Saturday, January 31, 2015

Boys will be Boys

Today we received a bill for Lamb 1's trip to the ER last August when we thought he broke his arm. I spent some time today trying to figure out the bill but found out Saturday is not business hours to get answers. While I was working on this the Lambs were over at the neighbor's playing. They began in the neighbor's back yard on their trampoline. I don't mind them playing there because I can see them from my window. After a little while they moved to the neighbor's front yard to play basketball. They had never done this before and I could not see them there.

Soon Lamb 2 came home hurt. He was panicking because his nose was bleeding and he was afraid he somehow messed up where he had surgery. When his nose stopped bleeding then he said his front tooth also hurt. He had chipped a tiny piece off his front tooth.

The good news was that our dentist was the one on call. The good news was that it was the bottom of his tooth. The bad news is that the dentist wants to make sure there is not swelling and wants to let it rest all weekend before x-raying and looking at it. So all weekend no cold or hot food, no hard foods or food like corn. Hopefully we can get him in on Monday.

I called the neighbor mom to try to find out what happened because we couldn't see them in their front yard. I had her cell number and freaked her out because she wasn't home with her kids and had no idea what I was talking about. She did admit that dad will let them play rougher than she does. We finally pieced together what happened from what the boys said. I told her we weren't mad at them, we trust our kids over at their house, it was just a difficult one because for once we couldn't watch them.

Lamb 2 plays the roughest of all our Lambs. I'm not surprised that this happened to him. What I am surprised about was this was a pretty mild play. They were riding homemade scooters on the sidewalk. Lamb 2 hit a crack in the sidewalk and tumbled off face first. I am disappointed for him that he needs dental work after getting hurt during mild play instead of when he was playing rough.

I have no idea what to serve for meals tomorrow that Lamb 2 can have. Off the menu is homemade guacamole with chips, also chips and salsa. Possibly we can still have homemade ribs.

Lamb 3 lost his tooth this week. Lamb 2 and Ewe need dental work now. We are waiting a few more months to see if Lamb 1 needs braces. Thankfully Ram had a great checkup at the dentist a few weeks ago!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Girls Club/Boys Club Day

Today it was my turn to host the girls at our house and my Lambs went to another house with all the boys. I made sugar cookie dough last night and today we made cut out heart cookies. We made frosting and they insisted on coloring some pink and some purple. They decorated the cookies with frosting and sprinkles. It took a long time to make, bake, and decorate the cookies. I couldn't get over their conversation while they were working. I heard comments that my boys would never make. "Your cookie is so pretty. Will you show me how to make one like that? Would you mind if I copied your idea?" The only "fighting" was everyone wanted a turn to cut out cookies at once. I would roll out the dough and all 4 girls would crowd around and cut out as many cookies as possible from that batch before there was no space to cut out any more. They didn't believe me that everyone could have some time to cut out cookies. After a couple of pans I called them over individually to cut out cookies while the others decorated cookies.

Then they gave themselves "recess" and ran around my backyard for a little while. I apologized for not having a trampoline or swing set. They didn't seem to mind, just wanted to be outside after making cookies. I have no idea what my neighbors thought of girls running around my backyard without my boys home.

Next I had a small craft ready for them. I did this when I was teaching and found I had plenty of leftovers already cut out and ready for them to make. It was a heart with a clothespin with a magnet on the back to hang papers on the refrigerator.

Then I gave them lots of art supplies-construction paper (pink and purple), markers, stampers, fancy cutting scissors, stickers, etc. and let them make homemade Valentine cards. All 4 girls were very creative and I couldn't get over how much they wrote in their cards. My boys write "Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Lamb 1" and are done. The girls wrote whole paragraphs and covered every space on their hearts. I left them in our schoolroom to be creative and tackled some of the cookie mess dishes while they worked.

They had all eaten way too many cookies as they decorated them so our snack time was light. Bagels with peanut butter, oranges, and a few scones for dessert. I pulled the scones from the freezer.

