Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Force

May the force be with you! Happy Halloween everyone! We had a great day for trick-or-treating. It was a little chilly, but that is way better than what we could have had, and have had in the past! Gage and Emma are shot (and so is Mom!). Emma's day started with getting to wear her costume to school for a Halloween parade. She was quite excited about that. I couldn't believe all of the candy she got at school! She certainly did NOT need to go trick-or-treating tonight. We have enough candy to keep the dentist's bills paid for the next year that's for sure! I stayed at school to help get all of the pizza, punch and treats served. I thank God for teachers! They don't get paid enough to do what they do! Gage's school has a "No Costume Policy" so he just got to dress in orange and black. They had a good time anyway. After school we went trick-or-treating at the Ducks Unlimited office. I think the staff there would be disappointed if we didn't come to show off our costumes. Most of them had candy to hand out. After that we went to the Heritage Center to attend their Halloween celebration with Emily, Jody and the kids. From there we went home to eat supper, then out to trick-or-treat in the neighborhood. Gage and Emma are very lucky kids! I told them that they should be very thankful because it's not just everyone who can go trick-or-treating and have their bags filled with Beanie Babies (thanks Juanita and Kim................the kids are currently snuggled up with their new animals as I type), or coloring books, etc. etc!! Finally we made it home a little after 7:30 and as soon as we walked in the door they both dumped their loot out onto the living room floor. Emma was "organizing" hers. Gage was just checking it all out. They had just as much fun giving candy to the couple trick-or-treaters that came to our door after we got home. Maybe we'll try that next year? NOT! I enjoy Halloween more than the kids I think? Maybe I'll find a costume for myself next year? Or, maybe I can borrow one of my Mom's as she had quite a bit of fun costume shopping for herself this year! All in all we had a pretty good day. I believe Gage and Emma were quite annoyed that no one knew who they were dressed up as. The last few houses Emma started to get a little rude when she had to tell them that she was PADME! Everyone thought they were dressed up as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. They were actually Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala (Luke and Leia's parents). Maybe next year they'll go with my idea of Shrek and Fiona? Everyone knows who they are! :-) I suppose I should get going, as I have TONS of candy to sort through before morning (just want to make sure it's all safe! :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Offer still stands

The offer for the free dog still stands, and personally I don't really care if it's a good home or not!!! It really bothers me that I have these negative feelings towards her. I have never disliked an animal in my life. I try and try to find things I like about Brie, it's just very difficult. Last night Scott left to go to Tuttle overnight and come back this evening. Well, in the meantime, Brie had an encounter with a skunk. YES, a skunk. UGH UGH UGH! She stinks so bad. As soon as she and Scott came in the house I smelled it. I made him put her outside. He left to take her to DU and wash her in their garage. (She had already been soaped down 4 times before she came home, so I really don't think it's going to help). She is going to have to sleep outside tonight, and I am going to stand FIRM on that one!!! I'll keep you posted.

Every Monday Gage brings home a newsletter from school telling about what they did the previous week. "A peak at last week" (Yes, I know peak is spelled's spelled wrong on the newsletter. I was going to point it out to his teacher after he brought the first one home, but I didn't want her to think I was a pain in the butt mom who thinks they know it all, and now I think too much time has gone by??) Anyway, as I was reading the newsletter, I got to Health. Here's what it says "In health, we completed a couple of lessons on how our bodies change as we grow. We talked about how we are special and nobody is the same as we are! In addition, we learned about our 5 senses (sight, touch, taste, hear, smell). However, one child reminded me that there is actually another sense..........and when I asked what it was, he replied, "Common Sense"! Leave it to a first grader!" Leave it to MY first grader! :-) When I read that I asked him who that was and he got a big grin on his face. He said to me, I should have also told her "sense of humor"! He certainly has one of those!!!! I thought that was pretty good and I wanted to share it with all of you! (I wish Brie had some common sense! Maybe I would like her more?)

Monday, October 29, 2007

And the winner is................

To make things a little more fun for work, MedQuist was holding a contest for this past weekend. The goal was to increase motivation and also get the increase in backlog of reports completed before the weekend. This is the busy season for illnesses. Anyway, there were several different ways to earn points, and whoever had the most points at the end wins. We were to answer trivia questions at 2 points for each correct answer, answering the mystery call (someone from MedQuist was going to be calling everyone's home), and if you were working during the call you got 4 extra points. If you were working outside of your shift you got 3 points. For those working on Thursday they would get 5 points for every 3 hours worked. For those working on Friday, for every 3 hours worked they would get 5 points. For those working after 5pm Friday, they received 7 points and for those working from 10p-midnight Friday night would get 10 points. Okay, some of you may not know this, but I am quite competitive. I was all over the contest and having fun with it. I kept tract of my points and was anxiously awaiting the final results today after I found out later this weekend the prize was a $100 American Express gift card!!!!! When the email arrived it said "And the winner is..............STACEY STEPHENS (Okay, I forgive her for spelling my name wrong!) I yelled upstairs to tell Scott as he had just gotten home for lunch. (He wasn't too thrilled that I was doing all this extra work, as I was up well past midnight Friday night working). Anyway, while we were reading the email, she had listed the points that I received. I noticed on the email that she had given me 9 extra points that I didn't actually earn (I wasn't working when the mystery caller called, as I had just clocked out to eat lunch), and I only worked 3 1/2 hours on Thursday and she had listed that I worked 8. She also mentioned the contest was very close. Well, then I started feeling bad. I thought that it wasn't fair if I really didn't win, and it was only by mistake. Scott told me to not worry about it and just keep it, because I deserved it. Well, I didn't feel right doing it. I called 2 friends to see what they would do. One said take it, the other had the same feelings I did. I just knew I wouldn't feel right taking the prize if I really didn't win it. I was torn, because I really really really wanted the prize money, but also knew I wouldn't be happy with myself if I didn't win it fairly. If I wasn't so anal retentive and hadn't kept track of it all, I would never have known. Anyway, I decided to reply to the email and let her know that the points she had given me weren't all correct. I thought that maybe if I really didn't win, that maybe they would give me something for just being honest. I don't know what my Mom did or said when I was growing up, but I cannot tell a lie and feel good about myself. (Good job Mom!) Later when I checked my email, I noticed she had replied. My heart would race every time I would think about it, and then sink when I thought that I might not win afterall. Anyway, she said that she had given everyone the extra points with the mystery caller whether they were working or not, and she said she made a mistake in the email she sent about the number of hours worked on Thursday. She had it counted right in my score, just listed it wrong in the email. So, I WON!!!!! I WON!!!! I was soooooo excited and even MORE excited that I could feel good about it! YIPPEEEE!!!!!! I was thinking about what I was going to do with it, and I believe I'm going to use it to buy Christmas presents. (And maybe I'll buy a little something for myself too?) YEAH!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


