Thursday, March 30, 2006

Q: Why are the ocean levels rising up?

A: Because I'm gonna' be seeing TMBG on May 11th!!! WOOT!!

Honestly, I'm just completely excited about this. I've been fans of They Might Be Giants since Flood in 1990. I listened to that cassette like every day on my incredibly long bus ride to school. I think they're just absolutely brilliant, and I've wanted to see them in concert ever since discovering them. But they're not a huge touring band, and they only play really small venues, so I've always missed them when they've been in the area.

Anyway, on Tuesday, I actually opened and read my TMBG newsletter and saw that tickets for a show in Pittsburgh wouldn't be on sale til the next day, and I might actually be able to purchase them! I ran home from Bible study yesterday, went to the Mr. Smalls website and lo and behold, I was able to get two tickets to the show!!! HOORAY!!!

I'm woefully behind in their recent musical going-ons, but I don't care. I've been waiting for this for 16 years -- it will be good even if I don't recognize a single song that they do! And with iTunes out there, and the fact that they give away so much of their music for free to fans, I don't expect that I'm going to go to a concert and not hear a single familiar song. In the meantime, I've dug out some of my older cds and have been enjoying them today.

The DC*B concert fell through, but Jason and I are still going to take Deborah to see Delirious on April 11, and we're hoping to score tickets to see the Dave Matthews Band in Pittsburgh this summer (not members of the Warehouse, so it's impossible to get GOOD seats, but we know when tickets go on sale, so we're hopeful that we'll get SOME seats).

In other, non-music news, the evening routine is working well. Someone asked what we're doing. Nothing major. When Deborah gets home from school, they have half and hour to unwind. Then at 4:30, she scoops litter and the younger kids help me clean up in the living room. Supper at 5/5:30, then at 6 we go clean in their rooms. 6:30-7 is reading/game playing time. Baths and bedtime.

I'm adding some other stuff to the younger kids' day (more structured play), and will probably try to nail that down before summer break starts so things don't go absolutely horrible when everyone is home!

I've also made my own schedule of things that need to be done (with Megan's help!). It seems to be working pretty well so far. The main test will be when we have a rough week -- whether or not I can get back into it. I usually do pretty well for a while, but then tend to slack off when we do a trip or someone gets sick or I just don't feel like it one day. But I think this plan is going to work for me.

Had my first piano lessons yesterday. The boys are both really sweet, well-behaved kids. Mom seems like she'll be good about actually making sure they practice, which is great. I look forward to working with them. I do need to make a trip to a music store to pick up some theory books for them. The last teacher was doing some of that, but not enough for MY taste, so I'm going to supplement a little more.

Anyway, the sun is shining, Jason comes home today, and everyone seems to be healthy! It's a good day! AND I'm going to see the Johns!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Routine is good!

The new routine is working great. Even with Jason gone, the kids gave me no trouble over the new evening routine. They tidied up in the living room and their rooms without any complaining at all. We just got to that time on the list and they did it! Everything went really smoothly. We even had time to do some reading together, something we've gotten really bad about lately. We're doing picture books now, but I think I might start some chapter books soon. Next time I see my parents, I want to pick up my copy of "Charlotte's Web" to read to the kids.

We all schlepped Deborah to school this morning. I just dressed the kids in sweats to sleep last night, so all we had to do this morning was put on shoes and then out the door! We got dressed for real when we got home, and then we'll head out to Megan's music class here in about an hour. I'm just impressed that we were able to get everyone up, fed and out the door in 40 minutes. Lovely! Hopefully tomorrow morning will go as well!

I really miss Jason. When he was gone last week, I was sick and just generally felt miserable, so I didn't care who was around. I wanted everyone to go away! But now that I'm feeling better, I really miss having him around in the evenings. I'm definitely looking forward to having him back at home (although next week is another killer week, in that he has performances most evenings!). I know that his goal is to be a gigging musician, so I'll need to get used to this, but I don't think I'll ever really like having him gone from me.

Alrighty. I have my own chores to get done here this morning before it's time to head out to music class. Tuesday is kitchen day -- I'd really like to have that finished so when we're home this afternoon, I can just kick back (like you can ever really just kick back with kids around!). Have a great day!

Monday, March 27, 2006

On the road again...

