All Good Things Must Come To An End

We have been out of school so many days in January, I honestly lost count.

My Facebook Feed has primarily been filled with posts about the WV water crisis, the weather, school closing and or delays, and of course, opinions on the school closings and delays. It seems that no matter what decision the powers-that-be make regarding school, people complain. They complain because:

  • There’s a two-hour delay and parents don’t feel it is necessary.
  • There is not a delay and parents can’t understand why. Especially the parents who live on a big, slick, snow-covered hill.
  • We are out of school because the roads are bad. Parents are tired of their kids being at home.
  • There is a delay. Working parents are inconvenienced because WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS?
  • There is not a delay. But there was a delay yesterday and roads are worse today.
  • There is no school. Parents think kids should go to school anyway, despite single digit temps.
  • There is school. Parents are outraged because IT IS WAY TO COLD for our babies to be out in it.
  • School is canceled. Parents are angry because why should teachers be paid for sitting at home?
  • School is not canceled, but is dismissed an hour early. Parents are angry because they can’t understand why it is necessary.

You get me drift?

It has been a crazy month and I’m pretty sure I can count the number of days we’ve been in school this month on one hand. And you know what? I’ve enjoyed every single minute of having my boys at home. Especially since I can monitor them around the water situation. We received a call a few hours ago letting us know that school will be in session and on time tomorrow. You know what they say? All good things must come to an end. It will be tough getting back into the swing of a normal, regular schedule.

Here are 13 things I’m NOT looking forward to when my boys go back to school in the AM.

  1. Hearing the 6:45 AM alarm.
  2. The crazy, busy, day-to-day routine.
  3. Worrying that they might accidentally drink the water.
  4. Getting out of bed before dark.
  5. Going out in 7 degree weather.
  6. Dealing with the jokers in the drop-off line who refuse to follow the established route.
  7. Daily house cleaning and laundry chores
  8. The stupid alarm clock.
  9. Starting the car five minutes before we leave and the vehicle still being cold.
  10. Dealing with another Middle School issue that we shouldn’t have to deal with.
  11. Questioning my boys after school to insure they didn’t come in contact with the water.
  12. Missing them all day long.
  13. THE STINKIN’ ALARM

Did I mention I am not a morning person?

Happy Thursday, bloggy peeps!

Hot Chocolate on a Cold Night

On the off-chance that you haven’t been watching the National Weather Reports for the state of West Virginia, here’s where we are.

We have been OUT OF SCHOOL for so many days this month, I have honestly lost count. The boys went to school on Monday at normal time, (although our hill and road were snow-covered and horrible!) but were released an hour early. School was canceled yesterday and is canceled today because temperatures are in the single digits with a crazy wind-chill.

So.

There’s been a lot of this the past few days.

[NOTE: He is not wearing his glasses, because they broke while sledding earlier this week.]

At 10:30 PM this evening, this is what we were having.

You know, because WHY NOT?

I have seen more snow in the past month, than I have seen in the past three years. I am so OVER the snow, it wouldn’t matter to me if I never, ever saw another snowflake for the rest of my life. While on Facebook a few days ago, I saw a recipe for Snow Ice Cream. In my forty years of life I had never heard of snow ice-cream and thought the boys might enjoy it. When my fellas were out clearing off our front steps and driveway, I looked up the recipe and asked McDaddy to fill up a large measuring cup with clean snow. The boys loved it!

Sadly, it was all gone before I got a picture of the actual ice cream, but here’s the recipe.

SNOW ICE CREAM

  • 4 cups of fresh snow

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla

The boys added sprinkles and then asked for more. It’s safe to say it was a hit and I’m sure they’ll be asking for it the next time we have a good snow. (Which will probably be tomorrow if the past week has been any indication.)

It is two degrees here in WV at the present time. Try to stay warm, y’all.

What I Learned This Week

Let’s just get down to business, shall we?

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. When researching a stove project on Pinterest that requires you to bust out a screwdriver, you should by all means, wait until your husband gets home OR read the instructions very carefully.

2. When loosening the screws on the oven door, you should remove them or else they *might* fall down inside the oven door.

