Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mom is coming over today around 2, to watch the girls while I go to work from 3-7. I called and talked to the secretary last night and she sounded pretty overwhelmed, and said that the census is up so hopefully they won't cancel me this week. Right now I am just signed up for 20 hours. I was planning on Mom just staying the night, since she is watching them while I work 7-3 tomorrow. That would keep her from having to wake up real early and get here by 6am or me having to get the girls up and tote them to Mom's. When I signed up for work today, I didn't realize that our church was changing the Wed. night service to Tuesday because of the holiday tomorrow, so looks like I will miss again.
I am trying to do a little schoolwork this week, Like catching up with the books the girls are reading. Aaron came home yesterday and went straight to work after supper on the gutters. He worked up until around 8pm or later. He started around 5:30. It was cold out. I went out periodically to help hold something or hand him something. Madelyn and Natalie ran around in the dark with flashlights for a long time. Hannah was running a 102+fever, so she stayed inside with me. I don't know what is going on with her. She complained of a headache yesterday and was so irritable. I finally put her in my bed and she slept a couple of hours. Then ran a fever last night. So far, no fever or irritablility this morning.
Maybe it is a 24 hour headache virus. I had a horrible headache Sunday morning. So bad, that after class, I sat down for church services and felt a little sick to my stomach, so I took Mom's car back to her apartment and stayed there during services. The headache lasted all day, but was a little better to where I went Sunday night. Then Aaron complainded of a headache Sunday night, and Madelyn was sick with a headache then. Strange.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Oh wise 4 year old

Last night, Aaron had been working outside and he was sitting at the table with Hannah. He had his baseball cap on backward. She said matter of factly "you know, some people wear their hats like that because they are trying to be cool, but some turn them around, so that they look like daddys." So, Aaron promptly turned it back around the "daddy" way.
Another funny... the other night Madelyn had been asleep about 45 min. when she woke up and came into the living room. I was still up. She just stood there staring at me.
I said "what?"
She says. "you know they slide when you move them"
I said "what slides when you move them?" thinking that her sleep induced answer will be pretty funny.
She says' "brooms, they slide when you use them"
I said "go to the bathroom and back to bed" She had no memory of that the next morning, but I thought it was pretty funny.
Can't think of any funny or embarassing stories about Natalie right now,but I am sure they will happen soon enough.
Before going to TN for Christmas, we took the rattlesnake out of the freezer and Aaron disected it for us. Pretty interesting, and we were hoping to see some babies, since we killed it in September, and they give birth soon after. But it was either male or not pregnant and we couldn't tell the difference.
So, afterwards, Aaron put it, guts side down, down by the peach trees out our side window, so we can look out there and watch the buzzards eat it. I know, we are a little weird, but we like wildlife. It was still there, apparently untouched, the whole 5 days we were gone.
Aaron flips it, hoping that guts side up will stink more and draw something to come eat it. The next morning, the girls saw 3 buzzards eating it, but by the time I got to the window they had been scared away.
Now Princess has gotten ahold of it. She was eating on it yesterday, still under the peach tree, which was gross enough, but when we got home from church this morning, it was on our bedroom porch.
She carried it around all day, here and there, nibbling on it. Gag! I wish we had buried it now.
Aaron and I went yesterday to Lowes to get gutters for the front of the house. The whole house needs them, but we are going to do a little at a time. Whenever it rains, our porch made of concrete, holds a ton of water and we have to walk through a big puddle to get in. We bought the supplies yesterday and Aaron put most of it up this afternoon. My help was minimal, but I did have to climb up a scary ladder balance on the ground and a rock to hold the chalk line for him. I hate ladders, but it was his new one he got for Christmas, and it didn't rock like his old one does, so it wasn't as scary as I thought. It looks good so far, there are a few more supplies that we need, so he will probably be finishing that project 1/1 when he is off work, since it is dark when he gets home.
Madelyn was complaining of a headache before church, right across her forehead, but then ate supper and said she felt better. So we went on and she didn't complain again until about 1 hour after church. We were invited to a friends house and she was walking around smiling, but then I could tell she wanted to cry, so we left and she was crying by the time we got home. Of course a headache, 3 miles of curvy road, plus 2 miles of gravel road, and what do you get???
Vomiting! She didn't get sick until we had been home about 1 hour and about 45 min. after her tylenol. I am really hoping that it was all motion sickness and not something contagious. She says her stomachache and headache are gone now, but we will probably be sleeping on the couches tonight, just so I will be close if she needs me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

8 measly hours

Well, I had hoped to get in 40 hrs this week with Aaron being off work, but unfortunately, even though I was scheduled 7-3 M-W, I only got to work Tuesday. Only 8 hours this week. They called me off M and W and I tried to work yesterday- no luck, but the census was up from the last time I had worked. So, I called this morning and the census had gone down 10 since yesterday, which may not seem like a lot, but when you work at a hospital with one floor, it is. I went ahead and emailed the Nursing Director my schedule for Jan. and Feb, hoping that if I am already on the schedule to work, I would be more likely to be able to work. I signed up for 80 hours in Jan. and 68 hrs in Feb. That is way more than usually. (Sometimes I barely get in my 32 hours a month). Well see how many hours I actually get to work.
I think I have all my Christmas shopping done except for the girls' stuff. I will probably either leave the girls with Aaron tomorrow and go to Walmart with Mom, or go with Aaron and leave the girls with Mom.
Since I didn't work today, Aaron and I decided to tackle the garage. I am embarassed to admit, but it was NASTY. We have 3 cats and even though there is always a litter box out there, at least one of them has taken to pooping and peeing anywhere but the litter box. So, the cats are on their own outside. One of them sleeps in the doghouse with the dog anyway and the other one is welcome on the porch, but no more cats in the garage. Our smallest cat always uses the litterbox, so he is allowed inside. We also had lots of boxes half empty from the move and still a lot of boxes full. We put a lot of stuff in the unfinished room above the garage, like baby beds, baby clothes, etc. and we probably got at least 5-6 trashbags of stuff. I have a box of books that I am going to take to our homeschool coop to give away. I can't stand the thought of throwing them out, but we really have no more room. It looks sooo much better. I cleaned the floor with water and soap and an old broom we have designated for outside and it looks and smells much better. I might even take someone out there on a tour of our house too. Instead of pretending like the garage doesn't exist.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I know I am cheap...

We went out to eat tonight. We hadn't even had anything other than food from the house for over two weeks, I am proud to say. Not one stop through a drive through, and we hardly ever sit down in the restaurant. When we do sit down at a restaurant, there is no wasting of food. We all get water, and we share. For instance, tonight, Aaron and I both got a hamburger and fries, and I ordered the girls ONE kids' chicken and FF which they all shared. We all ate for $23 at Ruby Tuesday's and left full. However, Madelyn did make a joke at our cheap expense. Since there was only one kids' meal, the waiter only brought one dip and one ketchup cup. So, I had to ask for more dip and ketchup. After he left our dips on the table, Natalie says "Do we have to pay for these dips?" To which Madelyn replied dryly "no, because if we did, we wouldn't be eating any."
Aaron and I found that amusing, but someday, when she is raising her family, she will look back and be impressed by her parents miserly ways, or be embarassed by the fact that she had to share a kid's meal with her sisters and overcompensate with her kids and always buy them their own meal AND a drink other than water.
We went to this thing called Santa's Village about an hour away from us. It is an extension of the museums we bought a yearly pass to. We got a small discount for being members of the musuem and thought we would check it out. I worked the last 4 nights, and it is supposed to rain the next few days, so we wanted to go while we had a chance. It was a flop. There were a few activities, and the girls enjoyed it ok, but there were about 3 times as many people meandering around than there was room for. Add to that rude, rude children, running, pushing, yelling and cutting line and their parents chuckling along behind them, that Aaron and I were about ready to leave once we got there. We stayed about an hour and then left for the restaurant.
I am signed up to work 7-3 the next 3 days. I don't know if they will need me or not. The hospital wasn't full when I left last night and they have a tendency to call me off on the days I sign up for 7-3, so we will see if I go in or not. Aaron is off until Jan 4 I think. I would love to get in 40 hours this week before we go out of town. I may have to switch my days to 3-11 though. They hardly ever cancel me when I work evening shift.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Much better now

