Sunday, January 31, 2010

A sunshiny Sunday!

It's so nice to see the sun again.  It has been a fairly gloomy month around here with rain, fog, and the occasional snow fall.  Despite it being 10:30 or so, I only hear one youngster moving around, and it's a quiet morning.  Eric is at work, a short day for a change, I am still in my nightgown (drinking coffee and checking emails, school postings, and my social networking page), and I am glad to say I am relatively headache free--at least for the moment.  I had a migraine that started on Friday morning and continued through much of yesterday.  My mom suggested it's stress related and she is probably right (moms generally are, heeheehee), but regardless, it sucked, especially since I work all weekend. 

The tree is denuded of ornaments, the boxes are all piled up in the living room, and all that is left is for Eric to take care of the lights and the tree itself (he's picky, or I'd have done it myself already).  Hopefully in the next day or two the living room will be christmas free...  The kids made promises to help with some chores yesterday while I was at work, and (what a shock!) I came home after working an extra hour to find that NOTHING had been done!  I had also asked the girls to plan something for dinner so that Eric would have food when he got home (and I would eat left-overs), and again, NOPE! Eric ended up cooking...  Grrrrrrrr!  They aren't helpless.  They should be able to take on a few things to help out now and again.  I was frustrated though, and I HATE eating dinner at 9:30 pm cuz that is when it is done.  (Eric didn't get the message I was working an extra hour either, until he commented on how odd it was I wasn't home yet--he was waiting on starting dinner til I got home for input from me...)  Smack 'em all up side of the head!

Girls' sectionals are next Saturday at our home bowling alley on base, so there will be no youth bowling.  Despite that we will be there anyhow, cuz Aurora and the team are competing.  I just wonder where we are gonna seat everyone there--it's not that big a bowling alley!  She is excited though, as are we.  I got my sweatshirt I wanted for Christmas and will wear it proudly: on the front it says "Mascoutah Mom" and on the back it says "Soulak-Maze" so I am identified with my kids. 

I have lots to do today before I head to work, so I guess that is it for now.  Hopefully it's gonna be a productive week this week.  We have a lot to do between Eric, I, and the kids, to get ready for Liisa and the puppies!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finally taking down the tree!

Christmas is finally leaving the Soulak-Maze household, as I have put the kids to work taking their personal ornaments off the tree.  What is left will be my things to sort through, wrap up, and put away.  It has been crazy making trying to get the kids in one place, at one time, to take care of their own things!  I have no idea what belongs to whom, and while I used to take care of the tree back home on my own (my ornaments, my treasures), down here the kids have their own to deal with and I don't want to ruin their system.  Thus, the tree has remained up (Aurora joked, "but it hasn't died yet!"  The punch line? It's artificial!).  I am just taking a short breather to deal with a migraine headache that I initially thought was sinus stuff (again/still--infection is gone but some of the cough and drainage stuff remain).  Then it will be my turn to wrap and put away for next year.  Thank goodness!  We were joking that Christmas left Farmville (a game on Facebook) before it left our house in Mascoutah!

Once my stuff is put away I can use my cutting table to start cutting out my garments.  I am so excited to start making things, as most of what I have to make is pretty year around stuff--some summery tops, and a sun dress, but otherwise mostly skirts, tops, slacks, and even jackets!  I love the fabrics I have so much and think this will be wonderful.  The best part about making things is as I lose weight (I have lost 9 lbs since late summer!) I can take things in and adjust them because I made them in the first place so I know where to adjust them.  I am not on any particular diet or anything, but since I started on the prozac again I feel better, so I am a bit more active, and I am not "feeding my depression" (also known as snacking rather than eating meals).  I also recognize when I am full better so that I can push my plate away.  I was telling Eric that I am not gonna go on any major "self improvement" stint just for my 30 year high school reunion this summer, but I do want to look my best, just as long as I am me.  As an aside to this, it has been surprising to me how many people who never really associated with me in high school (I ran with the "nerd/outcast group"--had been voted most unique female in my senior class) are now "friending" me on facebook...  One in particular I struggled with accepting because she had really been a tormentor at times (I was also a kid who was easily bullied--and the depression and being naturally reserved made me an easy target), but I decided 30 years is a long time to hold animosity, and I have been so over high school for so long...  So I accepted the request and am moving forward.

