Monday, October 13, 2008

Girl vs. Wheel Barrow! And the winner is.....

A day in the ER and 22 stitches later...the winner was clear. Sigh... Someone just tagged me last week and asked what my greatest fear was. My answer - not being able to protect my children always. She did well through the stitches (6 inside, 16 outside). The worst part was the numbing process- involved being stuck with a needle more times than the stitching involved! The doc expects it to heal well though. Poor Baby! And she just finished healing up after taking a header off her bike! It's amazing we manage to survive to adulthood! Levi's had a concusion in football this year and was benched for 2.5 weeks. One more (this was his 2nd in as many years) and football is done, finito, caput! Each one he gets makes it easier to get another.
Tomorrow is another day!

Joy Journal: My girl is okay after all that! That a dear friend found out he has NON-Hodkins Lymphoma and is treatable! Thank you, God! And I'm thankful that Claire likes puzzles more than SpongeBob cartoons! Time to get one out, now!

Monday, August 25, 2008

OMGoodness!!! Excited, Scared to Death, Can't Sleep... no, I'm not talking about trying out a new roller coaster, but rather a first day on a new job! I have been a stay-at-home mom/ part-time student and employee for many years now and I just started back to work, full-time, today. As if that wasn't scary, exciting and nerve-wracking enough, pretend your new job started in Spain and you only had Spanish in High School! Here is the scoop... I am working at the Indiana School for the Deaf. I took three semesters of sign language, and did well, but I swear to you, it may as well have been Greek! I truly feel completely inept as nearly everyone I met today is a native signer. ASL is their first language, whereas English is mine. Sigh...I know it will come and I will study my heart out until it does. But I will live in trepidation, for fear someone may actually ask me a question- for a few weeks anyway! :) Everyone was soooo patient and kind in their directions today, I just hope I don't exhaust their patience! I am a teacher's aide in a first grade classroom. Besides getting to know some wonderful people and more about the culture that will be a huge part of my daughter's life, I am reminded today of the wonderful feeling you get when you share in those educational "ah ha!" moments with your children. I enjoyed those when we were homeschooing the boys, when they would "get" a math concept or find an answer to a question they'd been struggling with. I got to help some little people with their math today and just so love seeing those big smiles when it suddenly makes sense to them.

I think I will really love this job, if I can wrap my head around and truly internalize the language! The only thing that would make it any better is if it came with health insurance benefits. Sigh... it doesn't. Perhaps in the future, that will change...saying a prayer as that is definitely a need with athletes in the family!

Another thing that happened today was that I got a much clearer picture of what it must have been like for Claire in a mainstream setting... She was surrounded by children and adults who used spoken English as their primary means of communication, while hers was American Sign Language. In one way, she never knew any different, but in another, she must have totally felt like a fish out of water a good deal of the time! The upside was that she wasn't with strangers. She was surrounded by people who really loved and cared about her, her education and her well-being. But there was no one else truly like her and I can only imagine what that must have felt like.

You know what they say about hindsight. We've made so many mistakes along this journey. I'm not sure I see mainstreaming Claire as a mistake, as she did very well in that setting. I just think her journey may have been a lot less frustrating for her had we done it differently. Sigh... But you know, our faith is very strong and we truly believe that God has directed our path. We have met some incredible folks on this journey and learned soooo much. Our lives have been blessed by every single one of them, so no, I don't think I regret it. Knowing what I know now, I might do things differently, but it was the best decision we could make at the time.

Totally just wrote in circles there, eh? Oh yeah..that's just how it goes some days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh I have so much to catch up on and so many blog posts rolling around in my head. I know, they are supposed to be here, not there, right?! Well if I keep them short and sweet, I may actually be able to do a better job at regularly posting. I thought I might try to post a few recipes now and then also as I am going back into the working world full time after many years as a full-time mom and parttime working gal. So on the prowl for fabulous fast fare.

Anyway, check out this Bad Boy! This snapper was meandering across our yard, actually making a rather straight line for the koi pond! While it would have taken him awhile to get there, he would have made fastfood of it's oblivious inhabitants! So after some near-misses with his beak-snout-teeth-thing, we loaded him into the car for a trip to the creek down the road. He can dine to his hearts content there. And in the last photo, his tail is actually HAIRY! I never saw that before on a turtle! Interesting!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

WooHoo. We made it. The Slawta family is reunited in Indiana. There were supposed to be exclamation points after those three sentences, but for some strange reason, blogger is telling me I can't use them in my posts...bizarre. Heeee...actually, we have been here for about 2 weeks now. Still boxes and more boxes to unpack, but all the essentials have been put away, so the rest will be weeded through when we have the time. I am amazed at all the "stuff" we've managed to collect though. We sent van-loads to the mission in NY, and I have a perpetual Goodwill box going here and keep refilling it. Wherever did I find to room to pack it all away in NY? In a home with half the square footage?

