12/9/16 paperwork, peanut butter and clickers…

William didn’t fill out the paperwork from his interview last night. William was going to look it over and sign all of it today. He read half of the employee manual but didn’t fill out any of the forms. There is a tax form and an attendance form. And others. I think that he is panicking. He has been home for a long time. I told him tonight that they want the forms in tomorrow so he must complete them tonight. He came downstairs about a half hour later asking what would happen after the forms were turned in. I said that they would call him and give him a start date and a rate of pay. He didn’t look like he felt any better. So a little while later I went upstairs and asked him if after his first full day of work could we stop at Arbie’s on the way home and get him the sandwich that he likes and the fries and pop too. He looked like this was a good idea. Once he gets in and sees all of the guys his own age and all of the tools and all of the machines, I think that he will love it..
Beth called home after school today. She stays late for a club and they used to bring in pizza for the kids but they stopped last week. She came home last week saying that she was going to take a snack next week, which is now this week. She forgot the snack and called home to see if I would bring her and her friend something. I went over with peanut butter sandwiches.There are not many foods that Beth will eat.
Last night Maggie and I went and got her a new clicker for school. Instead of the students raising their hands when the teacher asks a question, they click their answer. Then everyone can get credit. Maggie’s clicker had died. When she got home, Maggie needed to go into the computer and link the new clicker to her name.

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12/8/16 interviews, school and projects…

William had an interview today at the place where he is going to work. He had already interviewed at the temporary agency, but not at the company that he was going to work at. I have started hyperventilating again. He was ready when I got home to pick him up and take him to the interview. I asked at the door before we left if he had had state ID and the other papers that he needed. He had forgotten them so he went back inside to find them. When William came back out of the house, I asked to see the papers again. He had all of his paperwork. I have learned from many years of having older kids that I need to see the things that they need to bring before we leave the house. We have gotten to so many places and not had the correct items or papers. When William came out of the interview he didn’t look happy or sad, but he did have a three ring binder and papers. He said that there were papers to fill out and the binder had the employee handbook. William said that it had gone well and they would need to look at his scores on the test to see what position they would offer him. I think that he was pleased. He asked if we could have a party this weekend to celebrate. We will get pizzas and maybe library movies. The kids should pick out the movies, they don’t like my choices any more.
Maggie is not doing well in most of her classes. I looked at the grades on the computer. She didn’t realize that she was doing poorly in all of her classes. We made a list of things that she needs to do to get her grades up. She needs to let all of her teachers know that she sees that there is a problem, so that they see that she cares. Maggie needs to find out where she can get tutoring for each class. She also needs to talk to a counselor about scheduling next semester. Maggie has about a month to pull this together. I’m really worried. All of her dreams revolve around things she needs a degree to do.
Beth has been working on her senior project with her team. They are designing a cage for a new robot that the school is getting. They almost have all of the drawings done and are ready to start buying the material. They are using 80, 20 pipe. I am not sure what that is. It comes in half inch thick and one inch thick. They had gotten the OK to build it out of half inch pipe. Today the teacher decided that they needed to use one inch pipe. Beth said that they will need to throw out all of their drawings and start over. I said they should print them and show the teacher the steps that they took to get the job done. The teacher wants finished drawings by Friday.
Beth has printed off her first resume that she had made before she had a job. I said that she should keep it and make a second one that included the place that she worked last summer. The name of her boss, phone numbers, start and stop dates and responsibilities. She may need all of this information some day. If she keeps each one it may have some information on it that a new condensed one won’t have. We will start one for William and Maggie when they start working.

