Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feeling Bad About a Good Day

The day went well with the grandsons yesterday, I thought.  They are always so excited when I or we (My Bob and I) pick them up from pre-school.  Yesterday Bob and I went together so that we could stop at Lowe's and measure that fireplace.  Bob thinks it will fit into Dad's Jeep Cherokee.  Haven't had the time yet to go back and get it. 
So on the drive back home we discussed lunch ideas with the boys and decided on peanut butter and jelly for Landen and scrambled eggs for Logan with jello and fruit for both. 
As promised, Bob helped build the tinker toy airplanes.

 Then since they ate a very good lunch we baked our chocolate chip cookies with halloween sprinkles.

We had so much fun and I let them eat two each. 

They played with their new airplanes for about the next hour or so before their Mom came to pick them up about 5:00.  They showed her their airplanes and we packed up some cookies to take home.
I thought the day went very well.  Then DIL called me from her cell phone on her way home and asked if they took a nap.  I told her they didn't because we were busy and having fun and honestly I didn't even think about it.  They didn't seem tired to me.  Well, Landen fell asleep in her car on the 15 minute ride home and she was upset because he should have had a nap and now he was going to be cranky the rest of the evening and probably wouldn't go to bed very well at bedtime. 
Well I'm sorry.  I feel bad, but I was also upset.  Didn't tell her that.  I just said I would be sure they had naps the next time.  For crying out loud! 
I don't know why this upset me so bad, but it did.  My Bob was mad, too, because the boys had a great time with us and vice versa, but he tried to calm me down and told me it was no big deal.  I knowwwww - BUT!!!
I have the boys Thursday this week and Monday next week and then DIL is done working. 
We'll see how that goes!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Re-modeling and Re-decorating - In Progress.

Just a quick "Hello".  It's been a week since my last post.  (There I am sounding like I'm in confession).  Does that mean blogging is a bad thing?  Or just an addiction?  Anyway, I have to leave in 30 minutes to pick the grandsons up from pre-school.  Then it's making lunch, building something with the tinker toys (which I promised last week) and baking chocolate chip cookies.  It's also Monday, so it's laundry, ironing,  and clean sheets day.  I'd also like to do some quilting or knitting, but that will have to wait until about 8:00 tonight.
I was going to get on the computer a lot more over the weekend, but My Bob got into a re-decorating and home improvement kick just out of the blue so I had to jump on that opportunity.  It happens about once a year.  I'm guessing he has a few extra dollars I don't know about right now.  Whatever, I'm still jumping on it. 
Saturday morning he decided he wanted to re-arrange our bedroom.  Which then leads to a good cleaning under and behind where the furniture used to be.  Then a few pieces of furniture were eliminated and so I now have a coat stand in the middle of my sewing room and a rocking chair in the middle of my living room.  See how one thing leads to another?  The main reason for the bedroom redo was to create a wall space to put an electric fireplace. 
So yesterday it was off to Lowe's.

 Still no computer time, but I'm still taking advantage of this window of opportunity.  We find the fireplace mantel we like, so I write down the model # and now we need to borrow a truck.  And wouldn't you know it, it's been raining ever since Saturday night.  We don't want to haul anything in an open truck in the pouring rain.  But I figure, since we're at Lowe's and My Bob seems to be in the re-model mood, I take him to the bathroom department.  I have been wanting to do some improvements to our little powder room for a couple of years now.  He cooperated!!  Woo Hoo, we're on a roll.  I thought ahead and was prepared.  I measured the vanity because of want a new granite top and sink, new faucets, and new light fixture.  We picked it all out.  So now I want to double measure just to be sure then go back and put in the order.  And again, one thing leads to another.  The new counter top and light fixture is going to be a slightly different size so now we're going to get into re-painting the bathroom.
Since we're at Lowe's and I'm in the lighting department, I see a beautiful stained glass hanging lighting fixture that would look great in my kitchen.  He agrees!!  Add that to the list (in my head).  I also saw some tin ceiling (fake look alike) tiles that I would love to have in the little powder room.  (O.K., now I'm starting to push my luck).
I don't know when this is all going to get done, and it's still raining, and I have to leave now to get the boys, and they'll be here until 5:00.  Oh, just not enough hours in a day or enough days in a week. I'll keep you posted on the progress.  It seemed to all start with the T.V. musical chairs of last weekend.  I hope it doesn't just end with the ideas in our heads.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How Many T.V.'s Do Two People Need?

