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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What am I up to this time?

I mentioned something over on the facebook page earlier tonight about starting another project. It's not really one that I'm starting, but let's just say that I'm starting to finish it (finally). I don't even remember when I started it, but it's been a while ago.

I have a bazaar/craft show on Saturday, and I remembered that I had this - so I'm going to see if I can finish it (without going insane like I did on the last quilt that I finished) before then. This one is considerably smaller, so I'd say I have a shot. Plus, I'm not going to set it up on the big frame to quilt it since it's smaller - I'm just going to do it normally. We'll see how it works.

So I might be scarce for the next day or so while I work on this. I have it ready to start the quilting, and I'm going to just get it started tonight to see how the machine handles it before I make any final decisions on how I'm going to do it.

Tomorrow, I have to get up early enough to actually get dressed *gasp* before I take the boys to school so that I can get Emily to Wichita bright and early for a doctor appointment - this should hopefully be the final follow-up on her back, which should release her back into sports - just in time for basketball season.

So it'll be yet another busy day. Imagine that. Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good day

Today was a good day. It really was. It's been a while since I've had a truly good day, so this was a welcomed change.

I have taken so many pictures over the last 24 hours or so, so I'm going to let them tell most of the story. Because we all know that I like pictures.

Another moon shot from last night. Or maybe it's the same one that I
already posted. Either way, I still think it's really cool.

Sunrise this morning. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Stupid pole ruined my perfect shot of the sunrise and the cows.
I love cows. I hate poles.

I got the sunrise pictures on the way to
Emily's honor roll assembly. All A's again.
You can't see her full outfit, but today was
Dress Like A Nerd Day.

The sun was up higher when I left the school to come back home.
The sky was an amazing shade of blue.

Now don't lie - I know that the majority of you are reading this so that you can see what The Dude brought to me today. I won't keep you in suspense any longer, but I'll tell you the whole story now.

Today was his day off from work, so we had talked about hanging out today and maybe going out to lunch - alone, just the two of us, no kids. I was up way early this morning (hence the sunrise pictures) and spent all morning either running around or cleaning the house. I started to get a headache so I laid down on the couch and totally crashed.

I awoke to him coming in the front door. And he had this stuff in his hand. 

For no reason at all.
So we went out to lunch. We decided to try a new Italian place here in town (new to us, anyway) and we were not disappointed! The food was amazing, the service was great (might have had something to do with the fact that there was only one other table there), and we just had a great time stuffing ourselves silly.

I even tried fried calamari. And it wasn't nasty.

After that, we went to a used furniture store because he wanted to look for something - they didn't have exactly what he wanted, so we wandered around the store looking at other stuff (and they had some amazing vintage stuff that I really really like) and we stumbled upon a lamp. I've been talking about getting a lamp for my sewing area - since I do most of my sewing at night and the lighting in this house sucks, a floor lamp is a necessity. But we found this one, and it was really cheap, and so he bought it for me.

We went in looking for something for him, and I came out with a lamp. I think he got the short end of the stick on that one, but I love my lamp.

And I really kind of love him too. At least a little bit.

...and it's really bright.

It was such a beautiful day that I drove to pick the boys up with my
windows open. And I gained a friend in the process.

The boys and I walked over to the grocery store to get a few things.

Hard to snap a picture when he's using me
for balance.

Whose brilliant idea was it to walk to the grocery store and come home
with pumpkins? Thank goodness I took the reusable bags with us....

Notice the clash of the holidays there? 

I got moves like a ninja. Or something.

Someone was getting sleepy.

"Mom, can you carve it to look like THIS?"

The finished products. Yes, we only did the two this year.

Then it was time to whip up a triple batch of cookies, because I
volunteered to send in snacks for BOTH classes tomorrow.
I still can't decide if that was a good idea or not.


Another moon shot, but from tonight. Can you tell I'm having fun
with a camera that will actually take shots at night?

So now I am running back and forth from the computer to the kitchen while I work on making the cookies - but the good news is that I'm almost done with that project. Then I can figure out what seasonings I want to put on the pumpkin seeds and get those roasted up so that I have something semi-healthy to snack on for the next day or two.

And I need to sew. I have a bazaar coming up on Saturday and I'm not ready for it. And I need to rearrange the girls' bedroom. And do some laundry. And do the dishes.

Guess it's a good thing that I got that nap today!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just some shots from the day

Yep, I actually had to pull the van over this morning, just to take pictures - but when you're dealing with something like this, I think it's excusable.
This was the sunrise on my right...
Kind of hard to believe that Hurricane Sandy was off in that same direction as I was taking the picture. 