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12/7/16 William has a job!!!, dates, bracelets and cats…

William got a job…I so excited and so scared. William is so focused on everything that he does. Will he hear the bell and go into work? Will he remember any special time instructions, like if the boss says come in an hour early tomorrow, will he remember to tell me to bring him in early? Its such a blessing that he will be working!!! He will be a utility person. Maybe running a machine, maybe making boxes. They need to see how mechanical he is and if he takes to the work and if he likes it and if they like him. They will give him a ninety day trial and see how it goes. It will give him a chance to see how manual labor for eight or more hours a day feels and give him some money in his pocket. He already had a pair of steel toed boots. William got a lunch box today. He didn’t look that excited when he found out that he had been hired. He said that he was looking for more time off. He has been home for so long looking for a job. I hope that he enjoys it and decides to stay. He doesn’t need to stay forever. If its not for him, he can look for something else. But this will give him a start and maybe he can learn a skill at this job.
I used to spend a lot of my free time looking for a job for William. Now as I pass businesses I say to myself, have we put an application in there yet, could William walk that far if the weather gets bad …oh wait, William has a job. We found out this last week that he has this job, so we haven’t put in any applications this weekend. I have a lot more free time now. I need to fill it up with something productive. One of the companies that we had called just a few days ago called back the day that William was hired. William told them that he had just gotten a job. It made me feel very secure to think that there is a back up company if this falls apart.
Beth is on a first date with the boy that she is seeing at school. They wanted to go to the mall. She has known him for a long time at school, and has only had the courage this year to tell him that she likes him. I am at the mall with them. I am not following them around, but I am at the mall. Beth was so excited and nervous to get to meet him tonight. I don’t know this boy at all, so I won’t let Beth go in his car with him. I like her to have the boys come over to our house a lot so that we can get to know them
Maggie has started making bracelets out of para cord. She had wanted to go to the store to get more rubber bands, but I told her that we would need to look on the computer and see what her grades were first. If she had at least a C in the classes where the teachers post grades then I would take her to the store.
It is getting colder here. It may frost tonight. I still need to get a back up winter jacket for Maggie. She always has trouble with her jacket zippers, and now goes through at least two jackets each winter. To be fair, we do only buy used jackets, so the person before her could have weakened the zipper. We need to start putting plastic on the windows.
We have a third kitty. She is orange and loves to wrestle and play chase and to stalk us. She thinks that if she gets really low into the kitty litter, that we can’t see her. She also thinks that about the living room too. She lays on the floor and just looks like she is ready to pounce. Sometimes she hides behind the leg of the furniture.

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12/6/16 working and school…

No one called for an interview with William today. The maintenance company that works on our house has been playing ads on the radio. They need workers, electricians, plumbers, and everything else and they are willing to train. I called today but it was after five and they are gone. I will call tomorrow and get the time the they start and where they meet. Since William doesn’t drive I would need to drop him off and pick him up every day.
Beth didn’t feel good this morning. Not bad enough to stay home, but bad enough to slow her down. She had Alternative Energy club tonight. She didn’t call to have me get her early, so she must have felt good enough to stay. The boy that she likes is in AE too, so that helps.

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12/5/16 growing up and field trips…

William has suddenly grown up a lot. He has started doing the laundry without being asked and he shaved this month after being asked one time. He will only shave once a month.
Beth went to a town about two hours away last Saturday with one of her friends. He doesn’t drive either so his mom, and another lady went with them. Beths friends girlfriend had moved and they were going to see her. They left at about nine in the morning and were coming back that same day. This is one of her first trips that was not organized by the school, that Beth has gone on without me. They stopped for lunch. Beth said that they had the best pizza that she had ever had. I asked if it was because she was really hungry, she said no it really was great pizza. They got back at about five o’clock. Beth had had a good time. We went to church on Saturday evening because Beth was back and Maggie was volunteering on Sunday.
Maggie went volunteering with her Enviromental Science group last Sunday. She needs to join a club. College isn’t just going to class, she needs some friends. Maggie left the campus with about four students and the teacher in a van. Maggie remembered to bring a drink and a snack without me having to remind her. That was cool. When we got to the campus to the meeting place, no one was there.Maggie was a bit worried. We were about fifteen minutes early. She said that maybe they were meeting inside. I parked and she went to find the group, she left her drink and snacks in the car. She came back a few minutes later saying that she had found them. She took her snack and water and left.
When I picked up Maggie about four hours later she looked so alive and happy. They had cut down the xxxxxx bush which grows to about forty feet tall and grows wild in the area. Maggie told me the name of what they were cutting down. When I talk to the kids I can’t take notes as we talk but by the time I try to write it down, I have forgotten all of the important words.  There had been about ten or fifteen students,one teacher and one man that put something on the stumps after one was cut down so that they didn’t sprout again. They used hedge clippers to cut them down, so the trunks must have been small. Maggie said that the teacher directed them where to cut. When they had some cut they put them into big piles. She thought that the fire department would come in and do a controlled burn go get rid of the piles.The teacher gave them extra credit points for each hour that they stayed. The group cuts these plants down on the first and third Sunday of the month. Maggie had a great time and wants to go back. When we got home I asked her to write on the calendar the information about the next chance to volunteer.
When the kids were  little I wrote everything on the calendar. Slowly I have let the kids write their own events on the calendar. At first they wrote everything too big. If there event was only for an hour there wasn’t room to write in a second event. They have gotten a lot better with time.

