Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy anniversary to us!

This weekend is our anniversary weekend!

On Saturday (Aug. 30) we were together 13 years, and today, Sunday (Aug. 31) we were married 12 years.

My husband took off work Friday and he's off on Monday for the holiday. (We got married on Labor Day weekend for that purpose!) He was off for three days in a row and we had a really nice time.

Our big day was Saturday afternoon. My sister and her husband came for the weekend, and they kept the girls. They all went up to my parents' house for the afternoon. The baby went to spend the evening with my sister-in-law, his favorite girl (besides me).

While my husband went to take the baby to his sister's house for the evening I had a spa afternoon! The main part of it was a good haircut, something I haven't had in a long time.

When he got back we went to eat at Olive Garden. We set out for Carino's actually but they were too full and so was our second choice, Applebee's.

We left there full and laden down with to-go boxes, and headed for downtown. We parked at the trolley barn and waited for a trolley ride, but the trolley was taking too long so we just walked to our destination ... the ball park! We went to a minor league baseball game, the farm team for the Angels. It was nice because it's something we rarely do, plus the night was perfect. It was just the right temperature with even a little breeze. The nice weather came from the park sitting right on the banks of the Arkansas River.

We left the game around 9 p.m. and decided to catch the trolley back to the car. We took a trolley tour and close to an hour later got off right at our vehicle.

We didn't do anything special today, our wedding anniversary day, except for spend the day together, which is always special. We plan to do pretty much nothing tomorrow too.

There was no big vacation this year but the best part of a vacation is just spending days on end together anyway. We get to do that until Tuesday. Yipee!!


Now for a bit of sap. Just skip this part.

We've known each other for years, since around 1979. He liked me when we were teenagers/young adults, but I always thought he was weird. But there was always something very special about him. Anyway, he asked me to go out with him in 1994 and I said no after thinking about it for two weeks. I did leave the impression that I would want him to ask me again, and finally he did, about a year later. By that time I had started to see him in a different light and I really liked what I saw. On Aug. 30, 1995 he asked me to date him and I was delighted to say yes. On Jan. 12, 1996, he asked me to marry him and again I was delighted to say yes. Our wedding on Aug. 31, 1996 was wonderful and the days, months and years just get better.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

House for sale update

There isn't much to report on the house for sale front. We had a few showings right at first but then they tapered off. My daughter said it's because I keep trying to keep the house clean. She said if I'd just let it go for a while then we'll get a call about a showing in a few hours!

With the short sale option a possibility after we've had the house up for sale for three months coupled with the fact that we overhauled the budget with some immediate success, we aren't overly worried about it.

We'll just take things as they come!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

School drop-off lanes

I thought that school drop-off lanes were pretty easy to use and fairly self explanatory, but evidently not.

Why must some people park their vehicles right in the drop-off lane and then go inside the school with their kids?

Doesn't common sense dictate that you park somewhere else other than the drop-off lane so that your car won't be in other people's way? Maybe in the designated parking areas?

Okay, this is the first year that we've regularly used the drop-off/pick-up lane at this school but I've used it on numerous occasions during the past two years. I don't think I missed the thick manual that they released on how to use this lane. It can't be just me.

This morning a woman pulls up right in front of the school, parks her car in the drop-off lane, piles out with all of her kids and goes in the school with them. One of the kids is a pre-k student (no uniform) so she had to go all the way in the school and to the classroom to sign that child in. YOU PARK IN THE PARKING SPACES FOR THAT, NOT STOP IN THE DROP-OFF LANE! The parents who are dropping off/picking up pre-k students are actually supposed to pull up and park at the back of the building rather than block the drop-off lane in the front.

There's no one out there directing traffic in the mornings but it's a very small school and honestly, it's not that hard to understand how to do things.

People are just as inconsiderate in the afternoons. There is a line formed in front of the school and when you get up to the school they assist your children into your car. It is very orderly and safe. But you have your people who get tired of waiting and get out and go into the school to check their kids out. In the meantime everyone else in the line has to drive around their car.

One day this guy in front of me WOULD NOT drive up. It was his turn to drive up in front of the school so they could get his kids in his vehicle. Evidently he saw his kids and he was waiting for them to come get in the truck and he wasn't about to move. But it doesn't work that way. You move your vehicle up and the people in the four or so cars directly in front of the school get their kids. Then they move and you move up and get your kids. You don't just get them when you see them and they DO NOT run out to the cars when they see their parents.

It's aggravating that some people are so self-absorbed that they can't figure out how to use the drop-off lane and they can't grasp that they aren't the only ones using it. How hard could it really be to park in the designated parking area?

