Welcome to the mayhem

Hope you enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gratitude: Employment

I am truly thankful for Kyle working so hard for our family.  He supported me through college.  We have always needed to be a two family income.  We struggled when we both lost our jobs over 10 years ago.  We have literally pinched pennies to get our basic needs.  I'll never forget going to the grocery store with a roll of dimes just to get what we could to go with the things in the cupboards to make full meals.  I love him for always having a positive attitude.  Kyle always makes me look at the bright side.
 Dakota was a lifeguard for a little over a year.  He really did not like that job.  He said it is very boring sitting in a chair watching people swim.  Because of this and many other things I probably don't want to know, he lost his job in early October.  This was very stressful to me because of his accident our insurance almost tripled.  We were having to paid $1200 a quarter. Kota's job was basically paying for gas in his car and insurance.  We insurance shopped and are actually paying less than pre-accident and he has a job he really likes for now.  He is working for a local dairy farmer.  He loves this job.  He comes home very stinky, but he is happy.  Plus, he gets to spend a little of his money on himself and save a lot too.  Win-Win!

 Who can't love a job that allows you go to outdoor school once a year.  I know it's blurry, but I can't put student photos on my personal blog.  There are a lot of challenges being a teacher.  But, when I shake off the uncertainty of the background stuff, I really enjoy the kids.  I love teaching them things they don't know.  I love it when it is time to switch classes and they are complaining that it's time to leave ALREADY.  That means they were so engaged that didn't notice time slipping by.  I am grateful for my job.
This little one had a job interview Tuesday at Bob Evan's.  She has a second interview Thursday.  We didn't have her get a job right away because she was playing soccer.  Then she had play practice.  We told her she had to have a job by January, or we wouldn't fund her gas and insurance any longer.  Good Luck Fidget!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gratitude: His Side

 We had a house full for Thanksgiving.  15 of us.  Kyle's Brother Kory came to visit with his wife Jessica and four kids.  My kids were in cousin heaven.  It was nice hearing little ones in the house again.  You don't think you miss it, until they are around.

 Talon is surrounded by a lot of girl cousins in Minnesota.  There are a couple boys, but they are all under the 5 year old mark.  Not as much fun when you are 10.
 Funny when you are cooking the big meal, how you forget to take the pictures of the big meal.  Our turkey was great and all the trimmin's were good too.  Jessica made some mushrooms that are going to become a staple at our house.  Ymmm!  Kayla was the pie maker this year.  She made beautiful crusts just like she did a school.  She was proud of herself and should have been.
 My kids are usually the older ones around here.  So to have a teen cousin was fun for Kayla.  Her and Autumn always get along well.
The best part of this Thanksgiving was hiking in 60 degree weather at Mohican State Park.  We hiked back to Big Lyon Falls.  It was gorgeous.  I was surprised by all the foot traffic on the trails.  It will be a new tradition of us.  I felt so much better than if I laid around in my turkey coma.  Kim was a good sport and hiked down the huge hill of Pleasant Hill Dam.  It was good to run off some energy from the kids.  

I am grateful for big families.  It is fun to be included in Kyle's family.  I enjoyed the company, it felt good to have guests in the house.  I even enjoyed making all the food.  It was a nice treat and I really did feel happy about it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gratitude: My Side

Every year we get invited to my little brother's house.  They deep fry a turkey and it is so good!  
 My grandma always made a potato salad with poppy seeds.  Dad has taken over that staple.  Funny the things that you love from family dinners.
 My nephew Carter was cracking me up.  He was playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii with this grandpa and sister.  Every time the controller wouldn't do what he wanted or he couldn't keep up he would throw a fit.  Tears, screaming and failing not so much fun for mom and dad, but hilarious to me.  I'm not sure why, it just was.
Oh to be able to throw a fit when things don't go your way.  It is good to be five.  I hope that he will get the hang of it to where he will be happy.  I am grateful for my extended family.  I love them all.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Surrey with a Fringe on Top

 Hillsdale High School put on the production, "Oklahoma" Friday and Saturday.  Kayla joined the chorus and enjoyed being part of a production.  I have never seen Oklahoma before and love it.  It was so much fun watching the kids sing and perform.
 My favorite character was the Peddler.  He was hilarious and did an amazing job at capturing the audience.
 The cowboys were entertaining and were fun to watch too.  The boy with the white hat did a flip and landed on the boy with the fringed vest's shoulders.  Great stage presences on these kids.  They did all of this with 6 weeks of practice.

The leads did a great job too.  Overall a fun evening.

Flashback: in high school we had a youth pastor in the church I grew up in we played Win, Lose or Draw, a lot.  Remember that game show.  Anyhow, the youth pastor was drawing and she was up at the chalkboard forever.  We could not figure out what she was drawing.  She finally had to tell us, "Surrey with a Fringe on Top."  Twenty some years later, I finally know what she was talking about.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remodeling, Awards, Pies and Company Coming

 We have been working on remodeling our bedroom for over a year.  We were in a hurry to get in when we bought it and made the decision to paint over wallpaper.  After living here 10 years the wallpaper started to peel even with the paint on it.  So we have been peeling and scraping here and there for months.  We tried, steaming, stripping, and just plain old scraping was the best.

  Kyle scrapped the last of the wall last week and we finished plastering the cracks and holes.  Kyle had plaster dust every where last weekend.  Literally from head to toe, down the stairs, on the doors, footprints through the house.

