Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Local News

Hey all. I started to respond to your post, Polly, and realized that I would just have to re-write everything if I was going to post today. I'm feeling frustrated and have trouble posting when I know it will be just another whiney post. Sorry.

There is a fun note. Josiah's birthday party on Sunday was a blast. We had 21 family members here for cake and present opening and general mahem. There were nine kids here and 6 of them are 6 or under...mostly under 4. As I said, mahem, but in a fun and happy way. Todd's sister taught the little ones how to poke people in the rear with toothpicks. Todd taught his brother-in-law to smoke a pipe. My Dad taught us all how to pick the most fantastic cake in the grocery store. Even Josiah's great aunt Rita got to be here since she's homeless for now until Lake Charles gets power back.

On the frustrating side, we still don't know if Todd has a job and he's itching to find something. I feel for him. He's torn between supporting us well financially and finding something he'll be good at. I know he'd make a great police officer but that wouldn't really utilize his creativity in a way that would satisify him. He could make a wad of money selling cars, but we'd never ever see him. He's even talked about starting a coffee house/gallery here in Keller but that would involve massive loans. I ache for him. I know there's a perfect job out there. One that uses his talents and still lets him feel like he's providing adequately for us. Any ideas?

Here's the mood-kicker. Hunter called me yesterday from school to inform me that he's failing Math. His teacher made him call me because she had a sneaking suspicion that he wasnt' telling us about the papers he was supposed to re-do and turn in. Of course, she was right. She said he's always very polite and compliant, he just doesn't turn in his work. We know he does his homework here, but sometimes he even doesn't turn that in! It's last year all over again, accept this time the teacher is bending over backwards to help him. She even stayed an hour after school to let him do some catching up. Grades have to be turned in this Friday for report cards. THEN he "didn't bring home" the note she told me on the phone to be looking for that would lay out all that he need to do to pass math (by today). I don't even know what to do anymore. We're laying out $100 a month for ADD medication and it's apparently not helping....just having side effects like headache and insomnia. We removed the computer from his room and are keeping him in there most of the time for the next week (which is a week of vacation from school for "Fall Break"). We don't have cable so it's not like he's watching too much TV.

I feel like I 'm missing something. What should I be doing that I've forgotten to do? I just don't believe that "beating him" is the answer, what's left? I can't afford to home school, I've got to find a job soon. I could just scream.

OH! and we missed the bus this morning for the first time. I woke up, looked at the clock and said, "Todd, what day is it?" He said, "Tuesday." (which is wrong but I was just checking if it was the weekend) Then I asked, "What time is it?" He said, "6:50." Then a second later he said, "oh man." I had five minutes to put on some clothes and meet the bus to let him know Josiah wouldn't be riding this morning. Todd took him to school. Josiah was a little confused and kept wanting to go over the schedule for this afternoon and tomorrow and the next day just to make sure this wasn't a new glitch in the schedule. Other than that, he was cool with it. He was the only cool thing.

It's still horribly hot around here. Todd said it's supposed to cool down tomorrow and I can't wait. Our air conditioner went out Monday night (not surprising since it was 110 on Sunday when we had guests going in and out). Our wonderful landlord had it fixed by Tuesday morning. Worth the extra money!!!

We're going for a walk today. There are gobs of little shops on the streets around us (we live in the "Old Town Keller" part of town) and we're going to check them out...finally. Since we don't have any money, we don't have to worry about buying stuff we don't need. It will be fun.

I'll post pictures of the party when I get back.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Too funny to even explain.

I was surfing the other day and happened upon It's a woman's blog about motherhood and I adore it! If you're squeemish about curse words I suggest you avoid it but I came upon this poll she was running. I laughed so hard that it started to frighten my children but I couldn'texplain why I was laughing. Check it out and you'll know why.
(don't miss out on the comments.)
By the way, I used to be as articulate as this lady, really I was. Back when I had only 2 kids. Somehow the third sapped all the witty-ness out of me. Maybe it's all the laundry.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It is SO hot!

I just had to mention that it is hot.  I mean really hot.  The kind of hot that gives you $250 electric bills (yes, we have one) and it's not letting up.  It's the middle of freaking September, almost late September and it's 102 at 1:15.  It doesn't even get really hot around here until 4 or 5 o'clock.  I guess it's a good thing Hunter didn't ride today.....maybe.
Think we'll swim tonight.
I'm glad for the hurricane, it should drop temps.  I may not be glad by Monday.  My family from south LA and TX are all headed this way.  I'm not sure how they'll all disperse but I hope to see some of them....and I hope their homes are alright...and I hope they don't have heat stroke packing up. 
It's way too hot to be evacuating!

