Saturday, February 26, 2011

tacos and friends, what a great combination

We're at a friend's house for a taco night last night. These people have been our friends for a long time and they're especially special because they pretty much adopted Angel #1 this summer when he was living on his own and he became one of their honorary kids. Their daughter was one of #1's friends who came to San Diego to watch him graduate boot camp back in January. We had a great time together and nobody wanted to go home when it was time.

This morning, Angel #4 and I went through a couple more parade homes. There are some really big houses out there. I don't think I'd want a house that big anymore, now that the kids are starting to move out on their own. Once #2 goes off to college, we'll be down to only 2 kids in the house. Not only would I not want a house that size, I really don't feel the need to have an indoor basketball court or a huge home theater system in my house like we saw today either. I'm a less is more kind of person, I guess. But, it is neat to see those kinds of houses, even if you have no plans to ever live in one of them.

After going through the houses, I dropped #4 off at her very first babysitting job. She was pretty excited to join the employment world, though more than a little nervous. Fortunately, the little boy she's sitting is almost 3 and potty trained, which head up her list of worries, since she's never changed a diaper before. She's a conscientious, enthusiastic kid though, and I'm sure she'll do fine and handle any problem that may come her way.

I got a call from Angel #1 today. He spent the last week shooting machine guns and grenade launchers, so it sounds like he was having a good time. There's nothing boys like more than to blow stuff up. He said he's enjoying this second phase of the military much better than boot camp. He graduates this 2nd phase in a week and a half, then he's off to North Carolina for new adventures.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Did you know you can make a car out of a mousetrap and 4 cd's? Did you know that if you look at the directions, it should take you about half an hour to make it? But...if you try to do it on your own, it takes approximately 3 1/2 hours, THEN you look at the directions, and it takes an additional 5 minutes. The mom in this scenario repeated ad nauseum for 2 of those 3 1/2 hours that the step by step instructions were online and JUST READ THE STUPID INSTRUCTIONS. But, WE, being a 14 year old boy, hence, the male of the species, refuses to read instructions. Once the car was completed, he needed to journalize his accomplishment. Since he's the kind of kid who's truthful, as well as likes to give his teacher a laugh, commented in the journal that his mom kept telling him to read the instructions, but that he knew how to do it without any stinkin' instructions. The lady who helped me pick out supplies at the hardware store for this project has a daughter in WE's science class and helped her daughter with her mousetrap car the night before, so she knew exactly what things were needed, so at least we had all the materials. I hate science projects.

Monday, February 21, 2011

another snow day

Here it is, 9:50 on a Monday morning and my kids are all still in bed. Why, you ask? Because we're having another snow day. There's about 10 inches of snow piled up on my deck and WE's going to have to get the snowblower into action if we're ever going to want to get out of our driveway. Personally, I think they could have gotten by with a simple 2 hour delay since I haven't seen a flake since I got up around 7 o'clock, though we do have a bit of wind. Oh well, life in Wisconsin.

Talk about life in Wisconsin, I'm really appreciating my husband right now. With all the kerfluffle going on in our state, I'm so glad we can talk about it and are on the same page as far as our feelings on the situation. I'm thankful we're both in agreement on our basic beliefs in God, politics and family, it makes for a much happier family life. I don't know how people who can't agree on stuff like that manage to stay married....maybe they enjoy debate more than I do. The sucky part is, Hubs is in Hawaii, so I'm limited on my political conversations to phone calls in the late evenings when he's not busy working. Another week and he'll be back home to man the snowblower, hopefully by then, Wisconsin won't be front page news anymore.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I love a parade

Angel #2, my sister and I did the annual winter parade of homes today. Back when I used to live here, my sister and I made it a yearly pilgrimage and now that I'm back, we decided to reinstate it. Angel #2 is now old enough to come along and be an enjoyable part of the day, so she got to come along, in the past, sis and I used the day as a way to get away from our kids, but I no longer feel the need to escape #2, so she came along for the ride. Things have changed a bit in the 5 years since I did the parade. The economy definitely is making a difference in the homes we saw. We used to see quite a few homes with theater systems, hidden rooms, etc and we wouldn't bother with a place if it was under 3000 sq ft. This year, there were only about 4 homes out of the 35 that met out 3000 sq ft criteria, so we changed it to about 2300 sq ft. We only saw one hidden room and 2 theater systems. That didn't mean we didn't see some great houses though. Most aren't something I'd want to live in, but it's fun to look around in them. It makes me feel kind of naughty to go nosing through closets and cabinets of a house that isn't mine, even if it's expected from a parade house. We also got through the day with relatively little damage. My sister and I have the unladylike habit of snorting when we laugh too hard and we only had 2 snortfests during the day. We also almost had to pull over due to uncontrollable laughter while driving from one house to the next. So, all in all, a very good day. Our tickets are good until next Sunday, and we didn't see all the houses we'd like, so #2 and I may do a little parading on our own this week.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

there goes my blogger of the year award

Wow, 9 days since my last post. Time sure does get away fast, doesn't it?

