Tuesday, December 30, 2008
My mom and her husband Rod flew in on the 23rd at 12:42am.
They go their luggage all messed up, along with half of the rest of the passengers. So after a couple hours of mass confusion we left with low hopes of seeing their luggage later that day.
The 23rd and 24th seem to have passed with much shopping involved. Though they are all kind of jumbled together so I am not REALLY sure what ACTUALLY happened those two days.
"Santa" went last minute on the kids gift (after I spent DAYS driving around to different places looking for it and HOURS on the phone calling even MORE places) and found a Wii at 10:30pm on the 24th from a guy on Craigslist. I admit I was a wee bit apprehensive about "Santas" shenanigans and the manner in which he got the item (the exchange took place in the parking lot of a Walmart ... very shady in my books). But thus far it has provided several hours and many many many matches fun. So I guess it was all above board.
The kids had a fabulous time opening all thier gifts. I'll have to send a special thanks some how, some way to Jerry's sister in law Wenda for sending Ms. R a pallet of make up. Oh yes, Wenda, yours is coming to you. I promise you, this will not be forgotten.
Both the kids were spoiled delightfully and got pretty much everything they asked for, save a few things that I really didn't want them to have anyway ;)
My "big" gift this year is laser hair removal. I've only had one treatment of the 5 thus far. It hurts like a booger. But seriously, I WAX and that doesn't hurt very much less. And this is PERMANENT. Oh yeah, baby. Mama's going to town. (Does anyone know WHERE town is? How you get there? What the purpose of going to said town IS? I've often wondered these things in my spare "I have too much alone time" time.)
As my one good deed for the year I had the missionaries over for dinner. Though with Rod here, I'm not to sure it was such a good deed as torture treatments for the Elders. Haha. I kid, it was acutally a really nice meal with a lot of laughter, joking, story telling, fact swaping and food partaken.
The 26th found us ... oh yeah. Shopping. At the mall. Oh. Horrors. I don't think I actually bought anything I was so traumatized by the sheer size of the lines.
On the 27th I took the kids out to Quitman to spend some time with his two younger brothers, both of whom Ms. R adores. She's still not sure who she loves more, she leans towards Brian. But Michael C. is just so darn cuddly.
I took Jerry's mom and my mom to the Broadway production of Annie at Bass Hall (I have to include the fact that Dawn paid for half of my mom's ticket) on the 28th. It was sen-sa-tion-al. I swear to you, the songs sounded even sweeter, crisper and more harmonized than they are in the original movie. The lead girl Kelsey Lee Smith thrilled me to my toes. Her voice was sooo fabulous. I cannot say enough about how well put together the production was. I would so get season tickets to all the Bass Hall productions if I could find a "theatre buddy".
Yesterday ... we shopped again. Seriously, it's some sort of sick Canadian addiction. These punks can't enough when they come down to visit me! Even with the exchange crumby, they are still getting a good deal - so we're out there hitting it hard. Alright, THEY are hitting it hard, I'm just a handy chaufer.
Today we headed out to a few outlining communities for my mom and Rod to check out what the land, people, prices, blah blah blah were like. They are looking into being Texas snow birds for a couple/few months of the year. They (read:SHE) wants to be close enough to me to spend lots of time together, but far enough out they don't have to worry about big city traffic and what not. I think we found a few contenders. I guess we'll see what happens next winter when the snows hit Alberta where they are planted - here or there.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
If anyone can give me any insights as to why it literally makes me want to tear off my skin when my kids touch me when I'm tired ... let me know.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I'll think about sharing it. We'll see.
In other news Jerry has been sick for the last week. Anyone else notice how men handle being sick WAY worse than kids do? Seriously, it's absurd.
We went out a couple weeks ago to The Dump and found the perfect couch/chair/ottoman combo for the TV room and what Jerry considered the perfect leather couch for his office. I'm still not sure why we didn't just buy it that day. It's not like The Dump is one of those places that you can order it in if you don't find it there. They either have it or it's gone. Well, Jerry went in the following weekend while I was out of town hoping to surprise me with them when I got home. Much to his dismay both the set and the single were GONE. We went back in today and found nothing we liked. The search resumes. (Half hearted on my part, I'll admit)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I stole this from Jasmine's blog ... the ones in bold I have done, the ones in italics I want to do .... forget it, blogger is driving me insane. The only thing you can REALLY tell by this list is the bold things. Stupid blogger.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightening storm at sea
14. Taught yourself art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch Hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Run a marathon
27. Gone skinny dipping
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birth place of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung Karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported by ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
51. Been snorkeling or SCUBA diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre
64. Donated blood, platelets, or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Time Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed a prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someones life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Oh never mind, I'll just go gnaw on the foot I have stuck in my mouth for a while.
