Sunday, February 24, 2013

Score at Office Depot

This afternoon I had to make a ton of copies for my astronomy lesson at the elementary co-op on Tuesday, and while everything was copying, I happened to notice the clearance rack.  On the rack was this enormous 5 inch binder, on sale for $3.93.  I have been needing a new binder because I had 2 smaller ones for biology--both 2 inches, including this purple one.  But they were getting full, and the year is only 3/4 over!  I have never seen a binder as big as this one though, LOL.  After the copying was done, I walked around the store to find nametags for the field trip I'm in charge of, and I happened to see other 5 inch binders on the shelf--for over $35!!  So I ran back and picked up this bargain as fast as possible!  When I took it to the checkout, it rang up as originally $32.99, so getting it for $3.93 was such a steal!  Now this beauty has a ton of my biology handouts and notes in it, and it's not even half full!  I do still have the stuff I need right now in my smaller purple binder, because getting papers out of this monster is not as easy as you might think, ha. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Third Day Concert!

Bob and I had a date to the Third Day concert Thursday night.  It was the opening night of their "Miracle" Tour.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure I would enjoy it all that much.  I mean, I really like Third Day, and we have a lot of their CDs, but the whole group experience thing, crowds, loud noise--I wasn't sure about all that.  And I can't even remember the last time I went to a concert.  It might have been our first actual date, where we went to a concert at the Nutter Center after the base chapel volunteer appreciation banquet, back in the spring of 1992!  I have no recollection of what group was playing, but I do remember some ladies singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", so I think it was some sort of oldies/patriotic music group.  Anyhow . . . suffice to say I've not been a part of the live music scene of late, LOL.

We got there just a few minutes late, and we even got a good parking space, so that was nice.  We walked in and sat down (we had great seats!) and the opening act, Josh Wilson, was already singing.  We didn't recognize his name right away, but we soon realized that the Christian radio station plays his songs, so we DID actually know him.  He was great!  We both really enjoyed him, and I started thinking, "Hey, concerts are fun!  Why don't we go to more of them?"

Then the second guy came onstage, and he was definitely MUCH louder, LOL.  His name was Colton Dixon, and apparently he had been on American Idol this past year.  I wouldn't know, since I don't watch that show.  I definitely felt like an old fuddy-duddy, snickering at his pencil jeans and weirdly spiked hair, and wishing the music was quieter and the bass wasn't so heavy, LOL.  He seemed like a nice boy, though (albeit with really skinny, non-athletic legs).  I just won't be going to his concerts, LOL.

After intermission, Third Day came out.  Everyone was on their feet, cheering, but I just stayed sitting down, because, well, I'm not really all that outwardly excitable, and it just feels, I don't know, awkward or something.  Bob stayed sitting down too, which was fine until the couple sitting next to us decided to move down to the empty row right in front of us.  When they did that, suddenly we couldn't see anymore sitting down!  Bob said something to them, I was embarrassed, they ended up moving down some so they didn't block our view, and I ended up trading seats with Bob and standing up, so it ended up fine.  I felt awkward, but it was okay.  And then Mac Powell, bless his heart, told everyone to sit down, so *whew* I didn't have to awkwardly stand up the whole time!  It got me thinking though--in a big group of people, my tendancy is to back away and almost be outside the experience, looking in.  Which is not to say I'm not enjoying it!  I just don't outwardly express it or something.  Anyway, I was worrying about being in heaven, with thousands upon thousands, worshipping God, like it says in Revelation.  Surely I would be able to enjoy a group experience there, focusing on God, not feeling outside it all, right?! 

Third Day was absolutely amazing.  We both so enjoyed all the songs, and Mac Powell sharing in between songs.  It's hard to believe they've been a band for over 20 years, but they definitely were so comfortable up on stage!  And you know, gradually I became a lot more comfortable in the crowd--I even clapped along some, LOL.  It was like being in a worship service, and by the end I wasn't so worried that there was something wrong with me, that I couldn't enjoy group experiences!   So Bob and I had a really fun time together, and a really meaningful time of worship as well! 

