Thursday, September 28, 2006

Howling with the Wolves

My seventh grade daughter left yesterday for the
International Wolf Center in Superior National Forest in Ely, Minnesota, gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. They will stay in cabins inside the park and they have signed up for various workshops like "Howling with the Wolves" and "Wolves and the Wetlands".

The older my kids get the more independent they become and when she was ask to go on this trip our first instinct was to say no. But, we reconsidered thinking we have known the family taking her since Kindergarten and Abbey is really interested in ecology and environmental sciences; hard to deny her the opportunity.

She didn’t want any help from me to pack. “Mom, I can do it.” Even the night before when I said, can I help? “MOM, I’m DONE!” I offered to take the day off to be there when she was picked up, “MOM, I’m fine!”

The day she left she called me twice; sounding very nervous. I ask her if she wanted me to run home and see her off and she quietly said, “No, they will be here any minute (pause) “so bye, I love you Mom”. Okay, my heart did a little flip because those are words you don’t hear as much when they get older. As I hung up the phone I pictured her at age 3 going off to her first day of preschool. I barely even got a good-bye from her as she flew into the classroom in the cutest little flower dress & matching hat. But, when I picked her up that day she came flying out of that same classroom and into my arms, “I love you Mommy” she said.

I can’t wait for her to get back and tell me all about her adventure!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Can You Do It?

This drove me crazy all day! I can't do it no matter how hard I concentrate.

Draw a clockwise circle on the floor with your right foot (while sitting).
Draw a number 6 in the air with your right hand at the same time as you are circling your foot.

Your foot will stop or reverse directions. SO WEIRD!
Needless to say I didn't get much paperwork done today

Monday, September 25, 2006

Strange Happy Place

I'm sure we all have more than one "Happy Place". While driving in the car the other day we were switching the radio station around and ACDC Back In Black came on. When the song ended my 13 year old daughter said, "Geesh Mom you kind of zoned out" I guess I completely stopped talking and was drumming on the stick shift of the car and even bobbing my head around a little. TOTALLY unconsciously! My son called out from the back sit, "Mom's happy place is old acid rock!" Who knew?

However, when we got home I saw my son looking for the song on-line and I asked if he was trying to embarrass me and he said, "No, it's a cool song and I think I'd like it on my mp3. Maybe I'm not the dowdy suburban mom I thought I was after all.

Rock on....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Where Do You Hail From?

I am lucky that both sides of my family have great genealogy records. If your family hasn't done it yet there has never been a better time. The technology to help you today is just amazing compared to way we did ours years ago.

I thought telling you about mine might be fun.

My mothers maiden name was Clouston. It has been traced back to 1024. Our family were descendants of King Malcolm II of Scotland and King Magnus the Good of Norway. They had grandchildren that married. The name Clouston comes from the tradition back then to take your surname from your HOME. Cloustath was the original spelling. The family lived in the Orkney Islands. There is still a tunship in Stromness Scotland called Clouston.

This side of my family came to America in 1818 to West Virginia, near Cameron. They founded a township. We have pictures of the Clouston Methodist Church and General Store.

It is so cool to have copies of gravestone rubbings and sketches of family crests from stain glass windows in Scotland.

My family moved to Ness County, Kansas in 1879 on covered wagons. This was 18 years after Kansas had been admitted to the Union. They were ranchers, horse breeders and my favorite ancestor is Wiley Clouston who was the sheriff from 1887 to 1892. Kind of cool that my ancestor was a cowboy sheriff. Hey, Wyatt Earp & Bat Masterson were in Dodge City which was 60 miles from Ness.

I also have traced my grandmothers side (Last name Doty) to the original Mayflower Voyage!

My dads family (DeShazo) back to the 1200's in Luzanne, Switzerland and the Doubs River Valley in France. They came to settle in Virginia, Alabama and then to homestead in Oklahoma during the Great Land Rush.

I'd love to hear some of "Where you all hail from!"

This picture is the "Skyscrapper of the Plains" it has been beautifully restored and last year my nephew had prom in the ballroom!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Autumn is Coming

Autumn is my favorite season and next week it will officially be here. I love the smell of fireplaces burning and I can't wait for the beautiful fall folige that we have here in the Mid West. Our town is just beautiful this time of year. I'm looking forward to hayrack rides, fall festivals and leaf pile jumping.

Weird that yesterday it was 90 degrees and my daughter and I both got sunburns at her soccer game. This morning it is 65 and the windows are all open.

I'm going to spend the day unpacking the fall clothes, I am still afraid to put away all the summer stuff since I have been applying sunburn cream to the top of my ears all day.

