Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's not quite midnight, but I'm sure I'll still be on here at that time, downloading Season 3 episodes of Prison Break. I am trying to get caught up to current when the series starts back up in Jan. Netflix recommended Prison Break to me based on the ratings I've done on movies I've watched. They hit the nail right on the head. I love it! I loved it so much, I've gotten my friends Emily and Jody watching it, and also my Mom! If you start, you will be hooked. We watched the 1st episode of season 3 this afternoon with Jody and Emily, and I am now downloading the 2nd and 3rd episodes off of iTunes. Then, Emily tells me I can watch all of the rest of them for free on Fox.com.

We invited Emily, Jody, Silas, Hattie and Luke over this morning for brunch, and then this evening we were invited over to my friend Sherry's house for pizza and games. We had a good time.

The weather here is very windy and cold. We had a little bit of snow today, but not too bad. Scott is going out to hunt pheasants in the morning, so it will be a cold one for him. We don't have too much planned for tomorrow. Emma has been begging me for 2 days now to take her to a place where she can go ice dancing. She got a new Strawberry Shortcake "Let's Dance" DVD for Christmas and Strawberry goes ice dancing. I noticed last night when I drove by the JayCee park that the lights were on at the outdoor skating rink, so maybe if it's not too cold, we'll do that tomorrow? I don't know if she's going to want to have all of her hockey gear on or not? I'm sure she's going to discover it's not as easy as Strawberry Shortcake makes it look. Emma is quite a good skater at hockey, but figure skating is a little different I am told. However, if she is really interested in doing that instead of hockey, maybe we'll do that? I love watching figure skaters. I have heard though, that figure skating is just as expensive as hockey, so it won't matter in that department. Anyway, maybe we'll go out and try it tomorrow.

I'm hoping all of you have a safe New Year's celebration and are not too ill tomorrow! :-)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spa Day
















Last night after we got home and had started going through the mail, we found a birthday invitation for Emma. Her friend Maddie's birthday party was scheduled for today. Emma wanted to go, so I called my friend Tonya to RSVP. We weren't too late. Maddie's party took place at the Hair Hospital and all of the little girls got mini manicures, mini pedicures, hair up-do and make-up. Emma was very excited to go, but wasn't sure about it once we got there. She was a little reserved at first. She loved getting her toenails and fingernails painted. Her hair was adorable. I wish they would have put it up instead of leaving the curls down. They were cute though. When Emma's hair was getting the final touches, a few tears fell. I'm not sure what that was all about? She either really liked her hair, or really hated it? She didn't cry at all, just 2 tears fell. Maybe it was the hairspray? Anyway, she had a great time and I told Tonya that she was setting the stakes pretty high, as Emma has a birthday coming up in Feb. I'm pretty sure we won't be doing the "Spa Day" even though it was a lot of fun. I told Shane, Tonya's husband, that I sure hoped Tonya would have a party like this and invite all of her friends to attend! He didn't think that sounded like too good of an idea. I think Emma enjoyed her day and I'm hoping this doesn't make her want to start styling and primping. She has been into dresses and tights and I would like to just leave it at that. I am pretty low maintenance when it comes to that stuff. In fact, I had to wear my stocking hat the entire time at the Hair Hospital because I think they would have had to do some CPR if they had seen it. :-)
Gage has had a pretty quiet day. He didn't feel good at lunch time and didn't eat his lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch. He had a low-grade temp at bedtime, so we'll see how he feels tomorrow. I will be totally fine to stay in the house all day. I need to get my organization resolution started!





Friday, December 28, 2007

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!

Finally, we made it back to Bismarck. It was a long trip and it is always nice to get home after a long day of driving. Everything was, I repeat WAS, intact when we arrived. After about 30 minutes of being home, Griz, our neurotic cat, knocked over Gage's Christmas tree and about 6 ornaments broke. He was so heartbroken. They are all currently sitting on the counter, superglued and in some sort of clamping device. One of them was pretty much shattered and Gage is very upset because it is his one and only ornament from Grandma Pipi. He was crying and almost had me in tears. Actually, I would have been in tears if ebay wasn't in the back of my mind. I logged on to look, and I found several of them, and will be ordering a new one. I was in the process of supergluing, and Scott finally started to help, and was getting frustrated so I decided to just come down to the computer and see if I can get a new one, and I have several options, so we're good. Gage will be very glad to hear the news in the morning.

Gage and Emma did pretty well traveling to and from Iowa, and I am happy about that. We did have a few little episodes on occasion, but it is definitely getting better. I had a couple of decks of cards handed down from our friend Juanita, to use for entertainment. The one I broke out was called "52 FUN things to do in the car". I picked about 3 different ones and they weren't as "FUN" as I thought they would be. Emma isn't old enough yet, I guess? One of the games was for naming as many animals as you could that started with A, B, C.... and all the way through the alphabet, in order. Well, my faithful blog readers know that Emma has some difficulty with words that start with certain letters (especially the letter "B"). Each time we would get to her turn, she would say something that started with another letter. I think mostly because it was a little difficult to think of the animals when you were actually on that particular letter. Anyway, we switched, and then we had difficulty with going in order and Gage couldn't wait his turn, etc, etc. Maybe I'll try it again next year? I'll keep them in the glove box so they'll be there again the next time. It was worth a try, and it did kill some time.

I have pictures I want to post, but I am too tired to do it tonight. I believe I am going to go chug a little NyQuil and call it a night. My cold has turned into a cough, and I don't want to be up all night coughing up my lungs. Thank goodness for drugs. :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday

Another day has passed and we're nearing the end of our stay in Iowa. It always goes by so fast. Typically the kids and I could stand to stay a few more days. We have had a great time.

Unfortunately I have come down with some type of cold or sinus problem. I had a terrible headache all day yesterday despite my attempts to get rid of it. I've been sneezing like crazy and I have no idea where all of this snot is coming from? I think today will be a better day? Typically when we are back, someone gets something. I guess it was my lucky time. Gage has had some sneezing and congestion as well, but it's not holding him back from playing with his cousins.

Today I am doing our laundry and trying to organize all of our stuff to get packed into the van. I'm hoping that we have alot more space than we did coming. I think we will. It looks like there may be some bad weather on our return trip, so it may be slow going?

Gage and Emma have had alot of fun playing with their cousins. It will be hard for them to return home to our house where they will have to play with each other. Although maybe the new piles of toys will keep them busy for awhile?

My number one New Year's resolution is to get organized. I can't wait to get started on that huge project.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my blog readers! Gage and Emma were very excited to see that Santa found them in Iowa. He left bicycles and lots of toys. Now the fun part.......trying to keep all of the pieces from getting lost before we get back to North Dakota. I have to turn into the toy police to make sure that doesn't happen.

Before going to bed last night the kids got to open up a present from Scott and me. Every year (for 4 years now) it has been a tradition to get a new pair of pajamas on Christmas eve to wear to bed. I don't think Gage or Emma has caught onto this yet. They started begging yesterday morning to open up their present for Christmas eve. I told them we had to wait until bed time. Later, I finally told them that it wasn't going to be as much fun as they thought, because it wasn't a toy. He seemed a bit disappointed, so I let the kids open their gifts to each other last night as well. They were very excited to get their Webkinz. I think we have enough Webkinz now to keep them plenty busy. (Or keep myself busy). I enjoy them just as much as they do, when it comes to playing the games online and buying furniture to decorate their rooms!

I am always so surprised at how much room all of the gifts take when boxed and wrapped. The back of our van was completely loaded full when we left. So full, in fact, that Brie had to ride in front between the front and middle seats. Usually she has plenty of room in the back. Then it is so depressing to think about all of the money spent on all of these gifts and when putting them away after having opened them, they all fit into 2 sacks. I guess Brie will have a lot more room on the return trip to Bismarck; however, assembled bicycles aren't as easy to pack around as they are when they are in their boxes!

We are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends and good health. I am anxious to see what the new year has to offer.

I did not think to bring my camera cords to be able to post pictures and videos on my blog, so those will have to wait until we get home.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

We made it!

We made it to Iowa safely. We got up at 5:15 am yesterday and headed out of Bismarck at 6:15. We hit some terrible road conditions just after we crossed into South Dakota. There was a tractor trailer in the ditch and then on the opposite side of the interstate, a pickup had rolled over and landed on it's wheels. The roof of the truck was pretty smashed and there was an ambulance on the scene when we passed by. It didn't last too long, thank goodness. Our next bout of icy roads came about 4:30pm as we exited off I-80. I am so thankful that we didn't have that the entire trip. It was snowing with snow packed roads and very windy. Unfortunately it made the last 45 minutes take much longer than it should have. However, we made it safe and sound and that's what matters. They certainly had a terrible ice storm a couple of weeks ago as my parents' yard is just covered in tree limbs. It will not be fun cleaning that up.

My family is doing great. Everyone is here. Last night there were more people than beds. The kids didn't mind camping out on the floor though. Gage and Emma are thrilled to be here. It was funny yesterday evening when Emma camped out on Grandpa Alan's lap and she layed her head down on his chest. I think that may have melted Grandpa's heart? Gage has been too busy playing with his cousins Colton and Seth to have time for snuggling. They had their first round of present opening this afternoon with the gift exchange amongst the kids and the adult grab bag. Gage and Emma both got Webkinz. Gage also got a pack of Webkinz trading cards and there was a bonus card in there for a free Webkinz online pet. That pretty much ticked Emma off, and pretty much ruined my planning to keep them even. I knew if one ended up with more than the other, it wasn't going to be good news. I guess she'll have to wait until her birthday, which is coming up next.

