Saturday, May 8, 2010

In Which I Explain My Absence....

I've mentioned before that I've had "crazy-busy" weeks and I've meant them. They pale in comparison to the last  few days. It's been absolutely nuts here. fact, here's a recap just to prove my point.

(Oh, and I actually started typing this post on Friday the 7th. It's now closing in on 11pm Saturday the 8th. I told you it's been crazy!)

Friday, April 30th
I began packing for our weekend away. We are heading south to a friend's wedding. I'm the photographer. I'm packing and gathering things for the trip. After the wedding we're going to New Hampshire to meet our newest family member. At 10:30am the power goes out. I still haven't showered. What to do? Wear a hat and call it good? Thankfully hubby has a shower at his office to I plan to head there early to use it. I can't even remember all the errands I ran on the way. We arrived about 3pm. We had planned to leave about 4pm so this gave me some time to get ready.

I had also mentioned to hubby that the brakes had just started grinding badly that very day. The mechanic next door was able to get it right in and they actually get the brakes done in about an hour. We left about 4:30 but still had plenty of time to arrive at the wedding. The mechanics were great.

The wedding was wonderful. It was a very short ceremony and a nice simply reception. I just had the chance to view the photos I took - about 300 - this morning. I was suppose to have them ready for the new couple to order when they got back from their honeymoon (today!). Guess what I'll be doing this week! Here's one photo (with no edits....)

I finally was able to drag my hubby and kids away from the reception at about 9pm. We still had to drive to hubby's sister's house in New Hampshire which was going to take a few hours. We finally arrived there around midnight - tucked everyone in to bed - and called it a day.

Saturday, May 1st
We woke up (far too early) at my sister-in-law's house. I started cooking some cinnamon rolls I had brought for breakfast. She has a new baby and a two-year-old so I had planned to help out some with the food. My boys were up and going and unfortunately the sound carries fairly well in their old farmhouse so everyone was soon up and around.

We specifically headed to New Hampshire to meet this little one....

This is Baby T who is a whopping two weeks old here. Again - no edits on the photo. I want to work on those too!

We had planned to leave just after lunch but never managed to head north until about 4pm. We were all tired and it is about a 3-1/2 hour drive. I completely zonked out almost as soon as we left and so did most of the boys. About halfway home we switched drivers and hubby took his turn catching some zzz's. It was a long but fun day.

Sunday, May 2nd
I sing on with one of the worship teams at church. We typically do 2-3 Sundays a month and alternate with another group. This was our week to sing and we have started attending Sunday School so this means an early start to the day. 

Immediately after church we headed to the baseball field. Actually, hubby & J6 left a few minutes early since J6 had his first game today at 12:30. Our church gets out at noon and that is when he was suppose to be to the field. N9 actually missed his first game since it was scheduled for 10:30 this morning. We won't miss church for sports but we will do them in the afternoon if it works out. So we spent the afternoon (beautiful and sunny!) hanging out at the ball field. J6 is just learning the game. He's never played at all before. He's a riot to watch.

As soon as we got home I began trying to get caught up on laundry. I also spent most of the afternoon cleaning up the living room to get ready for Miss H & Mr. H to return. They were home with their Dad over the winter (he works construction but gets laid off in the winter) but since he was going back to work on Monday, so was I.

Monday, May 3rd
Miss H & Mr. H are back with us during the day. We spent the day at home getting used to the routine of having them here again. Mr. H is now 15 months and Miss H is 2-1/2. She talks pretty well although occasionally I have no clue what's she says. I'm working on getting my "toddler translator" going again.

Here they are enjoying breakfast...

They did really well and fit back in with our family very well. Then at 2:30pm we lost power. Apparently we had a "downburst" hit the area. It certainly did a number here. I think one must have hit here on Friday as well because both times the wind became very intense - for only about 30 minutes - and we even had a tree fall in our front yard on Friday.

Tuesday, May 4th
We are still without power until almost 2pm today. I decided that we would take a spur of the moment trip in the morning to get out for a little bit. I piled all the kids in to the truck and headed in to town. I even braved The Dollar Tree. Each child was able to pick out one thing from the store. I then headed over to the local Agway store and bought 150 pounds of play sand (since Miss H had picked out sand toys). As soon as I got home I filled up the sandbox and the three younger ones (minus Mr. H) had a very enjoyable time outside playing. I spent quite a bit of time reading and looking at curriculum for next year.

At 1:50 - just as I was leaving the house to drop H&H with their Mom (she had an away softball game) and head out to a 4-H meeting, our power came back on! Talk about timing! We quickly turned everything back to regular power (we were using a generator to power our fridge and one outlet in the kitchen - we share it with great-grandpa). It was nice to have it back!

Our 4-H meeting was about the project the group is working on together - service dogs. We had a very nice lady come out who trains puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She brought the dog with her that she has been training since he was eight months old. He's now about 17 months. He was so good! She showed us what type of things she had trained him to do thus far and how the program works. 

The dog - Cash - does not normally dress this way - honest! His trainer was showing us things they do to get them used to things. For instance, if Cash was sent to a hot or cold climate once he's matched with a blind person, he might need booties for his feet to protect them or he might need a sweater or something to keep warm. He was so good - not all that thrilled with this - but very good. His front paws kept slipping on the hardwood floor.

