Friday, November 20, 2009

Listen, Watch and Enjoy!

I recently realized an acquaintance from High School, Mark DeRose, has formed his own band. I lurked around his facebook page and his website trying to find out what his band was all about. I was amazed at what I found! I'm addicted to his music! I ordered his Hear to Listen CD and it has quickly become a family favorite in our car! I'm posting two videos from concerts. Enjoy! Oh, for more info. check out his website at http://www.marckderosemusic.com/




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's up!




Early? Nah. We're a artificial tree family. Due to our "shoebox-size" house, we needed a smaller tree this year. Last year we used the same tree we've used for the past 10 years. The tree is beautiful, but a bit big for our pinchy area. This week I happened to find this tree at Target. So.......


this weekend the boys made the mistake of whining " I'm B O R E D" too many times. Which meant they got the fun, fun job of assembling the tree!



As you can see Ella put her doll house away long enough to act as "tree assembly supervisor" :)
They truly did a great job. The branches were completely flat from being squished in the box, but Hayden spent nearly an hour shaping the tree.


Now, how can one have an assembled tree in their house and NOT decorate it?! So, James (such a good hubby) dug out the lights and put the lights on for me. I have NO patience for Christmas lights! Well, honestly neither does he, he's just much less vocal and hostile about it. :) And of course...once you have an assembled tree with lights you, of course, need ornaments. I hung a few and then the kids to put the rest of the ornaments and candy canes wherever they wanted. I don't think it turned out too bad!



Great job Hayden, Reid and Ella! Now, notice the tree has been placed between our lamp and dog beds. Between 3 kids and 3 dogs we'll have to wait and see how long the tree remains vertical! Thankfully it's small, light and durable! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

FUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!

A girlfriend of my posted this on Facebook. It's so funny and VERY true....I had to share!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 2 & A Few Photos

So far day 2 has gone just as well as day 1! I was a bit worried about the new Kindergarteners starting today, but they did great! Not a single tear, some very wide eyes, but no tears!

As I was posting last evening, I found quite a few "odd and end" photos on the camera. I've posted a few of these pics below. Ella chose the slide show theme, so please excuse the fluttering butterflies! :)

Oh, for those who may be wondering about the BIG aloe at the end, click here for the background story.

Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We Made It!!!!!!!

Well, the first day of school went off with out a hitch! All went well, but it was truly an exhausting day for all involved. Hayden and Reid both had a great first day and the bus runs (amazingly) went GREAT! Although, it would be helpful if the bus didn't become an oven on days over 80 degrees! Here are a few first day pics:



We left the house around 6:15 am to get to the bus on time. Yeah, it's dark at 6:15 AM! :(


Hayden excited about day 1!


Reid a little less excited and just a bit nervous; however, he left the bus with a big grin!

Tomorrow the Kindergarten kids will have their first day. This doesn't effect my own children; however, it should make the bus run VERY interesting. I'm expecting tears and cameras! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tomorrow Is The Big Day!!!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow it is officially back to school and back to work! For the past few years I have cherished this day. I would walk the kids to the bus stop and stand there blinking back tears as I took pictures and waved at them through the bus windows. Now this year, Mama drives the bus! I began driving last January, the school year was obviously well underway. In June I had a teary last day. I knew it was the last time Hayden would be riding my bus. This year he will be attending the "intermediate" school, a 4-6 building. I drive for the "primary" school, a K-3 building. So, on our first day I'll get to have my 3 together on my High School run. Then during our layover, Hayden will leave my bus to get on the intermediate bus. (Insert tears here) I will then, 45 min. later, drop Reid off at school for his first day in 2nd grade. (Insert tears here, again) I'll be sure to post pics tomorrow. I just can't believe they are in 4th and 2nd already! It seems like only 2 years ago I was walking Hayden into school for his first day in Kindergarten. Now here he is changing schools, riding new buses, and being "big". It's the same with Reid. Wasn't he in Kindergarten last year?! I swear I'm missing a whole year! If I think about it, I know I've been there, but truly, time goes too fast. Well, say a prayer and wish us luck! Tomorrow we return to reality!

Side note: Ella will be starting Pre-K in September. I'm sure there will be plenty of tears shed then too. My baby is only one year away from Kindergarten!!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Like I was saying....