Thankfully, no one else got sick other than Natalie and I. I thought Madelyn was going to come down with it, but she didn't. I went ahead and signed up for 44 hours to work over 8 days, which is a lot for me. I am working Wed-Fri this week 7-11, Sat. 3-11, then M-W 7-3. I don't know if I will be able to work all of them or not, often, I get cancelled, but I will take what I can get. I just got home from my first 4 hour shift a few minutes ago.
It has rained so much here the past two days. Since we are at the highest point around, and all the trees, add to that our tin roof and thunderstorms sound about 10x louder at this new house than they did at the old place. Plus, the wind really whistles as it is whipping through the trees. When we first looked at this house, there was a small, small pond close to the house. That was almost 1 1/2 years ago. I wouldn't have believed there was a pond there at all if we hadn't seen it for ourselves that first summer, it has been dried up ever since. Well, now it is full. When it reaches a certain point, it goes through the culvert under our driveway and down into a ditch that goes into the forest.
Today Madelyn said "Mom, can I play outside?" I said "are you crazy, it is raining and cold" and she says "I'll put on shoes" Well, duh, it is December.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

To feed Natalie or not to feed Natalie..that is the question

This bug has lingered for 5 days now, and only 2 of us have had it. I am feeling much better, actually made a trip to the store and the video store today and ate 2 meals, but I am still not back to normal.
Poor Natalie who got it 4 days ago has been feeling bad off and on, only to get worse in the last 24 hours. She threw up once Wed. night. Then has been lying around off and on since. I thought she was getting better.
Our original plans for last night was for Hannah and I to watch the parade, and for Madelyn and Natalie to ride with Aaron (as Smokey the Bear) on the float. However, Natalie hardly got off the couch yesterday afternoon and complained of vague stomach problems. So, we decided it best for her not to be stuck on a float from set up time 6:30pm to 9pm. I can just imagine the bad memories that would come for her, Aaron, and the parade watchers if she decided to be sick from either end.
We are so lucky that the last leg of the parade route goes right by our church parking lot. Last year, Hannah and I watched it from there, instead of the festive square, along with about 5 other people, too far away to recognize. I had mono at the time, and was barely able to carry the chairs from the van to the sidewalk. The parade route is so long that it started at 7pm and didn't get to the church's road until about 7:50.
So, we got there about 7:10, Hannah was asleep and Natalie felt horrible, and I wondered why I got out in 27 degrees anyway? Being next to our church and being that I have a key, I opened the teen building, carried Hannah in and she slept on the couch, while Natalie watched the Disney channel, and I watched out the window, waiting for the parade to finally make it to us. When it did, I ran to the car, got out the chairs, 2 blankets, 3 pairs of socks(for our hands) and my cape, woke up Hannah, and we set up on the sidewalk to watch the parade.
Hannah didn't want to move because she was cold and I had her covered up. Natalie didn't want to move because she felt horrible, so it was up to me, who looks like a cow in a cape to swoop down and pick up all the candy that the people keep throwing at us. We were the ONLY people on the block watching the parade, so it was like they did it all for us. We stayed until the end, b/c the end is so exciting. Horses galore. I remember last year, they just kept on coming, so this year I decided to count, and I am sure I missed a few since, most were trotting by, it was the end of a very cold parade, but I got 124. 124 horses. WoW!
We left and my gas light was on, and even though it is not even 9pm, I knew the two gas stations we pass on the way home would be closed, so I drove into town further to get gas. We get there and Natalie says "are we here to go to the bathroom?" I say no, why didn't you go during the 2 hours we were at the church building?
Something made me stop filling up at $10 and head home. Maybe the sound of Natalie's voice, I don't know. We got home probably 15 min. later, and I thought Natalie was asleep, but she got out of the car and another blessing... the door was locked and it took me a minute to get Hannah out. Because Natalie ended up vomiting right outside the door. I am so glad she didn't make it in. And there you go. Another Christmas parade memory in the books. Mono 2007, Stomach Virus 2008
Night #4 on the couch. I slept out there again with Natalie and while I was sick. Now before you think Aaron is bad for banishing me to the couch... If I asked him to, he would go, and I sleep so good on the couch and he sleeps terrible on it. When you have kids, you realize even more that it is a very smart thing to try to keep at least one adult well.
Back to the title of the post. She is hungry, but she got sick again around lunchtime and 30 min. later wanted food. It is so hard to look at your already skinny minny daughter who hasn't eaten much in 3 days and deny her food. So, we are taking it slow and hopefully she got rid of the last of it today.
Aaron is over at Mom's apartment. (she is out of town) We have lots of sick sheets that need to be washed and there is a football game on, so I he decided to go do the laundry since all he can watch here is kid's movies. I hope, hope, hope that no one else gets this, because it lasts so long.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh, for the stomach virus resistant days again

Warning...This post is not for those who get grossed out easily.
Way back when I was growing up, I hardly ever got sick to my stomach. I mean, I kept up with it, and I once went 7 years without vomiting. Hard to believe. Then after that one time, it was another 5 years and I got sick while pregnant with Madelyn, and it has gone downhill from there. I think that since, my body has been trying to catch up with all the times I managed to not get the stomach virus growing up. When all the people around me would be vomiting, I might have gotten a stomach ache and diarrhea.
I woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday night and was sick all night long. Aaron took off most of the day yesterday, but had to go in that afternoon because there was something that had to be done that day. By then I was feeling a tiny bit better. I called Mom that morning and asked if she could go to the store and get me the stomach virus staples - crackers, sprite, popscicles, etc. Plus we had some movies to take back to town, so she did that.
Some bad judgement on my part - Mom had come back out around 4 and about an hour before she got there, Natalie complained of her stomach hurting, but she and Madelyn had been running around wild, and I had Madelyn make her a bed on the couch and she gave her a glass of water, and she laid there about an hour. She didn't want to, but I made her and she kept saying she was hungry and felt better. Thinking it was from running around crazy, I let her get up. Then Mom came and offered to take the girls to her house for a while. Natalie still acting better, I let them all go. Mom took our van and left her car. She calls about 15 min. later, saying she took the movies back, but Natalie wants to come home, her stomach is hurting again. Well, thankfully, Mom had a bag to give her. Mom calls back about 10 min. later, saying she is almost there, can Aaron come out to the car and help Natalie in, she had gotten sick. So, poor Aaron had to go out there and clean out the car, while I gave Natalie a bath. Thankfully the sack helped a lot. Mom ended up taking Madelyn home with her to spend the night, and I am fixing to call and see if she stayed well through the night.
Natalie only got sick that one time. I hope it is over, she has already eaten 2 big pretzels this morning. I am feeling about 75% better, at least the constant nausea is gone. I am holding my breath that the rest of us don't get it. I HATE THE STOMACH VIRUS.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Holiday Update

Aaron, the girls and I drove to TN Thursday morning to my brother Michael's house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was such a nice day, probably got up to around 65 degrees and sunny. The kids played outside almost the whole time. There are 8 grandchildren 3 boys, and 5 girls. I made individual cheese balls and an apple pie cheesecake the night before.
That night, we made our way to Aaron's parents which are 30 min. away. We spent the night there, then got up the next morning and ate breakfast.
After breakfast, Aaron cleaned out the van of all the seats except the front, we told the kids goodbye and drove back to where my dad and other brother live. They each had part of the whole of the bunkbeds my dad was giving us, that used to be my brothers. We got the bunkbeds, then drove home.
After driving 3 hours home, we realized we needed special mattresses, so we drove back to the bigger town (30 min. ) and got some bunky bed mattresses and finally came home.
Saturday we were able to get quite a bit done. Aaron fixed the roof on the barn, hung up Christmas lights on the barn, and another job outside. I was able to clean half the house.
It is very quiet in our house without the kids. I miss them.
Sunday, after church services, I was able to get the bunkbeds ready for sleeping, and rearranged Natalie and Hannah's room and got rid of more clothes. Last night, we went over to Moms and unloaded something for her, then came home.
As soon as I get off of here, I am going to dress and go pick up Mom and we are driving to TN to pick up the kids.
Meanwhile, while we were home, the girls had a great time. Friday, they went to Nashville to the free, wonderful museum and then to Aaron's brother's house for supper. Saturday, they went back to Nashville and got to ride in a horse carriage around town. And last night they went to the Opryland Hotel and walked around, took a boat ride around the conservatory. They had a great time.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Decisions about adoption