Wednesday, May 5th
Today was our homeschooling co-op day. We had a certified Maine Guide come and talk to the children for about an hour. He showed them how to use a compass. He took the outside after explaining how it all worked and tested them. They were each given a nickel with a different year on it. They spread out and placed it on the ground. Then they had to walk ten paces to the west, ten paces to the south, ten paces to the east, and ten paces to the north. If they did it correctly, they would end up back near their nickel. They all did pretty well with this.

After snack, they learned a little bit about Cinco de Mayo (since we were running low on time) and then did a couple crafts (made maracas out of plastic cups and tissue paper flowers). The boys had a good time though.

After co-op we headed south to the city to watch a play. The Waterville Opera House hosts four plays a year for children. We had recently seen Lily's Purple Plastic Purse and it was excellent. This time around we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was performed by a troop who also signs the plays. There were at least two deaf actors (they didn't voice the words) and the rest were hearing. Everyone signed and their words were voiced over the PA system - no one wore mics from what I could tell and we were pretty close to the front. It was wonderfully done and all the kids enjoyed it.

I made a quick run to Shaw's after the play because I'm a glutton for punishment - why else would I take five kids to the grocery store willingly? Actually, they had a couple of good catalina deals that I wanted to get in on and it was the last day and I was in the area. We all survived but I'm not sure I'd do it again!

I arrived home in time to get J6 dressed for a baseball game. We met H&H's mom in the dooryard - she had arrived minutes before me. We grabbed a quick supper and off we went. Phew! I left b13 home to try to get the laundry caught up and (bless him) he made cookies!

Thursday, May 6th
Today was a long day. We spent most of it in Augusta for two field trips. I had this week planned months ago as I'm almost positive I would not have planned two busy days back-to-back with H&H newly back with us. 

The first trip of the day was a tour of the State House. We were able to go in to both the House chambers and the Senate Chambers. We had a really great time - other than the rain that prevented us from enjoying our picnic lunch.

We ended up eating in the foyer of the Maine State Museum-Library-Archives area (along with about four school groups) but at least we were dry. We had some time to just sit and relax before our next trip.

We ended the day with a really fantastic tour of Camp Keyes. This is a National Guard base. We started out at the military museum. The curator was wonderful. He had tons of information for the kids and they were all enjoying it - especially the boys. We found out he will do three hour classes on either the Civil War or the Revolutionary War so we'll be looking into that further once we get to those points in history next year. I think B13 would love it.

Once we finished there, the former pastor of our church (who is now a full-time chaplain for this base) took us on a fantastic tour of the base. I'll just share some of the photos....

The highlight though...we were able to go in to the simulator room. This is where they train the soldiers how to shoot M16's. All the kids (and parents) who wanted to try it were able to. B13 "met the standards" set for the soldiers.  His daddy has taught him well.

We left Augusta and arrived home around 4:30 only to find we power again! Apparently another downspurt went through and took out a bunch more lines and such. I had about 15 minutes to get N9 dressed for his first baseball game, make a portable supper to take with us, and load all five kids back in to the truck. 

I dropped N9 at the ball field (my MIL was going to go to his game and bring him home after), drop H&H home (since we were so late getting back to the area), and head to AWANA. I drove 170 miles today. The good news...we had power back when we got home at 8:30pm.

Friday, May 7th
I woke up at 1:30am with a low blood sugar. As I was heading in to the kitchen for a snack...guess...just guess.....Yup, the power went OUT again. It's becoming rather somewhat of a habit I'm not really enjoying. I woke up around 4:30am when it came back on. Then at 7:30am it went out again. Seriously. It wasn't even windy. Thankfully it was back on at 8:30am.

I spent the day home trying to desperately get caught up on laundry, e-mails, and blog reading. I think I managed it okay.

To say I'm happy to see this week over might be an understatement. If you've made it this far through the reading of this rather long and winding (and whining) post, I congratulate you. It's now almost 11:30pm on Saturday and I need to go to  bed. Night!

PS: In the midst of all this chaos my computer also died. I've taken over hubby's laptop. I'm praying whatever ails my PC is fixable and, more importantly, all the photos and files I had backed up are salvageable. Right now all it does is beep at me and not boot. It's at the computer repair shop hopefully being fixed!


  1. I read the whole thing and I'm exhausted! LOL I hope this coming week won't be so hectic for you, although you did some fun stuff! Hope the power stays on, too. ;0)

  2. BREATHE!!!!!

    I commend you HIGHLY on your stance regarding sports on Sunday. I find it a horrible decision to put sports competitions for KIDS on Sundays to begin with...but when parents choose the sport over church, what does that say to the child. Sports are more important than God.

    I might condone an out-of-town championship game...but when it happens regularly, I just don't think it is right.

    And "welcome to my Sunday world", lol. We leave the house at 7:30 a.m. (we being the kids and I). They are known as "choir kids" (though I'm in the orchestra) and have an hour of special child care before services. We rehearse from 8-8:45 a.m., then service at 9:00...then LifeGroups (Sunday School) at 10:30. The kids have their respective "children's service" and Sunday school as well during this time. We rarely get home before 12:30. And I go back at 4:00 p.m. for another rehearsal to play with the evening service band. Sunday is truly God's day in my life!


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