All I can say is that everyone is exhausted here in meltdown city! Hope this week is better.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Free to a good home!

This is a 3-year-old, pure bred, female, Black lab already spayed and up to date on her vaccinations, including rabies. She is a well-trained hunting dog. Her name is Brie (like the cheese). She is trained to ring a bell when she needs to go outside to potty. She hasn't had any accidents in quite awhile (she is being medicated for that). Brie is great with kids. She is also great with cats. She is a duck retrieving machine. She would be a great watch dog for any home. She lays at the top of our stairway, where she has a clear view of the front yard, and she will forewarn you of any window peepers or if you just have a visitor at the door. She will also let you know if your neighbors across the street have any kind of activity going on at their house. She does NOT shed.................during the subzero North Dakota winters. She is free to a good home. Just give me a call. I will deliver. There is no distance too far.

Seriously, if anyone wants a dog, she's yours. Brie apparently doesn't like living here, as she once again attempted to run away from home. I believe this is her 4th attempt at escape. On her 2nd attempt, I had a phone call from the nearby mall. It was an insurance company who was wanting to know if I had lost a dog named Branta. Well, no, I didn't lose a dog named Branta, because we had just put her to sleep a week or two prior. It was Brie. She was wearing Branta's collar. Branta's name and phone number were embroidered on the collar, so they gave me a call. This was earlier this spring, when we had one vehicle. Scott had my vehicle at work, which left me on foot. It was mid morning, around 9am. It was raining out. I was still in my pajamas and the kids were still in theirs watching cartoons. I panicked. I told the lady I would be right there. I quickly put my shoes on and a light windbreaker jacket over my pajamas. I told the kids to "stay put, do not answer the phone, do not answer the door, I will be back in a few minutes". I took off out the door. It was raining cats and dogs. I took off running down the sidewalk. I think I maybe had gone 20 yards before I decided I was out of breath, and I had no bra on. I walked as quickly as I could and found Brie right outside the insurance office with the lady that found her and called me. Brie was happier to see me than I was to see her! I hooked her up to the leash, thanked the lady and took off for home. It is now pelting rain sideways. I was soaked when I got home and I was not happy.

Today, started out as a normal Saturday morning. I got up before Scott, so I had to do the dog duties. She is typically STARVING to death first thing in the morning. She barely takes time to actually go to the bathroom before she is right back at the door wanting in to be fed breakfast. So, not long after she ate, she needed to go out again and rang the bell hanging from the back doorknob. Scott let her out. Brie loves to be outside. She has started to just hang around outside sometimes so long that we actually forget she's out there. Sometimes she is actually playing on the swing on the swingset. Scott and Gage left for hockey practice at 9am after they raised the garage door. Scott typically forgets to close the garage door as he's driving away. Apparently Brie was still out in backyard. We go about our day as usual. Emma has dance, we eat lunch, Gage has a birthday party to attend, we have errands to run we pick Gage up from the birthday party and now it's 3:15 pm. Scott frantically runs out to ask if I had seen Brie. Nope. When was the last time you saw her? When I fed her this morning. She is gone. No where to be found. Scott takes off in his truck. I load the kids in the van and take off in the other direction. As I'm driving, I'm thinking there's no way we're going to find her. She is long gone. I ask a man who was out on a walk if he had seen a black lab running loose. Nope. I drive around several blocks as the kids fight about who's looking which way to find the dog. I drive home to find Scott. I told him to go look and I would call Animal Control. I called and asked the gal if they had found a black lab. Nope, not that she knew of. I gave her the information (and by the way, she did not have Branta's collar on this time, she was naked) and she said they would call if they had any reports of a lost dog, and I was do call them if we found her. I was off the phone with her for about 30 seconds and she called me back and told me that someone told her that they had picked up a black lab at 2024 N. 5th St. (4 blocks away). I told her I would be right down. She said be sure to bring some money, as it would cost $49 to get her out of the pound. Scott came home and we went to the police dept. to pay the boarding fees, etc. Then, we had to drive clear to the other side of town to the pound and a police officer was going to meet us there. The gal that came, happened to be the same gal who picked her up. She said that some lady was out walking her dog and Brie decided to follow them and followed them all the way home. The lady called animal control and they picked her up at 11:02 am. As the police officer and I went into the building, I told her if there was another one that I liked better, I would like to trade. As we walked in EVERY dog in the place was standing up on their hind legs scratching at the cage and barking their brains out. All of them except Brie. She was out back enjoying the beautiful weather. She had a dog door to an outside cage. The lady called her name and she came in and wagged her tail like there was no tomorrow. She was happy. I was not.

