Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rain + Mud+ "Bored"Kids = ...

...A lot of fun for them...Not so much for Mom!
Saw someone else has a post about kids and mud and it made me remember this little bit from my kids' past.
It was early Fall and we had had several days of soaking rain, so the ground was pretty soggy. My three youngest were at home and "bored" because they were 'stuck in the house'. About Mid-day the rain quit and the sun came out and they could stand it no longer. They decided they HAD to get out and do something.[I was probably wishing they WOULD find something to do because I was tired of hearing them moan and bemoan about the rain!]
They decided to play football!!!
I thought about it for a few seconds and decided it would be 'okay!' if they put on OLD clothes and shoes. [Not their good school clothes and shoes,as they might have done if I had not suggested they change!] So they found some 'old' stuff to wear and went outside to play.
Such Hilarity!! They tried just passing the ball back and forth but every time they ran they splashed water from the soggy ground. Next thing I knew they had invented some kind of game that required whoever caught the ball to slide merrily across the soggy muddy grass. Then it became a contest as to who could slide the farthest. They actually stayed out there for an hour or more and were absolutely covered in mud.
When they realized that it was getting late they wanted to come inside. THEN I thought: How are we going to accomplish THAT! I certainly don't want all of that mud going through the house!
I decided that they could come in at the garage, strip off everything, and leave it there.
Karen had to be the first while the boys waited outside during her 'turn' in the garage. I took an old towel to her to wrap her dripping muddy hair . Got her into the shower for a 'fast as you can' clean up. Then took the boys a couple of old blankets to wrap themselves in after they shed their clothes. After they were cleaned up [I think Karen had to wash her long hair once more to get all of the mud and grass bits out] I got the privilege of sorting out the soggy, muddy clothes! I think we threw the shoes away, and maybe the socks...but the rest went through the washer at least twice!
They had such a great time, though!!! It was something that was talked about with fondness for a long time! BTW the grass in the back yard was never the same! It took a couple of summers before we could no longer tell where they had played.

Monday, March 30, 2009

They'll never believe it!

I spent the day doing something that most of my kids will have a hard time believing I actually did.
I cleaned out some of the kitchen cupboards and actually got rid of a lot of 'stuff' that was in them.
It is amazing the things you collect sometimes! I found a lot of things that I used to use often that I have not used in several years. Times change, your activities change, and you just no longer need to keep all of that stuff on hand. Hopefully it will all sell in a rummage sale before long, but what doesn't sell is going to be given away! I don't want it back in my cabinets, again.
I have also started to go through our clothes. "They" keep saying :"For every NEW thing you bring in, you should get rid ofsomething OLD." Well, it is obvious that I have NOT been doing that [and neither has Ron!]I can scarcely get things into the closets again on laundry day. It is time for the 'seasonal change' of clothes to begin so now is a good time to sort it all out. We keep our 'off season' clothes downstairs so I started by going through all of that first. Now I have to start on the upstairs! There are clothes that I no longer need since I 'retired' last year from Housecleaning. I have already dumped some of them but I realized that there are still a few things to get rid of, too. That will soon be the case for Ron, too, as he plans to retire around August 7th. He wears a different type of clothes now then he did just a few years ago [more casual] so he has quite a few things to go through. I can't wait to see what we find to get rid of. Hopefully we can reduce it by half, or at least a third!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Break in the Routine!

