Friday, February 22, 2008

I really am alive....

I have had a couple people ask me if I'm ok lately. I know it is my fault. I have not been keeping up with my blog, I have not been on facebook, myspace, on the phone. I have basically disappeared from society.

And with good reason.

I just don't wanna! Just kidding.

Open enrollment ended today and that means that I have been getting my school curriculum list together for next year. I have money to spend and product to figure out. Since we are technically public school kids I have to stick to their budget that they give me. With 4 kids I only have $4700 to spend on curriculum.

As any home schooler knows, that is more money than most of us budget, but since it is available, I am going to use it and get my kids a quality education. So that is taking up some time.

We also have been talking to a contractor and all that comes with him. We are going to start a remodeling project in our home. And not just any remodeling project. We are gutting our main floor and starting from scratch. Well, almost from scratch. We are keeping our hardwood floors.

So, I have been staring at house plans for days. Not a variety of house plans, the same ones. Anyone that knows me knows that I firmly believe that it is cheaper to do something right the first time instead of fixing it later.

It's a great way to live. Except it puts enormous pressure to make sure you are doing it right the first time.

Right now I'm not even bogged down with the appearance of the whole thing. I'm still stuck in the functionality of the kitchen. What cupboard do I want where? How do I want that cupboard to function? Is this enough counter space? Is it too little cupboard space? Where am I going to want to store my pans?

So many cabinet magazines only deal with what cupboard doors do you want and what color do you want them.

So, if your wondering where I am, I'm still here. Just overwhelmed.

On one more note, Cyn, my longest term face friend started a blog last night. If you want to show her some love and encourage her to keep going head on over to Seventy Six ways from Sunday.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The invisible fence

I have had a rough time with having Allie a part of our family. This dog loves to run off. If she got any little crack to go through she would take off and run. This would leave us trying to catch her. She knows our car and will run from that, food is no incentive, and she learned that strangers would normally grab her for us. That left us with trying to chase her into a fenced area, trapping her. And that could take an hour. Sometimes more. Given that the kids are normally the ones to tie her out, we were doing this 3-4 days a week.

This is not something I love to do. Especially when it is -180 degrees with a windchill of -500. Yeah, it's been a cold winter up here in Wisconsin.

Knight wanted to keep the dog. Wouldn't you if you never had to deal with the running...or chewing...or whatever? Even the kids were getting ready to get rid of her. But being the submissive wife ok, trying not to start a war, I was trying to wait until the snow melts to get an invisible fence. But this was going to be a long wait. And it seemed longer each time she ran off.

I was at spanish class talking to one of the other moms telling her that I can't wait until the snow melts so I can get an invisible fence. I know this mom had dogs using an invisible fence. Her dogs don't ever leave the area. That is when she told me that the kind they have you don't have to bury wires.

Did you know there was such a thing????

I didn't. So I seriously went from spanish class to Menards to pick one of these babies up. It took a little while to figure out where in my house to put it and how big of a circle I could get without getting into the road or the neighbors yard. I put the flags up so she could see her circle. Then it was time to get the dog.

She hit that fence and recoiled. It worked. She didn't know what hit her but she knew she didn't like it. I showed her around the yard and let her know where her boundaries were. Then we went in the house.

The next day I just let her outside. By this time I think she forgot all about it, because she bounded out of the house with all her freedom, ready to run. And she did run. Right through the fence. But she did turn right around. It was beeping at her and she was so afraid to move that she wouldn't go anywhere.

Knight walked up to her and brought her back.

She was afraid to go out for a couple days. She still is getting comfortable with it, but she now has more freedom, more excercise, and I'm not dealing with the village law enforcement.

I love this thing!!

Now we just need to get her spayed, stop chewing everything, and keep her out of the areas of the house we don't want her in and maybe I'll be able to tolerate her better.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wisdom and humor of a 9 year old

My baby girl turned 9 yesterday. Yes, I still have my boy who's younger, but Rara is my baby girl. She is the same height, weighs less, but now has such a big number attached to her. I'm amazed that she can be that old.

The thing with Rara is that she is so funny. All my kids are funny and sarcastic. I think it has something to do with their dad since I am NEVER sarcastic...or something like that.

Today Rara wanted to spend her birthday money. She knew what she wanted and since she saw both of my parents last night, she had birthday money burning a hole in her pocket. She wanted new animals from the build-a-bear type thing in our town.

I had to drop something off at the accountant, so she rode with me and then we headed up to get her new friends. We sang with the radio, picked out the names she wanted, and then she talked, and sang, and made noises, and kept her mouth going...and going...and going.

It never stopped.

So I asked her if she knew who she was reminding me of. Then I let her know that my family always said that I never stopped talking, and singing, and making noise. (I am now understanding what my family was talking about)

So she came back with...

"Did you cry yourself to sleep everynight and then snored? That's the only way you can always make noise"

Yeah, she's definately a product of me. Poor thing.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Adventures in Vacuuming

I have the perfect children.

What? I haven't mentioned that before?!?!?

Well, I do.

Last night I headed out to have dinner with my sister. I drove down, and before we could leave we had to wait for our dad to fix her computer. Then we were all sitting around visiting when my phone rings.

That ring. That means the kids are calling.

And then I am greeted by this story:

The pellet stove went out. It is fine as it needs to be cleaned out anyway but I had figured the kids would just fill it again while I was gone.

Nope. My perfect, wonderful, sweet, helpful children decided that it does need to be cleaned out and they would take care of that for us.

Awww! How sweet!

They waited for the fan to quit blowing, signaling that it is ok to clean the stove out. That is what we've done. The only step they have apparently missed by watching us is when we check and make sure there are no hot coals.

Yeah, you see where this is going don't you?

So they start vacuuming the ash...and start to notice that the vacuum is starting to shoot sparks. They don't want to reach their hand near the area of the sparks so they unplug it. (Thankfully)

They take off the cover and notice that the filter bag is on fire. A couple of glasses of water poured on the vacuum and it is no longer burning. (See why I'm thankful they unplugged it?)

Then I get the phone call.

J-Bell is crying. Scared. Freaked out.

She says she is so sorry but she thinks she's ruined the vacuum and tells me the story.

At this time I knew no one was hurt and the house is not on fire.

I calmly tell them to put the vacuum on the front porch and that their dad will be home soon. (He had actually gotten home and was finishing his work in his truck). I can't quit laughing, but I'm trying my best not to let her know it.

To top it all off, I made the comment to those sitting in the living room at my sisters that it looks that I'm going to need to go buy a vacuum. My dad starts telling me what consumer reports just said about vacuums and recommended a high rated vacuum (Kenmore) that is the best value for it's money. It's about $300.

No offense Kenmore, but no thanks. I'm not about to spend $300 on something that my kids set fire to the last one. I paid $15 for this one at a garage sale. It lasted a year and a half and went out in style.

Lesson learned with no one getting hurt. It's paradise!