Sunday, December 5, 2010

Home sweet home

I just got back from a quick trip to Memphis. It was wonderful to get back home to my cute little family and the sweet little Grantisms... Grant put his head on my chest and looked at me and said " Your tummy is growling. You so hungry. You need to eat cheese."

Gotta love how he looks out for his Mommy! :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

sacrifice

Between Veteran's Day, a book I am reading called the Power of Half (a family gives up half of their wealth to give it to others) and the "giving" season of Christmas upon us, the subject of sacrifice has been popping up in my life repeatedly for the last week or so. So I will do what I do when I need to empty my brain to clear space for the important things like keeping the family calendar up to date and making sure the kids are fed - I will blog.

The sacrifices of the members of the military are obvious. I have great respect for all they do and all they risk. I obviously didn't ever join the military, but that is something I can conceive of having done if my life had been different. But I didn't, and I know I can't even begin to understand how it feels to dedicate your life to preserving the well-being of an entire nation, knowing that you are putting yourself in harm's way.

But to me there is something very emotionally different about sacrificing yourself and sacrificing someone you love.

I have never read the Bible from beginning to end. I get bored right around the begats and give it up. Plus the Old Testament is full of really depressing stories - the warm fuzzy of Jesus is definitely missing and with all the teeth gnashing and punishment I tend to move on to happier books. Like The Very Hungry Caterpillar or Spot Goes to the Circus.

Anyway...if I ever were to actually make it past Chapter 11 in the book of Genesis, I would be able to read the the story of Abraham and Isaac again. Every time this particular story comes up in a Bible study or a sermon or Sunday school, I freak out. What are the chances that I am marching my kid up a mountain, getting a fire going and tying my kid to the altar to sacrifice him? And when little Johnny says "where is the lamb for the sacrifice?", what are the chances that I am going to say "don't worry, little Johnny. God will be providing that shortly. In the meantime, hop up here on this pile of sticks and hang out while I light them on fire." I can tell you the chances - ZERO! Now the reason I am so disturbed by this is because I realize this makes me not only unwilling to sacrifice something I love, but I am also pretty sure I would disobey a direct order from God. I like to think I would be obedient if God were to appear before me and issue a direct command, but I certainly can't say with any conviction that I would gather my kid and my fire and head out the door.

As if the two above scenarios aren't enough to make me tremble, I had to go and read a book that contains a story about Zell Kravinsky. This man took the majority of his $45 MILLION dollar worth (that HE earned through real estate sales) and donated them to various causes. Then he donated a kidney to A RANDOM STRANGER just because so many people are waiting for kidney transplants. His wife and kids evidently think he is a little off his rocker and I can't say I disagree with them. But the real kicker is this...this man believes so thoroughly in the fact that all people are truly of equal value that when asked by NY TIMES magazine if he would allow his child to die if it would enable a thousand children to live, he said yes.

HOLY SHIT!

Just in case you missed it the first time, when asked if he would allow his child to die if it would enable a thousand children to live, Kravinsky said yes.

Indeed, he has said he would permit his child to die even if this enabled only two other children to live.

And I have to say that I believe that a guy who gives up the vast majority of his wealth and a kidney might just actually mean it.

This got me to thinking...what is my answer to that question? Even if you don't have kids, you could easily replace "child" with "Mom", "spouse" or "dear friend". How many of us are really willing to give up even one thing we love even if it means helping a whole lots of other people?

Kind of makes the measly donations I make feel pathetic when I think about what it would really mean to sacrifice. There is a big difference between the way I give (resulting in a feel-good moment for me with the added bonus of making someone elses life a little easier) and giving up a REAL piece of me, emotionally or physically.

Gotta go. There are calendars to update and kids to feed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nerd Shirt


I got this for Aaron when the kids and I visited the California Academy of Sciences (waaaaaaaay cool place to visit BTW). He deemed it a shirt for "nerd events". Since he is wearing it tonight, I thinking that makes hanging at home a "nerd event". Fine with me - I am comfortable with our nerdiness!

Everyday stuff

I am stewing over a political post at the moment, but decided it might be a good time to throw in a "Fun in the Life of the Reeds" post in the meantime.

Mom and John were up for race weekend and we had a great time, as usual. The most exciting thing to me was our new headsets - we can talk during the race through the headsets. A real necessity for someone like me who can only be silent for more than 5 minutes if I am sleeping.




October saw the end of our pool construction - a welcome relief to all involved. We got to swim a handful of times before the heater (really our bank account) just couldn't get the water warm enough in the cool weather. We are looking forward to enjoying it in the spring when all of the trials of the build are behind us!


I was part of my friend Barb's 40th birthday celebration we stayed in KC for the weekend and had a great time doing "girl" stuff - manis, pedis, shopping, going out. A good time was had by all!




Grant, Bryn and I went to San Francisco to visit the newest family member - baby Zeke! We got to see and stay with aunts and uncles and cousins and had a wonderful time. Dad and Cheryl met us there and we had a great time. Grant was not a fan of flying - when we got on the plane he screamed. I later deduced from his comments that he was scared the plane was going to fall out of the sky, but promises of sea lions and fish got us through the two legs of the trip on the way out there.



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I probably would be better off...

just staying off of Facebook. Why? Because I am way too easily aggravated. A friend posted that he had been called a white devil by a homeless guy outside the coffee shop and I shared a story about I another friend I know that got cussed out by a homeless guy for buying him a sandwich that he didn't like. And another person responded "Would you eat potatoes if you didn't like them? Just asking." And my answer is no. But I also wouldn't cuss out the person who gave them to me when I was hungry. Just saying.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Playing by the rules

I am kind of a sucker for rules. It likely has something to do with the fact that I am kind of obsessive and chaos freaks me out. When I am surrounded by chaos, my adrenaline spikes, my heart rate skyrockets and I start to sweat buckets. Not a pretty sight. So for the most part, I believe in rules. I believe that if they are going to be made and/or written down, they should be followed. Don't even get me started on the drop off line at school. Seriously people - are your kids going to melt in the sunlight if you pull up to the front of the sidewalk like we have been instructed a million times to do? Do they really have to be let out under the awning causing only two other cars to be able to let their kids out behind you? Or carry-on bags on airplanes - is it really necessary to bring Fido and his doggy bed plus your obviously oversized carry-on bag when the rest of us have followed the instruction to bring only one bag? No really, I don't mind wearing my purse as a hat for the entire flight because there aren't two square inches of space anywhere else on the plane left to put it. But I digress...

As usual, a situation (hypothetical, of course) with a student has caused me to think about the way I view rules. And about the way students view rules. My class rules in particular. Let me post the two sections of "rules" regarding my late work policy:

It is my personal policy that no late work is ever accepted for any reason. Due dates are clearly posted on the calendar at the beginning of the semester and you can work ahead to avoid any problems that may arise or prevent you from getting your work done in a timely manner. Allow yourself more time than you think you need to complete classwork. This policy is non-negotiable, and if you think it is going to create a problem, you may want to find another section of this course to take.

The calendar will provide the structural outline for this course. It is really important that you work on the class every day and make sure you adhere to the deadlines on the calendar. Discussions postings will only receive full credit if they are posted by midnight on the due date listed on the calendar. Tests will close at midnight on the deadline day. Failure to take the test before the deadline will result in a grade of zero. Do not wait until the last minute to take the exams - the fact that you waited until 10 pm to take the test only to find out your computer is not working is not an excuse to miss the exam deadline.