A BIG break!
There are 3 friends of mine that share a love for scrapbooking with me. Last Spring we went to a scrapbook fundraiser in Springfield together. In January we went to a Cabin Fever scrap event from Friday night through Sunday noon. We had a great time at both events, but we wanted to spend some time 'just us' where we could scrap and visit without interruption from others.
We decided to go to Branson and scrap in the 'condo' for a week end. We took food with us and fixed our breakfast and at least one other meal everyday. That way we could stay in our 'jammies' till we WANTED to shower and dress. We each had a 'spot' to spread our equipment and supplies in and we left it all out so we could pick up a project and work with it right where we had left it. It was so great to be able to leave and come back!
I wish you could have seen the back of my van! I had one little area I could see out the back through. I relied heavily on my side mirrors and the eyes of my friends riding in the middle seats when I had to change lanes,etc. We did not have the back seats in, but we each had at least one big suitcase, 2 or 3[or more] cases of scrapbook materials each, 2 of us had Cricut machines,2 good sized tubs of food items, a large cooler and a small one, various 'special' pillows and blankets etc. etc. !Iit took some thought and elbow grease to get it all in the van!!
We ate at Lambert's on the way down, at the 'special' table in McFarland's in the IMAX mall, and a late lunch at The Hard Luck Diner in the Grand Village. The rest of our meals we had in the condo. Each of us took at least one meal to prepare and supply the food for. We went to see one show: NOAH, the musical. It was a little pricey, but I totally reccommend it. Save up for it if you have to, to see it. There are LOTS of real animals and quite a few animatronics ones, too. At one point you are inside the Ark with Noah, his family, and all of the animals.
We all got a lot of scrapbooking done and a lot of resting done,too. Plus a lot of silliness and a lot of talking together about different things going on in our separate lives. It is good to 'share' with someone when you know full well that they respect your privacy and will pray with you for God's solution.
When you think about it...Isn't that what true friendship is all about?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It was wonderful...

but I was so tired when it was over!
I'm talking about the weekend. We had a lot of family "together" time so everyone could see Karl, and so we COULD spend a bunch of time together. We missed Karen and Chris and the kids; and Keith and Sharon and the boys but those of us who were able to be together did a lot of eating and talking!
We tried to make it as 'easy' as possible, so we could spend the time talking and laughing together and NOT doing a bunch of kitchen chores.

Ron and I and Kris took Karl home to St.Louis on Sunday afternoon, then we turned right around and came back home. Got to Kris' house in Columbia about 9:30 PM and were home here around 10:30. Kris had taken yesterday off--in case we were late getting back, and Ron had taken the morning off yesterday, too. I was a little concerned about how he would feel after that long drive--considering he was in the hospital just last Sunday! But he did very well. We didn't have any problems with traffic or the weather, so THAT helped a lot! I could kick myself about only one thing! I realized yesterday that I didn't take even one picture the whole weekend. I don't think anyone else did either. Hopefully, Karl will be able to come back here for Dakota's and Robbie's graduations in the middle of May. We are all praying for that.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Homecoming!

Karen came home from the hospital today. She is feeling pretty well. Just very sore, and her energy level is not very high.That is okay! She needs to do a lot of resting! Chris will be home this weekend and only has one short trip to make next week. I think the kids and Chubs were glad to have Mom at home again.
The other homecoming we had in the family today was Karl. He got to have a weekend pass to come home. It is the first time he has been here since early 2003. Kevin was able to go to St.Louis and get him today, and Ron and Kris and I will take him back on Sunday afternoon. Val and Rob were here when they got here, and Cory and Maggy; and our friend Earline[better known as Mamaw] came in with Kevin and Karl. Kris got in a little later from Columbia.
I fixed lasagna and a salad for supper. Tomorrow everyone plans to be here for breakfast of Dad's biscuits and gravy. Kirk and Stacy and kids are planning to be here, too. Tomorrow night we are going to barbecue at Kevin and Cory's in honor of Kevin's birthday on Sunday. Karl is really looking forward to that! He had asked if we could barbecue, weather permitting, of course.
It was so good to visit together in a relaxed atmosphere. Watching Karl and Rob interact was fun, too. Rob is past 6foot 9 inches, almost 6 ft. 10 in. Karl is the tallest of the boys, but at 6 ft. 4 in. he has to really look up to his son!
Val and I had a talk about how hard it is to find clothes and shoes for Rob. A lot of the "big and tall" stores tend to think that you are either big or tall. So it is hard to find a 3X tall shirt or a 50 x 36 pair of pants!
Karl just sits and watches him and just shakes his head sometimes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

We know what it ISN"T...