She's home, safe and sound. She is happy to be home.............I think? It was time to feed her when we got her home and she wouldn't eat. Any of you who know Brie, know that is NOT normal. There have been MANY times we've had to induce vomiting because she broke into the food container and gorged herself until she looked 9 months pregnant. Not sure what happened. Maybe she's on strike because she was found? Maybe she decided running away isn't really a good idea and she wore herself out worrying to death that she would never return home (I doubt it). I have no idea why she wouldn't eat, but I'm sure she will make up for it tomorrow morning, when she's STARVING to death once again.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I never really knew how important sleep was until Emma was born. She was a terrible sleeper and cried alot. I was put onto this book called "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". I swear by that book. It is the only thing that saved me (and Emma) after she was born. I remember after reading it, and doing what it said, things started to change. Everyone was happier. At Emma's well-check, Dr. Kozel had asked about how well she was sleeping. I told her about the book, and we were putting her to bed at 6:30 pm and told her about what the book had us doing. She was amazed. She had never heard of it before. EVERY time we go to see her for well-checks or whatever, she says she tells ALL of her patients' parents about what we did and how that book helped. Sleep continues to be a very important factor. I notice it mostly with Gage. He certainly is affected when he doesn't get enough sleep. My goal each night is to have them in bed by 7 pm. When I tell people that, they think I am nuts. Our days go much easier and smoother, if we reach that nightly goal. Last night at 6:30 pm, I was itching for Scott to get home from his trip so I could get the kids in bed. He has been gone alot, and I knew he wanted to see them, and they were excited to see him. That was a BIG mistake. I know better. Today when we got home from school, Gage brought another sheet of homework home. (This was the 3rd one this week) I dread homework. Gage's buddy Ben talked about how he "hated homework". Well, that comment right there, if I could delete it from Gage's memory, I would do it in a second. Gage LOVES school. Gage HATES homework. I know it's because of this comment he heard Ben make. Anyway, after school I decided we had better get started on the homework. I hate putting it off, but this is the 3rd sheet, and I had already put the first 2 off, because none are due until Oct 29 and later. These are math sheets which involve playing games. They are very easy, and fun, but due to not having enough sleep last night, and his preconceived idea about homework, we had a huge meltdown. He was whining, crying and carrying on like a 2 year old. I could hardly contain myself from yelling at him (it's a good thing I have these dumb little rubber bands holding my mouth shut). This was all due to lack of sleep. I would like to do a study on all of the misbehaved kids in the world regarding their sleep habits. I would almost guarantee that the majority of them aren't getting the sleep they need. People think that the older the child is, the less sleep they need, and typically as kids get older, they get to stay up later. This is not true. The older they get, the more sleep they need. I am living proof! My friend Emily has this same book and swears by it as well. Its fun when we're together and someone mentions they have a kid who won't sleep. That is the first thing we both mention, "Do you have the book called, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child"? Usually they respond, "I have tried EVERYTHING and NOTHING works!" I guarantee this book will work.(unless of course there are underlying medical problems.) If you truly give it a chance and do what it says, you will not be disappointed.

Since I have started this transcription job I have noticed how important sleep is for me too. When I am sleepy, it is extremely difficult to really pay CLOSE attention to what the doctors are dictating. There is a huge difference in my ability depending on how tired or alert I am. It's amazing.

Anyone having problems with their child and sleep or even school issues, I swear by this book. Mine is currently out on loan, and I hope I get it back!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Three things done!

1. My cookies are baked, thank goodness. Just that task alone has made me feel better about the many things I have left to do.

2. This morning I had a call from a wonderful lady who offered to come by and pick up my cookies to take them to the church for me. THANKS JUANITA!! I am so grateful. That little task helps me out in a BIG way!

3. Emma and I went to an appointment of mine this morning. I had to go in and have a check up at the orthodontist's office. Today was going to be the day they start moving my teeth back into their correct positions. Well, that is delayed a little bit because I apparently lost 3-mm of width after they took out the rapid palate expander. So, for the next 4 weeks, I have to wear these little tiny rubber bands that are connected to a "button" that they stuck to 2 molars on my top, that stretch down to connect to a hook on the bottom, 1 on each side. They said I could take them off to eat and to brush. What a pain! Physically and literally! This will certainly help me to lose another 5 lbs over the next 4 weeks! Not only are my teeth extremely sore, it was totally a pain in the rear getting those tiny little rubberbands back in place! There have been many times already that I have picked something up to put in my mouth, only to put it back because I don't want to have to replace those stupid little things any more than I have to! They also prevent me from having big, satisfying yawns. Scott and the kids are going to love them, as I'm sure they will affect yelling as well. Dr. Warford told me today that if I wanted to, I could have a tooth permanently placed in the huge gap between my top 2 front teeth. I'm sure I gave him a puzzled look as I thought about it for a second. I said, "Well, I am not going to spend all of this money to end up with 3 front teeth!" He said, "It was just an option!" I may think differently after the next surgery, which he said will happen probably late next spring. But, right now, I think I'd prefer to have 2 front teeth on the top instead of 3. Thanks anyway!! I'm surprised he made that offer, as I would think after all of this, he too would want it to be "perfect" when it's all over with. I'm guessing he was joking around, even though it could be an option if I wanted to go that direction. I never take the easy way out in all aspects of my life. :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

