Hi Ho Hi Ho…

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It is off to Disney we go.

 

I have been on a band trip  to Florida 3 times so far.  Twice to Disney and once to Universal (don’t take a band to Universal, you do not get the royal treatment like you do at Disney, very disappointing).  I am so very thankful to Wayne for holding down the fort for all those trips and allowing me to have that time with the girls.  The first 3 trips were with Abi.  She was very fortunate to start marching band in 8th grade and got 3 trips because Cloverleaf went every other year.  So she went 8th grade, 10th grade, and then her senior year.

 

This year, I get the opportunity to chaperone another trip to Disney.  This time with both Liz and Lydia in the band.  I am excited to finally get to do the trip with them.

 

Different schools… different rules!  Different way they run the trips.  I know that this year’s trip will be just as fun as the other trips, but I have only done this trip (3 times) under the Mr. C rules/way and thus I have to keep reminding myself that it is OK for things to be different.  That it is OK if it is done differently because it is a different band director, a different tour company, and different kids.  It will be all good.  Some things are more lax at this school, some things are not.  With Cloverleaf we rarely (hardly ever… almost never) stayed late at the parks for the fireworks/evening show.  With Perry we are staying late every night.  That is both good and band.  Good because it will wear the kids out faster and there will be very little time at the hotel for them to “get into trouble.”  Bad because it will wear the chaperones out too and we are old.  With Cloverleaf, all meals were included: Subway provided on the way down, Disney dining plan while there, and cash handed to the kids when we stopped on the way back (because really, some kids won’t have saved money for food on the way back).  With Perry, meals are “on our own” on the way down and back and only 2 meal while were are there.  That could be the way Disney runs the programs now, that could be the way this tour company does it… so while that is kind of a pain, I’m rolling with it because… I don’t have another option.  At least, if my girls run out of $$ I will be there to feed them.   🙂     With Cloverleaf, the only hotel security was our own chaperones roaming the balconies at night and not even all night.  Perry has hired security at night and will tape the doors.  I think that seems a bit much, but again… different school, different rules.    Tickets were collected at each park, each day when we went with Cloverleaf.  The kids did not get to keep the tickets and thus had no access to fast pass options.  As I understand it, the Perry kids will get to keep their daily tickets.  They have been warned about “hopping” to another park… if they do they will be hopping on a plane back to sunny Ohio.

 

I have my bag packed.  I feel like I am forgetting something but can’t figure out what.  I have my backpack ready to go for the bus with snacks, change of clothes, toothbrush, book, and knitting.   😉

 

I will double check the girls’ uniform bags in the morning to be sure there are shoes, socks, gloves, hat, and both parts of the uniform.

 

 

 

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GS Good Deed

My 6th grade scouts have been working on our sewing badge for the last year or so.  We finally finished it last night with our hat project.

Each girl was to bring 5/8 of a yard of fleece, which was then cut into thirds.  You fold it in half (into a cylinder – being sure it will stretch) and sew up that long side.  Fringe the top and tie it to itself with one of the fringes.  Fold up the bottom brim and iron some stitch-witchering in there to hold it.  And ta-da:   a hat!

They got to keep one of the hats they made (or any hat, really) and the rest will be donated to our local helping organization to be given out with the Christmas gifts.  I have finished ironing the brims on 30 hats.  Which means with the 13 they wore home, they made a total of 43 hats between 13 girls.  So proud of them!

Such an easy project and most of them remembered how to use the sewing machine and did a fine job with it.  Of course there was the occasional “major problem.”  Which usually meant that the machine came unthreaded, ate their fleece or needed a bobbin filled.   🙂

30 hats:

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Up close so you can see the fabric choices.

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Didn’t they do great???  They will get their sewing badge at Christmas… now who will sew it on their vests for them?  Probably me.   😉

 

Bah Humbug!

Lately (the last 3 years) I have not been a holiday person.  In reality, compared to my husband, I have never been a holiday person but… the last 3 years have been terrible and finding the energy and desire to celebrate is hard.   Waves of grief come again.

Once again I’m faced with the “I don’t wanna celebrate” feeling.  I know that I will.  Somehow I’ll suck it up and we’ll celebrate.  But I will always feel like it isn’t as good as it could/should be.  I feel like my younger children are really missing out on some great holiday celebrations because of the circumstances that have been forced upon us.

