Friday, August 30, 2013

Time Marches On!

We celebrated My Favorite Gentleman’s 45th birthday by doing--not much! It’s pretty hard to celebrate long distance, especially with no good mailing address!
Last week’s highlight was definitely a visit with our dear friends Bill & Janice, who came into town from far away! Bill has started turning beautiful pens on the lathe, and let us each choose one, and he gave SmallDaughter a wobble duck push toy that she LOVES! I think it was especially good for LargeBoy to have a chance to talk to Bill, who is a fount of awesome stories.

On Thursday, SmallDaughter had her school open house. She has the same teacher, classroom and aid as last year, but she was still shy for a few minutes. Then she found the toys, and told Miss Sherry (her aid) to sit down with her, and got busy playing with her favorite things. The transition seems to have been smooth--I am glad they have the time for the kids to come into the class.

On Friday, BigGirl had a babysitting gig, and LargeBoy had not one, but 2 doctor apts! He got his cast off, and he got his ingrown toe treated with acid to stop it from growing back (the dr. just put a tiny drop on the side where the sharp edge grows--he got to keep the nail.) My Favorite Gentleman got home in the wee small hours of the morning, and we got up at 5, and got everybody loaded in the van to head for PA for the Family Reunion. I drove, while everybody else slept! My car (my beautiful blue, new car) has been making a really horrible, high pitched vibrating sound for a couple of months--but it doesn’t do it very often, and I can never make it do it when I want to, so we had adopted a “wait and see” attitude. When we were almost halfway there, I changed lanes and there was a HORRIBLE loud noise (I seriously thought I had cut off a Harley!) but I could not see anybody around me--quite the mystery! It woke My Favorite Gentleman up, but we had no idea what caused it. A few miles later, it happened again, so I pulled over and My Favorite Gentleman got out to check. The tires looked fine, but when he got down under, on the inside--there were patches worn totally down to the fabric on the sidewalls! We were so blessed that we haven’t had a blowout! So, we turned around and drove (CAREFULLY!) back home. Where we loaded everything into the pickup, and drove over to the reunion--a little late, but feeling very, very blessed!

We really had a great time at the Reunion. We spent most of the day at a nice little beach that the kids really had a blast on! Around 3, BigGirl & LargeBoy went with my young(ish) cousin Alan to his work at the Theater, where they watched Despicable ME 2, got a WHOLE BUNCH of movie posters, and enjoyed touring the projection room, etc. I was going to get SmallDaughter dressed then, but she was having so much fun that I didn’t have the heart to make her--and she got another 2 hours of swimming!

We went back to the Cabin for supper (which was served “caveman style”--no plates, no utensils!--they just put foil down on the tables, and put the salad and the spaghetti right on it! ) The kids had a great time running around playing with cousins, and I had a fun time talking to everybody. My cousin also had his dog and 2 of the cutest, round fat fluffy puppies you have ever seen! The puppies hardly had their feet on the ground the whole weekend--they were just carried lovingly around by all the kids! After the kids were mostly down for bed, a bunch of us played a really fun game that they got at Gen-Con, and laughed and talked until after midnight! We finally went to bed and crashed! We got up pretty early, picked up the big kid’s from Aunt Stephanie’s house and drove home just in time to get My Favorite Gentleman back on the road for VA.

Monday was pretty exciting--it was the first day of Seminary, and the first day of school. I have 6 students here at the house, and 2 more on the phone! It’s pretty awesome! SmallDaughter LOVES riding on the big yellow bus (so much more glamorous than a mere mini-van!). I was not overly happy about the transportation situation--the original plan called for her to get picked up at 6:30 (she still is) and ride on the bus for over 2 hours--since her school doesn’t start until 9! NOT HAPPY. They worked it out so her teacher and her aid come in early, and she gets to school at 7:30, and just has an extra long day. I decided I was willing to see how she did with it--I would only put up a fuss if it was really hard on her.

However, she has actually been happier, and less tired than any first week of school before! Every other year she is sound asleep for the drive home, but she hasn’t even wanted a nap, and she is more cheerful about getting on the bus, so it seems to be working out ok. The worst part is just that we had to move seminary back, so it is from 5:10 to 6, which gives us the half hour it takes to dress SmallDaughter. BigGirl & LargeBoy started on their school with much less fanfare, but they are both really motivated and excited by the subjects they are studying this year. (when I asked if they needed any new curriculum stuff, LargeBoy asked if I would order him some chemistry books--um, yeah! He is also working on “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and really going to town with it!)

