Tuesday, May 19, 2020

First Monday of Summer

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We are officially on Summer Break.  
Daddy is not.  
It's hard finding things to do that don't involve people, that make it feel different from the last three weeks.  I was puzzled about this.  So I decided to start a puzzle. 


Two boys help start a 1000 piece Thomas Kinkade Autumn in New York puzzle. 


Sam takes to doing puzzles very naturally. 
He helped me build the frame. 


After an hour, we couldn't take anymore, we were down by one last border piece. 
We surrendered in need of fresh eyes. 


There were just a few plants left to put into the garden. 
They boys were all acting like they had energy that they needed to get out. 
So I put them all to work planting. 
I did one bag's worth of weeding, and taught them how to put the snapdragons in the ground.  
Then I called it a day. 
They finished putting all the snaps in the ground in a line, and we got all the plants in the ground. 


We resumed piano lessons at Miss Laraine's yesterday. 
She's cleaning between students, but our family just rolled in and took over. 
It was so nice to have this one piece of normalcy back. 


The oldest and youngest playing footsie.  Big Geese. 

I think Mondays are going to be better this summer, with piano and no school than they've been all year. I'm glad school is out.  But we're going to start writing cursive, keep our garden gorgeous and making beautiful music.  That sounds like a good plan to me. 


Monday, May 11, 2020

The Last Monday of the School Year

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I used to enjoy Mondays. When I had a Bible Study group coming to my home.  After 2 months of this insanity, we don't meet anymore. We barely chat.  We only supported each other for a month.  It has pretty much fallen apart.  That's ok.  I guess I've come to grips with it.  It wasn't the right fit, and though they told me I wasn't going to have to "Be a Leader" that's exactly what they needed.  And it's not me.   I didn't want to Lead a Bible Study. I wanted to be a part of one. 
Now I'm a Teacher.  I didn't want to be that either. I don't like having to gripe at the kids to tell them what to do all the time, to get them to do their schoolwork, or to get them to lay off the screens. 
This was a decent day.  It's the last Monday of the school year.  We're almost done with all the hideous e-Learning.  Even I can get excited about that.  The kids have finally figured out, if they get their day's work done early, they can play.  It's taken them 6 weeks to figure it out.  Ugh. 

Meanwhile, 

Princess goofed up her leg again. 
She dashed out of my room yesterday, and tried to corner like she's on rails, to go downstairs.  It didn't work.  Her bionic knee didn't work.  She squealed, squeaked, and ran to hide.  She thinks she's in trouble when she hurts herself.  I don't need to yell at her when she overdoes it and hurts herself. Pain is punishment enough. 
And she was hurting yesterday. 
There have been a few times where she's tweaked her bionic knee, but within 24 hours she's back to herself.  Today she wasn't.  After limping outdoors without even touching that back right leg to the ground, she returned indoors, took one look at the stair, and decided Nope.  
And she didn't come up.  
She didn't sleep with me last night. 
I tell you , this was worse than  a tweak.   
So I fessed up and called the Vet.  Her doc asked if it was swollen, which it is not.  So we decided to Drug Her instead.  So he took my money over the phone, and then gave me drugs when I pulled up. "Curbside Service".  Well, it seems to have worked.  Although funny thing, Princess is now on the same drugs as Eric: Big hearty Ibuprofen (Vetprofen) and Gabapentin.  
They seem to relax her about as much as Eric, but they don't knock her out.  
She prefers the essential oil blend Panaway, but we were getting low, so I ordered more. 


When I came back from my doggie drug run, I noticed my lilac bush was still happy, even though we're in the middle of a cold snap.  It's been dark and chilly for the last couple days.  50 degrees is nice when it is sunny, but it's cold when it's dark and cloudy. At least my lilac looks pretty.


Lilac blooms. 


I got a little closer to the blooms. 


I love the ways there are layers to the petals, and they stink so good.


Also, the irises that I got from my Grandmother started blooming too. 


My Mom used to say that Orchids look like little faces sticking their tongues out.  
I think irises make similar faces. Blah. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

May the 4th Be With You

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Today started off gangbusters! 