I am thankful for ...
Two children I truly like. Whom I more often than not think of as my friends and feel a connection to them that makes me aware I knew them before we came here. I may not believe in destiny, but I do believe somethings are pre-destined.
The state I live in. I cannot stress enough how glad I am to live somewhere that it is only mildly cold 2-3 months of the year.
The school district Jerry and I stumbled upon when we bought this house. This house may be a lot of crappy things, but the school district we are in is exemplary.
My health. I am glad that in general, I'm rarely sick.
For a house to live in. I may gripe about it, but we may have been on the street a few times in the past years without it.
For a husband who works hard to try to provide the things we need (and maybe, someday - simply want).
For a mother I know I can tell anything to.
For a sister who will tell it to me straight and still love me when I disappoint and hurt her.
For a brother who has learned that the world is not infact black and white, but has vast patches of gray.
For in laws who accept, love and appreciate me.
For a dad who tries hard to see everyone's point of view, even when he has no idea what he's talking about.
For the Gospel and the steadying influence it's had in my life.
For the emotional strength to deal with all I do and not have a break down ... mostly.
For B-man's continual improvements.
For Ms. R's ever loving sweetness.
For my truck. I'd be miserable without transportation. Even if I do always dream of something newer, sleeker, better.
For my sense of humor. It saves me a lot of tears.
For the freedoms I enjoy because of what others have sacrificed.
For small comforts, like fuzzy socks.
For running, HOT water.
For a steady source of food.
We met them at the church it was set up behind and proceeded to wander through the tiny Town of Bethlehem that had been erected. I thought it was very well done. The actors all did their "busy work" relatively believably, they had the kids interact with the characters as often as possible, even with a huge crush of people the scene around The Stable was relatively reverent. With a few less people it would have been more enjoyable, but that's not really something they can control. So I took it for what it was. A free (donations gladly accepted!) presentation of the town Jesus was born in.
Jerry said something that had my hopes raised then dashed, "I have this list of fun things I'd like to do," (long pause, in which I thought, "REALLY?!?!? ME TOO! We should compare and start doing them!") THIS is not on it." He really doesn't have a list. Bugger.
As we were driving away, he re-enforced his opinion, "He (meaning his dad) couldn't have really thought that was a good time." From me ... loooong pause.
Him, startled, "You did?"
So I told him, yeah - other than the huge crowd of people, I enjoyed it for what it was. Thought it was presented well and didn't regret the hour drive down there. *silence*
Then as we were driving home we got behind a woman who was doing a lot of "wandering" and "weaving". This made both Jerry and I nervous, so we decided to follow her for a while, then called 911 when she nearly ran into a Suburban. I reported what we were witnessing, the car description, licence plate ID, the womans general description (between Jerry and I, were kick butt witnesses), explained our location, my trucks description and gave my name. The operator asked us if we'd mind following the car for a bit. We had nothing to better to do. So we followed. 820, 30, Henderson, Jacksboro ... All the while, giving cross streets, reporting her erratic driving (ooooh, she just hit a curb ... driving 35 in a 50 ... straddling the white line ... ) and WAITING for a cruiser to come along. At one point the operator said, "I have no idea what is taking them so long, pretty soon she's going to be out of our jurisdiction" Oh great. So we've just dilly dallied behind this chick for ... how long and it may be for naught? Oh no? You'll just transfer us to another operator. Oh, fan-frickin-tastic. The cruiser finally pulled up beside us, gave me the inquiring eye, I gave her the finger (not THAT finger!), he gave me "the nod" and we pulled off to get back on track.
Interesting side note - once you've called 911 on a Sprint Instinctit goes into "Emergency" mode and will not mute or hang up. The only one who can sever the connection is the operator. On one hand I really appreciate that feature if you're actually, really in a jam. But what happens if you're kid accidentally dials it? Hmmm.
It's provoked MANY discussions on things Ms. R generally doesn't talk much about till she's just about asleep then pops and and says, "Mom, you know what I was thinking ... "
and I have to reply, "No, I don't. But you'll have to wait to tell me tomorrow, because now it's time for sleep." Then it never comes up again.
We've figured out how to play an impossible game on her DS2.
She's play rolled with her brother.
They've played more games of "catch me and tackle me" (GENTLY) then can be counted.
Yeah, she's stretching her "imagination" wings or what the crap ever and trying my patience with her "stories".
Yeah, he can be a pestie that works on my last nerve.
