Monday, July 2, 2012

July kickoff

We are kicking off to a busy start here in July. This month, we have a lot going on. We have swim lesson registrations. Cephas leveled up AGAIN this session, so now we are going to have swim lessons at a whole new YMCA location. Only two locations where we live have deep enough pools to practice starts and dives. But out of those two, only one is a consideration in my book. The neat part about that, though, is that Cephas, Oralee and Jeriah will all have swim lessons AT THE SAME TIME! Koren won't, as he has opted to not participate in swim lessons this session. He has been complaining about the chlorine and the swimming bothering his asthma.

We also have registration for Koren, Oralee and Jeriah to play soccer. Cephas is already registered for Midget Football. We also have Scouts that meets year round. Cephas is an 11 year old Scout and about halfway to his 12th birthday. He has one more activity to do and he will have earned his Tenderfoot and his First Class rank as well. Then he will be working on his Second Class rank. When he turns twelve, he will be ready to just focus on the merit badges. I'm so proud of him! Koren is also very close to finishing his Wolf rank and being able to earn his awards for his electives. We had a really neat Pack meeting the other night, in which my friend, Bree's son, earned his Wolf rank. It was such a cool presentation, complete with drawing on the kids' faces with markers and eveything!

We have had BabyCakes again. His mom was going to start taking him on the weekends but she has once again backed out. It makes me so sad for him. I wish that there was something more I could do for him, to provide him with the mother that he should have in her, but I can't. So I just love on him and treat him like one of my own.

I have also started teaching in the Nursery class at church. This past week, our Nursery class consisted of only BabyCakes. Do you know how weird it is to have just ONE child to teach a lesson to? Or to add to it the fact that the ONE child happens to be the one that you are responsible for anyhow? I was so tempted to just skip the lesson but my teaching companion, Kat, said that we should teach the lesson anyhow, so we did. Since she had prepared the lesson, I decided that I would take the time this week to write out a letter to the parents of the kids who weren't there, summarizing our lesson from this week and including our handout/art project for them. Next week's lesson is mine to teach.

Speaking of teaching, my visiting companion and I spoke about our visits coming up this month and she asked me to teach the lessons. Since we have been companions, she has done most of the teaching or we have traded off and on for the visits, but this month, she specifically asked me to teach. Courage anyone? I'm so scared. It will be fine though.

Let's see, what else is there? Angel will be back with us soon (mid-month), and so will Calla. I can't wait. I miss Calla so much! I'm going to be so sad when she goes back to her mom's house after her July visit because we most likely won't see her again for quite awhile. (Boo.)

Let's see, for me personally, I have discovered that the YMCA offers a VERY EARLY morning water exercise class. As in, one that will allow me to go to the class, work out, shower, get dressed, come home and be able to still be there before Hubby's alarm goes off in the morning. Now, that's my idea of a way to start the day.

Also, since the little kids will all be having their swim lessons at the same time, it frees up the childcare option at the YMCA for me to be able to do some exercise classes or whatever. I know that I definitely want to do the early morning water exercise class, but it is only available at our normal location two days a week. I do plan to check into the other location to see if they have it on the off mornings, so that maybe I can get it set up for four days a week. Then, I plan to utilize the childcare center to do land exercise classes or cardio workouts. I haven't decided yet. I just know that I really need to get moving.

As I sit here typing this, I am hearing some fireworks going off outside. I have a very unpopular opinion about fireworks. I feel that fireworks should be left to the professionals and should only be done for the big displays. Needless to say, my children have (VERY RARELY) lit fireworks or even had sparklers, etc. I just don't like fire that could harm my children. I love campfires and firepits and fireplace fires, but in all of those instances, there is a CONTAINED place for the fires and they (usually) stay within those contained places. When you couple my fear of fires harming my children with the drought that we are currently experiencing, the high temperatures, the wind, the wildfires happening in many places across the nation, fires scare me. I was outside just a bit ago, watering our yard and flower beds and spraying down our roof. Yes, I am THAT person. I'm just doing my best to keep myself and my family safe. It may be a futile effort, it may be an unnecessary effort, but it makes me feel better and eases my mind, so I'm going with it.

We have some home projects in the works here soon. Our back deck has eroded and there are huge, gaping holes everywhere in it. We really need to replace the whole thing, but when we priced out the cost of lumber to rebuild it, we discovered that we were looking at around $300. For a SMALL deck! Ridiculous. I found a solution that I think will work out nicely. Or at the very least, keep people from falling through our deck until we can fully replace it next year (which is going to take some major saving effort between now and then!).

We also have plans to enclose our yard. Initially, we were looking at a wood privacy fence. That is mostly for Jeriah's safety (wandering) and for the ability to let our dogs out to just run freely. Right now, they are VERY much indoor dogs and they will remain that way even after we fence in our yard, but it would be nice to be able to just let them out and let them run around and exercise too.

However, once we realized the cost of putting up a privacy fence around our yard (once again, a small area), we have discovered that it is something that we are going to have to save for. These two combined amounts are going to be a HUGE financial investment on our part. HUGE. To fence in our yard with chain link, we are probably looking at something in the $500 range and to do it with privacy fencing, we're looking at closer to $2,000, which is a scary amount to me.

I'm thinking about going back to school as well. Or maybe getting a part-time job while the kids are in school. I would love to get a job as a para with our school system, but I need to make sure that a) Jeriah gets accepted into kindergarten and, b) I would be able to be off work by the time Bree's kids get out of school - they attend an "early start" school and my kids attend a "late start" school and Bree is also thinking about getting a part-time job and hiring me to pick up her kids from school, keep them for an hour - while I go to pick up my kids from school - and then she'd either pick them up from me or I'd drop them off at home for her. Cephas will be attending a school that has the same dismissal time as Bree's kids but he already has plans and people to walk home with and most likely, he'd get home around the same time that I would with Bree's kids. And by that time, Hubby would also probably be home as well, so then either he could go get the other kids from school or I could, but someone would be here at home with whichever kids were here as well. In the cases where he wouldn't be off in time, we also have a family friend who could pick the kids up as well or Hubby could even leave work long enough to go pick up kids and bring them home and then return back to work. We have done that before too. It's not our favorite option, but it's an option that works in a pinch. And then our last ditch option would be to have my mother-in-law pick up the kids from school.

I am not looking forward to the end of summer. It feels like it just started and it's almost over already. There are a few things that I am looking forward to though. I'm looking forward to my house being cleaner again. In fact, it will probably be the cleanest it has ever been since before we had kids. We have had little kids that needed our attention and that made messes, etc. etc. etc for the last eleven years. For the first time, we won't have kids around for a major part of the day. My house should be nearly spotless, I think. I don't know what to expect exactly. But I am looking forward to that. I can paint rooms and organize cupboards and drawers and closets and do home repairs and updates and all of these other things that I have been wanting to do but haven't had the time or opportunity to do. Oh, I could even take a nice, luxurious bath, I could shave my legs more (which would mean that ...... which would have a ripple effect on everything else at home), I could read a book or utilize my gym membership more often, I'm seeing lots of positives about the school year starting here in just over a month. But for now, I just want to hold on to the (HOT, HUMID, EXHAUSTING, BUSY, FUN!!!) summer with my kids. Afterall, we only get one summer break each year. I don't want to waste it!

Wow, talk about a hodgepodge mishmash post. I do believe that is called a "train of thought" piece, yes? Anyhow, it just feels good to write again and be able to get some stuff down on the blog. And kudos to all (any?) who made it through this post. We'll "talk" soon, I am sure!