Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday 5 with Confessions

Wooooo, it's Halloween! May today be just spooky enough!

On to 5 thoughts:
  1. Parenting a tween is not so easy.  They can talk back, have minds of their own and they ask questions.  So many questions, so much attitude, and he's not even 12 yet.  Turbo is going to give us a run for our money.  Why don't kids come with instruction manuals?
  2. We will be pumpkin carving this afternoon, after school.  Both boys will actually be getting into the whole thing this year. We got a couple of pretty great pumpkins and they are looking forward to creating masterpieces. I think it's a fabulous activity to kill time until trick or treating time. Which will also be happening for all the kiddos, even the tweens.
  3. Happy Halloween!  Can hardly believe that October is over and there is only a couple months til Christmas.  Does not seem possible that the year has flown by so fast.  I'm totally looking forward to the next couple holidays. we have some great fun planned!
  4. Turbo had a project due for school today.  His teacher was proactive enough to send an email with the specs of the project to the parents.  I got him rallied and focused, but he did the work.  It turned out pretty cool. And he got it done on time!  Too cool for my little procrastinator.
  5. Bruiser had a bit of a bug yesterday.  Some stomach thing with the required barfing.  Fun, fun , fun.  At least it was only a 24 hour thing.  He's right as rain and totally ready to Halloween it out today at school as Batman and then later for trick or treating as a vampire--which, let's face it is just another kind of bat man.
5 pictures:

Yes, I did dress up some for the downtown trick or treat.

Emmy Mom

And now for a confession or two or six:
  •  I'm looking forward to the TABs (Tasty Adult Beverages) that we moms will get after trick or treating tonight.
  • There has to be something to look forward to after shuttling 4 kiddos around the neighborhood.
  • I do have to exercise great will power to not hit the candy hard.
  • My hips do not need it.
  • I have to come up with something to give the kids for dinner tonight. 
  • You know, before they gorge on candy have a total candy overload.
  • There will be no dressing up for me tonight.
  • Tonight is all about the kiddos.
  • But I do get a drive in the mountains tomorrow.
  • We have to get firewood.
  • So working trip, but it's still the mountains.

What do you have planned for Halloween?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spin Cycle--Masks

This week the spin cycle is about masks, literal or figurative.  I'm not one for literal masks, but I often feel like I'm wearing a figurative mask.
There was a poster that I loved when I was in college.  It had a porcelain mask with the girl crying behind it.  It really spoke to me as I felt I was often smiling and not letting anyone see how sad and uncomfortable I really was.  I desperately wanted to fit in and be well liked, but the whole social scene baffled me most of the time.
As time went on the feelings the mask hid changed.  Sometimes it was frustration, other times is was unhappiness.  Then there were the times when the mask hid mild depression. I got good at faking it.  Sometimes I almost believed that the mask was real.
These days I don't wear the mask as often, but there are still days when I feel I'm stuck behind the smiling mask and all I want to do is cry.  But crying comes with explanations and I don't have explanations for how I feel. It's easier to just smile and move on than deal with the sadness.
I wish that there wasn't a mask to hide behind, but then I just might look crazy and emotional and no one wants to be around a crazy, emotional mess.  Therefore the mask stays firmly in place and I smile and go on as if nothing is wrong.  Until I hit a point I can't and then I take a moment to myself, cry it out and most of the time I feel better.
I guess everyone wears a mask at one time or another.  Everyone feel insecure and finds it easier to hide behind a mask than let everything show. Smiling and moving forward is just what people do.
What mask do you hide behind?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wed. Hodgepodge--The Birds

And the questions:

1. My hubs spent last weekend pheasant hunting. Are there hunters in your family? If so, what do they hunt? Which of the following have you tasted-pheasant, rabbit, venison, duck, goose? Which of those would you most like to taste, or be most willing to taste? Nick is an avid hunter and we eat what he hunts. Actually I love the taste of venison, elk and even antelope when properly prepared. He's not much of a bird hunter, but that's more lack of opportunity than lack of enthusiasm. We have had ruffed grouse and blue grouse and we really liked them.

Vegetarians keep calm and Hodgepodge on.

2. What high spot have you visited that gave you a wonderful 'bird's eye view' of something below? We live near mountains. It's very easy to get a bird's eye view of the surrounding country around here.
In Rocky Mountain National Park.

At the Grand Canyon.

About 15 miles from home.

About 40 miles from home.

About 30 miles from home.

3. Do you have any birds in your home? These could be either real live pets or decorative, as in bird prints, knickknacks, fabric or pottery. We aren't much for the birds around our house.  I like cats and Nick likes dogs, so not really any birds in the house.  But, we have a pair of swainsons hawks that nest in the cottonwood tree by our driveway and have for the last three years at least.