...but not necessarily what it WAS!!
I took Ron to work on Thursday--like I usually do because Thursday is the day I see Donna--and all seemed normal and FINE. In fact he went into his office and brought me a box of quarters he keeps there because we had discussed how dirty the van was, and why didn't I wash it?
After washing the van, etc. I went back home and did the things I usually do to get ready to spend the afternoon with my friend. About ten o'clock I was getting ready to step into the shower when the phone rang: This is ______ at Dr. Sharp's office. Ron is here. He is having some chest pain and we are running some tests. He says you have the car and thinks he wants you to come get him.
So, thinking: I wonder what this is all about...He sure seemed fine this morning... I headed for the doctor's office. As I start to pull into his parking lot, I realize that there is an ambulance sitting there. My heart fell to my toes! On top of that the lot is full and I am having trouble finding a place to park. I round a cormer and see Kevin coming toward me, so I put my window down to see what he wants. "Dad is okay! I've talked to him. They don't know what is going on yet, but they think he better go to the hospital where they can run more tests." By this time the ambulance has started to move and I get right in behind it. I am encouraged because they are NOT using the siren. Kevin is right behind me in his car.
When they get Ron settled into a room in the ER they invite us to come back and see him. I can tell he is in a LOT of pain, and he says it is all across the top of his chest, but not down his arms or in his neck. They start doing blood tests and EKG and x-ray and asking all of the usual questions... I had remembered to grab his medications [that is the easiest way for them to actually know what he takes. Just grab a plastic zip bag and throw them all in it!] so they took that info down and asked about his previous treatments etc. Finally, they gave him a shot of morphine and in a while his pain started to ease, and his color started to get better. Then they sent him for a CT scan. Gradually, the results from all the tests were starting to come in, and there is NOTHING to indicate he has had a heart attack. "But", the doctor says, "sometimes it may take 6 to 12 hours for those enzymes to show up in the blood. Meanwhile, the CT scan shows you do have some stones in your gall bladder, and the liver enzymes support that you may have been having some trouble there."
So they decide to keep him overnite for observation.
Ron had a stress test at the Heart Clinic in Columbia in late January as part of his regular check-up. A week or so before we went to Branson he had gotten a letter from Dr. Kennett saying that everything looked fine except one little area at the bottom of his heart was a little 'cloudy' and they needed to schedule a heart catheterization to check that out. Ron had taken a copy of that letter with him on Thursday because he was going to call and make the arrangements for the test.
Dr.Sharp and Dr. Kennett conferred and decided it was a good time to send Ron to Columbia for the Heart Cath. test. So Friday I picked him up at Bothwell and drove him over to Boone hospital. Their blood test on him showed that his blood was too 'thin' to safely take the test, so they kept him off of his Coumadin and also gave him something else to make it 'thicker' and scheduled the test for Saturday morning. Meanwhile they continued to have him on a heart monitor, etc.
Around 8:30 Sat. morning they came and took him for the test. The doctor that id the test talked to me and said that everything "looked fine" except for one of the bypasses he had in 2002 was completely blocked[It was the one they had put 'stents' in back in 2007]. Ron and I talked about what that might mean they would want to do to 'fix' the situation. We were both afraid that they would want to do another bypass or something. Dr. Kennett came in and said "This is really a Good Thing! Yes, that bypass is blocked, but your heart has made collateral arteries around that area and it is nourishing the heart very well!" So, no bypass!!
They had to keep Ron for 24 hours after the test.[They make sure you are not going to 'bleed too much.] But I picked him up Sunday morning and he has gone back to work today [went in a little late and may come home early]
They said his pain COULD have been from the gallstones, or it COULD have been something else but they are really SURE that he did NOT have a heart attack. Dr. Sharp told him on Friday morning that after he was checked out at Columbia they would need to "test further" about the gall bladder issue.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