I just finished reading Larry King's autobiography, My Remarkable Journey. After an arrest that led to him being off the air for a period of time, he began his return show by saying, "Like I was saying..." As if he has simply gone to a commercial break and returned 2 minutes later. It stuck me as funny. I thought it would be a very fitting title for this post. After reappearing with a "I'm back slide show", I disappeared only to now reappear again! I suppose a explanation would be appropriate.

Remember my July post regarding a lump on my leg. According to the Dr. it was a venomous bite. I believe it was; however, I was having a deeper pain in my leg. I told myself it was simply a reaction to the bite, but something just didn't feel right. A week later I was back in the Dr's office with a PAINFUL lump on the opposite side of the same calf. It was a superficial blood clot. I was told to take Rx strength Aleve and hold moist heat over it. Less then 24 hours later I had another PAINFUL (yes it requires caps) lump on my leg, a swollen varicose vein (ugh!) and pain radiating up the back of my leg. I called the Dr. with a "is this supposed to be happening" phone call. I was sent right into the hospital for an ultrasound of my left leg.

The ultrasound tech was fantastic. She was so calm, I...not so much. She was so kind as I had a momentary freak out on her table. My best friend's grandmother passed away from a blood clot when her kids were young. Like my girlfriend's mother said, one minute they were walking through the store the next minute it was "Mom... mom... MOM?" The story has freaked me out since I first heard it many years ago. So, here I was being tested for the same thing that killed her! Thanks to my ultra calm ultrasound tech, I was actually relaxed by the time she was finished. Then....she got up and left the room. James and I could hear her talking in the hall, but couldn't make out what she was saying. She returned to say, "I'll send you husband down the hall for your clothes (they were in a locker), I will return with a wheelchair, you may not walk. I'll be taking you down the hall where the Dr. will speak to you."

Say what?! Panic! That's what my every cell in my body said! I was wheeled into a waiting room staffed with a very kind nurse (Ruth) who asked what news we were waiting on. I explained my situation and told her my blood clot fears. Her response, "This may be new and scary for you, but know that we see these quite often, you'll be fine." God is good, he new I needed comfort, he sent nurse Ruth! Thank you! Minutes passed, still no news, a familiar face appeared at the door. It was the mother of a child I had years ago in a Kindergarten classroom. She's a radiologist at the hospital. She has a great sense of humor and our conversation went pretty much like this:
Her: What are you doing here?
Me: I think I have a blood clot.
H: Ah, uh-huh.
M: I'm scared, it could be in my lung, headed to my heart, or on its way to my brain.
H: (Chuckle) no, because if it was you wouldn't be sitting there like that, you'd be on the floor.
It, again, was much needed reassurance. She stayed until the Dr. called. Thank you!

The news...2 superficial blood clots (painful..oops...PAINFUL, but not lethal) and 1 deep vein thrombosis (DVT, deadly if they break off and travel to lungs, heart or brain). I was told I would be staying for at least 24 hours. Panic! I'm a control freak! My dad had the kids, I hate to inconvenience people. Hayden had soccer practice! Reid and Ella had bible school! How can I stay?! Well, I stayed. Thankfully, I have a fantastic group of family and friends. Things went smoothly and I was able to rest. Ok, I'll be honest....I freaked out. It was the meds that allowed me to rest! :) Blood tests were taken and I learned how to give myself injections of a blood thinner. After the insurance company OKed the use of the injections at home I was released, a bit over 24 hours after being admitted.

I was ordered to stay off my feet for 2 weeks. My Dr. even called James and had a little chat about the importance of sitting! :) It hurt, I was giving myself injections 2x's a day (I don't know how diabetic individuals could do this daily. I have a whole new respect for those on insulin.), I was scared, I began a new regimen of oral blood thinners, I felt emotionally drained, I was afraid of suddenly dying in front of my kids while James was at work, I felt like the clots would never go away. Again, I have amazing family and friend. My mom pitched in with laundry help and childcare, friends helped with the kids and made meals, James stepped up to the plate and took on the Mom AND Dad role (he even had his wisdom teeth removed 4 days after I came home from the hospital....he developed a dry socket....and he still kept going!) Again....God is good!

