Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm Edemic

or so I was told my my eye doctor as he rattled off horrendously long words to the nurse about my diagnosis.
I made them write down the official diagnosis because of course I knew I would want to blog about it. Here it is... keratitis corneal edema.
Yeah, I didn't know what that meant either. Apparently google or wikipedia are not on the up and up on it as well. Basically, my eyes have a build-up of white blood cells that could erupt and become infected. This means my eyes need time to oxygenate and heal; with the help of a steroid. This also means that I am not allowed to wear my contacts for 5-7 days. Hence the new glasses. Honestly now people, what do you think?

Bestest Ever

While eating breakfast this morning...
DD: Today is the bestest day ever!
ME: Why is that?
DD: Because Daddy is coming home and that makes it the bestest ever.

I agree that makes for a very good day indeed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Garage Update

The workers have been plugging away and are making some great progress on the garage.
It has walls, and a roof, the windows and side door are in and it looks like a garage. Yeah!
Today they will slap up the shingles and tomorrow they will do all the siding. From there we have concrete and hanging the doors. The electrical well be a few weeks as our electrician is going on a mission trip out of the country. I am more than willing to wait as I know he will be a blessing as he shares the gospel. So it looks like by the end of the week all construction will be complete. and we will have our garage. Yippee!

This is what it looked like as of last night.

He Sent Me Flowers

As a thank you for all my hard work on the house. Aren't they pretty?

They smell incredible.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So Much For No More Cleaning

While the kids and I were at VBS this morning the land prep was completed. Leaving two giant mountains of pure temptation. I let the kids play in the sand pile as no workers were on site and it DID look like fun. Apparently it is a reddish sand that is capable of making a huge mess. Who knew?

In Which I Exhale

This has been the craziest month!
Bids, appraisal, to-do lists, caring for kids, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning, pondering on curriculum, preliminary planning for the school year, cooking, talking to contractors, tearing down the old shed, letting go of clutter and the memories that stuff holds, and have I mentioned cleaning!
And now, now I can breathe.
Yesterday was the pivotal point in which the appraisal was completed, materials for the garage were purchased and the building permit was approved. Did I mention that yesterday was also the beginning of VBS in which I am teaching a Kindergarten class? Or that hubby is on a 10 day business trip so I had to do ALL the finalization for the garage? Or that I had a meeting an hour away in the evening? Which meant I was going non-stop from 6am-10pm. Thankfully I had two lovely ladies help me with the kiddos yesterday after VBS and God amazingly worked out all the little details.
So today I am one very grateful person.
Contractors will be here today to begin work. I have nothing more to clean in my house. And I get to enjoy 20 delightful 4 and 5 year olds at VBS.
Here is a before picture...notice the shed is gone!

Praying for safety of my family and the workers as big equipment will be on our property and my kiddos are very curious.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mt Vernon

The historic estate and gardens of our first president, George Washington. But beyond that it is a mentality. One in which I am trying to apply.
Many years ago, Mindy gave me a book The New Messies Handbook. Because we Messies stick together and try to help each other out. I know I read the book cover to cover back in the day and certain things worked for me. The other day I glanced over at the bookshelf and saw the book staring out at me. I retrieved it from the shelf and thumbed through it, read sections. The chapter that stuck out to me the most on my flip through was Mt Vernon. To maintain the estate of Mt Vernon the housekeeping team starts in one spot and systematically moves through the room until it is complete. When the day is over they put their supplies away and began where the left of on the following day. When they have made their way through the house they begin again. Day after day.
In the handbook I have been instructed to start somewhere, preferably the front door and work through the room, thoroughly cleaning everything along the way. The bin at the door would be completely gone through, throwing away what is broken or destroyed, donating what may be of use to another or put in its proper place in an organized manner if it is to stay in the house. All clutter is in danger of disposal.
These thoughts are roaming around my brain. I want to put them into action but I am struggling with getting started.
My husband has been busting his butt cleaning up the outside of the home. It is looking great. He would love for me to actually begin Mt Vernonizing our home. It would thrill him.
Why am I struggling so much with doing it? I feel like I am set-up to fail. There are not proper places for everything to go. And it seems like the time line is not enough time to get done what needs to be done. Time line? Oh yes, it is next Friday, when my husband has set up an appraisal for our home and property. He feels like everything about our home and life will be under scrutiny and be either the thumbs up or down for getting the appraisal we need to build our new garage.
I do feel order is necessary. I do want my house to be functional. I do want a garage. But at the moment I am feeling so overwhelmed. I am angry that I should be forced to do this during an already busy week. I am frustrated that there is so much to do. I am frustrated that I struggle with housekeeping. Just when I was trying to get a basic weekly routine under control, I am to take on the complete house. Even if I take one room a day for the next week I don't feel like I have the time, energy, resources or capabilities to do it.
My fight or flight mentality has me wanting to run far far away to a place where I do not need to clean. But the reality is something needs to be done. And it won't get done if I do run away. Too bad I don't have the housekeeping team of Mt Vernon to help.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