Brie is making a few strides towards schooling.  She has now decided to enroll in the University of Phoenix in the Criminal Justice program (online) and has spoken with an advisor about it. She has completed the application process and if all goes through will start mid-February.  I have concerns about whether or not she can keep up on the work, as it is harder in many regards to be an online student.  You need to really be devoted to doing the work, you need to take initiative to research things out on your own, and you really need to stay on top of deadlines.  None of these things are particularly her strong suit, but I am hoping for the best.  She continues to have lots of nausea and vomitting and that has limited some of her activities...

Reimond's teacher liason said he is doing better so far this term, and he seems proud of himself.  I hope the momentum continues.  Aurora has a cold starting and she is feeling pretty crummy.  She took her practice ACT on Thursday and thinks she did ok on it.  She was telling us her band trip for next year is being planned for Hawaii, and she is determined to go.  Eric and I joked we could go along as chaperones (I have never been and he would love to return there); of course that would mean paying the way for three of us and not just one...  Brie was saying she could go and chaperone, but as we pointed out, she will be a mother by then and cannot leave the baby home alone...  It's in the dreaming stage right now, but ya know, Eric and I haven't had a honeymoon of any sort as yet...

Liisa is really excited for her trip down here. I really hope the weather cooperates for it and she is able to come. Last year when she came down (a January trip) she crunched her car on a guardrail on the bridge over the river in St. Louis because of the ice and freezing rain.  She was terrified her whole rest of the drive here.  I am so hoping I can make a trip to MN in the not too distant future as well.  Once again my grandbabies are reminding me that I need to "Come-a-my-house Gram" and Justin wants me to pack two suitcases for the trip...  I am really hoping I can use the Southwestern Airlines rate of $49.00 one way to go see them before that special ends.  We are embarking on an extensive "spring cleaning" spree because with Liisa bringing the puppies, we need to have any marking temptations cleaned up and sprayed down with enzyme remover...  Plus, it needs to be done anyway.  The boy dogs continue to be naughty, although it looks like they are being better in the living room.  It's just the loft and the sewing room (and the kitchen, but that's linoleum) that is bearing the brunt of their antics.

Wow, I think my headache is finally starting to lessen a little bit.  I guess it's time for me to head down stairs, get my ham in the oven, and get MY decorations and ornaments put away.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

My first embroidery on a sweatshirt, for me!

It's a little blurry as I took it on my camera phone, but you can see that it turned out well--mostly anyhow.  I had an episode of "epic fail" as the kids would say: I was using a hanes sweatshirt I own (have matching sweatpants too) and was so pleased with how it was coming along; anyhow, the bobbin thread ran out, so I took the embroidery frame off, replaced the bobbin, and put the hoop back on, taking care (I thought) that nothing was in the way.  WRONG! the hood and back neck got UNDER the top wording, and when the design was done and I went to take it off the hoop, the hoop was SEWN IN to the sweatshirt!  I was heartsick!  After the kids and Eric had a good laugh at my dilemma (and I realized that it would be next to impossible to remove the stitching on the top lettering to remove the hood and NOT damage the layers of fabric) I decided to do the only thing possible: I took my scissors, cut off the hood, trimmed around the layers that had been sewn into the embroidery, then set about mending the "holes" that were left.  Fortunately I was able to make repairs to the sweatshirt, including sewing the hood back on, and while it isn't "perfect", it is wearable and not overwhelmingly noticeable.  I am quite pleased!  Besides, it's just for me, and it was a learning experience.  I realized it isn't as easy to sew on fleece as I thought it would be, (embroidery wise because it stretches a bit) so I need to read up on appropriate stabilizers for this, but overall I am quite happy with the results.  I just wish the photo were not quite so blurry!

