Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 09

Here are my adorable kids on Halloween. Gone are the days of puppy dogs and fairies, but they are still pretty darn cute don't ya thing?

Here's Will and Bob in their Turnout Gear. They are both doing an apprenticeship type program through the Fire Department. Bob wants to be a Fireman.

Will wants to do the Paramedic/Fireman thing, and maybe go on to get a 4 year in nursing (or the more PC name...Health Sciences)

Are they handsome or what!
(If you're wondering why practically grown men are dressing up for Halloween, they were working a booth at our Church's Trunk or Treat, I promise they weren't knocking on doors asking for candy!)

Here's my Eve. She's a nerd. She had a lot of fun putting together this outfit. Her entire small group is doing a booth at our trunk or treat this year and they are all dressing up as nerds. One of the leaders (the college age one) took the girls out to a thrift shop to help them pick out their nerdy attire. She had almost as much fun shopping for this outfit as she did at the trunk or treat, I bet.

Here's Ann. She's a farm girl.

She's my last little one to dress up just because she's a kid and she wants too. She and her neighbor friend dressed up together. See their little freckles! How adorable they looked. These two look so much alike they could be sisters.

Happy Halloween!

BTW, if you are reading this and you have photos up on your blog of your kids dressed up for Halloween, leave ma a comment. I LOVE little kids in costumes!

Slow Down, so I Can Catch My Breath.

Have you ever noticed that time seems to pass in fits and starts? Or maybe we just pay attention in fits and starts.

This year I have a lot of firsts, a lot of monumental things happening. Those milestone moments in a persons life seem to be happening fast and often on the Hilltop these days and I'm not sure I like it.

Will is a Senior in High school. He's already taking college classes, but we've begun the process of officially graduating him. We're doing it with the home school co op we've been a part of for years now. There are meetings to be attended where venues and gown preference are chosen, and where speakers are nominated. It's a big deal, this graduating a kid from high school, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it.

There is something about this transition that is unsettling to me. Instead of seeing what a great young man Will is, seeing all he knows, and all he can do, all I can see is what I've not taught him yet. All the things we've not done, all the books yet unread and the projects left undone. Has he read Ping? Did we ever read that together? Did he get to play with enough playdough? I hate playdough. I never let them play with it! What about finger painting? He rarely got to do that!

And what about all the things of God? Did we teach him enough? Does he know enough of the Bible? Did he memorize enough? I know I failed at teaching him math, poor kid! And what about household and life skills? I remember teaching him to sew on a button, but should he know how to sew a little bit? Did I teach him how to iron? Does he know not to wash the reds with the whites, or to never use the same dish for the raw meat and the cooked meat?

I am starting to panic a little because technically he's already an adult and after May of this year, he'll be a high school graduate. I will be done. DONE.

When he was in Kindergarten it seemed like I had forever to teach him all of this stuff. Forever. Well, forever flew by and now my baby is ready to jump out of the nest and I'm not sure he knows how to fly! It's a terrifying thing being on this end of things. I thought jumping out of the nest myself was scary, but it's nothing like knowing that in a few short months your baby is going to jump out into that cold cruel world, ready or not. And it is my job to make sure he is ready.

Seeing Will on the precipice of adulthood has made me look back at my other kids as well; Bob, who's just starting in high school, and Eve who's just starting Jr. High, and Ann who's in her last year as an elementary student. They're right behind him. I have so much work to do. So many things I want to talk about, so many lessons still to teach...

I feel the passage of time very acutely these days, it's going so fast and I can't catch my breath.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's all wobbly!

So, I'm not feeling so well today. I don't think I have the flu, just a cold. I feel dizzy and very week and tired, my throat hurts I have a headache and a low grade fever. No coughing, no clogged head or runny nose or any of that. But the dizziness is really annoying. I've been hanging out in bed most of the day.

While here, I've been trying to fix the blog. I have given up. I've done all sorts of stuff, basically taken it all the way down to the bare bones and re built it. If you spent anytime on my blog today you probably got whiplash.

I finally just put everything back the way it was. I simply can not figure out why my right sidebar is at the bottom of the blog. I blame Internet Explorer or Blogger. I've been told those that are looking at it with Firefox or Safari see it fine. It just seems to be IE that messes it up. Of course I use IE. I also think Blogger may be doing some kind of updating or something. I blame them. It's either them or I'm an idiot. I'd rather not here your opinion of the likeliest choice, thankyouverymuch.

