Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 random things

I'd love to hear your 25.  So if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

1) My faith in God defines me.

2) I've been married to the same man for 20 years, and couldn't imagine being married to anyone else.

3) I have seven children, but I don't usually volunteer that information to people I have just met because of the comments that follow: "Wow, you must be very patient." "I don't know how you do it. I can't do it with my two." Or "Have you seen Jon and Kate Plus 8 or the Duggers?"

4) I was born in Guatemala to a missionary family, grew up in Central America and then when I was eight my family moved back to the States.

5) I lived in Southern California up until four years ago. The move to Georgia was a HUGE change for our family, but we really love the house and the neighborhood and our church.

6) I hate to call people on the telephone. People rarely hear from me by phone and if they do, they usually immediately think something is wrong.

7) I've never gotten a ticket. Keith, on the other hand . . . 

8) After 16 years as a SAHM, I had to go back to work to help with our family income. It was either that or lose the house. If I had a choice, I'd be home again in a flash.

9) Nonetheless, the idea of becoming a special ed. teacher is exciting to me, and that's what I'm hoping to do by next fall.

10) I'm just a "little" self-absorbed. I could spend hours on my blog http:/ and facebook writing about myself and my family happenings. (Oh, right, I already do.)

11) I have been working on a novel for the last three years. I'm got it maybe 5% done, but it keeps my mind occupied while I'm taking a shower, blow-drying my hair, sitting at a red light, etc.

12) I love a good book and a good movie. I usually hate movies based on good books. (Like the Bourne movies -- urgh!)

13) I'm kind of a frustrated artist. I have a bunch of art books on my shelf and every once in a while I'll pull one out and try to sketch portraits.

14) I am so proud of my kids. They are amazing people that just get better and better as they grow. For all of you people with young children out there, don't believe the teenager myth. They don't have to be like that!

15) I hate housework. I'm basically lazy. Laundry is my arch enemy.

16) If I could choose the perfect vacation, I'd choose to go away with just Keith to a fancy hotel with good cable, eat out every meal, go see a movie every day, and have lots of great books on hand to read. I wouldn't matter where the hotel was.

17) It hurts to be 43.

18) I absolutely adore studying the Bible.

19) I also adore debating the Bible.

20) I am both a procrastinator and a perfectionist. Go figure.

21) I am blessed by some wonderful loyal friends, but I wish I had closer friends here in Georgia, too.

22) I love to crochet while I watch TV. I taught myself to crochet in the first years of marriage.

23) I have trouble paying bills and turning in library books on time.

24) I hate to be wrong, but my husband loves me anyway.

25) I have a can of cola in the morning instead of coffee. One can a day, that's all I ask!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Walk #4!

I now have raised my overdue library fines to $42, just after I'd finally gotten it back down into the single digits. It's very frustrating. I think I'm going to really have to crack down on myself and only limit us all to a half dozen books at a time instead of the 30 or so I usually check out. I used to be able to charm my way out of fines, but the Mean Librarian has beaten all of the charm and fight out of me. Sigh.

Keith and I just got done with a walk. I can usually coerce him into going with me on Mondays. We walk around the neighborhood and critique everyone's yards, then come home and ignore our own!

Work went well today. The kids are such fun to work with. One of the autistic kids has finally started calling me by name. I've been promoted.

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since the Kings came for their visit. This weekend, I didn't plan on too much, but ended up staying busy anyway. On Friday night, Keri Lynn and I snuck out by ourselves to see the winter high school play, starring several of Keri Lynn's friends from church. Man, those kids can act! Church members took up the whole front section, and we were very enthusiastic!

On Saturday, I went to a GA activity at church and helped my 4th grade girls get caught up on their workbooks. Six girls came, about half of the group, which wasn't a bad showing for a Saturday event.

Then, I played hooky from church on Sunday. It essentially came down to the fact that I had no clean clothes to wear and neither did Keva. So instead of staying up late to make sure we had something to wear, I decided that Keva and I would sleep in, relax and get caught up on a little laundry. I made a dent. And to be honest, it's nice to play hooky every once in a while. I made up for playing hooky, though, by attending a parent meeting later in the afternoon for Keri Lynn and Kristofer's trip to Japan. (I need to get their passports soon --ack!) And then after the meeting, we stopped by to congratulate Jerry Walker, our associate pastor to seniors, for 25 faithful years of service.

Now I shall go make dinner. I think I'll make some homemade macaroni and cheese before the cheese gets all eaten up.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Walk #3

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Keith's Aunt Velda. Velda died this week after a tough battle with cancer. She was Keith's mom's twin sister and lived up in the Seattle area. She leaves a husband and their two children, both married and living in the same area.

