Turkey Dinners, Black Out Curtains, All Aboard to Chicago!

What am I doing today?

OMG! I’m SO glad you asked!

……

Kevin and I took a carload of crap, er, goodies to the Goodwill today. Okay, honestly, it was good stuff: coats, home decor, clothes, board games … I would never dump crap on the Goodwill – crap goes in the garbage.

Kevin cleaned out our front closet to make room for more crap, er, Christmas goodies. And I’m so glad he does that!! There’s no telling what our house would look like if he didn’t keep me organized.

What warmed my heart though, was seeing about ten cars there at the same time – apparently, we’re not as original as we THINK we are.

And that’s awesome – more gently-used things for people who need them.


Carving Turkey


I told you about Kevin’s sleeping problems, right? Well. The latest theory he’s trying is blackout curtains. Because now he’s convinced he’s waking up because as cars pass our bedroom their headlights illuminate our bedroom.

Which. I suppose it doesn’t help the situation, any.

We went to JCPenney’s today and bought some blackout curtains for our bedroom.

We like these because they’re a bit more “modern” looking and we already have a set in our living room that we love. And they really make the room darker. They are Chris Madden® Draperies, Mystique Grommet Panels and we bought the same color that is in the picture above. I’m hoping they match the purple in our bedspread.

(They’re also on sale right now!!)

And of course, I’m hoping they help Kevin stay asleep for longer period of time.

(But I’m not holding my breath on that one).


We’re taking a trip during spring break in March.

To Chicago.

On Amtrak.

I KNOW! Doesn’t that sound like fun?!? We’re inviting the boys. (If Dude has a job by then, hopefully he can take off. Otherwise, we’ll have an extra seat … ).

It’s SUPER cheap. Seriously. I just figured it up: all four of us, ROUND TRIP, from St. Louis to Chicago is $192.00!!! *squee* Of course. That does not include the price of gas for us to drive to St. Louis. And the rental car in Chicago. Or the hotel room. Or the food/entertainment factor. BUT STILL.

It’s much cheaper than flying there, that’s for sure.

It’ll take about six hours to ride the train. That sounds like a long time, but I’m betting it goes faster than we think it might. The train we will likely take (because it offers the times that we need), doesn’t have a dining car, which, bummer, but we’ll just take some sandwiches – I’m sure it will be fine. *chews lip*

We’ll go up on a Thursday, spend two days in Chicago (doing God knows what, I haven’t researched things to do in Chicago yet), and come back on Sunday.

Remember when I talked about traveling being one of my New Year’s “treats”? Well, I wasn’t kidding about that.

After I iron out the details for this train trip, I will be planning a trip to New York. I’m thinking … May? It’s unlikely we’ll go anywhere during the summer months – so that leaves September.

I’m thinking somewhere on the western coast …

Quick Thoughts …

I had to sleep sitting up in a recliner last night. My sinuses hate this yo-yo weather. It’s supposed to be sunny and close to 60 degrees today, OVER 60 degrees tomorrow.

I guarantee it will be back in the 20’s next week. Such is our Missouri weather.

I’m so glad today is Friday. Why are short weeks SO LOOOOONG?!?

There is a lot of drama at my job. Not from patients, doctors or nurses, but from the people I work the most closely with. I was prepared for this, for what can you expect from an office full of women?

Still. It reinforces the reason why I have never had a lot of female friends over the years – I just don’t have the patience required to deal with it.

The shine is starting to wear off this new job. I still like doing it, but it’s A LOT of work for the small amount I’m making every hour. Still. There are the benefits and I suppose if we’re all honest with each other, that’s basically what we’re working for nowadays.

I’m starting to get sick of our Christmas tree. Yes. It’s still up. But it’s coming down tomorrow. I HAVE to get this house cleaned – I’ve had so little energy this week. And we HAVE to start seriously thinking about this new construction project that is coming very soon.

Oh right. I’ve never told you guys about that. I will. Patience, my friends.

Enjoy your day. I’m looking forward to 5 o’clock.

It’s Time to Get Serious …

hahahaha!!

Also?

Seriously ya’ll. I’m SERIOUSLY behind. I’m usually DONE by this time. But that was back before I started this job and back before it took every last brain cell that my pea-brain possessed to simply FUNCTION in this job.

