Monday, March 31, 2014

The Good Parts of the Day

Ruby came in last night and saw a pan of rice fresh from the oven and exclaimed, "We are having duck duck for dinner!" When she saw my look of confusion she tried to explain. She thought we were having cous cous but got the name wrong.

Kaitlyn Princess, also known as KP, molted. It's the first time I've ever had a hermit crab molt. These were all of the parts we found from the molt I have no clue what happened to the rest. Everyone seems to be healthy and growing. The kids had mixed reactions to the molting. Some thought it was awesome and some thought it was gross. I find the idea both fascinating and disgusting all at the same time.

Rehm got new fish yesterday. Two mollies. He also ended up with a stow away baby mollie. The good news is the baby mollie has been spotted today and seems to be doing well as are the larger ones.

Charlotte and I have been reading the book Dragon Slippers for the past few weeks. Tonight we finished it. I loved watching her get excited when it all came together at the end. She can not wait to start the second book in the trilogy. The only bad part is we finished a little later than I would have liked. But when I wanted to stop we were at a real cliffhanger and I knew she was not going to be able to go to sleep until she knew what happened. She's been trying to fall asleep for a half an hour and is now stressing over the fact she can't sleep and has the STAAR test tomorrow. She is finally almost asleep. She will be fine and will do great tomorrow even though she is very worried about the test. Have I mentioned lately how much I despise all of the testing we do? But, that isn't a good thing from today so we are not going to talk about it.

More on the holiday card front to come tomorrow. It's too late for a second post tonight.


The Joke's on Me!

Ugh, ugh, ugh! Remember a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had finally ordered Christmas cards? Have you noticed that yours still hasn't arrived? Don't worry, it's not because you weren't on the list this year. It's because I still don't have the blasted things!

I ordered them from Sam's Club this year instead of online so that I would get them in a few days instead of a few weeks. Funny, isn't it? I originally went to pick them up on 3/20. When I got there, it was explained that online orders are all processed in Georgia. No where on the website did it tell me they were not processed in the store! And, my order status changed to "Pick up in Store" on Thursday. To me that means they are ready to be picked up in the store. But, no, it doesn't mean that at all. Apparently, I'm supposed to have some magic psychic ability to read the Sam's Club website's mind and know that it means no such thing.

The lady informed me they would call when they were ready. That is what they always do because they never know when they will arrive. Again, how was I supposed to know that? Again, she had no answers and seemed completely unaware of what was or was not explained on the website.

Today I realized they still had not called. I called and asked if they were in and was told they were. Great, my April Fool's cards would be a few days late but still close. I drive 20 minutes to go get them and spend another couple of dollars in tolls. I ask for my photos and the guy pulls put a package for Israel Mayen. Um, that's not me and I spelled my name for you! Hey Israel, if you happen to randomly be reading my blog, your photos are ready to be picked up, mine however are not.

The guy today was very polite and could understand why I would be frustrated but he had absolutely no idea when my photos would be there. He offered to get me a manager. If my photos are in photo processing hell in Georgia, the manager in Texas isn't going to do me a bit of good. The photo guy suggested I call the number on the website. I informed him the only number I had found so far was for the photo department of his store. Guess what, it isn't even a working number! It gives you an error message. It just keeps getting better.

Long story longer, I still managed to spend way too much money before leaving the store and I still don't have a Christmas card to send to anyone. I will be hunting down the number for online orders and calling them at some point today. Hopefully I'll get some answers and have cards to send soon.

If you haven't received a card in a week or two, it's not my fault, it's Sam's!

Learn from my mistake, don't order photos online from Sam's. They get held ransom in the Georgia photo processing Bermuda Triangle!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break: Hiking around the Ranch

Our first full day on the ranch we relaxed and took a hike. 

The house from one of the mountains


Spring Break

This year we were blessed to go on another adventure with the Weatherbys.  This is our third year to spend spring break with their family.  Everyone gets along so well, it makes for great trips no matter where we go.

Due to the generosity of a family from church we ended up on a ranch in Alpine, Texas.  For those of you know familiar with Texas geography, Alpine is in West Texas.  It is a small, quirky town complete with a university (Sol Ross State).  Rehm was adamant that there was know way there was a university there as it was too small and in the middle of nowhere.

Alpine is in the distance between the two mountains

While we were there we hiked on the ranch, feed the ranch horses, went to Big Bend and Teralingua, went to the McDonald Observatory, went to Marfa, went to Alpine, played games, read books, had a church service, watched javelina search for food, washed dishes by hand, cooked, had picnics, relaxed and had a great time.

