Sunday, May 31


Today is a bright and sunny "hot" afternoon. I use the term "hot" loosely because in Illinois, it is rarely ever really "hot". So when I say "hot", I mean that it's not very comfortable outside. Too warm for my taste anyway.

It is Sunday. We returned this past Wednesday from our 2 week trip to Missouri and Oklahoma, to see my niece and nephew graduate from high school. We spent a very nice week in Branson, sightseeing, and some light days of schooling inter-mixed. We visited many relatives. Those we see regularly and those that I hadn't seen in 8+ years.

The drive home was nice, and the 6 hours passed quite quickly. I returned home at around 6 p.m. on Wednesday night. My husband, who had to work, and wasn't able to join me and the kids, was anxiously awaiting our return. I smiled at him as I walked through the door, so very glad to be home. He was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and I looked down, and saw that his left left leg looked very red and swollen. I asked him if he had gone to the doctor for that, and he said "not yet". I felt the red area, and it felt hot, so I told him that he should really go to the ER, because it looked infected. My biggest fear was that he might have a staff infection because he does work in a hospital, and he does deal with patients quite a lot, so I felt he better get it checked out right away. His entire leg from his knee to his ankle was red, so it spanned a pretty large area.

Now, the very last thing I wanted to do that night was sit in the ER with my husband. I just wanted to relax, but I hadn't seen him in 2 weeks, and I missed him. We dropped the kids off at his mom's and we went to the ER. It was a very busy night there, and by the time the doctor came in, ordered blood tests, and a sonogram was done, it was midnight. The prognosis is that Scott has cellulitis. He doesn't know how he got it, probably at work, but not sure. He is currently taking an antibiotic, and got a shot in the rear end while we were in the ER. The kids thought this was very funny.

Since that day, I have been unpacking, and cleaning. We did manage to get away Friday morning for our weekly homeschool playgroup at a local park, and we had a nice visit with a friend who stopped by yesterday afternoon.

Last night, Skaterboy had his best friend spend the night, and we had the chance to use our Christmas present from my mom and dad, for the first time. I only got it last week, that is why this was our first time using it. Parts of it were very breakable, so it couldn't be mailed. What was it, you ask? A Cold Stone Creamery set, so we could make our own Cold Stone Ice cream. If you've had this type of ice cream before, you will know that they hand-mix your choice of ice cream with mix-in's of your choice on a marble stone that has been chilled, with two paddles, to create a wonderful concoction of ice cream heaven. So our set included the marble stone, 2 paddles, a huge variety of mix-ins, 2 ice cream scoop, 5 cute ceramic ice cream bowls, and a gift card for ice cream. Cool present. No pun intended :)

So last night, we had fun making different concoctions, and the consensus was that this was the best ice cream that they had ever had. Even Skaterboy's friend agreed. I have to admit, that my vanilla, cashew, toffee, peanut, m&m, Andes mint, pretzel treat was out of this world "good"!

Today was rush, rush, rush, it seems. Rushing to get everyone up for church, rushing to get to church, rushing to finish our Sunday School lesson before church started, and then rushing to get home, before Scott had to leave for work.

I knew that I needed Scott to rototill a small patch by our shed for about 10 tomato plants that were given to us yesterday, and needed to get into the ground. So we hurried and ate lunch, then he tilled while I helped the boys clean their bedroom. This had to be done before they could go outside and play with friends. After he was done tilling, I ironed his shirt for work, and off he went. I went back to the kids' room, to finish up, and then decided to check my email. We are picking up our 12 organic chickens this Saturday, and I needed to see if she had sent me an email of what time to come get them. She did, and everything is set for Saturday, I just have to clean out my deep freeze so there is room for 12 chickens in there. I then decided to plant the tomato plants, which didn't take too long. I decided to put the tomato cages on them now, so I didn't have to do that later on. I then decided to clean up the front of the house, by aerating the mulch out front, and planting some new herbs in the planters on the porch, and on both sides of the glider. In the planters by the glider, I planted peppermint in one, and fennel in the other. In the two hanging pots, I planted jack in the pulpit in one, and chamomile in the other. I weeded out the irises, and pulled any dead tops off them. I then watered them all, and mulched around the purple cone flowers. I am pleased with how it looks.

I also sorted crayons. I know this sounds sort of strange, but my sister runs a daycare in her home, and while there, I saw the coolest thing. If anyone appreciates this tip, homeschooler's might. She had all her crayons divided into cups, with each cup being designated for that color only. So I spent time putting all the greens together, blues together, oranges together, etc. This may seem like an unimportant and tedious task, but when you have more than one child that might be coloring at the same time, and a huge tub a crayons, it is easier if there are plenty of that color to go around, let me tell you from experience. All the crayon cups fit nicely into a plastic tray, so they are kept together neatly.

