Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sick day

Well poor Michael woke up with a fever today which means we are hanging out at the homestead today. He complained of a stomach ache yesterday and was a little warm when I checked him last night before I went to bed but I was hoping it was just because his head had been under his blankets. No such luck. It's hard for me to get motivated when the kids are lounging on the couch and recliner watching cartoons. I've been sitting here sorting my coupons and figuring out what I can get for free this week. (Right Guard Deodorant is on sale for $1 at Walgreens and I have several coupons for $.75 off and $1 off! I don't have to go to Walgreens this week so I'll take their ad into Walmart and get them to match the price so I can get the great savings without an extra trip. I'll then be able to donate 6-8 deodorants to the food pantry for only about $1. Fun stuff I'm telling you!! Everybody needs a hobby.)
Michael was supposed to start his swim lessons tonight. Hopefully he's feeling better. I'm going to see if he wakes up fever-free from his nap. If he does then I'll probably go ahead and let him swim. Charity ran a fever for less than 24 hours last week so maybe she just passed whatever that was on to her brother. We went all winter without having any real illness which was a real blessing not only because I want my kids to feel good but also because it would have been really difficult for me to take the morning off of work when the other girl I teach with was on maternity leave! Luckily she started back to work last week and wouldn't you know as soon as she's due back - Michael and Charity both need me to take a day off! God answers little prayers too! I love to see Him in the details of life. It really shows me how much he cares about me personally when he takes the piddly things that only matter to me and works them out. Like my job! You all know how much I enjoy staying home with my kids so when we decided that Eric would go back to school full-time I was slightly crushed that I would have to find a job. God opened up the door for me to find something that would provide for the childcare, pre-school, sports programs, dance classes, and gym membership for our family while still giving us a little bit of income to supplement the (groan) student loans. We are planning on moving back home in June and I found out a couple of months ago that the program I work in will not be offered next year. This job was a literal God-send for the time that we were here. He is so good!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Thank goodness it's Monday!

Well, what a weekend!!! I know it won't be a surprise to anyone that I really like to be "out and about". It doesn't matter the activity, if people are involved, I want to be there. (Except maybe fishing - what fun is being with people is you can't talk because you're too afraid we'll scare the fish away! Seriously!!)
We started out on Friday evening with the basketball clinic I told you all about. Michael was so excited to get to learn from the big boys and their coaches. You can imagine his disappointment when it turned out to be the University's Women's basketball team and their coaches instead of the men. I didn't even have the heart to defend the fairer sex and their playing abilities because he IS a 6 year old boy - of course he would prefer to see the guys. He rallied his spirits well though and ended up having a great time and learning a lot. By the time he got home, Charity had been asleep for an hour and I would have been ready to join her if I wasn't happily watching Las Vegas! Josh Duhamal is SO nice to look at! I'm getting old - ready for bed at 9:00 on a Friday night. Anyway, turns out the sleep would have been nice. I was wide awake before 7:00 on Saturday morning. We had breakfast together and then Eric took off to study while the kids and I ran errands. Haircut for MJ and then home for lunch before we headed to basketball. Eric coached a good game and Michael played well. He had a really great assist to his best buddy Jubal so that was fun to see! As soon as the game was over we loaded into the car and headed south to good ol' D'ville for the rest of the weekend. We were about an hour from our destination when the ice hit. We were lucky but witnessed one accident that ended up turning into 5 or 6 accidents all in the 5 minutes we were pulled over helping the driver of the first car. Michael (who may watch too much racing) thought it was cool when a car slammed into the guard rail 50 feet away from us. Luckily everyone was okay and we could all go on our way - albeit at a much slower pace than we were going before. We made it just in time for my grandmother's birthday party and spent a couple of hours hanging out with the family. (I love you guys! Not everyone is lucky enough to have family they like as much as love!!) It was wonderful to spend that time laughing and catching up. Michael and Charity love playing with their cousins so they were in hog heaven as well. Sunday we took a lazy morning. As much as I would have enjoyed going to church, we decided to spend the morning with Mom and Roger and just being bumps on a log. Brian was home for the weekend too so we got to see him. We finally left to come back home around 2:00 our time. It is a long drive for the kids so we rewarded their good behavior by stopping at the Bass Pro Shop before coming home. They loved seeing the fish and climbing in and out of boats and all over the 4-wheelers. I think Eric wanted to check out the fishing equipment but that will have to wait until he doesn't have two young ones in tow who take great joy in trying to touch everything. We got home just in time to unpack, unwind and get the kids ready for bed. I then crashed on the recliner and watched my required allotment of "crime drama" for the night. (I KNOW the Oscars were on but they seriously bore me to tears!) Like I said - I love being out and about but maybe a little down time wouldn't be so bad every now and then! The only thing on the schedule for this weekend is basketball. Maybe I'll actually relax. : )

Friday, February 23, 2007

Michael (Jordan? Singletary? Schumacher? Schmidt?)

