Frankfort theme boxes…almost done!

28 08 2008

Well, school is in full swing around here, both at home with K and in the public high school my J is now attending.  He isn’t having much homework yet, so we’re still enjoying stressless evenings around here for the time being.  Both kids have the sniffles already, which I really don’t get, considering that this family rarely gets sick as a general rule, and this is way too early!  I’m really missing taking J on the field trips more than anything else right now, but not as much during the school day, because K and I are having some very nice one on one.  I do believe we are enjoying Science this year more than anything.  We’re doing Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Flying Creatures of the Sixth Day, and it is, in a word, fascinating.  If Science were like this when I were her age, I might’ve both learned something and liked it!  We’ve skipped past the bird chapters so that we can save those for spring, when it will make more sense to study birds, so we’re studying insects.  Now I don’t like creepy crawly things of any kind, but here I am catching myself checking on the pair of crickets K captured for observation.  I didn’t know it was so easy to tell a male insect from a female – I’ve had more trouble sexing kittens!  The female’s ovipositor just sticks right out there for all to see 🙂 

Enough about school!  The real story here is that my goal of finishing my letterbox series (which technically is going to be a group of theme-related boxes rather than a series, since they’ll be listed seperately) by the end of the month is going to be realized!  All the logbooks are done (but I’m a bit concerned about their durability – I’m new at this type), and most of the stamps are carved.  I have images for the couple left to do, and I have already begun preparations for mounting them.  I’ve been working on these all summer, really, just not as often as I could have.  I was held back mentally by the fact that some of them are going to be tough plants as far as finding a suitable spot in the particular area it is meant for.  I didn’t think about that when I chose the subject of each box; I just went with what interested me most.  I’ll be so thrilled to get these out there – the research on them was very interesting…but of course, I’m a history buff 😉

I’m trying to drum up some interest in letterboxing among some other women I know.  I can hardly believe that some people don’t even know what it is, or that when they hear, aren’t responding, “How cool! Can we go right now?!”  LOL  That’s how I felt!

I’m hoping that these boxes will entice others to visit Frankfort for boxing.  There are already lots of great boxes here, but there’s fixin’ to be 9 more!!!  I’m going to do my best to write clues rather than directions, since that’s what I like best as well…so I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to get them planted.  My goal is by the 15th, but in my heart I’m hoping that the upcoming 3-day weekend will see them all in their little hiding places – or atleast most of them.

First Day of School

20 08 2008

My 14-year old got on the bus this morning for his first day of public school after having been educated at home since the first grade.  It went well.  He was up ridiculously early…5am! LOL  I wonder how long that’ll be the routine?  When I got up at 6:15 to make his breakfast and pack his lunch, he had taken out the dog, fed her, showered, dressed and was packing his lunch himself.  I made all of us a hot breakfast and then he headed out the door.  I handled it fine 🙂  I almost had a moment after he hugged me goodbye – but I didn’t 😉

Yesterday was very frustrating trying to have school with my 5th grade daughter with him at home.  He interrupted worse than a two-year old all day long – it was God helping me deal with his leaving today 🙂  My daughter and I are having a quiet, productive school day so far (despite her grumpies from staying up too late every night for the Olympics and having to get up so early this morning). 

The guys wanted to play disc golf last night, so we got another shot at finding two letterboxes that we attempted earlier, in the same area as the course.  One we simply couldn’t try for because its suspected location was crawling with people, and the other, we just couldn’t find.  The clues were a bit vague, so we gave it another try.  No luck.  After searching every place that even came close to matching the clue description, we gave up.  The other box was not tried for again, because again the area was swarming with people.  <sigh>  Another day, another try 🙂

My son had to turn in a paper on the first day (today) for the honors English class.  I had been worried about how/where to draw the line on helping him with it.  I’ve been teaching him for all these years, but I didn’t want to “grade” the paper before he turned it in – that just doesn’t seem right, but I figured he’d ask for a proofreading of it.  I was determined not to over-do it.  Oh, but teenagers 😉  I don’t know why I worried.  He wanted to read it to me several times as it progressed, but he did not want any specific advice – just my overall opinion.  And when I suggested that if he stumbles on the wording when reading it aloud that he should consider changing the wording for a better flow…the attitude came out.  When the computer printer “wasn’t working” (because he’d clicked Print apparently a dozen times and confused it), and I couldn’t help but notice a word that had an apostrophe “s” instead of the plural form (one of my pet peeves) and pointed it out to him…the attitude came out.  So heck with him, I said to myself – he’s on his own!  I guess that’s the best way for him to learn, anyway.  Parenting is so darn frustrating, sometimes! LOL

I’m getting very close to finishing a letterbox series I’ve been working on for a couple of months.  This week, I’m hoping to have time to put covers on all the logbooks (they are all already codex-bound).  This weekend and next week, I’m going to try to carve the last three stamps and decide whether or not to mount them all, and start on that.  My goal is to have the entire series ready to plant by the end of the month.  I’ll let you know how that goes 😀

Well, K is ready for me to read our Read-Aloud, “Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze” – an excellent read!  I get to read all these wonderful books twice, since the kids’ grade level is too far apart to study the same material.  So that’s all for now, folks!

I wanna elope!

16 08 2008

Ok, so the stress in my current life situation has caused me to lose it!  Ever have a feeling/desire that doesn’t make sense?  As I changed into my PJs for the night (at 8pm- go ahead, laugh yer butt off – but you’ll think of me some day when you do the same thing), I had this fleeting thought that I wish my husband and I could elope.  We’ve been happily married for over 18 years, so I don’t know where the goofy thought came from.  I grinned at myself and thought about how stupid and senseless that thought was, and then I began wondering why my brain came up with that.  I think I know.  Try to stay with me 🙂

So my honey came home last Friday at noon to spend half a day with us before leaving the next morning for a business trip, and as he packed some files and checked his laptop bag for all those things that it needs, he looked up at me and said, “I wish you were going with me.” as I walked by with a stack of laundry to put away.  I stopped and replied that I would love to go, and I saw that look in his eyes that tells me he’s cooking up something in his head.  He then told me that he had hated to ask his mom to come stay with the kids for this trip because she had moved recently, but that she might just want a break, and that he was just going to call and see.  I went back to the laundry and waited to see what he’d work out.  An hour later, he was leaving to drive an hour and a half one way to meet his step-dad and pick her up, and I was headed to soccer practice with our daughter and a billion things that needed to be done running through my fuzzy brain.  I was both thrilled and overwhelmed.  I couldn’t leave my house a mess, and I couldn’t leave my daughter at her first practice to go home and work, either.  I used the hour to organize in my brain what actually needed doing and what could wait.  After practice, I went home and packed, cleaned bathrooms and did laundry until I went to bed.  I made sure to pack a bag of things to do while honey was at work…my Nintendo DS, a James Michener I’ve been creeping through for a year (while stopping to read shorter works), my bible, several images and my carving stuff to work on a letterbox series I want to finish by the end of the month.  That should keep me busy 😀

We drove two days one way (6+ hours each day) to stay three nights and then drive back.  I was sooooo pooped.  We were both surprised at what the trip took out of me.  I felt old.  And it sucked!  It was worth it, though.  We had lots of great talk time in the truck, grown up dinner dates and no kids down the hall at bedtime 🙂  It’s so great to leave behind all my daily grind and get to reconnect with my love. 

So I ran away from my problems, so to speak.  It works for me.  I put off starting school with K for a week, missed the whole three day drama of Freshman Transition and didn’t have to smell the dog or look at overdue cleaning jobs all day.  I carved three of my 9-box series (3 were already done, so I’m getting excited).  I didn’t read any Michener, but I did read James 🙂  I didn’t come any closer to beating Tetris again (I did it years ago on the original Nintendo). And I got to decide not to think about some things today, and put them off for tomorrow.  (Miss Scarlett taught me well.)  It was nice.  And it made me want to elope with my honey.  When we got married we were so young and naive and free.  We could’ve lived on love alone (and did at times – that and a few potatoes!)  And so I guess my brain remembers that enough to desire that whole emotional high once again.  We sort of eloped, I suppose…since, technically we’re already married! 

The moral of this story?  Run away!  Take your baby and run far, far, away and pretend that there’s nothing else – at least once in awhile.  It’ll be good for all involved 🙂  Drive and drive until you’re too tired to remember your responsibilites and too weak to care whether you’re missing emails or phonecalls.

Yes, my honey had to work all day, every day we were there.  But I’d do it again, anyway, ’cause it was worth it.  I’m rested up now and back to normal, I think.  Maybe my brain is still a little loopy…

I did get to find one letterbox on the trip.  I’ll try and load the cool pics once I get them off the phone 🙂

Off to watch the Olympics – I’ve been told repeatedly that I’m missing them!

Misty-eyed and sentimental

7 08 2008

Hmmm.  My kiddos are growing up.  It doesn’t matter how many times over the years that I have had this revelation – each time is like a new feeling.  I was doing fine. 

Yesterday I finally just went to the school and asked if I could register my son on the spot.  All this frustration with trying to figure out which day is the “right” day to register…there’s New Student Registration Day and Freshman Registration Day, and then there’s an evening “Freshman Orientation” and also a three-half-day Freshman Bridge Program.  <sigh>  Is it just me, or do we just really make things more complicated than necessary?  Why?  Good grief!  Anyway, my son spurred me on, because of his own frustration with questions about classes, and I guess he’s less patient than I am.  And patience is supposed to be a virtue!  Maybe I take it to far by not pushing where I should sometimes. 

So we are headed out to run some other errands, and I voice my confusion/frustration with all this once again, and he just says, “Mom, just take all my papers and let’s go to the school right now.  This is ridiculous.  We’ll just get me registered today.  It’s not like they’re gonna say ‘no’!”  And we did.  What a relief.  And even though the course catalog says that 2 years of foreign language are required for the diploma he wants to get, we found out that it’s actually 4…which is kinda good to know, since there are only 4 opportunities to take a year!  < cheshire grin, here>….ow, I bit my lip!

The day was productive and I felt fine. 

He went to his first “high school” age party last night, too, (the kind you don’t dread…with most of the kids from youth group, several parents and the youth pastor attending…smores and hot dogs over a yard fire, cake and ice cream and socializing) and even though the thing was to last until 2am, we picked him up a bit before midnight and we parents and he the teen were happy with that.  I was still fine. 

We drove back on the quiet streets after picking him up, listening to his account of things, and I was still fine, but sorta remembering the parties with balloons and giggles.  Then when he hugged me goodnight, he let his hand slide down my arm as he looked me in the eye and thanked me for letting him go and staying up late to let him stay late, and I really was still ok. 

I lay down next to my husband and we talked for several minutes, yawning and breathing deeply, about nothing sentimental at all, and when all was quiet, I suddenly broke into tears.  My little boy is gone.  I love the youth he is and the man he’s becoming, but I really just feel like it happened so fast.  It just suddenly occurred to me that when school starts in about 10 days, he is not going to be here all day.  Most moms adjusted to this when their kids were 5 or 6, but I have been blessed enough to have every day with my kids and watch every change and every accomplishment and failure firsthand.  I can’t imagine one of them not being here-all day- every day, for the better part of a year!  This is going to take much more adjusting than I first calculated.  I’m afraid.  I’m afraid I’ll miss out on so much.  I’m afraid he’ll stop talking to me about everything.  I’m afraid his friends will become more a part of his life than his family.  I have never felt so much grief where my kids are concerned. 

My husband saying that all this may be hard, but that I should rejoice, because thier independance, confidence and security is all the beautiful fruit of my parental labors.  I know he’s right, and I truly am happy that they are all those things.  I wouldn’t want them to be fearful, insecure and scared of everything.  I wouldn’t want them to depend on me for everything, because I won’t always be here.  And there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that your child knows God and looks there for backup, instead of to you, as it should be.  But it is hard.  It is very, very hard.

He is volunteering today, and isn’t here.  He woke me up at 8:15, and had already fed the dog and taken her out, eaten breakfast, taken a shower, and was in the process of packing a lunch for himself.  He didn’t want to wake me until the last minute, since he knew I’d been up late because of the party he went to.  Some young woman is going to be very blessed some day.

K and I went letterboxing locally, and it was a lot of fun.  I know that we are going to enjoy some great mother-daughter bonding this year.  But I wonder now that we’ve returned, if I somehow wanted to be gone today because I know that it’s going to be like this a lot soon, and I just wanted to avoid thinking about it…..  She cried before we left for just a minute, saying she was tired.  I told her that we could stay home, but she didn’t want that.  I wonder if it’s just as hard for her.

We had a good day, stopping twice for cold drinks (from a machine where cans are still only .40, believe it or not), and having fun deciphering clues and enjoying the stamps and locations.  We looked for 4 boxes, and only 2 were there.  One was just plain missing, and the other one was a lid-less, empty container.  I do hate that for the planters. (We had fun regardless.)

In the words Pacha’s wife (the Emperor’s New Groove) and in the tradition of women in my family who work themselves to death to deal with stress – “I gotta go wash something!”