kate had quite the time at the sleepover, when I went to get her, I watched her & Mackenzie play Just Dance, and they sent us home with yummy chocolate birthday cupcakes! she came home & went right to bed. I turned in cookie council money, did laundry, read more of Chasing Lincoln's Killer, filled out KJ's fafsa online, finished up the hyvee scholarship, now have to find a manilla envelope & mail it in.

Americans detained by Haitian police...

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Ten Americans were detained by Haitian police on Saturday as they tried to bus 33 children across the border into the Dominican Republic, allegedly without proper documents.

The Baptist church members from Idaho called it a "Haitian Orphan Rescue Mission," meant to save abandoned children from the chaos following Haiti's earthquake. Their plan was to scoop up 100 kids and take them by bus to a rented hotel at a beach resort in the Dominican Republic, where they planned to establish an orphanage.

Whether they realized it or not, these Americans — the first known to be taken into custody since the Jan. 12 earthquake — put themselves in the middle of a firestorm in Haiti, where government leaders have suspended adoptions amid fears that parentless or lost children are more vulnerable than ever to child trafficking.

"In this chaos the government is in right now we were just trying to do the right thing," the group's leader, Laura Silsby told The Associated Press at the judicial police headquarters in the capital, where the Americans were being held pending a Monday hearing before a judge.

Silsby said they only had the best of intentions and paid no money for the children. She said her group obtained them through a well-known Haitian pastor named Jean Sanbil of the Sharing Jesus Ministries.

Silsby, 40, of Boise, Idaho, was asked if she didn't consider it naive to cross the border without adoption papers at a time when Haitians are so concerned about child trafficking. "By no means are we any part of that. That's exactly what we are trying to combat," she said.

Social Affairs Minister Yves Cristallin told reporters the Americans were suspected of taking part in an illegal adoption scheme.

Cristallin said the 33 children were lodged late Saturday at an SOS Children's Village outside of Port-au-Prince. SOS Children's Villages is a global nonprofit based in Austria.

Many children in Haitian orphanages aren't actually orphans but have been abandoned by family who cannot afford to care for them. Advocates both here and abroad caution that with so many people unaccounted for, adoptions should not go forward until it can be determined that the children have no relatives who can raise them.

UNICEF and other NGOs have been registering children who may have been separated from their parents. Relief workers are locating children at camps housing the homeless around the capital and are placing them in temporary shelters while they try to locate their parents or a more permanent home.

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti sent consular officials, who met with the detained Americans and gave them bug spray and MREs to eat, according to Sean Lankford of Meridian, Idaho, whose wife and 18-year-old daughter were being held.

"They have to go in front of a judge on Monday," Lankford told The Associated Press.

"There are allegations of child trafficking and that really couldn't be farther from the truth," he added. The children "were going to get the medical attention they needed. They were going to get the clothes and the food and the love they need to be healthy and to start recovering from the tragedy that just happened."

Haiti has imposed new controls on adoptions since the earthquake, which left thousands of children separated from their parents or orphaned. The government now requires Prime Minister Max Bellerive to personally authorize the departure of any child as a way to prevent child trafficking.

Silsby said they had documents from the Dominican government, but did not seek any paperwork from the Haitian authorities before taking 33 children from 2 months to 12 years old to the border, where Haitian police stopped them Friday evening. She said the children were brought to the pastor by distant relatives, and that the only ones to be put up for adoption would be those without close family to care for them.

The 10 Americans include members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, Idaho and the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho, as well as people from Texas and Kansas. Idaho friends and relatives have been in touch with them through text messages and phone calls, Lankford said.

"The plan was never to go adopt all these kids. The plan was to create this orphanage where kids could live. And kids get adopted out of orphanages. People go down and they're going to fall in love with these kids, and many of these kids will end up getting adopted."

"Of course I'm concerned for my wife and my daughter," he added. "They were hoping to make a difference and be able to help those kids."

