Sunday, August 31, 2008

Some people have a vacation home, but we have the ER!!!

I am the world's biggest idiot. Seriously.

Kyley has health issues. She has asthma, pretty bad, and she also has a threatening reaction to fire-ant bites. She carries an inhaler and an epi-pen, and if she gets a cold, her asthma reacts, and she has to take nebulizer treatments. In 4th grade, she was out of school for 2 weeks, and it was TERRIBLE! She had to take the neb. treatments 6 times per day. We've had to take her to the ER twice for asthma attacks, and she also takes morning and night time allergy meds for dust-mites. We pulled out the carpets in the whole house for her, and she has hypo-allergenic bedding.

I recently refilled ALL of her meds, which I do yearly, to make sure nothing is expired when she needs to use it. (mainly her epi-pen). So, She got 6 total. inhaler, epi-pen, daily asthma steroid, morning allergy, night-time allergy, and neb-treatment (just in case). We decided that for her emergency meds (inhaler and epi-pen), she should have 3 this year. In middle-school, they don't keep them in the classroom, and she is not the best at making sure she has the stuff with her. So, we decided we would keep 1 at home, 1 in her purse, and 1 in her locker, which the school can get into if she forgets her purse.

The epi-pen comes in packs of 2. So, I needed to make sure that she had 1 more that was not expired. I was looking in our medicine cabinet, which is a high cabinet in our kitchen. It is high enough that I need a chair to get into it. So, I was standing on a chair in the kitchen and I found it. For some reason, it was not in the protective cover. But, I picked it up with my left hand, and needed to read the fine print to see if it was expired. Some-how, while trying to look for the expiration date, above my head, standing on a chair, my right hand pulled off the safety, and it discharged into the palm of my left hand. Fully. OUCH!!! This is a fairly long, thick needle, and my hand was a bloody mess. My palm immediately created a large bubble of epi-fluid, and I could feel the stuff burning as it went up into my wrist and then up into my arm. OH THE PAIN!!!

I cried. And then I quickly got on the internet to find out what was going to happen. I saw this. Everything said NEVER inject epi-pen into your hand, and you can lose circulation, and seek immediate medical attention. I was scared, and in pain, and Rick and I set out to our home away from home, the ER. Fortunately, we were there for only 2 hours. Fortunately it was an epi-pen "JR.", fortunately, nothing bad happened to my hand. Except for the intense pain, which continues to throb in my hand and up my arm into my shoulder. We left with a good dose of vicodin, and an RX for more, which I am trying not to fill, because I don't have insurance. But, I may just fill this RX, because of the PAIN I am still experiencing. This was last night at 8:30pm, and now is today at 1:00pm, and I HURT plus, I have been working on this post for 2 hours 1-handed. Oh, and the swelling.

The doc. told me to take the engagement ring off, and I almost wish I had listened, because instead of losing circulation to my left hand due to epi-injection, I may just lose circulation to my left ring-finger due to engagement ring that used to fit.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tricky, tricky

Dear Obama,

I still love you, and you still have my vote. Now do you see why you needed Hillary? I'm just a little ticked off at you right now. I'll get over it.



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Was this on purpose?

And an Andrew update:

Andrew: My favorite class is my ass class.


Andrew: Yeah, my ass class, it's my favorite. The teacher is really nice.


Rick: What's an ass class?

Andrew: DADDY!!!! I said AAAZZZ.

Rick: Well, what's an azzz class?

Andrew: You know, az. Academic Support. Look, it's on my schedule. A.S.

High Honor Roll

Rainia: Kyley, You are not even an "A" student! You're an "A,B" student.

Kyley: So! Either are you.

Rick: Rainia, that was mean.

Me: Rainia, That WAS mean. Why would you say that?

Rainia: It's true.

Me: So What! It's not a nice thing to say, and anyway, there is nothing wrong with getting a "B"

Rainia: Well, she shouldn't pretend she is then.

Kyley: I never said I was an "A" student!

Rainia: Then why do you have that book?


Rainia: What? She shouldn't.

Bed-time and Boobs


Caution- If you are offended by the word Breast, do not read the rest of this update. SERIOUSLY! If the following sentence repulses you: Babies suck on boobs. STOP READING!!! I’M NOT KIDDING!! Sore boob, droopy boob, Babies bite boobs. SEE? I WARNED YOU!

