Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Still Here

I go back and forth about blogging anymore. In the mountains the isolation seemed to lend itself to the time and purpose for posting pictures and such of our life. Normal has taken on a new definition since returning to Ohio. Although we are finally into somewhat of a routine of life, life is a much fuller and busier thing. That is good though. We wanted to be involved with people and involved in living beyond ourselves, which we are. But with that comes less time for other things. The pieces of the pie can only be cut so thin. Often I walk by my scrapbook boxes (many still unpacked) and think that one day again I'll dig in and scrap. I still have my fabric that is waiting for my creative energy. Books are still stacked to be read. Yes, it is a busy season. I'm not unhappy in my priorities but rather have finally come to understand that the time I'm in now is not forever. I know when the oldest kids were preschoolers I often felt overwhelmed with all the needyness that little children bring with them. I was certain life would always consist of that craziness. But as older, wiser woman assured me, this time did pass. Quin is on the verge of potty training and is too big for his crib. Before long we will once again be a "no diaper" family. He needs to be out of his crib but the search for a free mattress thus far has turned up nothing. (Why is it that there are a million free beds when we don't need one but none when we do?). So life does move on and change. There will be time for other pursuits (old ones even) ahead. We work now though.

My evenings are consumed with working Dragons' games and at Fraze. I enjoy the Fraze work and find being in the middle of the concerts quite a diversion to the other stresses in life. I was pleasantly surprised to run into Bev from Dingleberries who works concessions. Since losing Greg, she has found solstice in the old music and the people. I was glad to see her doing well after such a sudden loss.

Unbelievably, Jot broke his arm again. That is twice in less than a year now. This time the break is up near his shoulder and thankfully only requires a splint. He goes back for a checkup in a couple weeks.

Hannah completed her summer school Health class enabling her to use her school year schedule for other courses. She is signed up to take JROTC. We tried to let her choose all her own classes with minimal counsel from us. Both Tim and I had regrets for the classes we took in school and hoped to avoid that with her. There were things I wish I'd taken but just didn't think I was allowed to, so for Hannah, we want her to explore the interests she has. Personally I think the History and a leadership skills ROTC will offer her will be quite appealing to her. She doesn't mind the uniform requirement which I thought would be the excluding factor. We'll see how she likes it.

Emma and Jot both finished the school year well and are enjoying their more relaxed schedule this summer. Faith is as eager as ever to begin Kindergarten and I'm wondering what life will be like with just one at home. It's been 10 years since there's only been one here :)

Taking pictures is one area that I've also cut back on. Therefore, I don't have any to post at the moment. My computer required reimaging a couple of weeks ago and I've yet to reload any of my pictures. Eventually I'll get to it and appreciate your patience :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's March now....

My goodness, I sure fell off the blogging bandwagon didn't I? We were inundated with birthdays as usually happens each year ;) I'm sharing a few pictures of the adventures. Forgive the blurry one of Quin, but I couldn't resist the adorable smile.

Life has been full of late. Hannah has had several guard competitions. Their group is doing quite well this season taking 2nd place at most of their events. Hannah has signed on for fall guard which means she'll march with the band at football games and competitions as well. It seems early to be thinking of next school year already but we've had our "welcome to high school" meeting for 8th grade parents and the official marching band meetings as well. Hannah has to have her course requests in the computer by last week. It'll be here before we know it!

Quin is still getting into everything, but still cute as ever. He loves playing in the mud and I discovered paying full price for rain boots at Target was a worthy purchase. Washing off rubber boots is way easier than washing and drying sneakers several times a day. He and Kelly are destroying the backyard, but at least they're having fun right? He gets daily baths, occasionally several and goes through clothes like a teen-ager. He gives mess a whole new meaning. Talking is finally overtaking him too... he'll mimic most everything. His latest daily interaction with Faith is to say "-ock, -ock" to which Faith replies with the typical "Who's there?" and Quin just laughs himself silly with no reply. I think these Knock-Knock jokes are better than the ones that make no sense that we hear from Faith ;)

Jot just finished up "business day" at school where he made Grandma Alexander's hamburger cookies. He established his small business and kept records for expenses, etc. as well as creating his own marketing signs and posters. It was a fun project for him and he seemed to really understand the business concepts that were taught. He continues to do well in school even though he still pushes Emma and Faith around.

Emma is also doing fabulously at school and just loves Mrs. Miller's second grade class. She went to a slumber party for a classmate over the weekend and had a fun time at that brave mom's house. The girls were up most of the night and Emma ended up napping nearly all of Sunday. Too much birthday, as the Berenstein's would say. Her own birthday was a more subdued affair with grandparent's and family. After weeks of indecisiveness, she choose Max and Erma's carryout for her birthday dinner. I will admit that it had been a very long time since I'd had a Max and Erma's burger and it was yummy! She enjoyed her special day and now she is 8!

