Sunday, December 12, 2010

I went on a trip and didn't post photos.

But my sister did.  Here is the link to her series of blog posts on the matter.  It includes the details of our delightful experiences (plural) with hitchhiking, which is something I didn't tell my husband or my mom about, and yet there it is on the internet. 

Here are a couple of my photos from St. John in the Virgin Islands:

It has only been a few weeks, but I really think it's time to go back.  The first photo is of Cinnamon Bay, and we stayed in a "rustic" cabin just a few steps from the beach.  The second photo was taken from a taxi ride on the main road, and is of Caneel Bay resort, the not-so-rustic place where celebrities vacation.  Every cab driver we met told us that they see Alan Alda all the time out here.  We didn't see him. 

Things are good here, but busy.  I'm enjoying the new job, and getting more used to it.  I think it's something I'll be good at once I figure out how to do all 87 steps for writing insurance policies on the computer without stopping to ask someone what to do next.  Customers don't really like it when you do that, just in case you were wondering.  Back soon with hopefully more photos. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthday Girl

 My baby turned 10 this week, which is strange because she was just born a few minutes ago. She had a pretty low-key birthday, by choice: too embarassed to have cupcakes at school, too shy to invite any new friends over. We ended up going out to eat at a Japanese restaurant, which was a perfect celebration - they had never been, not that they remembered, and they were so surprised when things burst into flames. It was great. 


Also: Autumn is pretty here.  In Texas we don't have autumn.  I have actually been sitting at a computer screen for two weeks studying for my licensing exams (I passed!), so I was surprised when I drove down the highway yesterday and saw all of the beautiful colors. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Back in the Carpool Lane Again

This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind to say the least.  I have a full time job!  I'm going to work as an agent for State Farm, starting later this month after I've passed my licensing exams.  My kids are in public school!  They don't know what to think about it yet.  I have adorable photos of them in their school uniforms, but I'm too frazzled to download them from my camera! I like to use exclamation marks when I'm in this mental state!  I'm studying like crazy, like 9-10 hours a day, for these exams coming up, and life has been crazy and full of a lot of changes at once. 

My kidney doctor appointment went fine, no big changes except for some new medication to prevent kidney stones, which is odd, but I'm taking it anyway.  So.  A lot of things to be thankful for, a lot of changes all at once, and none of us are sure exactly how we're going to manage any of them.  But it is good, and I am grateful. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HI there, still alive, must be going now.

Here is a birthday photo of my now-8-year-old little boy.  Yes, his birthday was two months ago.  What of it? Also, this is the only photo that I took that was decent.  I don't know if something is wrong with my camera or with me, but I just can't seem to make the photos I used to make.  I think it's me. 

The birthday was pretty low-key; we had a school field trip to Chuck-E-Cheese that just *happened* to coincide with it, and then on his actual birthday we went out to eat with my parents and then came home and ate cake and opened presents. 

Yes I know it's weird to have a school field trip when we homeschool.  We actually use an online virtual school, which gives us the daily lesson plans/assignments for me to teach and to grade, and offers the benefit of 'virtual' classmates that sometimes wish to venture, squinting, out in the sunlight and meet IRL.  It is very bizarre.

Want to know what else is bizarre?  I have already been kicked out of a traditional homeschool group* because of my liberal government-run school affiliations.  Me! A liberal!

Oh, blog reader, the stories I could tell you if only I made the time to write here.  But alas, that day is not today; I am up late at night prepping for a c-razy week: I have a job interview, a meeting with one of my new Girl Scout troops that I am leading with TWENTY-TWO first graders in it, (yes I said 'one of'.  As in I'm leading two), a big kidney doctor appointment, and of course, the usual 3-kids-in-homeschool and laundry and home-running that usually kicks my butt even without all of the extra stuff.  And Halloween.  My kids are dressing up as scary things this year for the first time.  Their mommy is a really big-time liberal, in case you haven't heard.  Or it could just be because she found costumes at the thrift store for $1.99.  Either way, I am sure we will be prayed for after we go to the church carnival**, which is actually a good thing.  We could use it.

Be back soon!

*full disclosure: I was offered a very restricted conditional membership in the group and I declined.  It sounds better to say I was kicked out, though.

**no one at my church actually cares about scary costumes.  I exaggerate.  It's what I do.

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Day of School

First Grade, Second Grade, and Fourth Grade.  How can this be?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The End of Summer

I told Gracie a few weeks ago that summer was almost over, and she replied, "But we haven't done anything yet!"  It really made me think.  We have done a lot of things this summer; we had tons of visitors to the house, we've been swimming to the point that no one wants to go swimming any more, but we haven't actually left the house to GO anywhere.

Our normal summers in Dallas consisted of pool outings with friends, sleepovers, trips downtown to see museums and plays and other kid-friendly/free ticket activities offered in a big city like that.  Out here it is quite different.  The kids play with cousins or friends when they are in town, they play with the kids at church, but other than that it is pretty much just us.  We've been missing our Dallas peeps quite a bit this summer.

We also normally go on a big road trip, but no such luck this summer, as we are...shall we say low on cash.  We've been missing our 'vacation' time, even though we now live in the place in which we always used to vacation.