I am pro-breastfeeding. After nursing 4 kids, including twins, I should be the president of the LaLeche League. I believe that breast milk is best for babies, and I chose to nurse all of my kids. I nursed my first daughter for 11 months. I also slept with her. I am not a co-sleeping nazi, I’m just lazy. As a nursing mother, I could not bring myself to get out of bed in the middle of the night. So, she slept in the bed with me, and when she woke up, I stuck a boob in her mouth and she fell back asleep. She nursed for 11 months, never had a bottle, and then switched to a sippy-cup without any problems. When she started sleeping through the night, she also started sleeping in her crib.

Rainia never really took to nursing, try as I might. She spent the first 5 days of her life in the NICU, which is a whole other blog story. Anyway, they gave her a bottle, I was pissed, Bottles are easier then boob to get milk out of, and she didn’t want to nurse. I did manage to nurse her (sometimes) and only feed her breast-milk in her bottle for 4 months. After that, she switched to formula. Rainia never slept with me. She slept through the night from the day I brought her home from the hospital. She actually rarely cried at all.

Now for the boys. My stubborn boys are a nursing horror story. They too, nursed exclusively. They rarely had a bottle, and from the beginning, I managed a system of being able to nurse them at the same time. It looked insane, but had they been on different schedules, that is what my whole life would consist of. They also slept with me. At that point, the ex and I were living separate lives, and he slept on the couch, freeing up my bed for me and the boys, so that my laziness could take effect. Unfortunately though, I actually had to sit-up in the middle of the night to nurse them.

Then, they got older, and I tried to wean them. This didn’t work. They cried and cried and threw cups on the floor, and sobbed, and it broke my heart. So I nursed them some more. Then they got older, and were walking and talking, and I tried to wean them. And they followed me around the house, and lifted my shirt up, and ASKED TO NURSE!!! They cried, and they cried and so I went on vacation and left them with my mother. I was gone for 4 nights, and 5 days, and they were 18 months old. I figured that they would forget about nursing while I was gone, and be weaned. I was wrong. When I got back, they attacked me, and cried, and threw themselves on the floor, and pulled up my shirt, and I tried to resist, and after 3 hours of endless sobbing, I gave in.

The boys nursed until they were 2 years and 1 month old. I would NOT recommend this to anybody. In fact, I STRONGLY discourage nursing your kid for 2 years and 1 month. When your kid walks over to your chair, gets in your lap, tells you its time to nurse, and pulls your shirt up, STOP NURSING!!! It sucked. Literally.

So, me and the boys had crib issues, and then we had toddler-bed issues, and then when Rick and his kids moved in, no one wanted to share a room with the boys because they cried, and we let them sleep in the living room. With the TV on. And I would NOT recommend this to anybody either. And, I know I’m a lazy parent, and I’m not trying to make excuses, but 7 kids are hard, and cancer is hard, and the last thing I wanted to do when I was exhausted at the end of the night was to fight with 2 boys, and now I’m paying for it.

They are school kids now, and need a bedtime, and don’t need to fall asleep in front of the TV, and are having a hard time because they don’t know how to sleep. So please, I know its my own fault, but pray for me, or send well-wishes, or cross your fingers, whatever you do. Last night they both slept through the night IN THEIR OWN BED!!! FOR THE FIRST TIME. And I have been working on this for TEN NIGHTS! And I got full nights sleep, and I feel great, and I want it to happen again tonight.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Looking Up

Pressure Switch= $30
Waterproof sealant= $5
Missing a day of work= $?
My fiance knowing how to pull up 100 ft. of well and fix it so we don't have to call and pay a specialized plumber= PRICELESS!!!


"Fay" hit us last night, and we have flood warnings until 1:30, and a tornado watch until 7:00pm. Our Air-Conditioner froze up last night, our roof is leaking, and this morning we woke up to no water. Rick is trying to work on the well in the pouring rain. One of the dogs is in-heat and bleeding all over, and the other has some kind of itchy, stinky skin disorder.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I had a Job?

6:30- woke up after a restless night of Jacob not sleeping and a stupid cat using our window as it's door.

