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MARCH 2008
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mark brought home some more coconuts the last time he went to Ft. Lauderdale, so the boys got to be destructive again.  LOL  Mark was showing them how to grate the coconut meat, and Patrick figured out, on his own, to strain the milk through a coffee filter to get all of the bits of husk out of it.

Grating the coconut meat

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Despite being home "sick" for weeks, Alex hasn't lost his sense of humor, and other than the cough, is feeling okay.  I actually think his cough is getting a little better.  The cough has created it's own funny moments, though.  I have a cough every morning, and the other morning I was hacking away, and Alex piped up - "Not even close, Mom!"  I didn't realize we were in a competition!  Yesterday, Alex was up before Patrick, and his coughing woke up Patrick.  Patrick grumpily came out of his room and said, "Will somebody turn off the car alarm!"

Ahhhh - this is the life!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

We finally had the meeting at school about Alex's home bound schooling.   It was a pretty big meeting:  his regular teacher, his gifted teacher, the teacher who will teach him at home, three people from the county, the guidance counselor, and me.  I was actually ready to talk about getting him back to school in the next week or so, since his cough is no longer constant, but after discussing things, we agreed that we'll do the home bound program for the next three weeks and he'll go back to school the Monday after spring break.  I had brought in the homework he's done so far, and his teacher said he's pretty far behind, so this will give him an opportunity to get caught up.  He has also lost most of his energy, so we need to work at getting him up and moving during that time, too.  There's no way he could handle a 7-hour day right now.  It's such a relief to have an official game plan, and not worry anymore about how this whole thing will affect school. 

Saturday, March 8, 2008

We had a gorgeous windy day so we got out the kites!  I found a really cool dragon kite for Patrick, but the wind was too sporadic for such a big kite.  Fortunately, we have a terrific, simple kite from Discovery Kids that works every time.

the new big dragon kite Our old faithful kite

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Alex had his first home teaching today.  The teacher was here for an hour, and Alex was too tired afterward to go to football practice.  That ought to tell you just how tuckered he's been!  He hasn't wanted to go to football at all.  We were hoping that football would be the thing that got him up and out of the house to regain some of his energy.  I came home early from work to see how it went, and the teacher said at about 45 minutes she was having trouble keeping his attention.  The minute she left he was back on the couch wrapped up in his blanket.

Patch has been very concerned about taking the FCAT.  We've talked about it a lot, and I keep telling him it absolutely doesn't matter.  His response:  "But if I don't do well, you'll kill me!"  The FCAT started today, and Patch was so happy to tell us how easy it was. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Things are going to start happening on the pool soon, so I took the camper over to Mom's to store it there.  You should have seen it!  There was a landscaper's truck parked right next to Mom's driveway, and I was having an impossible time of it trying to back the thing into her driveway.  I was obviously getting nowhere, so the landscaper offered to back it in for me.  After several tries, he finally parked the camper in the driveway for me, and I didn't have the heart to tell him I actually needed it all the way into the garage.   His face was hilarious when I opened the doors to the van and let the dogs out - he had no idea they were in the car with him!  Once they had finished their work and left, Mom and I were able to maneuver the camper into the garage, after several tries!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We said goodbye to our nice big oak tree in the back yard.  The tree guys were kind enough to cut up the majority of the wood for firewood, and made some stepping stones out of some cross sections of the trunk.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My dear friend, Dallison, has completely lost her mind and drove down from Virginia with her three kids by herself for spring break.  LOL  We had a great evening hanging out with her and the kids.  Quinton and Kendall loved the trampoline, and Kiera was as cute as could be!

Kiera loved the fish Patch, Quinton and Kendall jumping

Patch played the guitar for them

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My brother, David, came to visit today from Seattle.  We haven't seen each other in a long time, so this was a special day.  :-)  Patrick has been especially excited and couldn't wait to take David to his guitar lesson tonight.  Mark took the two of them to his lesson, but unfortunately, there was a communication mishap and there was no lesson tonight.  But Patrick and David got to play around a bit with the guitar while waiting for the teacher.