I guess I got stressed for nothing yesterday, and I feel calmer today, and a little more peaceful.
Our contract with our agency was going to run out on Dec. 1 since it looks like Vietnam is not going to have an agreement with the US by then. So, that is why we were looking into Russia.
Our agency emailed yesterday, saying that they would extend our contracts with them for Vietnam until June 1. At first I was all upset, wondering what to do. Do we stay with Vietnam for another 10 months, only to be told they are still not done with negotiations? This could drag on for years! Or do we change to Russia now and then in June or before, find out that we should have stayed the course in Vietnam? I was flipping out, hating that I had a choice again, when as always the voice of calmness and reason (AKA Aaron) spoke up and reminded me that we weren't ready to start in Russia now anyway.
Since we can't financially start a new adoption yet, I think we will stay on the Vietnam list. If we had the money for a new adoption, we would probably get off the Vietnam list and go ahead with Russia. Since we can't act on Russia now anyway and our agency is giving us a chance to wait out Vietnam a while longer, I think we are going to stay on the waiting list. What's it going to hurt? If we get financially able to start another adoption before June 1 and if Vietnam is no closer to a decision, we will reevaluate what to do next and I can not worry about that decision until then. Or if a wonderful thing happens and Vietnam does open back up to the US, then we will probably be close to the top of the waiting list by that time.

On a different note, Aaron took off yesterday and we went to an American Heritage event. It was great. We went last year and it had Native American dancing etc. plus a lot of other stuff. It was outside. This year, due to the cold, they moved it inside and had a lot less stuff to look at, but I actually liked it better this year. The American Indian that led it was very interesting and catered his talks towards the children. The dancing was the best of any festival that we have gone to. (seems we average about 3 a year) It was a lot of fun. Afterwards, since we were so close, we went to the Children's Museum that we have yearly passes to and spent about 1 1/2 hours. Then came home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

House Warming and other things

Our housewarming went great on Sunday and it was very nice. Aaron and I were very overwhelmed by the generosity of those that came. Aaron stayed home with Hannah during church Sunday morning since she was still in the midst of her respiratory virus, then he met us in the parking lot at the church building. We got fast food for lunch and ate it at Mom's apartment, so that we wouldn't get our house dirty, then headed to the house, leaving Hannah with Mom so we wouldn't spread her germs. We didn't tell her that we were having people over to our house. The older girls kept mum about it and we played it up that Sunday afternoon was her special day with Grandma alone.
Anita, the lady that planned it all, arrived early to help me set up and some of the other planners and food bringers arrived early also. I think Aaron counted about 40 people that came, not including children. We had a good time. There were almost as many men as women, and the announcement in the bulletin did specify that men were invited. We had the Titans game on mute in the living room and everyone seemed to have a great time. The housewarming was from 2-3:30, but a few friends came and stayed until a little after 4pm. We had a lot of fun, and I am so thankful for our church family. If you have never moved away from your hometown or your parents, I think it is hard to understand how genius it was that God gives us a family here on earth, whether we are related to them by blood or not. When you don't have family around, and even if you do, the church family becomes your family.
Unless something happens in the next few weeks with Vietnam, Aaron and I will be changing countries...again. Lately, I have been pretty down about the adoption. But, God has given me hope and excitement again, and I can't wait to get financially able to start again. It will be worth it. All this excitement, then disappointment, then excitement, then disappointment, it is leading us to our child. The child God has chosen our family for. Yipee!
I guess I will go ahead and tell what country we are looking at now. Russia. Now this is subject to change, but it has some things going for it.
I started surfing the net again, reading about other countries, giving the info to Aaron and keeping quiet, letting him decide what to do. Trying to put my opinion in , only if he asks. Anyway, I emailed a few agencies wanting info, and one that I liked(on the internet) sent me a bunch of stuff by email, but also called me yesterday and we talked for a while. A side note...for some reason, our computer will not open links that people send us, arrghhh, which is what most people send from agencies. These last few days, I have had to go to Mom's and use her internet to open the documents sent to us. Unfortunately, Mom doesn't have a printer, so last night, Aaron unhooked our printer, took it to Mom's and hooked it up to her computer, so we could print off some of the information. What a pain.
With their agency and Russia, she said the wait for a girl was usually 10-12 months. I thought she meant 10-12 months after turning in the dossier you got a referral, then you waited months before actually bringing your child home. But no, she meant 10-12 months from the application to their agency to bringing the child home. WOW! Even better than that, we already have most of the dossier paperwork done. I mean, this will be the 3rd dossier I have done in less than 2 years. Since our homestudy is done, we have passports, we have registered with CIS, etc. it shouldn't take much to update and have it turned in. So having that stuff done will probably take 2-3 months off of her projected waiting time. I hope to be ready to start with this next adoption in less than 6 months. I would love to start sooner, but we'll see how many hours I can get in at work.
We have to take 2 trips to Russia. The first will be approx 5 days where we meet the child, accept the referral, and fill out paperwork. Then we go home for 1-2 months, the get invited back to Russia. That trip is 10-21 days long and you go to court, get the child, finish the process and bring her home. It is exciting and terr
Aaron's parents are coming this weekend. Trying to go cheaper by cooking all the meals here at the house, I was so proud of myself today that I made a menu for the weekend and bought all the food, now it is just a matter of cooking it. Not counting breakfasts, I have 2 lunches and 2 suppers, 3 of which are going to cook in the crock pot. I love the crock pot. Speaking of which, I was planning on getting it all ready in the crockpot inside pot, don't know what you call that part, and putting it in the fridge, so I can pull it out in the morning and start it cooking before we head out to coop classes. Better get to browning my cube steak.
ifying at the same time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I probably shouldn't be posting this late at night. Or maybe this early in the morning, since it is 12:17 am and I have a big day tomorrow. A friend from church wanted to throw us a house warming party. I am very grateful that people want to do this for us, but a little nervous about how it will go. Our house is only 1200 sq. ft.. Small by most people's standards. I don't decorate. I actually went out this week and bought some hand towels with leaves on them, to hang in the bathroom, bathroom mats for each of the bathrooms, and pretty soap dispenser/toothbrush holder matching sets. Stuff we "needed" anyway. That is the extent of it. When I look at things, I see the big picture. I don't see details. I might look at our living room and see that everything is put up and in it's place, but never notice the cobwebs in the corner, dust on the tv, or dirty floorboards. Unless I am actively making myself look for them. Then when people come into my house that I know are detail people, then I get a little selfconcious. Wondering what they are seeing that I am sure I have overlooked. I hope it is a fun time.
I am trying to convince Aaron to have a little fire going in our firepit in the back yard, for people to roast marshmallows on and to get some people outside. I think the planners have greatly overestimated the size of our house. Plus, even though they invited whole families, I don't think that many men will come, and that can get Aaron out of a house full of women. If you know Aaron, you know he will not be looking forward to that part of it.
Madelyn and Natalie are still getting over their respiratory virus with the ever present cough, that seems to be lasting forever. I am taking them to church in the morning though, it has been days since they have had a fever.
Hannah went to bed Thursday night and woke up an hour later with the barking cough and stridor. I figured it was a matter of time before she succombed to it too. I got up early Friday morning, and made arrangements to meet someone about 5 miles from here that could take the videos and paperwork to my class at the coop, since none of the kids were well enough to go. I was so glad I caught the lady before she left. It was cold and pouring down rain, and I didn't want to go 30 miles to the school just to drop something off.
I worked 7-11 last night and tonight. We spent all day cleaning. I will be glad that we have a clean house, but it is tiring. Aaron is staying home with Hannah in the morning, then I think he is going to go to Mom's apartment about the time church should be over. We will eat there, so we don't have to clean up lunch at our house, then we will leave Hannah with Mom, and the rest of us can come back and wait for the company.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This morning I stayed home from church with Natalie because she has a horrible cough and a fever. She says her throat hurts, but I think it is more from the cough. Hannah has complained of a sore throat all afternoon, but no fever yet. I am sure I will be making the trip to the doctor for Natalie in the morning.
Yesterday, we had a ton planned. Work called around 8:30 wanting me to work 11am to 7pm. We decided I would go in and that left Aaron to do the running with the girls. Madelyn's soccer party was at the skating rink at one and we had some free passes for the other two, so he took them there. Unfortunately, Natalie was starting to feel bad and he didn't realize it until he was already there. He said she laid on his lap almost the whole time.
There was a birthday party at the church building at 6, so took Madelyn and Hannah and dropped Natalie off at Mom's since by then she was running a fever. I got off work about 7:10pm and went straight to the church building to relieve Aaron. We stayed at the party long enough for me to eat some pizza for supper, then we left and dropped Madelyn off at a Halloween party that all the kids were invited to, but I decided to just leave Madelyn. I asked what time to come back and pick her up and the mom said that she would meet me in town around 9-10, she would call. Hannah, Natalie and I stayed at Mom's apartment the whole time waiting, and finally at 10:45 I called to let her know I would just come get her. I was so tired. But she was fixing to leave, so she met me in town and we got home and went to bed.
Natalie had a tiny cough and a fever of 100.4 for about 2 hours on Thursday, so I went ahead and scheduled an appt for her and Madelyn at 8am Friday morning. Madelyn has poison ivy pretty bad on her legs and on her face. Well, Natalie didn't run a fever at all that morning so I just had the doctor look at Madelyn and they all got the flumist nasal spray, and since Natalie wasn't sick we all went to Friday coop a little late.
Princess the dog is doing so good. She did poop a few times in her cage, but I wonder if it wasn't from the antibiotic the vet put her on that gave her the diarrhea. We have a tiny porch off of our kitchen that has walls around that are around 2-3 ft tall. There was a nice big doghouse left by the previous owner, so we cleaned it out, put it on the porch and at night, we put the kiddie gate across the steps into the yard and that keeps her safe from coyotes, neighbors dogs, and whatever else might show up at night. When she gets full grown we won't worry about gating her in so much. I feared she would yelp all night, but so far she doesn't. I put her out there at night, lock the gate, and she will stay out there and sometimes when she hears us in the kitchen in the mornings, she will whine in excitement and I will open the gate for her. I am so glad that we have a sweet dog.
I stopped having the Ladies' lunches at church in May I think. Where we would eat once every other week for lunch on Tuesdays. Well, I had planned on continuing that through the summer, but stuff would come out, then we closed on the house and I had so much packing and stress with the well. So, I finally scheduled it for Tuesday and now I have 1, possibly 2 sick kids, and I don't know if it is just from thinking about it, but my throat is a little sore. I hope I get to go.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Princess Ariel

