Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30

For all my freaky friends out there.....THIS is how you eat turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy.
And in case you thought it was just me, it's not. Bill eats it the same way:

March 29

I bought this book on Saturday. I finished it Sunday afternoon. It was really good! (I had to read at least ONE book over Break!)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

March 28

Happy Birthday, Dad! =)

Today was another very uneventful day. We left the house at 5:00 to go pick up Bill from work and then meet my mom at Old Country Buffet for dinner. After dinner, Billy went with my mom to stay over at her house and the rest of us came home. While Bill and Alex played Wii, Caty and I were goofing around with the camera. Here is a picture of the two of us.
And now, after two pictures of me in one week, I will go back into hiding ;)

Friday, March 28, 2008

March 27

You serious, Clark? Really? We haven't had enough of this yet? (click to enlarge so you can enjoy the full experience -LOL!). BTW, this is the house across the street from me - not mine. I needed something dark to put the snow against so you could see it)

Anyway, we braved the "blizzard" and went out for haircuts this afternoon. Here is a picture of Alex's. The hairdresser gelled it, combed it toward the center, and declared it a "fauxhawk". Um, not quite. He looks thrilled, doesn't he? He actually really liked it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

March 26

This above picture is dedicated to my long lost, but recently resurfaced (YAY!) friend, Kappy. I think our kids were switched at birth ;) And do you see what I mean about Alex making faces?? I swear the kid CAN'T just smile. Ever.

Below is a picture of Caty. She lost another tooth last night and wanted me to take her picture. She's missing the two teeth on top next to her middle teeth (you can't tell in the picture). Of course, that damned Tooth Fairy was late again - didn't leave anything under her pillow until after lunch! (We suck at this whole parenting thing. She yanked her own tooth out about 1/2 hour after she went to bed. We looked at each other and both asked the other if they had any singles. We didn't. And by the time we went to bed we'd completely forgotten about it. This is like the 4th time we've forgotten so the kids just expect the Tooth Fairy to be "running late" at this point. I was able to keep Caty going by explaining that she can't hide her teeth in a plastic Easter Egg because the Tooth Fairy would have no idea to look in there so she should go put it under her pillow and stay out of her room in case TF decided to come back before going home. Thank goodness she is gullible!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 25

Well, I finished the puzzle. This picture of Samson pretty much sums up how our Spring Break days have been so far - lazy and uneventful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

March 24

Bill bought this puzzle on Friday. We put probably 2-3 hours into it on Friday, getting the fram pieced together and working on the sun, mountains, and horses. Saturday morning I moved it off the kitchen table and onto the counter where Billy promptly knocked it off and obliterated it. Sunday night we decided to try again - piecing together the frame again and sorting through the pieces looking for the sun ones.

Today was the first day home for Spring Break. I finished the sun, both horses, and started working on the water on the ground all before Bill got home. Last night we worked about another 1-1/2 - 2 hours on it to get it to this point. I love jigsaw puzzles - they are so relaxing. This is the biggest one I've done in a looooooong time.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

March 23 - Easter

(I don't have a picture to share for March 22)

Today has been a fun day. It started off around 6:30 or so when the kids crept downstairs. Around 7:00 they came into our bedroom and announced that they found everything but Caty's Easter basket. At that point we got up and headed downstairs. They had found everything, but had left it all where they found it! Caty found her basket and the kids were excited to adopt their new Webkinz pets that the Easter Bunny had brought them. We basically putzed around the house - had a light breakfast, played with the new toys - until it was time to get ready for Easter Brunch with my mom, brother, and step-family. It's a tradition in our family since Billy was a baby for all of us to get together for brunch on Easter. Here are some pictures:

My Step-sister and her daughter

Two of my nephews


Bill (facial hairless!), Alex, and Billy

All of us =)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 20 and 21

I took these two pictures less than 24 hours apart. I wanted to take a picture of one of the farms I drive by each day because it looks like a classic "farm" to me. On the 20th, it was 50 degrees. I don't even want to talk about the 21st....