The buckets of goodies have gone over very well. They loved the buckeye balls Emily! It makes all the time and effort it took worth while. Although I'm sure I've already gained 5 lbs!

I hope this post finds you all and well and spending time with family.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ready

I think I am finally ready for Christmas? I'm hoping I bought the last of the gifts tonight. However, as I just typed that, I thought of one I forgot. UGH! My last day of work was this morning, and the kids are both in school tomorrow morning, so I am going to use that 3 hours of no kids to hopefully finish things up!! I'm not sure how I'm going to get it all squeezed into the van?

Tonight I had an appointment for a MUCH needed haircut. I made the appointment a week ago, or maybe even longer? Typically when I finally call to get the appointment, I'm needing it desperately and want it for the same day. It was for 6pm tonight because she was booked up until that time. I was anxious to go because for one, I had my stocking cap on all day long to cover up my bad hair, for two I just wanted to get out by myself. This was a new place that I hadn't been to before (I have taken Emma there), but I know the people who run it. My appointment was to get a cut and highlights, which I have probably done 2 other times in my life. I went in, was greeted by the receptionist and I sat down in a chair to wait my turn. After I sat there for about 10 to 15 minutes, the lady came up to me and asked, "Do you have an appointment here?" I said, "Yeah." I wanted to say, "Well, what other reason would I come in here and sit for 15 minutes?" Then she asked who it was with and what was it for. Since it was apparent they weren't expecting me, I said I only needed a haircut. I would have normally just apologized and said I must have written it down wrong and went home, but my hair was in such bad shape, I really needed it cut. I had to wait another 10 minutes for the gal to be freed up. I feel 10 lbs lighter now, so I guess it was worth the wait? Before I left, Emma was begging to go with me. I think because she just wanted to go into the beauty shop? I told her I was going to get highlights and it would take too long. Gage and Emma wanted to know what highlights were. I had to explain it to them, and told them maybe I'd just have it colored red. Gage got all mad because he said he would be the only one without red hair. LOL. (He got to bed late last night because of hockey, so I was expecting some form of crabbiness). Anyway, it was funny when I came in the house. Gage was checking out my hair and said, "Did you color it black?" Then Emma came to see. Finally Scott came to check it out. I think they were all about as disappointed that I didn't have some different color in my hair was I was? I'm pretty sure I didn't write the appointment down wrong, because I always repeat back on the phone about 2 times the date and time while I'm writing it on the calendar. Oh well. Maybe I'll have to start hairdresser hopping? I just hate going in to get my hair cut. I wish I could get away with shaving my head bald. Bald is beautiful, right Dad?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Viewer discretion advised


Emma's lip looks horrible! This is what happened to it yesterday after she started chewing on it while it was numb after seeing the dentist. She says it doesn't really hurt, but it looks painful to me. I had an appointment today at the orthodontist and I had the doctor look at Emma's lip. He couldn't believe how awful it looked. They took a picture of it to email to my other doctor and they were going to let me know if I needed to take her in to have it looked at or not. I never did hear back, so I'm hoping that's because it's nothing to worry about. I took Gage to hockey practice tonight and had Emma with me since Scott was out bowling (for work). My friend, who is an ER doctor, looked at it and called in a prescription for her lip. He thinks it should be cleared right up in about 3 days. I sure hope so. I feel so awful for her. And I also feel like I'm a neglectful parent because the dentist told her AND me, to make sure she doesn't chew on her lip. I didn't even know she was doing it and I was with her all afternoon! Anyway, we're working on taking care of it, so I feel a little better about it now.
Tomorrow's my last day at work! I've got TONS of things to do to get ready to travel to Iowa for Christmas. Hopefully I can get it all done and not forget anything! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dentist

As my faithful blog readers know, a few months ago we learned Emma had a cavity. Today was the day for her appointment for having it fixed. Poor Emma. She was absolutely TERRIFIED. She did not want to go. I told her she had to and had no choice. We got to the dentist's office and she wasn't going to get out of the car. We finally made it into the office and she stuck to me like glue. She did finally get down from my lap to play with the toys just prior to them calling her name. We walked through the front area where all of the kids were getting their teeth cleaned, and got back to the hall that led to the treatment room. Emma decided she didn't want to go any farther. I had to pick her up and carry her into the room. I seriously could have let go of her and she wouldn't have fell, she was holding on that tight. I did finally get her in the chair, after the hygienist told Emma that if she didn't relax and calm down, she was going to send me out to the waiting area. That made ME nervous because I didn't want to leave her. I have never seen her act so scared. Our problem, I believe, started with the book The Barenstein Bears Visit the Dentist. Apparently Brother Bear was afraid to go to the dentist because he didn't want to get a shot. Emma told me 2 times before we even left the house to be sure and ask them if they were going to give her a shot. The hygienist was great. She has worked there for 17 years, so she knows what she is doing. She told Emma they don't like that word shot around there, and even spelled it a couple of times, like it was a dirty word. She said they use "sleepy water", and she wouldn't feel any pain. They put the space gear on (the gas mask) and it took her quite awhile to feel like she was "floating in the clouds". She was so scared she wasn't really breathing normally through her nose like she needed to be and she had "Lake Louise forming in her ear" (her ear was full of tears). I sat right on the foot of the chair with her and she didn't let go of my hands the whole time, but I did feel the grip loosen a bit after the gas started working. The hygienist explained everything to her and showed her everything (everything but the "shot" that is). After she had her all geared up and ready for the doctor, she handed Emma a mirror to look at herself. She looked for a long time, and I wish I had known what she was thinking. After the dentist came in, it only took a few minutes to destroy the sugar bugs' home. Emma was totally oblivious to the fact that she had a shot to numb up her mouth. The device they used to inject the medicine is enough to scare anyone away. They were very discreet when handing it back and forth and Emma didn't have a clue. If she had seen that needle, there is no way that dentist would have gotten to even peek in her mouth, let alone drill the cavity and fill it. I asked if I could take a tank of that stuff home with me! I told them we had a long drive this weekend and that could come in very handy. They thought that was quite funny. (I don't think they thought I was serious?) Anyway, Emma did a WONDERFUL job and was very brave. She got to pick 4 toys out of the bin and got a balloon to boot. She picked out 3 things for herself and 1 thing for Gage. They told her to be careful because her tongue and mouth would be numb for a couple of hours and only to eat stuff she didn't have to chew. As a treat, I took Emma through the Starbucks drive thru (okay, I was treating myself too). She ordered a Caramel Apple Spice Cider and it was DELICIOUS! I shouldn't have done that, because now I'm never going to be able to go to Starbucks again without her wanting more. I can't afford my own habit, let alone another one!

After we got home she had some yogurt and was doing great. As I was talking to my Mom on the phone, I noticed Emma at the top of the stairs looking at herself in the mirror with a paper towel on her lip. I didn't know what she was doing. When I went over to check, I noticed there was blood on the paper towel. She showed me her lip and I couldn't believe it. She had been chewing on her lip and it had basically turned into hamburger. It was bleeding and swollen and looked horrible! I felt horrible because they had just told her not to do that, and also told me to try and make sure she doesn't bite her tongue or lip and only give her stuff she wouldn't have to chew for a couple of hours. I had no idea she was even doing that? I hope it heals up quickly. I know it can't feel good and it certainly doesn't look good!

Emma was very proud of herself after it was all over and agreed that she had no reason to be that scared. In the car on the way home she said, "Mom, do you think Dr. Mike is really going to do what he said?" I had to ask her what that was. "He said he was going to call up Santa and tell him I deserved something extra special!" I told her yes, I thought that he really would.

What a day!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dead dog tired

I am dead dog tired tonight. I got up at 5:30 this morning to do some work before the kids got up, and then Emily and I played Betty Crocker all day. We started about 9 am and ended about 7pm! We got a lot of stuff baked/made. I have one more thing I want to do, and then I am done with Christmas goodies! I hope my family is very hungry for sweets when we're back in Iowa!!!

Emma had a great time playing with Silas, Hattie and Luke. They have 2 new guinea pigs and she wasn't quite so sure about "Polar bear", who is an albino. She didn't like his red eyes. He said that he looked evil. She talked all the way home about how sweet they were and how gentle they were. She said, "Mom, I want a guinea pig." I told her that they would make a great snack for Brie, and the cats. She decided we didn't need one. Gage joined the group after school and also had a great time. We're all exhausted! Thanks for the entertainment today Emily!

After I picked Gage up from school we stopped at home to pick up a couple of things. When I came in the back door, I noticed the pantry door was open, and inside the pantry, the dog food door was open. Brie had a great day chowing down on dog food. I wish she was smart enough to figure out that every time that happens, it gets followed by peroxide and bad things happen on a full stomach with bubbling peroxide mixed in! If we don't induce vomiting after she gorges herself, then she will have MAJOR diarrhea. And, let me tell you, puke is way more pleasant! Scott gave her the peroxide after he got off of work and cleaned the mess up in the backyard (this entry isn't for people with weak stomachs!) otherwise she'll go out there and snarf it all back down. Scott then came to get Gage at Emily's and took him to his Cub Scout pack meeting which was swimming in Mandan. I came home to a great surprise all over the living room floor. NICE! (Anyone looking for a dog to give as a Christmas present, I've got one I'll donate real cheap!)

I'm starting to cross things off my list of things I need to do before our trip as I continue to add more.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On the countdown............


