Takin' It Easy

Memorial Day Weekend 2010
The kids last day of school was appropriately placed right before the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial start of Summer.  Time for a restart.

My husband reminded me that life is about living.  I have a tendency to take too much to heart and let it linger there.  Before I realize it, I'm sulking and depressed.  He surprised me by having an impromptu get together/cookout!  He was all sneaky, sneaky and invited some friends we haven't seen in a while.  Having them come by really brought my spirits up. We live so far away from everyone we usually end up staying at home and not getting out much.

I throughly enjoyed it.  This whole weekend has been a welcome wake up for me.  I'm definitely going to be spending more time living.  And now is the perfect time for getting out!  Kids on vacation, summer time is here!

Summer!!

Summer is so close that I can see it from here!  I can't wait to get out and camp and spend time with the kiddos.  Today is the last day of school for them.  They tried to convince me last night that they didn't have to stay all day.  They tried to tell me that I could come pick them up early.  I didn't fall for it!  I know they aren't doing much of anything today, but I'm still going to make them endure the whole last day.  Something happened with the printing company that is making their yearbooks.  They won't be in until mid-June.  My kids are still young enough that getting their yearbooks signed isn't really a big deal. 

We've already planned a few days of camping in Jellystone Park with some friends.  I can't help but say "Aaaa... Boo Boo!" in my head.  It's actually a few days of cabin renting, but we're calling it camping anyway.  Should be a fun time full of swimming, fishing, and playground play.

Kaia has already made of list of things she wants to do for her birthday at the end of July.  I took a look at the list and was excited to see I could fit them all into one weekend.  She wants to go to Holiday World, go camping, go swimming, and "sit around and be a lazy bum".  Her birthday falls on Sunday this year so it's going to work out great!  We can camp close to the park, go there and swim and in between all that sit around and be lazy bums! 

I've looked into going to the Louisville Zoo as well.  It's close enough to make it a day trip.  I still want to camp at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia sometime this summer.  It's just south of Chattanooga and checking out Lookout Mtn. sounds like fun.

Any other suggestions for things to keep my kids busy and entertained?

Sights and Sounds

Yesterday I discovered that I have speech recognition software on my computer.  I'm surprised that it can understand what I say because of the way I speak.  If you'd seen any of my video blogs  then you know I have a southern drawl when I speak. This will take some getting used to, but it's working for now.

In other news, I went to the eye doctor on Wednesday.  I hadn't been in about two years so I tried a new doctor this time.  I took the kids to see him recently and they really liked him.  He said that my prescription hadn't changed much since the last time I had my eyes checked.  He also said that my eyes were perfect for contact lenses.  I told him I wasn't sure I wanted to try contacts.  The last time I tried to wear contacts it was a fiasco.  The lady who was helping me sat about 4 inches from my face while I was trying to put the contacts in my eyes.  Neil was just a baby and he was not happy.  He was crying from his stroller.  She was very unhappy to have to hear him.  I could tell that she was irritated and tired of waiting for me to get the contacts in my eyes.  I gave up and have not attempted contacts again.  He gave me a trial pair of contacts to try out.  He said he couldn't order a prescription until I could show them that I can do it myself.

After I got home, I tried 15 minutes and never could get one in.  I decided to stop trying for now, but I would really like to wear them.  I guess I will just have to keep trying. Until then I will make do with a new pair of glasses.  They are similar to the ones I already have, but the new ones are black. I should get them in about two weeks.

Only one more day until the kids are out of school for Summer break.  I think I'm more excited than they are.  No more getting up at 6:00 AM!  I'm going to take them to the Louisville zoo sometime this summer.  Plus we have a couple of camping trips already planned.  I wanted to go to the beach in Panama City, but I'm unsure of what the oil spill will do.  I don't want to book a camp site only to find out that we can't swim.  So I guess we'll be sticking to camping closer to home this year.This last week of school is going by quickly.  The kids have been busy with lots of playing.  On Wednesday Kaia went to the movies, and out to eat, and bowling and Neil went to Beech Bend.  I don't remember ever having so much fun when I was in school.  I hope I can keep them entertained!

Wordless Wednesday



Post It Note Tuesday












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Hello Out There!!

I'm here!  I'm here!  I know I completely abandoned the blog last week.  I'm still trying to slow down a little from all the running I was doing.