I did however score this nice new background. I like green. Green is soothing to me. I find this background to be very easy and soothing to look at. This is helpful when your brain is swimming around in your head.

So for now, I give up. The right sidebar will just have to stay at the bottom of the blog unless someone out there can tell me exactly how to fix it or Blogger and IE stop messing with me.

May your weekend be straight and stay right where you put it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Technical Difficulty

For some reason, it appears the blog has completely fritzed out. I have no idea why. I have been trying to fix it but I can't figure out why my column's are all messed up. Do they look messed up to you? There are supposed to be three and for some reason I see two columns of blog posts on one side bar and then the other side bar is all the way at the bottom of the blog.


Sorry things are visually confusing at the moment. I'm having the tech department here on the Hilltop get right on it, and by tech department, I mean me and maybe a teenager if I can corral them long enough to help out.

Lollipops and Rainbows

It's a lot easier to be a blogger when life's all lollipops and rainbows. Unfortunately, we're fresh out of lollipops here on the Hilltop and we can't see the rainbows for all of the rain.

See? The above paragraph just proves my point. Whine, whine, whine. My husband has all but moved into his office, yet the paycheck gets smaller and smaller and smaller.

The kids keep breaking body parts, so every day is a new doctor bill. And I have discontinued my treatments for RA and SS (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome) because it was to expensive and it wasn't working anyway.

And, to top it all off, I'm teaching (and I SO use that term lightly) the dreaded algebra to Eve and Bob.

You know how Paul talks about how he's learned to be happy in plenty and in want? Well, apparently I'm more shallow that I thought because I'm having a hard time being happy in want. Being content was oh so much easier when we had some money left at the end of our month, and a nice little cushy savings account.

We set ourselves up so we were living way below our means with the plan of getting the house paid off in record time. Like by now. Then we could rent it out and move to a bigger house and not all be sitting on top of each other.


I think I'd better stop now. See blogging is way easier with the lollipops and rainbows.

I miss lollipops and rainbows...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cast on...Cast off...Cast on...Cast off.

On Monday, I took Eve and Ann to the Orthopedic Doc office. Eve got her cast off and all is well. She is still sore and limping a bit, but she'll recover fine.

Ann is another story. She broke her arm in two places not just one. One in the radius bone near the wrist and one in her wrist. Joy. She is casted now.

When we explained what happened we conveniently left off the part where she jumped from a tree onto the trampoline. We just said she was jumping on the trampoline. I figured with two kids in casts I was going to get enough stink-eye from the doc without adding the whole extreme trampolining to the mix.

He didn't say anything about having two kids in casts in such a short time, but he did mention his extreme dislike for trampolines. But come on, have you ever met a doc that liked trampolines? Didn't think so.

On another note, I made granola bars yesterday. How homeschool of me! They're quite good. I'm proud of myself. They have almond butter in them instead of peanut butter. I bought the almond butter with the greatest of intentions of eating only healthy stuff, but honestly? It was gross. It went in the granola bars. Also I included crushed peanuts, shredded coconut, raisins, sunflower seed and all kinds of other healthy stuff. Yeah, me! Now my kids can go to our homeschooling co op on Thursday and pull out their homemade granola bars! Maybe it'll make up for all the bags of Doritos and Oreos they've had all year. And maybe they'll distract the other homeschooling moms from noticing all the casts?

Friday, October 16, 2009


Heretofore, 2009 will be known as The Year of being Broke. It works on so many levels.

As you know we started this year off with a break. Several in one hand to be exact and an expensive surgery to put Humpty-Dumpty Will back together again.

Eve joined in on the fun in late August when she broke her foot. It did not heal in the walking cast after 4 weeks so she was put in a real cast for an additional 4 weeks.

Not to be outdone, yesterday Ann decided it would be big fun to jump from a tree onto the trampoline. It was not big fun and she ended up with a broken arm for her trouble.

I currently have 2 children with a broken appendage, a husband who has all but abandoned us for the month of October for inventory (a yearly torture his business provides) and a son who is also rarely home as he is either working at his job or at college. Both are home just enough to make a mess, dirty dishes, and create dirty laundry, but do not remain long enough to help with the clean up/maintenance. The only people home and not broken are Bob and I. I am thinking about wrapping Bob in bubble wrap and not allowing him to leave the house. And hiring a maid.

