Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sorry state of my blog

Our computer crashed and took all my files with it. Jeff is trying to retrieve the contents of the hard drive. At the moment we are using a very old computer that was out in the garage. It is a bit slow and a lot of programs won't run on it. All my pictures are temporarily(I hope not permanently)unavailable. So my blog is a mess.

When we figure something out I will be able to post pics and the rest of the blog entries. Until then all that will be going up is short blurbs so I can remember what I need to enter later.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Baby Signing Time shows coming in October

Click on the title to go to the preview

You know how excited we all get when fresh new signing time is on its way.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MRI for Kay

Went to the doctor last friday.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our day with Rachel and the Signing Time gang

Rachel performed at the buddy walk on Saturday September 20th

Friday, September 19, 2008

16th wedding anniversary

We have had a tough year but I am very glad to celebrate my 16th anniversary with my hubby dear.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rachel is coming for another Oklahoma visit

Rachel will be performing at the Buddy Walk at the Bricktown Ballpark In OKC on September 20th.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Schools on lock down again

Cams school was put on lock down today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cam lost his second tooth... at school

His tooth popped out at school. All the kids thought that was really cool. He got to go to the office and get a tooth necklace to keep the tooth in. He swallowed the first one so he was really happy to have this one to give the tooth fairy. He got 10 bucks.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fun at the county fair

We took Cam and Kay to the fair and they had a blast.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sarah's broken and Chick Fil A camp outs

So Sarah was out mowing her lawn and fell. She went inside and put her foot up but it started to swell. The next morning she called me to tell me about it and I suggested she best go to the ER. Its broken. It was too swollen to do much with so they had her come back later for a cast. They ended up giving her a boot which is nice because she can take it off for baths. She will be out of work for a while.

Danielle and I camped out overnight for the grand opening of the first free standing Chick Fil A in Norman.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jeff ER visits and more hurricanes

Had to take Jeff to the ER on the 29th and again on the 1st.

Lots of hurricanes heading towards Louisiana, Florida and Texas.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

One year

It has been one year since I started this blog. It is amazing how much can happen in a year. Here are some stats:

Number of cars crunched:
pictures posted:
blog entries posted: 196 WOW
new skills: Kay can walk and talk! Cam reads and spells like a pro. He has been able to for a while but he is really good at it now. Taylor can navigate the high school experience. Jeff is awesome at being a superviser at work. I am learning to be nocturnal.
New babies born in our families: 2
Deaths: 2
Weddings: 1
approximate hours worked: 2080 outside the home. It is impossible to calculate the number of hours worked inside the home.
Barbeques and family gatherings at our house:
approximate number of loads of laundry: 520
Rooms painted: 11 I think. Seems like more than that. Mom's bathroom, Cam's room Kay's room, master bedroom, master bathroom, hallway, kitchen, dining room, family room, front room, sun room.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

JDMC Family Fun Fest

Family night at work. Food and games. The kids had fun. It was really nice for them to have everyone out.

Monday, August 25, 2008

More cute kid quotes, they never end. I love it.

All are thrilled with the new baby. Kay can't say Sydney so she calls her baby Sinny.

Kay also says "That teetoes" When we tickle her and she calls the letter "W" "BubbleU"

Now for Cam....

We were complementing him on what a good big brother he is because he is so patient with Kay. He understands that she is still little and sometimes not very good at sharing. I said you must really love your sister. He answered "Well I don't love her all the time."

Cam came and asked me to open a package of crackers so he and Kay could have a picnic snack. I asked him to please be carefull not to make a big mess for me to have to clean. He said "But Mom, you dance when you clean up."

I guess that is true. I spend a lot of time cleaning and when the kids help I try to make it fun so we do dance sometimes. I hope they haven't been making more messes just because they think it makes me happy to clean and dance. So I told him to try to keep the mess to a minimum and we could just dance for fun.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Baby and back to school

Announcing the arrival of baby Sydney Rogue.

Kids went back to school today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Taylor is in high school

We enrolled at Norman North High School today. It snuck up on me like so many things in my life lately.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Baby shower

It was really cute and lots of fun.

Kay painted the fish tank with chocolate hands.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mom's back surgery, Jenny arrives and the bathroom is finished.

Mom had her back surgery today. I will pick her up from the hospital in the morning. It went well and she is feeling better.

Jenny arrived for her visit today. She will be here until the 8th.

Mom's bathroom is finished. It looks really cute. We bought new hardware for the cabinets and a new toilet seat. Mom put up the wallpaper border.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cool hippie tye dye

We made tye dye shirts today. Cam has been asking to make one so we got the stuff and did one for every one. It was fun. Each one is very different.

Friday, August 1, 2008

More painting, new bed and Kay's orthopedic appointment

I started painting Mom's bathroom today. It is a very pretty chocolate brown.

