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back to school

Today was the first day of school here. I cannot believe that I have a junior, a freshman and an 8th grader this year. It’s so strange for the kids to be so grown up.

Junior
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Freshman
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8th grader
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tire swing

This tire swing hangs at the house where I grew up.  I cannot tell you how many memories I have of jumping off the fence onto the swing and flying through the air with the sky showing a little through the branches and leaves of this big oak tree.

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When I was back in my hometown this past weekend, we stayed at my grandparents’ house with Granny, Aunt M. and Uncle D.  Granny’s house is next door to the house where I grew up, the house my dad and grandpa built, the house we moved into when I was in 2nd grade.

Saturday afternoon, we walked over to see the old tire swing and told the kids some stories about how much fun their aunts and I had on it as kids.

Living in central Oklahoma where the land is mostly flat, I forget how mountainous it is and big the trees get in SE Oklahoma.  It’s always a bit of a shock to see huge pine trees reaching so far toward the heavens and how big around the trunks of the oak trees are.

lightning

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A few nights ago, we had a thunderstorm on the way when I noticed lightning in the distance.

Have you heard that saying about how lightning never strikes in the same place twice? Well, I know that’s not true. One of my friends from high school had her phone line struck multiple times during our high school years. I don’t know exactly how many times it happened, but it was at least twice.

Each time I hear someone say that lightning never strikes the same place twice, I think about that and sometimes I tell them the story of how the lightning struck her phone.

lillies

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I have tons of these beautiful lillies blooming in my flower beds right now.

Songs from The Lion King

are still in my head most of the time these days.  I thoroughly enjoyed working at the shows.  Volunteering has many rewards and they far outweigh little annoyances like driving through traffic from graduations and downtown events.  The cast and crew of most shows are really great people if I ever run into them.  The actors who were outside for the holds would visit if they had a few minutes and saw us hanging around to look at their costumes/make-up and hear them sing.  They seemed to like showing us how the costumes were made, how light they are – and telling us about their hometown, career, etc. 

I will miss The Lion King.  It was a great experience and a completely wonderful show.  My kids loved it, too, and haven’t quit listening to the soundtrack.  I will share the story of taking them to the show when I get the photo uploaded.

School is out,

the days are getting longer and warmer, summer is almost here!

My oldest daughter will be starting drivers ed. next week.  It seems so strange to say that.  I cannot believe she’s old enough for that.

Youngest daughter is getting ready for three weeks of diabetes camp.  She absolutely loves going to camp and is so excited.

Son is planning to be with ex-husband for a lot of the summer.  He’s looking forward to working out and playing basketball with his dad, preparing for high school (9th grade) basketball next year.

In July, the kids will attend church camp for a week, the same camp I went to as a kid.  The kids love going to camp there and I always enjoy seeing so many familiar faces again.  When I take the kids down there, we also will get to see relatives that we dont’ see often enough.  I’m excited about having some time with them.

content

I’ve noticed that I go through times of wanting to post photos and stories all the time and times of really not caring if I post or not. I’m not sure what it relates to. It could be weather, mood, stress at work, level of school activities with the kids… I haven’t put a finger on it.

Right now, loads of stories are jumbled up in my head, fun things that the kids have done and said are overflowing, photos have been taken and not shared. I don’t feel the need to share them with the world, though. I am content having them here, close to home, shared with my children and family.

I’ve been writing more on paper and less online these days. It probably has a lot to with the fact that I refuse to buy the kids their own computers and that we share a computer that is in our living room. By the time the kids are off the computer and in bed, it’s late and I don’t feel like looking at a screen.

* The kids don’t agree with my stand on this and say that I’m old-fashioned, too over-protective and that most of their friends have their own computers and televisions.  It’s something I decided when they were very young, though, and I still believe that it’s the right thing for our family, so I’m sticking with it.

On this day…

in 1564, William Shakespeare was born.

On this day in 1928, Shirley Temple was born.

At the end of this day in 2009, Natalie is exhausted from staying up too late every night this week and is going to bed soon.

Happy Birthday Mr. Shakespeare and Ms. Temple.

Evidently, I’ve been writing on Facebook too much because it’s become very easy to talk about myself in third person. I used to make fun of people who do that. Now Natalie will have to make fun of herself. 🙂

Good night.

changes

Since today is Earth Day, I’ve been thinking about the changes the kids and I have made over the past few years in an attempt to be more friendly to the earth.