Ok, I know you will think I have gone crazy with the pets, but I am not planning on getting anymore pets for a while. Yes, someday I would like some goats. Our property is covered with barbed wire fencing, yet nothing is closed in where you can keep an animal contained...very strange. Anyway, fencing is expensive and time consuming, and so is the upkeep of animals that need fences and I don't want any pet that is small enough for the cats to attack and eat. I don't mind gerbils, rats, etc, but I think for now I will stick with the normal pets.
I was going to post a picture of our new puppy, but it appears that our camera has died. Never was that great of a camera in the first place, sucks down batteries faster than I can buy them, but it did take pictures and I could post them on the internet, and now I can't. Maybe I can put camera on the Christmas list. At least I have a picture of the scrawny thing on the memory card that I could print out at Walmart.
Back to the dog, I have been wanting one for a while. While the girls were at a play date last week, my Mom and I went to the animal sheltor/ zoo in our county.
Funny story... The first summer here, a retired teacher from church told us about a zoo in our county that she used to go on field trips. So, I followed the signs into the country to this family owned zoo. It was closed.. and closed to the public, but on the same property was the animal shelter for the county. That is the day we got Duchess. Someone was dropping her off, let us see her, and we took her home instead. All you could see from the road was a few emus. Big deal.
Later, Aaron and I were driving in that area with the girls, and we see someone working there in a cage, so we drive up to ask the guy if they give tours of the zoo anymore. When we got closer we realized the guy didn't have his original arms, but has mechanical arms. Have you seen Dumb and Dumber? Well, he looks like Jeff Daniels in that movie. Wild, crazy, thinning hair. That isn't the funny part. I would never make fun because someone doesn't have arms. Anyway, Aaron asked about tours and he says "No, we couldn't afford to keep up the liability insurance to let people come to the zoo" Maybe it wasn't so funny, but we both laughed later, wondering if his lack of arms had anything to do with no more liability insurance.
So, back to the story, Mom and I went looking at dogs without kids (my kids, not dogs that have never had children-although I do prefer females that haven't had puppies, I feel like the ones that have had puppies should invest in a good bra or thick shirt) , so I could actually think straight.
I said "how long do you keep your dogs here, will these same dogs be here next week?" He says "do you want reality or fantasy land?" I wanted reality and he said 7 days, but the puppies I was looking at would be around for a while. Well, I went back 2 days later and all but one was gone. And it was a pitt bull mix. So, we got this cute yellow lab/hound dog mix instead. He said she was probably 4-5 months old. The vet guessed 8-10 weeks, so she is going to be a little bigger than we expected. She was very shy, shaking, tail tucked under her legs, wouldn't look us in the eye. Aaron was trying to look her in the eye and she kept turning her head pretending he wasn't there. She was very emaciated and didn't eat at first. I thought I had gotten a dying dog. We put her in a cage in the living room and she has gradually perked up since we got her Saturday. We have wormed her and she had a little bit of fever, so the vet gave her some antibiotics, and she is eating good. I am almost afraid to say it, lest I break the wonderful spell, but the dog has barked twice. She is so good. Thank you Dog Whisperer. Within 24 hours, she walked well on a lease for all of us but Hannah. And even then, she is better than some dogs. Hannah is a little erratic with the walking, and Princess tends to want to lead her. She is learning though. Not one accident in the house or her cage yet. I take her out every few hours during the day in case she needs to go. Put her in the cage at night and don't hear a peep out of her until she sees us come in the room in the mornings. Then she gets excited, but still doesn't bark. She has played with the kittens. They don't play with her, and hiss a little, but I think Princess thinks they are little puppies. She doesn't seem to dislike them, only curious about them and she does pounce a little on our tiniest kitten. But the kitten just ignores her and keeps on with whatever she was doing.
One funny story, the dog was in the cage a few days ago, with the door open. I was sitting there and all of a sudden the dog starts growling low at something. I didn't think it was me, so Aaron and I looked all around the cage trying to find a cat perhaps that the dog sensed that we couldn't see. Couldn't find anything. I look back in the cage and on the other side of the dog was the oblivious tiny black kitten, in there sitting next to the dog, lucky to be alive. I got onto the dog and pulled the kitten out and she I have only heard her growl at her one more time.
Oh, back to the zoo. While picking out a puppy, we got to see 3 wolves, fox, racoon, 2 full grown male lions, and a black bear. I didn't even notice the lions about 10 feet away behind 2 fences at first. Just looking at puppies and notice a movement to the side and there stood a full grown lion.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Aaron impresses me again!





Problem: There is a very large Chestnut Oak right in front of our house that is dead/dying and dropping limbs on our roof whenever the big winds blow through our property.









Here is Aaron standing on a wobbly chair with a 20+ inch chainsaw, trying to avoid hitting barb wire fencing that may have grown into the tree. Seems like half the trees here have some kind of fencing in them. It would tear up a chainsaw blade.







How do you cut down a tree that would put a huge hole in your house without putting a huge hole in your house? Aaron knows. (Thankfully) If I tried to do it, I would no doubt have it fall right where it would do the most damage. Just like when I try to avoid pot holes, I always hit them.



Monday, October 13, 2008

Free cats -fulfilling my childhood dream



My parents hated pets. So, growing up, they conceded a few times and got me a dog, only to get rid of it a month or two later. Whenever we would go to stores and people would be giving out free kittens or puppies, I would always want one and wish that my parents would let me get one, but that never happened. If I was lucky, I got to pet them before we left the store, and that was seldom. So, yesterday, when we went to the grocery and there was a man there giving out free kittens, I couldn't resist. Now that we have the space for animals, and kittens are so easy, I let the girls pick out one. Now we are back up to 3 cats, since Duchess apparently is not coming home. Madelyn has carried the thing around all day (when it is her turn) and wrapped it in blankets, "burped it on her shoulder", and anything else you might do for a human baby.