To-do list

I have tons of things on my to-do list. I was assigned "person in charge" of Emma's Halloween party at school. This means I need to assign the other Mom's on my list something to bring. Which means I need to take time to actually think about this. I have had 3 of the mom's asking me what I want them to bring. I keep telling them I'll get it figured out and let them know. Well, I decided I better sit myself down and figure it out tonight, so I can give them their "assignments" tomorrow at school. I hate doing that. I would rather do it all myself than to inconvenience anyone else. But, doing it all myself causes me to go crazy, because I don't have enough time in the day. I have the list made out, and I'm thinking that if they don't like their assignments, then maybe they'll complain to the teacher and I won't be asked to be the "person in charge" again. HA!
Next, I signed up at church to bake 2-dozen cookies to take to The Banquet on Thursday night. I really wanted to sign up to serve the meal, but I knew Scott was going to be out of town, and I would have to find someone to watch the kids. I decided another way to help was to sign up on the list to bring cookies. They needed several volunteers for this.
Next, I have 2000 lines of transcription to type in the next 6 days.
I guess that doesn't sound like a lot, but when you add it to taking the kids to school, picking them up, taking Gage to hockey, Emma to dance, delivering frozen food (fundraiser that we had to do for Gage's school in Sept), etc, etc, etc, it makes for a busy week!

I'm tired just thinking about it. I should go to bed!

Monday, October 22, 2007


The long weekend went well. Busy, as always. Not too much has gone on today. I have worked about 8 hours and my butt can prove it!

Scott got home today. He had a swan and some ducks that he brought home. He leaves tomorrow morning for some meeting in MN. I'll be glad when he can be home for more than 24 hours! It's hard to get my lines typed without feeling guilty because I'm not spending that time with the kids. They have been great though. It was funny, last night, while I had them in the bath tub, someone from the company I work for called and asked if I could work some hours. I had already planned on doing that because I said I would earlier in the week, AND I had to get more lines in (I have to get 2,000 in per week). Anyway, I told the gal that yes, I would, but I had the kids in the tub and I was trying to get them bathed and to bed. When I went back to the bathroom Gage asked me who called. I told him it was work. He had a confused look on his face. (I know it's probably a hard concept when Mom works in the basement!) I told them they wanted me to work. He said, "That's greedy isn't it?" I thought that was an interesting way of putting it! HA!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Today Gage was invited to attend a birthday part at the bowling alley in Mandan. Emma was very upset that she couldn't stay. To make her happy, we went to Dairy Queen. She was having a hard time deciding what she wanted. All of the pictures looked very good to her. In the meantime, I ordered a Snickers Blizzard. She then decided she wanted an Oreo Blizzard. The young gals working behind the counter handed Emma her blizzard upside down. Emma's eyes nearly popped out of her head as her jaw hit the floor. It was funny. I laughed and told the girls that she has never seen that before. Actually I think I have only seen it done a few times myself. Then, the other girl was bringing me my blizzard, and when she turned it upside down it fell onto the cash register and made a great big mess! Emma didn't know what to think. I laughed and told the girls I had never seen that before either! :-) She had my blizzard's cup inside another cup, so that's why it fell out. She was a little embarrassed and then proceeded to make me a new blizzard. It was funny. Emma had many questions while we sat there and ate our ice cream, waiting to go back to get Gage. He was very upset that he only got to stay for an hour, as he had hockey practice to attend. I told him beforehand that he would only get an hour, and that I didn't want a fit when it was time to go. He agreed, but then renigged. It was just way too much fun bowling in your Halloween costume. PLUS, they hadn't even had cake and ice cream, or the pizza that was part of the party package. Sometimes life just sucks! :-)

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I spent all day today scrappin' with my friends! It was great! I got 5 pages done I think, which isn't a huge amount by any means, but that's 5 more pages done than there would have been had I not gone! I did have to leave to take Emma to dance, so that is part of the reason I didn't get more done. Also, dance started a little late, and ran MUCH later (20 min) than it should have. Normally, I would have thought that was great, as I was getting more for my money, but today I had places to be and things to do! THEN, after Emma was done, I was trying to hurry up to get her back to Laura's house so I could get back to scrapping, and I couldn't find my car keys! UGH! I looked in all of the spots I had been during the class, but they had a lot of tables sitting out with tons of junk as they are having a rummage sale next weekend at the church. I started getting nervous as I wasn't sure what I was going to do if I couldn't find them. You know, I have no cell phone! HA! Well, I went all over that church basement, and looked through my bag twice to make sure I hadn't overlooked them. Then, I found them in the front pocket of the bag. UGH! Thank goodness I found them, but that took up a few minutes of my scrappin' time too! I got Emma's school album up to date. One of the pages I did was the letter "B" page from her "Bear Box parade", and had to tell the funny story to everyone about Emma and the testicles. I was telling Laura the story before I left to go scrapbooking and while I was telling it, Emma said, "Mom, I know another "B" word!" I said, "What is it Emma?" She says, "Beaver!" Oh my goodness! That would have been another body part word she could have shouted out! Thank goodness it wasn't that! She doesn't know anything about any kind of beaver except the kind that build dams and swim in the water though, thank goodness. I thought it was funny though, given the circumstances! Makes the story even funnier to tell. I also got a few pages done in Gage's school album. A few more pages and I'll have his Kindergarten year finished and be ready to start First grade and hopefully stay current. I felt like I got something accomplised though, and that's the important thing. My friend Emily was there also. I enjoy scrapbooking with her. I hope we can do it more often. The next crop is on her birthday and I think we're going to go to it, so that's something to look forward to. I'll have to take her out to supper beforehand! :-)

The kids had a great day too. They were VERY tired when I picked them up and getting a little cranky/whiney and started fighting. I fed them, bathed them and put them to bed after reading some Junie B. Jones. They were both out for the count soon after that. Gage had his first hockey practice today too, so that helped wear him out. Scott made it back from Tuttle to take him, so that was good. I haven't talked to him to hear how it went though. There is another hockey practice tomorrow, so I'll see then. He has a birthday party to go to also, so another busy day on tap for tomorrow!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good day