But I like 'em.
They're pretty great.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I'm just not.
And here is one of the reasons why:
1-2 Cups of you favorite nut/s
ABOUT 1/4 c of butter (it was pointed out to me by Dawn that sticks of butter aren't sold in Canada, sorry my fellow citizens, let me correct that error)
1/2-3/4 cups- light brown sugar
1-2 Tbs.- Corn syrup (light/dark)
A tsp. each of your favorite spice- ei: cinnamon,nutmeg,clove,etc.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The animal shelter thing I kind of understood, as I'd taken B-man and Ms. R to a number of local animal shelters when we were looking for a new cat. Maybe her story got confused or the teacher didn't understand exactly what she was trying to convey. These are the excuses I gave the teacher and myself.
Made a sweater? Hahahahhahaha. That one is the most laughable of all. Right. Pearl one, knit two.
Last week I mentioned to Jerry that it was odd that Ms. R hadn't passed off the level she has been working on at math, as she gets all the questions right every time when we're working on them at home, but always misses at least one at school. So he sat her down and asked her about it and she confessed she was scared of passing this level because the next would be hard. I then brought home a copy of one of the next levels work sheets and had her do it with out telling her it was from the next level. Once again, she got all of the equations right. After pointing this out to her, I encouraged her to work harder and pass this level so she could move forward. Jerry raised the stakes by telling her that if she didn't start getting 100% on work we KNOW she can do, her TV privileges would be taken away (her favorite thing in the whole world to do, like father like daughter). I was unable to monitor her progress on this front because he set these rules down the night before I was to start attending the Autism conference, but took faith in the fact that she knows what 100% is and could tell us. Two nights in a row after returning from the conference she proudly told me she'd earned 100% on the math work sheets and we did the happy dance, high fived and generally carried on like she was fantastic.
Yesterday afternoon, upon returning to my regular routine of volunteering in her class I was confronted with a horrible reality. She had lied to us. Twice. I was angry beyond words. So what did I do? Reprimanded her in front of her teacher and set down the law - I am going to triple the punishment time, then add a day just for good measure. That's right, 7 days of no TV. Ms. R's nightmare come to life. Don't mess with me, I'm a mad mom.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The first place I went was Piranha Killer Sushi. So, so, so, so (should I put one more so on to make a point? No, point made? Okay.) delicious. The wait staff were prompt, friendly, knowledgeable and actually added nicely to the atmosphere. I ordered their Birthday Roll (shrimp tempura, eel, masago, scallions and cream cheese topped with avocado ... ohhhh mama). It was fabulous. I was tempted to try out a few more dishes - if only they weren't $8-$10 a plate each. The amount on the place offered was enough to make me feel content but not full, very nicely done. If I ever make friends, I am taking a few of them down there so we can order a variety of plates and share. Friends? Hello? I'm buying the first dish ...
The other place I am going to mention is Tandoor Indian Restaurant. My first gauge as to if this place was worth sitting down in? The "ethnic" people far out numbered the Caucasians. And four of the 6 other whities in the restaurant spoke with English accents. For some reason, I've always thought English people had good taste in East Indian food. I can't help it ... I have strange ideas. I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala with a side of Naan (fresh off the pan, Lord bless us everyone) it came with seasoned rice. I shouldn't have done this. I should have known I was dooming myself. Now I just have a greater craving for East Indian food and know exactly where to find it. The service here was also pleasant, prompt and non-intrusive. I stuffed myself and still had left overs for about $13. Not bad for supper.
Joint Attention - Used on younger children. Wants to share something with you in a purposeful manner - not use you as a vehicle to get something.
Struggling with Life - an ABC news special
Teach them how to articulate the need to have a beak without the drama.
ALWAYS have high expectations
Support lessons with visuals. Auditory goes in one ear and out the other.
They are concrete, literal thinkers.
To eliminate rearranging of picture schedules, take away pictures that are not options at that moment (or day).
Knowing how to read a schedule is not something kids automatically know how to do. It's something that must be taught, just as math, science, ect.
Horizontal Picture Schedule - This is a helpful way to teach kids the correct way to read, prepping them for true reading in the future.
Transition Markers - these are helpful in teaching a child how to transition. "Activities over, time to check schedule."
Can be simple as a Popsicle stick to small toys of child's favorite image(dinosaurs, cars, ect)
To help kids who do not deal with "surprises" to their schedule, include "surprises" in their schedule. First fun things, then things that are not so fun. Move around when the surprises happen to make it a change, but not too unexpected.