And this was the moon setting on my left.
And seriously - these two pictures were taken at the same time. Within moments of each other. As much as I miss the mountains back home, I have to admit that Kansas is good for scenery (of the flat variety).

 And then this was the moon tonight when we got home from Scouts....

So anyway...I didn't do a whole lot today. The weekend was super stressful so I pretty much just sat around and did a whole lot of nothing for most of the day, until I had to take Alex to Scouts. I did walk downtown to run a quick errand before I got them from school, so the day wasn't a total waste.

Tomorrow will be busy. I have to take the boys to school, head out to Emily's school for her honor roll presentation, come home, clean, do laundry, make about 6 dozen cookies for Wednesday, make a grocery list (still haven't done that), go grocery shopping (still haven't done that either), get the stuff to change the oil in my van, try to spend some much needed time with The Dude on his day off work, and get ready for a craft show on Saturday.

Maybe I should just give up and go to bed now.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween came early....

....which thankfully means that it's gone early too.

I really hate Halloween. There are many reasons, but just trust me on it. I don't like to dress up, masks (even on kids) scare the crap out of me, and I hate spending tons of money on crappy costumes that are worn for an hour before they fall apart.

Luckily, we didn't spend a penny on costumes this year. A friend gave us a couple of ninja costumes that we thought that the boys could wear, but Sarah pounced on those. We had to perform some surgery on them, but we were able to pull together a decent looking ninja - but without a hood.

Emily wore my pajamas - totally her idea.

Jared wore the solider costume from last year.

Alex wore his old Optimus Prime one - which is definitely too small, but he wanted to wear it so we made it work one last time.

Daniel - used the police officer one again.

I think this is the third year for the soldier and police officer (there's a firefighter too that didn't get used this time) - I swore that the boys would just rotate those until they either outgrew them or they fell apart, and so far it's working. Although Alex's father spent a small fortune and bought the Optimus Prime one for him last year.

So we went downtown for the trick or treating. Yes, it was tonight. This is the official - "close down Main Street, beg for candy from the businesses, and run around these 4 blocks with your costumes on and not worry about getting hit by a car night". It's always a madhouse, and we end up spending more time standing in line with some obnoxious teenager who is too old to be trick or treating in line behind us the entire time.

I was actually able to have a friend get a group shot.
That doesn't happen very often.
After we got home, the kids went through their loot and I of course, took a few pieces ("Hey, look! Fortune Cookies! You guys don't want them!" *snatch*) and then I made Emily get in the shower to get the orange hairspray out of her hair. They all ate enough candy to get a good sugar buzz and then the boys went to bed. The girls are still "working on cleaning their room" which means that they're sitting in there doing nothing but giggling and getting in trouble.

Tomorrow's plans? Church. That's it. Hopefully we can actually have most of the day to do absolutely nothing - but I'm pretty sure that will change.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Brain dump

So we all know that I've been having a bit of a rough time lately. It's life. Sometimes it just catches up with me and there's nothing that I can do about it, other than work through it and deal with it.

Yesterday, I got up and took the boys to school, and then came back home to get some things done. I started to work on some stuff, and then I got distracted (imagine that). Anyway, I got up from my desk, grabbed The Dude's mp3 player, my camera, my phone, a couple of bills that needed to be mailed, and my ATM card and I took off walking.

I've always loved the brick streets in this town.
I cranked up the  music and headed toward the post office - because for whatever reason, in my head it was more effective to mail the bills from the post office than it was from my own mailbox in my front yard. But, whatever. I walked to the post office and mailed them and then took off again.

I walked to The Dude's work and swiped his van keys from him and went and put some gas in it and got him a drink. I visited with him and his boss for a few minutes, and then I took off again.

As I walked, I didn't really focus so much on the scenery. I felt more like my brain was on a treadmill, trying to churn out thought after thought after thought. It was trying to work through all of the crap that has been handed to me lately and was trying desperately to make sense of even a fraction of it.

Honestly, as I walked, I pondered my blog and my page. I started to wonder if they were even worth the hassle anymore. I thought about hiding both of them for a time as I deal with everything that is happening. But in the end, I decided to keep them both, and to keep them both active. I decided that hiding them isn't going to solve anything, just like hiding myself away from the world isn't going to either. I need to just stay involved - whether it's with the kids' schools, or Scouts, or with friends and family, or whatever - I can't hide away like I've always done in the past. I need to continue to live my life. And I'm going to do exactly that.

