Tuesday, September 28, 2004

To Bunko or Not to Bunko

So far I have avoided Bunko Night. The squadron wives group has a bunko night each month. My neighbors always go and always invite me, but so far I have had good excuses not to go. I don't actually know what bunko is, but I think it is cards or dice or something. The wives group has other activities each month - a monthly meeting ( A Coffee), activities for holidays, kids things, etc. So I don't feel like I need to offer anymore of my time to the wives group, especially with church activities each month (this month more than others)- RS, primary activity, stake training, stake conference, etc.

Anywho, we went to our neighbor's house for dinner tonight. There were a couple of other moms and kids there, the food was great, the dessert was yummy. It was fun. So she mentioned that tomorrow night is Bunko, and it's right here at the community center, they have dinner, and there is babysitting. So should I go? It could be fun. I don't know a lot of the ladies very well, and it is fun to talk when you are busy with something. Eh, I think I won't go. Bedtime is tricky even when we are home all evening. I don't know. I could go at 6:30 and be home at 7:30, but what if you want to leave, but can't because you are right in the middle of a game? Hmm. I will think about it.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Tattooed Lady

Last night in bed I was trying to think of a song with Sydney's name in it. It took me a while, but I found one. It is a favorite of Mom's. Do any of you remember this song? I will write the words as I remember them. Do correct me if your memory is sharper than mine.

We came to town to see
That old tattooed lady.
She was a sight to see
tattooed from head to knee.

My Uncle Ned was there
He came to gasp and stare.
"I never," he declared,
"have seen a freak so fair."

For on her jaw
Was a royal flying ?craw?
And on her back
Was a union Jack..
Oh could you ask for more?

All up and down her spine
Marched the kings own guardian line.
And all around her hips
Sailed a fleet of battleship.

And on her left kidney
Was a birds-eye-view of Sydney!!!
But what we like best
Was upon her chest...
A little home in Waikiki.
He He

Isn't that a great song? John got a little singing toy for his birthday that plays a variety of songs. There is one song that I recognized, but it took me a few days to figure out how I knew it. It is the tune to the Tattooed Lady song. I wonder if it is really a song or if dad made up the words to a tune that he knew. I have been singing it around the house and suddenly I realized where that little home is located - wowza! Hope Emily doesn't suddenly start singing it at church.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

John Foss says Hi

John is 1

John has his first job. He can now turn off a light all by himself (if I hold him up to a light switch.) I am strangely proud. He seems proud of himself, too. Each night as I walk into his room at bedtime I say, "Turn off the light." John reaches out his little pointer-finger toward the light switch, then with all his might he flips the switch down. Sometimes we do this a few times before heading to the rocking chair.

There are a lot of nice songs (and poems) to sing with a baby named John. Here are a few: Are you sleeping Brother John? (sing each morning as John gets dressed for the day) Diddle Diddle Dumpling My Son John (we have a rather worn board-book from when Hannah was a baby. A favorite.) Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Whoops Johnny. (fun for sacrament meeting.) Johnny B. Good (B. short for Barrett - Nathan rocks out on the guitar or piano for that one.) I am always searching for more, so if you think of one that I missed, let me know. PS the poem about the piper's son is TOM not John - no stolen pigs here.

I will close this note with one last John poem
Happiness by AA Milne
John had his
Great big
Water proof
Boots on.
John had a
Great big
Water proof
John had a
Great big
Water proof
Machintosh - -
And that
(said John)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Big Chorus Now

I survived another solo Sunday. I think that is a great accomplishment. Sundays can be difficult days around here. With Nathan gone I have been doing a better job of doing everything I can on Saturday night. Because Saturday is a special day; it's the day we get ready for Sunday. Sunday mornings go so much smoother when I pack my bag, bathe the kids and shave my legs on Saturday.

John is very loud during Sacrament Meeting. He doesn't say much more than Dada, but he has a variety of expressive grunts. Here are some rough interpretations of our sacrament meeting conversation 1-Don't hold me. 2-I can hold the bread tray. 3-Why just one cup of water? there are lots on the tray. 4-Get me out of here.

John and I spend a lot of time in the overflow. It is my little secret. Most parents of babes wander the halls or stand jabbering in the foyer, but I have found that the overflow is empty and quiet, and as an added bonus I found the nob to turn on the sound from the chapel. So I sit on a comfy chair listening to the speakers while John wanders around. He never makes a sound in there. It is so strange how expressive he becomes in the chapel.

I abandon the girls in the chapel. I think they do okay. When I gather my things I can see that they spend their time eating John's snacks and making those drawings of mismatched heads and bodies.