Wisconsin got its January thaw a bit late this year and we're currently enjoying temps in the 40's. It's really brought the snow level down, which is nice. When you have snow piles taller than your car, it's really hard to see what's coming when you're sitting at a stop sign. Now the piles are getting down to manageable size.

Angel #2 enjoyed her time at the Snow Ball. She didn't get chosen as queen, but her friend did, so it was all good. The next dance to conquer is the prom in April. But, before that, both girls have to get through Solo Ensemble, #2 with her flute and #4 on drums. #4 hasn't been doing a whole lot of practicing, but for some reason, she decided she needed to do it last night, when I was fighting a raging headache. Of course, then I get the huffy, "you tell me to practice, but then when I do, you tell me to quit." *sigh* kids

Angel #4 decided to not extend her basketball season to include tournaments. Her coach has 5 or 6 weekend tournaments scheduled for the next two months. Basketball season is officially over, the last game was Feb 5, I really didn't see the point in dragging my daughter all over the place for an entire weekend of basketball and am shocked that people do it. What about people who have more than one child? How can you have real quality time with your family when your free time is spent sitting on metal bleachers in some random gym? I would think that kids would start suffering from sports burnout before they even get into high school. I'm glad #4 came to that conclusion on her own.

Angel #1 has called us a few times from San Diego. Now that he's out of Basic Training, he's allowed to use his phone on the weekends. It's nice to be able to hear from him once in awhile. The Marines encourage the men to get their haircut once a week to make sure it doesn't get too long. #1 said there was a huge line at the base barbershop, but one guy was thinking ahead and brought his own clippers. He was cutting guys hair in the bathroom for a buck a head. Angel #1 took it one step further and simply shaved his head so he didn't have to worry about it for a couple weeks. He said he's not going to shave it again, but it sure is easier to take care of.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

wow, that went fast

At 4:15am today, hubs and Angel #1 went off to deliver #1 to the airport and back to the Marines. That was a really fast 10 days. Fortunately, he got to spend time with friends and family during that time as well as going to 2 funerals - which weren't quite as fun, but he got to see people he wouldn't have seen otherwise. Since they were both funerals for women who'd lived long productive lives, they weren't necessarily sad ones either, which helps. Though #1 didn't seem too eager to leave, I think he'll be glad to get back to doing something productive after spending his downtime at home being pretty lazy. Before he left, he needed a haircut, so I took out my clippers and gave my first 'high and tight', which is the Marine style haircut, shaved on the bottom with a little left on top. #1 complained that it took me longer to do it than it did the Marine barbers, but I think they've had a bit more practice, along with the fact that they really don't care too much how it turns out in the end, when I wanted my boy looking sharp.

I'm still coughing and sniffing my way through an awful cold. I haven't gotten one this miserable in years, but I've had worse and I'll survive. But, that doesn't mean I have to like it.

I got a surprise call from an old friend today. Since I got a new phone, she had to call around a bit before she got my number, but I'm glad she made the effort. It was great catching up on her and her family. Whenever I see her, I remember a weekend we spent together waaay back when. It was a church function and she sat there, holding Angel #1 on her lap for hours at a stretch for 4 days straight, always saying that she was fine and didn't need a baby break - which I was fine with, because I certainly needed a little baby break. It was just ironic that she called the very day that he was headed back to the Marines. I don't think he'd fit on her lap anymore.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

enough already

I can safely say I'm really looking forward to the Super Bowl being done. Everyone's got some sort of Packer brain infection, and living right in the heart of Packer Country is an obnoxious place to be if you really don't care about football. I live about a 30 minute drive from Green Bay, a town that has streets named things like Lombardi Ave. and Holmgren Way, and I'm sure there's tons more streets named after Packers players and coaches as well, but I'm such a non-fan I don't recognize the names. I was in town yesterday, the city buses are emblazoned with Go Pack Go banners and someone spray painted their snow green and gold. We won't even discuss the 5am brat fry some local dj's had in the middle of Lambeau Field...not only are brats NOT something I'd want to face at 5am, especially since they're best eaten smothered in sauerkraut, but Lambeau Field aka Land of the Frozen Tundra, is really really cold at 5am in February...heck, it's always cold in February, no matter what time it is.