March 20th

March 21st

March 19

This is a picture of Alex and Caty with "Roger". Bill bought them one of those eggs that you put in water and after a day or so they start to hatch. This plastic chick is what came out of the egg. They named it after the egg at Mrs Puff's Boating School that was the class pet (Mrs Puff is Spongebob's driver's ed teacher).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 18

Today was Billy's Fourth Grade Music Concert. His class was singing American Folktales. Billy gets mainstreamed for music at his school so he performed with the entire 4th grade. They played three songs on the recorder, and then 4 songs. Each song had a small group of performers that was chosen to sing up at the microphone. For the first time, Billy was chosen to be in a group. His group sang "Erie Canal". Here are pictures from the performance - the first is him just standing on the risers (note how he towers over the other 4th graders, even on a level surface!), the second is him playing the recorder, and lastly is him singing "Erie Canal".

His assistant came to the performance last night with her fiancee. I thought that was really sweet. She bought him a High School Musical balloon and presented it to him after the concert. Awww!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March 17

Okay, Mother Nature, take a seat and listen up! This past fall and winter, we have graciously tolerated everything you have thrown our way. We appreciated the snow days back in December and February and were truly grateful for a white Christmas. You made our winter one to remember with the amount of beautiful snow you befell on us. My kids definitely got good use of their boots and snowpants and I am eternally grateful for the opporunity to have gotten my money's worth.

That said, IT IS MID-MARCH!! Last week you teased us with a taste of Spring. You brought temperatures up into the mid and high 50s. You melted 90% of our snow, made the birds and the geese come out to play, and gave the children an opportunity to play outside without looking like Randy from A Christmas Story. So WHY, dear Mother, would you give us SNOW today??? WHY?? We are a mere 4 days away from "Spring Break". Please take note of that first word - "spring". My kids are sick of wearing layers and hats and mittens. If I can't take my students out to the playground soon for some fresh air and exercise, we are all going to lose our minds. Please, give us a break. Throw us a bone. Be kind, rewind - ANYTHING but more snow!

Monday, March 17, 2008

March 16

I was feeling adventurous today so I accepted Bill's "challenge" to make Dirt for dessert. I figured how hard could it be, right? Chocolate pudding, crushed Oreos, some gummy worms - no problem. And that is exactly how I made it. It was only AFTER I made it that I actually LOOKED UP the recipe online. That was when I realized you are supposed to fold a container of Cool Whip into the pudding. Oh well. It looked good and tasted like chocolate pudding with chocolate cookies - what's not to like, right? Caty liked it!

March 15

It was a very uneventful day around here. In this picture, Bill is playing Wii baseball against Alex and is at the end of his swing (excuse all the blankets and crap on the floor! *blush*). Our original Wii Sports disc started acting all wonky about a month or so ago. I bought one on eBay before calling Nintendo and finding out that that disc has a history of going wonky on people and they will repair or replace it for you if you send it in. We're all just glad to have it working again - we've missed our Family Tournaments after dinner =)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

March 14

I've been sick for the last month or so. Head congestion, loose cough, sinus headaches. On Thursday I finally broke down and went to the walk-in clinic at Walgreen's (who knew they had walk in clinics? I didn't, but I was sure happy to find out! It spared me a 35 mile drive to my doctor's office). Anyway, I was diagnosed with a sinus infection, given a prescription for Augmentin and a perscription for Flonase nasal spray. The NP warned me that the Augmentin might be hard on my stomach, but said nothing about the potential HELL the Flonase would cause. About 30 minutes after my first spray Thursday night, I developed a nice headache behind my right eye. I had two IEP reports to write for school the next day and I couldn't finish them. By the time I went to bed, two hours later, my head was just pounding. I woke up with the right side of my face feeling like it was in a vice. I had no choice, I HAD to go to work. Not sure if it was the Flonase or not, I took another dose of it Friday morning. BAD MOVE. OH.MY.GOD. It developed into a full blown migraine by the time I got to work. I had so much to do - had to write an entire IEP which usually takes about 2-1/2 hours, and then have two meetings that afternoon. On top of the headache, my teeth hurt from my sinuses being so congested, my ear was plugged, and I was nauseous. By the time I left work I was on the verge of puking. The motion of the truck topped that off - I had to pull over about a mile from the parking lot. UGH! It was a bad, ugly day. The Flonase finally wore off and the headache subsided about 9:00 that night. I'll never use it again. It's the devil!!