The kids and I had a good day yesterday. They played and watched PBS for a couple of hours while I worked during the morning. Scott said he had a meeting over lunch so we went to Barnes and Nobel and looked around awhile, then to the mall and had lunch at Subway, then stopped at a couple stores, then Target, then went home. I was proud of how they behaved. Especially at Subway in the mall. It was crazy busy, and it took us awhile to get to order. I guess they were (and so was I) hungry enough that they just sat down and ate. They both ate their entire meals. (Actually, they are usually quite good when we go out to eat, which isn't all that often). Gage spent some of his birthday money at Target, and Emma spent some of her money as well, so they were happy on the way home. All in all yesterday was a good day. Today has started out the same. We'll see if it continues. Scott leaves to go hunting after lunch and will be back on Wednesday I think? Tomorrow is a bit of a crazy day. I will be scrapbooking all day at the Civic Center. Scott is gone to Tuttle. The kids are going to Ellie and Alan's for the day. Emma has dance at 11:15, so I will have to leave to take her to dance, then back to Ellie's. Gage has his first hockey practice at 3:30 and Scott is coming back from Tuttle to take him to hockey, then he'll be going back to Tuttle. (Don't be too impressed, as this was not what he wanted to do). This time of year is always hard for me. Scott is gone the majority of the time, and when there are things I want to do, I can't do them without jumping through many hoops. UGH! Anyway, I am very excited that I get to scrapbook tomorrow with my friends. I need to get all of my stuff organized so I can be productive!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Long weekend ahead

I had forgotten until last night, that there is no school on Thursday or Friday this week. They always have 2 days off in October due to the ND Teacher's Convention. Wonderful! Actually, it will be nice to have a relaxing morning and not have to fight Emma to get her butt out of bed! Gage is sad there is no school. Darn, he's going to miss show-and-tell on Friday! Hallelujah! At least there won't be a fight about what to take this week!

Last night I attended my first Tupperware party ever. I really like Tupperware, but have never known anyone who sells it, therefore have never had a party or known of anyone who was having a party. Maybe I've been invited to one and wasn't able to attend?? I'm not sure. I've been invited to so many parties since we've been here, it's hard telling if one of them might have been a Tupperware one and I just wasn't able to go? Anyway, Emily had a party, and I was able to go. I hired my friend Amy's son, Clay, the one Emma wants a playdate with, to come and sit with the kids while I was gone for a couple of hours. I think he might have been a little afraid at first, because when he called me back, he said, "What will I have to do?" I told him I would have the kids in bed before he got here, so if he was lucky he wouldn't have to do a thing! The kids were a little sad when I had them in bed, then told them that Clay would be coming to babysit while I went to Emily's party because they wanted to play of course. I told Gage and Emma I would have Clay come to tell them goodnight. They must have fallen asleep before he arrived (which would have had to have been within about 10 minutes) because Clay said he didn't hear a peep out of either one of them! I was amazed. I have problems with Emma and babysitters. Every thing is peachy until it's time to go to bed, then all heck breaks loose, and many times, she's still awake when I get home. All of my regular babysitters have gone off to college and I am so sad about that. I have a couple of younger gals I can call, but sometimes I need them to be able to drive as I can't take them home when the kids are asleep and Scott is gone. Anyway, I'm quite sure that was the easiest $20 Clay has ever earned in his life!! And, he said to call him anytime if I need anything. So maybe I found myself a new babysitter? I don't need them very often, but when I do, it's so nice to have someone to call! And by the way, the Tupperware party was alot of fun. I won a couple of different prizes so that was exciting. I also got a couple of wonderful recipes I can't wait to try, along with a few products I ordered! I can't wait for them to come in! It's pretty pathetic when I am excited about having attended a Tupperware party! I am getting old. I guess I should leave the gray hairs alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Flu shots

Today was Gage's appointment for his 7-year-old well check. When I signed him in at the front desk, they had me sign another paper for him to get a flu shot. I was a little surprised, as I hadn't asked for one. Although, I thought it was probably a good idea. So, I figured while we were there, we might as well kill two birds with one stone, and asked if Emma could have one too. I had to fill out a sheet for her and then go back to the main desk to get a printout for her. I was a little worried/nervous at how this was going to go. We haven't had shots in awhile. I think Gage's last one was 2 years ago or maybe 3, which was his MMR. I remember he cried like crazy. I couldn't blame him though, as three gals came in and two of them gave him simultaneous shots, 1 in each leg, while the third gal held him down! Poor little guy. Anyway, the doctor asked if I wanted one too? I wasn't prepared for that, and not that I didn't want one, but I didn't really think it was necessary? I use that sick time I get once a year as my vacation. HA HA! NOT! Usually I end up sick AND still have to deal with the kids. Anyway, I thought about doing it just so I could show Gage and Emma it wouldn't hurt too bad. Well, I was going to have to fill out another sheet, then go back to the main desk to get a printout for myself, so I decided I didn't want to go to the trouble. After the doctor was done checking Gage out (by the way I think he was 80% in his height and 75% for his weight), I told Gage the nurse was going to come in and give him a shot. He looked at me in alarm. I told him it would be okay, and then I told Emma she was getting one too. She gives me a death look and says, "Oh no I'm not getting a shot!!!" I figured that was going to happen. Anyway, the nurse came in and she asked which one wanted to go first. I knew it had to be Gage, so he bravely sat on my lap while she gave him the shot in his thigh. I could tell it hurt, but he was so brave and did NOT cry. Then, it was Emma's turn. I had to corner her behind the exam table to get ahold of her. I put her on my lap as she was not wanting to sit still. I had to pretty much hog-tie her down with my legs, then bear hug her like a straight jacket. She did finally quit fighting and then got her shot in the thigh. She did NOT cry, but boy was she MAD! She folded her arms up tight across her chest and put her head down with her bottom lip stuck out. She wanted NOTHING to do with the nurse, and didn't even want to walk near her. It was quite funny. She was so mad she wasn't even going to take time to get a sucker out of the drawer, she just wanted to get the heck out of there! (And if you know Emma, she doesn't pass up the opportunity for candy!) The unfortunate thing is that since this was their first set of flu shots, I have to take them back for another one in four weeks. Emma made it quite clear that she was NEVER going back to that place! I think I will make the appointment for a time when Scott can take her! :-) She was so mad walking out of that place and said her leg hurt and she couldn't walk anymore so I carried her to the car applauding how brave the two of them were. The nurse thought it was funny how "stoic" their faces were and that they were determined not to cry or show any emotions that the shots hurt. They are very much that way. Anytime they fall or get hurt, they pop right up and say, "It's okay Mom! I'm not hurt!" Unless of course they are, and then it takes a few minutes for them to decide that yes, I'm hurt and it's okay to cry! They are sitting right here, and Gage is reading this to Emma and they are laughing like crazy. I guess it's funny now, but it sure wasn't a few hours ago!!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bobcat badge