I asked them what they wanted to do next time they come to my house. They all answered something without so much sugar next time. Some suggested cooking or baking something not so sugary, some suggested more craft time, and some suggested more game time like last time when we played board games. I'm not sure what we will do, but I have several months to figure it out.

I enjoyed the day and the change of routine for a few hours. I enjoyed having girls in my kitchen. I enjoyed seeing pink and purple cookies. I enjoyed leaving them to be creative in the schoolroom. I loved hearing kind comments to one another. I enjoyed the afternoon without so much competition as our house usually has.

The mom that had the boys said the boys play with more focus on Boys Club Day. She loves having the boys because she only has one boy of her own. This is a win for all three families involved in Girls Club and Boys Club. I'm so glad we came up with this plan and have a fun afternoon once a month.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lost Tooth

Lamb 3 lost his first tooth tonight. I mean he really lost it. It had been loose for a few days. While Ram was reading aloud tonight I looked at Lamb 3 and that tooth was gone. He had no idea that he had lost it. We looked around the area where he was, asked if he had it in his mouth, asked if he was eating anything, and asked if he had anything crunchy during dinner. When we asked him if his mouth ever tasted like blood tonight he replied that he didn't know what blood tasted like. We never did find it! I don't know when today he lost it since I didn't notice it until this evening. His new tooth is already growing in there. We assured him that the tooth fairy would believe us. We told him to put the tooth fairy pillow out even though there was no tooth to put in there. I'm disappointed that my baby "missed" this first event. I'm sure there will be more soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lamb 2 Update

Lamb 2 had his one month after surgery check up last week. I expected him to need to go  for several checkups over the next few months. I was really surprised that it only took that one checkup. We had been very faithful about nose spray three times a day and the Dr. could tell. She recommended one more week of nose spray. So on Monday he did nose spray for the last time. He did not like nose spray but we knew it was important to do. We praise God that he is healed after surgery.

There was more happy news about this checkup. His surgery was free to us because we had met our deductible in 2014. This checkup was considered follow up to his surgery so it was also free. That is good because we have not even started to meet our deductible in 2015.

We have been trying to do small tasks like OT recommended. The Lambs have played a lot of board games recently. I have also spent lots of homeschool time with Lamb 2 working on learning to read. I am trying some new approaches that I never did with him before. I am teaching him some sight words along with phonics. I figure he has such a good memory that perhaps it would be good for him to have some words memorized so he doesn't have to sound out every single word. We also keep plugging away at The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. I realize his February checkup at Vision therapy is going to come very quickly. We hope that he has maintained or improved his reading speed during his break from VT.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The root of the problem

You know how when you go to the dentist they ask if you have any teeth that are bothering you? I had never answered yes to that question. I only have a few fillings. When I had my dentist appointment last week I told the hygienist that I had trouble on one of my bottom front teeth when I drank hot liquids like tea. I expected that I was going to need another filling. She did x-rays and didn't see anything but mentioned it to the dentist.

When the dentist came in he looked at my x-rays and that area of my mouth and said he couldn't see anything to be concerned about. Then he did a test where he put cold on that spot. It should hurt for a second and then the pain/cold feeling should go away. On that tooth the pain did not go away after several seconds.

He then broke the news to me that it is never a good sign if hot liquids bother your teeth. Also that he can see no reason for pain there. My tooth looks perfectly healthy. To make a long explanation short, I need a root canal on that tooth and there is no evidence of why I need a root canal there. His best explanation is that that tooth had some trauma sometime in my life and the tooth finally realized it.

I am scheduled to have this done in a few weeks. I am supposed to pay close attention to how this tooth feels while I wait. I really can't win-if it stops hurting while drinking hot liquids that either means that the nerve completely died or that there was something weird going on recently and it is better now. But the dentist could see no reason that I could avoid a root canal at this point. For now, my nerve is dying inside the tooth, but my body hasn't figured it out yet. It would be really bad news if I wait until my body figures it out and an infection begins in there. The good news is it is on a front tooth so I will just need the root canal and a tiny filling, I will not need a crown.