Jason heads out this afternoon on another business trip. He'll be gone til Thursday night, so this one is a bit longer than the last. I hate going to bed by myself (even if one of us gets back up, we almost always go to bed together). Between trips and sickness, intimacy has been sparse lately. I'm looking forward to settling back into some level of normalcy in the next few weeks. All of this time apart reminds me of just how much I love this guy and how much I love spending time with him. I'm just so blessed to have such a great man as my husband and companion.

Today I'm going to sit down and make out my personal schedule of stuff that I need to do every week. I know there are things that if I do on a more regular basis, I won't feel so behind all the time. I don't want to be too rigid, if for no other reason than it's just not who I am, but I know that I need more routine in my life than I have right now. Having Tuesday as a regular day to clean out the fridge is a good thing. And I'm sure that once I get the kids used to a regular evening routine, it's going to be easier to have regular chores for them to do during the day as well. But baby steps!

I'm feeling a lot closer to God lately. I so enjoy that! I know that there's a deeper level for me to get to, but I'm feeling closer than I've felt in a long time. Time with God doesn't feel as forced or sparodic as it did a few months ago. And it's not all "God" stuff that I'm doing. I'm just trying to find more of Him in the regular, everyday experiences. It's an exciting pursuit. I'm hungry for more. And hungry is a good feeling!


I'm happy to be in the truth,

And I will daily lift my hands:

For I will always sing of when Your love came down!

I could sing of Your love forever!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Beginnings of a solution

After fighting with the kids about cleaning again, I lost it. Called a family meeting and we all sat down and talked about what we needed to do to work better as a team.

Everyone, even Bubba, sat together and figured out what we need to do to make things work better around the house. Then we went upstairs, and cleaned both of the kids' rooms in about 20 minutes! Much better working together instead of Mom just doing everything and kicking everyone else out.

I've sat down and made a schedule for the evenings. We've been talking about doing this for a while, and after today, it had to be done. Nothing too complex, because I know if we have lots of stuff on a list, it will simply not get done. This just outlines stuff like picking up the living room every afternoon, helping with dishes after supper, and tidying up the rooms every evening so we can walk around in them. Also tried to include game or reading time, because I know we don't do stuff like that as a family nearly often enough, and the kids are all old enough that we can do more stuff as a family now. I know there are lots of websites with ideas for family activities that we can do -- I think this will be good for all of us. We've gotten into the habit of doing more stuff alongside each other than really together. I forget that the kids are all getting older and we need to do more stuff as a family. We're going to start doing more activities outside of the family (I know soccer for Deborah starts up pretty soon, and I'm sure the others will all be participating in other activities and what have you before I know it!), and I want us to still remember that we're a family, not just a bunch of people who live in the same house.

I also need to sit down and make a schedule for myself. Nothing iron clad, but basic stuff like mopping the kitchen and cleaning out the fridge need to make it into a weekly rotation. I think if I have my stuff together a little better, it will be easier for me to ask for help from Jason (although he's been better about helping, PTL!) when I need it. Right now things are still a little out of control, and it makes it hard to really ask for help when I feel like everything needs attention.

Anyway, I hope that today will be a turning point for our family. We're all learning this as we go and we're starting a new place (or at least, I'm finally recognizing the place we've been in for a while!!). I'm excited about how it will all go!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Health update

Sorry this has been the whole thing lately. Gah! I can't wait to write about something other than sickness!

Anyway, here's the update. The doc was great. Gave me all of my meds for free and didn't charge that much for the consult. Praise God!

I came home after the appointment, got the kids some lunch, and then fell asleep on the couch while they played upstairs. Then my mother-in-law took the kids in the later afternoon and fed them supper and what have you while I napped some more. She brought them home at bedtime, gave them a bath and put them to bed for me. I waited up til 8, then went to bed myself. MIL kept Deborah at her house, so I didn't have to get up in the morning and take all the kids out to get Deborah to school, which was another huge help. I slept til 7 this morning, and still feel a bit fatigued.

I'm hoping that the antibiotics are starting to work, as I don't feel quite as horrific as I did yesterday, but I tell you, I can't remember the last time I felt this wiped out. I'm so thankful for my MIL who has been a HUGE help to me, and I'm so thankful that the kids have all been really happy and easy-going for the past two days. They haven't really fought or bickered or been clingy or anything for the past two days. I hate being so detached from them, but right now, I just need all the rest I can get. It makes me so happy that they can enjoy each other right now without me (although I did play some Barbie Uno today with Faith and James, so as not to be a completely negligent mom!).