On Thursday, Neil participated in a field trip reward for gaining more than 100 AR (Accelerated Reader) points this year.  The school offered discounted tickets to those parents who wished to join them on the trip to Holiday World.  My mom had never been so I picked her up and off we went.  I wasn't aware until arriving at the park that I was to be in charge of 5 kids.  In fact, I thought I was going to be able to go and walk around leisurely and enjoy my day spending time with my child.  I had even packed up a cooler full of food and drinks to try to save some money.  Being responsible for those kids meant that I couldn't leave the park so all that food went to waste.  I was a bit put out when I noticed that the other parents and teachers were only responsible for 2 or 3 kids AND usually it was their own children.  I won't be doing that again.









I was completely worn out at the end of the day! I had forgotten that the school would be having their 'Spring Fling' on Friday.  And that I had volunteered to, well, volunteer.  I didn't really mind too much.  I enjoy helping out at the school.  I ended up on popcorn popping duty.  I am now the world's best popcorn popper after making that stuff from about 9am until 2pm.  Both the kids had a great time and I helped to raise money for the school!

I am happy to announce that this is the LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL for my kids!  I will be so glad to get to sleep in next week.  I'm still searching for things to keep us busy though.  We went yesterday (Sunday) to check out some cabins with some friends.  We booked an 'Amish Cabin' at Jellystone Park!  I'll make sure to not forget my pic-a-nick basket!

Post It Note Tuesday

Welcome to Post It Note Tuesday!  Here are some random thoughts I decided to share.
 








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Take me out to the ball game...

Saturday was such a busy day for us!  We had sports photos, a soccer game, and our first Minor League baseball game.

We were all pretty excited about seeing the Hot Rods play on Saturday night.  It was their 2nd Annual Scout Night.  Girl & Boy Scouts get to parade around the field before the game, watch the game, stay after to watch a movie on the big jumbo screen, then camp out on the field.  We had planned to stay overnight as well.  However, there were rain and storms in the forecast.  We can't put the rain cover on our tent without using stakes and they wouldn't allow us to stake down anything on the field.  We opted out of the sleepover.









We're all excited about going to another game soon. Now we know the 'lay of the land' so to speak with the seating so it will be easier for us to pick our seats.  We also know that we need to eat a big meal before we go!  The concession prices were crazy!  A cup of coffee? $2.00.  Popcorn? $3.00.  A slice of pizza? $3.00.  I suppose this is how they make the most money, but whoa...  We'll be more prepared next time.  And there will definitely be a next time!

Flooding in Kentucky {as NASA sees it}

Amazing photos from NASA depicting flooding in my area of Kentucky. My house is located fairly close to where the map reads 'Green River'.



 Severe floods struck Kentucky on May 1–2, 2010, causing statewide damage estimated at more than $30 million, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. At 11:00 a.m. on May 9 (the day the top image was captured), the Green River was more than 7 feet above “major flood” stage, which is 390 feet, according to the National Weather Service. As of May 13, it was running 392.05 feet—still 2 feet above "major flood" stage.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured these images of the region of Paradise, Kentucky, including parts of Illinois and Indiana. The top image shows the area on May 9. The bottom image shows the same area on April 29, before the floods struck. Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Vegetation is bright green. Clouds are bright turquoise. Water is navy blue. Bare ground is pinkish-tan.

At the end of April, the Green River is barely discernible, but in early May, the river is conspicuous, as are some of its tributaries. To the north, the Ohio River was substantially more swollen in early May than it was in April.

References


  • Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services. (2010, May 12). Green River at Paradise. National Weather Service. Accessed May 12, 2010.


  • Estep, B. (2010, May 12). Obama declares major disaster in Ky. because of flooding. Lexington Herald-Leader. Accessed May 12, 2010.


  • NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.

    Instrument: 
    Aqua - MODIS

    Birdies

    There are just 15 days until the kiddos are finally out of school for the summer!  I'm excited to just not have to get out of bed at 5:45am.  Ok, well maybe the alarm goes off the first time at 5:45am.  Maybe I hit the snooze until 6am.  The world may never know for sure...  I still haven't planned any adventures for us.  Guess I better get on that!

