Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Stressors & Relaxors

Flying in a plane. Jobless hubby. Dad being very ill. Teachers wanting to move Connor to a different school. Son in college not figuring it out fast enough. Daughter involved in something way cool, but stressful nonetheless.

A fun trip. Finances are 'okay'. Dad hanging on way past what was thought. Support from other district folks to do the best for Connor. Son is getting better. Daughter will remember this experience for the rest of her life, and it will help move her along even more than she was doing on her own.

I need to keep exercising & eating right. Laugh a lot (good thing I married Lee). Have some chocolate or wine now & then. Play with Connor.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Diana's new duds

Today, Diana got to do a little shopping spree for the "thing."
Check out those heels! She wore them to church tonight too, to break them in.
Cute, huh?

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Epic Cake

Courtesy of Mary.
She remembered my favorite is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
She did not remember to let the cake cool before frosting it - but it tasted great anyway!
Thanks Mary!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Lee made me a nice egg/cheese/fake ham & muffin sandwich for breakfast today. Yummy!

He stopped by later during my lunch break at work and brought me some flowers :) I knew we were going out to dinner, so I didn't want to go out to eat for lunch as well.

Diana got a new party dress today to go with her shoes. She got to wear them out to my birthday dinner at Red Robin. She got noticed a bit there by a guy she knows from school that's a bus boy there. Fun stuff.

She's still trying to figure out how to walk in the shoes.

But the Red Robin mascot gave her roses & a stuffed bear while he was down on one knee. hee.

And I got carded for my glass of wine! Ha!

After dinner, we watched the Stargate "Ark of Truth" movie, that Lee rented, and had some tiramisu. Again, yummy!

Thanks for all the nice wishes - phone calls, emails, cards. It was an interesting & fun birthday!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Respect the Shoe

What do you think of these?

Oh Deer! Shoes

If you don't know why I'd post this, never mind.

Weird Weather

Saturday we had hail, mostly.

Sunday we woke up to snow.
By the afternoon it was completely gone & my tulips picked up their heads again :)

Connor likes Spongebob Legos

As most of you know, we are having a "thing" at the house for the next few weeks that I'm not at liberty to discuss in my blog (so if you know what it is, please don't refer to it in comments or I'll have to delete!).

In any case, due to the "thing," there are times when we need Connor to be quiet in a different room than the living room.

I had found a Lego set for Connor and hidden it away to give to him at his birthday. His birthday came & went and I totally forgot I'd hidden this Lego set!

So Diana remembered it, and we were able to pull it out for Connor to assemble to help him stay quiet & busy. The first time I helped him figure it out, but since then he has taken it apart & reassembled it about 5 times now. He only needs help if he can't get the pieces apart now :)

Friday, April 18, 2008

I cheered up the social worker

This morning, the social worker assigned to my school came in to our classroom rather distraught. Because of the specific population of students in my room, we need a washer & dryer for all the washcloths, shirt protectors (bibs) and various blankets, etc. that the kids use.

The lady came in this morning with a coat that needed to go through the laundry too. She was upset because she is frustrated with the parents of some of the kids that think it's okay to get their drugs and let their kids sleep outside. Well, I'd be upset too.

I let her rant a bit, because she needed an ear. Then I said, "You know, my husband has a solution for that."

I told her Lee's idea of creating dorms on elementary school campuses, where the kids would stay Monday - Friday, and then mom/dad could get them over the weekend if they were clean & had a safe place to go. During the week they'd get good, solid meals, have tutoring available, and would have activities for free time instead of just TV or video games.

Of course, she realized all the rigamarole and beauracracy involved in ever bringing an idea like this to fruition, but at the same time, it kind of gave her hope. She said she only ever hears how horrible the situation is, and no one ever has ideas to fix it.

This is one of those things she can suggest the next time she goes to one of those conferences she attends for social workers. She really cheered up thinking of all the good things that could be accomplished for these kids that would be served by a situation like that.

Maybe if others with great grant-writing abilities can get involved? People with ties to the community who know where the money is for things like that? People who know about Children's Services who don't have a place to keep the neglected kids? People in the law field with an understanding of serving children's needs? Who knows?

Look for elementary school dorms down the road... maybe when we get vouchers?


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cup of Snow

Connor loves ice. If we go to a restaurant, he starts right in on the glasses of ice water with a spoon.

At home, he wanted ice cubes in a glass to chew up. He's very good about asking for a "glass of ice cold water, please."

Our friend, Sue, mentioned it might be due to an iron deficiency. There's also a condition called Pica, in which people eat non-edible things (paper, dirt, etc. which Connor has also been known to do - tho not so much lately).

