Friday, July 28, 2006

My House Is Home Again!!

Had a great drive to the Camp to get Kori. Just sailed through traffic and arrived early. She was very happy to see us and she was in great spirits. We collected her things and she had hugs for many of the leaders on the way out. She's got addresses and emails for a few of the girls. So, all in all, a good week away for her.

We had plans to try and hit opening night at the theatre after a lasagna dinner. However, reality strikes. Kori is exhausted. So it is The Princess Bride and bagels, grapes, yogurt and juice for dinner. Then bed. Tomorrow we will see about a movie, drop Kori's camera off for the prints to be developed and soccer first thing for Rai.

Conversation in the car was cute...'Kori, why are you talking in such a nice voice to me?' 'Well, Rai, I"ve been gone for a week and I missed you a little bit. I'm glad to be going home; I'm so tired!' 'Oh. Well, it's good you liked camp. I missed you a bit, I guess, if I think about it. And I didn't kill your Tamagotchi, so that's good too.'

Brian and I have been busy sprucing up the living room. New draperies hung across the big window. Nothing fancy, but it is really nice to have privacy drapes after 7.5 years. And the new sheers have to be hemmed. We agreed on an area rug without fuss and we need to empty the entertainment unit to remove the old one before the new can be laid. Perhaps that will happen tonight. I was hoping to steam clean the wall-to-wall, but it is so humid so I will wait until the weather breaks. I hope to do some knitting this winter and will try to make a matching throw and maybe a pillow or two to match the new rug. Ambitious, eh?

Samantha has confirmed her travel plans and will join us the last week of August. Hopefully we can find some things to do that she will enjoy. Raiden has a 3 day museum thing coming up soon. I want to look into swimming lessons for Kori and the Conservation Area's day camp for Rai, but they might be delusions of grandeur. It would be nice to get the day camp in for Rai - although it will mean a week of crazy-car-scheduling with Brian - as he would get a whole semester of environmental science under his belt. Kori is actually asking do do some physical activity so how can you ignore that?! And she would like the boost of confidence...she failed her camp open water swim test which she knows she can complete in the pool. Anyway...that's just stuff to do this week.

Hopefully I'll get back to the school work grind as well. Kori is asking for more math work and both kids are excited about our Ancient Egypt unit we'd begun earlier this summer. Book reports continue and we're getting behind on our read alouds.

So much focus on the kids and the house, I'm letting other things slide. Going to have to get a handle on that. The dreaded schedule may have to be adhered to a little more faithfully. Off to keep the laundry moving...Kori took a lot of clothes to camp! Pick -up Kori photos will be up in the next day or so.

Loving The New Set-Up....Not!

This is the first time in days that I have been able to log-in without having my PC hang while trying to do so. Kinda scared to log-out, now. I had meant to get pictures on and info updated last night, but I ended up cleaning out, literally, hundreds of emails from my inbox. I also returned a bunch of outstanding emails that needed replies and my list of 'those to get an email off to' is even longer than when I started. I did make some progress though...well, Brian did. Got Photoshop installed on my PC so I can email pictures of a decent size and he taught me how to resize the pics. So that's a start.

Have about 19 things to do today...8 o'clock and it's already 25+ degrees. Museum, visit the building managers, get a load of clothes ready for the consignment store, get to the consignment store on time, don' t forget to pick Brian up, call Jennifer, send out picnic invites, groceries, banking, call the gov't...hope I can get through...

So I'm off to see how many of those things I can knock down today...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Letters From Camp

" Dear Everyone,

I am not having a good time. I have lots of friends but Twitchy is really mean. Plus, I have failed the swim test. THanks for wishing me good luck, Dad, but it didn't help. Twitchy made two stupid rules. One: Don't put bags under bunk ladders or they will be taken away and Two: Don' t shine flashlights in Ms.Perfect's (Twitchy's) eyes or they will be taken away. Plus we have to clean our room and make sure it is tidy for when Twitchy does her secret inspection. My friend Julie is reading a Songe Bob story, but I am not really listening. I really miss you and want to go home!

