Kevin took me to Bethany to look at the cars he test drove yesterday..every time we look for a different vehicle,they look waaay too nice for us...so clean & shiny. (that never lasts long...) he'll talk to bank again Monday & we might have either a 2000 or 2005 Pontiac Bonneville....saw friends at Wal-Mart, he had totalled their good vehicle hitting a deer recently, too.
we enjoyed the buffet at Toot-Toots & watched the gently falling snow. We saw Great Aunt Dona there, I haven't seen her in years. She asked what had happened to my hair. I had to think about it. She hadn't seen my "blond do". It makes me feel younger, anyway. A pair of big black sunglasses would work wonders, too! The Xmas tree looks pretty good, I think. need to put the snowflakes in front window & the deer on the front porch. and drag the big trunk of Xmas stuff back to the garage. we started out with an old artificial tree in a trash bag & a handful of our childhood ornaments. We now have 2 huge storage trunks full of Xmas.
Kate & I are going to Mom & Dad's tonite to see Lisa & family.
Brown Family Christmas is at Trenton tomorrow.
Koren is making a David's Bridal appt. & invited us to come along. Will I cry as she tries on dresses? better just take the box of Puffs Plus Lotion. I cry at many things anymore. I like to think I've become more sensitive over the years, not just a big cry baby....


thank god it's friday...

while I was merrily power washing at work, Kevin went to Bethany car shopping, he found 2 he likes. we may go look at them tomorrow. Kate & Ms. Cuddles helped me put up the tree---I was forbidden to put it up until after Thanksgiving. We may decorate it more tomorrow, but we mutually wandered away from the tree. Josh & Corey were here to help KJ watch wrestling. Koren called, she is going to get a David's Bridal appt. & invited Katie & I to go along. Retail especially sucks around the holidays. She's a brave little soldier.
While looking for pizza mix to make supper for KJ & Co I found a baggie of leftover Easter candy (this years?) The house cleaning never ends...


thanksgiving week

hit a buck on the way to work, insurance totalled out the Monte Carlo. Kevin has been really draggin' ass this week. (even with the extra day off for the holiday.) think deer season is finally catching up with him.
I actually got a holiday off on the actual holiday!
so, I'm thinking it's a good thing I have the majority of the Xmas shopping done, we're buying back the Monte, it will need a headlight, the passanger door won't open...may try to do emergency repairs & drive it till it dies or something better comes along. kevin has started looking, but we're not interested in another vehicle payment. see, I have this fantasty that I can someday quit my job. not having a vehicle payment would make that look much more feasible...
we did a lot of house cleaning & hosted a family dinner. have 2 to attend this weekend.


katie has 3 recorder belts!

she took 2 music tests today & rec'd orange & yellow "belts", so she now has 3 pieces of yarn hanging from the recorder...she is still the leader...no one else has 3. (she's competitive enough, then I have to point out how she is the leader...hmmm. where do they get it from?)
trying to figure out when to have the girl scout xmas party...with katie's dance practices & recitals, varsity basketball starting, the school xmas concert, & I'm just going to have to close my eyes & pick a day & hope everyone can make it. my weekends are booked until the weekend before xmas, which is too close, since someone is bound to have a family something or other by that time. will probably shoot for a friday nite 5-7 or so, so I can do it after work. I need to get invitations made up & pick the !@#$%^& date so we can get the show on the road.

katie is bored

she has many projects in the works. now she needs magazines to cut eyes, etc. out of. guess who cleaned house just days ago & tossed major amounts of old magazines?
she always has these creative ideas close to bedtime. (my best creative time is in the morning when I'm supposed to be getting ready for work.)
she has also been valiantly studying for tests at school. kj asked her why such a smart kid needed to study so much. that upset her. kj always knows just what to say in any given situation to royally piss a person off. it's a gift. (it's probably also why he has no girlfriend that we know of. brutal honesty is not the way to lure the opposite sex in.)
my kids are mysteries to me. how can you be pregnant for so long, then nurse, change, nuture, lose countless hours of sleep over these kids & then not really know what makes them tick? of course, some days I don't know what makes me tick, either...
life is a roller coaster ride, just like grandma tells steve martin's character in "Parenthood."



got called out to the barn last nite to fix a nursery heater, didn't have the right part, thought I could work around it, so dicked around about an hour with that, then admitted defeat, called JCI to call maintainance, he came, brought the part, & fixed the heater. just 2 more hours gone out of my life. (actually 2 1/2, counting driving time.)
today after work I knew we had to go to Wal-Mart. So, Kate & I drove KJ's car & gassed it up ($1.69 in Princeton!), we had a list & got everything but Katie's snow boots, but on the way home I thought of several things not on my list, so have a new list up on the fridge already.
kevin put the new woodland camo sheets on the bed. can't wait to go to bed!


friday nite

on the way home from another joyful day of work, I put up posters for Katie's dance recital at Grammy's Grocery & Mercer Pizza Plus, (her teacher asked if I could hang up a couple). Josh was visiting KJ, they left to pick up Corey. I ordered pizza for supper. some more friends came to take them to band practice. Josh & Corey are in the band. So, long story short, KJ has actually left the house to do a teenage activity on a weekend night!