4. Tell about a time you 'killed two birds with one stone'? Well, I will be trying to do this on Thursday.  The boys have swimming lessons adn I'm hoping to get some exercise at the rec center while they are in lessons. I mean, we are there, it would be silly not to take advantage of the time.

5. Your favorite song with a bird in it's title? Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants:

6. What most recently gave you goose bumps?  I got cold and got goose bumps.  Happens all the time.  Cold and I don't necessarily get along.

7. Halloween is this Friday...any plans? Did you trick or treat as a child? Carve pumpkins? Share your most memorable costume. I did get to trick or treat as a kid.  It was fun. We weren't much for carving pumpkins, especially when I got into high school, but I did start carving pumpkins again when I met Nick.  Carving pumpkins has been a Halloween tradition.  Even when we didn't actually have time to carve the pumpkin, we still put one out with a drawn on face.
I was about 20 and dressed up as a country bumpkin.
We do have plans for Halloween.  We will head to our cousins house and take the kids trick or treating.  Pumpkins will be carved, costumes will be donned and the kids will have a blast.  The adults will have fun too, I'm sure.

8. Insert your own random thought here. How can it be almost the end of October?  Where has the time gone?  Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here before we know it.  I wish there was a slow down button, but I haven't found one yet.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Random In Here

And we arrive at Tuesday. A little bit better than Monday, cause we are closer to the weekend now. Let's get on with the random:
  • Our temperatures have hit much closer to normal temps this week, so far.  Last night was actually cold. Like in the 20s cold. Feels kind of nice.
  • Feeling more motivated this week.  Maybe because we have things to do this week.  The boys have swimming lessons and then, of course, we have all the Halloween doings on Friday.  Pumpkins to carve, trick or treating and hanging out with friends.  
  • Next week archery leagues start up again.  Nick and Turbo will be going.  They are both looking forward to it.
  • This last weekend felt like this:
  • I am on week three of walking with a friend of mine.  We only make it out twice a week due to scheduling issues--both of us are busy.  But I get to add time ar the rec center while the boys are in swim lessons for the next month, so getting active--Yay!
  • I like this quote from Mark Twain:

  •  Turbo has brokered a deal with Nick about video game time during the week in return for doing chores. He gets time instead of money.  Just goes to show that he's not a teen yet.  This is motivation for good grades and non complaining work.  He has dog poop duty, dishes, watering plants, keeping his room clean, and then time as determined by us for good grades on homework and quizzes and tests.  This is a way around my rule of no video games during the week.  Weekends are free video game time. I'll take it for the motivation it give Turbo. The flip side is bad grades will subtract from his time.  So he has good motivation.
  • This is why I don't like jumping in leaf piles:
Go random it up with Stacy.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Good Weekend and MMMM

We had a busy, but good weekend.  No disasters, no big issues.  Sadly Nick was unable to find the wily wapiti (elk).  Our freezer will remain more or less empty until next year when he can try again. The weather was just too warm this year.  We have yet to have a really good snow storm.  I'm really looking forward to the first one that sticks.  It knocks down all the allergens floating around and I can breathe easy again.
Anyway, the boy had a balst with the downtown trick or treat.  Turbo even dressed up and really appreciates the candy he scored.  I though they looked pretty cute.
My guys

The 1930s detective

We will get to do it all again on Friday.  I'm still trying to convince Bruiser to wear his batman costume to school because it would just be easier. I may be unsuccessful in this effort.
Bruiser also had a birthday party at the Gymnastics School again.  He loved it.  The poor birthday boy had to get stitches before coming as the wind caught the car door and it hit his eyebrow. The gymnastics school was less fun for him as he couldn't do some of the really fun stuff, but I think he still managed to have fun. I know Bruiser had fun.  He was actually ready to go to bed early Sunday night.
I also got most of the general weekend chores done.  Still need to vacuum, but laundry is done and I actually cooked soup yesterday.  Well I let the crock pot cook it, but still.
And with Halloween creeping up on us and our attempts at getting Halloween movies watched, or kid friendly Halloween movies, the music this week will be Halloween inspireed, even if it is a freebie week.
So MMMM picks for this week:
Ray Parker, Jr. Ghostbusters:

THe song from The Prisoner of Azkaban, Double Double, Toil and Trouble:
And from Beetlejuice: Jump In the Line:

Have a happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday 5--Moving Forward

So, yeah I sort of missed this last week.  Ww had a water heater failure that necessitated some pretty major changes in our basement.  Also tons of clean up.  It finally doesn't smell musty or damp in our basement.  Not that there isn't still areas that need cleaning, but most everything is dry now.  Let's get on to the fun stuff from the last week.

