Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still here

We have had a busy week and if the frequency of everyone else's blog posts are any indication, we are not the only ones!

Bryn had a snow day on Tuesday (so did Aaron) so we all got to hang out together at home all day. Bryn's Christmas program was also this week and she and I went to see a Kansas Nutcracker last night. And we are all sick - Aaron is at the tail end of a cold, Grant is in the middle of one and Bryn and I just got it. Fun stuff!

I am finally truly finished with my Christmas shopping (at least I think I am!), but haven't managed to get a single Christmas card sent. Looks like I may send New Year's cards this year as I still have to finish decorating and cleaning before everyone comes to visit. We are staying home this year and Aaron's parents and brother will be here Tuesday and my mom and John and grandparents will be arriving on Christmas Eve and will be staying through the weekend. It should be a lot of fun!

Winter weather has swooped in full force - the high tomorrow is supposed to be 8 degrees. I just hope the precipitation waits until Christmas day to fall so all of our guests can get here safe and sound!

And some fabulous holiday news...Mema's most recent scan showed the cancer is not growing - hooray!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One dog family...

A few weeks ago we told Bryn that we would think about getting another dog next Christmas if she did all of her chores and showed maturity and responsibility in the meantime. So tonight when she didn't pick her dinner dishes up when she was excused from the table I reminded her that she needed to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Her response "I have decided I am happy with one dog..."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back Home

I made it home and am now frantically trying to get caught up...Not looking like that is going to happen any time soon so I guess I better just tackle the pile from right where I am hoping to one day dig myself out. I found Aaron, the kids and the house all in one piece when I got back - I am thinking of hiring Aaron to be the full time nanny...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

On the road again...

Well, actually in the air! I am heading to Chicago to see my grandparents. It will be a quick trip but it will be nice to see them and catch up with my cousin Julie who will also be there. Aaron is staying home with the kids and the pets - he gets to play Mr. Mom for a few days and sit on the couch watching soap operas and eating bon bons like I do every day...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A little bit overwhelmed...

It is some thing about this time of year that always makes me feel a bit frantic even when I try to keep things on my calendar and my to-do lists to a minimum. Maybe it is the shorter days, the madness of the crowds everywhere I go, the fact that it is the end of the year and there are things left undone...I don't know, but it seems that in December I consistently want to grab a bottle of wine, the TV remote, a warm pair of jammies and head to bed until January! Never seems to happen, though!

I think I am also fighting some mental anxiety about a number of things going on with family and friends, mostly health related. As a serious control freak, I find it difficult to deal with the fact that things are going to sometimes go wrong whether I want them to or not and I can't do a darn thing about it. At the top of my anxiety inducing list at the moment is a life-long friend who I can see slipping back into the grip of depression (and potentially self-destructive behaviors) after a pretty stable year. She lives far away and even though I know I couldn't fix it if I was there it still adds to the feeling of helplessness I have about it.

But for each negative there is a positive, and the fact that my FIL came through his prostate surgery with flying colors is a true blessing! Additionally, we have been pretty healthy so far this cold season here at the Reed house and Grant is turning into a truly fabulous sleeper! And thinking about the fact that this time last year I had a puppy peeing all over my house all the time and now there hasn't been an accident (knock on wood) in months makes me do a little happy dance!

(I just realized I put a successful surgery and a housebroken dog in the same list of blessings - obviously one is a little bit bigger of a deal than the other but I'm thankful for all I can get!)

So I suppose that simply putting one foot in front of the other will get me through it all - good and bad, positive and negative, easy and difficult. And I am so thankful for every day that I have my family and my health and there is no better time to remember that than during this month when we celebrate the true meaning of Christmas...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Back to normal...

I guess it is time to settle back into the routine after a week of holiday fun! We had a nice Thanksgiving with Aaron's parents (although the fact that we forgot to set up a place to kennel the dog cut the trip a little shorter than we would have liked!). We had a great weekend, too...some friends and their two kids were here for a couple of days. I got a lot of Christmas shopping done (I love online shopping!) and we got our first snow of the season, so it is feeling a lot like the holiday season. Now if I can convince myself to get the Christmas decorations up...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I just can't stop myself!