Love Kori"

Well. Isn't that just 'Kori' to a T. 27 more hours before she is rescued.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

No News Is Good News

Kori was dropped off at camp on Sunday. Dad got a hug. Raiden got a hug. Mom got a "Mom!?! I have to camp with these girls all week! I'm not hugging you!" It's been raining in little spurts on and off. Hopefully that's not putting a damper on the campers or their activities. I took pictures and will get them uploaded here sometime soon. Brian is convinced I am a little worked up about her being gone - I tend to have seperation issues - but really, other than a couple niggling thoughts about her mood and if she's happy about the food choices, I'm good. Camp won't call unless there's a, no news is good news.

Raiden and I have had two lazy-ish days. Brian has been motivating so our evenings are full. We are getting a few things done around the house. That's a refreshing thing too! We got word today that the property has, in fact, changed hands and that our building manager will be staying on. Hopefully they will resume the work on our unit to get these much awaited, long overdue repairs caught up. It took them from February until June to paint my kitchen ceiling...I am not holding my breath for anything too ambitious.

The school shelf is expanding to become the school area. We have reached a time that I will need to search out a nice math program for Kori. Raiden seems to be happy to finish out the Miquon series. I would give my right arm for more wall space or a new shelf unit. I constantly am torn between a peaceful, uncluttered living space and covering the walls with posters and kid creations. Kori has been talking about doing some activities this Fall. That is a great thing to hear from her! I think she's leaning toward swimming lessons or gymnastics. She had mentioned horseback riding...which she would probably really enjoy...but the cost here is very expensive. I am anxious to begin music lessons with the kids as well. I know they will be fine if they started later, as I did. But I am anxious nonetheless. They do enjoy puttering on the keyboard and playing some internet based theory tutorials. I'll have to redirect my anxious energy to something productive. The kids have been asking what the schedule will be come the Fall and the 'start' of school. They seem to like the idea of school work on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday with weekends and Wednesdays off. They have asked to do easy and fun science experiments. Raiden has asked that there be no writing work, but it's ok if I ask him to read some stuff. It is good for me that they have these scheduled, schooled ideas. It was easier to lesson plan when I used to get paid for it at the pool. But, this is all thinking ahead...

For now, we continue to work on some literature and reading based work. The kids are doing the weekly book reports at the library. Raiden is considering a week of Environmental Science day camp. He and I are on our 4th version of Treasure Island. I've begun Christmas cross-stitch ornaments. We totally missed the local strawberry season so the plans for fresh, homemade Christmas Strawberry jam have died a quiet death. I may get out this week for raspberries and I see that blueberries are ready as well. I would prefer to do the pick-your-own thing at a local farm. So preserves for Christmas may yet be a reality. Orange marmelade looks interesting and easy to make as well....

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Just Paid $6 For A Bag Of Chips

Plans for Friday Start to pack Kori as she leaves for Woolsey on Sunday. Get Nuk to the salon for 11:30. Finalize Bri's contract job: give back the box and pick up cheque. Make plans for beach day on Sat with Pete, Teresa and baby Sepp (April 12/06, 6lb9oz). Ray's Reptiles at the Library: July 26, 2-3pm FREE, so register!

Thursday Busy day. Did a whirlwind tidy up of the house, kids and dog in preparation for Madeline's visit (Brian's Mom). As everyone was saying their hello's, Nuk puked on the floor. I hate it when God uses me to get his jollies. Took the kids for a late grocery shop. Focused on whole foods, less junk and chemicals as Rai has been having some pretty serious stomach problems. Kids played outside with friends a lot. Rai went to the library for a Chess Club program. I pulled him early as the supervision went to hell: Summer Student had to chase 3 10 year olds around instead of guiding the the other 15 kids sort of lost their focus and got a little silly. The 3 10 years olds were found int he elevator punching each other and trying to recruit others. Kori was amazed to see them physically removed from the building. Now she believes me when I tell her those particular kids are lacking in parental guidance. Thinking of pulling kids from remaining library programs. Had a good chat about my thought in the car on the way home. Kids agreed: Library is no fun when others are acting out. Lunch at Eastsides with Madeline. Shopping afterward at the brought home new stuffed animals and chocolate. Thank you Grandma Maddie!! It is officailly the weekend as Brian is off, although on-call. He takes his yearly holidays throughout the summer by booking off all the Fridays he can. Works out well as the only other time he takes off are the kids' birthdays and a day or so at Christmas. I have officially given up on makin gthis blog fancy, so please forgive formatting, spelling and graphic mistakes. Just be thankful I've posted an update. Oh, bought new lipstick as my current fave melted. Stupid thing. They don't even make it with the nice smell it had anymore.