Monday he had the day off of work for Veterans Day.  He painted the room.  We chose the Behr paint shade Tidal Pools.  I wanted a beach theme to bring in the ocean and lakes that we have enjoyed visiting over the past year.
 We are not done with the decorating, but abandoned the final details to prepare for Kory and Jessica to come and visit.
 In the midst of getting all the housework done we still have busy teens.  Sunday night BYD at our house.  The youth came over for a discussion with the Bishopric.  Monday night fall sports awards at the high school.
 Kayla is in the school play and has been practicing every night until 10 pm.  We have to see her play Friday night.  Tuesday night I remembered I had to get a baptism program together for my niece on Sunday.  Wednesday night we had Boy Scout Committee and Scouts, plus Kyle and Kota helped a friend move a TV.  Thursday (tonight) we had to pick up a box spring to go with our extra mattress for company.  I'm not sure what else we could pack into this week.  But, the house is really getting organized.
 Kayla has been bringing home homemade pies from her home EC. class.  She was very proud of her apple pie.  It was very yummy.  We have a breakfast quiche to tackle tomorrow.
 Almost ready for our guests for Thanksgiving.  We are excited to see them.  Preparing is never fun, but it is always worth it.
I haven't seen this room cleared of stuff for a few years.  Nothing like guests to make things happen.  I look forward to a warm, full house for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sylis Final Chapter

Dakota got a fox last spring for a senior project this year.  He wanted to "fox farm" and reintroduce red fox into the wild.  He had a plan for taking care of the little critter.  He was going to raise him as a pet and then get other foxes later to breed and reintroduce to the wild.

He payed for vet bills getting him shots.  He paid for a license to have an exotic pet.  He gave it a good go.

What he never could have anticipated was how hard it would be to take care of a wild animal.  Even with all the love and attention he was given from a young age.  As a kit, he was easy to take care of, almost like a cat.  He used a litter box and was cuddly.

As Sylis grew he became less cuddly, out grew his extra large litter box, and would hide his food all over the house.  As he got even bigger he quit using the litter box all together and decided my kitchen counters were a nice dumping ground.

We graduated Sylis from the house to an outside box and a lead line.  He wore a harness and was free to roam the backyard.  He broke 6 harnesses.  We were late to church one Sunday trying to catch him before he got run over by a car.

About a week ago, Sylis slipped his harness again.  Kyle and Kota were working on getting it back on when Sylis bit Kyle's nose.  As much as we like him and gave this a good go, he needed to have a better place for him to be.

We called the man we bought Sylis from and he took him back.  Dakota can go up whenever he wants to to visit and help with his process there.  Dakota in the future when he has his own place can have the pick of a litter and try again at his own house.

Now Sylis will get to live with a girl fox for the winter and have a good life.  This really did have a happy ending.  Kyle's nose is almost healed now.  Interesting lessons we have learned from trying to care for this little creature.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Senior Night (Afternoon)

 Kota traded football for soccer this year.  The differences experienced were many.  The boys team was small compared to football.  Only enough players to play the game, no subs, just 80 minutes of playing.  As boys decided they wanted to join the team the coach gladly took them.  We ended up with 3 new boys and 3 injured players, so the days with subs were few.
 Dakota got to score a goal at one game.  He got moved between defender and midfield.  He preferred midfield.
 I prefer watching boys soccer over girls.  They have a lot of speed and agility.  They were fun to watch.
From game one to game twenty, they learned the game.  Learned to be a team and support each other.  They more they played as a team, the better they did.  They lost most of their games, the final stats I'm unsure of.  But, they ended up friends.  I liked what I saw team wise much better with this small group of kids.  Of the 13 players 6 are seniors.  I'm not sure there will be a boys soccer team next year.  I hope the juniors will do what a few did with Dakota this year.  They recruited.

Reflecting on this experience, I wish Kota would have played soccer much sooner.  He learned a game quickly and did okay.  I think he could have been a great player if he had time and years to develop his skills.  It will be interesting to see what the grand kids will do someday.

I was proud of myself this day, no tears.  This is one of many things that are the last for this year.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Memory Lane

It seems like life is traveling at light speed recently.  Well, maybe even for years now, but it seems like I blink and two weeks, a month, 1/2 a year have gone by.  I have lots of things to share so I'm going to try to get in 2+ posts a week to make up for the long stretch of breaks.  For now, I am just reflecting on the major things that have happened.

A year ago, I was taking an ambulance ride to our local hospital with a son who got a concussion at a football game.  I will have to admit, soccer was much better on his body this year.

Last March we were enjoying this beautiful view in Charleston, SC.

July we were relaxing in Minnesota and Upper Michigan.
This week we dealt with the edge of hurricane Sandy.  I can't complain about our damage, it is nothing like the east coast, but we did get some damage from the winds.

We had a few pieces of suffet and siding blow off the house.  The rain found some weak points in the roof and we had some leaking.  Like I said, nothing like the East Coast, but slightly annoying.

I survived outdoor school in the after math of the hurricane weather.  (more posts later on that.)  And, I survived parent teacher conference again this year.  I will have to say, this year was I had some very unique experiences.  I have a student whose parents are immigrants from Africa.  They were so appreciative in all the work we do for their child.  He told me thank you in so many ways.  I have thought about what he said to me on several occasions this week.  It really had a profound impact on me.  I also had parents not very happy with me, interesting the contrast.  I teach the same way, have the same expectations, at the end of the day, I know that I do the best that I can, and I'm choosing to feel successful!