Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our new project

Things have started to slow down a little bit around here. We actually sit down and have dinner together several nights a week now!! Basketball is over for Ashley & Brandi, and Ashley is obviously not doing any sports right now. Brandi & Kendra are not doing soccer this session. Kind of my fault...a bad mom moment when I forgot to sign them up on time and now there's no room left on the team. A blessing in disguise if you ask me:) Brandis knees have both really been bothering her, they pop every time she bends them and she goes to bed with ice packs on them. 11 is way too young to be having knee problems so I think a couple sports free months will be good for her. Kendra doesn't get home until 5 so adding in some soccer practices and games after that makes it much too busy for her. It is SOOOOO nice to just go home. I look around at 5:30 and everybody is home for the night! Last night at 6:30 I was sitting out on the swing with a glass of wine while the girls cleaned up dinner dishes. That is something I could get used to:)
But we don't learn very fast around here.....just because we're enjoying the peace doesn't mean we will stick with it. Ashley is part of FFA now and we caved in to her pleading for an animal to show at the fairs. For right now she is keeping her sheep at Justins house so he can show her how to take care of it, feed it etc.
It's not as simple as sticking them out in the pasture and letting them live thier lives! Turns out raising sheep for show is a very complicated process. They have to be fed exactly the right amount of the right type of grain at just the right times to ensure they fill out the way they should. I learned yesterday that the reason you put their feed up off the ground and have a block for them to step onto to reach it is so that they develop nice muscles in the back of thier legs! I'm wondering if I could put my kitchen table up on blocks....hmmm. Not sure if the rest of the family would appreciate my attempts to firm up the glutes!
So anyway, the sheep she has now she'll sell at the Toppenish fair in May. Then she'll need new sheep to raise for the Grandview fair this summer. A couple of other FFA girls would like to raise some sheep for the Grandview fair as well so they're going to keep them at out house. This weekend Bob started on building a shelter for them. We have a little pasture in the back but they'll need a place to get out of the sun. It was kind of a fun family project. We got a long ways but still have a long ways to go yet. The girls are excited about getting it all set up and painted....the interior design mode is still being negotiated. Bob is all for a simple red & white. The girls are thinking it would look kind of cute with a little more personality. Perhaps some flowers...peace signs....a little grafitti? We shall see who wins the battle:)
Everybody had a job to do.....
Brandi did the measuring and marking...
Bob did the drilling....
With a little bit of help...
Ashley ran the saw....
Tyler tested the hammers......
Kendra kept track of the leftovers......
Sami & Harley supervised......


And me? Well I documented. Every big important project needs to be well documented!
to be continued.......

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday morning head count

I'm trying to make sure I get more pictures of just normal everyday life and not just special events so this morning I decided to go around and do a head count. Bob was already out the door so I missed him but I managed to catch everybody else. They were not very happy about it but mom's the boss:)
Kendra is always up & at em bright and early! Ready to hit the road by 6:45
First order of business is scrounging up some food. Clothes can come later!!

Ready to catch the 7:15 bus!

School? oh yeah...I used to go there. 2 1/2 days last week, maybe 3 this week but today I think I'll just stay right here!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

on the road again...

It's a Wisconsin kinda week. Bob left Tuesday morning for Wisconsin. He should be home again sometime early Saturday morning. The purpose? This time I'm confident I know the answer! It's a big BS session! Yep, apparently a bunch of them are meeting there with guys from Holland all regarding the new potatoe harvesters they've sold into Alberta. I sent Bob off with strict instructions as to putting his foot down! It's looking like he'll end up spending most of his summer/fall in Alberta and no offense to any Albertans but I'm not really ok with that idea. He seems to think he has the perfect solution by reminding me regularly that we could all just come along with him. Something that might have worked 10 years ago but with 4 kids that's just not as easy to do as it once was. Ashley has a job, Brandi wants a job, we have two dogs at home, packing up and leaving for a month just isn't that simple any more. I offered to write a letter to the head honchos and send it with him regarding my 'opinion' on the whole situation but he seemed to think it would negatively effect his employment status. hmmmm don't know what he was thinking. I was planning on being somewhat polite about it. Oh, and yes. Kendra cried. And cried and cried. The night before he left when it came time for bed the waterworks started. This time I made him deal with it:)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

She's still beautiful.....on the inside:)

