Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween and the letter S...

We won't be handing out candy this year, we won't be taking small children door to door and I didn't put up any decorations, I didn't even buy any candy!

We usually get less than 15 little trick or treaters and because Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, we won't even be home, we'll be at choir practice. Yes, choir practice on Halloween, Bonnie is such a slave driver (ha!) but she said she would understand if some of us didn't show up, but as my hubs and I really have no excuse Not to be there, I guess we'll go. I just really hate driving in the dark when I know there might be a kids on the side of the road.

I did take a few pictures that meet the Halloween theme, including the following one that I emailed to Karen at to be part of a blog post along with 23 other people. We all take one picture during a certain hour of the day, email them to Karen and she will put them all together. My hour was midnight to 1:00 a.m. October 31.
I can't wait to see what the other 23 people took pictures of, although I'm not sure if Karen even has power or not as she lives in Connecticut and was in direct line of Hurricane Sandy.

This is the one that will be in that blog post, in color, I changed it to black and white for this post.

These following are of my sons, my two sweet boys as they were getting ready for the Zombie Pub Crawl They ended the night looking even more Zombie like.

When Andy first moved to Cincinnati, he and Ethan were not what I would call friends, in fact barely brothers. Their personalities are very, very different, even though they grew up in the same house, with the same parents, and given the same opportunities. So, when Ethan told me he was going to drive to Cincinnati to visit his brother, I just about fell over. Months later, he visited again, now they talk and text each other often. When Andy comes home to visit, he stays at Ethan's instead of staying in our new guest room. I feel a little sad about this, but I'm very happy that they get along now, and they are still just as different as they used to be.

People at church would Always call them by each other's name, which drove them nuts. They don't look like each other, Ethan is 6 feet tall and solid, Andy is 5'7" and small (although he's at the gym several times a week, drinks supplements and protein and is very muscular).
Ethan can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime about anything. Andy can talk, but not simply for the sake of talking. Ethan is a free spirit and has a "don't worry about it" attitude, whereas Andy is more serious and very, very driven. Andy knows what he wants to do, and will research ways to make it happen.

Ethan, above, looks like a Goettsch (my hub's family) and Andy, below, looks like a Shocinski (my dad's family).

I think it was a good thing that they were so different growing up, because that meant I couldn't treat them totally the same. I tried, as much as I could, but they needed me in different ways. Ethan is ADD and had all of the symptoms that goes along with this diagnosis, homework and school problems, getting in trouble at school, losing things, forgetting things, stubborn, argumentative. He also needed vision therapy because he was seeing double. I Knew he was attention deficit when he was in Kindergarten, and kept trying to get him tested, but without the help of teachers, it's hard to get doctors to believe. He was finally tested and found to have ADD in fourth grade. He charmed all of his teachers into thinking that he just needed to mature a little more which didn't do anything to benefit him. All of that charm turned out to be a big plus for him though as he can talk people into giving him things for free and doing things for him and giving him jobs. He does a lot of bartering, by fixing people's cars, and will be getting a full sleeve tattoo this way.

Andy taught himself to read at age four, did his homework without me harping at him, got good grades, saved his money if he wanted to buy something that we didn't want to spend our money on, never got in trouble at school, he was responsible, teachers loved him, he was neat and clean and had the same backpack all through high school. He would always say "Ethan gets everything, I don't get half the stuff he does". (that's why them getting along now kind of freaks me out a bit)
He was never sick, never got strep throat, never got ear infections, he was good at everything he tried, artistic, coordinated. He does have bad eyes though (takes after my side).
When I would complain to coworkers about my boys fighting and arguing and pretty much hating each other,  they would assure me that when they got out of their teens, they would start to get along and be friends. I really didn't believe them, but geez, it turned out to be true. I'm so happy for that.

they make me so little zombie boys...
I simply love them to pieces

And, just a little bit of color. I hope you all had a great Halloween, and to all of you that were in the path of the devastating Hurricane Sandy, my prayers go out to you. Until next year...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Linked 52 - Memories...

Nearly 20 years ago we took a camping trip to Custer State Park, South Dakota.

My grown children still talk about this vacation and the man with no thumb.

