Sunday, August 31, 2008


Rick and his brothers (Rick, Robin, James [left to right]) the night before the surgery. And the recovery continues . . . at home! Yay! Rick came home from the hospital yesterday and is doing really well. He's getting around with a walker as he decided that works better for him than crutches. Since we live in an older home with at least 15 steep stairs to the bedrooms on the 2nd floor, Maddy and I made the family room into his temporary room. We moved most of the furniture into the living room and dining room and rented a hospital bed for him. It was a good move as he reported that he had a great night's sleep last night... and we all know how important good sleep is to recovery! There is also a recliner there and he is currently enjoying a movie while he rests a bit. He's doing a bit of walking and his exercises diligently -- I foresee a speedy recovery!

The rest of the house seems to be in a huge state of disarray with furniture, toys and everything else shoved here and there wherever it fits. I'm definitely not a perfectionist when it comes to the house, but it is a little disconcerting to have things everywhere. But, I know it's only temporary. I'm going to look at it as a great opportunity to get rid of a lot of stuff. Now, if I can just sneak some old, unused toys in the give-away bags, that would go a long way to clearing out some of the stuff.

Anybody ever sell things on ebay? Cboo has a number of nice shirts/polos and consignment stores don't want guy stuff. I've also got a couple of beautiful Gymboree holiday dresses that Maddy wore only once. So, I may be figuring out just how to list and sell a few things. Another way to get rid of some of the stuff around here.

The patient calls, must put my nursing cap back on! Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thankful Thursday

As usual, I'm a little late to the "Thankful Thursday" party, but there are so many things to be thankful for this week especially. And so, I am:

1. Thankful that the hip replacement surgery on Mr. Tennis (the Hub a/k/a The Rickster) was successful yesterday, that he seems to be feeling better already and ready to tackle physical therapy. Hoping that he can actually play tennis and golf again after he recovers.

2. Thankful that two of his brothers drove out from Illinois to lend support to him and our family. Thanks guys-- you're the best! It was so sweet of you to drive 7-8 hours each way to help out your bro.

3. Thankful that my sons have been so thoughtful and helpful, even though they are both busy with school, studying and their own busy lives.

4. Thankful for sweet little M who provides the light in her Daddy's eyes. As she hopped out of the car yesterday for school, she said, "let's remember to pray for Daddy today."

5. Thankful that my parents and sisters have been so helpful and caring during this stressful time.

6. Thankful for all my office friends who have taken the time to ask about and check on the Rickster this week.

7. Thankful that the FM system in Maddy's classroom has been set up and she is enjoying first grade.

8. Thankful that a three-day weekend is coming up soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shine a Little Light on Me

We live in an older house --it was built in 1924 -- yes, that old! While there are some charms to an older home, there are just as many (if not more) issues and/or problems. The room sizes, and closets especially, are very small. Windows were outdated, roof worn out, layers upon layers of wallpaper that came off in cardboard chunks, basement with no drain tile or sump pump (remember the flood in June)! It's definitely a work in progress and there's always some repair needed. We replaced nearly all of the light fixtures when we moved in about 15 years ago. At the time, we did not have our sweet girlie girl. So, her room is slowly (very slowly) going to have a few changes. The first and quickest change so far is this new light fixture. Isn't it so adorable!! She thinks it is just fine -- I LOVE it!! The electrician put it so that it would not hang down very far because of past experiences he's had with kids jumping on beds and whopping their heads on chandeliers. Probably a good idea as I have seen Miss M do some bed-jumping herself. Last night, we read her school book together in her bed under this beautiful light, and its very soft glow -- magical, I tell you, magical!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to School!

Yes, Maddy joined the throngs of school-age kids starting school last week. She started on Thursday and only had half days. She did fabulously (if I may say so myself)! And who could possibly resist a little girl in her uniform! Her uniform also consists of khaki or navy shorts and/or pants in the wintertime. But, guess who NEVER wears shorts or pants??? Yes, my girly girl -- she only wears her jumper. The big decision every day is what color polo to wear with her uniform -- yellow, navy or white? She and her friend usually decide the day before as to what color they will wear -- is it crazy that this is happening in first grade??

Last year, it took until March for her to feel comfortable enough to get out of the car in the school drive-thru lane. I'm almost certain it won't take that long this year -- though we haven't gotten to that point just yet since it's only been two days.

The FM system for her hearing aid is not quite set up. I am not surprised at that as it seems to take a bit longer for the public school system to provide services to kids in private schools. Am hoping that it will be ready and working some time next week. And she has homework already = they really pile it on in first grade! Well, not really homework. She has a list of words for the spelling test next Friday, so we're playing school and practicing those words a bit every day. Her teacher seems very nice, and I think she will have a very good year. She's off to a great start!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

More Photos

Here are the rest of my favorite photos from Jenny Gegg. What do you think?

I don't really like these with me. I don't know about you, but guess I am always my own worst critic! And why didn't anyone tell me I should have been doing some arm workouts with weights!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Favorite Friday Foto

Another photo from Jenny Gegg. More coming soon, I promise! Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's August - Time for Some Changes!