My new Sleeping Beauty ears arrived in the mail.  A birthday present to myself. 
They are Pink and Blue, just like Sleeping Beauty's dress, with a bit of her tiara. 
Perfectly me. 



I finished Christopher's scarf late last night, and he was so happy to receive it this morning. 
He wore it around most of the day. 


Mondays mean a new week's worth of school work, and Jacob has a Zoom Call with his class at 10. 
I peeked in on his class call, just as his teacher told him to jog in place for 30 seconds.  
So he did.  
Look at those little fists go, and those legs, just a blur.  
Moving is Good for him. 


Sam rocks his Math out online by taking over my computer. 


Then it occurred to them that today is May 4th. 
Sam drew a green lightsaber on the driveway with 
"May the 4th be with you."

Sam plays Star Wars theme. 
And we had piano lessons.  
The boys did well, but Sam was my favorite, because he rocked out his lesson with the Main Theme from Star Wars, and got his sticker of completion.  Perfect Timing. 
There were some low lows with regard to Chris's Percussion Audition, he had a ton of anxiety, and with that comes a ton of anger, but once he calmed down, we were able to order pizza and watch the last episode of Clone Wars, together.  It helped to end the day on a good note, but it doesn't cancel out the level of low of those lows.  

Quality Time

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A quiet Sunday. 
I am becoming quite fond of our Church's Zoom Calls each week. 
It's the only time we make it to Church on time. 
We had over 100 people listening in on the call live this week. 
It's Comforting to watch it, and with us on muted, I can relax, because I can tell the kids to walk away or jump on the trampoline if they have too much energy to sit through the whole service, and call them back when it's time.  Communing and Singing together just us is really neat.


Did I mention that we have also had a weekly Zoom call with my inlaws?
We almost missed it this week, we were almost late. It's at 4, and I'm usually napping on Sunday afternoons at that time.  And while I know that Mom and Dad just want to hear from the boys, I love seeing my nieces and nephews every week.  Cole likes to tell cheesy jokes.  This week Jacob told one too. I wish I could remember what it was.  Bryce is 3, and he tried to tell one, but I didn't get it.  Kaylee brought a Bakugan toy on to show the little ones, and they were enthralled.   
I'll miss this.  I think we've seen more of them, and more of Mom and Dad than we get to do while they are in town. Sometimes I roll my eyes, and sometimes we laugh, but just being together is just Good.


The theme today is "dreaming of" and seeing this makes me dream of what this little mini-deck will become. 
It all started because I asked Eric to move the piece of plywood so I could get out of his car.  
I'm not thin, and I don't like having to suck it all in when I exit the front passenger seat of his car. 
This time, I asked him to move the plywood, and it started a huge new project.  He was 'saving' that wood for a new platform (deck) to expand the little landing we have. When we built this temporary staircase, it landed right into the grass, but then we decided a little extra space so the dog could wipe her feet would help. So he built the landing, and put a rug on it for cleaner dog toes. Then the rug got moldy, and we probably ought to buy a new rug if we're going to expand the landing, which is what he was saving that extra plywood for.  Plus we could get the ramp for Princess off the front porch, if we took the legs off, now we can put the grill out there.  He's building a deck. He won't admit it's a new deck. But there have been 2 trips to Lowe's, online ordering of course, and we're banging on wood and putting things together.  Yes, we're building a deck, because I asked him to move the plank of wood.  This reminds me of the time we had to overhaul the pantry and put up entire shelves because I asked him to put away shot glasses that we had received for Christmas. 
Yes, very similar.  But hey, at least we should get a pretty new deck, and a bit more space to birdwatch outdoors.  So I'm dreaming of all of that. 


Meanwhile, while the boys did yard work this weekend, I did a splash of laundry at my mother in laws, and worked on this scarf I'm making with a yarn that Chris chose.  It turned out a little bit curly, but charming.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The New World

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It's a Quiet Saturday.  I will miss these days when the Quarantine ends.  Our calendar has opened up, and Eric has had a chance to get productive things done.  Today he mowed the lawn, and continued working on a mini-deck for the backyard.  So I didn't see him much during the day.  