Why is it that I just can't seem to drag myself to bed before 1 o'clock in the morning? Once the kids get to bed I am ready to waste hours of my life on the computer and in front of the television. And by the time I catch up on blogs, check facebook and watch my DVR'd shows it it the wee hours of the morning. And I am not one who does well on just a few hours of why can't I stop already?!?!?! I guess it is only 10:20 - there is still hope for tonight. After I read blogs and catch up on Facebook and watch my shows, of course! Guess I'll never learn!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trip to Mema's

I am finally posting some pictures from our trip to see Mema in October...

Mema and Grant

Grant and I "attached"!

It's tough being Bryn


Grant and Bonnie

"What is this, anyway?"


Friday, November 14, 2008

Not happening

Bryn is lobbying for another dog. And as mean as it may be, I don't think that will be happening! Two cats, a dog and a fish are plenty at this point. We did tell her if she helps with the pets, does her chores and is responsible for an entire year, we can revisit the idea NEXT Christmas. Somehow I think we are probably safe on that one. Of course as soon as I said it, I remembered the "staying up all night" debacle when I told her she could (believing she would fall asleep around midnight like she always had before) and we ended up watching the sunrise together on the back porch. I may be asking for dog breed suggestions this time next year!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It is a crazy busy week here...I have something going on every night this week and through the weekend. Keeps me out of too much trouble I guess.

I did have to laugh tonight at Bryn. When I got home she was doing her homework - answering some questions about a story she read. One of the questions asked what someone meant when she said she was going to give a girl a piece of her mind. Bryn said she guessed it meant that the girl wasn't very smart. That's my literal child for you figuring people give away mind pieces to people that need some additional brains!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekend update

Pretty sad that I can't even remember what I did last night so I suppose I can't give a full weekend update unless I go look at the calendar or ask my husband! I did go to volunteer in Bryn's classroom - I am going to go in every Friday to man the "treasure box" (the kids get coins and green dots for good behavior that they get to cash in for prizes at the end of the week). And I remember taking Bryn to ballet so I suppose I didn't lose the whole day to the black hole that is my mind these days!

I do know that today was semi-busy with a run to Lawrence to do some Christmas shopping and pick up some stuff to decorate a small Christmas tree to donate to the library's Christmas tree auction. Bryn and I are making a "Fancy Nancy" tree (a character of children's book fame who likes to dress up and be fancy) so we bought a bunch of sparkly pink and silver decorations. And Aaron dropped the 4 million pounds of glass recyclables of at the recycling center. But then we got to go have Mexican food for lunch and go to the bookstore which was quite fun. Follow that up with a nice afternoon nap, a nutritious dinner of pizza, wings and apple pie and it has been a pretty good day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Normal stuff

Just another day here at the Reed house...

I emptied the dishwasher for what seems like the millionth time already this month (I guess I should just remind myself to be thankful that I have the dishwasher instead of doing all of my dishes by hand).

I watched grant make soupy mash out of cheerios and juice from his sippy cup - at least it kept him entertained while I emptied the dishwasher!

I used every ounce of restraint I have to keep from being sarcastic with my online students who want to know if they can get a good grade in the class when they have completed one lab out of 4 and 1 test out of 8...

Grant and I took a nice long nap.

Bryn has her last soccer game tonight. It may be the last we see of her as the wind is blowing so hard it may pick her up and carry her away. Possibly to OZ since we are in Kansas.

Grant has been doing a lot better with his sleeping, but we are still working through a rough patch or two every night. I am getting about 4-5 consecutive hours before a baby or a cat wakes me up, though. Add in naps and I am feeling better!

I am trying to do my part to help a struggling economy by getting some Christmas gifts purchased - I always think I have tons of time left and then it sneaks up on me.

I made a big cup of hot tea and sat on the couch like a bum while I watched my soap opera (of course that only lasted for about 15 minutes until Grant woke up from a nap, but it was still nice!).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I guess it's official...

I sure hope Obama is all that and a bag of chips...

Monday, November 3, 2008


A cat...

and a rat!

enough already!

I give up

My two guys!

All ears!

Here are a few mouse ear pictures from our Disney trip...I didn't take many because I had my own personal photographer there with me (thanks Cheryl!). When I get her pictures I will post some more.

