Sunday, December 26, 2010

I should change my husband's name to "Firestarter." We took down our Christmas tree today because the needles were falling off left and right. So, this afternoon, Pete took the tree outside to burn it. He also burned some other paper stuff.

I don't know exactly what time he started the little fire, but by the time I went outside, our field was burning. There was a ring of fire about the footprint of a small house. The middle had already burned out. I asked him (he was in the garage), "Why are you burning the field?" He said he wasn't but that he was in the garage. I repeated the question and he came out to see what I was talking about. I soon realized he didn't mean to burn the field. We filled buckets and put the little fires out. It's now laughable because we managed to put all the fires out but, seriously, it was a little scary at the time. I wonder what all the passerbyes were thinking?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm excited about Christmas this year. I'm content with not traveling because the kids are in that perfect age of being old enough to enjoy Christmas and yet, young enough, to still believe in Santa. We're in the age of no diapers and wakings in the night. I know this in between will be only a couple of years.

My new job is going fine. I was scheduled to work Christmas morning but a woman is working for me so I can be there with the kids. I have yet to travel using my benefits, but I hope to do so in the next few weeks. One thing I've noticed is how full people pack their bags. I'm sure they think they are the only one stuffing their bags full. Seriously, you would think that all these travelers are going to places without washing machines.

One of my coworkers is a retired school teacher. I think he used to coach, too. He's been dressing up as Santa for years and offered to come to our house for a surprise visit. It went over very well and the kids were shocked. They were asking questions like "where is your sleigh?" and "is it dark at the North Pole this time of year?" It was priceless.

I did get an early present. My husband got me a laptop. He's been using it more than me. I love it!

And to keep with tradition, here is the link for David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries.

I love this and have to listen it every Christmas! Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

I know. I've been totally blowing this blog off. You see, I'm actually busy nowadays and I love it. The new job is three days a week and then doing stuff around the house the other days. It's great. And with it being the Christmas season, I'm totally preoccupied. I actually got some shopping done today. I need one more thing for my mom and then I'll be able to send the box down to Arkansas. It's so nice, we draw names for the adults. I can't imagine how late I would be if I had to buy for more than two people.

This week I got to see an old high school friend. Her mom lives here, so when she comes for a visit, we go to lunch and catch up. She has gone back to school and is getting a Masters in Divinity. She has been really searching all her life for stability and I think she's getting there. We always talk about our different upbringings--mine with my conservative, tea-totaling parents and hers with her hippie parents where her dad was an alcoholic. She claims she is neurotic. I do think I had a boring, but healthy upbringing.

Pete used my flight benefits this week to fly to Boston. He went up for about 24 hrs. His mom is in the dying phase of Alzheimer's and he felt like he needed to see her. He told her good-bye and that it was OK for her to let go and die. I can write about it, but to say it brings tears to my eyes. My friend pointed out that it probably makes me think about losing my own mom. I think she's right.

I really do like this time of year but I'm missing my family a lot right now. I think I get this way every year. I got shopping done today but resented all the other people out there who made the stores crowded. Even the grocery store was crowded at 2:30 in the afternoon! I'm sure something down deep wishes I was shopping with my mom and sister.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I have a cold. Ugh. I'm not surprised. Being totally exhausted from house guests since the day before Thanksgiving until yesterday, I'm a bit worn down. It doesn't help that this farmhouse is tiny and it's been a week of falling all over people and waiting for the bathroom. We seriously need to build the "dream house" soon.

After the second batch of guests left yesterday, Pete and I went out to buy the Wii for the kids. We will wrap it and put it under the tree--once we get a tree. The plan is to find one this weekend.

The airline job is still going OK. We will bid on our schedules after the holidays and then I'll have a set schedule for 6 months. I'm a little anxious not knowing what the schedule will be. I go between wanting to quit so I am in control on the schedule to being glad I have a place to go while the kids are in school. It's definitely one of those "you can't have it all" moments. I'm sure it will make it worth while when I start taking trips for free. Pete wants to go to Paris next month with the kids. I sure hope it works out.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We did. My father-in-law, my sister-in-law, her husband and their two children came for the holiday. Believe it or not, there was no drama. A first for us. OK, maybe not for us, just my sister-in-law. he he.

Anyway, the cousins played and played and played. I'm so glad my kids know their cousins and actually get along. We outdid ourselves with the food this year. Pete bought a turkey from a friend with a farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. It was 18 lbs! All the sides turned out yummy and my three desserts were divine!

So, we are recuperating from the house guests and we have more coming tonight! So, I'm off changing sheets, etc. Talk later!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Emotional day

Is it just me or is everyone too busy to blog anymore? I've been working so much lately that when I come home all I want to do is eat and then go to bed. I scratch my head and ask, "Why did I want to work more regularly?" But, I hope once it slows, I'll feel a little better about things.

I did make the decision to resign from the hospital. I need to send the letter in. It is such a hard thing to wrap my head around. But, I'm sick of waiting for them to call me to work and then I can't because I already have something going on or Pete's out of town or whatever. It's just become a pain to keep up with the stuff at the hospital for the few days per year I get to work. And I'm still not over the way they did me last year when they hired the other wage payroll girl and gave her all the hours while she trained. I often wondered how can you fill in for someone and train at the same time? It's been time to move on for a while now. I plan to keep my certification up, for now.

Anyway, it makes me sad.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

This morning the three of us got out the door on time! I had to be somewhere at 8:30 and then on to my training at the airport at 10. I had made Clayton "team leader" for the morning which meant I only had one child to motivate. He enjoyed his new found power telling me to put my shoes on, brush my teeth, etc. Geesh. Now, I know what I sound like in the morning.

So, the kids got to school and then I went to Centre Volunteers in Medicine. Tuesday morning is my time to volunteer as a phlebotomist for 3 hrs. But, today was going to be a little different. I am supposed to train from 10-2 everyday this week at the airport but today they called and canceled. I'll be honest, it was a relief. The nurse at the clinic was a little nervous taking care of the last two patients on my schedule. I'm so glad it worked out.