The Night Bus

I know, if I was a good "Potterer" I would call it the "knight" bus, but there's nothing chivalrous about putting your baby on a bus in the dark. We wait on the front porch every morning and as you can see our cat waits in the window with us. I could have brightened up the images but then you wouldn't get a feel for just how dark it is.
We're all getting into the swing of it now and I think it will work out fine. Now all I have to do is convince Hunter to quit the "I'm dying of stomach pain" act everytime I tell him to hop on his bike and ride to school. I pitched a fit this morning when he tried that after getting up early and playing Nintendo for almost 2 hours. I drove him to school, but it won't happen again. He only rides if it's raining or freezing or over 100 degrees (which it has been several times this week).
Won't it be fun when there's three of them in school?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Is it just me?

I remember in college when Todd and I were married that I had just about decided that answering machines were a curse. Without them you could assume that many friends had tried to call while you were out all day but just couldn't leave a message. With the machine, you knew for sure that you had no friends....or none that called anyway. Todd and I used to check the machine and say, "nobody loves us today." O.K., we weren't sitting around moping and feeling like losers because there were no calls, but for a split-second it was just disappointing.
Of course, after a while we were in debt and broke and we really hated getting the messages we were getting on our machine. I'm glad that's over.

Now there's e-mail. Instead of just looking for a blinking light you have to get the computer started up, log on and check to get that special "let down" feeling. Maybe I should sign up for a "free i-pod if you fill out our survey (and spend $250)". That's a sure-fire way to generate mounds of e-mail, isn't it?

I realize that sending e-mail is also a good way to generate e-mail but it's no fun to whine if you're all "taking responsibility" and all that junk.

By the way...Josiah rode the bus for the first time today!! He was so excited and we were ready in plenty of time. Poor baby. We've spent YEARS telling him that he may NOT get out of bed if it is still dark outside and now we're waking him up, dressing him, feeding him, and putting him on a bus before the sun comes up. This morning he said, "Mom, it's still night time?" He was so ready for that bus that he didn't argue much. 6:55. Mommy is not happy about it.

Speaking of time to go. I'd better go get Hunter sent off. He doesn't even get out of bed until 3o minutes after Josiah leaves! Craziness.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


So, I've been informed by the computer guru with whom I sleep that I can reply to comments by posting a comment in response.
Therefore, from now on, if you post a comment, look for my comment on your comment by checking comments on the original post. Got it? K.

Friday, September 16, 2005

He Did It!

Todd made it through all the preliminaries with the Arlington PD today!  I'm so proud of him!  He passed all the interviews and agility testing and has a contingency letter of employment.  Now he has to be on call for his physical exam, psyche eval. and background check.  After he passes all that, he'll start at the academy at the end of October.  I'm so pumped!
Now for a totally off topic and random note:  Greg, dude, I need an e-mail address.  Your like the only one who reads my blog but I can't write back without an address, which commenting does not give me. 
O.K.  We're taking the kids swimming tonight so I hope to get a new photo for ya'll of Ike on that slide.  Wish me luck.


Today is overcast here and considerably cooler than the past few days. I like the cool but feel slow this morning because of the lack of sun. Or maybe it's getting up too early. Maybe it's the move. You know, when we moved to TZ we slept and slept and slept for months. We went to bed early and got up late and took naps and always felt exhausted. Maybe my problem is just trying to adjust to a new culture, even though it's my own. They call that "reverse culture shock" by the way. Who knows?

Todd is currently in Arlington taking his tests, being interviewed and running an obstacle course. I'm trying not to be nervous and I know he is too but we're bad fakers. He called me three times on his way there. Two times to ask me to look at a map and once just to let me know he was almost there. I love him so much! I can say that here because this is my blog and I can say whatever I want. I'm so proud of him I could bust. And he looks HOT in a suit and tie. So there.

I'm meeting Becky VanRheenen for lunch and am looking forward to some chat time. Becky's been a good friend and mentor for about 15 years now. Part of enjoying her company is her insight and personality but a big part is just the pure comfort of being with an old friend. I don't have many of those around here, not that I see regularly anyway.

I'm homesick for Alabama and it sucks. I don't even have to explain why because IT'S MY BLOG!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Make note of the mostly empty bowl. Posted by Picasa

Observe the intact dumplings. Posted by Picasa

Title: Gluten-Free Dumplings

Problem: Will dumplings (for chicken and...) made without gluten hold together when cooked in liquid?

