Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have recently embarked on a new fitness cycling program and it really feels great! I'm alternating cardio-workout days with weight-training days, and enjoying the sense of accomplishment that I get each day from taking charge of my physical health again. I've allowed too much time to go by where I've been focused purely on the business and family, and my personal fitness has suffered because of it. So.........feel the burn!!!

But I've run into a little bit of a snag. My cardio workouts are really messing with my sleep patterns. I always work out in the morning, and I'm finding that I've got a lot more energy to carry me through the day. However, after 3-4 hours of sleep at night, I'm waking up like someone turned a switch to "on." Which means that bright and early about 1 a.m. in the morning, my brain is running on high. This morning, I laid there for about 30 minutes trying to "will" myself back to sleep. No such luck. So I got up. But what does one do at 1 a.m. in the morning, without running the risk of waking up the rest of the family? Of course, I ended up at my computer. So here's what I'm finding I do at 1 o'clock in the morning:
1) Work on appraisals? Nah. I usually consider it, but I don't seem to have the concentration my work requires, even though I can't sleep.
2) Play cubis online. I've even won a badge or two. You wouldn't believe how many people are playing those games in the middle of the night!!!
3) Shop for golf gear. Oh YEAH! :) I have wisely left the credit card out of the picture, as what may seem like a wise purchase at 1 a.m. might not seem so smart in the daylight, but I'm hoping to upgrade my clubs in the next few months, so its fun to read up on all the latest technology. I'm still debating.........Taylor Made? Callaway? Cleveland?
4) Surf ebay for anything interesting. That get's boring pretty quickly.......

And then I try to stumble back to bed and go to sleep, just so I can wake up at 6:30 absolutely EXHAUSTED, and spend the next three hours trying to get woke up. So I'm yawning today, and more than just a little. Fortunately, today is the day our housekeeper comes, so I'm ignoring the basic around-the-house stuff and just focusing on staying awake for appraisals.

Anybody know how long this sleep thing will last? Should I tone down the cardio workouts? What a pain in the neck!

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Mom......Jennica's putting rocks in her ears."

There are just some phrases that a mother never wants to hear. This past weekend, our whole family was outside in the backyard and Tiersten came around the back of the garage, "Mom...Jennica is putting rocks in her ears." I immediately stopped what I was doing and let Tiersten lead the way back to Jennica so I could investigate.

Jennica was, in fact, cramming pea gravel into her ears. For the most part, they were falling right back out. Except for one tiny little piece that she had thoroughly wedged into her ear canal. Really special. Really friggin' special.

Mike and I quickly came to the conclusion that attempting to remove it on our own was only going to shove it further into her ear. So we shut down the rototiller and the lawn tractor, left Dane in charge of Grant and Tiersten with strict orders not to operate any machinery while we were gone, and packed Jennica off to the ER.

I think ER staff develops a certain sense that enables them to "read" parents and situations when they walk in the door. There are certain situations that require urgency and certain parents that demand it. And then there are parents that are obviously "frequent flyers" in the ER, and show up more exasperated than panicked. We definitely fell into the latter category on Saturday and the ER responded accordingly. Jennica was obviously not in any pain, and wasn't bleeding. In fact, she seemed to be quite delighted to be the center of everyone's attention without having to compete with her sibilings. The ER doctor on staff that day turned out to be our wonderful local surgeon, with whom we had been previously acquainted (he put 44 stitches in my leg about 6 years ago and he's operated on both of my parents), he's wonderful with kids, and he's way over-qualified to remove a small rock from a little girl's ear canal. With Mike and I helping to hold her still, he used an itty-bitty little tool and wiggled the rock out.

Now........this is the second trip that we've made with Jennica to the ER regarding a foreign object shoved into her ear. The last time was when Tiersten tried to turn her into "Sister Potato-head" (see previous post from a couple of years back). Hopefully, there won't be a third trip...

So we, the exasperated and "frequent flyer" parents, went home. We've had ANOTHER good chat with Jennica about how nothing is to be put into her ears and she nodded solemnly and did a good job of pretending to be listening. Whatever...........sigh.............

Friday, June 13, 2008

And last, but certainly not least...