Gage had his pack meeting tonight and was awarded his Bobcat badge and immediate recognition emblem! I am so proud of him. He was also very well behaved, and let me tell you, there were probably about 30 or so other Cub Scouts there and not all of them behaved as if they were. I was ready to come home well before it ended!!! I was also upset that my camera batteries were dead before we left for the meeting, and of course, all of my extra rechargeable batteries were tied up in video games, Leap pad etc. We removed them and they were all low as well. Scott loaned me his extra set of batteries from his camera and they too were nearly dead. I did get a few pictures, but some of them probably will not turn out, and unfortunately, since the batteries are dead, I am unable to post pictures tonight. I will try and do that tomorrow as my batteries should all be charged, and then I'm hiding them all!

I had a great walk today with my friend Emily. It was a nice, crisp, cool morning and we jabbered the whole 2.2 miles! :-) I needed that! Thanks Emily!!!! I am in the process of getting my scrapbook stuff organized for an all day crop at the Civic Center on Saturday. Unfortunately Scott isn't going to be around to help out with the kids so I have had to find a babysitter. There apparently is an important meeting out in the duck blind?? Anyway, Gage also has his first hockey practice of the season on Saturday. My wonderful friend Laura has offered to help out with all of that, but I just feel too guilty having her do the hockey thing too, so I will probably have to leave early from my scrapbook event?? We'll see what comes about.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Alive and well

Gage woke up this morning asking us to feel his head because he no longer had a temperature. He was right. He bounced back quick. He was running a temperature of 101.5 around suppertime last night and was just feeling bad. I'm so glad he's back to himself, and that no one else has started puking! We didn't go to church this morning, as I wasn't sure at the time we needed to be leaving if Gage was well or not. I was feeling truant because we didn't go to church. We did however, get a few things that needed to be done done.

We went out selling more Cub Scout popcorn this afternoon. Gage has officially filled up his order form, which means he will get a special patch and he is very excited about that. If you sell $2500.00 worth you can earn a college scholarship. I doubt we get that ambitious. I don't even know if we know that many people to sell that much popcorn to! Tomorrow night he has a Pack meeting at school and he will be getting several things awarded to him. I will be there taking pictures and hopefully will have some good ones to post.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


At 4:00 this morning, Gage arrives in my bed and says, "Mom, I feel dizzy." (Mom is very tired because she stupidly stayed awake until about 1 a.m. watching Season 1, Disc 4 of Prison Break on the kids' portable DVD player in her bed). As I was trying to figure out what was going on, I said, "What Gage, you feel dizzy?" Gage says, "Yeah Mom, I feel dizzy." He then proceeds to puke all over Scott's pillow. (I'm quite thankful it was Scott's pillow!) I jump out of bed and scramble through the dark house looking for a bucket. I run back to my bedroom only to find he had puked again all over the sheets. I gave him the bucket and he said he didn't think he was going to puke again, as he puked in the bucket. UGH! What a terrible way to wake up! For me AND Gage! I had him go sit on the couch with the bucket while I changed the sheets and put the puked-on sheets in the washing machine. I had him come back to my bed and lay down, as I didn't want him to end up puking on the carpet on his way back to my bedroom the next time it happened. We both fell asleep, and awoke again at 5 a.m. to him puking IN THE BUCKET thank goodness!!! He was pretty much emptied out and was then retching. I felt horrible for him. My friend Emily and her 3 kids had all gone through the same thing for the past few days. So far, Emma has not felt sick, nor have I. A friend's son up the street came to sit with Gage while took Emma to dance class. (Scott was still out hunting) I was SO THANKFUL that he came to help me out. Scott was still gone and I had already gone through 2 neighbors looking for help. I tried to pay him but he wouldn't take the money. I will get it to him somehow. I am sooooo thankful to have such great friends and neighbors. I hate asking for help, and I typically don't, but when I do, it is very nice to have people who are willing to lend a helping hand.