Hypothesis: No, the dumplings will disintegrate when cooked in chicken stock.

Materials: Seasoned Chicken Stock, Chicken pieces, Gluten-free Pancake Mix made into biscuit recipe, medium saucepan with lid

Procedure: 1. mix gluten-free pancake mix as directed on package, adding more mix to thicken into biscuit consistency.
2. cook seasoned chicken stock and chicken parts until chicken is completely cooked through.
3. add g/f biscuit mixture to stock in tablespoon sized balls.
4. cover with lid and allow to simmer 5 minutes.
5. check for disintegration by lifting lid and observing then serving Chicken and Dumplings.

Observations: The g/f "dumplings" held together just fine.

Conclusions: G/F dumplings are sturdier than first believed and make a fine addition to chicken soup. Josiah seems to like them and they will be sent for lunch tomorrow and cooked in future for meals.

I'll be putting together my display board for the science fair later this week.


I couldn't get a picture of Isaac coming down the slide posted because Todd made video of the event instead of single shots. I love the video but can't post it for you here so you'll have to just look at Josiah coming out of that chute and imagine it's Ike. It's not hard, just imagine him smaller with lighter hair.

I'm sure we'll have ample opportunity to get shots of Isaac on that slide, he loves it.

Josiah's ARD meeting for permanent placement was today. They will be leaving him where he is, though there was some question because of his behaviors. He is just too far along academically to move him into a "lower level" program. They will, however, move him out of the mainstream classroom. His behaviors are just too extreme while he's there. Apparently he's been throwing chairs and such again. I feel good about the move because I know that at Heritage (his school) he will still get all of the academics in the special class that he would get in a regular class. His special class only has 4 students with a teacher and an aid so he'll get what he needs there.

Our next step is to get him to a doctor to see about getting his Dopamine levels under control. He seemed to be getting better at home with emotional control but that is not reflecting in his school behaviors. It's time to move on from herbal remedies to something stronger if he's going to be all he can be, especially at school. It's a big step, please pray for wisdom for us and the doctor.

The slide. Posted by Picasa

The slider! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Pictures to Come

We got some photos tonight at Keller Pointe when we took the boys swimming.  The outdoor pool is closed for the season so we were hanging around inside.  The height requirements for the indoor slide are lower than for the outdoor so we decided to get Ike measured.  He was tall enough!  I took me almost 5 minutes to convince him to actually go down, but he was totally hooked after that.  Todd got some action shots that I'll try to post tomorrow.
Todd has an interview with the Arlington PD on Friday!  I'm so excited.  He'll have some written stuff and a formal interview and if he "passes" that he'll take the agility test.  After that (if he passes)  there will be further interviews and psych tests and background tests at later dates.  IF he makes it through all that, he'll start Police Academy in October.  We'll keep you posted.

Why I love Josiah's teacher

Josiah's teacher told me today that Josiah would tell me he had been given a cupcake but that he had not. Apparently, a child in his class brought cupcakes for the class and as they were handing them out she saw them across the cafeteria and sprinted over, said, "Josiah may NOT have one of these," took the toy ring from it, washed it off and gave that to him. Later he told someone he had gotten a cupcake and after some interrogation was found to be mis-representing the story. Anyway, kudos to Josiah's quick thinking and fast acting teacher. She rocks!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Pattern Sale!

To whom it may concern: (that means, "to whoever cares about such things.")
Hobby Lobby has all of their Simplicity Patterns on sale for .99!  It's my favorite sale of the year, even though I never have time to sew.  All I need is a .99 fabric sale and I'd be rockin' and rollin'!

We Have Returned

Well, we survived. We seem to have passed all the tests. Now all we need to do is recover. We're both so exhausted from self-exploration we need a vacation. I took a good long nap this afternoon and am still sleepy. We were interviewed 12 seperate times, if you don't count the telling of our personal story for the group and the exit interview. Something about that (and going to be late for 3 nights in a row) wears you out.

My favorite quote from this weekend comes from Eloy Garcia:
"I'm so transparent, I can't see myself anymore."

My favorite part of the weekend was going to some apartments that the Riverside Church of Christ is setting up for evacuees from New Orleans and getting to meet some people. I saw people with nothing trying to give money to the coordinator to "help" and I saw some of our folks come out of an apartment with a box of food they had been given by evacuees "to help". These are some neat folks.

Mom got to do some of her shop-hopping this weekend with the boys, which leads me to believe that they were fairly well behaved. And now they can tell me where all the good quilt shops are around here.
Now we have to get back into the swing of things for a week and go back for another Lab after that. This next Lab is "Strategy Lab" and goes all week long. Woo-hoo.
Alright, I'd better go start "swinging back".

