This was the kids this morning as they headed off to their last (half) day of school, which isn't really school but an awards assembly (which would explain the "Monday dress")....they are both thrilled that summer vacation has FINALLY arrived! OK, OK - so am I!!! To make this day even more exciting....it is Tim's birthday today....Woo Hoo!! I'm not sure if we will go today or tomorrow, but we are all going to go see Star Trek for his birthday. In other news, Tim was grilling our (absolutely delicious Copper River salmon) dinner last night when he said, "*****!!!! (expletive)....Clay, what kind of snake is this???!!!!" Clay ran over and looked at the (quite large) snake which was chillin' on our patio and calmly replied, "That would be a cottonmouth, dad".....Tim proceeded to throw something at it and it slithered off....and then we threw an entire box of mothballs around the yard. Which we will need to repeat tomorrow since it is supposed to rain again today. Ugh. Enough with the snakes, especially the poisonous snakes - especially near the house!!! Eeeeeewwwwww......bleck......ick........shudder, shudder........ In other news.....Clay had a friend spend the night the other night and the boys spent all day yesterday fishing. They caught this lovely alligator gar...... And, this humongous redfish. Big enough to eat, but Clay released him. I had found the aforementioned fabulous Copper River salmon at Costco and we had that for dinner! (Delicious, by the way!!)
I truly do not know why we are being over run with fiddler crabs - Clay says that it is because their homes were flooded last week when the tides were so high and the creek overflowed....but we have had high tides before and this has never happened! Anyway, we have only found one more inside the house - but the outside of the house is, literally, CRAWLING with fiddler crabs!! Clay has been picking them off (when he can reach them!) and putting them back by the creek. He also found Mr. Toad on our front porch this morning.
Yesterday was a beautiful day - nice and sunny (VERY humid though)...Paige had a friend spend the night and the girls were in the pool all day. We did have a thunderstorm last night, but I think this is a more typical weather pattern for us - afternoon/evening thunderstorms. It was delightful to have a sunny day again! Clay tried to mow part of the yard (I am hoping to encourage all these little critters to move AWAY from my house!!!) and studied for....ta da!....the FINAL final exam today - Math.
Mushrooms are popping up all over Ick....snakes........ Fiddler crabs inside the house!! One drawback which we are discovering from all this rain is that apparently a lot of critter's homes have been flooded.....we found THREE baby fiddler crabs inside the house today. Yep - INSIDE. It freaked me out a bit, because at first I thought they were giant spiders. We have also seen snakes, and of course the baby snapping turtle as well. Yuck.
Today was a fun day - the kids and I went to my cousin's and had a family get together. It was wonderful to see everyone, and we had a wonderful visit! The kids then had "movie night" at the church youth group, and now Paige is having a friend spend the night. Tim left this morning to go to Frankfurt - back in three days.
So, that's the BIG news around here this afternoon - the sun came out! Ok, ok, I DO see a few little ol' dark clouds out there too - but I am totally ignoring them and hoping they will just GO AWAY!!
I was in the laundry room a little while ago folding laundry, etc. etc.....when I heard these strange grunting noises. They got louder and louder, and then I heard thudding noises and lots of giggling, then more grunting and yelling. I couldn't figure out what was going on - I was afraid Clay had brought some other strange creature into my house. I walked into the living room and found..... this. Yes, this. What on earth is going on here, you are probably wondering. So was I!!! It seems that my dear husband and my first born child were, um, ahem....sumo wrestling. Why? I haven't a clue. But I finally have something to blog about other than the weather!!!
I'm sure by now everyone is getting a bit tired of my "rain" photos. Well, guess what? After almost a week of this - I'm getting a little sick of it too! And yet, here we are with MORE RAIN! Good grief - we're going to float away soon! Thank goodness, yesterday was overcast and while we had a few, brief showers....the water level in the lake receded almost 2 feet.....oh well.....here we go again.....
The other picture is of a baby snapping turtle Clay found in the yard right before it began raining again. He brought it into the house and said, "Look, Mom - isn't he cute? Can I keep him?" Amazingly, I didn't even need to think about it before snapping out, "NO!!!"....so then he asked if I would take a picture of the cute little guy (this said with a sad, melancholy expression because I am so mean....). I said, (in a chipper, cheerful tone of voice), "sure, I'll take a picture of him!"....then Clay asks if he can set him on MY KITCHEN COUNTER to take the photo....at which point my cheerful attitude vanishes in a flash as I irritably snap once again, "NO!!" I took the photo, and then ordered my sweet son to dispose of the nasty critter in the lake immediately. One hopes that he DID actually dispose of the thing in the lake, and that I will not come across it in....oh, his closet, or his bathroom, or....God forbid - MY bathroom!! Hmmm....I think I will go check on that......