We played musical televisons all day Saturday. Here's how it started. My Mom and Dad wanted to get rid of their entertainment wall unit because they wanted to get a big fireplace/TV stand for a new, big 52" flat screen TV. Mom just didn't know what to do with the big wall unit. So I got to thinking about our finished basement "grandma's room" and after doing some measuring I thought it would look nice on our red wall down there. But then we had to get rid of an antique dresser and little TV stand. Well, Mom agreed, so we borrowed a truck and first moved the dresser and little TV stand back over to Mom's house. Luckily they only live 3 miles away from us. She put the dresser in her guest room and it looks really nice. The TV stand is now in storage. Here's how our wall looked before. My Bob started moving furniture before I got a real good picture, so I made him stop for a minute and at least got a picture of the back of the dresser. Then Dad and Bob had to make three trips to get the wall unit over to our house. After a lot of other re-arranging, here's how it turned out. We were real happy with it. We are now going to get our antique maple furniture (used to be my grandmother's) recovered. Waiting for the upholstery guy to show up. We also had bright plaid valances on the windows that don't look right now so I took those down and want to get just some shear scarves for the two windows to let the light in. Even though it's a basement, it's ground level in the back of the house so it doesn't feel like a basement.

Now the smaller TV that was in the basement looked too little for the wall unit and since Mom and Dad are now getting that new 52"er, we brought over their old big TV to go back into the unit. As you can see, this is much better.
We moved the smaller TV that was in the basement up to the kids/guest room. The TV that was in there was very small and old and you couldn't even hook a DVD player up to it. Which is just beyond comprehension to my grandsons. So now they are thrilled The little TV that was in the kids' room is now in our storage room. Anybody need a TV? We seem to have an extra.
Now what you need to know is that most of the time it is just My Bob and I in this house. Although we aren't alone so much in the house as we used to be. The kids are here a lot and we have a lot of guests, and Mom and Dad are here a lot when they take their boat on the lake. Keeping that in mind, here's the TV in the living room.

And the little new flat screen in the kitchen.

The one in our bedroom.

Of course, I have to have one in my sewing room.

Now it's time for Dancing With the Stars, so I'm going from the kitchen up to my sewing room to sew or knit something while I watch. It's a good thing I can multi-task! I am a TV junkie. Can you tell?

By the way, Mom and Dad bought their new fireplace/TV stand Saturday night and bought their new TV on Sunday afternoon. Everybody's happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day Care - Expensive, Grandchildren - Priceless

This is a busy month for me since I'm temporarily keeping my grandsons after pre-school three days a week. My DIL has given her two week notice at her job. Her last day is October 7, which is a little longer than two weeks because she is staying on to train her replacement. After that date she will be staying home with the boys. There are several reasons for this. I am very happy about this decision.
First off, the day care the boys attended all summer and after pre-school just lost its state funding. To put them into a day care that doesn't receive funding would cost them $240/week. I'm not saying that the price isn't worth taking care of your beloved children, but then it comes down to working just to pay the day care.
My son has also been asking her to quit her job. He is an Air Force recruiter in a town that's a little over an hour from their home. They considered moving, but hate to give up their home as it belonged to my grandparents for over 50 years. Austin felt that if things were more organized and calmer at home, he wouldn't mind the long hours and the drive so much. Now that the decision has been made he already seems much more relaxed.
Melissa's (DIL's) brother has also just come to live with them in their guest house. He is 29 years old but has some physical disabilities and Melissa has become his caretaker. He doesn't require a lot of care, but he doesn't drive, so she has to take him to doctor appointments, physical therapy, and to New York where he's from in order to visit his original doctor once a month.
They have a lot going on and with two little boys, the more chaos they can cut back on, the better.
So time will tell and I hope that things go well for them. In the meantime, I pick the boys up three days a week from their pre-school at 11:30 and they stay with me until about 5:30. They are sweet little boys and love being with their Bobby and Nina. And we love having them here, but they are typical little boys and very active and loud and want to be entertained. They know with me I don't constantly entertain. Bobby (Grandpa), on the other hand, plays with them and entertains them as much as he can in between working. So they think this is normal and what should happen all day while they're here.
Bobby and I are a pretty good Grandma and Grandpa team. Bobby plays, wrestles and takes them into the woods to build forts. I give the snacks, hugs, kisses, bake cookies so they can lick the bowl, and make popcorn and hot chocolate for movie rest time.
I can remember how much I loved going to Grandma and Grandpa's house when I was a little girl and now understand the pure love bond that Grandmas and Grandpas have with their grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is my mother's 71st birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom!