The week is flying by. I've been working in my special ed classroom. We had the TV on during the inauguration. I would have been happy to sit and watch the whole day long. Politics fascinate me. But even watching what little I did, I was getting steamed about the whole "history in the making" thing. I voted for a man's position on actual issues, not on the color of his skin. But it appears that a great many people voted on color of skin. Sigh.

It's been very cold this week. Even the kids have been staying home instead of going to friends' houses after school.

We said good-bye to the Kings after a whirlwind weekend visit. It was a lot of fun to see them. Ginny brought a ton of DVDs and videos for us as a Christmas present, along with chocolate and popcorn. So we watched a lot of movies while they were here and will enjoy them for many happy hours to come.

Today was the first day of a slight warming trend, so I finally got to go on a walk again. It was a balmy 48 degrees when I went out. Brrrrr. That makes three whole walking times this month. Not exactly an overwhelming number, but it's better than two, one or nothing at all. And it was nice to get out. It took a full five minutes of walking before I even took my hands out of my pockets, and another 10 minutes before I could convince myself that I could keep walking the full 30 minutes. By time I came back, I was already feeling the benefits of the walk. I went on to make dinner and make sure that Konner was doing his homework. (He's been majorly slipping under the radar with his schooling.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Danica Joy

Danny's a father?!?  Look at that.  She's got him wrapped around her little finger already!

Precious face

Here's my Mom with her 13th grandchild.  Doesn't she look skinny?  Mom, not the baby.  Goodness, Mom, you look good!

Walk #2

This will be front burner stuff. Lots has happened as usual, but I'll not spend too much time going over old news.

First off, I'm an aunt again! Congratulations to my brother Danny and his wife Jessica. They now have a baby girl -- Danica Joy, born on Friday. Her pictures are so cute.   I wish I could be there to hold her. But maybe it's best that I'm not since I've got this lingering cough that doesn't want to go away. I'm full of a ton of advice, though, Danny, should you ever need any.

I'm on a mission to get back to walking. I walked yesterday with Keith and today by myself. My goal is to walk four days a week, at least 30 minutes at a time -- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. So far, I've walked twice. I'm going to record each time I walk on Facebook and see if I can get any exercise buddies.

My foray back into exercise has less to do with the new year than it does that I'm tired of being tired. I have finally shaken my cough and I'm very lowwwwwww on energy. I got to thinking that I've been low on energy for too long. So back in the saddle I go. Yesterday's walk left me sore, even as pathetic as it was, but it also left me with more energy today that I've had in a while. Just that little bit made the difference especially in that sleepy afternoon stretch.

So get ready for some exercise updates. Today is Walk #2. Exiting update, huh.

On other news, I completed another GACE test on Saturday. I dragged my tired self to the test, about a 30 minute drive, and slugged my tired brain through four hours of questions on Special Education. I don't feel very good about it, but then I didn't feel very good about the pedagogy test either and passed that one. So I'm feeling hopeful! If I pass that test, it puts me in a position to apply for a teaching job. I am very excited about it.

Meanwhile, I continue to sub in a self-contained special ed. class. I'm scheduled through the month of January. Hopefully, I'll go through the end of the year in that class, but I don't know for sure. It has been really nice to go to the same place every weekday and work with the same people. The kids are great. Each of them have a piece of my heart.

My own kids just keep getting bigger and bigger. I don't know for sure because we haven't had time to breath lately, but I'm pretty sure Kristofer has gotten taller. And Kade and Konner had their birthdays. They are nine and eight, respectively. Older, more independent. Sigh.

We've got one of those crazy weekends coming up. Ginny King and her kids are coming for a visit. Keri Lynn, Kristofer and Kathleen will be gone for half of the weekend for choir festival, but Kristofer told me he'd set up his two game systems for the King kids with "specific instructions." I don't know anything about setting up the games, but Kade and Konner should be able to help me. : )

Because of the impending visit, the next few days are going to be nearly fruitless attempts at getting the house in better order. I've almost given up already. It just needs a good top to bottom scrubbing in which many Labrador hairs will be found.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Am I right, or am I right?

Senior Portraits

I took Keri Lynn as planned to Wal-Mart for Senior pictures. We got a photographer that has been working there for 13 years, Ms. Pat, 65, who works there two days a week just to stay busy. She was more than happy to get us those perfect pictures. For those of you who are local -- go to the Newnan Wal-Mart on Tuesday or Wednesday, ask for Pat and get someone who cares about capturing memories! I love her. I think I'm going to send her the family Christmas letter (It's coming -- really, it is!)

So you will have to go to my blog to see a few of the pictures. I'll try to put them up tonight. If you have Facebook, you can see them on Keri Lynn's page. They are really good! I'm thrilled with them and so giddy about having such a pretty daughter. : ) And, no worries to the grandmas and grandpas. Pictures are coming.

