Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tough Week

It has been a dreary few days. Yesterday I went to The City with the GGs and my DIL. The GGs had doctor appointments with different doctors in different parts of The City. I went along to herd them. Someone has to be the border collie. The weather man said the rain would stop Wed morning, but he was wrong. It rained all day long. It made driving in the City traffic even worse than usual. Toby was home with the flu. I was sympathetic, but there was not much I could do to help him. He was home again today, but he is feeling better now. Our church had a big potluck last night, and we missed it. I had made a chocolate chess pie to take, but with Toby sick and me in The City til late, well, we had to eat the pie ourselves. Darn.

While in The City, we did some shopping to kill time between appointments. I took this photo at Old Navy.The GGs made pretty good mannequins. Earlier this week, GBN2 took a tumble and hit her eye on the stationary bike. She had a mild concussion and fractured her eye-socket. She had to be quiet and still for several days. There was a danger that blood pooling around her eye could be a problem, but the doctor gave her a good report - that all was healing and should be fine. My poor DIL had to deal with taking GBN2 back and forth to the local doctor and then up to OK City for a specialist. Then she GBN1 had to check in with her foot doctor.  My son started a new job and could not really take off. Especially when he will be taking off Friday to go back to the doc with my DIL to do an ultra-sound and find out what the next baby will be. So even though the first of the week was tough and then it was dreary with all the wet, the week should end on a better note.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


If you are Facebook friends with me, you know that Jesse graduated on Saturday.  We had to get up early and get over to WF to get a seat at the MPEC for the 10:00 graduation. It was amazingly crowded. Dr. Beck Weathers was the commencement speaker. He is an MSU alumni, and he was a part of the 1996 Mount Everest expedition that was hit by a storm. Eight people died and others were severely injured. After being unconscious for several days, he manage to walk to a camp. He lost both of his hands to frostbite. His commencement speech was awesome. One of the things he said was that when facing death, when you know you only have an hour, you don't think of your career - that is not what is important. You think about those you love. He had lots of good advice if people were listening. The sound system was not great.

As their names were called, the graduates walked across the stage. Now and then the announcer added something like, "Jane Doe, summa cum laude, President's Medal, etc, and 4.0 GPA!" and the audience cheered. It was cool. When Jesse walked across the stage she got the announcement of a summa cum laude, Presiden'ts Medal of Excellency, etc, but he forgot the 4.0 GPA. Still, the crowd cheered - I was very proud of her. After the ceremony we made our way outside through the crowd to take a few pictures.
Jesse was glowing! The family. Bo and Jes with GBN1. Jes and Lindz and their dip pose which they have done throughout their friendship. Eventually we moved on to lunch. Traffic was crazy with graduation and Christmas shoppers. I had made reservations at Napoli's and ordered lots of large pizzas. It worked well.
Afterwards, Bo and Jess got silly.
It was a happy day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Co-op Homeschool Art

We celebrated Mr. T's 2nd birthday this past weekend. He ate two cupcakes decorated like green frogs. He got some cool toys. His favorite present was a Thomas the Train tent. He would get in it and pop his head out like a game of peek-a-boo. But when his sisters got in the train, he would yell, "OUT!" Too much fun and excitement for one day!

Monday Toby took the day off from work, but we worked around the house. We picked up a neighbor boy to help us do some stucco work.  We worked hard until about 3PM, and then we drove to WF to look at houses with Jes. We need to find her a place of her own. Looking at houses is time consuming and can be depressing. Some houses are so nasty, some are dark, some are boring, etc. Then the prices were all over the board. We will keep looking.