March 13

I am so bummed because the photo editing software I had been using (and really liking) was only a trial version that came with my laptop. It expired so I went to update it, and it is no longer available. I had such high hopes for this picture, but instead, you get it in its true form. Because of the time change, it is sunrise now when I am driving to work instead of getting ready. The sunrise on Thursday was particulary pretty - the sky was a really nice light orange color. Of course, I only had the camera in my phone and I took the picture while I was driving. *sigh* I tried.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 12

I don't have a picture for the 11th. Remember when I posted the pic of cold meds? Yeah, still have that cold and it isn't getting any better and the 11th was a particularly bad day.

Anyway, here is a picture of our latest obsession - Peggle Deluxe. It is so easy to get sucked into. There are 11 "basic" levels and then 15 "challenge levels" that you can only do after you complete the basic ones. I am on challenge level 4, I think, and Bill is on 5. We downloaded this game originally last summer. I had gotten all the way up to challenge level 15 and then one of the kids deleted my guy! GRRRRR!!!! When that computer went on the fritz, I put it on this one and now we are Peggle-obsessed once again. I know it doesn't look like it, but I really DID take this picture of my computer screen - it's not a cut and paste I swear!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March 10

*sigh* I just can't win. When I was making dinner, I was so excited to hear Caty reading in the other room. She is the only one of my kids that reads for pleasure. I saw that she had her little cat set up to listen to her to her, she was tucked in a corner, and she was reading a "real" book. I stealthily grabbed my camera, aimed, and shot without her seeing me. My timing was impeccable - I got her as she was digging to China in her nose! DOH!

Monday, March 10, 2008

March 9

This is a video of Samson acting like a dog of very little brain. We're not sure why, but whenever we give him food scraps that he deems "too big" he will carry them to his bed and whimper and cry until you break it into pieces for him. This is him doing just that. You'll have to excuse my obnoxious baby voice in the video while I am talking to him.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

March 8

Just when I had started to hope that we were done with the snow, it kicks up again. It didn't amount to anything, and it looked pretty coming down, I just wish it hadn't come at all. You may have to click the picture to see the snow.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 7

I got a Stay At Home Free pass today - LOL! Billy woke up with his eye sealed shut, swollen, and red this morning. As Bill just came home with antibiotic drops for HIS infected eyes on Thursday, I felt secure in diagnosing Billy with pinkeye. I was dreading having to put the drops in his eyes, fully anticipating that I would have to sit on him to pin him down and use all my strength to pry his eye open. Fortunately, I was able to explain that it would only be one drop, it would be over fast, and if he didn't fight me, I would get him Cinnamon Melts from McDonald's for breakfast. It worked. He let me do all three doses today without a fight. We hung out and watched Evan Almighty and Spongebob today.

March 6

My crocs. I'll admit, I had to be convinced that they would be more comfortable than my beloved Birkenstocks and I'll be damned if they're not. I received a pair of Crocs sandals last year as a gift and wore them all summer long. They are the closest thing to being barefoot that I have found. When I saw the Chicago Bears clogs in the Fall, being the Bears fan that I am, I HAD to have them. At the autism conference last week they were selling autism awareness Foyo's so I bought a couple. I plan on wearing these shoes when I do the Walk Now for Autism walk on May 18th.