Let's pray no one else gets sick and that Gage feels better soon. He has a Cub Scout "Go See It" activity tomorrow afternoon with his den, and then a pack meeting on Monday where he will receive his Bobcat patch and instant recognition emblem for all of his hard work thus far.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I took the kids to school this morning, then made a quick run to the bank before coming home to start working. As I drove through the drive-thru at the bank, I chose the second lane at the north American Bank Center branch (the middle lane). I hate that lane, but recently a sign has been posted on the first lane that says "Commercial Accounts". So, I always choose the middle lane. I hit the curb EVERY time I leave. I don't know why? I know it's coming, and I try to avoid it, but I usually drive up onto the curb a little bit just as I'm leaving the tube?? Anyway, while I was in the middle lane, I put my money (some to be deposited, and one check to be cashed) into the tube and sent it to the lady inside. I waited and watched, and waited some more. As I was sitting there, an old man drove up on the outside lane. The lady said, "Thanks, have a good day." I said, "Thanks, you too." Then I waited and waited, and my tube never came back. I noticed the little old man in the outside lane opening up a tube and taking out the envelope and was taking the cash out of the envelope. I knew that was my money, and I just sat there waiting to see what was going to happen. I looked at the lady inside, and she had just realized her mistake. She was telling the old man he needed to send that tube back to her. He was a bit confused it seemed. Anyway, I was thankful that I got my money. If that had been some dishonest person, they could have just driven off with it! I'm sure that lady inside was a little bit panicked as the man was removing my money from the envelope! She didn't even count it when she got the tube back to make sure it was all there, she just sent it on to me. It was all there. I'll bet she never makes that mistake again!!! That poor old man must have thought he hit the jackpot?

We have had a nice past couple of days. I am a firm believer that kids who get enough sleep don't misbehave. At least that is the case with mine (well, that goes for Gage anyway) HA HA! On Fridays, Gage has show-and-tell. They do it every Friday. At first I thought that was pretty cool, as last year, and his 2 years in preschool, they did it once a month. Well, I think once a month is sufficient. Gage has the HARDEST time deciding what to take for show-and-tell. Last week, he couldn't go to sleep because of it. I had mentioned to him the night before that he needed to think about what he wanted to take, and that blew it. He was a mess because he couldn't decide on what to take. Actually, I just remembered that on the way home from school last Thursday, he told me he wanted to take his "Boobah" stuffed animal to school for show-and-tell. This "Boobah" is a purple character from a show on PBS. It is the equivalent to Teletubbies. I told Gage I didn't think he should take that, as I didn't want any of the other kids making fun of him for taking a "baby toy". He decided that he wouldn't take it. Well, that was the major problem that night and is why he couldn't decide on what to take. Everything he thought about, he thought that maybe he shouldn't take that as the other kids might make fun of him. Ugh. I guess I shouldn't have said that. I guess that's what I get for trying to "protect him". Well, this week, I didn't say anything until this morning. My way of preventing a sleepless night. I mentioned to him first thing this morning that he needed to think of something to take. Since he had his birthday just last week, I thought maybe it would be easier for him to decide. NOT! He has about umpteen new Star Wars action figures and he couldn't decide which ONE to take. He waited until we were just about to walk out the door to start all of this, so I was telling him he needed to hurry up and pick one. Well, he finally picked one, and I don't know what happened, but its leg broke off. That was a major catastrophe!!! We weren't late, but we were running behind, and again, I felt bad that he had to get so upset before school. I think once a month for show-and-tell is plenty!!! He won't forget, and I don't usually forget either. I think about him feeling bad that he didn't have anything to show and tell about, so unfortunately, I remind him about it each week (not that he needs reminding!).

Speaking of forget, last Saturday I COMPLETELY forgot about taking Emma to ballet class! I have NEVER completely forgotten anything like that. I may forget things, but remember when it is too late to go or whatever. I didn't even know I had forgotten until Scott had asked me late that night if Emma had gone to dance. My heart hit the floor and I couldn't believe that I TOTALLY forgot about it! I hope that doesn't happen again tomorrow!

I'm getting gray hairs and starting to forget things.....................what next???

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Early bedtime

Well, the early bedtime last night seemed to help. The kids were in bed by 6pm. I read a whole chapter book to Gage, so about 6:30 he was done and ready to go to sleep. Scott read to Emma and she was done and ready by 6:15! It took them a little bit to go to sleep, but they were certainly in better spirits today, thank the Lord!

Here's Scott and his antelope. He sent the picture from his phone, so it's not the best. It's a pretty big antelope. We ate some steaks from it last night and they were pretty good. At least with them I can't hit a pellet like I always do with birds! UGH! He's back in Tuttle hunting with an old college buddy until Saturday. Brie is with him so I'm enjoying the quiet time.

The weather was a bit chilly today. Wind was blowing a bit so it was a cold walk to and from school with Gage. I enjoy the time though, as I can always find things out during that time that I can't always get out of him later. It's funny at supper time, I always try to ask Gage and Emma about their day. Emma has caught on to that and she will say, "So what did you have for lunch today Gage?" :-) or "What did so-and-so bring for a snack Gage?" He eventually gets annoyed with all of the questions.

Gage earned back one of his Star Wars DVDs today so he is thrilled about that. Emma and I have had a fairly quiet day. I worked a few hours this morning while she played. All in all it was a good day. I hope I can say the same tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Once again, I have some great leverage. Gage threw a huge fit this morning and was quite rude when I was trying to get him to finish up a worksheet that was sent home yesterday from school. He did quite a bit of writing of thank-yous last night and it was time to get to bed, so I saved it for this morning. I have to get them to bed tonight by 6:30. I think that is the only way I will stay sane. He lost all 3 of his Star Wars DVDs that he got for his birthday from his Grandpa and Grandma Stephens. He may not get them back if this behavior continues. I just hate starting the day off on the wrong foot. He was upset and crying/pouting this morning when I took him to school, so we sat in the van a little while before he went to the school so maybe he could compose himself. This is typical behavior after being spoiled for 3 days by the grandparents. It completely wears me out. I'll have every birthday present taken away before the day is out if he doesn't get a grip!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Well, our company is gone and we are all tired. Gage and Emma went to bed very easy tonight, and I am so glad, as Scott is out in western ND hunting antelope. His friend Steve got his, but Scott shot and missed. I'm not sure how you can kill 5 birds with 4 shots, and miss an antelope?? HA HA! Hopefully he gets it tomorrow and he'll be done with it. Then he'll be home long enough to get his crap together to head to Tuttle to hunt ducks. He has a friend from college staying there to hunt with him. The fall season is in full swing. I'm just thankful Brie goes with him! :-) I'm going to have to train her to hunt antelope for next year!

