Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I've been Busy

I've been busy... like REALLY busy... like I shouldn't be sitting here right now busy! Here we are in JUNE! I haven't posted since early May! I'm so sorry!

Let's see what we can run through in the short break I'm stealing.
Well let's start with some family drama... always good right? It'll lead into the story later so kind of need to start there.
Back before Mother's Day my mother-in-law (MiL) decided that my husband who works on computers for a living needs to give his brother's kids laptops for no other reason than my children have laptops that they got for Christmas. She asked him how much and he shot her such a low ball price we'd hardly be covering shipping and the parts that have been used to fix the laptops up. Well we didn't hear anything and then he receives an email from his mother telling him how he's a horrible son and how his brother is down on his luck... aaaaaand we see where this is going. So my husband decides it's best not to talk to his mother than to be called mean and awful things but he did call her on Mother's Day as kind of a peace offering because she is still his mother but she didn't answer nor replied. Now let's rewind things just a little bit back early April I believe it was we had also told my MiL that the kids would be going to my parents house in Oregon for the first time in 6 years or so and she took it better than we expected and thought nothing more of it since my MiL has gotten the children during the summer and often on Fall and Spring breaks for many years now.

Fast forward and lets leave some of the drama behind but don't forget because it'll be back. Peter has been working every weekend for the past month and has had to pull 10 to 14 hr shifts at work since the new hospital was being built (and just opened this week) and he works on the hardware side of their computers and you can imagine how much there is to set up in a new hospital. School let out before Memorial Day and we had to deal with some drama from Brielle because she pulled a 77% on her Algebra final and because she is in Middle School the teacher suggested holding her back. We made the command decision to let her go forward and I'm glad we did because just last week we got her grades in and she had made an 86% overall in the class so had we held her back she would have been so bored! Katherine pulled straight A's for the first time. She's normally A's and B's but I was so proud of her straight A's!

During the bustle of the end of the school year Brielle had to go play her violin twice. Once was judged to determine her level by the music education I'm guessing for the county? I'm not sure. She got distinguished! The second time was her concert which my camera said NOPE half way through the last song.

Due to Peter's work schedule he could not go camping with us this year which is what we do to celebrate our anniversary which is always near Memorial Day (The 28th, we celebrated 13 years). I decided that I still wanted to take the kids camping so I invited a friend and he and 2 of his children (his two oldest girls he's got 6 children) and we went to Mammoth Caves and I paid for the trip and even for them to go for a cave tour because his children have never gotten to go. Peter and I are not well off but when I can I really like to include children of our friends because our friends mostly are in a much worse situation than us.

I went grocery shopping and also go some food for the house for $86  (there's actually 2 cases of water only one in this picture) to feed 2 adults and 4 kids for 3 days and 2 nights I think I did pretty well plus like I said the oatmeal, cereal, fabric softener and cough drops were for here at the house plus I didn't take all the hot dogs and bologna I bought (5 packages of Hot Dogs, 2 packages of Bologna for free! Heck yes coupons!)

 Richard is showing Katherine and his two girls how to properly use a hatchet to cut wood.

That wood later became the bane of my existence I told him I'd go buy some but he said...noooo save your money so he found very spongy wood and we spent all night fighting with the fire to get enough flames for the girls to toast a few marshmallows.
3 of the girls brought back a tree! Roots and all!
 The kids found a down tree they called a bridge. Katherine wanted to cross it too and I said absolutely not!

 So she scooted across on her butt and I said that was fine.

 You'll notice Brielle isn't in any of the pictures above that's because that day she was with her Orchestra group at Holiday World... lucky girl. I would meet her with Daddy halfway much later that night. I did lots of driving that day.

 The back of Brielle's head as we descended down into Mammoth Caves like we have done for several years now.

 I blinded Richard! Hehehe! Never trust me with a camera!
 Walking through the cave.
Take note of the black dot on the ceiling.

