Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015

2015 has had its ups and downs. I hope that 2016 has more ups.

  • Last school year we had a lot of homework battles. Often we were not finishing up homework until 9 or 10 o'clock at night. 
  • I was sick off and on from April through August. My collapsed gallbladder was removed in August, I have felt much better. 
  • I messed up a tendon in my foot earlier this month, so I have been in a walking boot for the last three weeks. I don't recommend stepping on a hickory nut husk.
  • We live in the black hole of crappy internet service. We have the fastest service in our area, that is reminiscent of dial up speeds. Faster internet service is in our area, but unfortunately has not made it to our neighborhood. I might just have to start calling once a month to inquire if they have gotten around to our neighborhood yet. They are going to LOVE me.

  • Pumpkin is in 3rd grade and Princess is in 1st grade. Time sure does fly!
  • Princess had a good report at the eye doctor last January. We only have to go once a year instead of every three to six months. Yay!
  • Pumpkin has a wonderful teacher this school year. She has been able to cut down on the tattling in the classroom, which has resulted in better behavior on his part.
  • The kids favorite movie this year is Minions. 
  • Pumpkin finally passed his first spelling test of the year this month. The teacher has reassured us that he will not be held back next school year in regards to spelling.
  • In the spring, I celebrated 15 years at my work place.  
  • A local autism support group was started in our community. It is good to be able to talk with other parents and educators that understand.
  • Princess also has a great teacher. I volunteered to help with gingerbread house decorating a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed myself, which is rare when volunteering at school. Most parents shun me when they figure out who my son is because they just don't understand and we don't advertise that he has ADHD, ASD, and SPD. They just figure that we are terrible parents that don't care because of the behaviors they see or hear about from their children.
  • I cut back my hours at work to be able to pick the kids up from school. Homework battles have decreased and we are finishing our homework faster. Yay!!!!!!
  • We were able to save some money back to purchase a new laptop. Our desktop that we still use is ten years old. Now more than one family member can use the computer at a time. Which is a good thing since we use SpellingCity, MobyMax, and Quizlet to do homework and study.
  • Pumpkin learned to ride a bike without training wheels!
  • We survived the school Christmas concert without incident.
  • Pumpkin was able to attend a specialized camp over the summer that focused on social skills and utilized ABA therapy. We have noticed a difference this school year. Two thumbs up!
  • Princess enjoys helping great grandma make pancakes in the mornings before school.
  • We went and saw our first ever Christmas Day movie. We saw the newest Star Wars movie as a family. It was good, but I am not giving anything away for those who have not seen it yet.

Hubby and the kids with cut-outs from the Star Wars movies.

What we are looking forward to
  • Hubby and I are looking forward to the last season of Downton Abbey.
  • I am hoping that the kids take on more chores and household responsibilities this coming year. Our biggest challenge is keeping our rooms clean.
  • We are going to be an aunt and uncle again. So far we have eight nieces and nephews.
  • I hope to conquer some of the clutter in the house. I may have to enlist some help.

Well, gotta go! We are having a Hobbit movie marathon this evening. Currently, we are in the midst of watching the second movie. The third movie may need to wait until tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Darn. . . the frustration over posting to this little old blog is not the ancient computer, but the internet connection. 

I broke into savings last month (three days before I found out that I would need to have an unexpected surgery- collapsed gallbladder) and got a laptop on sale. The purpose was to ensure that the kids could get their school assignments done and us parents could get our stuff done too. So we now have our 9 year old Windows XP desktop and a new Windows 10 laptop. Since Microsoft just debuted its newest operating system, I was able to upgrade the laptop from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 for free. This feat unfortunately was not possible at home, instead I had to go to my husband's workplace (with permission) to use their wifi connection. I still need to save up some money to buy a Windows Office license for the laptop. The desktop has Office 2007, but I don't think that I want to install it on the laptop. Oh . . . . the best part about our new technology, I password protected it. The kids cannot use it unless hubby or I log them on. Score!!!!!!

Back to our internet woes. I called the phone company and we have the fastest internet connection in our area, which is the lowest level of service that they offer. The router has been replaced, but yet service is still dicey and sometimes non-existent. I just replaced the office power strip/ surge protector. I thought that it might be possible that the old one which the phone line ran through may have gone bad. So far we have yet to lose service, but it is still running slower than dirt. Next options will be either to re-run a phone line to the outside phone box or have our phone company visit us. Re-running the line would probably be the cheapest option, but it is definitely a pain to do. If only our house had modern phone lines instead of twisted rusting pre-WWII phone cables which are over 1/4" in diameter. The current line to the outdoor box is about 9 years old. I may have to ask hubby to scale the yew bushes and rouge poison ivy to check the outside portion of the line. 

Hopefully we can figure it out soon, it is hard to explain to Pumpkin why the internet will not work. To him it is supposed to be like water from a faucet, it should always there when you need it. Sometimes it is hard to get a few steps ahead of his literal mind. On the bright side, not as many behavior notes are coming home this school year. And he has only been to the principal's office once to have a chat after an incident with another child. The school was fair and handled the situation efficiently. The other child had to apologize to Pumpkin and both boys have some new directions to follow.

