Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat!

The result of last night's sleepover.  Instant-crash!

Doing what brothers do best...

Friends trick-or-treating tonight... 
The Chairman and the Children carving...


Trick or treating.  It's a weird concept really.  You dress up in a costume - scary or otherwise.  From what I read, it's a kinda-bad Pagan holiday.  Our kids know it only for the costumes, the chilly breeze, and the great stash of goods that fills their pillowcases.  The highlight for about 3 1/2 seconds is the actual candy.  They each had a self-imposed limit of three pieces.  Then the real fun begins.  Sorting.  Trading.  And throwing the 'gross' stuff back into the big bowl that we use to hand out ours.  Almond Joys were the first to go.  And believe me, I passed them to some unsuspecting little kids right quickly.  To sum up an Almond Joy is to say 'yuck'.  But a Twix, a Peanut Butter Cup, or a big Tootsie Roll (yes I know I should type R for registered trademark)... yum.  Can't wait to be alone with the pumpkins on Monday when school resumes.  Say!  Maybe I'll eat some while doing my "Monday Musings!".  Maybe the muse will be more mesmerizing!  Or not.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday's Twits

Probably not as interesting as Monday Musings.  But I did one post yesterday.  And I didn't want the excitement factor to get too great out there to all of the masses that read this dribble.  Yet, since I have just under a few thousand readers (ha!), I was wondering why I didn't get an e-mail or something wondering if I was ok?!  Or not.

The past weekend was a busy one.  Another faithful soul called back to his Maker.  This one had answered the call not once, but twice and served in another land for many, many years.  He came back here and fit into what was planned for him in the last days and years and it was nice.  He was a part of our Sunday morning and we will miss him.  Our children will never sing #403 for the rest of their lives without it being 'Lloyd's hymn'.

We are right now experiencing a storm 'of the decade' they say.  Woke up to a terrific thunderstorm.  Now gale-force winds are blowing for 48 hours.  Lots of people have commented that they hope the leaves 'blow away' so they don't have to rake.  Where to they go?  Doesn't someone have to rake?  Or do they just 'blow away'?  Hm.      I'm going to go do my usual walk soon.  I wonder if I should be wearing motorcycle goggles since the wind speeds are at times close to 50 mph?  I'd look pretty cute wouldn't I?

Son #1 has been parading through different offices.  Orthodontist, dentist, opthamologist, allergist, and pediatrician.  He hasn't complained.  And I'm kinda happy to have alone-time with him.  I think when kids in a family are all the same age-group, they get lost in the shuffle.  I love having one of them alone.  You see more characteristics of who they really are.  You hear things you wouldn't hear in the din of commotion.  And pssst.  He and I were talking the other day how boys and girls show affection differently.  The girls love to cuddle.  Get close.  Sit on my lap.  And visit nose-to-nose.  Boys?  Well this one LOVES back scratches.  And a good wrestle.  And lately he goes down into football-mode and says quietly, 'affection' and then plows into my thigh.  Startling?  You bet.  Satisfying?  For sure.  I think I said it before, but I will again.... I love having both kinds of kids.

I'm hoping to give blood in a few hours.  I'm not sure it'll work.  My iron level is usually lacking.  But I'll give it a shot.  (pun intended).

Bread is ready for the oven!  Yum.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flying Buns and Racing Sausages

