Saturday, November 22

Beautiful day! :D

It was a balmy 43 degrees so I thought I'd make the most of it and take the dogs and kids for a walk... we all went to the bathroom, put on shoes and socks and wrapped up in coats, gloves, scarves and bike helmets for the kids. I got leashes on the dogs, grabbed my cell phone, sunglasses and the house keys and off we went. It really was glorious outside but the dogs kept tangling themselves up around my legs and Jack was having a love / hate relationship with his bike.....LOL!! We walked for a couple of miles but on the way back we all started to get a liiiittle warm....!!! Gah!! By the time we got in the door it was 51 degrees!! Yow!! Anyway, my hubby has my camera today so I wasn't able to get photos, so here is one I made earlier...!! A picture taken yesterday on my way home from the city! I was amazed at all the lines across the sky from the airplanes... if each planes trail stayed for the day the sky would just be woven with them! :D


Enough waffling... I apparently have lunch to make. Eat eat eat.. day in, day out.

Advent Calendars and stuff!

We've always had advent calendars since I was a child. We used to get ones where you find the picture with the days number on and then inside would be a seasonal picture. I ALWAYS wanted the ones with the chocolates inside, but I wasn't allowed to have them. :( Now I have children of my own, and Grannie sends us advent calendars. Guess what?!? They have candy in them!! PAH!! Thanks, Ma. !! ;D

This year we are going to make these lovely things and we'll hang them all over the Christmas tree. The ones here have jelly beans and activities to do in them... I'm not SURE we'll do that... we'll see! :D We'll make the cups today and I'll have a little think on what to put inside them!! :D I just thought they were really pretty and, because I love you, I thought I'd share!! :D

I LOVE these gift tags.....!!!

Someone sent me this link last year but I had already wrapped and tagged my gifts. I loved the tags so much though, that I wrote on my calendar to remind myself to print THESE out this time!!!

Enjoy!! :D


I'm sure there must BE worse things to happen to a person, but, at 2am, in the dark, on a barefooted trip to the bathroom, it is NEVER nice to step in a pile of dog poop, especially a cold one. Nor, then, is it nice to have to throw on the lights, clean up the turd, clean the carpet and wash ( and all but BLEACH ) your feet.


Damn DOG.


Friday, November 21


This week's THINK! project was Hats!... we were challenged to lay out three pieces of newspaper and some masking tape and make ourselves hats!! We had great fun with it! :D



Jack wanted a Cowboy hat!


AND a Chef's hat!!



And I just couldn't resist playing too! :D



After a slight hiccup we made Ooooooobleck!!! I love this stuff, it's really awesome! Part solid, part liquid, all fun!! :D Diana's kids LOVED it, my kids would have NOTHING to do with it. They're odd that way! : D
( mine, not hers! )



To make it you mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/4 cup of cornstarch (NOT baking soda!!)...that's it! You can punch it...and it's solid... try picking it up... and it's LIQUID!! That's where it got the name!! Oooooooo!! BLECK!!!!



Science with Diana

We always have lots of fun at Diana's house! This time we wanted to do some science experiments but the weather was WONDERFUL so the kids mostly played outside... here are Jack and Kyra making Mud Soup! :D mmmm.....!!


After the soup we got started with "Exploding sandwich bags!" :D


You put some vinegar in the bottom of a sandwich bag and then add some baking soda wrapped in a square of toilet roll. Zip the bag up quick and then RUN AWAY!!!


Oh.... and .... don't let the dog get it......!! :}


Kung Fu Panda should be Kung Fu BANNED~a!!!

* sigh *

In fact, hell, ** SIGH ** LOL! A well meaning and hitherto trusted friend recently lent us a copy of Kung Fu Panda. Have you MET my son!??!!?! GAH!!! The boy is "Hi~YA"ing all over the house. He's stopped my CLOCK even by throwing pillows at it. He's scraped a line of blood over his sister's shoulder and he's generally being rather troublesome.


Never again.

At least Wall~E is quieter....!!!!