Most of the changes, while deliberate, have been such gradual changes that the kids didn’t notice or complain about them.

A few of the changes we’ve made are:

1. No more paper towels. We use dish cloths to clean up messes and wash them with loads of towels.  We use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins at the dinner table.

2. We only run the dishwasher if it’s full.

3. We take shorter showers and keep a timer in the bathroom. When it dings that 5-7 minutes have past, it’s time to get out. Sometimes it’s more like 10 minutes with the girls, but it’s better than the 30 minute showers they took before I made them take shorter ones.

4. We recycle everything that our recycling center  accepts.

5. We bring home less plastic bags than before. We’re probably bringing in a 10th of what we used to have in the house. In the next year, I plan to have even less plastic bags in the house. I keep cloth bags and a cardboard box or two in the trunk in case I need them for groceries.

6. We turn of the water when brushing our teeth. Actually, we’ve been doing this for many years – since the kids watched Barney as toddlers and he taught them to turn off the water – so I won’t count this one.

6. As the lights have burned out, all have been replaced with CFL’s.

7. The car I drive is more fuel-efficient than any previous vehicle I’ve owned.

8. We buy produce and many other locally made products at the farmer’s market.

9. Before purchasing a book, I look first to see if I can find a used copy on paperbackswap.com, ebay, half.com or amazon.com.

10. We turn out the lights when leaving a room.

We have a lot of waste from J’s diabetes supplies.  It used to bother me that there is so much packaging  – the tubing, reservoirs, individually wrapped alcohol swabs and IV prep wipes, lancets, syringes, test strips, insulin bottles and packaging – but since she needs those supplies in order to survive, I will continue to gladly make sure that we have enough supplies on hand to get her through several months at a time.

The new change for this month: Turn off the computer at night instead of having it hibernate. I’m going to turn off the power strip each time we turn off the computer to make sure the printer, speakers, monitor, etc., all get turned off, too.

Taps

It’s 10:00 pm.  I can hear “Taps” being played by a trumpet outside. It sounds quite near.  Of course, the bells that toll at the top of each hour at the Catholic school/church that’s half a mile away sound very close, too.

Right before “Taps” started playing, I heard sirens.

Living very near Tinker Air Force Base, I have to wonder if this has something to do with a fallen soldier.

I hope not.

braces

Yesterday, B. had the spacer removed that has been hanging out in the roof of her mouth for several months.  She also got more braces on her top teeth.  Now each top tooth has something attached to it.

She’s thrilled to have the spacer gone, but not so happy about the additional brackets being added.

The orthodontist said that when her top teeth catch up with her bottom teeth, it will be time to add bottom braces. She’s right on track with is plan for her teeth, so all is well.  I’m still just so thankful that she won’t need to have surgery to shorten her lower jawbone, like he had originally thought when he consulted with our family dentist.

Songs of my life

Using songs from one artist only, answer the following questions.

My artist: Bon Jovi

ADDITIONAL RULE: I do not like so many rules.

1. Are you a male or female:  She’s a Mystery

2. Describe yourself:  Complicated

3. How do you feel about yourself: We Got It Going On

4. Describe your ex boyfriend:  In and Out of Love

5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Welcome To Wherever You Are

6. Describe your current location:  Who Says You Can’t Go Home

7. Describe where you want to be: Tokyo Road

8. Your best friend is: Wild in the Street

9. Your favorite color is:  Wildflower

10. You know that: I’ll Be There For You

11. What’s the weather like:  Wild is the Wind

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called?   It’s My Life

13. What is life to you:  Livin’ On A Prayer

14. What is the best advice you have to give:  Stick To Your Guns

15. If you could change your name what would it be? Captain Crash & The Beauty Queen From Mars

rain, glorious rain!

It’s been raining since last night and I don’t know when I’ve been happier for  rain.

This past Thursday, many homes burned to the ground in neighborhoods very close to my parents’ house here in central Oklahoma.  Yesterday, when Chrissie and her two youngest daughters were at Mom and Dad’s house, they had to evacuate because the fires had flared up again and were moving toward Mom and Dad’s house.