I have never really thought that these statements were unclear or ambiguous. Not doing the work results in a grade of zero. I don't care if you have gangrene or Ebola or if your grandmother died of prostate cancer (you think I kid? My aunt had a student use this particular gem of an excuse). It may seem harsh, it may seem mean, it may not even be fair (but I do generally have a very large class curve, I allow you to work as far ahead in the course as you wish and, in moments of weakness, have been known to make an exception if you are in the military or if you notify me of a conflict way in advance).

So if a student misses an exam because he/she misread the calendar is the student likely to be able to make up the exam? No. Not even if the student is busy with kids and the spouse works a lot? No. Not even if the student is an honor student and the course is needed for nursing school and the application is already turned in? No.

Why? Because that is the rule and the student knew from day one of the course that this was the rule. Why else? Because the student assumed that the rules didn't apply in this particular case. The student never took responsibility (or apologized) for missing the exam - blame was placed on the family, then on the class rule, then on the instructor for being mean and unprofessional.

Why is it that a student would think that the rule doesn't apply to them? Why would a student go so far as to contact the dean to try to get the rule changed? Why do so many of the students I teach or talk to think that they are entitled to be the exception to any rule they choose not to follow? I think it is because no one has ever bothered to tell them no and that they are turning into a bunch indulged, entitled brats. All I can say is that if you can't take a test on time because you can't be bothered to read the class calendar correctly, how can I trust that you will bother to learn anything in nursing school before you are unleashed on sick patients? Your actions (or lack thereof) have consequences - sometimes big, sometimes small, but consequences nonetheless. Sometimes you won't get caught, but sometimes you will and you better be ready to pay the price.

I vividly remember the first time I really, truly understood that my choices and actions had consequences. I had gotten a (very) small part in a (very) small play in high school. Rehearsal was after school and I left campus to go get an after school snack or smoke a cigarette or do whatever else I was inclined to do in those days. I went back to school for rehearsal and moseyed in about 5 minutes late. The director promptly fired me and gave my part to someone else. I remember thinking that it seemed so unfair. I wasn't very late - certainly not any later than I often showed up to his class. I really wanted the part. I would never be late to a rehearsal again. I would never be late anywhere again. I couldn't lose the part because I was 5 minutes late! At that very moment, I knew that none of those arguments and no amount of pleading could change one simple fact - I knew the rules and I chose not to follow them. So I kept my mouth shut, walked out and learned a very valuable lesson.

To this day, if I get pulled over for speeding, I just grab my insurance and registration and hand it to the cop with a smile. Am I happy when I get pulled over? No. But I deserve it. I broke the rules.

Most of the time I follow the rules. Sometimes I make up my own rules to follow if I think the ones that I am supposed to follow are dumb. Sometimes I break the rules and get away with it. Sometimes I don't. But I am very, very clear on one thing - if I choose to break the rules then I better to be prepared to suffer the consequences. And if I ever forget that, please fire me from my (very small) role in the play - I obviously need a reminder that there is no one to blame but myself.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big Mouth

I have a big mouth. And lots of opinions. I often express them. Loudly. When I am with a group of close friends or with my hubby, I can gossip with the best of them and rarely hesitate to give my opinion (solicited or not) on any given subject. I don't have a bad temper, but I am easily riled up. I stick my foot in my mouth, I talk without thinking and I never hesitate to share my thoughts on how or why someone or something acted or turned out a certain way. I often pray for the good sense to keep my mouth shut, but I must be too busy talking to hear that instruction when it comes. I think duct tape might be the only true solution.

This character trait of mine has some real downsides. I have spent many hours agonizing over the idea or knowledge that I did or could have hurt someone's feelings or, even worse, been wrong about something I said (I HATE being wrong). I have alienated people. I have said some down right stupid things.

That being said, there are a few advantages to being a big mouth. I loudly defend my friends and family, I advocate for my kids and I save people the time of trying to figure out whether they want to get to know me because I rarely stand on the fence about much of anything (although I can usually see both sides of the argument, I generally jump down one way or the other).

There are a couple of things I try to be careful of. I do not talk about things that people I respect (and most of the time even those I don't respect) have asked me not to repeat. And I DO NOT flat out make up false information about people.

So now that I have disclaimed, I plan to call the kettle black.

This little town that I live and love has quite the grapevine of information. I have heard through this grapevine that I should think about getting a breast reduction, that I am a crazy atheist and my latest and most favorite - how much my pool cost (despite the fact that I think only my husband, the pool guy and an other nameless source and I know for sure). Evidently we got a real bargain on the pool, people can see inside my head to flesh out my feelings about God and religion and my cup size is important to more females than I ever imagined even thought about it. Who knew?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that information (true and false) moves at lightning speed through this little Midwest town. I know that these things are never the result of one single person saying something - they are convoluted tales that grow over time. I guess if I am going to dish it out, I have to take it, too. I guess it is unlikely that I (or the rest of the vine is going to shut down any time soon). I guess keeping my mouth shut is always something I will struggle with and probably not something I will ever completely master. I will likely continue to say some things I shouldn't say in the heat of the moment. But I will also continue to say some really nice things, spread some really happy and useful information and try to prop up the people I know and love with words that they want or need to hear. So it's not all bad.

In the meantime, I guess I will wait for the name of the plastic surgeon I will be using to be made public. I would love to know who I plan to have do my body work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am trying to stay positive

I have been told by many people that I am a pessimist. I tend to think of myself as more of a cynic and a realist with a bent toward angry and ranting than a pessimist. I usually try to stop and think of a way out of or of "the bright side" rather than to wallow in misery or stay in a state of "doom and gloom". But why split hairs - call me whatever you want because today I am having to work really hard at not drowning myself in drink or screaming at the top of my lungs.

The pool and patio project began in June as just a little, innocent idea. I thought it would be kind of cool to have a pool and suggested maybe we try out an above ground one for a couple of years to see if we would use it, like it, etc. Aaron was not terribly gung ho on that as it would kill a big patch of yard and they are ugly besides. True statements, and after further consideration and a list of pros (I wouldn't have to go to the pee filled public pool with 87 million of my closest friends, the kids would love it, we could have nice family fun in our own backyard, it will be easy to locate our teenage children in they are hanging out in our pool) and cons (maintenance, MONEY, safety), we decided to go for it. Let the trouble begin.

Who knew it is so difficult to find a decent pool company? Being in a small-ish town without too many people to give us the name of a reputable company made it a little more difficult. But being the obsessive individual I am, I researched and called and interviewed somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen pool and landscape companies. I probably complicated matters by trying to find someone who could do the pool and the patio (with firepit and outdoor kitchen), but I figured that someone out there was capable. And with the economy supposedly being so bad, I figured they would be eager to work for us and do a good job. Hahahahahaha - what am idiot I am.

Between people not bothering to call back or show up to appointments or treat me like a complete moron because I am female and ask a lot of questions and the fact that this little project was turning into a large project with a gargantuan price tag, we just about threw in the towel a month and a half after the birth of the idea. Enter last ditch effort - call a guy who had lots of experience in pool building but a brand new company. He not only builds pools, but specializes in outdoor living spaces including patios and kitchens.

Woo hoo! The bid was reasonable, the guy was nice, the pictures looked good, I talked to 2 satisfied customers. We decided to take the plunge and hire him.

