Saturday, February 28, 2009

Things on my mind today:

* Hoping Paige is feeling better - her fever seems a bit lower today....

* Tired of vacuum cleaners constantly breaking. I hope the cheap-o one I bought at Walmart yesterday lasts for at least a few months!

* Wondering if the real estate market is ever going to start moving again and if we will EVER sell our house!

* Thinking I need to get Roxy (outside kitty) in to the vet....

* Wondering if it is time to start looking for a dog....

* Perplexed about what to do about schools next year....

* Thinking I need to make a reservation for a hotel in Orlando for the State Taekwondo Championships in April....

* Wondering if I can find a cheap rate for a rental car for next weekend...

* Thinking I need to do a deep cleaning on the house - but need to get motivated!

* Wondering if Clay is going to have to go to summer school :(

Friday, February 27, 2009

Poor Paigie.....

Poor Paige. She came out of ballet last night telling me she really didn't feel well....shaking, headache, and she felt we came home and took her temperature - 100.3. It has been holding steady around there ever since, and her stomach is upset. Apparently, there is yet ANOTHER virus running amok around the school!

One of her teachers had given her front row tickets to see the Russian National Ballet perform Sleeping Beauty tonight....unfortunately, we won't be able to go, so had to "re-home" the tickets. :( Paige is quite upset about that.....

Nothing else has really been happening around here - just lots of housework, yardwork, etc. It is definitely spring here. Everything is starting to bloom - the azaleas, redbuds and dogwoods....We have had all the windows open, enjoying the warm temperatures.....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yesterday actually worked out a lot more smoothly than I anticipated. Paige's appointment at Nemours was to check the fit of her brace and to take an x-ray with her in the brace to make sure that it is doing what it is supposed to do. Without the brace, her curvature is about 25 degrees. The x-ray showed that in the brace, the curvature is reduced to about 7 degrees. And the x-ray shows an almost straight spine. It is definitely doing what it is supposed to do. Now, we will go back in about 4 months and they will take another x-ray, this time without the brace, to see if there has been any improvement. After her appointment (which went very quickly and smoothly - I love Nemours!), traffic was fine...I made it back to Orange Park with 15 minutes to spare before going to pick Clay up...then on to the church for the pancake dinner - which was a rousing success! A LOT more people came than anyone expected - the youth group leader, Matt, had to make two runs to Winn Dixie to get more pancake mix and sausages. I don't know what the final tally was, but I beleive they made over $400! The above picture shows Clay as pancake chef extraordinaire, and Paige as server supremo!!

Tim arrived home last night shortly after we did. I'm so glad he is home - I feel like I have hardly seen him the past 10 days or so! I'm sure by now you have all heard about the Turkish Airlines crash - that is the airport Tim flew out of yesterday. Besides the "honey do" list I have waiting for my wonderful hubby....we also need to go visit a couple of schools here in Orange Park - in case we are not able to sell the house....we need to make some decisions. So I expect the rest of the week to be rather busy.

One final note - I just finished The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Everyone has been telling me what wonderful books these are, but when I would read about them, they just didn't sound that good for some reason. Well, I finally read them - and WOW! I think these may be two of the best, most thought provoking books I have ever read - and I have read a LOT of books! Truly wonderful. Anyone who has not already read them - please do. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crazy Day!!

OK, you all know that I am not a morning person....but I do love starting the day with a beautiful sunrise. Of course, my preferred method of starting a day with a gorgeous sunrise is to sit up in bed and say, "wow, beautiful"....and then roll over and go back to sleep. Alas, those days are few and far between. Since I haven't posted any sunrise pics in a while, I thought I would do so today. There was also a little family of ducks swimming around by our dock - so cute. That sunrise will probably be the calmest (and sanest) part of my day today!

Today is going to be one of those crazy, busy days for me! My morning will be filled with cleaning, calling doctors, and running to the store...then I will pick Paige up at school at 1:30 to take her back to Nemours for a follow up appointment. They will be checking the fit of her brace and taking more x-rays to see if it is working. We are very hopeful for good news since Paige has been so good about wearing it - even on a sleepover! Clay has a tutoring help session after school until 4:30, and I am HOPING to be back in Orange Park in a timely manner. I am afraid that I will get stuck in the rush hour/NAS traffic though - so I may be a few minutes late to pick him up. When I pick him up we will go straight up to the church because the youth group is having a Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner as a fundraiser. That means we will probably not get home until around 7:30 or 8:00....and then we will need to take the trash out by the road and tackle homework! Egads! I'm tired just thinking about it.

