well, that won't work because we don't have desk lamps and *every* lightbulb in our house is a compact flourescent and does not use enough energy to put off heat to warm the water. Yikes. We managed to keep them in the sun as much as possible during the day & keep a light on them the first night or two and then Morgan put them near the floor heat vent. VOILA they hatched some time on Thursday! You can't imagine how surprised we are that they did. LOL! The kit comes with food for them, directions,etc. We have teeeeeny tiny, zip zooming around triops in a tiny bowl of water. Morgan & I fed them on Friday (you had to do it the day after they hatched). She's so excited about it all.

Friday night we had dinner at GC's house...yummy chicken tacos and beef taco bake. Then played a few games while listening to music my brother has on his computer (all from DJ'ing at the club & at weddings,etc). Good time had by all. Corey and I got to come home alone because the kids were spending the night at GC's house. Whee! Of course then we come home to such a quiet house we don't know what to do. LOL!

This morning we both slept until 10am (never happens!) and we called to check in on GC & the kids. They stayed up until after 11pm (egads) and were up before 7am, waking GC up at 8am for breakfast. Yikes! She took them to Barnes & Noble to spend their giftcards from Christmas. While they were doing that, Corey & I hung out chatting about all kinds of stuff, doing some laundry, feeding the baby triops, and went out to lunch before they came home. We had GC stay for dinner of waffles & sausage. Just gotta love breakfast for dinner. After she left we played a game with Morgan called Word Rummy . It was really fun and definitely makes you think. We were surprised that the age range is 7 and up because it seems a little on the difficult side for most 7 year olds. You really need to be able to spell and think about mixing up the letters from some words while adding more letters to make completely new words. Anyway, fun so if you are into games that make you work give it a try. We are thinking about getting the last 2 games shown at the bottom of that link - Number Rummy and Adverteasing.

Corey still has the pager until early Monday morning and he has Monday off for Martin Luther King, Jr Day. He will also get a comp day next week for being on call this week. So a short week for him next week.

January 12, 2007

Oh my goodness....we just finished watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann on msnbc and I couldn't agree with him more! Just what in the he** is Dubya thinking? Well, I really, honestly don't believe he is. I'll be the first to admit that I've never liked the guy. His dad was okay but he's just pathetic. I would honestly be ashamed to have him in my family. Anyway, I've never liked him but always held out hope that somehow we'd muddle through his presidency. So it isn't bad enough that he lied to get us into this war, that he's killed over 3,000 of the brave and honorable men & women of our country that are doing their jobs by following this idiot's decisions, but now he's going to ignore almost 3/4 of the American people, including the troops in Iraq, and send MORE men & women over there to be killed. All because of his idiotic, personal agenda. Does he think he is playing war with little green plastic Army men?? Does he honestly give a rat's ass about the families he is destroying every single day?? I know he doesn't care about the environment or the average citizen and certainly not for anyone that isn't conservative, Republican, heterosexual, white, Christian like himself but HELLO MR PRESIDENT?!?! Is anyone home in the White House? He is the most egotistical, power hungry, SOB (sorry Barbara....nothing against you really) that we could have in charge. He's doing everything that he claims all the terrorists are doing. He is trying to keep his own country scared to death and fearful of what might happen if...the whole time doing the big ole "what if" to us and citizens of other countries himself!

Please please tell me that the citizens of this country are seeing him for what he really is. It honestly scares me to think that there are people out there that still support him and believe in him. He is running our country into the ground, making us the laughing stock of the world, killing our military and putting our country at greater risk. And gee, with our miliatry all in Iraq who is going to protect us should something happen at home?

The man (term used loosely) just disgusts me.

January 11, 2007

Things have been going pretty good so far this week. This morning the kids even got their school stuff out and started working on it before I got up and without being asked or told. Holy cow! Woo hoo. They willingly read just about anything and will ask plenty of questions but when it comes to sitting down at the table to do things I often get a fuss....more times than not it is from Morgan and is about math. She's doing really good with it so far though and seems to be noticing that herself...a little boost to her self-confidence. I hope it continues. Both kids really enjoy science which is nice. :-)

We had my brother and the 2 boy dogs over yesterday for dinner. He's been on his own for over a week while his girlfriend & the 2 girl dogs are down in Ft. Lauderdale helping her mom out as she recovers from back surgery. We had Morgan's meal for dinner and it was pretty good and fun. She had picked blankets in pigs (ham & honey mustard wrapped around breadsticks) and cheese fundue (cheese fondue with plenty of dippers...we had ham, apple slices, broccoli, carrots, and french bread). Tomorrow night we are getting together with my mom and brother for a nice family meal. We are all trying to save money so no Fri nights out but getting together and sharing meals at home. Heck, healthier meals, definitely cheaper and we don't have to wait in line or deal with smokers. Yes, it is true unfortunately, there is still smoking in restaurants in TN. YUCK!! Can you believe it?? It is seriously a difficult thing to get used to after living in NY & FL...both smoke-free for restaurants. In this day & age I can't believe that it is still like this. I'm not sure there is too many things that are nastier than having to smell cigarette smoke while trying to enjoy a meal. And having 3 asthmatics in the family makes it even more fun.

