Sunday, November 30, 2008

How Embarrassing!

We are home from Thanksgiving with my parents and brother. A good time was had by all. We had Thanksgiving dinner, celebrated Laurel's birthday #1 (she'll celebrate again on her actual day), went to the Fantasy of Trees, and a Santa event with my parents. However, there is always that event that everyone will remember each year. Here is the one that will go down in history for our Thanksgiving 2008:

We left for Knoxville for the holiday early Wednesday morning. On the afternoon before a couple of space heaters we bought to warm the basement tripped the breaker switch. We weren't that worried about going out to the garage to flip it back. We were going to be out of town anyway and we were busy getting packed to leave. However, as we drove through Nashville on Wednesday morning it dawned on me....the downstairs fridge is on that switch. The $300 worth of beef I bought two weeks ago? Yes, its in that freezer. We started to turn around and drive the two or so hours back home to flip the breaker. The kids are crying as they realize this means at least four hours more added to our drive. We decide to call a locksmith that we know from church. He tells us he will go over and take care of things for us. The children are elated. We are thankful to know him. He goes over and takes care of things, calls us, and even goes downstairs and checks the fridge for us. All is well. Thirty minutes later we think- Is the small heater still plugged in? We knew Matthew unplugged the large one, but weren't sure about the smaller unit. Then we debated about who was going to call the locksmith again. I couldn't do it. Had it not been someone I have to face regularly it might have been different, but I was too embarrassed. Tim made the call for me. He agreed to go back out and make sure the heaters were both unplugged so that we wouldn't worry all weekend about the house catching fire. He told us the first time we called that he had gone out before for people to unplug coffee pots, but this was his first "turn on the fridge for us" call. I guarantee he has never had to go out twice for people who needed to be more attentive to a thrown breaker switch. I will happily pay him for his time (and aggravation), I just hope I can do it without him thinking I am a total idiot.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I thought I would share our devotional thought from school today as I pause for a quick moment while packing to travel for the holiday: Recall the story of the 10 lepers and remember to be the 1, not one of the 9. Challenging isn't it? Now I have to get ready. The kids plan to be ready to leave before dawn. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

They'd rather have a dog!

Over the weekend the kids participated in a Thanksgiving service at the church. It was nice and they had a great time. Later we watched the video of their performance at home. The camcorder kept playing and we all enjoyed cute video of "Baby Katey." We remembered how everyone loved Katey as an infant. With Matthew and Carter there were a few challenges as we all adjusted to the new little one in the house, but not with Katey. They all remembered those days and how much they adored her (now she is big and much more in their business so...). It was at this moment that those 4 feet and under in the house decided we need a new baby. We don't have a cute little one around anymore. Even Laurel said she would be willing to accept a boy in the family IF he was sweet like Katey was as an infant. Today, however, as I pointed out the challenges of a baby they began to think things through a little more. When I told them that having another baby would mean that we would not be getting a dog anytime soon, they quickly decided that they prefer a dog. Their campaigning came to an abrupt end.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving crafts

Our school work this week has several Thanksgiving crafts. Today we made placemats. Here is a picture of the kids hard a work "weaving":

Friday, November 21, 2008

She's almost 8, not 2!

People frequently ask us if the boys are twins. They look alike and are close in age and size so even those who know us well often mistake the boys for one another. We have been guilty of not looking closely and calling the wrong name. Tonight it was something different. We were finished with dinner and doing art at the table. Tim laid his head down on the table as the kids were finishing their work. A few minutes later Laurel went into the kitchen and climbed up on a counter stool to pour herself a drink at the counter. Tim was suddenly upright and telling her "No, no stop!" I was looking at him and trying to figure out what is wrong when he began to laugh. He explained "I thought it was Katey." The boys I understand, mixing up Katey and Laurel....that is a stretch. I think he needs more sleep!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parental torture by retail

The children and I went to Paducah today. Another Carson Center performance for school followed by errands in the "city." The retailers were in full holiday swing and the turkeys aren't even thawed. It challenged our resolution to focus on Thanksgiving. I gave up counting how many times I heard "Can I have this?" today. No, no, no. I appreciate what the retailers are doing- I understand the marketing tactics - clearly they work. I know why Kohls had toys ALL OVER THE STORE. I am not a recreational shopper. I really do not like to shop with my kids and I certainly don't appreciate things that set my kids up to either (a) annoy me or (b) get themselves in trouble (usually (a) leads to (b)). I hope to keep them out of the stores as much as possible over the next few weeks so that we can have family harmony and they won't be tempted. However, that said, this year I am going to try to be less annoyed at the process. With so many friends around us struggling and out of work, I just want those store associates to keep their jobs. That means people have to buy stuff- hopefully in a thoughtful way. However, here is a news flash for those readers who live within the confines of our home. Mom finished shopping today- so don't even ask. Remember: Be Thankful.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Matthew and Matt play guitar

Tim's brother came to visit and spent some time teaching Matthew how to strum the guitar. Matthew caught on quickly and enjoyed strumming while Uncle Matt played the chords for him. He enjoyed it so much that he has a blister on his thumb today!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Declaring Independence

