Monday, January 30, 2006

Not a place to go shoeless

Well, I'm finally getting back to this. I was going to see if I could get a couple of pictures from Tavin's tea party scanned to put on here, but didn't really attempt it. We were in the valley for Simon's birthday this weekend, and there are plenty of "techies" with scanners and the capabilities of putting photos on here, there just wasn't enough time. Tavin's party went well, I think everyone had a good time. Simon's birthday wouldn't have been a birthday without at least 1 grandparent present, so we decided to go to the valley for his "party" where he could also see his cousins. (1 for 2 due to illness, but we'll all catch up at the coast next month!) He had a great time, Lucy maybe not so much because it was shot time but that only lasted for about 24 hours. Kevin and I were simply THRILLED that Simon got more little diecast (sp?) motorcycles and airplanes to leave scattered in our paths. For example: Thursday I was finishing up some laundry for the trip to the valley. I was carrying a basket downstairs and managed to step on a small train (I guess this one was actually plastic) that had wondered from it's appointed place of "out of the way". I got it right on the ball of my foot, no shoes on, and WOW did it hurt. I told Simon (he asked after hearing me yelp) that my foot hurt so bad I thought it was broken! (I did have a swollen bruised area!) He looked concerned, ran to where I had thrown the offensive toy, and said "It's ok mom, you didn't break it." Not really what I was meaning, but there's more. Kevin snickers at me when I tell him this after he gets home from work. Then, Simon leaves a metal toy on the floor at Grandpa & grandma's and, guess what? DADDY steps on it enough to draw blood. Heheheh. At least in my case my vision was obstructed and it was really not my fault as much as here, but guess what Simon said when Kevin brought his pain and injury to his (albeit brief) attention? That's right, he ran to his toy and said "That's ok dad, you didn't break it!" HA.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Party Prep

Tavin went to a friends' birthday party today from 4-7. They are a family we know, and actually moved here just a couple of months after we did, from our same town! I was with her in Walmart, buying some party items for her "get-together" on Sunday, and she was telling me how it went. I will just try sort of have to read this as if it is one giant run on sentence and rapidly...just as Tavin would speak it. :) Here goes:

shemustnot haveheardmebecauseshedidn'tgivememore...."

Now, I know that must be hard to read because it is REALLY hard to type without using the space bar. So now that you get the idea (and the why) I'll type normally. :)

"We were listening to the Superchick CD I gave her and dancing to it (Note: Anyone been around 9 year old girls hyped up on sugar and music?) and I was doing this thing where I put my hand on my head and stick out my elbow and I grab my ankle with my other hand like this. (Note: She actually demonstrated in Walmart and nearly fell over, as did I due to laughter. The motion, for those of us less hip than 3rd graders, is to move your opposing elbow and knee together. Quite comical.) And we were doing it and I sort of tripped on a chair then I stubbed my toe on the chair and that HURT so I fell, and the chair fell over, and can you believe it fell over from a little TOE?" Etc., etc. I can imagine that scenario as I've seen it many times. Some of you may wonder "Who is Superchick and why would they give it as a gift to a 4rth grader?". Well, being in youth ministry the past couple of years has opened my eyes to yet another genre of Christian "rock" music. This band I like, and Tavin does to.....alot. They do some stuff with TobyMac, The Kutlass guy, and a few other people. (The KJ52 CD -which is more of a christian rap :)- is Kevin's favorite...he has it in his office most of the time.) ANYWAY....There's a song that I think every "tween" girl should hear called "Bowling Ball". Instead of reciting the lyrics, I'll tell you a couple of lines form the chorus: (Now don't go thinking that I am "anti men" or a feminazi for crying out loud....this is for a certain age group, and I do not fashion my husband in this way! Just clarifying.)

"You need that boy like a bowling ball dropped on your head, which means not at all.....You have too much to (etc.etc.....) waste your time on him....."