I began training for my summer part-time job at The Fraze. I'll be working in the box office selling tickets and handling the cash office duties for the pavilion. A few shows have already been announced with the first of those going on sale this Saturday. So far the biggest named event is Crosby, Stills and Nash. I imagine it'll sell out quite quickly. I think I'll enjoy the work and it will be some nice added income to help with expenses.

Tim and I will also both be working a concession stand at the Dayton Dragons games to raise money for the Band Boosters. We earn voucher credits for each game we work toward Hannah's guard fees. It will also be a great way for us to meet other families in the area. From what others say, it is an absolute blast working these games. I'll be available for more games that Tim, but we've signed up for several together so if you're in the area, stop by :)

If you are not local to me, you might have read in the news about our big snowstorm/possible blizzard that hit a couple weeks ago. I guess it has been decided that there wasn't enough wind to classify it as an official blizzard, but it was a lot of snow for here. Not much compared to the mountains, but good enough :) It was pretty, but didn't last hardly at all. I've included a picture of Kelly at the back fence to give you an idea of the depth. I think we topped out at 14 inches. It is gone now though and we're currently, as I type getting a ridiculous amount of rain. Over 4 inches in just over 24 hours.... thank God for our two sump pumps. They are both running about every 15 minutes now. Amazing!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Yes, I'm still alive.

The kids have not killed me yet I just continue to find myself incredibly busy with our new schedule. Well... Quin is giving a good effort at killing me. He is a mess looking for a place to destroy. Unfortunately for Kelly, she has been the recipient of much of the mess Quin creates. Knives, cheese, whipped cream, mud, syrup... the imaginative methods to create chaos are infinite in number for the little one.

Hannah's winter guard team has been doing quite well and took first place in their last competition. Jot has been annoying his sisters at a daily pace and Tim and I find ourselves befuddled in what to do to get his attention about the matter. TV restriction doesn't seem to affect him anymore (yes, we too are shocked). Emma has given up her dream of a life of cheerleading since she saw her first guard competition. She has decided 'THAT is what I want to do!" Miamisburg has elementary guard (thus their excellence at the high school level), but as for Springboro, she has several years to wait, so perhaps cheerleading will have to tide her over. Faith is ever eager to begin school and finds being at home boring...especially with Quin. Was I ever bored at her age? Seems to me I was rarely at a loss for stuff to do. Maybe that is where Quin gets it from....

Speaking of which, he has been awfully quiet for some time. I need to go find him.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's January again

Here is the picture we sent out with our Christmas cards. I will post Tim's letter soon too. It is saved on his computer and I don't have access to it just now. I still have a couple cards that were sent to wrong addresses that need to be redirected... if you are one of them perhaps you'll have it by Easter ;)

Jot is now 11 and so far he seems to be enjoying being so. Last night we had pizza, cake and ice cream. I have to say that I took advantage of the Papa John's deal of three medium pizza's with unlimited topping for $7 each. I picked chicken, bacon, roma tomatoes and mushrooms and boy was it delicious! Anyhow... Dad and Sharon came for presents, cake and ice cream which was nice. I can't remember the last time another of our relatives was at our home for a birthday. Jot has a decisively Cars birthday getting several cars, two playsets (Flo's and Guito's) and a sheet/comforter set (from Mom and Ron). He also got Brother Bear (one and two), clothes and a new bike helmet. Fun was had by all.

I have been overwhelmed with unpacking boxes and trying to find places for things. Christmas/birthdays that seem to fall at the busyiest times of the year! One down and three more to go before the big summer break of birthdays. I began tackling the boys room yesterday trying to get stuff sorted and put away. We need to either thin out the toys or begin rotating them. Poor Quin's toys get pushed behind the Command Station, Fire Engine, TWO police cars, Space Ship and the zillions of big-footed nightmares aka Rescue Heroes. Kelly is finding various gourds, tomatoes and cucumbers in different costumes aka Veggie Tale playsets. The Cars avalanche of last night will only add to this mess so some order is in desperate need. We recently got an additional loft bed/desk/dresser for the room (Craigslist) that matched Jot's old bed so the room will be set for Quin leaving his crib at some point. Now that that furniture is set I can begin finding homes in there for all the stuff. We need to hang another rode in the closet and possible some shelves, but eventually there will be a place for everything (I hope). I'll tackle the little girls' room next. Pollies, Barbies and Doll clothes will be the foe in there.