no, I don't know who this lady is...
Leaving the store...
Yes it was for real.  And very funny besides.  The girls and I needed to make a quick stop for some items at the local warehouse club store.  The time in the store was basically uneventful except for the samples of grapes, chicken, sausages, and cake that the girls wolfed down.  As we got near the check lanes I quickly nabbed one that looked like the least wait.  And it was.  We got checked out in record time and then I looked up.  There were the racing sausages!  If you're not from the area, you're probably wondering what a 'racing sausage' is.  Yes, it could be a sausage rolling off your flimsy paper plate at a picnic.  Or it could be a sausage that causes you much gastrointestinal discomfort and causes you to race to the bathroom.  But in this case, they are famous.  They are the Racing Sausages!  They come out at the bottom of the 6th inning at every home game of the Milwaukee Brewers.  There are five of them.  The brat, the Italian, the Polish, the hot dog, and the chorizo.  They are in these super-tall costumes and race to the finish line at home games.  Anyway, two of the fellows were walking by and Rayna grabs my camera to head off to take some shots of the two there.  So I get out of the check lane and into the next line to wait for the elderly lady to put a little highlighter on my receipt saying I didn't steal a big-screen tv or something.  And right behind me I heard muttering.  There was a middle-aged man about 50.  His two 'cool-cat' sons.  Nice haircuts.  A small glittery earring on the left lobe of each.  Good-looking guys really.  With a LOT of attitude.  And vocal besides.  'Why do we have to wait?  Lets walk up to the front.  We just have two bags of buns.'.  The slightly irritable father of this super-slick-cool dude says, 'we just wait our turn like everyone else'.  A heavy sigh.  He was much too important and busy to wait in line with us other schlups that were buying goods for the family (or in my case, a funeral supper).  So I meet up with my excited daughters at the front entrance.  Brat-man and Hot-dog man were both standing out front posing for pictures.  And out comes middle-aged dad, Cool Cat #1 and Cool Cat #2.  Now based on mere 30 sec. of observation, Cool Cat #1 lacked a bit of common sense and it was revealed within moments.  He was celebrating walking out the door after his 'long' wait.  And how you ask?  He started to swing 36 yeast rolls in a very flimsy bag in huge circles over his head and you guessed it!  BUNS!  Raining down from the heavens!  Flying sideways through the air.  And the best part?  Dropping down on an innocent 60-year old lady in her Buick Le Sabre.  She was not impressed and started to yell.  Low-key middle-aged father saw the fiasco and kept walking to his car.  Cool Cat #1 was yelling at his Cool Cat #2 brother to come help him pick up the buns that were scattered hither and yon all over the front entrance.  Even the Racing Sausages gave pause to look at what was happening.  Buns were getting run over.  Cool Cat #1 wasn't feeling so 'cool' at that moment.  And so... he had to go back.  Into that store. To buy more buns.  And to stand in the line again.  And he thought he was too 'cool' for that.  It was beautiful.  And a you-had-to-be-there moment.  Hope you feel like you were.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Another year...

It was fourteen years ago today.  Amara Kay was born too soon.  For three days she struggled to live.  For three days the doctors struggled to keep her alive.  For three days we struggled with the thought that she might not live.  And she passed away.  From her daddy's arms to her Father's.  She was just lent to us for three days.  Three agonizingly long and incredibly short days.  There's a hole in my heart that will never be filled.  And that is ok.  It makes me stop in the middle of what I'm doing during an ordinary day and weep.  Tears of sadness for our baby that didn't get to experience life.  Tears of thankfulness for the blessings (times 3) that we now have.  I think experiences that take nearly the very life out of you change you for the better.  They make you empathetic.  They make you humble.  They make you realize that we can't do it in our own strength.  So I'm thankful.  For Amara's short stay with us.  For her ongoing influence.  And for the thought that her little soul is safe where it wants to be.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday Musings

The bride to be!
A unique tree I spotted during today's walk
Someone that was in our kitchen today on crutches
Found this on my camera tonight... wonder if Lisi took a self-portrait?
Monday mundane musings...  not too much exciting to share with all you dear peeps out there.  There's a chill of fall in the air.  The trees have lost nearly 50% of their leaves.  And you know what?  I'm (pssst... it seems so wrong to say this) almost looking forward to winter.  The kids have such a blast in the snow.  The trees are so pretty.  The cardinals look so red at the feeder.  And the woodstove makes everything so blasted hot toasty.

Last weekend there was a shower for a special lady.  Not just any special lady.  This one is going to be married in November (like who in their right mind would choose November for a wedding?  Oh wait a minute, that was us too).  She's marrying a family member, so now we'll be related.  Sorta.  And she's nice.  And young.  And pretty.  And smart.  And... well I can't say much else because I don't know her all that well.  But I will in time.  And I'm glad she's going to live nearby.  The shower was fancy.  And so it was fun to be fussed over.  Enjoying delicate fancies on pretty plates.  Sharing it all with a room full of ladies I love.  Nice I say!

Then on Saturday, the Chairman reminded me several times of it being "Sweetest Day".  I'm not sure if he was being terribly romantic or trying to remind me to be sweet.  Nonetheless sometime late-morning he asked if I wanted to go for a long walk with him.  Well I had a lot of things I thought I should be doing.  And the kids were there.  But.  They were busy enjoying each other's company.  And 17 years ago during our dating years if he would have asked me to go for a walk I would have jumped at the chance.  And so I did.  It was wonderful.  Visiting with the man I chose long ago and would again in a heartbeat.  Watching the first 50% of the leaves dropping like... well, leaves.  We were gone about an hour.  When we returned there was a note on the door.  Dear son #1 was going to be at "Derek's".  But walking into the house I paused.  Blood.  Drop. Drop.  Drop.  Leading into the bathroom.  On the counter was several bandage wrappers.  I look into the waste basket.  A paper towel with a lot of blood on it.  Ick.  Who was hurt????  I call up to the girls.  No one hurt up there.  So it must have been dear son.  The note told me that he was fine.  But yowsers.  Only when he came home did he share the story of whittling on wood and taking off some of his own precious resources besides.  Ick.  I say.