With Grandma and Grandpa

With Grandpa and Nana

Two cute kids!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Reading Challenge

I got so excited about finishing Annie's reading challenge for this year I had to go check out the What's in a Name 2 challenge for next year. Which got me so excited that I then spent an hour compiling my new list (I wasn't very good at sticking to my list last year so I listed a couple of options for some categories in case I change my mind):

Book with a profession in the title:

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Book with a time of day in the title:

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Book with a relative in the title:

The Favoured Child by Philippa Gregory
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman (also an option for profession title)

Book with a body part in the title:

An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon (this one is supposed to be published next fall...)

Book with a building in the title:

Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

Book with a medical condition in the title:

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

What's in a Name Challenge Book Review - On Chesil Beach

I finished my last book in Annie's What's in a Name Challenge a while ago but never did get my review posted and linked up. So here it goes...

For the book with a place in the title I read "On Chesil Beach" by Ian McEwan. This is the only book I have read by this author, but after watching "Atonement" it seems to me that there is a common theme between these two books. A single moment in time, a lone decision, made by one person changes the course of lives forever.

This book is set in the 50s and introduces us to Florence and Edward as they eat dinner in their hotel on Chesil Beach on their wedding night. Edward is eagerly anticipating the wedding night "festivities" while Florence is filled with dread. While it is never clear exactly why Florence has so many issues, it is implied that she was abused by her father and has been left with a serious repulsion for sex. Although she loves Edward, the wedding night is a disaster. I won't give away the ending, but suffice it to say that McEwan creates a story fraught with humanity that is both tragic and beautifully realistic.

This is a relatively short book and a pretty easy read, but definitely not a feel good story. I wouldn't recommend it if the shorter fall days are making you feel a little blue. Although I would recommend it - it is well written and thought provoking.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We're back!

And we had a great time at Disney World! The weather was great and we ran around like crazy people, but we had a lot of fun. And best of all, Bryn had a super time! Pictures to follow soon...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Long time, no blog

My husband informed me that I haven't blogged in a really long time so I figured I'd better go ahead and post even though I have very little news and no new pictures to post!

The kids and I spent some time in Memphis and got to see lots of family and meet my new niece. We got some great cousin pictures but I haven't gotten them on the computer yet. Mema looks good and although we wore her out we had a good time!

We went and saw the Lion King musical last weekend and it was great. And Grant refused to sleep for the babysitter - he decided screaming was much more fun.

We are leaving for Disney World on Sunday...I am trying to pack and get organized. the house currently looks like a war zone...there is stuff everywhere. But I guess I better get my act together because I suspect the plane will leave without us if I do manage to get us and our stuff to the airport!

Just trying to stay sane in the midst of travelling, horrible allergies, field trips, soccer, ballet, teaching and too little sleep. And blog withdrawal as I haven't been reading any either....sigh. Maybe someday I'll get it all done.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My baby is growing!

Grant had his 6 month check up today...

He weighs 17 lbs 2 oz and is 26 inches tall. He is still under the 50th percentile for weight which is really hard to believe if you see the size of his thighs!

We will see an ENT doc next week to find out whether or not we need to get his little tongue clipped (it is attached way up front and he can't stick it out past his lower lip). I just hope they won't have to put him under general anesthesia to do it if it needs to be done.

Bryn, Grant and I are headed to Memphis on Friday to see Mema and as an added bonus I will get to meet my new niece and see lots of other family, too!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I guess I might as well...

catch up a little on my blogging as long as I am awake anyway. I am really ready for the day that Grant decides sleeping is a better idea than crying. Maybe when he is a teenager!?!?

Mom and John were in town this weekend to visit. John and Aaron headed to the NASCAR races and had a good time. Mom and the kids and I went to pick apples. It was a lot of fun until we got home and realized something had to be done with all of those apples! So we put together 11 apple pies, 2 apple cakes, 2 loaves of apple bread and I still have 4 gallon bags of chopped apples in the freezer. But we learned a valuable lesson for next year - some of the big, juicy apples can stay on the tree!

I am still woefully behind on just about everything...class, house cleaning, blogging and blog reading, birthday and thank you cards and gifts. I don't see myself digging out of the pile of stuff on my to do list anytime soon, either!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just Chillin'

We have been chillin' out here...

