Monday, May 25, 2009

End of the Year Frenzy...

This past week has gone by in a total blur! The 5th grade had a special dance to celebrate the end of elementary school! They all dressed up and looked absolutely fabulous. I'll post photos as soon as my hubby sends them to me.

They had more fun than I had even thought they would. They had a "dance off," a limbo contest, played air-guitar and generally had a big ol' time! We laughed so hard just watching them.

At one point a basketball game erupted, but after a few minutes, dancing ensued.

Of course, I was a little proud that DS11 won the dance off. He had to use his inhaler afterward, but he was so proud of himself.

Next week should be equally frenetic. Tuesday, Elementary Honors day and 9th grade video game party; Wednesday, Middle and High School Honors day; Thursday; Middle and High School Pool Party and graduation. Saturday morning, diploma ceremony.

In the meantime, I am cleaning my house like crazy, trying to make sure that I have a good clear path through the house for after my surgery. It's not going to be easy getting around, I am afraid. Even worse, friends and family are going to come and visit and I don't want the place to be a total dump! I don't need that kind of sympathy!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

5th grade dance

Oh dear. DS11s teacher has decided to reward the kids for finishing up elementary school with a fancy dance, kind of a mini-prom, if you will. It is to be next Friday evening at our gym.

DS11 has a date!

A little girl asked him to go with her (even though he wanted to go alone and "play the field") and he said yes. When I asked him about it, he said, "I had to say yes, Mom. She threw up and everything!"

I nearly died laughing. Apparently, she worked herself up over asking him and threw up immediately prior. He took pity on her and now I am ordering a corsage!

What a hoot!

I just hope that he doesn't get roped into marraige one day because some girl messes in her pants!


I seem to habe picked up the cold that DS11 has had. He bust habe gibe it to me.

The Phantom Strikes!

Okay, maybe it wasn't so dramatic, but we held our High School Prom this past Friday at the Barnesville Civic Center. The theme was "The Phantom of the Opera" and the decorations and atmosphere was so beautiful and truly reminiscent of the Paris Opera House.

It's always fun seeing the kids all dressed up and proud of themselves. Unlike at the big, public schools, the majority of our kids came and danced the night away and had a blast. At large schools, the kids typically come in and get their pictures taken, dance one or two songs and then leave to go to one of the "after prom parties." Usually, in my experience as an educator, these parties involve either parentally provided alcohol or parents too dim witted to realize that the kids procured it for themselves. Needless to say, the behavior that ensues is not fitting for a Christian young lady or gentleman.

Some of the older kids in our group did have an after party of their own: cosmic bowling, in prom clothes, at a public, supervised venue. All parents reported knowing exactly where their kids were and when they left to come home. Gee, it almost sounds like adults acting like parents and not as friends. It also sounds like fairly responsible kids. Go figure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Okay, apparently, I am allergic to my hypo allergenic eye makeup. Lovely.

After wearing it for two days, my eyes are horribly red and sore. They did itch and burn while we were outside at the events, but I thought that it was maybe from pollen.

The only thing that helps is that when I took off my eye makeup, my eyes instantly stopped itching and burning. They still hurt from being swollen and rubbed, but the constant trauma stopped immediately.

I know that I am the palest non-albino person on the planet (don't believe me, the fairest foundations only work for me about 15% of the time, the rest are too dark or orange-y), and that with my Scotch-Irish complexion comes very sensitive skin, but good grief! Allergic to the hypo allergenic stuff? Isn't that just a tad ridiculous?

So much for feeling pretty at special events. Perhaps I should just go without and try to wrinkle up quickly, that way nobody would expect me to look nice. Sigh.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommies out there! I hope that everyone gets to enjoy a little love and appreciation today.

Our Mother's Day has been pretty low key so far. DS12 gave me a cute little craft project that he made me to hang in my room. It is lovely and I know that he has to work so very hard to create things, so it is extra special. He even made one for his Granny.

DS11 made his at school and it isn't quite ready to come home yet. I overheard something about a kiln, so I suspect it is a lovely clay project. I can't wait!

Hubby ordered me a sun hat (which I have desperately needed for my fair skinned self) that has an SPF 50 built into the weave of the fabric. That will get worn lots, as soon as it arrives! We have always laughed that "Vampira" can't get out into the sun very much as I will burn. Plus, with a history of malignant melanoma in my family, I am trying to be very vigilant with myself and the boys about preventing skin cancer.

Hubby did take me out to eat at the Grits Cafe in Forsyth, Georgia last night for a grown up meal and a little "us" time, which was a nice treat and probably more of a gift to me than he would even realize. We had worked so hard that day that it was a nice reprieve for us.

