Monday, July 30, 2012

Facebook can be good for something


While I can find plenty to complain about regarding Facebook, it does have some good features.   Someone from our town created a group for garage sale items.  I have found a few things via this avenue such as a couple of Nintendo DS games, very nice ice skates to replace Callie’s and most recently, this bicycle for Sierra.  She had outgrown her other one.  



I do not have much patience to deal with people who do not show up at meeting spots to buy items so I have not sold much.  I do have someone supposedly wanting to purchase the changing table/dresser that we moved out of Sierra’s room but she could not get it until Friday (probably waiting for payday).  So, we’ll see.  Today I sold four of Sierra’s gymnastics leotards that she’d outgrown.    I put some clothes on there but ended up taking them off. 

I have found putting ads in the local paper to be much easier and more successful.  I sold a huge lot of Lincoln Logs (over 1200 pieces) and a toddler picnic table a couple weeks ago.  The picnic table was gone by 8:30 the first day.  We also sold a small toddler size dresser a few months ago.    I think we’ll stick to the classifieds for larger items and save the smaller things for a garage sale. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

To Mow or Not To Mow

This was our back yard yesterday before mowing. 



Different view but this is today after mowing.  It just does not look as green overall. 



Here was our front yard yesterday. 

We may be needing to reseed some of it since it appears the clover that had overtaken it has died in much of the grass and has not recovered with the little rain we’ve had. 



After it was mowed, it seems to look a little better since it makes the bare spots less noticeable. 



And the reason for all of the brown grass: 


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Music & Drama Camp

With Sean in Music and Drama camp every afternoon this week, it was a busy week.   I was gone every afternoon while he was at camp.  We had two doctor’s appointments, photocopying for school, a couple of play dates and some other errands to run.  I was glad to see last night come and am ready to enjoy some Olympics on television while I work around here to catch up. 

There were 96 kids at the camp and yesterday evening was the musical.  The kids learn a whole musical in just 5 afternoons. 



One of our play dates was at a local indoor playground.  We missed having the indoor playground for a few years while the new area was being reconstructed.  I am not particularly fond of how loud and noisy this one is.  It just seems louder than our last one or else I am just getting old and cranky. 





I got a new camera… well, it’s used and has a dent in it but so far it works pretty good.  I have been testing it out.  My old point and shoot digital camera finally started to die… would not focus most of the time.  I have been researching to find a comparable replacement and just haven’t been happy with the reviews for the amount of money they cost.  So, I decided to go up to the next level and research and found reviews that were more to my liking.  The downside is that the cameras were twice as much.  I had gotten my other camera from a rewards program at work and didn’t realize what a great deal it had been. 

Being the eBay person that I am, I started looking for this camera among used ones.  I found one for $32 including shipping which had a dent in the front.  So far, this has not affected it’s performance that I can tell.  I am still trying to learn how to adjust the settings  but the pictures above and below were taken with it.  It also does video.   This was Sean’s speaking part in the musical. 


Sean and his speaking part.


Can you tell Sean enjoys drama? 



I love this picture of Sierra.  She will be getting new glasses next week.  These are too small and she needed a new prescription.  Her glasses cost more than my new ones because of her prescription.  I was talking to a friend yesterday about her daughter’s new glasses.  $80 for hers.  Wow, if only.  Sierra’s cost five times that before insurance.  Fortunately, insurance will pay about 60%.  They keep paying less and less for our glasses even though our premiums keep going up.  

She’s been complaining about her eyes a lot and is ready for new ones.  I don’t know if the change in the prescription will help or not.  He suggested it might be from the high pollen count.  She hasn’t been wanting to read much because of her eyes.  They water easily and she seems to be experiencing eye fatigue. 

I was surprised by all the cute glasses frames that are available now.  They didn’t even have any simple ones like her last four pair.  The ones she picked out are really cute. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Two Cents

Since the secondary topic for this weekend is the Penn State scandal, I want to weigh in on that in case those who are defending this program might be reading. 

Having been a foster parent for six years with 26 kids being in our home during that time, I feel I can make a statement.   Foster children are at higher risk of having been abused because they have a lot of contact with many adults. 

What the staff at Penn State did by ignoring what they knew was going on is reprehensible.   No one can say that they reported it to their bosses and think they are relieved of responsibility.  What was going on was criminal and when actions weren’t taken, they should have kept going until they ended up at law enforcement. 

We had two young children who were victims of this kind of abuse at the hands of a previous foster parent prior to coming to our home.  We were told by authorities that there was a good chance they’d been violated because they had been moved around so much between family and eight different foster homes.  

There is nothing more heartbreaking and sickening than to witness a young child acting out sexually because of what has been done to him.   It makes you want to kill the person responsible, especially someone who is in a position of trust.  These kids’ innocence was taken away on someone else’s terms which should never happen to anyone. 

Never ever should a football program, a church or any organization be protected at the expense of children.  That is what has been happening.   This makes me sick.

I pray for wisdom for the NCAA and Penn State in what their future actions need to be.   

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Shovel and a Broom

We have been working to turn Sierra’s room into a bedroom instead of a replica of the landfill.  I think the girl has inherited some of my organizational (or lack thereof) genes.  We did manage to remove the changing table dresser and hope to sell it.  It was great to have it with four drawers but it took up too much space in her small room.   The top folds back to make a neat shelf but I had it open for pictures. 


