Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Five of Us

We had church directory pictures taken, and they always take a few extras. Some I bought in 8x10s for the family room wall. Others we only have as proofs. They are not very clear because they didn't scan in too great due to the type of finish. 

For now I am just going to post the two that are the five us. It's a big change from last time when there were nine of us in our church directory photo-it's on the side, the one where we are in rose and blue. And then we had another one taken because we only bought the one church directory photo and wanted more photos. Also, Jasmine's neck was undergoing expansion treatments due to upcoming surgery in the blue/rose one. So we went to Sears and did the teal/purple one. We had them take different combinations. And that's what we had this year, but there were only five of us instead of nine.

 I wish they'd had Rick a little more to the right of the picture in both of these. But other than that, not bad. Everyone's eyes are open. And everyone is facing the same way. That was a bit of a challenge with Kayla. In fact, she was a bit of a challenge to the point that the photographer commented on it. That calmed her down in a hurry.

 I will post more of them later.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Day Off

First, thank you to those of you who shared your "firsts" in the previous post. It seems that we all have a variety of firsts this year. One more for us tonight. Jasmine is at her first away football game with the high school band and won't be home until after midnight! Of course they scheduled band photos for tomorrow morning!

Tomorrow (at pretty much the same time as photos) Kaleb has a big swim meet, and Kayla has her first American Heritage Girls' field trip. Rick and I are trying to juggle things so everyone gets everywhere. Thing is, Kayla's outing is an hour from home, so I'll be driving her and staying with her. Kaleb's swim meet is 45 minutes away. Same direction, so I'll be able to catch part of his meet.

My two children in public school had Wednesday off. The charter school was not off. And I couldn't bust her out on a family day because her grades were too low. 

So we headed to the beach where we normally dive. Due to the budget we weren't diving today. I did see Jasmine and my instructor from basic, and he suggested I sign up for advanced. It's five specialty dives, and it would be way cheaper than hiring him for five dives. So I might do that next month. It's cheaper in off season months. Update:Not going to be able to do this due to a reoccurring sinus infection.

 We grilled hot dogs and snorkeled.

The current was really strong, so we had to stay shallow and to the far end of the jetties so the current would carry us into the jetties NOT over them into the open water.

Me. It was that kind of day.

Jessica photo bombing.

Of course after we have all this fun on Wednesday, Thursday after Kaleb left for school, I saw he'd forgotten his planner, and I realized I hadn't seen it all week. So I opened it and found a one page single space typed letter about his behavior Monday. Erg. It's been a while since he's had a bad report, although she did say when he didn't like something, he'd shut down. We see that too. He also pouts like crazy. And it's enough to drive a person crazy. But overall, up until Monday, he's been doing really well. Just the pouting if he gets corrected about something or loses a privilege.

After the beach, Jasmine got her hair done at an African braid place. I can cornrow, but it's not totally even or very tight. She had school pictures today (Friday) and has band pictures tomorrow, so I wanted her hair to look really good. It'll also make it easier if she doesn't have to comb it out every morning.

I did the beading, and I got lazy and pulled the back into a pony without beading. I am either going to do white or black so we can change the front colors without having to change the back.
Tyler will be moving back home soon. He has aged out of Job Corps. He did not pass his a+ certification unfortunately. He got 680 out of 1000 but needed 700. You can test twice, but they didn't give him time to study his weak areas but instead made him test again right away. He did get his IC3 (computer) and wildfire certificates. He does not know what he wants to do yet.

Jasmine leaves for school long after the others, so she and I have been watching movies together in the morning. There's not much else to do at 6 a.m. I have netflix DVDs and instant play and also the trial month of Kindle Unlimited which has instant play movies. So far we've watched If I Stay, One Song and Let it Shine. We plan to watch What a Girl Wants which was suggested to me by a writing coach due to a fiction idea I'm working on. What movies would you recommend that Jasmine and I watch together? What have your daughters enjoyed? Please leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

Don't forget to visit my new parenting blog and follow it  HERE 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lots of First

This week we've had lots of firsts.

Not the first time he' s made my clothes his nap spot. But first time for this hoodie. I haven't even worn it yet. Now it's got that fur look to it. Been there?

First time in uniform for her new high school band. I'm pinning the legs up.

First time  kayaking from the marina to the island. If you look by Rick's feet, you'll see a lot of algae. I didn't see it, stepped on it, and my feet went out from under me. I went down flat on my back (thank God for my life jacket!) and my head smacked down with a thunk. I am feeling it now!

Ready to go

On the island, icing the lump on my head! There isn't much beach at this part of the island, but it's too far around to kayak to the beach and jetty part.  There's a ferry, but it's $15 each. There is nothing on the island but sand, grass, trees etc, so whatever you need, you take with you. We took lunches and lots of water. 

First time rescuing dragonflies! A lot of dragonflies were upside down in the water and couldn't move. Several had drowned, but we rescued about six!

It was too shallow to snorkel really, but we floated on top the water and watched the hundreds of fish in this grass. Can you see them?

