Friday, November 29, 2013

How to freak out your family for Thanksgiving

First, make sure they hear all about your Vibe vs. Semi accident a couple days prior to the holiday.  Let them know you were unhurt.

The day after the accident, keep your appointment to have skin cancer surgery-the kind where they scrape some skin off, test to see if they got all the cancer, then scrape more skin off until they are sure they have all of the bad stuff off your nose.  Make sure you don't mention the surgery ahead of time to any of the extended family.  It would ruin the effect completely.

Walk out of the surgery appointment with a ridiculous amount of bandaging on your nose, which must remain in place for 48 hours.

Go home, get some sleep.  You've had a stressful week.

Wake up on Thanksgiving with the black eye the surgeon told you to expect.

Now, at long last, all is in place to freak out your family.  Enjoy it.  It's probably the best time you'll have for a while, considering what you've done for fun this week.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful for inconvenience, instead of tragedy

There was a freezing rain advisory until 4 AM Tuesday morning and by the time Clarence left for work around 6, it was still slick.

This fall, the road commission paved about a mile of road between our road and the highway.  We've been enjoying the smooth ride and a little less mud on our commutes.  We have had concerns about how it would differ from years past once the weather changed, so Clarence was taking it slow and cautious as he headed for the highway yesterday.

As he approached the highway, he realized there was no way he would be able to get the car stopped in time, though the anti-lock brakes were working overtime, and he could see a semi truck headed for his intersection.  The braking system allowed him to maintain good control over his steering so he quickly made the decision to aim the car for the shoulder of the highway, heading south on the northbound shoulder.  There was nowhere for the trucker to go, as there was traffic from the opposite direction as well, and he hit the passenger side of our poor little Vibe.

The airbags deployed (so glad we got the driver's side one fixed this summer!) but Clarence had closed his eyes, waiting for the impact, so he didn't see that happen.  He says the airbag didn't hit him, either, since he was almost stopped by then and he sits so far back due to his height.

It seems, to me, an incredibly small amount of visible damage for being hit by a semi.  We're pretty sure it's too old for fixing it to be a viable option, though the insurance adjuster hasn't seen it yet.  We decided to see if we could find a replacement, just in case, especially since we've talked about adding another car to our fleet for several months.

We were pretty excited to find another Vibe, three years newer than ours, though our old one has nicer options than this one.  We'll miss power windows and door locks (hard to remember having a car without those "basics" or a clicker to lock and unlock it-how spoiled we are!).

It made for a busy day, trying to decide between new or used, and looking at what was available.  Even though it was a hassle, I was so thankful it was only an inconvenience when it could have easily been a tragedy.  We feel so, so blessed.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Power outage

We lost our power Sunday night so I made dinner by lamplight on Monday.  I was thankful for my gas range which allowed me to light the burners by hand so I could cook.

I have a collection of oil lamps and am always glad to have a reason to put them into use.  We have a woodstove in our living room, which helped keep the house more comfortable.  Clarence got his generator running so we wouldn't lose all the contents of our refrigerator and freezers.  The weather, though very windy, was not terribly cold which would have made things more difficult.  As it was, we had a lot to be thankful for.

After about 24 hours, the power came back on and our pioneer party was over.  It was a long week.
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

FIAR Moms Reunion

I was thrilled to get to spend a few hours catching up with dear friends today. 

Eleven years ago this month, we had our very first Five in a Row co-op day.  We read Cranberry Thanksgiving and were done by lunchtime.

I remember the kids making bookmarks by stamping them with cut cranberries but my only other memories of that day are of how shy the kids were with each other (of course, I was shy, too) and the thought that this group seemed very promising.

It turned out to be the only group we stayed with all through the years.  We drifted in and out of various other, larger, co-ops but they all paled in comparison to what we had with this group.  It was a good fit in those early months because it expanded on our main curriculum.  It remained a good fit not only because the families all became friends but also because there was a lot of brilliance in the minds of these women below.  They had amazing ideas accompanied by great follow-through and I credit them with making our homeschooling journey not only more successful, but also a whole lot more fun.

 (I'm stealing my friend Cheri's picture since, bad blogger that I am, I didn't even take my camera along.)

As we continued to meet, the ideas expanded and became day-long events each month.  Our planning sessions helped us get to know each other better and become good friends.  We'd often be brainstorming ideas when we should have been heading for home, because we'd spent all the planning time talking and laughing together.  As the kids grew, we moved away from the FIAR curriculum but remained a literature-based group, reading a book each month and doing corresponding activities.  We're down to three families now, but have no plans to give it up yet.

Time moves on, circumstances change, and it had been a few years since we'd all been together.  The idea of a reunion was mentioned and we all managed to make some time today to get together and play catch up.  It's hard to believe the youngest of our kids is now 12-he was just a baby when we met.  The oldest of the group is now a couple years into his enlistment in the Marines.

I am so thankful God brought us together all those years ago.  I left our reunion once again feeling so thankful for the blessing they have each been to me and so happy to have been able to spend a little time with them-just like old times.

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