Friday, January 30, 2009

Take Two: O Come Little Children

The girls did a wonderful job on Wednesday at the Talent Show. Unfortunately, Bethany was unable to participate because she was sick. But last night, I received a phone call asking if the girls would be willing to play at the Priest Luncheon today. I was "Sure, they would." So today the girls played for the Priests. It was just beautiful and Bethany got to participate.

Hope you enjoy!



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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One more thought ... well maybe two

Mailbox Update: We finally got a check from the guy who took out our mailbox. I just kept forgetting to let you now.

Thankful Thought: I can tell you what I am NOT thankful for today... sick kids. That thought only applied to Monday. Today, I am thankful for school Talent Shows. I wish I could have seen all the performers but was very grateful to be able to see my Little Girl play her violin in front of her classmates. So beautiful.

Talent Show

This week is Catholic Schools Week, and today was the school Talent Show. A little girl, Grace who is in Sarah's class, got them all together to play their violins. They played "O Come Little Children". Bethany, unfortunately, was unable to participate because she was home sick again today. She was very upset by this. She really wanted to play in the Talent Show.

When they had rehearsal on Monday, the girls were about 7th out of 10 performers. I thought that was the performance line up. When I get to the school today, I find out they are last. Do you think they saved the "best" for last? Ha Ha ... just kidding. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay in the gym for all the performances. I only went in for the Violinists.

When I first started filming the performance, I realized I was on the wrong side of the gym ... Sarah had her back to me. Before I could get to the other side of the gym, they started playing so I had to stand toward the back. Hopefully, you can see and hear the performance.

Hope you enjoy!

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Tuesday

The girls had horse back riding lessons on Tuesday afternoon. Miss Julia has been teaching them how to sit in the saddle as the horse (well, pony) is trotting. She will have them lean up and hold the position for a few seconds. Sarah had the "perfect" pose for this. Julia said "where is Mom with her camera?" Because I never go anywhere anymore without my camera. And usually I am right next to the ring snapping shots. But this particular day, I just didn't. When Julia said that, I grabbed my camera and ran. Here is the pose she was bragging about.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekly Update

Okay, I know I haven't blogged in about a week. And I have no excuse. I just haven't taken the time to sit down and type anything out. Well today is the day.

I am at home with a sick child who is really not so sick. The girls had horseback riding lessons on Saturday. Bethany gets very stuffy after an hour with the horses ... but not every time just sometimes. But Saturday, she was sneezing and wiping her nose. By that evening, she was very stuffy. With a stuffy nose, it is very hard to breath and sleep at night ... as we all know. Bethany has had a hard time getting up in the morning due to her lack of sleep. This morning was no exception but I felt it necessary to keep her home and let her body heal with lots of rest. It's funny though; after she gets up and dressed she seems almost normal. She probably could have gone to school ... tomorrow though.

So as you can see, I have a few minutes to spare to sit here and recap our week.

As you all know, it snowed here last week. It started on Monday. That evening, Myron couldn't get his 4-wheel drive up the driveway ... which is very unusual. He has always been able to get the truck UP the driveway. We contributed it to the fact he probably needs new tires. Back to the story.... Bethany and I were in the living room when we heard him come home. So we went to the window to watch him drive up. Don't ask me why! But we did. We noticed he kept sliding off the driveway into the little ditch on the right hand side. Then he would back down and try again. About the third time (such a determined man he is), he made it over half way up and slid off again. So he backed down the driveway (at least I thought he backed down the driveway). I was so exhausted watching him try, try, try, try and on and on again, that I finally called him and asked him to "just park it!" He replied "what do you think I am doing?" click. Yes, he hung up on me. He was frustrated and thought I was calling to fuss at him. But that is really not what I was doing. But that is something entirely different.

After he made it into the house, we discussed what happened. I found out that the last time he "backed" down the driveway; he was actually sliding. That is right folks, he actually slid over half way down our driveway ... which is not short. He had no control whatsoever of the truck. And he was SCARED! I have to tell you, in all the times he has driven up and down that driveway with snow and ice on it, he has never been scared. Even the time (which I hate to bring up) he had his parents in the truck with him and he did a 180 in the driveway, he was never scared. It took him sliding backwards down the driveway to scare him.

Okay moving on...