We also got a new order of chicks on Monday! They are so cute! We have quite a few varieties, since I got the “Brown Egg Layer Assortment” and I also got 11 of the “Easter Eggers”--the Ameracaunas that lay green eggs. They are my favorites--SO cute--even when they grow up! Diesel the kitten has been going crazy--walking all over on top of their wire crate, and sticking a paw in to try and get one! The crate is plenty roomy for the chicks to move out of her way, but I put her outside anyway!

On Tuesday, I was the “extra mom” for Miss Kelly, who had a Dr. Apt., so I drove Becca in to her job interview at Barnes & Noble. BigGirl was excited to go spend the gift card she earned from the Summer Reading Program. Then (of course!) we wandered over to the neighboring Chocolate Shop and got a couple of goodies. A pretty nice day out!

On Wednesday, Bec watched SmallDaughter so she go to sleep on time, and I took the large ones to YM/YW. The shop has given us a nice loaner car, which really makes things easier. I am trying to get all my curriculum sorted and my new calendar systems set up and running. It always takes longer than I think it should, but I am babystepping forward. I have been working on doing boring things like phone calls, getting stuff arranged (like SmallDaughter’s fall riding session--only 2 more weeks until “horsey-day”!). Not exciting, but somebody has to do it!

Yesterday LargeBoy made Spanakopita, which is one of my favorites, so I am glad to have him willing to try new things. It turned out great, too! Today in seminary we role played Nephi going to get the Brass Plates. We had just enough people, and it was pretty hilarious! SmallDaughter doesn’t have school today (teacher inservice) or Monday. Tonight we are going over to our friend’s house for a BBQ! Yay! for fun times with friends! My Favorite Gentleman will get home in the middle of the night, and he gets to stay until mid-Monday, which is exciting.

Monday, August 19, 2013

More bragging!

Well, here is the final tally:

My hat got First in Class for all of the sewing, knitting, crochet and needlework! Big rosette, and the silver tray! We did very well in everything else, too! I am pretty proud of us!

We also had a great time on the other fair things--like the rides! In fact, everybody was having such a good time, I forgot to take more pictures! I ended up pretty sunburned, but luckily, none of the kids did!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Excitement Builds!

We are excited today, because some of our favorite kids in the world are coming to stay for the week! Even those of us who don't readily admit to liking small children (yes, LargeBoy, I am looking at YOU!) love these kids--partially because they are his own personal fan club! It's hard not to like somebody, who, when asked "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" Answers "To LargeBoy's house!" They have been adorably earning money this summer--they had a lemonade stand, and they are ready to spend it at the fair!

And, in the midst of all the excitement--I am off to get an oil change!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dominating at the Fair!

This was the first year that I have entered any non-4-H items in the Fair. I have meant to for the last 3 years, but kept missing the entry deadline! So, I had given quite a bit of thought to what I wanted to take, and this year--I did it!

Well almost!

There were several things that I had planned to enter that I was not able to for a variety of reasons:
1. My garden did not cooperate.
2. I didn't read the requirements thoroughly.
3. There was one category where everything had to be entered between 2 and 6 pm on Sunday (yesterday). HOWEVER--since the county fair is in the town 20 miles North, and Church is in the town 20 miles South--and since we had unexpected family come into town, and so we we had a spontaneous family dinner and then I had a Primary Presidency Meeting--that just didn't happen.

Which means that out of the 24 items that BigGirl and I planned to enter between us (I told you I had been saving up!)--which includes her 4-H quilt project and the other baby quilt she made with the Aunties, which she entered in Open Class, we actually entered 14. All of them were valuable learning experiences--including the ones that did not place because I didn't read, understand or follow the rules correctly, or that I just didn't have enough experience to know that "display of 5 each of 3 types of peppers" does NOT mean put them on a paper plate--it means make an artistic display!

Not everything has been judged yet, but one of BigGirl's 2 scarecrows came in third--despite the fact that I switched the entry tags, so it was competing in the wrong competition!
Poor, mislabeled Ninja Scarecrow!

We did well on lots of other things--1st place on my Lavender in Herbs (although the judges note on my red basil said "not REAL Basil!"), 1st place for my Kohlrabi--although that only had 1 other competitor! No surprise to anybody who has tried "Darcy's Can't Leave 'Em Alone Bars" that they came first in the "Make it with Mixes" category.

The two things I am proudest of however--the dress I sewed for my niece's baptism, which I made from a beautiful vintage linen tablecloth came in second (up against some VERY stiff competition!), and my awesome hat not only got a blue ribbon--it got Best in Class!!!

Because BigGirl had Girls Camp the week that they did sewing judging, her quilt was not eligible to place, but she got an honorable mention, and she got 2nd place overall for her demonstration (and a gift card instead of a trophy, which made her very happy!)

All in all--Pretty Darn Good for not really knowing what the heck we were doing! And now we have plans for next year--and a total "Aunt Jeanne style" Fair domination!