I wouldn't have mentioned it if it hadn't bothered me recently. If I hadn't mentioned it they wouldn't have noticed it from the x-rays. I asked if I could wait until my 6 month checkup and the dentist was horrified by that suggestion. He wants to take care of it now before my body figures it out and I have a worse problem there.

Ram allows me to get a Starbucks after going to the doctor. I wonder how many Starbucks a root canal is worth? Especially when it doesn't look like I did anything wrong and the tooth is perfectly healthy, but the nerve inside that tooth is not! The bummer of all this is we don't even get Be Well, Serve Well $ for dentist appointments any more.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Our weekend

Ram and I both had dental appointments on Friday. I will blog more about my appointment later. After that Ram and I took turns doing shopping.

Friday night we took the Lambs to a Philharmonic concert. Lamb 1 has said his favorite composer is Rossini and he likes the William Tell Overture so we went to that. They played the whole piece and it was slow for Lamb 3 until it got to the familiar part. The piece in the middle was very different, it was a cello/bass duo with humor and satire. I didn't like it, Ram said it was ok. They ended with Lamb 2's favorite composer, Beethoven's 4th symphony. Lamb 2 was not too impressed because it was not his favorite symphony. The conductor said, "We all know there is a 4th symphony because we like the 9th symphony even if we haven't heard the 4th symphony often".

During the intermission, Lamb 3 was fascinated by looking at the "map" of the orchestra and then going up front to see how the map compared to the stage. When the 4th symphony began he continued to whisper this conversation with me-there's no tuba on the stage any more! etc.

We have needed to watch our budget closely this month. I wasn't sure about spending the money to go to a concert right now. Ram thought we should because it was both Lamb 1 and 2's favorite composers. It makes me glad to pay for experiences like going to the Philharmonic instead of just buying more toys for our Lambs. Afterwards Lamb 1 made a point of saying thank you for taking him to the concert without any prompting from Ram or Ewe. When the 10 year old boy said thank you it made it worth it!

We took the Lambs to a Philharmonic concert in 2013 but didn't go to one in 2014. Lamb 3 had a lot of questions on the way there, he only remembered outdoor free concerts which we have gone to a lot of since we moved here. That was another good reason that we went to this concert.

Unfortunately it became a very late evening and Lamb 2 melted down the whole way home. (He was also upset that they played Beethoven, but not his favorite symphony!) We stopped and picked up some donuts for a treat afterwards. When we got home they each ate a donut and then went to bed. I'm sure we don't have as good of a donut place as Jody, but I liked the idea of a tradition of donuts after concerts. We plan to keep this family tradition.

After Lamb 2's meltdown the night before I assumed they would not be up to going to the March for Life on Saturday afternoon. So I did not get ready or help the Lambs get ready. Ram got ready and as he was starting to leave, Lamb 2 and 3 both said they wanted to go. We hurried to get warm clothes ready for them and Ram took them. Lamb 1 and I stayed home. Lamb 1 ended up going over to the neighbor's backyard for most of the time so I had a rare time alone. I would have liked to have gone to the March for Life, but after a late night the night before I didn't want to force our boys to go and Lamb 1 did not want to go.

Today there were few people in church and even less in Sunday School. I quickly filled in as Sunday School teacher for my three boys plus two other kids. There is lots of sickness going around and it was foggy this morning too.

I did some school planning and Ram made some copies for me this afternoon. I'm sure the Lambs will be thrilled that they have more school work to do this week!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I started smoking a few weeks ago