It's that time of year again, isn't it?! All kinds of changes coming up. Maddy starts first grade next week! Cboo (aka Connor) will be a senior at the university and is moving to an apt close to campus soon (sniff, sniff, we'll miss having him at home)! Philip will be starting his second year of med school and his bride, Catherine, will be starting her first full-time teaching position -- teaching Spanish at an all-girls Catholic high school. Plus, Philip and Catherine are moving into their very first house together!!! I like changes, I really do -- but they sometimes make me a wee bit nervous. Not so much about Philip, Catherine and Connor. They'll all do just fine -- but, you know, Moms always worry anyway, don't we!

Mostly I worry about Maddy now. Will she be ok in first grade?? Will her teacher be as nice as her kindergarten teacher? Will Maddy remember to speak up louder and not use her itty-bitty voice? Will she tell the teacher if she can't hear her? I'm sure the first few days will be a little challenging, especially until they get the FM-system set up in her classroom. Our public school system is required to provide her with services due to her hearing loss. But, since she goes to a private Catholic school, they wait until after they have all of the public schools taken care of first.
I can't recall if I wrote about the FM system before, but it is is very cool. Basically, once it's set up in her classroom, the teacher wears a microphone and there is a little boot attached to Maddy's hearing aid. The teacher's voice then goes directly from the microphone to Maddy's hearing aid. Then Maddy can hear her better and doesn't have to have all of the background noise and kids voices to deal with too.

So, those are just some of the changes coming up for us. How about you? Do you have a lot of changes coming up soon to deal with too? How do you cope? More chocolate? Me too!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Fair Evening

Can you see us up there?? A visit to the county fair was in order over the weekend. My hope was that if we visited the county fair, we could avoid the more expensive and crowded, Nebraska State Fair in two weeks. I'm not sure if that will happen, but it was a lovely evening, so we headed to the fair on Saturday evening. The rides are rather limited -- which is good -- because I am not very brave and luckily for me, neither is Maddy. We went on the Ferris Wheel -- wheeee!! Even that rather tame ride turned my tummy a little bit at first. I kept repeating to myself "don't look down" throughout the ride and that seemed to help.

Then Rick and Maddy went on the Spinning Strawberry- whooohoo!! The rides were fun, but it was Maddy's real goal to win more stuffed animals! Who knows why...since we seem to have about every stuffed animal ever produced! She did win a couple of little ones and the Rickster promised they'd go back again today with Connor to try and win bigger ones. Oh joy! Can you tell how thrilled I am at the thought!! Just what we need (not)! Anyway, it was a fun evening and even a little cool out. Last weekend it was 100 degreees -- this weekend at the fair in the 70s! Not to worry though, I'm sure the high 90 temps will be back in time for school to start in another 10 days --not that I'm counting or anything!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Favorite Friday Foto or is it Friday Foto Fun?

A quick peek at one of the photos taken last weekend by Jenny Gegg. Watch for more next week! Kind of amazing that any turned out as it was about 100 degrees on the evening of the photo shoot. Thanks Jenny!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sports and Me!

Last night, Maddy and I went out to dinner with our friends, Mei and her mom. We were chatting a bit about school starting soon and the various sports and activities that begin in the fall: soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, dance, etc. Mei loves sports -- she's doing it all -- or as much of it as she can talk her mom into signing up for on the dotted line! When Mei asked Maddy, what sports she's doing -- Maddy responded, "None - I don't like sports!" Aackkk -- what have I done?? Do I have a little couch potato on my hands? Have I turned her into a mini-me?!!! Yep, you guessed it -- I am not very athletic. Oh yeah, I go to the Y nearly every day over my lunch hour, but that is really so that I can eat more chocolate -- not because I really enjoy it and using a treadmill or elliptical is hardly athletic.

I tried some sports in junior high and high school -- softball -- that was the worst!! I remember it like it was yesterday . . . I was the girl that everyone knew was an automatic out every time up at bat. I could not hit that ball to save my life. Really, I think I played a whole season without getting a single hit! It was excruciating!! I cringe even now thinking about it! Then, I tried track -- surely I could run -- everyone can run, right! Yeah sure, and somebody's gotta be last -- but did it always have to be me??? No, track was not my sport, either. How about tennis? I tried that so I could play with the Mr. and the boys. I LOVED the outfits, but could not get my serve in to save my life. Are you noticing a pattern here?? I guess the moral of the story is that I tried. And I still exercise and so that's the important thing. It's ok to not excel in sports. Somebody has to be there cheering the real athletes on, right. There we go -- that's my talent -- I'm a really, really good spectator!

Maddy does like tumbling and gymnastics, so we'll give that a try again. And I'm signing her up for a little theater class called "The Teddy Bear Picnic" with the hope that it will help her to speak louder and give her confidence a boost. Since there's a Teddy Bear involved, I think she'll like it. In the meantime, we will do the everyday sports of walking, running, jumping and encourage her to exercise, try new things and have fun. After all, that's what being an athlete at her age is all about.