Animals we saw included, dear, javelina, jack rabbits, rabbits, road runners, wild turkeys, raccons, horses, cows, and Odie and Paris, the ranch dogs.  It feels like I'm forgetting some, but that's the best I can do.

Here are pictures from SMC (Sunday Morning Church).  This is a tradition our kids came up with completely on their own and always a highlight of our spring break trip.  Each year it seems to have a new addition to the service.  New this year was a baptism (of American Girl dolls, and everyone else remembering their baptism), a bulletin, and a time of confession. 

The Bulletin - each one was hand printed

Charlie giving part of his sermon

Eliza Claire reading scripture

Ruby and Kennedy walking their girls through the congregation to introduce them while we sang Jesus Loves Me.

More to come about the rest of spring break later. 

My Son has No Filter

Rehm went with Michael and Grandma to purchase a new computer for Grandma and Grandpa.  When the sales person asked what they would be using the computer for my son said, "Generic old people stuff." 

It's a good thing that his grandfather wasn't along or he would have been in a world of trouble. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

A Teenager in the House!

It's kind of weird to realize we have reached this milestone. Though, when I look at the kid, it seems like we passed this milestone a while ago.

Rehm at thirteen:

He loves Minecraft and SimCity.

He wants to be president and run in 2048. Prior to being president, he is going to get an undergrad degree in Political Science then a MBA. He is going to start a company with his friend Jack. Then he is going to run for state legislature before moving on to the national scene. After retiring from president, he plans to be a high school teacher or college professor. He thinks he'll have good experience for teaching political science. Oh, he has told me I can be the ambassador to Australia or New Zealand.

He is five foot ten, as of a month ago. He's probably grown since then.

He has a girlfriend. This still weirds me out a bit. But I like her and it is providing a chance for many, many conversations on many important topics.

He's currently playing co-ed volleyball at the Y.

He asked for a disc golf set for his birthday and was thrilled when he got it.

He has taken over my aquarium, hallelujah! He has been working on getting it health and is deciding what fish he wants to add.

He plays bassoon in the school band. He helps out with the sixth grade double reed class during his lunch.

His favorite foods are pizza, pasta, and my potato soup, which he requested for his birthday dinner. He loves to cook pastas and bread.

He loves to sleep til noon. Though he does not get the chance often. He would be happy if every day was pajama day.

His room is a disaster.

He started shaving in the fall! That was kind of crazy for me. I wasn't expecting that at age 12. I thought that was a high school milestone.

He loves to watch Kahn Academy videos and history videos for fun.

He likes to pretend he is too old for Disney princess movies though he giggled his way through Frozen last weekend.

He is very responsible and enjoys school. He thinks teachers are the most awesome people ever.

He has his moments of totally middle school kid attitude. But, overall, he is an awesome kid. I'm so glad I get to be his mom.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Maybe We are a Little Too Busy

As soon as the girls got home from school I had to go to the middle school to see Rehm present his independent study project. I came home and started dinner. Rehm calls to say he's done with theater early and needs to be picked up. I go pick him up.

We had a home cooked dinner as a family before heading out to all of our activities. Tonight's activities were a softball game, volley practice, and a Boy Scout meeting. Rehm had a ride to scouts. Michael was coaching softball thus making sure Eliza Claire had a ride. I was taking Charlotte to volleyball. Ruby would tag along somewhere.

I was thrilled that I would be able to see most of Eliza Claire's game before taking Charlotte. So far this season I had only seen a single inning of a single game.. The game was great. The dolphins lost but Eliza Claire had a great game. She is settling in well playing first base and her hitting is good.

Charlotte and I left to go to her practice early enough that, not only were we on time, we were a few minutes early. We go in. I'm feeling proud of myself for having it all together. I sit down next to a friend and she asks me of everything is ok? I assure her it is and we start chatting. Not even five minutes later, the girls come up and say "let's go!" And then it dawns on me. Practice started at 6:00, not 7:00!

Yep, I showed up extremely late and completely clueless. Ugh! Charlotte was not happy with me. Hopefully next week I get the time right.

And for those of you concerned about Ruby and her uncertain plans this evening, she did manage to not get lost in the shuffle. Though I was a bit concerned as she decided not to go with me to volleyball and was at the playground at the ball field when I left there. I was afraid Michael wouldn't remember to bring her home. Grandma was at the game so she made sure Ruby wasn't forgotten.

Three nights each week are equally crazy. Here's hoping I have everything on the calendar and at the correct times going forward.


Friday, March 21, 2014

All Nighter

My first all nighter in many, many years. Maybe since college. There is no good reason.