I'm sure Tavin will have no problem understanding why dating is really serious and is prep for marriage, because that's surely what we're going to instill in her. To the best of our ability, anyway. (As to why even though maybe some/all of her friends are "going out", she possibly won't be.) We decided that this year marks the beginning of "Birthday dinner out" where she gets to pick where to eat, just her and us, and Daddy treats her like a lady and all that stuff. (He'd better beef up!) So we said,"Pick any restaurant you want." She still wants the local chinese place, since there isn't a close Chucky Cheese. I guess we should appreciate the inexpensive taste while it lasts! On my next post, I'll have to say what she brought up when we had a spontaneous "mother-daughter" lunch.

Oh, and she won the bubble blowing contest there because she put 4 pieces in her mouth (the most of anybody) and didn't care that half of the bubble got in her hair because she won. :)


Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Let's see.....time for some boring, just-keeping-everyone-updated stuff. Simon is still trying to solidify his knowledge of the alphabet. Tavin asked him, "Simon, I'm going to say the alphabet and you tell me which word I leave out." Tavin apparently hasn't yet grasped the concept of "letters" yet. :) So, she recites and leaves out "U". Simon immediately pipes up, "7!". Close. Sort of. Then, the other night, it was strangely quiet at bedtime. Now, our main objective is simply to get the children in their rooms (preferably beds, but floor is ok), lights out, and no talking. We've found that if these three guidelines are strictly adhered to, sleep will surely follow.....eventually. Usually there are several variances, mostly from Simon, about why daddy should again come to his room. This almost never results in a pleasant experience for him (Simon) but he is slow to grasp this concept as well. Anyway, what Kevin found was the kids were on the floor, which was ok, but they were NOT in their rooms. They were each half-way out of their doorways, allowing them to be about a foot apart; but Tavin was quietly reading to Simon and he was actually listening. What to do? It's a school night, they aren't following the rules, but this was such a rarity that it was given a "time limit" and then regular bedtime regs followed.

They are also eagerly anticipating the end of the month....birthday season. Tavin has a party for a friend that she is attending this Friday, then her own party on Sunday afternoon. We are doing a "Girls only, no boys allowed, tea party." She has invited 3 friends. We will serve "tea" (probably hot chocolate) with their choice of my collection of tea cups/saucers, and make necklaces or bracelets with beading stuff. They will also be able to dress up with old hats, gloves, etc. Kevin has been instructed to take Simon somewhere else. :) The following weekend is Simon's birthday and he will have a less structured "party" at Grandpa & Grandma's house. He is VERY excited, as he is still telling me what he wants for Christmas and can't quite figure out why we aren't still giving them presents! Here we go!

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Monday, January 16, 2006


Today was the first day that I went on visits during my orientation. Remember what I said about vicious lap rats? We went to 3 homes, and saw 3 Daschounds! Only one was a slobbering, snarly little pile. All I really have to do is about 2 hours on Wednesday, then follow a nurse on Saturday, since that is when I will be in the office. They have a type of "1/2 laptop" I guess that is new since I last did this type of home visits. Since I will only be working 1 weekend a month, I'm not going to have the office support to figure things out, but I really have a hard time learning by having someone tell me or just reading. So, this afternoon I plunked down in front of a computer hooked to the server, the 3-ring binder and fiddled away. Fortunately, I like manager looked at me strangely when I said I wasn't quite a "geek", but that I could find my way around a server. It will be really strange to not have ANY paper with field charts, or anything. I just hook my little gizmo to the server in the morning, import/download whatever charts I will need (or suspect will call) and away I go. I plan to carry several yellow sticky pads for a while to take short hand on so I can look inept in private at the office when I'm trying to input my data. Then we just hook the do-dads up to the server and export the "charts", printing a copy to put in the "office chart". How advanced we are!

