Monday, May 30, 2011

Wishes in Flight

All students at our high school are required to do a "senior project"which includes writing a paper, doing a physical project, and presenting about what they have done. Karre chose to do her`s to raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries and the fact that most of them are preventable. In Minnesota there are 100,000 people living with TBIs so 100,000 origami cranes were made to represent these people. The top photo is what the cranes look like as they are displayed and the bottom is Molly checking out a pile of cranes in our living room.

Wear your seat belts, do not text or talk on the phone while driving, wear a helmet when biking or playing sports, avoid domestic violence, and stay out of wars and you have a great chance of not being a person who will be living with a TBI.

For those who are living with such injuries these cranes bring wishes for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Is It Christmas Or July?

This morning Hanna went to school wearing neon green shorts and and bright red, long sleeved bowling shirt. Lauren did no better with the clothes choices. She left wearing shorts and and very summery t-shirt. It is really cool so I am wearing a sweatshirt and have closed the windows.

So I have one who likes to wear Christmas colors that really do not match and the other seems to think it is the middle of July. (She will be cold because she always is).

The boys seem to be able to get it together when it comes to finding things to wear. They just take whatever is hanging together and put it on. They do not have any crazy ideas about fashion.

Sometimes you just have to let them do really dumb stuff and shake your head in amazement at the craziness.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little Boys

Yesterday was one crazy day around here. When I left to take Hanna to get adjustments made on her orthotics all was well on the home front.

Lauren and the dog were laying in the hammock. She isn`t going to get into much trouble there.

Allen was happily swinging and singing.

Paul and Andrew were loading dandelions into Paul`s dump truck. They both had yellow stuff all over themselves and every now and then Andrew had to be told to take them out of his mouth, but they were little boys playing hard.

Rene` and Angie had things under control and Dad was going to be home shortly so I left for a half hour. When I came home all of the peacefulness was gone. Paul was screaming his head off because he had just walked under the swing and got smacked on the side of the face with Allen`s foot. He needed his mom, a little time to rock, some ice, and a warm washcloth to clean up the blood coming from his lip. He is fine, just a shoe print on the side of the face.

Everyone made it through dinner, showers, and schoolwork before we had the next round of little boy trouble. Andrew was running and fell on his face, biting the inside of his lip. I was holding while his mom was trying to get it to stop bleeding and we could not get it to stop as he had a rather nasty chunk out of the lip so Rene` and Angie took him to Urgent Care to get that fixed.

We had enough little boy action, blood, and trauma for a few days.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quilts No More

Rene` is home cleaning my house. She is the best cleaner around. She gets things done so much faster then I do. I guess she learned that in the Navy.

She was sweeping in Hanna`s room and found a massive amount of hair stuffed in the drawer and under the bed. That is because Hanna is pulling her hair out one strand at a time and it is really a mess right now. It is so bad that people are asking if she is on chemo or something. No, it`s just a Hanna thing.

There were lots of rubber bands that she takes off her braces, too. The kid just can not keep her fingers out of her mouth.

The other thing she found were strings, lots and lots of them. When Rene` asked me where they were coming from I told her I had no idea.

Then we decided to strip her bed and wash everything since we had cleaned the rest of the room. When we picked up her quilt it was obvious where those strings had come from. We no longer have a quilt, we have a sack full of stuffing that falls to the bottom when it is picked up. Then we took the other quilt off and yeah, she had taken all of the stitching out of that one as well. Quilts are not cheap and here in Minnesota they are very useful. I like to keep warm when it is twenty something below zero.

Now the kid has only her sheets to sleep with. I do not know what we are going to do when it gets cold again. I saved those lovely bags of stuffing and maybe she can use them to keep warm.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Soldier

Here is a picture of our soldier. He has that manly thing where one does not smile when taking pictures, ever. He has done that since about seventh grade so I really have to go back a bit to find his adorable smiling face.

Really he is doing fine. We drove some very curvy roads with lots and lots of hills in order to get to where he is. It is beautiful country out in the middle of nowhere, (actually a national forest) but a little scary driving.

The girl friend situation here is a bit more complicated and certainly not fine, but that will get worked out one way or another, hopefully soon.

Our soldier is off driving trucks carrying things that I probably do not really want to know about, but that is what he wants to do so we will let him do it and say lots of prayers along the way hoping he stays safe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Almost Ready...

I have Dad, Paul, and myself packed up and ready to head to Missouri tomorrow morning just as soon as the school bus departs with Lauren, Allen, and Hanna. We have PCAs who will keep them moving in the right direction while we are gone. I told Karre to have her stuff ready before she goes to bed tonight. She will have homework and she also has to go to play practice to make sure the costumes she made are all set for the performances since she will not be back in time for any changes. She says "it is under control" so I will trust that she knows what she is doing.