Six weeks, numerous rain delays and many checks later, I sit typing while looking out over a backyard that has about 10 square feet of grass left to go with a patio that is poured way too high (actually over the siding), has water pooling all over it (against the house despite two "fixes") and feels and looks like popcorn ceiling (I guess my idea of knockdown texture and his are two different things despite the fact that the sample looked like my version of knockdown). The fire pit is full of about 6 inches of water, the bricks are covered with patio knockdown coating. The fence is down, the yard is a huge mud pit and we have to take the dog out for walks (not fun considering he thinks he needs to go out every 10 minutes since he is used to just being able to go out back). The pool looks fine, the patio is a debacle (and probably wouldn't pass a building inspection) and my nerves are beyond frayed.

All I wanted was someone who was dependable and would do a good job. I am here every day if you need to ask questions or run something by me. I was very up front about the fact that I expect people I hire to show up when they say they will, do the job I hire them to do and communicate with me about it. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I expect it to be better than Grant and I could do during commercial breaks from the Young and the Restless.

After two botched jobs (don't even ask about our hardwood floor debacle), I am beginning to wonder if anyone out there takes pride in their work and does a good job anymore. I am beginning to think that the entitled and lazy are going to take over the world. I am beginning to think that I am not going to be able to look at the patio without spiking my blood pressure and becoming homicidal. Maybe I am a pessimist after all.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

School

School. It plays a big part in the life of the Reeds. Between Aaron teaching full time, me teaching part-time and Bryn in school, I spend a lot of time working schedules around or thinking about things related to school. And anyone who knows me knows that I am more than a little obsessed with my kids' education. I probably spend far too much time fretting about/planning/overseeing things related to Bryn's schooling. Many days I worry that I am too involved. And then I worry that I am not involved enough. But most of all, I worry that I and/or the educational system is going to fail to provide what my daughter needs to live up to her full potential.

I am not sure exactly when I lost faith in the ability of anyone (including myself as I have not chosen to homeschool) to properly educate my child. It could have started when quite a few people I knew in college who couldn't make the grades in their chosen major or who couldn't decide on a major at all settled on Elementary Ed. (Disclaimer: I realize there are many wonderful, intelligent people who major in Education and who are teachers. I know many of them. But I also know some people who majored in Education who are downright scary and I wouldn't wish them on my worst enemy's kid for an entire school year). It hasn't helped that Aaron and I have run into many completely incompetent college students who couldn't write a complete sentence, much less a thoughtful essay if their life depended on it. It really hasn't helped that we have run into even more students who don't give a rat's ass about learning anything in college and expect to earn A's and B's just because they bother to show up to class. Never mind actually doing well on those pesky tests or on actual classwork - they think they deserve a grade just because they tried and did their best (and believe me when I say that their definition of "tried hard" is far different than the one your grandparents would have given you). It does not inspire confidence in the educational system that many of these kids passed 8th grade, much less earned a high school diploma.

I know there are a million and one reasons why kids don't do well in school and not all of them can be blamed on the school or the teachers or the textbooks. I also don't think it can all be blamed on parents or lack of money or No Child Left Behind either. Frankly, I don't really care who or what is to blame - I just need to figure out how to get my child(ren) through it, around it, under it, over it - whatever!

No matter how hard I ponder and how much info I collect, I just can't seem to find the right solution for Bryn and our family. I don't think my kid is a genius, but the work they are doing in her class is not keeping her challenged. I don't even think it has so much to do with the fact that she already knows most of the things they are doing, it is just that she doesn't need 2 weeks to grasp a new concept. I realize that one teacher can't individualize a lesson plan for each student, but I do know it doesn't seem to be working for my kid. And I doubt she is the only one. I don't know how to fix it, but teaching to the middle leaves kids out on both ends of the spectrum. And throwing her in a "gifted" program for less than 2 hours a week as the solution to the problem is almost insulting.

Moving Bryn to the public school does not seem to be a good solution at this point. Their curriculum is even farther behind - not by a lot, but for us, it would just be going in the wrong direction.

Which leaves homeschooling. This would be a bad idea for us on so many levels. It would not be easy for me to do with a 2 year old at home. Bryn and I don't work terribly well together as she is argumentative and I am overly critical. She would REALLY miss her friends and the social side of school. I know she would have plenty of activities and social outlets, but being home with me all day is not he same as being at recess with 10 other little girlfriends.

Sigh. I have to figure it out. I (and Aaron, of course, but he is less obsessive than I am) have to be Bryn's advocate because no one cares about her education as much as I do. If I don't look out for her and make sure she gets the best that can be provided, no one else will. It is up to me, and I cannot fail.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Amazing news

Not for me, but for my cousin, Julie. She has been working on becoming a foster parent for a while now and after getting some things in order and spending the summer traveling, she made the call to the county on Monday to say she was ready. She will pick up a 3 day old little boy TODAY! She knew that because she is in Alameda county in California that it was likely that she would get a black, drug addicted, baby boy and it seems that is what God had planned for her. Whether it is for a day or forever, I know that little boy is one of the luckiest people on the planet - there is no one I can think of who will be a better mother or a better example Than Julie. I am beyond excited to see where this journey takes her!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A little hope...or not

Just wanted to share a response to one of the posts in my course to prove that there may be hope, after all:

This sort of approach to the issue was a viable one a century ago when human populations were not the size they are now, but in a modern setting, I cannot see how a lack of concern over these issues is a defensible position.

Here is an example of how deforestation could possibly affect you: a forest is cut down in Nigeria and desertification begins. Food and water become scarce in the region, and the populace eventually falls under the control of regional petty dictators who can easily impose their will on the starving people. This might not seem a pressing issue until you consider that this region also produces a sizable quantity of oil for the global market. Now we see a situation where American corporate interests are imperiled by regional instability brought on (at its core) by desertification caused by cutting down of forests. With the oil supplies jeopardized, the US is forced to take military action, sending troops and equipment to yet another far-flung corner of the globe and further escalating the runaway military spending which is proving so damaging to our nation's economy. Government services become less available due to the diversion of resources, causing cutbacks in highway maintenance. A snowstorm causes buckling in part of the interstate and a pothole forms along a route you typically travel. One day, you're traveling that stretch of road and hit the pothole rather than change lanes and crash into the car beside you, thus causing you to blow out a tire. You find yourself stranded on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck, needing a tire, and unavoidably delayed in whatever plans you'd had for that day.

Yes, this is taken to ridiculous personal extremes for the sake of illustration, but the point is that deforestation has broader and more far-reaching effects than the immediate local concerns. And, more to the point, those effects extend far into the future. Our great-great-great-grandparents thought their actions could never affect whole populations of animals or the climate of an entire planet. Now, long after the industrial boom of the late nineteenth century, we see that they were wrong. Do you want your descendants of a hundred and fifty years from now (if there are any) to view our actions in the same light?


And then the response:

I think you have a good point. But now that I read the article I realize how bad it has become. Despite this, it doesn't have a direct affect on me so I can't really find a way to care.

Sigh. There is a lot of work to be done here. On the bright side, only two out of about 14 were this flippant about deforestation and the environment. I guess we just need to hope that those that care or at least bother to think continue to outnumber those that don't.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Things that make you go...

are you freakin' serious?!?!

So on the heels of a massive Facebook firestorm regarding my last blog post, I find this in one of my Gen Bio class discussion forums. The students are asked to read a posted article about deforestation and then respond with whether or not they are concerned about it. And the answer is:

No, I am not personally concerned about deforestation because I do not worry about global warming, animal extinction, cutting down trees, etc. If it's going to happen then I accept it. I'm not an animal rights activist, I don't shop with recyclable bags, and I could care less if trees are cut down. I think raising cattle for food is more important than a pretty forest that might be fun to look at but what other benefit is there besides helping generate rainfall and consuming carbon dioxide? Personally I'd rather see them cut down and made into a farm, a corn field, or anything that will help generate money or food for people.