I volunteered to run the music at the dance recital. Kate had dance practice & 4-H.
Koren called, she & Cody selected OCTOBER 24 2009 as their wedding date, they're planning on COLORADO. (I am already crying...)


family chiropractor visit

@ Trenton. found out that our previously married, for sometime divorced chiropractors are going to be in separate buildings soon...which is a bit awkward, since Kate & I go to one & Kevin & KJ to the other...
we then went to Pizza Hut, we got meatlovers & 1/2cheese/1/2 pepperoni, which I am very very weary of, I should've ordered a salad. There was this really loud guy who finally left. I really don't like eating out much anymore. I can be annoyed at home for free.
the Lumina has a pinhole in the heater hose, cheaper than what I had feared.


jeff dunham is coming to des moines!!!!

June 3 2009!!! Wells Fargo Arena!!! we love jeff dunham! we just laughed ourself silly during his xmas special last nite. Katie hopes they have stuffed Peanuts for sale there (the audience had them last nite).
I hung out with my friend Ruth at Family Reading Night at school...Frilly & Miller provided the program. They are kind of an older kid Wiggles type band. Ruth & I are huge fans! (tonite we completed our Frilly & Miller cd collection with cd#3!) our kids have outgrown them, but we still think Miller is hot.



kevin took the day off to deerhunt & he was up & at em early. I chose to sleep in for awhile,then got up, did some emergency house cleaning, worked on Kelsie's scrapbook, then we did the Girl Scout meeting here from 10-12. Straight from there to dance class @ Princeton, I drove "kj's car", it started steaming when I was about a block from dance studio. Looked like a hose blew, so I sent the girls inside & called Kevin,who had just headed back out to hunt. He came & looked things over, called the tow truck, & gave us a ride home. Kate, KJ, & I played 2 games of Clue, he won both. Then I took a nap on the couch & they woke me up to go to the Robinson's Soup Supper (their house burnt last weekend & they lost everything). Katie approved the scrapbook & wrote an inscription in it, so she took it to Kelsie. She seemed to like it. We'd found pictures preschool-present day, I couldn't find the one of Kelsie, Carrie, Danielle, & Katie all glammed up riding horses at the neigbor's house. I make scrapbooks, then stash them away. Then when I want to find something...who knows where I stuck it.
KJ ran a lap at the park & decided he should do some indoor exercise instead. It snowed off & on today, no accumulation. The air sure is cold. Feels like winter.



the breed & gestation barns are empty at work, & we've been seeing rats. I saw one run right across my foot today. Luckily the power washer drowned out my screams.
Kate had dance class,she multi tasked & sold her dance teacher GS cookies before class, then after dance class, showed her the dance she is working on, Stephanie had an idea for a move, she taught it to Katie & now it is part of her dance. I love to watch her dance. Stephanie has definitely nutured the dramatic side of our little girl.
We got Breadeaux Pizza takeout, did a Dollar General run, then came home. She showered, made a video on the computer, & worked on her songs. I swept & mopped & folded & put away & unloaded & loaded & 'did the bills.'
We changed the scrapbook frame in the hallway to a pic of her & Jessie shopping on her birthday. She requested that I take down the huge framed group model shot from her birthday several years ago, so I did.


is it only Wednesday?

