Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God Bless the food before us, the friends among us, and the love between us

Thanks Giving 2011 is now in the books. What a great day! Our morning was spent delivering hot meals to the needy. A friend of mine her at work hooked us up with the amazing well-oiled machine that is Augsburg Lutheran church. 412 meals delivered. We had so much fun! Everyone was so thankful to have the meal. We were invited into the homes of total strangers. It truly IS better to give than receive.

Home for a quick rest, clean up, and off to J and G's for dinner with the family. A perfect day as always. The boys were so good I would not have known they were there. The meal was so good, and the pie...wow! G's sister made a pumpkin pecan pie. The taste was so unique and amazing. I cannot wait to get the recipe.

My friends husband thinks he may be able to get Bill a job working for Jeep. Fingers crossed and praying like crazy.

Tree is up. Went with colored lights this year for the kids. It is beyond cozy. The boys are excited. B and I are trying not to stress, but we have yet to get an unemployment check. Anytime now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Free Falling

Well, life sure has its ups and downs. Bill came home Wednesday night to tell me he had been laid off yet again. Only this time he won't be called back. His boss is thinking of closing up shop. So here we go again on our roller coaster ride of unemployment benefits and the great unknown. 

I think having been through this once before has left us a bit less stressed than the last time...but having to start over at 44 won't be easy. This comes as a mixed blessing (my optimistic soul talking) as Bill is no spring chicken. He has a lot of miles on his body. He really could use a job that doesn't take such a toll, and something indoors would be good. Another positive, they predict a bad winter, and I have one less thing to worry about with him not being stuck out in it.

In other breaking news...Bills sister and her hubby bought us a brand new wood burning stove. We are all so excited! What a gift!  Our furnace went kaput last spring. I have always always wanted a fireplace. They are so cozy. I cannot wait for that first fire...which if today's weather is any indication, won't be far off.  I will post pics once it is up and running. B and I need to pick out some tile so he can make a safe pad for it to sit on. 

H has moved back home and I am happy to have her. She belongs with her family. My sister has been so good to us, and I hope she is not too unhappy, but H needs to be with us. 

It's Friday and I am glad. It is very chilly. I get to spend some much needed girl time with an old friend tomorrow and I look forward to the laughter.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A couple of Italians, and some sugar skulls for Halloween.

Halloween 2011 in the books.

We had a flurry of activity. Saturday we took the boys out to B's sisters house in Swanton. They had Trick-or-Treat 2 days early. Smart thinking if you ask me. Halloween on a Monday is rough on kids and parents alike. So anyway, we took the boys and they had a great time.

Monday brought W's class party including a trip to a retirement home for more candy.

Monday evening up to T's house in Temperance for more candy. I think we are good on sugar for about 6 months!

On Monday, E and H spent some fun time painting their faces into these skeletal creatures called Sugar Skulls. They looked pretty impressive, and got a lot of compliments.

J and I have had menue discussions on...dare I breathe the words...Thanks Giving Dinner. I cannot believe it is November 1st. Stores are loaded with Christmas goodies. We also discussed the big cookie bake and set a date of Dec 10th. Lord help me, it will be on us before we know it.

Our furnace died, so B will be busy this week fixing that....and this just in, my oven won't light. So add that to his list. Holidays and no oven = no fun!  Thank God he is my Mr. Fix It. Not much he can't fix.

We are also in the market for a wood burner...R saw one in the paper the other day for 150 bucks, so we will go look into that. We are (so they say) in for a doozy of a winter, so I would like to be able to survive off the grid as far as heat goes, in case of power outages.

The east coast has already had a rare snow blast leaving 100's of 1,000's without phone and power. I fear my Aunt in NJ is one of them, as I have not heard from her this week. I even tried to call but my call would not go through. So I sit and wait to hear.

Well that is about it for now. Knit knit knit for me.