Saturday morning, Fr. John had a meeting of the Eucharistic Ministers. He asked me to attend so that people could put a face with the name. Let me go back a little, I schedule all the ministers for Masses on the weekends: Eucharistic, Readers and Hospitality. There have been some complaints with the way I am handling things and Fr. John wanted me to explain the process. First off, I was not ready to get up in front of a group of people and talk. But I did. I think I fumbled through it. I tried to explain that I didn't know why some people were scheduled and others weren't ... why some people got the e-mails and others didn't ... why some families were grouped together and others weren't ... that I can set different parameters for people (for example: if they only want to serve 1 time a month or every other week etc., I can set those options) ... I could go on. I tried to explain that I am still learning. Every time I print a schedule, a new problem arises, but to please let me know so that I can try to fix it. But there is always one ... one person that has to try to take your "peace". After all that explaining, he just had to ask "A - why did some people get more serve times than others, B- blah blah blah and C - there has to be a way the operator (meaning me) could set it up so that everyone gets scheduled the same amount (or something like that)." Now, I am pretty sure that I have already spoken about the issues he brought up AGAIN. I am pretty sure I said "I didn't create this program. I don't know why it does what it does." I am pretty sure that he was "A" either not listening, "B" blah blah blah, or "C" just wanted to be a pain in the a**. He was one that just wanted to voice a complaint because that is just who he is. And maybe he was just voicing what everyone else was thinking. I know I am very naive about this kind of things and lean towards the good in people, but I tend to think he was the only a**hole there (sorry Mama). I know that is not the right thing to think but that is what came to mind. In the paraphrased words of Andy Kinman ... it is the only word that just fits the situation. I am trying to move past this experience in my life. In order to do that, I have to quit dwelling on it.

We had Report Card Conferences on Friday. Both girls are doing fine. Bethany has some issues with working independently which we need to work on. Sarah ... you are never going to believe this ... actually is too QUIET. No way, not my daughter. She is the loudest in the family. That is so funny. The first grade teacher actually said she sees lots of similarities between the girls now. She didn't in the beginning. But they are both very quiet. Bethany likes to talk but doesn't have the confidence to answer a question without a question ... does that make sense? Instead of just answering the question, she questions the answer. Sarah needs to work on her math skills but is reading about the level she should be at this time. We are very proud of both girls.

This week is Catholic Schools Week. There will be lots of different celebrations. On Wednesday there will be a student Talent Show. Both girls are playing their violins with three other little girls. I will try to film it and post so everyone can see. I am very excited for them. They have practiced a couple of times already and are doing very well.

Okay, I think I have gone on long enough. Bethany is wanting to play on the computer. So I will go for now.

My grafetul thought for the day: I am grateful for sick kids (WHAT?!?!?). Yes, it forces me to stay home and get something done.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Day!

We got a good bit of snow last night. I would have preferred a little more to play in, but Bethany was determined to play in it this morning. She found a nice small hill to ride the sled on.


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Later that afternoon, Sarah decided she wanted to give the sled a try.

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They had a good time riding in the sled. They are hoping for a snow day tomorrow. But I don't think it is going to happen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Peace

I was reminded today of a "counseling" session I had last week with one of our priest. His name is Father (Fr.) Bill. I felt like I was in confession which I probably need to go to for the feelings I have about certain things. Unfortunately, I cannot go into great details regarding these frustrations (has nothing to do with the hubby or the kids). Anyway, the lesson learned was this... Don't let them take your peace. When you feel you are about to lose your peace, you leave. It is just putting the whole "turn the other cheek" into action.

So the next time you feel the frustration building... remember only you can control what happens to your peace. The other person has no idea they are even taking it; therfore, it falls in your hands to try with every fiber of your being to maintain. And that would mean turning to prayer and asking God to help you maintain the peace.

Today I am thankful for Fr. Bill. He always makes me think of the other side and he is very compassionate. Plus, he loves to joke around and that helps at work. Thank Fr. Bill!

Yet Another Mailbox Update

So we came home Saturday to a note in our mailbox. The guy said he has come by a few times to pay us back but we are never home and he doesn't know who to make the check out to. Well, that is just "bull". All he has to do is look it up in the directory and he will know because we are there. It is not like he has to search through the whole phone book to find us. He just has to search through about 75 names to find our address. I know he can figure the address out ... he hit the mailbox and the house number is on it.