Home Alone!! :D

Today Jessie spent a few hours at home on her own and Jack and I went shopping for new glasses and stuff...!! I wasn't sure how it would work out, but I sounded and acted confident and thought I'd no doubt have to turn around and come and get her when she got scared. Nope!!! I was out for over two hours and Jessie was FINE! She did call me as I was on my way home, she was wondering just when I would be back and seemed happy to hear I was on my way! Once we got in the door she was very excited and proud of herself and was thrilled to tell me everything she had done!! She said "I was quite bored for the first HOUR" !!! LOL!! Bless her!! It's amazing to see how they grow up....
Big steps.....!!!!

My rotten kid.....

I've just sat down and decided I would teach Jessie how to do division. I thought the first part would be to understand the question. What does

I wrote out a bunch of questions and had her simply write the question in another form so that I knew she knew what it meant.

That went well, and I was proud.

We then moved on to some simple questions... 10 divided by 2, 8 divided by 2, 9 divided by 3 etc. I showed her how to use her multiplication tables so she had absolutely no stress whatsoever.

It went well, and I was proud.

Finally she said "Can I write some questions for you???" "Sure!!" I said. ...
this is what she asked me.... 1878 divided by 27 and 1979 divided by 69. !!! GAH!! I'm no math whiz...! I'm barely cheese whiz. I sat and tried to work it out. I tried it twice. I tried all different approaches, my brain seized up and I began to panic. I could not get my answer to gel with the calculator....

It did not go well, I was not proud. In fact I said "I HATE this, I'm NOT doing it!!!" tore the paper up and threw it in the trash.


woo. Bring back memories of Math Class much???

Thursday, November 20

Why I'm Not Sending Jack to School ( today!)

You may ( or may not ) know that I recently took a tour of our local ( "Excellent" ) school as I was considering putting Jack into their Kindergarten program. Somedays I really need a break from him, he's certainly a busy boy and can be stubborn when he chooses.... I'm pretty tolerant of him but when I'm in the clutches of my hormones and he is being a BOY well, I'm wont to be rid of him for at least an hour or two!!

The school system here is wonderful. A friend of mine has her daughter in the same school and we even visited the classroom she is in. She has made major progress and seems to revel in the structure she is provided in the school. This Kindy room was amazing! EVERYTHING that could be laminated was laminated!!! Everything that couldn't move had a label (laminated, naturally )! The teacher was a lovely lady who had been teaching for 30 years and had gathered supplies and knowledge to an incredible extent! The walls of the room were ablaze with color and if they had been able to stick stuff on the ceiling they would have done I'm sure!! It was a touch too much for me, just a liiiiittle overstimulating... but apparently Kindergarteners love that stuff! :D Anyway, every single Down's Syndrome child who had ever been through the school system had this lady as their teacher. She has Experience!! : D She showed me samples of the children's work and I really felt that Jack was on a par with most of them. His art work was perhaps a little less sophisticated but his lettering is very similar. Sure, they made construction paper Racoons and had read a book about Africa, but does that beat being home with your family and being a strong, cohesive unit?! Not sure.

The trouble we had began with getting ready to start with. We needed to get there at 9 ... Could I get Jack to get dressed??? Could I get Jack to eat his breakfast?!?! Could I get everyone dressed and out the door in time??? Well, yes, but was it easy ? NO!! Would I want to do that every day?!?! Noooooo. Also it's winter... it's going to get very cold in the mornings... he'll have to get up, hustle to get dressed, hustle to have breakfast and then go out in the cold on to the bus and be bussed off to school everyday. I know regularly schooled kids do this, but would they choose to?? *shrug* I don't know. I know I don't fancy doing it!!! I much prefer our way of doing things! The tour started off well and Jack impressed the teachers and the aides... right up to where he started to get bored, hot, tired and hungry. The school is PACKED with toys and games to play with, none of which he was allowed to play. The teacher mentioned a sand and water table.... hoooo boy. I can just imagine Jack not wanting to stop playing with that for any reason what so ever. He has an incredible attention span for stuff and will play with things for hours sometimes. I just see trouble there. He basically broke down and refused to leave the room, wanting to play with everything, wanting to stay, did not want to go home.... *sigh* Anyway, we left, I was pretty damn mad with him but realised on the way home that he was hot and hungry. The school was really hot and we had our winter coats on. Also, I realised I was talking to the staff about him ( with him THERE ) and said "I really want you to be able to watch him closely... HE WILL RUN AWAY..... " DOH!!! Why not just say "Hey, Jack, show them how fast you can run, will ya?!? " what an idiot I am. Anyway, I left feeling a little down about it all! ;D

