Friday, October 27, 2006

In the past week...

this is what we've done:

Jordan had her last gymnastics meet of the season. Jim went this time since I was originally supposed to be going to Easterby's Edibles that day to make meals. I didn't end up getting to do that since Jensen was sick. This is the only meet that Jim has gotten to go to and I think he enjoyed it. It was fun for me to look at the pictures he took instead of the other way around. Jordan did well improving a few of her scores. Now it's just more practice until next season. She'll continue to practice 8 hours a week almost every goes up to 9 hours in the compete in just 5 meets. Seems kind of crazy to me but she loves it so I guess we'll continue to let her do it.

Went to the Texas Renaissance Festival on Sunday and took two of the kids' friends...Austin and Kristina. Please remind me not to do this again. The kids do have fun...especially the boys with all the knights and jousting, etc. But the costumes that some people wear who attend these types of festivals are just risque. Plus, some of the people are dressed in really scary costumes and Jensen was afraid of several of them that we saw. Plus, it's ridiculously expensive and it's an hour and a half drive each way. I don't think I need many more reasons than that for not going again.

Jensen had her first preschool field trip. It was to the fire station. She wasn't really all that interested though in the fire engines or squirting the water out of the hose like most of the other kids. The other girl in the picture with the hoses (Grace) is so into it and Jensen looks completely indifferent. This fire station we go to for field trips has a cool "smoke" room. It's a room that's filled with furniture like a living room and they can pump non toxic smoke into it. The kids and parents practice the "fall and crawl" to get out of the room. Very cool learning experience although a little scary for the kids. A little scary for me to given our experience of actually being in a fire. We were so lucky to get out of our house when we did becuase you really can't see at all when the room is filled with smoke.

Jensen also got bit by another girl at school this week. This is the first time any of our kids has been bitten by another kid. It didn't break the skin but you could very clearly see the little circle of teeth marks on her arm. Her and the other girl were both trying to see something through a window and were pushing each other to get a better view when the other girl just leaned down and bit Jensen! I think Jensen was pretty shocked. I really hope that doesn't happen again.

Had craft night with the girls where we embellished t-shirts using hot-fix crystals. Really cool and fun technique. I made a halloween theme shirt. Maybe I'll take a pic of it and post.

Today the kids had no school so I tried my best to fill up their time. We went to the Mudpie Co., along with half of Kingwood, to paint pottery. The kids have been bugging me to go. Jackson's had his eye on this big dragon head to paint for months since Jordan went to a party there and we went to pick her up. The kids each painted something and I started on gifts for the teachers. Thanks to Heather I've got tons of gift ideas for people. I hope to get back to finish my project next week.

I've been feeling more despondent lately about our housing situation. It appears we won't be in our house until well after the new year I'm sure. We've started legal action against our contractor and that seems to really drag things out. He's stopped all work on the house so...we're faced with another holiday season not in our own home. I really miss my house and all the space and comfort we had. I miss my neighborhood, not just for myself but for the kids. They really can't play outside here and they don't have their friends around them. I try to keep them connected with our street and we really are over there all the time, but it's just not the same. I think I've been pretty upbeat and positive for the most part about our situation but, frankly, I'm just tired of it. I want my house back.

And that's been my week.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

We're going on a cruise

If ever a family needed a vacation it is us. We decided since they have cruise ships that depart right out of Galveston that we'd try one. So, on Dec. 3rd we'll be doing this . If you have a family of 5 or more it's actually not that easy to find a cruise since most ship cabins only accommodate up to 4 people. Royal Caribbean has a cabin called a Family Stateroom that sleeps up to 6 so we should be good. Besides, Royal Caribbean uses that Iggy Pop song in their ads so they can't be all bad. We're going to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel...all places I've never been so I'm excited.

The campout

It sounded like a great building, first aid, knot tieing, recon missions, fort building, campfire stories, not much sleep, hiking. Whew.

12 on the 12th of October

Many days are my 12 photos from the 12th of October.

1. This photo shows two, I'm usually running late in the morning. The clock shows 8:46 and we are on our way to drop Jensen off at preschool. She's supposed to be there by 8:45. Two, my current favorite XM radio station...Flight 26.

2. Gas price this day was $2.02. Not bad so I filled up. Should have waited a couple of days as it went down to $1.98!

3. While at the gas station I ran in to get a breakfast taco and a diet coke. Breakfast of champions. Seriously, this is the best breakfast taco in town.

4. & 5. Jackson was invited to be the guest reader in Mrs. Snyder's (his former preschool teacher) pre-k 4 class at Holy Comforter. He was so excited since it meant he could get out of regular school for a little while. We were excited because it got him to practice reading without us having to nag him. In the group photo I'm a little chagrined that Jackson isn't much taller than the 4 year olds. Jensen got out of her regular class to go listen to Jackson read and was sooo proud. She kept saying he was "teaching" the class. Now that's a scary thought.

6. After school and it's naptime for Jensen. Unfortunately, there's no time in our schedule some days for a nap.

7. The exterior of the house...I think the only changes since last month are that the columns were finally re-framed correctly and the remainder of the brick was installed. Still waiting on the stone.

8. Most of the downstairs tile flooring was laid. Don't let this photo fool you. It might look good but everything is really a mess. We're in a terrible fight with our contractor and don't expect much more work to get done until we go to arbitration. I do love the tile laid on the diagonal though.

9. The clock says 3:34 and the kids are now in the car after school pick up. We're on our way to drop Jordan off at gym practice and the radio is tuned to radio disney. Sigh.

10. Surly Jackson.

11. Jackson is getting ready for his first cub scout camp out. He and Jim have bought tons of camping equipment including this supply of cookware. This has all entailed many trips to Gander Mountain and many non-essential purchases.