*sigh*

Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?

Besides celebrating Christmas with my family.

Besides cleaning my house.

Besides looking for tile. (More on THAT soon).

Besides making fudge. (Because the Christmas season is NOT complete without at least one batch of fudge).

Yep. You guessed it: wrapping presents.

Here’s to hoping you’re more ready to celebrate this holiday season than I am. *cheers*


(Click the blue arrow to play)
(Michael Buble “Holly Jolly Christmas”)

Appreciating Another Winter Concert

We went to Jazz’s winter concert tonight – it was AWESOME. No really. The kids sounded phenomenal. Jazz is in advance band this year and it just warms my heart to see how much he’s grown both as a musician and as a person.

I taped their performance, but I have no idea when I’ll have the time to convert it and upload it – maybe by this weekend? I really enjoyed the concert. Not like last year when I felt like I was going to explode because my colon was blocked and I couldn’t pass, er, anything solid or in gas form.

*ahem*

Last year was not a good year for our family.

We went to Simply Yo afterwards. It’s a self-serve, low-fat, non-fat yogurt place. They were having a fundraiaser for the band, so of course, we went to try and help out. We would MUCH rather participate in something like this than say, having to pawn off catalog items that no one really wants. Heck, we’d rather give money, straight out, than have to go through the catalog nightmare.

Dude was really fun to be around. Usually, he’s so awkward and self-conscious that he’s rather difficult, but I can tell a HUGE difference in him since I’ve been working and he’s been hanging out with Kevin more. I think Kevin forcing him out into the public more is really paying off – he acts like he’s feeling more comfortable with himself and with other people. I also think it’s really been good for me not to be around to baby him. He’s been forced to make his own decisions and Kevin has given him a key to the office, so most days, Dude actually opens up the office while Kevin goes to visit with clients. He’s taking on more and more responsibility and it’s starting to make a difference, I think.

I just can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss these band outings. Me, Kevin and Jazz are talking about going to band functions even after he graduates, too. In fact, quite a few school graduates show up at events to offer moral support.

Which I think is just awesome and goes to show just how tight these band “geeks” really are.

If you’re a parent of a pre-teen or a teenager, I can’t stress ENOUGH how IMPORTANT it is to get your kids involved in a school activity. I really wish we had pushed Dude to become involved in SOMETHING in high school. I think his life might have been different right now if we had.

Driving Lesson … Hey! Don’t Hit That Kid! They’re Not Worth Very Many Points

I’m kidding, of course. For those out there that don’t have a sense of humor.

You know who you are.

Jazz’s driving “lessons” are going well. He’s catching on pretty quickly. We’re still having trouble staying in the lane – he tends to drive on the edge of the road, which makes me ride on the edge of my seat. I’m constantly having to point to his side of the car to indicate he needs to get over.

His corners are better – we no longer turn them on two wheels. (You only THINK I’m joking).

He’s been driving to school – We almost hit a kid in the school parking lot the other day. To be fair, it wasn’t totally Jazz’s fault. These high school kids have a tendency to walk in front of the cars without bothering to get over. I guess they think they’re being “tough” and “cool” when we know they’re being “idiots.” There’s a portion of the parking lot where you have to turn left. In the meantime, there are kids driving toward the back lot and you have kids that have parked in the back lot that are walking to the school.

So. You are trying to avoid being T-boned by an oncoming car and trying to drive around teenagers who refuse to yield.

Fun stuff.

We drove the busier roads today. He did really well. We drove all around the outskirts of town. We’ll drive those roads several more times before hitting the highways. It’s supposed to rain Wednesday – I’ll probably have him drive to school that day too, so he can start getting some experience driving in rain.

Then. Night driving. *gulp*

And parallel parking. But Kevin is in charge of that because I SUCK at parallel parking. I always have.

I’m thinking he will be ready to take his test in March. Since it’s dark when I get off work, that only leaves the weekends to practice driving, so we don’t really have very many opportunities to drive.

I took a short video of him today. He was cranky because I made him stop playing his precious video game and go driving. (*GASP* Tough toenails). I would have pushed it (because I’m mean like that), but I didn’t want to distract him too much.

I have to say, I’m ready for him to get his license. It will make it SO MUCH easier on everyone when he’s driving on his own.