The folks at the school phoned me the next day. They had talked about it and were "happy" to have Jack attend whenever I wanted him to go. He could go part time if we wanted ( which in itself raised problems.... if he went in the morning, he'd be home at 12:00... that's fine, but as I am 30 minutes from town, if I had errands to run I would need to be home at 8 for the bus, head into town, run all my errands and be back again by 12. Doesn't sound much, only I'd also want to do school with Jessie and so on and I always find 12 comes up really quickly.... if he went in the afternoon, then he would be home around 3:30 so I'd have from 12 to 3:30... not enough time to make it worth while since again we have the getting ready for school, having breakfast or lunch.... that kind of hoopla... ) or he could go full time and they'd work out an ISP for him as they went along but then he'd be gone all day. Jack would have an aide to himself, they had suggested that perhaps he and the other little girl share one, but I felt that might take away from her and would not be really fair, since she had one all to herself beforehand. If Jack had his own aide however, he would not be able to be in the same classroom, you know, the one with the teacher who has had every Down's child... the one with all the experience and all the laminated stuff....Apparently there would be "too many adults in the room..." Ah. So Jack would have to be in another room.... for some reason, in my mind, all the other rooms seemed dull and empty, the teachers not quite so friendly, the atmosphere not so nice....! I know it's nutty, I'm sure they were all perfectly lovely, but if he was to go at all, I wanted him in the best class!! :D So in conclusion I don't want to fight over dressing and breakfast, I don't want to worry about him on the bus, I don't think he's that far behind the others, I don't want him gone all day.....and that is why Jack is staying home.... at least until the hormones get me again! :D

Wednesday, November 19

So... Santa's watching ya know.....

Ahem. I know it's early, but I'll take what I can get with my boy! ;D I told him earlier this afternoon when we were outside at a friend's house "Don't forget, Santa's watching you.......!!" He looked up to the sky and all around him and said "Santa??? Wey ARE yooo???" LOL!!! Bless him! ;D I suppose the idea that some bearded old weirdo is looking at you at all times, day or night, could be more than a liiiittle creepy!!!!???!! :D

Testing, Testing...1, 2, 3.14159265

I decided it would be a good idea to test Jessie and see how well she is really doing with "school". We don't do a lot of serious schooly stuff and I wanted to be sure she was doing as well as ( kindly and well meaning but basically ignorant ) folks tell me she is!!! We ordered some tests (I say we, I mean I... she had nothing to do with this part!) and they arrived last week. I wanted to get them done and out of the way so we got cracking right away! The tests weren't hard but were time consuming and I didn't want her to burn out on them, so over the next few days we worked on some here and some there... the hardest part for me was not helping her when she would ask me " What does THIS mean??" and "HOW do I figure THIS one out!?!?" especially when it came to math and she was stressing herself out no end... poor mite... Anyway we got through them and came out on the other side non the worse for wear!! I thought I would go through them before I mailed it all off, so I could get a feel for how well she did. I thought she was doing really well so was pretty unconcerned... ahem. Ooops. I started "grading" them and, yes, check, check, check, check..... what? uh oh. Oh no.... there was an entire section that she clearly didn't understand the question... Not one right answer among them. Oh dear. LOL!! Well! I suppose we know what we need to work on, right?!?! :D So I gave up on grading and bundled the lot into and envelope and got it into the mail. It's out of our hands now and we'll just have to wait and see what comes back! I'm nervous as heck! :D She's fine with it all because I did a great job of convincing her it doesn't matter what it says, it will simply be a bench mark, a guide line, somewhere to work from..... now can someone please try and convince ME !!??!? LOL!!!!

