Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Growing Up

It's amazing how quickly the years go by when your kids are growing up. It seems like just yesterday that DS was born. Then he started school. Then in first grade, as a little 6-year-old, he joined Cub Scouts. He has absolutely loved being in Cub Scouts. He has had the chance to do all sorts of things, from camping to horseback riding to making and racing pinewood derby cars, and the list just goes on (and of course none of us will forget that scouts is where he learned to whittle, thus providing one of his more recent injuries & trips to Urgent Care!). It has been a wonderful bonding experience for DS and DH as well, as they attend the meetings and activities together. Well, part of that journey has now come to an end. On this past Saturday DS' Cub Scout pack held their annual Blue & Gold Banquet to celebrate the achievements of the scouts. DS and his fellow denmates (they were 2nd year Webelos.....the last year for Cub Scouts) received their Arrow of Light awards:This is the highest achievement a Cub Scout can reach. I am so proud of DS for this accomplishment! After receiving this award, it was then time for the "Crossing Over" ceremony for those scouts going on into Boy Scouts. DS and one other boy from his den crossed over on Saturday and are now Boy Scouts. So while one piece of the journey has ended, another has begun. I am looking forward to seeing what all DS accomplishes in the future, both in Boy Scouts and in other areas of his life, as he moves forward and continues to grow up. And while I will continue to miss my "little baby" I am excited to watch my son as he grows into a young man. Congratulations, DS, I am proud of you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yes, She's Definitely My Child!

Having given birth to these children myself, there is obviously no doubt they are mine. They seem to be determined, however, to keep proving this fact on a continual basis. I have always been accident-prone----from the first broken arm at age 3 (and first set of stitches at around the same age!) and through numerous other broken bones & various injuries over the years it has been an undeniable fact of my life. And as you can tell from previous posts about DS, he seems to be following in these footsteps (albeit in a different manner than I did.....cuts with a pocket knife, burned while camping.....). Well, DD is determined to continue to prove herself as my child as well. While she had her first (and I keep hoping her only!) broken bone at age 4 (she broke her left elbow....strangely the same thing I had for my first broken bone), today she decided to be a walking accident-waiting-to happen.

Immediately after the kids got home from school, we headed out to DD's Daisy Scout leader's house to pick up some more cookies that had been ordered (gotta love Girl Scout cookie time!) so we can make more deliveries. While getting back in the van to come back home, DD managed somehow to close her upper left arm in the sliding door of the van. Luckily (for all the screaming & crying going had to really hurt!) she only ended up with a large bruise. Then less than 30 seconds after we had walked inside after getting home she somehow stepped incorrectly and twisted her right ankle. Thankfully it was minor enough that after a few minutes she was able to walk on it without any problems. She did decide at that point that she was going to play with a toy that she could play with sitting down in one spot without moving around. I wonder why.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

If It's Hot......It Will Burn!

This past weekend DH and DS went on a camping trip with Cousin I and Uncle J1. For some reason they find winter camping to be much more enjoyable than warm-weather camping. Personally, I will stay where it is warm. They had a rather "interesting" trip that did not go quite as planned.

At around 10:30pm on Saturday night I received a phone call.....yes, they were calling from the middle of the forest 3 hours away. DS had come down with some intestinal symptoms and nausea. OK, I can talk to him on the phone, but what exactly am I supposed to do from 3 hours away on the phone??? Anyway, I talk to DS for a few minutes then to DH. I found out after they return home the next day that they ended up not being able to spend the entire night at the campsite (which was 1 1/2 miles from the car) & had to hike back to the car for the night. By the next morning DH and Cousin I also were experiencing the same intestinal symptoms as DS (although to their relief, not to the same extent as DS).....and they also realized they had lost their toilet paper supply somewhere in the hike back to the car in the middle of the night. Thus their trip was cut short and they headed back home......with several stops along the way.