Here is the update from Joint Counsil about Vietnam adoptions


October 13, 2008
Joint Council is pleased to report that within the past 10 days significant progress has been achieved in resolving the issues surrounding I-600A renewals. While we can not announce a specific time frame, we remain confident that a positive resolution is within reach
.


Please pray that an agreement is reached before we have to change countries again. Our deadline with our agency is Dec. 1. I think that if they are close to an agreement around that time, our agency will let us continue. As of last week, 3 couples have dropped off the girls' list, either changing countries or quitting, and we are now number 8. So, if things are settled, then we will be closer to the top of the list. Yippee!


I also put in a picture of Natalie in her uniform. The public schools are in fall break right now, so they didn't schedule any soccer games this week. This week off will be nice.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Painting in the Rain!


Aaron mentioned last night that he really needed to paint the well-house before Wednesday because it was supposed to storm and he wanted the well-house sealed with the paint before the rain came. He was thinking he would come home from work Tuesday and paint like a madman between supper and soccer. Being the wonderful wife I am, I put it on my to do list for today and decided that not only would have have the paint ready for him, I would have it painted.
Hannah woke me up about 7:15 this morning, and I noticed a strong breeze coming in the open windows and cloudy skies. So, I took a shower real quick, got the kids dressed and ready and drove the 10 miles to Walmart with very wet hair and sleepy, hungry kids. We took a quick trip of the store, got the paint, paintbrushes, water, milk, donuts and colas. It was barely sprinkling on the way.

As soon as we got home, we changed into old clothes in record time and went up to the well-house. I was excited because it was a painting project where I could hand the kids a brush and let them go at it. I had the 4in wide brush and got one side almost painted. Natalie was busy on her side painting pictures and writing her name. Hannah was also painting pictures, and Madelyn was doing well and keeping on task. They kept saying "come look at my side" I kept saying "there will be time for me to look at your side later, see those clouds?" We got about 1/3 of it painted before the sprinkling started. Thankfully, I put stuff up and was in the house with the girls before the down pour came

Aaron was impressed that we got any of it painted. We were painting by 9am.

After painting, we came in and started school. Madelyn I fear is coming down with something. I am thinking sinus infection or cold. She has complained of a mild headache off and on today and yesterday. She fell asleep on the couch this morning before I had a chance to get our schoolbooks prepared. She was running a fever by lunchtime. Much to her disappointment, she had to miss Brownies. I called her soccer coach to let him know she wouldn't be there either. I am hoping her game got cancelled because of rain and she didn't miss anything.
We dropped Natalie off at Brownies at 3pm, went and got the oil changed, stopped by the post office and got stamps. (our post office got rid of their stamp machine, so if you want stamps, you have to go during open hours<>
We came home and ate supper with Aaron. The night seemed to drag by since there was nowhere for us to go tonight. Between soccer, work and church, we have had something almost every night for over a month. It was nice.
Our cat Duchess who is huge with babies has been nowhere to be found for 3 days now. I figured her giving birth in a little over a week. I don't know what has happened to her. I can't imagine she would have gone off to have babies, but not come back to eat or anything. I fear the worst, and when the girls realize she may be gone forever, it will be hard on them, especially Madelyn who had a special attachment to her and was really looking forward to the kittens.
I have heard people talk about their cats disappearing for days or weeks, then coming back. Is that common? I don't have a lot of experience with cats.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quoted

Hanah to Me "What will happen if all of your blood comes out and you die?"

Me "Well, you would go to Heaven."

Hannah "Does God have it?" (talking about the blood.)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

4 days off

I finished my 4th 7-11 in 6 days last night. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but I am ready for a few evenings off. Each time I work 7-11 or even 3-11, I feel like it involves a lot of planning... Sleep planning. I am supposed to get off work by 11:15, but I think last night was the only night I got home before midnight. Which means, to be alert at that time, I really need a small nap in the afternoon, unless I happened to sleep in until 9am that morning, which NEVER happens. "Will I get a nap in? Will the phone ring?", or "Will the kids wake me up?"
It is the best time for me to work in that Aaron is home, I don't have to worry about a babysitter, and I am only missing a few hours of time with the family since they are all in bed by 9pm. But then it means, going to bed late, and getting up early with the kids.
Aaron's parents came into town on Friday morning. Aaron is building his well house to keep the well from freezing this winter, and his dad came down to help. They were here when we got home from coop classes on Friday. Aaron and Tommy worked all day on that, then I worked that evening. On Saturday, we went to an Archeofest at Aaron's work. Then Aaron and his dad worked some more. We at supper and then roasted some marshmallows behind the house where Aaron made us a fire pit.
Aaron's parents left that night since they had Homecoming the next morning at their church.
I missed one of Madelyn's soccer games while working last night. The last day of practice, Natalie's coach handed me a schedule and Madelyn's coach handed Aaron a schedule. We assumed that since we got the schedules within 30 min. of each other they were the same. And the first few days of games were. But on the schedule that I had, there were no soccer games for either girl last night, so I signed up to work. But on Aaron's schedule, Madelyn was playing. Strange.
Oh well.
I have too much to do and too little time to do it.
Today, I need to go to the laundrymat, which will probably take about 2 hours. Not counting carrying all the baskets in and out. We have storytime at the library. 2 soccer games tonight and I really need to go to the store, which probably won't happen. All this and fit in a day's worth of school. We just take our papers and books with us and work at the laundrymat and the library.
It is so pretty here at night. The last two nights, I have come home after 11pm. There have been no clouds and so many stars.
Bad thing about here though - creepy crawlies come out after dark. And I mean big spiders. wolf spiders that span about 3 inches from tip of toe to tip of toe. mini -tarantula looking spiders with fat bottoms and hairy legs. 1in long scorpions that are really fast. This is the stuff of nightmares. Unless you want to sit in the total darkness, they come.
I was going to read to the girls one night while Mom was here, on the front porch with the kids. So Mom and Aaron stayed inside and we all went out. Not 2 minutes into it, here comes a huge wolf spider bebopping along, come to the light. We all ran inside and that was the last of our sitting on the porch after dark.
Aaron can't even leave the porch light on for me while I work in the evenings because if he does, there will be at least one huge spider that has made a web spanning the porch, and a few wolf spiders hiding halfway under our door to our bedroom waiting to spring on their prey (me) or waiting to run into our house as soon as we open the door and hide waiting to attack someone (me). Because when you have a phobia of something, like I do of spiders, you think they are all out to get you instead of just trying to live their lives parallel to mine.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Birthday parties!

On Saturday, we had the skating parties for both Madelyn and Hannah. It was so nice. When we had Natalie's party back in April, the skating rink was so crowded and a little scary with the little kids out there skating with the big kids. But this time, I think that the only people there were the kids that we invited to our 2 parties and the kids for one other party ( A girl who happens to be on Madelyn's soccer team). So pretty much, the whole rink was full of girls the age of my girls. Plus a few stragglers. It was like the kids had the whole skating rink to themselves.
Madelyn has been planning her cake for the last 6 months. She saw some premade flowers at Lucky's and has had her eye on them the whole time. It was real pretty, and she was very excited about doing it herself. I just helped spread the icing.


I went ahead and made a cake for Hannah. Normally, I let all the girls pick out a character cake at the grocery. I didn't give her a choice, just asked what she wanted on her cake and what color icing. Of course she wanted pink icing and wanted a butterfly on it. I wasn't too proud of my results, but she liked it and that is all that matters. She picked out some chocolate chips with white sprinkles on them as her candy to decorate with. I can't remember what they are called.


We have been very busy with soccer lately. Both Madelyn and Natalie practiced on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights for the last 2 weeks, but this week, the games have started and until the end of October, they both play at least 2 games a week. They are doing great and are a lot of fun to watch. Surprisingly, there is only one night where their games overlap and they overlap by 30 min. so Aaron and I will have to split up for that one.
I am not leaving the house until I have to go to work tonight at 6:15. I hope at least. Yesterday, we drove to town for storytime at the library and to get more water and cokes from the store. Then we came home for a few hours, then had to go back for Brownies at 2:45, where I left the older two and took Hannah with me to run some errands. Came home at 4:45, then Aaron and I drove separate to Madelyn's soccer game @ 6:30 because I was planning on going to a meeting as soon as it was over, but no one showed, so we could have gone together. So, I am glad to stay here and hopefully get some housework and schoolwork done. I take some schoolwork with us when we run errands, if I know we will have a chance for them to read to me or something, but it does take longer when you aren't at home.