I am pleased to announce I have a four page list of resource listings, in proper APA format, for my literature search part of my paper; I have approx. 35 research articles pulled to start reading and annotating.  I am so excited about this!  I have a working hypothesis in mind, and I have the rudimentary plan for how I would structure the accompanying "research proposal" to study it...  (Chuck, if you are reading this, I may need to bend your ear for some advice/guidance as I get further into the process!  I think I have your cell number)  Surprisingly, I am not feeling too overwhelmed by any of this right now--but we will see as I get further into the process.

Brie now has an appt. set for her first ob visit, for next Tuesday.  Poor kid is having a terrible time all of a sudden with nausea and vomitting...  She is not finding pregnancy to be as "fun" as she thought (I am saying this mostly tongue in cheek).  She also has not registered for school yet, much to Eric and my disappointment, and she heard from me yesterday again why this is so critical for her to do so; she says she isn't sure she really *wants* to go to school right now.  There is also nothing for her on the job front, and her energy level is pretty low right now for doing much of anything.  I will admit, I am concerned on so many levels.  I want her and the baby to have what they need, and I/we will do what we can to support them both, but she also needs to start looking at how she is going to take care of herself too.  We cannot do it for her indefinitely.

There is so much more I would like to write, but this isn't the place to put it.  Eric and I are doing fine, and are sharing our thoughts freely with each other.  It's nice to know that a year and change into our marriage and the honeymoon phase isn't over yet.  We are on the same page for the most part, and things are fine. The kids are doing well otherwise. Aurora is coming up to the end of her bowling season and she is generally quite pleased with her growth. Patrick passed all his classes this last semester (first time in ages!) and while the grades were less than spectacular, at least he passed.  Rei passed all his finals, but still failed his two english classes.  He passed everything else, with grades ranging from a B to D's.  Not sure what I am gonna do with that boy, but I know he is trying and I cannot ask for more than that. 

Anyhow, time to get going on the rest of my day--got some chores to finish, and sewing to start, not to mention research articles to read and ponder...  It's a normal Tuesday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Making do...

Making do is a good title for today's blog because there is a lot we have to "make do" with...  I just got off the phone with my county worker and there have been no child support payments made since Nov. 12th, and they have no current information on file.  They are starting the ball rolling on some "incentives" to pay, but it's feeling to me like "too little too late."  I was able to make my cell phone payment for this month, but we will have to see about next month's bill.  I am just so angry about it!  When I look back on all I have had to deal with over the years, living paycheck to paycheck and always behind, it hurts.  My personal credit is shot, and it's going to take a lot of time and hard work to fix it back up thanks to his lack of responsibility.  When you cannot count on something that is supposed to be there, what is one to do?

Work was crazy busy today.  I am not sure why, given it was pouring rain most of the day.  We have an ok sale going, but nothing super spectacular, and we are running with a bare-bones staff (again, "making do") to save on payroll.  I am working 2 four hour shifts this week, although today I was there almost an extra half hour because we were so busy.  I felt bad leaving because the fabrics needed to be put away, and there were people still waiting on being helped, but I had to go--they really don't want to approve anything over what has been budgeted for in payroll.  So I finished  up on my one customer, then punched out.  Next week I have a few more hours--I work 4 on Sunday, 5 on Wednesday, and 5 on Saturday.  Every little bit helps.  I was supposed to teach a class of one yesterday, but when I got there someone else was set up to teach the class and seeing as she had a prior relationship with the student, I came home.  That would have been a nice addition to my check though, so I was a bit sad.

Brianne still isn't working, and she has not registered yet for school. This is frustrating to Eric and I both because we have been harping on her to get going for over a month now, and classes for the spring semester started Tuesday (as in she will already be behind *if* she is able to get enrolled for this term).  She didn't even start filling out the financial aid package until this past weekend, and when I asked her about heading over to the school to follow up, she said she'd go today or maybe tomorrow.  She has nothing on the job front either at the moment, and it is getting old. She overdid things this past weekend, between going to drill all weekend, going to a concert out of town last Friday night, and hanging with "friend" who was here til Tuesday; now she is over-tired and complaining about her stomache feeling sick/hurting (morning sickness stuff).  Eric and I just don't know quite what to think. 