I thought you all might like an update on the very special brand of crazy we have here on the Hilltop.

May your week we break free.

Monday, October 12, 2009

So, what'd you do this weekend?

These pictures need no words...

...but I've got some anyway.

You know when your phone rings at 11:45 pm and the teenager is supposed to be home at midnight, that there is not good news awaiting you on the other side of the phone.

Sure enough, Will started the sentence to his dad like..."Um, Dad? I've got a little problem. You see, we finished setting up the chairs at Church for the thing tomorrow, and then we started watching the game at John's house, but it got boring so we decide to go drive around...the thing is...I sorta got stuck."

"Hummm." Says Sir D. "I'm fairly certain that your mom told you to call and let us know if you were going to be somewhere other than the church or John's house."

"Yeah. I remember that now." says Will.

"I'll be there in a few minutes." Sir D takes Bob and heads off into the night (the dark, cold, dreary, drizzly night) to rescue his wayward first born son.

About 5 teenage boys thought it would be fun to do donuts in a field (a CITY PARK field) after its done nothing but rain for about two weeks.

Not surprisingly, Will's truck got stuck. Sir D tried to pull it out with our Excursion, but while the EX has all the torque and horsepower (I have no idea what that really means) necessary to do the job, it is also very heavy and just about got stuck itself. So, Sir D did what any good dad of a teenage boy does. He told him he couldn't get it out tonight and Will would have to make some calls in the morning to see if he could figure a way out of the literal mess he'd gotten stuck in.

Sir D had to jump the other boys truck as leaving the lights on while they tried to get Will's truck out of the mud had drained the battery.

Once Sir D got my boys back in the EX and the other delinquents boys on their way home, they headed home themselves. They were completely muddy and sopping wet.

The next day, Will was able to get ahold of a friend of his who has a 4x4 with a winch to come pull him out. The cost? $20 and a case of Dr Pepper.

The city called him before they got there to get the truck and told him he they had a wrecker on the way to get the truck and it would be impounded. It would be VERY expensive to get it out. Will told the dispatch lady that he was on his way to get it out. The lady said she'd tell the wrecker to put it last on his list, but if it was still there when the wrecker got there he'd take it.

I'd say Will dodged a few bullets this weekend and learned a few things in the process.

1. donuts in a city park after its rained for 2 weeks is not a good idea.

2. always make sure someone in your party is driving a 4x4 if you choose to ignore rule #1

3. you have a cell phone, use it to tell the parental units where you are

4. your dad knows quite a bit about mudding, interestingly enough

5 an incident such as this will cause your dad and uncle's to reminisce about all the times they got cars stuck in the mud in their youth, negating any possible lesson that might have been learned by the teenager

Will did get disciplined for not being where he said he was going to be, but all in all, it wasn't so bad. When the phone rings at 11:45 at night I tend to expect the worst. This was just a little mud.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

John Wayne will Graduate After-all!

You will all be happy to know that John Wayne, AKA Will, has decided to graduate with the association after all.

Sir D and I went to the meeting and put our names on the list for graduation. There are about 20ish kids graduating from our association. Not all of them go to the co op. In fact, most are attending the community colleges for duel credit.

He also found out that 2 of his best friends (who are doing duel credit with him) are graduating with the association.

Sir D and I did tell him that we would not force him. We thought it would be really neat for him to do it. We told him a little about the ceremony and how it's done. It's very family oriented and each family creates a power point presentation with pictures of their child while the Dad's voice can be heard giving a message to the graduate. It's really amazing. I would have been heart broken to have him miss it.

HOWEVER, I have learned a thing or two in this last 18 years of parenting and one of those things is that it's not really all about me (I KNOW!).

I told Will that I think it would be a neat experience and I'd like him to do it, but I understand if he'd rather not and I would not force him to do it. If he'd prefer we could throw a small party or do nothing at all. The choice was up to him.

Well, after talking to his buddies who are graduating, and after having some more information about what exactly was going to happen at the ceremony (after Sir D and I went to the meeting) he decided to do it.

Whew! Crisis averted.

(And thank you all for your comments and advice! I'm telling you, the blogosphere is just chock full of wisdom!)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

John Wayne Graduating

I mentioned to Will that his dad and I would be going to the graduation meeting with our homeschool association tonight.