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I think about my church collection…. too much work to get out and for what reason?  Just to put it away again in a few weeks?  We have no congregation that will come over and enjoy it.  There is no REAL reason for an open house…. but the children declare that it is tradition, so I guess we’ll have one.  But I don’t wanna!    It is so much work and painful to know that we will never have another congregation to host and bless.   Yes, we have some nice friends and family that would come to an open house and so, I guess we will hold it for them.    But still… it is so much work…

AND Christmas shopping… ugh… I realize that I have to get gifts for the kids because no one else will, but it is so hard.  OK, part of the reason it is so hard is because they are older and what they want costs too much money.  Why can’t I just buy some more “Little People” and be done?  I used to be good at shopping for them.  I’d catch sales, I’d have everything done by mid December.  Now, I’ll be lucky to be done by Christmas.  Even though I can and will order most of it online.  BTW, only 2 children have even given me ideas that are reasonable.    And forget spouse…. ugh!

Then there is the Christmas cards.   😦    We used to order and send out close to 300.  Last year we barely did 125 and we didn’t even get 100 in return because I have left over prayer cards and I ordered 100 of those.   The card is about ready to hit order but I will still have to generate the letter… gotta get inspired for that one.  What has even happened this year that is worthy of a Xmas letter?  Not much.

 

Before someone gets upset with me because I just typed Xmas… I learned in college that X is the first letter of the word Christ in Greek.  So, we were told to use shorthand when taking notes in religion class:  Xian (Christian), Xmas (Christmas).  While the world might think it is taking Christ out of Christmas by using the letter X, they are in fact keeping Christ in Christmas because that is the appropriate “religious” shorthand.

 

Maybe when all the kids are home for the holiday (Abi home from college) it will get better.  Abi usually has great holiday spirit and she can help boost the energy in the house.    Last year she pushed us to decorate, so I’m sure she will this year as well.   🙂

 

 

 

100

This is post 100!  Who knew?  When I started this in the summer it was just supposed to be a fun thing for us to do to keep track of what we did during the summer. Most of which we did not get done, BTW.

My oldest daughter learned a poem/prayer in preschool that goes like this:

I thank the Lord for 100 things.

For the flowers that bloom and the birds that sing.

For the sun that shines and the rain that drops.

For ice cream, raisins and lollipops.

 

Of course, that was to be the end of the poem/prayer.  In true Abi fashion she added a line, that I’m sure she could quote to you too.

“And people and houses and food and clothing and everything else. Amen.”

 

 

What kind of list of 100 things could I generate?    Hmm….

100 birds I have identified? (maybe not quite 100)

100 places I have visited?  (maybe… if you count all the little villages and bergs)

100 foods I have cooked?  (well, the cookbook is done and there are almost 300 recipes in it, not all mine but mostly)

100 random facts about me?  (sure, I could do that but wouldn’t you nod off after about number 25?)

100 things I have created?  (knit, crochet, cross stitch, crafts… yep, probably at least 100)

100 things that need cleaned and put away?  (if you count the basket of socks, it is probably more like 200)

I remember when the kids celebrated day 100 in school in the early years.  You always had to do some sort of project.  Maybe you sent in 100 snack items – mini marshmallows, goldfish, m&m’s, etc.  Or you had to make a poster with 100 somethings on it.  I have a poster somewhere that one of the girls made (I’m guessing Lydia) where we used those foam letters and wrote a poem with exactly 100 of them!

I’m going to list something, but I don’t think it will come to 100.  And I might miss some but I’m curious to see how many it is.

All the girls that have been in one of my GS troops at some point.  Only first names will be given.  If you have been in  one of my troops, you know who you are.   🙂      Some of these girls stuck it out with me for many years (or still are).  Some came and went only spending one year in scouting – or maybe only 2 or 3.

Carrollton:  (This is where I think I am probably missing some girls because I cannot find those record)

1.  Brooklyn

2.  Holly

3. Sarah

4. Alexus

5. Jessica

6. Tiffany

7. Sadie

8. Katie

9. McKayla  (she was recently killed in a car accident and I have since searched for  these girls who I left in 2004 and found many of facebook – they are all grown up now!)