Around the 14th of February Ashley seemed to be coming down with a bad cold. She woke up the next morning and her eyes were really puffy and she just generally felt pretty crummy. So she stayed home the rest of that week. Over the weekend her ear really started to bother her too, she was in a lot of pain! Finally on Wednesday when she had been home for a week I took her to see a doctor. We aren't really the doctoring type around here. Actually when Ashley had to go in for her first sports physical for school we realized that she actually didn't have a Dr! I called who I thought was her family dr and was told that nope...Ashley was not a patient of theirs. Apparently it had been over 9 years since she had seen a dr. So anyway, we went in to see if we could get to the bottom of this. Thanks to my love affair with 'google' I had my suspicions that she may have mono. All the signs and symptoms just seemed to fit. So off to town we went. Because I had a bunch of little kidlets with me I let Ashley go into the office by herself with strict instructions as to what she should tell them. 20 minutes later she came walking out and said..."I have an ear infection & she gave me a prescription for antibiotics" Well that was not really the answer I was looking for so I went & talked to the nurse and told her that I really felt that there was something else going on and I would like them to test her for mono. She sighed very patiently and informed me that the doctor would have ran those tests if she felt they were necessary. So being put politely back into my place as 'just the mother' we went back home. She stayed home the rest of that week and did seem to be improving somewhat, but there were a few nagging things that just wouldn't go away. Her eyes stayed really puffy, she was white as a ghost, and just looked crummy. In fact her looks were the main topic of dinner conversation one night. James & Peter were staying here for a couple nights and we were all sitting at the table kinda shooting sideways glances at Ashley, finally somebody just came right out with it..."Ashley you look like crap!" at which point everybody else quickly jumped on the bandwagon & chimed in with their opinions of exactly how crappy she looked. Not surprisingly with such an overwhelming show of support from all of us she actually began to get quite offended so Bob decided he should reassure her as only he can..."don't worry Ashley, we're just kidding. You're still beautiful.....................on the inside" So now that's become the latest catch phrase in our house. "you're still beautiful...........on the inside" I would love to post a picture of her to go with this but apparently there are some crimes which are completely unforgivable!!
Anyway, Monday morning she headed off to school but by the time she got home she was exhausted. And I got lots of feedback from various teachers and students about Ashley just not looking good. So I made another dr. appointment. From no appointments in 9 years to 2 in a one week time span!! Tuesday morning Ashley texted me from school that her neck had a huge lump on it! Thankfully her appointment was that afternoon. The Dr. took one look at her and said, "well I'm sure glad you brought her back in...I'm fairly positive that this poor girl has mono" YA THINK???? (sorry that was uncalled for) When Ashley laid down on the table in their office they didn't even have to feel for her spleen...they could see it! Her spleen was huge. Dr.s did not want her going back to school while the spleen was that enlarged for fear of it being bumped, poked, etc. But things kind of took a steep nose dive from there. Over the next few days both ears appeared to become infected, the throat developed large soars, the lymph nodes in the neck all swelled to the point where she could hardly move her head more than an inch or two in either direction. Various hives and rashes & random fevers come and go. And walking from the couch to the bathroom or her bed to the kitchen is a huge workout. The past two days things seem to be improving. She has started to be awake more than she sleeps during the day, one side of her neck almost looks normal, and her eyes are just about back to their normal size. Today she even went and took her sheep for a walk and argued with Justin for awhile! Of course that much activity required a lengthy nap immediately following. If things continue to improve we are almost starting to hope that by next week she can start going back to school for a couple partial days! That might still be a bit of a long shot but we're clinging to 'hope':) 24 days is a looooooong time to have a sick teenager. I've been trying my best, really I have, but Ashleys starting to pick up on my waning patience. She had to point out that I'm not as sympathetic as I used to be. Apparently I'm not jumping to cater to her every whim as quickly as i did 3 weeks ago!
She misses her friends, she misses her social life, I thought she would appreciate all this quality time she gets to spend with her mommy but I'm not sure she's feelin it.
And the homework.....oh the homework. Two days ago was the first she felt up to cracking a book even for just a little bit. So I nag constantly and she sighs constantly and little by little we're trying to chip away at it but wow. Not sure how or when she's going to catch up on some subjects. Especially geometry! But for now we're taking it one day at a time. Focusing first on getting better, and trying to be prepared for the possibility of missing not just weeks but months of school. In the meantime even though the teachers are saying they miss her and are commenting on how quiet it is without her, I think that's their way of telling me how much they're enjoying teaching their classes uninterrupted!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The continuing saga of "Tylerisms"

In an effort to provide ongoing coverage of the twisted workings of a 5 yr olds brain......Yesterday our friend Justin was asking Tyler about the whereabout of "bad Tyler" "I brought him to the junk yard a long long ways away so it takes him a long time to walk back to our house" Later on that evening it was very apparent that Bad Tyler had returned with a vengeance! So I commented to him that the junkyard must not be that far away cause Bad Tyler sure found his way back. "Mom, I think Bad Tyler went and got ahold of a map of the WHOOOLE world! And I think there's a little flashing green light on the map that shows him where I am so he can find me again!" Well shoot, he made a serious effort to lose the little bugger but with technology like that at his disposal Bad Tyler's gonna find his way home everytime! But then Tyler came up with the perfect solution. "I know! I'll leave him in Canada!!! There's no way he'll ever find me then!" Apparently this map of the WHOLE world does not include Canada. So all we need now if to find some cooperative Canadian willing to hold onto "Bad Tyler" for us:) In another 'techno world' dilemna....Today was a beautiful day so I told Tyler he had to go play outside. No more tv, no more video games, go play outside! So they were digging in the dirt and chasing bugs and doing all this great little boy stuff. Suddenly they came running back inside "mommy mommy can you help us build a fly trap?" Well of course I could do that, after all I was the one who wanted them to go outside and play in the dirt! "I have the perfect idea for a trap mommy! I'm going to get some old rotten cheese and lay it on that board & then we're going to put a net hanging way up above it & then we need to hook up the computer to it so we can put a special camera on it and it will scan all the bugs that come to the cheese and the good bugs will be able to fly away but when it scans a fly the computer will send a message and the net will plop down just like that! It'll be super duper cool! Can you get the computer mom can you?" Um ok honey...uh ummm...yeah. How about maybe you ask daddy to help you with that one?