I had to shake my head and laugh - I am definitely not a tree hugger, but I generally do believe that there is a link between humans and nature and that our very survival will eventually be determined by how we conserve our resources. Anyone heard of carry capacity? Anyone? I suppose that at least the response was honest. Aaron (who has become quite frustrated with "intelligent" life lately) has decided that he, like the Professor Hubert Farnsworth on Futurama, doesn't want to live on this planet anymore.

So as I am about to be able to laugh it off as an anomaly, I read this response:

I suppose it may make me a bad person in some respect, but honestly, I just don't care about deforestation. It really doesn't effect me. I don't live in a drought-prone country, I don't especially care about animals, and I don't really mind that they're destroying plants for no reason. I know I may sound ignorant and arrogant, but the fact that there aren't rainforests in the United States and that deforestation in the United States is done to expand, I really don't mind. With the increasing world population, I think it's much more important to expand into areas that used to have trees in them than to try to cram everyone into the places we have set out for living.

OH.MY.GOD. We are doomed.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I just don't get it, or, who knew evolution could cause you to be a drug using child abuser?

I love a good debate. I enjoy hearing the "other side" and the reasons why people believe the things they do. I admire people who can debate intelligently and almost convince me (and once in a blue moon actually convince me!) to change my mind because they have valid and well-constructed arguments to present. But I have a visceral and unpleasant reaction to arguments based on fear or manipulation. Or a complete distortion of the facts. So when I received a Creation Science newsletter with the following statement in it, I just wanted to scream.

Evolution "education" is poisoning our society, beginning with our youth. Believe it: There is research that verifies this statement. Charts illustrating data collected by Educational Research Analysts show a rise in child abuse, divorce rates, illegal drug use by youth, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), unmarried couples, unwed birth rates, and violent crimes. Declines in scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) are also charted. All have happened since government began funding the teaching of evolution through textbooks in the late 1950s.

Wow! Who knew that ALL of the evils in our society are all because evolution is taught in schools. I guess I should be glad and thankful that this person was smart enough to figure that out.

Seriously? Just so you know, I am not going to be converted to your way of thinking if this is the best you can do. I am taking my computer and going to play with the people over there. You know the ones - the ones who think that maybe there is a step or two between a textbook and a life as a high school drop-out, drug using, child abusing, single mom, prostitute with 10 kids who is robbing a drug dealer at gunpoint. I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What the Reeds do for fun...

We have been busy with lots of fun stuff and I need to post all about it, but here are a few of the more everyday moments...

Grant playing with bagworms that we picked off of the bushes. They were kind of fascinating.



Saturday, July 31, 2010

Missing my girl

We had a fun time with my friend Barbara and her family this week...they stayed with us during the fair since they had cows at the fairgrounds and our house is far closer to the fairgrounds than theirs (3 vs 25 minutes!). It was a houseful of chaos and craziness and it was obviously distracting because now that they are gone, I miss my girl!

Yes, the mom that is gung ho to send her kid off into the wild blue yonder to experience all life has to offer still misses her girl! We would be leaving early tomorrow morning to go get Bryn from camp if she were in a one week session like we had originally planned. Instead we still have a week to go before we go get her. And since the email and letters haven't been flowing in our direction, I am just needing a little reassurance that I haven't scarred her for life by sending her to camp for two weeks at the tender age of 8. I guess I better start saving for her therapy just in case.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Animal Camp Round 2

Bryn is back at camp. She had another picture taken with Cherry Cola (the llama), met a hedgehog, a baby wallaby and a baby lynx on the way into camp, secured another bottom bunk in the same cabin that she was in last time, has a nice bunkmate and has 3 of the 4 counselors. And is hopefully really, really healthy!

We have a busy week coming up here at home...more meetings with pool guys and landscapers (ugh...this process has been painful and seemingly never-ending), some houseguests for a day or two, an oil change for the van and a couple of playdates (for Mom and Grant!).

Bryn passed Level 3 swimming lessons. She was pretty excited as this was try number 3. Grant was thrilled to be able to play in the toddler pool while she was taking her lessons and he even shared his toys with the other kids in the pool. Of course he still screamed bloodyn murder when it was time to get out, but I suppose I have to take what I can get!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Better

Things are looking up. Lots of fun adventures to pull me out if my funk.

On Wednesday, Aaron and the kids and I went to a dinosaur exhibit at Union Station. It started out well enough with a littel fossil digging...



Bryn happpily posed with the animatronic Triceratops and Parasauralophus



Grant, however, though the big, loud moving dinosaurs might be the scariest thing ever.



We ate dinner at Fritz's (a hamburger place where a little train delivers the food). Grant thought this was a vast improvement over the dinos.



On Friday, we shipped Bryn off to Grandma and Grandpa's house and I went out with the girls. Nice dinner and a trek over to the casinos where I managed to only lose $8.45. Not too bad for an evening of entertainment.

On Saturday, Aaron and I celebrated our 11 year anniversary. The years are flying by - it doesn't seem possible it has been 11 years already. I am truly lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful husband. I don't tell him enough how great he is. We went to eat at the Webster House and had what was possibly the best meal I have ever eaten. Shrimp and grits, salmon, gruyere mac and cheese, fried green beans...Yum. I had no idea there was a place in Kansas City with such good food. We came home and watched The Hangover - hilarious.

Looking forward to another busy week. Reality TV night with the girls, swimming lessons, meetings...guaranteed to keep us all on our toes and me too busy to be sad!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some days are like that...

I am not sure exactly what has me down, but I have been on the edge of sad for a few days. I spilled over sometime last night and am stuck now. Temporarily, I am sure, as these moods always seem to pass. But I am not gonna lie - I am in quite the funk.

It all started with catching up on Deadliest Catch. For those of you that are fans, you know what is coming. I don't know what it is about Captain Phil. Maybe the sometimes longish hair reminds me of my own dad (although I am pretty sure that Dad never crab fished and I am very sure that he doesn't cuss, drink or smoke quite as much as Captain Phil). Maybe it is the way he cusses his sons yet loves them fiercely. Maybe it is the way he lights up at a practical joke or a good bit of fun. I don't know exactly what it is, but I know when I heard that he had died, I broke down and cried like he was an old friend. Watching the shows leading up to his death and knowing what is coming for him and his family just makes me so darn sad.

Which brought to the surface the sadness that lingers for my friend Krista. Her husband's 37th birthday would have been today, but instead of being able to celebrate his birthday with him, she took her kids to their shrink so they could work on processing his death. How can that be right? It is nothing but just plain sad.

I am sure I do not even have to mention that turning on the news or picking up the newspaper is just plain depressing. Missing children, war, disease, oil in the Gulf, people arguing over politics.

Discussed with a friend tonight the death of her only daughter, which happened 3 years ago. No weddings, no grandkids, no more Mother's Day presents. Heartbreakingly sad.

Can't a girl catch a break? I know there are wonderfully lovely and happy things happening to me and around me all the time. But some days the sad things just seem to outnumber the happy.

Here's hoping for a little more sunshine and a little less rain tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Catch up

We had a nice 4th and enjoyed hanging out at the neighborhood party. The rain put a little damper on the fireworks although Bryn declared that it was the best 4th of July EVER! The kids ran around in the rain and splashed in the puddles while the adults huddled in the garage and watched!