I have added a multi-vitamin to his routine (when I remember), and if he's asking for ice water, it's a nice verbal reminder to give it to him if I've forgotten.

Then I looked at his teeth. They aren't cracking, but it looks like he's developed little craters in his molars. Maybe they were always there, but I'm thinking chewing chunks of ice daily probably isn't helping the teeth.

I mentioned that to Lee & he found our little food chopper, and we started making crushed ice for Connor that way. I don't like to use the machine as much though, because the ice cubes stick and then you're grinding the engine, etc.

Then I remembered Carolyn had given me this handy Pampered Chef ice shaver (or I bought it? I can't remember).

So now instead of "glass of ice cold water, please," Connor will say, "cup of snow, please!"

Everybody's happy!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Uh oh -- Godzilla is coming!

I didn't know earthquakes came in swarms...

It can only mean one thing...

I'll have to keep an eye out for Godzilla traipsing up & down the I-5.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Nerdy is as Nerdy does

There are a lot of things I like to do that could be considered nerdy. I can't blame my husband completely, since I was already on the way into nerdiness long before I ever met him.

I had a pretty typical childhood, I think. I really enjoyed reading & drawing (could be nerdy) and I especially liked Fantasy or Science Fiction (definitely nerdy). I kept my Barbie dolls around for a long time, although toward the end when I was 16, it was really more to make the clothes than "play" with them. Still, having Barbies in your room at 16 would have to be considered nerdy.

I wore glasses & braces, with my hair in ponytails. After age 14, I got on the chunky side. That just can't be considered cool.

I rocked on our Atari playing Gunfight! I beat everyone in the family. Nerdy.

When I got old enough to babysit, I had some money to spend here & there. I saved most of my money, but would allow myself a little bit to spend. I spent it on comic books - mostly Spider-Man (Amazing SM, Peter Parker the Spectacular SM, Sensational SM, and Marvel Team-Up). I also liked Spider Woman, Silver Surfer, Cloak & Dagger, Dazzler - those all were introduced to me in the Team-Ups. I didn't really read any of the teams except the odd X-man book. I didn't read anything but Marvel either.

I would go to Danber Drug by my Alpha Beta and get 3-5 comics and a bunch of candy bars & go home and read & eat. About this time I discovered it's possible to be so captivated by what you're reading that you don't notice you've eaten your candy. I switched to Bit-O-Honey then so at least it would take longer to chew, and I wouldn't feel like I had missed out on tasting the candy. Sounding pretty nerdy here...

I really, really had to work to learn to dance. Lots of time was spent in my room trying to figure out the beat and how to move. I used the reflection in my window to see what I was doing. It took me until I was 16 to get it. Again, nerdy!

My favorite movie for a very long time was Star Wars. I collected the bubble gum Star Wars cards for all three movies. I still have them. NERDY! I wish I still had the Luke Skywalker 11.5 inch "action figure" that I got from Carolyn one year. Oh well.

I created a comic book character (Bolt). I can count all the dates I had in high school on my fingers. I attended one so-called party. I was either an extra or background choir for our theater productions. Nerdy!

On the cool side...

I traveled to Germany 3 times, and could speak German fluently.

I went on a cruise in the Caribbean for a week & was the 'date' for the one guy my age (and 6 other girls).

I did figure out how to dance, and was even complimented on my dancing by stangers numerous times.

I went out on dates after I started college.

All this before I met Lee :)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Pacific Northwest According To Jeff Foxworthy

1. You know the state flower (Mildew).
2. You feel guilty throwing aluminum cans or paper in the trash.
3. Use the statement 'sun break' and know what it means.
4. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
5. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
6. You feel overdressed wearing a suit to a nice restaurant.
7. You stand on a deserted corner in the rain waiting for the 'WALK'signal.
8. You consider that if it has no snow or has not recently erupted, it's not a real mountain.
9. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best, and Veneto's.
10. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.
11. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Issaquah, Oregon,Yakima and Willamette
12. You consider swimming an indoor sport.
13. You can tell the difference between Japanese, Chinese and Thai food.
14. In winter, you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark while only working eight-hour days.
15. You never go camping without waterproof matches and a poncho.
16. You are not fazed by 'Today's forecast: showers followed by rain,' and 'Tomorrow's forecast: rain followed by showers.'
17. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
18. You know that Boring is a town in Oregon and not just a state of mind.
19. You can point to at least two volcanoes, even if you cannot see through the cloud cover.
20. You notice, 'The mountain is out' when it is a pretty day and you can actually see it.
21. You put on your shorts when the temperature gets above 50, but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
22. You switch to your sandals when it gets about 60, but keep the socks on.
23. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
24. You think people who use umbrellas are either wimps or tourists.
25. You buy new sunglasses every year, because you cannot find the old ones after such a long time.
26. You measure distance in hours.
27. You often switch from 'heat' to 'a/c' in the same day.
28. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
29. You know all the important seasons: Almost Winter, winter, Still Raining (Spring), Road Construction (Summer), Deer & Elk season (Fall).
30. You actually understood these jokes.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More on Trevor