I have a few more things on my list to complete for the day, and then I am calling it quits. I want to do a few relaxing things too. So as I type this, which should be a relaxing task, I am arguing with my 5 year old who is standing next to me in his underwear, wanting me to get him a new pair of shorts, because he no longer wants to wear the shorts he had on. There is nothing wrong with shorts he had on. It's a daily battle. He's currently in the change your clothes many times a day mode. I thought girls only did that.

I came home to what I think is a pregnant dog. She is a dachshund, and her girth is much wider than it was when we left. Her nipples are also swollen. I thought we had been told that she was fixed before we got her, but it may have been a misunderstanding, now that I think about it. My biggest concern is that her boyfriend appears to be a German Shepherd. We have seen him trying to mate with her before, but it's always been quite comical to watch, because he is so much larger than her, that it simply doesn't work, if you know what I mean. There are many other smaller dogs on the block too, and our neighbor actually has 2 male dogs that are out sometimes, that are about her size. One is a Yorkie, and the other is a Pug. I am hoping that one of them is the father. So what do you call a Dachshund/Yorkie mix? A Dorkie? How about a Dachshund/Pug mix? A Dug? or is it a Pachshund? Whatever they are, I am hoping that they are not half German Shepherd. I'm afraid the puppies might kill her. She has a long body, but she's pretty short to the ground. I wonder if her belly will drag the floor when she gets really big?? It shouldn't matter, all she seems to do these days is snore on the floor, like she is doing right now, next to me. I was also wondering, " Can a dog have sleep apnea?" She snores almost as loud as my husband used to before his c-pap machine. Do they make c-pap's for dogs? I wonder?

What lies ahead this coming week? To Bloomington tomorrow to the doctor for Scott's leg check-up, which I don't mind, because he and I will eat at Ming's, like we always do when we go to Bloomington, and that's a treat. They have the best sushi bar.

Wednesday we have our annual homeschool year end picnic, where we bring old homeschool materials we are no longer using, to exchange or give, and the kids bring squirt guns, and get soaked. We always have a good time. This time a new person to our community organized it, so this will be a neat treat, to meet her, and her family, while having a good time seeing everyone.

Thursday, I will probably be taking the kids to Night at the Museum 2, by myself, as Scott has to work, but they really want to see it while it's in town.

Saturday, is chicken pick-up day, and later that night I will be scrapbooking with friends.

Mornings will be filled with schoolwork. We are hitting it heavy the next two weeks so we can finish before Skaterboy starts driver's ed at the high school on the 10th. Our local high school allows homeschooled students to take driver's ed during the summer, if there is room. There was, so we signed him up. I want him to be done with school by then so he can concentrate solely on driver's ed. Both boys are close to being done. I have to say that I too am excited to start my summer vacation.

Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, May 28


These photos are a little late, but I'm trying to catch up. This is Thumbody's Star Wars Cars Birthday. It was very eclectic... Need I say more?

Birthday breakfast. Yes, that is a #5 candle in his cheese omelet.

It is an annual tradition to be able to lick the beaters and spoonula with cake batter from your cake on it.

Skaterboy is enjoying waiting for his turn to bowl at Thumbody's Bowling Birthday Bash, that afternoon. We invited friends from church to attend.

Here is the star himself, in his favorite bowling position, which was watching balls come up through the ball return. Feeling the air come out of the hand dryer was a close second.

Monday, May 11

My Mom

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I know that I called you last night, but felt that I wanted to do a post as well about my dear old mom. Here are 30 interesting facts about my mom:

1. My mom was not always old, she was once young, like this. (This tid-bit is for my kids)
2. My mom is a very creative seamstress, and can create almost any costume imaginable.
3. My mom (and dad) love to dress up for parties.
4. My mom loves to entertain.
5. My mom once dumped an entire container of worms in her lap.
6. My mom once let my oldest son hang fishing lures from her face.
7. My mom makes the best cheesecake in this entire world. One was once auctioned off for over $100.
8. My mom has traveled to many parts of this world.
9. My mom loves to travel.
10. My mom loves to talk to her kids most.
11. My mom is beautiful.
12. My mom loves to shop.
13. My mom is loved by my dad.
14. My mom won't tell anyone her age.
15. My mom is a self professed black thumb at growing things.
16. My mom would die for her children.
17. My mom has 12 grandchildren.
18. My mom teaches Sunday School.
19. My mom can't remember dates well.
20. My mom loves the lake.
21. My mom is the only person I know who owns a bidet.
22. My mom can't speak any foreign languages.
23. My mom can type very fast.
24. My mom's favorite color is orange.
25. My mom used to drive an orange beetle.
26. My mom currently owns a white MG convertible.
27. My mom used to sing to us when we were kids, and sometimes still does.
28. My mom has been a secretary, a cashier, a salesgirl, a waitress, a Tupperware lady, a nurse's aid, she tied flies, worked on a potato farm, was an office manager, worked in collections at a hospital, was a home care manager, worked in an orthodontist's office, worked in a factory, was a travel agent, was a church secretary, owns her own travel business, and works at a doctor's office.
29. My mom got her driver's license when she was in her 20's.
30. My mom graduated from college when she was in her 40's.

