Tuesday 11/06/07 Postcards…

The kid’s don’t bring home any homework. At their school they have study hall the last class of the day. Their school set this up so that they can do their homework at school where the teachers can help them if they need it. My kids do need help with hand writing…I used to have them keep a journal. Most nights after school, while I am making dinner, they write a few sentences. I have them put the date on it also. They can write about their day, or their favorite toy…or anything. Any writing is good. It all helps their handwriting. The journal was only fun for the kids for a while.
Now I have them send postcards to their cousins. A postcard only needs about two sentences. This made the kids happy, Their cousins have started writing back.
It is cheaper to send a postcard then to send a letter. The stamps are cheaper. Also…the Post Office only requires that the postcard be the correct size, not have any folds in it, and be sturdy. It doesn’t make any difference to the Post Office if you make or but the post card. I bought one post card to get the correct size. Then I took some cereal boxes and began tracing and cutting them out. I did need to draw the line on the postcard and tell the kids to only write on the left side of it. If they cross the line there isn’t enough room for the address.
They like writing fewer sentences and also getting mail from their cousins. I’m glad that if they make a mistake and want to throw it away to start over, it’s ok because it was free.

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Monday 11/05/07 Winter Jackets…

About a month ago I started looking for winter jackets for the kids. William has not grown in the last two years and his jacket is still in great shape, so he didn’t need a new one. Maggie and Beth still fit last years jacket, but the jackets will be outgrown before winter is over.
I started going to the re-sale shops last month…I knew that it was too early, but ”the early bird catches the worm”. I was hoping to find jackets their size. It didn’t happen. We need jackets with attached hoods. Not hats that snap on or zip on, but are part of the jacket, permanently sewn on. The kids always end up loosing their hats and on cold days the kids don’t have their ”jacket hat” to go over their separate hat. So…I kept looking at the shops for jackets in the correct size, with connecting hats and non-frilly for Maggie and frilly for Beth. These types of jackets never came in.
We finally went out last Friday to other stores to look for jackets. Before we left we had William try on his gloves to see how big they were so that I could get him gloves that were large enough. I explained to the girls that we needed to find jackets with connecting hats. Off we went. At store one…the only jacket that we found that the girls like was not on sale and was out of my price range. At store two, we found a jacket for Maggie. She was wearing a thin fall shirt, so we couldn’t tell if the jacket would fit in the winter over sweaters. She tried on two sweaters and then put the jacket on to check the size. It fit. We also got her a hat and gloves. At the third store…ok, I was tired now. I don’t like to shop and was willing to change my mind on the ”connecting hat” idea just to let us go home…Beth couldn’t find a jacket. She said that none of the ones that she liked had connecting hats. I wanted to tell her that I had changed my mind, but they had listened to my directions so I didn’t want to say anything. At the fourth store, Beth found a jacket. She also tried on two sweaters with it. .
They can still wear last years jackets for a while, but I feel better now that I know that they are all set for the whole winter. We can look at boots another day.

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Friday 11/02/07 One more ”getting ready for Halloween” story…

We bought pumpkins. It took a while to find ones that had a smooth side. We usually carve the pumpkins on the kitchen floor. The mess ends up on the floor any way, so we might as well start there. First, we put down newspaper. I keep a bag of old newspapers in the basement, but because everything was moved to paint the basement walls, we couldn’t find them. We put down un-opened garbage bags instead.
William wanted us to get him a pumpkin, but he didn’t want to carve it. The girls drew faces on their pumpkins with a pen, and then I cut the faces out. They had a great time stirring the bowl of seeds. Maggie did a cat and Beth did a princess. I bought candy that same day. The kids wanted ”kid” candy, so I bought candy that adults wouldn’t eat. We don’t have any Hershey’s with Almonds or M & M’s.

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Thursday 11/01/07 Mulch…

I have been buying mulch now and then to put in the yard just before the house is listed. If the bags of mulch at the store are broken, a lot of times the stores will sell them for half price. The stores will put the broken bag into another bag so that the mulch won’t spill out into the customers car. I get the same ammount of mulch for half the price.
I was buying whatever mulch bags were broken. The problem is that I wound up with red mulch between mine and my neighbors garage, black mulch along the house and brown mulch in the front yard. The yard did look better than it did before the mulch, but it still looked bad. The next time that I went to the store I looked at all of the kinds of mulch. More of them were black then any other color. So now I only buy black or or very dark mulch.
The origional multi-color mulch has faded. We are now ready to add more mulch to the yard.I have an assortment of mulches that I have bought over the months, all dark colors. Between the garages I have schreded bark. Along the house and in the front yard there are what looks like bigger chuncks of bark. The yard looks better now that it is all one color.
I did get two yellow mums for the front yard. They were so pretty in the store. They have been planted on each side of the front steps. About two days after they were planted all of the blooms started to turn brown. I began to pinch the blooms off. I don’t want the plant’s energy to go into dying blooms. After about a week, all of the blooms had turned brown and were pinched off. Underneath are the new blooms that arn’t ready to open. I planted these two flowers about a month ago.I don’t know if it is too late for the new blooms. The leaves still look healthy. Maybe they will wait and bloom next year.

