November 3, 2007
Alex had his last football game of the season and they kicked butt! His team ended up #1 in his league, too. :-) The team met at a restaurant for a party and I took bunches of pictures, but I've apparently messed up a setting on my camera so they didn't come out too well. Anyway, Alex was on cloud 9!
We had some friends over to watch the FSU game tonight, so Patrick got in the spirit and put garnet color under his eyes.
November 5, 2007
Fall has finally arrived in Florida! It's been nice and cool the last few days, but very windy. Tonight it was wonderfully cool and the wind was still, so we had a fire out back. :-) My favorite time of year!
It's surprising how much calmer our house is since Dee Dee left. Of course, we were well aware that she was more than a handful, but now that she's gone, we're really enjoying the freedom of not having to constantly think of what she might be able to get into, or out of. LOL Although I hate the thought of her living out in a pen, especially with the weather getting cooler, I feel like our lives are back to normal.
November 7, 2007
Patrick had a great gymnastics lesson today, and I happened to have my camera with me. :-) Click on the pictures to see the videos.
November 8, 2007
From about the second grade, every child in our county anxiously awaits the fifth-grade "mud day" field trip to the environmental center. And from about the same time, every mother I know starts preparing her husband for the fact (yes, fact) that he will be chaperoning that trip. Mark and Alex finally got to experience mud day today, and from the looks of their clothes when they came home, they thoroughly experienced the MUD! Mark took a disposable film-camera, so as soon as the pictures are developed, I'll share them with you.
November 9, 2007
The fifth-grade field trip is a two-day affair, and today was the dry day, which I chaperoned. :-) The environmental center is the county's "outdoor classroom" and is part of the school system. The kids got to hold all kinds of animals, living and "non-living," in the museum, and we learned some orienteering with compasses and counting off paces.
November 10, 2007
We're at the river this weekend visiting Nana. With Dee Dee gone, weekend trips are so much easier because we can just bring the dogs with us, instead of having to impose on Mom to puppy sit. Mark and Patrick went out in the kayak to go fishing, and Patrick caught a yellow jack! It's huge - 21 inches long and 8 pounds. Go Patch!!
November 15, 2007
We have a big road trip planned for the week of Thanksgiving, so we've started our Christmas decorating early.
November 17, 2007
Road trip! We packed up as much as we could last night, with the intention of getting on the road by 9:00 this morning. We made it out at 8:20! With Dee Dee gone, we're trying to make Grendel more a part of the family activities, including this trip, and she did wonderfully on the road. She's never been fond of the car, but we kept the Dramamine in her and she seemed to settle in quite well. We made it to the campground a bit later than we had hoped, but were able to get set up and all tucked in before it got too dark. We're staying at the Roosevelt State Park just outside of Atlanta, and it's beautiful here. I'll have to go find a store tomorrow to get a bunch of things that we forgot. Alex pointed out that perhaps if we hadn't left early, we would have remembered those things. Smarty pants.
November 18, 2007
We had a wonderfully relaxing day camping. Between playing Blongo or football, walking Grendel and exploring around the lake, it's been a fine day.
November 19, 2007
What an adventure we had today!!! Wild African Safari is a drive-through zoo where you can hand-feed the animals from your car. We rented one of the zoo's vans and got up close and personal!
I started out in the front passenger seat, but when this cow actually put its head inside the van and tried to take my bag of feed right off my lap, I skedaddled to the back seat (behind the windows with bars on them) so I could take better pictures. ;-)
November 20, 2007
We sadly packed up our gear and left our beautiful campground late this morning. The good side is that our vacation isn't over - we drove up to Jay and Stacey's for the rest of the week for Thanksgiving. We got there just in time to see the twins before they went to bed, and had a wonderful dinner before settling into a real bed. :-) Camping is great, but getting back to civilization has its perks, too.