Hannah is turning me into a frog in her new princess outfit she got for her birthday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birthday week

Today is Madelyn's 8th birthday, and Tuesday was Hannah's 4th. Since Aaron had stuff he had to do at work today, he took off Tuesday so we could have a family celebration. We ended up going to Huntsville to a few of the museums there. We got a yearly family membership. We spent the morning at the Children's museum, which was pretty small, but they had a lot of fun. And, we practically had the place to ourselves. Then we drove all over Huntsville looking for an O'Charleys since Aaron had a leftover birthday gift certificate there.
Ate lunch there, then went to the railroad museum. I figured the girls wouldn't be too interested, but they ended up having a lot of fun there also. They had a bunch of train cars that you could go into climb all around inside which is so different from other railroad places where you stare at an engine. We toured the 3 story museum, where one story used to be a prison in the civil war. It was neat and by the time we got done there, it was time to come home and get ready for soccer practice.
Yesterday, the youth group watched K-6th graders from 2:30 until 7 when church began. So, I was able to go to the store alone and I took advantage of it.
This morning, I decided we'd do our reading out on the front porch. Our outside chair is one of those camping chairs and it was collapsed. I carefully opened it up to make sure there were no critters inside, and sure enough, there was about 1inch long scorpion in it. I killed it, turned it over, looking around, etc. Didn't see anything, so I sat down and started to read. About 10 min. later, Madelyn starts pointed and gasping, which always scares me, so I jumped up and asked what it was. Under my chair, crawling away was a big black spider, she said let itself down from the bottom of my chair. There is a fold at the back of the chair where the back of the chair and the seat of the chair meet. I guess it was in there. So I killed it and turned it over - Black widow.
So, we came inside. I don't know how I sleep at night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just wanted to update.
Last Tuesday, the well driller came and after 2 hours or more of working on the well, finally got it to work. He thinks that perhaps a new stream of underground water broke through some rock to meet up with our stream we were using and that force of water coming in, might have caused sediment to cling to the filter, not letting water come through the pump. He moved the pump up 25 ft, which still keeps it lower than 200ft and somehow in that moving, the sediment came off and the pump is now working. When he first put the pump in, he guestimated that there was 1 gallon per min coming into the well, but when he fixed the pump, he measured it at 3 gallons/ per minute, which is awesome! That is where his theory of another stream coming in comes from.
I had the water tested before it broke and it came back clear of bacteria, but the water still has a gray appearance when you put it in a glass, so once it "appears" clear, I am going to see if they can test it for ores and other stuff. We are still drinking bottled/galloned water to be on the safe side. It seems to be getting clearer every day.
If you tried to call us the past two days, our phone has not been working. All day yesterday, it sounded that screeching sound like when you are trying to get on the internet, then this morning there was no sound at all, and just a few minutes ago - dialtone, yeah! So that is why I got on the internet real quick while it is working.
Here is something you don't hear everyday. On Friday, Aaron went to call his parents, and the phone service played a message that all the long distance phone lines of the company were being used and to try later. So, if you call and it just rings and rings and our answering machine never picks up - apparently, our phone company is booked and try again later.
Kids can make you feel so good about yourselves...
The other day, the whole family was in line at Taco Bell. Hannah thinks everyone is either beautiful or handsome. So, the lady hands us our food and as we are driving off, Hannah says "she is beautiful, I wish she was my Mom" Ouch. Thankfully, I was able to laugh it off and tease her about it all week. -Like "I bet your Taco Bell Mom would let you do it" She felt a little bad, when Aaron, Madelyn, and Natalie got onto her for how insensitive that comment was. So she made up for it. She asked if both of us could be her mom. She didn't let the idea of having 2 moms go for about 3-4 days. I guess time dimmed the beauty of the Taco Bell girl and she was able to settle for me alone after that. HA!
Adoption News
There has been no agreement made between Vietnam and the US concerning adoptions. We had 3 choices with our agency. 1. Drop out of Vietnam and forget about adopting -Quit. 2. Drop out of Vietnam and start over with another country. or 3. Stay where we are, give it another 90 days and see. If they are no closer to an agreement in 90 days, then we will have to drop out of the Vietnam program and start another country.
So, we have decided, since we don't have any money to start a new country right now anyway, we are going to stick with Vietnam until December 1 and hope and pray that they come to an agreement and we will be able to proceed up the waiting list.

Monday, September 8, 2008

pictures











Water water in the well, and not a drop to drink

Someday our well will work, I keep on holding on to that thought.
When our well water level gets down to a certain level, the pump will kick off and we have to reset it. That happened a few times last week, but we did have an extra person here.

Friday, it wouldn't reset.
And there hasn't been water through our pipes since. We called the well digger and he just blamed it on too little water.
Then we went and bought a 65 gallon tank, filled it up with water at a friends, put it in the well, Aaron measured down to the waterlevel, and it was 30ft from the top, meaning there was already quite a bit of water in it before Aaron added the other water. The well is sealed off, but there is a small hole you can add stuff to it.
Called the well digger again and he said that he wasn't coming out to check on the pump until we had an electrician come out to make sure the right kind of wiring was put out there. (the electrician is coming this morning)
Our well digger is a nice man and I think he probably brings to mind our 3 little girls waterless and feels guilty, so he calls us for the 4th time last night to say he was coming Tuesday morning to check.
I am really hoping that maybe the electrician will see the problem and be able to fix it today. We have a 1 year warrenty on our pump, but I really don't want to wait for a new one.
In the meantime, we have lived like the pioneers. To an extent at least.

Aaron had a genius idea a few weeks ago, before our days of rain, to put out these huge barrels to collect rain water just in case. So, that has saved us. We have lugged that water in gallon by gallon, boiling it to wash dishes in, boiling it and putting a little bleach in to rinse dishes. Trying to live off of paper plates as much as possible.
Pouring it in the back of the toilets so we can flush.
Boiling it and then putting it in the big pot in the tub to take "baths" in. More like washing, then rinsing with the water.
Last night, after church, I drove back into town with the jeep and filled up the 65 gallon tank at a friends house, since our barrels are almost empty. Thankfully, our driveway goes up a little at the end. We had to hook the hose onto the big tank of water, turn on the spigot, and walk to the bottom of the hill with the pot, so that gravity will take the water down to your pot.
But you know what... In all of this, our needs have been met. We haven't had it as easy as we usually do. But we have done just fine. Yes, I am still going to pursue getting water from the well to the house.
I'll add pictures later.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

She was wrong!

I am very happy to say that I am at my house right now typing this. The lady at the phone company was wrong, and apparently, you can get on the internet from our landline phone. I wish I had asked Aaron to hook up the computer days ago, seeing how I have made 3-4 trips to the library over the last week. Oh well, live and learn.
I have been trying to last minute prepare for the class I am teaching at our coop tomorrow. It is the first day and the girls are real excited. It will be hectic tomorrow, since everyone will be scrambling to figure out where they are supposed to go. I have 3 that I have to find their class, and squeeze down the narrow hallways among many many other people there. Thankfully, Hannah stays in the same classroom the whole time and Madelyn and Natalie go to the same first class, after that chaos, because I will be trying to help them find their 2nd classes, and still try to make it to the class I am supposed to teach on time.
We found the copperhead again. We have been looking in this corner in the barn stall almost daily, hoping to see it. Hoping to try and kill it. Aaron tried the other day, but it slithered away, it is hard to kill a snake in a corner with a big shovel. So, she happened to be sitting there tonight, curled up, therefore, Aaron couldn't get a good shot at the head to cut it off. He was able to cut the middle of the body in half and then we saw the babies. We only saw two, because she slithered back in this hole that we can't get to her. The babies were slightly squirmy, but not fully developed, although you could see the faint pattern of a copperhead on the back. We showed the girls, especially Natalie, who loves to catch creepy crawlys, how much they looked like earthworms and to be extra careful.
Now it's got me wondering if perhaps the bulge that we saw in the rattlesnake might have been some babies too. Is it snake baby time of year? Someday, we will find out, b/c it is in our freezer. Yes, I thought maybe we could cook it up for our annual wild game supper at church next February. Don't worry, it doesn't have a head. I have been asking around at church and think I may have a taker. At least someone that will help us prepare it, like the skinning and gutting. Stuff I know nothing about.
More later, I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moved In