6:45- took out Rainia's curlers she slept in which was a DISASTER!!! Put her in the shower to relax the afro

7:00- braided her hair instead

7:30- Left the house

7:50- Dropped off Brooke and Brittney

8:00- Dropped off Kyley and Andrew

8:15- Dropped off Rainia (LATE)

8:25- Got back home

8:30- Said goodbye to Rick

9:00- Called Dr. office to reschedule the time of Josh's suture removal

9:05- Fed boys

9:30- Bathed Boys

10:00- Dressed Boys

10:15- Searched for insurance card

10:30- Left for Dr. Office

12:00- Left Dr. Office

12:30-1:15- A very nice lunch with boys

1:30- Went to shop to talk to Rick

2:00- Arrived home, checked my e-mail, and quickly posted an update

2:30- Left to go pick up kids

2:50- Stuck in car-pick-up line for 25 minutes

3:15- Get Kyley and Andrew

3:30- Get Brooke and Brittney

3:50- Arrive home

4:00- Homework, snacks, signing papers, talked about days.

5:00- Cook dinner, eat

6:10- Leave for Cheerleading

6:30- Drop Brooke, Brittney, Rainia off at Gym

6:40- Arrive at Barn with Kyley

6:55- Wash a big, stubborn horse

7:45- Finish with the grooming and saddle-up a big, stubborn horse

7:55- Laugh as Kyley tries to control a big stubborn horse.

8:15- Leave barn

8:25- Arrive at Gym and laugh at our girls enduring physical torture

8:30- Leave Gym

8:50- Arrive home

9:00- Read Story to boys and sit in their room waiting on them to fall asleep.

9:30- Say goodnight to other kids and go back into boys room to sit and wait (with this trusty laptop) on them to fall asleep.....

Someone tell me why I was looking FORWARD to this!!!!!

Oh yeah, and soft-ball tryouts start tomorrow for Brooke, and the boys want to play pee-wee football. Also, Josh has been referred for private speech therapy, which should start any day now. If I don't write anymore, it's because I ran away. Far, far away.

And, how did I do this when I was working?

They don't get no fine dinin at home

Josh got his stitches out today, and was talking to the PA the whole time she was taking them out. She said to him, at the end, "Do you know how unusual it is for a kid to get stitches out without crying or anything? You're tough." And then he said "That's cause I'm 45 pounds!" and then he said "Do ya want to feel how stwong I am?" and he made his muscle, which he likes to do.

Then we went out to eat, and Josh thought it was his special day, but really I was celebrating having 5 LESS KIDS!!!!!

We went to our local buffet, and Jake cracked me up by eating a whole plate of shrimp with cock-tail sauce, and then asking for another one. Then he by-passed all the cakes, cookies, candies, and ice-cream, opting instead for a bowl of hot-fudge. I started to tell him absolutely not, until he explained to me that he was going to go get strawberries from the fruit table to dip in his sauce. And I said "Boy, that is the best idea you have had all day." And then I joined him. He certainly doesn't eat shrimp or chocolate-covered-strawberries at my house, so now I know how he is living the good life over at Grand-ma's, and I'm jealous.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


A Little background info. before you read this story:

Josh pulls his teeth out. Before they are ready. He must have an incredible pain tolerance, because I'm not talking about they are really loose, and he gives it a little pull. I am talking about AS SOON as he gets a loose tooth, he rips it out. He creates a hole in his gum, and it bleeds. a lot. He has done this 3 times. He clenches his eyes shut, grunts, and rips it out. Jacob doesn't do this. He is normal. If Jake gets a loose tooth, it takes probably 2 weeks from the first notice of jiggle, until the tooth is ready to come out. Josh goes 3 days, tops. The particular tooth in this story was not ready to be loose. He slipped in the dining room, and hit his mouth on the table. His gum started bleeding, on the side of this one tooth, and the tooth gave the tiniest little wiggle.

We had 5 orientations in 1 evening. At elementary school, grades 1-5 orientation was at 5:00-6:00pm. Kindergarten was at 6:00-7:00pm. Middle School orientation was also 6:00pm. I dropped off the boys' kindergarten physical papers at elementary earlier in the day. I explained that we had Middle school orientation at the same time, and the secretary told me that she would post class lists at 4:30. That is what orientation at elementary is. They post the class lists, and then everybody rushes the list, finds their kids name, and finds the teacher's classroom. Then, you hurry to the classroom and assault the teacher introduce your kid. If someone else gets to the classroom first, you push them onto the floor wait your turn.