3. When designing a book on Shutterfly, your best bet is to leave the site open when you are not working on a project because it takes a sweet forever for the projects to load.

4. Snow days are absolutely wonderful for designing scrapbooks on Shutterfly.

5. You can rejuvenate an old piece of furniture simply by painting it – even if the paint job isn’t great.

6. When most of the school bus routes are canceled in your area, you can anticipate at least a 30-minute wait in the drop off-line.

7. IF the parents in the “it’s 18 degrees outside and the school buses aren’t running” drop-off line don’t take the same route as those in the “normal drop-off line” you should not attempt to divert the line because the crazy, disgruntled parents will not follow you. Rather, they will cut you off, look at you like you’ve lost your mind for getting out of line and then NOT let you back in the line.

8. Crisco on the bottom of the sled will make it go much faster in the snow.

9. Snow ice cream is a wonderful treat in winter, especially if you have sprinkles and chocolate syrup.

10. Even thought *one* probably looks like a crazy mess while doing it, sledding is still fun, even at forty.

11. When talking about Judge Judy’s new show “Hot Bench” to tween boys you need to be very clear when you say the word bench.

12. The light bulbs in the basement drive me bonkers.

That is all.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Wishful Thinking

This is what I’ve been looking at…

But here’s what I wish I was looking at….

This is what I’ve been wearing,

But this is what I wish I was wearing.

This is the what the boys have been doing for the past week.

But this is what I wish they were doing.

This is the blue sky that I’m wishing for,

But, it’s mostly so I can drive this red one.

I miss the sky.

Hurry up spring!

Back In Time

The past few weeks, okay, months, I’ve been participating in Throwback Thursday on Facebook. Throwback Thursday probably started over on Instagram, but to be honest, I decided to call it quits with Instagram when I started seeing all the same Instagram pictures on Facebook, anyway.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I love the run-on sentence.

So.

If you are Facebook friends with me, I apologize, because you’ve probably seen these pictures over there, but they are still so fun, and OH SO SWEET, and can we please stop time?

At a friend’s wedding. (2007)

Stevie was the Ring Bearer at McDaddy’s brother’s wedding (2006)

 

Melt my heart. (2007)

 

Stevie having fun in his Jeep (2008)

First Haircut (2006)

Watching a chick flick. (2005)

Sharing the Good News. (2006)

Ok, I need a tissue, now.

Really, can we stop time, pretty please?

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Another Day Off

Let me start by promising I won’t mention our water situation today.

You’re welcome!

Instead, I thought we might discuss the SNOW situation.

Y’all.

My boys have been to school for a total of three days since December 19th, and one of those days was a two-hour delay. (Not that I’m complaining, because I have enjoyed everyday with my boys, but because of the days missed, the kids now have to go to school until the end of May.)

We have 3-4 inches of snow on the ground. We had a snow day (and have another one tomorrow!). Earlier today, my neighbor, Jamie texted to ask if Stevie and Alex would like to come out and go sledding with her kids. She also promised hot chocolate. It sounded better than sitting in the house one. more. minute, so I threw some cookie dough in the oven because COOKIES!

The kids had a great time!

Earlier in the day, I also spent some time organizing some problem areas around this joint.

The area under our sink looked like this several weeks ago.

After repairing a leaky water pipe and adding a tension rod, it now looks like this.

I am sure I heard violins when I stepped back to take a look at this newly organized space.

I was so impressed with the big difference the little change made, I decided to organize the area under my bathroom sink, too. Unfortunately I didn’t get any before pictures.

Rest assured, it was a hot-mess.

Just look at this wonderfulness…

Extra make-up – aisle 1.

This next one is travel size and first-aid items, among other things.

And this last one is full of all of the crazy amount of little tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes we get from the dentist, along with extra toothbrushes for visitors who might visit and forget theirs.

This little three-drawer organizer works so well in this space. I love it!

