Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I told you that I we got a camera for Christmas. Well, I keep playing with it trying to learn all the new bells & whistles. While I have not gotten any perfect shots, I can find beauty in my trials and errors. Since it has been so long since I have posted any pictures, here you go. Forgive the mess...it is Christmas after all. We really did clean up the house this past weekend.

Who me? Sneaking all the chocolate...

Katie showing off the gap from where her tooth had to be removed in November.

Mary trying out the Dance Party game on the Nintendo Wii.

The annual big cousin wrestling match at Grandmommy's house.

Emily got a penguin, it kind of disappears into the background. But I like this feature of being able to darken the background.

Mary with her puppet. This is what a family room looks like when the grandparents arrive bearing even more gifts.

Have I mentioned how thrilled I am to have a camera again!!!



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Robbie update and post-Christmas

I'm finally getting on the computer after our extended Christmas celebration. I'll start with an update for Robbie. The pediatric neurologist is pretty certain that his seizures are febrile. Which, although scary are generally harmless. They are do to a short-circuit in the brain from a fever that some children are more sensitive to. And, oddly, can occur prior to a fever starting. He will eventually grow out of them in the next couple of years. Until then we just have to be a very careful while he is climbing or in water, just in case a seizure comes on during those activities. The doctor did schedule him for a EEG on January 5th just to make sure that there is nothing else going on. After that he has a follow-up with the doctor on Jan. 29th.

Christmas was really good. I think the kids all had a great day. We got up early, of course, and had Christmas morning. Santa brought them some small goodies and candy in the stockings and the Wii!! Mary, Katie and Emily were so excited they could barely speak. Santa remembered Robbie, who is too young to be excited over the Wii and left him some wooden trains and a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD. Mary was gracious enough to wait until we opened presents before rushing off to hook up the Wii.

Mary went out with her aunt on Monday, the 22nd, to use her birthday money to buy presents for everyone else. She is growing up! Waiting for Christmas she told me that this year she was as excited to give everyone their presents as she was about what she was getting. Because Mary went out, Katie wanted to go pick out presents for her siblings too. I bank-rolled for Katie and helped her pick out some good gifts. Mary bought me the book "Twilight". I finished reading it last night. It took me awhile to get into it, but now I want to get the next one.

After our Christmas, we got dressed and headed over to DH's parents for breakfast and more gift opening. We had to be back at our house at 11am to meet my Dad and step-mother who were driving up to do Christmas with us.

By 2:00 in the afternoon everyone was gone and the kids hooked up the Wii and spent the afternoon playing with Daddy, while I tried to sort through the piles and took a little nap. In the end it wasn't as overwhelming as past Christmases have been. We limited ours to only three gifts other than Santa. Mary and Katie also got an Our Generation Doll, Emily got a Mermaid playset and Robbie got a doctor's kit. They picked up from family some more clothing, really beautiful hand-made fleece blanket, some more DS games for Mary and the Dance Party 2 game and mat for Wii.

DH and I were surprised by his parents. They gave us a new digital camera!!! Yeah! I'm still working on figuring it out and will be posting some pictures soon.

Friday we spent the day at DH's parents and had Christmas dinner. The cousins had a lot of fun playing together. Then, yesterday was clean-up & organize day around the house. Time to find a home for all those gifts.

Now, I am ready for a holiday ;)

I'll be working as much as possible this week. The neighborhood friends are out of school and we have the Wii, so I should get a little uninterrupted time on the computer. I also need to finish lesson planning for January. DH works M-W, but is off for another long weekend.

I hope everyone else is having a blessed and enjoyable holiday.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas is coming and all that stuff

Sorry for the title, but I just cannot get into the Christmas spirit this year. All I want for Christmas is for this year to finally be over and done. I really feel like I have spent the year trying to pull us all uphill. As we got closer to Christmas, Murphy has become more frequent in his attacks on us. I surrender already.

On Thursday as I was packing all the last minute items for our trip to visit my family Robbie had another of his seizures. As scary as seizures are this one was worse because we knew just prior to the seizure he had been eating animal crackers and could not tell if he was choking or not. Added to that he wasn't sick prior to the seizure, which is our little warning signal.

After calls to his doctor they gave us the OK to go on our trip and we scheduled an appointment for Monday morning. A few hours later Robbie did get sick, all over the van...and spiked a fever. The rest of the festive weekend was spent treating various persons in their various illnesses. I managed to not get sick before we got home.

The pediatrician has referred us to a pediatric neurologist. I was expecting a call to schedule the appointment at the beginning of the year, but was surprised to get a call from them yesterday to schedule an appointment for today. So off we go today on a whole new adventure with our youngest child.

