Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Pox on the Merkels!

Well they caught us.
Yesterday morning, during his piano lesson no less, John started popping out pox all over the place. He had already had a rough morning. It was pouring like crazy when we got to Petra's house and he made a run for the porch. The porch is tiled and had no rug. Poor John slipped and landed really hard on his hip. He has a huge bruise. I was asking him about how his hip felt and he said it hurt. He raised his shirt up a little and I spotted a little blister on his side. Once they started they showed up pretty fast and furious. He felt pretty good yesterday but today he feels lousy. He is not hungry and he's itching like crazy.
Brendan was getting ready for Mass this morning. Tim had already gone and I was going to take Brendan and Paul. Brendan couldn't find a shirt to wear and I was helping him when I found a tiny blister on his back. He doesn't have very many pox but he seems like he really doesn't feel well. He has been complaining about his tummy and he just doesn't seem himself.
I think they may decide that it was all worth it in the end though, because Celeste offered to bring over their game cube and I am only going to have them do subjects that require reading tomorrow. No math. That won't be the case for the week, but for a couple of days...
John is hoping that his electronic pet will come in the mail. He ordered it a week ago with his allowance and he is very excited about it. It is a Golden Retriever and is kind of a Tamagachi sort of thing.
There has been a lot of chess and Monopoly playing in the family room. Paul loves board games and he is taking full advantage. He is turning into a little chess hound. He only beats me and I rarely play so he is very optimistic in challenging everybody else. John is getting pretty good.
I really need to get a real chess table. I keep watching for one on CL...
Well, I made an apple pie and it is calling me. I am going to go partake and then after the boys go to bed we are going to watch a movie that we borrowed from Paula. "Focus". It has William H Macy in it and I like his movies. Paula says it kind of creepy, but good.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lilly's pics...

Well, you all read Nina's blog anyway but since I was whining about not being able to post her pics, I grabbed them off Nina's blog and I am putting them on mine too.
The photographer was a rather sour young man who desperately needed a belt. Despite all of that, Lilly came through like a little star.
These babies are so cute!

I won't post the ones that I got of Lucy today though, because I know Laura wants to blog that experience herself.

Beautiful Girls!

Here are a couple of cuties!
These were taken when the cousins went out shopping together in Hagerstown yesterday.
Lucy just LOVES Lilly so much!

Lilly had her pictures done on Monday but I can't post them because I don't have them yet...Sigh...

Getting in Gear

Well after all the shenanigans with getting our insurance coverage switched to the new company that Battelle uses, I finally made an appointment with the orthodontist for John. We went for a consult last week and the little lady was practically giddy with excitement when she saw how much work will have to go into John's mouth! Actually she is very nice and John is quite anxious to get started. He is getting kind of self-conscious about his teeth.
So Monday we will be going in for the "records" appointment. Our insurance is actually better than I had thought and they will give us a pretty good jumpstart. He has to go today to get sealants on his back teeth before they start with the ortho. She told us that he will start out the first year to year and a half with headgear to straighten a very crooked palate. His palate is over about 1/2 inch so his front top teeth are not lining up with the bottom. He has to wear headgear for about 14 hours a day. Nice thing about homeschoolong, he can wear it during the day too and the doc said it will work faster. John likes that!
I'll check with John and see if we can post pictures of this little venture.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fat Cats and Math Books

Bosco cracks me up!
Every time I set down John's math book, he goes to sleep on it.
It was open on the floor earlier and he laid down on it. As soon as John finished I set it on the desk to finish correcting later and he crawled onto it and went to sleep. He's been there all afternoon. I don't have the heart to wake him up, so I guess John is off the hook until tomorrow. I wonder if they have a deal...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, Monday...

Ah, the joys of Monday!
It wasn't really too bad a day actually.

We always seem to drag through school on Monday and today the boys got right to it without even being asked! Of course, John had an investigation in Math, which he loves. Brendan was all about doing his music and Typing Pal. He is really getting the Piano. I can't wait for the recital.
I keep waiting for John to hit the proverbial brick wall in his math book. Last year we had a much harder time. This year he just keeps cooking along and he is getting excellent scores on his lessons and A's on his tests. He is writing a lot more this year and that is a challenge, but I think he is enjoying the process a lot more than he would be without the IEW program.