(Click the blue arrow to play)
(Glee “Merry Christmas, Darling”)

Busy Weekend – Actually, It Wasn’t. It Only Felt That Way Because We Normally Just Veg Out

Jazz had a buddy from school come over yesterday so they could finish up a project for their Earth Science class. They built a structure that is supposed to withstand a rocking table for two minutes. In other words, a structure that can withstand an adolescent earthquake. They were given some wooden rods, glue and a base. That’s it. This is what they came up with …

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If it doesn’t stand the shake test in class tomorrow, he’ll only get 50%. Which will drop his overall grade, which is third highest in his class right now.

So, he’s a bit stressed. And I’ll be praying the thing holds together.


It was a gloomy, typical December day in the Ozarks. Cold and overcast. It feels like snow, but I don’t think we’ll get any snow. Then again, our weather is unpredictable so … you never know.

Correction, make that ice.

Awesome.

Kevin and I ran up to his office today … he couldn’t resist putting a little tree up.

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Aw.

He had to print out pictures of his pelvis, both before and after his motorcycle accident. He’s meeting with our lawyer tomorrow … and that’s all I can say about that.

It’s pretty obvious that he loves his office …

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… don’t ya think?


After we left his office, we went to Walmart so I could pick up a game that I had shipped from site to store (because I suspect we have a neighborhood creep stealing our mail/packages), and we bought these goodies.

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Kevin picked up cards for an 18-year old boy and an 8-year old girl at a radio station last week and we went shopping for them. The girl wanted a Barbie doll and an MP3 player (I can’t believe how cheap shuffles are now), and the boy wanted tools so he could use them to work with. Kevin had a ball with this one. We bought him some sort of screwdriver set, a toolbox, a gift card and Kevin cleaned out some odds and ends in the garage that he has never used – so the boy will get a few surprises when he opens his toolbox.

We LOVE shopping for foster children. It’s heart warming to do something for them. I just wish we could do more. My heart breaks for these children that, for whatever reason, have been abandoned by their parents.

I hope you’ll find it in your heart to donate to needy children this holiday season.


Afterwards, I dragged Kevin to Shoe Carnival. I needed to buy some dress flats to wear whenever I have to work outlying clinics at work and when I tried these beauties on and they felt so good, I simply bought the same style but different color. (Can you see the difference? One is black, the other is navy).

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That pretty much sums up my clothes shopping – once I see something I like, I tend to buy it in every color and BAM, I’m done.

I hate to shop. I’m sure you didn’t pick up on that.


We’re having fried chicken for dinner …

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… I hate to cook, too.

I’m like the epitome of housewife, don’t you think?

Kevin’s so lucky to be married to me. *snort*


Dude pretty much hasn’t left this chair, or this game, all weekend …

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I’m really looking forward to him starting college in January and REALLY looking forward to the day he starts his part-time job. Not that he HAS a part-time job right now. *sigh* But it’s BOUND to happen eventually, right? RIGHT?!?

The kid won’t know what to DO with all of that reality.

*evil laugh*


Jazz’s high school marching band is scheduled to march in next weekend’s Christmas (*gasp* SHE SAID CHRISTMAS … CALL OUT THE LYNCH MOB – *HEH*) parade. However, if the weather sticks to the forecast, and it’s sunny, but only a high of 31 degrees, then they won’t march. The band director has told the kids he won’t make them march below 40 degrees.

So I’m thinking it’s not going to happen.

*sigh*

I hope he gets to march at least one parade before he graduates.


I also made two loaves of pumpkin bread this weekend …

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That wrapped part on top is all that is left of one loaf.

One guess on who ate most of that loaf.


I ran over a trash bag full of leaves the other night and unbeknownst to me, it got stuck under my car. We heard it flapping in the wind when we went grocery shopping Friday night. Kevin got most of it out, but a significant portion of it melted to my exhaust pipe and now it smells like someone used a hot glue gun ON the underside of my car.

I’m betting the people behind me are LOVING that.


Have a good week, ya’ll.

Would you hate me if I told you I’m actually GLAD tomorrow is Monday?

I know. Sick, right?


And we mustn’t forget another Christmas tune. You’re not being all “hum-bugg-y” on me, are you?


(Click the blue arrow to play)
(Michael Buble “Jingle Bells”)