Friday, October 20, 2006

Apple Picking Rewind

Remember all of those apple dishes that I've recently baked? Well, here are some pictures of that outing, which was over a month a go. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day. I love doing good, wholesome family activities like this :>

We started off picking HoneyGolds. I was sure I'd forget what they were called, so I had the boys stand by the sign. Evidently the sun was very bright, because I have a couple of squinty faces here. (Also, notice the dog stickers on T's jacket? He gets one of those stickers each time he goes to hockey practice -- as long as he does his best and has a good attitude. It's amazing how that incentive has worked -- and he's even having fun now!) After the Honey Golds, we moved on to some Macintoshes.

R liked going in the middle of the trees. That's where the best apples are, he said.
T is always available for a good pose.
Have of our haul for the day... Ready to go pick another half-bushel.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Catching Up A Bit

This is going to be a bit of a catch-up post. We had a beautiful Fall day today.
  • You never would have known that on Wednesday and Thursday of last week we had about four inches of snow! Crazy! T was thrilled -- he loves snow -- and played outside in the snow for an hour before school and an hour after school. He build a snow mound that was going to be a snowman at some point but never quite made it. He got hot chocolate both times when he came inside, which he appreciated greatly. R likes snow fine, but he agreed with me that it was too early in the season for snow. The basil and zinnias outside didn't like the snow at all and are officially dead. The mums, however, faired quite well.
  • The honeymoon of getting the new glasses is over and R continues to have issues at bedtime. They aren't as drastic as before, thank goodness, but they are still there. Now there is the pretty consistent stomach ache (tornado in the stomach) that comes on at bedtime, as well as random things like a pain in his arm or itching all over -- all of which can prevent him from going to sleep before 9:30 or 10:00. His lack of sleep has given him some good circles under his eyes and makes him more emotional than usual. Other than that, though, he is doing well. He is getting more work done during class than he was and he's really enjoying hockey a lot. He played a little scrimmage today and scored nine goals!
  • T is doing well. He likes kindergarten and is making friends there. We were in the grocery store yesterday and he saw a boy from his class. The boy said hi to T and T confidently said Hi back. He loves to do arts and crafts and really enjoys spending time with me in my craft room. He works on his own projects while I finish up mine.
  • I was sick most of the week. I started getting a scratchy throat on Sunday night and woke up feeling bad on Monday. I had to go to some meetings on Monday morning and I went home at 12:30. I didn't go back to the office until Thursday, and I only stayed until 2:00 then. I managed to make it through the whole "half day" Friday. I had a cold/flu -- stuffy nose, plugged up ears, cough and fever. Luckily, I didn't have my usual sore throat, but I still felt HORRIBLE. It's a bug that is running rampant in my office. Two people who had it before me call it "the plague." I'm a lot better now, but still have a nagging cough. I have to sleep propped up with three pillows or else I end up hacking away all night or I move into the living room and sleep on the sofa.
  • M has been fighting what I had. He had it a bit before me and has it a little bit now. I pray that he doesn't get the whole shebang like I did! He's been really busy with getting the yard winterized, coaching hockey, preparing Cub Scout meetings, and attending his two board meetings (and making me tea when I was sick).
  • We picked apples a few weeks ago -- a whole bushel of michlimacs and honey golds. I didn't realize how big a bushel was until we brought it into the house (it didn't seem as much when we picked them!) I've made three apple crisps, two apple cobblers, one batch of apple sauce, two desserts of baked apples and we've had apples in every lunch. I think that I'm only through half of the bushel.
  • Speaking of baking, T and I made pineapple upside down cake yesterday. (His choice.) Yummy. We had that after we ate chicken and dumplings. Yummy, again. Tonight we had leftovers and some baked acorn squash -- we are so in the Fall spirit around here :>

I have to go and read to the kids. Usually I also take requests and sing them each a song. I can't sing because I break out coughing, so the boys take requests and each sing me a song. It's pretty nice.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

What a Difference Some Specs Make!

R is almost a new boy. We picked up his cool new glasses on Wednesday and he is thrilled with them. He had them on in the car and was looking at some of his hockey cards (he's collecting them.) Here's an excerpt from our in-car conversation:

Me: How are those glasses doing R?

R: Mom, they're great! Everything is brighter now!

Me: Great, can you read those hockey cards better?

R: Yeah, I can even read the tiny letters where it says "goal tender" and "center" now. And I can read those Canadian last names that are hard to read.

Me: Great! I'm glad you like them and that they help.

R: I know, it's like I'm looking through a telescope at my hockey cards. Everything is close up and brighter. It's like it was dull before and now it's not. The words look cleaner or something.

Me: (By now I had tears streaming down my smiling face.) I'm so glad for you R. I'm so glad for you

I've had tears a few times this past week for R. Tears of happiness that my boy can see so clearly and he's clearly so much happier. I've had tears of sadness that he has had to go through this tough time and we didn't even know there was a problem. But the tears of happiness outnumber those of sadness, by far. This part of his vision problem is such an easy problem to fix -- glasses. It's that simple -- glasses. We're still working on the other part of his vision problem, and now that he has glasses to correct two of his vision issues, it will be much easier to just focus on one thing instead of three.

Oh, and by the way, here is his dinner time prayer the first night that he got the glasses:

Dear God, thank you for my great glasses. They make it so I can see everything brighter and that's really good. Thank you for them too because I don't have headaches anymore and I'll be able to have good nights of sleep. Amen.

The psychological effect of getting the glasses cannot be denied. He had only worn them for about twenty minutes before he said this prayer -- and he believed that he would no longer have the headaches. Wouldn't you know it, he hasn't had a headache since getting them -- or a stomach ache either :>

He also loves them at school. He only needs to wear them for "up close work" -- so reading and writing. Basically, he wears them in the class room, but not at recess or at gym. He says that things are a lot easier now and that he can even see everything the teacher writes on the board AND he can see his papers up close.

I say, Thank You God, for giving my great boy clear vision!

(Note: My camera is acting goofy when I use the flash, so I put this picture in B&W. I'll take a color one outside so you can see the color of his glasses, which is green, his favorite color.)