The kids are on the countdown for Christmas! Only 9 more days! I am on the countdown for the end of my job. Only 4 more days! I'm probably not going to know what to do with myself. Yeah, right. Typically my New Year's resolution is to not make a New Year's resolution. This year I am making one to spend quality time with the kids and get this house organized!
Yesterday we went to see Santa at the zoo. Emma was sure to give Santa her list of things she wants. We then walked around the zoo a bit.
Today we ended up going to 2 church services. Between services anyone wishing to participate was allowed to join in the singing of Christmas carols in the chapel. I really enjoyed it even though I'm not a good singer. Typically we go to the 9am service, but they had special music being played at the 11am service so we went to that and I had every intention of leaving during the middle of the service; however, we were blocked into the pew on both sides in the balcony. The kids were not behaving very well the second time around. There was a special violin/piano piece that was played, and then The University of Mary's brass group played. The kids enjoyed that; however, it was the last thing before the service was over, so we would have had to stayed for the whole thing anyway. I guess it was a good note to end on, because I was totally prepared to start taking Christmas presents away when we got home. Even without warning them, they behaved on the ride home, and during lunch I told them I had every intention of starting to eliminate presents out from under the tree. There are only 4 for each of them under the tree, so it wouldn't take long at all for those to go away. We'll see how long it takes them to forget they need to be behaving.
Scott is out hunting pheasants today (which is why he didn't appear in the above "family" photo). I set the camera timer to take our picture. I wanted one of us in our Christmas attire before church, and since we won't be here next Sunday, I figured I better do it today, even if Scott was gone.
I've started making my list of things I need to do before we head out to Iowa on Saturday. I'm praying for good traveling weather and for peace and quiet (yeah, right) on the trip. The list is getting to be quite lengthy, so I best get started!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Disturbed

Today I was a little disturbed. Gage and I went out shopping to get a Christmas gift for Emma from Gage. We had a nice time. We went to Walmart after we got her gift because he said he would like to look around a little bit. While we were there, we picked up a few things, saw Juanita and Kim, and then went to check out after we got the items we needed for Gage's Christmas party at school. While we were checking out, I heard over the intercom there was a Code Adam. I told Gage that meant a little kid was lost in the store. From what I know, I thought that the doors were shut down and no one could come in, and no one could go out until the child was found. Nobody reacted at all. I looked at the cashier and asked if they were supposed to lock the doors with a Code Adam. She looked at me like she had no idea what I was talking about. There were still people coming and and going out of the store. Then, some man came into my checkout lane and heard what I was talking about and said that Code Adam just meant there was a kid still in the store but lost, and an Amber Alert meant they would close all of the doors down. I told him I didn't think so. I thought Code Adam was to shut all of the doors until the child was found, and Amber Alert was a statewide thing. He didn't think so. I just wanted to say, "WHATEVER!" I'm pretty sure I'm right. Does anyone else know the procedure? The reason I was a little disturbed is because I'm comforted by the "CODE ADAM" sign when I go into stores. I have always thought if I lose Emma (which I have on a few occasions, for maybe 1-2 minutes)that is my saving grace? Now, I don't know if a person should be comforted by that, since not a single person at the Walmart seemed to care. The little old lady at the doors handing out Walmart stickers to the kids didn't react either. But, I'm sure she didn't hear it because of the VERY LOUD fans that are blowing in the entry way. People were just oblivious to the whole situation. Instead, I'm feeling a little panicked because I know that parent was freaking out trying to find their child. And, let me tell you, on a Saturday afternoon, this close to Christmas, Walmart is NOT the place you want to lose your child!!!! Does anyone have any info on the Code Adam and Amber Alerts?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sad




I had some cute videos to post and I lost them. I uninstalled the software from the computer because it didn't seem to be playing right not realizing that I had somehow deleted them off of my camera. I'm so sad about that. I did manage to save three pictures I took, so I guess I'll have to share those instead. Emma's class went to the nursing home today to sing Christmas songs to the Grandpas and Grandmas and she sang so nice and loud and did a great job. Sorry I can't share.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Better day

This morning when Scott went to wake Emma up, he asked her what she wanted for breakfast. She asked what there was to have. Scott gave her some choices. Emma answers, "I'll take whatever takes the longest to make so I can sleep a little longer." LOL! She's one smart cookie!!

Today was my second day this month of delivering Meals on Wheels. I wish I could say there were no problems. However, I can't. Scott decided that today would be the best day to take the van in to have it serviced before we head back to Iowa for Christmas. I told him I needed it to deliver meals, and he said it would be done in plenty of time. I wasn't quite as confident. At 10 I decided to call him and have him check to see if it was done. Nope. Just as I figured. So, Emily, et al, came to the rescue. She loaded up her three little ones, came to get Emma and I and we delivered the meals together. Let me tell you, that sure makes it go A LOT faster! I couldn't believe how quickly we were getting it done (but compared to last week, I think delivering them on foot might have been faster?). We were done at 12:45, as compared to 1:20 last week. The little old lady that was grouchy last week was nice this week, so I felt good about that. I made lunches for the kids so there wouldn't be any dying noises coming from the back. They all ate very well. I think that's the way to go, strap them in their carseats and they have nothing else to do but eat! :-)

This morning, since Scott took the van to be serviced, I had to walk Gage to school. It was UGLY out there! By the time I got home my eyebrows hurt! No kidding! I felt so bad when we got to school because no one was allowed to go inside until the bell rang. There is a mean old lady that stands at the doors shooing everyone back outside when they try to come in. Since I was with Gage, and I needed to talk to the secretary in the office, she left us alone. On our way back outside, this girl, I'm guessing a 5th grader, came in and was going to go down to the lunchroom for breakfast and the lady wouldn't let her in. She said it was too late, and that breakfast was over. Then, this little guy, who Gage knows, who is in another first grade class, was coming up to the doors when we walked out. He asked me if he was in time for breakfast. I told him that breakfast was done because I didn't want him getting shooed out from the mean old lady. The look on his face made me feel so bad. I could tell he was cold AND hungry. I was going to get Gage's snack from his bag and give it to this little guy to have something in his belly before school, but I didn't know if I should or not? I didn't end up giving it to him because his sister came to get him to take him down to the playground with her. I felt terrible. It was darned cold out there this morning, and I couldn't imagine having to stand out there in it with a hungry tummy. I may have to start packing 2 snacks?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hockey

Today was then end of Emma's fall/winter session of hockey. They ended the session with a pizza party/potluck. Yesterday Emma's coach, Margaret, told Scott that she is doing great, and commented on how good her form was. I recall last year Margaret saying that Emma has a lot of natural talent and shows great potential. Today she told me that she thought Emma was going to cause me a lot of problems when she becomes a teenager because all of the boys are going to be after her. Maybe her little red-haired attitude will be a blessing when that time comes and she won't like the boys, or maybe they won't like her? One can only hope. I suppose I may not even have to worry about it, because her friend Silas (Emily's son) says he's going to marry her (so that he can be with Gage!) :-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

getting things done

Slowly but surely, I'm getting some things done. I'm getting closer to being done with my Christmas shopping. Scott's always the last person I have left. He's very hard to buy for because typically when there's something he wants, he just goes out and buys it. That makes it very hard for me to think of things to get him.

Emily and I are going to get together again next week to try and finish up Christmas cookie baking. It seems that the first batch is nearly gone, which is why I don't always get it done too soon, because it gets eaten too quickly. I always make a huge selection of Christmas cookies to take to Iowa to my parents. I know they like having the goodies around when we're all home for Christmas. I'm afraid Mom might burn the house down if she tried doing it! (Just teasing Mom!) I like trying something new each year to try out on all of them. A few years ago I found a recipe for Santa's Surprises and they are to die for! It's basically a peanut butter cookie wrapped around a miniature Snickers candy bar, then with Dove milk chocolate drizzled over the top with powdered sugar sprinkled over the top. Mmmm Mmmmm! I have waited on making those because I know I would eat them all if I had them done now. This year I have a new recipe from my friend Tonya. I don't know what it's called, but it certainly is yummy. It's a type of Chex Mix that is mixed with melted white chocolate chips. I'm sure everyone will love it.

I'm nearing completion of our Christmas letter. It seems that many weren't going to be satisfied with my Elf yourself message. So I decided I best get to work and get a Christmas letter out. However, I'm sure most of it will be "old news" to my faithful blog readers! Maybe I can think of something I haven't blogged about to write? I doubt it though. My brain is pretty much overloaded, so anything extra is probably out of the question.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tired

Well, I certainly paid the price today for not getting the kids to bed early enough last night due to Emma's ballet recital. Thank goodness the day is over and hopefully they got to bed early enough for a better day tomorrow. I'm not certain what time they actually got to sleep as we had to have a babysitter tonight while Scott and I attended an open forum meeting at Corpus Christi church in regards to having Northridge Kindergarteners or 6th graders moving off campus to relieve some space issues for the next 2 years while they build a new elementary school in Bismarck. I don't know how it's going to turn out, but if you go by the pros and cons they have listed for either grade attending school at Corpus Christi, I would say the 6th graders will be going. There were alot of passionate people there voicing their opinions. I'm fine either way. I know Emma will get a great Kindergarten education regardless of where she ends up. It's also pretty certain I believe that it will be all day, every day Kindergarten. So, this will be Emma's last year of being home part-time.

