Friday, 28 September 2007
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
I spent one day last week exploring Fish Creek Park on a 9th grade science field trip. In the morning before I left I was grumbling (on the inside) about going out in the rain all day with a bunch of 14 year olds when I had so much to do at home, but once I got out there I really enjoyed myself. I'm a nature girl. I love the outdoors. Unfortunately, my job as a mom usually confines me to the house with homework, music practise, and housework, and sometimes I forget how much I like being outside.
Ninth grade field trips have serious perks. The kids were fun to talk to and they didn't really need my help, so my job was easy. And I won't have any trouble signing up to chaperon future 9th grade field trips because not very many parents sign up for them, unlike say, 1st grade field trips where you feel like you have to have an 'in' with the school secretary or all the parent helper positions will be filled before you even know there is a field trip.
SPT tie-in: I've been meaning to clean and organize the basement for a long time, but I''m so glad I postponed it. (I'll also be glad to finally get around to it this week!)
Saturday, 22 September 2007
So on Friday night Ken and I took Steven and six of his closest friends to the season opener for the Calgary Hitmen. At the game there were Saddledome employees handing out inflatable noise sticks, which the boys put to good use.
I don't know, do we need a picture of the game in this post somewhere?
I bought the tickets far enough in advance to get first row seats, right behind the glass, and right next to the opposing team's bench. I would have to say that the boys were effective in distracting the visiting team.
Friday, 21 September 2007
$ is my symbol
And he's been working hard to live up to it.
For more than a year now, he's been making regular trips to the bottle depot. The earnings here are slim - I think that the deposits on canned pop, bottled water, and juice boxes are relatively low. All the money from bottles goes towards Steven's mission fund. The savings aren't building very quickly, but the principle of working towards a mission is probably more important at this point.
Steven has been unhappy to be on the chore 'dole' of mowing the lawn or doing other jobs around the house. He has things he wants to spend money on, and his parents don't pay enough, so I helped him find a new source of income.
I knew that whatever I helped Steven find for a job was going to be an equal burden on me and my schedule as it would be on him, so I kept that in mind as I looked around at flyer routes. We found an advertising strip that is delivered quarterly, and Steven lucked into getting the route for our own community.
Steven now thinks the people in our community are 'paranoid' because so many of them have security systems, which he hadn't noticed before he delivered the flyers. I explained to Steven that many of the houses in our community are empty all day during the work week, and that's at least part of the reason why our neighbors get these security systems. He summarized his understanding of my explanation by saying, "So basically you're our security guard?" Well, I'm home during the day, so yeah, basically. Flex and I are scaring away any potential prowlers, I guess. And Steven would tell you that he now thinks having a dog is a big help - he hated delivering to any doors where his presence was met by barking. The funniest security system Steven ran into was a motion sensitive sprinkler system.
Steve delivered 850 flyers for $85.00 which I think sounds like loads of money for an 11 year old, but it's already disappeared. He set aside 10% for tithing, 45% for savings (all of our kids' earnings get this breakdown) and the remaining 45% went to a new Xbox game.
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Thursday, 13 September 2007
I have a one-way cell phone. I don't have problems making calls on it, just problems taking calls. Problems like I can't hear it ringing in the bottom of my purse, or I leave it at home, or the battery dies and I don't notice for 3 days. I'm pretty happy with my one-way cell phone, but some people find it annoying (Ken).
I hate being in the room when a balloon is popped. If I need to collapse balloons I use scissors and I cut a small hole near the knot to let the air leak out.
I store all the *sets* of toys we have in large rubbermaid containers: Brio trains, Fashion Polly's, Barbies, blocks, dinosaurs & zoo animals, and so on. Only one rubbermaid container can be open at a time, so when the kids want to play with Brio, the Barbies have to be put away first. Although, if you were to look in my basement right now I think you'd find a system failure.
My engagement ring has been uninsured, therefore off my finger and in a safe place, for more than a year. I need to get the errand done of having it reappraised - a good project for the Year of Barb.
I've done laser hair removal on my upper lip.
I like to go to sleep in a cold room and wake up in a warm room.
The first thing I notice about someone is their smile.
Getting up for early morning seminary is as hard for me now as it was 20 years ago.
On Sunday Steven and Carmen were doing the dishes (the new dishwasher was bought, but not yet delivered). Steven grabbed the next dish in line, a colander, and pressed it upside down into the dishwater. Bubbles came popping through the holes of the colander, bursting into his face. That was entertaining, so he did it again and again.
