Thursday, November 9, 2006

Pomanders And Present Going Ons

Kori and I have made some pomanders. I suppose I should say that it has been a family affair as Raiden likes to stab the orange with a toothpick and insert the cloves. And Brian chauffeured us around town, finally finding orris root powder himself in the health food store. I hope they work. We have 3 completed, covered in spices and drying. Various sources have said it take 4 - 6 weeks to have a nicely dried pomander. So I'm hoping that we have them ready at Christmas time. If they work out ok, I'll plan to make some as gifts/ornaments next year. This year, I think they will stay here and decorate my house. Better safe than sorry, you know.

The birthday boy is another year older. We had a good day, I think. He is happy with his gifts and I was able to surprise him. Which is a feat in itself. I suppose I should share...might make some sense of the prevcious confusing post below.

The kids and I thought it would be nice to surprise Brian with a birthday gift of a remote car starter. He gets up for work early each day and has a forty mile walk from the parking lot to the building. (k, not 40, but it's uphill both ways, in steel toe boots and driving snow....) We are usually snug in bed when he leaves...and this is a man who loves his sleep. Anyway, we thought it would be nice for him to be able to start the car up as he was getting ready for work, without having to go out and scrape the ice off the car in the wind. At lucnch, he doesn't really have time to scrape the car off, come home to eat and then drive back, either. So the kids and I went shopping. We picked one up. Took it to the shop to make sure they could install it. Yup. No problem. Left it there and booked myself in for 11am the next day to have it installed.

The kids and I arrive at the shop at 11am the next day. It is so busy that I take the kids into the back office to wait. Mom and dad are crazy busy with customers. Even my brother is out in the shop working. We wait. 11:30. My brother grabs the kids and they run across to the parts shop across the street to get a part. They come back. Rai is bleeding. Brad hasn't got his part, the phone is ringing off the hook, customers are waiting, cars are blocking the bays. I take the kids home. There is no starter on my car. Mom calls later. Bring it right over, it's not so busy now. I pack up the kids and off we go. The car is in the bay and torn apart. There is a mechanic embedded in the underworkings of the dash, working away. Suddenly this one hour job is more like a two hour job. I check the clock. It's Friday, Bri usually tries to wrap up his week earlier than his normal 4pm finish time.. Best case scenario: they'll be done around 3:30. I turn off my cell phone and hope for the best. 3:30 rolls around. The mechanic starts putting the car back together. The starter isn't working properly. Brad is on the phone with the starter tech-support line. The best I can do is bring it back Monday morning and they'll finish it up. I coach the kids on why it's not really lying if we don't tell Daddy what we did all afternoon.

So Monday morning rolls around, Rai and I hit the shop with the car earlier than is decent. We leave the car, take my moms, pick up fresh birthday pie as it appears that those who work at the grocery store are up at that hour. Return to the shop to find that the starter is working!!! Grab coffee on the way home and all is good. We were quiet about the starter until Bri got his keys on his way to renerw the licence plate stickers later in the morning. He found the remote on his keychain and was all excited. So, a good surprise, well taken by the guy that you're not supposed to surprise 'cause he hates surprises. I'm not sure if he's more surprised by the gift, or the fact that we surprised him...jury's still out on that one.

Today was the day to drop off Rai's second sample at the lab. A week and 2 days he's been off his medicine and no fever so far. This is good news, however, there are niggling worries in the back of my head. The antibiotics were much stronger than his first round. I can't help but think that it's just going to take longer for his system to get rid of the stronger drugs and then we'll be back to square one. The past two days have been bad days as far as his tummy pains are concerned, but no fever.

I should probably let everyone know how lessons and such are going. We are reading every day. Our present selections are Little House On The Prarie and The Dawntreader by C.S.Lewis. The kids couldn't decide together on a read-aloud, so I started reading both of their choices. I have to say that Rai is holding up through "the girl book" very well. So far we have read about exploring and building, wolves and fires and he says it's not that bad. He says he might even like it when we get to the part with the Indians. The Dawntreader is pretty fantastical - even more so than the first two of the Narnia series that we've read. It seems there is a seperate adventure in each chapter. Our attention is held; it will be interesting to see how it all turns out.

There is much unstructured learning going on. Kori is working on a creative writing story and Rai is helping with ideas, plot, characters and such. They disappear for large chunks of time to work on it. Kori is discovering Lego with Rai. I am beginning to get a picture of our Advent activities in my mind. I see some more structured time for lessons creeping up behind me again. The kids were doing very well keeping busy. But the last week or so, I see less and less of the 'interesting' things keeping them busy. There's no excuse, either, as they both lost any sort of video games for a week. Even Brian noticed that they were rushing through their required things, doing a less than stellar job, in order to turn the game-box on. Brian made short work of that. We are practicing doing a thoughough job the first time we do things - chores, helping mom, taking care of themselves, etc. I suppose I can count that as some sort of 'lesson', can't I??

Was thinking about Rememberance Day and who was going to lay the wreath in Ottawa for my Grandpa this year. Usually Dad goes up and does it. But I haven't heard any plan for that this year. Its funny, when you think about not having your dad any more. (or when you think about your dad not having his dad anymore...) Whether they're taken from us too early or if they've had a full life, it always seems to me that those left behind are too alone in the world. It's sad thinking about the little ones who won't know their Grandpa, not really, at least, not like we knew them. I know the stories I tell the kids about my Grandpa don't do him justice. I suppose that's just one of those life lessons that you have to learn. Sometimes learning isn't so fun...

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