I had never even heard of an incense smoker before Glenda blogged about hers. I did a fast Internet search and decided as much as I wanted one, that was just not going to be in our budget ever. We no longer live in MN so we can't stop at a Scandinavian/German specialty store. New online was quite expensive.
Ram and I don't exchange Christmas presents with each other, but this year he put a note in my stocking that I could purchase a smoker. I spent a long time searching online stores, Ebay, and finally found what I wanted at Etsy. As much as I loved the idea of Glenda's St. Nicholas smoker, we have plenty of Christmas decorations. I wanted an "everyday" smoker. This is what I finally chose.
I bought it from an Etsy seller in Germany. I enjoyed tracking my package from Berlin. It is a fascinating thought to me that I can buy something from Berlin while I'm in Idaho! I can't imagine being able to do that when I was a little girl. I was surprised shipping was only about $5 and it arrived in about a week and a half. This seller picks up vintage items at places like garage sales and then puts them on Etsy. The smoker I purchased was never used for smoking before I got it. I have purchased a few unique items from Etsy and I have not been disappointed with any of them.
My new afternoon routine is to clean up the kitchen and then get my smoker going and if the Lambs are outside then put on some classical music. It is very relaxing and a fun way to get necessary chores done after the Lambs have their school work done. Plus I'm trying to get my kitchen cleaned up before allowing myself this fun.
I skipped my new routine for a few days and Lamb 1 asked when we were going to use the smoker again. Ram especially enjoys the incense smell.
(Note for my friend that calls me Granola Girl: This has nothing to do with my diffusing essential oils.)
I love the idea of our smoker is a shepherd for our family of Ram, Ewe, and 3 Lambs.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hey Ewe!

Look what finally came in the mail today! Ram plans to put them on our new minivan this afternoon. Now you will know which car is mine when I come to visit you!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winnie the Pooh Day

A few years ago I posted about Pooh bear day here. I have been surprised how many hits that one blog post has when I look at the stats. Since that was posted we went to Disneyland one more time.
October 2012

How well do you know about the adventures of Pooh and his friends?

A. What time does Pooh like a little mouthful of something?

B. What is the name of A.A. Milne's son?

C. Who finds Eeyore's missing tail?

D. How does Pooh describe his own spelling?

E. When Pooh, Christopher Robin, and the others go on the Expotition, what are they looking for?

F. What does Pooh name the spot where he and Piglet build a house for Eeyore?

G. What affectionate expression does Christopher Robin use when he sees that Pooh has gotten himself into trouble?

H. What does Eeyore say about Accidents?

I. What is halfway between Pooh's house and Piglet's house?

J. What game do Pooh and the others play at the bridge?

K. What does Eeyore say about birthdays?

L. Why do Pooh and Piglet want to visit Owl on the Blusterous day?

M. What does Pooh know when he sees Christopher Robin putting on his Big Boots?

Did you try to answer the questions? Answers.
A. Eleven o'clock in the morning.
B. Christopher Robin Milne
C. Pooh
D. "It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places."
E. The North Pole
F. Pooh Corner
G. Silly old Bear
H. "You never have them till you're having them."
I. A Thoughtful Spot
J. Poohsticks
K. Here today and gone tomorrow.
L. To have a Proper Tea.
M. An Adventures is going to happen.

How did you do? Have you read A.A. Milne's books to your children?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recycled Toys

My parents packed up some of my sister's and my old toys and sent them to us about a month ago. Here are the Lambs with some of their first creations from my old construction set.
Lamb 3

Lamb 2
We moved so often that my parents didn't keep a lot of toys. This set is a keeper because the Lambs have played with it several times since it arrived. They insisted we take photos of their first creations, but I didn't realize they had such funny expressions until I uploaded it here. Perhaps we need to take more pictures of their recent creations.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jan Brett Book Tour

On December 11 Jan Brett came to the Boise Public Library. I had been sick with a sore throat the few days before and doubted that I would be able to take the Lambs. I woke up feeling better and decided to try to take them. The Lambs had not been warned about this so I thought they were going to be upset to have to hurry to get ready, but they were very cooperative. I just never know what to expect with them and this time I was pleasantly surprised. So we hurried to get ready and I expected to get there right on time. There was a traffic jam on the interstate and the other side of the interstate was completely shut down due to an accident. After all that we arrived about 20 minutes late. We were able to walk right in and maybe it was a good thing that we arrived late. I found out later that others were turned away. We did miss the Lambs getting free pins to wear. There were no seats left so we stood in the back and several times I lifted up Lamb 3 so he could see better.
When we arrived the first thing I did was take pictures with the bus. Each of the Lambs got a turn with the camera.
Photographer: Lamb 1

Photographer: Lamb 2

Lamb 2 took a lot of photos compared to his brothers! He also took this photo. I was ready to delete it, but Ram likes it. Do you like this photo?