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10/4/16 job hunting, walks and projects…

William is still looking for a job. We have started applying for him at the businesses right by our house and will work our way away in a big circle. We copied a map.of town and enlarged the area around our house and are highlighting where we have applied. Pizza Hut called yesterday. They had gotten his application and wanted to see if he had a driver’s license. He said no. The lady told William that they would keep his application on file and might be hiring in the kitchen when the weather gets colder.
Maggie is in college. She is not struggling but it is not easy. She does like school. She needs to join a club. She needs some friends. I think that she needs to join a club, but Maggie is an introvert and thinks that she is fine, This weekend she may go volunteer with some students that are also in Environmental Science. She is bringing home the information on where and when. Maggie is still making a lot of dragons out of rubber bands. She really enjoys making them. In one of her classes she has met a boy. It is her intro to Environmental Science class. The class is only a half of a semester. Maggie says that this boy is just like William. The class went for a walk around campus to look at trees. The teacher showed different kinds of trees and interesting facts about the campus. The boy gave Maggie some twigs. Maggie tossed the twigs back at him and he gave her some leaves, which she tossed back at him too. Maggie decided that he is a lot like William, her brother. His back pack has a solar panel on it and he acts and talks like William. Maggie decided to tell the boy one of William’s jokes. The boy thought that she was the funniest person that he had ever met. She had a good walk around the campus.
Beth has gotten her senior project. She has been so worried. If the project is something that you don’t want to do, it makes a long year. The students had a choice between taking a laser pointer and making it into a game, something else and making a cage around a new robot that the school is getting. One of the arms on the robot is about six feet long. They also need to decide where in the room to place the robot and where to move everything else that had been in that spot. She wanted the robot and got it. Woo Hoo!

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11/21/16 jackets, pick-up times and the cat…

We are looking for a jacket for Maggie. She has a jacket from last year but the zipper does not work all of the time. Maggie is tough on her zippers. Her jackets are in good shape but the zippers wear out. I save her jackets, one day I will learn to sew and replace her zippers.The winter jackets are just starting to come out. William has three jackets, he has stopped growing at 6′ 2″, and Beth had a jacket from last year. If this winter is bad, I want to make sure that the kids have warm jackets. 

I went to pick Maggie up at school tonight. She had said to pick her up at seven. She didn’t come out of the building. I texted her email to say that I was there, she won’t carry her cell phone. No answer. At seven thirty I texted home to Beth to see if she had called. No answer from Beth. I don’t want to panic too early, but if she is hurt or needs me, I don’t want to wait, but its not like Maggie to be this late. At twenty after I parked the car and headed into the building. I decided that if she was in there making bracelets on her loom I would take it. I found Maggie at her normal computer doing chemistry and watching a movie. My kids do there homework with a movie on or music playing, I can’t do that. She was surprised to see me. She thought that we had set a time of nine o’clock. I said OK and went home. We live sort of close to the university.
When I picked her up later I suggested that she write down the time. Maybe putting it in her planner. She said that that wouldn’t work because she would need to get it out of her backpack and put it back in each morning. She is not a morning person and doesn’t want all of that commotion in the morning. I suggested she could write the time on one piece of paper and keep it in her pocket. Each night scribbling out the time and writing a new one each day. She said no. She would take a piece of paper and cut it into little squares and keep all of the blank squares in her jacket pocket. Each day pulling out a different paper and writing the pick up time on on. We will see how it works. 
When we got home our cat was waiting for us. She has been looking tired lately. Maggie picked her up and held her. Mandy likes to have someone with her all of the time. She likes to be held if we are standing up, but as soon as we sit down, she runs off.

