Friday, August 31, 2007

Project 365: August 31


Lunchboxes are exceedingly important to some people, especially my little people.

I only have 4 children, but I think we've gone through enough lunchboxes over the years to fill an aisle at Target. There was always a cuter, better insulated, or just plain inconspicuous lunchbox to be had. That is, until last year, the year of the no-more-colored-pencils! Will got a new lunchbox last year because it was his first real year of preschool. The others were left to choose from the pile of old but not worn out lunchboxes from years past. They each chose one and the rest were discarded, leaving me with one empty spot in my house - yippee!

That was last year. Moving on...

Will still carries his royal blue matchbox car lunchbox, though I suspect if I'd given him a choice he might have wanted to pick out a new one this year. I didn't give him the choice.

Morgan and Caroline both lost their lunchboxes toward the end of last year and had to resort to carrying their lunches in recycled gift bags. We found their new lunchboxes at the L.L.Bean outlet this summer.

Katherine perused the catalogs all summer and circled and hemmed and hawed until she found just the right lunchbox (the pretty one in the middle) to match just the right backpack. We ordered them both in time (we thought) to get them before the school year began. The lunchbox came right away but the backpack was back ordered.

No problem, really, we can wait. We're pretty patient! Not!

Katherine continued to use last years beat up backpack while she waited for her new one to come, asking me every day after school if I'd gotten email notification that it was coming. Then, today she announced that another girl at school had ordered the very same backpack and was notified that it wasn't going to come at all. We hadn't received any such notice so I got online as soon as I could shoo her out of the computer room, and found out that, yes, there would be no perfect backpack.

After a brief (but could have been oh so much briefer!) boo-hoo, we decided we'll have to order a different backpack. The only problem, she'll now have a lunchbox that doesn't match her backpack.

14 Things To Be Happy About!

1. Waking up to Mission Home pumpkin bread

2. Making lots of PB sands every day

3. White mushrooms

4. Homegrown flowers

5. Handiwork

6. Friends

7. Pink mushrooms
8. Coffee

9. Homemade blueberry bread
10. Funny stories about drinks

11. Empty cages
12. A new bead catalog

13. Kids swimming on a hot day
14. doesn't matter what they're doing, they make you happy

Project 365: August 30

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Project 365: August 29

Cool Air

Today marked the end of our sauna-living, which is kind of like southern living but without any mixed drinks or pampering!

The men came in three trucks at 9am and after dismantling our old system, proceeded to drive poor (and easily traumatized) Gracie into a stew with all of their drilling and banging and calling back and forth!

They were finished with us by 3, and after wringing us for all we had, left the premises in a happy caravan! They left behind a happy de-sauna-fied house, too. It didn't take too long before the whole house was cool again. It got so cool after a while that I turned the temperature up a few degrees! It was either that or put on a sweater!

Fit To Be Tied...Up

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Project 365: August 28

These girls really do know how to toe the line - tee hee.

Unlike the elementary school bus which stops at the driveway, the middle school bus stops on the busy main road. The kids all know that they are not allowed to go past that line in the road.

Funny thing about middle school buses - there's always someone getting into trouble. Always someone getting kicked off the bus for one reason or another. Today one of the 6th graders got into trouble. Caroline wanted to go to his aid believing that whatever he'd done had been an accident, but was cautioned against it for fear of incurring the wrath of the bus driver. Who knew that the bus driver had such power.

The Bus Riders

Here we are, waiting patiently for the bus to come....

There it is!

And here are our girls - don't they look like they go to middle school!?!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Project 365: August 27

A bright spot in our day.

Water Water Everywhere

Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink.**

Well, that's right. We have so much water at our house and cannot drink a drop!

First, we have a leak in a pipe so we had to turn the water off. That, of course, would mean we have no water...but really it means we have no drinking water.

