Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bilirubin Bulletin

Lilly had another visit from the Home Health nurse this morning and things are looking much better!
Her Bilirubin count was down to 19 which is lower than yesterday's 21.7. Her color is much better and Nina says she is still eating like a horse! She gained two ounces since yesterday!
She will be under the bili-belt until she gets down around 12. probably by Monday. Nina is starting to go a little stir crazy. She came up to visit last night, just to get out of the house. She had to bring all of the equipment! I was happy to see them though. Blue light and all.

Lucy is going to be starting solids soon. Seems her little appetite is outdoing her moms output. Time for a little boost. She is visiting with Grandma and Grandpa Cooke and having all kinds of fun. Laura and Andrew are going to dinner and a movie. Because they can.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Here She Is!

Here are some pictures from the past week.
Lilly is so sweet. We are just praying that her jaundice clears up soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lilly has Bloomed!

OK, I'm sorry. It has been WAY too long since I updated, but I have been playing with babies and that's a good excuse!
We are so very,very excited about Lilly! Nina's new little girl is a sweet little doll and we love her to pieces, even Lucy wants to love her to pieces, or chew her to pieces or something, everything is a teething toy this week.
I want to post pictures and I will post a link to Nina's blog which has the whole story, but I am just exhausted right now. Tomorrow will be a much easier day, we have a lot less school.
Hang on y'all. I'll share our joy tomorrow.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lilly, Come out and Play!

Well, Laura and Lucy had to go home today.
We had such a nice visit and I was really hoping that Lilly would come out and join us.
They got here Monday night and we got them set up in the basement "guest room".
Nina popped in for a bit and caught up.
Tuesday we had to do school, of course, but I left for an early meeting at the Church. Laura stayed with the boys. I felt much better after meeting with Father and Zeita. I feel like I am on the same page now as far as what is going to happen in the Homeschooling element of Religious Ed. I got the books for the year. It's awfully hard to talk to people about what is expected when you aren't looking at the same materials. Now I can see what the families will need to supplement to finish the year with all their requirements, and then I can help them find materials that will fill in the holes.

Tuesday evening we went to dinner at the local buffet. Lucy was a bit on the testy side. We had been in the car a lot that day and I think she was really tired. Poor kid. Nina and Johnny met us for dinner and it was really nice. Then Laura and I let Tim take the boys home while we went to Home Depot to buy the paint for the basement. I have the stairwell all primed and I just needed to make a decision on colors. I had been thinking a green of some sort, but Laura pointed out that the fireplace wouldn't look that great with green walls. So we found a Taupe and a kind of Coffe color. The upper 2/3 of the walls will be the Taupe and the bottom will be the darker color. Tim will put a chair rail around the room when it's done. It really needs paint. That's the cheapest way that I can think of to improve the look drastically. Tomorrow the windows go in the living room, and I am staying home all day to paint.

Last night we had our first study group at Good Shepherd. It was so great!! We had quite a group. More than I expected. We introduced the book we will be using:The Catechism of the Catholic Church For Adults.
This is such a great book for study. It's not "The Catechism", which is also a great book, but is much more reference oriented. We will be doing a chapter three weeks out of the month, and then on week out of the month we will discuss a book, book-club style. We are starting with this incredible story about a woman who survived the Rowandan holocaust. Her name is Imaculee Ilibigiza. Her book is called "Left to Tell". She is an amazing person. I think everyone is looking
forward to reading it.
I am so happy that we have such a special group of people for this study. I hope they all bring friends!
Poor Tim was so busy all this week and last weekend. His new job is quite a challenge. He is helping with a lot of business development, which means writing proposals and training materials, all of which need to be done yesterday. He is hoping to be home and relaxing this weekend.
More Soccer and Painting over the weekend, but no big events! How nice!
The boys have to build their rockets for the annual Scout Rocket Derby.
That is really a great time. I can't believe it has already been a year.
I'll post pictures of the new windows tomorrow.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Why do I do this?

Well I have done it again.
Last summer, after school let out and the days were long and we had stretches of one to two hours with nothing to do, I started saying "yes" to people.
Part of it was from a desire to actually help to get things done within the different circles that I spend my time in, but more often it was just from a serious lack of foresight and thought.
Now I am paying and paying big!