As the suds built up higher and higher in the sink Carmen begged for a turn washing the colander.
Carmen worked the bubbles till they were overflowing all over the counter, and soaking her pajamas. She said, "Look Mom! I've got the suds!"
But as fun as Sunday dishes were, all the kids were very excited when I gave them the good news on Monday that the dishwasher installation was booked for Thursday.
Then I gave them the bad news:
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
I told one of my friends on Saturday night that I was starting swimming lessons this week. She asked me why and I told her because I can't swim. My answer caught her off guard and it really hit her funny bone, and we both had a good laugh. She didn't know I'm not a swimmer, so when she asked my why I was going to take swimming lessons she thought I was going to say something like 'because swimming is terrific exercise'. Well, it is. My lesson really took it out of me.
As far as last night goes, everything I said at the beginning of this post was true. I really did feel like a kid on her first day of school. There were 20 people standing with me on the deck next to the pool - way more people taking adult lessons than I thought there would be. When the teachers (both are boys, my teacher's name is Jon) came to divide us into two classes they said, "If you can't swim more than half a length come in level 1, if you can swim a length or more, go in the level 2-3 split." Well, I had signed up for level 2 based on the description in the program guide, but suddenly I felt really insecure with that decision, and several of the women around me were second guessing themselves, also. Ultimately 12 women entered level 1, all the men entered the 2-3 split level, and one other woman and I entered the 2-3 split. I hadn't tried to swim a length at the YMCA ever, but something inside of me decided I'd have to be drowning in the middle of the pool and rescued by my teacher before I'd go in level 1.
So once we were in our classes, my teacher asked us to each swim a length to assess where we were at. I wasn't crazy about swimming with other people watching me, but what did I think was going to happen at a swimming lesson? My real problem was that I was barely or maybe not even a level 2 adult swimmer, and I'd been lumped in a class with level 3 swimmers (who are just there to learn how to swim faster and get tips for races), and I didn't know if I'd be the only weak swimmer or what. I sucked it up and swam my length. That went alright, but then swimming another length to get back to the teacher was rough. When I got back to my starting point I looked around and saw we'd been joined by one more class member, someone in my social circle, in fact someone who had been at the wake on Saturday night. Remember my friend who thought my taking swimming lessons was funny? She is going to think that having this guy (a high level-3 swimmer) in my class is hilarious!
Monday, 10 September 2007
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
Popcorn Chicken is really more like Saturday lunch food, but it was all I had to work with.
Saturday, 1 September 2007
On Saturday I went with my sisters-in-law on Ken's side and all of our children (except the man-child, my 16 year old nephew) to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller.
I snapped only one quick picture of the kids together before we entered the museum, and I should have taken the time to make sure everyone was looking. There are 11 kids grouped together here, but one of them is easy to miss - he's hiding behind Steven and facing away from the camera.
The museum has been updated since the last time I was there and I love the new gallery. They've taken the most valuable and scientifically significant specimens and put them behind windows that are framed with gilded frames as though the exhibits in the gallery room are fine art. This dinosaur is in what's called the 'death pose'. After death the ligaments dried and contracted thereby pulling the head and neck back on the body.
In addition to the preparation lab that can be viewed through windows, there was a paleontology technician working on a fossil out in one of the halls. He was totally approachable and ready to answer questions. The fossil he's working on here is a turtle shell.
The giant sponge fossil became much more fascinating after I told Carmen it was Sponge Bob's great-great-grandfather.
Steven kept teasing me with quick pseudo-dinosaur motions that he knew I wouldn't be able to catch with my camera. I actually got one picture snapped, but I only caught his forearm, so he won that session of camera hide and seek.
My sister-in-law, Christy, thought this sign was amusing and pointed it out to me. Was she calling me a Camerasaurus?
This was so funny. We were up on a hill above the museum and I asked Steven to pose with the view finder, and when he stepped up to it he managed to hit himself in the eye. He backed off and was saying 'Ow, ow, I can't believe I did that! . . . take a picture.'
There's this fun scale inside the museum that tells you what animal you match in weight. The platform is big enough for a small group, so the kids all got on and together they weighed as much as a male lion.
Then Christy, Natalie, Stephanie, and I got on (we made sure we all stepped on together) and we were the same as the kids!
We came home and found the men and the man-child as we had left them: roofing Christy's old house that she's got up for sale.
Christy, I don't imagine I have to suggest this to a saver like you, but tell me you're hanging onto the extra tar paper!