I thank all who are praying for me and my family through this. Even though I'm not getting the quick healing like I'd hoped, I know that God is using so many people to minister to me right now, and that is also a gift from Him! And this is giving me a chance to rest, which is something that everyone needs from time to time! (Of course, next time, I'd rather it be a week-long spa retreat! TIA! ;-D)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Suck it up

I'm taking myself to the doctor today. I woke up this morning with a fever, terrible headache, all that jazz. I've put off going to the doctor because I'm uninsured and it's just an expense we can't really afford. However, I can't really afford to stay sick any more (off and on for a week and a half), especially since Jason heads out today on a business trip.

So, I'm dropping the kids off at different places and taking myself to the doctor. Praying for a cheap, effective antibiotic that knocks this thing out super-fast so I can get back to living.

That's it. Prayers appreciated.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Relapse!

Ugh. I took James to the doctor this morning. The antibiotics are working great and he's MUCH improved, so no hospital for him! Hooray!

I, on the other hand, have suffered a massive relapse today. My fever is back, my sore throat is back, and I'm feeling all weak and yucky again. Blech.

I still went ahead and mopped the kitchen floor. It's been a couple weeks since I've done that *blush* and it was just awful. The living room is passable right now, although there are still a number of piles that need to be sorted through and cleared out. But I just don't have the energy for that right now. The kitchen was dirty not just cluttered, so it just had to be cleaned. I still feel like crap, but at least I have a better looking kitchen.

Hopefully I can get to bed early tonight and get some good sleep. I really want to play at church tomorrow, but right now, I just don't know if I'm even going to make it to church tomorrow. I might send Jason with all the kids and just use the morning to sleep. I know my biggest obstacle to getting over this illness is that I haven't rested nearly enough. And the primary culprit there would be me.

In good news, Jason is working on Reason some more today, which is always nice to hear. I think he's working on his song, 1 Cor. 13. I'll be anxious to hear it when it's finished.

And now, I'm gonna' go pass out on the couch. Maybe read some more of "The Fourth Hand" by John Irving (I love his stuff!). Definitely no more house work for me today. Blah!

Friday, March 17, 2006

The last sick post (please???)

Deborah stayed home from school yesterday. She actually seemed pretty healthy, but with as lousy as James and I have been feeling, I wanted to make sure she was okay. A day with her reading me "Superfudge" and playing Uno wasn't all bad anyway!

James, who I thought was on the mend, ended up with the infection moving into his eye yesterday, so we went to the doctor this morning. He got his antibiotic and I feel much better! I don't know if he feels a lot better right now (they're treating this fairly aggressively because I guess, while his condition is fairly harmless, it can turn into something more serious), but he's been playing upstairs all afternoon with Faith and Christopher, so I guess he's not awful. He did have a little nap this morning after the Dr. visit, and I think that helped perk him up a bit as well. We go back tomorrow morning to make sure that the meds are working and he's not in any trouble. Right now things look about the same as they did this morning, but I'm hoping all is well tomorrow, or we might have to do some IV antibiotics in the hospital. I would really prefer not to have to do that, so prayers that this treatment works would be much appreciated! Bubba had a slight fever yesterday, but is fine today (with the exception of some minor drainage) and Faith has a slightly runny nose, but is otherwise okay. I'm hoping that's as bad as it gets for the two of them!

I'm feeling okay. Sore throat is no longer a problem, although I've got a pretty wicked sinus headache going on today. Just carrying a box of tissues around with me everywhere, trying to clear that out. Too much empty space in my head, I guess! ;-D

Today is my grandparents' (the ones who gave us the new van) 62nd anniversary! I can't even imagine -- they've been married twice as long as I've been alive!! These two are so wonderful -- I'm so glad I have them in my family! They have such a genuine, playful manner between them and one of the deepest loves I've ever seen. They are two beautiful people, and I wish them all the happiness in the world! I love you Gram & Kack!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sickness at the Wrights

We've got a nice cloud of sick hovering over our house. Got a call from Deborah's school today to pick her up because she got sick at school. Poor kid. I know she's at least as upset about the embarrassment of vomiting in front of her classmates as she is about being sick.

James is improved a little from yesterday, but is still feeling pretty lousy. The fever doesn't seem to be a problem any more (sigh of relief from mom!), but he's still got a pretty good cough and a really runny nose. Faith and Christopher still seem to be pretty unscathed (Bubba has a bit of a runny nose, but nothing major), but with 66% of the family sick, I'm not optimistic that they're going to escape this one. At least we should have it out of the way before the PATRIOT Act makes it more difficult for our family to buy cold medicine! Bah!