We got back from Branson on Friday afternoon, and by the time we unloaded the van we were "done" for a while, so we rested. Kris got here to spend the weekend around 6:30 or 7:00, and we headed to Sedalia for something to eat. I had called Earline earlier to tell her we would pick up our dog, Buddie, on Saturday morning if that was alright. [Buddie and Nuisance, her dog, and J J her cat love to play together and she graciously allows us to let Buddie spend time there when we are out of town.] She said,"Did you know KDRO is calling for snow? An inch overnite, and a couple of inches tomorrow?" At first I thought she was kidding, because we had had 70* weather on Thursday!
Well, I woke early on Saturday morning [because the cat wanted out] and it was snowing but hadn't been for long because you could still see grass,etc. But that cat took one look outside and ran back the other way. He wanted no part in the snow!! It continued to snow and by the time we were all up[I went back to sleep!] we had about 3 inches. By the time it stopped around 12:30 we had about 5 1/2 or 6! That is the biggest snow we have had all year!
Ron and Kris cleaned off the sidewalk and a path up the driveway to the van so we could get to town. The snow was light and moved easily, in fact they used a broom to move most of it. We did a little necessary shopping and then picked up the dog. The state was out cleaning off 50& 65 hwys, and the county had been down W hwy so we were able to get around with no trouble. The attendance at church the next morning was a little light, but we have people who come from as far as Cole Camp and Greenridge, quite a few older people, and there are quite a few on the sick list, too. Never the less we had a great service!
In the afternoon was Bostin's birthday party at Stacy's folks house. He had turned 7 on Friday. His Mom gets to have him on his birthday, but Kirk and Stacy always have a family party for him, too, either right before or just after his birthday. He was very loving, and gave out thank yous and hugs with out a lot of prompting from Kirk or Stacy! This is a lot of progress for him, as he is usually very shy about things like that.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

We're Back!

Ron and I had a week in Branson last week. It was a week of relaxation and rest, basically. We took books to read with us, and a few other things like: DVDs and CDs; but we didn't take an AGENDA with us! I did take my scrapbooking items with me [including my new Cricut!] and got several pages done on the album I'm working on. I told Ron it was a pleasure to be able to spread it all out, be able to leave it that way, and come back to finish a page or go on to the next one with out putting it all away in between. I have a designated area at home, but it is NOT big enough! I have a table in the computer room/office, but there is a real minimum of space there.

We took food with us [we have time in a condo] and ate all of our breakfasts [most of the time it was brunch!]there. For all of our other meals we basically ate out. Went to Golden Corral, Joe's Crab Shack,Montana Mike's, and Jack's Plaza View. The last is our favorite because he does such wonderful Prime Rib dinners. We used to go to a little restaurant called PZZAZ! that he owned, then we went one time and the restaurant had been sold and something else was in there. We were so sad! Last time we were in Branson , Ron asked somebody where we could get a good prime rib dinner. They began to tell him...and as they described the food and the kind of service...we wondered. So we went to try it out and sure enough..it was 'our friend' from Pzazz! He has the restaurant on the 9th floor of the Grand Plaza hotel. On the way to Branson, we stopped at...You guessed it...Lambert's! That is almost a RULE! When we left Friday morning we stopped at the Grand Buffet for brunch. That is another almost rule...that you eat there at some point during your stay. But I'll have to say that our favorite breakfast buffet is the one at Docker's restaurant. They were not open for the season, yet, though. There were quite a few places that were not open yet although most of them were to open this past weekend or this next one.
We did see two shows during the week, plus a little get together at the condo complex. On Monday night, they had snacks at the complex and two groups of entertainers showed up to give us a 'taste' of their show. They were both entertaining and we went to one of the shows later in the week. It was billed as a variety show with a magician/illusionist [he was the one who came on Monday] and a ventriloqist as the 'lead' entertainment. They were both very good at their craft, but the ventrloquist had a lot of basically corny jokes to go along with his 'schtick' and it just got boring when he was on. and it was too bad because he had a lot of talent when he was just being a ventriloquist. The magician/illusionist and his wife were really great! I don't know how they did some of their acts but they were well timed and surprising.
The best show we saw, by far, was the one called SIX. This was six brothers who did their whole show a cappella..there was no band or tape... but they sounded as if there was one! They each had a very good voice [with a great range] and they all did things with their mouths that provided the drum/percussion, and other accompaniment sounds. They did a variety of songs from different eras and were constantly moving in their choreography routines. They had the audience rally WITH them the whole time. I would definitely go see them again!
And of course there is shopping to do, too. We went to all three outlet malls and to Branson Landing, too. Got a few bargains, and a lot of 'looking' done.
After a week of sleeping late and being basically lazy it was a little hard to get back into our routine this week!