Patrick had to go to school today in full dress uniform for ROTC and he looked very nice.  He had some heartache this week in that a girl he really likes decided to "go with" someone else.  It was disappointing because she is a nice girl and he really liked her.  Aurora is kinda bumming because she hasn't been bowling as well as she was earlier in the season.  She is still a very good bowler, but she isn't being consistent.  She likes her new ball really well, she just needs to learn to throw it so that it enhances her style--at least that is what Eric says.  I know nothing about bowling one way or the other.  She has a home match today and would like me to come; I will probably head over there in a little bit.  I have to finish up on a couple of things here first.

Reimond had a disappointing end to his semester as well.  He just hasn't gotten it together to be successful at high school.  I still believe if they weren't such stringent graders he'd be doing so much better, but it's not something we have any control over and he just doesn't do his homework.  I have decided that I am not going to fight with him about it.  His grades are his grades, and if he has to keep repeating terms til he figures it out, so be it.  I don't have to like it, but it doesn't make sense to me to keep fighting about it either.  I have done all I can do to get him what he needs. If he chooses not to use it, I can't force him.  But I won't reward it either.

Liisa is looking at coming down to spend a few days the beginning of February and I am really looking forward to that.  I hope the weather cooperates for her.  So far it's been really mild here, but very wet--rained all day today, and we have had fog like you wouldn't believe the past few days.  Last night I got a bit nervous driving home from "Little Nashville", about 25 miles from here, where I had met up with some knitters I know for an evening.  You could barely see a car length ahead of yourself in places on the freeway, and yet there were cars and semis barrelling ahead like they were on a clear speedway.  I didn't like it at all.

Anyhow, that is the news for today.  Patrick needs a ride to work, so I might as well go to the bowling alley and watch Aurora for a bit after I drop him off.

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK monday...

No school today, so the kids are all out and about doing various things.  Hanging with friends, playing video games, watching movies...  I spent my morning finishing up reading the latest Stephen King novel: "Under the Dome."  It was a very good read.  Fast-paced, interesting, with his standard levels of descriptive gore (which I tend to glide over--nothing I really want to read in detail); overall though, a very good, very interesting story.  Essentially the plot revolves around a small Maine town that a dome suddenly appears around and over, and what happens to the inhabitants inside of it as they figure out what went on and how to deal with it.  I really liked it.  I am thinking a lot of his most recent works out have been fairly good.  Despite what some have said about the ending of a few (the Dark Towers, Cell), I have found his endings to be true to the story and the internal logic of the story and have found them to be satisfying (probably doesn't make much sense unless you have read them yourself), and I really liked "Duma Key" alot (perhaps because of the MN connection in it).  I have now passed the book on to Aurora to read next, and then it's up for grabs amongst Eric and the rest of the kids.

After that I went to my doctor's appointment, which was at 1 pm.  I was a "work-in" appt. so I didn't get seen til closer to 2, but she said my sinus infection was either new or back (from the one I had a month ago), but regardless, things looked bad, so I am on new meds.  I stopped by The Bead Place and checked out some of the new yarn lines they are carrying, and was very inspired.  Then I ran to Barnes and Noble's for Rei's book he wanted (bought with Christmas money) and I picked up a few magazines; then it was over to Walmart, as the base pharmacy was closed for the holiday.  What is it with me and pharmacies?  I waited for about 90 mins, hearing them call numbers after mine, but never mine, so I finally went up to the counter, to be told, "Oh, Ma'am, there is a small problem. Have you ever had this med before?" (yes) "No allergic reactions?" (no); "Okay, we'll get it filled if you just hang on; oh, but the other med is on order and won't be here til after 3 tomorrow afternoon for you..." (okay, thanks much).  They couldn't have called me to the window sooner to check this out with me???  It was almost 4:30 by the time I got out of there, and I was tired, hungry, and frustrated.  Oh well, I am home now, had a snack, and am going to make some tea before I start dinner for the kids.