We finally got all of our stuff moved out of the old rental house on Friday. I worked from7-11 that morning. Apparently, I was not even on the schedule for Friday or Saturday, so when they called asking me to help on Friday morning, I was able to leave at 11. Aaron did a good job getting the last of the stuff out of the last two rooms.
We have not run out of our well water yet!! that is exciting. We still haven't gotten it tested. I think I will stop by the health dept. today to pick up our jug. At first, we had lots of tiny rock sediment. Once, while washing my hair, the water turned almost black with sediment, and the tub was always grayish black after the showers, but today, it was clear.
Yesterday, Aaron and I went to Lowes to find some items to fix minor things. I really didn't want to go, but since Aaron was very stopped up and lethargic with his cold, I figured it was safer if I drove him. It is 29miles away. While we were there, Mom called -she was home with the kids, and said the washer was overflowing. So, I told her how to turn off the well, and when we finally got the mess cleaned up, and Aaron got the washer taken apart, the tube in the back was full of rock sediment. I guess we used our washer too soon. So that meant a trip to the laundrymat to wash 3 loads of towels. At least the dryer works.
Our landline phone is supposed to be turned on today, so right now I am at the library on the internet. Hannah is in preschool storytime.
We are planning a trip to the town 30 miles away where we have our Friday coop. That will be 3 trips there this week if we count Friday. I still haven't went to pick up my curriculum to teach on Friday, so that is priority today.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I have hired the kids



Yesterday I had the kids help me pack for a while. They did all of my dishes that were in the dishwasher and the plates and bowls left in the cabinets. It was a great help. Then today, since it is down to the last minute, I have really employed them. We have worked our way out through the house and now all I have left is the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Which is quite a bit. We have packed most stuff from each room, but it is the little stuff that takes so much time. Today has been so busy and I am so ready for a nap. But I must press on...


We have taken 3 loads to the house today already. Went to the grocery store for a few things, ate out for breakfast, and went to Sonic after lunch> I surprised the girls with Sonic in thanks for helping me. Really, they have been an asset. Aaron called as I was buckling the girls for our latest trip to the house and he was at the office eating out, so we went out to his office an visited him for a few minutes. And it is only 2:30.

Madelyn is not in dance, but the other night at the local dance studio, they had a back to school Brownie party for those that were Brownies last year, coming back. They let Natalie stay too, even though she was a Daisy last year. They had tons of outfits to dance around in, and they painted nails, spray colored hair on them, fixed their hair. I got some cute pictures, but since the dance outfits aren't very modest, I am not posting them. But I thought this one of Madelyn was pretty.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

SNAKES GALORE

I was just at the new house a few minutes ago. I walked two bags of trash out to the trash cans by the mailbox, and decided to take a stroll through the barn to see if I could find a snake. Boy, did I.
The barn is full of junk that needs to be cleaned out this winter when the snakes aren't so plentiful. I walked through the middle and looked over the side of the one stall, and there about 3-4 ft away was a coiled up rattlesnake. I don't know how long it was since it was coiled up, but I would guess a 2-3 ft. It wasn't rattling. I had my phone in my pocket, so I called Aaron and he said I could either try to kill it with a shovel or shoot it with a gun, or hope it was still there when he got home and he would try to kill it. I chose to wait for him since I didn't like the thought of a possible ricochet from shooting the gun and I for sure didn't want to get close enough to it to kill it with a shovel. That would mean being trapped in a stall with it.
So I did the next best thing and went and got my 3 kids to come see it.
But, by the time I walked back to the house and made it back with the kids, it was gone. There is not much worse than being in a barn, knowing there is a rattlesnake nearby and not knowing where it is. (The kids never got closer than 15 ft from the barn, I wasn't going to bring them in until I found it.) But, while I was looking for the rattlesnake, standing at the edge of the stall, peering over the wooden planks, I look down, and about 6in from my feet (on the other side of the stall), was a coiled up copperhead. There was a plank in between me and the snake, so don't freak out too bad. It would have had to strike me between the stall planks, and it wasn't looking in my direction.
Apparently the snakes did the ole switcheroo while I was going for the kids. I chose not to bring the kids into the barn to see the copperhead, since the rattler was probably watching me. I also saw a 6 inch long lizard and a spider in a huge web, probably 3" in diameter- the spider, not the web. Although not poisonous like the snakes, the spider, by far is my biggest foe. And they grow them big in the country. I can handle snakes, and I would welcome them if they weren't poisonous, but the spiders, oh, I just can't handle that very well at all. Ugh! Any suggestions on a type of dog that will go after snakes and keep them away from your house?
By the way, Pump is in the well and pumping water to the surface, yes!!! I ran it for about 45 min. today through a hose into the yard, like the well man said. Said to run the water until the water runs clear. At first it was like watered down milk - getting out all the rock and sediment they drilled up while drilling. Once it is clear, we can get our sample to be tested. We can go ahead and have water in the house once it is clear, but we won't be drinking it until it gets cleared by the health dept.

Monday, August 25, 2008

You know you live in the boonies when...

AT&T doesn't service your area.
I called last week wanting to switch our service to our new address, and they don't go there. Apparently we are in another tiny area, and the AT&T worker actually gave me the name and city of the service that does go to our house. I couldn't find it on the internet. I looked in our phone book and couldn't find it either. A friend from church stopped by this morning and she was able to find the little area in the phone book.
There was one page. So, we will be listed on one page.
Good news is... there is a company that we can have a landline phone through.
Bad news is... they don't have the ability in that area yet to support internet. I was under the assumption that as long as you have a landline phone you can get dialup. But according to the phone company lady, that is not true. She said that they are trying to get it to every area eventually.
For now we won't have internet at our house. I guess I will go to the library once a week or so to check emails and post on the blog. Sigh..
Even in town, I have heard people talking about a waiting list to get DSL. I don't think I will be able to post pictures on the blog anymore, since I will be using the library computer. Maybe I can find a friend that will let me use it at their house.
Although an inconvenience, this is a problem I can live with.
Did I mention there is no cable there either?
She said we could get satelite, and get internet through that, but if we do get satelite tv, it will be a long time from now. We have other priorities to spend our money on. Like fresh water...
Our electrician is supposed to be finishing up running power and water lines to the well today and once he is done, we are free to call the well driller to come and set the pump up and hopefully at that point we will have water. I can't wait. We will be moving out of this house by Friday.
Right now, we are taking a lunch break from packing and cleaning. I had a lady offer to babysit the girls this afternoon, and I think I may take her up on it.
This weekend, while Aaron's brother and sister in law were here, he helped us move the last dresser. I will finish moving the drawers today and we are just going to wear whatever clothes happen to be in the laundry. The girls and I got their room cleaned of everything except their 3 mattresses, their baskets of clothes for the week and a toy box. That still sounds like a lot of stuff, but trust me, it looks empty compared to what was in there.
I don't know what room to do next. I am in that limbo of...if I clean it now, will it get dirty before Friday and I will have to clean it again. Then laziness rears it's ugly head and I think "I'll just wait until later" then reality sets in and says "you only have 4 more days of later, you can't put it off forever".
I am signed up to work 7-3 on Friday and Saturday. Why would I sign up to work on moving day? Well, I didn't realize at the time that it would be moving day. For once, I actually signed up 6 weeks in advance, before our closing was postponed.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well!!!










It may not be pretty, but it sure is a blessing. 1st picture is well with the top on. 2nd picture is the well with the top off and the beautiful shimmering water way down deep. Can you believe that it goes 240ft into the ground? When I took the picture yesterday, you could see the water without a mirror. When you had to use a mirror, it was 52 ft from the ground, so now it is even closer. Today, our electrician and his brother from church dug a trench from the well to our house. They should finish hooking up electricity and pipe and once they are done, the well driller will come back out and hook up our pump and then we will have water. Hopefully, by the end of the month when we have to be out of our rental.