There was a sad story, though. Our first visit was to a woman in her 40s who has been battling cancer (GI with liver mets) for about 1 year. She'd been off of her chemo for 6 weeks for some reason, and had to resume last week. She became violently ill, and had decided that her time off of chemo was worth more than whatever more days she would earn staying on chemo but feeling miserable. She obviously had a close relationship with the nurse (I was the tag-along) because she told her before she told her own doctor. She and her husband will be trying to bump up a special cruise they'd planned because her feeling is that she won't be here for very long. She asked us "What can I expect?" She was choking as she was telling us about her son (who is very nearby) that refuses to visit her because it makes him to sad. It inspired some thoughts in my mind about her son that are best left unsaid! It was a very emotional visit for her and her husband. It puts into perspective what is really important. Regardless of what happens with jobs, finances, and stresses of moving, etc., at least we have healthy loved ones and close relationships. After my morning, I came home for "lunch" and to feed Lucy. Kevin, Tavin and Simon were all here, as there was no school. The big grin on Lucy's face and Simon telling my co-hort "I love you!" more than makes up for the small cost of this morning. It is wonderful to have a loving family, and as I've said before, PERFECT children.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

What am I thinking?

I have accepted a new job as a "per-diem" nurse with the local home health/hospice of our area. This will still allow me to be a "sahm", as I will only be "on-call" 1 weekend a month (at the most) and 1 night a week. (But I will help out with a visit in an evening if they are busy, or with an occasional chart reviewing session.) It's probable that I will have to actually work the weekend, but this schedule is optimal for our family. The children will have a parent with them, I will be able to still provide nutrition for Lucy, and I will have a way to maintain my professional license, as I have to work a minimum of several hundred hours every 2 years for renewal. Anyhow, today was my first day in the office for orientation. I spent the better part of the morning poring over 2 HUGE Policy & Procedure manuals. I had to copy a portion of the job description for a HH/H nurse because it is so accurate, yet so intimidating....if you hadn't done this job before, you'd think "Who in their RIGHT mind would want to go to such places?". Sometimes we are in the criminal element, others just the quite "unclean", and often a dwelling wherein the terroristic dog is out to maim and destroy any living creature it sees. I call these animals "chihuahuas". For as many scary rotweillers and pitbulls I have seen, I have only actually been bitten by such lap rats. Sometimes I wonder, why can't just clean, law-abiding citizens with an untainted rap sheet and an appreciation for pleasant odors need skilled nursing care in their home? But, Jesus loves all people, therefore, so must I! Anyway, here is the quote of #2. under "job description":

"2. Working Conditions: Inside and outside environment is not always protected from the weather temperature changes. Inside environment including temperature variations, smoke, unclean homes, various sizes and types of pets and structural faults/barriers. Subject to frequent exposure to infection, contagious disease, and hazardous materials and equipment. Subject to combative patients, dysfunctional families and varying relationships. Variable noise levels. Also subject to rapid pace, multiple stimuli, unpredictable environment and critical situations. "

A mini-translation of what may possibly be experienced: Various weather onslaughts (rain, icy conditions, wind, mud.), houses that smell like an ash tray themselves, houses that feel like a sauna because the thermostat is set to "80" in August, dirt floors, pet squirrels that run up your leg during a sterile central-line dressing change, birds that fly to your shoulder at inopportune times, shoot-out-over-drug-money gunshot survivors (with rotweillers named "killer" that eat plywood), marriage proposals (and others), houses set up more with 30 in/out cats in mind than the single bed-bound person that lives there, etc. I love nursing! (I really do.)


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dodgeball Rules!

Yes! I just have to say that I still know how to have fun. Tonight at youth group we braved the freezing cold, old (literally falling apart) gym and played DODGEBALL!! I even got injured, I think. That's what I get for being old, overweight, and for playing on a dusty wooden floor. BUT I earned some respect (I think...or was it just shock?) when I got the coolest high school boy out. YES again! Next time, I'm making sure I have traction. I shocked them with what little remaining talent I have left. Heheheh. I can't believe there are actually girls out there that still throw like girls! Next time Tavin has a lesson on how to throw something, besides punches, football or a baseball pitch, I think I'll teach her!

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Christmas still?

Last night was Simon's rescheduled Christmas program. Seems the ice storm that kept us from leaving on our Christmas trip also hampered locals. His part was over very soon, and since we are such nice people, we stayed for the entire program to watch other kids whom we've never met. The choir director, who is also Simon's teacher obviously put a lot of time and effort into this program, but there was something very obvious to us. We were careful not to say anything or even look at each other during the program, which had about 20 solo parts (short bits including "Mary Did You Know", "Born in Bethlehem" and the like), but once we were outside I couldn't help myself. Making sure no one was around me I told Kevin, "We should've brought a bucket so they could carry a tune." Then we could make our comments in our car on the way home, but in careful "code" so as not to let Simon know what we were saying. The stage was still very nicely set, as the Christmas trees were still miraculously up and decorated. I have a feeling that if someone would have sneezed they would have dropped all of their needles!