Morgan keeps asking when her glasses will be in. I'm hoping that we don't have to wait too long. Even though the place we took our prescriptions to and picked out frames has a lab on-site , they have to send our's out to the vision insurance provider's lab...whee. Sweet girl just wants to be able to see without everything being a blur.

January 8, 2007

I must say that while the holidays were great I am glad they are over. We are settling back into normal life just fine. The kids are back into the schooling groove, which makes life easier. Dance classes have resumed and they even started learning their dance routines for dance recital (beginning of June we are told). Friday we had GC over for dinner and family games. Then on Saturday all 4 of us had eye exams. The results are: my eyes stabilized at not quite blind as a bat level, Corey's eyes are worse and I think he is officially at blind as a bat level, Morgan's eyes are in between mine & Corey's at the border of blind as a bat...poor child. Alex has lucked out and his eyes are right where a 5 year old's should be. Now we just have to get glasses (as we play with our vision plan). On Sunday I went over to my mom's house and helped her cook up some recipes to provide herself with meals for the week. My brother and I also went through recipes so we could collect all the important ones to our family.

Corey in on call this week so we will be staying close to home. Morgan has HP club tomorrow night, which thrills her. She just loves it. She did quite a few projects and worksheets to turn in for this month. It is cool for me because so much of what she does for the club we can count for school as it is all educational. Speaking of educational. She is working in the Beta book of Math-U-See and reading quite a variety. She just finished reading a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr and Harriet Tubman. She picked them up on her own and really enjoyed them. I'm curious to see what she picks up at our next library visit. Alex is still in Alpha and moving along at a nice speed for a 5 year old. He is reading a lot more too. He's been working through some Geronimo Stilton books, more Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Animorphs, and A to Z Mysteries. We are working through the remainder of First Language Lessons, doing a lot of reading, working through The Story of the World 1, R.E.A.L. Science - Life Science, doing some extra language arts stuff - spelling, phonics, handwriting (in the guise of writing stories, signs, plays,etc). We do art and music whenever we feel like it. We haven't found another geography curriculum or workbook that we like so we talk about geography in our history, playing games (Scrambled States of America), reading & locating places we read about,etc. Morgan enjoys working on logic as well. We cover health and nutrition along with cooking and meal planning. Both kids are now very involved in the kitchen. They pick at least 1 meal per menu rotation (every 2 weeks), they help figure out what we need and help prepare the meal when we have it. We have let foreign language slide and both Morgan & I have talked about getting going again with it. We shall see how that works out. We both want to learn to knit too. I want to have her sew some more too.

Hmm...that's about it for now. I'm off to work on entering more recipes onto my computer.

January 1, 2007

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Welcome 2007!

We hope that everyone has had a safe & happy New Year's Eve. May 2007 be good to us all. Do you make resolutions? I don't. I used to make them but they would get left in the dust before January was over. So now I just don't even bother. Pretty much anything I would make a resolution is something I'm working on or need to so I jsut keep working on those areas. LOL!

Normally, Corey & I spend NYE quietly in the comfort of our own home. We aren't the clubbing, go out & get as trashed as you can type of people. With or without kids..that just isn't us. Our first NYE we spent together with a bunch of friends in a computer lab at Clarkson. Oh yes, wild partying folks here. ;-) Tonight we had GC, Michael & Tish over for dinner & games. We played "Frustration", a card game from our childhood, and it was a blast. Corey ended up winning. Morgan decided NYE wasn't exciting enough so she lost one of her two loose teeth so the tooth fairy would have to come for a visit. This is tooth #11...geez!! She managed to stay up until 12:01am Central Time. What cracked me up the most was at 11:59 she says "Wait a minute, I am staying up until midnight to see some disco ball come down??" ROFLMAO!! We responded "Yep, you got it". Alex tried staying up and decided he wanted to go read instead of watching the stuff on TV. I knew at that point that he would not be making it until midnight. He made it until almost 11pm. I am hoping against all odds that he will sleep past 7am...or we are all in trouble.

Well, I'm about wiped out so off to bed with me. Good night & happy new year.