Here in CT we had a freak October snowstorm that has brought our household to a screeching halt! As I write this we have been without power for 8 full days and headed into our 9th night without it! With the wet heavy snow and the leaves still on the trees, it made for the perfect scenario for hundreds of tree branched and limbs to come off, and boy did they fall!! I stood outside for a few minutes and I probably watched about 15 limbs/branches come crashing down!
The first day without power wasn’t too bad….but by now we have all had enough! The kids really want to go back to school, the earliest they will get back is Tuesday, and I really want the house back! With the 6 of us and my elderly Father with us ( he also lost power on Saturday), we are living in the living room for the most part and the rest of the house has become a disaster area!! We were really lucky and one of my husbands friends got power back by Tuesday and he graciously lent us his generator! So from 4pm-10pm and 6am-10am we have the furnace hooked up along with a few lights. It’s not big enough to run nonstop and running it overnight makes me nervous, there have been a lot of carbon monoxide deaths in the last week.
We are also fortunate that my husband can charge the electronic devices that we are so attached to, at work. With all of my original concern over texting for our family, it has been a lifeline for us this week. Between texting our friends to see who has power yet, or using to communicate with my husband, I have to admit…I could not have survived the week without it!! (don’t tell my oldest daughter though) The kids have spent lots of time outside or 3 houses down the street with friends that were lucky enough not to lose it….it’s so hard to see their whole house lit up and knowing it is just 2 driveways away!!! Right now we are all in the living room, youngest playing Dad’s i-pad, the boys pouring over baseball cards and the oldest playing some game on her i-pod and Grandpa sleeping on the couch! It’s been rough, but at least we are all together and safe. For that, I am so grateful!!
This has been a busy last few weeks for our family…somehow time has gotten away from me and I haven’t had time (or much inspiration) to write! Today would normally be a quiet Monday, kids back to school, me organizing from the weekend….but (you knew that was coming didn’t you), as usual life got in the way! The youngest one age 5 is home sick today, I knew yesterday there would be a strong possibility that she would be since she slept on and off from 10am until bedtime. Today she is definitely feeling better, but since she was up a few times at night, which translates to both Mom and Dad being up also, we kept her home to make sure tomorrow she is better and off to school. One of the perks of being a SAHM is that I don’t have to make a choice between going to work and hoping for the best or just keeping them home to try to stay ahead of the illness….although my husband has confessed that he wouldn’t mind having to call out sick sometimes to stay home with them. Today he did get to call out since I have a doctor’s appointment for my Dad that I need to take him to, so dear husband is enjoying some quiet time with the youngest and she is just loving every minute of it!
We had an enjoyable weekend in Keene, New Hampshire on Saturday. They do a huge Pumpkin Fest every year ( www.pumpkinfestival.com) and this time we packed the kids in the car and drove the 2 hours to go check it out. They were trying for a world record amount of jack-o-lanterns (over 30,000), but fell short and only managed 16,000….not that that is too shabby! It was incredible the amount of carved pumpkins there were and the different types of cravings. They shut down the entire downtown and have food vendors, pumpkin bowling, a costume parade, craft vendors, free cartoons in the local theater, trick or treating in the local shops and lots and lots of pumpkins!
We love getting the kids to different places and letting them explore. As they get older it’s easier to take them on day trips, they can go longer in the car and I don’t need to pack all the baby essentials!! I do have to admit we let them use electronics on the car rides, it makes it more enjoyable for everyone!
What is your trick for those long car trips and what are some interesting places that you have taken your kids????
I was picking up kids today and got stuck in MAJOR traffic, so I had lots of time to think! As I watched the parents rush to try to get nowhere fast, I realized that I could write a book about all the things that seem like common sense to me, but obviously aren’t to other people.
So allow me to rant slightly and see if you agree…..
The need for people to be attached to their cell phone at all times! Really people, hands free in CT means that it’s NOT IN YOUR HAND!! I do understand that sometimes it really is an emergency or you simply forgot, but the ones that I see everyday do really irritate me!
We have a parking problem at our school, too many cars, not nearly enough parking….that being said, why do people feel like they are more important than anyone else and leave their car parked in front of parking spots so that no one can get out? And along with that, leaving your hazzard lights on while you are illegally parked does not make it ok.
I have my kids signed up for a couple of different activities, 1 per kid, but it adds up. When a class starts at 9am, that does not mean that you can show up at 9:10 and expect that it is ok, it’s disruptive to the other kids and not fair to yours.
At fast food restaurants or self-service ones, for the most part, it is the customers job to clean up and put their garbage away…is it really that difficult to do??
I think as adults it is our responsibility to show our children how to behave and to have respect for each other, but sometimes I wonder what they are learning from us? Taking shortcuts through life, doing as little as possible to get through the day, making it everyone elses problem but not taking responsibility.