Back at home, Nathan and Luke gave Drew a bottle, got everyone ice cream, and put the younger 5 to bed.  It is soooo nice to have responsible in-house babysitting!  What a blessing!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Week For Drew!

1.  Drew started rolling from front to back last Thursday!  He's okay with it if he is up and playing on the floor.  He is NOT happy when he does it when he's sleeping.  He only did that once, LOL.

2,  Drew found his thumb last Friday!  It's still hit and miss as far as reliably getting it in his mouth.  It is helping him sleep though!  Which leads us to . . .

3.  Drew slept until 8:00 this morning!  That was lovely!  Of course, Micah was up crying at 7:00, and Faith was hollering at 7:30 because she needed toilet paper in her bathroom, but still . . .

4. Drew had his first formula bottle this morning!  I wanted to try him on formula to make sure I could leave him for the weekend I go to Ohio, but I also wanted to make sure I was around, in case it didn't work or he was allergic or something.  The younger kids didn't have TNT this morning, because they're on winter break (lucky ducks, LOL), so that was perfect--Caleb gave him the bottle while I was leading a fetal pig dissection for biology!  Drew did fine with it, although he didn't have naps as long as he usually does this afternoon.  That, however, could be from all the kids we have here Tuesday afternoons, LOL.  I'll try another formula bottle before I leave, just to make sure he's okay with it. 

And in the picture above, Drew is smiling and cooing at his beloved older sister Grace!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Well Babies!

So Faith and Drew had well-baby appointments last Thursday.  Drew was 12 pounds, 6 ounces, and that is the only statistic I remember from the appointment, LOL.  They both are perfectly healthy!  Drew is doing really well at night, sleeping from about 9:00 or so until 6:00 or 6:30 pretty reliably.  Yay!

Caleb, who didn't want to be in this picture, also had an appointment.  After 2 years of basically never needing his inhaler, he has had a harder time this winter.  Starting in December, whenever he would go outside to play basketball, he would come in wheezing and needing his inhaler.  It only seems to be exercising in the cold that triggers the wheezing, though.  It had been awhile since he had been seen, and he needed new prescriptions for his asthma meds, so that is why he had to go in too.  The doctor her saw was so nice--he was one of 7 himself!--and he asked a lot of thorough questions to make sure it wasn't some new allergy or something.  It doesn't appear that it is, so the plan is that Caleb has to take Flovent in his inhaler preventatively, twice a day, now. 

The doctor called in a staff doctor to come in and make sure he was on the right track, as far as a treatment plan goes.  When she walked in, I recognized her from back when Faith was a baby, although we haven't seen her for several years.  We talked about Caleb for awhile, and then we talked about us having so many kids.  The doctor started talking about this one family who used to come in, who were "very religious" and had 7 kids.  The mom would line the kids up against the wall, and they would sit while the doctor would examine the baby and talk with the mom.  The older kids took care of the younger kids, and they were always quiet and well-behaved.  At the end of the appointment, the mom would give them a snack.  I laughed and said something about it sounding familiar, but after we left, it hit me--I'm sure she was talking about us!  She was our doctor when Faith (#7) was a baby, and Nathan was not even 12, so I still had to bring everyone in.  We saw her several times, and what she described is pretty much what I would do.  I'm sure there are plenty of other families with 7 kids who could also be described that way, but I'm pretty sure she was talking about us!  It was encouraging, though.

Good thing I had that encouragement, because the afternoon dragged on forever!  We left out house at 12:40, and we finally got back home at 6:40, after getting shots at the immunization clinic and waiting FOREVER at the pharmacy for Caleb's prescriptions.  I was so ready to be home!  And when I got home, I was greeted with flowers Amy sent me, plus balloons and a delicious "not-cake" fudgy torte thing from Christine, since it was actually my 40th birthday!  Bob had already gotten me roses, but he surprised me with an absolutely beautiful jewelry box with a really special inscription on it. Then he took me out to eat at Cheesecake Factory, and we did a little bit of shopping afterward.  He wanted to do something fun, like go ice skating, but I was just totally beat from my long day at Bethesda, so we will have to save that for another date!

