New Jen's Horde

Thursday, February 28, 2008

We're in Topeka

It's a lot like Denver. In fact, it's the only city-type place we've seen since we left home. There's a whole lot of nothing on I-70 in Eastern Colorado and Kansas.

Davin and the kids are at a restaurant. We all tried to go, but Kaywinnet was barking and barking. I was worried that she would (she's in a new place, and she doesn't seem to be feeling well) so I performed an experiment. I called Davin's cell from mine, and left mine on her kennel as we drove away, sort of like a high tech nursery monitor. I muted it so she wouldn't hear us and start carrying on, but carry on she did! Oh my goodness, I'm glad we didn't just leave and hope for the best, we probably would have been asked to leave!

Oh yeah, to tell you why that would be a horror, I should explain to you why we're in Topeka, which technically isn't really on the way to Iowa from my house... We got online last night and tried a few different sites to book a hotel for tonight. Between the dog and the four kids, we're pretty extreme, I guess. The only places we could find on our original route wanted over $200/night. Or, if they had rooms for cheaper, they wanted us to pay for 2 of them! So, we bagged that plan and took the southern route, which only adds 60 miles so it's not that big of a deal.

Anyway, that's why we really didn't want to get kicked out of here. We have about 6 hours of driving ahead of us, and we didn't want to have to do it all tonight. We should get to my mom's house tomorrow afternoon/evening, and then on to Great Grandma Wanda's party on Saturday. Woohoo!

How are you all doing?

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I'm outta here!

We're on our way! While we're driving, I thought I'd leave you guys this article to chew on. Does this make any sense to you? Who thought to try this? And, is this what they mean by eye teeth? (har!)

Blind Irishman sees with the aid of son's tooth in his eye

An Irishman blinded by an explosion two years ago has had his sight restored after doctors inserted his son's tooth in his eye, he said on Wednesday...

The technique, pioneered in Italy in the 1960s, involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient's own tooth and the surrounding bone...

McNichol's right eye socket was rebuilt, part of the tooth inserted and a lens inserted in a hole drilled in the tooth...

"Now I have enough sight for me to get around and I can watch television. I have come out from complete darkness to be able to do simple things," McNichol said.
What do you suppose it looks like? Now I'm really curious.

Take care!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gasping for air!

It's been a busy few days, and it's only going to get busier, but I wanted to pop in and say hi!

First of all, you should know that I trimmed Maya's bangs today. So, you can all sleep a little easier...

We're gearing up for a trip to Iowa. My grandma is turning 85, and mom's throwing her a big party. The party's not a surprise, but our attending is, so if you see Grandma, don't say anything! I'm really excited, she's a cool lady :-)

We leave Thursday morning, and we'll be gone until the 9th, but hopefully I will be able to check in from the road a few times. As always, feel free to break in and clean my house while we're gone! We won't be camping this time (brrrr!) but we are driving. So, if you think about us, we'd appreciate any prayers you're up for!

Anyway, it's late and I'm trying to get the laundry caught up so we can pack tomorrow, so I'd better run.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Three New Skirts!

What do you do when all of your plans are put on hold because you've got the flu in your house? Make skirts for the girls!

The 2 skirts on the outside (ie on Anya and Sage) are made out of a black flannel fabric. A mom in my homeschool group taught me how to make these. It's very simple, you sew a basic tube, then put a hem in one end and put elastic in the other and you're done!

The one in the middle (modeled by Maya) is a T-shirt recon. It's loosely based on the instructions here, except I actually did put a hem in it since it's for church, not for the clubs.

Both the T-shirt recon and one of the others have a drawstring at the top instead of elastic. I tried it both ways, and they preferred the drawstring, so they can share them around and they'll fit everyone pretty well.

3 new skirts

Now, I think I'm going to try to find my hair scissors and trim Maya's bangs. Good grief, sometimes you don't really see your kids until you're taking photos of them!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

No words

This is probably the saddest news story I've read in a long time. I don't even know what to say about it.