10. Bethany

11. Skye

12. Rose

13. Liz (my daughter)

14. Abi (my daughter)

15. Maggie (might as well have been my daughter)

16. Jenn

Cloverleaf Schools:  I had 3 troops most of time I lived there

17. Christa

18. Alison

19. Cyanne

20. Courtney

21. Serina

22.  Kate (or Cate)

23. Amanda

24. Sarah

25. Shannon

26. MacKenzie

27. Tori

28. Alexis

29. Kendal

30. Sandra

31. McKyla

33. Diggy

33. Megan

34. Katie

35. Nicole

36. Alyssa

37. Madison

38. Mercedes

39. Jillian

40. Tattum

41. Lydia (my daughter)

42. Delaney

43. Cora

44. Julia

45. Makenna

46. Hannah

47. Rachael

48. Sophia

49. Brinna

50. LIbby

51. Sydney

52. Faith

53. Ellyn

54. Aleyna

55. Lilly

56. Morgan

57. Kendra

58. Abby

59. Cierra

60. Mylah

61. Hailey

62. Maddy

63. Susan

64. Esther (daughter #4)

65. Lauren

66. Isabella

67. Kaylee

68. Megan

69. Katelyn

70. Taylor

Canton:  I’m primary leader for 1 troop and assistant to 2 troops

71. Lauren

72. Sydney

73. Rachel

74. Cheyann

75. Shelton

76. Jordyn

77. Olivia

78. Annelisea

79. Miranda

80. Kelly

81. Emilee

82. Brenna

83. Alexis

84. Natalie

85. Ariel

86. Charissa

87. Kyla

88. Allyson

89. Sydney

90. Alexandria

91. Juliette

92. Toree

93. Alexis

94. Grace

95. Mia

96. Abigail

97. Melina

98. Olivia

99. Anna

100. Sierra

101. Erin

WOW!  I really didn’t think I would get to 100!  Not all of those have been active girls, but they made my rosters at one point.  I cannot put a face to all of the names but probably to 90% of them!   I am in touch with many of them on Facebook and would welcome finding the rest or adding them when they are old enough to have a FB page.

Love “my” girls!!

Soup, it is what’s for dinner

Making “dump and pour” soup today… cleaning out the freezer a bit because I have pies coming from work on Wednesday and will need the room for those… priorities, right?  Make room for the pies by removing the vegetables!  😉

The beans have been soaked and the meat browned.  It was a yucky, half freezer-burned roast.

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I cut off the fat and freezer burned portions, browned the rest and it will be fine in the soup.  The outside cats enjoyed the rejected portions.

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Add some veggies.  Which include home grown tomatoes that were frozen this summer.

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Add some salt, pepper, A-1, etc.  and soup is on.

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Watch that I don’t burn my fingers on the outside of the crockpot.

I will, of course, make cornbread to go with this.  Can’t have soup without cornbread.  🙂

Insert Blog Here….

Insert a blog post here about something that is important to my family but in the interest of being polite since I don’t know who reads this, I will not share it… it is something we have struggled with emotionally for decades and every so often it is brought up again and we cry and rant and have hurt feelings but we will move on.   There are nothing we can do to change the situation other than continue to love as the best we can.

 

So, instead, enjoy these photos of my children from recent days.

Lydia at the choir concert:

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Liz at the choir concert:

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Esther at the GS swim day:

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Lydia the cat whisperer:

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Crockpot Dilemma

So you see, I never really wanted to own a crockpot, but then again I never really wanted to work while the kids were still living at home either.  But… since I do work and some nights it means I’m not home at the dinner hour, I have a crockpot now so that I can be sure they eat something relatively healthy.  Though they did finish that bag of peanut M&M’s yesterday, so they got some protein.   😉

The crockpot I have had for several years is the one that I acquired from Camp Lycopodia when it closed.  I was the last troop to camp there and since my mother’s troop had provided a good portion of the cooking supplies when they re-did the kitchen for their Silver Award, I brought home most of that stuff and put it in my camping supplies.  That crockpot is a Rival crockpot, small, and the pot is permanent – cannot be removed for washing.  That is fine, I learned about the crockpot liners thanks to the Cloverleaf Band moms who used them in the crockpots during basketball concessions for sloppy joe.

So, that is what I have been using for a couple years.  It works, it is just small-ish.  So, I don’t ever cook anything large.

My mother went to an auction recently and got me a LARGE crockpot.  A Wolfgang Puck crockpot.  The pot is removable.  It has a digital touchpad (instead of a dial) and is all modern and stainless steel.  Whoo-hoo.

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So today, I try the new crockpot with a pork and bean recipe.  I’ll share that recipe later if we like it.   🙂

Problem with the new crockpot…. it gets hot!!  Very hot!!  The metal outer pot gets too hot to touch.  In fact the handles are almost too hot to touch.  It is only set on low but WOW!  I definitely cannot leave anything close to it on the counter.  The old, rinky-dink crockpot… cooked on the inside only, the outside did not get hot to the touch.  Not sure I’m happy about this.

I still used the liner because, let’s be honest, it is still easier to clean up and if you know how dishes work in this household, you know why I use the liners.    I am thankful that dishes are not in my realm of responsibility, so I don’t mind using the liners to ensure that I can cook again next week if the pot doesn’t get washed.