Now, I'm feeling better...my leg still hurts. Last Thursday was the end of my "two week sitting sentence". I'm still trying to take it easy. The more I'm up the more it hurts. Not nearly as bad as it had, but enough to know that I need to rest and take it easy. Tomorrow is a follow-up appointment and I'm anxious to see what the Dr. thinks about how things are progressing. I know I'm MUCH better than 2 weeks ago. I'm alive! God is good! He knew I would be fine...He sent people to tell me I would be fine... I chose not to see it and listen immediately.... but He knew. In fact, the first Sunday we could make it to church after my hospital release, we saw a video on the Disciples and the storm. It hit me...Peter began to sink not because of his lack of faith in Jesus, but his lack of faith in his OWN faith!!!!!!!!! Again, God knew! :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Too Cute!

Dr. Ella's Diagnosis

Today the kids and I took a sudden visit to the Dr. The kids were all fine, it was Mama that needed the Dr. I developed and odd, red, warm lump on the side of my leg. I'm currently on a medication that lists blood clots as a side effect. As many already know, Mama making it to the doctor requires military-like planning on a normal day. Thankfully, my Mom works next to the Dr's office and just happened to be getting off work as I was heading out the door for my appointment. Mom met the kids and I (including my nieces) in the parking lot. She took the older 3 and I took the youngest 2. Things went amazingly well. Even though I miss holding a wee one, I LOVE having children who are old enough to pull it all together and behave when they REALLY need to! Well, while waiting for the Dr., Ella decided to sit in the Dr.'s chair and play Dr. She did very well asking me questions and poking around my leg. After about 3 minutes of deep thought, and she announced, "Mama I know what is wrong wif you! You boobs is getting saggy!" Apparently the lump on my leg was a misplaced breast. Thankfully the real Dr. disagreed and concluded it is a venomous bite. Sadly I don't know which diagnosis is more disturbing...biting creepy-crawlies or sagging, old lady boobs that apparently (according to my 4 yr. old Doogie Houser) now hang below my knees!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My New Favorite Disney Character

As many of you may already know, I am NOT a fan of Disney. I've never kept Disney movies from my kids. I've just never pushed them to watch Disney movies, cartoons, etc. Recently our local movie theater started their free summer movie program. On Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings you can visit the theater and enjoy a FREE movie! There are 2 choices each week. Recently the choices were Madagascar 2 or Charlotte's Web. Wow! What a choice! A Disney movie or a movie staring a life like arachnid! Disney it is! Well, after watching Madagascar 2, I found a new character that I LOVE. I need this little lemur as a neighbor! Enter King Julian!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Three Months Is Way Too Long!

Here is a visual catch-up of the past 3 months:

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We've been busy.....but we've been having fun!

I hope all is well with all of our blog visitors. It's good to be back!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Rosalyn!



We love you Sosa! Love, Uncle James, Aunt Karen, Hayden, Reid and Ella!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Do You Know What Today Is?!

Yep, yep it's the first day of spring. Know what that means? FREE RITA'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who may not be lucky enough to live near a Rita's, here is what Rita's Italian Ice is all about.


1. This is not your cheesy crunchy-ice-with-syrup in a paper cone Italian Ice. Rita's ice is smooth, fruit filled (provided you choose a fruit flavor, the chocolate is sheer yummy too!), freshly made in the store, yummy-yummy goodness!


2. It is like pregnant woman crack! I speak from personal experience. We lived at Rita's during Ella's pregnancy. Sadly, our local Rita's isn't open during the winter. Ella was born mid May. Thankfully no one was injured during those winter months. However, I did stalk our local Rita's until their opening day.


3. Due to Rita's closing during the winter months, locals stock up! By the Quarts (I believe Gallon's too if you choose)! I'm telling ya, the stuff is DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Now, on to

FREE ICE DAY!!!!!!!!!

Each year on the first day of spring. Rita's hands out FREE ICE. Not just a wee paper cup, a FULL size ice! So, on a windy, 40 degree day (it's almost always 40 degrees on the first day of spring, we've had days in the 60's already, but NOT on free ice day!) you get in a line like this





With, initially, unhappy children that look like this





and FREEZE while waiting and being entertained by "The Ice Guy"





all to receive the sheer yummy-yummy goodness of Rita's Italian Ice!!!! So, 2 cotton candy and 1 chocolate ice later my kids looked like this





Look! Smiles! Frozen smiles, but SMILES none the less! :)

Now, notice all the kids in line in the first picture. It's Friday. The kids had off school. Now, I'm not saying the school was closed for free ice day, but ya know.... what other reason could it possibly be?!