The group described their plans on a Web site where they also asked for tax-deductible contributions, saying they would "gather" 100 orphans and bus them to the Dominican resort of Cabarete, before building a more permanent orphanage in the Dominican town of Magante.

"Given the urgent needs from this earthquake, God has laid upon our hearts the need to go now versus waiting until the permanent facility is built," the group wrote.


Katie's Quilt of Many Patches

I slept in today, then slept most of the day on the couch, got up in time to make lunch & take Katie to Mackenzie's birthday party. Josh & Corey came over & hung out with KJ. Kevin got the gate to Haley's pen open, I gave the dogs & cats fresh straw & water.
finished up Katie's Girl Scout Patch Quilt. I am proud of myself.
changed my sheets.
didn't get a damn thing done on my todays to-do list but take Katie to the party.
will have to step it up tomorrow!



the ball team went to coach holts house tonite instead of having practice...kj rode with dakota, which was just as well, he told me the low coolant light was on in his car (again) so I told him to take the truck, then he met dakota on our road & brought the truck back home. got the last of the cookie $, counted till my eyes crossed, & somehow ended up the $52.50 short that I knew I would be + $9.50? so shoved it all in a bag & will let Sara check it or Kevin check it or someone besides me...
Feb. is going to be busy...7 home games, 3 away...including Homecoming, which KJ is a candidate for this year, and Senior Recognition Nite.
dance class twice a week & 2 other performances.
2 girl scout meetings.
1 4-H meeting.
valentines day...seniors will do the fundraiser (I think?) & have to find something katie will consent to for classroom valentines.

katie seemed to have fun at the 100th day of school book report party...her contribution to the trail mix was 100 chocolate chips. she has borrowed a book from kay kay that she is reading.

this weekends to do list...
turn in council money & forms to sarah
deliver the aunt & uncle cookies & email mona
finish hyvee scholarship
katie to mackenzie's bday party
fafsa app. online

the kids have horrible barky coughs, dosing them with nyquil & dayquil.

G-Force dvd arrived today so I finally got to see it! needed more guinea pigs, less humans, but still right up my alley!


busy little beavers

monday...dance class
tuesday...5th grade band class for parents
wednesday...H&R Block, cleaned floors so Miss Cuddles could hack up an especially nasty hairball & Sasha could take a dump on the floor while we were at the Meadville Tournament
thursday...dance...have 8 out of 11 girls cookie money turned in...got an extension on turning in the cookie $ that was due today...(have never had to do this before.)


can I support the team from home?

kate had dance, there was no way we would make Meadville in time for the boys game, plus what are the odds he would get to play, plus snow & high winds & I am tired & don't feel good...so I justified staying home. saw on facebook that they lost to Braymer. will go to the game on Weds.
does KJ even care if I go? I want to be a good mom, & in my book, a good mom doesn't miss a thing. so while I want to be a good mom, I am falling far short of the mark. I know I can't be everywhere, & I have more than one child involved in activities...these are excuses. I really have to try harder, be better, be faster. Maybe I should get a bionic heart so I have the energy for all I need to do.
Katie seems happy lying around watching the Glee dvds, not so happy about me complaining about the characters & the storylines. It's not fair to drag her out & about late on school nites. It's not fair to not go see her brother play ball. he's put in endless hours of practice & pain & bench sitting & bus riding. I should cowboy up & just be there for him.
oh well, like KJ says,
it's almost over

and we'll get our lives back...except for graduation and dance competitions and moving our baby boy to college...


it's been a hard days nite...

worked today since Gary is hurt & out for awhile...then came home to fill out the tupperware form to turn in for competition fund raiser...couldn't find it. I had lugged Katie's huge competition suitcase to 3 events with the fundraiser stuff in it...thinking it was still in her backpack. boy, did I feel like an idiot having to make a special trip to turn it in!
Sasha is wound up & barking at outside dogs. I am ready to make her an outside dog...
stupid football has cancelled my sunday nite cartoons...
KJ worked hard on the Hyvee scholarship app., Kevin & Katie delivered some more Girl Scout Cookies, & Mackenzie dropped her cookie money off. whew!