I have not yet heard anything regarding my two weeks' notice, in case you were curious.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Here Comes Suzie Snowflake





Emma had her 1 min and 17 seconds of fame tonight. She did great at her recital dancing to Here Comes Suzie Snowflake. She said she was a little nervous, but you couldn't even tell. We were busy enough today that I hadn't even thought of dolling her up with makeup or curling her hair! (I wouldn't have been able to doll her up in makeup anyway, because I don't have any!). It was warm enough in the church that she ended up not even needing any makeup as her cheeks were already rosy! Our good friends Dave and Maggie, and Juanita and Kim were there to serve as family. They did a wonderful job! Emma really enjoyed having them there to watch. After the program, which was 1 1/2 hours by the way, they served goodies which were brought by all of the parents. They had it set up in "potluck" style. I think I need to go over proper etiquette when going through a line like that. I was standing off to the side talking with Maggie while Emma was in the line. I wasn't really paying too close attention, and when she turned around she had a napkin with 7 different things on it and she couldn't carry it all. She was about to drop them all and ended up catching them all with her shirt. I was a little embarrassed to say the least. She certainly isn't shy when it comes to sugar!

Gage for some reason had a hard time enjoying the recital. He didn't like it that they didn't talk while acting out the play of The Little Matchstick Girl. He had to keep asking questions of which I didn't know the answers. He was also hot and dying of thirst throughout the program. If he only realized how many things of his that Emma has to sit through, maybe he wouldn't have complained so much. I tried to tell him about that, but he was sure to point out that she gets to run around and have fun and play.

We finally got our Christmas tree(s) today. We were discussing what we were going to do after lunch, and I sent Scott to Target to get the tree. We decided we weren't going to spend $300 on a tree right now, since we don't really have it to spend in the first place. They had a much smaller tree in a pot that I liked for much less. He went to get the tree and called to tell me that they were all on sale. The $300 tree was now $209. We decided to wait on it anyway and see if they'll drop the price even lower the closer it gets to Christmas. It turned out to be a bonus when he got the smaller potted tree. It came as a set of 2 trees. Gage and Emma were thrilled to death, as they each have their OWN Christmas tree in the living room! Who knew? We ended up just getting out their own personal ornaments to put on their own personal trees. They decorated them themselves and are so proud of them. It turned out to be a win win deal. These trees were also on sale, so I think we ended up paying $25 for each of them. And, they are nice little trees that I will continue to use in the future. They could actually be up year round I think? I can now stop worrying about that. Now I must start worrying about getting Emma's stocking finished that I started when she was born!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

To buy, or not to buy...........that is the question.

I thought I'd get another video uploaded for you all to enjoy. Gage is playing hockey and is green #5. He does a great job skating and gets a great workout at practice and games. I love to see his hair dripping with sweat when he's done. However, when you get 100's of boys, adolescents and adults sweating in the same place, it's not so great. It just reaks of body odor when you walk into the VFW hockey arena. I can't stand the smell. The hockey bags are just as bad when that sweaty gear sits there, I'm sure growing all sorts of bacteria. The other day I started wondering about Gage's mouthpiece. It sits in the hockey bag, attached to his helmet with all of that other stinky sweaty gear. I wonder if that could cause him to get sick? Gage hasn't really been sick yet, so I guess not?

Well, we did NOT get a Christmas tree today. We found a couple that I like, but they are in the $300 range! I have a hard time making decisions like that. I found one at Target that I really like that's $299. There's one at Lowe's that I really like and is $300. There's one at Hobby Lobby that I sort of like, that is normally $250, on sale for $179. I'm not sure if I should spend half of the amount to get a tree that I sort of like, or bite the bullet and spend the $300 on one that I really like. From past experience, I'm usually upset with myself for not getting what I really want. Scott wants a real tree. I like real trees too, but we have waited too long and I don't want to spend $80 for a real tree that we will get to enjoy for 2 weeks. We will be going to Iowa for Christmas, and a rule of mine is that the tree has to be down before we go. One reason is because it scares me having a dry tree begging for a flame in the house. I also have 2 cats that would have every needle knocked off the tree, and possibly have the tree knocked over and all of my ornaments broken. Anyway, the tree has to be down before we go if it's real. If it's artificial, it can stay up and we can take it down after we get back. So, with all of the activities and work that's been going on, I know it will add major stress making sure the tree is down before we go. So, the question is, do I want to worry less and be completely happy with the tree, or do I want major stress and spend money that we will be throwing out the door in 2 weeks? I vote less worry. So, now the question is, do I want to spend $300 for a tree I love, or $179 on a tree that's okay? Any suggestions??

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ending the week on a happy note!

Today was certainly a better day than yesterday. It really couldn't have been worse! I wanted to share this video I took of Emma listening to my iPod. I have downloaded all of the kids' Christmas CD's onto my iPod for the season. We now have an adaptor that we can listen to it in the car over the radio, so I'm anxious for our next outing with Christmas tunes to listen to! Emma would not be very happy if she knew I was putting this video on my blog. She wanted me to delete it off of the camera, and I told her I did. Oops!

We have a busy weekend ahead. Our first and most important task is to get a Christmas tree, and get it up and decorated. I typically am not this late getting it done, but we have had a busy past few months. I also need to make a couple more types of Christmas goodies for Emma's Giving Tree gift at church.

I turned in my two weeks' notice today for my transcription job. I decided I can't do it all. I'm not doing the things with the kids that I believe are important, and they are my first priority. I'm not sure how my supervisor is going to react to the email, but I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. I don't want to have any regrets about not spending time with my kids. This is Emma's last year at home full time, and I want to enjoy it. I'm sure she'll be thrilled when I tell her.

Today after lunch Emma and I volunteered at Gage's school to help take down the book fair that was going on this week. Mrs. Schmidt was very happy to have our help. She put Emma right to work and was impressed with how well she did. (I was too!) I wish she would help like that when I ask her to clean her room! Anyway, she got to pick out a book for free, for helping. She picked out Pippi Goes on Board. (She might be a bit disappointed when she finds out the book isn't about Grandma Pippi!) Emma nicknamed my Mom Pippi after my Mom called her Pippi. Emma says, "I'm not Pippi, you're Pippi!" It stuck. She has been Grandma Pippi for a couple of years now.

I hope you enjoyed the video. This new camera wasn't as easy getting the pictures/videos onto the camera as my other one that I just got back in the mail. My other one just automatically downloads the pictures onto the computer. This one had to be told to do it. Regardless, the video is posted for you all to enjoy. I have some of Gage at hockey on Wednesday too, and I will try to post it another time. It takes forever to get them uploaded onto my blog.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Meals on Wheels