We have met many of our neighbors and they are all wonderful. They have this awesome "open Door" policy when it comes to the kids. All are welcome, wherever, and everyone just politely sends them packing when it's time to go home or for meals. So there are often some extras here, or if mine are missing, they're really not as I know right where to find them. I thought I would miss the solitude and privacy we had in NY, but I am really enjoying the secure feeling of having caring neighbors nearby.

Okay, so I will try to post a few pics, one blog entry at a time, that I've neglected to upload. These butterfly cupcakes were sooooo easy to make and we did them for Claire's birthday in school. We just cut fruit-jelly slices in half, and then in half again for the wings (must rinse scissors every 10 slices or so as they get very sticky), and used chocolate-flavored Twizzlers for the butterfly body, and melted chocolate chips squeezed out the corner of a ziploc baggie for the antennae. Really, couldn't have been easier and they looked so festive...Girly enough for the feminine quotient of the class, and tasty enough for the boys. Oh yeah, I just noticed the toothpicks in the pics, they are solely there to keep the foil from doing damage in transit.

Friday, June 06, 2008

So what good is insurance? Pay your premium on time. Trust. But then when you need them to come through, all bets are off. Heck, you're lucky if you can even get a live person on the phone to tell you in person that your policy does not cover acts of weather related damage. Do I sound a little jaded? Yeah.

Brownsburg, IN hasn't had a tornado in twenty years. We get Steve moved in there over Memorial Day and they have two within the next week. Not kidding! We have half an inch of water in our basement- which is essentially our first floor as it is all living space... and all carpeted. The drainage ditch across the road isn't adequate to carry away the volume of water produced in extreme weather. So it backs up into our basement. We have your standard homeowners policy as well as a homeowners warranty. Both are denying the claim coverage. So the money we were hoping to get furniture with, now will go into new carpeting. I don't even want to buy new carpet unless the town fixes that ditch, but they aren't likely to do that since it's not a frequent issue. Gee, but it's okay for us to spend $5ooo on new carpet, as long as it's infrequently, right?

Seriously discouraged. We know know KNOW we're supposed to be making this move. God pointed us in the direction, even gave us the nudge, but I guess He didn't say it was going to be easy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Well so much for my recording events on a daily or even weekly basis! Life has just been so full of top-speed changes these last few months! We moved Steve to Indy this past weekend. Several men from our church and a good friend from town came up to give us a hand packing the moving truck and making sure my car was up for the drive. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Mike, Floyd, Kurt, and Stuart. OMGoodness, we couldn't have done it without these guys! And my brother-in-law Dave, who helped us pack, drove a moving van, and helped unpack...there aren't words! We love you all!

We packed in 2 straight days of rain! Ugh! But at least it was beautiful when we got there for the unloading. My parents also went out and took with them all those odd boxes with crushable, fragile stuff. I think we lost one single teapot, that's it and that's pretty amazing! It did, however, take longer to make the trip with one drugged cat than with three kids! Poor thing was soooo uncomfortable! She sat on our laps and in her carrier between us and just meowed pathetically the entire trip! I don't think the medication helped much at all. But hopefully it was a one-time trip for her. That was tough.

But I think the toughest part was leaving Steve there! I reaaallllyyy miss him! Our 23rd anniversary is coming up on Monday and it will be the first we've ever spent apart! I sent him a little package yesterday containing a little sweetness and a little...well... never mind, just something to make him miss me :) . But one week down an a touch over four to go!

No luck selling the house yet. That is a major source of stress and totally prevents us from getting as excited as we want to be about the new home. But I just have to keep reminding myself to trust God to take care of it. He will.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Super-Sized THANKS!

To Floyd and Clarissa...
Floyd, thank you so much for giving so generously of your time and skills in helping us get the house ready to go on the market! And Clarissa, thank you for loaning us your one-and-only, Saturday after Saturday. It wouldn't be ready today if it weren't for you guys and knowing it's all done and done well is such a weight off our shoulders! We love you guys!