Photographer: Lamb 3

Photographer: Ewe

All the cities she went to on this tour are listed on the side of the bus.

Since we arrived late, we didn't hear her whole talk, but what we did hear was excellent. I have heard Nancy Carlson and other authors speak, but Jan Brett was the best I've heard. Perhaps I think that because I was listening if there were parts to interest my BOYS that are older and I heard the other authors when my boys were younger.

She taught the students how to draw a rabbit like she does. She encouraged students that want to be artists to spend time on drawing every day. She encouraged them to keep their work and compare what they do six months later after drawing daily. Lamb 1 listened to this part of the talk closely as he wants to be an artist. 

I was thankful for my nice camera lens when we were way in the back of the room. My pictures weren't perfect as Lamb 3 kept tugging on my arm asking for me to hold him up so he could see better.

Here's the rabbit that she drew while she spoke.

After she spoke everyone began lining up to have their books signed. I took the Lambs out of the crowded auditorium and took them to check out books from the library. They were very excited because they got to check out several movies for while Lamb 2 recovered from surgery. Then I took them back to the car and let them have a snack. Then we went back in the library and I made sure everyone went to the restroom and got a drink. All this paid off because even though we were towards the end of the book signing line, they all had all their needs met before we waited.

I was in line after a woman that had taken her lunch hour to come have her books signed. She was very nervous that she wasn't going to get to get her books signed. I think she was a little late, but she made it. All of us in line near each other enjoyed talking about our favorite Jan Brett books. 

Here we are just before it was our turn to get our books signed.

Lamb 1

Lamb 2

Lamb 3

These were the books that I pulled off our bookshelf and took for her to sign. Some of these were purchased used, but they are hardcovers in good condition. It was very difficult to choose one book each for her to sign and I didn't even purchase her new book. I do really like her illustrations in her folk tales which is why I chose some of these books. It was very interesting to see what books other people in line chose for her to sign.

I was so impressed that Jan Brett spent several hours with us in Boise. First she spoke and then she signed for a couple of hours. There were about 15 people in line after me and I think she signed for everyone. I don't know how she does a book tour like that-two cities a day going across the country in a little more than two weeks. We are so glad she came to Boise and spent the morning with us.

Other children brought pictures and cards for Jan Brett. I never even thought of something like that. If we ever go to hear another author, I now have that idea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reading on Vacation

It seems as if the days fly by and I just don't get back to my blog. I really do want to get back here more often and I have tons of pictures to post. I don't know what my excuse is, since Lamb 2 is done with therapy I have mainly been doing routine tasks at home.

We went to Ram's parents for about a week after Christmas. I must admit it was very relaxing for me-not having to host Christmas, not cooking for almost a week, we even took down our outside decorations before we went there, the presents were all wrapped and mailed to far away family, and especially that the Lambs are old enough to entertain themselves while we are at Grandma's. 5 years ago, I could not imagine the Lambs getting dressed completely by themselves and not needing to be entertained every minute at Grandma's while also keeping a close eye on all Grandma's fragile items all over the house. I am so glad that day has come and going to Ram's parents is truly a vacation for me now instead of a ton of work.

I ended up staying up late one night reading and then spent most of the next day reading too with very few interruptions.  I finally got around to reading Unbroken. I really enjoyed the time reading on vacation. But I knew after reading the book that I have no desire to see the movie. I don't see how they can make this book into a movie and stay true to the book. I know they really shortened the events of his life in the movie-no way you can fit all this book into one movie. I also don't think they would portray the religious parts of the book in a movie like the book did. I also wonder how they could possibly show actors as people from the time of WWII and make it look real. I prefer to keep my images in my mind from the book instead of see how the movie portrayed it.

When I was in college I took a class on Vietnam. As a history minor most of my history classes that talked about WWII focused on which side won which battle. We discussed the whole WWII during a couple of lectures, only spending a week or two on it. I was so glad to read Unbroken and hear this part of history as a story from someone that lived through that time instead of like what I learned in my college classes.