It truly is THAT good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, if you don't live near a Rita's go here for more info. www.ritasice.com don't forget to beg them to come to your area! I'm telling ya, you won't be disappointed!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pull Up A Chair, It's Been Awhile

Wow! It's been way too long! My days have become a blur. Each day seems to be the same. Wake-up, get ready, get kids up, get kids ready, get in bus, drive bus, come home (or run errands), laundry, lunch, drop Ella off a preschool, cleaning, bills etc, pick Ella up from preschool, back into the bus, drive bus again, return home, make dinner, help with homework (and extras if any:Scouts, Soccer etc.), baths and bed. Then we wake up and do it all over again. Huh! Therefore, not too much new has happened. So here are a few brief updates:


Our 1987 Ford Ranger failed inspection. I know! Who was expecting that?! As if the HUGE rust whole in the door wasn't a sign of impending doom! :) So, for a wee bit we were left with only the van for transportation. Then we, with a LOT of help, were able to obtain this:








It's a very NICE 2006 Ford Freestyle.





Thanks to my hubby and his strategic self-placement at one of my bus stops, I have these pics of my other vehicle.









By no means is this a flattering picture, but a picture none the less. He was also able to snap one of Ella and Reid peeking out the window.












It is a bit hard to make out the faces. Ella is down near the edge of the window and Reid is in the same seat, slightly in front of her. Bus driving, and riding, has been going well for the 4 of us. The kids seem to have adapted to the early schedule. The daylight savings time, time change threw a bit of a wrench in our mornings; however, each morning seems to get a bit lighter then the one before. The warmer temps have been helpful too. I sincerely hope the teens and twenties are completely behind us. The past week or so has been 30's at night and 40's-50's during the day. Spring is definitely on it's way...HOORAY!



Well, in an effort to tie up some loose ends. I shall re-mention my last post. I had a few requests for a picture of my Nasal Herpes affliction. So, here goes:




Yum! Huh? Now I must admit, this photo was taken 2 days after the initial outbreak and AFTER 3 doses of Valtrex. This doesn't even come close to the full grossness of it all! Thank God for meds! Oh! Here is a front shot just to get the full effect of BOTH sores. YUM!




Oh! That's just beautiful! Hahahahahahahahaha! Ick! Just thinking about it makes me ill! Thankfully it only visits ONCE a year!
Well, until next time (hopefully sooner then the last), take care! :)





Sunday, February 22, 2009

Feeling Yucky and Finding a Cure

I, again, have a cold. I feel miserable. This, for those keeping record, is my second cold in a month. The kids have remained healthy; however I have been battling this cold since Tuesday. Yuck!

Now, on top of the cold, my annual visitor has arrived. That's right my annual cold sore has returned. For those who deal with cold sores....I feel your pain. Truly. My cold sore is no normal cold sore. It appeared 5 years into my 11 year career as a child care worker. At first my doctor, at the time, had no idea what it was. It appeared, grew rapidly, oozed, burned and disappeared. Since I worked with children I was diagnosed with impetigo. Ewww. But, when working with kids, any kind of funk is possible. I was prescribed an antibiotic and eventually it went away. This happened every year for the past 8 years. However, last year a new doctor wised up and essentially had this thought, "It appears every year, it tingles right before appearing, it develops in the same spot each year, it develops rapidly." She then handed me the diagnosis of herpes labialis (aka cold sore) and a prescription for Valtrex. Now I suppose the average person would agree cold sores are NOT fun. However, part of the reason that my cold sore took so long to diagnose is, well, because it is located...on...my.....NOSE! That's right ladies and gents it's hanging off my right nostril as we speak! Thanks to a responsive doctor who accepts Saturday phone calls and a great pharmacy, I'm on medication and it will hopefully shrivel up and die very, very soon! Now, why do I feel the need to tell the world about my nasal dwelling cold sore? Well, because yesterday on my way back from the pharmacy, I was behind a car with a magnetic ribbon supporting a disease I've NEVER heard of. In my crass, sarcastic sense of humor, I began thinking "DOES EVERY STINKING SOMETHING SOMETHING NEED A **BEEPIN** MAGNETIC RIBBON?!" Well, apparently it does, because that darn ribbon gave me this idea:


Make your custom magnet at SupportOurRibbons.com
Custom Ribbon Magnet: Nasal Herpes   Find A Cure




Pretty darn fantastic....right?! That's right, pass it around, because together we can end NASAL HERPES! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring Is Near...Thank you!...Hum A New Follower?