Friday, March 21, 2008

OMG!  We're really getting a pool!  The excavator came today and dug an E-N-O-R-M-O-U-S hole in our back yard and took out the tree stump.  I'm so pleased that the office was closed today for Good Friday, so I was able to see the destruction. LOL  The excavation didn't really go all that smoothly.  Apparently, the engineering plans weren't adequate and the excavator had to do a lot of calculations to see how deep he had to go, which isn't part of his job.  Also, they left the tree stump for last, but when they started to remove it, the root system spread so far that they were afraid that the moving of the roots would cave in the side of the hole for the pool.  The poor guys were here for much longer than they anticipated, so you can only imagine the frustration when our neighbors discovered that the dump truck driver broke the water main to their house.  Poor Dave and Sonja, with their two young children and Sonja's parents visiting from Germany, came home to no water.  The utilities company came and fixed it right away, and all ended well (I hope!).

Mom and David came and spent the afternoon and evening.  We played a killer game of manipulation, and Alex whooped our butts!

Bringing in the beast Taking out the slab

more slab Took out the sod like it was nothing!

Bye bye retaining wall Starting to shape the pool

Deeper and deeper That guy's crazy - the backhoe is still moving!

Starting to take shape A huge hole where our tree was

Can you picture it? Ugh - our poor yard!

Grendel was tuckered out after today's activity!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We had dinner at Mom's house, and then David and I went out and spent some time getting caught up.  It's been a long time since we've just chatted, and it was really nice.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


We had planned our annual Easter picnic and water balloon fight, and were so excited to share it with Mom and Uncle David.  While the guys were out front filling water balloons, I called the neighbors about the food, and Sonja sort of hesitantly said, "Didn't anybody call you yesterday?"  Uh, no.  Turns out Karon's grandmother died and they went to Georgia, so the picnic was postponed.  Well, here I am with two boys (well, three counting Mark!) all geared up for a water fight, and Mom and Uncle David on their way, so we decided to have our own little water fight.  We had a great time getting thoroughly soaked!

David brought us a stack of CD's with some really cool tunes.  Alex took a break from the water play to check out the new music.

Justin and Patrick filling balloons Alex reading about the musicians

What a motley crew! Looneys

Monday, March 24, 2008

David headed back home this morning.  We hate to see him leave, but we had an awesome visit!

Sherry (Justin's mom) and I left at 6:45 this morning to get in line to sign the boys up for summer camp.  It paid off - we got the week we wanted, but boy am I tired!  Mark took Alex back to the pulmonologist and he got a clean bill of health.  He's still coughing, but it's improving every day.  The doctor wants him to stay on his asthma medicine for a while yet, but that's more maintenance at this point.  He's right on schedule to go back to school after spring break.  :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our back yard got more attention than it's ever seen.  Today was the big training day, where the manufacturer's rep supposedly taught the local pool contractors how to install the framework of the pool.  WELL - things didn't quite turn out as planned.  The excavation wasn't done right, so Mark gathered shovels from every neighbor he could find, and they spent the morning digging the hole deeper.  Then no-one wanted to lead the show, so to speak, until one of the more experienced contractors finally took the lead and got things going.  At one point, there were 20 pool people in our yard!  They didn't get quite as far as expected, but the pool is really starting to take shape.

I called the house this afternoon to get an update, and when nobody answered the phone, I talked into the answering machine for Alex to come pick up the phone.  The poor kid - he finally picked up and said, "Mom, I'm taking a TEST."  I forgot it was his home teaching time!  Oops!

It's still pretty big! Poor Grendel - she just wants to play frisbee, but lost her yard

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The cement footer for the pool was supposed to be poured today, but the contractors didn't get as much done yesterday as planned, so Mark and the manufacturer rep spent most of today finishing up the framing and getting it ready for the cement.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The footer was poured today, and it's a bit bigger than planned.  The engineering called for five yards of cement, so the guy coordinating everything with Horner ordered seven yards, just to be safe.  So then the cement guy ordered nine yards, just to be safe.  Then the truck driver rounded it up to a full truck, which is about ten yards.  So we now have twice as much cement in our footer.  I suppose it can't hurt to have extra, but it sure does hurt our wallets!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alex played his first full football game today since being sick.  It was obvious he was dragging, but the team really needed him.  Right about the same time that Alex got sick, their quarterback broke his foot, so they've been short handed.  Two of the players are twins, who are out of town this weekend, so Alex felt compelled to stay in the game no matter what.  He is one of the better players on the team, so the other team was all over him, and the poor thing could barely get going!  I'm really proud that he stuck it out, but it was a quiet afternoon today.

The pool plumbers came today to run the pipes for the pool.  I'm amazed at how many pipes are involved!  They had to move the fence forward to fit all of the equipment, so life is about to get very interesting with the dogs.  Ugh!

Lots of equipment Lots of pipes