I have the snacks, movies, and music ready for the road. The directions are printed and they look to be pretty easy (we do not have to go directly into any major cities), I got hotel reservations, and the permit we need to get on base. We are set. Paul will be okay in the car for ten hours as long as I sit with him and keep him entertained. The FASD chatter will likely drive me a little nuts by the time we get there but that is okay. At the end of the drive there is a pool for him to wear himself out in.

I am looking forward to spending a couple of days with my son the soldier. He wrote a list of things he wants us to bring. They include meat, cheese, and crackers, Coca-Cola, candy, and chips. I am guessing the already very slim guy is even slimmer.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Not Today

I got the stinky Marigold plant in a paper cup, with the dirt spilled all over the backpack and a really sweet hand made card from Paul. I got hugs and kisses from Allen. I got to go out for a nice lunch with Karre. I got an email from Lauren with a picture of a crown and "I love you" on it. I got to talk on the phone with my older kids. Oh, yeah the seven of them appreciate having a mom and show it in little ways all year round.

Then there is the eighth child who just had to make me something with foam art. Isn`t it lovely. I am choosing not to say a single word about it to her. She has been trying to push my buttons all day and get me to say something and I am just not going to give her the satisfaction of the argument. I am NOT going to go there, not today anyway.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Little Black Purse

Today I am digging my little black purse out from where ever it is hiding in my closet. It is the one that meets military regulations, it is simple, neat, and yeah just a bit to small.

I usually carry around a brightly colored bag which is large enough to accommodate all of the things a mom like me needs to carry around. I have to admit that the size of my purse has increased as the number of kids has increased.

Into the little black purse go my wallet (the small one), a little money, and of course my gorgeous photo ID, which looks nothing like me. I will take a couple sticks of gum to keep Paul quiet. The fruit snacks and Cheerios will not fit so they stay home. I can not take the all en wrench and screw driver which I carry to fix broken wheelchairs, nor the nail clipper or the tiny little scissors because they are considered weapons. I can not take the half dozen fidgets, there isn`t room for them. I guess Paul will survive if I squeeze one small car in for him to play with. The baby wipes can not go, I hope we have no sticky messes to clean up. The lotion, lip gloss, kids medications, and contact solution are not allowed either. My Ipod and Nook are not allowed. I can bring my phone and camera, but will have to take them through a seperate security check. I have my directions, parking pass, and invitation to Jared`s ceremony and that is about all that will fit into my little black purse.

There sure are a lot of rules to follow for just one little black purse. It would take me a while to get used to this.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Marathon Begins

From now until the middle of July is going to be a marathon of activity here. We have IEP meetings, military family events, a birthday, graduation, two older kids traveling to Europe on educational trips, a trip to Duluth, etc, etc. Along with all of the events I still have to keep things running and the routine as normal as possible in order for some of our kids to function.

I am ready for lots of family time, I will be ready for school to be out early next month, I think, and I have most of this organized in my head and on my calendar as well. I will get this marathon under way today by getting something done with my hair, which is a mess and driving me crazy, and getting Paul a haircut too. Tomorrow is a surgery day for Lauren so all I can do is fill out forms, sit around, and read a good book. In order to finish this marathon I will have to pace myself and take the down time when it is available.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Hanna has been up to absolutely no good the entire weekend. She is totally ticked off because Lauren got to go to the after prom party and she did not get to. We explained that she is thirteen and not old enough to go and sometimes you just do not get to do everything you want to do. We did not go into the other half dozen reasons she would not get to go because she would have totally turned us off by then. She pouted, stomped around trashed a few things, and was generally very loud.

We went out for lunch/ dinner since we had some errands to run anyway. Hanna sat there and picked apart her food. She then lost it when she did not get to have ice cream. What a hoot having a thirteen year old who needed to be removed from the restaurant.

While Hanna was creating chaos Dad, Paul and I had a lot of fun playing campa (Paul speak for camper). Dad and Paul arranged some chairs, pillows, and blankets in the corner of the living room to make a pretend campa. Paul was sitting on one of the chairs pretending to drive Dad and I around while we sat behind him on the floor. He had a Curious George book that he was using as his stubbin wheel (steering wheel). With him driving we were going to be in the ditch, on top of the mountain, or in the middle of a corn field, anywhere but on the road. When we got to where ever it was we were going we got out of the campa and made pretend lunch. We had white things with chocolate mixed up (smores I think),toast with peanut butter and bury (raspberry) jam, pretzels, and orange soda. After that tasty lunch we slept under the stars until it was night time and then we got to go back into the campa because it was to scary to stay outside.

It is a great gift to have this little boy who does not get wrapped up in the drama and chaos to play with and love. This is what moms and dads should get to do on Sunday afternoons. Paul makes me one happy campa!