 The girls all lined up for a shot. There were several pictures we took and all of them really looked BLACK... I need a better camera for this stuff!
 Welcome to the Methodist Church Altar! Yes, they held services down in Mammoth Caves a long long time ago.
More Cheesing it up for the camera.
Welcome to Tall Mans Agony! OH the Agony of having to stay hunched over while going down stairs!

A REALLY deep pit!

 As we bent down we had to go through Fat Mans Misery!

 Here's a picture to show you a little better Fat Man's misery that's a kid squeezing through infront of me!
 Hope you aren't afraid of heights! Yes, I'm looking down!

 Remember that black spot I told you to remember when we walked into the cave?

Well here it is. A cute little bat!

 We made it out of the cave and back into the sunlight.
 We then went and let the girls fill out packets that they demanded to do there instead of back at the campsite so they could all become Junior Rangers.

So after our hike through the cave, earning junior ranger badges and lunch back at the camp we went for a hike. Richard was told by one of the rangers there was a bit of water you are not suppose to go swimming in but there aren't exactly rules against it. It made me very nervous so we went there. It was a lot of mud in the shallow parts and we couldn't let them go in the deeper areas because the area was fed by underwater rivers which looked just like deep dark pools. It made me very nervous but the kids had fun slip and sliding in the mud. 

Before we went swimming though we continued to hike. This is the River Styx which was really a stream that led into a cave but it was very pretty. 

We also found an abandoned old cottage.

So Saturday was our last day there and we decided to take a picture before leaving the campsite. There were lots and twists and turns on this trip.
1. Make sure you book your tour ahead I tried to tell Richard that but he wouldn't make up his mind so we only got our large group in because there was a cancellation.
2. When you are looking at 40 degree nights make sure you don't have an open roofed tent. I didn't realize I didn't have a cover for my tent! The kids slept in my other tent which was covered and they were all packed in there and toasty warm. On the second night it decided to rain! Thankfully on the first night we jury rigged a type of top so we only got a few sprinkles inside after it got past the trees above us and it wasn't a very heavy rain thank goodness.
3. When you are entering an area that doesn't allow you to bring firewood make sure you either purchase some at the area or find smaller twigs and logs the big ones are like sponges!

On our way out of the area we stopped at a place to go look at a sink hole... yes we hiked in to look at a muddy hole.
It was very neat though and a very old sink hole.

We took lots of pictures on our hike that day. Believe it or not this is just a small taste of all the pictures that were taken!
Steps from Hades!

And then one final picture as we were leaving the Mammoth Caves area at least for this year.

I'm sure we will be back next year too and I hope this next time Peter can come with.
So through the Month of April and May the kids had swim lessons and Brielle is currently in a girls only engineering summer camp for the week but again this is something I will get back to but I've been running a lot to get them to their classes.

So remember my MiL? Well she decided to call a few weeks back trying to make plans for the kids to go to her house for 4th of July and completely forgot that we told her they were going first to South Dakota for my cousins wedding in June and then my parents were driving them from there to Oregon and hitting Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone on the way. Sounds exciting for the kids right?! Well she blew up and started saying all these mean and awful things from then my mother has been dealing with her. While my MiL complains about her work and one of my nieces being so lonely during this time my father has just come out of chemo, literally just had back surgery and then just had his heart checked because things sounded wrong. Thankfully my dad's heart seems okay but they think they've found another problem... I think some time with the grandchildren would be good while he still can get up and moving! So we've been dealing with a lot of drama from that.

Back to the engineering camp. Well because it lets out at 12:15 I had to find a sitter by the school to pick her up and watch her for an hour. It's completely thrown things out of whack and with Peter working so much I found myself with a lot of free time and cleaning didn't sound too appealing (when does it ever).
So instead I found myself in the kitchen.
Homemade Chocolate Chocolate Chip Fraps

Cinnamon Coffee Cake 

I also tried to make kale chips... these did not go over well! First of all if the stem is too thick it doesn't dry out properly and I over cooked most of them so many turned into powder.
No one liked the taste and the smell was so strong. Now I did the other half of the bag (because I had 2 trays and that was half the bag) in the dehydrator for about 2 hours and that might have been a tad much. They came out much better done, not burnt either but still no one liked them. Thankfully I bought the kale on discount so I didn't lose a bunch of money. I kept the dehydrator ones I figured I might toss a few in with my can o'soup that I normally eat for lunch. We will see.