Anyway, this week at the last minute Greg was offered a consulting  gig in middle Tennessee, and 24 hours later, we were on the road.  Our first stop was Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, one of the places I have been wishing to visit for quite a while.  We toured the cave.  It was Mammoth.  We drove across the ferry, explored the park, did very little hiking due to the 95 degree heat, and we spent the night in a Wigwam.  We did cheesy touristy things and much fun was had.  Then we went to Nashville to visit our friends Thomas and Dita and their two babies.  Then we spent the night at a nice hotel and the kids and I goofed off while Greg worked.  Great fun was had by all, and even though it was only a 3 day trip, I think we crammed in as much fun as possible. 

We did the New Entrance Tour.  It was great.

Our Wigwam was teeny tiny, but it was immaculate.
The place was built in the 30's. Very retro touristy.
We had a cookout and the kids played on the playground all evening.  Then we went to the Dairy Queen next door.

Love those curls!
A couple of tourists on a ski lift.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Lake House

I've been at a loss for words on the ol' blog for the past few months.  This past year has been a difficult one for our family; my husband was laid off from his job, we had to sell our house, and then we left our beloved friends in Texas to live in my parents' lake house in Georgia.  Not to mention my kidney peril, which has been its own saga of uncertainty and contradicting medical opinions. That's another story for another day. 

We've been here six months, and in that time we have anticipated the new job, the new city, the new life that we will have once this period of waiting is over.  But it has been six months, and we are still waiting.  We cannot plan anything in the distant future.  We can't plan on anything.  We just wait.  The job that I thought was going to work out didn't.  Then another one came along that seems like a good fit, but they want to take more time.  So we wait.  It has been a difficult thing for me to discuss on the blog. 

But there are some good things coming to me while I wait.  This lake house is number one on the list.  It is an enormous blessing.  I know that not everyone gets to spend their time waiting on God in such a beautiful place.

As a byproduct of living in a vacation home, we have found that when we invite people to come visit us, they are happy to do so.  By my count, we have had over 61 visitors to stay with us since we've been here.   Some of them have come from Tennessee with a newborn baby, some have come from Texas with a van full of children, some are college friends that we hadn't seen since before we had children.  Some have been childhood friends that I have known for 25 years.  Many of them have been family members; sisters and brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews that I used to only see twice a year, but are now able to come down for the weekend or stop by for dinner on the way somewhere else.  The kids have had ample time with grandparents that used to be crammed into a short Christmas or summer visit. 

This has been at once a time of mourning and a time of healing for me; a time of laughing with old friends, of holding babies, of chasing toddlers, of making s'mores, of teaching children to fish and to canoe, of catching up, of sharing burdens and of staying up too late playing cards.  This has been a time of anxiously waiting to see what will happen next.  This has been a time of renewal, of learning to rely on God and of bonding with my husband and my children.  It has been a very very good time.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The View From The Hammock

My little girl fishing in her church dress.  Her big brother helping her get a fish off of her hook.  A truly beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An E-mail From my Six Year Old to Her Friend

Dear  Rachel did  you  ever know  that  my bike doesn't have training wheels!  I found a mood ring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But it was Grace's. And I cried for a real long time. And I did not  stop. It was very    loud.  Grace told me the mood colors. I was so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so sad.Mom's head hurt.My head hurt too.  PS fjfi fhucmjfskdjskxdjskl,alkals.kslkmrueeeeeee ruuwospl. are you sick?
                                                     love Katie        

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Too much to catch up on

I've gotten incredibly lazy about posting here, and now I am at the point where SO much has happened it's almost impossible to know where to start.  Here are the things I would write posts about if I wasn't a complete slacker:

(Also: my photos are on a different computer from my internet, so for some reason this has caused me not to even want to post them.  Because it's just SO SO hard to walk up the stairs with my hard drive and plug it innnnnnnnn, wahhhhhh.  But all of my photos are on facebook, so whatev.)

1.  Katie turned six!  She had a Mario Brudders party at home with our friends who were visiting from Texas.  My friend Janet made her a lovely cake.  Oh my, this was like a MONTH ago. 

2.  Tommy broke his arm, healed completely, and got his cast off.

3.  I am in love with avacados.  I love them.  I eat them every day for lunch, all chopped up with salt and pepper, and sometimes tortilla chips.  And yet I abhor guacamole.  It's a texture issue. See also: I am a freak.

4.  Sixteen families came to visit us for spring break. Not really, but almost.  And then we went camping with my sister and her kids. Fun and exhaustion was had by all. 

5.  I love love love living here in the spring.  I'm usually only here in the summer or over Christmas break, but the springtime here is intoxicating.

6.  Kate learned to ride her bike. Where are the photos, you ask?  They don't exist! She did it while all the adults were inside watching TV.

7.  I feel really really well.  I feel completely back to normal.  I sincerely hope this is the case.

8.  I don't know how to put this.  There is a possibility of a new job.  Just a possibility.  I think it is a good possibility, and I have been trying not to get excited about it in case it doesn't work out.  But it's too late, because my hopes are UP, and I have already started looking at houses and schools and imagining many many things about this particular possibility.  We shall see.

The kiddos

The kiddos

Kidney Peril Updates
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chrissyinthecarpoollane at g mail dot com.