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Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

8/22/15 the boiler, school breaks and the weather…

written 1.20.14 –  It was chilly in the house when we got up today. The pilot light on the boiler had gone out. We have lit it before. It usually only goes out in the summer if the basement windows are open and the wind happens to get into that small opening. I tried to light the boiler. It wouldn’t light so I found the directions and read them. I tried to light it again. It didn’t work. It is so frustrating to try to to everything for my family, take care of the kids, pay the bills, make the meals and then something goes wrong that I have no idea how to fix. It is extra frustrating when the boiler goes out in the winter and the house is getting colder and colder.  I want to do everything right for the kids, but how can I be good at everything? We needed to leave to get Maggie to a school function. How can we leave the cats here in a cold house. They have fur right? How cold can it get before they feel cold? Later I called the repairman. He came over and looked at it. A small part needed replaced. While he was here I asked if I had been lighting it the correct way. He said no and showed me how to light it. I am so glad to have the heat back on. It may get down to ten degrees tonight.
It is cold and there is snow but the roads are clear.
Beth is so glad to be back at school she loves seeing all of her friends. He kids were on break for Christmas which was at least two weeks long. Then they were off for the bad weather. Then they had finals week where they only had school for half days that week. Then they were off for Martin Luther King Jr day on Monday, then the teachers had an in-service day on Tuesday and the kids had a two hour delay on Wednesday. Beth is glad that there aren’t any more vacations planned soon.
It was about two degrees today. It has been cold for a while. When I was young it stayed cold and snowy all winter. Lately it has been back and forth between cold and warm. When the temperatures change a lot between cold and warm we end up with a lot of ice on the roads. This year we have had a lot of cold weather. The steady cold weather does mean that we don’t have the ice on the roads


7/20/15 school, volunteering, raking leaves, tornadoes and birthdays…

written 11.17.13 I had been trying to write a long post each day. It hasn’t been working. My new plan is to write something each day.

This week has been quieter. Maggie has been staying later at school. She is a senior and the work is getting harder and there is more of it. We bring home Beth and later I go back for Maggie. We usually have dinner together at the table, but it isn’t always possible. We also haven’t been doing our devotional at dinner since we are eating at different times. I should do the devotional with the kids that are home and again later when Maggie is here. With teenagers schedules we are always making adjustments.

We need to sign Beth up for the ACT test.

At church today the minister talked about volunteering, inside and outside of the church. We need to volunteer outside of the church. They had a couple of groups that people could volunteer at. It is sometimes hard to find a good fit. I want the kids to see the value of giving back, and it would be nice to meet some other families. On Sundays we are always running late and don’t have time to get to know anyone before church.

We need to rake the leaves in the yard and save them for the compost pile. We don’t have many trees so there is not much raking to do. When the kids were little we had a lot of kids in the neighborhood. They would all come over and help us rake all of the neighbors leaves into our backyard so that we could have a compost pile. The neighbors liked it because they didn’t need to rake. The kids had fun raking. If the kids didn’t have a rakes, they brought over shovels. We were happy because we got enough leaves for the summers compost.

Each year I would save a small bag of leaves. On Christmas morning I would scatter the leaves on the living room floor. I would also get some big boots and make muddy boot prints. The kids thought that it was cool that Santa’s left muddy prints and leaves when it was snowy out and all of the leaves were gone. Now that they are older, when the leaves fall, the kids always say,,hey mom, you need to collect some leaves… I think that they are on to me.

We are having a tornado warning. It has taken three trips for us to get what we need to the basement. We probably have missed most of the most important items that we should have with us. Only one of the cats has come to the basement with us. We need a list for these times and a pre-packed bag. We are advised on commercials to have a bag, but we don’t pack one.

The radio says that there are some people without power. We have power. We need a wood burning stove. The storm has almost passed us. I hope that it passes us, then the kids can sleep in their rooms tonight. The storm came through at 70 miles per hour.

When the kids were little and we had tornado drills we took a lot of things to the basement. By the time that we got the kids and their favorite toy and everyone’s shoes to the basement and comforted them because one was always crying because the siren had scared them, the drill was over. A lot has changed since then. We still don’t have a bag packed, but we get to the basement before the drill is over…and no one is crying.

For Beth’s birthday she got her ears pierced. She is seventeen today. She is a good kid. Beth makes us laugh. She loves to sing and talk to her friends. I love my kids.


7/5/15 back to school, weather changes and senior events…

written 1/23/14 – Beth is so glad to be back at school. She loves seeing all of her friends. The kids were on break for Christmas which was at least two weeks long. Then they were off for the bad weather. Then they had finals week where they only had school for half days that week. Then they were off for Martin Luther King Jr. day on Monday, the teachers had an in-service day on Tuesday and the kids had a two hour delay on Wednesday. She is glad that there aren’t any more vacations planned soon. It is tough to be a very social person with all of this vacation.