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11/20/16 senior projects, field trips and the creek…

Beth’s class is picking senior projects. They were introduced today. The choices were an invention to keep an air compressor quiet, something to go around a robot or something to do with the little laser lights, making a game out of it. They haven’t chosen yet but Beth likes the lasers the best. They need to pick teams too to do the projects. Her class is going to Chicago in two weeks to see a manufacturing museum and to a manufacturing trade show. She is taking one outfit and some snacks and two teddy bears, one for her friend and one for her. She is still so young, and older. She is going out of town with her class, but chooses which teddy bears to take with them. She needed a planner for school. I never thought I would hear her say that. She wants to keep track of all of her assignments and be in all of these clubs. She likes her classes and will start reading Beowulf this week. We went to the car show yesterday.
Maggie had Environmental Science class today. They went out to the creek today to take samples and to get used to the waders and the nets. Maggie has used waders and nets in high school but to a lot of the class this is all new. They all put on waders and went into the creek to look for crayfish which live in shallow water. Maggie found a spot that looked shallow so she stepped in and it was really a big hole. She was away from the other students so she had to get out herself. Se finally pulled her feet out of this mud but she swayed and got a lot of water in her waders. She had to get out of the hole without falling into the water or loosing the net. She used the net as a walking stick to get out. The kids caught some crayfish and threw them back. They were just practicing with the nets and waders. Maggie came home so happy. She loves going to the creek to collect samples. She had wet shoes and socks and pants. Maggie went to her next class and then I picked her up at the bus drop off with no shoes and socks. 

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11/19/16 getting school books for Maggie…

When Maggie started college this semester, we had some of trouble getting her books. We bought one of Maggie’s books online. That sentence sounds so simple. I guess that if everything we did didn’t come with a story, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. Maggie needed a science book. The teacher told them that they could get it online. On all of the other books Maggie wanted an actual book, but on this one she said that an online one was OK. When she went online I asked Maggie if she was sure that this was the correct book. Remember that now that she is in college, I am not getting any information from the high school teachers. She said that she was not sure. Maggie does have a lot of science due this week and needed the book. Maggie decided to go to class on Tuesday and ask the teacher which book she needed. I said great, but please see if she has office hours that day so if you are still confused after you talk in class you can go to her office and she can pull up the book on her computer and you will know which one we should buy when you get home. 
Maggie comes home and she looks up the book. I asked her if it was the correct book…expecting her to say, yes the teacher confirmed it…but she said…maybe, I should email the teacher. She sent a screen print of the book that she thought was correct to the teacher and started doing math. We had dinner and Maggie did more math. Maggie has homework due this week and has no book and doesn’t know which one to buy and it is getting late. Maybe the teacher didn’t have office hours today so that they couldn’t look up the book. It is so frustrating when they are older and you want to help them, but can only offer suggestions.

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8/26/16 winter preparations…

Fall is coming in soon. The leaves on the trees have already started to change colors. I have heard that this winter might be worse than a few winters ago  We need to insulate the house a lot this year. We get a couple of bales of straw to block the wind from the crawl space wall. We do live in the city but our backyard is sort of blocked off so I don’t think that anyone will see. We have a crawl space that has water pipes in it that needs protecting. William cut down all of the growth at back of the house today. We can start getting the straw soon. Next summer we can use it in our compost pile. Two bales of straw will make a lot of compost.

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