After writing one of my previous posts, I got a few comments about my new 4:30am wake up time. I agree....it is NOT fun. In fact I've noticed my body goes into an adrenaline rush as soon as the alarm rings. For the past many, many years when I was awaken in the middle of the night, er.... I mean 4:30, it was because one of the kids was in need of something. So as soon as the alarm sounds I enter emergency mode and hop out of bed, get dressed, get the kids up, pour breakfast in the bowls (yeah, were back to cereal only in the morning :( ) and run out the door. The early hour really doesn't hit me until we are sitting in the bus waiting to pull out. The kids curl up on their seats and attempt to get more sleep, while I sit in the glow of flashing 4 ways and 8 ways. That is, until this week. This week we entered the bus and low and behold, what did we see on the horizon? THE SUN! Which immediately put the song you are listening to in my head....it hasn't left since. Each morning this week we've crawled in to the bus and there it is ...the sun...and my song! :) SPRING IS COMING ! :)

Also, a huge thank you to Poopsie who blessed me with this:




She sent this to me during my first week of bus driving. To get a better idea of what that week was like, click HERE. Then you will truly realize how special it was to receive this little shout of love. :)


I also noticed I have a new follower. Hum, who could it be? Apparently this new follower has no blog of his own, calls himself "The Big Fry" and has a profile picture that looks JUST LIKE my brother-in-laws restaurant in Gettysburg! Huh, WHO COULD IT BE?! By the way if anyone is ever visiting Gettysburg, PA you might want to stop in a Hunts Cafe and say "Hello" to Scott and Donna...oops!...I mean "The Big Fry" and Donna! :) Even if we weren't related I would still say they have the BEST fries and cheese steaks in the state. That's right Philly, MOVE OVER!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Someone Has Been Playing With My Camera.......

and oh, look, they left clues.............

















Hum, who could it be? :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Reid & Updates

I, as well as others (Growin With It), have come to the following conclusion: My new job, is interfering with my blog time. I know my time management skills will improve as I become more accustomed to my split work schedule. However, right now, I'm having a hard time adjusting to waking-up at 4:30am, waking the kids at 5:30am, leaving the house at 6:15, returning home at 9:30, doing errands, running Ella to preschool and chores, then leaving the house again at 1:30 to return to the bus lot. So until I learn how to best use my "non-working" hours, I suppose my blogging will be sporadic. :(


So, let's play catch-up:


On Thursday, this handsome little man


turned 7! HAPPY BIRTHDAY REID! We had cupcakes and a dinner of his choice (pizza) on Thursday, and as I write this birthday cake is baking in the oven. Reid has chosen a 4 tier double chocolate cake for his birthday celebration today. Yum! Still today, 3 days after his actual birthday, I'm having a hard time realizing that my baby boy has turned 7! Wow!



Well, speaking of Reid, let me share with you a little "Reid equation". Add:



stocking feet



+



green power rangers costume



+

laminate floor
+
RUNNING


=


Not only is his nose black and blue, it isn't straight either! We took him to the doctor to have it checked. There is a possibility that it is broken, however they don't do anything for broken noses. His septum wasn't deviated, so all is well. We're just to keep the Tylenol/Motrin flowing for pain and ice for the swelling. This injury actually happened about 2 weeks ago and his poor nose is still crooked and green. At least green is better than black and blue!

In other news, the bus driving is going much better! Thank you to all who emailed, or posted, encouraging and positive thoughts. It truly meant a lot! My last posting was a play-by-play on my first week. Well that week ended with a break down! As I sat waiting to begin my AM elementary run, I started leaking oil out the front end of the bus. I had to sit and wait for a spare bus to be driven to my location by one of the mechanics. Not necessarily a "bad" thing, it was just ONE MORE THING added onto my first week. However, this week went MUCH better! I had one child get sick...again; however, I'm learning each day will be much different than the next. No week will be the same as the last. Each day there are changes in the weather, changes in the position of cars and trucks parked along the streets, changes in the children's moods and ....well....garbage day! Try turning a bus around in a cal-de-sac full of blowing trash cans! :) All in all it has been fun and an awesome new challenge. So....what will this week hold? :)





Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Well, that's the question I've been asking myself today. What was I thinking! Bus driving? How crazy am I?! To find out just how crazy the past few days have been, follow along!