We got a new mattress because the store was selling the floor model and it was tax free weekend. So we got a good deal but we really needed a new bed so I am very happy. We were sleeping on the floor on a twin mattress. Now we have a roomy queen size that is actually up on a frame and every thing. It is the first new mattress I have had since I was a little kid.

Kay had her one year follow up with her orthopedic doctor today. We got horrible lost at Children's hospital as we always do and wandered aroung the buildings for 45 minutes. We finally found Dr. Davey and he said Kay is doing great.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Adventures on the CART bus with Grandma

When you don't have to pay attention to driving you notice all kinds of other things. Like the two guys skipping together in the Norman High School parking lot and the man golfing in the Sam's club parking lot. Also people on the bus are really nice.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rachel sent us more signing time shows

Now Rachel has lots of help in the office to get everything done but when we first got involved Rachel still answered the phone at Two Little Hands. Cam remembers that and because he has been to visit the Signing Time group a few times they are part of our family. Rachel is like that really cool aunt that you don't get to see a whole lot but who sends fun packages in the mail. We got another package today with the latest DVDs. Cam always says Rachel sent me a package cause she loves me.

We got series two volume 11 Once Upon A Time and volume 12 Box Of Crayons. Rachel even signed them for us. We also got a Signing Time coloring book and crayons to color with. Cam and Kay were very excited and as usual the DVDs have been running non stop. Cam says his favorite part is when Rachel wears the silly glasses and when it gets all dark when they turn out the lights and talk about the color black in the Box Of Crayons DVD. Also when Hopkins holds up the signs that say Kiss Please when he wants Leah to give him a smooch in Once Upon A Time.

His favorite signs he has learned so far are word and book from Once Upon A Time. He already knew how to sign book but Rachel talks about how you change the size of the sign to match if you are talking about a big book or a little book.

In Box Of Crayons his favorite signs are gold and silver. Kay likes all of the different parts of the shows. She laughs when she sees Hopkins and she listens when she hears Rachel's familiar voice.

As usual the new shows are a huge hit at our house. Anyone who is interested in learning ASL would benefit from adding these DVDs to their collection.

Thanks Aunt Rachel and everyone at Two Little Hands Productions!!

Visit for more info or to place an order.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Back to work tonight after 2 days off. I would really love to be able to stay at home with my kids. I hate worrying about child care.

I am having a bit of a hard time on night shift. I get sleepy but I stay awake. I get up and work on cleaning projects. It is hard to fall asleep when you are up moving around. I was raised to believe you work when you are being paid for it and if you say you are gonna do something you do it. Some of my co workers are really good but a lot of them don't do much. In fact a lot of them sleep. It doesn't seem that they get in trouble for sleeping. Hey, I think it would be great to get paid to sleep. If I slept at work I wouldn't have to sleep as much at home and I would have more time to spend with my family. I can't do it though. I think it is wrong.

Last Tuesday I worked with someone I hadn't before. I had been warned about her. She shows up late, she sleeps for several hours, and she is a bit difficult. I tried to keep an open mind. I would just do my best to get along with her. She was late so I had already started laundry and cleaning the floor. I had checked all the kids and got paper work out before she even arrived. She quickly mopped her part of the floor then told a story about some other people who work there sleeping when she worked with them. She said she only rests her eyes she doesn't actually sleep. She then went to watch TV.

I cleaned the tables and chairs and wiped down the kitchen and the trash can. I checked on the laundry I had put in the dryer but it was still damp. A bit later she checked the laundry again and I helped her fold what was dry. She put away the dishes and changed out the laundry. She kept going in the laundry room and hanging out so she seemed to always get to the laundry first. Sometimes she would stay in the laundry room and fold the clothes so I couldn't help. I thought maybe she wanted to work on the laundry because she has a very particular way she likes things folded and put away. So I backed off.

Around 2:30 she started napping on the couch. I re-programmed the microwave because some of the buttons had quit working and tried to stay busy. There wasn't that much laundry to do. Around 4:30 she woke up and changed out another load of laundry. She then asked me if I had been told that only one person did laundry cause I hadn't done any all night. What!? I was so shocked that she woke up from a nap to tell me she didn't think I was doing my share of the work. I said I started the laundry and helped fold it I have been checking on it but it hadn't been ready yet. You just seemed to get to it first when it was ready. She said Oh so you started one load and walked off. Wow. I have never been accused of not doing my share of the work. Usually people tell me to slow down. She went back to watching TV and napping. I finished cleaning out all the cabinets in both laundry rooms and took out all the trash except for what was in her patients rooms because she had already told me to stay out of there. Then I cleaned my patients wheelchairs. She didn't help with any of that. She sat on the couch. She didn't clean her patients chairs, she napped. I can not believe someone would show up late for work, nap for a good part of the night and then accuse the other person of not getting enough done.

They get away with it too because we are short staffed so they hate to fire anyone. What ends up happening though is the people who actually work finally get fed up with it and quit. The people who are getting paid to sleep aren't gonna quit. They are gonna end up with nothing but sleepers and no one to get the work done.