Eric is at school. Today is his long day.  I have assignments to do too, which I need to get cracking on (hadn't planned to spend the day hurrying to wait...) but I am not too worried about it.  I will get them posted before midnight.  I have 14 research articles pulled and need to rummage through some boxes for a couple of text books I need from my "stash" of books (one on research methods, the other containing a solid description of DSM IV categories and descriptions).  I am going to be writing on Reactive Attachment Disorder, and need to narrow it down a bit into some sort of research project proposal for my paper; I would like to link it somehow with my old questions about attachment issues and problems in kids who go to daycare settings full time.  I have some general thoughts, but they are still pretty diffuse and I am still in the literature gathering stage.  It is very interesting to me though, and there is a lot of relevent material out there.

Anyhow, that is the update for today.  Hopefully I will start feeling better in the next few days and can be more "bubbly and effusive".  Today I am just not feeling it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Back to normal, whatever that is...

I am on round three of a probable sinus infection.  I started feeling punk on Saturday night, and it isn't getting better.  My voice was mostly gone for a few days, although it is coming back (still raspy as all get-out) and the sinus headache started this morning, probably in conjunction with the grey skies and threats of rain.  I am so tired of feeling crummy though.  I am trying to ride it out a little bit because if it's viral it needs to run it's course, and if it's not, I will know soon enough.  I'm just not getting good rest at night and even with an afternoon nap, I feel almost hung over.  Enough of that subject!

I spoke to my instructor/advisor on the phone the other day about my research paper and she is excited that I already have a workable topic.  Now to start actually pulling the materials and narrowing down the scope.  Essentially what I am writing is a research proposal on a subject of my choice, to demonstrate my knowledge of all facets of my education.  I will be pulling stuff starting today, because I am home alone and have my bedroom (and my computer!) to myself for the day.  Today is the last day of finals for the semester for the kids, and hopefully they have all done well.  They now will have a three day weekend off. 

Brianne saw the general practitioner yesterday and got a prescription for prenatal vitamins.  She also requested a referal to an OB/GYN and they should be calling her with that info in the next day or so.  She had another go-round with the baby's daddy yesterday afternoon, where he is no longer claiming any sort of paternity, and he is also refusing to help with any of her bills (e.g. co-pays) until after a paternity test is done.  He talked to Eric on the phone and was quite rude to him; Eric then spoke to his platoon sargent and explained where we are coming from in the info we want from the father (so that we can keep him informed of things, esp. in light of his pending deployment in July), and the platton sgt. was equally unforthcoming or understanding.  We (Eric and I) get D's fear of claiming paternity: he doesn't really know Brie from Adam, or what kind of a person she is/what her behaviors are, etc. and he is well within his right to question things.  In his place, we would too.  But by the same token, he knows what he did as well, and what part he plays in all of this, and while to her mind it is the gospel truth that he's the father, he has to know there is a strong possibility that he is from HIS behaviors...  She was sad and hurt and angry yesterday as she left to go up to Peoria for the day/evening (she is attending a concert with a friend, so she drove up last night, will go to the concert tonight, and drive back afterwards--she has drill all weekend). I am a bit frustrated with that; I filled up her gas tank for her (she is totally broke now) so that she could get to SWIC to get registered for school (she didn't yet--needs to complete her FAFSA for financial aid), apply for jobs at some of the local hotels, and get back and forth to drill...  I did NOT fill it up so she could drive to Peoria, which is what she is doing.  Grrrrrr!

I am equally frustrated because I have not gotten any child support in 2 months now, since Jim's unemployment ran out.  He supposedly has turned in all his current info to the county, and I should start seeing payments again any time, but when I have tried to confirm this with the county I didn't get a call back from my first two messages, and then when I did, I was napping yesterday and didn't get to my phone fast enough.  Now I have a different number to call, and I will need to do that on Monday.  It's sad to say it, but I just cannot trust everything Jim tells me, because he isn't known for his honesty any more.  But if I don't see some money soon, I am gonna need to turn off Rei and my cell phone service, because that is an expense that we (Eric and I) cannot take out of the budget.  I need to be paying my own way on a few things, and if I can't, then I need to make some hard choices.  It's just irritating that Rei and I need to bear the brunt of Jim's irresponsibility. 