I hate the dreary gloomy damp weather. I hate daylight savings time.
Last week sometime (I think) Kevin made another dog pen because the dogs were fighting. The Great White Bitch (that's not what Katie named her, but if the shoe fits...) will not stay in. She has climbed, leaped, tunneled, shoved, etc. to get out. Today Kevin just put her back in the now much smaller pen with the dog she was bullying around.
His garage remodel was more successful. He boarded up the cracks under the overhead door where the cement is broken & replaced the broken back door window. the house is now much warmer.
Kate is visiting at Danielle's. She hasn't hung out with Danielle for awhile, but her & Moriah have kind of had a not-so-nice-parting of the ways that I am quite frankly surprised I haven't rec'd a phone call about from her parents...she had sent Kate an email that Kevin deemed unappropriate & deleted. He told me he deleted it. I told Kate that her dad had deleted an email from Moriah, if Moriah said something about the email, just say that "my dad didn't think I should read it." somehow she translated this into a lengthy email to Moriah that her dad had blocked her on YouTube, wouldn't let Kate recieve her calls, or sit by her in the Commons, or etc. And that her dad said they can no longer be friends. ???
I'm about in the mood to put up the Xmas tree. A couple in town have about all their outside decorations up & it looks very pretty. I'll hold off until after Saturday's Girl Scout meeting here. Sat. will be busy, GS in the am, extra dance practice in the afternoon,then a fundraiser soup supper for Katie's friend Kelsie's family, who lost their house & everything in it in a fire last Sat. nite. Katie & I have been going thru photo albums copying pictures we have of Kelsie growing up to make her a scrapbook. She had the idea to copy the group class pictures, too,which I hadn't thought of.
biscuits, gravy, & maple flavored sausage for supper.


I hate my job

this is old news of course. The weekends I work I am on call, so the phone rings at midnite. Cold farrowing room. deb has to get dressed, drive to the wade gate, unlock the gate, relock the gate, drive to wade 3, crawl thru the boot shed, changing into the cheap crocs they provide, then doing the door combination into the office in the dark, showering in, finding tools, walking to the room, shaking my head, dropping things, going after things I forgot, cussing some, & finally the heater kicks on. I call into JCI & go home. Crawl back into bed at exactly 1:27a.m.
phone rings again at 2:30a.m. Honestly. another cold farrowing room. by now, I am not a happy camper. I tell the nice lady that the sows in that room have no pigs, they will be ok. She asks what she should do. I tell her if it gets any colder, call me again. good thing she didn't. I may've just told her to go to hell & quit going to work. Then I get to get up & go to work at normal time, & work all day. Our half days have been cancelled while we're depopping. You don't get paid extra for getting called out. The whole deal really just bites big ones.
and we still don't get a turkey or a ham or raises.
the Kenexa survey results portrayed some bitter little people who don't trust their supervisors or feel like the company gives a crap about them. And we did the survey before they took every thing away. I'm sure we're all much happier now.
losing sleep seems to make me a bit grouchy...



I am very proud of Katie today, her friend Kelsie's house burnt last nite, they were gone at the time, so no one was hurt. Katie came home from Garrett's birthday party & (on her own) started gathering up things for Kelsie, stuffed animals (Kelsie loves them!), some shirts, a few Bratz dolls, & some Grand Champion horses. We took them to her grandparents where she is staying with her family, their friend Lindsay showed up soon after bearing bags of clothes & stuff.
Kelsie's dad is a carpenter, he had done lots of cool remodeling stuff to their house, & her mom kept it very clean & organized. She had just cleaned the girls room when I talked to her yesterday afternoon at the photo shoot. Tomorrow they start with insurance adjusters, bankers, etc.
I have always had a fear of fire, especially a fire in the nite.
The Girl Scouts will have to do something nice for Kelsie.
If her girl scout shirt & badges didn't make it thru the fire (they can't go in the house yet), will get her new ones.
I plan on going thru old photo albums & copying all the pics of Kelsie we have growing up & make a scrapbook for her. I may get it done before they graduate...



I had to work. KJ had the HDC Academic Meet, he answered 2 questions & they won 2nd place in conference!!!
Kevin took Katie to school for her old fashioned picture appt. I went straight after work. He stuck around to make sure I didn't spend too much $. Katie photographs very well, & I love to buy pics of her. Then I took her to spend the night @ Kayla's. They will take her to Garrett's birthday party at Corydon bowling alley tomorrow afternoon. (I have to work.) I usually take 1 or 2 extra kids to his party, so I'm calling in favors!
while driving home from work in the Monte, the <em>volts light came on & stayed on. So went home to get the Lumina to drive to Kayla's, almost to Princeton the low em>>coolant light came on.
It occurred to me last nite, while I was putting my free will contribution in the jar my mom was manning at the Cow Palace fundraiser. Why am I such a volunteer? Mom was always volunteering to play the piano at church, she would always send treats to school parties, she helped me put together a low budget wedding, she is the neighborhood American Cancer Society chair, she is on the Princeton Chamber of Commerce...hmmm. Why am I such a volunteer?
Too bad I didn't pick up on her cooking skills...


I forgot the coolest thing that happened today!