It is 12:20am right now. I am getting pretty sleepy. I worked 5-11 last night and before I went to bed around 12, I checked on Natalie, who had awoken and she had a fever of 102.9. She has a sinus infection/tonsillitis/possibly strep. I brought her mattress into the living room so she could watch tv while waiting for her medicine to kick in so she could go back to sleep, and I laid out there with her until she cooled off. (our couches are already moved). She is already getting better today. I worked 7-11:45 tonight and already signed up to work 7-11 tomorrow night. Aaron's brother and sister in law are coming on Saturday, so I probably won't be working then.

We have gotten a slow start to school this week. What with some of my curriculum on backorder, and Natalie running a fever all day on days 1 and 2, the move that never ends, finding supplies buried in multiple boxes, and me working 3 evenings in a row. I am liking the curriculum so far, and I really liked this company last year too.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Water!!!!

The girls and I went to the house this morning and stayed about 5 hours today. I got some more of my curriculum for school and had enough where I could start school today. I actually went to the store and got some snack food to take there too. Somehow, when we have been there for a few minutes, they are suddenly starving.
Now for the miracle and answered prayer from God...
I went and looked in the well this morning and I saw WATER. And although it was hard to tell the depth, it was much much easier to see than last night when we weren't sure if we were seeing water or not. Yipeee!!!!
Tonight, we took Aaron with us and were able to measure it. It was 52ft from the top. That means we have approx. 190 ft of water. After the well driller giving us a 1% chance of getting a tiny bit of water by today, we surpassed even his measly chances. The lime rock starts at 70ft deep and went down to the 240ft. He felt like the highest the water might fill would be up to the 70ft mark and I guess at that point, it would seep into the soil 70ft and above. But instead, it surpassed that by 18 ft. Not only did we get water, but we got more than he thought was possible!
He was really surprised when Aaron called him tonight and could hardly believe there was so much. He was excited and said he worried about it and felt bad about it all night last night.
Next step is to get an electrician to come out and run electricity to the well. Then the well driller will come out and put the pump on, then we will have to get a plumber to come out and dig a line to our house plumbing. Hopefully before the end of the month. Thanks for your prayers!

Well Water

Yesterday was a bad day. The well driller called around lunchtime to let me know that he hadn't seen any water yet and he was around 180ft. He said that he would go a little deeper, but not to expect much. So, long story short, they dug 240 ft and found no water.
He called a fellow well driller that had done a well on our road and they had dug 780 ft with no water. So we stopped at 240.
When he left, he said that our only hope for that well is if it is slowly seeping into the hole from the rocks around it and it is so slow that he can not detect it while he is drilling. It is hard to tell since they shoot water into the hole the entire time. He really thinks our chances are nil, he kept saying he wished he had better news.
He told us to go out there with a mirror after waiting all night and reflect the sunlight into the hole and if we see water, to call him and he can come back and put a pump in.
We went over there last night a few hours after he stopped drilling to look. Aaron thought he saw a little shimmer of water, but it was hard to see with the setting sun and the fact it is 240 ft down. However, we did hear water trickling and we heard "glub, glubs" We don't know if the water we heard was leftover water that the driller shot in there or if it was new water seeping from the rocks. So, maybe we will have some water. I was going to wait for Aaron to come home and look tonight, but I might not be able to wait that long. If I can get the lid off the well...
No matter, the well costs the same to drill whether we get water or not.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Praying for water






Tomorrow, finally, our well driller is coming. We are praying hard that they find water. Let me recap the week.
Wednesday, Aaron's parents came down. The well driller was supposed to come last week, but postponed until tomorrow. Over the next 4 days, we packed and moved, with the help of his parents, most of our furniture. I was supposed to work 7-3 on Friday and Saturday, but they cancelled me both days. I don't know about Friday, but Saturday, there were only 8 patients in the hospital.
We still are in the old house pending well water.
We have heard rumors that water is hard to find.
Tomorrow, I am going to try to get to the house in time for the girls and I to watch the well driller go water witching. I guess that is how you spell it, that is how it sounds. It will be an education, that's for sure.
Aaron's parents went home this afternoon. We spent the afternoon at the house. It is so beautiful out there. I love it! Even with the stress. I pray that we get water before Aaron gets called out west on a forest fire. That way we can go ahead and move it all and I won't have to find some strong backs to help me move the rest of the heavy stuff.

If you look close enough at the pictures below, you will see that the cat in the picture is wearing a jacket.







Relieving Stress





















Got Natalie out of bed to come get me something out of the box. She never questioned why I would get her out of bed to get something from a box only feet away from me. He had already scared Hannah. If you get stressed enough, apparently you get a little silly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Room pictures and new additions






I am going to try to get the captions to match the pictures.
Here is the picture of Madelyn's purple room.



Next is a picture of the pink that Hannah picked out. We will have to wait until it dries completly before we add Natalie's blue to the other walls. I took the girls to a lady's house who was giving away free kittens. She had a whole bunch, a lot of different ages. I let the girls pick out two new kittens. The gray one's name is Smokey, and the other's name is Stripey.

I emptied 2 boxes of kids' books, and 3 boxes of kitchen stuff while Aaron was painting the pink trim today. I have a meeting tonight at 7 for the coop teachers at our school that we go to on Friday. I am teaching a high school class from Dave Ramsey. I really don't want to drive 25 min. there tonight, but don't really have an excuse not to go, so I guess I will.
Madelyn is complaining a lot less today. I don't think the antibiotic has had time to work, but I think knowing what was wrong with her has taken a big weight off her mind. She apparently was really worried over the weekend, wondering what was wrong.

I'm Giving Myself an Award

Yes, I am awarding myself with the "NEGLECTFUL MOTHER OF THE WEEK AWARD"
I think I have earned it.
Let me give you background. I know I could have kept all this to myself and none of you would know what has happened, but sometimes I just have to confess my shortcomings.
Let me go back over the last week or two. It has been very busy around here with buying the house, watering plants at someone else's house, and all the other errands that we have been running this summer. Seems like we are always getting in the car and I am always yelling "go potty before we leave" Madelyn will go, then as we are walking out the door, she says she has to go again. In my hurried state, I have just thought the going a lot was her worrying that she wouldn't have to go while we were out.
I guess I was flashing back to my childhood where while having to go potty while we weren't at home wasn't a crime, it was at least something to feel guilty for. I even wondered how she could pick up on that.
Then on Thursday, she was complaining that her stomach hurt, but she couldn't give me more than vague symptoms. She was even dry heaving some and asked for medicine. So from Thursday until yesterday she was off and on complaining, lying around. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't get much info out of her. Everything was so vague. The first 2 days, I figured she either had the touch of stomach virus or ate something bad. By Saturday night, I was planning on a doctor's visit on Monday. Sunday night, it finally hit me. DUH!
Peeing all the time.
Lethargy
lower abdominal pain
nausea
She has a UTI and although I knew her symptoms, I didn't take the time to sit down and think about the last few weeks and put it all together possibly getting her to the doctor sooner.
We went yesterday morning and sure enough, the doctor comes in after checking the sample and says "Big Time Bladder Infection"
I apologized to her on the way home.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Busy

Busily trying to get the house ready to move into.
Over the weekend, we have moved most of the boxes that we had already packed. On Friday, when I was considering filling up the bookshelf in Madelyn's room with books, I decided that while most of our stuff was still at the rental, it would be best to go ahead and at least paint the kids' rooms. So, we decided to let the girls pick the colors. Friday evening and part of Saturday morning, Aaron and I finished painting Madelyn's room PURPLE.
Aaron is heading over there right now to start working on Natalie and Hannah's room. Natalie picked BLUE, while Hannah picked PINK, so we will see how it blends together. I will try to remember to take the camera over there with me today to post the after pictures. The whole house needs to be painted. The entire house inside was the same color - a bland off white, with a vague hint of green? I don't know how to describe it, but I think the rest of the house will have to wait though.
Aaron is working a weird shift today. He will be going in at 1:30 and getting off at 2:30 in the morning. Something to do with bats. So, he is off this morning, hopefully going to get a nap before going in this afternoon.
My mom has been here all weekend, and has enabled Aaron and I to run errands and paint without the kids helping.
Madelyn has a doctor's appointment today, and I will probably go help Aaron paint after that, but I have to get shoes on now. Thankfully, Mom is still here and so I only have to take Madelyn with me to the doctor.