    I went to the basement this morning to throw a load of clothes into the washer.  We have a mudroom just off of the basement that we are currently using as storage space.  Ok, well maybe it's just chock full of junk from previous tenants of the house.  Maybe I keep saying we are going to rent one of those huge dumpsters to dispose of it.  Maybe we haven't done that yet.  Anyway...  I heard some chirping.  Now I knew there had been a bird or two in that room due to one of the small-ish windows having a hole in it.  It cracked and broke during a storm whose winds removed an awning that had previously covered said windows.  I slowly and quietly opened the door to take a peek inside.  Three little birds.  Immediately background music started in my head.  One of them took off fairly quickly, but the other two froze.  I've never seen some birds be so still.  I crept past them every so slowly and opened up the outer door to make it easier for them to exit the room.  Then I crept back past them and slowly closed the inner door back.  I check on them again a few minutes ago and they are still there.  This time so was mom and she wasn't happy with me so I just shut the door back.  I hope they can find there way.

    Finally had our first hummingbird at one of the feeders this morning!  We have ruby throated hummingbirds in our region.  I had started to worry that we weren't going to see any this year because in past years I've seen them much earlier than mid-May.  We've had some strange weather recently so they may have affected their arrival.  Glad to have them back around.

    Happy Homemaker Monday...on Wednesday

    hhm

    While reading a new blog I've found, I came across a great blog post starter. I am a little late since it is called "Happy Homemaker Monday".

    The weather in my neck of the woods: 
    Mostly cloudy, occasion sun, windy, chance of rain.

    Things that make me happy: 
    Learning to not have/use a microwave.

    Book I'm reading:
    I just finished reading "The Witching Hour" by Anne Rice.  I can't say that I would recommend it.

    What I'm enjoying on TV: 
    I'm still a kid at heart so I never miss "The Vampire Diaries".

    On the menu for dinner:
    Honestly, I have no idea right now.

    On my To Do List:
    Straighten the living room
    Clean the kitchen/dishes
    Do some laundry
    Clean the bathroom

    New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:

    In the craft basket: 
    Plastic canvas crafts...

    Looking forward to this week: 
    Only one baseball game and only one soccer game.

    Tips and Tricks: 
    I never use bleach.  In fact, I don't even own any.  To clean my front loading HE washer I simply use dishwasher detergent.  Place it in the spot designated for powder and set to clean cycle.  Works like a charm.

    My favorite blog post this week:
    Motherbitches from 'Things I Can't Say'.

    Blog Hopping (a new discovered blog you would like to share with the readers): 
    He Who Laughs Last Didn't Get It

    No words needed (favorite photo or picture, yours or others you want to share):
    I love my babies!
    Lesson learned the past few days: 
    Water is not your friend and can rise very quickly.

    On my mind: 
    Using my Mother's Day gift certificate this afternoon.

    Devotionals, Scripture Reading, Key Verses:
    Sometimes one creates a dynamic impression by saying something,
    and sometimes one creates as significant an impression by remaining silent.
    --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    Hope and Hoku

    I have been enthralled with a hummingbird from California named Phoebe.  Some wonderful people, Mr. and Mrs. P, have set up a live webcam on her nest.  She's been nesting in this particular rose bush for several years and has 5 nests there.  She alternates between them.

    She is a Channel Island Allen's hummingbird.  A non-migratory race from California.  From reading the information that the P's have collected and shared, Phoebe usually lays 4-5 clutches of eggs per season.  The general consensus is that this Phoebe is actually Phoebe #2.  No matter, any nesting hummingbird in this bush is automatically dubbed Phoebe.

    I have just begun to watch her story. She had laid two eggs already.  I missed the first hatching, but last night I was just checking in to see how things with little 'Hope' were going.  I got a great surprise and was able to share it with my kids.  'Hoku' hatched!  I sat and watched the progress for hours.  I'm sure there are other things I could (and should) have been doing, but I just couldn't look away!  Lucky for you, it was recorded!  The video is more than a hour long, but if you want to see the good stuff go to around an hour and a half.  Enjoy!!

    Aftermath

    What a great weekend this was!  Although it seemed to be a very long extended weekend due to the kids being out of school due to the flooding, it was nice to have them home.  I woke up on Sunday morning to find the cutest note from my daughter depicting me with her and her brother telling me 'good morning' and 'Happy Mother's Day'.  It was so sweet!  I was so surprised (and excited) to find that my husband had gifted me with a gift certificate to the nail salon in town.  I can't decide if I want to get a manicure/pedicure or if I want to get some acrylic nails put on.  Decisions, decisions.

    We drove around a bit after my husband got home from work on Saturday so I could capture some of the flooding.  The water was still fairly high in places and some roads are still closed or covered with water.  And this is after the water has receded some.  Click an image to enlarge and open a gallery.