Tim gets home tonight - for 4 days - hooray! There are a lot of little things around the house that need to be taken care of...the popcorn ceiling in our bathroom (one of the only rooms in the house that we DIDN'T do) is peeling off and falling on the floor every time someone takes a shower - so we are going to have to do something about that....the yard is a mess, the pool needs some attention, etc....

I'd better get a move on and get started on this big ol' list of things to be done!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A few words from Clay:

Hey people!
I have had a good couple of weeks. My friend Simon came and helped me with French. I taught him how to play American football and he really liked it. He also had a "crush" on a girl at my school. Ooh la la!! My wonderful mother let me have a party and it was a lot of fun. We made s'mores and talked.

Saturday after we took Simon to the airport I went to my friend's birthday party. It was lot of fun. She lives in a MANSION!! And has a pond in her front yard, and the river in her back yard. But she is not spoiled - she is nice. We danced and ate food and talked. It was really fun.

I have to go now and watch a trailer (like from a movie) because we're making trailers for videos in Drama class and this is my homework.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Au Revoir, Simon!

The pictures above are of the boys crying about Simon having to leave....(ha ha), and his plane taking off for Atlanta and then to Paris. I was feeling guilty that we didn't really do any "fun" stuff while he was here - he was on a holiday from school and came to America and went to school!! He must have had fun though, because this morning he asked us if we could adopt him so he could stay!! What a funny boy....

Tonight Clay is going to one of his girl "friends" house for a birthday party. This is the themed, black & white, boy/girl party. He is very excited. The party begins at 7:00, and he was in the shower at 4:30....and is getting himself "groomed" (his word) right now. 2 1/2 hours early. Hmmm......One wonders who he might be looking forward to seeing, doesn't one?

Friday, February 20, 2009


TGIF! This has seemed like a really long week to me for some reason - especially when you consider that Monday was a holiday. Maybe it is because Tim has been gone since Sunday. He just walked in the door a few minutes ago. :) He says that his mother is doing much better now and her heart seems stable for the time being.

I am having a bit of a lazy morning before I get moving to get everything done...right now I am running (another!!) load of laundry - want to send Simon home with clean clothes in his bag! I have also been wrapping a few little goodies to send back to his family. He was very, very sad this is his last day at St. Johns, and he has really loved his time here. He has made a lot of new friends, and learned to play American football, and added a bunch of new friends to his facebook (mostly girls...must be that French accent!).

So, after this load of laundry I have some errands to run. Paige has ballet tonight and I hope Simon will work on Clay's French just a bit more! Tomorrow Clay will have taekwondo in the morning, and then I am sure the boys will just be trying to fit as much as they can into the last few hours. Simon's flight leaves at 5 pm...then Clay has a birthday party to go to...boy/girl....I need to get a gift for the B-day girl (any ideas?) and something for Clay to wear, because this is a black and white "themed" party....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What IS that????

I was on my way out the door this afternoon to pick the kids up from school, when I noticed something on the floor in our entryway. It was small, so I bent down and squinted to try to make out what it was and that (above pic) is what I saw! A baby fiddler crab. How the heck did that thing get inside our house? I threw a tupperware container over it and ran to pick the kids up. Clay, naturally, was thrilled when he saw it and wanted to know if we could keep it.
In this picture, you can see how small the little gal was. Yes, Clay informed me that it was a female (like I care!!). How does he know these things? Anyway, that was our excitement for the afternoon!! The little crab has now been released into the creek beside our house - and I hope she stays there!

Tim is still in St. Pete with his mom. It seems that she is doing much better and he has been busy trying to get her medications sorted out (there are a LOT) in an organized manner so that she will not forget anything! He will be home tomorrow, just in time to head back to work. And Simon is sad because he is going home the day after tomorrow!

So, that's really all the news from here....I have been busy today with grocery shopping, laundry (it never ends!), cooking dinner (spaghetti casserole), and rounding up crabs!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I haven't written in a few days because life suddenly got busy, busy, busy!! Saturday night Clay had a small party. Luckily, the rain stopped a couple of hours before the kids got here, so they were able to sit outside around the fire...and text. Yes. Text. What's wrong with kids these days....they had their cell phones in their hands, thumbs busily tapping away. I have told Clay that if he has another party I will be greeting everyone at the front door with a basket in hand for everyone to deposit their cell phones in! Teenagers don't have social skills anymore - all they do is email, IM, and text....they don't even make phone calls. Scary.

Sunday was another busy (the kids were both acolyting) - Simon did quite well following along with the service, then that People to People meeting (which was really a waste of time...I knew it would be but still had to check...$5,900! I don't think so!), then to Target for Simon to do some souvenir shopping. He HAD to get an American football....he has really taken to that sport! We finally arrived home and had about an hour and 1/2 before I had to take the boys to youth group up at the church.