Here are some pictures to mark our holiday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Saturday was our yearly hunt for the great pumpkin. It was cold baby...and blustery! I mean the kind of wind that tears siding off of houses, and blows little people and old folks down. Needless to say it was a short trip.  The boys had fun, I snapped a few photos, bought another gallon of cider, or as E calls it "poop juice" lol.

There was of course immediate pumpkin carving upon our arival home. E has been on an artistic streak and W and J have enjoyed every minute of disemboweling our soon to be Jack-O'-Lanterns. E actually suggested we go back to the patch one more time before Halloween. Perhaps this weekend depending on the weather.

Meanwhile, I have made and canned 2 batches of the most delicious apple butter. I am putting some in the mail for my Papa and a jar for my nephew A.

The weather has started to get a nasty streak. Lots of pewter skies, and lots of breezey days and some rain. I read we are in for a tough winter. UGH. At least the holidays make for a fun and cozy distraction for half of it. That jag from New Years to spring thaw is always the rough part. I am hoping to stay nice and busy this year. I think having W in school is making the days fly by as it is. I don't remember winters seeming so long when the older kids were young...maybe its because there was always something going on with school.

I have started a few knitting projects for Christmas. Want to get a jump on the gifts this year. 

Tonight is my monthly dinner witht he Stallions. Our group of kids from grade school. I always have a nice time. I am looking forward to it. Hope to get some photos this time around.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Last but never least.

10 October 2011

What a week! Last Monday when E went to pick W up from school, his teacher told her she thought he was getting sick. Sick is an understatement. When she got him home he had a high fever. I was irritated. He had asked to go home and the teacher told him no. No one at the school could tell he was burning up? Yet the teacher told us W was lathargic all day. I think the least they could have done was taken his temp. Anyway, he has a virus in his upper respitory system. He is on the mend, and I am hoping he can go to school tomorrow. We shall see.

Saturday we celebrated JJ's bday. He was so cute and excited. He went with me and E to pick out a new bike. He loves it.  He is so into birthdays these days. He was ear to ear grins for the cake and singing. He even clapped when we finished...so cute.  EP brought cousin Z over for JJ to play with. We had dinner. The boys got a bath and then more play time. The day was fun. T brought him a set of crossing gaurds complete with lights and bells for his Geotrax set. He loved them! Wanted to show everyone who came over. He calls them Ding Dongs. Too cute.

This weekend I hope to get the kids to the pumpkin patch. We need some for carving. The boys are getting excited for Halloween.  The leaves here are really starting to turn and drop. Seems like an early fall, yet I cannot get over the fact that it is mid Oct. JS and I already discussed Thanks Giving Dinner menue. Time marches on.

Monday, September 26, 2011

An apple a day and a creepy crawly.

So our second trip to the orchard was a much better trip. There were trees for climbing, apples for picking and of course crunching, pumpkins, fabulous Indian Corn...a surprise with each pull of the husk, and a Praying Mantis that humored us with a close inspection.

We had beautiful weather. Stuffed ourselves with cider and doughnuts. The boys and Tabie had a straw fight, the girl is a good sport.  Cider however, was an astonishing $7.49 a gallon!! Needless to say I did not buy any. Not even if it were from the Fountain of Youth...and even then I would think twice. Bennets Orchard has it for 4 bucks, I am meeting a friend there Saturday to stock up.

W is star of the week at school this week. I am having lunch with him on Thursday.

B ordered the part for our washer...Lord I hope it comes soon! I hate this Laundromat business.

I am hoping to get the last of the summer flowers pulled and replaced with mums and gourds etc this weekend.  Love the fall decorations.  With fall comes some not so pleasant things...like the mouse that scared the living poo out of me last night when I surprised him in my kitchen (insert shudder here) Time for a trip to the store for traps!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall, the time for hot chocolatey mornings and toasted marshmellowy nights.

