Wednesday, January 30, 2008

So tired.... big day.

What a sunny but cold day it is! The wind was sure something else last night. At one point I told Jeff to go see if the garage was still attached because it sounded like the wind might have ripped it from the rest of the house. After seeing the damage on the news to other houses, that probably wasn't too much of a exaggeration. Some houses lost roofs and siding and were split almost in half in counties north of us. South of us a car was tossed off the road and a mobile home was turned over.

Sean had a good night but a really rough morning. We went to see the doctor after he lost his breakfast a few times from coughing so hard. The doctor wanted us to put him on cough medicine. They usually don't want that but she said they don't want him coughing that hard either.

He made it to Circus Day for a while but was ready to leave by the time they were done.

I couldn't find our dog Sam this morning. I expected to find her huddled in her doghouse which is up next to the house. Instead, when I opened the door, I heard a rustling noise from the deck. Out she popped.

And here's a picture from a few days ago when Sean still had fever. The black fur ball on my stomach is Shadow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It is raining so hard right now that I feel like I should be YELLING SO YOU CAN HEAR ME.... the rain is beating against our master bedroom window. I just talked to my brother to alert him that his county was under a Tornado Warning. He was sitting in his truck at home waiting for the storm to lessen so he could go in. He said they just had moth ball sized hail. Yes, it is January and we're having severe thunderstorms and at least one tornado. Kind of strange considering our state just recognized a 30-year anniversary for the Blizzard of 1978. The temps have fallen from the 50s into the 40s. It is supposed to be 12 by morning, so we'll be switching from our spring jackets and rain gear to our ice gear in less than 12 hours. What is ice gear, you say. Mainly it consists of some slip on straps with spikes on them for our shoes.

Sean hasn't felt very well today. I think maybe he overdid it yesterday. He still has a nasty cough and isn't eating much. I'm hoping he can go to preschool for a little while so he won't miss Circus Day when they put on a pretend circus. We have his elephant mask ready to go. I think it is pretty clever if I must say so myself. Sean and I worked on it together. I will try to post some pictures tomorrow.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sean had a better day today. Very little if any fever. His appetite has increased (probably from Orapred) but once he starts eating, he won't eat much (probably because of the antibiotic). He's still wheezing some. He played more today but was wiped out by 8:00pm and didn't argue going to bed. He looks pale, but I have to remember - he has pneumonia.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Quick update. Sean still had fever today but it only went to 101.2 this evening and Tylenol took it down. I got the prescription for Orapred filled and he had one dose this evening. It's going to be a long week as he had trouble going to sleep from just the one dose. He is still wheezing some. He isn't eating much but he never does when he is taking antibiotics. It seems he is getting better just very slowly.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pictures and update

Sierra still loves the new camera.

Sean is doing some better. Still needs Tylenol for fever every 6 hours or so. He doesn't sound wheezy now so we have held off on the Orapred.
These are Sean's skinny pajamas. He looks skinniest in them. He did almost weigh 36 lbs. at his doctor appointment. He had been eating good before he got sick.
Breathing treatment number four today.

Sean had a better night. He was only up twice the second time with fever. He went back to sleep both times. He's had 2 treatments today and his fever went up to almost 103 by noon so I gave him more Tylenol. He's still wheezing quite a bit so it looks like I'll be getting the prescription filled for the Orapred.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It amazes me how Sean can go from zero to pneumonia is such few hours. I suspected that was what it was again, but then it's only been two months since he had it last and everything was so familiar. We're home now and he's had his breathing treatment (4 x a day through the weekend and then start cutting back) and his antibiotic. Hopefully like last time, he will not need the extra steroid that we have a prescription for. If it is like last time, the nebulizer and the antibiotic should work quickly. After Dr. M listened to him thoroughly and was typing on his little mini-laptop, Sean said "Mommy, when we get home I think I need another breathing treatment." Dr. M said, "Yes you do".
This time last year it was Sierra who needed the nebulizer every time we turned around, but so far this fall/winter she has not needed it at all. That is a blessing.
Pray for Sean to get over this quickly.
I was right about a long night with short sleep. I wanted to give Sean a breathing treatment before bed but he complained so I let him off the hook. Around 2:20am he was awake thirsty and hot with fever so I gave him ibuprofen. Around 3:30 we did a breathing treatment (he was begging for it by then) and I gave him Tylenol since he was still hot. Of course, after the treatment, he was wired for sound so he watched a video and then did a puzzle on By then, Jeff was up early at 4:30 to go into work for an inventory audit. I talked Sean into going back to bed. By 6:30 he was coughing again and requesting another breathing treatment. Went back to bed for a nap (ha ha) then I woke up at 8:30 and dialed a few times to get through to the busy doctor's office. We have an appt. at 11:40. His fever is still down.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Let the painting begin....