Bryn started twilight Girl Scout camp this week. The bus picks them up at 1:30 and drops them off at 9 pm. She is having a blast.

I am battling some kind of cold/infection. Yuck. Lots of nausea and sore throat and headache. Woke up a zillion times last night either freezing cold or sweating like crazy. Hopefully it is the same thing the kids have had and it will be over as quickly for me as it was for them. I did get some good rest yesterday since Aaron was sweet enough to come home from work early - I have the best husband ever!

Bryn's behavior has continued to be stellar....no getting out of bed and virtually no whining or complaining. It is like a little slice of kid behavior heaven around here. For the time being, anyway!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hooray!

It worked! At least for now! After about 45 minutes of wailing and arguing and crying (and getting no where) after being told she was going to miss the party and have to pay for a sitter by selling something or doing chores, Bryn pulled herself together. She didn't mention it again, had a good time beating the sitter at the Great States of America game and stayed in her room/bed all night long! Hallelujah! I would love to think it will all be better from here on out and we will never have to do anything like this again, but I realize that is unlikely. But for now, I am thrilled and highly impressed with Bryn's behavior choices!

The downside of last night is that Grant proceeded to have a temperature spike and start barfing shortly after we got to the party last night (we planned on getting home early to get Bryn to bed, but not that early!). He was up a couple of times in the middle of the night (so much for enjoying the fact that Bryn wasn't waking us up!), but he seems to feel a lot better this morning. And we had some more evidence that he is growing up...he said "double u" this morning instead of "ba do do" when W was the letter of the day on Sesame Street. :(

Friday, July 2, 2010

We'll try this, I guess.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. We are about to employ some "natural consequences" (aka Love and Logic) for some ongoing behavior issues starting with Bryn and once we get her straightened out, we will be moving on to Grant. Poor kids.

I already blogged about the sleep issues we have been having. For a little over a week, we have been telling her that as long as she goes to her bedroom at 9:00 every night, she is free to do whatever she wants as long as she doesn't come out of her room and bother and/or wake us up. She has been up until at least 11:30 every night reading, playing Nintendo and doing whatever it is that 8 year old night owls do. One would think that this would make an 8 year old night owl happy enough and she would therefore leave her tired parents alone between the hours of 9 pm and 7 am. One might also think that she might realize that when she is dead tired when we drag her out of bed at 7 am that she should go to sleep earlier. Not so. And the battle continues.

Since I haven't yet figured out the consequence for not staying in bed, I am coming down hard on another behavior issue. There have been some problems with exclusion and some mean behavior when Bryn gets together with other kids (really only two sisters which makes a group of three, which any female knows is an absolute recipe for disaster!). Anyway, instead of going to their house tonight for their 4th of July party, Bryn will be staying home with a sitter and figuring out how to pay her. Since she doesn't have any money since she hasn't been doing her chores (yet another issue), she will have to sell something worth the $25 it will take to pay the sitter. I am sure you will be able to hear her screaming all the way to Pennsylvania when we tell her.

Now, I might be making it sound like I have a horrendously ill-behaved child, and that is far from the truth. In fact, she is a sweet, smart, funny kid. But she needs to become a sweet, smart, funny adult and since it is my job to make sure that happens, we are going to work on the little things before they become big things.

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I need an instruction manual

on how to raise these kids. I think someone could make a crapload of money by writing a manual and sending it out the door of the hospital with baby and mom. I mean, seriously, someone has to know how to do this. It is, however, most assuredly not me.

Bryn has been getting out of bed just about every night for the past month or so. And I am not talking the normal "I need a drink of water" or "there are monsters under my bed", but instead a 1:00 am "I am soooooo tired, but I can't sleep and I need you to help me sleep". Really? How the hell am I supposed to do that? Her answer is that she sleeps in our room and in our bed where she gets a blissful night of deep sleep and Aaron and I endure bruised shins and cracked ribs and maybe a total of 5 minutes of REM sleep. So the answer to that little suggestion from her is "ummmmmmm. No. Go back to bed." Let the misery commence.

Depending on the night, the above scenario occurs no less than three and sometimes more than 6 times. Each visit becomes a little more dramatic and somewhere around visit three, the hysteria grows so that there is wailing and crying and door slamming and, eventually, a total emotional meltdown. And that is just on my part. Actually, no matter how calm I remain, we are still generally up for 2 hours trying to get through it. Aaron will usually then throw the covers aside and, with bulging eyes, storm into her room and take the Nintendo DS or some other coveted item. 80% of the time that is the last time we see her. That night. The process starts all over the next night and after a full day of hearing her whine about not having (insert whatever item dad confiscated the night before), I am just that much happier to hear her padding down the hall at midnight.

I have tried rewards. I have tried punishments. I have tried reasoning and negotiating. I have tried crying. I have tried yelling. I REFUSE to let her sleep in our bed. I REFUSE to sleep in her bed. There is no reason we can't all have our own sleeping space. I just have to figure out how to make that happen.

I just need the instruction manual to tell me how to do it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sad, sick kid

Not looking too happy on the ride home...



She is feeling a lot better. She had no fever as of late yesterday afternoon and she is happily back to playing her DS while her brother terrorizes her. She is going to get to go back to camp for one of the two week sessions and the very nice camp director is going to credit the full amount we paid to the two week cost. So now just as long as her mom can survive TWO whole weeks of camp, Bryn is all set. Things are looking up and I am thankful for the blessing of a healthy kid and the generosity of a little camp in Missouri!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh no!

I got a call from camp yesterday morning...Bryn was in the nurse's lodge with a temp of 101 degrees and had been there since about 10:00 the night before feeling bad. As I was on the phone with the nurse discussing whether or not I should go get her, Bryn passed out and hit a railing and got a bloody nose. Needless to say, mama was in the car within 30 minutes making the 4 hour trip back to Rolla, MO to get Bryn. When I got there and went into the room she started sobbing and was just a little inferno. She was crying because she felt bad, didn't want to leave camp and wanted to go home all at the same time. Poor kid.

Her fever broke today, but she had to be fever free for 24 hours before she could go back to her cabin or participate in any activities, so she would have only had Friday and half of Saturday even I took her back. We are working on getting her back to camp this summer and I think we can make it happen, but it was just so sad...the poor kid has been looking forward to animal camp and saving her money for an entire year - not fun that this is the way it went.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bryn and Cherry Cola

Here is Bryn with the first animal she encountered at camp - a llama named Cherry Cola. Cherry Cola posed with about 200 kids and as far as I know, she didn't spit on anyone. That is a good natured animal!


I only took one other picture when we dropped her off and that one turned out blurry. Fortunately, I ordered the picture CD of all the pics that the counselors and directors take and Bryn has two disposable cameras. Hopefully someone will get capture the camp experience on film because obviously I can't be relied on to do so!

And since I actually have a pic of Grant enjoying his pool, I will post it, too. There will be no pool time today...more rain for us. I guess it at least gives me a good excuse not to leave the house!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Camp

It is hard to believe that Bryn is old enough to go to camp, but considering we dropped her off in Rolla, MO (4 hours away from home!) today I am guessing that time has come. Within the first 20 minutes of camp, she had he picture taken with a llama named Cherry Cola and got to pet a baby pygmy goat, a baby wallaby, two kittens and a dog. The dog was rescued from a shelter and Bryn spent the time form the dog to the cabin trying to convince us that she is old enough to take care of a dog and that we need another one. Ummmmm...no. We never even saw where any of the animals live...these were just what they had out milling around with the camp counselors during check in. She is going to have a blast. I am not expecting to hear much until we pick her up, though - she informed me as we were packing her stuff up that she didn't need any self addressed, stamped envelopes because she will be too busy to write. Hopefully she will at least find the time to send a short email or two. I will try to post a couple of pictures tomorrow, but I will have to figure how to get them off of the new phone first.