I have also been very tired of the same o'thing for what we eat around the house. I was going to make lemon chicken but it happened Peter was actually getting off at a decent time so he BBQ'd some chicken but I decided to move forward and make roasted veggies. They were alright I suppose but I wasn't overly fond of the herbs suggested by the recipe. I may do this again but use my own herb combination. Brielle ate a lot of them but she likes veggies. I made the other two at least choke down some potatoes. I had the potatoes from my various attempts at making potato chips in the dehydrator which I don't have pictures of but thus far they have been a flop and no matter how thin I get the potatoes they are so VERY hard! They make kettle chips seem soft.

I also this past week went over to a friends house to show her how to make laundry soap and helped her out with that and then came home and made a batch myself because I was out.

So on to today's drama. This morning Katherine's alarm she begged me to turn on to 6am didn't go off or she slept through it so she woke up crying her eyes out. I found out why she wanted to get up so early is because she wanted to spend time with her dad who's been working a lot so I had Peter give her a call and that set things to rights.
Yesterday I had gone over to pick up Brielle from the man watching her for me who is an old family friend and also has a young daughter and I noticed the house needed some TLC inside the kitchen so I grabbed my floor cleaner from the house and went back over there and worked on the floor and the dishes. He told me also that I didn't need to rush over there so fast it gave his daughter something to do. So today I took a little bit of extra time and picked up the piece I need to fix the hose from the dollar store and then grabbed what groceries I needed for dinner and some cream cheese because later I plan to make strawberry bread. So I was about half an hour later than normal and when I got there I saw Brielle outside and she came straight to the car and I made a joke about her wanting to run away from their house. Well she broke down in tears apparently he never walked over to meet her at the school. Now Brielle is almost 13 so her walking a couple blocks didn't worry me but she then proceeded to tell me she had walked back and forth from the house to the school this whole time because no one answered the door. Needless to say I was upset. So then I call the mom who is at work and she calls his mother who goes over there to pound on the door while the mom is making phone calls to everyone else in the area. The school Brielle was at calls me telling me some man was asking after her and this is well over an hour after they got out of camp. So everyone one was freaked out but I tried to calm people down I had Brielle home safe now finding him and his little girl that was another question. Eventually it was found out because of his extreme pain (he's on disability too) he had taken some pain medication and fell asleep which now has the mom upset and I'm making sure Brielle packs her cellphone for the rest of the week.

Well that's a short rundown of things about as compressed as I can make to cover up til now. I'm sure I forgot stuff but I don't think anyone is going to blame me for that.

Oh on a funny note I had to write my own job description at work because raises are coming up and after being there over 6 years they still didn't have a job description for me!
Other stuff I forgot I did. I made 1 out of 4 hair ties I want to get made before I send the girls off for the summer so they can have these for 4th of July.
This was my first attempt at one like this.

I also had to pull out my sewing machine and I helped a friend of mine with a REALLY long stitch in a tent she is making for for the SCA and then had to turn around and patch my old 14 year old sleeping bags but hey for under $4 I got two good sleeping bags again.

Like I said I did more than my little mind can keep up with. I also did some running donating samples I had around the house for shampoo and stuff to a family in need. Peter and I got to go out for dinner and a movie for our anniversary thanks to a friend who watched the girls. --- Just a lot of things.

1 comment:

  1. You know that I understand about getting busy and not posting. However, wow, you've been BUSY! I love all the camping pictures. We're talking about trying to take our kids camping this summer as a cheaper vacation option. I'm trying to go along with the idea but there's something about not having the bathroom in the hotel room that has me struggling with the idea.