Paul doesn't seem to think that school is for real yet. I think he thinks this is all just a diverting game and that when he decides that he doesn't want to play anymore, he is just going to be able to opt out. Hmmm... Well, in the meantime he is making amazing progress.

We had our art group today and the older kids, my little group, had to draw from what they learned last year. I had them use three of the artistic principles that we studied last year and draw something that they really love. In the Spring I am going to have them draw the same thing again, using the new things that they learn this year so that they can see the difference.
One of the girls drew a beautiful sunset with pastels. Don't know how she is going to improve on that one.

Then we went out to the Mall to help Nina with Lilly as she got her pictures done. She doesn't ever complain when we take pictures of her, but she didn't like this guy! He just made her unhappy and vice versa.
The pictures did come out really cute. Such a pretty little girl.
The boys had to hang out and couldn't get near the baby, so we treated them to pizza to thank them for their cooperation. They were quite happy about that.

No scouts tonight. Aw shoot! Not really...
We do have Karate tomorrow night, I have a meeting on Weds. and one on Thursday. Gee, maybe we'll be able to sit down to dinner on Friday night.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Laura is an Angel!

Nina and I both agree.
Her generosity and willingness to share her time and talent are so special. I am so impressed with all the things that she does so well and the way she shares these things with everyone.
Her little business is taking off and I love the little shirts! I gave one to Lilly and it is so sweet.
We had a very nice time this weekend and Laura really gave her all to make everyone feel loved!
Thanks Laura for being such a special daughter, sister, wife and mom. We love you!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pilgrimage to the Seton Shrine

Today was our long awaited field trip to Emmitsburg, to visit the site of the home and school that was built by St Elizabeth Ann Seton.
We had gone there a few years ago, but the two younger boys really don't remember it.
It is such a special place. The grounds are beautiful this time of year and the Basilica and the historic buildings are so amazing.
To think that Mother Seton lived and did her work right in those rooms!
I couldn't take pictures in the main house, which was a shame because it is so well preserved and has so many wonderful artifacts inside.
I did take pictures in the stone house though. It was the house that the small community first lived in while the bigger house was being built. My camera was not really cooperating very well and so I didn't try to take too many indoor pictures.

The kids loved ringing the bells!
The place is just such an inspiration to us in our lives as the teachers of our children. Mother Seton raised up her children the way God wished and then she went on to do all the other things He asked! She never said "No, that's just asking too much." She did what He called her to do and she had the Grace to do it. I am awed by her Faith and fortitude.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Pray for us!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogger Tech

I want to figure out how to put video on my blog. I know I have to upload it somewhere, and that is my problem. My video camera and my computer are not very compatible. I mean, technically they are, but this poor computer has a severe case of fog most of the time and running anything very large through it is a chore and extremely tedious. I just want to use a USB and plug it in to the computer and upload that way. Maybe there is an easier way to do it with the laptop.
I want to be able to put up the fun stuff we are doing and also things the boys are accomplishing.
They are all doing so well on the piano and they have written some neat stuff that I would like to have them read to the camera. We are going to the Shrine in Emmitsburg on Friday and that will provide some really neat moments.
Oh Well. Technology is a nasty addiction. There is always something better and more efficient. It's always beckoning. I am just a junkie and I always want more and better. I can always justify it too! Can't do that with every habit. I'll just have to sit and drool for awhile longer until my camera dies and I can justify another one. If it records a little video, so much the better.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chickenpox or no Chickenpox....

So our friends the Hoppels have come down with the Chickenpox.
The boys have not been immunized because I think it's silly to immunize them for something as benign as the Chickenpox. Their immune systems have enough to deal with.
They were at the Hoppels house on Friday...

OK, scratch that, so to speak.
While I was writing that bit of the post, Paul managed to stick a very small Lego up his nose.
John yelled from the other room, "Mom, Paul just stuck something up his nose!" Paul was wailing and I tried to get him to tell me what it was. I told him to blow his nose and that didn't budge it. I know better than to mess with anything stuck in any part of a body, so I called the doctor, who told me that no, they don't do that, get him to the ER. UGH! So I told the boys to get ready to go and then, as I was driving out of the driveway it occurred to me that the more people we took the ER, the better chance we had of bringing home something nastier than the Chickenpox. The only person I could call that wouldn't be concerned about the boys' possibly incubating Chickenpox, was Paula, whose kids already have them! So I dropped John and Brendan off at the Hoppels and took Paul to the ER. After sitting around for a couple of hours on a VERY busy Monday, we were finally seen by a wonderful young lady doc. She took a pair of very LONG tweezers and handily removed a bright blue Lego piece from Paul's nostril. He was very happy that it was over and he didn't have to wait anymore to see how much it was going to hurt. It didn't really.
And, since the boys spent a couple of hours at Chickenpox Central, we will be watching for that as well.
I guess God decided for us. There will be updates.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Frostburg Weekend