Friday, September 19, 2008

This and that...

It has been pretty mellow around here for the past few days.

Grant is doing a lot better at night, but I am still staying up until all hours doing stuff (now I have no one to blame but myself!)

Today is Grandparents Day at school and my in laws are coming up to go to that. Should be fun for all involved.

I am going out with the girls tonight and looking forward to catching up with Stephanie and Monica.

Mema has started chemo and we are all praying that this will wipe out the cancer. I just keep thinking this is all a major bump in the road and she is going to be better before we know it. Some people might call it denial, but I know that it can happen because I have heard the stories. The kids and I are going out to visit in a couple of weeks and I will have the extra added bonus of meeting my new niece when I am there!

Nikki has been talking about getting a reunion planned for our 8th grade class for about 15 years now and we have started trying to locate people. I have reconnected with a bunch of people on Facebook and it has been so much fun! It has been long enough that all of the junk that goes with the growing up years has gone away and we can all just be happy to reconnect. My mom always told me that reunions after 5 or 10 or even 15 years are not really all that great - everyone is still trying to impress each other. But she said that after that life has happened (divorce, rebellious kids, lost jobs) and everyone is just happy to still be around and be able to get together. I guess the 21 years that have passed have been enough to let all the baggage melt away!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hair ripping good times

I seriously think I need a stiff drink (or 40)...

Why is it that college age students think they can disrespect an instructor? Why do think arguing is going to make me change a grade when they have CLEARLY not followed directions and/or failed to do what was asked of them? Why are my tax dollars paying for some students to receive grants to go to school when they obviously do not want to make an effort to learn? And why do I continue to let it get to me when it is clearly just one of those parts of my job that isn't going to change no matter how much I want it to?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rain, rain, go away

It has been raining for 3 days. And it is sure to rain more when Ike makes its way up here. Now I have nothing against rain, but this seems a bit extreme. We have a little lake in the front yard. The new bushes in the flower bed are holding swimming lessons for each other. Bryn's ballet class was held in the basement because there was a tornado warning during class. Our sump pump is working its little electric heart out. The dog is one big wet, smelly furball. Such is life in Kansas, I suppose.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering and praying

I am sure I am not the only one who feels the emotion of this day...I remember I saw the first plane crash into the tower right before I walked out the door for work but thought it was just a horrible accident. I was actually having a sonogram at the doctors office I worked in when we all heard the news that it wasn't an accident. I remember being thrilled that there was a little heartbeat on the screen. I remember being horrified that people could be so evil. I remember worrying for my friends from grad school that lived near the Pentagon. And mostly I remember how everyone stopped and shared a collective grief and how so many people came together to pray. I am not one to wear my religion on my sleeve - I know I don't share my faith like I could and should. But I do know that even in the midst of tragedy and grief my God is there. And on a day like this when so many people are grieving and remembering, I am praying for peace for those touched by the tragedy of 9/11 and praying for the souls of those who would think such an act is anything but evil.

I am also praying for Mema who is still battling cancer and is not getting good news from the doctors at this point. I am praying for my step mother who has already lost her grandmother and her father to cancer and now has to worry for her mother. And I am praying that in the midst of tragedy and sadness and bad news we can all remember that God offers us all hope and strength and courage and joy - now I just have to remember to see it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The sounds of...crying

I am currently listening to Grant scream...after many nights of battling a non-sleeping baby, we are letting him cry. There is some deja vu going on here as we came to the same point when Bryn was a baby - there was absolutely nothing you could do to calm her down and get her to sleep. No amount of holding, rocking, feeding, patting, etc. would put her to sleep. I suppose I haven't tried quite as hard with Grant to exhaust all possibilities but evidence suggests a similar problem with him. Hopefully this will all be a distant memory in a week or so and we will all be sleeping peacefully through the night.

In other news, I have signed up to participate in the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk in Chicago next August. It is a 3 day 60 mile event and a couple of other girls from church have signed up, too. It should be a lot of fun and I am ready to start training - I guess Grant and I will be walking A LOT in the next year!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Some new pictures

Puppy Love

Little man

My babies!