To Dick and Sue...
Wow, talk about coming to our rescue! Heee...and I really do have to be careful what I post to my blog, don't I?! I posted that I was trying to win a vacuum as mine is reaching for that big dust bunny in the sky and we are moving from a home with mostly hardwood to one with mostly carpet. You two pulled out your almost new vacuum and just gave it to us! I feel bad that it's too heavy for Sue to use since her arm injury, but you could have sold it to get a lighter one! You guys are too much! Thank you thank you THANK YOU!

To Ernie...
my talented and generous friend. The realtors have told us we should de-personalize our home a bit to help sell it, so potential buyers can imagine themselves living here, with their own pics on the walls instead of ours. Our walls were literally covered with my children's photos! I didn't have a lot of money to invest in new artwork, or the time to paint it, or the real skill to photograph anything but my children. But Ernie, bless her heart, had taken some WONDERFUL photos that she generously shared with me. After printing at and mounting to bristol board and poster-frames, my living room looks substantially more buyer-friendly. My only regret is that I couldn't mount and frame them with better materials. Someday, they will be though, Ernie! You've got some serious skill, woman!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A little sad, but it's temporary...I spent all of yesterday and today painting stair risers, restaining the treads, and painting crown moulding. It's tedious work, to be sure, but it looks beautiful! We just want to put our best foot forward for selling the house, want others to look around and think "I'd really like to live here!" The part that makes me sad is that I have to leave it, when it looks exactly the way I want it to! Sigh... But I get to go to Indy and do it all over again! The painting, trim work, decorating and accessorizing...I really am looking forward to that.

A story to read, if you have a few moments:
It's all about how the top administration at NC School for the Deaf does not know how to sign with the students. Sad that those making administratiove decisons cannot communicate with those they presumably work for. They had planned to protest but were shut down. This ciuld have also been such a learning experience, and exercise in civil disobedience, that oppression and diverse opinions can be expressed and should be expressed in a constructive manner. What better place to learn this than within the confines of a safe environment- their school! Disappointing, the way this is being handled.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hey! Check it out! Here is a slide show of our home, the one we are selling. Email me Email Me EMAIL ME if you might know anyone who'd be interested! 18 acres, 30 x 60 pole barn with lights, heat and concrete floor and 4BR home.

Go to ImageShack® to Create your own Slideshow

Monday, February 11, 2008

We have negotiated our home purchase! We are sooo excited! Barring any complications with the inspection on Thursday, we will be closing in late March! The current owners will be renting back from us for two months as they aren't quite packed yet, and then we will begin moving our goodies out there in May. The kidsters will finish school here though, so we won't be fully moved until the end of June. We will be meeting with a realtor today and with another on Wed. We had planned o interviewing three, but one had such a snarky attitude when we called to set it up, that I didn't even make an appointment with him. Our home is probably the single largest financial investment we will make in our lifetime, and selling it means working closely with someone to help meet our needs. We need to find the realtor who is just the right fit! This fellow totally copped an attitude because we weren't choosing him straight from the yellow pages! Sheesh! Of the two ladies coming, one was recommended by friends who moved here, and the other, by our realtor in Indy. Both seem very nice, knowledgeable, and assertive and I'm sure both would do a fine job. It may boil down to the agent who seems the most internet savvy, with the broadest reach in the market.

Anyone want to buy a sweet home in the country with 18 gorgeous acres? Email me! :)

And now on to our scheduled commercial....hehehhe. I want to win a vacuum! If I don't win one, I am going to have to pony up and buy one! So after reading Jen's blog and clicking on a button inside it, I found and their offer to Win an Oreck. We are moving from a home with mostly hardwood floors and a few area rugs, to one with some hardwood, some ceramic tile, and mostly carpeting. My dept. store upright may not adjust to the move so well. So I am following instructions and linking you back to them. Now if I would just get a little savvier and figure out how to add the buttons to my side bar and gussy up this blog, I'd be all set! Have a great day!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Game On!

