January 24, 2007
Checklist
Paint pink wall away from hot pink - check
laundry - in process
pack for 10 days - in process
take trash to curb - done
remove valuables from home - in holding room
remove important papers from home - in holding room
get oil changed (both vehicles need it, but since I'm only driving one to Baltimore - the van has the greater need)
go through boxes in garage - not gonna happen
go through girls' clothes and bag for Rachael - check (in holding room)
empty fridge - in process
wash dishes -
clean oven -
lose mind - check
hanging baskets and bird house to be packed -
move cymbals into van -
drink second pot of coffee since this afternoon - in process
unplug computer -
unplug all electronics, disconnect all cables -
clean humongo house - hiding under the rug, trying to avoid it
print directions to grandmas' houses and then to hotel in Baltimore - check
have utilities shut off - check, (don't forget about Amerigas!)
get house key from Cara -
did I already list lose mind? Cause I sure have that one covered.
Drive safely and try to enjoy the weekend visiting my grandparents on the way to Baltimore
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Bless you all. I'll see you on the flip side.
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Over and out.
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January 23, 2007
Be careful the punishment you promise
When your kids disobey over and over; when your polite requests for tasks to be completed become a bit agitated, then turn into nagging; when they continue to say "Yes, Mama, it's done", yet when you check, the task is incomplete... Be wary of letting your emotions push you into the promise of a heinous punishment in the event the task is not completed at a certain time.
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No matter how specific I am of my realistic expectations, with clear instructions and even a step-by-step reminder, my younger daughter continues to hide things and half-a$$ it. My older daughter is so sick of the reminders and the questions and time countdown that she just lies and says the task is complete.
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So, I am forced to follow through with the heinous punishment. I detest spanking my children. I rarely do it and had even stopped altogether. But this late bout of lying and disobedience has spawned a new sense of frustration in the mommy. Gentle reminders aren't working. A raised and serious tone aren't working. Time-outs for girls and/or toys aren't working. Lost priveleges isn't working. So, in my frustration, I promised spanking.
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And I just hate following through on that one.
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Please tell me that things will revert back to normal once we have daddy at home every night. And then, if you could please say a prayer (or more than one, if you are so inclined) for me and my girls. We have only two more nights in this house and I really only have a day and half to get done my lengthy pre-move list.
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January 17, 2007
Boring. Do you really want to read this?
Sorry I have been remiss in posting lately (for the last 6 weeks?)....
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It seems like I could take a post from early last summer and basically say the same thing: I am busy with moving details and just not sitting at the computer much.
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The other thing, my cousin and her daughter came up to visit this weekend (from Florida). We had a nice weekend and took the girls for pony rides and to paint pottery.
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And now the cold I'd been fighting off for more than a week is starting to win. I have a bit of chest congestion and I feel like I've been hit by a truck.
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The good news? The move will happen with or without me taking care of the details I want to handle. The bad news? It's gonna happen in one week, people.
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I only will have internet for 7 more days. And then I'll be disconnected for nearly a month.....
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Thankfully, Husband is coming home for the weekend (Bookworm has her first penance this weekend). This separation has been our most lonely. For each of us. The girls are behaving badly and so am I. And I'm tearing up each night on the phone with my sweetheart. It's ridiculous. You'd think we'd be used to it by now.
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Bless you!
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January 10, 2007
Even the mint was bad... *edited*
Last week, on the house-hunting excursion, Husband and I were blessed with some time without kids (thanks, L and D!). My second night in town, we decided to explore a bit in downtown Baltimore. Husband had been there a few times, but not since he started working in the area.
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I have never posted about a bad restaurant experience on my blog before, and if I have, it was never in as great detail as I am going to go into here. But this evening was a total disaster, as far as the restaurant goes. I offered to go to the sushi place at Inner Harbor, but Husband insisted we should go someplace I would enjoy too. We thought the tapas place sounded fun and it was something different. [We should have just gone to The Cheesecake Factory where we'd have gotten a predictable, but delicious meal.] Here is my review of La Tasca, Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant:
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I drank water, which came without the lemon wedge that I'd requested.
Husband drank a 16 oz. glass of Bass, $5+ (correction, I initially reported that the beer was 10 oz., it still wasn't worth more than $5)
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We asked the server for suggestions on an appetizer and settled on the Pan de Ajo Con Queso [which arrived as two slices of far overdone toast with some cheese on it, no taste of garlic (ajo) at all]. $3.75
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We asked how many tapas we should order to constitute a meal for the two of us. She suggested three would be plenty.