In other news...we are likely going to put in a pool and redo the back patio. I have been checking into (O.K....obsessing about finding) companies to do it all and it just really sucks to not know someone good right off hand to take care of it. It is just so hard to know who to trust with a project that can go so very wrong...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

So sad

I had to take a 24 hour break from our trip to Lake of The Ozarks with Mom and John this past weekend to attend Krista's husband's funeral. Not fun. I did have a nice time catching up with Nikki (she came and spent the night with me at mom's house and we stayed up for hours talking and laughing) and seeing many people that I hadn't seen for years- some I hadn't seen since high school. But the occasion for being there was definitely not part of that nice time. There were a LOT of people at the service - pilots, police officers and all the people that Lynn had touched in his all too short life. Krista and her family are hanging in there and doing better than I think I would be, but they are completely devastated. It is hard to make sense of the tragedy and even harder to think of those kids growing up without their daddy. RIP Lynn. You will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crazy few weeks and horrible news

It has been a crazy few weeks since I posted last. We took a vacation out to Jackson and Yellowstone and met Dad and Cheryl there. We stopped in Casper for lunch on our way out to see my grandparents (to my disappointment my grandfather is not going to get a rainbow colored glass eye to replace the one he had removed - just kidding Grandpa!). We stayed in the Old Faithful Lodge and mammoth Hot Springs (with no cell phone or internet service - what a lovely break!), listened to a ukelele serenade courtesy of Dad, Bryn became a Junior Ranger and a Young Scientist and we had a wonderful time exploring the mountains and looking for wildlife. We saw all of the animals on our wish list - big horn sheep, black and grizzly bears, wolves and moose. We did learn that a Yellowstone vacation may not be ideal for a 2 year old who would rather be running amok than staying on the boardwalks to avoid the geothermal features, but we still had a great time.

Bryn is in Boise until Wednesday and we will leave for Lake of the Ozarks to vacation with Mom and John for a few days on Thursday. In a few short weeks we will be taking her to "Animal Camp" where she will spend a whole week away. I am definitely feeling a little more nervous about it than she is - she can't wait to spend an entire week swimming, taking care of her animal for the week and doing "camp" stuff. Our girl is definitely growing up.

I am working on getting my online classes ready to go for the summer and catching up on laundry, my DVR'd TV shows, the to-do list and housecleaning. While on vacation, my track ball on my Blackberry crapped out and it seemed as good an excuse as any for Aaron and I to head to AT&T and trade in for a couple of new iPhones.

As all of this is going on, I got some devastating news about a high-school friend's husband. I have been alternately crying, attempting to ignore (not very adult, I know) and trying to figure out how to process the news. While browsing Facebook yesterday, I noticed a status update from Krista's sister that her brother-in-law had suffered a massive stroke. A call to Krista's parents' house confirmed that it was indeed Krista's husband who, at 36 years old, is fighting for his life. Despite the fact that Krista and I do not talk regularly I feel as if my heart is being ripped out. I cannot imagine this dear friend that I shared so many wonderful and crazy times with possibly losing her healthy, funny, caring husband. He has since suffered two additional strokes but is somehow currently defying the odds and fighting to stay with his wife and four children. It seems so trite and cliche to say that "life can change in an instant" or "live each day as if it is your last because you never know what is going to happen", but that is just about all that it seems there is to think at a time like this. There are lots of people praying very hard for this family and I just hope and pray that the miracle that Lynn needs to pull through this comes. Fortunately the family has a fabulous support system and tons of loving people around (imagine a family who has people who are working/have worked in law enforcement, the airline industry, the fire department and an extensive church family). But all of the love in the world doesn't change the awful reality that something devastating has happened. I think I'll go peek in on my baby and hug my sleeping husband while I have the gift of being able to do so.

Friday, May 7, 2010

That was fun...

There is a sign outside of Bryn's school that says "Smile! Your mom chose life" on one side and "a heartbeat starts at 3 weeks" on the other. The signage finally led to the question about what that means...Oh boy. Here we go.

I gave a very factual explanation of how sometimes women don't want to be pregnant and a doctor can stop a pregnancy by removing the baby and how in 1973 there was this court case called Roe v. Wade that made this process legal. I also explained how some people believe it is OK for a woman to do this because they feel women should have the right to choose whether to have a baby or not and how some people believe that killing an unborn baby is not OK since it is taking a life. And then I asked Bryn what she thought of that. The response...

"Well, if a husband and a wife have a baby and that baby would get really good genes, then if that baby wasn't born it wouldn't be able to pass those really good genes on to the next generation."

Hmmmmm...guess we have talked enough about genetics and evolution around our house to get that point to sink in.

The funny thing is that she took it as obvious that abortion = killing a baby despite the fact that I presented both sides. I guess the finer points of the right to choose are lost on an 8 year old. But I like the fact that she seems to be able to be a critical thinker - regardless of what she ends up believing about various things (despite my gentle nudging in one direction or another!) I am proud to have a kid who can think for herself!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

These are for Mom...

I know it has been a shamefully long time since I have posted. I am not sure what the issue is - I guess I am just finding it easier to record my thoughts in a short sentence on Facebook instead of in a long ramble on my blog. At any rate, after much agonizing, I bought some new chairs for the living room and promised Mom some pictures since she was involved in the painful process of trying to find them! Now I just have to find a new area rug...



Grant approves of the ottoman purchase.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

And now...

that my camera is all charged up, I can't find my wire to get the pics to the computer. There is some kind of conspiracy working to keep me from loading pictures to my blog...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Peace

I have quit watching anything related to news and am ignoring anything having to do with healthcare or politics. And I sure do feel a lot better!

Monday, March 22, 2010

History made...I guess.

The house passed the Healthcare Reform Bill last night and of course the nation is consumed with the subject. The Republicans are running for the hills screaming that the sky is falling and the Democrats are all smug and self-worshipping. And I have yet to hear anyone tell me (without using smoke and mirrors and some kind of math I have never heard of) how the hell this is going to be PAID FOR! Did we not learn anything from TennCare? And before you tell me about the beautiful socialized health care system in Sweden, may I point out that our population is more than 30 TIMES larger than theirs?!?! Makes it a little more challenging to regulate the system, dontcha think?

I personally think the bill was a piece of crap in the form it was passed (as if I really know what that is since I don't think there is a soul on the planet who actually knows what is in it), but that is neither here nor there. What frustrates me the most is that people in this country actually believe (and they are probably right) that the government has the power to save us or break us. When did we hand over our rights as citizens to run our own country to these dumbasses on Capitol Hill? When did we begin relying on government to take care of us from cradle to grave? One thing I am pretty sure of is that most politicians are crooked, self-serving, power-hungry morons who are only interested in keeping their fat cat jobs. Cynical much? Yes, I am. And will remain so until someone can convince me to feel otherwise. I am pretty sure the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves. God help us all.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

See what happens?

I finally was motivated to download (upload? - I never know which way is which) pictures to the computer and the damn camera battery is dead. Figures. By the time it is all charged up, I am sure the picture mood will have passed.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Looking good

I finally have gotten a little bit of decorating done and our house actually looks like someone lives here! At the end of last week I decided I couldn't take it any longer and called my friend Erin over for a decorating date! I pulled all of my "stuff" (candles, pictures, vases, etc) out of boxes and put it in a big pile and let her go to town! I still have some things to buy, some spaces to fill in and some rooms to finish, but progress has been made. Hooray!