Saturday, January 07, 2006

A little bit of knowledge...can be catastrophic

My children have received a new kind of education today. Mostly Tavin. Her dad taught her to throw a punch. I think I can safely say this because my parents do not often read this blog and we are no longer "practicing" Mennonites. (A little inside joke.) However, that does bring up the question "Is the Mennonite church a denomination or an ethnic group?". I tend towards the "ethnicity" side....once a menno, always a menno, and if you're not a BORN Mennonite, you may not be a TRUE Mennonite. So, here's something else I haven't thought of before: Kevin and I were both raised in Mennonite churches by parents raised that way for generations before us. Our children were born to us while we were members of a non-denominational congregation, but yet we were "ethnic Mennonites"....what kind of Mennonite affiliation are they?

I realize I've gone way off on a tangent here, and I hope I have not offended anyone, for that is not my intent, nor is this really a serious subject that I am elaborating on. It is a subject that we talk about sometimes though. Kevin disagrees with my "once/always" theory and I don't hold too fast to that either. I digress....back to the punching.

I think Kevin is finally tired of physically removing little Simon from much bigger Tavin. Simon observed her getting the lesson, and although she fussed more about her hand hurting from hitting her dads palm, he did look a little worried. I'm not entirely comfortable with the notion, however......he's the dad, head of the household and all that stuff. (Translation: If anything bad happens from this it's his fault.) I am but the submissive wife and loving mother. (That should bring some comments.) He did teach Simon something today: How to run a football "pattern" in the house. I heard a few things that concerned me and then tried not to pay attention. Here they are:
1) "Simon, if you don't stop it I'm going to have Tavin come and punch you in the face." (tongue in cheek....I hope)
2) "Just wipe it on your shirt Simon".
3) "Try diving into the couch to catch it."
Full sized football, while he was holding Lucy, not a bright idea, maybe not even a bright day. We shall see!

Something else about Simon: Last night we went to the Skating rink for the first time with a couple of other kids and their parents/grandparents. Simon does not skate, but Tavin & Kevin did. I was on the "sideline" with Lucy and Simon. Simon, who doesn't have a concept of strangers, was jabbering away at some Hispanic ladies and their adorable children. It was soon obvious that they did not speak english, or if they did, weren't fluent enough to understand a fast-talking, high pitched little boy with a slight lisp. They would smile and look at me....they understood the universal sign I made with my hand for "yakety-yak". He didn't even seem to notice that he was the only one talking!


Friday, January 06, 2006

Business Lesson

Poor Tavin...she had to learn another lesson today. Unfortunately for her, her parents are apparently smarter than she thought yesterday. At least she learned it at a bank and not at the checkout counter at Walmart! I'd better back up and explain.

Tavin's teacher was giving kids $1 million bills. Tavin was SURE they were real. Her father and I both told her it wasn't real.....didn't work. Then I tried reason. If her teacher had millions of dollars (this was past the discussion of if such bills even existed) why would she be working? Answer: She's retiring. Which is actually true. Ok...I finally convinced her father that it would be MEAN to let her go to Walmart and get whatever she wanted in a cart and try to pay for it with the bill. Plus there was something slightly illegal about the sound of that. I convinced him to take her to a bank and have her validate the money with a teller.

So, this morning, Tavin was telling me what she was going to get. Went something like this:

"I'm going to get you an MP3 player, socks (?), clothes, furniture..."etc. Then she moved on to Simon. "I'll get him some Hotwheels." Daddy was next. "A musical tie...." (What?) She didn't even bother to list the massive thoughts she had on what to get herself. What I found VERY amusing was that she had no plans to leave Walmart. What a limited, sheltered life she must lead. :) So, Kevin took her to the bank today. They managed to get in the line of a "first day at work" teller. Tavin lost her nerve, so Kevin had to present the question and show the bill. When the answer was received (not too well by the evidence of a shredded, phony-baloney million-dollar bill) Tavin decided she would tell her teacher to stop teasing her, as the teller advised.