All joking aside, I think I just had the most awful, stressful 2 hours of my life? I thought you were supposed to feel "good" about doing volunteer work? I'm sure that's typically the case. Unfortunately, that's not the feeling I had today. Last night, as you may recall, I mentioned that Emma and I would be delivering Meals on Wheels today. I went onto mapquest and printed out all of the maps and directions I would need to deliver the meals on my route. We left plenty early to be sure to allow ample time for terrible road conditions, since it was snowing. I was too early for meal pick-up, so we circled the hospital a few times in hopes of getting a good parking spot when it was time to get the meals. Well, unfortunately, we didn't get the good parking place, but I found one nonetheless. I parked and told Emma I would be right back. On my way in to the hospital, I saw a lady from church (it's our church delivering meals all this month)come out with some coolers with #3 on them. I thought that was a bit strange, because I was delivering route 3. When I got inside the door, my coolers were not there. I quickly ran back outside to stop the gal and tell her she had my coolers. Well, she too, had route 3. I saw her sheet, and it was identical to mine. I was a bit confused and told her I would go in to check. She said she would wait and see, and to let her know. So, I went in to find out what the problem was. Well, the ancient, shriveled man that was sitting at the desk, shouldn't be sitting at that desk unless of course he wants to "help" people. I wandered through the hallways of the hospital until I found someone who I thought could help me. I stumbled upon an office of two RNs. I told them my problem and they looked up a number to call the man in charge. They had him on the phone and handed it off to me. I told the man who I was and what the problem was. He said he would call me right back. Before he hung up, I said, "Well, do you know this number?" He replies "Yes". I'm assuming he must have caller id. Anyway, it was taking forever, and I'm getting nervous because I still have Emma sitting outside in the car, which I know I shouldn't have, but I left running. I told the ladies I needed to run outside to get my daughter and they said they would take a message if he called back while I was gone. When I got outside I told the gal from church that they had mixed up the coolers and to go ahead and take that one and I would figure out what I should do. I then went to get Emma and we went back inside and wandered back through the halls to the office of the 2 nurses. They said he hadn't called back. I think Emma and I waited there for at least 5 minutes, maybe close to 10? Now, I know that doesn't seem like a long time, but when you're delivering meals that need to be warm, 10 minutes could be the end of that. One of the nurses came out asked me how many coolers were still there, and when I had come back in, there were still 2 sets of coolers. Well, by this time, one of those two sets were gone. So, it would make sense that I need to take the last set of coolers. Then, as we're looking at the list, I'm noticing addresses that are very unfamiliar to me. Then, the shriveled, ancient man at the desk said I had a phone call. Well, it was Mr. Meals on Wheels calling me back. He might have been a bit irritated that I wasn't there, but I'm not sure, it could have been my perception. He said he had been trying to call several times. Well, I guess that's why I asked him if he knew the number I was at. I guess it was just a little mixup, because as I'm standing there on the phone, I see a sign turned sideways (that you wouldn't see unless you are standing there on the phone) of a number to call if there were any problems. I suppose if I had seen the sign, I would have called from that phone. Anyway, I told him I was unfamiliar with the addresses. He asked if I was going to deliver them. I said I would, and asked if there was a time limit. He basically said, I guess they'll get them when they get them. So, I take the coolers and off we go. The first two addresses were a nightmare. They were apartments that weren't easy to find. We finally found the first one and luckily followed some people with keys to the building inside. (We apparently weren't at the front entrance). As we walk up the hall, I am not finding the number at all. I was looking for 101C, and I was seeing 101A. Well, we keep walking, finally to find a front desk, of which no one was sitting at. I then notice different hallways labeled A, B, and C. I find the correct hallway and start heading down it. We were slowed down a bit by a lady in a motorized wheelchair. Well, finally, when we get to the door, she stops. I asked if her name was So and so. Yes, that's me. Well, I'm sure she had just been to the front desk wondering where her lunch was. I apologized up and down about being late and explained why we were. She was very kind and we were off. I couldn't find the next address. I was starting to get all worked up, wanting to just quit. However, I knew I couldn't do that, or there would be several people not getting lunch today. I FINALLY found the apartment and delivered the meals. They were also very kind. Onto my next stop, I realized that I did recognize a few of the addresses. Well, earlier this year, when we delivered, this must have been the same route, there have just been many changes. THANK GOD for that. I NEVER would have found the next house. I remember the last time driving around and around this area and having people out walking watching me pass by them again and again. So, I thankfully didn't have this problem again. Well, we continue on, and I'm still panicked as I have several people on my list. Not to mention I have a little girl in the backseat now making dying noises because she's STARVING TO DEATH! She wants to know if she can eat the meals because they smell sooooooo good. I told her many times I needed her to be very quiet and good because I was completely stressed out because I couldn't find the houses. I drove ALL over south Bismarck, literally. Finally, I'm getting close to done, and I'm stopped at a house and am going through the coolers to find the right name. As I'm looking, I say outloud "Oh my God!" I thought I had delivered the wrong meal to the wrong house. Emma quickly says, "YOU SAID A BAD WORD, YOU SAID A BAD WORD!" "YES, I KNOW EMMA, I SHOULDN'T HAVE SAID THAT!" (I'm lucky that's what came out of my mouth, instead of what I was really thinking!) I discovered that I did NOT make a mistake, and I had delivered the meals to the correct addresses. Anyway, we stop at the second to last place, of which I had difficulty finding, and the lady was not very happy. I apologized up and down and side to side. She didn't care, as she gave me an evil look. I put her meal on her television tray as she asked me to do, noticing she has her medicine laying out, which I'm sure she was waiting to take with her meal. I told her again, I was sorry. She said it wouldn't be so bad, except now it was going to be cold. I would have offered to heat it up for her, except I had one more stop to make. I got outside the door and busted out bawling. I know Emma had to be confused. The last stop was one that I actually had made the last time we delivered, thank GOD! (I do want you to know I prayed and prayed this entire time for God to help me get these meals to these people who had nothing better to do than sit and watch the clock). Anyway, we made it to our last stop, and I remembered this couple from the last time. THEY WERE SO NICE! THANK YOU GOD! They were THRILLED to death to see Emma. I apologized over and over and they were SO NICE. That was definitely the only plus on this adventure. As we're headed back to the hospital to deliver the empty coolers, I was only INCHES away from causing a major crash at a very busy intersection as I am trying to stop at the stop sign as I continue to go foward, sliding on the ice. THANK YOU AGAIN GOD! Finally, we got the coolers delivered back to the hospital. It is now 1:20 pm, and all of the other coolers had already been picked up. I wasn't sure what to do with them, and went in the door only to notice the ancient, shriveled up man still sitting at the desk, who did not once look up to ask if he could help me. I decided to be done with the whole thing and I left the coolers in the entryway, where I found them. I proceeded to take Emma to McDonald's to feed her lunch nearly 2 hours late. She wasn't worried too much about lunch at this point, because the older couple at our last stop gave her a Reese's candy bar.

THANK GOD THIS DAY IS NEARLY OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Crazy schedule

This morning a delivery man stopped by my house to deliver a package. I was in the basement working, and trying not to be disturbed, but I had to go see who it was. As I was peeking up the stairway and trying to see out the window to see who was standing at the front door, I could only see the top of a bald head. I wasn't going to answer the door, but decided I better see who it was. Well, it was a nice surprise. Kodak mailed my camera back to me! I hadn't even gotten a call from them yet to know what was wrong with it. They fixed the broken piece and included a note saying the batteries I had in the camera were causing the problem with the flash and they recommended I use lithium batteries. Anyway, they did all of this for FREE! I guess the little sob story note I wrote in the note about Emma breaking the camera worked!!! I haven't tried the camera out yet, as I haven't had time today, but after I get some new batteries for it I'll be so excited if it works! I guess I shouldn't have any excuses for not having pictures/videos since I have 2 cameras now! :-)

I spent the afternoon at my friend Emily's house. We were baking Christmas cookies. I had a lot of fun. It sure makes the task more fun when you do it with a friend. It didn't seem so much like "work" that way. Plus, she was making some of her favorites too, so we could share. I have a few more kinds to make, and by the time I will need them, I'm sure I'll have to make more because we'll have eaten them all. It will be fine for Sunday though, since I need an assortment for the giving tree gift at church. Whew!

After we ate supper with Emily, Jody, et al, we zoomed to hockey practice. (By the way, thanks for feeding us Emily as we never would have made it to hockey practice otherwise!) It was very snowy and a little slick on the roads so I was trying to be extra cautious, even though we were running late. My kids never like to leave when they are having so much fun. Gage had an extra hard hockey practice. I was glad it was him and not me, as I think it would have killed me.

We zoomed home in the snowy conditions. I got the kids bathed, read to, teeth brushed, etc, etc. (Single parenting is for the birds!) During all of this business, it popped into my head that I am scheduled to deliver Meals on Wheels tomorrow at lunch time. UGH! I forgot about it and had intended to do a "dry run" when Scott was here so we could figure out the most efficient route. So, Emma and I will be out on an adventure tomorrow. I did print out a bunch of maps on mapquest (what the heck did people do before computers were invented?) and hopefully we'll get everyone's meals to them before they turn into a block of ice! Hopefully the roads won't be too treacherous!

I'm not sure why I continue to keep adding more and more things to our already crazy schedules. We also have to get up early in the morning to go to "Pastries with Parents" tomorrow morning at Gage's school. We get to eat donuts in the cafeteria and then buy some books at the book fair that is going on in the lobby. I will be able to take a deep breath tomorrow afternoon when all of this is done! (Except then I can start worrying about not having my required number of hours put in for work!)

No wonder my hair is turning gray!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Boring

I intended to make my blog entry today a little more exciting by taking my new camera to hockey and get some video of Emma skating. Well, I forgot to take the camera. Then, I decided I would take the camera with me on my way to school and take some video of Gage and Emma jumping off of the huge snowpiles in the Corpus Christi Church parking lot. I remembered to take the camera, but then I forgot to take the video. I think I have the same problem my Mom is having! :-) Anyway, I didn't get any exciting videos taken today to spice up my blog. Sorry. Maybe I'll remember tomorrow? Or maybe not?

Gage said he was a celebrity today at school. Many people saw him on the news last night.

Emma is a pain in the rump to take into the stores these days. I swear if I hear her say "Can I have this Mom?" again, the threat I keep making to her that Santa is not going to come to her, is going to have to come true. Or at least I'll make her sweat bullets for a few minutes. I remember my Mom doing that to my sister Jari Jo one year at Christmas and boy was she mad! Do you remember that Jari? I'm sure that's just something a kid never forgets. I'll have to remember to ask Mom if it helped. Emma is headed in that direction that is for sure. We can't go into any store that has Webkinz. It turns into a huge fight and she ends up stomping out of the store with her arms crossed tightly against her chest and her bottom lip stuck out ready for any bird to fly by and poop right on it!

We went to the grocery store after school to pick up the items we need to start making some Christmas goodies. This is a little earlier than I would like, but because of the ornament Emma picked off of the giving tree at church for a family to get Homemade goodies, we need to have some done by Sunday, as that's the last day to have the items delivered to the church. I don't know how they do that, if they give the gifts to the people on Christmas or what? If so, the cookies might get a little hard? Some of them won't be a problem, but a few of the others I make are sooooooo good when they are moist. Maybe they'll deliver them a little early since they are edibles?

The weather outside is turning cold and nasty. Winter storm advisories are out for many areas in North Dakota. Scott is in Colorado for work, so I hope none of this weather causes his flight to be changed on Thursday. Not that it matters much on Thursday, as he doesn't get in until after 10:30p.

I hear fighting upstairs, so I best wrap this up for now. I'll try to make my entry more fun tomorrow by remembering my camera. :-)

Link

http://www.kfyrtv.com/News_Stories.asp?news=13690 This link is for you Mom, in case you can't figure out how to copy and paste! :-)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hollywood, here I come....................NOT!