Friday, March 7, 2008

March 5

Aside from the snow starting to melt, another sign that Spring might actually come this year is the geese. I am probably one of the very few people in this country that LOVE Canadian geese (thanks to Fly Away Home). I am fortunate that geese love all of the fields around here and gather in huge flocks. I took this picture from the parking lot at school. It's of the golf course across the street from our building and it was FULL of geese today. I haven't seen many geese this winter because the weather has been so bad. For them to be back, they have to be able to get to the stuff on the ground for food and there has to be some water to float in. You'll have to click on the picture so that it opens up larger in order to be able to tell that the dark spots aren't mud, but birds. I hope they stick around - they make me smile.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

March 4

This is my corner of the world as viewed from the highway. I live in a subdivision that is only 1 square block. There are about 60 homes in my neighborhood. One of the houses in the picture is mine =). And now you know that I am not exaggerating when I say I live in the middle of a cornfield - LOL!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

March 3

I am so glad this is happening a little bit at a time. On Sunday, the temperatures were well above freezing all day and the snow is finally starting to melt. Today it was also above freezing most of the day with some rain. This picture is of the water retention pond across the street from my house. This is the highest I have seen the water in it in a looooong time and , as you can see, there is still quite a bit of snow that still has yet to melt. The temperatures have since dropped and over the next two days we are supposed to pick up 2-3" new inches of snow. Spring could be very messy around here, if it ever decides to arrive.

Monday, March 3, 2008

March 2

What's your poison? Bill and I both have the Virus that Just Won't Die - head congestion and cough for the last 2 weeks. Just when you start to feel better it hits you again. Bill prefers the NyQuil stuff. Me? I'm a Tylenol kind of gal.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 1

Today was an awesome day! I went to an autism conference where Temple Grandin, PhD was the keynote speaker. It was the first time I have SEEN her speak. A few years ago, Bill and I attended a difference conference where she was supposed to speak, but she was sick so she did her presentation via telephone. Anyway, she was great! She is very frank when she speaks and shares so much about being autistic. Today she talked a lot about identifying and developing talents in people on the spectrum that can later be used to springboard into careers. I bought her book about the subject, Developing Talents, and she signed it during one of the intermissions. I've read some of her others so I was very excited to purchase this book. One of the people I was there with has Animals in Translation and is going to let me borrow it. Another friend purchased Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships and is going to let me borrow that one when she finishes it. I love listening to people on the spectrum speak and reading their books - their insight is invaluable to me.

There were five presentations today. The first was on hippotherapy, which I am considering for Caty and Alex rather than Billy (the place that does it has a Siblings Group for siblings of children with disabilities), two were on biomedical treatments/holistic treatments, Temple Grandin spoke, and the last one was about school collaboration. All of the presentations were informative and interesting and I had a great time. One of the vendors was selling raffle tickets for $1.00. I bought one and put it into the mix to win a really cool backpack loaded with T-shirts, books, a bracelet, and other things. I WON!! The perfect ending to the day =)

I wish the picture I had was better - I've got to start carrying my real camera instead of my phone. This is Temple Grandin at the beginning of her presentation.

February 29

Our subdivision is at the intersection of two, two-lane highways. It is built back from the road so the traffic on the highways isn't a issue noisewise or otherwise. The thing is, they left two, very large, empty lots in the front that would eventually be used as commercial space. There has been talk of a Walgreen's being built for years, but we never knew when it would actually happen. The grocery store that finally went in kitty corner from our subdivision opened about 3 years after we heard it was going in. Anyway, the time has come. They started to break ground for the Walgreen's on the empty lot on our side of the subdivision. Bummer! This lot is where we go to watch the fireworks each summer. It is so nice to walk to the end of the block with the neighbors (and our booze!), set up our chairs, and watch from the peacefulness of the neighborhood rather than the chaos of the park. No traffic, no crowd - it's awesome. At least it was =(