12. Jordan, home after gym practice. Many nights she's in tears due to sheer exhaustion. Tonight she managed a laugh.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Meet Down

Jordan had a gymnastics meet today. She didn't compete last week becuase she had a sprained wrist and wasn't able to practice the entire week before. This week she did awesome! She improved 3 out of 4 of her scores. I love looking at pictures from her meets. I can't believe sometimes how determined she looks and how strong she is. I'm so proud of her.

These pics follow the olympic order of events--bars, beam, floor vault--fyi. :-)

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

I asked from the other room, "Jensen,what are you doing in there?" She said, "I'm putting hairbows in like you wanted." Oh, okay.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Saw a Baby Elephant

Okay, we went to the zoo but with 9 kids and only 4 moms my eyes, hands, and feet were way too busy to take any pictures. We had a pretty good time...the weather was bearable and we got outta there in under 3 hours! But the best part for me was seeing the new baby elephant that we have at our zoo. He was just born on October 1st and I think yesterday was the first day he was out where the public could see him. I so wish I had had a chance to pull out my camera, but I guess the photos on his blog will have to do.

I've never seen a baby elephant before so I thought it was pretty cool. He had tons of wiry hair and they had this huge yellow scrub brush looking thing that he kept rubbing up against. I could have stood there and watched him all day, but the 9 kids I mentioned before were off and running.

Had my second tennis lesson today. My friend Dorothy joined me. The time just flew...which is good when any kind of running in humid 80 degree weather is involved. I'm going back again next week.

Got to see the proofs today from the kids' photo shoot...too cute.

A few weeks ago we finally actually filed suit against Ford Motor Co. and got our first assignment. Our attorney sent us the "interrogatories" that we have to complete by Nov. 3rd. When I was reading through them my stomach literally started to hurt. It's a lot of information to complete and not really that much time. Wish us luck.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The rest of the story...

Here's the few other pics I wanted to upload to my previous post. Love the second picture!

Not much exciting happened last week except that I took a tennis lesson! 30 minute private lesson...and I'm actually going back again this week. This time though I'm going to do an hour lesson with a friend there also. I'm looking for some activity to get me out of the house, and the stores, and get some exercise. Plus, tennis can be really social, which is a bonus! I'll keep you posted on how it goes...and how long it lasts.

This weekend pretty much stunk! Jensen got sick out of the blue Friday evening. We went swimming at a friend's after school...and for mommy happy hour...and on the way home she vomited in the car! It didn't stop until Saturday evening. And still today she wasn't quite herself. So we've been kind of cooped up.

Saturday a.m. I did get out for a little bit to go to Easterby's Edibles. It's a make and take dinner place where you make 6 or 8 or 12 meals to put in your freezer. I just went in for a trial run and made two items. It's perfect for my current situation in this apartment where I have very little kitchen space and cooking implements. Later this month I think I'm going to go for a full blown session. It'll be so cool to have dinners in my freezer that I can just pull out and put in the oven.

Tomorrow there's no school and we're going to the expect more pictures.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kemah (otherwise known as "escape from the apartment for the day")

We didn't really have any plans for the day last Saturday...and that situation can not be allowed to occur two days in a row. Trying to entertain 3 kids in this apartment is beyond my capabilities as a parent. So, on Sunday we decided to go to the Kemah Boardwalk for the day. It was hotter than hades but we managed to have a great time in spite of all the sweat. I complain alot about FFF but sometimes it really is fun.

I love this first is when we first got there and you can see an arm and a leg running off the right edge of the picture. That's Jensen refusing to be photographed.

We rode lots of rides...well all the others did. I don't do rides. I just get too sick. I took Jensen on one of the kiddie rides and was feeling nauseous after that. I don't even really like the ferris wheel.

I definitely didn't ride this ride! But Jim did plus many others. Poor guy.

Dang! I had a few more pics to add but blogger won't let me including my favorite of the day...just think 4 kids feeding stingrays...makes for good photos. I guess I'll just have to create another post tomorrow with those pics. In the meantime, if you can't stand the suspense, here's the link to the rest of the photos.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Jensen Loves Animals

Our whole family is basically pro-animal, but Jensen is another story. This girl loves animals...both stuffed and real. I let her bring her whole menagerie of stuffed animals to the apartment and each and every day I am faced with variations on this scene. And believe me, in a two bedroom apartment they take up a lot of room strewn all over the place. And notice how most of them have their own individual blanket...because they get cold. And she uses all sorts of things for blankets because we don't have enough actual blankets for each and every one of them to have their own but they can't possibly share. She uses towels, clothes, anything else she can find.

She loves real animals even more than these stuffed ones. When we went to the beach she brought a minnow home in a water bottle. It "lived" on the balcony in that bottle for several days. She would not be convinced that it had expired and she had to visit it every day. Finally I just threw it away...I didn't know what else to do.

Jackson caught a very small lizard on the same balcony and Jensen insisted on keeping it in a bucket. I think it died the instant Jackson grabbed it by the tail, but Jensen would not believe it and kept it as a "pet" for several days until I finally just threw it away...I didn't know what else to do.

She begs to go visit friends of ours that have pets. One friend has a guinea pig (which Jensen calls a "piggy pig" cute) she likes to just hold on her lap for an hour at a time. She doesn't sit still for an hour at any other time but she will to hold the piggy pig.

One of her favorite activities is to go the pet store. She loves, loves, loves the ferrets. And I can't stand those little rodents. Jim had one in college and for a few years after...yuck. She would stay at the store as long as we let her going from animal to animal and back again over and over.

I don't know what we're going to do but I know one thing...we'll be getting another dog shortly after moving back into our house. But this time it's going to be a little dog.