Friday, July 11, 2008

More scary TV

New burger king commercial for apple fries. Scared the crap out of me. The king and his kids reacting to the new apple fries. The boy looks just like him but even creepier. I know it's hard to believe but trust me. I can't find this commercial online yet but while I was looking I found this one which will cause me to have nightmares as well.

BoohBahs. This makes Kay run and hide behind the couch and cry until we turn it off.

At the Beach Tanning Commercials. Cam is frightened by these. Her voice is quite unnerving.

You can see more at the beach here:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cams first missing tooth and gymnastics class

We went and tried gymnastics class today for Cam and Kay. Cam had a great time. Kay did her own thing which I was fine with but I am not sure the teacher appreciated it. She had a hard time with the different surfaces on the floor and kept tripping and falling. They didn't want her to wear her shoes and braces. I understand they want to minimize wear and tear on the equipment but she has to wear them so its a moot point. The teacher tried to tell me it was OK for her to wear just the braces but I think the ortho is a little more knowledgeable on the subject and I choose to follow his advice.

I am going to look into dance classes next and see if we have any more luck there.

After gymnastics Cam lost his first tooth. It has been wobbly for a few days. He says he swallowed it when it came out. I told him the tooth fairy wouldn't mind. He looks so cute when he smiles.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Finish painting for the love of God

In the middle of all this crazyness I am still working on the never ending painting projects. I finished Kay's room. I just had to finish the trim. It looks so cute and she was really happy with it.

So now I think I just have to remove the wallpaper in the hall bath and the entryway and paint in there. Paint Taylor's room, the closet doors in Kay's room, finish the top cabinets for the kitchen, and do the blinds in the dining room. I had also planned to paint the outside door and porch but I may wait and tackle that later. Then I do have some spots to touch up but hey I feel like the end is in sight. After I get that done I can help Mom with her painting.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moving on BBQ

I have been saying all summer I wanted to have my co workers over for a BBQ at my house. Something always seems to come up though. Painting mostly, I wanted to finish painting before inviting people over.

Then I got my transfer papers to move to a different house on night shift which is 11 PM-7:15 AM. I knew if I didn't do it right away that BBQ would not happen. Besides I may never finish painting. So I invited everyone over on Friday the 27th. Only two people were able to come but it was fun. We ate and then we went to see Wall-E at the theatre.

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I am emotional. I don't like changes so moving to a different shift and house is hard on me. I have been having some trouble at home too so I am a bit stressed. Jeff is having some problems so we are having some problems together. We are trying to work it out but it is hard. He is spending some time staying at his Mom's house and away from us. I am hoping that being forced to spend some time away from us will make him want to be with us and encourage him to find a way to get healthy so he can come back. I am ready to put it all behind me though and hope that better things are coming in the future for me and my family.

I started nights on the 29th. My sleep schedule is so screwed up I don't know if I am coming or going. I miss the kids in good ol house 4. The kids in 3 are great too but sleeping most of the time I am there. It is slow and quiet but I am getting lots of cleaning done and reading. It is nice to be able to find a place to park and I love spending the evenings with my family. I am sure it will get easier once I adjust. I have a really hard time around 4 am. That is when I get up and scrub the kitchen. I get home around 7:30 am and usually eat a quick bite then shower and hit the bed. I try to sleep from 8:30 until 4:30. I am still waking up around 11:30 and trying to force myself to sleep longer.

My favorite little patient was looking for me. He noticed I was gone and kept saying "Poor Jenper" When I came in to work at 11 he was still up and he gave me a big hug and kiss and told me "Earl missed Jenper" Ahh he is killing me! I have been going by house 4 in the mornings so I can see everyone and check my mailbox. It is good to still get to see the kids.

It is kinda funny after all that time I have been working with the house 4 crew on my last day I didn't work with any of the regular people. It was just me and the new girl. Probably for the best cause I hate goodbyes. Tabitha and Kayla will miss me though. Kayla said when I am not there it is chaos and that I change the whole atmosphere of the place. I think because they all fight with each other more when I am not around. I try not to get involved with the fighting and just listen to what they have to vent about. I am good at listening and I don't like to fight. Tabitha is mad at me for leaving but I think she will be OK. They won't even think about me once I am gone.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Promotions, goodbyes and golf cart rides

Jeff got promoted at work today. This is good news that has been a long time coming. He should have been promoted a while back but because his work schedule was limited by my work schedule they were having trouble making him a manager. He had to be able to work any time they were open in case of emergencies. Now my work schedule is not a problem any longer.

Aparently the chemical spill was too much for one of the workers. She was totally stressed and didn't show up for work. So now they are 3 people down. Looks like Jeff will be busy for the next few weeks.

Two of the kids from house 4 are discharging so we had a goodbye party for them. It was my day off but I went anyway because it was requested by the kids. Cam and Kay came with me and enjoyed cake. Then I took them to play on the playground and on a golf cart ride. They had a great time. Cam told his school friends his Mom works at a playground. Well its not always fun and games but I am glad he thinks its cool.