Day1
am- rode along with an experienced driver and watched the morning route and stops

pm- drove my first route. Elementary age girl threw-up in the middle of the bus

Day 2
am- drove on snow covered roads

pm- "lost" a child. I pulled up to a large bus stop. After all of the children from the stop had exited, a woman came up to my door and asked about a particular girl. She wasn't on the bus. I CB'ed my boss who contacted the school. The girl was placed on the bus at school. The school's principal sent out an "A.P.B" to all the other buses, in case she has gotten on the wrong bus. I sat and waited as each bus responded that they didn't have her. After 20 minutes of sheer panic, the principal CB'ed back, she has gotten off the bus and walked passed the woman who was to pick her up and went right to her house. The entire panic-filled time, she was safe and sound at home! (Insert cardiac arrest here!)

Day 3
SNOW DAY- No school!

Day 4
am- got my 1 set of rear, double wheels stuck on a patch of ice. Held up a major roadway, in both directions, while I spun myself free. Returned to bus yard where I came 1" from scraping the side of my bus on the lot fence. My boss came out with a huge grin on his face and helped me correct the problem. Ahhhhh! Thank God for gracious and understanding bosses!

pm- high school kid entered bus and then RAN off. Um, hello?! Then after making my last elementary stop, I noticed one of the little girls wandering around looking confused. Her mom came out of their house and I stopped to see if everything was OK. The mom responded, "I'm missing a child. My son?" immediately I hear "MY STOP!" from the back of the bus. The little boy was cuddled down in his seat either reading, sleeping or daydreaming and missed his stop! AHHHHHH!

WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

2 Runs Under My Belt

The bus driving is going well. I've now driven 1 am run and 1 pm run. Both times I've had a "senior driver" riding with me. I must admit, I'm very glad they were there. Yesterday during the pm run an elementary age child threw up right in the middle of the aisle. Then, today we had snow. Enough snow for a 2 hour delay. The delay was great and gave my children a chance to sleep in. However, even with the delay, many of the roads were still snow covered. All went well and it really was great to have an experienced driver watching my back during my first run in the snow. So, I wonder what will await my run today..................................................

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I PASSED!

I passed my bus test! (Can I get a woo-hoo?)
I'm so relieved and very excited. My first bus run, alone, will be Monday afternoon. I rode along Friday afternoon and will ride along again Monday morning. Then, Monday afternoon I'm on my own! A frightening, yet exciting thought!

Here is the first item I will be hanging in the bus:


My cousin created this picture. The kids in the back include my 3, plus my sisters 2. I LOVE it!


So, let me tell you how I got to this point.

A few years ago, one of my co-workers gave me the initial idea. She drove school bus in the AM and PM, and then worked at the same daycare I worked at during the day. She was a VERY petite little lady and would always respond to me by saying, "Karen, if I can do it, you can do it!"
So, the thought was planted. However, at the time Ella was only an infant, Reid was only 3 and Hayden was in half-day Kindergarten. I was assured they would be able to ride along, safely in their age and weight appropriate seats, but I couldn't easily find a babysitter, during the day, to watch the kids during the week of classes.

Time passed and I continued to play with the idea. Then, this fall, James earned 2 weeks vacation. He was free to take a few days off, to watch the kids, so I could take the classes! I called the bus company, filled out an application, took a initial test, and registered for the classes. I was told there was very little chance the boys would be able to ride my bus. The runs for their elementary school were filled and it didn't look like there would be an opening for some time. I worried about this a bit. Ella would be able to come, but the boys would need to ride their normal bus through the entire run and meet me back at the bus terminal. I was disappointed they wouldn't be on my bus, but knew they would be ok. Then, quite honestly, God stepped in.

James never needed to use his vacation days. His employer was WONDERFUL about moving his start time to accommodate my class schedule. It was, after all, only a week. During the week of classes I was able to complete my FBI fingerprints and physical/drug test.

Within 3 days I received my permit papers and was cleared to take my "written" tests for my permits. I went into the DMV Christmas Eve morning and passed 3 out of 4 of my written tests. I failed the air break test. Ugh! I was disappointed, but knew with a bit more studying I would easily pass. I re-entered the DMV a few days later and passed!

Things were falling into place! A week after passing my tests, my trainer called and scheduled my training days. I was scared about scheduling these days, seeing as I could only find care for Ella on Monday and Tuesdays! Well, the trainer trains when? ON MONDAY AND TUESDAYS! Woo-hoo! Over the past 3 weeks I met with the trainer and, thanks to her amazingly calm nerves, great teaching abilities and wonderful direction, I was ready to take my test 4 days earlier than originally planned.

