Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Communion on Saturday

Connor's very excited.

Last Saturday, we did a practise and took photos (which is why I have these already).

My mom & sister will be coming down from Canada, and I don't know yet how many of Lee's family will make it...

This will probably be the last sacrament Connor does for a long time. I don't see him being able to do Confirmation unless it's really adapted for his disability, and I don't think we're going to see him doing a Catholic Vocation (like being a monk?) or getting married. Those all require a lot of soul-searching and inner conviction, which he doesn't do.

Who knows though - God can do anything :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Birthday #47

Wednesday I celebrated my birthday.

I started off the day with a very nice gift from Lee - an hour-long massage at the wellness center we like. I will use this most likely with a furlough day, so I can get the massage, and tehn go home and relax the rest of the day. That's the plan, anyway.

On the way to work, I got my free Mocha Latte from Dutch Bros. The guy didn't even really check my ID, which I thought was funny. Apparently, if I really wanted to, I could have gone to all the Dutch Bros. coffee stands in town all day and gotten free coffee (my nephew, Daniel, has a friend who managed to hit like 15 one day). I like the idea of the local coffee stand giving you a freebie on your birthday :)

Connor comes with me to work, and I had baked a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. That was breakfast. Connor made my co-worker & the substitute teacher sing me "Happy Birthday" before he would let us eat any cake. Hee.

During lunchtime, Lee scored points again with having a flowering plant being delivered to me at work. It's a very nice little arrangement, and I'll do my best to not kill it (no promises).

After work, Lee got us Subway for dinner. Both he & I are currently working hard on our waistlines, and we knew we were going to go out to 'real dinner' after our TOPS meeting on Thursday, so we just put off that part. Still, it was nice that I didn't have to cook on my birthday!

Lee also took the time to remind people on facebook and stuff to acknowledge my birthday. That was very nice as well. Good job, Lee!!

Yesterday after TOPS, Lee got the boys and we went to Red Robin for dinner. Connor had the biggest grin on his face when the Red Robin staff came & brought me ice cream, balloons & sang me "Happy Birthday." Too fun.

Thanks to everyone for the nice birthday wishes - however I got them, via phone, card, facebook or blog!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

TOPS State Recognition Days 2009

I just got back from my TOPS convention this morning. It was a fun weekend, with lots of inspirational stories, and good motivational speakers. We had a guy who has walked across the USA seven times now, and another gentleman who has lost over 100 lbs and kept it off for 13 years now. Good stuff.

These are the members of my chapter that attended this convention. We had four rooms at the Hilton in Eugene, and it was pretty busy. The actual convention is always organized chaos. It's volunteer-run, and the volunteers do their best, but it's never a smooth-running thing. At least this time, we weren't cramped, or boiling from heat, or not able to use the facilities due to lack of facilities!

Actually, my club's rooms were only a floor up from the mezzanine level, so I was able to take the stairs. The line for the elevators was pretty long every time the sessions ended.

On Friday, I wanted to grab Diana for dinner after we were done, so I told the ladies I was going to get her & grab some Taco Bell. Suddenly I was taking orders for 9 people :P That was fine. I got Diana & we got the food & went back to the hotel. We ate in the room, and Diana got to hear some of the ladies bicker, including my 83-year-old friend saying "Bullshit!" lol.

Saturday we got to see all the division winners (those people who lost the most weight for their weight division, from teens to folks who have had surgery for weight loss). There were at least four people who had lost over 100 lbs.! We also found out who our Oregon King & Queen are. Those are the male & female who reached their goal weights last year with the most weight lost since they joined TOPS to reach goal. The lady is 75 years old, and it took her 8 years. The man is a young guy with Down's Syndrome. He needed someone to assist him, but boy, was he enthusiastic! He lost 78 lbs or so, while the Queen had lost over 100. Amazing stuff!