What a way to start the day. First of all I wanted to get up at 5:30 this morning to work before the kids had to get up and get ready for school. (Scott is out of town). After hitting the snooze 2 times, I shut the alarm off and decided I would just work after I took Emma to school. When that alarm went off at 7:00 am, I hit snooze again 2 more times. Finally, we get up, get breakfast, get ready for school. Last night I got all of Emma's paperwork ready because they are having early Kindergarten registration at Northridge, Centennial and Murphy due to the overcrowded problem these 3 elementary schools are having. Anyway, I decided we would go first thing to register Emma so I can be sure to have her on the list, and at the top of the list in case they don't do all day, every day Kindergarten, then I will have first choice for her to go mornings or afternoons. Apparently I was the first parent there to register (or it appeared that way). When we walked into the room, the news camera was there waiting for their first victim. UGH! I HATE cameras, especially ones that put you on television!!!!!!! So, the kids and I were at the table filling out the papers. Gage engaged in small talk with the teacher's assistant that was manning the registration table. I didn't look up from my paper one time because I didn't want to see if the camera was on me or not. Then, the camera man was right next to me zoomed onto my paper while I was filling in information. At one point someone asked Gage about his little sister coming to Kindergarten and he said something about her being a handful. I have no idea if that was being filmed, as I said, I didn't take my eyes off the paper. After I was done, they asked if they could interview me. (If I had known this was going to happen, I wouldn't have hit the snooze multiple times this morning and I would have at least combed my hair and not worn my trusty old stocking hat. Although it was probably better that I had the stocking hat on, combed hair or not!) I didn't want to interview and when they asked, I was like "Oh, I'm sure you could find someone better than me!" They didn't seem to want to pass me up for some reason. I asked them if I had any snot dripping from my nose or anything. They said I looked beautiful. YEAH RIGHT! I know better than that. Then I thought about these stupid braces and how wonderful it all looks with my three front teeth. They certainly got a winner with me. I can't remember exactly the questions they asked, but I know I sounded retarded and didn't really elaborate on any of her questions. I hope they edit me completely out of it. I'm sure if you all want to see the interview, you can log onto the website sometime later today or tomorrow to see my debut to fame. http://www.kfyrtv.com/

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Snow

We're sure getting the snow today! It hasn't stopped all day. I love the clean look snow gives. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

What is it about Dad's and girls? Do they not realize that girls need to have their hair combed? I went to my Circle group this morning and met up with Scott and the kids at dance. I was so embarrassed. I asked Scott, "Did you comb Emma's hair?" "No." It certainly looked that way. There could have been rats living in it, it was that bad. Then, Scott and Emma drove to Tuttle this afternoon to winterize the house. They met up with Gage and I at hockey. Emma comes waltzing in with tights on and a sweatshirt that has something spilled all down the front (and still without having had her hair combed all day). Yes, amazingly enough she did have a coat on. It might be cute at 4, but I don't think it's going to cut it in a couple of years. UGH! She looked homeless. Poor Emma. At least she didn't really care.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Web address

For some reason that link won't load in my previous post. Copy and paste this into your browser www.elfyourself.com/?id=9635752463

A Green Christmas Card

Well, just like the lights on our house that aren't there, you're probably not going to be seeing a Christmas card in your mailbox this year. I think we'll go green and save a tree or three. Click on this link here to see your Christmas card greetings from the Stephens'.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gimmies

Today Emma and I ran an errand to PetSmart. She loves watching the kittens in the adoption area (so do I). They were so funny. We found this long stick-like thing with feathers sticking out the end and we had those kittens jumping all over their cages. Emma thought that was great, but she just couldn't enjoy watching them. She kept begging and begging and begging for a kitty. I kept telling her no. "Emma, we have enough animals in our house now." "No Emma, there is a rule as to how many animals you can have in this city." "Grus and Griz wouldn't like another cat in the house." "We can't have another cat Emma." "I would love to have a little kitty too Emma, but we can't." "Emma, you'll have to ask your Dad." That was the response that finally stopped all of the whining and begging. Sorry Scott! :-)
From PetSmart we went to Kohl's to look around. We were killing time until it was time to get Gage from school, and I didn't want to walk to get him, so figured if we just went there instead of home, that was a good excuse not to walk to the school in the subzero temperatures! Kohl's was TERRIBLE! First of all they have so much stuff in the store you can't even push the cart in the aisles without bumping into something. At one point I was getting so frustrated, partly because Emma was seriously wanting EVERYTHING she saw, that I just kept ramming a rack of clothes to get through and a bunch of hangers fell on the floor and I just kept going. I kept telling Emma that Santa would not bring her a thing for Christmas if she got things now. I don't think she cared.
I was glad to finally get home.
Gage has his second spelling test tomorrow. He has been told if he studies without complaining, he will get 50 cents on top of the $1 he gets for getting all of his words right. I'm not so sure bribing with money is a good thing? I know you aren't supposed to reward with food, but I don't know for sure about money? Any tips out there on how to get him to study and do his homework without a fit? I'm all ears!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Closing the gap

Today was a big day for me. I went to see the orthodontist and today we are going to start closing the gap! YEAH! The rubberbands apparently worked in gaining a little bit of width. I was worried about it because on Thanksgiving morning when Gage, Emma and I were eating breakfast (Scott was out hunting deer) one of the buttons on my molars came off and I was unable to use the rubberband on that side due to that. I didn't want to call the office since it was a holiday, and I didn't want to call them Friday either, since it was the day after the holiday, then comes the weekend and they aren't open. I thought I would try to call them on Monday. However, while I was standing in line at Target for the crazy sale last Friday morning, one of the gals standing next to me works at the orthodontist's office so I asked her about it and she said I would be fine until Tuesday. Then, when I was at the Civic Center on Saturday with Kara, I saw another gal that works there (the one I usually have when I go in for my appointments), and I stalked her down when she came out of the bathroom and asked her and she also said I would be fine. So, I stopped worrying about it and it did turn out fine, thank goodness! Dr. Warford once again told me I could be done if I would just put a permanent tooth in there. Now, I'm beginning to think he really wants me to do that. I told him there's no way I'm going through all of this to end up with three front teeth, so he might as well give it up. I'm going to have to tell the surgeon (he is at Emma's hockey with his little boy so I've been seeing him a couple times a week there) and see what he thinks about that. I'll have to tell him to give Dr. Warford a hard time. They are both very nice people and like joking around, so I fit in quite well. :-) Anyway, my teeth are sore tonight, but it's all good.

The temperature here is FREEZING COLD! I walked Gage to school this morning and I nearly froze solid. The wind chill was -6. I bundled him up in all the regular gear, plus this morning I added snow pants to the ensemble. He has a full-face stocking hat so all you can see are his eyes and mouth. I figured he wouldn't complain too much about being cold. I on the other hand did not bundle up as well as Gage. I did have 2 layers of pants, but that was not enough. On our way up the hill to the school he said his eyes were freezing. I laughed because mine were too! I had him walk behind me so I could block his wind. We made it and I made it back home without turning into a solid block of ice. It's supposed to be colder tomorrow, so I'm glad Emma has school too since we drive on those days. As we were walking across the crosswalk this morning the crossing guard asked me if I was at Target last Friday morning and I said I was. She said, "I knew that was you! I saw you on television and I said, HEY! I know that lady!" I don't know what channel that was on, but I didn't see me on the channel I watched. Thank goodness I wasn't the lady who got pushed with the cart and fell down! HA!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cold

It appears that we are going to be getting some COLD weather this week. They're calling for 17 degrees to be the high on Wednesday! Brrr! The cold weather does make it feel more like Christmas is coming, however. Although, it's very evident it's coming when you drive around town after dark. Everyone is getting, or already has up, their Christmas lights outside. We have not done that yet, and I don't even feel that I have the energy or desire to do it. I thought a good excuse would be to tell others that we are going "Green" this Christmas, and going to save energy and do our part to decrease global warming. (I doubt Gage and Emma will appreciate that). Saturday when I came home from helping a friend at the Civic Center, Gage and Emma were quick to tell me the neighbors had Mickey and Minnie put up. And, they quickly noticed the wind knocked Mickey down the other day. My other excuse is that we don't even see our lights when they are up outside because we are in the house, so it's way better to have the neighbors' Christmas lights to admire. Hopefully just having a tree in the house with lights will satisfy them. We'll have to get one soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Giving Tree

This is my favorite time of the year, when the giving trees go up in our community. Today at church the Christmas tree was decorated with paper ornaments that list items that people who are less fortunate want for Christmas. I feel sad when I see some of the requests that are for things that we take for grated every day, like underwear, socks, clothes, gas, etc. Each year we each pick an ornament or two off of the tree. This year Gage picked an ornament of a 14-year-old boy who wants a board game, I chose a Mom who wants Huggies wipes and Emma chose a family who wants Homemade goodies (not a big surprise on that one!). After we got home and ate lunch, we went to Walmart to get our gifts. (Emma was not happy that hers has to wait a little while) Gage picked out a Heroscape board game. I hope this is appropriate for a 14-year-old. It said for ages 8+. Anyway, it is a $40 game. I asked Gage if he would like to use his own money for this and he didn't want to. I decided I would use my $100 gift card winnings that I won with my work to buy our gifts for the giving trees. I couldn't decide what to use it on, and I think this was the perfect choice. We will use the remaining amount on the Giving Tree at Gage's school.

While we were at Walmart, Emma had a TERRIBLE case of the "gimmies". I told her over and over that we were there to buy gifts for OTHER people, not ourselves. She didn't like that idea. While we were over in the baby section getting Huggies wipes, Santa Claus appeared. He was asking all of the kids around what they wanted for Christmas. We were waiting for him to come to us, and Gage was so worried I was going to leave without letting him talk to Santa. Finally Santa made his way over to us.