It was about two degrees today. It has been cold for a while. When I was young it stayed cold and snowy all winter. Lately it has been back and forth between cold and warm. When the temperatures changes a lot between cold and warm we end up with a lot of ice on the roads. This year we have had a lot of cold weather. The steady cold weather does mean that we don’t have the ice on the roads.

Maggie applied for her two scholarships today. They are due at school by tomorrow. She needed her grade point average to finish applying for them.

Here are some pictures: 1231 1232 12331235 1237



3/16/15 Christmas…

written 12/26/13 – Merry Christmas!

We had a fun Christmas. The day before Christmas we volunteered at church. We are still relatively new there so volunteering has been a good way to meet people. Maggie volunteered in the child care area and William, Beth, Beth’s boyfriend and I made hot chocolate.

On Christmas morning we finish the nativity set. When the kids were young we started Joseph and Mary in a different room and had them move each night closer to the nativity set…unless we forgot about them for a night and moved them an extra amount the next night…or the year that we got busy with homework and they made the whole trip Christmas morning. Then we bring in baby Jesus. We read a little from the Bible, the part about the census and returning to Bethlehem and the angles appearing to the shepherds. Then we open presents. Mom comes over on Christmas. We do have a large family, but mom is the only one in town.

I haven’t written in a while so if I repeat pictures or stories, I am sorry. I repeat myself a lot in real life too!!!

I can’t get the pictures to load. I will have pictures on another post.



3/13/15 putting up the Christmas tree…

written 12/14/13 -We have been busy with school. I also lost my cord for my Nook. I can write on it until it needs re-charged, but I can’t transfer anything to the computer. I would like to say that the cats took the cord, but I think that it is too big for them to carry.

We put up our Christmas tree last night. We keep all of the Christmas things in the basement. We found the Christmas tree, which was at the bottom of the pile since we have rearranged the basement  a few times in the last year. After digging it out, we started looking for the base. We all looked and got a flashlight. Finally one of the kids said that she thought that we had put it in the Christmas tree box so that we could find it. It was there. We brought up the ornaments, which are now all in one big plastic tote with the wreath for outside. When we got them open we didn’t have any lights. They were in the basement in a box which we had labeled “Christmas lights”. I don’t usually label boxes as well as I should so it was nice that this one had been labeled. We separated the tree branches by size and started putting up the tree. We have a long rope that we keep with the tree and we tied the center pole of the tree to the close furniture, to help the tree stay up. Then we put up the tree. By now Maggie had decided that she was too warm and had gone to put shorts on and Beth decided that she was cold and was completely wrapped in a blanket. But everyone was there. We put up the lights with all of us standing around the tree handing the lights to the next person until the whole string is on the tree. We decided not to use the lights that have a music box on them…when they are plugged in the music starts playing. The tree actually looked really good with only lights on it. Christmas tree lights We started adding the ornaments. We were all watching the cats. Our older cat doesn’t play with the tree much, but we weren’t sure what the new cat would do. cat2 (2) cat1 We have a separate little ”parade” of ornaments that go off to the side. They are the Christmas things that won’t go on the tree.parade1 parade2 Maggie set this up and William, Beth and I put up ornaments. Then later Maggie helped with the tree. We have enough ornaments to put about three on each branch, the kids pointed out that maybe that is why the tree falls over is because we have too much weight on it. I think that it is because we need a new base. If we put less ornaments on the tree, how would we decide which ones to leave off. We could rotate them, having a three year plan, but I like seeing all of them. Christmas tree1 Christmas tree2 The new cat started playing with the lower ornaments and climbing in the tree. This morning she was on the back of a chair so that she could look at the higher ornaments.

The wreath is up outside, the tree is up and the manger scene is set up except for baby Jesus who hasn’t arrived yet. When the kids were little we had Mary and Joseph start out in another room. Each night we moved them closer to the manger scene, like they were traveling to Bethlehem. One year we got busy with homework and forgot to move them and they made the whole trip the morning of Christmas. Manger scene We have some decorations that need to be put up around the house and we will be all done.

When we were finished we took a Christmas picture in front of the tree with the kids. Except that William said that he wouldn’t be in it this year. We also got the cats to be in it. Except for our little cat who ran out of the picture. Some years we have everyone and some years we don’t.

I thought that we could finish the evening by watching a Christmas movie. The kids said that they already had ”Sherlock Homes” in. They had been watching it another day and wanted to finish it first. So we finished ”Sherlock Homes”.

So this is us. Our tree doesn’t stay up, we are in shorts and wrapped in blankets, we don’t get everyone into the Christmas picture and we watch ”Sherlock Homes” as our Christmas movie. But we are together, we get along most of the time so from out house to yours, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and you make a lot of fun memories of your own this next year!!!