Labor day slumber party

Bryn and I spent the night in the playhouse last night. It was a little warm out there, but we had a lot of fun playing games and reading. Even though Bryn is a great big sister she seemed to enjoy some Grant-free time and I enjoyed a full night of sleep even if the playhouse floor wasn't quite as comfy as my bed!

We also got some more planting done in the front and I have been uploading pictures all day so I can finally get them printed. Too much excitement around here for words!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Feeling older...

Another birthday?!?! How did that happen so fast? It is amazing how much less excited I am about birthdays than I used to be. I guess the bright side is that now I am old enough to run for president. I think I could do at least as good a job at it as some of the yahoos who run!

I had a nice day going to the farmers market, buying some more plants for the front flower beds, taking a long nap and going to bookclub this evening. And my wonderful husband got me a Cricut (that won't mean much to the non-scrapbookers out there) that I am so excited to use! Of course since I can't even seem to get the pictures loaded from my camera it may be a while until I have something to scrapbook (never mind the 20-some year backlog of pictures I already have printed). And we are going to have sushi for lunch tomorrow. Amazing how my idea of a great birthday has changed over the years!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just wanted to share...

I found a cool way to donate to charity by shopping...go to goodsearch and pick your charity and do some shopping at the stores that participate (which seems to be quite a few - including!)

Not so good news

Mema had a biopsy on a lump she found on her chest(more cancer)and she will have to go through another round of chemo and treatment. I would appreciate it if you would keep her and everyone else battling this horrible disease in your prayers.

And just a heads up that I will be hitting everyone up for donations to help fight cancer around the first of the year - I am planning on doing the 3 day walk (60 miles!) for breast cancer in Chicago next summer. Not only is it for a great cuase but I figure I can whip myself into shape by training for it!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Stuff and things

I am behind on blogging (as usual) and it's not looking good as far as extra time to catch up in the next week. So a quick recap of the past couple of weeks will have to suffice.

In family news, Nicole had her baby and everyone is doing well. Nicole was looking forward to being able to sleep on her stomach again...hopefully Bonnie will let her try that out before she realizes how fun it is to get up to eat a million times a night.

Mema also had her PET scan and that showed no cancer at this point - wonderful, wonderful news!

We spent the weekend in Branson with Mom and John and had a lot of fun. It was a short trip but we packed in a lot of activities - swimming, golfing, fishing, putt putt. Mom, Grant, Bryn and I went to see "Noah: The Musical". They used some live animals (which is why we went since I knew Bryn would dig that!) and it was really pretty cool. I must admit I was quite shocked by the unapologetically Christian way it was presented (which I guess shouldn't be surprising with a title like "Noah: The Musical") - even the theatre itself had a statue of Jesus outside. I am just not used to that kind of presentation in these generally politically correct and more secular times.

Fortunately it was a quick weekend trip as I found Harvey locked in our bedroom when I got home. I am so used to closing the bedroom door to keep Elmer from getting into trouble that in my haste to get out the door I locked poor Harvey in. He had no food or water for almost 48 hours but seems no worse for the wear. He went for the food first (in true 19 pound cat fashion) and doesn't seem to be dehydrated. I checked with the vet to make sure I shouldn't be worried and was told that as long as he is acting normal he should. The corner of our closet that the poor guy turned into his temporary litter box (the poor guy even tried to cover it up with some dirty clothes and a CD case) seems to be fine, too. Thank goodness for Nature's Miracle and that the corner of the carpet can easily be pulled up and cleaned!

Bryn's first day of school is tomorrow. She is very excited and I am finding it hard to believe I have a kid in first grade...time sure flies! I'll try to post a few pics tomorrow...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Changed settings...

I think I got the settings changed so anyone (Mom) can post a comment even without a Google account!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A few pictures...

A little behind of 4th of July pictures...

Bryn feeding Grant his first bites of cereal

Happy 13 pound baby!

Monday, August 4, 2008

An update

I have been waiting to blog until I had new pictures to post but I can't seem to get around to getting them into my computer, so I decided not to wait anymore.

We have had a good couple of weeks...

Girl's night out was great - it is always nice to hang out and have a few drinks sans kids!