Santa: "What is your name little girl?"
Emma: "Emma."
Santa: "What would you like for Christmas?"
Emma: "A Webkins." (P.S. Kysa, you certainly picked out the right gift for Coly to give to Emma!).
Santa: Santa turns to Gage, "And you?"
Gage. (He was responding to the 2 questions he asked Emma). "Gage."
Santa: "Alright."
Gage looked at me puzzled as Santa was starting to walk away.
Mom: "His NAME is Gage. Gage, tell Santa what you would like for Christmas."
Gage: "Star Wars Legos."
Santa: (I can't remember his stupid comment he made to cover up his mistake)

That made the kids' days. However, I wasn't impressed with Santa. I'm not sure what kind of gauge he thought Gage was asking for, but I guess that's what you should expect at Walmart? Gage asked as we were walking away, "Mom, is that the real Santa?" I said, "No Gage, that was Santa's helper. And do you want to know how I know that Gage?" "Yeah." "Because I think the real Santa would have known your name is Gage."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bee Movie

We went to see the Bee Movie tonight after supper. I recommend it to all. Before we went Scott said that the reviews for it weren't that great. Gage and Emma wanted to see it, so we went. I enjoyed it so much. It was very funny. Every time I laughed; however, Gage wanted to know what I was laughing about. It would have been easier to watch it at home on DVD so I could explain all of the "adult humor" to him. The basic story line is the bees decide to sue the humans for stealing their honey, then the consequences for their actions. I thought Gage and Emma were both going to cry when the bee stung the lawyer and then nearly died. They also have fun music in the movie. Emma was surprised and excited to hear them singing "Sugar sugar, do do do do do do, ah honey honey" We sing that oldie when we bake cookies and she loves hearing it when it comes on the radio or my iPod. Here comes the sun was another older favorite of mine that they played in the movie. I'm not a huge Jerry Seinfeld fan, but he did a great job providing a voice for the bee. When that comes out on DVD I am definitely going to buy it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dead

I am dead. My eyes are propped open with toothpicks while I'm trying to fill you all in on the great fun Emily and I had today. I had my alarm set for 3:10 am, hit the snooze once and got up before it went off again. I was at Emily's house by 3:30 or so and we were off to Kohl's. It was crazy. There were already hundreds there waiting in line to get in. I dropped Emily off to get us a spot in line, then parked the van. We waited about 10 minutes until they opened the doors and everyone went wild. There was screaming and once you were in the middle of the herd, you had no choice but to go forward! Emily gave me her cell phone to use and she had her husband Jody's. She found the items she was looking for while I wandered around trying to figure out which sewing machine was the one on sale. It certainly was not marked. I had to ask for assistance and she helped me find the right one. The checkout line was already wrapping around to the back of the store. I hopped in line while Emily went to check out the other side for open lanes. I stood in line watching all of the crazy people snatching items up left and right. As I stood there, I nearly jumped out of my coat after Emily's phone started vibrating in my pocket! I wasn't sure how to answer it, and by the time I got the phone opened, Emily had apparently gotten transferred over to the voice mail. I closed the phone. It happened again, and once again I couldn't figure out how to answer it. When Emily gave me the phone she told me how to call, but I didn't think to ask how to answer. So, I hit send twice and got Emily. :-0 (See how "Behind the Times" I am! Anyway, Emily had a better spot in line so I left my line to join her. We waited a little while in line before we got out of there. Then, we proceeded to hit Walmart. Their doorbusters started at 5 am. I was very surprised at how calm it was there. Since it is open 24 hours, no one had to wait outside. Everyone had their carts lined up in the aisles waiting. The guy over the intercom informed us at 7 min before time to be respectful of others. They announced when it was time over the intercom. I snatched up 2 things for Emily and headed for the checkout. She joined me soon after that, and after a little difficulty with the checkout gal, we then headed for Target. Target was another story. When they opened the doors at 6 am, everyone took off running through the store. Emily and I made eye contact and took off with the rest of them. We were laughing our butts off. It was fun. We both ended up getting all of the items there we were after, and got a great spot in the checkout line, then headed to K-mart. K-mart had also opened at 6, so the mad dash was already over by the time we got there. I would say we waited in line the longest there, even though we were like the 3rd ones in our checkout lane. They only had about half of their lanes open! UGH! After K-mart we headed back down to Scheels, got what we were after there and then ended the shopping frenzy at Bath and Body Works! I am dead tired. (Oh, and I forgot to mention after lunch, Scott decided it was time to tear the kitchen apart!) You can now open the cupboard doors without getting knocked out by various things falling out of the cupboards! You can actually see the countertop!!!

I've got to get to bed before I fall out of my chair!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Can't wait!

Man, I can't wait to get the paper tomorrow!! I was so disappointed today when I got the paper and saw there was only one ad for K-Mart. I called Emily to see what the deal was, and she did the same thing. Well, the ads come out in TOMORROWS paper! DUH! Anyway, my good friend Aneetha sent me the link to check out all of the sales online. Thanks Aneetha! That was fun browsing through them all but I still like looking at the paper ads in hand. It's easier to flip through the paper than to click on each item and wait for it to load on the computer. I guess I'm "Behind the Times" when it comes to that! :-)

I am in the process of making pumpkin pies for tomorrow. I'm taking a few side dishes to Emily's for our Thanksgiving meal. I'm taking Apple-Rice Medley (YUM YUM!), my Mom's traditional apple/grape salad, 2 pumpkin pies and some dinner rolls. I couldn't find any already made dinner rolls in the bread section at the grocery store? Do they not carry them around here? We always have them in Iowa. Hmmm. Anyway, I found some frozen ones that I will bake instead. Hopefully they will be tasty. Emily is making several dishes and another friend of Emily's is bringing the turkey! It will be a great time with delicious food! We are certainly thankful for our wonderful friends!

Emma and I searched through the bookshelves tonight for all of our Thanksgiving books. We found 4 and read them all at bedtime. They have been watching our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD. Gage turned it on this morning before school. He was all excited for school today because they were to bring something to snuggle with while they watched a movie. Well, it just happened to be A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving that they watched! He didn't mind though. He brought home a couple of cute Thanksgiving projects he made at school, along with next weeks' spelling list! UGH! I think it's going to go better this time because Scott promised him $1 every time he does well on the test. I included that he only gets the dollar if he willingly studies and doesn't throw any fits! We'll see if it works. I just pre-tested him at supper tonight and had a little spelling bee. He knew most of them anyway, so hopefully it won't be too difficult to get him to practice them. We have plenty of time to study with the holiday weekend upon us.

I hope you all have a safe trip if you plan to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday! It sounds like they are getting alot of snow at home in Iowa, so it's probably a good thing we aren't traveling there, although I do wish we could see everyone. We'll see everyone at Christmas, which is sneaking up on me just a little too fast this year! Maybe I can get alot of my shopping done on Friday, that is if I don't get cart rage and get kicked out of the store!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Friday

How many of you are going out to snag up all of the Black Friday bargains? My friend Emily and I are going to give it a shot. Tomorrow we are going to buy the paper and check out all of our options. Kohl's opens at 4am, so I know we can hit at least 2 store openings! I can't wait to see what they have to offer this year! Who knows, maybe I can find myself a new camera for a great deal? I have only shopped on Black Friday one other time and that was 2 years ago. I hit Kohl's and was actually lucky enough to get what I was after. I got the portable DVD player they had advertised. I couldn't believe how many people were there and how crazy it was and how COLD it was and how stupid all of us were for standing out in it for as long as we did! Then, I went to ACE hardware to check out their portable DVD player. I stood in line outside forever while the store manager stood out there giving everyone coffee and telling them where the items were so they didn't tear up the store looking. I had the opportunity to get one, but I really didn't want to get another one. I think I just like seeing if I could. :-) I have never tried Walmart. I can only imagine what that would be like. I can't stand being in Walmart on a regular Saturday afternoon, let alone Black Friday; however, if they have some great deals that Emily or myself are wanting, I'm willing to give it a try! It might actually be fun to be able to shove people in Walmart trying to get to where I want to go. I typically get cart rage when I'm there anyway, and this time I could have an excuse to act on it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Facebook

I'm not quite sure yet what Facebook is all about, but my friend Emily has been raving about this game called Scrabulous. I registered to be a member last night so I could play a game with her. I'm not even sure how it happened, but I believe an email was sent out to all of the people whose email addresses are in my aol account? I was quite surprised to see all of those people on Facebook! (Especially you Juanita!) :-) Anyway, I think I have about 7 games of Scrabulous going on. For those of you who don't know, it is basically Scrabble. You can play multiple games at the same time and some of them may take over a week to finish. It just depends on how often the person logs on to make a play. This is a great way to avoid cleaning the house, and unfortunately, it needs it BADLY!

I stayed up a little too late last night trying to load audio books onto my computer so Gage can listen to some books on tape with my iPod, and I'm way tired today. Too tired to think about what I would like to write on here. Nothing exciting has happened today either, so that doesn't help. All we've done today so far is eat breakfast, go to church and eat lunch. Scott should be home sometime soon from his "last day of duck hunting". HA!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday

Gage was very happy to tell me yesterday after school that he got a 100% on his spelling test and 100% on his dictation test! Whew! I was relieved! I was also happy to see that a new spelling list didn't come home since there is no school next Friday due to Thanksgiving! That is something to be thankful for!

Gage and Emma got to go to Space Aliens today for their friend Grant's birthday party. They were very excited about that. Grant is my friend Shannon's son. Apparently soon after Scott dropped them off, Gage told Shannon he didn't feel well and she said he looked pale. Rob said he tried calling but there was no answer (Scott took me out for a lunch date at Applebees!) and she couldn't remember Scott's cell number. But, it only lasted a few minutes and then he was fine. I asked him about it when we got home and he said he thought it was because he had some diet pop to drink and he just needed to burp? Well, I'm glad that was all it was! Although he was complaining of a headache this morning and had a stuffed up nose. There have been alot of illnesses making their rounds. He wanted some more medication for his headache after the party. I would have needed something for a headache if had I been at that party for too long myself. It was WILD!