Tomorrow, school starts, so I'm getting myself together and getting to bed before midnight. I think.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Procrastinators, unite!

I've been sick with a hacking cough. It hasn't been bad enough to go to the doctor, I don't think, but it has kept me down on the couch or in bed for a better part of a week. Today I've started to feel better. I think it's the idea that school will be starting back in just a few days, and we all HAVE to be better in order to get back into the routine. Keith spent a lot of time on the Porcelain Throne, too, so for a while we were playing The Most Pathetic Game -- the game in which you try to be more pathetic than the other to gain sympathy points from those around you. Keith won.

Before I got sick, I found -- quite by accident -- that one of our digital channels on our TV worked. We got ABC! I was thrilled and fearful all at the same time, because, as I've said before, it has been a huge time saver to no longer have the TV on all the time. We've actually had more family time, more project time and more everything time. Not to mention that we are no longer exposing ourselves to the yuck on TV! So when I found that digital channel, I kept the information to myself for a while.

Until New Year's Eve.

I did finally break down and say to my dearly beloved husband and children, as the played on the X-Box, "Hey, did you guys know we had a digital channel on our TV?" This was on the evening of New Year's Eve, when I had visions of watching the ball fall in Times Square. It took maybe 12.5 seconds for husband/kids to figure out that there was not only ONE channel still on our TV, but ALL of the major channels -- ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and PBS, plus a few odd-ball local channels. Whether they will all be there after that February date when things go completely digital, I don't know. The main channels are in the digital section and take a few seconds to sync up to our TV. I think we have the channels in the first place only because we still have the Internet connection and that's why they told me that they still had to "leave a line open" and that it would only cost $4 less to take the cable portion of our TV off.

All this to say, we did in fact ring in the New Year with a rather scary-looking Dick Clark and some left-over fireworks from Fourth of July (plus and extra pack from Erin's family! Thanks, Kim!) And then we all went to bed!

I didn't begrudge the TV time on New Year's Day, though. Keith had it on all day long for the various bowl games. It kind of finished off our vacation rather nicely, I think. We haven't ALL had time off like this in a very long time. Keith goes back to work tomorrow (Tuesday) and the rest of us go back to school on Wednesday.

Then, Saturday, I'll be taking the GACE test for Special Education! I was going to be studying all through vacation, but when I got sick, I just didn't have much energy for doing much of anything at all. The kids had or went to sleep-overs (mostly went to, because of sickies on this end.) We generally got into a groove where the kids were going to bed at about 10:00 or later and Keith and I were going to bed at about 1:00 or 2:00, and all of us sleeping in to about 10:00 or 11:00 every morning. (I could REALLY get used to that kind of schedule.) It's going to be a huge shock to all of our systems when that alarm clock goes off on Wednesday. Ugh!

Saturday, when I return from GACE, we're going to have what I like to call Mom's Procrastination Party. This is when I suffer the consequences of having put off birthday parties for all of my kids from July on. Somehow, I don't seem to have a problem with Keri Lynn or Kathleen's party, mostly because they plan and execute most of it, and because it's at the time of the year when we have more money. However, from Kylie's birthday on, I have some real trouble. LAST year, I had a big group event for those "left behind". And this year is no different. I'll come home brain-dead from the test, which will be just fine really, because my house will be taken over by short and tall people. We're going to have a theme party for every birthday kid. So Kylie is going to invite all of her friends and have each of them bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal, and they will all play games related to the dolls/stuffed animals. Kade and Konner's friends will come and bring all of their matchbox cars or army men (haven't decided yet)and play all together with those. Kristofer will invite his friends and they are going to have a huge X-Box Championship! Whoo-hoo! THEN, we are all going to get together and each kid is going to have a cake with their appropriately numbered candles. We'll all sing happy birthday, or maybe we'll do one song per person. Blow out candles, take pictures, eat cake and tell everyone to go home! Then I will have paid my dues for my terrible procrastination!

I can tell I'm feeling better and am rested because the idea for the party sounds do-able. I may start going into melt-down on Friday night when not everything is ready yet for party or test! AHHHHHHH!

Tomorrow, I'm taking Keri Lynn over to Wal-mart for Senior Portraits. I remember by own Senior Portraits. We just had them done by the school photographer. But these days, there are such huge expenses surrounding the seniors. It gets to be a little ridiculous. But pictures are special. I wish we could do more for her, but I'm hoping to get a guy from church to do some really good ones in the spring. He specializes in outside photography. Meanwhile, we need pictures to go into the yearbook.

I can't believe my girl only has a few more months before she becomes a high school graduate. That is not easy to take! There are still so many things unknown to her for her future, but she has a good head on her shoulders and a desire to honor God -- this is the prayer of my heart.

Time to go make dinner. The natives are getting restless.