Thursday, September 08, 2005

So Far So Good

The "Discovery Lab" has been great so far. We've heard some great stories of faith and met some neat people. Interviews start tomorrow and we've got homework. We're in two teams of people writing up a plan to plant a pretend (say that 3 times fast) church in Sachse and Wylie Texas (one city each team). Blek! Not because I don't like planning a church plant but because I've got to do it in 2 days without ever laying eyes on the city. It's more about how we work together anyway.....

So. Thanks for the prayers. Mom says the boys did great. 1 day down, 3 to go. I'm tired already.


What does it all mean? Posted by Picasa

Thai Food and Psych tests

I finally got some decent Thai today. I've been longing for it since we moved back to the DFW area August 2nd and have only managed to have pretty bad Thai once since then. We went to Thai Tina's this afternoon and it was alright. Pricey, but alright. Still doesn't hold a candle to Thai Garden, though. It kills that we missed the Vegetarian Buffet this last Sunday. I hope Lori Morris appreciates how much we love her since we missed it so we could see her at the airport. (I actually ended up staying with the kids at Mom's since Josiah was having a really rough afternoon.) Anyway......

We head to our first "Lab" tonight for Mission Alive. This one is the "Discovery Lab" and I've already completed 4 tests for it, 2 personality, 1 marriage and 1 spiritual gifts. There's more to come, I'm sure. This Lab is all about determining if we're fit to plant a church. It sounds hokey but is actually a good thing. We've done it before and it helped us with our confidence and showed us where to "shore up" before we left the states. I'm hopeful for this time but nervous. These can be great or tortuous.

Pray for my Mom. Bless her angelic heart, she's keeping the kids all weekend for us while we do this Lab. My Dad's in Houston so she'll be going it alone.... and it's SHOP HOP weekend! She's missing one of the biggest quilting events of the year just to keep my kids. She'll get and extra star in her crown for sure.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Missed Him

I missed Hunter by about 30 seconds this afternoon. He was opening the garage as I walked out the front door. DOH! Too much blogging.

Trying New Blogging Methods

So, the site says I can post my blogs via e-mail, which isn't always the best way but could be handy sometimes.  Especially for someone like Lori Morris who could post from West Africa via e-mail.  I hope she does.
Anyway.  I feel like I should blog a ton but am almost afraid to get started.  Where's a good place?  How many will read it?  You know, the more people you think may read your site, the less honest you feel you can be sometimes.  Don't you think so?  Well, let's start with basics.
We moved back to Texas at the beginning of August this year for some fairly complicated reasons.  We came without job, home, or schools.  We found a home and schools in Keller, Texas, which is a small town within the huge swirling mass of humanity that is the DFW metroplex.  So far it's almost perfect.  We live in small-town peace but have access to huge-town amenities.  The schools have been really good and our house is cute.  We live about 30 minutes from my parents and about an hour from most of Todd's family.
Now all we need is a job, right?  We have some severance so we're not desperate.  Not really.  Todd really feels the need to be working, though, and I'm getting antsy about our fiscal future.  We intend to work with a church planting group called Mission Alive and start what will probably be a small house church but Todd really does not want to be a fully paid minister.
So far Todd has been strongly courted by a large Toyota dealer and Radio Shack, both of which pay on commission.  He went to a job fair today and is interested in the Arlington Police Department and also Army Reserve as a chaplain, both of which I feel he could enjoy.  Todd's dad is a deputy sheriff and has been in law enforcement for many, many years so he knows what that's all about.  I think he's also really been itching to serve his country ever since 9/11.  I've been fasting and praying really hard that God will make the path clear for us. 
 "I hate waiting."  It's one of my favorite lines from Princess Bride and it's so appropriate right now.
If you intend to pray for our family, I have some requests.  First, Todd's job (as you may have guessed).  Pray for something through which God can use us mightily.  Second, Josiah has his final placement ARD next week.  It's the meeting where we finalize his education plan, decide where he's to be from now on and also try to get him bus services.  I'm nervous that they'll want to change things around since everyone's being so vague about it.
I know I had some more things but I promised Hunter I'd be outside on the front porch when he rode his bike home today so I'd better get out there.
We'll see if this e-blogging thing works.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The new homestead. Posted by Picasa

The local water park. Posted by Picasa

The New Home

It's my new blog site and I'm just getting a feel for it. I'll try to post pictures and news regularly, really I will. Right now we're taking the kids to Sonic for a special treat.