Monday, December 14, 2009

Just around the corner!

I can't believe that Christmas is just around the corner! This year just whizzed right by! I'm not done with my Christmas shopping yet and I think this has got to be a record year, as I have NEVER been this late at getting all of my shopping done. I also wish there were a couple more paychecks between now and Christmas! It was pretty poor timing on my part (not that it could be controlled) with all the medical tests and procedures I was having just a little over a month ago. Those bills all add up and it has delayed my holiday shopping a bit.

This past weekend we enjoyed watching Emma sing her first solo in our Church's Christmas Musical. She did such a wonderful job and I am so proud of her. I just can't imagine getting up in front of the congregation to talk, let alone sing!! I think she enjoyed it, despite being a little "shakey" and nervous for her first time. We are so lucky that she has such wonderful role models to look up to at church. You can check out her video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o6KPnfQTms#watch-main-area or click on the video below.

I am trying to get it arranged to get the kids' flu shots up to date. Gage had both of his seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations, but is due for the H1N1 booster. I have been getting alot of phone calls that appear to be telemarketers and was hesitant to answer the phone, but I was glad I did when it was a voice recording telling me it was time to get Gage's H1N1 booster! Emma hasn't had either the seasonal flu shot or the H1N1. I am going to try and get those done before the holiday break from school and before we head to Iowa for Christmas.

The kids are very excited about our Christmas travel plans. They just can't wait to see their cousins and grandparents. I'm hoping we have good weather for travel!

video

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The month of November whizzed right by!

I can't even believe it's been almost 1 month since my last blog post! I am not doing so well lately. Maybe I need to make blogging one of my New Year's resolutions?

I've seen other friends on Facebook, who also have blogs, copy and paste them into their FB notes, so I decided maybe I should try that and see if that works any better for holding me accountable?

November has pretty much flown by. We have been quite busy with all sorts of activities. Emma had her first dance performance last weekend. It was so cute. I need to get my pictures and video posted. The kids will be participating in our Church's Christmas Musical again this year. They started practice a week or so ago. After the first meeting, Emma told me they asked for any volunteers to sing a solo. She said that she and one other girl raised their hand. YIKES!! I asked Emma if she realized what that meant. She said she did and when I told her there would be no acting shy, not wanting to get up on the stage if she decided to do this. She told me she would get up there and sing! Today at church I was told that she will have a small solo along with a few other girls in the opening song. My stomach is already hurting. I am certainly NOT one to get up in front of a crowd to speak, let alone sing. And since I can't sing, I'm sure everyone else is grateful for my fear! However, I must say that I am quite proud that she is brave enough to give it a try. I can't imagine how terrible my stomach is going to be the day of the performance. However, I will do my best not to let Emma see the butterflies.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving that we spent with our friends, Laura and Gary Walters. Two of their 3 children are the same age as Gage and Emma. Gage said he thought that perhaps this was his best Thanksgiving EVER! :-)

We have been on the stick this weekend and have gotten all of our Christmas decorations out and up! Emma has been begging me for a week to get them out. I told her when she and Gage had all of their things picked up and the house was cleaned, then we could get them out. She did a pretty good job and was getting frustrated that her brother wasn't helping her out too much. Since we didn't have anything planned for the weekend, we had the time to get the cleaning done and the decorations up. Pictures to follow.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November

I can't believe it's already November! This year is whizzing right by! Christmas is going to be here before we know it!

As most all of you probably already know, my biopsy results came back GREAT! It was a cyst and I was never so relieved to hear that news in all my life! That was one of the worst things I think I have gone through and I pray I never have to do that again!!!

We continue to be busy here. We had a wonderful Halloween with beautiful weather. We couldn't have asked for much better. The kids had a good time. Many of our friends that we drive to their house to trick or treat had called or emailed to tell us they wouldn't be home on Halloween. There was a big event at the Civic Center with the Prairie Home Companion radio show. So, we didn't have as many houses to drive to this year, so the kids enjoyed walking around the neighborhood with their good friends/neighbors, Hallie and Erik. We did drive to a couple houses as Emma wanted to trick or treat at her teacher's house. While we were out and about Gage suggested we go trick or treat at the Governor's residence. He said, "I heard they give out whole candy bars!" It wasn't too late, so we decided to see what all the fuss was about. Gage was disappointed that the Governor didn't actually answer the door, it was his wife Mikey. He was also disappointed that he just got a single Reeses peanut butter cup. LOL! I don't know for sure what he was expecting overall, but I think it was a bit of a letdown. At least we went so he could see that for himself.

We went to Tuttle yesterday afternoon to wash sheets, make beds and clean out the refrigerator of any expired items. There are some people coming to North Dakota to film the DU Television Show. Scott will be guiding them on the hunt. I wasn't sure why he was doing all the cleaning that he was doing yesterday until he mentioned that the donor that they are taking out to hunt for the television show was a $20,000,000 donor. He is the CEO of a big company that you may know as Bayer. (As in the Bayer aspirin)!!! I told Scott I didn't want to burst his bubble, but that no amount of cleaning he could do would make his Hotel de Tuttle Duck Shack look good to someone who can just give DU $20,000,000!!!!! He did his best to get it cleaned up; however. Needless to say, this will take Scott away from home for most of the week. I will be SO GLAD when WINTER gets here and freezes everything up! Bring it on Mother Nature!!! :-)

I learned at school last week that Gage missed his LoS (Levels of Service) reading class. After asking him why, I learned that I must be enabling Gage a bit too much. He admitted that he had no idea what day or time he even had this special class, that he relies on a fellow classmate to tell him when to go. He said that his classmate was mad at him on this particular day and decided not to tell Gage that they had reading class. After talking to Gage's teacher and LoS teacher, they said they would put a reminder note on Gage's desk. I hope this works! I also decided to get him a watch with an alarm that will hopefully help as well! He wore the watch to school on Friday and when I asked him where it was, when I noticed it wasn't on his wrist, he said he left it at school because it wasn't set right so he just took it off. UGH! He can't seem to remember any of these little details and it is driving me NUTS! We went in early this morning so I could get the watch and get it set to the correct time, date and alarm time, so we'll see how this reminder works. I sure didn't know that he was missing class, but am thankful that I just happened to be in the hallway when another friend of Gage's said, "Hey Gage! You missed reading class!" Oh, what you can learn about your children just by walking in the halls of the school! I guess I am going to have to make the kids a little more responsible about the date and activities they have going on, so they will not just take for granted that someone else is just going to take care of it for them!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Overdue for an update

Sorry I've been negligent in the blog-updating department. Not only have I had alot to worry about, I've just had alot going on! It's been crazy here! Where do I start?

One week ago today, poor little Emma woke up with a temperature of 103. I kept her home from school that day and thought little of it. We just kind of hung around on Saturday and then on Sunday she was fine. We went to church and also had a fun afternoon at Papa's Pumpkin Patch in 80 degree weather!! Monday morning after waking the kids up, Gage comes upstairs crying and telling me his eyes hurt. I thought that was a little weird, and when I leaned my head against the side of his, I noticed he felt warm. Not good! He was scheduled to get his tonsils out the next day and I knew that if he had a temperature, they would not do it. I had all kinds of crazy thoughts floating around in my head, like not telling anyone, etc. etc. However, my gut instinct was telling me I better do the right thing. I called up the Surgicenter to notify them of the low-grade temp, as it said to do in my instruction booklet. Of course they said I would have to have him cleared by our family doctor in order for him to continue with the surgery. I kept him home from school and spent the morning on the phone trying to get an appointment with our pediatrician. I finally got in touch with someone and got an appointment for 10:40. After sitting in the waiting room for literally an hour, we finally made it in to see the doctor. Because there were tons of kids sick with the H1N1 (swine) flu, they sent Gage to the lab to be tested for it. There had been 118 kids sick from Northridge school the past couple of days, and there were 3 other families we knew from Northridge that came into the doctor's office while we were waiting. Later that afternoon, they called us to tell us that he tested positive for influenza A, which they said most likely is the H1N1 (swine) flu. UGH! Needless to say, his tonsillectomy was cancelled. I was sad about that because he would have missed less school if we could have done it this week since we have a 4-day weekend because of Teacher Convention. Oh well. Everything happens for a reason, right? I think I was actually a little bit relieved, because I was scheduled for an outpatient procedure just 2 days later.

When I went in to consult with the surgeon a week and a half ago, he gave me a couple of options on what we could do. The first option was to do a core needle biopsy. The second was a wire-guided excisional biopsy. Even though the latter is a bit more invasive, we chose that direction because it gives more definitive results. I had the procedure done yesterday and will have to wait until Tuesday for any results. The first part of this excisional biopsy was performed in the radiology department where they used mammography to locate the site of the nodule so they could insert a wire through a needle into the area so the doctor could open up the breast and excise the tissue around the end of the wire. As gruesome as it all sounds, it wasn't all that bad. I have very little, to almost no, post-op incisional pain. It was a very weird feeling as I was lying on the operating table looking around at all of the lights and equipment and the next thing I know, I hear the doctor talking as he is finishing up the procedure. I immediately started asking questions, like "What did you find?" etc, etc. Even though I can't really remember what he said, I do remember them showing me the tissue they excised that was in a little ziploc bag. Apparently he told Scott that he didn't think it looked bad, but that we would have to wait until Tuesday for the results. We've been waiting for 3 1/2 weeks, so what's another 5 days?

Scott has been VERY busy lately with work and guiding DU donors on hunts. It has been very difficult for me not having him here. He later claimed that his way of dealing with all of this was by staying busy to keep his mind off things. Unfortunately that wasn't what I was needing, but hopefully all of this will be in the past come Tuesday when we get final results. I have quite a few doctor's appointments coming up this next week. I am to see the Bone and Joint doctor for my shoulder, I am to see my doctor to talk about the Holter monitor study and then return for a follow-up with the surgeon on Friday to make sure the incision is looking okay. I am sure going to hate it when all of these medical bills start making their way to our mailbox! I'm hoping to get all of this overwith and get on with life. It's been a little hard to focus lately, as you can imagine!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Waiting

I think waiting is about one of the worst things in the world. I can't stand waiting. I've never been known for my "patience". Sometimes I can hide it better than others; however.