Christmas was quite enjoyable. Mom and Ron were here a good portion of the time in between their hopping around to visit other folks (and gaining an appreciation for what we endured on trips to Ohio for years). It was wonderful to have them here as well as being able to visit family ourselves. We hosted Tim's family the day after Christmas which went fine for the first time doing that. I'd change a few things for next time, but all in all it went well. Christmas eve was spent at my Granny's with all my aunts/uncles/cousins from my dad's side of the family. It has been over 20 years since I've attended and it was a very fun night for us. Seeing everyone after such a long time was so nice. We were well received and left feeling quite loved and appreciated. A nice thing indeed.

We've continued to visit churches with not much in the way of a good fit. We seem plagued to walk into "if you're a visitor excuse us because this is not the normal service we'd be having".... ugh. I guess it is to be expected around the holidays but it does seem that many people go to a great effort to make church more difficult than it need be. We have intentions of heading up to Faircreek again this weekend. It is a drive and hard to manage with the little ones, but there are good friends there. The encouragement is a valuable thing at this point in time. We are looking forward to hearing the pastor there too (relatively new). We were married in that church (in a different location and different name), served for many years there and have a deep love for many that are still attending 2o-some years later. We continue to pray about when to begin the home study here. There is a desire among some we've talked to for some simple verse-by-verse teaching which is exactly the thing in which Tim excells.

I have rejoined Weight Watchers (actually did last month) and am enjoying my journey back to goal. I attained my Lifetime status back in Philly and then fell into old habits when we moved to the mountians. Without the meetings I tumbled down. I really need, I've discovered, the face to face encouragement of those at the meetings. The support and sharing of ideas cannot be done on my own. The leader I've found here is excellent and reminds me a great deal of two of my favorites from Philly. She is enthusiatic, knowledgable and fun. I think I'll do quite well with her. I've learned that the leaders are a really important part of a good meeting. I've always said if you don't click with your leader, find another one. I've been fortunate to find a leader that is close (a mile maybe) that I like. Go me!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nearing the end of 2007

I can safely say I have not felt more exhausted on a daily basis ever in my entire life. My body is fighting tooth and nail to getting up early and going to bed early. My years of staying up late with Tim and enjoying the quiet of the house seem to be a thing of the past. I am confident that eventually I WILL adjust, but as of yet, I'm still groggy in the morning. My to-do list seems rather lenghty and while I really am trying to not be perfectionistic in everything I do, it is hard to go to bed knowing so much remains undone. There are still boxes... lots of boxes! Our routines are not yet established for things like paying bills and going to the grocery. Christmas seems to be coming at a very inconvienant time :) Honestly, I think being sick right after we moved threw a wrench into my ability to get stuff done early on and then Faith's birthday, Thanksgiving and now Christmas are upon us. All that said, I do love the house and the neighborhood. The schools are better than we could have hoped and things are really good in all that regard.

I hoped to share some pictures and will do so soon, but off-loading them from my camera is one of the things on my list that I haven't quite gotten to yet :) We got the Christmas card photo taken and back from the printers. The letter is written and waiting to print and the cards are sitting on my dresser ready to be addressed and mailed... I even have the stamps! I intend to focus on all that today in hopes we can get them out before Christmas. Most of our Christmas shopping is done and just a few items remain to be purchased. I know what they are, it is just a matter of going and getting them. Some of my baking is complete and if I can, I will do a bit more this week. Kelly begins "doggie day care/training" today with Mike. His "learn to obey while you stay" has gotten rave reviews from fellow dog owners, so this week is Kelly's induction into the realm of obedience training. We sat in on a class already and we beyond impress with Mike and his program. I expect it to be a fun time for us all. Anyhow, having Kelly out of the house during the day will making baking quite a bit easier, so hopefully I will accomplish great things this week. Wishful thinking anyhow....

The church hunts still continues. We visited two more churches since my last post. Nothing quite feels like home, but perhaps that is God designed. We met another couple looking for verse by verse teaching while visiting one church. Actually, it was someone I graduated with and her family who also just returned to the area. We are pretty certain we'll begin a home study in January... probably on Friday nights. We will continue to look for a place to fellowship and serve, but we need to move ahead with what the Lord seems to have put on our hearts. We'll have to see what becomes of it!

Well, I need to get the kids out the door for school this morning!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sickness and the Humane Society

We have all been passing around a sore throat, cough and stuffy head mess but at this point I think we are nearing the end. (PTL!) There are still boxes everywhere and I feel like I'm running from the moment my sleepy head is out of bed. My body seems to be fighting tooth and nail to continue to be a night person. Life necessitates me being a morning person during this season and I'm beginning to wonder just how long it will be before my body and mind will cooperate with the alarm clock :)

Tim is settling in at work and all that seems to be going well. He has some certifications to get but they are providing the study materials so he picks away at that as he is able. The kids are settled into school as well. All three are enjoying their new schools and we are quite pleased with the entire situation. Communication between parents and teachers is amazingly good and so unlike what we had in the mountains. We really feel blessed to be here.