See that drain pipe on the other side? See the water
line? That's where the water is supposed to be.
I don't know how long it will take for me to get through this funk that I'm in at the moment. It hit pretty hard and pretty fast, and I know what one of the major causes is (a couple, actually) and so it's a matter of dealing with those individual things. I think part of that hit me as I was walking along our creek (what's left of it) that flows through town - it is all but dried up at this point. We've gotten a tiny bit of rain, so there's a puddle in the middle of it, but it's dry. But I know that no matter how dry and ugly it looks right now, at some point it will be beautiful and flowing again. It'll probably take until next spring for that to happen, but it'll happen. Maybe we'll get enough rain and snow for it to happen quickly, and maybe not.

But it'll come back, just like it always has. And so will I.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An off kind of day...

So the other day I admitted that I've been having kind of a hard time. And it hasn't really let up much. But at the same time, it's manageable for the most part.

I started out today with the lovely chore of paying bills. I got that done fairly quickly, did some stuff around the house and made a grocery list before I took off to get the shopping done. I went to the first store (the one I refer to as my "scratch & dent" grocery store) and got a few things, and when I went to write out my check, I discovered that my driver's license is missing.

Oh joy. I have no idea when I had it out the last time, other than photocopying it (here at home) for some paperwork that I had to send out - and that's been well over a month ago. I just don't whip out my license very much any more. So I have to search for it - I already know that it's not in my wallet or my purse, but I haven't thoroughly checked my desk around my printer/copier yet. I'll find it eventually - or pay to get it replaced.

I'm seriously not going to stress about it right now.

Anyway, I left that store and was getting ready to head to the "real" store to do the bulk of my shopping, but I was hungry. I thought that I would play it safe and get something to eat first, but couldn't figure out where to go. Finally I decided to stop back in at the coffee shop that I had gone to way back before The Dude and I started dating.

Oh my wow. You see that sandwich? That is grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a (get this) soft pretzel roll. And then it's grilled just a bit.

A big chunk of heaven in a little red plastic basket. Right there. It was amazing.

I just sat there, and I ate my sandwich, and I drank my vanilla cappuccino, and I took in my surroundings, and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.

I have to admit that the salt and pepper shakers that were on my table almost came home with me. Not that I'm that crazy about pineapples (ok, I'm crazy about real pineapples, but not so much as home decor) but they were just so stinkin' cute. Every table had a different set of salt and pepper shakers. Just one of those silly observations that I made while I was enjoying my alone time.

Anyway,  I hung out there too long to do my "real" shopping, so I just buzzed into the store long enough to get the stuff that I absolutely needed and then got the boys and came home. I tossed supper in the oven so that it was ready for when the older 3 got home from school (2 hours late because of basketball practice) but of course there was drama.

Between the tween-hormone-ridden angst, the tired and cranky attitudes, and my own body and hormones being out of whack, the 30 minutes that the older 3 were home between basketball and church were not pretty. There was fighting and stomping and crying and tantrums - some from the kids, and some from me.

Luckily The Dude had come over for a little bit, and we were able to sit down and talk a bit - and once again, he amazed me with his understanding and his willingness to put up with so much crap. I seriously dumped a lot of stuff on him tonight, and for whatever reason he's still willing to stick around. There were some things that came up in our conversations tonight that would have sent most men running for the hills - but he swears he's not going anywhere.

Seriously. I don't know how I got so lucky. I really don't. And I know that I shouldn't question it, but I still do. All I can say is that I am extremely grateful and lucky and happy that he picked me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Conferences and accomplishments

So my day started out with a small to-do list.

We all know that I'm the queen of making lists when I need to get motivated, and today was no exception. I've been slacking around the house, so I busted out the list early this morning.

I knew that realistically, I wouldn't get it all done.
But at the end of the day, I can't really complain about how much I *did* get done.

And if you look really closely, you'll see a couple of things that got added to the list - and subsequently crossed off - throughout the day.

I got to spend some quality time outside by myself today, with the lawnmower - which in my opinion is always a good thing. I love to mow the grass. I got it done for what should be the final time this year. It was just an absolutely gorgeous day out, and I enjoyed it for every second that I was out there.

My yard

...and Nice Neighbor's - both done.

Probably the best part of the day was going to the older 3 kids' parent/teacher conferences. They are all doing so well in school and their teachers had nothing but fabulous things to say about them. Out of the 3 report cards, there was one "B" - and the rest of the grades? Every single last one of them was an "A".