Katie went in before school for small groups recorder session, where she lets them come in 3-4 at a time & play for her. Katie is the FIRST white belt! She now has a white yarn string hanging from her recorder & a new song to learn.
(like Karate belts). Katie thought this was really cool. So did I. Our music teacher Mrs. Shriver is amazing. She comes up with all kinds of neat ideas for her classes, no small feat since she is in charge of everything musical at our school---instrumental & vocal---for all students. She is also a Drama Sponsor, so puts on the school play, too!


Kj had an Academic Meet at Newtown, Kate,Kevin, & I went to Bethany to Wal-Mart & Toot-Toots.


Election Day

the kids reminded Kevin & I to vote. (they really wanted us to vote for Obama.) Kevin voted this morning, I did on the way home from work.
They did a mock election at school, McCain won. By a landslide.
Katie really wants to watch all the coverage. Kevin wants to watch the wrestling he tivo'd last nite. guess who won?



I was rather smug about how well the whole birthday weekend went off (except for my sleepover headache, but that is to be expected.) I got home from work today & summoned the family to the living room to watch Katie open her presents she didn't have time to open yesterday...a big Bobby Jack stuffed monkey, a Bobby Jack MP3 player pillow, & a 'real' peace pendant (as in cost enough to get the lecture of 'you will take care of this.') Then it hit me, I'd forgotten the time honored birthday treats! We went to Grammy's Grocery, debated on making cookies, she wanted the kind you bake with the shapes in them, they didn't have any, so bought 2 bags of snack size candybars instead.
She received another invitation to attend a Youth Scholar Thing in Illinois next summer...this is the 2nd year she has been nominated by her teacher. Quite an honor. Quite a price tag, too, $1,990. I read her the inteniary...breakfast from 7:15-8 a.m. In the summer. For a girl who refuses to ever eat breakfast. she decided if she had $1,990, she'd like to go to L.A. next summer. They have a dress code, too. I can't picture my little gothic skull loving daughter in khakis & a white shirt. 6 days in a row.
Last summer KJ rec'd an invitation to a high school medical seminar deal, I think in Texas. (maybe NYC, he's rec'd several different ones.) $3,500. He kind of wanted to go. It made me feel bad. Of course, his big sister wanted braces, her teeth weren't strong enough. She settled for some dental work before SR pictures, we priced it. $2500. for 8 teeth. no payments. The dentist had a credit card company he financed thru. They denied us (we were in debt reconsilidation at the time). Koren just did her famous Mona Lisa smile. Kate & I are avid America's Next Top Model watchers...on one of the cycles, they did a lot of work on Joanie's teeth. If we could only get Koren onto America's Next Top Model...


we will survive

got all the sleepover girls dropped off about on time, then headed out to St Joe for Katie & Jessie to shop at the mall. East Hills is neat, a lot of the shops are still not up & going, but Kate did get to eat at Original Pizza, which she likes. Then we hit Old Navy & Stone Cold Creamery, we got Jessie home 2 minutes before her 8p.m. bedtime. Kayla had a nasty cough when we took her home, Katie's throat is now starting to hurt. We never had time for her to open her family gifts, maybe we can do that tomorrow in the few minutes after I get home from work & before Kevin leaves...hopefully all the girls at the sleepover don't end up sick...
Katie looked so grown up shopping at the mall, comparing clearance sales on accessories, debating on whether or not to get her ears pierced for free at Claire's Icing (she didn't.) My babies are all growing up.


the big party

I started off the day sleeping in, then ran to Princeton in deep dense fog to cash some checks I had for the shopping trip tomorrow that Katie wanted for her birthday present. We did some final house cleaning & decorating, then Katie, Jessie, & I went to school to "work" in the 4-H booth selling Rada knives while the leader took a lunch break. I sold a few knives & mainly talked to people. Kate & Jessie found 2cool booths, a jewelry one, & a candle one. They used the little $ I took in, then got permission to go out & look in the truck for more. (I also had to buy 2 of the candles before we left...a hot chocolate & a Vermont candle. The lady who makes them calls her business "Sunflower Hollow" & makes soy candles right here in the Mercer area.)
Katie has her guests Moriah, Kelsie, Kayla, Kristina, Mackenzie, Jessie, & Breanna dancing in the garage. I respectfully requested that at some point they all gather outside behind the caution tape I hung up between the tree and the porch for a group picture.
Koren sent Katie a musical card with $10 that she added to tomorrow's shopping fund. We're going to the mall...I'm not sure if we'll do St Joe or Des Moines...Des Moines is a little closer, but not much. We'll spend more time driving than anything, but that is the curse of living in The Middle Of Nowhere. (I depend on the internet & mail order catalogs!)

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i aspire to great things, but don't do anything to get there...