During this time I was notified that there was a run opening at my sons' elementary school! I told Hayden what bus # I would be driving. His response, "That's the blue bus, your favorite color!" Indeed it is! Each bus at the elementary school is color coded to help the Kindergartners identify the bus. I just "happened" to get a bus run to my boys school which just "happens" to be the bus identified by my favorite color. Oh, that funny, funny God of mine!

I took the test. With a butterfly filled stomach I followed the tester through the bus lot as he looked for an appropriate bus to test me on. Quite frankly I don't know what exactly he was looking for. However, when he finally found the right one, I looked at the bus #. Bus 30! Bus # 30 was my bus # from Kindergarten through 12th grade! Gee, perhaps God's way of saying, "Hey Karen, calm down! I got this!" ? He did. I passed with only 1 minor mistake. Can I get an AMEN?!

Oh, yeah! I also need to mention that the bus company I will be working for recently restructured their maintenance crew. They have now moved ALL the mechanics from ALL the school districts in the area into the lot I will be working at. Not only are they all there, they are also working 3 shifts, around the clock! James' feels this was the companies way of preparing for my coming! :) (Ya see, I tend to have oil and maintenance issues with our van. My theory is out of site out of mind. Apparently my oil pan, engine, and tire feel otherwise!)

So, here is my brief review of things that just happened to fall in line God used to reveal himself.
1. James' work allowed him to work around my class schedule.
2. A trainer who worked perfectly with my schedule
3. A bus route suddenly opened at my sons' school.
4. An AMAZING trainer.
5. The bus I will be driving is identified by my favorite color.
6. I tested on bus 30, my bus # as a kid.
7. All the mechanics in the company have been moved into my lot.

Just a coincidence? I don't believe so.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Catch-up

Wow! What a crazy week! I have been feeling much better. In fact I felt much better just a day or two after my last post. However, why is it that the whole family/house falls apart when Mama isn't feeling well? I suppose I should feel honored in knowing that my family needs me so much. Yet, it would be nice for things to be completely taken care of when I'm not feeling well. James tries. He made dinner. Then left dirty dishes on the table and in the sink. A huge pile of laundry was engulfing the hallway and apparently both James and the boys "forgot" homework existed. So, I apologize for not posting. I've been well, but shoveling myself out from under the housework that was just waiting for me to get well again! Ah, housework, my faithful friend. Never does she leave my side! :)



So, here is my catch-up post:



I have completed my bus driving training. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please click HERE. My final, 2 hour test, will be on Friday at 9:30 am. So, if you wouldn't mind, please pray for calm nerves and a clear mind. Provided I pass, I will start driving my own route Monday afternoon! Woo hoo! It has been a 2 month process to get to this point. My head is full of bus parts, air breaks, bus conduct and driving knowledge. It would be wonderful to take the test, pass and finally put all the testing behind me! So, look for an update Friday evening!



Apparently, I purchased laughing cheese. I've heard of "Laughing Cow" cheese, but that is not what I bought. After a recent trip to the store, I found this on the cheese label.


Who knew! Giant sells LOL cheese. I realize this stands for Land O Lakes, but common, it doesn't take much to amuse me! Oh, what's with the "cheese product"? It's cheese, not velveeta! Since when is sliced, white american cheese considered a "cheese product"?

I'm also posting a cute video of Ella. While shopping, she found an extremely inexpensive "princess" jewelry set and wand. When we got home she put it on and I took the following video. Please excuse the way I say WAND all drawn out. Also, the lens of the camera was filled with finger prints, so the video is very blurry. However, it's a must see video for our friends and family who know how much James wanted a girl. Well, he got his girl. A very strong, yet "girly" girl!


video

Excuse the grocery bags all over the floor too. In fact, the laughing cheese is in one of those bags. So, listen closely, you may here it LOL! Ha-ha!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I have a cold.




I'm feeling a bit like this







My kids are tearing the house apart. Hubby is watching football and movies with machine guns. Mama.....feels.....ugh.