He asked me who was graduating.

Um. Huh?

I told him HE was graduating. Being that he was a senior in high school and all.

He told me that since he was already taking all college classes, he really didn’t want to do the whole ‘graduation thing’ with our homeschool association.

I was flabbergasted.

NOT do the graduation thing?

I do not know what to think about this. I mean, I guess he’s right. He’s not taking any classes at the co op this year. He is taking all his classes at the community college, and next year he’s just going to continue taking classes at the community college, albeit a different one so he can become a paramedic.

So, I don’t know what to do. No cap and gown. No senior pictures. No commencement address. No graduation photo.

Just hand me the diploma and let’s move on, he says. I don’t really need all the hoopla, he says.

Why does this make me sad? Maybe after homeschooling this kid, my first kid, all the way to graduation, I need all the hoopla.

And don’t you think that one day he’s going to look back at the graduation rite of passage and wish he’d done it? What should I do? I mean, I think if I told him we’re doing it, he would do it, but it would be for me and not because he wants to.

So, pomp and circumstance, or let him walk John Wayne style off into the sunset?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Over the Top, Much?

I thought you all might find this exchange that took place on Facebook between me and friend of mine, amusing. We were talking about the children’s picture book The Story of Ferdinand, which is one of my all time favorites, that I was planning to read to my Book Club class at the homeschooling co op my family attends.

I guess it’s a job hazard of the homeschooling mom to perhaps read a little too much into a children’s book.

I think I say this every week, but *this* is my favorite children's book! I'll be reading this one to my class tomorrow. (I included a photo of The Story of Ferdinand in my status update)

He always bothered me. okay.... trust me, I will not be talking to/influencing your kiddos tomorrow. and you can depend on me to keep my thoughts to myself should you see me in the halls. lol : >

I know some people are bothered because they see it as an encouragement for alternative lifestyles or pacifism. I guess I just see it as a book that says it's okay to be the you that God created you to be. That's what I pull out of the book when I read it with the kids. Please God, not man, and you're on the right track. :)

oh, wow. I never went that deep with it. I just thought he was boring. sweet, but boring. : >

Hahaha! Sorry ‘R’. Sometimes Sir D looks at me when I'm discussing various children's books and says, "Maybe it was just a cute story written for kids and you're reading too much into it?" Perhaps I really should dial it down a notch! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009


*Introverts tend to be more reserved and less assertive in social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, playing musical instruments or using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer, and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate. Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement. The introvert tends to think thoroughly before verbalising their thoughts.

Introversion is generally not the same as shyness. Introverts choose solitary over social activities by preference, whereas shy people avoid social encounters out of fear.

I am an introvert by nature. This surprises people in my real life because I am not shy and people tend to equate shyness with introversion. I can be ‘on’ on social situations. I can even be chatty. Especially in social situations I am comfortable in like my Bible Study group. These are mostly ladies I’ve known forever. Most of us have been in this bible study for going on 8 years now so I’m totally comfortable there and tend to be probably chattier than some would like!

The thing is, it drains me. It does not energize me. Being alone energizes me. To sit in the quiet and just think or write or read or just BE. I know it sounds nuts but sometimes I just need to be in the quiet. My husband does not understand this. He absolutely does not get why I would like to just be home ALONE sometimes. I have to be careful to not hurt his feelings. It’s not that I don’t want to be with him it’s just that sometimes I need NO outward stimuli! NO TV, NO talking, NO sound. NO input. To him this makes no sense.

I’ve tried, over the last many years to explain it to him, that I feel fed, filled up, energized, recharged when I can just sit and be quiet and alone with my thoughts, but he just gives me that look like I’m nuts.

For instance, today, right now, I’m home alone. It’s dark and rainy outside and I have not raised the blinds. The TV is off and It is quite dark and quiet in the living room. I LOVE IT. It’s so rare. The kids are only at co op once a week and I teach so I’m with them most of the day, but for a few hours, a few precious hours, I’m home alone. Often Sir D will stop by and see me. He’s on his way right now. I have to get up and open the blinds or he’ll think I’m loony for sitting in the dark.


It was so nice to have these few minutes of alone time. I’m not nuts, right? There are others out there like me, right? Other introverts who just can’t wait for that next minute to be alone and quiet?

* So says Wikipedia