Grant is a healthy 13 pounds 2 ounces and gaining more weight by the day. His little thighs are just huge now and he has chub on his kneecaps. A far cry from our bird-legged Bryn! Grant is also eating some cereal now and thinks it is the greatest thing ever. He also is now on a new reflux med and hardly spits up at all and the problems with feeding have all but is fabulous! Now if we can just get him sleeping for longer stretches at night he'll be the most perfect baby ever! :)

I have some fillings that need to be dentist tells me they don't last forever. Too bad as new ones sound like not a lot of fun and require money that I am sure I could spend on something much more interesting.

We have been busy with playdates, soup kitchen stuff, buying school supplies and house cleaning...some of those things obviously more entertaining than others. Bryn is scheduled to go stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a few days this week so grant and I will be hanging by ourselves during the day. We'll likely sleep a lot as the conversation tends to be kind of one sided!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Joys of Motherhood

Since Grant has been such a good baby for the past 3 months, I had forgotten what it is like to have a baby that doesn't sleep and cries a lot. Fortunately for me Grant is reminding me of the joys of that particular aspect of motherhood. For the past few nights he has been waking up every couple of hours and refuses to go to sleep without being walked around. Not fun. Bryn was never a good sleeper but since this is a new development for Grant I don't know what to do with him. And we all just end up tired and grumpy...sigh. I know this won't last forever and he still is a pretty good baby overall, but he shouldn't have gotten us all spoiled in the beginning, darn it!

We had a nice weekend...Aaron's parents came in town and watched the kids for us while we went out to dinner on Friday for our anniversary. And then went to Walmart to buy a shovel afterwards. We know how to have fun!

We also got some more planting done in the is going to be fabulous when it is done. We just have to get it there!

I got all of my grades turned in for class so the summer semester is officially over. Thank goodness!

Excitement coming up this week:
Girl's night out
dentist appointment for me
Grant's 4 month pediatrician appointment

Are you jealous?!?!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Happy 9th Anniversary, honey!

I love you!

Looking forward to a lot more years together!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The fun never ends

I am STILL dealing with my spring online class...I have a student that failed that claims he did the work and I didn't give him credit for it. Of course it is the course that I had the problems with so I don't have the complete record and will have to hash it out with tech support...sigh. Funny thing is, his was the only grade I was sure of and didn't need to recover the class records for...I knew he failed!

The kids and I survived our cross country trek...we had a great time in Denver and at the shower. It was fun to see everyone and Nicole got a lot of good stuff for baby Bonnie! The only bummer is that I managed to leave Bryn's life vest at the hotel we stayed at along the way and they of course didn't find it. Funny how it was able to vanish into thin air...a trick I hadn't seen it do before.

Bryn is in Animal camp this week at the Arts Center. Today they were superhero endangered species and they all had on masks and paper capes when we picked them up. Too cute.

It is way late so I have to go to bed but will hopefully get caught up soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Post 4th post!

We had a busy July 4th holiday...

We had parties to go to on the 3rd and the 4th and got our fill of fireworks at both. Bryn really got into them this year and even convinced Aaron to go buy some! The party on the 4th was a block party so we got to hang out with some of our neighbors and get to know them a little better.

Aaron's parents came in the night of the 4th and we put them to work bright and early the next morning. The time has finally come for us to get our landscaping in front done and they were the lucky recruits for the project. I think there was a record set for the number of showers taken in our house this weekend since it was a hot and dirty couple of days! But we got a lot of work done...I never thought I would think an empty flower bed full of dirt looked so great, but after all the hard work it took to dig it out, till it up and edge it, we thought it was fantastic! We did get a few plants in but still have a long way to go. One of the flower beds in front is 25 X 15 feet (that one was here when we moved in so I am not responsible for the crazy huge size of it!). The project will continue over the next couple of weeks and I will definitely post before and after pictures when we are done!

Bryn, Grant and I are headed out to Denver on Wednesday for Nicole's baby occurred to me yesterday that I may need to be panicking a bit about planning. Fortunately Cheryl isn't panicking either and we decided we will have time to work on the menu and other stuff once we get there.

Off to bed...I am behind on my sleep and don't see a way to get a whole lot over the next week or so - I better get some now!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Here I am!

So I am still not totally caught up, but I am forging ahead and I am just going to start where I am and go forward. I figure there is probably nothing that is going to change the course of world history in my to do pile so it might as well stay where it is.