No Internet??? No Problem! :D

So yesterday, it happened. No Internet. All. Day. Long. If you know me AT ALL you know this is a big problem for me!!:D This time however, it all seemed to go very smoothly! :D I had internet first thing in the morning so I was able to check my mail and print off that day's recipe for dinner ( Broccoli Cheese Soup!) etc. It went down not long after that. I called Tech Support ( with a big sigh, since I hate having to jump hoops before breakfast... ) and when I finally got on to "Fred" or whatever his name was, he was very helpful. Helpful he may be but when he said "Uh, Ma'am, I'm noticing a sudden spike in calls.... WHERE are you calling from again?!?!" I was pretty sure things weren't going wrong on MY end!!! :D Turns out Windstream in NE was DOWN baby!! :D Apparently I was the First To Call In !! Woot!! I asked if there was a prize, but apparently not. Sigh. ( yeah, I DO sigh a lot! )

Anyway, long story short we were caught without internet all day. I was able to search the skull~wide~ball of yarn and come up with something I'd seen on Alicia's blog where you take an index card, draw a circle on it, have the kids look at stuff through a microscope and then draw what they see. We each drew several cards of various objects and then all had to guess what it was we had all drawn! It was a lot of fun and I was seriously impressed with how well both kids did! I was stunned at how well Jack drew WHAT HE SAW rather than what he knew it was, if you catch my drift! :D

Before Daddy got home we laid the cards out along the piano and everything we had drawn in random order underneath and he had to figure out which went where! He did a great job! :D It was a really fun activity and the kids just wanted to do more and more and more! :D

Later in the day I was checking to see if perhaps the internet might possibly be back online...... ( desperation anyone?!?! ) and came upon an old favorite, Solitaire!!! Oh man! I would spend HOURS playing Solitaire in the old days!! Rex would come home from work and my eyes would literally not be able to focus as I'd been staring at the screen for so long!!!! Tsk!! Anyway, I was happily playing that and Jessie happened to notice me. Before long Jack climbed on my lap and he, too, wanted to see what was up..!! Jessie wanted to know how to play so I let her have a turn, Jack wanted a turn... see how this is going?!?! :D Well, I taught Jessie how to play with *gasp* REAL CARDS and she was delighted with herself!! Something about it appeals to those with a semi orderly nature!! :D Jack soon tired of Solitaire but we also found..... wait for it.... PINBALL!!! Oh MAN, Jack LOVES Pin Ball!! He's a Pin Ball WIZARD!! :D Once I'd shown him how to work the flippers and launch the ball he was OFF!! He did marvelously and ended up on the high score board where... He entered his OWN name!!!! I know it doesn't sound like much, but it is super cool from where I am standing!! :D yeah JACK!! :D

At the end of the day Jessie said "I want us to be Internet Free EVERY DAY!! or, well, at LEAST once a week!! No phone, no internet, no electronics....ALL DAY!!!!" Ahem. Sounds like a tall order, but I'll see what I can do!!! ;D LOL!!!

Monday, November 17

Oh! And one more thing...!

As you know, we have THREE dogs...Brecon, my old faithful, 12 yrs old; Puppy, PITB and about 5 months old and Minnie approximately 13 years old, deaf as a post and prone to lick her butt in the middle of the night.

Now, I don't know about you, but there's little that annoys me more than being awoken in the middle of the night, from the depths of my slumber ( and dreaming, I kid you not, about Alec Baldwin! I KNOW!!! ) to the sounds of some one (!!) licking their ass. Ssssslop, ssssslllllop, ssssllllop........ AAAAAGGGHHHH!! And it's the sort of sound that, much as you might try, you can not ignore. Sssssllllop....sssllllop.....ssslllllop.....
STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!
... to no avail. The sound will traverse through the thickest pillow and will reverberate in your brain....sssslllllop....ssssllllop...... AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! As I mentioned, Minnie is ... well... a little hard of hearing. I'm basically a considerate person ( don't laugh.... hey!!! I AM!!!) so I don't necessarily want to wake up my husband even though he IS nearer her ( she sleeps on the floor next to his side of the bed )....I may accidentally kick him as I am stirring in my disturbed sleep. I may sigh just a little too close to his ear as he SNORES ON... but even when I am being my most considerate and hissing STOP IT MINNIE!! STOP!!! QUIT IT.... once in a while I am forced to yell at the top of my lungs STOP LICKING YOUR AAAAAAAAAASSS!!!!!!!!!!

Damn DOG.

Damn DEAF Dog.


It's only taken me about 20 years....

But I finally made Rice Pudding tonight!! LOL!! I LOVE the stuff and used to get it in cans.... heat and eat...!! Tonight I made a big pan full and half expected to have to eat it all myself... you know how those things go? You LOVE something and, out of love, slave over it so your family can share in your love.... and they hate it!! :D Well this time, selfish beast that I am, I wouldn't have cared if they DID hate it.. but they didn't ( fickle bastards! ) Nooo they slurped it down!!!! It was GOOD too!! :D

Anyhoo, there ya go. I made Rice Pudding. It was easy. I was proud !! ;D

( and why yes, I AM a little drunk...!! What of it!?!? :D ) LOL!!!!