Make "communication tickets". Give them a # of tickets, allowing them to talk about the specific (their favorite) topic for a certain amount of times. They may talk about their topic all the would like during "free time", but not structured time.
Teach them idioms - but understand the will not get why it's not actually (ie) raining cats and dogs.
The use of hula hoops helps teach kids the distance appropriate for personal space. Not too close, not too far.
I was REALLY tired by the time the TAC gave it's update ... at 5:30 Thursday evening. My handwriting is generally not the tidiest - but not THIS bad. Now I'm trying to figure out what I was saying, "Residential ..." whatchamawhochas?Liane Holliday Willey:
Language first, THEN social skills.
Test for heavy metals
Water or Hippo therapies or both
Meta cognition - help them think about how they think
DO NOT FORCE EYE CONTACT
Get a "peer helper". Someone who can help your student understand what is socially acceptable.
BACK YOUR KIDS UP!
Work with your teachers
Listen to your kids body
Try Tai Chi/Yoga - for the kids!
Navigating the Maze: Age Three and Kindy Transitions:
Try to develop a Child Profile
Risk Management, Law Enforcement, Emergency Response and Autism
How do we build skills so they can become independent
Use simple and direct instructions
May need to repeat and rephrase questions
Resist impulse to act quickly
Calm Creates Calm
say things over and over quietly and calmly
911 dispatch telecommunicator training - Flag with key data about your household
My Child has Autism card
Drowning is the leading cause of death of people with Autism
Introduce your child to fire and police. Up close. So they are not freaked out if a real situation occurs and they need their help
Get your child a medical alert bracelet.
Teach Life Skills to Children with ASD - PLEASE!
Put them in a lot of situations, a lot of cross walks, a lot of stop signs, a lot of choices - so they do not delegate that specific place to that thing.
Persistence is key.
Figure out the rules the kids NEED.
Have kids start doing independent things EARLY
-Order own food
-Sort own laundry
There is no failure- only data.
Visual examples are great
Give your kids power, show them how to do things themselves
You MUST show them how to communicate in every day situations
Communication is POWER
Dogs are good Autistic children
Teach them their phone # and address
Exploit every opportunity
Give them chance to succeed
Teach kids to SHOP ON A BUDGET
Give them chores at grocery stores
-pick out ...
Chores build skills
Use Sports Illustrated for facial expressions
Give them an alternate to hitting "If you're angry, here's what you can do."
Do not force his to eat anything - id he doesn't like what's for supper - PB sandwiches
Time alone heals from the stress of life
Develop parameters for AUTISTIC tendencies - locate, do not destroy
-develop USEFUL stims
-teach a variety so they have a choice - acceptable ones
Life skills overcome barriers
get on Medicaid waiver program waiting list
If claims are denied - call CUSTOMER SERVICE and ask for a supervisor.
Parent Resource Center
Behavior Intervention Plan
Keep Your Head and Arms in the Ride at all Times:
Autism cruises ... or cruise lines that make allowance for such situations - CARNIVAL has special needs department
Respite for special needs kids
find dog park
miniature littlefield sheepdogs
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I am already over loaded with information and am so excited for what's coming tomorrow. It's unbelievable how many resources there are out there and how much humor there is to be found in the Autistic/Asperger's community.
My brain is fried ... I'll probably have to give you a run down on Sunday. Tonight I am just way beyond done.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As previously stated we rented a Dodge Journey for our trip up to my cousin Kari's reception up in Quincy, Il. I dug around the Enterprise website a little and found out if we rented it for a week we got 1500 miles for out of pre-destined states, which was perfect. I got a different car for a week and a legitimate reason to have to for more than 4 days.
I had originally requested a GMC Acadia, as I have rented one of those before and know that I love it. With the knowledge I was driving at least 30 hours in said rented vehicle I felt more comfortable with a car I knew I loved over trying my hand at a new brand - at least for this trip. However, upon arrival I was told they no longer had any in and wouldn't be getting any Acadia's in till after Thanksgiving. My options were a Jeep Commander, Ford Explorer or the Dodge Journey. With the Jeep and Ford getting maybe 18 mpg, they weren't my likely choices. So the Journey it was.