Laurel asks "Why are you putting school in your blog?" Because that is what we have done all week. This week we learned about America's break away from Britain. Thomas Jefferson, the various actions by Parliament that encouraged colonial rebellion, the Declaration, and the Revolutionary War. For a history major it was hard to cover all that in a week. I kept reminding myself that they are 7 and 6 years old, and they don't have to know all the details at this point... but I couldn't help myself. I think they liked the Liberty's Kids cartoon I showed them today best of all, so much for my hours of reading to them. At any rate, we have been busy this week and doing well. Tim's brother called today and is coming to visit this weekend. So, I am off to pick up the house. Have a good weekend everyone!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

91 Years Old

Today we celebrated Mary's 91st birthday. Here is the photo Tim took of his Mom after she opened her present from us-a winter outfit:
We spent the afternoon with her and enjoyed lunch, presents, and cake. She said we did too much, but how is that possible when you are celebrating 91 years? For those of you who know us well- we will likely have to return the clothes.

Yesterday we spent the day at Murray State: piano lessons, the Fiddler's Festival, and the MSU game. We had a good time, though it was cold. I was reminded of the days when I sat in a large stadium in Knoxville enduring 30 degree temps in the rain to watch football. Those days are over- I am officially "old". My kids thought it sounded crazy, they are just too young.

This weekend also brought more trouble with our fridge. It wasn't working Friday night. When we discovered the thawing freezer we moved everything downstairs to the extra fridge and then discussed how expensive a new fridge would be. Saturday morning it was working again. Tonight it is making some strange noises. We bought a few groceries this afternoon and put those in it when we came home (the rest of the food is still downstairs). Tim's theory: "It works best with no food in it". Not exactly practical.

Katey had a potty incident this weekend and I had gone out without a change of clothes for her. I handled it by just letting her go "free" in her sweatpants. Later there were consequences -but for fear that we might be identified by people connected with the place in which this occurred here is all I can say publicly: When a child reports another child has dropped evidence of #2 in a non-kid friendly public place respond quickly and hide the evidence (hopefully you too will have an empty coffee cup on hand) . Be sure to check the pant leg of the offending child (who is undie free) before allowing said child to go mobile in that public place, thus leaving further evidence. "Bottom Line"- When you have a kid who refuses to do #2 in the potty always remember the back up underwear!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dinner at MSU

Once a month during the school year we go to eat at the university with Tim's residential college. It is a major highlight for the kids. We put it on the calendar, look forward to it for days, plan our schedule around it, you get my point. Those of you who went away to a college with a meal plan/dining hall situation likely remember those days of massive food choices and the freshman 15. The cereal selection alone gets the hearts of my little ones racing. Tonight was the night for this month. Here is what my oldest children consumed: Spaghetti, pizza, fruit, cereal (three kinds mixed, two bowls each), ice cream, and multiple beverages from the fruit drink fountain station- various kinds. We loaded up afterward to go to church and Laurel and Matthew both begged to go home to bed. They were too full, they claimed, to be able to walk to class in the building. They both just wanted to go home and sleep. They made it through church, but neither asked for a snack as they usually do on Wednesdays after we arrived home tonight! Their first lesson in overeating. Next time they say they will plan ahead more, eat less, but with purpose and forethought. There is lots of food they don't get at home, so the decisions may be difficult ones. Sometimes it is easier to let the consequences do the teaching, I don't think I will need to warn them again about this one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

She sleeps, but not when I wanted

I spent the afternoon trying to teach Katey that she had to stay in her room for quiet time. The last couple of weeks have been a struggle. She wants to play with the other kids so despite toys, music, and books in her room she keeps coming out and playing in the bathroom and with the other kids. I never convinced her today. She had me at my wits end today so after an hour I told her to come downstairs. Laurel came down and wanted to watch a show on TV so I sat Katey down with her. I went upstairs to fold laundry and when I returned this is what I found:
Notice the wet sleeves. She told me she needed to wash off her shirt. Little Miss INDEPENDENT!!!!! I can't believe God gave me two with such hard heads!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A weekend full of fun for the kids

Friday was the LAMP homeschool group fall get-together. It was lots of fun with a hayride, fire to roast hot dogs, candy, and play time for the kids. Saturday the kids had their final soccer games and parties and such. They love their trophies/medals. Laurel is sad the season is over, Matthew is ready for basketball, and I am happy to have no practice tomorrow night! For the first time on over a month our weekly menu does not include the $5 footlongs at Subway. Today after church we had our small group in the park followed by disc golf. Tim, Matthew, and Laurel played (along with some guys from church) while Katey, Carter and I did the grocery shopping. I've decided I like the boy/girl split better than the young/old split.

Tim's Mom had a fall this weekend at the get-together Friday night. God clearly had his hand on her as she required no medical attention after hitting her head when she fell while walking to the car. Tim stayed with her overnight, but she said she didn't even have a headache. Amazing. We are preparing to celebrate her 91st birthday next Sunday.

It was a good weekend, but a tiring one. Monday morning will come early!!