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*1) Queso Manchego [6 ultrathin slices of cheese with 3 wedges of tomato - the tomato was small and bland and not-quite-ripe, the wedges totaled less than one half of a tomato; drizzled with olive oil] $5.45
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*2) Chorizo [4 bite sized pieces of spicy sausage, served with a small lump of red cabbage, nothing special or savory] $5.45
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*3) Pollo Al Ajillo, with white wine and garlic [3 bite size pieces of chicken that was overcooked in a soy sauce-like liquid, no taste of white wine or garlic] $6.25
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Not once after our food was delivered did the server check on us. My water glass sat empty from the time we'd been there 10 minutes until we left. We were not provided with a receipt after we paid with cash for our "meal". We felt that we'd just gotten robbed, we spent $30 plus $5 for parking and we'd really only had appetizers.
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On the way out the door, Husband grabbed a mint from the host stand and was disgusted at the taste when he popped it into his mouth. One final insult.
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If you ever visit Baltimore, please take your money elsewhere. Though this place had a great view of the Inner Harbor, the food was terrible. The service was even worse. I am happy to pay higher prices for an experience of savory food with a view, but this took it to a whole new level of awful.
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Definitely a night to remember. Not in the way we were looking for...
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La Tasca, Baltimore: 4 thumbs down
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**Updated to add: After this post was published, I received an email from the assistant manager apologizing for our experience. Even though she insisted we come back for an opportunity to experience this restaurant at its best, I think we shall decline. The fact is, even though the service was rotten, the food wasn't great either. And I also learned that the server should have recommended that we each get three tapas to constitute an entire meal, so for food that expensive, it should have been delicious. I commend the manager's attempt to lure us back, but there's no fixing disappointing food. And that mint? It was supposedly Key Lime flavored.**
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January 09, 2007
House Hunting with Flat Stanley
A friend asked if I'd be willing to take Flat Stanley on my trip last week. He was a faithful companion on my trip and offered me many smiles throughout my days without the girls.
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He also gave many strangers smiles and a few quizzical looks were shot my way. Stanley didn't enjoy the househunting, so he only wanted his picture taken during the sightseeing portions of the trip. In his short life, he has seen many landmarks that took me 31 years to see. Lucky little laminated guy. Enjoy!
[I was unable to load the slideshow here directly.... you can see it here.]
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My Husband is a Happy Man
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You see, when he gets hurt, he bleeds Orange and Blue. "What?" you ask? Well, my Husband is a Florida Gator through and through.
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And last night, he sat in a hotel room far away from home, cheering on his team for the BCS Championship game. And I sat on our couch in the living room and cheered on his team. It was so exciting that every time I thought I'd go to bed, I'd check on the game "one last time" - and I ended up turning the tv back on to see the end, when the trophies are presented and the MVP's are announced.
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It was quite an exciting night of football. The Gators not only proved they deserved to be in the title game, they shut down the team that was considered the hands-down champ.
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I, for one, enjoyed watching the Gators Chomp their way to victory. Congratulations, guys!
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January 08, 2007
A New House
Well, last week, I headed to 'Ballmore' to look for a place to live. We'd been looking online at realtor.com among other sources and had a few ideas.
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Since we know very little about the area, the places we were finding were unknown and some were eliminated when asking others who live there about different areas and cities.
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We knew our first priority was a safe place within easy commute to Husband's work. Along with that priority, we wanted a neighborhood that was family-friendly. In our price range, we were not finding any houses that suited our space needs - only townhouses. And we were okay with that... until I actually saw them. Most were glorified apartments, in communities that though there were nearby amenities like parks or trails, the housing itself left much to be desired. And for the price we'd have to pay, we felt like we'd need a lot of lubricant, if you know what I mean.
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So, after a day of discouragement, we drove through a neighborhood where there was a listing. It was a neighborhood - with sidewalks and houses! And did I mention houses? We couldn't believe that the house would be acceptable inside, due to the price, but we were slightly hopeful. We left a message for the manager, but didn't hear back.
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Heading into my last full day in town, we were no closer to having a new place than we'd been before I arrived. I drove around aimlessly, trying to make the townhouse neighborhoods "fit" our needs. I had an appointment to see another house at noon and while the house was totally unacceptable, I was finding myself forcing us into it - making it fit, knowing it just wasn't going to be a place we felt comfortable, no matter what I did. But I was feeling desperate.