Last time for a golf cart ride for a while. I don't think I will be on the cart much during my new shift.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chemical spill at Ace.

I went by with the kids to see Jeff at work today. Right after we left and Jeff went on his lunch break a shelf collapsed. It was the shelf holding all the chemicals they sell. 600 pounds of fertilizer fell on one of the workers and while they were digging him out one of the other people inhaled too many chemicals and got very loopy. They had to evacuate the store and send workers to the hospital. The fire department and Haz Mat came out. They closed them down for the rest of the day.

I am so glad we got out of there before that happened. No one was seriously hurt but two workers will be out for a while. There is a giant mess to clean up too.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Kay Pics

I can't the picture posting button to work. It is really frustrating because I have tons of pictures I have been trying to add for weeks and something is always going wrong to prevent uploading.

I will get the pics added to this post and the others ASAP.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

DARN! Emmy results

Well, Rachel didn't win the Emmy. It went to Bindi Irwin. Maybe next year.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Going Postal or How much is an H stamp worth?

Ahhh, the post office. Another fine example of how state and government offices waste an insane amount of time and money. How I wish I never had to set foot in another one.

Let me back track a bit. I was out of work for 4 weeks 3 days with a workers comp injury. They were required to pay me 70 % of my salary during that time (yes, they should have to pay 100 %). After a month had gone by with no pay I called them. I thought perhaps they would send me a check on June 1st as that would be my normal pay day. It did not come. When I called and left several messages a day for 3 days in a row and still did not get a call back I was getting pretty nervous. I had bills due and hungry kids and literally NO money. Finally on the third day I called again and she answered. She told me she had sorta forgotten to enter me into the system so my checks had not been printed. I was supposed to have received a check every week. Sucks for me right. So she entered my info, printed a check for the total amount, and said I should get in in 5 days or so.

We had to borrow 100 bucks from Taylor to buy some food and hope the check would come quickly enough to keep things from being shut off.

Now back to the post office story. I had gone to the store and purchased padded envelopes to send our Father's Day gifts. I got them packaged up and went to put the addresses on them. Can not find the addresses to save my life. My one goal for my Thursday off was to get the gifts sent so they would arrive in time. It took about 5 hours but Jeff finally found the addresses it a box of stuff in the garage. Yes, I tried looking on the Internet address finder but our Dads live kind of out in the middle of nowhere so they are not listed. And yes I could have called and asked them but I am crazy OK. I didn't want to call and admit that we had lost their addresses. Somehow in my mind loosing someones address gives the impression that you are an uncaring disorganized boob. While I am still a bit disorganized (we are making progress on the garage) I care very much about the Dads. I just wanted to get the packages sent already.

By this time the post office is closed but they have that handy little drop box for after hours packages. I put them on the scale to see how much the postage would be. 5.60 each. I have no money remember. I brought all the stamps we had in the house and some change to purchase more if needed. I ended up covering the entire package with stamps.

I had to call home to find out what the H stamp is worth. I thought it would be at least 2 cents. I mean what is the point of printing a stamp that is less than that? I thought the rate hikes went up by at least 2 cents each time. But the H rate stamp is only 1 cent. So I ended up being short by 65 cents. I had to go back home a scrounge up some more change. I finally got the rest of the stamps affixed and dropped the packages into the open drop box.

When I closed the door I saw the label. It says that due to heightened security you can not drop off stamped mail that weighs more than 16 ounces. You can only see this label after you close the door after depositing your package. Well, I can't get them back out. So despite my best efforts the packages will not be going anywhere. They will get pulled as a security risk and be held for who knows how long then be returned to me. At that point I will have to return to the post office and hand deliver them to someone who will throw them in the same bin they were already in and ship them off.

The only difference will be that now they will have me on camera delivering the package. I could also use the drop box if I purchase metered stamps with a credit card because then they have a name to trace. So what is boils down to is that they don't plan to search my package or X-Ray it (in which case they would see it is only a photo album with pictures of the kids). They don't really care if I blow someone up they just want to be able to find me later if I do.

This is what your envelope ends up looking like when you are broke.

Here is a interesting site that details the postage increases over the years.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back to work and new Signing Time shows

I went back to work yesterday. Two people called in sick and the only other girl working was supposed to leave at 9:00. She ended up staying so at least I wasn't all by myself. Fun times!

My favorite little patient is back though and he was happy to see me. I had just gotten my new set of Signing Time DVDs so we watched them together and he was thrilled.

Cam and Kay have been watching the new shows non stop. Kay can sing along with the theme song now. Cam was really excited about the stickers, chore charts and dusting cloth that came with the set. Maybe he will turn into a neat freak and help me around the house more. Hey, I can dream right?