An Animal Kind of a Week

With the boy participating in Zookambi, a summer program at our zoo, we have spent many hours at the zoo checking out the animals. Monday, was his first true experience with mom dropping off somewhere to the complete care of strangers, with mom not needed on site. While I felt confident he would thrive and do fine, the girl and I stayed at the zoo for three hours on the first day. This gave me and DD some time there but also let me get a sense of the staffs competency and care.
While the boy was in class learning about camouflage and handling animals, we were exploring the zoo, spending long periods of time with certain animals watching them carefully, or simply staying out of the rain. We had a great discussion with a volunteer about the baby penguin, who by the way is very cute. During this discussion the lead zoo keeper came by and we made plans to watch him feed the penguins. When the time came he showed us some behind the scenes of penguin rock, we watched as they fed the baby and then the baby waddled over to me and stood on my foot. Very cute. Then we watched him feed the adult penguins by hand.
Yesterday after book discussion we went to the river to see if we could spot the peregrine falcon nesting on the board of water and light building. We knew three of babies had already fledged and the last we knew two were still in the nest preparing to fledge. We were not disappointed, we saw the three fledglings (flying and perched) and one baby falcon flapping it's wings gaining strength for its first flight. You can check out their web cam, here.
From there we went to the zoo and had a picnic and dropped off the boy to his class.
Then my daughter wanted to show her cousin Miley and show her around the Dairy Farm. We went to both the horse farm and the dairy farm. Farmer Bob greeted us kindly as he has every time since the births. Every time we talk I learn something else new about the dairy process or the cows. On average they birth a cow every other day. This past weekend they had a large amount of births so things will be slow for the next couple of weeks. They do birth year round but some months not as many as others.
Then we spent the last hour before picking up the boy walking through the zoo with my niece. We passed the boy at one point as he was checking out an animal exhibit with his class. He had just finished checking out the zoo kitchen were they prepare the food for the animals. Cool stuff.
So for this animal crazy family, it has been a perfect animal kind of a week.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Christian, A Lion that Loved

Gotta love Bloglines. This video was on New Urban Legends this morning. I have watched it four times and cried each time. Mindy this may answer our question about are animals capable of feelings. That lion is expressing love if I ever have seen it.

Christian, the lion, was raised by these two men for a year until they realized he would be too large for them to keep. They ended up relocating him to Kenya Reserve where Christian was acclimated to the wild. Eight years later the men wanted to go see Christian. They were told by the reserve manager that he had not been seen for nine months and the trip would most likely be in vain. They went anyway. Christian arrived at the camp the night before they landed and this video is of their reunion. Very touching.
You can check out the whole story in this Snopes report.

P.S. I Love You!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Awesome...Must See

This video is one of the most creative artistic expressions I have ever seen done. I hope you check it out!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

All For an Heir

This has to be one of the craziest things I have heard recently.
70 year old woman gives birth to twins!

Hello, when I am 70 years old I will delightfully be playing with my grand children's children. Not having any more of my own!

Saturday, July 05, 2008


Yesterday we had a fabulous Fourth. Our friends invited us out to their hanger for a cook out and a trip up in the plane. There were many little girls and ours was delighted to have so many friends to play with. Super cute.

The boy bowled a 136 at his Summer Camp. This is over 50 points above his average. He got a spare, strike, strike all in a row. Can we say...super excited?

The kids are really into picnics and obstacle courses. Nearly every day this last week, they set up a picnic in the front yard and make up little games to play. Casting into a plastic pool, Frisbee golf, bike races and more, their creativity has been endless. Summer fun and movement, works for me.

I am without a camera ands it makes me very sad.

We went to see Miley on Wednesday. She has moved up to the 2 month old barn. She got her ear tag with her name written on it so know everyone will know who she is. Miley is so friendly, every time we go she comes right up to us and for some reason she loves to lick my arm. Anyone wanting to meet her, we would love to join you on a trip to the Dairy Farm. She is growing so fast and she is still super cute.