And I don't mean the Super Bowl! Steve and I went to Indy this weekend and put a purchase offer on a home there. They countered today with another offer, which we will counter tomorrow. Hopefully, they will counter again...but we'll see. I know we offered less than they are hoping for, but we offered what we can reasonably manage and what it's worth to us. I hope it works out. It already has a great building on the premises for Steve's weld shop. It does have to be insulated and wired, but is great otherwise. I truly want the sellers to walk away happy, and hope they are able to with our offer. I just wish we could dispense with the game though...not my favorite part. I'm a cut-to-the-chase kind of girl.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Harney & Sons Tea -Jasmine Fairy Maiden-
Have you ever seen a more beautiful, visually enchanting brew? I ordered a sample of this tea a year ago with a regular order I placed from the most wonderful tea company ever (you'll see more posts about them!). When they came, vacuum sealed, two in a pkg, they looked like compact grassy little pods. I tucked them away to try later and forgot about them. In the midst of the packing and purging we're doing, I found them again and decided it was time to relax and enjoy a cup. It was mesmerizing to watch these blooms unfold and stretch upwards. The taste and fragrance are softly sweet, totally delicious. They are more expensive than a regular cup of tea (although Harney Teas can hardly be called regular anyway- have I mentioned how exceptional they are???) but each little bundle is hand picked, dried and hand tied. They are truly a visual and epicurean delight and worthy of your special guests and!

Monday, January 14, 2008

This love affair began at a baseball game when Claire was three. Grandma took her to the car to get a brownie and they came back with a kitten. Just try to tell a three year old that she has to give the kitten back.She was as stubborn as her Daddy and in the end, of course, she won. Cue kitty and Claire have a special bond. That cat rules the house like a queen and is for the most part, aloof like one, except with Claire.She is her baby. Cue sleeps with Claire and lets her carry her everywhere. She puts up with the rest of us.

Papers and elements from Shelleyrae Cusbert's Fairy Tale Romance kit. Page
design is a scraplift from Linda Paulson at SBG.
Font: Bradley Hand

I spent most of the day today, as I will many many more, painting trim and doors. Everything looks wonderful when it's finished, fresh, clean and new, but what a time killer! I'm just trying not to thing that the new owners will probably come through and repaint everything anyway. The house that was one of two on our short list for Indianapolis just got bumped to the bottom today. The owners have already moved to MN and want badly to sell it, which probably means more wiggle room for us on the price, and this weekend, they told the realtors that they would include their big screen tv. Now it really did have everything we could ever want...except good schools. The district it's in, the middle school has a 3 out of 10 rating and the high school has a sad 4 out of 10. That's too important to ignore just for bells and whistles and a big screen tv. Oh well.

The other house on the short list is in Brownsburg, IN. It's 23 minutes from Claire's school, which falls within the 30 minute limit we set (we don't want her to have to ride a bus for 45 minutes or longer on both ends of the day!), has more than enough bedrooms and a guest room and exercise room, and a building already in place for Steve to use as a weld shop! The only thing is that the owner hasn't posted interior pics yet, which makes me a wee bit nervous, but she said she would, so trying to be patient! We'll find the right one. Oh, this school has a 10 out of 10 rating!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Clean Your Chimney! Last year we put in a coal stove to supplement the furnace and offset the fuel oil costs. It has nearly paid for itself in savings and the heat in the house is much steadier. But... yesterday and last night, the carbon monoxide alarm went off. Thanks the good Lord it did. Carbon Monoxide is odorless and invisible, but deadly and is released when fossil fuels are burned. Because we were new stove owners, cleaning the chimney just didn't occur to us. We didn't have a buildup of creosote, like you get with a wood stove, but Steve found 4 nested and very dead birds in there, plugging it up. It was an easy fix, but could have been deadly, had it not been for that alarm.

If you don't have one, I can't recommend getting one enough. And if you have smoke detectors, and you should have several, January is a great time to change the batteries. Really, don't put it off.

Here's a layout I did yesterday. I never would have thought I would be a gizmo junkie. Kitchen gadgets- absolutely! Pampered Chef parties are my idea of a happenin' Friday night! But electronic gizmos? I think the 3hrs a day I spend in the car did it to me. I listen to books on mp3 and cd and all kinds of music. You may think I've lost my mind if you happen to drive by and see me signing and or singing, but really, I'm just hooked up and plugged in!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bringing in the New Year with The Leaning Tower of Chocolate Lumpage!
We had our dear friends, the Fullers, in today for lunch and the girls and made this cake for dessert. The boys dubbed it with the above title. I got the recipe online and it was called "Best Chocolate Cake Ever" from BH&G. I think the boys' name fit it better. The frosting was yummy though and we had fun making it. What else was on the menu? Ham & Cheese Chowder in Bread Bowls, a fruit platter with watermelon, fresh pineapple and oranges, a tossed salad with herbed feta, and peanut butter cup cookies that Clarissa brought. The best part of the afternoon was just hanging out with friends though.