As I was leaving the grocery store, Mom flagged me down in the parking lot to tell me what was going on.  Dad didn’t leave when they were evacuated.  He was trying to figure out what to do with his and his friend’s horses before he could feel comfortable leaving.  He was planning to put halters on each horse with his name, address, and phone number and cut the fence so they could escape the fire before he left.    Residents of that area were able to go back home after the fire was contained a while later, but during that time and until the rain began, I worried that the flames would move their way again.

Thinking about evacuating and what I’d be able to pack in the car brings to light what is most important to me and what my emergency plan is.  I’d make sure my kids were in the car (of course) with a change or two of clothes.  We’d also take our two dogs and our cockatiel along with their food.  We’d pack J’s insulin, pump site changes,testing strips, lancets, syringes – all the diabetes supplies I could fit in a suitcase.   I’d pack my photo cd’s, the quilts Meema made, and the file folders that have my financial information, birth certificates, and medical records.  I also have one small box for each child that has papers, artwork, and special momentos they’ve made through the years that I’d want to bring.  If I had time, I’d grab a few other things, like items Mom has brought back from her overseas travels, the wreath Dad had made for me from a rope he used when I was a kid, the Bible I’ve had since I could read, the Christmas ornaments I’ve had since I was 3 days old.  I’d probably throw in my jewelry box (although I don’t own any really expensive jewelry) and that would be it.  All of those things are within easy reach and could be packed in less than 10 or 15  minutes.

I know I’d be wishing that I had a huge U-Haul truck instead of a small car if I was faced with making those choices, but really, most things can be replaced.   I’d only take the things that I could never replace, things that have memories tied to them.  I feel so badly for the people who’ve lost all those things this week.

During this time of year, when Oklahoma has lots of tornadoes and (prior to the rain) fire hazard warnings, I keep a bag filled with J’s pump supplies and syringes packed in the laundry room.  Whenever there’s a tornado warning or watch, I feel better knowing that I can grab the bag, get insulin out of the fridge and go.

I have begun assembling an emergency kit for my family, but it’s not complete yet.  This past week has reminded me that I must not stop gathering supplies until I’ve gotten all the necessary items in one place.

Side note:  I really need to start remembering to turn up the ringer on my cell phone if I’m going to be carrying it around in my pocket.  Mom and Chrissie had tried to call me to tell me about the evacuation, but I didn’t hear the phone ringing when I was in the grocery store.

j is for jas…

This has been a long week.

Yes.  I know it’s only Tuesday.

Oldest daughter (15) is home from her band trip to San Diego.  I’ve heard many fun stories and am delighted that she was able to go.  I’m proud of her for working hard to earn half of the money to pay for her trip and most of her spending money.  And not only because that was less for me to pay.  But because I believe it taught her a valuable lesson about working hard to reach a goal, saving, spending on what’s important and not just blowing the money she worked so hard for.   She’s a good kid.

I have loads photos to post.  I think that instead of posting them here as blog posts, I will just upload them to my flickr stream.  They can be viewed by clicking on this link to flickr or by clicking on the flickr photo box in the left sidebar. I’ll continue to label them by which day (of 365) the photo was taken.  I’ve gotten so far behind and am not sure I have the fortitude to mess with getting them all on the blog.

This is for my good friend who’s initials are CSV:

The word jasmine is right before the word jasper in the Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary that I keep at the computer desk.  Someone at my house wanted you to know that.  🙂

Oh, yeah.  Guess who got a Hard Rock San Diego Bon Jovi t-shirt?  Yep. Her name is Natalie.   15 yr old daughter brought it back from her trip for me.

EDIT:  I can tell I am tired.  This is a very ramble-y post, jumping all over the place.  Plus, it’s taken ages to get it finished because my fingers are not connecting to my thoughts very well right now.

Good night!

improving

I have photos to post that I took yesterday and today, but I’m feeling a little grouchy and impatient this week. Didn’t you want to know that? Messing with photos is the last thing on my list at this particular moment. The thought of uploading, editing, resizing, etc. Ugh.

Things should be improving soon, though. Our state’s weathermen are predicting snow on Friday and Saturday (yes, this past week, it was in the 80’s). I’m volunteering at the Wizard of Oz Ballet on Friday, on Saturday (my sister’s birthday) a bunch of my family members and I are going to see Dave Ramsey in Texas, Monday is my dad’s birthday and next Thursday my son will be 14.

Who has time to be irritable with all that going on, right? 🙂