I really enjoyed the special feature of the trip to Africa. They are doing amazing work there. I wish I could donate a million bucks to the Signing Time Foundation so they could continue to do great work. They will find a way regardless but it sure would be nice to be able to help financially more than I do all ready.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Name that spot

It has been one week since I cleaned all the carpets in the house. I thought it would be fun to take a tour and see what kind of damage has taken place in a week. Can you guess what these spots are? Spilled blueberry bubble solution

Bit of old squished banana

Green marker

Small spots of mud

Crushed chocolate doughnut with a background of red kool aid

This is my favorite this is a small yogurt stain that looks like a blue and purple tree. It is framed by the very large water stain that was, ironically enough, caused by the carpet cleaner leaking.

Spilled paint

Pasta sause?

That's just one week of stains so in a month or so it will look like I never cleaned the carpets.

We also decided to go ahead and have another BBQ. So here are the pics of the family and two of Jeff's co-workers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Butterflies, soap boats, volcanoes, and spinning paint

These are a few of my favorite things. Well, actually these are some of Cam's fun summer projects from week one of school vacation.

We watched caterpillars turn into butterflies and then set them free.

We made a volcano that was supposed to erupt but it only leaked red goo out of the bottom. It was still fun though.

Cam made a soap boat out of a bar of soap a nail and a leaf. Why I don't know but he really wanted to and it looked pretty good. He is a creative kid.

Taking the soap boat for a spin.

Spinning paint machine. Cam made lots of art work with this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I almost got squished

Whats left of the branch

Yesterday I got up early to bring in my doctor release to work. It had stormed the night before so everything was still a bit wet out side but it didn't look too bad. I pulled back into the driveway and was about to get out of the car but I hesitated for a few seconds because I was listening to something being discussed on the radio. Then I heard this big CRACK and another branch from the oak tree fell on the car. The whole car shook. If I had gotten out a few seconds earlier I would have been hit by the branch and flying glass.

The branch actually fell on both cars. The Avalon (that I was in) was scratched up but really looked surprisingly unharmed. The Suzuki got hit with the heaviest part of the branch. The back window was turned to a million tiny shards of flying glass and the trunk has a big dent in the top of it now.

I called Jeff and he came out to drag the branch off and assess the damage. Our neighbors across the street came out because they heard the impact from inside their house. The glass is covering the driveway in both directions and went into the yard as well. Thank goodness I hadn't put the kids in the car because the backseat and car seats were covered in glass.

Back seat covered in glass

We took the car over to Mom's garage because it was raining. Now it is over at Binswanger Glass getting a window replacement. I hope they can get all the glass shards out of the seat. It will cost around 300 bucks. We will just live with the dent.

Broken window dented trunk

I had to rush back home to take Cam to his 6 year check up. He is doing great. 75th % for height and 50th % for weight, he is 46 inches tall and 46 pounds. What are the chances of that? This is just another little example of Cam magic.

Later that day we got our economic stimulus check. It looks like it will go to disaster repair (new tire, window, and termite treatment). I really hope we are finished with accidents and odd infestations for a while. We did go buy some food though. Eating is good.

On Sunday I used one of the carpet cleaning machines from Jeff's work to clean all the carpets in the house. He gets free rentals on the machine. The carpets look so nice, for the moment. Cam already spilled paint in the kitchen again but that is life around here.

On Monday we had a Memorial Day BBQ. It was fun having everyone over. Some of Jeff's co- workers even stopped by.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some exciting Emmy news

No I wasn't nominated but my friend Rachel was.

The Daytime Emmy Award Nominations
Outstanding Performer In A Children's Series:






How cool is that!? We knew Rachel should have an Emmy all along. Nice to see Signing Time finally get recognised. Maybe she can sit next to Elmo at the awards.

The Daytime Emmy Awards will be telecast June 20, 2008 on ABC at 8:00 p.m. (ET), Live from Hollywood’s’ Kodak Theatre. I just know she will win.

While we are on the subject of the amazing Rachel Coleman let me tell you about GoodSearch. Think about how many times you do a Google search to look for info on the internet. Wouldn't it be great to help a deserving charity just by using a search engine. Log onto GoodSearch and you can do just that. It is so easy all you do is visit the site and fill in the charity you want to help then add the toolbar to your computer. When you use the search engine the site donates 2 cents to the charity you designate. 2 cents adds up fast and it takes no work. You are already using search engines so put your searching to good use.

I desegnated the signing time foundation but you can also desegnate your kids school if they are members. If they aren't members tell them to sign up. It is an easy way to generate school funds.

So tell everyone you know to hop on over to and help make a difference for some deserving charities.

Rachel just returned from a second trip to Africa where she and the Signing Time Foundation are making a difference in the lives of Deaf students.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Injury update

I went to the doctor on the 23rd and he released me to return to work on June 2nd.

I have 3 more PT sessions then I see the doctor again in 3 weeks then we should be done. I have to go back though if I feel more pain when I return to work.