In my last post I mentioned all of the tests I have had to undergo recently. I have finally gotten some results back from a few of them. The MRI of my left shoulder showed I have a torn labrum and 2 labral cysts (that's not to be confused with labia or labial) which is part of the rotator cuff. I have no idea when I injured it and I have to go in to see the Bone and Joint doctor on Thursday to see what to do about it.

I was told when I turned in my Holter monitor that it could be 10 days before I get those results.

I also had the special view mammogram and ultrasound last Thursday. When I was in with the mammogram tech I asked her when I would get the results and she told me the office would probably call me the next day with them. When I told her they didn't call me with the first set of results, she suggested that I call them the next day. The ultrasound tech gave me absolutely no information at all. I know they can't, but she could at least TALK to ease the nerves a little! Maybe ask me how my day was or SOMETHING? At this point I am a little frustrated and thought I would attempt to get any information she would give me (which was nothing). I asked her a few questions like, "Have you found it yet?" "How will the doctor know by looking at that black area what this is?" "What do you think it is?" "If this turns out to be something, what will be the next step?" And of course, as I said, I got no answers. Well, I did get one answer and what was, "I can't tell you that, you'll have to get that information from your doctor." BLAH BLAH BLAH! When I got home and after talking to a friend, she suggested I call the office and demand results. Well, you know me. That isn't something I would normally do. However, the waiting is driving me absolutely crazy! I called the office and ended up getting the answering machine for the nurse. I was really upset when I learned by listening to the message that they would not be in the office on Friday, which meant if I didn't get answers then, I would have to wait the entire weekend. I left a message and I'm sure when they listened to it they probably were afraid to call me. It was a combination of mad and sad that I'm sure wasn't making them want to call me back anytime soon! After awhile, I decided to call back to see if there was even anyone in the office. When the nurse answered, and when I said, "This is Stacy Stephens" she says, "OH! Stacy! I have all of your results on Dawn's desk and she will be calling you shortly." THANK GOODNESS! It was probably within 10 minutes or so when the doctor (nurse practitioner) called me back. It wasn't the news I wanted to hear. The results of the mammogram and ultrasound suggested further evaluation yet. She said I would need to come in for an ultrasound guided aspiration (I think). It really is true, what you see in the movies, when someone gets that awful diagnosis, you truly don't hear much of what is said after that. She told me not to "freak out", that's easy for her to say, and she thought they were just being cautious since I have a family history of breast cancer with my sister. She told me she would talk to the surgeon and call me back Friday to let me know if they would be doing it in the office or in the OR. More waiting! She did get me called back on Friday and I had to be connected with the surgeon's office to schedule a consultation. More waiting! I talked to them and have my appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10:45. Yet more waiting! UGH! I'm not sure if I can take much more waiting. I just want to know, one way or the other, what this is! Needless to say, I have been quite full of emotions. The worst part is, I know that when I see them tomorrow, I am then going to have to do MORE WAITING for the appointment when they do the procedure. Then, more waiting, to get those results. Please pray with me that I get the results at that point, and don't have to wait for yet another test to determine what this is! Did I mention that I can't stand waiting?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Falling apart

I'm wondering if the body starts falling apart at 40? If so, I'm a few years ahead of schedule. UGH! I have been having a few "aches and pains" that I decided to let the nurse practitioner know about when I went for my annual exam. Now I am wishing I hadn't done that. I felt a bit like a hypochondriac as I wrote down a list of the things I wanted to mention at my appointment. Some of those things I "complained" about are my left shoulder that has been hurting for quite some time and has progressively gotten worse. I've thought that maybe it is a rotator cuff injury and thought maybe I shouldn't let it go any longer, in case it could get fixed before it gets worse. The other complaint I had was heart palpitations. I have had them in the past and it was assumed that they were due to caffeine intake or anxiety/stress, as it was back when I was working. I've had them off and on an infrequent basis, but it seems that lately they have increased to where I was starting to worry about why I was having so many. My nurse practitioner sent me to another doctor, in family medicine, since OB/Gyn is her specialty. I've never even really been to a general practitioner since we've been here because I haven't really had a need. I also had requested to have my cholesterol checked and a mammogram, since my last one was a couple of years ago.

Well, a week ago yesterday I went to an internal medicine doctor for the shoulder pain and heart palpitations. She ordered an MRI of my shoulder and a 48 hour Holter Monitor study for my palpitations. I did the MRI last week and haven't heard anything yet. I went in this morning to have the Holter monitor put on and am feeling pretty stupid having it attached since I haven't had any noticeable palpitations since Friday, and on that day, had about 5 or so. I'm also not thrilled that one of the leads is almost right in the middle of my neck, at the collarbone level and will be hard to hide. I'm sure I will have lots of people asking what it is and I'd prefer not to have to tell everyone about it. A turtleneck would cover it, but I don't care much for them.

I had my cholesterol checked at my original appointment and it came back perfect, so I was happy about that. I had my mammogram a few days after that appointment and was just notified, by letter, by the radiologist, that there were some findings that suggested further evaluation and they wanted me to call to schedule a special view mammogram and ultrasound of the area. I still have not had a call from the nurse practitioner regarding such, and am wondering if she is just being negligent in contacting me, or if it is really nothing to worry about? Well, needless to say, I am worrying about it. My appointment for those 2 tests is on Thursday afternoon and I guess I will have to suffer with worry for a couple of more days.

I think I am just starting to fall apart and I just don't like it, not one single bit! I'm praying all of this turns out to be nothing! I am hoping that you will pray for the same.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stephens' Happenings

The thing I like least about this time of year is all of the fundraisers that are going on! We just finished a school PTO fundraiser and tomorrow starts the Cub Scout popcorn fundraiser then the Girl Scouts start their magazines/nuts and chocolate sales on Friday. UGH! And, not to mention Emma's gymnastics does a fundraiser too! I usually don't participate in that one though. When, and if, Emma decides gymnastics is her thing, then we'll take part in their fundraisers. We just have too many of them going on and, have I ever mentioned, I HATE selling things. We do give the Cub Scout and Girl Scout fundraisers our full attention; however.

I seem to have caught a cold. Gage and Emma have been having a stuffed up nose and some sniffles and now I seem to have caught it. I'm hoping it is short-lived. My nose looks like rudolph's right now with all the blowing I've been doing.

We have a birthday coming up pretty soon! I am so excited with Gage's choice about birthday activities. The past 2 years we've have about 10-14 boys come home from school with us to celebrate his big day, but this year he decided that he wanted to go to Legoland in Minneapolis! I'm sure it will end up being more expensive, alot more expensive, but definitely MORE fun and memorable. I will admit that I'm feeling a little guilty about not making a cake. I guess I will end up doing that at a later date. We can't have a birthday without cake! And, I figure if I make a Lego block for a cake, that can't be too awfully difficult, can it? I've been trying to search the web for information about The Mall of America. We've never been, and I must admit that I'm just about as excited as Gage and Emma are! They will be getting to miss an afternoon of school, so I know they are excited about that. We did tell Gage that he could invite a friend to go with us, to help him celebrate his special day, so he chose to take his buddy TJ. I'm sure they'll be wondering what's going on when I sign 3 of them out of school for an afternoon! LOL!

We are finally having some nice and cool fall weather! Our summer temperatures came late this year. If we could only be spared the wind, it would be perfect, in my opinion!

Last night we attended Gage's Taekwondo testing. He is now an orange belt and very proud of it! We were very proud of him and the smile/smirk he had on his face when he was returning to his spot after receiving his orange belt was priceless. I took several pictures that I plan to get posted on Facebook sometime. I'm so excited that he has found something that he really enjoys. Or at least for the time being, anyway. In a year or so I will probably be hearing it from Emma, that she wants to join too. And how will I be able to argue her learning self-defense? Unfortunately they don't provide a second child discount. However, they will provide a discount to the third family member enrolled. But at $89/month/kid, who could even afford the discount on the 3rd?

That's all I have for now! Be sure to let me know if any of you would like to buy some popcorn or nuts or renew any magazines! :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Today is the season opener for hunting widows.

As you can see, I have not yet established a blogging routine. Sorry!! I'll surely figure it out sometime soon?

Today is the season opener for hunting widows. Not too excited about that, but what can I do? Scott left last night for a week long hunting trip to Canada. I really don't think I would be quite as resentful about it, as I am, if I had been consulted about it before the trip was set in stone. I seem to be the last one to know about anything that is going on in Scott's life these days. So, if any of you have any insight, feel free to share! I suppose I can stay up-to-date as well as any of you by following him on Facebook.

Today was the first morning of the new Sunday School year. The kids were excited about starting back up. Emma was especially excited to start the rotation in the kitchen. They made chocolate chip pancakes and brought home a big ziploc full of the mix to make at home. She has been interested in making breakfast the past few mornings. This morning she made breakfast for all 3 of us and decided that was ALOT of work! :-)

As we were sitting in church I happened to notice both Gage and Emma had dirty fingernails. YUCK! For some reason, dirty fingernails have become something I despise. I suppose because I feel it is a reflection on me. I will admit that neither one of them had a bath last night, only because it was late when we got home and Scott was in a big hurry to get left for his big week of hunting FUN. When Emma asked me if she could go to the bathroom during church, I told her to be sure and wash her hands well AND her fingernails. I wonder how many people actually notice kids with dirty fingernails? I don't know that I've really ever noticed other kids' fingernails, but that might be because they aren't dirty? It just makes me cringe thinking of them. I'm sure the kids are hoping this isn't my new obsession.