Mercer Vs. Princeton

Someone must win. Someone must lose. It was Mercer's turn to lose again. Kj got to play the last couple of minutes. Grandma Janet was there to cheer him on. The gym was full, blue on one side, red on the other. the parking lot was full. the streets were full. it was muddy & sloppy & nasty. but the crowd cheered on. It's what we do!

Hope For Soph pictures

dancing at Hope For Soph

the floor was slippery, Katie & Mackenzie both fell but popped back up & kept on dancing. braved the mud grass lot we parked in, the cramped bathroom so many dancers were trying to change & get made up in, & dense fog on the way home.
Bravo, Dance Studio Dancers!



delivered some girl scout cookies, then to the Mercer/Princeton game. I was kind of excited when I saw in the paper that Princeton boys had just broken a 6 game losing streak...but Mercer boys are back on their losing streak...KJ did get to play for about the last 2 minutes of the game. Grandma Janet made the trek to watch...you had to park to hell & gone & wade thru the slop, the bleachers were packed...just a real fun evening.


V I C T O R Y !

Mercer Boys Beat Pattonsburg Tuesday Nite!
KJ Dailey plays most of a quarter!
He got 2 fouls!
He got to shoot 2 freethrows that rolled around the rim & then fell back out!
It was A M A Z I N G !





dance class Centerfield Dress Rehearsal...Katie is not happy with her tights...they are brand new & ripped up...will have to figure something out....mackenzie agreed with her that the outfits are not easy to dance in...
katie read ChickaChickaBoomBoom for her class room assignment today...each kid had to pick a childrens book & do a lesson with it...she said there was random giggling as she read. she thinks she really sucks as a teacher & doesn't want to be one when she is older.
KJ was happy that bb practice only went till 5.
finished sorting cookie orders.
called moms to see if anyone had morgan's missing cookies.
lugged some cookies out to truck to try & deliver on way home from work tomorrow before the game.
cleaned off kitchen counters.
cleaned sink.
did dishes.
put away a mountain of laundry.
forgot to turn in the tupperware order at dance.
found my cellphone in the fridge at work...???
kevin found the ice walker thing I lost last nite walking to or from 4-H...in Mary's yard.
made sure Katie & I had red shirts laid out to wear tomorrow for the princeton/mercer game. can't wait to hear the pep band again!!!


another day of brutal fog

left work early to take katie to her competition dress rehearsal practice...she had to trim her nails, then I was on the computer, we finally left, got out of town & I realized I'd forgotten her tights, so had to come back, she ran in after them, slid into truck coming back out & hurt her leg. we were 6 minutes late. stephanie showed us how she wanted makeup applied, & how to make sleek hair. katie looked fabulous! practice went well. I am so proud of her!
picked up KJ's car, it was something with the oil that was easily fixed.



katie & mackenzie went to the church sledding party at city park, after work katie & I went to bethany walmart where we got everything on her competition list but the covergirl very red lipstick they were out of...and a small flashlight, which I just never wandered onto.



I had to work, so Marcey volunteered Scott & Mackenzie to pick Katie up for the dance competition lock in at the Stacy Center, then Scott picked them up at the pool & brought Katie home for awhile, then they took her to Trenton to the movies.
I was going to work on her quilt, started cutting another row of big blocks, spread it out, think I'll just trim up the jagged edge & call it good...then started planning girl scout meetings so never did actually do anything with the quilt other than drag it around the house for awhile....Miss Cuddles did take a nap on it.
have got to go to walmart tomorrow nite & get her competition make up & tote. she has to have it Monday at 4p.m. this is taking procrastination to a whole new level, folks. omrkt. (oh my rice krispie treats.) katie & mackenzie made up a bunch of these...