The weekend, all things considered, was actually very nice. We got to spend some time with my mother and celebrate her 60th birthday. I'm glad we could be there as my step-father had gotten called out of town for work. The next day we turned around an celebrated Emily's 4th birthday! She's a BIG girl now. Although, she will always be my baby girl.

All the girls came home with armfuls of new Webkinz, thanks mostly to my step-mother and the store that had BOGO on them. We can't turn around in the house right now without finding one of these animals staring at us. I do have to say the girls have a great time playing with their Webkinz, and not necessarily online. It will keep them busy until Christmas Day.

We finished off the weekend with celebrating Christmas with my mom. The kids were very pleased with what they got...Mary a new hoodie and some earrings, Katie got the Manatee Webkinz she has wanted for months and a manatee book, Emily got her very own backpack with several ColorWonder kits, and Robbie got his own backpack with three board books. I received an MP3 player that I have been wanting. I'm already having a lot of fun with it, downloading podcasts and books to listen to while I fold clothes.

Randy found a tree for us on Sunday after we returned. The tree sellers are trying to pack up for the season and he found a 7' tree, beautiful shape, for only $25. Last night we started a fire, made some hot chocolate and surpervised the children decorating the tree for us. Now it is starting to feel a little bit like Christmas around here.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Time to enjoy the holidays

We've put the books away. Another semester is done and in the books, so to speak. Now we get to enjoy our annual three-week birthday/holiday vacation. No more soccer practices until mid-January. Do you hear the collective sigh of relief coming from our home.

Mary turned nine on Saturday. Wow, I have a nine-year-old. Next year I will have to actually use two digits on her birthday cake. We actually celebrated her birthday on Friday. It just happened that everyone was available to come over and have a family celebration. We will have her big sleepover party in January after all the holidays.

I think she had a good night. Her grandparents gave her a big surprise, a GameBoy DS Lite. Something I had told her absolutely not to expect as it went way over our birthday budget this year. I didn't even know that they were giving it to her until the day before. Along with it they gave her the Brain Game, which she has actually enjoyed playing quite a bit. Great for sharpening those math skills.

We gave her some more art supplies and clothing that she had asked for. I don't think she believes she can ever have enough of those athletic shirts and fleece pull-overs. My mom gave her more Legos and a Mandala coloring book with a HUGE box of colored pencils.

My mom came to visit for Mary's birthday and we took the kids to the Marble Museum on Friday. My mom had never been there and the kids love it. We had fun, but they had scheduled several school groups all for Friday and it was very crowded. Robbie was fixated on the ambulance and it was hard to move him away so the rest of us could visit the other stations. Mary found the woodworking bench, with real tools, and had a blast trying to build herself a bird feeder. Katie was thrilled to see that the visiting exhibit was Magic School Bus Weather. Emily would have been fully satisfied had we just left her at the water table for the entire day.

On Monday Mary and Katie are going over to their grandmother's where they will be making gingerbread houses and other Christmas crafts. I'm going to take Emily and Robbie to play at their preschool for a few hours while I run errands to pick up some last minute gifts and try to clean the house. Thursday we are traveling to visit my family for the weekend. My mom turns 60 on Thursday, then Emily's fouth birthday on Friday and our family Christmas on Saturday. It is a good thing I will have a few days to recuperate the next week before Chistmas.



Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I got on this morning and started thinking back to when I started the blog in January of 2005. At that time I had a 5 year-old, two yr. old, and a newborn. My 5 yr old will be turning 9 this coming Saturday, and that newborn will be 4 next week. I think about those days and nights and wonder how I was able to put to sentences together at a time in order to write on a blog. And, wonder what my excuse is today for why I can't manage to find a few minutes every few days to update here, much less my Facebook page. I'm starting to get emails from people wondering where I am.

The truth is that we have found our groove for right now, and it doesn't include time on the computer for me unless I am working, or lesson planning. All of the kids seem to need as much attention as I can give them right now. Our structured lessons are working, but of course that only works if I am there and focused. Emily has started to join us for 30 minutes every other day and has fallen right into the routine. A back-to-the-basics period has been very good for all of us.

We will finish off this week on Thursday. Friday, we are going back to the Marble Museum for a fun play day and birthday celebration for Mary. We will take the next three weeks off for Christmas.

After the new year, I hope we can get back into the groove quickly. New classes for the winter/spring will be starting up. Mary will be returning to piano lessons and will have an art class this year. Later this Spring I hope to get her into a combination nature/creative writing class. Katie is thrilled to be able to take a theater class this winter. I am also looking at some 4-H groups, trying to decide which ones we should try out.

I started this post over 12 hours ago...yes, it took me 12 hours to write 6 paragraphs. I am sadly lacking in multi-tasking abilities. I am going to go eat the wonderful dinner DH made while I was madly running children in between two different birthday parties this evening.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.