We had a busy week and have another busy week coming up. Mondays are very hectic for us, which is all my fault. I thought I would rather have 1 or 2 busier days than having something going on every night of the week. And, I think I would rather have it that way, at least until Monday rolls around again. :-) It's not quite as bad as a co-parent, but I'm sure tomorrow as a single parent, it won't be as easy to manage. Sometimes though, things go smoother as a single parent, because I just know I have to do it myself and I am on a mission to get it done, rather than assuming I might have help, then not receive as much as I had anticipated.

I have been working at the school quite a bit these past few weeks. I have enjoyed it up until a couple of days ago when I was given the task of finding my own sub when I told them I wouldn't be able to sub (there's the keyword in this story) on Monday because I am going on Emma's class field trip to Papa's Pumpkin Patch. I wasn't aware, that as a sub, it was my job to find a sub. After stewing about it all day on Friday, I decided to send an email to the PIC (person in charge) and let her know how I felt about the situation. Apparently I did a fairly good job at getting my words out, as I received a voice mail within 10 minutes of hitting send, with an apology for being so "presumptuous". I am still going to try and find my own sub for tomorrow, since I said I would. However, I am not liking it. That was one of the reasons I didn't take the job when it was offered to me before school started, because I didn't want to have to worry about that stuff when the kids have activities going on at school that I want to be a part of. I am not very good at asking other people to do things for me. While I'm thinking about that, I should probably get to work on it!! However, I only have names and numbers for 2 different people, so if I strike out, I guess I will turn the job back over to the PIC, who should be the one doing it in the first place.

I am being summoned upstairs for a big game of Star Wars Monopoly. I should be going for now and may the force be with you! :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September is here!

I knew it had been awhile since my last post, but I didn't realize that it was way back in August! I just need to get into a routine and then STICK TO IT!

We have been quite busy here with all of our fall activities starting up. Gage is in Tae Kwon Do on Mon and Thurs evenings and is also in Cub Scouts again this year. Emma is in gymnastics on Mondays and dance on Wednesdays and also in Girl Scouts. I am playing volleyball on Monday nights in an adult women's park and rec team that starts up next Monday. Let me just say that we are going to be BUSY on Mondays! I guess I'd rather have it that way than have something going on every night of the week.

We had a good Labor Day weekend. We spent Friday and Saturday night in Tuttle and came back on Sunday so the kids could do a double sleepover at some friends' house. It was very strange not having either one of them around Sunday evening. We decided to go to the movie and saw The Time Traveler's Wife. It was a good movie and it is SO MUCH CHEAPER going with just 2 of us, versus all 4 of us! We came home and then watched another movie I had from Netflix.

Monday was spent trying to get things organized in the basement and garage. I have everything moved up to the garage and we are going to try and have a garage sale sometime soon. We decided that we would put all of the money we make in our Disney World savings jar. It has been a lot of fun having the jar, knowing what the money that goes into it is going to be used for. The kids have been willingly putting money into the jar and shockingly, so has Scott! I hardly ever have cash on me, and now I never will because I will just stick it into the jug. I have no idea how much we have stuck in it already, but I know it has to be nearing $300!! We're on our way. The kids are totally excited about it and I think this is what we are going to do for any big thing we decide we want to do. It will give all of us a sense of pride knowing that each one of us contributed to this to make it happen. Now, whether it will take one or two years to get the money saved, I don't know. At the rate we're going right now, I'd guess 1, but we'll see it the excitement fizzles out.

Gage woke up yesterday morning with a sore throat. He didn't have any other symptoms and his tonsils weren't really very red, so I thought maybe he just slept with his mouth open and dried his tonsils out and made them sore. He wanted to go to school so he could see the President give his address to the kids, but come 10a, I had a call from his teacher telling me he wasn't feeling well and that his stomach was bothering him. I went to pick him up at the school and I could tell he wasn't feeling well. He came home and put on his pj's and laid down on the couch all afternoon. He threw up several times, so I know his stomach was really bothering him. He seemed to feel better around supper time and this morning said he was feeling great, so I sent him to school. I haven't had any calls yet, so I'm assuming he's doing fine. Must have been a 24 hour bug or something? I'm praying that none of us contract the swine flu that is going around. Gage is scheduled to see the ENT doctor next week to schedule a time to get his tonsils out. I'm hoping we can do that the 22nd or so of October during the 4 day weekend of Teacher's Conventions here in ND. That way he won't miss as much school. We'll have to wait until after his birthday for sure, which is sneaking right up on us! This year Gage has opted out of having a birthday party and instead wants to go to Minneapolis to the Mall of America and go to Lego Land. I have no idea what that will be like as I have never been there before. I'm sure it will be hard to do that over just the weekend, but we'll give it a try. He gets to invite one friend to go along with us. I guess I'll have to make his birthday cake before we go. Maybe he'll just want a big lego block cake this year? That shouldn't be too hard to make!? Or should it?

This past weekend we banded ducks near Tuttle and had a fun time. I posted tons of pictures on Facebook as you have probably already seen. We had some really good ones turn out. If you haven't checked them out yet, you'll have to do that.

We have our first Daisy Scout meeting scheduled for tomorrow after school. I'm hoping for a great Scouting year with both the Cub Scouts and Daisies. It's going to be a busy one, I do know that!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Up!

We had a good, productive weekend! We got the living room straightened up and the fireplace insert removed from the house. I've been wanting that done for a few years because we don't use it and it just becomes a flat surface that collects junk! It was quite HEAVY, but after Scott got a dolly from work, it made the job much easier! That was our Saturday project, then Sunday we worked on the kitchen. It is always so easy to pile papers and junk on the end of the counter, but not quite as easy to get them all cleaned off when I decide it's driving me nuts!

I have been on a mission, looking for a big, clear, glass jug to use as a piggy bank. If you remember, while Seth was here, we went to the movie Up! It's the newest Disney Pixar movie and I LOVED it. I really like it when I watch a movie and I can see a message. I don't always know what the point of a movie was, but I got the message in Up! loud and clear! Basically it was about these young kids who had big dreams. They grew up, got married and had more dreams. They wanted to go to a big waterfall, I'm not sure of the name of it now, in some other country and they started saving their money in a clear, glass jar. They would get a good amount saved, then something would happen, like a flat tire on the car, and then they would have to break the jar open and use their savings to fix it. They had to break the jug open about 3 different times. Then, later in the movie, the woman dies before they ever get a chance to go on that big trip. The man ended up going later, so there was a happy ending, but it just struck me for some reason. I have wanted to go to Disney World for a very long time and now the kids talk about going there too. I seem to hear, "Mom, when are we going to have enough money that we can take a vacation to Disney World?" I tell them that when they decided to stop eating and wanting things, I might be able to save enough money. :-) Anyway, I decided that if we don't start saving now, we will never get to go. I want to make sure I go before I die. So now, I am on the hunt for a big, clear, glass jug. I have looked at several different stores and found 2 I like, but if I were to buy either of them, I wouldn't have any money to put in the jug afterwards. I also thought this might be a good way for the kids to help out by putting money in the jug as well. I think that would give them a sense of ownership and knowing that they contributed to help us go on this trip. I told Scott I was going to put all of my money I make at the school and the money I make by picking a friend's son up from school and watching him until she gets off work, into this jug. It may take me a couple of years to get enough saved, but I am DETERMINED to do it! When I get my mind set on something, I'm going to do everything in my power to make it happen. Now if I can just find the darn jug! :-)

The kids are loving school! I have been working in the cafeteria at Corpus Christi until they find someone permanently. They asked me to do it, but I was scared to commit to it. I could end up subbing every day, but just knowing I don't HAVE to, makes a world of difference in my eyes. I worked both days last week and will work all this week as well. It's only for 1 1/2 hours, so it's not a lot of money, but it adds up over time (if you don't spend it!).

Monday, August 24, 2009

ATA Martial Arts

Gage has mentioned to me a few times lately that he would like to do karate. I know nothing about karate, unless you're talking about "wax on", "wax off", like in the movie, The Karate Kid. :-) Today we were out running a few errands and I was going to be driving by the ATA Martial Arts place, so I pulled in. There is another business in this little strip mall called "Dead Rockstar" and I think the kids thought I was pulling in the parking lot to go there and get a tattoo. LOL! I parked in front of the ATA Martial Arts place and Gage got all excited. There was a closed sign in the window though, so I figured we were S.O.L. Well, the guy who owns and runs the place was in there, in the dark, working on paperwork. The doors were unlocked, so we walked in. I told him I was just wanting to get some information about the classes, etc. He was so nice and gave us a tour and explained some of the things to me that we would need to know. He also said that Gage was welcome to join in on a class to see if it would be something he would want to do. Gage was SO EXCITED because tonight just happened to be the night of the class he could attend. He talked about it all afternoon and could not wait until time to go. The class ran from 7:15p-8:15p. We went. Gage LOVED it! He was SO SERIOUS about it and he was trying so hard. I've never seen him like this about anything. He did pretty good too, for not knowing anything about it. One of his buddies from school happens to be in the same class, which I didn't know, so that's a bonus for him. After the class he was so excited and asking (begging) us to sign him up. I really like what they stand for. Discipline, self-respect, confidence, etc etc. The part I don't like about it is that it is $89/month! OUCH! However, I want Gage to be involved in some sort of activity and he didn't want to do soccer this fall. SO, we bit the bullet and signed him up. He was SO EXCITED! He got his uniform and his white belt. They also have a "V-patch" that they wear on their uniform and they can earn stars to put on it. The way they earn stars is by doing things at home like chores, homework, hygiene, etc. Once they earn 25 stars, they can earn the next V-patch. You can bet your sweet bottom that I will be using this to MY advantage! :-) I've already told Gage that the first time he fights me to go, he's done. If he doesn't do his homework without complaining, he's done! (That right there is worth the $89/mo in my opinion!) After we got home he was very excited and practicing some of the things he learned tonight. He was even doing pushups. LOL! The crazy part, is that every time I ask him something, he replies, "Yes, Ma'am!" I love this sport! They have to say "Yes, Sir!" or "Yes, Ma'am!" when they are there, so I told him he should get in the practice by doing it at home. I really am so excited that he's so excited about this! Not to mention that it's great exercise and will increase his balance, coordination, strength, etc. etc. If this level of excitement lasts, I believe he will be benefitting from this in no time. I'll keep you posted! :-)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

7 years of bad luck!