Things I liked: Leather interior made any spills a breeze to wipe up, the V6 gave the heavier vehicle nice pick up and I was never worried about being run over by a truck driver who assumed he had the right of way, the power sunroof though never opened was a nice touch, in dash 6 CD player/Sat radio/iPod connection, automatic dimming rear view mirrors, three zone climate control, 2nd row slide forward and backward, there was a third row though we never used it, three power points (is that what the plug in's are called?) and one regular power plug in, power drivers seat, cruise control, volume and station controls on steering wheel, a place on the dash board to put two 12 oz sodas - and it keeps them cold! The center console was deep enough for me to keep 7 DVD's, two packs of gum and my drivers licence in it, the second row floor had cargo area
Things I did not like: Massive blind spots in rear corners, it feels small inside - my family of four would not be comfortable on a long drive, the rear cargo is smaller than my current vehicle - I couldn't pack much to go very far, the seat wasn't heated - on long drives my hips begin to ache and I find if I have heated seats I can turn it on and it eases the pain, the gear shifter seems like they are trying to be high class and just becomes a jumble, if you're sitting in a comfortable position you can not see the entire instrument panel, the volume on the stereo doesn't decrease and increase with speed - a little extra I appreciate
Based solely on the blind spots, interior space and rear cargo space alone I'd have to pass this vehicle up, even if I didn't have all those other qualities I disliked.
So over all, not impressed. Next time I'll request something else.
Jerry rented me an SUV on Monday because I was headed up to Illinois on Thursday and there was no way I was taking my truck with the alternator on the fritz and no cruise control. I'll give you a run down of the pros and cons of the Dodge Journey (which I certainly did not request) in a different post cause I know you're just DYING for one.
The kids didn't have school on Wednesday so we headed out early, dropped by Costco and got the ridiculously long list of things Linda just couldn't do without this Thanksgiving, then made our way out to Quitman (aka Nowhere, Texas). That evening Linda and Wayne had a few of their friends and Waynes mom, Erma, come join us for some "rousing" games (dude ... the youngest person besides myself was 65) of Pictionary. I love old people. I swear I do. All the word strips were movie titles, easily identified, if not easy to draw. Erma ... oh my Erma. She was a lost cause. For instance, one of her word strips was "Around the World in 80 Days". What did she draw? A circle with a couple squiggles in it. That was it. Then she just sat there, regally staring us all down, waiting for us to come up with it. Lord love her.
Thursday morning was all about cooking and table arrangements for Linda and myself. Jerry and Wayne took the kids fishing till just before the feast was served, which was their favorite part of the day. Linda makes most traditional dishes a lot different from how my mom (therefore myself also) makes them, so I guess fortunately for me, I ate sparingly. After a brief rest, I packed up the car, the kids and myself and headed off for Illinois. We made it to Searcy, AR and buckled down there for the night.
Friday was a long day of "adventure". Somewhere around St. Louis I pulled in for gas and as we were pulling out some punk came swerving into the lane I was exiting so I pulled over a bit and went over a curb. A little hard. A lot hard, apparently. I immediately noticed the alignment was off, so I used the handy dandy function on my Sprint Instinct and found the closest Firestone. They informed me the alignment was thrown off to the point that they would not feel comfortable with me driving the SUV back to Texas. Awe-frickin-some. They didn't come to this conclusion till 11 minutes after all the Enterprise rental locations in the area were closed. Wonder-frickin-ful. I was informed, however, that Enterprise had a rental agency in the town we were headed to and they'd be open the next morning at 9. Great. Fantastic. Moving on. We finished the 13 hour trip on a less than triumphant note.
Saturday morning I first called up the originating rental location, explained the issue and got permission to exchange the vehicle. Took the SUV almost literally across the street and found out they had no rentals available. The young man there was more than helpful, he called all the other locations within a 40 mile radius and found out no one had any extras available... the St. Louis airport location did however. *grinds teeth, sets bright smile* Two hours, twenty minutes later the kids and I pull up, introduce myself as the woman who called for the exchange and was shown to a Kia Sportage. Not impressed with the down step, but accept it as it is still sort of in the same class as the Journey. I noticed a faint smokey odor but was resolved to not make too much of a fuss - I had a cousin in Quincy I had to go make an appearance for! Five minutes later I have to pull over because the odor is causing my head to throb and my stomach to rebel. Take the kids to a late lunch and consider what I really want to do in this case. I call Jerry and ask his opinion. He agrees, take the stinky thing back. As I am driving back to the agency I open a compartment in the center console and find a used cigarette lighter and ashes. I didn't even realize car makers installed those anymore. We trade out, again, after I file a formal complaint about the vehicle and receive *gulp* a Dodge Avenger. At this point, I am pretty sure they are trying to hurt my feelings. My very sensitive snotty vehicle feelings. They, however, will not upgrade as the vehicle is a trade out, leaving the state and will not be returned. We drive the 2 hours and 20 minutes back up to Quincy and head over to Kari's shin dig - the purpose of the whole trip.