It has been a very relaxing day today, up here in western MD.
We decided last week, that will all the home improvements we have been doing lately, the only way to have a relaxing weekend would be to leave town altogether. So we packed everybody up, filled up Bosco's food and water(cats are so easy! Why on earth do I want a dog?), cleaned his box and headed upstate. The Fall weather is definitely here. The leaves are just beginning to turn and it is just gorgeous !
We came up for the Autumn Glory Festival, which is held out in Oakland, MD. Oakland is over in the neck of MD kind of sandwiched in between Pennsylvania and West Va. It is really a pretty upscale area. The is a ski resort and a huge lake that draws all the rich folk from B'more and DC up here on the weekends. The hills are so pretty all decked out in red, yellow and gold.
The Festival is quite an event. It involves pretty much the whole town. There is a parade, an Autumn Glory Queen, a concert and a Banjo competition. They also have things going on at all the schools. Arts and Crafts vendors. Antiques and a Quilt show as well.
The traffic was horrendous, because we got there just before the parade started. There are people in every front yard hawking parking spots for 5 or 10 $. Hilarious. People were very nice though.
We got lunch for the boys and then went out to watch a bit of the parade. Brendan and Paul were so amazing today! They had a LONG ride in the car to get there. Had to put up with waiting for lunch and standing around waiting for the parade to start. I was so proud of them.
Then we went to the Arts and craft areas and shopped for awhile. Paul got some finger puppets and Brendan got a wooden Cobra. John had stayed with Tim to work on Andrew's truck. He doesn't do very well on long car rides.
We did some more exploring and then headed home. Tim and Andrew were elbow deep in truck parts and grease, so we had to wait quite a while until they were ready to go to the pizza place. We had pizza for dinner and then I treated the boys to some games in the arcade, which was a first! They had earned it!
We will head home tomorrow after Mass and get back to all the details of life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If you don't see another movie all year...

Don't miss "Bella"! It is a joy and a light for everyone who goes to see it!
At a conference that I attended this summer it was previewed and everyone loved it! It is going be released on October 26th, and will hopefully reach most theaters.
Such a beautiful story....
Take someone you love.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Last night Nina and I took Lilly back to the dr. The poor little girl is still fighting the bilirubin battle. The Doctor gave us several possibilities as to why this is dragging on for so long. One of them is called Breastmilk Jaundice. It is apparently a low risk but persistent issue. The treatment is to stop breastfeeding for a period of time and then the level apparently drops off and doesn't rise again. Poor Nina and Lilly. Today has been very confusing for Lilly and very frustrating for Nina. She can't wait for tonight to get here so she can make Lilly a happy baby again. Lilly is NOT a fan of formula. Nina says she keeps looking at her like "What is this and why are you trying to make me eat it?" She has been spewing the smelly stuff all over all day.
Her level did drop today and will hopefully continue downward.

In other news, we have done a few things to the house.
First, the front windows have been replaced and the inside and outside looks so much better. The big payoff will hopefully come with a lower oil bill this winter. The old ones were single pane.
Then Tim installed a new storm door. We are hoping that it will also improve the insulation in the house.
I have also been painting the basement. We haven't done it since we moved in and it was just a plain white. Laura and I went to Home Depot and picked out a couple of what we thought were complimentary colors. The base is a taupe and for the accents something called "Sweet Georgia Brown." It is a really pretty brown on the sample. Well, when I got it home and started putting it on the walls I could see that there is just no way that we are calling it brown. It really is a kind of an Olive green. I am ok with it, however, because we are now fully immersed in the Scouting program and the colors have "scouts" written all over them. Bosco is not amused.

I am almost done with the basement and then I am going to get to work on the hallway upstairs. It is really nasty!
Hmm...wonder what color I will end up painting it?