What I Learned This Week – Surviving The Water Crisis

By all accounts, we have survived the worst of the West Virginia water crisis. I broke down last night and ran the dishwasher for the first time in ten days. Tonight, I plan to use the shower. Tomorrow, my boys return to school. We have been assured that they will have bottled water available and will only be serving food that doesn’t require water. I can only pray that my family will be safe. Of course, if you ask McDaddy he would tell you that I am a crazy person. He has been showering in the nasty water for days and I am pleased to report that he is rash-free and still breathing, so I suppose it’s possible that the water is safe.

We received word of the water issue last Thursday, January 9th, around 7pm EST. Less than an hour later, we received a call cancelling school the next day. Our children have not returned to school since that time. (In fact, they’ve only been to school three days since December 19th.) I have read several complaints on Facebook from parents – at wit’s end – because the kids are out of school. I have enjoyed this time with the boys so much, and appreciate that the school system is taking these water dangers seriously. The impromptu school vacation has allowed me ample time to work on scrapbooks for hours on end. I was an avid scrap-booker for many years. Around 2008, life became too busy to keep up. It has nagged at me since that time to get caught-up. I started the official 2008 Edition on Shutterfly while we were skiing last month and have also finished 2009 since then.

As you can see, the Shutterfly scrapbooks are much thinner. They are, however, full of pictures (at least 800 in each of them), embellishments (the scrapbook equivalent to stickers) and really cute layouts.

When the boys asked what I was working on, I pulled out the scrapbooks from their births – and then subsequent years – and they went over them page-by-page, laughing and remembering.

While working on these years ago, I often wondered if the boys would ever fully appreciate the time and effort I put into them. I was so excited when they both thanked me over and over for doing them and I had as much fun watching them look at them as they had looking at them. While looking at his birth scrapbook, Alex commented, “Mom, I wish you would have written this in English.” When I looked at the pages he was looking at, I giggled. He couldn’t read them because they were written in cursive.

We had so much fun looking back on their early years – Ahoy, there, me hearties!

Just look at these two cutie-pies back in 2005 – just after Alex was born.

When they finished one book, they would run to get another.

I am currently working on 2012, and I am thankful that I have a blog because I am finding out my 40-year-old memory is not always reliable. Plus, once you work on 2008, 2009, and 2013, the memories (and ball seasons) begin to run together. In case you’re trying to keep up, I decided to jump ahead while the events were fresh in my brain, and after weeks of working, I just finished 2013. (It has 111 pages and over 1,000 pictures!). I will now work backwards from 2012.

My boys enjoy and appreciate all the time and work I put into recording 89% of their lives.

That’s what I learned this week. How about you?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week. 



An Update On Our Water Situation

We are eight days into this West Virginia water crisis thing.

Even though we were given the all-clear to flush our lines (and did so twice!) on Wednesday, our water STILL SMELLS like sweet candy. All of the news agencies are reporting that the contaminated water has a licorice smell, but our water doesn’t really smell like licorice. Our water has a sweet, fruity smell.

We flushed our lines exactly as we were instructed (Turn hot water faucets on for 15 minutes, Then, turn all cold water faucets on for 5 minutes, and finally, turn all outside faucets on for 5 minutes). The fact that our water still has an odor after flushing twice, scares me. What if showering in the water causes us to break out in a rash? What if drinking the water makes us nauseous? Or even worse, what if – WHAT IF – something worse than that happens?

See, that’s the thing.

NO ONE KNOWS WITH 100% CERTAINTY if this water is safe.

Do you know how scary that is?

Are we expected to bathe our children in water that could be toxic?

Are we expected to resume life as normal with contaminated water running through the lines in our home without question. Without confidence that what we are doing is ok?

McDaddy showered in the water yesterday.

He also did a load of laundry.

Me?

I can’t stand the thought of possibly putting my children in harm’s way.

And I can’t stand the thought of letting that contaminated water run over my body without knowing FOR SURE that my insides won’t rot out.

Okay, so maybe “my insides rotting out” is a bit dramatic.

But, is it really?

Do you know that for sure?

No, I didn’t think so.

And the sad part is, not one CEO, agency director, or even health department inspector who has been interviewed on any of our news stations seems confident that absolutely nothing will happen, either.