I realized today that I have posted recent photos of everyone but Grant! He had his last baseball game of the season tonight, so I snapped a great picture of him through the fence, and am posting it here! He says that this is his last baseball game EVER, as he intends to run Track & Field for RHS next year instead of baseball.

Grant is also graduating in a big, if unrecognized, way. He's moving from the elementary school into the High School building across the street for 7th grade. Because of our small district, our elementary is K-6, and our high school is 7-12. This is a HUGE transition, as he will suddenly go from a peer group of 5-12 year olds, to a peer group of 12-18 year olds.

In any case, Grant just turned 13, and is an absolute blast! He tends to be a little on the quiet side.......unless he thinks that nobody is watching! :) The photo is of his good friend Drew on the left, with Grant (in helmet) on the right. Drew attends a different school, so they will forever be on opposing teams from here on out.


Yesterday, we had three graduations in one day! Tiersten graduated from 4-year-old preschool into Kindergarten, Jennica graduated from 3-year-old preschool into 4-year-old preschool, and........the biggie........Dane graduated from 8th grade to High School.

The girls "graduation ceremony" was a picnic/barbeque event at our High School football field. Lots of fun activities for the kids to keep busy.

Dane's graduation was a bit more serious, but still designed to be fun. He only had 25 graduate with his class, which shocked me. His class has really been shrinking, which is a frightening trend. Some of it is due to "choicing out" to other districts (a concept that I'll explain to anyone that hasn't heard of it--just send me a message), and the rest of it..........I'm not sure. He had a solid 50 kids in Kindergarten, so why did they lose 50% of the class??? WEIRD! Since Dane is a busy student athlete, we tend to only see the other kids that are active and involved. I just didn't realize until last night that the 15-20 we normally see make up a HUGE percentage of the total class.

In any case, I'm posting photos! Congratulations to our family of graduates!

Monday, June 09, 2008

All dressed up......

When someone at the school told the kids to "dress up a little" for the dance on Friday night, I don't think this is quite what they had in mind, but its fun to see these boys having fun! They are very self-driven student athletes with high GPAs and a big desire to succeed, so sometimes I feel like "cutting loose" doesn't come easy. From left to right--Levi, Dane (my son), and Tom.

I think my hair is on fire.....

Now that I'm in the middle of the chaos that always comes with the last weeks of the school year, I remember telling myself that last year I said I was going to take the last 2-3 weeks of the school year totally off NEXT YEAR. Well........"next year" is here and now, and I forgot until it was too late. So...I'm burning at the candle at several ends and also trying to keep up with my normal workload, and its nobody's fault but my own. :)

No kidding.........Grant ended up with SIX field trips between May 29th and June 12th. His Dad went on one of them, and I went last weekend on the overnight trip. Tons of fun......but SIX field trips? This overnight trip was a bit bizarre, as no school staff attends. They appointed me the "parent-in-charge" which was fine, as the normal ratio on this trip is 1:1 for adults to kids. Well........this year, we were 1:3 with some high-maintenance 4th graders. I came home VERY appreciative of my own children. (If we had been able to find a roll of duct tape, I think there still might be a few kids taped to the Space Needle in Seattle. Not really........but you get the general idea.)

Dane is gearing up for Jr. High graduation this Thursday night. I've come to the conclusion that Raymond High School is the ONLY school on the planet that makes this big of a deal of 8th graders moving to 9th grade, but it IS a big deal and rather cool. They even wear caps and gowns!

Tiersten and Jennica will both have a picnic this Thursday with a "Preschool graduation" of sorts. Should be a good time. Hopefully, it won't rain, which would be downright unusual considering how the rest of our Spring has gone.

And amongst all that activity, we're still playing baseball, had a drug bust at the high school (that none of my children were involved in, but still was a little distressing to this parent). And "some idiot" scheduled dental appointments for 4 kids in the next two weeks. When I scheduled them in December, I didn't even THINK about the chaos of the school year ending. Rather amusing, actually.

So, I guess, nothing has really changed. Just got the pedal to the metal and looking forward to the last day of school on June 16th. Hopefully, the sun will come out soon!