I don't want to spoil the book for those that have not read it so I will leave it as I highly recommend Unbroken if you have not read it yet. I do not plan to see the movie, but my dad and my sister did. Have you read the book? Have you seen the movie or do you plan to?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Problem Solving

Ram and I have had to deal with one problem after another for the last few months. It started with my key stuck in the ignition of our old minivan. We had our old minivan for 4 years. First we had to get the ignition fixed and we chose to have dents removed from a parking lot fender bender. Car repairs and car shopping to trade in the minivan was highly stressful for me and I was so relieved when the check was written and we drove off the lot with a new minivan. Ram wanted to get me a personalized license plate and that has turned into a mess because we were due to get new tags in January but I purchased the new plate in December. They decided to not put the order in until January so I didn't get charged for an extra month. So I now have temporary plates and hope they send my new ones before February. I can't wait to show you a picture of my new plate!

We had to make decisions regarding doctor appointments because we had met our deductible last year and we wanted to make the most of it. We figured out how to have Lamb 2 graduate from all his therapies and have nose surgery and fit the rest of all our routine doctor appointments in 2014. I was especially proud that we all saw a naturopath chiropractor that I really liked for a couple of appointments while insurance was paying for it. Today we had to deal with a bill from one of those appointments that wasn't billed to insurance correctly. We'll see how many more phone calls it takes to resolve that.

I am still dealing with a bill for a doctor that Lamb 2 saw in October of 2013. I finally got so disgusted that I paid the bill a few months ago. Then in December I found out that they rebilled insurance and insurance paid for that visit. So now I'm waiting for my refund for paying that bill.

Then the back door lock wasn't working correctly and I thought we should call a handyman and get it fixed correctly. Ram made a trip to Home Depot and fixed it himself when I was gone one day. I was so glad to have that done.

Then the microwave blew a fuse late one night. I don't care about the microwave, but that is the ventilation system for our stove. We have lived here and used the microwave for 3 years and it does not get as much use as an average family. We decided we needed a new microwave so ordered it so we could take it off our taxes in 2014 but chose to have it installed in January so we didn't have to deal with that around Christmas. The plan was to have an electrician out here to check that everything is ok before installing the microwave. We haven't had time to make that appointment with the electrician and the microwave will be installed next Friday. In the meantime I'm getting used to cooking without using the microwave at all. The Lambs are getting used to making breakfast without a microwave too.

This morning I put a CD in our MAC during school time and I couldn't get it to play nor could I get it to eject. Ram called to ask for help and got some other problems solved but not the CD out. He was on the phone for a long time and I'm afraid we may have gone over our cell phone minutes this month because of that phone call. We'll see. Our cell phone minutes reset tomorrow. Now we have to find time to take the MAC in and get the  DVD player replaced. It frustrates me because we rarely use CDs in the MAC and it is less than 4 years old.

One of the presents that I gave my sister for Christmas arrived broken and so I spent several e-mails dealing with that until she took the present apart and fixed it.

We got a new treasurer at church and there has been some confusion about our HSA. I think it has been resolved but we have to wait for the money to be moved from the church account to our HSA account and then to be direct deposited in our account. It is such a relief to me to have this straightened out after bothering our treasurer about it for several months, but it doesn't help financially until that money is in our checking account. Because of this I have tried to watch our spending carefully recently, but that's not easy when we need a new microwave etc. and there are always lots of bills in January like Ram's taxes due. It will be wonderful to be reimbursed this money and try to get caught up financially again.

This post is not a complaint as much as I wanted to document what has happened to us recently so I can look back in a few months and see how everything was resolved and how everything worked out. I know that God is taking care of us, I just wish we didn't have to do so much work (especially phone calls) to get everything fixed! I am also so thankful that we had money in our emergency account for stuff like this.

We had a wonderful Christmas vacation and got back to homeschooling and routine this week. I'll blog about December and include lots of pictures beginning next week. Tonight I am going on a date with my beloved! We are going to take a break from problem solving tonight and enjoy dinner and a movie together.