Alright, I am done…now it’s your turn. What is your pet peeve??? Please don’t make me feel like it’s just me!!!!!
I realized it’s been weeks since I have written, end of summer, vacation and getting ready for school all got in the way! But now that they are ALL ensconced in a full day of education, I got some “free” time. Yay me! The start of the school year went off without a hitch, well except for the freshman orientation day that was postponed due to Hurricane Irene. They were all excited to see their friends and get back into the routine, although if you ask them now, they are done with the routine already! My kindergartener was so ready to be in school and was actually upset when we had Labor Day off, (we started the Thursday before) and wanted to make sure that she would be going back.
When the kids came home the first day, they had no homework to do……I, on the other hand, had entirely too much to do! The school department obviously wants to make sure that I really do know my children’s names, our phone numbers and those of our friends. Although I haven’t moved since the last year I had to fill out all the same information for EACH child! You would think in this day and age they could make it slightly easier for us to complete. Or they could at least make one form for all the children in the family and send it home with either the youngest or oldest. I think that must make too much sense.
And of course, not only did I have to fill out all the personal information and check off permission for things, I had to write checks. Boy did I write checks!!! The following is just a sampling of what I wrote………
For the high schooler: school photos $44 …….PTO $15…..Total: $59 still to write, lunch money, probably $100 (should last until Jan) , but I am sure there will be a few more things to come!
Middle School: PTO $10…..Sportswear $29….Mum fundraiser $16….Lunch money $100. Total: $159 with field trip money and pictures yet to come.
Elementary School (2 kids): Percussion rental $85 (sorry to all my neighbors!)….Lunch money $100….Time for Kids….$5 Total: $190 with PTO, field trips and pictures (x2) and lunch money still to be paid.
Grand total already out-of-pocket: $408 with at least another $250 to go!!
Yes, I know some of those things aren’t considered necessary, but I really like the mums from the middle school and they are the only ones that I can get to come back the next year! They only buy lunch once a week, if that and with the pictures I only get an 8×10 for each. I haven’t even looked at the fundraising catalog that has come home with the 2 younger ones and the next one will bring it home next week.
I am lucky in all of my kids really like going to school and don’t give me too much of a hard time with homework and getting going in the morning, we shall see how long that lasts!!
Now that they are back, I am working through my “to do” list and boy is it long!! If I take it slow, I may be able to actually cross a few things off of it. I may even find time to squeeze in a few lunches with friends and my husband.
What are your thoughts on your back to school experience??
There are many changes coming to our family in the next few weeks…..3 out of our 4 children are starting a new school in 2 weeks!
Our oldest is starting high school, the same one that I graduated from 25 years ago! How did I get so old that I have a freshman!?! I have no worries about her beginning her new adventure, she can take care of her self, and as long as she doesn’t get to be too much of a know it all, she will survive! There is so much pressure on kids these days to be the ultra student and I hope that she can maintain a good balance between her studies, extra curricular activities and her friends. I was never a great student, but I think that she has the potential to be much better!
Our 2nd child is also going into a new school, he will be in 6th grade this year and truth be told, he is the one that I am most worried about. School has never been easy for him and it kills me to watch him struggle with all his work. He has so many things working against him, that every day is a battle for him. He was diagnosed with CAPD (central auditory processing disorder) during 3rd grade and in 4th grade we finally were able to get him services at school when he was diagnosed with ADHD. As a parent it is always hard to have to “label” your child, but for him, it was what he needed! Between medication and the right IEP (individual education plan), he is finally enjoying school! We have discovered that he excels at math and enjoys history (his grandfather loves that part…former social studies teacher) and with help in reading and writing, he is making great strides! So I have my fingers crossed that a new school will not mean starting over, but continuing his education.
Child #3 is the only one staying put. He is the one that makes friends in seconds wherever we go, a playground, at the beach, camping…..In fact, we were contemplating moving and thought this would be the year to do it, since he probably would have no issue with being uprooted if necessary. We decided not to move, and rather we are hoping to add onto our house, we love the neighborhood and our house too much! Plus the thought of packing everything up is just down right scary!!!!! 18 years, from newlyweds to parents of 4, is just too much to go through and sort!
Our baby, (are they still considered a baby at age 5??), is starting kindergarten this fall. How on earth did THAT happen?? She is very excited about starting, although she has confided in me that she is just a “little nervous and at the same time, excited about school”. I will miss my little shadow around the house, but not enough to home school her! She is soooo ready to start, I am getting tired of spelling every word under the sun for her and doing math facts with her! Of all the kids, she is the one that will be the most ready for kindergarten. A great thing about the town we live in is full day kindergarten!!!