Today, we drug ourselves out of bed. DS11 was sounding raspy, so we gave him an albuterol treatment and went on to church. Right after communion, he started audibly wheezing so horribly, that I rushed him home for some Pulmacort (an anti-inflammatory treatment for asthma. We take it once per day, usually, but he can have it twice per day when his asthma is really acting up). Hubby and DS12 went to take Granny and Grandpa out to lunch and give gifts for her mother's day celebration. They will bring us back our lunch.

DS11 was upset that he ruined my Mother's Day. He doesn't realize that he really couldn't, that taking care of my family is what Mother's Day is about. I want him to be well. I want to take care of him. Plus, I am getting a little rest too. Not a bad deal!

A lovely wedding

Friday evening, hubby and I went to the rehearsal dinner for a wedding that we are providing photo work for. It was a nice and casual affair, with lots of hugs and laughter.

Saturday was the big event. The wedding was held at a local state park in an old stone pavillion that was built by FDR during the famous Great Works Program that occurred to help lift the country out of the Great Depression. It was absolutely lovely and didn't require fancy decorations to be gorgeous. A few ferns and some tulle curtain panels in the "windows" were enough to render the event stunning.

A local "string band" came and played the music for the wedding and reception. They even came in suspenders and looked a little old fashioned, so that worked well in the location. They did a magnificent job and played old standards and love songs.

I can't wait to see how the photos turn out! The bride was gorgeous and the groom was handsome and they were both so obviously smitten with each other. It couldn't have been a nicer wedding.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I just don't understand

why it is nearly impossible to find reasonable clothing for adults?

Last night, I decided that I needed to find a dress to wear to an outdoor Spring wedding that is this weekend.  I just needed a nice, spring-timey short sleeved dress, preferably in a knit.

You would have thought that I wanted to purchase a custom made torture device for all of the luck I have had in the stores.  And it isn't like I haven't really looked around.  I went to Kohl's, to JCPenney, to Dress Barn, to Lane Bryant, to Liz Claiborne.  Apparently, when one has an, ahem, middle aged, motherly figure, one should never be invited out in public.  There was not a single dress in plus sizes at two of these stores.  Several were grossly inappropriate to wear anywhere!  I am sorry, but if you make a dress that is suitable only to a young, pre-pubescent girl to wear, then making it bigger surely doesn't make it flattering to a big chick!

And don't even get me started on modesty.

It is as if there is a black hole between slut wear and nursing home ensembles in my size.  For goodness sake, I am a Mommy and I don't want to look like a street walker!  Sheesh.  Besides, who wants a matronly street walker?  Yuck!

I did find one dress that fit well, but it was, well, poop brown and very unflattering.  One store had two skirts, but they were over $40 apiece, in an outlet store!  By the time I added a blouse, and possibly a camisole, the outfit would have been well over $100.

But, I could find numerous work out outfits and capri sets with cheesy pseudo-resort embroidery around the hems.  Really bizarre stuff.  Shapeless and ugly.  Not even in pretty colors.

Clearly, with my figure, I can't pull off the twiggy, looks like a young boy, look any longer.  But, what would be wrong with having a few flattering, feminine styles around, just for giggles?

I guess I am back to mail order for most of my clothes.  I hate it when I can't find anything reasonable that I can try on.  Oh well.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu update

Apparently, a child that attends a Christian School in Henry County has been diagnosed with swine flu. The school is shut down.

Okay, it's really sick of me to ask this, but I really wonder if that kid has recently travelled to Kentucky (since he couldn't have gotten it here)!!!

If that sounds a tad obscure, read the previous post.

Just a little common sense, please

Just when I have made it through a couple of days without feeling like the media is trying desperately to push me right over the ol' ledge with their illogic and insanity, I find myself listening to a member of the CDC (Centers of Disease Control) give their magical pronouncement over the state of the swine flu "pandemic."

This genius calmly informed Georgians that since the gentleman in Newnan who had a confirmed case of swine flu was actually a permanent resident of Kentucky, that this particular incident of swine flu would be reported as occurring in Kentucky.

Okay. But, if the guys is down here spreading the virus all over central Georgia, wouldn't it make sense to be honest with those of us who may have come in contact with it????

I can hear it now, "Oh no, you can't be sick, that gentleman who coughed all over you is from Kentucky, so you can only be sick if you happen to be in Kentucky!" Am I the only one who finds that just a little nonsensical?

Better yet, there was a doctor interviewed who was quite angry with the CDC because when it looked like swine flu was on the rise, they quit running the lab tests that "confirm" the cases. According to the doctor, this is just for political expediency, so that the numbers stay artificially low. This doctor claimed to have 4 cases in his hospital which were clearly swine flu, but since the CDC refuses to "confirm" the cases, they won't show up in the totals.

Does this really make you think that these governmental agencies, for all of the good that they can and often do, are really looking out for you, the individual? I am not impressed. Just give me the truth.

Believe it or not, I can read and write and decide for myself.