Yesterday, Sydney and Emily had to use the bathroom near the end of Sacrament meeting so I had them come sit by me and John for the remainder of the time. We were listening in the overflow as he congregation was singing the closing song. Right near the end the chorister shouted out: "You got it now, BIG CHORUS!" Sydney cracked up and nearly fell out of her chair. wacca wacca wacca. Not quite the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Spelling Tests

I am a terrible speller, but Hannah seems to have inherited Grammy's spelling tallent. We reviewed her spelling list last night to prepare for today's spelling test. In second grade Mrs. Whetstone was my teacher, and each week for spelling there would be a couple of bonus words. I never got any of the bonus words correct, but our neighbor Stephanie always did. This did not make me feel too bad, until one week when the bonus word was talent. Yipee, I thought, I can spell that one! It was not until after the test that I learned that someone made a spelling error when they put up our street sign. We lived on Tallent Drive. I still have problems spelling talent (or is it tallent?) correctly. Dang. No bonus points.

back to school

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Home or School?

So after 3 years of homeschooling we went ahead and sent the girls to school. Whew. What a difficult decision. This spring I was so sick of having everyone with me all the time; I was annoyed with the fact that it was not possible to do anything but school work on a school day - we just could not do both school and go to Walmart. So after we go settled into our home here in Rapid City we checked out the school and decided that we would send the girls off in the fall.

Then summer came and we had a lovely time reading books by Andrew Clements, swimming, and sewing. It was a nice, low pressure time. It was strangely still difficult to get more than one thing accomplished in a day, but I became better at going out with all 4 kids all by myself. It became possible for me to go to Walmart (early in the day) will all the kids and not tremble and quake. And I began to remember why I love having these kids home with me.

As school got closer to starting, I became more nervous about sending the girls. I put off enrolling them and began to start looking through my vast stash of homeschool catelogs. (As a side note, many nonhomeschoolers do not realize that there are tons of material available for homeschoolers. When someone would find out that we were homeschoolers they would often ask what we use for books, not realizing that there is a whole world of homeschool books and manipulatives and kits. I think it suprised people that I wasn't just coming up with an entire math curriculum off the top of my head, but used instead an official looking math program complete with teacher's guide and speed drills.) After changing my mind daily, I think Nathan was ready to leave (wait, he did leave, maybe this is the reason..)

To get to the end of the story, the girls are in school and loving it. Sydney loves her cute 1st grade teacher. She tells me all about the stories they read and the fun games they play. She loves recess and music. Hannah wants to be involved in everything. She is doing running club, chess club, band, future teachers (I know that's not what they call it, and too bad they don't have the Amigo program like they had at Sonoma, but it is the same thing) and a gifted pull out. She is doing great, making friends and getting the flute to make notes. I am so glad we made this decision. I feel at peace with the kids in school. But now it is easy to see where homeschool can be better in some ways. More about this another time.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Toy Story

I heard from Nathan this evening. I was beginning to think he had disappeared. I got an email from him on Saturday, so I guess it had only been a day since he last wrote, but I worry. He is good.

I think I solved the nursery toy problemo. I went to the church this morning because I needed to get a few books for our new music and nursery people. While I was going through our closet the building supervisor people (janitors) came by. I know one of the ladies because her son is in Nathan's scout troop, so we started talking. I mentioned that I felt bad about the toys in the Bishop's office, but I didn't know if there was anything I could do. She told be about a cupboard on the stage that we could use. Emily and I checked it out and I think it will be perfect. It may not hold all of our totes, and I still have to ask the Bishop, but I think it will be great!

While we were on the stage Emily told me that she would play the piano so I could dance. John and I cut a rug while Emily pounded on the keys. It's too bad there was no one else there to see it, I'm sure it was a sight. After I spoke to the janitors Emily asked (loudly) if him was a girl or a boy. When I told her it was a girl, she said (loudly) she has sounds like a man. hehehe.

This blog is rather pointless. I enjoy reading other people's blogs, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the nice little line of links to show up on the sidebar of my blog. I think I better go see if my big sister can help me.

PS I just ran the spell check and it kept stopping on Blog. Apparently blog is not a word even on this the blogspot blog maker place.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Notes on Primary

Did I mention I am President of our Primary here. This is my 4th week at it and it feels good. I have been getting to know the kids and treading carefully on the past President's ground. I think it is a tricky thing when presidencies change. I noticed things I wanted to change, but I didn't want the past group to feel like they weren't doing a good job. I have praised their work and their program to anyone I talk to about Primary. And they really have done an excellent job.