Speaking of him... he fights a horrific mold allergy.  And with it comes asthma.  He's been on medication for over a year now and it helps.  And I know you're not to put a price on your children's well-being.  But the medicine alone is over $200/month.  Ugh.  So today was his re-check again.  And so we went in looking polite and slightly poor and told the lovely Dr. that we thought the medicines were quite expensive.  She came back before we left with approximately $900 in 'samples'.  I nearly hugged her.  It pays to ask if anything is available.

Cute story and then I better call it a post.  In the car last week out of the blue Mira asks me, 'mom, is uncle A. adopted?'  Um no.  'But isn't he adopted from Mexico?'.  No.  He was born into his family like Grandma was.  He just 'works' in Mexico.  'But he looks just like a Mexican person!'.  I told her that is where his heart is and maybe after living there all those years, he's becoming just like them.  I think there's a lesson there.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday's thoughts...

Ok I'll admit it.  I was riveted.  A captive audience if you will.  Watching the miners one-by-one coming out of the tomb they were in for 69-70 days.  The Chairman told me they were starting to come out the other night.  So I was a rapt audience.  It had all the makings of a feel-good story that came true.  A lot of men that could have been dead.  And then they were alive.  And then they got help.  And then they were rescued from the dungeon into the arms of loved ones - wives, children (or in resuce #21's case, well never mind).  And it was so neat to see the utter patriotism of that country rallying around their citizens.  Neat I say.

So today I ran 2,467  a lot of errands.  I'm sure you all are all-to-familiar with that.  But the house is stocked with goods again.  And it is nice.  I made the 3 C's here very happy.  They've really been working hard this week.  Busy schedule.  Busy after school.  And little complaining!  So I thought to myself if the donuts are on sale this week, I'll get them each one.  And they were!  I was so happy because, well, you know, I wanted one too (not that I needed it or anything).  And the look of utter happiness when I pulled them out of the bag with the topping being just what they individually wanted on theirs.  It was neat.  And such a little thing.  But worth it.  Especially chomping down my own.  (urp!)

Another small thing that is highly appreciated here is the balls.  No, not just any kind of ball.  A big, full-sized exercise ball.  The one we had for nearly 2 years got a puncture wound.  And so I replaced it with two more.  They sit on them (bouncing of course) to do homework.  They roll them around the house.  They do circus acts. Balancing competitions.  You name it.  All with two big gray balls.  That I've loved to hate.  And love.  I highly recommend them if you have kids between the ages of 3 and 16.

Speaking of balls.  Rayna is again in baseketball with her school.  Now if you know us personally, you'd know that Rayna is gifted in a lot of things.  Height isn't one of them.  But she plays.  With all her heart.  And guards.  And passes to her much bigger teammates.  And they've won the first two games!  Whoot!

Very recently, I got on the high horse.  This time I might step on the soapbox.  This time regarding insurance, medical care, prescriptions.  But I try to keep this blog fun.  Lighthearted.  And mildly interesting.  So all I'll say is that I nearly fell over when I heard the price for one of our son's asthma medicines would be $110.  That for one month's prescription of a nasal spray - on top of $164/month cost for an inhaler.  Um.  $300/month just for the medicine to help him breathe?  Oh boy.  We see the allergist again next week.  I'm not above dressing very poorly and asking (begging) for a pile of samples again.

The Halloween candy is bought!  I got some of the stuff the kids usually like - Sour Patch, Laffy Taffy, Skittles... you know.  But I also got the kind I like in hopes that there's leftovers.  Come on.  Admit you do it too!

Time to get hopping.  Piano lessons and a concert are yet ahead of us tonight!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday's Musings

This might be a weekly thing.  Or not.  But at least this week is on Monday!  (smile)  Feeling a bit of angst.  Frustration.  Needing to set up an allergy appointment for our only son.  Call the office.  She no longer works for that office.  Call where she's now at.  It's under a different umbrella.  The lady on the other end says to me, 'we have no record of him being here'.  Um.  So his records go to some abyss-like place once you switch your affiliation?  (I refrained from saying that.)  She spoke up and said, 'some parents thing they were 'just' here, but it was like back in 2002 or something.  Do you think that is what happened?'  Um no.  He would have been the ripe old age of 2 then and I would have remembered.  We were there last year!!!  Then she needs to talk to 'the other nurse' to see if they can find it.  Voila!  She found him.  And an appointment is made.  So he can breathe freely again.  Asthma/allergies aren't for sissies.  Speaking of that kind of thing.  We got a cold call promising better insurance rates.  The eager-beaver sales guy kept calling me.  Pretending to be my friend.  Wondering if I was having a bad day since I didn't sound so happy.  Well listen Mr. I Can Give You the Best Rate Possible, I'm tired of you calling me.  Ugh.  And the offer seems great.  But is it?  We pay exorbitant amounts of money each month to cover catastrophic things we never want to be a part of.  Insurance makes me feel ill (pun intended).