I got a present. 
A few weeks ago, my friend Kathy A. posted about music albums that have made a difference in her life, and she chose this one.  On this CD are two pieces, The New World Symphony from Dvorak and the Moldau by Smetana.  I love both of these pieces.  In fact, I keep trying to get my echo dot (Computer) to play them on Amazon Music. It used to be great at name that tune, but lately has been overwhelmed by advertisements, and it wants me to pay for Amazon Music Unlimited.  Whatever. 
I'm not doing that.  I just bought this CD instead.  Now I can play the Moldau or New World Symphony when I want to. They calm me.  New World Symphony was Christopher's song when I was pregnant with him.  Moldau has been keeping me sane during this Quarantine,
 I play it repeatedly. 

This was weeks ago I ordered the CD, so what a great surprise that it arrived today. I popped it into my computer upstairs, as I potched around the craft room. I've been working on reorganizing up here.  It doesn't look like much, but we now have room for two chairs.  Yesterday, I received a nice lumbar supporting desk chair for my Birthday, and today, I have it all set in here, with room to swap out as I can.

I'm sitting in my craft room, on my happy pink chair. 
I printed off some things, blogged a bit, and I haven't done that in weeks. 
It felt good to be productive. 

I feel like things are going to open back up in the coming days.  I'm not sure I feel good about that. I'm a homebody now, and I don't want to start full in to my old schedule.  I feel like I've only recently gotten a grasp on this new schedule.  There's a part of me that doesn't want to change it again. 
I like having my family safe and sound at home with me.  
When things open up again, life will be different.  I think I'm afraid of that.
All the more reason to have some good calming music to listen to, I am thankful my new CD arrived.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Art Therapy

It was another day of E-Learning today.  
When doing this times 3, I have trouble.  
They weren't very good at taking turns today, so I had to separate them out, and rotate.  
Sam had computer trouble, then Chris did.  Then Chris and Jacob had meltdowns.  
I recall at one point, Jacob stomping off screaming, "How can I have a meltdown when I don't know what a meltdown is?!"  
Umm...that was one. 


Chris looked the part while using his ipad for German on an app called schoology.  
He's gotten a bit behind due to technical difficulties and tantrums, but today he got caught up. 
We should be on time and have everything turned in tomorrow. 


One of Jacob's assignments was "Read in a Monster Voice". 
I told him his monster sounded nice, and he lost his mind.  
He was going for Scary.  I kind of liked this monster.  
Apparently, that wasn't what we were going for. 


One of his assignements was to pick a book and read for 30 minutes. 
He read Ivanhoe, kind of an abridged version, for an hour, and read the whole thing. 
Getting him to 'write a journal entry' on it took 4 hours and pretty much the rest of the day. 


Sam worked on music, but sharing with us a game he played in Music class at school, "Musical War". He taught Jacob to play, and the two spent most of the afternoon at it.  
Fine by me. They learned whose beats are the longest, and because the whole note conquers all. 
I think the current situation teaches people we can't go without music therapy and art therapy. 
I've been trying to incorporate music, art, and something physical into every day around here. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it's a Battle. 

I am not a Teacher.  
God Bless Them. 

It was a rough day, Jacob had multiple poo issues, after 3 great days of cleanliness, I was heartbroken, sad, and angry.  By the 2nd mess, I had to leave the house.  Fresh air is good for me.  I remember being on bedrest with him and smelling fresh air on the people who came to visit me.  It was heavenly then, and now I just go for a ride.  I have a pile of stuff to deliver to people on the table in the front hall, and sometimes I just have to pull something off the table and Go. Today my friend Kelley was the recipient of Chocolate and Kumon work, and I got to step away for fresh air. 

My friend Suellen posted a picture yesterday that said something about her daughter doing something for "Chalk Art Club" and I thought to myself....
That's what we need!  
We need a Brownsburg Chalk Art Club! 
So I started one.  

Then I put my children to task, and hopefully others in the area, by sending them outside to color something Blue. 


Jacob created this elaborate story about this robot hero who did something, and was over here, then over there, and I didn't really understand it.  
But he let me take his picture. 
Let me just say, there was plot and multiple graphics, and he was covered in chalk. 
It must've been Good. 