For example, I do want to homeschool Religious ed. I am teaching Religion at home and it seems really silly to be sending the kids off to CCD on Wednesday nights, when we are already covering all of this at home. So, the DRE let me know last year that we were going to have to come up with another way to account for the Religious Ed hours that our growing parish homeschool families are putting in. I told her "no problem, I'll just set up a review process like we do for he county and a few of the other moms and I can check out the portfolios of those families that homeschool." Yeah. Should be easy, except that the Diocese just came out with a whole new series of guidelines, very good, comprehensive guidelines, and the burden of proving what the kids know is now a LOT heavier! Most of these families had a hard time finishing the little book last year. They are not regular homeschoolers. They are doing it this way because either they can't get the kids to CCD due to scheduling issues, or they have children who do not do well in a classroom setting. At any rate, the amount of time needed to complete the program quadrupled.
So we had a meeting on Wednesday last. The news of the change was met with, shall we say, a lack of enthusiasm. I had to try to explain what we would be doing to account for the things that are required, and well, if looks could kill...

So I guess now I am going to have to put in some time figuring out ways to help people get the different things done.
I am not complaining, I love the new guidelines. We are doing a program that makes it very easy to meet the goals.
I just feel responsible because the accountability process was my idea.
They would still have to show what they are doing somehow though. This does make sense.

And then there is the whole scouting thing.
We are having a hard time keeping the pack together and getting all the work done.
I really wanted to just find a pack where the boys could be dropped off and they could do their stuff.
But my friend Kim is trying so hard to get everything done and she needs help...
So now I am going to be doing all the data entry for the pack. hmmm...
doesn't seem like it should take much time...

Then, of course, this is the year that I decided to give the workbooks the heave-ho and so all our work is either written or oral. I am doing a lot of work on the board and I love it, but it takes more time. They were ready though. John is writing some really nice essays and even Paul is getting into the act. He LOVES Latin! It is so funny. He listens to John's lessons and he keeps volunteering words and phrases. Last night he said "Salve Magistra" and it just cracked me up!

That is only the beginning. There is lots more going on at the church and with our other groups.
Art will start soon. We have a bunch of field trips to get together and I have a new granddaughter arriving any day. Of course Lucy and Lilly are the joy in all of this!

Anyway, I am going to go get ready for my new table and I'll take some pictures after we get it into the kitchen!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Soccer in full swing...

So I haven't exactly been posting like a fiend. OK, I'm a pathetic blogger, but more on that next time I post.

Saturday was official start of the Soccer Game season here in Harford County.
Paul is playing in the "clinic" league, which is cute and very encouraging. He is actually really getting it figured out! John has really been working with him and it is showing. Paul has got the concept of where the ball needs to go (the goal) and who needs to get it there (a player).
Of course there is lots of falling down, shooting at the wrong goal, crying, and a few kids who really don't want to be there and who keep running off the field, but Paul isn't one of them. He had a great time! They don't keep score in that league so there was no winner or loser, but the other team did get the ball into the goal 5 times. Paul's team managed to have enough players on the field at a given time, so we counted that as a major accomplishment.

John's team is really coming together and he is turning into quite an asset to the team this year.
He is on the same team as last year and his coach works really hard to develop the skills of his players. They are always the last ones off the practice field and Kevin (the coach) actually changed plans to have surgery on his knee so that he could get through the season. That's devotion to duty. He is the guy in blue. His son is on the team (#10) and is quite a player. John really likes him.

So Saturday they pulled it off! They won their very first game of the season! They didn't win one last year! They played a really aggressive team from an area south of us, who shall remain nameless. Suffice it to say, this team played better with their mouths than with their feet and their skill at verbal intimidation and foul play was very highly developed. As one of them put it: "I'm going to beat the !@#% out of you after the game." Very qualified.

Our guys were awesome! The defense was totally on and only let one shot get through and even in the face of sliding tackles and elbows to the ribs, they kept the ball on the other side of the field and shot three goals. It was great!

We are looking forward to the next game!

Friday, September 7, 2007


Well it has been quite a day. If you think you worry about your kids, wait until they have husbands and kids for you to think about.
We went to Mass this morning, and I prayed for the girls, babies, husbands and of course the boys.
I knew Nina's appointment was going to be a tough one. She has been having such a hard time with blood pressure, swelling, pain, etc. She has been pretty frustrated with the whole medical community and I don't blame her. Well it seems the medical community that is in the business of delivering babies is shrinking rapidly and there are only a few doctors in this area that are doing OB. I think her doctor is delivering approximately 1/3 of all the babies in Harford County, and most of them were born within the last two days! He has been at LD and in Surgery pretty much continuously. So Nina has had a rather difficult time getting ahold of him. She is having problems, but I guess they don't warrant emergency treatment and that's the priority right now.
So we went and the doc said she looks well enough, but to give him a call if anything changes. I know that she really wants Lilly on the outside!