Instead of grilling hamburgers outside I will whip up a big batch of chili (dusting of the crock pot from it's summer vacation in the cupboard).

I would know that it is Autumn even if the weather hadn't suddenly jumped 20 degrees in 48 hours. The males in the house are in full football mode! Sigh

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

You've Come Along Way Baby!

I love this post from the sneeze. Check out the old Battleship Game box. The man and his heir get to play the game; while the little woman and her wife in training get to do the dishes.

That would so NOT fly today!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Ago Today

Really, it's hard to believe it's been 5 years since this awful day changed the world. In some ways, it seems like yesterday. In other ways, it seems like a long time ago.

I remember that morning five years ago. I worked as an office manager for a large church and I heard the news report on the radio as I dropped my older children off at school. When I walked in the office I ask the custodian to please bring the television cart in and we hooked up the cable and watched the entire thing unfold, pretty much in silence. Not long after the second tower fell. I turned to the minister and said, "People are going to start coming in". By noon that day we had many people praying in the sanctuary and we were planning a service for that evening. I think ever church had a service that night.

I remember being afraid for my children's future. Would this become a regular occurrence in America? We have been very lucky that nothing of this magnitude has taken place since.

I'm hoping our luck holds and I am making sure I raise my children to be tolerant of others religions and beliefs because I have to believe that if everyone could learn not to judge and not to hate that the world will be a much better place.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Fall TV

I hate it when my favorite shows change nights! I mean damn, why wasn't I consulted? When you have 6 people in your house (even if you have 4 televisions) it is always a fight for what gets watched.

We have set down every Thursday night for the past 5 years and watched CSI. If we were out, we set our VCR to watch it later. But, this year they have moved my Sunday night favorite Grey's Anatomy to the same time! I am the only one in the family that watched it but I loved it; McDreamy is incredibly steamy!!! I'll have to tape it.

I discovered over the summer that Netflix had pilots of new upcoming shows for rent, this was great! We rented several and now we already know what we liked. Timothy Hutton's Kidnapped was really good. I also kind of liked Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The older kids are wanting to watch NBC's new show Heroes.

What is everyone else planning to fight over the remote for???
I'm probably going to have to break down and get TiVo.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tolerance Anyone?

I received an email forward from someone recently that said "Boycott Muslim Holiday Stamp". A Muslim-themed stamp was chosen to reflect the religious diversity in America. The Postal Service issues 35 to 40 new stamps a year chosen from among 50,000 recommendations and drawings submitted annually.

The email I received was just full of intolerance. It basically said that the stamp was promoting terrorists and dishonoring our soldiers in Iraq. Then it had the most stupid sentence. "Let's remember that these people don't even believe in Jesus or Christmas!!!" Okay, DUH! First, it is a Muslim holiday so yes they don't believe in Jesus or Christmas and second, aren't we suppose to be a nation of immigrants of all faiths & nations. So, I think as long as the U.S. postage department makes Holiday Christmas stamps we should also have Hanukkah, EID, Kwanza etc.... because EVERYONE that is a U.S. citizen should be able to buy a stamp that reflects their heritage.

I am so tired of hearing that we should all hate and that everyone in one ethnic group should be persecuted for the acts of others that share that heritage.

Okay, I'm off my soap box! I'll post something more fun tomorrow!

If you don't know what Eid is:
Eid ul-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) occurs on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja. It is one of two Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate. Eid ul-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son(Ishmael) for (Allah)God. Others celebrate Eid-ul Adha as it marks the end of the Pilgrimage or Hajj for the millions of Muslims who make the trip to Mecca each year. Like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha also begins with a short prayer followed by a khutba. In Mecca, the Khutba is delivered from Mount Arafat.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Back To School

The ending of summer is always tough, but this year it seemed like an entire era for our family had past. It seems like just yesterday I was buying crayons, glue and Disney lunch boxes for everyone. Where does the time go?

I now have a high school student. One of almost 2,000 at his high school. This is a shock for someone that came from a class of 35! I had to buy a better scientific calculator and geometry supplies. He didn't even seem nervous that first morning.

I also sent two girls off to middle school. The population at that school is around 900. They spend there free time talking on the phone and seem only to need me as a driver to various meeting places: the mall, the theatre or some friends home.

I've spent the last few weeks helping everyone find backpacks that will hold the huge pile of books & binders required and with the girls many trips to the mall were required to get them fashionable. It was just so different for me than it was last year.

At least I still have one grade schooler to keep me feeling young. We had a great time shopping for the cutest tinkerbell backpack and the usual crayons :)