Bungalow Gold:

With the flash, it is hard to tell how much darker the paint is compared to the white. From the kids' artwork, you can get a better idea. We found a new chandelier for the entryway. The old one just isn't working with the darker color. By the way, it took the kids days to paint all these walls with their foam brushes but it looks great, eh?

It was really cold here today. You know it's cold when it feels warm at the ice rink. Sean has a cough and fever tonight. It may be a long night with short sleep so I'm going to turn in early.

Painting project

These are overdue but here are some pictures of the painting project. These are the before pics.

There were many marks on the wall but Sean claimed the blue ink marks.

Eager to get started!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

When I went through outplacement services offered by the company that downsized me three years ago, I took a test that was designed to find a person's interests. Interestingly, it kept coming up with things like "interior designer" and other jobs that require creativity. So what changed? I was totally hooked on computer programming before I graduated high school (never mind what year) and that was a career that paid decent so it was an easy decision as I entered college. The truth is, I didn't change me, God did. He took away the passion I had for doing systems analysis and programming and replaced it with a passion for raising my children. Now instead of trying to keep up with technology, I am seeking to do His will which does not seem to require much technology. Although I did spend time last night creating a powerpoint slideshow that I hope will help with some geometry memorization. A few years ago, I never would have guessed I would be using my skills for homeschooling.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Frigid temps... snow... frigid temps

I read today that one of the teams for last night's championship game practiced with footballs straight out of the freezer. Interesting. I wonder if they made the receivers stay in the freezer with the footballs for a while too. I wonder if it would help if they would lick their hands right before the play so the frozen footballs would just stick right to them instead of slipping through them because their fingers are numb. Eli Manning said he was warm and he sure played like it.

Even though their season is over, there is good news for the Colts this week. Tony Dungy is going to stay at least another season. Yea!

We're supposed to get 1-2" of snow tonight or tomorrow. I'm glad we do not need to go anywhere tomorrow so maybe, if the temperature is reasonable, the kids can play out in the snow. I can play out too. But my idea of playing is staying on the deck with my camera and zoom lens. I do not even need boots for that.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

It was cold cold cold today, but not nearly as cold as it is in Green Bay right now. I'm glad I am not a season ticket holder for the Packers. I am rooting for the Giants tonight. Peyton's brother Eli Manning is playing very well and it would be kind of cool to see him in the Super Bowl.
.... I interrupt this post to say "WoooHoooo, way to go Giants!!!!" Tynes just kicked a 47 yd. field goal to win the game in overtime of all things. After missing a couple of field goals, I bet he is very relieved to have made the long one.
So there will be a Manning in the SuperBowl two years in a row after all. Cool!! Nothing against Brett Favre, but this is neat.

Boy it is so cold there. It was something like -23 degrees wind chill factor. I bet they are glad to be heading to a much warmer climate in two weeks for the big game.

Speaking of cold, Sierra has her seasons mixed up. She has been asking to set up the swimming pool out back or to go to the pool at the park. Ummm, it's winter? So, to help her understand, I got a few books at the library on seasons. We read one tonight about summer.

Well all that Benadryl I took earlier for my cold/sinuses is kicking in so time for me to turn out the light and go night-night.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Short post. Please keep little Julian Avery's family in your prayers. He went HOME to be with JESUS today. He was 4 1/2.

Sean had a big day yesterday. His preschool went on a field trip to the Love Chapel which is a local food pantry and they put us to work. First, we removed labels from water bottles, added poison and laundry soap labels to the bottles and filled them with either liquid or powder laundry soap. We also sorted out plastic bags to be used for the clients to receive their food. After that was done, we sorted food and stocked the shelves with the food the kids had donated. Then we sorted large crates of Ramen Noodles into boxes that will be set on the shelves in the pantry. We learned that the pantry serves approximately 600 families a month. That was a real eye-opener to me as that seems like a huge number of families in our community that are hungry each month. It was a good field trip. I recommend if you've never volunteered at a food pantry, to consider that as an act of community service.

On the way to the field trip, I had three boys including Sean in the van. One boy asked Sean what his Wii person looks like. Sean says, "My what?". No, we do not have a Wii. The boys did learn that they both have Leapsters so they talked about that.