Because we have a bounty of rainwater on the floor in the basement from the torrential rains that I mentioned coming through last night! So, no longer are we concerned for the area rug that was left drying in the sun only to be drenched by the rains. Nope, now we are busying ourselves with tearing up soaking wet wall-to-wall carpet, figuring out what went wrong, and trying to decide what job to tackle first. In the meantime, two of the girls have been displaced and are sleeping in the playroom because their floor is wet and their beds are dismantled!

Always an adventure!

**thanks to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his work The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Up On The Roof!

Did I tell you all that this man cancelled his business trip so that I would not have to deal with the mess of dealing with the insurance company*, or the plumber, or the air guys, or the clean-up of all this water all by myself!?! Wasn't that nice of him?!

Did I tell you that we've had numerous offers to stay at friends' homes?! And some friends even brought us dinner last night. Isn't life grand?!!

All this makes this adventure just a little bit less overwhelming! Thank you all.

* a non-event - our policy has an exclusion for water damage. Who knew?! Of course, being law school trained to always read everything we sign, I'm sure we did know at one point....

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Project 365: August 26

Morgan takes great delight in being able to figure out cell phones and, even greater delight in being able to show others how to use their own cell phones! Here she is showing her Dangy how to enter a number!

Scenes from a Birthday

For Morgan's birthday dinner she asked for stir fry. Have I mentioned recently that we have no air conditioning at our house?! I told her there was no way stir fry was happening in our kitchen even if it was her birthday!! Second best, and a long-forgotten favorite was Teppen Yaki! Ooh! The mere mention brings back such memories! We used to frequent The Chaing House quite often for birthday celebrations, and then it burned to the ground. Despite promises to rebuild, which my girls took to heart, the property now boasts a PetSmart and Embarq Stores. Tonight we went to The Flaming Wok! Here are some pictures!

Will loved everything about the meal - except the food. He did eat the rice but told the cooker guy that he did not like shrimp - it is yucky, and that he didn't eat chicken. He likes rice! That's it. Rice. The cooker guy was great and took Will in stride.

Will did open his mouth for the flying shrimp - I suppose he didn't really know what was coming but liked the idea of food flying through the air and catching it in his mouth. Shrimp flew, but Will didn't catch any. Just as well, it's yucky.
Grandmama on the other hand knew it was coming and, with great promise opened her mouth wide. Too bad she closed her eyes. It landed on her chin. Alas, mine did too! David is the only one who caught the shrimp in his mouth, but then he never knows when he'll get his next good meal!

Next we discovered chopsticks. Almost everyone used them - Will enjoyed picking up his vegetables and dipping them into the sauces. He never ate anything other than rice, but he had fun! Morgan got disgusted with her chopstick skill and finally resorted using the fork so she could finish her meal before they closed up the restaurant.

Toward the end of dinner we noticed it was pouring and David mentioned that he had left the girls' rug outside. Oh well, there wasn't much we could do about that since we were 20 minutes away. We headed on to Grandmama and Granddaddy's house for cake (no ice cream - we forgot and left it at home) since we have no air and it wouldn't be very comfortable for the Grandpeeps to be there for an extended time.

Too full from dinner we just had to let Morgan open her presents before cutting the cake. She opened a gift of necklaces from her grandparents who had already taken her clothes shopping. But then came the boring gifts from us. She must have opened 6 gifts - shirts all. Then came the last one - small, jewelry box, ooh what could it be?! Probably another tank top. nope! It was a cellophone, as Katherine used to call them.

Okay now, this child's life has to be complete. She's in high school, and she has a cell phone. What more is there?!

Oh yes! Cake!

Caroline helped to light the candles and burned her fingers in the process. A minor trauma before cake.

Today Is Your Birthday!

Fourteen years ago today we were blessed with our first child, a girl child.

I fully expected a boy. Just as sure as I was all those years ago when I thought I'd get a sister and ended up with another brother, I was sure we were going to have a boy and we got a girl!!

It didn't matter really. We didn't have anything for this baby other than a few onesies and some diapers! The bassinet was almost finished being repainted. The changing table was back ordered. The crib wouldn't be refinished for another 8 months! (Yes, she slept in the bassinet until she was 8 months old!)