Monday was a nice lazy day - no school because of President's Day. We all slept late, which just felt so wonderfully indulgent! Clay worked on some homework in the morning, and then the boys went and fished in the afternoon. We found out that Tim's mother had been admitted to the hospital in St. Pete with heart problems and were worried about that all day - Tim was in Amsterdam. Yesterday was back to school, and Clay had Taekwondo in the evening.

Tim's mother was released from the hospital last night and is doing OK, but not great. Tim got home last night, and is heading down there in about an hour to see how she is doing and take care of her for a couple of days before heading back to work. We certainly appreciate any prayers! I will know more about how she is doing once he gets there.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

The picture above was taken Thursday afternoon while I was sitting in the car in carpool line....for some reason I love this picture! I think because the kids didn't know Mom was in paparazzi mode....
Yesterday, Friday the 13th, was our 19th anniversary. It was a quiet day...Clay and Simon spent most of the day on the dock...and only had a catfish to show for their efforts! Since they couldn't catch our dinner, we went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse. Another eye-opening American experience for Simon....
This photo is him getting into the spirit with a big ol' burger!! So anyway, it wasn't a romantic dinner for Tim and I...but fun none the less! Afterwards we all watched Splash.

You may remember that Clay had asked if he could "take a little break" from Taekwondo....we told him NO, as it was quite obvious to us that his little break was motivated by a desire to be fishing all day bit of laziness as well. The thing is, Taekwondo is HARD...and Clay is at the age where he just wants everything to be easy. Frankly, it/he is driving us crazy but we are resigned to the fact that this is our cross to bear for the next few years - at least until the big hormonal surge of the teenage years has passed and our sweet boy gets his brain back!! :) Tim just left to take Clay to Taekwondo and he seems to have accepted his fate. It helps that is is a rainy, yucky day and he obviously wouldn't have been out fishing all day anyway!

He and Simon are planning another "get together" tonight. Just the two boys, Paige and one of her friends from 6th grade, two other boys and two other girls from 8th grade....the original plan was to hang out by the firepit again - that seemed to be a big hit - but with the rain....I guess the kids will all be inside the house. I am not really sure how it will go...but wish me luck! My plan is just to have lots of food around...judging by Simon and Clay, it seems pretty much all teenagers want to do is sleep and eat...and in Clay's case, fish!

In other news, Clay has been invited - AGAIN - to participate in the People to People program. I think this is the third year he has been invited, and the second time this year. In the fall he received an invitation to do the student ambassador program, this most recent one is he sports ambassador program. I'm not really sure how they get Clay's name...but am assuming it is from test scores. This one goes to Fiji, Australia and New Zealand - it sounds awesome, but I'm sure it is prohibitively expensive. He was also nominated, and accepted, to be in Who's Who ...for middle school students. This is his second time. Tim and I are a bit amazed though, because while Clay is very, very smart...his grades really do not reflect his intelligence. Most of you know we struggle to get him to focus and do the quality of work which he is capable of. Meanwhile, our sweet little Paige - a straight A student, overacheiver, etc. - has never received an invitation. Weird, huh?

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I took these photos this morning....we were in the morning "getting ready for school" rush, and Clay saw a HUGE snapping turtle in the creek beside our house. Of course, we all had to go running outside to see it (at Clay's insistance..."C'mon, hurry....") Then, of course, we were off schedule so had to rush, rush, rush! Paige has been doing the flag all this week at school for morning assembly so she needs to be there early.

Clay informed me this morning that he'd like to "take a break" from Taekwondo for a while. I told him I would think about it, but I think the answer will be a big, fat NO! Knowing my child as I do, I believe this is just a lame attempt to stay home with Simon and fish all day. Which is not going to happen. At least not until AFTER taekwondo!!

I haven't talked much about Paige lately, but she is fine. Working hard and being my little princess! I hate how she is growing up so fast though....

Clay wants to have another "get-together" this weekend, and this time invite some girls. So, we'll see how that goes.....

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here is a picture of the boys when I dropped them off at the school this morning. Don't they just look so excited to be there and start learning? Ha! Simon is really being a good sport about going to school during his holiday - it helps that he doesn't have to do any work or homework!! He is enjoying meeting all Clay's friends, and I think he is a hit with the girls...he is already getting "friend requests" from American girls on his facebook!

Clay has a cold (again) and I am just hoping that Simon doesn't get it too. So anyway, I have two teenage boys and one pre-teen girl in the house now...and I can't keep enough food in the house. They are insatiable! Yikes!