3/9/15 decorating for Christmas…

written 12/5/13 – We are going to put up our Christmas tree tomorrow. We are starting to get into the spirit. We have started playing Christmas music while we decorate. We spend a lot of time putting up decorations in the house. Putting up the tree is it’s own event. Our tree doesn’t match the tree stand, so it wobbles. Some years we get it just right and it stays up straight. Three years ago we put up the tree and then tied it to all of the close furniture. If the rope is put in just the right spot, it is not seen, or we put a blanket over the rope. Three years ago we put up the tree and tied it up. It started to lean every day. We could always hear someone in the living room calling out ”tree!” and we would all come running. We put it back up straight and re-tied the ropes. The next day it would lean again. Two years ago it stayed up. We carefully marked that stand (we have a few stands) so that we could use it the next year. It didn’t work. The next year it leaned a lot too. Last year was better.

There is now a company that makes stands with a sort of tube base. The stand is set down, the trunk of the tree goes into the tube and the tree stays up. I told the kids that we should get that stand so that our tree could stay up all year. They said ”no” it was our tradition to tie up the tree and have it lean all the time.

I used to think that  we were the only house that had a leaning tree. One day I was telling of our adventures the night before with the tree and someone else spoke up. He said that they always put their tree in a corner and leaned it toward the corner. His family also had a dog that pulled the tree down so they tied it up too. It sounds like a lot of memories were made around that tree.

Here are some pictures: tree art4blurr rite aidart5



3/4/15 Halloween decorations, car, Black Friday, Christmas decorations…

written 11/30/13 – We took down our Halloween decorations the day before Thanksgiving. We are usually more organized than that. The front porch looks so bare. Halloween decorations

Our car now has 350,000 miles.  Outstanding!miles

We went out on Black Friday. We usually aim to leave the house at five or six in the morning. Then we leave at seven. We usually go to the mall or to the book store. There are not many people there. They must all be at the electronics stores. This is our third year to do this, I think. The kids are older and they can help pick out presents.

We were going to put up our Christmas tree this weekend. Christmas now seems so close. But we decided not to. Having two big holidays in one weekend was too much…and we also just took down the Halloween decorations.

Here are some pictures: boxes drive thrucats sky1building1



3/3/15 Thanksgiving, peeling potatoes, Halloween decorations…

written 11/28/13 – Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We took the Halloween decorations down yesterday.

We had a good Thanksgiving. Mom came over. We all finished making the meal together. It was fun, all five of us in the kitchen. The kids are old enough that they can make a lot of the meal with out instructions. We wrote what we are thankful for on the cloth before we ate. thankful

One of our traditions is that the night before Thanksgiving the kids and I peel the potatoes. We started doing this when they were really young, they were probably in early grade school. At that time they couldn’t peel a whole potato. The first year was a huge learning experience. They were able to see one piece of the meal and how it was made.  The second year they could peel the potatoes better. It is a time for all of us to sit down together and create memories. The first year we peeled potatoes for a long time. It seemed like forever. The kids kept saying ”this potato peeler doesn’t work” so I would give them a different peeler. They were little, so that one wouldn’t work either. After a while I said that they had helped me a lot and I would finish the job. They were too young to realize that they hadn’t peeled any potatoes. The second year it went better. Some of the kids peeled a potato or two. We spent a lot of time talking about how much they had grown up in the last year.  We didn’t need to switch any peelers that second year. We sat together for a while and peeled and talked. Then I finished the job. By the third year, the kids were pros. We did the whole bag together. It took a while, so we had time to talk about the last year and things happening today. Fast forward to a few years later. One year we set up everything and I went back to the kitchen to get an extra potato peeler. When I came back, the job was done. The kids were ready to clean up. We hadn’t gotten to talk. They didn’t know that part of the purpose was time together. They were ready to put everything away. The next year, I made sure that everything was in the room before we started. This year we completely forgot to peel the potatoes the night before. We should peel a batch of potatoes for Christmas.

Here are some pictures: blurr downtown1



2/27/15 Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving, snow…

written 11/24/13 – We need to take the Halloween decorations that are outside down. We don’t usually leave them up this long. They will be down before Thanksgiving, so I am not worried.

I checked the thankful cloth that we write on at Thanksgiving. The kids do write what the cats are thankful for. Well…they are part of the family too.

It snowed today. It was a good dry snow with big flakes. It only lasted about a half hour an then all of the accumulation blew away. Maybe winter is here. We can never tell in our town. We don’t have four separate seasons. In one week it could be 70 degrees and sunny, then rainy and then 30 degrees. Each day can be its own season. We keep an extra blanket in the car and dress in layers.

Here are some pictures: gorilla pay phone



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