Anyway, with all of the sick floating around, there's not much going on. I'm bummed because tomorrow at MOPS they're doing a spa day, and those are soooooo nice. Last year they had massages (by professionals!), hair stylists, make up, facials, foot soaks, manicures -- it was wonderful. I hate to miss that one. I could really use a spa day! *sigh*

Oh well, at least there's nothing serious going on. I can take a few days of puke and snot if that's the worst of it. I'm so thankful that we've been blessed with overall health! Hopefully there will be something more interesting than the latest cold symptoms in the near future!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Not dead

Okay, so I didn't die!

I felt a bit better yesterday, and a bit more better today. This is definitely a more persistent bug. My throat still hurts like crazy, but I'm not feeling nearly as woozy and out of it. I hope to get some actual work done around the house today. Probably nothing major, but at least some basic tidying up.

Sadly, I think I'm going to have to cancel my piano students' first lessons. I'm supposed to start teaching a couple of boys tomorrow, but James is still pretty sick today (please pray that he'll get over this -- poor little guy is just miserable and there's nothing we can do for him), and I know as a mother, I would not appreciate taking my kids to a house where sickness was in full swing, so I'm going to bow out and start them next week. I can't say I'm entirely disappointed -- I really can use another week to get the living room cleaner. It's in pretty good shape, but there are definitely some little pockets of clutter that need to be cleared out. With another week, I should be able to get that under control.

That's about it for now. Off to tend to the one sick kid and the two healthy ones!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I think I'm dying

Ugh. So much for making through the winter without the flu. I feel absolutely miserable.

Drove down to Huntington on Friday for the rehearsal for M & L's wedding. Things went really well. Rehearsal went very smoothly, music sounded good, everything was fine. Because I didn't know anyone other than M & L in the wedding party, I opted to skip the rehearsal dinner at Cici's pizza and instead grabbed a new Irving book (The Fourth Hand) at Borders and then had dinner by myself at the Olive Garden. Very nice. I actually quite enjoy eating alone as long as I have a good book.

Went back to the hotel, colored my hair, watched some TV and went to bed. I didn't sleep very well, but figured it was just due to being in an unfamiliar place. When I woke up, I felt pretty lousy, but thought that it was probably because I had just had a poor night of sleep. I went to Bob Evan's and had a nice breakfast, but still didn't feel very good. The longer the day went, the worse I felt. By the time I got to the wedding, I was feeling feverish and shaky, and had some nasty post-nasal stuff going on. The wedding went fine, but when it was over, I felt absolutely wretched. I was supposed to drive home after the reception. Instead, I had to skip the reception, rent the hotel room for another night and spend another night waking up every 5-10 minutes. I woke up at 7am, and headed out at 8am. The first hour of the drive was fine, but I really had to gut out the last two. Driving alone for 3 hours while battling the flu is not advisable.

Anyway, I'm home now. I've slept off and on all day and will no doubt head to bed pretty early tonight. I just hope this sore throat doesn't keep me up all night again. I really need some solid sack time. Hope to have good news next time!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

He did it!

I'm so excited! After years of talk about writing music, Jason has actually started recording some of his stuff! And it's really good!

Honestly, I'm just thrilled about this. He has been picking up stuff for recording here and there for years. Which is cool, but when time goes by and nothing gets recorded, it starts to get a little frustrating. And I'm not the best person at hiding frustration. *blush* He's been noodling around with some really great themes on the piano for a long time, but nothing ever happened.

Well, this past weekend, he hooked up the laptop and started recording one of the themes. Added bits and pieces and after a few hours of work, he has a really great piece! It's still in "demo" form, but I really like it. I know I'm a little biased because I'm married to him, but I'm a pretty harsh critic, even of my hubby, and I think this is really good. (He's supposed to have it up on his myspace site later tonight, so I'll add a link when that happens.) He has submitted it for a compilation CD for an electronica event that's happening in April -- hopefully we'll know about that by the end of the month.

Mostly, I'm thrilled that he did this because it proves to me and to him that taking the meds for his bi-polar is A Good Thing (TM). Sure, his manias probably don't produce all the ideas that he might have had before, but he's not so terrified of rejection now in his depressions that he can't let something "out there" for critical review. The stuff that's good is still there and now he can focus enough to actually do something with it. No loss of creativity -- simply focus! His creativity and passion is what drew me to him, and seeing that unleashed in a healthy way is just so thrilling to me!

I'm just beaming today!