Afterward, Sean went home with his friend Samuel for a playdate. This was the first time he has went to a friend's house without us. Samuel's mom said they played very well. She did not have to break up any squabbles. Coincidentally, Sean and Samuel played a video game at Samuel's house. When Sean got home, he demonstrated that the game they played did not require a controller (he held his hands out and punched imaginary buttons to illustrate this). Sean waved his arm all around to show how the game was played. I told Sean that he played a Wii which was what the other boy was talking about in the van earlier.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Anyone watch Cash Cab on The Discovery Channel? It's a game show played in a cab in New York City. The cab is actually a Toyota Sienna minivan with a driver who is the host of the show.

We really like to watch this show (most of the time). It is fast paced and they actually get through more than 5 questions per show and we don't have to listen to "We'll find out.... right after this!" There are commercial breaks but they aren't used to torture the viewer (me). I just do not enjoy all the reality-type game shows or the ones that go so slow that you fall asleep waiting for them to get to the good stuff.

But one thing occurred to me today. In this show, people win hundreds or possibly even a couple thousand dollars. Then when they reach their destination, they are let out on the curb in New York City of all places with a handful of cash and usually at night.

Does that seem a little scary to anyone else?

On tonight's episode, there was a woman alone who won $1750. So the driver hands her the cash and lets her out of the cab. In New York City at night alone. Yikes!

Maybe they'll start up a new reality show called "What Happened After I Got Out of the Cash Cab."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I saw a story on the news today about a new car going on the market. It is called the Smart Car. I've been chuckling all day since seeing pictures of this car. What struck me as funny is that it reminded me of those car strollers that you can find in malls to rent for your kids. Do you see the resemblance?

Leave me a comment and let me know if you know anything about these new Smart Cars.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I went to a meeting tonight with several other moms to learn more about American Heritage Girls. It looks like we may be starting a local troop here in our community. There is certainly enough interest. It is a Christ-centered scouting program for girls K-12th grade.
Callie wanted to join Girl Scouts when she was younger but I did not let her for a couple of reasons. Well, I am beat so I am heading to bed.
Please remember Julian Avery and family in your prayers as his battle on this earth nears the end. carepage name juliansworld. If you choose to visit Julian's carepage and read past posts, you will no doubt fall in love with him and be amazed at the courage and faith his mother has as she blogs about their journey. Read the message board to witness the magnitude of the impact they have had on this world. There are so many people, myself included, who have been touched immensely by this mother. She has made us all realize how important our children are. It is easy to fall into the trap of taking things for granted -things like goodnight hugs, feeling them breathe while you hold them, touching their warm skin, tousling their hair, dancing with them. Soon, Julian will be dancing with Jesus just as he danced only a few months ago in a video with his mama.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Goodbye to the Dome - RCA Dome, fka the Hoosier Dome

Demolition will begin soon on the RCA Dome following the Colts loss today. I thought I'd post some pics I took of the Dome and the new Lucas Oil Stadium currently under construction. I will say that the new stadium is breathtaking just by its size alone. We were in awe of how big it is. It was a bit tricky to get pictures. One below is of the new stadium on the left with the Dome on the right just to give a size comparison.

At least there is still one Manning left in the playoffs. Congratulations to Eli and his team! We were sorry to see the Colts lose today but the Chargers certainly deserved to win that ball game. We hope Tony Dungy will return next year but that is the big question around town.

Our weekends are free for a few weeks now until NASCAR starts up again with the Daytona 500. :) That doesn't mean we will not watch the playoffs though - it just will not be as much of a priority.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Santa Revealed

In December 2007, we decided to tell the younger kids about Santa. We felt convicted about this with our kids but that is a personal choice. Sean was 5 and Sierra was 3. We were a bit apprehensive about what their reaction would be, especially Sean’s. We explained it to them as gently as we could and waited to see their reaction. Sean looks at me and says, “You mean after we go to bed, you and Daddy wrap up the presents and put them under the tree?” “Yes”, I said. He started laughing like this was the most hilarious thing he has ever heard of. He actually seemed very relieved to find this out.

The next day, he brought me his list that he had been saving for Santa. Later that day, I told him to do something and he paused for a second then said, “I am going to obey you or you might not get me anything for Christmas.” I do not think he ever believed that Santa was watching him, but he cannot deny that Mommy is watching him. He tried to play a trick on me when Santa visited our family Christmas party. After he talked to Santa, he told me that he told him he wanted a Star Wars light saber and then he just looked at me. See, the light saber was not on his list, so I think the look was to see what my reaction was. I just told him that Santa was already done shopping. Nice try.

Our biggest concern was that he would tell another child and make someone’s parents upset with us. The closest he came to doing that was when he told my niece there was something her Daddy needed to tell her about Santa.