We visited at CCA again two Sundays ago and hit another special service so we have yet to hear the pastor teach. It was a bit discouraging. That Thursday we went to the Calvary in Dayton for their midweek study. It was good we went that week as that was the last midweek meeting before the New Year. Evidently they take a break over the holidays. The study was good and reminded me of Frank's Tuesday morning study. The kids were downstairs and enjoyed the evening as well. They have an old church building that reminds me a lot of Bill Faehl's place in Pottstown. It was refreshing to be among familiar teaching and welcoming people. Tim actually had lunch yesterday with a guy we met that night who also works on the base. Tim and the kids (sans Quin) went to their Sunday morning service last weekend. I stayed home with Quin and his runny nose. It is a bit farther to drive than we hoped but thus far seems to be the closest church teaching verse by verse. Tim and I went to a home fellowship in Kettering Sunday evening that was enjoyable as well. Since I missed services that morning, it was good to go to a study. We are praying about begining a study after the New Year. Stay tuned for more....

When we thought everyone was finally well last week, Tim, Quin and I visited the Humane Society to see what kind of dogs they had. It is a new facility and very nice. We looked at several dogs until they closed. I went back alone the next day (the kids were off school so Hannah watched the others while I went out). I looked at five more and found a sweet tempered young shepherd mix. I put a hold on her and brought the kids back to meet her. What a gentle dog. She rolled over and let everyone pet her belly and was friendly and very tolerant of all the hands and attention. So, Saturday we picked her up and now we have a dog :) She has just been great. Her previous owner released her (allergy evidently) and she has obviously had some training. She is house broken and seems to know "sit". She is a bit hesitant with her crate and I wonder if she spent a lot of time in one before. She definately likes to be near someone and follows us around where ever we go. Last night she seemed to finally relax some about following us from room to room. Going across the room to the kitchen didn't require her to actually get up... she just watched to make sure we'd be back. Her first vet appointment was last night and she got a clean bill of health and several comments of "you got a good dog"! We have a consulation appointment next week with the trainer to set up some obedience classes for her (and us). Anyhow, her is the blurry photo from her petfinder listing:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


After much ado, we have arrived in Ohio. The closing in the Poconos went much longer than expected due to some issues with the buyer's bank. The drive was nearly more than I could bear and shortly after arriving I came down with laryngitis and Faith had croup BUT I love our house, the schools thus far are better than we could even hope for and the community is wonderful. I think we will be very happy here.

Tim had an interview the Friday after we moved in and was offerred a position, which he accepted. He is working at the air force base for a computer support contractor. The pay is less than we hoped for, but the benefits seem to be quite good and there is plenty of room for advancement. They have tuition reimbursement as well, so Tim plans to finish his degree while there.

Our first Sunday we visited Calvary Chapel Tri-State (in Cincinnati). It was a nice little congregation very much like we had in the Poconos and the teaching was good. They are a very mission/outreach focused church which was nice. The pastor was saved in prison, so there is an obvious love for that type of ministry. It would be a fine place to get plugged in however the distance and time is a bit prohibitive. Last Sunday we visited Clearcreek Assembly which is a larger group and much closer. It went well there also. The teaching isn't what we are used to at all, but seemed fine for what it was. They also have seem to have a lot going on, especially for the teens, which is nice. I miss the verse by verse teaching I've become accustomed to for the last 18 years. We are still praying about what the Lord would have us do in the church regard... where to attend and serve as well as if/when to start a home study. Not many churches have a Sunday evening service, so perhaps that would be a good time to have a home study. At this point, we'll wait until after the holidays.

School is going quite well. Emma and Hannah are both a bit behind where they should be which was expected. They seem to be working hard to get caught up though and I don't doubt that they will. Hannah and I attended a winter guard informational meeting and she has decided to join. I'm excited for her and hope she finds it as fun and challenging as I remember it. Practice starts after Thanksgiving and she can hardly wait.

Jot's resource room teacher and helpers are just what we hoped for and more. He is finally being challenged and pushed to work hard and learn. We are so thankful to have found a place where they are willing to put in the effort to get results from him. His main teacher doesn't buy his "it's too much/hard/confusing" line that other's before her have given in to. Jot is excited to be reading "real" books rather than photocopies of younger readers. The class just began Holes yesterday. I really appreciate that they are stretching him up to the materials/curriculum rather than simplifying everything to the point of not challenging him at all. Thus far we are quite pleased.

I still have not quite gotten my voice back but am trying to push on and get the boxes unpacked. It seems to take six times as long when Quin keeps getting into everything and requires my attention. My goal is to unpack five boxes a day at least. Eventually it will get done. (I hope.)

I have lots of pictures but haven't spent the time uploading them yet. Eventually it'll get done... :)