We really did have a good time at that point. The kids danced. I got introduced to half of Quincy, most of whom seem to be related to the groom. Ate some good food, found out Maid Rites are sloppy joes. Then B-Man bit one of the grooms uncles ... and I figured that was our queue to exit. We stopped by a store on the way back to the hotel hoping to find swim suits I'd failed to pack for the kids and discovered stores country wide don't carry swim suits year round. Odd. I let the kids swim in their under wear ... cause I'm just that kind of mom and no one seemed offended.
Sunday morning we woke up to snow falling from the sky and accumulating on the ground. My kids were utterly enchanted. I let them frolick around in it while I loaded up the car, then headed out. B-man become more and more agitated the further south we drove, "Where's the snow? Where's it go?" You try explaining the further south you go the closer you get to the sun, hence to warm for snow flakes to an Autistic 5 year old. Go ahead, try it. Eventually I gave up and told him the snow flakes had all decided to go home and they don't live in the same place we do. He totally accepted that. We arrived home close to mid night. Made good time, really. Hardly speeding more than 5 over the limit all the way, a new record.
And that ... is the end of the Illinois incident. Though I wish we hadn't had the issue with the vehicle and it was a ridiculous mess ... I'd do it again. Kari was genuinely happy to see another Jones at an all Trewelp affair. Just knowing being there made her feel a little less overwhelmed and a little more love ... that was enough for me.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Life of Pi
Page 56; sentence 5
Love, said Father Martin.
I'll stick too my Krishna, thank you very much. I find his divinity utterly compelling.
Tag: Becka, Mandy, Dawn, Jenie, Lump, Angela
Monday, November 24, 2008
The next morning I called for it with no response. "Eh," I thought, "it'll cry at the door or something if it wants back in. Maybe it's busy doing something useful for once, like catching mice." (For the record, we don't have mice, I was just being obnoxious.)
Last night, belatedly, I noticed the cat still wasn't inside the house. Haha. Opps. It was a mistake, I swear! I went out into the garage, called out to it again with no response. I noticed the ladder to the attic was down, headed over there and peeked up. The cat is sitting on the edge opening and closing it's mouth like it's meowing ... but I think he'd meowed himself out, because he was making no noise at all. So I climbed up the ladder and attempted to haul the cat back down with me cradled in my arm. It was having NO part in that. Scratching, back arching, furiously reaching towards the wooden floors of the attic. I'm not about to get tetanus for this cat, so I put it back down. It huddled up, meowing silently at me, giving me pathetic looks. I cast my eyes about and found it's kennel, struggled with the cat again and trudged it back down the ladder.
It's shown it's gratitude by sitting this close to me ever since. That is not a close up, infact I had to move my head back a little to make the focus on the phone a little less fuzzy. The experience must have scared it a bit, because it's been shedding like no ones business. Which I just LOVE ... all that cat fur drifting over my face and up my nose. Bleach!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I was one of the crazies who went to "Twilight" at the "premier showing" at a local theater at 12:09 A.M. Friday morning. Morning. Not afternoon. Morning. More night. Mid night to be exact-ish.
Me, a bunch of teenage girls, gay boys and random other freakish type looking people. It was almost surreal.
The movie itself was okay. I had set my expectations REALLY low so if the movie fell flat I wouldn't be annoyed with any of the players involved. I was disappointed in some of the aspects they introduced and left out. I know movies are never going to live up to a book though, so it wasn't too much of a downer.
It won't keep me from seeing the second one. Or the third. Or the fourth. Stephenie Meyers has me hook line and sinker. Anyone but me notice her cameo as "Sophie" in the diner?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
First story: After Ms. R's tennis lessons every week I let the kids run across the street (after looking both ways of course) to the park to play for an hour or so. There is generally a few other kids, moms, grandmothers, aunts, dads, what have you. Regular run of the mill pay no attention to them type people. Last week there was this man, probably in his late 40's, sitting all alone on one of the benches that circle the play ground. I noticed he wasn't visibly interacting with any of the kids at the park, flying a kite, or taking advantage of any of the bbq's; which kind of made me wary of him. It just seemed odd to me that a man in his 40's would just sit at a play ground with no real purpose. About 20 minutes later this little dog seemed to come hurtling over an adjacent neighborhood fence in hot pursuit of a squirrel. I watched the antics for a while then went back to watching the kids with an eye on the strange man who still didn't seem to be paying attention to anything in general. After the dog tired of chasing squirrels it came trotting over to the bench I was sitting on and promptly jumped into my lap. I sat there petting it for another 10 minutes, waiting for the owner to notice it was missing, looked at the tags on it which were of no help, looked around the park hoping someone was looking for it, called the kids over and told them to get ready to go on a walk. As I was preparing to walk over to the neighborhood that backs up to the park, with dog in arm, the man calls out, "Where are you going with my dog?"