Didn't mean to worry any of you about my last "Real Mom" post.  I am not one to be offended (maybe give offence since I talk too much).  Really.  I'm kind of like a golden retriever in a human form.

Speaking of which.  I took her in to see the vet today.  The lump is most likely the result of another dog and a wrestling match.  Or... falling out of a tree.  Or... a fatty tumor.  But no scary tumor anyway.  We're to watch it and see if it shrinks or stays stable.  If either of those, well she's good to go.  But.  The vet said some kinda sad things.  Like it isn't if a golden is going to get cancer... it is when.  Glad though it isn't anything scary this time.

Our date night last week was quite nice!  The meal out beforehand was tasty.  The conversation without interruption was valued.  The play was funny.  And it was real funny when we walked in and realized we were right.  In.  Front.  Like I could reach out and grab Stan Laurel's trousers if I wanted to.  And we shared a little 'table' with Mr. and Mrs. Splashy Jewelry and fancy clothes and trips afar.  And Mr. and Mrs SJ wanted to talk about all they've accomplished.  The Chairman is really gifted at listening to people like that.  Me?  Not so much.  But the next day I could not WAIT to get the kids.  Really.  Isn't that kinda odd really?  I really like the kids around.  Tucking them all in on Saturday night was just an 'ahhh' moment.  I'm already prematurely worried about them heading off to seek their fortune's.  But then again, maybe I'll be so old and the dementia so real that it won't bother me a twittle.

Why is it though when the Chairman isn't eating supper with us I feel like I hardly need to make anything?  Really 4/5 of us are still here.  But fussing with a salad, a vegetable, a starch, and a protein seems so silly.

Speaking of food (don't you like how my thoughts run together so smoothly?).  A year or three ago, I wrote how I wasn't too impressed with Krusteaz pancake mix.  I do want to say that I frequent a major warehouse club often.  Awhile back I purchased this mondo-huge box of Krusteaz muffin mix.  And say!  What a neat thing!  You see we're in the need for quick snacks here.  Filling things for empty bellies.  This mix needs only 3 cups of the stuff with one cup water.  I'm never content with something so passe, so I add vanilla and blueberries.  Streusel.  Lemon extract and poppyseeds.  And always I throw in at least 2-3T of ground flax.  A mostly healthy snack ready in 17 minutes.

And so another glorious fall day.  I'm thinking if this keeps up another four or five months, winter won't be so bad!

I'm mused out....

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting on the high horse

Grunt.  Pull.  Got the foot in one stirrup.  Grab the horn.  Pull again.  Swing leg over.  Both feet in stirrups.  Whew.  Now I've gotten on the high horse.  And now that I'm here I'll say a little something.  About adoption.  One thing that I heard recently and innocently enough was a question posed to me.  They wondered if we ever knew the 'real' mother of one of our children.  Why yes we do know!  She's in her mid-40's.  Prematurely graying hair.  Is devoted to her husband and children.  Loves to have friends over.  Enjoys the outdoors.  Hiking.  Camping.  The dog.  Gets crabby at random times.  I think you get the picture.  That's me.  I'm the 'real' mother of our children.  And our three children are our 'real' children.  I wiped their little bottoms.  I hug their very real bodies.  I dry their tears.  Rejoice in successes.  Share in sadness.  Listen to their dreams.  Break apart some very real fights.  And love with a love that is so real it hurts.  Ask any mother (or father) that has adopted.  The proper term is 'birth mother'.  And we give Thanks.  Nearly daily.  For the birth mothers.  They chose something so selfless it almost is too much to comprehend.  And we chose to adopt to build our family.  And our family is real.  And we like it that way.

Now I'm feeling a little saddle-sore, so I must get down....

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday came fast

Just got through parent-teacher conferences.  Took an hour to get through them.  I'm thankful for good teachers.  Thankful that these good teachers can describe our child's strengths and weaknesses (yes, even our children do have one or two) to a T.  And thankful for a curriculum that allows those that need to move forward quickly to do so.  And for those that need a bit of extra help in this or that subject to go at the speed that is right for them.  And I'm thankful that the kids were home for two days to 'just be'.  It's nice after them being at school for a month.