Today is the first day of autumn. Seems like just yesterday I was complaining about the rainy spring not wanting to give over to warm temps. Now as I drive down the road, I notice that subtle change as the fields and wild flowers give their verdure over to the golds, rusts, and browns of fall.  Leaves are turning and I have noticed them gathering along side the curbs and in the corners of the yard. I wait in anticipation of falling buckeyes and acorns for decorating purposes. There is an industrious family of squirrels is treating our black walnut tree out back like manna from Heaven.  Two sugar "pie" pumpkins have already been carefully considered and selected by the boys, and now sit atop the counter. We are burning through candles at a fast and furious rate. Saturdays are filled with Big Ten Football, hoodies, and I have even broken down and made that first pot of chili with cornbread.  Where does the time go? We managed an early trip to McQueen's Orchard, but a bit too early. We will give it a go again this Saturday.
Today W's class has a field trip to Erie Orchards. Boy was he excited...he knows that place like the back of his 6 yr old little paw. Today however, he will get to see the cider press in operation. I cannot wait to get home so he can tell me all about his day.

We also celebrated T's Sweet 16 birthday last Saturday. Still cannot believe she was just 6 when I met B. Her mom and hubby rented a K of C hall and she had pizza, a DJ, and cake. I found myself drug out on the dance floor with her grandma to do the Electric Slide...humiliations galore! I was winded! I am out of shape! But it was fun. She had a nice turn out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just a man in love with a woman who wants to go swimming.

B, the kids and I spent at least half the day on Sunday closing down the pool for the winter. Every year at this time, I ask myself, why oh why do we have this thing? They are work! I think next fall I will have Dave come and close it up for us. Well, it's done and over with for another winter. All tucked in and forlorn looking.  Still a shock to look out the kitchen window and see that silver cover on.

Saturday the kids and I met B and her kids at McQueen's Orchard.  Kind of a bust.  Their U-pick doesn't start until the 24th. Heck they will all be on the ground by that time.  No cider until next weekend. So, we made the best of it. I bought half peck of Honey Crisps..our family fav...but insanely expensive. We bought the kids warm, fresh doughnuts and I took pics of them by the little pond. Like a dummy I left my camera at home today, so I will have to edit this post tomorrow in order to post the pics.

Today I saw a fall display at the grocery store. Magazines are coming to the house with pumpkins on the cover.  This gets J very excited. He cannot wait to pick pumpkins.  I love that the boys enjoy the fun of the simple things.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

We are Gesu

Well W's big day has come....and Momma survived. W had his first official day of Kindergarten. It went smooth. He woke up in a happy mood. I thought for sure there would be tears...especially on my part, but I did ok, and so did he.

He HATES the getting up early part and told us he likes days at home better (smart kid). But he goes without much fuss...knock wood.
Mrs. Nofziger is his teacher. She seems so nice. I hope he has a good experience. He is so bright. I still cannot believe it each morning I watch him walk in the building with back pack and lunch box...and his "furnace" a.k.a. thermos lol.

I think J is enjoying the individual attention since W is gone. I hope to have some time with him in the winter months to hang out and play. Life moves so fast.

H is a senior this year. So glad she will be done!  Seems such a long haul for her these past 4 yrs. She says she likes the U of Akron. We shall see.

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

So we celebrated a few things over the weekend. On Saturday we had a birthday party for W. All in all a great day...with one minor..hell who am I kidding?..major double nuclear meltdown.

I made the ROOKIE mistake of doing gifts before cake. This led to screaming and crying. No photo's of the bday boy with smile and lit candles...nope, not happenin mom.  So, we have pics of the day and gifts, and some smiles, and one priceless screaming pic, that I am sure will come back to haunt a certain someone later in life...say on prom night lol.

Sunday was B's birthday, and we had a double celebration for E and her getting her GED. Dinner at Olive Garden with family and friends...and no little ones! It was nice.

We have been enjoying such beautiful weather here. But, I think it will be an early fall. I am actually thinking of wintering the pool over already. Our days are warm, but our nights are so pleasantly cool that the water is freezing. 

Tonight we take W to drop off his list of school supplies, and put his name on things.  Daddy will get his first glimpse of the school. I am excited. I will takes some pics if allowed.