We only have one more full day with Seth at our house. The kids are going to miss him terribly when he is gone! We have had a good time with him here. Seth and I did have one little spat, but it didn't last long. We let him know that we loved him for who he was and that it wasn't necessary to tell something that wasn't true to make himself look cool, because we thought he was pretty cool just being Seth. Gage said, "Yeah, Seth, we think you're pretty cool just like you are!" :-) They have been playing so nicely together and have spent quite a bit of time playing outside on the skateboards or in the playhouse, or on the bicycles. I hope that he feels like he's had a good time as well.

Today we spent quite a bit of time at the zoo and then a little bit at the superslide. We did have some rain while we were at the zoo, but it didn't last too long. I posted tons of pictures on Facebook for you all to check out.

Tonight while I was getting all the kids to take showers, it seemed to be taking Emma a LONG time in the shower. Finally, I knocked on the door and asked her if she was done. She said, "Mom, I need some help" and then opened the door, a little reluctantly. She said, "I'm sorry, but I accidentally broke the hand mirror while I was in the shower." The broken mirror was sitting on the toilet with shards of glass all over it and the shower floor. After making sure she wasn't bleeding anywhere, I asked her why she had the mirror in there anyway? It was already cracked before she took it in the shower with her. She said she was using it to see if she got all of the soap out of her hair. Well, I guess that was a legitimate reason for having the mirror in the shower, in a 6-year-old brain, so I couldn't really get mad at her. While I was trying to get the glass picked up out of the shower, I told her, "You know what they say, don't you Emma?" She replies, "No?" So I told her that it's often said that if you break a mirror, you will have 7 years of back luck. She looked at me and said, "Well, I guess that's better than going to jail for 7 years!" Yes, Emma, I think you are right about that! Her glass is obviously half full. :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ducks Unlimited's 2nd Annual Youth Waterfowl Hunting Clinic

Today was a big day for Scott. He has been working hard at getting this Youth Waterfowl Hunting Clinic organized and I'm pretty sure he's glad it's over! Well, I guess day 2 is tomorrow, but that is at the shooting range, so hopefully it won't be quite as crazy.

The kids had a good time at the event. Everyone wins a prize of some sort on top of getting a free t-shirt, baseball cap and skull cap. Then the prizes ranged from DU hand muffs, DU camo shoulder bags to decoys to the grand prize, a youth finisher hunting blind. Gage and Emma both won a bag of decoys. WOO HOO! Just what we needed! NOT! There were a couple of big decoy prizes that all the names got put back into the hat for those 2 prizes and the Finisher Blind. The first name Scott pulls out for the HUGE bag of decoys was Emma. He talked Emma into not taking the prize and letting someone else win. Thankfully Emma was okay with that. So, the next name he pulls out is Gage's! Seriously! What are the chances of that happening? So Scott did the same thing, asking Gage if he could give the prize up to someone else. Well, Gage wasn't as thrilled with that idea as Emma was. I didn't get a picture of him with his prize of decoys because he was pouting underneath the table. I did post tons of pictures on Facebook, so check them out there if you wish.

Seth's 1st week of being in North Dakota is officially over. One more to go. I think he is enjoying his time. Today we went to Barry's Bike Shop to see if we could get the brakes fixed on his bike. He has been saying they haven't been working and wanted to get them fixed. Unfortunately it can't be fixed cheaply, so we're going to have to send that one back home to Iowa. :-) They tried roughing the rims up with sand paper to allow the brakes something to grab onto, but it didn't work too much. They said he was either going to have to change the brake pads to softer ones, which will wear out much faster than the regular ones, or another fix is to get new rims. So, there you go Jari Jo, you are equipped with the information you need when Seth gets home and starts asking you if he can get the brakes fixed on his bike. :-)

Scott leaves town on Monday and will be gone for the week. I intentionally left some of the "things to do" for us to do next week, to hopefully break up the long week with Scott gone. However, he was quite busy all this week trying to get everything ready and organized for the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Clinic this weekend, so it probably won't be too different. Except that I'm quite sure I won't be as lucky next week in the supper department. It just worked out all week that I haven't had to fix supper! Sunday we ate on the run because of Church League Volleyball, Monday-Wednesday we ate at Family Bible School, Thursday we ate at the Flicek's since they had invited us over a few weeks ago for a BBQ. Then last night we went to an open house for a friend who's son is leaving on Tuesday for Taiwan to be a foreign exchange student. Oh, and tonight Scott wants to eat at Texas Roadhouse for his birthday supper! I hate cooking, so this week was a treat for me! Next week will not be so much of a treat, I'm quite sure! Oh well, all good things must come to an end, right?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh my!

Oh my! I didn't realize it had been so long since I last blogged! Sorry!

Let's see..........where do I begin?

I suppose I'll start at this past Saturday. We got up bright and early to travel to Brookings, SD to meet my sister, Jari, and her family so that we could bring my nephew, Seth, back to North Dakota with us to spend a couple of weeks. He has never been here before, so he was pretty excited about it, and so were we! We've had my niece Katie, when Emma was just a baby, and then last year my nephews, Dustin and Colton, spent 2 weeks with us. We sure do (and have) enjoy(ed) our time with them.

After we picked Seth up, we headed back north. We stopped in Tuttle to spend the night there and then headed home on Sunday afternoon. I posted some pictures of Seth's adventures on Facebook, so you can check them out there if you wish. He went out for a short spin in my kayak. It took a little coaxing, as he said he is afraid of the water and can't swim. We assured him he would be fine with the life vest on and he was careful not to get too far from shore. After he was back on land, he said it wasn't too bad. :-) When we got back here Sunday afternoon, it wasn't long before we headed to the park to end our season of church volleyball with a tournament. I think we got home around 9:00p, so it was a long day.

We haven't done too much else as of yet. The boys have been outside playing on their skateboards. Seth is teaching Gage how to do a few tricks on the old skateboard that he brought for Gage to keep. (Gage was pretty excited about that!) They've also been out riding bikes and trying to figure out how to do bunny hops. I will be surprised if we don't have to make our first trip to the emergency room in the next couple of weeks!

Our church's Family VBS started this week. We went last night, tonight and tomorrow is the last night. I was thrilled to death when I realized that I wouldn't have to make supper but a couple of times for the entire week! WOO HOO! It's like a vacation for me! Monday night we made clay bowls that are going to turn out so nice once they have spent some time in the kiln. Tonight we beaded some jewelry and tomorrow night we will go out to some church members' house and have a hot dog roast with s'mores. It should be a great time. I like that it was for families this year. Seth has enjoyed his time. He doesn't seem to be shy at all and just talks to anyone who will listen. :-) He kind of just fits right in. He did mention tonight that he misses his Mom, so give us a call tomorrow Jari Jo! :-)

We have had some warmer temperatures this week. I could reach 100 degrees tomorrow, which I am NOT looking forward to. I have been loving these mild temps we've been having. It might be a great day for Raging Rivers, although Seth has mentioned he's not fond of swimming. (I guess that makes sense since he said he can't swim!) However, there isn't a whole lot of swimming that goes on at Raging Rivers. It's pretty much riding an inner tube around the "lazy river" and then there are some water slides that you ride down in tubes and a couple of bigger water slides that you go down without tubes..............you might find yourself without your bathing suit when you reach the bottom if you aren't careful! That reminds me of Restibutia, who is an Eddie Murphy character in a movie that I can't remember the name of. If you've seen it, you know exactly what I'm talking about!!!!!!!

I'll try to be better on the blog updates. :-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

S.W.A.P.S.

S.W.A.P.S. stands for "Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere". The Girl Scouts promote the girls to make little craft things with a pin on it to trade with other girls, to promote friendship. It's a neat idea and it's fun to see the other S.W.A.P.S. that Emma brings home. On Monday morning we made a quick run to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few items to make our S.W.A.P.S. and got right on it after we ate lunch. I even came up with an idea of my own to use instead of stealing someone else's off the internet! Emma really liked them and it was easy enough for her to help by sorting and bending pipe cleaners. These required the use of the hot glue gun, so I certainly had to help with that. After making just a few, Emma was losing interest. I figured that would happen, but the problem was we needed 60 of them! (At the time I thought we only needed 48, but after I read the paperwork that was emailed to me, I saw that there were 12 more, PA's and Camp Directors, that needed to be made.) UGH! Thank goodness for us, our dear friend, Elise, stopped by to drop off a DVD we had loaned them. After showing her my battle wound with the hot glue gun, she volunteered to stay and help us because she didn't really have anything else to do. Needless to say, I was THRILLED to death! I didn't realize how long this project was going to take! Elise stayed and helped for 2-3 hours (I lost track of time) and we still weren't done! I finally finished them up just before supper and that is when I discovered we needed 12 more to total 60 S.W.A.P.S. I thought to myself, "That's tough shit! I had no desire to make even one more!" Well, my other side won the internal argument and I ended up making 12 more. Yesterday after camp I was excited to see Emma's S.W.A.P.S., only to find out they didn't do it that day. I had a whole extra day to work on them! UGH! Oh well, I was glad to have them done. Anyway, today was the big S.W.A.P. day. When we looked in Emma's bag, I found the ziploc with LOTS of the ones we made still in it! I asked her if they didn't do it and she said they had. When we got home I counted out 41 of those stupid things in her bag that she didn't trade with anyone. AARRRGGGHHHH!!!!! What a waste of time! I asked her why she didn't give them all out and she said she didn't have time. WHAT?!?! Don't ask everyone to make SIXTY of these things and then not give them time to trade them! I told Emma it looked like we wouldn't have to make anymore for quite some time. She didn't really like that idea. What the heck else do we do with them? Elise, would you like to have some to trade with your friends? :-) I told Emma she better take that bag of them back with her tomorrow and hand them out to the girls who didn't get one. I might have something to say about this in the Girl Scout office the next time I visit. (I sound so mean, don't I?)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Prancing Ponies Day Camp

Emma had Day 1 of her Girl Scouts Prancing Ponies Day Camp. It was a LONG day for her. She got on the bus shortly after 8 this morning and she got back around 6:15 this evening! I could tell she was tired as soon as she got off the bus. However, she wasn't quite as tired as one of her friends who could hardly keep her eyes open! LOL! It was pretty cute. Another one of the little girls who is in our Troop came off the bus crying. I felt really bad for her. I asked Emma why she was crying and she said that she just wanted her Mom. :-( I hope it goes better for her tomorrow and Thursday, if she decides to go. Emma was pretty tired, but I still had troubles getting her to fall asleep. She just gets overly tired and has a hard time winding down I think? I believe 7am is going to come pretty quick for her tomorrow! She was excited that they got to ride some horses today, and got to go out in a canoe! The weather wasn't too terribly bad, even though it started out kind of chilly. We'll see how she does with Day 2 and 3!