The trainer canceled because some big wig with the TSA showed up today and none of the new hires have their badges---so she felt like we should not be there. So, after volunteering I had my tires rotated and balanced at Sam's and shopped at Wal-Mart while I waited. I bought a little radio with an iPod dock.

I should be running outside and enjoying this weather but I opted for a little writing instead.
I should vote, too, but I'm not excited about anyone. I just haven't decided if it's worth it this year...

Monday, November 01, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I have been so busy lately. I'm beginning to think I won't be able to eat bon bons around this house for a while.

I started the air line job. Now, if I can fly my mom up here for free, I'll be all set! But, there is another job--a full time one--that was posted right after I accepted the air line job. The full time job would be a real career. Why do things happen like that? Nothing and then--boom!

I got my hair cut and colored last night. It looks so good now. I love the ways it feels to have a fresh hair cut.

And this is what we woke up to last Sunday. The farmer started to cut the corn. It's nice to not be surrounded by corn now!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hello world...

We have closed on our previous home. We have moved to the "new" one. I now am connected with the internet again. I'm still unsettled in this world of mine, but day by day, I'm getting there. Throw in a new job prospect, and I might just go a little wacky.

It's good to be back.

Friday, October 01, 2010

A little stressed, no, make that A LOT!

Today my husband and I moved some stuff. I can help him with small furniture, but the big stuff is waiting until tomorrow when some big guys can help us. I will be wearing my "soccer mom" hat tomorrow shuffling the kids from one practice to another. It's probably better that way so I won't be hovering and gasping every time it looks like something is about to break or drop. I actually should be throwing some crap in a box right now but feel like I just need a break. The non-stop move is killing me.

I did take a break earlier this week and attend a bible study on Wednesday. This one will meet every other Wednesday and is geared toward moms. The small group I'm in consists mainly of my neighbors now and the woman who is buying my house. Since we are selling our house ourselves, we've been in touch with the couple buying it. So, at the last minute on Wed morning, I called her to invite her. I figured it would be a way for her to meet some other women. I had no idea that one of my neighbors put all of us together. I got an email Thursday from the woman I invited and it turned out the study was just what she needed. It's nice to feel like I made a difference for someone this week.

Some other news is I've accepted a job with Delta. I will find out in a couple of weeks if I will indeed be hired. They are conducting background checks and if I pass, I've got the job! The hours might be crappy at first, but I think it will be a blast. It will be nice to fly for free, too. :)

So, that's it for right now. There is a ton of stuff going on and then, like most families, there is the same ol' stuff. It's just hard keeping a balance during all this transition. I'm a little nostalgic about leaving our house. Both my kids were born while we lived here. I've always known we wouldn't stay here forever, however. I'm much too practical to have a master bedroom on the second floor! I can't wait to build on the property! I hope once we build that house it will be the last house I have to move in to.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crazy Busy...

I will get back to my Barcelona stories soon but for now, I'm packing for our big move. Yep, we are moving 4 miles away to 23.77 acres!

Pete was gone to China for 11 days and I packed some then. But, I was mostly just trying to stay afloat with two kids and after school activities. Oy!

And amidst all of that, I applied for a job in a totally different industry than what I'm in now. As long as the background checks come out all right, I'll be training in a new job. I'm so excited!!!

So, I'll write later after we move. The big move is Sunday but we are slowly getting boxes out now.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 2--Barcelona

With Diane not arriving until noon or so, I decided to wander around Wednesday morning and see the Boqueria. This market is amazing. Beautiful fruit stands, cheeses, spices. The list goes on. It's an active market with people buying fish, poultry, pork and sausages.
Seriously, where in the States would one find roosters with their heads still attached? I wouldn't have the slightest clue how to take care of this chicken, but it's so pretty in the case. I continued to soak up the sights and smells (fish, cheese) and take it all in. This is a busy market and the tour books warn you of pick pockets in this area.


beautiful candies

After the market, I went to H&M to look at some clothes. I love this store. I did buy some cute shirts and made it back to the hotel in time to greet Diane. I can't remember where we ate lunch once she arrived. I think we just wandered around and found a place that looked decent. We knew the plan for the day was to visit the Picasso museum and head down to look at the beach. The museum was fun. Picasso was a little weird but I think that's the part that made his museum a little more entertaining than most.

After Picasso, we went down to the beach! It was crowded down there. The weather was gorgeous and the people were nude! (not all of them, but a handful!). Actually, on the way down to the beach a man was walking towards us. As he got closer, it was evident he had no clothes on. None. From a distance it looked like he had a dark gray swim suit on but as he got closer, we noticed something swinging between his legs. Yes, you are right. Once I realized what it was, I had to turn away! Oh my gosh. So, I took a picture of him from the back side from a long distance away. You just never know what makes a person tick. So, flustered and flabbergasted we continued our journey. We got to the Mediterranean and this is what we saw:

There was this beautiful hotel that looked like a sail. The water was so blue, as the sky. Yes, there were topless women there. And we noticed there were some nude men--lying on their sides, lying on their backs. A much freer culture in Spain, eh? Looking back the other direction we saw this:

After the shock and awe, we headed back to the hotel. For dinner we headed up the Passeig de Gracia and passed this marvelous building. I'm sure it was built by Gaudi.

We found a nice restaurant and had an enjoyable meal. Once seated, we had to ask for a menu in English. Catalan is not Spanish and we didn't have a clue what all was on the menu. It was nice to sit and eat and catch up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 1