Anyone else have an older house with similar internet issues? What have you done for internet service?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Where Does Time Fly

Five month. . . Wow! I had no idea. It has been crazy around here. 

Being a parent at times is quite the chore and sometimes does not leave any extra time to unwind or blog. 

I am glad that the summer is here, but not looking forward to the upcoming school year. Homework was my nemesis last school year! I loved school growing up, but having a child that fights doing homework every step of the way is quite stressful. Maybe this coming year, it will get easier. At least a girl can dream!

Part of the reason, I have not blogged lately is we sorely need to update our computer. We bought it before Pumpkin was born, so I am sure that it is considered a dinosaur by this point. Windows XP is no longer support. Eventually we need to break down and update our dinosaur. I do have to say that it is much better than my first computer which was the dreaded Windows Me (purchased during grad school). 

Well since I am under the weather, I need to catch a few zzz's. Hope to post some pictures soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Beginnings and Endings

The seasons are changing! 

Spring is just around the corner! 

Isn't this a beautiful sunrise?
The Canada Geese flew over just in time
for this glorious picture yesterday morning.

Winter will soon be a fading memory! 

 This picture was taken the morning of March 2. 
Prairie! What a beautiful sight!

With the heralding of spring I am looking forward to the hepatica, bloodroot, iris, tulip, trout lily, spring beauty, jack-in-the-pulpit, toothwort, violet, crocus, hyacinth, phlox treasures that await.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Winter Beauty

Winter can be magical.

Winter can be beautiful.

Winter can be comforting.

Winter can shine a light.

 Winter can be colorful.

Winter can inspire awe.

Winter can be calming.

Winter can be fun.

Winter can hold dreams.

Have a wonderful & blessed day my friends!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Project Time

I cannot believe that we are already ten days into the new year. Time sure does seem to fly around here.

The kids started back to school on Monday. Pumpkin's class is starting to learn cursive handwriting. Princess's class is doing more challenging read activities. Both of their report cards came home yesterday. We need to work on handwriting with both children. Princess needs to work on count to 100 by 5s and Pumpkin needs to work on his spelling skills.

I have been doing good on some of my January goals and falling a bit behind on other. Ha ha! Good thing goals can be changed and modified as needed.

We had a glitch with our kitchen plumbing starting on New Year's Day. I did take a laundry basket full of dishes to grandma's house last weekend. We hand washed the dirty dishes and had a nice conversation. Hubby attempted to clean out the p trap last weekend to no avail, so we called a plumber. The plumber replaced some pipes and attempted to clean out the line to no avail, so we called the sewer service. The sewer service got the issue resolved on Wednesday. Thank goodness! It is sort of hard to cook when you cannot use your sink. It is also kind of hard to work on eating more healthy if you have to grab a few meals out.  But, I have managed to lose two and a half pounds. 

My greatest accomplishment so far has been the southwest quadrant of the great room. I used Christmas money to purchase a small cube unit to help organize the room better. It is so cute!  Below are before and after pictures. My next project is the northwest quadrant, it will probably be more time consuming since Hubby has to help me with some parts of it. That is the same area that I would like to set up the reading nook in.

We did test out the proposed reading nook area today. We have a green swivel rocking chair that I had moved from the southwest quadrant. Right now it is temporarily in front of the mantel.  Both kids brought home flyers from school this week that they were excited about. It is a reading challenge of 360 minutes by February 23 to earn tickets to a fun amusement park. I figure that if we read 30 minutes every Saturday and Sunday, we will met the challenge in time. Princess and I worked together and read Blue Hat, Green Hat and Put me in the Zoo for 30 minutes. Pumpkin read me the first 4 chapters of Roscoe Riley Rules #1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs for 30 minutes.

Well off to conquer the northwest quadrant! What are your plans this weekend?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January Goals

I find that New Year Resolutions really do not work, at least for me. So I have been thinking quite a bit and I think that monthly goals are the way to go. They can be modified on a month to month basis depending on what is working and what is going on in our unpredictable life. So without further audieu . . . 

January 2015 Goals

- Lose five pounds and maintain weight reduction.

- Drink at least two glasses of water per day.
- Eat more fruits and/or vegetables.

- Do the rubber band method with Pumpkin
- Create a reading nook for the kids

- Clean and organize the great room (Week 1: southwest quadrant, Week 2: northwest quadrant, Week 3: northeast quadrant, Week 4: northwest quadrant)
- Sell four items online to help declutter.

- Buy myself one non-necessary item. (Extremely hard to do, always find things for everyone else in the househould)
- Schedule a few hours to spend with a friend.

- Write down at least 1 blessing per week and place it in a jar.

Well, I am curious to see how much I accomplish by January 31. I am hoping to keep myself motivated and complete some of my items on the above list.

Do you have a goal or two for 2015?