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Wednesday 10/31/07 Halloween…

The kids went trick-or-treating tonight. William said that he didn’t want to go and he didn’t want to share their candy. He wasn’t upset…he just wasn’t interested.
When it was time to go trick-or-treating I asked William if he wanted to go with us, just up and down our street. I knew that he had already said ”no” but I wanted to make sure that he felt welcome. He said ”yes”. I was so suprised. He put his shoes and jacket right on and went outside. There were four houses on our street with lights on. After we went to those houses, he said that he wanted to go along…just to watch…and maybe he could bring a bag. Horray!!! I am always so glad when William chooses to go with us. He ran into the house to get a bag.
It is so different now that he is eighteen years old. He needs and can handle some time alone…but we miss him. We have always been a close family, and it is odd…different…strange…not to have him with us.
Our record for candy is five, gallon size, ziplock bags. This year we only got four. But four is still a lot of candy.

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Tuesday 10/30/07 Trick-or-treating…

We went trick-or-treating last Saturday night at a local park. William didn’t want to go with us. I took the girls. We did have fun, but the girls and I miss William. The park has a small lake in the center of it. There were tables all around the lake with people at them giving out candy. We must have stopped at thirty tables. Maggie went in an armed forces uniform, and Beth went as a cowgirl. The park supplied all of the candy and local groups or churches had people at the tables in costume to hand out the candy. When we left the house to go to the park I had the girls put on winter coats and hats…because I’m always cold, I think that everyone else is cold too. When we stepped out of the house it was nice out, no hat needed and jackets could be unzipped. I didn’t say anything about the weather and we left for the park. When we got to the park it was still warm out, lots of the other kids didn’t have any jackets…but my kids looked like they were ready for winter. After we were there for about fifteen minutes, the wind started to blow and it got cold. Then I wished that we had brought gloves.
The most popular costume was the cat. Big kids and small kids were cats. I saw a lot of witches too. The most unique ones that I saw was a McDonalds Coca-Cola cup and a giant chicken. I enjoyed tha walk around the lake.
We bought and carved our pumpkins tonight. As long as we get our good memories in before the holiday, I think that we are still OK

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Monday 10/29/07 William’s birthday…

We celebrated William’s birthday on Saturday. It went well. My mom and brother came over to celebrate. The lunch was at 2:00. That gave us plenty of time to pick up the house, do the laundry and make sandwiches for next weeks lunches…peanut butter and jelly and bologna and cheese freeze well and are still OK after one week of being frozen.
After lunch we measured William on the measuring stick. He is about the same height that he was last year.
William wanted to move his computer from the dining room to his room. He does not have access to the internet or any games that I wouldn’t approve of…so I said OK. He wanted it moved so that at night when he went to his room, he could still play on it. William got the whole computer moved and he and I moved the desk, then he realized that he has a three prong plug and two prong outlets. I never thought to look at his outlets before the computer was moved. I felt so bad that the computer couldn’t be used. William didn’t want to move the computer back to the dining room so I will buy him an extension cord to plug it in in the bathroom. How long can the cord be? Is 10 – 15 feet too long?

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Friday 10/26/07 – William’s birthday

We are celebrating William’s birthday tomorrow. He will be 18. His birthday is next week, but it is more relaxing to celebrate on weekends. We have dinner..or lunch.. then have cake…or pie… and ice cream. Next we measure the birthday child on the measuring stick. Last is the presents. We tried having the presents earlier, but it was hard to get the kids to have cake or get measured after they had the gift in their hands.
We use a measuring stick. It is a piece of wood from the lumber yard that is 6 feet long and smooth on all sides. This was chosen when the kids were little, because we were in an apartment, and I wanted the stick to move with us. It has worked really well except for the year that it wasn’t put flat on the floor and it warped.For the next few years, the measurements were a bit off because the board was curved. Now it is almost straight again and the measurements are closer to reality.

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Thursday 10/25/07 Yesterday’s post continued…

Yesterday’s posting said that I want to move but the house needed painted. The closet, the deck and the bedroom could never have that ”all over” ”just-about-to be-sold-look”. The basement had been painted by a previous owner. One of the walls still looked clean and white. The other three had paint pealing off of them. I don’t have water problems with my walls, but it looked like I did. The Realtor said that everyone would assume that the basement has water problems. Scraping the basement was the worst. Everything had to be moved away from the walls. The washer and dryer couldn’t be used until the paint behind them was dry. I painted behind them first. The worst part was scraping and painting under the stairs. I was going to skip that area, but with the rest of the basement looking so clean, that area really stuck out. I painted it.
I have now finished painting, except for one small unused heater that I would like to put rustoleum on. We now need to get things to storage. I have been going to Kroger (grocery store) to get boxes.
But…the problem now is that it is getting colder. I have two rooms that were added on to the house. I don’t think that any insulation was added. Also…the windows now need plastic on them. Will the house sell with two cold rooms and plastic on the windows? Lots of people have plastic on their windows, they just don’t sell their house with plastic on the windows. I would like to insulate the two rooms before we move. Especially if we stay here another winter.

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Wednesday 10/24/07 I would like to move…

I want to move to a different house, to get the kids into better schools. I had looked in other areas when I bought this house, but I couldn’t wait long enough for a house in my price range to come onto the market.
I started painting the inside of this house last year. I painted the chair-rail in the dining room, around the living room windows and the wood around the living room outside door a blue gray. It is mostly blue and not bright at all. The kitchen ceiling and walls also got painted.Then I called the realitor this summer to list the house and was told that one of the upstairs closets needed painted, one of the bedrooms needed painted, the back porch (deck) needed painted and also the basement. All of these rooms did need paint, and I am glad that I have finished them. I still have not listed the house

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