Anyway, Myron called and left a message. Still nothing..... So the saga continues.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mailbox Update

You remember our mailbox was taken out ... what .... two weeks ago now. Anyway, the guy asked how much it cost us to replace the post and Myron told him. He has yet to pay us back. Which we really weren't expecting him to but still, it would have been nice.

Brrr!!!

It is so cold. I mean bone chilling cold. It is not even the coldest part of the night and already the thermometer is reading in the teens. Of course, the wind didn't help at all today. It just made it much colder. For instance, I checked the temperature for Weaverville a few hours ago. It was 16 degrees with a wind chill of 2 degrees. So you can imagine, it will most definitely be below zero here tonight with the wind chill.

I do hope my parents have packed some warm clothes. They are headed to Gatlinburg this weekend with the youth from their church for a retreat. I cannot imagine the weather will be any different there. Just plain cold.

The girls are out of school tomorrow. They are back in their room watching a movie. I am going to go turn it off and head to bed myself. I am just pooped tonight. I need a few minutes of rest and relaxation.

Oh I just remembered... I cooked with Bethany's class today. We made cinnamon rolls. They weren't too pretty but the kids seemed to really like them. They were so easy too.

My thankful note tonight is ... um ... let me think for a minute ... what can I be thankful for tonight? Lots of things... my hubby (even when .. well .. he is just being a man), my darling girls (I sincerely mean that), my friends, the girls' school (I just love ACS: the faculty and staff), my little job, and many more. I could go on but then what would I be thankful for tomorrow. I don't want to keep repeating the same things.

Good night for now.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today is Thursday

We have had some very beautiful Spring weather here in the mountains for the last week or so. Then on either Monday night or Tuesday, it started raining. It rained for two or more days pretty much straight ... which we desperately needed. I am not complaining one bit. But the temperatures have been in the mid to upper 50's since ... well I just don't remember ... for a while now. Then on Wednesday morning we woke up to our high for the day which was around 57. The temperatures slowly dropped through the day and by 3:00 that afternoon, it was snowing.

The girls had choir practice from 5 until 5:45. So we set out for home around 5:50. There were snow flurries falling when we left Asheville. But when we got off the interstate, it was really coming down. And not just flurries, there were huge flakes. They were larger than the size of a quarter. I had to be careful driving because I just couldn't see the road. Well, I could see the road but only right in front of me. If I tried to look too far ahead, I focused in on the snowflakes and couldn't see the road. It was like I was sitting still and the scenery was going by ... like being in one of those rides at a theme park. It was also like being in Star Wars when they shoot off into hyperspace (or whatever it is) and the stars blur because they are traveling so fast ... only the snowflakes weren't blurred and I was definitely not driving fast. I tried to take some pictures but I couldn't catch the scene I was seeing. It was just beautiful.

It snowed on and off today at the house. But Asheville was pretty much clear skies. I even I had to put my sunglasses on.

I am hoping for a delay tomorrow. Surely, the roads will be frozen from all the precipitation today. I can only hope.

Not really much going on other than driving the girls around this week and working. I have had so much to catch up at work. Plus, all the end of year reports that have to go out to contributors. I also am in clean out mode there. I have been throwing things away and finding things that I had forgotten about. It feels good to purge. Now if I could just do that at home, I would really be doing good. But this house is a lot bigger than my tiny office at work.

Well, Myron finally came home. I better get up and start acting like I have been doing something other than playing on the computer. Ha Ha Ha

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

Saturday morning, I got up around 4:30 a.m. with a tickle in my throat and headed to the couch. Sometimes I think I sleep on the couch more than the bed. Anyway, I heard Myron come into the living room some time later.
He asked "did you hear anything last night?"
My reply was "no, did you?"
He replied "no but something happened. Our mailbox is all busted up and there is grass in our driveway."
Well, that got me up off the couch. So we spoke a little more about the situation. I said the roads are icy and someone probably hit a patch and slid into our mailbox. Myron said no the roads weren't icy because they weren't when he came home from work the night before. I didn't argue. I just shut my mouth and let him believe what he wanted to. Some times it is just not worth arguing your point.

Myron proceeds to change his clothes and head down to at least get the mailbox out of the road before someone else hits it. Plus, to check to see if the trash had run. It could have been the trash truck that took out the mailbox. Although, I highly doubted it.

I'm watching from the bedroom window as he heads out on foot down the driveway. Now, you may not know this... but our driveway is rather steep and is all down hill from the house.