Mom had an MRI done because her sciatica has been really bad lately. They told her today that she has 2 bulging disks and 2 of her vertebra in her lower back are narrowing. She has to go see a surgeon for a consultation and possibly have back surgery. It is pretty scary but she is one tough lady so I am sure she can beat this.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Birthdays and end of school.

For my birthday Danielle and Russ gave us the VIP treatment. We got to go see Indiana Jones on opening night. It was sold out but they held a couple of spots for us in the balcony which are the best seats. A waiter served us dinner and drinks (I had 2 margaritas) while we watched. I really enjoyed the heated and cooled seats. My back felt much better after a few hours of heat and cold. The movie was pretty good and we enjoyed having a grown up night out. I can't remember the last time we went out without the kids.

So a big thanks to Grandma for childcare and baby sis for entertainment.

Cameron had his big 6th birthday and last day of kindergarten on the 23rd. He was born on the last day of school 2002 so it was funny that both events fell on the same day again. It was a big exciting and busy day. They had a pizza party for end of K and cupcakes for Cam's birthday.

Kay and I went and had lunch with Grandma at Boomerang. Then after school we went to visit Sarah and Courtney at their house. They had cupcakes for Cam and we stayed and had Sarah's yummy bean burgers. Friday is bean burger and organic fries night at Sarah's.

The central air conditioner is not working at our house and today was pretty hot. We have been fine with the windows open and the fans but that wasn't cutting it today. The AC is broken at Sarah's too and I think at Dan's as well. Mom just had hers replaced because it died. Pretty much anyplace I visit the AC is broken. I think It might be a curse. It is just miserable and only going to get worse. Oklahoma summers get into the triple digits pretty quick. So the best policy is to be other places as much as possible.

We came home around 7:00 and Cam got his gift. A collection of Skippy John Jones books. If you haven't read them you should and read them aloud. They are very funny and really give you a workout trying to say all the funny words and rhymes. He was very happy. Then Jeff got the AC to work again for the moment and that made everyone happy. It was a wonderful hectic happy day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What is the world coming to?

My friend Aly was mugged in a crowded grocery store parking lot in the middle of the day. She had 5 bucks in her purse and this woman hit her in the head with a metal pipe, twice. The police caught her and Aly will be OK. This is just so unbelievable that someone would be willing to injure an inocent person for 5 bucks.

Here is the news story:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Taylor Awards

Taylor had his school award ceremony tonight. He got his writing contest award certificate, a certificate of excellence for contributions in language arts, a certificate of outstanding academic performance for scoring in the top 5 % of all students in 8th grade on the ACT explore program in 4 core areas, and a medal for being on the honor roll all 3 years of middle school.

It was a really nice way to spend the evening with all of us together. We took him to his favorite resturant for dinner afterwards. I think he is a great kid. It is nice to see others agree with me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How can I be so busy and not be getting anything done?

I have been spending a lot of time in PT and doctor visits so even though I am not currently working I am still too busy. I see the doctor once a week and the physical theripist three times a week. Plus I am supposed to do the exercises at home every day and sit with alternating heat and cold packs on my back. Did I mention the muscle relaxers they put me on relax me so well that when I take them I fall asleep for hours. No wonder I have no time.

We have a ton of projects going on but at the moment we are focusing on trying to clean out the garage so the termite barrier can be put in. We have been needing to do this since we moved in. The garage got a lot of stuff dumped in it and we still haven't unpacked those boxes. It seems to be a lot of toys and clothes and holiday decorations. Seriously, where do all these toys come from? They have been packed so long the kids forgot all about them so it's like Christmas around here. I have to wash all the toys then organize them into the proper bins. I just have to, its the OCD. The kids then go dump them all out and yell hey new toys. It looks like Toys R Us vomited in my house. The really scary part is I gave away a ton of stuff and it still looks like I haven't made any progress.

Of course there is the never ending battle with the typical house hold chores. I spend so much time on laundry and dishes. Taylor even washes all the clothes but just getting all the clean stuff put away is a challenge. It is the most unsatisfying type of work. You finish and it just needs done again the next day. I really wouldn't mind doing dishes and laundry if I only had to once a month.

I could not attend our little planned reunion in Utah the 16th-18th. I really wanted Mom and I to get to go this year. I need to re-pay a loan first though and Mom couldn't miss the time this close to the end of school. It sounds like all my wonderful friends had fun though. They sent us a cool shirt so we won't feel too left out of all the fun. We have got to make it to the next one.

Here are the camera pics from the last few weeks.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Baby

I have a new nephew. Ethan William, son of my step brother, Eli and his wife Holly. He was born on May 13 at 10:42 PM in Seattle and weighed 8 lbs. 9 ozs. All are doing well and we are so excited. The best days are the days babies are born.

Isn't he cute!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Tribute to Mom

June 2nd 1978 Kindergarten diploma Mom and Jen after graduation.

In honor of Mother's Day I thought I would share a few things about my wonderful Mom.