Laura has been having a time getting Lucy to understand the concept of bedtime. I know it must be exhausting having to be "on" all the time. Lucy is so smart and she seems like she is always just bursting with the need to accomplish something new. Laura has been fighting a bug for a couple of days and today it caught her and knocked her out for awhile. She is better tonight, but it's tough that I can't just go over and help out. I'd love to take Lucy home for a few hours and give Laura a break, but I can't. Fortunately it was shortlived and she is feeling better tonight.

I started working on the business again last night but it's kind of a catch 22. I have to have a license to start working. But I have to pay for the license and I still haven't done any paying jobs! I know I can find lots of people who need organizing, especially homeschoolers, but it seems somehow wrong to charge for it! I feel like I should be helping out my friends. I don't feel right getting paid. I love doing that sort of thing. I really enjoy setting up systems in my own house and it's fun to give people a hand and see them start enjoying their vocation. That is really all I am trying to do. I think there are lots of women out there who just don't get a lot of joy out of running their homes, mainly because they are discouraged about the overwhelming size of the job of getting organized. God gave all of us the vocation that is right for us. I know God wants us to be fulfilled and at peace with His gifts, it's just that not everyone has the background and the experience pull it all together. I hate to think that there are women out there that may give up schooling at home simply because they feel like they can never get beyond the piles. I really want to be a part of the solution. I just don't think I am prepared for the business part of it. I have to get that way though. I need to get beyond the lack of initiative. Ugh. Maybe tomorrow.
I do have a name and a motto for the company. I have a very loose business plan.
More on all that later.

Well we must say our prayers. It is very late and the boys are still up, blowing up balloons and letting them fly all over the kitchen. They might not be tired but I am and Paul has Soccer in the morning. I'll have to take pictures.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The world from my basement

I am spending a lot of time in my basement lately. It's where we school, it's where I sew, it's where I work. So here I am sitting and looking around while Brendan takes a Math test. I put up the new bulletin board, but we haven't hung the white board yet. I just keep writing things on it as it leans against the wall.
Now I am thinking, I could at least paint these two rooms and it would drastically improve the environment. Tim wouldn't even have to do anything down here. I hate that he is constantly having to do "Home Improvements" I feel like he really needs a break. The middle floor is done for the time being. We are going to wait on the kitchen. We need to slow down on the cash outflow. The new windows are going to have to be the end of the big spending for the next few months. Well, and the storm door. The benefit from the new windows will be lost if we keep the leaky door.
Paint isn't expensive though. Not very. And I can do it myself, which is nice for Tim. And the boys can help me pick the colors.
We can hang up some of the many pictures that we have collected.
I guess I am in need of a project for the winter.
I am going to finish Lilly's quilts tonight, with any luck. Then I have nothing left in my sewing project basket!
I also have to go out and move the dog fence around so it's only around the backyard. If we do get another dog, I don't want to have them out in the front yard at all.
Oh well, guess I should get busy and get some of this done.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I should be sewing...

I am slowing down in my old age.
I was up til 1:00 this morning working on Lilly's quilt. I have the panel all quilted and the binding on and now all I have left to do is finish hand stitching. My hands are killing me! I am going to try to finish this one tonight so that I can work on the last one tomorrow. I need to start cutting and putting it together.
I am hoping to have the middle strips done by tomorrow afternoon.
Tomorrow is the end of the pool season and we will be there into the evening. We always go for one last long day, order dinner delivered and hang out until it closes. That's our Labor day tradition.The boys love it, it's our last good-bye to summer. I can't believe how fast the season has gone!

Mass was nice. We had a visiting Missionary priest from Jamaica. He told us about the devastating poverty and how hard it is to help the people. He said that the hurricane was very hard on an already poor population. They don't have homeowner's insurance.
I am hoping we can do something to help. Something more than just a donation. The Mission has a program in which they can build a house for a family for 2500.00. That's really not much money when you think about it. John leaned over at Mass and said "That would be a great Eagle Scout project." I was thinking maybe TORCH could do an outreach project to raise some of the money. If every family in the group could raise 100.00, we could build a house!

We had a great time down at the MacIntosh's today. Roger and Amanda invited everyone for a big BBQ and it was so nice! We got to see people we never see! Dan and Trish Bird and their boys, The Feddes family, a couple of people that Tim has known through work for years, and several new friends that we just got to know.
We had so much fun that we invited several of the couples over next weekend! The truth is, I had forgotten my brag book and they all wanted to see pictures of Lucy and so I invited them up to see them. I wish I could get Lucy! She's much cuter in person. Soon I'll have Lilly to show off as well!

Tuesday we are hosting a "Redwall Feast". We will set up in the back yard, decorate the surroundings and have "Redwall Food". The kids have been reading the book and this will be our final get together. I'll have to take lots of pictures.

Well I guess I will finish a quilt now. Pictures to follow.