This was our hero, the blue robot. 


I happened to luck out with this picture.  
His smile with teeth, and covered in chalk. 


Sam came out to color. 
He made a great large sun, and the waves of the sea. 
I think this kid wants to go to the Beach. 
Me too. 


The last of my cherry blossom blooms in the wind. 


There's a beauty in a dandelion. 


Looks like we might have a new family of ducks taking up residence in the swamp in our backyard. 
Another fun spring. 



Christopher drew this beautiful window, and in it a view of a street, and a house across the street. 
It was fantastic. But for some reason, I didn't get a picture of the finished product. 


Probably because I got distracted with this.  
I kind of love how he puts his whole body into drawing. 


Peace. 
He chose to simply write Peace. 
There's something good and beautiful about that. 
I wish I didn't have to argue so much to get them to go outside, or get them to do their schoolwork. 
I suspect that once this quarantine ends, they won't want to leave then either, except maybe to eat at Golden Corral. 


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Eagle Creek and Rick's

I'd been sick.  And I wanted to go on a date with Eric. 
But my cold was so annoying I couldn't taste much. 
I didn't want to be that person coughing in public, the Covid 19 novel coronavirus is going around, and while I don't think I have it.  I don't want to be stared at because I was coughing on people.  I started coughing on Feb 29, and I really haven't stopped.  .  The coronavirus has a fever, and shortness of breath, which I don't have either of those. I have had to cough so hard I had to pee.  I do think I got some viral crud, but I'm doing the good things, drinking my Ningxia and taking my Catalyn, so I am not succumbing. This week was the first week I actually felt like doing things

Eagle Creek Park on a sunny day.

I saw the signs. 
Monday, Avon closed the schools.  Tuesday, I went to Costco. Wednesday, I went to visit Aunt Jan, pick up some stuff from her, and today, Thursday, Eric and I finally got our date lunch. 

He had been reading that along with the price of gas dropping, the price of lobster was going down. 
So I suggested we go somewhere where we could get lobster for cheaps.  
According to the interwebs, Rick's Cafe Boatyard had lobster for 'market price'. 
So off we went. 
It was a Beautiful Day. 

Filet mignon topped with crabcake and shrimp etoufee. 
After much debate about lobster, which wasn't on sale actually, I got beef. 
I love this dish. I get it every time I come here.  
So, since the lobster wasn't on sale after all. I got the old reliable, amazing filet and etoufee. 



My handsome date.  Me and my etoufee, and he got scallops and asparagus.  We started with salmon nachos, which were so weird, they were awesomely delicious. 
All good choices. Really

Don't forget to sometimes Date Your Spouse. 
It's nice to sit down and just talk to each other. 
We discussed the virus, what was happening, we could feel things were about to change. 
I'm glad we got to talk about it today, before we got the news. 

My honey and me! 

OK, so it's a lot of silhouette, and not the best shot. 
However, we look happy. 
We'd seen a blip of a basketball game while we were there. They cancelled it at half time. 
The cancelled the Basketball tournments. Things are changing.
Our lunch was Excellent.  And we had quiet adult conversation. 
I think this will be vitally important in the coming days. 
When the kids were at Kumon, we got a call from the School. 
Our schools are now closed too, we're closed for the next week, and through Spring Break.  
School's out until April 5.  At least.  
I'm glad I got a date with my husband. 


Friday, January 10, 2020

A Pretty Present

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My friend Mary is retiring this weekend, and there is a Surprise party planned.. .Shhh!  
I picked up the pretty present for her, she collects Crosses.  She was in my very first Reunion Group years ago. She was in the choir and she was Pastor Bill's wife, so we connected well.  But life and kids have pulled me away from that crew.  Still I'm excited about getting to see her tomorrow. 
I'm also working on this Scarf that I started on my VDC weekend this past fall. 
It's taking me forever. 