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I headed to the mall to get lunch and try to decompress and come up with a new plan. I was browsing around a store when my cell phone rang and it was the woman listing the nice house in the beautiful neighborhood! I was practically giddy upon hearing the house was still available (we still hadn't seen the inside). She agreed to meet us after Husband's meeting and we excitedly drove to the house. We had said the day before that if the house was available, we were done looking - we were that sure that God had led us to it.
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The feeling was repeated as we drove through the neighborhood on our way to the house. We pulled into the driveway before the manager and sat in the car, praying together that God's will be done - and that we would know right away what His will was regarding this house. A minute later, the manager pulled up and got out of her car.
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As she fumbled to get the door open (the lock will need to be replaced), we chatted about the area and asked questions about the owners of the house. I noted that the front porch could use a pressure washing around the windows (just dusty) and that one of the screens needed repair. I also considered if I had any chairs that would suit the front porch. As she opened the door into the foyer, I stopped and excused myself, asking her not to think me weird. I stood in the foyer of that house, with tears dripping from my eyes. The house is not impressive, the rooms are kinda small, but it was clean and pristine and just lovely. I walked through the sitting room to the family room and through the kitchen into the laundry.
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The formal dining room connects to the kitchen and then back to the foyer. I asked about moving their washer and dryer into the garage so we could use our own. I asked about moving the fridge to the basement and using our brand new one in the kitchen. Of course, we can move them, but we have to move them back when we move out. No problem.
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I went upstairs to see two small bedrooms, a slightly larger bedroom and then a nice-sized master. In the master bath, I noted lots of big windows, bringing in beautiful light, a corner soaking tub (I don't remember if there were jets or not) and a separate shower.
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There is an unfinished basement, a big wooden deck and a wooden swingset in the back yard. The huge yard (bigger than we've ever had, we'll have to get a lawnmower again) was just the final bonus. I can't believe it. I am always amazed at how God works out every small detail. There is a church very close-by that is very good, from what we've heard - a key bonus. And a few families in that church who are part of the local homeschooling group!! There is not one detail that God has overlooked.
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Well, except we're still going to be paying almost double what we're paying now. But for the Baltimore/DC area, it's quite a steal. And for that, we are utterly grateful.
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God has definitely planned this move for us and the more I see His hand in the small details, the more I realize that I have to be okay with this too. Our family will be okay with us being farther away, they don't depend on us in the day-to-day anyway, so I need to stop beating myself up that we're moving so far - nobody else blames me and I just need to stop feeling guilty about it.
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Finally, I'm breathing again and surprisingly (to me, anyway), I am actually looking forward to this new adventure. Especially if it means Husband is living with us again.
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May God Bless you abundantly in 2007!
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January 02, 2007
A Year In Review: A Meme
There is so much I'd like to record regarding my reflections of 2006. I don't have time, too busy with the start of 2007 and getting ready for a trip to my new home city to find a place to live..... So, you get the first lines of the first post from each month.
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January: "2005 was a difficult year for my family...."
February: "Poor little A, keeps picking up whatever virus or strain of virus is going around."
March: "It's embarrassing not to know what's going on with your body."
April: "Haha! Now you too can have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day."
May: "I am not big on "meme"s." [Yet, here I am, doing a meme.]
June: "Husband left this morning to drive to his new job in another state." [And hey, here we are in Jan 07 and he's working in yet another state....]
July: "I'm back online! Whew! Almost 3 weeks...."
August: "We're home." [from the out-of-state funeral of a dear friend, which happened a lot this year - we lost a friend our age, a dear old family friend, and Husband lost both his paternal grandparents, plus the year ended with the loss of my great-grandmother. That's a lot when it's written down, but it really didn't feel like one after the other starting in May. I guess God was gracious to us in that we were only really close with one of those who began their heavenly life in 2006.]
September: "As I was dragged through the store, I felt something tear..." [referring to Bookworm's birthday pinata]
October: "My birthday weekend did not quite turn out the way we'd planned."
November: "I'm back from Florida."
December: "Father-in-Law made it through his surgery well Friday evening".
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Definitely not as exciting a year as those whose year started with (in)fertility woes and ended with sleepless nights caring for a newborn - many congratulations to my online friends and to my longtime friends M&D for the births of your much-awaited and -desired children.
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2007 is going to be a big year for us. I can just tell (tongue-in-cheek).
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May 2007 bring you happiness and peace and boundless love.
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