Spending the afternoon at the doctor is not exactly an ideal birthday, but Bob had already given me a huge present that I am sooo looking forward to.  A few weeks ago, Amy called, and she mentioned that my high school, Dayton Christian, was having a big 50th anniversary celebration in March.  She wondered if there was any way I could possibly come home for that, since our other good friend Julie was going to be in town that weekend.  Well, the timing is absolutely the worst--right after my 2 weeks of teaching at our elementary co-op, and right before the big field trip to the space museum that I am in charge of.  No way we can pick up and drive out there in the midst of all that!  But then I got to thinking--what if just Drew and I flew out?  So I looked into ticket prices, and I found a direct flight for only $215.  Bob okayed the plan, so I bought a ticket, leaving Thursday after lab, and coming home Sunday evening!  Now it's been a few more weeks, Drew is sleeping really well, and . . . well, I'm thinking that if he will do okay with formula, I'm not going to take him.  Just me, all by myself, with no kids for 3 days!!   It sounds so amazingly refreshing.  I can. not. wait.  Best birthday present EVER!!!  I need to buy some formula so I can try Drew on it.  I'll bring a pump, which will be a little bit of a hassle . .  but  all by myself!  For 3 days!  With no one needing me!  I can hardly imagine it!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Faith!

Faith turned 4 on Friday!  Bob took the day off, which was really nice.  After he took Nathan to the Pentagon DMV to take his test for his learner's permit, he took the girls and Micah to Wegman's so that I would have uninterrupted time to frost the cake!  If you have read this blog for awhile, you may have thought that this cake looks familiar.  It does!  I used the same dog as a model for Grace's 2 year old birthday cake, back in 2009!  That dog was Grace's special stuffie that she loved and slept with.  Faith was 3 months old when I made that first cake!

Well, apparently a few months ago, Grace bequeathed the puppy to Faith.  And so when I asked Faith what she wanted for her cake, she picked the pink and white puppy, even though there is no way she could have any recollection of me having made a cake of it before!  There just must be something about that dog that screams "birthday cake"!  Grace's cake was actually cuter, but I had way less time this go-around.  I did the ears differently, which was easier, but not as cute.  Oh well! 

Faith is so happy to finally be 4 years old.  She was so funny the other day though.  She told me she felt like she was still 3 because she still sucked on her finger, LOL.  She does it less, though.  We're working on it!  Faith is a sweetheart, and we're glad to have her in our family!  And we never forgeet that she is there, because she is just SO loud, and she always is making some sort of noise!  I usd to worry about having 3 girls--would one always be left out, especially since Anna and Grace are so close in age?  Not to worry!  Faith's personality does not lend itself to being left out, and that has definitely not been a problem!  The Lord knew exactly who to put in our family!

Catching Up

I thought last week would be a "breather week" for us!  That didn't happen, and this past weekend was certainly not restful either, so I didn't get any blogging done, despite my best intentions. 

So . . . catching up.  When I last wrote, we were down a van and a toilet.  Sunday afternoon Bob had the brilliant idea to call Brian, our awesome church administrator who knows everyone, to see if he could recommend a towing service.  Brain said he could but then asked if Bob didn't just want to call Noah, another guy in our church, to see if he would just want to fix it?  So Bob called Noah, he drove out Monday afternoon and fixed the van there off the road where Bob and Ed had pushed it, and it was good to go!  Noah's wife and son were over in Africa visiting friends, so he came over afterward and had dinner with us.  So fun!  And now the van was working again!

Bob had been working each evening on the recalcitrant toilet, snaking it and so on, to no avail.  But Tuesday morning before he went to work, he tried one more time, and *voila* the toilet flushed!!  That was a direct answer to prayer because Tuesday afternoons while Rivendell is meeting we have 24 kids here, and it is a total pain to have everyone have to troop up or down stairs to pee!  Although, as I had to remind myself several times, it's not like we were roughing it like the pioneers, LOL.  We have 4 other toilets in our house, all of which were working, so we weren't exactly digging an outhouse or anything!  Bob's parents raised 6 kids in a house with one bathroom, which was upstairs!  But I was still glad to have the main floor bathroom open for business again.  Thank you, Lord!