I was so tired by the time I got on the airplane that all I wanted to do was sleep. From my little town I flew to Detroit and waited a long time for the cross-Atlantic flight to Amsterdam. I sat by a nice lady traveling alone. She was from Illinois and we chatted a bit before both falling asleep. We slept through dinner! Our flight was delayed leaving the U.S. because some yahoo said some stupid comments which, rightly so, got him thrown off the plane. Once landing in Amsterdam, I made my way to the gate for Barcelona. It was a two hour flight to Barcelona but only after sitting on the plane for an hour because we couldn't depart yet. The French were striking so we had to wait our turn before flying over their air space. I guess they were slowing air traffic because they don't want to wait until they are 62 before they can retire. I wonder if they still work less than 40 hrs per week, too? KLM was nice and fed us snacks while we waited. Once cleared to depart, we got to Barcelona--no problem.
It was around 5 pm before I got to my hotel on Les Ramblas. I dropped off my stuff and headed to the grocery store to pick up some cereal and milk. I dropped that off and then wandered around a little to get my bearings. Diane was to arrive around 9:30 pm so I went back to the hotel to watch some TV. I closed my eyes to nap a bit and then the phone rang. It was Diane. Her flight had been canceled. Dang French. She would arrive tomorrow around 12:30 pm. Oh well. So, I spruced up a bit and went out for dinner. I didn't go far. I crossed the street and headed toward Placa de Catalunya. I found a restaurant and ordered dinner and some red wine. I tried to speak with another lady eating alone and the waiter chatted some. I explained that I had just arrived and my friend would be joining me tomorrow. I was so tired, too. I told them "Necesito dormir." Off I went with a full belly.

More later...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back from Spain

Mae West ~ by Salvador Dali

Monday, September 06, 2010

flying to Spain today!

I'm flying to Barcelona today! Yay! I'm excited and can't wait to explore some of the Iberian Peninsula. I've always wanted to go to Spain since my 9th grade Spanish class!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's the last day of summer break and what did I do? I've gone and scheduled a dentist appointment for both kids! My timing is impeccable sometimes.

I'm torn about the end of summer. It's my favorite season for many reasons. I like warm weather and being lazy in the mornings. It's the nothing planned part that I like, too. Arkansas was fun but after that, this summer's been just a blur. We now are painting and getting the little house on the 23 acres ready for us to move in to. Pete's mom went into a nursing home in August and the trip to Boston was tempered a bit. I long for a routine again. So, that's how I'm torn. School starts back tomorrow for the kids and I will be able to get things done around the house in peace. We'll have our soccer days and church on Sunday. But, we will be moving at some point in October. Then the routines will be disrupted and we will have to start all over again.

At least, this year when the kids go back to school I won't have to try to find things to keep me busy. I've got so much to do right now that I'm a little overwhelmed. A happy medium would do, really. I guess that will have to wait.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big day!

Friday was a big day. First, it was my baby girl's birthday. She turned 8! She has wanted to get her ears pierced for two years now, so we finally let her. Her friend and Clayton are there for moral support. Kendall needed to hold their hands.

Here, the lady is putting a mark on her earlobe.
Kendall had to close her eyes for the piercing. She was very brave.
And there you have it. Little gold balls in her ears.
After that, we went to a local water park for the afternoon. Then Kendall had her friend and her friend's sister spend the night. We threw together a little party/sleepover. The days of the big parties are over. Thank Goodness. I think they had a good time.

The other big news of the day is we got an offer on our house! They offered full asking price and were approved for a loan. Now, we need to get appraised and inspected. It's so crazy how fast this has all happened. I guess it's meant to be.

It looks like I'll be perpetually painting for a while. Ugh.

At least I still have Barcelona.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We had a family look at our house last night. They loved it, but need to check on the financing. I really hope it works out. Or do I? If they buy it, then it means we will have to pack quickly and move to the ranch house on the 23 acres. The dream is to build on there someday and frankly, I would rather just move once. But, having two mortgages would be stressful so I definitely see my husband's point.
my father-in-law with 3 of his 4 grand kids
My trip up to Boston was all right. It was sad, too. My mother-in-law is going on week 3 in a nursing home. My husband and his sister convinced their dad to go up to Maine for the weekend. So, we all loaded up our cars and made the trip up the coast.It was the first time in 11 years that my father-in-law went to Maine without his wife. We stopped for dinner along the way at this restaurant they like to eat at. Oh, and then we stopped off at L.L. Bean in Freeport

The kids have a blast with their cousins. Clayton and Gabriel hang out and Kendall and Allegra hang out. Clayton worships Gabriel. We were able to go out on the Uncle Eddy on Saturday. Pete's dad stayed back at the house-he wasn't feeling well-and the rest of us went out. It's so much easier now that the kids are a little older. There were lobster pots (buoys) about and sailboats--a true Maine coast day.

We got back from being out on the boat and the kids played. Kendall got stung by a huge black wasp. Of course, one of the kids were making the wasps mad. Poor Kendall. She screamed and screamed. Pete killed the nest and in the process got stung twice. I detest wasps. We showed them.

For dinner on Saturday night, we tried to go out somewhere in Damariscottia. We waited until the last minute and hadn't made reservations anywhere. This is the frustrating part of the weekend. We eventually made it to Shaw's and had a great time. I think we were eating lobster around 8:30 pm. Yummy.

Sunday morning Pete, the kids, the dog, and I drove 12 hours back to PA. I was in my car alone and the kids were with Pete. Gosh, I'm getting spoiled with all this alone time. :) It was good to be back home in my own bed. Monday there was no rest with all the painting I had to finish and then Tuesday I cleaned like a crazy lady!

I've got one more trip coming up (Barcelona) and then I'll be ready to stay put for a while.
for some shopping. I think we left the store around 10 pm and had another hour to go before we hit South Bristol. I had my father-in-law with me. I can't say we chat easily. It's not good or bad, just the way it is. It was sort of a long trip, though. :0

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This is the view from the property we recently purchased. Yep, that's a red barn across the way. We're surrounded by farms. The house is OK--not the dream house, but we hope to build that on the 23 acres someday. For now, we will stay in our current home and hopefully rent out the little house with the beautiful view.

I've been batchin' it these last few days. Why I ever thought life was hard before kids is beyond me. Seriously, I've been sleeping in and staying up late. I stayed back because Pete felt it was important that I paint in our current house. Yes, we have lived here 9 years and there were walls that were just white. So, I have been painting like crazy in case someone decides they want to buy our current house. We will put it on the market in the spring. At least I'll get to enjoy the pretty painted walls for a while. I guess having two mortgages is not ideal. At least, for us it isn't.

I haven't been working all the time, however. Saturday, some friends were having a swim party/cookout. I went to that. And then Sunday, I went to church and then ended the day with karaoke. A friend wanted to go out with a bunch of girls for her birthday so we went out for dinner and then karaoke. It was fun. And, I didn't have to pay a baby sitter. Bonus.