I did laundry at a friend’s house tonight.

I am still showering at our church or taking baths with water warmed in the microwave.

And FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, we are most certainly not drinking that mess.

Would y’all pray for us, please?

I am weary and frustrated and tired of hearing the words parts and per and million used in the same sentence. What I really want to hear is reassurance from a FOR REAL Chemist that this chemical (MCHM) isn’t deadly when ingested or absorbed into the body, or hear from a health official at the Department of Environmental Protection that THIS WATER IS SAFE for drinking.

That’s all.

Not some mumbo jumbo about parts per million. Not some big dissertation about when the leak started, how it started, or what the EPA is doing to test different forms of the chemical.

But I’m not holding my breath.

What I Learned This Week – Water Edition

OH LOOK, it’s another post about water….

In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll give you a review of what’s going on here in WV. Approximately 300,00 residents in nine counties have been under a “DO NOT USE TAP-WATER” order, for the past five days.

Here’s where we are as of today….

At approximately noon today, the all clear was given for the first citizens in our county to begin flushing their water systems. We were told those closest to the “contaminating plant” would be first and slowly, the powers-that-be would add areas (zones) outward from there.

Our house was not included in that first zone.

Nor is it included in the zones two, three, or four.

Just hours after giving the initial “OK” to those living in zone one, progress was halted to “give the system rest” and we were told flushing would resume tomorrow. I am still not sure I’ll use the water immediately after being given the all-clear. No one close to the “water crisis” seems to know for certain that the water will be safe for use, even after flushing. That tells me I should BY ALL MEANS wait a day or so before me or the kids use it.

And even though I am the least patient person I know, this is one time that patience will NOT be a problem.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Water We Up To?

We are more than 72 hours into the 2014 WV Water Crisis.

Water we up to you ask?

Well, for starters, our sinks still look like this.

Luckily, I still had a bottle of sweet cinnamon pumpkin hand sanitizer left over from my fall soap collection. It has come in handy since we aren’t able to wash our hands. (Plus, it smells yummy!)

And this is what you see sitting on our countertop – which we must use for brushing teeth and drinking.

Thankfully, bottled water is once again plentiful in our area. It was a little iffy those first 24-hours because every bottle and jug of water (and most bags of ice) were scarfed up pretty quickly once the “DO NOT USE THE WATER” warning was issued on Thursday evening. Facebook postings of water giveaways and water donations have been almost non-stop on my Facebook feed since Friday.

Our church (15 minutes away) is in a neighboring county, and therefore on a different water system, so the boys and I have been traveling there daily to shower.

There have been more than 125 people signed in there using the activity building for showers. Many of those also filled up empty containers with water – which we heat in the microwave and use for washing dishes and cleaning. (And in case you’re wondering, it takes a good half-gallon of water to bathe an eight year old.)

McDaddy was activated for military service and is working the midnight shift, so our bed (which I make up as soon as I get out of) looks like this,

which I just have to let go because it seems silly to make the bed for five or six hours.

On Saturday, the boys and I left the house around four in the evening to go to our church so that we could shower before going to dinner and a birthday party. When our feet hit the driveway the skies literally opened up and it began to pour the rain. I couldn’t help but laugh and think about how funny God is.

Here we are, in the midst of a water crisis, told we should not under any circumstances drink, bathe, wash dishes or do laundry with the tap water in our home, and in that very second the rain soaked us in the few seconds it took to make it into the car.

And just to prove a point, He sent this beautiful sight minutes later.

All I could say was “Thank you, Lord.” As inconvenient as this “water crisis” is, I know that it could be much worse!

A few minutes later, we found out that McDaddy’s brother, Dave, placed second in the Disney Half Marathon with a time of 1:11:32.

The funny thing is that Dave’s plane from WV to Florida was delayed several times on Friday and he did not land in Orlando until 2:30 AM. Then, he had to be at Epcot by 4:30 AM to check-in for the race. If you were to talk to Dave about his second-place finish, all he would say is, “God is good.”

And, even in the midst of a water crisis, He certainly is.

Water you up to this week?