So, I was told that they would post the lists at 4:30pm. We thought we would have enough time to navigate through the crowd at elementary school, and still get to middle school in time. We all put on our jogging shoes to prepare for our amazing race, and got to elementary at 4:20. Guess what? They didn't post the list. So we waited. Josh got restless, and asked me to pull out his tooth. I felt it, and it had a very slight jiggle, so I told him no, it was not ready, and please don't pull it out. Then the kids went to play on the playground while we waited.

We were sitting on the bench in front of the office, and Kyley's/Rainia's Kindergarten teacher shows up. She tells us that she has Joshua, and we laugh, because when Kyley was in her kindergarten class the boys were born and she brought them in for "show and tell". Now, 5 years later, she has one of them in her class. She tells me that she thinks I did the right thing by separating them. She goes into the kindergarten building, and Rainia comes running up to tell us that Josh's mouth is bleeding. A lot. Josh is right behind her, smiling, with a very bloody mouth, holding his tooth. There is nothing I could do about it now, so I find an envelope in my purse to put his tooth in, and Kyley takes him into the bathroom to wash him up. They go into the gym to play, and Josh his tooth out of the envelope and loses it. He was very upset, so they help him look for it, but can’t find it.

At exactly 5:00pm, they post the class lists. By some miracle, 4th grade is posted right behind where we are sitting, and we quickly locate Rainia’s name. She is SO excited, because she gets the teacher that she wanted. Kyley’s last year teacher has moved from 5th to 4th grade, and Rainia is ecstatic that she got her. We are one of the first people to get to her classroom, and we don’t even have to fight anyone to talk to her.

We head to the Kindergarten building, and I am pissed, because they have it locked. Rick leaves me, Rainia, Jake, and Josh at elem. School, and heads to Middle school with Andrew and Kyley. I am sulking, and know that I have to wait 45 min. for Kinder. building to open, so I take the kids into the gym to run around. I look down, and there is Josh’s tooth.

Finally, 6:00 rolls around, and we meet the boys’ teachers. Jake has one that I don’t know, which is weird, because this is my 7th year at elem. School. We head over to Middle sch., and there is a line down the block to get in. Rick is already inside, so I don’t wait in line, I go in the out door. When I get inside, I see what the line is for. Yes, the class lists. Another amazing race. I elbow my way over to the list, and find my kids’ names. Yes people, I am a line-breaker. I am looking for the classrooms when I spot my very tall fiancĂ© over everybody’s heads. Yeah! He says they have already met all the teachers, and I am disappointed, plus have a habit of needing to hear things first hand, so they get to meet their teachers twice, and guess what people, there posted on the board, is ANOTHER supply list. Just when I thought I was finished, MORE school supplies.

Andrew only has 2 kids that he knows in his homeroom, which concerns us, but as I am talking to the teacher I realize that she is a REAL teacher. Yes, CrackWest Middle School has REAL TEACHERS!!!! She seems very kind and sort of goofy, which I just love. Then we meet Kyley’s teacher, and she is in all classes with AIG kids. In elem. Sch. She was taken out of her normal classroom once a week to go to AIG (academically, intellectually, gifted?) And now in middle school, she will spend all day, every day in higher level classes.

So, all in all, we are feeling much better about our kids attending CrackWest Middle School, and they all can’t wait to start tomorrow. Sadly though, I was reminded that they do this phase-in thing for kinder., where half the class has a half-day and then the other half of the class has a half-day. So the boys have a half day on Wed., and then start regular school on Thur., and I was SO looking forward to my not having to be with kids all day everyday starting on Mon., and now I have to wait 3 more days for my break.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Parenting 101 lesson 5

How to turn very inexpensive binders into "cool" ones.

In our home, we simply cannot afford to get the cool school supplies. Our kids use brown #2 pencils, plain notebooks, etc. The only thing that they get to choose is their back-pack. So I have at least found a way to make their binders look "cool". And, they worked hard on these, improving their computer skills at the same time, as an added bonus.