Gosh I am crabby today!  Between hormones, not feeling well, and being frustrated, I guess it is good that I am totally home alone and can't really talk to anyone (because of the laryngitis--it hurts to talk!)  Maybe a few hours spent in contemplation and prayer and doing some research will refresh my state of mind so I am better to be around by the time the kids get home from school.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Feeling inspired!

I am feeling inspired today!  Some of it is the weather--something about temps being back in the 30 degree range feels wonderful, along with the sunshine; some of it is having gone shopping at Target instead of WalMart (I LOVE Target!) and stocking up on cleaning supplies (we were all out of a few things); some of it is starting the first day of my new term--even if it is online, I still feel enthused on the first day!  And some of it is making a commitment to myself to stop being so hard on myself for perceived failures or oversights.  I am my own worst critic 99% of the time, and I need to lighten up a little.

I am so glad to be done with the holidays.  From here on out my moods should start lifting as I move away from anniversaries of hurtful memories, and look forward to the future.  I have been working on my cross stitch opus (Misty Morning Vineyard) the past few days and am thrilled with the progress I am seeing.  I also have successfully taken patterns off of my computer and moved them onto the sewing machine to make a gift kitchen towel for a friend as a hostess gift.  I have some ideas of things I want to try now, and I (of course) still have garments to start laying out, but as I plan out my days I am building in time to do the things I want and need to do.  I am feeling really positive and upbeat today! I'm not even letting a scratchy throat and cough get me down!

The kids start finals for the semester this week, and according to an email I got from one of Rei's teachers, the testing will take place on schedule, despite the two snow days they had.  I am so hoping Reimond does well.  I really need for him to pass all his classes.  Brie is having kinda a rough day today with some morning sickness; she doesn't have a lot of it (not daily) but when it hits, she feels miserable.  She is still job hunting, and I am hoping she'll get over to SWIC in the next day or so to get registered for school.  I would really hate to see her blow off another semester. 

The rest of the family is doing ok.  Tony came in second at his ultimate soldier competition (district level) so he is done for this year, unless the first place winner can't go on for whatever reason. Then he'd move on.  Justin and Alexis are both sick and Andrea is taking the little man in as he was running a high fever last night and complaining his ear hurts.  Mom is working some extra hours in the baby nursery at church because one of her co-workers lost her husband last week to a massive coronary, and she is content with that.  She loves "her" babies, and the kids and their parents call her "Grandma Sylvia". 

So, now that I have updated on here, I guess it's time I get going on the things slated for the rest of my day!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Finding it hard to stay motivated sometimes...

I think that says it all.  It has been bitterly cold the last few days, the kids have had "snow days" home from school, and it feels like CHAOS is reigning supreme!  That is why I am so grateful to Eric this morning.  He took the kids to the bowling alley for youth league and to practice himself, Brie is sleeping (she went out last night with friends), and I have the house to myself, for the most part anyways.  It feels good to recharge my batteries and just think my thoughts for a little while. 

There is other news I need to share, but have been waiting on until all members of the immediate family were notified.  Liisa and Jesse have broken their engagement.  It is not my place to go into detail here. Suffice it to say they have things they want/need to deal with that remain between them and they felt it was better to break things off until this is resolved rather than go forward with marriage, wishing things might "magically" change.  I am so very proud of them for how they are handling things, and Jesse is, and always will be a significant part of our family and our lives.  He is best friends with all my kids, including Liisa, and they care deeply for each other, so it is with both sadness and understanding that I share this news with you.  Both kids are doing just fine, and they continue to live under one roof (albeit in different bedrooms), they continue to do things together and share their lives.  They just are not a "couple" any more.  This may or may not change in the future.  For now though, we wish them both the best and hope they each find what it is they need to be happy.

So, as you may have gathered, between Liisa and Jesse, and Brie's pregnancy, I have been in some emotional upheaval over the past month.  I am so grateful I have my faith to rely on, because I know bone deep that God's grace is sufficient, and that all things happen for a reason.  While I still believe "thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" is the hardest prayer to pray, I also believe it is the best one too.  I found a pendant that I bought for a dear friend of mine that says "Do not worry about tomorrow, for God is already there" and that statement keeps floating through my head and my heart when both are feeling heavy.  I know there is a reason and a plan that is currently beyond my knowledge or understanding, and for the most part I am at peace with how things are playing out.  But it definitely has it's moments.  Especially when I stop to think about how my life may change or be impacted by these events.  I had one thought for what this next year would be like, and God has a totally different plan for it!  Everything has been turned on its ear, and while that isn't necessarily bad, it is very disconcerting.  It's going to take some time to process through all of this and find my way to level ground again.  In the meantime, I am taking things one day at a time, and am doing my best to be a positive support and rolemodel for the family as a whole. 