Our St. Patrick's Day celebration around here consisted of green pancakes, green eggs, green applesauce and green milk for dinner. I didn't even drink a green beer.

The end of last week meant the Big 12 basketball tournament in KC. Aaron met his parents and brother for the games and they basketballed the nights away! KU playing KSU for the big 12 title wasn't too cool as someone was going to come back to the house unhappy. A Jayhawk victory left Bryan the happy one in the bunch, but Aaron and his parents seemed to recover quickly. After all, March Madness is far from over!

Bryn and I had a fun trip to Chicago with my friend Rhonda and her little girl. I came home with two new purses. There is something about that purse kiosk in that little mall on Michigan Avenue that sucks me in every time.

Grant is growing up far too fast and many of his cute little words are morphing into real words with correct pronunciation. "Beeps" have become sheep and "soursaurs" are now dinosaurs. He does still call Fruit Loops "shoo shoops" and his blanket is "minke" but he is definitely turning into a toddler. Ahhhhhhh, so bittersweet.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Too much to do...

as usual. Definitely a common theme in my posts - I have too much to do and too little time to do it! Actually, it is probably more of a time management issue than truly not having enough time, but why split hairs?

Bryn's party went well (i.e. she had lots of fun and Aaron and I survived!). I do think that it will be the last year for a big slumber party as we did have a little more attitude from one girl about the activities than we have had from anyone in the past. I am thinking by next year, they will all have a little more attitude and I am not sure I can handle a dozen girls with attitude at a time! That being said, Aaron and I were once again truly impressed with Bryn's group of friends. The girls are all polite and caring - there doesn't seem to be any of the clique-ishness that girls are famous for. I just hope that lasts for at least a couple more years. It is nice to have sweet girls around! They also filled 3 big boxes full of stuff for the Lawrence Humane Society (we asked them to bring things for the shelter instead of birthday gifts), so they have generous little hearts, too!

I got off to a productive start for the week. I cleaned out the playhouse, swept the back porch and picked up a yard full of petrified dog poop during the brief burst of dry, warmer weather. Grant loved going in and out of the playhouse and driving his trucks and cars around in it - I plan on spending a lot of time in the backyard with him this spring and summer so I hope that continues to be a good source of entertainment! I also got the basement picked up after the 15 girl tornado that blew through and I am hoping to work on the kids rooms today. Time to purge the closets of clothes and toys and create some space for the birthday presents that make there way into the house at this time of year!

Class has been surprisingly pleasant this semester. Unusual for any semester, but especially the spring when students seem to be less focused than in the fall. I also managed to finally get through the Quality Matters certification process for my General Biology course and I am sincerely hoping that the monetary bonus that I was told would come with that pans out. I suppose I should be happy to know I have a decent class to present to my students, but the extra cash was definitely a big motivator for me to get it done!

I am getting excited for our trip to Chicago this weekend - Bryn and I and my friend Rhonda and her daughter are heading up there for a couple of days for a girl's weekend. We are going to go to American Girl for brunch and hoping to see some of the Chicago sights - maybe the Sears (Willis) tower, the zoo, Millennium Park, a museum...whatever we do I think it will be fun!

On a sadder note, it is hard to believe it has been a year since Mema died. This is also the day that my friend Rhonda lost her first child only 6 days after he was born. So a sad day for us and other people I know and love.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Long time, no post

Wow! Time flies!

The most exciting and frightening event around here is that Bryn celebrated her 8th birthday! I just can't believe she is already 8...Where do the years go!?!? Tonight we are having her birthday party - another slumber party. It is almost 11 pm and there are currently 10 VERY wide awake girls making so much noise that the glass break alarms on the windows are being triggered. And this is after we lost one to illness (101 degree fever) and 3 others who couldn't spend the night. Should be an interesting rest of the night...

Monday, February 22, 2010

What is normal, anyway?

I was about to say things are back to normal, but I think I probably have at least to other posts with that as the title. Plus, I find myself redefining "normal" all the time so I don't think "back to normal" is really accurate anyway.

I had a really tough trip to Chicago last week. It started out very well with a night in the city with cousin Julie. We did some shopping, had dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant and had a few drinks at a nice jazz bar. But things went downhill from there. When we got to my grandparents house, we found my grandmother not feeling well and in the midst of firing there live-in caregiver who was planning to show up anytime with her some to "discuss" the situation and try to get her job back. It was all over a couple of days later, but the drama and trauma that occurred in the time between our arrival and departure was just as bad as anything cooked up by my 2 and 7 year old on any given day. It is just such a difficult situation with the rest of the family being so far away. Julie and I did enjoy spending time with our "little" cousins - we had a great time with Abbie and Molly even if we do have 20 + years on them!

I gave up snacking after dinnertime for Lent this year. I may or may not survive...time will tell!

Aaron and I went to see "Young Frankenstein" the musical on Friday. It was very funny and we were happy with our season ticket seats. What treat to have a night out with my hubby!

I have had a pretty lazy last few days. On Saturday, none of us changed out of our pajamas and since Bryn had a snow day today, I used it as an excuse to not leave the house. I think I am finally ready to get going - this recovery has taken long enough.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Made my day

I just got home from a pretty stressful trip to Chicago to see my grandparents, but it made my day to come home to my wonderful husband, my sweet girl and my little guy asking for some "yucky harms" (Lucky Charms). Life is good...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Excited

I am getting pretty darn excited about my lazy weekend that is starting tomorrow. Aaron is taking the kids and heading to Manhattan and I am going to hang out at home. I invited some girlfriends over to hang out tomorrow night and I plan on sleeping and reading and watching TV for the rest of the weekend. And the best part is that the house is clean and the laundry is almost done which means I have no work to do at all! :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Thank goodness...

I am so very relieved to have finally gotten my pictures from Memory Manager 2.0 to MM 3.0 on my computer. It was not looking good there for a couple of hours and the thought of losing 4 years worth of pictures was enough to cause quite an adrenaline rush and racing heart! So even though I somehow managed to copy all of the pictures on the original backup twice and now have 3000+ duplicate photos to delete I am just relieved to have them there at all. Now to just get them all printed so I can get to work on the scrapbooks!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not much new

I don't really have anything to post about today, so I am going to just babble away. It has been a gloriously quiet past 24 hours and I am totally enjoying it!

I have been trying to get my act together and finally get the house organized. I tackled Grant's room yesterday and got rid of (actually just put in boxes and crammed into the closet until I can find a new home for them) a bunch of toys. Most were baby toys and I could have gotten rid of a lot more, but it is a start.

In other news, there is finally progress being made on the new sink and countertop at Bridges of Hope. I have been trying to get this going since I started leading the mission committee a year ago and it has just ended up in the "old business" section of every meeting as I just couldn't manage to find the right person to be in charge (since I know nothing about plumbing or construction I couldn't tackle it myself). Measuring is happening on Thursday morning and I am just thrilled that this project is now underway. It will be wonderful to have a nice, clean workspace when we go to serve and cook and I am sure the other groups that work there will feel the same way!

I am still trying to unload the last few boxes of Girl Scout cookies the troop has left over and I am beginning to really dread having to deal with all of the money when it comes in. I volunteered to be Cookie Mom because...yeah, a good reason escapes me a the moment!