For the afternoon session, all of those who have reached their goal are recognized and announced on stage, along with how long they've been a KOPS. I was at the 6-year mark this time. We had a new graduate this time, and she's in the middle of the photo. She lost 80-something pounds to reach her goal :)

After all that, the session ended at 3:30, so I called Diana about going out to dinner together. The rest of the club does the banquet, except a mom/daughter couple, and they asked to join Diana & I. We went to an Indian/Greek restaurant, and it was really good! After we dropped the ladies off, Diana & I went to the Sweet Life Cafe, which is a really hopping bakery near downtown. It was pretty cool. We shared a lemon bar & I got Diana an Apfel Studel to eat over the next couple of days. It was pretty big! Then I dropped her off at her place again, and I headed back to the hotel. The rest of the club were already in their rooms, and I chatted with my roomies a bit.
This morning we checked out early, got breakfast along the way & got home. Yay!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

FAFSAs & Taxes

This being April 15th, I figured I ought to go and amend the kids' FAFSAs (Federal Application for Financial Student Aid). You have to show correct information, and they had originally filed under "Parents will file" status.

So I go in & change it to "Already filed" and put in the correct numbers. We had estimated pretty close, but the adjusted gross income was a little different from my guessimate.

Going thru the tail end, it says that you are agreeing you have submitted the information correctly - if not, you can be fined $20,000 and/or go to PRISON. Eek! Good thing I'm not a cheat and double & triple check everything any time I do stuff like this!

Diana must have this filed in order to continue getting her 90% scholarship from the Ford folks.

Trevor must have this as well, since all his funding is coming from the government. He's still looking for work, but nothing has opened up for him as of yet. In the meantime, he actually gets to pocket a bit of money for expenses, which he will probably be using to pay down the interest already accrued on last years loans...

I hate this stuff. *sigh*

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Kiester 2009

It was a whirlwind weekend.

Diana was brought home Friday evening by an old (young) childhood friend, who is attending college north of Eugene. The two girls enjoyed catching up with each other over the hour it took to get Diana home.

Friday after dinner, Diana went shopping with me so we could fill the Easter eggs. I got everyone a new shirt/blouse for Easter. Mine turned out to be too lightweight for the weather, so I guess I'll wear it sometime in June :P The guys all got a polo shirt, and Diana got a new blouse for her. The older kids & I watched TV and filled eggs in the later part of the evening. There was ice cream too...

Saturday morning, we packed up, cleaned up, did Diana's laundry etc. and left for Medford around noon. Myrna hosted a big egg hunt & bbq, and all Lee's sibs & folks were there, with a few friends of Myrna & Doug. There weren't that many 'little' kids, so the older ones had to hunt for eggs too :) Everyone got a lot!

Once the meal & hunt was over, we got to visit & stuff. I think it was down to just a few by 6:00, and we decided to head over to see Myrna & Doug's house they'd bought in Jacksonville. They are going to sell their big house and downsize, now that the kids are pretty much doing their own thing & Daniel is going away to college at George Fox U in the fall. My kids stayed at Myrna's while we were gone.

The house reminds me a bit of the one Lee & I lived in when we were in Garden Grove. The yard is just a little smaller, but it's about the same age. Nice garage & Doug & Myrna have plans for it :) Without the big property, I'm sure Doug will keep busy with the new place.

Daniel then directed me to the Greyhound Bus station. It's a new one now, not where we used to get Trevor when he attended OIT. After chatting in the car a while, we decided to go in and see if the bus was delayed or anything. Turns out it had a 'meal stop' in Central Point, which is maybe 10 minutes away. They hadn't arrived yet, and would be there at least 20 minutes, so Daniel & I hopped back in the van and went up to Central Point.

When we got there, I walked around the bus to see if Lee might still be on there (I knew he wasn't going to get a meal), and then we went inside to look for him there. Daniel got a call from his mom while we're in the store, and she was letting us know Lee had just called and he was in Central Point. That was kind of funny :) We saw him almost as soon as Daniel hung up the phone.