We loaded up the mini-van with our suitcases, games and snacks to keep from getting bored (no dvd players at that time, man would I have loved one of those) and all of our clothes. We attached our trailer and filled it full of everything else we thought we would need, and when you have three children and aren't used to "roughing it", you tend to bring along way more than you will ever need. I would someday like to take a hiking/camping trip with only the stuff we can carry on our backs...I might need to get on this, I'm not getting any younger. 

I remember seeing miles of bright, yellow. sunflower heads all facing the sun, it was so gorgeous.

We drove through the Black Hills and the Badlands, and well, where there are hills to climb and children to do the climbing, the van practically stopped itself. We (they) climbed around for awhile and I tried to stay calm by taking pictures of them. Notice my husband is not in the picture with my kids...he is probably at the top by now (I do have one of him sitting at the top), because he is the instigator in semi-dangerous stunts. Maybe it's a guy thing!

Of course we stopped at Wall Drug and Mitchell Corn Palace. We have a picture of my hubby, the boys and me, taken by Kira. She didn't want to be in the picture...until we are in the car driving away, then came the tears because she didn't get to have her picture taken by the Corn Palace. Can anyone relate???

As we get close to the park, we see more and more bison, herds of bison just meandering in a field or across the road, and they are very large animals. Once we get to our campsite and start setting up camp, we hear from others that just the week before, a brother and sister were attacked by a lone bison called Ralph. Not sure if I believe that, but that's the story. What I do believe, is that the lone bison Ralph, that came through the campsite every night to sniff and snort and chew grass right outside of our tent, was absolutely HUGE. To this day, I have not seen a bigger bison than Ralph.
I always get up at least once a night to run to the bathroom, and camping doesn't stop that, so it always happened that I woke up while Ralph was making his way through the campsite and David would tell me to run over there by myself, because Ralph wasn't going to do anything to me, and David always ended up getting up and going to the bathroom with me. What a sweetie, tsk.

But I got ahead of myself...

The day we got to the campsite, just after we got the tent set up and our equipment unloaded and while I was making spaghetti (because that is easy to make while camping) and all three kids were climbing up the steep, rocky side of the canyon-like campsite we were in, and just as I looked up from cooking and noticed what the heck they were doing, they started to come down the steep, rocky side, slowly at first, then faster as momentum caught them. youngest Ethan, who was 4 yrs old at the time, was going a little too fast for his feet, tripped over a rock and fell forward, on the right side of his head, his body going to the left which made his neck bend in a way that I thought for sure must have broken it.  As I was standing there watching my baby fall on his head, I remember thinking, OMG, he broke his neck, my husband was running to his rescue. I have always been a slow reactor in any kind of situation, good or bad, whereas my husband it right there. It's a good thing we are as different as we are, because we cancel out each others negative traits.
So, here I am thinking, what are we supposed to do now, I have dinner half done, we're camping in a different state, I don't know where a hospital is (notice I'm not dealing with my child). This makes me sound like a horrible person, I'm not, but that is how my mind works, I think odd things at inappropriate times.
Our campsite neighbors are Not like me, thank goodness, because they took charge and told us where the hospital was and said they would take care of our dinner and watch our site.
We piled into the van and drove the short distance to the Custer Hospital. We were put in a room and told that the doctor was at dinner, so it would be a bit of a wait. What??? No amount of whining, or demanding that he be called worked, so we waited. I stayed with my other two kids in the waiting room where we were entertained?? by a man also waiting to be seen until the doctor got there, then I left them to be entertained?? by the strange man again. He told them his story of why he was missing a thumb and about the saw and how they should be careful and I don't know what else, but they were both upset that we left them in the waiting room with this strange man. See, now they always have a strange story to tell.
The doctor finally finished his dinner and was able to take a look at Ethan's head. He wasn't concerned in the least when I told him what happened, or the fact that his neck bent at such an ugly angle, and was not happy with me when I insisted on an x-ray of his head. As it turned out, nothing was broken and we left a short time later with eleven stitches, some Tylenol, and two semi-freaked from talking to a strange one thumbed man kids. Ethan wasn't in much pain, at that time, because of the Novocain used to numb the cut, but we all know that doesn't last very long.
We drove in the dark, back to our campsite starving and wondering what we were going to eat at that time of night and were very happy to find out our neighbor had finished making our dinner, so we would have something to eat when we finally got back, cleaned up our campsite, and then invited us over for roasted marshmallows and s'mores. How nice was that of them?