Startled, I respond, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize he was yours. I thought he'd jumped over one of the fences in pursuit of the squirrel. I was about to walk over to the neighborhood and see if anyone was missing him."
The man gave me a doubtful look and replied, "You thought he jumped over the fence? He cannot jump that high."
Like I should know that? Did he think I was ... what? Stealing his dog, knowing the owner was sitting right across the park from me? With my two kids in tow no less. Geez-la-frickin-wheez.
Second Thing: We were in dire need of a new outside garbage can. Dire. As in the walls of the can were the only things keeping the garbage contained because the bottom was essentially non-existant. I had to drag it across the lawn so that I didn't bust open a bag on the way to the curb. So today I headed over to Lowe's to pick up a new one, one with WHEELS this time. That's right, I'm going uptown. As usual, Mr. B accompanied me and as usual he was all over the place. Within seeing distance ... but still touching everything, into everything, in many people's path. So, after I had chosen the perfect garbage can for our home (if there is such a thing) I invited him to climb in, popped the lid on top and wheeled him around the store as I went to look at other things I have been meaning to invest in to improve my household organization. You should have seen the looks I got when he'd pop the lid off every once in a while. You'd think I was abusing the punk, not giving him what he considered a fantastically fun ride.
I'm starting to get a complex. Do I look like a bad person?
The third is this: Oh my. How pretty. I bought those divider things today, also at Lowe's. I've wanted them since we moved in more than seven years ago but I've always balked at paying $10 bucks for something I really didn't NEED. Today, however, I said - it's practically Christmas. Merry Christmas, Me!
Then I went out and spent $250 on kids winter clothes. Way to save money, Krista.
Friday, November 21, 2008
1. Reading blogs. Seriously, it's ridiculous. However, I have been introduced to some seriously kick butt chicks through my blog surfing.
2. Organizing books by author or dewy decimal. No word of a lie. I volunteer at both of the libraries at my kids schools just to get my fix. It may just be a sickness.
3. Real Estate. I am constantly searching www.realtor.com. Land, properties, locations - they always change. I like seeing what the markets are like in various areas at any given time.
4. Expensive cars. I'm not sure if this can be technically be termed an addiction considering I don't have one ... but Heaven help me if you get me around one of my favorites. It's an orgasmic experience. (I'm sorry mom)
5. E! channel at night. I'm an insomniac and refuse to do anything productive or educational after 10pm.
(I'm only picking people that blog often enough to feed my addiction ...)
Miss Lump was also kind enough to give me this award This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships!
These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
Proximity to me is the one I stumble over when trying to pass this award on. No one I know personally (that reads my blog) live within several hundred, if not thousands of miles from me. Actually, the closest - Lumpy, was mentioned before.
Thank you, girlies, you are much too sweet.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I am honestly not sure if I have always hated milk but I do know when I think of milk and it's sticky sweet whiteness I get slightly sick to my stomach when I add thoughts of The Ranch into the mix.
"That's Odd" you may think.
Unless you knew the next bit of information. And The Aunt.
The Ranch, in general was a fun, hard working, early rising place to visit. You knew going out there wasn't going to be a "vacation", but our cousins Nikki and Blair (Bear) lived out there and THEY in and of themselves, were a good reason to visit. Them and the horses. Oh, the horses.
I digress. Milk. Sticky. Smelly. Hate.
One of my designated tasks was straining, seperating and storing the milk after the morning milking. Not a big deal. If the child doing the chore isn't painfully klutzy.
One morning as I was carefully manuvering the glass gallon jug from the sink area all the way over to the fridge I lost my grip on the jug and it went crashing to the floor. Shattering the jug, splattering the milk to all corners of the excessively huge country kitchen and absolutely soaking me. I stood there, absolutely terrified (of said aunt), mortified and drenched in sticky, sweet, stinky milkly liquid. I remember standing there my eyes darting (terrified) to The Aunt, waiting to either get walloped or hollared at. She started laughing. And laughing. And laughing. To which I responded to by bawling. She, being the warm hearted (HAHAHAHA) woman she was, responded "smartly", "No use crying over spilled milk!" She thought she was hilarious. She then proceeded to hand me the mop, gave me orders to have it all cleaned up by lunch and walked out of the house. Being all of nine, I wasn't much of an independant thinker when given orders by an adult. For that reason it didn't occur to me to go clean myself up before I started in on the mess. I just started cleaning. And Cleaning. And cleaning. By the time I was done, the milk that had drenched me was caked dry. Stiff. Stinky. Itchy. Nearly Paining me to move.