Sierra made no comment about the whole thing. I’m not sure she’s convinced he doesn’t exist because she is still afraid of him. The other day she climbed up on my lap and said, “Ho ho ho, I’m Santa Claus.” I replied, “I am afraid of you.” Without missing a beat, she said “I’m not real, I’m bus petending.” I felt much better.

From my standpoint, telling them helped alleviate some of my Holiday stress. Now I did not have to worry about using different wrapping paper for Santa’s gifts or trying to store gifts until Christmas morning so they would not be discovered. The only thing I did for fun and tradition was to put some things in their stockings before going to bed. So, overall, we believe it was the right thing to do and the right time to do it.

This worked for me very well. For more tips at Works-For-Me-Wednesday at Rocks In My Dryer click here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fun moments in homeschooling

This week in math we've been studying the area of parallelograms and triangles. So we're having a bit of trouble understanding that parallelograms are a bit different from a rectangle and have a different formula. So, with a whiteboard on her lap, I have her practice drawing parallelograms so she can show me how to get the base and height and calculate the area. In the meantime, I am on the computer searching for printable worksheets for her to practice with. I keep asking her if she is understanding it, and she says she thinks so, as she continues to draw. I take a break and go over to see her parallelograms. She had one parallelogram. From there she had drawn out a design for a bedroom including shelves on the walls, a bed, furniture, etc. Candace Olsen would have been proud. I guess next we can start learning about tangents (pun intended)? ;-)

Papaw had to come clean and admit to Santa that he has not been a good boy.

Callie isn't too big for Santa.

Sierra wasn't interested in even looking at Santa.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Not much to write today. Just thought I'd post my favorite picture from Christmas. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Well, there is one benefit to having warm weather in January. You get rain instead of snow. We are getting a lot of rain. If it would have been freezing, we'd have about 2 feet of snow by now.
We are now under a flash flood warning in our county and surrounding counties:


In the northern part of the state, they have seen as much as nearly 8 inches of rain. Many homes are flooded that do not have flood insurance. Some folks have lived there as many as 50 years and have seen nothing like this. Let's keep them in our prayers.

So all this rain made me think about sampans. Callie and I have started reading a good book called The House of Sixty Fathers. In it the family has a sampan, which is basically a boat with some type of roof or covering over part of it. Here's a synopsis of the book:

Tien Pao is all alone in enemy territoy. Only a few days before, his family had escaped from the Japanese army, fleeing downriver by boat. Then came the terrible rainstorm. Tien Pao was fast asleep in the little sampan when the boat broke loose from its moorings and drifted right back to the Japanese soldiers. With only his lucky pig for company, Tien Pao must begin a long and dangerous journey in search of his home and family.
Anyway, so it's raining, rivers are rising, so I did a Google search on "sampan" and then clicked on images. Pretty interesting if you want to try that yourself. Imagine what it would be like to put a family of 4, a pig and some ducks in one of these while being shot at by the Japanese army and start rowing as fast as you can go. And that's just the very beginning of the book.
Good night and stay dry.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The kids love to make and play in "plug"-houses (clubhouses). Sierra calls it a plughouse. Sean decided to help her out with that today. He says, "Sierra, say kuh, kuh, kuh". She says "kuh, kuh, kuh". He says "ku, club". She repeats it. Finally they arrive at "clubhouse". I suspect it will be "plughouse" again by tomorrow but she will get it someday.

I try not to correct them too early on things like that because it means they are growing up too fast. I'll enjoy listening to "plughouse" a while longer before I start helping Sean to correct her.

Sierra's glasses are almost a year old and the lenses have become covered in scratches. They are under warranty for a year so we waited as long as we could before having them remade. The doctor thought we could just order the lenses only and fit them at the office but the lenses were too big. We were trying to avoid her being without them any longer than absolutely necessary because of her one eye that turns in.

Today we dropped off the frames so they could be sent to the lab to be fitted with the new lenses. Sean wasn't too cool with this. He started asking Sierra all kinds of questions because he was concerned about her sight. He continued on with the questions while I went in and handed them to the lady at the optometrist office. When I came out, Sean exclaims, "Mommy, Sierra can't see anything! She can't see my hand, she can't see that tree over there!" I reassured him that she could see those things but not as well as she can with the glasses and that this should only be for a couple of days. I thought it was really sweet of him to be so concerned.

Sierra has expressed a few times today that she is sad about her glasses. I feel bad that she is without them because I know I wouldn't want to be without mine and my prescription is not anywhere close to what she requires.

Here's an old picture of how her eye used to turn in when she would focus on something. Now that she has glasses, it turns in pretty much all the time because it's used to getting to relax with the glasses on to help her.