still supporting the team....

thursday got home from work late, just had time to feed the dogs & cats & put kate's hair up for dance, ran her to princeton, to dollar general to get her favorite dance drink, then home to take kj to meet the game bus, then back to dance. we gassed up at casey's & headed to milan for the boys game at 8:30. kate was less than thrilled. she wasn't feeling good & tired from dance, but she went along. she had no choice. she did graciously dial up the Girl Scout moms for me on the cell phone so I could tell them we would be home friday for them to pick up their cookies.
game was running late. it was close....they lost by 1 to novinger in double overtime. kj got to play some in the 2nd quarter.
very foggy on way home, followed the bus. got home a little after midnite.
friday Morrisa, Cortney, Breanna, Jazmine, Mackenzie, & Morgan picked up their cookies!
just have Lindsay, Moriah, Kayla, & Kylie left.



Kj slid off the road coming home from BB practice, he called while we were in princeton picking up gs cookies...kevin came home & pulled him out, warning lights going off, oil everywhere, so it's getting towed to the garage to see what's wrong with it & if it's worth fixing.
supper from breadeaux pizza, everyone helped pack in cookies, kevin read them off, Katie sorted them, I just stayed out of the way...I always have the cookies so hopelessly screwed up....


we all still support the team....

driving thru the endless northern missouri wintery landscape to Milan Tournament...parking back by the football field & hiking to the gym...watching KJ play about a minute & a half...and the Cardinals were bitterly defeated again.
I was excited when KJ jumped guarding! it's the little moments that make a mothers heart proud...



my riser week...not as cold as last week, Thank God!
Katie's dance class went well, dress rehearsal next week.
made a homemade pizza for supper. katie found a hair in hers & couldn't eat it. so KJ shared an amusing story about a huge wad of lint he found in his crust last nite. then they wrestled around for awhile.
I sewed 2 more rows on Katie's quilt....I think one more big row across the bottom then I can get the sides evened up!



did a row of BIG blocks for Katie's quilt...found Koren's old teal green faded CAMP WOODLAND tote bag yesterday & had an idea...
baked banana nut bread (only Martha White & I know the secret recipe!), did some Xmas scrapbooking, some laundry, & getting ready to do some All The Nuts In The Tree blogging...
girl scout meeting this afternoon.
hopefully I can squeeze in a nap, since I only slept in till 8:30...


make up day

furnace guys did show up & install...KJ went to the Green City game without his cheering squad, he got to play 'about a minute' & they lost 'by about 10'.
kate & I went to dance class & the competition meeting. I swept, mopped, & swiffered. the icicles on Katie's ceiling were melting after the new furnace started up, it blows a lot more air into the kids rooms. I did a Dollar General Run.
think we're ready for tomorrow's Girl Scout meeting.


snow day #2...

kids got out of school at 2:00 Weds. Kevin took Thursday & Friday off to help install the new furnace (which is now supposed to be here tomorrow 8:30a.m.) & was excited about getting to go to the makeup away game at Green City last nite & the home game tonite. school was cancelled both days, games were cancelled. They had basketball practice, though. (We All Support The Team.) Katie's Thursday nite dance class was cancelled. It was tentatively rescheduled for tonite. Then rescheduled again for Saturday morning. which is cool, it's my weekend off, I can get it all done. guess when the Green City game is rescheduled for? Girls play at 1:00...then boys. Katie has dance from 9a.m.-? & then a Competition Meeting at noon. could we get to Green City in time? As a parent I want to Support The Team. Especially the K.J. Dailey portion of The Team. how bad are the roads that way? no one has had school the last few days. the KC kids got an entire extra week of Xmas vacation. if Kevin could drive...but he'll be helping install the furnace, then has to go back to work. somedays being A Mom is all about deciding which kid to disappoint. K.J. says his best games are the ones I don't go to. guess we'll see how he does tomorrow...if they do end up having the game...