Sidetracked: Why is it my oldest child thinks I enjoy cleaning up puke? It never fails. She comes to me and says "I don't feel good". Well, go to the bathroom then... don't come tell me. Then a few minutes later I hear her gagging. Only she doesn't get up and run to the bathroom, she stays and throws up in her bed. I mean... she knew it was coming. I know she did. I have thrown up a time or two in my lifetime. But instead of getting to the toilet, she throws up on her down comforter that is not supposed to be washed or is at least supposed to be dry cleaned. Now do you think I am really going to take a puked on comforter to the dry cleaner? I don't think so.

Back to the original story....
I am watching him from the bedroom window for some reason. He starts out slowly testing the driveway to make sure he can walk on it. It gets about 1/4 of the way down and is out of my sight (because of the window frame). All of a sudden I hear a scraping noise. I look and he is sliding down the driveway. Oh yeah, the roads iced over during the night just like I thought and said. He slid another 1/4 of the way before he was able to get to the side of the driveway and get up. He kept rubbing his backside all the way down the rest of the driveway.

When he got to the bottom safely, he found the trash had not been emptied which meant the trash truck didn't take out the mailbox. But he did find car parts. Very interesting. Now the question comes up: will the people who did hit the mailbox admit they hit it? They could have left a note. At least, I felt like they could have.

We head out for the day. The girls had money in their pockets to spend and we were ready to spend it. They got new Build-a-Bears and accessories (Thank you, Uncle Mark). Then we headed to Wal-Mart where they got a few things (Thank you, Uncle Jason). Our last stop was Home Depot to buy a new mailbox post.

When we return home, we wondered if the mailman would leave mail in our box that was lying/laying on the ground. Ha Ha Ha. They didn't. But all the car parts were gone, which was very interesting. Myron checked the front door. And sure enough, there was a note. The gentleman who took out the mailbox was on his way to work. He hit a patch of ice and slid right into our mailbox. Poor thing. He said his car was beat up pretty bad. We kind of figured as much from all the little plastic pieces in our yard. He was kind of enough to not wake us at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Myron informed him that we had already purchased a new post. I don't know if he will pay us back or not. I'm not really concerned about that. He is going to have enough expense of his own with the damage on his car. My belief in Mankind was restored. I stewed all day about the fact he didn't leave a note in the first place. He could have had his wife come over and tell us what happened instead of waiting. Surely, he knew we would be wondering when we saw it. But whatever, he admitted and that was the right thing to do.

This is not the first time this has happened. It's kind of a funny story. Friends of ours lived in our neighborhood before we moved here. The husband took out the previous owner's mailbox from the same thing. He hit a patch of ice and went right through the stop sign and into the mailbox.

Today I am thankful for honest people. The Mailbox Smasher had the decency to admit he hit the mailbox and to say he would replace it. Although, that is really not a concern for us. The biggest thing it cost us was Myron's time. He had other plans for this afternoon but had to replace the mailbox post instead. Luckily for him, it was a very nice Spring day. So it was actually a very nice day to be replacing the post.

I think I have gone on long enough. Good night for now.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Christmas Pictures

Christmas at Pop and Nana's
Jeremy and Sarah
What did you get Pop? An Auburn pen that plays the fight song ... cool!
Nana, looks like you got something you really wanted ... a digital photo frame.
Brailee prepares to be Santa and hand out gifts.
Sarah got a doll bed for her American Girl dolls.
Bethany got an ipod shuffle. Just what she wanted.
Brandon and Steven pose for a shot. They actually look decent in this photo ... no clowning around.
Christmas Day photos
Santa brought the girls each an American Girl doll. Sarah got Mia and Bethany got Felicity.
Bethany got a tiger cub.
Sarah got a lion cub. She named her Nala.

Horseback Riding

I understand some of you haven't been able to open the videos of the girls riding Honey or the Christmas program. Here are some snapshots of the girls while riding.
Bethany riding Honey

Bethany a few weeks ago riding Honey.


Sarah is learning to stand up in the saddle and walk the pony at the same time.

Sarah turns Honey in a circle to head back towards Ms. Julia.
Sarah rode first on Tuesday. I took a lot of video and pictures of her so my battery was going dead. I didn't get as much of Bethany. Next week, I will try to get a few more of Bethany.
The girls are doing so well at riding. They are now off the lead rope and leading the pony by themselves. I was so proud of how well they are doing.