Proof that we live in Indiana... current temperature is almost 60 degrees at nearly 10pm. Remember less than a week ago I was talking of freezing with the single digit temps and wind chills. Today it felt just like spring... rain and all. Sean was so confused he was ready to wear sandals and shorts to school. I did let him wear short-sleeves. High 65 degrees tomorrow, 35 by Saturday. Where else does the temperature jump around like that besides here? Anyone know? And it never fails... turn the tv to the weather forecast and listen to them talk about "Normal" temps for this time of year. I think Average would be a better word because we never have "Normal". It seems like we are always 20 degrees below or above "Normal" so I'd like to know how they decided what was normal anyway.

Well, time for me to hit the hay.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

One of the best parts about January is the clearance sales. Sierra has been wearing Sean's sleepers for pajamas but now that she is a big girl, the sleepers don't work too well with trips to the potty. So, I made a quick trip to my favorite pajama store, The Children's Place and got her some new warm jammies. While they are $6.99 I also bought some for her and Sean for next year.

While in the neighborhood, I mosied over to OshKosh and picked up a few things on clearance including some jeans for Callie. Callie's clothes are getting too small and she just can't understand why they're getting too tight. I tell her it is because she is 13 and is not done growing yet.

Well, it's late and church comes early in the morning so nighty-night for now.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Watching the news is like reading the National Enquirer. Britney Spears loses visitation of her sons. Window-washer survives 500 ft. fall and wakes up talking on Christmas Day. Nothing is too big for God. A man here in Indiana robbed four convenience stores in four days but eventually made a little mistake. He wrote his hold-up note on the back of his own ATM receipt. Hello!!

Tomorrow, Jan. 5, at 11:00am CST/12:00am EST is hug JuJu day. JuJu is Julian Avery, a 4-year old boy in Texas who is dying from brain cancer. Go to and visit carepage juliansworld to meet Juju and his mother who journals regularly about Julian.
After sending up a Juju hug, turn around and hug your children and thank God for every minute that you have with them. And keep Julian and his family in your prayers.

And please remember Kate in your prayers as she heads into some very aggressive radiation and chemo since her cancer has relapsed. She is a Little Seed (Sean's preschool).

Reading about Julian, Kate, Ethan.... makes me care much less about how messy the house is or whether laundry is caught up... it makes me want to sit with my kids with a book, or play a game with them or just watch them play or sleep. I have read many words by these parents and they still have their eyes on the Father. They hurt and they know where their help comes from. If you've never heard the song below, it says it all.

"Praise You In This Storm"
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear
Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear
You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

New dryer hooked up last night. I did my first load it in right away. Have you ever noticed how you take something for granted until you lose it? Like electricity or a dryer? And it never fails, when I lose something, that is when I want it the most. When the dryer died, I wanted to wash and dry clothes really bad. Kind of like when your water is off due to a main break so you all of a sudden really need to take a shower or wash dishes or do laundry. Or when your electricity is off, that's when you'd like to read a book by the lamp or play on the computer.

This dryer is probably a good thing. The door opens down instead of to the side so when I throw laundry across the room from the washer, if I miss, it will land on the door instead of the floor. That's a plus. And another thing is the lent thingy. It is on the top. So that means we have to keep the top uncluttered which gives me someplace to put folded laundry when I take it out.

The only bad thing is the dryer is white. Our other one was kind of a beige. The white one looks great but it makes the walls look like they need fresh paint. Kind of like the wonderful new paint in the foyer and hallways makes me want to replace the flooring tomorrow.

This week taught me to be thankful for those things I normally take for granted like washers and dryers and water and electricity. Take time today to be thankful for things that are important to you.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Checkout this really cool puzzle site. No pieces to lose and lots to choose from.
Seems like it's been a while since I posted so thought I would give a quick update. We've had a good break. Jeff goes back to work tomorrow. We'll start school next Monday although Callie said she is ready to get back to school. I want to know who she is and what has she done with my daughter?

We've been working around here. Some rooms are beginning to look more organized and less cluttered. Foyer and hallways are painted a new color. I will post pictures sometime later. Our dryer died over the weekend and our new one should be in tomorrow. In the meantime, I have only washed a few things and hung them up around the house. Luckily I was somewhat caught up on laundry before it died.

It is cold cold cold and getting colder as we speak so I have to run to keep moving things around in our unheated laundry room to make way for dryer before tomorrow night and to move things in our family room so we can use the space heater tomorrow since our fireplace man (Jeff) will be back at work. This room can get really cold being on the lower level next to unheated garage and laundry room. So, adios for now.