This is my mother and me about two months ago. Sorry it's so blurry. Doesn't she look great!

My mother has been a role model to me my whole life. She has always been a wife and mother that I have looked up to and wanted to be like. She doesn't give herself enough credit for her importance in these roles. When I was in high school she would encourage me to go to college and have a career so that I wouldn't end up as just a housewife like her. And I did just that. I went to college and had a 25 year career. What she didn't realize was that my desire always was to be a good wife and mother and "just a housewife" like she was.

It seems that being a good wife and mother is not appreciated for how difficult and important a job it is. And I want to emphasize "good". Any female can be a wife and mother, but to actually be good at it is a whole different story. It's a job that requires more skill than any executive. You need to be an organizer, manager, multi-tasker, cheauffer, boss, nurse, cook, housekeeper, hostess, and the list can go on. Oh - and all of this with a smile on your face, and no sick days. I don't know of any executive that has all of these skills in a work place and would do all that for the wages it pays. It's a 24/7 job and it seems thankless most of the time. But as you get older you realize how important family is. When you see the fruits of your labor grow up to be wonderful adults and parents themselves, and you're still married to the same man, and you have beautiful grandchildren, then that job as good wife and mother becomes the most rewarding job any female could have.

The debate will go on forever between stay at home mothers and working mothers and I've been both. I can honestly say that being a working mother is easier. Which is why I admire stay at home mothers so much and if had it to do over again I would have strictly been a stay at home mother.

The point I'm trying to make is that being a good wife and mother is a hard job and one that I admire greatly. My mother would be the pefect definition. I wish she realized this as much as I do.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I Still Remember

Here we are, Friday again, and I don't have much time. But I had to take a few minutes to remember 9/11. It's still a sad day every year and in remembering back eight years ago I could still cry. Even though I didn't personally know anyone that lost their life that day in this horrible, senseless tragedy, my heart aches for those that did. I can only imagine how the families of fallen loved ones from that day must feel on each anniversary of 9/11.
I pray that we may never have to experience anything like this in the United States again. No country should ever go through something like that, but some do all the time and it becomes their way of life. No one should have to live a life with those fears.
I am so thankful for the United States Military and their sacrifice. I am so proud of my two sons that are currently in the United States Air Force.
Let there be peace on Earth!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Friends, Family and Niagara Falls

I can't believe it's been almost a week since my last post. (It sounds like I'm at an AA meeting or in a confessional, not that I have experience with either) Where do the days go? Last Saturday I spent the morning cleaning, because I have to do that before I go away anywhere. Then when I get home I'm able to relax and it feels more welcoming when I walk in the door. In the afternoon my parents took Ellie Mae and Fergie, along with their dog, Lilly, to the dog sitter. I did the laundry and packed a bag. Even though we were just going away for one night it seems just as much work as getting ready to go away for a week. Saturday evening we went to my good girlfriend's (Paula's) house for a small get together. I have a group of very good girlfriends that used to get together all the time and now it seems life has gotten in the way of that. We still try to arrange it whenever we can, though it is a much more rare occasion. Last Saturday night it was a couple's get together and not just "the girls". The evening weather was beautiful , with the feeling of Fall in the air. We had a great time, and stayed much later than we thought we would.