A Cool High School Sports Story

Kirkwood (Mo.) High senior basketball player David "Chubbs" Stillman had a game he will remember forever on Monday night.
And it was all by design.
Stillman, who is a special needs student at Kirkwood and has been the team's manager since his freshman year, suited up for his high school - and scored six points.
"This night was planned to give back to Chubbs for all he has given us the past four years," Kirkwood coach Bill Gunn said. "He made the night special."
Stillman, who started, entered to his name being blasted over the loudspeaker and chanted from the stands.
"It was so much fun," Stillman said. "Having my brothers, sister and family there also made it special."
The decision to start Stillman was an easy one for Gunn.
"We wanted him to experience putting on the jersey, starting and having the opportunity to play for Kirkwood," he said.
And play Stillman did.
Stillman did not simply log minutes after the game was decided. He was in for the tip, re-entered the game before halftime and again twice in the fourth quarter
The fourth quarter was when Stillman shined, knocking down a 3-pointer midway through the period.
Teammate Hunter Ward, a senior, said it was great to see Chubbs out there competing.
"We were all so glad and proud to see him out there smiling and having a blast," Ward said.
Putting a smile on the faces of his teammates will be the lasting memory of Stillman on the Kirkwood community, but this night would have an ending that no one could have planned.
With the game already decided, Gunn called a timeout and put Stillman back into the game.
"When Coach Gunn called timeout to get Chubbs back into the game, I asked the kids, 'How do we want this to end?' " opposing coach Chris Wilkenson said. "Chubbs had already scored, but they didn't care.
"They said, 'Coach we want him to hit another shot.' It shows that these kids have real character."
And hit another shot he did.
Stillman, with a flair for the dramatic, hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close the game.
"The second 3-point basket at the buzzer was a perfect ending," Gunn said. "It was great to see the students and team carry him off the floor."
The reaction has already been overwhelming for Gunn and the team.
"It has been crazy today in a very positive way," he said. "The reaction from the media in St. Louis and throughout the country has been unreal."
Gunn has been contacted by NBC's The Today Show as well as many local St. Louis area news outlets regarding the story.
While the coach is certainly proud, he deflects the attention back to his player.
"I am so happy that this can bring recognition to not only David but to Special Olympians everywhere," he said.
Stillman, however, is still soaking in the game.
"Getting to play for Kirkwood and hitting those 3s was a dream come true," he said. "This is something I will remember the rest of my life."


no school tomorrow.

no ball game, no dance class. katie is stressed, she forgot to bring home her Martin Luther King JR rough draft to work on. she is adament about studying for the spelling bee...that is one elementary memory I had blocked out....


kids got out of school at 2:00. took Koren 2 hours to drive home from work. I filled truck up on way home. will Mercer have school tomorrow? will KJ have an away ballgame? will Katie have dance class? will the new furnace get installed?
today Kevin cleaned the garage so they can get the furnace in.


I'm not alone....

We can't get no job satisfaction.

Even Americans who are lucky enough to have work in this economy are becoming more unhappy with their jobs, according to a new survey that found only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their work.

That was the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board research group in more than 22 years of studying the issue. In 2008, 49 percent of those surveyed reported satisfaction with their jobs.

The drop in workers' happiness can be partly blamed on the worst recession since the 1930s, which made it difficult for some people to find challenging and suitable jobs. But worker dissatisfaction has been on the rise for more than two decades.

"It says something troubling about work in America. It is not about the business cycle or one grumpy generation," says Linda Barrington, managing director of human capital at the Conference Board, who helped write the report, which was released Tuesday.

Workers have grown steadily more unhappy for a variety of reasons:

• Fewer workers consider their jobs to be interesting.

• Incomes have not kept up with inflation.

• The soaring cost of health insurance has eaten into workers' take-home pay.