4 weeks and counting

Not that teachers ever count down---hehehe.

Emotions are running high these days as everyone is dying for this academic year to end and summer to begin!

Most of my classes are working on improving writing skills in advance of the SAT. Hopefully, we can maximize some scores. Unfortunately, when under pressure, my students revert to every foolish mistake they learned through texting, etc. Sigh.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Christian service and nursing homes

One of the more popular acts of Christian service among groups which include children is to go to the local nursing home and visit, plant flowers, adopt a grandparent, sing songs, etc.  It is a wonderful way to teach children about service while providing a service in the same community that the child is from.

In some ways, this is far superior to participating in foreign missions.  Foreign missions are important, but with local service, the child can learn about needs in his or her community and will hopefully provide service throughout his or her life, instead of "writing a check and letting someone else take care of it."

Unfortunately, we have seen this attitude far too often in our local churches.  Many go wild over foreign missions, but when local children need help, shelter, or a place to have a school, the responses range from, "children are noisy" to "children are destructive" to (my personal favorite), "the children from the [insert foreign mission here] are so lovely and nice, we give them money and then they go home."  Geesh.  In my mind, this all sounds like the following statement.  I'd love to help do God's work here on Earth, but those darn kids get on my last nerve!  I like them better starving in a foreign land.

So, with all this in mind, DS11's gifted class heads off to the nursing home.  He comes back with incredible tales of the gentleman that he and a buddy made friends with.  Apparently, this man is a major character.  My child learned loads about "gambling effectively."  Who wants to gamble and not be effective!  This dude told my kid that the best game in the world is blackjack, with poker right behind.  He even gave them a lesson :-)  

He has never worked in his life, but gambles to make money.  He doesn't pay taxes, but drives a Thunderbird--and as long as you've got a Thunderbird, what else do you need?  He has been married 3 times (technically, because if you don't say 'I Do' and substitute something else or keep your voice low, you're not really married and you won't have to pay for a divorce later).  One of his wives shot him (I wonder why).

Anyway, this has prompted conversations about being kind to people even if they are a little odd or different in their beliefs.   We've explained why we don't want DS11 to live like that (we don't want you to get shot, divorced, or go to jail for tax evasion) and he seems to understand it.  But, he will probably always be pretty darn good at blackjack.

Okay, I will admit that this particular act of service didn't go quite as I had imagined.  But, I am glad that at least the kids are intrigued enough by some of the interesting tales that they have heard that they want to go back and visit more often.  Some of them have already gone back to plant rosebushes outside the sunroom for everyone to enjoy.

In a world where everything is money oriented, talk is cheap and the laughs hubby and I had after the boys went to bed are priceless!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Car Repairs, not always frugal, but necessary.

Ugh! Thursday, hubby's truck died on I-75 in Atlanta. Not a good place to be stranded. Apparently, his fuel pump died a horrible death.

While there is never a good time to have mandatory car repairs, this truck has in excess of 300,000 miles on it and has been a trooper. So, it's hard to get too upset when we have to do some work on it to keep it on the road. But, as hubby had to go to work on Friday, we borrowed my Mom's car as she wouldn't be needing it for a day, so it all worked out.

My brother is home from school this weekend (he is studying to be a mechanic) and spent the better part of the day with hubby (in the hot sun) trying to maneuver under the truck on our gravel driveway. Poor kid. But, the job is done (okay, the gas gauge is toast now, but the truck runs like a charm) and hubby says that he couldn't have done it without the skilled help.

I realize that I am blessed that hubby will tackle many car repair jobs. Perhaps it isn't so good that the kids have learned a very few choice words from the frustration of trying to do the job in our driveway, without specialized tools and a service bay to work from. But, car repairs are seldom inexpensive, even when done at home.

We came out okay this time because we didn't have to pay labor charges to get a huge job done and hubby didn't lose any time at work because of the repairs (we try to avoid that, even though his employer is wonderful).

Even after we make a generous cash gift to my brother, the semi-starving college student, we will have come out way ahead. That part is good. Especially since my transmission is starting to sound a little funky....

I guess that is the price we pay for having older, used vehicles exclusively. We do save quite a bit of money on car payments and interest. We also keep our vehicles on the road for as long as we can reasonably do so. When we can't get car parts locally, or ordered in a timely fashion, we begin to consider trading up.

Now, we are facing a double-whammy as both of our vehicles are reaching the end of their useful life at the same time. Wow! My car has 360,000 on it and has been an absolutely fabulous vehicle. But, we have to consider whether to try and replace the tranny or just start again with a new(er) car. Mine is a 1996 (I think) Maxima. I'd love another one with fewer miles, if I could find one.

But, I guess we'll figure it all out as time passes. I am praying now that God will help us to make wise decisions concerning the vehicular situation at our house. I am sure He will provide excellent guidance, as He has at all times.