Tuesday I had a co-op group of homeschoolers, that included the GGs and Mr. T, here at the house for an art lesson.  A co-op is a group of moms who get together once a week or so and have special lessons as group.  This week I was to teach watercolor Christmas cards. I had about ten kids total, but the moms worked with the younger kids and left me with older seven kids. They were attentive and fun and we made two cards each. Today I have another group.  This group will have fewer small kids. Now that I have done the lesson once, it should go even better the second time around. Right? Here is Mr T painting before the class got going. Here is the group of attentive youngsters.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Vince Lombardi Quote

My dad was great at corresponding. He wrote letters to me when I went off to college and kept it up through most of my married life until he died. He wrote to his friends - often silly cards. He thought it was very funny to send Christmas cards on your birthday or vice versa.  Just ask his nephews and nieces who were often the recipients of such cards.  He often clipped newspaper articles or copied articles out of magazines and sent them along with his commentary. When I began teaching, he often sent me articles on teaching. Sometimes he sent funny articles on such things students say or write.  Sometimes the articles were more on teaching, education, and leadership.

Today while I looking for something, I came across a few articles Dad had copied and sent to me. I have a file full of such correspondence.  I wish I had kept all his letters - hindsight. I'm sure my dad sent such things to my brothers and sister, but I think he sent more to me, because I wrote back. And maybe because I was his favorite :) He kept my many of my letters and returned some of the funnier ones from when I was young. After Dad died, I found other letters of mine that he had kept. Damn, I really miss that man.

Anyway, I came across a copy of a Vince Lombardi quote. He must have sent me this while I was teaching in Questa, NM, because he made comments that were directed to my teaching there. He also commented, "Ol' Vince knew what he was talking about, too. I wish more modern parents and the Questa School Board would think more like him." The quality of the copy/printing was lousy so I looked for a copy of the quote online. I found bits and pieces of it, but not what I was looking for. So I am going to type it out for you - much like my dad often did on his old manual typewriter. He never went electric and would never have used a computer :)
  • The test of this century is whether we mistake the growth of wealth and power for the growth of strength an character. We've weakened discipline and respect for authority and let freedom of the individual predominate. Before you can do what you want to do, before you can exist as an individual, the first thing you have to accept is duty. The second thing is respect for authority, and the third thing you must accomplish is to develop a strong mental discipline. We speak of freedom. Sometimes I think we confuse it with license. Everything is done to strengthen the rights of the individual, at the expense of responsibility to Church, State, and authority. 
    - Vince Lombardi

It is a good quote. Ol' Vince did know what he was talking about. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving came and went without a hitch. The family showed up and ate lots, but we still had lots of leftovers. In fact, I'm getting rid of the dressing and mashed potatoes today (just say NO to carbs). I think this is the first time we have had leftover potatoes. Maybe my family was off their feed a bit, because they usually chow down on the mashed potatoes.

My sister and I made lots of pies including a Texas whiskey pecan pie. Actually it was the Tennessee whiskey pecan pie recipe from Southern Living, but we used Texas whiskey - Rebecca Creek Whiskey - Texas in a glass. In this case, it was whiskey in a pie. Pretty darn good. We also made a pear pie. My sister wanted to jack it up by putting cranberries in it. I knew that Toby would not go for that. Pink pears are too strange. So, my sister put cranberries in her Brussels sprouts, and yes, they did turn pink.

After the big meal, several people took naps and watched football. It was a fine day to be outside. The big boys went out to shoot guns. The little ones rode the 4-wheeler and played in the woods. GBN1 was big enough and old enough and responsible enough to drive the younger kids around - yay! Some people sat outside on the patio in the sunshine. Others lounged around visiting in the big room. Everyone stayed until dark - food was left for everyone to munch on through the day and on to supper. I think everyone had a good time. If we could judge the fun by how tired Toby and I were at the end of the day, it was a super good time.

Later when discussing how much work Thanksgiving had been - from the completing of the new old room to the cooking and cleaning of the meal - Toby and I decided it was way too much work. It made me think of all the times we came home for Thanksgiving and my parents had everything done. I always helped - baking pies, pealing potatoes, whipping cream, etc. but the majority of the work was done by my parents. Now I am the parent doing the Thanksgiving. I guess it was all worth it. Maybe next year we will do something different - like let someone else take over or meet in neutral vacation home and everyone pitch in.