Sarah was at basketball practice while we went to the conferences.

It was crazy sock day for Emily.
....and pajama day for Jared.

One of Emily's projects

...and one of Jared's.
And really.....who can complain about a day that ends up with angels like this?

And finally.....as requested.....a picture of me wearing make-up. I tried to make myself look human before the conferences, but I suck at taking self-portraits, so this is the best that I could do. Blah.

Monday, October 22, 2012


So while recovering from the migraine from you-know-where that I had yesterday, I didn't do much of anything today. I had lots of plans of things to do - you know, laundry and cleaning and stuff (go figure) but I didn't really get much of it done.

Then the boys and I went to Alex's Scout meeting tonight and got all of the stuff that he needs to start selling popcorn later this week. I still haven't gone through all of it yet, but it doesn't look that horrible. His pack is setting up a table at a local business this weekend to sell it, and so I'm going to take him there so that he can participate in that a bit and get more sales.

The rest of the week is just chaotic. I'm judging for Blogger Idol this week (which I just noticed I forgot to put on my calendar). Sarah's basketball practice started today, and that's every day after school - which means that on the days that the older 3 come here after school, they won't be here until almost 6pm. We have parent/teacher conferences tomorrow for the older 3, plus a basketball parents meeting after practice. Alex can start selling his popcorn on Thursday, the older 3 are off school on Friday, Emily has a sleepover at a friend's house Friday night, the older 3 have a dinner thing with Ex1's inlaws on Saturday, we have trick-or-treat Saturday evening, a ballet at our church later Saturday evening, church on Sunday morning...and it just keeps going. Plus, I'm trying to make more of an effort to get out and walk/jog during the week when I  have time to myself (and I've been failing miserably at that) so it just seems like no matter what I do, I'm not getting ahead. At all.

Oh, and of course this is the week that I get money so I have to sit down and do my meal planning for the next month, and then get to the grocery store on Wednesday. I also have to figure out a time when The Dude and I can get the oil changed in my van, before the glaring light on my dash causes it to self-destruct or something.

Did I mention that I have a craft show at my church in about 2 weeks? So I have to get a ton of stuff ready for that too? No? Probably not - because I forgot about it. But of course I can't get half of the stuff done that I need to get done until I get at least one of my sewing machines working again, which probably won't be until this coming weekend. No pressure there.

And tonight I still have to go through the stuff for Alex and Daniel's fundraisers that they had for school. All of that stuff has to be turned in tomorrow, and of course I haven't even looked at it yet. Oops.

This week could very well be the week that I finally lose what's left of my mind.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Our day in pictures

Town is pretty deserted at 5:45am
I'm still trying to figure out how *I* got roped into getting up that early to
take Sarah to Ex1's church for a youth group thing.

Yeah. It was that early.

But there was a prize involved. 

My van is really starting to irritate me.

The boys and I went into Wichita to run a
whole bunch of errands.

Even the pigeons were enjoying the beautiful weather.

Yep, that's the river. Or, what's left of it. Hard to believe that it was full
and frozen when I did the Valentine's Day run.

Downtown Wichita

This was after 4 or 5 of the errands.

Backseat driver.

That's a mighty big...


It's so hard to get a decent picture of this kid. But I need
to frame this one.


We had some time to kill, so we went
to a park.

They had a blast.

....and there were tons of kids there to play with.

Fall is officially here.

On our way home after about 6 hours of running around.
This would be right before we had to pull over because
Daniel thought he was going to puke.

Once he decided he wasn't going to puke, he felt like he had to poop.
And we got stuck.

Still holding onto the barf bag, just in case.

So, it was a long day, but we got so much accomplished. We dropped off some donations, delivered some Halloween bags that I had made and sold, dropped off one of my sewing machines to be serviced/repaired, went to lunch and the park, returned the sewing machine that I borrowed, picked up some hand-me-down clothes from a friend.....

....and we came home exhausted. I sat down on the couch to relax and woke up almost 3 hours later. The boys were just watching movies the whole time, so after I got up we made some sandwiches and they got ready for bed. Daniel is now curled up in mine and Alex is watching another movie - but they're both going to be going to bed shortly.

Tomorrow, Alex is supposed to be going with his father for the day, and Daniel and I will go to church and then just hang out and relax for the day. If the weather is still good, maybe we'll go to a park again. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Poo. I still need to unload the box and bags of clothes from the van. I should go do that....