When I was a kid My Mom and Dad got divorced when I was pretty little. My Mom managed to take care of everything even though she was a single Mom. She got a job working for the telephone company and my Grandma helped out with watching me when Mom was at work.

A lot of times things were really hard for her but she always made sure I was taken care of. When I started school I really struggled. I didn't want Mom to leave me at Kindergarten. That first year was a bit chaotic because my teacher got sick and passed away from cancer. We had lots of substitutes so I think my problems kind of went under the radar. In first grade it became more apparent I was struggling. I could not read even simple words or identify many letters.

In 2nd grade I was tested and we found out that while my IQ was in the 125 range I had dyslexia. I started to get extra help in the special class for kids with learning disabilities. It wasn't much help and I still couldn't read very well at all. Mom worked with me at home and that did help. Having someone who was focused on me and who knew me so well made the difference and I started to make progress. I know it was not easy. We both felt very frustrated a lot of the time but Mom never gave up on me. And because I loved her and wanted to make her happy I didn't give up either.

I wonder how many hours we spent going over words and trying to decipher books. She would show me the word how and I would read who. I kept writing my J's backwards and mixing up b's and d's. I couldn't write an S to save my life. I could read the book Whose Mouse Are You because I had memorised it. But I still couldn't really read.

Then one day after so many hours of trying not to loose her patience I read a page from Dr. Seuss's ABC. You would have thought I had won the Nobel Peace Prize. She was so thrilled. I was so happy. She brought me to read to everyone we knew. It was quite the celebration and a turning point for me. Once that wall was broken down, once I figured out the trick nothing could stop me. I started to read everything. In the next few school years I caught up with my classmates then passed them. By the time I started 9th grade I was reading and writing on college level.

Mom taught me so much with her patience and endurance. Sometimes life is hard but you can't just give up. She learned something about herself too. She has a gift for helping kids. She returned to school and got her degree in Special Education. She has been teaching for 15 years now and her contribution to the lives of her students can not be measured.

Teaching Special Ed is not an easy job. Many people who go into the profession burn out after a few years of frustration, low pay and feeling under appreciated. Mom is still there helping kids. Sometimes she has to tell parents things they don't want to hear, sometimes she has to deal with very difficult parents, she is always buried in paperwork and many times trying to teach grumpy somewhat unpleasant children. She doesn't give up but I know she wonders if she really makes a difference.

I know for a fact that she does make a difference. Many of her students will never be able to tell her but her very first student can. Mom you perform acts of magic and wonderment every day. You make the world a little better place to be for kids who have learning differences and physical differences. The fact that I am able to write this story is proof.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Caution Under Construction

You may have noticed I have been a slacker lately and not posting any new blogs since the end of March. We have had much going on. I have been taking notes I just haven't had computer time. It was getting to the point of no return. I knew if I didn't get the posts at least organized and added I would never catch up. So I kicked Taylor off the computer today and had a marathon posting of outlines and pictures.

You have been warned. All posts from April 3rd through today were added all in one day from my notes. I backdated them to the date of my notes. They are not finished they are just outlines. I will work on getting them complete as quickly as I can.

Friday, May 9, 2008

two more weeks

I saw the Doctor today and he said I had to be out for two more weeks. I haven't told the girls at work yet. I really wish we could get some people hired so we would have staff to cover for injuries, illness, and emergencies.

I saw the PT yesterday and she was totally freaked out by me being able to turn my feet around backwards. She said I should not ever do that unless I am being paid to be in a freaky freak show.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Andy Alligators celebration

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We went to Andy Alligators because I had been wanting to take the kids to check it out since I heard about it opening. Celebrating Taylor's contest win seemed like a good reason.

They had a blast. It wasn't crowded and the staff were friendly. All of the machines worked and you don't need tokens. Everything runs with card readers. You load up a card with the amount you want your kid to have and they swipe it at each game or activity. Nice to not worry about keeping track of all those tokens.

Taylor had a blast and could do all of the activities on his own. Cameron could do most of the activities as a passenger with Taylor. He could even drive the bumper cars all on his own. Not much for Kay to ride because she is too short at the moment but she had fun bowling and playing a few games.

Taylor used his tickets to get Kay a light up butterfly wand. He is so sweet.

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By the waterfall.

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Is this a cigar store?

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The Doctor's buggy.

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Bumper boats.

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This is me and Kay spraying them with the water gun.

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This is fun!

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Cam driving his own bumper car.

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Taylor on the go cart. Cam coulden't go unless he road with a licenced driver. It's hard to tell because the picture is small here but he is signing I love you.

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Kay gives it a shot from her stroller.

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Taking a break.

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Kay tries some games.

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Turning in tickets at the self serve machine.

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Andy Alligators 040Kay's two is showing. She didn't want to stop for a picture she wanted to run. She has the wand Taylor got for her. Cam got a football.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Taylor the famous writer

Taylor entered a writing contest a while back. It was open to all of the middle school kids in Norman. His short story, The Fall of Democracy, won 3rd place! We are so proud of him for trying something new and happy that he was so successful in his attempt. Hopefully he will be encouraged to get out there more.