They simply placed pics onto a word document, and moved them around until they had them where they wanted them. I bought the cheapest binders I could find with a clear front pocket. So, they don't get the trapper-keepers, or the 5-star binders, or anything with cool designs. But, they do get unique, one-of-a-kind school binders that their friends can oooh and aaah over.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Love Aveda

Also, I have been out of my favorite hair products for 2 or 3 months and have been using drug-store brands. With all of this getting the kids ready for school I have been doing, I felt like I deserved a reward when I finally finished yesterday. So, I treated myself to:

-Refill of Aveda Volumizing Tonic
-Travel size Aveda Pure Abundance hair spray
-Aveda classic Paddle Brush. (Mine is 13 years old.)

And can I just say that my hair looks incredible!

School Shopping update


Forgot Khols $13

Grand Total= $658

Divided by 7 = $94 /kid

Still awesome!

School Shopping

I am done with all of my “school shopping” supplies, clothes, shoes, everything. So here goes.

Boys Kindergarten list (I had to double everything)
1 large box of kleenex
book bag (no wheels)
towel for resting
8 glue sticks
1 plastic pencil bag
1 3-hole pocket folder
1 box of baby wipes
1 box of disinfectant wipes
1 box of 8 jumbo crayons
1 box of ziplock bags (gallon-boys, quart-girls)
1 dry erase marker
1 large bottle of hand sanitizer
1 can of tennis balls

Rainia 4th Grade list
4 dozen #2 pencils
4 packs wide-ruled paper
3 3-prong folders
1 3-subject notebook
1 plastic pencil pouch
1 1-in 3-ring binder
1 box of 24 crayons
2 boxes of kleenex
2 containers of anti-bacterial wipes
1 pack of pencil top erasers
2 plastic folders with pockets
1 box of ziplock bags (gallon or quart)

Kyley and Andrew 6th grade list (I had to double everything)
4 Expo Markers
Regular wooden Pencils
Pencil Pouch
2 pk subject dividers
Loose leaf paper
5 single subject spiral notebooks
1 composition notebook
2 pocket folders with prongs
1 hand held pencil sharpener
2 boxes of tissues
2 bottles of hand sanitizer

Brooke and Brittney 8th grade list (I had to double everything)
Language Arts
1 – spiral bound notebook
2 – red ink pens
Social Studies
1 - 3-subject spiral notebook
Colored pencils (to keep in classroom)
2 glue sticks
2 rolls scotch tape
1- 1½ or 2 in. binder
1 pkg. 5 dividers
3 composition books (not spiral bound)
2 pkgs. Post It notes (different colors)
1 pkg. 3x5 index cards
Paper towels
Hand soap
Book cover
2 rolls scotch tape
Headphones (to use with computers in class)
1- 1½ in. binder
1 pkg. 5 dividers
General Supplies (for all classes)
Loose leaf notebook paper!!!!
Personal pencil sharpener
Blue or black ink pens
Back pack (must fit in locker)
$5 for lock (all locks must be purchased from the school)
For classroom use
1 pkg. white copy paper
Quart size Ziploc bags (boys)
Gallon size Ziploc bags (girls)
Unscented baby wipes

All kids needed new clothes, shoes, underwear book-bags, etc.

How I accomplished this:

Thrift Store : $ 220
Flea Market : $ 25
Dollar Tree : $ 56
Target : $ 20
Steve & Barry's : $ 10
Ross: $ 51
T.J. Maxx: $ 7
Hot Topic: $ 27
Rugged Wear House: $ 22
Walmart: $ 160 $ 33
Ebay: $ 14

Grand Total = $ 645

Divide by 7 kids = $ 92 /kid.

I am awesome!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Still laughing

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. We took 5-year-old Josh to the ER to get stitches, and he wants to sew up his own leg. 13-year-old Brooke goes to help and passes out. lolol. Maybe we can get her out of dissecting anything this year.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our latest jaunt to the ER

So I can't write about the part that I wasn't there for. I will start with earlier in the day, because for some reason, I guess the first time I wasn't there in an emergency, I feel like I need to justify why. We took the boys to get their "first-day" new clothes. It took hours, thanks to Jacob who is pickier and more fashion conscience than any of our girls. When we got home, we dropped them off, and had to bring Kyley to the barn. She had a rodeo the night before, which, by the way, Montana messed up in, broke the pattern, and she was disqualified. Anyway, she had to go to the barn to put her stuff away. Then we had to go to the shop and get everything ready for Rick to not go to work the next day. He took a day off to do some wedding stuff with me. Then, we went to the grocery store. So we get home, and Rainia is outside in her new school clothes. I was mad, but didn't even have time to deal with it, because I hear that Grand-ma took Josh to the ER.