My new friends and family members look like this






Hoping to enter the healthy world again real soon!
Until then....take care and stay healthy! :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ugly Gift

This year my sister and I decided against getting each other "traditional" Christmas gifts. Instead we decided to have an Ugliest Gift competition. The guidelines for the competition were:


1. The gift must be inexpensive.

2. The gift must be displayed in either the kitchen or living room of the recipients house for 2 months.



I thought I had won the challenge when I searched "odd looking" and "ugly" on ebay. The result was a very funky looking ceramic/clay tribesman smoking a pipe/saxophone looking thing. Yeah, it was UGLY! In fact it was even complete with a feather for hair! :) Well my sister was able to inconspicuously tuck the ugly tribesman on a shelf in her kitchen. Honestly, if you weren't looking for it, you would never see it!


What did she gift me? Well lets just say.....SHE WON!
I've posted multiple pictures so you can get the full effect!










Yes folks, I have light-up lobsters in my living room!

Ugly Christmas gift scoreboard.

Wendy 1 Karen 0

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Reid + Football Pump + Rubber Glove =



I love how Reid always finds sheer joy in the simplest of things! However, he has been blowing up, and deflating, the same glove for 2 days now. If I hear the swoosh, swoosh, swoosh of the pump one more time. Mama's going to LOSE it!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Review Of The Last 3 Days

As many of you already know, a photo "challenge" has been issued in bloggyland. The challenge is to take at least one photo each day during the new year. So, since a lot has happened during the last few days, I'll allow my photos to guide this post.

On New Year's Eve the family and I spent the evening at my sisters house. At midnight we headed down to the town square to watch a lion, holding a cigar, ring in the new year. Yes, that's right, a lion holding a cigar! The town she lives in was also, at one time, a famous cigar producing town. So, each year, a cigar toting lion climbs the side of a building in the square and "announces" the new year. I tried to get a picture, but it turned out looking like this:






Here is a pic of the family shortly before midnight:




If you can't tell by our attire, it was FREEZING! Freezing and windy! I was wearing gloves and when we returned to the house, after being outside for only 20 minutes, my fingers were burning from the cold! Crazy...perhaps. Fun....definitely!

We spent New Years day at James' sister's house. We had a traditional new years meal of Pork and Sauerkraut. I've never liked this meal, but James' mom and sister know how to make a gross, smelly meal very yummy! Sadly, my camera spent the ENTIRE time in the car. :( So, my 1/1/2009 picture was taken almost at the last minute as Ella and were cuddled on the chair before bed.







On Friday we took another trip to Hershey Medical Center to have Hayden's knee checked. For those who may not already know, Hayden has been diagnosed with Pauciarticular Onset Juvenile Arthritis. He visits a Pediatric Rheumatologist 3 times a year to check his joints. Again he received an excellent report! There is currently no fluid in his knee joint. He is therefore considered to be in a medical remission. I so dislike the word remission, because it makes the whole thing sound cancerous. However, that is the term the Dr. used. It's considered a "medical remission" because the steroid that was injected last March lasts for 6-12 months. He has successfully passed the 6 month mark. Now the true test will come when we return in May. At that point, if no fluid is present, he will be in full remission. We'll keep praying for fluid free joints! :)

Now, usually when Hayden has an appointment he and I make the voyage alone. However, since James had the day off, and Ella has never been to Hershey's Chocolate World, we all made the voyage and stopped in for a ride. Here are our pics as we entered Chocolate World:

















So now the ride count is:


James too many to count


Karen too many to count


Hayden at least a dozen


Reid at least half a dozen


Ella 2 ( it's the off season, we rode twice. why get off when you can just go again!)





Hey it's a FREE ride with FREE chocolate at the end! What's not to like! :)





Now, today's pics need a bit of an explanation. It seems Ella has found herself an imaginary boyfriend. He appeared about a week ago and hasn't left. I'm not really sure where she come up with the term "boyfriend" but he as been quite an presence in our home. Today she decided to take a trip to her boyfriend house. James found this by the back door:









Apparently Ella decided to pack her bags and head over to her "boyfriends"! After she fell asleep this evening I looked inside and found she was quite prepared to marry this "boyfriend" of hers.










She packed everything a married woman truly needs. She included a blanket, new socks, a nightgown, a fresh pack of Tums, lotion and 2 lovies to cuddle up with! :) I couldn't help but LAUGH! Who knew we would be dealing with these issues at the age of 3! Isn't this supposed to start during the teen years?!

Well there ya have it! A brief review of the last 3 days! I hope everyone had a great beginning to 2009!