We're heading back to normal. Hopefully we all wake up completely rested tomorrow and ready to start a new day!

Monday, October 8, 2007


My sister-in-law took these pictures and emailed them to me. I thought they were pretty neat, so I thought I would share. It is a little difficult to see them here, so sorry about that. Apparently these were taken outside of Topeka, KS. We are going to have to go through there some day when we are vacationing. I think lunch at the Magic Wok in Gage Village sounds like a great place to eat! Gage would get a kick out of it. I'm surely going to have to do a scrapbook page of these different Gage signs. :-)
It is a beautiful day out today. Temp in the high 50's lower 60's. My kind of fall weather. Gage has his second den meeting tonight for Cub Scouts, so I'm trying to get things ready for that. Not much else going on. Gage and Emma are loving the complete and undivided attention of their grandparents. They will certainly have to be deprogrammed tomorrow afternoon. That's never a fun job but somebody's gotta do it!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Field trip to Papa's Pumpkin Patch

I took these pictures of Gage and Emma on Gage's field trip to the pumpkin patch. They are great posers! HA! You don't know what it took to get them to sit next to each other for this photo. Gage kept asking another friend if he wanted to be in it. I took one of him too, so he wouldn't feel bad, but I really was trying to get a photo for our Christmas letter this year.

The Birthday Boy turns 7!!!

I meant to add these pictures to the "May The Force Be With You" post. I made this cake for Gage for his birthday. The pictures make the cake look MUCH better than it actually was! I had major problems with it, but in the end, Gage loved it and it tasted good, so that is all that matters!

Friday, October 5, 2007

May the force be with you!

Wow! The week is over and I am so glad! Gage had his birthday party Thursday. We had 13 kids marching in line on our 2 1/2 block walk home. Here is a word to the wise...............if you have 13 kids coming to your house, do NOT, I repeat, do NOT make them take their shoes off. My house reeked like stinky feet. It was also a mistake for them to remove their shoes because they had all been on a field trip earlier in the morning to the pumpkin patch. Their shoes were filled with straw, which was then tracked all over the house. I don't know why I bothered cleaning before they arrived? Thank goodness the weather was wonderful and the rest of the party was spent outdoors. I even took the cake outside. I am so glad I did, as there were many spills that occurred! Gage had a blast and I think his friends had fun too? I was exhausted and I still am. I have been getting up at 5:15 am this past week to get a couple of hours of work in before the kids have to get up to get ready for school. This is following a week of not being able to get to sleep until 3 am because I was working late. If I ever get my sleep schedule in order, things will be looking good! I'll post some pictures tomorrow if I get a chance. Scott's parents are coming to visit for the weekend, so not sure what kind of time I will have. Wish me luck..........I will need it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Cub Scout popcorn sales officially started yesterday. Gage is doing great. This is funny.........tonight after supper, the doorbell rang. Emma answered it and I could tell she didn't know what to say, so I went to see who it was. It was a young boy selling raffle tickets for Cathedral School fundraiser. The tickets were $1, so I went to look for some money. Of course I can't find any dollar bills, so I started rummaging for change. When I came back to the door, Gage was outside trying to sell this kid some popcorn. LOL! I was a little embarrassed at first. The kid's Dad then came up to the door and looked at the popcorn choices. They live a block south of us and he sent us to his house for his wife to buy some popcorn. I guess that'll teach em! HA HA! So, we met some new neighbors with kids about Gage and Emma's ages. They seem very nice. Gage and Emma had a blast playing with the 4-year-old girl while I stood inside collecting money.

I have tons to do to get ready for Gage's big birthday bash on Thursday. Gage told me that if you wish someone well, that means they will get better. He says we have the power to change the future. I'm wishing myself luck, because I am going to need it. We have about 8 kids slated to walk home with us after school, plus a few others that don't go to his school. I'm going to need some luck.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Back to the old drawing board!

Well, I'm back and I survived my wonderful weekend of scrapbooking! I haven't worked on my albums for so long it is pathetic. I scrapped 36 pages and felt a huge sense of accomplishment! I experimented this time to see if I went to bed earlier, could I do as many pages. Well, it seems that I can do MORE pages if I go to bed earlier! I wasn't too surprised. I could certainly tell when I started dragging and I just got up and went to bed, then got up early the next morning and went to town on my pages. No migraine this time, thank goodness!

My friend Tonya, who I rode with, was sick and I had to take over driving and take her to the emergency room in Dickinson on our way there. She was suffering a severe sinus infection and I felt so bad for her. She was a trooper and fought back and was feeling a little better by Saturday afternoon.

I got home Sunday about 6:30 pm and it was nice to sleep in my own bed. I was checking to see if Gage got his homework done over the weekend and saw his paper laying on the table. I picked it up to see that Scott actually did it for him. Gage has been having Math papers that we play games with either cards or dice and he is he then supposed to write about what we played and what happened. Scott wrote it instead of Gage. Gage did write on the sheet, and when I looked at it I was trying to figure out what in the world he wrote. It said, "I usd penis". I asked Scott what the heck that was about. He hadn't even looked at the paper. It was supposed to say "I used pennies". He was just sounding out his words. Needless to say, since the homework is due tomorrow, I kept the sheet home and we'll give it another go tonight! Sure glad I looked it over! Not sure what his teacher would have thought about that?!?

Cub Scouts tonight. We are busy busy busy!