I freaked out, ran to grab the insurance info, and we drive quickly to little town hospital. They tell us what room he is in, and we find him. When we walked in, Josh was in the bed with his little knee peeking out of a sterile cover, and the dr. is sewing him up with a very thick curved needle. Grand-ma and Brooke are standing there watching, and the dr. has to keep telling Josh to move his little hands, because he is sitting up, and trying to help. Josh is in a great mood, and tells us that he was "wunnin weawwy, weawwy fast. Supa fast. As fast as I could. Then I twied to jump on ma window, and I fell on a big, pointy wock."

So I asked to clarify, "Did you just say that you jumped out of your window?"

"No" he says, "I was twyin to jump IN da window. An I fell, on a big pointy wock."

The dr. is laughing, and keeps telling us how cute Josh is, and how he didn't cry or anything. And keeps telling Josh to move his hands, because for some reason, he wants to help sew his own leg up. Then the dr. tells Brooke to sit down. I hadn't noticed, but sure enough, I look, and Brooke is white, almost green, and doesn't look so well.

Brooke and my Mom leave the room, and a few minutes later, we see Brooke roll by in a wheelchair, pushed quickly by a nurse. A minute later, a nurse runs in and says, "Mom, your daughter just passed out cold and threw-up all over herself. We need your help in here." So I run in, and Brooke is admitted in another room, and is covered with vomit. Literally covered. It is in her hair, on her glasses, covering her chest and lap, and between her toes. Covered. They explain that she passed out and then vomited. She acts like she doesn't really know where she is, or what happened. "Is Josh OK?" she says.

"Josh is fine, but you're not." I tell her. The nurse actually CUTS Brooke's clothes off of her, because of the amount of vomit they are covered in. They bring me towels to wash her up, and she doesn't know what is going on, or why she is covered in vomit. I am trying to hold back my own vomit as I am washing the threw-up out of every nook and cranny on her body. My mom comes in and explains that Brooke threw-up all over HER, and she was washing herself up in the bathroom. She is very concerned, and says that she thought Brooke actually had a seizure, not just fainted, because of the way her eyes rolled back in her head, and her body was jerking.

My mom and I finish washing Brooke up, and I put one hospital-gown on her, front-to-back, and then another, back-to-front, so that she is completely covered. The dr. comes in to check on Brooke. She finally understands that she passed-out, but doesn't know why, because she explains how she did so good helping Josh, and actually even leaned over him in the room while he got his numbing shot so that he didn't see the needle. She explains that if she was going to pass-out, it should have been when the skin on his knee was hanging off, and they actually folded it back to scrub inside of it. The nurse suggests that she was to busy being strong for Josh, and when the parents got there she could finally relax, and that was when the adrenaline hit her.

My mom takes Brooke home, and I go back into Josh's. Rick is sitting with him, repeatedly telling him to keep his leg down, and his hands away from his knee. We leave there with an anti-biotic, a very tough little boy, and the knowledge that med. school or nursing are absolutely not in Brooke's future.

Josh's knee = 7 strong stitches

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Changes, changes.

We have been busy. Very busy. This is a non-stop time for us, with the wedding stuff, back to school, and work. We made a VERY important decision that I am excited about. We have decided that I will not be going back to my school job this year. I love my job, and I love the extra income it provides, but the hours just don't work for our family. Last year (and the year prior) I wasn't getting home until 6:30 at night. 8:00 on field-trip nights. My girls were in after-school daycare, and the boys were in all day daycare. Rick would leave the shop at 2:30 to get Andrew and his girls were in an after-school program. He would actually lock the doors of the shop for an hour, and then take Andrew back with him. Then, he would leave again at 4:45, get Brooke and Brit at 5, and Ky and Rain at 5:30. I would get off work and get Jake and Josh, meeting the others at home.

With the boys going to kindergarden this year, we have decided that the best thing will be for me to work at the shop during the day, and leave at 2:30 pick up Brooke and Brit, and meet all the other kids at home, who will take the bus. I will be helping them with their homework, and hopefully that will take care of the issues we had last year with some low grades. Rick will not have to close the car-lot in the middle of the day, and no kids will have to go back to the car-lot to sit. Although I will miss the income, I am very excited to be spending the extra time with my kids.