So back to Myrna's house then, and we got to visit more & watch some TV while the kids used the jacuzzi. Pretty much everyone had an early morning for Easter, so we didn't stay up till all hours :)

The next day, we got our gear together after Doug fixed us eggs (thanks!), and we went over to the folks' for coffee & donuts. I had to run back to the other house though, when I realized I'd forgotten my camera - doy. When I got back to the folks', we all got in the van to go to Mass at Shepherd of the Valley church. We arrived early enough to sit wherever we wanted, and with Connor, that means the front row. He did very well in a strange church - one of the great things about Catholic Mass is it's really predictable! Mom did very well too - I think she feels very comfortable in church, and it's something that's just very familiar to her - even with the Alzheimer's.

I had to take a photo of the kids at the baptismal font. The flowers were so beautiful, and those are just the ones at the font - they were all over the altar. Very nice.

After mass we took the folks home again, and then Daniel stopped by with 'all' our stuff (Diana's vest, a jacket that wasn't ours, and a toy Donna had brought that we didn't know we should take) lol. Then we headed home. We got to Canyonville around 3:00 for gas, and decided to stop at the restaurant there, since we didn't really have an Easter Dinner with Lee. That worked out nicely. After we got home, we loaded up Diana's gear, and she & I drove to Eugene to get her back to school.

It started raining on the way up, and we were grateful it hadn't rained up to that point all weekend :) I got home just after 8:30 - in time to log in to play WoW with Lee & Robert.

So, yeah - busy weekend! Happy Easter! And thank you, thank you to Myrna & Doug for hosting us & doing the big egg hunt :) It was great!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

She Made It!!!

We had a Older Girl Camp at Bandon, OR a few years back, and we were introducing our troops to geocaching. While looking up the caches in the area, I found there was actually a girl scout Travel Bug (trackable item) in one of the caches we'd be searching for.

Turns out someone else snagged it before we could find her, but once we got home again, I found out she'd only been moved south an hour or so. Diana & I made the trip to find her when we went to visit my niece, Karrie, and her new baby.

We grabbed the Brownie Girl Scout and brought her back to Roseburg, and had her participate in a Thinking Day event - we made a display showing all the places she'd been, and at the end, we passed her off to another girl scout who was on her way to the Girl Scout center in London in a couple of weeks.

That girl placed her in Regent's Park in London, and that was our part of the trip. I'm so excited she's finally made it to Our Chalet, and even gets to be her own geocache-starter! Hopefully her troop will come to collect her this summer.

Way to go, Brownie Girl Scout travel bug!!

This is the entry from a new cache created for the Brownie Girl Scout travel bug that our scouts had a hand in furthering on her journey (originally written in german):

Our Chalet
We’d like to dedicate this cache to the TB „Brownie Girl“, which started its journey 2005 in Florida and reached its destination Adelboden in December 2008.
It was started by a girl scout troop, who will visit the ‘Our Chalet’ (Girl Scout Centre) in Adelboden.
In order to find the cache, you need to answer the following questions, which all relate to Our Chalet or the Girl Scout Association. The parking area is only available on weekend,alternative: Silleren parking area.
1. Who established the Our Chalet? Sum up all letters from the first and last name = A____
2. Where are other world centres of the Girl Scout Association? Use the numerical value of the first letter of the country and addthem together= B ____
3. Who supported the planning and building of Our Chalet financially? Numerical value of 2nd letter of the first name = C ___
4. What was Ida von Herrenschwands’ girls scout name? Count the number of letters = D ____
5. Where was the first place located, which was chosen by the donators? Sum up the digits of the postcode (single digit) = E ____
6. What’s the altitude of the highest mountain in Adelboden (in metres, without comma) Add the digits of the number = F ____
Important: Please don’t remove the TB „Brownie Girl“ from the cache as it’ll be collected by its owner!!!!
You will find the cache at:N 46° B+2. E-1/D+E/D-1E 007° A+F+C+1. D/E/C-3
Good luck wish you
jumbo-jeter und 5wild

N 46° 29.382 E 007° 34.035 [Other Conversions]UTM: 32T E 390042 N 5149456 NE
5546.7 mi from your home coordinates
In Espace Mittelland (BE/SO), Switzerland

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Nun Joke

There were two nuns.. One of them was known as Sister Mathematical (SM), and the other one was known as Sister Logical (SL). It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent.

SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past thirty-eight and a half minutes? I wonder what he wants.
SL: It's logical. He wants to rape us.
SM: Oh, no! At this rate he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most! What can we do?
SL: The only logical thing to do of course is to walk faster.

A little while later...

SM: It's not working.
SL: Of course it's not working. The man did the only logical thing. He started to walk faster, too.
SM: So, what shall we do? At this rate he will reach us in one minute.
SL: The only logical thing we can do is split. You go that way and I'll go this way. He cannot follow us both.

So the man decided to follow Sister Logical. Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried about what has happened to Sister Logical. Then Sister Logical arrives.
SM: Sister Logical! Thank God you are here! Tell me what happened!
SL: The only logical thing happened. The man couldn't follow us both, so he followed me.
SM: Yes, yes! But what happened then?
SL: The only logical thing happened. I started to run as fast as I could and he started to run as fast as he could.
SM: And?
SL : The only logical thing happened. He reached me.
SM : Oh, dear! What did you do?
SL : The only logical thing to do. I lifted my dress up.
SM : Oh, Sister! What did the man do?
SL: The only logical thing to do. He pulled down his pants.
SM: Oh, no! What happened then?
SL : Isn't it logical, Sister? A nun with her dress up can run faster than a man with his pants down.

And for those of you who thought it would be dirty, say two Hail Marys!

Friday, April 03, 2009

TOPS Leader

Last night I ran my first meeting as Leader of my TOPS chapter. *whew*

There were about 30 people in attendence, and I went off the outgoing leader's agenda, but next time, I'll have my own. It was confusing trying to find stuff I hadn't written :/

I will also rearrange the leader notebook, since I like to have the most recent information in the front, vs. the back of the section.

For the benefit of the newer members, I gave a little intro to myself. I apologized for my lack of skill at the head table, because I'd actually planned to start off with a different position, like secretary or co-leader to figure out how things run first. But no one else stepped up to the leader position, and since I'm no longer running a GS troop, I went ahead and accepted the nomination (and won by a landslide, seeing as how my opposition ran with the intent of not accepting if she won - we need at least two people to vote between - lol).

I do really love my club. It's the only reason I have maintained my 35-lb loss since December 2002, and I'm grateful for their support and understanding in my daily struggle with my weight. I know if I didn't go every Thursday to weigh in, I would have long ago regained everything and probably more. I truly need this chapter to keep me on my toes, and they really are a great, fun bunch of people.

I also really am happy that Lee is coming with me now too, and that he's doing so well. It forces us out of the house every week, and while going to a support meeting and then out for dinner might not seem very 'datey' to some, it works for us.

I appreciate Trevor staying home with Connor so we can do this as well. Connor tends to expect Trevor to do things to bug him (maybe because of Trevor's track record with that? heh), so having Trevor fix Connor dinner, and 'take care' of him for a couple of hours every week is good for both boys. And the 'taking care' means give Connor food, and then leave him alone - lol.

There's a lot of record keeping in the TOPS club, lots of awards, tracking gains & losses & turtles (staying the same), and I expect I'll have to set aside an evening every week to keep up with everything. Thankfully my co-leader has done ALL the head table positions in the club, and also other volunteer things for the chapter. I can rely on her to guide me until I figure it all out :)

And note to self - don't wear a silk shirt when speaking in front of a group. It doesn't 'breathe' well (the treasurer sitting next to me said my deoderant was working fine anyway).

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Tooth Hurty

Connor used a joke to get out of class the other day.

"What time is it when it's time to go to the dentist?"
"Tooth hurty."

His aide didn't get it was a joke (it's not always easy to tell). She heard the dentist and the "tooth hurty" part probably through most of the day, and thought we'd forgotten to let them know Connor had a dentist appointment.

I got a call at my job about 2:35, because he was waiting to be picked up in the office.

I explained the joke, and that no, he did not have an appointment.

So Connor got to hang out in the office with the secretary who loves him to pieces for a half hour.