Parents Charged with First Degree Murder

Last week Sargent called 9-1-1 from the family's Proctor Street home in Peoria.

When rescue personnel arrived they found the baby unresponsive seated in a car seat placed inside a crib.

Investigators now believe the child had been strapped in the car seat without food or water for eight days.

States Attorney Kevin Lyons said the room was about 80 degrees when the baby was found. The boy was wearing a snowsuit and held in the car seat by a rope. He said there are times "when crying yourself to sleep no longer works, and you cry yourself to death."
Normally stories in the news don't really phase me, but this one's had me near tears.

Sorry to bring such a downer into your Thursday, this is just where my head's been all day.



Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Where My Day Went

Yesterday, nine servers at Proboards crashed. This took down the forums that are the main communications for my homeschool group. All of the posts were empty, and the Proboards support team didn't know if we'd have *anything* left when the boards came back up. It was pretty grim, since we have over 27,000 posts. (I just figured it out, we average nearly 1500 posts per month, no wonder I'm hardly ever here any more!)

Because of that, I spent a lot of the day freaking out and staying close to my computer to see if there was any news. The Proboards support forums were up and down as they were overwhelmed with questions from the users of all their crashed servers, so I had to pop in a lot to try to catch them when they were working.

So, this is the sort of stuff I did on my computer yesterday.

I surfed ebay looking for cool fabric for an upcoming sewing project for Sage, and found what may be the creepiest clock in the world. Shudder!

I got caught up on those horrible girls who stole the Girl Scout's Cookie money. Did you read about this? Check out the article, one girl actually said, "We went through all that effort to get it, we got all these charges and we had to give the money back. I'm kind of pissed," and the other added, "I'm not sorry, I'm just pissed that I got caught." In the meantime, while this whole thing is in the news and the girls are being charged (one as an adult), the dumb twits got arrested for dine and dash at a local Denny's! Their parents must be so proud.

I found this most awesome skeleton nativity set while killing time at Etsy. (And you know how I love my nativities!)

Lastly, I found this interesting video. This guy is beatboxing AND playing the flute. He starts off with Inspector Gadget, and I think I heard a little Axel F in there, too. Definitely far more entertaining than anything I've ever been able to play!

Of course, now it occurs to me that I probably could have done some cleaning or something. Oh well!

In case you're worried, the boards are back up now, and we didn't lose much. I had to fix some formatting issues, but it was pretty much business as usual this morning. Can I get a "Hallelujah"?

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Cleaning! My brain and my house...

You may remember from way back in June that we've had a long-term houseguest. She's been staying with us while going through a nasty divorce (ooh, it's been hard to watch!) Anyway, the divorce isn't finalized yet, but she's able to get on her feet and she moved out Friday afternoon.

She wasn't a problem while she was here, and I miss her already, but I think her moving kicked me into gear to clean up my house a bit. And, when that happens, I can't let anything stop me, because that's awfully rare! So, over the weekend I've deep cleaned a lot of the kitchen, and the knick knack hutch. I cleaned the glass globes for the chandelier (man, between the dust on the globes, and on the bulbs themselves, it was DARK in here! Yikes!)

Also, I'm trying to sort my brain out. I was on a great medication a while back, but I stopped taking it because my insurance didn't cover it and it was kind of pricey. It wasn't anything I needed for any of my medical issues, but it did help me sleep well and wake up ready to have a day. When I quit taking it, I didn't notice any problems right away. But, one day I woke up and I just couldn't find my "give a damn." I just didn't care about anything! It took me a week or so to figure out what the problem was, and a little while longer to go pick up the prescription and let it work. But now I feel EVER SO MUCH better! Yay Rozerem!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I thought that this year I would post about my daughter Anya's special Valentine.

Anya has known Sam since they were 7 and 8ish, and they glommed onto each other from the very start. They both love monsters (including Godzilla!) and they love the same kinds of video games. Hey, I know of marriages with less than that for a basis!