If the job satisfaction trend is not reversed, economists say, it could stifle innovation and hurt America's competitiveness and productivity. And it could make unhappy older workers less inclined to take the time to share their knowledge and skills with younger workers.

Nate Carrasco, 26, of Odessa, Texas, says he's been pretty unhappy in most of his jobs, including his current one at an auto parts store.

"There is no sense of teamwork in most places any more," Carrasco gripes.

When the Conference Board's first survey was conducted in 1987, most workers — 61 percent — said they were happy in their jobs. The survey of 5,000 households was conducted for the Conference Board by TNS, a global market research company.

One clue that may explain workers' growing dissatisfaction: Only 51 percent now find their jobs interesting — another low in the survey's 22 years. In 1987, nearly 70 percent said they were interested in their work.

Workers who find their jobs interesting are more likely to be innovative and to take the calculated risks and the initiative that drive productivity and contribute to economic growth, Barrington says.

"What's really disturbing about growing job dissatisfaction is the way it can play into the competitive nature of the U.S. work force down the road and on the growth of the U.S. economy — all in a negative way," says Lynn Franco, another author of the report and director of the Conference Board's Consumer Research Center.

Conference Board officials and outside economists suggested that weak wage growth helps explain why workers' unhappiness has been rising for more than 20 years. After growing in the 1980s and 1990s, average household incomes adjusted for inflation have been shrinking since 2000.

Also, compared with 1980, three times as many workers contribute to the cost of their health insurance — and those contributions have gone up. The average employee contribution for single-coverage medical care benefits rose from $48 a month to $76 a month between 1999 and 2006.

Workers under 25 expressed the highest level of dissatisfaction. Roughly 64 percent of workers under 25 say they were unhappy in their jobs. The recession has been especially hard on young workers, who face fewer opportunities now and lower wages, some analysts say.

The most satisfied were those ages 25 to 34, who may see some opportunities for upward mobility as baby boomers retire. Around 47 percent of workers 25 to 34 say they were happy in their jobs.

Some other key findings of the survey:

• Forty-three percent of workers feel secure in their jobs. In 2008, 47 percent said they feel secure in their jobs, while 59 percent felt that way in 1987.

• Fifty-six percent say they like their co-workers, slightly less than the 57 percent who said so last year but down from 68 percent in 1987.

• Fifty-six percent say they are satisfied with their commute to work even as commute times have grown longer over the years. That compares with 54 percent in 2008 and 63 percent in 1987.

• Fifty-one percent say their are satisfied with their boss. That's down from 55 percent in 2008 and around 60 percent two decades ago.

Carrasco said he wishes his bosses would take time to listen to workers' ideas — and their difficulties on the job.

"Most of the time they only listen to what their bosses are saying," he says. "Bosses need to come down to the employee level more and see what actually goes on, versus what their paperwork tells them is happening in the stores."

It wouldn't be fair to blame low job satisfaction solely on bad bosses, Barrington says.

"It is two-way responsibility," she says. "Workers also have to figure out what they should be doing to be the most engaged in their jobs and the most productive."


in breaking news....

we found European Vacation on BOTH vhs & dvd & watched it twice! the girls had fun singing along with the 107.5 countdown in the truck to & from Leon yesterday, I even did some amatuer videos of the girls in the backseat by holding the camera backwards while I was driving. woo woo!
ice on the inside of the bathroom window. the little propane heater held the LR at 62 degrees. good weather to crawl into your blankie & watch movies or read. found "I Am A Man" Chief Standing Bear's Journey For Justice so think I have my day mapped out! might drag out Katie's denim quilt & work on it, too. I am sooo close to being done, about 3 more rows & putting the back on. It is just embarrassing. Honestly!


happy new year

woke up to a 54 degree house....couldn't get hold of 'our' furnace guy, so Kevin called a guy here in town, who doesn't have the part he thinks we need, so Lije is loaning us a propane heater.

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