Coming up soon is the Primary Sacrament Presentation, where the children sing the songs they have been learning in Primary and each kid has a chance to yell, I mean speak, into the microphone. I remember being in these as a child and they don't particularly stand out as special or big days, but planning one of these things is a big job! The program was scheduled for Halloween, but I decided it would be too scary, so we will take over the chapel on November 14th, instead. We have had a substitute chorister since early summer - that is interesting because the music is such a big part of primary, and when you are just filling in, then it isn't so important to you. Our chorister was called today - she is a cute young mom,(also a hair dresser, she gave Hannah and Sydney really cute haircuts). We need her help. We plan to get together tomorrow and go over her new calling, and really start planning the program.

I think our nursery is our biggest challenge. We have 36 active nursery age children, divided into 3 classes. We only have toys in one room of the church, so we have to carry totes of toys around the building. It seems that the previous president has had numerous run ins with the building people about the toy buckets, so right now they are being stowed in the Bishops's office. I feel a little bad about that because he should have a nice tidy office, not a leaning tower of toy totes. Can you imagine getting whomped on the head by a sit-n-spin while visiting with the bishop? I don't think there is really anything I can do about it, though. I think there must be a way for the church to purchase another offical nursery storage cupboard, but I think if I want the building to help me, then I need to be kind and not pushy (yet).

Okay, so back to the nursery, of the 36 kids who come, 9 have just turned 18 months old. If you have any experience in the nursery you will remember that the 18 month olds are the most tricky. Just when you feel like you class is finally listening and participating during the lesson, that's when a new 18 month old comes in and causes widespread turmoil and strife. One 18 month old is a challenge, 9 is crazy. With the new ones coming in we have had to shift around a couple of kids. So far so good. I know it will be a transition, and I know some of the parents are not so happy, but hopefully they will give it a couple of weeks. Aaach. By the way, there are 15 kids in our YM/YW combined. Just hoping that the bishopric will remember to give our nursery as much support and as steady leadership as the youth.

Primary is Fun, Primary is Fun, Primary is Fun...

Friday, September 10, 2004

Roller Skating

I was the queen of the neighborhood rollerskating club. My sisters and I planned and performed elaborate skating programs with Deanne Raeger, our neighbor. We performed at the next door neighbor's double length driveway - I think mainly because they must have parked in the garage while our red and white van always sat in our drive. California had great flat sidewalks for skating. Our neighborhood here in Rapid City has nice hills. That makes skating very exciting on the downhill, but not so fun on the way back up.

Tonight I discovered why I need the jogger stroller to hold me steady - it's the rollerblades. I am not such a graceful rollerblader. I need rollerskates. I can skate on four wheels/foot. Remember rollerskating at Willowa Lake? Good time. We had a birthday party at the base youth center tonight. They had brown lace up skates from when I was a kid. Ahhhh, what great skates. This was as cool as RollerKing only no disco light or speedskating. We put John in the stroller and Sydney pushed him around all evening while I skated backward with Emily. Sydney and Hannah are RAD rollerskaters. I think we may have to go skate again next week - we could even get a licorice rope at the snack bar.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Blog Numero Uno

Here I am on a quiet night. Kids are all asleep, Sam the dog is snoring and twitcing by my feet, and I am writing on my very own blog. Crazy. We made it through day 4 of Nathan's deploment, and I think we are going to be okay. We were all a bit weepy on days one and two, but now the fun begins! Nathan made it safe and sound to his new home in the Indian Ocean. It was fascinating to track his journey on our map at the kitchen table. He is far far away, and 12 hours ahead of us on his journey around the sun. This is a huge earth we live on.

This morning he called from his room and I was able to call back using about 35 numbers. Supposedly this routed my call through Hawii so that I will not have to pay a huge international phone bill (must call Qwest tomorrow to check the damage.) I was suprised when it worked and Nathan answered the phone. And there was no static. He sounds great. He met up with some buddies who have been there for the last 3 months and are coming home next week. He is already having fun, he went snorkling yesterday with Shalin and Abe(or was it this morning, or maybe tomorrow morning...) Sounds like he will have a great time in the sun while we enjoy a crisp fall and prepare for winter in the cold north.

With Nathan gone we have already had a couple of minor emergencies - the downstairs toilet nearly overflowed. Thanks to my quick actions it did not flood the room, but even after numerous whompings with the plunger it is still not flushing as well as it should. Dang. Nathan - where are you. Also the washing machine drain thing attempted to pop out of its hole and drench the laundry room AGAIN, but I happened to be walking by and got it back in place before it became a 10 towel crisis. whew. 4 days down. 96 (or so) to go.