I've been meaning to show how my new old part of the house turned out.
  Here is the den area where we watch TV and I do my art classes. Yes, there is already art stuff out on the table. Here is our the guest bedroom.
Here is Jesse's room. She chose the blue, which turned out pretty nice although it shocked me at first. I need to put up the window blinds. Of course, there are still little things to be done. You will notice that we don't have many paintings on the walls. It is not as though we don't have paintings; it is more like we have too many and need to make decisions on which to put up. Here is my bathroom.I'm particularly proud of the way it turned out - kind of funky.

Now I need to get busy and get the house cleaned and get back into the normal swing of things - whatever normal is.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Prep for Thanksgiving

This last week has been busy with preparation for Thanksgiving, which will be at my house. Finishing the house has been the priority. Tiling the bathroom shower was my focus, while Toby's was more with stuccoing the new gables.  We would have had the tiling finished, but we miscounted the number of tiles we needed. We needed more of some and less of others.When Jesse came home for the weekend, she brought us more tile from the store in WF. We put those tiles down, but then we were short two pieces of chair-rail tile to finish it. Good grief!

Toby had planned on stuccoing on Saturday, but we got a huge rain. I can't complain about the rain, since it was SO needed. In the midst of the work last week, I got sick with some sort of tummy bug or bad food. Not fun, but helpful in my weight loss goals. I had tiled on Wednesday and was sick that night. The sick part did not last long, but it wore me out for Thursday. By Friday, I was better. Saturday was the rain. If our house is not quite ready by Thanksgiving, it will just have to do.
Here is a picture of the rain on Saturday. It continued to rain hard and steady all day. The water you see is the ruts of our road. My neighbor said her rain gauge overflowed - I'm thinking we got about 5 to 6 inches of rain.
Here is a photo taken Sunday morning. You can see the pond again from the house. Yay!  Notice the color difference in the two photos. Saturday's pic was overcast and wet making the grass very dark. Sunday the sun came out and the wind blew drying things up.

Yesterday I made a quick trip to WF to get the last two pieces of tile and take back the not-needed tile.  I also did major Thanksgiving shopping. I bought over $200.00 worth of groceries and didn't have a clue what I would fix for supper that night.  The United store in WF was crazy - packed with shoppers at 2 PM on a Monday. Many of the people seemed to not have a clue what they needed and were standing around taking up the narrow aisles - like they had never done Thanksgiving before. I had downloaded a grocery list app on my phone, which was very helpful. So many times I get to the store and have forgotten my list or lost it. I'm hoping the phone list will work well for me. It did yesterday. When I got home,it took me several trips carrying a bag in each hand (I'm a serious dead-lift contender) to get all the groceries in the house. When Toby got home, our priority was getting the second fridge back into the old part of the house so that I could fill it up with food.  Since I needed to make cornbread for the stuffing, I made white chili (using my NM green chilies) for supper. Pretty yummy!

Today is my cleaning day. No, I'm serious. It is a serious cleaning day. We have been living with piles of furniture and stuff from the old part of the house in our new part. One of Toby's priorities was to get the closet doors back on the big closet in the old part - now I can fill that closet up with stuff! Yay! One of the funny things about the closet doors is that they had to be cut down a bit to fit back into the door frame (two bi-fold doors). They had been painted orange - so when Toby trimmed them, the edges needed repainting.  My attitude was "just leave it - no one will notice - we will paint it some other time - just put the doors up." Toby's attitude was "trim the doors, find the matching paint in the barn, paint, and replace." So I found some orange paint, which I thought was the same orange. Turned out it was not the same orange. Still, I thought it would not be so bad since Toby only painted the edges. Turned out that Toby did a bit of touch up on the doors here and there. Now they look like they have been shot with a paintball gun. Well, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it is funny. No one will notice :)