I have been working on class stuff this morning and didn't have a single moment where I was screaming through the computer at my students. I seriously doubt this is because I am making any kind of progress in my anger management as far as class goes, but it was nice anyway!

I hear grant digging in the drawer for a new video...I better go distract him with some books or something before he grows an electrical cord as a tail (remember that Shel Silverstein poem? Jimmy Jet and His TV Set, I believe it was) from watching too much TV.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Geez...

It is almost 11:00 pm and Bryn is still up working on a school project that we forgot about until I noticed (as I was taking her to bed) the big pile of stuff from her backpack from Friday with all kinds of papers in it. So here we are. Fortunately she is almost done and it has shown me that there is no way I could ever homeschool Bryn as I would be screaming and she would be in tears everyday. So I hope the school situation stays bearable because I don't think we have other options! On the bright side, we seem to have made a behavioral breakthrough and the arguing and back talking has decreased dramatically in the last few days. Oh - and Bryn has been better, too! HAHAHA!

I wore two different shoes to church today. They were both black boots and the only real difference is the shape of the heels, but I am sure someone was laughing their butt off at me. I didn't notice until I got home and was taking them off!

Had a good weekend...nice night out with Monica and Stephanie on Friday (went to dinner and went to see a friend's band) and jammie day yesterday when I decided I was too tired and lazy to accomplish anything. Went to a get together at a friend's house last night and then to bookclub today. A trip to Walmart and watching football finished out the evening. As soon as I get Bryn to bed I am going to check class and head to bed.

Just another crazy weekend at the Reed house!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Busy, busy...

I hit the ground running when we got back from our trip...meeting Tuesday night about an hour after we pulled into town, Grant's procedure on Wednesday (he is doing perfectly - no after effects at all), volunteering at Bryn's school and Walmart trip today, mission meeting tonight...and Aaron has a stomach bug and has been home and miserable! I am looking forward to a slightly quieter weekend!

Class started Tuesday and it has already been frustrating. I did get some comic relief today in the form of an email today, though...

Colleagues-

I have bad news and good news! Our temporary fix yesterday to fix the network issues we encountered did not hold up as expected. this caused a similar issue this morning that led to Email unavailability as well as sporadic service outages.

I am happy to announce that the permanent fix has been completed and the system is now fully back up at full capacity.

Information Services again apologizes for the incontinence that we know this has caused our users.


Fortunately I had some diapers on hand...hahaha!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

All Done!

I am so excited that Grant's tongue is clipped and the surgery is over! We are home and he just ate a huge lunch, threw a fit and demanded to watch a movie. So things are totally normal!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A few pictures

Chillin' out.
It cracked me up that the jammies blended right in with the chair.

Harley dude
He would admittedly look a little tougher without the pacifier and sippy cup!

Trying out the new DS

This should be interesting

This evening I am picking up 100 cases of Girl Scout cookies that will then be put in my dining room, sorted and then picked up by the moms and girls. And then I have to get ALL of the money back for all of those cookies. It should be interesting...

The weekend ended well. We finally got a wireless printer so we can finally get rid of the desktop downstairs. It is kind of weird to think we will be all laptopped and wireless - there is something disconcerting about it. Kind of like giving up the landline and going to cellular only. Still haven't managed to make myself do that!

My new goal is to be in bed with lights out by midnight every night. This perpetually tired thing is really getting to me and I figure it is only a matter of time before my body completely rebels and makes me sleep for days! I just so love the quiet hours of the night and hate to waste them on sleep!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Waiting

I am anxiously awaiting Bryn's arrival home from her Girl Scout overnight to Great Wolf Lodge. I am betting I will have one wound up and overly tired kid on my hands. I am just so thankful I didn't have to chaperone...I knew that wouldn't be the gig for me!

Aaron and I had a nice quiet night (after Grant went to bed - he has been a major crank for the past week or so). We watched "Blood Diamond" which was very good and then went our separate ways - he played football on the playstation and I played Scrabble on the computer. Ahhhhh...the Friday night excitement! Actually, it was lovely and relaxing. And my wonderful husband let me sleep in this morning. Life is good!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adventures

We had a fun day hanging out at home...the snow started in earnest at around 11:30 or so and there are probably another 3 inches or so out there right now. Crazy that we are getting so much snow this year!

Barbara and the kids came over to play this morning and the girls were outside for a long time filling the window well up with snow, throwing snowballs at Elmer and trying to build snow forts. The boys stayed inside and Grant freaked out every time William touched any of his toys. That part wasn't so fun, but Barbara and I managed to keep both of them alive, have some coffee and chat.

I was reminded that my minivan is not a snow vehicle when I got stuck at the bottom of a hill while going to a friends house for a game of Scrabble this evening. I did manage to reverse it into a parallel parked position and Aaron is going to take me back in the morning so we can attempt to drag it up the hill with his truck. We will see how that goes!

There is no school tomorrow and I am betting there won't be any school on Friday either. I am hoping the Girl Scout sleepover happens on Friday night or Bryn will be pretty disappointed.

No more news...just enjoying the lazy snow days!

Snow day?!?!

So just when Bryn goes back to school, there is another snow day! I am actually sort of confused about it...school was canceled last night and there is no new snow. It is predicted that there will be some today, but not until the afternoon. And all of the schools in the area are closed...maybe they know something I don't about the impending blizzard of 2010!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back to School

Bryn headed back to school this morning. I had to drag her out of bed this morning at 7:30 - strange how she was up and ready to go by 7:00 or before for the whole break but was soooooooo tired today!

So I guess it is back to "normal" for all of us. I have vowed to schedule less to do this year. I really enjoyed the downtime of the last couple of weeks when the calendar was empty so I am going to attempt to keep the activities to a minimum. That being said, there is already plenty on the calendar that I have committed myself or my family to - library board, church missions, Girl Scouts, Bunco, music and movement class for Grant, Wednesday night church - so we will be plenty busy even if I do manage to not add anything else!

Bryn had a great weekend at Grandma and Grandpas. She evidently didn't get out of her jammies and ate a lot of ice cream. Sounds like a perfect weekend to me!

We have decided to go ahead and have Grant's tongue tie fixed. After months of agonizing over it, I am now more paranoid about his speech developing properly than the risks of a short surgical procedure. The pediatric ENT has said it can be done without IV anesthesia, so barring a problem it should be less than 15 minutes from start to finish and done with just gas to knock him out.

I hope to get Christmas decorations taken down today and tonight and put away the last of the Christmas gifts over the next few days. I am glad those activities occur inside as there is still a lot of snow outside and it is REALLY cold! I feel like I am back in Laramie with the temps hovering around zero and 6+ inches of snow on the ground. I don't miss the 90+ days, though, so I am just going to enjoy the winter wonderland!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Christmas Pictures

I didn't take very many pictures during the holidays...I didn't even get half of the family in any photos. So here is a partial photographic record of the Hudson family Christmas 2009. Hopefully someone else used their camera more than I did!

Here is my attempt to take a Christmas picture of the kids together. You can see how well it went...

Bryn and the tree

Grant was happier once he had the yodeling pickle to play with

Coffee helps Nana keep on smiling!

Oliver contemplates the fine art of stain removal

The turducken adventure begins...

They got the chicken inside the duck inside the turkey and packed in some stuffing, too!

The turducken masters

Turduckeny goodness!

Extra long (unplanned!) layover in Denver. And one of those lumps on the floor is a sleeping Grant!

Finally in Kansas and on the way home

Uncle Bryan and Grant