I started attending a BSF Bible Study today, and though it's tricky to keep up with this level of Bible Study, I'm excited about where BSF is going to lead. 
I enjoy getting together with like minded women.  Sam and I also got to meet with his Reading Group tonight. We started a Book Club for parents and kids of the 4/5 High Ability kids class.  
We read Mockingbird, the story of a girl with Special Needs.  I don't like reading about Special Needs Parent and Kids.  That's our life.  I don't need to read about it for leisure. 
I finished it up at the last minute, since Sam and I are sharing.  At least it was a quick read. 
I do enjoy getting to know Sam's classmates better.  5th grade girls are different than 5th grade boys. 
I also enjoy getting to have this one special thing to do with Sam. 
It was a busy day, and it doesn't allow for a ton of photographic opportunities.  That's ok. 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Birdfeeding


We had a visitor to the backyard. 
The word is out, I have full new birdfeeders in the backyard. 
Eric and I went to the Birds Unlimited store over break and I got a week after-Christmas present of new feeders.  And it's become clear, the birds know. 
Today, it wasn't just juncos visiting.  
All my little lbb's (little brown birds) disappeared when this big fella paid a visit. 
I don't think he managed to eat any of my regular visitors.  
But he searched out the woodpile to see where they were all hiding and wintering. 


I thought it might be a broad tailed hawk, but it could be  Cooper's hawk. 
That tail is spooky. 
A friend mentioned she used to keep her birdfeeders full, until she realized she was drawing in birds to the feeder that fed other birds.  Big raptors like these hover around little feeders like mine, to eat.
Talk about Birdfeeding! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Cheesy

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Sushi Date with my Honey! 

Now that the boys have been back in school after just over two weeks, it was time for Eric and I to get away on our own.  We have found the best time is to go out for a Nice Lunch. 
One of our favorite places to go on a date lunch is Sushi Club.  We did it for our 20 Dates for 20 years, and we decided to keep it on the list for last year and this year. We just decided to simply keep Sushi Club and all our other favorite date spots on the list. 
Sushi club is one of our favorites!  All we can eat for $20 a person, and it's worth it.  
I shouldn't post it here, because word will get out, and it won't be the quiet place anymore. 
Oh well too bad. 
Anyway, we ate well on a lunch date, and got to talk like grownups.  

It's hard to keep this time in our schedule, to purposefully get out once a month and have a nice meal and talk, but it's so easy to get stuck in the quagmire that is a houseful of young boys. 
Dating my Spouse helps keep me on the same page of parenthood, and he makes me laugh everyday.



We didn't feel like eating much for dinner when the time came. 
So I had fresh raspberries and yogurt for dinner, and Eric had a hunk of Cheese. 


Cheesy. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

I enjoy... pretty things.

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The kids went back to School.  
It's weirdly quiet around here. But I had quite an extensive To-Do List to work on. 
The first thing I did was get the mail, apparently it had been a while. 


Freebies! 
This year for Christmas, I cashed in some of my Essential Rewards points for Free Goodies for me. 
First Thieves Cough Drops, which couldn't come at a better time, and also true for the Thieves spray. 
But the real treat, the expensive goodie was Jasmine oil. 
I didn't have that one, but I had saved up enough points to spoil myself. 
One drop of this is pure luxury. It reminds me of the beach in Maui when we passed by the flowers growing there, known as Pikake.  I'm guessing they were a Jasmine cousin, because they smell just as sweet and flowery.  I'm looking forward to making some perfumes! 
I get so surrounded by the boys that I enjoy taking some time for girly things. 
I took a soaky bath, and did some coloring. 
The theme for the day is "I enjoy..."  And I enjoy art projects; pretty things, like perfume in pretty bottles and a fresh box of colored pencils. 


Another treat just for me, a box of colored pencils.  I received this colored pencil box for Christmas. 
I don't have to share them either.  
All for me.  I've enjoyed coloring after the kids go to bed, in my Psalms book. We're doing a Bible Study of Psalms and Proverbs in my Christcare group.  I enjoy doing some coloring with the same passages that we're reading.  I haven't had enough time to make art. 


This is my newest favorite pretty art project. 
Starry Night. 
I got into Diamond Dotz as a gift for my friend Kathy, and then I got one for my niece for Christmas. I must've wished outloud just one too many times because Eric got me this one, and I Love it! 
I can't wait to see the finished project.