On Monday I begin my "Integrative Project" (aka Master's thesis) for my degree program, and again, I am a bundle of nerves.  I really want to do well on this, and I know I "know" my stuff.  Now I just have to prove it.  I got the email that my book is being shipped (the latest volume of writing in the APA format) so that I am correct in my presentation and format, and I even have a topic outlined in my head already.  I found out I only work one day next week, Saturday, so I have most of the week free to get organized and on track, and other than Brie's doctor's appointment on Thursday (with the general practitioner, who will then refer her to an ob/gyn), my week is fairly free (unless, of course, some of my classes get students--I am on record to teach three time next week, but thus far have no students).  I am setting some goals for myself to accomplish each day, especially since Eric will be working day shifts for the next couple of months, and this coming week is his long week...  I want to begin sewing some of the garments I have patterns and fabric for, and I want to also work on organizing my space a bit better.  I am actually quite excited to get working on some of these things!

Anyhow, that is the latest from our household here.  Things are moving along, and we are taking it as it comes...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's been one of those days...

Got up early to Midnight bopping his head and shoulders along my side of the bed when he heard the kids were all up, so I got up with him.  Tried to head back to sleep for a bit, with moderate success.  Eric had today off and lots of homework to do, so I putzed with some things and finished a sewing project: I made embroidered neck scarves for Liisa's puppies in holiday related fabrics and put their names on them...  Ten scarves total I sewed (hemmed on 4 sides, then embroidered, then folded in half and sewn to make a casing for their collars, per Liisa's request).  I got them and two other gifts mailed off this afternoon.

This afternoon we did a little running around. Eric and Patrick both needed haircuts (Rei does too but is not wanting to get one) for work/school respectively, and we grabbed McDonald's for dinner.  Now Eric and the kids are off to the bowling alley (except for Patrick; he decided to stay home with me) and I am not sure what I want to do with my time. I could start cutting out patterns, but it is really cold on the main floor, so I am leaning towards doing some counted cross stitch and watching tv. I have some books I could read, and I have lots of knitting on the needles to work on, so regardless, I will be busy. I am just grateful for some peace and quiet for a little while. 

Things have been crazy around here since the holidays.  Brianne found out she was pregnant (via a home pregnancy kit) on Christmas day, and we have all had a lot to think about with that.  The father of the baby is a young man she met online, chatted with for about a month or so, then drove to meet face to face.  They really have very little in common other than the military, and it is no surprise, but very sad to acknowledge, that he is being a flake now and backing way out of taking any sort of responsibility for his part of this situation.  I had counselled them not marrying right away anyhow, because they need time to figure out what their relationship was/could be, but now it appears he isn't going to even give that a chance.  Brie is quite obviously upset about all of this, but is handling it maturely.  She is looking for a job, and is planning to enroll in school for the spring semester (which starts in a couple of weeks). She will stay here at home with Eric and I, and we will try to help her as much as we can (providing physical and emotional support) but she understands that this is her responsibility and she is gonna need to grow up pretty quickly.  The family has been very supportive too, and she won't be alone through any of this.  We will love her and this baby, and we will be there for them both.  As my father always said, God brings a baby for his own reasons, in his own time. It is a gift, and we need to treasure it.  It is amazing how quickly life can change out of an impulsive decision...

Anyhow, that is the news from this neck of the wood so far, and I will keep everyone posted as things come up and/or change!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thinking about new year's resolutions...