We're excited that my nephew, Seth, is coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks before school starts! He has never been here before, so Gage and Emma are very excited that they will get to show him around the big city of Bismarck. :-)

I spent most of my day doing laundry and getting pictures ordered. I had an email from snapfish for free shipping. That's about the only time I order pictures because shipping is so darned expensive. I know this is almost embarrassing, but I ordered pictures from Feb-Jun and there were 787 pictures in my shopping cart. YIKES! I wonder how many years that will take me to get put into scrapbooks? Better yet, I wonder how many years it will be before I get to the dumb things? I need to stop taking THAT many pictures! I was so tired of how slow my computer was going and sorting through pictures that I didn't even bother with ordering July, since I knew there were probably 1,000 or more from the 4th of July alone! I need to get my crap together and get my scrapping table organized and get to work. I'm not even sure when was the last time I scrapped? That's just terrible!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another year older

Today I turned another year older. But, I feel a whole year younger! :-)

It was a great birthday! I have never had so many birthday wishes before in my life, thanks to Facebook! :-)

The day started out with breakfast in bed, served by Gage and Emma (All by themselves!). They made me toast with peanut butter and butter and a glass of iced tea (without the ice). I needed it too, to wash down the dry toast. How sweet of them to do that without any prompting from Scott, since he wasn't here.

We stopped by the Capital A'Fair again today. I am the proud owner of a new hammock swing! :-) I tried it out in the tree in the backyard and it was awesome! It's going to be a great spot for reading and it's compact enough that it can go back and forth with us to Tuttle.

We had volleyball tonight for church league. Unfortunately I didn't know we played a 5:30 game and a 7:30 game so we had to forfeit the 5:30 one. Next week is the end of the season tournament. I really enjoy playing and hate for it to end. However, it won't be long and the fall season will start up indoors.

We ended the evening with some Stamart ice cream! :-) I am excited about that place. They have CHEAP ice cream! :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Bad News Bears on Bikes

Yesterday after supper Scott suggested to the kids that we all go for a little bike ride. Gage had gone with a friend and his Dad about a week ago and they rode their bikes to Stamart on the corner of State St. and Divide and got ice cream, so he said that's where he wanted to go. He insisted that the way to get there was first going to his friend's house. :-) I told him that probably there were a few more routes that might be more direct, but if he wanted to, we could ride by T.J.'s house and see if he wanted to go with us to get ice cream. YEAH, he replies! We rode our bikes to T.J.'s house and then took the back way to Stamart. That's a pretty busy gas station, so I was a little concerned about that. We went in and got some soft serve ice cream, which was delicious, and MUCH cheaper than Dairy Queen. I'm sure we'll be going again sometime.

After we ate our ice cream we hopped back on our bikes to head to the Capitol to ride along their paths. Emma wasn't listening to me and nearly got ran over in the Stamart parking lot and then as we were headed down Divide Ave. to get to a place where we could get up onto the sidewalk, Emma decides to veer out close to the center of the right lane of traffic. As I'm yelling at her to "GET OVER", Scott finds a place for us to get up onto the sidewalk and we continue on our merry way. Those are some very hilly paths and are alot of fun to bike down on the Capitol grounds. You can get to going VERY fast down the big long sidewalks headed south towards Boulevard. We stopped at the end of the "mall" so the kids could check out the monument that is there and after they were climbing on it for a minute or so, Emma hopped off and started sprinting towards us with a look of horrror. I couldn't figure out what was wrong and after I asked her, she yelled, "There's a bee and it hurts!" She was crying like crazy saying her nose hurt. A wasp stung her right on the end of her poor little nose. A few seconds later, we could see the little welt and the red dot right in the center. I told Scott that we should probably go home because I didn't want to be far from there if she was to react to the sting. I am not sure if someone is allergic to bees, does that mean they are allergic to wasps as well? If anyone knows the answer, I'd like to know. She has been stung by a bee once before that I'm aware of, and I know that if she were going to react, this would be the time. So, we hopped back on our bikes to head for home. We followed a few of the trails through the trees and it just happened to be the same time that the sprinkler system starts up. Nice! I got soaked and so did Emma. Then Scott discovers that his tire is flat, despite the fact that he filled it up just before we left. As we're headed through the trees, and I'm following Gage, there was a branch that was sticking out over the path and Gage grabbed ahold of the branch while he rode through and then let go just as I was headed through. Thankfully I saw it coming before it had the chance to knock me right off my bike! When we made it to the corner to turn to our house, Scott headed home with his flat and the kids and I went the other way to take T.J. home. As we're headed up the sidewalk I hear this big crash and look back and Gage had wrecked his bike and was hopping up saying, "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay!" Thankfully he landed in the grass and didn't get hurt. I decided it was a good time to get T.J. home before he got hurt because he was next on the list for something bad to happen! I felt like we were the Bad News Bears on Bikes! Despite all of that, it WAS a nice little ride. The weather was perfect. I am enjoying this cool summer we are having!

Speaking of biking incidents, just as we were pulling into the YMCA parking lot this afternoon to pick Emma up from Day Camp, this guy comes barreling down the parking lot on his bicycle. I don't know if he started braking because he saw me drive into the parking lot, or if he just hit a slick patch of sand (it had just stopped raining) but he had a terrible crash. His bike went flying and he rolled 2 or 3 times before he came to a stop. He got up and I rolled my window down to see if he was okay. He looked stunned, like he had no idea what had just happened. He said he was okay and thanked me for asking him. OUCH! I know if that had been me, I would have been mortified just to know that someone saw me crash and would have cared less about any of my injuries at that moment. I think that it might have been a good thing he wiped out on the patch of sand because he was going fast enough that I think he might have crossed right in front of me or crashed into my car. Thank goodness that didn't happen.

Emma sure is enjoying her Day Camp. I was very worried it was going to be too much for her after just finishing up with Camp Edventure and with this being an all day camp. I was worried for nothing. She is LOVING it! When we went in to get her she was all wound up and excited and messing around with one of the Camp Directors. I told him, "Geez, I can sure tell that she's not having any fun at all!" He replied with another sarcastic comment and said, "Yeah, Emma cries when you leave her here and begs us all day to call her mommy because she wants to go home!" When we got in the car Emma says, "Mom, was he just kidding and using sarcastic?" :-) Yes Emma, we were using a little sarcasm there. I suppose I should stop worrying about next week's 3-Day Day Camp, Prancing Ponies, in Pick City. She'll be gone from 8a-6:30p, which includes the hour long bus ride to and from camp. I'm pretty sure she has the energy she needs to survive it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Telemarketer in the flesh

We had a good weekend in Tuttle. The kayak is awesome. The only way it could be better is if we had one for each of us, or at least 1 2-man and another single kayak. There was ALOT of fighting going on as to who got to use it first, who used it the longest and who had more turns. Gage was pretty good at it and Emma was too. However, Emma was obviously tired and had a few fits in it while we were trying to get a picture of her stuck in the weeds.

Oh, and unless I can find waterproof books, you can't kayak and read at the same time. :-) Thankfully I didn't test it out the first time out and ruin a book. There is alot of splashing going on and drips of water off the paddles.

Emma started her week at YMCA Day Camp. Nature in Pictures was the title of this camp. Of course there was no literature sent out about the camp and what they needed to bring. I packed the basics, like sunscreen, rain jacket and bug spray. When I got there to sign her up, I asked them if they would be providing lunch and he said that they needed to have their own lunch. CRAP! They also needed to have swimming suits. I told Emma to sit there in the lobby on the sofa with all the other kids so I could run home and get her a lunch and her swimsuit. Thankfully we only live a few blocks away from the YMCA and it didn't take me too long. They were going to be sharing cameras unless they had their own. I just didn't feel right leaving my digital camera with Emma, so I told her I would buy her a disposable one today that she could use the rest of the week. She seemed fine with that plan. I'll be more prepared tomorrow.

Gage and I had a guy show up at the door selling cleaning solutions. We had this happen last year or the year before when Scott was home and he bought the stuff. We still have some left, which is why I was hesitating to buy more. It's not always a good thing to have your kids standing around when you have a high-pressure salesman giving you their spiel. Gage mentioned cat pee and the guy jumped right on that. I told him that if he could get cat pee out, I would buy a bottle. We went to Gage's room first, which really, I have that spot fixed. You can't smell the cat pee at all and you really couldn't see a stained area. We went to Emma's room next and there was a spot in the middle of the floor from the other night. Emma had her blankets laid out on the floor and was going to campout on the floor and stupid Griz peed on her blankets. Of course it soaked through into the carpet and I was out of our miracle "STINK-FREE" solution that you put on it. I used the other powder stuff we have and let it sit overnight and then vacummed it up. I hadn't checked to see if it worked since then. I wasn't convinced that the orange based stuff he used was going to work. He sprayed it on and tried doing his magic. I don't think he got the entire spot. I got a number that I can call and told him I would have to talk to my husband. :-) He didn't really want to do that because he wouldn't get credit for the sale. I told him to tell me his name and I would ask for him and I finally got him to leave and believe it or not, I did not buy his stuff. After he left Gage says, "Mom, is that what you call a telemarketer in the flesh?" YES GAGE! THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THAT WAS!!! UGH! No more answering the door for the next week or two!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Haven't forgotten

No, I haven't forgotten. However, I must apologize for the hiatus. I have been addicted to these Jodi Picoult novels and can't seem to keep my nose out of them. I have read 4 of them in the past few weeks and had to get another one today for our weekend in Tuttle. I wonder if I can read while kayaking?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy "Early" Birthday to me!