The place we went for karaoke was a little, um, how do I say this?--unrefined. It was smoky and the music was loud. And it didn't start until 10 pm! The DJ was a young, skinny guy who could really sing. He sang some good songs and then he sang a song that made me embarrassed to be there! I had never heard the song before and, honestly, could do without hearing it again. There was an old man singing (I guess one could call it that) and a couple of young girls, too. It was obvious who the regulars were. It was obvious this group of over 35 year olds was not a group of regulars.

Then Monday I painted some more and then had a softball game in the evening. Our team won! I even scored a run. It was a good night.

I can't tell you how relaxed I am. Boy, kids sure do make me tense. I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow, though. Today I was shopping at Target and it occurred to me that it's not that fun if you aren't escaping your kids. I needed a couple of things and, once I got them, discovered I was ready to get out of there. Wow. Yep, I'm looking forward to seeing my kiddos.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I can't believe summer is winding down. I went to the grocery store this week and I could tell that some of the students were back. I'm just not ready for the hustle and bustle.

I'm also not ready for cooler weather, which with the end of summer approaching, means cooler weather is on its way. I detest coats, gloves, hats. I don't like how my skin gets dry and my toes stay cold.

This summer has flown by with the purchase of the 23.77 acres and Pete's mom going into the nursing home. It seems like everything is happening at the same time. I don't know if that is a good thing or not. I guess we don't have a choice.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

We went to New York state over the weekend. My husband's friend from high school and college was in the country from Taiwan. He, his wife and two kids were here for a while. They come every summer and have a big cookout and all his friends come to see them. It's like a mini reunion for Cornell. Ben sets up tents (we brought ours) and people sleep in the yard. Ben's parents live in a huge farm house that was built in 1905. There's a pool and tons of space for kids to run around. At night, there's always a big bonfire. This year I came down with a cold. :( It was still nice seeing everyone, but I felt like poop.

Tomorrow we close on the property (finally). I wish we could find a renter for the house over there because it's not looking like we are going to sell our house. I need a job if we are going to have two mortgages.

Which, I'm actively searching for a job right now. There are some possibilities out there and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. It would be so good to have a career of my own. I'm tired of the SAHM routine. Besides, the kids are older and spend most of their time at school during the year. And it would be good to use my brain again.

In other news, my sister has moved back to Northwest Arkansas. She's working in hospice full-time now. She decided to leave Family Practice because, in her words, "to do it right, you don't make any money." There is a huge problem with primary care in this country. The doctors don't get reimbursed like they should. My sister was the medical director for a small hospice house with 4 or 6 beds for five years and during that time discovered she loved doing hospice. It will be great to spend more time in Fayetteville when we go down in the summers.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm not crazy just yet. But, gosh, if I think about all the stuff going on right now, I might be crazy soon. We close on the property Aug. 4. The real estate agent came by and gave us comps for our house that we're in. At the moment, we decided to rent out the house on the property and stay here and then put the house on the market in February. We still have our house listed on Craigslist, too. I can't wait until we get settled again. It's a little unnerving. Not to mention, all the little projects that need to be done around our house so it will look perfect for that potential buyer. STRESSFUL!

And then there's Pete's mom. A bed opened up in the nursing home and she is scheduled to go in next week. I think we'll be going up there and then, who knows?--we might go up to Maine if Pete's dad is up to it. Again--things are in limbo.

One thing I'm looking forward to is my trip to Barcelona! I've booked the aparthotel and bought my ticket. I'm so excited and can't wait to see my friend, Diane. It looks like an amazing city. I've heard it's very cosmopolitan. Ooh la la.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My parents left this morning. We took them out for breakfast at the Waffle Shop. I think they liked it. It was a very stressful week with Pete gone and my parents here while I worked at the hospital. My parents took the kids to their camps while I worked. I was able to take off a few minutes early and pick up my daughter from camp so my parents wouldn't have to drive the 20 min in to get her (since I work 2 min from Penn State). I wonder how single parents do it---work and take care of their children. Surely, it's not meant to be that way.

Pete, his sister and his dad found a nursing home for Pete's mom. There's not an opening right now but they say the average wait is a month. It's a swanky one--$180,000 a year. I think the long-term insurance will pay about half of it. What do people do that can't afford that? Pete's dad is already planning to spend time with his grandchildren once he can travel again. In some ways, I'm dreading it--he's not the easiest guy to be around. But, it's been sad because he can no longer travel with Joan so the kids don't see their paternal grandparents much. We haven't been there since March. The next few weeks are full of uncertainty.

We close on the 23.7 acres on Friday. I'm excited and nervous. Change is always hard but not always bad. I dread getting our house ready to sell but I wish I had someone that wanted it. We've been painting all day today. Unfortunately, I bought the cheaper paint and it's not doing a great job covering the old paint. Lesson learned.

I'm beat. It's been a long week, but I survived. The kids have been exhausted. We have it so easy the other weeks of the year. I'm very spoiled by not having to work. (my kids are, too).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This week flew by. I knew in some ways it would. I filled in at the hospital and the kids were in art camp for a half day. I was lucky, our baby sitter was in town and she helped me out. Pete was very busy with a manure conference being held in town. He had a presentation so before the conference he wasn't a lot of help, and during the conference, he was non-existent. I did see him around 8:30 every evening. We also had a couple of guests staying with us this week, too. And then Friday a couple looked at the house. So, it was a busy week without a lot of down time.

And then there was the call from Pete's dad. It seemed that my mother-in-law had a meltdown at the doctor's office. She has Alzheimer's and my father-in-law has been taking care of her evenings and weekends. His only break was when he went to work M-F. After witnessing the melt down, the doctor recommended she be put in a psychiatric ward so they could regulate her meds. After that, then they could decide if she went home or on to a nursing facility. Instead, she went home and now Pete, his sister and their dad are looking at nursing homes next week. It's so sad, but necessary. My father-in-law hasn't had a break in a long time and it shows.