In case you didn't know it - my son LOVES sports. He is obsessed with Bears football and Cubs baseball but has a true love for those sports in general as well as racing and basketball. Therefore, we are in the midst of one of Michael's favorite times of the year. Three of his favorite sports are in the news on a daily basis at the same time!! The Cubs are in spring training, the Daytona 500 was a week ago, and the Bulls are still losing every other game or so. (We will go through this again in the fall when the Bears start their training camp, the Cubs are finishing up the season - with a World Series victory, and Indycar and NASCAR races are still being held every weekend.) Every morning we wake up and immediately turn on the local Christian morning show where they do the sportscast twice an hour. He is up for about 2 hours before he has to leave for school which means he gets to hear the same report 4 times before he leaves. If it's a really good day - like today- the Bears are making headlines too and there might be a golf tournament going on so we can see how Tiger and Phil are doing. Not to mention the WNBA and NHL. I'm telling you it's a gold mine of sports news. I don't know how they manage to fit it into just a few minutes each morning.
Michael is in the middle of his own basketball season at the Y. This is his first time playing and he's doing pretty well but gets discouraged when a majority of the shots he makes don't go into the hoop. He's so much bigger than the other boys his age that he's used to dominating. The fact that he's NOT the best one on the team has been a little bit of an adjustment for him I think. Eric is coaching the team. That in itself is funny! Eric is a wonderful coach but his patience wears a little thin with this age group (pre-K and K). It will be much better for him when Michael's a little older and the boys actually WANT to learn fundamentals and become a better TEAM. Right now they all just get the ball and shoot. They've never heard of such a thing as P-A-S-S-I-N-G. Michael is going to a clinic tonight that is being taught by some of the players/coaches from the University in town. Hopefully after running some drills and stuff with these BIG boys he'll have a little bit more confidence.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Deals and Dealing With

Can I just tell you how much I LOVE getting good deals!! Over the past two days I have done my weekly jaunts to Walgreens and CVS. I got SO much stuff. I love getting awesome deals on things I need but also on things that I can donate to the food pantry. It's so hard to give sometimes knowing that nearly every penny we have is student loan money and will have to be paid back. That's why I get so excited when I can get AWESOME stuff to give away. A couple of years ago I went to the Hearts at Home conference (www.hearts-at-home.org) and went to a class put on by Ellie Kay. She gave a lot of practical tips on how to save money on everyday items. It has been a lot of fun putting her tips to use and helping others at the same time. I love nothing better than looking at the bottom of my receipt and seeing that I saved over 50% on my grocery bill. Small thrills.
In other news - our little Charity has had quite the day today. Michael finally got to go back to school and it apparently left her at loose ends. I asked her to pick up her room (it would have taken me about 15 minutes - it was not that messy) and she just couldn't quite get that accomplished. Poor thing started crying at about 10:30 a.m. and didn't really stop until we sent her to bed at 8:00 p.m. My screensaver scrolls all my old pics and I found this one that pretty much could have been taken today! She's normally a happy (if slightly conniving) little girl which made today especially trying for all of us (see the second picture). She's a snuggler and will crawl into the first open lap she finds at any opportunity. Unfortunately for her, Eric and I were in no mood to have her cuddling up and manipulating us into giving her whatever she wanted. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. I'm more concerned about the bigger picture here. If she can't obey us in the simple things then how is she going to obey in the tough issues. I realize she's only 4 (and a half!!) and maybe not picking up her room is a "tough" issue to her at this point. We're just having a really hard time teaching her that by obeying mommy and daddy she is also obeying God. Michael is such a compliant little boy it's been an adjustment to parent Charity in a way that is appropriate for her strong-willed nature. Thank goodness for good books and other parents who are willing to share their heartache and knowledge.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Not Again!!

I thought today was getting off to a good start. I wanted to leave the house at 8:20 and we were actually pulling out of the driveway at 8:30 - not too bad. I normally take Michael to school on my way to work so I pull up in front of school and THEN realize that 1) there is no crossing guard 2) there are no buses and 3) there are no other students entering the building! Oops - 2 hour delay because of the fog. So, of course, Michael starts crying while I'm thanking God that we got going on time this morning because it meant I still had time to run Michael to the Y before going over to my school. Poor little guy has missed so much school this month. First we had the extreme cold (2-hr delay, no AM Kindergarten), then the snow day (everybody canceled) followed immediately by mid-winter break, and now the fog. Since Feb. 1st he has only gone to school for 8 days. Some kids would jump for joy but our little social bee just wants to go see his friends (not to mention the greatest Kindergarten teacher ever!!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Inaugural Post!

I don't know how long I'll be able to keep this going but I've enjoyed reading other people's blogs so - here we are! Nothing out of the ordinary on our plate today. Everyone was finally back to normal schedules today. Between 2-hr delays, snow days, and sick days I was about to go crazy trying to keep everyone occupied and happy. Michael had his Valentine's party at school today but because there was so much work to make up apparently they didn't get to have much of a party. He still loves school though and is happy to be back at school with his friends. Charity went to the Y with me today and played with babies before going to swim class.
The kids had dental checkups today. Luckily up to this point every visit has been trauma free and so they still say they LOVE going to the dentist! How can you not love a place that gives you stickers and a new toothbrush! (They are so easy to please!) All that love may change for Michael though. Apparently we haven't been diligent about brushing his back teeth because his x-rays showed a cavity. I have to admit it felt like an attack on me as a mother when the dentist was talking about his brushing habits. I'm over that now though and we are taking a more hands on approach - literally - to the kids' brushing habits. We watched the first hour of Idol as a family tonight (Eric just sat at the computer and made snide comments -our own personal Simon Cowell - but at least he was in the room : ) ) Michael seems to prefer the auditions more than the actual competition part. We haven't watched much of the show before but for some reason I've gotten hooked already this season. My favorite guy so far is Phil Stacey. I think it's probably because he's got those two cute little daughters and he's a P.K. but whatever. I'm not a voter so we'll see what happens.
Well that does it for today. Eric is about finished with his game of Madden for the night (Bears are beating the Giants 14-0, they also beat the Cowboys 3-0 earlier this evening). I have to work tomorrow so I should gear up for another exciting day! Feel free to envy me!! : )