Monday 11/12/07 William and College…

William has always wanted to go to college. A few years ago I was saying that he should go to the community college. It has smaller class sizes and might be a good place to start. He said ”no” he wants to go to the local four year college. I finally started to agree with him that he was ready for larger class sizes.
The other day William mentioned that we were almost out of toothpaste. I went to show him again which cupboard the toothpaste was kept in but he said ”no” he would be leaving to go away to college soon and he really didn’t need to know where anything was kept. I said ”away” to college? He has now decided that he would prefer to go away to college. I have always told the kids that anything is possible, as long as you work hard for it. I hadn’t thought that they were listining to me.
We were all talking a few days later and William mentioned that he would be gone in about six months. He said that after he finishes high school he will be filling out his college paperwork and leaving. I have never seen so much enthusium in him. (Where did my little boy who wanted to stay at home go?) I tried to explain that most freshmen classes started in the fall quarter and he may be with us all summer. He is so excited about college, which is cool, and he does truely believe that he can start college the day after he graduates from high school. I do wish that he wanted to go to a local college, and live with us. We will miss him so much, but I don’t want to take away any of his excitement and drive.


Friday 11/9/07 Hobbies for me…

There are some hobbies that I would like to have if I had some free time. Here are a few of them:
I would like to buy a sewing machine that embroiders cute pictures on jeans, like hearts or birds. I could buy jeans at garage sales cheaply and put the designs on them. They could be re-sold at my garage sale for more money. I think that the sewing machine could be programmed by someone else and I would just need to put the correct thread into it. The problem is that the machine will probably cost a lot, and I would have to sell a lot of jeans just to break even.
My second idea is making sock dolls. I got a book on making these, and have made one. It took about one evening. The doll is about six inches tall, and really cute. Then I decided to move and didn’t have time to do any more. When I am at the store there are so many cute sox that it is hard to say ”move first then get more sox”.


Thursday 11/8/07 Rock Tumblers…

Maggie turned twelve this year. She collects rocks with the neighbor boy. Her birthday present was a rock tumbler. It looked like a nice, low maintence gift. It came with a small base that has a small motor in it and a container with a lid to put the rocks in. There were also three kinds of grit to put in to make the rocks progressively smoother. We had a tererible time getting the container to seal closed. The directions said to put a small ammount of vegetable oil between the container and the lid to get a good seal. It kept leaking. After about ten tries we got it sealed. The problem is that the container sits on it’s side in the base as it spins. After we got it sealed we put it in the dining room by the frogs. We needed an open spot by an electrical outlet. When it was turned on it was the loudest thing in the house. We couldn’t talk on the phone or hear the TV, and I am sure that the frogs didn’t like the noise. We moved it to the living room. That was on Friday night. When we went outside we turned it on…and back off when we came in. It is now in the kitchen, away from the frogs, the phone and the TV. Maggie really likes the gift and is glad that we found a place for it.


Wednesday 11/07/07 Zoo…

We went to the Zoo over the summer. We havn’t gone in ta few years. It was fun to go back again. The reason that we went is because the Zoo had a butterfly exibit. We wanted to see what that was like, all of those graceful, fragile creatures flying around us. When we got there the exibit was a room that was warm with a lot of flowers and plants in it. They also had some bowls with sponges in them. In the bowls was a red liquid. I asked the Zoo person that was in the room what the liquid was. She said that it was red Gatoraid. It attracks the butterflies. We went late in the summer, so there weren’t a huge number of butterflies, but there were a lot. Some did fly onto us. Whe we left there we went and saw the fish and the monkey exibits. It takes us a long time to go through each area, so we don’t see many exibits.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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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