Oh, I'm scheduled to work next week. After my husband told me he had to go to Boston, I almost had a break down! He was supposed to be the flexible one next week to take the kids to their camps, etc. It's so hard not having back up for situations just as this. I called my parents on Thursday and asked if they would come up and help out for the week. Thankfully, they said yes. What a relief. It's a two day drive and they should be here Sunday night.

On a happier note, I took the kids to see Despicable Me today. It was so funny. Some slapstick and some adult humor. It's so fun to hear your own kids laugh out loud. I'll have to buy that one when it comes out.

I'm still just filling in at the hospital and hoping for something permanent to come along. It would be nice to have a real job with set hours. One of these days..maybe.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We accomplished some stuff around the house this weekend. Why is it you can live in a place and know there is stuff to do, but only do it when you want to sell? We still have some things to fix, but I'm not stressing yet. We've even had some responses to our ad on Craigslist. Now, to sell it....

Yesterday we also had some time for fun. Clayton did a kids race. It was a 1/4 mile run for 5-6 year olds. Kendall has been away since 10 am Sunday. She was at a birthday party and then sleepover. I missed her! Clayton missed her, too.

I have to keep it short. I've got to be at work by 7:30 AM. Just 10 days more to work and then I'm done for a while. It would be nice to have something that's a regular thing.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I have a lot going on right now. I have to work the next two weeks at the hospital. It will be a whirlwind. The kids are in camps for the next 3 weeks. We made an offer on 23.7 acres and now need to sell our existing house or we will be scrimping by for a while. There's a house on the property and we will move into it for now. Ugh.

I feel like I've got so much to write about but really no time. Arkansas was long, but great. I always love going home and don't do it enough. My sister is moving back to the area where we grew up so it means I can be in Fayetteville more when we go back. She's going from being an employer to an employee and I think it's a little frustrating for her. At least now she will have a salary that she can rely on. I hope she can find a balance.

Speaking of being an employee, I really want to work more when the kids go back to school. First of all, we now need the money! But also, it's important for my psyche. I'm just not good at being a SAHM. I need people.

I've been running more and more lately. It's so good to be back at it. I did the Firecracker 4K on July 4th. My time was 24:34 (close to that). Yay! I need to get faster though. Oh well, one run at a time...

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I'm back from Arkansas and still tired. It takes two days to make the drive. We had great weather and no construction on the highways so it wasn't bad.

My husband made an offer on some land while he was back home for a week. So, if anyone wants a house, let me know! But, it means going to Barcelona will have a little guilt with it now that my husband says we need to save money. :( He never worries about that when he's flitting around in the woods. Oh well.

Better go for now. I've got lots to do around here.

Happy 4th (tomorrow) everyone!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

On the lake

Originally uploaded by Kelly'sphotos
here is a video of us on the boat....


Originally uploaded by Kelly'sphotos

I'm in Arkansas right now. It's been super hot and so far, we've been on the lake three times. The other dayss (when my sister is working), I take the kids to the pool.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

We have a bird who has set up house in our garage. She built her nest on top of the motor to the garage door opener. We now leave a garage door open so she can come and go as she pleases.

Friday was the Field Day at my kids' school. There were different stations set up with little games to play. The kids were free to pick what task they wanted to complete. The weather cooperated which isn't always the case in central Pennsylvania. I started out at the "American Idol" booth. It was a CD player with a CD and some pop songs on it. The kids had a microphone
and they would sing along to a song. It was a little lame but fun when the kids would pick a song with a beat. At one time there were about 20 kids doing some kind of Cha-cha thing. I was doing it, too, along with the gym teacher. The gym teacher put the whole thing together and she did a great job.

Saturday, Kendall had her last soccer game for the spring. She has been under the weather a bit this week so her energy levels weren't very good. She seems to still like soccer, if only for the social aspect of it. Tomorrow is Clayton's last soccer game.

I also went for a run this morning. I'm up to 45 minutes now for my run. I don't really push myself so it's only a little over a 5K. I did increase my speed a bit halfway through my run today when it started raining on me. It wasn't a hard rain so I survived. My husband said that Clayton wanted to go pick me up. He's so sweet. My legs are a little tired today but it definitely feels good to be "back in the saddle," so to speak.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Eventful week

This week has been packed. First, we had Kendall's field trip to the Penn State Agricultural land for the soil field trip. My husband was the host and he was really good. The weather was perfect for it, too. The kids started out checking out a rain simulator to see the benefits of *no till farming. The dad of one of Kendall's class mates is big into that research.

The kids also saw two pits with different types of soils and then Pete took them to a field and they dug up samples and tried to identify it based on what they had learned earlier. The mode of transportation was a hayride pulled by a tractor driven by Pete. We ended the trip with some Penn State ice cream from the Berkey Creamery.

one of the students trying her hand obtaining a soil sample

Pete explaining horizons

Then last night was Clayton's rescheduled birthday party. All he wanted was a Fun Unleashed party so we finally decided he could have one. He is the second child and gets so many left overs that we felt this would be his big chance. We had a good turn out and the kids had a blast. I hope this is it for the huge parties.

time for the kids to introduce themselves

the little guy

I'm glad we did it. He had a smile all night and the kids were exhausted from running around non-stop all evening. We'll be busy this weekend writing the thank you notes.

*No-Till Farming: A method of farming where the soil is not plowed or turned before planted. This method reduces erosion of both soil and nutrients, while increasing organic matter in the soil.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

I think these new black sandals will look lovely in Barcelona, don't you? They're comfortable, too. I still haven't bought my plane ticket, yet, but I will need to make the decision soon. I'm hoping a friend in France can join me.

Today I volunteered at Centre Volunteers in Medicine (like every Tuesday) and tomorrow I will assist my husband with a field trip. He's hosting my daughter's class for a soils field trip. I won't be wearing the sandals pictured above because it will probably be a little muddy. Then Friday is the Field Day for my kids' elementary school. As you can tell, the school year is (finally) winding down. It won't be long until we make the long drive to North Arkansas to see family. The closer it gets, the more excited I become.