I have to say, I am surprised that it went that far. Not only did Tavin BELIEVE the thing was real, she did NOT believe us. Of course, this is the same child that wrote a letter to Santa (that I only heard about) saying something like..."Please get us presents, we are very poor....". Oh BROTHER.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

On Second Thought....

Tavin is giving her brother a run for his money in the "trouble" department. On the way home from school this afternoon, I glanced in the rearview mirror and thought she was asleep because she was leaning over. At a stop light however, closer examination revealed that she was hiding behind the seat to prevent me from noticing her appearance and activity.

I knew we had not picked up a clown, but that was my first thought when I saw her face. Bright blue eyelids, red lips, and red circles on her cheeks AND nose. I will give her this: She did well without a mirror using only markers. She had brought home markers that she'd received as a class Christmas gift. This explains our house rule of no writing utensils (of any kind) allowed in the children's bedrooms. Ever. Or at least until we stop seeing their marks on blinds, walls, bathroom doors, bed frames, dressers, mirrors, oh yes, and themselves and/or each other! Another difference: She doesn't even try to explain...just smiles and lets me rant for a while. She's since bathed and scrubbed a good part of the skin of her face off so she can eat dinner at the table. :)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Value of a Little Education

Well, we have learned more of Simon's verbal skills. At supper tonight, it was mentioned by "daddy" (who is an educator and should know) that Simon was so good at his letter & number recognition, he thought he would be among the higher-abled students in his schools' kindergarten class. To prove his point, he asked Simon, "What sound does 'A' make? What does 'A' say?"

Simon, very proud, confidently said,"Rabbit!". (I now refer everyone to a previous post I made about the "L" and it's sound. Iguana. Kindergarten is looking pretty far off right about now. ) When there was laughter at the table, Simon smilingly said "I don't know! I forgot how to spell it!"

I have learned some things about boys today. Maybe not learned, more like confirmed suspicions:

1) They can always find a way to accidentally hurt their sister.
2) They are fierce defenders of themselves and motives. If they didn't MEAN to do it, then it doesn't matter if "banned" behavior was the cause of an "accident".
3) The end justifies the means.
4) Situational ethics rule.
5) No matter how soft and squishy a ball is, it can fly when rolled and damage the homeowners' merchandise. Or injure a sister accidentally.
6) If they are caught in a lie, they are VERY forgetful and therefore not liable for what they previously said.....Or did, or ate, or broke, or colored on.
7) If someone is hiding from you, they will surely show themselves if you yell loud enough. Everyone wants to be around someone that can break the sound barrier. The neighbors must love it too, they are the ones to be treated most often.
8) If you want to go home from preschool (or pretty school), pee on the floor. Worked for one of his friends today.

I am sure there are more. This list is simply from TODAY'S experiences.


Monday, January 02, 2006

Hard-of-Thinking Cat

Our new kitty has settled in quite comfortably as a new member of our family. He was pretty reserved and calm for the first few days, then we left for Christmas. He was not alone the entire 1 week period, but did garner some new found confidence and, shall we say, "spunk". For example: He has determined that we are his couch, lounging chair, entertainment and prey whenever he feels the need for any of those items. He "talks" to us, lets us know when there is dirty dishes or food left on the counter, and is quite insistent on being held for as long as he determines. If I try to move or get up, he hangs on, as if saying "Surely there is a mistake on your part....I'm not ready to get up yet." However, he must be a very brave kitty, as we saw on New Years' Eve. We spent the evening with friends, and returned home promptly after midnight. So far "George" had not bothered our humble Christmas tree and I had not yet dismantled the thing. From what I can tell, the fireworks disturbed and frightened him. He must have deduced the threat was coming from the Christmas tree. He courageously attacked the tree, disabling it by pulling it OVER, removing ornaments, breaking bulbs, unplugging lights, etc. When we arrived home we found a very calm cat, and a very big mess. My response was a simple two words: STUPID CAT.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!