This is one way for Scott to assure that I will go back on the words, "I swear I am NOT EVER coming back here", that I uttered the last time we were in Tuttle. I hear Lake Josephine calling my name. :-)


I had this on my birthday wish list last year, and because of the screaming deal Scheels had on this kayak, it finally came true!



I wonder if this will help tone up my flabby arms? :-) I'll probably get stranded in the middle of the lake because of cramping arms. No pain, no gain.............right?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy 13th Birthday Dustin!!

Last year at this time, we were doing this and this to celebrate his 12th birthday. We sure wish he was here again with us this year!! Happy 13th Birthday Dustin!! (Kysa - Good luck in the land of the teenage hormones!................YIKES!)

Yesterday we went straight to the movie theater after getting home from Camp Edventure to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. IT WAS SO GOOD! I think it might be one of my favorite Harry Potter movies yet? I read the book to Gage about 2 years ago now, so I figured I wouldn't remember anything about it and be lost, because I didn't take the time we needed to rewatch all of the previous movies to catch myself up. I actually did remember alot of the stuff, believe it or not! There was one scary part that made Gage, Emma and me jump out of our seats, but other than that, it wasn't that bad. I heard that the final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows, will be made into 2 movies so they can do it justice, and they will be released in 2010 and 2011, or 2011 and 2012. I can't remember which. We'll be ready, whichever it turns out to be!

Scott was waiting for us in the lobby of the movie theater to take Gage with him to the shooting range. He bought Gage some private lessons so he can learn how to properly shoot his gun. It was a pretty good deal that the guy gave to Scott. Usually he charges $60/hour, but he charged Scott $40 for the 2 hours that they were there. That was really nice of Mark to do that! I think it was actually a good idea too, because Gage is just not very receptive to learning things when it is Scott and I teaching them. He's been holding his gun really weird when he shoots it and I think Mark may have straightened him out. Or at least showed him the proper way to do it.

After they got home, we ate supper and then Gage went to his friend's (T.J.) house to spend the night in his attic fort. Since Gage went to do that, we took Emma to the Sleepy Hollow Summer Theater to see The Wizard of Oz. It was SO GOOD! It was LONG too! It started at 8:30 and I think we got home around 10:30. The weather was beautiful. After the sun went down behind the trees (right before the play started) it cooled off a bit, but we had taken jackets and blankets, so we were well prepared. During intermission Scott and Emma went to get a snack and Emma told Scott that she really wished Gage was there with us because she knew he would like it too. I was so glad to hear that. They fight so much all the time that you wouldn't know they even like each other, so it's nice to hear stuff like that every once in awhile. I wished that Gage was there too, because I also knew he would have liked it. The gal playing Dorothy did an AWESOME job! She actually sounded JUST like her and looked alot like her too. If they did Annie, I wouldn't even have to learn the lines, I already know them all. :-) Emma could get a perm and play the part, while I said her lines. LOL!

I'd say that with all of those activities yesterday, we're nearly broke! It costs SO MUCH money to do those things, and to do them all in one day hurts the pocketbook! I'd bet we were close to $100. Good thing we're staying home today! :-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Colton!

Last year at this time, we were doing this and this to celebrate Colton's birthday. We had a great time. Gage was sad this morning, knowing it is Coly's birthday today, remembering the fun we had last year. Happy Birthday Buddy!

Today, after Camp Ed, we are headed to the Grand Theater to see the new Harry Potter movie, The Half-Blood Prince. The kids are super excited about going. I am too, actually! We are going to the 12:30 matinee, and hopefully will save a few dollars. I'm also hoping that by going during the day, that the scary parts won't be so scary after we get back outside and it's daylight. I think Gage will be fine, it's Emma I'm worried about. She'll probably be fine too. I'm trying to decide if I should feed them a PB&J on the way to the theater for lunch, or be a totally lame Mom and let them have popcorn and candy for lunch. LOL!

Yesterday, we ended up only giving away our free blizzard punch card to the fifth family at DQ. We only had 5 that we knew show up during our shift, so I didn't have to buy the blizzards for the 10th group. I was really wanting to though. I know there were some friends that went to different DQ's, to support the Girl Scouts, and I'll bet that we would have been close to 10 if they had all come to the one we were at while we were working. I posted a bunch of cute pictures on Facebook if you want to check them out.

This afternoon Scott and Gage will be going to the Shooting Range as Scott has gotten Gage a couple hour lesson there with the guy that runs the place. I don't know if he's planning to take Gage out hunting and let him shoot, or if they are just working up to that point? Then, after supper Gage is going to a sleepover at his friend's house. T.J. said Gage would be his first guest in their newly renovated "attic fort". He's pretty excited about that. Emma wasn't. However, we are going to go to the Sleepy Hollow Summer Theater tonight at 8:30 and see the production of The Wizard of Oz. It should be pretty good, so looking forward to that. I wonder how chilly it's going to be, since it's an outdoor theater? I suppose coats and blankets wouldn't be a bad idea.

Not too much going on this weekend. It's supposed to be nice, weather-wise, so I'm hoping that holds true.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Funny Story

The other night at Emma's baseball game, I asked her why she wasn't running the bases as fast as she could. She said, "Well, Mom, it's because I don't have enough water!" I asked, "What does that have to do with it?" She told me that if she runs too fast, she'll get hot and she doesn't have enough water if she gets hot. Well, last night Emma had another baseball game. I told her that we were going to ensure that she would be able to run her fastest. We took 2 water bottles and 1 bottle of G2 gatorade. You wouldn't believe how fast she ran......................to the bathroom! LOL! Actually, it did make her run the bases faster because she had to prove herself right and me WRONG! Hey, whatever it takes. When she got to the spiffy bif, a man got there right in front of her and so she had to stand outside and wait. She was doing the potty dance like I have never seen her do before. I almost got up to run over there and help her because I wasn't sure if she would be able to get her pants down in time. Those dumb uniform pants are tight around the waist and even I have a hard time getting them buttoned. When she came out her shirt was untucked and I thought her pants were falling down, but it must have been a figment of my imagination, because she didn't even unbutton her pants OR unfasten her belt. There wasn't time. LOL! I did get her shirt tucked back in and then she was good to go. Hopefully I can remember to bring lots of water for her remaining baseball games. :-)

Today is Girl Scout Blizzard Day at Dairy Queen today from 3p-7p!!! Emma and I are scheduled to be at the DQ on Washington Street from 4-5:30. We will be standing along the street waving signs trying to get people to stop and buy blizzards. For every blizzard sold, the Girl Scouts get $0.50. The featured today, which is also the "Blizzard of the Month" is the Tag-a-long Blizzard. These are the yummy peanut butter pattie Girl Scout cookies mixed into DQ's famous blizzard treat. We should have fun. I made my status update on Facebook a challege to all the Bismarckians and said for the 5th family who shows up (that I know) I will give them a free blizzard punch card that I've filled up. My sister, Kysa, challenged me to "pay it forward" to see if that increases sales, so I thought that was a good idea. So, I am going to give my free blizzard punch card to the 5th family who shows up and for the 10th family, I will buy blizzards for the entire family!!! These have to be families that I know, of course. However, it doesn't have to be just my Facebook friends, it can be friends that were referred by them too. (I don't know how else I can get this advertised besides my FB page and my blog.) They will also be selling last year's featured blizzard on Girl Scout Day, which was the Thin Mint blizzard. We get $0.50 on EVERY blizzard sold though, not just ones with Girl Scout cookies, so if you aren't a fan, you can just buy your favorite blizzard treat. Also, to add to the fun, there are cookie costumes for the girls to wear. There are only 2 of them, so they will have to share. They are the Thin Mint cookie costume and the Tag-a-long (a.k.a. Peanut Butter Pattie) costumes. I'm not sure if I will be able to get Emma into one though. As tough as it was to just get her to wear Girl Scout attire this morning, I'm pretty sure I will be unsuccessful at pleading her to wear a costume if she doesn't want to. I can't wait to get pictures and I already have scrapbook ideas flowing through my head! :-) Hope to see you at DQ!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tournament

Gage had his second Lower Minors tournament game last night. It was a COLD and WINDY one! Geez! I wouldn't have been surprised to see the rain drizzle turn to snow. We had coats and blankets and were still cold!

You could definitely tell a difference last night, that this was a tournament game and that it could be their last of the season. Everyone was very excited and you could see the stress level increase as the game went on.