I'm really getting tired of it as there seems to be an instance every day. I believe I'm going to go back to using the back of the school for drop-offs/pick-ups. There isn't a lane back there, you just pull up, park, and do what you have to do. You don't block anybody if you get out, and it's actually a lot less frustrating. We have used the back for the last two years because of having pre-k students to sign in and out. We don't have any this year but I believe I'm going to keep doing like I was doing anyway.

Monday, August 18, 2008

School starts today!

The kids are all back in school today! Yipee!

They were so excited about getting back to school, and I was too. It's been a long, overwhelming summer but then again it seemed like school starting back sneaked up on us!

We did our school supply shopping at Target late last week and learned a valuable lesson ... local stores don't order enough see-through (clear or mesh) backpacks so you have to buy them as soon as they put them out. I saw some really cute pink mesh ones with brown floral detailing at Fred's last week but when I went back a few days later to get them there was not one to be had. They took their backpacks from last year to school today and chances are they'll have to use them again this year.

I still want to get some lunch bags for them since I let them take their lunches sometimes. I'm going back to Target to get those later this week.

They were all fine with their uniform clothes from last year.

Hooray for school!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time to go back to school (almost)

Summer break is almost over.

Thank goodness!

Oh no! Where did the time go?

I'm greeting the end of summer break with mixed feelings.

I'm mostly feeling relief. This summer has been long, tiring, stressful, frustrating, and nerve-wracking. I kind of dreaded the start of summer, but it's inevitable so I entertained positive thoughts. I made plans to work the first few days of the week and then take all the kids on a “field trip” at the end of the week every week. We even made a list of places we wanted to go, all free places right in the area.

We started off behind our “field trip” schedule. We didn't get to make our fun trip the first week or the second. Things just seemed to get steadily worse as I struggled to care for five children (including a diabetic and a one-year-old), work, and do everything else that life requires.

I didn't make any adjustments but just kept trying to plod through everything without exploding. Finally my younger sister suggested I rearrange my work schedule, spreading my work out more evenly over the entire week and better utilizing times when I had fewer children around. I immediately put her suggestions in action and they worked!

I felt much more in control of the routine, but by then most of the summer was gone and I didn't feel like my kids had much of a fun summer. I feel kind of bad for looking forward to the start of school when the kids haven't had much fun. It could be that I'm just being too hard on myself and expecting too much. Whatever the feelings, I can't go back and redo the summer and the fact is, school starts in a week. It'll be time to rearrange the routine, again, just after I finally got it to a workable point.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kids gone for the weekend

All of the kids except for the baby are gone for the weekend!

One of my niece's is at her father's house for the weekend and the other three girls went to their grandmother's for the night last night. All four of them will be back tonight.

We are just going to take it easy in the meantime. I'm going to catch up on work and housework and make a short run to the grocery store. My husband is in sore need of catching up on his rest and sleep.

For right now we are sitting out on the front porch watching the baby romp around and listening to the sound of lightly-falling rain. So peaceful.

Friday, August 08, 2008

House for sale!

Things are moving along as planned with the “house for sale” arrangement. We've had a few showings but no offers so far.

A few days after we put it back on the market, we got a call at 6:15 p.m. for a last minute showing that evening. I had ducked out for a while, my husband had just laid the baby down for a nap, and the house was most certainly not show-worthy. (I hadn't done my all-night clean-up that I was planning.) He turned them down, mostly because of the baby being asleep. Needless to say, I spent the next several hours (on until the next day) getting the house ready to show.

We went a week and a half without a showing, and then I got a call at 1:30 p.m. earlier this week. I looked around at my five-kids-have-been-here surroundings and hoped for something other than a last-minute showing or even one in an hour. Thankfully, the showing was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. that evening, giving me plenty of time to clean and place things in their proper places.

Another call came yesterday at 3:15 p.m. asking for a 3:30 p.m. showing. I asked if they could push it back to 3:45 p.m. or 4 p.m., and they agreed to 3:45 p.m. We all jumped up and started putting things away. I didn't get a chance to vacuum but the house was neat and clean when we left.

I have a rule when we have our house up for sale: it must be no messier than what we can clean up in less than an hour. The last time we had it up for sale we got a lot of calls scheduling a showing in one hour.

The funny thing is, before I got the call for both of these showings this week I looked around at the house and thought that I needed to go ahead and straighten up. I need to start listening to myself!

We are just taking it one day at a time, not making any other plans for housing right now because we know a sale may or may not happen.