My parents are something else.  They're yet again on another trip.  Again, this trip is for a very good purpose and their destination is where I'd love to be with some I love.  But the funny thing is that they called last night.  The call wasn't funny.   But what they said almost made me smile.  They were all apologetic as they 'only' put on 350 miles yesterday (mind you with a camper behind them) and including a visit with some others.  We just couldn't go as far as we planned as we were getting tired.  Oh really?  You see one of my parents is turning 80 in one short month.  One would think they'd be tired.  In fact, they deserve to be tired.  I'd have been tired after say about mile #197.  But onward they go!  They're too busy to get old.

Did I tell you how pretty the trees are lately?  Or how the weather is just right-dandy?  Like 70's by day and 40's at night.  I peeked ahead at the forecast.  Reality will be setting in soon.  Was kinda sad pulling all the old garden plants up yesterday.  But it is part of the circle of life.  Time for growth.  Time for fruit.  Then time to rest the soil.

And we are having our first 'date' in nearly (oh boy) two years tonight.  A nice meal and a play.  With my Chairman of almost 16 years.  We're some of the lucky ones...  I'm often thankful for making some very serious choices later in my 'young' life so that the choice doesn't waver.  So very thankful.

This is enough...  enjoyed the chat with you all!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Funny thing...

Is no one noticed my "Monday's Musings" was posted on Tuesday... including me!

This means:
- readership is drastically down
- people trust me innately
- no one really cares
- no one really noticed
- my peeps (including me) aren't really much above average
- or some of the above

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday's Musings

You were waiting weren't you?  More musings on a Monday.  Well I don't really know where this will take me.  I guess I'll start by saying what I'm feeling right now.  I had lunch with eight other ladies today.  To say it was special doesn't cut it.  It was special.  You see the lunch was just outstanding.  The hostess could cook you under the table.  Two kinds of soups.  A delicious sandwich.  A yummy leafy salad.  And a pumpkin thing for dessert.  Wow.  But beyond the lunch.  There was sharing.  About finding the pearl of great price in a far away land.  It was encouraging.  And touching.  And made me so incredibly thankful.  For them. For the Pearl.  For a life with joy.

The camper is cleaned out.  Tomorrow it'll be the exterior and we bid it adieu for another season.  I told the Chairman I felt melancholy about it all.  The end of the camping season.  Boo.  Sniff.  But!  We have a camper.  And next year if all goes well, we can go again!  I need to look at it that way.

The weather is dandy.  But that's not why you read this babble.  So I won't say how glorious the blue sky was today.  Or the slight breeze with upper 60 degree temperatures.  Or the awe-inspiring leaves.  B-U-T-ful!

Lisi has a weird lump on her rib cage.  I'm hoping it isn't 'something'.  She's acting plenty spunky.  Hopefully it is a result of the fall.  Don't worry.  If she starts acting weird or it gets bigger, I'll take her in.  I'm caring like that.

Tomorrow is the last day this week!  Well of school that is.  Conferences.  I love going.  Our school wants the kids there for them.  Kind of a neat plan really.  We're all on the same page.  Can I toot a horn?  Rayna was chosen to go to the governor's pad and have the governor's wife talk to them!  And a field trip through the major stadium in town.  And meet an author.  She's excited.  And so are her parents.

And I booked tickets for the Chairman and I to go on a date!  It's been forever a long time since we've done anything so crazy like that.  A play mind you!  "Laurel and Hardy" is the name.  I remember a very long time ago in the deepest, darkness of a SD winter, we'd rent 8 mm reels from the library and watch them on our old projector.  It seemed so off the charts fun.  And funny.

Someone very special to us is going through something scary.  Last we heard, she came through the surgery ok.  We hope she can have some brighter days ahead.  I think when we get wrapped up in the day-to-day routine of life, we forget really what a blessing it is to have all we do.  To be able to love those we love.  It doesn't hurt to pause and tell them we care.  Really.

And I'm mused out.  Mostly.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I might have to like fall...

Campfire fun
Governor Dodge State Park

Rayna, Autumn, Mira

Doing what boys do... (note Lisi having a blast down below)

Alec and Trevor

Lisi meeting a friendly horse

The Chairman and I...

The host and cook extraordinaire

A very nice young couple... but I may be biased

One of our hikes...

One of the pretty lakes


A fun family from MN...

The Chairman, Chef, Children...

... if I have weekends like this more often!  The weather was brisk.  The food was delicious.  The sights were beautiful.  The company was sweet.