We are putting "all of our eggs in one basket" so to speak, and hoping that the car-lot will support all of us. But with the wedding approaching, it is time to let go of the single-parent thing that I have been holding onto for so long. I finally feel like I don't have to do EVERYTHING. It's really a win-win decision for everyone, especially the kids. I will be able to focus a lot more time and energy on them, without having to work to support them.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Crack town here we come

We are trying to get 7 kids ready for school, and it is hard but fun. I thought it was bad last year when we had to get 5 kids ready for school. Now with the boys heading off to kindergarden, we need 7 backpacks. We need 7 new pairs of shoes. (It actually came out to more, because the girls got 2 pairs) We need new school-clothes for 7. School supplies. Haircuts. I have been doing a lot on ebay and amazon, and we are headed to the flea-market today. This is expensive, but it is also a really fun time for them. They don't often get new clothes/shoes etc., and I love to see the excitement in their eyes. Also I remember school shopping as a kid. I loved it.

We made a decision on where to send the kids this year, and I am struggling with the decision we made. Our town (let's call it little town) is in 2 different couties (let's call them redneck county and crack county.) The county line is 1 mile up the country road. The majority of little town is located in redneck county, and we have a redneck county mailing address, but we live in crack county. The closest store is 2.5 miles, and on the redneck side of the county line. The elementary school is 12 miles in the crack county district.

The middle and high schools in little town are very good, and are located in redneck county. The middle and high schools in crack county are not very good schools, and are much further from us. It used to be, that when you had a little town address, your kids went to little town schools. Unfortunately, a few years back, little town schools merged with redneck county schools. They fought the merger, but little town could not stand up to redneck county. Now they are very strict on where your house is located, and even if you have a little town address, if you are in crack county, you have to go to crack county schools.

Rick's brother lives in little town, in the redneck county district. We strongly considered using his address so that our kids could attend redneck county schools. The pros of this decision are that they are much closer to us, much safer, and receive much higher scores. The cons are that the kids elementary, so all of their friends are going to crack county. Also the little town bus wont run to our house any more. It stops 1 mile up at the county line. And most importantly, the kids would have to lie about their address.

Now I know that if you are going to tell a lie, this is a perfectly good reason to. This is the kids education we are talking about. Also their safety. But, this is not a one-time lie. The kids would have to tell this lie on every form they fill out, every teacher that asks. Every field-trip form, Every medical form, even their friends, just in case. We looked into how much it would cost to legally send our kids to little town schools, and it is $1200 per kid per year. We have 7 kids. This is just not an option for us.

So after much deliberation, we decided to send our kids to crack county schools, and hope for the best. We are especially worried about Andrew. Rick and I drove down to crack town middle school, because we had never been there. We found it, navigating through the projects (I am not kidding), and I cried. There were broken beer and wine bottles everwhere, and their equipment was all rusted out. The field was overgrown, and the little running-track used to be paved, probably years ago and is now over-grown with grass and weeds. I'm sad.

Now don't get me wrong, I have had many people tell me that their kids went to crack town school with no problems, but I have also heard horror strories. Crack town has a gang problem. I'm sad and I'm scared. But, on a lighter note, the kids are ecstatic that they get to stay with their friends. Also, Brooke and Brittney will get to finish out their IB charter program, and will meet up with the other's in crack town high school.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I swear they love each other!

A conversation I overheard today between Jacob and Rainia

Jake: I'm gonna wear a suitcase in the wedding. And a tie.

Rainia: You're going to wear a suitcase?

Jake: Yeah, it's black. And a tie.

Rainia: Oh, you mean a SUIT.

Jake: And a tie.

Rainia: Well, I'm gonna wear a tiarra, because I'm going to be a princess.

Jake: You gonna be a ugly princess.

Rainia: Well, you're the ugliest troll in the world.

Jake: Is my teacher gonna be nice at kindergarden?

Rainia: You're teacher's gonna be SO nice. If you say I'm the prettiest princess in the world you can play with my slinky.

Jake: OK. You're the pretty princess.

Rainia: In the world.

Jake: Oh never mind.