We started out batting since we were the "away" team and we had 3 up and 3 down. All 3 boys hit the ball and one hit an awesome shot into right field and the right fielder had the "catch of his lifetime". This was a tough team we were playing! They scored 3 runs through a few of the innings and then into the 4th inning, they had a less experienced pitcher on the mound so we batted and walked a few runs in to tie up the game. It was 3 to 3 at the top of the 5th, and final, inning. We didn't score any runs. The boys were nerved up and also very excited going into their last chance in the field to hold off the other team on scoring any runs. A couple got on and the whole left side of the field was dancing around, almost as if we had won the game. The coach kept telling them to settle down, but it was really hard for them to do for some reason? Not sure if it was the weather or what? Anyway, AMAZINGLY we held them off and they didn't score a single run. Tied. 3-3. Game over. Well, in this instance, they flip a coin to see who the winner is instead of going into extra innings. Our coach had the coin and asked who wanted to call the flip. Our team all raised their hands and they were deciding whether to call heads or tails. I was a mess. I knew if we lost, Gage was going to be a pain in the ass, because he was already pouting when they went out to field the last inning saying, "We're going to lose!" with a big pouty face on. (Takes after his Dad there!) Anyway, one boy said, "Tails never fails". The majority called heads. The coin was flipped. Heads it was! We won the game! The boys were jumping all around the place and hollering like crazy. I felt horrible for the other team. That's just a stinky way to lose the game. However, I was glad that I didn't have to deal with a pouting, poor sport at home! Now, because we won, we play again on Sunday at 6:30p. UGH! We have church volleyball at 6:30p on Sunday too. I thought we were free and clear of any schedule conflicts as far as our Sunday evening volleyball was concerned, but I was wrong. I would be surprised if the boys win the next game, so hopefully there won't be any more problems. However, if their excitement about winning the game has anything to do with the rest of the games they play, they'll certainly finish out in 5th place. They can't finish any better than 5th.

After we got home, we had hot chocolate. I don't think I've ever drank hot chocolate during the middle part of the month of July, EVER! If this is a sign of what our upcoming winter season has in store, we are in TROUBLE! We'll think last winter was nothing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"We have a little situation here!"

Emma has been saying some funny things lately. One of them being, "We have a little situation here!" LOL! Last night after she was in bed, I was in the downstairs bathroom and she hollers out, "Uh, Dad......we have a little situation here!" I hollered back, "What's your situation Emma?" She said that she thought Dad missed a page in the book they were reading at bedtime. Dad came upstairs to confirm with Emma that they didn't miss any pages. I don't know where she came up with this? I don't know if it's a statement that Junie B. Jones makes or what? Emma LOVES Junie B. Jones. In fact, that's about all she will let us read to her. I'm almost so sick and tired of the books (I think we've read each one of them (and there's over 25 in the series) at least 3 times. Scott does most of Emma's bedtime reading..........at least when he's home anyway. Most of the reason for that is because I am totally tired of reading those books. We read all of them to Gage and at least 3 times to Emma. I think they should be retired. I try buying her other books that I think she will like, but she won't even give them a chance. I did buy one at B&N the other day that I think she is letting Scott read to her now.

As far as summer reading goes, the kids have been slacking a little this summer in comparison to the past 2 summers. Part of that is because of Camp Edventure and the other part is because we have had so many activities going on that get over too late at night and there's no time for reading before bed, unless they stay up past 10pm. Gage has a ton of books that he hasn't read yet that I was hoping he could get through this summer. I don't think it's going to happen. He has picked up in the reading department here in the past couple of weeks, so I'm glad about that. He seems to be like me, if he has a good book, he'll read it until he finishes it. If he doesn't, he tends to find other things to do with his time.

I have been reading some of the Jodi Picoult books. "My Sister's Keeper" was the first one I read, and I just finished "Perfect Match". Both were VERY good books. I headed back to B&N yesterday to get another one. This one is called, "Plain Truth". I just started it last night and I'm sure it will soon have my full and undivided attention! We've definitely had some good, rainy, reading weather.

Tonight Gage has a baseball game. If his team loses, it will be his last game of the season. His practice yesterday was rained out so the team didn't get that one last practice in. I don't really think it will matter too much. We also have the Zoo Members' Annual Picnic this evening. I love going to it every year. Mostly because I love that I don't have to cook supper. They grill hamburgers and hotdogs and then you get chips, ice cream and a drink......all for free, because we are members. It is raining and doing some thundering this a.m., so hopefully it will clear up so it won't be cancelled. We've never had rain for it, as long as we've been going, so I don't know if they will do it rain or shine, or if they will postpone it. They also hire a DJ that plays music for the kids to dance to. The kids like doing the Chicken Dance and the Bunny Hop.

I saw advertised on television the other night that the Sleepy Hollow Summer Theater will be doing The Wizard of Oz, July 12-21. I think Emma would LOVE that. I think I would LOVE that! :-) Gage is spending the night with a friend Friday night, so I am hoping it doesn't rain so we can take Emma to it so she won't be so upset that Gage is going to a friends house for a sleepover and she isn't. A friend of ours has a daughter in a play with Dakota Stage, so maybe we can fit that into our schedule too? Emma usually enjoys those sorts of things, although we haven't done anything like that in awhile. I remember when she was just little, when we went to Sesame Street Live, and how mesmerized she was. I have pictures of it in her scrapbook. The Sesame Street Live is coming to town again in August and maybe we'll have to go to that. Those darned things cost so much money though. We'll see. It might fall on the same dates as Emma's Prancing Ponies Day Camp in Pick City for Girl Scouts though, so we may not even be able to go. I'll have to check on that.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Going fast

This summer sure is going fast. I'm hoping it slows down just a little before school starts. Baseball is nearing the end of the season. Gage played his first tournament game last night. They lost, but since it's a double elimination tournament, they will play again tomorrow night. They are supposed to practice tonight, but it has been raining all morning and it's supposed to continue throughout the day, so not sure if they will get that practice in or not. Emma had a T-ball game last night and she has just 3 more games left of the season. The T-ball group does not have a tournament since they don't even keep score.

We went to Tuttle Friday night to stay the night, then we came back home Saturday evening. It wasn't such a great time. Scott was not a whole lot of fun to be around. The entire weekend, actually. However, this is probably not the place to get into that, which is why I haven't posted in a few days. You know the saying, "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all"? Well, I decided to not say anything at all.

The kids are at Camp Edventure this morning. They sure are enjoying it this summer. I'm hoping it helps Emma out in the fall since she will be in the big Northridge building with the rest of the kids. I think she is going to adapt quite well. We were very fortunate to get the most requested teacher at Northridge for her 1st grade year, so we are thrilled about that. I need to get started with some school shopping. Emma's closet has dwindled down quite a bit. We were lucky last year and hit a great garage sale and she had TONS of pants. All of them are almost at capri length right now. Some of the jeans are okay to wear as capris, but when they have flared legs, it doesn't look so good. These kids are growing like weeds! Even Gage has outgrown all of his pants. We are lucky enough to get some hand-me-downs from my friend Amy for him though. I LOVE HAND-ME-DOWNS! Unfortunately we don't get many of those for Emma.

I have a couple of errands to run this morning. I need to get Brie's prescription refilled and see about getting an appointment to get the oil changed in my car. I also have a pesky check engine light that's on that I am praying doesn't end up costing a whole lot. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Back at it

We're already in full swing back at our usual pace of life. The kids went on an all day field trip yesterday to the ND Game & Fish Department for Camp Edventure. They went fishing and both Emma and Gage said they caught little ones. I'm sure they were fishing at the O.W.L. pond. Don't ask me what that stands for though. :-) I had a few errands to run so did a little bit of that. I spend less money when I stay home though, so that is what I will be doing today......or at least this morning anyway. We are going to the Elks pool with some friends this afternoon, so that should be fun. The kids are excited. Aside from swimming while we were in Iowa, this is the first time we've been to a pool here in Bismarck this summer. It just hasn't been that hot to want to go. In fact, it's 59 degrees right now, so unless it warms up, it's going to be a chilly one!

Yesterday evening Emma and I went to a Girl Scout event at the Superslide. For $3, they got a hot dog dinner and unlimited rides on all of the rides for 2 hours. There were so many people there though, that they didn't get to ride them as many times as usual. They had a great time though and all of the pictures I took are posted on Facebook, so go check them out. While we were standing in line for the water balloon fight at the Superslide, the ambulance, firetruck and 2 police cars pulled into the driveway by the shelter that's just outside the superslide gates. My nosey, rubber-necking self had to go see what was going. I guess a part of me still likes that high adrenaline field of emergency health care. Anyway, there was a younger gal, probably early teens, laying on the ground next to a car. I'm guessing she got hit by the car. They were putting her onto a backboard at the time I started snooping. What a scary accident! I'm sure the person who hit her was a mess, just as much as the girl was scared. It didn't look like there was any family around, so I don't know if she was part of the Girl Scout event at the Superslide, or just someone using the walking trails. I sure hope she is alright. I talked to Emma about the situation on our ride home, hoping that this might remind her to be extra careful when she's out in parking lots etc. If it can happen to a teenager, it can certainly happen to her too!

We had ballgames a few days this week. Gage starts tournament games on Sunday. Unfortunately his first game falls on the same date and time as the Scout Family Swim Night. I wish that didn't have to happen. Missing the swim night will make Gage ineligible for the Summertime Pack Award pin. He didn't get it last year for the same reason. Oh well. Can't win them all.

I can't believe how fast the summer is flying by! School will be in session before we know it. I want to try to get Gage scheduled for getting his tonsils out before the school year starts up and if I don't get on the stick, it's not going to get done. I think all I need to do is call our pediatrician and ask her to give us a referral to our ENT doctor. I would like to do it when nothing is going on, but there never seems to be a time when we have nothing going on. I don't want him to miss school. He's had 2 strep throat infections this past winter, so it's time they come out. Maybe I'll get that call in to the doctor today, since I'm thinking about it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A week of fun

We had a great week in Iowa last week. The kids LOVE it when we are there and are always so sad when we have to come back home. Gage was SO sad the night before we left. He had already started crying because he missed everyone. He was a mess Sunday morning when we said good-bye. We stopped in Brookings, SD to eat lunch and he started crying again when we sat down at our table. I asked him what was wrong and he said he missed everyone. I'm sure he was remembering last year when we had Dustin and Colton with us when we stopped at the same restaurant. Anyway, when the young lady brought our food to the table, she noticed that Gage was crying and she said, "Oh, what's wrong? Why are you so sad on such a glorious day?" He told her he missed his Grandma and Grandpa. I explained to her that we were just with our family for a week and he was sad to go home. I thought she was going to start crying and then I DID start crying too! Geez! We were a mess. He cried himself to sleep Sunday night and I think that maybe he might be doing better now. I'm so glad that they have so much fun when we are there. Gage is lucky and has 2 cousins just about the same age as him and they are constantly playing and having a great time. Emma isn't so lucky in that department. The next girl cousin in line to Emma is 13, then 16. However, Janey does a great job of keeping Emma entertained. This time while we were back, my brother-in-law's daughter and kids were there. Her oldest, EmmaRaye, is 7 and I thought that maybe she and Emma would play well together. I'm not sure what happened, but they had gotten into a little fight about floaties in the pool and my Emma just didn't want to have much to do with her the rest of the time. I felt terrible with how she was acting towards her and I tried to get her to stop, but she just wouldn't. After I had spent a little more time around them, I think that maybe a little bit of the problem was that the other Emma was telling some stories about things and my Emma does not like it when people don't tell the truth. She's been having some issues with one of her good friends here and storytelling and it really bothers her, so I'm wondering if that had something to do with it? They did start getting along and I saw them holding hands while they were walking around my sister's house one evening, so I was happy to see them doing that.