5 Thoughts:
  1. I walked twice this week around the park near our house.  And tried to get a walk in during my day and succeeded in that a couple other days this week.  Adding bits and bobs of activity are the best way for me to incorporate exercise.  I'm just not committed.
  2. The boys start swim lessons next week.  This gives me twice a week 20-25 minutes of time at the rec center.  I can exercise there on an elliptical or maybe even swim. Depends on how motivated I am.  Nick might even join us for the exercise time.
  3. We have been totally enjoying Face Off on SYFY network.  It's a makeup artist contest show.  I like it because the artists are supportive of each other, not all back bitey and mean to each other, like you get on some competition shows. The final show is this next week and we are looking forward to it.
  4. Turbo has been doing better in school.  He's actually working at it and not just phoning it in.  Amazing what putting a bit more effort in to it will do, isn't it?
  5. We have a nice busy weekend coming up.  The downtown does a trick or treat and we always go.  Bruiser has a birthday party on Sunday and Nick is going hunting--May he bring home the big one this weekend--please oh please!

5 Pictures:
My monkey, trying out for American Ninja!


Halloween Cookies.  Must make more.

Bruiser's Halloween pumpkin chain.

Turbo and fedora.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spin Cycle--At the...

At the grocery store, at the park, at the house, and at work.  That about encompasses my day any more. 

My day starts at 5:50am.  I sometimes sneak an extra five minutes, but not too often.  I hit the shower and then get dressed and head up stairs.  If I'm lucky, I get about 15-20 minutes to myself to check email, Facebook and such.  Then it's time to get kiddos up and moving for school.
Turbo is much easier to get up.  He's more like me in that once time to get up comes he just gets up.  He may move kind of slowly, but he moves.  Bruiser, on the other hand, is more like Nick and really likes to fall back to sleep if given the opportunity.  That kid will love the concept of the snooze button once he's old enough to have an alarm clock.
I guide kids through eating breakfast and getting Turbo out the door to his bus.  I also get Nick up and moving, but since he takes Brusier to school a bit later, he gets to sleep a bit longer in the morning. 
I head out the door to go to work about 7:15-7:20.  Mostly to be able to find parking.  Parking at our university is abysmal. Also, if I go in at 7:30, I can head home at 3:30.  I work through lunch and then can be home with the boys pretty soon after school.  It's really nice that they let me have a flexible schedule like that.

After work, it's guiding the boys through any homework they may have.  Turbo is getting better at it, but still likes me to be involved, for questions if nothing else.  He has been doing his reading homework on his own (which I will admit has me so very happy).

After that I get maybe a half hour to sit and do nothing before getting dinner ready.  That's when the I Don't Want to Cook bug doesn't hit me.  Which lately has been hitting far to often. We then eat around 5:30-6 and then zone in front of the TV, if we don't have some project around the house we are doing.

That is a typical weekday, but next week we are throwing in swim lessons two days a week. This will force me to come up with crock pot meals and actually get them in the crock pot in the morning so we have dinner when we get home from lessons.  This will prevent the stop for fast food, which we really don't need.
And a couple nights a week, when we can get together, I have been walking around the park with a friend.  The park is a half mile around so we put in about a mile and a half.  I should do more, but fitting it into the schedule is tough.  I will be working out some while the boys are in swim lessons.  Since I'm there and I have about 20 minutes, I should do something.
My life seems pretty mundane, but then there are those moments of excitement--last week and the water heater fail was one such moment.  We also do things to mix up the mundane on the weekends.  Last weekend there was a homecoming parade to attend with the boys, this week is the Downtown Scaramie Trick or Treat. I like to mix it up, but I can do without the surprises--a la appliance failure.
So how does your day go--lots of fun and surpeises or more on the mundane side.  SPin it up and link up!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge--Turn Turn Turn

The hodgepodge is about turning today:

1. Elizabeth Lawrence is quoted as saying, 'Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn." So have you done just that? And what did you leave undone in order to do so? We have taken time to head to the mountains to look at the fall color. The only thing I really left undone was house chores and those will wait.

2. Since we're talking turning...what's one thing you feel you're doing 'every time you turn around'? Dishes.  I no sooner get the sink emptied than I turn around and find three or six dirty dishes to put back in it.

3. How hard is it for you to 'turn the other cheek'?  Depends on the situation.  I'm also one who will stew on something, grumble about it and then move on. I'm non confrontational so I guess I do "turn the other cheek" more often than not out of the wish to avoid conflict. 