So, here we were with a girl! In no time we were inundated with girly things - pink this, lace that. I'd never been a pink or lace kind of girl, but it sure was fun unwrapping all those beautiful dresses and outfits, and later dressing Morgan in them!

So began our journey. Morgan was such a good baby that she was quickly followed by another, and then another and then, finally, another. We're done!

Happy 14th birthday Morgan!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Project 365: August 25

Four days to go! We're counting down here in the little yellow sauna house.

We went to Kmart yesterday and the temperature was so pleasant that I thought we might have to move in for the week. They really do have everything a person could need!

The A/C guys are coming Wednesday morning! Until then, we'll manage with the fans, popsicles and sharing the freezer!

Oh! See that thing hogging the freezer? She's turning 14 tomorrow!

What?! Can't be. Yup. 1-4. There's no turning back. Help!

Pancake Breakfast

Morgan had her first experience waiting tables this morning when her cross-country team held a fundraiser at the local Applebee's. Pancakes and sausage, coffee and tea: all you can eat for $5! They had over 160 people come between 8 and 10am! I'm not sure of the total raised but they did well, and made enough on tips to give the Applebee's helpers big tips as well!

The girls were all too cute in their singlets and mini skirts, taking drink orders and schlepping plates of hotcakes.

We had quite a few family friends show up in support of the team - thanks to all who came out!

No Surprise Here!

Click to view my Personality Profile page

According to the above website, ISTPs generally have the following traits:

Interested in how and why things work
Do not function well in regimented, structured environments; they will either feel stifled or become intensely bored
Constantly gather facts about their environment and store them away
Have an excellent ability to apply logic and reason to their immense store of facts to solve problems or discover how things work
Learn best "hands-on"
Usually able to master theory and abstract thinking, but don't particularly like dealing with it unless they see a practical application
Action-oriented "doers"
Focused on living in the present, rather than the future
Love variety and new experiences
Highly practical and realistic
Excellent "trouble-shooters", able to quickly find solutions to a wide variety of practical problems
Results-oriented; they like to see immediate results for their efforts
Usually laid-back and easy-going with people
Risk-takers who thrive on action
Independent and determined - usually dislike committing themselves
Usually quite self-confident

Hmm. Very Interesting.

Project 365: August 24

How on earth am I supposed to wake this sweet thing up in the morning?! He's absolutely precious when he's sleeping, and such a cranky boy when we wake him up. Unless, we take it slow, and talk about all the caterpillar juice and grasshopper cereal we're having for breakfast. Then walk the bugs up his arms to his chin and blow on his eyelids.

Then, maybe then, he'll respond...and be less cranky, especially if I change the breakfast menu to oatmeal and orange juice! It's definitely worth the effort because it is so not pleasant to have a cranky guy in the house!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Project 365: August 23

It's the afternoon after the 2nd day of school.

These girls have already done their homework - 20 minutes of reading each (which was really longer because it's so hard to stop reading!), and cursive for K.

Then the computer called out. First we heard, Mary..., then Katherine. So they complied with the computer's request and played a few games.

First Day - After Preschool

The boy had a great day! Gabe was there too, and had an equally great day, but did not want to have his picture taken.

Check out his shoes. Not a single pair of sneakers in his size in our entire house. Poor kid, we didn't get his back-to-school shopping done in time!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Project 365: August 22

First Day 2007
Morgan 9th grade - first day of HIGH SCHOOL!!!!
Caroline 6th grade - first day of MIDDLE school!!!
Katherine 4th grade
Will - last year of preschool

A Walk Down Memory Lane:

That's Caroline (with baby Katherine) on her first day of preschool in 1998. Then Morgan's first day of 4th grade and Caroline's of 1st, in 2002. Lastly, Morgan starting 5th, Caroline starting 2nd, and Katherine starting Kindergarten.