Today, I took the girls shopping. A local thrift store was having a prom dress sale. They opened the store during non-opening hours and catered entirely to girls in search of inexpensive prom dresses. They had racks and racks of the dresses and both of my girls had a blast trying different ones on, though Angel #2 is the only one with any hopes of going to the prom in next couple years. As I said earlier, Angel #2 is on Snow Ball court, so she also needed a dress for that. Snow Ball dress code lies somewhere slightly below prom, so she needed a short dress-up dress instead of a long one. By the time we were finished, she had both a Snow Ball dress and a prom dress, so she's good for next weekend's dance and for April's prom. She also got a pair of glittery shoes to go with the Snow Ball dress and a hat that looks like something Elmer Fudd would wear. Fortunately, she's not wearing the Elmer Fudd hat to the dance, she figures that if she actually makes Queen, she'll need room on her head for the tiara. I'm so glad she's thinking ahead. :p

Angel #4 had her last season basketball game yesterday. It was another blowout, which makes her team undefeated for the season. Her coach has another 4 tournaments scheduled over the next 2 months, since they're not part of the regular season, they're not required. We opted out. I think 2 months of a sport is enough, besides, as I mentioned earlier with the sports parents, we really want to step back from the whole sports atmosphere. It's fine to be all worked up about sports if that's where your priorities are, but we prefer to direct our emotional energy into something different. We've seen too many families messed up because of sports and we don't want to join them.

We had a nice turnout yesterday for Angel #1's party. About 25 people were here chowing down on soup. They were a fun group and we had a great time together. I've got a little leftover soup, but not so much that we're going to get sick of eating it before it's all gone, so it worked out perfectly.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

'Snow Problem!

Enough with the snow already! I'm not sure how much snow we've gotten, but WE just got in from shoveling and announced that there are drifts higher than his head...and since he's taller than me, I think that means I won't be wandering around the back yard any time soon. School was cancelled yesterday and today, though the snow stopped falling before 7 this morning, so they probably jumped the gun a little on today's cancellation. But, the wind is still blowing pretty hard, so I'm sure there's still going to be a lot of drifting. Angel #1 is a bit bummed though, he wasn't planning on spending most of his 10 day leave time sitting at home with his family. He's had to cancel plans he made with his friends since nobody can go anywhere. What makes it even worse is that his best buddy's grandma is seriously ill and has only a matter of days left to live, so that will cancel a few more plans, I'm sure.

We've got a funeral today for a friend we used to go to church with. She was 95 years old, so she had a good long haul, and the last 5 years she's suffered from severe dementia, so her death is a blessing. But even so, that doesn't stop making you feel sad at her loss.

It was kind of nice yesterday having all 4 kids together at home. Since we were snowed in, they
couldn't go anywhere or have anyone over, so it was just the 6 of us together. The girls and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle, the boys played their computer games and watched a guy movie with hubs. Today, we head to rent-a-Grandma's before the funeral. We're meeting up with some other friends there who are also going to the funeral. Those friends are about a 3 hour drive from us, so I'm glad we're going to get a chance to see them and their 3 little kids. I'm sure they've grown a lot since we saw them last in September.

Angel #1 told us of something that happened the night he reported in to Basic Training. He hadn't gotten his Marine haircut yet and, unfortunately, the officer in charge of checking the guys in noticed #1's unfortunate resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite (especially in those awful
military issue glasses they gave him). Poor #1 was forced to say "eat the food Tina" and even had to go up in front of another officer and say "Gosh". We were laughing our butts off when he was telling us, though I'm sure he didn't think it was too funny at the time. We were in the Marine Museum on the base when he was telling us, and while we were there, one of his Marine
friends came up and said, "hey, remember when we got off the bus? Gosh." That got us laughing all over again. We just told him he should be happy the guy didn't make him do a Napoleon dance in moon boots. I think #1 is going to keep his hair short from now on so he'll never be mistaken for Napoleon again.

Here are my boys, Kip and Napoleon aka WE and Angel #1