November 21, 2007
We had a wonderful family day hanging out and letting the chaos of seven children wash over us. LOL When the twins weren't napping, we were getting to know them, and they are cuties! Since they are truly identical, I won't even bother trying to tell you which is Caroline and which is Maddie in the pictures.
November 22, 2007
In honor of the holiday, the weather obliged by turning COLD! The kids put out a cup of water last night and it was frozen solid this morning. The day was a hubbub of cooking and children.
A funny story that will explain a couple of pictures: The last time Mary Ellen was here, Chase had asked her why her hair was gray. She decided to play a joke on him and put on a blond wig at dinner to get his reaction. We were all laughing our heads off!
After dinner we took a stroll to work off the fabulous meal. Unfortunately, we barely made it to the end of the street before we nearly froze to death!
November 23, 2007
Jay and Stacey took us to a great bowling alley for the afternoon where we got to let loose a little. Afterwards, all of the boys went for a hike in the woods behind the house.
November 24, 2007
We headed for home this morning, with a stop at Mammoth Cave on the way. Unfortunately, the trip was much more eventful than we would have liked. Patrick has been asking to go to Mammoth Cave ever since the last time we went. Mark and Alex weren't all that interested, so they stayed behind with Grendel while Patrick and I did a two-hour tour through the caves. Patrick has had a cold, and between being sick, the cold weather, and the damp cave, he needed his inhaler a few times along the tour. It didn't keep us from enjoying the amazing things in the caves, though. After lunch at Mammoth Cave, we were back on the road again, and despite a long road ahead of us, were hoping to make it home late tonight.
Along the drive, poor Patrick had been coughing up a lung, and wasn't getting much of a break. We tried all of the medicines I'd brought, and he was using his inhaler frequently. After dinner, as we were somewhere in the middle of Georgia, Patrick started saying that his inhaler wasn't helping and it was getting harder to breath. Not knowing even where we were, much less where the nearest hospital or urgent care center was, Mark first tried the GPS, but it wasn't much help. Thankfully, we called AAA and they were able to guide us to a hospital. Despite using his inhaler all day, he was still wheezing, so they hit him hard with the nebulizer and oral steroids, and after about four hours, he was much improved. Of course, any hopes of making it home tonight were gone, and we had a fitful night in a hotel.
November 25, 2007
Turns out we had a long way to go before making it home late this afternoon. The boys were able to play with Justin while Mark and I unpacked. I guess we won't get much time to wind down before school and work tomorrow, but at least we're home safely and Patrick is feeling better.
November 27, 2007
Alex's teacher called today and told Mark that Alex has had a bad attitude in class. We aren't the least bit surprised, though. I've been talking to the principal about his teacher since the first week of school. He has come home in tears several times saying how mean she is, and he's completely lost interest in school and has absolutely no respect for his teacher. I have to admit, I don't either - the couple of times I've been with the class it was obvious she has no control of the class and does a lot of yelling. I've also spoken with most of the parents and it appears that most of her students are having a very tough year. We've talked several times about having him switched to another class, but Alex has adamantly refused, saying he really likes the other kids in the class. Mark and I decided tonight to override Alex and request he be switched. Alex was livid, but I just don't see any other option at this point. I sure hope this is the right decision.
We finally went and had portraits done.
November 28, 2007
I sent an email to the Assistant Principal last night, so of course, he called me this morning. He said he's not surprised to hear my request, and is surprised we waited so long. We just have to wait until he can talk to the principal to see what will be done. It's interesting to note that two kids have already been transferred out of her class, and the AP told me on the phone that as we were speaking, another mother was in with the principal requesting the same thing for her son.
November 30, 2007
The principal finally called me this afternoon and told me that Alex is to report to his new teacher's class on Monday morning, and all of his things will already be in the new classroom. Woohoo! Alex isn't thrilled, but has come to accept it. He's frustrated because he was hoping for Ms. Bradburn but got Ms. Keller instead. We'll see how Monday goes.