Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Amazing Birthday Gift

Something really neat happened in October.  My friend and cousin, Melody, sent me a belated 40th birthday package.  (It's tradition to send each other a birthday package several months late!)  It was definitely in the top five coolest things I've ever received by mail.  I was SO blown away!!!  She even got crafty and decorated the inside flaps of the box!  How cool is that???

The items were numbered 1-40.

So many wonderful things, but my favorites were the stickers and decorations for fall.

I immediately hung this on the wall.

It was fun to take items out and walk around the house, deciding where to put them.  I think my absolute favorites were the glass fruits.  They fit in perfectly with our fall theme.

Thank you, Melody!  This gave me a birthday memory I will always treasure, and your gift will keep on giving.  It inspired me to make my 40th birthday gifts to others extra special.  I'm already thinking about your 40th . . .  :)

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October 2016 Highlights

October was another busy school month.  We had a couple gatherings with family/friends, my boys helped a family move, and I already did posts about the awesome birthday package and Halloween.  Kylen took the PSAT, and we had our first college campus visit: Moody Spokane.  It included information sessions, a campus tour, chapel service, lunch, housing tour, class visit for Kylen, and a student panel for questions.  It sure made the fact that our son is growing up a lot more real!

We are hoping to visit a few other campuses this year, but Moody seems promising.  They certainly aren't fancy, but that helps them keep costs low.  Many students graduate with little or no debt.  They don't have dorms.  Instead, students live in houses around the campus.  Kylen could easily drive, since it's 25 minutes away.

Oh!  One other highlight!  I told Kylen how to spell a word!  That hasn't happened in years.  I'm always the one asking him.  Curious which word it was?  "Distraught."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 2016 Highlights

September marked the start of school.  Kylen was busy: school on weekdays and activities most evenings between basketball, youth group, drama class, and studying for the PSAT.

I taught two classes at co-op during the fall trimester: art appreciation (20 students in grades 7-12) and Just Fun for Boys (7 students in grades 3-5).  As repeats, I thought they would be a breeze, but I found myself making lots of time-consuming modifications.  Greg would say I never learn!  Art appreciation will continue through winter and spring, but I have no plans to teach a second class the remainder of the year.  Hopefully, that will give me a bit of wiggle room.

Speaking of school, we tried an Ethiopian restaurant called Queen of Sheba.  It was an interesting experience: unusual decor, mancala on all the tables (with instructions for playing!), and foreign programming on the TV (We saw some STRANGE music videos!).

Greg and I enjoyed the meal, but Kylen didn't.  The bread at the bottom grossed him out with the air holes, and he didn't like the flavors.  I wouldn't order the ground meat again, but we loved the potato and carrot dish at front.

We made our annual trek to the Spokane Fair, which I already posted about.  :)

Someone was giving away a black and white copier on facebook.  I thought we could use it for my art appreciation class.  With 20 students, making handouts on our slow printer is no small matter.  Plus, it was almost full on ink and paper!  Sweet!  The only downside was size.  The thing weighed in excess of 250 lbs.  They offered to help my boys with transportation, and we agreed on a date and time.  Of course, it decided to pour buckets.  Greg used garbage bags to cover it, because, of course, all our tarps had gotten lost or destroyed.  They helped us lift it onto our little trailer, and Greg and Kylen brought it home.  Alone.  We were 5 minutes away, and they couldn't ask the helpers to assist with getting it on our porch??  A 5 minute job took Greg and Kylen over an hour.

This is what Greg rigged to get it onto our porch.  He put down a sheet of wood, rolled it on top, and then went through the painstaking process of rolling it to one end, locking the wheels, lifting the other end high enough to slide a piece of wood under, unlocking the wheels, rolling it to the other end, locking the wheels, etc.  For an hour.  In the rain!  Once inside, we gave it a day to dry out just in case water got inside.  We cleaned off the dust and went to plug it in . . . only to discover we couldn't plug it in.  Nope!  None of our outlets would work with the plug.  Greg spent weeks trying to get an electrician out to tell us if it was OK to change the outlet in the bathroom, since that was one of the only places in the house with high enough current.  Yup.  Fun.

We finally got the outlet changed, ran an extension cord from the bathroom to the printer, pressed the on button, and . . . nada.  It came on, but it was stuck on some sort of error.  We checked the manual, pushed all the buttons, no luck.  What kind of cruel joke was this??!!  The lady said they made copies on it, so we knew it should work.  Greg called the company and finally got it figured out.  I was able to use it for one class before the fall trimester ended.  Oh!  And the part about being fully loaded with ink and paper?  The owner took most of the paper out while we were standing there.  Yup!  The whole process was an ORDEAL.  But there's a happy ending!  Once we finally used it, we discovered it does a wonderful job!  It's lighting fast and awesome at resizing images.  I'm hoping to get a lot more use before the year is over.  :)

We had some great gatherings with friends and family, including a birthday party.  :)

Greg and Kylen studied for the PSAT - mostly math review.

Thanks to a tip from one of my brothers, our co-op took a field trip to a company that creates roller coasters!  Pretty cool!

And that was September!