The new term has started and he seems off to a good beginning. He is still solo in his dormroom (but keeps the other side clear or he'll be charged for a single room). He said another student on the floor above has already gone through three dormmates (!!!) but since his first dormmate left, he hasn't had any new ones. I told him to check and make sure he's not being charged for a single. I would think there would be some kind of paperwork involved, so I doubt he is, but it's good to be sure.

He got A's in his two Civil Engineering classes last term which is great - that's his major. He'll be having a study group on a regular basis for his new Civ class this term - also good. He is utilizing the free tutoring for his other classes now.

The only hiccup in this term? He was hoping to do an archery class for his PE. Turns out the archery range is 30 minutes away by car. I'm thinking, hmmm. It's a campus right next to the high desert. How hard is it to set up an archery range facing the desert? Oh well. I don't know if he could have taken the bus, but he's going to just do the regular on-campus PE option instead. You go in, work out, check off your time & turn it in at the end of the week. He did the same thing one summer at the YMCA to fulfill his obligation for PE in High School. That should work out fine as long as he remembers to turn in his time.

Trevor seems really happy at OIT. He has made more friends there than in pretty much all his other years of education combined. Whenever we drop him off at the train or bus station, he already knows kids he can hang out with on the ride back to school. I think that's way cool. He really feels he belongs there, and that hasn't been the case with Trev since he was young, I think. It wasn't a huge deal to him, but I know he feels comfortable at OIT, and that's a huge deal to ME.

I also tried to take archery when I was at CSUF. The first day of class I noticed I was the only girl, and all the guys looked like they were only there to understand their AD&D elven characters better. I only say that because they were all stereotypical nerds. :P And this was before I'd met Lee and & played AD&D myself, and still thought of myself as somewhat cool (ha). So I withdrew from archery & did something else.

And I became cool after I ran a Girl Scout troop. Ask my scouts.

I also became a nerd, but that's a whole different post.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

My parents celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary yesterday.

They met when they were both staying at the home of a lady who rented rooms to young German people in Montreal. My mom was a temporary guest, while my dad was one of the original tenants.

My mom was only there for 3 months or so, and then she had to go back to Germany. My dad worked until he could afford to go back to Germany, and they got married there in my mom's hometown (which Diana got to visit last June).

They wound up going back to Montreal, starting a family, and then when I was six, we moved to Southern California. We lived in Orange County for the next 25 years, and after Lee & I got married, my dad was about ready to retire.

On a visit to friends in British Columbia, they discovered a really nice place to build a house, so that's what they did. After Diana was born, my mom & Carolyn moved up to Kelowna, and my dad finished up his job until retirement. Once he moved up, Carolyn moved back down.

Since then, their home has been our vacation destination every summer. They live in "Canada's Hawaii" with a lake monster & everything. Just a beautiful place to be.

So happy anniversary Papi & Mami! We love you very much!

Breakfast of Champions

On Friday, we were invited to attend the Breakfast of Champions at the High School. Connor & Diana were both off school, and I got the early part of the morning off since we wouldn't have students in my classroom either.

The breakfast was an opportunity for teachers to honor the students who had done an exceptional job. Teachers were asked to describe their students in three adjectives and then give an example. The students then chose a type of applause for the audience to give them - most chose the "Hobbit clap" which was three claps then put your hands up to your head, wiggle your fingers and in a high-pitched voice say, "blellelelelelelelelelle."

We had Bagel Tree bagels & donuts (Connor ate three), juice, coffee, etc. It was a nice breakfast. It would have been a bit better if the staff had gotten the message that it started at 8:00, instead of 8:30 as was posted on the school calendar. So we didn't get as much of a chance to visit with Frau Bahr, Diana's teacher. The photo also shows Erin, who was also recognized by Frau Bahr. Erin went to Germany with Diana last June too.

We were very proud of Diana for being singled out this way for this recognition. The other way our high school recognizes students is "An Evening of Excellence" which Trevor got for Math a few years ago. Either way, we're proud of our girl!