4. When did you last turn a drawer, your car, a room, or your entire house upside down looking for something? Did you find it? I did this looking for Bruiser's glasses.  I was unsuccessful in finding them at that time.  We got him new glasses. Then and only then, did I find Bruiser's glasses in a place I was certain I had looked, more than once.

5. 'One good turn deserves another'...were you most recently on the giving or receiving end of that sentiment? Nothing specific comes to mind, but we do good for our friends and they give back to us all the time.  Isn't that what friendship in all about.  Do for me and I do for you. 

6. Red, yellow, and orange are the colors of fall. Also the colors of fruit. If you were permitted only one color of fruit in your diet, which would you choose? This question isn't as easy as it sounds, at least not for me.  Red fruits all the way. I love a good orange, but my favorite fruits are red.
With the exception of tomatoes, red fruits are an easy sell at our house.

Pomegranates are the current favorite around the house.  The boys love them.

7. The Hunt for Red October, October Sky, Halloween...which 'October' film is your favorite? We do love The Hunt For Red October.  Give me a good action thriller over a horror movie any day.

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Halloween is creeping ever closer.  I really need to get on getting the rest of Bruiser's costume.  He want to be a vampire and I need a white shirt and dark pants.  I have the pants, I think, but a white shirt, not so much.  That will require a trip to the store. He also needs white makeup and possibly temporary black hair color.  Turbo is unsure if he even wants to dress up.  I might convince him to go 1930s gangster if we can get him a suit jacket and then he can wear his fedora.  Paint a black mustache on him, pencil thin of course. It might work.  The reason I need to do this soon is because the downtown has a trick or treat for kids on Saturday. Definitely need to get on this one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Randoms

Things are slowly getting back to normal around here.  Or as normal as it gets in these parts.  So let's random for some fun:
  • Ugh. I just can't get in the groove today.last week really threw the schedule for a loop.  Unexpected things like water heaters failing can do that.
  • It will be laundry weekend this weekend.  It's already shaping up to be a busy weekend. There is a downtown trick or treat that the boys always enjoy, and Bruiser has a birthday party to attend on Sunday. Nick would also like us to come up and see him at the cabin he will be staying in while he hunts.  I'm not sure it will all fit into the two day weekend.  I will see what I can manage.
  • After this weekend, this makes a whole lot of sense:
  • In other news we had Turbo's parent/teacher conferences last week, before the water heater issue.  They went well.  Turbo will be bringing home homework more and hopefully doing better on his school work in general.  His two trouble areas are math and language arts.  He will be doing his work with much more attention to detail now that we know he should be bringing home work to do.  He is also of the opinion that when giving answers, the shortest answer is the best answer.  Not really the best approach.  We are working on that one.
  • Oh, and Papa and Nana got Turbo a fedora.  He looks dashing in it:
  •  With all the work we had to do last week, we did have a chance to see a fabulous sun rise.  It helped make up for the fact that we were awake at a time when a warm bed was far more appealing:
So what's your random this week?
Go see Stacy and random it up!


Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm done--NEXT and MMMM

OK, so I took a bit of a blog break there.  Not intended, but we had a heck of a weekend.  Well, actually the weekend started far earlier than we intended it to.  Let's start at the beginning...
Thursday morning, at about 4am,  I got up to hit the bathroom (thank you kiddos for the can't last all night bladder) and coming out of the bathroom I stepped in something wet.  Now we have dogs and a cat so stepping on something wet on the floor is never a good thing.  I got some paper towels and attempted to mop up the wet, but there was lots more than there should have been for an animal produced accident.  So I went to check the utility rooms and found it was flooded.  I then got Nick up and he came to check what was up. At first we thought the pump for the furnace was broken.  It was but that was not the cause of the copious amounts of water on the floor. Turns out the water heater had failed. Wonderful. We replaced the water heater four years ago.
So we mopped up what water we could and then let work know that we would be taking an unexpected day so we could replace the stupid thing.  Off to Cheyenne we went, but this time we decided to get an on demand water heater.  No more tank to fail. This necessitated an complete change of plumbing and gas lines, but hey, now the tank is not in our bedroom any more.  That will make the gas company happy.
SO we are working like mad to get the water heater installed so we can take a shower, Nick has just about got the water lines done and he gets a call from his mother.  Well, let's back up a bit. Nick's mom first called mid afternoon and said Nick's dad had chest pains and they were headed to the emergency room.  She called back about 6:15 and said that They were going to move Nick's Dad to Denver so he could be under the care of a cardiologist.  Then the plans changed to Cheyenne as no beds were available in Denver.  Nick then took his mom over the Cheyenne so she could be with Nick's dad.
All of this and it's still only Thursday.  Friday morning we slept in and Then got back to the installation work.  We had a bit of a snafu with the water as the cold water valve had some sort of aerator/plug in it and water was not flowing though the water heater, but once we got that figured out and the venting worked out, Nick was able to take a shower before going to get his Mom and dad after his dad was discharged.  Turns out he had a minor heart attack. But he's home now and doing fine.
Saturday Nick finished up the final venting stuff for the water heater and the furnace and now they both vent up the chimney. This is awesome because the furnace used to vent into the back yard and in the winter created an impressive glacier. Now, no more glacier.
We didn't do much for the rest of the weekend.  Well, I did take the boys to the university homecoming parade.  and I did grocery shopping and what not, but we were really all about doing nothing exciting.  Sunday was deemed pajama day by the boys.  We had Nick's parents over for grill roasted chicken.  But otherwise it was low key.  We had had our excitement. Enough so that today was looking pretty good, even if it is a Monday.
And now for MMMM.  This week is a freebie week so let's see what I can come up with.
Darryl Worley Sounds Like Life to Me:
Rodney Atkins If You're Going Through Hell:
And where we really would have rather spent our weekend: Rodney Atkins Take a Back Road:
Go see the other freebie music this week!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge--Time's Ticking