And then Thursday we will have Clayton's birthday party. We had to reschedule it last week because he broke out in hives all over his body. It was scary. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the party will happen this week! It's also the last week of my kids' soccer. Wow! Time has flown by these last few months.

Monday, May 31, 2010

We had a busy Memorial Day weekend. It seems like it was the four of us for most of it. It's nice when we get to spend lots of time together. I had to get out for a little on my own Saturday evening just to get a breather. I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a guidebook for Barcelona. I'm getting so excited thinking about it. I'm even starting to try to think of words in Spanish. Yay!

But, back to the weekend.

Saturday was spent hiking with the family a bit up on Penn State's land near us. We headed over to a pond and Lilly was swimming and swimming. Pete and the kids were trying to catch gnutes--not sure how to spell this. Later on that day, we went out for an early dinner to Cozy Thai.

I was feeling a little sad at the first of the weekend because we are so far from family. Pete had plans to keep us busy by taking us over to a little farm to buy some veggie plants for our garden. Our good friends live near this farm so we decided to drop by and see them. One thing led to another, and we invited ourselves over for dinner. So after planning the menu for the evening, we headed to the grocery store and then to the wine store. They defrosted some steaks (part of the same cow we bought) and we supplied the sides. They threw in the lettuce since they had a lot in the garden. It turned out to be one tasty, fantastic meal. The kids swam in their pool while the adults sat by the pool and enjoyed a nice Rose from France. We had steaks, roasted rosemary potatoes, salad with blue cheese, toasted walnuts, sliced pear and raspberry vinaigrette. We had a nice Malbec from Argentina with the meal. There were also some grilled shrimp. For dessert, we had ice cream of various flavors and some sweetened, sliced strawberries.

After dinner, the kids played on the Wii. I tried my hand at boxing and tennis. We are supposed to get one for Christmas, but I may have to buy one before that.

This morning I went for a run. I ran for 36 minutes without stopping. It felt so good but afterward, I was so tired. We had gorgeous weather yesterday and today. We took advantage of it today and took the kids, with a neighbor and her kids, to a State Park just a few minutes from our house.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Warning...grumpy post.

It's Memorial Day weekend here. So far, we don't have a lot of plans. It's on long weekends that I wished we live closer to family for cooking out and going to the lake. Oh well. I get to go see family in a couple of weeks.

Clayton was supposed to have his birthday party on Thursday. We had to reschedule because the little guy broke out in hives all over his body Thursday afternoon. It was horrible. On Friday I took him to the doctor and he was prescribed some prednisone for a couple of days. There is marked improvement this morning. I have to say he's been so good these last few days. Not really complaining or anything. "I'm so itchy!" is all he would say. After we left the doctor he said, "When your not sick, it's a lot funner." Yes, it is Clayton.

I spoke with my sister last night and she is considering a career change. She'll still practice medicine but in a different capacity if it all works out. Family Practice doctors get the shaft in the U. S. They don't make a lot of money and work like a dogs. Shame, really, since FPs tend to use a lot of common sense while diagnosing things. And we wonder why health care is so screwed up in the U.S.? We think we need to see a specialist for every little thing and then we sue over ever little thing and expect too much. We don't exercise and eat tons of crap and wonder why we're fat. Yep, greedy and lazy. I'll stop here, but as you can see, I'm very opinionated on this subject. And the insurance companies are crooks. (I just had to get that one in.)

I hope everyone has a nice weekend. I think we're going to have some good weather around here. Yay!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

You'll Shoot your eye out!

I had a busy weekend. It started Friday afternoon with me taking a Dairy Queen ice cream cake into Clayton's kindergarten class. I think most of the kids enjoyed it. Then after school, there was a birthday party for one of Clayton's classmates. It wasn't her birthday, though. Oh well, we will have a party for the class next week. By the time I got home Friday night, I was wiped out.

But as you can see from the picture above, Clayton got some presents before his party. Yep, Pete gave Clayton a Red Rider BB gun. You know the one from the Christmas movie with the kid (was it Ralph?), who wanted a BB gun for Christmas. And all the mom could say was, "You'll shoot your eye out." This was not my idea for Clayton, no, Pete came up with this all by himself.
It's OK, though. Saturday morning the two of them spent quite a while shooting the gun at a target. Pete went over gun safety and how to carry it, etc. It's even locked up with the real guns. So, don't worry, it won't by lying around the house.

The rest of Saturday was spent watching Kendall's soccer and grocery shopping. We went to some friends house for dinner.

Today, Kendall and I made it to church while the men were slouchers. I think Clayton has some congestion in his ear. He did make it to soccer, however, and actually made a goal. I was a proud momma.

We've started planting flowers around the yard. I say "we" but it's really Pete that does that kind of stuff. I took some pictures of our Clematis that we planted last year.

In case you are wondering, I still haven't found anyone to travel with me in September. I'm now considering Barcelona instead of Seville. I might fly into Nice and rent a car and drive to Barcelona. Or I may not do any of it. It's still early. And I haven't ruled out traveling solo. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today my son turns 6. I can't believe it. And he was born on a Friday, too. We will have his birthday party next week at a place called Fun Unleashed. That's all he wanted. We finally decided to have one and I was going to do it on his birthday, but then we got an invitation from a classmate for a Fun Unleashed party for today. Ugh! And her birthday isn't even in May-it's in August. Clayton's been taking it well. He woke up to presents and will get some more next week at his party.

I went out for a bike ride yesterday. It's been at least 9 years since I've ridden. I had my bike tuned up last week and yesterday was the first nice day that we've had with nice weather so I took advantage of it. I must admit, I feel so vulnerable out there on the road on a bicycle. I think I'll ride on a bike path next time. And I can't believe how sore I am today. I'm so out of shape.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm so tired today. Last night was Bunco and I stayed up too late. And then this morning I volunteered and the free medical clinic. I'm looking forward to sleeping tonight.