We saw the Lansing Peregrine falcons. At least one of the adults both resting and in flight. From the Morris River Park in Lansing look across the way at the building that supports the towers. On the East side is where the nest is, although it itself is pretty tucked away. You can tell the spot by the white poop marks sprayed on the side of the building. They had a successful hatch this year with 5 babies. They should be fledging any day. So if you have some time this next week, head down to the river, you may be able to catch a sight of the babies first flight.

I am attempting to organize my housework, by creating a list of chores for each day of the week. My husband has been recommending this for a long time. I finally made a plan, we will see if I can stick to it. If I can it should help a lot.

Little girl said "thank you" to our pilot friend after the plane ride. It was delayed and took some cajoling but she did it. Celebrating tiny victories along the way.

Today we our working on our laundry room. Completely gutting it, washing all the clothes, building a cabinet to store linens and other supplies. Organizing as we go. This project is LONG overdo.

Hubby was home ALL of June! And he is still home. With only one remaining travel date set we may actually be seeing the end of it. Yippee!

I am reading the book Educating the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson. Excellent book. This is also the book that I am doing a book discussion with some other moms from our home school co-op. It has been very helpful. I will have to post more in depth of what all I have been learning and how I plan to use that info.

I guess that's all for now...have a happy and safe weekend. Happy Birthday America!

Thursday, July 03, 2008


My dear sweet four year old daughter is completely and totally exclusive. You are either on her list or your not. Who's on the list? Her immediate family, grandparents, aunts, one uncle and a few close friends. You can also tell if your on her A list, if....drum roll please, she talks to you. My first born can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Little girl however is greatly pained if asked to say a peep to someone she doesn't know. Now, this has worked for her so far. Her cute little face and bashful head bow have been all she needed to get through any awkward moments. She simply hids away behind me or creates her own little bubble of non-communication.

For four and a half years I have allowed her to do so. I ask her to speak at times and sometimes (rarely) she will. Most of the times she gives a half giggle and ducks her head. After doing some learning and personality discussions I have learned that part of this is indeed who she is and how God made her. I however, will not be allowing her to take advantage of it any longer. Personally, I find it rude that she will not talk to people. As far as strangers go, yes I am thankful she is conscience about things. I am talking about other situations. Here are a few of them:
1.Mom introduces her to a new person. New person asks her name. I expect her to say Hello and say her name. If they ask how old she is, I expect her to tell them. They are no longer a stranger, Mom has made an introduction.
2. A waitress brings her meal, I expect her to say thank you.
3. The grocery clerk at the store. Many times little girl will use her own money to make a purchase. On such occasions I expect her to say thank you or have a good day to the clerk.
4. Other kids within her social circle, church or enrichment day, I would expect her to carry on a basic conversation with them.
Am I expecting too much?
For me this is part of character development and manners. I understand she feels shy in new circumstances. I understand she does not want to launch into a LONG conversation with new people. I also know my daughter is a bright, caring person, who once you are on her list she will talk you ear off. Carrying on full discussions about anything and everything. She will sing in front of you or dance. I see a side of her that is so outgoing and then there is the can not say peep if I don't know you.
I have decided that this is one battle I am ready to fight. I have always heard choose your battles wisely and the time has come that I am ready to fight this one.
In preparation we have been doing role playing. We have went through all sorts of scenarios. And one on one with me, she does fine. In real life those same scenarios are met with stone silence. I am done with it. I told her the next time she refused to speak to someone or thank them when mommy her asked to, she was going to have no TV for a couple days.
That day came today. While at the bowling alley watching the boy during summer camp, another mother (whom she has seen repeatedly over the last couple weeks,) gave her a ring from the 25 cent machine. Having only boys she decided to give it to my daughter, very nice of her. Little girl accepted it, with a little giggle and the head bow. I asked her to say thank you, to which she replied under her breathe that she didn't want to. I reminded her of the consequence and she debated. She said she would but when the time came she completely baulked, not once but twice. Then she ran crying out of the bowling alley.
I have stuck to my guns and she will not be watching TV for the next couple of days. I am taking the TV out of her room, this was the most upsetting. And she will not be getting it back until she can show me that she can be polite to others by speaking to them when required. I told her if it takes a year so be it. If it takes until Christmas, however long it takes, I am not backing down.

So, if you should see us in the near future. Please, help us practice speaking to others. Be patient. Be direct. And continue eye contact with her, even as she looks away. Please be gracious. We are really working on this and I know that she can do it. I also know it may take time.