Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Finally tried out the Wii Fit

M has a friend spending the night tonight and the friend brought over his balance board for the Wii.  I tried out hula hoop, stepping, tight rope walking, ski jumping.  I was basically horrid at all of these the first time, but much better even after one more try.  It did say that my balance on Warrior yoga pose was very good though.  Overall it looks like fun and like some of it might be decent exercise.  I'm hoping maybe to get the Fit for my birthday.


Monday, February 23, 2009


OK, so I'm going to brag a bit, but it's my blog and I can brag if I want!

We just got back M's SAT scores (from the Duke 7th grade talent search program).  He got a 650 in Critical Reading!  Wow!!  That's at the 90th % for high school jr/sr and at the 99% for 7th grade students.  All that reading pays off.

His other scores were also good, but not quite as remarkable.  He scored 490 on math and 470 on writing (I think his grammar is better than this, but his essay scored really low).  He had told us after the test that the reading was easy, the math hard, and his essay was bad.  Evidently he was fairly correct.

We're quite proud of M.  As D said, some of his students would kill for M's reading score.  On the old 1600 scale (that us old fogey parents took the SAT under), he got a 1140.  Combined scale of all 3 this adds up to 1610.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Tied Blanket

This was a really quick and easy project. I bought this fleece kit a few weeks ago on sale and have been waiting for a good time to work on it (needed the dining room table cleared off, but I didn't want to tie up the table). I needn't have worried - I finished the whole project this afternoon and evening, even with a lot of help from both cats!
Pounce kept trying to investigate while I was trying to spread it all neatly out - I had to leave the area to get her to leave. Then once I got it spread out and cut (MUCH faster with the rotary cutter than with scissors), Shadow came over to help me with the tying.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ancient Chinese Soldiers

Yesterday we went down to the High Museum to see the terracotta Chinese soldiers exhibit. It was a wonderful exhibit (Thanks, Mama (it was our Christmas present from her)). Here D and I are posing with a cardboard cutout outside the museum (no photos in the exhibit allowed).
Here's A in the gift shop with one of the 5 foot tall replicas. Only $1800! A bought one of the very small replicas, about 7 inches tall, like you can see in the background.
The exhibit was really cool. We got the kids headsets so that they could listen to info about the exhibit. I think it was a great idea, as it kept them from speeding through the exhibit, while we wanted to read all about it. Many of the stations had 2 separate audio bits recorded, one for adults and one for kids. I borrowed a headset from the kids a few times and the kids version of the audio tour was really cute, but still informative.
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Crazy Weather

Last weekend we had beautiful Spring type weather.  It looked like our local groundhog was right when he predicted an early Spring.  The flowers are blooming, the trees are budding... so of course, we have a freeze predicted for tomorrow night - its supposed to get down to 24.  Brrrr!  And only getting up to maybe 50 tomorrow, with plenty of wind.  I really hope it doesn't hurt the blueberries, which are about to flower.  Lets hope that they aren't at a stage yet to be hurt by a hard freeze.  Hope, hope, hope!

We'll also definitely be covering and uncovering the tiny little lettuce plants with our homemade cold frame windows.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Preparing the Garden

Last week my mom and I started digging in our new garden. Today after church, though, the whole family came out to dig.
Here's a huge piece of tree that we cut up/dug out. We think this is actually a tree that got buried at some point (probably when the house was built) rather than a giant root. We also dug up several pieces of barbed wire.
Finally done with the digging - 2 trenches, each about 18 feet long, 3.5 feet wide and probably 15 inches deep. We still have to backfill the trenches, but that is work for another day - plus, we need to add some fertilizer per the soil test we had run.

Our first bit of crop - mixed lettuces. We planted these about 10 days ago in a different bed, on the side of my mom's house. It doesn't get much, if any, afternoon sun, so it remains to be seen how well the lettuce will do. I'm hoping that the lack of afternoon sun might mean that we can stretch the lettuce season out a bit more into summer. We'll see.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

M is Back at School!

M may not be all the way well yet, but he was well enough to go back to school today.  Hallelujah!  He was a model patient while he had a fever last week (sleeping a lot), but once he started feeling better, he was wanting to be on the computer a lot.  I got really tired of listening to him watching the Simpsons on the computer.  It was tough because he seemed to be feeling ok in the morning, only to end up coughing a good bit by lunchtime and into the afternoon - and going to bed early by choice.  I was tempted to send him back to school on Friday, but the Dr had said to wait until today, and looking at M Friday afternoon, I could see that was the right choice.  He was MUCH better today.