Here are a couple of pictures of them from yesterday's Valentine's Day party. (They were taken by Liese.)

I thought this one turned out cute.

Anya and Sam

And here is an action shot of them drawing a "monster" card to send to the soldiers...
Anya and Sam, making a card
Ah, young love. Sigh.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Our homeschool group had a Valentine's Day party today. Instead of exchanging Valentines this year, the kids made cards to send to a platoon the group adopted. Also, people brought stuff to donate, so we could send it all along together.

I was SHOCKED at how much stuff there is to send! It filled up the back of my car. That was so cool!

We also ended up with a huge bag of cards and a banner.

I just thought that was neat :-)

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Jaws, lost tooth, extra teeth

Did you guys see that Roy Scheider died? My kids, Anya especially, are big Jaws fans, so it kind of feels like a member of the family has passed.

Something else passed this weekend, too. Tiernan, my baby (I know he's 6 1/2, he's still my baby) lost his first tooth.

I wanted to take a nice picture of Tiernan with his missing tooth for you, but he's learned to exploit the time between when I determine he's making a decent face, and when the digital camera actually takes the picture. So, they all look something like this:

Tiernan's lost tooth, silly

Speaking of Jaws and my children's teeth, in yet another reminder that Maya and Sage are like SUPER twinny or something, they've both got the same tooth coming in on top of itself. They're a little bedheaddy in this shot, but I think you can see the tooth I'm talking about. The third tooth to the right on top is double, like I'm raising shark children.

Sage and Maya, shark teeth

Of course, we know from their dental x-rays that their teeth are freakishly similar, but it's not always so easy to tell as it is these days.

Hope you all are having a great Monday!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

I need a brain transplant--or implant--or something...

I had a very nauseating migraine today, and I've really lost my patience with this whole process. I saw my neurologist the other day, and I asked her if she could hook me up with one of these jacks, like this one from The Matrix.


Then, instead of having them uploading stuff I'll never use like Kung Fu, I can just plug in and reboot the system and wipe the migraine from the hard drive. It seems reasonable to me.

She didn't seem very optimistic about the idea.

So, I'm stuck taking a pile of meds and trying to lay down in the dark. Fortunately the rest of the Horde knows the drill pretty well by know, and they can watch themselves and I can get some slack. Yay kids! After a couple of hours, I'm feeling human again.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Co-ops Thirteen!


Thirteen Co-op Classes the Horde is taking

Our homeschool group offers a co-op 3 times a year. The way it works is sort of like and education/socialization potluck. Everyone who's interested offers at least one class (or field trip, or party, etc) and that's the price of admission for them to participate in what everyone else has offered. Our co-op is run by Renee over at fefyfomanna!

These are the ones we're doing.