Wonderful weekend!

I am so lucky to have such a great husband and a really lovely family! :D Our kids are truly great kids. Oh sure, Jack drives me INSANE and to the brink of alcoholism, but hey, he's a six year old Down's Syndrome kid. More fool me if I thought it would be easy!!

On Saturday my dear hubby went to our friend's house at 8 in the morning to help her and her hubby to lay shingles on the roof of a shed! He was going to help them so that they could babysit for US in trade!! Great deal, eh?! :D Now, call me crazy, but I thought he'd only be a few hours, tops. Ahem. At 2 pm I called and asked how they were getting along.... I was told they had hoped to be done by 5 but may still have to do it on Sunday instead...... WHAT?!?! So hubby was basically going to be out all day. Grrr. I spent the day tidying the house and making it sparkle. It needed a good cleaning, it was dusty from having the fire going. I also cooked a ton of rice so I could make the kids something nice for dinner ( rice and spinach bake ... delicious! ) and also have some rice left over for rice pudding! : D Anyway, the house was gleaming and dinner was ready by the time hubby came home! (!!) Poor Rex had smashed his thumb with a hammer and it was a bloody mess.... poor guy... it was so painful and will continue to be so for a looong time. : ( Anyway he and I went out for the evening and the kids had a super time with Marsha, one of their favorite babysitters!! Rex and I went to Applebees for soup and Artichoke dip!! :D after which we went to Toys R Us ( we'd planned to go to Slumberland to check out recliners, but they were closed..!!) In Toys R Us we played video games for a while....!! ;D LOL!! I wrecked 6 BMWs by driving them into lampposts at 108 mph! THEN I got the hang of it and drove one at 145 mph for a bit!! Rex entertained himself by driving a suped-up pick up off a cliff time and time again!! :D All good fun!! After that we went to Carlos O Kelly's for an Irish Coffee and some dessert....!!! I was in a super mood and we laughed and fooled around all evening! Good times! : D

Sunday saw Rex and Jessie with tickets to see The Magic Tree House The Musical! It was in Iowa so we all drove down there and Rex dropped Jack and I at the mall to shop whilst he and Jessie took in the show!!!


They had a WONDERFUL time and Jessie declared it "The BEST day of my LIFE!!" Jack was a good boy at the mall and we had a great time together! We all met back up at Panera Bread for soup and cookies and I got to hear all about the show! :D


On the way back home Rex and I stopped off at HyVee and the kids waited in the car playing with their light sticks... Rex and I love to grocery shop alone together and we picked up yummy cake for the evening after the kids were asleep....!! ; D They fell asleep in no time...!!! What a way to spend a weekend!

Ap'ing the Dog... again! :D

My poor Brecon! The dog in the main blog photo has been my pooch for 12 years! She's happy to share us with other pets and with foster dogs, but has never had to share us with a puppy before! The time was when we would take her out with us on every little trip in the car. She'd hop in the back and ride along for the most mundane outing. These days we take the puppy and leave Brecon home with Minnie ( the newly adopted senior dog... ) Brecon never complained, but the other day I was going to have to drive to the post office to drop off a birthday card. It was raining and cold so walking was out of the question! Brecon looked at me and "asked" to come too... tsk! I was only going to be gone LITERALLY two minutes! Still, she needed to feel special so I opened the van door, she hopped in. She sat her butt on the van bench and placed her front feet between the two front seats and cheerfully rode to the post office and back with me!! LOL!! Sibling rivalry.. in dogs! Who knew?!

Have you noticed

Christmas is coming earlier this year? I've seen quite a few houses already ablaze with Christmas lights... several people I have spoken to have Christmas shopping started and cards written..... I have a theory. This year has been such a terrible one for America that I think this year folks just want to get started on some Jolly as soon as possible. Good for them! I always enjoy the spirit of Christmas... where folks are happy and kind to one another. Like the song says... "I wish it could be Christmas everyday....!" but I'll settle for Christmas in early November.... that works too! :D