Clay and Gracie bonding and fishing in the rain Oooohhh.......it's a big redfish......oh, shoot! It broke the line......... Clay came home from his English exam and cleaned his room (he really did clean it too!!), his bathroom, his closet, organized his bookshelves .... all clearly hoping, and hinting, that we would let him go fishing for a bit this afternoon. Well, we needed to reward such awesome behavior, didn't we? So....my happy son is outside fishing in the rain. (still hasn't caught anything though!)
Chloe is so cute. The photo above was taken the day before yesterday.....we have really had some crazy weather here. Yesterday was overcast, and we had some passing showers, but thankfully we didn't have the steady, relentless downpour we have had since Sunday night - so things had a chance to dry out a bit, and the water level in the lake receded a bit. The forecast is for MORE rain through the weekend. Ugh.
There really isn't much news to report - other than the weather! Clay has his final exam in English this morning, and then we have a long weekend. Tuesday morning is his final for math....and then we're done! Keep your fingers crossed that he does well......
Tim goes back to work Sunday, and the kids and I will be going over to my cousin's to have a nice family visit that afternoon. No big plans for Monday - apparently, it will be ANOTHER rainy day - so maybe we'll watch movies!!
The water in the lake is so high....the lower level of our dock is under water, and has been for two days! Big water puddles in our yard - I think it will be a bad summer for bugs...... The water was so high and it was so windy yesterday that the kids had to go down to the dock and raise the boat up a bit more....... Wow! Wet, windy, and wild! OK - sorry about the alliteration....I couldn't resist! Seriously, it is crazy weather we are having! It has been raining non-stop since late Sunday afternoon. Huge wind gusts, very high tides.....A real deluge!
Clay is all finished with U.S. History. He had his final exam yesterday. Today, is Physical Science....which is a tough one - lots of formulas and computations, etc. I hope he does well!! He left his extra credit assignment (the career paper he did) in the car in the rush to get out in the rain this morning, so Tim had to run it up to the school. Normally, we wouldn't do that....but we felt that it was extenuating circumstances!! Paige has her big Math test today and tomorrow - this is the big one that she has been so worried about. Right now, everyone is just focused on tests, exams, school, projects, etc. Only one more week.......
Yesterday was a rainy, windy day....and today promises to be more of the same. Two weeks ago we had temperatures in the 90's, and today we will be lucky if it gets above 67! 25-30 mph winds, with gusts up to 45, rainy, and cool....and it is the END OF MAY!! What's up? I am not going to complain though. I am so glad we are getting some rain, my plants are all happy, the lawn is happy, and hopefully next week when the kids finish up with school it will be sunny and beautiful again!
Paige has regular school this week, but Clay starts his final exams today. Today is History, which he should do well on as it is his best subject. Tomorrow - Science. Science has been kind of strange this year. Usually it is one of his best subjects, but this year his grades have been all over the place - A's to E's! (normally he is a straight A student in Science).....we think it may have something to do with the teacher (a bit of a Science "geek" who talks, and talks, and talks.....) we think he is just tuning her out and going into the 8th grade boy "zone"....no excuse, but understandable! Anyway, please say a little prayer, keep your fingers crossed, etc. that Clay does well on all his finals!
Good morning! How are you. I am fine. My research paper for History is finally complete and ready to be turned in today. I'd BETTER get an A!! I am excited because this is technically the last week of school! Even though our last day of school is next Wednesday, we don't have school on Monday because of Memorial Day, Tuesday will be "Club 6" which is the end of the year party for 6th grade...so no classes! Wednesday is only a half day of school. Then....SUMMER!!!!!! Which means sleeping in, going swimming, and ...going to France! I am so excited about going to France, and about seeing Louise again. If anyone needs any help around their house this summer or babysitting, I am trying to earn money for France!!
Tim left this morning for a three day trip to Frankfurt....the kids and I made it to church (they were acolyting)....the rest of the day will be spent with me cleaning and nagging Clay to PLEASE, PLEASE finish up his papers. Paige has finished her research paper - she just needs to print it out.