Paula on the left and my good friend's (Francey's) mother, Dorothy, on the right.

We got back home shortly after my cousin, Brad, and wife, Jane, and their children, Grady and Libby, had arrived from Harrisburg. They were spending the weekend at our house and visiting Jane's family and Grandma and Grandpa in the nursing home. I enjoy their visits and felt bad that we had to leave so early the next morning, so I stayed up until about 1:00 a.m. talking with Brad and Jane.
My Bob and I got up at 6:30 and we were out the door by 7:30, picked up Austin and the boys and met Mom and Dad at the convenient store so that they could caravan behind us as we drove to Buffalo, New York. Unfortunately, Austin was not feeling well at all, so he slept. It was a beautiful day and we arrived at the Family Reunion by 12:30. It was one of our smaller reunions and I expect it to go by the way side after a few more years. The older generations are dying out and the younger generations hardly know each other and I don't see them showing enough interest. We had a great time. I love seeing family that I haven't seen in a while. The grandsons were very good. The highlight for them was when we went back to the hotel to swim in the pool. Monday morning, Labor Day, we drove to Niagara Falls. Austin was feeling a little better, but the little bug he had was still hanging on. We had to stay on the American side because Austin didn't have a current passport. With the new laws, Canada will let you into their country with a birth certificate and a photo ID, but United States won't let you back into the country without a passport. I explained that Austin had a military ID and the border patrol said that didn't matter because a U.S. Military ID does not prove U.S. citizenship. Isn't that something? But the American Niagara was very nice and there was much more to see and do than I remember from 20+ years ago.

Austin, Logan and Landen with the Falls behind.

Big G.G (My dad), Austin, Logan, My Bob getting geared up to go into the Cave of the Winds.

Aren't they cute!!

We had lunch at the restaurant overlooking the Falls. It was very nice and a great view. The boys were having a great time and yelling to people walking down below.

It was a great family weekend. The timing of the weather was also perfect. It was sunny and warm until we headed back home and then it turned to Fall. It started to rain a little and the temperature dropped. I'm OK with that now. Summer is over and I'm ready for the new season.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hurry - Quick - Too Much Going On

O.K. this is going to be a quick one. I don't know how I got so busy. I don't have kids in school, but I guess just the change of season has brought things to my attention that I need to do. And the Labor Day Weekend. So before I run out of time, I hope everyone has a great End of Summer, Four Day, Labor Day Weekend. The weather is supposed to be beautiful here. We're going to Buffalo on Sunday for a family reunion, maybe stop at American Niagara Falls on Monday morning, then head home. Austin and the two grandsons, Mom and Dad, and My Bob and I are going. Austin's wife isn't going. She didn't really want to, and they have recently decided they need to move closer to Austin's Recruiting office over an hour away, so she's going to look at rentals. They own their house (used to be my grandparent's house) here and they don't want to get rid of it so they are going to rent it out. Long story I don't have time to get into. More on that later.
I've been doing my Fall decorating all week. I love fall. Even though the weather is warm it still feels like fall in the air. I'm ready. And you know how one thing leads to another! So I ended up cleaning as I changed out summer "things" for fall "things". Then I got into window cleaning, which I hate. Then I couldn't just leave one window clean because the one next to it looked even dirtier, and so on and so on.
We have my cousin and family coming into town tomorrow . They always stay at our house, which I look forward to. They're not going to the family reunion because they want to spend the free weekend visiting with my grandparents in the nursing home.
I'm hoping to fit in a quick trip to the monthly summers only flea market. I haven't been to one yet and this is my last chance.
Well, it's Friday night and I try to reserve Friday nights for My Bob. He feels I don't pay enough attention to him. I don't know why he thinks that!! So I better get off this computer real quick. There's the rambling update and I hope I have more time next week. My grandson baby sitting won't start until the following week now.
Oops, he's coming downstairs, gotta g----.


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