Today I got a phone call from a different transcription company offering me a job. She got my name from the At-Home Professions course I took. Apparently this lady is a graduate of this same course and she frequently hires other grads. She told me she only requests the names of the top students, so that made me feel good! It also made me feel good knowing I have options! She told me I would make more money, and she would have me transcribing for the same doctors, so once I got to know the dictators, my speed would certainly increase. AND, she said her doctors aren't difficult to understand. She told me to think about it for a few days, and she would do the same and she would get back to me. She said I could even just "try it out" for a few days if I wanted before I made any big decisions about changing jobs! She was a very nice lady, and like I said, it's nice to know there are options out there if things don't work out.

Emma was very excited this morning to look out my bedroom window to see the neighbors' roof was covered with snow. She ran downstairs hollering for Gage to tell him. Well, he already knew so that wasn't much fun. It was a very nice day yesterday so I was surprised to see the snow myself! I keep praying for freezing cold temps to solidify all of that water the ducks keep flocking to. Scott tells me that "tomorrow will probably be the last chance I get to go hunting". Yeah, right. Once the ducks are gone he'll just focus on some other poor animal that will find its way into our freezer.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another job

Well, I have another job! I know what you're all thinking. Well, I think I can handle this one. The school that I took my At-Home Medical Transcription course called me up and they want me to be a graduate referral. I would take calls from prospective students, current students, or graduates and just answer any questions they might have about how I went about getting my job, and anything about the course, etc. I will get $10/call, no matter how long it is. I will give them the times during the day that I am available to take calls. Now, I'm just going to have to start racing my kids to the phone!

I have a scrapbooking workshop tonight. My friend Emily and I are going to go, right after I take her out to eat supper at China Garden! :-) I told her she could pick wherever she wanted to go. I'm glad she picked China Garden because it's my favorite! It's her last year in the 20's so I figure we should celebrate while she's still "young". Happy Birthday Emily!

I'm anxious to hear how Gage did on his spelling test yesterday. We have had many arguments while studying for it. He wanted to study, but when I would tell him he got something wrong he would get very mad and very rude. He pointed out to me yesterday on the way home from school that "while" was not one of his spelling words and that it was "white". Ooops. I apparently made an error when I wrote the list down on a sheet of paper and sent the original sheet back to school. I asked him if he got it right. He thought so, but he wasn't sure. This is going to be a weekly ordeal. Each Friday he will bring home a list of spelling words for a spelling test on Thursday and then there will also be a dictation test on each Friday that consists of 2 sentences that are on the spelling word list. We are going to have to implement some kind of reward system, i.e. each time he does homework without griping, he gets a star and then after so many stars, he can pick out a surprise of some sort? I'm tired of fighting him on the homework thing! It would be different if it was hard and he wasn't so smart! Maybe that's why he doesn't like doing it, because it's so easy? Who knows? If anyone else has any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blessed

I am so lucky to have been blessed with such wonderful friends! I had a very nice surprise early this morning from my friend Kara. She read my blog and saw my camera was broken and she loaned me one of her cameras to use until I get mine back! THANKS KARA! AND, she brought me a caramel frappucino from Starbucks to boot! What more could you ask for in a friend? That was a nice surprise! I think the caffeine helped me to get my lines finished for the week too! :-)

Tonight I attended the Ducks Unlimited Women's Banquet. It was fun. Although I was a little irritated that I didn't win anything! I spent more money than I have at a banquet on raffle tickets and came home with nothing. There were 3 raffles that I was just one number off. The past couple of years I have won a couple different things so I guess that's a good thing to remember for next year! It seems like each year there is one woman who is lucky lucky lucky and wins big. They had a new raffle this year which was fun. They had 5 fancy shmancy purses to raffle, and one lucky purse was holding a ticket for a free rifle. One old lady won 3 of the 5 purses! AND, the odds are pretty good to win the rifle, and she did. I don't think she knew what was going on, or that she had won BIG! LOL! It was pretty funny. One man that works at the DU office won one of the other purses so that was pretty funny too. The MC gave him quite a hard time and I'm sure everyone will know about it tomorrow at work!

Boy Scout popcorn has arrived so I will be seeing some of you within the next couple of days delivering popcorn! Thanks for supporting Gage and his Cub Scout group. (By the way, the caramel popcorn is delicious!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"stacy stephens Your the winner"

I received an email today with the subject "stacy stephens Your the winner". Typically I don't click on those things, but for whatever reason, I did today. Here's what it says,

"Congratulations stacy you won Two Free Disney Theme Park admissions.Sometime ago you signed up at one of our free offer giveaway sites. This email is to notify you that when you submitted the following information:corvis1@aol.com stacy stephens **** * street bismarck nd ***** You have won an all expense paid trip for two to Disneyl Orlando. Please update your information at the winner's site and we will promptly ship out your Disney Theme Park tickets."
"Thanks, Sue MaddenTravel Getaways, Inc."

I fwd the email to Scott and said, "OMG, do you think this is real?" He told me not to do anything and he would check it out. When you click on the "link to package" it takes you to this page where you fill in your address, etc. It does ask for a credit card. It also asks for an income range. Now, I am not retarded, and wouldn't enter that information, but how does a person confirm this to be a legitimate email?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Finally!

Thank the Lord there is school today! For Gage anyway. What a LONG weekend! :-) We had a quiet day yesterday. Spent a few hours at the Public Library with Emily, et al. Scott killed his deer. Steve had killed 1 of 2, so they were trying to get his second one. They will be home this afternoon if all goes as planned. We have a busy day ahead. Emma has hockey. The kids are due to get their second round of flu shots. (It's going to be a great day!) Wish me luck! A good friend from Alaska is in town (actually he was in Tuttle hunting)and is getting ready to fly back to Alaska. He called last night to see if we would be available to eat out with him and some other friends tonight. Sounds great to me! I'm all over not having to fix supper, although that means the kids won't get to bed at their normal 6:30 pm time, so tomorrow will be another great one! :-) Man, I sound kind of cranky this morning! Maybe that's because I got up at 5 am to try and get some lines typed as I'm coming down to my last few days to get them done and I have a headache wanting to start up. I will be SO GLAD when the water freezes up and there are no more ducks in the area and Scott has killed all of the animals he has tags for. Most people don't want the cold weather but I say, "BRING IT ON!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Say Cheese?

We won't be saying "cheese" for awhile. This morning, after getting ready for church, Scott asked me to take a picture of the kids and him. He was getting ready to leave for his mule deer hunt in western ND. (Now that I type it, I hope that he wasn't having some kind of premonition??) Anyway, he asked me to take their picture. I took one, and it was black. I took another one, same thing, black picture. I was a little confused. I haven't really had any problems with my camera since I bought it back in February. In fact, I'm in love with it! I blamed it on the fact that they were sitting in front of the bright window, so I had them move to the stairway. Same thing, black picture. I messed with the flash, trying it with each setting. Nothing worked. Scott is getting a bit irritated now as he thinks I can't work the camera. I'm getting irritated with him because I know how to work my camera. Anyway, I gave him the camera and he looked it over, took out the batteries, etc. We put a freshly charged set of batteries in the camera and that didn't work either. After we did that, we noticed that there were some broken pieces on the door that keeps the batteries in place. I don't remember dropping it recently (I have dropped it in the past, but have never noticed any problems with it and it was working the last time I used it). I asked the kids if they had been messing with the camera and did they drop it. "No." I questioned Scott as well, with the same answer. We then discovered that the flash wasn't actually firing. Hmmm. Frustrated, it was time to go to church. Later this afternoon I got on the Kodak website to see if I could figure anything out. It did say that my warranty was still in effect, but there was a little disclaimer that said if the damage was due to dropping the camera, the warranty does not cover costs to fix the camera. I did the trouble shooting that it said to do on the website and nothing worked. It gave me instructions to mail my camera in and allow 7-10 working days, plus shipping time to get my camera back. I'm thinking I can't live without my camera for that long!!!!!!!! Any of you who have seen my scrapbooks know that I take gazillions of pictures. I'm thinking Emma has a dance recital coming up and I can't not have a camera!!!! Anyway, I print out the sheets I need to send my camera in to have it fixed. As I'm searching in my checkbook, wallet and purse for the receipt that I saved, but apparently threw away, Emma wants to help. She's picking up different pieces of paper laying on the table and counter, telling me she found the receipt. Then, I find the box the camera came in, wrapped my camera up in bubble wrap and packaged it up to send in to have it fixed. Emma asked me, "What are you doing Mom?" I told her I needed to send the camera in because it was broken. She says, with a very sad face, "I'm sorry Mom, I didn't mean to, but I dropped the camera and it broke." :-( Well, at least the truth came out. My camera is packed and ready to send in. This particular style has been discontinued, so I'm praying it can be fixed, as I don't want a different camera. After I read more of the instructions, it says they will call me after receiving the camera and have diagnosed the problem to give me an estimate on how much it will cost to fix. If I decide to not have it fixed and want it sent back to me, I have to pay them $35!!! I'm afraid to know how much it's going to cost to get it fixed? Then, if I don't, I hate to pay $35 to get it back! But, I also don't want to buy a new one! What would you do?