I recently decided that I must go to Spain this year. Yep, Spain. You see, I took Spanish in high school and college, and I'm rapidly forgetting it. I need to refresh my memory. The part of Spain I want to visit is Seville, Grenada, and the southern part near there. I'm hoping to make this journey in early September. I need to get my sister or some friends to join me. Any takers? Pete will stay back with the kids. It needs to be early September because he is going to China towards the end of September for a conference. I even bought a Frommer's guide book today to start reading about that part of Spain. Anyway, if I don't start planning, I won't go for sure.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We had a fun-filled, busy weekend. The weekend started out a little blah with us losing power. Friday night we took the kids and a friend of Kendall's to a 3D movie. It was "How to train your dragon." The special effects were good. The movie was just OK. I'm afraid I compare all animated movies to "Finding Nemo" so most come up flat. But, we got home a little after 9 pm and our house was dark. I guess there had been some high winds and some power lines were down. When we woke on Saturday, the power was still out. We got ready and headed out to the Waffle Shop for breakfast. We got there around 8 am so the wait was about 5 minutes. After stuffing our faces at breakfast, we headed out to Wal-mart to get a bike for Clayton. Both kids have new bikes now and I can't wait for them to learn to ride the bikes without training wheels.
Kendall then had soccer and in the evening we had friends over for dinner. We made Kir Royals for apertifs. I really love those!

Sunday we headed to church. And the sun was out today. It felt good to see the sun. Clayton had soccer this afternoon and then we went to the Pennsylania Military Museum. There were helecopters and some big vehicles on display. We stopped off for a while while the kids explored. Kendall had a friend with her.

We stuck around until the helicopters started to take off. It was very exciting. After this, we took Kendall's friend home. It was a lame play date for them! Ha! It was so nice to be outside.

After we got home we took the dog out for a walk at the Ag Progress Days land and the kids rode their bikes around out there. One has to take advantage of a day with sun in central PA. I hear rain is going to be back tomorrow. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I think Tuesdays are becoming my new favorite day of the week. I do my volunteering gig at Centre Volunteers in Medicine in the morning and then run errands in the afternoon. And then end the night with some American Idol.

Specifically today I had to go to the laundry mat to wash a comforter. I've been carrying that thing in the trunk of my car for weeks. I think the dog may have pee-peed on it but I wasn't sure. I was better safe than sorry in this case. Of course, I picked the rainiest day in a long time to do it. Duh.

But, I have to say, next to the airport, the laundry mat is a good place to watch (observe) people. Today, a woman came in by wheelchair with her daughter, son and son's girlfriend/wife. They loaded about 4 washers while the old woman was giving them orders. "Hot water, cold water, etc." Her son, who was no little guy, had walked over to the Easter European grocery store next door and bought some chocolate. The chocolates were filled with a rum liquor. The older woman was adamant that the store could not sell that candy if it had alcohol in it. I couldn't
quite figure out what the big deal was. But, it piqued my interest and I may have to see if by law, one can by chocolate with alcohol in it in Pennsylvania. My comforter was soon dry and I finally got out of there.

I then went to Target to get just shampoo and stuff. I hadn't been there in a long time. It's so dangerous and I always spend more money than I should. I checked to see if they had the Wii

So, I soon need to pick up the kids from school. Another reason I like Tuesdays? We have no where to go after school. Yes, we can come home and stay home. No soccer. Hooray! And soon, I'll plop myself on the couch and get to watch American Idol. And is a new episode of Glee on tonight after Idol? is good! and they did. Only $199! What a bargain. Just kidding. My husband has promised the kids they can get one for Christmas. I think we should by it now
so that we have it to give to them at Christmas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Old friends, good times

We had company this past weekend. They are old friends who used to live in State College. Julie and the kids arrived Friday night around 7 pm. I think Rich had ridden with someone else earlier on Friday for a meeting at Penn State. It was nice to catch up. The kids had a blast. I think it was 10:45 pm before the rug rats hit the hay.

On Saturday, the menfolk went turkey hunting with no luck while Julie and I got to chit chat a little. Then Clayton was off to a birthday party for a couple of hours. Kendall skipped soccer because she was so tired (see above). We all came together Saturday evening for some yummy pizza on the grill courtesy of Pete. We had another couple over with their daughter, too. We three families used to do this a bunch when Rich and Julie lived in town.

It's hard to find friends whom you can just hang out with and not have to impress. It takes a long time to cultivate friendships. I'm glad we could get together and have a good time. The kids were in the other room watching a movie and one of the boys kept coming into the kitchen to tell us to be quiet. Role reversal!

On Sunday we had to be at church early. The second grade Sunday School class got Bibles in front of the church. Kendall was so excited and spent a lot of time reading Bible stories Sunday afternoon. Clayton had soccer and I got out of it since it was so cold. It was Mother's day so I guess that was my gift. (Pete did get me some red roses as an afterthought).

So, it was an event-filled weekend and we had a lot of fun. I'll admit, I'm a little tired today from the lack of down time. Oh well, it was worth it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I'm alive! I think I'm almost done with this cold. Just the leftover congestion and cough, but I don't feel so miserable anymore. I'm actually going to go for a run this morning. The bad news: my husband is coming down with it now.

On the work front I'm getting all my background checks done so I can apply to the school district to be a sub. There are a lot of hoops to go through but I certainly understand the reasons why. This summer I will be working at the hospital for two weeks in July. The down side is I have to pay a baby sitter, but fortunately, Nuclear Medicine pays well so I'll take some money home. I'm so lucky to have an awesome baby sitter. She's going to be in town the weekend before the week I work so she said she would stay the next week and help me out. And there are two days that week when I have to be there by 7:30. She said she could get them ready and take them to Art camp in the mornings. The Nuc Med department is trying to make it difficult on me, but I'll show them! Actually, they were shocked (I could hear it in their voices) when I told them I would do both weeks. Their new rules totally favor the new PRN girl, who doesn't have children,
but I'm showing them I can do it (at least these two weeks!).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

I have a cold. It's a beautiful day outside and I don't feel like going out. Why is it something so small can cause so much discomfort? At least, I know I won't feel horrible more than a day or two.

Earlier this week I was informed that if a technologist takes off a week then I have to be able to work the whole week to get the hours. I used to be able to work two days or three, or whatever worked for me. Now, they don't want to have to think about who's coming in on what day and what time. I took it personally. And it's hard not too considering the other per diem tech doesn't have kids, isn't married, etc. So, the new policy definitely works in her favor. Every time I want to work, I have to make sure Pete will be around to take or pick up the kids. It's hard to make plans and set up child care when you work sporadically.