Wednesday Good day with the kids. I have banished the XBox and TV until polite manners resurface. Rai did his book report. Both did some independent work while I cleaned up. That is working out to be a good system: Eat, get ready for the day, chores, independent work while I clean up. Library program for both kids. Kori had an attack of 'boy crazy' and accomplished nothing, remembers nothing. Even after we talked about making good choices for ourselves before attending. NOT liking that Dillon kid. Surprised the kids after dinner with circus tickets. Dad and I took the kids. I lined them all up (Dad included) on the couch before we left and was very clear that there would be no food/drink treats AT ALL due to Rai's stomach problems. Sat on the floor instead of in the bleachers this year. Still hot as an oven. Good show overall. Came home with a baloon, an overpriced twirly, light-up thing, a light-up-your-mouth thing and Kori's face painted. Kori's little friend ended up buying a bag of cotton candy and the two of them plowed through it while I took Rai to the bathroom. Saw Kristen who was sporting a newly pierced lip and an entourage of loyal friends. Kids had to sit on th efloor up front by the ring for the second half...if I was braver I would have run up and taken a pic of them and all their little buddies. Ran into the kids' hockey-game buddies Alexis and Darian with their wee sister Willow. Brought home a big dose of brown-eyed baby fever from the ciurcus.

Tuesday Attempted more camping laundry. Finally everything is put away. I hate being lazy and unmotivated. Caught up on some email. Made a good dent in the kids' summer reading. Neighbours in the two units next to us are moving. That could be a mixed blessing. Won't miss the thumping on the master bedroom wall as the beagle next door runs circles and yips in his crate. Won't miss cathcing people releiving themselves on my outside wall and fireworks at 12am when the neighbours two doors down host a gathering.

Monday Lazy day. Did some reading with the kids and bathed my feet like, 30 times in cool water and baking soda. Went way overboard on the anti-itch cream. Laundry is piled 3 baskets high. I hate washing sleeping bags. I have a wierd looking sunburn on my chest. The kids had a blast camping and want to know what they can do now? I told them laundry. They called me un-cool. Booked Nuk in at the doggie salon to have her nails done on Friday. Looking forward to it as she doesn't mind the car too much since I bought her a doggie-seatbelt.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

6 Degrees Of Seperation

Ever watch the movie? It's on my list of things to do. They say that everyone on the planet can be conected within 6 degrees of seperation...ok, I'm going on heresay, but it's a cool theory.

I got to thinking how things go in circles...especially in this weeny-teeny town....

My sister is Janie, who is best friends with Brenna, who's mom is Kim who has worked a the Y for a long time, where I used to work. Incidentally, Brenna used to work at the Y too...AND Brenna's man Paul is best friends with Lucas, my sister's FIANCE. (I got to say 'fiance'...hehe).

I could probably come up with more....but it's after 11 and I'm going to bed. Perhaps I'll add more as I come up with them. And one last deep thought for the evening...why is there no spellcheck in this silly blogger???

6 Degrees Of Seperation

Ever watch the movie? It's on my list of things to do. They say that everyone on the planet can be conected within 6 degrees of seperation...ok, I'm going on heresay, but it's a cool theory.

I got to thinking how things go in circles...especially in this weeny-teeny town....

My sister is Janie, who is best friends with Brenna, who's mom is Kim who has worked a the Y for a long time, where I used to work. Incidentally, Brenna used to work at the Y too...AND Brenna's man Paul is best friends with Lucas, my sister's FIANCE. (I got to say 'fiance'...hehe).

I could probably come up with more....but it's after 11 and I'm going to bed. Perhaps I'll add more as I come up with them. And one last deep thought for the evening...why is there no spellcheck in this silly blogger???

Monday, July 10, 2006

OUR FAMILY IS GROWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JANIE IS GETTING MARRIED!!! I won't say too much more as the date is not set...But I can fairly confidently say that Lucas has been pulled in, hook, line and sinker!!! Another little brother. Why am I excited?!?