We continued our vacation, Ethan had a sore neck and a headache and a lot of tears, but Tylenol took care of the worst of it and cuddling and seeing cool things took care of the rest (and a sore head didn't keep him from climbing right back up the hill, the other hill, the one without all the rocks) We saw the usual sights, Mt. Rushmore, the place with all the snakes and lizards and alligators, swam and played in the lake that was in the campground, pet the donkey that came to our car, out the open door of the van (geez, I can't believe I let them do this stuff).

And we had some of the best thunderstorms that I have ever seen. Being in sort of a valley, we could watch the storms through a natural V in the tree line, and one was a doozy. Once again we were eating dinner when the storm came, so we made a mad dash to clean things up and ran for the safety of our tent. Ha! We got in our sleeping bags and I got out the book I had been reading to them, the Borrowers and tried to keep my different voices while the thunder and lightening was all around us and the wind and rain was battering the tent. I had my Black Hills Gold cross I had bought a few days before in one hand and the book in the other while I was reading away like we were at home all snug and dry. It's hard work trying to stay calm so your children won't freak out, and I could tell by their faces that they were freaked, but they knew it was Not the right to time to give in react to that feeling. I was very proud of them. It continued to storm throughout the night and in the morning David and I both admitted we prayed most of the night that we would all be alive to see the morning.
What a great vacation, so many, many memories and so much fun. Each of them have said, at different times, that we should go back there and camp again. That would be wonderful, but now that they are grown, it would be so different from what they remember, that I think they should wait until they have families of their own and make some new memories to compare with and add to the old ones. I would love to go back with my hubby though. We have been empty nesters long enough now that we are able to have fun without children, it's just different, calmer, quieter, less hectic...hmmm, maybe we should wait for the grandkids...

See what kind of Memories these ladies have...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Linked 52 - On the Shelf...

While looking around for something on a shelf, I realized I have a lot of Stuff on a lot of shelves. I also realized most of this Stuff doesn't mean much to me any longer. It's about time for a cleaning, a very thorough  deep cleaning.

When I was a little girl, my mother had a shadow box full of salt and pepper shakers and every now and then  
I would take them down and play with them, especially the chickens and roosters. I still love chickens and roosters and had a bunch of them in my kitchen for awhile, until I painted and didn't put them back.
Mom reluctantly let me have these chickens and roosters (even though she had them packed away in a box, so clearly wasn't using them), also the rose vase and two of the cups I used when I was little. The wine glasses belonged to my grandmother and sort of came with the house when I bought it. She left most of her things in the house when she moved in with my mom and wouldn't let me get rid of anything (she honestly knew when I tried, eerie). I wish I would have listened to her and kept some of the things I did get rid of, because then when I go to antique shops, I could say "I have that!" instead of, "I used to have that."

Our group is dwindling, but there are still a few left, take a look and see what's on their shelves.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Linked 52 - Color...


First of all, please forgive me for being late, we lost power last night, I'm assuming because of the wind, then I had to work today, so, it's still Friday, it's just late Friday.

I posted a picture on Instagram a few weeks ago of a planter I saw at Home Depot that I thought would look nice on my dining room table,

and out of all the different color choices I had to choose from, I pick the one without any color, and
I Love it!
I got plants that require medium light, which my dining room gets, (I'm praying my cats won't chew on them) and it's just the perfect size for my table. I think it looks perfect.

Hmmm, not enough color for a prompt of Color?? Okay then, here you go...

These were all taken from a huge cemetery that I drive by on my way to work and church. I actually missed by a couple days the glowing color these trees turn. If you saw them, you would swear they would be glowing in the dark of night. It's hard to imagine these looking any more spectacular, but they can.
It turns out the day I took these was one of those days we Minnesotans brag about. The 70+ degree Autumn day, full of color, smell and a light breeze, simply gorgeous.

Check out what Color these ladies found...