They are FINALLY almost done working on our street. It has been a long and painful process and there is no telling when they will put our mailboxes back up (it will be so disappointing not to have to pick it up at the post office - ha!).

The new pool opened today and we actually went for an hour or so. Bryn swam and tried out the waterslides while Grant and I sat in the shade. I dont' know how oten we'll be there since I am such a lover of public pools - I guess it will be as often as Bryn can wear me down to take her!

And now for some pictures...

Grammy and Grant

Bryn, Mema and Grant

Bryn and Nikki

I'm 3 months old!


Sleeping Dudes

The many faces of Grant

Bryn helping put together the new patio furniture (it will be so nice to have a comfy place to sit in the stifling heat - if you have to be hot you might as well have a comfortable chair!)

Some crafty stuff for Nicole's baby shower in a couple of weeks

That's all for now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I am coming up for air long enough to post and say I am still around...I am not reading any blogs, but I am still here!

VBS is going well and is not too stressful. I think it is the swimming lessons every night that are pushing me over the edge.

Aaron is coming back in town tonight so hopefully I can get caught up on the things I am behind on once he gets back.

Hard to believe Grant is 3 months old tomorrow. I am going to try to take some pictures and post a few...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Can't catch up

I just can't seem to get my act together and catch up on things. And Aaron is leaving town on Saturday for 5 days - I think I am going to be in this eternal state of being so far behind I can't see straight for a while.

We did have a nice cross-country trip. It was great to see my grandparents and Mema (who is done with radiation and we are now just praying for clear scans for the next several months and beyond) and I was able to catch up with some old grade school and high school friends while we were in Memphis. It is always fun to hang out with those people who really "remember you when..." and talk about old times (even if it does bore the spouses to tears!).

Bryn had a great time in Idaho with Nana and Grandpa. After a week of swimming, horseback riding, camping, going to the park, playing the Wii and a bunch of other fun stuff she is pretty bored around here. We are not nearly as entertaining!

Bryn is going to VBS this week and has started swimming lessons. Next week is VBS at our church (I got roped into helping with science - God help me!). Grant is getting another cold and this time he has a lot of chest congestion and a cough to go with it. and we finally have a plan to get the front flower bed filled with something besides weeds- now I just have to find the time to get it done! Whew!

Jeremiah (my half brother) just called to say his wife Mesha is pregnant. There is a cousin explosion going on in the family right now - pretty cool! There will be 3 babies born within a year of each other...crazy!

Off to try to catch up on laundry, housecleaning and the mail pile that is about as high as an elephant's eye...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We all made it back home safe and I just have to play catch up after being gone for 2 weeks!

More later...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Still on the road

Mom, Grant and I are back in Denver and will pick Bryn up at the airport tomorrow. Then we are headed to Kansas and are off to Memphis on Tuesday. Whew! I am behind on just about everything including blog posting and reading...I'll be doing a lot of catch up next week!

I did get my grades turned in (finally!) - my class was recovered through May 11th so only the last exam was missing. I gave everyone a 100% on it and didn't seem to get any complaints! I learned a valuable more working at night when sleep deprived without backing up my info in multiple places!

I am off to get some rest...there are lots of hours of driving ahead...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Never a dull moment...

Mom, Grant and I made it safely to Casper and Bryn is enjoying Idaho but we had some adventures along the way!

We had an interesting beginning of the trip. Grants baptism on Sunday was great and Jim made it through without crying like a schoolgirl (as Aaron would say). We got on the road around 2:45 and were doing well until we got caught up in the the north end of a really bad storm somewhere east of Hays, Kansas. There were ominous dark clouds, pouring rain, a little bit of hail, tornadoes in neighboring counties and warnings from the radio stations to get off of I-70. Of course there were no exits for miles and when we finally got to a gas station we got to hang out with about 40 of our new best friends to wait out the storm. Fun stuff. Thank goodness the worst of it stayed to the south and after pulling Aaron and John off of the golf course to check the weather and help us figure out whether we could continue on toward Denver we kept on driving. And then around 11 pm both Grant and Bryn started crying. It's always fun to be in a car with screaming kids.