My dear husband kept talking to me until after 1:00. Then he promptly said goodnight and was snoring 30 seconds later.

I on the other hand could not go to sleep. I wasn't sleepy yet. So I read for a bit.

By the time I got sleepy it was 2:30ish. There wasn't sufficient time to get enough sleep to make it worth while.

So I finished the book. Then I packed kid lunches and caught up on a couple of episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

As soon as all the kids are delivered to school, I'll finally be sleeping.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sleeping through the Night

This girl has woken up the past two nights between 1:00 and 2:00 am. Her teacher has been out sick Monday and Tuesday. Given her nighttime concerns, I'd say she was worried about Miss Z.

Monday night she wanted to go to school "right now! Even though it is the middle of the night." Tuesday she told me she couldn't sleep because she missed Miss Z.

We were both thrilled to see Miss Z. Back at school today. I'm glad she is feeling better and Ruby can quit worrying. I'm also hoping that tonight she will stay in her room all night!

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

I'm so Proud of my Girl

She brought home her certificate for having read 10,000 minutes so far this school year. People, that is 167 hours of reading!

At the beginning of 2014 she had just 3500 minutes. Since starting to use Learning Ally her time reading has become more enjoyable for her. Not all of her reading is assisted by Learning Ally. She has become a much more independent reader.

Apparently there is only one other student in her class that has read 10,000 minutes or more.

I am so glad Charlotte has found the joy of reading.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Band Competition

Rehm's band participated in a competition today. This was the first competition I've seen.

Rehm is the bassoon (brown tubes sticking up just to the right of the director) on the left.

They did great and received all ones, the best you can do. They performed three songs that they have been rehearsing for several months and one song that they had never seen before and had 7 minutes to review before playing it together as a band. Rehm said the song was easier than several they had practiced preparing for this task.

Band finding out their scores

I'm really glad I got to go see them perform. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for getting the girls to choir so I could go.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Ice, Ice Baby

Here are a few pictures from
Tuesday and the weather that caused our two hour delay.

It was nice that there actually was winter weather for this delay and nice that the roads were fine.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

No More Braces!

Phase one is done for Miss Charlotte. She is a very happy girl. Tomorrow we come back to get her new sparkly purple retainer.

I forgot to take a picture before they took off the braces. This was the only pic I could find on my phone where she had them.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The not so Joyous Parts of Pets

I'm blaming the cats for this. Nothing like walking into a room to find furniture overturned.

This was definitely Pearl. I don't know why but she has become a sneaky counter surfer. She knows better than to attempt getting something off the counter if someone is in the room. I'm hoping this scared her but since she can't hear the crash, I doubt it did.

My kids do plenty of damage of their own but when compounded with the pets, I'm definitely fighting a losing battle.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Life Lessons

Rehm needed his dress shirt pressed for band competition tomorrow. Guess who just got his first ironing lesson?

This guy. Yep, he just got home from scouts.

He also knew he had to do laundry today so that he would have a clean shirt to iron. His future wife will thank me.

He is very proud of himself.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Finding the Positive

Ruby and Eliza Claire just came downstairs abuzz about the bags Charlotte is making for them. Ruby's is to hold her "detective stuff," and Eliza Claire's is for her "science stuff."

When asked what fabric Charlotte was using I was told she
Had gotten it from my stash. I have a drawer full of fabric specifically for their use. They are free to get anything in it, at any time, without permission.

If they want fabric from my stash they have to ask first. That way I'm sure they aren't using something I have plans for or one of my more expensive fabrics, you know the ones from a quilt store.

The fabric she chose was not slated for a specific fabric - positive. It was from a quilt store - negative. She was sewing on her own - positive. She was making something for someone else - positive. She felt confident tackling a project without help - positive. She disobeyed the rules - negative.

My gut reaction was to get mad and give her consequences. Luckily, I had 10 seconds to evaluate the situation before she got downstairs. I decided it was already sewn and the positives outweighed the negatives and gently reminded her of the rules and complimented her on her work.

Honestly, my fabric is more modern and bright that the stuff they have access to without asking. So my fabric loving self totally understands her choice.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ready for Softball

Eliza Claire got her uniform today. She immediately wanted to try it on. Her first game is Tuesday. Her team is the dolphins.

I don't know if you can see her socks. They have waves and "dolphins" on them. Given their colors and team name were decided before looking for socks, I thought these were a great choice.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, March 01, 2014

February Quilting Projects

I did get them all finished in February, but just barely.

Block of the Month

Tula Pink's 100 Modern Blocks Club

Flaming Windows

Incarcerated Blossoms

Power Plant

Floral Crossroads

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone