Saturday, March 27, 2010

Once Upon a Birthday Weekend

Happy birthday to me. Thanks to all those who called, sent cards, facebooked me, etc. It had been a really bad week and I was pretty down and out by the time the birthday arrived. My teacher friends got me lunch at Sushiya which was delicious. I got one of the nicest things ever from another teacher, Tom, who wrote out on index cards, "forty-one reasons to love Jennifer Smith." Some of them are goofy like, "You are the catalyst for funnel cakes," or "You use the word 'turd' over the age of 10. That is awesome." And some are just really, very nice and it made me feel good. Two of my students made a cake for me - this is Matt and Megan. They were really excited about it and I was too!
I had gotten tickets to the symphony to see/hear Pink Martini which is one of my favorite groups ever. Then Travis had Woodbadge (an adult Boyscout training program) and Morgan was in the school play so I had a couple extra tickets. I invited my friend Lisa and my friend (and hairdresser) Esther. Maddie and Rozzie were in attendance, too. We had dinner at La Napolera and Lisa got me "Queen for the day" placements and a tiara!! Here we are at the symphony. Maddie is still in lots of pain. She got a blessing from Travis and the Bishop on Wednesday night. Then Roger came over and gave her a blessing on Thursday so she could sleep. She was miserable again last night but wanted to go to Pink Martini and felt that it would help keep her mind off the pain.
Here I am with Lisa and Esther. They had never heard of Pink Martini, but they were quickly converted. What an amazing concert! They played all my favorites. Rozzie was disappointed they didn't do "Que Sera" but she loved the rest.
I hadn't gotten much sleep the past few nights. Then today i went to breakfast with Lani. It was delicious - we went to a French place called Mimi's. Their breakfasts are very good! Then I cam home to make stuff for the Ward Easter Luncheon. By the time I got home from that I was staggering around incoherently (not really). We cleaned up the kitchen and floor and I went to lay down. I slept for FOUR hours. Holy Mackerel!!! That is unheard of for me. I'm now getting ready for a busy Sunday with ward choir, ward dinner, and stake choir. I have been dreading this weekend for weeks. I just might make it.
Travis was off at Woodbadge. he had a great time. The fire one night gave him an asthma attack but he made it. He had a great time. He has a few responsibilities to do over the next few months and he is excited about it. here he is with his group, the Eagles!! He brought me home a present - a tick on his hinder for me to remove!!

So we march on toward April. Maddie is getting sick and tired of being in pain. She woke up last night crying. I haven't had a kid up at night in a few years and that was tough!!! I have really been sad for her this week. She missed two days of school last week. Please keep her in your prayers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A New Roof

Maddie broke out in a funny rash two days ago. Last night it was bubbly and weepy. So I called the doctor today. Some of my thoughts were that might be poison oak or ivy as she was at a friend's house on Saturday and they live in a very over-grown/woodsy area. I was talking to a principal at school today and she thought it might be scabies. I know I had that in junior high (all of us from church got it!!). They (the all-powerful secretaries) found someone to cover my classes for an hour and a half and we went to the doctor. The doctor looked with a magnifying glass and looked at me like she had bad news. Maddie has shingles at the age of 12. There is a vaccine she can get when she is FIFTY. This will be a recurring problem throughout her life. Maddie had chicken pox when she was 9 months so there wasn't a need for immunization at 1 year. Poor girl. She is in a lot of pain. She asked, "Why does all the bad stuff happen to me?" I feel so bad for her. I'm sad about that today.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More Band Stuff

Last night was Morgan's Kaleidoscope concert. They show the many facets of the band. They do the marching music, symphonic band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, small groups, and solos. Then we go over to the gym where the winter color guard and winter drumline do their shows. Morgan was in two small groups. The first was a saxophone quartet. Morgan played tenor sax. It was a great group with soprano, alto, tenor, and bari saxophones all represented!!
Morgan's second group was really small consisting of just her. She played "Meditation on This" on her violin!! It was very nice.

The band teacher commented on the fact that Morgan Smith played four instruments throughout the night. Morgan didn't hear it. At the end of the night, she needed help packing it all up. Her other instruments are: marching band - tuba, and jazz band - bass trombone. It was a very nice evening. Beforehand, the band had a fund raiser dinner, so it was quite an evening. One of my school friends has twin boys coming up into band and so they came to get an idea of what was in store. Roger, Lani, and McCall also came to hear Morgan play. Thanks guys!! Last year, this concert was on my birthday and Mom, Sara, and Matt got to come!! It has already been a year! Ah, what fun...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Catnip and Peeps

In my senior English class, we are reading excerpts from "The Diary of Samuel Pepys." To remind the students that Pepys is pronounced "Peeps" I brought Peeps to school for the kids. At home, we roasted the left overs for s'mores!! They make yummy s'mores! The girls are all busy roasting while Sock Monkey looks on in approval, awaiting his treat!!
Yesterday during church, Rozzie kept complaining of back pain. She seemed to be in a lot of pain, too. She'd jump if I touched it. I knew that she had been at the park with her friend. They like to go off and take pictures of themselves and then post them on Facebook. They were jumping of the swings and Rozzie slipped and fell on her back. This is actually the picture of her right before the fall!!
She was uncomfortable sitting, standing, and lying down. Knowing that I had to work and that she had to go to school, I knew we had to get her in to see a doctor right away. Luckily, no ribs cracked or broken. But she did bruise the rib meat pretty good. The doctor wrote her a note to be out of PE for the week. He wants her to rest. He's never met Roz. Her team is in the basketball tournament!! How can she sit that out?

On to the news of the garden: we are still waiting for the ammonium sulfate to be delivered to the garden store on Thursday. The hay bales sit, waiting patiently for their plants. Here is a picture of what Licky and Spunky have done to the catnip:
Morgan and I have started attending Zumba classes at the Y. She always made fun of the people in that class. But on Thursday, she asked if I'd go with her. That meant that I'd have to give up yoga, but I was willing. Zumba is a Latin based dance exercise class. It is very active and there is a lot of shaking going on. Morgan was relieved to find that there were people of all shapes and sizes there and we have been enjoying. We have been 3 times now. I'll still try to get in a yoga class on Wednesday.

That is it in a nutshell for today. I hope you are all having a great day.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Faith Value Project has Begun

Last summer, I went to Minnesota to visit family. Everywhere I went, everyone had beautiful gardens. These gardens were prolific with abundant produce. The gardens were green, and I was green - with envy. Each family member had a garden with a multitude of delicious veggies. I knew I was failing in this area. I came home and thought I'd give it a try. Florida has a longer growing period and so I went and got two tomato plants and two big planters. I got rocks and soil. I planted the tomatoes. They grew and grew. One plant flowered. The flowers died. It flowered again producing two tomatoes. One tomato rotted on the vine and the other was harvested and shared with friends on a salad. My gardening experience was an epic fail. I was saddened. I kept hearing stories of Mike and Jen harvesting so many tomatoes and making spaghetti sauce and canning it. I had one tomato.

My spirits were lifted when I read an article in the paper about hay bale gardens. It gave explicit instruction on how to do it. I cut it out and had Travis read it. We talked to the girls about it. I believe it was Roz that pointed out that on of the Value Projects for Personal Progress is to plan and implement a vegetable garden. So this past weekend, we all went shopping together. The girls picked out seeds and we got all the necessary items for our garden. I also bought one of those "topsy turvy" hanging tomato planters. We'll see how it works!! The girls helped and had good attitudes. So here is the beginning photos. I'll keep you all posted on the progress. We are starting small and seeing what works and what doesn't.

Here are the girls and Travis filling the "topsy turvy" tomato planter:

Here it is all hanging from a tree. It will be in sunlight most of the day. Our yard isn't very sunny so we have trouble finding spots, but this will be ok, I think.

At Home Depot, the girls found some catnip. We got a plant. Licky sniffed it out and then settled in for the "nom nom nom." Look at his ears all flat!! He really chomped on it and it was funny to watch him.
And here is Travis, Rozzie, and Maddie showing off the hard work. Morgan was off at a birthday party. Now we have to water the hay for a few days and let it "cook". Apparently the water activates all the stuff inside to start composting and the hay gets hot and literally cooks itself. After a few days it will cool down and then we start fertilizing it. Everyone is taking turns watering it.

I'll keep posting the progress, as I know a certain Concerned Citizen is always interested in certain techniques. We don't have high hopes, but hope that we produce something. The girls are pretty much in charge of it and they will all get credit for their Faith Value Project.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Grocery Shopping

I hate grocery shopping. I used to love it when I was young and would go with my mom and she'd give me a coupon and I'd go on the hunt. Now, it is a two hour ordeal squeezed in at the end of a long day when I've been on my feet all day. Travis gets paid once a month and so for the past 14+ years, we have done a major shop after pay day and then gone back here and there for specifics like milk, bread, veggies, and fruit. Oh, and ice cream. So that is why we do this. I really don't have any lengthy thoughts on it. I was thankful that Morgan and Maddie went with me because I can't handle two carts on my own and going back for a second go round makes me want to cry. Rozzie didn't go along because she wasn't home from school, not because she doesn't help. All the groceries are put away and the soup is cooking on the stove and my rant is done.