The next debacle came in the form of me forgetting the medical release I had so responsibly printed, filled out and gotten notarized to send with Bryn. So I dragged Mom, Grant, Bryn, Cheryl and Nicole (who surprised us at the airport to meet us for lunch) around the airport to find a notary to make official the letter I wrote up in the back of some printed Mapquest directions. I guess it worked in the end.

We are having a good time in Casper (Grant has been amazingly good) and Bryn is living it up in Boise - she had already been to the park, McDonald's, horseback riding and talked Grandpa and Nana into a game of go fish within the first 24 hours of arriving!

The last of the good news is that the grades and coursework for my class has been restored through the 11th of April and the rest should be back tomorrow - hallelujah! It sounds like the entire server will have to be taken down to get the rest, but tech support has promised not to tell anyone it is my fault that they can't access stuff for a while! I am relieved as I think I have already perturbed enough people in this process!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Too cute for words (I think so anyway!)

Future class of 2020 grad!

Quick update

It has been a crazy busy week and is not going to slow down anytime soon as Grant is getting baptized tomorrow (by his Grandpa - pretty cool, huh?) and then my mom, Bryn, Grant and I are leaving to drive to Denver where we will drop Bryn off at the airport so she can meet up with Nana and spend a week in Idaho. The rest of us will head up to Casper to see my grandparents and pick Bryn up in Denver on the way back home.

Highlights from this week included:

*Bryn graduating from kindergarten

*Grants two month check up - he weighs ten pounds!

*going to the rodeo last night

*Aaron and I going to upgrade our cell phones and both ending up with I can get online on my phone!

*getting a whole pile of books from the library to read

*getting our tickets in the mail for Mickey's Halloween Party and swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove for our October Disney trip

*getting my paycheck in the mail even though I STILL don't have grades for my class

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Book Review - What's in a Name challenge

I have finished my book for the First name category for this challenge and I am still kind of on the fence about the book.

My choice was The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. It is the story of a boy from the Dominican Republic who doesn't quite fit in - a "nerd". I felt that this book was going over my head and I was missing things (probably due to the fact that there was quite a bit of Spanish slang that I didn't take the time to look up and find out what they were talking about). That being said, I loved the writing style of this author. The book was kind of crass in parts but written as if the author was having a conversation and with a dry sense of humor. The character development was great and I actually felt as if I could relate to the entire family and what it means to be from the Dominican Republic. Also included were quite a few footnotes about DR history - this was fascinating to me.

Without giving away the ending of the book (although the title gives an idea of what is coming) I will say this book is about human struggles, both self-imposed and those brought into the characters lives from outside forces.

All in all, I did enjoy the book - it was just a bit more intellectual (and a bit more intense) than the Janet Evanovich I have been reading lately. Maybe it was sleep deprivation (blame it on the 2 month old) or maybe it was just over my head.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy day

It is shaping up to be a great day.

The files for my class can be recovered. It may take a couple of days because the main tech support guy is at a conference, but it is possible to get it all back. That is what I have been told anyway - I'll feel better once I can see all the grades again!

My doctor's office called and this time my Pap came back normal. Hooray! I'll have to go back in six months to get checked again, but so far those nasty cells seem to be gone.

Grant and Elmer and I took a walk this morning in the lovely weather. It is somewhere in the 70's and feels just perfect out. It is so nice to finally have some decent weather, although it is getting hot in the afternoons. It looks like we skipped right over spring and are headed quickly for summer.

Now if I can just get a nap in the day will be just about perfect!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I just managed to delete all of my students grades and exams from one of my online classes before I got the final grades done...I am hoping the adrenaline rush I have from panicking doesn't kill me before I have a chance to find out if I have done irreparable damage.

It has been a pretty quiet weekend so far. Girl's night out was cancelled last night and today we all went to Bryn's last soccer game, took a nap and washed the dog. And then I deleted my student's work - I had to throw a little extra excitement in there.

Grant has gone up a size in clothes - he is now in 3 month sizes. Crazy...I can't believe how fast these 7 weeks have gone.

I am off to bed - hopefully I won't have too many nightmares about computers and grades.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pictures of my babies

So here are the promised pictures...

This picture is from last month, but I had to post it anyway since I just love it!

Grant and his great-grandmother

Bryn up a tree!

Grant - 7 weeks old