I still haven't done much for reviewing new year's resolutions, although Eric and I have talked a little bit about what we would like to do here at the house (the list is a mile long, although right now it's mostly in the dreaming stage and not at all solidified).  I honestly haven't done much of anything these last few days!  I read alot, finishing a Vampire series my brother sent me (the books were really fun), and not doing any of the sewing/stitching I had been thinking about.  I have just kinda been sitting in stasis these last few days, thinking my thoughts (or not thinking, as the case may be), and daydreaming a bit about what the future holds for all of us.

I have been thinking about my Master's thesis and what I want to write it on.  Class resumes for me on January 11th, and this hopefully will be my last year of school.  I am planning to start making some phone calls on Monday using the list I got from the university to find an internship site.  I also really need to get going on the sewing I want to do, to update my professional wardrobe.  So many irons in the fire at the moment. 

I thought I was ready to write today, but the thoughts are still tumbling around in my head and haven't come to rest with any order, rhyme, nor reason, and that's ok too.  Sometimes writing helps me to clarify things, but sometimes, at least in a public forum, it's too public to make sense in.  Things are going fine here, we are all relatively healthy, we are getting along fine, and we are getting ready for "normal," whatever that is, with school resuming tomorrow.  I have chores to do now, and I have to head to work for 3.  It's gonna be a busy afternoon, and I should get going on it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

First post of the new year!

Christmas at our house was a bit slow to start, given we couldn't hardly get everyone together at one time to get the decorating done!  Between the kid's social life and Patrick, Eric, and my work schedules, we didn't even get the tree decorated until just a couple of days before Christmas eve, but once it was done, it was gorgeous!

Eric had to work on Christmas eve, but I was blessed to be off, and we set up web cams between my computer and Liisa's laptop at my mom's, so we all got to be a part of the Christmas Eve celebrations at my mothers.  The little kids really liked being able to talk to us and get an instantaneous response, and we got to see everyone's expressions as they opened their gifts from us.  It wasn't as wonderful as being there in person, but it was a close second. 
Christmas day began with the kids being up when Eric got home from work.  Rei made coffee for us, and we gathered in the living room, bleary-eyed but excited too.  Rei passed out the gifts, then we opened them using a new tradition: we went from oldest to youngest, which meant starting with me!  I made a "snuggy" for Eric out of bowling.

It came out really nice and Eric has gotten good use out of it.  He gave me a lovely pair of diamond stud earrings, and I love them!  I feel so blessed with how the day went.  Eric went to bed shortly after the gifts were opened, as he had worked all night, and I made sugar cookies, as well as started our Christmas dinner: a traditional ham dinner that came out delicious!

I worked a number of days this past week, and our new years eve was equally quiet.  Aurora left on Saturday to go to her mom's for the week, and Reimond and Patrick were both invited to parties, so it was just Eric, Brie, and I at home.  We spent the evening watching a movie together (G.I. Joe) and then I went to be shortly after midnight (after multiple phone calls with my kids in MN and being sure Rei and Patrick had rides home).  I was up by 8 this morning, and have had a lovely, relaxing day.  I have read a novel, done some stuff on-line, and read up on my embroidery functions on my machine.  I have some patterns I am excited to try, and I am excited to do some sewing over the next couple of days. 

Brie has some things going on now in her life that are keeping her preoccupied.  Life is never dull for that child!  Patrick has picked up a number of hours at work, and he got a nice surprise yesterday when a girl he is friends with showed up to surprise him (she had been living at her Dad's in California).  Rei too has been spending lots of time at a young lady's house, and I have had to caution him that he is not to just "move in" over there.  She is a nice girl, and bowls on Saturday with the kids.  Suffice it to say the kids are busy and keep us hopping!

The weather is feeling down right wintery tonight: temps have dropped significantly, it is snowing, and it is very slippery outside.  I am glad to be in the house, where it is warm (relatively speaking--we keep the temps down around 68-69 to save energy).  I am going to work on some cross stitching tonight and just enjoy this first day of the new year.  I haven't really thought much about resolutions, but I plan to over the next few days.  The usual ones probably apply, but in general, my goals are to be as active and healthy as I can be, to finish school, and to enjoy my family.  That should be enough!

Anyhow, I just wanted to share some photos from our Christmas day here, and wish everyone a Blessed and Peaceful New Year!