In other news, as hard as I try, I am finding it difficult to fit school work in on a regular basis. Maybe I have priority problems. I guess I genuinely believe that kids need to be kids...and so if friends come over, or if they want to play outside, I'm happy for them to do so instead of making them sit and 'do' school. I was telling Bri the other day that their entire Language Arts/English 'requirements' for a grade year are met through regular summer library program attendance and participation in the summer book club. So, that's a good thing, I suppose. As long as this stuff gets fit in along the way...somewhere....

We're gearing up for a camping trip this weekend. Matt and Michelle (I wonder if there will be any other announcements any time soon from anyone are coming and Jane and Lucas should be there as well. Brad will come I think...perhaps his new friend will put in an appearance. Raiden, each night at bedtime, has been asking if I've thought of anything else to bring with us. He's been having some...challenges...lately trying to occupy himself without the TV, PC or XBox and is worried he'll be bored in the great outdoors for 3 days. As I extol the virtues of having balance in our lives, trying to avoid implementing communistic measures around the household electronic entertainment, he escapes to his lie on his bed and play with his Tamagotchi . So, we are taking about 100lbs of board games, card games, dice games, water toys, campsite toys and snacks. Lord knows if we'll fit in the stuff we actually need. Like clothes. And bug spray.

Kori is off to learn about Victorian Tea Parties at the Museum tomorrow. She's pretty excited. The boldest, most abrasive, obnoxious boy I have ever met is enamored with Kori. Thank GOD we only see him at the library. And he doesn't go there to do library-ish type things...nooooo....he goes there to hang out. Loudly. Boldly. Obnoxiously. He told Kori he can't read. SO WHY HANG OUT AT THE LIBRARY!?!?!?!??! (Ok, the good Mom in me suggested that she should read to him...I only thought the evil thoughts.) As we left the library today, Kori noticed he was playing in the elevator. Up. Down. Up. Down. Gather some wayward children into the elevator with him. Up. Down. Exit the elevator as the Children's Librarian storms onto the scene and throws her arm across the doors with the authority and intimidation Navy Seals only dream about having. The other day Kori was at the Library, sitting at the same table as he was. I had to pull Kori out of the program room to explain to her that she was currently experiencing a "wrong place - wrong time" situation and if she did not remove herself, she would find herself unwelcome at other library programs because the Children's Librarian actually had begun to tremble and sweat due to the insolence of this boy. I suppose, pulling the positives out of the situation here, Kori and I are having some great 'parental guidance' type of discussions. She participates, I observe. We converse, I offer guidance and feedback. She goes back and actually does a pretty good job at putting into practice my suggestions and feedback. Now, if I were to just tell her she had to stay away from this kid, there would be problems. But today, I caught her explaining to him why his behaviour was inappropriate for the library. She told him, "Dillon, when you shout across the library like that, it's inconsiderate to the people who are in to read". And, "Dillon, if you're not here to read or go to the Program Room, then you should really go to the park". I especially liked, "Dillon, you need to sit properly in that chair before Maureen (the aforementioned Children's Librarian) sees you and speak to people with a polite tone of voice; my mom will get mad if call her 'HEY YOU" can say 'Mrs. XX' to her until she invites you to use her first name." Oh, thank you Montessori. And I do believe God has heard my is getting through to her!! Now, if I have to hear anymore about the $44 dollar silver chain he bought her at the pawn shop that he lost in his room (yeah, ok...right.) I'll scream.

The only other cool thing going on is that I've been spending a wee bit of time with a wonderful lady. She home schools her three boys - 15, 17 & 18. She is so creative and talented and inspiring. Such a positive person for me to be around. The reason I mention her is that she is into Artist Trading Cards. These are a form of artwork that is so versatile, it's amazing. A person makes a series (usually having a theme) of 9 cards. You then trade these cards - one for one - with others who have made their own set. You can use any medium you want as long as it is hockey card sized. Seriously, have a look on the net...ATCs are HUGE. It has been so long since I have had a creative outlet...I'm having a great time living vicariously through my new friend's creativity. Hopefully I'll get my butt in gear and return to some sort of creative endeavor that I enjoy...maybe my knitting.

I'm off to download pics from the camera. Check out the new photo album....I'll be back after the weekend to put up some camping pics.