So I will be kid free from 8:30am until about 2:45pm…whatever shall I do???? I have decided that I will not try to “do it all”, but rather I am going to try to make realistic goals and take baby steps through the house! I know that the best laid plans don’t always get done, but I am really hoping for major things to be finished. It would be nice if I can get the youngest into the photo albums before she leaves for college!!
Anyone have any good suggestions of what I could do possibly do to get through the day??????
I was reminded by husband today that I hadn’t written anything for a while here……I have been toying about what to write about, there are sooo many different things that I could do.
My last post was about taking my oldest daughter to overnight camp which got me thinking about my camp days. Because of it, I started a facebook group for all my fellow camp friends and in 48 hours there were almost 100 members. I realized that a lot of us missed camp as much as I did! I think that all of us, with the ability to look back, miss what we had then. The carefree attitude, little actual responsibilities, and not having a clue what being an adult was really all about!! I loved the friendships that were formed almost instantly, and for some of us, has managed to last a lifetime!! My 9 weeks at camp was like 6 months in the “real” world. We talked about anything and everything and told each other secrets that some of our non-camp friends never even knew. Boy, I wish I could rewind time and really appreciate what we had all those years ago!
To make me feel even older, this past weekend was also my 25th high school reunion! The same high school that in just 3 weeks, our oldest daughter will be going to as a part of Hall High class of 2015! How did we become parents of a high schooler…..didn’t I just graduate from college??? I had not been to a reunion since my 5th year one, we had all graduated from college and thought we were so grown-up. Now 25 years later, we have all experienced life; marriage, kids, careers, divorce, death. I think that I have fared pretty well in the last 25 years, I am doing what I always wanted to do, be a wife and mother…but sometimes I still feel like I am “playing house” I know that every reunion will mean new things that I have experienced and I hope that I am up to the challenge.
I hope that what I have done in my life will help me to raise our children and I know that ALL of my life adventures have shaped me and will guide me through the choices that I must make as an adult, but, please, can’t I be a kid for one more week????
I am currently in the process of packing our oldest daughter for her 2 weeks at Girl Scouts overnight camp. As I help her to get ready, I am transported back to my summer camp experiences and I am wishing that it was me instead! She will spend the next 2 weeks at the same camp that I was at from 1977-1991, 7 years as a camper and 7 as staff. I learned so many things during my time there, I swam, did arts and crafts, boating, hiking, brook stomping, campfires and learned about leadership….things that have stayed with me all of my life. I truly believe that Timber Trails is a cornerstone of all of my life experiences.
Back then camping was different from what my daughter has experienced these last few years. She started going there after 1st grade and is currently going into 9th. She has missed a few summers for various reasons, but she keeps coming back to good old TT!! Our cabins didn’t have doors or screens on them and there wasn’t electricity in the units (although at the end the washstands did have them) Sometimes it is hard to see the changes that have been made at the camp, a few of the changes are for the better, but it’s not the same camp that I went to. There are a lot less campers now and the summer program doesn’t last as long as it did when I was there. As long as her memories of her camp experiences are as good as mine, that is all that matters to us.
I still find myself singing camp songs and still have readily accessible the song book I had to make when I was a C.I.T. (counselor in training). It has been used many times when I took my Girl Scout troop camping and to prove to my daughter that I really did know the songs that she was singing! I have taught them to other scouts and guides in Scotland and England when we took senior scouts to camps overseas, all things that wouldn’t have been possible without my Girl Scout camping time .
While there I learned about people and how quickly you can become lifetime friends! Of my 200+ fb friends, 37 of them are from those camping summers and another 10 are from my Girls Scouting adventures in my adult life. Sometimes a simple phrase will transport me back to those carefree summer days and it amazes me how many of us still talk about our Timber Trails days in our posts. My husband’s best friend (whose father happened to be camp director) spent his summers working on the maintenance staff is our oldest sons Godfather and my best friend that I met 20+years ago at Timber Trails, is our youngest daughters Godmother, the only 2 that aren’t blood relatives to be asked to be an important part of our children’s lives.
Oh and did I mention the best part of my summer camp experience?…….Timber Trails is where I met my husband of almost 19 years!!! How many people can say that? Ok, I know of another couple from our TT days, my husbands best friend and his wife….our daughters were born 8 weeks apart and went to Timber Trails together once, 2nd generation campers!!! A lot of people do a double take when I tell them we met at Girl Scout camp!!! (That was not something I mentioned when I was a camp promoter!)
So as I pack up all the essentials for 2 weeks in the wild, I have to remember this is not my time to be there, but hers……
What are your memories of your summer camp???? Or even a Timber Trails memory? Please comment and let me know……….