Questions?  Yes, Questions:

1. What's your favorite time of day? Why? I like the quiet time I get before the rest of the guys get up.  Or I get them up. It's my alone time, time to recharge and get my introverted self ready to face the day.  I also like the time after the boys go to bed.  That's my time with Nick and also time to decompress and read a bit at the end of the day.

2. Waffle iron, toaster, coffee maker, mixer, blender...which small appliance would you say most needs replacing in your house? Perhaps my hand mixer.  Not that I use it much, but I think it's like 16 years old as I'm pretty sure I got it for a wedding/shower gift.

3. It's National Grouch Day (October 15)...what's something that makes you feel grouchy? Unpleasant surprises.  Like Turbo forgetting to get his picture day money in until the day after pictures were taken and now we don't have pictures, but the picture people cashed the check. Now I ahve to figure out where the money went and if we have a credit floating out there somewhere.

4. Ever been to Canada? Is that a country you'd like to visit? According to Trip Advisor, the top ten best destinations in Canada are-Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Victoria, Calgary, Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Whistler, and Halifax. Which city would you most like to see? I was at Niagara Falls when I was 12.  The Canadian side was bright and active and cool at night.  It was fun. I would love to do a train ride through the Canadian Rockies. So which ever city is a starting trip for a train ride would be my choice.  I do have to get a passport one of these days though...

5. What was your favorite food (or one of your favorites) when you were a child? Is that still a favorite? Steak.  Yeah, I have expensive tastes.  I have loved a good steak since I was about 7 or 8. And it's still a favorite.

6. Do you cry easily? Depends on the time of month and the reason.  I have been much more a crier since having kids.

7. Have you started your (gasp!) Christmas shopping? If so when, and how much? If not, when will you even begin thinking about it? I have a little bit done, but not much.  I have been thinking about it, but will most likely do most of it in November and December.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.  Parent/teacher conferences tonight for Turbo.  I have to say I'm a bit nervous about them.  He's a good kid, but these conferences always stress me out a bit. And this year we have 10 minutes per teacher and four teachers to see. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ready, Set, Random!

So, yesterday felt like a Tuesday all day.  Not bad until I got up this morning and got to do Tuesday all over again. But it's Tuesday and we get to ranodom, so here we go:
  • Both boys had started to get into Blossom.  the old TV show with Mayim Bialik from the early 90s.  It was showing on the HUB network.  And we watched for like maybe a week or so and were really enjoying it.  And last night the HUB network became Discovery Family and is no longer showing Blossom. Neither boy is happy with the change. Can't say I'm thrilled either, Blossom was fun to watch.
  • And we have Turbo's parent/teacher conferences tomorrow night.  Not exactly looking forward to them. They shouldn't be too bad, but I still don't like them.
  • This:
  • I have started walking.  I go with a friend on Monday afternoons and try to go in the mornings around the campus.  Once the weather turns on us, we will have to start going to the rec center and walking there. I'm trying to find the mix of exercise that I can do and that fits the schedule.  Not so easy.
  • Hard to believe that October is half over.  Halloween is creeping up on us. Brusier is set on being a vampire/Dracula for Halloween.  Now I just need to find him a white button down shirt and black pants.  Harder than you think.  Maybe we can get away with really dark jeans...
  • Waiting for this time today:
  • And really like this for the old bucket list:
So what's your random for today?
Go see Stacy and random it up!



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