OK, so I basically spent all last week cleaning the house, organizing, etc....and now it is Sunday, and my house is trashed!! Tim and the kids can wreck a nice, clean house in no time. To be fair, it is mostly the kids....although after Tim leaves on a trip I travel through the house picking up reading glasses, newspapers and shoes which seem to be deposited all over the house. With the kids, it is just STUFF everywhere! Books, papers, shoes, hairbands, brushes, food, dog leashes, clothing, etc. etc. I DO NOT understand why they cannot just put things back where they belong. So, anyway, apparently I will spend this next week doing the same thing I did LAST week - cleaning and cooking. Oh joy. How did my life become so exciting? (sarcasm, there)
Other than the cooking and cleaning, my week will be filled with me nagging Clay to study for exams, driving them to and from school - I will be picking Clay up every day around 10:30 when the exams are finished, then going back to the school at 3:00 to drop him off for some tutoring (hoping it will help!!) and picking Paige up...then going BACK to pick him up after tutoring. Then, I will be taking Paige to ballet. Friday, someone is coming out to the house to make a video of the house to put up on youtube.....I also need to get Gracie in to the vet for her final booster shot and hopefully, into the groomers for a haircut. Exciting stuff, huh? Woo hooo. Calgon, take me away!!!
Tim arrived home Thursday night with a big ol' hunk of yummy gouda cheese and a bottle of balsamic vinegar. Why is European food so much tastier than what we can get here in the U.S.?
Clay had a 7th/8th grade dance at the school last night. It was a luau theme, and he said he had a lot of fun. When I asked him if he danced at all, he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "uh, NO!!" OK, call me crazy, but I just thought since it was a "dance"......!!!! Whatever! Tim, Paige and I stayed home and watched old episodes of Star Trek. I know, I know. Tim was in heaven though. He is such a Star Trek geek. He was driving Paige and I crazy - reciting the lines along with Captain Kirk and Spock. What a nerd! (said with much love and affection!)
Today has been spent running errands (me), doing yard work (Tim), reading and writing a research paper on Roman architecture (Paige), and sleeping late and then writing an essay on whether a holocaust could occur in the U.S. and another on a Science career as well as studying for final exams (Clay) and practice writing his essay for his History final on Tuesday ("how did the cold war impact the U.S.?). We are in the final countdown for the end of school - I can't wait!!
Tomorrow Tim is off for a three day trip again.....
PAIGE: I have a big science test tomorrow. I also have a big Math test (a two day test!!) on Wednesday. It counts as two test grades. I also have a research paper due in History on Monday. I am doing it on Roman architecture. He gave us three weeks to do it, but he just told us how he wants it today! So I have to go back and re-do stuff I have already done. Grrrrr...... Gracie is still adorable! I love her so much! And she loves me. Right, Gracie? ha ha. I can NOT wait until the end of school. I am SO excited for summer. My friend Louise is coming here for two weeks, and then I am going with her to her home in France for two weeks. :) Yay!
CLAY: I have part of my Math final exam tomorrow - equations. The rest is next week. Also, part of my English exam is a paper I have to write which is due Monday. AND, a Science paper. In our History review I am in second place. Yay! I can't wait for summer vacation. I can't wait for summer so that I can start reading books again. Books for fun. I saw a rabbit in our yard today. I am going to be 15 soon - in two months. Wow. I need to start thinking about retirement. Ha ha ha.
The past week or so has been HOT, HOT, HOT!! In the 90's! Finally, we had a bit of a cool down a couple of days ago and, while it is still warm, it is only in the 80's. MUCH NICER!
Our new schedule with ballet is working out very nicely. I find that since I am home so much more, I am more inspired to be creative and cook more. I find myself watching The Food Network for inspiration - which isn't great for my diet, but the kids and Tim are loving it! Tonight I am going to make roasted chicken with balsamic vinaigrette. What's that? I thought I heard someone mumbling something about, "who cares about what she is cooking? How boring!". Hmm....you may be right, but....since I haven't gotten any feedback from anyone....too bad, so sad! Seriously. I am in a blogging rut. Gimme some help here, people. Please!
OK. In other news....we've been cleaning the house, cleaning up the yard, cleaning out closets. Blah, Blah, Blah. And guess what? No one has been by to look at the house. Hence, I am feeling very frustrated. Oh well, at least we got the house clean, right?
It is looking like Clay may have to go to summer school. He has been working THIS quarter..but it is a case of too little, too late. Or trying to close the barn door after the horse got out. I am all for him going to summer school - I think it is a great lesson for him....if only it didn't ruin the summer for the rest of us! Anyway, we'll see what happens. He has final exams starting next week - who knows, maybe he can save himself with his final (which counts as 20% of his final grade). As far as the schools go for next year...I think everything is set. I got the release form signed and have taken it to the new school. As soon as school is out I will go and get both children registered.
Tim gets home tonight - I am so glad. He has been in Brussels and is home for two days and then back to work. After that he is home for about 5 (I think)....then it is his birthday on the 28th (he will be 52!!!) EGADS!!