Love you mom, for all the things you do!


Thursday, May 7


I have to digress for a moment to the fact that I am not a perfect mom. No matter how hard I try, sometimes I end up giving in to letting the kids do something that I otherwise wouldn't. Before you think that I am totally nuts, let me explain the photos below, before I receive that much deserved bad mommy of the year award.

We were on a nature hike with friends. The kids enjoy getting together weekly with their buddies, as do I, with the 2 other mom friends that I have made. On this particular day, the kids had fun climbing trees, and throwing sticks and rocks into the little creek at the nature center that is within 20 miles from our home.

It was one of our first Spring days of 2009, and it was fairly warm. At the end of our play date, the kids ran to this outdoor stage, in which they love to jump off of, and into the grass below. This time, the area was flooded. One of the children (can't remember which one, or whether it was one of mine or not) jumped into the big puddle. Soon after the others started jumping in. Soon they were covered in mud and muck. Now, before you judge, how many of you secretly wished that your mom or dad would have let you jump in mud puddles too your hearts delight, when you were a kid? I know I would have, loved it! So in the end, I said to myself, and my friend who stood beside me, why not? What will it hurt? The kids played in the muddy water for quite some time, until we absolutely had to go. They had the time of their lives, and a memory that will stay with them forever. Luckily, I had blankets in the back of the van in which to strip them down to their underwear in the parking lot, and cover their muddy bodies up with blankets for the trip home. My only fear was being stopped for a traffic violation. I mean, what if? I thought about it all the way home. Can you imagine how I would explain two half naked children with faces covered in mud, buckled in the back seats of our van? The thought made me laugh all the way home. As I laughed (out loud) at the prospect, my thoughts turned to a more serious matter of how I was going to get them into the house and into the bath, without them touching everything. My plan worked well. I first ran into the house and started the bath water with bubbles, and then grabbed a garbage bag on the way out to the van. I bagged up all the muddy clothes and shoes, and then led the first child into the bath, and then the 2nd child. I then started the washing machine, and dumped the entire contents of the garbage bag into the wash. Everything came clean, including their little joy filled bodies. Now all I have left are the photos. What a treasure that day was.

Wednesday, May 6


I took this photo of all the little boys looking over a bridge. I just thought that it was so cute.
Can you see the Crane on the far left sitting on the little islet midway in the water of Lake Springfield. The kids were so interested in the nature tour guide's description of so many things, including the crane.

Back inside the nature center, there was so many educational things to see, touch, and learn from. Thumbody is enjoying listening to different animal sounds.

Petting a turtle. The kids really enjoyed watching the turtle crawl around on the floor, and learn more about the turtle from the nature guide.

Here the kids get the chance to pet baby raccoons. They were so cute and fuzzy. The kids really enjoyed this part. Unfortunately these cute little critters grow up to be big critters that won't stay out of people's trash, ie... ours.

Tuesday, May 5

Field Trip To Lincoln Memorial Gardens -- Springfield, IL

April 24, 2009... Our homeschool nature study group met up with the Springfield group, and met at the Lincoln Memorial Gardens. Once there, we split up into 5 groups, with our group being the younger children's group. Skaterboy went with the older kids. We had such a pleasant time identifying different trees and flowers. We got to see a crane, down by the lakeside. The hike took about 45 minutes, and the kids enjoyed it tremendously. Every so many feet along the path, were benches, each with a quote from Abraham Lincoln on them. Later we went inside the Garden nature center, and the kids were able to do some hands-on activities, and got the chance to pet a turtle, and some baby raccoons. I will post those photos tomorrow. Have a great night!
Oh, by the way, the recipe I made the other day was wonderful. It really didn't taste much different from the one I had at the restaurant. I have learned recently, that cooking with raw shimp makes a huge difference. I was originally using precooked shimp for my recipes, and they always tasted rubbery. The raw shrimp (although more work) were much, much better. I will try to post the recipe tomorrow as well.

Monday, May 4


Here I am, so amazed that I finally get to venture into my new favorite store. Good thing that it's a 2 hour drive there, isn't it? Bolingbrook, IL. April 16, 2009.