Of course, M thinks that since he is feeling better, he shouldn't have to take the medicine anymore.  Nope - its an antibiotic, so you have to finish it off - days and days more of the stuff, unfortunately.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Ready for Spring

Can you tell that I'm ready for Spring???

I thought that "W" looked okay, not great, but ok when I was putting it together. Now, looking at it here, I'm not so sure about it. I may have to redo it.
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Webelos badge

A got his Webelos badge at the last pack meeting.  Here are the 3 boys (and parents) getting awarded their badges.  I think that they all earned the badges before Christmas, but the December pack meeting was a skating party and they weren't awarding rank advancements then.
Here's A with his new Webelos badge sewn on:

He has his compass too, and only needs one more activity pin before he earns his first compass point.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sick Bay continues

M is still at home, still sick.  The Dr. was thinking strep, but when he went to swab M's throat (only partially successfully), he heard the thick cough and changed his mind to bronchitis.  He didn't even bother to culture for strep.  Oh, and by the time we saw the Dr, M no longer had a fever either.  And it hasn't come back.

Due to the lack of pill swallowing, M got prescribed liquid Augmentin, or as M calls it paint.  M also gets to take Mucinex, or "that nasty acid" - it evidently burned his throat the first time, so I've been mixing it with warm honey and water, to dilute it and cut the taste a bit.  He still doesn't like it, but maybe this will be good reason to work on swallowing pills...

M was feeling better this morning, but wilting again by afternoon.  I had been thinking that maybe he could go back to school tomorrow, but seeing the wilt, I think its best not to tempt fate.  He was trying to do some math homework this afternoon, and it just wasn't going well - mixing up the y-intercept with the x-intercept.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Sick Bay

First time M has missed a day in middle school.

One of the few benefits of being sick is having a cat take a nap on you.

M took 3 naps yesterday. One in his bed and the other 2 brief naps on the sofa. He's back in bed now for another nap (first one of today). We're headed for a dr's appointment later this afternoon. I'm afraid that what we're going to hear is that this is a virus and only time will clear it up.

His fever has been running in the 102-103 range without acetominophen. Once he's well again, we're going to have to try again on learning to swallow pills. We tried at least once before with mini M&M's, but with no luck. I know better than to try learning to swallow pills with a sore throat. So for now, we're sticking with chewables. If he doesn't learn to swallow pills, though, I'm going to be extrapolating the appropriate dosage as he's at the top of the range that they give doses for.

At this point, I'm guessing we're in for another sick day tomorrow, but maybe he can go back to school on Friday. I hope! And please, don't let any of the rest of us get this....
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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Birthday A!

Yes, we've had another birthday over here. No more people in single digits anymore in this house! Even the cats, if counted in cat years, are in double digits.

That's right, A turned 10 just a few days ago. For his actual birthday, he chose to go out to dinner to a local Italian restaurant, where he had manicotti for dinner. Then we came home to presents and baklava. Nope, no cake on his birthday because I really didn't want to bake 2 cakes in as many days. I knew we would be having cake tonight (Saturday) for his party and it doesn't seem right to serve a partial cake to his friends. So, baklava it was - and it was delicious!

Tonight was/is the party. 5 guests plus A equals a LOT of noise in the house! One guest has been having a real issue with the noise, but I think he's going to do okay now. They have played on the Wii and played swords and played in the yard and played with new Magnetix. They are currently watching a movie and (I hope) falling asleep. Please let them be going to sleep as its 12:30 and I'm tired and want to go to bed. zzzz

Here is A with his cake. with the auto re-lighting candles that the kids love so much. I finally had to put them out with wet fingers.
The kids all got a kick out of the relighting candles too. But then the strangest thing happened. Most of the guests did not want any cake! or ice cream! I guess maybe they ate too much pizza for dinner. I've never had more than half the kids not want cake. And in the past, I've had kids who didn't like chocolate cake (sacrilegious if you ask me), but who wanted ice cream. Whatever - all the more leftover cake for us!

Then it was on to presents after a bit. A got some new magnetix (which he promptly checked out) and a model airplane kit - and the ubiquitous Tar*get gift card - 3 of them. He'll be able to buy himself a new DS game of his choice.

It's mostly quiet downstairs now, but I guess I'd better go check before heading off to bed myself. I put the volume on the movie a bit low so that they have to be quiet to hear it. Heh, heh, heh. sneaky mom...
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