Take a gander at my Mother's Day present....isn''t it cute?! My old laptop bit the dust a couple of months ago, and so we have all been sharing the "family" laptop....so my wonderful family got me the cutest little netbook. I love it! It is VERY portable, and is really all I need for emailing, facebooking, and blogging. The picture above is next to a regular sized laptop and...... this one is next to a bottle of wine and a small apple....so you can see how small it is. Paige calls it my baby computer. Sunday (Mother's Day) we went out on the boat and got the kids back on skis....first time this year. They're both ready to slalom....Clay can drop a ski, but needs to get his balance. Paige....still needs to drop one....we'll work on that over the summer. The kids (and Dad ) made me a wonderful breakfast, and dinner was tri-tip on the grill with corn on the cob and homemade macaroni and cheese. Yum, Yum! After dinner, we all played improv games....sounds weird, but was really fun! In other news.....Clay and his 8th grade class had an "all nighter" trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure on Friday. They left around 1:30 pm and got back to the school at 3:15 am. Ugh. He had a blast though! Paige has been attending ballet classes at the new (5 minutes away!!!!) studio, and seems to like it. She is learning the recital dances and will be in the recital July 18th. Which is the only negative, so far. I had forgotten about "recital mania" in these hobby dance studios. Oh well, I just have to remember that it is a small price to pay for it being only 5 minutes away!!!!!!
And finally....we have decided to lower the price on the house ONE MORE (AND FINAL) TIME...and are giving it until July 1st before we cry "uncle"....So yesterday Tim and I cleaned and purged and got a lot accomplished. We'll see what happens!
I am going to try to be a bit better about blogging, and I actually have something different to talk about today (not the same ol', same ol').....First of all.....Tim and I have been talking for a couple of months now about taking the house off the market. I think I have mentioned before that there is another house for sale priced MUCH LESS than ours....for some reason though, we just haven't done it yet. Probably because no one has been looking and so it really hasn't been an inconvenience to us. However, we have NOT been keeping it in "show" condition! It has just been getting dirtier and dirtier.....so anyway, it is still on the market...and yesterday I got a call that someone wanted to see it!!! YIKES! I mean, the house looks like a bomb went off....really bad! So I hemmed and hawed, and ended up lying and telling them that I had a sick child at home so it couldn't be shown. There was absolutely NO WAY that anyone was going to see my house the way it was. Supposedly they will reschedule for today or tomorrow. We'll see......but I spent the rest of the day cleaning ceiling fans, cleaning off my cabinets (I think I am the only one capable of wiping them down!!), scrubbing the tile floors - on my hands and knees, with a scrub brush - washing all the pool towels that the kids leave lying all over the place....etc. etc. Today - more of the same.
We woke up this morning to discover that Gracie (the puppy) had apparently eaten the plastic handle on one of her leashes (pulled it into the crate) and had diarrhea and threw up in her crate. It was everywhere - including all over her. And the house stunk! So......what a lovely way to start the day - scrubbing the floor by her crate, cleaning out the crate, and giving her a bath. Ugh!
So....now I am off to begin cleaning and scrubbing and sanitizing this pigsty we call home.
All right....I know....I have been VERY bad about blogging lately. In my defense, I don't really have anything to say (I feel like I repeat the same stuff over and over....yadda, yadda, yadda!!!) and honestly, hmm....not really sure if anyone is even reading this anymore!! Give me some feedback, people! (Please?)
But, anyway......I think I mentioned we were making some changes....First, we are definitely NOT doing the long drive downtown 4 days per week for Paige's ballet anymore. Once we made that decision, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders! Paige has tried a couple of classes at a studio ONLY 5 MINUTES FROM OUR HOUSE!! What a concept! I think that is where she will go - we're just figuring out the schedule, etc. right now. I know that the ballet training will not be as good as what she has been getting - but the trade off is having dinners together as a family, and less stress...and of course, with the kids both starting new schools next year, and Clay starting high school - it will be good for me to be around more. Tim and I voted for that....and since we are the taxi drivers, and the $$$ providers - our vote is the only one that counts! :-)
We have also made a final decision about schools, which is another huge relief - and now are just dealing with all of the red tape and bureaucracy involved in transferring the kids from a private school to a public school and trying to get them in the right classes. The Clay County school district is not making this easy on us - but we will persevere! Tim and I have a conference with a couple of Clay's teachers on Thursday to discuss his options. After that, we will be running the placement form to all the different schools to try to get the approval for him to attend another school than the one he is zoned for. Wish us luck!
Basically, that is what has been going on the past week or so....making decisions about schools, ballet, etc.....and the usual - cleaning the house, making dinners, walking the dog, cleaning the litterbox, yard work - woo hooo! Exciting stuff!