1. Follow in the footsteps of Dinosaurs
Course Description: Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs and of ancient insects four feet long! We will meet at South Valley Park (Jefferson County Open Space) for this two mile hike. We will follow the guided trail, with descriptions of the dinosaurs and giant insects that once lived here, the geological formations, and the Native American cultures that dwelt here in more modern times.
2. Lapbook/Unit Study Idea Night (this one is from Maura at Woodstone Prairie.)
CLASS DESCRIPTION: If you are lapbooking, notebooking, journaling or using unit studies as part of your homeschool this is a chance for you to share what your kids are doing and get some new ideas.
3. Tour Celestial Seasonings
We would love to host you in our beautiful hometown of Boulder, Colorado, so consider a visit to our facility when making your vacation plans. We offer FREE tours every day (except major holidays), and in addition to seeing the world's most advanced tea production plant, you'll have the chance to enjoy the extensive display of original artwork in our gallery and enjoy free samples of all our tea flavors.
4. Tour CiCi's Pizza
Class Description: Come join us for a tour of Cici’s pizza. Tour the kitchen facility and make some pizza. Afterwards we can all enjoy the buffet lunch together.
5. Gun Battle in the Park
CLASS DESCRIPTION: This will just be like a park day, only please bring any TOY guns you have, and the kids can have a battle. My sons love to do this, especially with lots of other kids.
6. Adults Only: Book Discussion (This one is offered by Heather N at Life as We Know It)
CLASS DESCRIPTION: We will be reading and the getting together for a discussion of the book The Reluctant Journey of David Conners. Find out more information on the book here
7. Mom's Night Potlucks
I signed up for 2 of these, Potato Bar and Appetizers and Dessert.
8. Tour the Edgar Mine in Idaho Springs
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Students and staff at the mine conduct guided tours for the general public throughout the year. Tours generally last one hour, but can be tailored to accommodate some special requests. More than one-half mile of underground workings representing over 100 years of mine development are covered on the tour. Lighted displays showing drilling, blasting, and mucking equipment are displayed on the mine tour and items of discussion include mining practice, mining economics, and the role of the mining industry in modern society.
9. African Safari (this one comes from Liese at The Colorado Adventure)
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Passport to Africa. We’ll travel from the Sahara to the Kalahari, and visit the rain forest and Savanna on the way. We’ll listen to stories from Africa and make some sand art, rock art, loincloths and necklaces. We’ll learn about rivers and an oasis and play some games. We’ll make some small drums and learn how to send a message to a far away tribe. Leave with a folder full of pictures and games to play at home. I’ll send you a passport to fill out, bring it with you for our trip.
10. What is Yeast?
CLASS DESCRIPTION: We'll learn all about yeast and how it works by doing three experiments. We'll watch what happens when we feed yeast, make bread with yeast, and make root beer with yeast.
11. Making Pillowcases
CLASS DESCRIPTION: May daughter and I will teach how to make a basic pillowcase. Kids will learn to thread a machine, sew a straight line, and sew a zig zag line.
These next two are classes that I'm offering!

12. Make Pysanky
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Pysanky are Easter Eggs created by using a wax resist method, and are originally from the Ukraine. (The singular is pysanka.)

pysankyThese eggs are just used as an example, I'll post some of the eggs we actually make after the class!
13. Sara and Jen's Excellent Adventure (Sara is another mom, we're working this one together.)
CLASS DESCRIPTION: Give your child a first hand experience of history. In this co-op, the kids will choose a true life historical figure, dress as that person, and give a little talk to the rest of us telling about their life in the first person. (For instance, "My name is Cleopatra and I was born in...") Please also have your child add his or her interpretation of what this figure would think of our modern life.

This is NOT meant to be stressful, please do not spend a ton of money or freak the kids out about getting everything perfect. We’re just trying to give everyone a taste of the past with a little fun added in for interest!

We will also create a living timeline with all of the historical figures included, so be sure to bring a camera.

So far for this one we've got Susan B. Anthony, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elvis Presley, Mother Jones, Leonardo DaVinci, Boudica and Blackbeard the Pirate. There are still quite a few kids who haven't decided yet, so this should be pretty great!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Remember these!


Do you remember these from when you were a kid? I used to love stuff like this!

Ah, the 70s. The Cold War was in full force, nukes were everywhere, the Berlin Wall was standing strong, and we were worried about pollution.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

30 Miles in 2 days!

I've been spending a lot of time walking (and I haven't even gotten lost except for that one day. Aren't you proud?) I've been trying to increase my distance since early last month when I decided to do the MS Challenge Walk this October in PA.

It's 30 miles in 2 days, and I REALLY WANT to do it. I was pretty sedentery until December, so I'm starting slow. But, I have 9 more months to train, and I'm confident I can do it!

If you want to see my personal page (and maybe even donate a tiny bit) go ahead and click here: Jen's MS Challenge Walk Page. (You can find a secret if you check here, it's my real last name. Shhhhh!)

My mom has MS, so this is really close to my heart. She was diagnosed over 10 years ago, and not a lot has changed as far as treatments for her in that time.

In the next few days, I'm going to start a blog just to track my training and donations, and I'll let you know when it's ready.

Thanks for being so patient with me!

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