Now with that out of the way, we have moved the too-big-for-her room dresser over to the longest wall and put her bed closer to the window and away from a wall.  She has downsized her toys and I still need to downsize her clothing.  We need to sort through baby doll stuff.  I am working on ways to maximize storage and space.   Where is HGTV when I need it?  Oh yeah, with the pricey cable that we are not going to pay for.  Oh well.  I’m no Candice Olson but it will have to do.  I do have a much much much smaller budget but I am still having some fun. 

I’ve decided to start putting most everything away for a fall garage sale.  With a two week fall break from school, I am thinking an October garage sale sounds good.  We did that a couple years ago and had more traffic on the Friday than we’ve ever had during a neighborhood sale.  I barely had time to go to the restroom. 

Well, I better get back to it.   I have already emailed the honey-do-list to the man of the house so he knows what’s waiting for him this evening.  Good thing he likes using his power drill. 


Monday, July 16, 2012

State Fair bound

We picked up our projects yesterday.  Now if we can just keep this one safe until it gets judged at State Fair. 



Here are the ribbons I got on my marshmallows.  I should have taken the picture with the marshmallows but I had already eaten them.  Smile


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sweet Rain

We’re having some welcome rain today.  Not sure if it will amount to much.

If you’re having a drought and need rain.  Just send the guys camping.  Jeff and Sean are camping with the Webelos. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How complicated our heart is

After a month of wearing an event recorder, an initial appointment with a cardiologist and a subsequent tilt table test, we now know why Callie gets dizzy often and sometimes passes out. 

It seems there are a couple of regulators (in the form of nerves) that control the heart.  One tells the heart to beat faster and the other tells the heart to slow down.  Callie’s nerve that tells the heart to slow down is overactive.  In other words, it goes overboard in telling her heart to slow down.  Not only does her heart slow down, but her blood pressure drops as well. 

And the main thing that she does that can cause it is just to be upright.  This is why the tilt table test can be used to help diagnose it. 

In the tilt table test, which is done at the hospital in an outpatient surgery room in the heart catheter lab area, they put you on a table lying flat, strap you to it so you can’t fall.  There is a foot support for when you are upright.  After a few minutes, they tilt the table to be vertical, so basically, she was just standing with a table at her back.  Without any provocation (sometimes they inject meds to try to make things happen), Callie’s heart rate dropped to 30 and her blood pressure dropped into the 60s.  She was in a lot of pain (as is what happens when she passes out) and was very hot and broke out in a complete sweat.  She said she wanted to pass out to escape how she was feeling but she did not go all the way out. 

In her case, they are treating this now with a blood pressure medication which, ironically, is designed to drop the blood pressure.  Go figure.  She’s on a very low dose and they will not increase it since her blood pressure tends to run low.  It has helped reduce the frequency of her dizzy spells and was actually awesome for the first 5 days.  I am wondering if she has grown tolerant of it like she has other medications and it’s not working so well for her.  The doctor’s best advice is for her to stay very hydrated.  That’s very hard to do when she cannot drink artificial colors or sweeteners or pop.  She likes tea but it is a diuretic and would kind of defeat the purpose.  She also is still taking the water pill that she was on for the pseudotumor so that doesn’t help her stay hydrated either. 

Never a dull moment with this girl. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

4H Results

Sean got blue ribbons on all six projects.  One criticism I have heard from other homeschool parents is that the judging has become too easy for the sake of the child’s self esteem.   I think there is some truth to that although I felt Sean’s projects were done well and he demonstrated during judging that he knew and understood the requirements and the details of his projects.  For example, he made a family first aid kit for health and was able to show the judge everything in his kit and what it was to be used for.  Likewise, he was able to answer all of the judge’s questions and explain what he learned while doing his child development poster.   He also understood the types of rocks for geology. 

He received reserve champion ribbons (2nd place in his division/age category) in entomology, health and child development.   His biggest surprise was that he received Champion (first place in his division) and Grand Champion (first place over all divisions/age categories) and a State Fair entry for his geology poster.  State Fair is a desired goal for those wanting to have more serious judging of their projects.   After we went through the 4H building at the State Fair last year, Sean has wanted to have something entered in there and was so excited that he will get to. 

As for the open class judging, Sierra got a red ribbon on her chalk pastel drawing.  For next year, our goal will be to do a lot more art during school so that she will have a few art creations to choose from.  Callie got blue ribbons on her drawing and her bracelet.  I got blue ribbons on the two photographs, reserve champion on my loaf of bread (I think there were only 3 or 4 entries so no big deal) and Reserve Grand Champion (2nd overall of all candy entries) on my marshmallows.    Those marshmallows are the bomb.  I was not surprised they did well…   all it takes is for someone to taste them.  Smile 

One of the photos I entered is the picture of Sean whispering to Santa that you can see on the right side of my blog.  The other one I entered was this one.2008 Zoo 056

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Highlights of Summer

The highlights of our summer are our county 4H Fair and the Indiana State Fair, the latter of which we discovered a couple years ago and found it to be great fun.

This is Sean’s first year as a 4H’er.  He has completed six projects and we are waiting for judging later this afternoon.   Sierra is in mini-4H and will drop off her exhibits on Thursday.

The girls and I are entering items in the open-class building today also.  Sierra did a chalk pastel drawing and Callie did a pencil drawing and made a bracelet.  I did a charcoal drawing and am entering a couple of photographs.  If I get reenergized, I might enter something in foods on Thursday.

Every year I look at all the exhibits and think how much fun it would be and then I wait all year and say the same thing again the next year.   I hope that in the future I can start working on other items to exhibit just for fun.