The reason last week was going to be such a breather for me is that we were studying stuff in biology that is not on the AP test (phyla), and the lab was just dissecting a frog.  I did not have to spend hardly any time at all preparing, which was so nice.  We had a fun time with the frogs.  Leo had a female frog who was just stuffed with eggs in every space in her intestinal cavity!  I've never seen so many eggs before!  That was really interesting, although it did make it hard to see the other organs, since they were so squished and covered in eggs.   
Since we did the lab on Tuesday, and we didn't need to cover the chapters, we didn't need to meet on Thursday, which worked out perfectly, since I had made 3 doctor's appointments for Thursday afternoon.  I spent 30 minutes on the phone with the appointment center, trying to get 3 appointments together on one day, and when Thursday afternoon was all they could come up with, I wasn't going to turn them down and start all over again!  Faith and Drew had well-child appointments, and Caleb went in to get new prescriptions for his asthma medicines.  I'll do a separate post on the appointments (that's my well-intentioned plan, anyway!).

Saturday was an absolutely crazy day.  Luke and Jonathan had basketball games in the morning, and Caleb had a birthday party at a friend's house.  Nathan toured an FAA facility with CAP, and then he reffed 2 games in the afternoon at Upward.  Bob and I were driving all over the place!  We can't wait until Nathan can drive!  He got his learner's permit on Friday, so after I picked him up from his refereeing, I took him across the street to a parking lot so he could have his first driving experience.  He did great!  He picked up on how hard to press the pedals really quickly.  Now, to fit in time for more practice . . .

The last thing on Saturday was a father/daughter dance at a local church!  Bob took Anna, since the girls had to be in 1st grade to go.  She was so excited!  They had a great time.  There were a lot of activities--some drawing, they made a necklace and a picture frame, there were snacks, as well as the dancing.  It was really special!  Grace is looking forward to her turn to go next year!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

One of Those Weeks . . .

 . . . where you think all your possessions are rebelling against you.  It started on Tuesday when one of those plastic deoderizer-things that hangs over the rim of the toilet bowl got knocked into the toilet and flushed.  We were attempting to make it not as noticeable that there are a bunch of boys using our main floor bathroom on a daily basis, but given the choice between a non-working toilet, and a bathroom that can smell like a hamster cage, now we realize we would pick the hamster cage.  So the toilet is well and truly clogged.  Reasonable solutions such as snaking have not yielded any positive results, so now Bob is thinking that he is going to have to actually take off the toilet.  Now there's a project to look forward to!

Next, it appears one of garage doors is possessed!  I was standing by our refrigerator Wednesday night when I thought I heard the garage door going up.  But we were all inside, so I convinced myself that it was just the dishwasher or something.  But a little later I heard the noise again, and I went out to the garage to check.  The door was down, but the light was on, indicating that the door had been moving!  Freaky!  We locked that garage door so it couldn't move, but the next day I unlocked it, just to see what would happen.  Sure enough, a little while later I was standing in the kitchen when I heard the garage door!  I ran out the door in time to catch it going up!  So now it is staying locked until Bob can take a look at it to see if wires are touching or something. 

Then yesterday we had another busy Saturday.  I took Jonathan to his pictures and game at 10:30, while Bob took Nathan to meet a review board for CAP, to determine if he will be selected to go to the summer special activities he would like.  After they got home, Bob left to take Luke to his 1:15 game.  At 12:55 I got a call from Bob.  He said his 2000 Honda Odyssey was "broken" and that I needed to come get Luke and take him on to his game!  When Bob was making a left turn, the van just made a big clunking noise and wouldn't go anymore.  It wouldn't even stay in park.  After talking to some repair guys, it seems the consensus is that the axle is broken.  We were actually hoping it was the transmission, since we had that replaced in March 2010 (I remembered it as "a year we didn't have a baby", LOL), and so it was still under warrenty.  But alas . . . this is a new problem, it seems. We didn't want to pay for weekend emergency towing, so the poor Ody is still stuck on the side of the road.  It looks like we'll be doing something with that tomorrow.  At least we have the big van as well as the Sienna!

Now we are waiting to see what causes problems this next week . . . (cue ominous music . . .)