To this day, I cannot handle the smell of milk. It's all I can do to stay composed and not gag when I smell it.
I hate you, Milk.
But I think I hate you more, Janet.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've had the toughest time finding a oatmeal recipe I enjoy. They are too mushy, too crispy, not flavorful enough ... the reasons have ran the gambit.
This recipe however, take the punch. So much so that I will have to send most of them to school with the kids in the morning to share with their classes so I don't eat the whole batch.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup stick margarine, softened
- 3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 1/3 cups raisins
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside. Combine brown sugar and next 6 ingredients (brown sugar through egg) in a large bowl, and beat mixture at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Stir in oats and raisins, and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in flour mixture.
Drop dough by level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from pans, and cool on wire racks.
Note: Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
As a side note: I "rehydrate" my raisins. I put them in a pot with a good inch of water over them. Then I let them lightly boil for a good half hour, replacing water as it needs it. This process makes the raisins so moist and delicious. I highly recommend it!
My pictures of food never turn out well, so ... you'll have to go without.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Apple Crumble, I love you. And here's the recipe that explains why:
(Meant to serve Four. But never makes it past two in my house)
2 c tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 T water
1 t lemon
Sprinkling of cinnamon
2 t butter
1/4 c peanut butter (possibly a little less)
1/4 c rolled oats
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T flour
1/4 t cinnamon
Stir all the top ingredients except the butter. Place it in a 2 Q baking dish. Or a bread pan - that's what I prefer. Dot the top with butter.
Mix together all the top ingredients except chocolate chips. A pastry blender would work best, but I don't own one ... so I just use two forks and work it like the devil till it's crumbly.
Spread it over the top of the apples then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of that.
Place it in preheated (350) oven for about 25-50 minutes till apples are tender.
I usually cut the topping almost in half to make it less sweet. I love baked apples ... but also love the crunchy topping. So it's a win win. However, for people like my brother who LOVE apple pie, peanut butter and chocolate ... I think I would leave it full flavor.
I went to a Twilight Party a few weeks ago or maybe a month ... or longer. Time is so relative. Anyway. What I've been thinking on is there have to be people in this area that like it enough to want to go to the movie. Whatdaya say we go together? I am SO up for it! Shoot me a comment if you live in the DFW area, want to get together before, grab something to eat then head to the movie.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
However, a few years ago when Ms. R started PPCD and they introduced ASL to her as another way to communicate, I put my head back into it and introduced myself to a few more basic signs to keep up with her.
She's whip smart at figuring out words when we're reading, but has a hard time with figuring out how to spell the same words she's just read. One of the ways I have found to bring it home to her is have her sign out the letters as she's saying them.Another is this site. She thinks it's fun to be using my computer as a homework tool and interacting with the words in ways I had not thought of previously.
I also discovered the week that we spent driving back and forth to east Texas twenty times (okay, okay! Twice, but it FELT like twenty) that my kids love audio books. It doesn't even seem to matter what the book is about, they just like to hear the sound of the narrators voices. So lately we've heard more chapter books than I've read, which is a great thing. B-Man even complains when I turn on the radio and not a book ... which has kind of disconnected me from the "real world" but who needs the real world when you have books? Have I mentioned lately how much I love the North Richland Hills Public Library? I do. I really I really do.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It's a disease I tell you.
Blogitis, a "new disease" suffered by millions of blog-addicted internet users.
Amen brother, amen.
I get alerts from American Airlines sporadically alerting me to weekend deals for tickets they haven't been able to sell. A few times I've taken advantage of the deals, not because I had any particular want to go to the place on sale ... but the deal was too good for me to pass up. I can always find something fun to do in a new city for a few days.
Last week I was sent an email stating that they were having a seat sale on tickets up to Calgary, Alberta for $158. My eyes all but bulged out of their sockets. $158?!?! Go visit my family for a weekend for $158? No frickin' way! I quickly clicked through the process till the last page.
Oh how you burnt me AA. Oh how you burnt me.
Not till the summary page do you find out that it was $158 each way.
Darn you and your wily ways.
I am pretty sure I'd make a great rich person, I love philanthropy. I'd be the best darn philanthropist out there. Other than Big Bill, Bono, Buffett, Berkshire ... I'd TOTALLY be it, man. Wait, after considering their names I now wonder if I have to have a B name. That would completely take me out of the running. Frickin' frackin.
Any way, check it out 50,000 shoes in 50 days.