ETA: Here's a link to his myspace site so you can hear it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Grocery shopping woes

I've never liked grocery shopping. You pick the thing off the shelf. You put it in your cart. You pick the thing out of your cart and put it on the belt. Then you put the bags in the car. Then you bring them in from the car. Then you put the things on the shelves. Booooring!

And now my favorite grocery store is closed leaving basically one major store here. And I hate that store. Despite not liking to go grocery shopping, I could at least tolerate it at Giant Eagle. They had great produce, great sales, nice staff, great selection and a nice store. Shop 'n Save has none of those things!

And what's even more depressing is that I'm totally bummed over the closing of a grocery store. Not some hip club. Not a sweet little coffee shop. A grocery store. My life is way too boring.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Concert season

Woohoo! Jason and I might be able to make it to two concerts in April. Hooray!

We had planned on going to see David Crowder Band with Third Day on April 13. I absolutely adore DC*B and haven't ever seen Third Day, so we're pretty pumped about the concert. My folks are going to take the kids up to their place for a few days, so this will be a great little get-away for us. I'm absolutely pumped for this one. The last time we saw DC*B, it was a much more intimate setting, which was sweet, but I'd like to see them In Concert as well. No doubt it will be a great show.

Then we found out that Delirious is playing a concert just a hop, skip and a jump away on April 11. I've never had the opportunity to see D:, and we were really torn about going to both. As much as I wanted to see DC*B and Third Day, I thought that we might skip it this time and just go see D: way closer (so less gas money). When checking out how much it would cost to see them here, we found that the concert is free, so we should be able to go to both concerts! Woot!

We'll need to secure babysitting for the kids for Tuesday night, but I'm really excited about going to see some pretty major players (at least at one time or another) in the worship arena. Very exciting stuff!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Catching up

Now that it's been almost a week since I've written and more than a week since I've actually said anything, I'd better post something of what's been going on here!

Last Friday we made a last minute decision to take a trip up to PA to visit Keek. His birthday was on Sunday, so we took the kids up on Saturday for a surprise visit. I called my mom to make sure they were going to be around, and she made lunch plans with them to keep them in. We showed up right around 11AM and caught him totally off guard! It was awesome!!! He loves getting to see the kids, and since there's absolutely nothing at all that we can get for this man, it was such a treat to be able to give him some of his great-grandkids! Doing an up and back trip in one day isn't my favorite thing (especially in a vehicle with no music -- more on that in a minute), but it just made him beam. I called him about something else on Tuesday, and he started the conversation saying again how happy he was that we brought the kids up to see him for his birthday. As soon as my dad sends me the pictures, I'll get them up on the blog (I have to get a digital camera!).

Okay, about that music-less car thing. When we got the new minivan, we couldn't figure out how to work the wireless headsets so the kids could watch a movie and we could listen to music. Figured we were just too inept to make it work, so we just left it alone. A few days later, the system started making funky sounds when we'd listen to a CD or the radio and one day it just quit altogether. We finally got around to getting it to a Honda dealer to get it fixed, thinking that it would still be under warranty, so no biggie. Well, it turns out that the previous owner had put coins into the cassette deck (or at least, the children of the previous owner did!), and they were causing a short in the system. Of course, this voids the warranty! The service department rep told me that they could get the change out for about $125 or replace the whole system for around $900. Well, we sure don't have $900 right now to spend on that, so we just went and picked it up. I called the dealer where Kack bought it, and after many phone calls, they have agreed to fix it themselves free of charge for us! So we'll probably be making another trip north in the near future, but $50 in gas money is FAR better than $900 for a new entertainment system!

Things are good in the family. Jason is doing great at helping with little stuff around the house. the kids are behaving pretty well. James had a little bit of some kind of bug this morning, but seems to be doing better this afternoon. Deborah has apparently been accepted into the advanced classes (we didn't even know she had been tested! LOL!) -- Jason is going to talk to the special ed teachers to set up her IEP next Thursday. Faith and Bubba have both been a little clingy lately, but that's not all bad.

I'm doing okay too. I'm still coming to grips with the pursuit of God, but am making steps toward that. With Lent starting today, I'm doing a minor fast (sweets) -- I hope that will bring additional clarity to what I need to do and to hear God more clearly. I know that it's just a matter of time. Time to reacquaint myself with His voice. Time spent actually listening. And time spent talking to Him, too. But I'm feeling more connected with Him and I hope that's making me a better person for my family and friends and for myself.
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
 
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