Tim is in Amsterdam and gets home Thursday night, then our anniversary is Friday. Nineteen years. Wow. (We got married on Friday the thirteenth, too!) I don't know what we will do....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

We finally got the photos from Nutcracker, so here they are. Paige is in the pink dress.

The next picture was taken today. The boys have been fishing/studying for French. Clay has a French vocabulary quiz tomorrow, and for the first time all year I think he is really prepared for it! (Thanks, Simon!)
Last night was also a lot of fun. Clay had a few friends over, and we made "bubba burgers" and had potato salad, baked beans, and chips. After that nutritious all American meal, the kids sat by the fire pit and made s'mores. Simon apparently does this in France also. I asked him what they call them, and he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "marshmallows". Ha Ha. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I haven't written in a few days because we have had a virus running rampant around our house. First Paige, then Clay, and finally me. Naturally, I had it the worst. Thankfully, so far Tim has managed to avoid it (mostly by avoiding me!!).

Simon arrived last night, and we are so glad he is here! Clay especially. The boys are great friends, and laugh and snicker like only teenage boys can! These pictures were taken out on the dock earlier today. The boys went out to fish and study French. We have assigned to Simon the task of making sure Clay studies...
and Simon is a TOUGH taskmaster! Thhe photo below is him quizzing Clay on his French vocabulary, and then making him write each one he missed ten times each!! Does it make me a bad mother that I think this is hilarious?? Simon is taking this all very seriously, because we have told both boys that unless Clay's French grade improves dramatically, he will not be going back to France this year!
Tonight Clay is having a couple of friends over for hamburgers and to meet Simon. After the All-American dinner, they will hang out by the fire pit and make s'mores. After tonight, I will start introducing vegetables into our menu once again....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Paige's Words:

My toes are cold. I scrubbed out my bathtub and my feet got wet and now they are cold. Really cold. My back hurts. It is because of the brace. It makes me bend the other way - and it hurts! It is a really pretty color though. I have been wearing it most of the night which is pretty good. Usually for at least 8 or 9 hours.

I think I got a 100 on my reading quiz. Our homeroom teacher has been sick all week, and we had a scary substitute. She is mean! We are learning about China in History and about arachnids in Science. A boy in my Science class picked up one of the rabbits (class pet) and it pooped all over him!! HA HA HA! :)

That's all my news. TTFN

Clay's Comments:

I hate homework. I can't wait until 6:30 - taekwondo (even though I am really sore from Saturday)!! I have sooo much homework tonight. Every subject. Homework.

I am looking forward to my friend Simon coming on Friday. He will be here for two weeks. He will come to school with me some of the time. It will be nice for him to meet my friends.

Must go do homework. Blah.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Those ten things about me.....

I have been thinking a lot about those ten things about me...I couldn't really think of anything, so had Paige do it. Well, it really bothered me that I couldn't come up with 10 things about I have thought and pondered and THIS is what I came up with....10 totally random and useless bits of information about me (by ME!)

1. I am a native Floridian...actually a 6th generation Floridian. My family has been in Florida since before the Civil War.

2. I hate being late. It drives me crazy and really stresses me out. I obsess over being on time, hence I am almost always early.

3. I am a Leo.

4. I love to travel. The entire family does. I am hoping that Tim and I can go to Rome sometime soon. One of my favorite cities is London. No matter how many times I have been there, I never feel like I have sen everything. I have also always wanted to go to Egypt. I am fascinated by ancient Egypt and love reading about it.

5. Tim and I talk at least once a day - no matter where he is. We have done this since we were dating. I think I can count on one hand the number of days we have gone without talking to each other.

6. Since Tim began bringing home good French wine, I have become something of a wine snob.

7. I love the smell of pine-sol. I'm not really sure why...maybe it just smells like "clean" to me...unfortunately, my family has figured out that if they swish a little pine-sol around I will think they have been cleaning....

8. I am the oldest child in my famly and therefore am a "rule follower"...big time!! I drive Tim crazy with my adherence to the rules, no matter what....

9. I am not adventurous at all. I am really a big scaredy-cat....I don't like roller coasters, freak out at the beach if I go past my knees (worrying about sharks...which is what happens when you see Jaws at age ten), in the lake worry about alligators.....

10. One of my pet peeves is people who do not use the English language particular, people who say "noo-cyu-lur" in stead of "noo-clee-ar" (nuclear).....aarrrggghhhh!!!!

So...there you go, it wasn't easy for me - but I managed to come up with 10 things!
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