First time holding a live sand dollar. It was moving the little hairs, or I guess it was actually moving, and that felt weird. I moved it out to the grassy area so it wouldn't get stepped on. White sand dollars are dead. Green and fuzzy are alive. Now you know.

First time buying ice cream from an ice cream boat. Yeah, it plays the music, and you wave and flag it down. I didn't think we had money with us, but my life jacket whistle ($75 fine if your life jacket doesn't have one and you're on a boat) has a container for money, and Rick had put some in it. I never even noticed the canister part of the whistle.

Waiting on Jessica's first baby. I do have two step grands, but I'm not in contact with them much and only see them for a few hours every couple of years.

Not the first time she's borrowed my clothes.

No firsts here, we were just goofing around. We start a digital camera class and a sign language class on Friday.

First day of the second year of County Christian Youth Choir.

First day ever of American Heritage Girls. We just got a troop this year. It's at a church about 45 minutes away. Rick blew a tire Monday night, so Kayla and I went to get Jasmine and take her to choir before going to AHGs. Poor Jasmine left the house at 7:30 and didn't get home until 9:00 that night.   

Kayla loved it. That's good because it's something she's willing to work for. She's very excited about the trips and badges. I was asked to be the Shepherd. That has to be approved through the board, though. It would be cool. It seems like an amazing group of girls.

Travis' first hair cut. Last time the clippers scared him, so he didn't get groomed.

Sasha went along to get a bath.

So much cuteness in one little body

She knows she's a princess.

Jessica was at the house and wanted Taco Bell. So everyone got Taco Bell. Look at those faces.

Love my adult kids. She's the only one I see regularly though.

What first have you had this school year? Come on. Write something. My cluster maps counter isn't counting right now, but it does show me that we have people from all over the U.S.A. and the world stopping by. So please leave a comment and share your firsts. I bet we have some really unusual ones among blog readers.
Don't forget to visit my new parenting blog HERE. Click to follow so you'll know when I post. I hope to post on Tuesdays and Fridays though normally.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Parenting Blog

I have a new blog that will have (hopefully) very practical parenting advice on it. Looking for a lot of input and interaction on it. Need to hear your thoughts in the comments. Check it out HERE. Please sign up as a follower. Then blogger will show you when there's a new post. I'm hoping to post on Tuesdays and Fridays. Hoping.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Life is Like a Ping Pong Game

Lately life has felt somewhat like a ping pong game lately.

One child changed schools. A good move but with a couple of challenges. 

Another child is trying to finish up training at job corps but missed getting his certification by 20 points. It required 700 of 1,000 points on the test, and he got 680. Someone stole his USB with all his study material on it.

One child who had been doing so well is starting to act out at the risk of losing the privileges he's gained. The privileges have made him feel entitled and resulted in bratty and mouthy behavior.

One child who has been silently defiant has started pushing to work things out because there's a club starting Monday that she wants to be in.

One child (who is pregnant) and  her husband, have been evicted from the house they rented from his mom. I've been helping her pack up and move. He's lived in that house for a long time so has accumulated a lot of stuff. They are living in one room with his dad and step mom and putting their stuff in storage. I'm not sorry to see them leave the house. It had a lot of mold and mildew and is close to an incinerator so got really dirty as a result.

Another child broke up with his girlfriend of almost a year and a half. Yep. They were cute together but something happened and they are no longer together.

Same child is trying to figure out what direction to go in life and is considering police academy.

So, back and forth, forward and backward, up and down. Like ping pong. A game we've been playing the last two days for stress relief.

 Table was a little dusty from not using it very much.

 We've been clearing out and changing around the family room. The wall to the left in the above picture (out of sight) used to have one cabinet and three bookcases. It now has one cabinet like the one behind Jasmine. There used to be a second cabinet behind Jasmine, but it got moved to a bedroom and the game bookcase shoved in its place. I plan to put a futon couch along the space I cleared, but that is going to have to wait due to a new air conditioning coil and a couple other major expenses that came up unexpectedly.
My work corner (behind me) is still a mess although I haven't worked at my desk and desktop computer since June when a computer place "fixed" my computer. It resulted in me having all new programs I don't like and losing all my internet bookmarks and past e-mails I had saved. So I've just been working on a laptop. An old one at that.

 We've never used the fireplace, but it gives the room some class :)
 Kaleb is sitting on a toybox that was my toybox growing up. It used to have a large paper organizer on it. That went out to the shed. The toybox has some random toys in it and also stuff for Jessica's baby and other future grandchildren.
 There isn't a lot of extra room when the ping pong table is up.

 You can see behind Kayla there is a small chair by the fireplace. I got it at thrift for $5. We have a couple other small chairs in one of the sheds. One is over 100 years old and belong to my grandmother. I need to bring it in and probably repaint it. The bear on the chair was bought at Harrod's in London in 1998. (The year is on its foot) We were stationed there.
Anyone else feel like life is like ping pong right now?