By the time they finally arrived home, DS was feeling mostly better, albeit very grumpy from the lack of sleep. As they were relating the tale of their camping experience to me (which we highly suspect was a result of a mild case of food poisoning) DS says to me, "Mom, my hand hurts." I look down.......and see a burn on the outer back side of his right hand!! OK, so you tell me about the intestinal issues but no one thinks they need to mention the burn?? Evidently DS had decided to see if the portable propane heater they had brought along for the first time was hot.......AFTER it was turned on! They answer? YES, it was hot! Hot enough to burn him......and leave the pattern of the mesh grid that was over the heating element on his hand. And while it would have been best to have treated the burn immediately after it occurred, I treated & bandaged the burn as soon as I was told about it. I guess next time I better check to make sure they have the proper type of first aid gear packed for their camping trip.

So while I have always had the goal of providing my children with a loving home and raising them to be good, responsible Christian people, I think I need to focus more on just getting them to adulthood in one piece. For DS, that's only another 7 years 3 weeks 4 days to go! Think we'll make it?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crisis Averted: Priceless!

I have decided that one just never knows what will happen when spending time at my children's school. I went in today to take some pictures and help out in DS' class. His teacher had divided the class into groups of 4-5 students and each group formed a business. Each business decided on a product to make to sell. On Sunday several kids met at the store with Mrs. B. to purchase the raw materials needed, and today was the beginning of product production. One group is making notepads. Another is making slime. DS' group is making play dough. A fourth group is providing a service instead of a product----they are offering tutoring. The last group is the one that tried to create a school-wide crisis this afternoon.

The last group is making plastic spoons dipped in chocolate. To do this they needed to melt the chocolate for dipping the spoons into. They first dumped an entire bag of chocolate chips into a plastic bowl, then they placed the bowl in the microwave, and lastly they turned on the microwave. Here is where they made their mistake! I am not sure how long they put the chocolate in the microwave for, but it was definitely too long! I was walking around taking some pictures of the kids working diligently on their projects when I hear DS' voice call out, "Mom! The microwave is smoking!" Sure enough, when I look over at the microwave in the corner of the room, there was a ton of smoke pouring out of it. I called out to Mrs. B. She ran to the microwave and pulled out the bowl of chocolate, opened the nearby window, and held the smoking bowl out the window. DS ran to the other window and threw it open. I grabbed the nearest stack of papers and started waving the smoke away from the smoke detector (oh-so-conveniently located close to the microwave of course!) hoping to keep it from setting off the fire alarm. (Most of the kids meanwhile had the looks on their faces reminiscent of deer in the headlights.)

Luckily we were able to keep the fire alarm from going off, so the entire school did not have to empty out (which would have sent over 700 students out into 12 degree weather!) and the fire department did not have to come to the elementary today. So while it was intended for the kids to learn about supply & demand as well as things like profit margins, they also had another lesson today. When melting chocolate in the microwave, only heat it for short (we're talking like 30-second intervals here!) amounts of time and stir it before putting it back in the microwave for longer. Whatever you do, do not try to do all of the melting in one long segment of time. Instead of melted chocolate you will end up with burnt chocolate and melted plastic.

Cost of worksheets for classroom learning: $0.05 each
Cost of pencils for doing worksheets: $0.10 each
Cost of hands-on learning instead of worksheets: Priceless!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Just When You Thought It Was Over.....

I'm sure many people thought our floors were completely finished.....nope! We had installed, sanded, stained, and polyed the hardwood floors months ago but due to time constraints with DH being in school (as well as all of the various activities the kids are involved in) we had been unable to install the baseboards and quarter round. Well, we have finally installed them! Woo-hoo! The baseboards and quarter round are now all installed throughout the areas where we installed the hardwood floors. Here is a picture of a small area between the garage and basement doors:
Here is how it looks down the hall now. It is so nice to have the finished look now instead of seeing all the rough edges along the wall. We also painted the hallway before installing the baseboards.....nice, fresh, new feeling in the area now!Here is the dining room. The table is the one we had before installing the hardwoods and it now matches nicely!And a view of the floor, table, new patio door, and the antique secretary we were given that also matches the new decor nicely. It is so nice to have it all finished!And before you think our flooring project is over, rest assured we are not done yet! We still need to install the tile in the entryway by the front door. Then we will be done. We are planning on getting that done this month (one can make plans you know!). And hopefully the installation of the tile will go much more smoothly than the installation of the hardwoods did!