We got home about 6:30 Sunday evening.............just in time to get to Gage's ballgame. We were all beat. Poor Gage had to play catcher the last inning and he didn't catch one single ball. I think he was completely exhausted after chasing all those balls and all the squatting he had to do. A couple of times he nearly fell over when he was getting into his squatting position, so I know he was so tired.

Yesterday the kids started back at Camp Edventure. This session goes for 3 weeks, so not much longer. Gage wasn't very happy when he got home yesterday. He said that he didn't have Miss Moen anymore and he was sad about that. I am too, because I really liked her. He said they put him in with the 4th graders. I learned last night at Emma's ballgame that they have a lot less kids this session and they decreased the number of teachers, so had to rearrange some of the kids. I told Gage that maybe the reason he was put into the 4th graders room is because all of the other stuff was too easy for him. He still wasn't thrilled about it. He said he didn't have anyone to play with at recess. The one kid that he knows, he says is mean to him. Ugh! I suppose if it's going to get to where he doesn't like going, I'll just take both of them out of it. There's only a little bit left though, so we'll see what happens after today.

I got all of my pictures uploaded to Facebook yesterday. It took me all morning to do, but I got all of them labeled and tagged, so I don't plan to put them on here. It just takes too long.

Today we have a dark, dreary, rainy day. I'm kind of enjoying it. I am going to make myself a "to-do list" of things I want to get done before school starts back up. I'm sure it's going to be a big list.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I had been seeing advertisements for the movie My Sister's Keeper on television and I thought it really looked good. The movie was based on the novel by Jodi Picoult (or something close to that). I mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to see the movie and I had several comments telling me to read the book first. So, I did. Thursday I emailed Scott to see if he would pick the book up for me at Barnes and Noble on his way home from the airport. I was happy to see him walk in the house with a B&N sack. :-) I started reading it immediately. I finished the book this morning and I was a MESS! It was a really good book and a serious tear-jerker. I decided that I wanted to see the movie and got online to see if it was playing in Bismarck. It was and I had just missed the first show by 10 minutes when I logged onto the site. I decided I was going to go to the movie by myself and I made it to the 1:45p show this afternoon. The movie was really good, but I think it would have been better if I had seen the movie prior to reading the book. There were some differences in the two and I think seeing the movie first would have made it much better. Then reading the book would also be really good because it would be a totally different ending. If you haven't seen the movie, or read the book, I recommend seeing the movie first, despite everyone telling me to read the book first. Just my opinion. If you decide to do that, I want to hear what you think so we can compare notes to see which, in fact, was the correct order to do it. My eyes are still messed up from all the crying I've done today and I think I need to go to bed. G'night!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday

The kids did not have Camp Edventure today because of their all-day field trip last Friday, so it was nice to get the chance to sleep in this morning. However, I nearly freaked out when I woke up to Gage standing over my bed since he had spent the night with a friend last night! My plan was to be up before he and his friend came home this morning, but that didn't happen. I hopped right out of bed to discover that Emma was still sleeping too. I'm not sure if she's ever slept until 9:30am before! We were both exhausted after yesterday's adventure! (Well, I was anyway!)

I really did have a good time at Girl Scout Camp yesterday. I wasn't expecting to. It was going to be super hot and humid and I just hate being out in that kind of weather and I kept remembering how tired and spent I was after Gage's 3 afternoons of Cub Scout Day Camp. Doing one day is so much more tolerable than 3! In fact, the gal that I was unit leaders with had been there the 3 days and I could tell she was fried. She was moving in slow motion and just didn't have the energy to get the girls moving from one station to another. After supper, when it was time to clean-up, things just weren't happening. The Camp Director finally came down to our campsite to help us get things cleaned up and put away. I was doing what I could to get the girls to get their things rounded up and put into their bags and also trying to help get things put away, but it was all just happening in slow motion. The 2 PA's (program aides) that we had were quiet and timid and didn't really do much unless you told them to. They were as nice as they could be and did what they were asked without any problems, but they just didn't know what they were supposed to be doing. Seeing that, and experiencing it, makes me think that maybe it's a good thing to bring a fresh person in on the last day to help keep things moving. That is just ALOT of work to do 3 days in a row for 6 hours straight! Camping is a lot of work and cooking outdoors takes alot of planning and preparation. They had planned to have ham and cheese sandwiches, cheesy potatoes, ticks on a toilet seat and root beer floats for their supper last night. All of these things were pretty easy to do but they didn't necessarily think of how to do this the easiest way. They had the pie-irons (cast-iron sandwich makers that are used over a campfire) out to use and we only had 5 of them. When you're making 17 sandwiches, that isn't really a time-saving thing to do. After we had 5 of them on the grill, and after the other unit leader was denied her request for more pie-irons, I suggested we just wrap them in aluminum foil and put them over the campfire. It was like a light-bulb lit up in her head. LOL! That was much easier to do and MUCH easier to clean up. That scorched cheese is not the easiest thing to clean out of a pie-iron, especially when you have a limited supply of water. The ticks on a toilet seat were fun; however, not necessarily the best idea in 90+ degrees temperatures. To make ticks on a toilet seat, you must core an apple, then slice the apple into rings. You then spread peanut butter over the apple and top it with chocolate chips (ticks). They were very tasty, but quite a MESS to make. The peanut butter was melted, as were the chocolate chips. The girls had rubber spatulas that they were using to get the peanut butter out of the jar and trying to spread it onto the apple slices. They had peanut butter up to their elbows. Another thing that isn't much fun to clean up with a limited supply of water. The PA was putting the melted chocolate chips onto the apple slices with peanut butter and her hand was completely covered in chocolate after attempting to get them all out of the bag in their melted state. What a MESS! The girls ate very well; however. Thankfully the ice cream and root beer weren't brought out to the site until we were ready to make them. :-)

Emma did pretty well with me helping out yesterday. At first she was a little whiney and clingy because it was just so hot. After I showed her how to wet her bandana down and wrap it around her head, she seemed to tolerate the temperatures much better. She did try to get me to carry her bag around, which she wouldn't have done if I hadn't been there, so I did tell her that she was going to have to carry her own bag, as if I weren't there. She didn't necessarily like that, but she did do better after that. I was happy with the way the day played out. I was also ready at 8pm to go home. :-) I was quite impressed with the whole operation of the camp. Mandan Girl Scouts is ran by a different service unit, and I wonder if that's why things went so much better than the events we have attended here? It's something I will be paying more attention to in the future, for sure. I did post tons of pictures on facebook that I'm not going to take the time to do on here. It just takes so much time, and I can get them on Facebook 3 times faster.

Yesterday evening Gage had called me on the cell phone while I was at the Girl Scout Camp to tell me goodnight because he wasn't going to be home when I got there. He informed me that he was going to spend the night at his friend T.J.'s house. He was very excited about that. I think this was the first time he's spent the night away from home without having Scott, me or Emma with him. He attempted once quite awhile back with his friend Grant, but I ended up having to go get him around 11pm. He actually made it through the night without any problems. Well, as far as I know there weren't any problems. :-) He came home at 9:30 this morning and I think he was pretty proud that he had his first sleepover at a friend's house. T.J. stayed here with us this morning and then went back home after his Mom was done teaching at summer school. Last night Scott asked T.J.'s mom if he could go with them to Tuttle this evening to stay the night and he was thrilled to death to get to do that. So around 3:30 this afternoon Scott, Gage and Emma headed over to pick T.J. up and head over to Tuttle for the night. They had plans to meet a friend of Scott's and his 2 daughters for some adventures out on the prairie. Gage and T.J. have become pretty close friends this summer and we have enjoyed having him over. He's a great kid and I enjoy his family. His oldest sister will be a junior in high school in the fall and it has already been convenient to hire her as a "driving" babysitter. She took Gage to practice the other night when I went to Family Night at Girl Scout Camp and it worked out well. She is very active in hockey though, and I'm sure once hockey starts up, her babysitting time will be limited.

We went out to lunch today with our good friend, Jody Jennings, who is in town to perform a wedding for a friend of his. It was good visiting with him. Unfortunately Emily and the gang weren't able to come up with him. Maybe next time. We need to get to planning some type of vacation together in the future.

Scott and the kids left for Tuttle around 3:30 this afternoon. I decided to stay home and get some things done before we head to Iowa. I also didn't think it sounded like much fun staying somewhere where there was no air conditioner! It was a humid, hot day today. The kids and I were sweating and quite uncomfortable just walking a few blocks to China Garden for lunch. Anyway, I am home alone tonight and am anxious to get some more reading in on my new book "My Sister's Keeper" that Scott brought home for me yesterday. I've been seeing previews for this movie and want to see it, but everyone said it would be best to read the book first. Sometimes the movie sucks after reading the book and I don't want for that to happen, but I know the book is always better than the movie. I think I will end up enjoying both of them. I am enjoying the book already and will be through it in no time. Especially because I accidentally took a 2 hour nap after everyone left this afternoon......................I can't sleep at night after taking a nap, so I am quite sure I'll be awake all night reading. :-)