Last night our kids had an Extravaganza show. It was a show for the parents so we could see what they do when they stay for after school clubs. My kids like to stay so I let them stay three days out of five. But, after the show, we got to eat dinner. I took a curried chicken salad and deviled eggs. There was enough food for everyone this time. And it was all delicious.

There is nothing else going on around here. Maybe if my head wasn't filled with snot I could write something entertaining and funny....... doubtful.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I'm still thinking about what I want to do when I grow up. I've talked with some women about the RN thing and I'm getting some good insight. I also found out there is another university that offers the associates program for RN. I think I have some options. But, one thing I know is I need to be here for my kiddos. So, that will be the tricky part--finding a job/career that allows some flexibility with my family. I'm blessed--we don't need my salary to put food on the table and I need to start recognizing that maybe, just maybe, my job right now is to be here for the family. Taking it for the team, they say.

I think it's an ego thing for me. There is something about having a job that is valued in society and getting paid for it. Motherhood is one of those jobs that the American society does not value anymore and you sure don't get paid to do it. And being a homemaker is not valued for sure! If anything, it's a thankless job. I'm learning to like my job--thanked or not. Or maybe, more accurately, is I'm praying to like my job more and more.

I hope people who read this don't come away from here thinking I'm some spoiled housewife. I'm really not. It's just I'm in flux right now and trying to figure out what to do. I want to contribute to society while taking care of my little ones and the big guy here at home. I know where there's a will, there's a way.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When life gives you lemons...

Well, a week has gone by since Cody passed away. It's easier now not to cry when I think of her. I think part of it is we are so busy nowadays. Soccer has started back for both kids and this year I love going to the practices. It will be exciting once they start playing games, too.

Lately I've had this restless feeling inside regarding being a homemaker. Frankly, I'm a reluctant homemaker but I'm starting to think it's what I'm going to be forever. So, I've been thinking of a career change. You see, as a nuclear medicine technologist, there just isn't a lot of job opportunity in a small community. The local hospital employs 3 full time techs but could probably get by with two full time techs and one part time tech. The techs are all great to work with but it's not the most progressive hospital. Which means the nuclear med department doesn't do a whole lot of interesting things. I still love working when I get the chance, however. I love using my knowledge about nuclear medicine and I love patient care. I can't explain it, but helping others is definitely my calling. Oh, the curse of being an extrovert. Anyhoo--I do love working and I think it's because I need the people fix. Oh, back to the career change.

Penn State (the Altoona campus) offers a second degree option in nursing. Yes, nursing. I was a nursing major before I switched to Nuc med. The program is a 16 month program and when you get out, you are an RN. I've been thinking of going for this lately. I think I have most prerequisites for the program but the commitment of full time school with a husband and two kids seems a little scary to me. I'm struggling with not working, though. I think if I did this, I would have a chance of getting some regular work, either as a nurse or in some capacity where a nursing degree would allow me to do the job. And it's not about the money. Sure, I love getting paid. Who doesn't? And another paycheck would help Pete realize his dream of owning land and having a winery some day. But, I don't want to be full time. Ugh. Enough of this. You get the picture.

So today I made lemon cake. This cake is probably one of the tastiest desserts I make. It's an Ina Garten recipe, of course. The house smelled so good and I was blaring my iPod while I baked and did laundry.

I've been running lately. Last Friday, I ran a 5K race in 33 min 10 seconds. I've been running over the winter, but this was my first race in a looooonnnnggg time. Since last Friday, I've kept up the running and can tell I'm building up my endurance. It's great to be interested in running again. I really want to lose the extra weight I put on around the middle this last year. Sigh.

So, that's what I've been up to around here. Not much and then again, enough!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

So hard to say goodbye...

This was a rough week. We had to put down our 12 year old Black Lab. Turns out she had kidney cancer and by the end was pretty much out of it. She went out with her dignity.

I think back to when I first met her and then when Pete and I got together. She had a hard time accepting me. She would chew up things of mine or tear apart magazines that I had touched. But, over time, she grew to be a loyal and loving dog to me. Yes, even me.

For instance, when I went on bed rest while pregnant with my now 7 year old, Cody lay by my side all day as if she was protecting me. And then after Kendall was born, she would stand between Kendall and whoever was visiting us. She was like a mom herself.

I was shocked by how I was affected by this loss. It still brings tears to my eyes even now while writing this. I miss her howl and her crazy jumping at the sound of the dog food hitting her metal bowl. I can't remember the last time I heard her bark or when she met me at the door. No, she was old and had mostly become a dog who slept all day and night. Guests would be at our house for 30+ minutes before she would come down stairs and realize someone else was here.

Not much to say. She's buried in our back yard now. The kids helped put the soil back over her. Poignant and touching.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mischievous Cody--the dog who loved chocolate!

It's been an emotional roller coaster this week with our old dog, Cody. It's been at least 9 days since she's eaten and she's really not drinking water, either. We've been giving her sub-cutaneous fluids the last few days and that's about it. The vet is not sure just what is happening other than her kidneys are failing. We don't know what precipitated all of this. She is 12, however. It's still a heart breaker even though she's had a full, charmed life. She's a dog, after all. But, Pete treats his dogs like royalty.
I was so mad this day

Here is a dog who used to eat everything and now turns her head away from peanut butter.

So, we are preparing ourselves for the end of a sweet life.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's been a long time since I've been able to devote some attention to this blog. Basically, I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since the kids were on spring break. But, it's been a good busy.

We got to go to DC recently. It was a short trip, but fun. We happened to be there during the National Cherry Blossom. Oh, and we stayed at our friends' house while they were away on vacation. While Clayton was disappointed it wasn't a hotel with a pool, good times were had by all.
Then, last week I worked 3 days at the hospital. It was so good to be back in the saddle. I love working. Something part time would be perfect. Who knows? Maybe one of these days something will work out. For now, I'm still volunteering at the free medical clinic Tuesday mornings.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010