He will get a certificate, suitable for framing, and his story will be published in the school's anthology. Now he really is a fancy writer type person. Yeah Taylor!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Swing Set of your dreams

We decided to use part of our tax return to invest in a swing set. We had one at the old house and the kids loved it. It is really a necessity for Kay to practice her gross motor skills when we are at home. It will be so good for the kids to play together whenever they want without a trip to the park.

I did a lot of research this time. We decided to go with a kit we can customize to exactly what we want and build it ourselves. Rainbow and Cedar Works have amazing sets but they are way too expensive for our budget. To get a set close to what we wanted would have been upwards of 5,000. We wanted to spend less than 1,000 but get a good gualiy set we wouldn't have to replace evey few years. And we wanted it to have all the parts the kids wanted, no compromises.

We bought the kit with the plans and the hardware then you add the lumber and cut it yourself. Jeff is going to put it all together once it stops raining so the wood can dry out. It is going to look amazing. The kids are so excited just playing with the parts. They want to be Daddy's helpers.

The set will have swings including a sling swing, a disk swing, a 2 person glider and a tire swing. It also has a spot for us to put up our old "boat"swing for the little ones to use with the harness. It will have a slide, a ramp, an inclined ladder and a rock wall. A sand pit, telescope, steering wheel, and fort tower. It is a Consumers Digest Best Buy Award winner.

Now we just need some nice weather and some time. I think I am almost as excited as the kids. We got it from detailed play systems and had the lumber delivered from Lowes. Unfortunately Ace didn't have the lumber we needed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Kay's funny temper

Kay is usually a very sweet and calm child but sometimes she has a funny reaction to something she just doesn't think is right. She can become quite furious.

A few days ago she got some magnets off of the fridge and wanted them to stick to the cabinets. They fell right off and she looked shocked at them. She wagged that little finger at them and said NO NO. She tried again and got the same result. She moved over to the wall, same thing. This made her quite upset so she fussed at the magnets for a few moments before giving up on them as a lost cause and going on to something else.

Today we were running some errands and Kay got thirsty. I told her we would go get a drink as soon as we paid and got back to the car. Then a lady came up behind us in line with a Sonic cup. Kay wanted a sip of that drink and she wanted it bad. At home we have no problem letting Kay share a sip if she wants. She just didn't understand why the same rules wouldn't apply with a total stranger. She cried and got so worked up her little face turned red. The poor lady felt terrible and kept saying I would give it to her if I hadn't been drinking it already. That is one of those lessons you don't think about teaching a little one. You can share Mommy's drink in a pinch but you can not bum a sip from a stranger.

It all worked out. We bought a bag of M&Ms and that wet her mouth enough for her to survive the long drive up the street for a drink of lemonaide.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Speed Humps

That's right I said speed humps. It's not a typo. We got speed humps installed in our neighborhood. I guess speed bumps just weren't jarring and damaging enough. You have to slow down to 15 or less or you will hit your head on the roof.

The neighborhood on the other side of the school got nice sidewalks put in. We get speed humps. I am all for safety and driving slow and careful near schools and family neighborhoods but I don't think we really had a speeding problem around here. I would rather have sidewalks too.

SO a speed hump is like a speed bump on steroids. Around 14 feet long and 4 inches high they reduce speed to less than 20 MPH to prevent jarring and damage. They cost at least 3,000 per to install.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New car

Much nicer than the other attempt. A little too nice for us. I am afraid we are gonna junk it up. It is pretty though and we all fit fairly well.
It is a blue Toyota Avalon. Much cooler than a van. It is not as roomy but great for driving around town. It was my Mom's. We are taking over payments on it. She got the new silver Avalon and Mike is driving the old red Sephia. Why he would want the Sephia over the Avalon I don't know. He is a little crazy but good hearted.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Big Girl Bed

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Kay got her big girl bed. How did she grow up so fast? Taylor helped me assemble the new bed and Jeff took down the crib for the last time.

Kay has always been so good about going to bed when she is sleepy. She loves her crib and sometimes just hangs out in there when she wakes up. I thought she would probably be fine with her new bed but I worried that she might have a little trouble with the change.


Reading a bedtime story with Bub.

The first night she fell out once before she went to sleep. I heard her hit the floor then she said uh oh. I think she was just so used to the crib bars being there she flopped over too far. She got up one time and started to wander around the house. I walked her back to bed and said it's night night time you stay in bed and sleep unless it's an emergency. She fell out again around 3 am but the bed is so low to the floor she didn't even really wake up.

She has made the adjustment very well. She doesn't fall out anymore and she stays put. She is such a good girl.100_6394

Crazy Who hair.


It's standing strait up.


Bubble time. She slept really good after all this fun.


So much fun!


Cam's silly bubble face.


This is why the poor child needed a new bed. She was napping in the fireplace ashes.


Poor little Cinderella.